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Woodbox Cafe

A BOHEMIAN ADVENTURE

By Prakriti Bhat

One is spoilt for choice at Hudson lane in GTB Nagar. It caters to every mood with an array of eating joints. From Korean to Italian, you get it all here. Since it is very close to the north campus of Delhi University, this area frequently hosts students who come here to slake their taste buds. The only way for an eatery to survive here is to be different from the others in every possible way. And Woodbox Café has managed to endure this wild race successfully. With its avant garde interiors and economical prices, Woodbox Café is a hit with the college crowd.

Manika Pahwa, an interior designer along with her brother, a budding architect, came up with the idea of establishing a restaurant where they could combine their individual skills to provide a culinary cum artistic experience to their customers. And this is how Woodbox Café was born in August 2013 in GTB Nagar. After an overwhelming response, another branch was opened up in Satyaniketan in March 2014, near Venkateshwara College. “We are consciously targeting the college crowd. They need not go far from their colleges to have a wholesome meal. Quality food and ambience are our forte. We aim to bring an offbeat food experience closer to the masses. In fact not only students but also families have visited and appreciated our outlets.”

cycleAt a walking distance from the GTB Nagar Metro station, Woodbox Café has something which many other restaurants lack-space. It has a rooftop and underground seating arrangement as well. The walls are designed in a very non conformist manner using pieces of cloth, forks, spoons, nuts and bolts, pins, etc. They add vibrancy to the whole décor. The hanging lanterns are made from strings, straws, playing cards and artificial foliage. The rooftop area is equally well decorated with broken glass bottles embedded in the wall. The wash basin is fixed upon a bicycle and over it is an old fashioned, rustic yet interesting “Victoria station” wall clock. In the evening, fairy lights adorn the canopy-like seating arrangement. With such striking interiors, it scores high on concept and designing. Another advantage that Woodbox Café has is its location. It is situated a little away from the main road and thus has a peaceful environment.

caesarEvery dish on their menu is presented well with appropriate condiments like breads, etc. Kitkat shake and Ferrero Rocher shake are lip smacking beverages which are widely popular amongst the regulars here. Their black currant soda is something to look out for. Neither very sweet nor very salty or fizzy, it is the perfect drink to quench your thirst. All drinks are served in Heineken or Grey Goose vodka bottles neatly cut to make glasses; an exceptionally innovative idea widely welcomed by the visitors. The Chicken Caesar Salad has a generous amount of chicken shreds along with a delicious dressing. It is much better than the nearby rival, Ricos’ Caesar Salad. For vegetarians, the Grilled Mushroom Sandwich is a blessing from the heavens. Each bite has a sumptuous filling of juicy mushrooms and cheese. For non vegetarians, Cheesy Grilled Chicken Sandwich wins my vote. The chicken is grilled to perfection with the requisite spices mixed with garlic, thyme and cheese. Sandwiches are served with crispy salted wafers and a dip.

The crispy honey potatoes fall flat with their not-so-appetizing flavor. The Picante Pizza is a specialty of this place. Topped with jalapenos and bell peppers it tingles your taste buds with its piquant flavour. The Indiano Chicken Tikka Pizza is a delight for the eyes and mouth. Biting into these thin crust pizzas will transport you to Italy and its rich legacy of pizzas. Penne Arabiatta is the usual white sauce pasta; tasty but nothing exquisite. Their Spaghetti Aglio Olio is a personal favourite. Laced with seasonings and chilli flakes, it is the best spaghetti I have had so far. It’s better than their other entrée, Roman Spaghetti. The pastas too are served with buttered garlic bread. Also, their Chicken Lasagna tops my list of best lasagnas. It is baked exceedingly well with a liberal topping of cheese and spicy minced chicken filling. I guarantee that this dish will leave you asking for more!

sandwichWoodbox Café is a one of its kind food chain as it works towards not just providing classy dining experience but also promotes a healthy environment. They have erected a big junk collector outside their restaurants and provide attractive discounts to people who bring in junk like papers, magazines and similar dry waste. They also have thematic menus served according to different festivals. “We are constantly re-innovating our menus and interiors and for that purpose constructive criticism is always welcome. We plan on taking the brand to other towns like Chandigarh and Dehradun”, says Manika. They recently opened ‘The Vintage Avenue’ in GTB Nagar which is fast becoming a rage with the students owing to its floral and old world interiors.

Woodbox Café is definitely the place to go if you want to have a holistic foodie experience replete with good music and prompt service.

Location- 1, DDA Market, Hudson line, Delhi University-GTB Nagar, New Delhi

Cost for 2-600 (approx)

Contact no.- 011-43090454, 9350507004

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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Coffee House

Coffee House

By Prakriti Bhat

Hidden in the bylanes of the colourful Tibetian colony, Majnu Ka Tila is ‘Coffee House’. It is 15-20 minutes away from the students’ hub-North Campus. Tucked away from the rest of the market, it is a cozy little underground café frequently thronged by students and adults alike. One can also spot monks coming here for a quiet cup of tea or coffee. Since its not very far from the north campus of Delhi University, 90% of the crowd will be students coming in to have a cup of coffee or a muffin before they head back to be grilled in their lectures at college. The moment you enter the place, the aroma of fresh cakes will grip you to the place till you try atleast one o them.

unnamedThey have a simple menu consisting of different variants of teas, coffees, mocktails and scrumptious cakes to choose from. Their cakes and muffins are freshly baked and served hot. Their Mud Cake is the most frequently ordered dish. It is a soft and spongy chocolate cake served with a generous topping of chocolate syrup. Also, the rates are very pocket friendly. Their generous helping of marble cake is best when combined with Iced Mocha. They also serve delicious choco chip muffins and choco walnut brownies. Summers become more tolerable with a glass of green apple mojito or lemonade. The place also caters to conventional tastes by offering fresh lime soda, ice tea and canned drinks. For hot beverages, they have several drinks to choose from ranging from their special tibetian tea- bhoe ja to the more usual black coffee, herbal tea, etc..

unnamed (1)Coffee House offers a blend of Tibetian and the traditional café culture. Breakfast becomes a delight with a sumptuous combo of cheese omlette, porridge and bread along with tea. Also, one could go for their speciality-tibetan bread. The staff is very kind and friendly. When you enter the café, they hand over a piece of paper and pen to write your order on which they come and collect from your table. Every member of the staff serves you with a big smile.  The ambience is extremely warm and welcoming. You can sit there for as long as you want, nobody will disturb you. Good music plays in the background. The volume is just perfect, neither very loud nor very low. The walls are painted a subtle yellow and are adorned with beautiful posters. This is the perfect place to run away from the humdrum daily city life and just relax.

Address-39, Basement, Majnu Ka Tila

Timings- 8 AM-10 PM.

Cost for two- 200 (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.
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Mohan Lal Bhelpuri Wala

Mohan Lal Bhelpuri Wala

By: Shagun Nayar

We, Delhiites have always had a soft corner for lip-smacking street food. Walking on the roads of this beautiful city, you will encounter numerous stalls serving the best of street food that Delhi has to offer. Tired college students after lectures, Children on Sunday evenings and the Diet cheaters after a tiring walk or a session at the gym are bound to find themselves being drawn to their favourite street food, if it’s even possible to pick one. I, for one can never choose.

IMG_20150129_134853507_HDRHowever, a good plate of Bhelpuri always finds its way to my top 3 and so, I went on a mini Bhelpuri expedition to find my favourite plate of Bhelpuri in north campus. To my pleasant surprise, the stall/vendor serving the best is situated right in-between Hindu College and the Delhi School of Economics. It has a prime location as it always swamped with college students at any given time of the day. You are bound to bump into students walking in and out of their college gates with a plate of Mohan Bhaiya’s famous Bhelpuri in their hands.

IMG_20150129_140241939Rumour has it that Mohan Bhaiya used to be lab assistant in one of north campus colleges but after careful consideration and the realisation that with his special green chutney and fresh produce he could serve the best Bhelpuri at campus without question, he decided to part ways with his job as a day assistant and started his own little business venture thereby earning more money and living a more relaxed life.

Situated on the same path as the bus stop stand for Hindu College, Delhi School of Economics and St. Stephan’s, students usually sit on the bus stop bench blabbering about their lectures, crushes & upcoming events while eating this divine mixture of puffed rice, peanuts, papri, green chillies, onions, boiled potatoes, coriander, tomato topped over with the special green chutney that makes Mohan Bhaiya’s Bhelpuri the best in campus. He also caters to the other lot by serving his delicious version of Sevpuri topped over with tiny pieces of red apple and a sweet red chutney which is equally delicious and popular.

Another reason for his popularity among numerous other vendors serving the exact street food item is that he makes it fresh from scratch finishing off his delicious rendition of the same by adding freshly chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice to give it that extra freshness an zing. So, the next time you’re craving a plate of spicy, salty Bhelpuri make sure you look up Mohan Bhaiya for he will not disappoint.

Rate: Rs.20 for a small plate&Rs.25 for a large plate.

Timings: 11:00am-6:00pm

 

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.