I was fortunate to live in Delhi for several years. So how does the food compare to other international destinations?
I have had many 'foodie' experiences in India in the past two decades.
Everything from a $300 thali lunch at Umaid Bhavan in Jodhpur to the most affordable and simple roadside dhabas.
Things have changed though. As an Overseas Citizen of India now residing here, I have seen a progression in the types of foods, restaurants and tastes across many cities.
I have eaten amazing meals across Asia, including Tokyo, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, as well as London, Greece and Australia too. So I'm comparing Delhi to this experience.
“I come from a city known for its international food offerings, so I was used to being able to access any possible taste if I had a craving.”
My experience in India includes a wide range of regional cuisines, from north to south. But it was my time in Delhi that has stood out to me over the other cities.
With each delicious meal, no matter the venue or cost, it just kept getting better.
I found myself constantly praising my latest meal to the long-suffering locals who were used to the quality, I suspect.
Variety Abounds in Delhi
One of the things that impressed me about the Delhi food scene was the sheer variety available.
I come from a city known for its international food offerings, so I was used to being able to access any possible taste if I had a craving.
Delhi delighted me with its range of food. From Japanese to the Mediterranean, French, Italian, Vietnamese and of course the huge variety of regional food options found in India, I was frequently faced with big decisions to make!
And there was an explosion of new and experimental cafes and restaurants when I lived there too. It seemed a new cafe would pop up as I walked around the block.
Whether it be organic, keto or vegan, or a new fusion offering, there appeared to be highly innovative ideas being applied in every new kitchen.
Living in Delhi was a challenge to my waistline, however. The variety was interfering with my hunger signals!
Fig & Maple, Delhi
Quality Ingredients & Skilled Chefs
One thing I noticed, moving from a Western country to India, was the high quality of the produce.
Vegetables tasted extremely good, there was easy availability and the quality products were affordable.
The range of fresh produce and ingredients in Delhi is also excellent. There are many outlets now offering imported, international ingredients.
Or you can go to a local market, like the Bengali fish market near my home, and get seafood despite being in an inland city.
The authentic taste for international food was especially good in Delhi. The Italian tasted Italian; the Japanese tasted Japanese.
The skill of chefs in Delhi must be extremely high, as across the board, no matter what I ordered, the taste was spot on.
The baklava I had in Delhi was the best I have ever tasted! And it was not the only food that could claim that title.
It would be remiss if I didn't mention the decor in the 'new India' restaurant scene.
India is well-known for luxury hotels.
And there were always pockets of India will sensational restaurants and cafes.
But in my observations, this has exploded in the past decade.
The decor of even the most middle-of-the-road cafe has an extremely high calibre of design.
For me, the ambience is as important as the food.
I am surrounded in India by innovative menus, not to mention lighting!
It is just another 'luxury' of living in India.
I am pleasantly surprised to walk into a shopping mall in India, only to find some of the best food and restaurant interiors I've seen anywhere.
I could write a book on the number of great places and fantastic meals I ate in Delhi.
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