When I was planning our trip to India back in March I spent a lot of time looking for good restaurants, bars and shopping. Yes, our priority was our surrogacy appointments, but there is a lot to see and do in Delhi and we wanted to take full advantage of our time there.
Maybe I wasn't looking in the right places, but I didn't find the "yelp" of Delhi. Most surrogacy blogs gave advice on their return trip to pick up their baby. The tips are focused on baby shops, grocery stores etc, which is great advice and very useful for our next trip, but not as useful for the first trip.
Here are some of the places we went in March and our thoughts for anyone going to Delhi soon...
The first morning I wasn’t able to break my New York ways and decided to take a hotel taxi to the Red Fort and then a tuk tuk around for the rest of the day. While it was exciting the first day, I realized it was not economical (because we are bad negotiators) and not worth the hassle. Rahul and his team were called the rest of our days in Delhi; they made the rest of our experience in Delhi much more enjoyable.
Delhi eats dinner late, so if you have a 7/8 pm dinnerstime you may start your meal in a near empty restaurant. My favorite food was the tandoori meats - some of the juiciest and most flavorful meat I have ever had! I can’t wait to eat some in October, it’s just not the same here.
- Bukhara Grill (located in the ITC Maurya Hotel) - reservation needed – excellent food, very heavy on the meats, great atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit.
- Park Balluchi Restaurant (http://www.parkballuchi.com/) – We went there at 6:00pm for dinner, the place is very large and was almost empty. The restaurant itself was a little dated, very large and a bit dated, but the food was excellent! The prices were also reasonable. I
- Shalom in M Block (http://www.shalomexperience.com/) – This Mediterranean place has excellent food and a relaxing atmosphere. This place reminded us a lot of places in NYC and at the end of our week, after a long day it was nice to be a place with a more familiar feel.
- Café Oz and Bar in Khan Market - good food, lots of international beers and a sports bar atmosphere. We won’t go to this place with babies, but if we are by ourselves in Khan Market we will stop in for a beer.
- Cafe Coffee Day - the Starbucks of India. It tastes good, but it just doesn't have the punch that the coffee in the US has.
We went to a few of the big hotels for a couple of drinks. We mostly stuck to beer because wine in India is too stupidly expensive and we aren't big hard alcohol drinkers.
- Khan Market - while not the place to bargain shop, we loved this market. The name helped from the beginning...but the stores are a mix of high-end stores and little shops. The shopkeepers were less pushy than Connaught Place area. Lee had a great suit custom made and I bought my favorite Indian gifts here.
- M Block - this market is frequently mentioned on Dr. Shivani's client's blogs due to its close location to her office. It really is a great shopping area. The shops felt a little more Western than the other shopping areas we went to, but it’s a great place to go if you have a few hours to kill.
- N Block Market: - smaller than M Block area and the most up market place we went to in all of India. Despite Lee buying his new favorite shirt in this market, we were not impressed. Most of the shops seemed focused on household goods for the rich.
- Humayuns Tomb (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/232) - they are currently restoring parts of it. The restored work is amazing. I would say a must do on your list.
- Red Fort/Old Delhi - crowded, crowded, crowded and run down. It was the first place we went and in retrospect we should have worked up to Old Delhi.
- Lotus Temple - long lines and then a peaceful place. Interesting to see Indians actually lined up waiting their turn to do something! This is relatively close to Dr. Shivani’s office.
We stayed at the Amber Hotel (http://theamber.in/Master/index.html) in Sukdev Vihar. The location was difficult for cabs to find (Rahul and his team are familiar with it), but the place was very nice, modern and had a nice rooftop deck. The location wasn't too far from GK either.
As we plan for our return trip, I would like to hear what your favorite places in Delhi are and any experiences/restaurants/shops/spas that you recommend.
For anyone reading this looking for a baby update, I don’t have one. Remember no news is good news! We are looking forward to our update next week and we will, of course, share the scan pictures when we receive them. 24+ weeks and counting!