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On the Roll

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Our quest for trekking gear landed us at Satya Niketan main market, opposite Sree Venkateshwara College on Saturday evening. The place was choke full of students, puffing away astride bikes, showing off biceps, slouching about or browsing books. All around billboards announced tuition for competitive examinations, there were gyms, book stalls, coffee houses and food stalls. We found Adventure 18, the trekking and adventure gear shop we were looking for, at one end of the market. It had all we ever wanted.

Once we were done browsing for gear, stomach took charge and directed us to the countless food stalls along the main market and side streets. One of them, 34 Chowringhee Lane,  seemed to gather a disproportionate share of the clientele, more heads stuck to the counter like flies on jack fruit, than rest of the stalls. Occasionally some heads spun off this dark, buzzing, shifting mass holding large half chewed rolls (Frankies, if you please) and a dreamy look in the eyes. Precisely the epiphany we were waiting for.

Pushing and jostling, I too joined the crowd and managed to place an order for double chicken roll. As I watched, the executive chef took out a glob of dough, flattened it between hands, stretched it with two master strokes of Belan, threw the resultant round bread into the vast Tawa, pressed it a couple of times with hand, flipped over, another hand press, smashed two eggs on it, a quick twirl, another flip, couple of stirs and out came the Parantha n egg base ready for stuffing. Sous-chefs placed chunks of chicken in a straight line along the centre of the Parantha, added a dressing of sliced onion, squeezed lemon juice and poured chilly and tomato sauce over the chicken chunks before wrapping it in tissue paper. I took this exquisite creation reverentially with both hands. The rest is history.

34 Chowringhee Lane
71, Main Market
Satya Niketan
Opp. Venkateshwara College
New Delhi – 110021

Adventure 18 (http://www.adventure18.com/)

Another review of 34 Chowringhee Lane can be found here: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique, Totternama

Oriental Heat

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Back from a brief sabbatical! Been travelling, resting and recuperating – generally lazing around, to be frank.

Summer has really caught on, stinging eyes and skin with a million acupuncture needles. We put on sunglasses and apply a generous coat of sunscreen before stepping out into the furnace blaze.

At Centre Point, cars were parked crookedly under every tree. Fortunately someone backed out and we eagerly grabbed the slot. Under a striped red and white awning, the entrance to Red Hot Cafe was guarded by swaying potted plants. The restaurant name was spelt “Rred” instead of Red, a numerological influence probably, or did it signal the spiciness of the fare? We slunk in and found a comfortable corner table. The restaurant was shaped like a horseshoe with one entrance from outside and another from atrium. The vista outside the restaurant window was gashed diagonally by the Metro line below which trees careened in the hot summer breeze, a washed-out blue sky shone starkly lambent above it. Framed charcoal embossing of Balinese dancers and musicians adorned yellow walls. Horizontally striped burgundy colour table mats dangled over granite textured fiber top tables.

We spent some time poring over the exotic names and descriptions in the menu before deciding upon soup, starter and a Thai noodle main course. The milky white canvas of Tom Kha veg soup was streaked with pastel green strokes of coriander stems. This aromatic soup with strong flavours of lemon, galangal and coconut milk was an superb match to our starter, crispy basil leaf babycorn. The steamed baby corn, lightly battered, deep fried and tossed with basil leaf worked the sweat glands when took with red chili paste. Our main course was Kaho Suey – a coconut milk based noodle soup spiced with red chili; and Khee Mao Chae – Thai flat noodles sautéed with crushed peanuts, broccoli, mushroom, basil leaves and a drop of Thai red curry. The Khao Suey, creamy and glutinous, was tasty and quite filling. The flat noodles of Khee Mao was a bit rubbery and had to be consumed quickly. Once cold, it tended to lump together making chewing an ordeal.

The show stopper of the meal was Thai Dessert – amaranth pink litchi jelly served in a bowl of coconut milk and cream, topped with a mint leaf . An unusual combination – sensuous and beguiling; we were completely sold on this one.

Overall, it was a spectacular meal, well worth the jaunt in sweltering heat. Although, this time I had restricted myself to vegetarian, there were several prawn, fish, chicken and mutton dishes that caught my eye. Their turn will come, till then, Sawatdee….
Red Hot Cafe
Thai, Chinese & Malaysian Cuisine
UG-1, Centre Point
Sushant Lot – 1, Gurgaon
Contact: 0124-2572477, 4104154, 4104155, 4014658

Foodienomics
Tom Kha Veg Soup – Rs.100.00
Crispy Basil Babycorn – Rs.180.00 (very large platter)
Khao Suey Veg – Rs.155.00
Khee Mao Veg Noodles – Rs.155.00
Thai Dessert – Rs.100.00
The despicables: Service Charge – 7%, VAT – 12.5% extra

Rating
Food – 8/10
Ambience – 6/10
Service – 7/10
Overall – 7/10
Definitely worth a visit

Foodiebay Menu of Red Hot Cafe: Click Here

Check out Wikipedia on Thai Cuisine: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique