Sunday, September 15, 2013

Andhra Bhawan Canteen

Andhra Bhawan Canteen at last - after living for more than 10 years in Delhi.

But as it is said - there is always a right time for everything. So, mine happened on one Saturday in early September when I finally reached for a lunch at Andhra Bhawan Canteen. First thing which I noted is lack of proper parking - one has to park on the road alongside. After driving in circles for two times, I decided to park in the free parking lot of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, just across the road. This looks like a good and more secure way of parking.

On reaching at the canteen,there were people already waiting. For a second, we thought of turning back but then I remembered that their management is efficient and one does not have to wait for too long. Good that we stayed for the experience - we had to wait only for 4 minutes or so.

They serve breakfast from 7:30 to 10, lunch from 12 to 2:45 and dinner from 7:30 to 10. Ordering is simple as there are fixed menu option. Breakfast has idli + dosa + vada along with tea/coffee while Lunch & Dinner has two veg. curries, plain rice, dal pappu, sambhar, rasam, curd, sweet, papad, pickle, and puri (lunch) or phulka (dinner). They serve Hyderabadi Dum Biryani on Sundays only. Plus you have options to take non-veg side dishes like chicken curry, chicken fry, mutton curry, mutton fry, fish curry, fish fry or prawn curry as an add-on.

Pretty simple for someone to make a choice. Prices are just too low to be real. Pay, take a token and then wait for your turn. And while you wait, do make sure to take a note of the efficiency of managing such a place. Place is just a simple-no-frills setup, do not expect fine dinning here. And take a note of the guy managing the show - an amazing guy who calls out the token numbers in such an interesting way, alternating between English, Hindi and Telgu. Just amazing.


Sitting could be shared - although we got lucky with a full table to ourselves. As soon as one we were seated, thali was served, and then there were always servers running around shouting "currrrry", "riiiiice" and so on. Dal Pappu was amazing - I could just have taken the full thali only for that Dal Pappu. Rest of the stuff was also fine - but nothing that amazing. Chicken Fry was typical though and loved it a lot.

Overall, the experience was over in less than 8 minutes. Phew!!! This is not the place if you are looking for any indulgence. This is basic canteen but the food is worth a shot. A must have (at least one)...

Average cost for two would be around Rs.300 - this is the best part.

Andhra Pradesh Bhawan
1, Ashoka Road
New Delhi



8 comments:

Ashish said...

Any parking nearby, or is it out on the road where there is a No Parking sign ?

Akshaya Saxena said...

@Ashish - It is out on the road itself. During lunch hours, you can try IGNCA parking.

Nandan Jha said...

Short one Akshaya. I am sure you could have written more on the food part :-)

Ok, so here is the parking cheat-sheet. Go behind the bhawan, back side of it and park in leisure. Not many people know about it and there is a lot of space and one can enter from the other side so you do not need to walk all the way back.

2nd, If I remember correctly, their scheduling-process-guy is called. 'motu', super efficient. If you are with kids then he would give you a preference.

We have not been there recently, actually after going there for many many times, we decided that now it is enough of Andhra Bhawan.

I am sure you know it but all the state houses have a canteen which is mostly open to outsiders and they offer good authentic local good. write more.

Vibha said...

Good one Akshaya! Though I agree with Nandan. We would love it if you could share more of your thoughts on food. May be after a couple more visits, when you have tasted more of their dishes.... :)

Akshaya Saxena said...

@Nandan - I noticed the back side parking once I reached to the canteen. Next time, would try that.

@Nandan, Vibha - This particular post was mostly for the institution - just legendary stuff. For the food part, will write more on subsequent visits.

Thanks for the comments.

VJ Sharma said...

It's been a long time that I went there, but there was a time when we used to go there every weekend.

Look forward to another post about food at Andhra Bhavan... And probably you can do series on all canteens in different State houses :)

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