Day: January 17, 2016

Mister Chai@ Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi

Mister Chai@ Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi

Going to Shangri-La, always becomes a nostalgic experience for me, not because of the hotel itself, but because of the group it belongs to, the Eros group. This is because in very initial years of career I got an opportunity to work with Parkroyal Hotel by the same group, which is now known as Eros Intercontinental, and somewhere I still feel connected to it, so even though Shangri-La had not opened then, its belonging to Eros group, gives me that sense of a mutual connect.

Now coming to Mister Chai, its a newly opened tea restaurant at Shangri-La, and its appropriately located right in the middle of the hotel lobby.

I have been to Shangri-La a lot of times in the past, and hence can vouch for the fact that this place in the lobby which earlier served just as a lounge, is completely revamped. The look and feel, the interiors, the menu, everything is new and thats what makes it very very exciting to visit.

Mister Chai is a unique concept that has been curated to give patrons a local ‘tea shop feel’ focusing on regional Indian street food and beverages with a strong focus on tea.

Conceptualized by the renowned Dubai based interior design company – Stickman Designs, Mister Chai is an intimate and relaxed space 

Beveled antique mirror walls add depth and open up this subtle space. Brass shelving has been suspended delicately from the ceiling, displaying the unique varieties on offer. Each feature adds its own distinctive character to create the perfect ambience for guests to relax and savour the delicacies on offer

Unlike a conventional tea lounge, Mister Chai is a dining destination in its own right. Popular Indian street food has been re-invented and presented in exceptional style.  Experienced and talented Chefs under the guidance of Executive Chef, Neeraj Tyagi have collaborated to design a menu that is as creative as it is well thought out.
To start with we were the ‘Chai Ki Tapri’, which consists of the traditional Cutting Chai, Meri Apni Cutting and Kadak Masala Chai and provide the quintessential Indian Chai experience.

The beverage menu also consists of other drinks like  Black Teas, Green Teas, Oolong Teas and Herbal Teas, Regional Teas as well as a selection of Iced Teas and other drinks like Neembu Lemon, Ginger Punch and Coffees, both hot and cold.

With the chai, we got a ‘Tin of Rusks’, a perfect crispy accompaniment that completes the road side tea drinking feel in an amazingly plush environment.
There was also a  Namkeen ka Dabba ’, which is also considered to be the famous Indian savory teatime snack, comprising of Chakli, Curry Patta Peanuts, Channa Jor Garam giving our palate the perfect flavourful punch.  

Along with the tea, we also ordered a ‘Masala Chaas’ and ‘Ginger Punch’. Both the drinks were equally refreshing.

The next in menu was the ‘Corn Bhel’, the perfect fusion of bhel puri taste with a twist of corn as the main ingredient. It was truly amazing. I loved every bite of it and even loved the small cute bucket it was presented in.
The ‘Wow Pao’ is a modern take on the native Maharashtran snack consisting of aperitifs such as the Goan Chorizo Pao, Shikampuri Pao or even the classic Vada Pao. Each and every variety of the Wow Pao was actually wow, there is no better word than this to describe it. 

The most interesting thing these paos come with is these droppers filled with chutneys, inserted right in the middle of the pao, just press it and enjoy.
The next was Dahi Puri,written as SPDP in the menu, which was so mouth watering to look at, that I just could not resist them, they tasted perfect and took me to the chowpatty of Juhu instantly.

Continuing with the Maharashtran inspired relishes, the next was ‘Colaba Fish Fry Sandwich’. From the entire menu items tasted so far, this was the best. The fish was crunchy, crispy, mouth melting and tasted amazing sandwiched in the middle of a soft bread.

Still continuing the Mumbaiya flavours, the next to taste was some Kaanda Bhajiya and Mumbai Sandwiches called the MTDC, and believe you me, I have practically lived in out of Mumbai for 8 years and know the taste of local street food very well, I have tried making this Kaanda Bhajiya at home many times, it comes to be good, but still doesn’t taste the way it does at Chowpatty in Mumbai, but Mister Chai, amazed me. They have truly mastered the local flavours with their own twists and created an excellent menu. I have been missing going to Mumbai for a few months now, but guess the need to satiate my craving for Mumbai street food can now be met at Mister Chai. The sandwiches too were just too perfect and had that flawless local flavour.

Now was the time for our very own Samosa with a twist. Being a cook myself and trying new things, experimenting with food, I have made Samosas with different fillings, like cottage cheese, chicken, keema etc. but still never tried or heard of ‘Butter Chicken Samosa’. This Samosa was just too good to be described in words, I loved it, relished it and still crave for more.
There was the regular samosa as well, with potato filling, and was nice too, but another show stealer here was the ‘Chilly Cheese Samosa’. It was just too good, a samosa filled with goodness of gooey cheese, just wonderful.
These Samosas again came with cute syringes filled with chutneys, you could inject theme directly into the samosa, your plate or even your mouth 😉
The menu also has a section called the ‘Firangi Twist’ which helps cater to the most discerning of palates, comprising of noteworthy dishes such as Chocolate Toast which is toasted brioche bread layered with melted Cadbury silk chocolate, Chicken Khurchan Tacos comprising of slowly cooked chicken, guacamole, tomato chutney and garlic yoghurt all wrapped in a roti. I tried the Chicken Khurchan Tacos and must admit that the twist of taco as a roti was simply amazing, it was a chicken taco and yet not completely videshi, it still retained our Indian essence.
Further into the menu, Mister Chai offers its patrons an assortment of elegant pastries, macaroons, and handcrafted chocolates imbued with regional flavours. A few of the signature chocolates are Paantastic which is an ivory White Chocolate enriched with Saffron blended with Gulkand, sweet Anise Seeds and Cardamom, Mango Bite in which Aam Papad and Passionfruit puree is blended with White Chocolate in a Milk Chocolate shell among other hand crafted chocolates.   
I tried the chocolate macaroon, which was awesome, I could have eaten a few more of them, but I resisted the temptation.
I tried the different flavoured chocolates and have to say that all of them were simply mind blowing, loved each one of them, but coffee crunch is going to be my favourite.
We also tried the black forest pastry and it wasn’t the regular types at all, it was different in every sense possible and is very difficult to describe it in words. There was another fruit pastry which was wrapped in a white chocolate cup and it too tasted amazing.

Great food, fantastic ambience, and top class service is what we expect from any five star, but giving us authentic flavours of regional street food, in a classy atmosphere is truly remarkable for a even a 5 star to deliver, and kudos to the team at Mister Chai for doing so. Its really commendable and very very highly recommend. Must must try. Simply loved it.

Mister Chai - Shangri-La's - Eros Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Barcelos Opens its Door at Hauzkhas Village

Barcelos Opens its Door at Hauzkhas Village

After successful debut in India with its first restaurant in  Khan Market, now Barcelos launches its second restaurant in the most happening and a very prominent foodies zone, Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi.
Barcelos is famous for its flame grilled Peri Peri menu and has created its own unique following by introducing to the discerning Indian foodie their own brand of innovation. Barcelos revolutionized the concept of the ‘burger’ in India by presenting it in different colors! That apart, they have created a niche for themselves with their innovative salads, beverages like Molecular drinks, boozy shakes and by introducing India’s first Sangria Bar.

Barcelos is a town in Portugal hence the theme of Portugal is reflected through the interiors and designs of the restaurant. Barcelos keep its focus on the modern and antique art for the interior. Stretched in the area of 3600 sq ft, Hauz Khas Village outlet has raw and rustic interiors. Each wall of the restaurant depicts the story of Portugal which is very unique and attractive. The famous personalities and the different shades of Portugal have been painted on the walls. Also the 3D painting of real streets of Portugal on the wall is quite fascinating which creates an authentic ambience of a Portugal town inside the restaurant.

Sometimes its just wonderful to gorge upon a pre-decided menu, where in you don’t need to apply brains on selecting dishes from the menu, and at the same time enjoy best of the food, just sit back and relax, while you get served.
For starters, we were served Pita Bread with assorted dips, a chicken platter which included chicken liver with garlic oil, chicken drumstick, chicken wings and boneless thighs with onion & peppers, along with their signature 4 mini burgers, two of them were mutton and 2 chicken, with a red and black burger of each.
All of the above mentioned dishes were appetising to even look at, and highly tempting, especially the red and black burgers. For a long time, you just wanna look at them and not even eat, they are a photographers delight. When you look at food like this, you truly start believing that food is a work of art, and nature has really blessed us humans to savour things like these.

The pita bread platter, was truly awesome, the dips were mouth watering and I just wanted to keep them eating more and more. It also had some nachos and two vegetable cutlets, but the pita bread and dips alone were more than sufficient. The hummus and yogurt dips were the best out of the lot.
Now coming to the non vegetarian platter, the chicken pieces were very tender and delicious, but the only thing was that all the chicken pieces tasted the same, so it didn’t really matter if one was eating a boneless thigh piece or a chicken wing. The flavours were not very distinctly different from each other. Its my personal opinion that a platter means one gets to taste different kinds of dishes in a single combo dish, but here it wasn’t the case. But then may be its because of peri peri being the main ingredient in all of the above.
As for the burgers, after gazing at them for a long time, I thought of finally tasting them and they were as tasty as they looked. I tried both mutton and chicken burgers and they were awesome. I am not too fond of mutton when eating out, but this was an exception and I don’t regret it at all. The mutton was very very juicy and tender and so was the chicken. My only suggestion to the team at Barcelos is that they should make their burger patties slightly bigger, because what happened in both the burgers was that in mere two bites the patty got over while a lot of bun was still left, which doesn’t really work for me. I enjoy burgers in which the patty is as much as a part of the last bite as the bun.
The starters were accompanied by two molecular mocktails,  Tangy Mango and Kiwi Kooler. The tangy mango was somewhat like the Aam Panna that we make at home, the only difference being this didn’t use raw mangoes, so it was more like a masala mango drink and I really enjoyed this one. Kiwi Kooler was good too, very very cool and soothing, and I think it will make for a perfect summer drink.

For the mains we were served Chicken Espeteda, Chicken Pita and 1/4Chicken. The mere presentation of Chicken Espeteda left me drooling, the food that looks so good and tempting is like half the battle already won, and if it tastes also awesome, then we get something we say as Sone Pe Suhaga. And this dish truly meant the same, it looked delicious and tasted delicious too. It came with a plateful of fries which were just a perfect accompaniment for the chicken. The chicken hanging in skewers, a plate full of fries at bottom.. aah.. just too good.
The Chicken Pita was made to perfection and held its very authentic taste in place. The bread was soft and the chicken succulent.
1/4 chicken tasted good too, but the only disappointing factor was that almost all chicken items had a very similar taste, it was very difficult to figure out any distinct flavour difference in them, which made the chicken dishes look more repetitive.

We got a desserts platter, which had a chocolate truffle pastry, a rusk biscuit, and vanilla ice cream on top of a cookie. All the desserts were good, but nothing exceptional about them. I was looking forward to some innovation in this department too, but was little disappointed. I am sure the team will definitely look into the same.

Overall, definitely a place worth visiting, the burgers, and pita bread is highly recommended.

Barcelos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lohri Goodies from

Lohri Goodies from

Sundar mundriye ho! ..Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dulla bhatti wala ho!..Dulle di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!..Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!..Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!..Zamindaar sudhaye!
Bade bhole aaye!..Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee pakad ke lai gaya!..Sipahee ne mari eet!
Sanoo de de lohri te teri jeeve jodi! ..Bhave ro te Bhave pit!
This folk song is almost like a synonym with the festival of Lohri.
Lohri is a very popular Punjabi festival, especially celebrated in the Northern parts of India. There are many origins of Lohri: all forming part of folklore. However, the main theme of Lohri is the belief that Lohri is the cultural celebration of the winter solstice. Lohri is meant to be celebrated on the shortest day of the year, but since many years it is celebrated on the 13th of January across Punjab and other northern regions of the country.
For Punjabi families Lohri means coming together of families, lighting a bonfire, sitting together, celebrating, singing songs and relishing some savouries which are associated especially with this festival.

And amidst everything, Delhi has another reason to celebrate as Grocerybag brings us directly from the heart of Asia’s oldest market of Khari Baoli, the decadent treats and surprises to gorge on with delight, just at the click of a mouse. Having been in the trade for more than two centuries, Grocerybag has amassed an all-embracing understanding of the choicest range of grains, spices, dry fruits and much, much more! They have reinvented themselves from being just a grain wholesaler to a comprehensive grocery solution provider; is a unique endeavor through their new online platform.

And for the festival of enthusiasm, delight, and prosperity Grocerybag created a special hamper for us to enjoy the gourmet range of delicacies that they have in store for the beautiful celebration of Lohri.
I felt very lucky indeed to receive the Lohri hamper from Grocerybag which not just reflected the essence of the festival but also the promise of quality product that the brand delivers. I was delighted to see so much goodness packed in this one small little box of Lohri goodies from Grocerybag.

This small little box was loaded with 7 goodies that perfectly captured the sentiments of Lohri and the items that we have been relishing since our childhood on this occasion.
It had almonds, raisins, corn kernels, revris, jaggery, cashew nuts and peanuts and I must admit that even without opening the packets, the quality of product spoke for itself. By just looking at the products one could say that they are the best.

The revris tasted just perfect, very crisp and yet not hard or chewy on the teeth. It had a great taste and aroma of cardamom which made it even more irresistible. The almonds too were very crisp and so were the cashew nuts. I was really impressed with the quality of peanuts as normally when we buy these peanuts with shells, most of them are either empty or have those bitter tasting, rotten peanuts, but in this packet, each and every shell opened to beautiful and tasty peanut seeds.
After tasting the products I vouch for the quality and taste and rate it really high. My favourite was the jaggery, because it wasn’t a plain jaggery, but the one which is made using other dry fruits. It tasted just yumm and I am placing my order for it right away.
The hamper also came with a handwritten note from the team and it makes it even more special for me to always remember Grocerybag whenever I order my groceries next.

I highly recommend using Grocerybag for ordering not just your favourite dry fruits and savouries but all the goodies and products that they have available on their online portal. They have almost everything that our kitchen needs, from pulses to spices, to oils and ghee, condiments, pickles & murrabas and lot more. They also offer free delivery across Delhi and NCR and makes it very convenient to now get best of products at the ease of simple click. So don’t think much just log on to and you are sorted.

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