Remember Delhi’s fine dining landscape? Before the big American franchises took over, malls pushed out our most regular haunts, and we fell prey to chef’s specials, fusion menus and culinary genius. This is our ode, to the restaurants that made us, broke us, and will forever be the reasonĀ Delhi knows its food today.

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Geoffreys

It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, Geoffreys was most definitely our introduction to the lines blurring between dinner, drinks and dancing. Also, you needed to be above 12 to get in, which, for when you’re 13, is a big win!

Oriental Bloom

When Ansal Plaza was still our mall du jour, and Chinese cuisine, a relatively new game. Here’s to the start of roof top restaurants, aerial views, and restaurants within a mall.

Chopsticks

Still around, and serving up a mean brunch, we can be sure most of your childhood memories are tied up with Chopsticks and their standard instrumental music CD.

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Drums of Heaven

They currently boast a multi-cuisine, comfort food menu, but there was a day they made it to the top five places to eat right now. Especially on school nights, when the idea that your parents let you stay up late was more important than any food we could eat.

Dollops

Special mention to Dollops, that set the pace for ice-cream parlours, multiple scoops, and a promotion from Kwality Walls carts. Anyone remember that pink mechanical elephant we could ride in the store?

The Supper Factory

When we were just getting familiar with alcohol, breaking the rules, and attempting to score a decent curfew. Here’s to everyone who’s still alive after one too make binge drinking sessions, in the basement that was Supper Factory.

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Aka Saka

Still a winner {especially if you’re hungover}, they have some of the best happy hour deals in town. Before the giant influx of oriental joints, Aka Saka and their Indian Chinese had our hearts.

Wimpy’s

We arent referring to the current Wimpy’s rising success, courtesy Summer House. We’re talking before the McDonalds, Burger Kings and Johnny Rockets, traditional fast food joint in CP and Aurobindo. It does make us happy that they’re still around.

Corbett at Claridges

Although we’re aren’t complaining, since its now Sevilla. But concept restaurants started at Corbett. Staff dressed as keepers, tree houses, and the presence of fake animals; it was always a good time at Corbett.

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TGIF in Vasant Vihar

Before the malls took it away, and one too many breweries edged it out, TGIF in Vasant Vihar was numero uno for birthday parties {followed by a movie at Priya}, family lunches, and drinking sessions for young adults. Who remembers the staff making you stand on your chair, singing happy birthday?

Bali Hi

Loy {from trio Shankar, Eshan and Loy} has Bali Hi to thank. Fun fact: this is where he started his career as part of a band called Ebony, and unlike the soaring success they saw, Bali Hi has since shut its doors. After many a restaurant came and went, it is now home to Tian-Asian Cuisine Studio.

Sizzlers

This got us thinking, how come no new Delhi restaurant has attempted to bring back the sizzler? Sizzlers have a special place in every Dilliwaalas heart, and if any of you born and bred Dilliwaalas can name one person in your family who hasn’t at least sampled a sizzler, your next meal is on us.