Kerala Kitchen At Cafe On 3, Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar

I visited Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida yesterday to experience Kerala Kitchen – Melange of flavors from God’s own country, a 9-day long food promotion at its all-day dining eatery, Cafe on 3. The ambiance, the decor, and the music, all resonated well with the vibes that Kerala has to offer.

 

Master Chef Rejimon, specially flown from Kerala, curated the food promotion offering various signature delicacies from Kochi, Malabar, and Travancore to cover the different elements of authentic food from Kerela. There were interactive stations with themed decor creating a memorable experience for the guests. The entire promotion has 3 cycling menus, which have been prepared to keep in mind the palettes of both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

 

Every place has its own culture, tradition, and food and so does Kerala. Few of Chef Rejimon’s signature delicacies include – 

Idiyappam Chemmeen Biryani, a dish prepared using Malabar style masalas and has an aromatic flavor

Murniga Kanthari, a tribal chicken dish from central Kerala

Prawn Urulakizhangu Dosa, prawn patties topped with chef’s special masala

Chemmeen  Kakka Roti, prawn and rice dumpling

Attirachi Vendakka, lamb cooked with okra

Pidi Kozhi, a traditional home-style chicken dish and many more creations from his repertoire.

 

The dishes that were the part of the menu on the launch day of the event is what I got to savor and they were as follows:

SALAD
PACHA MANGA SALAD

Shredded Raw Mango with onions & tomatoes

PINEAPPLE PACHA MULAGU SALAD

Pineapple and Green Chili

KOZHI PORICHA SALAD-NV

Fried Chicken with tempered mustard

SEAFOOD CURRY VEPPILA SALAD-NV

Curry leaves marinade mix seafood with onions and lime

 

Pickle – Raw Mango Pickle, Bitter Gourd Pickle, Pineapple Pickle, Beetroot Pickle, Inji Puli

Pachadi – Beetroot Pachadi, Bitter Gourd Pachadi, Pineapple Pachadi

Chutneys – Raw Mango Chammanthy, Coconut Chutney, Inji Chammanthy

SOUP
PINEAPPLE RASAM

Green chili infused pineapple soup

SEAFOOD THENGA PAL SOUP

Mix Seafood Broth with coconut milk

STARTER-LIVE STATION
VAZHAPOO CUTLET

Banana Flower with mashed potatoes patties

 

ULLI VADA

Red onion fritter

 

KANE PORICHATHU

Deep fried ladyfish infused with spices

SEAFOOD VADA MASALA

Seafood dumpling tossed with onion tomato masala

 

STAPLE – LIVE STATION

APPAM

IDIAPPAM

PAROTA

PUTTU

KADALA CURRY

VEGETABLE ISHTU

CHICKEN ISHTU

 

MAIN COURSE-VEG
VAZHAKKA KOON ULARTHIYATHU

Tempered Raw  Banana and Mushroom

VELLARI MANGA CURRY

Raw Mango and white pumpkin curry

 

URULAKKIZHANGU VADA CURRY

Potato and lentil dumpling curry

 

MAIN COURSE-NON VEG
KUMARAKOM MEEN PATTICHATHU

spiced fish curry with fish tamarind

SURIYANI KOZHI PIDI

Syrian Christian style chicken & rice dumpling curry

 

MUTTON KURUMULAGU ROAST

Mutton with black pepper masala

FLAVOURED RICE
MALABAR SEAFOOD BIRIYANI

Malabar style aromatic biryani with seafood

MALLIYILA CHORU

Coriander Scented Rice with grated coconut

DESSERTS
VAZHAPOO PARIPPU PAYASAM

Tender coconut and Banana flower cooked with jaggery and coconut milk

NEYYADA

Layered steamed cake with eggs and nut

PAZHAM VILAYICHATHU

Caramelized banana with coconut and nuts

 
PALADA PRADAMAN

Rice flakes cooked with cardamom infused sweetened milk

 

The dishes that I have marked in bold made for my favorites, the spices, and the flavors were just right. I had tried some of these dishes on my trip to Kerala and I can easily say that there was no difference in the authenticity of the taste. Kudos to chef Rejimon and Cafe on 3 team for recreating the flavors without any compromise.

 

The carefully crafted menu comprised of traditional food, succulently created from fresh ingredients and deftly spiced by the culinary expertThe festival is a celebration of Chef Rejimon’s culinary journey covering the state of Kerala from North to South and offers the guests an opportunity to treat themselves to authentic Kerala delicacies.  

 

The festival is indeed a rare treat for food lovers and shouldn’t be given a miss. I have been privileged to experience it on day 1 and also meet Chef Rejimon in person.

Date: 30th November – 8th December 2018 | Time: 1900 hours to 2300 hours | Venue: Café on 3, a full-service buffet restaurant at Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida

Experience Ultimate Luxury and Great Food at Simply Sushi and L’Opera by PVR Director’s Cut!

To get your tryst with luxury and enjoy some awesome food, head straight to PVR Director’s Cut in Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj and I am sure you will fall in love with it.

Though PVR Director’s Cut is a cinema hall and operates largely on membership, it has two stand-alone restaurants, that anyone can walk into.

Simply Sushi, is a state of the art Japanese Cuisine restaurant, spearheaded by internationally renowned Chef Yutaka Saito, who understands the nuanced Indian palate and has introduced innovative offerings on the menu, under the guidance of Chef Mayank Tiwari, Group Executive Chef of PVR, who is a celebrated chef in the culinary world of International cuisine.

I began my culinary experience by trying the Salmon Carpaccio and it was utterly delicious. I polished off the entire dish on my own. The taste was subtle and very very soothing on the tongue. The light tanginess added more depth to the overall flavors and I loved it.

The next I tried the Avocado Tartare, which will remain one of my most favorite dishes at Simply Sushi. It was delectable beyond words can justify. Such creamy texture, such rich flavors, loved it. Along with it I also tried the Tofu Spinach and this too was an awesome tasting dish.

Coming to Sushi, I tried the Spiced Tuna Rolls and Salmon Rolls and enjoyed them both, but preferred the Salmon Roll more over the other.

But let me tell you something, Simply Sushi is not just about food, it is about an overall experience. The charm of sitting over the counter and watching the chef prepare sushi right in front of your eyes, the luxury and class that the ambiance engulfs you into and who knows you might get lucky and bump into a celebrity or two as PVR director’s cut is all about the Creme Dela Creme of Delhi. And yes I did bump into Smriti Irani and her husband, while I was relishing my meal at Simply Sushi.

Simply Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
After Simply Sushi, it was time for desserts, and for that, I just hopped on to the other outlet of PVR Director’s Cut, L’Opera. Inspired by French designs, this patisserie looks very classy and rich. The pastel colors, the furniture design, remind of you of French Colonial Cafes. Also, this outlet at Vasant Kunj, leads in a fact that there are about 3 desserts that you get to eat only here and nowhere else. One such was the chocolate hazelnut with baileys, it was a truly mouth melting experinec with burst of flavours in my mouth. The chocolate, the hazelnut and of course baileys, its definitely a must try. They offer some savoury items as well and are in particular known for their wonderful sandwiches. All I can say is that both these places within PVR Director’s Cut are completely worth a visit and since they no not require membership, you must pay a visit.

 

 

 

 

Bo-Tai, Not Just Food, But An Experience!

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.

 

Bo Tai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Experiencing Naga Cuisine at Nagaland’s Kitchen!

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.

Nagaland's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Winter Menu at Chaayos!

Chaayos is almost a synonym for a tea cafe, there is no one better when it comes to serving hand crafted and blended teas and that too keeping in mind the Indian taste buds. For most Indians tea is their fuel to keep going, and you just can’t afford to go wrong with it, and Chaayos has really carved its name across the minds of tea lovers.

Not just tea, but Chaayos has always came across as a notch above the rest even when it comes to tea accompaniments. The sweets and savouries are just perfect always. What I personally love about their menu is the seasonal changes that they bring. Be it summers, monsoons or winters, Chaayos always brings in something special in their menu, which makes the visit to their outlet worth while.

With the winters setting in, Chaayos recently added 9 amazing menu items keeping the season in mind. With 2 varieties of tea, 2 desserts and 5 savoury items, the menu is a perfectly balanced one.

Gur Wali Chai and Tulsi Green Tea are the perfect companions for a breezy winter morning, afternoon or evening and you just can’t afford to miss it. Personally I found the Tulsi Green Tea extremely refreshing and comforting to the throat. Relish these teas with Paneer Bhurji Bun, which was an amazing preparation. Paneer bhurji loaded on soft buns makes for a delicious dish, I loved it. The Chicken Cutlet and Mutton Cutlet also need your attention as they both tasted really good, though again going by a personal choice I would any day prefer the Chicken Cutlet over Mutton. The Chicken Cutlets were nice, crispy on the outside, and soft and spicy on the inside.

Butter Chicken Kulhad with Masala Kulcha was another great preparation. Soft and succulent chicken chunks in rich tomato gravy served with masala kulchas made for an interesting combination and must be tried.

The best was the Open Keema Parantha, trust me you cannot have enough of this scrumptious dish. An open lachha parantha loaded with well cooked keema and some cheese is just what you need to comfort your taste buds. Simply done and simply delicious. Though eating it becomes a little messy, because its made and cut like a pizza, but because the parantha is soft, it keeps folding and you end up dropping the keema, but if you actually fold it right at the start and enjoy it as a small roll, you cannot go wrong, and also who minds getting a little messy when the food is so delicious.

The desserts too were simply done and yet very very tasty. A warm chocolate lava cake and banana-walnut cake, both of them were really good. Whereas the chocolate cake oozed out warm chocolate from inside, the banana-walnut cake was extremely soft and comforting.

To try this new menu, we went to the newly opened CP outlet and trust me this is one outlet of Chaayos that you shouldn’t miss visiting. Its by the far the most spacious and creatively done outlet. The vibrancy and energy of the place takes on you completely, and whether you wanna catch up with friends on a cup of tea and snacks, or a quick business meeting, or if you are alone and make tea and laptop your companion, this is the place for you. So for the place that it is and for the teas and food that they serve, Chaayos is a must visit place, so what are you waiting for..??

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Masala House- An outstanding culinary experience!

Masala House serves as a perfect place to tantalise your taste buds with some Modern Indian Cuisine. Each and every item on the menu feels like hand picked and curated with a lot of dedication and detailing, both in terms of taste and presentation. Spread across two floors, the ambience is comfortable, cosy and inviting enough for you to spend some relaxed time gorging on good food in company of your family or friends.

Katafi Wrapped Achari Arbi and Asparagus Paddu were the first ones to appear on our table, one look at them and my confidence in the taste increased multifolds, as both the dishes looked extremely tempting. Even taste wise, both of them were great. I am not a big fan of arbi otherwise, but this one was really nicely done.

Dahi Kebab, Murg Luqmi, Kadi Patta Jheenga and Dill Salmon Tikka were the other starters we tried and again all of them were delicious. I personally enjoyed the Murg Luqmi and Dill Salmon Tikka the most.

Coming to the main course, there was a wide variety to choose from, but our selection included Amritsari Wadi Tarkari, Khatti Tadka Dal, Palak Moti, Pota Kaleji Shitake, Bafat Masala Fish, Moge Wala Kukkad, Dum Biryani and Chur Chur Naan Platters. I loved the chur chur naan platter, the non veg one, which had keema stuffed naans, which I relished with some dal makhani. The pota kaleji shitake was a unique dish with this combination of kaleji and mushrooms and it was really nice. Moge wala kukkad aka our very own butter chicken was good too, I loved the balanced flavours, so as that neither it was too sweet nor too spicy, but just the way it should be. Another dish that I really enjoyed was the palak moti, creamy palak gravy with creamier mascarpone cheese, it was delectable.

Desserts included Gajar Halwa Kunafa and Saffron Pear Malai Chaap, and once again, the presentation bowled me over. Taste wise I enjoyed the Gajar Halwa Kunafa more, though it could have been sweeter, but it was nice.

I really look forward to another foodie experience at Masala House, and I urge you to give it a try, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
Masala House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi commenced the ‘Dining with the Maharaja’ series with a taste of the royal cuisine from the city of Mahmoodabad

The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi never fails to impress its patrons as it continuously keeps bringing new innovations in terms of food experiences. Recently the Dilli 32 restaurant within the hotel celebrated the gloriously grand and royal cuisine of Mahmoodabad as its inaugural city.

The 16 day (30th September – 15th October) food festival is a part of the signature ‘Dining with the Maharajas’ series at the hotel. This series of culinary festivals has been especially created to celebrate and revive the love for the fabulously diverse range of dishes served in the royal households across India. The journey to the Quila of Mahmoodabad served as the perfect beginning to the festival. The melodious live performances by in-house Ghazal musicians at the hotel created an ambience that was similar to the one in the Mahmoodabad palace and facilitated an authentic experience for the guests. The ambience really was a big turn on for me, from upholstery, to the table decor, candle chandeliers to the crockery and utensils, each and every element reflected the era and theme.

The first pit stop on the ‘Dining with the Maharajas’ journey, Mahmoodabad, also known as the kingdom of ‘Oudh’ is situated in the heart of the holy city of Sitapur. To bring out the true flavours of each dish Chef De Cuisine Ashwani Kumar Singh himself travelled to the city to learn the art of recreating the royal dishes.

The refreshing imperial menu of Mahmoodabad offered its guests a lavish spread of signature dishes such as Kababs, Shorbas and Salans including specialties such as Murgh Mussallam, Gosht Makhana Kurma, Matter Latpata, Paneer Hazrat Mahal, Laab- i- Mashooq and much more. Each and every item was carefully chosen and spoke volumes about sheer dedication of Chef Ashwani Kumar to bring the cuisine alive on our tables. I personally loved Gole Kebab and Boti Kebab from the starters and Murg Mussallam, Paneer Hazrat and Noor Mahili Pulao the most from the mains menu. The spread was an elaborate one and still left me asking for more.

The dessert menu too was exceptionally good and I loved everything from the menu, but Shahi Tukda and Laab-I-Mashooq need special mentions and should not be missed at any cost.

With the tastes of this food festival still lingering on, I am already looking forward to the next attraction that Leela would bring in.

Love Minnions, a visit to The Minnions Cafe is a must!

These cute little adorable Minnion characters have been loved by all age groups since long now. From stuff toys, to balloons, we even try to make them a part of our day to day life and if you love Minnions, The Minnion Cafe is just the place for you, and if you don’t love them, visit this cafe, and I am sure you will fall in love with both Minnions and the cafe.

Minnion cafe situated in the by lanes of Laxmi Nagar Market is like an underdog for cafes. It just opened a few months back and has been on a hype and to-visit list of many food enthusiasts. This hype is mostly due to the edge given to it by its owners, regarding the theme.

The ambience is quite innovative, with posters, paintings as well as a special wall portion for Minnions language dictionary. It gives a happy go lucky feel around the cafe which will appeal to children, youth and even elderly people. The vibes, the music, is all peppy and alive. The walls have been specially painted by hand and that rawness has its own appeal. They even have an area dedicated for playstation games which can be accessed for a very nominal amount. In fact the place is perfect to host private parties/birthday celebrations etc whether you have a small group of friends or a full-blown guest list.

Coming to food, the innovation has been kept in mind while developing the menu, simple things made with a twist are the highlight of the cafe.

For example, we tried the Nachos Pizza, Jalapeno Cheesy Poppers, Dhaba Maggi and Baked Paneer Tikka and each and every item was simply delicious. I highly recommend the Dhaba Maggi and Jalapeno Cheesy Poppers, they are not to be missed for sure. Try their amazing shakes to go along and I am sure you will enjoy this foodie experience to the core. Nutella Shake, Oreo Shake and Paan Mojito were the best and highly recommended.

Over all, I would not rate this place, rather visit it again. Which will tell you, how wonderful my experience was, that I am already planning my second delightful visit.

The Minnions Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dakshin Food Festival at Crowne Plaza Rohini!

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.

Experiencing Culinary Delights at Auro Kitchen & Bar!

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.

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