I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to Bihari food. I have been hearing about this unique cafe that is devoted to serving people with authentic Bihari cuisine. Its been trending on Zomato and I have had the pleasure of hearing the owner’s story about this odd many times on the radio as well. I was sure I would love to give it a try but extremely skeptical as to what the dishes would be like and whether it would suit my palette. Can I just tell you..I was just over stressing for no reason at all. I managed to make my way to them and as the food came onto the table I felt more comfortable with the flavours only to realize that I have so many Bihari cuisine influences in my own home that I was unaware of.
The restaurant is located in Shahpur Jat. If you are a girl and have any familiarity with the city, you know this is the hub for fashion. No wedding shopping is complete without hours of going through the many boutiques around these lanes. Having been through such sprees myself, I know you tend to get so involved that hunger kind of takes a back seat. But no sooner than you have checked all the items off your shopping list, the growling tummy seems to take over with a mind of its own. I think this cafe is a great option to sit back, relax and eat up in this area.
Its a bit of a walk getting up there as the cafe is located on the third floor. Don’t get lost in all the narrow lanes; ask around as people are quite well versed with this cafe to help you with directions. They have made good use of a small space with quaint tables and little flower lights on the roof. There is also a small terrace one floor below. Its nothing too fancy but little subtleties added with bright floral chairs or the use of greenery or the elephant art cutlery holder (found it cute!) make it a nice spot.
Get Set Gobble:
~ Drinks – Delhi summers can take quite a toll so its important to keep yourself hydrated. We ordered a round of drinks through the meal to keep us fresh. I remember us calling for the Sweet lassi, Oreo shake, Peanut butter oreo shake, Tulsi ice tea, Aam panna, Lemongrass ice tea, Rose ice tea, Masala chai and the Rhododendron ice tea. Well obviously I couldn’t drink them all but these were the popular choices around the table.
~ Saboodana basket – Beautifully fried potato and saboodana mix served with a potato and parval chokha. Let me warn you here, the chokha was a bit spicy on my tongue. The tikkis were fried to crispy golden perfection. Crunchy paradise! DO ORDER
~ Machhli goli – These pakoras were superb. There were soft inside and had a crunchy exterior. It had just the perfect blend of spices and I went back for more of these than the other items on the table. The pakoras are made from a betki mince and served with mini khasta pooris. MUST ORDER
~ Keema goli – These are similar to preparation as the machhli goli and are made with a spicy mutton mince. Even though I favoured the fish one more its not like I popped any less of these in my mouth. These too came with mini khasta pooris. MUST ORDER
~ Meat pakora basket – This dish had pakoras made with mutton and chicken and served with chutneys. If you are a crunch lover, you are bound to find so many options to satiate your taste buds on their menu.
~ Dhamaka Maggi – Combination of maggi, red chillies, garlic and cheese, this looked like a decadent affair. Alas! I am not much of a maggi eater.
~ Parontha basket – This was not literally served in a basket but in the form of a beautiful platter. It had sattu, onion and peas stuffing inside flaky paranthas served with raita and a pickle. Super delish and quite filling if I might say so. DO TRY
~ Sarson machli – As the name suggests, this is a mustard based fish curry and came with a portion of rice to help soak it all up. We use a lot of mustard oil (sarosn) in preparing our pickles so this dish definitely hit a nostalgic note. I really loved the beautifully achari taste it had. DO TRY
~ Champaran style mutton – Boneless mutton pieces are cooked in a thick pepper gravy and served with moong dal pooris along with a pudina aloo raita. The raita really helps in cutting down the heat from the curries. Its hard to decide which dish would have to be my favourite. The curries were all so temptingly delicious with their rich texture, spicy masalas and those flaky paranthas. This one was definitely a top contendor. MUST ORDER
~ Jhinga machli – The pieces of Jhinga (prawns) were cooked beautifully. The gravy is spiced just right and the dish comes with a good portion of rice to soak it all up. DO ORDER
~ Maithili thali – This thali had paneer and mushroom in a creamy gravy served with those gorgeous green spinach pooris, pickle, aloo and pudina raita and flax seed chutney. Equally good as the other veg thali we had. Pardon me for I missed to click a pic as my friend grabbed it and began devouring it 😛
~ Khada masala chicken – I think I probably favoured this curry a little more than the mutton one though they were very both close favourites. This has a thick gravy with boneless pieces of chicken. It wasn’t too spicy and is served with either rice of lachha paranthas. Just look at those beautifully crisp and flaky paranthas. They went so well with the tangy tomato gravy. MUST ORDER
~ Makhana thali – This thali has a makhana and pea mixed vegetable served along with spinach pooris, pickle, baingan and potato mash, tomato and flax seed chutney. All the elements go well together to make it a balanced dish. The pooris were just puffed with air and looked so tempting in that gorgeous green colour. DO TRY
~ Bihari burger – Of all the dishes I think this is one that didn’t really suit my palette. It is filled with a mutton keema and a chicken patty.
~ Dessert – They don’t have a fixed dessert menu and it changes from day to day. The server helped getting us two slices of cake one of which was Pineapple cake and served it with ice cream. It was served warm and gave the most delicious feeling in every bite after that heavy meal.
Rich hearty meal. Exposure to Bihari cuisine. Interesting selection of breads with every dish. Working on gaining a Potbelly 😛 (the food’s just so yumm, its hard to resist. Now I understand the brilliance of their name!)