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Bottle opener- think out of the box bottle

Bottle Opener is a beautiful little beverage shop that recently opened up right outside Jor bagh metro station, gate number 1. Started by a group of friends, Vishal Sethi, Saurabh Kumar and Sonali Paikaray from Air Force School, this entrepreneurial venture serves shakes and ice cream sodas in some really intriguing combination of flavours. In conversation with the friends we actually got to know a lot about them, “We are basically three school buddies & best of friends. We always wanted to do something on our own & something which we enjoy doing and not just for the sake of it. So, our friend and partner Vishal Sethi came up with this idea overnight and the very next day we started working on it & within a month this whole thing was conceptualised and implemented” said the Team of Bottle Opener. Their menu is divided into three categories. The “Killer Shakes” are for 139 rupees, the “Vintage Shakes” for 89 rupees and the “Ice Cream Sodas” for 69 rupees. Their whimsical and curious blend of flavours is their USP, and their menu is attractive to those who like to experiment. But it can also be intimidating for those who have somewhat conservative tastes. For instance, how many of us would ever have thought of putting popcorn and milkshake together? But that’s for later, first let’s discuss the aesthetics.

With its charming and fanciful appearance, the cafe stands out amidst the string of plain old grocery shops in that line. There is also a beautiful graffiti on the side wall that portrays Lord Shiv in a meditative pose. Full of vivid colours and a majestic theme, the graffiti was designed by one of the guys from the group itself and painted by Fitoor art studio. One downside though is that the shop doesn’t have a seating arrangement yet.

The shakes come in transparent glass bottles. They are much more user friendly than plastic glasses as the glass bottles can be sealed with a lid in case you are not able to finish the heavy shakes in one go. And for someone like me who loves getting these cute little bottles for free, it’s a win-win situation.

So, now coming to the main part i.e, the beverages being served. I was with a friend when we discovered the shop. With a lot of curiosity we had the Kokum Refresh and the Pink Guava in addition to the Black Currant Ice Cream Soda. The flavours are extremely unique and I cannot enunciate it enough. The innovative but smartly chosen combinations just blew my mind. For someone who usually only goes with traditional flavours and has very conservative taste buds, I was skeptical to begin with. I couldn’t understand how Kokum would go well with milk but once you have it, the taste somehow grows on you. And for people who love experimenting with tastes and flavours, it is a total paradise. Also, their flavours are very genuine and deliver exactly what they say. For example, if you take the Pink Guava, you get a very genuine taste of guava in the shake.
There are also a few traditional variants on their menu like the oreo cookie crumble, brownie indulgence, mango duet etc. So if you’re not too keen on experimenting, you can always fall back on these classic alternatives.

My friend accompanying me absolutely loved all three flavours right off the bat, while I needed a little more time to understand the flavours. The polarizing character of flavours is quite amusing, and one of the biggest reasons why one should try this place, to know which end of the dichotomy you fall into.

Address- Shop 8, NDMC Market, Jor Bagh

Meghna Chakraborty
I love to eat. Pizza is my favourite food, and I love cheese, any kind of cheese.
I love animals, I love dogs. Dogs over humans, any day, all day.
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A burger like no other

Quite close to the hustle bustle of the ever so busy Central Market in Lajpat Nagar, there is a quaint and quiet lane which teleports you straight to Afghanistan and introduces you to the art of Afghan bread-making. Located right across the market road, this lane is known as Afghan street and it’s easy to understand why. Almost all the shops have signboards written in English, but predominantly in Dari. And a lot of those shops are Afghan eateries, some of them restaurants and some street food stalls.

As you walk down the lane, you’re hit with the familiar smell of freshly baked bread and rich butter. For someone like me who loves the aromas of baking, it felt like walking in paradise. At one of the street stalls, you see a vendor serving out an intriguing dish that looks like a curious cross between a burger and a wrap. Below the tiny counter, the signboard said Afghan burger, veg and non veg.

I asked for a veg Afghan burger and Afghan Lassi, but unfortunately they weren’t serving the Lassi. Another vendor at the neighboring stall told us they’ll start serving it after Ramzan. The veg Burger was for ₹50 and the non-veg burger was for ₹ 100. They also had heaps of bread resting on a table, that were coming straight out of the tandoor (clay oven) nearby. The breads smelled divine and they only cost TWENTY rupees. On the table, you will find jars of pickle that looked like large chunks of diced vegetables drenched in vinegar. The pickles looked fresh and cost only 50 bucks. There were also sheermals and Afghan cakes for 100 rupees each.

So now coming to the main attraction of the shop, the Afghan burger is unlike any ‘Burger’ you’ve had before. It’s a thick, large Roti or lavassa bread encasing soft potato fries, perfectly seasoned and garnished with coriander leaves. Then, some kind of red sauce is drizzled on top of the burger, and voila our afghan burger is ready.

The burger tasted fresh and soft, but it was a bit too dry for my taste. The sauce used is made with a blend of tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, red chili and capsicum. And while the sauce adds a bit of zest and tantalizing flavor to the burger, the quantity of the sauce used was somewhat underwhelming for me. I would have preferred more of it.

They put egg in the veg burger so if you don’t eat eggs, you have to let them know while placing the order. You can also see beautifully marinated chicken stocked up to be put in the non-veg burgers, so you should try that too if you eat meat.

One burger is totally sufficient for a single person, as it’s more than a handful. Bring a friend along if you know you can’t finish large sided portions of food, because this one is not for those with little tummies. The burger is extremely fulfilling and scrumptious. You’re guaranteed to go home with your hunger satiated and all that without burning a hole into your pocket.

Meghna Chakraborty
I love to eat. Pizza is my favourite food, and I love cheese, any kind of cheese.
I love animals, I love dogs. Dogs over humans, any day, all day.
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Sushis and Dimsums Galore

As the mercury soared in May, and Delhi turned into its annual furnace fest, I found refuge in the light and fresh flavours at YouMee. The restaurant has recently opened in M Block Market at GK-II and offers delicious Japanese and Pan Asian food.

Manga lovers, rejoice. Your prayers have been answered. The restaurant walls are covered with Manga inspired art, geared around food ofcourse. We began the meal with obvious starter choices – sushi and dimsums. The choices of dishes within these categories at YouMee are endless, so do inspect the menu closely, or just come back again for more.

We ordered the Garden Dragon, Spicy Chicken and Prawn Tempura sushis. They were freshly prepared and tasty. The dimsum varieties we had included the Chicken and Water Chestnut Dumpling, Prawn Hargow, Edamame Truffle Oil and Spicy Asparagus with Thai Flavoured Herbs. This was one of my rare trysts with vegetarian dumplings and they surpassed my expectations. I washed my food down with the signature orange and kaffir lime mocktail – Asian Swirl.

By the second half of our meal, the restaurant was abuzz with people enjoying their Saturday afternoon amidst the colourful environs, wafts of barbecued or seared seafood and familiar childhood graphics, far away from the sun. We decided to give the Robata a go. Robatayaki or Robata is a Japanese version of barbecue where small meat portions are slow-grilled to perfection over hot charcoal. The Ebi Maki or Bacon Wrapped Prawns was the perfect choice for us. It came on skewers with a side of Miso soup and sticky rice which complemented the juicy meat beautifully. If nothing else, then you must try this singular dish at YouMee. I wish I had room to score some Ramen Bowls, but alas. I did however have space reserved for dessert, as we all do, and we gulfed down the Matcha Cheesecake and Banana Fritter Sundae, before we called it a day.

GK-II has acquired yet another classic which I am certain will be there in the times to come to offer you and your friends comfort food on many an uncomfortable summer day.

 

Location: M Block Market, GK-II, New Delhi
Meal for Two: Rs. 2,000

Anjora cannot resist a good prawn preparation, finds home in Chinese food anywhere in the world but will eat almost anything if it looks appealing. She is a Potter head and has recently discovered pottery as a hobby (excuse the pun).
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The Nameless shop that serves Dahi ke Sholey

I am sure we’ve all had those days when you’re famished and you feel like you can eat a horse but then you take a look at your wallet and your eyes start brimming with tears because you don’t have a lot of money and you have to go home as well. This happens to me all the time. I am a broke gourmand, a moose cheese lover with the budget of paneer.

For broke days like always, I regularly go to my favourite place in INA market which is the Pandit Ram Sharan Sharma shop to eat their celebrated DAHI KE SHOLEY.

It is a tiny shop in the rear end of the market and they serve mouth watering food items. The simple samosas suddenly taste unlike any other when served with their homemade aalu ki sabzi. You can also choose to have Kachodi with the aalu ki sabzi. They serve bread pakoras too, needless to say with their aalu ki sabzi. You can also find the occasional moong daal ke pakodes but they’re not a regular in their menu. My personal favourites are paneer ke sholey, and Dahi ke sholey. These sholeys are served with an onion salad and dhaniya and imli ki chutney. The sweet and sour taste of the chutney with the crispy outer layer of the sholey, mixed well with the seasoned to perfection dahi mix is absolutely phenomenal. The food is extremely well thought out flavor wise, the burst of tasty goodness in each bite is beautiful.

Pandit Ram Sharan Sharma has been serving these delicious items for more than two decades now and their quality just keeps getting better and better. The service is prompt and speedy, and the man at the counter is very sweet and chatty. He once explained that the coolness of the dahi makes the dish a must have during summers as it cools down the body, it doesn’t contain any unnatural ingredients and is a healthy junk food. One dahi ke sholey only costs 20 rupees and the paneer variant costs 30 rupees. And these are the expensive items from the menu.

Pandit Ram Sharan Sharma is a tiny shop which is not even known by its name. You just know it as the choti dukaan that serves dahi ke sholey. But never ever do you see this tiny shop vacant, because someone or the other is eating at it. It is the exact antithesis of the phrase: unchi dukaan, feekey pakwaan because never ever will you find their pakwaans to be feekey or anything less than sumptuous and delicious. 😛

Meghna Chakraborty
I love to eat. Pizza is my favourite food, and I love cheese, any kind of cheese.
I love animals, I love dogs. Dogs over humans, any day, all day.
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Sharma Kachori wale- Age old romance of Aaloo and Kachori

We all have spent our entire childhood listening to the quote ‘Old is Gold’. Having served the numerous generations of Saddi Dilli from decades, this ‘hole in the wall’ street food joint ‘Sharma Kachodi Wale’ is the perfect example for that quote which indeed is very famous for its perfect and  crispy Kachodi (an Indian snack made of maida which is deep fried) along with mouth watering and drool worthy Aaloo curry (potato curry )around the walled city. It lies on the main road towards Shakti Nagar Chowk which is very  near to Kamla Nagar. People gather around like flock of birds to satiate their taste buds with such a legendary serving without even burning a hole in their pocket.

This joint serves five matthi kachodis which are basically kachodis with the stuffing dipped in the ‘perfectly spiced and seasoned’ aaloo curry with a taste which could make every person on this planet drool over. What makes this place even more special is the price at which it offers this delicacy, which indeed is so low that even a broke college student would be able to afford. It offers one serving of the dish at price as low as 20 rupees which is why we can see the people from all the working classes having their bite here.

In this era, where street cuisines have a very tough time competing  among themselves ‘Sharma Kachodi wale’ makes this simplest dish stand out and make the hearts of gourmands melt in satisfaction as they munch in a bite of this simple yet so legendary dish. I have always heard my uncle describe this place as one of his favourite joints to grab a quick snack since his childhood. He always adds the phrase ‘consistent taste’ whenever he describes it , which shows how famous this joint is for its consistency and the legendary taste accompanied by their swift and uninterrupted service despite a large amount of people eager to fill their mouths with the gem which this place offers.

No matter how many new and famous hotspot food joints open with time , ‘Sharma Kachodi wale’ will always be the showstopper whenever our taste buds crave for a light and tantalizing snack.

 

Shop Name : Sharma Kachodi Wale

Address: Main Road towards Shakti Nagar chowk , opposite Kaleva

Phone number: + 918800818189

Owner Name : Vijay Rathore

In a world full of samosas, be a KACHORI and that too if it is from such a legendary joint.
#sharmakacoriwala
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Discovering a happy eatery : Bistro 57

18th July 2017:

Scorching sun, enough to pierce deep through the skin and make a person thirsty in seconds. Also, the college admissions time ; moving to a new city , getting used to new things, staying away from home. I was a new girl in the unknown city who was just done with her college admissions and shifting into a hostel. I still remember my first day here, everything felt so different. I was normally chatting with my roommate about the famous places to visit nearby i.e. Kamla Nagar, New Delhi which led to the discovery of this ‘Happy Eatery’ called Bistro 57.

The name sounded fascinating enough to me, so fascinating that I wanted to go there without even wasting a minute. We were all set, wearing our cool summer clothes, setting the destination as ‘Bistro 57’ on the Google Maps. After a short walk, we entered a small street with a lot of eateries among which ‘Bistro 57’ was one of them. It was a small pop shop with loads of variety , from milkshakes to cold coffee to quick bites like garlic bread and sandwiches. With a question mark on our faces we asked for help from a fellow customer to help us with our order. “What is the best thing that we can have from here? ” we asked, “Bistro has a PhD in all their dishes, nothing will disappoint you here.” he replied with a proud grin on his face.

A wise man once said ‘Classics are always the best’ which indeed made us choose the all time classics i.e. cold coffee and pizza. The swift service was what made us love the place even more despite the swarm of  people mostly, the college going fellows waiting for their pre placed order. The taste of the much needed ‘caffeine’ along with perfectly blended milk and sugar of  right consistency and the drool worthy sizzling pizza with a crispy crust, perfectly baked toppings and loads of cheese was what made our day. To our surprise the bill came out to be so nominal for such a great quantity of food, enough to force us to skip dinner at the hostel.

Today , a year passed and ‘Bistro 57’ still stands untouched at rank ‘one’  on my list of the perfect eateries around Kamla Nagar which has never disappointed me with any of its variety. This rustic yet popular and inexpensive eatery will always remain as the show stopper of our ‘Chatori Lane’.

Shop Name : Bistro 57

Location : Behind McDonald’s  (kamla nagar ) , Jawahar Nagar , New Delhi

Contact number : +91 9560805504

Owner’s name : Sameer Rawat


Sometimes the smallest streets serve the most elite treats. This small gem at Kamla Nagar is a MUST try !
#Bistro57

 

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Chache Di Hatti : A Saviour  from the Mid-lecture Hunger

Did you ever regret skipping breakfast before leaving for college? Ever felt so hungry in between the lectures that your stomach actually sounds like a dying whale? Well , if you are a north campus student at DU and so down with hunger but have nothing more than 50-55 bucks to spare , the mighty chole (chickpea curry) and  bhature ( fluffy deep fried bread made of maida)  comes to your rescue at this small shop at Kamla Nagar called ‘Chache Di Hatti’. It is located at the nukkad of a small street opposite to the keventers .This shop can be a recognized from a certain distance due to the crowd of people waiting in queues to gulp up the drool worthy bhature with some spicy chole and chutney.

Although, you don’t get a huge variety of options at this place which in turn shows the limited options which ‘Chache di Hatti’ is best at. It serves two types of bhature which differ in nothing but the type of stuffing, one is the plain bhatura and other one is the potato stuffed bhatura. According to the owner, this shop is approximately five to six decades old and is carried on by the third generation at present. In its early days, the rates of one serving of chole bhature was as low as 20 rupees and after years passed, the price is still very affordable. When you stand in the queue and look around at the crowd, you will see majority as the college students with backpacks on their back and a proud grin on their face realising how much this place is worth bunking a lecture. There are approximately 6 to 7 staff members standing as the pillars of this most famous joint in the national capital , who are more than swift in taking and preparing orders despite the never ending queue of the crowd.

‘Chache di Hatti’ is at most known for its consistent taste and the  position at which it stands above all peer competitors all around ‘Saddi Dilli’.Some middle aged people standing in the queue can  often be seen looking back to and discussing the good old days and how they used to sneak out of lectures to grab a bite at this joint which is something that tickles nostalgia and gets a smile on their face ,which indeed will continue over generations due to the pride which ‘Chache Di Hatti’ holds due to its consistent and legendary serving of happiness in the form food which makes it so mandatory to visit and become a hardcore fan of.

 

Shop Name : Chache Di Hatti

Address : Kamala Nagar, Opposite lane of Keventers near All Smile dental clinic.

Owner Name : Kamal Kishore

Phone Number :9811389963

 

There isn’t a sadness which cannot be cured by ‘CHOLE BHATURE’ especially when it is served by the most legendary corner of the city.

 

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Pan Asian at its Best

The sleepy vicinity of Ansal Plaza has seen a dramatic overhaul over the last few years. My childhood was filled with innumerable unwilling shopping visits to this erstwhile godforsaken mall so it’s a welcome change to treat myself to some well-deserved delicious food several years later.

Walking into Triple 8 gives a distinct feeling of entering a theatre. The soft reds of the walls and the dim greys of the shadows sit comfortably on the eyes and offset the vibrancy of the flavours on the plate.

Our first course was a 5 Spiced Goat Brain Tempura with Spicy Mayonnaise. I have always been squeamish about offal and avoid it at all costs but I believe I am a convert. The crunch on the outside was expected but the cloud like consistency on the inside was a game changer. I knew I was in for a wonderful evening. We were then graced with two pork dishes which had both been braised and cooked for 6 hours – the Chilean Pork Spare Ribs Krapow with Red Chillies and Basil and the Pork Belly Yaki-Tori with a Spiced Miso Glaze. They were well balanced, crispy skinned and yum.

The attention to detail at Triple 8 is striking. The meat is meticulously chosen, often locally sourced, (along with spices) to promote sustainable farming while never compromising on quality. One of the dimsum dishes for example is made with Himalayan morels instead of truffles and I recommend you to try it over any of its meat brethren. The Head Chef, Vivek Rana who hails from the likes of Indian Accent in New York and Oberoi, not only loves his produce but also has a keen eye for interiors. The walls are adorned with monochromatic images of the restaurant’s food, the kind that leave you salivating even while you’re eating it. The bar which will hopefully soon have alcohol flowing from it is a thing of beauty.

Meanwhile, the food continued to amaze. Chicken Winglets Skewered with Pineapple had the right amount of barbecued Pineapple on the stick. I ofcourse, fall squarely in the pro-Pineapple bucket – in pizzas, chickens and life in general.

One can’t not eat sushi when in a restaurant like this, and so we did – a Sashimi and Nigiri Platter. It looked like a fish garden, if there ever were to be one. This was followed by Lamb Shank Malaca with Fried Mantao Bun. The bun was a tinge sweet and so exquisitely soft that it left us wanting more even in our inflated-bellied state. We ended the meal with a heady combination of Night Market Custard Bun and a Sticky Pudding Caramelized Banana.

Pan Asian food has always been home for me but it is rare to find a place with as much care and love for its food as Triple 8. To say that I had a good evening would be a disservice. I live for evenings like this and am already planning excuses to go back.

 

Location: 1st Floor, Ansal Plaza, New Delhi
Meal for Two: Rs. 3,000

Anjora cannot resist a good prawn preparation, finds home in Chinese food anywhere in the world but will eat almost anything if it looks appealing. She is a Potter head and has recently discovered pottery as a hobby (excuse the pun).
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Lotan Ji Chole Kulche

Chole Kulcha is a very popular street food item one can find at every nook and corner of Delhi. Delhites love to relish this chatpatta street food snack for breakfast, lunch, evening hunger or early dinner.

Lotan Kulche Wala is a popular Kulche wala situated in the chawri bazar. This small joint offers the best of chole with kuchle that are flavored with spicy sour chutney and chillies, which gives it a unique taste.

The combination of boiled chickpeas and a soft kulcha is garnished with chopped onions, tomatoes, powdered spices and a generous squeeze of lime. The Cholas are made in a copper vessel and topped with aloo and red spicy masala, which has to be the show-stealer here. Especially for those who love all things spicy and greasy. You can choose less spicy or extra spicy according to your taste.

The vendor has been sitting at the particular place for quite some years and anyone who is familiar with the area can guide the food enthusiasts to this eating joint. Mahaveer, the grandson of the founder, Mr. Lotan sits in Chhatta Shah from 7:30 am to 10:30 am. So try to reach here before 10 o’clock or you might turn back empty stomach.

This delicious recipe for chole goes back eighty odd years. The shop is run by the fourth generation of the family. Mahaveer is carrying forward the legacy, with the very same recipe and serving people with best Chole Kulche in town.

Along with chole-kulche, this shop also serves chana soup, with a cube of butter added giving an extra flavor to it. There is no proper sitting arrangement but one can find a patient crowd around Mahaveer, eagerly waiting to get their hands on the tasty Chole Kulche.

The dish is highly recommended for the chole kulche lovers. It is nothing like anything you have had before.

 

Location : 2358/108, Chatta Saahji, Dharam Pura Rd, Nai Wala, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006

Cost for Two : Rs 100

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Shiv Misthan Bhandar

It is said that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and Delhi has no dearth of options when it comes to sizzling breakfast options. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian, you would find it all in this walled-city. So one day I went around old Delhi in search of some good vegetarian dishes, and was instantly recommended Shiv Misthan Bhandar’s bedmi aloo.

Shiv Mishtan Bhandar is one of the legendary shop in Chandini Chowk. Established in 1910, by Shri Mohar Singh Yadav, Shiv Mishtan Bhandar is recognized for a wide range of sweets and snacks of Rajasthani cuisine. Shiv Mishthan Bhandar is known to serve its customers with heavenly delights prepared with pure desi ghee.

If  you are there in the morning, you can dish on nagori halwa, a delicious dish, which consists of  small puris which you stuff with halwa or relish their famous bedmi, a delicious meal of two big puris stuffed with a dal mixture, which is served with potato sabzi and chole. Flavorful methi chutney and pickles are also served alongwith.

Apart from bedmi aloo, they have chholey bhature, kachori and samosa . They sell six kinds of sweets : jalebi and imarti, gulab jamun, suji halwa, mung dal halwa and malpua. Shiv Misthan’s jalebi is juicy, yet crisp.

Earlier, one had to stand and eat there, but now the place has expanded and remodeled with a decent seating space. If you are eating there, bearers keep filling your plate with sabzi at regular intervals.

There are only 11 items on the menu but Shiv Misthan keeps a strict check on quality. Few of its signature dishes are must try, like Bedmi Poori served with Aloo ki Sabzi along with spicy Methi ki Chutney & Choley, Halwa Nagori with Crispy Poori, Jalebi, Imarti.

When visiting Shiv Mishthan Bhandar, you are ought to leave your calorie conscious mind back home to fully enjoy the of taste and tradition of old delhi. My craving for bedmi aloo has been met, when are you going?

 

Location : 375, Kucha Ghasi Ram, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

Cost of Two : Rs 100 (Approx)