THE DINE-OUT GUIDE
OUR PICK OF TOP TWENTY GO-TO RESTAURANTS IN THE CITY
Progressive, modern, experimental, molecular and unique—these have become the buzzwords for Delhi's restaurant scene. With Delhiites looking for experiences rather than meals, restaurateurs are on a constant reinvention mode. From a mushroom cappuccino to a blueberry beer; a tuna and Tabasco sushi to a burrata and beetroot salad; there's a lot to excite the palate. The competition isn't just about feeding your appetite but your social feeds as well. Restaurateurs are thinking big and getting creative with not just the plates but also the ambience. Here's a curated list of the city's most popular eateries divided in four categories—breakfast, lunch, dinner and after-hours.
A BREAKFAST fit for champions is usually all about greasy fried sausages and meats, unhealthy carbs and extra sweet milkshakes. But things are different at The Westin Gurgaon. Here you can still be a champ sans all the unhealthy food. What you get is an exciting blend of superfoods—foods that are scientifically proven to boost your immunity, stamina and keep you feeling refreshed. The Westin SuperFoodsRX is a vibrant start to the day and includes blueberry, salmon, soy, oats and nuts. HIGHLIGHT Blueberry banana protein smoothie
MEAL FOR TWO On request AT Number 1, MG Road, Sector 29, Gurgaon A TRIP here is for when you want to start your day on an I-dont-care-about-calories note. The sandwiches here will be totally worth that decision, we assure you. The name is clearly not deceiving as this is where you get everything big and fat. The Big Fat Sandwich is a perfect example of how something completely simple and no fuss can be turned into gourmet meal. We love them for their juicy sandwiches with fresh ingredients like bacon, pesto, pork et all. Our absolute favourite from the list is the Old School with bacon wrapped lamb and pickle.
HIGHLIGHT The forbidden belly—Asian style, slow cooked pork belly as a side
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 800 for two AT Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj
THE PASTA BOWL
EVERY INCH of the place at this restaurant is Instagrammable—the sun shining in through large glass windows on the exposed brick walls and casting shadows across the rustic wood furniture transports you instantly to the streets of southern Italy, where such eateries can be found on any street. The Pasta Bowl
Company strives to give you a bona fide Italian experience sitting right here in the city. For a breakfast with a difference, skip the regular omelette and go for the smoked salmon frittata along with ciabatta bread, and fresh watermelon juice which is simply sublime.
HIGHLIGHT The flourless quiche and the foccacia and cornetto breads
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,500 AT GL-201, 2nd Floor, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon
IF CHICKEN soup is for the soul, then Indigo Deli's potato and leek soup is the stairway to enlightenment for ours. With just the right amount of flavours and consistency, this humble dish is a warm snuggle, especially on a winter day. HIGHLIGHT Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,700 onwards AT UGF/B/2C, Building 10B, DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon
BREWING SOMEWHERE in a nondescript back lane in Saidulajab is one of Delhi's best morning elixirs. This is a haven for genuine coffee lovers. Here you get freshly roasted coffee beans, a luxury we city folk can hardly afford, and many an interesting lesson for the wannabe coffee connoisseur on how to brew, grind and roast. HIGHLIGHT The winter blend espresso with a sweet taste of marzipan and plum cake MEALF FOR TWO Rs 350 AT Khasra 258, Lane 3, Saidulajab
DEL AT Roseate House is an all-day bistro with a name inspired by the Delhi aero code. Here, the menu changes with every meal time. While their extensive menu celebrates a number of exciting fusion creations, there are some stand-out dishes that one must try when at the restaurant. Start with the beetroot and buratta salad— buttery mozzarella cheese served on a bed of beetroot puree and arugula pesto drizzle—even a hardcore nonvegetarian is bound to enjoy this surprisingly wonderful dish. For the main course, go for their quinoa biryani— a healthy but delicious take on the popular rice preparation served with blueberry raita. From the desserts section, a do-not-miss item is the apple tart tartin.
HIGHLIGHT Enjoy a relaxed meal with magnificent views of the runway on one side and tranquil water bodies on the other.
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 2,400 plus taxes AT Roseate House, Aerocity, Indira Gandhi International Airport
A NEW restaurant serving Italian cuisine hardly seems to be a novelty in a city which has almost every nondescript cafe boasting of this fare. However, Amit Kumar, the 29-year-old chef behind the restaurant makes sure that there are more takeaways than you expect. For instance, we would go back just for the mushroom cappuccino soup. Our favourites were the braised pork belly, scallop and tiger prawns and the ricotta ravioli. Head here for a leisurely lunch, when you have the luxury to sip a glass of your favourite wine and indulge in the finest Italian cuisine.
HIGHLIGHT Petit antoine—a chocolate and cherry sphere
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 4,000 AT Le Meridien Gurgaon, MG Road
PERCH WINE & COFFEE BAR
THIS IS where you go when you want a place sans the usual thumping music and the predictable food. Perch Wine and Coffee Bar has become the discerning Delhiite’s go-to place where delicious sangrias hold hands with great coffee. Do try their delicious salads, pesto arancini balls and mustard grilled chicken. But we keep going back to sip their amazing drinks amidst jazz wafting from the minimalistic ambience.
HIGHLIGHT Their newest outlet at Basant Lok market has livened up an otherwise dead market
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 2,500 AT Basant Lok Market, Vasant Vihar
WHEN CALIFORNIANS adopted Veganism, we were quite sure the fitness lifestyle would soon catch up with an enthusiastic Indian audience. But alas, it wasn't so. The GREENR Store & Cafe, nestled in the centre of ShahpurJat Village is one of the few places in
India that promises all vegetarian and even vegan meals, but at the heart of their venture is holistic living. Try their vegan seitan chicken or their vegan meatball and sausage pizza and tell us if they amaze you as well. Also, if you are looking out for quirky little things, their store is a treasure chest filled with these. HIGHLIGHT Kaffir lime mini pie
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,100 AT 416, Shahpur Jat, Siri Fort
NOSHI, Yum Yum Cha’s Pan Asian delivery service is slowly reinventing the takeout scene in Delhi. Imagine over fifteen kinds of sushi, more than ten varieties of beautifully wrapped dim sums (the crystal duck and spicy Jade are a must-try) and an assortment of lovely oriental flavours on your dining table, sans the effort of going to the restaurant. Because Noshi even delivers the Yum Yum Cha classic, the rocky road and mango mochi and the most refreshingly delightful orange juice and kafir lime cooler, we have had a hard time stopping ourselves from ordering in every week.
HIGHLIGHT The New Delhi with tuna and tabasco sushi MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,000 AT noshi.in
THE FOOD at Amaranta, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, is artfully deceptive; delicious of course, but enticing, like an illusionist’s trick that will keep you hooked till the very last bite. How else can you explain the wild tamarind, potato and feta ciabatta or the coconut, french onion and chilli stuffed pita served with a mixture of salts and olive oil? You can’t help but marvel at how something as routine as a bread basket has been turned into a fine-dining experience. It is modern Indian cuisine re-imagined. For example, the bao dhabeli is an interesting creation. It looks like a Chinese bao but with the potato, coriander and cumin filling of a traditional Gujarati kacchi dhabeli.
HIGHLIGHT Champagne kala khatta and the pâté-style pickle dips MEAL FOR TWO Rs 6,000 AT Plot No.443, The Oberoi, Udyog Vihar Phase V, Gurgaon
FOR MANY of us, Kashmiri cuisine is limited to tabak maz and gushtaba. Matamaal in Sikandarpur is a revelation for those who have hardly tried anything other than the mainstream—the Kashmiri Pandit and
Dogri cuisines. The nadur yakhni (lotus stems cooked in yoghurt gravy) and alle roghanjosh (pumpkin in Roghanjosh style) are two dishes with distinct flavours that are not to be missed.
HIGHLIGHT Modur Pulao (sweetened rice cooked with coconut) MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,200 AT 203, DLF City Court, Sikandarpur, Gurgaon
CINCO DE MAYO is still half a year around, but let this not deter your festive spirit. Arriba at Khel Gaon is our gateway to be instantly transported to Mexico. A playful ambience, the right Latin beats and tequila to keep us company, an outing here is no less than revelling in a carnival. Expect the usual Mexican fare— from tacos, sopas, nachos and guacamole (no less than five kinds) but packed with flavours and textures and emphasis on freshness and quality ingredients. Chef Noah Barnes excels at understanding our palates and tweaking each dish to satiate not just our appetite through the taste, but also our visual senses through a riot of colour in each presentation.
HIGHLIGHT The churros with a warm and spicy chocolate dip MEAL FOR TWO Rs 2,500 AT Tabula Rd, Siri Institutional Area, Siri Fort Institutional Area, Siri Fort
PING'S CAFÉ ORIENT
IF THERE is anything more fulfilling than street food, it is healthy street food. While we can't afford to book a ticket to Bangkok, Singapore or Hanoi every week, we can definitely go for the next best alternative in town— Ping’s Cafe Orient, the quaint little restaurant in Lodhi colony that has been giving some of the biggest Asian dining spaces a run for their money. On any given evening, the place is packed to the rafters, with people flowing in to try their Korean bbq wings and the sumptuous chicken bao. But the Guilt Free section of the menu is what you should definitely order from—The Vietnamese khao suey, the Korean bibimbap and Japanese teriyaki grilled chicken are a few dishes famous that fill you up but still leave you feeling lite as a feather. HIGHLIGHT Philadelphia cream cheese dumplings
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 2,100 AT 13, Main Market, Lodhi Colony
PA PA YA
PA PA YA's innovative Asian cuisine takes you by surprise, just like the restaurant’s 70-feet high dome, which dominates the circular layout of the restaurant. The popular Mumbai eatery opens shop in Delhi with an adjoining wine bar where you can spend a leisurely evening enjoying Pa Pa Ya’s extensive wine collection. The menu remains relatively unchanged from the one in Mumbai, with a few exclusive additions like the tuna enchilada. The roasted aubergine parcels and steamed asparagus and corn farce are delicious and flavourful, as is the Philadelphia cream cheese roll. The sushi rolls are fresh and come with a handy little guide on eating them. Chef Sahil Singh puts his signature twist on traditional Asianand non-Asian
dishes, like the scallop carpaccio. HIGHLIGHT The Chocolate Ball of Fire—a decadent concoction of chocolate and matcha crème anglaise MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,900 plus taxes AT Dome, Level 4, Select Citywalk, A-3, District Centre
THE PIANO MAN JAZZ CLUB
Jazz clubs of New York are synonymous with marrying great musical performances with food and that is exactly what you will find at The Piano Man Jazz Club in Safdarjung. The club, which is a little over a year old, has become one of the most sought-after entertainment venues with its incredible line-up of performers, a relaxed ambience and a potpourri of Eurasian delicacies. The place has been divided into four sections, with the ground floor reserved for the Jazz Club—which focuses on music and drinks; the first floor has a delightful little bakery and the top two floors are part of a fine-dining space called the Dirty Apron. The menu here presents a lot of familiar-looking European dishes but with a Pan-Asian twist. The laksa-sambal prawn spaghetti, for example, which is a mix of Malaysian and Italian cuisines, presents a burst of flavour for the palate. HIGHLIGHT The hummus–try it with the Sofrito rice
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 2,000 A TB -6 Commercial Co mp lex,Safd ar jung Enclave
MOLECULE AIR BAR
Molecule Air Bar is where you can start your journey of becoming a ‘beer geek’. The interiors here are based on a World War II concept and intrigue and excite at the same time. Molecule offers its patrons molecular gastronomy cuisine that blends physics and chemistry— transform the tastes and textures of not just food but drinks as well. While here, you can enjoy their homeinfused liquor and an exciting list of cocktails such as Molecular Mojitos, Alien Brain Hemorrhage, Cotton Candy and White Sangria in Suspension.
HIGHLIGHT Freshly brewed beer such as the dark roasted, Molecule Brew and blueberry beer.
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,500 for two AT Main market, sector 29, Gurgaon
THE SKY HIGH
While many metropolitan cities around the world boast of sky high bars, the concept took a while to come to Delhi merely because the city has no skyscrapers. The Sky High at the revamped Ansal Plaza mall works not because it can give us a bird's eye view of the city but rather a 360 degree view of the green environs of South Delhi that this largest open rooftop dining space has to offer. The menu here is typical bar fare with continental, Italian and Mughlai delicacies, but with a view that good, the food does take a back seat. HIGHLIGHT Jelly Fish Hookah
MEAL FOR TWO Rs 2,000 AT C-306 A & 307, T-101 & 102, 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza Mall, Khel Gaon Marg
It isn’t like you need more reasons to visit Sevilla at The Claridges, but this truly is one of the latest reasons to be booking a table here. We’re talking about a collection of organic wines that has been recently added to the menu. While the wines taste absolutely lovely, the Sevilla ambience adds to the beauty of it all. The resident sommelier Judith Sciarone takes pains to explain the region where every wine comes from. Of the four new wines, our favourite is the Haute Côt(e) de Fruit. This pure Malbec is an explosion of black fruits, cinnamon and incense— the perfect wine to pair your food with.
HIGHLIGHT We’re told the organic wines don’t give you a hangover
COST Rs 1,105 for a glass /Rs 5,495 for a bottle AT 12, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road
THE PEOPLE & CO.
Laughter, music and food are three of the most fail safe ways to have fun through the night and The People & Co. knows this formula well. The Cyber Hub eatery is divided into three elements—Canvas (has a stage that hosts open mic nights, fashion shows, theatre and comedy acts), Plate (a fine-dine space with a sweet surprise, here the chefs cook what they want to) and Public (an all day wine and coffee bar for a quick post-office drink).
HIGHLIGHT On Mondays and Tuesdays each week, People & Co. won't charge you a dime for the food, but the amount of time you spend at the restaurant. 1 minute = Rs 15. AT Premises No. 5, Building 8, Tower B, Cyber City TEL 01244141000
SuperFoodsRx ingredients (left), The Westin Gurgaon; Banofee pie (above) and breakfast spread (right) at The Pasta Bowl Company
Chef Amit Kumar of Bella Cucina, Le Meridien, Gurgaon
Chef Tejas Sovani (centre) of Amaranta, The Oberoi, Gurgaon
Chef Noah Barnes of Arriba
Judith Sciocrone, wine sommelier at Sevilla, The Claridges
Beer from the tap at Molecule, Gurgaon (above); A performance at The Piano Man Jazz Club