Friday, January 31, 2014

Magic Chicken, Ahmedabad

Magic Chicken,
Ground Floor,
Regency Park Plaza,
Amber Tower,
Sarkhej Road

+91 7567676769

Having seen "Magic Chicken" on zomato, I just had to go and get myself some Al Faham chicken because I've been missing it so much (there was an excellent joint in Hyderabad who used to make it very well, but closed down a couple of years ago)

We absolutely loved the Al Faham chicken (290/- full & 150/- half) - grilled on a rotisserie - nice and spicy - a rarity in Gujarat to get spicy food that isn't salty (a request to make anything extra spicy in Ahmedabad normally turns extra salty too because all their seasonings are premixed)

The shawarma (50/-) was not 100% authentic as in the Lebanese style, but it was quite yummy and the garlic mayo on the side was excellent.

They also offer American Broasted and Shavai Grill Chicken. Both of which are fried and hence I haven't tried them out before.

Definitely going to pick up more takeaways from here.

They have a couple of plastic tables to sit out - but the weather is too hot for that in summer - its lovely to sit out at the beginning and end of winter though

Rating : 4 / 5

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gandhi Cold Drink House, Ahmedabad

Gandhi Cold Drink House,
Opposite Nishat Restaurant,
079 25507555

Gandhi Cold Drink is famous because they are credited with being the first place to start serving falooda in Gujarat.

Its a small shop near Bhadra Fort. You can either wait to get seated at one of the 4 tables inside or you can stand or sit outside the shop and enjoy your falooda.

Personally, for me the falooda is too sweet and not milky enough. I prefer the Bombay version of the falooda (there's excellent falooda to be had near Crawford Market in Bombay). I do like their ice creams though.

They do have a couple of locations within the city too, if Bhadra is too far for you to visit. The CG Road outlet seems to be their most popular one.

Rating : 3 / 5

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tea Post, Ahmedabad

Tea Post
10, Surmount Complex,
Opposite Iscon Mega Mall,
S G Highway,

+91 9426868249, +91 7698700009

Tea Post is a recent entry into the "Chai Bar" space in Ahmedabad. However, their pricing is closer to kitli chai than a chai bar.

The indoor seats are very comfortable and they have some outdoor seating too which are simpler backless stools.

Menu is limited, some tea with milk and some without, ice teas and a few snacks.

We tried the kaavo - a black tea, which was more like rasam (since it had pepper, ginger and salt), than a chai. While initially it tasted very strange, once I thought of it as soup, it was much easier to drink and I knew it was doing wonders for my system in this cold weather..

Husband had the ginger pudina tea. He felt the tea was good, but the pudina flavouring got a bit too strong and overpowered the ginger.

We also had the bun maska, which was good, but Lucky Tea and VarieTea serve much better versions.

Just to make sure I had covered all bases, I also asked for a rose mint ice tea. This was refreshing, but a little too sweet for my taste, so next time I visit, I will ask them to reduce the sugar for me.

All of this, and the bill was just 95 Rs. No wonder, it is normally filled with student crowd.

Tea is served in paper cups. Snacks which include theplas and samosas are served in paper plates. so don't expect anything fancy.

Service was very polite and the guys behind the counter are really sweet, but the flies around were distracting and irritating.

Its good value for money, but I prefer VarieTea any day.

Rating : 3 / 5

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Das New Surti Khaman House, Ahmedabad

Das New Surti Khaman House,
2, Trade Centre, Stadium Road,
079 65416472, +91 9898406576

Das New Surti Khaman House, was recommended by Rocky & Mayur in "Highway on My Plate", so it was obviously on my wishlist for awhile.

I finally headed here and ordered 1 plate - 200/250 gms of all the varieties that they had that day. Ate some there and packed some as takeaway.

I do believe that this place should be used purely as takeaway. It is too hot in that adjoining room to stand and eat khaman, half the taste is lost with the filth around, the heat, the barely rotating fan, the sweat pouring down and the dogs hovering around.

However the sev khaman is best eaten on the spot or maybe in your car (although I hate eating in the car, especially messy foods like sev)

The sev khaman though in my opinion, is their best dish and the next time I pack it up to bring it home, I will request them to pack the sev separately from the khaman and chutneys. (Or maybe he packed them together because I only ordered 1 plate for takeaway.

The tam tam khaman, dahi tam tam, green fry khaman and a black pepper khaman were interesting. the tam tam and the black pepper were the best of this lot of flavoured (fried khamans)

They did not seem to have an English menu at the premises, but now when I go back I will ask for the lilwa hottest kachori for sure, and also request that they pack the sev separate from the khaman

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cafe Formula By Tamura, Ahmedabad

Cafe Formula By Tamura
F 1, B Wing,
Acropolis Mall,
S G Highway,
+91 8238831390, +91 9818197782

Tamura in Ahmedabad is a very basic eating joint. It has 4 tables in a small seating area which also encompasses the cashiers desk and a small kitchen behind. This doesn't mean that its shady. Its in the same building as Souq Bistro and Grills, it has air conditioning, but it is a small place. However, don't expect the size and variety of their New Delhi outlets.

Even though, it is a small place, do be warned that the prices are much more than it would seem like for Gujarat. Most dishes were in the 500+ range.

However, a lot of dishes come with accompaniments - miso soup, salad bowl, rice, fruit etc and it forms a complete meal.

Given that this is the only place in Ahmedabad that serves authentic Japanese food and that they have to fly in most of their ingredients, I think the price is justified, but there may be others who disagree.

The taste of everything that we tried was good, however the dishes were not too spicy. If you prefer a spicier hit (like my dad), then they do serve some Japanese spices on the side. Tamura is the first place serving proper pork dishes in the city (not a cop out of just bacon or ham or sausages or pepperoni, but hard core pork meat).

My ginger pork (680/-) was beautifully flavoured - thin slices of pork almost fatless, served on a bed of cabbage. Mum ordered the Pork cutlet with Curry on rice (500/-) which turned out to be a potato curry and dad had the cuttlefish - 660/- (which he said was slightly overcooked and hence tough)

The meal takes a bit of time to arrive to the table as it doesn't seem to have too many customers. My guess is that they have opened to serve the Japanese tourists and businessmen visiting the city. The food however is quite authentic.

We are an omnivorous family, so we quite enjoyed - the rarely available in Ahmedabad - Pork & Cuttle Fish. But, Tamura does offer chicken and vegetarian options too.

Personally, I think Kai Asia offers much better quality and variety and better rates. Only problem is that I have to drive all the way to Baroda to eat there.

Tamura offers complimentary wheat tea throughout the meal. It's not like normal Chinese teas, it tastes somewhat like what we call konji, the water in which nutritious rice is boiled.

They do not offer sushi, so don't expect that when you visit, just because it is a Japanese Restaurant.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Sunday, January 26, 2014

WoW Mughlai Handi and BBQ Grill, Ahmedabad

WoW Mughlai Handi and BBQ Grill
1st Floor, (actually 2nd floor if you take the lift)
Rangoli Complex,
Opposite V S Hospital,
Ashram Road
Ellis Bridge,

079 - 2657 5808, 2658 1059

I was in the Ellis Bridge area today and looking at the zomato reviews and ranking, we first tried to visit the Khana Khazana at Inder Residency. The staff there told us that the only restaurant they had, was a 24 hour coffee shop called 24 Carat, which didn't look in the least bit interesting, so we headed over to our second choice - WoW Mughlai Handi and BBQ Grill.

When we reached the building, the approach quite deterred us. Shabby old building, dirty staircases, exposed wires, bathroom smells, lift not working properly etc (sound familiar? Our first impression at the entry to Jaliyan was pretty similar, but the state of affairs at WOW was much, much worse) The stairs were so dirty and smelly, we could not even consider using them, even though the lift doors tok more than 10 attempts to close properly. (We were later told by friends to use the stairs outside and that even though it was 2 flights of stairs, they were very well done up and you can avoid this unpleasant welcome)

When we finally arrived at the restaurant itself, the decor threw us off for a moment - a jumble of elements. A giant pizza slice and half a bumper of a car formed the base of one table, mix of typical Indian Chinese restaurant tables and these modernistic, over the top decor in parts etc - but because of the reviews and ranking, we sat down to give it a try. They said the tandoori and grill items and the open air terrace were only available at night. I must mention that the open air section on the terrace looked lovely.

We tried some Chinese, Biryani and a sizzler. All of them were pretty decent. The Crispy chicken (225/-) wasn't crispy, but it tasted quite nice - some kind of cross between a dry manchurian and chicken salt and pepper. My dining companion liked the buttermilk (30/-) but did not appreciate the crushed ice mixed into it, in this chilly weather.

Since the tandoori items weren't available, I asked for a biriyani - the least oily + most spicy of the lot. The chicken dum biryani (185/-) was recommended and it was actually quite good. One of the much better biriyanis that I have had in Ahmedabad. (they wouldn't even be in the top 20 in Mumbai though) The accompanying raita was also good.

My companion, ordered a WoW special sizzler. It was absolutely humongous and included a whole portion of prawn fried rice and a dish each of chicken, fish and rather large prawns (in 3 different Chinese style sauces), some flat noodles, grilled veggies and a 2 egg omlette - all for the princely sum of 345/-

The reviews on zomato - rave about the tandoori, but given the approach and location, I don't think I can brave it again.

Service however was extremely good and the staff was extremely attentive and helpful, but unlike Jaliyan, I don't think the food is worth the unpleasant experience at entry. If WoW was located in a slightly cleaner and hygenic area, I would definitely give it another try.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jai Bhavani Vadapav, Ahmedabad

Jai Bhavani Vadapav,
Sahajanand Complex,
100 Feet Road,

+91 942675525

I normally pick up Dabeli (for visiting friends and family who want to try this Gujarati street food delicacy) from the Shambhus that is around the corner from our house. But, recently a local friend recommended that I try the dabeli from Jai Bhavani Vadapav.

(Dabeli is a street food snack - kind of a cross between vadapav and pav bhaji with groundnuts - its a semi firm veggie mixture of peas, potatoes, groundnuts and spices, stuffed into a pav bun with chutney - add-on options include butter and cheese depending on where you choose to eat your dabeli at)

Since this outlet of Jai Bhavani was the closest (amongst its chain locations around the city), I headed here before returning home and picked up a variety of dabelis and vadapavs. They were all equally delicious, the butter versions were rich and dare I say it? "unhealthy, but yummy"

The normal (oil) dabeli costs 20, the butter version 27 and the cheese one is 45. Chatni pav (vada pav without the vada - so its almost a sandwich) was 20 as was the oil vadapav. Butter vadapav was 27 and cheese was 45.

The oil versions themselves are quite rich, fortunately they don't overdo the cheese to the point of making one sick. All items are available in Jain versions too.

There isn't any indoor seating at this location. There are a few plastic stools scattered outside on the footpath, for those who want to sit down and eat their snacks straight off the tava.

There's a chaat guy outside who makes some pretty decent pani puri (slightly above Ahmedabad's average) I also picked up some sada khaman and masala haman that were light and very homestyle in flavour and taste.

They also have sandwiches on offer, which I might try next time. Other options include maggi, pav bhaji, pulavs, pizza, hot dogs

Proof of the pudding - for future guests, who want to try dabeli? I'll be taking them to Jai Bhavani

Rating : 4 / 5

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Juice Lounge / Truly Fresh, Ahmedabad

Juice Lounge has now been renamed Truly Fresh. Only the name and packaging has changed, everything else remains the same.

Juice Lounge,
Food Court - Alpha One Mall,

The guy at Juice Lounge is very obliging. We normally give him a complicated order. Eg: 1 Watermelon juice, no ice. 1 watermelon juice no sugar, 1 apple juice no ice, no sugar and so on and he always fills our order with a smile.

Juice Lounge is the healthiest place in Alphaone mall to grab a drink, because he can make wonderful fruit juices and will not add any sugar, if you request him.

He has the standard, watermelon, lime, pineapple etc for 45/- range. He also has exotic drinks like iron booster, hangover cure etc, which are blends of different fruits and vegetables that are good for you in the 80/- range. The menu clearly mentions what juices make up a particular combination.

We have tried quite a few combinations. Obviously if you go for spinach + beetroot + carrot + no sugar, then you need to drink the juice without bothering to taste it. But some combinations are quite good.

The best part is everything is clean and there are no flies, so it feels very hygienic and hence extra healthy.

Rating : 4 / 5

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cellad Eatery, Ahmedabad

Cellad Eatery,
Gulmohar Park Mall,

079 33901313, +91 997440585

The first thing that strikes you when you enter Cellad Eaery is the stark white all around you. This is what they have chosen as their USP, so that all the colour is visible in the food.

Cellad has a very limited menu and it practically forces you to choose the buffet. However, the buffet does offer a huge spread for 350/- (on weekdays, on weekends its 400/-)

At the Gulmohur Park branch, it is worth it to arrive early to get your food fresher, since they do not have a large turnover and if you arrive after 2:30 pm, the salads would have been sitting there for a couple of hours and lose their crispness and freshness.

The taste is pretty decent and you can choose what you would like to eat, avoiding the cheese and mayonnaise items if you want a healthier meal. If you want just 1 item from the buffet, it will cost 130+, so choosing the buffet does make sense.

The buffet typically offers 2 different types of soup, 2 fresh starters served at the table which could range from pizzas to grilled sandwiches or garlic toast. Around 8 - 10 different salads, a pasta dish, something baked (mousakka, baked handvo etc), a dhal, vegetarian curry and some Indian breads. There's also normally a choice of 2 desserts, one slightly more indulgent and the other based on fresh fruits.

They offer chaas and fresh lime soda  and coffee a la carte. In season, they even serve Matla nu Undhiyu for 370/-. I've had Undhiyu that a friend once ordered from the original Cellad location which was very good quality. But the undhiyu we had at the Gulmohur Park location last weekend was extremely average quality.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jaliyan, Ahmedabad

412 A & B, 4th Floor,
Sheetal Varsha Mall,
079 40029004, 079 40029003

I've finally found a good Gujarati Thali restaurant close to home, for the days that we don't want to drive all the way to Agashiye. The reasonable prices don't hurt either.

Jaliyan is located at Sivranjini Crossroads in Sheetal Varsha Mall. Their biggest problem is their location. The mall is completely empty, except for a couple of shops and the mall is in very bad condition - broken floors, semi functioning lifts, a bad smell, badly constructed floors, perpetual noise etc.

But if you are willing to brave these inconveniences, the food served at Jaliyan is definitely worth it.

Jaliyan offers 2 types of Gujarati thalis. One for 200/- and one for 325/-.

The 200/- thali came with 2 sweets - kesar pista basundi (not a patch on Agashiye's basundi) and puranpolis (my favourite dish of this meal). 2 farsaans - Mix pakodas/bhajiyas (potato, onion, methi gotha, stuffed chillies, onion, batata wada) and Chinese Wontons (just in shape, it was a thick maida batter, with a tasty filling though) with sweet chutney and green chutney. Bundi Raita and a corn kakdi Capsicum salad. Both the raita and the salad were excellent.

For the main course, we had Baingan bharta (spicy smoke brinjal pate), Undhiyu (baked winter vegetables), Rasawala Bataka (curried potatoes), Mixed Kathol (beans of various kinds), Gujarathi kadhi (curd based gravy), Gujarati dhal (lentils) and phulkas and bajra rotlas (with ghee and gud).

The meal was rounded up with plain rice, khichdi (average), lasun ki chutney (garlic chutney), papad, chaas (buttermilk - very good) and mineral water.

The other thali has all of this and also pineapple juice, an extra sweet, mix utthapams as an extra farsaan, theplas and bhakris, Rajasthani Dhal bati, something called rai marcha and ice cream too.

Even though we had the simpler thali, it was extremely satisfying and filling. I would rank Jaliyan second (after Agashiye) amongst the Gujarati thalis that we have had in Ahmedabad. Definitely worth visiting. They also have a takeaway lunch for 130/- if you need to carry a packed lunch away (but this would be limited quantities)

The ambiance is much nicer than Govardhan and it wasn't overcrowded either, so service was very attentive and at a very comfortable pace. The interiors are quite fancy for a restaurant that only serves thalis, even thought the place mats were fabric covered in plastic, the place still has a slightly classier feel to it, once inside.

Rating : 4 / 5

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Knife & Fork , Ahmedabad

Knife & Fork ,
3, Rivera Arcade,
Near Union Bank,
Opposite HDFC Bank,
Prahlad Nagar
079 65405555, +91 8866671555

We decided to try Knife and Fork for Sunday Night home delivery as a change from Punjab King.

I ordered the Hugwani Tangdi and Purdah Biryani based on the descriptions provided and also the K&F Special chicken curry, Chusta Kebab, rotis and naan.

Our total bill came up to around 1200/- definitely higher than Punjab King (our base standard for price / quality of North Indian Food Home delivered in this area), but was it worth it?

The Hugwani Tangdi was good (chicken leg stuffed with chicken mince and baked in a tandoor), but Upper Crust's Chicken Shikhari Tangdi was juicier and tastier (same concept) However Upper Crust charges 240 for 3 pieces and Knife & Fork charges 121 for 2 tangdis. Taste wise, Upper Crust worked better for us. Pricewise, K & F is more reasonable.

The chusta kebab was chicken tikka wrapped in chicken sheekh kebab and further in a mutton sheekh kebab. The concept sounded great, but the execution was average. The chicken and mutton sheekh mince paste taste and texture was more pasty than a sheekh kebab should be and the outside was blackened a little more than we like. the overall flavour was good enough, It costs 511, but maybe because you are actually getting 3 plates of kebabs in one dish?

The K&F special chicken curry came with one huge chunk of chicken, which promptly went into the fridge as leftovers, because with all the other meat we had ordered, this large chunk looked just a little too much to bother with. There was a lot of curry and although it did taste like jazzed up butter chicken, it was still quite tasty.

The tandoori rotis were nice and soft when they came, unlike other delivery places where the rotis turn hard before they reach home. The butter naan had a lot of butter in it.

I had extremely high expectations from the Purdah Biryani given Vijayendras description on Zomato. But what finally arrived was chicken biryani with an omlette placed on on top. I'm not sure if this is what we received because it was a home delivery or whether this is how they serve it, but I was expecting eggs to be cooked on top of the rice.

The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't overwhelmingly great either, it was good enough, but Punjab King still gives us better tasting kebabs at a lower price.

We will try them again for their Chinese and then decide and maybe also try eating at the location to see if anything changes.

As I'd mentioned above,  I promised myself that I would try out their Chinese before dismissing Knife and Fork.

I'm glad I tried their Chinese, it was much better than their Indian. The soups (lemon coriander and hot & sour) were really good. The spring rolls, were really large rolls. Not bite sized pieces, but pieces that oozed stuffing (noodles, veggies and shredded chicken) when you bit into them, but the spring roll was worth the mess. Well balanced and tasty. I will defintiely visit their outlet, just to try this fresh. When it came in, in home delivery, it had come a little soggy, but the taste was very good.

The chicken hakka noodles and chicken schezwan fried rice were tasty, but a little too oily for my palate. The dragon chilli chicken was interesting.

Maybe this place, deserves an in-person visit.

Edited on 24 Jan 14 to Add:
Knife & Fork, called up all their customers a couple of days before Uttrayan (Jan 14th) to tell us that they were making a special chicken undhiyo for the festival. I ordered a kilo for around 400Rs. I was expecting something very different, but what arrived was something of a meatball curry. The gravy was very tasty, but the meatballs were a bit on the harder side.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Punjab King, Ahmedabad

Punjab King,
12 A, Riviera Arcade,
Near Auda Garden,
Prahlad Nagar
079 30257202

Punjab King does not have a dine in facility and I normally use them as a takeaway or order in a home delivery.

My absolute favourites on the menu are their lemon paneer tikka and the veg assorted platter. Coming from a die-hard meat eater, this says a lot for the quality of these dishes. Unfortunately, Punjab King has recently discontinued the Lemon Paneer Tikka :(

The non veg kebabs are good, but it is the veg ones that stand out. The chicken achaari tikka and the mutton boti are good. Biryani is average, Curries are hit and miss.

Edited on 27 Mar 14 to Add:

Ever since Punjab King dropped their Paneer Lemon Tikka from the menu and I discovered Tandoori chicken at Ronak Fry in Sarkhej, I haven't ordered much from here.

Today though, we were in the mood for non-veg Chinese home delivery and I hadn't found an Indian-Chinese delivery in Prahladnagar, that I have liked yet. So on a chance, we decided to try the Chinese from Punjab King and we were amazed at how good it was.

The Chicken 65 tasted more like a Chilli Chicken manchurian mix, but was excellent. One of the better lollipops that we have eaten in Ahmedabad. The Chicken Chowmein and hot and sour soup were excellent too. So its settled, I now know where to order from, when the Chinese home delivery bug bites.

Rating : 4 / 5


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