A tastefully done up space in 32nd Avenue, Gurgaon, is now home to Bhawan.
Classics like Mumbai’s vada pav and Varanasi’s tamatar ki chaat, and innovative snacks like bhutte ka kees, corn bhel and choriz pav bread pakora had been making their way to homes in Delhi-NCR ever since Bhawan opened its delivery-only kitchen in Chattarpur. Kainaz Contractor and Rahul Dua’s venture made inventive street food accessible and also brought traditional street food from across the country to the people of Delhi. The pandemic had brought Contractor and Dua’s plans for a full-fledged restaurant to a halt, but that dream has now come true.
“Bhawan was conceptualised over five years ago and it took us some time to bring the project to light. Rahul's stint at Cafe Lota and us launching Rustom's, were both inspired by bringing homestyle regional cuisine and recipes into the limelight. After successfully creating restaurant concepts around homestyle food, our next focus was to bring the streets of India into a restaurant setting,” Contractor and Dua told Slurrp.
A tastefully done up space in 32nd Avenue, Gurgaon, is now home to Bhawan. Ever since the opening, Instagram has been flooded with posts and stories from people who have visited and loved the place. Some have praised the food, while others have fawned over the drinks, which include soda pops: Bhawan’s take on sharbat. The soda pops are ‘homemade sharbat sodas’ that come in flavours like kokum jeera, jamun kala khatta, mano elaichi and apple saunf. “The base for our soda pops are made using sharbats sourced directly from Chunnilal Tanwar, an iconic family-run shop on Bikaner's busy Purani Jail Road. The shop has been around since 1939 and makes delicious sharbats (cordials) from fresh flower and spice extracts. They source their ingredients from across India and make all the sharbats by hand. The best part: none of the sharbats we use contain artificial colours; just pure extract,” Bhawan wrote on their Instagram page.
The menu includes local favourites like gol guppas and chhole bhature. Gol guppas come in three varieties: atta, sooji and ragi, and there’s three kinds of water to choose from: coriander, raw mango and pomegranate. For the adventurous, there’s an appam eggs benedict and avocado sev chaat. It’s evident that Bhawan’s kitchen is afraid of neither sticking to the usual, nor being experimental.
Bhawan’s competence comes as no surprise, considering Contractor and Dua’s other successful projects like Rustom’s and Cafe Dori. The duo have clearly always strived to give Delhi a taste of food that is otherwise reserved for homes (as is the case with the Parsi food at Rustom’s), fine-dining restaurants (think Cafe Dori’s exciting menu) or obscure streets in different Indian cities (considering Bhawan’s well-researched menu).
If the pandemic has stopped you from travelling around the country in search of local street food, your cravings have been taken care of. For those who feel excitement at the thought of regional Indian food, a three-dimensional, all-in-one Bhawan is now around to offer you those flavours.