Rajdhani Thali @ Connaught Place

So this weekend we bumped into this amazing place called Rajdhani at Connaught Place to quench our authentic Indian food cravings. It’s old age ambiance and traditional tikka welcome gave the feeling of an Indian wedding household. The staff was very friendly and the service was quick. Within minutes, they will fill up your thali and it will look like this.

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And id this wasn’t enough, they are in the midst of their Mango festival and have delicacies made out of this yummy fruit!

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We were surprised at their creativity and skill that gave this one fruit so many different forms and tastes! Who knew Rajasthani culture was this diverse! So head out this season to have your share of this amazing ethnic festival, and tell us what you liked it there.

Stop My Starvation – like literally!

Stop My Starvation is a small breakfast joint in the Malviya Nagar Market. With a name as quirky as ’Stop My Starvation’ this place aims to satiate your small time immediate hunger. We all have those moments when we know dinner is ready at home but we need to grab a quick bite to satisfy the tummy, telling it to believe that more is coming just in a while. So, this is the place you would want to head to the next time you have your quick bite moments.

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Their menu has crepes, waffles, sandwiches and shakes. This is one of the few places that serves crepes in Delhi and that too with both sweet and savoury fillings. Similarly, it was the first time that I had a waffle with vegetable/chicken toppings instead of the usual maple syrup and ice cream to go with it. Their waffles’ dough is simply melt in the mouth. They are preparing it with Malted Barley which is being imported from US and that makes their snack options even more delicious and healthy. And, on top of that, all of their sweet waffles by default come with a scoop of ice cream. Also, they have add on options for toppings in case you want to customize.

Some of the things that I ordered here were:

Magic Mushroom: It was a savoury waffle with mushroom, cream and cheese topping, sprinkled with herbs. Great to taste. As mentioned above, super soft dough of waffles and the gooey mushroom with cheese and cream was making it all the more tempting.

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Archie’s Favourite: This was a savoury crepe with chicken keema filling. The chicken keema was cooked to perfection in delectable chipotle sauce. It was a light dish and the flavours were coming out really well.

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Nutella Factory: Heavenly is the word for this dessert. Waffles laid with Nutella spread along with ice cream scoop and chocolate sauce- simply yummy! After having the above two dishes, I still can’t remember how fast I finished this one and still wanted some more. It was the hero dish for me.

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After trying out a couple of dishes at Stop My Starvation, I  would recommend this as the pit stop while you’re shopping, coming back from a class or even on your way to home from office. It is a super pocket friendly destination. Nowhere would you find a Nutella waffle along with ice cream priced at 120/- bucks. They are also delivering till a radius of 3 km in their vicinity. What more can one ask for!

Review “Yauatcha”-The Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj

“Afterall, Life is delicious when you pull up the chair and take a taste” !

Once you step inside the Ambience mall, Vasant Kunj, you know it well enough that it’s going to burn your pocket,be it shopping or eating at a good restaurant. “Yauatcha” is one among the many, located in a corner of the second level of the mall. This restaurant does not require a second thought for their take on-“Cantonese cuisine”.

So, let me give you a detailed insight to what this luxury dining has got for the rich class of people and for foodies who wouldn’t mind burning their pocket.

Out of so many restaurants, I picked “Yauatcha” for the review for a stomach full and content dinner.We were however, swiftly escorted to our table by the nice courteous service staff member who even guided us through the menu.

Ambience:

It’s dimly neon glow and dark facades are perfectly offset by the glass partitioning to one side that contributes to the restaurant’s airy vibe even by evening and has a long bar at the other end.It has a capacity to accommodate approximately 137 people and has the crowd of a good class of people.

Staff and Higher Management:

We barely had an interaction with them. Even the staff did not make an effort to attend us timely so after having placed an order and having done with it, we literally had to look here and there for the staff to make sure that he sees us and comes and takes the next order. The service was indeed very slow and even got frustrating at times which kept us at bay from ordering the main course and just being done up with their starters and drinks.

This place will never disappoint you when it comes to their dim sums-ranging from steamed,pan-fried and fried being available in vegetarian and meat select and for a wide range of their drinks.

Drinks:

We had ordered a glass of orange and chilli smoothie which was a good blend of orange juice,palm sugar,chilli,mint and lemon grass ( although,the lemongrass was not a necessity). We also ordered a glass of plum cut larissa smoothie which had grapes,plums,fruit syrup,oolong tea and apple juice in the right mix. The virgin mary mocktail was indeed very nice. I have seen a very few restaurants come up with this drink as a perfection,apt for my taste buds. Overall, we were content with our drinks.

 

Dim-sums:

We tried their Chicken and Prawn sui mai, vegetable shanghai Dumplings at first, which clearly reflected the artistry and silken touch that goes into making each of these babies. Each one of them looked stunning, made with the sure touch of a master craftsman.

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Having finished both these starters and craving to try for more of their range in “Cantonese Cuisine”, we also ordered a chicken cheung fun, crispy spicy vegetable cheung fun and chicken wrapped in pakchoi. The Chicken wrapped in pakchoi was just too good. My favourite among all. It was very well presented to us and it was a dish that I had tried for the first time and truly relished it. I could have definitely gone for more had my stomach permitted me to do so..( hahahahha…)

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Desserts:

This being the best part of our meal (and I am sure your’s too….)

At the end we were presented with a curated dessert platter which included three flavors of ice cream, religieuse,six french macaroons, milk choco praline and mango mascarpone gateaux.
Macaroons…Ahhh..those gorgeous,little French cookies-delicate and pretty. They were fluffy and delicious. And they were so super cute!They were perfect with not a single crack in any batch.They were fresh and delicate but too sweet for my taste buds.

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The milk chocolate praline, was my favourite (sure, it’s gonna be your’s as well…! ). The Sacher biscuit on top was a commendable way of presenting it. Very delicate and soft and dissolves in your mouth right then. Tempting and mouth watering…You need to get your eyes off it inorder to resist it.

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The religieuse, had a good presentation with a disc shaped on top having “Yauatcha” written on it but, was a little hard. Didn’t find it fresh and I would not like to go for another try of it.

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Mango mascarpone gateaux- Soft and delicate and a bit crunchy…

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If you are having the crave for “Cantonese food” and like to try out their deep fried dim-sums, then you can give it a thought of burning your pocket.

The service needs to improve and also the higher management needs to make sure that each and everyone there is attended properly.

It might leave some of you with a content heart and happy taste buds but as for me, I was a little disappointed with some of their dishes and might think of considering it the next time.

Highly Recommend: Chicken wrapped in pakchoi, Chicken and Prawn sui mai and milk choco praline.

(Feel free to comment…..)

Colors of South, Chettinad Food Festival @ Crowne Plaza, Gurgaon

Crowne Plaza held the amazingly aromatic Chettinad Food Festival. Starters consisted of Kozhi Varuval (masala coated fried chicken morsals), Kari Kola urandai (minced lamb dumplings spiked with chettinad spices), Keerai vadai (spinach and lentil patties), Vazhakai kola urandai (Golden kebabs of raw banana with coconut and chillies). Our favourite was the minced lamb. The flavours were delightful. The chutney it was served with was brilliant too.

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The Main course consisted of “Meen kozhambu” (Spicy tangy fish curry simmered with shallots, cumin and curry leaves), “Kozhi uppkari Chettiyar” (spices rubbed chicken simmered with shallots and poppy seeds masala) but our favourite was the “Kari chops masala” (A traditional Lamb chop preperation).

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We had a few vegetarians at the table who particularly enjoyed the main course “Kai Kari mandi” (A combination of vegetables , green chillies cooked in gravy of tamarind and garlic) and the Vellai poriyal Cauliflower and double beans tempered with garlic).

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DSC_0850The desserts of “Kalkandu Pongal”(A sweet preration of sugar candy and rice) and “Chettiiyar carrot halwa” (Grated carrots and reduced milk finished with ghee and nuts). The buffet wasn’t restricted to only Chettinad food though. There was Sushi, Chinese and Chaat that we all loved.

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The food festival lasted until the 20th of March and was hugely successful, the menu was changed almost everyday and the chefs ensured that the spices were just right to suit the taste of North Indians and Expats.

INDI KITCHEN

Indi Kitchen a newly opened North Indian Join. To activate my taste buds I headed there.

It’s a small outlet located in Lokhandwala.
They have indoor as well as outdoor seating, however the seating indoors has a long narrow table attached to the wall with a few high chairs and outdoors have long tables.
The place introduces the Subway or the “Wok it yourself” concept to Indian food, however Indi Kitchen serves Indian food instead of Chinese which was something different than the usual.
The first step is of deciding your base, Roomali roll, rice box or naan bowl with options of Chicken, Mutton Veg.
The second step involves choosing vegetables like carrots, onions, peas, corn, capsicum and mushroom.
The third step is choosing your protein, Aloo tikka, Malai paneer, Chicken tikka, Paneer Tikka, Malai chiken, Seekh kabaa.
And the last step involves choosing your gravy, Bhuna masala, Tikka masala, Madras Gravy, Makhani, Palak and Triple Teekha.

Along with this the menu offers Indulgence like Biryani- veg and non-veg and Dal makhani.

And Desserts!!!! A new concept of Chocolate Samosa.
I was handed a form to fill in and I selected my base, protein, greens and gravy.

Veg roomali roll with paneer tikka and triple teeka gravy- The roomali roll was yum and had all my desired veggies. The paneer was soft. The gravy tasted good.

Naan bowl with chicken tikka and bhuna masala gravy- Whip, wham, sizzle, fry and I see my Chicken Tikka plus a bit of Bhuna gravy with Roomali Roti get made in front of me. This allowed me to see what goes into me grub. This is an interesting exercise for those who wish to see how Chicken Tikka is made. The Chicken was really good and the quality mimicked the grub found in North Indian fine dines for INR 160.

Chicken Biryani- It was one of the finest Biryani preparations that I have ever had. Smooth aromatic rice with succulent pieces of well cooked chicken. Topped with fried onions, greens and the best spices – This item exceeded my expectations. Indi makes a good stop for a Biryani fanatic. The portion size was quite generous at INR 149.

Chocolate Samosa- was the lone dessert on the menu. It was intriguing since Chocolate Samosas sound a bit, different. But if one can plug chocolate into bagels, doughnuts and croissants – then samosas should not be a big problem, yes? Well the answer is a mixed one. As a dessert, this fusion works. For INR 49, this item is worth the novelty.

Indi Kitchen seems to be built on a self-service model. Though, I was served my items by a server.

The pricing is quite low at the moment. For the food they serve, I’d say it’s one hell of a good deal. Like all good things, it’s likely that the prices may go up in the future so it seems logical to hog as much grub as possible now!!!

I know, I will!!!

 

REVIVING TRADITION WITH TASTEFUL RENDITIONS ZARIN, FAIRMONT JAIPUR

TIME HONOURED PERSIAN CUISINE ARRIVES IN RAJASTHAN: REVIVING TRADITION WITH TASTEFUL RENDITIONS AT THE NEWLY DEBUTED ZARIN

Signature Dish - Tabriz Koftey

JAIPUR, The newest entrant to arrive on the Rajasthani dining scene – Zarin, the Indo-Persian restaurant at Fairmont Jaipur, breathes life into a culinary art that has, over centuries, celebrated the fusion of two of the most ancient cultures in Asia.

At the helm of this new dining destination, Executive Chef Manpreet Singh takes a novel approach with the use of dominant Indian flavours in his new menu, while paying tribute to the Persian influences of each dish, in order to familiarize the modern day gourmand with traditional Indo-Persian cuisine.

Serving as a resilient cultural marker within the royal courts of the Delhi Sultanate in the early 13th century, Indo-Persian cuisine celebrated the symbolic unification of India and Persia; one that began along the ancient spice route, leaving a legacy that has influenced modern day cuisine in India.

Carefully crafted culinary offerings form the basis of Indo-Persian dishes at Zarin, each an applaud-worthy combination of flavor, technique and tradition. Dishes such as Iranian Biryanis served along with matzoon (yogurt refreshment) and salad, Atta Raan (leg of lamb wrapped in sour dough), Iranian Haleem (wheat porridge with flavorful meat proteins or vegetables), and Mahi Zameen doz (fresh-off-the-net fish marinated in aromatic Persian spices and gently grilled and then baked), also help highlight a rich cultural landscape stemming from the trade between both civilizations. This exchange of cookery styles and herbs and spices like basil, cumin, saffron and cloves, resonate throughout Zarin’s menu and aptly showcases the culinary styling of both great ancient empires.

A name inspired by the Persian word for gold, Zarin offers diners a distinctive and enriching culinary experience. According to Chef Singh, “steeped in tradition, Zarin will capture the imagination of diners by taking them on a journey through a bygone era that has influenced our cuisine in countless ways.”

From Sheermal and Bakarkhani – traditional breads to the live tandoor and succulent preparations of Aab Gosht (succulent morsel of lamb cooked with chick peas), Mastava (a hearty lamb soup – an Uzbek specialty) and Tabriz Koftey (juicy chicken dumplings with mixed nuts), meat lovers are spoiled for choice while dining at Zarin. Vegetarian diners will find offerings such as like the Subz Irani (Persian style vegetable stew), Nadru ki Gullar (stuffed lotus stem pods) and Kebab Tokri (a flavorful assortment of stir fried vegetables) with red wine. To round off this ambitious culinary undertaking, desserts such as Baklawa platters (filo sweet pastry) and Badshahi Faluda (vermicelli combined with milk and rose flavouring), are just some of the masterstrokes on the menu that await guests at Zarin.

Signature Dish - Atta Raan

Speaking at the launch of Zarin, Rizwan Shaikh, General Manager of Fairmont Jaipur remarked, “Zarin adds drama and flair to our repertoire of restaurants and lounges at Fairmont Jaipur. It evokes nostalgia of the grandiose culinary traditions of the warrior kings and emperors across Persia, ancient Afghanistan, and the Mughal dynasty,” adding, “as our signature fine dining restaurant, Zarin will continue the hotel’s commitment in bringing in world class dining experiences to Jaipur.”

The interiors of Zarin reflect a tasteful rendition of luxury that has been painstakingly crafted from the finest materials. Tucked away in a gilded corner, past a splendidly appointed grand doorway, the Zarin experience unfolds amidst fine crystal stemware, bespoke stone, silver and antique brass tableware, plush seating and opulent teakwood tables (that are specially fitted with tandoors and sigris to keep the dishes warm) – a fitting introduction to the 120 seat restaurant.

The dining experience at Zarin can be best described as indulgent owing to the eclectic ambience that complements the food. While guests soak their hands in lavish bowls of scented water, strewn with rose petals, awaiting the start of their meal they are serenaded by the sights and sounds of the nearby Emperor’s Bazaar with treasures from the cultural riches of Rajasthan. Folk dancers, story tellers and sufi singers lull diners into a hypnotic trance, as exhaustive selections from the menu appear dramatically on swords and as such, are robust with flavour and history.

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ABOUT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations worldwide, reflecting each locale’s energy, culture and history. Passionate travelers choose the luxury hotel brand for its ability to deliver memorable travel experiences, personalized and thoughtful service, and hotels that are one-of-a-kind. Serving as genuine gateways to their destinations, Fairmont hotels offer locally-inspired cuisine and spirited bars and lounges, distinctive design and décor, and a steadfast responsibility to environmental and social priorities. With more than 65 hotels globally, and many more in development, landmark hotels in the Fairmont collection include The Plaza in New York, London’s The Savoy, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 110 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residence clubs, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties.

Manpreet Mallik

Executive Chef, Fairmont Jaipur, India – Manpreet Singh Malik

Chef Manpreet Singh Malik wields his knives as easily as he does his wit and charm. A thorough planner and a die-hard food aficionado Chef Manpreet has the distinction of working in some of the most challenging kitchens across the world. He began his career in the year 2000 in Ludhiana and his culinary journey has taken him across leading hotel chains from England to Bangkok and now back to India at the Fairmont’s flagship property in Jaipur. As the Executive Chef at Fairmont Jaipur, Chef Manpreet will be responsible for firing up the culinary experiences at the hotel and establishing the Fairmont Jaipur as a food lover’s destination. His prowess in the Indian kitchen is legendary as is his ability to lead his team to deliver memorable dining experiences for guests of different nationalities.