Hunger, they say, leads to great art. Perhaps this is why Shahpur Jat, home to a substantial portion of Delhi’s artsy folk, has such a paucity of eateries. It was quite a surprise to see a cheerful green door in the neighbourhood with a sign that advertised food instead of clothes, music instruments or hipster objet d’art. Upon entering Kunu’s Tawa, one walks into a tiny space with bar counters and some 10-odd stools. The walls are stucco with pieces of straw sticking out, and lighting takes the form of an upside-down charpoy festooned with light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. A straw mat hides away the kitchen. Nevertheless, you can distinguish the comforting clatter of dishes and the sizzling of food that side.
The menu is simple, offering items that will warm any Dilliwallah’s heart — from stuffed paranthas to momos and shawarmas — all divided into funky sections that pay tribute to the great Indian family. We decide to be trite and order Keema Parantha and Gunda Burger. Also on offer is a daily special, which could be anything from rajma-chawal combo to Thai-style Basa Fish. However, having promised our grandmother that we’d never eat another person’s rajma-chawal, we are forced to refrain.
Before you can call for your mummy, the food appears from the kitchen. The parantha is served with curd and pickle, which we realise are largely superfluous once we take the first bite. Steaming, stuffed to the gills with extremely tasty sautéed keema, the parantha is a meal in itself. Fortunately, we’re greedier and so, turn our attention to the other food as well. The burger stays true to its name, and firmly grabs our attention by the throat. Comprising a fat, crisp, juicy burger, melted cheese, jalapenos, caramelised onions and smoky bacon, it’s another palate-pleaser. Despite the rambunctious name, the flavours get along just fine with not one element dominating the other.
Desserts, we’re informed, will start in the next 15 days and will comprise desi treats such as jalebi and halwa. This slight downer is nicely buffered when we see the ridiculously low bill of fare. As we amble out, and take a last look at the motherly lady brandishing a pan on the sign, we notice the restaurant’s catchphrase: happy stuffing. Mission accomplished, Kunu.
Meal for two: Rs. 350 (including taxes, excluding alcohol) Address: 116-B, Ground Floor, Shahpur Jat Contact: 8744055586