It’s been written about ad nauseum. Throw a stone, and you’re liable to hit a foodie in whom it inspires a religious zeal the Imam at the Jama Masjid next door would envy. If you hear my friend Nishant talk about it, you’d think he’d been to the Rapture – and got an autograph.
Like a tutu-clad elephant in the room, Karim’s has hitherto been respectfully ignored by this blog. But what better time to make amends than just after having held a record-breaking EOiD gathering there?
I heart EOiD.
It was just a few weeks ago, on December 21 to be precise, while making a plan for Kabuli food in Ballimaran, that it suddenly struck me — surely there were other Afghan restaurants in Delhi? A little googling indicated the existence of such a place in Lajpat Nagar, but there was no mention of the precise location.
So I posted the question on our EOiD community on Orkut, thinking perhaps eventually someone in the know would come along. The response left me stunned — barely had a few hours passed that Manik (yes, the same one who’d pointed me to Nagpal’s Chhole Bhature) wrote back with the name and exact address of the place, with the owner’s cell number to boot!
Late last week, nine of us EOiD adventurers turned our noses westwards, and headed to Rajouri Garden.
I’d been looking for an excuse to go there for a while now — I kept hearing about the Giani’s ice-cream parlour there, but couldn’t enthuse myself to travel such long distances just for desserts. Then a few days ago the perfect excuse landed in my lap, when Shashank returned raving from an evening of eating out at the J-Block Community Centre at Rajouri Garden.
Every once in a while, someone comes up to me and conspiratorially recommends what must by now be the worst-kept secret in South Delhi’s “offbeat” food scene — Khan Chacha’s kabab corner in Khan Market. Frankly, I find said place more than a tad over-rated — the kabab rolls tend to be all shmushed up inside, and you can barely discern anything more than a floury-meaty taste.
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.