Thursday, February 07, 2008

My experience with Restaurants in Kanpur

Well I have spent around six and half years in this city, Kanpur. I felt like I should write something about its restaurants. Well I will be writing about only those that I have visited. Their may be some better ones that I have missed. Since I live in IIT campus, I will start my journey from our very own Campus restaurant and then move into the city.

1. Campus Restaurant: Well on scale of 1-10 I will give 4. Food is cheap, service ok. Its like if you don't want to eat in your mess and you don't want to travel even to IIT gate welcome to this place. Well my favs would be fried chicken, mewa aloo, keema muttor and plain nan. In my initial years I had visited this place so frequently that half of its menu is on my finger tips.

2. China Town: We move a little towards the city, frankly to say IIT gate. There you can find this nice place. It is strictly non vegetarian, in that too only preparations of chicken are available and reasonably priced. Place cannot to be said to be clean. Service is good and the food yummy. One can also have liquor at this place, but he will have to bring it on his own. One can go for kali mirch, chicken biryani, chicken tikka and many other stuff like that. But my fav would be kadhai chicken with thick gravy and rumali roti with a bottle of Haywards black. One has to specially order the thick gravy for which nothing extra is charged. I will give this place 6 points.

3. Kerala Cafe: If you are not non vegetarian and you like south Indian food, just across the street from China town you can find this place. Service is good, food also yummy by my standards. You can get an assortment of dosas, vadas, idli and so an so forth. Liquor not allowed on this road side restaurant. And my fav would be onion masala dosa (a little crispy) with a bottle of fanta. I will give this place 6points.

4. Food Court at Rave Moti: Now we travel a little into the city and arrive at Rawatpur. Here we have the newly opened mall Rave@moti. You can shop at an assortment of shops for apparels and other stuff, but the main point of this article is food. On the ground floor there is Barista the regular coffee shop and then there is Kwality with its assortment of ice creams and mouth watering pastries. My fav would be the chocolate pastry at Kwality's. Then shop around and move to second floor. There you can find the food court with variety of small shops around it. Don't miss the choclate fountain near the escalators. There you can see shops like One chinese shop(I forgot the name), Masala county, Dominos, NJP, Nawabi Kebab, Berger shop, stalls for hot dogs and dumplings etc. Lets start from the hot dog shop. It serves both veg and non veg hot dogs. I had only tried the non veg type and hence can say that the non veg once are damn good. The dumplings are superb too. Next come the Chinese shop. An assortment of Chinese preparations. But my fav from this shop would be shredded lamb and shanghai chow mien off course non veg. Prices are reasonable in most of the shops. Next to the Chinese guy would be masala county. Gives 5% discount to IIT people. One can find most north Indian recipes here. Since most of the time I eat North Indian stuff in my hostel I give this one a skip. Next to it is the Domino's. Pizza guy, little overpriced but yummy. I don't go for the non veg ones since I find them unreasonably over priced. But in the veggie ones I would go for Farm house. Then there are shops like NJP which I am yet to try and then comes the Kebab guy. Try the biryani. A must if you are a non veggie. Ghost dum biryani more precisely. Reasonable priced, its too good to resist. I am yet to try its complete menu, but along with biryani I would recommend kakori kebab. That more or less sums up the food court. The best thing about this place is you can order parathas or roti from one shop and curry from another. Service is self service and I would give this place 8 points.

5. Hukka: Move a little in the city and you arrive at Swarup nagar on your way to parade. Here you will find quite a few restaurants. Let me start with this place. As the name suggest they do serve hukka at this place. It is on the roof of the building so kind of open air. They have put a few water fall type fountains here. So while eating you will enjoy the music from one of Kanpur's FM station combined with the sound of flowing water. But if you are looking for the original hukka you will be disappointed. They serve flavored hukka. The safest or closest to the original thing would be the mint flavored. The place is little costly but the food once served will make you feel money well spent. To start with they have an assortment of soups. You can pick anyone according to your taste and for starters don't forget to try the chicken stick they serve with some sweet tasting black sauce. For veggies the paneer tikka is equally good. Coming to food again an assortment of stuff. My fav would be muglai paratha with some chicken curry and pineapple raita. Well the name muglai paratha is misleading for people from bengal. This is not the one most bongs are familiar with, it is basically paratha stuffed with keema. 15% discount to IIT students the last time I visited. To get the discount you have to produce a valid I-card. Well these places make me feel that IIT I-card has great value. Anyway this place deserves 8.5 points.

6. Anaicha: This is another place in Swarup Nagar itself. Place is costly but the food is equally superb. Fully air conditioned, has small space for kids where they can enjoy sliding and stuff like that. Service is excellent, ambiance marvelous and so an so forth. To start with one can have an assortment of soups. My fav would be dumpling soup, off course the non veg variant. In starters the best I would say is fish and chips but there are many more like hariyali kebab which one can try. Moving to the main course its menu is quite large and one can order anything from north Indian to Chinese to continental. But some notable as far as I am concerned would be fish bengali, kadhai chicken, baked fish, prawn schezwan, kashmiri nan, pudina paratha, Russian salad etc. The vegetarian menu is equally good. 10% discount to IIT students on producing your I -card. I would give this place 9 points.

7. Flames: Staying at Swarup Nagar itself this is a place worth mentioning. Pricing is at par with Anaicha. Fully air conditioned with a small space for kids to play around. Food superb, place superb and what more it is next to a liquor shop where you can sit and drink. Let me first say something about the liquor shop then we will come to Flames. Well the liquor shop has most premium brands on its shelves. If you love wine probably it is one of the few shops in Kanpur where you can find wine. If you want beer chilled beer is always ready to be served. They also serve eatables like peanuts, papad which you can have with your drink. The peanut served with onions and coriander leaves is really good. But this place is not like the swanky bars you see in mega cities, so preferably if you have a lady friend accompanying you, give this place a skip. Now coming to Flames, to start with have some soup. Somehow I found their cream laced soups the best, like cream of chicken or Italian zuppa. Try Italian zuppa if you like cream with pepper and salt. Starters can vary from person to person nothing special. Main course has some favorites here as well. The Russian salad, myanoise chicken are my favs. You may be tempted to try Hyderabadi biryani but it can be disappointing. It is spicy and is generously laced with dry fruits. One peculiar thing, in some of the menu items they would place a small candle inside a hollowed tomato.
10% discount to IIT students on producing your I -card. I would give this place 9.5 out of ten.

8. Shahi Darbar: Time to move on to Parade and a cheaper place where the bill won't make you sweat. Well this place is strictly non veggie. Great kebabs, great parathas and the cheapest. The place is not clean again, best would be to pack your stuff and eat at your home. You can have boti, kebab, chaap, kali mirch, biryani and many more stuff like that. They sell stuff like kebebs, boti and chaap by weight. For one person 100gm kebab and 100gm boti would be more then sufficient. Have it with rumali roti or their regular parathas which is equally yummy. I would give this place 7 out of ten. But considering the amount of money they charge one can easily overlook the untidy place. You can say they are probably selling sub standard stuff hence so cheap, but I would say, I have been to this place a zillion times and am still maintaining my health.

9. Treat: If you want to enjoy an evening with fast food this is the place. All types of fast food like berger, chow mien, spring rolls, pastries, ice creams etc etc are available. You can try their basket chat as well its really good. But to fill your belly try chilly chicken chow mien with some gravy of your choice. If you are a professional ice cream eater as my friends call me try the rainbow. The place is reasonably priced and clean. You have self service and advance payment. I would give this place 8 points.

10. Host: I visited this place only once and found it overpriced. It is the regular food section of Treat. The food is ok. The best would be reshmi kebab. Otherwise if don't mind the money you can visit this place. But at the end of all you might feel money not well spent. 6points for this place.

11. Cafe coffee day: Not exactly a restaurant but you can spend some time in a hot summer day. Fully air conditioned. I found their coffee to be overpriced but for coffee lovers they might find the money well spent. I prefer to have one of their cold coffees with ice cream. If you feel like you can choose from their numerous light snacks which many a times doesn't turn out to be light. This place also has a book shop attached with it but they don't give discount. Book shops without any discount is like no shop to me. Anyway the cafe deserves a 7 out of ten.

12. Shanghai: To begin with I will give 10 out of 10 to this place. My favorite in Kanpur so far. Probably the only place where you can get nicely cooked pork. Located near phulbag adjacent to nath opticians, you will probably miss if you don't look carefully. Its a small shop which can accommodate probably 20 people at any given time but this is the best place to have Chinese cuisines. To start with you can order a soup which can be anything from talumien to sweet corn or you can start with a me-fan. Well my personal fav would be me-fan. The main course should definitely have pork roast with chicken chow chow and some chow mien possibly mixed chow mien. The price is reasonable, service prompt. The lighting inside is little dull and the music can be custom. The owner has an assortment of english and hindi numbers which he is happy to play on customers request. All in all the best. Well no discount is given in this place.

13. Chung-fa: Move a little further to Mall road and you will arrive at chung fa. This also has a bar near by, again not a swanky mega city bar but its shelves are stalked with most premium brands. Here you can find both Chinese and Thai food. Start with any of the Chinese or Thai soups. I prefer the tom kha kya soup. For starters the menu has quite a few items but I would prefer the golden fried prawns. The main course can be chow mien with roast lamb in black mushroom sauce and prawn shaoxing. The menu in the restaurant is quite extensive. It is fully air conditioned and prices are little on the higher side but its worth spending the money.
10% discount to IIT students on producing your I -card. I would give the place 8 points.

14. Antarang: Well so far I have covered restaurants on route 22 that is the route taken by bus no. 22. But there are a few places off routs which are worth mentioning. Notable among them is antarang at Rave 3 in Parwati Bagla road. The place is fully air conditioned but over priced. The place has a bar which serves most premium brands. Beer is also available but the price charged is double that of printed price. Drinks too can range from 150 a peg to god knows where. The food is good but not worth the money charged. I had gone to this place only couple of times so no favs as such. One good thing about this place is they organize gazal nights once in a while where you can request the singer to sing your favorite gazal which he will happily oblige.
10% discount to IIT students on producing your I -card. Though this place counts as one of the better restaurants of Kanpur I would give it only 6 points.

15: Chinmi: Another restaurant at Rave 3. Like all other things in that place its overpriced. There you can have an assortment of Chinese and Indian stuff. It has a bar with most premium brands being served. One of the few places where they will serve you momos. I have visited this place only once so no favorites but I liked the momos a lot.
10% discount to IIT students on producing your I -card. I would give this place 7 points.

16. Mehfil: A good family restaurant at Chowk. The menu doesn't have many items so you won't get confused as to what to eat. I haven't been to this place for quite a long time so any opinion on this place will be based on my past experience. I would prefer to go to some other place if given a choice then go to mehfil.

17. Bhikharam: Not exactly a restaurant, more like a sweet shop but they do serve some Indian fast foods which are yummy. Cooked in pure desi ghee they are like a heavenly treat. Its basically a sweet shop but you can order puri sabjee which is the best I ever had. Apart from that you can have dosa, chow mien which I never tried at that place. I would give that place 8 points.

Well apart from these places inside Kanpur I have been to few places a little far off from the city but well within reach by bikes or four wheeler. They are mostly dhabas on GT road. The first you will encounter when going towards Delhi will be Bhatia's dhaba.

18. Bhatia's Dhaba: Well visited this place couple of times. The non veg prep is pretty good. On the veg side its ok. Reasonable priced its good place to eat.

19. Bijee Ka dhaba: I won't call this a dhaba. The owner had tried to convert the place into a open air restaurant. The result its neither a restaurant nor a dhaba. The food is also not good. I visited this place once and rejected it the very day.

20. Bajpai dhaba: Going a little further you cross Mandhana and come across the new Rama hospital campus. Right in front of it is bajpai dhaba. The best dhaba I would say. You can also have liquor there. The owner keeps couple of lager beer brands. The dhaba used to serve non veg but now its completely vegetarian. You can start with paneer bhujia which is really superb. It has a variety of North Indian dishes. But above all one should have its kheer which is the icing on the cake. I dinner without the kheer at that place is incomplete. I will give this place a 9 points.

21. Palate: I placed this place in the end since this is a new place which has come up at Rave moti in Rawatpur. It is exorbitantly priced but its menu has some exotic items which I didn't try for obvious reasons. May be just the names are like that and they turn out to be our regular food items. I could have the soup only which I found not at par with the price they are charging. Then to avoid any kill-bill I walked out of the place. So you are free to visit the place and let me know the result.

These are mostly the places I have been to in last 6-7 years of my stay in Kanpur. The views expressed above are mine and they may not reflect the general standard of the place. In matters where food is concerned favorites will vary from person to person. While arriving at the ratings of a place I have taken into account the quality of food, the cleanliness of the place, the pricing, the promptness of service and off course availability of items I like most.


Meander.....!!!! said...

gazab ka research kiya hai aapne ...main abhibhoot hoon....aur aapke khaane ke prati divine love ko ab samajh paya...!!!
aise gyanwardhak aur highly upyogi posting karte rahiye ...!!

aur haan next time main jab kanpur aaya to aapke anusaar jis restaurant ko highest point mila hai usme aap hi ke taraf se dinner honi chahiye ...!!

Anonymous said...

ye "re-search" nahi to "original search" tha....wakai bakait post hai...! "gyanwardhak" aur "upyogi" to hai hi aur purn roop se "unique" hai apne aap mein...i think 4 years junior to you.. Prateek :)

Anonymous said...

mein bhi kanpur se hu.par abhi teen sal ho gaye hai pune shift hua.kuchh yadein taza ho gai.pooooo

Sabyasachi said...

Wonderful post. I really loved it. But I think you have missed a nice restaurant, MOTIMAHAL inside Globus, Phoolbag.

Best wishes.
sabya :-D

Freaky Window said...

Well I went to motimahal only once... the food was good but i found it quite expensive... so i did not go there any more to be able to write anything meaningful...

Yayaver said...

What a research..Seriously Take a bow from my side. It leaves me completely baffled first and then helpful in my quest to understand Kanpur.. All mine joyride is here with Kanpur Series.

Sananda said...

lived for more than 10 years in this beautifully conjusted city of interesting amalgamations.

While reading... wen I found dat u hav rated a 10on10 to SHANGHAI... i was thoroughly convinced.

Went to dat place on every anniversary of my parents n my maa's birthday or any other specific occasion from 2 yrs of my age wen i could only pronounce NOO- DULLLES!!! It remains an ALL TIME FAVOURITE...

post to my schooling...after leaving kanpur which is 6 yrs now... m glad dat its still a 'A Talk of this Town".

but m also a little dissapointed where u hv not covered restaurantslike DAWAT, FOODIE GOODIE, DAKSHIN,AROMAS, MAKKHAN SINGH'S BIRYANI etc. etc.

Thanks 4 this post.. it feels gud to revive old memories.

Freaky Window said...

@ Sananda, thanks for your comments. The restaurants you have named I never visited during my stay at IIT Kanpur. To be frank I have only heard of dawat and dakshin rest I never knew. If, ever I go back I will try them and add to my post.

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Mona Kumari said...

Nice blog!! Looks delicious, feel like grabbing the roll right away. Thank you chowringhee in satya niketan