Satisfy your Japanese hankerings @Nagai, Sec 29, Gurgaon

Sector 29 boasts of being home to a wide variety of restaurants and pubs churning out some kickass grub. New in line is a Japanese eatery called Nagai located away from the main market near Lime Tree Hotel.

The restaurant is all about delicious and healthy Japanese dishes offering a huge variety to choose from. Apart from the regular menu, they also have a Set Business Lunch that is actually a good deal for those who like to indulge and we couldn’t wait to dive in!

IMG_3040Get in early and grab the best spot in the house. It’s a beautiful long table by the window with a geisha backdrop, lovely view of the fountain outside and comfortable floor seating with a space to drop your legs in. So cosy!

 

Get Set Gobble

IMG_3030Your first choice of order at a Japanese restaurant should be their Chicken Gyoza. I am completely in love with these pot stickers that are slightly crispy at the bottom. The flavour of the chicken filling is beautiful. If you are a vegetarian, the Tofu & Mushroom Gyoza is your best choice.

From the sushi selection, I tried the Crispy Avocado roll and the Spicy double mushroom roll. Both dishes had been prepared immaculately with all vegetarian ingredients. Sushi lovers are bound to be wooed by these delicacies. I am still new to sushi and helping my palate develop to the taste but I’ve come a long way now. I really enjoyed the California roll which has fried prawn in the centre with rice outside that is a great choice for beginners.

IMG_3035I really wanted to give the noodles a try and went in for the Vegetable Yaki Udon. Accentuated with Japanese spices and vegetables, the dish is perfect to eat by itself or a great accompaniment to the Teppenyaki chicken. Another traditional Japanese style of preparation, the grilled chicken is cooked well and tossed in a light sauce with broccoli and babycorn.

When at the restaurant, do order the Tempura King Prawn, it’s amazing. This is another star dish on the menu with absolutely fresh seafood. Don’t forget to try it with the dipping sauce as it is an essential ingredient to impart flavour to the tempura fry.

The Salmon teriyaki is one dish we would come back for again and again. The generously portioned fillet of salmon is cooked perfectly to say the least. The teriyaki sauce imparts a beautiful flavour to it and making it a great dish. It’s specially perfect if you are on a diet or watching your weight…it couldn’t get healthier than this!

From the dessert selection we tried the Dark Chocolate & Cinnamon Semifrodo and Apple & Cinnamon Millefeuille. We preferred the latter with crispy flaky pastry covered in a sweet sauce, served with vanilla ice cream.

 

Where: SCO 305, Ground Floor, Huda Gymkhana Road, Behind The Pllazio Hotel, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Meal price: Unlimited Set Menu lunch from 12-3pm @ ₹795+TAX per person
Nagai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

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Do the Dhansak Dikra…coz that’s the Parsi way! @SodaBottleOpenerWala, Khan Market

SodaBottleOpenerWala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

NYC, Radisson Blue Plaza, Mahipalpur

A beautiful brunch option that is close to Gurgaon is NYC by Radisson. We choose this restaurant to try their buffet meal and had an excellent time. It doesn’t take too long to get there from Gurgaon…I think it was about 20 minutes by car. You need to take the U-turn just at the airport cut and make your way to the hotel. I have passed this hotel many times and dropped in here to pick up items from their bakery however I never understood how massive this property is on those occasions. As we took a stroll through after eating (obviously we got over indulgent and ate more than we should), we got to see how far they spread…and it was beautiful. They have many dining options from restaurants and bars that give you choices according to your needs and deliver to the best of their abilities. Being a five star property it was no doubt that the service would be exceptional and we did not get a chance to complain. 

As you enter, you are greeted by a server and can pick where you wish to sit. They have a huge area with tables set out on all sides with the food in the center. You can choose to combine tables to make for a large corporate meal setup or sit by smaller tables near the wine section. No matter what you choose, you will not be too far from the food. Isn’t that one of the main deciding factors at a buffet…to pick a place that is not too distant from the food so you don’t feel lazy walking back again and again to grab a bite :-P.

Get set gobble: 

There is just so much to try at a buffet. As you enter there is a counter in front of you with the desserts displayed and my heart was set to keep enough space in my tummy to try them out at the end. There is a large rectangular counter in the center with the dishes laid out in sections of starters, Mediterranean bites and mains. 

At the outset we decided that it was not possible to try everything if we actually take big portion servings on our plate so we chose to divide an conquer. I would fill my plate with one set of items and my friend the other, then back at the table we would share our way into finishing everything we had picked. I am absolutely against the wastage of food and hate when people take more than they wish to eat. This happens especially in buffets where temptation takes control and we end up picking a lot of things that we practically cannot finish by ourselves. If you can, stick to small portions of dishes and head back for more when you know you liked something in particular. Share your plates, not only does it help you bond with your mate but it is so much fun and adds a little life to an otherwise dull or quiet table. Eventually all of us got down to sharing plates by the time we reached the desserts and it was amazing as we bit into items and debated on who liked what!

I just want to focus on the things that I tried and loved so you know what to grab. I am also leaving you with their menu (at the end of this post) to browse through so you know what dishes catch your fancy and you can give them a try.

~ Drinks – First things first we found a table with a beautiful view of the pool and settled down. After a glass of water or two we order some drinks for ourselves. I really enjoyed the Green Apple Mojito while my friend tried the Blue topaz. His was a drink with a sparkling blue hue served with a glass full of crushed ice…quite perfect considering the weather. 

~ Starters – Next we got up and first took a stroll around the area taking in everything that was on offer and making mental notes of what stood out and the dishes we just had to try. I started with their papdi counter that had options like bhalla papdi, dhokla, aloo tikki, khandvee, etc. The chaat counter was a live station with a chef to prepare the items for you. We tried the Papadi chaat that didn’t have the most glorious presentation but certainly tasted lovely. Next we had the Golgappa that were made of sjui (which I love), somehow I can’t wrap my head around the atta ones. Also tried the Bhel which had a nice crunch. Overall it was a great way to begin the meal.

Next we went for the continental starters that had options of Grilled stuffed chicken breast with market vegetables and natural jus. I quite enjoyed the chicken that had a great crust and grilled veggies with it. DSC_0857

There were a lot of items in the Mediterranen mezze section but I gave it a pass. I headed over to the little vegetarian and non vegetarian starters. The cold starters were neatly laid out in rows and each was presented in its own little dish so it was very convenient to pick one. I grabbed a few and made my way to the table. I really loved the Poached prawn in cocktail sauce that was just delicious. The prawns had been cooked perfectly and went really well with the cold creamy sauce. Also the Grilled chicken with pomegranate and lime vinagrette was absolutely delicious. Lastly the Roasted lamb with artichoke and mustard also didn’t disappoint. Overall I love the bite sized portions. On the vegetarian starter I did like was the Orange and walnut salad.

Mains – In the main course we were spoilt for choice with a lot of options from Indian to Chinese dishes. So the trick was to grab a plate and take spoonfuls from 6-7 bowls at a go. This turned out great coz every few minutes one of us would walk up and get samplers for the other to try. Their Indian curries were definitely worth a try with the Dal Makhani, Allepy fish curry and Murh Lahori along with the Lucknowi Dum Biryani. They served a selection of breads at the table.

In the Continental section I absolutely loved the Pan seared fish with lime, asparagus, olives and herbs. The fish was soft and flaky and the subtle flavours helped highlight the fish rather than havinf sauces that tend to over power it. Also loved the Lamb Mansaf where the meat had been prepared so tenderly.

I am not the biggest Asian fan so I did not try a lot of things. Their Steamed fish with lemongrass  is definitely something to taste. Overall I saw that they have great cooked fish and lamb. All the dishes that incorporated these were sure shot standouts. If the meat is cooked very well, there is little you need to do in terms of spices and gravies. Playing with this to their advantage, they have done a great job with the dishes.

~ Live kitchen – From the live counter they had sample dishes plated for display along with the names so it made for an easy choice. I definitely wanted to try the Moroccan prawns  that not only looked beautiful but tasted great too so much so that my friend decided he was up for trying seafood for the first time and he wasn’t disappointed. Another standout was the Suke dhaniye and Lal mirch ki machli that had little batter fried pieces of fish that was cooked perfectly. I loved the spicy coating it had.

I really wanted to try out their pizza and between the table we were both vegetarians and non vegetarians so we asked if the chef could create a Half and half pizza for us and he accommodated the request. The veg version was topped with mushroom, babycorn, bell peppers and olives while the non veg side kept it simple with pepperoni. The pizza was absolutely yumm and baked to a crispy perfection. It had generous amounts of melted cheese on top.

~ Desserts – Whats not to love in desserts? I think I literally tried everything! I love buffets that have huge dessert selection and having already had surveyed the entire counter at the beginning, I picked up various items that I was keen to try out. It was just so good looking that I couldn’t keep my hands off anything as I piled up the plate.

Totally in love with the little Chocolate cup cakes. They were so moist and the addition of chocolate chips gave it a nice texture. It was so small and yet so delicious. The cake was light and had a good flavour of chocolate running through. Also you have to try the Fruit tarts that were filled with a layer of custard and topped with slices of different fruits. Easy to pick one drop in your mouth, they were the perfect size.

The Baklava was actually quite good and I liked the size of each portion which was enough to taste but not too much that the stickiness gets overpowering. It was generously loaded with pistachios. Blueberry panacotta looked like an elegant dessert with muted flavours. Eat it with the blueberry syrup to bring it all together. Without it you won’t have much flavor so make sure you get a little in every spoonful.

Chocolate souffle was a decadent dessert that looked as good as it tasted. Other items like the Raspberry yoghurt parfait and Mango creme brulee brought some freshness to the dessert selection.

You cannot miss the Chocolate tiramisu cup that look glorious with the soft cream on top with a praline disc for decoration. I also like the Coconut and Praline Mousse that had a good balance of sweetness. There was also the Almond cake but I found it a bit low in flavour considering all the rich desserts I had already eaten.

IMG_5471There was a counter with different Ice cream sorbets on offer and we picked a glass to make our own sundae. We chose the mango and strawberry flavour and added the strawberry jam on the bottom then scoops of ice cream on it. Then we put raspberry jam on top and lastly some crushed cookies for crunch. It looked beautiful with all the colours and caught everyone’s attention as we walked back with it towards the table. 

I think the best part about eating a buffet is the fact that you can enjoy different dishes that suit your palette without having to compromise on a group consensus on the order of dishes. Also there are simply too many choices and never have I ever been able to eat everything on offer. I also do enjoy the feeling of being spoilt where I can go back for repeats of anything that took my fancy.

Go for:

The staff is very hospitable. If you have any special request don’t be afraid to voice them. Great dish variety. 

menu

NYC - Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wok in the Clouds, Khan Market

Khan market is a one stop destination for food and shopping. It has a great mix of cafes, pubs and restaurants guaranteed to deliver according to your needs. It has always boasted of being a trendy location for fashion and food alike and you are sure to be amazed at the variety you can find in each field. I made my way to Wok in the Clouds for a family meal with my parents and granny. My parents are a bit lazy when it comes to travelling long distances for their food and prefer to eat in the comfort of their own home. Travelling from Gurgaon towards Delhi can be quite taxing moreover with the weather we are currently experiencing…there are unexpected showers and resultant jams that bog down your mood. My granny however is more outgoing and loves to gather the family together for experiences outside the home. Hence I decided we venture into Khan Market to show them what the place was like.

Don’t be judgmental about the narrow roads and parking. The place seems crowded and small but there are ample spots to leave your car in and we were able to do so within minutes of arriving. We walked into the market and were able to locate the restaurant with some help from google maps and the remaining from the street stall owners. The restaurant is located up a flight of stairs and though my granny isn’t keen on making the journey, I’m glad she did and we got the chance to try the place out.

The first floor has a semi-fine dining seating with lots of tables placed around to utilize the space but yet giving them a sense of privacy from the next one. One item that caught my attention was the ceiling that had a series of empty bottles hanging down as lamps. Venture one floor up and there is a lounge with a bar and natural light flooding in from the huge windows. They have a small seating outside as well but we couldn’t enjoy it as it rained unexpectedly during our visit there. It’s a no-brainer that I chose to sit upstairs by the windows :-D.

Get Set Gobble:

~ Drinks – We sipped to some Masala lemonade that my granny really liked and got repeats of it through the meal. I tried the Kokum soda which was fabulous. It had a great combination of sweet and tangy. My dad went for the Watermelon cooler looking for something more sweet and refreshing. MUST TRY

~ Watermelon salad – We started off with a refreshing watermelon salad that had scooped circular pieces of watermelon along with feta cheese and a sprinkling of pine nuts. The watermelon was hollowed out and used as a bowl to serve the salad in.IMG_4683

~ Fish Double spicy – The name very accurately mentions that the spice is high and can I tell you that it was. If you are a spice lover, you will enjoy this dish. However, don’t worry, it isn’t too over powering that the fish cannot be enjoyed but watch out for the pieces of red chilli in the stir fry. Eat some of those and you might end up sweating 😛 MUST TRY

~ Corn and peas salt and pepper – I quite enjoyed this preparation as it had a mix of corn, peas and stir fried vegetables that packed a good crunch. Loved the addition of the peas to the otherwise boring corn dish we are used to eating. MUST TRYIMG_4688

~ Dahi ke kebab – This was one amazing dish in terms of taste and presentation. The kebabs were coated in crunchy papad and deep fried to give it that lovely golden brown colour. It had a great contrast of texture with the crispy outer layer and soft curd on the inside. The kebabs came on little sticks and it was really convenient to pick up, dip them into some chutney and bite into. MUST ORDER

~ Chilli garlic prawns – These weren’t too spicy at all. Fried perfectly. It’s the first time that I have seen chillies as big as these in a stir fry…quite interesting! I steered clear of them 😛

~ Tandoori bharwan dum paneer kali mirch – I am a huge fan of the addition of dry fruits in savoury dishes. The paneer pieces are layered in the middle with a mix of sweet and savoury dry fruit mixture tossed in black pepper that gives it a unique taste. I quite enjoyed this and went back for repeats. MUST ORDER

~ Bhatti ka murg – The chicken was tender. Also I appreciate when restaurants give you that little foil as the bottom to help ease into eating the pieces. The chicken is coated in spices like nutmeg, clove, star anise and green cardamom.IMG_4700

~ Desi ghee chicken curry – Just the name made me feel this would be one lip smacking dish and I was not wrong! The gravy had so much flavour packed into it that I dipped away endlessly into it. The chicken pieces were absolutely tender on the bone. MUST ORDERIMG_4668

~ Mutton rara – The dish had mutton pieces cooked in a thick gravy of mutton keema and topped with boiled eggs. This was slightly spicy but the thick tomato keema gravy was quite delicious. This is a great dish for when you can’t decide whether you want to order mutton pieces or mutton mince. MUST TRY

~ Paneer butter masala – This was done oh so right. The chunks of paneer were huge and submerged in a rich creamy tomato and onion gravy. The spices weren’t too high and this was something that my granny enjoyed eating.

~ Dal Makhani – The dal was rich and topped with a dollop of white butter and cream. I liked the cutlery that was used to serve the dishes in as it went in sync with what was on order. Their dal is simmered overnight to give it a rich flavour.IMG_4670

~ Breads – We ordered a variety of breads to dip into our gravies like garlic naan, lachha parantha and tandoori roti. All were well prepared and didn’t take too long to arrive once we placed the order.IMG_4675

~ Atlantic Salmon fillet – Personally this is one dish I would not have thought of ordering at this restaurant. I know the menu had a large selection of Indian and Chinese dishes so had essentially stuck to it mostly throughout the meal. Fortunately my father read this on one of their boards up on the wall listing the Chef’s recommendation and was insistent to give it a try. I am glad I did not talk him out of it as this was a surprisingly well prepared dish. The fillets of salmon were cooked perfectly and were soft and flaky on the inside. It was topped with a creamy sauce. Usually sauces end up diverting attention away from the fish but this onehelped enhance the flavours really well. It came with a side of grilled vegetables and even though we had a nice selection of dishes on the table, all three of us went straight for this dish and did not stop until we had cleaned the whole plate up! MUST ORDER

~ Desserts – Frankly with all that we had eaten I completely crossed off ordering dessert but my family protested that we end on a sweet note so we ordered two items. One was their Kulfi platter that had flavours like coconut, chocolate chip, mango and rose. I liked the mango one the most and my granny liked the chocolate chip! We also tried the Sizzling brownie that came with a  bit of theater as the server poured some hot chocolate on it at the table to give it that little smoke effect and sizzle. It had loads of dry fruits in it and was quite rich. DO TRY

Obviously we all know that after a certain age you tend to get sensitive in terms of spices used in cooking and the tenderness of ingredients. When I saw that my granny managed to have herself a hearty meal and complemented me on my choice of venue did I realize that the restaurant had indeed done a good job.

Go for:

Hearty family meals. Good service. Huge selection of dishes on the menu.

Wok  In The Clouds Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Feng Shuii – The art of Oriental Dining

The Gallery on MG is a popular destination for wedding shoppers and houses some great Indian designers. Located just off MG road after Sultanpur metro station (when coming from Gurgaon), it is easy to locate and I have always associated it with the landmark of the huge tree with the falling lights…regular commuters on that road will know what I’m talking about.

They have recently opened a space right next to it and dedicated it to food joints. You can currently see Bartista up and front and there are a series of food joints lined up to open there soon. I visited Feng Shuii and got my dose of some Chinese done right!

The interiors are done up in a theme of golden hues with statues of Buddha, fish and other Chinese Feng Shui lucky charms. They have a good amount of space that has been utilized to create a simple seating atmosphere. Their menu is a no fuss Chinese selection that caters somewhat to our Indian taste buds. The idea is to take you back to the simple dining pleasures from our childhood.

Get Set Gobble:

~ Drinks – I tried the Mocha Express that was a rich Chocolate shake blended with ice cream. They do have a lot of juice varieties on offer like the energy booster or fruit smoothie that has healthy ingredient choices like spinach, celery, watermelon, pineapple and more so go ahead and pick what suits your taste buds.IMG_4330

~ Starters – No Chinese meal is complete without some dimsums. I am totally cray-cray about them! I tried their Juicy Chicken dimsum and the name was quite appropriate. The filling was juicy in every bite and they had been steamed perfectly. Dip them into the chilli sauce and you are in for a great combination. MUST ORDER. Also we tried their Prawn dimsums that were quite good.

The Chicken satay was a little dry for my taste buds. The Siamese fish was superb! It was soft and I loved the spices it had been tossed in; they gave it an amazing flavour. MUST ORDER. The Chilli paneer was also well prepared and looked tempting with its sticky sauce coating and fresh greens tossed on top. If you are a vegetarian, you’ll certainly enjoy this.

~ Mains – So they have a really unique way of presenting the main course. It was a buffet where you didn’t have to walk to it, but instead they buffet came to you! If I didn’t have enough excuses for being lazy, they just added one to my list :-D. There are metal containers on wheels on which the dishes are laid out and rolled to the table. They have a heating system inside to keep the food nice and warm. I really enjoyed this bit. The server walked up with different dishes on to the table and we took what we wanted in the comfort of our chairs 😛

Their Fish in black bean sauce was definitely a winner for me. It had been cooked perfectly and the sauce was just right. The Chicken in sweet chilli sauce wasn’t as tender as I had though it would be. There was also the option of Green thai curry with steamed rice for the vegetarians.

But they say save the good for the last and I finally got to try the Nasi Goreng along with the Massaman curry. This was the best main I think as it had lots of flavour packed into the it. The rice was flavourful and had lots of pieces of meat in it. Also the curry had a nice taste with the addition of peanuts and fried onions and brought the whole dish together. MUST ORDER. There’s also hakka noodles and fried rice on order.

~ Dessert – To satisfy the sweet tooth we ordered the chocolate cake and it was quite good. Sweet endings to a good meal.IMG_4324

Go for:

Fish preparations. Simple cooking. No fuss meals. Family dining.
Fengshuii. The art of Oriental Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ikka – The Ace Bar, Rajouri Garden

I ventured to Rajouri Garden at the request of  a friend to try out this place. It is located right on the main road and just a couple of steps away from the metro station hence it’s pretty accessible. However, living in Gurgaon kind of gives you a mental block and somehow I have never managed to travel this far. This was my first trip to Rajouri Garden and I was quite happy with the fact that I choose to make the journey. The food was a delight and it was a great way to spend my Sunday.

The restaurant is located on two floors, 3rd and 4th. We took the elevator up and choose to dine on the 3rd. I did happen to walk up to the 4th as their washrooms are upstairs. The interiors are rather simple and there isn’t much happening in terms of decor. It has the overall look of something like a cave with nude colours. The pop of bright comes through the violet velvet couches and cushions scattered around or through the floral printed chairs. I love the fact that it had large glass windows that allow natural light to flood in and gives you a view of the ever busy Rajouri garden main road.

There is a bar located on both floors. I think downstairs is more of a sit and dine option and is great for families whereas upstairs has a DJ and dance floor that attracts the young crowd.

Get Set Gobble:

~ Life at the bar – They have a super yummy Chocolate shake that you have to try! Their Kala khatta rum was quite nice with tangy flavours and is presented in a nice purple hue. Also the Pommogranate Caprioska has a refreshing taste and is topped with pearls of pomegranates as well. However their Chocotini was my favourite. It not only had a great balance of coffee flavour but the addition of chocolate crumbs gave it a great contrasting texture in every sip. Loved it so much so that I had it on repeat mode. Just wasn’t in the mood to try anything else after this.

~ Starters – Most of you who know me personally or thorough my blog know that I tend to concentrate on non vegetarian options rather than vegetarian. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I was trying out a lot of their vegetarian starters and they not only looked great, but tasted great too. The Dahi ke kebab with green apple was quite good. The textural contrasts were perfect with a crispy exterior and soft melt in your mouth curd inside. Also tried their BBQ soya chaap but frankly found these a little chewy and I am wondering whether it was the dish or the fact that it was soya 😛

The Falafel was surprisingly good. It was so crispy on the outside and the cutlet in itself had so much flavour. Do try this and you will not be disappointed. The Peshawari paneer tikka had a nice creamy coating outside and wasn’t too strong on spices. The paneer cubes melted in your mouth in every bite.

Ikka fried tandoori wings did not impress me as I found them to be a little on the sweeter side and would have preferred a little more spice. Also they were low on seasoning. Their Prawn Aop was quite a nice dish and the prawns had been very well prepared. The sauce was creamy and really accentuated the flavour though my friend on the other side of the table did complain a little about the smell from them.

Crunchy lollipops were presented in a truck and they looked shiny and tempting as they had been covered in a sticky sauce. It was quite good and the marinade had some spice in it. The Butter chicken spring rolls was an innovative dish and I tried something like this for the first time.Butter chicken is an amazing dish in itself, didn’t think it could get any better and then Ikka just revamped it into these amazing spring rolls! Flaky pastry that is fried to perfection is filled with chicken pieces. The dip with it is the butter chicken gravy itself. Generously dip into it before each bite and be transformed to heaven. It is truly delicious. MUST ORDER

~ Mains – Finally we made our way to the main course. The Non veg pizza looked quite delicious but it failed to impress me. It lacked flavours and some seasoning as well. We moved on to our hearty Indian mains and ordered the Dal Makhani. It was rich and looked delicious. I really liked that fact that it did not have the undertone of sweetness and the spices shone instead.

The Paneer lababdaar had a rich gravy with good chunks of paneer. It wasn’t too spicy and had a sweetish taste from the tomato gravy. This restaurant obviously has its Butter chciken recipe mastered. We already saw proof of that through the spring roll dish. The gravy was lip smacking an was my favorite main course dish. Paired it with a garlic naan and I was again in heaven :-D. Mutton rogn josh had an amazing curry and the pieces of mutton were tender.

We accompanied these with assorted breads like lachha parantha and naan and the biryani that came with a serving of raita and papad on the side.

Go for:

Delicious food. Indian main course. Interesting cocktails.

IKKA - The Ace Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

R The Lounge, Radisson Blu Plaza, Mahipalpur

Radisson Blu is located at a very convenient location on the highway and I usually end up dropping in on my way to or from the airport. Their coffee shop is open till late night so many a times we have ended up here for a quick bite before heading home. Parking is not an issue as they have a valet. The lobby is huge and the lounge sits right in the center of their NYC cafe and Savannah bar.

The interiors are mostly in hues of yellow complemented by wooden tones. There are large windows on one side that throw in beautiful natural light. During the day you get a nice view of the swimming pool as well. In the afternoon they have a live piano session and they pianist plays heaps of old English and Hindi numbers. He is quite good at what he does..believe me…and open to requests from the crowd. I asked for a Beatles song and he beautifully played Norwegian wood for me!

The seating is spacious with lots of couches and low tables spread out. The decor is simplistic and gives a feeling of spaciousness. The environment is very relaxed and serene. You can easily while away your time sipping on a cup of tea and chat away endlessly. No one seems to be in a hurry and sooner or later the calmness of the space takes over as you relax, sit down and begin to enjoy yourself. As is expected at a five star property, the staff is well mannered, well trained and very courteous. They take interest in ensuring that everyone has a pleasant experience.

Get Set Gobble:

They recently launched an Indian hi-tea menu so I went ahead and gave it a try. It sounded interesting where they give a selection of sweet and savoury items along with unlimited tea. They have a choice of 6 teas which are Ajwain ki chai, Adraki-long ki chai, Pudina ki chai, Chakri phool ki chai, Badi elaichi ki chai and Masala chai. There were a lot of new tea combinations that I have not heard before with flavours like ajwain and though I did not try them, my friends went ahead and sipped on a few from the selection.

Not being an avid tea drinker myself, I have a small knowledge about teas and my palette is prefers something lighter. Upon explaining my predicament to the server, he was kind enough to give me an option of Rose tea. It had a nice flavour and the essence of rose was quite strong. It has a tea ball made with green tea, flowers and as the name suggest, it is fragrant with the scent of a rose. Another tea which I liked was the Jasmine tea. The tea kettle was made of glass and had a huge flower placed inside it to give it its flavour. It is Chinese green tea that has been infused with a scented jasmine flower to give it a light honey colour. Apart from the tea I also tried the Affogato which was really nice. The coffee was quite creamy and had two large scoops of ice cream along with big chunks of chocolate flakes that gave it a great flavour.

IMG_3729

There were super delectable snacks on the tray that go amazingly well with tea. I had the Vada pav that had a nice spicy aloo cutlet inside it. You can probably give the Dhokla paneer sandwich a miss as it wasn’t really memorable in taste. It was stuffed with a slice of paneer and mint chutney. The Kaju matar kishmish ke samose were super yumm. These were filled just right with a combination of potato, cashew nuts, green peas and raisins. Fried to a golden brown perfection, it was crispy in every bite.

There were quick small bites of Aloo chaat on papdi. Simple and delcious! The tiny papdis were piled with aloo masala, sev and chutneys. The Bharwaan paneer ke pakode were also great to eat. The slices of paneer have a layer of mint chutney between them and are dipped in besan to be deep fried. Dip them generously in a combination of the mint and tamarind chutney for that lip smacking flavour. As you can probably gauge there were a lot of fried and chatpata items and I think even tea could not have had better partners in food!

I did not like the Gulukand shahi tukda as much and found the base a bit soggy. I did however loved the Chcocolate malai chop that had a great flavour combination. Also it wasn’t too sweet overall.

Go for:

Business meetings. Airport halts. Tea varieties. Five star service.

R The Lounge - Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Circus, South Extension II

What a great theme. The name says it all doesn’t it?! For me, Circus is all about the tent, the lights, the massive space, the colours and the excitement. I guess the restaurant has managed to capture these elements in it’s theme and delivers on point. I am in love with their red and white circus tent wall that makes a great background for pictures ;-). Also you will notice that the servers all wear a unique hat, jesters cap or mask and I liked that we could borrow off of them and create some funny pictures for ourselves.

The seating space is huge…like really huge! For a moment I could not believe that I am in the crammed South Ex market. Constructions going on in the area can be a hassle but the saving grace is that they have a valet…so forget your parking woes. The first thing that welcomes you is a series of flashing lights at the entry. As you ride the elevator up to the third floor you see the huge area done up with a wooden theme with a variety of seating styles on offer – couches, high tables, stools, chairs, etc. You can choose to sit indoors or step out onto the terrace and try their seeshas. They also have another area on the top that is the viewing deck. This is air conditioned and is a viewing galley for any event that happens on the stage below. Walk another flight of stairs and you can enjoy Circus 360 that gives you a panoramic view of the entire South Ex area. It is quite mesmerizing and is gonna be a hot spot once winters come. There are lots of quirky elements I want to mention, like their massive lights, the funny slimming and shortening mirrors inside, use of metal containers for cutlery or the bucket basins in the washroom, there’s just so much for you to go check out for yourself.

Get Set Gobble:

~ Life at the bar – They have a series of signature summer cocktails appropriately named the masala gang as they have options such as Ram laddoo, Imly, Kaala khatta and Anardaana. … I tried the kala khatta one and it had the most gorgeous purple hue. It is not as chatpata in flavour and for that you can give the ram laddoo a try. Weird flavour right?! But it works so well, you’ll be amazed! Lastly the imli flavour was just as you think it would be, nice and tangy. You can opt for these to be served as a mocktail as well coz the pre-mixes come in a small labelled glass bottle (cute presentation) where as the alcohol is added on the side. They’ll taste great either ways.

Not only this but you can go in for their shakes as well. We gave the Bounty Hunt shake, Mango shake, Strawberry shake and Dark born born chocolate shake a try. Rich and thick, served in mason jars, whats not to love here! The Kiwi and cantaloupe cooler was another mocktail option that was a refreshing drink for the summer.

IMG_3127~ Palak patta chaat – This delivered in terms of taste. It was a good blend of cripsy, sweet, salty and tangy.

IMG_3122~ Chilli chicken – Humble dish, good simple preparation. I do not like chilli chicken as much, the simple reason being that my family is overly attached to this dish. I end up eating it more often than I would choose to…say about 10 out of 20 meals when eating out. I think I have reached my saturation level on it 😛 The chicken was tender and had a nice spicy sauce coating so give it a try if you are an Indian-Chinese fan!

IMG_3124~ Khum Gahloti – This dish was really a surprise. It looked so simple but there was so much flavour packed in those little tikkis. I have developed a great fondness for this vegetarian version of the galouti kebabs as I love the little sweetness in every bite that comes from the mushroom. They absolutely melted in your mouth. MUST ORDER

IMG_3123~ Aloo Chaat – Aloo chaat looked detectable but it lacked some tanginess to it. The presentation was good with dishes being served in containers. It’s really easy to pass around the table as you are drinking.

IMG_3125~ Ande ka funda – This dish was a miss for me. It sounded quite cool but I was slightly let down with the taste as it did not deliver anything exciting to my palette. Also I found the portion a little small.

IMG_3119~ Lotus Stem – This is a great option for vegetarians. The lotus stems are fried to crispy perfection and have a similar spicy sauce as the chilli chicken. DO TRY

IMG_3120~ Lahori chicken tikka – This had quite an interesting preparation. As the server brought out the bamboo steamer, for a moment I thought someone had ordered dimsums. However as I opened the lid I discovered the chicken tikka inside. It was quite good and had a good balance of spice however some pieces weren’t as tender as the others.

IMG_3112~ Mutton boti burger – The burgers are served in steel containers with a side of fries and tomato dip. The fries absolutely pass the test as they were super crisp and well seasoned. The burger is portioned into two halves so its easy to pick and eat and tastes absolutely yumm! The meat is shredded and is covered in a thick, spicy gravy that fills your mouth with flavour in every bite. MUST TRY

~ Rajma masala – This is served with an option of lime rice and jeera pulao. What’s not to love about Rajma chwal?! Being a Punjabi you can’t say no to this dish. I was quite surprised to see this on the menu though as it’s not exactly something you find at a bar. I immediately wanted to give it a try and I’m glad that I did. I think its the best dish on their menu. It’s served in a metal tiffin box and the server opens it up on the table for you. The three boxes have rajma in one, rice in the next and a chopped vegetable salad in the last. The gravy was thick, rajmas had been boiled to perfection and the spice balance was very good. I happened to try both rice preparations and really loved the flavour of the jeera one. MUST TRY

~ Andhra chicken curry – This is served with an option of malabar parantha and lime rice. This dish too came in a tiffin box. My expectation from their tiffin boxes were being raised by the minute having just had an amazing rajma dish. This too had the curry in one container, malabar parantha in the next and salad in the other. I am a fan of malabar paranthas and these lived up in preparation with lots of flaky layers that had been cooked perfectly. I generously dipped into the chicken curry and loved the combination of coconut milk and southern spices. The pieces of chicken were boneless and tender. One of my friend did complain that she found the taste of coconut too overpowering but a lot of us disagreed..hey, it’s a southern curry..the coconut is what really defines it! MUST TRY

IMG_3105~ Aate ka halwa – This had a serving of atta halwa topped with almonds and cashew. It was quite rich but make sure you eat it warm as it tends to loose it’s flavour as it gets cold.

IMG_3103~ Chocolate fantasy cake – This had a humble slice of brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top. Good but not memorable.

Go for:

Circus themed games – they have a week of activities lines up – check out their Facebook page for updates. Humble food presentations. Masala gang cocktails.

Circus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Potbelly, Chanakyapuri

After their success at the Shahpur Jat outlet, the Potbelly cafe was approached by Bihar Niwas to open up their restaurant here. The restaurant here enjoys a huge amount of space with a large sprawling garden area, small outdoor seating with covered umbrellas and a spacious area indoors. They have maintained the quirky theme with colorful interiors, kitsch lights and printed chair covers.

Having been to the Shahpur Jat outlet before (link to my review is at the end of the blog) I was all prepped to try other dishes on their menu. Now my skepticism was out the window. I was more confident with what each dish would look and taste like and was able to make better informed decisions. In a nutshell, I would say this is basic Bihari cooking done right!

Get Set Gobble:

~ DrinksApple cinnamon ice tea was refreshing and and with lots of chunks of apples and reminded me of a sangria. The chaach (salty lassi) was a popular choice as many people on the table wanted to have some salty buttermilk. Another drink I tried was the sattu cooler and can u tell u, I probably went too wild in my choice..this wasn’t for my taste buds. I did change over to a chocolate oreo shake and immediately felt at home with the flavours. Their chai was very popular as it was warm and tasty and went as a great pre-meal drink with the pakora baskets we ordered. Also another plus point was the fact that we filled endless cups of tea and the pot just kept on delivering!

~ Phataka french fries – Potato fries served with onion, capsicum, masala and cheese. this was almost similar to a Chinese stir fry with sauces and mini cut vegetables. It’s a good dish but doesn’t stand a chance among the more authentic Bihari fare that came up next.IMG_2252

~ Baggia basket – Pockets of rice flour stuffed with spiced channa dal tempered with spices and served with tomato chokha and coriander chutney. This was a new dish for me…as in never before in my life have I tried something like this. It had a chatpata flavour but somehow the texture did not suit my palette. Many I went too experimental with the menu here 😛

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~ Pakora basket – Assorted chukkas of aubergines and potatoes fried to a golden crispy perfection alongwith  saboodana pakoras, pyaaz kachri and served with coriander and tomato chutney..what’s not to love?! Everything is crispy fried and tasty. Well I guess the only draw back would have to be the oiliness…but once in a while I’m good to forgo my diet rules 😛 DO ORDER

~ Parontha basket – Well the vegetarians on the table needed something and they went for this option. Having tried this previously I was able to help them understand what they could expect from the dish. It came with three stuffings; one with peas, one with sattu and one with onions accompanied by pickle and raita. These paranthas are well stuffed and quite delicious. DO ORDER

~ Meat pakora – These are assorted pakoras with mutton and chicken fried to golden crisp and served with chutneys. This dish did not fail to impress and was crispy to perfection. It has a dark reddish exterior from being fried. Having tried this previously, I was prepared for the crunch 🙂 MUST ORDER

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~ Channa dal and pyaaz kachri basket – These pakoras were made of masoor dal and onions and served with tomato chokha and coriander chutney. These were super crisp and tatsy. No doubt we went on afried item spree but the guys really wanted something indulgent with the chai…so pakoras it was!

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~ Keema ghoogni – A concoction of mince meat and black channa served on fried flattened rice or chiwda  with parwal chokha and garlic chutney, this dish was super tasty. I am more familiar with ghooghni being prepared with yellow peas so the use of black channa was new for me. It had a good chilli kick. Tip: Make sure you mix the bowl well before taking in a spoonful as all the items are layered one above the other. MUST ORDER

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~ Fish chokha on marua roti – Fish paste served on ragi/buckwheat crispy pooris with coriander chutney and tomato chokha. To put it in an easy way, the dish was almost like papdi with fish toppping instead of aloo masala. The rotis were crispy and had the mash on top. Just a note of advice, it has a strong taste of mustard oil. I am not much of a sarson oil eater and personally it was slightly pungent for me.

~ Maher – This was spiced yoghurt based hot rice dish served with garlic potatoes and pickle. This was a real surprise dish and a crowd pleaser. I thoroughly enjoyed the taste. MUST TRY

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P.S. The pooris in this pic are from another dish. The server placed them in this by mistake.

~ Golmirch chicken – Boneless chicken in creamy pepper preparation served with lachha parantha and saboodana pakoras. This is a perfect meal for one! The chiocken pieces wer5 absolutelty tender and the gravy was simply lip smacking. IT wasn’t too high on pepper and the creamy curry had a nice balance. MUST ORDERIMG_2220

~ Litti chokha/chicken – Trademark Bihari dish of whole wheat balls stuffed with spiced sattu served with khada masala chicken and aubergine chokha. If you have visited a Bihari place and not had litti chokha, you can mark the visit as incomplete. This is a staple food in the state and I really loved the fact that they had a non veg adaptation for it. The littis are made out of wheat and stuffed with sattu.

Tip: These balls seem small in size, but once in your tummy they swell up, so one must go easy on the portion we eat. My friends also oredered the vegetarian version and enjoyed it as much. It came with a portion of channa dal instead of the chicken. MUST ORDER

~ Champaran style mutton – Boneless mutton in thick pepper gravy served with moong dal pooris and pudina aloo raita. I had tried this previously and the taste was as good. The gravy is thick and spicy. MUST ORDERIMG_2221

~ Sarso machhli steamed– Mustard based fish curry served with rice. The fish was chopped in smaller pieces and had a light by thick gravy coating it. The little rotis made of rice flour were an interesting combination of flavours and textures with the soft fish and the thick crispy roti. MUST ORDER

My friend ordered the dish and somehow for the life of us, neither one can remember what the name of this dish was. Alternatively it could be the Posta dana machhli.IMG_2241

~ Apple cinnamon cake – Sweet endings to a heavy meal were provided by a warm apple cinnamon cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Quite good!IMG_2217

Go for:

Bihari cuisine. Enjoying the sun in the lush green gardens during Delhi winters. To satiate those taste buds with crispy and spicy combinations.

Also checkout my previous review of their other outlet The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe, Shahpur Jat.

The Potbelly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kainoosh

Kainoosh is located on the ground floor of DLF Promenade Mall. It can be accessed through outside where you can walk in through the Keya entrance or through the mall as well. As you enter, you walk into a small passage way with mirrors on either sides. It is lovely as some light reflects off of it and make for a great photo op! As you walk further you are welcomed into the main dining area. They have a private area as well which can seat a small gathering of people. Ahead is their bar area and further down is their outdoor area. Unfortunately I have never had the pleasure of dining outside as I have always gone in for a meal here during summers. Now that I think about it, I have become more comfortable with the familiar setting as I almost always dine in at the same spot 😛

They have a comfortable seating with a mix of plush couches and chairs around circular tables. The interiors exude an old world charm with an eclectic mix of lights, muted tones in upholstery with added contrast of orange cushions along with copper gold tones on the walls and ceiling. The noteworthy attraction would have to be the metal mesh work that essentially gives the place its unique vibe. I have always found it to be a comfortable setting for a meal with friends or family.

Get Set Gobble:

~ Life at the bar – We ordered the Aam panna cocktail with a vodka base. It had a nice tangy flavour to it and would taste great as a mocktail as well. Also tried the mojito which has a rum base and it was perfectly minty with a great tangy kick of the lemon. It is a good refreshing drink for summers. We had the Fruity twist mocktail which was a blend of mango, kiwi, strawberry, chaat masalaand lime juice. Unfortunately I can’t comment on the taste as while I was grabbing all the drinks to click their pics, my friend happily gulped down the entire drink in one sip 😛 Guessing by her speed it would be safe to assume that it tasted good. Also had the nimboo soda which was great as well.

~ Papads – Their papads are the best thing to begin your meal with. They arrive on your table in little conical shapes but the best part is the platter of accompaniments that comes with it. It has a bowl of chaat masala (that I sprinkle generously on the papads), tamatar chutney (great for dipping the papad into), green chutney, chillies and lemon, one sweet pickle and more. Earlier it used to be complimentary and we used to keep repeating them till the food arrive. It’s a paid starter now but that didn’t stop us from eating 2-3 platefuls of it 😀 Also don’t miss out on their sirke wala pyaaz.

~ Vegetarian kebab platter – We were confused with what starters to order when the server suggested we go in for a platter. This platter allows you to taste 3 kebabs from their menu with 3 pieces of each alongwith a tandoori roti. One is the Yam & Zucchini kebab cooked on a Mahi tawa (which is a Lucknowi utensil) that gives it it’s paper thin crust outside and the melt in your mouth texture inside. Even if you are a non vegetarian, you will not be disappointed with this kebab – it’s so similar to galouti kebab in texture. It has a lot of flavour and is simply delicious. The next is the Paneer tikka which has cubes of paneer covered in a creamy marinade spiced with ajwain. It is then grilled in the tandoor and drizzled with a raw mango infused tangy masala before being served. The last item is the Bharwaan tandoori mushroom where mushrooms have been stuffed with a cheesy brunnoise of garlic, herbs and nutmeg then coated with a spicy marinade and char grilled. I am not particularly fond of mushroom kebabs but I would have to say that this one was quite good. The pieces were really tiny so they were quick bites as you popped them into your mouth.IMG_2406

~ Dal makhani – They describe it as India’s favourite delicacy and they couldn’t be more accurate! North Indians and Dal makhani go hand in hand. Whenever we are at a restaurant, we can’t help but order this as a part of our meal. It is made with black lentils cooked in tomato puree and garlic and simmered overnight. This slow cooking is what gives it that depth of flavour and richness. After eating one spoon of the dal, my friend rejected it immediately saying it isn’t doesn’t have the same consistency or flavour as per his previous visits. The server asked to change the dish but since we were all in the mood of having dal, we requested to have it corrected. He got it back in a while and it did seem better with some addition of salt and butter.IMG_2404

~ Awadhi subz biryani – This is a colourful combination of garden fresh vegetables and aged Basmati rice cooked on dum Awadhi style. At this restaurant, my goto dish has always been the Gohst Dum Biryani but since I was surrounded by more vegetarians during lunch today, we went for this version. The rice is long grained, light and full of flavour. The biryani is actually colourful and is served with raita.

~ Tamaterwaala murg – This is their version of butter chicken. Boneless pieces of tandoori chicken are simmered in a tomato gravy and finished with roasted cumin and dried fenugreek leaves. This is no doubt a delicious dish but another reason why I usually pick this off the menu is that it is the only non vegetarian main course that comes with the option of ordering half portion of it.IMG_2403

~ Breads – We ordered the garlic naan to help accompany our gravy items. There are two small naans in one basket which came out looking nice and crispy. They were glossy with the coating of butter and had a generous amount of garlic for flavour. Since the pieces are small, they disappeared super fast and we ordered another basket of the same. These are made with maida and my sister wanted to eat something in whole wheat flour, so we ordered the pudina lachha parantha. You could see each layer breaking away from the parantha and it was simply amazing. MUST TRY

Go for:

Hearty North Indian meal. Artistic interiors. Satisfying preparations. Celebration meal with friends and family.
Kainoosh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato