16 December 2013

Restaurant Review: La Piazza, Hyatt Regency

Located in the very famous Hyatt Hotel, La Piazza is one of the most elite restaurants in Delhi. Their food has won accolades from people who are worshipped in the Food Fraternity, and the place really does live up to all the hype that it's surrounded with.

The seating is dominated by wooden cushioned chairs and tables. The decor is something that's not too loud and flashy; it only focuses on the marvels of art. Very tastefully done up and very minimalist in its approach, the decor is nice. Though pretty dimly-lit, and though you have a really hard time reading the menu, the food is what we're here for and the food is what leaves a mark.


Ordered for a Chicken Caesar Salad and a Cheese Garlic Bread. Very fresh lettuce, really soft chicken, yummy Caesar dressing, beautiful croutons and a superb dish in totality! 





The Cheese Garlic bread was awesome too, but was baked for a little while longer than normal. Because of this the bread was too too crisp!



12 December 2013

Restaurant Review: Carnatic Cafe, New Friends Colony

A place that everyone has heard so much about, a place that's on the wish list of almost every foodie who hasn't yet tried it, a place that has been super consistent and absolutely phenomenal with its rating on Zomato - that's what Carnatic Cafe is!



Just like everybody else, this place was on my wish list too. And last week I finally got to try the food of one of the most talked-about places in Delhi!


Located in the NFC market, this place has its own set of clientele that visits this market only to savour the food at Carnatic Cafe. CC doesn't have the regular South Indian affaire that Sagar Ratna has to offer. It has something 5 steps ahead, and something that tastes nothing short of phenomenal!



The place is quite small - with just about 30 covers to accommodate, but is still very spacious. They haven't tried to cramp up the place by stuffing in more tables.


Dimly lit with some out-of-the-box ideas for decor(go check it out for yourself!!), the place has a very warm and cozy feel to it. It's the kind of place where you can enjoy a quiet meal without any disturbance at all!



I started my meal by ordering a Dahi Vada. Looked decent, the curd was put very generously, the bhallas were oh-so-soft and the dish tasted just right! 



Then ordered for a Malleshwaram 18th Cross and for 2 fresh lime sodas to accompany it. I won't be wrong if I say this is the most hyped-up dosa at this restaurant, but justice it did to alright to all the hype! The dosa was very different from your regular dosas. It had a red coloured paste spread generously on the inner side of the dosa and no, it had no stuffing of aloo! The dosa was very light, very very different, and tasted a little sour+sweet+tangy. 




The fresh lime soda was nice and refreshing. I ordered for a mix fresh lime soda and both the salt and sweet components were in balance. A nice drink to wash down your meal.



We then went ahead with ordering for a Mandakki Dosa on the recommendation of the server. The only preference I communicated to him was that I wanted a dosa that had butter in it, and he suggested me to go with Mandakki. The dosa was made up of poha batter, and came with 2 dosas in 1 plate. The dosa was thicker on the outer diameter and thinner and crispier on the inside. The dosa was not at all heavy because there was no overload of butter in it. You will be able to relate to this one more than the Malleshwaram simply because it tasted more similar to the dosas that you have at other places(in terms of the flavour). The dosa was 'bliss' in one word! It came with the stuffing of aloo that was given separately in a small bowl and not stuffed inside the dosa, and it tasted divine!



A South Indian meal is incomplete without Idli, so how could I go back without ordering a plate of Idli here! The idlis were the softest idlis that I've ever had! The only idlis that bowled me over till date were the ones at Saravana Bhavan, but oh boy, the idli here killed it! It just melted in your mouth! And by melted I really do mean 'melted'!




All the dishes came with Sambhar and 3 kinds of chutneys. The sambhar was spectacular! Period. The chutneys had no excessive water in them, their consistency was just right, and they were absolutely bang-on with the taste! Incredible stuff!

The service was great and the servers knew the food well. They do a bloody well job with the recommendations too! The service time was good and we got our food within minutes. As far as the pricing in concerned, I paid 650 inclusive of tips and taxes for the above mentioned dishes. Not at all heavy on your pocket too!

A must must visit place for everyone! Superb taste and craziness in every dish! I wanted to try the Obattu as well but had no place for sweets in my stomach left. Will definitely try this on my next visit. :)

Address: Ground Floor, India Mall, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi
Phone number: 011 41008630, +91 8802222889



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9 December 2013

Tea and Snacks: Chaayos, Galleria Market, Gurgaon

Located on the first floor of Galleria Market, Chaayos is a cafe that serves something which was still untapped in the restaurant business - Tea! Many places serve tea along with coffee, but nobody serves tea like Chaayos does. Taking me as an example, Chaayos has turned me, a tea-hater, into a tea-lover!

Went to this place on a winter evening, down with fever, just to try their cold offerings - iced tea, milkshake, etc., but ended up leaving the place with a cup of hot tea in my hand!


The place has 2 floors, with about 5-7 tables on each floor. Very simple decor but a very catchy wall on one side - the decor is a no-nonsense, neat and tidy, kind of a thing. Chairs and tables made up of plastic, menu written on a board, and the place very brightly lit.


Ordered for a Strawberry Milkshake, Earl Grey Tea, Bun Maska, Maggi Sandwich(yeah, that's right) and Kadhai Paneer Sandwich.

The Strawberry Shake was a simple shake, not too sweet - just the way I like it. It was only made up of milk and strawberry without any addition of ice-cream, and hence, very light.




I didn't try the Earl Grey Tea but my friend absolutely loved it! 





The Bun Maska - what a beauty! Such a humble thing but simply perfect! One remarkable thing to mention here is how incredibly soft the bun was! 






The Maggi Sandwich was something I was too skeptical to order(for obvious reasons), but oh my! The sandwich surprised me, and how! It was simply delicious! Maggi with chopped onions, tomatoes and some spices, stuffed in focaccia bread! Each sandwich was served with 1 dip, but we took all the 4 variants they had to offer. All of them were really different from one another and were the perfect accompaniments! 







The Paneer Tikka Sandwich didn't have enough paneer, or any other stuffing in it. I could mostly only taste the bread, not the filling.




After this, called for a Gods Chai and Vada Pav with a Passion Fruit Iced Tea and a Lemon Iced Tea. I was told their Iced Teas are brewed overnight, and brewed they tasted! The Lemon one looked like it was brewed for a longer duration than the Passion Fruit one, but was awesome nonetheless. The Passion Fruit one though, was the real showstopper! Simply yummy! 




But what really deserves a round of applause here is the 'Gods Chai'! The tea that turned me into a tea-lover(it wasn't milk based). It was something I got hooked onto, it was something that'll without a doubt bring me back to this place. 





The Vada Pav was superb! A little spicy, perfectly cooked(not like the 24x7 types), with a beautifully soft bun!



Coming straight from work, we were starving! And as a result, we very easily finished everything that was ordered!

The service was quick, the prices were reasonable. The Paneer Sandwich could've been priced at somewhere within the range of 100/-, but this is something that can be ignored. Their cutlery - the glasses are really cute(see the picture)!

Chaayos is an exceptional addition to the food and drinks scene in Delhi, and I'm definitely coming back for more! This time, for a non-veg snack :D It's difficult to decide what I'll be coming back for, but I can safely say it will be for the 90% of their items that I've already tried! And whenever I have a tea craving, I won't go anywhere else but only head to this place!



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20 November 2013

Food Review: Nashta, Gurgaon

Nashta is a one of its kind concept that has opened up in Gurgaon. Virtual restaurant - that surely is a first!

Nashta delivers breakfast in Gurgaon(not too sure about the exact locations where it delivers to) from 6am-1pm. From its menu, I learnt that it has a different menu for each day of the week. However, when I called to place my order, I was offered a Lebanese menu, something that's only available on Saturdays. Extremely happy that I was, called for a premium veg combo. I was promised of the delivery being made between 45 mins-1 hour, and I received my order in 40 mins.


The premium combo consisted of 1 big meal + 1 fruit bowl + 1 salad + 1 juice + 1 dessert. This costs 319 all inclusive. The Lebanese combo consisted of hummus, falafel and pita bread as a 1 big meal, 1 fruit bowl, 1 greek salad that had tomatoes replaced with red bell peppers on request, 1 almond brownie and 1 beetroot juice with mint. You don't necessarily have to order the entire meal, you can even just order only a few components of the meal.



8 November 2013

FEASTING WITH THE RATS! OR RATHER FEASTING ON RAT-INFECTED FOOD! - MY EXPERIENCE AT CHILI'S, VASANT KUNJ

Went to Chili's last night for dinner. The food was great, as usual, so I won't even talk about that. Within the first few minutes of stepping inside this restaurant and taking my seat, I saw a big fat rat running on the pipeline that acts as Chili's ceiling. Now I absolutely hate rats! Like really hate them more than anything else in this world! And I keep hallucinating about them every few days. Most of the times it is my hallucination, but the rest of the times it indeed IS a rat that I see. This time, however, I thought it was the former. So I kept mum because I honestly thought there can be no rats in a place like this!

About 45 minutes later, I see a huge huge rat on the floor! And this time I was sure I wasn't hallucinating. The rat climbed on the table, fell on the chair, climbed till the highest point of the chair, went back down on the floor and moved on to repeat the process on the next table. That's when I screamed, and the people around me screamed too. Thankfully those tables were empty, but that's not the point! Then the managers came, a few of the waiters came, a sweeper came along with them to catch the rat, and while all this was on, the rat came on our side of the table. I ran from my table and went towards the bar area. While I was waiting at the bar for the rat to get caught by the sweeper, guess what I saw? A rat on the pipeline again! So this place just didn't have 1 rat, it had 2! And 2 I say only because I saw 2, don't know how many more I missed looking at!

One thing to note here is that those rats were not the tiny ones or the medium ones, they were the kinds you find on railway tracks - the huge terrifying kinds!

That's when we called for our check and left our drinks and food midway. Now comes the most disgusting part!! People are leaving your restaurant because of a rat, and all you can do is bring them the check and offer no apology! The managers were so damn pathetic, so shameless, and had no basic decency whatsoever! They didn't apologize even once! I agree you didn't bring the rats in your tiffin today and let them loose yourself, but you're the managers of this restaurant!! The least you can do is offer an apology to your guests!! Really, appalled at this behavior  They didn't try to stop us and say that we could be shifted to another table, they didn't offer to pack our food and drinks, and they most certainly lacked the basic hospitality sense of offering an apology! Not that we were going to get the food packed from a place that has rodents everywhere, but their duty asks them to at least offer us this much! And God alone knows how many rats their kitchen was providing shelter to!! Really really sucky management, is all that I have to say!

4 other people apart from us also left the restaurant that very minute. Guess they lost a lot of business last night.

The most shocking one : The sweeper was trying to find the rat and the manager tells him "Chhod chhod, abhi chhod, abhi logon ko aane de, baad mein dhoondhenge isko". WOW!

NOT STEPPING INSIDE THAT PLACE EVER AGAIN!


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30 October 2013

Restaurant Review : The Pasta Bowl Company, Gurgaon

Pasta bowl is situated inside the very famous and the very food-centric Cross Point Mall of Gurgaon. I would say it's an excellent place to open a restaurant, and at the same time it requires a lot of guts to have done so, considering the number of restaurants in this mall already; not to forget how delightful each restaurant is!

The place is really really small! They have about 6 tables placed inside, with an open kitchen that looks extremely hygienic and tidy! It's commendable how the place still doesn't look cramped! Decor that is dominated by hues of cream and white, and lighting that's very humble - just plain yellow, the place doesn't have much to offer in terms of the ambience. Their seating, I would say, has too much scope for improvisation. After about 40 minutes my back started to hurt :(


Their food I would say, before I start to describe each dish, is simply marvelous! It's food for the soul, food you'll gorge on, food you'll adore(barring a dish or two)!


Started my meal with Ragout di Pollo, Garlic Bread with Cheese and Chicken Caesar Salad. 


Ragout di Pollo was simply garlic bread with minced chicken on top. Nothing extraordinary, no wow factor to the dish; just 3 nice bite-sized chicken garlic breads. 





The Garlic Bread with Cheese - how much can one do with that? Loads! Their garlic bread was long and rectangular in shape, not the usual small sizes, but really long ones! One portion consisted of 2 pieces. The cheese was yum, the bread was buttered well and was perfectly crisp, and the garlic bread came sprinkled with oregano.



Chicken Caesar Salad - Crazy stuff! Luscious green lettuce with chicken that was absolutely fresh, the caesar dressing was simply finger-licking good! The salad when came, was a little low on the caesar dressing, and on asking for some extra dressing in a small bowl, the salad became even more scrumptious! Vanished within merely 3-4 minutes!




For the mains, our server told us that their pastas are what their speciality is. On asking him which one, he very sweetly said - "All are nice." We went with the TPBC Tortellini Puttanesca and Canneloni con Crema


The Tortellini came with tomato sauce that acts as the base of a pizza, topped with Parmesan cheese. The tortellini was cooked to perfection, the filling inside was beautiful, but the sauce is what was a major let-down. It was just bland! Added a lot of chilli flakes and oregano to it, and it became delicious; but by 'a lot' I really do mean 'a lot'. The server came to ask us how the food was and I told him that the tortellini was bland. Being the sweet guy that he was, he really really insisted that we get the dish replaces, so that they get a chance to serve us better. But because he was so sweet, I told him he didn't need to get it changed. Guess I should've got it changed after all..





The Canneloni was a beauty of a dish! It looked ravishing - so so impressive; tasted even yummier! Nice flavoured minced chicken wrapped in thin layers of pasta, the plate had 3 medium-sized cannelonis. The pasta was topped with a semi-thick dressing of cream and cheese, with a bit of tomato sauce mixed, and like it is mentioned in the menu – baked to perfection! The dish was an absolute stunner! Really really yummy!



The service was the highlight of my meal, apart from the food, of course. The server was extremely accommodating, knew the menu well, knew the extraordinary dishes from the good ones, and was oh-so-pleasing! At the end of our meal, he even got us a complimentary Tiramisu to make up for the average Tortellini. The Tiramisu belonged to one of the better ones that I've had till now – moist cake in the layers, with not too much coffee content, and accompanied by an Almond Biscotti. Decent stuff.


I would say this place is a breath of fresh air; executing everything really well! Excellent quantites, perfect pricing, phenomenal service, mouth-watering food, and all this at a place which is very conveniently located! When in Gurgaon and craving for some great Italian, head to Pasta Bowl Company without any second thoughts!

Want to rate 3.75 because of the Tortellini and Ragout di Pollo, or would have given 4.5. But settle with a 4 because of the service.




Address: GL 201, 2nd Floor, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon


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11 October 2013

Moth Kachori from Multan Moth Bhandar

A place that is a food paradise, a place that boasts of it's rich heritage and culture, a place that's the hub for your quintessential desi grub - that's what Paharganj is. 

Multan is situated in the tiniest of the backlanes of Paharganj, somewhere a first-timer cannot go all by himself. You need the directions to go here and you need them right! All that's said about the location, the putting-off surroundings, the unhygienic environment and the indescribably horrid corners of this lane, are all true. Yes, you will find shitty stuff around you, a dustbin that'll be your companion all throughout your time spent outside this shop, but nothing's as bad as you not staying back for the lovely, out-of-this-world Moth Kachori that this place serves!

The person who makes this Kachori is a sweet chap, and very very quick at his job. He's like a machine that's running in full form! It's crazy to see how fast he can assemble everything even when there's a lot of crowd outside his shop!