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North Vs West: A Love Hate Story

North Vs West: A Love Hate Story

April 21, 2011

Mumbai or Delhi - where to eat? This lucky girl enjoys the best of both food worlds.

An outsider perspective to the food world of Mumbai and Delhi is like a Kaleidoscope. Having spent three years of my college life in Mumbai and then marrying a dilliwala and making Delhi my new home, I have fallen in love with the food that both these cities have to offer. But that is not the case for someone born and bred in Mumbai or Delhi who are the loyal flag bearers for their cities. Delhi and Mumbai have always had a love hate relationship. I love it when you are low; I hate it when you are high. This feeling also extends to the food that both these metros have to offer.

Now a look at the contrasts:

Tarala Dalal Vs Neeta Mehta

Kulfi opposite Girgaum Chowpatty Vs Ice-cream during a cold winter evening at Indian Gate

Vada Pav Vs Channe Kulche

Pav Bhaji Vs Chole Bhature

Gateway of India Vs India Gate

Bandra Shopping Vs Delli Haat

New Delhi Vs Town in Mumbai

Kala Ghoda Festival Vs Suraj Kund

Mela Pritvi Theatre Vs The Kingdom of Dreams

Mumbai Rains Vs Delhi Winters

And the list is endless. The two unique and beautiful cities, that I have made home hold some very fond memories.

But what I want to focus upon is my unbiased love for the food both these cities have to offer.

The food culture of Dilwalo Ki Delhi is a mix of Mughlai and Punjabi cuisine. The Mughals, who ruled the country with this city as there capital, have left, a very deep impression on the citizens’ palate. Chandni Chowk is the life blood of all authentic mughlai food in Delhi. Every famous shop has existed since time immemorial and boasts of having served the Mughal kings.

The Parathe Wali Gali with its range of parathas from the basic gobi and aloo parathas to the exquisite nimboo and karela parathas is a treat to the taste buds. A meal at the Parathas Wali Gali is accompanied by a sweet and refreshing lassi which you drink out of a mud vessel or kullar. For the non-vegetarian what can be better than a meal at Kareems’ or Moti Mahal, situated in a small lane opposite gate 4 of Jama Masjid and on the main road of Dariyaganj respectively. Both these haunts are any foodie’s fantasy. The meal has to end at the famous Jalebiwala’s shop situated at the end of the lane named Daribe Kalan. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Words from a very famous song, a great poets’ ode to all things beautiful and royal. Yes this lane does exist amongst the many by-lanes of Chandni Chowk. The jalebi’s are sweet to perfection, fried in ghee and as porous as a well fermented idlli. The cherry on the pie is a visit to Prince Pan situated on the main Dariyaganj street almost opposite Moti Mahal.

The baarf ka gola’s at Lajpat Nagar Market, the jalebi’s of Bangla Sweet House and the chole bhature at Odeon at Gole Market, the delicious and juicy kababs from Gelena, the Mughlai food at Brahmaputra Market in Sector 26 Noida, Sawgath at Defence Colony, Big Chill, Side Wok, Salim’s Kababs and Khan Chachas Kabab Corner at Khan Market, Gola, Qash Qai, Bercos at Connought Place, Momo’s and Fruit Beer at Delli Haat, Oh! Calcutta at Nehru Place and Mainland China at Greater Kailash II are the places that will keep you going back for more.

Now to Mastano Ki Mumbai.

The food culture of Mastano Ki Mumbai is a mix of the Konkani and Malwani style of cooking. The local cuisine is hot and coconut is one of the main ingredients. One of the best places for a good maharastrian meal is Highway Gomantak situated in BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex). If you are in need for more variety, head to Trishna at Kala Ghoda for an assortment of the most delectable seafood. Diva Maharashtracha, Mahesh Lunch Home and Gajalee Coastal Foods Restaurant are a few more options that can be explored. For a Parsi adventure head to Jimmy Boy for its delectable patrani macche and dhansak. And for a taste of Delhi in Mumbai, what can be better than Crystal opposite the Girgaum Chowpatty. Once the meal is over head to the New Kulfi Wala right at the corner opposite Girgaum Chowpatty and choose from a wide array of Kulfi’s. if something so cold is not your cup of tea just ask for a falooda rabri instead. T

he bhelpuri, sevpuri , golgappa and gola’s at Juhu beach, Irish Coffee at Prithvi Theatre, Tiwari’s samosas at JVPD, China Gate, Just Around The Corner, Out of the Blue in Bandra, Oh! Calcutta in Worli, Café Mondegar and Leopolds Café at Colaba Causeway, Yoko’s Sizzlers in Khar. The roadside bhelpuri’s, vada pavs, dabeli’s and tea are a must have for the Mumbai experience.

Two beautiful and flavourful cities through my eyes. And the story has only just begun … 


  • Atheist Indian
    Atheist Indian
    23.05.12 05:15 PM
    I am with the two commenters who go with Kolkata. Nothing beats a good dish of Kochi Chingri or Elish any day of the year. In my personal opinion, Delhi is over-rated. It probably is a foodie's paradise for a North Indian but not for others who are used to more subtle and savoury flavours/tastes.
  • Namisha
    22.05.12 01:16 PM
    Someone who has not liked food in delhi has not developed taste for good food..
  • shri
    29.12.11 03:28 PM
    Hi..a good attempt to compare though..i ve been a mumbaite since birth but spent quite a long few yrs in delhi and man i know one there SUCKS....
    The parate waali galli serves anything but parathas...and every chaat i have in delhi is filled with that what u call chaat....and bigger problem with delhi is they cant tolerate any they need dairy products in all they eat...

    Mumbai and Kolkata is the place for food anytime....
  • Anupam Mazumdar
    Anupam Mazumdar
    30.07.11 08:16 PM
    Availability wise obviously kolkata stands far ahead of delhi and mumbai, food available in and out everywhere, breakfast too good. Non-veg quality and taste wise Delhi has slightly an edge over kolkata, although lots of varities in kolkata.
    My vote: Delhi, kolkata, Mumbai
  • Sourav
    15.07.11 04:55 PM
    Chole Bhature over Vada Pav; Delhi over Mumbai anyday! :D
  • manish
    12.06.11 09:12 PM
    i have been staying in mumbai for 8 long years....and would have to say that mumbaikars don't what good food is all about....worst food i have experienced here....problem is that restaurants here try to serve both north and south indian cuisine and fail miserably on both fronts.
  • Monish Guha
    Monish Guha
    02.05.11 12:46 PM
    Whenever one writes or compares or comments on FOOD... there is one city it has to be there.. and that's kolkata.. whenever you are in Kolkata next I'll guide you to joints that are worth... but it is indeed a very nice write up.. & I'll go with Dilli...
  • Hannah
    27.04.11 06:13 PM
    oh man.....Parathe Wali Gali sounds like a synonym for local gourmet heaven!! now a trip to this place is definitely on my bucket list :D
  • anirban
    23.04.11 10:53 PM
    Dilli !! Dilli !!
  • Deepshikha
    22.04.11 11:27 AM
    Very informative-for someone new to the city to explore and have fun when traveling to either of the cities.
  • tys
    21.04.11 08:10 PM
    man this is a guide to good eating. Iam taking a prinr next time i visit delhi or bombay...thnks. Parathe wali gali sounds like a place in heaven...nice
  • A Singh
    A Singh
    21.04.11 02:54 PM
    +! for Kolkata.

    I am Punjabi so cannot be accused of bias, but Kolkata stands apart imo.
  • sandy
    21.04.11 02:49 PM
    Loevly post Rituparna! Im a die hard Mumbaikar, but food wise- my vote goes to delhi. Maybe because I'm non vegetarian and a lot of mumbai is not? Hey but the best metro in terms of food, hands ( and mouths ) down is undoubtedly Kolkata! We cant hold a candle to chelo kababs, fish florentine and luchi-kasha mangsho!
  • chitra mukerji
    chitra mukerji
    21.04.11 01:58 PM
    This is a good information for the food loving people .You have done a good job.Keep it up .

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