Review: Cervesia

Review: Cervesia

One of the newer places at Sector 29, Cervesia has made its mark with some nice beer brews and delicious dishes. We visited on a weekday evening to find the place buzzing. The beer tasters given to us were the American lager and the honey brew, and our choice for the day was the honey brew with its depth of flavor. We also had a mocktail- the Tropical Spice, which was a mix of guava juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, chaat masala, and lime and tasted quite nice.cervesia1

cervesia2For starters, we tried four really different starters- each better than the previous. The Munch Box had creamy macaroni and cheese that had been rolled into a ball, crumbed and fried to get a crunchy exterior and was served with a creamy, cheesy sauce.

The Cheesy Khumb Kulcha Bites was a wonderful dish consisting of small-sized fluffy kulcha stuffed with cheese and mushrooms. We really loved the flavor of the filling and kept going back for more.cervesia3The Butter Chicken Slider had thin and crispy mini garlic naans topped with pieces of juicy butter chicken bites served with makhani gravy. The crunchy naan with the creamy makhani gravy made for a good combination.

The Malai Basil Cheese Chicken Tikka had succulent chicken kebabs marinated with a flavorful mix of cheese and basil, and was served with a spicy mint chutney.cervesia4For main course, we had the Cilantro Sole which had a flaky, nicely-cooked sole fillet marinated in cilantro. Though the fish was a tad salty, we loved the flavor of the marination and even the lemon butter cilantro sauce that came alongside was full of flavor. The dish was served with grilled vegetables and mashed potatoes, which were nicely made.cervesia5We ended the meal with two desserts- both of which had a wow element. The Sizzling Walnut Brownie consisted of a chocolate brownie that was served on hot sizzler skillet. The server then poured Old Monk on it, and flambéed it, leaving the brownie with a lovely bitter, alcohol after-taste. The Chocolate Golgappa were really interesting- the white chocolate golgappa were filled with an airy chocolate mousse, some small jelly pieces and served with a shot of gulkand-flavored milk.cervesia6Overall, a nice place to party with friends while having some interesting and tasty dishes.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: 1st Floor, SCO 22, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 072899 13000


Review: Amuse House

Review: Amuse House

Amuse House is a bistro at Ansal Plaza that serves delicious Mediterranean food, complemented with fine cocktails. The décor of the place takes inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea with shades of teal on the walls, and an open air circular bar as well. The dishes on the menu are inspired by cuisines of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean, of course, with Chef Arvind’s magical touch added to them.ah1While we sipped on our delicious cocktails- Green Apple Daiquiri and Sex on the Beach- we were served a platter of in-house baked assorted breads, along with tomato butter, garlic butter, chili jam, and bacon jam. The breads were all soft and nicely made, and we loved the flavored butter served alongside. But what really got our palates going were the chili and bacon jam, which we just couldn’t stop having.ah2The meal started with Chickpea and Mint Falafel served with hummus, mint aioli and spinach wafers. The falafel had a nice crunchy covering and the mint really added a different dimension to the dish. The hummus was creamy and flavorful- one of the best we’ve had, and the spinach wafers looked and tasted great.

Next, we had the Manchego and sweet corn stuffed pimento chilies. The chilies had a lovely pungent flavor and were stuffed with sweet corn and Manchego cheese, which balanced out the flavors. The dish was served with some chipotle aioli, topped with beetroot and mustard micro-greens.

The Chicken Bourak had a crunchy and flaky filo pastry covering, and had been baked, not fried. The filo was filled with chicken mince flavored with onions, cheese, parsley, and a touch of cinnamon to give a lovely well-rounded flavor, and was served with chipotle aioli.

The Chicken Liver Pate was plated so beautifully- with a delicious chicken terrine at the bottom, topped with quenelles of chicken liver mousse and a perfectly poached egg topped with creamy hollandaise sauce.ah3The Shakshuka came next, and had a tomato-based gravy that was seasoned deftly, and topped with poached eggs. We enjoyed this dish with the pita bread served alongside.

Another stellar dish was the Pork Belly, which was not only one of the best-plated dishes on the menu, but also one of the tastiest. The slow-cooked pork had a wonderful texture and melted like butter when cut, and it was paired perfectly with some sharp parsnip cream, pickled pear, and sweet prune puree, all of which really complemented the pork well.

The Grilled Goat Cheese salad, with beetroot and burnt orange was a nice take on the regular ones. This had beetroot poached in red wine, beetroot wafers, goat cheese that was grilled slightly to get a nice crust on top, and was stuffed with beetroot. And all of these ingredients were tied together with the burnt orange wedge, that we had to squeeze over the dish, and added a nice acidity to it.

The Grilled Lamb Chops is another must-have here- the lamb was juicy and moist and was coated with a lovely, zingy spiced gremolata, and served with an aubergine dip. The gremolata added so much flavor to the lamb, that we just couldn’t stop ourselves from mopping it all up.Untitled collage (1)The Barley Risotto had a nice creamy texture, and had a generous helping of shredded chicken in it, while the Classic Roast Chicken had a perfectly cooked chicken leg with skin which sealed all the moisture in it. The chicken was served with rosemary baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables, and a flavorsome chicken au jus.

The Gnocchi had a lovely light and fluffy texture and was served with a delicious Napoli sauce, a quenelle of fresh ricotta and some mushroom and beans.

We ended this lavish and delicious journey across the Mediterranean with the Amuse House Med Box which has four sweet treats from the region- pistachio baklava, basbousa, blah al sham, and finger Zainab, all of which were nicely made and not too sweet.ah4Overall, each dish on the menu has been intricately conceptualized, beautifully plated and offers some amazing flavors. The service is also courteous and professional. All of these factors make this place one that is highly recommended!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: C-108, Ansal Plaza, August Kranti Marg, Hudco Place, New Delhi
Phone No.: 084489 88001



Review: Sly Granny

Review: Sly Granny

Sly Granny, after wooing patrons at a lovely community house in Bangalore, has opened up a vacation home at Khan Market, New Delhi. Nicely done up with a whimsical, quirky flair, this new restaurant manages that perfect balance between homely and chic. The place has eccentric décor, with pictures from granny’s travels and posters of her favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger adorning the walls. The place is spread across two floors, with the first one being the dining space and the second, the parlor with a fully stocked bar. The menu is mostly European, with touches of granny’s creative influence, and there are plenty of interesting options for vegetarians as well.

While we browsed through the menu, we sipped on two nicely-made mocktails- April, which was a mix of freshly squeezed watermelon juice with pulp, lime juice, mint, sugar syrup, soda, and sprite, and Orange No Mojito, which had rose syrup, orange chunks, orange juice, mint leaves, and sugar syrup, and provided just the refreshment we needed on a hot and humid day.

We started our meal with the Deconstructed Cheese Toast, which was spectacular in its presentation, conception, and taste. The elements of a fancy chili cheese toast where laid out so perfectly and elegantly on the plate, with perfect little quenelles of spicy pimento cheese, charred chilies, tomato jam, candied walnuts, and micro herbs, served with melba toast. As we dig the paper-thin melba toast into the pimento and mopped up some chilies and jam, we couldn’t think of how this dish could possibly have been made any better. A clear star on their menu, this dish should not be missed.sg3And we have to say the same about the Grilled Peaches and Brie. The combination of sweet grilled peaches with the saline hit of the brie, on crunchy toasted bread, tied together with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar- this dish shows how balance of flavors is the key to a delightful mouthful.

The Tamarind Chicken had a nice crust from deep frying, tossed along with curry leaves, and was coated with a tangy tamarind glaze, and coated with green chili sauce.

The Barley Salad reaffirmed to us that healthy can be tasty- the pearls of barley looked so tempting in the dressing made with fresh yogurt and orange reduction, and topped with orange segments, pickled mustard seeds, pomegranate, peanuts and curry leaves.

We then moved on to the Mixed Bean Flatbread, which had a thin, crispy bread, topped with a flavorful mixed bean hash with picked onion, green chili and cheese.sg4Nicole’s Pasta was a lovely rendition of spaghetti in extra virgin olive oil, along with roasted garlic, caramelized onions, and broccoli, tossed with red chili flakes and topped with parmesan shavings.

The Grilled Steak, though a bit chewy, was super flavorsome, and retained all its meaty juices, and the sauce served alongside was just packed full of flavor. The mashed potatoes served alongside were nice and fluffy while the charred vegetables were cooked al dente.

The Black Pepper Salmon is a dish all Salmon lovers must try, as the fish was cooked perfectly- it was moist and flaky and the knife cut through it like butter. The black pepper crusting on the Salmon was a perfect touch, and went well with the dill sour cream, provencal potatoes and beans salad served alongside.sg5We ended this delightful meal with a couple of heavenly desserts- the Chocolate Lava cake had a nice, thin cake crust with melted chocolate and salted caramel inside. The dessert was balanced in sweetness as the salted caramel flavor really took this dessert to another level. The Brie En Croute was another divine dessert- light and flaky puff pastry, filled with salty, melted, gooey Brie cheese, and topped with a honey and pecan sauce- balancing the sweetness of the honey with the saltiness of the cheese.sg6The service, too, was beyond brilliant. The server gave thoughtful suggestions, provided information about the concept of the restaurant and each dish we had, and was prompt in changing our plates and filling our glasses. For its quaint feel, its delicious food and its spectacular food, Sly Granny is highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 4.75/5

Location: 4, Khan Market, New Delhi
Phone No.: 011 4905 8941

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