Sharmi on the Trot

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Review: Teacupsfull – All For The Love Of Tea

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Different teas from Teacups Full

My earliest memories of tea have all to do with those old Victorian china cups on dainty saucers. As adults sipped their morning and evening teas, I’d be enamoured by the fresh smell. When I’d ask for a taste, I’d be repeatedly told it’s a drink for ‘grown ups’ and a glass of hot milk would be thrust towards me. But as a bonus, I’d get a Marie biscuit (found in all Bengali households) and I’d be overjoyed, forgetting all about the tea I’d actually wanted. I would happily dunk the biscuit into my hot milk and would watch for that precarious moment when it softened enough to be able to melt in the mouth, but not too much as otherwise it would fall into the depths of what I imagined was a gigantic glass.

As a child growing up with a father in the tea business, I’d remember the visits when the pater would come back from the gardens with different types of leaves to be consumed over the next few months. First Flush, Second Flush, Orthodox, CTC – the terms would be as alien to me as physics still is.

As I grew up, drinking tea in the morning became a routine. A hot mug of tea (the dainty cups can only hold so much) and I’d be all set for the day. But the older I’ve gotten, I’ve come to understand or appreciate the taste of tea that’s brewed well. Today the tea cupboard overflows with containers that store different leaves and for me to be able to function, I need a giant mug in the morning. The type of leaves that I brew depends on the mood.

As a food blogger and reviewer, I’m happiest when I get to try out products which are close to my heart. And when the product is absolutely on point, you feel so good that you want to be able to express your overflowing emotions. I recently got the chance to review Teacupsfull and just absolutely loved the product. As a tea lover or a novice who wishes to be introduced to tea, I’d definitely recommend buying from Teacupsfull.

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Seven teas to taste from Teacups Full along with an instruction card

Teacupsfull is a family-run venture, a family who has tea running in their veins. They bring to the market loose leaf tea. The best quality tea is sourced from gardens in Bengal, Assam and Sikkim and packaged with care for consumers. They have a great variety and you can choose what tickles your fancy. Green, black, white, organically flavoured, CTCs for the people who can’t do without their masala chais, Teacupsfull has them all. And best of all, their teas are accompanied by cards which are very informative about the brewing process, the time needed and of course additions which should or should not be used.

For a novice tea drinker, do invest in a good tea pot. Theres’s nothing more inviting than a freshly brewed pot of tea with little cookies (A very Bengali tea-time thing!).

I tasted a wide range of teas from Teacupsfull and was delighted with them all. The leaves are superior in quality and when brewed, smell fantastic. The tasting is the next part. Just keep in mind the brewing time because otherwise the bitterness leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

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White tea in a white cup, but of course!

The Moonlight White Tea (above) is exquisite in taste. The golden colour warms your heart and the slight sweetness uplifts your mood. I’d suggest having it without milk or tea because otherwise the additional sweetness will overpower the delicate taste.

The Organic Sikkim Black Orthodox has a rounded woody flavour. From the Bermiok estate, the leaves have a very distinct taste and it’s best enjoyed when brewed about 4 minutes. I prefer my teas without milk but do add if you like your tea that way.

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The leaves from Bermiok in Sikkim have a distinct flavour

The High Elevation Darjeeling Black is a prized first flush. The colour isn’t black unlike what the name suggests and the taste is slightly floral. Do not add milk to this tea! You’ll ruin the taste completely!

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The prized first flush

The Assam Gold Orthodox is your typical breakfast tea. The one you’re used to consuming in the morning for years. I prefer not to brew it too strong, though you can. Brewing the leaves for about 3 minutes makes it strong enough for me, though the father would strongly disagree!

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Your typical breakfast tea, strong and flavoursome

The Cinnamon Green is blended with green tea leaves and cinnamon. The pale yellow colour and strong smell of cinnamon makes this a very healthy option because of rich anti-oxidants.

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Just what’s needed when reading The Little Prince for the umpteenth time.

The Darjeeling Green Pearl is organic in every way possible. The light colour is soothing as is the floral flavour but what I love about the pearls is the unfurling! Yes, very childish I know! Do not have milk with this tea, maybe just a bit of honey and steep the pearls for about four minutes.

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The pearls unfurling is the best part.

For all masala chai lovers, fret not. Teacupsfull have their own blend of Assam CTC with aromatic spices. Add milk to your hearts content and savour the taste every morning. The flavour is strong with the spices but on a rainy day when you decide to bunk work on a whim, it’s best accompanied with homemade pakodas!

Check out more products from Teacupsfull here
Pocket pinch: Depends on the type of tea you wish to purchase
Product rating: 5/5

Review: Gio Gluten Free – Harvest Gold

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The Gio Gluten Free range from Harvest Gold

When Novak Djokovic began his gluten free diet it helped his game and as a result, catapulted him to the top of the world rankings. Personally, it was then that I actually began to think of gluten-free as an option in eating habits.
What exactly is gluten? It’s a natural protein found in various grains like wheat, rye and barley. For people who are allergic to gluten, life can get tough. Harvest Gold has brought out a new range called Gio Gluten Free to cater to such customers who can indulge in different types of breads without having to worry about getting an allergic reaction.
I recently tried out four of Gio Gluten Free products – Regular Bread, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Sweet Buns and the Masala Roti.
Personally, I love gluten because the taste the protein gives to bread is delicious. The texture stays moist and chewy. But for a person suffering from gluten allergies, the Gio Gluten Free range is really great. It’s also dairy free so one can indulge to one’s hearts content.
The Regular Bread is more crumbly than chewy but hey, that’s science. Toasted and with some butter spread on top, the Regular Bread goes great with eggs during breakfast. I had it along with Shakshuka (try this delicious recipe) and the bread really complimented the taste of the eggs.
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Toasted Regular Bread with butter, to be devoured with Shakshuka and juice

The Sweet Buns are tasty and with some butter (you can never have enough butter), goes well for a snack. Again, do remember it has no gluten so it will taste different than a regular sweet bun.
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Just a dab of butter to compliment the sweetness in the buns

The Masala Roti needs to be heated and once it fluffs up, have it while it’s hot with vegetables or meat for an Indian meal. It can also work well for wraps because of the gluten-free texture.
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A hearty lunch of Roti, veggies and cucumber

I don’t have a sweet tooth per say but when I do eat sweeter breads, I have a pet peeve of making it even more sweet. The Cinnamon Raisin Bread has a wonderful flavour because the combination works really well. The hint of cinnamon and the sweet raisin compliment each other and one can just eat it on it’s own as a snack. Me, I like to put jam on them. I tried one with strawberry jam and the other slice with homemade marmalade. Really really good, finger licking good!
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Just a bit of jam on the Cinnamon Raisin bread

Over all, the gluten free range is well worth it for those who need it. Though the products are slightly priced on the higher side, it’s worth the money.
Check out their website here
Product rating: 3.5/5

Review: Dr Oetker FunFoods

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The whole lunch spread

Dr Oetker Funfoods products have established themselves firmly in Indian households. Their mayonnaise bottles can be found in almost every fridge across the country while their various sauces and dressings are must-haves when cooking up a storm. I personally have used plenty of Dr Oetker FunFoods products for creating dishes in half the time needed. Just slather on some pizza spread with some vegetables and cheese on the base, and voila – your weekday Italian feast is ready in a jiffy! Or their pesto sauce which I often use for extra flavour over grilled vegetables during a working day meal.
I recently had the opportunity to review three of Dr Oetker FunFoods products – the Mayonnaise Tandoori, the Chocolate Milk Shake Mix and the Lite 1000 Island Salad Dressing.
With the soaring summer temperatures hitting the country, these three products immediately brought to mind a light lunch. What better than grilled cheese, a healthy salad and chocolate milkshake right?
I first spread some Tandoori Mayonnaise on brown bread, added cheese and a bit of seasoning, and then grilled it in a sandwich toaster. For the salad I roughly chopped up some lettuce, cucumber, tomato and gherkins. Tossed in some Lite 1000 Island Salad Dressing and we were ready to go. Lastly, mixing two tablespoons of the shake mix into a glass of cold milk and adding some ice, just a quick blend and the shake was ready.
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Grilled cheese with Tandoori Mayonnaise

I found the Tandoori Mayonnaise to be slightly overpowering. It worked in the grilled cheese sandwich but it’s better suited to more Indian recipes. Maybe a tandoori chicken wrap or as a dip with grilled vegetables and meat. It could even work with grilled paneer (cottage cheese).
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Light crunchy salad for the healthy days!

The salad dressing worked rather well with the simple salad. It’s light, fresh and very tasty. Just a small amount is enough for a big bowl of freshly cut salads. I feel this dressing will even go well with egg salads or a cold salad.
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The products reviewed

Lastly, the chocolate shake. It had a well rounded flavour and was chocolatey. There was however, a bit of an artificial aftertaste. To make it more decadent, I feel the addition of whipped cream and ice cream will work fine. Maybe even chocolate shavings to add to the cheat shake!
Overall, I was pretty pleased with the products. Dr Oetker FunFoods products definitely make your food fun!
Product rating: 4/5
Check out their website here

Review: Twigly – Fresh Global Flavours

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The meal delivered from Twigly

Recently at office a colleague ordered for lunch and when the food arrived, it smelled heavenly. We were all sniffing at her food all the way from our desk much to her annoyance! That’s when I first heard about Twigly.

Twigly is a recent food delivery start up in the NCR region. Based in Gurgaon and South Delhi, they have a limited menu which changes everyday and while everything is locally sourced and freshly made, their delivery presentation gets top marks. The packaging is neat and clean, minimal which is what I like. I love my food and really appreciate the fact the need to keep a menu small so that what they serve and deliver is of the best quality.

When I got the opportunity to review Twigly, of course I jumped at it. After placing my order, I got a prompt message regarding the order details and the expected delivery time. And much to my delight, the food arrived hot and fresh within the time frame. Also a message on the bill welcoming me to the Twigly family is what sets this delivery service apart from the crowd. They are personalised and believe in serving good, delicious food to their customers.

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Pairing my meal to a book cover colour!

Twigly does good sandwiches I’d heard so first up was Piri Piri Chicken Sandwich with multigrain bread. The bread was fresh which is so necessary in a good sandwich, while the chicken filling had a tinge of spice. Over all, a good sandwich which I’d love to eat again.

The Chicken Alfredo Pasta was creamy with succulent pieces of chicken and vegetables like broccoli and carrots for the health conscious customers. The portion was size was more than enough for one person and they serve it with a golden crisp side of garlic bread.

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Pasta, fresh and delicious

They have a Hummus, Pita and Falafel platter. It’s good enough for two really because of the portion size and makes for a great starter.

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For the love of hummus!

Lastly, there was a Blueberry Brainfreezer milkshake. Personally, I found it a bit too sweet for my liking but my roommate loved it! What can I say, I’m jealous of people with a sweet tooth!

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My complete meal! 

Twigly is a very reasonably priced food delivery startup and honestly, I would definitely recommend them for your next meal!

Check out Twigly here and see their complete menu here

Review: Cafe Yell

My first impression of Cafe Yell at Defence Colony Market was adorable. As you walk inside the cafe, the theme reminds you of clothes and tailors. After all, the cafe is a venture of the clothing brand Yell.

With oversized buttons, sewing machine, measuring tapes and coloured spools as decorations, Cafe Yell gives off a cozy and comforting feeling from the moment you step inside. It’s been about two months since the opening, but Cafe Yell has already made a name in the locality.

The smile is warm and inviting as you are seated. The menu cards are crisp and to the point, each dish described without much fuss, just how it should be. We order for iced tea, lemon soda and Yell watermelon mojito. They were perfect thirst quenchers in the heat which has engulfed Delhi and will continue to do so for some months.

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The food at Cafe Yell is what people are talking about. Let me tell you now how impressed I was. Right from starters to the mains, each dish was well balanced and left our tastebuds wishing for more (of course we’d need gigantic stomachs for that!)

First up, the Mozzarella Jalapeno Bombs had the perfect amount of gooey cheese and with their special dip, the taste just accentuated to a higher level. Don’t we all love Nachos? Well, you must try them at Cafe Yell because it has the perfect amount of topping and melted cheese. Together with salsa and sour cream, they make for a delicious start to your meal. The chicken Quesadilla was tasty and well-seasoned but somehow, didn’t quite hit the mark as much as the other two starters had.

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Mozzarella Jalapeno Bombs were the bomb!

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Chicken Quesadilla!

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Nachos anyone?

For the mains we started with pizza with four different types of toppings – Polo Speziato (chicken), pepperoni (pork), fungi (mushroom) and Spring Fling (assortment of veggies). The thin crust hand tossed pizza was simply outstanding. I’m not fond of veggies on my pizza much, but at Cafe Yell I licked the plate clean (just figuratively!) Then came the lamb burger with fries and slaw. The patty was succulent and well seasoned which is so important while the bun on its own was soft. But the highlight personally was the Risotto with bacon. There are some plates of food which look good but a taste undoes all expectations. At Cafe Yell, the moment the Risotto came out hot, just looking at it made us salivate. And as we took a spoonful to taste, we were left craving for more. The salt from the bacon complimented the creamy rice and took the experience to a different level altogether.

The desserts, however, didn’t live up to our expectations. While both, the salted caramel cheesecake and butterscotch brownie cup were good, we preferred the starters and mains more.

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Yell Watermelon mojito

We found out that Cafe Yell has a breakfast menu. So, the next time we are in the mood for some brekkie, we sure know where to head!

I would definitely recommend heading to Cafe Yell because the food is great, service fantastic and the pocket pinch not too much. So what are you waiting for!

Review: Med Fest at ChaoBella

When I think Mediterranean food, images of hummus, pita, baba ganoush, olives, stuffed vines come to mind. However, to my American friend, the cuisine evokes memories of Greece and Italy, leaning more towards the western side of the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean region comprises a huge area and no matter if the countries surrounding it have distinct cuisines, there’s always a common thread – olive oil!

The variations of Mediterranean cuisine is loved world over and to give the people of Delhi an authentic experience, ChaoBella at Crowne Plaza Okhla have come up with a delicious food festival – the Med Fest. They bring together various Mediterranean delicacies from around the region to your table. How do I know it’s delicious? Because I’ve had the pleasure of tasting the portions which evoked happiness in every bite.

Shorba for the vegetarians

The Med Fest begins with a soup – Shorba (Chorba) for the vegetarians and a chicken for the non vegetarians. I love stews so Shorba was the automatic choice. It was very light and flavoursome, and most importantly, tangy which I adore in broths. In fact, every spoonful reminded me why I hadn’t made it at home for a while. It’s so easy and hearty that I promise you, Shorbas will become part of your weekly meals if you try it.

Fattoush

Fattoush or a bread salad with greens is something I can gorge on everyday but it was their non vegetarian option – smoked chicken and artichoke salad that blew me away. The combination of the chicken, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, onions and lettuce with seasoning and balsamic was so tasty that I was reminiscing about the flavours the next morning!

The star – chicken and artichoke salad with pine nuts

Mostly from Southern Italy, the seafood pasta was a delight. Generously topped with fish and prawns, the seafood pasta grew on you with every bite.

Seafood pasta you’d want to eat over and over again

We ordered for the Norcini, or buffalo mozzarella, sausage, mushroom and tomato pizza. It was rustic which was very appealing because I am all for thin crust and crispy bites.

Pizza anyone?

It was then time for the mains. My tenderloin was a bit dry but very tasty. The chicken was well seasoned while the fish very well cooked. The accompanying greens and shitake made it a wholesome meal.

Tenderloin and greens

Chicken with veggies

Well cooked fish with veggies

For dessert, there was a pear and almond tart and blueberry cheesecake.

A very happy me! With a lot of running involved the next day!

The Med Fest is on till March 20 so if I were you, I’d head to Crowne Plaza Okhla with not a moment to spare to gorge on simple yet tasty Mediterranean food in Delhi.

Where: ChaoBella, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi in Okhla Phase 1
Follow them on Instagram

Review: Jom Jom Malay at Ansal Plaza

Pretty interiors

Pretty interiors

Bright colours that catch your eye, a happy atmosphere, smiling and cheerful staff, and finger-licking delicious Malaysian food – that’s what Jom Jom Malay is all about. A recent addition to Delhi’s restaurant scene, and located at Ansal Plaza, Jom Jom Malay is the city’s first Malaysian restaurant.

From the moment you walk in, the vibrant setting gives you a comfortable vibe.The blue and pink cushions, wooden tables and typical Malaysian wall decor instantly makes you want to taste the food. And while you place an order and wait, try your hand at making sambal? Sambal is probably the most popular condiment in Malaysian cuisine and in many recipes, act as a foundation. The usual suspects are brought to the table – ginger, garlic, chilli, onion, lime, sugar, salt and chilli oil along with a mortar and pestle. Then comes an already-made array of sambals from the Jom Jom Malay kitchen. So, test your sambal-making skills as you grind the ingredients into a paste to the ones on the table. As I dug into the sambal that had shrimps, my attempt at recreating the condiment came nowhere close the taste!

The sambal attempt!

The sambal attempt!

First arrived an array of Baos – stuffed with chicken, lamb and duck. Soft, melt-in-your-mouth baos complimented each filling. Every bite had you craving another one. Each very distinctive, my favourite was the duck with it’s deep star anise flavour. Not many places can make good cocktails but Jom Jom Malay’s Cuban Malay had me floored. A burst of citrus in every sip, it complimented the baos perfectly.

Baos (from left) Lamb, Duck and Chicken

Baos (from left) Lamb, Duck and Chicken

Cheers?

Cheers?

Anyone who visits South East Asia, the first food item they bite into is a Satay. A satay is a piece of skewered and grilled meat that’s served with peanut sauce. Malaysians like their food to be more curried than dry so there’s an additional sauce served alongside crackers and a salad. If you like your satay to have a bit of gravy, just pour out a bit of the sauce on it and then dip it into the traditional peanut sauce. There were chicken, lamb, fish and prawn satays on offer. The lamb satay wins hands down. That would be my recommendation. The chicken was flavoursome while the fish was cooked perfectly, the prawns were slightly rubbery.

Satays and more

Satays and more

Next came sticky rice with an onion and sambal stuffing to be consumed with more shrimp sambal. Malaysian cuisine has a lot of Indian influence along with others from neighbouring South East Asian countries. Thus, when I took a bite of the stuffed pancakes or Murtabak, I was immediately reminded of the famous Mughlai paratha.

Sticky rice

Stuffed sticky rice

Stuffed pancakes!

Stuffed pancakes!

Jom Jom Malay believes in making everything from scratch. They grind their own pastes, make their own condiments and while at it, has added interesting twists to some flavours. For example, they use well seasoned dried mango skin in certain salads just to enhance the flavours. “The only thing we get is coconut milk because that would be difficult to make!” says Aftab Sidhu, who has conceptualised the menu.

Yup, that's me digging in!

Yup, that’s me digging in! The plate speaks my emotions!

The Nasi Goreng is an all-time favourite while the Rendang I make at home often. I was so glad that I got to taste both. With so many influences in the cuisine, debates rage on the origin of the dish. While they both may have originated in Indonesia, each country has made it their own with unique influences. In the Nasi Goreng, mix the sambal and crackers with an egg that binds the rice and serve it with coconut and chilli and a satay. Each bite is so pleasurable that if my stomach allowed, I would have asked for more. The Rendang was very different to the ones I’ve had earlier. I confess Malaysia has been left out of my South East Asian sojourns so far and I’m waiting to visit the country to try their food. The lamb was so soft and tender that it literally melted in your mouth. It was the perfect curry to have with roti canai. Also, the texture reminded me so much of Kosha Mangsho that I can’t wait to go home just to have my mother’s homemade mutton curry!

Just look at that Nasi Goreng!

Just look at that Nasi Goreng!

Lamb Rendang

Lamb Rendang

The name Jom Jom, loosely translated, means let’s go! So, what are you waiting for? Go and indulge in delectable Malaysian food right in the heart of Delhi!

Ambiance: 4.5/5
Food and beverage: 4.5/5
Service: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Where: Ansal Plaza at Khel Gaon Marg
Follow Jom Jom Malay on Facebook

Review: Taksim at Ansal Plaza

Cocktails at Taksim

Cocktails at Taksim

I stay very close to Ansal Plaza located in Khel Gaon, yet in the short years that I’ve stayed in the city, I’d never manage to go there. It looked so run down from afar. But now there’s a buzz. New restaurants have opened, many more are in the pipeline while a sporting goods store has many visiting Ansal Plaza on a daily basis. Taksim opened its doors in December 2016 but their alcohol license came only a month later. It’s only been some weeks, but Taksim has managed to garner a crowd of regulars, which I might add, is difficult in this city.

“Why Ansal Plaza?” I asked. Sahil, who manages Taksim, replied, “Why not? It’s in the heart of the city, has a huge parking space, a prime location and convenient.” And going by the crowd, it seemed Taksim had hit upon a jackpot — jam-packed on a weekday evening!

The cutlery wall

The cutlery wall

As we walked into Taksim, the music from the good old days filled the air. Lip syncing to Abba and Whigfield and remembering the last time I heard their music, I felt impressed with Taksim’s interiors at first glance. Spacious, a lot of wood, pretty walls and an open space – a really good combination. The menus were placed in front of us as we ordered for drinks – Cosmo for the sister and Taksim Square (vodka with pomegranate seeds and basil) for me. Sipping on the delicious cocktails (both hit the mark), we ordered for the food.

Fish fish, spicy spicy

Fish fish, spicy spicy

First arrived Kohliwada Fish Tikka. Played against white, it stood out against the brown table. As a food blogger, we do tend to let the food get cold just to capture that perfect shot. But not this time! The smell was just too enticing so pictures captured, we dug in. Spicy just the way I like with a mint dip, it set the mood for the rest of the evening.

Crispy spinach with curd, tamarind and mint

Crispy spinach with curd, tamarind and mint

Then came the Palak Patta Ki Milly Filly Chaat (Crispy spinach leaves with yoghurt, tamarind and mint chutney). Each bite had a great balance of sweet and sour. The Ishq Sufiana (cottage cheese or paneer with fennel) was the highlight for me. I’m a strict non vegetarian but the paneer had me the moment it touched my mouth. So soft and well seasoned that each bite had me craving for more.

Paneer love aka Ishq Sufiana

Paneer love aka Ishq Sufiana

The Thai Basil Chicken is a good appetizer option with drinks and cocktails while the Chicken Shawarma is an option when you visit in a group. Served with pita and hummus: tear, fill and gobble! The cottage cheese steak pao is a meal in itself. A slab of cottage cheese in between a bun served with a huge serving of fries and dips, is definitely an option for a main at Taksim.

Chicken Shawarma platter

Chicken Shawarma platter

Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Chicken

Who can so no to dessert right? We ordered the Blueberry cheesecake and Banoffee Pie. By then the lights had dimmed, the 90s music had given way to live Sufi music as the crowd swayed to the rhythm. Taksim actually has music theme nights – from reliving the 90s to EDM and live acts. Realise the kind of music you’re in the mood for and head to Taksim to enjoy a fulfilled evening with good food and music.

Paneer pao

The paneer pao is very filling

Ambiance: 4/5
Food and beverage: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Where: Ansal Plaza at Khel Gaon Marg
Follow Taksim on Facebook

Review: Chinese New Year Celebrations at ChaoBella

The Chinese New Year Menu!

The Chinese New Year Menu!

When we think of Chinese food, what is the first thing that comes to mind? I don’t know about you but my mind lights up with the thought of steamed dumplings in bamboo steamers. That’s what most of us immediately associate Chinese food with I presume. So, to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, ChaoBella at Crowne Plaza Today Okhla have decided to let patrons get a taste of authentic food, beyond the usual fare. Their Chinese New Year celebrations are on till February 13, 2017 and starts from Rs 450 onwards.

As I walk into the hotel’s Italian and Chinese restaurant ChaoBella, my stomach growls in anticipation. Chinese is an all-time favourite and actually works as comfort food. I think at least once I week I do indulge in Chinese food, homemade if not store bought. I’ve probably imbibed this from my father. He needs to try Chinese at least once wherever he travels to, even if in a place which has no Chinese connections!

Anyway I digress. So as I was seated by the window, I was presented with the menu. It looked tempting so with a glass of Limoncello Colin (so so good) I was set for an afternoon of indulgence.

Glassnoodles soup

Glassnoodles soup

First arrived a hot bowl of Glass Noodles soup. A light well balanced broth and crunchy vegetables and chicken was the perfect way to start a meal. As we are celebrating Chinese New Year, Hargow represents good luck and wealth. So, the chef specially sent over spinach and prawn dumplings to the table, which was consumed with much gusto.

Prawn Har Gaw

Prawn Har Gow

Prawns and cocktails!

Prawns and cocktails!

The starter that arrived was named Emperor Salt Baked Tiger Prawn. I must say I was extremely impressed as its aftertaste left me craving more.

Sweet and Sour Tenderoin

Sweet and Sour Tenderloin

The mains that arrived on the table were Sweet and Sour Tenderloin, Steamed Salmon in black bean sauce and Cantonese Chicken, accompanied by fried rice with olives and vegetable noodles. The outright star was the fish preparation. It was the first time I had the combination of Salmon and black bean sauce which left me feeling blissful. The fish was cooked perfectly. The tenderloin was a bit too sweet for me personally as I lack a sweet tooth but tasted well otherwise. The chicken had a very nice balance and combined well with the fried rice.

Salmon with black bean sauce

Salmon with black bean sauce

Cantonese Chicken

Cantonese Chicken

Fried rice and noodles

Fried rice and noodles

A full full plate!

A full full plate!

Stuffed to the brim, out came a trio of deserts – date pancake, black sesame ice cream and dumplings with a peanut coating and chocolate. The ice cream was outstanding. The texture was unique and paired excellently with the sweet pancake. The dumpling resembled the Rosogolla but when cut, out poured chocolate. The glutinous coating was very nice, something I tasted for the first time.

Sweet platter

Sweet platter

The well-thought of Chinese New Year menu is on for a short span (February 13, 2017). I would recommend not missing it because the flavours are an eclectic mix. And definitely don’t miss the Salmon. It’s been days but I’m still drooling at the thought!

A happy food blogger aka me!

A happy food blogger aka me!

Where: ChaoBella, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi in Okhla Phase 1

Review: Johnny Rockets – An All-You-Can-Eat Heaven

It's all about the burgers at Johnny Rockets

It’s all about the burgers at Johnny Rockets

Walk into the Johnny Rockets outlet at DLF Promenade in Vasant Kunj and you think you’re transported to the Archie comics world. Right from the juke box at the door, the seating style at booths and the counter, the Pop Tate-styled old fashioned diner hats on the servers and the smell of hamburgers – it seems you’ve actually stepped into an old-fashioned American diner, right out of Riverdale!

The specialty of Johnny Rockets is their commitment to fresh produce and no short cuts. When they say their shakes are dairy based, they mean it. The burgers are cooked fresh and customised accordingly. Thick and rich, they pair beautifully with the hot burgers that come to your table fresh off the grill. Eating at Johnny Rockets is definitely where good times roll.

Hello chocolate shake!

Hello chocolate shake!

Johnny Rockets has recently come up with a winner. They have started an ‘All-you-can-eat buffet’ (priced at Rs 449 for vegetarians and Rs 499 for non vegetarians without taxes, per person) which is a complete steal. For the amount, the whole Johnny Rockets menu is open to you – starting with shakes, pre-appetizers, appetizers, salad of the day, burgers and dessert —and is unlimited! If you have the appetite, eat to your heart’s content. It’s such a jaw dropping promotion that people find it very hard to believe. “We get calls to ask if it’s actually true,” I’m told as I munch on the appetizers. I’m partial to tater tots so guess what I indulged in the most out of all the different appetizers laid out in front of me.

Spoilt for choice! Which one to gorge on?

Spoilt for choice! Which one to gorge on?

Small portions of chicken wings with a barbecue sauce, chicken poprocks with a peri peri dressing, spicy sausages accompanied by ranch were placed in front at first as I slurped the thick chocolate shake. Then came crisp onion rings and tater tots. More milkshake and more bite-sized appetizers kept me going as the staff at Johnny Rockets burst into dance much to the amusement of other patrons. Camera flashes were instantaneous as we all clapped along!

I guess Onion Rings make for good photo ops!

I guess Onion Rings make for good photo ops!

It was now time for the main course aka Burgers. Take your pick from chicken, vegetarian, lamb and tenderloin and six variations. Think hard, not too much though as there’s always a possibility of seconds if the stomach allows. The best burgers are the no nonsense ones so I chose the simplest – tenderloin patty, caramelized onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese all tucked into brioche buns aka Route 66. Personal recommendation: always go for Brioche for more flavour and eat it while it’s hot.

The Route 66

The Route 66

The burger was spot on. Perfectly grilled patty that paired beautifully with the Brioche buns while the cheese, onions and mushrooms enhanced the flavour. I wish the glutton in me had more space so I could eat another but alas, the appetite does decrease with age. Or so I’m told!

A gentleman comes up and stares at the menu card. “It’s unlimited?” he questions. It didn’t seem to register that the whole menu was open to him at a nominal price. “Really? Ok then get me this and this. Don’t get any of the vegetarian ones… This and keep repeating,” he orders pointing to his chosen dishes.

For the ones with sweet tooth, delicious brownie with ice cream

For the ones with sweet tooth, delicious brownie with ice cream

By the time I could barely finish my brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce, the gentleman in question had wolfed down two burgers and was on his second shake, asking the staff to repeat the starters! I was very envious of his appetite!

A very very happy food blogger aka Me!

A very very happy food blogger aka Me!

There is no nearby expiration date of the All-You-Can-Eat offer at either of the Johnny Rockets outlets. So what are you waiting for?

Ambiance: 4/5
Food and beverage: 5/5
Service: 4/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Where: The All You Can Eat promotion available only at DLF Promenade (Vasant Kunj) and Ambience Mall (Gurgaon) outlets
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