Thursday, March 11, 2010

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Khan Chacha, Delhi

Khan Chacha
Flat 50, Middle Lane
Khan Market
+919810804114, +919811152722, +919810671103

Khan Chacha was an institution in Delhi until some legal, and rental problems forced him to shut shop about a year ago. Recently Al Bake (the New Friends Colony institution) opened a shawarma take away at the same location, which made many Khan Chacha loyalists apprehensive about the future.

Then Khan Chacha reopened about a month ago in a new location (opp Big Chill in the Middle Lane,opp Happily Unmarried). This is a first floor outlet with seating, but its still self service with a few "improvements". You order your kebabs/rolls at the counter, pay your money, you are given a number. You hang around, hoping and praying for a free table. Then your number flashes on the screen at the counter, so you go and collect your rolls. If you are lucky you sit or else you stand and finish your rolls. If you leave your tray on the table, you will be very politely requested to throw your trash in the designated dustbins and leave the trays on top (a la McDonalds)

The kitchen is spotlessly clean and soot free :)Prices are higher than what they were, when they closed, but then inflation has affected us all.

Some old timers of this joint, say that the taste isnt as good as it used to be. Since I have returned to Delhi after 7 years, I don't feel qualified to comment on that statement. But the taste is still good.

The chicken tikka simply dissolves in your mouth. I found the tikkas better as a plate of kebabs than inside the roll. I also expected the mutton sheekh kebab to be softer than it was. I'm hoping this is just initial teething problems for the staff and they will soon settle into a routine to give us the outstanding quality of kebabs that Khan Chacha is famous for.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Swagath, Delhi

M-9, M Block Market
GK 2
I remembered that I had enjoyed the Mangalorean food at Swagath, when I was last in Delhi 8 years ago. Feeling homesick for mums coconut curries and some sea food, it was the right time to see if Swagath still lived up to my fond memories of the place.

The Fresh Lime Soda (75rs) was just right and it is a pleasure to be back in India, where restaurants know how to make this perfect. The boneless Chicken 65 (290rs) was a hot and spicy, deep fried piece of heaven. The Squid Special Masala Fry (330rs) had a wonderful Manglorean spicy and tamarind flavored masala and will go great with neer dosas or appams that are oferred at the restaurant. The crowning glory though, was the
Fish Biryani (475rs) served with a little bit of fish curry on the side.This was the flavour of home that I was seeking and I was not dissappointed at all.

With the Service Charge and VAT the bill was around 1500/-. But the food that I had ordered would be enough for 2 people.

I must add that my experience at the Malviya Nagar branch was not as great as the GK2 outlet. The food did not taste as good and the ambience was not as comfortable.

Kake Da Hotel, Delhi

Kake Da Hotel
22-23 Behind DDA Market
Panchsheel Enclave
4174 9464, 4174 9474

The irony is that this 2nd branch of the popular CP restaurant is located behind a really dingy market in Panchsheel enclave. so unless one knows that this gem exists, it would be very easy to miss it and dismiss the Panchsheel enclave area as having no decent eating options.

We discovered it simply because we had back-to-back meetings lined up in the area and had no time to drive any distance in the short time that we had for lunch.

The approach to the restaurant was disconcerting and the decor was a bit hodge-podge, so we were quite apprehensive about the food, untill the aromas wafted our way. Then there was absolutely no doubt left in our minds. Until then, the husband had asked me at least thrice, if I wanted to go somewhere else.

Since we were in a hurry, we ordered a 1/2 Murg Handi (195rs), a butter naan (35rs) and a Laccha Paratha (38rs) The half murg handi was more than enough for 2 people and the rotis were very well done. Mineral water was 35rs for a liter. All the prices are inclusive of all taxes and charges.

I wish I had a picture of the dishes, but we were in too much of a hurry and have promised ourselves to go back in a bigger group, so we can sample more of their dishes.

The restaurant is more conducive to home delivery though and I suspect that, that is where his major business comes from.

Hearty dhabha khana in the middle of Panchsheel Enclave at very reasonable rates.

Aap Ki Khatir, Delhi

Aap Ki Khatir
Middle Lane
Khan Market
Aap Ki Khatir, is a little kebab joint tucked away in the Middle Lane of Khan Market. Patrons who want to eat on the spot, stand around or lounge on 2 wheelers while relishing their kebabs and rolls. The rest pack take aways and carry them home to waiting families.

The reason, I keep going back to this particular kebab joint in the Khan Market, are its 'outstanding' Kakori Kebabs. At 90Rs a plate (2 long kebabs), they are a juicy, melt in your mouth experience, lightly wrapped in a wafer thin layer of crust from the grilling.

All kebabs are served with onions, a dollop of raita and a dollop of green chutney.

Most kebabs are in the 80-90rs range for a plate. The chicken malai tikka is good and not too spicy. The Mutton tikka is extremely soft and on the spicy side.

For 10-15rs more, you can have your kebabs wrapped in a rumali roti or a kathi roll (no egg though), for a quick one dish meal.

If you need a drink to wash your snack/meal down, they serve chilled soft drinks and water for 25rs.

Their kebabs are good and Actress Nandita Das, says this is one of her favorite restaurants in an interview in The Bollywood Cookbook

They do not Deliver food home unless you want them to cater to a party of 50 or more people. They do have takeaway service though and their rolls are a great option for those nights when you know your guests are going to be drinking and couldn't care much for complicated food, but are going to be ravenously hungry at the end of the evening.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lucille's, Cairo

Lucille's Burgers
Take Away & Delivery
40 Road 9

2378 1530
2378 7975

Time Magazine, wrote an article on Lucille's entitled The World's Best Burger is in Egypt

I have eaten here many times when I was in the mood for some American food in Maadi (which isn't too often, as I prefer the spicier offerings at Bua Khao or Gaya) and their food hasalways been good.

Lucilles has a cosy atmosphere conducive to its home style cooking. Recently they have become completely non-smoking, so its a real pleasure to enjoy a meal without the aromas being suffocated with cigarette smoke.

The in-restaurant menu has a lot of Tex-Mex items including Corn bread and chilli con carne, tortillas, fajitas and other items too are available.

I do love the chilli con carne that they serve with the corn bread, butter and onions on the side. My other favourite is their egg salad sandwiches served with fries. You can ask for brown bread sandwiches and it seems to me that their bread is baked in store.

Most aerated drinks and the Iced Teas (Lemon & Raspberry) come with free refills when dining in.

The place is quite often filled with teenagers, so it feels young and peppy at times.

They offer a seperate Breakfast Menu which also includes waffles, biscuits, french toast and pancakes apart from the regular omelettes. Not too many places in Cairo can give you these options. Breakfast is served till 11:30am daily and all day on Friday and Saturday.

The Delivery Menu is a slightly abridged version of the Restaurant menu and I think they have another facility a little further down the road that actually caters the delivery menu. If you visit the main restaurant, you cna have anything from the menu packed for a take away.

Almost everything on the menu is cooked from scratch by their kitchen staff. They even grind their own burger meat, so you can be assured that the ingredients in your meal are healthy and flavorful.

A great option, if you are craving diner style food in Cairo.

Pictures of the food are visible on Lucille's MySpace Profile

Helloji Sichuan, Gurgaon

Helloji Sichuan
Food Court
MGF Metropolitan
124 - 4250 0888

They have a variety of starters averaging 120 for the non vegetarian ones and 80 for vegetarian. Soups are a flat 60 for veg and 70 for non veg. Main coursese range from 110-220 for prawn dishes. Rice and Noodles are 70/80.

I just needed to grab a quick bite about 5ish, before heading out to dinner with friends. Having missed lunch, I ordered the Chilli Chicken dry (120rs) and the Drums of Heaven (120rs). The chilli chicken was average, nothing memorable about it. The batter on the drums of heaven was too heavy and hence it wasn't cooked properly all the way through.

Not a place I would return to given that there are many other options in this food court.

Ambience & Service : Food Court
Food : 2

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