The vast expanse of open floor space, littered with a multitude of tables clad in bright white cloth is the first thing that struck me upon walking into the New Delhi Restaurant in downtown San Francisco.
As I awaited the arrival of the two IgoUgo guides I had come there to meet, I had a chance to look around. The sheer size of the restaurant (a converted hotel ballroom) was perfectly complimented by its high ceilings, looming columns, and ornate woodwork. The walls of New Delhi are authentically adorned with antique tiles imported from Florence, Italy. The ambiance of the restaurant is best described as elegant, yet subdued -- not at all overdone.
After everyone had arrived, we all quickly dove into the extensive and ultimately traditional menu. Award winning chef/owner Ranjan Dey prides himself on serving food "made from recipes culled from the royal Indian menus dating back 300 to 400 years using the freshest ingredients available." I enjoyed a crispy samosa for the appetizer portion of my meal, and the delicious chicken tandoori for the entrée. Both were delicious and all the spices were just right.
In addition to running the restaurant, Ranjan Dey also offers private cooking lessons to be arranged by appointment. Ranjan provides demonstrations, and subsequently offers tastings of the incredible dishes you can learn to make at home. In addition to your lesson, you also receive a gift of six spice blends and an Indian meal planner.
The New Delhi Restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bar hours are Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.