Posted on

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
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

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
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 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
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 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
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

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
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

Kebab Garh Festival @ Barbeque Nation

Kebab Garh Festival @ Barbeque Nation

By Anubhav Sapra

Being a kebab freak, I dare not miss any opportunity to be at any of the kebab festivals happening anywhere in Delhi. And this time it is Barbeque Nation hosting a Kebab Garh festival in all its outlets in Delhi till 8th March, where kebab lovers can savour a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs.

Bharwan Murg TangariBarbeque Nation has never disappointed me. I was there a few months back when they hosted Pat Chapman Grills, the world festival featuring amazing grills at their outlet in Noida. And this time, I was more than just overwhelmed to taste every kebab being served in the Kebab Garh festival. I started with the Bharwan Tangri – the leg of chicken stuffed with cheese, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. It was grilled to perfection. Next was Teen Mirchi Prawns – prawns with green chillies, black pepper, and red chilli flakes. This dish was simply delectable. Having three different kinds of chillies, it was not that hot and spicy and went well with the garlic mayonnaise. Another kebab, although named the Mughlai Tali Machi, was similar to Amritsari fish and had a nice flavor of ajwain in it.

In the vegetarian section, I tried the Hariyali Kebab – a mixture of all that was green – spinach, coriander, mint, green chillies. However, the best kebab in the vegetarian section was the karela kebab – small pieces of karela stuffed with cottage cheese, lentils, and cheese. This was just cooked the right way, peeled first, then boiled, and later kept in cold water. Before I could take out the karela kebab from the skewer, the chef warned saying, “It has a bitter taste.” Keeping aside the Chef’s warning, I ate them all straight from the skewers. It was delicious without much bitterness, crisp from the outside and soft on the inside. To cater to the momos eating generation, the festival also has tandoori momos with cheese balls, named Naye Nawab ki Pasand and is served with mint chutney.

The Diwan-e-Shakahari main course for vegetarians has Akbari Paneer, the Badshahi Baingan, and the Shahi Mattar Mushroom, etc. The Diwan-e-Mansahari main course for non-vegetarians consists of dishes like Murg Lababdaar, Mutton Shah Pasanda, Nizam Fish curry, etc.

BBQN 7th Nov14162Barbeque Nation has also launched Kulfi Nation. With a basic mix of six variants – four with sticks – figs, strawberry, mangoes, and paan, and two without sticks – malai, and kesar pista, one can create their favourite toppings. As the summer is approaching, it is indeed going to be a big relief for kebab lovers to savour the succulent kebabs on the table and end the meal with kulfi.

Meal for two: Rs 1600

Outlets: Janakpuri, Connaught Place and Jangpura

Anubhav Sapra
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

Holi Celebrations @Zambar

Holi Celebrations @Zambar

With a Scrumptious Rainbow Holi Thali and Chocolate Bomb Ghujiya!

By Bhuvaneshwari Sivakumar

Date – 5th and 6th March 2015

Timings –12 noon to 11 pm

Outlets – Ambience Mall, Gurgaon and DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon

Zambar – The Coastal Kitchen has come up with a special thali to celebrate the festive occasion of Holi. After the wild and crazy holi celebrations, an afternoon meal at this famed south-Indian restaurant is the perfect choice!

WP_20150305_019

Our trip to Zambar on 5th March was filled with wonderful surprises. The afternoon started with a glassful of hot rasam – a soup that south-Indians are accustomed to eating with rice in between a three-course meal – and a basketful of appalams (Papad). To serve the rasam an appetizer was not a bad idea at all. It had the right amount of tanginess; just enough to whet your appetite. Plus, drinking it out of a glass is always fun!

What followed was a treat to the eyes and to the taste buds as well! The Rainbow Holi Thali (Non-Veg), with a Malabar parotta bang at the center surrounded by a host of delectable dishes from across the South, was a culinary delight.

WP_20150305_010

The sambhar tasted brilliant. It was exactly how one would prepare it at home – balanced flavors, and perfect consistency. The only downside was that there was nothing to eat it with. A bowl of white rice would have been perfect.

The parotta was as authentic as the sambhar. It would have been better if it was a little thinner. It was well-roasted otherwise.

There were three dishes that you could team with the parotta – Chettinad Mutton Curry, Nilgiri Korma and Paneer Curry. The Chettinad Mutton Curry was the best dish on the thali, followed by the Nilgiri Chicken Korma, which is a famous Hyderabadi cuisine. With its delicious curry and succulent paneer cubes, the Paneer Curry was a close competitor to these two Non-veg dishes.

The next amazing dish on the plate was the Vegetable Thoran. It is a stir fry dish from Kerala made of finely chopped vegetables, famous for its simplicity. This particular thoran was prepared with beans, carrots and grated coconut. We were bowled over by its minimal yet incredible taste.

The lemon rice was a stand-alone dish. It was neither lemony nor was the choice of rice used correct. Using basmati rice for preparing lemon rice is an absolute no. A bowl of white rice in its place would have worked wonders for the thali. The same goes for the Chicken 65 which was dry and unsavory. Both these dishes were the weak points of an otherwise brilliantly-prepared and wholesome thali.

 Our afternoon meal ended with a plate of delectable Chocolate Ghujiyas and a cup of filter coffee. After such a heavy meal, we were unsure if we would be able to eat the ghujiyas. But one bite was enough to put an end to our suspicions. They were absolutely light and left you feeling pleasant! We even got a few packed to take home with us. Well, we just finished eating one each in the course of writing this review. Get up and head straight to Zambar! Now!

     WP_20150305_014     WP_20150305_017 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anubhav Sapra
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

Made in Punjab

Made in Punjab

By Anubhav Sapra

Cyber Hub is one place in Gurgaon which is constantly abuzz with corporate life. During lunch hours, corporate employees can be seen anywhere and everywhere in the cafes, restaurants, sharing meal with their colleagues. It shall only be apt that Cyber Hub should rename itself Food Hub as there are a wide array of options to choose from the list of restaurants to dine at. A sign board guides the way to different restaurants with discounts on offer. I was there the other day for lunch. Being a true Punjabi, I opted for ‘Made in Punjab’ situated on the ground floor of Cyber Hub, Gurgaon.

‘Made in Punjab’, a unit of Massive Restaurants, is owned by Mr. Zorawar Kalra, son of legendary Chef Jiggs Kalra. ‘Made in Punjab’ is one of the six restaurants that opened their outlets in 2013 when Cyber Hub started. Chef Pradeep Negi, Chef Moin Qureshi, Chef Mahavir, and Chef Mayank Bajaj have put their heart and soul in curating the dishes on the menu.

beetroot tikkiI tried all the dishes from the buffet menu which is priced at Rs 795/- (inclusive of taxes). I also tried a few from the a la carte menu as I wanted to taste some of their signature dishes. The buffet menu changes every day. There are different menus for different days. I went to Made in Punjab on a Wednesday. Customers are served starters on the table. First, there were gol guppas and papdi chaat on the table. The gol guppas were crispy, but seemed to have got soggy on their way from kitchen to the table. I was served mutton seekh kebab, mutton minced patty, murgh malai tikka, roasted chicken and fish tikka. All the starters were a bit dry for me except the seekh kebabs. They also brought the beetroot kebab and dahi kebab (not the part of buffet menu) to the table. These were very soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, which seems to me the perfect combination. Again, two other interesting dishes that need a special mention here are bhatti murgh and mutton chaap. The mutton chaap was simply excellent and a must try! An interesting part of the buffet menu is the variety of pickles that they serve – amla, shalgam, carrot, kathal and onion.

mutton 'made in punjab'In the main course, I tried the home style cooked chicken curry, rarah mutton and chicken biryani. Again, apart from the chicken biryani, the other dishes lacked texture and authentic taste. The Punjabi flavors were missing. However, I must admit that the taste is completely different, if one tries the same dish from the a la carte menu. In fact, it happens in all the restaurants. From the a la carte menu, I tried a few dishes which tasted excellent. One such dish was “Mutton Made in Punjab” which was cooked to simple perfection. It was so soft that the meat was almost falling off the bone. I enjoyed this dish to the core. The other dish was murgh makhani, boneless chicken made in the traditional Delhi style gravy. I liked its consistency. The chef revealed that they make this dish without the seeds of tomato which gives it a smooth texture. I relished it with garlic naan.

sarson da saagBut what came to be a surprise was the makke di roti and sarson da saag. Sarson da saag was served in a small clay pot, garnished with butter and small tomato slices. It had a nice, subtle texture. The aroma of the clay made it a dish worth trying. It went well with the buttered makke di roti. I enjoyed every bite of it.

The signature dessert of Made in Punjab is thin and finely made, crispy jalebis served with thick rabri. Phirni was equally a delight to the taste buds to round off the meal.

Made in Punjab also have discounted offers for people working in the corporate sector. Hungry souls there might find their refuge here. Also, people who hold American Express cards can dine with their membership rewards points not just at Made in Punjab, but at several other restaurants in Gurgaon such as Farzi, Zambar, Canton Spice, Sutra, and Imperfecto, to name a few. I think I should better hold its card, just for food.

 bhatti murgh dum ki chicken briyani pindi channa

Photos: Massive Restaurants

Anubhav Sapra
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

Bulldogs

Bulldogs

By Anubhav Sapra

I got a chance to visit the recently opened lounge, Bulldogs, in Hauz Khas Village and try out their unique delicacies. Bulldogs is spread over three levels, each one having its own unique characteristic. The first level is a bed lounge with lower seating, the second level is a sofa lounge, and the third level is the terrace, quite closer to the sky. I seem to have been dating the stars, that day. Indeed, it was a great feeling to be close to nature. Bulldogs also has the unique concept of a ‘drink exchange game’, a  guest driven, all day long, happy hour where the prices rise or crash and one can buy drinks at literally rock bottom prices. Sounds interesting! Though, it is quite an audacious attempt for one who risks it.

Bulldogs Ambience - 2The music was at its peak at the bed and the sofa level. For those who enjoy loud music, it seems to be a treat. However, I prefer it to be mild. On request, they lowered down the pitch at the terrace level. As I seemed to be alone at the level, it worked for me. I found myself a comfortable sofa with a bonfire stand besides it. It was quite a pleasant feeling. The staff was warm and welcoming and would do their best to make you feel at home.

I was overwhelmed to meet the chef there, Mr. Yograj Chauhan. ‘Humble’ would be just the right adjective for him. The chef graciously introduced me to some of the most exotic dishes on their menu. The chef first served me with a platter of short dogs, which are basically bite-sized hot dogs. I tried some vegetarian and non-vegetarian ones, a few of them being: mutton seekh, murgh malai tikka, butter chicken. The buns were soft and the fillings were excellent in taste. If you are fond of mushrooms, try the short dog laden with cheese and mushroom. It was simply the best! I enjoyed every bite of the short dogs I had. If you ask for a platter, you are free to choose any four short, hot dog fillings based on your taste preferences.

Food Shot - 2In Bulldog’s Quick Bites menu, I had stuffed cheese mushrooms (crispy fried mushroom stuffed with cheese), chicken popcorns (crumb fried chicken pieces), fish sticks (crispy breaded fish served with tartar sauce). All the dishes in the Quick Bites menu were delectable except the seekh kebabs which were a bit dry for me. In the main course, I could only try the juicy and succulent pork chops, marinated with Italian herbs and served with mashed potatoes, as I was already too full.

Food Shot - 4Desserts are a must for me, even with a full stomach. I had an apple pie and a choco lava cake with vanilla ice cream. I enjoyed the apple pie, usually not found so easily. The menu has a long list of interesting dishes in the main course like lemon butter fish (pan fried sole in lemon butter sauce), spicy tiger prawns (tiger prawns marinated with chillies, and served with crispy rice, salad and thyme veloute sauce) and stuffed chicken breast (chicken breast stuffed with spinach, cheese, jalapeno, served with lyonnaise potato and salad). As the quick bites were excellent, I am sure the rest of the main course would be amazing too. I am now planning to go back to try them all soon.

Address:  Bulldogs: T – 6B, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Floor, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi-110016

For reservations and enquiries: +91.9810004215 / +91.9810102306 / +91.9810088667 / +91.11.43524216

Timings: 12:00 Noon – 12:30 AM

Meal for 2: Rs.800 ++ (Without Alcohol)  & Rs.1200 ++ (with Alcohol)

Anubhav Sapra
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

Market Café’s all-new Winter Menu

Market Café’s all-new Winter Menu

By Anubhav Sapra

 

Recently, I was invited to review the winter special menu of Market Café, a multi cuisine restaurant in Khan Market. Market Café is well known for its Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine. It has a nice terrace where one can bask in the sun, and experience the incomparable view of the lush greenery around.

WP_20150123_14_12_09_ProI started my food journey with a hot piping roasted pumpkin and beetroot soup served with their in-house baked bread, lightly buttered and toasted. The soup was thick and had a nice texture with small pieces of roasted pumpkin in it. I also tasted the zesty chicken soup, which had the right tinge of lemon with some little chicken chunks.

WP_20150123_14_28_32_ProOn Mr. Ajay’s recommendation, the restaurant manager, I was served Asparagus Cigar Rolls and Mumbai Street Sandwich. The Mumbai Street Sandwich was stuffed with potatoes, peas, cucumber, onions, and tomatoes. The insides of both the breads were wrapped evenly with coriander and mint chutney. I loved the way the Mumbai Street Sandwich was made, with sweet and savory chutney, which was a nice combination indeed. It seemed that the chef made it the way I liked. The other starter, the Asparagus Cigar Rolls were a bit of a disappointment. The oil overpowered the crust and cheese seemed to have mixed itself well with the oil.

WP_20150123_15_25_18_ProIn the main course, I was served the London fish and chips, which consisted of crumbed fried fish fillet served with tartar sauce. Although fried, it was light and delicious, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The taste was simply awesome. Chicken parmesan was another dish. The sight of it was heavenly. It seemed to have a breaded base and a fried chicken breast layered with tomato sauce, further topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The chicken was juicy and soft with all the ingredients in right amount. Till the time I could taste another dish, I was quite full but could not resist my carnivore instinct and straightaway, asked for lamb chops with three pepper sauce. The grilled lamb chop was tossed with cayenne white pepper, paprika, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Yet another dish served was the Pesto Delight, a pizza with my favourite pesto sauce. The aroma of it was enough to feed my senses. Thin crust pizza was wrapped in pesto sauce, served with farm vegetables, and was topped with mozzarella cheese. However, the crust being thin was also crispier.

WP_20150123_15_49_00_ProI rounded off my food journey with the all the three signature desserts of Market Café – Tiramisu, Philadelphia Cheesecake, and Gooey Chocolate. It was indeed a great treat for my taste buds.

Also included in the winter menu is the barbeque on the terrace. The winter menu has a wide array of other delectable dishes and is available till March 31st, 2015, everyday from 12 noon to 12 midnight. Bask in the sun this winter. Go on to have a wonderful lunch on Market café’s terrace!

Address: 8, Khan Market

M-40, FF, GK-2, Main Market.

Cost of meal for 2 – Rs. 1400.

Anubhav Sapra
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.