Swagath – Hotel Janpath – New Delhi



Note: This review is from a time when I lived in Delhi (from 2003 till 2013).  It may be permanently closed now. Read only for readings sake.

The commonwealth games are on in the city, so there’s gunmen everywhere. Hotel Janpath was no exception either. I see this sign for Swagath ever so often about coastal sea food, and every single time, my mouth waters. So I finally decided to head down there, and that’s exactly what my friend Bodhi and I did on Saturday afternoon for lunch. Hotel Janpath is pretty well kept, I thought it was rather cosy. We were warmly welcomed every step of the way, right till our table inside the restaurant. The decor was simple yet tasteful, nothing out of place, nothing too bright or gaudy so to speak, so far so good. The waiters are more than helpful, which can be a bad thing sometimes in these upper end places. I personally can’t stand waiters hovering around my table, ready to jump in at a milliseconds notice to serve you. I like to be left alone after I’ve ordered, or after the foods arrived. I prefer to converse with my partner rather than worry about putting my fork down to signal the waiter. The more expensive the restaurant, the more jumpy and ninja-like the waiter. For instance, China Garden, at The Ashok. The waiters just swooped in and took things away even before we had finished eating!

Swagath wasn’t as bad when it came to service. The staff is well spoken, very helpful and they stayed away after we told them to. The menu is sea food galore. Crabs, prawns, fish (various types), scallops, oysters, squid, shark and the like. There’s cuisine from all coastal parts of the country, like Goa, Mangalore, Andhra, etc. It’s simply wonderful, especially for a man like myself. I love sea food, and more so from coastal regions of India. Bodhi and I went overboard ordering so to speak. The order went as follows.

We had crab soup, the both of us, followed by Mangalorean medium prawns for starters. For the main course we ordered mutton Chettinaad Biryani, Goan scallops curry, and mutton chettinaad masala. We also had a buttermilk each (it actually had little tadka bits of curry leaf!!). We spoke very little after the food arrived, we just ate. Every time we had a spoonful of something new, we’d look up at each other just nod in agreement that the food was just downright fantastic and dig in. The soup was just creamy enough, just spicy enough, and the luscious chunks of crab meat were juicy and flavorsome. The medium prawn starter was just crispy enough, spicy enough and fresh. Nothing was out of place. The buttermilk was a superb drink to have with masala heavy dishes such as these. The huge chunks of mutton in the biryani and the mutton masala were just out of this world. We cut the pieces with just a fork, it was that tender.

There’s an extremely pretty outdoor seating area as well. I’d love to go there for some drinks another day. The bill came to Rs. 3,000 for the both of us. Neither of us complained after that feast. Quality and quantity was just perfect. I must commend the place again and again for any sea food, coastal Andhra food fan. I’m definitely going back, no doubt about it.