Monday, November 29, 2010

Sam's Cafe Roof Top Garden, Pahar Ganj :-)

New Delhi skyline
Why would I go to Paharganj on an absolutely random afternoon for an impromptu lunch by myself? Well - there isn't a reason when you fall in love! Is there? Yes, I am in love with our very own pahar ganj, its alleys, its chaos, its charm, its not-so-distant downtown skyline view, its cowdung manifested environment, its sights, its clientele, its smells, its location, its everything.
The New MCD building

Call me a loner/loser/whatever, because I do not mind/rather prefer to visit PG alone as many times as I want, but that's just simulating the desire of going backpacking sometime, very soon!

Sam's Cafe at Ground level

Well, Sam's cafe is quite a landmark in the dirty, dusty and trippy touristy neighborhood of Delhi. Here, you can always find people, high or low, down and out, happy and gay, clueless or knowledgeable, single or double, sometimes multiple, eating, chatting, yelling, farting, laughing, tripping, smoking, etc.

It's more like a haven in itself with absolutely yummy looking product line on offer - that of p√Ętisserie items. Pies, cakes, croissants, marble cakes, muffins, etc. it's definitely a must-visit for people who like bakery products.

I am a big fan too - but this time wanted to enjoy a heavy, wholesome meal in the middle of the day.
Sam's Cafe Roof Top Garden Restaurant
THere's a roof top garden restaurant atop the sam's cafe / hotel building on the 5th floor (!)
I somehow climbed the 5 floors after mustering up the courage and landed at this minimally decored, full of plants, expansive, half covered, half sky-open roof top establishment, hustling with a plethora of people of all varieties.

A family of 5, a group of 6 americans yelling at the top of their voices, a cute and cuddly couple out on a budget trip to the mysterious land of Delhi, two 70 year old Japanese friends, a Korean couple preparing a joint, 2 garrulous ladies eyeing a european-looking 20 something man while smiling away to glory and A GYPSY-type bald lady wearing a classical-indian anklet in one foot and smoking her seemingly favorite 502 pataka beedi.

All this is just complimentary to what would prove to be an excellent meal. The menu was very similar to those of other cafes/roof top establishments of main bazaar in Paharganj. Various pancakes and breakfast options to choose from. Russian salad, israeli salad, french salad, etc.
There was a choice of Israeli main course, Indian (Mughlai), chinese and other Mediterranean dishes. I looked through all of them and ordered an ISRAELI SCHNITZEL (Rs. 170). Schnitzel is an Austrian/german origin fried patty/cutlet wrapped in crumbs of bread. The israeli version served at Sam's has 4 pieces of juicy, boneless, fried chicken breasts and comes with the freebies such as israeli salad (just fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, capsicum), french fries, hummus and a pita bread.
Israeli Schnitzel

The pita was just okay, nothing special, the hummus was good, freshly prepared, thick and fine paste of chickpeas mixed with olive oil and a little hint of garlic. The schnitzel wasn't really out-of-the-world nice but was a heavy, (obviously because of being fried), wholesome serving of chicken breasts. Fried to perfection, not at all spicy (just the way I like it) and crisp.

This is by far the best fried chicken breast I have had! For a 170 for all this, it's a steal!
I ordered the milk coffee (Rs 20) from the list because cappuccino (R 30) wasn't available. It was a very home-like coffee except for the quantity of coffee bean/powder used was generous and that gave a strong aroma and flavor to the coffee. Their Masala chai (20) is worth a pass. For chai, i doubt whether anything in Pganj would come close to Club India Cafe.

In the meanwhile, the place starting filling up with more and more tourists joining in for lunch. Backpackers from across the world, mostly carrying Nikon cameras with them and eagerly waiting for their "made in Paharganj" meals to arrive could not get enough of the topography of Central Delhi!

I paid the bill (a total of Rs. 220) and messaged my friends to visit the place asap.

I would say, it's a great place, excellent value for money, quite neat and clean and worth the four floor climb. I'd love to visit it again some time very soon! You should plan as well ;-)
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