This is one event that has become an annual fixture on a lazy Delhi foodie’s calendar. And it is back again. The Dilli 6 food festival is here with more than 100 dishes (as usual) on offer.
I like the way they transform the look of Edesia each time Crowne Plaza organises this festival. So there is a Lambretta scooter parked right at the entrance which has a cardboard gate that announces that you are about to enter the Walled City. Kites hang from lamp posts, there are old movie posters, counters have been set up for various lip smackers and there is even the ubiquitous fortune teller with the parrot. A chaiwalla and his thela also mark their presence.
Hardcore foodies will of course debate that you cannot match the experience of traversing serpentine lanes that throw up unknown delights at every other corner. Or the joy of getting into age-old eateries that have by and large managed to maintain their standard. Well, of course not! Eating out at the Walled City is as much about the experience as it is about the food. But at the same time, when was it the last time you braved the crowd and the muck to venture to Delhi 6 for a bite of kebabs or some deep-fried parantha? You need to rack your brains right?
Therein lies the usefulness of a festival like this. Whether you want kebabs from Karim’s or Daulat ki chaat from Dariba Kalan — they are all here, to be enjoyed while sipping shikanji in five-star comfort. What I also like about this festival is that you can hog as much as you want (and choices are aplenty) and minimal prices. In three years of my visiting this festival I haven’t managed to cover all dishes and I don’t think it is practically possible even if you want to stuff your face and run the risk of falling sick.
Every Delhiite worth the Red Fort has eaten at these places so it is pointless to try and review the tastes. Though this time the hotel has attempted to recreated the kormas, the magaz and some other dishes but majority of the dishes — including the mithais, the sheermal and the haleem — are being sourced from Old Delhi.
The day I visited the restaurant was choc-a-bloc with people digging into the chaat, the Habshi halwa from Ballimaran, the Prem Matra chhola kulcha, the Laxmi Narayan Kanji wada and more. Head over and find your own tastes.
At: Edesia, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi, Plot No. 1 Community Centre,Okhla Phase 1
On till: 16 February
Timings: 12.30pm to 3pm (lunch) and 7pm to 11pm (dinner)
Cost: Rs 1,800 + taxes