Sunday, January 07, 2007

Food for Thought

So I am back in the City after a couple of weeks in the old country. It was a bittersweet trip. On the plus side, I met an old friend after three years during which she had to deal with some nasty shit. I remembered her as a beautiful, if slightly flighty girl, impetuous and given to impulse. She was as beautiful as ever but more poised, calmer, more put together. Most definitely the highlight of my trip to the city the Lutyens built.

On the downside, this was probably the worst trip I had foodwise. Usually, one of the best things about going to Delhi is the chance to hit up my old favorite haunts, eat the food of my youth and generally reminisce about the flying habits of ol’ daddy time.

This time round I realized what has probably been apparent to Delhites for a long time now – Nathu’s in Bengali Market should close. The place is filthy, the ras malai is inedible and the chhole bhature – omigod, the chhole bhature, they were perhaps the worst I’ve ever ha! I was in such shock and so terrified of what I would discover next that I actually hit the Haldiram's in Chandni Chowk just before going to the my favorite chhole bhature place at this shack across the Town Hall. Thankfully, they hadn’t yet lost their touch and their rabri-falooda did much to assuage my feelings.

Not for long however as I discovered that the momos at the Nagaland stall at Dilli Haat and the usually dependable Punjabi-Chinese at Chopsticks have both gone rather rapidly to hell in a hand-basket. Add to that the fact that this year, for the first time in living memory, my brother and I failed to make it to Golden Dragon for our traditional Double Fried Pork and beer and you can see how this was turning into a disaster.

He made up for it by taking me to one of his favorite Italian restaurants in Mumbai, Da Vinci, but they were obviously having an off-night as well because they managed to screw up my risotto and his wife’s Caesar Salad (which needs talent, believe me. I mean, the thing had no garlic, I don’t think they had even heard of anchovies and the fucker had drowned in the dressing).

We followed that up with an eminently forgettable meal at Delhi’s Lodi Restaurant comprised of nothing-to-write-home-about lamb shanks for me and the bro and a completely bland overdone steak for his (it was billed as a fillet, but I seriously doubt if it was even beef!).

Oh well, I suppose this means that one the next trip, I will have to find me some new favorite eating places. It will be tough job requiring extensive field research but I guess someone has to do it. Watch this space!

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