Review: Bliss Bakery

Review: Bliss Bakery

When your passion turns into your profession, it really is a great thing. And that’s exactly what happened with Mahak, the chef behind Bliss Bakery. She started the academic way (with a degree in engineering from DCE in tow), and started baking for family and friends as just a hobby. And she soon realized that’s where her heart is, and encouraged by friends, she started making baked goods from here home kitchen to sell to neighbors and friends. She then went on to pursue a course at Le Cordon Bleu, London, and upon returning, she worked under the guidance of Chef Saby to hone her skills.

Finally, this year, she opened her first brick and mortar shop at GK M-Block market. The cute little outlet is located near the parking area, just outside the main market block, and is easy to locate. The bakery has been done up in a chic and simplistic manner, and the delicious smell that comes out of the place the moment you walk in gets you salivating.

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Bliss Bakery’s cakes, cookies, tarts and pastries owe their exceptional flavor to carefully sourced raw ingredients. They do not believe in using any preservatives, packaged syrups or essence, and there is a lot of focus on making everything using pure and natural ingredients.

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I visited the bakery for a tasting and was not only impressed by the products, but also by the care and love with which Mahak and her husband attend to each customer that walks in.

The Raspberry Mint Italian Soda was made using actual fruit, and not fruit syrup, and the drink had pulp in it as well. The touch of mint really worked with the sweet-tart flavors of the raspberry and made the drink really refreshing.

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White Chocolate Coffee Dome: White chocolate is a tough ingredient to work with, because if you’re not careful with the flavor combinations, it can easily make the dessert too sweet. But in this dessert, they have completely nailed it! The white chocolate mousse was really creamy and was layered with a coffee-soaked genoise sponge and coffee mousse to counteract the sweetness of the chocolate. The dome was coated with a shiny white chocolate glaze and decorated with cocoa nibs for a slight bitter taste. A lovely creation and a must-have!

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Mangolicious Whipped Cream Cake: The cake had layers of genoise sponge, delicious and smooth vanilla-infused pastry cream and fresh diced mangoes, all topped with French dairy whipped cream. The sponge was really light and airy, and the layering was really neatly done. A lovely, light, summery dessert.

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Lemon Meringue Pie: This was an absolutely smashing dessert. The pie crust was crisp, but not too hard, and was buttery and crumbly in texture. It was filled with some cake crumbs, topped off with a velvety smooth lemon curd. The curd was set perfectly, and had the most amazing zingy citrusy flavor. The level of sugar and lemon were perfectly balanced and the curd was simply divine. The tart was topped off with some lightly torched, soft, chewy meringue. Overall, this is one dessert I would go back for again and again!

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Red Velvet in a New Avatar: Their rendition of red velvet is slightly different from the regular ones. Instead of cream cheese, they use white chocolate buttercream between the layers of the red velvet cake, which keeps it light and the white chocolate works really well with the sharp red velvet. The cake itself was also really fluffy and moist. It was topped with soft and airy white chocolate drips, which not only made the cake look beautiful, but were also delectable to taste.

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Espresso Brownie: The brownie was soft and chocolatey, however, while there was a slight coffee note in it, I would have liked the espresso flavor to be amped up a bit.

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Macarons: I tried the lemon, vanilla, coffee, and red velvet macarons. The macarons were all perfect in terms of texture- the macarons had a thin crust and just melted in the mouth. The vanilla one had a lovely mild flavor and the red velvet one had a filling of white chocolate and was topped with red velvet cake crumbs. The coffee one had just the right amount of coffee in it, and the lemon macaron had a sharp lemon curd filling, and was really delicious.

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Ice-creams: The bakery also has a variety of fresh ice-creams that they make in-house, ranging from vanilla and strawberry, to Mocha Almond Fudge, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Hazelnut Chocolate, Banana Honeycomb Caramel, and Chocolate Sorbet. The mocha almond fudge was really rich and delicious, and the banana honeycomb is a nice option if you want to try something different. The red velvet cheesecake ice-cream had the sharpness of cream cheese in it, and is surely something worth trying. The hazelnut chocolate had a deep, rich flavor of dark chocolate, and the chocolate sorbet, which was diary-free, and made with chocolate and water, was really nice as well.

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Bliss Bakery also has a few savories on their menu, of which I tried the Chili Cheese Toastie and the Pesto Brioche. The toastie had a lovely, fresh bread which was nicely grilled, and was filled with gooey stretchy cheese- a mix of mozzarella and cheddar. It had some jalapeno pieces as well for spice. A really good snack. The pesto brioche had a soft, buttery bun with a spiral of fresh and zingy pesto in it. A lovely bite to have with tea.

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What’s also great is that they bake a range of fresh breads as well, and they are made without using chemical leaveners.

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Overall, for its delicious desserts, and tasty, fresh breads, and the warmth with which each customer is greeted, Bliss Bakery should certainly be tried.

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Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: M-2, GK1, M-Block Market, Near Gate No 1 Parking, Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4907 0220

Review: Molecule Air Bar

Review: Molecule Air Bar

Molecule is one of the most happening and buzzing places in the Sector 29 market, and rightly so. The place not only offers some really innovative and delicious dishes, but also a nice, vibrant setting to just let loose and enjoy. The place is done up like a World War bunker- a place where the weapons were kept and also scientific experiments were conducted. The place has a rusty iron décor, and elements like guns, masks, swords, daggers and wrenches are used on the walls. The exposed cement ceiling and chunky leather sofas add to the setup. There is a large bar on one side, with tanks behind it, where the fresh beer is brewed. The song playlist is also excellent and really adds to the whole vibe of the place.

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We went here on a Saturday afternoon and the place was totally packed.

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We started with an amuse bouche of Rooh Afza Lassi Shots with Pistachio Dust. It was a nice use of the specification technique, and the mild sweet taste really worked well to get the palate ready for the meal ahead.

We were then served taster shots of two of their freshly brewed beer- Wheat Beer and Premium Lager, of which we chose the wheat one for its smooth, light flavor.

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A cocktail called Khula Pinjara was served in a large glass shaped like a copper bucket, sitting inside a white cage. The bucket was filled with a mix of Bacardi and pomegranate juice, mint, and lemon. The drink is a part of their sharing cocktails range, and we loved the drink as well as the concept.

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The LIIT was served in a red colored miniature tanker, and was a really strong and potent mix of Bacardi Rum, Smirnoff Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Triple Sec, and coke.

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On the non-alcoholic side of things, the Kala Khatta Mocktail perfectly imitated the taste of the quintessential chuski flavor, and was served in a cocktail shaker which was sitting in a kettle. The kettle had been filled with dry ice, with some water poured on it, so that smoke was coming out of its spout.

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The Virgin Mary was served in a mini rickshaw and had a nice tangy flavor of tomato juice mixed with lemon juice, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and tabasco, and had a nice hit from the black pepper.

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The Virgin Bengali Mojito was a lovely and refreshing concoction of aam panna, mint, lemon, garam masala, and zeera powder.

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Moving on to the food, we tried:

Dragon Smoke Popcorn: A really interesting dish, served in an even more interesting manner, this consisted of popcorn, flavored with maggi masala, served in a copper vessel which was coated with liquid nitrogen, so that there was smoke coming out of it, and the popcorn was really cold.

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Molecular Puchka Shot: The gol gappas were served with five different flavors of water- cola, orange, pineapple, mint, beetroot, along with syringes of mint chutney and saunth chutney, and some spiced potatoes. The flavored water were all delicious- from the spicy mint, to the sweet beetroot and the tart pineapple, and the golgappas were also really crispy. It was a really fun dish, where one can make their own flavor combinations and get a different taste with each bite.

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Air Bread: A spectacular innovation and a delicious dish, the air bread was crispy on the outside and hollow on the inside. The bread was filled with a creamy four cheese fondue and was topped with a thin slice of achari paneer/chicken. The dish was great not only in terms of its technique, but also as the combination of the cheese and the achari spices worked surprisingly well together. This is a must-have dish at Molecule!

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Quattro Formaggi Kulcha: These were mini kulchas stuffed with a gooey, stretchy mix of four types of cheese, and topped with chili flakes and herbs. The kulchas were absolutely delicious, and worked well with the sweet-tangy aam papad chutney served alongside.

Chicken and Slow Roasted Chicken Tikka Kulcha: These mini kulchas were stuffed generously with chicken tikka pieces and was served with a scrumptious makhani gravy. Another great dish!

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Veg Biryani Arancini: A nice mix of Indian and Italian, this dish had arancini balls made with veg biryani. They were topped with dehydrated onions and were served with a namkeen lassi sphere, pink peppercorn, and salan crème. The flavors were the same as an authentic biryani with raita and salan, but the presentation was so innovative!

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Re De-constructed Tokri Chaat: This was an elaborate presentation of molecular chaat which is prepared at your table by Sous Chef Rana. He started off with putting sweetened curd on the plate, which was topped with fruits like apple, grapes, pomegranates, oranges, etc. coated with curd, saunth, green chutney and chaat masala sauce, which were frozen in liquid nitrogen. This was topped with granules of frozen curd and spiced potatoes, which was then topped with dhokla sponge (cooked in a microwave), and lachcha tokri. The whole spectacle of it being created in front of you was fantastic and the innovation did not in any way take away from the taste of the chaat.

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We also tried the Chili Paneer and Chili Chicken Samosas, which were stuffed with vegetables and cubes of paneer/chicken in a Chinese-style sauce. The samosas were crisp and non-oily and were topped with a spicy and tangy schezwan sauce.

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Paneer Tikka Two Ways: The paneer was marinated in two different marinades- one with peri peri and the other with a creamy pesto mix and were served with a pipette of the marinade. The flavors of the marinade were well infused into the paneer, which was also soft and fresh.

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Slow Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup: The way the soup was plated was really nice- we got a plate with different elements like pesto lavash, mozzarella cheese and basil caviar delicately placed on it, and the soup was served in a bulb-shaped dish. We poured the hot soup on to the plate, and it mixed with the other elements. The robust flavor of the roasted tomatoes came through, and the combination of the soup with the lavaash and the cheese worked very well.

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Cajun Crusted Fish Tikka: The dish consisted of delicate, soft basa, flavored deftly and sprinkled with masala coconut dust. The fish was also topped off with lemon honey water bubbles, which gave a nice citrusy taste to the dish.

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Ghee Roast Keema Matar: The keema matar was served in a little pot, with mini parathas hanging from hooks. The keema was really juicy and flavorsome and not too spicy, and the paranthas dipped into the delicious keema made for a perfect bite.

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Wood Fired Pizza: This was perhaps the only dish, which though quite good, did not blow us away. The pizza base was thin and crispy, and the pizza was topped with chicken tikka, onion, green chili, coriander, mushroom, but we felt they could have been a bit more generous with the chicken on the pizza.

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We then tried some of the desserts, which were all really amazing as well:

Rasgulla Tiramisu: A nice fusion of traditional Indian sweets and international desserts, this had a coffee-flavored rasgulla layered with mascarpone cheese, sprinkled with cocoa dust, and finished with a coffee and rum foam. The coffee flavor was strong in the dish, but not overpowering, and for people who do not like their desserts too sweet, this one would be perfect.

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Royal Ending: This had a creamy, saffron phirni in a sakora, which was bruleed, along with a scoop of homemade paan ice-cream, served with some gulab jal smoke. The phirni was absolutely delicious and had the perfect texture, and the paan ice-cream had actual betel leaves and mithi supari in it and was really refreshing and well made.

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Imitation of Ras Malai: This again is an elaborate dessert which is made live in front of you on a teppanyaki cold plate. Chef Rana first started off with some condensed milk on the plate, which was topped with blueberries, diced mangoes, pistachio dust and rose syrup. Then he placed a rose flavored sponge which was again made using the same microwave cooking technique. Chef then piped ras malai espuma with a siphon, topped it with a touch of wasabi and some vanilla bean and drenched it in liquid nitrogen to freeze it. These were then placed on the sponge. This was then topped with paan flavored candy floss, and finally covered with some condensed milk and rose syrup. It was really interesting to watch this dessert being constructed in front of us, and was even more enjoyable to eat, as with each bite, we got a different texture and flavor.

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We finally finished off with a dessert which resembled an ice-cream cone. The crisp waffle cone was filled with some paan flavored cream and was topped with paan candy floss.

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Chef Piyush Jain has really created some amazing dishes and he has made sure that the innovation does not dilute or overshadow the innate tastes and flavors of the dishes. The service was also super courteous and overall it was a wonderful dining experience. And the best part is, the restaurant offers all this at prices which are incredibly reasonable. So if you are in Sector 29, you shouldn’t think twice before heading straight to Molecule.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: SCO-53 4th Floor Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 88266 77705

Review: Zanotta

Review: Zanotta

The city’s love for Italian cuisine may be relatively recent, but it has picked up great momentum to become the preferred option for many while dining out. With everyone, from the poshest of restaurants to the tiniest of hawkers delving into the likes of pizzas and pastas, we are often forced to question how many of them are actually doing it right. We’ve all had our share of over-cooked, over-sauced pastas, in variants called “red sauce”, “white sauce”, and “mixed sauce”, but those renditions are not even close to the delicacy and beauty of true Italian food.

So if the splendor of simple, authentic Italian food is what you crave for, Zanotta is the destination for you.

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Located at Leela Ambience, Gurgaon, Zanotta assures the authenticity of the cuisine, in a memorable setting, making for an unforgettable dining experience. The panoramic view of the millennium city through clear glass panels on one side of the room instantly connects one to the bustling energy of the city, while at the same time helping you slow down and appreciate the splendid meal in front of you. Designed by Hersch Bedner Associates (HBA), the restaurant offers a formal seating arrangement for 80 diners, including semi-private dining sections. The restaurant also has a large wine cellar of select premium wines from across the globe. The restaurant has a “Ruby and Pearl” concept, with the beige seating on one side of each table reflecting pearls, and the other side showcasing the maroon ruby. The same theme is reflected through the glass panels, with the natural light during day time signifying pearls, while the bright red glow of car lights at night signifying ruby. Ample use of wood on the walls and a coffered ceiling are complimented by brushed finished spiral lamps and Rosewood Venetian blinds.

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But the most attractive feature of the restaurant is certainly the open kitchen layout. A team of chefs exhibit the preparations of each delicacy with precision in the live interactive kitchens. There is something very exciting about seeing the food cooked right in front of your eyes, and seeing the coordination, passion and skill of the chefs putting together the dishes for you.

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Leidy Liz Levitan Hernandez, the Italian Master Chef behind the dishes at Zanotta is extremely passionate and dedicated towards her craft. Having travelled far and wide, she has mastered her culinary skills at many famed restaurants across the world, which is reflected in each masterpiece that she creates. And she is extremely warm and is always willing to drop by your table and chat with you about the dishes.

The exemplary service that the Leela brand is known for was exhibited the moment I stepped in, as the staff had already been informed about my tastes and preferences from my earlier visit to their all day dining restaurant Spectra. Since they knew I like my mocktails a bit tangy and spicy, they put together a special concoction of raw mango, mint, lime, jalapenos and black pepper, which was very refreshing and extremely delicious.

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As soon as I took a seat, I could smell fresh breads being baked in the oven, and the same were soon served to me at the table. The breads were all warm, soft and skillfully made, and were really nice. I especially liked their focaccia as it had a spicy note from the jalapenos.

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I started off my meal with Involtini de verdure alla griglia, peperncino e formaggi con pinoli condiment. The dish consisted of grilled vegetables like carrots and zucchini, rolled and stuffed with a herb-infused mix of fontina and gorgonzola cheese. While the sharpness of the gorgonzola gave a nice punch of flavor to the vegetables, the buttery and nutty taste of the fontina cheese complemented the pine nut and balsamic dressing really well.

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Next, I tried a range of their fresh pastas:

Ravioli di Ricotta e spinaci al burro e salvia: The ravioli was generously stuffed with spinach and ricotta and served atop a fresh tomato sauce, topped with a fragrant sage butter sauce. A dish with delicate flavors, executed brilliantly.

Porcini e pecorino ravioli con burro all tartufo nero: Another great ravioli dish, this one was stuffed with porcini mushrooms and pecorino cheese and topped with a nut and truffle butter. The robust flavor of the woody mushrooms, enhanced by the truffle created magic on the palate, and the sharp hit of the pecorino shavings added a lovely saline note. The little spoonful of red wine reduction served with the ravioli not only gave a vibrant color, but also a wonderful acidity to the dish. Overall, a masterful, sublime dish.

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Pappardelle all’a anatra con sugo d’anatra al tartufo: The dish consisted of thick, flat ribbon-shaped pasta, which was really fresh and cooked perfectly, topped with pulled duck in truffle duck jus. The jus had a lovely, robust flavor and the duck was perfectly cooked and incredibly flavorsome.

Pappardelle Zanotta: The veg pappardelle had a luscious cream sauce and was studded with delicious sundried tomatoes, a few drops of fresh pesto and some micro herbs. The delicate, yet flavorful pasta was simply divine and can give any non-vegetarian dish a run for its money.

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Malfatti di ricotta e melanzane con salsa alle noci: The house malfatti was stuffed with ricotta and creamy, roasted eggplant, served with a creamy walnut sauce. The malfatti was really well made and was cooked al dente, and it was surprising to see that the eggplant worked really well as a stuffing. The walnut sauce was simply spectacular, and was what made the dish divine. This is a dish I would go back for time and again.

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Risotto bianco con tartufo: Arborio rice that had been cooked till soft, but still retained its structure, in a creamy sauce of parmesan and mascarpone cheese. The risotto was topped with a poached egg yolk, which I broke open and mixed into the risotto, as instructed by Chef Leidy, and this made the risotto even more creamy and rich. The risotto was also topped at the table with some fresh summer black truffle shavings to enhance its flavor. A classic example of how simple dishes can be super-delicious.

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Moving on to the mains, I tried:

Funghi ragu con Polenta di tartufo grilliata: The dish consisted of soft polenta, which had been grilled to get a delicate crust on the outside, topped with lots of gooey melted cheese, and a delicious wild mushrooms ragout, which had a mix of five different types of fungi.

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Melanzane alla parmigiana: A traditional eggplant parmigiana, this consisted of a stack of thin eggplant slices, which had been very lightly battered in breadcrumbs and fried to a perfect crisp, layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. The parmigiana was beautifully layered, with just the right amount of cheese and sauce. It was served with some fresh pesto, which provided a nice balance of light and fresh flavors to the dish.

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Branzino crocante con verdure temperate: A really interesting dish, this consisted of a Chilean sea bass, which was really flaky and moist, coated with a black olive crust, and served with a simple warm vegetable salad. The contrast of the white flesh of the fish, and the black crust, as well as the contrast of the delicate taste of the fish to the strong olive flavor really looked and tasted great.

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Crepinette di Agnello e porcini: The dish had lamb loin crepinette (minced lamb and porcini wrapped in caul fat), served with oyster mushrooms, jus and pumpkin mash. The crepinette was beautifully rolled and delicious to taste. The jus was really full-bodied and the pumpkin mash was smooth and slightly sweet. The dish was not only plated beautifully, with all the contrasting colors and textures, but was also extremely delectable.

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After such a heavenly meal, I sampled a dessert platter, which was equally impressive.

The platter was plated so elegantly, that it was almost too pretty to eat. The Classic Tiramisu was just mildly sweet, and had a strong kick of coffee and kahlua in it, and the mascarpone cheese was light and airy. The Magnum Torte, a take on the Magnum ice-cream had a lovely, light vanilla mousse (which had specks of vanilla bean running through it), sandwiched between two crunchy hazelnut and chocolate wafer layers. The Yogurt Pannacotta had the perfect jiggly texture, was smooth and very mildly sweetened, and had a nice tart flavor. It was topped with some orange gelée, vanilla mousse and strawberry coulis. All of these elements added color and fruity flavors to the pannacotta. There was also a quenelle of vanilla ice-cream on the plate, which was topped with some toffee sauce. The ice-cream was smooth, rich and delicious, and made even better by the sauce.

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The brilliance of the food at Zanotta lies in their dexterity at combining different textures and elements to make a well-composed dish. Each dish had been plated elegantly and artistically, and every component on each dish has its own significance and added greatly to the dish in its entirety.

Every dish I had at Zanotta was memorable, and the beautiful setting and impeccable service made the experience truly exemplary! Zanotta is certainly one of the finest Italian restaurants in the city, and is a must-visit dining destination!

 

Overall Rating: 4.75/5

Quick Facts

Zanotta has two interesting concepts of Pranzo Sabato, a lazy, relaxed, and tranquil Saturday lunch (from 12pm to 3:30pm) consisting of unlimited servings of a special 4 course menu of Antipasti, Pastas, Main course and Dessert, served right at your table; and Lungo Pranzo Domenica, a similar concept of a long Sunday lunch, running all through the day (from 12pm to 9pm). The Lungo Pranzo Domenica is priced at Rs. 2350 plus tax per person with soft beverages only, Prosecco with premium Italian red and white wines is Rs. 3500 plus tax per person, Tattinger champagne is Rs. 4500 plus tax per person and Tattinger Comets do chmapagne is Rs 12500 per person plus taxes.

 

Location: The Leela Ambience, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 0124 4771234 ; 0124 4771255

Review: Burma Burma

Review: Burma Burma

With the advent of so many restaurants catering to different cuisines, diners in the city are truly spoilt for choice. And for all those who like to try out new cuisines, Burma Burma should certainly be their next stop. Starting off from Mumbai, the restaurant, which offers traditional Burmese food, has now spread its footprint in Delhi NCR, with a cute little outlet at the buzzing Cyber Hub.

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Decorated with beautiful Burmese murals on the wall, and bells hanging from the ceiling, the place is simple, dainty and very tastefully done. They have on display some cute kettles and glass cups and a variety of artisan teas, and other knick-knacks that one can purchase.

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Burmese food is an amalgamation of Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan and Thai cuisines. While the restaurant serves authentic Burmese food, the closeness of those flavors to the Indian palate are the reason that they never feel too unfamiliar.

We started off with the very famous Samuza Hincho, which was a tangy soup, with a broken samosa floating in it. Though it sounds strange, the soup was really tasty. The samosa was still crispy, and its filling of potatoes and chana was floating about in the tangy, flavorsome broth which had lots of diced cabbage and carrot for crunch and freshness. This soup should definitely be tried.

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Next we tried a platter of three salads- the Mandalay Laphet Thoke or Tea Leaf Salad had greens and tomatoes marinated in a pungent mix of fermented tea leaves, topped with fried garlic, nuts, and sesame seeds for a crunchy bite. Tayat Thi Thoke or Raw Mango Salad had shreds of raw mango mixed with roasted red chilly, crushed peanuts, lettuce and brown onion. The chilly gave it a mild heat, while the caramelized onions provided a slight sweet note, and the salad was really fresh and vibrant, but could have done with just a touch more acidity. The Naykyar Gyun Akyaw Thoke or Sunflower Leaves and Crispy Wheat Flakes Salad was our favorite of the lot. It had baby sunflower leaves which had a fresh and nutty flavor, and wonton flakes that provided a lovely crunch, along with some cherry tomatoes and onion, tossed in a tamarind chili dressing. The flavors were so well balanced and the salad brought together flavors which were very new, but worked brilliantly.

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Next, we had another marvelous dish called Tohu Kyaw or Chilly Tangy Chickpea Tohu. The dish was made with chickpea paste which was set and then cut into rectangular pieces, and then tossed in a chilly tamarind sauce. The soft, spongy chickpea in the tangy and spicy sauce just did wonders on the palate. A superb dish!

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We also tried their steam buns or Paukse, with two types of fillings- Mushroom, and Brown Onions and Roasted Chilli. The mushroom one had a flavorful filling of finely diced mushroom, with spices and herbs, but our favorite was the lovely combination of pungent chilly and sweet brown onions, which tasted like a delicious chilly jam, and went so well with the buns, which were soft and fluffy.

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We also tried the Hinthee Hin Ghin or Bbq Vegetables. A typical Yangon street snack, this had a variety of vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, charred for a smoky flavor, but still quite crunchy. And the magic here was created by the delectable marinade of chilly, tamarind and lemongrass, which provided a unique, robust flavor to the vegetables.

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After the appetizers, we had Shangrila Green Tea, which was served in a beautiful blue and white ceramic kettle, with two small glass cups, along with a timer to help us decide how strong we would like our tea. They also served some sunflower seeds and cheese straws to nibble on along with the tea. The tea was really mild, had a slight natural sweetness due to the peach notes in the tea, and really cleansed our palates.

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And how could we have come to a Burmese restaurant and not tasted the Khow Suey, so that’s exactly what we had next. A signature one bowl meal of a flavorful coconut broth with loads of vegetables, topped with noodles, this dish was executed masterfully. It did not have an overwhelming coconut taste, rather the coconut was a background note to the vibrant and light dish. The broth also had some diced zucchini, broccoli and carrots in it and was served with an array of toppings such as fried onions, fried garlic, coriander, crushed peanuts, spring onions, and of course, lemon juice, which you could add to taste. And that little squirt of lemon just did the trick and took to dish to another level.

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Next, we had Kowni Ghin or Grilled Sticky Rice. The sticky rice is stuffed with your choice of filling, wrapped in banana leaf and grilled. We went with the Burmese salsa for our filling, and it complemented the sticky rice really well and provided a nice vibrance to the dish. It was served with a scrumptious sauce made of kaffir lime, lemongrass and tamarind.

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Along with these dishes, we also had a couple of mocktails. The Kaffir Lime Cooler was a refreshing drink made of lemonade mixed with fizz and kaffir lime leaves. The Spiced Ginger was a delicious concoction of ginger, green chilies, lime, fizz, and mint, and is something you should definitely go for if you like some spice in your drinks.

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After savoring all these delicious dishes, we ended our meal on a high note, with some fantastic desserts. The restaurant has two sections in their dessert menu- one has traditional Burmese desserts, while the other has International desserts, so we tried one from each.

The Shway Aye or Heart Cooler had chilled coconut milk, mixed with just a little condensed milk for sweetness, with lots of other elements such as sweet bread, coconut jelly, sago and lotus seeds drenched in it. The coconut jelly was well made- it was smooth and jiggly, and the sweet bread was simply divine. The mix of all these things together was delicious, and thankfully, not overly sweet.

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From the International section, we had Kachin Rain Forest, which consisted of Chocolate mousse served on a bed of chocolate soil accompanied with a puree of muddled raspberries. The chocolate mousse had a nice dark chocolate bitter flavor, while the chocolate soil was slightly sweeter, so together they worked really well. The contrasting textures of the smooth and light mousse with the crunchy soil also complemented each other. And the addition of the raspberry coulis, which was made of fresh raspberries, and not some syrup or flavoring, gave the dish a nice tart flavor and also a pop of color.

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The outlet has been done up brilliantly, the décor is clean and neat, and the service is excellent as well. But at Burma Burma, the food is king, just the way it should be. Each and every dish is balanced in its flavors and uses a nice play on textures. The components are all well thought-out and perfectly executed. Overall, Burma Burma makes for a delightful dining experience, very different from the regular fare we get everywhere else, and should certainly be tried!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: Ground Floor, Shop 6, Building 8, Tower C, Cyber Hub, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 124 437 2998

Review: Hwealthcafé

Review: Hwealthcafé

It’s a constant struggle to find healthy dishes, which are not restricted to just salads. Whether we are dining out or even eating at home, we often crave for hearty meals that are not too high on calories. Here to meet all these requirements with their healthy, yet delicious dishes is Hwealthcafe, which aims to bring about a healthy food revolution. The café started off with Bengaluru, and has now set up shop in Delhi at Defence Colony, and offers home deliveries as well.

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Each item on the menu not only states the number of calories, but also the information on fat, protein, carbs and fiber, so that we can make an informed decision.

The outlet is cute and is done up in bright shades of green with paintings of inspirational quotes hanging on the walls.

We started off with a couple of their Hi-Protein Power Smoothies. The smoothies were made of low fat milk and just a touch of honey, and you can also add a shot of flavored protein powder, to give you that kick of energy without too many calories. The Chocolate smoothie had real cocoa and was not too sweet and quite tasty. The Strawberry and Mixed Berry Booster had blitzed berries along with milk and honey, and was really refreshing and delicious.

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Next we had Chettinad Spicy Grilled Chicken Meal Platter, which had pan-grilled chicken breast, slathered with a piquant South-Indian style sauce atop a bed of herbed veggie brown rice which was flavored beautifully. The dish came with a side of sautéed vegetables which were cooked perfectly, and a fresh and zingy salsa verde. This meal platter is a hearty, wholesome delicious meal, perfect for a post-workout meal.

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We also tried the Penne Pasta with Pesto Sauce, where the penne was, of course, whole wheat and the pasta was loaded with fresh seasonal vegetables. The pesto was surprisingly made without any cheese or even oil, and had a water base, and was still quite tasty, and the addition of the tomato concasse gave the dish a nice tanginess.

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We ended our meal with two healthy, yet satisfying desserts. The Whole Wheat Carrot Cake was really moist and delicious, and it was topped with a honey and cinnamon flavored low-fat yogurt frosting, which was slightly tangy and worked well with the carrot cake. Also, the hot-cold combination of the cake and the frosting was also a winner. The other dessert was a Low-Cal Fresh Fruit Layered Desert, which had grated carrots soaked in dates, raisins, fig, orange, layered with scoops of honey and cinnamon low-fat yogurt sauce and sprinkled with nuts. This was a lovely, light dessert, perfect for that little sweet craving post-meals.

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Hwealthcafe is doing a fabulous job at providing us interesting healthy dishes, along with giving us the nutritional details associated with each dish, and doing all of that at really reasonable rates, so that we can make these meals a regular affair. Also, they are working on their dessert menu and will soon be introducing even more delicious ones, done the healthy way. So for all health conscious people out there, this café is surely worth checking out!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: A-272, Ground Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4155 4000

Review: Factory

Review: Factory

After the raging success of NH 44, restaurateurs Udit Bagga and Udit Bhasin have come up with a brand new restaurant called Factory, situated right above NH 44 at the buzzing Rajouri Garden market. Factory is an upbeat café-lounge serving up a nice mix of appetizing dishes from Mexican, American, Thai, Lebanese, Turkish, Italian, Mediterranean, Chinese and Indian cuisines, in a setup inspired by a factory. From the heavy metal door, walls done up in greys and black, to the cast iron elements like screwdrivers, nuts, barrels on the walls and ceilings, everything is unified by the industrial theme. Even the crockery matches up to the theme, with knives and forms shaped like wrenches. They also have a large bar, serving up a wide range of cocktails and mocktails.

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We started off with some mocktails:

Factory Delight: A mix of green apple, ginger, mint, lime, and soda, this drink was really refreshing and light, perfect for the weather.

Currant Affair: Served up in a glass with dry ice at the bottom, topped with warm water to create a smoke effect, this drink looked just as good as it tasted. It was a nice concoction of black currant, cranberry, orange juice, lime, and crushed ice, and the tartness of the black currants nicely balanced out the sweetness of the cranberry.

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The food menu is quite diverse, and we decided to try a few items from different cuisines.

We started off with three types of Dim Sum. The Corn and Aromatic Vegetable Dim Sum was delicately flavored and nicely stuffed, and the Spinach and Mushroom Dim Sum had a really thin covering, was stuffed generously with spinach that was still fresh and vibrant, and mushrooms to provide a nice earthiness. The Chicken Coriander Dim Sum was no less, with the chicken mince deftly seasoned. Along with the dim sum, we were served three types of dips, each made masterfully, with the right balance of flavors, and they all complemented the dim sum perfectly.

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Next up, we tried the Falafel, which were really crisp and had been seasoned nicely with herbs. They were served with some hummus and pita breads. The pita was thankfully thin and the hummus was nice and smooth, but was just lacking a little bit of acidity.

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The Veg Tacos had a nice filling of beans, bell peppers and cottage cheese cubes, topped with some oozing melted cheese, finished off with some fresh red cabbage for crunch, and finally a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of coriander. The taco shells were soft and thin, and the presentation on a bright yellow towing cart was quite cute.

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We also tried the half and half pizza- the veg one was Pizza Verdure, and it was loaded with vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers and the base was really crisp. The Chicken Pizza also had lots of chicken chunks and even more cheese, and was quite tasty.

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The Piri Piri Chicken was served on a shovel-shaped plate, and had two large pieces of chicken on-the-bone, which were coated generously with a spicy and tangy sauce. The sauce was really flavorful and the chicken was well-cooked and moist. Along with the chicken, they had served some grilled veggies and two slices of toasted bread which had been slathered with a garlic-flavored butter. A really nice and hearty dish.

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We also tried the Shredded Chicken in Black Bean Sauce, which had juicy morsels of chicken and loads of vegetables in a robust sauce, with a nice piquant kick to it. It was served with some veg fried rice, which were nicely done as well.

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We ended our meals Crème Caramel and Beetroot Halwa. The crème caramel was slightly over-baked and a bit eggy, but the beetroot halwa was pure bliss. The beetroot was nicely cooked, and was flavored very delicately, and it was not overly sweet. A must-have dessert!

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Factory, with its variety of food and beverage offerings, carefully crafted interiors and nice, laid-back ambience, all at pocket-friendly prices, provides a great place to unwind and have a fun-filled outing with a bunch of friends. Certainly a place worth trying if you’re in the area.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: C – 13, Second floor, Visha Enclave, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 98217 80639

 

Review: Biryani Guys

Review: Biryani Guys

 

Biryani Guys is a new venture, bringing to our doorsteps biryanis from different states of India. The short and crisp menu consists of shawarmas and rice platters, apart of course, from the biryanis. A delivery-only joint, it is open all days from 7pm up till 4am, to satisfy all those late night cravings.

I tried a few of their offerings recently:

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The Spicy Buttermilk was delicious- it was loaded with green chilies and fresh coriander leaves and was really refreshing. While it was wrapped properly in cling film and there was no spillage, they could possibly consider better packaging as this one was very fiddly.

Coming to the Biryani, I simply loved the fact that it was sent in a handi, properly sealed with dough. The whole look of it coming out straight from the handi definitely adds to the experience. The rice had been flavored well with spices and the chicken pieces were nicely marinated. But there were just three small pieces of chicken in that handi, and the rest was all rice. For the price they’re charging, they need to be more generous with the chicken. The accompaniments to the biryani were really nice. The Mirch Salan had robust flavors and was really tasty, and the Roast Garlic Raita was simply delicious- the flavor of the garlic came through very well and really elevated the taste of the raita.

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The Chicken Shawarma was really nicely done. The bread was soft, fresh and toasted nicely, and was filled with loads of juicy chicken pieces, rubbed with a subtle spice mix and their tasty in-house sauce.

Phirni: The phirni was thick and creamy, and just adequately sweet.

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Overall, the food was quite good, and with a couple of adjustments, it can really be made much better. The place is certainly worth a try!

 

Overall Rating: 3.75/5

Phone No.: +91 97115 60816