Blurb: A neighbourhood bar where you can go with Rs 500 in your pocket!
Intro: Delhi swarms with lounge bars, resto-bars and all manner of specialty bars, but there’s nothing else like a genuine neighbourhood bar where you can visit in your chappals and shorts and not feel out of place.
Atmospherics: The erstwhile Grandlay Cinema is swarming with eateries. Firefly is the most sophisticated of them. Service is surprisingly professional for the area, the owners are usually around, the crowd is eclectic but never makes you feel uncomfortable and finally, how many bars in Delhi have been shot in a movie? This one has! It is a favourite of the film students at nearby Jamia Milia who find it pocket-friendly. Indeed, every drink on the menu is priced for 1+1. Thus, a mug of draught beer is Rs 195 for two mugs (order one, the next comes automatically). Or Old Monk (Rs 129) for what is in effect two glasses. Consequently, the cramped little bar is usually full to capacity with youngsters.
Table talk: The most irresistible items are those that are unique to Firefly. FF special crisps (Rs 165) are addictive, with a tantalizing spice blend sprinkled over the thinnest potato crisps you will ever encounter. Bhajias (Rs 145) actually do have the appeal of Mumbai street corners. It is notoriously difficult for an upmarket restaurant to attempt street food with any success and the sauce that goes with it has a pleasant tang. Chicken pakodas with tez mirchi (Rs 195) are quite unlike the Punjabi standard in old-fashioned restaurants. You can’t beat them for a filling snack with drinks.
Firefly has the most noteworthy version of Bunny Chow (Rs 300) in the city. A dish of Indian immigrant origins, developed in South Africa, it is a non-messy meal on the go. Half a loaf of fresh bread is scooped out and grilled so that there’s a little bite. It is then filled with cooked mince. The trick is to have a tiny bit of gravy in the mince so that it is not completely dry, yet is neat to eat: the very reason why it was invented in the first place. Beware though: it is extremely filling, so it’s best shared.
Plus and minus: The tiny bar is noisy and crowded at most times, especially when matches are on.
Must try: Grilled chicken platter, chicken/vegetarian sliders, FF Bailey’s & chocolate mousse
Shop No 1, India Mall, New Friends Colony Community Centre
Tel: 41680095, 91-9650358297
Open from 12.30 pm to 12.30 am
Credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 1,500