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Posts Tagged ‘gurgaon restaurant review’

A Culinary Omnium Gatherum

May 21, 2010 2 comments

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

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

On the Sambar Trail…

 

Are you pining for yellowish brown lacy pancakes, puffed white elliptical flying saucers or crunchy toroids served with coconut dip. And your mind is whirling, whirling.. Where do you, where do you go? Like a stuck CD your mind is playing this infernal music while flashing hot, humid, raunchy flashes of crisp Dosa’s, voluptuous Idlis and sizzling Vadas. To escape this vortex of temporary amnesia you check out gastronomique. Voila… There you are…

The infinite wisdom of tailrace coughed up the following. Gurgaon has restaurants galore that serve South Indian… Sanskriti, Naivedyam, Coco Palm – these are the specialists. Then there are the generalists that serve everything under the sun from sweets to Kulcha to Dosa to Manchurian to Dhokla to Vada Pav – Om Sweets, Shyam Sweets, Haldirams, Bikanerwala, they fall in this omnifarious category. Of course none can beat, in price or in taste, the mouthwatering fare served at the nameless South Indian restaurant/ takeaway located next to Maruti Vihar “OUT” gate. This not just an opinion, it is a fact, an axiom, a divine decree. Are you scratching you head and cursing tailrace for throwing this multiplicity of choice at you, already. Sorry, can’t help it. Facts are facts.

There is an easier way out. Check out Tripti. It may be a long way or a short way from you. I do not know. Depends on where you are. At least you have to be in Gurgaon. And you need to know where Qutub Plaza is. If you are still in doubt refer the attached map. If you are lucky the terrain will match it. Can’t say these days. Construction, you know, morbid, rampant construction. Reminds me of the movie, Dark City. Anyways, You can’t miss Tripti with that violent green neon sign announcing its presence. You might be a little addled, but you are not blind, are you? Then you shouldn’t be reading this any further. Full Stop, Period. Sorry, the sign is not written in Braille. Hey, I didn’t mean to disparage you or anything. Just stating the facts. Bored? Are you bored? Goddammit, I have this incorrigible habit of being too verbose. Carried away by words, you see. Dangerous, The habit is. Need to learn to keep my mouth shut. 

Well, so you have reached the restaurant! Wow, Am glad. Now you are standing under the glare of its massive, fluorescent green lettering and gazing through the glass door at the yellow walls (assuming you don’t have x-ray vision like superman in which case you would be seeing through it into the next door hair dresser? well I don’t remember), snake skin chairs, fibre tables on steel legs, the large illuminated framed picture of Sai Baba, the ceiling, the split A/c, Deepak – the restaurant manager, …. Blink, blink, blink. I say you have a keen eye for detail. You have pushed through the door; kicked the fly frying machine with an ultraviolent gleam; that whines constantly and sputters occasionally as it incinerates a desperate flying insect whose departing soul haunts your imagination for a Pico-second. Eh, you have sat down already! Deepak is at your elbow with the menu. What does it have, let me have a look? Oh, you are going for Vada Sambar, too traditional, I would say; and what else? Paper Butter Masala Dosa and Onion Rawa Masala Dosa. Hey, it’s gonna be too much for you, I’m warning you. What? Get Lost? Leave you ALONE? You want to eat in PEACE!!! Dammit, this is how you treat me for showing you this new place. Is this gratitude? O Tempora! O Mores!

The gracious gastronomique’s comments:

Vada/ Sambar: Three crisp Medhu Vadas served on a steel plate overlaid with plantain leaf, accompanied by large bowl of Sambar and tiny cups of tomato n coconut chutney. Delicioooous… Slurrrp…Emptying the Sambar Katori…

Paper Butter Masala Dosa: Same serving pattern as Vada/ Sambar. The paper roast is jutting out like a torpedo on either side of the plate. I attack it from one end while my wife burrow from the other heading for a collision around the middle of the Dosa. After an eternity, with Dosa bits stuck around our mouth, we are surprised to see each other. An MGR hit song bursts into our collective consciousness, we entwine our Masala encrusted fingers and croon. This Dosa is perfect for the romantically inclined. Follow the same modus operandi and you’ll be surprised at the end result. I want to add this recipe to the 10 best ways to rekindle your love life list.

Onion Rawa Masala Dosa: Well, didn’t really have a stomach for this one. But you don’t argue with your tongue or tummy. That’s a cardinal sin. Will haunt you to the wrong side of the coffin.  Never, never commit it. Promise? This Dosa remained within the confines of the plate. Same potato Masala. Same Sambar, same chutney. Only it looked different, all perforated like crochet. Yummy, all the same.

Gastronomics:
Vada – Sambar: Rs. 50.00
Paper Butter Masala dosa: Rs.70.00
Onion Rawa Masala Dosa: Rs.65.00
Yo, Ho! It’s less than 200 bucks. Hey, I would call that a bargain in this city of diminishing returns.
The delectable’s: No VAT, No Service Charge, Prices all inclusive. That is justice for once.

Rating: 7/10.
Ambience is nothing to talk about. Food is good. Service is prompt. 
Worth the money.
JEEZ!!!

Tripti South Indian Food
N-11, Qutub Plaza Market, DLF City – I, Gurgaon
Contact: 0124-4221992/ 3/ 4/ 5
Free Home Delivery within 3 KM radius. Minimum Order – Rs.150.00
 
Tripti menu on Foodiebay: Click Here (Sorry, Not Yet Featured on Foodiebay!!!)

Categories: Gastronomique