Food and Drink

Cheese Chaplin

Quick bite ♦ Did someone say cheese? Cheese Chaplin, tucked into the air-conditioned, office-like basement of a tiny building draped with bougainvillea in Lado Sarai, is primarily a purveyor of domestic cheeses, made by the shop’s own brand Dairy Craft (which has been around since the ’90s), and some imports. Cheese Chaplin has been delivering …

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Wat’s up

The new Ethiopian Cultural Centre ♦ Set in a couple of low-lying whitewashed buildings with red tiled roofs clustered around a courtyard, the unpresuming new Ethiopian Cultural Centre brings a taste of Addis Ababa to Delhi. Director Ashok Verma, who set up the centre in tandem with the Ethiopian Embassy, met us in the coffee …

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Diva Piccola

Ritu Dalmia’s return to Hauz Khas  Village ♦ Restaurateur Ritu Dalmia has come full circle since her opening first restaurant in Hauz Khas Village, almost two decades ago, and Diva Piccola, her new café venture in that neighbourhood. Not only does Dalmia have the comfort Italian formula down pat, nowadays the mere fact of existence …

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Sakura

Authentic, not atmospheric ♦ It’s been 11 years since Sakura first opened in Delhi. Since then, the city’s self-proclaimed “first Japanese restaurant” has opened a branch in Gurgaon, won every food award in its category and, recently, revamped its original location and menu. The new Sakura at the Metropolitan Hotel remains fundamentally the same after …

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French Affair

Roadside rendezvous ♦ From its Toile de Jouy wallpaper with dancing French country couples to its aqua wrought-iron chairs and mixed-up crockery, this bakery is a little oasis of charm on the stretch between Mehrauli and Chattarpur. With a stone wall façade and muntined windows, illuminated by the warm yellow light inside, The French Affair …

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Hippies vs hipsters

The case for Paharganj ♦ For years, there’s been no stemming the southbound, outward drift of Delhi nightlife. The mega-clubs of Noida and Gurgaon first lured revelers away from the city with the promise of police raid-free parties. Then South Delhi got its own malls, complete with rooftop clubs: extravagant light-and-sound beacons of the lush …

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Smoke House Room

Tripping the bite fantastic ♦ Being high isn’t usually associated with great gastronomic discretion. Smoking up is more likely to leave you seeing the world in a grain of fried rice than it is to get you drooling over haute cuisine. Then again, “usual” is nowhere close to what Smoke House Room is aiming for. …

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My Bar

All the essentials in Paharganj ♦ Strip a bar down to its basics, and all you really need is an accommodating room, some seating, an efficient refill team, some liquor and – ideally – a liquor license. My Bar in Paharganj has the essentials, and quite a few bonuses. Opposite the Metropolis hotel, this air-conditioned …

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The Grey Garden

Fabric of our lives ♦ To get to this Hauz Khas Village eatery, you first descend a cramped alley hung with fabric, reminiscent of the Katra Neel cloth market in the Old City. Once you pop out on the other end though, you’ll find less commerce, more conversation. The Grey Garden, perched at the rear edge …

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Waiting for a Christopher Columbus

Viaduct Valley, Harlem’s “meatpacking district”, is trying hard to survive. ♦ Whipping up from the Hudson River, wind funnels through the cross streets between 125th and 138th Streets. Up on the Henry Hudson Parkway, traffic inches toward the George Washington Bridge. On the other side of 12th Avenue, which disappears under a stone bridge, Riverside Park …

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