Posted in dal makhani, gurgaon, indian, indian cuisine, noodles, Pasta, sweet, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Being Chef, Sector 14, Gurgaon

So what happens when a few friends who never had any cooking experience, decide to cook a decent meal after celebrating Friday to it umpteenth? Disaster.  And what happens when an idea is born in these mechanical engineers to devise a way to make the life easy for office goers who do not have time to cook? Being Chef.

Being Chef was the first start up in India to come up with ready to eat cooking kits with 5 minute recipes. Their process is well researched, designed and patented.

I recently savoured an opportunity to taste their delicacies and try my hands on their cooking kit:

Penne pasta in white sauce cooking kit: I have laid my hands on such cooking kits before, but this one is extremely lucid and precise – one of the many reasons that it is patented. Every ingredient is measured precisely and packed with single letters written on the top. The recipe card clearly mentions the exact time a step will take for an ingredient to get cooked – the ingredients are mentioned by their corresponding letter names.

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Since they follow a 5 minute recipe procedure, the pasta was boiled, the vegetables blanched and the sauce was already prepared and packed. The quantity served for the price is well worth the money you pay. Totally impressed!

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The pasta turned out to be deliciously drool worthy since I followed the steps to the T. The balance of the flavours, the creaminess of the sauce and the extra cheese gratings on the top made my day. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Vegetarian Deluxe Meal: Now that is one platter! You know are having a great dinner when the soft lachha paranthas are gobbled up with a smooth creamy dal makhani, a sweet paneer lababdar, a healthy bowl of mixed vegetables, simple steamed rice, a mellow gulab jamun and a well prepared mint raita.  However the mixed vegetables were quite tangy and the rice was slightly undercooked.  RECOMMENDED.

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Veg Hakka Noodles: I am very stringent when it comes to the simple yet delicious Hakka noodles and these guys passed my test. The noodles strings could have been thinner but were otherwise pretty appetizing. The finely cut jullienes of carrots, cabbage and bell peppers complimented the noodles and the subtle tanginess of vinegar was the icing on the cake. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Being Chef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Posted in asian cuisine, bao, cheese cake, chicken, chilli chicken, delhi, dimsums, fish, french fries, fried fish, grilled fish, italian cuisine, japanese cuisine, kebab, oriental cuisine, Pizza, prawn, prawn tempura roll, sushi, tart, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

The Junction, Hauz Khas, New Delhi

This new property in Delhi is actually a junction of multiple cuisine trains. Spread across a huge area with different sections, this one boasts of a distinct sushi and dimsums bar, The Big Baker with a lovely assortment of desserts, a pizzeria, an outdoor seating area under the shade of trees (full marks for that) and indoor fine dine area. The Junction redefines the word multi-cuisine for you by serving multiple cuisines from all the courses. Here are a few of them that I recently tasted:

Veg pizza: The thinnest crust with a lovely succulency and the chewiness and juiciness of yellow and green zucchinis should not be missed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Chicken dimsums: The exceptionally thin exterior is attractive but the extremely tangy flavour of the mine chicken mince is not acceptable.

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Mushroom wantons: I usually avoid wantons because they are deep fried but I could not keep my hands off this one. The finely chopped mushrooms were enveloped in a chewy exterior whichw as fried to crispy perfection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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California roll: Their sushis are a must try and this one was a burst of subtle flavours – sweet, tangy and piquant. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Mac n cheese: Ahh, the gooey cheese works its magic again! The al dante macaroni drenched in warm parmesan with bits of chicken is one dish which you would not want to miss! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Veg mezze platter: I have never ever tasted a mezze platter like this one! For the first time, the pita breads were slathered with butter and were soft yet crispy – the characteristic brittleness was absent here. Additionally, the beetroot flavoured dip was ohh-so-delicious! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Prawn dimsums: If you leave the intense watery aroma of prawns aside, the these dimsums are heavenly! The skin and the filling are perfect and better than the chicken ones here.

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Chicken and cashewnut dumplings: Who could have thought that the nuttiness and crunchiness of the cashewnuts could be used to innovate the usual chicken dimsums? These guys did and it turned out excellent! And the form of these lovelies are way too attractive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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

Posted in delhi, egg bun, maggi, Pasta, Pizza, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Tpot Café, Hauz Khas, New Delhi

Based on my excellent experience with the Malviya Nagar one, I decided to try the one located at Hauz Khas village. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed by the timely delivery and the freshness of the items delivered.

Pizza: The softest base well baked but not crunchy, soft paneer cubes and crunchy bell peppers and optimum level of gooey cheese define this dish. RECOMMENDED.

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Egg Bun: Buns are a bit crusty but could have been softer. The egg patty is a novelty for me and tasted good as it was dipped in the coriander chutney. RECOMMENDED.

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Masala Maggi: A hot and spicy add on to our usual Maggi. RECOMMENDED.

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Pasta in white sauce: If only it had a higher quantity of salt, this dish could have been spot on. The white sauce had the right consistency – neither runny nor thick, the shredded chicken soft, the fusilli cooked al dante and the accompanying mushrooms juicy and yummy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED WITH SALT.

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

Posted in chicken, chicken dimsums, delhi, dimsums, farfalle, fish, french fries, fried fish, lasagna, nachos, Pasta, Satyaniketan, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

Frenzone, Satyaniketan, New Delhi

A quaint little café situated in the by lanes of Satyaniketan, Frenzone should be your go to place if you love the classic British cuisine and are also fascinated by some of the paraphernalia associated with the British pop culture.

The British influence is apparent when you enter the place. Two miniature royal guards dressed in red welcome you into a red door which is surprisingly a phone booth – Tardis from Doctor Who. The walls of the café are adorned with three dimensional plastic figurines of the famous buildings of London.

Moving on to the dishes I tried:

Lemonade: A light and breezy drink which is not overpowering, but it should have been more flavourful.

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Fish and chips: The classic British dish re-invented at this café. The fish is firm and fried so well that the crust does not peel out when you cut it. No crumbling as well when you break it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Chicken and coriander dimsums: A dish which could have been the hero of the evening. The combination of minced chicken and coriander is so darn flavourful that you will wonder about not having it before. However, the minced chicken is so dense and stiff that it is an arduous task to even bite into it. Also, the skin is left raw at some of the portions.

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Butterfly pasta with chicken in arrabiata sauce: There is a name for these adorable butterfly shaped pasta and these guys should call it one – farfalle. The pasta was cooked al dante and the chicken was ohh-so-delicate and succulent. The white sauce was smooth and had a good consistency with hints of rosemary and garlic. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Baked nachos with chicken: I shall call this dish a nacho lasagne. Because the nachos were arranged in layers with the filling of delectable minced chicken flavoured with herbs and tomatoes and topped with light gooey cheese. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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

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 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