As an absolute foodie by nature, and a pure vegetarian to top that, being impressed by good desi food is a real challenge. Being on a student budget, five stars were out of question. Highly recommended by a friend, I went to VEGA restaurant in Connaught place, ALKA HOTEL. I entered a small hotel, and was led to a lovely restaurant, the walls of which were adorned with quaint antiques , which upon inquiring I was told , some of it belonged to the colonial era , bought from the owners haveli (ancestral house) in Rajasthan.
Went with some friends, who ordered a aloo masala and tandoori paneer for starters… ok the aloo masala is dynamite and scrumptious. Spicy and chatpata…..oh how could I miss it all this while? The paneer was super soft and perfectly cooked in the tandoor.
Well I started by ordering the royal maharaja thali because it said unlimited refills… that sounded just right!!! It was served in courses, started by the jal jeera which was so tangy n cold, I actually wanted to gol gappas to go with it. This followed by the tomato rasam, which was also very good.
Then came the big fat thali….. which was a feast man!!! There were 3 vegetables, dal, dahi papri, fruit chaat and a lovely paneer cutlet accompanied gulam jamun too. I didn’t know where to start, so I attacked the paneer cutlet was just pure paneer, soft and vanished in the mouth. The thali had an assortment of roti (breads) the kind I have never eaten before- methi roti, adrak roti (must try) hari mirch roti (must try) , stuffed roti !!! The kadai paneer, palak kofta, and the dal were fantastic. There was a green vegetable also but I am not the green types, if you know what I mean. Then they started getting pooris, I thought I must try one at least, and I was not disappointed with their “bedmi poori”. Then came the peas pulao, which I just could not eat because I had to keep place for the melt in the mouth gulam jamun, which I am told the chef prepares fresh every day. It was divine n just right. Right when I thought I can’t put another morsel in my mouth, and was beaming over my food…. they got me a Kulfi in a beautiful traditional earthen pot with a wooden spoon to go with it. I told the manager I just can’t eat this now, and he assured me that the kulfi just finds its way into the stomach and I need not worry about it. What I should worry about is, where will I sleep after this wholesome meal, he joked, adding that they even have rooms in the hotel in case!!!
All in all a wholesome, vegetarian experience, which was a definite value for money, and resulted in a deeply satisfied belly.
P.S-all the jains, gujratis and baniya community out there, this restaurant is a must visit because the whole menu is without onion and garlic, rest of you guys , trust me would not even realize that !!!!
Written by Aman Fatehpuria