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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