Review: Cicchetti by Mr. Beans

Review: Cicchetti by Mr. Beans

Cicchetti means small plates in Italian, and that’s the concept Cicchetti by Mr Beans, a new restaurant at Cyber Hub, brings forth. Their menu is inspired by wine bars in Venice, but they do have a modern take on these classic Italian dishes.c1The Potato and Leek Soup was so delicate, creamy and luscious, and the deftness with which it was seasoned, and that addition of just a few drops of truffle oil, really took the dish to another level. The leek straws or shredded crispy leeks that they had added as garnish not only looked pretty, but also added a lovely flavor. The egg on the side, which was poached to perfection, oozed out that delicious yolk which made the soup richer, and the topping of olive dust and fried garlic flakes on top of the egg was a stroke of genius. This soup is something that should not be missed.

The Gruyere Mac n Cheese Gratin had nicely cooked macaroni in a creamy, cheesy sauce nicely flavored with fresh herbs and porcini mushrooms. Gruyere is a great cheese for macaroni as it has a lovely nutty flavor. The layer of cheese on top had been baked perfectly to get a nice crust and still be gooey and stretchy. The buttered wild mushroom on the side were tasty, but should have been served warmer.c2The Poached Chicken dish was great too, as the chicken was poached really nicely, and was really juicy and moist inside. The warm mustard sabayaon that the chicken was covered with was light, airy and had a nice hit of mustard, which was counterbalanced by the sweet caramelized onions.

The Goth Linguini in Aglio Olio was served in a very interesting manner, with a splatter of saffron cream adding that pop of color to a black pasta served on a black plate. The linguini had been made in-house, and had been infused with activated charcoal to get that black color. The pasta was nicely flavored with red chili flakes, garlic and fresh herbs, and that saffron cream provided a nice mellow note.c3Along with the meal, I also tried the Angelina’s Hot Chocolate, which was thick, creamy, and really chocolate-y, and had been blended with a hazelnut praline to get that nice background note of hazelnut. And the fluffy whipped cream on top was great as always.

I ended the meal with a Pizookie- a cross between a pizza and a cookie, which was essentially a semi-baked chocolate chip cookie. The cookie was served hot on a skillet, and while the outside layer was crusty and chewy, the cookie was filled inside with Nutella and was super buttery and gooey. A hearty dessert, and a super tasty one too!c4Overall, the experience was really nice, and Cicchetti is also a great place for corporate lunches, as it does not have blaring loud music, but a nice, sophisticated feel to it, and the ambiance is one which is meant for one to enjoy a nice meal with good conversation.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: Building 10 A, Near HDFC Bank, DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 098260 35450

Review: Bombaykery – Select CityWalk Mall, Saket

Review: Bombaykery – Select CityWalk Mall, Saket

Bombaykery has now opened its third outlet in Saket, sharing their space with Kaffa Cerrado. The maestro behind all the lovely creations, Mitali, has proven she’s not just the queen of desserts but savories too, with their expanded savory menu having quiches, pattice, cheese straws and amazing breads, ranging from baguettes to white sandwich bread, whole wheat sandwich bread, brioche, multigrain bread and focaccia. You can also take away jars of White Wine Mustard, fresh basil pesto, sundried tomato pesto, classic hummus and beetroot hummus on the savory side, and salted caramel, dulce de leche and Belgian chocolate sauce among sweet sauces. Each of these sauces and condiments is fresh and packed with flavor.

bbThey have also started a “mini” version of their amazing travel cakes, in all flavors- banana and walnut, marble and lemon curd, dates walnut, almond, vanilla chocolate chip, dense chocolate, and carrot and hazelnut. I tried the banana and walnut, marble and my favorite- lemon curd. Each cake had a great texture and a lovely flavor, and the lemon one had a tangy curd filing in it, which just makes it amazing.

On this visit to the store, I tried out some of their new savory dishes. The Chili Cheese Toast was simply heavenly, and I urge everyone to try it. It had a fresh, crusty multigrain bread slice, topped with loads of melted, gooey cheese that was grilled to get a nice crust, along with red peppers to give a nice spicy kick to the dish.

The Croissant Sandwich had a flaky, buttery and light multigrain croissant, halved and slathered with their house-made fresh, zingy basil pesto, and filled with sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, and cottage cheese and was filling and tasty.b4Their House Salad has so many varied ingredients that I was a bit skeptical at first, but one bite, and all my doubts went away, since each ingredient gave a nice flavor profile to the salad, and they all worked together well. The salad had salad greens, grilled corn, black beans, cranberries, parmesan, and salad granola (almond flakes, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, amaranth crisps) for crunch, all doused with a tangy passion fruit vinaigrette which just uplifted the dish.

Along with these dishes, we had two drinks- Hot Chocolate and Cappuccino. The coffee was nice and strong, and the hot chocolate was thick, luscious and just adequately sweet.b3And since I just couldn’t have ended any visit to Bombaykery without having desserts, I tasted the Sunset, which was a perfect combination of dark chocolate and orange. This delicious creation had a moist chocolate sponge layered with creamy Belgian dark chocolate mousse, orange cream and candied orange peel on a crunchy chocolate base, topped with thick, luscious salted caramel. Their salted caramel is truly amazing, and I’ll surely be taking home a jar of that next time around.

I also had the Berries and Mascarpone Dessert Jar, which had sweet-tangy berries with creamy mascarpone cheese- a match made in heaven.

And of course, I took a whole bunch of goodies packed to take back home. They have a range of croissants available- some classic (such as cheese, chocolate and almond) and some interesting ones like cottage cheese, Bombay masala and cheese, and Thai chicken. I stuck to the classic ones this time around- the cheese and the chocolate, and both were simply amazing- flaky and buttery, and the chocolate one had big chunks of dark chocolate inside it.

The Classic Palmiers were crispy and nicely coated with sugar, and the Paprika Cheese Straws and Cumin cheese Straws were really flaky and flavored well.

Two new additions to their menu which are must-try are their Peanut Butter Cookies and Chocolate Sable. The mini peanut butter cookies are a nice little thing to pop in, and they have a buttery taste, and a mild peanut butter taste. The chocolate sable was perfect- crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and had a nice touch of sea salt, and were simply heavenly.

I also took back some of my all-time favorite desserts from their original menu- Milk Chocolate Belgian Chocolate Fudge, New York Style Baked Blueberry Cheesecake, and Mixed Fruit, Apple and Lemon Tart, which were great as always.

Overall, Bombaykery has been since 2015, my favorite dessert place, and remains so to this date, and with these new savory additions, it has become even better. If you haven’t tried out their stuff yet, you’re really missing something!

Overall Rating: 4.75/5

Location: S12-A, 2nd Floor, Select City Walk Saket, New Delhi
Phone No.: 096256 29241

Review: Hotel Delmaar

Review: Hotel Delmaar

Hotel Delmaar, a new restaurant from the kitchens of Sly Granny, has recently opened its doors at Select Citywalk Mall, Saket. The quaint restaurant has colonial-era feels to its decor with wooden chairs and white, wooden partitions at the entry, but with a touch of eccentricity with the quirky monkey wallpapers.hd1The menu, which has Mediterranean and European influences, celebrates some classic dishes such as Chicken A la Kiev and Shepherd’s Pie, with some innovative, modern dishes as well.

We started with two mocktails- the one with orange and passion fruit had a nice balance of sweet and tart flavors. The house lemonade was minty and refreshing.

We began our meal with the Parsley Salad, which had lots of fresh, crunchy salad dotted with flavorsome sundried tomatoes and pine nuts for crunch, and was topped with aged parmesan that gave a nice savory punch to the salad. This salad sounds simple, and is composed of a handful of ingredients but the flavor is amazing.

Next, we had the Bone Broth Soup which was served khow suey style. The broth itself was robust in flavor as it had been cooked over low flame for hours, to develop that rich taste acquired from chicken and lamb bones, and was spiced to perfection. It was served with a multitude of elements such as fresh red chilies, peanuts, lime, coriander, fried garlic flakes, fried onion, and shredded chicken that we could add to taste to the broth. This is a must-try dish for sure.

The Pulled Pork and Mushroom Croquettes were crispy on the outside, and were filled with gooey cheese and lots of pork and mushroom slices inside, and were nicely seasoned. The croquettes were served with a mustard aioli, which paired with it perfectly.hd2The Kale and Sundried Tomato Flatbread had a thin, crisp bread, that was topped with creamy feta, kale leaves, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts for crunch. The combination of kale, sundried tomatoes and feta just worked magic on this dish.

For mains, we went with the Herb Roast Chicken and two of their pasta dishes. The chicken was served skin-on, keeping the meat inside nice and moist, and was roasted very nicely. Along with the chicken, the dish had roasted turnip, beetroot and carrots, and perfectly executed fondant potatoes. The chicken was drizzled with some herb oil, but a sauce or jus alongside would have made it a more composed dish.hd3The pastas were both heavenly. The Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle was simple but beautiful- the pasta had a nice texture, and was tossed with wild mushrooms and truffle oil, and topped with shaved parmesan and fresh herbs. But the Saffron Pumpkin Tortellini was the thing of dreams, and will have me visiting the place again very soon. It looked beautiful on the plate with six beautiful pieces of nicely shaped tortellini, stuffed with creamy pumpkin. The sweetness of the pumpkin was balanced well with the blue cheese and onion sauce, which had some crispy basil in burnt butter. The blue cheese was used deftly, to provide a nice flavor dimension to the dish, without being overpowering. And the parmesan crisp on top was just the icing on the cake. If you’re a pasta fan, not trying this one would be a crime.

For desserts, we had Classic Crème Brulee and Chocolate Mousse. The crème brulee was executed really well- the custard had a nice, light texture and the sugar on top was thin and bruleed perfectly to get a good crunch. The Chocolate Mousse was plated very artistically- with a nice twirl of light, airy mousse, which was rich in chocolate flavor, surrounded by chocolate soil, passion fruit gel, and topped with a chocolate bark. The tanginess of the passion fruit gel worked well with the richness of the chocolate to make for a wonderful dessert.hd4Though the restaurant was new and was still going through the initial trials, the servers were decently informed about the menu, and the service was prompt. Hotel Delmaar is a must-visit, for its interesting menu and delicious food.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: S-14 2nd Floor, Select City Walk, Saket, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 9873807040

Review: Te Amo

Review: Te Amo

Te Amo is a new restaurant at Ansal Plaza, and it has a beautiful, romantic setting, perfect for candlelit dinners. The interiors are warm and tastefully done, while the outdoor seating is lush with greenery and has been beautifully done up with lights. The owners have carefully curated the menu to offer patrons the option of trying menu dishes and cuisines, while keeping the flavors fresh throughout. The menu derives inspiration from Mexican, South American and a few European cuisines and has a focus on letting the protein or vegetable shine.teamo1From the mocktails menu, we went with the Kala Khatta which had a kala khatta syrup muddled with lemon wedges, rock salt and lemonade to make for a nice sweet-sour drink. teamo2We started our meal with the Baked Potato with Crunchy Veg. The potatoes were stuffed generously with a mix of perfectly cooked vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms and bell peppers and topped with cheese and baked to perfection to make the potatoes soft from the inside while the potato skins were crispy.

Next, we had the Arancini, made with their own twist of infusing Japanese flavors. The rice used in the balls was flavored with sushi vinegar, and were stuffed with jalapenos and cheese which was nice and gooey when we cut into the arancini while the outer covering was really crispy.teamo3The Baked Chicken and Mushroom Cigars consisted of crisp, flaky filo rolls stuffed with oyster sauce marinated chicken and shitake strips. And since they were baked, and not fried, they weren’t greasy at all.

But our favorite starter of the meal had to be the Pan de Jamon. It consisted of soft, fresh, house-made bread stuffed with ham and olive, and nicely buttered and toasted. The bread was served along with a spicy pineapple butter which we quite relished, and it went perfectly with the ham.teamo4For main course, we went with Pastichio, a creamy Venezuelan lasagna. The pasta sheets were nicely layered with loads of vegetables in a tangy tomato sauce and were topped with a generous helping of cheese that was baked to become all nice and gooey.

We also had the Crackling Pork Belly which consisted of slow cooked pork belly, marinated with herbs and spices. The slow cooking yielded a nice, crisp skin while the meat underneath was soft and juicy. The pork belly was served with a pan sauce made with juices from the pork, and was seasoned nicely. The potato mash served alongside was fluffy and light with a nice touch of fresh herbs, while the grilled vegetables were nice and crunchy.teamo5We ended the meal with two really nice coconut-based desserts. Their signature Coconut Cream Cake is a delight for those who love coconut in their desserts. It consisted of a moist and light sponge cake soaked in coconut, layered with coconut cream cheese and topped with fresh grated and toasted coconut flakes. The Coconut Custard was no less- it had a nice, jiggly texture and a creamy mouth-feel with a delicate coconut flavoring.teamo6Overall, Te Amo has delicious dishes and offers one of the prettiest open seating areas in town, along with warm, courteous service making it a place worth trying.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: BG 08, GF, Ansal Plaza Mall, Khel Gaon, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi- 110049
Phone No.: 073039 02611

Review: Decode Air Bar

Review: Decode Air Bar

Decode Air Bar is a speakeasy brewhouse with an underlying theme of a war room, located in the bustling Sector 29 market in Gurgaon. The restaurant is the brainchild of Piyush Jain & Shamit Ajmani, the restaurant has an indoor seating on the first floor and a beautiful outdoor seating on the terrace with live music. decode1We started off with tasters of fresh beer from their microbrewery: Lager, Weissbier, Scotch Ale and English Porter, all of which were really smooth, but our favorites were Weissbier and Scotch Ale. From the mocktail menu, we tried the Apple Cinnamon Up which had apple juice and apple slices mixed with lime and cinnamon along with carbonated water, which made for a refreshing drink.decode2Chef Param then came over to give suggestions on what we should try.

We started off with one of their signature soups, Dhingri Foam, which had a really creamy mushroom soup with a few drops of truffle that enhanced the mushroom flavor and the earthiness of the dish. The soup was topped with lemon foam and a paprika dusting, to cut through the richness. The soup was presented in a bowl which was emitting smoke, and looked really interesting.

The Pav Bhaji Cone was a nice twist to the much loved street food dish. It had a soft roll cone filled with provencal style bhaji topped with onions, tomatoes, and white butter, and while the presentation was really innovative, the flavors were true to the original. decode3The Chermoula Marinated Chicken Skewers were presented really nicely- with the chicken and pita bread hanging on skewers with the hummus in a bowl below that. The chicken was marinated in a flavorful spice mix, with a nice touch of paprika, and was really moist and juicy. The pita bread served alongside was thin and nicely toasted and the hummus was creamy and flavorsome too.

Our favorite dish, both presentation-wise and taste-wise, was their signature lamb dish- Oops, I Killed My Lamb. It was served so beautifully, and looked pretty as a picture. But the best thing was how flavorsome and moist the lamb was. The lamb was marinated in a delicious spice mix, and was so juicy that it just melted in the mouth.decode4For main course, we went with the Chicken Roulade, a twist on the chicken lababdar, with the same gravy but the chicken served in the form of a roulade. The chicken was extremely moist and was flavored deftly, and the gravy had been topped with some grated cheese and some coriander caviar. The dish was served with a crisp butter roti.decode5The dessert was art on a plate- named The Wishing Tree, the platter looked like a garden, with a tree at one end which had a chocolate bark and instead of leaves, had orange-flavored candy floss. At the foot of the tree was some chocolate soil along with edible flowers. The rest of the plate had coconut ice cream with jaggery sauce, chocolate ganache, paan chutney gel and mango micro-sponge. The entire dessert was a melange of flavors and textures, and all the elements tasted really nice together.decode6What still needs a bit of improvement is the service; the staff needs to be a bit better trained and more professional. But the food here is extraordinary. While they have presented dishes in an avant garde way, they have not forgotten what’s most important- the taste. This place certainly warrants a visit.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: SCO 39 Sector 29, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 075039 70166

Review: Pomodoro Bistro

Review: Pomodoro Bistro

Pomodoro Bistro is a delivery joint offering a nice range of sandwiches, burgers and wraps, along with some nice pasta dishes. We recently ordered a few items from the place and were very impressed with the quality of the food.

The Assortment of Bruschetta had toasted bread slices topped with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, olives and fresh herbs along with grated mozzarella cheese. Though the flavor of the topping was nice, the bread had become a bit soggy and we missed the crunch which makes for a good bruschetta.

The Chicken Caesar Salad was one of the best we’ve had. It was packaged nicely with the lettuce leaves at the bottom, topped with crunchy garlic bread croutons and juicy chunks of chicken, with the homemade Caesar dressing in a separate container so that nothing goes soggy. The dressing was thick and creamy, and had a nice tanginess with a hit of black pepper.

The Veg Club Sandwich had layers of sliced zucchini, lettuce, tomato, bell peppers and sautéed onions, with some sauce, but it could have done with a bit more seasoning, or maybe more flavor in the sauce.

The Spaghetti Aglio Oilo had nicely cooked spaghetti tossed with olive oil, crunchy vegetables and nicely flavored with red chili flakes and roasted garlic, topped with fresh parsley. The pasta was served with a slice of crispy garlic bread.

The Stuffed Chicken Breast is another dish we’d surely order again. It had a juicy and moist chicken breast generously stuffed with sautéed mushroom and gooey cheddar cheese, in a lovely sauce. The chicken was served with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables, and made for a hearty, delicious dish.

We also tried the Nutella Shake which was thick and creamy and had generous amounts of Nutella.

Overall, a place that certainly should be tried.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: UGF 222H Sushant Lok 1, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 0124 400 0304

Review: Miss Miyagi

Review: Miss Miyagi

Miss Miyagi is a delivery service offering Pan Asian fare at pocket-friendly prices. I recently ordered from here and the food was delivered on time, the delivery person was very courteous, and the food came nicely packed.

The Original Chili Chicken was moist and juicy and packed with flavor, tossed in a tangy-spicy sauce, spring onions, red chilies and capsicum.

The Burmese Khao Suey had a thick, creamy, coconut-based broth with generous quantities of vegetables like baby corn, zucchini, broccoli and bell peppers. The broth was delicately flavored and had thin noodles, and we topped it up with the accompaniments that came alongside- peanuts and crispy noodles for crunch.

However, the Chili Garlic Noodles were a bit muted in flavor, and could have done with a bit more heat and a more prominent garlic flavor.mmOverall, a nice place to order tasty Asian fare at really reasonable rates.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Location: DLF Cybercity Tower B, Building 5, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 099998 99033