Dining out can be fun especially when you are at a place that serves more than just great food and service. Here are some restaurants that are taking dining experiences to a whole new level.
Bookmark this page for your next meal at these amazing, unique and at times bizarre restaurants in India that put an incredible twist on the traditional dining experience.
1. Junkyard Café, Delhi
As the name suggests, this eatery is decked up using junk, sourced from all over India. Located at Connaught Place Junkyard Café is beautiful in a raw, grungy way with worn-out tyres, barrels, automobile spare parts, old radios, TVs, beer bottles and old speakers doubling up as lofty art installations. Even the servers are dressed in coveralls and hard hats! When you are done clicking selfies with the vintage bike, Mona Lisa painting and helicopter indulge in bhatti ka murg tikka, aglio olio spaghetti, mushroom and thyme risotto, tandoori prawns with wasabi mayo and asparagus and parmesan cheese balls. There is a dance floor to burn off all the calories.
Address: N 91, 2nd Floor CP. Tel: 095999 47643
2. Cat Café, Mumbai
Calling all cat lovers. This café in Versova is where you can spend hours playing and snuggling with rescued stray cats over a cup of coffee. There are coolers, milkshakes, and snacks like fries, Maggi and sandwiches to munch on as you lounge with the kitties. Though the cafe doesn’t allow patrons to bring their own cats, it has a dedicated cat area with over 20 cats that are medically treated and put up for adoption. Apart from a cozy ambience there is free wifi, books, board games and a host of entertaining events.
Address: Bungalow No. 63, Harminder Singh Rd, Aram Nagar Part 1, Versova, Andheri West. Tel: +91 82914 90907
3. Ishaara, Mumbai
The most charming aspect of this modern Indian restaurant is the differently-abled staff. Bursting with enthusiasm and good cheer, their speech and hearing impediment does not take away from the dining experience. Guests communicate with them using simple signs drawn out on the menu or merely pointing at the dishes and placing their orders. The food is equally good. The chaats are drool-worthy, especially the dahi puri. Keep your phones ready for the dori kabab. The meltingly tender mutton pate is dismantled using a thread (dori in Hindi and hence the name) from the rod at the table. The tandoori black pepper lobster is a symposium of flavours. Vegetarians will love the pretty and perky tandoori broccoli bathed in chili and accompanied by a tangy and creamy sauce.
Address: Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla. Tel: 9619715506
4. Garam Dharam, Delhi
If you are a Dharmendra fan head to Garam Dharam where you can drown Patiala pegs amidst hand-painted portraits of the movie star and a life-size painted truck propped against a wall. The bar, covered in a metal cage, is reminiscent of the old school desi thekas of Punjab. It’s difficult to keep a straight face here with funky tablemats with paaji inspired doodles, coasters with funny dialogues and the iconic motorcycle for the film, Sholay. The menu holds favourites from dhabas across the country as well as the ever-popular tikkas, kebab and biryanis. Don’t miss the chuski laced with rum or vodka and cocktails served in pauwa bottles.
Address: Sector 18, Noida, New Delhi. Tel: 7669931331
5. The Corner Courtyard, Kolkata
If you are an old soul then this restaurant housed in a 118-year-old colonial building with wooden arches, high ceilings and steel beams is just for you. Transistor radios, grandfather clocks, antique mirrors, old teak cupboards, ornate chandeliers and other knick-knacks represent the heritage and cultural side of Kolkata. Satyajit Ray-era studio lamps and old cameras mounted on the wall add to the quirky disposition. Charming art and décor aside, they also do a fantastic poached pear salad, seafood ravioli, fish cakes with Bengal lime and pad Thai noodle salad.
Address: 92 B Sarat Bose Road, Kolkata.Tel: 9903999567.
6. Tease Me, Kottayam, Kerala
Those looking for a shot of great design with their cappuccino, should check out Tease Me Café designed by award-winning architect Vinu Daniel. Concrete partitions cascading from the ceiling ensure privacy while adding a poetic quality to the café. An open-plan kitchen makes engaging with the barista a breeze. Old wooden windows function as tables while meandering steel pipes act both as exhaust as well light fixtures over the tables. The rustic interiors lit by diffused light are perfect for countless selfies. But the muffins, burgers and biryani are not bad either.
Address: Gurukrupa Mall, Kottayam. Tel: 9400186021
7. Food Bus India, New Delhi
How about dinner inside London’s iconic red double-decker bus? This restaurant housed in a double-decker bus serves street food from all over the world. The spring rolls served with a spicy chilly dip are delicious as are the fluffy pancakes and juicy burgers. The interiors are spacious and airy, and reminiscent of American diners. The prices are affordable and there are plenty of photo opportunities too. Hop on this bus now!
Address: Parked at Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station, Gate No.4 & Rajendra Place Metro Station Gate No. 2.
8. For The Record, Panjim, Goa
How about listening to vinyl records while sipping on some wonderful cocktails? Head to For The Record (FTR) in Panjim, Goa. This intimate bar draped with record covers on the wall is the brainchild of audiophile, architect and jazz musician, Buland Shukla and is inspired by the vinyl bars of Tokyo. A specially crafted vacuum tube HiFi system makes the sensory experience a pleasurable one. So grab a bar stool, order the signature cocktail Goencho Dukar and sway to Ella Fitzgerald. Life is good!
Address: H no 49, Jukebox, Nr Maruti Temple, Mala, Fontainhas, Panjim. Tel: 075074 72587
9. Runway 1, Delhi
Climb aboard this airplane parked at Delhi's Metro Walk in Rohini and fasten your seatbelt for a delicious ride. You will be seated inside are modeled15-year-old Airbus A320, junked by Air India,(or on the wings if you like) and served cheesy chicken burgers, delish sandwiches, fries and Oreo shakes by a staff dressed as airline cabin crew. The view outside is not bad either—still water, manicured lawns and beautiful lights! But first, you need to collect your boarding pass from the reception on the ground for the meals.
Address: Metro Walk, Sector 10, Rohini. Tel: 91 9306 410 512
10. Haldiram’s Express, Nagpur
When in the Orange City do check out this bright red railway coach that houses the latest outlet of Haldiram’s. Located outside the Nagpur railway station this restored old train coach serves classics from North and South India, as well as continental fare. But the stars on the menu are Haldiram staples such as raj kachori, chole bature and chaats. Passengers, as well as non-passengers, can enjoy dining onboard this train which operates 24/7. The interiors have been livened up with floral seating, bright lights and quirky train posters. There is a separate takeaway counter if you need to parcel your favourite food on a train journey. There is also an ice-cream corner and a selfie zone.
Address: Nagpur railway station. Tel: 7507401190
11. Kolkata Street Food tram, Kolkata
Trains, buses and airplanes are not the only creative venues for restaurants. In the City Of Joy a tramcar ‘Buggy number 261’ has been converted into a restaurant by New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA). The 20-seater-restaurant serves a variety of dishes such as kachori, singara, papri chaat, chowmein, chicken stew and Kolkata’s famous rolls. The ambience inside is the old world with elements of 1970s Kolkata. With several cartoons painted on the pillar, and posters of old movies on the lamp posts in the area near the restaurant, visitors are assured of a nostalgic trip on their visit to this tram restaurant.
Address: Mother’s Wax Museum, near Gate Number 2, New Town’s Eco Park, Kolkata