Cuisine: Dehlvi, western
Concentrated on Delhi since the Mughals. In a nutshell, all the Mughal-inspired gems are in the Medieval section, the regional dishes are on the Sanctuary page (people came from Tamil Nadu, Bengal and Punjab to Delhi), all the British Raj-inspired food is on the New Delhi segment and Cosmopolitan Delhi is a jumble of international food that you would expect to see on a world food menu. In addition, there is a lunch- and dinner-time buffet with the trademark section that pays obeisance to allergies and special requirements, like eggless desserts, sugar-free, gluten-free and so on.
Table Talk: If you like Mughlai food, look no further than the first page. The seekh Mirza (545) is a perfect blend of succulent mutton mince, judicious spicing and a faint sourness to effectively cut the fat of the meat. It gets better. Lal Qila Haleem (Rs 695) is a cloud of fragrant mutton, cooked till it loses its texture. Cooked with rice, dal, wheat and spices for hours together, it is the best thing on the menu. It is heartening to see a ‘specialist’ dish on the menu of an all-day diner: usually, preparations requiring very lengthy cooking times are seen, if at all, on the menus of speciality restaurants. Even the Delhi nihari khas (Rs 695) has a silken gravy, redolent with the faint tell-tale texture of marrow. The pieces of mutton are tender and the accompaniments – searing green chillies, finely sliced, juliennes of ginger, chopped coriander – serve to accentuate the refinement of the gravy. The sarai ghosht biryani (Rs 695) is expertly made, where long grain rice is perfumed with mutton stock and spices, so that the whole thing becomes elegant and delicious.
Plus and minus: The sugar-free cheesecake on the menu was stale to the point of being inedible. And though the vegetarian section tries hard, it is not a patch on the non-vegetarian choices.
Must try: Nargisi kofteh, Chicken Ishtoo, Delhi Fried Fish
3.50; 3.50; 3.50
Welcome Hotel Sheraton, New Delhi
Saket District Centre
Tel: 24661122, Open 24 hours
Credit cards, alcohol, Meal for two: Rs 2,500