If you remember what Hauz Khas Village was in the 1980s, you will have an instant connection with Shahpur Jat. Both are in a leafy part of South Delhi, both are bordered by pre-Mughal monuments, both are residential areas for ‘urban villagers’ and both have set about capitalizing on their enviable locations in varying degrees, by renting out erstwhile hardware shops to boutiques and restaurants.
The upshot is that whereas there is an entire line of boutiques in one lane, the rest of the village has been left largely to itself. There are over a dozen eateries, of which Potbelly, the Bihari restaurant has long been popular. Mykonos is a Greek restaurant that overlooks a monument. Soft Greek music and the trademark navy blue and white interiors are the backdrop for Anastasia Poultidou’s larger-than-life persona and her warm brand of hospitality, whether you are sipping a Greek coffee with a spanakopita or having a grilled octopus in olive oil and vinegar. Plenty of vegetarian options here.
Even more homely is Anumitra Ghosh-Dastidar’s Big Bongg Theory with exactly three tables and nine chairs. You could pass this ground floor restaurant by and assume it is a private home. But that is exactly what the young owner wants. Even her food is of the light, home-style variety, whether it is the posto boras (poppy seed pakodas) or pabda maacher jhol – the everyday curried fish called pabda.
Turn the corner and you’re in Anandini in the Himalaya, the tea shop that educates while you sip a cup of infused teas from a single estate. You can order a pot of tea (as long as you refrain from asking for milk or sugar!), order a plain cake or a cookie, read one of the books about tea on the shelves or buy a box of rare white tea for a connoisseur friend.