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“Authentic & Brilliant”
Review of Carnatic Cafe

Carnatic Cafe
Ranked #57 of 12,720 Restaurants in New Delhi
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Indian
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Carnatic café offers a very different tasting, authentic menu in comparison to the largely similar tasting South Indian fair of all the other restaurants in Delhi. From the idlis to the sambhar, the taste is different and better.

Serving authentic dishes like paddu (deep fried potato & onion balls) to the innovative Malleswaram 18th cross ( a dosa; not an address in Bangalore), the restaurant serves up excellent dishes. The chutneys are brilliant like everything else on the menu and are served with every dish that you order on the menu.

Having visited this joint 3 times now, I have tried many different dishes and have not been dissatisfied even once. Other than the dishes mentioned above, the rava idli is great (it is served fresh, so one has to wait about 20 minutes) and so are the paper masala dosa, the mini thali, the onion masala dosa. The filter coffee is absolutely brilliant and a great finisher to a very good meal.

The restaurant has a homely feel to it and the service is great. Though the location of the restaurant is in a market which is crowded and dirty, the food experience makes up for it.

Meal for two: approx. INR 300
Note: the restaurant also serves breakfast

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Thank alexander5upertramp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 - 235 of 244 reviews

Reviewed May 3, 2013

A simple cafe with outstanding food. Not your usual run of the mill dosas but crisp, chewy, one-will-fill-you-up Bangalore style dosas, idli and vadas. The idli's pack a punch as do the vadas - you can easily share. 18 Malleshwaram cross is by far the best dosa. The food is really filling, chutneys are nice, sambar is a little disappointing though. They have interesting rice options. Butter milk is very good. The desert options are limited. On the downside - plastic Thal's that look tacky, and a certain amount of 'looming-over-you' by the wait staff. The place is small and the staff has a tough time maintaining a distance. That said, don't go for the ambience ( none) but for the food and you'll have fun. Cheap and filling along with being tasty.

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Thank gippsee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Some years back, the title of finest South Indian food in Delhi was a title that evoked snorts of derision and guffaws, if not patronizing nods from South Indians and people who knew South Indian food. Specifically people who knew South Indian food not to be just Idly, vada, dosa and sambhar but who understood the multiple different cuisines that varied from district to district in ingredients, taste and much more.

Carnatic Cafe focuses specifically on South Karnataka cuisine, and the regional variations on the dosa, vada, et al and some regional specifics like raagi rotti and the gunthpangalu. For Kannadigas originally from South Karnataka, like myself, this is delight and what Carnatic Cafe does for me is simply out of the world.

For the non-Kannadiga, this is a place to try an authentic South Indian cuisine that, I promise you, will have you ordering far more things than you can possibly eat and then counting down to the days when you go there again. I will not offer any specific or special recommendations because Carnatic Cafe should be explored rather than "visited". It is hard to find even with NFC Market, and I lost my way the first couple of times, but now I allow my stomach to lead my legs where it needs to go.

Try as many things as possible on the menu because though it is not vast, whatever it does, Carnatic Cafe does superbly. This is the place where you've basically missed the point of the journey if you're going to turn up and order a masala dosa and vada. Not that they are bad or run of the mill, in their own right the "regular" South Indian food is brilliant but to truly appreciate Carnatic Cafe, you need to be adventurous and ambitious with your ordering.

Prices are very reasonable for Delhi, and for food this good, I'll gladly pay double.

Space is somewhat constricted though so large groups won't fit in well here.

If you're a Delhiite, plan a visit as soon as you're done reading this. If you''re visiting Delhi, (and not parts of South India) do not leave without visiting Carnatic Cafe.

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Thank Alok26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

If, like me, you have often wondered how you could walk down any street in Chennai/ Bangalore/ XYZ, and eat better dosas at any random roadside joint than you could anywhere in Delhi, then, like me, you are going to love, and be grateful that Carnatic Cafe is here. I discovered it a few months ago, and haven't stopped going there since. Forget the ambience, the service, the pricing (all of which, btw, are decent/ good) - this place is all about the food. Try anything, and everything, and it's all very good. And there are a couple of things that are simply fabulous - like the Malleshwaram 18th Street dosa and the Paddu.

One of my top 5 restaurants in Delhi today, and whole-heartedly recommended.

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Thank SBahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

The restaurant is a hidden gem. It has much more than normal Idli-Dosa that you get at Sagar. Podu and Rawa Idli were out of this world. Dosa's were crisp but had too much ghee. Next time I go there, I will request them to go easy on the Ghee. Owner Pawan was present to take feedback. All in All a very good experience. Definitely worth a visit.

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Thank AshishJain5497
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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