Jan 23, 2016

Jaipur Best Places to Eat in 2016

I spent a majority of my life in Delhi and never thought any city can be as good as Delhi for foodies. So when I got married eleven years back and moved to Jaipur, I was more than heartbroken for The Love of Food...
But I was sooo wrong, Jaipur is paradise for food lovers and there are so many hidden gems and special things that this city has. I have to exercise 5 days a week for 2 hrs to keep up with all the hogging! So here’s to Love of food and some amazing things you should try when in Jaipur.

  • MEHRUNISA’S KHADD CHICKEN: Right next to the Home Cafe- Coffee shop at the Sardar Patel Road is a car repair shop- sort of like a garage. Ask anyone for Mehrunisa there and you will know where this exotic dish is made. Mehrunisa claims to be the maternal niece of Lucknow’s famous Tundey of the Tundey ke Kebab fame. For the recipe to be prepared you have to reach her place and book an order a day in advance. She is almost 80 years old and if she agrees to book this order then the next morning you have to reach her place with ingredients before 12.00 noon.
    The Khadd Chicken is an exotic dish and takes a lot of preparation and cooking time, hence the ingredients need to reach her by 12:00 noon. The Whole chicken is cleaned and marinated in some special spices and wrapped in 20 roomali roti (breads). Between each roti is a paste of the special spices. Then this chicken cooked in on a very slow charcoal fire in a ditch and then in a Tandoor for over 5 hours. The chicken is to die for!!! You have to reach by 6:00p.m. to pick it up from  her place. You have to carry cling wrap, foil and huge utensils to carry this back. Mehrunisa’s Chicken has a unique taste and the rotis are more delectable than the chicken inside. One chicken is enough for 8 people. The cost is Material (one whole Chicken+ 20 Roomalis) and 1000 Indian Rupees. Totally worth the spend!!


  • SANJAY’S OMELETTE:B-18-19, Janta Store, Bapu Nagar, Jaipur. You must be thinking, what’s in an omelette??? Try one form the 20+ varieties available at Sanju’s (Sanjay’s omelette) and you will know. Sanjay Omelette is owned by Mr. Sanjay sharma, who was also one of the participants of Masterchef India and has been serving to students and locals in Jaipur for over 2 decades. This is a small eatery at the janta store circle market, Bapu Nagar. When you reach this place you will wonder what it is. There will be many cars parked all around and all you need to do is ‘HONK’ or call out to one of the servers.
    Some guy will rush to you and ask you to place your order. Omelettes start at 60 INR but are really filling and unique. I am attaching a picture of the menu card, so you know all the stuff available here. This is not a fancy place at all- its just a tiny stall full of eggs and people but a food lover must not miss this place!



  • RAJASTHANI CUISINE: In  no order of preference
a)   HANDI: M.I.Road , Opp G.P.O, Jaipur 302001, India. 9829067776. Handi is a place for the non-pretentious. It is no fine dining restaurant and do not go with that expectation. It spells, Good Food at a great price at the heart of the city! The food at Handi is unbeatable and the ambiance is to give you a dhaaba feel. Here you can have a mix of Indian and Rajasthani Cuisine. Must try the keema baati, laal maas, Jungle Maas, chicken tikka, sula.
b)   SPICE COURT: Hari Bhawan, Achrol House, Jacob Rd, Jaipur, India. (0141) 2220202. Looking for authentic, tasty, affordable- Rajasthani food; then Spice court is the place.  The restaurant serves a lot of authentic rajasthani (Rajput Cuisine). The restaurant also has puppet shows, bangle/ knick-knack sellers and folk performers from time to time which is really enjoyable if you are a tourist as it just adds to a cultural experience. Recommended
Non Veg: Keema baati. Laal Maas, Sula, Junglee maas
Veg: Kair Saangri, gatta curry 
c) CHOKHI DHANI: Chokhi Dhani is modelled on a typical village fair of Rajasthan. To me it’s more about the cultural experience. Enter chokhi dhani and it’s a amalgamation of puppet shows, magic show, candy floss, golgappa, chai, rajasthani dancers, bioscope, elephant ride, camel ride, bullock cart ride, the classic tamasha (tight rope walk) and much more. To experience it you must reach by 7:00 p.m. in summers and 5:30 p.m. in winters. You need a good 2-3 hrs to have a complete experience. You enter and for a couple of hours just enjoy the activities. At the time of entry you will buy a ticket and on that will be your pre-appointed dinner time. The menu is pre-set, vegetarian and Typical rural rajasthani. May not be something that everyone can enjoy. Chokhi Dhani is worth a try for a very rustic, rural rajasthani experience!!



  • THE FAMOUS PYAAZ KI KACHORI: Steaming hot pyaz ki kachoris or aloo pyaz ki kachoris are sold at most ‘mithai/ namkeen’ shops across Jaipur. When in Jaipur this signature dish is a must try. Pyaaz kachori has a crisp, flaky, deep fried crust; stuffed with a lightly caramalised and exceptionally seasoned onion filling. 
RAWAT MISHTHAN BHANDAR is the most famous in all of Jaipur for Pyaaz Kachori. It is right next to the polo victory cinema, very close to the Sindhi camp bus stand.

  • CHINESE FOOD: Although many restaurants serve Chinese but the most authentic one is DRAGON HOUSE: Country Inn & Suites, Khasa Kothi Circle, M I Rd. 0141-4033300. Slightly expensive but worth every penny. The ambiance is very oriental. The entire restaurant is done in Red, Black & Gold. It has exotic Murals on the walls and ceiling.
Must try at the Dragon House: Rice Noodles, Thai Red curry (Prawns), Thai Green Curry (Chicken), The Fish sichuan Pepper shiraza, The chicken kothe, The prawn sui-mai, the fish and chicken dimsums and the bamboo fried rice. For vegetarians, the Tofu is awesome so is a crispy corn starter dish. The Dragon House has a very elaborate menu and there is a lot to choose from. They also have some nice wines on the menu. A Meal for two (Without Drinks) on an average costs 2000-2500 INR.

  • TIKKAS AND TANDOORI STUFF: Ok so most of the Tikka places I recommend are not sit down places but a take away or ‘eat in car’ kind of place. But these will be by far the best tikkas you have tasted ever, anywhere. Again in no order of preference:

a)   SETHI’S BARBEQUE RESTAURANT: On The Panchwati Circle, Raja Park & Now in 2016 also Open in Gold Souk, Malviya Nagar. one of my favrioute hangouts for years now. The days we do not want fine dining or are in a hurry or in a mood to have some great tandoori in our car...Its sethi’s we got to. Its like a dhaba, they have a sit down options but its an absolute no no for girls to go in and eat. So we always order and then eat inside the car. You reach sethi and usually see cars parked back to back. Post parking someone always notices you and comes with the menu card to take your order. It has a decent variety on its menu. But highly recommended are: The Lahsooni chicken Tikka. It is by far the world’s best tikka! When you order ask for separate masala and lemon wedges. These awesome tikkas melt into your mouth and leave a taste you will not be able to forget ever!! Have it with crispy Tandoori roti and the masala. Add the lemon juice to the masala and dip every morsel of tikka and roti into the masala for the heavenly taste!! The other thing we always order is haryali chicken tikka, not the best in town but still really good and along with this ask him to get you only gravy/ rogan of chicken or some daal. The bill won’t be more than 550 Indain Rupees for a plate of lehsuni Tikka + a plate of haryali Tikka+ one daal+ one gravy+ 4 tandoori rotis. So, if you are a food (non-veg) lover and like to explore then sethi's is a must visit.

b)   TALK OF THE TOWN: Opp Country Inn & Suites, Khasa Kothi, M.I. Road. This is also a take away or eat in car. Has a lot of stuff on menu but highly recommended are: Hariyali Chiken Tikka- The best Hariyali tikka you will ever eat. Tandoori Aaloo, Kathi Roll, Biryani and Butter Chicken.

c)    JAI BHAVANI: Main Market, Gali No-3 ,Raja Park, Jaipur. They also Now have a store near Gaurav Tower. This too is a take away. Must try The Chicken Malai Tikka here.
Jai Bhavani also sells ready to grill tikkas (you can buy half done stuff & grill it at home)

·         NORTH INDIAN FOOD: Many restaurants in Jaipur serve North Indian cuisine. Here is my list of Must Try places:
a)   SAFFRON: The Marriot, Ashram Marg | Near Jawahar Circle, Jaipur. Saffron serves Indian and Rajasthani specialties including great kebabs, curries, biryani, variety of Indian breads and some fantastic desserts. WHAT WE ATE AND MY VERDICT ON THE FOOD:

TANDOORI DUM KA PHOOL: This exotic cauliflower starter, marinated for hours in mild spices, curd and a hint of mustard. Verdict: Its a great flavour and the hint of barbeque smoke makes this dish stand out from the other tandoori gobi that I have tried.
GALAUTI KEBAB: Chef Sunil has lived in lucknow and worked there for long enough to know his Galauti. This is by far the best GALAUTI, I have had in a long time. The perfect juicy, succulent, hint of saffron, mace...little sour just a bit of spice...Fab Galuti kebabs. I would like to add here that very few Restaurants in Jaipur have Galauti on the menu. Also unlike the Lucknow Galauti, this isnt made of beef. MUST TRY!!!
TANDOORI FISH TIKKA: Well marinated, juicy and chunky, This tikka was a great light bite.
TANDOORI CHICKEN: Very well done, crispy, smoked and not colored like its dhaaba avatar, the tandoori chicken was a nice change from the regular ones that I have tried. Give it a Try!!
LAAL MAAS: Loved it, Loved it, Loved it!!! Not as spicy as the authentic Rajasthani version. This is a more edible version- for all palettes. Have it with The LACHHA PYAAZ (The Tangy Raw Onion Salad) and Tandoori Roti. Would remember the taste for good!!
DEGCHI SOOLA MURG: Ok, I am not exaggerating- but this chicken dish was something I cannot describe. It was just out of this world. The chicken pieces melted into the mouth and seemed as smooth as silk! The texture, the spices, the flavours and taste...MUST TRY, MUST TRY, MUST TRY!!!
PRAWNs (CHEF’s SPECIAL): Do I still need to tell you??? I have never had prawns as tender and juicy as these in Jaipur. This is the prawn that I last got at “AHELI, KOLKATA”. Request the Chef and you might get Lucky!!
CHATPATE ADRAKI AALOO: I wanted some vegetarian dish other than paneer and this aalo was a great change. Tangy, not over spicy, not that oily, a great dish!!
DAAL MAKHNI: Amazing!!! Reminded me a bit of the Daal Bukhara at Bukhara, New Delhi.
BREADS: We tried The Tandoori Roti, Garlic Naan, Stuffed Naan and Butter Naan. I loved the stuffed kulcha and recommend the butter naan (Its different from the regular butter naan, was similar to lachha paratha) and if you are health conscious, then go for the Tandoori Roti.
DESSERT: We tried The Sitaphal Kheer and Saffron Phirni. Not too sweet and a nice dessert after the heavy Food.
OVERALL VERDICT: The Saffron is for sure one of the Best Indian Restaurants in Town. What I loved about the food was that every dish was made in such a manner that with each bite; I could taste and smell each ingredient, not one ingredient overpowered the other, nothing was too spicy and the food was served with so much love that it made this lunch a highly enjoyable one! MUST TRY when in Jaipur.
P.S. FOR NON-INDIANS: Just keep one thing in mind, Indian food is slightly heavy! If you are expecting to eat healthy then stick to salads and not this place.
b)  SPICE is Now The Great Kebab Factory: Country Inn & Suites, Khasa Kothi Circle, M I Road, Jaipur. Spice is The Indian restaurant at The Country Inn & Suites. Its on the same level as the coffee shop and has a fixed menu that changes on daily basis. The charges are INR 725 + taxes per person. For the INR 725/- what you get is:
4 starters, salad, raita, Biryani, assorted breads, 2 desserts, 2 main course dishes and daal of your choice i.e. either makhni/ yellow daal fry. The food is always great and at the end you have paan! Its all unlimited food, so you can eat to your heart's content.
At today's date this place is a steal at 725/- that too at a five star hotel! must eat here, if you love Indian cuisine!
c)   BARBEQUE NATION: City Plex, 1, Ashram Marg, Tonk Road Junction, Jaipur. Barbeque Nation is a fixed price - fixed menu place- The menu changes everyday. On a fixed price they offer 4 starters- unlimited followed by a big buffet spread- which includes an elaborate salad bar, Daal, at-least 2 veg -main course, atleast 2 non-veg main course, daal, pastas and an elaborate dessert spread. they also have chaat! Drinks are not included, but they have a lot of variety in terms of cocktails and are priced low.
All the food is unlimited at a fixed price so you can eat your heart out. most of the times the snacks are very heavy so you hardly have space left for the main course! This place gives a real barbeque experience and each person has a individual grill on the table. The starters are half done and served on the barbeque, you can barbeque these using sauces of your choice or just leave them on the grill while enjoying the food! Good food, huge portions and not very expensive!

d)  PESHAWARI: Rajputana Sheraton, Station Road, Jaipur. This is a high end Restaurant. An average meal for 3 without drinks will cost you INR 3000+ taxes. The Menu is not very elaborate. I cannot say much about the Veg Menu but in Non-Veg they have a 8 kinds of starters and Daal and Butter chicken for main course with a variety of breads. There is seekh kebaba, (INR 1250+ taxes) Sikandari Raan (1850+ Taxes), Tandoori jheenga (1850+ Taxes), Kastoori kebab, Reshmi Kebab and one or 2 more kebabs available. The food is lovely so is the setting and usually large groups/ families come here to dine. Pls make a reservation.

e)    HANDI: I have been going to Handi for the past 10 yrs now. This was one of the only non-veg places (apart from Niros) aipur had till just a few years back. HANDI is a place for the non-pretentious. It is no fine dining restaurant and do not go with that expectation. It spells, Good Food at a great price at the heart of the city!

We-‘The locals of aipur’ go back again and again for The Food! The food at Handi is unbeatable and the ambiance is to give you a dhaaba feel. No one can beat Handi’s keema baati, laal maas, Galauti kebab, handi meat and butter chicken.

We have never found any service complaints or anything wrong with the food at all. All in all the USP is the food and nowhere is the restaurant positioning itself as a fine dining place. So guys go there if you would love to try some authentic Indian cuisine. It is soul food!

HAANDI also has a branch in Vaishali Nagar

·         The Non Pretentious Dhaba- Sharma Dhaba:
There are some days when you want to eat something rustic, something traditional and have it all at a decent place that is OK to go with your family then Sharma Dhaba fits the bill. 

However a Dhaba is a Dhaba, no more- no less! If you go to this place and expect an ambiance then i guess, you do not know what dhabas are. Sharma Dhaba is on the seekar road highway- G 445, Block I, Road No. 12, Sikar Road, Opposite Punjab National Bank, Vishwakarma Industrial Area |Behind RIICO Complex.

The Menu

Spicy chuki Mirchi & Lachha pyaaz (Onion salad & charred pickled chillies)

Naan, Panner & Malai Kofta

Mawa Naan

  • SKY WALTZ CAFE: It is a wonderful rustic place if you are looking at experiencing a typical rajasthani dhaba. Its vegetarian and the food is high calorie but tasty & nice. The Jaipur residents go there a lot when they feel like a long drive or just want to go out of the city and have a non-pretentious experience. 

Sharma dhaba is also a nice simple option for a sunday lunche. My favorite food here is the MAWA NAAN! A specialty available only at very few places it is a Naan Bread stuffed with creamy sweet condensed milk.

My last visit, I  ordered Butter naan, Tandoori roti, Missi roti, Yellow daal tadka, Malai Mattar and paneer butter masala. Dont forget to try the Lahsan ki Chutney (A spicy garlic chutney- Rajasthani specialty), Chhuki Mirchi- Green chillies kinda roasted and fried- and the Lachha pyaaz.

Definitely worth a try!!

Great Highway Hangout serving beautifully plated International fare: If you are looking to go for a long drive, or wanting to celebrate a special occasion away from the bustle of the city SKY WALTZ CAFE is the perfect place!

 This is a special Menu that we got done for one of the birthdays and costed us 2500 INR for 2 persons.

Lamb & Red Wine Broth

Apple Feta Salad

Sizzling Prawns with Kalamata Olives

Skywaltz is located  on the 228 KM Stone, Delhi Jaipur Highway, Near Tala More and is beautifully done. There is an option to sit in the open garden or the closed indoor bohemian space. 

  • A Fine Bistro: Bistros are the new thing in the pink city. With more and more localities taking to travelling and exploring cuisines and cultures the demand for global cuisine and spaces to chill is on the rise. So if you want to spend a couple of hours just hanging and want to explore some global cuisine then city definitely has a few great options to offer. Taruveda is one such bistro tucked away in a green corner at Jacob house, Civil Lines- It is a lovely place to spend a couple of hours. 
They have a lifestyle store selling home decor & a host of organic products from candles  & incense to organic pillows etc. Its on the top floor of a bungalow and has a verandah as well as inside sitting. Done up in a very rustic yet modern minimalistic way its a great place to chill and enjoy a host of global cuisine. My personal favorites are the grilled basa & Crepe Sud ( a salty crepe with amazing fish & musroom sauce filling). The menu is elaborate & consists of salads, pastas, crepes, Waffles, Panini etc. An average spend of 500 INR per person will get your tummy full. A great place for a bite and conversations.

  • C'est Bon The patesserie, situated just off MI Road close to the Bake Hut store is the perfect place to find breakfast all day. They don't open before 10:30 but are open till 10:30 PM and you can find a great breakfast for all those hours.

The Pricing is comfortable, a hearty breakfast for 2 will set you back 800 Indian Rupees

The All Day Breakfast Menu

The Place is generally not very crowded, so if you just want to unwind or have a quiet conversation, have a great pastry or cake right in the heart of the city, this is the place. They also have a great selection of fresh breads to be picked up. All in all not too many places in the city serves up All Day Breakfasts and if you are looking for one this is worth a try!

Chocolate Cheesecake