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: Hiatus, Clarion Collection – Qutab Hotel, New Delhi

Every person has a different reason for wanting to try out a new restaurant. Some people go for the love of food, some just to be seen, where as I have a fascination with wanting to go for the ambience and to have an interesting experience hence food usually ends up taking a back seat for me. Fortunately with Hiatus I did not have to worry in either regard, for the ambience, décor and food surpassed all expectations.

Hiatus,Clarion Collection, www.stylecity.in

Hiatus,Clarion Collection, www.stylecity.in

The restaurant has been divided into different areas, each boasting of a different experience and different cuisine. Starting from the H-Bar an urban bar which serves an innovative range of cocktails along with the most high end range of international spirits. I was given my fix of alcohol delight with a CLOVE TINI-A fusion version of cocktail enhanced with special in house clove syrup merged with fresh orange juice and ANISE TINI- An out of the mind love of “THE HIATUS” blended with anise and mango and Basil flavour.

Hiatus,Clarion Collection, www.stylecity.in

Hiatus,Clarion Collection, www.stylecity.in

The other areas in the restaurant are THE PATIO, the open-air patio, which is a nice intimate area where you can sit during the winter evenings and enjoy a lovely barbeque, or also come during the day for a nice brunch. Or you can DINE IN CELLAR- Where you get a tailor made menu as well as a selection of wine. And finally a special area for Chefs guests which is where I was invited the CHEF & YOU – a unique fine dining experience in the kitchen that is personalized to suit the palate of each diner that visits the venue.

Hiatus,Clarion Collection, www.stylecity.in

We began our gastronomic journey with the Amuse Bouche and then moved on to the salad, Roasted Beetroot Stack with Feta Cream- Slow Oven cooked beetroot Carpaccio stack filled with feta & oregano cream, I did not even know you could have something like a Beetroot Carpaccio let alone that it would taste so good. Tomato & Jasmine Tea soup was the next thing on the menu, it’s a balanced mix flavor of tomato soup, and jasmine tea topped up with Black truffle oil served with Garlic Crostini. Chef Special Mezze platter which includes Sundried tomato and Basil Hummus, Eggplant Salsa, Indian Style Tzatziki, Italian Salad, Greek infused Falafel served with sumac dusted Kulcha, again this dish was an amazing fusion of Mediterranean and Indian style, without it seeming forced. Air bread with Indian Style Mini Cottage Cheese Steak is something I would recommend to all vegetarians, modern technique of cooking used for making air bread filled with Cheese fondue and topped with pickle marinated mini cottage cheese steak with tomato caviar & olive dust. Spanish Style Chicken Tikka, Paprika Infused succulent chicken chunks cooked on grill and Served with Mango Salsa, blinis, basil chutney was the first non-veg dish served, so lets just say I absolutely devoured the dish and the mango salsa was the best form of Mango I have eaten in a whileOrange and Kafir lime Sorbet- the in house sorbet worked as a palate freshener between the courses. Wild Mushroom Ragout with Fettuccini Black Fungus, Porcini, Oyster cooked in tomato cream sauce in an Italian style and served with fettuccini. Calabrese Penne Chorizo, black olives, sundried tomato, parmesan oil in a tomato sauce and tossed with penne Mains Spinach & chickpea Dumplings with Pine nut & Fresh Rose Petal Gravy Served with Exotic Mushroom & gruyere Kulcha. Bacon Wrapped chicken with paprika infused Makhani gravy was another fusion dish where the Makhni gravy added just the right amount of excitement to the palate. Honey Glazed Indian Vegetables served with Saffron and mix Vegetable Pilaf was the last of the mains, by now I had reached a point where I had to forcibly stop eating cause my stomach had begun to rebel while my mouth was still salivating. Finally we ended the meal with the desserts: Italian Classic Tiramisu. Chocolate Spoon, Rum and Coffee Caviars. Chef Special Napoleon. Chocolate hazelnut napoleon with cardamom sorbet.

Cocktail, Hiatus,Clarion Collection, www.stylecity.in Tomato jasmine tea soup, Hiatus, www.stylecity.in

All in all it was one of the finest Fine Dining experiences I have had in a long time. So if you are looking to go for an intimate meal this Valentines day or have a nice outdoor Party this Spring, you know where you should go.

Address: Clarion Collection – Qutab Hotel
Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, New Delhi
Phone:  Tel: +91 41078789
Price: Meal for two Rs 2,500  (plus taxes) minus alcohol

Review: Trolleys, Khan Market, New Delhi

With the increase in the eateries in New Delhi it is getting tougher for them to do something different and survive through the thick competition. The newly opened Trolleys, however, manages to make a charming effort. Tucked away in the by lanes of Delhi’s classy and affluent Khan Market, Trolleys comprises of an impressive a-la-carte with different cuisines and the restaurant justifies its name by offering daily specials on trolleys that will find their way to your table.

Trolleys, Khan Market, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

The inviting couches, pastel colours, quirky furniture, mirrors on the ceiling and tamed ruggedness of the bricked walls add to the dramatic ambiance of the space; a rare sight for restaurants these days.The blue, yellow, sea green hues on the walls lend a fun element to the environment while the rich velvet eccentric upholstery flirts with your mood. The first floor is reserved for those looking to enjoy a fabulous sit down dinner with friends and family over a delicious spread. This also leads to a lovely terrace where you can sit for brunch during this amazing weather or a nice drink in the evening. The second floor is the lounge area where the music is more upbeat and people can get together for after work drinks or a night out for the weekend. The bar menu has a variety of virtuous drinks ranging from classics, signature drinks like the ‘Plum Me in Trolleys’ and effervescent molecular drinks for the adventurous souls. And to spice things up, Trolleys brings you your drink in an eye catching glass cut out of a recycled alcohol bottle from the brand Reciclar, by Benchmarc.

Trolleys, Khan Market, www.stylecity.in

Undoubtedly one of the USPs of Trolleys is having daily specials on trolleys that visit your table is a one of a kind venture. Inspired by old Delhi’s tradition of selling food on carts that travel the lanes through the day as well as an attempt to entertain the hungry pangs of diners while they wait for their food to be served, the trolleys bring you knick knacks to savour. For the lovers of Indian spices, the chef will dish out delicacies like Kache Kele Aur Anjeer Ke Kebab, Amritsari Jheenga, Pathar Ka Kebab, Salmon Tikka and even the lavish Pakistani dish, Nihari Gosht. The fans of European cuisine also have an array of treats to pick from, like  Fresh water prawns with Ginger & Lemon, ‘Parmesan Crusted Chicken Steak, Herb Polenta, Black Pepper Glaze’, ‘Grilled Polenta Steaks, Artichokes, Red Pepper Cream’ and ‘Pesto & Ricotta Tortellini, Sundried Tomato & Olive Coulis’.  With no stone left unturned in attaining that authentic taste, Trolleys also has a pizza oven to serve fresh thin crust pizzas.  And if Arabic food gets you salivating, Trolleys has a delectable spread of Falafel Rolls, Shwarmas, Hummus, Tabbouleh and Kabees Mashkal.

Honestly, for someone who does not eat Indian food in restaurants it was one of the best I had in a long time.So next time you are around Khan Market, do stop by at Trolleys for some amazing food and experience.

Address: 7, First Floor, Middle Lane, Khan Market, New Delhi – 110003
Contact No: +91 7838785925, 011 45840066
Timing: 12 pm – 11:30 pm
Meal for 2:  1400 + Taxes

Review: Cavalli Caffé, DLF Emporio, New Delhi

There are some days when you just want to dress pretty, meet your girl-friend for a drink, bitch about your job/ boss/ significant other and have a delish meal. Most days you deserve an award for not being jailed after assaulting someone for annoying you, but on those odd days when you want to dress pretty and have a great meal, you go to Cavalli Caffé. At least I did, one Tuesday a few weeks back.
CAVALLI CAFFE INTERIOR
The Cavalli Caffè situated next to the Roberto Cavalli boutique, at the ground floor of DLF Emporio located in Vasant Kunj is as stylish and fashionable as anything with the name Cavalli on the door should be.The Caffè experience finds its roots in the historical Cavalli Caffè Giacosa, located in Via Tornabuoni in Florence, an antique shop founded in 1815, which was a meeting place for a refined and noble Florentine clientele, which Roberto Cavalli brought back to life, preserving the elegance of the setting. The one in Delhi has been decorated in true Roberto Cavalli style with elements created personally by Cavalli himself; the Cavalli Caffé is a true reflection of his style, complete with the animal print upholstery and animal print lampshades hung upside down all along the ceiling with prints of Roberto Cavalli with various celebrities covering the wall.
Bar, Cavalli Caffe, www.stylecity.in
Anyone who knows me knows my love for a great tasting drink, especially if it is vodka or wine based, well I was spoilt for choice with, Cavalli red wine, Cavalli Premium Italian Vodka and Grappa all available as drink options. Conceived to stimulate and inspire every moment of the day, the Cavalli Caffè offers an elegant and refined menu and the atmosphere enables its clients to savour different tastes in an intimate and classic setting where the cuisine proposes a wide range of traditional Italian products and flavours. We were lucky to try the new menu which incorporates a few not so Italian flavours as well. Before I begin on the food, a special mention to the styling by Chef Kapil, it literally broke my heart to spoil the presentation. We started with Crema Di Pomodoro which came in a bun and looked gorgeous but tasted just as it should, warm and soothing down the throat. We then moved on to Parma Ham and Melon appetizer and Rucola and Goat Cheese Salad with Pine Nuts and Oranges. The mains were Mellanzane Alla Parmiggiana, Burrata Ravioli in Burnt Butter and Sage Chili Caramel Basa with Wilted Spinach and Wok Tossed Noodles. Again those of you who read the blog regularly know my absolute love for fish, that is the one thing I try on every menu in almost every part of the world and trust me when I say, I wasn’t disappointed one bit. Finally for dessert we had a huge variety to choose from; Red wine Poached Fig and Apricot Crumble, Hot Chocolate Foam with a Rum Granita and Chocolate Marquise, ending with Cavalli chocolates. Available in eleven delicious flavours of Walnut, Peanuts, Dark Gianduja, Coconut and Vanilla, Crunchy Almond Praline, Coffee, Cinnamon, Gianduja, Almonds and Hazelnuts, Mint, Chili Pepper, the chcolates truly exude the Roberto Cavalli experience.
Cavalli Cafe, www.stylecity.in
So the next time you want to dress up pretty, have a great cocktail and some delicious food, or even step out for a cup of coffee with your girlfriend, you know what we recommend and trust me you wont be disappointed.
For reservations:+91 11 46950000

Review: Mia Bella, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi

As you know I rarely do food reviews myself, I usually leave that to my self proclaimed foodie brother or Style City contributors. There is no particular reason for that actually, like there is no reason for why I chose to review Mia Bella on my own, maybe it was the Italian name (I have a soft spot for Italian food, places, language and men) or maybe it was because it was situated in Hauz Khas Village, one of my few loves in Delhi, either way one fine Thusday evening I decided to give this quaint place a try. Even as I drove towards the restaurant I was having a hard time trying to contain my excitement for I have always had a great time at Hauz Khas village and from the pictures I had seen, I knew Mia Bella would be my kind of place, I am so glad I wasn’t disappointed one bit.

Mia Bella, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Mia Bella, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Firstly I don’t have the problem most ‘Delhites’ seem have with Hauz Khas becoming too commercial and pseudo, I don’t feel it has plus I feel no commercial place can remain your little haven forever, it is better to accept that and move on and enjoy the place in its new popular form, or well sit at home. Secondly, so far inside the village away from the hustle and bustle of the market which is where Mia Bella is situated, you can’t help but feel at peace, especially with the lovely view of the HKV monument if you are seated at the terrace. Thirdly, unlike the name suggests ‘Mia Bella’ actually does not serve only Italian food but has a wide variety from African to Lebanese which had me excited as I love trying out different cuisines.

Mia Bella, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

The décor of the place reminded me of an old Portuguese villa, very well thought out and executed the colour pallate includes balmy hues of yellow, green and brown, all shades that make the place look warm and inviting. Besides that, enchanting curios such as vintage wall clock, mirrors and hand-painted cupids adorn the walls and if you sit on the terrace it actually looks like you have travelled away from the city and are sitting in your little holiday home. So from the moment you enter and take that first sip of the deliciously made cocktail, which is definitely not void of alcohol, you feel like you are on a well deserved vacation. Finally the food arrives and not enough can be said to do complete justice to the actual taste of the food, it is actually divine. Not one dish is a disappointment be it Spit Roasted shell prawns, the Peri Peri chicken or Chicken Dhoka each dish was better than the last and finally to be served with the perfect Lemon cupcake, made it an absolutely memorable experience. So despite what people may say about Hauz Khas or the millions of places that have opened there, this is one place I can definitely vouch for, but don’t take my word for it alone, go ahead and try it, I guarantee you will not be disappointed either!

Price: Meal for two Rs.2,000 minus alcohol
Address:50, 3rd & 4th Floor, Hauz Khas Village, Hauz Khas, New Delhi
Tel:011-26566220

Beauty Ritual: The Imperial Spa, New Delhi

Spa Ritual: Sufi Massage,60 minutes, Rs.4,500
Location: The Imperial Spa, New Delhi

In todays day and age with the world getting smaller, luxury may or may not be exclusive, but exclusivity definitely spells luxury. That is the best way to define The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi. They have always maintained an air of exclusivity and understated luxury. Like they themselves state and truthfully so, “The Imperial is a destination in itself”and a visit to The Imperial Spa confirms this statement.

The Imperial Spa corridor, www.stylecity.in

Spread over 16,000 sq ft Imperial Spa immediately evokes a feeling of harmony. Intricate Moroccan architecture interweaves the influences of Moghul and Indian motifs,embedded beautifully in different spaces. It has nine treatment rooms and a luxury private spa for couples called Moghul suite, a perfect abode to indulge in the signature therapies. The signature line of skin care at The Imperial Spa called SUFI was launched in February 2012 and a more recent launch was that of moisturisers, body creams and cleansers. Off these I have tried and highly recommend their ‘Night Rose Moisturiser’. It is perfect for dehydrated skin, which is what most of us have thanks to the pollution. Like the name suggests, it is reminiscent of a Mughal era with hidden notes of rose, fig and Jojoba seed oil. You can buy this from the Imperial Salon and I promise you will not be disappointed.

With a strict media policy the Imperial is known to be very particular about their privacy and that of their guests, so much so that up until last month the Spa services were only restricted to hotel guests, but now from April 2013 the visitors can avail SUFI signature rituals at the all new SUFI massage room situated at The Imperial Salon. The Sufi Massage is what I went for during my visit to the newly opened Sufi room. SUFI signature oils are used to provide pure bliss through amazing treatments designed to deliver a deeply penetrating relaxation, restoring well-being and inner harmony. “Mahadeva” the oil that I selected, as the name suggests, transports one to an almost prayer like trance while the therapist weaves her magic with her fingers,the smell of the oil itself is enough to make you feel calm and relaxed, the treatment itself is a bonus! There are 6 oils you can choose from depending on what you are hoping to achieve from the massage, be it relaxation or pain relief. In essence, The Imperial Spa represents an insignia for absolute living and is a blissful sanctuary. Whether you are a dedicated spa seeker or you simply wish to enjoy maintaining a healthy body and mind, its extensive services, unique spa packages, spa cuisine, personalized well-being programs and treatments, promise to take you on an exquisite journey, rejuvenating the mind, body and soul.

In the words of Jacqualine Tara Herron, Director The Imperial Spa, Salon, Health and Racquet Club, “The Imperial spa is designed to purely de-stress and rejuvenate your senses, taking you on an exquisite journey, inspired by India’s rich spiritual wisdom and heritage. A visit to the spa is truly an experience of a world of regal luxury and ecstasy. Poetic verses engraved at select points peppered with significant phrases enlighten one’s soul and provides profound understanding of the philosophy. Our ambient and enchanting therapy suites and relaxation spaces are designed to give you a magical and unforgettable experience of belonging to a world full of peace, consciousness and benevolence”. So do take the time out to indulge in this fabulous journey the next time you are in the city. And if you already live in the city you have the option to go in for a massage in the Sufi Room now open to visitors.

Beauty Ritual:The Spa at Shangri-La, New Delhi

Spa Ritual: Serenity Ritual, 210 minutes, Rs.12,000
Location: The Spa Shangri-La, New Delhi

Spa Corridor,Spa at Shangri-La, New Delhi

If there is one indulgence you have on your list this summer; for your birthday, anniversary or just general arrival of summer- Please book in to Shangri-La, New Delhi for their Serenity Ritual. Here is why, for 5 days after the treatment I was stepping out of my place without make-up, was being complimented for the glow on my face and my skin felt as soft as a baby’s. For those of you who have not met me, I have suffered from sensitive-troubled skin all my life, which means I am very hesitant of anyone touching my face with any sort of ingredients. So for me to go through a treatment and recommending it, speaks for a lot. It begins with a steam-sauna for 10-15 minutes. You are then taken through a large courtyard to one of the 5 treatment rooms for your session. The first thing you notice, the rooms are quite big, not cramped with a small water body in the room. The sound of water, at least to me is very comforting, so that combined with the music immediately begins to unwind me.

Soma,Spa at Shangri-La, New Delhi

We then begin with the BIODROGA scrub, which is a sort of salt scrub applied over the body. BIODROGA combines the most noble ingredients of nature with highly efficient high-tech components. Researched, developed and
manufactured in its own laboratories and production sites in Baden. The scrub is not the most pleasant feeling, especially if you have any cuts on the body as it hurts those parts but trust me the pain is well worth it in the end. After about 60 mins of being scrubbed thoroughly, you are asked to rinse it with water, which is when you instantly notice your skin has become 10 times softer and you have lost at least 3 layers of muck which you had not even realised existed. The next step is a full body aroma massage with a combination of Swedish massage which under the expert fingers of the therapist, makes your body feel like liquid. All the knots are removed and you are given a foot-reflexology before being wrapped in a BIODROGA milk and honey wrap. This wrap has nourishing qualities to replenish your dehydrated body with humidity. All this before the magic facial- BIODROGA Oxygenating facial. Again the treatment while being relaxing is not the most comfortable as the product tends to be slightly itchy. Though the therapist promised me, it won’t have any after effect it is just how the product works. And well she was right, I did not have any after effect except positive ones. So like I said, if there is one indulgence this summer, I recommend you try out the Serenity Ritual at Shangri-La Spa. I promise you will not be disappointed

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

Review: Spoonful of Soul, Gurgaon

After my recent escapades of food critique earning rave reviews, my latest review took me to a restaurant called Spoonful of Soul in the maze we all know as Gurgaon. Now I should mention, I have worked in Gurgaon for about 5 years and have had enough experience trying to figure out the restaurant market in NCR. If you would speak to any restaurateurs with establishments in the city they would be first to accept that Gurgaon is very different from any other market they have tackled before i.e they don’t have the luxury of pulling a certain clientele a locality brings like is the case with restaurants in Hauz Khas Village or Khan Market. So I feel for a restaurant to work well in Gurgaon they would need 1) the general footfall a mall creates, 2) breaking even through home delivery and 3) being a franchise or recognized brand. With Spoonful of Soul having none of these I was a little apprehensive to begin with but that changed once I ate at the establishment, my best experience so far!

Spoonful of Soul, www.stylecity.in

As we headed towards Spoonful of Soul on Nathupur Road the experience evoked a lot of memories. All my corporate time in Gurgaon has been spent either at Global Business Park or DLF Corporate Towers, so offices that are quite literally 5 minutes from the Nathupur Road market area. Although the last time I lived in India I remember this market having 2 restaurants namely Italiano and Wok-a-mama. Both frequented by me and my colleagues however I was extremely surprised to see how that tiny market has transformed into a nice little restaurant conclave away from the craziness of Gurgaon. Today, there stand at least 8 restaurants and many other small take away joints across the road from this conclave.And Spoonful of Soul is one such joint,providing great quality food at an affordable price and offerering a unique fine-dining experience without making one feel uncomfortable. It has the feel of a café and at the same time can be passed off as a comfortable family restaurant. Its impeccable design and décor gave the entire place a relaxing vibe and it has been absolute ages since I have been to such a well-lit restaurant, whatever happened to sticking with ‘white’ as the main colour at your establishment. Moving onto the food and at first glance it looks like the perfect menu if you like me do not appreciate going through booklets and binders of food choices when most appetites can be covered with some simple dishes. However the highlight for me were the specials listed out on the board. Catering to everyone’s palate the restaurant offers Mediterranean, European and even Pan-Asian dishes. The specials had a heavy influence of Pan-Asian dishes or at least the food had a distinct Asian culinary technique applied to it.

Spoonful of Soul, www.stylecity.in

The Chilli Roasted/Fried Lamb in particular was wonderful and went really well with our cold kingfishers on a warm March afternoon.We started off with a sumptuous serving of soup and the Manchow in particular was wonderful. Spoonful of Soul is an establishment started by siblings Anuradha Khanna and Rohit Sodhi. And what I loved about the menu was how it was filled with dishes they had picked up on their travels. For example the Fire Roasted Red Pepper soup was something Rohit mentioned they saw in Amsterdam and decided to incorporate in their menu here. Moving onto the starters we had a portion each of Devil on Stilts (bacon wrapped prawns) and some Spicy Oriental Prawns. These two starters summed up Spoonful of Soul for me, at one end you have immaculate comfort food of bacon wrapped prawns and then you can also get some spicy prawns with an Asian influence.For the main course the Saltimbocca (Chicken picatta stuffed with spinach and wrapped with bacon and tossed in jus) was brilliant. But the highlight of the night, the star of the show has to be how well the good people at Spoonful of Soul handle the basa fish. As I have come back to delhi I have noticed how more and more restaurants only serve basa fish as the main fish in their dishes. And for those of you who know or like fish the way they do in my household, you should know that fish eaters can be very finicky. Having said that, Spoonful of Soul served us a very delectable portion of Bombassa, fish elegantly grilled with butter and garlic. Besides this the Awesome Foursome skewer of kebabs was an interesting dish and easily had the best fish kebabs (basa again) I have eaten in a long while.I can go on about how good the food was, but to be honest what really convinced me about this establishment was the quality and care with which each dish was made. I cannot wait to go back and try out their other dishes and hope that there are many people reading this who take my word for it and try Spoonful of Soul themselves. We need stand alone restaurants such as this to survive the tough Gurgaon market and rise against the norm. Gurgaon has for long asked for its own classy restaurant at an affordable price, and now that Spoonful of Soul has delivered – we need to make it count.

Bombassa, Spoonful of soul. www.stylecity.in Awesome Four Some

Address: Spoonful of Soul, 27Nathupur Road, DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon
Ph – 0124 4277011

Price: Meal for two- Rs.2,000 with alcohol
Rating: Easy Kakori Kebabs
Rating Scale: Tinda – 0, Idli – 1, Salad – 2, Butter Chicken – 3, Kakori Kebabs – 4, Grandmother’s cooking – 5

STANDARD RECIPE CARD
RECIPE NAME:   Bombassa
OTHER NAME:
QUANTITY   PRODUCED  : 04 FILE NO. :
PORTION   SIZE                   : 220g
NUMBER OF   PORTIONS  :04 COST/PORTION: Rs.
S.No. INGREDIENTS SPECIFICATIONS QUANTITY UNIT UNIT
COST
 TOTAL
1 sea bass 0.6 kg
4 butter 0.06 kg
5 garlic 0.02 kg
6 parsley 0.008 kg
7 salt 0.0001 kg
8 pepper 0.0001 kg
10 cauliflower 0.06 kg
11 broccoli 0.06 n0
12 capsicum 0.04 kg
13 red bellpepper 0.04 kg
14 yellow bellpepper 0.04 kg
15 kg
16 kg
17 kg
18 kg
Cost   per Portion
Method:-
1. Marinate   the fish with salt n pepper.
2. Heat pan   , add butter and garlic into it.
3. Put the   marinated fish and grill from both side til its well cooked.
4. top with   garlic and butter sauce.
5. Serve   with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes.
STANDARD RECIPE   CARD
RECIPE NAME: Awesum   foresum
OTHER NAME:
QUANTITY   PRODUCED  : 04 FILE NO. :
PORTION   SIZE                   : 220g
NUMBER OF   PORTIONS  :04 COST/PORTION: Rs.
S.No. INGREDIENTS SPECIFICATIONS QUANTITY UNIT UNIT
COST
 TOTAL
1 prawn 0.2 kg
2 chicken 0.24 kg
4 fish(sea bass) 0.2 kg
5 peanut butter 0.05 kg
6 dark soya sauce 0.05 kg
7 chilli paste 0.03 kg
8 garlic 0.02 kg
9 lemon 0.02 kg
10 salt 0.01 kg
11 pepper 0.001 n0
12 parsley 0.001 kg
13 kg              –
14 kg              –
15 kg              –
16 kg              –
17 kg              –
18 kg              –
Cost   per Portion
Method:-
1. Cut the   chicken  and fish in small pieces.
2. Deshell   and devein the prawns.
3. Make two   dressing, in first add peanut butter, chilli paste, garlic , lemon juice ,   salt n pepper.
Add chopped   parsley into it.
4. For   second dressing  add dark soya sauce ,   garlic, lemon juice and pepper.
5. Marinate   chicken, prawn and fish from above the dressing.
6. Skewer   the chicken, prawn and fish.
7. Grill the   skewers till its cooked.
8. serve hot   with mint mayonnaise and tangy sauce.

Review: Jamavar, The Leela Palace, New Delhi

So after last week’s review of The Food Mill or as some would say attempt of a review, I was asked by my sister to do this on a weekly basis. She doesn’t admit it but I am sure Stylecity.in got the highest number of hits that day. Anyway, this time she was extremely kind in that she wanted me to review Jamavar – the Indian restaurant at The Leela Palace in Chanakyapuri. This restaurant has been operational for a couple of years now and this week they had their first ever Kashmiri Food festival. Master Chef Vinod Saini assured me that there would be many such themed food festivals in the coming year. Why was I excited? Well even though I was born and raised in Delhi, my ancestors are from Himachal Pradesh which would make me a ‘Pahari’ and a proud one at that. And so from a young age I have had an extreme fondness for mutton. For those who do not know Kashmiri cuisine is mostly mutton based and the Wazwan (a multi course meal) preparation of that cuisine is considered a delicacy due to its tedious preparation that is considered an art form in itself.

Jamavar, Leela Palace, New Delhi

And so I walked into Jamavar and was highly impressed by its ambience and decor. Finally an Indian restaurant in Delhi that can give the other restaurants a run for their money solely based on grandeur. Honestly, with more and more hotels in Delhi going for restaurants with a Mediterranean base for their cuisine I feared that good Indian restaurants would cease to exist, being a huge Indian cuisine enthusiast I am so relieved that isn’t the case. So I asked a friend to accompany me for this review and even though she is vegetarian she claimed to have enjoyed the Kashmiri version of vegetarian food (don’t worry, the status of this friendship is being reviewed as I type this – I am embarrassed to have a vegetarian acquaintance who isn’t family).Now I am no stranger to Kashmiri food, I have been to Srinagar and eaten at Ahdoos, quite rightly proclaimed to be the connoisseur of the Kashmiri Wazwan cuisine. And in Delhi I have eaten at Ahad and Sons and Chor Bizzare, so little did the folks at Jamavar know whom they were dealing with. Having said that, Jamavar did not disappoint, as the quality, opulence and sumptuousness of our experience was remarkable. I would definitely return to this restaurant and try their usual Mughlai menu and hope for many more exotic food festivals that give us a taste of the various cuisines of our country.

Jamavar at The Leela Palace New Delhi

Now before reading further I should point out that this is exactly the kind of place where I feel a little intimidated, based solely on the grandeur. The place has modern interiors with traditional elements seamlessly imbibed together; with gold and brown colour scheme that is almost royal to the crystal chandeliers and grand couches- you instantly know you are in for a majestic experience.They started us off with a ghaant gobi ka achaar, and akhrot and mooley ki chutney to accompany our papad (papadam) and onions. My friend eloquently asked what is ghaant gobi to which all I could muster up was, it’s not really a gobi and doesn’t really have any knots. Not wanting to ruin my appetite by the unusual condiments they served, I eagerly awaited the mutton and specifically the Tabak maaz – a traditional Wazwan dish that is essentially deep-fried ribs. The Tabak Maaz did not disappoint and the Tali Machchi was supreme to say the least. On the vegetarian side of the table (yes, we drew a border) the Nadru Gular and Paneer Tikka was much appreciated. Moving onto the main course the Rista and Gushtaba have always been a favourite of mine. These are essentially finely kneaded minced meatballs and are extremely difficult to get right. Jamavar did a decent job on them but their Maaz Yakhni and Dhaniwaali korma were particularly good. On the other side as expected Jamavar provided a brilliant Haaq ka saag and Kashmiri Rajma, all of which went really well with the rice. Finally for dessert we were served a couple of types of halwas but my favourite by far was the phirni. Not too sweet and truly fresh – just the way I like it.

Now, after a quick chat with the Head Chef and Restaurant Manager we made our way out not before stopping for some meetha paan at the exit. The Manager made us aware that Jamavar has recently changed its children policy and now families are welcome to enjoy this delectable experience with the entire family. So in wrapping up it was quite a satisfying experience and I definitely plan on taking my family there, hope you do the same.

PS: There was a poem I penned for this review that did not make the final cut, I hope this comment does…

Price: Meal for two- Rs.3,000 without alcohol
Rating: Butter Chicken
Rating Scale: Tinda – 0, Idli – 1, Salad – 2, Butter Chicken – 3, Kakori Kebabs – 4, Grandmother’s cooking – 5

Jamavar, The Leela Palace, New Delhi

Dum aloo Kashmiri for 5 portions

Ingredients

Qty

Unit

Small baby potatoes

600

Grams

Asafetida

1

Pinch

Turmeric powder

1/2

Tsp

Kashmiri chilli powder

1

Tsp

Onion ( medium size)

2

No

Yogurt

2

Cup

Garlic paste

1 1/2

Tsp

Ginger paste

1

Tsp

Refined oil (for frying)

100

Ml

Salt

To taste

Fresh milk

1

Cup

For Masala
 Green cardamoms

3-4

No

 Clove

2-3

No

Coriander seed

1

Tbsp

Black cardamom

1

No

Black pepper corn

8-10

No

Saunf whole

1

Tsp

Cinnamon stick

1

No

Method:

  • Make a fine powder of all masala ingredients and keep aside
  • Remove the peels from potatoes and prick them
  • Fry all the potatoes till become golden brown
  • Add grated onion, Asafetida, Ginger and garlic paste till cook well.
  • Fry the mixture till the paste turns brown, add turmeric, chilli powder and salt.
  • Now pour the milk to make gravee followed by adding beaten yogurt
  • Stir continuously and add water if the gravee become thick
  • Add pricked and fried potatoes, simmer few minutes and serve with fresh coriander garnish

Tabak maaz for 5 portions

Ingredients

Qty

Unit

Mutton ribs

800

Grams

Water

750

Ml

Milk

750

Ml

Clove

2-3

No

Cinnamon stick( medium   size)

2

No

Turmeric

1

Pinch

Green cardamom

5-6

No

Black cardamom

2

No

Saunf powder

3

Tsp

Saunth powder

2

Tsp

Cloves of whole garlic

2-3

No

Desi ghee

200

Ml

Salt

As to taste

 

Method:

  • Cut the mutton ribs into the rectangle pieces and wash properly.
  • In a deep vessel pour milk and water.
  • Add clove, cinnamon ,green cardamom, black cardamom, black peppers, whole garlic ( Give a slight crush to all these spice) and put into the vessel with dry ginger, turmeric and Saunf powder.
  • Now add mutton ribs and give a proper boil.
  • Cook on medium heat till Ribs become very soft and cook well.
  • Once the ribs cook well remove the meat pieces one by one with the tong that they don’t break.
  • Take a separate frying pan  heat the desi ghee and shallow fry one by one till it become crisp and golden in color

Nadru Yakhani for 5 portions

Ingredients

Qty

Unit

Lotus stem

800

Grams

Plain yogurt

600

Grams

Mustard oil

100

Ml

Black cardamom

4-5

No

Green cardamom

4-5

No

Green chilli slit

2-3

No

Shahi jeera

1

Tsp

Saunf powder

2

Tsp

Bay leafs

2

No

Cinnamon

2(medium size)

No

Clove

2-3

No

Ginger powder

1

Tsp

Sugar

1

Pinch

Salt

As to taste

Water 200(for boiling)

Ml

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a thick bottom pan add bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom, Shahi jeera, cinnamon and water .
  • Add lotus stem simmer around five to eight minute
  • Whisk the yogurt, add into the boiled lotus stem give a proper boil till it become ticker, add salt and a pinch of sugar if need.