Café Lota (National Crafts Museum, Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi)


This post is only for breakfast at café lota. To read about Day dining at Café Lota, pls click here

In a nutshell:

A simple yet excellent restaurant that has a calming effect, is starkly different from modern Delhi brick & glass restaurants, serene environment in the morning with few guests on other tables, outstanding food & very good service. In short, I was floored.

A view from our table
A view from our table

Address & other details:  Café Lota

Meal for 2: Rs. 500 onwards

Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

bill - proof of payment
bill day 1 – proof of payment

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.

bill day 2 - proof of payment
bill day 2 – proof of payment

Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:

In case u hv already read the other post on Day Dining at café Lota, pls skip this section & go straight to detailed description.

this is how the bill is given
this is how the bill is given

The restaurant is located inside The National Crafts Museum – A museum that I might have visited at least 20 times in the last few years & have always found something new, something intriguing about the amazing art forms, handicraft & artefacts from around our country. I have taken all my guests (to Delhi) at least once….

So when I heard from my friend Rashi (she has written the post above this), I was a bit surprised. I had seen a usual café there & it was no great shakes. So YUMMRAJ & lady YUMMRAJJ ended up here after a good bit of prodding by Rashi. That was the first time. During that visit we figured that they have a nice breakfast menu. So we decided to pay another visit to try the breakfast.

The café has a natural set up & that means it is subjected to the vagaries of nature. There r things to beat the weather but those r not perfect. Pls do not go here if u r averse to any bit of weather excesses.

The structure is made of iron which is painted black. But to take away the boring black pillars, they have painted it with floral traditional designs.

One side of the café is the Lota shop. Its walls have been painted / made by artisans from Gujarat.

Furniture is basic but comfortable.

The day menu card is a marvel. It had the names & the description of the food as well. We kept reading some or the other new thing on every page & our conversations wud not stop…. It was quite a task to choose from such a bunch of interesting items. The breakfast menu card was relatively plain Jane.

Though this restaurant is kind of open air & inspite of the fact that it is near the busy street, there is no sound that reaches here from outside…. As tranquil as it can b…..

A view of the dining area
A view of the dining area

The servers were very good. They took care. They knew about their food & they added value to the experience.

Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:

We started our much anticipated breakfast with Paneer chilla.

paneer chilla
paneer chilla

For the uninitiated, Chilla is a kind of Indian pancake made from besan.

The chilla at was thick, super soft, had good flavour of besan, tiny onion pieces made their presence felt. It had an outstanding texture.

IMG_4755
paneer chilla

The Chilla was served like a roll with Paneer stuffing within – super soft mashed paneer, with mild flavour of coriander. By far the best chilla I hv had ever. Rate it 4.5/5

paneer chilla
paneer chilla

The next item we tried was Railway masala omelet. Only someone in his dreams wud have had something as good in an Indian railways…. Unless we r talking about euro rail or something else who decided to serve Indian food as an option.

Railway masala omelet
Railway masala omelet

The omelet was presented like a sandwich with spinach bread on one side and Ladakhi bread on the other. The breads were, as if, toasted with butter on low fire and hence the inner sides were soft and the outer side was super crisp and tasty. In reality the breads were grilled.

Railway masala omelet
Railway masala omelet

The masala omelet was very good but nothing different than the best masala omelet. There was a layer of green chutney and a slice of cheese. Grilling led to the cheese melting and dripping off the sides.

IMG_4759

The breads tasted very good on their own. They had a hint of fermented feel to them.

Overall – crisp outer, juicy inside filling, YUMM and beyond words. It takes super calibre to convert humble bread and egg into this. Rate the dish 4.5/5

Railway masala omelet
Railway masala omelet

We also ordered sweet Lassi. It was thick, but drinkable ( we did not need to eat / chew it). The curd had a minor tang to it which was enjoyable. Proportions of sweet , sour and tang was perfect. Loved it. Rate it 4/5.

sweet Lassi
sweet Lassi

The third dish that we had was keema paratha. Here we had high hopes from this dish.

keema paratha
keema paratha

The paratha part was generally super soft, had good flavor and tasted good. Wud rate paratha sans filling 4.5/5.

keema paratha
keema paratha

The filling is where we were dissappointed. The mutton was machine pasted & hence it lost its texture. It generally tasted good but there was nothing muttony about it. In good keema parathas I have found juicy uneven keema within & paratha fried with ghee. There was zero juiciness in this filling. I wud not call it a bad filling but average. Filling rating is thus 2/5

A peep inside keema paratha
A peep inside keema paratha

Overall rating of this dish averages out to 3.25/5

We finished off with nettle tea. Loved it. Refreshing, pure & excellent. Rate it 4.25/5

nettle tea
nettle tea

Overall rating of breakfast at café lota averages out to 4.1/5.

nettle tea
nettle tea

I will keep revisiting till the time I hv tasted everything they serve…. I just love this place………

Café Lota breakfast 2

WE tried Mini rawa idly Molgapodi (a hot spicy powder also called gunpowder) – a dozen mini idlis tossed with molgapodi & curry leaves, served with coconut chutney.

Mini rawa idly Molgapodi
Mini rawa idly Molgapodi

There was an enjoyable fermented feel in the idli. The idlis were slightly brittle but very soft. They had relatively larger pores, not tiny ones. Aroma of good ghee made its presence felt. Masalas and crisp fried curry leaves were outstanding. Mind blowing good dish overall. We kept looking at each other speechless after eating this dish. Rate it 4.75/5

Mini rawa idly Molgapodi
Mini rawa idly Molgapodi

The chutney served along with the dish had a crisp fried curry leaf placed atop. The chutney was awesome to taste. It had a creamy texture to it while being grainy. Balance of taste was awesome. Rate it 4.5/5

chutney
chutney

Overall rating if the dish averages out to 4.63/5

We also ordered Aam Panna after ascertaining that it was made from real raw mango ( like it is supposed to b) and thankfully not the bottled one. The panna was thick but liquid enough to b pourable. The drink was a bit too much on the sweeter side. A bit more salt and sourness cud hv elevated this drink from good to great. Rate it 3/5.

Aam Panna
Aam Panna

The next dish we had was breakfast appam – an appam with sunny side up at the center. The appam part had a fermented feel to it and it tasted very good. Soft on the inner part and slightly crisp on the outer.

breakfast appam
breakfast appam

The egg wud have tasted better had it been desi egg or organic egg instead of bland poultry egg.  Rate this dish 3.5/5.

breakfast appam
breakfast appam

The last item we tried was Sabudana popcorn with green chilly thecha. This was recommended by our server. It turned out to b round deep fried balls made of sabudana ( sago) & mashed potato along with a rustic green chilly chutney.

Sabudana popcorn
Sabudana popcorn

The sabudana popcorns were crispy outside, soft and moist inside.

Sabudana popcorn
Sabudana popcorn

Had excellent taste. They tasted even better with the thecha (chutney). Rate this dish 4.25/5.

thecha
thecha

We finished our morning with TGFOP tippy golden flowery orange pekoe tea. It was light, brisk and aromatic – exactly as the menu described it to b. They gave milk and honey separately but I enjoyed it just as it is. Loved it. Rate it 4.5/5.

TGFOP
TGFOP

Overall rating of day 2 averages out to 4/5. Needless to say we will revisit to taste the balance dishes.

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4 comments

  1. Crikey, that’s beaut! Looks like the Strine Holiday suited you good and made you sorta nostalgic at that. 🙂

    Have half a mind to refer the mighty IRCTC nibs to the Railway Omelette pics … *sigh*.

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