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Uma Dhaba – Another Brick in the Wall

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Not a soul in sight when we reached Uma Dhaba early evening. A lone waiter took our order immediately, with minimal fuss. Sizzling hot, Masala sprinkled Tandoori chicken was served with mint chutney, thin onion ribbons and half a slice of lemon in clean white plates. Chicken Methi came in a large steel bowl, chunks of chicken submerged below fulvous gravy pock marked with Methi and embellished with a lazy doodle of cream. The dwindling stack of soft, puffy Phulkas on our table was promptly replenished by the attentive waiter. The food was decimated as efficiently as it was served. We rose, paid up, sighed in satisfaction, tipped the waiter and left. No racking of brains over the menu, no hailing of waiters, no mooning over the ambience, no background music, no VAT, no service tax, no nothing – just us and plain good food, and the sacred act of eating, washing up and leaving. I liked that immensely, for a change.

 

As far as Dhabas go, this is a decent one. Purely utilitarian – serves good food sans frills. The restaurant is located on a narrow cul-de-sac near Qutub Motors next to Gate-2 of Ridgewood estate, best approached on foot or on a two wheeler. I have included a sketch of the restaurant location, just in case you fancy a visit. Though advertised as a family restaurant, I can’t think of bringing my wife here for dinner; it is strictly meant for bachelor’s staying in the vicinity.

Food Economics:
Tandoori Chicken Half – Rs.100 (4 Pieces)
Chicken Methi Half – Rs.180 (6 – 7 Pieces)
Tawa Roti (Phulka) – Rs.5.00 each

Uma Dhaba & Caterers
Behind Police Station
B-Block Sushant Lok-I
Gurgaon
Tel: 0124-4043448
Home Delivery: 0124-2573751, 9811550088

Rating:
Good food, quick service
Worth a visit if you stay in the vicinity

Foodiebay menu of Uma Dhaba: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique

Bernardo’s – A Goan Salvation

March 14, 2010 Leave a comment

 

I lived in Mumbai for 8 years and never visited Goa. It was a cardinal sin. I repented it everyday. And it looked like God had forgiven me for it – sort of. All those Ave Maria’s had not gone waste after all. I should thank Bernardo’s for restoring my faith.
Bernardo’s was a legend I was too late in discovering. Not my fault entirely. From what I could gather, they had been pretty itinerate- moving from India Habitat Centre to CR Park to Galleria to their current abode at DLF Super mart-I, Gurgaon; for no fault of theirs I am sure. Along the way they have gathered a huge fan following which trail Bernado’s with great gusto in Facebook and Twitter.

I had espied the yellow bill board of Bernardo’s many times before but had not ventured in, suspecting it to be grossly upmarket. Last Friday evening, reassured after a glance at the restaurant menu in foodiebay, I finally made across the Super mart atrium, climbed a flight of stairs and entered this warm, cosy, reposeful den. There were potted palms outside the glass facade. Tiny, festive neon bulbs crept up a side wall and hung along the staircase balustrade like languid vine, maroon cushions sat snugly on comfortable cane chairs. Flickering candles kept on the table in tiny holders set the shadows quivering. Orange walls decorated with black ‘n white family photographs interspersed with framed musical scores along with transparent, engraved, old world tableware rendered the restaurant an air of antiquity. A twisted cross hung atop the back wall while  Jesus gazed benevolently at patrons. Bésame Mucho and mellow soul music played like a tranquil sea breeze fostering instant camaraderie. Clean, laminated paper mats printed with entries from guest book set against a backdrop of surf sprayed beaches and coconut palms rested on chequered table cloth.  A small stack of books kept company on the cash counter. The setting was intimate, the canvas small yet infinitely interesting, nostalgic and relaxing.

We were shown to a corner table and provided with four wooden planks held together with a nailed strip of leather which was the menu (reminded me of 10 commandments handed down to Moses). Intriguing names with tantalizing descriptions; the painted, idiosyncratic menu featured prawn, fish, chicken and pork – I turned each tablet and drooled before settling for Prawn Recheado as starters and Caril De Peixe and Vindalho De Porco for main course which were served with either white rice or Pao.

Prawn Recheado – crunchy, juicy, succulent prawns with a vermillion streak of Goan spice was astounding. The Vindalho De Porco was pungent and aromatic; generous portions of pork with the right amount of fat, marinated in vinegar and cooked in a dense spice mix went superbly with Pao. Caril De Peixe, traditional Goan fish curry, had lumps of Surmai (King fish) in a yellow gravy of coconut milk, kokum (tamarind) and onion which brought back memories of Malvan restaurants I used to frequent in Mumbai.

The lady of the house was charming and always at hand to answer our queries. The waiters were prompt and courteous. Bernardo’s, unassuming and simple, avoided all razzmatazz and concentrated fiendishly on quality food. It was no wonder that customers thronged this sanctum sanctorum of fine Goan cuisine from near and far – not because it was cheap, but because it was authentic and good value for money. As you can see, I too have become a fan of the place – it made me feel that the struggle up the food chain was well worth the effort. By the way, the place is not an absolute no go for vegetarians, the restaurant has one starter and four vegetarian dishes – more of an after thought in all probability.

Bernardo’s
B 229 – Super Mart 1,
DLF Phase 4,Gurgaon
122009
Contact:0124 6518323, 9811571379

Number of covers: ~ 25

Bernardo’s website: Click Here
Bernardo’s on Facebook: Click Here
Bernardo’s on Twitter: Click Here

Bernardo’s menu from Foodiebay: Click Here
(Note: Menu is going to be revised from April 2010 onwards. New items are also expected on the menu)

 

Food Economics
Prawn Recheado (8 Pieces) – Rs.310.00 (must try)
Caril De Peixe (4 Pieces) – Rs.245.00
Vindalho De Proco (many pieces) – Rs.230.00
(must try)

Rating
Very very good
Must visit for every self respecting carnivore

 

Below are a few more gushing reviews of Bernardo’s
http://yesterday1cemore.blogspot.com/2006/11/susegaad-bernardos.html
http://shivamvij.com/2006/11/08/bernardos/
http://chefatlarge.in/posts/bernardos-supermart-i-gurgaon.html/2

Photo courtesy: V P vinod

Revisited Bernardo’s
Had Pork Sorpotel (not really my cup of tea), veg croquettes (6 pieces, very nice), veg temperado (okra in coconut based gravy – mild, went well with rice) and carrot cake (superb). Amazing grace!

Sorpotel – Rs.240.00, Veg Croquettes – Rs.105.00, Veg Temperado – Rs. 115.00, Carrot Cake – Rs.40.00

 

Categories: Gastronomique

Indulging the Malayalee – a la gastronomique

December 15, 2009 9 comments
Malayalees are everywhere. It is said that when Tenzing and Hillary reached the pinnacle of Everest, they found a tea shop run by a Malayalee. This legendary ubiquitousness of Malayalee can be traced back to the lack of employment opportunities in Kerala and consequent migration all over the world, especially to Middle East. There are a substantial number of Malayalees in Gurgaon as well, as I have discovered over these years. However hard a Malayalee tries to hide his identity, the camouflage is easily betrayed by looks, intonation or pronunciation, providing much food to evergreen Mallu caricatures.
When Malayalees are around, Mallu restaurants cannot be far behind. However, these are so low profile that usually one comes to know of them either by sheer chance or by word of mouth. I had to search far n wide and high n low before I could find the two featured here.

The first one is Maria South India Restaurant near Gurgaon Sadar Bazaar, located next to Federal Bank.

The restaurant does complete justice to Malayalee’s appetite, offering delicious Kappa (Tapioca), Meen Curry (Fish curry), Appam (leavened bread), Kadala, Porotta, Chicken Curry, Chicken Biriyani, the dubious, stealthily whispered, notorious ‘Beef’ and a sumptuous Kerala Thali. The rates are reasonable and cleanliness passable. On Sundays, there is usually much rush around noon time, mostly returning church goers dropping for lunch. Parcels are available. It is better to check in advance for Kappa and beef since these are usually not available.
The second restaurant, Ammu’s is on the lower ground floor of Sushant Shopping Arcade, near Park Plaza. The fare is much the same as Maria and the same comments hold good.

This is the first time in history that the international network of computers (internet) has provided the hapless Mallu’s of Gurgaon a fair means of gastronomic indulgence, true Kerala style. Let us praise the Lord in this moment of joy before digging in..
Maria South Indian Restaurant
Shop No. 18-19, Chandan Deep Complex,
Near Federal Bank, Jail Road, Gurgaon
Contact: Roy, Mobile – 9810379916

Ammu’s Restaurant
LG-23, G-Block, Phase-I,
Sushant Shopping Arcade,
Sushant Lok, Gurgaon
Tel: 0124-4040765
Contact: Pradeep,Mobile – 9810761567

R.I.P
“Simbly South”, the one decent shop in DT Mega Mall which quenched my appetite for Appam and Stew at an exorbitant price has closed down. Let us observe a moment of silence in pretended sorrow over this sad demise.

P.S
Coco Palm, the all things South Indian restaurant in Galleria has taken up the mantle of Simply South to provide Malabar Fish curry, again at an unaffordable rate. Auto-da-fé anyone…

Categories: Gastronomique