Review: Back to Basics

Review: Back to Basics

If you’re looking for a place with good music, nice ambience, and great cocktails and food, Back to Basics is a great option.

They have a nice list of interesting cocktails, out of which we tried the Express to Espresso, a concoction of whiskey, espresso, kahlua, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Though whiskey and coffee are both strong flavors, they were nicely balanced to make for a great drink.btb3We started our meal with the Chicken 65, which had spicy and juicy pieces of chicken with a nice crust on the outside, tossed with some fried curry leaves.btb4The Non-veg Platter had chicken lollypop, mutton seekh kebab, galouti kebab, and tandoori chicken wings. The lollypop had crispy, deep fried chicken drumsticks while the tandoori chicken wings had a mild but flavorsome marinade on them. The mutton seekh kebab was soft, juicy and deftly spiced and the galouti kebab was simply melt-in-the-mouth. However, the ulte tawe ka parantha on which the galouti was served was a tad too oily.btb5Next, we had Baida Roti with Kebab which consisted of a soft roti blanketed with egg that was nice and fluffy and served with juicy mutton seekh kebab. The combination of the roti and the kebab worked really well.

For mains, we went with Railway Mutton Curry with crispy Lachcha Parantha and Andhra Chicken Curry served with flaky Malabar Parantha. The mutton was nicely cooked, and the gravy was flavorsome without being too spicy. The andhra chicken curry was creamy and had a nice coconut flavor.btb6We ended the meal with Gulab ki Phirni which was thick, creamy and adequately sweet with a subtle rose petal flavor.20180727_204536Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: 30A, First Floor, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi
Phone No.: 091558 48484

Review: Carnatic Café

Review: Carnatic Café

Carnatic Cafe has been our favorite place for South Indian food ever since it opened its first outlet at New Friends Colony a few years back. Over time, it branched out to GK and now it has recently opened up its third outlet at Gurgaon. Located in the upcoming complex at 32 Milestone, this outlet is bigger, but still has the charm of a humble, simple place with similar cane and hand painted decor.cc1We started with Majjige to cool off, which is their refreshing masala buttermilk with mint.

The Dahi Vada has soft, fluffy vada soaked in thick, creamy curd with some crispy boondi served on the side to add crunch to the dish. The thick curd was delicious and made this one of the best renditions of the dish we’ve had.

Next, we had Workshop Thatte Idli which was a huge, fluffy idli, made and served in a copper plate topped with a delicious chutney and some butter, and was filling and tasty.cc2Paddu, or shallow fried balls made with lentils and rava, were really crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and had been flavored nicely with onions, coriander, and green chilies. They were served with their signature coconut chutneys- plain, mint, and tomato. Their coconut chutneys are simply out of the world- thick and fresh, unlike the bland, watery ones we get elsewhere.

A recent addition to their menu is the Angai Dosa. This was a set dosa, which was slathered with podi and topped with coconut and carrot shavings, coriander, potato mixture and coconut chutney. Though it looked really small, but was quite heavy, and really flavorsome.

But our favorite dosa out here will always be the Malleshwaram 18th Cross Dosa. Again, deceptively small but super heavy, this dosa is thick and fluffy, yet still crispy from the outside and soft inside, and was smeared with a delicious chutney podi and lots of white butter. This house specialty is an absolute must-have.cc3We ended our meal with a couple of their house-made ice creams. They have a range of interesting flavors such as black pepper, jamun jeera, etc. out of which we went with the Mango and Red Chili Sorbet and the Pink Guava ice-cream. The pink guava ice cream was really creamy and soft and had a nice, subtle guava flavor, while the mango sorbet had specks of red chili and had a nice balance of sweetness with that hit of chili.cc4Overall, each item on their menu is made with utmost care to retain the authenticity of the flavors. For a lovely South Indian meal with fast service and reasonable rates, Carnatic Cafe is highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 4.75/5

Location: Sector 15, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 9667180466

Review: Indian House

Review: Indian House

Indian House is a delivery outlet at Karol Bagh serving North Indian delicacies. We recently ordered a few things from their menu and were really impressed with their packaging and timely delivery. The food was individually packed in containers which were placed in a labelled cardboard box.indianhouse1The Mini Cheese Naans were a nice little snack. They were bite-sized naans stuffed with chilies, mozzarella, and mushrooms in garlic butter and were really tasty.

The Subz-e-Seekh was a soft and tasty seekh kebab made with a combination of vegetables and seasoned nicely. The Lamb Boti Kebabs consisted of pieces of lamb marinated with red chili, garlic, and ginger. The taste was nice but a few of the pieces were a bit under-cooked and chewy.

The Dal Makhani, though nice in flavor, was quite watery. The Mushroom Masala had a nice, thick gravy and the mushrooms were soft and juicy. The Chicken Curry had juicy pieces of chicken in a robust gravy made with whole spices to give it depth of flavor.indianhouse2We had these dishes with Pudina Parantha and Missi Roti, both of which were made well- crisp and thin.indianhouse3Overall, there were a couple of areas of improvement but this place can certainly be tried.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Location: 15A/6 WEA Karol Bagh, New Delhi
Phone No.: 011 33106520

Review: Chaayos- New Monsoon Menu

Review: Chaayos- New Monsoon Menu

Chaayos, our beloved tea and snacks place, has just launched a new monsoon menu featuring some delicious chaats to go with the weather.chaayos1The Samosa Matar Chaat was nicely made with crisp samosa crushed along with some soft matar or chickpeas, topped with a tangy imli chutney and raw onions and tomatoes. The Bhelpuri was crisp and tangy, with just the right amount of raw onions and sauces added to it- a light and relatively healthy snack to munch on. And if it’s healthy food that you’re looking for, the Egg White Chaat is the ideal dish for you, with soft boiled egg white topped with chaat masala and served along with raw onions, tomatoes and lemon juice. The Chicken Keema Papdi Chaat had a unique combination of soft and juicy keema served atop crispy crushed papdi. Though we appreciated the innovation, the keema had a bit too much sauce for our liking.chaayos2The Loaded Open Parantha had a thin, crispy Malabar parantha base topped with lots of cheese and a tangy tomato based paneer gravy, and felt like we’re eating an Indian-ized pizza.

The Thepla Tacos Paneer was a great dish! It had tasty mini theplas that were filled with paneer and some sev for crunch, served like a taco. We loved not just the fusion, but also the taste of this dish.chaayos3From the drinks menu, we went with Drinking Chocolate, Desi Filter Coffee, Kulfi Shake and Cake Shake. The drinking chocolate, unlike at most places, was not milky, and was thick and chocolaty. The filter coffee was strong and nicely made, but what we loved were the two shakes. The cake shake actually had blended chocolate cake making for a rich drink, and the kulfi shake was refreshing and not overly sweet.chaayos4We ended with a Moist Chocolate Cake which was a fresh, soft chocolate cupcake with a molten gooey center, and was delicious!chaayos5Overall, we really loved the new monsoon menu at Chaayos, and the food items are not just inventive, but also taste as good as all its drinks.

#ChaayosMonsoon

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: Multiple outlets across Delhi NCR

Review: Me-Bo (Meal in a Bowl)

Review: Me-Bo (Meal in a Bowl)

When you’re on the go or want to have a full meal while rushing between meetings in office, Me-Bo, or Meal in a Bowl is the way to go. They provide complete meals that are thoughtfully packaged in a bowl, making them very convenient to eat. They offer a range of different bowls- from healthy meals to comfort meals, across cuisines. Be it their Buddha bowls, the salad bowls or the Asian, Indian, Continental or even their smoothie bowls, each one is carefully constructed.mebo1We recently ordered in at office from Me-Bo, and the food got delivered on time, packed impeccably, and the smoothie bowl came on an ice pack to ensure it is delivered cold.

The Quinoa-Balsamic Chicken Buddha Bowl looked pretty as a picture with a mound of quinoa in the center, surrounded by colorful grilled vegetables like zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, broccoli, along with some sunflower seeds for crunch, along with some fresh tomato compote and feta cheese for extra flavor, and of course, some delicious grilled chicken that was coated with a balsamic glaze. And the dish tasted as good as it looked, with different flavor and textural elements.

The Chicken Spicy Garlic Bowl had assorted vegetables and chicken tossed is house-special spicy garlic sauce, with an option of fried rice, sticky rice, or rice noodles, of which, we went for the fried rice. The dish was hearty and filing, and the spice level in the gravy could be adjusted as per one’s liking by adding the extra chili sauce that they had sent alongside.mebo2The Blue Banana Bowl was a smoothie bowl, made by blending blueberries, bananas, and oatmeal and they had sent a box containing finely diced apples, pomegranate seeds, roasted almonds and coconut shavings, which had to be added to the bowl right before consumption so the ingredients retain their crunch. We really liked the flavor of the smoothie, but felt its consistency should have been a tad thicker.

We also tried their Chocolate Fudge Brownie, which was super tasty. The brownie had a thin crust and a gooey, fudgy center, and had a deep chocolate flavor.mebo3Overall, a great place to have delicious and filling meals served in a convenient to use bowl.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: Delivers across Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 124 408 6694

 

Review: Big Jaws

Review: Big Jaws

Big Jaws is a late night food delivery service operating in South Delhi that provides juicy burgers, hearty wraps and scrumptious pizzas and pastas right to your doorstep anytime between 6pm to 4am.

We recently tried a few of their items- the Quattro Formaggio Pizza was excellent- the base was light, thin, and nicely baked and the pizza was loaded with four types of cheese- mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and bocconcini in the right balance, on some delectable house-made basil marinara sauce.bigjaws1The Veg Aglio Olio Pasta had spaghetti cooked al dente, tossed in olive oil, fresh herbs, chili flakes and olives, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, with lots of garlic. The pasta came with a side of well-toasted garlic bread.

The Bbq Chicken Skewers had extremely juicy chicken pieces, grilled to perfection, coated in their house-made hickory smoked barbeque sauce. The barbeque sauce had balanced flavors and was one of the best we’ve tasted.

The Chocolate Mousse Jar was light and airy, and was just adequately sweet.bigjaws2Overall, all the food was great, and we’d definitely be ordering from here again, especially their pizzas.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: Greater Kailash 1, New Delhi
Phone No.: 011 4015 3950

Review: TFIF

Review: TFIF

For some restaurants, talking about their concept is just as important as describing their food and ambience. TFIF or The Future Is Female in Rajouri Garden, is one such place. The restaurant was ideated and created with one key theme in mind- women empowerment, and that is seen across different elements of the place. They have tried to create job opportunities for women by employing an all women staff (except for a few males in the kitchen), from the waiters, ushers to the bartenders and managers. Moreover, they have tried to employ more freshers and train them on different aspects of running and managing the restaurant, so they are not only creating job opportunities, but also building skills. To ensure safety of their staff, they even provide late night cab services to drop them all back home safely. They also have their line of merchandize which has their branding, and a portion of the revenues from this merchandize line is donated to an NGO.

The ambience of the place is also very different from its dim-light, blaring music neighbors. It uses natural light and green elements to brighten up the place and give it a fresh, lively vibe. The menu also comprises some nice fusion dishes, organic cocktails and delicious baked goods from their in-house bakery.tfif3We started off with the Palak Patta Chaat that had very lightly battered, crisp spinach leaves, topped with fresh curd, mint sauce and saunth, along with some sev for crunch and pomegranate seeds for that added flavor. The Chicken Popcorn was also a nice little snack to munch on, and its outer covering was really crisp and not at all oily.

The Thai Spring Roll is a must-have dish here- the filo sheet covering was super thin and crispy, and the filling had delicious Thai flavored vegetables that were seasoned to perfection. The tangy chili sauce served alongside was great as well. The Chicken Too Crispy was another great dish made with juicy, moist chicken strips that were coated with filo and deep fried to get a nice crunch, and served with chipotle sauce.

For mains, we went with the Paneer Longlata, a lovely dish with cottage cheese sandwich filled with green chutney in chef’s special gravy which was thick and creamy. The Laal Maas had tender mutton pieces in a spicy gravy. We had these dishes with nicely made lachcha paranthas.tfif6The Ginger-Bread Mojito and Kala Khatta mocktails that we had with the meal were really nicely made and had just the right amount of sweetness.

The desserts at TFIF are really nice- the Key Lime Mousse was light and airy and had a lovely lemon tang, and the Gluten Free Brownie was gooey and soft, and was served in a chocolate ball along with some vanilla ice-cream.tfif7TFIF is the place you’d like to go with friends and family where you can enjoy a good conversation along with a good meal.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: A-6 Vishal Enclave Rajouri Garden, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 87977 75000