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Sardar ji ke Poori choley

Sardar ji ke Poori choley

By Anubhav Sapra 

Despite the proximity of Daryaganj to Chawri Bazar and Chandni Chowk, the way food is prepared in these areas differ. While the food is mildly spiced in Daryaganj, in Delhi 6 it is hot and high on spices. Delhi Food Walks conducted its Sunday breakfast walks in these three places, and the highlight of the one at Daryaganj was Sardar ji’s Chole poori.

IMG_20150516_110704The shop was started by late Nand Singh ji and is currently being run by his son Kuku Singh. Originally from Rawalpindi, the family migrated to Delhi after the partition and shifted the shop to the current address on Ansari Road, Daryaganj, twelve years back. One can identify the shop by the board outside which reads, “Jeha Caterers” however the shop is well – known as Sardar ji ke poori choley ki dukan in Daryaganj.

At Sardarji’s shop, the menu changes as the day progresses. It starts with Poori Sabzi, offers rajma and kadi chawal in the afternoon and in the evening serves traditional snacks such as – samosa, kachori and jalebi.

IMG_20150516_105015This famous Sardar ji’s shop is proud of serving Punjabi poori. It is different from the regular Bedmi poori available in other places in Old Delhi. The dough of Bedmi poori, is made up of wheat and is coarse in texture. Whereas, the dough of Sardar ji’s punjabi poori is a mixture of wheat flour, white flour, ghee and salt. It is stuffed with urad dal ki pitthi (paste of yellow lentils), saunf (fennel seeds), jeera (cumin seeds), red chilies and the hing ka paani (asafetida water) and is deep fried in oil. The mixture of all the spices especially hing leaves the poori light and crisp and does not have any after effects like heart burn.

The aloo chole sabzi is mild in spices without onion, garlic and tomatoes. The sabzi is cooked in curd with masalas. The gravy of the sabzi is thick in texture and simply outstanding in taste : not too spicy, not too bland.

A plate of poori sabzi is accompanied with sitaphal ka achar (pumpkin pickles), sliced onions and methi ki chutney (fenugreek chutney). In winters, the pickles served are of gobhi and gajar (cauliflower and carrots). The pickles are also mild and light flavoured.

Apart from Poori choley, Sardarji’s shop also offers sweet malai lassi which is served in a kulhad and besan ke laddu. You can wash down the Poori choley with these if you find it spicy.

Cost of one plate Poori choley : Rs 30

Contact number of the shop owner : 9717031008

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Select CITYWALK, My Square- the Food Court

Select CITYWALK, My Square- the Food Court

By Anubhav Sapra

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The temperature in Delhi has touched another high of 45.5 degrees. In this heat wave, the best place to relish the different varieties of food is at My Square, the food court in Select CITYWALK, Saket.

The interiors are nicely done with the Happily Unmarried store greeting the food lovers with its quirky and funny gifts. The food court is surrounded by the food stalls with the beverages and dessert section at the centre. The seating arrangements are well laid and quite comfortable. An area is marked for performances, where the food can be relished with a dose of entertainment.

Although not functional, the food court is set to attach an i pad to each table where the menu will be listed and the orders and payment can be made right there instead of standing in the queue. I got my My Square card recharged and explored the food court which has something to satisfy the taste buds of everyone across different age groups. From North Indian, Italian, Mexican to South Indian, the variety of delicacies on offer is huge.

The iconic and the best South Indian restaurant in Delhi, Sarvana Bhawan has opened its third outlet in Select City Walk after Connaught place and Janpath. The prices and quality of food is outstanding. The North Indian, Punjabi cuisine restaurant Pind Baluchi has good thali options.

The New York Style, wood fired, create your own customized Pizza at Fat Lulu and Mediterranean inspired Pita Pit’s healthy sandwiches are popular for quick food. For calorie conscious people, Lean Chef has an interesting menu. The calories of all the dishes are listed – from no oil, no fat veggie burger (387 Kcal) to chicken hummus burger (480 Kcal).

Moving from the low calories food at the Lean Chef one can find The Toddy Shop where the food is rich in calories. The menu at The Toddy Shop has been curated from the Chef’s family kitchen, old Syrian Christian households, and from Hindu and Muslim hearths across Kerala.

The other food joints in the food court are Rrala’s Habibi, Lebanese and Moroccan specialty and the famous Mexican grill – Mex it up. At the corner of the food court is a food truck- Wanchai by Kylin serving the most famous street food of Delhi, Momos, noodles and other bowl meals.

For street food lovers, SS on the go has Chowpatty Pav bhaji, Bombay Sev puri and Purani Dilli’s famous breakfast dish Bedmi aloo and Chole bhature.

At the centre is a beverage, desserts and candies section. There is Refuel to fuel your body with shakes, smoothies and fresh juices, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf serves beverages that is going to rejuvenate one’s soul in the heat waves of Delhi.

My Square also has a variety of option for desserts and sweets. Kulfiano with 20 stick kulfis are there to complement with freshly made gelatos at gelato Italiano. The must try at gelato Italiano are Madagascar fine chocolate, New York Cheese cake and Royal Kulfi. SS on the go serves the decent paan kulfi.

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Malaysian Food tasting and Masterclass at Tamra

Malaysian Food tasting and Masterclass at Tamra

By Aisha Bhattacharya

Tamra the new all day dining at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi hosted an exclusive masterclass with Chef Muhammad Lisarani from Shangri La Kuala Lumpur to kick off the Malaysian Food Festival from 23 to 31 May 2015 in association with Tourism Malaysia and the Malaysian High Commission.  

 Chef Muhammad Lisarni modestly told us that he hasn’t been with the Shangri-La group for long. Only 11 years.  Specializing in Malay cuisine, he has played an integral role in the production of the Malay kitchen at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi’s sister hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

 Chef Muhammad’s cooking style is based on traditional methods showcasing simplicity, freshness and natural textures, which are imbued with cultural influences. He has an ingenious knack for concluding and summarizing the characteristics and uniqueness that Malay cuisine has to offer. His passion for cooking is visible in his meticulously prepared and skillfully presented dishes.

 Chef Muhammad is all set to delight guests at Tamra by adding a contemporary touch to the food preparation, set up and presentation while preserving the authenticity and originality of the dishes. With Chef Muhammad at the helm, guests can expect a delectable dining that is bound to impress even the most discerning palate.

Chef Muhammad’s Masterclass had us witness the process of preparing exquisitely spiced Chicken Satays and a chicken in spicy coconut turmeric gravy called ‘Ayam Masak lemak Cili Padi’ which was accompanied by a fresh raw mango salad. 

Raw Mango Salad My impressions of the Malaysian food festival – as we attended it were to essentially draw comparisons between Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian food. The most striking difference is the liberal use of sugar. Most dishes that we are familiar with like the chicken satay is made different in Malaysia due to the use of Sugar and lemongrass. The flavours are new and refreshing and keep you asking for more. There were many interesting things on the buffet – live grills, salads, soups, main courses and all spread out over the various cooking theatres in the massive space that is Tamra.

 The Malaysian food festival features a wide variety of Malaysian specialties ranging from exquisite appetizers to traditional dishes. Chef Muhammad Lisarni from Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur wishes to bring the most authentic Malaysian gourmet flavours to guests through a rich array of local delicacies for a gastronomic sojourn at Tamra.

 Malaysian FoodGuests will be able to savour various Malay cuisine flavours crafted by Chef Muhammad Lisarni, such as Kerabu Udang Dengen Soohoon (Prawns and Glass Noodle Salad), Serunding Ayam (Spicy Dried Chicken Floss), Sup Sayur Cendawan (Plain Oyster Mushroom Soup), Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Padi (Chicken in Spicy Coconut and Turmeric Gravy), Sayur Munir Goreng (Stir Fried Mix Vegetables with Coconut Gravy) and Terung Goreng Bersambal (Deep Fried Eggplant with Chili Paste).

Drawing inspiration from the streets of Malaysia, Tamra has set a festive tone with red lanterns, dream catchers and hangings. This food festival is a voyage designed to transport the diner to the beautiful country of Malaysia. Live carts stationed in the restaurant’s cavernous halls housing authentic delicacies, such as Chicken Satay and other signature dishes, capture the essence of a Malaysian marketplace.

 The food festival must be tried for being something new and also because when the venue is a place like Tamra, you don’t need excuses to go.

For reservations, please contact (91 11) 41191010 or email foodandbeverage.slnd@shangri-la.com

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THE CAPSULE

THE CAPSULE

By Shreya Chowdhury

Guess whom Delhi Food Walks stumbled upon at the Little Black Book’s Dessert Bazaar on 16th May, 2015? Yes, the word almost synonymous with the gourmet coffee, Bonhomia! And we were thrilled!!

We were presented with an assortment of coffees, coffee based dessert and delicious cocktails, and we were spoilt for choice. There was something for everyone, beginning with the Bonhomia Espresso shot, Cappucino, Americano to Vanilla Machiatto. To beat the heat, they had delicious desserts as well.  Our favorite was undoubtedly the Affagato, which was plain vanilla ice cream drowned in Bonhomia Dark Deeds Espresso shot. It was pure heaven! As the beautiful dark brown coffee trickled down the pure white vanilla ice cream, it was pure sin!

affagatoThe most attractive part about their coffee was the aroma! It was divine. For vanilla lovers, their Vanilla Machiatto is to die for. Ah! What aroma! And it tastes great too. For connoisseurs of coffee, their Black Veil is a beauty and a must-try.

For cocktail lovers, they came up with the most innovative cocktails such as the Espresso Vanilla Martini, the most perfect combination of a rich flavoured vanilla espresso spiked with vodka.

The best part about Bonhomia is that we can get that same beautiful aromatic cuppa every single time at home.  Their single serve coffee capsules compatible with the Nespresso machines give the same, delicious cup every time with just the press of a button.

We love to experiment with our beverages, and Bonhomia gives us this opportunity with their Free Love (Mild Espresso Coffee) and Dark Deeds (Strong espresso coffee). They also have TEAS! For the tea overs, there is the BonhomiaGreen Peace (Mild Green Tea) and the Black Pot (Intense Black Tea).

They say “all good things come in small packages”, and Bonhomia capsules truly lives up to this idiom.

Available at: Foodhall, Nature’s Basket and Modern Bazaar.Bonhomia capsules can also be brought home by ordering on major portals such as  eBay, Snapdeal, Bonhomiaworld, FabMart etc.

Cost: Rs 350 for a box of 10 capsules.

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Sunday brunch at Oasis, Vivanta by Taj

Sunday brunch at Oasis, Vivanta by Taj

By Anubhav Sapra

Surajkund, as a destination is famous for its annual fair which promotes Indian traditional handicrafts and handloom. I have been to the fair only once, certainly not for the handloom or handicraft but for the food. I remember having extremely palatable Pakistani food especially the chapli kebabs two years back at Surajkund fair when Pakistan participated as a partner country. Since then, I could not find any other reason to travel to Surajkund all the way from Delhi. However, an invite to visit Vivanta by Taj to savour the Sunday brunch dishes at Oasis restaurant provided a tempting reason to pay visit to this place again.

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The major highlight of the Sunday brunch at the Oasis, Vivanta by Taj at Surajkund is live counters for Japanese, Indian, Chinese and Italian appetizers. An important element of a live counter is the interaction with the chef while he/she cooks right in front of you. The other highlights are the lavish buffets which include cold cut counters, salads and Indian section.

I started my food journey with Sikandari raan, tandoori sabut murgh and baked whole snapper with kasundi, peri peri chutney, beetroot chutney and kachumber. All of them were marinated just right and grilled to perfection with the chutney and kasundi perfectly complimenting the meat dishes.

IMG_20150510_134001The zenith of the brunch was Chicken Kabsa, a delicious mix of rice and chicken, commonly available in the Middle East and regarded as a national dish of Saudi Arabia and is very closely similar to our own chicken pulao. Executive Chef at Vivanta by Taj, Mr. Joshi gave a detailed explanation of how the dish is prepared. The commonly used spices in preparing chicken kabsa are cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, nutmeg and black pepper. Rice is flavoured with spices, onion rings, slices of tomatoes and whole green chilies. Later, pieces of roasted chicken are mixed in to the rice. What makes it distinctive is the tomato base that gives it a light flavor and other aromatic spices mixed with whole spices. It was truly delectable. I enjoyed having it with Mutton chaap and Saag mutton both of which were thoroughly and wonderfully cooked to the core with the meat effortlessly falling off the bone.

IMG_20150510_143244The day I went to Surajkund coincided with Mother’s Day celebrations and I met a few Bengali families celebrating the occasion. I got to taste the Bengali sweets, rosogulla and sandesh and I ended my meal on summer coolers- smooth and creamy, pistachios and almond kulfi faluda with kiwi and apple toppings.

Vivanta by Taj, Surajkund runs another restaurant by the name of Pandara that serves Punjabi style dhaba cuisine. With this said, I believe, the association with Surajkund is going to continue!

Address: Shooting Range, Surajkund Faridabad

Sunday Brunch Timings- 12:00 Noon – 3:30 PM

Cost- Rs 1800 + tax (includes food and mocktails)

Rs 2300 + tax (includes food and sparkling wine)

Rs 3000 + tax (includes food and champagne)

 

 

 

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Mamagoto

Mamagoto celebrates its Five Year Milestone with New Additions of the quintessential Asian staple “The Dumpling & Chinese Bread”

By Aishaanyaa Tewari

On my way to Mamagoto in DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj I wondered what do you get if you cross oriental with western? Once inside the restaurant I realized there were a lot of possibilities. Eloquent walls washing the place with exuberance were painted with geisha cartoons and bold red stripes of sun rays. An assemblage of white cycle wheels stood one on top of the other  from the ceiling to the floor acting as a partition, creating a snug space for a more personalised experience. This open parlour was decorated with vibrant wall designs of sprawling and crouching tigers.

As all the food enthusiasts and critics sat themselves, they were welcomed by the team.  And right after, we were drowned in the aroma of oriental sauces and the flamboyant texture play. If I were to give a word to the experience, I would say it was: overwhelming; both in the positive and the negative sense. When presented a fusion: one expects, the unexpected with the comfort of some familiar ingredients from different cuisines. Here is an account of how much this newly introduced ‘dumpling menu’ balances and daringly experiments with.

Vegetarian Jungle DumplingsEvery dish we were presented had a vegetarian and non vegetarian counterpart.  The first dumplings preparation we were offered was the Traditional Peking Dumpling which came snug in a deep wooden bowl drenched with a sweet sauce made of Chinese vinegar, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, red chilli and sesame oil. The green skinned vegetarian dumpling was soaked in this overpowering sauce and hence lacked the suppleness one expects in its skin. The dumpling was filled with an assortment of chopped water chestnut pieces, shitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, etc.

Next, arrived a dish with a very creative take on Mantou bread where it was given a metropolitan fast food twist. This Tokyo Metro Mantou was a sandwich/burger where the non-vegetarian counterpart came with chicken sticks between the white Mantou bun while the vegetarian dish came with fried aubergine. Aubergine which by nature is sticky, despite being covered with bread crumbs lacked the much needed crispiness which would have contrasted with the fluffiness of the bread. Though the wasabi mayonnaise and bulldog sauce gave it a strong mustardy flavour and provided an interesting experience. The non vegetarian Tokyo Metro Mantou, lacked an assertive play of spices unlike its vegetarian counterpart, and the texture became boring since the dry fluffiness of its Mantou bun clashed with the plain chicken.

Next came the Chinese puffs which were satiating. The vegetarian puff seemed like an oriental and more fattening version of the croissant. This preparation was a dense pastry showing clear traces of generous amounts of butter and oil gone into baking. Stuffed with a rather sweet and little tangy paste of soya and gluten, this preparation would have been wonderful if not dominated by the oiliness. A hint of some spice should have gone into its making which would have complimented the subtle sweetness and butter, making these puffs something to look out for. The non vegetarian puffs on the other hand were too salty and the crust lacked the crispiness of its vegetarian counterpart

Old School GyozaThe Old School Gyoza was the next preparation. This dish was a regular pan fried dumpling with shitake mushrooms and other chopped vegetables dressed with chilli oil. The non vegetarian counterpart was again more muted in terms of spices and coriander seemed to dominate the preparation. Jungle Veg was the next arrival, stuffed with vegetable and heavily dressed with ginger, mint and soy sauce. A bold dish with strong scents, it is not for the faint hearted. Before wrapping the session with the dessert, we were served the Street Style Spicy Dumpling. The vegetarian preparation of this recipe had fresh crunchy bits of what tasted like fresh vegetables. With tofu/paneer inside and red hot chilli sambal sauce, this was an absolute delicacy. The non vegetarian counterpart was filled with tangy minced chicken and one could get fresh waft of coriander. All in all both the Street style dumplings were a fresh welcome.

In the end we were served a much needed pudding that worked as a fantastic palate cleanser. Served in a martini glass it was a preparation of sago with coconut cream topped with freshly cut mango. The best part about this dish was the fresh mint leaf topping which provided a breezy lightness to the dense sago texture and complimented the fruit. With every spoon one could expect the natural sweetness of the season’s produce of mangoes. A suggestion to make every spoon wholesome is if only mango and sago are not layered one on top of the other in the pudding. On the contrary, they can be mixed together so that the end of the dish does not become an endeavour of bearing gooey and lightly sweet sago remains.

All in all, I felt like the New Mamagoto Dumplings menu does push the limits of experience of one’s palate. It does try hard to create new textures and flavours. And rather than saying it succeeds in some places and fails in some, let’s just say that it overindulges its preparations with the sauces and undermines the simplicity of a single and assertive spice.

Jungle Shrimp Dumpling     Char Sui Puff

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The Taste #TheTasteOnTLC

EVERYTHING IS ABOUT THE SPOON- THE TASTE SEASON 2, TLC!

By Shreya Chowdhury

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 There are times when you feel like leaving everything and just setting off on a journey, travel and see the world!  But most of the time, it is not possible.  This is where TLC comes in, bringing Wanderlust to you on your television screens. Food and travel go hand and hand in this beautiful journey, and TLC is all about this journey. Hence, how can one not expect a wonderful experience when they spend an evening with TLC!

On the 7th April, 2015, Delhi Food Walks was invited to the much-coveted Bloggers’ Meet, for an exclusive preview of TLC’s THE TASTE Season 2, at the Olive, Mehrauli. The sneak peak of one of the most favourite culinary shows was exhilarating! The charming and elegant ambience, a glass of beautiful wine, Nigella and Ludo inspired snacks, and the lovely people made the evening complete.

THE TASTE Season 2 premiers on Monday 11th May and will air every Monday-Tuesday at 9 PM on TLC. This season, acclaimed Swedish chef of Ethiopian origin, Marcus Samuelsson joins Domestic Godess Nigella Lawson,  the Indiana Jones of the food world Antony Bourdain and Ludovic Lefebvre (fondly referred to as LUDO), in the epic battle of  ingredients, of pots and pans, of technique and ultimately of “the taste”,  because at the end, “ everything is about the spoon”.

Food is a journey. And as we tread on a bylane in this journey in the form of THE TASTE, we share our lives with people (although only virtually) from all over the world, connecting us with an intimate bond, which is the love for food. This love is clearly felt in the very first episode, and we are excited to embark upon this culinary virtual adventure with THE TASTE in the upcoming weeks.

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Desi Roots

Desi Roots

By Anubhav Sapra

There are very few restaurants in Delhi which have a “pull” factor. Desi Roots seems to be one of them. It is delightful how the dishes are experimented with and yet have their “desipan” intact. Its ambience which has already been talked about a lot is worth mentioning here for its creativity and how it instills a re-learning of the childhood days. It does make you observe how things have changed since then.

Here, you will be greeted with the relaxing sound of a bell. The ambience reminds you of your past especially if you were born in the late ’70s or the ’80s. The wall is painted beautifully with children’s games – which today seem to have been lost somewhere – like lattu, kancha, stapu and many others. I can associate with this very well; I remember how I used to play lattu the whole day under the scorching sun outside my house. Another corner of this place has a trunk that consists of comics like Champak and Chacha Choudhary. Reminding me of my early days again, it gives me immense pleasure to share it here that I had a large number of comics which I used to lend to my friends. I acted like a little librarian, keeping records in a notebook. On the other side of the café, are big milk cans, a sewing table, a coal iron, a headlight of “Humara Bajaj” scooter- all bound to make one nostalgic.

IMG_20150506_131519Coming to food, Desi Roots has an interesting desi menu with a modern twist. The guests are treated to a complimentary medu-vada, which is a dal pakoda served with coconut and mint chutney. It is important to mention here that the staff was very welcoming. Personally, what matters to me more than the food is the warmth with which it is served. On the recommendation of the chef, I started with lamb galauti paate with ulte tawe ka parantha. The galauti kebabs are grounded in to a spreadable paste. Galauti which means ‘melt-in-mouth’ comes with a twist where you relish a ‘bite-sized ulte tawe ka parantha’ with its pate and mint chutney, topping it with some spiced onions for an extra edge.

IMG_20150506_143435After this I had chipotle chicken tikka with avocado raita. The dish was served over a smoldering bed of iron. This was simply delicious; succulent pieces of chicken were perfectly marinated. This was served with thick avocado raita. I was amazed to see ‘kulle ki chaat’ on their menu. This chaat is an Old Delhi specialty and you get it only at a couple of places in Chawri Bazaar, the most famous ones being Hira Lal Chaat Corner and Jugal Kishore Ram ji Chaat Corner. I had the kulles of cucumber and watermelon which were no less than the ones you get in Old Delhi. The kullas were filled with masaledaar chickpeas; the tinge of lemon juice to it was just perfect. I also had deconstructed samosa with aam papad chutney, served with a golgappa. It had four layers of papdi filled with cooked potatoes, dry mango sauce, sev, yoghurt and pomegranate seeds. However, I did not like this dish much.

IMG_20150506_141841In the main course, came a mini toy truck loaded with Ambala Cantt. mutton curry accompanied with tikona parantha, mukka pyaaz with lemon and kumquat achar. I was disappointed with the quality of the mutton since it was a bit chewy for me. However, the curry was flavorful and the paranthas were amazing with their apparent soft and triangular layers. In the vegetarian section, the chef served four different varieties of khichdi – classic, juvar, quinoa, and bajra, in small clay pots and mini pressure cookers. All of them were mild in flavor and tasted more like ghar ka khaana. It was delicious!

IMG_20150506_150915In the desserts, I was served “Jamaulddin ki kheer” famously known as “Bade Miya ki kheer”. Every morning, kheer is sourced from Jamulddin’s shop in Lal Kuan to Saket and served cold. Another dessert which had a nice twist to it was badam halwa– baklava with shrikhand. Shrikhand was sweet and sour in taste and went well with the badam halwa.

Overall, it is a great place to be at where eating is such a visual treat. Treat yourselves with Ambala Cantt. mutton curry, chicken tikka, and the varieties of dishes along with the ambience which is ought to take you down the memory lane.

Address: G-16, Ras Villas Mall, Saket.

Meal for two: ₹ 1200.

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Wendy’s

Wendy’s is in Town

By Shreya Chowdhury

Wendy’s, one of the world’s largest restaurant brands, is finally arriving in India, in Gurgaon Sector 29, on 6th May, 2015. We got a little sneak peak on 3rd May in a Bloggers Meet Event.

 If you love good quality food which does not burn a huge hole in the pocket, Wendy’s is the place to go.  The little bit extra that you might be paying; it would be for the overall experience.  No more standing in long queues, waiting for your paper-wrapped burgers. Now, you will be served in porcelain with proper cutlery on your table via a table locator.  The urban décor, the attentive staff and the ambience enhances the entire burger-eating experience.

What sets Wendy’s apart, is not just their delicious square-shaped burgers, but also the variety.  Their vegetarian menu is extensive, ranging from the spicy aloo crunch to the Ultimate Paneer.  That does not mean the non-vegetarians are left out. Wendy’s offers all kind of choices for meat-lovers as well, from chicken, chicken with bacon to mutton burgers. Hence, at Wendy’s, you are spoilt for choice!

double baconatorFor hard-core non vegetarians, their double-baconator is ultimate bliss! Two layers of perfectly cooked chicken patty with a generous helping of bacon along with two slices of cheese, explode in the mouth, creating magic.  The bacon gives it a slight crunch. The meat, the cheese and the sauces together make a great combination.  They also have the Jr.Chicken, the chicken cheese melt, the classic chicken, smoky chipotle, the ghost chilli, the barbeque bacon club, which are all delicious.

For vegetarians, they have chilli cheese melt, spinach n’ corn, cheese mushroom, paneersalsa, ultimate paneer. For people who like to experiment, the Greek Falafal is a must-try. The combination of crunchy peas patty, pickle, tomato and tzaziki sauce is simply wonderful, making it a nice and tangy mouthful. However, the star of the menu is the Spicy Aloo Crunch.  Baby potatoes crushed with the skin on and fried, along with spicy sauce, onion and coriander, it is a storehouse of flavor.  It is Crispy! It is Juicy! It is Spicy! It has everything you want in a burger. They say all good things come in small packages. This burger is the best example.  Do not go by its looks. It is absolutely lethal!

Wendy’s sides are also very nice. The chicken chilli is delicious.  It is a signature dish, made of beans, minced chicken, and coriander. It is spicy and full of flavor. The bacon and cheese fries are also good. The natural cut fries, crispy bacon and melted cheese make a good combination.  Wendy’s also has salads, the Paneer Pesto Salad and the Chicken Ranch Salad.

The food journey at Wendy’s ends on a sweet note, with their Banana and Caramel Frosty. Creamy vanilla ice cream, with caramel sauce and a nice banana flavor makes it a perfect ending to a lovely meal.

greek falafal         banana and caramel frosty

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Lutyens Cocktail House

The British experience in the capital: Lutyens Cocktail House

By Aishaanyaa Tewari

Entering the chic interiors of Lutyens Cocktail House (LCH) at 22, Janpath, right opposite Le Meridian Hotel, brings a lot of promise of a luxurious dining experience. In a space set away from the bustling inner circles of Connaught Place where restaurants and cafes are fighting it out in a constant battle to win over palates, LCH is strategically positioned away from this competition telling its own story of British sophistication and elegance, serving the Delhi powerhouse comfort food and a fine dining experience.

Sitting with a bunch of other food reviewers on a sunny Sunday, one gets to hear stories from history that have found their narration in the designing of this dining house. Named after the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the restaurant is the brainchild of Priyank Sukhija and has been created with impeccable artistic care. The big hall that the place flaunts has been studded with circular mirrors on one wall that highlights the modernity interspersed with framed plans of the architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhawan and bird’s eye view sketches of different buildings and areas designed by Lutyens. From the teak panelling to the chairs bearing a wooden radial for a back rest is a tribute to the architect’s work and speciality.

 The open square bar station smack dab right in the middle of the hall highlights what LCH has the best to offer ‘infused cocktails’. Having tried two out of the seven to eight bold signature cocktails from the menu, I personally found the Perfume working for me more than the Citronus.  The former was a fragrant refreshment with a peach ice sorbet fused into rose wine with a hint of cardamom; the sweet heaviness of the wine that needed light whirring brought a cooling sweetness to it as the sorbet melted into the drink. The latter, however, was a tangy beverage with a sharp prick of vodka overridden by an overpowering infusion of syrupy orange candy and mace, garnished with lemongrass.

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Chic and minimal hanging glass fixtures and sunlight filtering through massive windows run the length of one wall overlooking one of the most posh areas in the heart of Delhi. They prepare this place not only for a sober brunch or formal luncheon during the light of the day but also add playfulness to the place in the evenings making it a fun bar and a venue for flamboyant cocktail parties. Visiting the place late in the morning, I opted to taste the special brunch menu. Eggs Benedict was my first order which is prepared by adding an egg in a cup to a pot of hot water and some vinegar. The poached egg is then put aloft a thick slice of crispy and sweet English muffin or bread, and topped with Hollandaise sauce that seeps right through the sponge, giving it a buttery and creamy texture throughout. The brilliance of the dish is in the simplicity of the taste, although Eggs Benedict is bound to leave you unsatisfied if you do not accompany it with a salad or a side dish. A bowl of Caesar salad that had been ordered by me earlier tempted me to be tried out along with it. The salad had less crunchy leaves of romaine and iceberg lettuce than I expected, with meagre shavings of Parmesan cheese underdressed by olive oil.

_MG_8911With an exotic music selection ranging from Spanish vocals being strummed to the guitar to Middle Eastern tunes lurking softly in the background, I waited rather long for my dishes to come and longed for the manager or the chef to accompany me on this visit and tell me more about the preparations, the unique techniques to make them if any, and why they tried certain textures and aromas together, one of them being mushroom risotto which hits you unguarded with an overwhelming, smoky, and strong flavour of mushrooms which may be unpleasant to some. Made with three kinds of mushrooms, namely button, porcini, and shitake, the stock prepared with the latter two seemed to be less flavoursome than the mushrooms themselves, and the rice undercooked. To try out another similar recipe I ordered beetroot risotto which was a cheerfully red and pink steaming preparation garnished with roasted beetroot pieces, asparagus, and a crispy beetroot cracker, which added a crunch to the well cooked Arborio rice. It was a great treat that left me craving for more.

_MG_8966The next dish that I tried was a sweet pancake with fresh cream and sliced bananas topped with icing, which was pretty leathery and dry while chewing and one would expect a more generous helping of cream with it. Following this, I tried chicken pancakes. The chunks of chicken were a bit hard to chew and were prepared simply with almost no spices, and hence lacked aroma while keeping its flavours light for brunch. The servings were enough for one to fill his or her stomach comfortably during that time of the day.

Right before the dessert course, my eyes caught the Lutyens pie in the menu which proved to be a wonderful last minute decision. The dish comprised of a marinated paprika chicken leg snuggled in a bowl with a layer of tastefully salted and roasted potato mash. The flavour of garlic and a lingering presence of cheese added to the pasty texture of the mash. It also magically aided me to savour the extremely well-cooked, soft and delicious meat. I would personally suggest a drink with the dish, not because of any dryness in the meat but rather to round up the experience this pie brings.

_MG_8923The desserts to my surprise were a winning bet, freshly prepared at their bakery in The Warehouse and not bought or ordered from other bakeries or makers. The banoffee cheesecake was a creamy and dense delight with a layer of walnuts accompanied with the rich flavour of coffee, caramelized bananas, and balanced by a finishing of toffee sauce and cherry. It is one of the best preparations in the menu as one can have to put a perfect end to the dining as it has this quality of making one feel of having indulged themselves. The tiramisu also proves itself to be one of the winners as it leaves your taste buds craving for more. The deliciously moist sponge adorned by a rich layer of cream was truly delectable, hiding away a tucked layer of coffee-flavoured cream.

J18A1577 Wrapping up the brunch, I took another look around the place which was adorned with coffee table books and travel guides; picturesque and pleasant to look at with its old clocks and miniature models of iconic cars. Remembering my LCH culinary journey on Robert Welsh cutlery, I set off wondering that although appetising, the food lacked recall value. With the brilliance and boldness that it shows in its desserts and cocktails respectively, LCH needs to adopt the same style in order to be able to improve its shortcomings in culinary preparations as well as the efficiency of its general services.