The Indian street food cafe Delhi Streets opened in the fast developing west end of the CBD in March in a lane with several other small food businesses. As I’m rather keen on Indian food I was eager to get there, and it seemed the perfect place for a light dinner before my first MIFF film this year.
My charming dining companion, a chef, had opinions about the kitchen and the design of the compact room. We sat side by side at a bar space looking in at the kitchen. My chef friend was impressed with how new and clean it looked, while I marvelled at the chef wearing a thick cardigan taking breads out of the tandoor without breaking into a sweat.
We shared papri chaat (puffed lentil balls) with tamarind chutney, samosas with chick peas and chutneys and masala dosa. The pictures are not the best representation of the food – which we both enjoyed – as the light was subdued and everything was brown. It’s not Horn Please in terms of quality but the prices are lower too. We agreed we liked it enough to return.
In contrast, a similar experiment in exploring new west end places resulted in an underwhelming Friday night experience two weeks ago at Baaba, where a different friend and I dined on underwhelming Asian fusion food all alone in the restaurant like we were a celebrity couple who had booked the space out to ensure our privacy. These laneways may be buzzing with office workers lunching in the daytime, but building an evening vibe is evidently more of a challenge.