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Friday, October 14, 2016

New Delhi, India: Superb Coffee, Fair Pasta, Excellent Value … Just Off Main Bazaar

Cafe Festa
1832 Laxmi Narain Street (Just Off Main Bazaar)
Chuna Mandi, Paharganj, New Delhi 110055, India
Phone: +91-112-358-8000
Prices: $$$$
I found Café Festa and decided to give them a try after reading numerous “rave” reviews, mostly by Americans. The restaurant is just a few blocks from the Ramakrishna Ashram Marg Metro station (opposite end from the train station) on a street just parallel to Main Bazaar. It was easy to find using Google Maps and because of the good signage in front. It has a clean, open, modern feel with a couple tables out front, a small dining area as you walk in, and a larger area downstairs. The waiters, and I use that archaic term only because there are no female servers in India as far as I can tell, speak passable English and are attentive and efficient. I was seated quickly.
The menu is thick with numerous beverage options, including coffees, teas, shakes and other local concoctions as well as vegetarian breakfasts, appetizers, pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, and Chinese dishes in addition to several savory options from India.

I was in the mood for something Italian, so I went with the spaghetti and vegetables (broccoli and olives) in a creamy garlic sauce. I thought that American restaurants unnecessarily drown their pasta in sauce, but this dish was closer to a soup than an authentic pasta dish. It was a decent size and accompanied by two pieces of what I thought to be Italian bread (by the shape), but had the consistency of Wonder Bread. The flavor was good, with a tad too much garlic, even for my taste, but could have used a lot less sauce, more broccoli, and a little more parmesan cheese. No bad.
Along with the pasta I had a Diet Coke, nearly impossible to find in Delhi along with other diet soft drinks, and a liter of water and the bill came to just under 300 rupees (about $4.80). Cheap by American standards for a decent meal in a sit-down restaurant.

Having become disenchanted with my hotel’s rooftop restaurant, I decided to try their coffee the next morning. I went for the “grande” Café Latte (95 Rupees - $1.55), an excellent value compared to Starbucks and their “regular” (80 Rupees - $1.30). The regular comes in a normal size cup and saucer, but the grande is probably twice the size with two shots of espresso. The presentation was nice with just the right foam to milk ratio and a nice leaf pattern made on top of the foam. The coffee was just hot enough not to scald the tongue and delicious. I can honestly say that I have not had a better latte in a long time, in the U.S. or in Italy for that matter.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced meal or drink in an area not abundant with clean, modern facilities, Café Festa is the place for you.

CombatCritic Gives Café Festa 7 Bombs Out of 10 … MORE BOMBS ARE BETTER!
Seven Bombs Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

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Cafe Festa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: New Delhi, India: Superb Coffee, Fair Pasta, Excellent Value … Just Off Main Bazaar

Key Words: Cafe Festa, cafe. festa, CombatCritic, Delhi Coffee, Main Bazaar, menu, new, New Delhi, pasta, product, restaurant, review, service, Tabelog, travel, TravelValue, value, Yelp, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: S&G = "Shits & Grins"

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