I came here back in 2011 and tried one of the best Indian restaurants ever. With so many exotic spices, each and every dish has its own flavor wheel, all made with authentic Indian seasonings, truly one amazing experience
Named one of the finest Indian Restaurants in the US by New York Times and featured on the Galloping Gourmet TV Show, New Delhi is the place to dine. Decorated like a Maharajah’s private banquet room, the restaurant serves cuisine made from recipes culled from the royal Indian menus dating back 300 to 400 years using the freshest local ingredients. Chef and owner, Ranjan Dey, star of PBS show – “MY INDIA” creates daily specials with his six gourmet spice blends, available nation wide in gourmet specialty stores. He started his career in the food business at the age of 14 at Calcutta’s Park Hotel as a vegetable cutter. After finishing high school, he graduated from Institute of Catering Technology, Hotel Management and Applied Nutrition. But during all this, he kept his part-time evening job in different hotels. He then worked at the Grand and Great Eastern Hotels in Calcutta before he moving to New Delhi where he worked in Akbar and Janpath Hotels. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Ranjan spent two years as a senior Chef in the kitchens of the Maurya Sheraton Hotel in New Delhi.
New Delhi Restaurant was established in 1988 and opened by San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, on Nov 20th, 1988. Since then many famous politicians have crossed its threshold from Lt. Governor Pete Wilson, Ex Gov. Jerry Brown, others like the late Milton Marks, Wille Brown and many more. In 1990 it became established as the Indian Cultural and Culinary headquarters when President Bill Clinton met all the Indians of the Bay Area to listen to their issues. Their famous front bar, since its inception in 1988 the New Delhi Bar has been the favorite hot spot for many working in the downtown restaurant and hotel trade. It remains open up to 2 am. They are famous for our two happy hours; the first at 5 pm and the second at 11 pm. This is because not everybody works 9-5 pm and the restaurant staff usually end the evening shifts about 11pm at night. This is definitely the place for fresh scoop in the restaurant and hotel industry in downtown San Francisco.
“When you’re looking for a relaxing meal filled with exciting, stimulating aromas and flavors try the New Delhi and don’t forget the bartender makes Bombay Gin Martini” -SF Bay Guardian.
New Delhi Restaurant and Chef Owner Ranjan Dey has received numerous awards and gold medals for excellence in Indian cuisine and spice blends. His restaurant is also a favorite spot of many Indian celebrities, on any given day you may be dining next to spiritual guru like Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Here’s What I Tried:
New Delhi Sunset, An exotic combination of vodka, sparkling lemonade, pomegranate syrup and a dash of grapefruit juice. Effervescent and refreshing, filled with a floral nuance.
Lychee Martini, A tropical delight with infused vodka, pretty much my favorite, and it is sweet but packed with a nice rounded vodka flavor.
Mango Martini, Alphonso mango puree and pomegranate syrup. This has such a rich smooth texture, really fantastic.
Murky Bengali Martini, Shaken with infused vodka, spiced tamarind and served with the biggest olive you have ever seen! They are imported directly from City of Olives, Jalpaiguri in Bengal, India. These unpitted giant olives are pickled in spicy vinegar with ghost chili in-house and cured for twenty-one days for a tasty perfect murky moment. A must try when your at New Delhi, it just hits the spot.
Samosa, crispy turnovers filled with lightly spiced potatoes and green peas. What can I say except for simply the best samosa ever.
Papadums, lentil wafers with cumin and pepper studs. This is one of my favorites appetizers, its just crispy goodness.
Assorted Tandoori Platter, Combination of chicken tikka, seekh keebab and tandoori prawn. A great start, it has a bit of everything you would want to try from the tandoori oven.
Coconut Cilantro Goan Kofta, A vegetarian house specialty made with mushroom and soya bits in delicious coconut cilantro gravy. There is something so special about this dish, and I had never tried it before. I just loved it.
Kerelan Pepper Chicken, with creamy coconut chicken in onion gravy with black pepper, curry leaves and whole mustard. Another great dish with a terrific array of spices and just the right amount of sauce.
Murg Akbari, an exotic preparation of chicken with cashews, raisins and grated paneer, simmered in a creamy sauce. It was a favorite of the Mughal ruler of India, Emperor Akbar (1542-1605). This is a recreation of the original recipe dating back to the 16th century. The cashews and raisins add a good amount of texture and sweetness.
Prawn Masala, big juicy pieces of prawn cooked in a light sauce. Being the shrimp lover I just had to try this one and it didn’t disappoint.
Lamb Vindaloo, with spicy hot lamb or chicken curry with potatoes. Be forewarned this one packs a punch, very spicy but truly a winner. After every bite the spice will last and get deeper.
Vegetable Side Dishes:
Spiced Vegetables Curry, with a combination of cauliflower, beans, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes and potatoes in a medium sauce. This dish will give you the freshest vegetables in a perfect curry sauce.
Mattar Paneer, with homemade soft cheese and green peas simmered with delicate spices. Always a favorite of mine, it has subtle flavors that go well with the rest of the curry dishes.
Raitha, homemade yogurt churned with cucumber flakes and studded with roasted cumin. This dish was sweet with a pickled type of flavor; it will cool your palate down from all of the heat.
Rice and Breads:
Vegetable Pullao, Saffron flavored rice cooked with seasonal vegetables. Done correctly there is nothing better then good basmati rice and at New Delhi they really know how to make delicious rice.
Garlic Nan, with fresh-spiced garlic and cilantro. This has lots of garlic, and the bread is soft and inviting.
They gave me 2 different desserts and both were a great way to end my glorious meal.
Chardonnay, barrel fermented wine in American oak. A nose of tasty vanilla and butter with flavors of ripe pear, apple and spice. A long terrific finish. This is a lovely, buttery wine that paired nicely with the shrimp masala.
Zinfandel, deep rich black fruit on the nose, wild berry and spice on the palate. This wine went great with any of the curry dishes, as well as the lamb dish, it has a big bold flavor that matches up well with the spicy curries.
The interior is very romantic and elegant, with lots of exotic details. The bar is very lovely as well, but the dining room is where you want to have your taste buds experience all of this bounty and all of their amazing spices. What more could you ask for, delicious, Indian fine dining with all of the bells and whistles.
This is specialized Indian food at its best, for those that have never tried Indian food then here is your chance. Skip all the rest and try the best!!
New Delhi Restaurant and Bar
160 Ellis St.
San Francisco, CA.
*Some text was taken off of their website