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Taste of India: 5 Restaurants to relish your taste buds!

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I have a problem with my readers. Although they like reading my blogs, they never asked me as how do I survive while traveling so many destinations? Yeah, I’m talking about fueling myself with food while traveling width and breadth of India, from Nainital to Thiruvananthapuram and from Jaipur to Jalpaiguri.

Indeed, being a vegetarian is a challenge in India, especially if you are a solo travel blogger. But, if you perspire a little hard in and around your destination, you would end up having a sweet fruit at the end. During last 6 months, I traveled to Delhi, Nainital, Naukuchiatal, Jaipur, Agra, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Varanasi, Sikri and a few places more. 

Traveling is so much fun – watch my one of the Travel Music Video here: 

Each destination has its own story, as you read in my blogs. But, do you know that each place has its taste too? Well, accumulating my experiences in past six months of dining, I’m coming up with one of my favorite restaurants in a particular destination. If ever you get the chance to visit these or any of these, do follow my recommendation. I’m sure, you would return to this blog to comment.

Among all the destinations that I visited, I chose New Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi and Kochi and their best dining destination in the city. I know you might say 4 out of 5 are north Indian destinations as I myself am “northie”. But let me promise you, my next blog will be full of West and South India.

So, let’s start the delightful journey of delectable delicacies.

Grand Hotel Restaurant, M G Road, Kochi

Zomato Rating: 4.2
Cost: 1000 Bucks for two
Hours: from 0700 to 2230 Hrs
Recommendation: Seafood, Continental Dishes

Reputation is easy to build, to maintain, it takes hell lots of efforts. Grand Hotel Restaurant on the MG Road has been the name and fame of Kochi for the not only aristocracy but also for the empirical reasons.

The ambiance begins with lightings that soothe not only eyes but nerves too. Actually, the lightings in the artifacts set the tone of the evening. The table arrangements are fabulous, which are specific for a family gala or for a couple. The best thing I loved was the placements of the glass doors.

The surprising element was the availability of North Indian food. The stereotype in me was not expecting north Indian dishes in restaurants in Kerala but was proven wrong. However, I was skeptical about the taste, I never liked the taste of Sambhar in Delhi or Lucknow.

It did not take me more than a minute to order my food. As soon as I was served water, the same guy, very cordially, asked for the order. I was expecting the food to be served in 20 minutes, but to my surprise, it took only 12 minutes. (I counted as I was in a hurry.) So, even the service was impeccable.

I inquired myself about the hunger and decided to go for the authentic Malabari cuisine. Mulligatawny Soup was garnished with veggies and cooked rice, and garden Fresh Sizzler, I ordered, which I couldn’t finish but the taste of it remained on my tongue for another week as I headed back to Delhi.

Wife On Leave, Sigra Road, Varanasi

Zomato Rating: 3.5
Cost: 750 Bucks for two
Hours: from 1100 to 2300 Hrs
Recommendation: Mughlai, Continental, and Chinese Dishes

Other than the street kachori sabji, Malahiu, and the famous “Banarasi Paan”, the holy city of India – Varanasi, has a lot more to offer. Setting its cultural trends and moving a notch ahead, themed restaurants have become a part of Varanasi.

Each time relishing in the typical North Indian dishes, this time I set my mind to discover a lot more than that. The latest opening of the city, Wife On Leave – caught my attention. Just like the name, the ambiance attracted me. Entering the restaurant the first thing you notice is the reception – cum – bar counter. Leading you two ways – either the basement area or the first floor – depending on the environment satisfying you.

With several husband-wife jokes to Bollywood and Hollywood movies on the walls, the restaurant looks splendid. I preferred to redirect myself from the ambiance to the menu. The menu included Chinese, North Indian, and Mughalai. I ordered Quesadilla – 3 pepper and Jalapeno, fried rice, and blue lagoon.

However, I do not like to openly criticize about any restaurant, but W.O.L had slow service, to a traveler like me – who has a packed schedule, pains a lot. The food was good but the quantity less for the price you pay.

Thaaliwala, Tejganj, Agra

Zomato Rating: 4.1
Cost: 700 Bucks for two
Hours: from 0800 to 2300 Hrs
Recommendation: North Indian

They say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, Thaaliwala forced me to manipulate it to “Don’t judge a restaurant by its name”. When I was fighting with my hunger and fetching myself a decent restaurant the nearest one was “Thaaliwala”. I got to know about it through Zomato and like always, judged the place to be a dhaba-kind eatery.

Fortunately, this time my hunger won over the judgemental me! Thaaliwala has a cozy and more like an “urban dhaba”. The tables arranged on both sides of the wall with foamed backseat comfy chairs.

Since I was too tired after my Taj Mahal and Red Fort visit, I was craving to stuff myself. I ordered the much talked about and popular Maharaja Thali. I knew it was way too much for me but the combination of foodie and hunger in me could not resist but ordered it. The service was really quick and the staff really helpful.

The Maharaja Thali included – Dal Makhani, Mattar Paneer, Choley, Seasonal Veggie, Plain rice, boondi Raita, Achaar, Papad, Chutney, Salad, Kheer, Gulab Jamun, Angoori Petha, 1 naan, 1 lachcha Paratha, and 1 Missi Roti (Yeah, I had a Blackhole open in my stomach!)

The food was mouthwatering and very tasty. The name until today brings water to my mouth. For all the people who love to have the typical North Indian cuisines poured in ghee and spices, Thaaliwala is the perfect restaurant in Agra.

Giardino – Taj Jai Mahal Palace

Zomato Rating: 4.5
Cost: 4500 Bucks for two
Hours: from 1230 to 1500 hrs to 1900 to 2300 hrs
Recommendation: Italian

The aristocracy meets the elegance of a destination that shines out for its royal palaces, archaeological wonders, and age-old crafts and arts. Indeed, your guess was dead right, I was in Jaipur

How can anyone miss the opportunity to eat at a Palace? Before you go too far, I visited the Giardino – Taj Jai Mahal Palace for my exquisite dinner. Indeed the place was no less than any royal palace with an August Company like the Girl At The Window Seat visiting it *wink – wink*

The ambiance was decorated with subtle lights and given the perfect classy theme. The place left me speechless – such an awe-inspiring restaurant which has a spot for everyone.

Not just the ambiance, but the food leaves you speechless. The Taj Jai Mahal Palace specializes in Italian food. Therefore, my order included all that seemed tempting and staff helped me in. Risotto Con Peperoncino, which is served with assorted bell peppers and gorgonzola cheese and Penne Alfredo.

I had tried Italian twice before, however, the Italian cuisine here was delicious. At the end, I was left with a hungry heart but a stuffed stomach.

Parikrama – The Revolving Restaurant 

Zomato Rating: 3.7
Cost: 2400 Bucks for two
Hours: from 1230 to 2330 Hrs
Recommendation: North Indian, Chinese, and Mughlai

I have never had the opportunity to visit Delhi as a traveler. I always visited it as a second home. In my last Delhi visit, I wanted to visit someplace which I have never been to and leave me astounded at the same time. So, I was told about Parikrama – The Revolving Restaurant.

It is a circular dining place with a revolving restaurant. With an amazing concept and a specialty of Delhi, Parikrama leaves you spellbound.

The staff is great and courteous. I would say, this place is a delight for the travelers. Witnessing something that is not only unique and special but so awe-inspiring. Well, people say, at such vibrant places, there’s a lot you can order. But hey! Did you forget including the vegetarians? We have limited options, bro!

And this was the second time Parikrama left me awestruck! Better and more Vegetarian options. So, I indulge in ordering – Tom Yum – a spicy Thai hot and sour soup, Paneer Tikka Masala, Bharwa Soya Chaap, Paneer Pakeeza, Naan Makhani, and Plain steamed rice.

Delhi definitely has a lot of restaurants, bar, and Cafes – an uncountable list, but Parikrama is unique!

Special Thanks : Zomato and MakeMyTrip

Do share your favorite place that you have dine in!

Also read more journeys here

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