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The Hippie Trail

THE HIPPIE TRAIL

By Prakriti Bhat

Delhi has no dearth of fine dining restaurants and cafes. And when it comes to Hauz Khas Village (HKV), it’s the ‘baap’ of all food scenes. From cafes to restaurants and pubs, it has everything. Whether it’s the tiredness after a stroll of the Fort and Deer Park or simple foodie cravings, HKV caters to all your needs. While it is more popular for its vivacious nightlife, HKV also houses some hidden gems like The Hippie Trail which completely change your perception of the area.

IMG_20160326_112928It may be difficult to locate on the first visit since it is tucked away from the main lane. It is in the same lane as Hauz Khas Social; just a few steps further. As soon as you enter, you will fall in love with the place. It has a very chilled out vibe. This is one place in Delhi where you can strut in wearing your most ridiculous PJs and not be judged by anyone. Such a place is bound to become your favourite hangout spot.

Overlooking the tank, The Hippie Trail is a personification of comfort. It has a floor seating arrangement with comfy moda stools and cushions. My favourite spot is the window seat from where one can have a mesmerizing view that soothes the senses. The walls are painted with funky designs that give a bohemian look to the place. The striking dream catcher near the window seat deserves to be clicked). The servers are very genial.

IMG_20160322_110842The menu is quite simple yet full of lip smacking dishes. We went for a Masala Chai to begin our culinary expedition. Unlike popular cafes where the tea is served in tiny little cups, the chai here was served in big tea/coffee mugs. The quantity was heartening. The Mushroom and Cheese Sandwich was the perfect partner to a cup of Masala Chai. Fleshy Mushrooms and oodles of cheese are sure to lift up your spirits with their scrumptious flavours.

I really wanted to have Pancakes but it wasn’t included in the menu. The kind staff made Nutella Pancakes on special request which only goes on to show their congeniality. (P.S. – This was not a Bloggers Meet. The staff was genuinely very accommodating). One plate consisted of two pancakes slathered with a generous amount of Nutella. They were soft, spongy and the Nutella just made it even better.

The Hippie Trail is one of those cafes which become your Portkey to peace. Play board games while sipping on your tea or coffee and indulge in great food with a hearty conversation. Or you could just strike up a random tune on the guitar that they have.

Live, Laugh, Enjoy. That’s The Hippie Trail for you.

Cost for two- Rs. 600 (approx)

Address- Shop 13 A, Deer Park, Hauz Khas Village (near Hauz Khas Social)

Contact No. – 9899203016

Anubhav Sapra
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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18 Paranthewala- Paranthe hi Paranthe

May 10, 2014

18 Paranthe wala- Paranthe hi Paranthe

By Anubhav Sapra

When it comes to breakfast, many of us believe that there are not many good options or decent placesin South Delhi to go to. I believe 18 Paranthe wala has the potential to change that!

Located right outside Gate no.1, Green Park metro station, Yusuf Sarai, this small eatery is easy to spot as the name of the shop is written in large fonts- Paranthe hi Paranthe, 18 paranthe wala. The owner of the shop, Hiralal (cell: 9971232180) is an interesting person to interact with.On an astrologer’s advice, he has named his shop 18 paranthewala in order to bring fortunes!

20140501_095102This small eatery has approximately 39 varieties of paranthas. On Hiralal’s recommendation, I tried Aloo Payaz(Rs 20), Mix Veg( Rs 40), Chicken Parantha( Rs 70), Mutton Parantha( Rs 85) and Egg Parantha (Rs 30). The paranthas are neatly served in a paper plate with a dice of Amul Butter, a small cup of Mother Dairy yogurt and Nilon’s pickles. The paranthas were delicious and it was one wholesome meal I had!

To make chicken and mutton paranthas, Hiralal first crushes the raw chicken and mutton seekh kebabs, which he procures from INA market, and then blends it with onion and some masalas to make the filling. Soft inside and crisp outside, these paranthas were just delectable.

I wiped down the heavy breakfast with a hot cup of ginger tea and left with the thought of finding more breakfast options in South Delhi.

Anubhav Sapra
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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Desiya Cafe

 

April 19, 2014

Gappe Gol Hain

By Aisha Bhattacharya

 What do you do when you get a Gol Gappa craving these days? You, hunt for a safe place to eat it which invariably leads you to Haldiram’s or Bikanervala where you get this sanitized-sealed packet of gol gappas and an unappetizing bowl of vaguely sweet & sour water. The joy is missing. Like we Dilliwalahs say, “Feel nahi aati!” (It doesn’t feel the same). The more adventurous types eat off the roadside, always a little sceptical and asking, “Bhaiyya, Bisleri ka paani hai na?” (It’s Bisleri water right?)

Doesn’t feel quite right… does it? Fear no more, the soon-to-be-officially launched Desiya Cafe has just the thing for you. Located in the heart of the Bohemian hub in south Delhi – Hauz Khas

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Village aka HKV (shorter version for Social Media Convenience) Desiya Cafe is the first building when you exit the fort or the last one before you enter the fort. Located on the ground floor is Desiya Express which serves Indian street food in a hygienic way while still maintaining the roadside ‘feel’ of it. As of now, they only have the ground floor open which seats about 12 – 15 people at best. There is a long running table along the wall where you can stand or sit. An open kitchen is behind it so you can see your food being prepared in front of you. The chairs are rather comfortable and don’t make you want to get up. The first floor is still being done and will have the Desiya Express menu plus an add-on Dining menu.  This restaurant is owned by Jackpot Ventures who have the already well known Turkish and Lebanese restaurant ‘Faarsi’, also in HKV.

I was lucky enough to be invited by the Corporate General Manager, Ankush Myint for a preview of the place and I have to say I was rather impressed by the spread he arranged for me.

DSC_0814Having previously worked in HKV, I know exactly what the Gol Gappa craving is like. I would run to Evergreen 9in Green park Market) and eat insipid ones just to feel better. It never quite worked out well. So imagine my excitement when the first thing to arrive was ‘Gol Gappas’!! I was given 3 atta and 3 sooji ones (which I replaced with atta), a sweet tamarind flavour water, a tamarind chutney, the typical stuffing of cubed boiled potatoes and boiled kabuli chana and my favourite sour water (which I find always tastes like jaljeera). The Gol gappas were huge and that is intentional said Ankush. Apparently till the water doesn’t drip down the side of your mouth it doesn’t feel like the ‘real thing’. This is a tried and tested theory! The entire ensemble is well presented and tasted like it should. A spicy, sour, sweet and crunchy mouthful of heaven.

DSC_0822Next, was the Mumbai staple – Vada Pav. Admittedly I have never been a huge fan but, this one hits the right spot! Butttery bun with a Vada that melts in your mouth, add a dash of the garlic and jeera chutney and you’re good to go! I didn’t just taste, I ate the whole thing. To wash this down I was presented with two beverages – a Kala Khatta Sharbat and a Masala Shikanjvi. The Kala khatta sharbat was a tad bit too sweet for me and when I suggested they add more chaat masala to it, Ankush said that customers had complained that by the time they reach the parking lot, “Pet mein gur gur hoti hai” (stomach starts to rumble) So the executive decision taken was to leave it a little sweet. The Masala Shikanjvi on the other hand, had the right mix of flavours. Nice and fizzy with the right balance of chatpata flavours that reminds one of the masala shikanjvi in Modi Nagar. Yes, ‘That’ one! I found if you sip these two drinks together, you get this wonderful kick of a sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, fizzy liquid.

I was then served a kebab platter with Ajwaini Fish Tikka, Kalmi Kebab and Bhatti Tangri. All three were good standard kebab fare available in Delhi. The fish was exceptionally good, so you must try that if you enjoy fish.

At this point I couldn’t eat another morsel but Ankush insisted I had to try one last thing – Night watchman ka Chicken in a Bun. The name sounded odd but greed and curiosity got the better of me and I succumbed to this onslaught of delicious food. The dish is essentially a buttery hot dog bun slit on top and filled with a wetish spicy chicken keema and topped with some mint chutney. So good. So so good. The story behind this dish is about a Night Watchman who would make this during his shift and a lot of people in 24 hour work environments would come to his thela for a midnight snack. He reported made quite a packet selling this invention. The chicken keema is done Rahra style, well cooked and flavoursome.

In a nutshell Desiya has a big menu with quick service, food that tastes as good as it looks and quirky interiors that make you smile. It recreates the charm of Chandni chowk on your palette while keeping you safely ensconced in a bubble in South Delhi. I would think they will offer stiff competition to Dhaba by Claridges. So, the next time you’re wandering around in Hauz Khas village craving street food, be sure to pop in for a visit and you shall not leave disappointed.

Price for 2: 800 (without alcohol)

To speak to them call: +91-8130200444

To visit them go to: Desiya Cafe, 50-E, Ground Floor, Hauz Khas Village

Anubhav Sapra
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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Mia Bella

Mia Bella

By Tanya Kapoor

It was a perfect Thursday evening and  we had an occasion to celebrate as well!! It was my friend’s birthday and we girls planned to party it out at Hauz Khas Village. We chose Mia Bella- a gastro pub as our destination.

If location is one of the key aspects of a famous restaurant then Mia bella has definitely nailed it. Mia Bella , situated on the top floors of the building opening up to a beautiful terrace overlooking the lake , Mia Bella perhaps has the best view of the lake among all restaurants at Hauz Khas Village. Location here is definitely the winner!

The contemporary interiors are adorned with wall clocks, mirrors, pieces of art such as the classic cupid. The color palette includes balmy hues of yellow, valley green and wooden brown. The menu includes Middle-Eastern, European and African fare.  A large chunk of the dishes are devoted to the Braai cuisine, more commonly known as the South African version of barbecue.

Coming to the food,we ordered for Chicken Peri Peri, Mint Mutton shanks and mezze platter.

With a tangy texture, Chicken Peri Peri was well-cooked and balanced by the delicious accompaniments – a fresh, juicy leaf salad with lettuce, rocket leaves, basil, mint and a vinegar dressing; soft, creamy mashed potatoes with butter and seasoning and garlic bread. The chicken was soaked perfectly in its sauce and gave little reason to think about anything except our next bite.

The second dish, Mint Mutton shanks, was an even match and was served with perfectly fried potato wedges and garlic bread. The meat was tender and a level of ease in its texture. The portions were sizeable and filling.

Beautifully presented, the mezze platter was a treat for our eyes, not so much for our taste buds. The quantity did not justify the price here.

mia bella pic

The portion sizes are huge! Truly for people who are hungry and need a good, filling meal. But it was superb in taste too.You just need to place your order and your order will be served smoking hot on your table. You get variety of ice teas fresh lime sodas and other aerated beverages. So, while I was happy that we have restaurants with such brilliant views , I would call it safe to visit Mia Bella , enjoy a sunset evening , sipping cocktails , beers or other drink of your choice and enjoy the delectable south African cuisine.

Take a bite, close your eyes, eat slow, feel the flavors – is the mantra to be followed in Mia bella .

Overall, Mia Bella is recommended to those certain times when you want to enjoy a brilliant view and sip a quite drink along with good company.

Anubhav Sapra
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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A Fine Taste

Elma's Cafe - Delhi Food Walks

A Fine Taste

English. Exquisite. Elegant .Exclusive. Expensive.Combining all of that, you get Elma’s cafe, a cosy cafe in the streets of Hauz Khas Village. So here I was with two other friends, out to review the place that is very popular among the food joints in HKV.

Entering the place, you notice the beautiful and delicate ambience, made complete with floral prints on the drapes and curtains, cupboards with old cups and plates, a piano and a quiet view of the deer park. The bakery items on display are so amazing to look at, that customers sometimes sit for long durations of time, just gazing at the display! Cooks working in the open kitchen constitute another view that is enjoyed by visitors. However the seating is very limited , since it’s a small cafe.

Elma's Cafe - Delhi Food WalksTalking to the owner, we got to know that her son started TLR cafe, another food joint in HKV. Since the quality of the outsourced breads was not satisfactory, she decided to open a bakery of her own that would provide good quality bread. This and the fact that coffee could be found everywhere but different types of teas were difficult to find, she being a tea person, established Elma’s.Here’s a fun fact for those of you who didn’t know: Elma is the name of the family dog and Edward is the family cat! Edward’s is on the ground floor and Elma’s is on the 1st. They share the same menu.

Nilgiri Frost - Delhi Food Walks

The famous desserts of the place such as the Red Velvet Cake and Moist Chocolate Cake are absolutely fabulous but we wanted to try new items, so here they are. Let’s begin with Nilgiri Frost, a favourite of the owner too. It’s a  lighter colour than Earl’s Grey, the taste is just right, neither too strong nor too mild. The cup is very aromatic and it goes well with heavy   cakes. It tastes best without milk. The next tea we tasted was Earl’s Grey, which was again very aromatic but was a darker colour. It was stronger than Nilgiri Frost. Both of them were very typical teas and must be tried by tea lovers for sure. Apart from this, the Belgian Chocolate shake was amazing too, rich in chocolate and pleasure!

Scones with jam and cream - Delhi Food WalksApple Pie - Delhi Food Walks
The freshly-made scones with the great texture, accompanied by pure fruit jam and cream were a delight to our taste buds.The apple pie was perfectly made, with a very crisp outer layer and the handmade pattern on top. The taste of apple was very subtle. Mac and Cheese was beautifully baked. The three neat, distinct layers were as follows: a crisp layer of bread crumbs on top, followed by a delicious cheese layer and then the macaroni. It was quite filling. Lastly, we had the healthy ‘lean and green sandwich’, which had Elma’s slow roasted tomatoes on a bed of lettuce and rocket leaves drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. It is very apt for a light breakfast, the taste is not overpowering.Lean and Green Sandwich - Delhi Food Walks

              Taste            Ambience            Service     Value for Money
               9/10                 8.5/10                8.5/10               8.5/10

Indulging in the quaint atmosphere of the place, one understands how this place attracts people who prefer boutiques over malls, who are not mere customers but are food enthusiasts, who are willing to pay a bit extra for something special. So if you enjoy the finer things in life, try out this place for sure!

Cost for 2 people: Rs 1000 approximately

Name: Elma’s Bakery, Cakes and Tea Room
Location: 24/1, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi-110016

Contact:
Phone: (011)26521020; 9711117516
Email: [email protected]
Owner and Head Chef: Shelly Sahay, of Le Cordon Bleu

Foodie Correspondent: Gopal Seth
Foodie  Photographers: Saumya Gupta & Shreya Chowdhury