Posted in bruschetta, cheese cake, chocolate, crepes, delhi, dessert, focaccia, gurgaon, Healthy, italian cuisine, lettuce, Pasta, prawn, ravioli, Salad, soup, spinach, sweet, tiramisu, toast, tomato soup, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Café Amaretto, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

Nestled in a niche corner of the South Point Mall, this dainty little café should be on your list if you want to experience authentic fine dine style Italian cuisine with beautiful art paraphernalia adorning the walls of the place. Welcome to Café Amaretto, an elegant yet classy place with a touch of artsy grace.

The place is done up in soothing white interiors reminding you of the typical Italian restaurants and in the evening, this café is lit up in romantic lights, thus amplifying the ambience.

Shayal Taunk, the owner of this lovely place, is an enthusiastic young entrepreneur with a taste of the Italian way of life. She started this café as an art gallery but eventually, she converted this into a full fledged Italian restaurant where you can explore the paintings and buy them as well along with the best of what Italy has to offer in gastronomy. So let me offer my insights on the enchanting dishes offered here :

Focaccia: The taste of warm and freshly baked focaccia in winters is enough for a person to go into food coma. And the ones baked by Café Amaretto is worth mentioning. The bread is warm, soft from the inside and slightly crispy from the outside with the subtle flavours of fresh garlic, thyme, bell peppers and red jalapeno prominent in it.

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Bruschetta platter: The platter showcases caponata, yellow bell pepper and tomato feta cheese bruschetta sprayed with white sesame and is one of the best I have ever tasted. The tomato and feta cheese one is the finest among the three – with the fresh dainty juliennes of tomato and soft and salty feta cheese over a thin toast. The caponata bruschetta has finely chopped onions and eggplant with sweetness dominating it. The yellow bell pepper one is well balanced and soft.

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Pan fried prawns with garlic chips: Finally there is a place where the prawns are not smelly enough to destroy your appetite. The pan fried prawns are kept over thin slices of orange and topped with lemon butter sauce and garlic chips. The prawns are well cooked, soft and chewy. The presence of orange slices gives the dish a slightly sweet flavour in addition to the subtle tanginess of the sauce. The garlic chips are fried though not deep fried thus retaining the pungency and the added caramelized flavour.

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Tomato Basil Soup: We really need to move over the ready to make tomato soups, because hey, they are laden with preservatives and not good for health at all! And the flavours are not captured well in them. The one presented here is freshly prepared and will make you yearn for it, especially since the winters are here. The consistency of the soup is thick and the presence of chopped garlic and basil leaves provide some bitterness to an otherwise sweet and tangy soup. This one is served with buttered toast.

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Mushroom salad: These days, chefs are experimenting with mushrooms quite frequently and yes, we are not complaining at all! The salad here is made with fresh and juicy button mushrooms which are finely sliced and mixed well with peanuts, garlic chips and rice puffs. Myriad flavours live in this salad: sweetness and tanginess due to the sauce and onions, crunchiness because of peanuts and rice puffs and chewiness because of mushrooms. The thin slices of garlic chips provide the extra pungency to an already rich salad.

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Ravioli with tomato bread filling in lemon butter sauce: Of all the raviolis I have had, this has to be the most exquisite one. The ravioli is soft and freshly made and is filled with a fresh and fine mixture of tomato and bread. The ravioli is literally melt in the mouth. And the sauce accompanying it makes it that way. The sauce is subtly tangy and creamy and complements the ravioli well.

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Spinach and Ricotta crepes: The crepes are mushy and creamy from the inside and flaky from the outside with a very fine mixture of spinach and ricotta cheese. The sauce is tomato based and is freshly made with the balance of creaminess, tanginess and sweetness. The presence of walnuts provides an extra crunchiness to an otherwise melt in the mouth dish.

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Chicken with black pepper and mushroom sauce: The chicken is extremely soft and flavourful with the sauce slightly spicy and bitter. The chicken is served with juicy and chewy mushrooms and crispy zucchini chips.

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Ricotta cheesecake with strawberry sauce: The cheesecake is soft but firm, and the saltiness, tanginess and sweetness in it are finely balanced.

Salted caramel: Served on a biscuit base, the cream has prominently salty and slightly sweet.

Tiramisu: It tasted quite bitter to me though it was heavenly soft.

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Cafe Amaretto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Posted in bhel puri, chicken sandwich, custard, delhi, dessert, Healthy, italian cuisine, lettuce, mushroom, Pasta, porridge, Salad, shake, sweet, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Caterspoint, DLF phase 3, Gurgaon

Move over Fresh Menu, because Caterspoint is here! Why am I comparing this place to Fresh Mneu, which has already carved a niche of its own in Delhi/NCR? Because the diversity of dishes offered here can give a tough competition to Fresh Menu.

Just one look at the site, and you are baffled. Because these guys offer all day breakfast, fresh juices and smoothies, salads, pasta, calorie counted meals, desserts and heavenly shakes. And the prices are pretty optimal considering the quantity.

But I am pretty disappointed with the packaging. They sent me heavy smoothie and dessert jars in a light paper bag which was not sturdy enough to handle the load. Anyway, moving on to the food, let me share my food gasmic journey :

Khatti meethi bhel puri : A perfect evening time snack for the tea lovers! With the right blend of puffed rice, spiced peanuts and dal moth, this bhel puri is as good as the rustic road side one. RECOMMENDED.

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Smoky Chicken Jalapeno Sandwich : A healthy alternative to our comfort food, this one is made from multi grain bread which is not too thick. The filling is made up of fresh and thin lettuce, finely sliced jalapenos, juliennes of red bell peppers and cucumber and dollops of smoked juicy chicken pieces in the melted cheese and mustard sauce. RECOMMENDED.

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Vietnamese grilled chicken salad : A colourful salad with an equal dearth of flavours, this is a must try. The freshness of lettuce, the juiciness and tanginess of cherry tomatoes, black olives and jalapenos, the necessary crunchiness of lightly blanched broccoli and the spiciness of the juicy chicken will surely make your day. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Creamy cheesy chicken penne : Delhi is blossoming with outlets serving pasta. So why would I recommend Caterspoint? Because the creamy penne cooked by them is a class apart dish. With the prominence of fresh cream instead of cheese, the subtle sourness is pretty prominent here. The well boiled pasta is drenched in this food gasmic creamy sauce along with fresh black olives, bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and parsley. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Exotic fruit custard : This was good and passable. The creamy custard was moderately sweetened and had fresh pomegranate, plum and apple slices.

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Apple Blueberry porridge : I wish I could have this porridge everyday. It was topped with fine apple slices, almonds, blueberry and had strawberry jam at the bottom. When you mix the layers, you get a very fine dessert with myriad flavours. The typical sweetness of strawberries, the creaminess of thick milk and the freshness of the fruits make this a masterpiece. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Wild Blueberry Shake : Another shake to give you the healthy sugar rush. The shake is thick and well blended with bananas and blueberries. The moderate sweetness of the fruits and the pink colour is pretty attractive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Cold brew coffee : I am not a coffee lover but I liked this one. The flavour of coffee was subtle here and the low fat sweetened milk had a good consistency.

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I could have given them a 4.5, but because of packaging issue, I lowered the rating to 4. I really hope they improve.

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

Posted in caprese salad, delhi, gnochhi, Healthy, italian cuisine, lettuce, mushroom, Pasta, pesto, Pizza, Salad, spaghetti, Uncategorized

La Piazza, Hyatt Regency, New Delhi

Talk about classy interiors, open kitchen, a huge wine cellar and aroma of warm cheese and Italian restaurants come to mind. And when it comes to fine dining options, then La Piazza at the Hyatt Regency occupies a place of its own.

Situated on the ground floor, this restaurant is warm and welcoming. The servers and the manager are very courteous and they know their cuisine well. They are excellent in providing suggestions and they take care of specific allergies well.

Moving on to the exquisite dishes presented here, I tried :

Focaccia bread : So the bread was warm, soft from the inside and a bit flaky from the outside, having yellow bell peppers and red jalapenos embedded in it. It was generously topped with butter but was a bit salty in taste and was served with the olive oil dip.

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Caprese di Mozzarella e pomodoro : We Indians have been brought up on pizzas made from processed cheese. So when you have fresh home made mozzarella, made in Italy, then you are in for a roll. The cheese is soft, subtle and gently melts in your mouth. The tomatoes and the red onions in this salad are definitely raw but soft in texture – no crunchiness is there in the salad. The items are complimentary to one another and the whole salad speaks “delicate and soft” to you. RECOMMENDED.

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Mixed vegetable soup : This is actually a tomato soup flavoured with roasted cumin with chopped tomatoes, bottle gourd and pumpkin floating in it. The soup is subtle with the right balance of tanginess and sweetness. Do not expect spices though!

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Gnocchetti di patate pesto di rucola e gorgonzola : My first tryst with gnocchi could not have been better. The potato gnocchi is so soft, warm and melt in the mouth. The addition of gorgonzola cheese provides more creaminess to this dish. A few rocket leaves provide the necessary “bitter” depth to it. Though overall, the dish tasted a bit salty. RECOMMNEDED.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino : I have tasted better spaghetti aglio olio and was not particularly impresses with this dish. Too much of olive oil and dried red chili ruin the dish and this is what happened here. The prominent flavour of chopped garlic which should have been here, was absent.

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Spaghetti in creamy mushroom : The best of the lot! Their spaghettis are home made and not processed, so expect the softness to be there. Additionally, the creamy parmesan sauce with chewy mushrooms make this dish highly delectable. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Spaghetti in arrabbiata sauce : Very bad. The spaghetti is cooked in boiled tomatoes with no cheese. The arrabbiata sauce has well cooked tomatoes in cheese and cream but when it is presented as slightly cooked tomato gravy, then boy, disasters happen. NOT RECOMMENDED.

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La Piazza : I am quite impressed with their pizzas. The crust is thin but not too thin and enough to manage a heavy topping. Their use of goat cheese is generous but not too overpowering here. The presence of sun dried tomatoes and basil pesto alongwith the usual tomato based sauce provide a perfectly balanced pizza. RECOMMENDED.

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Bufalina Pizza : When a pizza is made from home made mozzarella, then expect cheesiness but not too much of it. Topped with tomatoes and basil, this is again a perfectly balanced pizza. RECOMMENDED.

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La Piazza - Hyatt Regency Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in delhi, Healthy, insta pizza, italian cuisine, mushroom, Pasta, Pizza, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta, whole wheat pasta

Insta Pizza, Saket, New Delhi

Insta Pizza is definitely making ripples in the fast food market. And why shouldn’t it? Their pizzas are amazingly well done with myriad flavours and their whole wheat pastas are appealing to the health conscious customers.

So moving on to the items I tried from their Saket outlet, here are my recommendations :

Farmer’s market Pizza : Finely chopped zucchini, broccoli and garlic sprayed on a thick, fluffy base is the best you can get in a vegetarian pizza. And add fresh basil and rocket leaves, you are in a for a roller coaster of flavours. The base is soft and fluffy and you would not find the usual chewiness that accompanies the pizza bases. The cheese is warm and in an optimum quantity and therefore light to eat. The spicy tanginess of jalapenos, the pungency of garlic and the bitterness of the rocket and the basil leaves blend well together. RECOMMENDED.

Vasant Vihar special Pizza : The lovely sweetness of fried onions, chewy tanginess of sundried tomatoes and concentrated spiciness of charred jalapenos is what makes this pizza so special. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Whole wheat penne in alfredo sauce : Their wheat pastas are a must try! The penne is so well made that it is neither too chewy nor too soft. The white sauce has a good consistency – neither too thick nor runny. The addition of vegetables : sweet corn, mushrooms, broccoli, black olives and bell peppers makes this dish colourful, healthy and delicious. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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

Posted in brown rice, chicken dimsums, delhi, dimsums, greek salad, Healthy, italian cuisine, kale, lettuce, oatmeal pancakes, pancakes, parfait, Uncategorized, yoghurt parfait

Health Nuts, Sector 14, Gurgaon

So many startups catering to the healthy food based dishes and people are willing to try these out due to increased awareness about their benefits to our bodies. Fresh Menu, Lean Body meals, World in a box and Rawleaf can be called as the main heroes of this market but they have got a tough competition now from the recently opened Health Nuts.

The packaging is quite pretty for me – a section of strawberry adorning the logo. It definitely creates a good first impression and continues on with these amazing dishes :

Lettuce and kale salad : What more do you want in a salad when it is freshly made, healthy and crunchy? Talk about crispy lettuce, soft kale and olives and boom, if you have a winner! Not to forget their lovely dressing – a type of tartar sauce which they have improvised and I loved the change.

Poached chicken dimsums : After having poached dimsums, I am thinking of switching to them because they are super healthy and ohhh-so-fresh! The minced chicken is finely made and there are no added zingy or spicy flavours in it. The best part is that the skin is made of wheat flour and it is thin enough to not let you feel its bulkiness. Wheat momos are pretty heavy, but hey, health nuts just made them lighter and tastier!

Chicken Powerhouse : Juicy chicken steaks topped with garlic based tomato sauce and broccoli. The dish is quite good to taste but the broccoli was not fresh – you can actually see the yellow portions.

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Brown Rice : The usual brown rice can get monotonous, so why not spruce it up with the fine jullienes of bell peppers and tomatoes and small broccoli cubes? Kind of like our very own Pulao. Power packed nutrients and taste in one hell of a dish!

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Strawberry and chocolate yoghurt parfait : The combination of chocolate brownie and sweet yoghurt can work well and this dish proved it. The brownie is so well grounded and mixed well with the freshest and smooth yoghurt and topped with strawberry syrup. The presence of small bits of walnuts provide a crunchy texture to an otherwise smooth parfait.

Dark Chocolate Kheer : Not recommended at all! The kheer tastes as if it has not stewed well and the presence of long grained rice instead of the medium or small medium variety make this dish a downer. When you are making a kheer, it is better to use smaller grained rice so that when the kheer gets thick, the small grains complement it well. The presence of dark chocolate makes it difficult to eat.

Health Nuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Healthy, Pasta, Pizza, Salad, Uncategorized

Getafix Café, M block market, GK-1, Delhi

The love for junk food is proliferating day by day and a gluttonous like me can never get enough of such dishes. Processed food is not good for the health in the long run and it is better to gorge on healthy and nourishing dishes.

Get-a-fix café should be regarded as one of the very first in Delhi to start wheat based pasta, breads and noodles, freshly made cold pressed juices, guilt-free desserts and home made sauces. Usage of oats is pretty prominent here and you will find a dearth of dishes which have air fried items.

 

The café has a lovely ambience – pastel shades, a book case of all your favourite fiction and cushions displaying superheroes and lines from famous fictions and music bands. The staff is equally friendly and know their dishes well. Let us move on to the dishes I have had here :

 

Nyan Cat : A thick smoothie consisting of pineapples, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes and spinach. It is freshly made and it is sans sugar. The sweetness is due to the natural fructiose content of the fruits. The flavour of strawberries is pretty prominent here in addition to the tanginess of mangoes and pineapples and the bitterness of spinach is not there at all. You can actually get the occasional bite of the fibres of mangoes.

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Air fried fish and chips : If you really want to lose weight but do not want to compromise on taste, then do try this. The fish pieces are light, panko crusted and juicy from inside. They do not disintegrating and go well with the tartar sauce. Speaking about tartar sauce – freshly made, tangy, a bit runny and filled with chopped black olives.  The chips were a bit burnt though.

Thai Mix mushroom pasta : A mushroom lover would surely find it heavenly. The pasta is wheat based and hence a bit heavy and generously laden in the peanut based cream sauce. The sauce is thick and has the characteristic earthiness of peanuts with the occasional bite of black pepper and chilli flakes. The juicy button mushrooms, the chewy shiitake and the slurp oyster mushroom provide a rich texture and pungency to the dish. The chicken is fresh, soft and chewy.  RECOMMENDED.

Japanese Soba noodle bowl : A meal consisting of noodle in a light sauce of coconut milk, peanuts and Teriyaki sauce. The noodle is well oiled and slurpy to taste. The sauce is very light and sweet in taste. The pungency of garlic and spring onions is subtle here and the juiciness and tanginess of oyster mushrooms provide a different dimension to it. The sweetness of the Teriyaki sauce is pretty prominent here. RECOMMENDED.

Chef’s special rice bowl : Steamed rice in a soupy broth of vegetables and topped with lightly grilled chicken. The broth is made from chicken stock and is thick in texture. The vegetables – broccoli, bell peppers and zuchhini are well blanched but the chicken is hard and chewy.

Salad Pizza : Pizzas can be healthy too and I commend Get-a-fix for making the junk staple of these days healthy. The base is made up from wheat dough and the amount of cheese on it is quite less. The pizza is light to eat as well as yummy. It is topped with raw vegetables – lettuce, olives (green and black), tomatoes, cucumber and grated cheddar cheese. Fresh vegetables and a wheat base will definitely attract health conscious foodies.

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Dessert Platter : Where to start! I am smitten by their healthy desserts. The chocolate brownie is made up of sinful, dark chocolate with no added sugar and is way too soft and spongy. The vanilla poundcake is made up from wheat and refined flour mixture and has honey and orange to lend to the required sweetness. It was a bit dry though. The carrot cake is way too good – eggless, whole wheat, jiggery based (instead of sugar) and flaxseed oil has been used instead of butter. The thin jullienes of carrots lend their sweetness to this masterpiece. The Lime Pie is a very subtle dessert consisting of three layers. The top has orange and lime juice set in agar agar – no gelatin, no allergies and extra fat. The middle layer has lime mixed yoghurt resulting in a creamy and tangy texture. The bottom layer is not actually a layer – it is a tart made from digestive biscuits and choco chips. The tart is soft and not too hard. Too good!

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Grannie’s Smith Fix : The freshest juice that you can get – the goodness of celery, green apple, cucumber, lemon and ginger in a single glass. No added sugar again.

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

Posted in Healthy, Salad, Uncategorized

Take away outlet review – First Eat

First Eat – pehle khao – the name truly expresses the innate desire of each one of us to eat and then proceed with our day. And in this age of unhealthy eating, First Eat brings to you the healthiest and the freshest dishes which are tasty as well as light on the stomach. They provide healthy meals throughout the day and at affordable rates too! They like to call themselves as a “healthy meals delivery service” as all of their dishes are fresh and healthy. Apart from the food sector, they are also into awareness activities as well. Their monthly newsletter “The Breakfast Times” comes with every order and is focused on health and wellness articles for mass awareness.

The order arrived on time and the items were neatly packaged. They had given the cutlery and the napkins as well.

Here are the items I savoured:

Veg Club Sandwich : Whole wheat bread club sandwich having cottage cheese slices and green olives in one layer and raw green and red bell peppers alongwith lettuce leaves on the other. The layers were seasoned with salt and pepper and tomato sauce. I felt the sandwich was a bit dry as there were no dips/sauces present. They had used tomato ketchup on one layer though. The bell peppers were crunchy and I wish they were blanched and therefore, could have been softer. The addition of green olives gave a tangy flavour to the whole dish. But overall, the sandwich was healthy and easy for the belly.

Idli sandwich: A very unusual take on Idli and salad. The idlis are thrown in a medley of juliennes of carrots, cabbage and French beans. The addition of mustard seeds and cabbage gives piquancy  and the carrots give the whole ensemble a sweet taste. The vegetables are blanched/boiled and have a soft texture. I would say try it if you want a burst of different flavours.

Veg salad – Heavens Garden: Broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers in red and green, lettuce leaves, cottage cheese slices and black olives made this up. The seasoning of thyme, rosemary and pepper made it tasty to the core.

Green Day juice – With the composition of pineapple, cucumber and mint, this was an average tasting juice. It was not concentrated and the individual flavours of the ingredients could not be made out. It tasted bland to me.

Summer Nirvana : Composed of watermelon, muskmelon and cucumber, this was fresh and a bit sweet but the blandness was still there.

So what are you guys waiting for? Just order a meal from here and dive into the world of healthy eating.

First Eat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato