I am by no means familiar with restaurants in any city in India. Yes, I have spent some semi-significant time in the country over the course of the last 6 years and sure I can probably rattle off a few should-try places in Bangalore, when I was there for 5 months in 2011, I can’t say that I know much of anything at all. However, it’s every so often that you come across something that’s worth mentioning. If you’re in search for European fare that’s not the usual soaked-and-drenched-in-sauce pasta, or the typical Mediterranean kebabs and shish taouks, and you specifically want French, Chez Nini is the place to go.
Chez Nini is the brainchild of Chef Nira Singh, born and raised in Montreal, Canada. Yes, Canada. Don’t they say that all good things come from The North? They don’t? Oh okay. Anyway, Chez Nini is located in the apparently rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Meher Chand market. The decor and appearance of the place is misleading considering its surroundings but you feel as though you could be in a French bistro in Europe when you walk in.
What to try?
Well, I had the poutine. What’s not to like about fries, gravy and cheese? Especially home made cheese curds! I also had the crispy pork belly, the chocolate tart and not to mention two bottles of prosecco between my friend and I. I wished I had room to eat the Coq au Vin, but I guess one of you will have try it out! People also say to try the Confit of Duck Legs.
I gotta thank my friend Deepti for taking me to this place.
Even if you have nothing good to say about the food (which I assure you, will not be the case), you have to applaud (the gorgeous) Chef Nira for taking on the daunting task of serving French food in an Asian country making it soulful and inviting. Also, she has a habit of stopping by your table to say hello so keep an eye out! (Well, it’s really hard to miss her).
Shop No. 79 & 80,
Mehar Chand Market,
Lodhi Road , Lodhi Colony,
Delhi , 110003
Phone: (+91) 9560211223, (+91) 9650257451, (+91) 11 49050665, (+91) 11 49050666
I come from a country where street food is a major blood vein and is what feeds its people. I’ve always thought that Malaysian street food is what creates a tummy made out of steel… until of course I came to Delhi.
Now, don’t be put off by this Wikipedia link just yet. If you want to sample Mughlai cooking, you should check out Karim’s. Their specialty for breakfast is only 2 kinds of mutton, one of which is the mutton nihari which is served with their khameeri rotis.
Barely awake at 9am (which is when they start serving breakfast), I was a little grumpy from having to wake up so early on a Saturday morning, brave a (rip off) rickshaw ride through some really dodgy little streets and sit at a greasy table. In hindsight, I don’t regret having to do any of those at all. The gravy from the nihari + the fluffy bread was worth it.
(off the Chandi Chowk train station)
Jama Masjid, New Delhi, India
Phone: (011) 2326 9880