Gola Southend (9, Defence Colony Market, New Delhi) – 3/5 Stars

My partner finished work and asked me to pick her up at the Defence Colony Market. I was excited about going to the Defence Colony Market after such a long time. We had our very first date at Moet’s!

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I don’t know if I took a wrong turn or it was due to excessive traffic but I was completely lost until I used my Sat Nav to reach the Defence Colony Market where she was waiting eagerly for me in a lovely pink dress. The first thing she said to me was: “I’m so hungry!” and I just said instantly, let’s get into the first restaurant we see and the first restaurant we both looked at together was Gola!

The restaurant has two floors and isn’t crowded at all so couples get a lot of solitude here. The decor is so far away from special that it lingers close to the Government run canteens.

What did we start with?

We started with Golden Fried Prawns and Chicken Spring Rolls. I liked the prawns but the spring rolls were a huge disappointment. It was hard to understand why they seemed so soggy!

What was next?

Our main course consisted of Chicken Chooza, Murg Makhni and Hydrabadi Biryani. I have to admit I am never in my life going to order hydrabadi biryani because they just cannot make biryani like awadhi’s do! The sauce base for murg makhni was quite good but if you ask me the food reminded me of what you would eat at a wedding, which means, too much oil and very little attention to detail.

How did it end?

We just decided to order a round of drinks because we hadn’t finished talking so we had some fruit beer which was surprisingly nice.

Is Gola recommended?

Not so much!

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Hachi Ba (26, Saraswati Kunj, Opposite Alchemist Hospital, Golf Course Road, Sector 54, Gurgaon) – 3.5/5 Stars

I like restaurants who focus on food more than the decor. Hachi Ba is one such place. The decor isn’t too fancy and won’t wow you in any way. The service and the food are fantastic though.

Everything on the menu looked interesting and we did not know what to order. I always think if you are confused just ask the staff what to get. I have always ended up satisfied when the staff has surprised me with their choices.

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We asked for recommendations and we finally went with Chicken Munchow soup, Chicken Momos, Hachi Ba Noodles and Shredded Lamb. My personal favourite was the Shredded Lamb. It was delectable.

It is fun to hang out at Hachi Ba during winters. The wooden rustic tables are wonderful. I feel very comfortable dining at this restaurant. The food is good, service is nice and quick.

Amaranta – The Oberoi (The Oberoi, 443, Phase 5, Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon) – 4/5 Stars

This is a very underrated place. My first experience here was so memorable. It was the birth of my best friend’s twins and the couple was throwing a celebratory party.

Amaranta is a breath of fresh air amongst the many many such that serve restaurants Sea Food. We were very happy to learn that the sea food is flown in fresh on a daily basis. The Oberoi hospitality is & has always been fantastic.

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The malabari paratha is one of my most favourite things but I wish they could have done it a little better. Pepper Prawns and the Andhra Fish Curry were both to good to believe.

The decor is minimalistic yet fancy. Amaranta is an expensive place but it is worth every penny.

Rara Avis (M 27, 2nd Floor, M Block Market, Greater Kailash (GK) 2, New Delhi) – 4/5 Stars

Before I delve into the food details for Rara Avis, I have to say that the staff is wonderful at Rara. They are so knowledgeable that everyone at the table was impressed.

Coming straight to the good stuff, the food. The snails in lemon butter sauce, oh my God, the most wonderful dish I’ve had in a long time. This is why I love French food, everything is so subtle.

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Most restaurants screw up their duck dishes by overcooking and making it too chewy but not Rara as the preserved duck leg was one melt in the mouth dish.

What I liked most was the comfortable chairs and the light music in the background. It is a very nice and relaxing place to dine at.

The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe and Kitchen (116 C, 4th Floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi) – 3/5 Stars

We read about this place in the newspaper and since I am not very familiar with Shahpur Jat, it took me a while to find The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe and Kitchen. What you first see is the decor. It is quirky, everything is blue or yellow or green and everything is mismatched.

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What I hated the most was getting to The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe and Kitchen, it is on the 4th floor and it has no elevator. You have to climb up a shady set of stairs and I am sure most people give up going to Potbelly for this reason.

They served us Bihari litti and mutton. The litti was decent, but I have genuinely had better satoo stuffed Bihari littis. They also serve a sattu cooler, which is supposed to keep your body cool in the summer heat. It was alright.

What I really did like was the Sattu roti, that I can recommend.

Golden Cafe (1, Nehru Bazar, Panchkuian Road, Opposite Hanuman Temple, Paharganj, New Delhi) – 3.5/5 Stars

I just happened to find this place by chance when I was at the famous Panchkuian Road furniture market picking out some Carpets. We were really hungry and food was served very quickly which we all appreciated very much.

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We all loved the noodles, the prices are very low and the portions are quite decent for the price. Golden Cafe serves good Chinese food and we were really surprised to see so many Asians dining there.

I know for a fact that I will come back to Golden Cafe because the severs were very polite and welcoming. Good discovery!

La Piazza – Hyatt Regency (Hyatt Regency, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi) – 4/5 Stars

This Italian restaurant is one of my most favourite places in Delhi. I love the ambience, the service and the food. The delicious sea bass on their menu is one of the many things I like to order every time I’m at La Piazza. Calzone with goat cheese is mouthwatering – highly recommended.

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Been to La Piazza for many Sunday brunches. The Sunday Brunch is great. Love the pastas and pizzas. They have a very interesting wine menu too.

On the dessert menu, do not miss the tiramisu. It is truly divine. Try the authentic stone oven baked pizzas at La Piazza, you will not regret it.

19 Oriental Avenue – Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel (Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, 19, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi) – 4/5 Stars

19 Oriental Avenue at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel on Ashoka Road in Connaught Place is a Japanese, Chinese and Thai restaurant. This month we celebrated a lot of birthday’s in my family and we visited 19 Oriental Avenue for one such family party. The tastiest meal we have had in a long time, we all really liked the food.

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The main course was a treat, i loved the crispy duck roll and chongqing style chicken – very delicious. The quality of the fish was not the best but still better than a lot of places in Delhi. The Japanese rice was good too, went well with the dishes on the main course.

Deciding what we wanted took us quite a while because we were a party of 11 and the menu was vey elaborate. The service was polite, attentive and swift.

Shiro- Hotel Samrat (Hotel Samrat, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi) – 4/5 Stars

My experience at Shiro was fantastic. You cannot go wrong with the fantastic recipes of a michelin star chef. I have always been a fan of Chef Vikas Khanna and it really pleased me to try his coastal curries from the Fox Traveller Show Twist of Taste.

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The ambitious menu seemed achievable only by a really talented Chef and Shiro has not one but many talented chefs. The starters consisted of Coconut and Lemongrass Soup with Rasam Powder, Xacuti Masala Grilled Rice Paper Roll Chicken, Crispy Tofu with Tamarind Chutney, Deep Fried Prawns, Steamed Fish in Lotus Leaf with Malabar Curry Spices and Vegetarian Dim Sum. Everything was delectable but my personal favourite was the Steamed Fish. I’ve never eaten such beautifully steamed fish in my life – highly recommended.

The main course was delectable too. I don’t really enjoy Thai Green Curry but Chef gave a lovely twist to it with curry leaves and it tasted really interesting.

The desserts stole the show. Chocolate Cheesecake with Ice Cream, Mississippi Mud Pie and Chocolate Cake were all amazing but I would highly recommend the gooey and chocolate Mississippi Mud Pie.

The service was polite and courteous and the staff was very well informed. The new menu and service deserve a 4/5.