Dalma (Odisa Niwas, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi)

In a nutshell:

Good simple interiors, good service & a very enjoyable, subtle, authentic Oriya cuisine in the land of strong tastes – Delhi

Inside the restaurant

Address & other details: Odisa Niwas

Meal for 2: Rs. 160 onwards

beautiful paintings on the walls & also on the ceilings

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Simple non fussy interiors with lots of beautiful Odisa paintings all around & above. The stained glass that surrounds the Dining hall is covered with nice colorful glass painting. Much better visually than the more popular Andhra Bhawan few kilometers away.

Beautiful colored glass painting

Previously was run by the Odisa Government but is now run by a chain of Restaurants that serve odisa food – Dalma. They claim to be the first ever Odisa food Restaurant.

The staff wears uniform given by the restaurant – they are good. Some of them speak hindi with a heavy Odisa accent. A little patience bears good fruit as the guys are nice.

Menu card is colorful wit photographs in the same manner that one sees a lot in China & hongkong. What is however interesting is that the pics are all downloaded from net & do not necessarily represent the actual food that is being served. Example – We looked at the picture of fried fish & said ‘We want this fish’. Pat came the reply ‘Sorry sir, that’s just a picture. What we have is ****’.

colorful menu

Peep into the prices (in the picture below) & u will be stunned. Is this Delhi price or Odisa price? Is this 2012 price or 1992 price? Side dishes starting as low as Rs. 15!!!! For inmates of Odisa Niwas, any meal costs only Rs. 10.

About the food – We were lucky to have two of our friends from Odisa with us at Lunch. One of them said twice – this is just like it is at home. The other friend was a bit disappointed & said ‘ I wud give 6 / 10 to this lunch’. I said ‘why’. He said ‘ I did not feel that I ate out today – I felt that I am eating at home. What’s the point?’. Interesting conflict of perspectives – It is this point that I found most interesting – I am getting to eat authentic almost home cooked Odisa food sitting in Delhi at prices if 1992 – wow.

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Love & Mustard (1st floor, Galleria Market, above Le Marche, Gurgaon)

In a nutshell:

A good start but a bad downslide in just one year of opening the restaurant (unless the chef was on holiday the last time I went there & his trainees had cooked the food)

Address & other Details: Love & Mustard

The entrance

Meal for two – Rs.200 onwards

Cuisine type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

A Billboard in Galleria Market - Love & Mustard

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

When we started going to this tiny Bengali (including jewish, persian, anglo Indian, mughal food popular in Kolkata) joint in Galleria market, the food was good – It was always suboptimal as compared to the best food in that category in Kolkata but was quite good as compared to similar other options in Gurgaon. This time we went there, we found that the menu card had changed & a lot of good stuff had been removed. When we started eating, it became a real challenge to control the frustration of paying & eating sub ordinary food ….. U get much better than this at people’s home in Kolkata…………… leave apart restaurants……… For Bongs, this can still b a bearable eatery to have dinner on those ‘no cooking today’ days…………… but surely not a good place to have a great ‘eat out dinner’ ………….. maybe just OK OK dinner.

interesting table top menu card

Nowadays in Bengali marriages Dinners r quite cosmopotlitan & they r usually served by caterering companies. However, the lunch that u get in a typical biyebari (marriage) is usually a multi course bengali lunch – for the close relatives & family members – it is usually cooked not by hi end caterers but groups of cooks referred to as ‘thakurs’ – I can vouch that all such lunches that I have had in the last ten years were better than the thali at Love & Mustard. So, the owner of the restaurant might as well get a good Thakur to get the food right.

Love is lost (love & passion for making good food) & the mustard is not fresh & tangy any more!!!!

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