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Posts Tagged ‘thali’

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

Instant Gratification – Guaranteed!!

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Consider this hypothetical scenario:

You have been working all morning. You have forgotten to bring lunch. It is 1.00 PM. You are on planet Earth. You are in the Republic of India. You are in Gurgaon. You office is in DLF Cybercity. And there is this sudden irrepressible craving for biryani welling up from your abdominal abyss.

You bring up Google maps, type Hyderabadi Biryani and click locate. This is what you got.

Did you say ‘voila’? Probably, not. You realize, with a jolt, that Google cannot provide you all the answers. QED.

How will you cope up with this existential dilemma? What will you do next?
Here is what you can do. Grab you wallet and walk over to Dhakshini in DLF Cybergreen food court. And what would you find there? An ocean of bowed heads wolfing Hyderabadi Biryani, yes you heard it right, ecstasy and deep spiritual contentment etched vividly over their faces. So you walk over to the counter, pay a hundred bucks, collect the steel thali with its round plantain leaf and a large bowl of biryani with an aromatic chicken leg delicately poised on top, a half moon of an egg beside it and two small bowls – chicken curry and raita on the side, make way through the human wall and pounce on an empty chair. The universe awaits in hushed silence as you transfer biryani to the plate and with infinite delicacy, scoops a large spoonful into your salivating mouth. 3 seconds elapse. Big Bang! Birth of cosmos, an explosive decompression of space, time and gravitation sends you reeling across the floor. You recover and the same eternal bliss you noticed on others, permeate you. As you fork the last grain of rice off the plate, you thank providence for granting life next door to this biryani paradise.

Let me assure you, I’m not kidding. But again, it was just a hypothetical scenario and you know where they eventually lead to – gastronomic hyperboles!!!

Had enough of hypothetical scenarios? I am dying to give you another… Maybe another time…

But I cannot leave you without a mention of the ultimate momo experience in Gurgaon. This one is ‘Cheap and Best’. And you would go back for more, I assure you. I have been doing it for the past five years… Check out chicken and veg momos at ‘Cj’s MOMO’ outside Big Bazaar food court at Sahara Mall. It is a momo benchmark. The dark red chilly dip sends tear drops splattering to the floor and your hand-to-mouth co-ordination falters as each momo sets your head spinning… More like a hallucinatory experience… Go for it…

Dhakshini
(A Unit of Andhra Bhavan)
KF-10 & 11, 1st Floor,
Foodcourt, Tower-C,
DLF Cybergreen,
R-Block, DLF City,
Gurgaon – 122002
Tel: 0124-3224441
For Delivery Call: 9311953179
Dhakshini also serves other exotic dishes such as Chicken Dosa, Keema Dosa and Egg Dosa.

 

Cj’s MOMO
Big Bazaar, 2nd Floor,
Sahara Mall,
Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon
Tel: 9811301499/ 9810869608 – Call only after 12.00 Noon

 

Categories: Gastronomique

Weekend foodlog

November 9, 2009 2 comments

Hi Lanka Map Hi Lanka

Friday evening, on a whim, we landed up at Hi Lanka, the newly opened Sri Lankan restaurant in town. Our intent was to sample the Kothu Roti’s advertised in the menu.  Long back, while I was working at a project site in Tamil Nadu, Kothu Porotta used to be my staple dinner. Shredded fluffy porottas cooked with chicken, spices and curry leaves served with a small bowl of chicken gravy, it was a wholesome meal. I hoped to relive that nostalgia.

Hi Lanka was a one room shop front located on Smt. Santosh Yadav Marg, near NH8, bordering Sector-31. Our hearts sank when we saw a “government approved” drinking place next door. However, having come such a long way, we decided to proceed with dinner.

There was a plastic table for 3 in the open. Inside, the Sri Lankan Tamil chef slogged at a shiny, brand new steel kitchen counter. The menu didn’t offer much choice except Kothu Roti and String Hopper (Idiyappam). We ordered vegetarian and non vegetarian Kothu Roti’s and spent 40 minutes watching patrons of the drinking place before dinner was served. Quantity was substantial. The tomato and grated coconut salad tasted nice. Vegetarian Kothu Roti had a tonne of Soya and smelled of egg. Non vegetarian had shredded chicken and finely chopped, cabbage, carrots and beans. It tasted bland. No comparison to the superlative Kothu Porotta of Tamil Nadu, not even a pale shadow if it. A complete letdown.

Visiting restaurants promising exotic cuisine, especially in cosmopolitan cities like Gurgaon is risky. These restaurants have to cater to a motley crowd. The original recipes are therefore tampered with and watered down to produce a fit for all product, which lacks the flavour and aroma of the authentic dish. Something similar seems to have happened in Hi Lanka. The Kothu Roti, although similar in form totally lacked the spice and vigour of the original.

Check out Hi Lanka, only if you must.

To offset the fiasco of Friday evening, we visited the Rajasthani counter at Dilli Haat for lunch. It is completely vegetarian, but have countless choices. The food is supposedly authentic. We took Special Rajasthani Thali which came with Bajra and Missi roti, dal-baati, churma ki laddu, ker-sangri, gatte ki sabzi, rice, kadhi, side dishes and achaar, all for Rs.150.00. The makki ki roti and sarson ka saag cost us Rs.50.00. Drowned it all with kulhad chai (Rs.20.00). The radiance of a satiated belly shone brightly on our faces.

Dilli Haat, as I indicated in a previous blog, is an exhibition centre showcasing arts and crafts from different states of India. Apart from the close to 200 stalls devoted to handicrafts, utensils, paintings and clothes, it also has 20 odd counters serving regional cuisine from different parts of India. This time around, we spotted counters of Awadh and Orissa. A repeat performance? maybe later.

Categories: Gastronomique