Review: Flick a Dish Cafe, New Delhi

Having stayed away from home in a different city for almost 4 years, I know that nothing can take away the feeling of missing Home cooked food. As a matter of fact, eating out is just never as good and given the crazy lifestyle we all lead, cooking dinner each day seems like very difficult task, so we end up avoiding doing so. Keeping this concept of ‘Ghar ka Khana’ in mind we have a new cosy cafe, called Flick a dish.

IMG_6361

The cafe looks like someones living room, with red walls and curios across the walls, vintage table clothes, antique teapots and old Bollywood movie posters. A little off the main Ring road in Delhi, the idea behind this cafe is to satiate all those desires for home cooked food. Most dishes have kept authentic flavours in mind, but there are a few experimental dishes like Omelette curry. We wanted to have a simple meal, so besides the omelette we tried the Paneer Mumtaz and Chicken Korma along with Tawa roti. But even most other dishes like Chicken Pakora, Baked mushroom in white sauce, Malai Kofta, Mutton cutlets and mutton chops looked quite delicious, a must try for next time and looked right out of our grandmothers kitchen. IMG_6347

The restaurant is run by Mrs Jyoti Mathur, the author of ‘My Cooking Recipe book for Special Children’, who believes in making every meal a memorable experience. With a very simple menu, the experience is definitely something I would recommend you go for if you are craving a simple no fuss meal in what could be your grandmothers living room.    

Name: Flick A Dish Cafe
Address: A-66, Dayanand Colony, Lajpat Nagar-4, New Delhi – 110024
Contact: 011-26472292-93, 9810115058
Timings: 12 noon till 11pm
Meal for two: Rs 800

Review: DIVA Spiced, New Delhi

DIVA is a chain of fine dining restaurants in India. A brainchild of Chef Ritu Dalmia, each restaurant is famous for its own unique style and menu. A new offing from the same team is Diva Spiced. Situated at Meherchand market, it has taken the space of the old Chez Nini, ‘DIVA Spiced’ is an all-day dinning café offering Modern Asian Cuisine. Reflecting Ritu’s signature style of fresh and wholesome ingredients, the café introduces a menu which is a culmination of flavours, spices and innovations from the South East Asian belt. As Staying true to her classic style, a definite splash of European technique and presentation is evident in the cuisine.

DIVA Spiced_Ground_floor

DIVA Spiced is a 70 cover café spread with a ground and first floor seating. Keeping up with the DIVA legacy, Spiced has a warm and a cozy ambiance, but unlike other Asian cuisine venues it has its own take on decor.The interiors of the cafe have been designed by Anita Dalmia with a combination of vintage and contemporary style. The wallpaper is quite quirky with images of Asian women, Asian motifs and sightings while the chairs and furniture have an industrial appeal. Keeping Asian minimalism in mind the look is overall quite subtle with a play of bright colours. The style is very cafe like while the food is Ritu Dalmia’s take on Asian cuisine.

DIVA Spiced_1stFloor

Not for the weak-hearted or for people who do not like experimenting, the menu is a culmination of a lot of innovations, ranging from steamed crystal dumplings to grilled, fried and baked dishes. Some of signature dishes include tapas dishes like Panko Crusted Arancine filled with corn & chili jam, fried Zucchini flower stuffed with Tofu and Feta, Pork belly skewers with spicy yuzu Lemon dressing. For the mains there is a large variety like Goan Prawn Curry simmered in kokum and coconut served with ginger rice, stuffed baby eggplant in a whipped fennel sauce, Miso Marinade Salmon with soba noodles etc. For a sweet ending there are the regular DIVA desserts and a few special ones for Spiced such as a Spiced Mess- Lemon Grass Meringue with mascarpone cream and berry compote and the special black pepper infused chocolate fondant served with basil ice cream!

Address: 79-80, Meharchand Market (Ground & First Floor)
Contact no: 011 49051837
Meal for 2: Rs. 2200/- (without Alcohol)

Review: Tamra, Shangri-La, New Delhi

Tamra, the new all-day dining at the Shangri-la, takes its inspiration from the early ages of culinary evolution when copper (tamra) vessels were key components. I think the concept and the visual appeal of Tamra is fabulous. Tamra brings a high level of creativity to the casual dining scenario with a large variety of food offerings from around the world. It successfully brings old world charm and presents it in a new avatar,as it borrows its decor inspiration from the early trading markets when Indian spices, jute, copper, silk, leather and other items were appreciated at shores all over the world. Even the interactive kitchens are a tribute to the early market place, where Chefs showed off their skills and produced culinary delights to sell to traders and visitors.

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Walking into Tamra was quite a pleasant surprise for me as I am not used to seeing Hotel coffee shops go through such creative ideas and style the space. Tamra has a unique five, live kitchen concept, along with an elegant wooden bar next to the entrance. Conceptualized by the renowned Dubai based Stickman Design, the restaurant is a visual depiction of culinary delights from around the world. From the wheat grass lined planter boxes that form the backdrop to the continental station to Copper hanging pots that are displayed over the two infinity tables where mirrored walls provide an exaggerated view,the space gets an overall warm and convivial character

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Led by the hotels Executive Chef Martin Bracker, Tamra’s open theatre stations are Asian, Indian and regional, Japanese and Teppanyaki, homemade gelatos and a Dessert Bar, Cold Cuts, Cheeses, Breads and a Salad Bar. However despite the large Designed with intimacy in mind, Tamra has pockets of privacy screened off by decorative floor to ceiling jute rope partitions. Hanging shelves at the back of the show kitchens display decorative culinary installations and provide a quirky backdrop for the interactive kitchens while the counter tops are lined with signature dishes to showcase the food. The food itself is amazing! The variety and amount of food offered here possibly surpasses that of any other Hotel coffee shop buffet. They also have a ‘ghar ka khana’ counter which is perfect for the traveler who is missing home cooked food. Finally at Rs.2100++ (w/o alcohol) the buffet is also extremely well-priced. Piece of advice, go starving if you really want to enjoy the vast selection!

Review: Chew Pan Asian cafe, New Delhi

It is a pleasant surprise and joy to see bright and quirky interiors in an Asian restaurant, namely Chew Pan Asian cafe,  which is such a contrast from the usual sombre and zen interiors usually associated with Asian restaurants. But the decor is just the start as the food is equally delightful and unique. Launched in January 2014, Chew Pan Asian is all about experimentation with Pan Asian cuisine. The menu boasts of Chinese , Japanese , Thai and the Indonesian Cuisine and also boasts of an open kitchen as well as a live Teppanyaki grill.

Chew Pan Asian Cafe, www.stylecity.in

Spread over 2500 sq.ft. area the interiors of the restaurant are vibrant yet comforting. Walls adorned with the eye-catching black and white Aztec-patterned tiles have been carefully contrasted with Dholpur stone. Chew is a quirky, hip and vibrant restaurant. The furniture is a mix blend of booth sofa sitting, swing seats and turquoise blue chairs that make the dining experience at Chew super comfortable and fun! Asian inspirations within the space come in the form of carefully hand-picked ceramic plates and posters that adorn the walls and the elongated spice rack that features spices from Asia! My style pick was definitely the swing chairs which had been anchored to the floor, but as cool as they looked they also looked a bit uncomfortable, but then style before comfort I say!I also loved the wall with one liners, that included lines like “All you need is love, but also a little chocolate”, those pretty much made my day.

Chew Pan Asian Cafe, www.stylecity.in

Chew Pan Asian cafe, www.stylecity.in

The menu much like the decor of the place is quirky and fun. It is appealing and makes one want to actually read the menu without it seeming like an ordeal. For food, we asked the chef to get us small portions so we could try the various dishes on the menu. We started with the chew special house salad, which unlike what is expect from Asian dishes was actually not very sweet but quite fresh and light. We wanted to avoid Japanese dishes as it seems recently all we have eaten is Japanese food, so we stuck to other asian dishes. Of course the highlight was the various dumplings where they have something called crystal dumplings which i have never eaten before, but am glad I did as they were lighter than regular dumplings and we tried almost all on the menu. For mains we had Stir friend prawns and Chicken meat teriyaki with some steamed rice and some braised vegetables. We were very happy with both the service as well as the quality of our food. We ended with some Tiramisu and finger-licking chocolate molten cake. I would absolutely go back and have already recommended the venue to various people. Do try it for yourself!

Address: First Floor, M16, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Phone: 011 41516164
Price: Rs.2,000 for two

Review: Hungry Monkey, New Delhi

The New York styled loft ambiance of Hungry Monkey; bare brick walls, concrete floors, the MS installations and the elegant wooden interiors come together in perfect synchrony to create an intriguing industrial feel. The creative typography of quotes on the walls, crafted using carefully chosen fonts are a perfect match to the stylish vibe of the restaurant. Already curious? Well, ‘curiosity is the beginning of adventure‘, is exactly what the walls of The Hungry Monkey tell you.With a faint old school meets new age magnetism, numerous little elements like encyclopaedias stacked on shelves, a vintage hour glass, Edison light bulbs and the rich brown of the wood everywhere bring to life these very stories.The Hungry Monkey, www.stylecity.inThe Flying Brunch, Hungry Monkey, www.stylecity.in

Inspired by sunny California, The Hungry Monkey introduces the city to ‘California cuisine’, which many may not be well-versed with, but worth a try. An out of the box offering, the restaurant brings you a rendition of varied dishes from the European culture with a unique twist of fusion. Even the “Flying Brunch” is a step away from the usual. After you pick your salad from the display, you get small quantity main dishes delivered to your table and you can pick and choose the ones you want to have or repeat. The Hungry Monkey offers an eclectic menu which focuses on a global palate, through a surprising fusion of flavours combined with fresh produce from organic farms like ‘Farmlove’, a pioneer in organic food in the capital. Dig into the Cold Spinach Gomae or relish the signature Bang-Bang Chicken Rolls. For the adventurous souls, the Expresso Pan Fried Chicken made with a light coffee sauce or the Asian Honey and Soy braised Pork Ribs served with Kimchi on the side are the perfect indulgent picks from the menu. While the Smoked Salmon Carpaccio is a succulent fusion of flavours, the White Chocolate Parfait with almond and vanilla filo pastry cigar along with Coconut French Toast leaves a lasting impression. The Flying Brunch, Hungry Monkey, www.stylecity.in

The bar’s hexagonal chemical bond inspired display itself has been designed personally by the owners who have left no stone unturned to bring you an exciting array of drinks. Always innovative in its ways, The Hungry Monkey serves its signature cocktails, the Old-Fashioned and the Manhattan, classic as well as smoked. The bar here easily boasts of a selection of delightful and many a times ‘difficult to spot in this city’ liquor.  Apart from popular modern cocktails, be assured to also come across beautifully infused renditions of the classics.

Eat | Drink | Play
Address – B 6/6 DDA Market, opposite Deer Park, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi
Contact No. – 011 46049801, +91 9810788196
Meal for 2 – Rs. 2000 ++
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/hungrymonkeydelhi

Review: Amreli, New Delhi

If you are an avid food lover or even if a stylish ambience is your thing, Amreli the new offing at New Delhi’s Diplomat hotel is just the venue for you to try out. A cross between an upmarket London diner and a classic bistro, Amreli offers seamless dining experience, with faultless service and exquisite multi-sensory food experience.

Amreli, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Situated in the embassy area of Delhi, Diplomat hotel is a serene property hidden away from the chaos of the city and this is the reason it makes for a perfect venue for a chic fine-dining eatery, attracting a crowd which knows its food and desires the perfect ambience for a business meeting, a lazy sunday brunch or a romantic night out. Amreli suits all these purposes and fills in the gap of a fine-dining restaurant in that area. Conceptualised by Sidhant Lamba, Amreli aims at offering palate pleasers without the extravagant commitment of time and money. His aesthetic influences are as broad as his travels. Through Amreli he is introducing a signature style to the city,“Amreli will have its own culinary leanings, and it will exhibit a laser-like focus on professionalism and impeccable service. With Amreli, we will be serving a multi-concept menu that focuses on freshness and ingredient quality,” says Sidhant.

Amreli, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Amreli, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Amreli’s décor is modelled on that of an upmarket London diner, complete with chessboard floor, mirrors and gorgeous artworks. Some of the pieces have also been curated by Sidhant to go with the ambience, trust me if you love art, you would want to buy a few pieces for your collection (Not sure if they are for sale!). The alfresco area, in a quiet courtyard has a lovely lush green and perky seating to enhance your enjoyment of the exquisite fare, while the indoor dining room is a mix of casual yet sophisticated seating with casual perches at the bar. The menu has been done by Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, a well-known name among India’s dining public. Popularly known as Chef Saby, he doesn’t walk the route of a traditional chef, but that’s arguably what brought him such fame. With his high-end techniques and culinary curiosity, he has given a diverse menu to Amreli. The all-day breakfast menu is also strong, in fact it is the highlight of the menu with the dishes done spectacularly well. The beautiful display of each dish is a threat or a promise—depending on whether you would want to wear your skin-tight jeans again. For breakfast you can choose from, Homemade Granola, French Toast, Mushroom on Toast, Egg Appam, Eggs Florentine, Keema Eggs Benedict.You can also expect aromatic dishes jewelled with nuts, herbs and dried fruits, plus hearty peasant-style stews, spiced roasted meats and seafood. The careful spicing and flashes of creativity means the menu is peppered with classic dishes (Sole Meen Moilee, a fish curry from the coast, The Humble Plate, dal and vegetables of the day and Kerala Mutton Stew, melt-in-mouth mutton chunks in a creamy coconut stew) to please conservative diners, as well as more inspired interpretations of well-known recipes. So whether you are cutting on carbs or you are after that plate of comfort food in the company of a few friends, or a celebration that requires plenty of bubbles or probably at lunchtime for peace and quiet; dinner for buzz, Amreli is the place you should try out for sure!

Address: 9, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic enclave
Phone: 011 46050200
Pricing: Average Meal for two approx.: Rs. 1400-1600 (without alcohol)

Review: Moonshine Cafe and Bar, New Delhi

The term ‘Moonshine’, can be traced back to the 1920s American concept of distilling liquor at night “by the light of the moon” during the Prohibition era, is the name of the city’s new café and bar. MoonshineCafé & Bar boasts of a rustic, industrial aesthetic with a modern interpretation of a new-age speakeasy; with vintage décor and an artistic interpretation of Chicago’s skyline on the walls. The bar is modelled after the iconic 20s American watering holes and does a good representation of the same in todays modern day and age.Moonshine Cafe &  Bar, www.stylecity.in

The Bar seamlessly divides its vast expanse into various sections which play different genres of music to suit your mood for the evening. While electronic, house, classic rock and popular jazz tunes are a regular on the cafe’s playlist,the bar also boasts of having live bands and Sufi Performances! But music is just one of the things that make it a perfect night at Moonshine. They also serve a cocktail menu with a twist and scintillating renditions of classics. There is a choice of tipple for every occasion –the ‘Moonshine Specials’ on the menu have all the ingredients for a great night. I tried the LIIT which is yet to be launched in the official menu. It has blue curasao and apparently a secret ingredient which made me feel I am having a “chuski”

Moonshine Cafe & Bar 2

Moonshine Cafe &  Bar, www.stylecity.in

And if you are inquisitive about the food by now, expect to be pleasantly surprised as you re-discover your some old time classics and favourites with the menu. We tried the “Galouti Kebab”, “Beer Battered Fish” and “Moonshine Sliders”. While the Sliders and fish were quite tasty the Galouti Kebabs were out of this world and something I would recommend everyone to go and try. We then had a “Peri Peri chicken pizza” for the main course. It was the perfect choice for a perfect night. If you are around Hauz Khas and want to be taken back to an older time, do go by Moonshine Cafe and Bar. They even have Gentleman’s night every Tuesday, where the ladies pay while the men get free drinks.During the day, the property transforms into a relaxed venue with a terrace over-looking the greenery and ruins of Hauz Khas, leaving behind any trace of the previous night. Whether it is a night of revelry or a day of charm and serenity that you seek, at Moonshine Café & Bar, you’ll always find a corner just right for you.

Address: 30, Second Floor, Hauz Khas Village New Delhi, DL 110016
Phone: 098 71 555718

Beauty Ritual: The Imperial Salon, New Delhi

Ritual: Elixir Ultime 24 Carats,90 minutes, Rs.3,200++
Location: The Imperial Salon, New Delhi

The Imperial Hotel, which in my opinion is the epitome of luxury, now introduces a large variety of luxurious skin and hair treatments at the Imperial Salon. These include Kerastase Ladies Hair and Nail treatments, Signature facials with Natura Bisse Products, Bridal Preparations, Nair Art and Nail Care along with OPI, Special treatments for male grooming needs and a retail shop for all Homecare products.

Ladies Salon entrance, Imperial Salon, www.stylecity.in

My love for the Imperial Hotel, its Old world charm and exclusive services is very well known, which is why I never turn down an invite from them and am never disappointed. This time was no different as I tried out their Elixir Ultime 24 Carats ritual. The idea behind this treatment is to provide shine, nourishment, protection and resistance for the hair. This ritual combines a customization of treatments and massage techniques that best suit you to make you feel relaxed and beautify your hair.

Elixir Ultime 24 Carats,Imperial Salon, www.stylecity.in Elixir Ultime 24 Carats,Imperial Salon, www.stylecity.in

The treatment begins with a Personalized Hair and Scalp Analysis with a Diagnostic Camera. This is to profile the thickness of hair shaft, sebum levels in hair, scalp sensitivity, any dandruff and hair loss. My results were that I have healthy roots but dry hair thanks to over use of chemicals and hence my treatment will focus more on my hair strands than the roots. The “Exilr Ultime” which was recommended for my hair starts with a shampoo and followed by the application of a Hair Booster and a beautifying oil masque, Oleo. Oleo – Complexe is precious luxury oil that contains Maize Oil for Nourishment, Pracaxi Oil for strengthening, Argan Oil for protection and Camellia Oil for smoothening. This is applied section by section across the hair and followed by a gentle massage.The in- depth massage has 7 steps that concentrate on enhancing hair growth, stimulating the scalp and encouraging circulating that provides long term hair beautification and also de stressing your crown chakra. These massage techniques which incorporates pressure point massage techniques, occipital work, push and pull and raking techniques from India, Bali and Thailand create a deep relaxation. After the oil massage, mask application ritual the hair is rinsed and a small amount of Elixir Ultime is run through the hair before a smoothing blow dry and style. And your hair looks a feels like a million bucks.

Review: Mistral, New Delhi

I love Director’s cut, at the Ambience mall in Delhi as I had mentioned a few months ago after my first visit. And an add on to the Director’s cut is Mistral by PVR a restaurant right outside the cinema hall. A casual dining concept, Mistral offers a high quality experience in “smart-casual” settings and atmosphere, at great value prices.

Mistral by PVR, www.stylecity.in

Mistral by PVR, www.stylecity.in

Polished casual dining lends itself equally well for a business dinner, a family luncheon or a private function.Spread over a carpeted area of 5,666 sq ft with 120 covers, ‘Mistral’ boasts an extensive Grill kitchen comprising of a Rotisserie, Fish grill and Kebab stations  designed as a see through kitchen closed by a wrap-around floor-to-ceiling glass curtain where cooks and Chefs can be seen preparing orders giving a theatrical ambiance. At Mistral, the Grill is also supplemented with fresh bakery products and pizzas which are baked in an Italian pizza oven. I had stepped in before a movie and decided to try out some food with a glass of wine.

Mistral by PVR, www.stylecity.in Mistral by PVR, www.stylecity.in

The All Day Breakfast Menu-Fresh from the farm which is inspired by the continental breakfast classics and designed with organic ingredients, is created with fresh and natural ingredients to beat the heat. We went in for the Brekkie Salad, which was poached eggs, vine, yellow & cherry tomatoes, bacon, sourdough bread & preserve. We paired this with a Chilean white wine and then tried a pepperoni Pizza from the main menu. All in all, the ingredients were refreshing and the meal was delicious. As chef Mayank Tewari says, “At Mistral we pride ourselves to emphasize on where the food comes from, where it is grown. Central to this ethos is our constant pursuit for the most dedicated producers in the area who like us adhere to uncompromised quality as guiding principle. The All day breakfast organic ingredients are supplied by one of our favourite producers, French Farm in Haryana.” He also assure me there will be lots more such innovations, so I can’t wait to go back for some more.

Venue:Mistral, 3rd Floor, Ambience mall, Vasant Kunj
Time: 11 am onwards, operational all 7 days
Cost for 2 people: INR 1,500 +taxes

Beauty Ritual: Aayna, New Delhi

Locations: Aayna, Mehrauli, New Delhi
Treatment: HydarFacial, Rs.5,000 (plus tax)

From time immemorial, women want to look beautiful, be it Cleopatra the Egyptian queen or our own Indian queens, like Jodha and Rani Padmavati. But these women were never considered bimbos or incapable. If anything, their beauty, only increased their appeal. So when did making effort to look beautiful or wanting to enhance ones looks become derogatory? Here is where Dr.Simal Soin comes into play with AAYNA, “a concept born out of a dream to create something unique and timeless. It is a temple of beauty where we create and enhance beauty – both outer and inner.”
Aayna, New Delhi

Spread over 4,400 sq feet and having 11 treatment rooms, walking in to AAYNA feels like walking into a boutique hotel, with vintage decor and old world charm, decorated by Dr.Simal Soin herself. Dr. Simal Soin is one of  India’s leading cosmetic dermatologists. Apart from conventional therapeutics, she gained vast experience in cosmetic dermatology including the use of all modern laser equipment for treatment of variety of skin concerns, botox and various fillers. At Aayna, she offers a team of world-class of dermatologists, aesthetic doctors and skin therapists, and to complement the looks, they also have an in house nutrition specialist. They also offer us medical pedicures by Margaret Dabbs of London for the first time in India.
After my consult with Dr.Soin, I was advised to try the Hydra Facial. For those of you who read the blog, know I have super sensitive skin and am filled with fear at the mention of someone touching my face with products. This fear has become even worst due to some recent development in Hormonal issues, for which I am on treatment and may end up going for an operation. After listening to my fear and issues, I was first given a consult with Dr.Gargi, the in house nutritionist to plan a diet chart for me to help me lose the weight I have put on and generally keep me healthier. I felt slightly better after this, as she convinced me a lot of my weight gain, mood swings and skin issues are to do with my Hormonal issues, and should get sorted after the treatment and operation (if reqd). So now I felt relieved and was mentally more prepared to go in for the Hydra Facial.

Aayna, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Aayna, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

The HydraFacial treatment is a non-invasive, painless serum based treatment performed under medical guidance, which gives a customized solution for all skin types. Hydration is the core of beautiful, luminous skin.The Hydra Facial is hydrating treatment which gives an instant glow and assists in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blocked up and enlarged pores, sensitive or acne-prone skin, brown spots and hyper pigmentation.
The process of HydraFacial treatment includes five essential steps that are as follows:
Cleansing and Exfoliation – Dead cells are gently removed to uncover smoother healthy skin
Peeling Serums – Gentle chemical peeling cleanses pores and improves pigmentation
Extractions – Painless, quick extraction of blackheads & whiteheads with a special vacuum tip.
Hydration – Vortex fusion technology for deep penetration of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, which help hydrate skin and reduce signs of aging.
Protection – The Hydrafacial range of products used during the treatment include a special sunscreen which looks invisible on skin and helps sustain and secure treatment results.

The Verdict: I fell in love with my skin after years. So much so that I did something I have never done in all my years as a lifestyle journalist, I actually made an appointment for my next treatment and plan to continue this for the next 3-4 months till my marks reduce and I move to a more intense treatment. As for my nutrition program? Dr. Gargi has followed up and I lost over 2kgs in a week, (despite cheating sometimes)
Address : ‘Ambawatta One’, H-5/5, First Floor, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi-110030. (Land Mark – Facing the Qutab Minar)
Timings : 10:00am to 7:00pm
For Appointments : (+91) 96502-06153, (+91) 96502-05873, (+91) 98711-38222