Dining at Potbelly, the famous Bihar Niwas Canteen in Delhi

ihari food at Bihar Niwas’s Potbelly, Delhi

Bihar Niwas’s canteen is run like a restaurant by professionals. It is called Potbelly…and is mighty famous! Going by the number of cars parked outside and the waiting time on weekends, you will be confused if it’s actually located in a ‘state bhavan’.

ihari food at Bihar Niwas’s Potbelly, Delhi ihari food at Bihar Niwas’s Potbelly, Delhi

Potbelly is located in a lovely bylane of Chanakya Puri, in a lane that has multiple other state guest houses. Good seating arrangements, we chose the open seating outside overlooking the lawn. Service is good and professional. Here too, we asked for their recommendation and opted for the ‘specials’ — Meat Pakora basket for starters — perfectly spiced, hot and crispy 4 pieces each of Mutton Shammi Kebabs and Chicken Pakodas that make you sit firmly in your chairs, exclaiming if these were so good, how will be the mains?! Both items were. The mutton ones are mildly spiced and go well with the green chutney, while the chicken ones are surprisingly better, fried Indian style in a batter with onions etc.  And we ordered a round of the veg Litti Chokha we had heard much about — whole wheat balls stuffed with Sattu, served with Chana dal and an eclectic mix of Baigan Bharta (Aubergine mash – fancier name) and a spicy mashed potato. A variant of Rajasthan’s Dal Baati Churma, the Litti Chokha is interesting — you break one wheat ball and have it with dal, and a mix of the accompaniments. Mildly flavoured, filling and worth a try.  The mains were devoted to Mutton dishes that have made this place famous — Khada Masala Mutton (served with paranthas) and Mutton Chaap (served with Rotis). The former was very oily and spicy – reminded us of ‘Kosha mangsho’ — but what we loved were the Chops served in a very rich gravy. The ‘Chaap’ serving was good, the other disappointed a little as there was too little mutton, suitable for one. What we realized is that the items are individual plates but we will recommend ordering a mix and sharing, with extra rotis.

For desserts, go with Makhana Kheer – an excellent kheer of Makhana (Lotus Seeds) with saffron.

Address: Tikendrajit Marg, Chanakyapuri


Want to dine at the restaurants of other state bhavans in Delhi? Read this list where we have compiled our experiences…and choose the one you want to go to the next time.. Do-Not-Miss State Bhavans’ Dining in Delhi – List of Delhi’s BEST State Bhavan restaurants

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