Posted in Uncategorized

Lord of the Drinks, Connaught Place, New Delhi

So when our favourite resto-bar in C.P. launches a new menu, can we keep ourselves from laying our hands on the mouth watering delicacies? Absolute no!
A bigger, better menu with innovative cocktails and charismatic dishes is there to win your hearts and here are some of them:
Chicken Thai herb Dimsums: Soft sticky skin with subtle herbs and sesame oil that bursts in your mouth – what more could you ask for? But there is a missing element here and sometimes blandness overpowers the subtleness. RECOMMENDED.

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Butter chicken mini kulcha: As if the miniature and fluffy kulchas weren’t adorable enough, they are filled with butter chicken mince and served with a spicy chicken bhurji. Just how decadent can this get? And all that butter adorning the kulchas – heavenly! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Kalonji mutton seekh kebabs: There are very few places which are able to impress when it comes to mutton seekh kebabs and this one came pretty close to doing that. The use of kalonji is commendable and gives a very different dimension to a celebrated dish. The crispy Malabar parantha went well with the kebabs but the texture of the latter could have been better as it was slightly soft. RECOMMENDED.

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Bakchoy and mushroom dimsums: A healthier option for the fitness freaks because the green bakchoy leaves are fresh and steamed and the mushrooms aren’t overcooked. The skin is super soft and that is why I RECOMMEND this.

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Shanghai prawn Shumai: Dimsums again with an open face but the non likeable aroma of the minced prawn overpowered the taste.
Chicken Gyozas: I have to say that my first tryst with gyozas – pan fried dumplings which have a crispy base went excellent. The presentation was spot on – the dumplings were served in a rolling pin plate and their slight sweetness was welcome. RECOMMENDED.

 

Lord of the Drinks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Posted in Uncategorized

Mastani Biryani, Chhatarpur, New Delhi

When it comes to Biryani, the explorer streak in me continues to wander. So when I got my hands on this new outlet in South Delhi, I could not help myself but gorge on!

Hyderabadi Mutton Dum Biryani: The mutton pieces were well chosen, slightly tangy, succulent and drenched in spices. The rice was moist but could have been more flavourful though when combined with saalan, the ensemble tasted pretty complete. And talking about saalan, it was thick, flavoured with coconut, curry leaves and mustard seeds and scored 10 on 10.

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Moong Dal Halwa: Wow is the word. Optimum sweetness, smooth texture and decadence define this one. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Strawberry shake: What I feel after drinking this – made from real strawberries with no extra sugar or flavours.

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Masala Chaas: Light, cool and lightly salted – a perfect accompaniment after a heavy dose of Biryani.

Mastani Biryani Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bacon, chicken pizza, chicken sausage, ham, italian, italian cuisine, panna cotta, Pizza, red sauce, Salad, sausage, scamorza cheese, spaghetti, Uncategorized

Like Italy, GK-1, New Delhi

With time and tasting, I have developed a taste for authentic Italian and it is always a pleasant surprise to find a restaurant serving good dishes with the ingredients sourced from Italy. Like Italy, situated in the hustle bustle of the M block market, GK-1 is one of the those places which offer peace along with a host of lip smacking Italian dishes.

Grilled sausage salad: A raw salad with crunchy and smoked vegetables and perfectly grilled sausages can be your perfect brunch partner. The sausages are firm but tender, the smoked red bell pepper juicy and the spinach leaves fresh.  Just douse this in the tangy mustard dip served and you are in for a roll! RECOMMENDED.

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Amatriciano con Bacon: The slightly thick slurpy spaghetti prepared in a creamy and flavourful red sauce with sautéed bacon strips – please can I have this dish again? I am not a fan of red sauce but this one had me binge eat a whole portion. A balanced sauce does the trick I guess so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this.

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Involtini di pollo with backed potatoes – chicken breast and ham roll: A perfect dish for a main course and a heavy one for that matter. The thick ham rolls are filled with a creamy mixture of spinach with the crunchy potato wedges completing the picture. RECOMMENDED.

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Pancetta e scamorza pizza: The warm melting scamorza cheese flowing over a medium crust pizza adorned with a fresh tomato sauce topping and bacon strips is a dream come true for any non vegetarian pizza lover. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Veneta pizza: The fresh chicken sausage, mushrooms and onions topped with mozzarella and parmesan are good enough but the tomato sauce topping could have been more flavourful.

Capsicum Pizza: You will not want to eat this because it is so colourful and inviting! The reds, the yellows and the greens perfectly blend on the whites of the mozzarella cheese and their slightly smoky texture compliments the gooey cheese. RECOMMENDED

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Grigliata Pizza: The smoked vegetables: mushrooms, zucchini and onions are flavourful but charred and you get a “burnt” kind of flavour here. This could have been more flavourful.

Panna Cotta: The set and smooth cream with subtle sweetness topped with the crunchy biscuit crumble – perfect climax. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Like Italy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in amaretto, basil, blueberry, blueberry shake, cheese, cheese cake, coffee, dessert, fettucine, grilled prawn, italian, italian cuisine, kiwi, lemon viniagrette, maple syrup, mascarpone cheese, muskmelon, nutella, orange, Pasta, prawn, Salad, salmon, tarragon sauce, tiramisu, Uncategorized, waffles, white sauce pasta

Andrea’s Eatery, Select Citywalk, Saket, New Delhi

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Blueberry Cherry Smoothie: Organic blueberries and cherries freshly grinded in fresh chilled yoghurt with no extra sugar or flavours – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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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.

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Andrea's Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in asparagus, chicken, crab stick, delhi, egg chicken fried rice, fried rice, japanese, japanese cuisine, rice, salmon sushi, sushi, Uncategorized, veg sushi

Sushi Junction, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi

A delivery only Japanese outlet, Sushi Junction has taken the lead amongst the places serving authentic and quality Sushi with excellent service and rates. The second time I decided to explore Sushi was from here only and after having one roll, I could not stop myself from placing the order again and again.

Apart from sushi, the place also delivers other Japanese staple and trust me, when you order them, you will not complain.

The packaging is sophisticated and classy. The sushi boxes are adorable with cute little containers for the wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger.

During my recent binging from this place, I tasted the following items:

Fried Chicken Karaage: At first look, you will have apprehensions about this one. But let those chicken chunks visit your palate and then bask in the magic. The light crusty exterior is slightly chewy probably because it is fried in flour and the chunky succulent interior will melt into your mouth in no time. The subtle hints of garlic and soy sauce are add on. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Egg fried rice Yakimeshi combo salad: Before tasting this, I always assumed that Japanese dishes are tasteless and weird. But hell no! This one was so flavourful with every morsel screaming about the explosion of ingredients. The finely chopped bell peppers and French beans, caramelized onions, small soft chunks of chicken and eggs with well fried rice and no abhorrent odour are enough to leave anyone in a food coma. The chickpea salad with cherry tomatoes was raw and compliments the soft rice. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Veg Red Dragon Sushi Roll: Those crusty tempura flakes really make this a BOMB! The soft yet slightly crispy sticky rice enclosing crunchy asparagus, cucumber and carrots with the subtle sweet and salty flavours topped with tempura flakes and chopped spring onions can leave anyone spellbound. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Bourbon Sake Sushi Roll: When a Sushi roll is named after the smoothest drinks – Bourbon and Sake (Japanese Rice Wine), you do expect that smoothness to burst up in that sushi roll. This one is a crab stick and fish roe roll topped with smoked salmon. Every bite oozes freshness and lightness with slight sweet hints. The salmon is soft and good to dig into but is slightly salty. The crunchy cucumber compliments the soft salmon and crab. RECOMMENDED.

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Sushi Junction Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bangalore, biryani, coorg, coorg hills, dum biryani, hills, india, indian, indian cuisine, karnataka, kaveri, kushalnagar, madikeri, mutton biryani, mysore, mysore palace, namdroling monastery, resort, south indian, south indian cuisine, thallakaveri, travel, travel diaries, traveller, travelogue, Uncategorized, western ghats

TRAVELOGUE COORG

We live in the vicinity of the Himalayas and it seems to be our first choice for a weekend getaway or even a long vacation. But when we are not yearning for an adventurous journey or a challenging trek, the hills of South India seem to be our next option.
Kodaikanal and Ooty have been on our bucket list for a long time now but we wanted a place away from the hustle bustle of the city life and touristy crowd. And that is where Coorg came in. No internet connection for two days with minimum network coverage can definitely leave anyone mad, but not when you are surrounded by three big hills, coffee plantation, colonial wood cottages, a small pond and an excellent hospitality.
Coorg is an enchanting travel destination located in the Western Ghats. When you head from Bangalore to the hilly slopes, the winding terrain bewitches you and it is difficult to take your eyes from the alluring scenic beauty.
Where to start: It takes around 6 hours from Bangalore to Coorg by a car through NH 2575 and en route you can enjoy the beauty of the famous Ramgarh hills where the legendary Sholay was filmed.
Pit stops: Kamat Upachar and Nakshatra
We had a light breakfast at Kamat located at Mudhugere, Bangalore Mysore Highway. The authentic South Indian Upma is to die for – a novelty for us North Indians.
A heavy lunch awaited us at Nakshatra located at the Bypass road, Hunsur on the Bangalore Mysore Road or NH 275. The chicken dum biryani was exceptional and it was the Mysore version of the biryani and was served with a spicy hot saalan or rasam. The vegetable curry was good though extra hot with the flavours of gun powder and garam masala igniting a lava on my palate. Washrooms are clean and ambience is good.


Just two hours from Coorg, we took a halt at Kushalnagar, which is home to several Tibetan settlements as well as the abode of Namdroling Monastery. A splendid Tibetan temple with a golden pagoda occupies the crest here. At around 4pm, you can hear the booming Buddhist chants when the monks gather in the main temple for their evening prayers. The chants sooth your clamorous soul and bring the eluding peace.
You can buy prayer flags, Tibetan handicrafts and paraphernalia from the shop at the starting of the monastery.

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The uphill drive starts after Kushalnagar with very narrow paths. The roads become narrower as we proceed with the forests and the sideway plants/trees growing thicker and denser. The roads are not dangerous compared to the Himalayas, but they are deserted with no sign of a living being for miles. So it is better to avoid driving or even visiting the resort after 6pm.
The roads are not jittery and you will not feel even an impulse to vomit. But if you are a newbie, better to carry Avomin.
We had booked a resort, Leisure Vacations Three Hills, which is located in the valley and three giant hills surround it. It had three separate cottages and there were rooms in the main villa as well, but we had booked a cottage for ourselves and each morning we were greeted with a raw, enchanting natural beauty. There is a little pond nearby and one can spot the ducks gracefully swimming in it.


We visited Talakaveri the next day which is the place where the river Kaveri originates. A temple is situated here and because of the extreme height at which it is located you will be greeted by clouds which will be floating away in front of your eyes. Now if that doesn’t leave you flabbergasted, what will!

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It is advisable to wear knee length or longer clothes to this place as you will not allowed to enter the temple. Additionally, they will rent out the traditional “lungi” or the wrap around garment at a meagre price of 10 bucks.


There are about hundreds of steps located near the temple and after climbing them, you can witness the whole picturesque and vividly green valley from the top. Though it would have been better if the temple authorities allow the tourists to wear footwear while climbing the stone steps, especially when the ground on the top is not levelled properly and has huge stones and boulders lying carelessly.
Our stay at the resort was pretty luxurious and relaxing. The steward assigned to us – Mr. Shiva took excellent care of the our requirements and was there to guide us about the place. We wished for authentic Coorg cuisine to be served to us and he, along with the cook presented the most explosive dishes to us. They were pretty new to us, extremely flavourful and way too spicy.

 

 

The dining area was in the main villa and the feasts were prepared on demand. We came to know about a local favourite here – Karimpettu – a rice and sooji steamed ball taken with spicy vegetable curry. Another favourite was the bread omelette they served us in the breakfast – fluffy yet thin omelettes wrapped around raw breads.

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After a stay of two nights, we headed back to Bangalore and what better than Mysore for an afternoon stop over?
Note: Do not forget to buy home made chocolates, organic honey, spices and cosmetics from the local shops while driving from Coorg to Madikeri. You won’t regret any bit of it.
Our next stop over was at Desi Platter, Mysore were we got to gorge upon the exploding Mysore mutton dum biryani and a vegetarian meal before heading on to the famed Mysore Palace.


The famed Mysore Palace, which is the official residence of the royal family of Mysore was next on our itinerary. Towering over you, the behemoth palace casts a spell on you with its beautifully crafted walls which light up in the evening.

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It was built by the 24th Raja of Mysore and is exquisitely designed. The glittery yet pastel shades of the ramparts and the ceilings can give those French balustrades a run for their money. The graceful and gigantic pillared halls echo with the voices of the tourists without losing their mysterious sheen.

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The marriage hall or the Kalyan Mandapa is a unique octagonal shaped hall with symmetry raging in every mosaic and motif. We were awed by the glass panels situated towards the top of the hall and we are pretty sure you will be too.

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Posted in balsamic chicken, bangkok street style chicken, chicken, delhi, flat noodles, grilled chicken, gurgaon, noodles, Pasta, quinoa, rice flat noodles, rice noodles, roasted chicken, south asian cuisine, spaghetti, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Me-Bo, MG Road, Gurgaon

In this age of fast paced life, the working class personnel are left with little time to enjoy a full meal, let alone prepare a decent one. It is a different matter altogether if you love cooking, but for those of us not interested in the culinary arts, ordering from a nearby delivery outlet remains the only option. And while availing that option, you can not always get a full meal which spares your belly too.

That is where Me-Bo comes in. When you have a varied range of cuisines to chose from – South Asian, Indian and Italian and these meals come in an air tight bowl, what more could you ask for? And they have healthier options as well – a smoothie bowl – who could have thought of that?

I recently chose to taste the following bowls from their extensive menu:

Bangkok street style chicken with glass noodles: I think I am slowly moving away from the usual noodles that we binge upon towards the lovely, soft and smooth glass noodles. And the ones here were steamed to perfection and served with juicy chicken and crunchy vegetables – bell peppers, purple cabbage, carrots and French beans topped with a coconut based creamy gravy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Balsamic Chicken with Quinoa Bowl: At first look, it looks a healthier option: sour cream, tomato salsa/compote, blanched French beans, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers and carrots, grilled chicken in balsamic vinegar sauce with fresh quinoa. But the taste is very average – sour cream being too sour, tomato salsa too tangy and chicken too sweet. The fresh vegetables and the quinoa are the saving grace of this bowl.

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Spaghetti Alfredo Bowl: In a white sauce based dish, the proportion of cheese and cream should be in optimal quantities. Too much of cheese can mar the dish by rendering the sauce thick. The same incidence happened here. The spaghetti was perfect, the vegetables crunchy, only if the the quantity of cheese was slightly lesser. RECOMMENDED.

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Tiramisu Jar: I ate this after a day of delivery and trust me, it was as good as new! The cream was airy and fresh, the biscuit crumbs crunchy and the banana slices smooth and sweet. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Me-Bo: Meal in a Bowl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato