Taking the Spice Route

There is no scarcity of restaurants in today’s times, whether it’s the standalone ones or those housed in plush hotels but there are only a few that truly leave a mark, for they believe in delivering exceptional yet value for money experiences.

We were honoured to experience one such outing rather recently, when both of us, dressed in our Sunday best drove down to a restaurant featured among world`s top ten as per Condé Nast Traveler… It is The Spice Route at The Imperial that we are talking about.

And we must admit that this was a day when luck was on our side, as not only were we being hosted to impeccable hospitality amidst rich ambience but joining us for lunch was their star Chef Veena Arora, who has also been awarded as the Best Lady Chef by Ministry of Tourism in India for her Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to the Promotion of Tourism in the Country.

On comfortably being seated, we were constantly reminding each other that we were still very much in Delhi and not in Thailand or Sri Lanka because of the interiors reminiscent of the spice route nations.

If you are a Thai cuisine lover like us, then this be a great bet for the queen chef is born and brought up in Thailand and brings only the most authentic flavours along.

Besides a very extensive and rich menu, the restaurant boasts a special Winter Menu that ensnared our taste buds with the interesting dishes listed below:

Appetizers:

Prawn in a Sarong: Malaysian style por pia skin wrapped prawns, flavoured with lemongrass, chillies and fried crisp. Served with sweet chilli and plum sauce

Fish in Banana Leaf Parcel: Vietnamese style steamed fish flavoured with lemon grass, chillies and pounded glutinous rice served in banana leaf parcel

Soups:

Tom Yum Thalay: Spicy hot and sour mixed seafood  soup, flavoured with lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.

Main Course:

Meen Biryani: Kerala style rice cooked with fish, flavoured with whole Indian spices

Phanaeng Pla: Crispy fillet of sole served with phananeng sauce

Desserts:

Ice-cream Tauhu: Silky bean curd ice cream with cinnamon flavour (vegan)

All seafood lovers, trying out these delicacies is a must for you all.

And we ordered some more from their a la carte menu too for our strictly vegetarian Shagun.

Appetizers:

Por Pia Chae: Thai style spring roll with vegetables, fried crisp and served with sweet chili and plum sauce

Som Tum Chae:  Tangy Thai raw papaya and peanut salad

Soups:

Kaeng Cherd Tauhu Lod: Clear vegetable and silky bean curd soup, flavoured with fresh sautéed garlic

Main Course:

Phad Phrik Tauhu: Stir-fried silky bean curd and bamboo shoots in Thai basil sauce

Malabar Vegetable Curry: Assorted vegetables cooked in Southern spices from Malabar coast of India

Hmmm… Sounds like quite a lavish spread, doesn’t it? But the best part was that each and every dish was reflective of great love with which it was prepared for that is the reason that each of them tasted a perfect ten on ten.

Talking about the décor, it is truly one of its kind, there is so much thought which has gone into each and every corner of this restaurant. Believe it or not, but each section of the restaurant represents a part of the human cycle; expressed through hand painted walls, intelligent placing of various elements and the overall ambience.

Well, the interiors are splendid but we have to also share our favorite spot. It was actually their courtyard which is bedecked with traditional Thai sculptures from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. An evening spent here would be truly worthwhile and memorable.

Before we sign off, we would like to say that if you haven’t been here as yet, you are surely missing on something. And for those planning to visit Delhi anytime soon, make sure you visit The Imperial Hotel for its sharp representation of Indian heritage and culture.

Winter Collection at The Spice Route (South East Asian Restaurant)

15th November 2014- 15th February 2015

Timings:  Lunch- 12:30pm to 2:45pm and Dinner- 7:00pm to 11:45pm

Love,

Shagun & Sonali

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Rumbar- For The Tropical Twist

New Delhi’s  Hauz Khas Village is undoubtedly a colourful and buzzing place but for me, there are only a handful places where I would like to go more than just once- simply because these places stand-out for their quality and identity. I have recently been immensely impressed by a place which though not so old, made for a full-house on a Friday night and where people from all age groups where seeming to have a gala time. Yes peeps, the wait and suspense ends here. I am talking about the Rumbar, I reckon it is a kind of a  Caribbean retreat amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, where rum, food and live music are taken as religion.

The place nowhere shows any desperation to try and ape an established name in the vicinity, instead it has a distinctive character of it’s own.The interiors are quite simple but welcoming.  And the owners are quite happy that their guests feel quite at home when at Rumbar.

The story behind this beauty of a place is worth mentioning. The place is owned and managed by two French gentlemen passionate about Creole food and music. The idea for Rumbar, came into being after the success of the famed “Rose Aepritifs” which hosted Afrobeats live acts every Saturday night at The Rose – a charming bed and breakfast cum art gallery tucked away in the interiors of Hauz Khas Village. It is an extension of that passion – a love for the tropical beat, where mixed cultures come together under one roof.

The menu here would get your taste buds instantly excited. And believe me, you would have a sudden urge to try just about everything on offer. I  had quite a worthy meal during my first visit. To begin with, we ordered Accras Antillais which are Cod Fish Fritters that came with some salad and salsa(their salsa is so so good, that you would keep asking for a repeat). Also, a vegetarian dish was added to the table as next came the Green Papaya Gratin.  With a tasteful commencement to our outing, I was quite looking forward to the main course. Boys and Girls, I have to share that their homemade Ravioli is  one of the lightest I have ever had. Also, if you are a Risotto lover, there is no way that you can give it a miss here.

And for those who would like to take it further, worry not- there and burgers and sandwiches as well.

The dessert offerings are also rather tempting. We opted for their Fruit Burger. Yes, you read it right 🙂 The dish has got crunchy biscuits with layers of caramelized apples and fried mashed bananas, then the basil and strawberries add the punch and twist to this divine delicacy.

It is one of those happy places which lifts you higher after a packed day of running around. I certainly would want to be a regular for everything is how I would like it to be- the food, the decor and the music-I just loved it all.

Wishing happiness,

Sonali

Moonshine Café & Bar @ HKV

You would undoubtedly agree that there are umpteen cafes, restaurants and bars in the very plush Hauz Khas Village, but there are a handful places which call for repeat visits. To put it  in short- Moonshine Cafe & Bar is that sort of a place. Easy to fall for and has it all for a being a routine hang-out spot!

I was honestly quite intrigued by the name and  could not stop myself from asking more.

I was educated that ‘Moonshine’, is an American concept which can be traced back to the 1920’s where distilling of liquor would happen at night “by the light of the moon” during the prohibition era. Interesting thought process, isn’t it?

The place is high on energy. Luckily, I went on a Monday night which is their Bollywood night and I absolutely loved the background scores while I was engrossed in conversations and tasting. This cafe & bar functions on a superlative concept that would let one enjoy three different experiences. Their two indoor spaces would always have different music playing from each other and further ahead the open space is ideal for hookahs!

 The vintage décor and dim-lighting, artistic interpretation of Chicago’s skyline on the walls, posters reflective of American culture make for an impressive setting. Each decor piece seems to have been carefully hand-picked and put-together for that rustic charm.

 Now, all about their food and drinks… So, good news is that their food menu just got revamped. And for those who like to go big on their Long Island Iced Teas, ask for a coloured version! I am told that their cocktails come with a twist and are highly recommended.

For all pizza lovers like me, think less and get ordering. They know how to get it perfectly right! Besides that, the other  hot-sellers include the likes of Moonshine Sliders and Mezze Platter. The cafe pays some serious attention to their culinary offerings, so don’t be misguided that this is not a place for the foodies.  

 And remember, this moon shines both at day and night!

We shall wait to hear on your Moonshine experience…

Very Social

There are few ideas and concepts which you just cannot resist from sharing. One such phenomenon which requires urgent attention for its WOW factor is called Social, situated in the locales of the hip and happening- Hauz Khas Village.  The best thing I felt about of this new outfit is that it blesses you with umpteen jaw-dropping moments. Every time you digest one novel idea, another one pops up soon after!

The raw décor, quirky drinks-deconstructed dishes (still mulling over the fact that my Cosmopolitan Cocktail came with Candy Floss) and a breath-taking view in the backdrop- all this makes for a sensational release.

Screw Social Driver

Social Quarters

Coke & Cane

Not just the drinks but food is as quirky too…

OMG Burger

Jalapeno Mac & Cheese with Parmesan Crust

For people like me who like to work in a rather exciting setting, how about booking their conference room facing the very popular HKV Lake? It’s also the land of the free (lancer) and home of creative souls looking for an exhilarating alternative to a typical work day. Social has it all to make for an ideal work space- a boardroom, wall-space, conference facilities, wall-to-wall uber high-speed WiFi and built-in social interaction.

Hauz Khas Social_2

And as the time comes to switch-off the work channel, the place quickly changes gear to becoming a high energy bar. Drinks after work, never came so easily!

Hauz Khas Social_5

Hauz Khas Social_6

Here is saluting all the minds for kick-starting a trend refreshingly different. Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants says “Coffee shops and cafes have been projected as your “Third Place”, a place away from home and your work/college. With Social, for the very first time in restaurant history we have introduced the Second Place concept, a place where you can both work and play.”

This is one of those rare places, where I want to talk less and want you to see more as seeing more would eventually want you to experience it all the more.

Hours: 9 am to 1 am

Address: 9A &12, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi – 110016.



 

Feel Privileged, The Primo Way!

Well,  today we are going to touch upon something slightly different from  the routine stuff. However, we are not going to go far away from the premise of a good living. It is a concept which has become quite a talk-point with the expat  community in Delhi-NCR.

Lately, the Capital witnessed Hungover Enterprises announcing the launch of the Primo Privilege card.

The card endeavours to bridge the long gap between the expats living in Delhi-NCR and the array of restaurants, luxury products and services available around the city. It is simultaneously a discount card, a database and review software. The members holding the card can log onto Primo Privilege’s website, www.primoprivilege.com, search for their requirements from the wide variety of categories and contact the vendors directly. From 7 course dinners to plugging leaks in the kitchen, Primo has it all.

With Primo in their wallets, the expats are sure to feel at home with improved guidance at all times.

“We are proud to announce the launch of the Primo Privilege card in Delhi. Primo is working towards helping expats and diplomats discover the best of what’s available in Delhi-NCR. As the only privilege program in Delhi to be officially endorsed by bodies such as the High Commission of Canada, the Australian High Commission, Delhi Network, ANZA, AWA, Gurgaon Connection and more, we are in the unique position to really help local businesses expand their user base and achieve a positive branding impact which nobody else can offer,” stated Prashant Kalra, Founder, Primo Privilege and Managing Director, Hungover Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.

Here is a peek into the launch:

Atul Kapoor, Shiv Karan Singh, Prashant Kalra and Kuldip Tolia.jpg Atul Kapoor, Shiv Karan Singh, Prashant Kalra and Kuldip Tolia

Rajiv Aneja, Prashant Kalra, Anamika Singh, Ayesha Garewal-Kalra.jpgRajiv Aneja, Prashant Kalra, Anamika Singh and Ayesha Garewal-Kalra

Sarah and Brian_Partying the Primo Way.jpg
Sarah and Brian
Naina De Bois-Juzan.jpg
Naina De Bois-Juzan

 

Michael Kors Lands In India

The luxury fashion label Michael Kors has finally landed in India. With the brand´s first store opening at DLF Emporio mall in the capital, Delhi girls have all the more reasons to be cheerful. The store will be carrying ready-to-wear and handbags, footwear, watches, eye-wear. Speaking about the launch, Michael Kors said, “I could not be more excited to open our first store in India, I think that our Indian customers are extremely sophisticated and will appreciate the glamour, luxury and versatility they find in the store.”

The  brand was welcomed with a chic party hosted by Sanjay Kapoor, MD Genesis Luxury & fitness professional Sumaya Dalmia and was attended by some of Delhi´s glamorous people.  While everyone checked out the collection and chatted over champagne, DJ Khushi kept the evening alive with electric beats.

Come and take a sneak peak…

Here Comes Svedka!

“I love Sweden. The entire world should be like Sweden. They all like to drink and get naked, and the women are hot. I can’t think of a better nation on the planet”  -Drew Curtis

In Mr. Curtis´words, Sweden seems like the place that defines `Free-Spirited´. Well, for those of us in India who can`t travel to Sweden at the moment can get a sense of that informality and openness with the newly launched vodka- SVEDKA. The unveiling of the chic Sweden Vodka was done with a super bash at FIO hosted by Suhail Mehra, Prateek Jain and Gautam Seth. The vodka that boasts of being distilled 5 times looks pretty like this and comes in different flavours.

For many of us who might not know, it is pronounced as SWA-EKA 😉

svedka_bottle-for-site_main_retina_image

The soiree saw plenty of elites, socialites and party regulars from Delhi such as Rohit Bal, Rakesh Aggarwal, Rohit Gandhi, Gauri-Nainika Karan, Gunjita Dhawan, Anita Bhattal, Vikrum Baidyanath, Sujata Assomull, Rakesh Thakore, Gautam Kalra, Rahul khanna and Neha Nagar amongst others.

The management which included of Jake Jacob, Vice President Asia, Constellation Brands, Rohit Mehra, Managing Director At Mohan Brothers Pvt. Ltd. Suhail Mehra, Executive Director At Mohan Brothers Pvt. Ltd commented “It is our endeavor to help redefine the beverage industry and hence this new product also we are very pleased to infuse new colors and tastes in the Indian market through introducing SVEDKA to Indian market. We hope to bring in a refreshing and vibrant change for the existing vodka aficionados”.

Here is a glimpse of the party…

Joe Milner , Jake Jacob

Joe Milner , Jake Jacob

Anjali Kothari, Gautam Rakha

Anjali Kothari, Gautam Rakha

Sujata Assomull, Rakesh Thakore with a friend

Sujata Assomull, Rakesh Thakore with a friend

Siddartha Tytler, Gunjita Dhawan, Bharti Bhalla

Siddartha Tytler, Gunjita Dhawan, Bharti Bhalla

Anand Bhushan, Prateek Jain

Anand Bhushan, Prateek Jain

Prateek Jain, Suhail Mehra, Gautam Seth

Prateek Jain, Suhail Mehra, Gautam Seth

Vikrum Baidyanath, Sujata Assomull, Rakesh Aggarwal

Vikrum Baidyanath, Sujata Assomull, Rakesh Aggarwal

Gautam Seth, Nainika Karan, Rakesh, Aggarwal, Gauri Karan, Prateek Jain

Gautam Seth, Nainika Karan, Rakesh Aggarwal, Gauri Karan, Prateek Jain

Magandeep Singh and Jake Jacob

Magandeep Singh and Jake Jacob

Rohit Bal with Rohit Gandi

Rohit Bal with Rohit Gandhi  

                                                      What I wore: 

I wore a sheer black shirt with pleated pants and was accompanied by this pretty girl in orange pumps called Kantika Gupta.

I wore a sheer black shirt with pleated pants and was accompanied by this pretty girl in orange pumps called Kantika Gupta.