Authentic Italian for Desi Palates

Is it hard to run an Italian restaurant in a part of the city that’s culturally a north-Indian stronghold? I would have thought so, given that a Kashmiri restaurant in the same premises needed its menu tweaked to reflect a north-Indian bias.

As it happens, no it isn’t as uphill a journey as one might think. Talking to the folks who run Pomodoro at the Hilton, Janakpuri gave me the impression that while a typical diner from the area may prefer sticking to Punjabi food when in the mood for Indian, Italian is very much acceptable of all the the other foreign cuisines available in the city. Of course, given the very traditional tastes that exist, beef and pork based dishes or the more adventurous varieties of seafood may not be the most popular. Having said that, I found a bunch of Italian dishes in the Pomodoro menu that’ll appeal to the much-exposed palate as well as the homegrown, desi ones.

Strange isn’t it? One could paraphrase and state, an Italian menu works better than a Kashmiri one.

Our Blogger’s Table was invited to partake of a meal at Pomodoro, located within the Hilton, Janakpuri. Six of us made it – Aishwarya, Charis, Mukta, Rekha, Ruchira and myself. While hanging around and chit-chatting pre-lunch, we made a very interesting discovery – this Hilton has a great baker on board! Each time the little bread boards were re-stocked, we’d lunge at them, slathering warm morsels of fresh bread with pesto and olive oil, then sit back, keeping a hawk eye for the next round. Eventually, we had to request our waiter to please stop re-stocking the table, else there wouldn’t be any room left for the set menu Chef had put together for our lunch. It’s strange what fresh bread will do to normally sane people.

Next: A Great Start to Lunch

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at