Posted in button mushroom, cheese, chicken, delivery outlet, Food delivery outlets, Fusilli, Fusilli in white sauce, grilled chicken, gurgaon, gurgaon restaurants, mushroom, Mushrooms, Pasta, Red velvet, Red Velvet Swiss Roll, shiitake mushroom, spaghetti, Spaghetti with grilled chicken, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

FreshMenu, Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon

One of my favourite delivery outlets, Fresh Menu has recently launched a new menu and it was difficult for me to wait to try my hands on its lovely delicacies.

They have a daily food menu and I decided to try a Wednesday one.

Mushroom Fusilli Alfredo: You will find a hell lot of fusilli one white sauce with button mushrooms, but if the same dish comes with the addition of the juicy shiitake mushrooms, please do try it! The white sauce here was not too runny or too creamy – just the perfect consistency. Highly recommended.

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Creamy Peppercorn Chicken Spaghetti: If there is a place serving pasta, I always chose spaghetti. Because it imbibes the flavours of the sauce so well! So this particular bowl of spaghetti was perfectly served in a slurpy yet creamy red sauce with the right amount of black pepper. Not to forget the succulent grilled chicken and firm vegetables. Highly recommended.

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Red Velvet Swiss Roll: Perfect ending to a perfect meal! I have a thing for luscious Swiss Rolls and when they come in red velvet – my my! This one was so soft and so airy! Not to forget the moderate sweetness and the high quality cream.

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

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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 bacon, chicken pizza, delhi, food, food blogger, gluttonyguilts, mushroom pizza, Pasta, Pizza, spaghetti, spaghetti carbonara, thin crust pizza, things to do in delhi, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Big Jaws, Greater Kailash 1, New Delhi

Delivery: On time
Packaging: Sealed and hygienic

Big Jaws special pizza: Thin crust at it’s best! Even though the menu mentions “spicy chicken” and “hot marinara sauce” , the hotness and spiciness do not overpower. The fresh vegetables – olives, jalapenos, mushrooms, chunky chicken and fried basil leaves on a thin well baked base present a perfect pizza. Highly recommended.

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Spaghetti-alla-carbonara – The spaghetti did not get stuck in the white sauce and that is where this dish gets full marks. The white sauce has the right quantity of cheese and cream and therefore the texture is neither too runny nor too sticky. The bacon is well sauteed though I wish it could have been slightly crispier. The pasta is slurpy to the point of being decadent and hence this dish is highly recommended.

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 Big Jaws Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in baked potatoes, cheese, chicken pizza, delhi, delivery outlet, gluttonyguilts, Pasta, penne, penne pasta, Pizza, things to do in delhi, Uncategorized, veg, vegetables, vegetarian, white sauce pasta, whole wheat pizza base

The Pepper Kitchen, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi

Vegetable toasties: Crunchy toasties slathered with a very fine layer of cheese and chopped vegetables does entice you. The extra salt mars the dish, however. RECOMMENDED.

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Cheese baked potatoes: A very simple dish fashioned into a delight! The warm running cheese baked in the mushy potatoes with skins does capture your heart. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Alfredo pasta: The penne was cooked al dante but the quantity of white sauce could have been better – it was sticking to the pasta and not in a very good way. RECOMMENDED.

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Makhani chicken pizza: Another pizza on a wheat base and the effort is highly appreciated. The chicken chunks are flavourful but pizza base could have had a more appetizing and creamier version of the sauce.

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Pepper Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bacon pizza, cheddar, cheese, cheesecake, cheesecake tart, chicken, chicken pizza, curly fries, defence colony, delhi, french fries, fried chicken, italian, italian cuisine, mushroom, mushroom sauce, Pasta, Pizza, spaghetti, things to do in delhi, truffle oil, Uncategorized, veg pizza, white sauce pasta

The Turkey Project, Defence Colony, New Delhi

The food industry continues to develop at an exponential pace and this has resulted in a mushrooming of outlets which fail to deliver on quality. So when you visit a small café specialising in Italian cuisine which surprises you with their unusual menu and mouth watering dishes, you know that you will have a good time.
Most of their dishes have the prefix “turkey” associated with them and from what I understood, this word signifies bacon and their experimentation with it. I really hope I am correct.
Frickens: The kind of crumb fried chicken available these days does not even remotely impress me. So when I binged upon this juicy boneless chicken strip crumb fried and adorned in tangy sweet sauce and mayonnaise, my taste buds went in a food coma. The best part is that the crispy exterior does not separate even after being kept for 15-20 minutes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Fries: I am really not a big fan of fries even if they have donned a swanky appearance these days – curlies, crinkles, wedges and like. The ones served here were curly fries and drenched in a heart warming mixture of melted cheddar cheese, chopped onions and jalapenos. The quality of cheese is so good that it does not solidify even after an hour of being kept in open. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Santorini pizza: Such colours! The vegetables – bell peppers and olives are not over grilled and present a crunchy texture associated with freshness. The cheese is not overwhelming and spreads very beautifully on the thin crust. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Turkey pizza: Finally my dream has turned into a reality! A pizza exclusively dedicated to bacon – ohhh man, such heaven! The quality of bacon is again top notch with the lovely crunch and firmness intact. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

A truffled affair: My love for spaghetti reached new heights when I relished the slurpy spaghetti served here. Served with chewy mushrooms and sautéed in truffle oil, mushroom pate and garlic cream, this was a gourmand’s delight. The characteristic subtle bitterness of the mushroom paste adds to the maelstrom of flavours to this dish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Cheesecake tart: If you are slightly hungry, this cheesecake is enough to fill your belly. Dense and smooth cheese cake over a firm tart base and topped with fresh mint leaves and thick nutella syrup will definitely leave you in splits.

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The Turkey Project 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 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