Gourmet Affairs

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Shere Punjab @ Kalkaji

Located in the busy hustle and bustle of KalkajI market, is located this pretty old restaurant serving Indian and Mughlai food. Owned and managed by a Sikh Father Son Duo, this small little place has been serving it's patrons consistently

I have noticed this quite looking place many a times during my visit to the Kalkaji market, however today was one of the days, when I felt like having some hot and crispy tandoori rotis and digging them into a spicy gravy

Normally I am a big fan of tandoori food  ( Tikkas, Tandoori chicken and barraas, are pretty much my thing) not so much for healthy reasons, but more so for the romance that the smell of a nice tandoori food does to me. The sensitivity of my nose to the smell of a tandoor in its full glory, is far greater than that for any other ordinary smell / odour

Having said that, I had been longing for a while to savour some real stuff. Piping hot, Crisp and fresh rotis, out straight from the tandoor, along with some "khada masala" based spicy chicken curry

We decided to order the staple chicken masala and chicken curry, which is generally the best selling item on menu for a Punjabi restaurant. I was pretty much transported to my college days , when restaurants would also sell chicken or mutton dishes by Quarter of a dish / half dishes as well, unlike and pretty much the etiquette of the fine dining plush restaurants, that strictly serve you a full dish only, for reasons of cost and economics purely

The Quarter dish concept worked very well for students and early jobbers, who are usually on a tight budget , at the same time want to enjoy a wholesome meal..The chicken masala, comes with  boiled eggs and a thick gravy.The gravy is made out of a base of " khadaa masalas" and gives you a very robust, fullsome and aromatic flavour and being straight from a punjabi restaurant, is not modest or conservative with the grease

All in all, a great lunch with the Hot tandoori rotis, Dhaba style spiced up chicken and " lachcha onions"..No frills, no fancy seating , basic stuff with a clean and hygeinic food,having personal involvement of owners

Do visit when in a desi mood...pretty reasonable for the pocket as well

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Chaayos....Experiments with Chai.....

A nation which lives to drink Chai at home and coffee outside of home.Long before coffee drinking became the "cool" thing to do, Chai held centerstage in our lives.The Famous Bengali "ADDA" is incomplete without  Chai and Gupshup....So Coffee is about Conversations and chai Is about Gup Shup and the works.
Celebrating Indias love for Chai and bringing it alive in a refreshing retail concept is Chaayos..Started in 2012 by 2 IITians who quit their high paying jobs to offer us a unique tea drinking experience..

Chaayos. ..Experiments with Chai, stick to their basic concept and go all out and present the ever so common, humble, almost plebeian, Chai in a refreshingly cool, modern and trendy Avataar...Move away from the boring Peach and lemon iced teas that you could manage to get in Coffee retailers..They have more than 25 varieties of Chai which can be custom made in more than 12000 different ways..The flavours used are "desi" but somehow best kept as ingredients in kitchen and not to be flaunted like the way these guys have done.....adrak, elaichi, cardamom, saunf, lung, kali mirch, tulsi, ajwain, moti elaichi...With variants like Sulemani chai (black tea), Irani chai( more milk), Cutting chai, Kullad wali chai...

The food menu is intelligently made with focus on lite and quick bites..The idea to build on some of the local street food is interesting..Vada Paav, poha, bun maska,  egg buns, sev n buns, keema pav...I was not very impressed with the food in terms of taste and authenticity..However the great flavours of tea, the ambience and setting make up for the lacklustre taste of food..Some of the wraps I have heard are decent but did not try..The vada pav, Bun maska were pretty average

However do visit this place for its great Tea and find your "meri wali chai" that's what their punchline is..The food needs to evolve over a period of time , but full marks to the experiment....happy chai drinking

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Brown Box

Writing a foodie blog after a really long gap. The reasons for the gap have been plenty ranging from personal to professional to even abstinence from the carnivorous stuff for almost 3 months..all that is  ow a thing of the past and hope to continue fishing out small jewels located in corners and by lanes of Delhi NCR...

The Brown Box is one such place located in a Quaint, peaceful almost derelict and dilipidated Panchsheel DDA market..The place is ideal for those who want to savour decent cuppas of coffee and tea at the same time don't want to pay obnoxiously unjustified money like in case of Starbucks, CCDs and the likes. .Moreover the Starbucks and CCDs of the world have mechanised and corporatist the coffee drinking experience confining it to a closed machine like existence. ..THE Brown Box challenges the very notion and makes you sip your Tea and coffee the way it's supposed to be savoured...In a serene setting, surrounded by greenery, not many souls to bother you, and surely saves you the trouble of forced ear dropping on the "enlightening conversations" of the umpteen teenagers..

The Brown Box sticks to the basics..A patisserie specialising in Coffee, select pastries , sandwiches and cookies...The Blueberry cheese cake is as good as the best in town when it comes to texture, freshness..The Masala tea is a real hit here,  again pretty much a contrast to the pathetic mild teas served by the CCDs..The Sandwiches are really decent.Since they don't work on bull volume and a factory line like system, things are freshly made...

A Great experience to hang out and relax.there is a huge open space and thanks to lack of occupants in the DDA market , there is ample space for kids to chill and run around..Visit the Brown Box,  not just for coffee..but to sit and relax in the midst of greenery

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Brunch Buffet at Khidmat- Kalkaji

Khidmat -- Literal meaning - "At your Service" - Khidmat has been serving foodies in Kalkaji for over 5-6 years, atleast that's what I have been able to keep track of for sometime now -- They are one of the earlier restaurants in Kalkaji, serving Alcohol as well. In fact the ambience is just right for a "Resto Bar" -- They have off late ventured into the Buffet Offerings - which they Proudly promote as "Brunches" - Looking for a Brunch filling myself on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I set out to explore the eateries in Kalkaji --- Being a Foodie & a Marketer, an Interestingly done "Point of Sale material" - a banner announcing the Price , caught my attention & I decided to venture inside - wife & kid in toe

This one is a big 100 seat restaurant, with an dark ambient setting - Perfect for a Day time drinking session with friends or colleagues...We ordered for 2 Buffets -- The Buffet line up was reasonably well done & especially for the Price Tag - 599 /= - No reasons to complain - 3 starters in Veg & Non Veg Both & Soups

The Tandoori stuff in starters was what I enjoyed the most - especially Chicken Tikka & Paneer Tikka - The Chinese version of the starters was not that great - Both Chicken & Cheese Chilly ---- The Mutton Seekhs , were well balanced in spices --

In the Main Course, the spread was -
Indian :
2 Non Veg dishes : Butter Chicken & Mutton Shahi
Paneer Kadai, Dal Makhani, Aloo Gobhi,
Chinese : Noodles, Manchurian
Live Pasta counter

The world may keep raving about "Dal Bukhara" at ITC & their so called Legendary fan filled tales & continue fleecing us for a dish, that is at best average ....I feel, a Good Punjabi Chef, can cook the Dal Makhani, just as well ---- All you need is lots of love & great butter !!! The Dal Makhani at Khidmat
is just outstanding & is any day better than your "Dal Bukhara"

The Mutton Shahi - was simply scintillating & tantalising for the taste buds ----- Mutton was yummy, really soft & despite being immersed in the delicious gravy, I could clearly feel the taste of the Mutton dish --- that's what really sets mutton apart from Chicken --- Chicken is too bland - Mutton has its distinct flavour


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chicken Today

Chicken Today - is part of the Alcheimest group - The promoters of "Republic of Chicken" - They seem to have taken their Chicken Concept -( from offering, Frozen, pre packed & ready to eat Chicken) to the next level in form of the "Chicken QSR" & seem to have done a decent job .. strangely the manager didn't allow us to click pics of the store from inside - some strange understanding which people seem to be having these days

The Outlets are pretty nicely done -- spacious seating area ---- The outlet at New Friends Colony is located on 2 floors, with seating for about 35-40 people in the restaurant ------
The Highlights :
The Bengal Mustard Tangri & the Bengal Mustard Chicken Burger ---- These were the 2 best items of the evening for me --- Bengalis mustard burger, something really refreshing & different, tried in a really long long time The mustard flavour was subtle without being too overpowering or killing the other flavours...

The Bengal Mustard Tangri was also quite decent --- Pretty different from the usual coal char grilled flavours of the tandoori chicken -- this was quite a treat to the taste buds .......

Their Green Dip is something to die for - absolutely "lick a licious" sweet tangy cold & refreshing - The Chicken Ajwain roll was average - Their meal combos are pretty decent too ---- served with Roomali rotis & Dal Makhani ---quite decent

Are you in the mood for "Chicken Today"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Namche Bazaar


My Office is Located next to the Global Foyer building on the Golf Course road in Gurgaon -- Have heard a lot about the various plush eateries & pubs in the Global Foyer , Namche bazaar is one such Restaurant located here ... Being Touted as the Corporate Lunch destination - This place offers customised "eating solutions" - "Since this is Corporate, hence the Corporatised Jargons " - basically Lunch packages & value meals

The seating is a mix of A la Care - Table , Chair set as well as one of a set laid out low height sit down sofa sets -- Ambience is quite relaxing, especially if one walks in from a full on heat & Light blast - reasonably dim lights add to the relaxation -
The buffet spread is reasonable & not too lavish, which works just fine , as Lunch Buffet should be lighter than the standard Dinner Buffets ---

There is a spread of 3-4 Salads -- My personal favourite was the roasted Chicken Salad mixed with Pineapple -The Russian salad, another of my all time favourite -was quite nice

They also served Gol Gappas with 2 varieties of the spiced water, which we so lovingly relish & shamelessly cant stop asking for more at the roadside Gol gappe waala

Main Course
They had a very decent mix of the Main Course - with 3 Non Vegetarian & 3 Vegetarian dishes +1 Daal +1 Noodles -- My personal favourite was the "Oriental Fish Curry" --- soft, fresh, succulent & retaining the perfect flavour of fish

The Mutton gravy, was the Other dish worth trying in the menu -- Normally I hate restaurants, who try & put you off their mutton dish by cooking it in too much oil - so people try & avoid mutton dishes --- But this one was just the right taste -- not too oily, neither too greasy ---not too heavy on the palate

For The Dessert, they serve Shahi Tukdaa, & Ice creams

Price - I don't know, as I did not pay the bill -- and as they say " There are no Free Lunches" - This time I managed to have one

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bikers Cafe

Having heard & read tons of raving reviews about this cool & happening, through various mediums & forums, especially my latest association with the Zomato team, which have had huge reviews mentioned about this cool little joint located in Vasant Vihar, I decided it was time to have my first hand experience of this Outlet
Located in the tiny, almost derelict Vasant Vihar market, this outlet has a fantastic approach from the main road - The striking, almost inviting sign board (done on a wooden frame)a cool and nicely done, liittle patio just outside the restaurant- inviting you inside the waiting arms of the little café - add to it, Bikers, Harley davidons, Royal Enfileds, have a certain machismo built as a halo around them - so may be this outlet invites you to unleash the machismo within
Inside, the outlet is pretty neatly done, and pics of Legendary Bikers adventures, the next biking destinations & journeys - it immediately sets you off to a cool & casual setting - The staff, suits the mood & ambience of the café - relaxed & casual  - They also have interesting concept of renting out games on an hourly basis - Like Ludo, Scrabbles etc - to keep the chit chat & discussion going forward
The food is more of Continental & Italian - Understandably, the Breakfast options are what are the best sellers in the Café -- Their all time hit , is the Bun Maska & cutting chai - reminiscent of the Streets of Mumbai - We ordered for , what turned out to be the signature sandwich of the Café (Bikers Café Special sandwich) --- A triple decker sandwich loaded., with Chicken ham, shredded chicken, generous spread of ,Mayonaise , stuffed with Fried Eggs & served with Coleslaw & French fries -- Looking at the Portion, you will be convinced , that its good enough for a BBB-BIG BIKER BOYS
The Other breakfast dish we ordered was the Chilly Garlic Cheese toast - The Garlic flavour was subtle & not overpowering - with just the right amount of melted cheese -- we washed this down with Cups of Masala Chai & Cappucino
A heavy breakfast, which saw me through pretty late in the day -- a satisfying breakfast -- going there for more ... On my Car, if not the  Bike