Review: Café StayWoke

Review: Café StayWoke

Café Staywoke is a cosy and charming café opened by two IMT graduates Abhinav and Manali, with the aim to offer an amalgamation of global flavors and Indian influences. Keeping in line that vision, the food at the café is what they describe as “Gourmet Casual”- fine food in a casual setting.staywoke2

We started our meal with a gorgeous Beetroot and Coconut Soup, which looked pretty as a picture when it came out. The soup was delicately flavored, with a hint of sweetness from the beetroot balanced nicely with the freshly cracked pepper, and completed with a subtle background note of coconut. The mélange of flavors worked beautifully together to create a wonderful dish. The soup was served with some nicely toasted bread coated with garlic butter, which we relished with the soup.

They also have a wonderful drinks menu, out of which we tried the Peach and Mint Ice Tea, a refreshing drink with the sweetness right on point; Masala Imli Thumbs Up, with a lovely masala; and a really weird sounding but surprisingly tasty dish- Campa Wala Doodh.staywoke4The Mushroom Vol-au-Vent had flaky puff pastry topped with delicious creamy mushroom in mascarpone and thyme, seasoned to perfection. The mushrooms were so tasty that they could be a dish in and of themselves. The touch of genius on this plate was the berry jam which provided a slight sweet taste and uplifted the flavors of the dish.

The Paneer Pakoda Croquette were coated in a crispy batter, and served with a mint and chili sauce, but the paneer could have had a bit more flavor.

The Ragi Upma, a super healthy and super tasty dish consisted of ragi upma, loaded with crunchy vegetables, and topped with a sweet and spicy thai chili sauce, with some peanuts providing a nice textural contrast.

The Sumac and Za’atar Chicken was another great dish consisting of juicy chicken pieces coated with a flavorsome mint and pomegranate oil, served with hummus and pumpkin relish. Both the dips layering the plate were really well-made, while the chicken was packed with flavor, making this a dish worth trying.staywoke5The Tagliatelle in Pesto Sauce had vegetables cooked al-dente in a creamy pesto sauce, which was a bit heavy-handed on the cream for our taste.

The Seared Lamb dish consisted of succulent lamb which melted like butter at the touch of the knife, served with a robust, flavorful port jus. The dish came with some baby carrots and potatoes, and two dips- a creamy hummus, and a lovely carrot puree, making it a well-rounded dish.staywoke6We ended the meal with some wonderful desserts- Semifreddo, Chai Kulfi, and Tiramisu. The bitter chocolate semifreddo had a lovely texture and was served with orange segments, orange peels and vanilla ice-cream- flavors that went beautifully together. The Chai Kulfi with Parle-G, a great innovation, had tea-infused kulfi with crushed-up parle-g biscuits- a match made in heaven. However, the texture of the kulfi was a bit icy. The Tiramisu was amazing- gorgeous layers of liquor-soaked sponge, mascarpone, and whipped cream, with tons of coffee flavor.staywoke8Overall, this place has some really cool dishes, and the ambience is warm and friendly, making this a place worth trying.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: 104, First Floor, South Point Mall, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 99166 04855

 

Review: CJ’s Fresh

Review: CJ’s Fresh

CJ’s Fresh, as the name suggests, focuses on offering freshly made, healthy food, without compromising on the taste. The menu has a variety of pasta, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, and desserts, but what I found most interesting was their high protein, carbless mania section, which provides some hearty, delicious, but healthy options.cj1From that section, I opted for the El Patron, which has Stuffed grilled chicken on a bed of sautéed spinach and provides customization in the stuffing and sauce options. I opted for mine to be stuffed with chili wild mushrooms, caramelized onions and sautéed spinach with a black pepper mushroom sauce. The dish was really filling and extremely delicious- the chicken was moist, generously stuffed, and the sauce packed a real punch of flavor. A must-try dish on their menu.

I also tried one of their paper-thin pizzas, which was, in fact, really paper-thin, as advertised. Keeping things simple, I went with the Don Margarita pizza which has tomato spread, mozzarella, and fresh basil. It was a huge pizza and the base was really thin and well-baked, topped with a tangy tomato sauce and tons of melted, stretchy cheese.

The Chapo’s Chocolate Cake was a soft and home-style cake with a yummy milk chocolate frosting, and if they could have put it a little more of that gorgeous frosting, that would have been the real icing on the cake (pun intended).20180322_221838Yes, this place is a tad expensive, but their portions are generous and their food delicious, making it worthwhile!

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

The Defence Colony outlet delivers to Defence Colony, GK1, GK2, Jor Bagh, Golf Links, Hauz Khas, Panchsheel Park, Geetanjali and Khan Market

Phone No.: +91 80108 37837

Review: United Coffee House

Review: United Coffee House

United Coffee House is an iconic brand and a landmark eatery that has been around since 1942. And the fact that even after so many years, you always see a queue outside the restaurant, which doesn’t dwindle even till as late as 11pm, itself goes to show how popular the restaurant still is. And the best part is that the menu has its signature recipes that it sold decades back.uch1We recently visited the restaurant and we found it fully packed, brimming with energy, with its vintage, British era feel still intact. We started off with a Green Valley Mocktail, which has the perfect mix of green apple, khus syrup, mint leaf, and fresh lime juice, topped with soda. The drink was as refreshing as it sounds, and the quantity was great as well.uch2For starters, we ordered a Veg Mezze Platter that had hummus, tzatziki, pita bread, cheese sambousek, falafel, spinach fatayer, and pickled vegetables. The pita bread was soft and fresh, and both the hummus and the tzatziki were delightful. The falafel had a nice crunch to it outside, while still being moist outside, and the cheese sambousek had a crispy filo pastry covering with a melted, gooey cheese filling. The spinach fatayer however could have done with the pastry being a bit crisper, but the filling of spinach and pine nuts was really tasty.

The Pan Roasted Smokey Duck was a wonderful dish that had pieces of crispy, smoky duck served with celery sticks, cucumber, and hoisin sauce. The duck came with some thin pancakes that you could assemble all the ingredients on, and make a nice roll of it. This dish should certainly be tried.

The Lahori Chappli Kebab consisted of minced kebab with a crispy brown crust infused with tomatoes, onions, and traditional herbs. Though the kebabs were nicely flavored, we expected them to be a bit moister on the inside.uch3For main course, we went with two of their signature dishes- Tomato Fish and Gambo Ham and Chicken Steak. The Tomato Fish has been one of the most popular dishes on their menu since 1962, its year of innovation, and for good reason. The fish was cooked perfectly- it was flaky and moist with a nice, thin crust, and was coated in a robust, tangy tomato sauce, with though immensely flavorful, did not overpower the flavor of the fish. The Gambo Ham and Chicken Steak was no less either- it consisted of an unusual mélange of chicken stuffed with cured ham and cheese in veloute reduction served on a sizzler. The chicken was served with some french fries and grilled vegetables and was a hearty dish.uch4We ended the meal with a Gluten Free Almond and Orange Cake which was served with a raisin and cinnamon anglaise, pistachio nougatine. The cake was mildly sweetened, balancing out the sauce which was rather sweet, overall making for a nice dessert.

United Coffee House has, as the name suggests, been famous for its cold coffees for many years, so we couldn’t have left without trying one, so we went with Mexicano, which had chocolate syrup, whipped cream, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and black coffee. We loved how strong the coffee was, while still letting the other flavors come through.uch5Overall, it’s a place worth visiting!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: E-15, Inner Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 2341 6075

 

Review: United Coffee House Rewind

Review: United Coffee House Rewind

UCH Rewind is the chic café version of the iconic United Coffee House, CP. While they have kept the classic and signature dishes intact, they have added some twists to the menu and included dishes with a modern spin to them. The décor follows the same theme of modern, with a touch of vintage, with black and white pictures of the British era adorned on the walls.uchr1We started off with a couple of drinks- the United Sazerac, one of their signature cocktails which contains bourbon, botanical infusion, absinthe, and cinnamon bitters was nice and smooth, while the mocktail-Sitara Phool and Pani Puri Mojito had an interesting flavor combination of burnt star anise with rose and tamarind water, topped with soda and crushed ice.uchr2We started our meal with Burmese Khao Suey and Mushroom Cappuccino. The khao suey had a lovely velvety texture and a mild background note of coconut, which was thankfully not overpowering. The vegetables in the khao suey were crunchy and the chicken pieces moist and generous in quantity. It was served with little bowls of garlic flakes, fried onions, roasted peanuts, fried noodles, and spring onions which could be added as per taste. The mushroom cappuccino is heaven for mushroom lovers- it was a thick, robust soup with a nice layer of foam on top. The soup was served with a delicious gruyere cheese crostini and potato risoles, which were both amazing.uchr3Next, we had the Buffalo Chicken Sliders which had cornflake-crusted chicken pieces in a fresh, well-toasted bun with cheese and coleslaw. The chicken, which had a crunchy coating and was moist inside was absolutely amazing.

The Beetroot and Goat Cheese Arancini was a lovely innovation, which consisted of crunchy balls with beetroot flavored rice with a filling of goat cheese, served with an achari chili infused matar choka puree, which packed a nice punch of flavor.

The Non-Veg Mezze Platter comprised chili coriander shish touk, spiced lamb kibbeh, beetroot sage hummus, zatar spiced labneh, muhammara, pickled vegetables, quinoa tabbouleh, and pita bread. The pita bread was really nicely toasted, and all the dips were really flavorful. However, while the lamb kibbeh was delicately spiced and flavorsome, the shish touk was a tad dry and could have done with a touch more coriander flavor.uchr4Another cracker dish, and something that would be an ideal bar snack, was the Lotus Stem Chips and Water Chestnuts. The chips were thin and crispy, and were tossed in spicy schezwan pepper, which was nicely balanced with a sticky, sweet plum sauce served on the side. This dish is absolutely addictive and a must-try.

Another must-try dish is the Darjeeling Roast Chili Pork. It had double cooked pork which was really juicy and succulent, tossed in red chili, charred shallots, and bay leaves. The sauce coating the pork had the perfect balance of flavors.uchr5For main course, we went with one of their signatures- Chicken A’La Kiev, which was every bit as delightful as we expected. The chicken was coated in a crispy breadcrumb covering, and was soon as we cut into it, it oozed out a pool of butter. The chicken itself was incredibly moist as well. The dish was served with some creamy mashed potatoes, well-made french fries and grilled vegetables, and is incredibly rich and filling.

We also tried the Chicken Khurchan which had moist and deftly spiced chicken keema, served with roomali roti and chili onion relish, and was a delicious dish as well.uchr6We rounded off the meal with two awesome desserts- the Malai Kulfi Popsicle had a creamy saffron and pistachio infused with rose petal chikki mash, and the Warm Fudge Cake had a thin oreo cookie crumble base, topped with warm, gooey cake, served with vanilla ice-cream.uchr7The service was prompt and courteous throughout, and we had a wonderful dining experience. UCH Rewind is a great place for a meal, as it has a vast menu, generous portions, and delicious food!

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: First Floor, DLF Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 99994 40950

Review: Pearl Boutique Bakery

Review: Pearl Boutique Bakery

Pearl Boutique Bakery, a new bakery in town, is already trending owing to their insta-worthy designer custom cakes, and their delicious ice-cream sandwiches and cheesecake pops.pearl2They offer up ice-cream sandwiches in different flavors- you can go for a double chocolate cookie, chocolate chip cookie, red velvet cookie, among many others, and different flavors of ice-creams sandwiched between them, which are all made in-house by the way. I tried the Double Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich that consisted of a brownie centered chocolate cookie which had the perfect texture- crusty on the outside and soft and cakey inside, with flavorful ice-cream that was at just the right temperature to not be too hard, and still maintain its integrity as you bite into the cookie sandwich.pearl1I also tried the 9 Spice Cheesecake Pop- the cheesecake was creamy and delectable- with the perfect texture, and was not too sweet, and the 9 spice crusting made for an interesting flavor combination with the cheesecake.

They also have some amazing cake on offer, of which we tried the Tiramisu- it had lovely layers, with a creamy mascarpone layer and a strong hit of coffee.pearl3Apart from these, they have many options to choose from- brownies, shakes, cookies, loafs, cupcakes, and even healthier options such as granola, smoothies, protein cookies, bars, sugar-free and gluten free options.

Overall, this is a place that should definitely be tried when you’re at Select Citywalk Mall.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: Ground Floor, Select Citywalk Mall, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 98620 00022

Review: Fat Jar Café & Market

Review: Fat Jar Café & Market

Fat Jar Café and Market has come up with a great new concept of simplifying and enhancing the dining experience, with daily menu changes with different vegetarian, non-vegetarian and seafood options, and the dishes being displayed at the counter, so you can see before ordering what the dish would look like, and order accordingly.fatjar1What’s more, is that they also have a mini market inside the café, where they sell fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, cheese, handmade pastas, and even their house-made dips such as mayonnaise, baba ganoush, pesto, and hummus. Their focus is on Mediterranean food, and have lots of options for healthy dishes as well. They also have a large pizza oven for fresh, hand-crafted gourmet pizzas.

We started off the meal with Barlencini, which were essentially arancini balls made of barley, which were soft and springy inside, with a thin, crisp covering. The barley arancini was served with a simple, yet amazingly delicious tomato sauce which we happily lapped up with our spoons, and was topped with rocket leaves for a touch of freshness.

The next dish we had was probably the dish of the day- Chicken Shish Touk, which had succulent chunks of chicken flavored delicately with spices, and served with lettuce leaves and bell peppers, and light and airy whipped egg white, topped with sumac. This dish is really healthy, yet super delicious, and should not be missed.fatjar3The Meatless Shepherd’s Pie was another great dish- it was made with lentils and spices topped with sweet potato, and the textures and flavors of the two elements counterbalanced each other well.

Next, we had the Fish and Chips, which had flaky, perfectly cooked fish coated and fried to perfection. The french fries were thin and crisp, and perfectly seasoned.

We also got to try their Margherita Pizza, which had the perfect crust- thin and light, with just the right amount of rise near the edges. The tomato sauce coating the pizza base was one of the best we’ve tasted, and the gooey stretchy cheese in generous quantities made the dish amazing.fatjar4We ended the meal with a delicious Sticky Date Pudding, which had a nice flavor from the dates, and the sauce was sticky and luscious.fatjar6Overall, this place is amazing- the way they have set it up, with large glass windows letting the sunlight pour in, the green plants in and around the area, and the experience of being able to walk into their prep area and see the open kitchen, along with, of course, the superb food, makes this place a must visit!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: A-7 Kailash Colony, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 98116 13888

Review: Riviera

Review: Riviera

Riviera, the multi-cuisine kitchen and bar serving Indian and international cuisines at Ameya Suites, Jasola, offers up some delicious food, in a comfortable setting with courteous service. On a recent visit, we were really impressed by some of the innovative dishes they serve.riviera1We were served a welcome drink of Apple Vanilla Smoothie to begin with, which had a lovely, mellow vanilla taste, as a backdrop to the refreshing apple flavor.

The Rajma Chawal Fritters consisted of balls made of smashed rajma and rice, stuffed with cheese, and coated in crispy breadcrumbs. The dish had a nice flavor, but was a bit dry due to the thick coating.

The Mutton Galouti Kebab had a smooth texture and was flavored well, and was served with thin, slightly sweet sheermal.riviera2The Indian Chili Popper was a wonderful dish, which had a chili pepper stuffed with creamy cheese and olives, coated with breadcrumbs, and deep fried to perfection. The counterbalance of the hot pepper, and the creamy cheese worked really well together. This dish is a must have here!

The Chicken Shish Touk had juicy, succulent chunks of chicken, subtly flavored with spices, and served with a smooth, punchy hummus. Another definite must have!

The Pao Bhaji Stuffed Bun, another of their stellar innovations, and probably the best one, consisted of a crisp pao hollowed-out and filled with spicy bhaji, and topped with a slice of cheese that was melted to an oozy consistency, and topped with coriander and spices. The dish had the same familiar flavors of our favorite pao bhaji, but presented in such a cool way.riviera3For main course, we went with Chur Chur Naan with Dal Makhani and Chooza Khaas Makhani. The chur chur naan was flaky, and the dal makhani, which was slow-cooked overnight had a creamy texture. The chooza khaas makhani had a lovely kastoori methi flavor and a tangy gravy, which we enjoyed with lachcha parantha.riviera4We ended this meal with a couple of delicious desserts- Kulfiesta and Gulkand Kheer. The kulfi was really creamy and was served with a thick rabdi, and neither of them were too sweet. The gulkand kheer was also really well made, and the rose petal flavor was amazing.riviera5Overall, if you’re in this area, and want to have a delicious meal, look no further than Riviera!

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: Ameya Suites, Plot No. 6, FC-33, Jasola, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4545 1212