A European foodie and our own food critic compare notes
Yesterday I went to a lovely brunch at a farmhouse in Delhi courtesy my work as a journalist and met an interesting and opinionated Italian lady with very definite recommendations on dining in New Delhi. VaA European foodie and our own food critic compare notes By Anoothi Vishal Yesterday I went to a lovely brunch at a farmhouse in Delhi courtesy my work as a journalist and met an interesting and opinionated Italian lady with very definite recommendations on dining in New Delhi. Valeria Corvo from Milan has been in India for more than a decade so I don’t count her as a “tourist” visiting India. Instead, she has perhaps tarvelled more in the country and discovered it in ways that a lot of Indians don’t. Valeria makes handbags and accessories in India and supplies them to Italian fashion majors, Prada and the like—and she hates going to any of the shiny new malls that have come up in the big (and small) cities in the last two years. So a lot of her recommendations are based on dining in standalone restaurants in markets and localities preferred by the expat population in New Delhi (Khan Market, Vasant Kunj, Sundar Nagar et al) and five star hotels (Imperial, Oberoi) that match up to “European expectations”, at leats of a certain class. Any way, for those of you who may be interested, here it goes:
Best Sushi: Predicatably enough, Valeria loves sushi at the Oberoi Threesixty where chef Augustino knows her and thus shower her with personal attention. “I had been with a girl friend to New York recently and we visited all the sushi restaurants there, of all kinds. And Three Sixty is better than even Nobu,” is what she says.
Anoothi’s reco: Three Sixty is great. But try Ai at MGF Mall in Saket which does contemporary Japanese. Amongst its innovations is sushi with sticky black (!) rice that is not imported from Japan but grown in north-east India in the tribal belt of Garo and Khasi hills. Three cheers for the local and the organic.
Best dim sums: According to Valeria, these are to be found at Nanking (in Vasant Kunj). Taipan, at the Oberoi, is famed for its dim sum lunches. But Valeria said that she found these too “Indian” and had to send them back. She also says that she fell really ill after eating at 19, Oriental Avenue, the restaurant at Shangri-la.
Anoothi’s reco: Yum Yum Tree in New Friends Colony has excellent and very value-for-money dim sum lunches where you can order unlimited portions with a soup, starter and dessert for just Rs 500. Jade, at Clardidges on Aurangzeb Road, is also a favourite. But above all, for Chinese, China Kitchen at the Hyatt is the best Chinese restaurant you can visit in India.
Best Italian: Now here is something you should really pay heed to. Best Italian in New Delhi recommended by an Italian from Milan. According to her, Baci at Sunder Nagar and Amici, a café at Khan Market that does nice thin-crust pizzas, both are “how we would eat for lunch in Italy”. Ritu Dalmia of Diva does very good “classical and nouvelle” (and I thought such distinctions were only French, a much more complicated cuisine) Italian but “not how we eat at home”. The hyped La Piazza at the Hyatt is “very average”.
Anoothi’s reco: ItALIA at the DLF mall in Vasant Kunj serves better thin crust pizzas than what I had in Italy!
Italia: Address-309/310, II FloorDLF Promenade Mall Telephone No-4311 1777,fax-4311 1778 Email Idfirstname.lastname@example.org
Baci: 23, Sundar Nagar, New Delhi, Tel: 011-41507445.
Yum Yum Tree: First Floor, Friends Colony Community Centre (Opposite Nathu Sweets), New Delhi, Delhi 110065 Tel: 011 4260 2020 www.theyumyumtree.in
Nanking: Plot C-6, Opp. Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj. www.indianfoodforever.com/…/nanking-chinese-restaurant-delhi.html
Ai: Second floor, MGF Metropolitan Mall, District Center, Saket, New Delhi – 17 Tel phone: 9810263567 / 9871981357 / 011-40564567
Three Sixty: www.oberoihotels.com
The Oberoi, Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg, Opp Delhi Golf Course Lal Bahadur Shastri Road, Lodi Estate, New Delhi, New Delhi 011 24363030