This Hidden Restaurant In Chanakyapuri Brings Fragrant Malabari, Goan & Mangalorean Flavours
Ensconced amongst the verdant green lies Sana-di-ge, a casual dining restaurant with the ambience of a fine dining one. They’re serving amazing coastal flavours and seafood in Delhi, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it.
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In A Nutshell
Sana-di-ge in the Tulu language refers to the tall brass lamps that the people along Karnataka’s coastal area light on special occasions. At Sana-di-ge in Chanakyapuri, you see one as soon as you enter for not only the literal representation but also as if to say that every day is an auspicious occasion here. The restaurant serves food from Mangalorean and North Indian cuisines, with a larger variety of coastal dishes from Mangalore. Even the chefs here are from South India, and they keep the flavours authentic to how it is supposed to be prepared.
The restaurant is built on three levels—the ground floor, and two levels above it. You can choose to go up using the lift, or you could take the stairs. No matter which part of the restaurant it is that you pick, you’re sure to have one of the best dining experiences of your life. The walls are decorated with intricately carved wooden panels that further illustrate the craftsmanship of the artisans from Karnataka.
We chose to sit on the top floor near the window. That is where the bar area is, too. But, you can always pick the floor below if you like natural light a little more since the windows are slightly bigger there.
Raise A Glass To
They make some refreshing fresh fruit cocktails that are perfect for the Summer. Their mocktails don’t fail to stun too. We got a Coconut and Pineapple Margarita, which was so full of alcohol, you could smell it from more than a few inches away. It was delicious, of course. Fair warning if you try this in the middle of the day—you may want to go slow with this one. We also got a Tender Coconut Mojito which tasted as delicious as it looked stunning. They serve all their drinks in tall glasses, so you can easily hold your drink before going on to the next one. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative, you must get the Summery Melon, which has watermelon, apple juice, and fresh lime and mint. It’s just the thing to have if you’ve come to dine in after being in the heat for a while.
We also tried the Mangalorean traditional drinks. We got the Sol Kadi, a drink made of Kokum and Butter Milk with some garlic and tempered with roasted cumin and curry leaves. You must also get the Elaneeru Shunti which is essentially coconut water flavoured with a little ginger and lemon. Considering how hot it gets in South India, these drinks are meant to cool your entire system down, and frankly, you may end up wanting to skip the cocktails and mocktails if you’re looking to have a more traditional meal.
On The Silver Platter
We started with the Drumstick Soup which looks and tastes a lot like the Drumstick Sambhar that is made in south Indian homes, but is slightly less viscous and is made with lots of pressed and crushed drumsticks. We also got the Crab Meat Soup which was more like a clear soup with perfectly cooked crab meat in it. If you’re looking for soul food, this is it.
We were served rice papad with six different kinds of chutneys, each with a different kind of flavour. Great to munch on while you’re waiting for your food. We started with Anjal Tawa Fry which had a slightly crispy layer outside and had a peppery taste, the oh-so-creamy Yetti (prawns) in Butter Pepper Garlic, and the Mushroom Ghee Roast that we wanted to get more and more of. We also got the Mamsa (boneless mutton) Pepper Fry that gave that peppery kick in the back of your mouth and was just the perfect starter with all the tempering from the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and Kori Da Ghee Roast (chicken) which was super soft and a little spicy.
We got the incredibly light Appam to go with the delicious Vegetable Stew which was mildly flavoured. All the flavours from the veggies mixed in with the creamy coconut milk just went with the Appam really well. We got some fragrant Coconut Rice to go with all the other curries that we got. The Goan Fish Curry is everything you thought it would be if it’s the first time you’re trying it. You can taste all the flavours from the spices that are authentic to Goan cuisine and notice immediately that the fish is perfectly done. We also got the Mangalorean Mutton Curry, which is their speciality. The Chemmeen Ularthiyathu was cooked in Malabar spices, and the prawns were so delicious that you may want to finish the whole thing by yourself. The Kori Kundapuri is a speciality chicken dish from the South Karnataka region. If you’ve had traditional Maharashtrian food extensively, you will be able to spot the similarities in flavour between the cuisines, and not only because they’re both on the West coast.
To finish our meal, we had the most amazing desserts. The Elaneer Payasam has to be, hands-down, the most amazing payasam we’ve ever had. It’s so good, that you’ll regret eating so much and not saving room for this because we know that you won’t want to have just one of this. It’s made in coconut milk, and has pieces of tender coconut in it; all garnished quite liberally with almonds. We can’t say enough about how good this was. The Raggi Manni is a type of halwa made with ragi flour and has that slight nutty quality. You can taste the ghee, the jaggery, the coconut, and the spices that have gone into making this. If nothing else, these desserts will make you want to come back to Sana-di-ge.
Food For Thought
While Sana-di-ge makes equally delicious North Indian food, you may want to skip it and indulge yourself in the yummy, creamy coastal dishes of south Karnataka. The flavours are authentic and made with a lot of love and years of experience. Even if you’ll be able to visit this place only once in your lifetime, it’ll be worth it.
Head to 22/48, Commercial Centre, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Say hello at 011 4050 7777
Pay INR 2,200 for two (approx.) with alcohol
Timings 12 pm to 3:30 pm, 7 pm to 11:30 pm