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There are so many new eateries and bars opening these days, however only a few leave the mark. La Roca at Worldmark 1 Aerocity is one such new entrant that excites. Located at the lower ground floor, the name La Roca (Roca means rock) reads beautifully on a faux rock at the entrance. As you walk in one can’t help but notice the luxuriously done bar named Nectar, with interiors done in Mediterranean/Spanish style the place wears a warm and chic look typical to Mediterranean interiors.

The feel and vibe of La Roca makes you realise it would be an even lovelier place to visit during evening. Curious about graphic lasers we see around, we request and get a chance to see the visuals that create a magical environment. From florals to abstracts and aquatic designs the restaurant gets so dreamy and beautiful transporting one into a different mood altogether.

La Roca Delhi Laser Lights - YouTube

The restaurant operates more like a casual meeting point during the day and converts into a night life place by the evening. We are told the entire effects come into play around by 10:30 pm with Friday nights being the special dance evenings called Boca Chica Nights. With a seating capacity of around 80 covers the place has a good layout giving one a view of the restaurant in its entirety.

The restaurant offers a selection of global cuisine which covers Italian, Spanish, Japanese, European etc with the menu being primarily tapas. The bar at La Roca is one of its kind with no packaged juices or flavours and synthetic syrups used for making cocktails and offers some interesting home made infusions. This philosophy of using fresh ingredients is given by Chef Akshay Bhardwaj who is the corporate chef for the brand and is at the helm of affairs.

We start with Salmon carpaccio. Thinly sliced Norwegian salmon with Asian Thai nampla with chilli jam gives it a fantastic start. Beetroot carpaccio with goat cheese and candied walnuts with vinaigrette was another lovely eat that followed and had me wondering how even the simplest things with a slight tweak and twist can be made interesting.

Enoki nigiri was amongst one of the tastiest eat of the day. Sushi with pickled porcini was one dish I loved finishing till the last bite. Of late Prawn Hargao seems to have become a favourite of mine and the preparation at La Roca certainly doesn’t disappoint. With lotus flour and in house seasoning it is a must have. Pork gyoza which is braised belly with lotus flour and styled gyoza cracker is a dish with drama element. I would have liked a bit more crisp skin of the dumpling.

Moving towards the end of the meal Mushroom Rissoto which was a blend of three mushrooms with truffle drizzle was tasty right from the first bite. Though grated truffle will make this dish an even bigger hit.

Our meal ends with two of the best desserts possible , one primarily for its sheer beauty named coco and soil. With three different flavours of chocolate and edible gold dust the dessert is so painstakingly presented. Peanut butter and jam toast served with ice cream is our other dessert that is so nostalgic with flavours. We wiped off the platter clean on this one and came away having had a meal that started and ended real well.

Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.5  | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for Two: Rs 2300 (including alcohol)  | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes

Address: La Roca, 6 , Lower Ground Floor , Worldmark 1 , Near  Indira Gandhi International Airport, Aerocity New Delhi 110037 | Phone: 011-61495190

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind

The post La Roca, Aerocity, Delhi: Rock Solid appeared first on Indian Food Freak.

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When your children are grown up and understanding enough, the lucky mom gets a vacation even during the examination days. Hence l headed to a fairly new property located on the Forest Hill Road in Solan (Near Kasauli).

Reaching there: We had a smooth drive up till the foot hills as the whole route had by-passes to avoid the city traffic. We reached Chandigarh in hardly 3 hours and 30 min from Gurgaon. The journey to your destination in the hills is thrilling when you go through the narrow curvy road, which is only a 15 km drive but takes about 45-min.

The countryside road drive to Fortune Select Forest Hill Solan - YouTube

The feeling I got after reaching there can be best described as ‘Jungle mein mangal’. We were greeted by extremely hospitable staff members and guided to our room where we were further politely informed about various facilities.

About the property: It is a 49 room hotel which can be extended to 62 beds including the double room suits.

balcony video of our room at Fortune Select Forest Hill Solan - YouTube

The green lawns have hammocks to let us laze around in the sunlight with a serene view of mountain ranges. The infinity swimming pool that lies between the two blocks seems to be extending into eternity.

There is an activity room with a pool table and other interesting indoor games too. The hotel also arranges for trekking with an efficient guide. The scenery that one witnesses after the hardship is truly worth the walk. I was unaware of such beautiful scenic views in Mahiya near Kasauli at Solan and left in awe.

There is also a provision of bonfires in the evenings. We were further entertained by movie projections in the lawns while enjoying drinks and food beside the bonfire.

Enjoying bonfire and movie at Fortune Select Forest Hill Solan - YouTube

There is a well equipped gym for the active ones and a decent banquet hall for events and celebrations. While we missed the heated pool in the cold weather, I was informed that the hotel is soon coming up with a temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool. As holidays are for unwinding, the spa would be open for guests shortly.

Food: The restaurant offers multiple cuisines so that guests from all age groups and liking can be satisfied. We could enjoy local authentic dishes from Himachal Pradesh which we thoroughly relished. Even their Chinese preparations are good. And the best part is that they are fresh and made ala minute which may delay the service but taste is excellent. Various type of local madera made in yogurt, palda or khatta maas are a delight here. I felt the pricing of some dishes is expensive, especially roti. At 100 bucks a piece for small tawa roti, it was similarly priced for other naan-parantha. Hence order for parantha etc and not for roti

The staff was efficient and prompt in their service. We got a chance to spent some time with the General Manager as well. He was kind and approachable. We found a good friend in him.

This holiday offered us all that we were looking for. We came back relaxed and refreshed. The place has a soothing and positive feel to it. I would definitely want to go back soon to make some more beautiful memories in those picturesque surroundings!

– Aradhna Soni

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Delhi as a city is rich in history not only due to the monuments and forts from the Mughal rule but hotels like Imperial and Claridges which belong to another era altogether. Claridges made an entry into the Indian Hospitality industry in the year 1952 making it one of the oldest hotels in Delhi. Located at Aurangzeb Road the hotels prime location sets it as a premium hotel with a good green area, sophistication, elegance and class written all over thus making it one of the classiest hotels too of the capital. The facade is architecturally reminiscent of British times. Not only is Claridges a major attraction for the locals but also for tourists who simply seem to love the property.

The upscale Claridges has to it’s credit the very popular Dhaba restaurant. Besides this the other dining options are the extremely romantic Sevilla and Jade the fine dining Chinese restaurant. Jade with interiors in true oriental style and a little open area on the side with a small garden allowing natural light to come in wears an extremely warm look. One look at the menu and the pricing looks pleasantly surprising for a 5 star hotel. It is comparable to any decent standalone restaurant in the city.

Since it was lunch time, we opted for the Chef tasting menu. This 6-course meal keeps teasing you for more and more. Ofcourse when the Chef is none another than Vivek Rana who has learnt the art at Indian Accent and displayed it aptly at Triple 8 earlier, one knows they are in good hands.

Any Chinese meal is great started with soup and we begin with Mince corn soup with lemon grass and basil. The highlight in this soup is the fried rice crispy served along. These are like Papad made with dehydration dal chawal and the Chef has done a tremendous job with adding this interesting element.

Wild mushroom and water chestnut dimsum with fresh truffle follow the soup. Oooh…the dumplings are an absolutely delight with burst of flavours in the mouth. We definitely wanted more of it but knew that we will get full before we end the meal hence restrained.

Caramel pepper prawns with szechwan pepper and golden garlic is delicious with freshness of the prawns speaking for themself.

In between Chef served us a piece of dehydrated lotus stem chips with sweet chilly and his own mix. It wasn’t part of the menu but am sure chef served it to change our taste buds from spicy prawns before we moved to our main course. Playing with the palate is an art that Chef Rana seems to be an expert at.

The flaky sliced seabass in red chilli broth is our main course but greedy us also ordered for crab curry separately. Best part about these imported crab claw stick is that they are very easy to eat and you only have crab meat and no shell. The sweetness of crab served with mantao bun is a must try for crab lovers who fear not eating it in a fine dine restaurant to not make it messy.

We ended the meal with delicious coconut jaggery ice cream. I don’t go gaga over most meals, but even though this was my maiden visit to Jade, this institution will see me again and often.

Ratings (Out of 5):
Food: 5.0 | Drinks: Did not try | Service: 4.5  | Ambience: 4.0 | Overall: 4.5

Address: Jade, Hotel Claridges, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi

The post Jade, Clariges, New Delhi: Oriental Delight appeared first on Indian Food Freak.

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Aerocity can easily be termed the Hotels city and it is the one stop destination for travellers, given its close proximity to the international airport . Once a hotel hub it is now also becoming a hub for stand alone restaurants. A visit here is convenient to people travelling from both Gurgaon and Delhi and even if one has to drive through traffic all seems worth it with the liveliness around. With coming of the Worldmark buildings that houses corporates, various restaurants, outlets for shoppers etc there is an added buzz to the locality. A visit to ‘Reve’ meaning dream in French is what brings me to Worldmark 1 today and I realise this is also the only building there with a food court. Reve is a French cuisine restaurant with modern touches added to a few dishes.

Located at the lower ground of the building Reve looks dreamy, true to it’s name. The interiors wear an authentic non fussy look and one instantly feels that French Connect. High ceiling, rustic walls, wooden columns, glass frames, glass pendant lights giving a chic look which is typical to French setting. With seating capacity of approximately 40 people the restaurant wears a warm and cosy look with music that is apt to the ambience.

Bon appetit ! The meal begins on an excellent note with a Canape platter consisting of heirloom tomato and boursin, brie and caramelized pear, smoked chicken, caramelized onion and goat cheese, liver parfait and fig jam, fig and onion jam. The small baguette slices are toasted well with the tasty toppings, each one appealing to the taste buds. Me and my friend thoroughly relished this platter. Roasted cauliflower soup follows next. Cauliflower has been roasted in the oven and combined with candied walnuts and blue cheese crumble. All the ingredients gel well here with flavours complimenting each other.

Chicken cordon bleu bites are presented in their modernised version. These smoked ham, gruyere (a tangy cheese), dijon mustard bites have an excellent crispy layer which has a double coating of flour, egg and bread. Salad nicoise which originated in the French city of Nice is a salad that appeals to most palates with tuna, beans, nicoise olives, potato, soft boiled egg, red onion and cherry tomato as the ingredients.

Mushroom pissaldiere is the restaurant’s take on pizza to cater to the Indian palate. French flat bread with tossed mushrooms, artichokes, gruyere, onion topped with truffle olive serves as a lovely eat that would be quite relished by children too. Mille feuille (layers of flaky filo pastry) is typically a dessert. But Reve serves it as a savoury dish with roasted pumpkin, goat cheese, pumpkin puree and Walnut. It is probably the only dish I would not order again on a next visit even though i like the flavours as it was very cumbersome to eat.

Le Dessert: The end of the meal was as good as the beginning of it. Vanilla custard profiteroles with kiwi and sweet lime gave a couldn’t get better close to the meal experience. ‘Reve’ is a must visit and I for one am certainly going back there again very soon.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for Two: Rs 1500 | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Awaiting License

Address: R- 2 , Worldmark 1, Lower ground floor, Aerocity, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi 110037 | Phone: 011-40396708

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind

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Sly Granny is the latest entrant in the Delhi food scene. Like its Bangalore counterpart the restaurant at Khan market has created quite a buzz among Delhites as it’s always full, at least during lunch hours.

Once you enter the restaurant, the first thing that you notice are the bright and cheerful posters on the wall. The decor poses a wonderful combination of classic yet colourful interior.

Coming to food, this was my third visit to the restaurant. The earlier two visits were mixed with a few hits and misses, so this time, we vested our trust on our steward’s suggestions, and we weren’t disappointed.

For starters we were served Deconstructed Cheese Toast, Calamari Fritto, Salmon Gravalax, Pork Ribs and Moroccon Chicken Flatbread. All the dishes served were excellent. The Calamari was not chewy and had the perfect texture.

The deconstructed cheese toast looked as good as it tasted. The flavour of the salmon gravalax was so fresh and the mustard and dill sauce complimented it well.

The Moroccon Chicken Flatbread had a perfect crunchy base and the roasted shallots lent a beautiful sweet aftertaste.

The Pork Ribs were perfectly succulent and tender. However, the sauce accompanying the pork ribs lacked in flavour completely. It tasted more like a tomato ketchup. And the feedback was immediately conveyed to the restaurant manager.

By this time we were quite full and satisfied yet we wanted to try out the mains. So again as per the suggestions from the staff we went for Black Pepper Salmon, Roast Chicken and Saffron Couscous. The Black Pepper Salmon is a must try. The fish was perfectly cooked and not overly seasoned, therefore, retaining it’s flavour completely. And it was perfect with the dill sour cream and potato and bean salad alongside.

The Roast Chicken was good, but the Saffron Couscous stood out for me. This is again a must try. I have never enjoyed a vegetarian dish so much. Personally it was the best dish of the day at Sly Granny. What a beautiful blend of flavours and texture. As I write this I am so craving for this dish.

Even though we were too full for anything more, we couldn’t have left the place without a sweet ending so upon his suggestion we were served a decadent Chocolate Lava Cake, how can you ever go wrong with that?

Overall, my third visit to Sly Granny was totally phenomenal both in terms of food and service. But I would suggest for you to make a prior reservation. And for me, I can’t wait to visit soon for the dessert which a friend recommended so highly.

– By Sharmistha Mukherjee Cheema

The post Sly Granny, Khan Market, New Delhi appeared first on Indian Food Freak.

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Pikkle methinks…tickles me pink

( how great food brings out the bad poet in me!)

It was slightly more than two years ago when I landed up in Lantern Kitchen & Bar which I had never heard of before and was simply blown away by the awesome food there – truly a hidden paradise run by two brothers Suneet and Jasneet Sahni as I had eulogised (https://www.indianfoodfreak.com/2016/05/02/lantern-kitchen-and-bar-delhi/). Therefore, when I received an invite to their soon to be launched PIKKLE restaurant, I was more than glad to accept!

When my friend and I reached the busy Pusa road and were wondering where to park the car, we were told by the Pikkle staff that they have valet parking. The covered porch on the approach to the restaurant, which is on the first floor, is through a beautiful green canopy of creepers growing on the ceiling. The staff received us and escorted us to the lift leading to the restaurant. On entering the restaurant, we see this larger than life Panda welcoming us with open arms which looked more like Shahrukh Khan’s signature step with open arms. I suspect this will become a selfie spot and a hangout place for kids visiting with family.

The name Pikkle was chosen for this pan Asian cum modern Indian restaurant as pickles form the soul of all the food made there. Pickles made in-house are being used extensively in almost all their dishes – Asian as well as Indian. They are making around 10-12 in-house pickles which are not only being canned but also sealed in tubes there itself. The best part is that some of their pickles are also being retailed there.

The décor of the place is both chic and quirky. The interiors are done up in vibrant green colour which symbolizes growth, harmony and freshness and are very pleasing to the eye. There are two huge trees of life (symbols of a fresh start in life, positive energy, good health and a bright future) on either end of the huge 250 seater restaurant. The lighting is so done on the tree that it appears that it is throbbing like a heart. The seating is plush with velvet used extensively, hence very comfortable. The place is huge and spacious with small individual seating areas. While a bar adorns one breadth of the restaurant, there is also a DJ console, a live entertainment stage with a curtain, a live sushi bar and some limited outside seating (also the smoking area).

I had gone there with high expectations (being a fan of their food in Lantern) and they not only met them but exceeded them. Now I’m going to try and take you through my memorable lunch which may make it difficult for someone to decide as to which cuisine (Asian or Indian) Pikkle is doing better.

Amuse bouche was a trio of in house jams which came canned in mini jars. They were black garlic jam, cucumber jam and pumpkin jam served with fresh lavaash. It was difficult to get enough of the jams though my favourite was black garlic jam made from actual black garlic (an expensive ingredient not easily available off the shelf). My palate was given a peep into the treat it was going to further receive.

Pikkle Signature Salad – raw mango, carrots, kiwi, lettuce, cucumber, pickled vegetables, truffle cream, sesame, nuts and babuar are all dressed beautifully in a plum pickle. A vegetarian salad with crunch, tartness and sweetness from the plum jam was all one could ask for in a salad.

Mame Nori Roll – this sushi is for all those vegetarians who have a misconception about Nori sheets (they are actually edible seaweed and very vegetarian). Pikkle at  is using soya sheets especially imported from Japan, black rice from north-east India, Philladelphia cheese, steamed asparagus, tanuki crisp, tempura flakes, basil mayo and plum sauce to put together this very healthy sushi that packs a flavour bomb. There are contrasting textures – cheese, mayo and plum sauce all at play together to make it awesome.

Combination Sushi – while tuna fish came rolled with white rice, crabstick, mayo and bonito, salmon came wrapped with black rice, crabstick and mayo. Both of them were equally enjoyable California sushis with a welcome addition of salmon and tuna.

Smoked Corn Soup – this is an innovative take on the sweet corn soup and takes it to another level at Pikkle. Sriracha chili paste is brushed on the inside of the soup bowl, smoked corn and fresh popcorn served in the bowl and the creamy, sweet corn soup poured from top into the bowl. The sweetness of the corn, the hit from the sriracha, the smokiness from the smoked corn and the popcorn all take this comfort soup to a gourmet level.

Truffle Cream Edamame Dumpling – Edamame are young soya in a pod which are had boiled or steamed and have a nice bite to them. In these dumplings their paste is used which texturally did nothing for my taste buds.

Prawn Suimui – these green coloured crystal dumplings looked so pretty. They were so transparent that I could see the juice from the prawn filling it. On entering the mouth, they just exploded filling the mouth with the juices from the prawn. Definitely one of the best that I’ve had at Pikkle

Chicken Chili Oil Dumpling – the transparent covering could again not hide the juices from the chicken trapped inside the dim sum just waiting to be released in the mouth. It came embedded on coarsely ground chili oil. Another dumpling you could make a meal out of.

Homemade Papad Sampler – this dish is on the menu for all those people who love to nibble on papad with their drinks. They have – hold your horses ! – made Thai red curry, yellow curry, green curry and chili flake and garlic flavoured in-house papads. Then they have made two accompanying wasabi malai and tomato pickle cream, put in tubes and sealed them. I could easily have had these all through the meal.

Sous Vide Salmon Tikka with Smoked Yoghurt – another surprise here was that they are also making their own prawn crackers served as a textural contrast with the salmon tikka. What an absolute celebration of salmon this was. Melt in the mouth salmon enveloped by their pickle marinade and complimented so very beautifully with the smoked yoghurt. The gentle flavour of the salmon was still shining through. Full marks to the team for thinking out of the box.

Safed Haleem with Sago Fritters – the first flavour you get is of ghee, then the rich dalia and mutton haleem and those aromatic whole spices used in the preparation. Then this creamy delight is sitting on top of a crisp sago fritter and activated charcoal tulie. Totally heavenly indulgence if you ask me. Who would have thought of serving a main course meal as a starter.

Dum ki Pasliyan – mutton ribs are cooked on dum with whole spices and all its juices collected and finished with some grainy mustard and their jam. This jus was simply a class apart. I told them to start bottling the jus and I’d be their first customer. The meat could easily be fingered off the bone and was full of flavour but I was simply drinking the jus along. A not to be missed dish.

Achari Pork Ribs – they are doing pork in two different ways – Asian and Indian. They more than excelled on their Indian take on the pork. Achari masala is used to marinate these chunky ribs and it’s a riot of familiar flavours in your mouth along with the goodness of pork. I simply loved it and have to go back to try the Asian version of the pork belly.

Udon Vegetable Noodles and Thai Veg Red Curry – both these dishes were so beautifully executed. Hardly anyone can get them right. The Udon noodles were tossed just like the Pad Thai noodles and packed all the right balance of spicy, sweet and sour flavours. The red Thai curry was again so good but just a tad bit sweet for me. I loved them so much that only later I realized that both were vegetarian dishes.

Modern Egg Curry – at first look, I was so mesmerized with the delicate cylinders and could not guess what the dish was. Sous vide egg white cylindrical rolls and egg yellow done separately while the curry sauce is poured from a small jar on the..

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From the beginning of time, humans have captured in frame everything that they want to leave behind as evidence or memories. Over time cameras have changed forms, shapes and sizes but man’s need to capture memories hasn’t.

I often travel to exotic locales with my family and the best part is capturing the amazing memories made. I came across the Canon EOS 200D, its compact and sleek design is ideal to carry with you during vacations. For me, memories make up the vacation and not the location per se, as you can leave the location but you can never leave the memories behind.

When I see my daughter and wife being happy and enjoying themselves, I want to capture the moment and save it in my memory (not just the memory card!) and Canon EOS 200D helps me do exactly that, effortlessly.  The camera exemplifies the successful fusion of stylish form and superb functions in one.

Even though it’s a lightweight DSLR, it doesn’t disappoint on the image quality front. The image quality is superb, providing better image quality than a point and shoot cameras or phones. It is definitely a hit amongst those who want all the features of a DSLR but don’t want to carry all the cumbersome equipment.

The Canon EOS 200D had received a sensor upgrade and now comes with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with Digic 7 processor. It has helped in maximizing ISO from 25600 to 51200. Even with 9 focusing points the focusing is quite fast, even in live view. With a 3 inch full touch screen along with Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth its super easy to get great shots and share them with everyone.

Another helpful element solving an issue most people face, the new battery effectively increases the number of photographs that can be taken to 650 and the video mode lets you capture seamlessly with a stereo microphone and 60fps shooting at 1080p. It can shoot time lapse videos like a pro or you can also use a wired/wireless remote or you’re your smartphone.

No vacation is ever over without that perfect selfie and while most smartphones are equipped to perform, Canon stepped it up with the 200D and provided a selfie mode to make sure your vacation selfie is the best! This camera is perfect for smartphone users as well as aspiring photography enthusiasts, catering to a wide array of users.

All in all, it’s a great camera which provides functionality and sleek style in one which helps you make great things, effortlessly!

PS: All these pictures are from my recent trip to beautiful Mauritius.

The post Canon EOS 200D: Picture Perfect appeared first on Indian Food Freak.

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It was indeed a nostalgic trip down memory lane for me to be a part of The Great Kebab Factory’s 20 year Celebrations, as I was there for their launch party some 20 years ago too.

It has been a long successful story for them which, I’m sure, is thanks to them consistently dishing out good food. I still vividly remember that it was an unheard of concept of buffets being served on the table with unlimited helpings when it had just started. So one could rightly say that they were a trend setter as far as buffet served on the table is concerned though today one sees a lot of restaurants doing the same.

I went there for dinner on a Sunday evening and out of 102 covers around 90 were taken. The ever smiling staff was churning out the kebabs and food at their same breakneck speed keeping everyone happy. Apart from the non-veg kebabs I tasted the vegetarian kebabs and must confess they were unexpectedly good.

I started my evening with a well-tempered tomato shorba paired with bakarkhani naan and moved on to ulte tawa ka paratha with a mildly flavoured mutton galauti, tandoori jheenga, tandoori chicken tangri, shammi kebabs stuffed with green chilies and cheese, murg malai tikka, and last but not the least, achaari, robust, flaky fish tikka. I just about managed to taste the bhatti ka paneer (an unexpectedly delicious yam/jimikand galauti), a lovely mélange of vegetables in the subz kaju shammi, heavenly meva and mawaki seekh, and yummy bharwan aloo with choonka hua matar.

These were followed by maa ki dal, yellow dal, butter chicken (which could have been better), rara mutton, mix veg, paneer and chicken biryani. I tried beetroot halwa for the first time and it was awesome. To be able to digest all this you get a choice of paan too.

The celebrations are on for the whole month of August and the offer is valid at all TGKF outlets at Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, Radisson Blu Marina Connaught Place, MGF Mall Saket, Sector 18 Noida, Radisson Noida and Park Plaza Gurgaon ……..though the prices may vary in each outlet.

Priced at 1650/- and 1950/- for veg and non-veg and a 20% off for the birthday month August…it’s a great place to head to.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 3.5 | Drinks: 4.0 | Service: 4.5 | Ambience: 4.0 | Overall: 4

Timings: 12 noon to 3 pm (Lunch) & 7 pm -11.30 pm (Dinner) | Meal for two without alcohol: ~2400/++ | Alcohol: Yes | Disabled friendly: Yes

Address: Lobby level, Radisson Blu Plaza, National Highway 8, New Delhi, Delhi 110037

The post The Great Kebab Factory Turns Twenty appeared first on Indian Food Freak.

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Over the last 3 decades that I have been flying, I strongly felt that there is no airline worse than Air India in terms of service. However my recent trip to Mauritius made me realise I was so wrong, Air India is still better. The reason for my changed preference is not because Air India has suddenly improved. It is because I flew Air Mauritius, another government run airline who it seems is least bothered about it’s passengers, their requirements and making it a comfortable journey for them.

I was flying to one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world and on the bucket list of many. Am I glad my experience of the place momentarily made me forget my experience of the flight. When travelling to a place the journey itself is such a crucial factor, sad that the flight disappoints on so many fronts.

Unfortunately Air Mauritius is the only direct link between India and Mauritius while other flights take much longer and atleast twice the time of a direct link. Needless to say the flight is mostly booked. Interestingly it has code share with Air India but still it does not give air miles to its passengers. Is that understandable?

Please note Air Mauritius allows only 1 bag with upto 25kg weight. If you carry two bags within the weight limit, you will have to take 1 bag as a hand baggage. My only request while check in was to give me any aisle or window seat except the wings. Since I had reached the airport well in advance (4 hours), I was pretty sure this would be easily accommodated. But no, I was told they will change it at the boarding gate but to my utter disappointment that never got addressed.

I was looking forward to enjoying a movie and specially bought my personal ear plugs since the ones provided by most airlines don’t offer good sound. Unfortunately the entertainment system conked off even before it could start. After making 2-3 attempts, the Air Mauritius crew gave up and all passengers had no choice but to live through that over the 7 hour flight without getting any entertainment.

Well at this time only booze could help relax me but the staff told me that they will serve me post they serve the meal. Seriously? I felt like a kid where my parents are advising me to first drink the milk and then they will let me play.

I quietly ate my meal but the drinks never came. Why are crew at Air Mauritius saving the alcohol? The airline got its full money but I was denied alcohol and entertainment which is already built in the ticket cost.

Lesser said about the food of Air Mauritius the better. I was fortunate to get a good breakfast with some potatoes and veggies (no sausages too) while one of my friend who travels on this sector often with Air Mauritius complains that he is mostly  served cold breakfast. However the paneer tikka roll was dry (reheated without cover) and was extremely spicy (even for someone who enjoys spicy food) with hardly any paneer. Please note we had to digest it without any alcohol.

My return experience was even worse. They simply turned a deaf ear to my request for a window or aisle seat. I asked for the fragile tag on my bag, but I was told that the stickers are out of supply. Seriously guys I thought you are running an airline and not fooling around. I was told that my hand baggage was 8.5 kg instead of 7 kg. Fair point. I wanted to keep my 2.5 kg jeans in the check in bag that was well below the weight limit. But madamji in a tearing hurry had already sent the bag on the conveyor list and it could not be recalled. She was quick to add keep the jeans in your hand and not in the hand baggage as they will check the hand baggage weight again. I have had bad experiences with many airlines but so many bad ones in one journey, never.

I boarded the flight and look at the size of the entertainment system. It is smaller than my Plus size phone screen. Not to worry, I  adjusted as I was adjusting to the air-conditioning which was already making me sweat.

Flight has taken off. I am dreading the meal and won’t even dare to ask for alcohol. Who knows this time I may get a lecture on the ill effects of alcohol.

The post Air Mauritius: Flying Miles without Smiles appeared first on Indian Food Freak.

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‘You Mee’ the sound of the name itself reminds me of Oriental countries due to the additional E in the Mee though at first thought I wouldn’t have imagined it being the name of a restaurant. However it is so, a restaurant offering pan Asian cuisine with mix of Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine at the food hub of Greater Kailash II i.e at the M Block Market. Once I know what cuisine it is I realise I was thinking on the right track. The restaurant is an all day dining place with a casual relaxed ambience.

Located at the ground level You Mee has a fresh and lively look with walls painted with ‘Manga’ a japanese word referring to comics and cartoons. It is Japan’s unique style of depicting cartoon characters which makes the place look cute, very youth friendly and lively with a nice neat look combined with wood.

We are seated to begin the true Japanese experience of Sushi, Sashimi, Dimsum and Ramen which is an integral part of Japanese cuisine . One look at the Menu and the variety they offer in Sushi certainly impresses. We choose Super Philli Cheese Roll which has smoke salmon and creamy Philadelphia cheese and Tuna tataki consisting of crisp onion flakes, charred tuna, avocado and cheese. While we found the former absolutely delicious and is on our recommended list the latter was a bit spicy since it was high on Sriracha sauce. Considering it is Sushi one normally expects it to be mild. The restaurant offers Sushi with a choice of white or brown rice though white rice certainly remains the preferred one.

I ordered Asian Swirls one of their signature mocktail with orange chunks, kaffir lime with a hint of Japanese citrus and my friend ordered a coconut frappe to quench our thirst as it is a hot and humid day. Asian Swirls was such a refreshing drink. Citrus drinks usually give a freshness and especially so in this case where it was a well put together mocktail. I was happy to see the eco friendly straws in use.

From the choices in Nagiri and Sashimi our picks were Sake Toro with charred salmon belly and Hamachi yellow tail Sashimi. Thoroughly enjoyed both especially Hamachi yellow tail. Their meats are fresh, the flavours of the accompaniments  just right, the presentations lovely which made the entire meal journey tempting and enjoyable.

Dimsum are next on our food experience here  we make a choice of one and go for another one on recommendation. Prawn in hot yellow curry with Thai herbs was what we chose and was a delight to eat right from the coating to the filling and sauce. The yellow curry was delicious and irresistible to dip into now and then. The chicken and water chestnut dumpling was the next one we ate but did not take a liking to much. Somehow neither the filling combination nor the flavour did much for the taste buds so if you’re a Dimsum fan this one can be avoided.

Am finally onto the highlight of the meal and while I write this my mouth is watering. We tried  You Mee Signature Ramen which had grilled chicken, prawns and calamari in miso ginger broth along with seasonal greens, bamboo shoots, wakame and egg. I had few bad experience trying Ramen at few other restaurants recently and I was much relieved to find a place doing good ramen. This dish would be enough for a person full meal in itself. Before we get to the dessert the last dish on our food is overnight braised pork ribs Japanese glaze. These mirin ,soy, sake glazed pork ribs with sancho pepper and micro greens leave you wanting for more. Made to perfection every time you bite into it you can’t help but appreciate it again and again. Both these dishes are a must must have.

In no mood for dessert we opted for hot chocolate which was blended well with Vanilla ice cream topped with a marshmallow. Every sip of it was simply divine except for the sweetness which could have been slightly less but then I think it is subjective to personal taste.  Am I glad we chose to have Hot chocolate instead of a dessert. It is a must try at You Mee, though would be relished even more in winters.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 3.5  | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for Two: Rs 2000   | Wheel Chair Friendly: No | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Awaiting license
Address: You Mee, M 27, Ground Floor Greater Kailash 2, New Delhi 110048 | Phone: 011- 33105700

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind

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