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Dec 25, 2007 04:09 PM

Foodie In-Laws In India For a Loooong Vacation... Help Them!

So the in-laws, whom are very interested in food - albeit more in the fine dining realm, will be in India for more than a month. A 2nd Generation Indian friend of theirs, told them that she doesn't feel safe eating street food (read... typical restaurants frequented by locals)... and they have been scared into thinking they should have all their meals at the high end hotels... which my instincts say would be a mistake (I am assuming that much of India's foreign tourism comes from England... and I sure wouldn't really want to take my cues from the English).

Can you guys suggest some places along their route that will represent India proudly?

Chennai, Tamilnadu
Munnar, Kerala
Periyar, Kerala
Kumarakom, Kerala
Alleppey, Kerala
Kochi, Kerala
Udaipur, Rajasthan
Pushkar, Rajasthan
Jaipur, Rajasthan
Ranthambore, Rajasthan
Rishikesh, Uttaranchal

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  1. Street food is different than restaurants. I'm pretty sure what the Indian friend was trying to tell them was "don't eat from those vendors along the side of the road". The street carts aren't the most hygenic. Restaurants are fine. I've eaten at dhabas and restaurants but I refrain from the vendors because of sanitary reasons.

    For a nice meal in Jaipur, try the restaurant at the Rambagh Palace. We really enjoyed an upscale dinner there during our last visit.

    2 Replies
    1. re: boogiebaby

      Thanks maybe thats what she said... and they took it as... we must only eat where the foreigners eat. All recommendations for quality dhabas & restaurants are welcome... will let them know about Rambagh Palace.

      Also, they recently purchased a Parsi cookbook, so any suggestions that would highlight that type of cooking would be appreciated.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        I may be wrong, but I think only Mumbai has a sizeable Parsi community & hence the only city with good Parsi restaurants in India - but that city's not on your in-laws' itinerary.

        But in Delhi, they can try Basil & Thyme in Santushti Shopping Complex. I was there a year or so back, and they served both continental & Parsi dishes, including patra ni machi (steamed Arabian pomfret).

    2. I have suggestions for some of the cities on your list, but I have a few questions first:

      1) Are your in-laws exclusively looking to eat Indian food? In larger cities, some of the better options are non-Indian, and living here I realize I rarely eat Indian out!

      2) Do you know where they are staying in Chennai and Delhi? There are loads of options in both places, but I'm inclined to suggest something near where they are staying.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. They should somehow take a look at a hotel kitchen and at a small popular restaurant kitchen. I would go for the small restaurants any time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            They returned a week ago and had a great time... overall liked the food... other than a few Italian meals they mostly had Indian cuisine.. one half was sick of it, the other was craving it when they got back.

          2. I know this is way too late for your purposes, eat nopal, but for future reference, maybe, I always eat street food in India (mostly Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kodaikanal, Mysore, Hyderabad) and I have never gotten sick from it.

            I do follow three rules, though: I don't eat meat, raw fruits & veggies, or drink water that hasn't been boiled. There's still a risk of hepatitis transmission from servingware that hasn't been cleaned properly, but to me, the much tastier street food is worth the risk. I don't think I've ever had a really good Indian meal at a hotel.

            Also, try very hard to get invited back to people's homes for dinner. That's where the really good food is at.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cimui

              75% of my co-workers are from Kerala... I hear you about the home cooking!