MI Food Centre, Meherchand Market
If you happen to be around the Lodhy Colony area and wish to tantalise your taste buds without going heavy on the pocket, head straight to MI Food Centre for some quick grub. Don’t let it’s nondescript name and not-so-appealing facade bother you. If you love your grills and fries, this place is for you. Undoubtedly one of the more underrated meat joints the city has. With crowd spilling out onto the road and thick smoke from the burning coal fused with the aroma of the marinating spices wafting in the air, this roadside eatery is hard to miss. Perfect for wintry evenings. Conveniently located on the Fifth Avenue Road of the busy Meherchand Market right behind India Habitat Centre, this meat haven dishes out some of the best kebabs and tikkas that you’d have in Delhi. Little wonder then that decades ago it originally started as a meat shop. Owned by Haji Mohd. Ilyas and run by his sons, MI Food Center churns out family recipes that have loyal customers flocking this food joint. The meat shop remains operational occupying one part of the eatery, while a jingling cash counter and a grill and tandoor greet you on the adjoining part. Don’t expect any frills here. The tiny eatery doesn’t have any seating arrangements either. But nobody seems to mind that. Most people come here for takeaways, while others opt for home delivery. And for the rest, a couple of high tables are thrown in to stand and enjoy the mouthwatering meaty delights. Not to forget the cars that make a beeline on either side of the street parked to savour the familiar Delhi flavours.
I went there with an old college friend after a late-evening film screening at the Habitat Centre. When he casually suggested I try out the food at nearby MI Food Centre, I decided to give it a try. With a plate of Khamiri Roti and two plates of spicy Mutton Tikka and Chicken Malai Tikka laced in butter, we took one of the tables. Between talks on UP election results, failed American capitalism and its global effects on IT and book sales, and the upheavals in the publishing industry in general, the tikkas were being polished off our plates faster than we could realize. We went for a second helping of the mutton tikkas and rounded off our meal with the hope that all’s good with the world till the time we have MI Food Centre to satiate our hungry souls. My friend informed me that they might soon introduce seating on the floor above to accommodate more people. Thank you, Akash, for introducing me to this place. I’m definitely going back for more!