kolkata to delhi - en route to rajastan
Jan 12, 2006
there are 2 types of people in the world - those that live to eat and those that eat to live. me and my posse fall smack dab in the middle of the former. however, it's a tough responsibility to uphold - finding those outlets that are up to par for our taste buds.
delhi, december 26 2005, started off with an hour delayed flight, but quite decent food on the air sahara flight. it was a standard veg plate - rice, curry, pickle, sort of like the BA flights' fare. due to the delay timing was pretty much perfect for catching tane's arrival. we headed to the hotel in pahar ganj, probably the best place i've ever stayed at in delhi which is not saying much given the normal 300-700rs. fare. this place had a bathtub! and it was clean!
tane, bless her soul eternally, had brought with her 3 bottles of pinot noir. and they were damn good - the $15+ variety! the 3 of us managed to polish that off right quick even though i was pushing to save the booze for new years' eve. pressure from the female wing, though, quelled my push, and instead i figured its better to consume damn fine wine with my favourite people in the world. only one missing was the bro, which we lamented copiously. further blessings on tane for bringing a couple of packs of american spirits black, which were just what i needed to get the pollution under wraps. i figured it's pointless to be breathing in all the diesel fumes if i'm not smoking something worthwhile on top of it all. and the american spirits were sufficiently worthwhile.
sharad had told me that the place to head to in delhi for breakfast was paratha wala in chandni chowk. he claimed it was the best paratha around, and in all flavors. he was right on the flavor front - everything from the standard aloo paratha to the exotic cashew and raisin, plus a variety of subji's. however, the paratha's were definitely not the best we've had. it barely passed muster in our books!
lunch was at saravana bhavan in connaught place. the idiots that conjured up their scheme for getting people on the list for a table should be strung up by their testicles. there was sufficient confusion that at least 2 people waiting in line were ready to deck the guy taking down names for a table. i would have been the 3rd, but decided it wasnt worth it. now this was at 2.30pm, so quite enough time to have avoided the lunchtime crowd. jonii, however, managed to get in with elbows swinging and got our names on the list. thank God, coz this is the best saravana bhavan in the world. and that's saying a lot. the dahi vada and the mini idlis are to die for. i'd say the intifadah idiots have it all wrong. so what if u get a hundred virgins when u get to heaven. my price for strapping myself up with a few strands of c4 would be to have the connaught place saravana bhavan's chef dedicated to me.
delhi was more polluted than i remember. it may have been due to the unusually dense fog, and the unusually cold weather. i was dragged down by the fumes, and was quite in a funk. fortunately we were headed out to udaipur to go chill and show tane some of stately india. dinner was at comesum nizamuddin station. this chain definitely needs to figure out some of their kinks. the idea of a fast food, clean, and relatively efficient place right in the railway station is quite brilliant. it's been necessary for at least a few decades. their fare is remarkable good, and the prices are reasonable, though a bit on the higher end. the procedure of ordering though is atrocious. you've got to order and pay up front at a counter where the guy has no idea what is available and what's out of stock. so there's always a bit of phase distortion between what you want and what you can have. but there are a laot of options. the nizamuddin comesum has a guy making fresh badam milk. and it's freaking awesome. he's obviously a bit of an artist since he doesnt just hop to when u place your order. he takes his time, putting final touches on your clay pot of badam milk, almost toying with u coz you're constantly thinking "man, not enough nuts" or "not enough malai", but he saves that for last coz u want that floating at the very top to savor!
comesom nizamuddin station was my very first encounter with the brand, and i have to say that thus far it's a pretty damn good thing that they exist in the railway system. and the badam milk was a great way to leave delhi with a good taste with your mouth.