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Culinaire

Culinaire

By Poorva Shourie

While I was growing up, like most Indians, my palate was very restricted – it usually ran wild at the thought of Indian or Continental food. I never really understood why people around me liked Chinese so much and Thai was a concept alien to me.

Till very recently I refused to recognize food from the East as a cuisine that would satisfy my taste buds; until I started my first internship.

My ex – coworker was obsessed with Chinese and Thai food and invariably most of our meetings were fixed at Oriental restaurants. My stint at company and thus with the co worker ended shortly but what lingered was my extreme fondness for her beloved cuisine.

Now I am not saying that I can have Chinese every day. No! Thank you. But whats surprising is my sudden and out-of-the-blue craving for Chinese or Thai food every now and then.

Like today, for example, while I write this article, I am babysitting my niece and I want nothing more than some well-cooked Thai Green curry accompanied with steamed rice.

And since I can’t go out (babysitting, you see) I decided to call my favorite take-out restaurant – Culinaire, in GK 2.

This little place started as a snacks joint/shack a few decades ago (I am not exaggerating here ) and it turned out the be THE place everyone in GK (and far beyond) call for some gastronomical happiness!

The food at Culinaire is scrumptious and the portions are generous.They serve Lebanese, Thai and Chinese. I sincerely feel that their Chinese and Thai surpasses their Lebanese. The Doner Kebab, for example, can not match up to the one at Arabian nights. The bread is too thick and the hummus – doesn’t taste like hummus.

However their Chinese and Thai – oh my!

It’s simple, straight to the point – an amalgamation of the right flavors. To put it simply, it is just wonderful.

I was never really fond of Thai food as pointed out earlier but Culinaire’s Thai Green curry is by far the best I have ever had. It’s light with a generous helping of bamboo shoots and baby-corn.

Culinaire has perfected most of the Chinese delicacies. The Schezwan sauce is easy on the palate – neither too hot neither too sweet, the oyster sauce is good, their dim-sums are delicious (only steamed not fried), the fried rice is a must try, their soups are authentic and their service is impeccable. Overall the experience is fulfilling for the tummy and light on the wallet.

Before I wrap up this article I would like to mention one thing – you can go to Culinaire, place your order, sit down and have your food, however in my opinion when the food is home delivered the experience is something completely different. According to me it smells delicious, it tastes better and somehow I feel their portion sizes are a little more generous during take out.

Thus the next time you are sitting and watching the Big Bang Theory (or babysitting) and Sheldon Copper orders his very famous Tangerine Chicken with Soy Sauce don’t just sit there salivating – pick up your phone and order a plate of goodness from Culinaire!

 

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KHANA KHAZANA

 

KHANA KHAZANA

-BY LOVLEEN KOCHAR

To calm my ever growling tummy I decided to head towards ‘Khana Khazana’ situated in the bustling Tughlakabad Institutional Area [nearest metro station Govindpuri].

The diner boasts of an ample space and a cosy-comfy ambience. I opted for the 1st floor seating area. After quickly settling down, I ordered ‘Chicken Tak Taka Tak’ for starters, fairly tagged with a price of Rs. 175.It was served in a very exquisite manner and tasted as delicious as it appeared on the platter. The juicy and properly cooked chicken, the right blend of spices to tickle your taste buds-made it a bingo for starters.The presentation, the taste, the chicken is bound to make your mouth water. They keep your tummy and pocket both happy by serving oodles of the dish.

P.S. You can have it for starters or can include it in the main course, as it goes well with Naan too.

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Next up was ‘Shredded lamb in garlic sauce’.  This dish comes under the non-spicy food category. It goes well with rice. Although the look was quite enticing, somehow it didn’t turn on my taste palate. Still it was an average dish. The quantity was satisfactory and it is valued at Rs. 210.

The showstopper of this restaurant has to be the TANKER. Tanker is a tub full of cold drinks (serves approx. 4 small glasses), and it compliments your entire meal perfectly. Priced at just Rs. 80, I felt blessed!

Personally I don’t like oily food, and luckily I stepped in the right place. The scrumptious and flavoursome food will surely stuff your stomach but your heart will desire for more. The polite, amicable staff and the quick service give the place a coin of vantage. All in all, it’s a nice and delectable place to satiate your belly. This beanery offers a wide variety of veg as well as non-veg dishes, so it will take many more visits to try all their delicacies.

Recommendation: VALUE FOR MONEY and DEFINITELY WORTH A VISIT!!

 

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Indian Coffee House

Back to the bygone era: Indian Coffee House, CP

By Sanskrit Nagar

A place where you have an almost ideal mix of sunlight and shade, where the wild and the civilized are in perfect harmony, no one disturbs while you brainstorm over a meal that is as cheap as it was quite a few years back. And when I say, “quite a few years back”, your mind takes you to just one place, yes Indian Coffee House.

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The oldest café in Delhi, where revolutionaries and freedom fighters once met, greets you with unbelievably cheap prices and plenty of space to sit in. The balcony or the inner area is entirely up to you. The space is enough to accommodate the daily footfall but lacks maintenance. The benches might be a tad bit uncomfortable for some but they make you feel like the second floor of Mohansingh Palace has seized time.

The staff is polite but not too interested, their uniform which has lost its charm over the years still will fascinate you. Your order will take a minimum of 20 minutes to be served unless you have super-human communication skills or a constant smile on your face. My cold coffee with ice-cream and chowmein arrived in exactly 10 minutes and were both value for money. I played safe by filling my tummy with the popular items but you could also try Dosa, Scrambled eggs or the Cheese omelet. The food has that typically generic North Indian flavor to almost everything you but it is all served fresh and hot. You could probably try everything and even then the bill wouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

A few things to note about ICH are, first – the bamboo stick beside every table. These are to shoo away monkeys who stroll about almost every day. Second – the desperate fact that ICH needs a makeover or soon it will be nothing but a place that serves cheap food. Third –  please carry a lot of patience and time when you visit ICH as you may just want to chill for a while.

Personal recommendation- Cold coffee with ice-cream

Price for two- Rs 200

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Lala ji’s poori and sabzi

Lala ji’s poori and sabzi

By Anubhav Sapra

Recently the statements by Congress MP Raseed Masood and spokesperson Raj Babbar about the availability of food between Rs. 5-12 made headlines everywhere, from national dailies to news channels. Like all others, I also  found it very hard to believe the claim and decided to check it for myself.

I tried to explore every nook and corner of the famous streets of Purani Dilli, starting from Bara Dari, Ballimaran, Matia Mahal, Lal kuan, Sardar Swarup Chowk, Khari baoli to Chandni Chowk including many kuchas and galis to find out a place where one can have a wholesome meal at Rs 5.

Nothing seemed to put an end to my search. However, on my way to Fathepuri Masjid, I located a small shop at Sardar Swarup Chowk, ‘Lala ji Poori Sabzi Wale’.The shop was crowded, a large number of people were queuing up with money in their hands to grab a plate of Lala ji’s poori and sabzi.

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Here you can get three poori(s) with aloo and chana sabzi for Rs10. The poori(s) are crisp and deep fried in the oil and sabzi is equally good with just the right amount of spices added to it.

I couldn’t help but feel amazed at the simplicity of the place, the warm hospitality, the hurrying customers, the delicious food and the astonishingly low price. Bhai Waah!
Happy Eating! 

 

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Rose Cafe

 

ROSE CAFE – SAKET

By Poorva Shourie

The other day I was talking to a friend, telling her how, being a part of the current age is a blessing in disguise. Gone are those days when we had to wait for long lost relatives to visit India and talk at length about the food, the culture and the delicacies aboard. Gone are those days too, when we could only imagine how a scone would taste after reading an Enid Blyton.

Today, especially in Delhi, every second day a new café opens literally like a mirage in a desert. One day you are walking down a very familiar street and poof, just like that, a little new shack, or café or restaurant or bistro pops up!

Delhi is like the food paradise for every true foodie.

And it was literally like that when I stumbled on this little café in Saket.  A friend usually recommends most of the places I review and thus the credit for my pleasant discover goes to my ultra cool friend – A foodie by heart and an entrepreneur by choice.

Rose Cafe 2So coming to Delhi’s latest jewel, Rose café – I can write pages after pages about how beautiful this place is. As you enter you are soothed by the ambient color coordination of pink, white and green amalgamated together. It looks like a little café straight out of a 70’s British movie – A place the Queen would recommend; a place where most Britishers would get together to “tolk” about politics and world peace over a cuppa tea!

I happened to visit Rose Café with one of my closest people and it was amazing to see how instead of me being the “food reviewer” she was the one doing my job.

We started by ordering an array of coolers. For me it was the Rose Café Iced Coffee and the other disguised connoisseur ordered a Hot Chocolate and Mint Lemonade Infused with Kaffir Lime Leaves.

The Rose Café Ice Coffee is different from your regular iced coffee because for one, they use Milkmaid instead of milk which is topped with a shot of espresso and ice. It’s sweet, yet strong. I licked the bottom of the glass clean and was tempted to order more, thats how good it was!

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The Hot Chocolate was an instant hit. It had to be, after all there were mini Marshmallows floating on top of it. I used to love the Hot chocolate from Costa, but Rose Café, with the baby Marshmallows has taken the cake! The good thing about this Hot Chocolate is that the chocolate is not overwhelming which is how a cup of Hot Chocolate should be.

The Lemonade, I personally didn’t like (my palate was spoilt by the milkmaid and the chocolate and the baby marshmallows) but my friend raved about it, so I suggest, try it and form your opinion.

Now coming to my favorite part, LE FOOD!

We ordered the Chicken House Caesar salad, Rose Café Chicken Roll and the Classic BLT.

IMG_3166The Chicken House Caesar Salad is the best available in Delhi. Yes, I know most of you would vote for Big Chill’s Caesar Salad and I thought so too, but after taking the first bite of Rose Café’s Caesar salad, I knew that it was a clear winner. It is a little off beat from your regular Caesar Salad; it’s garnished with pepper and a hint of lemon. With every bite, your palate is teased with so many flavors – it’s like the ultimate culinary turn on!

The BLT was amazing because it had a generous helping of Bacon and who doesn’t like a little extra Bacon in their sandwich?

And finally coming to the Rose Café Chicken Roll; it’s not really a roll, it’s more like a sub sandwich. The chicken is drowned in a generous helping of lemony mayonnaise and iceberg lettuce and this concoction is then spread over a super soft white beard sub sandwich. It’s a must try!

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For Dessert we had the Tiramisu and Gooey Brownie both of which are one of the best desserts I have had in Delhi.

Over all, a visit to Rose Café is an extravagant experience in itself because not only your taste buds, but also your eyes and ears are delighted to the greatest height (Beatles played away in the background).

I loved everything about Rose Café and I can guarantee that all you foodies out there will love it just as much!

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Having food, the Thai way!

 

Having food, the Thai way!

By Kanchan Bisht

No matter who you are, where you live and what you’ve achieved in life, food remains most of ours’ weakness and it is food that bonds us to people. If you’re a foodie, well then, here’s to you.
If you get tempted to have something because of its aroma, just in case you prefer spicy food, nutritious and delicious curries over regular food, you ought to try Thai food Sydney.

Thailand’s national cuisine, Thai, has every element to get your mouth water, the aroma is tempting and nutritional value is high. When you get on munching, you’d feel the essence of various Southeast Asian traditions and tastes in it. It is spicy but at the same time very delicious.

The culture- Food is one of the most prominent parts of the Thai culture, food is celebrated and never wasted. When you’re having a Thai meal, don’t think it’s going to be a regular meal which would start with sizzlers lead to the main course meal and terminate with the desert. The people of Thailand have their way, there is no 3 meal concept that is followed, whatever food is ordered, is ordered per member wise, separately for each individual and is then shared with everyone. It is hence preferred that when you go for a lunch/ dinner to a Thai restaurant, make sure you go in a huge group.

The dish- A typical Thai dish necessarily includes of all four tastes that is, sweet, sour, salty and spicy. A meal is not considered satisfactory until it has all four of these tastes reaching and satisfying the taste bud. If you notice a group of Thai people dining together, it is most likely that you’d find a non vegetarian dish, a vegetarian dish (mostly, leafy vegetables), a noodle dish and soup on their table. For desert, fresh fruits are more preferred.

Thai snacks- If you’re in a hurry, not in the mood to have a proper meal or have less money in hand, Thai snacks will help you survive. Available in big restaurants as well as roadside stalls, snacks like spring roll, salads, beefy satay, when served with spicy dips are enough to satisfy your hunger and also go easy on your pocket.

Presentation- Apart from the taste, the way a Thai dish is presented to you is enough to steal your heart. The moment the well decorated platter is placed in front of you, you automatically start feeling happy about what you’re having.  Presentation is a must for Thai dishes and is taken care of, specifically.

Must try- There are a few Thai dishes that you must try- fired rice, chicken curry, pork chops, noodles, soups, sea food, typical spring rolls to a name a few. Having a Thai dish is like eating something which involves of mixing of many spices and ingredients together to produce a subtle looking dish which is well presented and tastes exotic.
Thai food is one of the most sorted sections of the food menu of most intercontinental restaurants; apart from this you can find many local Thai restaurants elsewhere, serving authentic Thai food Sydney at affordable prices.

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Guru Da Dhaba

                              Guru Da Dhaba

                                                         By Ramneek Chawla

If you happen to walk by the lanes of sector 8,Rohini and all of a sudden you start feeling hungry, just so you know who to blame, Guru da dhaba is the small open restaurant at the corner of the street tempting your taste buds.

Started around a decade ago, it is popularly known as the ‘Mumbai film city vale’ among the locals, given the fact that Tinsel town is the place they began from originally. A basic restaurant with less fancy and more focus on quality, quantity and customer service, this place is definitely worth paying a visit.

First things first, the food is deliciously ‘northy’ and by ‘northy’ I mean, creamy, delicious, spicy and extremely mouth watering. It has everything needed to woo a Punjabi. All the foodies especially those who have a thing for north Indian food would definitely love this place. Talking about the menu, you can find almost all the vegetarian north-Indian delicacies here and that too, all of them with a GDD twist (as I call it). GDD or Guru Da Dhaba is best known for making their dishes with extra ghee without making them weirdly greasy. Ghee and not greasy, is the twist they give to their recipes and this has remained their usp.

Apart from the taste, the other thing that matter to a foodie is hygiene. Wouldn’t you just love visiting a place which is neat and tidy, has beautiful interiors, smells good and serves delicious food in clean and big supplies? Come here in the evening and you will fall in love with the place. The rate list is very pocket friendly. You don’t need to shed a huge amount of money. 2 people and Rs.200 and you’re good to go! Oh, unless you have a never-ending appetite, 200 for 2, is all you need.

The highlight of the menu is the Paneer Pasanda with naan, it is just very delicious, so much that the taste still lingers. Malai kofta, Dal makhani, Mix veg, Tadka rice, Kadhai paneer, et cetera are among the other few dishes one must try.

The best time to visit this place is after 4pm as the scorching sun won’t be quite welcoming as it is an open restaurant. But in the evening, nothing can be as good as this place. This place is not a pomp and show kind of a restaurant. Quite blissfully located at one of the busiest areas of Rohini, it is seen as a perfect family dinner destination by the localites and is visited religiously.

A cool summer evening/ a sunny winter after noon and a GDD thali, Ah! Life is good.

Edited by:Kanchan Bisht

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SPEEDY CHOW AND ROLLMAAL

MUST TRY: SPEEDY CHOW AND ROLLMAAL

By Sanskriti Nagar

My association with Speedy Chow and Rollmaal did not just begin on the 11th of October when they invited us for their food reviewing but quite before that, since the time their names caught my attention when said on the radio stations. I am sure you would have heard them too and surely would have spent a second at their exclusivity. But they certainly had much more than just exclusivity; they have a purpose, an aim. Let me just brief you through my two experiences. Our first visit was to Speedy Chow, where they presented us with pan-Asian delicacies.

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Being a vegetarian by choice, I’ll be providing insights into the vegetarian platter. In starters we were served Tom Yum vegetable soup and Raw Papaya Salad. Whereas the soup had nicely prepared fresh vegetables, the stealer was Raw Papaya Salad, done in an innovative way; raw flavors and perfect crispness it will surely kick start your appetite. Next we were served with Vegetable Momos platter which had two variants of each style and instantly, Chilli cottage cheese momos became my favorite of all of them. Vegetable noodles and Vegetable fried rice were also done nicely, each prepared to suit the taste buds of the masses. Another favourite of mine from Speedy Chow is the vegetable Khow Suey which will surely make your mouth water merely by its aromas. Don’t miss out on the desserts too, the lava cake is as perfect as it can be and the caramel cake is delicious too.

Speedy Chow was an attempt to serve food to match the lifestyle of today’s generations, serving food for the fast life. Thus, it is most popularly known to deliver food as its name, before you realize, your doorbell rings with hot, appetizing food. Other elements you can’t ignore are the peppy indoors and affordable price ranges. Overall, if you want delicious food at your doorstep when the midnight hunger attacks, speedy chow is the place to contact.

paneer tikka roll

The next great experience was at Rollmaal. Rollmaal promises to give you not just a food experience but also an overall feeling. The ambience just made my day, specially the music and the service of the staff. It is done so perfectly that you feel as if you have entered into a different world of the Rollmallistan. Rollmaal serves in two ways, either you can order from the rolls on the menus or you can get your own roll prepared. I would personally not recommend just one of the various rolls with their more interesting stuffing’s but all, as they are all done with not just lot of innovation but have added a bit of their heart too. My personal favorite from Rollmaal became the Rollmaal Desi mix and Veg Achaari Roll, both of which were rich with flavors and their very original twists. In all, Rollmaal is definitely a must visit again spot for me.

 

 

 

 

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MOCHA

MAD OVER MOCHA

By Ritika Sharma

Mocha lies amidst the exuberance of the elite mall,DLF Place,Saket. Its intensive look entices every passerby. Its vibrant furniture and distinctive roof is a treat to the eyes and something which attracts me a lot is the way they have made their lamps i.e with recycled crushed bottles.

kenya AAMocha opened its gate at Churchgate,Mumbai in December 2001.It boasted an eclectic Indo-Tibetan theme and fresh worldly coffee.Mocha was introduced to Delhi in May,2004 and had a cozy feel to it.It had a Neo Middle Eastern Lounge Theme.It has carried on the tradition of having a distinctive style when it comes to décor. Everything inside this café has its own sense of expression.

Mocha serves fast food and specializes in almost everything its menu has to offer.It has a variety of luscious shakes – Kitkat shake, Toblerone shake, Ferror rocher shake,Mocha shake top the charts.One can rejuvenate by indulging in their aromatic hot coffees.I would highly recommend their Kenya AA coffee which is highly refreshing and ambrosial.Lindt Hot Chocolate is something you would like to relish during cold winter evenings.

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My favorites are its Pizzas and Pastas. Its Red Sauce Pasta is heavily loaded with Herbs – Oregano, Thyme, Basil, lots of garlic powder ,Red hot pasta sauce.It is accompanied by a Crisp Garlic toast Penne Primavera with Vodka is also one of their scrumptious pastas. It was quite nicely greased & spiced with a flavor of vodka to it.

One can gorge on their farm fresh pizza which is a thin crust and is brimming with Mushroom,corn,assorted bell pepper, black olives, jalapenos and gouda cheese.

The smoking section is located in the outer corridor and makes for interesting and nice place with a view to sit and have hookah.

The café is very welcoming with extremely friendly waiters. Its quirkiness would make you want to visit this place again and again.

With 19 operational outlets across the country,Mocha stands out as one of the best coffee shops with its own sense of style,

ADDRESS:  252/253, DLF Place Mall, Saket, New Delhi

Phone : 011 40612823, +91 7838520899

OPENING HOURS:10:30 AM to 1 AM

COST : 800 for two people (approx.)

OVERALL RATING :4.1/5

Nearest metro stations:- Malviya Nagar metro station,Saket metro station

 

 

 

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RollMaal

RollMaal

By Aisha Bhattacharya

What is in a Roll you ask? Here at RollMaal – That is the question!!! ‘Roll ke andar kya hai?’ Located below Mocha in Defence Colony Market, RollMaal is as easy to locate as a BMW parked among 10 Santros. Okay, Bad joke, But, seriously so easy to find.

The entrance is this fascinating display of ‘Belans’ or Rolling Pins to the uninitiated. Yes, Floor to Ceiling sheets of Glass with Belans stacked in between. Very unique and so original.

The place is small and can probably seat 20 – 25 people at a time comfortably. The waiters are all dressed in kurtas and caps (Anna Hazare movement type) in khaki colour. The outfit is inspired by Rajesh Khanna’s role in the film ‘Bawarchi’. I’m not sure how many of you reading this, have even seen the film. Nevertheless, it has music to match. Old Bollywood songs that would make our parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents… (You get the hint) feel nostalgic.

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The menu is easy to go through and is extremely well divided into sections like First Class Rolls i.e. the signature items of RollMaal, Doosra Maal i.e. Gravy items , Side ka Maal i.e. accompaniments, Peenay ka Maal (yes! You guessed it!) – Beverages, Meetha Maal – desserts naturally and my Favourite part RollMaal Classics – Make your own Roll. How cool is that??! Choose your Roll – The roti or parantha you like and choose your Maal – The filling – Veg, chicken or Mutton. So easy and so much fun!

chicken tikka rollWe started with the Chicken Chettinad Southy “Mind It” Roll (Rs. 150) – A spicy Chicken laced with curry leaves wrapped in a wonderfully flaky Malabari Parantha. The Jalandhar Boneless Chicken Makhani (Rs. 180) with Ulte Tawe ka Parantha (Rs. 35) was nice. A regular Butter Chicken by any standards.

mutton keema paoI ate the highly recommended Rollu’s Mutton Keema Pav (Rs. 185) – Such a good decision! They serve a ‘Churmuri Papad’ as a side dish with everything – crushed papad with salt, pepper and a little fresh coriander. I topped the Keema Pav with this crunchy little titbit and it tasted out of this world. Keema Pav took me to a third dimension that day!

All this food was washed down with Rollu’s Desi Remix (Rs. 50) – A Lemon, Jaljeera, Soda mixture which actually tasted pretty good! Rollu’s Iced Tea (Rs. 50) is not your usual packet-wala Iced Tea so that might be disappointing for some. For me it was a great drink – fresh tea, ice, lemon and just the right amount of sugar.

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Watch out for Rollu – he’s coming around the corner to Gurgaon soon! Try and get your hands on the adorable story about Bade Rollu Saabh from Rollisthan, his grandson Rollu, Rollu’s pet Saandh – Pinky and his quick-witted love interest Rumaali who coins the phrase “Roll ke Andar kya Hai?”