The Potbelly Rooftop cafe & Kitchen (116 C, 4th Floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi )


In a nutshell:

Excellent Bihari food served in a nice setting by pretty warm people – I developed a small temporary potbelly as I walked out of this place after eating loads of irresistible food.

Good place to catch up with friends, a lunch date or just a nice place to hang around.

The potbelly
The potbelly

Address & other details: the potbelly

Meal for 2: Rs. 700 onwards

Litti chokha mutton platter
Litti chokha mutton platter

Cuisine type: vegetarian & nonvegetarian

Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:

Like in all other restaurants , I visited this place in anonymity. The climb to the 4th floor thru narrow bright colored (bordering garish) was the only disgusting part. Once up there, it was really enjoyable. I was appreciating the way in which a simple property has been converted to a nice restaurant seemingly without too much expenditure.

Dining Hall at The potbelly
Dining Hall at The potbelly

The floor extends to both sides of the staircase. On the Dining Hall to the right, there is a non alcoholic bar:) area – actually a serving counter.

Dining Hall with the bar area in the corner
Dining Hall with the bar area in the corner

On the left side there is a small dining area that also leads to a open air area in 3rd floor. The walls r all glass & that makes it good due to plenty of light & also good view outside. The decor of the open air area is good with a great view as well.

Looks of the open air area
Looks of the open air area

The furniture is mix & match – no two chairs around a table r the same. On the wall hang loads of empty frames sans pictures.

The menu card is very colorful & quite informative as well – good explanation to the names of the dishes.

colorful menu cards at The Potbelly
colorful menu cards at The Potbelly

Passion for excellence exudes – I felt this throughout during our lunch at Potbelly. Without the passion, all items ordered during a particular meal cannot b simultaneously good.

Maher - A hot dish with curd, rice & spices, garnished with nuts
Maher – A hot dish with curd, rice & spices, garnished with nuts

The staff member who was serving us was very warm & helpful.

Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:

We started our lunch with Litti chokha & Khada masala mutton combination. For the uninitiated, Litti is a whole wheat ball stuffed with sattu (coarsely powdered Bengal gram). I have enjoyed this several times at my friend’s house & have loved it. The litti at Potbelly is a sophisticated yet super tasty version of the rustic litti I have had at my friend’s house.

Litti chokha at The Potbelly
Litti chokha at The Potbelly

As soon as the litti was served, it smelled of good desi ghee. The outer layer of atta was layery, somewhat crispy & flaky. The sattu within was cooked before being stuffed – as a result it changed color from golden yellow to toffee brown. Texture also changed due to this. The pungency of mustard oil in the litti at my friend’s house was missing here.

inside the litti
inside the litti

Taste was excellent & inspite of the differences from the puritanical version, I loved it as it is. Rating is 4.5/5.

The chokhas were of two kind – aloo & baingan. The aloo was made from boiled potato – spiced & hottened up perfectly. Super loved every bit of it. Very few people can transform the humble aloo to something so good. 5/5 on the aloo.

aloo chokha
aloo chokha

The baingan was smooth, non hottened, did not have extra masala but was superb. Needs calibre to get to this stage with a vegetable. I wud give this a 4.5/5.

baingan chokha
baingan chokha

The khada masala mutton had whole spices, as the name suggests. The gravy was thick, not too oily & tasty. The meat pieces were not melt in the mouth but soft enough to b enjoyable. I give this a 4/5.

Khara Masala Mutton
Khara Masala Mutton

Overall the score for litti chokha mutton adds up to 4.5/5.

While we were enjoying our litti, we ordered two interesting drinks – Sattu cooler & mirch masala soda. Sattu cooler was a thin drink made from sattu, with a hint of lemon, hand powdered masalas , coriander leaves. The drink was very enjoyable – It wud have been more enjoyable on a hot sunny day. However, the taste of sattu was overpowered by the other elements mentioned above. I wud give this a 3.5/5.

Sattoo Cooler
Sattoo Cooler

Mirch Masala soda was less mirchi (hot) than I expected but was enjoyable. It was robust than the usual banta soda. I give this a 3.5/5.

Mirch Masala soda
Mirch Masala soda

Post litti we went for Maher – it was a spiced yoghurt based hot rice dish served with garlic potatoes, fried papad & pickle. This was the first time I had a curd rice (that too piping hot) & loved it. The perfect balance of salt, sour & chillies contributed to this. Nut garnish on the top added to the feel of the dish. Once again 4.5/5

Maher with garlic aloo, chutney & fried papad
Maher with garlic aloo, chutney & fried papad

The chutney was outstanding – not too pungent but not flat either. Once again all elements had perfectly fallen in place.

chutney served with mahek
chutney served with mahek

The humble aloo was again transformed into a super dish when cooked with garlic & spices.

garlic aloo
garlic aloo

Overall – 4.5/5 for this dish as well.

The last dish in main course was Mutton Chaap (lamb chops). This was served with thin but layered , ghee fried laccha paratha – so good in taste that I ate quite a bit of it just like that. I give it a 4.5/5.

Mutton chaap with laccha paratha & boondi raita
Mutton chaap with laccha paratha & boondi raita

The chaap gravy was one of the best I guess I have had in the last 1 year – better than many big names & many traditional legendary restaurants that have been around for decades. The gravy was thick, perfectly cooked, the khus khus was making its presence felt & the flavours were perfect. Gravy gets 5/5.

Mutton chaap
Mutton chaap

Something went wrong with the mutton pieces. One of the 3 pieces was perfect – cooked with the gravy for long & hence the juices & flavours had reached the meat. The rest two seemed to have been cooked & added separately later. Reason – Though they were soft & had perfect texture, there was no sign of the juices & flavours in the meat. Liked it but with a pinch of salt & hence wud give the meat 4/5.

Boondi raita & laccha paratha
Boondi raita & laccha paratha

Must mention here that something funny happened – After 45 minutes of accepting our order for chaap, we were told that it is not available coz someone by mistake ‘parcelled’ the small portion of chaap left unsold. We said OK, let us finish our Maher & then we will think. By the time we finished Maher, Chaap was offered to us. I guess, in this confusion, they wud have made it up in a rush & it cud not have been better if this was the case.

Overall the dish gets 4.5/5.

For dessert we settled for Makhana kheer – I personally like thick less sweet kheer. This one was a bit thin & had a bit more sweet. I was told by my co diner that this is how it usually is. I wud give this a 3.25/5.

Makhana Kheer
Makhana Kheer

Overall score for food & beverage at Potbelly adds up to 4/5. Just the food sans dessert adds up to 4.5/5.

I wud surely b revisiting this place. How about u?

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11 comments

  1. Their veg food is good, without doubt. But the non veg was dicey. I tried both (of what they offered) and they were distinctly microwaved. The taste was nothing like anything I had ever tasted in any Bihari household in Delhi or in Bihar. In fact, because they bring out perfect chops each time, and only chops, I suspected that the non-veg dishes came out of a semi-cooked meal package. My experience, about 2 years ago, was not good.

    Alok Singh

    1. Hi Alok,
      Thanks so much for sharing this. I am surprised & at the same time feel lucky that we got nothing served by reheating. Infact the mutton dish was being cooked when we ordered.The litti I saw myself being baked & so on. ……….. I guess either of us have to try again to see the level of consistency.

  2. I have been to this place innumerable times, as I used to stay close-by. The thing with Potbelly is, its issue about inconsistency. You go there for the first time. You love what you eat. Then you go three more times in search of the same taste, and you don’t get it just the same and you give up your quest. Then after ages, you saunter in again due to lack of options (many eateries have mushroomed recently) and bingo! you get what you were looking for.
    Personally, I love their khadey masaley ka mutton/chicken. I wish there were more places with these delicacies. However, I find their littlis a bit stale. Meaning, if you’ve had littis fresh off the coals, it is fabulous and heavenly. Plus, the chokha has been tweaked a bit too much, maybe to suit the subtle palate.
    That is my two cents.

  3. I somehow disagree with you on the mutton cheap gravy bit. I felt it was bland and lack the spunk. A bit of sweetness and a bit of hotness was missing from the whole fare.

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