Planning a Sunday brunch? Olive is your best bet!

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Olive Bistro, the latest addition to A D Singh’s chain of Olives, is located in Gurgaon’s budding Cyber Hub. It is located on the first floor, placed strategically in front of the Cyber Hub auditorium. It just felt delightful in walking into its Outdoor seating. The picket white fences, the garden feel type of seating made way to a feeling of mushiness and warmth. I have always been a fan of alfresco dining. Be it the warmth of the sun on a wintery afternoon or a breezy sultry evening, the ambience does make a difference for me! So this place, in the heart (almost) of Gurgaon definitely bowled me over.

The staff were friendly, courteous and polite and took extreme care to reach out when needed. Well informed about the dishes and were giving ample suggestions when asked for.

We were there for the Sunday brunch and that is one lavish spread. There are multiple options for Appetizers and drinks with ample vegetarian selects. The course started off with The Olive special Caesar salad which is a must try, a mezze platter of Pita n Nachos with dips of hummus, babaghanoush, tashi and drinks. The mock tail that I had ordered “Litchi tornado” tasted artificial and nothing like Litchi, but the “Mojito” was perfect. Rest of the cocktails tasted good but the Red wine Sangria was the best of the lot for me.

The others included Potato & Jalapeno poppers (one that was immensely loved by all), batter coated pickled vegetables which gave out a hint of tanginess to the fried vegetables, crumb fried fish (being a fish lover, I really liked it), cottage cheese sliders and chicken sliders. The Cottage cheese and Chicken sliders came with portion of twos and the chicken burger was one of the best we have had in quite a while, crunchy patty with lettuce, onion and tomato. We also ordered for the Eggs Benedict with spinach – and this one took the prize, subtle with sautéed spinach, tasty and exactly the way Eggs Benedict should be made.

Done with the starters we decided on to try out on few of the items on the mains menu. Ordered for “Grilled Lemon Mustard Basa”, “Herbs roast chicken”, “BBQ pork Spare ribs” and “Garlic & Dill marinated Grilled prawns” along with one helping (read big) of Penne in white sauce with grilled chicken. The one word to describe each dish should be “amazing”. Every dish was cooked to perfection and just as beautifully served, with accompaniments of Mashed Potato and buttered vegetables, mushy peas, pesto and sundried tomatoes. The contrasting flavours were an absolute delight.

Dessert platter consisted of Flourless Chocolate torte, Lemon Tart, Blueberry Cheesecake, Banana moist cake and Waffles with Maple syrup. Waffles were fresh, warm and crispy as needed and tasted yummy with maple syrup. The lemon tart was bursting with a bitter, sweet, tangy flavor all at one go when taken a bite into.

It was a very nice experience, well who wouldn’t love good food with an amazing ambience. Will be definitely, making a visit here again. All in all the place is a must go!

Try new things!
Mayank
(Delhi Food Club)

Review Credit: Abhik

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Home Delivery Food Review: Captain Grub, Gurgaon – 3.5/5 Stars

Captain Grub’s second outlet recently opened in Gurgaon, 1st being at Vasant Kunj. It is a late night delivery service and delivers till late at night and I really mean late (4 am). This concept itself is wonderful especially considering I burn the midnight oil regularly, Kudos!

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The menu here is lavish. They have pastas, sandwiches, burgers, shakes and all meats are available too and depending on your level of hunger you can just go crazy.

I ordered a plethora of items starting with their Ferrero Rocher Shake. I was told that their shakes are awesome and boy were they correct. This shake was superb – rich, thick and subtly sweet and surprisingly wasn’t even that heavy.

We began our meal with Hawaiian meatballs. The meatballs here were made from pork and in a sweet and sour Hawaiian apricot sauce. Lovely beginning to the meal.

I then tucked into the Pulled pork sandwich, which again was a winner. Other than the well cooked pulled pork it was the mayo mustard spread that made this sandwich special.

Next on the menu was the traditional club sandwich and it was what I expected from it, a mouthful of various textures. Grilled chicken in three huge slices of bread with the works (egg, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo). The only slight problem was that I like my bacon salty and that would have really added another level of salty crunchiness to the sandwich.

Then came the burgers and I would recommend the butterfly chicken burger. The crispy chicken will satisfy all burger lovers as will the portion size. This is one of the better burgers I’ve had recently.

The last burger I had on the day was Captain’s love. It s a pork lovers delight as shredded pork, ham and bacon are slathered with cranberry sauce on this. My only complain will again be the non crunchy bacon. I think this dish loses out its balance because the crunch and saltiness from the bacon does not come through.

They also serve a potion of their cajun spiced fries with each of their dishes and they are a great accompaniment.

Captain Grub is the kinda place you dream of at 2 am in the morning when hunger calls. And just like a sweet dream they serve delectable “Grub” at your doorstep. Can you really beat that?

Mayank
(Delhi Food Club)
Email: mail@delhifoodclub.com

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#MamaDrinkUp @Mamagoto, Khan Market – cocktails, snacks and alfresco dining!

#MamaDrinkUp was a fun filled event at the terrace of Mamagoto in Khan Market. We at the Delhi Food Club have always loved Mamagoto for its delicious Thai Green Curry, Honey Chicken and Crispy Chilly Potatoes but now with the introduction of interesting cocktails on their menu they have found yet another way to wow us.

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A very pleasant evening with great drinks and the company of some really good friends, – what can be better than that?

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The Mamagoto crew has certainly managed to create innovative concoctions that are not available elsewhere. Their in house spirit infusion include kaffir lime leaf infused in silver tequila, thyme infused with dry gin and so on.

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The resultant cocktails are crisper, finer and there isn’t any taste of factory made syrups and other artificial flavours. Nothing is too sweet or too sour, all balanced for the discerning palate.

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The restaurant’s mixologists have balanced herb with fruit to master some stellar tastes with a rich mouth feel and unique after taste. Apart from this they have flavoured Margaritas, Daiquiris, and Mojitos. The Mojitos were our favourite and I would certainly recommend them to you!

Mayank

(Delhi Food Club)

Contact: ms.mayank@gmail.com

Monkey Bar (Vasant Kunj, Delhi) – 4.5/5 Stars

Monkey bar is the most interesting restaurant you will dine at!

Monkey Bar has been on my wish list for a very long time, I just haven’t been able to go there for some reason. Anyway, when I was invited to be there for the ongoing Mocktober fest, I rubbed my hands with glee.

Coconut Jumbo Prawns at Monkey Bar Delhi, Photo courtesy Sanjay Ramchandran (1)

Monkey Bar, for the uninitiated, is a gastro pub in Vasant Kunj and is the brainchild of AD Singh, one of India’s top restaurateurs. This is the second Monkey bar in the country, first being in Bangalore fittingly as it is India’s pub capital.

Butterfly Chicken at MONKEY BAR, New Delhi- 9384

Now, I really need to ask the owners whether the glass dome was already present and they decided to build a restaurant inside it or if they were really inspired by Louvre. Either way it is a striking structure and looks like a restaurant from a “galaxy far far away”.

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Monkey Bar is one of those restaurants whose vibe you can gauge the moment you step in. It is extremely cool, hip and young and the ambience contributes to it in no small measure. The posters and pop art pieces, from old Lindt signage to Johnny Walker wall clocks, it really is superb. Hidden in a nook is a game room that has a pool table, a Foosball Table and other game-y stuff.

 Tiger Steak @MONKEY BAR photo Kunal Chandra

Monkey Bar has a two level dining area and we were seated on the upper deck. Okay, onto the food – the Mocktober fest menu has around 27 beers from all over the world. Although my first choice Hoegarden was not available, I settled for an Estrella Damm (Spanish), while my partner had an interesting strawberry flavoured beer called Fruli (Belgian). Our starters were Butterfly Chicken (a la carte menu) and Beer battered tiger prawns (Mocktober menu).

St. Patricks' Spegatti at Monkey Bar Delhi, Photo courtesy Sanjay Ramchandran

The chicken filling was fab especially with a drizzle of the sweet and spicy sauce. It was presented well too, in a butterfly shaped shells. The butterfly shells on their own had no flavour but eaten along side the chicken it formed an interesting combination.

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The beer battered prawns were probably the only dish I did not like that evening. Although the batter was great, the beer made it light and yeasty, the prawns were chewy and a tad bland. It might have to do with the big tiger prawns coz I think smaller prawns are more flavourful than its larger cousin.

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We ordered tasting portions of many main course dishes and ill start with the two on the Mocktober menu first. We had the Cajun chicken taco pizza and St. Patricks Spaghetti. The Cajun chicken taco pizza was perfect. The spicing of the chicken was as good as the toasted tacos which was as good as the beer yoghurt on top. I was pleasantly surprised with the incorporation of beer in this dish, marvellous.

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St. Patricks spaghetti was a winner all the way. The stout and beef stew was slow cooked and still had pink in the middle, gorgeous taste. The buttered spaghetti was smooth, buttery and sinful and the combination of the two was hearty.

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Our a la carte was a portion of the mutton shami slider, tiger steak and the mobar bork. First things first, the mutton shami slider was probably the best dish I’ve had the whole year. Three little shami kebab burgers with mint chutney and coleslaw, the flavours in the shami blew me away. And to think that one of best shami kebabs in Delhi is in a high end gastro pub says something about the chef. You can come to this restaurant just for this and not be disappointed.

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The Tiger steak was well cooked and had so many interesting flavours in it, the heat of chilli paste, pungency of the galangal and the tang of lemon. Very nice indeed.

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Finally, the mobar bork is a pork belly dish, served on a bed of wonderfully cooked noodles. The pork belly was how a belly should be, fatty and crisp at the ends. I loved the dish and the combination of flavours were top notch.

Spiced Honey & Ale Cake AND Chocolate & Stout Pudding,Photo courtesy Sanjay Ramchandran

For desserts, I went for a Spiced Honey and Ale cake (Moktober menu) while my partner had the Chocolate pot de creme with salted caramel.

The Spiced Honey cake was beautiful with a strong sticky honey flavour and went well with the stout cream it was served with.

Chocolate Pot De Creme With Salted Caramel 2 - Monkey Bar - Photo Courtesy Kunal Chandra

My partner loved the chocolate pot but it really was not up my street as I like dark chocolate and hate popcorn. Anyway, she loved it so I will say that people who like that combination should surely give it a go.

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All in all, I loved the experience at Monkey Bar and would love to come back to enjoy it all over again, and for those mutton shami kebabs (Boy I am hungry again!!).

Review by: Mayank

Photo Credit: Shivangi Reviews

TAGS: Monkey, Bar, Delhi, Vasant, Kunj, Gastro, Pub, Bar, Monkey, Bar, Delhi, Vasant, Kunj, Gastro, Pub, Bar, Monkey, Bar, Delhi, Vasant, Kunj, Gastro, Pub, Bar

Restaurant Review: Dhaba By Claridges (DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon) – 5/5 Stars

Dhaba By Claridges, as I am sure everyone knows by now, is a new funked up franchise of the very popular Claridges Hotel. I say funked up coz the interiors have taken the essence of a roadside Dhaba and added the colour of a Karan Johar movie and the coolth of a Tarantino flick. I mean coloured cutting chai glasses as chandeliers, ‘theka’ styled steel grills hiding single malts, the interiors itself are worth the price of admission. 

Over to the menu now and at first glance it seems like any other North Indian restaurant however Corporate Chef Ravi Saxena, who very graciously accompanied us, told how each dish has been carefully thought of, keeping actual roadside ‘dhabas’ in mind. Like authentic dhaba food, dishes here are freshly prepared and served and certain dishes once finished, will not be prepared again in true dhaba style.

You cannot visit this place without trying their cocktails that are named after desi ‘tharras’. They come in brilliant little ‘tharra’ bottles along with salt and spice laced glasses to pour your drink in and are they delicious or what! I had almost all of them and I would highly recommend the ‘Santari’, ‘Toofan’ and ‘Narangi’ (although all others were equally brilliant). If you want to know what is in these drinks, go try for yourself. 

Coming to the food, we started with a mix of veg and non veg fare like Veg galouti kebabs, Tandoori Bhune Aloo, Dhaba Murgh roast, Dhaba Prawns and Tawa Mutton. 

Veg galouti was absolutely sublime and as the Chef said it did not contain any of the traditional ingredients (like rajma) used elsewhere for galoutis. Just everyday vegetables mixed with the right kind of spices.

Tandoori Bhune Aloo were a revelation because they were so perfectly roasted. It reminded me of top London Restaurants serving fantastic roast potatoes cooked in goose fat. They came with a saunth chutney and more importantly that sprinkling of fresh onions and tomatoes, Dhaba style. 

Dhaba murgh roast and the Prawns were again great but the best starter was Tawa Mutton. Fantastic pieces of perfectly cooked mutton and an amazingly light (uncommon for meat dishes) and flavourful curry. This dish was truly the work of a master chef.

In between the starters and the mains, the Dhaba staff did a jig on ‘Badtameez Dil’ and I was just one ‘Santari’ shy of joining them. Much to everyone’s relief I did not. 

The mains included Butter Chicken, Dal Dhaba, Amritsari Chole , Balti Meat, Kanastari Baingan Bharta (Chef’s specal recommendations) and a magnificent Chicken Pulao. 

Now, the Butter chicken and Daal were expectedly great but the Baingan ka Bharta was drool-worthy. It was the best I’ve ever had (Sorry mom) and its genius lies in its simplicity. 

The Balti meat was again great and a special mention has to be given to the amount of meat that this dish has. A carnivores wet dream I say (Hows that for a South Indian reference).

I really loved the Chole too especially that tamarind water accompaniment, which elevated it to greatness.

This is one of those few places where I categorically did not miss non vegetarian food at all and I never thought it will be possible.

My stomach still had space for desserts, (not kidding) and they did not disappoint. The phirni was wow!. It might be a tad sweeter than most places but I like that more (Sorry Karims). The Badam Halwa was outstanding and so were the Gulab Jamuns but I genuinely think I had great Rasmalai after aeons. Soft, ‘chenadaar’ and subtly sweet, I was a bite away from a proposal (No really!!). 

Finally our meal was topped of with a ‘Panditji’ ka special meetha paan, reminding us of the restaurant’s roots.

There is also a very cool weighing machine at the entrance that gives away your fortune by placing coins in it ( Don’t worry the coins are provided by the restaurant).

I think Dhaba by Claridges is a phenomenal restaurant where food, ambience and mood create a very unique blend. It is a place you are going to go repeatedly and puts a smile on your face. When was the last time you visited a restaurant like that?


Review by: Mayank

Photo Credit: Team Shivangi Reviews

 

Cafe Wanderlust and Shivangi Reviews (www.shivangireviews.com) Blogger’s Meet 2014


This is not my first review of Cafe Wanderlust. I am a regular. I love the place. I am hooked on to its bohemian ways. I had the opportunity to go to Cafe Wanderlust again on a Sunday.

The event was a colab Food Blogger’s Meet, organised by Cafe Wanderlust and Team Shivangi Reviews. I have been to a lot of food bloggers events before but this was different for so many reasons.

Disha, who runs the place is quite the talked. She has a lot of interesting incidents, anecdotes and stories to share. All of us bloggers were not bored for a minute. One interesting incident after the other, one story after the other. Conversation kept flowing over huge glasses of Thandai, Adrak Chai, Kachoris, Samosa Chaat, Thekua (a Bihari deep fried dough ball), pastries, etc.

What I personally love about this cafe is how quirky it is. I can sit here for hours, having my Adrak chai and fave music on loop and never wanna leave. I like how the owner takes good care of her guests and ensures everyone is comfortable. I like how this little cafe is a family affair because all of us get tired of pretentiously self-important and pompous places to eat. I am tired of waiting for my partner to dress up to look great because most of the places we dine at require us to look a certain way. I like going casual from time to time and I pick Cafe Wanderlust to unwind.

 Cafe Wanderlust served us excellent Gol Gappas. I am a big fan of chaat and I enjoyed the Samosa Chaat with sprinkles of imli chutney very much. What my tongue still cannot forget is the lovely flavour of the kachoris. They were perfectly crips or khasta and tasted really good. One of the best kachoris I’ve had in Gurgaon.

We were served a savoury mushroom crepe. Everyone at the table was amazed how the small Cafe Wanderlust kitchen is milting out all different kinds of things to eat. We loved the creamy mushroom crepes. Crepes are my favourite and I especially enjoyed these crepes very much. Highly Recommended.

Another great combo, that should not be missed is the Bombay Vada Pao. Now I really have not had the Bombay Vada Pao but everyone at the table who had said that this was as close as it could get to the actual vada pao – 9/10. It was also incredible to see that most of the bloggers at the table were hardcore non-vegetarians and Cafe Wanderlust is a vegetarian cafe but none of them missed the vegetarian food at all. Kudos to the chef, who is also the owner’s mother.

 The Veg Croque Monsieur, the vegetarian version of the grilled ham and cheese sandwich was quite good, this is the food that dreams are made of. There is cheese inside, there is cheese outside, it is cheesy and delicious.

The Vegetarian Burger resembled a huge American Hamburger that we all couldn’t finish by ourselves. We had to share. It was now time for the desserts. We were all eagerly awaiting the final course because after eating what felt like a zillion savoury items, we will in the mood for something sweet.

The Laung Lata was the best out of all the desserts and there was a plate full of different kinds of desserts. Laung Lata is a deep fried dessert with Khoya, Sugar, Refined flour, Cloves, Cardamom, etc. Must Have!

It was a Sunday well spent and I cannot wait to go back the the lovely Cafe again very soon.

 

Email: ms.mayank@gmail.com

Event Courtesy: Cafe Wanderlust and Team Shivangi Reviews

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!

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.