Review: Cafe Yell

Review: Cafe Yell

Cafe Yell is a cute little cafe right at the center of the Defence Colony market. The place is adorned with little trinkets associated with sewing such as threads, sewing machine, blocks for printing, etc., since the owners of the cafe also own a clothing brand named Yell.y1We started off with the Minestrone Soup, which was thick and flavorsome, with lots of vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli and bell peppers and small pieces of pasta as well. The soup was served with nicely toasted bread rubbed with garlic butter.y2Next, we had the Chicken Caesar Salad which consisted of crisp iceberg lettuce, juicy pieces of nicely flavored tender chicken breast, black olives and flavorsome sundried tomatoes, tossed in a creamy and robust homemade Caesar dressing, finished with crunchy croutons for crunch and a nice shaving of parmesan cheese.

The Garlic Paprika Chicken Skewers was a lovely dish, something we would definitely go back for. It consisted of juicy chicken chunks coated with a spicy paprika marinade and grilled to perfection, and skewered along with grilled bell peppers and onions. The dish was served with a nicely dressed side salad and a super spicy sauce which we loved.y3For mains, we went with the Grilled Chicken with wild mushroom sauce. The chicken breast was juicy and moist and the mushroom sauce was tasty, but just a tad heavy on salt. The sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes served alongside were nicely made.

Along with our meal, we had Fresh Lime Soda and a thick, creamy and delicious Walnut Brownie Shake which had crumbled chocolate brownie, chocolate sauce and finely chopped walnuts for crunch.

We ended the meal with their signature Salted Caramel Cheesecake, which has to be one of the best cheesecakes we’ve had lately. The biscuit base at the bottom was thin and crispy, the cheesecake was airy and creamy, and didn’t feel heavy at all, and the delicious salted caramel sauce on the top was absolute perfection. A must have dessert here.y4A shout-out to the servers as well- they were efficient and really courteous, especially Mr. Rajan took great care of us. This place can definitely be tried the next time you’re in the area.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: 35, Ground Floor, Defence Colony Main Market, New Delhi
Phone No.: 011 4155 2004

Review: Poochki Table

Review: Poochki Table

The Poochki brand, established by Ishanee and Anirudh, has been around since 2015, with its emphasis on exclusive garments made using block-prints and Indian textiles. The brand recently shifted to a bigger place within Shahpur Jat itself, and has designed a lovely space where you can shop as well as eat. The Poochki Table serves up some amazing hand-rolled pizzas, fresh salads and other small eats in a space that is lush green. The design of the space is open and minimalistic, with plants all around, for that much needed clean oxygen. The glass structure that encloses the inside seating makes it feel just like an extension of the outside seating area- with sunlight streaming in.p1Coming to the food, all pizzas are topped with their delicious house blend of gruyere, cheddar, tome, mozzarella and scamorza cheese. We went with a half-and-half pizza. The Pizza Verde had a pesto sauce base topped with fresh arugula, Afghani pine nuts and large shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano. The pesto was fresh and zingy, the pine nuts provided a nice crunch, and the parmesan shavings just took the pizza to a whole new level of flavor. The other half was the Mrs. Gomes Pizza, which had their house Pomodoro sauce at its base- which was chunky and tangy, topped with flavorsome Goan chorizo and house pickled onions. The texture of the pizza was light and fluffy while still being crispy at the crust.p4Their Watermelon Salad was extremely good- it consisted of cubes of watermelon, mixed with creamy Greek feta cheese, arugula and roasted pumpkin seeds in a pickled chili vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was so tasty that we found ourselves digging in with our spoons to get the last few drops out after we were done scraping the bowl clean.p2Their Naan Bread dish had us floored- the fresh oven baked bread was well aerated and fluffy on the inside, so it had a lovely soft texture. The bread was served with a creamy mushroom velouté which was so full of flavor. A piece of that bread, dunked in the creamy velouté makes for such a tasty mouthful.p3Another great thing is that they are trying to source as many ingredients as possible from local farms, so the food is as fresh as it gets.

We enjoyed the dishes with their house brewed iced tea which was really nice and not overly sweet like the packaged ones tend to get. We closed the meal with a Chocolate Brownie, which was well-made but nothing to write home about. It would help it they served it a bit warmer so it felt more gooey and soft.

Overall, this place is your little green haven in the heart of the city, and the food here is delicious and is made with fresh ingredients and lots of love.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: 153-A, Near DDA Shiv Mandir, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi
Phone No.: 095824 60500

 

Review: Imperfecto Shor Café  

Review: Imperfecto Shor Café  

Imperfecto is a well-known brand with many outlets across the city, and their latest one has just opened up at Aerocity, and this one is open 24×7. The place has a gothic, rustic vibe to it. The specially curated vintage-style furniture, charpoy ceilings, handmade lights, rustic chandeliers and large paintings give the place a distinctive character.i1The crafted cocktails on the menu are really unique and interesting, and we went with the El Mango, which had a mix of vodka, mango juice, kaffir lime and egg white and was served topped with a dollop of delicious mango, almond and pistachio ice cream that was placed delicately on top of a kaffir lime leaf.i2The menu has been curated by Chef Manager Akanksha Dean, who is all of 23 years old, but has some impressive credentials up her sleeve. And the menu is truly reflective of the creative drive in her, while still keeping the food soulful.

We started off with the Luciana’s Gumbo which was a robust soup infused with Moroccan spices, pomodoro, rice, fresh herbs, chicken and bell peppers served with melba toast. The gumbo was intentionally lighter in texture as compared to the regular ones, so that it doesn’t get too heavy on the stomach, but was still packed full of flavor.

The Imperial Crown Salad was tasty and healthy- made with quinoa, diced avocado and trinity of bell peppers in a delicious honey lime dressing. The salad was topped with fresh rocket leaves and a crispy fried zucchini fritter.i3The Royal Portal came next, which consisted of Spanish croquettes, filled with chicken and cheese, served with a sweet onion sauce. The croquettes were really delicate, soft and creamy on the inside and were batter coated and fried to a crisp outside.

From the grill section, we had the Clement’s Japanese Affair which had delicious chicken teriyaki coated with a spicy, sticky sauce and topped with sesame seeds for crunch, grilled asparagus and sticky rice.i4For mains, we went with the Giotto’s Natural World and Shor’s Royal Murg Makhani. The veg dish- Giotto’s Natural World- consisted of delicate, thin handmade tortellini stuffed with ricotta in a spinach cream sauce. The sauce was creamy, thick and flavorsome, and the parmesan shavings on top of the tortellini enriched the flavor of the dish. The murg makhani had moist chunks of chicken with a smoky flavor and the gravy was thick and robust in flavor. The dish was served with tandoori roti, pickled onions and green chutney. 

For dessert, we had the Quinoa Fruits Pudding, which was a tasty and healthy way to end the meal. The quinoa was soft and just adequately sweet, and the pudding had a mix of fruits like orange segments, apple, mango and pomegranate.i7Overall, a lovely meal in a place that has a great, distinctive ambience and excellent service! Weather it’s a quick breakfast, a leisurely lunch or dinner, or a post-midnight snack when you’re just done partying at Imperfecto Shor pub next door, this place suits all needs.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: Hotel Pride Plaza, Hospitality District, Asset 5A, Aerocity, New Delhi
Phone No.: 099991 23892

Review: Pizzaiolo

Review: Pizzaiolo

If you’re after delicious Neapolitan pizzas for delivery or dine in, this is the place for you. Pizzaiolo is a cute little outlet in Gurgaon serving up huge amounts of flavor in the form of their Naples style pizzas that have a thick crust, which is light and airy on the inside and has a lovely taste from the fermentation. They also do some mean thin crusts, and their pizzas are made in their wood fired oven pizzas which you can see through the glass window of the kitchen.p1We opted for the Americana, which had that tasty crust topped with a tangy and spicy marinara sauce, lots of mozzarella, some parmesan for sharpness and really tasty Italian pork pepperoni. The quality of the pepperoni was top notch and the overall taste of the pizza was delightful.p2They also have handmade ravioli and tagliatelle pasta in a variety of sauces. We went with the Handmade Tagliatelle Pasta with Creamy Bechamel sauce. The tagliatelle was made to perfection – the pasta was really thin, light and translucent and was cooked nicely and coated in a delicious, flavorsome and creamy sauce with lots of veggies cooked al dente. The portion size was also quite generous.

We ended our meal with the Creme Caramel which was perhaps one of the best renditions of the dish we’ve tasted. The pudding, despite being eggless was light and jiggly and had a lovely creamy texture. The caramel has been cooked just to the edge so it tasted bitter without tasting burnt. If you also like your desserts subtle on the sweetness, you’re going to love this one.p3They also have some nice salads, calzones and panuozzos (which are sort of a cross between pizzas and sandwiches and they use the Neapolitan pizza dough for the sandwich) which we will surely try on our next visit. The rates are also quite reasonable for the quality and quantity they are offering, making Pizzaiolo a place worth trying.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: Shop No. 16, Eros City Square, Sector 49, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 088603 66622

Review: Cold Love

Review: Cold Love

Cold Love is a new brand in town, offering delicious artisanal ice cream, in a variety of interesting flavors, delivered right to our doorsteps. The chef and owner Aditya Tripathi is a graduate of LSE and IIM, Ahmedabad, and for more than 20 years, he followed the typical career path one would expect. But after experiencing the corporate world for many years, he decided to turn his attention to the kitchen, and poured his heart into understanding everything about what makes a good ice cream. And the result of this endeavor (of course, after a lot of samples and trials that his friends and family benefited from), is Cold Love.

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All the ice-creams are made in his home-kitchen using absolutely natural and fresh ingredients – so no preservatives, no artificial flavors and no added colors. What also really intrigued us, were some of the rather unusual flavor combinations he has put together, which urged us to order a few. The ice creams were delivered on time and nicely packed with ice, so that they do not melt.

The Salted Butter Caramel is by far his best flavor, and rightly so also the most popular one. The texture of the ice cream was super creamy and the balance of the sweet, salt and bitter flavors was masterful. The caramel had a hint of salt and had been pushed right to the edge, and hence had acquired a nice bitter flavor, which made the flavor just pop. If you are ordering just one flavor (why though) let it be this one.

Another cool new flavor he has is the White Chocolate & Green Chilly. White chocolate is typically not my favorite, since it mostly turns out to be sickeningly sweet, but the genius of this combination solves for that issue, by adding the hit of the green chili. So, I had a spoonful of this ice cream, and just as my taste buds were comprehending the white chocolate flavor, they were hit by this kick of chili, urging me to have more. This one may not be for everyone, because the chili is prominent in the aftertaste, but for people like me who love mixing spices with sweet, this one would be a hot favorite.

The Coffee Lover’s Coffee got the flavor right- with the right amount of sugar and coffee to the proportion of the milk (a tough balance to get right). But where it suffered slightly, and this may have been a one-off case, was in the texture. This was the only flavor which felt a bit icy.

The Apple Cinnamon is Aditya’s take on the classic apple pie. This one has a lovely apple flavor with a strong whiff of cinnamon. So now, apple pie is no longer just a winter dish.

The Oh Honey Honey is a unique flavor that gets its sweetness not from sugar, but from honey. Maybe that makes it slightly healthier? That could be a good excuse to indulge in this one, but when has anyone needed an excuse to enjoy ice creams? The cool thing about this flavor is that there are small pieces of crunchy honey caramel in the ice cream, which give a nice textural contrast. I would have personally loved a little more of the crunchy caramel, as the slight bitter taste of those crunchy bits was working well to balance the sweetness of the ice cream.

And yes, how could he not have had a kickass chocolate variant. So Aditya has created a Midnight Chocolate flavor which not only had the right amount of sweetness, but also had chocolate chips which made it taste even better and more chocolaty.c1Overall, yes, they are a bit pricey, but these are artisanal ice creams, and they are really delicious. They can be ordered by contacting Aditya at aditya@coldlove.in or on 97111 36997, or by placing an order through his website.

https://www.coldlove.in/

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: D-157 Defence Colony, New Delhi
Phone No.: 097111 36997

Review: Brick N Bean Café Kitchen

Review: Brick N Bean Café Kitchen

Brick N Bean Cafe has recently opened its second outlet at Southpoint Mall, Gurgaon and this outlet also has the same European theme in its interiors and its menu. The place gets the ‘brick’ in its name from the brick lanes of European streets and the ‘bean’ from the freshly brewed coffee they serve.b1We started off with a mixed berry smoothie and a mint and ginger lemonade. The berry smoothie was thick but not too heavy and had fresh berry compote in it. The lemonade was perfect for this weather, with the refreshing taste of mint and brined ginger added to it.

Next, we had the Beets, Orange and Goats Cheese Salad which was simply delicious. The salad had sweet roasted beets, orange segments, assorted greens, goat cheese for creaminess and toasted nuts for crunch, tossed in a super flavorsome plum vinaigrette.

We also had their Hummus with Lavash. The hummus was smooth and tasty, but could have had a bit more paprika or garlic flavor. The lavash was thin and crisp and nicely flavored. The dish was served with a salad that was nicely dressed.b2The Wild Mushroom Soup with Sherry was a thick cream of mushroom soup made with shitake and oyster mushrooms, flavored with sherry and finished with a dash of cream. The sherry added a nice acidity to the creamy soup, and the garlic bread served alongside was nice as well.

Next, we had their signature pasta- the Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini. This dish was spectacular, with a nicely shaped, thin pasta covering filled generously with fresh and vibrant spinach mixed with ricotta. The tortellini was served in a bell pepper coulis sauce that was spicy, tangy and flavorsome. The fresh and creamy filling of the pasta counterbalanced the sharp sauce really well. This dish should certainly be tried.b3For main course, we had the Grilled Polenta and Grilled Fillet of Sole. The polenta was soft and moist, and nicely grilled, topped with cheese that was perfectly melted and gooey. The polenta came on a bed of fresh pesto sauce and grilled vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers and baby corn. They make their pesto fresh, and that showed in its vibrant flavor. The Grilled Fillet of Sole was served with grilled vegetables, lemon butter sauce and roast potato. The fish was slightly overcooked and dry, but the sauce was zingy, thick and super flavorsome and the roast potatoes were nicely cooked and the flavor of rosemary really came through.

They are still building out their dessert menu and are working on perfecting a few dishes. One of these dishes is the Orange Caramel Pudding, which we tried and absolutely loved and highly recommend putting on their menu. The caramel custard was soft, light and jiggly and just adequately sweet. The pudding was topped with caramelized orange segments and orange juice with a little bit of orange zest to amp up the flavor and impart a pleasant bitterness to the dish.b4The service was also really courteous and prompt. Overall, a nice place for some good Continental dishes, especially their pesto sauce, salads and their tortellini.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: 110, First Floor, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
Phone No.: 089621 14068

Review: La Latina Tapas Bar

Review: La Latina Tapas Bar

La Latina brings the Spanish culture of enjoying tapas right to the heart of our city. This new restaurant located at N block, GK 2 serves up some amazing Spanish tapas dishes and lovely mocktails and cocktails to go with these. The restaurant takes inspiration from the famous tapeo and pintxopote of San Sebastian, not just in its menu but also in its ambience. The décor uses a lot of blues, whites and teals, and has a communal table in the middle of the restaurant, and a nice outdoor seating as well. And the coolest feature of the restaurant has to be their chef’s table, where you are placed right at the kitchen, and can have a view of your food being cooked and direct interaction with the chef, who, by the way, is really warm and open to incorporating any customizations. 

We started off with a couple of nice mocktails, which were refreshing and tasty, and not too sweet.ll3We chose to start our meal with the Pintxo platter, which had a lovely mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, and consisted of different topping served on toasted bread. The Pintxo De Boquerones had marinated white anchovies and tomato slices. The anchovies were pickled in-house and had a lovely flavor of herbs, and added a lot of flavor to the dish. The Pintxo De Manchego Con Soffrito was the classic one, served with rich, robust tomato sauce slathered atop the toasted bread, and topped off which a good amount of delicious manchego cheese. The sharpness of the manchego went well with the tomato sauce. The Pintxo De Higado De Pollo had a topping of chicken liver parfait and jamun compote topped with some toasted pistachios for crunch. The combination of chicken liver parfait with jamun may sound weird, but it worked so well. The chicken liver parfait was flavorful, smooth and rich, which was counterbalanced well with the freshness of the jamun. The fourth one had the bread slathered with creamy and sharp goats cheese, topped with sweet and spicy pimento pepper, and was really tasty as well. This platter is a nice way to get a range of different flavors and get started with a lovely Spanish meal.ll4Their take on the Gazpacho is another must-have dish here. They have converted the traditional cold tomato soup into a tomato and red pepper granita served with tomato water, topped with a crispy basil leaf. The granita is so refreshing and the clear tomato water is filled with flavor. A lovely, simple dish with hard-hitting flavors.

And since no Spanish meal can be complete without a good Paella, we tried the Vegetable Paella, which had cebolla rice cooked in stock with fresh seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, asparagus and French beans. Paella is traditionally a dish made in huge quantities, so the chef explained that it’s tough to do for a tapas menu, but he still managed to get a decent ‘socarrat’ or crust on the paella, though it could have done with a bit more of that crust.ll5Another dish that is a must-have is the Green Olive Chicken. The chicken leg was marinated in verdejo wine and served in a flavorsome broth that we loved so much that we could drink by the bottle. The broth had some nice pitted and brined green olives floating in it, and the base of the dish consisted of a lovely, creamy polenta. The dish was served along with an olive cracker made in-house which just made the olive flavor more pronounced. A lovely, well-rounded dish.ll6And the desserts are no less. They have a range of rather interesting options, and the one which really caught our attention was the Tarta Miso or the Sweet Miso Tart. The tart shell was thin and nicely baked, and was topped with a filling made with crème brulee mix and white miso caramel, with a hint of cinnamon. The top of the tart was nicely bruleed with a thin coat of crystalized sugar, and was served with cherries marinated in old monk rum. If you’re looking for a dessert that is innovative, not overly sweet, and full of flavor, this is the one for you.

We also had the Sunken Chocolate Souffle, which consisted of a rich, dense dark chocolate souffle served with a chocolate wafer and a scoop of extra virgin olive oil ice cream and Ibiza crystal salt. The combination of the flavors is what makes this dessert really great, as the ice cream is light and goes well with the richness of the chocolate, and the salt flakes just take it over the edge.ll7The service was also excellent, and we really enjoyed not just the food and the ambience, but also the experience of sitting at the chef’s table and interacting with the chef. This place is one to be earmarked for multiple visits.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: N-11, First Floor, N block, Greater Kailash 1, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 9625057275