India

Restaurants in India

Indian cuisine varies dramatically from state to state, so travelers here are guaranteed to enjoy a flavorful culinary experience.  In northern regions, you'll find more dishes highlighting meats (mainly lamb and chicken), as well as rich dhal, a wide variety of breads, and both vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs.
The cuisine of Punjab and Gujarat is what most foreigners know as "Indian food," with its gravy-based curries, while Hyderabad is home of the spice-packed biriyani rich dish, and the south—including states like Tamil Nadu and Chennai—is where you'll find spicy coconut-infused curries, lentil-based dosa and idili, and the use of fresh fish.
Many of the best restaurants in India are located in five-star hotels, and these eateries often help highlight dishes from different regions—and well as other countries. At 360 at the Oberoi New Delhi, an open kitchen lets you watch your pan-Indian and continental dishes be prepared, while, also in New Delhi, Bukhara features a dish named for a former U.S. President (because he enjoyed it so much). At Karavali at the Taj in Bangalore, rated one of the best of all India restaurants, you'll savor tastes like Coorg fried chicken and Alleppy fish curry.

I can’t actually commit to choosing one spot as the best place for rolls in the city, hence my generic heading here. Rolls in Delhi are all good for anytime hunger, and the formula is typically foolproof:  beautifully cooked meat wrapped in a hot roti. So, who does it best?

You know it’s authentic because the chili ain’t forgiving in the least. Raja Mircha translates as King of Chilies; its super hotness quotient is welcome in the hilly North East  of India, which can get pretty cold.

It’s so appropriate that the name of this restaurant from Bengal has nostalgia built into it.

We’ll get this one out of the way first: Moti Mahal is the original home of Butter Chicken. This restaurant does the North Indian classics to perfection, and is credited with the original buttery recipe for this dish that we swear could resolve wars.

Here is a vivid example of popular demand. Delhiites who travelled around the world have loved uber-luxurious, bottle-service-style Club Pangaea and its sibling nightclubs so much, that the owners decided to bring it to Delhi.

If you’re the type of person who is disproportionately encouraged by a bit of liquid courage, watch your poison: This new kid on the block, nightclub-wise, features a apparel and accessories boutique for men and women, as well as—in what can only be a pretty dangerous idea after a few drinks—an

The bar/club at the Pullman Hotel is situated around the large pool—with a dance floor to one side, and lazy white lounging areas on the other. The whole area is lit beautifully with huge torch flames, and the deejay console is up a tree.

Lap

Or, you could head to the third nightclub in Hotel Samrat. This one started as a members-only club, and although they’ve opened up entry (for a price), it still retains that bit of exclusivity.

They share a wall in Hotel Samrat, but these two nightclubs are otherwise as different as night and  … later that night. Shiro is an old-time favorite with namesakes in Bombay and Bangalore, all dedicated to a Zen-like feeling with their giant Buddha statues.

The menu of Varq feels like it came from a chef who’s got his Indian cooking principles down pat, but couldn’t resist having a bit of fun along the way.

You know you’ll be treated like royalty, not just because this is one of the hotel chain’s crown jewels but also because Dum Pukht specializes in cuisine from the princely times of Kashmir, Hyderabad, Awadh and Lucknow.

If you’re a fan of Southern-style comfort but don’t feel up to the usual clatter and clang that South Indian restaurants bring, Dakshin is here to show you the way. South India’s states and nuances are perfectly represented in Dakshin’s traditional dishes, plated rather pretty.

Strong on flavors and, if it’s possible, even stronger in technique, Indian Accent does modern Indian dishes that are surprising, but always pleasant.

The rann (leg of lamb) here is cooked with tender loving care, only to be matched by their superior Kali Dal. Many years ago, when I was leaving Delhi—for what I thought would be a permanent move—this was the last meal I ate in the city.

If you learn toward ‘50s jazz music and frothy cappuccinos, you’ll want to check out this spot in the Vasant Vihar area.