Exploring the capitals eclectic

Delhi’s onion-layered history is mirrored deliciously in its diverse and dynamic cuisine. Cosmopolitan Delhi-ites crave fine food like plants crave sunshine, and the city’s food scene trots the globe. From tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants to fine dining and quirky cafes, this really is a city with something to please everyone. Here are some eateries in the Indian capital that reflect its eclectic personality.

 

Cafe culture with a twist at Cafe Lota

The leafy cul-de-sac beside the Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan has been reinvented as an indoor-outdoor eatery, and a calm retreat from the city crush. A huge hit with Delhi’s arty set, Cafe Lota (Crafts Museum, Gate No 2, Bhairon Marg) charms with an innovative menu of regional Indian flavours and surprise twists on traditional favourites. Reserving ahead will allow faster access to some of the capital’s tastiest food. Otherwise, you may have a long wait for your crunchy palak patta chaat (spicy spinach salad), apple cinnamon jalebi, or filtered coffee.

 

Continental creations at Le Bistro Du Parc

When Delhi-ites crave European flavours, they head to Le Bistro Du Parc (lebistroduparc.com) in Defence Colony. Capturing just the right Parisian mood, this little piece of La Belle France serves fine French fare, with a live jazz  soundtrack on Wednesdays and Fridays. Tucked into a tree-lined corner of Moolchand Flyover Market, it’s a great, pocket-friendly alternative to the pricey European restaurants in Delhi’s five-star hotels. Oh, and did we mention the food is outstanding?

 

Old city wonders at Lakhori

In earshot of the muezzin’s call from the iconic Jama Masjid, Lakhori (havelidharampura.com/lakhori), is cosily housed inside Haveli Dharampura, a handsomely restored 200-year-old traditional mansion that doubles as an upscale hotel. Hidden away in an atmospheric alley, you’ll find all the street-food that you wistfully passed by as you walked the streets of Old Delhi, served up as high-tea most afternoons. Weekends are reserved for a spot of Mughal-mania, with a heady mix of kebabs, curries, and classical Kathak dances.

 

Fruit flavours at Jain Coffee House

A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it neighbourhood haunt for over half a century, the Jain Coffee House is an Old Delhi institution. Inside, an archaic coffee machine coughs, hisses, and streams coffee into Styrofoam cups for a quick pick-me-up, but most are here for the seasonal fruit sandwiches. Imagine soft white bread slathered with fresh butter, jam or marmalade, and topped with cottage cheese and fresh fruit – mango, pineapple, sapodilla, apple, grapes, pomegranate – serving up a burst of flavours and textures.