It’s tiny and the decor is non-existent by South Delhi standards. But the food – you’ll be craving for more of these chatpata tastes of the street.
Cuisine: Indian street food
Good, tasty food in Spartan surroundings that will take you back to your college days
Atmospherics: Forget about first dates or impressing the boss. This four table space makes a statement with its very lack of décor. It is supposed to approximate a dhaba (with all that street food around, it’s natural). So the walls are cement and the seating is cemented benches. The dustbin (it’s self-service) is made out old gasoline containers – exactly the sort of thing you’d expect in a highway eatery. Tiny and basic as it is, there’s an element of style and inverted snobbery in it. No surprises here, because this is the venture of the partners of Mamagoto and they know how to keep things simple yet exciting.
Table talk: Roll maal is about rolls and pao. If you want to go on a journey in time to your school or college days, try the Rollu’s bun samosa with Pindi channa (2 pieces) Rs 85. It will leave you teary eyed with delight. The samosa is crisp; the peas plop on your palate with a satisfying squish and the chutney is just about assertive enough to add zing to the package without being overpowering. The soft as butter Pindi channa would do a real dhaba proud. The other stand-out dish is the Bandra vada pav (2 pieces) Rs 75. What makes this so great is the seasoning in the bonda and its softly crunchy crust. Where it could be improved is the typically Mahashtrian garlic-chilly-dry coconut chutney that Roll Maal misses. If these two snacks have buns/paos as their starch component, Roll Maal’s real claim to fame is the rolls made with flaky parathas.
It’s only a rare genius who could have combined Chettinad southy “mind it” roll (Rs 110/135 veg/chicken). The chicken was shredded and combined with curry patta and mustard and had a slightly tart appeal with judicious amounts of black pepper. There is also a Bombay style ‘franky’ (chicken/mutton Rs 135/150) that was pleasant enough and a Rollu’s keema pav 2 pieces (soya/mutton Rs 85/150). The dal makhni (Rs 130) is an art form and is very highly recommended; the Jalandhar boneless butter chicken (Rs 180) lacked a defining flavour (less zeera, more dried methi leaves would have made the cut in my opinion).
Plus and minus: this unassuming corner is slated to become a game changer in the way we view eating out. Remember: you heard it here first.
Must try: Make your own roll, Purani Dilli ka seekh kebab; date and honey phirni
Service: N/A (self service)
28A Defence Colony Market
Ph: 011-41017360/61; +91 98737 36881
Timings: 12 noon to 11.30 pm
Credit cards accepted; no alcohol served
Meal for two: Rs 500