Overall Rating: 4.25/5
Rajouri Garden has been one of the most trending and happening places to visit of late, and its sudden growth can be only compared to what happened with Hauz Khas Village a few years back.
With new restaurants opening up literally every week, what’s great is that these restaurants are offering new cuisines and new concepts which gives us huge variety to choose from.
And talking about variety, what can be better than having a choice of over 300 dishes across 30 countries under one roof. That is exactly what The California Boulevard is all about!
The restaurant spans across 2 floors and the décor is very retro- the theme ‘Old Hollywood’ being reflected in the seating, music and the whole feel of the place. Another thing we noticed the moment we walked in was how well-dressed the servers were, something you hardly get to see outside of 5-star establishments nowadays.
The moment we sat down, we were served with an assorted bread basket with a jar of garlic butter. The breads were all really soft and fresh, and the garlic butter was excellent- creamy and smooth, with the right amount of herbs and garlic.
- Palak Patta Chaat: The chaat was very nice- the palak leaves were crunchy and the balance of the chutneys on top was just right.
- Paneer Sushi- This was a very interesting take on sushi. It had paneer, stuffed with mushrooms and cheese, rolled and fried. A very creative dish!
- Char Grilled Chicken: Who would have thought to put fondue with chicken? The dish had chicken thighs, nicely marinated with a subtle garlic flavour, topped with creamy methi fondue. The chicken was juicy and the cheesy fondue just elevated the dish to a whole new level.
- Vegetable Bruschetta: Crispy bread, topped with fresh and exotic ingredients like artichoke, bell peppers, rocket leaves and feta cheese. There were generous quantities of veggies and the combination of these flavours worked really well together.
- Quesadilla: One of the best quesadillas we’ve had in Delhi. The kidney beans in the stuffing were well cooked and the tortilla was really crispy. This was served with fresh tomato salsa and light and fluffy sour cream, which perfectly complimented the quesadilla.
- Mix Vegetables and Chives Dumpling: A nice, subtle-flavoured dumpling, which went great with the spicy sauces they served it with.
- Crystal Chicken Dim Sum: The chicken was really juicy and moist, with a nice freshness coming in from the coriander. Also, the different shapes of the dumplings were done well, and that really takes some skill.
- Ganderi Kebab: The kebabs constitute minced chicken, wrapped around sugarcane sticks, served with a tangy-sweet dip. I have had these kebabs at Varq at The Taj Mahal Hotel, and these ones weren’t too far behind from those.
- Tangy Button Mushrooms: The mushrooms were tossed in a spicy Schezwan sauce, topped with crispy fried noodles. A decent dish.
- Thai Wok Fried Chicken: This dish had chicken chunks, tossed in soy, garlic, basil and red chilli. The chicken was soft and well-cooked and the sauce had a great balance of flavours, and was not too spicy.
- Kakori Kebab: Smooth, melt-in-the-mouth minced mutton, delicately flavoured with whole spices, with a lovely background note of saffron.
- Peri Peri Crispy Chicken: Boneless pieces of chicken in a peri peri marinade, served with chipotle mayo dip. The problem with this dish was that the chicken wasn’t spicy enough for our liking, and even the mayo dip didn’t have much spicy chipotle flavour to it.
- California Veggie and Peri Peri Chicken Half-and-half Pizza: They have a wood-fired oven in their premises, which is actually located at the corner of the first floor, and it has glass sides, so you can actually see the pizzas being made live in front of you. The pizza had a crispy thin crust and was loaded with toppings. The veg pizza was topped with sundried tomatoes, corn, capsicum, broccoli and mushrooms and really packed a lot of flavour. The chicken pizza was also generously topped with chicken chunks marinated in peri peri spices, but gain, the peri peri wasn’t as spicy as it should be.
- Murg Sirka Pyaaz: Moving away from the traditional butter chicken, we tried the murg sirka pyaaz, which had a thick gravy, laced with small pieces of pickled onions, which provided a nice tangy flavour. A really good dish. The tandoori roti was thin and crisp.
After tasting all these dishes, we were understandably too full to have anything else. Except of course, dessert, which always manages to make space for itself in our tummies. For dessert we tried:
- Chocolate Bomb: This was simply a visual treat! We were presented with a large chocolate ball over which the server gently poured hot caramel sauce. As he kept pouring the hot sauce on the cold chocolate ball, the chocolate started melting, and in the most beautiful way, opened up almost in the shape of a flower, to reveal a chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice-cream inside it. Not only was this dish a wonder to look at, but when we tasted a bite of all those flavours together- vanilla ice-cream, fudgy brownie, caramel sauce and chocolate- it just tasted divine! A must-have dessert!
- TCB Kulfi Gazzak: This is a speciality of the restaurant. When it was served to us, we saw two chocolate spheres on the plate, which were then blow-torched by the server. This gave the chocolate a nice sheen and a bitter-sweet note, and slightly softened the treasure inside- the kulfi. So then we cracked open the chocolate spheres to reveal the kesar-pista kulfi, which was topped with some gazzak for the crunch element. All these flavours- bitter chocolate, sweet kulfi and crunchy gazzak just complimented each other very well to make for a great dessert.
Overall, the restaurant offers a huge range of dishes, from traditional to innovative, and almost all of them taste spectacular. The ambience of the place is classy and suits the theme perfectly. The service was excellent- the servers are knowledgeable about the menu, as also extremely courteous.
All of this makes California Boulevard a must-visit!
Location: J 2/5, 1st & 2nd Floor, B.K. Dutt Market, Rajouri Garden (Another branch at Sector 29, Gurgaon)
Phone Number: 011 33106411