A few months ago DomDom was all over my social media feed and I love Calcutta biryani so the order was inevitable. A friend’s bad day at work made for the perfect binge justification.
I wasn’t all that tempted by their gimmicky Bacon Biryani offering. I love bacon but I love biryani enough not to need to tart it up with pork fat. The Mutton Biryani was pretty good but I was a little disappointed by the meat to rice ratio. I also thought the rice could have been more generously spiced.
The Phirni was unappetizingly congealed and not really worth ordering at all. Their Burrani, on the other hand, is fantastic. If they would deliver it by the litre I would spend my entire summer drinking just this.
The first time take out food blew my mind I was a kid in New York who had just discovered the sweet and crispy General Tsos Chicken and fortune cookies. Sushiya was the next big game changer for me – I had their massive sushi platters sent over to my friend’s house where we’d skip on our internships and stuff our faces. When I moved back to Delhi from Bombay I was an Asian Haus addict – their fantastic packaging and consistent deliciousness had me hooked.
Taking all this to the next level is Noshi. From the guys behind my favourite Yum Yum Tree + Cha, Noshi’s not only delivering some of the best Asian food in Delhi but doing so with aplomb. The food is so good I wish I could afford to order it more often and the packaging so gorgeous I don’t throw it away.
This winter saw me trying out a lot of late night home delivery services. There were a few hits but more misses, including one joint that tried to pass off food so rank my neighbours could testify to it. A definite hit though was Dishoom. Apparently comprised of a clique of off duty five star hotel chefs, Dishoom provides the usual Italian/ American mish mash of fast food and some unexpectedly elaborate Indian food between the hours of 7:00 pm to 4:00 am.
The Amritsari Chole are excellent, the channa yieldingly soft in a thick bath of piquant spices. Scoop the chole up in clouds of Butter Naan. Equally good is their Dal Makhani and their Butter Chicken game is on point. Dishoom’s menu also has all kinds of starters, pizzas, sandwiches and other miscellany but their true service lies in providing us very, very good Indian food at unearthly hours.
Packing and Paraphernalia
The order logistics are simple and the packaging efficient.
One more entrant into the burgeoning field of late night delivery places in Delhi, the Watchmen do an unexpectedly good Thai Green Curry. The Egg Fried Noodles are absolute Chinjabi but there’s no shame in that. The food is hardly exceptional but it is palatable and will do in a pinch.
Packaging and ParaphernaliaDelivery is prompt and the packing is professional. I wish they gave better quality napkins and cutlery though. The plastic-y paper and flimsy cutlery were completely impossible to use.
For the wackiest shawarma (and the honey chilli potato)
I don’t know of any other eatery that’s so popular for just one dish. One singular snack is Al Bake’s hallmark. The Chicken Shawarma. Unlike other shawarmas the rolls here are slender, cut into tiny bites and made of a thin romali roti stuffed with spicy chicken mince. The unexpected accompaniment to this oddball interpretation of a shawarma is a generous dollop of creamy mayonnaise manufactured in-house. It doesn’t sound like much until you order it and realize you’ve inhaled a couple of rolls without bothering with niceties like chewing or breathing. These hot off the pan chicken parcels make for a satisfyingly soft, spicy bite. If you’re vegetarian, you can bask in the golden glory of Al Bake’s Honey Chilli Potatoes – crispy, sweet, spicy, and perfect. Forget Lays, and their idiotic new flavors, the phrase no one can eat just one fits Al Bake far better. They’ve got “Manchurian” and “Mughlai” on their menu but their hottest seller is the shawarma.
The place has no décor – it’s just a bunch of tables and chairs which in itself isn’t a problem but NFC Market is filthy so I wouldn’t blame you if you just wanted to order these in. They don’t store very well though so make sure you get them in your mouth asap. This won’t be hard.