27 May 2016

Parsi Feast by Chef Pervez Patel at ITC Maurya, New Delhi

ITC Maurya organizes yet another super delicious festival at The Pavilion, and this time it’s one that brings back a lot of memories for me. Parsi Food Festival, named Jaamva Chalo Ji. The head chef for this festival is Chef Pervez Patel from the most exceptional Parsi restaurant in Mumbai- Ideal Corner in Fort. The festival held an all the more special place in my heart because of Ideal Corner. Multiple afternoons of mine have been spent at Ideal Corner when I was living in Mumbai- relishing Parsi dishes and getting food that tasted lip-smacking but as close to home-cooked food as possible. Getting all of that back while talking to Chef Pervez, I don’t think anybody was looking forward to the food more than I was. This 10-day long festival is on till the 29th of May, so go and get your share of Parsi goodness soon!

A typical Parsi restaurant will have such hilarious quotes, which by the way, should be at every restaurant! The same had been replicated at The Pavilion too. There was a makeshift corner that consisted of all things Parsi- paintings, an old motorbike, a carrom board with a wooden stool, and artefacts that were just like what you find in Parsi homes. A beautiful corner that was!

26 May 2016

Hakkasan, Mumbai: Food that makes your heart melt with joy!

Being in Mumbai for a long time and not dining at Hakkasan is not an option. The word of mouth of this Michelin star award-winning restaurant from London is enough to get everyone to this Cantonese restaurant, and the celeb spotting just adds to the incentive. Situated in Bandra on the famous Waterfield main road, Hakkasan is not at all hard to find. It opened doors to public in Mumbai in June 2011, and has been people’s favourite ever since. The restaurant had been on my wish list for a long long time, and I finally went for lunch here on a weekday afternoon.

A contemporary restaurant that is dominated by the colour blue, the ambience is too too impressive A huge shiny bar, latticing here and there, blue glass, an open kitchen, a combination of different types of seating, the restaurant is beautiful and plush. They can accommodate 120 covers at a time, which includes a private dining area as well. 

25 May 2016

Guppy by ai introduces the Hanami Summer Menu

Guppy by ai comes out with a brilliant Hanami Summer Menu and what’s in store in this menu is something completely different from the summer menus of other restaurants. It focuses on cool vibes to beat the heat, on fresh ingredients and vibrant colours, on well-balanced food with crunch, crisp and surprise- summing up an immaculate menu of beautiful dishes. Expect to treat yourself with some out of the box dishes and food that leaves you awestruck.

The summer menu saw a masterclass with Chef Vikram Khatri before that. Everything from cleaning the rice and cooking it, the technique of rolling rice balls in your hands, spreading them out, using the seaweed for wrapping around sushi, the stuffing of veggies and fish, rolling the sushi, use of sauces, was taught to us in this masterclass. Chef made three different types of sushis for us as demonstrations in the class, and we watched like little fascinated kids. We made both maki and uramaki, and it was then our turn to make the sushis. Made a total of 3 sushis and made both maki and uramaki, and earned ourselves a certificate that makes us trained sushi lovers who can also manage to cook it (to put it in simple words). These sushi masterclasses with Chef Vikram are held regularly at Guppy, and whoever wants to get the knack of sushi making should put a blindfold on their eyes and go for this without any second thoughts!! It’s the best sushi class you will find with the most amazing hands-on practise too.

21 May 2016

Beyond The Curry at Kylin Premier, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj

Kylin Premier has come back on the map with its Beyond The Curry festival. Food from different parts of Thailand, small villages and towns- Chef Nikkhil Kanwar is bringing all of this to the menu at Kylin. What we are used to having by the name of Thai food is available in this menu only in some dishes. The food is hardcore authentic, so it hasn’t been fine tuned to the liking of Indians, but presented just as it is. Some may find those authentic dishes absolutely mind-blowing, while some may be inclined towards the dishes we frequently have here. Nevertheless, the menu is huge- more than any other restaurant attempts for a menu that’s present only for a few days, so there’s something for everyone. There’s a lot for the vegetarians too in this, so they don’t get left out. The common notion that Thai food is basically non vegetarian has been done away with here.

There are soups, salads, appetizers and main course, with a few cocktails as well. Three soups were tasted by us- all three I completely adored! My favourite being Tom Yum Kung (hot n sour prawn soup with coconut milk). The other two were chicken and veg.

18 May 2016

Gourmet Passport 2016-17: Why every person should get their hands on this

The Gourmet Passport is back and it’s bigger and better this time, just like it is every year. Whatever there is to know about this book, you will find here. What you will also find is every reason why you should buy this right now!! Valid from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017, this book gives you more in terms of satisfaction and fulfilment for the heart than it does for anything else. Sourish Bhattacharya and Atul Sikand have made the Gourmet Passport grand in the true sense. Available for Rs.999, there’s no better deal you can get than this when it comes to restaurant discount coupons. There are 525 coupons from 175 restaurant outlets

15 May 2016

Bun Intended: Smashing gourmet burgers home delivered!

Midnight deliveries in South Delhi are mushrooming like insane, and at times it becomes difficult to decide where to order from when you see so many options in front of you. Bun Intended is one place that you can blindly trust and order from when you’re hungry at the odd hour, and be sure to be in for a real treat. And I personally vouch for that. They're a delivery only model that's functional from 7PM to 4AM.

Coming from the same people as Baking Bad, Bun Intended takes gourmet burgers home delivered to another level. Burgers that are hugeee in size, with options ranging from mushroom, falafel, lamb, buff, duck, and what not, the word mouth-watering doesn’t do justice to it. Their burgers are all paired with different dips, and come with fries on the side. Not the usual fries but peri peri fries. Available in two sizes, large and xtra large, a large has always been so stuffing for me that I’ve left about 30%-40% to be had the next day. They also have the option of making your own burger from scratch, just how you like it, and they have crafted burgers too. I’m yet to create my own burger, but have tried multiple from the crafted ones.

12 May 2016

Hawaiian Express at Pizza Express: Summers are here!

Pizza Express has become very famous when it comes to people dining out for pizzas now. And with the increasing popularity, they get something new to the table with a festival every now and then. The current festival they have is the Hawaiian Express. A range of pizzas, a starter and a pasta, is what they have on this menu, along with a wide array of cocktails and mocktails.

The Hawaiian Express menu started with Lamb Polpette in the signature thick tomato gravy of Pizza Express. This sauce is addictive with such good balance of sourness of the tomatoes and the spices in it. And the lamb by itself was so flavourful too.

There are four pizzas in this menu, out of which the Pollo Cajun was my favourite! A nice thin crust pizza rectangular in shape, topped with Cajun sauce, Cajun chicken, emilgrana cheese, bell peppers and sundried tomatoes. Only the sundried tomatoes should have really been ‘sundried’, but the pizza on the whole was delicious to the core! The least impressive for me was Gambero. This pizza had an Indian touch with it, and the base was to die for! The sauce in the base was made of Dijon mustard and coriander pesto mixed with passata, and the topping was that of prawns and mozzarella with pepper. The thing that made this pizza was the overpowering taste of coriander for me. For a coriander lover, this pizza had nothing lacking in it, but for a person who’s indifferent towards it or not too fond of it, there was just too much coriander- first in the base and then sprinkled on top of the pizza too. But had the coriander not been there, I would have finished off the pizza in minutes with that beauty of a sauce in the base. Very different from the usual tomato based sauces. 

A Kitchen Tour and Foodgasm of the Menu at Wendy's, Cyber Hub, Gurgaon

Wendy’s opens in DLF Cyber Hub in Gurgaon, and people working in offices nearby get an amazing option to dine at, an option that looks like QSR, but is dine in at the QSR prices and way of functioning. This is the first Wendy’s to have a huge screen for all the matches, a small tv screen too, and probably the first Wendy’s to have such a gorgeous outdoor seating as well. Imagine Delhi winters and sitting outdoors, having a coffee and burger. Really nicely done. People who want to get their order packed from here have a separate designated area for them where they can sit, so people who have come to dine in have ample space for themselves. Excellent use of mind and space here. There’s one wall that has all graphics related to Gurgaon, and more than just looking cool, I think the thought given behind doing this is great!

3 May 2016

Restaurant Week India: Indian Accent, The Manor- It's an experience, not a meal

Restaurant Week India or RWI comes twice every year, with the promise of giving you nothing but an exceptional experience at your choice of restaurant. This year they completed 5 years, and had 27 restaurants in their list in Delhi. Present in 5 cities- Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, RWI offers a list of over 100 restaurants to choose from across India. Went for a meal to Indian Accent in the restaurant week, and loved every bit of it.

The reservations are made online on RWI’s website (www.restaurantweekindia.com) and this time the entire money was paid upfront on the website itself (Rs.1100++ for lunch and Rs.1300++ for dinner in Delhi).

I went with Indian Accent, for obvious reasons, and oh my, the meal was exemplary! As soon as we reached Indian Accent we were escorted to our table and promptly handed over the RWI menu after serving us water. Palki was very kind in helping us with the choices, and our server Shubham took the trouble of explaining every dish to us as and when it was being served. He was patient enough to also let me take infinite pictures of my food before I allowed him to serve it to us.

The meal began with Blue Cheese Naan. Small bite-sized naans filled with some rich blue cheese inside- setting the mood and expectations for the meal ahead. After this preview, we were served an amuse bouche- Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Shorba with a pinch of garam masala. Extremely soothing and yummy. The RWI menu is given below, and each could choose any 1 starter, main course and dessert from it.


2 May 2016

Bangkok Street Food Festival at JW Marriott Aerocity, New Delhi

K3 in JW Marriott Aerocity comes up with yet another food festival to take their already marvellous buffet to another level. Bangkok Street Food Festival- a festival with all dishes coming from a Thai origin, right from the starters to the desserts, and cocktails too. The festival which is on till the 7th of May will have a rotational menu everyday.

We started off with the starters and soups. Krathong Thong- deep fried crispy cupcake, both veg and non veg. Crispy shells with fresh peas, carrots, chicken, and the stuffing served cold. Extremely delicious, bite-sized. Thord-Mum Pla- Fish cakes. Not the best of the lot. The fish cakes weren’t that soft, and were a little on the oilier side too. Tom-Yum Goong- Spicy prawn soup with lemongrass. Just like the description said- a spicy kick, hot soup with prawns, mushrooms and herbs in it, blended so well with the flavour of lemongrass. Comfort food at its best!