Thanks to the Coronavirus, our flights home via China from South East Asia were cancelled. Therefore, we looked at an alternative route that didn't cost a fortune. The best price was via Delhi but we only had one day there (such a shame because we loved it!).
Being great lovers of Indian food but never actually having been to India, there was only one thing that we wanted to do - as big a food tour as we could possibly manage!
We did a lot of research because with a long flight the day after, we did not want to be hit with upset stomachs for the long journey so a very thorough search brought us to Food Tour In Delhi. The reviews were extremely positive and no-one had any issues so we contacted them hoping that they had last minute availability. They were extremely responsive and we had booked our full day food tour of Old Delhi and New Delhi very quickly.
We also enquired about toilet availability as it was a very long day and we were quickly reassured that our guide would be able to assist in finding suitable conveniences at any time during our day out.
When the day came we were really excited. We were told to stay in our hotel room so that the driver who collected us would be able to call our room and let us know that he was there. Being polite British people, we thought we would save him the trouble and wait in reception. Wrong! Because our driver was not the guide, he did not have a Food Tour In Delhi uniform and we missed each other in the Lobby. We would recommend that you do what the email instructions say and stay in your room until you get the call. Luckily, this didn't delay us too much and we were soon en-route to collect our guide, Aditya, close by. The car stayed with us the entire day and was ready for us whenever our guide called on it so we had almost no waiting time. We were the only two people on the tour.
We were both given a bag with a bottle of water, hand sanitiser and tissues all of which were very welcome throughout the day. Extras to bring would be something to cover up for the temple visit and your passports for security at the Presidential Palace.
Aditya was a very enthusiastic, confident and knowledgeable chap with outstanding English. Our driver expertly drove us through the Delhi traffic to Old Delhi where our tour was to start. Having arrived in India in the very early hours, by 11am we were thrust into the biggest culture shock we have ever experienced!
We had been on a 7 week tour of South East Asia going to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. We had seen a lot of fantastic things and experienced very different cultures but absolutely NOTHING prepared us for Old Delhi - it was absolutely insane in the best way possible!!! It was a full-on brutal assault on every sense and we could not get the smiles off our faces!
Aditya expertly and confidently guided us through the streets and all the way he was explaining the history of Delhi and telling us about Indian life. No question went unanswered and he was very frank and informative. Although the tour was about the food, we really felt like we had two tours in one because we got so much information about the city and the culture all the way through the day, it felt like a city tour too!
We had over 20 dishes throughout the day in so many different and interesting places. Food Tour In Delhi had carefully selected the places that we ate for their quality, hygiene, being environmentally friendly and having an interesting story. We ate at places that were incredibly popular with locals and also that had been established for a very long time - generations of families had run them! I won't spoil the surprises by describing the food - rest assured that you will get the best introduction into Indian cuisine imaginable and even if you think you know Indian food, get ready for some amazingly pleasant surprises.
We skipped breakfast and were still pushing ourselves by the end of the day - there is a huge amount of amazing food. I can't stress enough that to get the most out of this day, you need to go hungry and pace yourselves - you don't have to finish every dish and sometimes, we asked our guide to just get us one portion to share as were getting really full.
Having said that, the best thing about the tour is that Aditya paced it perfectly with each area we ate at being interspersed with walks, a rickshaw ride, tuk-tuk ride and visits to places like the Spice Market and a huge Sikh Temple where the kitchens serve over 10,000 meals per day for free! It is timed to perfection to give you the best food experience and not just bombard you with dishes so you get too full in one particular area.
I can only say, if you are in Delhi and you are interested in doing a food tour - book the full day Old Delhi and New Delhi food tour - your taste buds and other senses will thank you for it!!!