Carnatic Cafe in GK 2 was news, good news, because my family, friends and me are regulars of the NFC branch.
Their menu is simple- snacks, dosas, rice and dessert along with few sundries. Despite that, this cafe is comforting, much like their food.
Inside Carnatic Cafe
Different from the other South-Indian restaurants where chutney is like water, sambhar is from Punjab and dosa so regular, Carnatic is delightfully-different.
Inside Malleshwaram 18th Cross Dosa
Speaking of food, our meals usually begin with Majjige. It is a lightly salted, minimally spiced buttermilk that is blended with fresh mix of herbs. The taste has strong notes of coriander, which refreshes your tummy and you instantly.
Majjige at Carnatic CafeAC
To follow is Paddu, which arrives steaming-hot every time. They are crisp, fried-in-ghee nuggets, spongy lentil balls that taste like cheese balls and absorb sambhar like magic. But not turning them into a mush. When you bite into them, the crunchy bits remain crunchy and the hints of onion and coriander leave your insides glorify. The chutneys are the thickest version I’ve seen in Delhi. Three kinds, white, orange and green, have different flavors and are not of the drippy kind.
Paddu at Carnatic Cafe
Now coming to the best bit- their dosas. All are good but not having their special thick variety is a visit-wasted. Especially the Podi, Malleshwaram 18th Cross Dosa and Bombat Dosa. All are thicker specimen of its genre, are fried golden brown on the outside and generously coated with podi (gunpowder) on the inside. Bombat dosa is additionally layered with garlic paste and served with masala. The combination of this with sambhar and trio of chutneys is amazing. Think of crunchy dosa, flavorful filling, nutty podi, cool chutney and piping hot sambhar- all-in-one. These are fried in white butter, btw, but it doesn’t matter. It is so delicious, you will not leave a morsel behind!
Podi Dosa at Carnatic Cafe
A special mention for the Rice of the Day. Our favorite is the Tamarind. Served with curd, papad and a dried-chilly-of-a-kind, this dish so simple is still full of texture (from the peanuts) and flavor (hello spice). Definite try if you here for a small snack.
Tamarind Rice at Carnatic Cafe
So are their Mini Meals- not so literally. Because there is sabzi, korma, papad, salad, pickle, sweet, rice, rasam, buttermilk! The vegetables change daily, but not in taste. Everything on this platter is home-y, subtly spiced and full bodied.
Mini Meal at Carnatic Cafe
Now the bad bit.
The service. Since the place is huge as compared to the NFC one, they need more attendants on the floor. If you are sitting at the further end of the restaurant be ready to call them out by waving continuously.
Despite that it is hard not to fall in love with Carnatic Cafe.
Paddu at Carnatic Cafe
There is no place in Delhi like this- serving fresh good food and not charging a hefty price for it. This place is a must-visit for those who not only enjoy South Indian food, but want to move on from the usual-paper-thin dosas. Also for those who have visited the South (Karnataka in particular) know and miss a thick dosa.
Address:M-21, M Block Market, Greater Kailash (GK) 2, New Delhi
Contact: 011 41708631