Pot Belly Café’
A Bihari Restaurant in Delhi? That serves something called the phish fingers! The intrigue at what is Bihari food and the hilarity with which this restaurant plays with it in the menu gives you a wrap on this amazingly unique restaurant called the Pot Belly café.
Located perched amongst the treetops overlooking Shahpur Jat village, this place gives you the feeling of eating a home-cooked meal in a beautiful treehouse. Although a steep climb through a narrow staircase might make you winded by the time you reach there, the climb proves to be more than worth it as the restaurant is decorated in hues and subtleties that make you feel instantly welcomed and one with the surroundings.
Colorful haphazard mismatched seating, bright colors, beautiful lampshades gives this place a very unique yet homely appeal.
The ambience and the designing was done by the owner herself who loves colors and wanted to design the place in a way to blend it in perfectly with the surrounding area of Sharhpur Jat, which in itself is a vibrant blend of color, people and varying cultural trends.
Coming to the Food, not many people have tried the flavor-packed Bihari cuisine in Delhi. Neither had I, but I’m really glad I did because it is remarkably good.
As a Delhiite, I have been exposed to all sorts of flavors and smells, but this was my first introduction to the unique flavors of Mustard(sarson) and Sattu(a mixture of ground pulses and cereals). Predominant throughout the cuisine, these key ingredients created an overwhelming yet soothing experience.
Amongst the vegetarian options, I opted for Dana Jhamarva Thali.It consisted of Rice-atta roti (rice flour bread), Aloo Baingan (potato-eggplant) cooked in Mustard Gravy, Dhaniya (Coriander-mint) Chutney, Dahi Baingan (Curd-eggplant) Mash, Sabudaana Tikki(Tapioca Cutlet).
The Crispy Sabudaana tikki with the explosive green chutney was a combination to die for. It has to be one of the best green chutneys I have ever had.
The modest homemade aloo-baingan dish got a zesty makeover with a strong yet balanced mustard overtone. Combined with the soft rice roti and the curd-baingan mashup, the dish made for a spectacularly hearty meal.
From the Non-vegetarian selection, I ordered the famous Bihari dish Liti-Choka.It consisted of Aloo Chaunk (Spiced Boiled Potatoes), Dahi Baingan Mash, Mutton (Lamb) dish, and Liti (ball of wheat and refined flour with a filling of Traditional Sattu).
The highlight of the dish was the succulent Mutton in a spicy and aromatic gravy, packed with flavors. Combined with the uniquely prepared Liti, this dish was a non-vegetarians delight and is a must try for anyone who loves spicy food. The accompaniments balanced the spiciness perfectly making the overall experience with Liti-Choka an incredible one.
To handle the hotness of the Bihari cuisine, the traditional drink of Sattu serves as the perfect beverage to help cool down and refresh your palate. A drink infused with ground pulses and cereals, it will certainly be a distinctive taste for the taste buds.
After having a wholesome meal, the essence of the Café’ finally emerged as an attempt to recreate a homely experience with a focus primarily on food.
The source of the Homeliness was revealed when I talked to the co-owner Puja Sahu, who told me that these were her mother’s recipes.
Apart from Bihari Cusine, the place also offers various continental options as well as student favorites like Maggi, Sandwiches, Burgers etc.
During our chat, Puja also told me that they encouraged students and artists alike, to come and showcase their talent on various open-stage events hosted by the Café’.
In terms of pricing, the Café’ is modestly priced considering the distinctiveness of its concept and cuisine, and is certainly value for money.
A highly recommended place for the adventurous foodie, I give this place a rating of 4/5.