Contributed by Ruchira Hoon Philip
You can’t peel your eyes off the rows and rows of food. Those shiny green apples, they are real you know. That large pile of cheese? You can slice as large a chunk and take it home with you. Large, spacious and easy to maneuver, that’s how the latest supermarket in town is setting itself apart.
Foodhall at DLF Promenade Mall in Vasant Kunj, is the first of its kind in Delhi, not because of what it stocks, but because how its stocked. Take for example the aisle of mushrooms – an easel will tell you the difference between Button, enoki and shitake mushroom while Leonardo’s Olive Oil Bar will be a quick lesson for those who can take a minute to appreciate this fragrant oil. Oh and there’s a spice section, which allows you to grind your own spices.
The pros: There’s food and ingredient from virtually every single country that Indian’s are appreciative of – Thai curry pastes, Sushi dipping sauce, tagliatelle and raviolis and even truffle oils. There’s even a section of Kitchen ideas – where you can buy yourself silcone baking mats, fondue pots and even lettuce knives. And the best part is that there is plenty of room to maneuver your shopping cart.
The cons: There is no fresh meat. Only the frozen variety is available. Which means that call to your butcher might just be necessary. Even thought most of the breads are covered in plastic, the muffins and cakes, while in pretty cases, are uncovered. The thing is, India isn’t like dust-free like Europe, there are bound to be flies and dust and of course, the cakes will dry up. The other extremely noticeable thing is that there aren’t domestic options for everything. For example, you can buy brown sugar from Tate & Lyle but you can’t see the domestic brand Trust anywhere in sight. The biggest issue for me, however, was that there was no baking aisle – no cooking chocolates, no baking powders and not even a variety of baking flours.
The verdict: Foodhall falls short of being a one-stop shop for quality ingredients. If you have to finish your shopping in another store, then they’ve missed the point altogether. Of course being in the mall, will ensure footfall but if they keep up with the slow billing, it might just be easier to dash across to Basant Lok market where you have access to three supermarkets – Le Marche, Nature’s Basket and Modern Bazaar – and have a complete shopping experience.
Ed: Cover photo not from this establishment.