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Posts Tagged ‘gurgaon eatouts’

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).

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

Website: http://www.swagath.in/
Cuisine: Mughlai, Chinese, South Indian
Free home delivery available

Gastronomics
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!!!)

Rating
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

Love in times of Gastronomique

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

I recently attended a two day corporate training program at Park Premier, Gurgaon. After 4 hours of leadership spiel, the lunch break acquired an almost desperate charm. Down Town Cafe, the hotel restaurant with an alabaster finish had a bright earthen coloured mural adorning the rear wall. Sun light filtering through brown curtains with large polka dots lit sofa backs and cast elliptical shadows on tables. The restaurant overlooked the hotel atrium where executives leafed through papers or clobbered at laptops. Behind the buffet counter chefs turned chicken fillets on the grill. An enormous vase of artificial flowers spread like a banyan tree over the salad counter.

Our 45 minute lunch break was much too small to plunder the vast array of dishes on offer. So, with uncanny intuition, I decided to limit the intake of flora to desserts and fruits and concentrate on fauna for the main course.  On day one, a cursory flirt between grilled chicken in pepper sauce and parantha was followed by an earnest courtship of sliced fish in hot ‘n sour sauce and steamed rice. My brief dalliance with baby corn in mustard sauce was delightful. Day two, sliced lamb with black bean sauce and parantha surpassed expectations while grilled fish with Veronique didn’t quite scale the benchmark. On both days, desserts outshone each another in sweetness and appeal, be it blueberry or pineapple gateaux, strawberry soufflé, kiwi mousse or banana pudding.

The food at Down Town Cafe is fantastic, the ambience pleasing and service outstanding. This temple to gastronomy is worth all the devotion it deserves. My only prayer at its altar is for slightly more reasonable rates. Amen.

Park Premier
353-357, Sector 29
Gurgaon, Haryana 122001, India
0124 4604616
Website:
http://www.parkpremierhotels.com/

Foodienomics
Lunch Buffet – Rs.549.00 + taxes 
Dinner Buffet – Rs.699.00 + taxes 

Overheard:
“Our normal rate is Rs.850.00 + taxes, but we have special rates these days”
Please take note of this cryptic message. Don’t blame me if your eyes pop out on seeing the bill.

Rating
Food – 9/10
Ambience – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Overall – 8/10

 

Categories: Gastronomique

Surviving Brix

February 25, 2010 3 comments

The concrete and glass jungle of DLF Cybercity harbours several species of restaurants – Punjabi, Continental, Chinese, Sushi, what not. Most of them dwell on the ground floor and cater primarily to the crowd within the campus. Parking here is in short supply. Without a DLF parking sticker, a close encounter with one these restaurants is virtually out of bounds, unless you decide to trudge it all the way.

Brix, a relatively new entrant in this overcrowded territory is strategically located at the courtyard adjacent to building 10B; its prominent gold emblem begging attention as you saunter by. Inside, the coffee and forest green decor is soothing and sedentary. A large wooden barrel topped with a gramophone welcomes you as you walk in. Wrought iron lamp posts, plush green sofas, high backed mahogany coloured tables and chairs, black and white sails on the ceiling, a double sided clock – the kind you find in railway stations, wooden floor and paneling and  exposed brick rear wall, these lend the place a somber grandeur. Rhythmic thump from a cordoned off Pioneer music system standing next to the bar accentuates the indolent atmosphere.

We sit facing framed photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Michael Jackson. The relationship between the pictures, apart from the aesthetics, is ambiguous aside from the fact that they are all dead. An existentialist twist, perhaps. Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley adore other walls. A few tables are occupied. Waiters in black, white and pinstripes flit about. The service is brisk.

Honey chilly potatoes, Hara Kebab, Chilly Chicken and Mutton Seekh Kebab arrive and depart cradled in stylish tableware – a perpetual cycle till we get ready for main course. We wait in queue for the buffet offering of Dal Makhani, Paneer Lababdar, Rogan Josh, Murg Makhni and Penne Pasta. Vanilla ice cream, Gulab Jamun and Darsaan wraps up our lunch.

Will I visit Brix again? Unlikely. Guess it is a matter of priorities. If I were a love struck Romeo seeking a cozy dark corner to serenade my Juliet sans interference, Brix would be my top choice. Or if I were a clueless foreigner who couldn’t distinguish between Gulab Jamun and a plum, I would relish Brix. I am neither. To me it is always a matter of taste. On that front Brix barely rise above the average.

In the increasingly competitive restaurant space of Gurgaon, the fittest to survive would be the ones that court taste buds more than the ambience. As Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s put it “It all comes back to the basic. Serve customers the best-tasting food at a good value in a clean, comfortable restaurant, and they’ll keep coming back”. Brix, hope you are listening…

Brix
Upper Ground Floor, Building 10-B,Dlf Cyber City, DLF Phase – 2, Gurgaon – 122002
Contact: 0124-4366020

Foodiebay Brix Menu: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique

Yumz – Ragbag Mediocrity

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Walk boldly into this vividly dichromatic world on the darker side of the spectrum – bright red sofas and chairs, jet black walls and ceiling – even the air conditioners are painted black, a mirror studded orb cast fuzzy oblong patterns in a corner, red n white checkered table cloth spread over black table covers, waiters split in half – black till the torso, bright red waist up, a mirrored wall on one side flip this deeply contrasted world into eternity where fragmented reflections stare back at you. In the LCD screen on the rear wall Nigella Lawson mutely follows Kylie Kwong while high decibel crooning of Madonna and Michael Jackson drive you to distraction. Welcome to the scarlet-black never-land of Yumz!

This intersection and overlap of discordant themes is further amplified by the restaurant menu which features Indian, Continental, Chinese, Mexican and Italian in an overarching ambition to shrink-wrap an entire food-court within its narrow confines.

As soon as we sit down and soak in this eerie ambience the waiter is at our elbow to take order. Our Chicken Shorba arrives piping hot and leave a pleasant lingering taste. The Boti Kebab (barbecued boneless lamb chunks tossed Yumz style) that follows is commonplace.  Swallowing mounting skepticism we order Chicken Goli Mirch recommended by the waiter. This work of art with generous lumps of chicken immersed in creamy uninspiring gravy dominated by the flavour of ground black pepper does precious little to salvage the rapidly deteriorating impression. By the time we finish the meal I do not have much faith left in the Yumz way of churning out grub.

On the brighter side, the service was efficient, the staff solicitous and attentive. The portions were substantial. Price – quite reasonable. Quality of chicken and lamb used in the dishes were excellent. However, the Yumz way of cooking was appalling despite the best ingredients. In my opinion, the attempt to be the jack of all trades turned the restaurant into master in none! Of course I admit that such limited sampling of the menu is inadequate to make sweeping judgments. Yet, I cannot help feeling that Yumz food lack character, the vital ingredient that draws returning customers. After all one cannot be everything to everyone and still remain something special.
Chicken Shorba – Rs. 65.00
Boti Kebab – Rs. 170.00
Chicken Goli Mirch – Rs. 190.00 (Half)
Tandoori Roti Rs.4.00 each

Yumz
H 8 – 9, Qutub Plaza
DLF Phse 1, Gurgaon
Contact: 0124-4275511, 3017789, 9873431314
Foodiebay Yumz Menu: Click Here
Web:
www.yumzmeal.com
Home delivery available within 3 KM
Accepts Ticket Restaurant coupons

Categories: Gastronomique

Vada Pav & Volcano on a Friday Evening

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Friday evening, unable to resist a sudden craving for junk food, we landed up at DT Mega Mall. The food court used to be a lively place, but seemed poorly lit and dull this time around. Some of our favourite counters, “Lemon & Thyme” and “Simply South” had shut shop. Apart from the usual suspects – “Subway”, “McDonald’s”, “Dominos” and “Lavazza”, the other surviving members of the original cast were “Salad Bar”, “Sip’n Bite” and “Viva Hyderabadi”. Among the new counters scattering the floor, one served crêpe and another Vada Pav, the quintessential, lip smacking Maharashtrian benediction to mankind.

Amchi Mumbai Vada Pav sold varieties of Vada Pav ranging from regular to cheese and paneer versions as well as Vada Pav combos. We took a regular one with Brown Bread. The Vada was promptly fried before our eyes and handed over sizzling hot stuffed inside Pav with a smattering of dry red chutney and a lightly sauteed green chilly. Can’t say it was a match to the bona fide Mumbai edition, but came pretty close. I felt the Vada Pav of Ashva’s Fast Food (Check my previous blog – Serendipitous Delights) was better, particularly since it come with oodles of coconut chutney. But, Amchi Mumbai was right around the corner whereas Ashva’s was way too far to be bothered for a quick Vada Pav snack.

The Vada Pav only stocked our appetite. So we gathered a potpourri of dishes from different counters and finished dinner. Finally, to top it all, we went and ordered a Choco Lava cake from Dominos which proved to be the nemesis of a perfect evening. The very first scoop erupted in my mouth; seismic sugar waves surged through the blood stream as the viscous chocolate lava trickled down my gullet. It was nauseatingly sweet. Do not offer this to friends; reserve it for your enemies – it can be the sweetest personal vendetta.

Epilogue:-Avoid this hellfire confection, period!!!

The food court also featured Go Chaatz, a Semi-Americanized version of Desi Chat. I found their signature item, Papdi Popper quite good. Recommended…

Categories: Gastronomique