Posted on

JAMIE OLIVER’S DESI TREAT

JAMIE OLIVER’S DESI TREAT

By Prakriti Bhat

Jamie Oliver is a man who needs no introduction. One of the most characteristic features of his food is to bring together fresh and healthy ingredients and whip up delectable dishes. Shows like ‘Just Jamie’ and ‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution’ made him a household name. With the launch of Jamie’s Pizzeria in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon, Delhites sure have a reason to rejoice as he creates magic with his special pizzas. The outlet organized a media launch on 21st October, 2015 and it was a delight to be a part of the event.

The pizzeria has a very rustic feel. It is a potpourri of Delhi’s vibrant culture. An entire wall is dedicated to saddi dilli with a collage of different monuments like Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, etc made with crayons. Indigenous spices hung in a bunch outside the live kitchen where you could see the pizzas being made. Though it is not very spacious, the place has a very cozy feel. The pizzeria is divided into two sections by a set of unpolished wooden doors fixed atop a small wall.

DSC_0240Among the starters we tried hand stretched Garlic bread with tapenade. While the garlic bread looked like strips of your regular Naan and lacked garlic, the tapenade was definitely the star of our meal. The Tapenade was made of olives, anchovies, chillies, tomatoes and is sure to tickle your taste buds. The Okra and Lotus root Fritti was served with a green chutney. It was delicious, though more like our pakoras. It reminded of Nadur Churma, the popular Kashmiri fried snack made with long pieces of Lotus Stem. These starters proved that Jamie’s team had strived to incorporate Indian ingredients and flavours into their dishes. Along with this, you can go for Lemon Iced Tea or a simple soft drink to complement your meal.

The posters on their wall boasted “our dough is made on site each day with love”. This was indeed true. Jamie’s pizzas have a special crust. The pizza bases were thin in the middle and fluffy at the edges. Unlike other pizza chains, the edges were not at all dry. First, came Courgette Pomodorro with topping like crushed tomatoes, zucchini, baked potatoes and mozzarella. Little blops of mozzarella on the pizza just leave you speechless. The Paneer Piccante Pizza brought together spicy paneer, roasted bell peppers, coriander and mozzarella cheese. This was one of the best pizzas I have had. The Marinara Pizza was simple; crushed tomatoes, garlic and oregano.

What I liked about this place is that they have a limited menu. They make only what they are sure of. The limited menu should not be seen as a disadvantage but as a good thing. The brand ensures that all the ingredients used are fresh and that is one of the reasons behind a restricted menu. The freshness of ingredients is quite visible from the glow of the vegetables. Other Pizzas like Delhi Hot and Chicken Alla Diavola are to watch out for. Moreover, the economical rates are another reason why you should give Jamie’s Pizzeria a try.

Let Jamie Oliver take your taste buds on an Italian tour!

Address- 3rd floor, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon

Contact No.- 9599180116

Cost for two- Rs. 800

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

THE COMMON ROOM

THE COMMON ROOM

By Prakriti Bhat

With the mushrooming of several cafes in the capital, sometimes things become a bit monotonous since most of them offer the same dishes, more or less. However, places like The Common Room are a breath of fresh air. It is a fusion of your regular college cafes, and a pub. On 8th October, the restaurant hosted a Bloggers’ Meet. Owned by Dinesh Arora, The Common Room is the latest entrant in the ever bustling B.K. Dutta Market and is a walking distance from the Rajouri Garden Metro Station.

The ambience has elements of both, a café and a bar. It’s a delightful combo. It has the casual and cosy atmosphere of a café with funky posters and bookshelves. A vintage radio sits atop one of the shelves while the restaurant logo rotates on a disc on the wall. On the other hand, the minimalistic décor, furnishings and bare brick walls combined with a sassy yet gorgeous bar incorporate the Pub factor. Industrial lampshades illuminate the place. Even the bar counter has a rustic exterior. And icing on the cake? Live band everyday!

We began our culinary ride with beverages. Litchi Caipiroska was average. It tasted more like a litchi flavoured soda as fizz overpowered the Litchi juice. Peach Iced Tea was good but did not stand a chance in front of the Kiwi Cucumber Sparkler which was marvelous. The blend of Kiwi and Cucumber rejuvenates your senses. A juicy slice of Kiwi enticed me from within the jar. Chocolate Fudge Brownie Shake had a smooth texture and was simply bliss. Every sip made me thirstier even though it was heavy!

Kalegee Pao, as the name suggests was a dish of chicken kidney (kalegee), flavoured with spices. It was definitely a spicy start to the meal. Kung Pao Chicken was a bit of a disappointment. Though the chicken was saucy from outside, the spices and sauces did not seem to have seeped inside. Moreover, Shinchan would definitely not be happy with the quantity of capsicum put in! It was too much with respect to the amount of chicken. Spiderman Sausage Racing Car is a hot dog with wacky presentation (though I don’t remember Spiderman ever having a racing car!). Mustard sauce and Tomato ketchup create a web of sorts over the hot dog. However, the bun was too thick for the sausage. So even though there were lots of sauces and a delicious sausage, the taste of bread conquered it all.

One can never go wrong with the classic combo of fish fingers and tartare sauce. Their Fissy Fingers had a crispy coating and thankfully did not crumble. A platter of Onion rings was served with an assortment of sauces and dips. Kanda Bhajji ke Pao was simply onion rings in a Pav bun; nothing exciting. Arabian Nights was a wholesome Mezze Platter.

Among the main course, Mutton Keema Curry Pasta scored high on concept. The combination of keema and pasta was quite different but the sauces weren’t sufficient. Similarly, Basil Pesto and Cream Pasta failed to impress; it wasn’t as cheesy as it is supposed to be. On the other hand, Chicken Caesar Pizza was loaded with cheese but was quite bland. For dessert, we tried Spiderman Cigar which were oven baked crunchy rolls. The filling was brilliant but the covering was too feeble to hold the chocolate and nuts. Nevertheless, full points for innovation and presentation.

The menu has been crafted in a very innovative manner with quirky names being given to each dish like Raste ke Omlettes, Melting Umbrella, Moglee Ka Chilly Paneer, Bruce Lee ke Tandoori Dimsums. But unfortunately, options for vegetarians are quite limited. The highlight of the menu was their Beer Cocktails which is something relatively new in the market. To all the budding singers and bands (and bathroom singers!), this is the place to showcase your talent. Sit back and unwind with the music as you gorge on their delicacies.

Address- J2/6B, 2nd Floor, B.K. Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden

Cost for two- Rs. 1200

Contact No.- 01133105041

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

12 Chittaranjan Park Eateries To Try This Durga Puja

12 Chittaranjan Park Eateries To Try This Durga Puja

With Durga Puja kicking off, there is no better time to visit this mini-Kolkata of South Delhi, where you can pay homage to the goddess as well as to Bengali cuisine. And if you think that all you’ll find are sandesh and fish dishes, you are very mistaken. Delhi Food Walks decided to take a little trip down the gallis of Chittaranjan Park (named after the patriot or deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das) to bust this myth and to guide you to the best places for delicious Bengali specialities. Most eateries in Market 1 are located in a single file; you can stop and sample as you walk down the lane and breathe in tantalising whiffs of mustard and fish.

Nearest metro station:Nehru Place from the Violet line and then auto ride to Market 2.

When to visit: After 6pm, for an evening of merriment!

2015-10-17-1445063717-1110942-Puchka.JPG

Raju Puchka Wala

Location: Near Canara Bank, Market 1

We started off with puchkas (the Bengali iteration of golgappas) sold by Raju who hails from Bihar’s Kishanganj district. For the last 20 years, Raju has been delighting customers with fried wheat puchkas filled with a spicy mixture of jeera, coriander, black pepper, green chillies, potatoes and black chana (most golgappas in Delhi are filled with saunth and made of suji rather than wheat). He also sells a Bengali variant of the ubiquitous aloo chaat – aloo kabli is made of boiled potatoes, tamarind water, chickpeas, green chillies, onions, masala, and salt. Chaat lovers should also try the churmur, which is rather like a hybrid of puchkas and aloo kabli. It’s a tangy, crunchy and sweet concoction featuring chickpeas, tamarind water, boiled potatoes, crushed puchkas, green chillies, cilantro and black chana.

2015-10-17-1445063798-3596971-Ghughnee.JPG

Ghughnee Wala

Location: Opposite Kolkata Biryani House, Market 1

At Shyamal Barua’s stall, the signboard advertises both momos and ghughnee, but it’s the latter that you’re really here for. Mr Barua proudly exclaims that his mother is the master chef behind the finger-licking ghughnee which he has been serving since 2003. An extremely popular snack in Bengal and in parts of Bihar and Orissa, ghughnee is a curry made of chickpeas (motor in Bengali) that are soaked in water overnight. There’s a veg version as well as one with minced mutton.

2015-10-17-1445063857-7638589-Kathiroll.JPG

Kolkata Hot Kathi Roll

Location: Shop No 8, Market 1

We can forgive the owners for misspelling “kati rolls” as “kathi rolls”, a mistake made by most people outside of Kolkata where the dish originated at Nizam Restaurant; the word kati means skewers in Bengali and was applied to kebabs and then to kebabs wrapped in paranthas. You’ll find a wide range of mutton, chicken and paneer rolls here, but it also serves up prawn cutlets, veg chops, Mughlai paranthas, barbecued meats, shawarma and even a small selection of Chinese dishes among a host of other preparations. Don’t get too distracted, though – the rolls are what stand out, livened up by different sauces, including the mustard-and-raw-mango kashundi, a secret masala and chopped onions. Perfect.

2015-10-17-1445063947-3300079-ChineseChaat.JPG

Roll ‘N’ Roast

Location: Shop No 7, Market 1

This place is right next to Kolkata Hot Kathi Roll and provides head to head competition to its neighbour, serving many of the same dishes. Their menu claims “Delicious Start Right Here” and they aren’t far off the mark. They are famous for their Chinese specialities (let’s not forget that Kolkata is considered to be the birthplace of Indian-Chinese cuisine) as well as their chops and kobirajicutlets. We highly recommend the Chinese chat which comes with a variety of toppings and a choice of either noodles or rice. For just Rs 200, a non-veg platter will allow you to sample Schezwan chicken (our fave), lemon chicken, chilly chicken, garlic chicken, chicken wings, chicken Manchurian and sweet ‘n’ sour chicken. The veg platter, on the other hand, costs Rs 120 and includes veg Manchurian, chilli paneer, crispy chilli potato, crispy honey potato, and mix veg salt ‘n’ pepper.

2015-10-17-1445063995-1416532-Momos.JPG

Mad About Momos

Location: Near Evergreen Properties, Market 1

You’ll be spoiled for choice with the myriad types of momos served here — chicken, veg, paneer, soya, steamed, fried or tandoori. The beautiful little stall is made from bamboo sticks and also uses a traditional bamboo basket for steaming the momos – not a common sight in Delhi. It also differs from most other purveyors of momos in the city in that the dumplings are made of whole-wheat rather than white flour. Besides, have you ever seen momos shaped like a fish or a samosa? The fresh, hot momos are served with mayonnaise and a drool-worthy sauce made from butter, sugar, red chillies, tomatoes and onions. There are three other branches of Mad About Momos in Amar Colony, Central Market and Pocket 8 Vasant Kunj.

2015-10-17-1445064058-7008042-Pakoda1.JPG

A N R Chakraburti’s Pakora Stall

Location: Near Kendra Bhandar, Market 1

The shop traces its origin to 1971, the time when Chittaranjan Park was just a piece of land allotted to displaced people from East Pakistan. For lunch, they serve rice served with either egg (Rs 40) or fish (Rs 60).

Their aloo chop (pronounced alloor chop in Bangla), bread pakoras, beguni , chop pakora, mirchi pakora and onion pakora make for perfect evening telebhajas (fried snacks), best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea.

2015-10-17-1445064112-688307-KamlaSweets.JPG

Kamala Sweet Shop

Location: K-1/101, Market 1

Prabir Kumar Mukherji, the proud owner of Kamla Sweets, has been successfully operating for past 30 years. Here you can sample the quintessential misti doi (sweetened curd), available in traditional mud pots of different sizes (100gm to 1kg), as well as Bengal’s most famous dessert, sandesh (the “a” is pronounced as “o”) in different shapes, sizes and colours. Their conch- and fish-shaped sandesh are masterpieces and the steamed version (bhapa sandesh) guarantees love at first bite to the sweet-toothed. Other specialities on the menu include chum chum, dudh pulisita bhog, chandrapuli, rosogolla, bundi laddoo and lobongo lotika. You can also try chhena poda (Rs 500 for a kg), a caramelised cheese sweet that actually originated in Orissa. I you visit around breakfast you can also try savouries like khasta kachori, matar kachori and radhaballabhi (urad daal stuffed in a puri); they also make beetroot chops, a rare delicacy in this part of the country.

2015-10-17-1445064210-6944339-Tea.JPG

Vivek Tea Stall

Location: Behind Mother Dairy, Market 1

Don’t be deceived by the name. This game-changer of a stall not only serves tea or “cha” but also cold coffee with ice-cream and dry fruits, hot coffee (pick from Nescafe, Bru and Davidoff), hot chocolate Bournvita and a variety of teas — lemon, tulsi (green), Arabian, jasmine, among others.

The best part about this ‘cha’ stall is that you can have your tea customised to your taste. His lemon cha was the highlight for us – it contains a flavourful medley of amla, black salt, black pepper, jeera syrup and Hajmola that will cause an explosion of flavours in your mouth.

2015-10-17-1445064259-6665431-JhaalMoodi.jpg

Vikas Bishwas — Jhaal Muri Waala

Location: Market 2

His fame speaks for itself as crowds throng his stall. With a genial smile on his face he tells us that he been known as the jhaal muri wala of CR park for the past 12 years. Hailing from Krishnanagar in Kolkata, Vikas started off as a shopkeeper at Annapurna Sweets, but now specialises in all things tangy and spicy. He reels off his specialities in a breathless monotone: ghugni, ankur chaat, aloo kabli, bhel puriand, of course, jhaal muri which he sells for Rs 20 only. Do try his mouthwatering mutton ghugni – a hot chickpea curry with minced mutton served with a garnish of onion, tomato and cucumber.

2015-10-17-1445064941-895488-ChenaJalebi.jpg

Annapurna Sweet House

Location: Shop No 38, Market 2

A former accountant at Shaw Wallace, Mr Benoy Majumdar, has been running this place since 1984. Their star dishes include chhena jalebi(a jalebi made of cottage cheese instead of flour and with a taste quite similar to a gulab jamun; Rs 140/kg); the enticing jal bhara sandesh(a sandesh with a liquid centre); kheer puli (a doughy sweet dish made predominantly of kheer that melts in your mouth like a soufflé; Rs160/kg).
They also serve every Bengali’s favourite breakfast dish – radhaballabhi, a puri stuffed with dal and veggies.
Want further proof of their popularity? They often stay open well past the closing time of 10pm because the orders just don’t stop coming.

2015-10-17-1445072643-2072082-101.jpg

Dadu Cutlet Shop

Location: Shop No 9, Market 2

Opened by Narender Mistri, affectionately called Dadu, in 1992, the shop is now managed by his son Shyam Mistri. Their fried bhetki fish is fried to crisp perfection (the audible crunch as bite in is evidence) and their famous egg devil chop is sin on a plate: hardboiled egg filled with cooked egg yolk and potato all wrapped up in crispy bread crumbs. The Mughlai paranthas are yummy too, and their samosas (calledsingharas) contain a unique filling dominated by coconut and chickpeas.

2015-10-17-1445064831-6764915-Maatarathali.jpg

Maa Tara Restaurant

Location: Shop No 45, 46, 47, Market 2

Located in the back alley of the market, this small restaurant specialises in authentic Bengali cuisine. Subhrojit, the son of the owners — Manju and SR Dutta, who are originally from Kolkata — proudly narrates the story of how his parents set up the restaurant about 19 years ago. The Maa Tara Special Thali consists of an assortment of dishes, out of which the mutton kasha shines out. Paired with luchi (puffy flour bread), the tender meat with just the right balance of spices will leave you asking for more. The mustard fish curry stands out too. Fish lovers can choose from pomfret, ilish, chitol, rehu and more — all for under Rs 400. Vegetarians must try the postor bada – a pakora with poppy seeds.

Image Courtesy: Mehak Dhawan and Sabhyata Badhwar

(With inputs from Neha Chandra and Kawal Chandhok)

“A collaborative project of Delhi Food Walks and Spoon University on Delhi Street Food Series that brings you the best of both worlds- expertise and love for food.”

This article was published in Huffington Post India- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/delhi-food-walks/12-chittaranjan-park-eate_b_8318836.html

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

The Westside Story

The Westside Story

By Prakriti Bhat

West Delhi is no longer isolated and deprived of culinary pleasures. With a booming restaurant business of its own, Rajouri Garden is home to many cafes and fine dining outlets like. The Westside Story is the newest addition to Rajouri Garden’s happening social circle. The owners Naveen Sachdeva, Praveen Sachdeva, Amit Behl and Sagar Thareja have left no stone unturned to make sure that West Side Story is a big hit in the city. After a grand launch, the restaurant hosted a Bloggers’ Meet on 25th September, 2015.

The best part about this place is its location. It is at a walking distance from the Rajouri Garden Metro Station which makes it quite accessible. The décor was simple yet classy with swanky chandeliers and tasteful furnishings. Head Chef Amrita guided us through the menu. “The main focus is on European dishes. But then, being in Rajoiuri Garden you can’t just do a Taco and ignore ethnic dishes like a Butter Chicken or a Dal Makhani. So we have tried to maintain a balance between Indian and other cuisines”, said Amrita. The menu encompasses a wide array of cookery like Indian, Mexican, Thai, Italian, etc. You name it and they have it. It also boasts of fusion dishes like Butter Chicken Spring Roll, Thai Curry Chicken Tikka, Chicken Tikka Taco and so on.

Crunchy Cheesy BrocolliWe began our meal with mocktails. Green Eyed Monster was a refreshing blend of green apple, lemon juice and soda. Mango Spice was like any regular mango juice, but with a chatpata twist. Next came the Thai specialty Som Tam Salad. Thai food is known to touch all the four taste buds; sweet, salty, sour and bitter and it did just that. Chicken Caesar Salad had one of the finest grilled chicken shreds I have ever had but the leaves weren’t very crunchy. Also the dressing disappointed me. Crispy Corn is the perfect dish to whet your appetite though it was quite similar to what one gets at Barbeque Nation. Thai Curry Chicken Tikka was a delicious fusion of Indo-Thai flavours. Crunchy Cheesy Broccoli was bliss. Never before has Broccoli tasted so good. Crispy outside, cheesy inside; what more can one ask for?

Dahi Ke KebabChinese Button Mushrooms were a delight; saucy, crunchy and flavorsome. However, the covering was a bit too hard. Harvest Vegetable Quesadilla was okayish or as one of the bloggers commented, “Too much of Popeye in it!” since it was brimming with spinach. The Vegetable Tilla Kebab was a dish of vegetable skewers which I found quite interesting. Karare Dahi ke Kabab was a big letdown. I am a lover of this dish but here the hung curd tasted sourer than is usually expected. The consistency was good but I have definitely had better. North Indians have always preferred a ‘Punjinese’ version of Chinese cuisine. That is to say, a heavily spiced and oily Punjabi version of Chinese food that one finds in every nook and corner of the city. The Butter Chicken Spring Roll took innovation to another level altogether. Here, the spring rolls are made with a desi chicken filling and served in a tiny glass with the Butter Chicken gravy. They also serve extra gravy, in case you want to dig in. Fantastic concept.

For the main course we began with Mushroom Rarah Pizza, again a coming together of two completely different cuisines. The topping was quite masaledar but the base was a little chewy which should not be the case with thin crust pizzas. Burmese Curry with white rice (since they don’t have Jasmine Rice) is a good option if you want to go for a Thai affair. The coconut oil gave it a very distinctive flavor.

Roganjosh is traditionally associated with the kashmiri mutton dish; simply because it relies heavily on oil and spices (mainly Kashmiri Mirch). But Roganjosh is not just restricted to mutton and can be extended to ingredients like Paneer or Bottle gourd. However, the Paneer Roganjosh here wasn’t spicy and infact a bit sweet, which is the complete opposite of a Roganjosh. Chicken Lababdar is a dish that will leave you asking for more. The spices, the succulent chicken; they are just perfect. To complement all these delicacies go for Garlic Naan. The Achari Naan has nothing achaari about it while the Lachha Parantha was not very soft. For desserts we tried Vanilla and Litchi Ice creams which, yet again were beautifully served.

The presentation was flawless and made every dish visually appealing. I believe that every dining experience should satiate your five senses. West Side Story ensured that. The aroma, taste, texture and presentation were top notch while the music did not go beyond a certain level. It was definitely a wholesome meal.

Address- C-7, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi

Contact No.- 01133106167

Cost for two- Rs. 1400

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.