20 March 2018

Feast Like a Nawab: Rampur Food Festival at JW Marriott Aerocity

JW Marriott Aerocity has an ongoing food promotion going on- The Royal Cuisine of Rampur. Isn’t the name heavy enough to tell you how grand the promotion must be? To me it was. So the day they had their opening night (or meal, if you may want to say), I went with my hopes extremely high, looking forward to a hearty meal that will be food for the soul. The menu is prepared by the third generation of the Nawabs of Rampur, who cook for the royalty.

The promotion is happening at K3, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. K3 needs no introduction. The restaurant has enough credibility to itself for its buffet spread, and more so for its infamous Sunday Brunch. Any food promotion that goes on here, I can guarantee my buck and say that I can blindly go for it. And to put it short, the Rampur food festival was also just that.

The festival is a part of the buffet, so you get unlimited helpings of whatever you want- starters, mains or dessert. I’d say utilise all the space in your stomach for the incredible Mewa Mawa Shammi Kebab. Made of mawa, dry fruits, bits of paneer, and of course some secret ingredient they didn’t tell us, this one was shallow fried to make it extremely soft. Soft to the level that it would break when you picked it up. I don’t have a count for how many of these I devoured one after the other. Let’s just say enough to make this the numero uno in the entire menu for me. They did Dum Bukhara Aloo- a little tangy, a little sour coating on baby potatoes that were boiled.


Non-vegetarian appetizers saw Kachche Gosht Ki Tikki and Murgh Sonda. The Gosht Tikki was another stellar of a dish. Packed with flavours, shallow fried, you could taste the mutton minced finely, but not too fine either; just enough to hold the tikki together. I think I had these only one short of the Mewa Tikki in number. The Murgh Sondha, the healthier one out of the two, was amazing too, but I couldn’t bear to betray the gosht tikki.

The menu at this festival has a lot of dishes on offer, so the menu rotates everyday. On the day we went, the main course spread had Tar Qorma and Murgh Changezi, with Kathal Salan and Baingan Tehri. The Kathal Salan was the death of me! Kathal so soft, but not shredded soft. The salan bang on with the taste- tangy, coarse, and brilliant. I can go on singing praises for the Baingan Tehri too. A thick gravy with baby brinjals, flavours infused till the very last bit of baingan; it was simply amazing! The non-vegetarian was extraordinarily delicious too, but I’d say the day belonged to the vegetarian dishes for me. Mutton Biryani with these dishes, and I was in a zone of my own. This food festival will put you in a state of nirvana- that’s how good it is. For dessert, there was Gulatthi, which is not a kheer but somewhere close to it. Sweetness right to the T.

The Rampur festival has been executed so well by the JW Marriott team, that right from the interiors and setup, to the cutlery and serving dishes used, to the cocktails they have specially curated for this promotion, they have done a marvelous job. Seamless planning and an equally seamless execution.

There are five cocktails on offer as a part of the promotion. Rampuri, a rum-based cocktail like local spices; Rampur Punch, tastes just as good as it looks; and Achartini, a cocktail I thought I could predict the taste of but failed badly, were my lovely picks out of the lot. Something as small, but important, as the glasses these cocktails were served in was also taken care of to keep in sync with the promotion. Royalty at its best.


You will see the entrance of the restaurant done up with photographs of Rampur, depicting places of significance. This one photograph will be the royal library of Rampur, from where the third generation chefs find their research material and come up with new recipes and flavours.

The festival is on for both lunch and dinner until the 26th of March. Do what you may, but don’t miss this. Period.

15 January 2018

My Experience at Kheer, Roseate House, Aerocity

Roseate House opened in Aerocity last year, and there was a lot of excitement about the hotel opening after its counterpart The Roseate garnered a lot of praise for itself. But the two hotels cannot be compared. Roseate House is more contemporary and has a different outlook. You see that from the moment you enter the hotel. They have an Indian restaurant that was the first one to open here, called Kheer. I went to Kheer when it opened for pre-launch at an event, and saw the who’s who of the food industry attend that dinner. But I recently had a dining experience here which qualified as a proper dining experience at a restaurant, and that’s when I really experienced the food and service.

Kheer has a menu that’s not high on butter and ghee, it’s not the typical Indian menu, but every Indian dish has its own take on it. The menu is concise, not very big to confuse the diner, yet has enough options to choose from.

The place is huge, and the centrepiece hanging from the ceiling are a lot of bells coloured in copper. At the far end of the restaurant is the open kitchen, and right when you enter is the bar. Dimly-lit, bustling but not in a bad way, and a certain calm feel to the experience. Totally qualifies for a nice date venue too.

5 January 2018

You're in for a real treat at Sorrento, Shangri-La's Eros Hotel's Italian brunch

The warm winter Sun, a stunning alfresco area, fresh ingredients, delicious dishes, an extravagant spread of Italian food, flowing wine and prosecco- that’s what the brunch at Sorrento, Shangri-La Ero’s Hotel New Delhi feels like. A brunch that’s on a Saturday instead of a Sunday is a great idea I think. Saturday is a day people don’t have any brunch options to choose from, and they usually head out for an ala carte dining experience for lunch. Having Sorrento offer a stunning brunch on a day when nobody else is, is a win-win for them either ways, and a winner for you because you get such a superlative brunch.

28 December 2017

Wok To Walk comes to Delhi: Wok Box at its best!

The newest place in town, one that’s much talked about as well, has everything going in its stride. It’s a brand that is well known all over the globe, and has made its way into India with stepping in the waters of Delhi first. Yes, we are talking about none other than Wok To Walk.

People who have tried Wok To Walk abroad aren’t able to contain their excitement and are flipping over the fact that their favourite place is here, and people who haven’t tried the place before are flipping over the fact that there’s a new Asian fast food restaurant that’s opened. Fast food+Asian sounds quite different right? Different, it is! 

But what is Wok To Walk all about? It’s a new Asian place that works on the concept of ‘create your own wok’. The core philosophy of Wok To Walk is a wok with sauce, and a side to go with it. You create a quick meal by selecting your base (rice/noodles), pair it with a sauce of your choice, and pick a side if you wish to take that. Swift, easy, and delicious.

To go a little in detail, here's what you exactly do when you go to any of the Wok To Walk outlets:

You choose everything that goes into your wok- the rice/noodles, the veggies and proteins, and finally the sauce. They have 2 sides on the menu, some cold pressed juices, and the usual aerated beverages and juices in drinks. That's where the menu ends, and the menu has quite a few options, still keeping it very compact.

Wok To Walk opened their second outlet in Delhi at Defence Colony last week. I haven’t been to the first one in Connaught Place but I’m told that is six times the size of the Defence Colony one. But I have a feeling I will still like this one more. Cozy and intimate. Also, the crowd that will visit Defence Colony will be more about on-the-go eating and quick eating. A small place with a separate section for making the wok, a separate one for the ingredients and rice/noodles, and an open fridge counter for the drinks. The space is done up in orange and white, the brand colours, and it looks very inviting and interesting (read about the importance of colours in marketing a brand). There are some 6-7 stools and a long wooden table lined along the wall where you can have a quick grub, and a very small space on this wooden slab for the cutlery.

You place your order, go collect it from the counter when your name is called out, turn around and grab cutlery, and choose to either sit over there and enjoy it or get it packed. Went on Day 2 or 3 of their operations and I was impressed through and through with their service and promptness. The place has zero teething issues. The staff is so well informed, they’re so swift and flawless in taking your order and preparing it. No confusion about the order, no order going to the wrong person, no issue with the quality or quantity. Every single customer that I saw eating food over there was more than happy with their food.

Step 1 is choosing your base- white rice, brown rice, hakka noodles, wheat noodles, udon noodles and so on. All the rice and noodles come with carrots and cabbage and are included in the price. So if you choose not to take any veggies, this will do too.

Step 2 is choosing your ingredients. For every vegetable or protein that you choose, you pay for one serving of that. The quality of their vegetables is outstanding! Fresh, clean and not like the QSR vegetable quality at all. The same also applies for their shrimps, chicken, bacon, etc. The quality is too impressive. They recommend you shouldn’t go beyond 4 ingredients, so I’d suggest you listen to them. Veggies are for 49 per serving, meats for 99, and shrimps for 149. If you’re a non vegetarian, you have to try their shrimps!

Step 3 is choosing the sauce. They have 8 varieties of sauces, with different flavor profiles like spicy, sweet and sour, coconut-flavoured, sharp and pungent, and so on. Each sauce has a name given to it, but under that they also describe what the sauce contents are.
Step 4 is choosing your toppings (if you’d like to add anything). This one has options like fried onion, fried garlic and sesame seeds.

I tried the Udon Noodles with 2 non veg and 2 veg ingredients, and the Teriyaki sauce. A damn nice wok! So comforting yet so indulgent. The quantity of the wok is a lot for one person. I could only manage to finish 75% of it and that too when I forced myself. But this was after sharing my side orders. Even without eating anything before the wok, a person with a medium appetite cannot finish it. Immense value for money in my opinion! My sister tried the white rice with Saigon sauce- garlic and pepper, and veg and non veg toppings almost the same as me. Try this sauce if you like something less spiced. She added sesame seeds for an extra crunch and they were lovely! The mushroom oyster sauce with hakka noodles and bacon is on my list next!

There are two options for sides, priced at 99 each, Chilli Paneer and Chilli Chicken. The portion size is pretty decent for 99 bucks. Liked both the side dishes, and they’re actually ‘side dishes’ here and not a complete dish in itself.

The whole process of making a wok is standardized and how! The same measuring bowls are used for all vegetables and proteins. Because shrimps are expensive, they will not keep a small measuring bowl for it. The same portion size of each ingredient is added to your wok, the sauce quantity is not compromised with, the wok doesn’t taste too dry or with too much gravy, and the best part is they maintain this consistency with every order of theirs. Wok To Walk opening so close to home is going to be my regular haunt now. Loved it every bit!