Review: Kinbuck2

Review: Kinbuck2

Kinbuck2 has been around for more than 2 years in a super-competitive market like CP, which goes to show the place is doing a lot of things right. The restaurant has a vast menu, having something for everyone- starting from Indian and Chinese to Lebanese, Mediterranean and European preparations. The restaurant also has a nice, relaxed vibe, with peppy music playing in the background, but at a sound level that still allows for conversations.kinbuck1We started our meal with two mocktails- K2 and Strawberry Peach Shake. K2, their signature mocktail, was a combination of kiwi, green apple, sweet lime, fresh lime, lemon juice, and tabasco. The sweet and spicy notes were well-balanced, and this made for a great drink. The shake was also thick and tasty.

Since we visited during navratras, they mentioned they are also serving special Navratra Thalis, so we decided to try them out. The thali had samak rice, fruit raita, singhada poori, jeera aloo, aloo gravy, and saboodana kheer, and was more than sufficient for one person. The food was simple, homely, and really well-made, and the best part was that despite being fasting food, none of it was bland. Each dish had a lot of flavor, and we especially enjoyed the crispy, fluffy pooris with the spicy jeera aloo.kinbuck2While this thali was really good, their regular food was even better.

The ravioli we tried were huge in size, generously stuffed with a flavorful mushroom mix, and doused with a thick, tangy tomato and basil sauce.

The Teppanyaki Lamb with Coriander and Mint had sliced lamb tossed in a flavorful seasoning, but the meat was slightly chewy and hard.

But the Masala Keema Bun was absolutely wonderful- it was presented beautifully, and tasted even better. The bun was soft and nicely buttered and the keema was so juicy and flavorsome- one of the best we’ve had. It was nicely spiced and had lots of coriander and ginger- so the keema had a wonderful flavor, but wasn’t overpowered by the spices. This dish is a must-try here.

They also have a special Sizzler Menu, out of which we chose From Mrs. Obama’s Kitchen Sizzler, which had rilled fish served with spaghetti aglio olio, buttered vegetables, and potato wedges, in a spicy tomato piri piri sauce. The fish was delicate and moist- perfectly cooked and was slathered with a tangy, spicy sauce. The spaghetti was well-made and the vegetables were cooked al-dente and well-seasoned, while the potato wedges were also nice and crisp. Their sizzlers are really huge, and two people can easily share one.

We ended the meal with a Sizzling Chocolate Brownie. The gooey chocolate brownie came served on a sizzler plate, with vanilla ice-cream on top and drizzled with chocolate sauce. On the side, they had served extra chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nuts.kinbuck3Overall, the place is really value-for-money, as the food is good and the quantity is huge. Also, the service was really pleasant throughout. This place should definitely be tried the next time you’re in CP!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: P -10/90, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 98111 99529

Review: Pandan Asian Eats

Review: Pandan Asian Eats

Pandan Asian Eats is the new kid on the block offering up yummy Asian food at your doorstep. They do a fabulous job with their on-time delivery and chic packing. All the dishes were sealed in containers and all containers came in a thick paper bag. The packing looked great, but there was a bit of leakage from one of the dips, and the oil had seeped through.pandan1The Lo Mai Gai Sticky Rice Dumplings had flavored, well-seasoned minced chicken on a bed of sticky rice, steamed in a banana leaf. Since the chicken was steamed in the banana leaf, it held in all the moisture, and made the chicken really juicy.

Chicken Yakitori had skewered chicken and leeks laced with a sweet savory soy glaze, and grilled to perfection.

Their signature Pandan Chicken had juicy deep fried chicken chunks wrapped in pandan leaf, and served with a thick, sticky, delicious soy and sesame seed sauce. The chicken had a thin, crispy crust, and the fragrant pandan leaves imparted a unique flavor to the chicken.

The Teriyaki Chicken with Sticky Rice had thin strips of crispy, char-grilled chicken glazed with a delicious Teriyaki sauce, topped with white sesame seeds for crunch, and was served on a bed of sticky rice, composing a hearty meal.pandan2All the dishes were delicious and had generous portions, making the food value for money. Overall, this place should be tried the next time you’re craving some soulful Asian food.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4909 2626

Review: Friction The Drinkery

Review: Friction The Drinkery

A perfect place for the winter season, Friction has a beautiful outdoor seating area, with mist fans and manicured hedges, and hookahs at each table. There is a huge bar in the indoor seating area, and another indoor section in the basement.friction1We started our meal with two mocktails- Cucumber Cooler and Spicy Guava. While the spicy guava was thick and tasty, the cucumber cooler had very little cucumber flavor and tasted quite watered down.friction2We then had a veg and a non-veg platter. The veg platter had Dahi Kebabs, Creamy Broccoli, Falafel Pita Pocket, Crispy Chili Soya Chaap, and Thai Veg Spring Roll. The best dish of the lot was certainly the dahi kebab which was stuffed with a paan-flavored filling- innovative and tasty. The broccoli was cooked al dente and marinated in a delicate, creamy sauce. The falafel pita pocket lacked flavor, but the chili soya chaap was delicious.friction3The non-veg platter had Chicken Goujons, Chicken Tikka Two Ways- Malai and Tandoori, Barbeque Chicken Wings, and Classic Chili Chicken. The chicken goujons were thin battered crunchy chicken strips, and the barbeque sauce on the wings was spicy and tangy. The chicken tikkas both had moist, succulent chicken chunks in a nice marinade.friction4The Achaari Dal Makhani Arancini had balls made with a mixture of dal makhani and rice, coated and fried to get a crispy covering, and topped with a tangy, achar-flavored sauce, with a rolled-up papad on top. A nice dish, which should be tried.

For main course, we had Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani and Vegetables in Schezwan Sauce with Veg Fried Rice. The mutton chunks in the biryani were really juicy and well-cooked and the rice was spiced nicely, and the raita served alongside was delicious. The schezwan vegetables and fried rice were nice as well.friction5We ended the meal with a gooey Chocolate Brownie served with vanilla ice-cream.

Overall, the place has a wonderful ambience, nice food, and prompt but quite slow service. A nice place to hang out when the weather is good!

Overall Rating: 3.75/5

Location: SCO 388 Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 95600 27979

Review: After Stories

Review: After Stories

After Stories is located in the quieter part of Sector 29, near IFFCO Chowk metro station, which allows it to have an expansive space, spanning across three floors, including a beautiful outdoor seating area on the ground floor. The restaurant has a variety of house-brewed beers, with some flavors really unique and interesting, that we haven’t found elsewhere.afterstories1We started off with the beer tasters, which were all really nice, but our favorite was the apple cider vinegar one, which had a very different taste. The Kala Khatta Ice Tea was also tangy, slightly sweet, and quite tasty.

Coming to the food, we started with Crunchy Fried Lotus Stem which had thin and extremely crisp lotus stem chips coated in a spicy, sweet, and tangy kimchi caramel glaze. This dish is absolutely addictive and would go perfectly with drinks.

The Tandoori Mushrooms were no less- juicy, perfectly cooked mushroom caps stuffed with melted, oozing cheese, and coated in a lip-smacking paste made with jalapenos, coriander, and mint.

The Crisp Aloo Sabudana was a very unique dish with potato cubes coated in a vindaloo paste and tempered with curry leaves and dried red chilies, and sprinkled with fried sabudana.

Baked Filo Puff, which had flaky filo pastry stuffed with melted cheese and roasted vegetables also tasted very nice with the dip served alongside.afterstories2Coming to the non-vegetarian starters, the Tawa Meat Bhuna Masala was something worth going back for. The meat was juicy and perfectly cooked, and coated in masalas that imparted adequate flavor without over-powering the meat, and was served with toasted flatbread.

The Lemon Basil Fish had perfectly cooked, flaky fish coated in a sweet-spicy sauce made with peppers and Thai chilies, tossed with onions.

The Crispy Chicken in Sriracha was also a delicious dish, consisting of chicken chunks tossed in fiery sriracha chilies, and a maple and honey glaze to counter-balance the heat from the chilies.

The Chicken Jujeh Kebab had juicy pieces of boneless chicken coated in a mild yogurt-based marinade and sprinkled with spices, served with pickled veggies and tahini dip.

Another smashing and extremely innovative dish was the Baked Chicken Tikka, which had shredded chicken tikka and melted cheese, topped with a perfectly cooked egg yolk, in a bowl made with crisp and thin pastry. The egg yolk was cooked so well that the moment we hit it with our fork, it oozed out and melted into the bowl. The dish was innovative, nicely presented, and delicious.afterstories3We started the main course with Mumbaiya Style Chicken Triple Sichuan Rice. The dish was beautifully plated, with a tangy Manchurian gravy at the base, with a pile of nicely cooked fried rice, topped with fried chicken, fried egg, and crispy noodles. The dish was really hearty and tasty.

The Double-Cooked Old Delhi Style Chicken blew us away with the simplicity of its flavors. The chicken was cooked well, and the gravy was rich in flavor, light on the palate, and left us almost licking the plate clean. The Khamiri Rotis served with the chicken were soft on the inside and crisp outside.

The Baked Maggi, which was topped with a creamy, smoked mushroom ragout, and two cheese koftas was again a delicious, innovative dish. Baking the maggi had given it a crisp top layer which, juxtaposed with the creamy mushroom ragout worked wonders on the palate.afterstories4We finished off the meal with Chocolate Fondant and Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice-cream. While the fondant was well-made, with a gooey, liquid center, and soft and moist cake covering, the brownie could have been more gooey.afterstories5Overall, the place has great music, nice ambience, and amazing food, making it a must-visit!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: SCO 390, Sector 29, Next to IFFCO Chowk Metro Station, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 97173 33161

Review: Wok Me

Review: Wok Me

Let me start with a disclaimer- the place deserves higher ratings for its food, but it was let down by its slow delivery. The delivery was delayed by an hour because the delivery person’s bike got punctured, and while that is understandable, what isn’t is the fact that no information was conveyed to me.

However, when I did get the food (which was made again fresh as the initial one got cold), it came neatly packed in Chinese take-out boxes, and was really delicious.wokmeThe Chicken Chili Oil Hargao had a thin covering and was filled with juicy, spicy chicken topped with chili flake oil. The spicy dip served alongside really packed a punch. The Yum Yum Rolls were really crispy, nicely filled with veggies, and extremely tasty.

They also have a concept of making your own wok box, which includes selecting the base, the sauce, veggies, and meat. I got a wok box make with classic noodles in their Kinky Korean sauce that had basil, chili, and oyster sauce. I asked them to add wild mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, spring onions, pak choi, chicken, and tossed lamb, and to top the noodles with fried garlic and fried onions. The final product was spicy, flavorsome, loaded with meat and vegetables, and extremely tasty. Also, it was a filling, hearty dish and can make for an entire meal for one person.

Overall, this place wins on the food, but needs to work on its delivery.

Overall Rating: 3.75/5

Location: Shop 28 – Aurobindo Market, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 88001 76375

Review: Biryani & Qorma Express

Review: Biryani & Qorma Express

Biryani and Qorma Express is a chain with two outlets in Gurgaon, serving up some damn good food at reasonable rates. Their combo deals are especially value for money, and I went for the mutton combo which at 300 bucks provides an entire meal comprising Masala Chaach, Mutton Seekh Kebab, Mutton Biryani, Mutton Qorma, Burrani Raita, Sheermal, and Phirni.bnq1The food was delivered hot and on time, and though there was no spillage and everything was packed nicely, they could use some other packing for the chaach rather than the plastic box, as transferring the drink from that to a glass is very difficult.

The chaach was refreshing, with a light flavoring of coriander, and the seekh kebabs were moist and flavorsome, with a sprinkling of a spicy masala. The biryani was nicely, with well-cooked rice which had a nice fragrance and delicate seasoning, and the mutton pieces were juicy, but the masalas had not seeped into the mutton adequately. The spicy and tangy burrani raita went really well with the biryani. Our favorite dish of the lot was the Mutton Qorma- the mutton was juicy and well-cooked, and the gravy, made with whole spices, was absolutely delicious. This dish is a must-try! We relished the mutton with the slightly sweet and well-made sheermal. We ended the meal with the phirni, which came in a mitti ka sakora, was nice and smooth, just adequately sweet, and really tasty.bnq2Overall, a nice option for tasty food at reasonable rates.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: G-6, Baani Square, Sector 50, Gurgaon, Haryana
Phone No.: +91 124 420 6980

Review: Pind Balluchi

Review: Pind Balluchi

Pind Balluchi has been around for ages, and it was one of the first restaurants in the city with the rustic, village theme. The brand now has over 20 outlets in Delhi NCR, and as all the others, the Sector 29, Gurgaon outlet also had lively and colorful décor, with bangles displayed on one of the mud-plastered walls, mirror and painting work on the other, and of course, the effigy of the traditionally attired Sardar Ji is sitting on a cot at the entrance. They even have an artificial tree inside the restaurant to give that typical pind effect, and an open kitchen resembling an open dhaba. The restaurant has many small section, each with different seating styles and décor, including an artificial cave as well.pind baluchi1Coming to the food, we started off with the Dal Shorba, which was delightful- the shorba was thin and was nicely flavored with cumin and coriander. This is something which should certainly be tried.pind baluchi2Next, we had the Veg Kebab Platter, which consisted of Adraki Saboodane ki Tikki, Chatpate Tawa Mushrooms, Dahi ke Kebab, Paneer Tikka Shashlik, and Makai ki Tikki. The saboodane ki tikki had too much gram flour in it for binding, which made it very dry, but the flavor was nice. The paneer tikka had a nice marination on it, but that had unfortunately seeped inside the paneer. The mushrooms were very spicy and tangy, and nicely cooked, while the makai tikki was really different and tasty. And their dahi kekabs had tangy curd flavored with spices and finely diced vegetables with a thin coating of bread and fried to perfection.pind baluchi3For main course, we went with Dal Tadka, Heeng Dhania ke Aloo, and Dhaniya Murgh Curry with Hari Mirch ki Roti. The dal tadka was very lightly tempered with whole red chilies, cumin seeds, and ginger, and tasted nice, and the aloo was well-cooked in a mix of coriander, asafetida, and cumin seeds. The chicken curry was cooked in a thick coriander-flavored gravy with spices and was quite nice as well.pind baluchi4We ended the meal with Tilla Kulfi, which was nicely made.

Overall, a decent place to have a meal in a rustic, village-themed setting.

Overall Rating: 3.25/5

Location: Vatika Grand, Near Leisure Valley, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 8010202020; 0124 4575759