In a nutshell:
A Gurgaon restaurant serving Chandni Chowk food (as close as it cud get to original, on a relative scale of other shops in Gurgaon) yet to cover a long distance to reach the levels of the real Chandni Chowk Food. Love it & will keep going back when I do not have time to travel to Chandni Chowk – a hidden gem of Gurgaon.
Address & other details: Delhicacy
Meal for 2: Rs. 200 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian only
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.
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.
Short description – in case u r in a hurry:
The theme of this restaurant is Purani Dilli’s Food. For those who r new to my reviews & have not been to Chandni Chowk, pls take a look at this to get a thorough (but not complete) review of food at Chandni Chowk. That will set the context. Pls click here – Chandni Chowk
It took the best shops of Chandni Chowk decades to reach the impeccable level they have reached. It is unfair to assume that a 3 month old eatery will serve Chandni Chowk food as good.
However, if the marketing pitch of the eatery is ‘the taste of old delhi’, then as a food writer it is my duty to present to u a comparison of the real Old Delhi food to the food served at Delhicacy.
The restaurant is run by a young couple who r present most of the time at the restaurant. Hats off to them in the way they manage the show themselves – from taking the order to suggesting to serving at times & also in clearing the plates at times – I respect that passion.
In conversations with the gentleman I gathered that they have good cooks from Chandni Chowk – people who have been working there for some time.
I think these passionate guys will, in a short time, master many of the dishes & in few months the gap with the real Chandni Chowk food will reduce. I think it will take them years to be at par but that’s Ok. Eating out at Chandni Chowk is not everybody’s cup of tea – taking the metro & travelling for an hour, beating the Delhi heat / chill, constantly getting pushed & nudged by people etc. This restaurant can give a good sense of what happens at Chandni Chowk.
The intent was absolutely great & that is reflected in the food. Good ingredients, good quantity of food, sub-gurgaon prices & food that mostly tastes better than all the vegetarian restaurant giants of Gurgaon like Haldirams. Gulab, Om & Bikanervala.
The restaurant is a small shop in Galleria & that has been skillfully made into a kitchen cum eatery. After food is ordered, aroma from the open kitchen fill sthe air inspite of the presence of a strong exhaust unit.
The décor has small elements of Olden days Delhi – not necessary that u find all of them in Old delhi eateries any more.
A standee mentions the highlight food of the day outside the shop.
The menu card is a one pager – easy to read , with small description of each item. It has quite a good selection & range I must say.
They have a tie up with Swiggy & food is home delivered.
I really liked the finishing of the wall.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
We went there on 3 days & here is a comprehensive review of all the days.
This time , we already had lunch somewhere else. We just had gone to have desserts / soft drinks.
We ordered Kanji – A rustic drink available in Old Delhi. It was sub optimally fermented as compared to the original rustic rural version. Good to taste. Chatpata. Rate it 4/5
We tried Sharbat Ki kulfi. The owners claimed this is unique and we wud not get it anywhere – they said this was an almost ‘lost recipe’ that is made in some homes of old Delhi.
It was actually unique. Unidirectional taste was predominantly sweet. It was full of layers of flavour. A bit high on sweetness. Rate it 4.25/5
We also tried Malai kulfi. It turned out to b one of the best in gurgaon but Purani Dilli (Kuremal) has better. The kulfi was Intense, thick, flavourful, interspersed with pistachios, other dry fruit, really nice. Served in narrow chai glasses. Fun to eat for youngsters, difficult to manage by older people. Rate it 4.5/5.
We started with ‘Khasta Kachori with kachalu’.
Chaats in Chandni Chowk Hv 3 distinct features – they add a kachalu chutney, a black coarse masala powder (secret recipe) and the kachoris / papdis r very khasta (layery, crispy due to addition of more fat during mixing the maida and also the human skill of mixing.
This chaat at Delhicacy was very good on its own. It had perfect balance of taste. The aloo tasted very good. The kachalu even after being mentioned cud not make its presence felt. The black coarse ‘magic masala’ was absent which means these guys Hv not cracked the formula. The Kachori was good but nowhere as khasta as say JB kachoriwala or Bajpai or chhotelal kachoriwala.
Rate the dish 3.75/5 in context of Chandni Chowk. On its own , without it claiming to b ‘Chandni Chowk food’, rating might b up by even another 0.50.
The next dish that we tried was Palak patta chaat. Here the Palak leaves (spinach) had been made into crisp ‘leaf like shape ‘ by batter frying and then it was made into a chaat. Once again, lovely chaat.
The Palak patta pieces were excellent, almost as good as the Chandni Chowk version. The kachalu was meek and so was the black robust spice mix. The balance of salt, sweet, sour was perfect. Rate it 4/5.
We ordered jalebis. We were told they will take 5 minutes to make it from scratch. We were fine.
As they started making jalebis in the kitchen the aroma of good ghee spread out to the dining area.
The jalebis were suboptimally crisp, unidirectionally sweet ( good jalebis have a fermented feel in the middle part, thus adding a tinge of sour that acts as a good balance to the sweet. though jalebiwala of Chandni Chowk does make jalebis that r unidirectionally sweet).
Rate it 2.75/5
We tried Banta – a lemon and masala flavored local soda . Banta was good and strong. But if u compare this Banta with the Banta at pandit Ved Prakash nimbu pani wale, there is surely a difference. The Banta at pandit-ji’s shop is stronger, has more punch and the black masala is stronger as well. The Banta at delhicacy was also very good but few notches lower. Rate it 3.5/5.
Bedmi poori with aloo. As soon as it was served we cud smell desi ghee.
The poori was zero in salt, had a filling of daal , spices and chilly. Perfect texture, perfectly puffed and perfectly fried. Cud not get the taste as it is due to lack of salt. I do not remember such a situation at sagarmal Brijbhushan rewariwale shop or shiv mishthan Bhandar of Chandni Chowk. Rate the bedmi poori 3/5.
The aloo was outstanding. It takes real calibre to convert the humble aloo to something as good as this. Tangy, hit, spicy and YUMM , this aloo deserves a 4.5/5.
Overall rating of this dish averages out to 3.75/5.
Last dish we ordered was Chholey kulchey.
The Chholey was just outstanding. Soft yet firm, the chholay retained their shape. The dry gravy was rustic, robust and unbelievably YUMM. Rate it 4.5/5.
The Kulchey way better than the usual sloppy breaded version that is available in name of kulcha. Anyone who has not had the real ‘made from scratch’ kulcha in Amritsar wud not understand what I am creating this fuss about. I asked ‘do u make the kulcha from scratch’. Was impressed by the honest answer ‘ no we get the base from a vendor and we fry it b4 serving.
The kulchey had been very well cooked on the tawa resulting in crispy and flaky outer end and soft inside. The bread was a bit sweetish. Aroma of desi ghee was very enjoyable. Rate it 4/5.
Overall rating of the dish averages out to 4.25/5.
Chaanch ( buttermilk) is originally made from the residue left after fat has been skimmed out of set dahi ( yoghurt). The Chaanch here was made from just curd, diluted with water. Hence it lacked the pungency and fermented feel of the rustic rural chaanch. The density was in between thick and thin. Seasoning was perfect. Masala sprinkled on top was nice. With no reference to the original one, this was a very good drink. Overall I guess it was as good as it cud get in gurgaon. Rate it 3.75/5.
Overall rating of food at Delhicacy averages out to 3.9/5
I wud keep going there (when I do not have the time/energy to go all the way to Chandni Chowk) as I heard they will introduce more food on the menu from Purani Dilli. Recommended to Gurgaon wasis who want to try Purani Dilli without really going there.