By Rupali Lamba

Despite the 70 odd restaurants that exist in Hauz Khas Village at any given time, the discerning Dilliwaala tends to {repeatedly} gravitate towards a handful. For me, amongst my favourites are Yeti, Gunpowder {when it was still around}, TLR, Naivedyam, Diva Piccola, Fork You, and often Smokehouse Deli.

Remember the first time you walked into any of the aforementioned establishments – that feeling of wonder and anticipation; the knowledge that you were about to experience something that was going to become special. A space that was going to become a fixture in your life, whether it was the place you went to catch up with your friends to chase away the Delhi chill, or it was the place you went to dance the night away, lost in a musical frenzy; a place you repeatedly visited with your mum for brunch, or with your man-friends for gluttonous Sundays.

The Toddy Shop, located on the 2nd floor of what is now the Bootlegger building gave me those magical tingles; I haven’t experienced these since, well…Yeti, three years ago. The space has saffron milky walls, potted plants, indigo and ikat upholstery, a well-appointed stage, and slow rock wafting through the sound system.

We ordered a Pothu Erachi Varattiyathu, {a Kerala beef fry with Porottas}, an Erachi Ishtoo {goat and potato curry in coconut milk}, Erisheri {red lentils and pumpkins cooked with coconut}, Iddiappam and an egg appam. I liked everything – including the Erisheri. Not only was every item we ordered balanced in itself, but also interplayed with others beauteously. The beef fry was dark and spicy, without causing oil-induced nausea after a few bites. The Ishtoo did its job of creating flavour and heat, and then dumbing it down with the coconut milk. The Erisheri was sweet and creamy, with freshly cooked dal texture, and helped to bring all the flavours of the meal together.

I really enjoy this type of food {which I am sure you have noticed, considering all the raving} but have always been frustrated that most establishments serve a ‘thrown-together,’ mass produced version of the same. At The Toddy Shop, each dish is meticulously prepared and exhibits a level of balance that can only come from a mother’s kitchen. Speaking of mothers, the menu is a part of the arsenal of Mrs. Kutty, who is Anup’s mother. Anup, Lubna and Randeep ran Ziro in HKV, before creating The Toddy Shop.

I cannot wait to try some other very exciting dishes on their menu, such as Ammamma’s Karal Varrathiyathu, fried goat liver with black pepper and spices {apparently an heirloom recipe}, The Aila Varutharachatu {a mackerel Kerala curry}, and the Mulaga Podi {as a side}, which is basically gunpowder and ghee.

I will now answer your burning question: No, they do not serve Toddy, and yes, the liquor license is coming soon. I experienced the calm before the storm and mania The Toddy Shop promises to become. If you want to eat in the comfort of your home and not have to brave the throngs in the Village, they also home-deliver.

Notes in our Little Black Book |

Incredible Keralite and South Indian food, The Toddy Shop is without a doubt a phenomenon in the making. Definitely try the specials on your first visit, and choose from the rest of the menu on your next visit{s}.

Where: 1 A, Hauz Khas Village; Contact: 9560256426, 011 40519338

Price: INR 1,500-2,000 {for two}

For more information, check out their Facebook page here.­­­


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