6 Reviews / 8 Ratings
The time that I spent in Delhi included among others, travelling up & down the length & breadth of Delhi, in search of South Indian food (whenever I missed it). And who in their right mind would've thought that a Government "canteen" of all places, would turn out to be one of the busiest & most sought after dining places.
Andhra Bhavan, one among the bhavans/houses of various state governments in Delhi. These are mainly meant to cater to officials of a particular state government, serving as a home away from home for them, when they're in Delhi on "official business". It is actually located on Ashoka Road & not CP as indicated on Zomato.
I've been to Andhra Bhavan on quite a few occasions and have never had the fortune of trying out their biriyani - it isn't available on a daily basis. So it has always been their Thali.
The Thali is unlimited (not the non-veg items though) - just the rice, sabzi, sambhar etc. The Thali is quite good and the Chicken/Mutton preparation is usually good, except on an occasion or two, when the Mutton has disappointed. As is the case with Andhra food & that's the way I like it, the curries are spicy, slightly oily. The sabzi & dal are pretty OK, nothing to rave about, at least not for seasoned South Indians.
The place is always crowded, literally like a beehive, especially during lunch hours. One needs to pay upfront, take a token, squeeze into the crowd, inform the bearer of your group size & then wait until an adequate table space gets created.
Verdict :- Quite a decent place for Andhra Thali, considering the lack of good South Indian restaurants in Delhi. But not at all a fine dining option. Decent VFM
I have been a regular visitor at the Ap Bhavan canteen since my graduation days in delhi but recently i had been through a horrible experience when i visited this place on a Sunday afternoon. As usual the place was crowded. I called for a thali, and wanted a prawn curry parceled. I also gave one of the waiters a 150 rs worth coupon. On having finished my thali, i asked them for the parceled prawn curry. I paid for the thali, and was asked to pay for 150 rs more. I told them that i'd already given them a coupon worth the prawn curry. But they refused saying that unless you did not remember the waiter to whom you gave the coupon, the dish could easily be given away at another table. I spoke to the manager, but my complaint fell on deaf ears, and i had to leave the place without my prawn curry. I'd suggest that the visitors here remember the waiter they give their coupons too, or they would end up like me. Although i am never gonna visit them again.
okay for all those who love southindian/ andhra food, this place is a must. Its actually the mess of the bhawan and its always full. we went on a weekend and we were glad it was just the two of us as we got a table faster. but its amazing to see hordes and hordes of people. squeezing in, trying to get to the counter and placing their orders. foreigners, andhraites, non andhraites, children, everyones theres at andhra bhawan. The manager/ursherer is the most powerful person there, as he dictates when you get a table and get to eat that yum yum food. so each table has an existing set of pickle, salt available. You place an order at the counter, you get a coupon and when you get the table you hand over the coupon to the manager. Being a vegetarian, i ordered for a veg thali and i swear to god, i could go to heaven after eating that thali. the sweet dish, 1 papad, and dahi come only in one serving, so if you want extra, you need to pay for them. There are 3 vegetables, roti, rice, dal, rasam and sambhar in the thali. In true style, the food is pure pure andhraite. The rasam is just the way it should be, perfect, sambhar flawless. The dal too lives upto its standards. One cant stop eating the papad and the mixture of pickle, vegetables, rice makes up for a perfect meal. One may be a little put off by the ambience, but you cant complain, its a mess where the thali costs you just 80bucks. Gives stiff competition to the sarvana bhawan in CP but again, they all serve different cuisines. Amust go, one of my favorites in Delhi!
At Andhra Bhawan today, I ate lauki (bottle gourd), parwal (pointed gourd), and baingan (eggplant) chutney all 3 vegetables I intently dislike, and pretty much never eat. But this is the magic of Andhra Bhawan everything tastes incredible there. I dont know how they do this, but its just wonderful. The standard components of the Thali the rasam, the sambar, the daal are all consistent, and delicious, and the variable ones (like the ones I mentioned above) are always interesting, and almost invariably very, very good.
So to quickly clarify what exactly is served here: the standard fare is a Rs.80/- unlimited, vegetarian thali (platter), and you can order single-serve meat portions separately. During breakfast, you have the usual idlis, vadas, etc ., but those are surprisingly mediocre, and you would be well-advised to stay away from those. Go to Andhra Bhawan for lunch or dinner, and when you are very, very hungry so that you can do justice to the food, and be prepared to invariably overeat. A couple of notes of caution: this is not a place for the faint-hearted the food is spicy, the place is pretty dirty, always ridiculously crowded, hot, and uncomfortable. But all this does not matter in the least bit if you care about the food, because it more than compensates for all the cons. Honestly, I cant imagine a better way to spend Rs.80/- on food in the city of Delhi!
We've been frequenting Andhra Bhawan Canteen since 1997, when the present caterer wasn't around. He came in around 1999 and what a round of meals its been since then! A thali (Rs.40 then) costs Rs.80 now, and it's well...Unlimited, except for the Dahi and the sweet dish (surprisingly tasty halwa-goo).
The thali is a pre-comparmentalized plate, as in most authentic Andhra-meal places down south consisting of rice of the day (tamarind-rice, pulao, spicy-rice, depending on the day of the week), plain rice, deep fried pooris, one cup dahi, one sweet item, two subzis (alternating between cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, beans, some gourds most of the time), an array of chutneys, dal, rasam and sambar.
The vegetables are usually done well - easy-on-oil yet fresh and crisp with a peanut/coconut base. The chutneys are spicy - make it a point to try the gongura chutney, which is a fiery red yet tasty chutney. The Dal is typically andhra style, with loads of curry leaves and red-chillies. Make it a point to eat dal-rice chasing it with a cup of rasam and finishing with curd-rice. If you've got a healthy appetite, throw in some sambar-rice-ghee in between. All in all, excellent value for money. Non-veggies love the Biryani here, although my lunch-companions usually give it a miss, as the thali is satiating enough.
Be Warned! It's mad crowded during lunchtime, so it's wise to make it there around 12.40 p.m before the peak hour (13.00)! The breakfast served here is a gem of a south-indian platter. 2 idlis and preparation of the day. A little-known secret, but to people who live around the area. :D
Meals at their best
This place is just amazing. You need to pay for you meal first and then wait for your token number to be called out to get your seat. There is this amazing stout guy who calls out the token numbers in such an interesting way, I love going there to hear that as well. This is just the start of your experience at the Andhra Bhawan Canteen.
Then comes the food - One by one you have you Thali being filled with some lovely Andhra preparations. I especially love their Chutney and the dry Subji they offer - usually Karela or Brinjal.
Apart from the meal you can also order for other dishes depending on availability. You can try their Biryanis and Chicken Masala.
Damages on a meal - Rs 70