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Friday, 30 January 2015


In our gastronomic memory, dhabas aren't just eateries by the highway; they are bookmarks of unforgettable experiences. Their smoky flavors make us forget the priciest of meals in the best of fine-dining restaurants. There is nothing that can beat the satisfaction of spooning kaali dal (black lentils)into a crisp tandoori naan (Indian flat bread) — all enhanced with blobs on white butter — on a cold winter day.

Dhabas are an inseparable part of our road journeys. Fauji dhaba, Pehelwan dhaba, Sher-e-Punjab — the names line our highways and stay in our memories. The Shudh Vaishnav dhabas on pilgrim routes even take care of cultural sensibilities, offering food cooked without garlic and onion.

The origin of the dhaba is nebulous. It is said they sprouted on either side of The Grand Trunk Road and other highways during the 20th century, essentially to serve the truckers. The menu reflected the fact that most truckers came from Punjab.

Interestingly, many modern dhabas are not located on the highway…….Like the “Dhaba by Claridges”
DBC is an iconic restaurant from the “Claridges Hospitality” stable……..They serve Dhaba style food in the best of class yet in a rustic and Desi Avataar…….

Dhaba by Claridges has a branch in DLF Place Mall , Saket, which is quite a huge place compared to its other branch in cyber hub. If you are looking to take your guests, your family or your friends for ethnic Punjabi food to satisfy your palate then Dhaba by Claridges is the place to go.
The place is jam packed during lunch as well as dinner hours which explains that the food is excellent 
and the people of Delhi keep craving for it again and again. No wonder that Claridges Hospitality thought of this brilliant idea of opening up their treasure to a bigger audience by expanding across Delhi NCR. After sampling cuisines of far away when we want to eat something that makes us feel at home then this is the kind of place we prefer. Dhaba by Claridges is a modern sophisticated place with interiors that are done in tune with the theme i.e. Dhaba which means rustic style eatery on the highways. But this place has been done in a rustic style with touch of modernity and class. The place has an open kitchen counter that resembles a highway dhaba. There is a truck body parked inside the premises along with innovative decor that resembles a Dhaba, like charpoys to sit and tyres hanging on the walls with Bollywood posters and paintings.

Of course, it is an ideal place for people to enjoy great Indian food, both spicy and delicious. The restaurant recently introduced its Healthy menu which promises good wholesome food in a healthy way. 

We were honored to have Executive Chef Ravi Saxena join us for lunch; his passion for food could be seen in the way he spoke about his food. They use olive oil instead of ghee and reduced skimmed milk instead of cream for this special menu. The taste of the food stays amazingly the same retaining the flavors too.
First up on the New Menu were appetizers like Tandarust Tawa Fish crisped to perfection and from the regular menu we ordered the yum Mutton Seekh, Murgh Malai Tikka and the mouth melting and delicious Galauti Kebab and yes the Raan ( whole leg of lamb ) made to perfection with awesome flavors, succulent and mouth meltng meat. The galauti was fabulous with lovely flavors. We also loved the mutton champ or the rack of lamb ribs. 

 The first thing that each one of us ordered was the cocktails. The cocktails were named like Desi Tharras ( Country Liquor) a few on the menu that we sipped were the Gulabo, Somras,Santari and Basanti. All Dhaba versions of the famous cocktails like Bloody Mary, Long Island iced tea and vodka based drinks. They were innovative both in design and their nomenclature. They are served in small quarter bottles……. Loved them very much…..
Soon, the staff at the restaurant performed a dance on the number ‘badtameez dil’ for the customers sitting there. It was entertaining to watch them dance in sync and pretty good at that. This has become a usual practice or we can say this performance is like the DBC Anthem.

As if this wasn’t enough, the main course started to pour in. The main course included Balti meat, Amritsari Chhole, Lasooni palak, Baingan bharta, Paneer makhani and Dal Dhaba and yes the Butter Chicken. We could see the difference between the regular Dal Makhani and the Healthy menu Dal. And it was amazing to notice that the taste remained the same. Hats off to the Chef, for making such lovely preparations using less oil and fat yet making them taste so good.
The staff was courteous and it was great to chat with the Executive Director of Claridges Hospitality, Mr. Manik Kapoor on their future plans and vision. They are planning to expand to new places in Delhi soon.
The sweets were the highlight of the whole meal…. If we would have known that the desserts will be so good, we would have had a little less food but still we had the Baileys Kulfi, Gajar ka halwa, Moong dal halwa and Gulaab jamun.

We were the lucky few to savour the Pan, which they source from the very old Pan vendor located near the Claridges Hotel, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi…..What a fabulous way to end the lovely meal !!!
Looking forward to the best of food and more such visits……….

Cheers to the Team …….. 

Second Floor, DLF Place, Saket, New Delhi

Written By : Vickrham Vicky & Karan Puri
Pics Courtesy : Vickrham Vicky

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Flying Saucer Cafe - Sufism at its best.....

The one place which I think, is comparable to the much hyped DLF Cyberhub of Gurgaon is The Epicuria Mall , Nehru Place Metro Station…………Full of chic restaurants and awesome food court……….The Best and the most happening place at this mall , nowadays is The Flying Saucer Café…..from our very own Priyank Sukhija , yes again him…..Lolzz……. This place is an absolute delight no matter what time of the day you go. Big place with enormous space, both indoors as well outdoors. One of the most beautiful settings, I have seen in Delhi. The ambience is very good. Music is great with the famous Sufi nights on Wednesday and Friday. Must get there in time or book in advance to get a table for sure. Weekends are also are great here, with huge crowds. They have valet parking service available and good security checks for maintaining the decency of the place.

 I was there on a Friday with friends, and to my surprise , the place was full of people…..Lovely crowd in the best of fashion………..Thank God , we booked  a table in advance. Many people were standing outside to get in, but the place was fully booked.  Flying Saucer Café is very popular amongst the young crowds of Delhi/NCR. The percussionist, who plays on Fridays, is awesome. Food was very good. Some of the things like the Dimsums, Grilled sole fish, Caesar salad, Pork chops, dahi kebab and yes the mushroom galauti kebab were awesome. We tried some cocktails like Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Caipiriojkas with blood orange and they were very well made. The Hookah was very good too.
The service and staff are really fast and quick. And yes they are very hospitable and courteous. Managing such big crowds is not as simple as it seems. Hats off to the management and the owners for running it so efficiently.

Looking forward to many more such visits………..

Cheers !!!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

World Pizza Journey - HKV

Hauz Khas Village is a cluster of pubs, restros, bars. You will have plenty of options ranging from economical ones to expensive ones. Good cozy nice hang out places. Each joint is different from the other. Theme, Ambience, Concept and Cuisine. All these things are completely different and that’s what makes the place have a cluster of restaurants that are unique in their own way. 

There’s now a new kid on the block selling Pizzas, and we know pizza has always been an integral part of any place serving Italian Cuisine. But their focus has been on other items as well. The restaurant that finally casts Pizzas in a lead role is  “World Pizza Journey”. Prominent in its location, right near the entry of Hauz Khas Village, the place promises round the world journey through pizzas. The extensive menu features pizzas across the seven continents.

Table Tops
Beautiful Wall Decals

The main theme of this place is to put the specialty dish or the ingredients of the country on top of a pizza. So a falafel pizza will have hummus to give an authentic middle eastern, Lebanese taste. The fish and chips pizza will have tomato ketchup with French fries and tartar sauce on the side making it royally British. The interiors take you to a zone where you seem to be traveling to different countries as you eat the specialty pizzas. The interiors are characterized by whites with use of multi colored patterns in different forms. Framed images of famous landmarks hang on all the walls, and a variety of old world maps and flags are visible under the glass table tops. The most interesting one being the table with different currencies of the world under its glass table top. A number of wall clocks are synced to different time zones to bring out a new dimension. Even the restroom has been done in a peculiar manner, with vehicle registration plates stuck on the walls from all over the world.

Furniture and Vibrant Walls
Interesting Pee room
 And now the main part …..The Food…..They have divided their menu into different sections depicted by the region or the country names…like…The American Dream section has slightly more familiar names like the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza called ‘The Pie’ and the Californian Thin Crust Pizza called ‘The Hollywood’; while the Italian Job section has pizza names like ‘The Italian Stallion’ and ‘Florence – The Renaissance’. Then you have options on a slightly more unconventional side like The Chilean Pizza called ‘The Santiago’ in the South American section, The Mandarin in Chinese section and the  most unusual ‘The Falafel Pizza’ in the Mediterranean section. There’s a pizza from Britain called ‘The Queens Breakfast’ and the world famous ‘Pizza Peri Peri’ to add to the great variety. They serve the 12 inch thin crust pizzas on a LP record ..... innovation at its peak....Mr. Deepak Khera , who has done the menu selection, is a thoroughly professional man, with a passion towards his line of work. He has done the menu in a very unique and creative manner. Hats off to you, sir.
‘Punjabi Makhani’ Pizza and a ‘Bombay Bhaji’ Pizza too, if you’re in a mood for something creative yet delicious and Indian of course.

Pizzas Pizzas and Pizzas
More Pizzas

Traditionally Pizza goes well with either Wine or Beer. But not in this case, World Pizza Journey (WPJ)  has an extensive drinks menu. Apart from the usual offerings of Wines and other drinks from around the world, there’s a lengthy section on Cocktails designed and mixed by the very professional Viju Raj.The bartender made us try the Heera Panna, Khus Madira, Patiala Iced tea, Chicago orange brandy and Lichi Mai Tai to name a few…..The menu has a clearly defined and listed cocktails selection matching with a specific pizzas, one can just go as per that or order as per own choice.
To break the monotony of pizzas we also ordered the salads and soup. We loved the minestrone soup served with crusty garlic bread. The Caesar salad and the raw papaya salads were awesome even the Mexican corn salad with nachos was really good. We loved the Thearo Mushroom dish in the Verdure section of the menu and yes if you like pork sausages then please order the Bangar and Mash, awesome preparation.

Awesome Cocktails

Side Dishes and Salads

 At WPJ they make fresh dough daily to make pizzas with the fresh ingredients like tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, jalapenos, capers, pepperoni, olives, fish, chicken, sausage, bacon and much more. I must admit to the fact that they are doing something different with passion towards it . The small side dishes are done as perfectly as they have done their mainline of Pizzas……Pricing is very smart and not over the top. We would highly recommend this place for all the people who like their pizzas and related nibbles prepared fresh with the most sought after ingredients………..

We wish WPJ to carry on this unending journey of serving us the best and the freshest food forever……….Cheers !!!

Written By : Vickrham Vicky and Karan Puri
Pics Courtesy : Vickrham Vicky

World Pizza Journey
26, Ground Floor, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi.