Restaurant Review: IndiKitchen

Address: Shop 16, New Link Palace CHS, Andheri Lokhandwala, Andheri West
Tel: 022 33126808
Price: Approximately Rs. 300 for 1 person
Home Delivery: Yes

The F&B industry in India, especially in cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years. There’s either an opening of new restaurant, a new concept is being introduced, a new cuisine has been tapped, an old cuisine is getting a makeover, fusion foods, molecular gastronomy, the works! It’s almost impossible to keep up (and is also responsible for increasing the waistlines of us food bloggers)! It’s great news though because it’s a great time to be a part of such a vibrant industry. It’s also a testament to how the Indian consumer is so welcoming of change and is looking to experiment.

Wok-boxes have become extremely popular thanks to the insane number of Asian restaurants mushrooming all over the country. This one Indian food restaurant though decided to apply it to our home cuisine and I must say, this will definitely catch on.

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You start by picking either a Roomali Roll, Paratha box, Naan Bowl (butter/garlic) or a rice box. Then you select your vegetables.Step 3 is the selection of your gravy and Step 4 includes selecting your protein.

I chose the Garlic Naan Bowl with capsicum, peans and onion in a makhani gravy with aloo tikka.

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The Gravy was absolutely splendid, with the aloo tikkas melting in my mouth ! Fresh out of the kitchen, I definitely recommend trying this one. I just wish it was cooked in a little less oil though. The Naan unfortunately lacked taste and texture (it was too rubbery) but forgiven because the vegetable was so delicious.

I also tried the Chocolate Samosa which just did not settle with me. It’s a brownie stuffed in samosa (!?) drizzled with some chocolate syrup. Give it a try if you with to, but it’s not my favourite.

IndiKitchen also offers you a wide range of drinks from Paper Boat to wash down your food with. My personal favourites are the two you see below. Sure to help you revisit your childhood!

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It had been quite a crappy day and it took me almost 2 hours to get to IndiKitchen, but the food and my pals from the FBAI made the evening worth it 🙂

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A Happy Affair – Jamie’s Italian

DSC_0440Address: 3rd floor, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

Do I love Italian food? YES

Am I borderline obsessed with Jamie Oliver? YES

Do I love New Delhi? YES

So if I wake up to an email from Jamie Oliver’s inviting me to try out their special Valentine’s Day menu, what do I do? I open my Internet browser and book myself a flight!

Jamie’s Italian has been on my list ever since the restaurant came to India late 2015 and inspite of several trips to capital city, I’ve somehow missed every opportunity to enter heaven. I guess this one was God sent 🙂 With wooden interiors, chalkboards reading daily specials and recommendations, a bar and an open kitchen Jamie’s Italian seems as charming as the man himself.

The restaurant introduced a Valentine’s special menu for the weekend of 12th-14th February:

  • Bruschetta Platter – Sicilian caponata & pinenuts, garlicky mushrooms & basil pesto, smashed peas, creamy ricotta & chargrilled veggies.
  • Sustainable sole fillet packed in a bag with superfood grains, juicy cherry tomatoes, fennel, garlic and wine, cooked in our oven & served with skinny fries.
  • Slow cooked lamb shanks in rich red wine and tomato sauce, served on a bed of fragrant saffron rissotto & thyme.
  • Baked Alaska with fresh seasonal strawberries  Trio of vanilla, butterscotch and strawberry icecream topped with Italian meringue and flambéed with dark rum, served with honey coated strawberries.
  • Hanky Pinky Valentine cocktail – fresh strawberries & Valencia reduction with London dry gin, top up with sparkling wine.

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Owing to the lack of vegetarian options, I turned to the main menu. For starters, or nibbles, we had Italian Nachos (Rs. 285) – crispy fried mini ravioli stuffed with smoked mozzarella, ricotta and vegetarian Parmesan, served with a spicy Sicilian tomato sauce. Now I’ve never had these before so they were tiny looking surprises of big bursts of cheese in my mouth. The sauce had been cooked to perfection with the right amount of zest to cut through all the cheesiness. Finger licking good!

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Penne Arrabbiata (Rs. 200/335) 

Now you’re probably thinking, you don’t go to Jamie Oliver’s and order a usual Penne Arrabbiata right? Well this is no regular Arrabbiata and I had been craving a good, really good one since at least 3 months. JO fulfilled that too! A gorgeous plate of tomato, basil and garlic sauce (I love when you can see the sliced garlic on your plate) with chillies, vegetarian Parmesan and herbed bread crumbs. Oh and the penne served done al dente. That’s the thing about Jamie, he takes a simple dish and turns it into an absolute hero. It’s not uncommon to find a Penne Arrabbiata at any Italian restaurant, but nowhere do they make it like this 🙂

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Mushroom & Smoked Mozzarella Risotto (Rs. 580)

I’d like to make a disclaimer here that I am severely allergic to mushrooms and breakout into a bad rash all over, but if this baby had sent me to the emergency room, it would have been completely worth it ! This was just creamy, smokey, crunchy, juicy goodness loaded with fried & dried mushrooms, butter, oozy mozzarella, and rocket leaves.
Warning: This will leave you addicted. 

Both dishes were served at the perfect temperature.

 

Just when I thought I’d eaten enough to walk to Mumbai to burn off the calories consumed, our server treated us to a traditional Pavlova. I promise you, I promise you, it’s like nothing you have ever eaten before. The crispness of the meringue filled with cream, topped with strawberries and a strawberry compote.. ohh sweet heavens! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my meal.

I must also add that the wait staff and Manager were extremely kind in making recommendations and the staff served our food with the warmest smiles. I guess that’s bound to happen when you’re working for such a great brand, it comes with a sense of pride.

Service – 5/5
Ambience -5/5
Quality of food – 5/5
Taste – 5/5
Presentation – 5/5

It was the most perfect afternoon, with the perfect company.. these words absolutely cannot suffice 🙂

P.S. Cannot wait for them to come to Mumbai!

Costa Coffee brings Flat White to India

New Delhi: UK based Coffee Chain, Costa Coffee has launched its bestselling international coffee, the Flat White in India.

The Flat White, originally made famous by its runaway success in Australia and New Zealand is a three-shot Espresso and flat no-froth milk which takes coffee drinking to a new high. Coffee connoisseurs across the world are raving about the Flat White and customers are giving it the thumbs up.

Costa Flat White takes skill to make and, when well-made, is an exceptionally satisfying coffee drink. It uses more espresso coffee than a cappuccino or latte. It also uses very creamily-steamed milk, which is a knack in itself.  Costa is the only coffee chain that uses a Cortissimo, a shorter coffee extraction method, to build the Flat White. This is then blended with milk that has been heated using a special technique, resulting in a smooth, velvety texture, with each drink hand finished with a distinctive ‘florette’ pattern.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Virag Joshi, CEO & President, Devyani International Ltd. said “Costa is India’s first international coffee brand and India is one of the most exciting markets for Costa Coffee. We have learnt that the Indian customer is always willing to try new offerings and with the popularity of the Flat White soaring elsewhere at Costa stores globally we think it’s the right time to give our patrons a taste of this wonderful new coffee.’

A special Costa Master Class was organized on the occasion to showcase the technique and skill required to prepare a perfect cup of Flat White. It was conducted by the winner of last year’s ‘Barista of the Year’ – Devender Kumar, where he shared his experience and some expert tips on coffee making.

Speaking on the launch of Flat White, Mr. Ashish Chanana, COO, Costa Coffee India said’ We are proud to be offering India’s coffee lovers another totally new blend. Besides offering an unbeatable coffee experience, we are constantly looking at making our cafes the preferred hang out space through food and beverage innovations. I am confident that our new bestselling international coffee will delight our customers and leave them spoilt for choice.’

Costa Coffee India:

Costa Coffee entered India in September 2005 through an exclusive master franchisee tie-up with Devyani International Ltd. (a Ravi Jaipuria promoted company and part of the 3000 crore RJ Corp) making it the first international coffee chain to start operations in India. Costa Coffee currently operates over 100 stores across India.

Since its launch, Costa Coffee has set new benchmarks in coffee retailing in the country with its hand crafted coffee. At Costa, each cup of coffee is treated as a work of art and served with a personalized touch. Over the last few years, Costa has created a distinct image for itself with its great coffee and food, friendly and efficient service and stylish and relaxing surroundings. Besides Coffee, Costa worldwide also lays heavy emphasis on food. A wide range of scrumptious sandwiches, Paninis, Tostatos and many kinds of deserts make it an exciting place to visit for a complete eating out experience.

Head over to your nearest Costa now!

Submitted by Costa Coffee India for Chai Cake & Kitsch. 

All New at Wok Express

With the Chinese New Year right around the corner, Wok Express is delighted to treat everyone to an all-new menu!

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Long weekends and celebrations can now be enjoyed over a range of new Chilli Mushroom and Eggplant Tempura Baos. Commemorate the year of the Monkey with some new Wok options at Wok Express. Try out the new Wheat Soba Noodles with over 4 new sauces! For those who like to set their tongue on fire there is Chilli Coriander and Hot Crispy Garlic. If you prefer something sweet and milder, opt for the Sweet Onion or the Massaman Coconut Curry (which is Jain).

Make a short trip down to the closest Wok Express near you with friends and family or if you wish to entertain at home, avail their free home delivery service and woo guests with the delights of Asian cuisine.

Aayush Agrawal, Director says “What better way to commemorate the year of the Monkey than with some delicious woks and baos? We at Wok Express are super excited to treat everyone to new baos added to our menu along with introducing new flavours in our Wok menu.”

The fortune cookie says – Look out for the fifth Wok Express opening up shortly at Prabhadevi.

Price for two: Rs 700
Address: 

  1. ChurchgateShop 3, Ground Floor, Rajmahal Building, 84 Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai
  2. Lokhandwala – Shop 16, Plot 98-A/116, Grenville CHS Limited, Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri West, Mumbai (At the Mocha junction, opened in place of Café Coffee Day)
  3. Kemps Corner – Shop 4, Chinoy Mansion, August Kranti Marg, Kemps Corner, Mumbai. (Opposite the Croma store)
  4. Bandra – Shop no 1-2, Dheeraj Swapna building, Near Pali Bhavan, Pali Naka, Bandra west, Mumbai 400 050. (Opened in place of Pink berry)

Home deliveries: 98333 80808
Order online: www.wokexpress.in

Facebook & Twitter: /WokExpressIndia
Instagram: /Wok_Express

Bao Chica Wow Wow!

The latest culinary trend that seems to have caught up to us Mumbaikars’ palates’ is the Taiwanese Bao, or Gua Bao, or (primarily) pork belly buns.. However, with the number of vegetarians around, restaurants to have created their new, fun versions, a job well done.

The Fatty Bao, pretty much responsible for the bao’s popularity, announces their #BaoWowFestival this February At The Fatty Bao, Mumbai and Delhi. 

“Thirteen varieties of soft pillowy white baos, each filled with a fusion of flavours and just fourteen days to taste them all! Step in to The Fatty Bao, from 1st February to 14th February 2016 for the #BaoWowFestival and feast on a variety of baos with different fillings and combinations. Bite into these white steamed buns packed with an array of different meats and fillings, each one more delicious than the other. An awesome selection of Baos- a pick of our all time favourites and a whole new selection of inventive combinations, especially created for the festival by Executive Chef Prashanth.”

Last night I was at The Fatty Bao, Bandra for a preview, and for a change I was lucky enough to get a table the moment I entered. It is crazy, absolutely crazy how packed this place gets even on a weekday ! It is much deserved though. I’ve been here twice and have always been treated to exceptional service, great cocktails and scrumptious food. Oh and not to mention the uber cool decor and fun vibe.

What I had:
Spicy Mushroom and Chickpea Bao, drizzled with chilli garlic mayo, the Cheesy Kimchi Potato Bao with scallion, sprinkled with Korean chili powder and the Fried Eggplant Bao marinated in miso with kimchi cabbage and a drizzle of Sriracha sauce.

Of the 3, the Spicy Mushroom and Chickpea Bao is my pick because unfortunately, the bread dominates the other 2 dishes. The Cheesy Kimchi Potato Bao sounds promising but sadly fails to deliver. It has great potential but has very little filling and is not cheesy enough. The Eggplant Bao also could use a more flavour. I did have the opportunity to meet Chef and let him know what I thought, he was extremely gracious in accepting my feedback. It’s a little heartbreaking because I’ve always left the restaurant with a great taste in my mouth. I did order the Vegetarian Curry Ramen bowl and that was finger licking good, as always! 

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Photo courtesy: Kunal Chandra

There’s no doubt that The Fatty Bao still continues to remain on my list of must visits in Mumbai. In the meantime, do be a part of their festival and be sure to use the official hashtag – #BowWow.

Don’t forget to share your experiences with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or via email! x