Archive

Posts Tagged ‘thai’

Connecticut Yankee on Jaipur Highway

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

The belly rules the mind – so goes the proverb. Take care of your belly and it will take care of your mind, so goes my interpretation. I’m a great stickler to this mantra and pamper by belly whenever possible hoping that my mind will follow.

After the disastrous Okra restaurant episode (see post here), I could not rest in peace till my tummy had its quantum of solace. So I was only glad to grab the opportunity to visit IndiJoe, the American diner at Ambience Mall.

Like Aromas of China, IndiJoe also belong to BJN group. It serves American, Mexican and Italian among others.The restaurant is spacious, the interior is done up in cool, dark shades; sports gear and photographs occupy every inch of the wall, a pensive miniature statue of liberty in verdigris preside over the middle bay, streaks of blood red fire sprinkler plumbing stand out against the black ceiling like exposed veins. Bright, translucent, green and blue stain glass lamp shades with flower patterns hang over illuminated tables, a collage of Hollywood stars – Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Marilyn Munroe and Sylvester Stallone decorate a side wall. Induction heated hot plates line the buffet counter against a frescoed back wall, there are separate Pasta and Chaat counters also near the buffet area, the bar counter near the entrance is empty at lunch hour with a lone barman bent over polishing glasses. Enrique Iglesias and Kenny Rogers issue softly from the music player. Eight of us share the only round table in the restaurant in a kind of pre-prandial limbo waiting to begin lunch.

An aromatic cream of chicken soup accompanied by no-so-great Coastal Fried Fish in BBQ Sauce and tangy-sweet Honey Ginger Chicken tee me off. I give vegetarian stuff a pass and pile my plate with fillets of Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce and some Murg Shahi Patiala with thick spicy gravy to go with Paranthas. My dessert is a generous dollop of strawberry mousse and a heap of assorted fruits – mostly musk melon, pineapple and water melon. The lunch is infinitely satisfying and call for suppressed burps – which is the stomach’s way of announcing deep satisfaction.

For Rs.350/- + taxes (Mon – Thru), IndiJoe is a definite bargain – the staff are friendly and helpful, food bountiful and diverse, the restaurant is clean, spacious and very relaxing.

Fri – Sun the going rate is Rs.425/- + taxes which includes additional dishes such as prawns. On Fridays there is also a live band from 9.00 PM onwards.

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

IndiJoe
Ambience Mall, Level 3,
NH-8, Gurgaon – 122002
Contact: 0124 3058803

IndiJoe Menu from Foodiebay: Click Here

Categories: Gastronomique

Analysis Paralysis at – did you say – Food court!!

December 21, 2009 1 comment

 

Food courts are a relatively novel concept in India although they have been prevalent abroad. The greatest advantage of a food court is the variety of choice which, to me, is both a boon and a bane. If you don’t have a food fixation, a food court lets you to explore and choose from a large spread, suiting every taste and budget. On the flipside, the smorgasbord of cuisines leave you vexed for choice. In a large group, thrashing out an agreement for a meal menu, pandering to every taste can be gruesome. While it has been a pleasure eating out at food courts, I have found it impossible to achieve a harmonious blend of dishes that complement each other. More often I end up with an incongruous mixture, of items that caught my fancy as I checked out various counters.

The food court at third floor of Ambience Mall is one of the largest in Gurgaon. On weekends the atmosphere is noisy and festive. From the lunch table you can watch a swirling farrago of activity play out like a movie clip – shrieking children on a carousel with kaleidoscopic blinking lights, agitated mothers, starry eyed teenagers, amorous couples, septuagenarians, young, old, high class, middle class, aspiring class, tiffs, shouts, surreptitious glances et al. There are a bewildering array of counters offering anything from burgers, street food, dosa, pizza and kebabs to wraps, noodles, sushi and gelato making it tough to reign in one’s greed.

This weekend we sauntered from counter to counter to finally assemble this totally incompatible mix.

– Slice of stuffed vegetable pizza and a plate of baked potatoes from Sbarro, the Italian counter – Total Rs. 167.00
– Vegetarian combo with noodles, Thai red curry, spring roll and dip from Sala Thai – Total Rs.100.00
– Crispy vegetable wrap and Crispy chicken katsu wrap from Sushiya, the newly opened Japanese counter – Total Rs.145.00
– Tropical Banana Walnut ice cream from Fruzen – Total Rs. 39.00

Stuffed with paneer, sautéed onions and a smattering of tomato puree, the pizza tasted good even though it did not contain any vegetables. I was grateful to Sbarro for providing good quality plastic fork and knife. Crisp and medium spiced, the baked potato was savory too.

The Thai red curry went well with noodles, but had a faint ‘fishy’ whiff enough to put off vegetarians. The spring roll was crunchy. Nothing to write home about, but the combo lived up to our modest expectations.

Sushiya, the Japanese counter had opened only a week back. They had vegetarian sushi priced at Rs.25.00 each.  When I went to the counter to check, the sushi appeared tiny and not particularly appetizing. I struck up a conversation with Benny, the counter manager and found that Sushiya had seven outlets in Delhi already. Founded by Varun Modgil, the chain offered various combinations of sushi including ‘cosmopolitan zed’ (I guess, this meant modified for mass consumption) versions. Wasabi, the pungent accompaniment of sushi was imported by Sushiya from Japan, assured Benny. Anyways, in the end, we took wraps. The vegetarian wrap with large onion chunks and generous vegetable stuffing was delicious. The chicken wrap, with a substantial bulk of katsu (deep fried chicken strips) and salad dressing was also outstanding. It could give a run for your money to KFC Twister any day. Guess I’ll be back for more, sooner than later.

The tropical banana walnut ice cream from Fruzen is one of my personal favourites. I have had it countless times and ennui is yet to strike.

Despite the ludicrous combination, the meal was satisfactory. The food court by juxtaposing the most unlikely cuisines, in my opinion achieves a surrealistic eloquence a la Salvador Dali or Gaudi. Grotesque, bordering on the ridiculous, yet infinitely sublime. Am I going overboard? Happens to me, especially after screwball meals…

Click the link to visit Sushiya: Link
Foodiebay link to Sbarro menu: Link
Foodiebay link to Sala Thai menu: Link

Categories: Gastronomique

Berco’s Gurgaon – Better Than “Yet Another”

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Yesterday evening my friend took us out to dinner at Berco’s, the Chinese and Thai diner at Sector-53, Gurgaon. The restaurant, located on the 2nd floor of Central Plaza has an open air terrace and an air conditioned section. Staff, clad in purple collared black suits was mostly from North East India. We originally intended to dine in the terrace, but later changed our mind and sat indoors. The brown high back chairs were comfortable. At 7.30 PM the restaurant was practically empty. But, by the time we rose to leave at 9.30 almost all tables were taken.

There was a slight nip in the air and we decided to kick start our culinary adventure with Tomato and Seafood soup. For hors d’oeuvre we ordered Lotus Stem Honey Chili, Singapore Wok Style Fish and Chicken Fried Wonton. Lotus Stem Honey Chili was outstanding and the Tomato Soup was good. However, Seafood Soup and Fish were disappointing. The soup had a disconcerting odour and Wok fish was salty. The Chicken Wonton was ordinary. To relieve the gloom, we made intermittent forays to scoop thin oval slices of lotus stem on our plates.

After that dismal start we decided to forgo our designs on fish and stick to vegetables and the eternal favourite – chicken. Our cautious choices for main course were Chicken Rice & Noodles Shanghai Style, Berco’s Special Noodles (vegetarian), Seven Treasure Vegetables in Creamy Garlic Sauce and Thai Green Curry (vegetarian). The seven treasure vegetables, stir fried broccoli, button mushroom, baby corn, yellow, red and green pepperoni and celery soaked in thick sauce and served in an oblong tray was exceptional. Thai green curry and chicken noodle were nondescript. Berco’s special noodles was anything but special!

This mixed epicurean bag eventually cost us Rs.1465.00 (inclusive of taxes) among 3 people – which is slightly on the higher side considering the quality of food even though the portions were decent. Can’t say the restaurant is a gastronomic delight, but it is worth trying. Before you go, ask around. We’re sure this place can offer excellent value for money, if you are able to make the right choices. Our rating is 6 out of 10.

Categories: Gastronomique