In a line: The Awadhi and North Indian food restaurant at The Leela Convention goes Pan-Indian.
Price for two: Rs. 3000(approx)
Location: The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Maharaja Surajmal Road, Near Yamuna Sports Complex, Vivek Vihar, New Delhi
Must haves: Barkas chappe, kodi vepudu, murg ka salan, dal mooradabadi
No matter how curious and adventurous our palate may evolve into being, there is a certain longing that one has when it comes to our hearty and wholesome Indian food. After all, there’s nothing that can compete with our toothsome curries, fragrant rice delicacies, eclectic vegetable preparations or rich and indulgent sweets.
Hence, if you ache for a departure from fancy modern cuisines entering our culinary scenario, and wish to pamper your taste buds with authentic Indian food spread, then look no further than Dilli 32.
Dilli 32, the fine-dining restaurant nestled at The Leela Convention hotel, had made its presence felt by having delectable Awadhi and North Indian food. Expanding its horizon, the restaurant now boasts of a menu that has its previous menu intact, alongside offering an array of regional specialities, for both, its vegetarian and non-vegetarian patrons.
My dinner at Dilli 32, a couple of days back, commenced with an interesting Makhania Lassi, which was more like a set yoghurt infused with cardamom and rose, and some binge-worthy fried lotus stems tossed in spices. Then we graduated to the appetisers, which were all delicious in their own decided decadence. Of course, a few of them clearly stood out from the rest, leaving a mark on my palate and leaving me with the willingness to have more. Those include- the melt-in-mouth subz galawat prepared from yam, raw banana, bottle gourd and a medley of spices, the masala slathered chicken drumsticks, called kodi vepudu that packed the curry leaves flavour punch, and my favourite: the perfectly cooked barkas chappe or mutton chops, that had an explosion of flavours in my mouth.
With the bar raised with the starters, the mains only followed suit by offering an equally good flavour profile, making it difficult to pick favourites. The sea-food-lover in me would vouch for their chingri malai curry that would gel perfectly well with a portion of steamed rice. However, it will be the murg ka salan that I’d bet my money on. Perfectly cooked morsels of chicken in a onion, garlic and peanut-based gravy, the dish turned out to be a stellar combination with the fragrant and aromatic Dilli ki Biryani. Though generally overlooked, their yellow dal or dal mooradabadi is not an offering that you’d want to waive off. Cooked in a copper utensil and topped with a variety of condiments like green chillies, asafetida, ginger, dry mango powder, cumin powder et al, this, needless to say, is a must-have.
A sweet conclusion was sought to mark the success of the dinner and was met by three delicious sweet offerings, that included: rabri falooda, shahi tukra and mirch ka halwa. I do have a big sweet tooth but when it comes to Indian desserts, I prefer the ones that aren’t as sweet and hence, rabri falooda somehow did the trick for me!
Confession: Overall, the plush seating, ample spacing and chic interiors along with delicious food and swift service, all together made up for a great experience, making Dilli 32, a must visit.
Value for money: 4/5