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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Jing (Vatika Towers, Golf Course Road, Sector 54, Gurgaon)

In a nutshell:

Beautiful Romantic Setting, attentive service, average to good food.

The outstanding interiors of the restaurant

Address & other details: Jing

Cuisine type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Sauteed Prawns with celery & preserved chillies

Meal for 2: Rs. 1000 onwards

Short description – In case u r in a hurry:

The guys who planned the Restaurant, I wud say, are wizards. They have created an outstanding place amidst an otherwise office complex. The overall look & feel of this place, the color schemes, interiors, the huge glass walls, the ‘dim but not dark’ lighting, the interior decoration & most importantly the greenery on other side of the glass wall – all seem perfect.

the facade

With such a cool ambience & peppy but non intrusive music, this place positions itself as a great place for a romantic evening out. It can also be good for casual get togethers for small groups.

I had heard people complain about the service earlier. We however found the service to be good except for two issues –
Firstly, refilling of water was being done abruptly. At times it was quick, at times after gap of 10mins or at times it wud be refilled only after u wud wave at someone.

Secondly, we ordered for two starters – one was a dimsum & the other was fish fried in Sichuan spices. As u know, any Sichuan dish is spicy & chatpata while a true blue Chinese dimsum is mostly on the other extreme – super subtle. The order of serving these was completely wrong. First we were served the spicy Sichuan fish & then the subtle dimsum. In European restaurants , palate cleansers are served in such situation – an ‘in between’ food that helps clean the taste & flavor of the previous dish & makes way for the tastebuds to appreciate a new taste. As a result, the subtle Dimsum started tasting absolutely flat till I rinsed my mouth with water thrice. A smart way to serve (in absence of palate cleanser) is subtle first, followed by tangier ones.

Overall, the staff members were very well behaved.

The food was average to good , urely not wow.

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