Haldiram's, New Delhi
This place was fantastic. It was also a nice reality check...it was as if all the Indian food I loved from back in Singapore were new and improved. The shell of the raj kachori was much lighter and more buttery than others that I've had, and the piping hot chola bhatura came with some extra tasty bean curry thing that totally knocked me off my feet, especially when paired with some of those onions and chili peppers. The gulab jamun seemed much "fresher" than others that I've had, if that means anything. And the pao baji that I saw across so many tables here today looked so impressive that I was salivating just by looking at it. This basically just blew everything that I knew out of the water.
This was actually a big chain, well-known for this kind of stuff, as well as for allegedly being "hygenic." It looked like a delicatessen or butcher shop, except that the glass casing held Indian sweets and snacks rather than meat and cheese. And in the central area, there were tables to chow down at, standing room only. I was told that while standing is not common in India, it is common for eating streetside chaat.
Anyway, I'll happily come back here again and again. And in that sense, I'm glad that it's a chain since it will make it easier to go to another one of these places. (BTW, apparently the reason why that pani puri that I got the other day was so boring was because it's a northern thing that should not be ordered in the south, so I was told.)