There is something about the rustiness of Italian food that makes you fall in love with it. Hyatt Regency Delhi’s iconic La Piazza freeze frames the old Italian café in a contemporary business traveller way. With arched beams and bricks giving the feel of a restaurant tucked away in the hinterlands of Italy, the impressive food and the well stocked wine cellar makes it one of top most restaurants to dine out in the city. The place seems to crackle with activity as cavern like feel of the place comes alive. A wood fired oven rolls out some thin crust pizzas as Chef Sandrolini sheperds his team in the live kitchen, in preparation for our decadent menu.
New seasons came in at La Piazza escorting new flavours from Italy and gathered praises from visitors. Chef Alessandro Sandrolini, from Bologna has been associated with La Piazza for more than a decade now, the comfort of which still continues to be reaped in the form of indulgence of traditional Bolognese dishes. On the other hand, Executive Chef Ivan Chieregatti hails all the way from Milan and brings his more than 20 years of rich culinary experience as legacy.
The idea behind the new menu is to accommodate traditional and cultural Italian cuisines from hometowns of both the chef’s. Inspired by their grandmother’s kitchen, the chef’s seeks to introduce innovative dishes, as new arrivals on the menus of La Piazza at Hyatt Regency Delhi.
Along with the one of the finest and ancient of Wines from across the world, La piazza brings in new flavours for both vegetarians and non- vegetarians namely, potato casseroles, roasted root vegetables, chicken escalope & prawns stuffed calamari. From salads & starters like warm mushroom salad, spinach & ricotta croquette to pasta & pizza such as spinach lasagne with goat cheese, Positano; there has been an inclusion of fresh and exotic combination of ingredients. So, next time you miss the scenic beauty and slow life of the Italian countryside, make a visit to La Piazza, Hyatt Regency Delhi as Chef Ivan Chieregatti and Chef Alessandro Sandrolini impress you with some mind blowing dishes.
It’s a plethora of Kashmiri food festivals in Delhi NCR. Radisson Blu Kaushambi Delhi NCR takes you through a journey of the Valley’s culinary delights at its all-day dining restaurant, Kama through the Kashmiri Food Festival. Curated by Chef Vishal Nigam, this festival showcases the best of the Muslim cuisine in the valley, Wazwaan.
What is wazwaan?
A wazwaan is a multi course meal which is characteristic of Kashmir. But the most important fact is “It is called a Wazwaan only if a Waza cooks the dishes”, points out Executive Chef Vivek Kapoor. The festival is on till 28th of February and is part of the regular menu at Latest Recipe. The Waza brings forth his family’s recipes as he uses wood fire to give the food it’s characteristic taste. As the ingredients and recipes are kept secret inside the Waza family, it is indeed a rarity to find the authenticity of the wazwaan outside of the valley.
The Traami platter is our first course. It refers to the large plate that serves four persons, on which is a bed of rice with four starters. First comes WazaKakor – half a chicken, second comes Tabak Maaz followed by Methi Maas and Seekh Kebab. The mains included the all time favourites Rogan Josh but it were the vegetarian mains that took our heart away with a perfect Dum Aloo Kashmiri and Methi Chaman. We combined it with some plain steamed rice. We polished off the meal with a Phirni. With fragrant aromas and flavours which remains of the palate, the Kashmiri food at Kama is surely something that will surely be awaited again.
There was a time when eating-out was limited to Chinese, Indian and Continental cuisines, but such is the not the scenario anymore! As today, indulgence is all about modern Indian and fusion fare, with a pinch of molecular gastronomy. The latest trend is all about re-inventing the basic nutriment into fusion from all around the globe. Similarly, when it comes to India, chefs in most of the restaurants are infusing diverse flavours and techniques from one or more cuisines in a measured manner, to create an innovative dish. Therefore, Fusion has become the new gourmet – with an exception of the Indian-style Chinese of course. It’s a fact that experimenting with the Indian flavours is no piece of cake, but if it is done right, the results are always extraordinary and indulging.
Fortunately, there are a few restaurants in Delhi-NCR which allows you to indulge yourself with some of the exclusive new-age fusion food. A few of my favourites are:
1. Lavaash by Saby
It is often occasional to find a restaurant that can truly express the labour of love through food. One such restaurant is Lavaash by Saby, that gives insight into Chef Sabyasachi Gorai’s childhood experiences. Growing up in the coal belt of Asansol, Chef Sabyasachi’s childhood was consumed under the influence of the Armenian culture. Therefore, one of the best dishes on their menu is the exclusive Prawn Tolma, which is influenced from his childhood culture. Onion stuffed with coconut milk, ginger, chilli, prawn and kasundi: it is a stunning chemistry of the spicy, tangy flavours cooled down with the creaminess and sweetness of the coconut milk and the cooked onion.
The whole scenario of night life in Delhi has been changing over the last few years. The local pubs and discotheques have given a way to restaurants, especially the ones positioned near HauzKhas Fort. With the advent of HauzKhas Village came its own sets of problem: long traffic jams along with rowdy behaviour of people. Therefore, people moved to Gurgaon as it was the night-lifesaver for the young crowd. Consequently, places like Sector 29 and DLF Cyber Hub are becoming the new hotspots in town. The company that brought us Sutra, recently unveiled their latest brainchild “Factory by Sutra”- whose menu comprises of dishes like “bhindi nachos” ultimately getting full marks for its innovation. It is a simple dish consisting of crispy fried bhindi masala, served with mint yoghurt that makes you yearn for more and more.
3. Farzi Cafe
After valuing foodies in Gurgaon, Farzi Cafe finally opened its door in the heart of Connaught Place, Delhi. Good news is that the menu is stouter and has changed for the better, although, a few popular dishes remain the same. Here, too, molecular gastronomic technique adds to the 21st-century touch.
Their menu is a darling for foodies, but we munched exclusively on a star good old Duck Samosa, along with the Delhi Belly Tikka consisting of crunchy roasted apples that is super soft and in fact, the most succulent pork I had with a lovely murraba glaze on top. Similarly, their Mac n’ Cheese Pakora bites with spicy garlic sauce is an attraction, as you can hardly go wrong with cheese.
4. Molecule Air Bar
“Molecule” stands for the smallest fundamental unit of a chemical compound that can take part in a chemical reaction and the definition itself explains the concept of Molecule Air Bar. The innovative mind of Varun Puri and Manish Sharma is surely going to attract a huge crowd. Chef Piyush Jain and Team presents the progressive cuisine with a twist. Their main armour is the presentation which is unique and engaging. Dragon Smoke Popcorn and Molecule Puchka Shot are some examples of this. An amazingly exclusive fusion dessert, Rad Gulla Tiramisu, won everyone’s hearts. Tiramisu and Indian Rasgullaare combined together to make this masterpiece. It was fluffy and light with a gulabjamun at its core. Although, it’s hard to imagine that all the flavors of this dessert will work well when combined together, but one has to taste it to completely know it.
5. Sushi Junction
While you don’t normally relate Delhi with Sushi, the city has shown their love to this amazing Japanese cuisine, and today, we are talking about one such establishment that is serving authentic Sushi along with a section of Indian-Flavoured Sushi. Promoting the exclusive concept of “Desi Sushi”, the chefs have not compromised with the authentic taste and flavours. Sushi Junction promises taste, health and a never-ending promise to deliver quality.
Just like the above mentioned five amazing restaurants, it needs a little more thrill to travel around to these places with the recently launched Maruti Suzuki Limited Edition Dzire Allure. It has an elegant interior styling kit and a music kit (an add-on, consisting of woofer, amplifier and speakers) to incorporate the feeling of exclusivity. The interiors are plush and come with a host of enhanced comfort features like convenient front centre arm rest, dual tone seat covers and pillows as well as stylish white ambient light. On the other hand, the side skirts, lower lid garnish and stylish body graphics give an elegant touch to this exclusively designed piece of marvel. Click this to check their website.
Having Kashmiri food in Delhi is a phenomenon in itself. As we were declaring our unremitting love for Kashmir, Shangri La’s Eros Hotel invite for The Kashmiri Wazwan delighted us to the core. The menu includes some of the best dishes from the state prepared in authentic style. A unique amalgamation of food from the kitchens of the Kashmiri Pandits and the Muslims, the food also sees seamless integration of the vegetarian and non- vegetarian fare. Kashmiri Pandits avoid the use usage of onion and garlic. Instead they base their dishes around a lot of tomatoes and other Indian spices. Mughal influence also plays a role; that’s why the dishes are predominantly non- vegetarian comprising of mutton, chicken and fish which are mildly spiced. The Kashmiri Food Festival will go on till 12 February.
Distinct elements of the Wazwan were spread out before us. We started off with the Mutton Seekh Kebabs, lamb marinated with Kashmiri spices and cooked in clay oven which gave a nice kick to the palate. Kashmiri Baingan and Paneer Tamatar reflect the cooking style of the Kashmiri Pandits with the former cooked in pran paste and the latter cooked in tomatoes and pran paste. The Kashmiri Pulao is something not to be missed. The Basmati rice are flavoured with saffron and simmered in lamb stew giving it a very distinctive taste with liberal quantities of nuts sprinkled on top. Saffron also imparts a nice colour apart from the flavor. Paya Shorba was a perfect blend of Kashmiri spices slow cooked which gave it a comforting aroma.
Coming to the star elements of Kashmiri food, Tabak Maaz, Rogan Josh and Murgh do Pyaza really stood out. All of these dishes can be cooked in different ways with or without onion and garlic. Tabak Maaz was soaked in yoghurt till tender and then fried. It was nicely cooked and was juicy. Rogan Josh, braised lamb chunks cooked in traditional spices with the striking red colour imparted from the use of chillies was enjoyed well with Khameeri Roti. The ‘murgh’ was succulent and had the right flavours. A large amount of fat was used in the dishes representative of the fact that it helps the natives to survive the harsh climate.
Meanwhile we had Kehwa (traditional tea of Kashmir) to wash down the meal. The Walnut chutney, a perfect accompaniment was nothing like its austere raw form. Mirchi Korma, Gushtba and Rista followed with their rustic flavours. Pretty much the same spices are used in their preparation but the use of yoghurt or tomato makes all the difference. Mirchi Korma is deep fried lamb cooked in Kashmiri spices in onion and tomato gravy whereas Gushtba and Rista are pounded with a wooden hammer and fat is added to keep the balls moist. Gushtba is cooked with curd and milk in Kashmiri spices and pran masala. Rista is cooked with cardamom and chilli powder in pran masala.
We ended our grand meal with a Phirni. Team Salt and sandals recommends a visit!
Where: Shangri La’s Eros Hotel
Lunch: INR 2100 + taxes
Dinner: INR 2300 + taxes
Most people who enjoy a good Indian meal outside have heard of Sanjeev Kapoor’s flagship restaurant chain, The Yellow Chilli. If we haven’t visited one already, it’s on the “soon” list we keep tucked away in our minds for the next time ghar-ki-daal just isn’t cutting it. My wait for the next such occasion was cut short when The Yellow Chilli launched its 2nd outlet in Mumbai. The Salt & Sandals team was lucky to be part of the grand launch, and boy, our taste-buds sure were thanking us after!
AN INNOVATIVE SPIN ON INDIAN CUISINE
The restaurant has a contemporary ambiance made warm by the hand-painted Mumbai skyline and Dadar station signs adorning the walls. We were still marveling at that when Padma Shri chef Sanjeev Kapoor walked in to greet the crowd. The most well-known face of Indian cuisine was perfectly at home in his fine-dining restaurant, and charmed the audience with his wit and repertoire.
Only his food could supersede his charm! Servers kept an array of bite sized appetizers coming. From Misal Bruschetta to Curried Lemongrass Paneer, the food offered both familiarity and a little something new for the taste buds. It’s the kind of creativity that makes you feel warm and welcomed. Take their Kolhapuri Mini Pizza for instance. Its flavor beautifully juxtaposes the Kolhapuri masala on a mini pizza bread. Not what you’d except in an everyday pizza, but not so far-out so as to become unsavory.
Even the cocktails came with a punch, with Kokum Mojito reminding us of the globalization in culinary world.
DIVING INTO THE MAINS
The Yellow Chilli main course menu at Dadar offers an exciting range with some regional influence as well. Mumbai’s favorites like Solkadhi, Kothimbir Wadi, Kolambi Masalafry, Mutton Rasa etc sit proudly amidst the signature dishes of restaurant.
Sanjeev Kapoor’s signature dishes on the menu include Hare Masaley ka Bhuna Paneer, Shabnam Ke Moti, and Lalla Mussa Dal etc in the vegetarian section. The non-vegetarian section also hosts the favorites like Lawrence Road Tandoori Murg, Puran Singh Da Tariwala Murgh, Raan Buzzaki, Galouti Kabab, and Dum Ghosht Biryani etc.
The delectable dessert spread will also leave you spoilt for choice, with the likes of Gulab-e-Gulkund, Cappucino Coffee Cake, and Butterscotch Lava etc. adorning the menu. They also have Motichoor Trifle which simply blew my mind.
TO SUM IT UP…
The Yellow Chilli offers delicious and innovative Indian cuisine, along with a fine-dining experience that won’t blow a hole in your pocket. This restaurant gets a tick from us in all boxes, and we highly recommend you visit them soon!