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BOX OFFICE CAFÉ

BOX OFFICE CAFÉ

By Prakriti Bhat

GTB Nagar is a haven for foodies. Every restaurant or café is economical, beautiful and unique in its own way. Box Office Café is the newest entrant amongst the bevy of food joints housed in the area. At a walking distance from the metro station and in the same lane as Big Yellow Door and Subway, it faces stiff competition from the extremely popular outlets in its vicinity. However, with a Bollywood theme and ‘hatke’ ambience, I am quite sure that Box Office Café is here to stay.

Sprawled across 2 floors, the café has funky interiors that will make you stop and look at each wall carefully. Popular film dialogues and celeb graffiti lend a filmy feel to the place. While one wall is totally dedicated to pouty portraits of Bollywood actresses, the selfie wall has popular celeb selfies hung on a rope with cloth pins. One could go for low floor seating or a proper table-chair affair. The second floor has a swing seat and a cozy little canopy/tent which needs to be booked in advance. It could be your perfect date spot, ensconced at one corner of the terrace.

The owner, Gaurav Mendiratta seems to have put his heart and soul into the café, taking care of each little detail. Chef Shailendra has curated one of the most unique menus. There are categories like ‘Main to Raste ja raha tha’ (for chaat), ‘Sunny Leone ke Hot Kebabs’ and ‘Dimsum urf Momos’. You are spoilt for choice and forced to ogle at the menu with greedy eyes and a hungry tummy. The chef volunteered to serve us dishes outside the menu as well. His passion for his job was quite evident with the eclectic dishes he brought to our table.

Amongst beverages I tried three mocktails and one shake. ‘Kiss in the Sand’ had a blend of orange juice and coke while ‘Safe Sex on the Beach’ had a fruity and tangy flavor. The Kitkat Shake was served in a bulb shaped container. In fact that was the sole reason for my ordering it! However, it wasn’t cold so the overall experience was dampened a bit. Guava Lava is another mocktail that you could give a try.

2016-03-05-15-11-21The meal began with a German potato chicken salad. The potatoes were mixed with shreds of chicken and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, parsley and powdered sugar. Some of the potatoes were a bit hard but the crunch gives a good overall effect. The next dish was Maggi Sandwich. Conventionally, a sandwich is prepared with some kind of filling between bread slices. This one was made entirely with Maggi. The noodles are shaped into tiny discs which are placed one above the other with a filling between them and a cheese slice on the top. Innovation at its best! Pan Grilled Cottage cheese with spaghetti in pesto sauce was another delicious ride. Two doughnut shaped thick slices of cottage cheese were grilled and served with the spaghetti. The corn nuggets here were freshly prepared and extremely cheesy. The frozen ones are very unlike the ones served here where the soft texture stood testimony to the freshness.

Box office café was one of those rare places where I couldn’t settle on a favourite dish. Chef Shailendra has a penchant for working on different permutations and combinations to whip up a novel set of dishes. To get the best of Bollywood and food, Box Office Café is definitely a must visit.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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RAJU BHAIYA KE RAJMA CHAWAL

RAJU BHAIYA KE RAJMA CHAWAL

By Prakriti Bhat

Student life means grueling lectures, all nighters, nearly empty pockets and a forever rumbling tummy. The lunch that you take along vanishes before the lunch break (courtesy like-minded hungry souls) and by the ned of the day, you become a hunger struck maniac. Looking for pocket friendly places becomes a your chief concern and you’re ready to gobble it all up.

It was on such a day that I stumbled upon a tiny cart parked outside Law Faculty that served Rajma Chawal and coffee. The man, Raju has been feeding the North Campus crowd for about 10-12 years. After enjoying a wholesome plate of Rajma Chawal and a cup of coffee, I proceeded to ask him how it all began and the story was quite interesting.

His father was a businessman in Rawalpindi and shifted to Saharanpur around 2-3 years before partition. His business suffered a setback there  after which the family shifted to Maharashtra. Raju bhaiya was only 2 months old when they shifted, yet again, to Delhi. About 10-12 years ago, Raju Bhaiya started off by selling tea and coffee. He then graduated to selling Maggi too and was a quite a hit amongst the students. He says, “We had to stop the Maggi business because it took quite some time to be made. It was getting quite cumbersome.”

About 2-3 years ago, he strated selling Rajma Chawal. Around 12-12:30 p.m., you will always find a teeming crowd of students near his stall. Unlike other street vendors, he serves the food very gently and pours just the right amount Rajma; neither less nor too much so as to flood your plate. And the quantity is good enough for two people as well. The plump grains of rice and Rajma make quite an impressive heap on your plate.

Rajma Chawal
Rajma Chawal

The Rajma is not very greasy or spicy and therefore can be eaten with ease even by the health freaks. This simplicity of preparation reminds you of home cooked food as it will taste similar. Boxes of salt, chaat masala and pickles are kept aside if you want to add more flavor to your meal. And the best part is that a plate of Rajma Chawal costs only 80 bucks. An inexpensive and piping hot plate of Raju bhaiya’s Rajma Chawal is just what you need to refuel your body after college. They serve one of the best coffees you can ever find on Chhatra Marg. Each cup is sprinkled with cocoa powder; a tradition that is gradually vanishing in favour of coffee art at big restaurant and cafes.

Location- Outside Law faculty, Chhatra Marg

Cost for two- Rs. 80-90 (approx)

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.