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All four southern states are not represented equally. God’s own country seems to have an advantage over the others, while the city of Hyderabad more or less represents the food of Andhra Pradesh.
Between the two branches, this has most of South and Central Delhi covered. Basically a take-away joint, there is no seating. Haleem, Keema Lukmi and Tala Ghosht are the best dishes to order in this meat-lovers’ paradise.
The food of the Brahmins of South Karnataka served in a cosy café-style eatery in New Friends Colony. Don’t miss the Ragi Mudde served every Sunday for lunch, the outstanding Malleswaram dosa and a chat with the young owner who was an anthropologist before opening this outlet.
Perennially crowded, this opens for each meal period: breakfast, lunch and dinner. The décor is dismaying to put it mildly, but that doesn’t seem to deter the hundreds who partake of their vegetarian-only thalis with lamb and chicken single-serve portions available at laughably-low prices. Keep your eyes peeled for ammis who sell home-made avakkai pickle on the pavement outside.
The Malayali lady who is the kitchen consultant leaves the restaurant by lunch-time, so it is highly recommended that you go for lunch to enjoy beef fry, meen vevichathu (fish curry with the smoky flavour of kodampuli) and Erissery that has a homestyle appeal to it. Home delivery all over Delhi.
Moet’s Coco Palm
This unlikely outpost in a mall has some of the most delicious food of all four southern states. While they have a most unusual nilgiri chicken, our heart bleeds for the chicken stew with appam. The kitchen has a bias towards Kerala, because that is where the cooks are from.
This has two branches, and it is the one in Green Park that gets our vote for being a restaurant, a sweet shop and a provision store all in one. We never leave without ordering their paniyaram (also called kara vada) and at least one dosa. Then we fill our shopping bags with pappadams, podis, chutneys and pickles.
Appearing incognito is The Phantom's style, so we are keeping this identity under wraps. What we can tell you is that this is one food critic that has earned the respect of restaurateurs and foodies alike. With an astute palate and an adventurous spirit, the Phantom Critic has more than 20 years of experience writing about food and reviewing restaurants