Quaint, unexpected eateries quietly tucked away in Hauz Khas Village’s arty corridor, and the vibrant staircases, have given it a brand new identity — what was once a fashion hotspot is now fast emerging as the Capital’s most charming casual dining hub.
Every time you visit the Village there’s a pleasant surprise for the footloose foodie. While places such as Gunpowder and TLR continue to woo food lovers, there’s a whole gamut of new joints coming up in the Village. And just when you thought you’re done with your discoveries, you suddenly spot a new board being put up.
Last week we took you on a food trail to the Village, spotting the newest joints. Today we feature other joints (old and new) that you can’t afford to skip. Remember to take your loyal Mumbaikar cousin to the Village when he visits as it’s one of the few places in Delhi that are truly worth bragging about.
It would be a pity if you chose this chintzy-meets-hip joint for a rushed meal. This rooftop eatery with thatched huts, artsy
furniture and quaint lanterns is meant for a relaxed laid-back meal. Place yourself on the bar chairs facing the Hauz Khas lake for a breathtaking view (perhaps the best in the Village). If you are with a special someone, there’s a private area inside the hut. The Italian-Mediterranean kitchen does not disappoint. The Bohème Special Salad, with blue cheese, poached red wine pears, greens and olives; the crisp Florentina pizza and homemade pastas make for a pleasant meal. The dessert menu changes everyday, and there’s a fruit and a chocolate-based dessert to choose from. We loved the gooey Kahlua mousse cake, which sadly, is not on the regular menu.
Where: 22, top floor
Meal for two: Rs 1,500
Yeti - The Himalayan Kitchen
Yeti’s kitchen offers Tibetan, Nepalese, Khasi and Bhutanese cuisine. The place has an air of serenity lent by paintings of Buddha and Ganesha on the walls and the natural light coming in through large windows. The crowd that comes to Yeti is an eclectic mix. We spotted an expatriate couple, fashion design students and a Spanish cinematographer among others, swaying to the Buddhist incantations being played in the background. Begin with the momos and shabalays — the Tibetan-style patties are generously stuffed with meat of your choice and fried. Starving and ready to experiment? Ask for the behemoth Tibetan platter that includes gyuma (Tibetan sausages), lowa (buffalo lungs), cheley (buffalo tongue), and the soft and fluffy tingmo (steamed bread). There are some decent Chilean wines. Pocha (Tibetan butter tea with yak butter) is a must-have. There are plenty of books on Himalayan art and culture to keep you company.
Where: Building No.6
Open all days
Meal for two:
A hip take on your roadside tea stall, Thadi is a great place to catch up with old college friends over some gupshup and honey-flavoured chai (we loved it, but you can check out the ginger, masala and the lemon varieties too). Thadi is run by four young engineers with a passion for all things edible. They have done up the place themselves. There are moorhas and wooden benches to seat yourself on, and you can treat yourself to a fabulous view of lush green treetops. The kitchen
serves pastas, noodles, sandwiches, garlic bread and scrambled eggs on toast. The menu is reasonably priced, and the proportions served are quite generous. There’s a wall livened up with graffiti (all done by Thadi loyalists), and if you feel like you can pick up a brush and do a bit of artwork of your own.
Where: 3rd floor, 12, Hauz Khas Village
Have a cup of coffee or tea with cookies, grab a travel book or brainstorm your ideas with friends — that’s what you see everyone at the Kunzum cafe (named after after a mountain pass in the Himalayas) doing. Owned by author-traveller-photographer Ajay Jain, the cafe also sells some of Jain’s photographs clicked on various expeditions. The cafe runs on a pay-what-you- please concept, and there are always interesting things happening here. A book club, a film club that does screenings, and a letter box in which you can drop a postcard to be sent to any part of the world are the newest additions. Where: T-49, ground floor
Meal for two: Pay what you like
It’s a perfect place to mellow out with a book and a hot cup of coffee. Ziro is run by three friends who always wanted to own a ‘chai shop’, but it’s a lot more than that. There’s hardly anything that’s restaurant-like here. It could well be your artist or musician friend’s lovely pad what with the owner’s personal items put to artistic and practical use. For example, there’s a record player on a stand, two guitars by the wall, shelves with records ranging from retro Bollywood to Santana and Beatles and handwritten postcards, while old cassette covers pep up the wall and the refrigerator in the corner. To lap up some sun, head to the terrace fenced with used Sprite bottles. A friendly guy in a T-shirt, who runs the kitchen, delivers the order to your table in no time. Where: 24/3, above Green The Gap
Open all days
Meal for two: Rs 600
An unexpected eatery that’s
quietly tucked away in one of the lanes, Futomaki is the lone takeout and home delivery place in the Village. On arriving here, a cheerful lady called Momo — who makes the sushi rolls — politely hands you the menu from behind the counter. Momo’s sushi rolls are done only in Futomaki style (fat and large with the nori on the outside) and that is why the shop’s called Futomaki. The menu has neatly lined up options such as tempura prawn roll with wasabi mayo, salmon roll, tuna roll, teriyaki chicken roll, etc, and veg options such as crispy fried paneer roll or the tempura veg roll. They also take orders for parties.
Where: Shop 13 A
Meal for two: Rs 1,000