Posts Tagged ‘foodiebay gurgaon’

Something sure smells FISHY here…

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

As usual, finding a place for dinner that suited everyone’s preferences was a dilemma. After trawling through Foodiebay we finally decided upon Swagath. It wasn’t too far from home and fairly out of way of rush hour traffic. When we reached around 7.15 PM parking was still available in the small space in front. Most tables were occupied by late evening office party crowd interspersed by a scattering of families. The restaurant was quite spacious; more than 100 covers for sure. Dark brown slats segmented the space while modern art, large and small, relieved the uniform beige decor that shrouded the walls, tables and chairs and even sneaked into the uniform of waiters.

Our table which stood bang in front of the bar offered a clear view through a swing door to the restaurant innards. The serving brigade comprising captains in black suits, waiters and busboys in beige n white and cleaning staff in green bustled about us. A procession of dishes piled with interesting stuff (that made me drool, needless to say) issued forth from the kitchen and made their way to various tables; to be scrutinized, commented upon, piled into plates, scooped into mouths, smelled, tasted, chewed, swallowed and eventually digested. From the bar came the clink of countless bottles of Kingfisher beer. The parade of tall glasses filled with enticing pink and green liquid topped with lemon and cocktail umbrella commenced their journey from the bar counter, meandered among the tables, caught the attention, elicited the admiration and excited desire of many before finally disappearing down thirsty gullets clamoring to be quenched.

The menu offered umpteen choice of vernacular cuisine – Manglorean, Malabari, Sawantwadi, Konkan, Chettinad – most of which featured fish, prawns and lobster; a dream come true for a fish  fanatic like me. The trouble was matching the menu to our budget. We pondered a bit and finally placed an order for Tomato Soup, Surmai Fry, Fish Biriyani, Neer Dosa and Veg Gassi.

Soup didn’t take long in coming and was drained in fraction of a second. We watched expectantly each time the swing door opened and a waiter emerged carrying yet another pile of mouthwatering food. The passive act of observing this kaleidoscopic tableau of food and drinks actively worked up our appetite. Our stomachs were screaming at the top of their voice by the time the food arrived. Surmai fry had a large centre portion of fish almost occupying the entire plate; succulent pieces of fish buried under a substantial heap of orange and brown Basmati rice constituted the Fish Biriyani. Infusion of turmeric and red chilly marinade gave the fish fry a distinctive taste as we chewed though the white fibrous flesh. The taste and odour of fish dominated the Biriyani, overpowering the flavour of spices. The plate of Neer Dosa had four tender rice n coconut milk Dosa’s that went wonderfully with the thick brown gravy of Veg Gassi.

Our collective sigh of satisfaction as we scraped the last bit of Biriyani and Neer Dosa out of the plate was proof of a thoroughly enjoyed evening (to be soon spoilt by a whopping bill).

Plot No. 16-17, Sector – 29, Gurgaon
Contact: 0124-4760600, 4760601

Cuisine: Mughlai, Chinese, South Indian
Free home delivery available

Cream of Tomato soup – Rs.105.00
Surmai Fry – Rs.275.00
Fish Biriyani – Rs.405.00
Veg Gassi – Rs.155.00
Plate of Neer Dosa – Rs.100.00 (4 Dosa’s per plate)
The tax guillotine: VAT – 12.5%, Service Charge – 10%, Service Tax – 12.5%, Surcharge – 5%, SCH – 5% (god knows what this one is!!)
BORN FREE, TAXED TO DEATH!!! (so goes my Tantra T-shirt logo!!!)

Ambience – 7/10, No great shakes. The place is roomy and clean
Service – 7/10, Considering the rush, a few lapses here and there are pardonable.
Food – 8/10, Taste is better than average. I really appreciate the variety on offer.
Overall – 7/10, Pretty good. Worth a visit.

Swagath Menu at Foodiebay: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique

Turning a new leaf!!!

March 23, 2010 Leave a comment

With a bad cold and a blocked ear, I was not in such great spirits on Saturday afternoon. The day was hot, signaling the onset of a grueling summer. Mercury had been steadily rising. The car doubled up as a baking oven and dust assailed our eyes, nostrils and mouth. My grumpiness had not abated when we parked and went inside Mint Leaf. The restaurant reviews were decent which pushed our expectations up a couple of notches.

Within, most of the tables were taken up by a cacophonous gang of senior citizens having a binge, so we ended up at a corner seat with me right under the air conditioner draught. Not my day, really. The restaurant decor didn’t demand poetic ebullience – one long hall with a mirror encrusted wall near the kitchen, a few nondescript paintings on the wall; it was clean, comfortable and spacious enough to seat approximately 50.

The menu had many exotic dishes, ranging from Nariyal Mirchi Macchi Rolls to Laurence Road ke Tikkey. We went for a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian as was our long standing tradition. The choice of starters were Chicken 65 (succumbed to my friend’s choice, I preferred Murgh Varuval) and Chenna Anjeer ke Kebab. Chicken 65 was a bit on the garlicky side – fried chicken with a thin layer of batter spiced with coriander, green chili, curry leaves and mustard. Wrapped in a coil of Chenna (a form of Paneer), the Kebab had a slightly squishy feel and a crunchy, mildly sweet inner core of figs and mango; simply delectable!

The main course too had an unusual cast – we settled for Meat Belli Ram (sic), Khumani aur Bael ka Kofta and Mirchi Parantha. Meat Belli Ram with mutton chunks rearing up like ice bergs in a pool of cumin flavoured spicy dark brown gravy was a perfect companion to Mirchi Paranthas sprinkled with chili flakes. Kofta never turned me on and this one – despite the inspired coalition of apricot and Bael Murabba – was no different.

Mint Leaf has a definite edge over the ragtag restaurants of the city in terms of a remarkable carte du jour and reasonable fare. It wouldn’t bust your domestic budget to check out dishes that have outlandish names and inviting descriptions. I, for one, certainly intend to return.

Mint Leaf
LG-11/ 12, Center Point
A-Block, Sushant Lok Phase I
Contact: 0124-4044122 – 33, 9810003382

Chicken 65 – Rs 160.00 (8 Pieces)
Chenna Anjeer ke Kebab – Rs.150.00 (5 Pieces)
Meat Belli Ram – Rs.240.00 (4 Pieces)
Khumani aur Bael ka Kofta – 170.00 (4 Pieces)
Mirchi Parantha – Rs.30.00 per Parantha
Boondi Raita – Rs.60.00
The detestables -12.5 % VAT, 10% Service Tax

Ambience – Comfortable but Utilitarian
Service – Friendly, Prompt
Food – Pretty diverse, unusual combinations, quite good
Overall – 7/10
Definitely Worth Visiting

Mint Leaf menu on Foodiebay: Click Here
A review of the restaurant by P Anima in the Hindu: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique

Salsa, Salsaa – Tortilla Blast!

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I love Spaghetti Westerns. The rugged landscape – deep canyons and vast prairies, swashbuckling, cigar chewing, unshaven, foul mouthed cowboys, derelict border towns, creaking bar doors, black stallions galloping off in trails of dust, gunfights; these ingredients combined with hauntingly beautiful music made the movies eternally charming. Often the villains were uncouth, drooling, raucous, driveling Mexican Bandoleros; plotting to exterminate gringos in shootouts set against a grassland backdrop dotted with corrals, ranches and bone white churches with tolling bells. As a child I revered the silent, slit eyed Clint Eastwood as he emptied volleys into the Mexican bandit formation. Later, on occasional visits to Texas, I met many good, fun loving, generous Mexicans and became familiar with their cuisine. Tortillas, Burritos, Fajitas, Empanadas, Enchiladas, I tried them all. And became hooked.

Back in Gurgaon, I was on the look out of a restaurant which could provide decent Mexican fare, when we found ‘Salsa, Salsaa’ on the first floor of Sahara Mall. From the very beginning, our experience with this restaurant has been fantastic. The staff was courteous, food quality and service superb. So, when it came to celebrating my friend’s birthday on Saturday, ‘Salsa, Salsaa’ was our top choice.

Sporting dark sunglasses and strumming the Banjo, two sheep (not live!!) beside the door grab your attention as you walk by. Even though located next to Big Bazaar, the hustle and bustle seems far away once you enter the restaurant. Transparent glass doors swing open and an attendant, cowboy booted and clad in forest green, usher you in. Under the suspended green n white table lamp, a small green bottle of Tabasco cast a slanting, elongated shadow like a sun dial, on the buff coloured table. Maroon walls, dark green ceiling beams, vignettes of Mexican life on large posters across the walls, coffee bean colour chairs, small faceless iron men sliding down a rope, the counter adorned on the corner by horseshoes and surmounted by rifle toting cowboys guarding the Day’s Special menu, strings of large red chillies and yellow lemon festooning the kitchen entrance, all blend in a sombre brushstroke and fade into the background till you look up from the almost conspiratorial intimacy of brightly lit faces around the table.

Mexican vegetable soup and Nacho chips with salsa for starters. We fidget with the menu and settle for Vegetable Stroganoff for my wife, Grilled Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Sizzler for my friend and a Christmas special – Olive Anchovy Lamb Steak for myself. Before settling down to a leisurely chit-chat, we look around for a while furtively glancing at the plates of other diners.

The Nacho chips arrive noiselessly on a conch shell white platter; the salsa – a blood red gash on the side. I inhale the thick, heady, appetizing aroma of tomato deeply as I stir the vegetable soup strewn with Fusilli, corn, kidney beans and a flotilla of spring onion. The crisp Nacho chips, dipped in salsa went well with the tangy soup. We finish up quickly and eagerly await the chef-d’oeuvre.

The arrival of Stroganoff is unceremonious; steamed rice speckled with orange of carrot and green of beans beside baby corn, broccoli, mushroom and assorted vegetables in thick, creamy white sauce, served on an bone white eye shaped plate. The sizzlers are brought in rapid succession; sputtering, smoking affairs that turn heads; gingerly, almost devotionally the waiter sets them down on the table and withdraws a respectful distance. We glare in silent admiration as gossamer vapours dance up and disappear from the cast iron sizzler plate embedded in a wooden base. My plate is partitioned in the middle with sautéed baby corns; one side held rice and the other large boneless cubes of lamb in a sanguine paste of tomato and anchovies cooked in red wine. On my friend’s plate I notice two large chunks of stuffed chicken in a dark sauce.

I hate to spoil the virginal elegance of this sizzler. Reluctantly I unwrap the napkin to take out the slender cutlery and scoop a little rice mixed with gravy into my mouth. HOT! After several frantic exhalations, it is cool enough to chew. It is sourish, with an elusive tang of anchovies; the aftertaste of black olives is dominant. The lamb is perfectly cooked with the right firmness and consistency. It went well with rice and cheese bread which came with the dish. Unable to resist, I cut a generous portion of stuffed chicken and wolf it with some rice. It has a tingling mint flavour, but taste just fine although I like the lamb better. Conversation rekindles; and I unwittingly eat the cabbage leaf in which the sizzler is served. I cannot resist having a go at the vegetable stroganoff. Rich and creamy, it is definitely a match to the sizzlers. Redeemed, rejuvenated we toast again for our friend as we wind up the meal with a cup of Hazelnut Coffee.

The meal reaffirmed our faith in the restaurant which has survived the onslaught of the slew of restaurants and fast food chains that have sprung up in Gurgaon over these years. As the year 2009 comes to a close, I would wish ‘Salsa, Salsaa’ too many many happy returns of the ‘Burp’…

Food Economics
Mexican Vegetable soup – Rs.92.00
Nacho Chips with Salsa – Rs.68.00
Vegetable Stroganoff – Rs.230.00 (Exotic vegetables in gherkin sauce)
Grilled Asparagus Stuffed Chicken – Rs360.00 (Grilled chicken breat stuffed with asparagus and mozzarella cheese)
Olive Anchovy Lamb Steak – Rs.395.00 (Boneless chunks of lamp with anchovies and olives cooked in red wine)
Cappuchino – Rs.45.00
12.5% VAT extra

Cleanliness: 8/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Quality: 8/10
Cost: 7/10 (Pricey)
Verdict: Must Try

105, 1st Floor, Sahara Mall, Gurgaon
Tel: 0124-4048015, 4048016
Mobile: 9210037925

Foodiebay Menu of Salsa, Salsaa: Link

Categories: Gastronomique