Just Introduced: Imly, Rajendra Place
Being a true-blue West Delhiite from heart, my love for street food is undying. Every time I go to the market, I make sure to indulge in either something sweet or tangy from the nearby street vendor. Being an over pampered kid, whenever I used to cry, my grandfather used to take me out and treat me with awesome street food ranging from gol-gappas to tikkis, dosa, chole bhature, dhokla, jalebis and a lot more.
Days passed by and this love grew fonder. I still remember when I was in 12th standard, my accounts tuition was in the centre of the market. And going to the market and not eating chaat was equal to committing a crime. But as my pocket-money was not too much and spending daily on food was like next to impossible. So, I ganged up with my friends and decided that we will turn by turn spend and enjoy these delectable treats. Today, I have been married for three years and still my dad makes sure to get something or other for me whenever I visit my parents. By now, you must have realised that I am always on a lookout for something chatpata, so I could stop myself from trying Imly – The Chatpata Stopover, a new restaurant serving street delicacies from all across the country.
The idea of eating street food in 250 ft long maroon and cream coloured train tugged with a toot-tooting engine added to the excitement. And to my surprise, the restaurant looks nothing less than a luxury train. With different compartments, baggage racks full of luggage, TV screens projecting sweet and spicy snapshot of the entire country, the gastronomical journey seems to be magical. The compartments of the train are dotted with colourful chairs in the hues of green, pink, blue and orange with a few comfy back sofas. The colourful cutlery and innovative ways of presentation along with an overlooking open kitchen and a juice bar bang in the middle add to the hunger quotient of the foodies.
I was curious to try each and every dish when I got to know that owners Varun Puri and Vivek Bhargava have curated the menu after conducting expansive research on distinctive flavours of various street delicacies and to maintain the uniqueness in the taste they have handpicked special chefs from various parts of India. But with more than 100 dishes on the menu, I had to short-list a few.
I started my meal with Dahi Puchka served in a ferris wheel. I have always imagined taking a ride in a ferris wheel in a fair but the idea of presenting food in it is outstanding. Coming back to the puchkas, the big round crispy balls were filled with mashed potato, curd, chilli, tamarind sauce and chaat masala sprinkled on its top. These balls were so yummy that it created an irresistible urge to have one more.
Next on the table came Chinese Bhel Platter. Traditional bhel poori has been given a Chinese touch. Crunchy and crispy bhel with a sweet and tangy flavour of the tomato sauce was awesome to taste. This was followed by Idli which was cooked just like a Chilli Paneer. Crispy from outside and soft from inside, this modified version of Idli can give competition to the authentic Chinese dishes.
Then I tried Kalmi Vada and Jini Dosa. Kalmi Vada transported me to the land of desert. It tastes exactly the same as it is served in Rajasthan, the only difference is in the size. Their Jini Dosa is a must try of all the cheese-lovers as stuffing of potato in a dosa is replaced by cheese, onion, capsicum, tomatoes and Schezwan sauce.
After eating so much, I decided to wash it down with the juices straight from the juice bar. I opted for Power Packed (an amalgamation of Glucon D, green apple, celery, broccoli and spinach), Sunset (mixture of watermelon, orange, pomegranate and carrot juice) and Relaxing Moment (mango pulp mixed with watermelon and beetroot juice). Power Packed was light and refreshing, Sunset stole my heart with its amazing flavours and Relaxing Moment a perfect summery drink was also good to try.
Moving to the mains, a platter of Gatta Curry, Bikaneri Parantha and Dahi Gujiya was delectable. Since childhood, I have never been fond of Gatta Curry. I remember my mom making a substitute dish for me every time she used to cook Gatta. But I cannot deny the fact that the chef at Imly has really spelled a magic. The soft and fluffy paranthas with dumplings of gram flour in a flavoursome curry was definitely a perfect melange of flavours and soft Dahi Gujiya was a cherry on the top. This platter was a complete meal in itself. The last dish that I tried, stood out to be the star dish, Rice – The Imly Way. The dish was presented in four layers – fried rice, crispy noodles, Schezwan sauce and manchurian. The distinctive taste of different ingredients hit the right spot.
Dessert is one thing that I decide even before placing my order for the starters. And this time I opted for Indian options – Gulab Jamun, Halwa Moong Dal, Rasmalai and Malpua with Rabdi and trust me, there would have no other best way to wind up my meal.
Have you also got Imlyfied while reading the review? Then go and grab the train as the doors of the train will be opening on the left from November 01, 2015 onwards.