RDX, Rajinder da dhaba

Delhi,India

Went to this place after a lot of recommendations for Rajinder Da Dhaba, an off-shoot of Rajinder  I understood that the food at RDX comes from the original next door. The restaurant wears a dreary look, the seating is very comfortable though. As much I overlooked the ambience or the sticky menus the food was quite mediocre. We ordered for a Paneer Tikka lababdar and when it finally came, it had fresh pieces of paneer and no tikka, the server said that is their style. The dal makhni was nothing exceptional too. Overall a ok place which is very expensive for what it offers.

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

Advertisements

Bittoo da dhaba

Delhi, India

Stumbled upon this place during my evening stroll in the area.  Don’t know if this place has a legacy but it certainly looked like a Dhaba from the outside and I decide to give it a try. The first 10 minutes were really testing as I was unsure if I would wake alright the next day given the hygiene. The place, the servers and every bit about the place is scary and appalling. I ordered for some Chaap Masala and rotis as I did not want to take a chance with dairy. The food was fine, quite delicious and very very easy on the pocket. Less than 250 for a meal for 2.  I am certainly not going back . May be you want to give it a try with their home delivery!

Bittoo Dhaba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Social Hauz Khas, the place to be!

Delhi, India

Social Hauz Khas Mezze

‘ Location,Location,Location’ they say is the crux of a restaurant success but there is a lot more to it and the epitome of which is the Hauz Khas Social. The décor, the vibe, the uniforms, the seating, the lighting, the music, the menu, the food all of which is done such that every penny is worth the spend. A friend and I went for coffee at 4 after a late lunch but ended up having a complete meal yet again.

Social Hauz Khas banoffe cronut

Overlooking a big man-made lake and Mughal era buildings this place is split into 4 levels and each having their own identity and menu. We settled at the ground level which is a massive 250 seater but spacious. With Social two of my earlier food experiences were mediocre, but this time I felt they do great justice to the product given the price. We ordered a mezze platter,a Masala pav and a Banoffee Cronut. The food was great and the cronut exceptional.  I strongly recommend this place, a must visit.

Cheers!
Hauz Khas Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restauranthesis: The Potbelly , Shapur Jat

New Delhi, India

The Potbelly Delhi Bihar cuisine

My knowledge of Bihari cuisine was limited to Litti Choka and that too had never tried them before, needless to say why Potbelly a Bihari eatery in Delhi’s Shahpur Jat  was on top priority this visit.  The rooftop café as they call themselves has an inconspicuous entry followed by a narrow flight of stairs (no elevators) which lead to the fourth floor air-conditioned place.

The Potbelly Delhi Bihar cuisine

Sattu

 

The Potbelly Delhi Bihar cuisine

Baggia Baskets

We grabbed a seat by the window and were quickly attended to.  We engrossed ourselves in the menu and enjoyed the read.  Our menu selection finally boiled down to Sattu; a roasted gram drink to begin with, one each of their sweet and salty variants. The sattu was refreshing in both their forms however it was a meal in itself.  We then moved on to devour Baggia, rice pockets steamed with a lentil stuffing and finished   in mustard seeds and curry leaf.  Then Litti( dumpling) Chokha (Mash)  the most famous dish from the  cuisine arrived.  Baked dumplings twice the size of golf balls stuffed with sattu (read roasted gram and cereal mix)  served with Chana dal , Smoked aubergine mash and mustard laden potato mash were quite a mouthful. The Dal complemented the dry Litti well and I surely enjoyed my first portion of Litti Chokha.  We had planned for Maher a yogurt based rice preparation to finish, we couldn’t, sattu had done us in.

The Potbelly Delhi Bihar cuisine

Litti Chokha

 

The place calls for a second visit as there are many more dishes like Tehri, Dalpitti, Ghunt, ghoogni Churra etc to be tried.  Lastly kudos to the people behind Potbelly, their guts to put their faith behind regional cuisine is admirable!!

Meal for 2: Rs 900

P.S

But Why ‘The Potbelly’ and not a more apt Bihari name!

 

Restauranthesis: Farzi Cafe, Gurgaon

Gurgaon, India

Farzi Cafe cocktails

The Imitation Game was a great watch and was quite inspirational, however in the end I still couldn’t figure out why was it called so, was it about cryptography and the codes or Alan Turing hiding his true self!! So on a Wednesday evening when I entered the Farzi Café, in DLF Cyberhub Gurgaon and seated myself by the bar. ‘Are you ready to get Farzified??’ asked one of the servers and  said to myself , ‘Yes I am and this time I will find out what was Farzification, read the imitation game all about!!’.

Farzi cafe

Mishti Doi shots were the first move; done with the spherification technique the sweet with the tang set our palates up for the evening. We started with Apple Foamintini a straightforward Apple martini with a twist of sweet mint foam on top. The acidity from the granny smiths was balanced well with the sweet foam. So much as I did, I am sure you got the hang of farzification with the meal opener.  The palak paneer Quesadillas came in makke di rotis than tortillas, the kachori with Imli foam was quite refreshing and so was the curry leaf martini which came topped with Aam papad chutney foam.  The karela (bitter gourd) calamari embodied the spirit of Farzification in earnest.  The Dal Chawal Arancinis however could have been a little moist; the chutneys saved them to a certain extent.

Farzi cafe

Farzi Cafe cocktailsTheir take on Manhattan came with apple and spice reduction instead of the sugar, moreover the whole technique of stirring the drink made the difference. Lastly the ice-ball put together with crushed iced instead of the Japanese way of carving one thoroughly made it a farzi cocktail. As we moved further into the evening the lights had dimmed, the DJ was on his feet and the percussionist was warming up on his drums.  Our last appetizer for the evening was Sarson ki Galawat and it went well with the herbed Manhattan.

Farzi cafe

 

For the main the Gucchi mushroom risotto was spot on, the spaghetti alio olio with tomato kut was deceptive as it came in a rich coconut sauce for the coastal boy that I am, cannot complain. The Ratatouille pav bhaji was a dampener and the Kadhi Chawal very common place; I would rather have eaten my mains at Made in Punjab next door. To pair with the mains we had a Kaffir lime and Orange refresher and it kept us good company.

Farzi Cafe Vegetarian (21)

It was 10 in the night and the artists were in their groove, the place was all full and it seemed like weekend. We started with farzified  B-52 shots for desserts. The Rasmalai tres leches a take on the South American classic was done very well and so was the Suji (semolina) and banana cake with pistachio icecream. The Firni Oxide disappointed, all the showmanship at the table to assemble the dessert was futile I thought.

Last thoughts a great place for quirky cocktails, banter and music, the food enthralled at most times but for the few misses.  Meal for 2 without drinks will go upwards of Rs 2000.  Go get Farzified!!

 

 

Restauranthesis: Indian Accent

Delhi, India

Indian Accent Chefs Menu (1)

Indian Accent was voted the best restaurant in India in the 2015 edition of Asia’s 50 best restaurant awards held in Singapore on 9th March, and it was pure serendipity that I happened to experience the place on the 10th evening. Brainchild of Manish Mehrotra a chef acclaimed for his culinary prowess and also deemed responsible for putting the stand-alone restaurant scene in India on the global culinary map with the opening of Indian Accent in 2009. Would have loved to meet a fellow alumnus of Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai but Chef Mehrotra was in Singapore for the awards and also his social media presence mentioned of him exploring food and thus more ideas I would easily assume. Can we see Sea Urchin on the Indian Accent menu, only the chef can tell!!!

Housed in the Manor a boutique hotel, the passage leading to the restaurant is adorned with Marigold flowers. As one enters is the pre/post meal drinks area with comfortable couch seating and seating by the bar. We headed to the dining room; the table was bedecked in a classic French style cover, with a marble conch and marigold flower as the centerpiece. The Chef’s vegetarian tasting menu (Rs 2695) was ordered and the culinary journey began. I chose to skip the wines (Rs 2595 for six 75 ml pours) which are paired course-wise,whilst Marigold; a spiced rum concoction and Smoky Mountain; a heady mix of Tennessee and Ricard kept me company in the interim. The latter was a perfect aperitif, the aniseed from the Ricard got my palate ready and to add to it were bite-size blue cheese naans, a mainstay on the menu.

Indian Accent Chef Menu

The menu descriptions had only made me impatient to see what was in store, the dishes kept coming one by one and my curiosity to know more about the next whilst enjoying the one in front of me was the peak of the experience and these peaks showed up till the end of my meal.  Pumpkin and coconut shorba was redolent of  flavours from a Karwari household, the potato sphere chaat was a mélange of flavours and textures, the sphere was made of crispy potato ‘vermicelli’, the soft ragda and the piece of watermelon gave it the culinary high. The baingan bharta cornetto was all smoked up and the garlic raita complemented well. Just half way through the meal and I knew why it was the best restaurant in India!!

Indian Accent Chef Menu

The Tofu Coriander Vadai with peanut gun powder and lime leaf tadka, came with a Thai touch. The philosophy of the kitchen in my opinion was very simple; combine two or three simple flavours in a way that results in something extraordinary and it was very much evident in the beetroot and peanut butter tikki with wasabi chutney, all the flavours showed up in a harmony. The next one was a very smart take on ravioli, the Khandvi ravioli with goat’s cheese and pine nuts was spectacular and so was their popular Gucchi Musallam with walnuts and parmesan papad. The Churan and Anar sorbet on a stick was a much-needed palate cleanser before we went to the main course.

Indian Accent Chef Menu

It was gourmet exuberance so far and then there was more, the Dal Moradabadi with Chur Chur paratha, the classic Sarson da Saag with a twist of polenta crusted Malai corn, the wild mushroom kulcha and the pumpkin & cheddar kulcha. The ‘Chowpatty in a bowl’ a take on Mumbai’s pav bhaji did not satisfy my Mumbaiyya palate much though. The warm doda barfi and treacle tart, the Mishti Doi Cannoli, the Daulat ki Chaat and the Besan Laddoo tart with Mithai cheese cake were all sublime; so much that one could specifically go there for some night caps and desserts.

Indian Accent Chefs Menu dessert

Overall a scintillating experience with food par excellence, the cocktails guardians however have a job to do and match up to the food in terms of aesthetics and presentation. So people go and try, it will be worth every penny you spend!!

 

 

 

Restauranthesis: Harry’s , Khan Market

20140226_162030_Richtone(HDR)

Delhi,India

After launching in Mumbai late in 2013, Harry’s the Singapore based chain of bars opened its doors to Delhites with their first outlet at Select City mall Saket  and the latest one  in the famous  Khan Market. I was invited to review the new place by Rahul Massey, the Executive Chef – North India, PanIndia foods which also runs brands like Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Spaghetti Kitchen, Gelato Italiano, Copper chimney etc.

sunroofed seating...

sunroofed seating…

The bar

The bar

Harry’s is a place synonymous as the friendly neighborhood bar and a destination for post work drinks. The Khan Market outlet translates exactly into the same, it has an inconspicuous entrance and you have to pass through the first floor which houses Coffee bean and tea leaf to enter the bar on the second.  It is less than 50 covers with a patio seating, an area under a sun roof and a section opposite the well equipped bar.  I settled in the outdoor area with a high stool seating overlooking the roadside.

The beverage selection offers a great choice in beers with Stella and Hoegaarden on the tap, a fair collection of spirits and a few wines. They have a well crafted list of cocktails and mocktails to choose from and I knew what I wanted being the wine man I am. The food selection was multicuisine ranging from Thai, Indian to American. “We are a beverage place, but we do great on food sales at a 60:40 ratio, 40 being the latter. The food is rustic with focus being on their match with drinks” said Massey

I  started with a sparkling wine sangria and Harry’s nachos as suggested by the server, the Sangria was delicious with chopped fruits, and the nachos a  combo of sour cream, guacamole, salsa, kidney beans, jalapenos, peppers in a layered fashion.  On one hand was the generous portion of nachos and on the other a half-filled glass of sangria, a disappointment even more when the fruits leave you with a few sips.

Sparkling Sangria and Harry's nachos

Sparkling Sangria and Harry’s nachos

Paneer with Wasabi Mayo

Paneer with Wasabi Mayo

Next was a combination of Wasabi Paneer and white wine Sangria. The Paneer was wrapped in spinach deep fried and served with Wasabi mayo. The casing seemed a bit chewy but otherwise a good bar nibble it is.  The sangria came in a lovely goblet, with a mixture of fruits and mint (never seen this before) and the taste was good but sadly dominated by mango and orange leaving me with little wine flavour.

White wine Sangria

White wine Sangria

The veggie platter....

The veggie platter….

Singapore Sling...check the coasters

Singapore Sling…check the coasters

Then came a platter full of appetizers Tofu and potato satays, mushroom fritters, chilli cheese and refried bean bruschettas. Each of them were wonderfully done, the tofu marinated in  Thai curry paste, the potato high on kafir lime leaf flavor, the fritters with a cheesy core and the bruschetta were  perfectly toasted, crispy on the outside and soft inside. This for me was the preview of the mix-n-match platter to be listed soon. A big thumbs up to it!

I was choked and overwhelmed with all that came my way. A heady ‘Singapore Sling’, classic gin based cocktail from the chains origin came to my rescue and help me wash down. It was not over yet; Thai potato rolls and mini veggie burgers came in to end my meal. Cubes of potatoes tossed in Thai spices and rolled in a maida wrap, the filling was great but the wrap was a letdown, very commercial in taste and texture and the burgers were classic aloo patty ones. The cocktail held me in good stead here.

We finally ended with a delicious scoop of coffee and vanilla gelatos; remember they own a gelato chain too.

Thai roll....

Thai roll….

Verdict:

  • Affordable, next door bar and eatery,beers start at 149 a pint
  • Lovely ambiance and music
  • Great food and beverage selection.
  • Teetotalers have a great set of mocktails to choose from
  • A few chinks in their f&b armor let them down a bit
  • Veggie meal for 2 under 1200!

Overall a great place to unwind post work, or visit  for a quick working lunch or grooving on some nightcaps!!!