The last few days had been slightly busy, my grandfather got sick, then there were other things to attend to, plus my internet connection sucks making it even more difficult to put up posts and as such no GMT happened this week and I haven’t been able to post anything after last week’s GMT. Getting this post live, even though for most parts it was ready, has also been a task. I don’t have a recipe to share today but instead will share some of my gastronomical experiences when I was in Delhi for 10 days.
Since Delhi is the capital of India, each of India’s 29 states has a government run house for its affairs, called bhavans. These bhavans have guest houses for its states officials and also run a canteen/restaurant in their premises. Some of the bhavan’s canteen/restaurants are open for the general public, providing a taste of their authentic regional cuisine at quite an affordable price.
When V had come down to India for his MBA course, and with him being busy during the days with his course classes and with my in-laws busy with elections in Firozabad, and my friends busy during the day, I was mostly left to eat lunch out alone in Delhi. I hate eating out alone. I can’t do it. Its too boring. I would rather get a to-go, switch to PJs in my room, put on TV and watch something while eating. So even though I had made a list of going to all the State Bhavans for lunch and trying out their food I was only able to brave it once and soon realized eating out alone is just not my cup of tea. In theory it sounded great, and I was all excited about it but when I sat down to eat, I made a note to myself never again.
My first tryst with Bhavan food was when I was pursuing my bachelors degree in Delhi. Friends of my parents were regular at Sikkim House and loved the food served there and insisted we try it out as well. Though the place was a little gloomy decor wise, the food was exceptionally good. I am not sure whether Sikkim House’s restaurant is still open for general public, because my dad’s driver recently told me that it was not open for outsiders any more. Since I haven’t personally checked it I can not confirm it. If any one of you has been there in the recent past do let me know, I would definitely like to go try their dishes again.
The most popular of bhavan food though is definitely that of Andhra Bhavan. The must haves at this bhavan is their vegetarian thali and their mutton fry, both of which I will highly recommend. The place may not be the most hygienic but the food will never disappoint. The crowds there will back me up on that.
Having eaten at Andhra Bhavan with V and my mom during my previous India visit, a little research told me to try Assam Bhavan’s Jakoi restaurant next. I honestly expected the food to be a little spicier (probably spoiled by my Andhra Bhavan experience) than what it was but it was a welcome break from all the outside food I was eating. The food was not too rich, and very much like eating a home cooked meal. Be aware though that you do need to have a liking for mustard based dishes because that was an ingredient common to most of the dishes in the thali. But more than the food it was the ambience of the place that spoke to me. I chose to sit outside and even though it was a hot day, with the trees giving shelter and the fan on, the patio was pleasantly comfortable.
Besides the Bhavan food for a long time I had mentally bookmarked the place L’Opera in Khan market. I had read about it in an article when I was in the US. Since I was on my own to decide which place I want to eat at ( a luxury I don’t get often in Delhi on my visits), I thought of finally crossing this patisserie off my list.
Located in several locations in and around Delhi, L’Opera is a french style bakery. I picked up three things on my visit- an almond croissant, a spinach quiche and their mille-feuilles. Their almond croissant was my favorite. In fact while writing this post I would really be grateful if god somehow magically made it appear in front of me. Or maybe I should just work on my croissant recipe to make an almond version of it.
The quiche was so-so. Nothing bad but nothing to remember. If God did put that in front of me, I sure wouldn’t complain and would still be grateful but wouldn’t wish on it. I could live without it.
The mille-feuille though was pretty darn good. But I think I had nailed that recipe in one of our Daring Baker’s challenges so I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. But yes, definitely will go back for the almond croissant and would recommend you to try it as well. I could surely use a bite of it (or the whole darn thing) right now.