28 December 2014

The revamped outlet of Dunkin Donuts in Connaught Place!

As Dunkin revamps its Connaught Place outlet and gives the place a completely fresh feel, they go all out in promoting the opening and being as extensive as they can.

An event that saw a lot of socialites and bloggers sipping on their wine and champagne along with tasting Dunkin's new menu, the staff needs a special mention for making the event a success. Very very prompt with people's orders, very alert with the cleaning and wiping of floors and tables in cases of drinks spilling, and very courteous in their service. Full points for the staff for pulling the event off so well!

10 November 2014

Caffe Tonino, Connaught Place: A gem of a restaurant!

CP has become the new hub for restaurants. All cuisines, all types, all sizes - CP has it all now. One of their most recent additions is Caffe Tonino, a venture by Tonino on MG Road. Situated in the same building as PVR Rivoli and having their entrance from the left-hand side, this cafe focuses more on the casual dining aspect, but with the food not being a notch lower than fine dining standards.

The place is done up in very bright colors. Shades of white and yellow, sunlight shining in through the windows, nice wooden furniture, beautifully laid tables, and a very nice lively feel to the place. 

Tried their Bruschetta trio that consisted of mushroom and cheese bruschetta, caramelized onion with goat cheese bruschetta and the basic tomato bruschetta. All of these were just gorgeous! The mushroom and cheese bruschetta was salty and nice, the caramelized onion bruschetta was on the sweeter side and was just sensational! My favorite out of the three! And the tomato bruschetta didn’t have pulpy tomatoes on it, but nice hard chopped tomatoes.

6 November 2014

State Bhavan: Karnataka Food Centre(Karnataka Bhavan), RK Puram

When it comes to State Bhavans, this is one of the best for me. Hygienic food, delicious food, great variety, a cuisine that is liked, if not loved, by all, great service, amazing ambience for a Bhavan standard, and great prices!

Situated right next to the Moti Bagh petrol pump, the first building on that road that belongs to Delhi Karnataka Sangh houses this beauty of a restaurant that is more popularly known as KFC by all.

Very decent and a no fuss seating, nice wooden furniture and marble flooring, air-conditioned (oh, yes!!), and very well-maintained. They even have a seating facility for people waiting outside the restaurant.

I have been here on several occasions, and almost always this place has a waiting. You don’t have to wait too long to get a table, but be prepared to wait if you’re visiting during peak lunch/dinner hours, irrespective of the day. They don’t take reservations, just like most South Indian restaurants, so you have to go there and get your name written, and wait for your turn to come.

The crowd here is of all age groups and all kinds of groups - families, friends, couples and even people dining alone. You might have to share a table with someone if you’re 2-4 in number and you sit on the 8-seater table.

Their menu consists of Idli, Vada, Dosa, Uttapam, Upma, Lemon Rice, Curd Rice, beverages, fresh juices and desserts - the basic quintessential South Indian menu.

Their Dahi Vada is better than Sagar’s according to my mom, and the vada is too too soft. They will even give you a single piece if you ask for it.

Their Dosas are huge! They might not look huge in size, but the sheets of dosa that may be ‘one' in a normal South Indian place, are at least double here. Their Mysore Rava Masala is neither too spicy and definitely not at all bland. Very yummy it is. The same applies for their Onion Rava Masala that’s for people who want a plain old dosa without any spices. Very delicious dosa with a superb aloo stuffing.

Their Butter Masala Dosa is another beauty! Loaded with butter!

They have an Uttapam platter that has 5 small uttapams in it. It is a very good option for people who like uttapam and want to sample several types. 

Everything is served with sambhar, coconut chutney and a tomato chutney, all of which are simply delicious! They have containers of sambhar that they bring to each table to refill your sambhar bowls, and don’t give you separate katoris with sambhar each time you want more of it. Very clever I’d say.

They have 2 kinds of thalis and a tiffin thali too, something that is a complete hit amongst their customers.

Something that everybody had suggested me to have here was their Fresh Sweet Lime Juice. Oh boy, what a superb fresh glass of juice that was! Tried their Fresh Orange Juice too on my subsequent visit and it was equally good! Skip the aerated drinks and fresh lime water/soda and only opt for their juices here! They’re divine!

I’ve tried their Rava Kesri and Kulfi Falooda in desserts, though their daily menu only consists of the former. They sometimes include additional desserts in their special daily menus and that is when I tried their Kulfi Falooda.

The Rava Kesri is to die for!! Delicious halwa with no excess sugar, no excess ghee and with the perfect texture! The Kulfi Falooda too was just right on the sugar content and tasted really nice. Kesar Pista Kulfi, nice falooda, and this complete with some rose water sprinkled.

A South Indian meal isn't complete without a classic filter coffee! The filter coffee here is just FANTASTIC!

Their pricing is perfect, they don’t add any tax to the bill, the service is very prompt, the place is hygienic, and they serve yummy food - what else do you need in your experience? One of the best places to go for South Indian cravings in Delhi!

Address: Delhi Karnataka Sangh Building, Sector 12, R K Puram, New Delhi

Reviews for other State Bhavans (click on them to read more):

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29 October 2014

State Bhavan: Gujarat Bhavan Restaurant, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri

The most affordable bhavan in my opinion, Gujarat Bhavan is situated in the same lane as Hotel Samrat.

Very easy to access, very easy to reach, and situated inside the Gujarat Bhavan, this canteen caters to all kinds of crowd, but most importantly, people who are looking for nice and hygienic, home cooked food.

Their menu changes everyday, but the essentials in their menu that are constant are Dal, chapati, rice and salad, papad and green pickle. They don’t have an ala carté menu, only a fixed thali for both lunch and dinner.

The lunch thali is priced at a humble Rs. 90, and the dinner thali at Rs.110. Not much of a difference between the thalis served at both these times. They give you repeat helpings of all that you want, and serve you food very warmly!

On the particular day that I went, their menu had Bhindi, Dal, Chhole and Pakode ki Subji. The small snack that they give on the side was Dhokla. 

28 October 2014

A Superlative Winter Sunday Brunch at K3, JW Marriott, Aerocity!

K3 is that one place people vow by whenever you ask them for a splendid buffet place. First on everybody's list for food, first on everybody's recommendations, first on everybody's list for the spread. Have heard so much about K3 now, that I would wonder to myself what this place exactly had in store that people were going all gaga over it.

And then, I had a chance to experience the goodness of their Sunday brunch one fine afternoon.

The restaurant is really huge! And what was even more impressive is that the place was completely packed by 2PM! Done up in classy wooden furnishings and marbled flooring, there's not much you can say about a five star property anyway. But even then, the restaurant is very tastefully done for a five star standard. With three different kitchens in the centre of the place, and tables spread across the entire restaurant, it makes for a nice interactive buffet place for people to walk around and pick up things from various counters.

K3 houses three kitchens - Indian, Tuscan and Cantonese.

17 October 2014

State Bhavan: Viva O' Viva (Goa Bhavan), Chanakyapuri

One of the BEST state bhawans in the capital, Goa Bhavan is situated in the lane right opposite Gujarat Bhavan, and very close to Tripura Bhavan. 

The decor of this restaurant is really really nice if you compare it to the other state bhawans. Colourful plastic chairs, nice basic plastic tables, well maintained with nicely painted walls, a little bit of Goa furnishings like a boat and a few Goan pictures here and there. The servers are dressed in colorful floral t-shirts and you really feel like you’re sitting in a shack with all these things adding to your experience.

9 October 2014

Parsi And Iranian Food At SodaBottleOpenerWala, DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon

One of the first restaurants to open in DLF Cyber Hub, you will be able to spot this restaurant right when you enter Cyber Hub from Brix’s side. 

They have received a lot of praise for the food and concept since the very beginning, and over time their chef has also won many awards and accolades. Bringing so much to the table, I'd say they deserve every bit of it.

Decor that’s very cafe type, and if I go according to people, then like a real Iranian cafe. Wooden tables and chairs, wooden work on the walls too, lamps hanging from the ceiling on each table, yellow lighting everywhere and classic Bollywood songs playing in the background. The restaurant is divided into two sections - one has the seating, and the other has the bar and the pool table. The pool table makes up for a nice game with your friends over a couple of drinks.

Have visited them multiple times so have tried a lot of dishes from the menu. Here’s my verdict about them:

Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlis - A stuffing of veggies and potatoes, this cutlet was fried to a perfect crispiness on the outside. A very good appetizer for the vegetarians. The stuffing contains beans, carrots, potatoes, and some other vegetables, with all of this being very fine diced.

Marghi Na Farcha is their take on fried chicken. Served in a metal rectangular box with some freshly sliced onions, lemon and mint chutney on the side, the chicken is very delicious. Crispy fried chicken that is just marvelous! A special mention for their mint chutney that accompanies almost every appetizer - it is extremely fresh and superbly prepared! Very very delicious!

They also had a fried crispy fish whose name I cannot find in the menu. That fish, just like the chicken, was fried, and was crispy on the outside, but it beat crispy chicken by a huge margin! This fish was really really soft and really really delicious!

Their Vada Pav is delicious to the core, but the last time I tried it, they went a little overboard with the salt content in the vada. Nevertheless, it’s a really yummy dish. Pav sprinkled with gunpowder on the inside, a nice vada stuffed with potatoes that are spiced mildly, and a fried and salted green chili on the top. It is heaven in each bite!

Tardeo AC Market Mamaji’s Grill Sandwich - All their sandwiches are grilled, and served with mint chutney. This sandwich was stuffed with spicy potatoes and veggies together and is a decent sandwich to order for the vegetarians.

Spicy Mushroom Khari - Anything with cheese automatically becomes my favorite, but anything with mushroom automatically becomes my least favorite. However, SodaBottle made me fall in love with this gorgeous appetizer! Finely diced mushrooms on flaky puff pastry, and topped with cheese - it was just sensational!

Prawn Patio was a main course dish prepared in a slightly sour gravy and served with fresh pav. The pav dipped in the gravy and with juicy shrimps in each bite makes up for the perfect main course option here! One of my clear favorites!

Bhendi Bazaar Sheek Parantha - Crispy fried piranha with 2 rolls of seekh kebab, the seekh kebab in this dish could have been a little spicier. But I’m not complaining! The dish is really really good. The mutton seekh is nice and flavorful, the parantha with all that oil is just sinful, but the dish is so good! However, the first time I had this dish at SodaBottle, it wasn't as nice. The second time I had it, it was wayyy better than the first time. So a little bit about the consistency here.

Chicken Berry Pulao - A classic dish to be ordered. Rice mixed with fried onions that together taste soft and crispy and take this dish to a whole new level. Fried berries and a generous serving of gravy with chicken beneath the mountain of rice are like a fine ribbon on a gift box. A lip-smacking dish, does total justice to all the hype!

Bohra Style Keema Pav - Keema Pav has become so common in all the restaurant menus now that trying the authentic keema pav here was a must for me. Not as spicy, again, but I guess that’s how Parsi food is to be prepared. The goodness of the soft pavs with keema is still nice.

Toblerone Mousse - I really couldn’t understand all the hype around this dessert. The texture of the dessert was very grainy for me(obviously, because of the texture of the chocolate) but it just didn’t do anything extraordinary for my tastebuds. It was just okay.

Raspberry Soda - The seeds of the berries are too much too handle. The seeds are too big and you almost have to bite them to drink/eat them. The drink itself is also a little too sour, hence, I like to stick to diet coke when I come here.

Sekanji Ben - A lemony drink prepared with dried muddled plums and mint. A little too sweet for my liking, but refreshing for sure. 

The food is really delicious on the whole. It’s food for the soul, food that won’t disappoint you and will make you leave the restaurant with a smile on your face. It's very different from the usual Chinese/Italian/Indian that we're used to eating so frequently, and I guess that is what their USP is.

The service is prompt, the prices are reasonable, and the place caters to all kinds of age groups. This place is mostly filled with office goers during lunch and dinner hours, but weekends here are filled with people from all corners of Delhi NCR. The prices of liquor are also very reasonable.

A very good option when looking for a delicious meal and especially something out of the box when it comes to the cuisine.

Address: 3, Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon

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29 September 2014

The Most Delicious Chinese/Asian Fare At Side Wok, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

Side Wok is that one Chinese/Asian place that I simply adore! If I have to think of an all-time favorite Chinese place of mine, it undoubtedly has to be Side Wok. Won’t think twice before coming here, no matter what.

The Side Wok on Golf Course Road is the latest addition to this restaurant chain across Delhi NCR. A Side Wok in Gurgaon is like a sigh of relief. You now won’t have to rack your brains when thinking about where to dine-out for Chinese. 

The place is huge! Done up in wooden furniture and wooden flooring, their lighting in in the form of yellow bulbs that are not like the usual bulbs you use at home. The furniture is red and the decor is also done up in red here and there. With a very warm to feel to the place, Side Wok does a very nice job with their interiors. Not very different from the other outlets, the only different thing I could see here was quite a big bar.

Have tried a lot of their dishes at this outlet of Side Wok over the past month or so. And because I had already tried these dishes at the other Side Wok outlets in Delhi, this was like a safe bet for me.

Starting with their soups - the Lemon Coriander and Chicken Hot n Sour are absolute rockstars! My mom loved the Lemon Coriander soup so much that she couldn’t stop talking about it even when we went back home. She said it had the perfect balance of flavors and an absolutely astounding taste of lemon. I won’t disagree with her :)

The Chicken Hot n Sour too was one of the best I’ve ever had. Not too too spicy, but spicy with the right flavor. 

Their Non Veg Dimsum Basket and Veg Dimsum Basket has a choice of 3 different types of dimsums each. In Veg we ordered for Pakchoy Rice Flour Dumpling, Vegetable Gau Zi and Assorted Vegetable Dumpling with Five Spice. The five spice one was the best out of all three, and the vegetable gau zi was very bland.

In Non Veg we ordered for Prawn Harkao, Spicy Pork Rice Flour Dumpling and Chicken Dumpling in Superior Soy Sauce. Prawn Harkao was rather bland, but the pork one was really nice. The one that really stood out of the 3 in terms of flavors was however chicken. If you want to try a bunch of different dimsums and not just stick to one, then only opt for the dimsum baskets and nothing else.

Fish in Piquant Sauce - According to me, the best fish on their appetizer menu! The texture wasn’t as great for me, but the taste sure was. Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, this fish is just spectacular! A must order for all.

Vietnamese Grilled Chicken - A little bland for my taste, but grilled absolutely perfectly. The presentation of this chicken is so unique that it made the people sitting on the next table inquire about the dish from the waiters and nod in appreciation as well. Served with a sweet dipping sauce, the chicken is a little tough in texture(not in a bad way) and is nice if you’re looking for really subtle flavors. But because of this, the dish isn’t my cup of tea.

Crispy Vegetable Salt n Pepper - Before I talk about the dish, I want to tell you that what really uplifts the flavors of this dish is the garlic sauce that accompanies it. The vegetables are fried and seasoned with salt n pepper, like the name suggests, and are rather bland if had on its own. But dipped in the hot garlic sauce and this dish becomes superb! A hit among the vegetarians for sure.

Thing Ming Mushroom - Shreds of mushroom that are very crispy and very yummy! Topped with sesame, this is one mushroom dish that I always gorge on when I visit Sidewok. And this is coming from a person who hates mushrooms!

Crispy Honey Lotus Stem - If I said the salt n pepper were a hit among the vegetarians, you should see how vegetarians go gaga over this one. Sidewok is the first place that revolutionized lotus stem for Indians in Chinese dine-dining. Thin sliced lotus stem tossed in a chili honey sauce and made very crispy - what you have in front of you is a stunning appetizer!

Mixed Vegetables Cantonese - Not spicy but delicious for sure, this dish consisted of some beautiful veggies. Opt for this if you’re looking for a safe option and want to steer clear of chili.

Veg Hakka Noodles - No description required for this, the Hakka Noodles here are nothing short of crazy!

Chicken Red Thai Curry - Sidewok is hands down my favorite place for Red Thai Curry! What I love most about their Thai Curry is that it is not watery like the other places but has that beautiful thick consistency. The taste, of course, cannot be done justice if described in words. It’s just the best thai curry in Delhi NCR for me. Have this with some beautiful Sticky Rice and your night is made!

You go to Sidewok and you don’t have their Chocolate Mousse, that’s a crime. One of the best and the most consistent Chocolate Mousse I’ve ever had! Relish it with fortune cookies that they give during dinner hours only, and you are instantly in heaven!

A new dessert that I tried here is the Walnut Brownie with Ice-Cream. I thought it’s going to be like any other Brownie with Ice-Cream that you get in places, but I didn’t know what was in store for me next. The brownie was muddled and crushed and came in a small jar that was so innovative! Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, the brownie tasted super delicious!

I’ve tried their Cosmopolitan and I can safely say that it is one of the best Cosmopolitans that I’ve ever had! Yummy yummy yummy! The Fruit Beer was also delicious.

A special mention for the manager who was extremely sweet, humble and kind. A very warm manager who helps you with his recommendations and makes sure you’re having a good time.

The prices are at par with all the other Chinese places in Delhi NCR, and maybe even lesser than some. Their quality of food and consistency in taste is commendable! The food never fails to impress you. 

AddressGround Floor, MPD Tower, Opposite Magnolias, DLF 5, Sector 43, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

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