Review: Bonjour Chocolates

Review: Bonjour Chocolates

Overall rating: 4.5/5

With the festive season upon us, we have all started thinking about new and exciting gifting options- products other than the boring mithais and dry fruits. A brand new venture, Bonjour Chocolates, is here to make our decision easier.

Bonjour Chocolates offers fine hand-crafted chocolates and chocolate confections, created with top-quality ingredients and packaged and presented beautifully. The team behind the venture has undergone extensive training in India and abroad. Being chocolate lovers themselves, their aim is to provide delicious and innovative products made with passion. To ensure their focus on quality, they currently create their products on-order and would perhaps look into setting up chocolate boutiques in the future.

I am a huge fan of all things chocolate, so when I received a Tasting Box from Bonjour Chocolates, I was simply delighted. What blew me away instantly was the gorgeous packaging- elegant and classy- perfect for gifting purposes. But what was even better than the beautiful box, was what the box contained- delicious chocolate goodies.

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Chocolate Walnut Cake: Light and airy cake, with a lovely dark chocolate flavour.

Vanilla Butter Cookies: The cookies were light and crumbly, and were not at all dense. The flavour of the vanilla was subtle, but still came through, and the butter gave the cookies a nice richness. These would be a perfect accompaniment to your evening tea.

Nerdy Nut Chocolate Bar: The chocolate had a smooth texture and was loaded with roasted nuts on one side, giving a crunch in every bite.

Traditional English Toffee: Made with pure butter and dark chocolate, this toffee was luscious and had a lovely mouth-feel. The toffee was set perfectly, and was really crunchy and not chewy at all, just the way it should be.

Chocolate Truffles: I simply love chocolate truffles, but rarely are they made well. But Bonjour Chocolates did a splendid job with their truffles. The tasting box had 5 flavours of truffle- mocha, tropical treat, classic, pistachio and chocolate mousse.
The mocha truffle had a dark chocolate java ganache filling, encased in a milk chocolate shell, decorated with a speck of edible gold. The truffle not only looked lavish, but also tasted divine.
Tropical treat had a lemon and coconut ganache in a while chocolate covering, dusted with coconut. The combination of the lemon and coconut with the white chocolate was really unique and tasty.
The classic truffle had a dark chocolate caramel ganache in milk chocolate, coated with salted peanuts. The balance of the sweet and salty elements on this truffle was superb.
The pistachio truffle had white chocolate ganache in a white chocolate shell, dusted with pistachio. This was nice as well, but a bit too sweet for my liking.
The chocolate mousse truffle was perhaps my favourite of the lot. It had a luscious chocolate mousse in a milk chocolate covering, dusted with cocoa. The cocoa dusting provided the truffle with just the right amount of bitterness, making the chocolate flavour shine.

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Dessert Sauces: The box also had 2 tiny jars of caramel sauce and chocolate fudge sauce, which could be used as a topping for waffles, ice-creams, cakes, etc. I, however, unabashedly had these sauces as it is, with a spoon. And they were both superb. While the chocolate fudge sauce could have been a tad thicker, to make it more fudgy, the caramel sauce was absolute perfection. It was clear that the sugar had been taken to just below smoking point to attain the light brown colour and the rich flavour.

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Overall, it was a delightful box of delicious chocolate goodies, packaged in the most beautiful manner. I simply loved all the products, but my absolute favourites were the chocolate mousse truffles, mocha truffle and caramel sauce. I would totally recommend these ornate, lavish boxes for gifting to friends and family on Diwali!

To find out more about Bonjour Chocolates, check out their Facebook page here.

Bakery Review: The Sugar Lust

Bakery Review: The Sugar Lust

Overall rating: 4/5

The Sugar Lust is a new bakery based in Ghaziabad, working on a delivery-only model. Disha, the mind and hands behind this bakery was passionate about baking since she was kid, but it was only after she quit her job in marketing and decided to start something of her own that she took up baking professionally.

Disha is completely self-taught, and the USP of her products are that they are all eggless and 100% homemade. The Sugar Lust also deals in celebratory cakes. They deliver anywhere up to 40kms from their location and the charges for delivery vary according to distance.

I had the chance of trying quite a few of their products, and though I was a bit apprehensive at first, as I feel eggless baked goods rarely match up to the regular ones, I was in for a pleasant surprise:

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Choco Chip Coffee Cake Loaf: I really like cake loaves as they taste equally good served warm or cold. And this one was excellent. The loaf had a strong flavour of both coffee and chocolate, but neither overpowered the other. The texture of the loaf was perfect and it was also very nicely packaged.

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Caramel Coffee Cupcake: Despite being an eggless cupcake, it had quite a light texture. Also, the frosting was really nice, not overly sweet and the overall flavour combination was really good.

Mini Blueberry Cheesecake: Firstly, the presentation of this mini cheesecake was really cute. The biscuit base was crumbly and the cheesecake was light and airy. The blueberry compote was really well made and tasted very fresh. However, the biscuit base could be a little thinner so that the proportion of the base to the cheesecake mixture would be more appropriate.

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Chocolate Brownie: The brownie was fudgy and had a rich chocolate flavour.

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Chocolate Mendiant: A really nice and different product- the chocolate was tempered well and had just the right amount of nuts on it.

Chocolate Truffles: The truffles were delightful- the texture was perfect and the flavour was amazing. The pistachio truffle was really nice, but the plain chocolate truffle was perhaps my favourite item of the lot.

Liquor Chocolate: Perfectly executed! The edges of the chocolate were sharp and the chocolate was glossy and had a nice texture which showed that the tempering was done correctly. It was filled with a nice quantity of slightly bitter liquor. The balance of the sweet and bitter elements was just right.

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Vanilla Cream Cheesecake Jar: The packaging was very nice and the cake looked really pretty, but this was a bit too sweet for my liking.

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Overall, the products were really nice and they certainly changed my prejudice against eggless products. I would also like to compliment Disha for being extremely receptive of feedback and being so enthusiastic about pleasing her customers. This bakery is a must-try, especially for eggless baked goods, which are just as delicious as the regular ones!

To find out more about The Sugar Lust, check out their Facebook page here.

Restaurant Review: Kebab Gali, Malviya Nagar

Restaurant Review: Kebab Gali, Malviya Nagar

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. That saying aptly describes what Kebab Gali is all about. The brand prides itself on its kebabs and biryanis and it offers good North Indian food, familiar to our palettes, at reasonable prices.

Having tried the Yusuf Sarai and Vasant Kunj branches, we were invited for a meal at their third branch which has recently opened up in Malviya Nagar. As with the other outlets, this outlet isn’t very big, and the décor is minimalistic.

Coming to the food, we ordered Dohra Kebab and Murg Malai Tikka for starters.

Dohra Kebab is one of their signature items. It had minced mutton inside and minced chicken on the outside, in the shape of a seekh kebab. Both the meats were well seasoned and juicy, and the kebab was very tasty.

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The Murgh Malai Tikka was well marinated in a nice mix of spices and cream. The chicken was succulent and the flavour of the marinade was subtle.

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For main course, we went with Butter Chicken and Dahi Chicken.

The butter chicken was really well made, with the typical slightly-sweet taste from the tomato puree, and the chicken was also juicy and well-cooked. The dahi chicken was quite a unique dish. It is made with minimal oil and is perfect for those watching their weight. The gravy was light and had a slight sour taste due to the curd, and can be tried by those looking for something different. The tandoori rotis were thin and crisp.

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One thing which can be improved upon at this outlet was the service. The servers appeared a bit confused and unsure, and perhaps that should get better over time.

Overall, it is a nice place for a no-frills North Indian meal, with ample choice of dishes and at very reasonable rates.

Quick Facts

Location: 7-8, Corner Market, Malviya Nagar

Phone Number: +91 8800189116   ;   +91 8880018931

Restaurant Review: The Mad Teapot/The Wishing Chair

Restaurant Review: The Mad Teapot/The Wishing Chair

Overall Rating: 3.25/5

This is a whimsical and charming home décor shop which has cute and quirky products like lamp shades, mugs, teapots, photo frames, etc. The shop has a small café at the back, which dishes out small bites (all vegetarian) and a variety of teas.

We tried:

Winter Woodland’s Vegetable Pasta: This was a spaghetti dish, with a garlic, red chili and parsley sauce, with loads of exotic vegetables like peppers, zucchini and squash. The veggies were perfectly cooked, the pasta was al dente, and the flavours of the dish were beautiful. It was one of the best spaghetti aglio olio we’ve had.

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Whatizname Sandwich: The sandwich was made with a good quality whole wheat bread and has melted mozzarella, cheddar, tomatoes, lettuce, pesto spread inside. However, the quantity of the pesto spread was too less, and there wasn’t much flavour in the sandwich.

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We also got an Enchanted Forest Salad packed. The salad had rocket leaves, fennel, orange segments and feta cheese, drenched with a honey lemon dressing. The bitter rocket leaves complemented the sweet oranges, and the feta was creamy and sharp. However, the dressing could have done with a bit more lemon juice to get a zingy flavour.

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Overall, the place uses really good quality ingredients and the food is quite good, but the prices are a bit steep.

Quick Facts

Location: 86A Shahpur Jat near khel gaon , Shahpur Jat

Phone Number: 011 46572121

Product Review: ROYCE’ Chocolates

Product Review: ROYCE’ Chocolates

Chocolate is food for the soul, and when you’re really craving something decadent and exquisite and don’t mind splurging a bit for top quality products, the place to head to is ROYCE’.

ROYCE’ is a Japanese chocolate maker and confectioner which has become an international phenomenon. The brand has 5 stores in India currently- 2 in Mumbai and 1 each in Bangalore, Kolkatta and Delhi.

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The brand, known for some of the finest chocolates in the world, has been in the business for more than 30 years, but has constantly kept innovating. They not only keep coming up with new and creative additions to their collection, but they also try to focus on the market they are catering to. For India, they have currently launched the limited edition Diwali gift boxes which offer an assortment of some of their most popular products as well as a selection from their newly-launched product range.

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If these set boxes don’t strike your fancy, you can also choose their regular red, brown or silver boxes, which you can fill with products of your choice.

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They have quite a diverse range of products available, but here are some of my favourites:

Nama Chocolates: These are their signature products- made by combining high-quality cocoa with fresh cream, to end up with a velvety-smooth chocolate. There are 3 variants of Nama chocolates available- Ghana Bitter, Ecuador Sweet and Mild Cacao, and my personal favourite is the Ghana Bitter. These chocolates are like nothing you would’ve had before and are an absolute must-try!

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Potato chip Chocolate: This is a quirky invention by the Japanese- combining salty, crunchy potato chips and sweet chocolates, and surprisingly, both these ingredients go really well together.

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Aroma Chocolate Box: This box is a collection of 8 different types of chocolates- all having cacao sourced from the finest cacao-growing countries around the world, and all having different cacao percentages. This box is an excellent option for gifting purpose.

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Criollo Chocolate: Made from one of the rarest and most expensive cacao beans- criollo beans, this chocolate is exquisite. It has a strong flavour, which lingers on your palette, and would be a delight for all dark chocolate lovers.

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Prafeuille Chocolat: Wafer-thin chocolates, holding a beautiful filling of raspberry and strawberry sauce. How so much sauce can be filled in such thin slices of chocolate is miraculous, and the taste was simply spectacular.

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Apart from these, there are many more products to choose from, such as different variants of pure chocolates, baton cookies, chocolate wafers, amande chocolate, chocolate bars, coffee chocolate, nutty bars, etc.

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Now obviously these are expensive chocolates, and are not for every-day indulgence. But for special occasions, or the times when you want to splurge on yourself or your loved ones, ROYCE’ Chocolates are an excellent choice!

Restaurant Review: Scooter on the wall

Restaurant Review: Scooter on the wall

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Ordering from this place was a last-minute decision as the place that I initially wanted to order from was shut, and it had been a while since I tried out a new place at Satyaniketan. Also, I was quite surprised to see that they deliver to my locality, which is a bit far from this place. And when they took nearly an hour to deliver my food, I was really wondering why they commit to delivering to far-away addresses in the first place.

The food arrived late, but neatly packed, but there was no cutlery provided. They should definitely look into these aspects, as it affects the overall experience, and also since even dhabas nowadays send some plastic cutlery along with their food.

I placed an order for Classic Lambretta Pasta (pasta in white sauce), Rosemary Chicken Steak and Cheese and Tomato Sandwich.

Classic Lambretta Pasta: The penne was overcooked to an extent that it was breaking apart. Also, my biggest pet peeve when it comes to pastas is over-sauced pastas. This pasta was literally drenched in sauce and the sauce itself also didn’t have much flavour. The vegetables in the pasta were cooked well, and they still had a crunch to them.

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Rosemary Chicken Steak: This dish consisted of a rosemary-rubbed chicken steak in mushroom caper sauce. The chicken was well cooked and the rosemary flavour did come through. The mushroom sauce was nice, but it was slightly over-salted. The dish came with some rice, sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes. The rice had diced bell peppers in it, and was decent. The mashed potatoes had a nice lemony flavour, but could do with some cracked pepper to enhance the flavour. The sautéed vegetables were really nice and well-cooked.

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Cheese and Tomato Sandwich: The sandwich had become quite soggy and was breaking apart. Other than that, it was a basic sandwich, but could have done with a bit more cheese.

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Overall, the food was just decent, and the delivery experience was not that great. Perhaps a dine-in experience could be better, as food does lose its taste when packed. But as of now, I won’t recommend this place.

Quick Facts

Location: 124, Opposite Venkateshwara College, Satyaniketan

Phone Number: +91 8750456789   ;   +91 9311861535

Event Review: The Sweet Spectacular @ The Wishing Chair, Gurgaon

Event Review: The Sweet Spectacular @ The Wishing Chair, Gurgaon

The Sweet Spectacular- the name describes the event perfectly- it was surely sweet, and it was definitely spectacular!

The Sweet Spectacular was a one-day dessert fest that The Wishing Chair hosted at their store in Gurgaon on 10th October. The fest had some of the city’s best home-bakers coming together to give people a taste of their top 3 desserts.

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I am a total desserts person, and to be surrounded with so many options to choose from was extremely delightful, but very confusing as well. So I tried to taste at least one sweet treat from each counter:

Lemon Meringue Tarts- Cakealicious by Nikita Hooper: The tart shell was crumbly and thin, but could have been baked a tad more, as the one I had was a little pale. They were filled with a lovely lemon curd, which was tart and sweet at the same time. What made this tart different from the regular lemon tarts was the fact that the meringue on top was made with brown sugar, which added a beautiful earthy flavour. The meringue was well toasted as well, but was slipping off a bit from the filling. Overall, it was a pretty good dessert.

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Dense and Dark Chocolate Nemesis- Monster Cakes: Though Monster Cakes is famous for its cake jars, and I was looking forward to trying one of those, the moment I laid eyes on this cake, I knew I couldn’t walk away from it. It was a flourless chocolate cake. The cake was rich, dense and gooey, had an amazing dark chocolate flavour, and was simply delightful. It was one of the best flourless chocolate cakes I’ve had- pure decadence.

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Lemon Meringue Cake- La. Di. Da: The cake base was soft and spongy, and had a delicate flavour. It was topped with a zingy lemon frosting, covered with meringue. While the meringue was really light and fluffy, it could have been toasted a bit more evenly. But the cake as a whole was really flavourful.

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Salted Caramel Tarts- Smitten Bakery: I had first tried their products at the Dessert Bazaar organised at Monkey Bar earlier this year, and had fallen in love with 2 of their desserts- boozy chocolate cake and salted caramel tarts. At this event as well, I was looking forward to having some more of these. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the boozy chocolate cakes that day, but my other favourite was there, so I took one. The tart was well baked and crumbly. The tarts were filled with a layer of delicious salted caramel, on top of which was a layer of dark chocolate ganache. The balance of flavours on this dessert was perfect, and the little sprinkling of sea salt on top of the tarts just took it over the edge!

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Lemon Thyme Cake- Better Batter by Amali: This was a nice and simple tea-cake, and a much needed relief from all the frosting-heavy desserts at the event. The cake had a beautiful lemon flavour, with an earthy background note of the thyme. The cake was covered with lemon syrup, which was just adequately sweet. Overall, a really nice dessert, especially for those who like to keep it light.

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Tart Au Citron- HolyBelly: HolyBelly is a food boutique, providing catering services with a difference, by focussing on what they call ‘Food by Mood’. They had 3 French desserts on offer at the event, out of which I went for the Tart Au Citron. The tart was thin and well-baked, and the proportion of tart to filling was perfect. The filling was citrusy and tangy and well-set. A really good dessert!

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Nutella and Red Velvet Brownies- Love is…Cakes: Lastly, I headed to the counter by Love is…Cakes. They had a wide range of products to choose from, and I finally settled for the brownies. The red velvet brownie was really good- the flavour was simply amazing and it had the perfect thin crust on top. The only thing missing was the gooeyness in the centre. The Nutella brownie was also delicious, and the little pockets of Nutella inside the brownie were a beautiful surprise.

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Overall, it was a great idea and The Wishing Chair organised the event really well. The event had an eclectic range of desserts and it also helped in showcasing some amazing talent. Kudos to the team who organized the event, and to all the lovely home-bakers!