Good food, like every good thing in this world, is to die for. The Big Chill, plush in the high streets of Khan Market of New Delhi, is a personification of this very statement. Dilli, as I like to refer to New Delhi as, is a glorious match of some of the best eateries, so naturally you are spoilt for choices here.
Even in the midst of the gleaming new places, The Big Chill holds its own. Walk up the narrow flight of stairs into the dinner hall adorned by posters of some of the greatest films of all time, and you’re greeted by affable, smiling faces. The menu, flag-bearer of The Big Chill’s gorgeous spread, headlines with Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary quote from his iconic film, Birds.
If you are visiting the place for the first time, you’ll take quite some time to decide exactly what you want. You can choose to tuck into the lip smacking pizzas, or go for an incredibly well-cooked risotto. Further down the pages, you come across wide varieties of lasagne, sandwiches and more. It is marvellous to note that even in a restaurant particularly revered for its non-vegetarian fare, vegetarians have options galore to choose from, and the nosh is excellent.
It is marvellous to note that even in a restaurant particularly revered for its non-vegetarian fare, vegetarians have options galore to choose from, and the nosh is excellent.
After over five years of winding up at The Big Chill every time I have needed to find inspiration and cheer, here are mainstays of my orders. Each of these dishes have catered to specific moods, along with the evergreen presence of the wonderful mocktails and the legendary desserts. Here’s what you would love at The Big Chill:
Tomato and Basil Sandwich
A classic, quick bite if you’re on the move, this evergreen sandwich is toasted to give the perfect, crisp bite. The filling is generous, with the perfect balance of sharp flavours disguising the tangy tomatoes.
Mood: On a short work break
Pair it with: Oreo shake, or Coke, if you are looking for a light drink.
Garlic Bread with Cheese
The quintessential meal starter, the freshness of the bread fused with a generous layer of cheddar cheese makes the tiny golden pieces of garlic bread melt in your mouth. The flavour is perfect, and the lightness sets you up for a perfect meal.
Do not forget: Sprinkle some extra oregano to spice it up
Veggie Piri Piri Pizza
Deemed essential for every pizza lover, this thin crust pizza is almost as good as you will get to have anywhere in Dilli. Filled with generous doses of red peppers, mushrooms, capsicum and onions, the piri piri pizza has an excellent balance of spice to suit your palate. The crust is perfectly rolled out, and the crispness of the pizza is to die for.
Mood: Light, when meeting a few old friends
The best drink: The apple lemonade is a good combination
The various forms of spaghetti was instrumental in elevating The Big Chill to its iconic status. This one here is particularly prolific amidst the vegetarian fare. Boiled perfectly to the second and added with a sharp tangy flavour, the Spaghetti Napoletana is one of the old favourites of mine. It is almost like an old friend to go back to.
Mood: Any time I feel mellow
Have it with: The Tiramisu cheesecake, once you’re done with it
Baked Penne Primavera
This particular pasta is particularly interesting as it is made in a combination of red and white sauces. The result is delicious, and is for all those of you, who like me, find it hard to choose between red sauce and white sauce pasta.
Mood: Exploring for unknown options
The best combination: Sweet lime soda, keeping it light and hearty
Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne
The reason why I saved this for the end is because this is the very, very best of The Big Chill. Thick, laden with cheese and generous helpings of well-spiced spinach and the distinct crunch of mushrooms, this particular dish is the one I treat myself to, whenever I’ve commemorated something important in my life. The dish is heavy, so you better be hungry before opting for it.
Mood: Any time, every time
The perfect ending: The behemoth dessert, Chocolate Mousse cheesecake
These are my six hand-picked favourites from the extensive vegetarian fare at The Big Chill. If you feel any worthy notations are missing here, do let me know. After all, this is food so good that it leaves you with tears in your eyes.