Sunday, September 06, 2009

METROPOLIS

Long years ago, when Delhi-ites thought lasagna was some kind of a garlic, there was Paharganj. When the fashionable eateries in south Delhi hadn't come up, nondescript restaurants in this crowded market area had the most authentic pasta and steaks you could have in the city. The foreign backpacker – living in India on shoe-string budgets – had zeroed in on Paharganj for its cheap hotels. And Paharganj, in turn, had morphed into a huge continental bistro.



The food was truly continental, so much so that the few Indians who went there found it a bit too bland. And the waiters used to sneer if any hapless Indian diner asked for a bottle of ketchup or Tabasco sauce.


Now, Delhi is splitting at the seams with what they call conti food, but Paharganj is still there. And I was glad to see last week that one of my old favourites -— Metropolis -– continues to do well.


Metropolis, said to be 78 years old, is one of the many continental restaurants in Paharganj, which is truly eclectic when it comes to food. You can get all kinds of cuisine – from Israeli and Italian to Greek and French. And, in the evenings, when the traders leave the area for their homes, Paharganj starts to look like Manali, albeit without the mountains and pine trees.



Metropolis is easy to locate. If you get in from Panchkuian, keeping Ramakrishna mission on your right, you'll find a T-junction ahead of you. Metropolis is right there, on the left. It's quite a big restaurant, but bigger still is its menu. The prices are reasonable – it's essentially aimed at the Middle Class Middle European traveller.


I have had some great steaks there over the years. I usually had the minute steak there – fillets with mushrooms and veggies -- for Rs 200. The fried fish and chips, for Rs 200, is another good dish. The Spanish paella – a delicious rice dish with all kinds of seafood -- is for Rs 310. There are pizzas, pastas and what have you. And now that more and more foreign tourists are demanding Indian food, they have quite a comprehensive Indian kitchen -- Jhinga Goanese (Rs 250), makhni chicken (Rs 200) and so on.



If you are there in the mornings, you can have a healthy breakfast of pancakes (Rs 75), fresh juices and eggs (fried, poached, scrambled, or as an omelette) served with your choice of fillings -- ham, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushroom and cheese. All this, with French fries and coleslaw, comes for Rs 90.


The best thing about Metropolis is that they let you be. You can sit there, relishing your food, wearing what you want to and reading your Grisham, or your Manto. No one will bother you, and you won't have the stuffy waiters that you see in south Delhi elbowing you out. This is laidback India, and proud of it, too.

6/21/06

ENDS

50 comments:

Sandeep said...

wonderful, wonderful blog.
I especially am grateful for the directions you give for each location (although your own Google Map, with all these locations marked out would'nt be half bad!)

Thanks and keep them coming.

Rajiv said...

woooow
sab pade janab
bahut ache janaab
kuch jagah per gaya hoon but i ll try others
thnx a ton ,sir
thnxxxxxxxxxx
nice
GOd bless uuuuuuu

rimz said...
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rimz said...

hi...
i follow ur coloumns regularly in Telegraph Graphiti,Kolkata.
From this sunday'd coloum i got ur this blog address.

Thank you.

rahul verma said...

Thank you, Sandeep, Rajiv and Rimz. Do let me know if some good eatery catches your attention.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

quite interesting article. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you guys hear that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.

Anonymous said...
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Andy said...

Rahul,

This is an absolute goldmine! Being a complete foodie myself, I have been trying like crazy to get out and do some of this exploring myself as well. I do find it all difficult to keep track of when the time comes to trace my footsteps. I have started a google map where i am trying to document all this information.
In doing so, I stumbled upon your blog and was absolutely taken aback by the reservoir you have already built up. I have taken the liberty to quote you and add some of the places you mentioned onto the map, but it would be excellent if you could start using it as well. Just making the treasure accessible to more.
The link is below. Do let me know what your email is if you would like to add directly to the map.
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=109303296836307013978.00047a70105b8824f8adf&ll=28.655768,77.236837&spn=0.005037,0.009624&z=17

Cheers!!
Anand

Anonymous said...

thanks !! very helpful post!

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Peenuts said...

I came across ur site while googling for restaurants in delhi. Nice review. Waiting for more of them.

Anonymous said...
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Akhil said...

Hi Rahul,

I have wonderful memories of me as a child and my father going around in delhi looking for and having the wonderful dishes you wrote about. We used to read about it in The Statesman, Delhi Edition. Where are you writing nowdays?

rahul verma said...

the hindu on mondays and the telegraph calcutta on sundays.ny email address is chuchunverma@gmail.com

rahul verma said...
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Amit said...

Please do keep writing, Have been waiting ages for your next post...

Amit said...

Also I do suggest you try out the restaurant "yeng yang" on the UB food street, kamla nagar, DU for some authentic tibetan food at nice prices.

My Random Thoughts said...

Hello Mr. Verma

This blog is really very good and I have been searching for this kind of information for such a long time!!!

I dont any of your blogs in 2010..i sincerely hope you havent stopped experimenting or writing...If you need any assistance for this heavenly work let me know, but please please dont stop this.

Anonymous said...

since its an old post, dont know if u wud read it... no idea how to convey somthing to u.... i am a foodie, as a deffered shadow, eaten the dal behind hanuman temple in ITO, kachoti in haqikat nagar, North campus, chole bhature in Old rajinder, kharore in jheel, chole kulche in bhogal (yes went there before 7 am) and where not... BUT one question, what made u like the food in GOA NIWAS???.... i am bewildered, and actually disturbed... a kind of faith has been shaken. Please give me some peace of mind by explaining why that meaningless food?????? where can i send you info about food places???

AS said...

Please start adding some good pics.. will make reading your blog more interesting..

datta clan said...

wow...can't say anything that hasn't been said already about your blog! delicious :-)

Kapithra Kannapiran said...
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Kapithra Kannapiran said...

Great Blog. I work with INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage).Please share your email id, as we need you to conduct a food walk for us. We will write to you officially. Thanks and regards, Kapithra

adrian de la cruz said...

hi mr. verma, my name is srinath rao. i'm doing a research project on continental food in paharganj for The Indian Express. it is a comprehensive 4000-word story and i'd like to include your personal experiences there. i'd like to get in touch in with you as soon as possible. thank you.

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Anonymous said...

Is it still there ? Would Like to check it out

India food tour said...

Is it still there ? Would like to check it out

dunonu said...

Buy packed food online in delhi/noida/gurgaon.

dunonu

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