“Some fruity sandwiches?” asked Rahul Verma several months ago, and I promptly put my hand up.
We’ve mentioned how Delhi’s food is often descended from that of the mediaeval lashkars garrisoned around the forts of the capital. Today Shahjahanabad is home to an army of office-goers and shopkeepers who trade in everything from spices to bridal trousseaux to electrical fittings.
I first read about The Metropolis in a rather eye-catchingly titled Rahul Verma article last year: “Manali in Paharganj”. And when the man himself recommended it as one of the best places for continental food, we wasted no time in organizing an EOiD community expedition to Paharganj.
I have taken several friends to The Metropolis since that first “field trip” in April, and my experiences, though overall positive, have not been quite as unmixed as I would have hoped.
The Russians are a darling lot. They are apt to be disarmingly rude yet bashfully imperial, to drink like pigs, dance like oafs, have fond memories of their mothers humming to Raj Kapoor tunes, and love cooking just the way their grandmothers did.
Or so has been my experience from staying with a Russian roommate and interacting with her swarm of friends in the US. Russian cooking is geared to help you survive through extreme cold and poverty, so you could say it was ideally suited for us graduate students in Chicago. Slabs of pork, fillets of tilapia (which I loved precisely because they didn’t smell like fish), dumplings, mashed potatoes, and generous amounts of sour cream and soya sauce figured prominently in my roommate’s cooking, and it was only thanks to trips to the gym that we kept our weight in any control.
[update: Ten has been closed since September 2007. This article may now be considered an epitaph.]
I used to think I knew every little nook and corner of central Delhi better than the back of my hand. So you can imagine how piqued my curiosity was, when Harneet first told me that right under my nose — presuming my nose hovers like a benevolent alien saucer somewhere over Lutyen’s creation — was possibly the best restaurant Delhi has to offer.
However, it is a sad testament to my scepticism that it took another glowing recommendation from Abhik before I finally went to try out Ten, the restaurant on the campus of the YWCA International Guest House, at 10, Parliament Street.