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25 July, 2016

Restaurant Review: Barbeque Nation


Yesterday I was invited to Barbeque Nation. They have recently launched Dilliwali Khau Gali. You may wonder what "Delhiwali Khau Gali’ all about?  Well, ‘Dilliwali Khau Gali’ is the enchanting food of Delhi street. It is Delhi Street Food Festival with toothsome Haryani, Punjabi and Mughalai delicacies food being served. Not only in food, feel and ambience, they are celebrating Dilli’s culture in its real essence. Specially food of Chandni Chowk, Delhi Haat and Janpath. They have put in lot of hard work to prepare this festival. They faced a lot of problems to set it up. But I could see the result in the form of satisfied guests.

     The festival is from to 22nd July 2016 till 7th August 2016 in Dinner ONLY and on Sundays for both lunch and dinner.

       They have lavish spread of menu on offer

          Few of the highlights are –

       In Vegetarian on the table:
1.     Tandoori malai khumb (Mushroom) - Stuffed mushroom cooked in cream base marination and dominating flavour of cardamom.
2.     Dhelvi paneer teh pe the (Paneer) - Spicy and tangy flavour stuffed paneer cooking in tandoor.
3.     Nadru kebab - Spicy combination of spices, lotus stem and potato.

Veg Live Counter - Chawdi bazar ke choley kulche, Parathe wali gali (tandoori masala tawa parantha), Papdi chat/Gol gaap chat and Dahi bhale.

In Non Vegetarian on the table :
1.     Surkh fish tikka (Fish) - Brightened coloured preparation of fish seasoned with bhatti masala.
2.     Dilli ka dhaba murgh tikka (CHICKEN SPECIALITY) - Chicken cube bbq style seasoned with dhaba style preparation.
3.     Mutton dehlvi adraki seekh (Mutton) - Popular street seekh kebab of delhi served with lachha onion and mint chutney.

Non Veg Live Counter -
1.     Dehlvi shahi chaap - Single bone strip mutton chap seasoned with indian spices and served at live like Delhi street.
2.     Daryaganj ka gola kebab - mutton ball season with spices tossed and served hot from live counter.
3.     Fathepuri ka fry chicken - Very popular tawa chicken of Jama masjid served in bbq nation style live counter and season with desi chat spices.
4.     Gosht ki galawat with ulte tawe ka paratha - Mutton fine paste season with spices and dunkar and served along with bite size ulte tawe ke paranthe.

In the Main Course few highlights are –
Veg : Makhmali paneer, Subz nizami ka mela, Dunkaar anjeer kofta curry, Matiya mahel ki hariyali subzi, Dehlvi aloo katliya, Dal teen patta tadka, Kache paneer ka biryani, Chandni chowk ki subz briyani.
         Non Veg :  Sarai ki muglai dum biryani, Ballimaran ka gosht pulao, Murgh surkh kada, Ziakedaar fish curry


Desserts:  Garama Garam Jalebi, Blue berry cheese cake, Chocolate Galaxy, Dark cheese brownie, Gulab Jamun and Green Grapes (Fruit).
In last you can experience the Kulfi with other varieties and topping to.

 Special beverage menu:  Mocktails – Guava Mary ( Guava Juice base ), Freezophanso ( Apple and Mango Juice base )
                                              Cocktails – Caipiroska ( Vodka Base ), Negroni ( Gin Based )

They have decorated the restaurant in 3 Zones, Janpath, Delhi Haat and Chandni Chowk. Their d├ęcor, feel and look assures that the guest immerse himself in the ambience. They are celebrating the Punjabi mood with dance and music as well. There are no extra charges for this. Their menu selected in Bangalore for full region.

 The concept of Barbeque Nation is that they serve the grill. The snacks are 90% cooked (grilled) and 10 % uncooked. You barbeque them live on your table. You apply the sauces with the brush and prepare them according to your taste and choice, on a live fire. When you finish the snacks you put flag down. There are 4 non vegetarian snacks and 4 vegetarian snacks. There is a live counter with buffet also. You can tell the chef to prepare according to your taste. How cool is that. There are salads, soups, main course, biryani, 10 items of deserts, 6 varieties of kulfis. The main course is self service.

When I entered the restaurant in Connaught Place, it was buzzing. I could see a lot of families (happy families) enjoying a relaxed dinner. It seemed some kind of festivity or celebration. It was crowded and noisy. I was taken and seated to a quieter and a nicer area. I was thrilled with their hospitality and their eye for details. They really took care of each and every customer's needs. I was told that the place is frequented by families, corporates, office goers and even expats.

The concept is all you can eat. I noticed very courteous staff who looked after small details and were extremely prompt. We were very well looked after. By definition all barbeque is fun and gives you good time.  It certainly is a novel and new concept that for Indian palette they are providing barbeque. Barbeque is very Argentine or is popular in US where family meetings are held around barbeque. But in India, it is being introduced to Indians. There are not many barbeque restaurants in India. They serve both vegetarian and non vegetarian. I would be delighted to bring my Argentine friends here. They say in Argentina, that the man, who does not know how to prepare charcoal and meat on top, might not be a true Argentine. In Spanish, barbeque is called Asado.
Similarly in Brazilian restaurants, there are barbeques but with lot of meats of different animals.
Here it was more according to India palette.
Barbeque Nation is something different. The fact that we get good barbeque, chance to taste chicken, pork, mutton, prawn, fish, vegetarian in such unique manner in a family restaurant and for its concept, this restaurant scores points. We give 5 for that. But having said that, for Indian food, it is standard. 

It is complicated to get barbeque on the table. Generally, you go outside to prepare it. But in the restaurant, they have facilitated it. There were no fumes. Our clothes did not end up with smell of barbeque, It is good that they get 90% cooked and only 10% cooked on table. The place with barbeque has to be very well ventilated. We did not feel any fumes. Kids also seemed curious about barbeque and were seeming to try it.

 Adjacent to our table was a family who really seemed to be enjoying their dinner. I asked them their opinion of the place. They told me that they were visiting the place for the 10th time. They liked the freshness of food and said that the best outlet was Connaught Place. The girl also mentioned that it was her father’s favourite place because of value of money. I really wanted to share the picture of her father. It was an amazing family and it was endearing to see this gentleman (the father). He seemed relaxed, chilled, enjoying the meal and hearty conversation. He was giving fantastic suggestions. He told them that there should be kites added as part of decorations. Specially for 15th August. He even dozed off for a bit. I could not help but admire him. Does he not look so calm and graceful?





Live Barbeque on the table.



You put the flag down to indicate that your starters are finished.



Their pricing.



We were served:

Kajun spice potato. Barbeque signature dish.
Dahi kabab

Surkh fish tikka
Nimoda tandoori jingha
Dilli ka dhaba murgh tikka
Tandoori murg akbari
Murg malai mukaddam kabab
Mutton dehlvi adraki seekh
Fatehpuri fried chicken from live counter. Mutton gulloti kabab- live counter
Mutton shahi chaap

Tandoori malai khumbh
Pudina ananas ki tikke
Vegetable bhatti ki seekh

It was perfect barbeque. The dishes were done well and were delicious.



Problem is that once you take it out of grill, it gets cold but that is how it should be had- right from the grill.
They serve non vegetarian and vegetarian together, in the same barbeque, though at a little distance. 


 I started with Spiced Tango. Rs.95/- . The word "tango" did catch my eye. It was Aamras combined with fresh ginger juice, lime juice, black salt and Tabasco in this back to roots delight. It was super nice and refreshing. It did not disappoint its name.


We also had Tamarita Rs.200 – Indian twist to the margarita with tamarind making it tangilicious. I must say here that their cocktails are not fantastic. Skip them. Stick to the drinks they offer as part of the menu- chaas etc.









There was punjabi music which made the place super lively. There was a live performance by the staff. It seemed happy staff and happy customers who were whistling and cheering. They were treating all customers with great care and attention and preparing things according to each one's tastes.

I was served Dhelvi paneer teh pe teh. It was unlike paneer tikka. It was not so spicy. In fact, perfect for my taste. It was not overcooked or overladen with spices like normal paneer tikkas.

The tamarind sauce seemed to be the best.
Combination of all vegetarian and non vegetarian was perfect. There were mushrooms, pineapples, etc.


Check the video of live performance by the staff and live food counters and buffet.










Chaat platter seemed little spicy but just the way chaats should be. I cannot handle too much spices, but it was a good selection of chaats.




Decorations.




I was told that it is the dream project of MD- Their special kulfis. They have 6-7 types of kulfis and paan kulfi is a must try. Other desserts we tried were

Firni
Milk cake
Indrani
Blue berry cheese cake
Chocolate galaxy
Shahi tukda

They were delicious. I loved shahi tukda. It brought me some childhood memories. 
Another noteworthy thing about the restaurant is that they strictly do not accept the tips. Is it not commendable? 



Me speaking to Jayveer Lal- CC Chef.



This is a perfect weather, perfect season, to bond with your loved ones. While their festival is on, I highly recommend you to try this restaurant. Go today with whole family. Bring some celebration in your life.

3rd Delhi International Tango festival #DITF


















3rd DITF is scheduled in February 2017. The registrations are already on. Do check our facebook event here. Also check the website here. 

3rd Delhi International Tango festival #DITF coming up- 23rd Feb-26th Feb 2017
Maestros: Dana Jazmin Frigoli and Adrian Romeo Ferreyra
You can see the pictures of the 1st Delhi International Tango festival in the gallery.
2nd Delhi International Tango festival pictures are here and see the videos here, here and here
Festival details

8 workshops of 90 minutes each. 
2 workshops every day from 23-26th February
Opening milonga and Grand Finale.
Grand finale will have presentations by maestros

Check the website 
http://www.delhimilonga.com/delhi-tango-festival

Festival details

8 workshops of 90 minutes each. These will be held in the studio of Eros Hotel.
2 workshops every day from 23-26th February
Timing: 
23rd February 2017, Thursday. 7-8.30 pm and 8.45-10.15 pm
24th February. Friday- 1-2.30pm and 3-4.30 pm
Opening Milonga & championship: 8.30 pm onwards: The Lounge & Bar, Eros Hotel
25th February- Saturday- 4.30- 6 pm and 6.15- 7.45 pm
26th February- Sunday- 1-2.30pm and 3-4.30 pm
Grand Finale.- 26th February- Sunday- 8.30 pm in The Lounge & Bar, Eros Hotel.
Dj: Max Marzano

Grand finale will have presentations by maestros

Venue: For workshops, opening milonga and Grand Finale
Eros Hotel,
Nehru Place, American Plaza, New Delhi.

Check the facebook event here. Do share with friends and also confirm your presence here.

Payment mode: cash, cheque, bank transfer, paypal, paytm
Bank Details
Kiran Sawhney
HDFC Bank: 00271000197603
E-6, Local Shopping Centre, Masjid Moth,
Greater Kailash-2, New Delhi- 110048, Delhi, India.
IFSC: HDFC0000027
Swift- bic: HDFCINBBDEL

PayPal transfer: kiran.sawhney@gmail.com
Paytm: 9810530027
Mobikwik: 9810530027

24 July, 2016

Restaurant review: Unplugged Courtyard

Unplugged Courtyard is a cute restaurant in the heart of Delhi in L Block- 23/7, Near Odeon Cinema, Middle Circle, Connaught Place. Typically like many other restaurants in CP, this one too is not expensive or something exclusive. The food is reasonably priced and for everyday food lovers. My first impression of the place was that that the seating was too tight and it was over crowded. But wait till you see its outside courtyard which is open, spacious and big. Of course, on a hot summer day, we could not sit outside and preferred to sit inside. The restaurant was busy with lots of customers. Which is good. It spoke about its popularity or good food that is priced well. But if you prefer something quite, very exclusive, special service, special attention, then this place is not for you.

We ordered for soups to start with and were told that it would take minimum 20 minutes. That was a surprise. So we decided to move on to other things first and taste the soup later.


I was invited there to savour the launch of their special Monsoon menu. Apparently, it is the first place to launch a separate menu for the season. It is not their normal menu. 




The first dish to come was Corn asparagus fritters. Rs.295/-
Deep fried corn & asparagus balls stuffed with cheese served along with third degree sauce. This can be a good substitute for monsoon pakodas. I liked it. It was served well, tasted well and is also priced well. So this dish, definitely gets a thumbs up.


Next we were served banana chicken. It was crispy banana chips and sliced chicken quick tossed in sweet chilly onion sauce. Rs. 395/-. Sauce was a little too spicy. Fried banana chips that were served along seemed to be from ready made packet and not freshly made in house. The only effect of sauce was to increase the effect of flavour or spice or chilli. I would say it was a good starter- hot and spicy. It had nice flavours, filling and good value for money.


Service of cocktails and mocktails was too slow. They came after the dishes were served. I ordered The glacier. It had fresh ginger, mint, black salt n lemon acid. Rs. 215/-. It was very refreshing


My friend had Litchi splash. It had litchi, vodka, coconut water Rs. 315/-. The drink seemed okay.


Next we tasted Palak patte ki chaat. Rs.295/- Topped with saunth and curd and mint. It was very nicely made and presented in a dim sum basket. It was subtle with nice flavours not over loaded with curd as usual. This was real monsoon stuff. It was a good starter.
The place and seating is bit dingy. There were flies around. But maybe monsoon is to be blamed for it.


For non vegetarian selection, we were offered Thrice cook crispy lamb with hoisin sauce. Rs. 425/-. It was tossed with onion & hoisin sauce.
It was a good portion size. On side were peanuts that were good. They diminished the bulk of the lamb. You could not know whether it was grease or real meat. Certainly it is not for diet food.
Lamb is normally heavy and difficult to digest. This portion size was good for 3 people. It could be your choice for main dish.



After much waiting and after so much food, we were now served our soups. I had asked for wild mushroom cappuccino. Rs.295/- . It was full of froth finished with cream. True to its name, cappuccino, it was served in a coffee mug.
I liked it. My friend was not so excited about it. Spoon should have been served with it but was missing. But that is a minor detail.



This is their normal menu.



This is how the bill comes.


The place has a country feel to it. They have famous outdoor seating and live band.





We also got another soup called special UCC soup. Rs 295/-. It is a Thai delicacy with coconut milk flavoured infused lemon leaf n galangal.


Swaraj Singhi, the co owner of the place is opening another restaurant, Tourist, in Janpath. Its menu is written in passports. It is a street food bar.

For desserts, we got cutting chai freezer. Nice concept for monsoon, I would say. It felt like baileys.










My overall review of the place is that it is a nice restaurant to go to, for college goers, office goers, on everyday basis. It is budget friendly. It would not burn a big hole in your pocket and you will get nice food of everyday type. But do not go with very high expectations. The outdoor area is nice chilling out zone that is lively and happy. There is lot of concept and thought put behind it.