Review: Khyen Chyen

Review: Khyen Chyen

If tasty Kashmiri food is what you crave, Khyen Chyen is the place to head to. They have three outlets spread across the city, and the one we went to was at DLF Cross Point. It is a quaint little place, beautifully done up with trinkets from the owner Mr. Nasir’s home, who hails from Kashmir. The music playing is also Kashmiri folk, sung by Kashmiri artists, so this is as close to the real deal as it gets. Mr. Nasir’s vision is much larger than just offering authentic Kashmiri food- he wants to take Kashmiri food to the world, and he rightly believes that the unique flavors and variety of the food from the region is capable of being loved and appreciated by a much larger population.kc1We started off the meal with a lovely cup of Zaffran Qahwa, which had a lovely aroma and delicate taste of saffron and just soothed not just our palates but also our souls.

Next, we had a platter of vegetarian appetizers which consisted of Buzith Hyederr, which were nicely marinated, grilled mushrooms, Buzith Tczaman (tandoor-grilled paneer), and Soya Champ. All three were flavored with mustard oil and delicately spiced, and what really amazed us was how soft and moist the soya champ was, which at most places turns out rather chewy. Along with these veg dishes, we also had Tabakh Maaz (crisp fried mutton ribs), Maaz Seekh Kabab (mutton seekh kebab), and Kabab Kanti. The tabakh maaz had juicy mutton with a crisp covering and light seasoning, and tasted wonderful with the chutney and onions they had served alongside. The mutton seekh kebabs were moist, flavorsome, and delicious on their own, but what was even better was the kabab kanti, which consisted of the same kebabs cooked with green chilies, tomatoes, and onions. We enjoyed this dish with some soft and thin rumali rotis.kc2Moving on to the main course, we loved how each dish was presented in beautiful copper vessels. The vegetarian dishes consisted of Kashmiri Razmah that was slow-cooked to perfection in a thick, creamy, and mildly spicy curry, Hyederr Muttor Tczaman (mushroom and green peas sautéed in a nice spice blend), Palak Tczaman (lightly fried paneer cubes cooked with spinach and spices), Tamatar Tczaman (lightly fried paneer cubes cooked with tomatoes and spices). We were simply floored by the Palak Tczaman- the thick gravy coating the paneer had spinach mixed with spices and was incredibly flavorful.kc3And the non-vegetarian dishes were equally, if not more, delicious. The Rista, which consisted of spongy, pounded meatballs simmered in cockscomb and saffron curry, was spicy and delicious, while the Gushtaba, which had the same pounded meatballs, cooked in a light, mildly spiced yogurt-based curry, flavored with mint powder. The Lahabdaar Kabab had a flat, diamond-shaped patty of hand-minced mutton, slow-cooked in a spicy curry, while the Daniwal Korma had morsels of mutton cooked in yogurt curry flavored with coriander and turmeric, and was immensely flavorsome. We also really liked the Chicken Marchwangan Korma which had chicken on-the-bone in a fiery gravy made with dried Kashmiri red chilies, cumin, and tamarind. And the quintessential Kashmiri dish, Rogan Josh had mutton on-the-bone cooked with Kashmiri shallots, cockscomb, saffron, and spices. We relished these dishes with some crispy naan and tandoori rotis and Batta, or steamed rice.kc4What we really enjoyed in this meal was that each dish had a distinct taste, and while everything was really well-flavored with painstakingly hand-pounded spices, none of the dishes were overpowered by spices, and the flavor of the main ingredient came through clearly. All these dishes are slow-cooked, and are clear labors of love, and that reflects in the taste.

We ended this delightful meal with a Fireen, a creamy semolina pudding mixed with almonds and saffron. It was very mildly sweetened, and was really tasty.20170824_220318Overall, this place not only offers great food, but also great value for money. The dishes are priced very reasonably for the quantity (and the quality) served. Khyen Chyen is highly recommended!

Overall Rating: 4.75/5

Location: G-11, DLF Cross Point, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 78620 00707; 0124 4231919; 85277 39955

Review: Starvin Marvin

Review: Starvin Marvin

Starvin Marvin is a late night food delivery service, currently delivering in South Delhi and Noida from 8p.m. to 4 a.m. We recently ordered dinner from this place, and the food arrived hot and on time, and their packaging was neat and tidy.

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich was really gooey and delicious- filled with melting mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar on nicely grilled fresh white bread. This classic sandwich was done really well, and was served with crimped fries which were crisp and adequately seasoned.starvin marvin1The Veg Pesto Pasta had a nice creamy and zingy pesto sauce, and was topped with lots of cheese, and was really delicious. The pasta came with a portion of toasted garlic bread to soak up the tasty sauce. And the Veg Lasagna had a tasty mélange of vegetables in a tangy tomato sauce, piled between layers of pasta sheets, and topped with lots and lots of cheese which was backed to perfection.

Their pizzas were massive, and were simply loaded with toppings. The Spaceship Supreme Pizza had lots of green and black olives, bell peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms, and of course lots of cheese, while the Marvin Mutton Pizza had the most delicious minced mutton and large pieces of jalapenos. While the toppings and the flavor was impressive, the dough had a bit of an issue- the base was flaking apart and splitting into layers, with the middle layer being slightly underdone. We pointed this out to the owners, who graciously received constructive feedback and promised to look into the issue.starvin marvin2The Spicy Chicken Wrap was huge and was filled with crispy fried chicken with cheddar cheese, capsicum, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and their in-house spicy mayo, and was rolled nice and tight.

The Pulsar Shake, which had a mix of oreo & Nutella was tasty, but could have been thicker.

starvin marvin3But the clear winner was the Mud Pie which had a crumbly chocolate tart shell filled with gooey and decadent dark chocolate pie filling. This was completely addictive and an absolute must-have!

This place had a good variety on their menu, the food is tasty, and the portions are large. So for your next late night craving, do try out Starvin Marvin.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: Alaknanda and Jasola, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 99990 30220

Review: Chaayos- New Monsoon Menu

Review: Chaayos- New Monsoon Menu

Chaayos has always been our favorite place to grab a cup of tea, but with the launch of their new monsoon menu, they have also become a great destination to have some snacks. The monsoon menu is exciting, innovative, and really delicious.chaayos1We started with Chicken Loaded Open Parantha which had a crisp, flaky Malabar parantha topped with lots of chicken and cheese in a spicy sauce. This was a nice take on a pizza, and was really delicious.

Next, we had the Kulhad Masala Chicken with Kulcha. The chicken dish was served in a kulhad, had juicy chicken chunks and boiled egg white pieces in a thick, spicy gravy flavored with lots of ginger and coriander. The kulchas were topped with oregano and chili flakes, and worked very well with the chicken.chaayos2The Kadhai Chicken Sandwich had soft, fresh bread filled with flavorful chicken in a creamy sauce with onions, tomatoes, and capsicum, and was super tasty.

They also have Barish Wale Pakode, which is a platter of mixed pakodas like onion, cauliflower, paneer, and chili, which had a nice crunchy batter and were sprinkled with a spicy red masala and served with a nice green chutney. The only problem was that the paneer pakodas had gone soggy and limp.

We enjoyed these pakode with Kulhad Wali Jalebi- thin, crisp jalebi served in a kulhad.chaayos3Another innovative dish they have added to their menu is the Shahi Chai, and this is bound to divide people- you’re either going to love it, or you’re going to hate it. Nonetheless, you have to appreciate the innovation and the risk they have taken with it. It is essentially tea made with condensed milk and flavored with saffron and cardamom, and topped with almonds. If you treat this as tea, you may be taken aback, but consider it dessert and you may just love it.

Overall, we were really happy with all the dishes we tasted, and we were pleasantly surprised at how good all these dishes were. So the next time you feel the rain drops on your window pane, take a stroll to your nearest Chaayos outlet (or simply order-in) and enjoy these special dishes.

Review: Wildfire

Review: Wildfire

Wildfire, housed at Crowne Plaza Gurgaon, boasts of being the only Brazilian churascaria in India. Churrascaria is a concept of slow cooking meats over a flame, and this is the USP of this restaurant.

As soon as we walked in, we were mesmerized by the interiors- a huge wine cellar at one end, large window panes with fire burning on these large vessels- to represent the fire of the churrasco grill, and magnificent chandeliers. They have curated their menu around the churascaria concept, where there are sets of meats or seafood that you can opt for, and you get unlimited servings of those, carved at your table as the chefs explain each of them in detail.wildfire2As soon as we sat down, we were served a basket of fresh, hot breads along with a delicious olive tapenade. Along with our meal, we opted for their signature cocktail The Wildfire, which had Cachaca, a popular Brazilian liquor made with fermented sugarcane juice, mixed with green chili and salt. This drink was really amazing and should be tried for sure. Even the Twisted Whiskey Sour was potent and nicely made.

We started off with their signature salad, which had buffalo mozzarella with marinated zucchini, bell peppers, and mixed greens, and was plated elegantly. Each ingredient was beautifully flavored, and the three sauces on the plate were simply wonderful.

Next, we had the mushroom and Carrot Soup, which was thick and creamy, delicately seasoned and very very tasty!wildfire3The Zucchini Pasta with Pesto was a wonderful and innovative dish as well, but the bitterness of the zucchini could have counterbalanced better.

After this, we started with the churrasco grill where we had different types of meats and seafood, each cooked to perfection and marinated delicately so as to impart the required flavor but still retain the taste of the main protein. We had the chicken leg infused with special seasoning mix; New Zealand lamb with mint and spices; succulent tenderloin seasoned to perfection; tiger prawn spiced with garlic, white wine and mustard; grilled pork sausage; French duck breast, smoked, sprinkled with rock salt, orange, tabasco; Salmon with lime, chili, garlic, paprika; sea bass with cilantro, lime, chili; and chicken wrapped  in bacon.wildifre1Each dish was better than the previous, everything was perfectly cooked, juicy, and moist, and the quality of the ingredients clearly shone through. It was really a meat extravaganza. We enjoyed these dishes with the different dips and sauces they had served- horseradish mayonnaise, chimichurri, sweet chili pineapple sauce, and tomato onion vinaigrette- all of which were super flavorsome.

Chef Nilesh Dey also came and explained the concept in detail, and suggested that we should not miss out on their signature honey glazed pineapple, as that helps in digesting the meats. But for us, it was more about the flavor really- and we simply loved the honey glazed pineapple- it was juicy, just adequately sweet, and totally addictive. The chef also whipped up a special pickled pineapple especially for us, as we had pointed out that we like the combination of sweet and spicy. And we loved it so much that we wish they soon add it to their menu.wildfire4Then, they served a chocolate coated vanilla ice cream candy to end the meal on a sweet note.

Overall, we were simply blown away by the meal we had- the churrasco grill concept is a delight for meat-lovers, and the service was impeccable. This place is highly recommended!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: Crowne Plaza, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 124 453 4000

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#churrasco #churrascaria #triptobrazil #gurgaon #crowneplazatodaygurgaon
Review: Out of the Box, Rajouri Garden

Review: Out of the Box, Rajouri Garden

The OTB brand needs no introduction. After running successful branches at HKV and Khan Market, the brand has now entered the Rajouri Garden market. We went here on a weekend afternoon, and this place was packed!

For drinks, we went with Fruit Punch (a concoction of pineapple juice, orange juice, mango juice, grenadine syrup, and fresh cream) which was really well made, and Cinderella Mocktail, a mix of pineapple, orange, and lemon juice with soda, which could have done with a bit more lemon. Their Chocolate Brownie Shake was thick and creamy, and had chunks of moist, gooey brownie.

The menu is pretty elaborate with Lebanese, Continental, Oriental and Indian sections.OTB2The Chili Garlic Button Mushrooms and Chili Chicken were both crunchy, slathered in a tangy and spicy sauce, and were served with a nice kimchi salad. The Lotus Stem Honey Chili is a must-have dish here! The lotus stem chips were really crunchy and the sauce doused on them was delicious. The white sesame seeds sprinkled on top added a nice textural element to the dish.

The Paneer Tikka here was really nice- the paneer chunks were really soft, had a nice char on top, and were coated in a spicy masala, with cheese sandwiched between two paneer pieces. Tikka Sharabi Da is another must-have. It consisted of spicy tawa chicken marinated with spices and rum, and was super flavorful.OTB1For main course, we started with Penne Pasta Arrabbiata and Cheese Penne Pasta. The white sauce pasta was creamy but a bit overcooked, while the arrabbiata pasta was super spicy and delicious.

The pizzas here are really well-made, with a thin, crispy pizza base, loaded with toppings. The chicken pizza had tons of chicken strips, while the veg one had bell peppers, mushroom, and zucchini, which were all cooked al dente.OTB3The Veg Green Thai Curry was flavorsome and we enjoyed that with steamed rice. However, the Dal Makhani should have had more depth of flavor.

Overall, a nice place to hang out with friends, as the music here keeps the spirits up and the food is really tasty and reasonably priced.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: C Block, Second Floor, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 98217 80639

Review: Noida Bar Exchange

Review: Noida Bar Exchange

Noida Bar Exchange, located inside Smaash at DLF Mall of India, brings the popular stock exchange-based bar concept to Noida, where the drinks are dynamically priced based on the demand. The pub is also lined with with LCD screens, LED tickers and the legendary stock market ‘gong’, all of which add to the stock market theme.nbe1We downloaded the app and ordered a Long Island Ice Tea, which was potent and flavorful as well. The staff also created a special mocktail for us which was a mix of mango pulp, mint, green chili, and chaat masala, and was super tasty.

We started off with the Smaash Caesar Salad which had crunchy, fresh lettuce dressed in a tasty, classic Casear dressing, topped with olives, garlic croutons, and lots of grilled chicken topped with a generous shaving of cheese.

The Thandai ke Kebab were essentially dahi kebabs where the hung curd was flavored with thandai spices like saunf and cardamom. The flavor was good, and the texture was nice and moist.

The Peppery Cheesy Bites were perhaps our favorite starter- it consisted of fried cigar rolls made with crispy filo pastry stuffed with cheese. It was a delightful dish, and it went really well with the sweet chili dip served alongside.

The Old Fashioned Gymkhana Chicken 65 had chicken chunks coated in a tangy sauce and sautéed with curry leaves, onions, and bell peppers. This is also a dish worth trying.

The Galouti Kebabs were perhaps the only disappointment as these were not really galoutis. The texture was not fine and smooth like it should be, but we still enjoyed the flavors of the dish.nbe2Moving on to main course, the Fusilli Pesto Pasta was nicely made- the sauce was creamy and vibrant and the pasta was cooked well.

We also really enjoyed the chicken sizzler which consisted of grilled chicken breast, doused with creamy peppercorn sauce and topped with cheese, served with sautéed vegetables and potato wedges. This dish made for a hearty, tasty meal.

We ended the meal with a Red Velvet Cheesecake and Gulkand Gulab Jamun. The cheesecake was fresh and spongy, and there was a good balance between the cake and the frosting. The gulab jamun was really soft and tasty, but we would have liked a bit more gulkand flavor in the stuffing.nbe3Overall, this place was buzzing with energy, the service was courteous but could be faster, and the food and drinks were top notch!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: 4th Floor, DLF Mall of India, 18 Sector, Noida
Phone No.: +91 120 259 5111

Review: Barbeque Nation – Bharat Darshan Festival

Review: Barbeque Nation – Bharat Darshan Festival

On the occasion of Independece Day, Barbeque Nation has launched a Bharat Darshan Food Festival, which runs from 8th to 15th August, and for this festival, the restaurant chain is serving some dishes from around the country, apart of course from their signature dishes. We went for this festival and were pleased with the experience.

For starters, the vegetarian section had Haryali Paneer Tikka (soft cubes of paneer marinated in a zingy green paste), Khumb Tikka (juicy button mushrooms), Chef’s Special Veg Kebabs (these were absolutely delicious- made with paneer and spices, this one is not to be missed), Bbq Corn (charred corn on the cob), Khatta Meetha Pineapple (their signature pineapple coated with a spicy sauce), a newly introduced Cinnamon marinated Pineapple, which was really amazing, and their signature Cajun Spiced Potatoes, and Salt and Pepper Corn.bbq1Non–vegetarian appetizers on offer included Goan Lemony Fish (flaky, perfectly-cooked fish marinated in lemon), Coconut Prawns cooked Kerala-style, Chettinad Chicken (chicken chunks marinated in chettinad spices, Tandoori Tangdi, and Lucknowi Seekh (these were juicy and flavorsome). Our favorites were the Lemony Fish and the mutton seekh.

They also had a live counter serving up Soya Taka Tak, which consisted of soya cubes mixed with lots of spices, and cooked on a tawa, and tasted really good.

Though we were quite full already, we made our way to the main course section, which had two soups- Lemon Coriander Soup and Chicken Hot and Sour Soup. The chicken soup had a lovely tangy flavor and was super-tasty.

The vegetarian section had Kotmeri Chi Paneer (succulent pieces of cottage cheese, cooked in hot coriander gravy), Aloo ka Bharta (a spicy and tangy dish- different and delicious), Kadhi Kofta (though the koftas could have been a tad softer, the kadhi gravy was absolutely delicious), Yellow Dal (tempered nicely with red chilies, spices, and coriander, Dal Makhani (which was creamy and delicious), Veg Biryani, Veg Noodles and Vegetables in Chili Plum Sauce.

The non-veg section had Mutton Rogan Josh (a signature Kashmiri dish with braised lamb chops cooked in a rich, spicy gravy), Dhola Dhari Chicken (nicely cooked chicken in a creamy, spicy gravy), Egg Curry, Fish in Chili Sauce, and Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani. Our favorites here were the rogan josh and the dhola dhari chicken.bbq2Making our way to the dessert section, we tried the Mango Pastry, Rasgulla, Masala Spice Brownie, Chocolate Mouse, Kheer, Moong Dal Halwa, Angoori Gulab Jamun, and Strawberry and Vanilla Ice-cream. We felt the gulab jamun were soft and well-made, and the brownie was also gooey. And of course, no visit to Barbeque Nation is completed without hitting the kulfi station, where we tried the paan kulfi which was simply fantastic.bbq3Overall, it was a pretty good experience, and the service was, as always, prompt and courteous.

Location: In Barbeque Nation’s 11 outlets in Delhi-NCR region (Connaught Place, Jangpura, Saket, Vasant Kunj, Pitampura, Janakpuri, Vivek Vihar, Noida, Faridabad, Sohna Road and Sushant Lok)