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LOCALE

LOCALE

By Prakriti Bhat

PVR Saket has a new entrant which gives the nearby food outlets stiff competition. With all the qualities of a chic HKV (Hauz Khas Village) café, Locale lies at the heart of PVR Anupam complex in Saket. In a Community center such as this, restaurants are expected to be cramped and mainstream. Locale comes as a breath of fresh air with its vibrant décor, graffiti walls and a lively ambience. About a month old, the rustic and wooden theme interiors are the highlight of this place. The owners Gurvinder and Nainjyot Dham have left no stone unturned to ensure that the place pleases your senses. The restaurant hosted a Bloggers’ Meet recently and I was glad to have tasted their delicacies.

The place is a multi-cuisine and a ‘multi-purpose’ restaurant. It’s a café, a library, a bar all packed into one. The library section provides a serene ambience where you can enjoy a book or a conversation with your friends over a simple cup of coffee. What I like about the place is that is not cluttered with artifacts. One often comes across cafes where beautiful antiques clutter the corners. Locale is beautiful and funky but in an orderly fashion. They serve a variety of cuisines including Mexican, Chinese, North Indian and Thai.

Kiwi Mountain Mocktail (1)Amongst the mocktails, I tried a Green mountain which was a Kiwi based drink. Kiwi flavoured crushed ice was piled in a mountainous heap in an elegant Margarita glass. It tasted good but the only downside was that this mountain of ice began to spill out with each sip and therefore it became quite messy. The other bloggers raved about the Tomato Basil soup so I am guessing that should be another thing that you could try, if interested in a hot beverage. The Ferrero Rocher Shake, Mars Bar Shake and Oreo Shake were all good but I prefer thick milkshakes whereas the ones served here were quite diluted.

Fish VepuduAmongst salads I tried a Fruit Mojito Salad and a Thai Chicken Water Chestnut Salad. My favourite was the Thai Chicken Water Chestnut Salad which was quite an innovative blend of ingredients. Basil, lemongrass, water chestnuts and chicken come together to soothe your senses in this wonderful salad. Soya Chaap being the second most popular vegetarian starter (after Paneer Tikka!) is given a Punjabi tadka in their Soya Chaap Tikka. It is spicy and has a distinctive smoky flavor. The Mushroom corn Cigar was my favourite vegetarian starter here. Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. It is gooey and just melts in your mouth. Loaded nachos were good, nothing exceptional. The Dahi ke Kebabs here were different as the exterior was not crunchy and hence was white in colour. It was made of hung curd in and out!

The non vegetarian starters scored high on concept and flavor. Bread Roll Prawn in chilli sauce was definitely the winner in this category. Soft and succulent prawns were wrapped in a bread roll which was then deep fried. The prawns remained soft and thankfully, were free of the ‘seafood’ taste. Mutton Koobideh was basically a satay. The meat was seasoned well and grilled on wooden skewers. Fish Vepudu was a South Indian snack riding high on the flavor of curry leaves. For a lover of South Indian Cuisine like me, this is a must try!

The main course included an array of Indian and continental dishes that spoil you for choice. Cheesy Mushroom Ragout with Jalapeno Corn Rice is a culinary ride that you oughtn’t to miss. The Ragout is extremely creamy and served with aromatic rice. Chicken Tikka masala with Rice and Lachha Paratha is a combo that is a universal favourite. The Chicken Tikka masala is perfectly spiced and a simple salad of chopped cucumbers, onions and tomatoes is presented in a tiny crown made of Papad. However, it’s their Smoked Steak of Chicken with Creamy Corn and Pilaf that steals your heart and triumphs over your taste buds with its creamy texture and a fantastic intermingling of spices.

Tiramisu DessertFor Desserts we tried a Sizzling Walnut Brownie with Ice cream. Bringing a twist to the classic brownie-ice cream combo, the makers pour caramel sauce over the dessert that sets it apart. But the BEST was their Tiramisu! It was definitely the best Tiramisu I have had till date. With Kahlua at the bottom and an airy texture this dessert leaves you asking for more even after a tummylicious meal! It’s a must try.

For those of you who are tired of visiting Hauz Khas for your dose of culinary treats, this is the right place to be.

Address- 17, Community Centre, Near PVR Anupam, Saket

Cost for two- Rs. 1200

Contact no.- 01133107908

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Rangla Punjab food festival at Punjab Grill

Rangla Punjab food festival at Punjab Grill

By Anubhav Sapra 

Punjab Grill is hosting a special food festival called ‘Rangla Punjab’ to celebrate ‘Punjab’ at its Select Citywalk outlet, from 10th February to 24th February. I was recently invited to taste the delicacies on offer and was amazed to see the efforts put in by the Head Chef Gurpreet Singh to take you to the journey of Punjabi food beyond butter chicken and dal makhni.

image1We were greeted with a popular Punjabi drink Kanji which is also a regular feat at my home, during winters. ‘Kaali gajar’ mixed with mustard seeds and heeng, along with the water is kept in a glass martaban under the sun and allowed to ferment for a couple of days. The result is a tangy and richly flavoured drink.

At Punjab Grill, the Kaanji was served in a clay cup garnished with carrots. I relished every sip of it, intermittently eating the kaali gajar.

In the starters, I had ‘Macchi de Pakode’, river sole coated with ajwain mixed gram flour batter and later, deep fried. The accompaniments with the starters were Gobhi Shalgam da achaar, meat da achaar – both lamb and chicken. The meat pickles were rightfully chewy, that helped us juice out the real flavors of the meat and the spices that coat them. Oh, I wish I could bottle up some of that pickle and savour it day and night!

The highlight of the Rangla Punjab food fest is ‘Kotkapure da atta chicken’, a dish inspired from a small city in Punjab. First, the chicken is marinated in almonds, black pepper and other light flavoured spices. Second, the marinated chicken is put inside a tightly knotted muslin cloth. Third, the chicken is sealed with the wheat dough and placed in tandoor for a couple of hours.

Instagram Video Link- Kotkapure da Atta Chicken

I pine to find the same treat on the streets of Delhi. Aromas simply bust into the rook as the muslin cloth was unknotted. The flavor of the spices, apparently, was compact in the chicken thus making the dish richly delightful. It was interesting to watch the chef, adorning hand gloves, holding a fork and knife, artfully slicing the wheat dough.

image2Another outstanding dish, though in the vegetarian menu, is makke di roti and sarson da saag. It was simply exotic! It was served in a clay container, giving it an earthy aroma, with ghee floating gleefully on top, and garnished with coriander seeds, whole red chillies, thus adding to the flavour. The saag was accompanied white butter,  for that divine touch. Being a Punjabi, I enjoyed the dish immensely. Another significant dish, in the vegetarian menu is dal. Laden with ghee, the dish looked tempting and was purely delectable.

The feast ended on a sweet note with gud wale chawal, cooked in ghee with dry fruits, and makhane ke kheer. If you wish to spice up your life with some authentic Punjabi tadka, I’d recommend you visit this festival and savour the mouthwatering delicacies at the earliest!

 

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Kids Culinaire 2016

Kids Culinaire

“After an overwhelming response last year, the festival of Healthy and Happy food – Kids Culinaire, is back with lots more to offer.

An initiative of Pilcrow Communication, Kids Culinaire is India’s first and only fun food festival for children. The idea was born out of a need felt by the founders of Pilcrow, Ratika van Noord Bhatnagar and Rohini Mathur, to revive the days when malls, mobile games, internet devices didn’t exist and families enjoyed quality time together, picnics and the outdoors.

Kids Culinaire has therefore been planned keeping parents, caregivers and little ones in mind and is full of fun workshops, interesting information, exciting activities and cool contests. The idea is not to say  “don’t eat fast food” or “don’t eat cookies”, the focus is on balance and to get the children interact with food in a fun way so they are able to make healthier choices. Through this festival, the hope is to raise awareness about some relevant concerns around food today such as lifestyle diseases, food allergies, proper hygiene, recycling, etc..

AdvertisementThe 1st edition of Kids Culinaire in February 2015 saw families come together as a wonderful bonding experience. The several happy photographs of parents taking their children through the food tours and showing them the various wonderful elements that make up the food groups. Watching chef Ranveer Brar milk the cow at the dairy section was a special treat. Leafing through pictures of parents and grandparents cheering on children during contests, or listening to a story together under a tree, or just sitting and eating together as a family, made us very proud to have brought this event to life, adds the founders of Kids Culinaire.

This year, the organisers have introduced some interesting new activities while retaining the most popular zones from last year.  At the Demo and Contest area, they welcome back Chef Saransh Goila, India’s youngest celebrity chef,  Food Blogger Smita Srivastava, author of Fun Foods for Fussy Eaters, and introduce Amrita Raichand, model and chef of popular TV show “Mummy ka Magic”. The story telling gets more interactive with Kathashaala, a storytelling institute which specializes in the use of performing arts. Food tours and the Fun Zone get bigger and better, and an engaging and relevant activity called “from Garbage to Garden” has been introduced with fun workshops on creating composte from kitchen waste and growing your own vegetable garden, conducted by Edible Routes. Entry to the event is ticketed to ensure a safer environment for families with children, but participation in these fun activities is free once inside.

The 2nd edition of Kids Culinaire is planned on 20th and 21st February at PSOI gardens, Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri. 

Partners- Delhi Times, Mcvities, Nutella, Philips, Tropicana 100%, Quaker, Aquafina, Creambell, Fortis, NDTV Foods, Event Faqs, Delhi Events, Delhi Food Walks, Kathashala, Wordswork and the Altitude Store.