Winters have officially arrived in Delhi NCR and it is time to come out of your closet and enjoy the glorious winter sun. The poisonous haze has gone for good now and you can embrace the chilly weather which is there to stay for a month or so.
And what better to do on a weekend than have a brunch on a roof top from where the Gurgaon skyline is visible? Located at the Clarens Hotel, Sector 29, Gurgaon, Raise the Bar Rooftop offers one of a kind experience. There is a huge bar counter running along half of the length and a special dessert and patisserie counter awaits you when you enter this place. The polished wooden interiors with a good seating arrangement promise a relaxed ambience and a slew of well trained servers is there to make your stay memorable.
Patisserie special: All cheese – oregano filled pungent and layered Adam cheese, herb cheese filled with chilli flakes and gouda are prepared from cow milk and are imported. The crackers are light and crunchy, the pickled olives not so sour, raw papaya and cucumber subtle and the focaccia airy. RECOMMENDED.
Gnochhi salad: The gnocchi is oh so smooth and melt in the mouth and served on a pan fried spinach base with hints of garlic and ginger. The spinach is not so bitter and is easy to gobble on. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Barley salad with chicken and green beans: The tangy chicken sausage leaves you in a deep food coma, while the crunchy grilled green beans, plump and juicy cherry tomatoes add more depth to this salad. The best part – the sauce has penetrated to every element. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fried chicken popsickles: Hats off to the chef who thought of this. Who wants ice popsickles if you can have fried chicken one? And they go well in the winters too. The finest chicken mince fried in bread crumbs to a lovely brown and golden hue and served with garlic mayo can leave you in splits. The crispy exterior and the soft mince like interior will definitely win your heart. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Herb crusted sole fillet: The very thin layer of herb curst with mellow insides – perfection of a well seared sole fillet. The potato wedges are served as sides and slightly soft. RECOMMENDED.
Yakisoba noodles with vegetables: Disappointment. The noodles did not taste like Japanese noodles in Yakisoba sauce but resembled a desi pan fried version of our street food variant in flavours.
Crème Brulee: Not good at all. The well defined crust is not there and the flavour of the cheesecake resembled the taste of raw eggs.
Authentic cuisine seems to be the rage these days and when coupled with “organic” and “healthy”, the foodies are bound to get something different yet exciting.
Located in the bustling Select Citywalk, this little restaurant is bound to keep you hooked to their amazing menu. All their ingredients are freshly imported and organically produced. No extra flavours, condiments or preservatives in their dishes, only pure culinary skill and technique here.
Another note: They have a policy of serving the leftover food to the beggars and homeless people near Select Citywalk – applause for this initiative!
Summer is back Italian Basil: When “organic” is the word, you expect fresh ingredients in your beverage with no syrups or artificial flavours. Same goes for this one. A refreshing concoction of Italian basil leaves and oranges with no extra zing is as home made as it can get. The bitterness of basil cuts the tanginess of oranges and the subtle sweetness of the ensemble is there to suit everyone. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fresh Butter Garlic Prawns: This recipe is a local one from the famed Anjuna beach and does not disappoint you. The prawns are sourced from Cochin, so you get the authentic “prawn” flavour and are served with a green salad, butter based dip and French fries. The prawns are smoked to perfection with the shells intact with creamy and juicy insides but with a lesser amount of salt though. The citrus salad is amazing – spinach, lettuce and mustard leaves, yellow and red bell peppers and orange drizzled with light lemon vinaigrette. The crunchy leaves and vegetables coupled with the subtle tanginess of the dressing leave you asking for more.
Pro-tip: You have to eat the prawns with the salad so that the flavours are balanced.
Though I really wished that the “garlic” in this dish was more prominent. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Norwegian smoked salmon and cream: Drool worthy to the core! The smooth fettucine is prepared in home made Tarragon sauce and cream with smoked salmon and topped with grated cheese – mouth watering combination? The salmon is very subtly smoked and is tender and compliments the pasta well. The menu mentions that this should be served with sautéed organic greens but I was served with buttered crunchy garlic bread. RECOMMENDED.
Cremino: Why did I taste this? A variation of our beloved Tiramisu, this is fashioned from Mascarpone cheese, Amaretto soaked in coffee and topped with cacoa dust and coffee flavoured cookies. Surprisingly the coffee is not bitter at all and is pleasant in taste with the cheese being so smooth and creamy that you can not stop once you start binging on this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Blueberry Cherry Smoothie: Organic blueberries and cherries freshly grinded in fresh chilled yoghurt with no extra sugar or flavours – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Waffles: Served with Nutella, cream, butter, Maple syrup, musk melon and kiwi slices – a perfect breakfast item. The waffles were not airy and crunchy and had gone soft and chewy probably due to the time spent in clicking the perfect picture but when eaten with Nutella and cream – BOMB! The texture was brittle and crumbly though. RECOMMENDED.
Food innovation is the current trend in the food industry and restaurants experimenting with fusion food are sure to attract customers time and again. Because combination dishes invite a loyal fan following and I am one of those people who love to explore new cuisines, even the blend of two or more.
The Chatter House has earned a fine reputation for experimenting with dishes and boy, they have succeeded in changing our palette preferences. Who could say no their Blue Cheese Naan or Port Wine with chocolate syrup?
For our Rock n Roll fans, this is the perfect place with the framed posters of The Beatles, Def Leppard, The Eagles and what not with a rivalling playlist is sure to seduce you.
Butter Chicken Spring Roll: Fusion food at its best! Who could have thought of combining the staple curry of Delhiites with the famed Oriental snack item? The spring roll has a light and flaky exterior with tender chicken pieces inside. The chicken is slightly drizzled with the smooth and creamy butter chicken gravy which is served separately and you have to dip your spring roll in the curry to enjoy this mouth watering decadence. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Garden in a bowl: Fresh vegetables – black olives, carrots, broccoli and cherry tomatoes along with roasted almonds served in a tangy and creamy yoghurt and eggplant based dressing and garnished with smoked olive dust – healthy as well as light. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Blue cheese Naan: This dish has been the most talked about snack item since the inception of this place. The chewy naan is redolent with the pungent flavour of blue cheese and chopped pineapple are adorned on its top so as to cut the sharpness of the cheese. Served with our very own Dal makhni which is ohh-so-creamy and we have a winner here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bacon Wrap Mac n Cheese: Why in the name of heaven did I binge on it? Because I can not stop craving it. The melt-in-the-mouth macaroni drenched in creamy and cheesy sauce and wrapped in a bacon strip which is smoked to perfection – bacon is crispy but not chewy and the mac n cheese is not too cheesy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Mushroom Risotto: Subtlety defines this – smooth and not so creamy texture of the mushroom sauce with a topping of cherry tomatoes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fettucine Fungi De Basco: Their fettucine is prepared in house and when combined in the creamy white wine based sauce with the addition of mushroom ragout – we could not keep our hands off! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
A lot of hype was generated around this restaurant when it had opened and it is rightly so as QRO serves the most delectable shakes and pastas! Pocket friendly for the students, the restaurant serves Continental food in addition to the usual Chinese and Italian.
So here are the dishes that I tried-
Baked Penne Mozarella- For all the cheese and pasta lovers out there, this is a perfect dish for you all. The goodness of penne combined with oodles of cheese is sure to win your heart. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Steamed Wheat Dimsums(chicken)- Well I am a huge dimsums fan and a restaurant serving the wheat ones is just heaven for me. These dimsums do have some amount of refined flour in them so as to stop the dough from getting blacked. The dimsums have a dense chicken filling and you don’t need any dip to go with it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Choco Brownie Shake- I have finally found my favourite shake in the town ! Choco Brownie Shakes are served everywhere but QRO sure knows how to make them the best. It is thick(as shakes should be!) and have a right amount of sweetness.It surprises you, delights you and casts a spell on you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fish and Chips- I love this British street food but have never seen it served in a café. The fish had a subtle taste and a flaky texture.The dip was delectable and was the highpoint of the whole dish. RECOMMENDED.
BBQ Chicken Wrap- Try all the dishes here but never try their wraps as they don’t make them good. The BBQ chicken was sweet in taste and there wasn’t much sauce in the wrap which proved extremely difficult to eat it.