Review: The G.T. Road

Review: The G.T. Road

The G.T. Road restaurant, which had set up its first outlet in C.P. a while back, has now brought its gastronomic caravan to Gurgaon. The concept is the same- providing a lavish buffet dining experience with dishes from Kabul all the way till Chittagong.gt1The restaurant is decorated nicely- with black and white photos of rulers and emperors adoring the wall, a colorful vintage car on display, and brass and copper elements used across the décor.

We tried a couple of their delicious bantas- the Masala Ala Banta had coriander, mint and black salt and was really tangy and refreshing. They also have alcoholic bantas made with whiskey, vodka, rum and gin. We tried the Garmich Sardi da Ehsaas Banta which had whisky as its base, along with lime juice, honey and masala banta. This one should certainly be tried.

Coming to the food, the starters are served on the table, in skewers that are put on a charcoal tandoor in the middle of the table. The Chili Fish from Kolkata was soft and flaky and was coated with a flavorful sauce, but the Crispy Chicken Wings could have done with a bit more flavor. The Thele Wala Chicken Tikka from Jalandhar was juicy and nicely marinated and the Lasooni Jheenga from Amritsar was flavorsome as well, but our favorite was the Chutneywali Machhli from Ambala. The fish was soft and flaky and was coated with a spicy-tangy chutney marinade that imparted so much flavor to the fish. The Afghani Chicken though didn’t have the spices penetrate into the chicken and turned out to be a bit bland. The Gulfam di Chapli from Lahore consisted of juicy chunks of boneless meat, spiced delicately, flattened and cooked on a tawa.gt2The vegetarian starters consisted of Amritsari Paneer Tikka, Khumb Dolma, Ananas Khatta Meetha, Veg Salt and Pepper, Sabudana Tikki, Chatpate Bhutte ke Charkhe and Hari Bhari Seekh. The pineapple had been grilled perfectly, was juicy and sweet, and had a slight tang to it as well. The sabudana tikki could have been softer, but the bhutta had been cooked nicely over charcoal to get that smoky flavor and had been coated with a delicious spicy mixture. But our favorite here was the hari bhari seekh- we could see and taste the finely diced vegetables and the seekh had been spiced delicately to let the vegetables shine.

Their live chaat counter is also a great addition to this lavish spread- you get a huge variety of chaats to choose from, ranging from papdi chaat, dahi bhalle, bhalle papdi, raj kachori, palak patta chaat, kanji vada and bhel puri. And all these chaats can be customized to just how you like them. We tried the papdi chaat, bhel puri, kanji vada and palak patta chaat. All of them were crisp and fresh and doused with creamy yogurt and mint and sauth sauces. The palak patta chaat was exceptionally well made- the spinach leaves were coated very lightly in batter and were fried to a crisp, and were then topped with curd and sauces.

They even had some interesting salad options- the vegetarian section had everything from the regular kachumbari salad and moong chaat to chana chaat, chakundar til ka salad, tamatar rasila, afghani salad, and kabuli chana batata dhaniya, along with the staples- masala lachcha pyaaz, sirka pyaaz and different types of papads, pickles and murabbas. The tamatar rasila from Kanpur had juicy tomatoes coated with a spicy tomato sauce, and were quite different and nice, while the beetroot salad had a nice sweet note along with some crunch from the sesame seeds. Our favorite, though, was the Afghani salad which had strips of white radish, carrot, cabbage and cucumber seasoned with lemon and chili. The non-veg section had tandoori kukkad chaat from Lahore, Jalpari Mircha Salad from Kabul and Anda Matar Salad from Delhi, all of which were different and nicely made. They even had three types of curd- plain, masala raita and lauki raita.

They had two types of shorba- tamatar dhania and chicken yakhni, which were both delicious. Both of them were thin yet full of flavor. While the tomato one was tangy and spicy, the chicken one was subtle in flavor.

Moving on to the main course, the dal makhani from Amritsar was creamy and slow-cooked to give it a robust flavor, the Paneer Rara Multani from Rawalpindi had a nice depth of flavors without being overly spicy, the Makai Palak from Patiala and the Kadhi Pakora from Jalandhar were both nicely made and tasted homely, while the Angoori Kofte from Allahabad had soft cottage cheese and vegetable dumplings in a creamy, rich gravy. The Veg Manchurian and Chili Garlic Noodles were nice as well. The non-veg section had some interesting dishes such as Meat Beliram from Patiala (which had juicy mutton prices in a thick gravy made with whole spices), Doi Machh from Asansol and Dhaba Chicken from Jalandhar made in a thick onion-tomato-yogurt gravy, along with staples like Murgh Makkhanwala and Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce. These dishes could be relished with the 4 types of rice dishes available- gosht biryani, murgh dum biryani, nawaabi tarkari biryani or plain rice, or with different types of breads made-to-order. We had the pudina parantha and the lal mirch roti. Both were thin and crisp and actually had the respective flavors of mint and red chili in each bite.

While we were super full from the starters and main course, we couldn’t possible miss out on the lovely spread of Indian sweets. There was Gulab Jamun from Kanpur, Moong Dal Halwa from Amritsar, Chocolate Fruit from Etawah, Besan ka Laddoo from Delhi, Jalebi with Rabri made-to-order, Rasgulla, Rasbhari, Rasmalai and Rajbhog from Kolkata, Sheer Khurma from Kabul, Lauki ki Barfi, Sugar-free Gulab ki Kheer, Balushahi from Patna, Khoya Gulkand Barfi, Phirni from Lahore, Pinni from Amritsar and Shahi Tukda from Ludhiana. Along with these, they also had Paan Kulfi and Gur Kulfi. While the besan ka laddoo and balushahi were a bit disappointing, we were quite happy with the rest of the desserts. A few that deserve special mention were the soft and fresh khoya burfis topped with gulkand, the Gulab ki Kheer, which despite being sugar-free was really tasty and had a lovely rose flavor, the soft and flavorsome lauki ki barfi, and the stars of this section- the kulfis. Both the kulfis were really creamy and soft, which the paan one having lots of pistachio, beetle leaf and gulkand flavor, while the subtle earthy sweetness of jaggery came through so well in the gur kulfi. The jalebis that were made live were also thin and crispy.

The service was prompt and courteous. Our plates were changed swiftly, refills came to the table as soon as we asked for them, and we were taken care of well throughout the meal. And the best part is that all this delicious food (unlimited, that too) along with great service and ambience, comes at a very reasonable price, making this a place worth visiting.

Overall Rating: 3.75/5

Location: Shop R-404, Fourth Floor, Ambience Mall DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 099711 17855

Review: Big Fat Sandwich

Review: Big Fat Sandwich

Big Fat Sandwich has entered Gurgaon recently, setting up a cute little place in DLF Phase 2, in collaboration with Suchali’s Bakehouse and Brew 16. The outlet has minimalistic, sharp décor with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on two sides bringing in a lot of natural light.bfs1Their sandwich menu is really exciting- with a variety of veg, non-veg and even vegan options to choose from, and each sandwich can be customized by choosing the type of bread you want to go for out of sesame, sourdough, multigrain and rye. And if burgers are more your thing, each sandwich can be converted into a burger with an option to choose from sesame, brioche or multigrain buns.

The breads are all fresh and grilled to perfection, and are loaded with fillings. The quantity of cheese is apt, the meats are top-notch in terms of quality, and the sauces are flavorful.

We had the Grandma’s Special sandwich in the multigrain bread. The bread was filled with a crispy parmesan infused crusted chicken breast, lots of gooey melted mozzarella, and a flavorful and tangy marinara sauce, along with fresh, crunchy lettuce and tomatoes. We really liked these classic flavor combinations, and the marinara was amazing, but the chicken was a bit unevenly cooked- while the center of the chicken breast, which was thicker, was nice and juicy, some of the thinner edges had gone a bit dry. But barring that, it was a hearty sandwich served with a delicious dipping sauce and nicely made fries.

We also had the Forbidden Belly, which consisted of juicy slow cooked pork belly that just melted like butter at the touch of the knife, and was glazed in a robust, thick hoisin sauce with sesame seeds. The sauce was perfectly balanced in terms of flavors and had a nice smoky taste.bfs2We relished these dishes along with some nicely made Lemon Ice Tea and Cold Coffee blended with vanilla ice-cream.

This is a great place for breakfast or even for a nice evening snack along with some tea or coffee.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: K3/106, Dakshin Marg, DLF Phase 2, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +919643947305

Review: La Chocoallure

Review: La Chocoallure

La Chocoallure is an artisan gourmet chocolate and confectionery brand. Headed by the trio Shanu Arora, Nishu Wason and Amit Arora, La Chocoallure focuses on evolving flavors and creating handcrafted products that taste as good as they look. While Nishu has trained at Callebaut Chocolate Academy Ecole School of Chocolate and Chefs from France, Shanu has done a degree course from Ecole Chocolate Academy Canada. They use the best of ingredients such as the finest quality cocoa ranging from 35% to 90% sourced from countries such as Ghana, Madagascar, Brazil and Malaysia and freeze dried berries sourced from US, UK, Italy and Turkey. And each chocolate looks nicely finished and is beautifully presented. Their pretty boxes also make their products perfect for gifting.c2I tried a few of their products recently and was really impressed with the craftsmanship that had gone into intricately assembling and decorating each piece of chocolate to make it look so stunning. We tried the Raspberry Truffle that had a creamy raspberry flavored ganache encased in a chocolate coating, topped with an amethyst-inspired sugar rock. The Forrest Berries Cup had velvety chocolate flavored with the tanginess of forest berries encased in a thin chocolate cup made with chocolate that had been tempered to perfection. It had been decorated elegantly with edible gold and silver leaf. And our favorite one was the Mango and Peach Cup which had a lovely sweet-tangy flavor in the ganache encased in the same tempered chocolate cup, and decorated with a cute fondant flower.c1I also tried their flavored nuts- the Burnt Caramel Almonds had been dusted with rose gold and looked so pretty, and had the slight bitterness in the caramel which was just perfect. The sweet and spicy cashews were also delightful.

This is a place worth trying for, especially for the unique flavor combinations they use in chocolates and their elegant presentation.

Location: D-23, Defence Colony, 3rd Floor, Above HDFC Bank, New Delhi
Phone No.: 098722 50889

Review: Space Cakes by NASA

Review: Space Cakes by NASA

This is a cute bakery with the prettiest baby pink and blue entry door. Their decor also follows the same theme with coasters describing spatial objects, and the lovely shade of pink brightens up the interiors. Radhika, the owner of the place and also the baker behind all the lovely desserts has an equally lively and bright personality and happily attends to all customers herself.sc1We started with a cup of warm and thick Hot Chocolate with a deep rich chocolate sauce, served topped with a marshmallow. They also do their own blends of green tea and have a huge variety, of which we tried the strawberry and cream blend which was super flavorful and naturally sweet.

The Supreme Caesar had crunchy, garden fresh iceberg lettuce with crisp bread croutons, tossed in a strong garlic mayonnaise dressing that tasted really nice.sc4Our favorite savory dish was the Chicken Steak, which consisted of perfectly grilled, succulent chicken breast with a choice of sauce. We went with the lemon butter sauce which was simply amazing- it had the right balance of tang from the lemon and the richness from the butter. The chicken was served with carrot and cucumber ribbons dressed in a nice vinaigrette, as well as crispy lettuce and nicely grilled vegetables.

The Mac and Cheese had baked macaroni and veggies  in a cheesy sauce topped with gooey cheese but we would have liked less sauce and a bit more of the cheese, and the traditional topping of breadcrumbs to round off the dish.sc5

And then came the best bit- their amazing desserts. Their specialty, the Tres Leches Cake had a lovely, luscious sponge cake that was ever so fluffy, made with three types of milk- milk powder, milk and condensed milk, and was just adequately sweet. This is a must-try here.

They even have great sugar-free and gluten-free options on their menu. The banana bread was sugar-free and had a lovely banana and cinnamon flavor. We even loved their Apple Oat Cake which was sugar free and gluten free. The cake was made using oats and grated apples and had a lovely soft texture. It was sweetened with honey and the natural sweetness of the apples.

Overall, a really nice place to catch up with friends over evening tea and cakes.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: Shop No. 16, MMTC Market, Opp. Aurobindo College, Near Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 99908 00505

Review: UCH Rewind, Nehru Place

Review: UCH Rewind, Nehru Place

UCH Rewind has spread across NCR, from Cyber Hub to Noida, and now in the heart of the city at Nehru Place. The chic café version of the iconic United Coffee House, CP has a vast menu that retains some of the classic and signature dishes and also introduces some new innovative dishes. The Nehru Place outlet has a huge bar at the center with nice cushy sofa seating all around it.
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We started our meal with a couple of nice mocktails- the Saunth Papad Panna had a nice blend of sweet and sour flavors infused with dry ginger and tangy aam papad pulp topped with boondi dust for crunch. The Jamunrita had a flash frozen black jamun extract spiked with red chili and was served with clove smoke coming out from under the glass.
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The Herbed Tomato Basil Soup was thick and creamy and had a nice basil flavor. The soup was served with a cheese toastie that had nicely grilled bread filled with melted, gooey cheese. They even served a fresh and zingy pesto dip along with the toastie to cut through the richness, and that worked really well with the other flavors.
The Pao Bhaji Fondue was a fun dish consisting of a flavorful bhaji topped with lots of butter, and served with masala bread croutons to dip into the bhaji.
The Philadelphia Wontons had a crispy covering with gooey, melting cream cheese inside and were served with soy sauce with a green onion infusion.
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Calcutta Chili Chicken was served on a sizzling skillet, and had juicy chicken pieces coated in a sauce that had slightly sweet, spicy and tangy flavors all balanced well, and tossed with bell peppers, green chili, shallots and spring onions. This dish is a must-try here.
The Cafreal Chicken Tikka had really juicy chicken pieces coated in a herby marinade, but the marinade could have done with a bit more green chili, as it had a slightly sweetish taste which wasn’t working very well.
 
However, one of our favorite dishes at the place, Darjeeling Roast Chili Pork was nicely done as always. The dish consisted of double cooked pork that was soft on the inside with a thin crisp covering and was tossed in a spicy mix of red chili, charred shallots, and chili bay leaf tadka. Another must-try dish!
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For mains, we went with a couple of sizzlers. The Cordon Bleu Sizzler had an exotic vegetable patty, sautéed in French white wine, and topped with a creamy and flavorsome Mornay cheese sauce. Served alongside were some grilled vegetables and fries to make for a complete meal. A little extra Mornay cheese sauce on the side would have been just perfect, simply because it was so tasty.
 
The Chicken Pepper Steak Sizzler had a flavorful, classic chicken steak in a robust brown pepper sauce with generous quantities of sliced mushrooms. This sizzler was also served with grilled vegetables and fries.
 
We ended our meal with a Tiramisu in a jar, which was a slight disappointment as there was way too much whipped cream and not enough coffee flavor.
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The service was really attentive and swift throughout our meal. UCH Rewind is a good place to go to, when you don’t really know what you want to eat, and want to have the luxury of scanning through a vast menu with a ton of variety.
 
Overall Rating: 4/5
 
Location: R 03, Upper Ground Floor, Epicuria, Nehru Place, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 88603 32200
Review: OLLY – Olive’s All Day Cafe & Bar

Review: OLLY – Olive’s All Day Cafe & Bar

OLLY has the perfect ambience for an all-day cafe- relaxed vibes, non-fussy decor and a good use of whites juxtaposed with a few pops of bright colors. Their colorful floor tiles are especially beautiful. Along with this neatly done-up indoor space, they also have a beautiful outdoor seating with mist fans, a bar and a nice view of the towering buildings around the place. This open section will soon have a grab-and-go counter for you to pick up a meal on-the-go.Olly1I started my meal with their famous Salted Caramel Iced Latte which was a creamy thick coffee with a lovely salted caramel taste in each sip, without being too sweet. The latte was topped with caramel popcorn to give it that nice crunch.

The PBT was a delicious hearty sandwich made with the most amazing multigrain baguette that was made in-house. They make their breads fresh everyday and the flavor and texture of this bread was on point and it was toasted to perfection as well. It was filled with juicy and flavorsome pulled chicken, perfectly cooked crisp bacon, and semi-dried tomato, along with cheddar, arugula, spicy mayo and some creamy avocado. This sandwich is a must-have here.Olly2The Chermoula Chicken was a lovely dish consisting of juicy, tender boneless chicken pieces coated with a marinade of parsley, chili and coriander. The chicken was served with a tangy bravas dipping sauce which also packed a nice punch of flavor.

The Green Goddess Pasta had al dente penne pasta tossed with broccoli and asparagus in a lovely herbaceous pesto sauce and topped with parmesan shavings and chopped walnuts for crunch.Olly3Though I was super full from these lovely dishes, I still decided to indulge in one of their desserts – the French Toast. This dessert comprised a spongy brioche, coated with a thick salted caramel sauce and topped with chopped hazelnuts and berries. But the best element on the dish was the scoop of creamy, luscious dark chocolate ganache, which was so flavorful. Olly4They even have ladies night every Thursday with unlimited drinks on-the-house with a live dj. This is definitely a place worth repeated visits.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: Shop 101, 1st Floor, Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 81308 38811

Review: The Cheese Project

Review: The Cheese Project

The Cheese Project is a new delivery outlet offering American, Italian and Mediterranean- influenced dishes, all built around the core ingredient- cheese.

We ordered a few things from their menu, and the food was delivered on time and was packed nicely in their branded boxes. The Cheese Project Burger had a separate cute little box for the potato chips that came with the burger. The burger itself was massive and had a delicious and juicy minced chicken patty flavored with garlic, onion, celery and leeks, which was stuffed with gooey cheese, served on a bed of garden fresh arugula, ketchup, onions, house pickled cucumber, cocktail mayo and plum tomatoes.

The Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onions Flatbread had a generous serving of plum tomato sauce, topped with porcini, shitake and black fungus teamed with the subtle sweetness of the caramelized onions. While the flavors of the earthy mushroom and the sweet onions really worked together, we would have preferred smaller pieces of garlic cloves, as such big pieces had an overpowering flavor.

Our favorite dish of the lot was the hearty Silence of the Lambs Philly Cheesesteak. The baguette was toasted nicely and was filled generously with rosemary flavored minced lamb, caramelized onions, tones of bacon rashers, with a coating of gooey provolone and cheddar with Dijon mustard mayo and house pickled cucumber.

We also had the Mixed Berry Shake, which was nice but could have had a stronger berry taste.

Overall, a nice place for some good old hearty comfort food loaded with cheese!TCP1Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 11 4246 3456