Sunday, September 15, 2013

State Bhavan Canteen Review - Gujarati Restaurant at the Gujarat Bhawan

Gujarati Restaurant, as the canteen or mess at the Gujarat Bhawan on Kautilya Marg is called, is open to both residents / guests and the general public. (Gujarat Bhawan is the State House of the Government of Gujarat in New Delhi). Currently, the Gujarati Restaurant has a fixed menu for breakfast and thali for lunch and dinner. They rotate the items daily and each meal has one Gujarati dish to appease the Gujarati cuisine fans. The restaurant plans on expanding and will introduce an a-la-carte  menu in 3 months.
The Gujarati Restaurant offers a cool air conditioned haven from the hot and humid streets of Delhi. The restaurant is on the ground floor and has about 10 to 12 tables spread around a biggish hall with a huge wall mounted television on one side. And coincidentally, the TV was tuned to a news channel showing Narendra Modi addressing the public after his selection as the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate. There is enough space between tables not to feel crowded. When we went to the restaurant, there were 3 tables occupied with families. We opted to sit at a table nearest to the kitchen and immediately a water jug and a tissue holder  was brought over and the waiting staff then confirmed that we would have a thali. They brought the thali with two alu vada, salad and papad served. A server then brought over lobia / black eyed peas in rasa, gujarati dal, paneer stuffed alu, and a tendli sabzi. Next the server came around with piping hot phulkas in a casserole and glasses of chhaas. The service is excellent with the servers hovering around waiting to push more food on the plate. They had hot phulkas ready to be served the moment you were eating the last one or to top the katories of sabzis or dal. After the phulkas, they brought out a casserole of simple jeera muttar rice. The sabzis, dal and phulkas were unlimited and were brought over numerous times. At the end of the meal, we were offered fruit salad - the dessert of the day which was not included in the thali. The food was simple, freshly made, hot and served with a smile. In fact, our eating could not keep pace with their serving.  
We chatted with a young server and he told us that they had plans to expand in 3 months and would introduce a menu card then. For now, they have thali for lunch and dinner and include one Gujarati dish per meal after realizing that not all would like the sweetish taste of Gujarati cuisine. Today, we had Gujarati Dal for lunch, Gujarati Kadhi was planned for dinner and breakfast was fafda jalebi.
We were happy with the simple meal that was filling and cheap at Rs.90.00 per thali, Rs.20.00 for a fruit salad and Rs.30.00 for a plate of alu vada. A satisfying lunch for two at Rs.250.00. A definite recommend from us.  

The lunch thali at Gujarat Bhawan - papad, salad, black eyed peas, dal, stuffed alu, alu vada, tendli sabzi and phulkas

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