Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jing gave a Bad Sting...

I dunno why I even end up going to these restaurants. I guess with the faith that someday i'll end up liking this, so to say fine dining restaurant cuisine. I have no idea how this place could have been nominated for the best Chinese in town, in line with Hao shi Nian Nian and similar.

Having had amazing pork ribs at Dilli haat for lunch we decided to go a lil sophisticated for dinner. Unfortunately the only thing that was worth the exuberant amount we paid was the ambiance and the service.

The food aint even worth a mention. Street food grub tastes better. But then I gotta mention the disaster here.

We ordered for Cajun Lamb: trust me it tasted like Chinese Van food (Bad Chinese van food) ... and even the Van guys give larger portions. Presentation of food was like ancient with carrot flowers and extinct things like that. Embarrassing.

Then came the Pork Bao... Yuck. All I could taste was the dough. Which was sweet. an inch of a layer of dough and stuffing like the size of a three tiny peanuts to be precise. Pork or pork waste we wouldn have realised in that quantity.

We finally decided to be safe and order chicken.Hoping no one could go wrong with that. Well we were proved soooo wrong. We ordered for chicken wings and the meat quality was so bad that it left behind such a foul taste that we wasted everything.

Being tortured with food and ending up wasting so much we decided to skip the main course( which i believe is made with the cheapest of cuts in a Chinese restaurant: best to avoid after such an experience) and move to desserts. Have had amazing date pancakes in many a Chinese restaurants and its something I look forward to. Hats off to JING to ruining that tooo... The portion size was minuscule, the ice cream scooper was small enough to scoop potatoes, and the pancakes tasted of burnt dates.

To finish off this severely tormenting experience came the Fortune cookie which spelled " You will never forget this Experience".

I sure do agree.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kakori ki kasam. Bas meri khatir.

Who knew that an 8x8 shop on the pavement of a busy Lodhi road could churn out the best kakori kebabs in the city. Sab ki khatir, an inspired version of the very famous Aap ki khatir restaurant, is a must visit for all grubbers. A perfect drive in sort of place, where the guys are ready to serve you in the car as well. But trust me, get out and smell the aroma. Engulf in the charry goodness of the meat on the seekhs. Crack a conversation with the guy behind the burning coal and then just wait for him to serve u the most tender, succulent and literally melt in the mouth kakori. The first thing that hits u even before u realise its meat that u are consuming is the strong yet soothing flavors of the spices. A level of culinary excellence( speaks the chef within me).
I strongly beleive that there is just that one dish, one recipe that stands out at every grubbers point. And kakori it is for Sab ki Khatir.
Wipe down the guilt with a phirni. Its as good as the one you would find at Matia mahal, if not better.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lakhan ki chai te Ravi di half fry...

Every locality has one such place for sure. We used to call it the paada culture in Calcutta where such adda's could be found everywhere.
A place where one could leave behind all the worries and holdrums of life and enjoy a cup of tea with mere strangers who would soon end up being your company for life.
And of no co incidence I was introduced to this place by a Bangali. So lets just call him Bangali from now on. Nestled in a corner in the HUDA sector 57 market is this Lakhan ki dukaan. All he has is a wooden bench for him to call his shop. Though it sure helps for a fast escape when the Huda officers create a rampage. Wat I really love of the so called ambience is the inverted wooden cupboard for ppl to sit on and the typical tea glasses that he has.
Well his tea is sure a hit for the number of ppl that he serves daily is mindboggling. Loaded with ginger, and cardamom, and super hot its a blessing in this season of the chill. Though a lil high on sugar for me it sure gives many a sugar rush. Something as simple as tea starts many a conversations here.
The grub here includes all the staple junk one could ask for. From every variety of maggi to anything and everything one could do with eggs. But on top of the list is the half fry. Fried in butter, nutralite mind you, sandwiched between two innocent slices of butter fried breads, are two peeking little yolks, bright as sunshine looking out of the clouds on a dreary day. Cooked so perfectly that it oozes out on your first bite only to make you lick your fingers as it trickles down. And don worry no one here is about to judge you. You know why??? Coz they all do the same. Thats the fun of an adda. The comfort of a place where your seats always booked, your tea is always like u want it, the grubs perfect, and no ones judging. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

fishy affair

gurgaon often known for it's mall culture everything over here being known for the sheen and not the content. it seems that it's all about how a place is packaged decides how successful it is. contrary to that we bumped in this small bengali food restaurant where sheen quotient is zero but every bite will make any bengali go nostalgic. if i have to rate it surely it's one of the TOP 3 Bengali Food Restaurants in NCR. City of Joy, Alaknanda takes the first place in my heart.
This new place is known as Lokenath Restaurant nothing glamorous about the decor or furnishing, just make yourself comfortable in basic set of chairs and table and ask for the menu which is nothing more than the take away flyer.
Make sure you order more than one dish not that the portions are less but it's worthwhile to overeat. We had enough of Pabda Jhaal (Pabda fish cooked in mustard gravy), Hilsa Fry (fried Hilsa fish), Kosha Mangsho (legendary mutton prepared in thick red gravy) and none of them made me regret the choice.

for those who are less carnivore in nature try their Aloo Dum and Loochi (preparation of potato in thick gravy served with poori's) and this an ex calcutta lady confirmed to be as good as they serve in calcutta. rest i don't have much idea about the veg dishes but they have enough of the traditional bengali vegetarian dishes too. Shookto, Aalo Posto etc...

So next time you wanna act fishy remember Lokenath.

Where: 1st floor, Honkong Bazaar, Sector-57, Gurgaon.
What : Authentic Bengali Food
How much :Rs.500 seems enough for two


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Before you say “G O A”

A monsoon in Goa.
people say it's not the best time to go.
not quite right. the place looks amazing when it's raining.
though not much happens on the beach but the pale sand looks awesome under the dark grey sky. the contrast is just too striking.
if you want to keep shifting from one shack to another your choices are less. but not less enough for you to miss The Great Goan Culinary Experience.
be it the Goan Sausages or Pork Vindaloo or Prawn Balchao all this and lot more is available come rain or shine. one will always fall short of time to experience the spread out there.
well i think i should have another couple of weeks in hand to pay due respect to Goan Food.
from shacks to 5stars every place the first bite into the food will make sure you are taken aback by surprise.
even the 5stars don't shy away from making dishes spicy enough to maintain the authenticity of the original recipe. on the other hand the roadside or rather beachside shacks will make sure they make a dish mild enough if the original recipe asks for.
in Goa food comes first for some it will be Booze comes first but that's ok. beach, Booze and Brilliant Food goes hand in hand in Goa.
over here you find a Wine Shop or an Eatery before you finish saying "G O A".

Crab Butter Garlic @ Fishka, Village Majorda,
Adao Waddo, Salcette, South Goa

the bar @ Charcoal Cheese, Fort Aguada, North Goa

Local Lady serving fresh Goan Pork Sausages with Goan bread on the street in Margaon, South Goa

Lobster in Peri-Peri Sauce @ Martin's Corner, Betalbatim, South Goa

Monday, June 6, 2011


at times you come across the most unexpected things as you walk along the lanes of purani dilli. as we were walking through ballimaran to visit mirza ghalib's haveli a bit before these stacks of sheermaal took us by surprise. stacks of sheermaal made out of dough kneaded with milk and butter.
it's not for everybody, one needs to have an appetite to bite into those rotis. a perfect combination would be a pot full of mutton qorma to go along with a couple of sheermaals. though i have never been able to finish more than one of those in a go.
next time in purani dilli try one of those, it's gonna be a rich treat. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011


There are times when u want nothing else but a Naan and a Dal makhani from that favourite restaurant of yours round the corner.... and there are times whenu're inan experimental mood and wanna have food that u've never tasted b4...

Well I was in the mood for the latter... checked around on the internet, called up my well informed loyal advisor for food and finally zeroed down on a place in the by lanes of Lajpat Nagar called Mazaar... Though there was a time that i thought that Lajpat Nagar was only synonymus to "Repair Nagar".

Parking my car at the first place i found we walked around to figure out this place. Most of the ppl knew about Kabul.. another restaurant that serves Afghani Food... But i was hell bent upon going to Mazaar... So we took a rick and reached this place.

Well the place, quite contrary to what I had expected, was very nice. The place was well lit unlike those dingy dark sheds that ppl have restaurants in these days, and was very neat and somehow really comfortable and inviting. For a while I dint feel that I was in a restaurant but at someones Home in their dining hall or something. The others that were seated found us to be strangers. We looked like the foreigners out there, and after a while of uncomfortable stares and whispering, when they saw how indifferent I was to their unsaid remarks : ' you dont fit here'... they let us be and got back to slurping their Shorbas and ripping their meats.

The menu dint describe the food quite well, it only had the names and the same written in Arabic. So that dint quite work, so we called the server whowas this young boyish, fair guy who looked perfect in his pathani kurta and pyjama to help us out. We asked him straight and simple what should we have and he suggested the mutton tikka seekh, Borani Banjan and a Mantu, since we specified we were maasahaaris ( meat eaters) and we din wish to have rice.

The food took a while to arrive but was worth every second... The server had specified prior to the order that the food here was mildly spiced and was not high on heat at all...
So that made us quite ready for what was to arrive... TheMutton tikka seekh came in individual skewers which was quite aneye candy( me clearly ignoring the ghas phus beneath it). It was as explained low on spicy very unlike our traditional mutton seekh which at times either tastes of innumerable no. of spices or just the heat which takes away any flavor from the mouth. This was quite a relief and you could actually taste the succulent mutton with a hint of garlic and definately marinated in curd or sour cream.

The mantu was quite a twist in the tale. It turned out to be mutton mince stuffed momo's served like a chaat.. i.e. it was covered with curd and the final twist was that it was topped with dal. The description dint seem very inviting to me so I kept away from it for quite a while till i realised that my buddy was quite enjoying it. I finally gave in and tried a portion. Hmmmm... the Momo I would give a pass i've had way better but surprisingly i really liked the curd and dal combo which was laced with mint...

Finally, the Borani banjan was actually forced upon... for quite a few reasons... Its an Aubergine/ Egg Plant/ Brinjal based dish... Ppl who know me will be shocked, super shocked.... super duper shocked if I was to tell them that i Liked the dish. Well i did. :) It was actually really really nice. The aubergine were roasted in Sesame oil and preserved in the same... The dish was basically this marinated roasted aubergine peeled and scattered around topped with Sour cream and dried mint and the sesame oil poured all around... It tasted outstanding with the Bread that they provided with it. At the first look the bread looked humungous and thick and not palatable. But the minute i ripped it and soaked it into that oil it just transformed into a gourmet delicacy.

Well we had had enough to brag about but b4 we headed out we had to try the dessert but the options all spoke about ice cream.. and we were in no mood to be fed a scoop out of a 5L Mother dairy industrial ice cream pack ( thats what most hotels and restaurants serve u in their fashionable glasses). But then i had a glimpse of what was actually written Afghani Ice cream. So now i had to try that out. The ice cream tasted quite like our Kulfi but was more creamier and smoother and richer and cardomomy and just superb. Served on a bed of Ice and topped with nuts it was divine... though my buddy found it toooooo sweet ( he still finished all of it) i thought it was an A++++++++++... I hope u get my point.

And the best part was the food was pretty light, dint feel lethargic or super heavy post the meal. Was actually majorly excted about the bragging i was about to go ahead with...

So, the place is worth a visit for sure.

Where: E 86, Lajpat nagar 1.
What : Afghani Food
How much : We spent Rs. 700/-