New Launch: Royce’, New Delhi

After mesmerising customers in Mumbai and Bangalore, ROYCE’,the famed Japanese confectionary company launches in New Delhi at Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj.Founded in 1983 in Northern Japan, ROYCE’ prides itself on its wide and unique offering that follows one underlying theme- chocolate products that are rich in flavour, textures, complexity and creativity.  Royce, Ambience Mall, www.stylecity.inOne of the brand’s most hot selling products is the “Potatochip Chocolate” range of confectionary. The “Potatochip Chocolate” are salty potato chips coated with a layer of milk chocolate on one side. The company’s other signature product, the “Nama”, is a cocoa-dusted truffle-like chocolate so fine and delicate that it requires a specially designed spatula to lift and hold. Then my favourite,as I am not a cocoa person is the “Prafeuille Chocolat”. This three millimeter thin strawberry-scented chocolate is inspired by the delicate French desert “millefeuille” and is filled with a medley of sweet-tart raspberry and blueberry reduction. Also in-store will be the “Criollo Chocolate”, this complex and aromatic chocolate is made from Criollo beans, the world’s rarest and most expensive cacao beans, found only near Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela.ROYCE' Criollo Chocolate, www.stylecity.in

ROYCE' Chocolate 'Hazel Cream' Wafers, www.stylecity.inEven the ROYCE’ store at Ambience, Vasant Kunj has been designed to complement the brands intricate Japanese identity and culture. The front fascia of the store as well as the display counter, mimic the delicacy and geometry of contemporary Japanese architecture and interiors. Materials like hardwood maple are used to blend in with existing surroundings creating a warm and inviting retail as well as tasting experience. The space has been designed as a transformative Japanese chocolate bar, conducive to exploration and interaction.

ROYCE' Potatochip Chocolate, www.stylecity.in
Burgundy Hospitality, a first-of-its-kind fine foods and luxury gourmet curator is accredited for bringing this unique brand to India. ROYCE’ chocolates are priced at Rs. 1050/- for 125gms onwards.To celebrate the festive season, ROYCE’ introduces a very special “Limited Edition Assortment Gift Box”. The Limited Edition Gift Box for Diwali has five varieties of ROYCE’ chocolate and a total of 38 pieces, including Baton Cookies (6 pcs), Chocolate Wafers “Hazel Cream” (6 pcs), Criollo Chocolate (6 pcs) and Pure Chocolates (20 pcs).Priced at Rs. 2000, the luxurious “Limited Edition Diwali Box”  is available at ROYCE’ Delhi, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj on a pre-order basis till the end of October.

New Launch: ETC Pan Asian Cafe, New Delhi

The food’s delicious… love the place… Et cetera… Etc. The word usually does get around… when something’s worth speaking about…Went there last week… the performances were great but the food, sinful…A little bit of everything… food… music… and it’s beautiful! Et cetera… Etc.

ETC Pan Asian Cafe, New Delhi

A lush forest extends torpidly around the place. The structure set within has tall window arches, high ceilings and colonial style interiors… The lavish indoor seating and welcoming outdoor patio looks upon a private courtyard that requests your satisfaction. The view of the Qutab Minar from the recently opened ‘Ambawatta One’  makes ‘ETC’ one of Delhi’s trendiest new openings this season.

ETC Pan Asian Cafe, New Delhi,www.stylecity.in

Each serving prepared by the multi-chef manned kitchen is a hearty ‘Bowlful’ to be remembered owing to, both, its flavour and presentation. The Terraces swank their own bar and oversized barbeque that are an emphasis on certain nights. The cuisine spans across South East Asia – the menu is a bold compilation, in the form of scrumptious smatterings of Thai, Chinese, Burmese, Indonesian, Japanese Etc.

ETC Pan Asian Cafe, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

 “And If food is music to the body then music is food to the heart” – a mantra well followed by the owners of Etc.  The venue aims to provide a platform for acts from the world of performing & visual arts. An enviable calendar boats a variety of entertainment options for visitors on each visit with performances & displays by musicians, actors, comedians, dancers, singers and artists Etc. With the varied indulgences in order, a destination is borne, where visitors can expect to be pampered by good food and an ambience to match at any given point through the day, and at night. Be it an indulgent cup of coffee with a friend or meal well eaten with those you love, watching the sun set over the Qutab while relishing a cocktail while the chefs pamper your taste buds or tapping your worries away to the beat of your favourite band…A little bit of everything all parcelled in an abbreviation, Etc.

Address:Ambawatta One, 5/1 Kalkadas marg, New Delhi- 30
Phone:  +91 8826297104
Price: Meal for two approx Rs.2,200 (plus taxes)

Review: Guppy by ai, New Delhi

There are two myths about Japanese cuisine in Delhi, first that it is all about raw sea food and second that the decor has to be streamlined and simple. Guppy by ai breaks both the myths and introduces us to a different side to Japanese cuisine in the most charming and memorable way. Starting with the decor, the 2200 sq. feet space designed by Anshu Arora has been divided into three areas, the restaurant, the bar and courtyard. Each area has unique features to recreate a playful wonderland in a modern setting.

Guppy by ai, www.stylecity.in

Every unique element from the solar fired heart shaped tiles to the lighting and fixtures have been customized for Guppy making this one of the quirkiest restaurants I have visited. A manga artist has worked on murals, window art and column figures. There is clever use of Origami (Japanese paper art) and metal to make lights. The bar area from where you enter the restaurant shows an artistic representation of Mickey Mouse behind the counter, while anime inspired upholstery adorns the couches and heart shaped wall paper cover the walls.A feature water body with a stream of metallic Guppies (tropical fish as I discovered) strung together like a stream of a river make for an unusual water installation.The charming courtyard which was the highlight of Guppy for me has a anime inspired sculpture, smaller tree light boxes, a huge mural, candle lighting and casual seating centered around a tall Frangipani tree.The dining area focuses on a sushi counter and a big community table with comfortable, casual seating around it.  It has touches of studio designed and custom tailored kimonos on the walls.The area also boasts of two specially sculpted metal lion fish lights and Japanese kokeshi dolls, vintage cameras, old tiffin boxes and more such Japanese memorabilia scouted from antique shops. Of course how can I not mention the polka dot bathroom.We started with some vodka and wasabi based cocktails at the bar recommended by the manager. They were a perfect start to a lovely evening at the end of a harrowing week. As we munched on some edamame and gossiped, the starters started coming to our table and then began one of my most exciting culinary journey’s.

Guppy by ai, www.stylecity.in

Guppy by ai, www.stylecity.in

I who can eat Sushi every meal of every day was actually gorging on everything else Chef Vikram Khatri decided to serve us, not because the Sushi was bad, it was delicious, but everything else had such a unique texture and taste I could not drag myself away. We started with, Chirashi Seafood Salad which is Pickled prawn, tuna, salmon, crab and baby greens in goma-ae dressing and finished every last morsel. We then moved on to Guppy Signature Pork Belly which is Slow braised pork belly, glazed with soy honey, served with mustard miso sauce and actually melts in your mouth. We then moved on to the gluten free, amazing texture in your mouth Exotic Mushroom Gyoza and Prawn Gyoza which were equally delish before trying the Sushi’s. The Sushi assortment included the Prawn Tempura roll and Spicy Tuna roll which we found the best but also the accompaniments supported the dish really well; the ginger was slightly sweetened and the wasabi was not too sharp. For mains we had Grilled Jumbo Prawns and Guppy Signature Black Cod with some Garlic Fried Rice. Of course, even though we were stuffed to the brim no Japanese meal can be complete without dessert, in our case was Red velvet cake, which was absolutely out of the world.

Honestly it is a beautiful restaurant, with the food priced and presented really well. You could taste the spicy, the tangy, and the exotic all in one bite. Most dishes, from mains to the condiments are made from scratch here. More than anything, I loved the ambience and the friendly nature of the staff. It is definitely a place I will be visiting regularly and would recommend the same to all of you.

Address– 28, Main Market, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi
Lunch for two With alcohol 2000 ++
Dinner  for two With alcohol 3000 ++

Review: Yoko, Paris

A contemporary twist to Asian Exoticness
Japanese food has a charm of its own- it is healthy, fresh and exotic. The pungent sauces combined with the fresh ingredients complement each other and the presentation makes it a wonderful experience. Paris is sophisticated and elegant, an inspiration for culture, style, fashion and cuisine. You combine the grace of Paris with the exoticness of Japan and you get an exquisite fine dining Yoko- the perfect harmony of European and Asian sensibilities.

Review: Yoko Paris, www.stylecity.in

The range of dishes at Yoko have been conceptualised by Korean chef, Young Kyu Park along with Toyofumi Ozuru head chef of Black Code Group chain and offer a range of dished exclusively concocted for the restaurant, a pure harmony of Asian and European influences; Kyoto-style Caesar salad, Cantonese steamed dim sum as well as semi-cooked tuna Tataki with citrus fruit salad. This state of Art Japanese restaurant is a part of the CFOC experience, an acronym that conjures up travel a world of wealth and breath-taking craftsmanship from regions and villages of the orient, Asia and other distant lands.

Review: Yoko Paris, www.stylecity.in

The first Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine opened its doors in 1966, since then CFOC has become a fully-fledged brand and opened its store at Boulevard Haussmann in 1995. This was taken over by Laurent Dumas and repositioned in 2011. Redesigned by Francois Schmidt and Sarah Lavoine, the store showcases exclusive collections by both designers as well as collections from external designers like Benjamin Graindorge and A+A Cooren design agency. The idea is to embrace a wide variety of styles and promote the intangible heritage of Orient and Asia intergrated with the savoir-faire of French business. And they do succeed, the store the collection and interior design are everything one images and hopes from an amalgamation of such diverse culture; A perfect place to shop for your home or even buy gifts.

Review: Yoko Paris, www.stylecity.inReview: Yoko Paris, www.stylecity.in

Finally the test of taste and experience lay on my mother’s shoulder whose birthday we were celebrating at Yoko; and she was vegetarian that day. Her verdict “This is amazing, it is Japanese cuisine but with a French twist, which makes it so contemporary and exquisite.” So to get a taste of Asia in Paris you now know where to go.

Address: 170, Boulevard Haussman, 75008- Paris
Tel: 00 33 (1) 45613315
Price: Meal for two approx. 175 euros