Lahori Gate – Where my Bade Mian Lives : Restaurant Review

Lahori Gate is a restaurant which has recently opened up in Meherchand Market, and when we decided to go on a food hop in the same market, Lahori Gate came up as strong contender, as it has recently featured in writings of some of the prominent columns of mainstream Media. However to set the record straight I have not read any of them and stepped into the place without any expectations and open mind.
Walking into the place we asked for a table for 11 of us and we were told that they were packed and we needed prior reservations. A level of activity that was hard to believe from the entrance which seemed quite. Went up to check out the dining area on upper floor and found reserved boards on 2 big tables, while one of them was about to get empty. After a fair bit of waiting we did manage to get the table and now was the time to place our orders.

Mutton Burrah
Dahi ke Kebab
Dahi ke kebab from inside – can you see the foliage? 😛
Mutton Burrah
Shammi Kebab

Dahi Ke kabab, Mutton Shammi Kebab & Mutton Burra – 2 portions of each were ordered for the starters. The Shammi kebabs were well made, but the taste was quite average, the mutton burra was very well made and pick of the lot. The chop that I managed to get my hands on, cannot forget that in a hurry (in a good way ofcourse). While the dahi ke kebab were a major letdown. Huge pieces of onion were there in the kebabs, which essentially should have been smooth and without overpowering flavors of onions and other add ons.

In main-course we ordered – Mutton Nihari, Dal Makhani, Kadahi Paneer, Chicken Khurchan and Chicken Chhole – I must admit that all these items were very well made. The meat in Nihari was very succulent and spices subtle, much different from the Old Delhi Nihari, however we will let it pass as they mention Lahori Nihari in the menu, maybe its different than ours, but tasted nice. Kadahi Paneer gave me no reason to complain, just the way as it should be with finest quality Paneer being used. Good time was spent in making of Dal makhani, the dal itself gave the creamy texture to the overall dish. Chicken Chhole was something I had for the first time, new for my taste buds however Chhole had proper spices and the chicken chunks were properly cooked and had absorbed flavors in a nice way. An unusual item item for sure, do try it if you like trying different flavors. Cannot say much about the Chicken Khurchan as got to eat only 1 bite of it.

Kadahi Paneer
Chicken Chhole – very different dish, stable in Lahore they tell me.
Chicken Khurchan
Dal Makhani
Its impossible for me to complete a meal without Biryani being served and this occasion was no different. They have 2 varieties of the same – A Mutton Version and a Chicken one, and as usual – ordered for both of them. The portions seemed small, however the aroma when we opened the handi was definitely enticing, the flavors very subtle however Biryanis did have character  in them. They were served with a side of Raita, which was plain spiced curd, just done right.We tried an assortment of breads – Khamiri Roti, Laccha Prantha, Butter Naan – none of them gave any reason to complain.

Chicken Biryani
Chicken Biryani
Khamiri Roti
Mutton Biryani
Chunk of Mutton from Mutton Biryani

As I was going without expectations, I cannot say the service was a letdown. However the service was ordinary to say the least. Infact the service can be said to be on the shoddier side, no clothe napkins were given to us, had to literally force them to give finger bowls that too were not given for entire table. Starters and main-course came faster than they took to clear & set the table and while for Biryani it seemed we had to wait till eternity. Teething issues? Not on my dime.

The place is adorned with numerous pictures of artists and the music they play is quite classical. Infact was surprised to spot a picture I shot of Bade Mian from Lal Kuan hanging in one of their galleries.

Surprised to see a picture for Bade Mian I shot hanging on those walls.

Then came in the bill and everything changed. For the entire meal we paid Rs.12.7k – without Alcohol.

In terms of :
Taste – 4/5
Service – 2.5/5
Ambiance – 3.5/5
Value for Money – 2/5
Overall – 3/5
As much as I enjoyed the food and ambiance, the place does seem overtly expensive for the kind of food they serve.. Though the taste was 4/5, however in a city like Delhi you will get 4/5 type of North Indian food in way too many restaurants and for half the price.

Our bill for the evening.
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Naivedyam – Vegetarian South Indian Fare

Naivedyam has been in Patel Nagar ever since I can remember, and apparently have never visited the place. Have tried the Hauz Khas Village restaurant a few times and don’t remember having a bad experience. Yesterday we entered the place at around 12:45 pm and were the first customers for a Sunday. The place did not smell too good and the staff was just clueless looking at our expressions. 
We started by ordering from Day Specials (before that a very nice Rasam was served, on the house) : Parotha Kurma & Appam Kurma – As these are the items that you usually do not get at ‘South-Indian’ menus in Delhi. Along with them we ordered a plate of Dahi Vada and normal Idli each.  
Food took its time in making, however was hot and fresh, the only grouch being that the server forgot to serve us plates to eat from. 
Dahi Vada – None of us enjoyed it, maybe matter of palette.
Idli – Hot, soft and fresh – good stuff.
Parotta – came with 3 parottas and Kurma, very well made.
Appam – Two appams served one after the other, nothing to complain.
Parotta with Kurma (Look at that steel bowl)
Idli with Gunpowder on the side
Dahi Vada
Then we had to wait for some time for waiter to come to us to take the order, somehow the waiter just seemed clueless. On complaining, some senior looking person started to take our orders. 
We managed to place order of Rawa Mysore Masala Dosa, Mix Veg Oothapam, Bisibelle Bhaat & Puliogre. Except for the Oothapam which seemed dry everything was delicious, specially Bisibelle bhaat which is like a simple khichdi, however on steroids of flavors. Something my mom loved and says she is gonna try at home. Puliogre which are tamarind rice did not draw much favor from the table and it was constantly compared to Bisibelle bhaat, which was the blue eyed boy of the lunch. 
Bisibelle Bhaat or Khichdi
Sambhar, Chutney – again check the bowls.
Tamarind Rice or Puliyogre
The one thing that bettered me was that the plates were chipped from lot of places and even the steel utensils did not seem the way they should. 
My Ratings for Patel Nagar Outlet:
Taste : 3.5/5
Value for Money : 3.5/5
Hygiene : 2/5
Ambiance : 3/5
Service : 3/5

Overall 3/5 kind of place.

Rice payasam
Mysore Pak – came from a box thet sell over counter. 
Its not exactly a street stall where hygiene takes a back seat in comparison of taste, however for a full service dine in restaurant, they definitely need to get their house in order. The plus point being that for a City like Delhi they do offer a varied menu and the food quality is high & close to authentic, generally speaking. Super value for money – Which all holds true for any other outlet of Neivedyam. 
Final Bill..
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#TheRedDare – Dare to make aware.

Being a food lover, teeth are the most important tool that a food lover can have – as you Bite with them, chew with them, and of course after you tummy is full with delicious food – you can smile and thank the chef.
For every food lover maintainence of Oral hygiene  should be of utmost importance. To spread awareness about oral hygiene, I accepted the #TheRedDare for Dabur Red Toothpaste. As some one who is born and brought up India, Dabur and its products  are some thing we directly  relate to quality and health.
Dabur Red is a product  made from natural ingredients, some of which are reccomemded in ancient scriptures and I believe that they are much beneficial and sutainable than usual chemical products we get in the market.
So I decided  to take the dare at one of the most exotic  beaches in India Auro Beach of Pondicherry, which derives its name from Sir Aurobindo who himself  was a great proponent of natural living .

And now I dare my friends & followers to undertake the #TheRedDare, to spread the message of hygiene. Lets see the crazy side of you folks.
Do message your address to +91 9910818814   and receive your #TheRedDare box, which would have Dabur Red toothpaste and more details on how to perform the dare. 
Oh! And did I tell you there are goodies to be won?? 😀

Move over ‘Food-Truck’ – We have our own Food Cycles – Chhole Bhature in North Campus

Hudson Lines is a road dotted with numerous cafes – some of them Uber cool, some quirky and some plain commercial, all of whom along with chains and regular desi outlets are vying for the attention of the throbbing student populace living and studying in North Campus of Delhi University.
Chhole Bhature – The way they are served.
Amidst all the madness, there is this quiet cycle waala, standing outside the NDPL office and selling his wares. One look at him and my good food radar started beeping, and it beeped quite hard this time. Realized that this guy was selling Chhole Bhature, yup, good old chhole bhature in the land of mighty Chacha, Om, Rawalpindi and the likes. And surprisingly he had a crowd around him, a crowd which ensured that he was out of bhaturas at the time I reached and he was only able to offer me kulchas.
A look inside the Chhole Vessel
Drooling by the smell and sight I had to settled for the much humbler kulcha as I really wanted an insight into the Chhola that he was serving – because by the color, texture and smell – they seemed nothing less than amazing. And thankfully my feeling did not change once I started eating them – loaded with spices, however not going overboard, hot but just hot enough – these chholas instantly made me compare them to some of the best in the industry and for me it was a big deal for a guy selling from a bicycle. But then, I was still craving for them bhaturas.
Summer of 2014 was spent playing hide & seek with our guy, either I was there too early, or too late or on a day when he was not there. But advent of winters brought some luck for yours truly and he was able to grab those bhaturas couple of days back. Now let me warn you – these are not fresh made bhaturas which are fried on the spot, as we have come to know them, these are not soft, nor fluffy. These bhaturas are pre-made and are very thin. Before serving they are heated on a coal fired angeethi and served. It is a different school of bhaturas, the easiest examples I can sight are Sita Ram Dewan Chand from Paharganj and legendary Gole Hatti in Chandni Chowk as well as Patel Nagar.
Anyhow I eagerly got my plate served, for which I had to wait for 10-15 minutes as the guy takes his own sweet time serving and for Rs.20 a plate, this ended up being one of best Bhatura experiences I have ever had. The character that Coal fired angheeti adds to those bhaturas is something that is hard to explain.
Bhaturas being heated on coal fired Angeethi
And this the way these Bhaturas turn up, love that texture.
On Chhole he puts those beautifully spiced ginger julienne along with a chutney that is made sour from actual tamarind. In another dona he would give you some chopped onions, a piece of spiced potato and a pickled green chilly which goes so very well with the entire meal.
Chhole – ready to be served – notice the Ginger juliens and the Green Chutney with Tamarind.


what you get on the side – Potato, Green Chilli, Onions etc..
I would not recommend this place to everyone, however if you are someone who likes to eat bhaturas everywhere and can cherish the differences and contrasts without comparing it with the ‘Best’ you have ever had, then you MUST try this place out, you will not regret it for sure.
Entire show being manages from a simple Bicycle.

PS : And regarding the title – we are a country full of small time food vendors, on carts, cycles, foot or street – as romantic as the Food Truck sounds, lets not forget what we already have. Lets appreciate it, cherish it and like in this case savor it too.. 🙂

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