Let's brunch in Delhi! (Part one)
by Anees Saigal
9 June 2009
61 Basant Lok Market, Vasant Vihar.
B-36 Khan Market.
The All American Diner
India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road.
Tel: +91.11.4366.3333 x 3162
www.habitatworld.com/diner Mrs Kaur’s Crepes & More
66 Khan Market, middle lane.
There’s no meal in the week that can equal the undiluted joy of a Sunday brunch.
For one, it’s Sunday. Not frenzied, weekend’s-here Friday devoted to the partying you can’t indulge in during the week; not errand-filled Saturday; but Sunday, the day of pancakes and afternoon-alcohol sans guilt. For another, brunch often includes breakfast. On an average day, can you order French toast or eggs Benedict past 11am without feeling totally decadent? I can, but I'm not the average person: I can happily eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All I require is one portion of savoury -eggs, breakfast meat- and another of sweet - pancakes, syrup- and I’m in heaven.
In this vein, it’s only natural that some of my favourite spots are those that serve all-day breakfasts. Choko-La sets the trend for these casual, laid-back restaurants. This friendly café doesn’t offer any special Sunday treats, but does have some scrumptious breakfast goodies that you might not have time for during the week. So make a Sunday afternoon of it, papers, coffee and all. Don’t miss the waffles (best in town, by my estimation), eggs Benedict (the creamy-tart hollandaise is just right), and luxuriant hot chocolate. Since Choko-la also has a pastry counter and fresh breads, the goodwill from your good meal will likely spill over to your bluesy Monday morning. Caveat: no alcohol, and all vegetarian menu, so don’t come here if you’re committed to your sausages, bacon and bubbly.
Equally good for a breakfast-brunch is The All American Diner at the Habitat Centre, a spot that already receives due acclaim for its comfort food and excellent location. Nowhere else in Delhi can you take in a play, an art show and a chill hot dog all in the same afternoon—I guarantee it. Themed after the pop culture of the American 1950s, the Diner gets you right in the mood with its juke box, retro memorabilia and classic rock tunes. It offers a daily breakfast buffet from 7-11am to satisfy cravings for a savoury-sweet combination, but you can also order breakfast items à la carte. So if you’re having a late Sunday meal, mix and match pancakes with sandwiches, burgers and a few rounds of excellent Bloody Marys. Post-Mary, take in a bit of culture and even stop by my bookstore of choice, The Book Shop in Jorbagh Market, on your way home. Feel better about yourself yet?
If central Delhi is your destination, don’t miss Mrs Kaur’s Crepes & More, an unassuming name for a café that set a first in Delhi’s gastronomical scene. It actually specialises in crepes, and smile: they are good. Chocolate-rich, fruit-filled, honey-sweet or deliciously cheesy, there’s a taste to suit everyone. My preferred pick is the Roman Love with grapes, bacon and chicken; sweet and tart, just as I like it. Since Mrs Kaur’s Crepes offers such a good range of breakfast foods it opens accordingly (7.30am) and offers ‘early-morning’ discounts, so if you must punish yourself on a Sunday, this is the spot for you. But fear not, late-risers are equally well-rewarded.