No Reservations

We food writers have it much easier than our counterparts on television. We can conjure up images of childhood treats or aspirational exotica with words; those guys use reality, or their version of it. Writers and poets can relegate food to the status of ambrosia or to an irritating drudgery (“the smell of steak in…

Spice Water Trail

Suddenly, there are quite a few restaurants in the National Capital Region that serve the food of the southern states. At one time, all we were exposed to were idlis and dosas. Today, each sub region of the four states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is clearly defined in Delhi’s restaurants. Spice…

Leela Palace Udaipur

My first glimpse of Leela Palace Udaipur was not of the building itself, majestic as it is, but of the way the management looks after its guests. Shortly after a date for my visit was set, I received an email. Would I please list out my preferences for music, beverage and reading material. And while…

Biryani

What’s the big deal about rice and meat together in the same dish? Plenty, especially if you come from Hyderabad, Lucknow or Kolkata. Some of the best biryani I’ve eaten has been at Delhi’s Maurya Sheraton, prepared by a Hyderabadi royal called Begum Kulsum. She’s married in Lucknow, but fiercely retains pride in the cooking…

l’Opera

If a director from Bollywood made a film about the Samandari/Avanzo families from France, the audience would dismiss it out of hand as being far too filmy. However, it is a tale that ends with a fairytale patisserie in Khan Market, selling light-as-air macarons bursting with fruit flavours, and baguettes and flaky croissants. It starts…

Deepak Ohri

Deepak Ohri was on one of his famous flying visits to the capital when Upper Crust caught up with him. So, was he here to look out for a property? Was he here to recruit staff for Lebua, Bangkok? Or was it some other mission entirely? Ohri has a mysterious smile, and he used it…

Café Delhi Heights

Café Delhi Heights is a cozy space with a variety of moods in a single area. I chose the colourful Indian lounge area with gaudy cushions on a jute lookalike cushion that topped a “sofa” fashioned from bricks. Elsewhere, you can opt for bar seating, booths or low, comfortable-looking swivel chairs. The café embodies the…

YWCA Kitchen

The YWCA Kitchen is a great place to have a meal near Connaught Place: no messing with dug up roads and after office hours, there is plenty of parking too. The place is small and cozy and has a couple of tables in the charming  pocket-sized garden. The Mediterranean blue and white eatery serves as…

Salim Kababs Khan Market Wale

After the sealing drive in Khan Market’s infamous middle lane (all you needed was three feet of vertical space and you could start a shop) quite a few little stalls found themselves out of business. The administration, in their wisdom, has decided not to sort out the manic parking, the potholed lanes or the interior…

Café Diva

Of late, the trendy market in South Delhi, Greater Kailash N Block, has been undergoing much changing of addresses. In the space that Full Circle vacated, Ritu Dalmia has set up a Diva Café. It was the need of the hour. The lady with the enviable brand equity has set up her own café, as…