Review: Karma Kismet

Review: Karma Kismet

Karma Kismet is the newest addition to the GK-2 market, started and managed by three young entrepreneurs- Mr. Tushar Jagota, Chef Deepanker Khosla, and Mr.Chetan Kaushal. The place is situated right above Nik Bakers and is spread across two floors. While the first floor is a high energy lounge and bar area, the second floor is the fine dining section. The restaurant has beautiful interiors with some interesting architectural elements like a wall with textures and patterns of wood, marble, and brass, plush leather couches, and a huge open kitchen.kk1The menu at the restaurant is a nice blend of traditional and progressive Indian food- while the starters and dessert sections had progressive dishes, the main course section stuck to the traditional side. The main course section has been constructed in a nice way: they have four types of curries- Saag, Qorma, Makhani, and Rogan Josh, with a choice of protein for each- paneer/ vegetables, chicken, lamb, and prawns. Even the progressive dishes had their flavors intact, and the presentation is where they had showcased their inventiveness.kk2While they will soon get their liquor license, their mocktails are really nice as well. We went with the Coriander Cucumber Limeade and the Kokum Refresher, both of which were nicely made, but we especially enjoyed the kokum drink’s tanginess.

We started off our meal with the Guchchi ka Shorba. The dish came with Kashmiri morels stuffed with five different types of mushrooms, along with a few pieces of shimeji and enoki mushrooms and micro herbs. The server then poured some clear broth over the mushrooms, which had a deep flavor of white truffle oil. This is a must-have dish here!

kk3Next, we went with the Veg Kebab Sampler, which had Tandoori Malai Broccoli, Gulnar Tikka, and Galouti ki Kismet. The broccoli florets had been cooked al dente and coated with cream cheese and dry mango powder, topped with cilantro root dust and microgreens. The marinade was really creamy and flavorsome, and the kuttu atta crisp served alongside provided a nice crunch to the dish. The gulnar tikka was a really nice twist on the regular paneer tikka- this one had malai paneer stuffed with figs and walnuts and topped with silver wark and red amaranth micro greens. The figs provided a subtle sweetness to the dish and the creaminess of the dish was cut through by the tangy fruit chaat salad served alongside, which had oranges, green apples, and star fruit. The galouti kebabs were made with minced mushrooms and had a melt-in-the-mouth texture and very subtle seasoning. The mushroom flavor was pronounced in the dish with a creamy mushroom pate and mushroom snow, and the utle tawe ka parantha discs that the galouti kebab was sitting on was nice and crispy.kk4From the non-veg section, we tried the Kala Murg Malai and the Kadak Seekh Kebab. The kala murg malai had buttermilk, smoked paprika, and cheddar cheese marinated juicy chicken pieces rubbed with activated charcoal and sprinkled with a few drops of green chili oil. The Kadak Seekh Kebab was a stunning dish consisting of juicy, triple minced lamb stuffed with smoked cheese, and coated with a paper-thin batter. So the juicy kebabs had a nice, creamy filling and a crispy covering- a lovely play on textures. The kebabs were served with a trio of bell pepper sauces, which were nicely flavored.  kk5Moving on to main course, we had the Dal Karma, which had been slow-cooked for three days to give it a creamy texture and great depth of flavor. This dal was one of the best renditions of dal makhani that we’ve had, and should certainly be tried.

The Vegetable Qorma had a slightly sweetish and creamy texture and was subtly spiced, while the Saag Curry Paneer had soft and creamy pieces of paneer in a thick, flavorful saag gravy which had a lovely homely taste of fresh greens, with a dollop of white butter.kk6The Chicken Makhani was also one of the best we’ve had- the chicken was juicy and well-cooked, and the gravy had the right balance of slight sweetness and tanginess from the tomatoes, and a nice touch of kasuri methi. We also really liked the fact that each main course dish had been garnished simply with colorful edible flowers. The Vegetable Biryani was also nicely made.kk7The dessert section at the restaurant is something we’d made special visits for. We tried out two of the desserts- Sous Vide Gajar Halwa and Evolution of the Paan.

The Sous Vide Gajar Halwa had gorgeous black carrots, sous vide for 12 hours to get a nice soft, creamy texture. The gajar halwa was served with rum-soaked raisins and pistachio dust, and was topped with a shard made with dehydrated milk skin. The server poured a hot, khoya and cinnamon sauce on top of the halwa, and the cinnamon notes worked really well with the dish. Through this dish, they have taken a dish I have relished on the streets of Lucknow during chilly winter mornings, and have elevated it to make it a five-star worthy dish, but have stayed true to the flavors. This is an absolute must-have dish here.

The Evolution of the Paan is also an excellent innovation- the dish came with a paan leaf topped with various elements having different textures, flavors, and temperatures- leading to a party in our mouths. The paan leaf had a macaron stuffed with a sweet pan mixture and coated with sweet saunf, betel nut paste, aero katha, pistachio sponge, cold saffron foam, strawberry mousse, and a small piece of dehydrated paan leaf. The dish was sprinkled with a paan dust. The server told us to eat the macaron separately, and roll all the other elements together with the paan leaf, and have it in one bite. The flavors exactly replicated a sweet pan, while the different textures were mind-blowing.kk8Throughout the meal, we were very impressed with the service- the servers were knowledgeable about the dishes, and were very professional and courteous. Another thing that impressed us is that the restaurant is serving some amazing dishes, with good portion sizes, at quite decent rates. Overall, this makes Karma Kismet a place worth multiple visits!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: M-25, 80 Feet Road, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 98107 70807

Review: Hot Sauce

Review: Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce Squad brings to Delhi the popular New York street food- from hot dogs to grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken wings. They currently have two outlets- MG Road and GK1- that offer take-away and delivery options, and their delivery coverage is across most parts of Gurgaon and South Delhi.

We recently ordered a few items and were pleased with the timely delivery and neat packaging.hotsauce3The Buffalo Sauce Chicken Cheesesteak consisted of a soft hot dog bun stuffed with Buffalo style chicken, cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato. The chicken was really juicy and the sauces were super flavorful. The french fries that came along with the hot dog had gone a bit limp, but were nicely made.

The New York Style Combo Pita Sandwich, which had shredded chicken and lamb in it, had a covering of fresh pita bread, lined with sauces, lettuce, and tomatoes. However, we felt the meat in the sandwich was a bit dry and could have done with a bit more flavor. Their signature NYC white and hot sauces served alongside were really nice though.

The Vegetable Lo Mein was a fantastic dish- the noodles were really soft and had nicely soaked up the soy and other flavors. The vegetables in the dish were crunchy, the white sesame seeds provided a nice texture, the peanuts provided crunch, and the spring onions brought some lightness to the dish.

The Homemade Banana Bread was really moist and fresh, had a lovely spongy texture, and was just adequately sweet.hotsauce2Overall, a nice place to try some hearty New York street-style dishes, and they deliver all the way till 3 a.m., making them perfect for late-night fixes!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: Shop No. 13, Guru Nanak Market, Pamposh Enclave, Greater Kailash 1, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4987 3714

Review: Caara Café @ Ogaan

Review: Caara Café @ Ogaan

Caara Café has earned a reputation for its delicious food made with all-natural, organic ingredients, which they try to source from local farmers or from their own organic farm as far as possible, or select the very best from around the world. The brand has recently opened up its second outlet at Ogaan, Malcha Marg, and the ambiance is simple, non-fussy, and elegant. They had a few tables in doors, and a small open-air section as well, which can be really enjoyed during this weather.caara1They have on offer straight-forward, hearty European food, and though the prices are a bit on the high side, the portions, the taste, and most importantly- the feeling that you’re eating food that is chemical-free, totally justifies the price.caara2We started off with Caara Classic Broken Eggs, which had fluffy, separated and scrambled organic eggs along with robust, earthy porcini and button mushrooms, black truffle, truffle oil, and crispy sautéed potatoes. The mushrooms really shone through in the dish, and for a mushroom-lover like me, this dish was pure bliss. The dish was served with their signature homemade sourdough bread, toasted to perfection.caara4The Chili Avocado Toast was a wonderful dish- it had smashed avocado with chili, tomato, coriander, lime, and sesame seeds, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, served with toasted sourdough. The lime cut through the fattiness of the avocado. The olive oil was clearly top quality, and really enhanced the flavors of the dish.caara3For mains, we went with the signature Caara Basil Pesto Linguine and Roasted Pesto Chicken. They make their pesto sauce fresh every day, using organic basil leaves grown on their farm, and the freshness of the pesto sang through both the dishes. The linguine was cooked al-dente, and tossed in the zingy, fresh pesto and olive oil, and topped with parmesan shavings and crispy leeks. The leeks provided a nice textural contrast to the dish, and we loved the pasta so much, that we already starting making plans for our next visit. The chicken dish was also really good- the chicken breast was cooked perfectly- it was really juicy and succulent, and was generously stuffed with the pesto sauce. The chicken was served with lemon chili new potatoes, grilled vegetables, and pan jus, topped with pine nuts. This was a tasty, hearty dish.caara5Along with our meal, we also enjoyed a fresh lemonade and a cup of Hot Chocolate. The hot chocolate was just adequately sweet, and was served with a little piece of carrot cake, which was super yummy.

For dessert, we went with Gluten Free Pancakes with Seasonal Berries. The dish came out looking so pretty- there was a stack of pancakes, topped with freshly-made berry compote, seasonal mixed berries, and maple syrup. We were amazed how fluffy the pancakes were, especially considering they were gluten free. We also loved the tartness of the compote.caara7We also tried the Chocolate Hazelnut Torte, which had a rich, luscious, Belgian chocolate ganache, with a textural contrast of a hazelnut praline, and we were left licking our fingers after this one.

The Gluten Free Moist Orange Cake had a really soft texture, and we loved the zing of the malta oranges used in the cake.caara6The service was super professional and warm, and we loved our experience here. The serenity and calmness of the place is just what one needs to get away from the hustle and bustle of regular lives. This place is highly recommended!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: No. 3 & 4, Malcha Marg Market, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Phone No.: 011-41811716

Review: Happy Hakka

Review: Happy Hakka

Happy Hakka is a Chinese delivery service, with multiple outlets in Delhi NCR. We recently ordered a few dishes, and the food was delivered on time and nicely packed. We especially liked the way they had packed the soy sauce and vinegar in tiny vials.happyhakkaThe Chicken Chili Bites had spicy chicken chunks fired up with chilies, garlic, and spring onions, and were really tasty.

The Chicken Dimsum Platter had 4 pieces each of three types of chicken dimsums- hawker’s momos (filled with carrots, soya, cabbage, chilies, and chicken), chicken canton (filled with juicy chicken, crunchy celery, and fiery red chilies), and chicken sui mai (stuffed with Chinese cabbage, red peppers, mushrooms, pok choi, and chicken). While we loved all three, our favorites were the classic hawker’s momos. We also really liked the spicy chutney they had sent along with the dimsums.

For mains, we went for their signature Chicken Ninja, which had juicy chicken chunks stir-fried in dark soy sauce and tossed in a spicy, thick, robust gravy with red chilies, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. We enjoyed this dish with the Tangled Ramen, which had fiery ramen noodles with crisp Chinese cabbage and pok choi, topped with a dash of chili garlic paste.

This place offers good portions at reasonable prices, and can surely be tried.

Overall Rating: 3.75/5

Location: Multiple outlets in Delhi NCR
Phone No.: +91 90155 58558

Review: Lock & Key

Review: Lock & Key

Lock & Key is the brand new baby in G-town, based on a 1920s, speakeasy concept. The first restaurant venture by Ms. Rituu Memaani, who also owns a boutique hotel and Atara Catering, the place has just the right vibe about it- with old-school rock and jazz music playing in the background, huge, well-stocked bar, and plush leather coaches. The place aims at elevating the cocktail experience by introducing concept drinks and incorporating unorthodox flavors using yuzu, elderflower, popcorn, smoke, cornflakes, and caramel, among others, while also maintaining a strong base of the classics and old favorites. The food menu is no less, as it takes you on a gastronomical journey, with a focus on fusion cuisine- marrying the novel with the cult favorites resulting in delectable dishes.lnk1The Purple Haze was a wonderful, smooth cocktail made with vodka, lavender, lime, and cranberry juice, and the Elder Ale mocktail was equally innovative and tasty- made with chamomile tea, elderflower, lime, and ginger ale. Along with the drinks, they served roasted fox nuts (makhanas), which we really enjoyed munching on.lnk2The Petite Gouda Naans were so soft and filled with gooey, melted gouda, and the flavors were enhanced further with the onion relish served alongside. The gouda and onion flavors really complemented each other well.

The Bhuna Gosht Quesadilla had spicy, flavorsome meat chunks encased in thin, well-toasted tortillas, served with fresh, tangy tomato salsa and sour cream.

The Vada Arancini was a delightful little bite- the balls had a lovely moist filling spiked with curry leaves and mustard seeds, coated in a crispy batter, and served with a tomato coconut chutney.

The Chili Chicken Rollos were nice and crunchy, but the filling was just slightly oily.

Next came the Mini YamBurgers and Galouti Sliders, both of which had a soft, fresh bun, topped with yam galouti and mutton galoutis, respectively. While the mutton one had a nice note of saffron and was really tasty, we were pleasantly surprised with how good the yam ones tasted- giving strict competition to the meat version.lnk3The Pulled Pork Samosas had a thin filo pastry covering, filled with juicy pulled duck, spiced to perfection.

The Hickory Kathal Tacos were finger-licking delicious- the taco shells were crispy, the kathal had lovely smoky notes and delicate flavoring, and was topped with salsa and sour cream.

The Mushroom Gyoza and Grilled Potstickers were both delicious- the covering was super thin, the fillings generous and nicely flavored, and pan-seared to get a nice crust on one side. The dipping sauces served with them were really balanced in their flavors.

The Double Mozzarella Bites are perfect for cheese-lovers. They have the most gooey, melted cheese inside, coated with a nice panko crust.

The Goat Cheese Cannolis had a crispy shell filled with goat cheese mousse, and was a lovely, light start to the meal.lnk4The Basil Chicken on Wonton Sheets were really tasty, and the Papadum Paneer was really nice as well- made with cottage cheese coated in crushed papad.

Next, we had the Pesto and Truffloni Flatbreads. The truffloni one had large pepperoni slices, topped with truffle oil, jalapenos, and rocket leaves, and the pesto one was simply divine- it had a base of pesto, topped with sundried tomatoes and jalapenos, but the touch of genius came from the crispy onions that were scattered on top, which gave a lovely flavor dimension to the dish.lnk5For mains, we had the Whole Wheat Gomae Crepe, a nice take on the traditional Japanese dish, Gomae. This rendition of the dish had a spinach crepe stuffed with sesame spinach, mushrooms, and basil, and topped with a spicy sauce.

The Parsley Crusted Fish was served in a coil, which kept the fish really moist. The crust of parsley was really nice, and it worked well with the tangy red pepper puree. The dish was served with some fluffy mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables.lnk6We ended this lavish, spectacular meal with their signature dessert- the Mini Truffon. It had a lovely blend of different flavors and textures- a thin praline layer, topped with a chocolate-coffee ganache, served with vanilla ice-cream.lnk7Overall, this was one of the best dining experiences we’ve had in a long time- from the food and ambiance to the service, everything was simply spectacular. Lock & Key definitely calls for multiple visits!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: Shop No- 105,106 & 107, First Floor, DLF Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 88820 18888

Review: Grill House Sundays @ Qla

Review: Grill House Sundays @ Qla

Qla is a contemporary European restaurant set in the peaceful, scenic location of Mehrauli, right opposite the Qutab Minar. The restaurant prides itself on its delicious food with original and innovative flavors, and Executive Chef Priyam Chatterjee believes in using finest produce and proteins, and letting them shine. Qla has recently started fabulous Sunday brunches called Grill House Sundays. The beautiful terrace area of the restaurant comes to life every Sunday with an all-out Texas style grill, smoke, and barbeque menu- perfect for the winter afternoons. The spread showcases some of the best sourced and carved meats, poultry, and fresh sea food, and some of the best farmers bringing in their sumptuous produce from the garden. To compliment all this delicious food, they have some really nice cocktails and drinks, and live music in the background to liven up the mood.

As soon as I reached and was seated, I was served a delicious, refreshing welcome drink and some Cinnamon Butter with Buns. The slightly sweet butter with lovely aromas of cinnamon with the fresh, soft hot buns was simple heavenly.

The Carrot and Pumpkin Soup that I savored next was really flavorsome and well-bodied, and really got my appetite going for the next section, which was a burgers and pizzas station. They had nice options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike- from lamb, chicken, pork belly to courgettes, mushrooms, and potatoes. I went for the Braised Lamb Burger with glazed onions and emmental cheese, served with potato wedges. The lamb was really juicy and seasoned nicely with spices, and the emmental cheese really made the dish shine. The potato wedges were also really well made.

They had a Fresh Catch of the Day section where you could choose among grilled tiger prawns, fresh pomfret or Singaporean chili crab, and a Vegetarian Delight section which had roasted beetroots in bravas sauce, grilled courgettes in molted chili blue cheese, hasselback potatoes with sour cream, and cinnamon glazed carrots with barbeque glaze. The Salad Bar gave you the option to ask the chefs to whip up a salad just the way you like it. The Pasta Station allowed you to decide your choice of pasta, sauce, and toppings, and the Grill section had braised lamb medallions with barbeque glaze, grilled sole steak, breaded calamari, fish and chips, tequila soaked pork belly braised and grilled, maple and spiced honey short ribs, and grilled chicken breast, all made-to-order.qla5What I really liked about their style of buffet spread was that everything was made by the chefs live, right in front of you, as per your specifications. From the various sections, I decided to have cinnamon glazed carrots with barbeque glaze, penne in pesto sauce, maple and spiced honey short ribs, and grilled chicken breast. The carrots had a nice char to them and were laced with a delicious, sweet-sticky barbeque sauce. The pork was extremely juicy and soft and the barbeque sauce served alongside was really robust. The chicken breast was moist and well-cooked and coated with a spicy marinade, and the penne was al dente, coated in a vibrant pesto sauce, and topped with lots of parmesan shavings.qla6The buffet section also had a bread and cheese table, and some other dishes like Chicken Blanket and Grilled Polenta with Garlic Veloute,

Moving on to the dessert section, the spread here was also different from the usual. They had Marshmallows, Mud Pie, Toffee Pudding, Eclairs, Doughnuts, Lemon Tarts, and Orange Sable with Cremeux. The mud pie was gooey, chocolatey and scrumptious, while the eclairs had the perfect texture of the pastry and lovely fillings. The lemon tarts had a zingy, citrusy filling and thin, perfectly baked tart shells, and the sable was really well-made, topped with a light cremeux and orange segments to give it lightness.

Overall, it was a fabulous experience, with the food, ambience, and service all living up to expectations. The Grill House Sundays at Qla are a nice experience to enjoy with friends or family, especially in this chilly winter season.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: 4A Kalka Das Marg, opposite Qutab Minar, Mehrauli, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 3231 8233

Review: Wow! Momo

Review: Wow! Momo

Wow Momos is a popular brand that has been around for a long time, and they have continued to innovate constantly, introducing new types of momos and new flavors over time.

I recently went to the Cyber Hub outlet to try some of their menu items, and was quite happy with all of them. The Chicken and Cheese Steamed Momos had a filling of juicy chicken with oozing, melted cheese, coated with a thin covering. The momos were served with spicy green and red sauces which were both really tasty.wowmomos1The Fried Chicken Momos came with the same sauces, had a nice, crisp covering, and a flavorful chicken and coriander filling.

The Corn and Cheese Pan Fried Momos had a crispy covering with melted cheese and corn inside and was topped with a really spicy and tangy schezwan sauce.

The Chicken Tandoori Momos had a flavorful filling with tandoori flavors, but it wasn’t our favorite as the covering was a bit stretch in texture.

The Chicken Thukpa was super flavorsome- with a robust broth with deep flavors, with juicy chicken chunks, noodles, and veggies. This dish is something that is perfect for this weather, and I will certainly be going back for this one.wowmomos2I ended the meal with Chocolate Momos, and though there was some mix-up with the dish initially, it got fixed instantly when I pointed it out. The fresh dish that we got had a thin, crispy covering filled with soft and gooey chocolate brownie, chocolate sauce, and chocolate shavings. Though I was a bit unsure about this dish initially when I read it on the menu, it surprisingly turned out to be very tasty.

Overall, this is a nice place to have a quick meal, and the must-have dishes are the Thukpa and the Chicken and Cheese Steamed Momos.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: Multiple outlets across Delhi NCR