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

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

Experiencing great North Indian food at The Yellow Chilli, Goa!

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.

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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 Yellow Chilli 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.

Pan Asian Foodie Experience at Kylin Premier

Kylin Premier situated in the Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj offers scrumptious Pan Asian cuisine that you can’t afford to miss, be it Chinese, Thai or Japanese and even Malaysian, it serves authentic food and also has some great drinks on the menu to explore.

Image Courtesy- Mr Polkadot

The ambience is chic and classy and gives you a fine dining feel. To begin with we ordered Chicken Dimsums with Shanghai Chilli and Chicken Dimsums with Aromatic Curry. Both the dimsums looked gorgeous and tasted equally good. The purple colour of Chicken Dimsums with Shanghai Chilli was a highlight, I kept on staring at them for a long time before actually eating them, and one bite into it, and you know you couldn’t have asked for anything better. The Aromatic Curry Dimsums on the other hand had a Thai curry base to them which added a great dimension to the overall taste. You cannot afford to miss both these dishes.

Sole Fish in Chilli Hoisin and Chicken Finger Chilli Hoisin and 5 Spice were other two starters that we tried, they both tasted quite similar, the only difference was the type of flesh you were eating, but at the same time, both did taste good.

Spicy Veg Roll or Veg Sushi as we would like to call it was another winner dish, a perfectly rolled sushi with great pickled veggies stuffed in. I simply loved it. Rice Paper Rolls and Yasai Tempura can also be given a try.

For the main course we tried Chicken in Ginger and Mild Soya, Stir Fried Ginger Soya Fish, Oriental Veg in Chilli Bean and Lohan Veggies with Oyster Mushroom along with some Udon Noodles and Wok Fried Sticky Garlic Garlic Rice. All the dishes were amazing, I especially loved the chicken and udon noodles.

To go along with our food, I tried the Cosmopolitan and then later settled for Magical Ming a Gauva based mocktail. I also sipped Green Apple Martini from a friend, and can easily say that drinks at Kylin are wonderful.

For desserts we tried Tub Tim Krob, a typical Thai dessert made with water chestnuts and coconut cream and milk. Its truly delectable and refreshing and you must try it.

Overall I had a fantastic time with my friends at Kylin and I look forward to visiting the place again soon.
Kylin Premier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hanging Out at SummerHouse Cafe!

Recently when my blog completed 2 years, I though of celebrating the special day with my special friends and headed out to Summer House Cafe for the same. It was a Sunday evening, and Summer House was also organising a Salsa night and this gave us another reason to chose this place for our celebration. Music, Dance, Friends, Amazing Food, I mean what more do you need to celebrate an important day.

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Initially we settled ourselves on the Terrace and enjoyed some starters and drinks.  The terrace was a very cool vibe to it and feels like a perfect place to hangout and chill with friends.

A veg platter, Oriental Spring Rolls and Falafel & Hummus made for our starters while Mai Tai and Junniper Pimms were our selection for drinks. The veg platter included Paneer Tikka, Roasted Pineapple and Stuffed Soya Tikka along with mint sauce, kachumbar salad and yogurt dip. The paneer tikka and soya tikka were perfectly done and spiced. Though the pineapple too was good, very juicy and nicely roasted, but I found it too spicy, if it would have been a little less spicier, it would have been better, as too much of spiciness doesn’t gel with everyones tastebuds.

Oriental Spring Rolls were to die for, crispy on the outside, stuffed with sautéed veggies, it was awesome. I can gorge on them anytime. Falafel served with Pita and Hummus were good too, though I would have preferred if the falafel wasn’t too dry. If eaten alone without the dips, it didn’t go down too well with me because of its dryness.

As for drinks, Junniper Pimms was a gin based cocktail with chunks of cucumber which give it a very refreshing taste and Mai Tai was a rum based cocktail, which had both dark rum and white rum along with orange and pineapple juice. Both the drinks not just looked good, but tasted good as well.

After sometime, we came downstairs to explore the inside seating and also enjoy the Salsa night. We ordered Bloody Mary, LIIT, a Pineapple and Red Bull based Mocktail and one other Pineapple Mocktail, both of which were amazing. Then we also ordered some Nachos to go along and sat ourselves in comfortable couches. The ambience downstairs is also very alive and quirky. Paintings, artefacts and random quotes on the walls, make for an interesting decor overall.

By 9:30, the place was buzzing with people dancing away to some great music and showing Salsa moves with their partners. Those who didn’t have partners, also found like minded people, who were all set to explore and thump their feet on the ground. It was an amazing sight to see so many people dancing, looked like many poetries in motion together.

We further tried a thin crust Bell Pepper & Onion pizza and loved it. To end our evening at a sweet note, Banoffee Pie made for a perfect companion. The taste still lingers on. Well in the end all I can say is that I had a perfect evening spent at Summer House Cafe and for me this place will always remain on my go to list when hanging out with friends.

Summer House Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thai Khun at Kylin Express…!!

Thai Khun typically means Your Thailand, and at an ongoing festival Kylin Experience at Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar brought the Bangkok Food Street experience live for its customers through this festival. Thai Khun is on till Sunday, i.e. 6th of August. So do try and experience the same.

I personally loved my overall visit at Thai Khun, the concept, the ambience and most importantly the food, all were simply great. Concept wise, the moment you enter you are given Thai Baht, which you can spend to buy food from counters selling different items. There is a fruits counter which serves special Thai fruits and salads. Then a grill counter, dimsums counter, the curry station and others. One could explore each one of these and get food in exchange of the Thai Currency (artificial of course).

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The ambience was given a look and feel of local Bangkok food street with colourful Thai umbrellas and rustic stalls. Now coming to the food, I have never been a big fan of Thai food, but this food festival changed my mind set. I have to say that I have never eaten a better Thai food than this. Each and every item in the menu was absolutely amazing and what made me drool for them even more was the fact that they were priced very reasonably. It didn’t feel at all that I was dining inside a hotel, the prices were apt as per the theme, and did full justice to the street food concept.

My personal recommendations would be the Salads, all of them were simply flavourful. Try the Corn on Cob, Lemon Grass Chicken Satay( never eaten better than these), Chicken and Veg Dimsums (loved the way the were roasted to perfection, the smokey flavour was a true enhancer), Grilled Soya Chaap, and Pandan Leaf Chicken. This pandan leaf chicken is something you can’t afford to miss, the sweetness and flavours of pandan leaf on a perfectly grilled piece of chicken was a mouth melting experience and I loved it.

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For the mains I tried the Red Thai Curry Chicken with Sticky Rice and it was yummy! and I truly mean it, It was by far the best I  have eaten, and also one of the reasons was as contrary to the use of Red Paste or Green Curry Paste, here everything was prepared fresh, no pre-made pastes were used in the making of gravies, and that I think gave it a very fresh and appealing taste overall.

For desserts we tired the traditional Thai dessert Red Rubbies, which had Water Chestnuts and Coconut Cream and it was delicious.

I had an amazing amazing time exploring Thai food at Thai Khun and you too must make the most of it, so hurry up..!!
The Kylin Experience - Holiday Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

ChaoBella- A perfect amalgamation of Oriental and Italian Cuisines!

Situated in Crowne Plaza, Okhla, ChaoBella as the name also suggests represents unity of two different cuisines under one roof. It serves authentic Oriental and Italian food and I simply loved it. The place has a very warm vibe, and his chic and classy interiors.

As it was my first visit to the place, I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to try both the cuisines and hence ordered a perfect mix of starters in order to have best from both the worlds.

Shredded Crispy Mushroom, Zhang Fei Spicy Chicken, Vegetable Dumplings and Chicken Jaozi made for the Chinese starters and Pizza Con Pollo Affumicato and Margarita Pizza for the Italian appetisers. I loved the mushroom and zhang chicken, both. The dumplings were perfectly done and I loved the way a green dot represented the vegetable dumplings and a red dot on Chicken Jaozi, they both looked as amazing as they tasted. I also tried Chicken Manchow Soup, which was great and loved a tiny miny chicken dumpling that floated in the soup and gave it an added taste.

The Margarita Pizza, Veg Pizza and Smoked Chicken Pizza were amazing, I especially loved the Veg Pizza. The juices of the vegetables, cheese and a nice crust made for a great pizza, I thoroughly enjoyed relishing a big slice of it.

For the main course, we tried Pan Fried River Sole, a stir fried fish served with Sichuan pickled vegetables and pine nuts and it was really nice. The fish was tender and juicy and the pickled vegetables made for a great accompaniment.

Sautéed Chicken Breast served with Charred Asparagus and Porcini Sauce was another amazing preparation. Loved the juicy chicken breasts, it was mildly spiced and I really liked it.

Chicken in Sichuan Sauce, Malak Vegetables, Chilli Garlic Noodles and Vegetable Fried Rice made for a perfect Chinese Meal, I loved each and every item and I can really gorge on these anytime. Its surely been one of the finest Chinese meals I have eaten.

For Desserts I tried the Tiramisu, which was the only thing I found below standards, as I could not taste coffee much and neither the taste of mascarpone cheese was coming across. I loved the presentation though and the macaroon served along was yummy.

ChaoBella - Crowne Plaza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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