Kake Da Hotel- Best Butter Chicken, Really?

If you ask anyone or check any of the listing sites or Google where to have best Butter Chicken in Delhi or unearth the of list top ten Butter Chickens in Delhi, invariably the much famed Kake De Hotel will crop up!

Delhi is synonymous with Butter Chicken! And the true blue Delhite I am, ¬†I constantly crave good butter chicken & butter naan! It has to be one of my favourite comfort foods especially when I want to drown my sorrows in some butter ūüėõ

The comfort food
Butter Chicken- the ultimate comfort food
If you ask anyone or check any of the listing sites or Google where to have best Butter Chicken in Delhi or unearth the of list top ten Butter Chickens in Delhi, invariably the much famed Kake De Hotel will crop up!
So yesterday was one of those when I needed some sinful indulgence and landed up at THE Kake De Hotel during the early lunch hours! ¬†As I walked up the stairs, I noticed the wall was lined with framed certificates and wasn’t surprised at all to find lots of travelers seated there who sure where there to tick this in their bucket list! There were¬†some locals as well who were enjoying their fill.
*Warning* ¬†If you aren’t comfortable with dirty dingy places, don’t when bother to go for a meal, like most dhabas the sights aren’t very pleasing!¬†Oh but the good part is they have some full power air conditioning! Nonetheless as soon as we were seated, a plate full of onions topped with green chutney and some masala was placed on our table- even before the water ūüėČ Well dhabas are your real QSRs- quick service restaurants.
Fresh & Tangy
Fresh & Tangy

We had a clear agenda and ordered half plate butter chicken  (Rs 340+) with butter naan and tandoori roti without without batting an eyelid! And within couple of minutes the food arrived, the breads looked fresh & crispy. The Butter Chicken looked sad with no trace of butter or that gorgeous creamy gravy- it almost looked like the humble dhabha style chicken curry! First bite and i was heart broken, the gravy was watery with boiled tomatoes & onion with some oil thrown on top! Well that is not how butter chicken is supposed to be. It lacked the tangy kick or the silkness that is achieved by cooking it well with butter or cream! The chicken was tender and well cooked though.

By no standards it can be called a butter chicken- to make sure it wasn’t the chicken curry we checked with the server who¬†told us that ¬†a big pot of the dish is made in one go and they serve from it throughout the day, so no customisation was possible. Also that they do keep the dish non spicy or bland purposely- which i wasn’t surprised to hear as the places is very popular among the tourists.
Feast
Feast
Best Butter Naan ever
Best Butter Naan ever
Tandoori Roti
Tandoori Roti – very nicely done.
Lacha Parantha
Lacha Parantha
Seeing that we weren’t happy with the food the server quickly¬†asked if we would like to have something else instead of the butter chicken – without wasting any time we ¬†ordered dahi meat which was listed as Rogan Josh( Rs. 200+) ¬†and Dal Makhni (Rs. 90+)
The Dal Makhni was kickass in one word, well cooked and utterly creamy without the heavy use of cream & butter- a consistency that is achieved if the lentils are simmered with spices for a long time! It has to be one of the best dal makhni i have ever tasted. I will for sure go back for my Dal Tandoori Roti combo &  pyaaz chutney  fill!
Dal 2
Look at the beauty
Since we had no high expectations- the dahi meat tasted decent, the meat was tender & it had that dhabha curry type of thin gravy! Again there was nothing Rogan Josh about it- neither the taste nor the colour!
Dahi Meat
Dahi Meat
I wonder how can people recommend KDH for butter chicken? Has the place lost its sheen over the years and now banking on the inflow of the tourists who clearly have no idea what a good butter chicken is about? The meal left me questioning what makes a good butter chicken, is there any standard recipe or every restaurant/dhabha  over the years has developed its own style?

Where to eat Chhole Bhature in Delhi? Top 35 Places you MUST Try

Chhole Bhature are the National Food of India, and you get them around every corner in the city. Though Chhole Bhature can never be bad, however there are some which are better than others. Here is a list of 35 places divided by the region to help you savor nothing but the best from the City.

Chhole Bhature are ‘National’ food of Delhi and to celebrate our love for the same we mark 2nd October of every-year as International Eatlo Chhole Bhature Day, with 2016 seeing the third year of celebrations. As lot of you know that we organised Eatlo Eatups – where a bunch of us got together and went to out eat and/or explore the food scene.

However for this day we put together something called #VirtualEatup – where people from all over the world participate by eating Chhole Bhature and sharing pictures on Social Media.

International Chhole Bhature Day : How to participate?

1. You can cook the bhature at home and post a picture and/or recipe.
2. You can go out to eat Chhole Bhature and post a picture with your feedback.
3. You can eat Chhole Bhature from your favourite joint and just share a picture.
4. You can get them packed and bring them to eat and share a picture.
5. You can organise a Chhole Bhature Party, cook Chhole Bhature and invite your friends over. Or order in maybe.

For those in Delhi, which happens to be home of Chhole Bhature, we have put together a list of our favourite places from all over the town Рhave visited all of them personally and can recommend the wares. This list is not comprehensive for sure, however still the most comprehensive you will find.

Not putting complete details, a quick google search for names would guide you better. The map mostly is for illustrative purposes, just search for the name of google maps and they shall guide you better.

Info-graphic with Chhole Bhature joints represented on Delhi Map.
Best Chhole Bhature Delhi Map

Best Chhole Bhature in North Delhi :

  • Chache Di Hatti, Kamla Nagar (read more)
  • Om Di Hatti, Shakti Nagar
  • Rawalpindi, Malka Ganj, Kamla Nagar
  • Cycle Wala, Outside NDPL, Hudson Lane (read more)
  • Chacha di Hatti, Model Town (Not related to Kamla Nagar one)
  • Gopal Jee, Rohini Sector 2
  • Ashu Bhature, Rohini
  • Hari Om Bhature, Rohini / Prashant Vihar

BEST CHHOLE BHATURE IN West Delhi

BEST CHHOLE BHATURE IN South Delhi

  • Kaka Ji, Amar Colony
  • Baba Nagpal, Amar Colony, Lapjpat nagar
  • Anand, Lajpat Nagar
  • Sharma (cart), Moolchand Metro Station
  • Durga Sweets, Nauroji Nagar
  • Gopal Jee Chhole Bhature, Govind Puri

BEST CHHOLE BHATURE IN East Delhi 

BEST CHHOLE BHATURE IN Central Delhi

Central Delhi is where the heavyweights of Chhole Bhature operate from..

This list was originally published in October 2015, on occasion of 3rd International Eatlo Chhole Bhature Day, and has been revised on 2nd November 2016. The recommendations remain the same, however we have been able to document a lot more about these places in last 1 year and have updated the recommendations with relevant links to our posts on Foodiye.

Monkey Bar – Now in heart of Delhi

Recently Monkey Bar opened an oulet in CP, which is a much needed relief to the area as this colonial era market has a severe dearth of modern and new age dining spaces. And being fan of their Vasant Kunj restaurant especially the look and feel of it, I had high hopes from this one too.
Me and Ashish stepped into it last night, which was a Sunday, wondering if it would be too crowded. However thankfully it was not much crowded last night and getting a table was a breeze.

The look and feel of the place was much jaded, used and abused warehouse look. Open AC ducts, raw walls – The kind that seems to be in vogue for last few years – but boring, very boring. Again nothing wrong with it, but here the comparison is with their Vasant Kunj branch, which is housed in a glass pyramid and is super sexy to say the least. But then it might have been plain luck in VK that they got the building which used to house legendary Ministry of Sound at certain point.
Coming to food and drinks, here are the things that we tried..
Red Wine Sangria
We started with Sangria, which was offered to us in 3 variants – with base of red, white or rose wines, we chose red and then regretted not ordering the pitcher or the bigger portion they serve. The Sangria was amazingly delicious, which I attribute to the fruits being soaked in it since morning rather than bartender making it with fresh cut fruits. The wine absorbs the fruity flavors and the fruits get some of wine, just the way I love it. This was a small serving, however at the price they are selling it, its quite acceptable.

Dabeli
Next came in the Dabeli and it was much better than what I expected. I mean its a classic street food and I did not expect a fancy restaurant to do it so well – however from the bread used to the tanginess to the overall kick – this Dabeli can give run to the best in business.

I am someone who loves his kebabs and recently made a trek to Lucknow to sample what the Tundays and Dastarkhwans had to offer. Seeing a dish called Galouti Killer on the menu, it was hard for me to not order the same. They are beef based and menu mentioned Tenderloin meat being used without adding any additional fat, which essentially means gibberish to a novice like me.

Galouti Kebab – Three such pieces in serving.
Bread that came with Kebab – Decent.

The kebabs were actually super fine, very tender and melt in your mouth. I am assuming it takes lot of expertise to get beef to that level and the effort was very apparent in the final product. Again the kebabs can give a good run for money to the finest in the business.

Go Veg – The only Veg Burger option.
Inside the Veg Burger.

We decided to close the evening with a burger and Go Veg being the only vegetarian burger on the menu, we decided to go for it. The burger was huge by all standards, came with a decent serving of coleslaw and quite decent portion of french fries. Oh and there was ONE strand of a vegetable that looked like pickle.

The bruger was a disappointment – dry from inside, no juice, no flavors. The bun used was of good quality and loved the bread to protein proportion of this burger, however it was the patty that let us down. It just had no flavor. Though most of the Chefs cringe at the thought of Veg burgers, however its still something they need to work on and get right. Anyone can do a beef or meat patty, the veg patty is where the rocket science is.

The service was top notch, our server served us with a smile and even took our silly jokes in good sense of humour. Overall a very pleasant experience.

The Bill for the evening.

I am looking forward to going back again and trying more of their menu, however if I had a choice I would prefer going to Monkey Bar, Vasant Kunj  just for the feel of it. Otherwise in CP, this is amongst the best options to visit for a drink and some good food. The best part – It is not so expensive.

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Food Enthusiasts of Delhi & Shashank Aggarwal own the copyrights of all pictures and content. To use pictures OR content in any way commercially OR non-commercially connect with shashank@foodenthusiastsofdelhi.com.

Royal Restaurant, CP – Run of the mill food

After a day spent on the roads, Ashish and me came down to CP and were looking for Dhaba style food. The day being a Tuesday our choices were limited as lots of places serving non-vegetarian food are shut on Tuesdays. Jain Corner at Shivaji stadium was an obvious choice, but then that is more for a late night jaunt for me, I prefer to eat regular food if its available at that hour.
We decided to check out the Dhabas and as we entered outer circle, I was hoping that anyone of  Kake / Bhape / National / Royal to be open. So Kake and Royal were open, Royal being pure vegetarian. Having not have had good experiences at Kake in past, we decided to skip and give a shot to Royal Restaurant. Made couple of calls and was suggested we order Shahi Paneer and Palak Paneer, that too if we must. Btw.. its a restaurant in name, its a regular genuine Dhaba.

Palak Paneer
Shahi Paneer

Having eaten at almost all 4 of the CP outer circle Dhabas in past few months, I feel that all of them come from same family or maybe same village. They all have same style of serving similar food, similar crockery, similar ambiance and even owners look similar to me sometimes. . 

We settled in, I asked for some dry items or tandoori snacks which they told me that they don’t serve. Then as suggested by fellow foodies we ordered the Shahi Paneer and Palak Paneer to start with. Both the items came in a jiffy, the breads that were served were hot, crisp and tasted very nice. Till the time we were very hungry the food tasted quite nice, but then we realized that there was nothing spectacular about it and it is strictly average.

Shahi Paneer and Palak Paneer

We also ordered Dal Makhani, which to my surprise was best of the three dishes we had. For a change the Dal was not creamy or loaded with butter, however the taste and smoothness seemed to come from dal itself, which is rare to find these days. That is definitely one thing that I am going back for.

Dal Makhani

 At the end of meal we both were surprised that we finished of 3 dishes, however then we realized that these were the MOST stingy portions in veg food that we have seen. EVER. And we both have have seen a LOT of food individually and combined together as well. Having said that, the entire bill was Rs.460, with these three dishes and breads, which is not bad at all, and is quite reasonable for a meal of 2 in a place like CP.

All in all a 6/10 kind of place, nothing bad, but nothing spectacular as well. Dhabas for me dish out much better and tasty stuff. 
Connect with me on Twitter : @tweet2shashank

Indian Coffee House – A Thriving Relic

When I used to read or hear about Indian Coffee House, it always came across as a place that was dead and some old timers (read retired men) used to hang out there as the coffee was cheap, location perfect and no one gave a damn. With that kind of impression, I never dared to enter inside, fearing that I might face another government relic and then you do not really go out get frustrated and have bad service and food. 
However off-late the name started to pop up again, quite often, in my conversations with some of the younger friends. And then I was told that they have an Indian Coffee House on second floor of Mohan Singh Place in CP area which has a huge terrace, an open air area . The idea of terrace was good enough to ring several bells in me however still took me some time and two failed attempts to finally set my first foot in this institution. 
Broken dirty looking tables and chairs which seemed as if they would crumble under my weight (or any heavy set human for that matter), an eclectic mix of human faces, two waiters (among others) with cool tattoos on their neck dressed in prim uniforms and several monkeys bouncing here and there were the first things that I noticed.  
Yours Truly enjoying the view from ICH
Coffee, conversations and sun-set. Deadly ??
Finding a table and settling down, you realize that you do not mind any of the things that you would consider sacrilege in some other cafe. The rates are dirt cheap and you anyhow do not go there for food. For me, it was all about the terrace and couple of balmy march evenings that I have spent there have been quite phenomenal. 
However over my couple of visits I could not help but try several of their ‘delicacies’ and being a food blog that FED is, lemme tell you about those as well.
Veg. Sandwich – Dry bread, no butter, no jam (we could not find any), couple of slices of cucumber and tomato. Are you ready for your sandwich ?? ūüėõ
Omelete – You really have to work really hard to make a bad omelete  and I guess I will give the crown of worse ever I had to this place.
Paneer Pakode – Ok.. I have had worse. But then I was told that they can be better. Atleast sometimes. 
Masala Dosa with Butter – Was quite impressed with it, it was edible and not bad at all. Cannot say much about chutney and sambar though.

Mutton Dosa – Now this one you won’t get at many places, and though the mutton’s quantity was sporadic to say the least, it was still one of the things that can be eaten there.

Mutton Cutlet – Another item that comes recommended, you might find it juicy, but that juice is the oil it is fried in. May sound bad, but I did not mind eating it at all, atleast till a monkey came and scared us away from our table looking to conquer our food.

Paneer Pakode
Masala Dosa with Butter
Mutton Dosa
Mutton Cutlet
Oh well, the tomato ketchup they serve as a weird red color, but then… ūüėÄ
Compared to food, their drinks manage to perform better and here you can find Roohafza Sharbat, Lemon squash  Orange Squash etc, things which you will not get at normal cafes.  Coffee was average, Cold Coffee with or without the ice-cream was not bad at all. 
Cold Coffee with Ice-cream and Roohafza Sharbat
Its a place which was never known for its food. The service can be atrocious and food bordering on un-edible. However its the super old school charm of the place and super low prices that keeps in customers happy and there certainly are few items of the menu which can make you sit back after a bite and admit – Not so Bad .. ūüėõ
PS – Reading on wikipedia about it,  I realize that it is run by a series of worker’s co-operative societies and has over 400 outlets spread across India. Located at most of the prime locations, makes it one of the biggest chains in country. 

Chhole Kulche at Janpat – By Tanvi Gupta

If you are a Janpath regular, and want to have a proper meal without burning a hole in your pocket, its better to skip the chaat, and cross the road to enter the lane opposite shop no. 38. Keep going straight, some about 50-60 footsteps until you see a shed on the left, over-flooded with people. There is where, you get three dishes only, Chhole-chawal, Chhole-kulcha and Chhole-bhatura, but each one to die for. 

As a student one always has a tight pocket and wants to weigh each penny spent properly whether it be on food, their crushes or shopping. Janpath being a direct bus from college (Hauz Khas), was easiest to reach, best to hang out as it had everything from flea shopping, books, street food and of-course, haggling.

A bunch of us would make weekly visits there, unless we got tired of the food there. One day, while taking pictures of the area around we ended up noticing this big overcrowded shed. Our curiosity led us to find out what was the crowd puller there. We were right, it was a bunch of young office goers who came to attend a call to their hunger. Good, cheap street food was what it was.A very organized way of paying, getting the token and further receiving your food was what led us to try it too.The very first bite left us wanting for more.

This food stall has been there for more than 20-25 years now. Hats off, they have managed to retain the quality and the taste.

On the menu:

Chhole-chawal, Chhole-kulcha and Chhole-bhatura. Each ranging between Rs.30-45. The quantity, quality and the taste is enough to give your taste buds a feeling of satisfaction and a high, that lasts till you have your next meal. To balance the spices out, a ‘thela-waala’ stands there, to provide you with chhota Coke bottles and water.

Must try, if you happen to go there and you are lucky if your office is located there anyways.
Very popularly, known as the BHOGAL CHHOLE KULCHE WAALA. Available from 1pm-3:30pm

Written by Tanvi Gupta

Edited by Shashank Aggarwal
 To share your experiences, reviews, recipes, food pictures etc, mail them to shashank@foodenthusiastsofdelhi.com 

Celebrating Onam at Kerala House, Delhi!

Being a part of a FED raid was on my To-Do list since some time now and this Saturday i finally got to be a part of one. The occasion was Onam. Since Kerala House in Delhi was organizing a special lunch feast on this occasion, it was chosen as the venue for the raid.

Kerala House Delhi location
For the uninitiated, Onam is a festival to celebrate the arrival of the very famous and popular demon king of Kerala РKing Mahabali. Read more on the history of Onam. As is synonymous with most festivals of India, the USP of Onam is also food Рor Sadhya as it is popularly called.

The FED group assembled at Kerala Bhavan around 1:30 PM and headed for the feast. After around 20 mins of waiting we finally got a place to sit. The meal was served on a Banana leaf and consisted of Aviyal, Thoran, Olan, pickles, papad, sambar, dal, rice, payasam, buttermilk and much more.

For those who are new to Kerala cusine, i have tried to decode what the various items mean (If you find any mistake please feel free to highlight it).

 

Onam Sadhya Dishes

With so many varieties on my plate, I was short of ideas on from where to start and where to end, what all to mix and what not to. Of the various combinations I tried, I loved the combination of beans and sambar with rice as well as aviyal, and adrak ka achaar with rice. The dessert РSemiya Payasam was also delicious.

In all the meal at Kerala House, Delhi was a cherishable experience – authentic, delicious and filling. It felt great to be a part of such a wonderful group and I certainly look forward to my future raids with the FED group ūüôā

 

The FED group