Home > Gastronomique > A Culinary Omnium Gatherum

A Culinary Omnium Gatherum

Last weekend, driven by the relentless summer heat, we sought refuge in various restaurants and food courts. There wasn’t much else we could do. Movies? well, there weren’t many we cared to watch. Travelling was out of question. Half the population of Delhi was making a beeline for the mountains during weekends. Flight tickets were expensive. Reservation was not available in trains. Hotel rooms were at a premium. Stranded in the city, all we could think as a means of entertainment was eating.

Driving you crazy with their noodles

Crazy Noodles at the Galleria was the first on our circuit. The shapeless and squiggly structure of the restaurant seemed inspired by an amoeba. Its funky, ultra modern interior was done up in pale pink, pastel green and pitch black. Splodgy tables, chairs and sofas followed the amorphous contours of the transparent plexiglass wall through which outside world gaped at the dining chatterati.

The weirdness of the restaurant was not limited to the facade or flashy ambience. It was manifest in the waiter’s attire, the service and the cutlery. The moment we were seated, our waiter tossed two convex bottomed glasses on the table filling water in them with dramatic flourish. The pendular motion of the glasses kept us in perpetual suspense of a spill for the rest of the dinner. Later he brought two tablets inscribed “CRAZY” in a small bowl asking us to dip them in water. Before our astounded eyes the tablets pulled themselves erect into wet wipes. The erotic symbolism of this phallic miracle was not entirely lost on us as we shyly unfurled the wipe and applied it to our face and hands.  A circular menu exhibiting some measure of order and symmetry succeeded the wipe episode announcing temporary respite from miracles.

After painstaking debate and some enlightening (and pricey) suggestions from our table attendant we chose

1. Vietnamese Paper Rolls (Veg)
2. Veg Thukpa
3. Mint Caprioska
4. Lychee Chill

Our post order vigil and covert surveillance of other patrons was interrupted by the waiter who didn’t want to stop at indulging our taste buds; he intended to provide us some intellectual nourishment as well. We were enticed into grappling with a puzzle by the promise of an extra drink if we solved it. Meanwhile the paper rolls and the drinks made their appearance. Despite a surfeit of crushed ice, the Mint Caprioska retained the taste of mint, basil and lemon. Lychee Chill was sugary sweet and not quite appealing. The rolls, glass noodles, peanuts and basil leaves wrapped in thin rice paper, tasted delicate.

We declined the promised drink and asked for more puzzles and ended up solving all four they had while distractedly supping delicious Thukpa from voluminous bowls. We went on to order a plate of vegetable Dimsum and the signature dessert of the restaurant – chocolate money bags. The Dimsum was okay while the dessert was more memorable for the ice-cream scoops than the miniscule chocolate bags.

Personally I prefer quiet dining environs devoid of razzmatazz and gimmickry. But, I wouldn’t mind a rerun of this joint for the wonderful food they serve. The drinks and the money bag dessert are, in my opinion, dough down the drain. But the rest are definitely worth it, for the taste and the enormous proportions as well.

CRAZY NOODLES
TRAK SERVICES PVT. LTD.
R-003, GALLERIA, DLF PHASE IV
GURGAON
Contact: 0124-4255758

Gastronomics
Vietnamese Paper Rolls (Veg) – Rs.125.00
Veg Thukpa – Rs.150.00
Mint Caprioska – Rs.85.00
Lychee Chill – Rs.85.00
Veg Dimsum – Rs.95.00
Chocolate Money Bags – Rs.125.00
The Detestables – VAT 12.5%, Service Charge – 7.5%, VAT Surcharge

Opinion: Avoid the drinks. They are expensive. Besides, most of them are piles of crushed ice topped with the flavouring concoction. I have been told that the banana milk shake is the only good drink.

Crazy Noodles menu at Foodiebay: Not available at the time of writing this post

Ikays – Buffet Ambush

This was a golden honey trap. The Rs.225.00 + taxes buffet was the lure. And we fell for it.

Inside the restaurant it was green and gloom all over. Monster.com green, tropical rain forest green, Greenpeace green. Chairs, sofas, walls, pillars, uniforms of the staff – green, green, green. Jewel studded imitation Mughal jugs and bowls mocked us from wall niches. Feng Shui bamboo vases and laughing monks lend much needed astrological support to this tardy restaurant.

The buffet? well, I have seen much better buffets. It was not totally hopeless as far as a vegetarian was concerned. My non-vegetarian soul sank to the deepest depths of misery at the sight of the sole unappetizing bowl of butter chicken. To give the restaurant its due, I should admit that they had a reasonable array of standard salad items and some vegetarian dishes were tasty. But somehow, with such minimal non vegetarian fare and with just one dessert, it didn’t seem quite worth it. For another 30 bucks, Bawarchi offered a far better deal.

What surprised us most was a rave review of the restaurant being telecast on TV – on CNEB Channel – while we were dining. The restaurant staff (including the distinguished chef whose culinary expertise on Mushroom Kurkure was being showcased) were all busy watching and recording the show on their mobile phones. That was not all. A large framed certificate from TIMES Research (????!!!!!!!) rating Ikays as the best multi-cuisine restaurant in Gurgaon hung prominently on the wall. If the buffet was any indication, the quality of food that come out of the kitchen was no great shakes, mediocre at best. Same for the service. TIMES Research seems to have done a pretty shoddy business of their researching as far as I could tell.

My sincerest advice to prospective patrons of Ikays is to give it a skip and try the DLF Mega Mall food court instead, if you really care for the “Joy of Eating”.

IKAYS (“Misery of Eating”)
Multi-cuisine Restaurant & Bar
2nd Floor, DT Mega Mall, Gurgaon
Contact: 0124-4278640, 9971695958

Ikays menu and reviews at Foodiebay: Click Here

DLF Megamall Foodcourt – 3rd Floor

Mann Salva – Excellent Kebabs.
I have tried the Boti Kebab (6 pieces of boneless mutton) with a Rumali Roti. Rs.176.00 including taxes. Worth every rupee. Mann Salva is one of the surviving members of the original cast of counters that made up this food court.

Contact: 0124-4051200 for delivery

Mann Salva menu at Foodiebay: Click Here

There is of course McDonalds and Subway and homely food at Sip n Bite. Bamboo Dynasty has some okay soups. The Excess Chocolate Cake at Lavazza is worth trying. It is not too sweet. (Rs.84.00 inclusive of taxes)

Bamboo Dynasty
Contact: 0124-4114163

Categories: Gastronomique
  1. Amit
    November 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Wonderful to read your reviews and the depth and details to which you’ve gone is simply commendable.
    Good Job, looking forward for some more reviews,
    Amit…

    • tailrace
      November 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      Amit

      Thank you very much for the comment. Little bits of appreciation keeps the lonely blogger’s morale high. Hope to bring you more useful content in the future.

      Thanks again
      Tailrace

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