Food Delivery Service Review: InnerChef

Food Delivery Service Review: InnerChef

Overall rating: 4/5

InnerChef is the brainchild of a group of both young and seasoned entrepreneurs, who had one motto- to help people #EatBetter!

What started off as a recipe-kit delivery venture, to bring out the “inner chef’ in you, has now also extended into providing healthy and nutritious snacking options at an affordable price.

I tried out both, the ‘Ready to eat’ and ‘Ready to cook’ sections that they have on offer.

Starting with the ‘Ready to eat’ section, I tried:

  1. Ham Kri Kri Combo- French Goat Cheese Salad with Parma Ham Panini: The goat cheese salad was phenomenal. It had great balance of flavours- the goat cheese was so creamy and tangy, and the oranges and pomegranate seeds provided the right balance and contrast to the peppery rucola leaves. This salad is a must-try even for people who don’t like salads. The panini was also very good- the bread was layered with really good quality parma ham, light mayonnaise and some grated parmesan. The only thing I would like to point out here is that the ratio of bread to filling could be a little better- the bread was quite thick, so the amount of parma ham didn’t really suffice. But the flavours were there and it tasted really nice.
  1. Sunrise Lemon Cake: The sponge was light and airy with a nice, tangy lemon flavour. This is the kind of cake that gives you the satisfaction of having had something sweet, without feeling too guilty.
  1. Classic Belgian Chocolate Brownie: The brownie was fudgy and had a great texture and a rich chocolate flavour.

From the ‘Ready to cook’ section, I tried the Geraard De Duivelsteen Veg- Italian Parmesan, Pesto and White Sauce. I have tried various other places which offer similar services (recipe kit with the ingredients chopped, prepped and portioned, along with instructions to prepare the dish) but the recipe provided by InnerChef was the most detailed and comprehensive and was very easy to follow. The recipe called for a little water to be poured into the pasta while cooking, and they had gone to the extent of providing a measuring cup for the same. That is great attention to detail. One thing they can perhaps improve on here is that they can label all the ingredients as some people who order these boxes might not be familiar with all the ingredients. Coming to the taste, the pasta turned out quite tasty, just that it was a bit over-sauced for my liking, as I prefer the sauce to be just about coating the pasta. However, many people like quite saucy pastas as well, so perhaps they can mention this on the recipe that the quantity of sauce in the kit is for quite a saucy pasta, and if someone wants lesser, they can use a lesser amount of the sauces while making the pasta.

What’s great is that they also send a complimentary bottle of cold-pressed juice with each order, which apart from being nutritious, was also really tasty. Their packaging is also very neat and elegant.

Overall, the ingredients are all top quality, the flavours of all the dishes are really nice, and the prices are reasonable, so InnerChef can definitely be tried.

They currently deliver in Delhi and Gurgaon and will be starting services in Mumbai and Bengaluru soon.

To find out more about InnerChef, check out their website here.

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Restaurant Review: Artusi

Restaurant Review: Artusi

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Artusi was on our wishlist ever since it opened over a year back, but somehow our visit to the place always kept getting postponed. After going to Artusi for dinner last night, we seriously regret not going here earlier, as this was by far the best Italian food we’ve had in Delhi!

Ever so often we visit restaurants with really high expectations, after reading reviews, seeing sky-high ratings, and a number of promotions and advertisements put up by the restaurants. But on going there we get really disappointed as the place turns out to be overrated. However, with Artusi, we had an experience which was most certainly the complete opposite. Artusi, being relatively less known till date in the restaurant scene, has much more to offer than it seems, and we are in complete awe of the place.

Artusi is Owned and run by a delightful Italian gentleman, Mr. Balcon, (whose wife by the way is Punjabi). His love for food and his excitement to share this love is palpable. He is exuberant and talkative and makes you instantly feel at home.

Artusi serves up food true to the flavours of the Emilia Romagna region in North-eastern Italy, (where Mr. Balcon is from), and there is absolutely no so-called ‘Indianization’ to the authentic Italian menu. In fact, they are bold enough, unlike any other Italian restaurant in Delhi, to not even keep pizzas on their menu! This place has its clientele and is almost always very busy, but there are some people who don’t quite appreciate the flavours of the food, and call it ‘bland’, but still this, as Mr. Balcon informed us, has never led him to succumb to market pressures and change the way the food is made here. And rightly so, as the food was spectacular!

Everything at Artusi is traditional and completely hand-made. They have a wide selection of pastas, the most diverse range we have seen at any restaurant, each made from scratch every day. They use only the finest ingredients, most of which are imported, thus the relatively high prices. The prices however, are totally justified by the food.

So now, let’s get on with the food:

We were served an assorted bread basket with a sundried tomato and olive oil dip to start with. The bread was baked fresh in-house and was absolutely delicious, but the sundried tomato dip was to die for. We could have gorged on just these two items, but reluctantly had to control ourselves to save up space for the meal ahead.

We started with 3 appetizers-

  1. Deep fried calamari with a tangy red sauce and sour cream: This was our first time trying calamari, and we normally stay away from seafood, so giving calamari a shot was a huge leap of faith for us. But the moment we tasted it, all our fears were put to rest. The calamari was lightly battered and fried, and was really crunchy. A squeeze of lime on top, and the sauces to go with this, made it the perfect snack.
  2. Tomino (toasted bread with imported soft cheese, sautéed mushrooms and truffle oil): This was a fabulous dish. The bread was crunchy, the sautéed mushrooms in truffle oil tasted heavenly and the melted oozing soft cheese was so delicious, that we are craving it while writing this. The dish had strong flavours, but the flavours complemented each other brilliantly. This is what you call a perfect dish in all aspects- flavours, textures and balance. A must-try!
  3. Crostini ai Fegatini (crunchy slices of bread topped with chicken paté and caramelized onions): The proportion of the bread to the chicken paté was just right. The bread was nicely toasted, the paté was smooth, rich and earthy, and the caramelized onion on top was the perfect addition to balance all the flavours.

Next, we tried 3 of their pastas:

  1. Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli in a Butter, Sage and Asparagus sauce: Perfectly made ravioli- the proportion of filling to pasta was perfect, and the pasta sheet was so thin that you could clearly see the filling inside. The filling was delicate and light, complemented with the flavourful sauce, which just coated the pasta. Ravioli is one of our favourite pastas and we eat it very often, but this has been our favourite till date.
  2. Cappelletti Carbonara (hand-made hat-shaped pasta pockets filled with cheese, in a traditional carbonara sauce): Carbonara is a rich sauce, as it’s made with eggs, cheese and bacon, so getting the balance right is so important. This dish was again incredible, and there was a generous amount of bacon in it, which is always a good thing.
  3. Tajarin with Butter and Black Truffle Sauce: There is no way to describe this dish other than ‘pure heaven’. The dish consisted of hand-made thin noodles in butter sauce finished with shaves of black summer truffle. This pasta is a testament to the fact that less is more, and simple food, if done perfectly, can be amazing. No matter how many times we go back to Artusi, this is something we will always order. A really special, spectacular dish!

The taste and texture of hand-made pastas is not comparable to any factory-produced one. That, coupled with amazing sauces, finest ingredients and brilliant flavour combinations makes the pastas at Artusi simply magnificent. The beauty of all these pastas cannot be explained, it can only be experienced.

Next, we tried Grilled Pork Chops with Rossini Fries: The pork chops were cooked perfectly and were rubbed with herbs which made them so flavourful. The pork was served with grilled vegetables and french fries tossed in parmesan cheese and truffle oil. The french fries were crisp, cooked perfectly and seasoned aptly with the parmesan.

Since no good meal is complete without desserts, even though our bellies were full to the brim, we tried 2 desserts from their menu:

  1. Panna Cotta: This is Artusi’s signature dessert, and it was the best panna cotta we’ve had- set well, but still had some jiggle to it, just the way it should be. The panna cotta itself was creamy and smooth, and not too sweet. It had a variety of little accompaniments like caramel sauce, caramelized figs, croquant and almonds, so with each mouthful, you get a different taste and texture.
  2. Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake with raspberry and cream sauces: If you are a dark-chocolate lover, this dessert would be heaven for you. The mousse was luscious and creamy, with rich bittersweet chocolate. The cake was accompanied by a cream sauce and a raspberry sauce which brought a nice freshness to the dish.

Overall the food was simply divine and is a 5 on 5. The service was also very good- the servers were extremely courteous and swift, and they knew the dishes really well which, looking at the vast menu, is by no means a simple task. The décor was elegant and simplistic, but we just wish the place would be a bit bigger.

All the food lovers out there must visit Artusi to get a taste of what real Italian food tastes like- simple, rustic and delicious! But go there expecting flavours which are true to the region they come from, devoid of any manipulations. No doubt this is an expensive place, but the quality of the food makes it worthwhile.

This restaurant is not just a must-visit, but one worthy of repeated visits!

Quick facts

Location: M 24, M-Block Market, Greater Kailash (GK) 2

Phone number: 011 49066666

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Food Delivery Service Review: Bite Club

Food Delivery Service Review: Bite Club

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

What do you do when you want to eat gourmet food prepared by chefs, but at the comfort of your home? You order from Bite Club!

Bite Club is food delivery start-up that delivers delicious handmade wholesome meals prepared by talented chefs to your home or office. They have a daily changing menu of meals prepared using the freshest of ingredients, so that you have adequate variety, and all this at pretty reasonable rates.

I tried the Mutton Biryani with Baigan Salan, Chicken in Parsley and Onion Sauce with Butter Corn Rice and Vanilla Custard.

The delivery was on time and everything was packaged well.

The mutton biryani was spiced well, used good quality rice, which was cooked perfectly so that each grain was separate and vibrant. The mutton pieces were also juicy and flavoursome, but the only problem was that the quantity of the mutton was too less. The baigan salan with the biryani was really tasty, and very different from the normal sweet-ish renditions of this dish. It was tangy, not bitter at all, and had a well-rounded flavour.

The chicken in parsley sauce had a creamy white sauce, which at first look I was a bit apprehensive about as I thought it would be rich and heavy, but actually it turned out to be light and fragrant. The dish had subtle flavours and had nice, juicy chunks of chicken. This was paired with butter corn rice, which went perfectly with the mild flavours of the chicken.

The custard was smooth and creamy, had no lumps and had the right amount of sweetness but the vanilla flavour could have been a bit more pronounced.

Overall, Bite Club is a really good option for fresh, wholesome and tasty meals, delivered to your doorstep at reasonable rates.

To find out more about Bite Club, check out their website here.

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Restaurant Review: Days Of The Raj

Restaurant Review: Days Of The Raj

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Our visit to Days Of The Raj was totally coincidental. We were actually headed somewhere else, but the crazy Friday night traffic, coupled with waterlogging forced us to look for the nearest restaurant to fill our grumbling tummies.

DOTR was shut for around a year, and has reopened recently with refurbished interiors and a redesigned menu. The theme of the restaurant is Anglo-Indian. The décor and the menu both reflect the theme to quite an extent. The interiors, lighting, furniture have that regal feel about it, and a live ghazal singer adds to it, but putting up screens playing Bollywood songs was a total mismatch and diluted the regal feeling. So I think they need to work on bringing about uniformity and tying up the décor and other details with the theme.

We ordered Kesar Kali Mirch ka Murgh, Bukhni Kebab, Gur ki Kheer and Masala Shikanji. The chicken tikka did have a nice flavour of saffron, but the cook on it was really uneven- while some pieces were juicy, others were chewy and undercooked. Bukhni kebab is a North-West Frontier take on the mutton seekh kebab. The description said it is prepared with red chili oil, which really excited me as I simply love spicy food. But there is a way to make food spicy, but still balanced in terms of flavour. The chili should be a background note which accentuates the other flavours, and the meat should always be the star. But this kebab was so unbalanced in its use of spices that the only flavour that really came across was that of the red chili, and the meat was totally overshadowed by it. Coming to the drink, while there was nothing wrong with the shikanji, it was average at best. By the time we got to desserts, we really had low expectations from the dish, as gur ki kheer is not an easy dish to perfect. The kheer, however, was the saving grace of the entire meal. It was everything that you expect from a good kheer and more- the kheer was set in earthen pots which lends a unique flavour to desserts, the rice was well cooked and had totally disintegrated in the milk. It was evident that the milk had been simmered for a long time to get that richness and creamy texture, and the gur flavour just took it to another level.

Overall, the décor needs to be tightened up a bit to reflect the theme completely and the food needs a lot of improvement in terms of consistency of cooking and balancing of flavours. As of now, I would go back only and only if I am craving their delicious kheer, otherwise, this place can be skipped.

Quick Facts

Location: 81/3, Ist Floor, Qutub Residency, Adchini, Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi

Phone number: 011 33105537

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Review: Redfoodie.com

Review: Redfoodie.com

I was just browsing online (and my browsing revolves primarily around food and food-related topics), when I stumbled upon a site called Redfoodie.com, and since it was clearly something to do with food, I decided to check it out.

Redfoodie.com is a new online food guide and restaurant directory, where you can write and read reviews about restaurants and can search for the next place to head out to. The layout of the site is really tidy and it is very easy to navigate through. They have a good coverage of food joints, and currently span 7 cities- Delhi NCR, Amritsar, Chandigarh Jaipur, Ludhiana, Mumbai and Pune, with plans to expand at a rapid pace.

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They have really useful filters such as happy hours, cuisine, locality, cost for two, etc. that can help in narrowing down the search to make it that much simpler to make a decision. Also, they have ‘Recommendation lists’ like Newly opened, Trending, Best Bakeries, etc. which feature the top restaurants in these categories, further helping us decide on a place to eat.

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They also have great benefits for the foodies out there- if you become an avid reviewer on Redfoodie.com, and are able to gather 7000 points, you get a Shiny Black Badge of ‘Elite’ on your profile and get the privilege of getting into the Elite Squad and avail benefits like food vouchers, invites to Foodie Meet-ups, Redfoodie goodies and much more.

But the feature I found most interesting about them is that they give out ‘Redfoodie Love’ to active reviewers, which means that if you regularly pen down honest and unbiased reviews on their site, they will send you food vouchers as a note of thanks. So what can be better than getting vouchers to eat more, by doing just that- eating!

They will soon be launching an Andriod and iOS app and will also be expanding their operations, in India, and overseas, so hurry and sign up, for information, reviews, and the best part- great goodies!

To find out more about Redfoodie.com, check out their website- www.redfoodie.com

Review: Barcelos White Burger

Review: Barcelos White Burger

After Barcelos took the city by storm with their black and red burgers, they are back with the newest addition to these exotic colourful burgers- the White Burger!

They have used milk powder and coconut for flavouring the bun and have baked it at a low temperature for a longer time to achieve the colour.

The bun, as was with the red and black burgers I had previously, was superb! It was soft and fresh and had a really nice flavour. Both veg and non-veg variants of this burger are available. The non-veg one has a chicken patty, with mushrooms, capsicum, lettuce and onions, while the veg one comes with a soya and mixed vegetable patty with capsicum, onions and sweet lime. The patties were very moist and the spices were balanced. The flavour combinations are really unique and interesting. The sweet and spicy kind of flavour of the sauce used on the burgers was really good.

The burger comes with a side of potato wedges and a peri peri mayo. The wedges were really crisp and uniformly cooked- one of the best wedges I’ve had and the peri peri mayo was delicious.

Also not to be missed are their amazing molecular mocktails. I tried the kiwi and peach variants, and though both were really good, the kiwi one had a tangy taste which was simply superb!

Another great news is that they would be launching mini version of all burgers as well, which would be really great. This way, one can taste all these different and unique burgers together.

Just wondering what’s next- green burger, yellow burger? I hope they keep the innovation going!

Quick Facts

Location: Shop 57, Khan Market

Phone Number: 011 33105219

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Restaurant Review: Global Food Factory

Restaurant Review: Global Food Factory

Overall Rating : 4/5

Global Food Factory is one of the numerous new places that have suddenly cropped up in Rajouri Garden, and as competitive as the restaurant scene is, you have to differentiate yourself in order to survive. And that they have done well by introducing a really interesting concept of a Global menu. The menu has an amalgamation of popular international food, and over a chat with the owner, Mr. Gaurav, we understood that his idea behind this menu was simply ‘What would an Indian eat abroad’. So basically, the items are the famous dishes of different countries, authentic to the region, but still having flavours which the Indian palette would appreciate. From Mexican to Italian and Oriental, and even Brazilian, there are myriad of choices, ensuring something for everyone, if you are going out in a large group. Now my general experience has been that when a restaurant tries to do too much, the quality suffers. But here, each dish stands out with its individual flavours, true to the region it belongs to, which is no easy task to achieve.

Apart from their à la carte menu, they also have lunch and dinner buffets, the theme for which changes every month. Currently it was Patiala-Italy-Hong Kong (they earlier had one themed Istanbul-Lahore-Thailand), and here again they prove that diversity is their forte. We went for the buffet, which had a massive 16 starters, 14 main courses and 14 desserts. The starters are made fresh and served on the table. We tried quite a few items:

  1. Chili Chicken: The chicken was very soft and moist and the sauce coating the chicken had the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and tangy flavours.
  2. Kadak Seekh Kebab: This was quite innovative- the seekh kebab was coated with tempura batter and fried, and also had a stuffing of cheese. The mutton mince was well flavoured and juicy, and the crispy outer covering provided a nice contrast of texture, and the stuffing of melted, oozing cheese took this dish to another level. A stellar dish!
  3. Kalmi Kebab: The chicken drumsticks had a nice, delicate marinade, but the chicken could have been a bit more tender.
  4. Roman Garlic Chicken: When it came to the table, we were expecting it to be an ‘Indianized’ version of an Italian dish, but surprisingly, the flavours were very authentic and delicious.
  5. Peri Peri Chicken Pizza: They have a wood fired oven, so their pizzas should definitely be tired. The crust was thin, crisp and cooked just right and the topping was nice and saucy with juicy chicken chunks.
  6. Chicken Hadippa: Deep fried battered chicken wings- the chicken was too oily and quite bland as the spices that were used in the batter had not seeped into the chicken. This dish could do with some improvement.
  7. Penne Pasta in White Sauce: It was a good pasta- cooked al dente, nice sauce, nice creamy sauce, with a good shaving of parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Italian Herbed Garlic Bread: The bread was fresh and had a nice garlic flavoured butter slathered on it.
  9. Oriental Lemon Garlic Fish: The fish was really soft and the subtle lemony flavour really worked with it.

There was also a salad counter laid out in the buffet, which had a good variety of 6-7 salads. The kimchi was well made, but the pasta salad had an overload of mayonnaise.

Coming to the mains, the choices here were endless, with some hits and a few misses. The Butter Chicken and mutton were excellent- the meats were well cooked and the gravies had been adeptly spiced. Even the Chinese items were good. The Italian Veg Bake had become a bit clumpy as a result of reheating, and the pindi chole were a bit underdone, but the kadhai paneer and langar dal were nice.

Moving on to desserts, the spread was nice, but there could be a bit more imagination here. The walnut brownie, fruit custard and strawberry pastry were nice, but they are very regular items, things that can be found anywhere. The Chocolate and Mango Mousse were light and the flavours came through. The coconut caramel custard didn’t really have caramel in it, but the coconut flavour was quite pronounced and this would be a big hit with people who like coconut. The bread and butter pudding was good, Bomb Alaska was something very new. But the show stopper here was the Mocha Crème Brulee. Though it wasn’t really ‘brulee’ as there wasn’t any caramelized sugar on top, which made us miss the ‘crack’ that signifies brulee, but the flavours of the crème custard were amazing, the coffee flavour was there, but was not overpowering and the custard was very smooth and had the perfect consistency.

We even tried a few items from the regular menu:

  1. London Doner Kebab: The portions were really huge and quite filling. The doner kebab was well made and the chicken filling was spiced well. The hummus and picked veg served with the kebabs were very nice, but the third condiment was a plain mayonnaise, and perhaps a tzatziki would have been better. We also liked the presentation of this kebab- it looked very inviting and tempting on this wooden platter.
  2. Chocolate Fondant: This is a difficult dish to execute and most people just don’t get the texture right. The cake covering should be extremely thin, and the moment you break it open, it should just ooze out delicious, molten chocolate. This fondant was one of the best made fondants we have had, and that includes some of the best five-star restaurants in the city.
  3. Spanish Churros with 2 Chocolate Dips: The churros were really great, soft inside and crunchy outside, though they could have been a bit crispier. They were sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon powder, which is a must in the authentic version of this dish, was there, though many people forget to add that important ingredient. The churros were served with 2 dipping sauces, and both of these were simply to die for! I could literally have bowls of these sauces.

On the service front, there were no complaints. The service was prompt and extremely courteous. The décor was modern and chic, and gave the place a relaxed vibe.

Overall, the service was great, the food was excellent (and even more so when it came to the à la carte section). All the dishes are true to the flavours of the regions they come from and are not Indianized versions of those dishes. Each individual flavour comes across in its authenticity, at the same time, being appealing for the Indian audiences. The concept of bringing together world foods is really great, and quite innovative, which makes this place a must visit!

Quick Facts

Address: A 15, Ground Floor, Vishal Enclave, Main Najafgarh Road, Rajouri Garden

Phone Number: 011 45519761 ; 011 45519762
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