This post may get me flak for daring to write about food served at ISKCON temple Delhi. It is a religious place and any food served there is not to be analysed, just cherished. I agree with all my friends who may come down on me, but before they start, here is my reason for this post. Any vegetarian meal served at Rs450 cannot be Prasad in my view as it differentiates between masses. Not everyone can afford this steeply priced vegetarian meal served without onion and garlic, and am sure God would not be happy to see such differentiation amongst His people.
Before we ate, we visited this beautiful marvel of a temple situated at Sant Nagar Hill Top which also houses Govinda, its restaurant. I must confess, this temple is so much different from the various other temples I have visited so far. Every person I met at the temple including Pujaris and guards were polite and eager to help. I even saw people being allowed wheel chairs inside the main temple, even though the temple is not 100% disabled friendly.
The Puja (Aarti) started at the right time and ended in time, and no one bothered us to buy any offerings to be given to neither Krishna nor anyone forced to pay donation. Whatever money was being offered was immediately put in the donation box by Pundits themselves, and I couldn’t believe all this after few of my previous bad experiences at other temples. The atmosphere is serene and beautifully dressed idols of Radha, Krishna and Balaram soothes the meandering mind.
While you are here, do see some of the audio visual show which are of international quality and may leave everlasting impressions.
Coming to food at Govinda, ala-carte is not available and one will necessary have to go with the buffet which as I mentioned earlier is priced at Rs450 per head for adult and Rs 200 for kids between 5-12 years. Having heard much about the food we decided to give it a try and started with soup which has option between Aloo and Pumpkin soup. Both the soups were the best I have had with given ingredients. I would have loved to take second serving but I wanted to try out the complete menu.
Menu had mix of Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. Finger chips were overly salted, Salad had wilted lettuce leaf and Soyabean chunks were hard. After a wonderful start with soup, all those accolades I have heard of Govinda’s were fading away. And then I laid my hands on Dal Makhani and Gatta curry. Dal Makhani was just what a good dal Makhani should be without any oil or cream floating on top, while gutta curry melted in my mouth.
I was still not able to firm up in my mind if I liked the food, just like most buffets we get to eat. Next were the rice dishes in my agenda and menu read veg biryani as today’s special. I took both biryani and khichdi. Frankly, khichdi was a complete disappointment. I am not a big fan of Rajdhani restaurant but they do the humble khichdi so well. Even the veg biryani was like eating fried rice, where some grains of rice were stuck together and still looked like boiled rice.
The dessert section read kheer and ice cream, however the ice cream was nowhere to be seen, and empty kheer vessel waited to be filled for 7-8 min. Kheer was cold, and that’s it. It looked like being made for diabetes patients and there was hardly any sugar. On the other thought calling it a kheer will be misnomer; it was rice and milk, made without any dry fruits.
The servers are polite but that does not ensure quick refills of rotis or water. Ambience is like a marriage party where half the people were standing and eating their meal. I am going back to ISKCON but eating will not be in my agenda this time.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 2.5 | Ambiance: 2.5 | Service: 2.5 |Overall: 2.5
Meal for Two: Rs 900 | Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 12.30PM – 3.30PM (Lunch); 7PM – 10PM (Dinner); 4PM – 7PM (Snacks)
Address: Govinda Restaurant, ISKCON Temple, Sant Nagar Hill, East of Kailash, Delhi | Phone: 011-26280069/ 26214820