“My Town” is a brand new feature where in friends and family from around the world give us the lowdown on their home town – favourite bars, restaurants, record shops and more. Forget Time Out – this is the only city guide you need.
Up next, DJ IAMRISHA and Radio broadcaster of ‘A Worldwide Thing’ takes us through the hidden delights of Delhi
Hauz Khas village is a little rough around the edges, but down the tight alleys it houses some of the best party spots. One of the most soulful nights in town is ‘The Grind’ at Raasta that spins old and new skool hip-hop and funk. For live music TLR is the place, an intimate affair with a solid sound-system. And if you’re looking for a real underground party, Grime Riot Disco always wins.
Lodhi gardens in the center, is a haven away from the city’s chaos. It’s spread over 90 acres and hosts Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, other 15th Century Afghan ruins and a gorgeous lake. I’ve lost count of the number of afternoons spent soaking up the sun; and there’s always a good vibe with lots going on – laughing yoga, picnics, kids running around the tombs (myself included) and cricket matches.
This is a hard one to narrow down, but here are a few favourites…
Kebabs – Karim’s Seekh Kebabs are the shizzle. Located in the heart of Old Delhi, the 100 year-old restaurant serves the juiciest ones around town.
South Indian – The South Indian pancakes, Dosas, are served best at Carnatic Café. I’d recommend the ‘Malleshwaram 18th Cross,’ not just because it has the best name on the menu, but the gunpowder spice they use is pure magic. Finish it up with the frothy filter coffee which the region is famous for.
Himalayan – The moment you enter Yeti you feel like you’re in the mountains. Tibetan flags, rustic wood and the smell of Nepali spices are everywhere. Hard to single-out one dish, but the fried spicy spinach served with the Tibetan steamed bread, Tingmo, will sort you out nicely…together with a few swigs of the local Old Monk rum.
Andra Bhavan Canteen – This place is more a cultural experience. Think the streets, the stations, the markets of Delhi packed into one canteen. Your eyes are everywhere. And it’s not surprising there’s an army of guys just managing the queue of people. It’s fun. And the food is delicious, cheap and unlimited. But be warned, there’s no limit to the butter ghee so expect to pretty much do nothing post-this-meal.
Best place to buy music:
For rare vinyl that includes Old-skool Bollywood and Ghazals, New Gramaphone House is the place. Originally established in 1930′s Lahore, the store moved to Chandni Chowk, Delhi during the time of partition. Housed above a toy slash sandal shop, it stands as the last vinyl store in the city and is a crate-diggers paradise.
What’s the local expression / saying:
The head wobble always wins. It’s a mystery and is used as a response to something which could mean anything from Yes, No, Good, Ok to I understand.
Sum up your town in three words:
Historic. Horns. Real.
What is the best radio show / station:
I’ll be sounding biased if I say Radio 79 Delhi, but it’s truly the only station that airs independent sounds. Local group the Reggah Rajahs do a great show called ‘Pressure Drop,’ plus the mid-week Special Agents show allows local talent to takeover. Then of course, let’s not forget A Worldwide Thing
What’s the best local delicacy / street food / snack?
Masala chai and aloo ka parantha. A parantha is flatbread made on a tava, a large flat griddle, and can be stuffed with anything you like – my favourite is boiled potato ‘aloo’ and coriander. It’s best served rolled up and dipped in tea, setting you back about 50p.
Who is the best local talent in your area?
EDM dominates the scene and there are few experimental producers, but a couple to watch out for include Frame / Frame and Pippin. In the space of deep house, Hamza has put out a good new album called ‘Gitano’ and for modern jazz Tarun Balani Collective are great live. On the mic, it’s hard to touch Delhi Sultanate and the best DJ collective is no doubt The Grind.