Posted in bourbon, burger, caesar salad, chicken satay, cocktail, custard, delhi, greek salad, grilled fish, gurgaon, Healthy, ice cream, japanese cuisine, lettuce, nachos, prawn tempura roll, Salad, suchu wine, sushi, Uncategorized

Feel Alive, Sector 29, Gurgaon

When it comes to a Friday night parties, I am not a big fan of resto-pubs playing the loudest possible music and serving the cheapest dishes and drinks on their menu in happy hours. Neither I am too fond of crowded lounges where you can hardly ever make a conversation. Many of us have moved on over the “My bar” type of parties and would prefer a sophisticated place to relax and enjoy.

Keeping all the above factors in mind, Mr. Vasul Chauhan, whose brainchild Biryani and Quorma Express is doing excellent in the Gurgaon delivery circles, has come with a premium property by the name of Feel Alive at Sector 29. The opulent ambience, the live bar, the elaborate food and drinks menu, the huge TV screens and the plush interiors will compel your heart to skip a beat. And the excitement does not end here. There are five party rooms for group get togethers which can easily seat around 18-20 people with a personal butler, a smart TV, kickass sound systems and comfortable seatings. Thursdays are reserved for Salsa and Fridays are for dancing to a live DJ.

And it does get better with the gastronomic experience….

Suchu wine sangria: After getting to know my love for Sangria, Mr. Vasul Chauhan, an accomplished mixologist himself, conjured a wonderfully delicate Japanese rice wine sangria. The refreshing taste of watermelon, guava and orange cubes coupled with the subtle tanginess of the rice wine was pretty appealing to me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Caesar Salad: Thank God these guys know how to prepare a simple Caesar salad. The lettuce leaves were crisp and the parmesan shavings were fine, therefore adding to more subtlety here. No extra cream or cheese. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Chicken Satay with peanut dressing: After having the same dish at Yo China, I had developed a strong antagonism towards satay dishes. But the one served here is ohh-so-lovely in taste! The boneless chicken pieces are cooked in their own juices, they are soft and tender and topped with coconut milk with peanuts. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Grilled fish stick: Fish grilled in a marination of basil, spinach and coriander with the extra spice of black pepper is a wonderful new entrant. The fish is grilled – no disintegration. But it is slightly salty. RECOMMENDED.

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Jalapeno Cheese poppers: If they were called just cheese poppers, then I would have given it top marks. Because these poppers were warm with light melting cheese oozing out and enmeshing the finely chopped vegetables. The exterior was crumb fried and crispy but I really wish they increase the quantity of jalapenos in it if they want the name of the fiery chilli associated with it. RECOMMENDED.

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Prawn Tempura roll: Crispy prawns rolled in the finest Japanese rice with sesame seeds adorning the top – can not get better! RECOMMENDED.

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Yaki Soba: After this, I am definitely going to forget the Indianised Chinese noodles. Made from buck wheat flour, and cooked in sesame oil, oyster sauce and black pepper, these were ohh-so-light in their slurpy goodness. And lets not forget the fine juliennes of spring onions, cabbage and carrots. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Peri Peri chicken: Not the best one I had. The sharpness and the spiciness of the peri peri sauce was amiss here and the chicken was way too firm and therefore difficult to eat. The potato mash served was smooth but salt was the sole ingredient missing here. The grilled vegetables- bell peppers and zuchhini were done so well that their skins were slightly crusty and their insides juicy.

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Chipotle chicken burger: The French fries served with this burger were out of the world and were not overdone. But the burger was a bit of a downer. It was hot but the patty was not grilled properly and was a bit cold.

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Taco vs basa: Roasted tacos spread over grilled basa with lemon butter sauce and rice. The tacos were crispy to the core and the basa was delicious. The fish was grilled well and served with blossoming rice with the rich lemon butter sauce. RECOMMENDED.

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Bombay Rib pork: The pork was too hard and arduous to cut and served with potato mash and charred vegetables. NOT RECOMMENDED.

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Super Sundae: I actually ate this whole dessert. With a vanilla sponge cake at the base and two scoops of vanilla ice cream topped on the cake, this was was heavenly as it was topped with a custard mix, fresh fruits and strawberry tart. The custard mix was so creamy and subtly sweet. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Crème Brulee: With a crunchy exterior and soft and smooth creamy interior, this could win your heart. RECOMMENDED.

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Burn Bourbon burn: One of the masterpieces by Mr. Vasul, this one combines the fumy flavour of cinnamon and the woody taste of bourbon. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Feel Alive Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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

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 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