Review: The Imperial Spice

Review: The Imperial Spice

The Imperial Spice has a vast menu with Indian, Oriental and Continental delicacies, a range of wines from around the globe, and opulent décor to add to the charm.tis1We started our meal here with the non-veg platter which had Spicy Thai Basil Chicken, Chili Chicken, Sarson Mahi Tikka, Kesari Murg Malai Tikka and Imperial Signature Galouti Kebab. The platter was served very nicely with two dips. The chili chicken was fiery and tangy, while the kesari murg tikka was delicately seasoned. The fish tikka had been flavored with mustard and carom seeds, and the galouti, served atop mini ulte tawe ka paranthas had a melt-in-the-mouth texture. But our favorite of the lot was the spicy Thai basil chicken which had balanced flavors coating juicy chicken pieces that were grilled to perfection.tis3We also had some innovative dishes like Quinoa Broccoli ki Shaami, which had a shallow-fried tikki made with broccoli and green peas and crusted with quinoa for crunch. The Wild Mushroom Cigars with Sundried Tomato Pesto had a crispy covering and were filled with finely diced mushrooms and gooey cheese. And the Duck Khurchan Tacos were simply amazing- crunchy, thin tacos flavored with Indian spices, and filled with spiced, roasted duck and lots of cheese. They were quite generous with the duck pieces, and we simply loved the taste of this dish.

Along with these starters, we enjoyed some nice drinks as well- the classic Mint Julep was made well, but the Whisky Chuski, which was a bourbon-based drink with a flavoring of kala khatta not only tasted great, it was presented in a very interesting manner as well. As the name suggests, they had a bowl with the drink, and an ice-lolly or chuski along with it that you could dip in the drink. The non-alcoholic drinks- Italian Smooch and Tropical Fruit Punch were nicely made as well, but the cocktails here are definitely a notch better.tis2For mains, we went with the Chicken and Asparagus Involtini, which had chicken breast stuffed chicken mince, served in a robust, flavorsome red wine and thyme sauce, along with fluffy mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables.

We also tried the Imperial Dal, which was cooked overnight and enhanced with cream and butter for richness, and the Kesari Paneer Roll, which had pieces of paneer with a saffron-flavored stuffing, grilled and then coated in a rick tomato and cashewnut gravy.tis4We ended the meal with two very different desserts- their Signature Lehsun ki Kheer and Sundried Tomato Ice Cream. The kheer had a slight whiff of garlic in its aftertaste and was quite intriguing, while the ice-cream had scoops of vanilla ice-cream topped with honey-dipped sundried tomato pieces, which somehow really worked.tis5Overall, we had a great meal, but the service could have been slightly more prompt.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: M Block, 89/90, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 98117 77468

Review: The Trial Box

Review: The Trial Box

The Trial Box is not just another delivery outlet- it is part of an innovative concept called The Trial, brought to us by Mr. Gaurav Mehta, which consists of three offerings- The Trial Box, The Trial Kitchen, and The Trial Show. While the other two are yet to be launched, The Trial Box is here with a bang. Their focus is on two things- hassle-free boxed meals for home or office, and gourmet party boxes. The dishes are all gourmet, made with the best of ingredients, and curated by some of the best in the industry- Chef Adam Simmonds, Chef Hari Nayak and Chef Arun Tyagi. And they are packed in really sophisticated, high-quality boxes that are specially designed so you can eat straight out of the box. And all this, at very competitive prices.

Their menu is quite elaborate, consisting of breakfast boxes, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, pizzas, pastas, grilled items, tacos, bowls, salads, as well as starters and meal boxes across Indian, Oriental and Continental cuisines. We visited their base kitchen for a tasting, and were amazed with the hygiene standards they maintain.

We started our meal with a couple of dim sums- Spicy Chicken Dim Sum in chili oil and Pan Fried Chicken Dim Sum, and both were comparable to the dim sum we’ve had in fine dining restaurants. Even the packaging was very convenient and didn’t take away from the experience. The chili oil dim sum had juicy chicken inside a paper-thin covering, and the chili oil was delightfully spicy. The pan fried ones had the perfect crust on one side, without being chewy. The dips served alongside were also exquisite.ttb1The next box had Jerk Spiced Cottage Cheese, Double Reshmi Khus Kebab and Cantonese Fish served with three different types of dips- salsa, mint chutney, and an oriental dip, which came in glass jars. The cottage cheese had thick strips coated in a delicious spice mix and the spices had permeated the paneer well- it was one of those rare dishes where the paneer doesn’t turn out bland. The reshmi kebab had a mix of chicken and lamb mince, and it was quite juicy and deftly spiced so we could still taste the meat. The fish was steamed to perfection, was soft and moist and got its flavor from the salsa sauce on top.ttb3We also had the Chicken Nukti Kebab, which had soft, melt-in-the-mouth chicken mince in a creamy sauce, and was served with bakarkhani and fresh coriander jalapeno chutney. The slight sweetness from the bakarkhani gelled well with the succulent kebab, and we got a nice hint of spice from the chutney making it a perfect mouthful.

Another delightful creation is their Dips and Crisps box which comes with trio of hummus- spicy, basil, and beetroot along with multigrain lavaash, thepla crisps, rosemary and sea salt crackers. The box is perfect for sharing along with evening tea, and is totally addictive. Each hummus is super flavorful, and the crisps are fresh and tasty.

Their Paper Chicken is another dish worth trying- it has an Oriental spiced chicken breast cooked in paper leaf so the chicken retains all its juices and the flavor from the spices.ttb4The Zucchini Fettucine salad had fresh and crunchy zucchini and carrot strips, sweet peppers, roasted tomatoes, pine nuts and sunflower seeds for crunch, along with a lemony dressing which added a lot of flavor to the veggies. The Mu Shu Pork with Mandarin Pancakes is also a dish worth trying- the sauce coating the pork was perfectly balanced.ttb6We also tried the Indian meal box, which had Zafrani Tawa Chicken, dal makhani, jeera rice, lal mirch lachcha parantha, raita and salad. The dal makhani was rich and creamy, and the chicken had a thick gravy with onions, tomatoes, and whole spices. The Cilantro Lime Grilled Fish had perfectly cooked, flaky fish fillets coated with a lemon butter sauce and served with creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes and al dente cooked long beans. The Spicy Lamb Bao had a flavorsome lamb filling and the bao was moist.ttb5For dessert, we tried The Trial Box Medley, which is, as the name suggests, a medley of waffle, cheesecake, chocolate brownie, and marshmallow, topped with gems and chocolate sauce. We also had the Blueberry Risotto Phirni and the Mango Chili Bhapa Doi, both of which were delightful, but the one we liked best was the Mango Chili Bhapa Doi for its light, airy texture and nice combination of mango with that little hit of chili.ttb7Overall, this was by far the best meal we’ve had from a delivery chain, and the packaging was also superior. It is amazing how they can offer such a wide range of gourmet dishes, each being tastier than the previous, and that too at such reasonable rates. The Trial Box is highly, highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 4.75/5

Location: DLF Phase 1, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 0124 460 1666

Review: Royal China

Review: Royal China

Royal China has been serving authentic Cantonese food for many years now, along with a gorgeous view from the 16th floor of Eros Towers at Nehru Place. They recently introduced some new dishes to their menu, and these are just as good as (if not better than) their signature dishes.

We started our meal with an assortment of dumplings- each intricately prepared with amazing flavor combinations. The Corn and Water Chestnut Dumpling had subtle flavors, while the Wild Mushroom Crystal Dumpling is a delight for mushroom-lovers. The Vegetarian Cheung Fun was something we tried for the first time, and we found it quite interesting- the rolls had nicely flavored vegetables inside a crispy deep-fried covering, which was then coated with paper-thin rice sheets and served with soy sauce. On the non-veg side, things were equally delightful, with the Chicken and Chive Dumpling, which had juicy minced chicken, delicately flavored with chive and carrots, steamed to perfection. But our favorite has to be the Poached Chicken Dumpling with Soya Chili, which was spicy, tangy, and delicious, with the moist dumpling swimming in a lovely sauce made with soy sauce and chili. The Roast Pork Puff had a filling of roast pork in a sweet sauce, inside the lightest and airiest puff pastry we’ve seen.rc3We then moved to main course, where we enjoyed one of our old favorites- Stir Fried French Beans with Garlic Sauce, which had crunchy beans in a spicy sauce. The Royal China Exotic Vegetables had al dente vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, and wild mushrooms in an umami black soy sauce with a little bit of chili. The Lamb with Chili Oil and Spring Onion came on a sizzler plate and was perfectly cooked. We enjoyed these dishes with some Vegetable Hakka Noodles.rc4As we enjoyed the gorgeous night-time view of the city from the windows of the restaurant, we relished our desserts- Lai Wong Bao or custard buns and Chocolate Lava Cake. The buns were really light and fluffy and were filled with a delicious custard inside, and the lava cake oozed out delicious molten chocolate as soon as we dug into it.rc5Throughout our meal, the servers were attentive and professional- explaining each dish, giving recommendations, and making sure we’re having a great experience. For delicious Cantonese food with a view, do visit Royal China.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: 16th Floor, Eros Corporate Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4981 8000