Monthly Archives: April 2012

Andhra Bhavan Canteen

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Calling all Andhra-ites who are in Delhi-NCR region! If one is feeling home-sick, the best way to relive the feeling is to have lunch at the Andhra Bhavan Canteen on Ashoka Road, New Delhi.

It is by far the most authentic Andhra food I’ve ever had outside Andhra Pradesh. Its hot and spicy, and delicious!

The Andhra Bhavan canteen is located within the campus of the AP Bhavan close to India Gate. It is a very popular lunch destination, and weekends normally mean a 1-2 hr wait to get your table.

To reach here, one can take a Metro train to Rajeev Chowk station. Come out at Gate no. 6 in front of Palika Bazar. You can take an auto from here to Andhra Bhavan canteen. The auto guys normally charge Rs 50 for this. Also, most of them know where the cnateen is, so you dont have to worry about asking for Ashoka Road; just ask for Andhra Bhavan.

My latest trip was on a lazy weekday afternoon, so there was no crowd to deal with, and hence a proper write-up about the food! One needs to enter the campus through a small gate near the statue of Shri Tanguturi Prakasam. Walking inside through a narrow lane you can reach the canteen.

A weekday lunch thali is much simpler, though just as delicious, as the weekend fare.

It comprised of 1 carrot koot, baingan subzi, 2 kinds of dal, sambhar, rasam, puris, tamarind rice, plain rice, papad, curd and sweet pongal (rice and milk cooked with sugar/jaggary).
This is an unlimited thali, which means one can get multiple servings of all items except of papad and the sweet dish.Along with all this there is also a dish kept on the table with 2 kinds of pickles : gongura (the compulsory andhra pickle) and lemon pickle, along with kandi podi.

If the food feels too spicy, temper it with as much desi ghee as required, from another bowl kept on the table. And if it gets over, just ask for a refill! πŸ˜‰

Eating a meal here is serious business. I’m not sure what it is about the place: is it the ambience, food, or the general polite demeanour of the servers. But every time I come here, my meal gets over within 20-30 mins, with minimum conversation. Once the food is served, no one seems inclined to talk, so we normally do at restaurants. The focus is on eating only!!!
I guess that’s would be a compliment to the food! πŸ˜€

So the next time you come here, come with a good apitite, and you can walk away with a smile.

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Rajdhani – MGF Metropolitan Mall, Gurgaon

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I had been to this restaurant a couple of times, but had been too intent on talking to the people I’d met there, rather than on the food. So this time, I took special note to record my experience!

The main thing that stands out in my mind with this restaurant, is the food is excellent. Which is also why I end up coming here so many times.It specializes in Rajasthani and Gujarati cuisine.

The moment you walk into the place, you can see that the tables are already set with the thalis (during the lunch time. Never been there for dinner). The lighting is yellow in the restaurant, and not white lights, so that makes it a little bit difficult to get natural colors for the items. πŸ™‚

The "before" Thali

The "3 minutes later" Thali

Serving you food is serious business here. Once you’re in and seated, a server confirms if you prefer “normal” water or “bottle” water (packaged drinking water). Once confirmed, the parade of food starts.

Within a span of 3 minutes (yes, I timed it), your thali is full of items, some of which seem unfamiliar. For me, most items were unfamiliar. The serving guys are so busy loading the plates with goodies, you don’t get a chance to ask what is what, and even if you, the menu is run through verbally at a speed I definitely can’t pick up! 😦

The menu mostly consists of 2 snacks (or farsan items), 4 vegetable items, 3 dal/khadi items (2 sweet and 1 spicy), rotis/phulka/puris, thepla, khoba roti, moong dal salad, 2 chutneys, dahi vada, rice, dal khichdi, kheer, moong dal halwa and malai cham cham.

The thepla, khoba roti and dal khichdi are best had with a generous serving of desi ghee. The taste really livens up.

The food is rich in taste. And since its and “unlimited thali” (meaning you can get multiple servings of the items), completing all items on the thali is a task for those with a VERY healthy appetite.

It’s been a nice experience every time I’ve been there, and will certainly visit in the future. πŸ™‚