Even though food enjoys a special place in Mewari culture, unfortunately Udaipur has never been associated with food or recognized for any special delicacy. However, a mild but noteworthy transformation in food habits seems to be taking place in the City of Lakes.
Of late, quite a few new restaurants, eating joints and takeaways have come up in the city. Notably, in recent times, Chetak Circle, one of the oldest commercial centers of the city has been emerging as a hub for restaurants, especially for Non-Vegetarian food.
From ‘Rehmaniya Restaurant’ at Loha Bazaar (Chamanpura) to the latest ‘Amdavadi Tava Chicken’ that has started in a narrow lane near Chetak, nearly half a dozen restaurants and eating joints have come up to cater to the tastes and appetite of non-vegetarians.
Maqbool Khan, owner of ‘Amdavadi Tava Chicken’ started selling Tava Chicken from a small thela he used to run every evening behind Chetak Cinema. Khan recently moved to a well-known lane (Sunder Hotel Lane) in the same vicinity. His specialty is preparation of Chicken and Fish over a big flat pan.
Likewise,’Mizan’, located below Paltan Masjid is also flourishing with its monopoly of an Open Tandoor set up. ‘Biryani House’ is thriving with a variety of distinct food items like Shawarma, Hyderabadi Dum Biryani and the occasional Yakhni Pulao.
“We are experimenting on new food items as competition is growing here every day”, said Sohan Singh Bhati, one of the owners at ‘Biryani House’.
He said that Chetak, located in the heart of the city has a high footfall, due to which it is flourishing as a hub for joints offering mouth-watering Non-Vegetarian delicacies.
Sarfaraz Khan of ‘Mizan’ said that the growing competition is actually giving customers a choice to opt for the best and we (Restaurateurs) also get motivated to improve our quality.
According to Bhati, nearly 150kg Chicken is sold every day if one combines all six food joints at Chetak. The quantity increases during weekends and truncates during the middle of the week.
‘Dawat’ a budding food joint near Mohta Park is also gaining attention of food aficionados with its Green Chicken Dana and Ahmedabadi Chicken Fry.
While business of Non-Vegetarian joints is going great, some restaurants shut off recently, like Wings (near Shiksha Bhawan) and Mughal Durbar, near Chetak Post Office.
Though no specific reason has come out but sources said that bad location of the restaurant, poor experience and lack of a good chef or deteriorating quality of food could be the reasons of closure.
The space of ‘Mughal Durbar’ has been acquired by ‘Zaika’, another well-known take away corner and the only place to have Grilled Chicken.
The location once occupied by ‘Wings’ is now turning into a catering service provision, which is most likely taken up by Mansi Café.
Over 1 Lac people pass through Chetak Circle every day. It is also close to the old city area and also connects the suburban areas of the city, which adds more advantage to the growing business of the area.
Having done a comprehensive survey of the food joints around this area, one can safely assume that finally Non-Veg is here to stay and Chetak Circle may well turn out to be the busiest Rendezvous for food aficionados of the City and tourists as well in the coming years.
Probably Chetak is all set to acquire its lost glory of the era gone by, especially after the shutting down of the Chetak Cinema.