I’m The Food! Here’s my story from Dilli-6

I, as an entity come in variety of sizes, shapes, forms and cuisines. Some people just have me because they have to; I help them survive. Some like to play around with me and savor cooking me. They feel happy when their version of me,served to others’ platter is appreciated. A few just ask me to pose , so that I could fetch them a mass following on Instagram.

I hate this DSLR and i-Phone generation. These noobs don’t even chew me properly. They honestly don’t care whether I am cooked properly or how do I smell like. Their sole agenda is to leverage my looks to boost their ego of being hailed as a famous-foodie. They use me like a whore.Hate them. Especially the self-proclaimed ones.  And a female up loader with a pretty face is an add on to the rant. At times, they do not make any sense but just because she is hot, people go bonkers.

“People who write Foodie in their bio on Tinder and Snapchat should be boycotted from this society with immediate effect.”

Foodie has become analogous to a Roadie. Every tom, dick and harry wants to be one. I mean,you don’t have to force yourself. It comes in naturally. On a flip side, there are a few good eaters of mine too. In fact, I adore the passionate ones.

There’s one more league too. The “paidayshi bhookhay” category. I love them the most. They are the people who can go to any extent to have the best version of me, who do not claim to be the connoisseurs of food.They have me because they simply love me.

On a brighter note, I did come across 3 such people. The hoggers came to relish the Delhi-6 version of me. Before we go into the knitty gritties of that romantic evening, let me just brief you about the three monkeys.

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Mayank Singh – The Thakur ! Knows each and every inch of Delhi. Amrik Sukhdev is his second home. Extremely passionate about cars and can drive you crazy with his stories.
Someone who values friendship to the very core and keeps telling people how diverse the food in Delhi is. He is our free PR agent. Kudos to this soul.

Veenit Bhatyal – The mini dynamo from Jammu. Known for his deep quotes and tales from the valley, he carries the Punjabi accent with full flair. His love for barbeques and pahadi non veg dishes is no less than Bappi da’s love for gold !

Lalit Vijay – Someone who just relocated to Delhi, was lost in the nuances of the new job, new city and was skeptical about making new friends but all his theories were put to rest as the Santa-Banta duo decided to take him for a gourmet stroll in Dilli-6.

We are a very big food family spread across Bazaars and lanes in Delhi-6. There is a Gurudwara, close to which you would come across lip smacking chats and sweet shops. In the lanes surmounting Nayi Sadak, you would find Chhole Kulcha stalls, rabri on the rocks.

img-20170122-wa0038In the further by-lanes where a four wheeler can’t enter, you have streets named after a parantha and near Jama Masjid you’d come across soul-quenching non-veg cousin of mine. If you go further down, my another cousin – Milkie resides; where you would see a lot of paneer shops and old school dhabas like Kakke Di Hatti, an institution where naans are groped with ghee using an actual paint brush.

In short, I am the uniting force. I do not distinguish between any human. Plethora of people hailing from different origins come here to find salvation in the form of “me” and rarely I’ve disappointed anyone. For the matter of fact, these 3 dumb asses were a delight to be hosted.You should have been there to see the looks on their faces as they lingered me in absolute frenzy.

Here’s their trail map. In case you are new to the city just follow it step by step.

Hop 1: Located right outside the Chandni Chowk Metro station, is a small shop which has just two items on its menu – Aalo Tikki and Papdi Chat. Both are amazing. Within 100 Rupees, you can achieve gastronomical heights at Natraj. Their red imly chutney and thick curd is to die for.

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Hop 2: Just beside hop-1 is a chatwala serving daulat ki chaat. It is basically milk froth served with Khoya.

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Hop 3: Chhole Kulche and Rabri Falooda in the opposite lane next to Nayi Sadak. You could either take the electric rickshaw if you are really tired but that I guess happens when you are too full, later in the story. Not now ! So, better walk.

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Hop 4: Another eatery with just two dishes on the menu- Jalebis and Samosa, hailed as The Old Famous Jalebi Wala. Those 500 Rs/kg thick sweeties can take you back to the Diwali pooja’s memory lanes where those bulky pieces of sugar are gulped with milk. Minus the long queue, it’s divine.

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Hop 5: The most fairly used location in Bollywood movies – Paranthey Wali Gali. Mind it !
The paranthas aren’t too great, neither is the hygiene but it’s the emotions and vibe that draws thousands of people there every day. Brace yourself for this iconic junction in case you wish to have fried paranthas with a lot of chutneys and that authentic aalo sabzi by the side.You name a thing, they have a parantha stuffing for that. Be it jaggery or carrot. Moolis are a strict no in case you have a lot to eat in your head. Simple hygiene check!

Hop 6: Tucked inside the bylanes of Chandni Chowk is this Haveli Dharampura. Basically a house converted to a heritage hotel luring foreigners and desis with that royal and rustic touch of old school elements – hookah, kite flying, pigeon taming and the grand dining units.

Finally the last two gems – Karim’s and Al- Jawahar.

Hop-7: After visiting the Jama Masjid, head straight from Gate-1 to these legendary units. They need no introduction. The trio had Chicken Burrah and Mutton Shammi kebabs at Karim’s. At Al-Jawahar, it was Mutton Biryani and Changezi chicken. The last hop was an iconic point in their friendship. After that, there was no looking back.

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I hope you liked my story. Every explorer brings in his/her perspective. Come, try me out. Trust me, at the end with a heavy heart and stomach you’d still crave for more.

Bangalored !

I love you Bangalore !
Not just for an awesome college life, the craziest of the friends or the MNC job that you’ve offered me; there is something more to it. I wonder I would ever be able to express it.
6 years man! I know you in and out. Trust me you are the best, leave even the weather part aside.

The fact that I owe you one big time, let me pen down where all you’ve made me felt ecstatic. The places where I love to go again and again..In case, someone’s new to town and inquisitiveness in him happens to drag him down to these  places  after reading this piece of blog, I’ll be extremely glad .Here’s my list-

Now, Swalpa Cheers Maadi Saaar!

1. MTR 1924:
Considering the rich cultural heritage of Lalbagh MTR, if you think it is somewhat less, No is the answer. This place deserves the cult following. The very fact I love it because of the simplicity in the food, the menu and everything is enriched with the aroma of desi ghee.
Majority of my Sunday mornings are dedicated to relishing the best bissi belle bath, rava/masala dosa, idli vadas and filter coffee in town.

Well, you don’t judge a south Indian restaurant with its sambhar in Bengaluru!!Chutney is the one that matters the most and let me tell you it is just perfect here. Staying closely offers me the luxury to barge in any moment here. Even the 220 rupee one special meal during the lunch is equally delightful. Once you see the variety it offers to your plate you tend to forget the long queues and all the waiting.

If a Punjabi like me feels this way just imagine the joy on the faces of hardcore Kannadigas eating over there.

MTR's special bissi belle bath

MTR’s special bissi belle bath

2. PLAN B:
Dimly lit, glass bottles hanging over the bar adorned by cool posters and enormously loud music to go on with it! Well that’s plan B for you. Do not go on its name. Trust me! Once you have the chicken wings spiced with their iconic ABS sauce (ass burning shit) you’ll say realise that it is the only plan if you are visiting Ashok Nagar.

ABS for that matter is no ordinary piece of sauce. It has the potential to put your face on their legendary walls.  If someone can finish the wings (a dozen of that kind) in 120 seconds he is right there adoring the prestigious wall of fame. Plan B is like a small roadside American pub next door run by an over friendly Coorgi uncle. I can bet he will remember your name for his entire life once you share a talk/smoke with him for 5 minutes. Sometimes I wonder is it those pink lil Coorgi swines or the cigar he keeps smoking responsible for his sharp memory.

Even though it’s overcrowded, you can’t listen to what the person smelling your burps is talking or the fact that you always have to shred 45 minutes of your life to get into this place, you’ll still love it; the way I do. Just to clarify the above written statements have nothing to do with the fact that I have special liking for Coorgis. Their burgers, wings and pork have made me do the talking.

Ultra Spicy chicken wings at Plan B

Ultra Spicy chicken wings at Plan B

3. CHIN LUNG:
There are some good bars. There are some better bars and then there is CHIN LUNG.
Located right at the junction of residency road and THE Brigade road; stands tall this epic place. It is the one of the classiest and the shadiest places I’ve ever been to. You can find from rags to riches drinking pauwass (quarter)over there, where in rags being referred are the college kids, people just starting their careers like me and riches are the ones who are richer not only by their hearts, their  car brand as well.

Spread across three floors, the top floor gives the best view .The terrace is a space for heated conversations, loud exchanges, raucous laughter and the occasional brawl. If it is drizzling that day, the peanut masala and the chilli chicken can give you goosebumps.The best part about the place is that the waiters are the real bosses. I’ve never seen such rude yet caring staff at the same time.

It might resemble to some kind of hazy bars you could’ve seen in Bollywood movies but trust me just go there skip the dingy entrance, overlook the weird people occupying the dark alleys with chillums, grab a table on top, pour some whiskey and take a deep breath, feel the neon rays across the street and think about life; you won’t regret it.

Chin Lung-The hazy kingdom

Chin Lung-The hazy kingdom

4. OPUS:
Better known for its activities, situated near the great Bangalore palace; this place is a complete action hub. Ranging from a wide range of social events like Karaoke, Live Bands, Stand up comedies what stands apart and attracts me to book (I prefer to skip the curious case of drink and drive) a cab almost every alternate Thursday is the fact that 10,000 rupees, a trophy, a table on the house and an infinite amount of knowledge is up for grabs at Booze and Brains.

It is an ideal place for catching up with friends or a casual dine out with intellectual colleagues over drinks and some quiz stuff. The main courtyard is open and airy. Amazing music, Goan food, great vibes and the voguish chicks of The United States of Bengaluru are my secondary reasons to love this place.

Booze and Brains hosted every Thursday by Mark Rego

Booze and Brains hosted by Mark Rego.

5. TRUFFLES- ICE AND SPICE:
Life is too short to not eat the All American Cheese Burger at Truffles (Ice and Spice).I mean the cheese literally melts in your mouth. I’ve never had a better burger than this in my entire life. It’s proximity to the all girls Jyoti Niwas College converts the inevitable boring waiting durations to bird watching sessions .The USP  of the place is the enigma that makes you feel younger.Their chicken steaks are yummy and definitely add a great value making it as the perfect “American Brunch Place” in the town. Planning of giving a Budget treat- Don’t think too much. Start heading towards Kormangala Truffles.

The legendary All American Cheese Burger

The legendary All American Cheese Burger

6. TOIT:
This is THE PLACE. It never gets older. Toit is an iconic landmark in terms of being the oldest and coolest micro breweries in the town. The first thing you see as you enter is a Dravid’s portrait (just behind the fumy reception desk) that says “To TOIT from Rahul Dravid”; I mean what else you want then! If someone in my circle comes to visit Bangalore I make sure that he/she has to have their Tintin and Baked Nachos.

I’ve had the most epic conversations here at Toit, ranging from “How does it feel to work for Anurag Kashyap” to “Bhai kuch to karna hai life mein. BC dekh lio”. Friday night is the best time to go there, stand at the bar, get sloshed, watch a game and dream. Their motto is “Fuck Reservation”. Hardly twice or thrice in my life I’ve sat there and eaten. The crowd just hits you and the best part is you barge into a lot of known faces and if you are high you are bound to have a gala time.

A brave new happy world

A brave new happy world

7. BISTRO CLAYTOPIA:
Located right at the epicentre of the city’s most posh area, Indirangar is this small house turned into cafe. It unleashes my creativity and I call it as my “Quantum of Solace”. Usually if I’m alone, I just sit back, get lost in my wanderlust, pen down my thoughts, plan my itineraries and take all my life’s imp decisions at this place. Ironically, it turns out to be a gossip ADDA in case I happen to visit it with the boys. That time we use the footpath space, share a smoke, sit outside and talk and the best part -you can peacefully sit there for hours without getting bugged for placing the order.

Another thing that I like here is its diversification of the crowd. At times you can see kids modelling clay pots, people holding hands on a date, someone playing with their pet or a group of friends relishing smoothies in a single frame. I like their Grilled Lamb Burger and Omelette the most.

Claypot your thoughts !

Claypot your thoughts !

8. MAHESH LUNCH HOME:
Some wise man once said “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I think he was at Mahesh Lunch Home while phrasing it. Forget about the ambience and the warm welcomes! It’s their food that does the talking. Undoubtedly the best sea food (I call it as the real happiness) I’ve ever had.

Their chefs, managers and Stewarts treat you like their babies. They know what they are serving(with minute details) and make sure that you know what exactly do you want to eat because the menu is huge.Still,if you are confused you have the exact raw thing on your table ! You see, you like, they cook -That’s their mantra!

You can customize the spice quotient with the chef as well. When I went there for the first time, I was awestruck to see such an amazing hospitality that I ended up paying 200 /- tip on top of the tax vats n blah blah.Try their lobsters, crabs and Bombay ducks ,I can assure that you will look forward to come back for the heavenly experience.

Lobster on the rocks !

Lobster on the rocks !

9. MATTEO:
Situated right across the most happening lane (Church Street) of Bangalore, this place demonstrates the true cosmopolitan nature of the city. My sole reason to love this cafe is that it gives me the perfect ambience to read.

I can’t imagine a better place than Matteo to be on a Saturday afternoon. You can spot me at the leftmost corner just next to the glass separation wall in case you happen to pass by the road. My regular is a grilled chicken sandwich clubbed with a hot coffee.

Also, this place offers me the pleasure to travel in NammaMetro at least once a weak. You can take a power break from reading and visit the Magazines (right opposite to Matteo) where in the Cats can give you the best relaxation therapy.The Entertainment Store also falls in the catchment area. So, once I am done, I usually check out that and retreat. Overall, it’s a complete package.

Matteo-Gift of God for the readers.

Matteo-Gift of God for the readers.

10. SAVOURY:
Located on the hustling Mosque Road in Frazer Town, Savoury Restaurant offers you the best Arabian dishes in the town. Though it is much known for their Shawarmas and pulpy juice, but I love their Al Faham Dajaj and barbecue chicken with humus equally. The meat is fresh, tender and perfectly cooked that it just hits your p spot. It always gives me the vibes to travel to Istanbul, don’t know why! Anyway let me assure you this place is an absolute delight for die hard non veg lovers esp. during Ramzan time. Go there and be their Nawab!

My little Istanbul.

My little Istanbul.

PS: All the images have been taken from the internet. Sorry, I was too busy cherishing those moments (every single time) that I couldn’t capture the photographs.