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CHINA KITCHEN- HYATT REGENCY

CHINA KITCHEN- HYATT REGENCY

By Prakriti Bhat

Hyatt has been serving its patrons since years. One of the reasons people keep coming back is their unmatched hospitality and high quality service which makes every experience at Hyatt truly memorable. Luxury at its best seems to be their motto. With aesthetic interiors and a genial staff, Hyatt has the best of everything, be it their restaurants, gym or swimming pool. Their Chinese restaurant, The China Kitchen recently launched their new menu and it is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

DSC_0005-2Now a lot of people claim to be aficionados when it comes to Chinese cuisine. Our taste buds are accustomed to the spicy chowmein and chilli potatoes from the local Chinese van, since childhood. But sadly, that isn’t the true taste of China. Chinese dishes cooked by the local vendors are laden with oil and Indian spices which led to coinage of the term Chinjabi, meaning a hybrid of Chinese and Punjabi cooking techniques and flavours. However, a trip to The China Kitchen will introduce you to authentic Chinese cuisine which will leave you mesmerized.

The interiors are very elegant and the soothing music sets the mood for an exquisite meal. Chef Jack Aw Yong brings the flavors of China to your plate with his expertise in the cuisine. Each table was set in a traditional Chinese way with a deep dish kept over a plate which could be used for keeping the chopsticks or discarded bones, etc. I started the meal with a unique mocktail prepared with a concoction of ginger, orange and mint. The overall flavour was a perfect harmony of all the three ingredients which actually have their own strong and distinct taste.

DSC_0024Among the appetizers, my favourite was definitely the Sichuan Chicken Salad. Long shreds of Chicken mixed in a spicy and savory Sichuan sauce is a great option to whet your appetite. Next, there was a round of several varieties of dimsums. Each of them had a thin (almost transparent) covering and was packed with a whole lot of filling. Both, the veg and non veg variants were equally pleasant. The Crab Claws are something that should not be missed. A crunchy exterior holds together the crabmeat which is brilliantly cooked. Try it with one of the 4 sauces present on each table; it makes for a great combo. Another favourite of mine were Shrimps rolled in Bell Peppers. Tender and succulent Shrimps wrapped in a blanket of bell peppers made for a great amalgamation of flavours and textures.

Crispy Prawn with sautéed veggies like spring onions and bell peppers is a task to cut through, but worth all the effort. The Chicken Puffs were exceptional in conception- minced Chicken stuffed in puff pastry dough. It was beautiful but I felt it to be a little bland and dry. The Main course included Noodles, Sticky rice, Stir fried pork and vegetables in Oyster sauce. Each of these dishes was cooked extremely well. The sauces were not overused and the chef ensured that none of the vegetables were overcooked. The pork, especially, was cooked brilliantly. Usually it is undercooked and the texture becomes chewy but the pork served here was quite soft; a welcome change. The Dessert platter included an array of toothsome delicacies like tarts, cigar rolls, fruits, Ice cream and chocolates. The coconut cigar rolls were irresistible.

Dining at China Kitchen is a great way for those uninitiated to the cuisine to get a glimpse of the real flavours of China. There’s more to Chinese food than just Soy sauce and Vinegar. Hop on this delectable ride to get a taste of the Orient!

Address- Hyatt Regency, Bhikaji Cama Place

Cost for two- Rs. 4500

Contact No.- 01126791234

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Kanshi Ram and Dinesh ke Chole Kulche

Kanshi Ram and Dinesh ke Chole Kulche

By Anubhav Sapra

Every Dellhite’s favourite street food is Chhole Kulche! It is one of the most celebrated go-to food of Delhi and everyone has a favourite local joint. Recently, on the recommendation of my foodie friend, Karan, I tried a very different kind of Kulche chole in Azadpur.

The name of the Chhole Kulche joint is Dinesh ke chole kulcha va garam pulav. Located next to Akash Cinema, Azadupur, it is easy to spot, because of the hordes of people surrounding his cart. The cart is owned by Dinesh and managed by his two brothers Kuldip and Raju. The family hails from Bareily in Uttar Pradesh and they have been into this business for the past 25 years.

image1-4This joint has a distinctive and exciting way of making kulchas. The kulchas are fried in butter with a red curry- a mixture of tomato, onion, garlic, ginger and capsicum. First, a generous amount of oil is put on a big pan and the red puree is added with a bunch of different spices. The kulchas are then fried over the spice mixture on the pan. A big spoon of butter is then spread over all the kulchas.

The kulchas are spicy and delicious, with a unique spicy punch that adds to the flavour. I ate few of them with out the chole. Infact, I asked him for double masala fry to make it more spicy. The kulchas are not for the weak hearted because of the amount of butter and spices that are added to the kulcha. However to soothe it down, a glass of boondi raita is  served at Dinesh’s stall.

After the initial conversation, Kuldip and Raju shared that the frying of kulcha is inspired from Pav bhaji where the buns are fried in a thick gravy with butter.  The joint is extremely inexpensive at only 30 rupees a plate.

After relishing the kulchas at Dinesh’s stall in Azadpur, I headed to his Uncle’s Chole Kulcha shop in Naraina. I was warned by Kuldip that it would be over by the time I reached. Keeping my fingers crossed I drove straight to his place, asking the security guards in the residential colony of E block, Naraina for his shop. The complete address is E-195, Naraina Vihar, Near Gyan Mandir Public School, Mobile number- 9211863472. By the time, I reached, the chhole at his stall were already over but on request I got a small portion of Chhole and a few kulchas.

image1-2Kanshi ram, who owns the shop, migrated to Delhi from Bareily at the age of 7 . When I visited his shop, he was listening to folk songs through his headphone, and sitting relaxed savouring tamatar pyaaz chutney with roti. I spoke to him at great length. His eyes were glistening with pride while he shared his story of hard work towards success that began from being a small street vendor to owning a ig shop.

Kanshi ram, also, has a similar way of making the kulchas. He puts butter over a big pan, fries the kulchas, spread a spoon of red coloured chutney, a mixture of garlic red chillies and tomatoes, and garnish it with grated paneer. However, it lacked the spicy punch that was evident in kulchas at  Dinesh’s stall. This is because of the butter and paneer that makes it less spicy compared to Dinesh’s kulche. Nonetheless, if you like your kulcha to be more spicy, you can ask for more chutney separately. A plate of Kulche Chhole costs Rs 40 at Kanshi Rams stall.

After having my fill, I bid adieu to Kanshi Ram and got the invitation at the same time to try the mutton he prepares, which he is going to cook sometime specially for me. I really liked the two joints and I hope they are able to expand across Delhi!

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Kuppies

Kuppies

I could easily envisage the constant mushrooming of bakeries in Delhi. Many home bakers have taken to the streets their products and commercialised its value. Due to rapid population growth, and rising foreign influence, baked goods are quickly gaining popularity among younger generations, contributing significantly to the growth trajectory of the baking industry. Khan Market and other upscale markets in South Delhi have some of the best bakers in Delhi.

However, there is a huge gap between the bakery products that are affordable and those that taste good. To fill this gap, you have several new ventures Kuppies being one. They have come up with Chocolate Chip Brownies.

Kuppies has a dedicated team led by founders Jeevash Vaid, successful entrepreneur and business owner, and Uni Vaid, trained culinary and pastry designer from USA. She was ranked among the top five bakers in New Delhi in 2014 and has received numerous award and accolades for baking Delhi’s best cheesecakes, cupcakes and other treats.

Recently, I got the chance to visit the place where these brownies are made i.e  in Noida, to get a first hand experience in what makes their brownies the best.

The brownies were delicious, gooey and molten at an extremely affordable retail price of Rs 18 per piece. For the very first time it is being launched in the Indian FMCG market.

IMG_20160802_115419_1470207556026The Brownie is made with Imported Real Dark Cocoa solids to give an intense chocolate hit burst in your mouth way ahead of any sweet or dessert snack available in the market. It is a cross between a cake and a soft cookie giving it a chewy mouth feel. The Brownie is moist in texture and oozes with chocolate and richness due to its smooth batter which even gives it a long shelf life.

Keeping in mind that majority of Indians are vegetarians (those who eat eggs are excluded) Kuppies brownie are 100% Vegetarian.

 Kuppies  supply to the largest national and international brands Café Coffee Day (India’s largest coffee house chain), Chaayos, Costa Coffee, Big Bazaar (India’s largest hypermarket chain), Wal Mart, Spenser, 24×7, Easy Day, Big Basket and more. supply to largest cafes in the country, CCD, Chhayos, Costa Coffe, throughout the country. Kuppies also has a FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification).

What sets them apart from other brownie brands in the market are-authenticity, taste and the packaging. Their from scratch production and original recipe has made this treat one of a kind.

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Veda and Djinggs, Gurgaon

Veda and Djinggs, Gurgaon

Ayushi Mathur

In the recent years, Delhi has been sensationalised by restaurants exhibiting innovative concepts around food and drinks. Even with the increase in popularity of modern food preparation techniques like molecular gastronomy, traditional Indian cuisine is highly appreciated. For almost a decade, Veda has been providing an exclusive Indian dining experience with flavours from across India woven into exquisite meals. Dining at Veda has been a wholesome experience brought to its patrons by the marvellous interiors, soothing classical music and matchless service. After a successful run in multiple cities, Veda is ready to take over Gurgaon with its all new concept of serving Indian and authentic Sichuan style Chinese cuisine under the same roof.

The people behind Veda are ready to unveil their new brainchild called Djinggs in the most popular food hub of Gurgaon – Sector 29. The interiors of the restaurant are designed by one of the most creative Indian designers Rohit Bal, keeping in mind both the cuisines offered. Half of the restaurant space is designed with huge mirrors with Indian carvings on them and the rest half is decorated with Chinese umbrellas. The ceiling of the restaurant is the main attraction, decorated with red lights and hangings of carved structures.

FullSizeRender-22The kitchen is divided into two sections, one for each type of cuisines offered, with specialised chefs. The Chinese dishes are a true reflection of Sichuan cooking with a liberal use of garlic, chilli peppers and green vegetables like Bok choy. The vegetarian dumplings are served with three varieties of sauces made with caramelised onions, garlic and hot peppers. Among the vegetarian dumplings, the spinach and bok choy dumpling and the mushroom dumpling are one of the best that the restaurant offers. Another stand out dish is the chilli garlic fish which is served with fried red peppers and parsley.

IMG_5619Veda is already known for its delectable Indian dishes. The Palak Patta chaat is the right amount of crunchy topped with curd, tamarind sauce and crispy sev. The Paneer Rumani Kebabs are rolls of thin sheets of cottage cheese that have a creamy texture with a wonderful smoky flavour. Achari fish tikka is a spicy well presented dish served with fresh vegetable salad, coriander and lemon. Curry leaves with fried vegetable chips are served with drinks that are a great alternative to regular snacks like nutcrackers and papad.

Overall, the restaurant has a majestic vibe with intricately done interiors, candle light and soulful music. Their concept of introducing Sichuan style of cooking worked truly well and it’s a great place to visit with friends and family to enjoy both types of cuisines. One visit is not enough to explore all the palatable delicacies offered at this restaurant. But it’s a highly recommended joint. I will definitely visit again.

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Take off Scarlet

Take off Scarlet, Punjabi Bagh

Ayushi Mathur

Punjabi bagh is becoming the new hub for exciting new cafes, restaurants and lounges. One extraordinary addition to the glamour of Punjabi bagh is a lounge called Take off Scarlet. Located on the Club Road, TOS is the ultimate destination for all the party lovers with its mouth-watering food, a huge dance floor and non-stop dance beats. Decorated with gold and bronze statues, TOS has interiors that will take you to the ancient Greek times.

TFullSizeRender-20ake off Scarlet has a rich multi cuisine menu and the first appetizer that I tried was the Murg Hazari Tikka. Juicy and tender chicken pieces marinated in yogurt with an undertone of Garam masala, the Murg Hazari Tikkas were absolutely scrumptious. Apart from Indian cuisine, TOS has a variety in Chinese, European and American appetizers. Among the Chinese, I tried the Chicken 65 which tasted similar to spicy preparations of Chicken served at other restaurants. Italian Julienne Salad was made with fresh crunchy vegetables with boiled spaghetti and whole olives. European dishes included Chicken Schnitzel, a fried chicken dish cooked in beaten eggs.

The vegetarian dishes were more innovative and flavourful. The appetizer that stood out was Delhi ke kebabs which were disks of dry kebabs filled with tangy yogurt. Delhi ke kebab is something I really enjoyed, as it tasted like sour cream and yogurt filled in crispy coating. Another distinguishing starter that was served was the Cheese Cigar rolls. Stuffed with a generous amount of cheese and onions served with hot mayo dip, the rolls definitely stood out. Bombay Vada Pav and Crispy lotus stem in honey chilly were also quite delicious.

FullSizeRender-19Along with food, TOS has a variety of inventive drinks and Hookah flavours to offer. The mocktails served included Pink Panther, a watermelon and pomegranate based cooler, Electric Lemonade that was made with blue lagoon, lemonade and mint and was served as a mystical blue drink. Tall hookahs with pipes that glow with LEDs add to the ambience and the experience. TOS has both outdoor and indoor seating with a perfectly sized dance floor for a wholesome party experience.

Address: 13-C, North West Avenue, Club road, Punjabi Bagh

Cost for two: Rs. 1000

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Smoke on Water

Smoke on Water, Connaught Place

Ayushi Mathur

For all those beer lovers out there, Delhi just got a lot more exciting. There’s no more a need to wait for your beer to be served to you, now you can tap your beer at Smoke on Water. With beer taps on every table, Smoke on Water is Delhi’s first Gastropub that lets you pour your own beer. All you need to do is sit at your table, choose the beer you want and pour it yourself whenever you want!

Smoke on Water has brought a concept of allowing the customers to refill their beers with a tap on their tables through the system of a rechargeable card allotted to them. The customers can add a certain amount of money in their cards and place it on an electromagnetic slot on their tables. This allows the customer to pay ahead and keep a track on the amount of beer consumed. All of this while grooving to the best rock music of all time.

Well, that’s not it. Smoke on Water is an ultimate stop for beer lovers as well as foodies. Ranging from the classic Buffalo wings to super hot peri peri wings, Smoke on Water offers a total of 16 different styles of chicken wings, and their hot wings are not for the weak-hearted.  Apart from chicken wings, their menu has a variety of delectable bite sized appetizers like Potato nuggets, Grilled Polenta with Feta cheese and fish fingers. The appetizing Chicken dumplings are made with minced chicken and hot barbeque sauce shaped into perfectly round dumplings. Another thing that stands out is the small disc shaped Fish cakes with Hollandaise sauce that look very appealing and taste even better.

IMG_5409For those not so fond of beer, the bar at Smoke on Water offers an assortment of unusual cocktails and mocktails. The desi pawwas like Kala Jamun, Sharabi Naareal and Masala maar ke are something you cannot miss. The Thai Mojito is a breath of fresh air as it gives the usual sweet mojito a twist with flavours like Kaffir lime and Thai ginger. The Chatpataka is a fun concoction of chaat masala, lime and kiwi. Sangrias and Long Island Iced Teas are also not typical at Smoke on Water, with flavours like Pomme-Basil and Strawberry-Mint available in Sangrias and Jalapenos in LIITs.

Overall, Smoke on Water can be considered one of the most exciting openings in Delhi this year and should definitely be visited at least once.

Address – D-26, Connaught Place

Cost for two – Rs. 1000

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Lallan Kulche Wala

Lallan Kulche Wala

By Kshitij Rathore

IMG_20160729_122839Darya Ganj has been a representative of lip smacking street cuisine since time immemorial. However, in the recent time, it has lost its lustre due to the popularity of places like Hauz Khas Village and Greater Kailash market. This is the reason I decided to explore Darya Ganj ­ to rediscover its lost sheen and to explore the scrumptious food that this place offers.

I was walking around Hindu Park when I found a small cart named ‘Lallan special Chole Kulche’. Intrigued, I went up to the guy and ordered a plate of Chhole Kulche. He had 6 different kinds of Kulche to offer which, honestly, was astonishing because you rarely find more than one type of kulcha, let alone 6. So, I sat on the wooden bench he’d set aside for customers as he prepared a plate of Sooji ke kulche and chhole sprinkled with lemon on top. A glassful of raita to mellow down the spiciness of the chhole worked in my favour.

IMG_20160729_123106Originally from Bareily, UP, Lallan bhai has been working in this area for the past 25 years. The fact that this has been his family business for the past three generations really reflects in his preparation of the food. Despite having a plethora of customers swarming around his shop, he wasn’t annoyed with my enquiries. In fact, he was very cooperative.

I also tried the Jeera Kulcha which I found very staiating. The variety of kulche included Aloo Kulcha, Paneer Kulcha, Carom seed (ajwaain) Kulcha and coriander(dhaniya) Kulcha. If you’re famished after all the book shopping, you can make a pit stop here to gorge on a flavoursome plate of Chhole Kulche. I highly recommend the Jeera Kulcha as its effervescent aroma will make your mouth water. It won’t cost you a whole lot as the prices ranges from Rs. 40 to Rs. 90 per plate.

You’ll find his cart in the lane adjacent to the Darya Ganj police station facing Hindu Park.

Cost for two: Rs. 180 (approx)

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THE UNIVERSITY BISTRO

THE UNIVERSITY BISTRO

By Prakriti Bhat

Hudson Lane is brimming with cafés. Theme based, cuisine based, you name it and Hudson has it. Amongst several cafes in GTB Nagar, stands The University Bistro, also known as TUB. Comfort food at a comfortable price seems to be the motto of this place. My friend and I settled on this place for lunch. Though the place is not very spacious, the décor compensates for it with intriguing thematic adornment of walls. A full wall is dedicated to travel and tourism with postcards, pictures of landscapes and a backpack hung on the wall. Another wall is totally sports based with sports shoes, basketball apparatus, tennis ball and printed wallpapers which bring together different sports stars.

They also have a live Pizzeria where you can watch your pizza being prepared. Another section has a bright yellow scooter frame stuck on the wall. The interiors border on being funky. The menu expands from Italian to Mexican and Continental. We started with two Mocktails. Green Apple and cucumber cola had a dominant flavor of cucumbers. It had a pulpy consistency and was quite refreshing. Italian Smooch was basically your regular Mojito with a Cranberry flavor.

2016-05-19-14-09-56Chicken Ham and Cheese Sandwich was a smooth ride. Thin slices of chicken along with creamy mayo made a heavenly combo. The bread had scorch marks on top but wasn’t very crunchy. The whole experience was very easy on the palate. The sandwiches came with a side of French fries and a dip. However the quantity was not enough for two people. Therefore, we went for a Peri Peri Chicken Pizza for want of spice and meat. A Peri Peri product, as the name suggests, is expected to be spicy. But the chicken shreds on the Pizza were not spicy. They were simply grilled. However, the pizza was quite big. The thin crust gave the requisite crunch and was prepared well. Not too hard, not too soggy. Also, it is not very cheesy so this would be a good option for those who are health conscious. The quantity was sufficient for two people.

The service is not very prompt. The staff forgot one of our drinks and it came after half an hour; only when we reminded them. But The University Bistro manages to hold its ground amidst cut throat competition from its neighbours like Big Yellow Door and Shagun Restaurant. With a cheery ambience and pocket friendly menu, it could very well be your next college adda.

Cost for two- Rs. 550

Address- F-15, Opposite NDPL Office, Vijay Nagar

Contact No. – 011330105215