Thursday, March 11, 2010

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Khan Chacha, Delhi

Khan Chacha
Flat 50, Middle Lane
Khan Market
+919810804114, +919811152722, +919810671103

Khan Chacha was an institution in Delhi until some legal, and rental problems forced him to shut shop about a year ago. Recently Al Bake (the New Friends Colony institution) opened a shawarma take away at the same location, which made many Khan Chacha loyalists apprehensive about the future.

Then Khan Chacha reopened about a month ago in a new location (opp Big Chill in the Middle Lane,opp Happily Unmarried). This is a first floor outlet with seating, but its still self service with a few "improvements". You order your kebabs/rolls at the counter, pay your money, you are given a number. You hang around, hoping and praying for a free table. Then your number flashes on the screen at the counter, so you go and collect your rolls. If you are lucky you sit or else you stand and finish your rolls. If you leave your tray on the table, you will be very politely requested to throw your trash in the designated dustbins and leave the trays on top (a la McDonalds)

The kitchen is spotlessly clean and soot free :)Prices are higher than what they were, when they closed, but then inflation has affected us all.

Some old timers of this joint, say that the taste isnt as good as it used to be. Since I have returned to Delhi after 7 years, I don't feel qualified to comment on that statement. But the taste is still good.

The chicken tikka simply dissolves in your mouth. I found the tikkas better as a plate of kebabs than inside the roll. I also expected the mutton sheekh kebab to be softer than it was. I'm hoping this is just initial teething problems for the staff and they will soon settle into a routine to give us the outstanding quality of kebabs that Khan Chacha is famous for.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Swagath, Delhi

M-9, M Block Market
GK 2
I remembered that I had enjoyed the Mangalorean food at Swagath, when I was last in Delhi 8 years ago. Feeling homesick for mums coconut curries and some sea food, it was the right time to see if Swagath still lived up to my fond memories of the place.

The Fresh Lime Soda (75rs) was just right and it is a pleasure to be back in India, where restaurants know how to make this perfect. The boneless Chicken 65 (290rs) was a hot and spicy, deep fried piece of heaven. The Squid Special Masala Fry (330rs) had a wonderful Manglorean spicy and tamarind flavored masala and will go great with neer dosas or appams that are oferred at the restaurant. The crowning glory though, was the
Fish Biryani (475rs) served with a little bit of fish curry on the side.This was the flavour of home that I was seeking and I was not dissappointed at all.

With the Service Charge and VAT the bill was around 1500/-. But the food that I had ordered would be enough for 2 people.

I must add that my experience at the Malviya Nagar branch was not as great as the GK2 outlet. The food did not taste as good and the ambience was not as comfortable.

Kake Da Hotel, Delhi

Kake Da Hotel
22-23 Behind DDA Market
Panchsheel Enclave
4174 9464, 4174 9474

The irony is that this 2nd branch of the popular CP restaurant is located behind a really dingy market in Panchsheel enclave. so unless one knows that this gem exists, it would be very easy to miss it and dismiss the Panchsheel enclave area as having no decent eating options.

We discovered it simply because we had back-to-back meetings lined up in the area and had no time to drive any distance in the short time that we had for lunch.

The approach to the restaurant was disconcerting and the decor was a bit hodge-podge, so we were quite apprehensive about the food, untill the aromas wafted our way. Then there was absolutely no doubt left in our minds. Until then, the husband had asked me at least thrice, if I wanted to go somewhere else.

Since we were in a hurry, we ordered a 1/2 Murg Handi (195rs), a butter naan (35rs) and a Laccha Paratha (38rs) The half murg handi was more than enough for 2 people and the rotis were very well done. Mineral water was 35rs for a liter. All the prices are inclusive of all taxes and charges.

I wish I had a picture of the dishes, but we were in too much of a hurry and have promised ourselves to go back in a bigger group, so we can sample more of their dishes.

The restaurant is more conducive to home delivery though and I suspect that, that is where his major business comes from.

Hearty dhabha khana in the middle of Panchsheel Enclave at very reasonable rates.

Aap Ki Khatir, Delhi

Aap Ki Khatir
Middle Lane
Khan Market
Aap Ki Khatir, is a little kebab joint tucked away in the Middle Lane of Khan Market. Patrons who want to eat on the spot, stand around or lounge on 2 wheelers while relishing their kebabs and rolls. The rest pack take aways and carry them home to waiting families.

The reason, I keep going back to this particular kebab joint in the Khan Market, are its 'outstanding' Kakori Kebabs. At 90Rs a plate (2 long kebabs), they are a juicy, melt in your mouth experience, lightly wrapped in a wafer thin layer of crust from the grilling.

All kebabs are served with onions, a dollop of raita and a dollop of green chutney.

Most kebabs are in the 80-90rs range for a plate. The chicken malai tikka is good and not too spicy. The Mutton tikka is extremely soft and on the spicy side.

For 10-15rs more, you can have your kebabs wrapped in a rumali roti or a kathi roll (no egg though), for a quick one dish meal.

If you need a drink to wash your snack/meal down, they serve chilled soft drinks and water for 25rs.

Their kebabs are good and Actress Nandita Das, says this is one of her favorite restaurants in an interview in The Bollywood Cookbook

They do not Deliver food home unless you want them to cater to a party of 50 or more people. They do have takeaway service though and their rolls are a great option for those nights when you know your guests are going to be drinking and couldn't care much for complicated food, but are going to be ravenously hungry at the end of the evening.

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