Friday, June 25, 2010

Baujee ka Dhabha, Gurgaon

Baujee ka Dhabha,
MGF Mall
 Ph : 0124 410 1066/67

Hidden in a corner of the MGF mall, this restaurant is a little difficult to find unless you are actively searching for it. But its worth the search, because you can escape from a standard mall, into a restaurant with a personality. As you enter, you will chance upon an astrologer and his parrot who will read your fortune for you if you want.

The dhabha theme and decor continue as you enter the restaurant, right down to the charpoys, the copper bottomed dishes and glasses and the achars (pickles) in ceramic jars.

To start off, we ordered the Raseela Aam panna 75Rs which came in a kullad with jeera tadka. It was really good, for 2nd's we asked them to skip the tadka and enjoyed that even more.

Lunch was Murg Dumpukht 325Rs - a very tasty spicy and tangy chicken dish cooked on dum. To go with this we ordered an aloo(potato) stuffed naan (60Rs), laccha paratha (50Rs) and a tawa phulka (18Rs)

While we really enjoyed this course, the next course of Mutton Biryani (325Rs) was quite a let down and not something I would try again at this location and hence my quest for a good quality biryani in Delhi continues.

We ended the meal on a sweet note of kulfi falooda (110Rs) The kulfi was good, the falooda in true Irani style did not add to the flavour, but was just there to cut the sweetness of the kulfi.

A bottle of Mineral Water was 40rs and taxes are added to the mentioned prices.

The Punjabi food seems really good at this place and I would go back for more, but I will stay away from the biryani.

Edited on 23 Feb 2011 to Add:
We were in Gurgaon and needed a place to have a quick Indian lunch while still being able to catch the World Cup match (for the male members of the group), so given my last experience here, I thought this would be a good fit. I wasn't disappointed.

Kingfisher pints at 125Rs and Budweiser pints at 145Rs, got the group into a good mood. They do provide complimentary roasted papads while you wait for your hot appetisers. For starters we ordered the tawa kabab (350Rs) which had 3 pieces of veg shammi kababs and 3 pieces of dahi ke kebab. I've been wanting to try dahi ke kebab for ages, as it keeps popping up on menus in Delhi, but have always succumbed to the non veg options on the menu. It was quite interesting - thickened sweetened curd mixed with some kind of a binder and deep fried.

The dhabha murg tikka (399Rs) was divine. Spicy, well marinated and melt in your mouth consistency.. The bhuna ghosht (425Rs) had mutton pieces with mutton mince and boiled eggs - a semi gravy concoction that went well with the rotis.

The dhabha dhal (195rs) - a mix of yellow and black dhals was well appreciated around the table. The heeng jeera mattar (200Rs) had a home cooked aura around it. Not too spicy but flavoursome. Boondi Raita (105Rs) rounded up the dishes.

The pyaz hari mirch roti (95Rs) was spicy and not as heavy as a paratha. Missi rotis (50Rs) and tandoori rotis (25Rs) were all great accompaniments to the main dishes. Remembering my last experience with the biriyani, we opted for the jeera chawal (140Rs) this time and it was a good choice.

The food was extremely tasty and everyone was happy with the service and quality. Baujee ka dhabha struggles with its location as it is in a corner of the MGF mall on the 3rd floor. To arrive here you have to cross stalwarts like Rajdhani and a couple of other Indian restaurants. But its worth avoiding the temptations along the path to get here.

TLR Cafe, Delhi

TLR (The Living Room) Cafe
Main Market
31 Hauz Khas Village
4608 0533 / 44

TLR Cafe is a comfortable hidey hole in the middle of Hauz Khas Village. You have to negotiate some tricky stairs to arrive here, but its worth the climb. It operates as a cafe during the day with board games on offer and post sundown it morphs into a lounge/bar.

TLR is split across 3 levels. The lowest has darker lighting, well suited for the night with space for the live band. The next level feels brighter and airier as it has more natural sunlight coming in. The highest level is open air which is mostly used as a smoking zone in the current weather conditions.

They sometimes have live bands playing. The events section on their website is temporarily silent, but they promise to start updating this section sometime soon.

We revisited TLR a few days ago, as we had loved our first visit to this place in January. The prices have shot up in the last few months, but the taste remains as wonderful as before.. The pollo cilantro was 395rs a few months back, now its 450Rs. Its half a chicken marinated in a corriander and chilli sauce, served with roast herbed potatoes and some grilled veggies on the side.
The last time we were there, we had a Lemon Chicken Soup for 180rs, that was a comforting and filling broth with delicate well balanced flavours. This time, we ordered a T-Total and T-ease  (black and green ice teas with lemon grass and basil and ginger and mint) for 100rs each. Very refreshing.

As starters we ordered the Sea Biscuits (370Rs) - Thai inspired fish cakes, again very delicately flavoured with a bit of garlic mayo to round up the flavours. We also tried the Spicy Porn Cuffs (twist on corn puffs) for 265Rs - a vegetarian dish of roasted corn kernels served in little spring roll pastry bases. Very tasty, but a little difficult to pop into the mouth in one go. It was fun watching the kernels drop and roll as we attempted to manouver the bite right into these spicy and tricky buggers.

For dessert we had the Creme Brulee (195rs) and Hot Chocolate Souffle (was 160rs, now 235rs) which sufferred a bit from the fluctuating electricity problem.

The last time I had the chocolate souffle it burst open with some gooey chocolate pouring out from the inside. But this time, since the power went off, when my souffle was in the oven, it came out cooked through and through. While the taste was still great, I do love the molten chocolate goo more.

Service Charge of 10% and VAT at 12.5% and (20% for alcohol) will be tagged on to your bill.

The menu has a lot of hot and cold coffees, teas, fruit juices and smoothies on offer if all you want is to cool down with a nice drink after trudging around the Hauz Khas village and ruins. There are a large variety of cocktails and beers on offer too.

Pastas, sandwiches, risottos, burgers are some of the other items on the menu, which is inspired by world cuisine. So be ready to try out something new.

The food is awesome, TLR offers something different in a city where Kebabs and Indian-Chinese restaurants rule the roost. The only thing that could make this place better was if it had a view of the ruins or the deer park next door.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Food Chowk, Delhi

The Food Chowk behind the DLF Select Mall is a great VFM option for anyone visiting the trio of malls in Saket. It is attached to the DLF Select Mall internally if you need to get there without exposing yourself to heat or rain.

The food courts in all 3 malls have the usual offerings of KFC, McDonalds, Dominos etc. But for some heartwarming food, you had to try and struggle for a table at one of the better restaurants.

The tagline of The Food Chowk - "Chandni Chowk meets Chowpatty" is quite apt. There are at least 20 different food counters in this food mall(?) that are well spread out. Seating is limited to nooks and corners, but there are tables to stand at and grab that quick bite.

Coming down to the food, the options are plenty. The first store to greet you as you enter is Karims, followed by The Kathis (excellent rolls in the range of 35rs for a single egg roll to 110rs for double egg, double mutton or double egg, double chicken). Then as you meander through the bylanes, you will chance upon Bijoli grill (Bengali food), the Hyderabadi place, Nathu Sweets, Chaat counters (20rs for a plate of pani puri), Maharasthra Food stall - cleaner than its Dilli Haat counterpart offers chaat (35rs for bhel puri) and other Bombay specialites like bajra roti, vada pav, missal pav etc. There even is a Chinese/Thai Food counter and parathas from a mall version of (parathewali galli)

If the desserts at the food stalls aren't enough for you, there is a kulfi stall with a range of flavours including paan, sugar free, butterscotch, black forest and black currant at around 35rs a stick. They did look clean and hygenic and tasted quite good too.

And for the final mouth freshening finish, visit the Prince paan counter.(taxes extra over and above advertised prices). A meetha paan costs about 28rs with tax.

Bottles of water range from 20rs for half litre Kinley and 30rs for a litre of Aqua Fina @ the Drizzles stall to 20rs for a litre of Manikchands Oxyrich at The Kathis. so if you are price sensitive, browse around carefully before selecting your options.

There is a counter below the escalators where you buy a card for your transactions and pre load the card with a 15rs deposit for the card which is refundable when you return the card. (they only accept cash payments right now) All the stalls will only accept this card.

The prices are quite reasonable. 3 of us had a light lunch and late dinner at Food Chowk between browsing at the mall and a movie. The total food bill was less than 1000Rs for 6 non-vegetarian (mostly) meal portions.

It has always been extremely crowded whenever we have passed by the place, but yesterday it was empty enough for us to eschew our favourite "The Big Chill Cafe" to try this place out and we weren't disappointed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chi Kitchen, Delhi

 Chi Kitchen
C - 1, SDA
4650 8753

Also at Select City Walk Mall, Saket

Ordered a takeaway from these guys and we were so hungry that I forgot to take pictures :).

We started with a chicken & corriander dimsum (320Rs). Beautifully shaped crescents, the pastry was light but held together the dimsums perfectly. the stuffing had just the right amount of moisture content to burst flavour in our mouths while still retaining its tight form. There were some sauces(a garlic mayonnaise, red chilli paste, sour & spicy sauce and a sweet &spicy sauce, pickled ginger) that came home with the delivery. And we tried all of them which mostly went well with the dimsum.

We then had the HongKong Chicken wonton and Roast Pork noodle soup (290Rs). The portion was really large, with 4 wontons and a fair amount of wonderfully flavored roast pork slices. The broth with simple yet hearty. An ideal summer soup. Not too heavy, but filling enough to be an entire meal.

We had also ordered a red thai chicken curry (325rs) which we had the next day. It wasn't very spicy, but the balance of lemon grass, galangal and basil was lovely. You need to order rice seperately when ordering the curry dishes. The veg fried rice (165Rs) was the only item we ordered, that didn't match the wonderful flavours of the rest of the food. The rice was a little undercooked and was too al dente to enjoy.

Portion sizes are generous. One rice and curry should be enough for 2 moderately hungry people.

VAT is 12.5% and for home delivery there is a packing charge of 10% (4 items costed us 110Rs - more than any other delivery/packing charge I have seen in Delhi). Bill for 2 which served us 2 mini meals each was about 1350Rs.

They have a reasonably large menu influenced by South East Asian cuisine. We will definitely order in again, from here and try out the other items too.


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