Ask anyone for authentic Andhra food in Delhi and without batting an eyelid, the suggestion would be the Andhra Bhavan State Canteen. Am I right? The extravagant thali there has kept us hooked on to it for all the right reasons. And why not?! Do we have more options around to try if we crave an authentic Andhra mutton curry, chicken fry or fluffy idlis? Besides everything else, a person who likes his dish of fish fry hot and chilli, do we have a place that serves it right along with a leisurely fine-dine ambiance? Yes, maybe now we do.
Nestled right in the heart of Delhi, facing the bustling outer circle of Connaught Place, is Bagundi. A fine-dine restaurant, Bagundi in Telugu means good or 'accha hai' and the restaurant's purpose is as simple as its meaning, to serve Andhra food as it is supposed to be - in its most authentic form. It hopes to keep the flavours of regional cuisine alive amidst an array of cafes and restaurants, serving tex-mex, pan-Asian or north Indian cuisine all around. Many of us don't really identify with the regional cuisines of India. The authentic flavours of the regional south Indian cuisine such as the Andhra, remains the least explored. Perhaps because Andhra cuisine is known to be one of the hottest cuisines of India, hence, Bagundi has kept the flavours of all their dishes mild to suit the palates of people in North India.
(Also Read: Andhra Bhawan Canteen: What's it Like Dining at Delhi's Busiest Eatery)
With cosy interiors and walls adorned with paintings and murals inspired by the South Indian festivals like Sankranti, Bagundi is spread across two floors with the second floor yet to be functional. It brings a homely feel through its ambience that is highly influenced by rural and coastal Andhra Pradesh. It makes you feel at ease as you are seated, making you ready for a culinary riot of flavours, variety and spices.
With a heavy influence from the regions of Andhra, Bagundi gives you a homely feel.
Food And Drinks
We started with a few traditional drinks, rasam being the most popular one along with a tangy drink of imli gud. The drinks were followed by the starters that included fiery chicken 65, a boneless chicken starter that was true to its reputation of being hot yet irresistible. Along with it was Andhra mutton fry and crunchy Andhra prawn fry that came with a garlicky twist and a strong melange of spices. Then, we tasted the pan-fried pomfret, which left us spellbound with its juicy flavours and crusty texture. And even though we were overwhelmed with the starters, it was time for the most awaited - biryani. We were served their most special mutton Hyderabadi handi biryani that had long-grained rice perfectly cooked with succulent mutton pieces in mild flavours, served with nutty salan and raita. Just when we thought we were full, the main course tempted us even more with dishes like gongura (hibiscus) chicken and crab meat masala served with Malabar paratha. What stole the show were the tangy avakkai (mango), gongura and chicken pickles that we ate along with the main course. We finally ended the roller coaster of flavours with an absolutely delicious kesari bath and a soothing bowl of sabudana payasam.
The gongura chicken at Bagundi is worth every bite.
While we sampled the most popular of non-vegetarian delicacies that the new menu offers, there are ample amount of delectable vegetarian dishes such as Guntur idli or mirchi bajji; and just in case you wish to indulge in an extravagant affair, they have six types of thalis to choose from. So the next time you crave a zesty, authentic and homely Andhra meal with a comforting ambiance, a trip to Bagundi once is a must, but be sure to go there empty stomach.
Where: M-14, Outer Circle, Opposite Fire Station, Connaught Place, New Delhi-110001
Price: INR 800 excluding taxes.