Among the chock-a-block tikka joints and butter chicken factories of Jangpura, there has always been one place where the neighbourhood’s Punjabi householders mingle with its young lawyers and professionals. With the dubious exception of greasy spoon Om Hotel, Hawker’s House—otherwise known as Novelty Dairy & Stores—is the area’s only claim to destination dining fame, drawing first columnists, then food bloggers to its family-run sandwich counter over the six decades of its existence.
Effortlessly retro (because it’s old), Novelty proffers sweet cold coffee and humble sandwiches of processed meats in thin slices of bread, with dollops of a signature kelly-green chutney. It delivers too, but sleepily, and only during very limited hours. Now, five minutes away at the other end of Bhogal market, the popular-with-millennials Instapizza has just entered the sandwich sweepstakes.
If Hawker’s is all about comfort snacks surrounded by signs with pithy spiritual advice, Sandwich & Sons thinks nothing of loading its menu with puns, and peppering it with ingredients like gunpowder and wasabi. With prices that start around Rs 200, it’s also apples to Hawker’s oranges. Though we have serious reservations about putting things like panko-crumbed fried chicken and marinara sauce between bread and sending them out into the Delhi climate, Instapizza’s reputation for a tight delivery ship—and the fact that we’re just a few minutes away—reassures us as we punch in our order.
If Hawker’s is all about comfort snacks surrounded by signs with pithy spiritual advice, Sandwich & Sons thinks nothing of loading its menu with puns, and peppering it with ingredients like gunpowder and wasabi.
Slice Slice Baby
Five neat boxes arrive on cue, each stamped with the name of the paper-wrapped sandwich within. Accompanied by crisp plain potato chips, the sandwiches aren’t monstrous in size, but turn out to be quite filling. The bread—sourdough or multigrain are the default options—holds up impressively, even withstanding a further quartering for group tasting. The sauces are applied with admirable restraint, and each sandwich comes with a small container of extra dip.
Our hands-down favourite is the simple but toothsome Classic Wasabi Egg Mayo, with roughly diced boiled eggs, wasabi mayo, and fresh basil in a sesame bun. The “H.A.M. (& Cheese)” doesn’t quite have “one inch” of honey-cured ham in it—perhaps flattened in transit?—but is a decent size for a working lunch.
Possibly due to a Zomato glitch, our Ode to Saigon comes not in a “toasted hero” but in regular sourdough. Its banh mi-style shredded cucumbers and carrots, pickled vegetables, mayo and fried chicken are fine, but might have been better in a crusty baguette. We’re a bit disappointed with Pork Belly Rager, which is priced in line with the cubed Lionfresh sous-vide pork belly within it, but doesn’t taste as special as it sounds. We give it props for ambition though, and un-wilted lettuce—a thing even many dine-in restaurants struggle with.
The real surprise is a gunpowder coconut paneer sandwich, a luscious yet non-soggy mash of molagai podi, tiny chunks of grated coconut, cubed paneer and rocket leaves. It actually tastes good the next day, and bears the distinction of being the first paneer sandwich (other than a bread pakora) we’ve found more than edible.
Sandwich & Sons takes Jangpura’s lunch delivery options up several notches, and is sure to be a hit with the offices around. For those who want to spend a little less dough on their bread, we’re hoping it also decongests the 5pm rush for stools at Novelty’s counter.
Getting there: Sandwich & Sons delivers from Instapizza, 428/1, Mathura Road, Jangpura. A meal for two costs Rs 600.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This review was contributed by Sonal Shah, journalist and editor. Read more of her work on sonalshah.in.
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