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.
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.
Their site mentions myriad cuisines and the pictures from every type are drool worthy to the core. Without much ado, I will start with my reviews for their Chinese dishes:
Fish in hot sauce: Soft lightly fried fish drenched in a thick sweet sauce and topped with spring onions, caramelised onions, carrots, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Schezwan Dimsums: Artistic! Such softness of the dainty skin enclosing light minced chicken in a spicy gravy – mesmerising. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Fish in butter garlic sauce: If heaven is a dish, then this is it. Very lightly fried fish tossed in butter along with finely chopped garlic and peanuts is sure to melt in your mouth. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Orange chicken: A very novel concept of pairing chicken with a citrus fruit – hats off! Small blobs of chicken fried to crusty perfection and tossed in oranges and sesame seeds – a plethora of flavours to serenade you. The sweet and sour refreshing flavour of orange coupled with fine crunchiness of the sesame seeds is a winner for me. However, the chicken was slightly dry from the insides and the whole ensemble tasted too sweet sometimes. RECOMMENDED.
Kung Pao chicken: Ahhh, the king of the Oriental main course. Those crunchy peanuts working their magic on soft and chewy boneless chicken pieces and the thick gravy lending the typical sweet flavour of vinegar – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Hakka Noodles: One of the best I have tasted – not too oily or dry and pretty thin and fine. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken Hong Kong style: Diced chicken again in a sweet sauce with chewy shiitake mushrooms – RECOMMENDED.
Situated in Kailash Colony, this is a fancy restaurant which serves some lip smacking dishes. Uncultured should be your go to place if you love trying on a myriad of cuisines. A great rooftop terrace is just one of the advantages of visiting this place.
I recently got an opportunity to taste some of its items and here are a few of them:
Fish fingers: Served with a dip, these are crunchy and had a subtle taste. RECOMMENDED
Oreo Shake: Yes we all are head-over-heels in love with this one already. Heavenly is just too small a word to describe this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken pizza: When I order chicken pizza, I expect chicken to be there as well. But you need a magnifying glass to locate the chicken pieces on the pizza as there are hardly any.
Primavera Pizza: Now atleast this pizza was not disappointing. It had a lot of bell peppers, olives, zucchini and a good amount of cheese as well. RECOMMENDED
Chilli Mushroom: Its time to move on from the regular chilli chicken and chilli paneer and try this dish. As I am not a huge fan of mushrooms, it does taste a little bit weird in the starting. But the spiciness and the tanginess of the mushrooms will definitely delight you. Its spiciness hits you and tanginess makes you fall in love with this dish. RECOMMENDED
Grilled Prawn: Ordering this one was a huge mistake as it is high on disappointment. The prawns were bitter and I could not even finish the one I tasted.
Chicken 65 Bruschetta: After a huge disappointment faced from grilled prawns, this was a beautiful respite. It had oodles of cheese covering the soft juicy chicken placed on toasty bread which leaves you wanting for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Grilled Fish in lemon butter sauce: Served with a dip and side vegetables, the fish was mellow and had a sublte taste. Light on your stomach, it certainly leaves you wanting for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
This new property in Delhi is actually a junction of multiple cuisine trains. Spread across a huge area with different sections, this one boasts of a distinct sushi and dimsums bar, The Big Baker with a lovely assortment of desserts, a pizzeria, an outdoor seating area under the shade of trees (full marks for that) and indoor fine dine area. The Junction redefines the word multi-cuisine for you by serving multiple cuisines from all the courses. Here are a few of them that I recently tasted:
Veg pizza: The thinnest crust with a lovely succulency and the chewiness and juiciness of yellow and green zucchinis should not be missed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken dimsums: The exceptionally thin exterior is attractive but the extremely tangy flavour of the mine chicken mince is not acceptable.
Mushroom wantons: I usually avoid wantons because they are deep fried but I could not keep my hands off this one. The finely chopped mushrooms were enveloped in a chewy exterior whichw as fried to crispy perfection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
California roll: Their sushis are a must try and this one was a burst of subtle flavours – sweet, tangy and piquant. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Mac n cheese: Ahh, the gooey cheese works its magic again! The al dante macaroni drenched in warm parmesan with bits of chicken is one dish which you would not want to miss! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Veg mezze platter: I have never ever tasted a mezze platter like this one! For the first time, the pita breads were slathered with butter and were soft yet crispy – the characteristic brittleness was absent here. Additionally, the beetroot flavoured dip was ohh-so-delicious! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Prawn dimsums: If you leave the intense watery aroma of prawns aside, the these dimsums are heavenly! The skin and the filling are perfect and better than the chicken ones here.
Chicken and cashewnut dumplings: Who could have thought that the nuttiness and crunchiness of the cashewnuts could be used to innovate the usual chicken dimsums? These guys did and it turned out excellent! And the form of these lovelies are way too attractive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The term FENG-SHUI translates as “wind-water”. It is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonising everyone with the environment. Well, if you visit the Oriental fine dine restaurant lounge by the same name located in the Green Park market, then you will experience a positive aura on their first floo. And when on second floor, you can experience foot tapping music with a live bar and a covered roof – enjoying the external environment with no worries for the extreme weather.
The first outlet of Feng Shuii located in The Gallery,MG Road, Sultanpur was launched in June 2016. After getting an overwhelming response, they have opened another outlet in Green Park main market and here are a few items I tasted there:
Prawn chilli: I am glad that the chefs here have maintained the authenticity of the Asian preparations. The prawns are crispy and chewy in texture and not too chilly rather sweet in taste. Additionally, the bell peppers and onions are perfectly tossed in a hot sauce. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Shrimp dimsums: Soft but a bit smelly and the chopped garlic provides an unusual taste.
Chicken and cheese dimsums: We have seen unique experimentations in the culinary world when it comes to dimums and I am flabbergasted by the addition of cheese to the common chicken dimsums. These were light, luscious and were soft and subtle because of cheese. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Mongolian lamb: A whiff of star anise greets you when this dish is served. However, it could have been better as it was way too chewy and undercooked.
Corn and cheese dimums: Such softness, such delicateness and such finesse in vegetarian dimsums is a feat to achieve. The combination of corn and cheese is as delectable as it can get. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Chicken dimsums: Oh boy, the inclusion of sweet chilli oil in the regular chicken dimsums makes them more soft and melt in the mouth. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
With the spate of authentic regional cuisine based restaurants increasing, can the delicious coastal ones be far behind? Hell no! And since the famed Galleria market is bustling with new eateries now and then, expect a South Indian setup to show up there.
Costal Reef is located in the Galleria market and has a beautiful ambience which will take you to the lands of beaches and subtle vines. There are customized chandeliers with oval bulbs adorning the roof and some tendrils and vines circling the railing shaped interiors on the walls. The service is top notch and the attendants do know about the cuisine and will recommend you dishes according to your preferences.
Sea food platter: Fish, crab, calamari and prawn – you name it and they have it. And each item is so uniquely created that you will be amazed beyond imagination. The crab meat is finely minced and cooked with curry leaves and coarse spices – the resultant is a fine sweet chewy dish with the hotness of garlic, onion and black pepper. The calamari roundels are coated in turmeric based mixture and fried as it is; the resultant not so appealing to me because of extra salt. The fish is so darn soft and grilled well but could have had a little more crust. It is slightly spicy, thus having that extra edge. The prawns are sweet and cooked well in garlic, ginger and curry leaves – expect explosion of myriad flavours. RECOMMENDED.
Chicken 65: This Andhra based dish is known for its fiery eruption on the palette and this was no different. The boneless pieces were hot, crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside and went well with the fried curry leaves. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Paneer 65: Honestly speaking, this was a subtle version of a real paneer 65. The cottage cheese cubes were soft and raw and fried in a spicy mixture – the fried crust was actually coming out of the cubes.
Fry Pomfret: My first experience with pomfret was not as good as expected. The spices did not penetrate the fish at all and there was a need of salt in them.
Chicken dosa: Let us get over our usual aloo dosa, because dosa is too delicious to resist! The finely minced chicken was full of spices, tangy and hot. The dosa was paper thin and crispier than any dosa you have ever had. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Mutton stew with Appam: The stew was hot, light and had vegetables in addition to the succulent mutton pieces. It should have been a bit denser though. The appam was again light, fresh and thin but could have been a little bit fluffy. RECOMMENDED.