Posted in Angel hair pasta, Burrata, Cappelletti, cheese, cheese cake, dessert, desserts, gluttonyguilts, Gorgonzola, Gorgonzola cheese, gurgaon, gurgaon restaurants, Hand made pasta, italian, italian cuisine, Leeks, mascarpone cheese, Pasta, pasta recipe, pink sauce pasta, Quiche, red wine, shrimp, Shrimp cocktail, tiramisu, Uncategorized, wine

Artusi Ristorante,Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

If there is one cuisine I can have any time, anywhere, it is Italian. A cheese drenched and creamy dish with a glass of red wine – my my, the evening is set.

Artusi is a luxurious fine dine Italian restaurant located in One Horizon Centre. The decor is classical European with intricate chandeliers carrying mini candles hanging down from the top. The background music is mostly from Godfather and the paintings on the wall delicately beckon the art connoisseurs.

Artusi is well known for their authentic ingredients and freshly prepared hand made pasta. What could be more delightful than having Italian dishes straight from the kitchens of Italian moms!

Shrimp cocktail: Hats off to the presentation! The juicy shrimps lathered in pink cocktail sauce (Salsa Rosa), enveloped in a lettuce leaf and are served in a Martini glass. The sauce lends its creaminess and tanginess to the delicate shrimps.

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Burrata: So heavenly creamy! This fresh cheese was served with a crunchy toasted bread, plump cherry tomatoes and basil pesto sauce – a very light yet fulfilling appetiser.

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Torino di Pori: More cheese! The quiche or the cheese and leeks filled tart is creamy and has a crumbly texture. The Gorgonzola cheese adds more depth to this dish by lending its heavy buttery consistency.

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Cappelletti with mushroom: The minute delicate pasta pockets are indeed a sight to marvel at. And when they are filled with cheese and served with juicy mushrooms – Mama Mia!

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Paglia e Fieno: The finely prepared angel hair pasta – yellow and green colour – is artistically served in a tomato based creamy sauce with succulent mushrooms. The ensemble is very flavourful and slurpy.

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Tiramisu: I never ever had a better version of Tiramisu! The mascarpone cheese is so light, fluffy, airy and creamy and the sponge layer soaked in brandy and coffee is pretty thin. Do not forget to try this dessert.

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Artusi Ristorante in Piazza Horizon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Posted in chicken sausage, Chicken waffle, delhi, dessert, desserts, Eggs, mashed potatoes, Open sandwich, ravioli, sandwich, sausage, Scotch eggs, spinach ricotta ravioli, swiss, Swiss roll, things to do in delhi, Uncategorized, vegetables, waffle, waffles

Casually, M block, Greater Kailash 2, New Delhi

Bangers and mash: The sausages are juicy and are easy to dig into.  The basil tomatoes are lightly grilled, the crunchy grilled vegetables taste of garlic, the mashed potatoes smooth & creamy and the onion sauce has a lovely flavour of black peppercorns.

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Crumbled scotch eggs, feta & rocket leaves open sandwich: I would rather call this a toasty because of the bread used. The feta is used very sparingly on the bread and the crumbled eggs taste average.

Wheat flaked Chicken waffle: The savoury waffle is a good attempt at diversifying the menu. The waffle is chewy and not sweet and comes topped with sliced chicken breast and mint mayonnaise sauce. The chicken bits are crispy from outside and juicy from inside.

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Ravioli De Magro: The spinach ravioli which tasted least like spinach! The finely chopped spinach leaves enclosed in soft ravioli and drenched in cheese sauce will titillate your palate. And the melt in the mouth texture is to die for!

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Chocolate and Swiss roll: This dessert remotely tasted like a Swiss Roll. It was a rolled pastry and was topped with strawberry marmalade. The taste was good but looking at the quantity, it should cost around 40-50 bucks.

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Casually Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in avocado, Avocado icecream, Bok choy, Broccoli, button mushroom, chicken, chicken pizza, Coconut icecream, Crystal dimsums, delhi, dessert, desserts, dimsums, gurgaon, gurgaon restaurants, icecream, Ming beans, mushroom, mushroom dumplings, Noodle soup, noodles, Oyster mushroom, Pizza, Pork, rice flat noodles, rice noodles, Rice paper pizza, soup, spring roll, Tapioca, things to do in delhi, tofu, Uncategorized, Vietnamese cuisine, Vietnamese food

Viet-Nom, DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon

Lately, my fascination for South-East Asian cuisine has grown fourfold. The magic of dimsums, noodles, poke bowls and so on has worked its way into my heart and who am I resist when the lovely cuisine from Vietnam comes calling.

Pho Vegetables: Lovely rice noodles drenched in a hot, sweet and sour soup with the goodness of crunchy vegetables- carrots, broccoli, bok choy, mint and spinach leaves, the mellow tofu and chewy portobello & shiitake mushrooms. The bowl is served with hot and spicy Sriracha sauce, caramelised garlic & onions, and peanuts.

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Pork & King Oyster Mushroom Spring Rolls: The very fine texture of the hot hot mince of pork and mushrooms is overwhelming. And with such a hot spicy mixture, it is difficult to roll into crispy spring rolls. Served with a melt in the mouth spicy peanut sauce, this ensemble is one item not to miss.

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White Rose Dimsums: These are tender crystal dimsums enclosing a very delicate mixture of tapioca and mung beans which actually melts in your mouth. The sauce is sweet and spicy although the spicier part is pronounced because of finely chopped red chillies.

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Viet-Nom special pizza: Slightly disappointing because the rice paper had a burnt texture and excessive use of basil leaves. But the succulent chicken chorizo and egg cheese combo saves the dish.

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Avocado surprise: Surprising yet pleasant! The finely mashed avocado is drenched in coconut ice – cream and topped with maple syrup and coconut shavings. The resultant is a cool and creamy subtle dessert.

Viet:Nom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in asparagus, chicken, chicken dimsums, chicken schezwan dimsum, chocolate, chocolate roulade, delhi, dessert, desserts, dimsums, gurgaon, gurgaon restaurants, hakka noodles, icecream, noodles, schezwan, shredded chicken, things to do in delhi, tofu, Uncategorized, vanilla icecream

Nooba, DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon

I am slowly learning to move from Indianised versions of the global dishes and gradually falling in love with the authentic versions. Nooba provided a perfect opportunity for me to explore Schezwan cuisine fashioned from the expert hands of chefs from China.

Nooba should be recognized as a family restaurant with serene interiors. The staff is courteous and the managers know their cuisine very well. All the ingredients are imported from China so the authenticity is maintained.

Shredded Chicken: The chicken is fresh, juicy and not chewy which was a relief! The flavour is subtle and not too overpowering. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Fried Prawn: The prawns are fried but not deep fried and topped with peppery garnish and spring onions. The prawns were a fresh catch and tender in texture. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Asparagus in Bean Curd: Kudos to these guys for giving tofu an appealing texture. And kudos to the presentation as well! The lightly sautéed asparagus are delicately placed in crusty tofu and drenched in a light vinegar based sauce. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Chicken & Black Mushroom Dimsums: The dainty mushrooms enclosing a very subtle mixture of finely chopped chicken mince and black mushrooms should be hogged on to even when not hungry. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Mixed Meat Noodles in White Garlic Sauce: Wok tossed Hakka Noodles with a plethora of vegetables, lamb and chicken in a silky smooth white garlic sauce – subtlety at its best! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Chocolate Roulade: Move over brownies, the delicately rolled chocolate rolls enclosing gooey chocolate syrup and served with a scoop of cool vanilla ice-cream is the perfect way to end a delicious meal. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Nooba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in chicken sandwich, chocolate brownie, dehradun, dessert, desserts, dhanaulti, grilled chicken sandwich, india, indian, indian cuisine, indian food, mountain, mountains, mussoorie, north indian, pancakes, penne, penne pasta, sandwich, travel, travel diaries, travel writing, traveller, travelogue, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Winter special – Dehradun and Mussoorie diaries

I could never understand the fondness associated with Mussoorie amongst the hearts of the north Indians. In the 29 years of my not-so-boring life, I had never been in Mussoorie for than an hour and that too whilst visiting some village while crossing it.

And the title of “Queen of the Hills”? Maybe the Britishers gave that title. But I had to find out, enough years had already passed.

A friend’s reception at Dehradun brought the perfect opportunity Dehradun, Mussoorie and Dhanaulti. A mutual friend and travel buddy had some exigency, so I was left solo to wander these lands.

2018 winters bloomed early and below 10 degrees temperature was expected to hover on. After bidding goodbye to Nanda Devi Express, the biting cold welcomed me at 5:45 a.m. at Dehradun. I took the local taxi from the railway station to J.P. Manor, Barlowgunj which comes 4km before Mussoorie.

The taxi driver was a local Pahadi and kept on assuring me that I will be able to withstand the chill as I was shivering like hell despite the fact that only my eyes were visible. I was alone so slightly scared of catching the commonest of all colds.

It took me just an hour and a half to reach J.P. Manor and the journey from the taxi to the hotel reception was a battle between my body and the morning chill. Ask my knees, they will tell you better.

The staff at J.P. Manor was extremely helpful and courteous. Since the rooms were not available as the check out time is 2pm, they offered me the spa facilities for refreshing myself. They also upgraded my booking with least charges when one of the rooms got an early check out at the Valley View Tower.

And trust me, the room was fabulous with French windows, shared lawn and a view to die for. The only caveat was or were the monkeys who were monkeying around the lawn premises. I could only open the curtains and not windows. Sigh!

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And these naughty apes got more excited as my heavenly English breakfast came. The sight of omelette, bacon and sausages must have excited them and they kept on knocking on the window.

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An hour’s sleep and I was ready to visit Dhanaulti. The local taxi stand at Mussoorie has a good amount of experienced drivers who know the ways in and around. I was advised to visit the Eco park at Dhanaulti and the Mall road considering the shortage of time.

The road connecting Mussoorie and Dhanaulti is a winding one and offers spectacular views of the Greater Himalayas. I constantly bothered the taxi driver to stop at such locations and he told me eagerly about the various peaks visible. Kedarnath and Badrinath being some of them.

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I expected the Eco park to be just another playful park for kids, but the sight surprised me. The area is pretty close to a virgin forest where the vegetation is left in its most natural state. The greenery reminded me of the Maphland Sacred Grove at Shillong. The towering Deodars and Pine trees were in full bloom and the air was cold but fresh. The silence of the park was broken down by our footsteps and the monkeying around of the monkeys.

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I wished to go deeper into the woods but was scared of the monkeys. I have already gone through the Rabipure series against a cat bite. Hell no I am going for that again!

There were many gazebos and swings on which you could relax and revel in the serenity.

After the tryst here, I requested the driver to take me to those step farms where cauliflowers are planted. I expected a vibrant scene but got a very dry terrain. The locals told us that monsoon is the time of fully bloomed cauliflowers. Better luck next time.

The journey from Dhanaulti to the Mall road was slightly dreadful as my altitude sickness came back and the heaviness in my head increased fourfold. I was dropped at the Picture Palace from wherein I started exploring the bylanes of Mussoorie. The road is dotted with a plethora of cafes, bakeries, woollen apparels shops and of course the Maggie & the momos vendors. My first destination was the ropeway to the Gun Point hill so had to keep an empty stomach.

While the ropeway vault was full of newly-wed couples stealing a selfie or an embrace (which I tried to overlook), the underlying view was refreshing.

Gun Point hill was slightly disappointing because of the clichéd outlets there. Or rather I played those games in my childhood that they no more the charm anymore. But if you have a book to read, an empty belly to hog on to the piping hot Maggie and ample time to bask in the blazing sun, then please take a table for some time.

The Maggie definitely warmed my insides and the sunlight the exterior of course. My altitude sickness also got relieved. I could not see the Camel back road from there although I was advised that it will be visible from there.

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My target was to reach the hotel by 5pm because I had no intention of facing the zero degree temperature after an eventful day. I got free earlier though, at 4pm, after having a freshly brewed cuppa of Earl Grey tea at a café.

Since I had not slept in the train because of small berths and cool temperatures, I went into a short lived slumber before heading to Café Manor – the hotel’s Italian dining restaurant.

I ordered my favourites – chicken ravioli in white sauce and vegetables loaded pizza. The ravioli was freshly prepared and had the right quantity of cheese and cream. The veggie pizza when brought for the first time was slightly burnt but after a request by the manager, a second version was provided which was perfection. The quantity and quality both are excellent here.

The second day was reserved for the journey to Dehradun and trust me it was not an easy one. The winding roads wreaked their havoc  again and deep breaths were my only respite. Though when the cab driver took the car through the greenery loaded area of Garhi Cantt, I was in for a peaceful drive.

I checked into Saffron Leaf (where my friend’s reception party was due) and ordered a chicken sandwich. I was extremely surprised by the quantity of the breakfast – the potato wedges and the coleslaw were the icing on the cake! After a brief period of reading and resting, I was ready for the Buddhist Monastery in Clement town.

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After a drive of about 4km, prayer flags greet you as are en route to the monastery. It is a huge complex having a slew of stupas, temples, rotating drums and gardens. The setting sun casted a beautiful shadow around the huge Buddha statue and it becomes worthwhile to take a snap before it gets dark as well as late.

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The evening was spent at the Singh Sour Bar where the myriad variety of momos will baffle you. Vegetarian, paneer, chicken, mutton and cheese – you name it, they have it. We explored the vegetarian, vegetarian cheese, chicken and mutton momos and they were all food gasmic. The cheese ones tasted as if a small portion of Domino’s pizza had been enclosed in the momos sheet.

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And the evening would have incomplete without grabbing a sweet bite at Ellora’s Melting Moments. We tried Cinnamon Danish and Christmas Brownie and somehow I felt that the place is over rated. The Danish is supposed to be flaky & airy and instead it was doughy & chewy. The brownie was good but could have been better.

The second day began with a visit to Sahastradhara. It is situated on the outskirts of Dehradun and is usually thronged by Hindu believers. There are sulphur springs situated here and the waters are believed to heal one of diseases. But somehow I felt that this place would have been picturesque a few years back but is now marred by garbage and people bathing in it. The streams have a lesser amount of water which sometimes stagnates because of the underlying garbage. Nevertheless, the place is tranquil and the numerous tiny cascades with the music of flowing water provide a serene atmosphere.

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It is advisable to be wary of the transportation issues while visiting this place. Ola/Uber does not work here and a solitary auto came to our aide when we wanted to go back to city.

Dehradun is known for many cozy cafes serving comfort food and who am I to turn down the delicious affairs of these outlets? We wanted to explore The Orchard while enjoying the view of the mountains but unfortunately it open at 1pm. We decided to visit Café Marigold instead and the visit reminded us of our college days.

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The menu is not very extensive but the quality is to die for. The penne alfredo was beyond perfection and the maple syrup pancakes were charismatic save for a few raw bites. The honey lemon ginger tea actually tastes like the ingredients used for preparing it and Marigold special Coffee is their unique offering, which I did not taste because of my aversion to caffeine.

Overall the visit to Dehradun was refreshing and I fell in love with the ubiquitous greenery. The bougainvilleas in myriad colours, the sunflowers and the enormous roses are charming and beckon you to come here again and again.

Posted in biryani, chicken, chicken biryani, delhi, dessert, desserts, dum biryani, imarti, jalebi, kashmiri soup, kulfi, mutton, paan kulfi, radisson blu, rogan josh, soup, things to do in delhi, Uncategorized, yakhni soup

Kashmir to Kabul – The Great Kebab Factory, Radisson Blu Plaza, Delhi Airport

Radisson does it again and with utmost poise. After experiencing their Thai restaurant Neung Roi, it was time for their Kashmir to Kabul food festival at The Great Kebab Factory.

The elaborate menu for this particular festival features an assortment of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian kebabs, curries and biryani. The non vegetarian kebab platter is a sinful and delectable affair with mellow galouti kebabs, smoked buttery Sumac Jheengha (prawns sourced from Kashmir), Saufiyani Kashmiri kebab which are subtle yet smoky, fine, tender & crusty lamb chops or Tabak Maaz, black pepper laced luscious Murg Kanti kebab and crispy Ajwain fried fish. I only tasted lotus stem or Nadru ke kebab which had a lovely grainy texture.

Usually, such buffet spreads prefer to not concentrate around light beverages and breads but the vegetarian Yakhni soup with sweet breads, Sheermal, salty & watery Chaanch are there to relieve your belly from the onslaught of delicious main course.

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The Rogan Josh served here was excellent with the prominence of cumin seeds and tomatoes and went well with soft Afghani naans. The chicken biryani was flavourful with succulent chicken pieces.

The dessert platter could not be more sinful! The crispy jalebis with thick and smooth rabri, the saffron & pistachio infused milky kulfi, the refreshing Paan ice-cream, the tepid Kheer and the unusual apple halwa will fill your alimentary canal up to the brim.

Happy Eating!

The Great Kabab Factory - Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in cheese gunafa, chicken, chicken adana kebab, chicken shish touk, delhi, dessert, desserts, DLF cyber hub, food, food blogger, gluttonyguilts, gurgaon, gurgaon restaurants, hummus, kebab, lamb, lamb kebab, lebanese, lebanese cuisine, lebanese food, olive hummus, rice, Salad, things to do in delhi, Uncategorized, yamini chicken mandi rice

Zizo, DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon

Fattoush Salad: It is always considered “healthy” to begin a meal with a light sweet and savoury salad. My holiday lunch began with this light salad consisting of diced zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, crispy pita chips and pomegranate seeds in a slightly tangy sauce. RECOMMENDED.

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Hummus Rasasfour: This is a special type of hummus served with pomegranate, molasses and diced chicken. The chicken pieces are extra juicy and have well imbibed the flavours of the molasses.

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Mixed Grill Platter: A refreshing break from the regular spiced laden Tandoori platter. The Turkish Adana and lamb kebabs were very juicy, firm, tender and resembled our very own Seekh kebab, albeit subtler but hot. Shish Touk was ohh-so-luscious with the goodness of mint  and smoked to perfection with butter. Iranian Urfa chicken kebab was slightly hotter, drier and saltier. RECOMMENDED.

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Yamini Chicken Manfi Rice: I shall call this Yemenese biryani. Two humongous pieces of chicken leg and breast on a bed of spiced rice is surely my dream meal. The rice was cooked in Yemenese spices as well as our coarse ones – black cardomam, cloves and black pepper and topped with caramelised onions. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Cheese Gunafa: I though desserts fashioned out of cheese were only the expertise of Europeans. But no, hell no, Middle Eastern cuisine also uses cheese to prepare delectable sugary bites. The cheese gunafa is warm and moderately sweet with fried vermicelli dipped in sugar syrup on top. Not to forget the finely chopped pistachios. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Zizo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato