This South Delhi Cafe serves Hookah and Food – All Night Long.

Hookah is served 11 pm to 6 am – which makes it a ideal spot for that post party conversation, with option of taking it under the stars.

Yes, you read it right. For those who are familiar with the party & late night scene of Delhi, are no stranger to Cafe 1440 in Hotel Vikram, a landmark hotel right next to Moolchand Hospital / Flyover / Metro Station in South Delhi. The location is a stones throw away from South Ex, Epicuria, Defense Colony, Chanakya Puri & Hauz Khas for that matter. CP would be a 10 minute Uber ride at that hour of night.

Which makes it an ideal spot for after party chilling, relaxing and enjoying. Plus they have the open air lounging area .. 😉

They had to halt operations due to some issues 2-3 years back, however the 24 hour coffee shop is back with a bang. Though the hotel remains under renovation, which is expected to be completed around Diwali, Cafe 1440 is already working and is welcoming guests.

The cafe serves special late night combos like Butter Chicken Parantha, Dal Makhani Naan, Biryani Raita etc and the best part – it serves as a after party chilling spot with your friends – as you can order a Hookah or Sheesha in your favorite flavors – middle of the night – in open air setting, which in itself is one of its kind luxury in capital city of Delhi. There NO other cafe or restaurant in Delhi which can boast of such facilities, which I would rather call luxuries.

So next time you have that late night craving for a dessert or post party NEED of Butter Chicken, you know where to head to. Hookah is served 11 pm to 6 am – which makes it a ideal spot for that post party conversation, with option of taking it under the stars.

FED Giveaway : Meal vouchers for Followers & Readers – We are giving away 10 vouchers that would cover a meal for 2 at the cafe – Every voucher is worth Rs.2000 – which you can avail for Food and Hookah at the cafe at your convenience.

Just share your email ID in the section you see below and leave a comment telling us about your type of After Party – how you chill, what you do – tell us all. The most liked comment, stands to win a special prize… 😉


Chalchitra Cafe – Better than Expected

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Chalchitra café. When I heard the name for the first time, all shades of black and white came to my mind. A place adorned with memorabilia from Black and white era is what I pictured. However it turned out to be a normal café/restaurant with few framed posters of movies on its wall. Honestly speaking, very average looking interior, with a movie theme done just because they had to do something. Or maybe I missed something.

One of the walls

I was visiting the café with Himanshu and Ashima Sharma, a couple from FED as my guests. We started with a look at the drinks menu, besides the usual cocktails, there was a special section with very ‘filmi’ sounding names, however there was no description given against them. As a restaurant, if you are experimenting with your food and drinks, and giving them names which are unique to your establishment, you have to write an explanation on what they are.  With names like Kashmir Ki kali (Cocktail) and Meethi Mirch (Mocktail) one can never guess what is in store, however with little help from our server we ordered them both along with another mocktail called Strawberry Honey Nuts. Kashmir ki kali turned out be a Mojito based on Vodka, however overpowering mint flavor turned us off, and that drink was left unfinished. Strawberry Honey Nuts was exactly what was promised, no surprises there and nothing to write about it.  However the highlight of the drinks was Meethi Mirch, which was a brilliant combination of Grape juice & Chocolate syrup topped with Tobasco sauce. Maybe it can be attributed to my taste of all things chocolaty and/or hot, I am in love with that drink. Infact, just thinking about it as I write, is making me want one.

Looking at the starters menu, we were spoilt for choices and ended up ordering both veg. and non veg. Tandoori platters. Non vegetarian platter had Chicken Wings, Chicken Tikka and Mutton Seekh Kebab, while the vegetarian one consisted of Hari Mirch ka Paneer Tikka, Aloo Makki Seekh and Tandoori Ghobi. Being a vegetarian, Paneer Tikka is the most common tandoori dish that I end up eating, and Hari Mirch Paneer Tikka is one of the better ones that I have tasted. The paneer was well marinated and marinate was really different, unlike anything I had eaten before. Gobhi was strictly okay, with chef taking the standard Tandoori marinate route, while I did not like the Aloo Makki seekhs. Though there is not much to say for Veg Seekh Kebabs, their kebabs seemed to be tailored a bit to be ‘chatpata’, which is not the way I like mine. Talking about non-vegetarian, none of the items managed to make an impression on Himanshu or Ashima. Chicken Tikka was the only thing that they appreciated a bit.

Tandoori Non-vegetarian Platter
Tandoori Vegetarian Platter

Coming to the main courses, I must admit they have very impressive and innovative items on the menu and making choices was not going to be easy. Being the foodies that we are, three of us ended up ordering what seemed like a long list of items:

  • Zucchini Trifolati
  • Butter Chicken with Laccha Parantha 
  • Rajma ke Galouti with Ulte Tawe ka Parantha
  • Veg Khichda 
  •  Non Veg Khichda
Zucchini Trifolati, this was the entire portion

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Out of everything from the list above, only Zucchini Trifolati was a disappointment, more from the size of the serving than the taste itself. While driving back, I was talking Himanshu about the Butter Chicken and he felt it was perfectly acceptable, however it did not stood out. In a city like Delhi, a better butter chicken would be available at lot of places, however there was nothing wrong with the one that was served to us either. 

Butter Chicken

Now coming to the part of food that really blew our mind off, and would account for major chunk of points falling in café’s kitty. Starting from Galouti Kebabs, I generally have very low expectations from vegetarian kebabs and almost never order them. Have never heard of someone making kebabs out of Rajma, and this managed to intrigue us. And I was pleasantly surprised, when my non-vegetarian friends ended up appreciating the Veg Kebabs. Infact they were tender, had a great texture, and just right amount of spices. All three of us unanimously declared them the best dish of the evening, but not for long. 

Rajma Galouti Kebabs, great option for vegetarians.
I do not remember when was the last time I had khichdi, forget about the time when I ate it without a grimace on my face. Even though I had ordered Khichda from the menu, I was still very skeptical about it. However once it was served, the smell itself ended any doubts I had. I am not an expert on ingredients, however was told that Dal Makhani and Rice form the base of it along with Desi Ghee. Sometimes you have to forget what is going into it, and focus on the bottom-line, in this case which was awesome taste. Himanshu tried the non-vegetarian version of the same, which came with well cooked chunks of mutton, and he was very pleased with it as well. Both were served with mix vegetable raita, diced onions and green chutney. In my opinion, it tasted best without any of the condiments. 

Vegetarian Khichda, smelled awesome.
Non Vegetarian version of Khichda – with Mutton Chunks
After having some of the more innovative dishes, I was really looking forward to the dessert selection available, which unfortunately turned into a disappointment for me. Thinking about it, it was rather a case of high expectations that I had from the café, especially after the Khichda and Rajma Kebabs. Most of the items listed seemed to be regular ones and we ordered three of them:
  • Frozen Alaska (Served with Mango, caramel and Chocolate Sauce) 
  • Fried Ice-cream (Served with Chocolate Sauce) 
  • Fruit Custard Tart
Baked Alaska – Ice-cream filled inside Vanilla sponge
Fruit Custard Tart

I would have said that I was indifferent to all of them, however if you are visiting them and SHOULD order a dessert, then Fried Ice-cream is what I would suggest. Because inside the coating of batter it is eventually ice-cream and you cannot go wrong with vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce.

Frozen Ice-cream with Chocolate Sauce
Chalchitra Café is a place where you do not go to dine. It is a place where one goes to hang-out with friends, have a few drinks, enjoy the filmy music and have fun. Whatever time we spent there, this is exactly what we saw happening there. And if they manage to surprise you with something as awesome as Rajma Kebab and Khichda, I see no reason to complain.
It is a place where I would be definitely going back; to get more of the things I like and try some other delicacies they have on their menu. Oh! And I love filmy music :D. 
My overall Rating for food : 3/5 
Since this is an invited review, I have not taken service into consideration.

Chalchitra: M-38, first floor, M – block Market, Greater kailash-2, Delhi.
Bbpin: 21EA4281 (Customers on BB list get an additional 10% discount)
Contact number: 9999855519, 011-4080 1111

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The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe And Kitchen – Raided

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Bihari Cuisine, now what the hell is that? All I knew was that they eat lot of Dal Chawal and off late I got to know about Litti Chokha and that is the extent of my knowledge about Bihari Food. For past few weeks, name of ‘The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe And Kitchen’ had popped up a few times, and them serving Bihari cuisine managed to spike up major interest.  So as usual, one Saturday night, a bunch of us got together and decided to raid the place.

As we were about to enter, a lady who is from FED was getting out, and she is from Bihar. She told us that food was good, and she tried Veg Pakodas and Shrimps and can definitely recommend them. Her feedback added to our excitement levels and we eagerly climbed the four floors. Third floor was kitchen, and then the rooftop which is the dining area. 

The ‘Rooftop’ Cafe
The ‘Rooftop’ Cafe
FEDs waiting to be served

The first reaction as we saw the restaurant was “Where is the rooftop?”, “Why are there full height walls and a roof on the rooftop?” What me and others thought rooftop restaurant meant was an open dining area, with only atmosphere separating you and the sky. But alas, Potbelly is a rooftop with a roof, not a partial roof, but roof and walls that would make it a hall (with AC and the works). It does have huge windows and I am sure in afternoons would offer great views too. Coming to décor, the first words that hit my mind was chic – which was now common. It instantly reminded me of few other places that I am regular too. Very acceptable for a café, but in these times, nothing out of the ordinary.

Now it was time to start ordering, and as we were waiting for few other people to join in, we decided to have a look at the drinks menu. Avoiding the shakes, for the sake of our appetites, we ordered Apple Lemonades and Mirch Masala Lemonades. Apple lemonade was brilliant to say the least, which small chunks of apple and mint leaves to it. Thankfully there was no artificial flavor added to it, and the chunks of apple gave it the subtlety that we appreciated.  The Mirch Masala Lemonade though reminded us of Jalzeera and Gol Gappe ka paani. Before we move from the drinks part, here it needs to be mentioned that in later stages of out meal, we also ordered a shake, which was never served. Why? No Clue.

For starters we ordered a Pakora Basket, Parontha Basket (Rs.120 each) and Phish Phingers (Rs.260). Pakoras were quite good, well spiced, well fried. Paronthas were standard and gave no reason to complain, however first surprise of the evening came in fish fingers (Phish Fingers), though as suggested by my non vegetarian friends, it was well done, however the quantity left a LOT to be desired. Apparently no one expected it to have 5 sticks (fingers) only with similar number of potato chips.  And honestly that set the tone for the evening.

Parontha Platter
Pakora Platter
The Phish Phinger Platte
When it came to main courses, 7 of us ordered 3 platters of Litti Chokha, 2 vegetarian platters, 2 non-vegetarian platters and one seafood platter (more like a starter it was).  We ordered:

  • Litti Chokha (Rs. 210) – 3 Portions
  • Makhana Thali (Rs. 230)
  • Maithili Masala Thali (Rs. 230)
  • Gol Mirch Chicken (Rs. 260)
  • Mutton Chaamp (Rs.260)
  • Dehati Fish’n’Chips (Rs.290)
  • Jhinga Machhli (Rs.290) 

And just to complete the list, I am also adding the starters from before.
  • Pakora Basket (Rs.120)
  • Parontha Basket (Rs.120)
  • Phish Phingers (Rs. 260)
PHEW! That looks like a lot of food in 7 people.

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Surprise! Even after having all that food, almost all of us were looking to go out and eat some paranthas at moolchand or IIFT Dhabhas to fill ourselves up. Yup, that is how small the portions were and that is how unsatisfied we all felt.

No one actually liking what they ate does not even matter here because we hardly have any knowledge about Bihari food, and lack of appreciation can be attributed to lack of palette.  However I doubt they eat such small portions. I cannot even start to describe the reaction we had when we were seeing the portions and servings. Dehati fish seemed like a pakora, in finer words fish coated with batter and fried. However people can only appreciate finer flavors of batter and fish, if they ever stopped looking for the fish inside the batter shell. 

Jhinga Machhli

Gol Mirch Chicken

Mutton Chaamp
Vegetarians faired a bit better, mind you only a bit. Before I started writing this, I was planning on recommending Litti Chokha and concluding that I would visit the place again for the same. However I was under the impression that it was priced at Rs.120 per serving. But now when I look at the menu I realize that I was under the wrong impression, and I doubt if I would recommend that as well.

But giving credit where it is due, the Aubergine mashes which were served to us with Litti, paronthas and other dishes were quite amazing. They had brilliant flavors and were done very well. The Chana Dal they served with Litti was mind blowing and was highlight of the evening. I wish they would use that dal with other things as well. Litti was well baked, however I feel that it was quite dry from inside and could have definitely used a longer dip in the ghee. On the other hand Maithali Masala thali which had Paneer-mushroom-peas dish served with puris, had so much oil it in, and that it numbed my senses for a while. The fact that puris themselves were quite oily, did not help my cause at all. 

Makhana Thali

Maithili Masala Thali
Have already mentioned the shake that was never served but that was not our only disappointment from service, which was found considerably lacking. Towards the end someone who seemed to be incharge (owner?) came up to us, asked about our feedback and offered apologies for bad service. He said they were new, learning the ropes and short staffed. This was quite understood and appreciated by our group. However after admitting to lousy service you do not charge the 10% service charge, and that too when the group was evidently not happy. 
Litti Chokha
And the final nail, our bill was Rs.3762 with 10% service charge. Since there was a service charge, I was not looking to leave a tip. I left Rs.3800 in cash and kept waiting at my table for balance, which never came.
Oh! And they did not have any desserts at 9:30 pm on a Saturday evening.

I understand being new and upcoming, however at those prices, you better have your act together before you take the order. 

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