Connaught Place is the heart of Delhi and no other place or mall can walk away with this status. Since the past year this legendary market has been experiencing a change – with as many as 20 to 30 new restaurants and bars opening up. The famous ones of course remain here, but with the mushrooming of these trendy eateries CP is now gaining the status of the new food hub of Delhi.
If you’re confused about where you should be heading next, we make your task simple by shortlisting these 10 places that you must visit soon.
Why go? Because this is MTV’s first cafe in the country and you haven’t seen something like this before in the city – think shower rooms (yes you read that right), a virtual museum, a recording studio, live events, workshops on food, music and fashion, enclosures for business meetings. Need more reasons?
What to order: Each dish has the necessary modern twist. Begin with Biryani Aracini, Chipotle Paneer Tikka, the super spicy Bhoot Jholakia Chicken Tikka, Dosa Waffle with Chicken Chettinad and Butter Chicken Flat Bread. Polish this off with Bruleed Gulab Jamun Cheesecake.
Of course, the cocktails are as unique and they have one signature drink each from 14 different countries. Go for Tall Dark & Irish from Ireland, Boom Boom from Thailand, Angoori Badan from France, Beer Bomb from Belgium and finally Gangnam Style from Korea.
Where: N-57 first floor, Connaught Circus
Why go? While Social Offline needs no introduction, this one might throw you back a few years. It is done up like a classroom with desks from a staff room, an old type writer and vintage telephone placed on each one, wooden chairs, a blackboard, trophies and a bar which looks more like a chemistry lab. Look carefully and you may spot a skeleton as well.
What to order? The menu does justice to the theme as a few dishes like Social Bhurjee, Hash Brown Tikki Chaat, Chakhna are served in tiffin boxes. Don’t skip the Black Label Butter Chicken flambéed with a dash of whiskey or Awesomosas, sheet samosas stuffed with mushrooms.
CAFE DALAL STREET
Why go? It’s Delhi’s first bar exchange. With screens showing the price of alcohol fluctuating (including cocktails) it reminds you of the stock market shares.
What to order: We recommend that you try the Butter Chicken Gol Gappas (yes they are as delicious as they sound) with the gravy and chicken mince given in two separate bowls to make it the way you want. Vegetarians don’t fret, you can go for Tawa Panner Gol Gappe. Also try that Wasabi Prawns that are served with delicious wasabi mayonnaise.
When it comes to drinks, don’t skip the Wolf Punch, that’s a mix of apple vinegar, strawberry vodka, cloves and orange and The Deal Closer which is tequila orange nutmeg ice cubes celery salt. There is a special cocktails menu for women with drinks like Chocolate Martini and Baby Biscuit that’s a mix of vodka cookies and chocolate. Try it at your own risk.
Where: M-89/90, Outer Circle
Why go? Because Farzi Cafe has finally opened in Delhi so no need to head to Cyber Hub just to taste the quirky dishes that come with all the drama.
What to order: It has some old dishes but the new ones are really interesting, too. Try the F.F.C (Farzi fried chicken) with smoked BBQ cream and Sri Lankan Grass Hoppers, Braised Lamb Chops with smoked heeng cream and Makai Methi Tikki Burger. For dessert, go for Chocolate Dirt Pile which is a dream for chocoholics.
Where: E-38/39, First Floor, Rajiv Chowk
LORD OF THE DRINKS
Why go? It has the biggest island bar of Delhi. Spread over two floors, the terrace is the favourite spot during winter afternoons.
What to order: The food menu boasts of a range of dishes – from Indian, Italian, Chinese to Continental, but when it comes to drinks try one the chuskis – LIIT with Kala Khatta, Mojito Double Lime, or try their signature cocktails.
Where: G-71, First Floor, Outer Circle
Why go? Whether you love Dharmendra’s movies or Punjabi cuisine, you have to be here. Decorated like a highway dhaba, with his film posters on walls, the restaurant also has classic bike from Sholay.
What to order: Amritsari Pindi Sholay, Makki di Roti Sarson da Saag, Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken and drinks like Banta with alcohol and chuskis with a dash of liquor.
Where: M-16, Ground Floor, Outer Circle
Why go? The main thing that attracts you here is that the cafe is decorated only using junk and recycled material – tins, tyres, wooden drawers, oil cans, wooden drawers.
What to order: Drinks don’t come in regular glass, but in a light bulb if you order the Edison Bulb Yard, glass skulls if you go for Graveyard Cocktails and hats and sipper caps as well. The multi-cuisine food isn’t disappointing.
Where: 91, 2nd Floor, N Block
CHI ASIAN COOKHOUSE
Why go? Whether you want Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Burmese or Singaporean (phew!) you’ve got it all here.
What to order: Roast Duck Roll with Hoisin sauce that’s served cold and is absolutely delicious. Also don’t miss out on the crispy butter garlic prawns, chicken dimsums, siu mai, red Thai curry and the lip-smacking Ikan Rica Rica that’s crispy Indonesian fish with cashewnut and vinegar paste. The signature cocktail you need to try is Togarashi Margarita that’s got that necessary spicy touch and flavour.
Where: 68/1, Janpath
CAFE PUBLIC CONNECTION
Why go? It’s an ideal place on a winter afternoon or a pleasant evening would be the rooftop, else choose one of the lounges inside. Each one has a different theme.
What to order: We give thumbs up for their signature cocktails like Hello Kentucky that’s got a hint of orange marmalade and cloves, the Energy Sipper that’s topped up with orange Gatorade and the Charlie Chaplin Cocktail that’s a mix of apricot, brandy and gin. They offer a huge variety of innovative drinks.
Where: F-39-40, 1st & 2nd Floor, Inner Circle
Why go? It runs as a cafe in the day and a nightclub in the evening. Heard of that before? As part of the welcome you’re made to sit in a barber’s chair and the bar tender pours tequila and vodka till straight from the bottle in your mouth.
What to order: In cocktails go for Switched On Fire that’s wheat beer with dark rum and ginger ale and try the range of chuskees. The cuisine is a mix of Spanish, Mediterranean and Indian dishes. Try Spanish tapas and the Belgian Pork Ribs.
Where: 52 Tolstoy Lane, Janpath