Some places offer great food, while some offer experience, very rarely we come across places that offer food which not just food, but a wholesome experience. Coincidently, I have felt this at two places and its no surprise that both these places come from the same group. Masala Library by Jiggs Kalara was my first such experience where in I felt that its not just about food, but everything put together, and now my second experience came when I recently visited Bo-Tai. Conceptualised by Zorawar Kalra, this restaurant offers all the ingredients be ranked amongst the top. The ambience is perfect, very classy and refined, the hospitality is top notch, from the moment you enter, you are entire experience is personalised. The staff attends to you with utmost care, attention and knowledge of food and drinks.
The presentation of food is commendable and the most important thing, the taste is unmatched. Bo-Tai is a Thai speciality restaurant and it truly serves the best Thai food in the city.
Here are some of the highly recommended dishes
Scallop Carpaccio- A mouth melting experience, the scallops were just so delicious.
Crispy Caramelised Raw Mango Prawns- These are definitely a must try, super scrumptious prawns and that tangy taste of raw mango was just perfect.
Chicken Florets- True to their name, these blue coloured chicken dimsums in chilly oil were delectable.
Duck Sausages- The best dish I had, the sausages were simply mind blowing and the duck meat was so soft and juicy. The pumpkin dip and baked mashed potatoes as accompaniments enhance the taste greatly.
Lamb Satay- One of the finest satays that I had in recent times, you cannot afford to miss this dish, and the peanut dip too wasn’t the regular type and was really delicious.
Lamb Chops- Utterly delicious and succulent lamb chops, totally worth a try.
Masamman Curry- So when we talk of Thai curries, this curry usually sets the benchmark and I have to say that this was perfect. Served with Steamed Rice, they completed my meal.
Dessert- You have to try to believe how delicious it was.
Also for dessert you can try the Caramelised Banana Cocktail, it was just too good.
Me and my son had a great time enjoying this scrumptious food and overall experience at Bo-Tai. Highly recommended. Do share your feedback if you happen to visit.
The native cuisine of the Naga people, Nagaland food comprises primarily of Meat and Fish which is usually either smoked, dried or fermented. The use of chillies is exceptionally high in the cuisine especially the world famous Bhut Jolokia. Replicating such traditional food and retaining authentic taste always comes as a challenge when exploring the cuisine outside the region, but Nagaland’s Kitchen has completely emerged as a winner in this case. They have not just replicated the dishes, but also taken utmost care to retain the authenticity of tastes by sourcing some of their ingredients right from the base region.
I recently went to explore the cuisine, which I had only heard about and I would say that in spite of having a lot of apprehensions, I found myself really enjoying the Nagaland food. Like mentioned above, smoked food is a traditional way of cooking in Nagaland, and they enjoy their meats and veggies with a smoked flavour. This particular style of cooking was brought alive at the Smokey Delight Festival at Nagaland’s Kitchen.
The ambience of the place was warm and comfortable and the festive vibes to it as Christmas is just around the corner. I was welcomed with a Jolokia Vodka Shot, with a word of caution. Yes you read it right, a word of caution here is imperative at Jolokia is one of the spiciest chillies found in the world, and this vodka shot was infused with the same. But I was really up for the challenge and wanted to try it out for sure.
So as it was a shot, and meant to be had in one shot, I gulped it down, I would say it wasn’t as spicy or bad as I was warned about. It surely hits the back of your throat and stomach for a few seconds, but thats about it. The best part was that it did not have any after taste, so i didn’t feel the spicy sensation on my tongue at all.
Coming to food, I started the culinary experience with a very nice Soup, it was available in both Smoked Pork and Smoked Chicken option and I settled for Chicken. It was called the Amrosu Soup and I found it perfect for that chilly winter evening. The taste of the soup was mild and the smoked chicken enhanced its flavour multifolds, I really enjoyed having it. Up next was Smoke Chicken and Dry Bamboo Salad and it too was very well prepared. I loved how the other flavours were kept mild in this too and the smoked chicken did its wonders yet again. Smoke Pork with Dry Bamboo Shoot was another amazing preparation.
In starters I tried Smoke Chicken Chilli and Pork Chilli, though I am not too fond of pork, but trust me, one bite into this and I could not stop myself. It was so so delicious.
The main course offered Smoke Chicken, Smoke Dry River Fish, Smoke Pork Anishi and Smoke Eel. I restricted myself to pork and chicken, but those who fancy having a dried fish and eel, should definitely try it here. Served with sticky boiled rice, both the dishes in gravy were tasteful.
For desserts, I had the traditional plum cake, which was prepared keeping the festivities in mind.
I would say, I had an extremely pleasant and wonderful culinary experience at Nagaland’s Kitchen and its one place that surely is worth your time and money.
When you are away from your home town, apart from missing your loved ones back home, you miss the typical home food the most. During my recent trips to Goa, one evening I was really missing the typical Indian food, especially the Dal Makhani and some Butter Naans and then I remembered The Yellow Chilli by Sanjeev Kapoor which is housed in the very famous Mall de Goa and I immediately jumped with joy, grabbed hold of my friends and we all headed straight to the restaurant.
The quirkiness of the places catches your attention immediately, with some amazing caricatures adorning the walls. The seating is casual dining type and is apt for families and youngsters both.
To begin with we settled for some Masala Papad, Dahi Ke Kebab, Tangra Chilly Paneer, Lehsuni Murg Tikka and Chanak Tawa Masala. The Chanak Tawa Masala was easily the best dish, nice and crispy fish with a flavourful masala and I simply loved it. The Lehsuni Murg Tikka was another delightful preparation, the chicken was mouth meltingly soft and the taste of garlic was just right.
Dahi Ke Kebabs were nicely done and I loved the small innovation of adding a bit of cheese in the centre, which tasted quite well. The Chilly Paneer was good, but could have been better, as the taste of salt and garlic overpowered everything else.
For drinks, we tried Jaljeera, Butterscotch Caramel and Tarbooza and all of them were good. I personally loved the Jaljeera, my friend ended up ordering the Butterscotch Caramel twice so I am very sure it would be awesome too.
For the mains we settled for Lalla Mussa Dal, a hot favourite at the Yellow Chilly and Ghee Roasted Chicken. Both the dishes were great, and we relished them with butter naans.
Bebinca with butter made for our dessert and it was delicious. You can’t miss on trying a bebinca especially when in Goa. Overall it was a great experience of having typical North Indian food in Goa and satiating my taste buds to the fullest. So when in Goa do try the Yellow Chilly and I am sure you will love it.
The word Dakshin, by default doesn’t excite me much, because I am not a big fan of South Indian Cuisine, but recently when my foodie friends decided to visit the DAKSHIN Food Festival at Crowne Plaza Rohini, I reluctantly agreed. I am so glad that I actually went, because my perception of the Dakshin food changed completely, it was so so good that I can actually now say that I relished it.
The spread was an elaborate one and offered wide variety of dishes for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. I tried quite few things and I have to admit that I loved each one of them. Some of them need a special mention, The Rawa Fish was an amazing preparation, crispy outer coating to an otherwise tender fish, it just melted in mouth. Chonka Idly, Maysore Bonda and Paneer 65 were other delightful preparations. I loved the tiny tiny crisp idly a lot. Mulagu Vada too was a delectable dish and so were Chicken 65 and Meen Pollichathu.
Then we tried the Veg Stew with Appam and it was simply delicious. Rasa Omelette was a dish that stood out for its awesome flavours. Ulli Theeyal Mutton and Mangalorian Fish Curry were relished with Malabari Paranthas and trust me they were drool worthy.
After a hearty platter of desserts, we ended our culinary trip to Dakshin, without having to go their actually and enjoyed ourselves to the core. Now I can say that I look forward to more such festivals and I am extremely open to explore more South Indian dishes.
Auro Kitchen & Bar, nestled in Aurobindo Market, Hauz Khas is surely one of the coolest places you will come across. With a huge terrace to spend some cosy time, they have an equally spacious interior seating as well. Even if the weather isn’t too fantastic to sit outside, the mist fans do the job and make it up the heat and humidity. For those who wanna try their various varieties of Hookah, by default will have to sit outside and enjoy both the weather and the hookah along with some scrumptious food and drinks.
This time around as I was with a vegetarian friend, and also for a change, I too gave non-veg a skip and I don’t regret it at all, as the food was great.
To begin with we ordered, Char Grilled Potatoes, small jacket potatoes cooked with tandoori masala which was spicy and topped with creamy cheese, this surely was one delectable dish. The spiciness of tandoori masala was perfectly balanced by the cheese and it was a match made in heaven.
Next we tried Paneer 65 Sliders and they were truly amazing. Spicy paneer 65 in soft buns, this made for a delightful dish and should definitely be given a try, I am sure even the non vegetarians will love it.
The mushroom Ranikhet was another amazing preparation, mushroom paste, truffle oil, matahari ranikhet cheese and mozzarella over a flat bread, though for my liking the mushroom taste was slightly overpowering, but nevertheless the dish was unique and can surely be given a try.
Truffle Kulcha and Wild Mushroom Seekh Kebabs totally compensated for the non-veg craving, because the mushroom seekh kebabs tasted just like mutton kebabs and were very soft and tender.
For drinks, I settled for Orange Thyme, an orange based mocktail which was quite refreshing, whereas I sipped 2-3 cocktails which my friend had ordered, Passioned Secret Tea, a whiskey based cocktail with bourbon and this was really nice. Other was The Union, a vodka based cocktail with pomegranate and I liked this one too.
While gorging upon the starters and slurping away the drinks, we really werent too hungry for a main course, yet we wanted to try something from the menu. We settled for Masala Cottage Cheese and were so glad that we ordered it. Cottage Cheese chunks cooked in rich tomato gravy served with paranthas, made for an amazing dish and I really recommend it to all my vegetarian friends. You will surely love it.
Overall, Auro was a great foodie experience and I look forward to visit the place again with my friends and family.
Trend is the newest entrant at the recently reopened and established Ansal Plaza and this TREND is here to stay for sure. Brought to us by Gundeep Anand, Jaideep Anand, Himanshu and Vidit Gupta who also have brought alive brands like Tamasha and Cafe Dalal Street earlier, this one adds another feather to their cap.
Designed in a chic and classy way, it has a rustic yet modern appeal to it. Its a perfect example of cross bid between fine dining and casual dining. The cuisine is Modern Indian and focuses on the authenticity of flavours inspite of being modern. As discussed with Chef Jiten Shah, the aim of the restaurant is to provide unique foodie experience to their customers but at the same time, they don’t want to create confusions with fusions.
And now after having the food at Trend, I can vouch for it. They truly are serving different food, which you won’t find elsewhere and yet the flavours aren’t overplayed.
Now coming to what I tried and recommend, to begin with we ordered Mutton Vada Pao, Mozzarella Bread Pakoda, 3 Cheese Soufflé in Potato Cup, Chutney Chicken Seekh and Rechad Masala Rawas from the Small Plate Menu and believe you me, each and every item was delicious to the core.
The Mutton Vada Pao, was definitely one of the best I have ever eaten. The mutton inside the pao was done perfectly, it was a minced meat cutlet which was fried and yet it tasted very different, the pao was extremely soft, and for me each bite into it was a heavenly delight.
The Mozzarella Bread Pakoda, was an amazing modern take on the traditional bread pakoda. It was stuffed with potatoes and had an amazing cheesy filling which made it taste so different and yet appealing to the taste buds. Its a great dish for vegetarians but even the non-vegetarians cannot ignore its goodness.
3 Cheese Soufflé in Potato Cup is an amazing dish and paradise for cheese lovers, just dig into the creamy cheese and balance its taste with roasted potatoes. Blissful.
Rechad Masala Rawas, crispy fried fish fingers, with the fish marinated in the hot recheado masala, which is a goan special masala. The fish was perfectly done and I loved the presentation too. The Chutney Chicken Seekh also was very different from the regular seekh, it was made of thick mince and the flavours of the chutney really stood out well.
Next we tried Chicken Tikka Trilogy, which comprised of Mustard Based Chicken Tikka, Regular Chicken Tikka and Chicken Malai Tikka, and each one of the varieties of tikka tasted awesome. Though I am not at all fond of mustard flavour, but this mustard tikka was outstanding, the flavour was surely there but wasn’t overpowering at all.
Roti, Chatni, Achar is another very unique dish, which serves an assortment of 3 different types of rotis and an array of chutneys and achars, a great idea indeed. I ordered for the non-veg version which had pre-baked khasta naan, missi roti, masala bread along with chettinad mutton pickle, fig chutney, kingfish pickle, mint chutney and onions. It was an amazing tray of various flavours. I loved the fig chutney the most. This surely is a must try dish.
Mutton Gilawat Croquette was the another dish we ordered, and for me this was the most average , may be because my expectations by now were sky high. It wasn’t bad at all, but personally speaking I did not like much as I found it a little dry for my liking.
For the mains we settle for Dal Makhani served with Chur Chur Naan, Mysore Mutton Thali, Quail Dum Korma and Corn Fed Char Siu Chicken. The Dal and Naan were a perfect combination, with right taste and textures. A typical udupi masala roast mutton served with malabari parantha is a delectable dish and surely a must try. The Quail Dum Korma, needs a special mention as this is one dish you shouldn’t miss at all. Very rich and authentic flavours and soft and tender meat of a quail, what more can one ask for. Siu chicken is perfect to satiate your Asian hunger, its a char chicken glazed with celery root sauce with some sautéed greens and mushrooms and makes for an exciting dish.
Don’t forget to indulge in the desserts, you will love them. I strongly recommend Shahi Tukda and Holy Coconut. Both of them were simply amazing and I won’t spoil the surprises by spilling more details. You really have to try them.
As the place still awaits its liquor licence, make most of the amazing mocktails and drinks available. I recommend Indore Lassi, Tiramisu and Eden Iced Tea. They all were remarkable, but the best was the Indore Lassi, perfectly balanced taste, neither two sweet, and nor too thick, its was yummy and must be tried.
A special mention for the hospitality of the place, from Chef Jiten himself to the entire staff, everyone was extremely friendly and warm. The service was upto the mark and like I said the taste of food and presentation is of superlative quality. You should definitely pay a visit soon.
Scooter on the Wall, as amusing as its name, is a cosy and comfortable cafe situated in the ever bustling SDA market. Though they don’t have much of space, but its really a chilled out place to spend some cosy time. I loved the seating, ambience and decor of the place. Along with couches, they some typical jhoolas, both single seaters and sofa type swings, and they really make for an interesting seating option.
The place is really vibrant and so is their food. To begin with I ordered, American Fries with Tandoori Dip, served on their signature scooter, the tandoori dip made all the difference to the regular fries. They were as yummy as they looked. Chinese Bhel was next, though the taste and flavours were great, I wish the noodles were a little crispier, or may be because of adding sauces it turned soggy too soon, so that was a bit of draw back.
Shishtouk was up next and I quite enjoyed relishing it, the pita bread was soft and the chicken really juicy and tender. Also tried the Kung Pao Chicken, which was nice but a bit spicy.
Mewari Papri Paneer was a delicious preparation, coated with crispy papads, it was both crispy and crunch on the outside, with soft paneer inside. Lahori Kebab Chaat was a unique preparation of seekh kebab and chicken tikka tossed in masala curd sauce just the way regular chaat is done, it was nice and different, I quite liked it. The taste was fresh, and for me it gelled well with the seekh and chicken tikkas.
Chicken Burra, Black Pepper Fish, Butter Chicken Kulchas and BBQ Hot Garlic Wings were all great delightful preparations, I loved each one of them. The chicken burra was juicy and perfectly spiced, the butter chicken kulchas are definitely a must try. The BBQ wings too were great to taste and I loved the fish, it was so tender and tasteful.
For the mains, I tried the 3 Musketeers, a platter of sliders, 1 chicken, 1 lamb and 1 veg and trust me all of them are great. I personally loved the lamb slider the most, it was so so juicy and nice, that I really could go on and on with it. This is a must try.
Desi Ride with Kukkad Pasta, was another delectable dish and it was something I did not try before, pasta in butter chicken sauce, desi twist to the age old Italian favourite, it was delicious. Though I was reluctant to try, but one bite into it and I could not keep my fork off it.
We also tried the Mutton Maratha, Palak Corn, Malai Chaap and Dal Makhani, and again all of them were delicious. The mutton was perfectly cooked and I loved its thick masala. Palak corn is surely a good option for vegetarians, and Dal Makhani of course was great. Perfect creaminess and texture. Enjoyed these amazing dishes with some assorted breads like the Onion Tandoori Roti and Mirchi Parantha, and it truly made for a scrumptious meal.
Now coming to the best part, the desserts, you simply cannot afford to miss them. Chocolate Walnut Pie was definitely one of the best desserts I have eaten, the pie crust was so soft and perfectly baked, unlike mots places where the curst is so hard, this was really nicely done, easy to break into and bite. I loved it. The Chocolate Truffle with Vanilla Ice Cream was another dessert and a great preparation indeed. Warm chocolate truffle crumbled and served with vanilla ice cream, it was a perfect combination of tastes and textures and even temperatures.
Also at Scooter on the Wall, you cannot ignore their awesome shakes, they are a true delight. Amazing flavours and presentation make them drool worthy and they are totally worth the indulgence.
I loved my experience overall at Scooter on the Wall, and really look forward to visiting the place again. If you haven’t visited yet, what are you waiting for..?
Sixth Empirica, the latest connoisseur of multi cuisine food abodes the Main Club Road, Punjabi Bagh. Spread across two floors and a beautiful roof-top, 6th Empirica, the brain-child of the brother sister trio- Ankit Kapoor, Ekta Chhabra and Shweta Sehgal presents forth a lavish space for family and friends to enjoy a gala time.
I recently went to this place, though it was very far from my place, but as I missed attending the launch party, I thought I might at least go post launch for a food review session.
To my disappointment, the beginning was at a wrong note as the service was too slow, we were served the drinks and starters almost after one hour of wait. This is something I really want them to improve big time. This kind of a delay that too when not too many tables were occupied is not expected from a restaurant of this stature and should be rectified without a doubt.
Now coming to food, I was served Chicken Manchow Soup to begin with, along with an array of mocktails to taste. The soup was really nice and I loved their garlic chilly sauce which was served along with it. The mocktails too were nice, I personally liked the Kiwi and Strawberry one.
For starters, It was the Lebanese Platter, The Tandoori Non Veg Platter and Black Bean Fish Kebab for non vegetarians and Empirica Tandoori Kacha Aaloo Al Ankat, Empirica Paneer Tikka Parmigiana and Veg Kalmi Vada Kebab for vegetarians. The Lebanese Platter had 3 different types of chicken shish touk and the entire platter was good. The non veg platter had fish tikka, chicken malai tikka, chicken seekh kebab and chicken tikka, the chicken malai tikka and fish tikka were the best amongst all, did not like the seekh kebab much as I expected them to be really tender, but they were not. The chicken tikka was normal. The Black Bean Fish Kebab was just about ok, again I expected it to be really different and great, different yes it was, but not too great. In the veg selection I tried the kacha aaloo, which was actually too kacha, it was so difficult to break it even with a knife, I don’t know if oven baked potato is meant to be so hard and raw, at least for me, it doesn’t work.
The main course was better than the starters for sure and it is quite unusual for me, because at most places the starters top the chart. We tried the Gosht Nihari, Chicken So Changezi, Paneer Mughlai Lajawab, Veg Biryani and Dal Makhani, and these dishes were good. I specially liked the Chicken Changezi and Nihari in non veg and Dal Makhani in veg.
The Pineapple Halwa, which was served for dessert was definitely the best dish I that day. To conclude I would say that the food is average and can be improved and service like I mentioned needs a big time boost. They have ample space to cater to large groups and n number of customers, but without these improvisations, the decor and space won’t matter. I wish them all the best.
After a successful restaurant at CP followed by presence in the food court of DLF Mall of India, Noida, and a couple of other places, The Masala Trail by Osama Jalali found its foothold in the revamped mall of Ansal Plaza. Having tried food at both CP restaurant and Mall of India, I was fully aware of the speciality regional food that it offers and also certain what to order and what not to orders.
This time I started my culinary experience by ordering Amritsari Paneer Tikka, Mumbai Ka Ragda Pattice and the tried and tested Tower Chaat. The Paneer Tikka was nicely done, and I liked it. I ordered Ragda Pattice because I have been missing Mumbai food, though nothing can ever match that local taste, but this Ragda Pattice was quite nice. The spices were perfect, it was tasteful and delicious. The Tower Chaat undoubtedly one of the best dishes on the menu. We also ordered Spring Rolls, but I found them too oily so gave a skip. You can try the Vada Pao though, its nice.
Another regional food that I had been looking forward to try since long was the Bihari Litti Chokha, so I thought why not give it a try. To be honest, I found the taste of mustard too overpowering for my personal liking, though I loved the Chokha, but those who have the taste for mustard, admired it a lot. So if you don’t have an issue with the mustard taste, go ahead and try this one. Recommendations came in very strongly by my friends.
One of my friends ordered the Banana Poori, for me it was a dish probably I won’t have ever ordered myself, but I would have certainly missed something good if I didn’t. Thank god for my friend, she ordered, I tried and loved it. The Banana Pooris, with a hint of sweetness were so soft and good, that I did not even feel like trying the sabzi along with it, the poori in itself was more than sufficient.
A fantastic and must try dish that I discovered this time was the Triple Sack Rice, I mean it was a winner dish for that lunch. Three layers of goodness, crispy noodles, manchurian gravy topped with fried rice, it was a delightful dish and I personally recommend trying it for sure. Hakka Noodles were good too.
We also tried the Mumbai Tawa Pulao, which again was nicely done, but after having this Triple Sack Rice, nothing else could hold my attention.
For desserts, we tried one of their best, the Matka Kulfi, and also the Haji Ali Fruit Cream, which too was nice.
Overall I can once again say, that if one wants to try different regional food, Masala Trail is definitely the place where you can satiate your different cravings under one roof.