It’s almost every other day that you hear about a restaurant shutting shop, and another replacing it. To think of it, why? Do we get so bored of dining at the same place over and over again, or do they get tired of feeding us the same food day after day? What determines them to earn profit or run in losses? And what distinguishes a good restaurant experience
from bad? As a true bred Delhi foodie, I tried to compile a list of my top five go-to places in the city, and realised that the key problem remained “consistency”.
For someone who dines out often, and enjoys most cuisines; recollecting the best culinary
experience becomes a tad bit difficult. A meal is merely a meal if it only pleases the palate, but then again if it doesn’t then how does one sit through the entire course? A good experience however, is wholesome—the ambience, music, cheery staff, wafting food aroma from the kitchen, crisp table linen and nicely laid down cutlery.
Once passed, begins the foreplay, the sensorial journey from the aroma to the presentation and then the delectable flavours that gently burst into the mouth. Honestly, I’ve had only few such experiences so far, the most recent being at The Table, Mumbai and Gaggan, Bangkok.
Delhi, the city best known for its food, has given me good food or good service, sometimes both, but rarely consistent. And strangely so, consistency came out from the most humble and lesser known spaces, Café Lota at The Crafts Museum for instance offers an innovative menu and each dish surprises you with its presentation, ingredients and flavours. A must-try would be the Apple Cinnamon Jalebi with Coconut Rabri, a delightful substitute to the traditional sweet—crunchy from the outside, gooey inside. Carnatic Café, another one of those small wonders, tucked inside New Friends Colony’s commercial complex, it is my go-to place for home style dosas and rasam.
The not-so humble experiences include Indian Accent, well Chef Manish Mehrotra at least never seems to disappoint the taste buds. A loyalist, some of my favourite experiences in the city have occurred here and I particularly enjoy the fusion and theatrics attached to his food. An all time favourite has to be the Foie gras stuffed with galawati kebab. The others that have been a delight include Set’z, Diva, Farzi Café, The China Kitchen, Magique, Coast Café, Olive, Yautcha; however they’ve all had their good days and bad, and so have I.
But, comfort food remains the saving grace of every relationship. And my relationship with Big Chill and Yeti goes back to their inception. Call me biased, but they have given me, if not a shoulder to cry on, food to feast on and faith to believe in consistency in food and hospitality. Bon appétit!
(C) Ekta Marwaha