30 June 2016

New In Town: Ottimo At West View, ITC Maurya- Luxury Dining At Its Best

ITC gets one of its most coveted restaurant properties to Delhi after establishing a fine name for itself in Bangalore and Chennai. Ottimo, the famous ITC Italian restaurant, comes to West View at ITC Maurya. Named ‘Ottimo at West View’ everywhere, the place now houses both European and Italian. So diners get to choose from each cuisine and get the best of both worlds too.

The place has been redone and it looks so so magnificent! The alfresco seating overlooks a beautiful panoramic view of the city, with a nice dim lighting, a stone pizza oven where you can see your pizzas getting made, and a herb garden (yes, they have their own herb garden). The indoors are more formal and the beautiful chandelier in the centre of the room instantly grabs your attention. Hangs right above the community table where big groups can choose to dine. If not that, the restaurant encourages solo diners to dine at that table and mingle with the other diners there. How nice is that!

Chef Vittorio Greco brings an extremely fine menu to the restaurant, and with his expertise and skill, people can only leave in praises and awe. Tried their pizzas with a combination of toppings. Really good pizzas, and some wine to go with it- what more do you want with such a stunning view of the city in front of you.

24 June 2016

Depot 29 Comes Out With A New Seasonal Menu!

If I have to list top 10 places in Delhi that are my absolute favourite, I won’t even think twice before having Depot 29 on it. Located in the Safadarjung market, Depot 29 is one of the most popular places in Delhi, and based only on their quality of food, service and what the place has to offer, not because they go all out marketing themselves. No, absolutely not. They’ve recently come out with their new seasonal menu and the menu only adds to the already existent superlative variety and taste of the food. Tried a few dishes off that menu, and of course, without any surprises, I only have praises for it.

The new menu comprises of a range of salads, tacos, empanadas, burgers and mains, and I would like to highlight that they have reintroduced their Jackfruit Burger- something people simply adored when it was available at the restaurant, and is back only because Delhi wanted it back. So much for your favourite dish, right!

I started off by trying the Quinoa Salad with pomegranate, mint and pine nuts, with chicken. The salad was super fresh with the addition of mint leaves, the quinoa and pomegranate went so well together, and you had pine nuts for the crunch too. It was a complete dish- didn’t lack anything at all! Your visit to Depot 29 doesn’t count if you don’t try their empanadas. The new menu had Chipotle marinated chicken cheese and jalapeno empanadas with herb salsa on the side. Now I’m already a fan of their empanadas, so I knew I was expecting only brilliance. Their empanadas are a beauty! Keeping in mind that they’re a part of the summer menu, the empanadas weren’t heavy. And surprisingly so because of the addition of cheese as well. A very thin crisp coating on the outside with a delicious stuffing of chicken, cheese and tiny bits of jalapenos.

21 June 2016

New In Town: Burma Burma opens in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon

The latest addition to the food scene in Delhi NCR is a very loved Burmese restaurant from Fort in Mumbai- Burma Burma, opened now in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon! This vegan destination that has an all-veg menu. Yes, you read it right- Burma Burma serves only vegetarian, but it still remains one of the most loved restaurants in Mumbai, and now in Delhi too.

I’ve been to the one in Mumbai and have tried their curries, rice and Khow Suey, never explored the other sections of the menu likes soups and salads. Tried a lot at the Cyber Hub outlet, and oh my, I’m a complete fan of the place all over again. They have a lot of new additions to the menu in Delhi, and they’re all outstanding!

The place is done in very bright interiors, with the highlight of the décor being huge bells hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the restaurant. A lavish bar counter on one side for making mocktails (they don’t serve liquor) with such cute artefacts on different shelves- brings out the fun factor in the place and totally gives it a relaxed feel. Every table is set with 4 dips and small kettle. The seating is a mix of sofas and cushioned chairs- as vibrant and beautiful as they could keep it.

15 June 2016

Italian Chef Cook-Off at JW Marriott Aerocity: A Phenomenal Meal!

JW Marriott Hotels have a very interesting activity going on across its properties in India. An Italian Chef Cook-Off between the chefs of various JW Marriott Hotels managing Italian cuisine in that hotel. The Italian Chef Cook-Off that took place in cities like Pune, Delhi and Mumbai among others, saw 3 chefs from 3 different properties of JW Marriott participating in each cook-off. I went for the cook-off that happened at JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity, where the three chefs were Chef Vincenzo Sirna from JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity, Chef Roberto Zorzoli from JW Marriott Sahar Mumbai and Chef Matteo Arvonio from JW Marriott Juhu Mumbai.

The event took place at K3, JW Marriott Aerocity’s 24 hour coffee shop- the place that also has the most scrumptious buffet in town. The set up was completely different from how it is usually. It was a fine dining setting with various wine glasses and cutlery placed beautifully, and the day’s menu kept for each diner. Looked really plush and grand.

The energy in the restaurant was too infectious. Chef Vincenzo was cooking at the open kitchen outside, in his element and so meticulously working on the food. It was a treat to look at him cook. Chef Roberto and Chef Arvonio who were cooking in the main kitchen inside, were coming and talking to guests, interacting with them, being very jovial and kind to their diners.

12 June 2016

The Spritzer Diaries: Chandon's 8 amazing Sparkling Wine Cocktail recipes!

Chandon with its two superb variants of Sparkling Wine- Chandon Brut and Chandon Rosé, comes out with 8 delicious recipes of sparkling wine cocktails/spritzers to beat the heat. These sparkling wines coming from the house of Moët & Chandon are a treat by themselves too, with only a few cubes of ice and some pretty damn good sparkling wine, but Chandon didn’t stop just there. They’ve brought us fun and taste with these spritzers.

These recipes are available on the website, and they’re so easy to make that you’ll be surprised. Chandon claims you can make these spritzers in only 15 seconds, and a claim well made. You really need only 15 seconds to make them, they’re that easy.

Chandon held an event at Perch in Vasant Vihar where they showcased these spritzer recipes and indulged in an evening full of chatter, sparkling wine and great company. Chandon’s brand ambassador and the person behind these recipes, Rohan Jelkie, took us step by step through the recipes. The golden rule for having your perfect Chandon spritzer is to have an ice cold chilled Chandon!

7 June 2016

Cooking in the Nando's Kitchen!

Nando’s, makers of the famous Peri-Peri Grilled Chicken, held a contest for bloggers where teams of two were made and each team had to present a dish to the judges, who would then taste your dish and rate it on different parameters.

The event took place at their Cyber Hub outlet where a kitchen tour was first given by the manager to each team before they got their hands dirty and dived into the hardwork. Their kitchen was just as any other food chain has their kitchen- clean, hygienic, with smart use of technology and minimalistic use of man power wherever they could make it happen. But the most fascinating thing out of all was the machine in which Nando’s cooked their chicken. This was the smartest machine of their’s, and the most droolworthy too. Droolworthy why- there were rods of chicken kept one on top of the other, the juice from the top most chicken in the rod dripped to the one below, and then one below, till the last one, and then into a tray. So it ensured each chicken was juicy as hell, and the the excess juice got collected in the tray below. You can’t even imagine how delicious it smelled, and how insane it looked- crazy stuff!

The highlights of the kitchen were the place were vegetables are cleaned thoroughly and disinfected (twice), the area where the chicken and other veggies are grilled (there are separate grills for both veg and non veg), and finally the area where fries and potato wedges are prepared. These were also the areas where I worked during the time I cooked my dish.

I was then given a cap to cover my head with, shown the sink where I washed my hands, and moved to the area where I chose my vegetables and chopped them. Chose mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers and broccoli. For my dish I chose to serve a grilled chicken breast in hot sauce, over a bed of spiced rice, a side of vegetables that I grilled, and a side of fries. To cut down on the heaviness and spices of the dish, there was a dollop of yoghurt dip too. Grilled the chicken but the rice was already prepared beforehand so didn’t do anything there.

Cutting to the end, skipping the part where everybody else’s dishes were tasted, my dish was tasted and both positives and negatives were shared by the judges. I didn’t win anything, but the entire experience in the kitchen, seeing the inside of Nando’s and getting to know how they work, making my own dish and plating it up- was too to exciting. A great event by Nando’s!

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1 June 2016

New In Town: Live Grill and Buffet at Janpath Grill House

Janpath Grill House is the newest buffet/grill place in town. Situated right next to Saravana Bhavan, the place comes from the makers of Schenge Deli in Chanakyapuri. The concept of Janpath Grill House is that of a buffet with live grills on the table.

They have some beautiful décor to go in sync with the lovely vibrant plush seating. A wall that’s painted with all the quintessential Delhi characteristics, with really beautifully replicated Delhi streets and its people. Spread across two floors, a ground and a mezzanine floor, the staff and service is really prompt and sweet. Visited the place on the third day of its operations and found only 2-3 tables occupied during lunch. Completely normal for a place that has just opened. I chose the sofa seating and ordered for a Mango Shikanji and Jaljeera. The Mango Shikanji had a Mango based juice in it- I’m guessing Fruity, and tasted mostly of that. Could have done with some more shikanji masala in it. The Jaljeera was nice.


Mamagoto's Tah-Koh Festival: Asian Soft Shell Tacos

Mamagoto is constantly coming out with new food menus and food festivals, and this time round they’re out with the Tah-Koh festival menu. Asian soft shell tacos that are filled with all things summery, and with a lot of variants to choose from.

Mamagoto has 7 kinds of Tah-Kohs in this menu- cheese, tofu, chicken, pork, duck, crab and prawn. There are two tacos in each portion, and they’re priced quite nominally based on what you’re choosing. I tried the Cheesy Tah-Koh from the veg options and it consisted of a fried crispy Panko-crusted ball of goat cheese, with a yummy Mango salsa and kimchi salad to go with it in the taco. Crunchy, fresh and delicious!

The Chicken Tah-Koh (Smoky) consisted of smoked chicken that was also encrusted with a beautifully crisp exterior. There was a green chilli mayo in it in with salsa- the green chilli wasn’t that evident but the salsa tasted really good with the chicken. All the tacos had greens in them for the freshness, and they did the job of adding summer to the dish beautifully.

The Porky and Craby were the real deal in terms of the meat. As per flavour and taste, I loved the Pork Tah-Koh the most! Pork Belly with a yummy sweet plum sauce glaze, sliced green apple and greens for balancing the act out. Crispy and delicious! The Craby has been executed brilliantly by Mamagoto. You would expect a place only to have traces of crab or duck in such dishes, but they made sure the crab was the star of the taco. Very chunky, very fresh, you could taste a mouthful of crab in each bite. Laced with chilli mayo that balanced the saltiness of the soft shell crab, this also had pickles, spring onion and Japanese Barbeque sauce. Surprisingly nice, but the Porky still remains my favourite.