Review: Chaayos – Navratri Menu

Review: Chaayos – Navratri Menu

Chaayos always manages to keep its menu exciting by introducing special menus such as Monsoon and now a Navratri menu fit for those who are fasting.

We tried all three dishes from their Navratri vrat menu- the Navratra Platter, Sabudana Tikki and Masala Chaach. The chaach was really refreshing, with a nice flavor of mint and zeera. The sabudana tikka was fluffy inside and crispy outside without being too oily. Also, the spicy-tangy chutney that it was served with was really tasty and worked well to enhance the subdued flavors of the tikki. The platter had 3 kuttu pooris, kuttu halwa and aloo sabzi served in kulhads. While the aloo sabzi was really flavorsome with a thick gravy that was spiced deftly, the pooris were a bit dry and the halwa had a slight floury aftertaste, indicating that it should have been roasted a tad bit longer.

We also had from their regular menu Kulhad Pao Bhaji and Sicilian Chicken Sandwich. The pao bhaji had 2 nicely buttered and well-toasted buns along with bhaji served in kulhads. While the kulhads provided a nice earthy taste, the bhaji itself was also quite tasty. It had balanced flavors, and was topped with a dollop of butter, served with lemon that we squeezed on top to provide a tanginess to the bhaji and some chopped raw onions for crunch. The sandwich consisted of juicy chunks of grilled chicken tossed with oregano, onions, and capsicum in a really soft, fresh focaccia bread. This sandwich should certainly be tried.chaayos3Along with these two dishes, we also had Drinking Chocolate which had a nice chocolaty taste and was not overly milky, and the Kaala Khatta Ice Tea which had just the right balance of tanginess and sweetness.

We ended the meal with their signature Moist Chocolate Cake which was a soft, dark chocolate cupcake with a gooey center, though we wish it had been a bit more liquid and gooey in the center.chaayos4Overall, we were really happy with not just all the dishes we tasted, but also the warm and prompt service we received from the staff.

Location: Across all Chaayos outlets in Delhi NCR

Review: Karamele

Review: Karamele

Founded by Kanupriya Khanna, Sr. Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian who for 15 years has been working with women to improve their nutritional intake and aid weight loss, Karamele provides a range of gluten-free, quinoa, vegan and sugar-free desserts and snacks, such as granolas, protein bars, cakes, cookies and muffins, which are all eggless. She uses fresh ingredients and foods that are easily available and can be integrated easily into our daily lives.

I recently tried her orange and chocolate muffins that were made with 100% quinoa flour. The muffins were soft and moist, and were really flavorsome. They had just the right amount of sweetness, with the chocolate one having a deep, dark chocolate flavor, and the orange one having a nice acidity and brightness from the citrus.k1For all those folks out there who love their desserts but would like healthier versions of them, or those who have dietary restrictions, Karamele’s products should be tried.

Location: 367, Ground Floor, Narmada Apartments, Opposite Don Bosco School, Alaknanda, New Delhi
Phone No.: +91 93183 90897

Review: Lub Lub Lebanese

Review: Lub Lub Lebanese

Lub Lub Lebanese is a small little outlet in Baani Square that has been serving up delicious Lebanese food for nearly three years. They have a short, focused menu, concentrated on what they do best. They are famous for their flavorful, hearty shawarmas that are always made fresh. They make all their breads, sauces, condiments and spice blends in-house to ensure the quality and taste.

I visited the outlet recently and the service was courteous and fast. I started with their famous Chicken Shawarma Roll, which was a hearty 9-inch roll of soft and fresh thin pita bread filled with generous quantities of juicy chicken chunks coated in flavorsome sauces and spices along with fresh, crunchy lettuce and perfectly pickled veggies that had been brined properly while still retaining their crunch. The chicken chunks had a nice char on the outside to give them a smoky flavor but were still really juicy. This hearty roll can comprise an entire meal for a person. I enjoyed this roll with their classic hummus which had the perfect creamy consistency with a nice background note of garlic and paprika.

The Chicken Pita Pocket had a thicker pita bread, which was really airy and light, filled with lots of juicy chicken chunks, pickled vegetables, sauces, and spices.

The Chicken Ras Asfour was another great dish, and something we don’t find everywhere. This dish consisted of grilled chicken pieces chopped up into small pieces, served on a bed of creamy, thick hummus, with lots of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. This mix was topped with a tangy, creamy pomegranate molasses dressing which was so flavorsome and added a nice punch to the dish. I enjoyed this with fresh pita bread. This is a must-have dish here!lllAlong with these dishes, I also tried a few of their drinks. Their signature drink, Twisad, was a lovely concoction of peach and apricot with mint and was fruity and refreshing. I also tried their Lemon Ice Tea which was just adequately sweet and had a nice mint flavor, and their Blueberry Lemonade which was nice, but a little on the sweet side for my preference.

Overall, I feel this place should certainly be tried for the delicious shawarmas they are serving, made with good quality ingredients and cooked with a lot of care.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Location: G-64, Baani Square, Sector-50, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 124 422 0400

 

 

Review: Number 7 – The Asian Story

Review: Number 7 – The Asian Story

Number 7, a new delivery outlet operating out of GK 1, delivery delicious Asian food, right to your doorstep. We recently ordered from the place, and the food was delivered right on time, and was packed very neatly. All hot dishes came in microwave-safe, elegant looking bowls, while the cold dishes like the salad and sushi were kept on ice-packs, and each dish was properly labelled as well. We also really liked the way they had packed the condiments for the sushi- wasabi, soy and pickled ginger, and the sauces and dips for the dim sum.n1The Yum Saprot was a crunchy, fresh and vibrant salad consisting of raw pineapple, celery and bell peppers in a tangy and flavorsome sweet chili dressing, topped with cashew nuts for crunch. The freshness and tanginess of the salad was simply amazing, and all the flavors balanced out really well.

The Tofu and Celery Szechuan Pepper had fried tofu which had a thin, crispy crust and was soft on the inside, along with fried onion, spring onions, celery, and fresh red chili Szechuan pepper. Though the pepper did add a punch to the dish, the tofu had alone was a bit lacking in flavor.

The R&C Wings were simply spectacular- the chicken was juicy inside and had a nice caramelized crust coated with an extremely flavorsome, thick rum and coke marinade, with some sesame seeds for crunch.

The Crunchy Salad Sushi had a nice mélange of green apple, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, and carrots with Philadelphia cheese rolled neatly in nori sheet and nicely cooked rice, topped with a flavorsome sauce.n2The Chicken Chili Oil Dum Sum had a thin covering, moist chicken inside, with the dim sum swimming in spicy oil infused with chili peppers. The little topping of chopped garlic and spring onions added to the flavors of the dish.

For main course, we went with the Build Your Own Wok section from where we chose Classic noodles in Hong Kong Sauce with chicken, broccoli, bok choy and bell peppers. The soy chili sauce could have had a bit more flavor, as we felt the taste had not fully permeated the chicken pieces, but the noodles were quite tasty.n3Overall, a nice place to order-in delicious Asian food.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: 96, Ground Floor, DDA Shopping Complex, Zamrudpur, Greater Kailash 1, New Delhi
Phone No.: 7557557000; 7557553000

Review: Cold Stone Creamery

Review: Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery, a three-decade old U.S. brand has recently made its way to Cyber City, and we dropped by to taste some of their delicious creations.

They have 18 signature, trademarked creations that you can chose from, or you’re free to create your own, with your choice of base ice cream flavor, toppings, fruits and sauces. All their products use high quality ingredients and their signature process of preparing custom ice cream creations on a frozen granite stone is a delight to watch as it comes with the servers tossing and juggling the ice creams and then mashing them up with the chosen toppings and sauces on the frozen slab.csc1We tasted their sweet cream ice cream, which is their base for all the other flavors of ice creams, and it was really creamy and had a very smooth mouth-feel. We also tried the chocolate, vanilla, cake batter, cotton candy and mango ice creams, and also the carnival blue, which had caramel and popcorn flavors.

We finally settled for two of their signature creations- Cheesecake Fantasy and Apple Pie A La Cold Stone. The Cheesecake Fantasy had vibrant cheesecake ice cream with graham cracker pie crust, blueberries and strawberries. We had this in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone. The cone was really crispy and had the right thickness to hold its shape with the ice cream. The ice cream itself had perfectly balanced flavors, with the finely chopped strawberries and blueberries providing a nice tang. The Apple Pie A La Cold Stone tasted exactly like an apple pie in an ice cream form. It had French vanilla ice cream with cinnamon, graham cracker pie crust, apple pie filling and caramel, and was not overly sweet.

They also have two hot stone options- cookie and brownie. We went with the Brownie A La Cold Stone which had warm brownie topped with sweet cream ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and nuts. While the brownie could have been served warmer to get that hot-cold effect, and could also have been more fudgy and moist, the toppings and ice cream were quite nice.csc2The servers also gathered around to dance for us, offering us the entire Cold Stone ice cream experience, which we found to be really sweet.

Overall, a lovely place for delicious ice cream creations!

#ColdstoneDLF

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: UGF/B/Unit No:1D, Upper Ground Floor, Building 10, Cyber City, Phase 2, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 80 4622 4285

 

Review: Ikk Panjab

Review: Ikk Panjab

Ikk Panjab celebrates the food and cultural heritage of undivided Punjab and rediscovers lost recipes of that era. The restaurant has a rustic vibe and has been decorated beautifully, yet simply. The walls are adorned with portraits of rulers from that era, and cooking utensils used to cook the delicious dishes of the time.

As soon as we were seated, we were served with an assortment of fried and roasted papads along with green chutney and different types of pickles.ip1We started our meal with Kurkuri Dahi, or dahi ke kebab which had been shallow-fried to get a thin, crispy coating while inside, the kebab was creamy and light. The hung yogurt had that perfect tang and had a nice whiff of cardamom.

The Sarson Machhi Tikka had delicate, flaky fish coated in a mustard flavored marinade, cooked in a tandoor and topped with lemon juice.

The Thele Wala Chicken Tikka was juicy and moist and was flavored nicely with spices without overpowering the taste of the chicken.

The Burrah Kebab had juicy mutton chops, marinated and finished in a clay oven to get a nice smoky flavor and the spices were subtle.ip2We enjoyed these starters with some amazing mocktail. Their buntas are worth trying- all of them have a different juice or prime ingredient as the base along with some tangy masalas. We went with the Aam Ala Bunta and the Tera Mera Bunta which had raw mango and ginger ale flavors respectively as their base, and both tasted simply amazing. They even have some other different mocktail options of which we tried the Kala Doria which had an ice popsicle dipped in kala khatta flavor and the Teekhi Panjaban which was a concoction of imli, churan, red chili and anar. This drink came in a martini glass with a red chili rim and a dried red chili dipped in the drink and was really spicy and tangy.

For main course, we had Dal Makhani which was slow-cooked over low flame and was thick and creamy with a slight smoky flavor. The IP Butter Chicken had tandoori chicken slowly cooked in rich makhani gravy with cream and butter. Though the chicken was delicious, the gravy had a bit too much cream for our liking and the balance of creaminess and tanginess was missing

The Gosht Beliram had well-cooked mutton chunks on-the-bone in a thick, robust gravy made with whole spices.

We enjoyed these dishes with a crispy, flaky pudina parantha and delicious burrani raita which had a lovely burnt garlic flavor.

We ended this meal with some really nice desserts. The Lawrence Road Fruit Cream had assorted fruits in a thick custard cream and the Taran Taaran de Jalebi Rabri was presented beautifully. It had a big crisp jalebi in a plate with a bowl of thick, rich rabri in the center.ip3The service was really courteous and we really enjoyed our meal. This is a place worth trying for North Indian food.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

Location: J2/17, B.K Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi
Phone No.: 098118 88868

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