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Posts Tagged ‘mushroom kurkure’

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

Gurgaon Potpourri

February 6, 2010 3 comments

Kishti

The restaurant menu was loquacious over Kashmir.
It explained Kishti as “flat-bottomed boat or light skiff used for quick transport over the waterways in Kashmir”.
The lengthy menu preamble was encyclopaedic:
“When Timur invaded India in the 15th century he unknowingly introduced to the country a cuisine that is perhaps unrivalled in the world – Wazwaan. For the first time ever, the exotic treasury of secret recipes from the renowned family of Wazwa – the master chefs of Kashmir – are made available to all those who love the cuisine of the beautiful valley. The preparation is considered an art and is traditionally done by a Vasta Wazwa, or head chef, with the assistance of a court of Wazwas, or chefs. The Waswaan is most often prepared for a big event, especially marriages. Guests are grouped into four for serving of the Wazwaan“.

With all that eloquence, my expectations soared, but fell flat in the face of incompetent service.

The restaurant was a 30 seater on one of the labyrinths of Qutub Plaza. Not really spacious; one harried waiter served all tables.

Our starter – Rista Kanti, hand pounded mutton balls shallow fried with fresh onion and spices -arrived after an interminable wait which made me wonder if the Wazwas were chasing goats out there for their balls. It eventually appeared drenched in oil and sinfully tasty. The meat had a crunchy-chewy feel marvellously augmented by supple sweet onions. My rating index which was scraping the bottom till then went up several notches.

However, our main course proved a near disaster. Roti with Lal Maas. A sudden bout of sheer stupidity made me order it, a Kishti chef speciality according to the menu. I fell for the descriptive flair – fiery hot Rajasthani meat stew gently simmered in a red chilly & spices paste, finished with desi ghee and ginger. Whoever wrote it had copious imagination and considerable genius for writing. The Lal Maas when it came was hot and fiery for sure, almost sanguinary, with thick gravy – all onion and tomato and every spice on earth; with an extra measure of salt thrown in as bonus. The mutton pieces were disappointing too. Whenever I order a mutton dish I am prepared for bones. But this one was all bones and very little meat. Clearly we were devouring the leftovers of a hunt. Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! I should not have ordered a Rajasthani dish at a Kashmiri restaurant.

It is not all doom and gloom though. The silver lining is that the restaurant’s Kashmiri oeuvre definitely passes muster. But for the clumsy service, Kishti is a decent restaurant by our standards. By all means check it out. But stick to their Kashmiri fare. Core competency – see what I mean. Never stick out your neck and try the others. Or else…

Rista Kanti – Rs.165.00
Lal Maas – Rs. 230.00 ($$$)
Plain Roti – Rs.7.00 each

Kishti
H-10, Qutub Plaza Market
DLF Phase – I, Gurgaon
Contact: 0124-4051991, 3020044, 3020045, 9311879607, 9310152559
Free Home Delivery Available

Kishti Foodiebay Menu: Click Here

Pind Balluchi

Pind Balluchi (see my earlier post) has an outlet within the concrete canyons of DLF Cybercity, underneath building no. 9A, opposite Mainland China. Rustic setting, earthen walls decorated with Rangoli, strategically placed musical paraphernalia – Ektara, Dhol, Tabla and flute, a corner decked in bangles, a giant plastic tree reigning over the floor, an open air Tandoor, brass studded king size chairs and tables… Inside a glass bell jar electric arcs jab a bottle of Kingfisher Premium lager beer.

Service is prompt. Much rush at noon time. To be on safer side better book a table in advance if there is a large group. But I guess one can walk in and find an empty table or two any day if you reach early.

Be sure to check out these delicacies:
Murg Malai Tikka – Succulent, drool some… (Rs. 160.00 – Six pieces)
Mushroom Kurkure – My concession to veggies. Yet Outstanding!!! (Rs.150.00 – Six pieces)
(Ever watched Inspector Clouseau’s (Steve Martin) first encounter with a hamburger in Pink Panther (2006)? This is close!)
Dahi Kebab – Finger licking good… (Rs.120.00)
Mutton Kheema Masala – Passable (Rs.180.00)
Chicken Biriyani, served in a clay pot – Passable (Rs.180.00)

Pind Balluchi
Contact: 0124-4218880
Address: Ground Floor, Building No. 9A, DLF Cybercity, Gurgaon

Pind Balluchi  Foodiebay Menu: Click Here

 

Apni Rasoi
This one is a little way from the DLF Cybercity office complex, but well worth dodging all those rushing cars, flying spittle and billowing dust if you are intent on a healthy vegetarian meal.

Located in one of the by lanes of Sector-31, the Rasoi is popular among locals and the singles.

Mud walls, bamboo screens, thatched roof…

Spacious, airy and clean, this place with no pretensions dish out excellent North Indian fare and very good Thali’s. It cast a vegetarian spell on a hardcore non-vegetarian like me. Even though the seating capacity is fairly large evenings here can be crowded. So be sure to reach early…

Special Thali (Dal, Paneer dish, Sabzi, Raita, Papad, sweet, rice, 4 Tawa Roti’, salad) – Rs. 70.00 (Value for money!!)

Apni Rasoi
Contact: 0124-2566088, 9873111724, 9716008892
Address: U-71/4, DLF Phase-III, Gurgaon
Accepts Ticket restaurant and Sodex Pass coupons as well.
Home delivery available.

Apni Rasoi  Foodiebay Menu: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique

Pind Balluchi – Baluchistani cuisine in Gurgaon

November 11, 2009 1 comment
Pind Balluchi Map
 
 

Yesterday evening we took our guests to Pind Balluchi in Gurgaon for dinner. It was crowded at 9.30 PM. After a wait of 10 minutes we were escorted to a table in the rear. The staff was attired in traditional maroon Kurta and greeted us with Sat Sri Akaal. Inside, the restaurant had a comfortably lit rustic ambiance. Stained glass lamp shades threw mellow yellow light and hazy shadows on our table. Background music was muted and we could talk without shouting. The restaurant was now completely non-smoking in adherence with the government decree banning smoking in public places.
 
The menu card was a sturdy looking wooden tablet which we passed around. For starters we ordered Aam Panna (a refreshingly cool drink made of green mango), Mushroom Kurkure (fried mushroom stuffed with fresh cream), roasted Papad and Amritsari Machi (six medium fried slices of fish and green chutney). Lip smacking. The main course consisted of Bhuna chicken (two pieces of chicken in a thick gravy of roasted spices), Dal Makhani, Kadhai Paneer, plain Tandoori Roti, Rumali Roti and Lacha Parantha. Our choice of dessert was sweet Lassi and Matka Kulfi served in earthenware cups.
 
Damage to the wallet was limited to Rs. 1500.00 for five persons, nominal by Gurgaon standards. I would rate the restaurant 8 in a scale of 10. Nice ambience, courteous staff and decent food. Recommended for frequent visits.
 
Check out the restaurant menu at Foodiebay here – Link.

 

Categories: Gastronomique