The Metropolis

I first read about The Metropolis in a rather eye-catchingly titled Rahul Verma article last year: “Manali in Paharganj”. And when the man himself recommended it as one of the best places for continental food, we wasted no time in organizing an EOiD community expedition to Paharganj.

I have taken several friends to The Metropolis since that first “field trip” in April, and my experiences, though overall positive, have not been quite as unmixed as I would have hoped.

Compared to Ten, the only other multicuisine restaurant that we’ve yet covered, the Metropolis pales in many respects: the ambience is somewhat seedy, with poorly lit interiors and table cloths that are liable to be stained. If the weather permits it, one should opt to sit on the roof instead. Service can be erratic, particularly if the restaurant is busy, which it often is. And unlike Ten, which can seem to get no dish wrong, you have to know what not to order at the Metropolis.

First off, the Mughlai offerings are to be entirely avoided. On my last visit there, even our waiter confessed that that part of their menu was sub-par. We had ordered bagaare baingan, a Hyderabadi dish that is a family favourite, and involves stuffed small eggplants cooked in a rich black gravy of coconut, peanut, tamarind, cumin, and much else. What we got instead was an insipid curry made from baingan ka bharta. Positively sacrilegious! The kadhai paneer was average at best, as were the naans and rotis. Both the curries were dripping with oil, making it even harder to discern any taste whatsoever.

Another disappointment I’ve had before is with the pancakes. I had placed my 90 Rupee order for a plate of pancakes in the hope that I’ll get the standard two American-style fluffy pancakes with a side of maple sauce. The maple sauce was there indeed, but there was only one pancake, and that too a thin French-style crêpe. One, the quantity makes this dish a complete rip-off for the price. Two, if they do have to serve French crêpes, they should advertise them as such, and serve them with a somewhat more substantial filling, such as chicken or even jam. Then again, the best place to have crêpes in Delhi might just be Blines.

I haven’t tried most of the drinks on the menu, but my experience with the Bloody Mary wasn’t encouraging — the tomato juice was thick to the point of being a purée, and drowned out the taste of any vodka or Worcestershire sauce that they may have thrown in there.

Where the Metropolis excels, is in their continental entrées. Dishes which I’ve tried and can recommend include the tenderloin steak, vegetable au gratin, the spaghetti Bolognaise, pork chops, Hawaiian pizza, Italian salad, grilled sandwiches, and possibly their best creation — the Supreme, also called the Chicken a la Kiev. This breaded boneless chicken breast stuffed with butter is perhaps reason enough to trek to Paharganj — but beware, it takes them a good 20 minutes or more to prepare it, so be quick in ordering it!

The dishes listed above are just a fraction of a fairly impressive array of continental food available at the Metropolis — a key area in which it trumps Ten, which has a far smaller selection, though from a greater variety of cuisines.

Directions: Take the Metro to R. K. Ashram Marg. Take the first right into Paharganj’s Main Bazar from Chitragupta road, walk a couple hundred yards, and you’ll see the Metropolis on your left. No more than a 5 minute walk from the Metro station. Map

Prices: most entrées are Rs. 200-250, whereas sandwiches, pancakes etc are in the Rs. 90-110 range.

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4 thoughts on “The Metropolis”

  1. @Mudit: Mate, I don’t copy from Rahul Verma. But I’m more than happy to take advice from the master on new places to try out, every once in a while 🙂 You’ll notice I duly credit him whenever I have gone to a place thanks to a suggestion by him over the phone or in a column.

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