Restaurant review: Dum Pukht

Restaurant review: Dum Pukht

Address: ITC Maurya, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri

Overall rating: 4/5

Dum Pukht is one of the old and famous restaurants of Delhi, but since it has legends like Bukhara next to it, it does tend to get a bit overshadowed. It was on my wishlist for the longest time and I finally got to visit it during Restaurant Week India.
As soon as we sat down, we felt the exceptional service standards that you expect from any 5-star. They had a set menu for RWI, and my, was it a lot of food.
Before we got our starters, we were served papads with green chutney (which was absolutely delicious), mixed pickle and this unique papaya and chili relish which was very tasty.
For starters, the non-veg menu had Shikhampur Kebab and Murgh Chandi Tikka. The shikhampur kebab were made of minced mutton and hung curd and were delicately spiced with saffron and cardamom, and just melted in the mouth. The murgh chandi tikka had a cumin and curd marinade, and was topped with silver leaf. Both these starters were amazing. The veg menu had Hara Kebab Awadhi, which was a spinach kebab, and seekh nilofari which was made of lotus stem. Now I normally don’t like lotus stem, but this kebab was really tasty. Even the spinach kebab was good, but was a tad dry.
For main course, there were 6 dishes in total- Paneer Dum Anaari, Ghuncha-wa-Qeema Dumpukht (cauliflower florets tossed with some spices), Baghare Baingan and Dal Dum Pukht in veg and Murgh Badam Qorma and Raan-e-Dumpukht in non-veg. The mugh qorma was nice, with the chicken really soft and juicy, but the gravy definitely needed more flavour. The raan on the other hand, was really wonderful- the meat was just so tender and the stuffing of onions and garlic inside the raan just lent it so much flavour. The baghare baingan were nice, and so were the cauliflower and paneer dish, but they were nothing extraordinary. What was extraordinary though was the dal. Now arhar dal is my favourite and is something that is cooked ever so often at my house, and this rendition of it was quite homely, but the addition of the hung curd in the dal just took it over the edge and made it fantastic. I polished off two bowls of this dal.
What I would also like to mention here are the breads. We were served whole wheat naan, varqi parantha and khamiri roti. While the other two breads were also very good, the whole wheat naan was class apart. It was really crisp and was topped with roasted onion seeds and sesame seeds, which gave it a different dimension altogether.
Next came the Dum Pukht Biryani, which was very well made- each grain of rice was separate and glistening, and the lamb was very juicy. It was probably not the best biryani I’ve ever had, but was really good.
By the time we got to desserts, we were literally stuffed. We were served gulab jamun and gulab ki kheer. While the gulab jamun was just ok, the rose petal kheer was amazing. It was extremely creamy, adequately sweet, and the flavour of the rose petals shone through.
The service was prompt and courteous throughout, with the servers swiftly replacing our cutlery and also explaining each dish and its history. The chef also came out to have a quick chat with us, which I really appreciate.
Overall, this is definitely a place worth going to, especially for its starters and the wonderful dal.

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Restaurant review: Shiv Sagar

Restaurant review: Shiv Sagar

Address: Janpath

Overall rating: 3.5/5

After hearing so much about the famous Shiv Sagar from my friends who have visited this place in Mumbai, I knew I just had to go here, and I did.
We ordered sev puri, mysore plain dosa and bedmi poori with aloo sabzi. The sev puri was really nice, with a nice mix of sweet, tangy and spicy flavours. The mysore dosa was nice and crisp, and just as good as the ones you get at famous chains like Sagar Ratna and Naivedyam, but not better. The bedmi poori was disappointing though. Having grown up on this dish, and having visited the narrowest lanes of Chandni Chowk in search of different preparations of the same, I have tasted the best bedmi pooris, and this one was no match. The pooris were crisp and were not too oily, but did not have adequate amount of spice stuffing inside. Also, the aloo sabzi did not pack the punch of flavours we Delhiites have come to expect from this local favourite. But the chutney served with this dish was very tasty.
We also tried the different juices they have to offer, and I really liked the concept of test tubes as samplers. All of them were very fresh and tasty and my favourite turned out to be the Maara Maari, so I ordered a glass of that. We also got a vada pao packed, and that was delicious. Probably one of the best I’ve had in Delhi. We also ordered a paan kulfi for dessert, and that was delightful. It had actual betel leaves and gulkand in it and was simply superb.
Also, the service was prompt and extremely courteous. The waiters were always on the toes, removing empty dishes and asking for feedback on the items.
Overall, I would say if you go here, stick to the Mumbai street food dishes like vada pao, and skip the items like bedmi poori as you get much better renditions of that at Chandni Chowk or at some of our homes. Also, 2 things which simply should not be missed at Shiv Sagar are the juices and the paan kulfi.

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Restaurant review: Whipped

Restaurant review: Whipped

Address: Greater Kailash (GK) 2

Overall rating: 4.5/5

I love desserts, and my favourite has to be cheesecake, and Whipped is cheesecake heaven for me. I have tried nearly all the cheesecakes Whipped has to offer- strawberry, blueberry, mixed berry, lemon, fresh fruit, new york and nutella. It would be hard for me to pick one, but my 3 favourites would be the new york cheesecake (thick, creamy, delicious), the nutella cheesecake (so different and creative) and the lemon cheesecake (with tangy lemon cream piped on top). Apart from the cheesecakes, I have also tried the triple decker, the chocolate venom, fudge brownie, chocolate truffle royale, pineapple upside down, mixed berry and cream, banoffee pie, apple pie and tiramisu. All of them are incredibly fresh, delicious and worth the calories. But it’s the cheesecakes that keep making me go back to Whipped. And for those of you who enjoy tasting a variety of different flavours, they have also introduced mini versions of the cheesecakes.

A must visit place for every cheesecake lover out there!

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Restaurant review: Carnatic Cafe

Restaurant review: Carnatic Cafe

Address: Ground Floor, India Mall, Community Centre, New Friends Colony

Overall rating: 4.5/5

This little restaurant, tucked away in a nondescript corner of New Friends Colony market, is a hidden gem. We all have our favourite south-indian outlets. For some it’s Naivedyam, for others it’s Sarvanna Bhawan or Sagar Ratna. And while all these places have really nice food, what you get here at Carnatic Cafe is completely different. Their style of dosa is something you would have probably never seen anywhere else, and they are absolutely delicious.
We ordered idli, vada, paddu, Malleshwaram 18th cross dosa, bombat dosa, neer dosa, podi uthapam, buttermilk and filter coffee. The idli and vada were pretty good. They serve everything with 3 different kind of chutneys- one regular coconut chutney, one mint coconut and one tomato. The chutneys are of a thick consistency and are so fresh and delicious. The paddu are basically fried rice balls, and though they are something different, they don’t have any great taste by themselves, but combined with the chutneys, they taste good. The buttermilk is green in colour as it has mint in it and is very refreshing in this heat.
Now coming to the star of the meal and this restaurant’s specialty- the  Malleshwaram 18th cross dosa. This dosa is so unique and so tasty, that if you like south-indian food, you just cannot afford to miss this. Their dosas are very different from the dosas we are used to. They are small in size, but don’t be fooled, as they are quite heavy. They are thicker than normal dosas and their texture is very different. They are crisp on the outside and soft inside. The  Malleshwaram 18th cross dosa has a layer of gunpowder or podi lathered inside and it is made in ghee and is simply spectacular. The bombat dosa is pretty much the same dosa just with an aloo mixture inside, which also tastes very nice. The neer dosa is a light, white-coloured dosa made of rice flour and is served with a sweet mixture, and was not our favourite, but can be tried. They also have a ragi dosa on the menu for the health-conscious people out there. The podi uthapam was also very good.
We ended our meal with a filter coffee which was nice and strong. This place has amazing food at reasonable rates and is definitely a must-try, if for nothing else, then for the novelty. And the  Malleshwaram 18th cross dosa just cannot be missed, and is so good, that it makes it worth going to Carnatic Cafe just to have this dosa.

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Online food delivery service review: Formybelly

Online food delivery service review: Formybelly

What do you do when you want to have exotic dishes like Teriyaki Chicken with Jasmine Rice? Head out to a fancy restaurant? Not any more. With the new delivery service Formybelly, now you can make such dishes at your home, adjust them to your taste, and at one-fourth the price.

Formybelly is a service that delivers the ingredients of your selected recipe, in the exact quantity required, all packaged and labelled for your convenience. They have a wide range of dishes to choose from, and the best part is they ask you what time you would like the items to be delivered.

The dish I tried was Teriyaki Chicken with Jasmine Rice and they had provided a recipe card with the steps to prepare the chicken as well as the rice. The chicken was pre-marinated and the quality of the chicken was very good. The chicken recipe was quite easy to follow, but the rice recipe could have been a bit more detailed. For a person who has never made rice before, this could be a bit tough. The recipe required the leftover water from the rice to be poured into the chicken gravy, but provided no estimation of around how much water should ideally be left over. Also, the rice took longer to cook, that the time estimated on the recipe card. The chicken recipe on the other hand, was very detailed, and had no ambiguity to it.  The serving size was also quite generous, and would be sufficient for a meal for two.

Overall, the taste of the dish was really nice and quite close to the authentic one. It would have been better if it were a tad spicier, but that can entirely be personal preference.

The best part is that you get to cook such amazing dishes at home, with no cutting, chopping and minimal cleaning up and you don’t have to go shopping for ingredients and there is no wastage, which definitely makes Formybelly worth trying!

To find out more about Formybelly, check out their website:
Formybelly Website

Formybelly

Restaurant review: SodaBottleOpenerWala, Khan Market

Restaurant review: SodaBottleOpenerWala, Khan Market

Overall rating: 4/5

Sodabottleopenerwala had been on my list for a while now, and I finally went here for lunch. The interiors of this place are really cute, with witty signage and glimpses of what a parsi home might look like. They even have a counter where they keep biscuits and cakes, reminiscent of the local candy shops of old times.

We ordered a lot of food- vada pao, kanda bhaji, masala fries, veg dhansak, salli mutton, bhendi bazaar seekh parantha, toblerone mousse, apple pie with custard, five star brownie, raspberry soda, masala pepsi and irani chai, and none of the items disappointed. The vada pao was extremely fresh and flavourful, and the kanda bhaji was extremely crisp and the masala fries were one of the best fries I’ve had. The veg dhansak came in a 3-tier tiffin, with one box containing the salad, the second containing the rice, and the third containing the dal. The rice was delicious, and was topped with caramelized onions; the dal was very different and tasty. The bhendi bazaar seekh kebab was so flavourful, a must-have here, though the parantha served with it was a little oily and heavy. The salli mutton is another must-have here- it was a gravy dish with soft, succulent chunks of mutton, topped with crispy potato lachchas. Coming to the drinks, the irani chai is a bit of an acquired taste, and though I didn’t like it much, others seemed to be really enjoying it. The raspberry soda was a very unique drink- should be tried for its sheer uniqueness. The masala pepsi was my favourite. In desserts, the apple pie was very tasty, with the right proportion of filling to pastry, and the custard served with it was also well made. The toblerone mousse was very creamy and tasty. The 5-star brownie was very tasty and soft, but would have tasted much better had it been warmer.

The service was also prompt and courteous.
This place is definitely recommended for different, delicious food and good service.

Online food delivery service review: Cookfresh

Online food delivery service review: Cookfresh

I had Penang Fish Curry for lunch yesterday. Which restaurant did i go to? None, I made it at home!

Now I do know my way around the kitchen but I’m no fancy chef. And there is no way I can go out shopping for all the ingredients and do all the prep required for such a dish. So what to do then? Order all the ingredients that you require from Cookfresh!

Cookfresh is a food delivery service that sends you a chef-designed recipe, along with all the ingredients required to make it, all chopped, washed and measured in the exact quantity that the recipe requires. All of the ingredients are pre-portioned, chopped and labeled and they are sent in a biodegradable box, which is designed to keep the contents fresh. So basically, you get to make gourmet meals like a professional chef, but without all the hassles! It’s equally good for people who know how to cook but don’t have the time to go shopping for and prep the ingredients required for such dishes as well as for those who want to learn how to cook.

So now coming back to the Penang Fish Curry- the dish was super easy to make, as the recipe was detailed down to the last minute and everything was packaged in convenient plastic pouches and boxes. Another plus is that you can always adjust the recipes a bit according to your taste preferences (for example, excluding a particular vegetable if you don’t like it). They had also sent rice to be served with the dish and the FAQ section on their website also has the recipe for rice, for those who may not know how to cook rice. I followed the recipe completely and the fish curry turned out perfectly. The fish was soft and well-cooked and the gravy had beautiful, delicateand authentic flavours. I don’t think this dish would be that easy to make otherwise, as it had a lot of ingredients going into it. Some of the ingredients like kaffir lime leaves are not even that easily available in the local marketplaces. So I really feel this is a great concept.

They have a great selection of recipes to choose from, so to find out more about Cookfresh, check out their website:

Cookfresh website

Cookfresh