24 December 2015

Celebrate Christmas at Cafe Diva in Sangam Courtyard, RK Puram, in the most delicious way!

A Christmas Brunch at Diva that gives you a taste of everything merry and everything delicious you would expect on Christmas. In between this, you also have a few influences from Bengali flavours in the food. All decked up in the Christmas spirit, décor dominating decorations, sock with the cutlery in it on the tables- it really makes you feel very Christmas-y!

Chef Ritu Dalmia was present at Diva to prepare the food herself and talk to us about what went into the dishes. We started our meal with Focaccia bread and Lavaash- very soft and crisp and really nice. We then tried the Millet Salad which was beautifully well-balanced! Lemon dressing in a dropper which you pour on the salad that also had some crisp bell peppers in it- excellently presented!

No Christmas meal is complete without Mulled wine. The one at Diva was so so damn delicious and so comforting! The place just got its liquor license some time back and Mulled Wine was the ripe fruit of that.

Zeppoline with rocket was a warm delicious bite-sized dough ball that consisted of chopped caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese. Topped with some salsa and served on a bed of rocket leaves, the dough balls were superb!

Carrot, Green Apple, Beetroot and Poppy Seeds salad was up next. One of the craziest salads I’ve ever had! The dressing, the balance of the sweetness and sourness, the crunchiness of the salad- everything was simply perfect! With a few wild grapes, it was a superlative salad in all aspects! With poshto in the salad, it was a great add-on!

Fried Green Tomato was the only dish I didn’t like because of my extreme hatred towards tomatoes.

Diva and pizzas go hand in hand :) Tried the Chicken Pizza, Turkey Pizza and Pesto Pizza with cherry tomatoes. All three pizzas was marvellous! Loaded with veggies and chicken, a gorgeous thin crust and a yummy sauce on the base. The Turkey Pizza gave you just what you need in a Christmas brunch. So delicious!

In main course we tried Fish with Prawn Moilee and Quinoa, and Bikaneri Roti with Sweet and Sour Papaya Curry. A lovely piece of fish with a moilee curry topped on it, a juicy piece of prawn and some quinoa rice. Perfection! There’s not anything that the dish lacked. Truly delicious with a little bit of lemon squeezed on it.

The Bikaneri Roti was very soft and flaky with a stuffing of mashed peas inside. Dipping this in the gorgeous papaya curry and savouring it. The curry had so much going on in it- tamarind, ginger, coconut, jiggery, panchaforan and pineapple.

In dessert we had a Christmas cake which had some ginger and nuts in it. Served warm with Cinnamon custard with burnt caramel, and presented with a cute little Christmas tree on the cake, it was the perfect end to the meal! Also enjoyed a hot up of Cappuccino with my dessert :)

The meal is just what you expect a Christmas meal to be. So so delicious, full of flavour and warmth, it’s a brilliant way to spend your Christmas day!

Address: 1st Floor, Sangam Courtyard, RK Puram, New Delhi
Timings: 11:30AM to 11PM
Contact: 01126180017

Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from the establishment. All views expressed belong entirely to me and are completely unbiased in nature. However, readers may exercise their own discretion.

Connect with me on:
Twitter: @sahibagursahane
Instagram: @thetastingfork

16 December 2015

Chicago Pizza in Select CITYWALK, Saket, New Delhi

The place that is so so special to me when I think about my initial visits to Select CITYWALK. Shpping always meant stopping at Chicago Pizza and grabbing a bite. It was always about going to that tiny outlet in the corner and getting my dose of happiness with that huge slice.

Chicago Pizza personified the concept of huge slices of pizza for everyone, and the concept of single slices along with it. Choosing your own toppings, seeing your pizza getting prepared in the oven, and soaking in the feel of an open kitchen. I think this entire experience made going to Chicago Pizza all the more exciting for me. The place opened multiple outlets all across Delhi NCR,  but the outlet in Select CITYWALK still remains my most favourite! After the mushrooming of newer pizza places in Delhi, this one took a step backwards, but you will still find this outlet of Chicago Pizza crowded at every hour.

About the concept- you select your toppings (one, two, three or five), and done! The pizza is customized according to you and you can choose to buy per slice or the entire pizza itself. My most favourite toppings here are ham, sausages and roasted chicken. What a combo! The yummy marinara sauce in the thin crust base and the huge slice topped with my favourite meats. One slice is good enough for a small snack, and two are decent to fill up a person with an average appetite. They've also added a cheese crust base for pizzas, and pastas to their menu. Something I'm yet to try and will do soon.

I still make it a point to visit Chicago Pizza everytime I go to Select CITYWALK, because for me, the place hasn’t really gone down on quality as suggested by people. Their pizzas are still as delicious! 

Address: G/21-A, Select Citywalk Mall, Saket, New Delhi
Contact: 011 40533229, +91 8860121232
Timings: 11AM to 11 30PM

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Twitter: @sahibagursahane
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8 December 2015

Gourmet Studio 4.0 with Chef Amit Rana at Masala Art, Taj Palace, New Delhi

I have a lot of fond memories associated with Masala Art – from heading here for special occasion lunches in school to dining out with family, the restaurant has stood out for me always! The food is absolutely gorgeous, and I can pick anything from the menu without worrying if the dish will be as good as the rest- that’s the benchmark they have set for themselves.

Delhi Gourmet Club and Nearbuy come out with their 4th edition of The Gourmet Studio with Chef Amit Rana at Masala Art, Taj Palace Hotel, as the star chef this month. The earlier editions have been absolutely stellar, but this one came out with a bang with over 90 vouchers being sold in just 5 days of the deal going out on Nearbuy. The Gourmet Studio essentially aims to promote a chef every month, with a fixed course lavish meal specially curated by that restaurant and the chef, at unbelievably affordable prices. You see the best of that restaurant and its chef at maybe one third of the price you would pay otherwise. The meal fills you up insanely, and leaves no room for anything unsatiated.

Chef Amit Rana with his team of chefs

The meal at Masala Art is a 6-course menu that comprises of amuse bouche, starters, soup, cooler shot, main course, and dessert. You get a menu that consists of all the dishes on offer (both veg and non veg) that you can choose from, and your food starts coming to the table one by one. Priced at 1500 all inclusive for a weekday lunch, and going up to 1800 all inclusive for a weekend dinner, the price is a real steal deal!

My meal began with the amuse bouche- Collacassia leaves coated with gram flour and shallow-fried, and chilli ice cream. The ice cream was really chilli and not some fake chilli that ice creams usually contain. Too good! I then had a lovely shorba made of prawn extract and coconut milk. So light and so delicious!

The appetizers saw Lamb and Prawn, with the lamb being coated in really delicious robust flavour, screaming flavour in each bite! The prawn, chargrilled to perfection, very juicy on the interior, with piri-piri olivettes. To die for!

Then was the turn of the fanciest thing in our meal- a cooler shot. It wasn’t just any cooler shot, but one that consisted of gold leaf. Edible gold leaf floating on top of a mix of rose water, sandalwood and saffron extract. Very very impressive stuff!

Main course was a very lavish affair. The famous shining Masala Art ‘tiffin boxes’ were brought to our table and inside were four big bowls of different dishes. Hyderabadi Khatti Dal, Baingan Achari Mirchi, Chicken Ghee Roast, and Pulao, served with 4-5 kinds of breads. Each dish was as smacking as the other. For a hardcore non-vegetarian, saying that for Khatti Dal takes a lot of yumminess in a dish! The Dal and Baingan together tasted outstanding! The Chicken Ghee Roast was every bit finger-licking good. A thick gravy that didn’t have too much oil but was packed with flavour and tender chicken to seal the deal, it was terrific stuff! Some Garlic Naan and Pudina Parantha to go with it and you’re all set. The pulao was every bit living up to the rest of the food- fragrantic grains of rice mixed with some veggies and seasoned with saffron and mint leaves.

Dessert saw some delicious ghevar with malai kulfi- just the kind of stuff you need to end your hearty meal with. The ghevar was supremely crisp and not overtly sweet. The malai kulfi- my my! Excellent! Very creamy and very velvety, the perfect accompaniment to the ghevar.

The Gourmet Studio has once again proved that they’re only riding high on taste and quality here. The food, the value for money, the hospitality of the restaurant- all this makes up for a brilliant experience! All lovers of Indian food- do not miss this!!

Buy the deal here: Nearbuy

Address: Taj Palace Hotel, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi
12 30PM to 2 45PM
6 30PM to 11 45PM
Contact: 011 26110202

Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from the establishment. All views expressed belong entirely to me and are completely unbiased in nature. However, readers may exercise their own discretion.

Connect with me on:
Twitter: @sahibagursahane
Instagram: @thetastingfork

4 December 2015

Carl's Jr. in SELECT Citywalk dishing out mouth-watering burgers!

Tucked away behind SELECT Citywalk (the Chicago Pizza exit), is a beautiful new burger joint from Australia ready to entice you with its offerings. Carl’s Jr. had quite some hustle bustle around it when it opened- food groups had events there, people were flocking it like it was the last day on Earth, but that’s the case with all international chains opening in Delhi. The only thought I had at the top of my mind was- this will be just like any other international burger chain, and the hype will soon die down. Went to have dinner over here last week to find out what the fuss really was all about, and oh my, was I blown away by the food!

Parking is hardly an issue here. Specially because you don't have to go all the way down to the basement parking.
It’s a self-service concept for placing your order, serving yourself ketchup and bottomless soft drinks and iced tea, but the staff is there to do it for you if you don’t want to. Ketchup dispensers, just like what McDonald’s started a few years ago and got rid of, Coke/Iced Tea, etc. dispensers, and a rack with tissues. You place your order and they give you empty glasses if you’ve taken a drink, and they hand you your order number which helps the waiter identify your table when the food is ready and to be served to you.

26 November 2015

New In Town: The Junkyard Cafe, Connaught Place

Another addition to the ever-so-bustling food scene of Connaught Place. The Junkyard Café is by Umang Tewari, the same person behind Public Connection and Garam Dharam, among many others, and Junkyard is his best venture by far according to me. Innovative, quirky, modern and fun- that’s how I would describe this place.

Everything here is made of junk. Junk, something that doesn’t hold any value for someone, but may so for someone else- that is what the concept is. The décor, the utensils, the presentation, everything is made of junk material, but it doesn’t like the common conception of junk; it instead looks brilliant! Drawers, old typewriters and recorders, tyres, metal, glass bulbs- you name it and they’ve made something out of it. The bar looks fantastic with the light (was told it’s the longest bar in CP), one side of the restaurant has a ceiling made of hundreds of bottles, a robot made of junk metal, a dinosaur made of junk, walls made of tyres, drinks served in bulbs- there’s just too much intricacy in these fine details. The place has colour in everything! It looks so vibrant and appealing!

17 November 2015

Spanish beer brand Mahou launches 'Clasica', a premium Lager beer in Delhi!

Launching their latest beer in the India market, Mahou, a Spanish beer brand launched in 1890 in Spain, comes out with Mahou Clásica. The beer that is the number one selling beer in the Spanish market launched its two other variants in India before Clásica- 5 Star and Dare Devil. Clásica, a premium lager beer was launched in India in September this year, and is available at quite a few wine and beer shops and bars/restaurants. And oh boy, does the bottle look amazing!!

With both other variants of Mahou being a hit, Clásica is a version that’s a little milder when compared to the other two, and not very grainy in texture too (just how I like it). With fruity flavours and a slight sweet tinge, the beer doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth.

The event at Pint Room where Clásica was launched, saw the Master Brewer of Mahou, Jose Julio telling us about the beer and how they incorporated the kind of taste they wanted. He showed us how beer should be poured in a glass and did so with such finesse! The CEO of Mahou India, Erik d’Auchamp was also present at the event and spoke to us about the pricing of Clásica and the logic behind it, and about their vision for the Indian market. 

Jose Julio
Eric d'Auchamp
Mahou Clásica is available both in the size of a pint and a bottle. The brand has a brewery in Rajasthan, and the light yummy beer is a perfect choice for beginners and for people who don’t like extremely bitter beers. The beer is delicious to the core and has now become one of my favourites! Went and purchased a few pints for myself after the event too!! Very smooth in texture and extremely refreshing, this one’s a promising brand for sure.

Mahou, along with its beers, brings a concept of Tapas nights with them. Beers in Spain are meant to be enjoyed, and tapas, which is food to nibble on while you drink, is something the Spanish simply adore. With a thought and a culture Mahou would like to imbibe, they are partnering with a lot of bars and restaurants where they will have 'Cañas n Tapas’ Nights and people can enjoy Mahou, Tapas and tap to some Spanish music too. Quite a concept that is!

Mahou Clásica is currently present in 6 states in India, and the brand will expand soon based on the response they receive.

Connect with me on:
Twitter: @sahibagursahane
Instagram: @thetastingfork

12 November 2015

New In Town: Imly, Rajendra Place, New Delhi, dishing out street food from all across India!

A 250 feet long train that has an engine, wheels, the right colour of paint to give it a vintage feel, shelves with suitcases and bags over your heads, and televisions that show you the scene of how it is when you’re travelling in an actual train and looking out of the window. This is Imly for you- a restaurant that provides you an entire experience, and not just a meal.

Opened in the Hog Market of Rajendra Place, Imly has a hugeee area in front of the restaurant, and that is what makes it all the more attractive to passers-by. The restaurant is built in length, just like a train, and the seating is that of chairs and tables. The lighting is shades of yellow and the servers have really quirky outfits. Everything from the cutlery, the way it is packed, to the interiors, the menu in the form of a newspaper, and the whole essence of the restaurant- it really lives up to its concept.

I started my meal with a complimentary drink- Shikanji. Tasted the Kokum, Mango and Ginger flavours. Very refreshing with masala inside it, and served in a banta bottle, the Kokum flavour was my favourite!

3 November 2015

A Lovely Sunday Brunch at Tamra, Shangri-La's - Eros Hotel, Delhi

I simply loved Tamra when I went for their dinner buffet a few months ago (read here), and I was sincerely hoping their Sunday Brunch would be even better! And better, it certainly was! Their Sunday Brunch has a different theme every week, so you're in for a surprise when you go. But the regular counters remain the same every Sunday.

The place is done up with utensils of copper and use of browns and shiny objects for the glint everywhere. Copper because Tamra means copper. Very plush seating with comfortable chairs and sofa chairs and the lighting suited perfectly for every meal of the day (dim at night and bright and sunny in the day).

Their Sunday Brunch has something for everyone- an Indian section combined with Coastal/Chettinad cuisine, an Oriental section with Thai, Chinese and Asian selections, a Sushi and salad counter for the sushi lovers and health conscious, a lovely European counter with the bakes and a live grill, a seafood counter to indulge yourself into, a chaat counter with dahi bhalle, gol gappe, papdi chaat, and lastly a very very impressive dessert counter that makes you want to skip to the last course almost immediately!

18 October 2015

Asian Hawkers Market at SELECT Citywalk, Saket (23-25 Oct): A GourmetFood Festival

A three day festival that brings to us Asian flavours from restaurants spread across Delhi NCR, at Asian Hawkers Market we will be experiencing culinary excellence by some of the best chefs and restaurants, all under one roof at SELECT Citywalk. With flavours from the Far East and South-East Asia, the festival brings to us not only the stand-alone restaurants, but also five star restaurants. Cuisines of Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia will be showcased, and 'spoilt for choice' will be given a new meaning altogether!

Asian Hawkers Market is an initiative taken by four eminent personalities from the food circuit- Sourish Bhattacharya (acclaimed Restaurant Critic and Food Blogger (Indian Restaurant Spy) and food columnist of Mail Today, Atul Sikand (the creator of one of the biggest and busiest recipe-sharing groups on Facebook- Sikandulous Cuisine), Tanveer Kwatra (Executive Chef, Le Meridien Gurgaon) and Sid Mathur (Director and Head of Food of the incredibly famous 'Social' and 'Smoke House Deli', and consultant for MySquare, the food court in SELECT Citywalk).

The focus of the event is on small plates, where people will be able to try more food. And with 25 restaurants participating in this festival (all providing a hawker experience), it is going to be 'gourmet food served street style' at its best! Restaurants will have their popular crowd favourite dishes on the menu, but in addition to this they will have some out-of-the-menu dishes as well. 

This is one festival that I am really looking forward to since a long time! A festival with the theme being Asian is like a dream come true for an Asian food lover like yours truly. There's a certain kind of excitement that food festivals hold. It is just indescribable. At least for me it is, I look forward to food festivals like they're a big event in my life! So much food, so much to choose from, so many new things to try, so many foodies you bump into- it's the perfect state of mind! The Asian Hawkers Market is just that to me! So let's get ready to eat our way through Asian food next weekend!

Venue: SELECT Citywalk, Saket
Date: 23rd, 24th and 25th October, 2015
Entry: Free Website: http://www.asianhawkersmarket.com/

Highlights of the event:
-12 genres of music to ensure you have a gala time while you indulge
-Selfie booths by HP to capture your moments
-A Ta Maison and PCO for running the bar 
-At least 20% of the food served at the festival will be gluten-free
-A stall by Wai Wai where they will show innovative ways of making these noodles
-Dishes will be priced between 100-500.

Participating Restaurants:
1. Asia 7
2. Asian Haus and Sushi Haus
3. Bercos
4. Chaayos 
5. Chi Asian Cookhouse
6. Chi Ni
7. Dimsum Bros
8. En 
9. Fatty Bao 
10. Guppy by ai 
11. Jade, The Claridges
12. Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Gurgaon
13. Mamagoto
14. Neung Roi, Radisson Blu Plaza, NH8
15. Pan Asian, Sheraton New Delhi
16. Rred Hot Cafe
17. Piccolicko
18. Royal China
19. SelectED
20. Social
21. The Artful Baker
22. The Pho Kart
23. Wai Wai (presenting sponsor)
24. Wow Momos
25. Yum Yum Cha

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Twitter: @sahibagursahane
Instagram: @thetastingfork

15 October 2015

Mumbai: Mohammad Ali Road Food Festival at Barbeque Nation, Worli

Barbeque Nation introduced its most smacking festival till date- Mohammad Ali Road Food Festival. I’ve been frequenting BBQ since the time it opened and have been their very loyal customer. I’ve tried all the festivals they’ve come out with till date, and though they’ve all been good, they’re nothing like this one!!

The thing that differentiates the usual menu and usual festivals from this one is the spread. The menu had a lot of additions! A live counter for kebabs, a live counter for kulfis, one for biryani and gravies, and the starters menu as well.