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LONDONERS

LONDONERS

By Prakriti Bhat

London is a melting pot of cultures and a mélange of different lifestyles. People of various ethnicities coexist in perfect harmony. Londoners Bistro and Pub in GK-1 is an embodiment of the cultural conglomeration that London is. While the name may make us think that the place serves purely British food, it also conjures up a blend of cuisines that is quite popular in London.

The brainchild of Paritosh Mittal, an engineer by profession, Londoners has a great ambience with vibrant décor and classy upholstery. Blue seems to be the dominant hue in the colour palette. They also have an outdoor seating arrangement, ideal for Delhi’s winters. The menu consists of traditional British dishes as well as those inspired by other cuisines. The basic idea is to represent London, not as isolated with other cultures but in sync with them. This is the reason behind the fusion dishes in the menu.

The Bloggers Meet began with a Ploughman’s Platter. Traditionally, it is a non vegetarian meal but in keeping with the Indian sensibilities, they also provide a vegetarian version with grilled Paneer dices. Workers in London would pack whatever leftovers they had from dinner and take it to work. Therefore, unlike the well organized Indian lunchboxes , theirs would be a muddle of bread, chicken, ham, cheese, etc. The platter served here included bread, butter, cheese, olives, dried apricots, Brown Onion Sauce slices of apple and cucumber along with boiled eggs or Paneer cubes as per the variant chosen among Veg or Non Veg.

Ploughman's PlatterScotch eggs, a British delicacy, is made with hard boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat and bread crumbs which is baked or deep fried. Here, the eggs are wrapped in Keema giving it an Indian touch. The Irish Spring Rolls were filled with corn and cheese but served along with a sweet and spicy sauce. They were crispy but not very cheesy which was disappointing. The very concept of a Spring Roll and the sauce is Oriental, again reminiscent of the cultural influences in London. The Tikka Masala Platter was a complete meal with Tandoori Rotis, Daal Makhani, Paneer Tikka Masala, Papad, Green Chutney and onions.  One platter should suffice two people.

The Paneer Makhani Pie, for me, was the star of our meal. Firstly, Pies are sweet but this one was savory. Secondly, while Pies are believed to have been originated as a Roman dessert, this one was a full-on desi rendition, replete with a Shahi Paneer filling. This marvelous invention came with fries and salad. The fries lacked salt and a dip along with it could have done wonders. The Paneer Makhani Pasta brought together Indian and Italian in a dish that packed a punch with authentic Indian flavours. While one may complain about the complete abandon of its Italian roots, I don’t mind it even a bit since it is supposed to be an Indianised version of Pasta.

IMG_20160521_091048The Clay Pot Pie had a flaky crust on top, like the one that’s usually found in French pastry. The Pie tasted like Au Gratin, only more liquid in consistency and lesser vegetables. The crust tastes best when dipped in the gravy. To wash it all down, try a Blueberry Cheesecake Shake or an After Eight Shake. The Blueberry Shake was perfect in its consistency and presentation (Mason Jars are a huge rage!). Other dishes to look out for are Keema Kulcha and Crispy Konjee Lamb.

Among Desserts I tried the Great Wall of Chocolate which was high on taste and the nutty texture but a bit too hard. The Sticky Toffee Pudding was ACTUALLY very sticky. The caramel lent it a nice flavour but it failed to impress with the texture. It was the Bread and Butter pudding which stole my heart with its presentation and taste. Not too sweet, the pudding comes in a cup/coffee mug topped with a scoop of ice cream. The contrast of warm and cold was a nice play on the taste buds. This one is a MUST TRY.

When you need a break from all the shopping in GK, give Londoners a try. It won’t disappoint you.

Cost for two- Rs. 1500

Address- GK-1, M Block Market (In the lane opposite to Starbucks)

Contact No.- 01133105812

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.
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Hanami Summer Menu

Hanami Summer Menu

Japan’s Hanami festival celebrates the ephemeral season of cherry blossoms. Guppy by ai, the most celebrated Japanese restaurant in Delhi, recreates the magic of the Hanami Festival (25th April to 30th May) through its dishes by introducing a special menu that captures its essence. Known for his culinary expertise, Chef Vikram spearheads the kitchen at Guppy by ai.

Away from the sweltering heat of Delhi, the food journey started with cold sweet Corn and Avocado soup, enriched with soy milk. The soup is served with salt and a slice of lemon, which adde a distinct texture to the soup. It is truly refreshing.

The menu has been thoughtfully curated with soups and salads as special vegan dishes. The 3 melon salad with Yubari, musk and watermelon looks simple yet the umeboshi plum dressing makes it truly delicious. Umeboshi are fermented pickles made from young, barely ripe ume, a sour Japanese fruit that’s a cross between an apricot and a plum.

Guppy by ai Summer Menu - Mango and Avocado Cream Cheese RollJapanese food would be incomplete without Sushi and Sashimi. For me, the highlight of the menu is the Mango and Avocado Cream Cheese Roll. Made with Alphonso mango, cream cheese, tanuki tempura fritters and kimchi, the roll is unique and flavoursome. The roll also has a similar variant with tuna. Another king size roll was the Hanami thick sushi roll combined with black and white rice with sakura dembu, tuna, salmon, crab, yellowtail and cucumber.

In the cold noodles – the 3 different variants are cold hiyashi tantanmen (home-made ramen noodles, served chilled with sesame flavoured pork broth, spicy ground pork meat and fresh vegetables), Hiyashi tanuki cha saba (chilled green tea flavoured buckwheat noodles, topped with tanuki tempura fritters, wasabi, grated radish served with a soy flavoured dashi broth. The Hiyash tanuki cha saba is the only vegetarian  option in the noodles menu. The third option is Hiyashi somen (Japanese, thin angel hair wheat noodles topped with crab sticks, prawns, seaweed, cucumber and melon, served chilled with a ginger flavoured dashi broth).

Guppy by ai Summer Menu- Mango and Liquorice with Coconut IcecreamThe Hanami cocktail menu has excellent refreshing cocktails like Sendai a mix of vodka, fresh kiwi, fresh melon and lime. Plum Blossom made with sochu, umeshu fresh plum and lime and Umetini with ingredients like sake, umeshu and gold leaf.

The food journey ended on a Mangolicious note a dessert with fresh Mango, liquorice and coconut ice-cream!

Address- 28, Main Market, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi

Timings: 12 to 3.30 and 7pm to 1am

Lunch for two: Rs. 1300

Dinner for two: Rs. 1800

For Reservation – 01124690005 / 6, +919650185005

Websitehttp: guppybyai.com

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.
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Niche, Lounge and Bistro

Niche, Lounge and Bistro

A friend of mine recently hosted a Chef’s table named Messa at Niche lounge and bistro, which is located in M block, Connaught Place overlooking the Statesman house. With over 19 years of HR background, blogging came as a hobby to him and he started Mystic Foodie Mantra a few years back. For this event, he curated a special menu for food bloggers in Delhi.

Not being a regular restaurant reviewer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The food served to us did not just look beautiful, it was simply delectable and I was thoroughly surprised.

image2 (1)The evening began with amusing conversations complimented by an array of unique starters that included Pulled Kathal Tacos and 57 degree duck breast. Kathal, being an excellent substitute to meat, is one of my favourite vegetables, as I like the flavour and texture in it. Served with Salsa and Kasundhi cream, the crisp outer shell of tacos filled with shredded kathal made a perfect combination. The duck was cooked at 57 degrees by a French method named Sous-vide.

Before, I go further about the tasting session, I must admit that the method of cooking involved a bit of food science. The chef revealed that the dishes on the menu are progressive. The cooking techniques involved are dynamic and always evolving. The chef also loves playing with textures, which was evident in the salad he prepared for us. The salad was made of beet and goat cheese. The beet in the salad took on various textures because of the intricate crafting by the chef.

For the main course, we were served Hari Saag along with Polenta crusted fried yoghurt balls, corn bread and jaggery chips with white butter soil. In simple words, dahike kebab were served with the saag. But the imagination of the Chef was incredibly distinctive, which was evident by the preparation and presentation of the dishes made with simple ingredients.

Next was the Lamb Shank Rogan Josh – Rogan josh gravy with ginger air and seasonal vegetables. This was the highlight of the Chefs table for me. It was delicious and I absolutely loved it. I did the most un-niche act at Niche. I slurped the shank and enjoyed the same to the core. Although, it was served as a complete dish in itself, I couldn’t resist myself from ordering assorted breads which went well with the Rogan josh gravy. 

The food journey ended on a sweet note with Cheesecake and raspberry sorbet which turned out to be the cherry on top for such a delightful evening. 

 

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.
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STORM BAR AND GRILL

STORM BAR AND GRILL

By Prakriti Bhat

Storm Bar and Grill has been around for quite a few years now. Being at a walking distance from the Kailash Colony metro station makes it quite accessible. A fine dining restaurant, Storm Bar and Grill recently launched its new summer menu. The new menu is fully equipped to tantalize your taste buds and make you drool. They recently hosted a Bloggers’ Meet where we got a chance to sample a few dishes from their menu.

The restaurant has quite an impressive décor. It is very spacious and every wall is decorated in a different manner. One wall has tiny platforms for keeping candles while the other is vibrant with a meticulous arrangement of colorful glass bottles. A beautiful bar counter and ornately designed bar stools are sure to grab your attention and lure you into a drink. You could choose plush and comfortable couches or the simple chairs to proceed to your meal.

You can begin by cooling off with their Pomegranate Mojito or an LIIT. We began our culinary ride with Ginger Chicken served with a dip. Strips of chicken are coated with ginger and deep fried till they become crispy and golden brown. The Mutton Peshawari Kebabs were well marinated and very succulent. Smoked Chicken Pizza was a thin crust Pizza topped with long and thin slices chicken, olives and cheese. The generous amount of cheese made me clap with joy. The Dahi Ke Kebabs here were definitely one of the better variants I’ve had of late. Teardrop shaped, the tip was decorated with hung curd and juicy pomegranate seeds.

The Mushroom Duplex was very bland and even the sauce that accompanied it could not save the dish. Kotmir Chicken Tikka was an absolutely brilliant blend of spices. Spicy and tangy, the flavours leave you overjoyed. Fish Orley consisted of grilled fish with Lemon Butter Sauce. The sauce was HEAVENLY! In fact, by the end, the poor fish was left to fend for itself as the sauce was wiped clean off the plate! The Kotmir Chicken Tikka and Fish Orley are a must try here.

Teen Mirchi Paneer TikkaYour main course here must include their Dal Makhani. Aptly named ‘Dal Storm’, it really does take you by a storm. Unlike many other restaurants, the texture is very creamy and the rich buttery taste is a blessing. Paneer Lababdar was good to go with a Tandoori Roti or a Butter Roti. Mutton Rogan josh tasted nothing like the Kashmiri Rogan josh but was delicious in its own way.

Among desserts, we tried the classic Brownie with Vanilla ice cream. But the Fried Ice cream was quite an ethereal experience for me. A scoop of Vanilla ice cream coated with cornflakes is deep fried until golden brown and coated with honey. The binary of hot and cold, smooth and crunchy works wonders for your palate. Again, this one is a must try.

If you’re looking for places to organize family gathering or a quiet lazy lunch, this is the place to be.

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.
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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

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.
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Journey through Deccan

Journey through Deccan

By Anubhav Sapra

Onam, a festival of Kerala is celebrated with a lavish vegetarian feast (Sadya) served on a banana leaf. In Delhi, at Kerala House, every year, foodies queue up despite the humid weather to relish the rich feast. I also had my fill on the last day of the food festival. Such lavish feast it was that I already started missing it the very next day. The moment I tried to convince myself to wait for the next year, I received this invitation from Eros Hotel, Nehru Place.

This invitation was to savour the South Indian delicacies in the ‘Journey through Deccan’ food festival. And I couldn’t have been more happier. The festival coincided with the end of Onam Sadya. The journey through Deccan is celebrating the diversity of food available in the 5 states of South India- Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka. The menu is rotational covering the popular dishes of the South Indian states. The buffet is priced at INR 1750 plus taxes for the Lunch and INR 1850 plus taxes for the dinner.

IMG_20150903_184850My journey of Deccan started with cream based piping hot Rasam and starters like Parippu vada, Shikampuri Kebab, Prawn Pepper fry and Lukhmi (a local variation of patty, stuffed with chicken kheema).  Shikhampuri Kebab of Hyderabad was excellent in taste- soft and not too oily.

In the main course, I had Appam (rice pancake), Malabar parantha and Chicken stew. In fact, Appam and Chicken stew (simmered in coconut milk) is a popular breakfast dish in Kerala as it is easy to make and mild in spices.
The other dishes on offer are Thengai sadam (coconut rice), Ambur Chicken Biryani (Tamil special), Mutton Sukha (Andhra Style Lamb preparation), Pumpkin pulissary (white pumpkin simmered in yoghurt gravy), Bendakkai (Pulikozhambu (Okra simmered in tamarind curry)

My journey through Deccan ended with sweet Mysore Pak and Elanir Payasam and a strong flavorful filter coffee served in traditional Madras style Dabarah.

The Journey through Deccan festival ends on 5thSeptember. Grab it before it’s too late!

 

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.
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Guppy by ai

KONNICHIWA JAPAN!

By Prakriti Bhat

Apart from its technological prowess, Japan is also famous for The Hanami Festival. This festival celebrates the ephemeral season of cherry blossoms. Guppy by ai recreates the magic of the Hanami Festival through its dishes by introducing a special menu that captures its essence. The name comes from ‘guppy’, a fish.

It all began with ai, which was a Japanese restaurant cum lounge in MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket that was shut down due to certain reasons. Guppy by ai was launched in August 2013 in Lodhi Colony and has since received rave reviews. Guppy by ai runs under the patronage of AD Singh along with other restaurants within the Olive brand such as Olive Bar and Kitchen, SodaBottleOpenerWala and Olive Bistro.

The interiors are reminiscent of the original Ai with red hearts all across the walls.  The place also seems to have been heavily influenced by the anime and manga culture which is quite evident from the walls and the few books that are kept on the window-sill. The Olive brand has a tradition of having a courtyard-like area in all its branches and Guppy by ai is no different. It has a separate patio which also acts as the smoking area.

I was greeted by Mr. Nishant Kr. Gaurav, the assistant manager who gave me a brief history of the place. Also, he was very patient with my incessant questions about each dish. Chef Saurav Sharan was kind and courteous as he introduced dishes from the special and the extensive regular menu. The kitchen is spearheaded by Chef Vikram Khatri who has won numerous awards for his culinary expertise.

akaneGari Punch is a mocktail made with mint, sugar, lime, ginger ale and the main ingredient, Gari which is the Japanese ginger. Gari is pink in colour and that is where the colour of the drink comes from, by muddling ginger in the muddler and shaking it with ice. Akane is a drink made with pomegranate, orange and mint. It has a very sharp, citrus flavor. I had asked for Miso soup, it being one of my favourite Japanese delicacies and it was made well with tofu.

Next came Edamame, a dish of steamed soyabeans tossed in sea salt. This was probably the only dish which I did not enjoy much. Tofu and water chestnut Motoyaki was very appetizing and reminded me of our Shahi Paneer in a peculiar way, even though both are quite different. It was baked well in an umami rich sauce. Assorted vegetable Tempura had an array of batter fried exotic vegetables like bell peppers, baby corn, potatoes, onions served with Dashi and spicy mayonnaise.

california rollNext up was the much anticipated sushi- California Roll packed with crabmeat, cucumber and avocado. All the dishes were served with requisite sauces and dips. The California Roll came with wasabi and soy sauce. Prawn Gyoza and Exotic Mushroom Gyoza may look like innocent dumplings but are bigger, juicier and generous in their fillings. These were served with chilly Ponzu sauce, though one can eat them just like that to enjoy the taste of tiger prawns and the mushrooms and avocadoes.

Tofu and Water Chestnut MotoyakiIn Salmon Nigiri, a small piece of salmon is placed on a tiny rice ball. One of the waiters flamed the salmon right in front of me. It looks so heavenly that one just can’t stop admiring the detailed designing on the rosy salmon. Salmon Tartare was a vibrant combination of avocadoes between two layers of salmon served on a carpet of cucumbers! The Chicken Udon Noodles were well spiced and had big chunks of chicken along with mushrooms. Among the desserts, I tried Apple and Prune Tart and Blueberry Crepes, both of which ended the meal perfectly.

Guppy by ai keeps the spirit of Hanami alive with its sakura inspired dishes. The detailing and hard work put into each dish is quite visible. However, everyone may not savour this cuisine because unlike Indian cuisine it is not laden with oil and spices and is comparatively quite bland. But for the rest, this is one place you must visit especially during the Hanami Festival to enjoy their special menu. The festival goes on till mid may.

What are you waiting for? Pick up those chopsticks and say sushi!

Address- 28, Main Market, Lodi Colony, New Delhi

Contact no. – 01124690005, 9650185005

Cost for two- Rs. 3000

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.
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The Potbelly Rooftop Café

TUMMY-LICIOUS

By Prakriti Bhat

Shahpur Jat is gaining recognition because of the numerous boutiques mushrooming in that area which spoil you for choice. Till a few years ago, it was not a well known place but these glamorous boutiques have definitely made it a popular shopping destination. It is common to spot people hopping from one outlet to another. It is close to Hauz Khas metro station. Amongst these clusters of boutiques lies a quaint little café atop a spiraling flight of stairs-The Potbelly Rooftop Café. It is not easy to find the place but a visit is worth the effort.

Pooja Sahu, the owner, used to work as a designer. Bored of her job, she decided to open a café which would bring the flavours of Bihar to the common Delhite’s plate. Therefore, she picked up her mother’s recipes and The Potbelly Rooftop Café was opened in Shapur Jaat four years ago. The place received a positive response from people. “We wanted to call it ‘Petoo’s’ originally but then settled for ‘Potbelly’. Our main focus is quality food. It was totally an experimental venture but the response has been amazing.” About 2 months ago, another branch in Chanakyapuri was opened owing to its grand success at the original branch.

20150316_132057The café is situated on the fourth floor for which you have to climb an arduous set of narrow stairs. The moment you reach the top floor, you will realize that all those stairs weren’t for nothing. The eclectic decor will sap away all that tiredness.  The interiors are vibrant and homely. The makers seem to have put a lot of attention into even the smallest details. The chairs are a plain white decorated with different colours of cloth or strings. The lanterns are made with glasses which hold the bulbs and are decorated with colourful strings. The napkin holders are made of terracotta with simple designs painted on them. The walls are adorned by empty frames with beautiful and aesthetic designs. The ceiling is not a regular white washed wall but a bamboo-like structure which give the place a very rustic but charming appeal.

baggia basketThe place serves Bihari cuisine. The menu offers regional starters like Pakora Basket, Sabudana Basket, Baggia Basket, Keema Ghoogni Fry and Pothia Machli Fry. Main course offerings like Litti Chokha, Maithili Thali and Dehati Fish n Chips are popular here. Most of the dishes are served in terracotta bowls. Pakora Basket has an assortment of Pakoras with green chutney and tomato chutney. Baggia Basket is a very unique dish. These are rice flour pockets stuffed with spicy Chana Daal. The surface is a bit hard but not much. It can easily be cut using a spoon or fork. They are served with red and green chutney. This dish comes in two terracotta bowls joined by a handle. The presentation is excellent and has a rural touch to it.

litti chokhaLitti Chokha is probably the only Bihari dish most have us have heard of. The crust was scrumptious but the stuffing was a bit sticky. It is served along with Chana Daal, spicy mashed potato and mashed brinjals. Fish and chips of English origin are given a Bihari tadka with Dehati Fish n Chips. Also, don’t miss the Keema Aloo Chop. It is a combination of minced meat and potato cutlets served on a bun with chutneys and mouthwatering Sabudana Pakoras. The Golmirch Chicken is a meal in itself. The Chicken cooked in lip-smacking gravy is served with the good old Lachha Parathas. Their Mirch Masala lemonade is the perfect thirst quencher and the Oreo Shake is a super-hit with the customers. The staff is quite gracious and the prices are economical.

The Potbelly Rooftop Café stands apart due to its quirky theme. Delhi offers cuisines from all over India and the world. There are several Chinese, European, Mediterranean, Italian restaurants which open the window to global cookeries. Also, there are restaurants serving South Indian, Maharashtrian, Bengali, Rajasthani, Parsi, Punjabi and Gujarati food. However, very rarely do we find a place that serves kosher Bihari food and that too at a nominal rate. Our knowledge of Bihari cuisine is usually restricted to only Litti Chokha. Potbelly Rooftop Café has brought out this long forgotten cuisine to life by not falling prey to foreign influences and sticks only to Bihari food.

A Chinese or Italian restaurant can easily attract crowd because people are constantly looking for global cuisines to try in the city. There’s a famous saying, “ghar ki murgi daal barabar”. But to open a place like this and embrace our own culture is something that ought to be appreciated. More places like these should be established to whip out the lesser known traditional delicacies. Their branch in Chanakyapuri is probably more accessible than the one in Shahpur Jaat. However, those stairs at Shahpur Jaat are a great way to boost your appetite!

 Location- 116 C, 4th floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi,

Cost for 2- 800 (approx)

Contact no.- 01141612048, 9811122764

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.
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THE EMBASSY RESTAURANT

THE EMBASSY RESTAURANT

 By Anubhav Sapra

I seem to have grown interest in posting my food updates even more so on Instagram recently, and I did so the night I went for the review at The Embassy Restaurant. It received more than a hundred likes in less than an hour thanks to the truly delectable royal food that it serves. Before I start describing how delicious the dinner was, I think it is important to throw some light on its history.

In 1947, India got its independence. A year later in 1948, two gentlemen, P.N. Malhotra and G.K. Ghai who arrived to Lutyen’s Delhi from Karachi, decided to set up one of the most iconic restaurants in the heart of the capital. It happened to become the city’s iconic gastronomic and intellectual hotspot. The royalty of this place, however, is still apparent.

I have witnessed people bonding over food here. People bonded over love, some in the sphere of business, and some in politics. This place even had regulars who put “9.30 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. Embassy Restaurant” on their visiting cards. And the legacy continues even today. The restaurant is currently managed and run by the third generation – Kumar Savar Malhotra. In August 2014, there was a disastrous fire that gutted the interiors of the restaurant. After a short break, the restaurant was back again with its flaring new interiors blending effortlessly into the existing architecture of Connaught Place.

Chicken MasalaI have been there many times before, usually during the mornings to try different dishes on the menu, especially the king-sized chana and vegetable samosa. I was present there for dinner this time. There is no doubt that the menu is quite extensive and I, therefore, asked the chef to suggest some of their signature dishes. On the table, were three of their non-vegetarian signature starters – roasted chicken, bharwa tangri, and chicken malai tikka. All of them were excellent in taste. The roasted chicken was first marinated in hung curd and aromatic spices, and was later roasted to perfection. The chicken was juicy and tender. Marination seemed to be just right and spices evenly spread. Bharwa tangri kebab was stuffed with minced chicken, cheese, onion, garlic, spices and coriander leaves, later roasted in tandoor. This kebab was completely flavourful and I literally went drooling over it!

Daal MeatNext in line were the embassy’s specialties from the main course section. I was accompanied by a vegetarian friend who commented that the dal makhani was extremely delicious. She accorded the same to its strong clove flavour and yes, the chef’s recipe as well. Achari paneer was another dish that makes this place truly different from others.  This dish was nicely flavored, quite spicy but the use of kalonji seeds seems to have given it a slightly bitter taste.

Tomato FishChicken masala, dal meat, tomato fish and chicken steak were some of the other signature dishes here at the Embassy. Unlike the red gravy in which chicken is usually cooked, the chicken masala, here, was cooked in a rich cream and almond sauce tempered just right with red chillies. This dish also had a slight sweet taste. However, I was quite disappointed to taste dal meat – lamb chunks cooked with lentils. This dish is basically a mix of boiled yellow lentils (moong dhuli) and mutton rogan josh. I found the lamb chunks to be quite dry and a bit chewy for me. However, the gravy was absolutely delectable.

Yet another iconic dish of this place is tomato fish – sole fillet topped with their own tomato concasse sauce. It is said that when Savar took over the reins of the restaurant, he tried twisting the tomato fish slightly by serving it with French fries. The reaction they received from their clients was that of total rejection. The loyalists were equivocal in their view and the restaurant then had to come back to its original version.

I rounded off my meal with the Embassy Pudding – soft, creamy, and with a surprise cashew element was simply a treat! Tooti Fruittee was another delicious mix of refreshing fruits and nuts. May the legacy of good food continue!

Address: 11-D Connaught Place, New Delhi
Timings: 10 AM to 11 PM
Seat covers: 84
Average Meal for Two: Rs. 1,200 plus taxes (Without Alcohol)
Contact: 011 2341 6434, +91 9311085132

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.
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TAMRA- At Shangri-La Eros

 

TAMRA- At Shangri-La Eros

 By Shreya Chowdhury

Copper has always been a very essential part of Indian history and has played a major role in the evolution of the culinary art in India. This inspiration is evident in their design which has incorporated the concept of Tamra is a rustic yet elegant manner. Tamra is a multi-cuisine restaurant (European, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Thai) in Shangri-La Eros Hotel, Ashoka Road, New Delhi, catering to taste buds from all over the world. Ranging from Japanese Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar to a salad bar with a variety of bread, from the grill section to dahibhalla, from dim-sums to ‘Ghar-ka-khana’, Tamra has got it all.

The ambience at Tamra, the décor and the hospitable staff live up to the essence of “Atithi Devo Bhava” and yet they have a very global appeal. The most unique aspect of Tamra is the scope for customization, where the chefs are ready to cook according to one’s mood and taste.  One gets exactly what they are craving for cooked exactly in the manner they want. Thus, bringing a high level of creativity to casual dining along, withan assortment of cuisines from all across the globe, under one roof.

big waveDelhi is known for its extreme weather, and with summer just round the corner, refreshing juices and mocktails become a very important part of our meal. Their Big-Wave is an absolute favourite. Though it is a combination of guava, pomegranate, litchi and cranberry juice, the guava is the hero of the drink. The Mango Scream and Asian Lemonade are also quite refreshing, but the best is the Garden of Eden. The pomegranate juice with a dash of raspberry and blueberry puree, lime juice and gingerale is an amazing combination to beat the heat and is absolutely delicious. The beautiful Hawaiian- themed mask mugs in which they are served is fascinating!

The Sushi Bar at Tamra has a great variety. The vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections are separate, keeping in mind the sentiments of the vegetarians. The sushi is good, but the opinion may vary from person to person. The wasabi, however, is a little too strong.  The ginger pickle served with the wasabi and sushi is quite nice.  For salmon lovers, the nigiri is quite a delight, where the fish is nice and fresh.  The California roll is great. With delicious crab meat and masago, which gives it a great texture, it is a very flavorful mouthful.

IMG_20150328_143837[1]Tamra has a great Chinese section as well. Their dim-sums are great. The translucent covering of the dim-sums gives it an aesthetic appeal, inviting one to go and taste the beauty that lies beneath it. The chicken and celery dim-sums are brilliant! The carrot and the celery give it a wonderful texture and compliment the chicken very well.  The baby corn dim-sums also taste great. They are both very light and make good starters to a meal. The noodles, the stir-fried vegetable and the vegetables in yellow curry are also nice and worth trying.

The Thai chicken croquetta with peanut sauce and French fries is a killer dish! The beautiful lemon grass flavor and a crunchy texture make it an amazing dish and is definitely something one must try at Tamra.  Their shredded lamb in black bean sauce is a treat for the taste buds. The fish in Thai herbs and the chicken in massaman curry transports one to the restaurants in Thailand. The perfectly cooked jasmine rice compliments all these dishes very well.

IMG_20150328_152835[1]As the name suggests, Tamra specializes in Indian food.  Beginning with the vegetarian platter, the kebabs are soft and spicy and very tasty. The paneertikka is also a big hit, in which very good quality paneer is cooked very well. The dal makhni is one of their best dishes and is a must-try.  Thick, rich and creamy, it is heaven on earth. The kumbhpalak, harabharapaneer, and poriyan (made of cabbage and coconut) are some nice dishes that go well with the masala roti. A very different kind of roti sprinkled and cooked with a variety of indian spices, is an absolute stunner! The kulcha at Tamra is also very good.  If one likes rice, the onion corn rice is a very good choice. For the non-vegetarian lovers, the Chicken Chooza is a must-try! Extremely well-marinated, with the correct balance of spices and cooked to perfection, one cannot miss this beauty at Tamra! Other non-vegetarian dishes such as dum chicken, fish curry and roganjosh are also good and worth a try. Something that caught our eye in the menu was the dahi-lahson chutney.  Interesting combination of curd and garlic, it has a unique and fresh taste and would have a cooling effect in the hot summer days.

tam chocEnding on a sweet note, the Tamra chocolate is a must-try for all the chocolate lovers. A signature Tamra dish, it has chocolate ice cream, dark chocolate disk and brownie with chocolate syrup.  The sesame biscuits and bits of tooty fruity give it a nice crunch and flavor. The overall combination is lethal! Their Pinacolada deconstructed is also another favourite. The slightly sour Teppan-seared pineapple in contrast to the sweet coconut ice cream together forms a perfect mouthful, ending the meal on a perfect note.

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.