What to eat in Amritsar? – A comprehensive list.

Amritsar is a food lovers delight and the question keeps popping up on what to eat there. I though I will make a compilation of information we have on it and make this post a one stop resource for anyone looking to explore the food scene of the city.

Harmandir Saheb or Golden Temple

If you have something to share, please share that in comments, and if you are here to take info, then please do read comments too.

The following list is courtesy Rajeev Gulati, I picked it from one of his comments on Facebook.

■ GURDAS RAM JALEBI WALE IN OLD CITY

■ BHRAWAN DA DHABA AT HALL BAZAR FOR VEG THAALI

■ KESAR DA DHABA FOR SLOW COOKED DAAL AND CRISP PARANTHAS

■ AMRITSARI KULCHAS AT…..

1. KULCHA LAND OPP. MK INTERNATIONAL

2. KULWANT DE AMRITSARI KULCHEY NEAR DARBAR SAHEB

3. SUCHHA SINGH AT CHUNGI 

■ BAU DI PANEER BHURJI

■ KANHA SWEETS for PURI-CHOLEY, LASSI & JAGGERY (GUR) HALWA

■ AHUJA (HALL BAZAR) FOR LASSI 

■ NAGINA NUTREY PALAK KULCHA AT CLOTH MARKET NEAR HALL BAZAR 

■ BHIJJEY CHOLEY KULCHA & MATHHI AT CLOTH MARKET NEAR HALL BAZAR 

■ PAL DHABA AT HALL BAZAAR FOR KEEMA NAAN & KEEMA MUTTON

■ PARKASH MEAT AT MAQBOOL ROAD FOR TAWA MUTTON ITEMS

■ SURJIT FOOD PLAZA (TANDOORI CHICKEN) AT LAWRANCE ROAD

■ BEERAN DA DHAABA AT MAJHITHIA ROAD

■ FISH & CHICHEN AT MAKKHAN AT LAWRANCE ROAD

I guess the data shared above is sufficient to sort out any traveler and/or food lover looking for good in this Northern frontier city of India. Feel free to add and read comments.Connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

Sunday Brunch @ K3 – JW Marriott, Aerocity Delhi

There is a reason why Sunday Brunch is generally the most expensive meal in almost all fancy hotels, its because its supposed to be the most elaborate and indulgent meal of the week, a meal that one spends im luxury, pampering their taste buds while enjoying the company of their loved ones. 
This weekend I accepted an invite from K3 in the newly opened JW Marriott in Aerocity, Delhi. The restaurant or theater seemingly derives its name from 3 kitchens it has to serve and focus on three cuisines : North Indian, Tuscan & Cantonese. The pricing of the brunch is in three categories, the difference basically being in drinks.
a. Food, Unlimited Soft Beverages & Fresh Juices  (Price – INR 2250++)
b. Food, Soft Beverages, Unlimited Premium Spirits and Sparkling Wine ( Price – INR 2750++)
c. Food + Champagne + Premium Spirits, soft beverages (Price – INR 3950 ++)

Raddish Cake Counter

Tikki Counter
The Panini Counter
Farsan selection
Mocha

I would not comment on how exotic or wide the spread was, because at those prices and level, nothing less is expected. Its a 5 star hotel so one assumes that basics would be met, and the ones that really stand out are the ones with impeccable service and hospitality and unfortunately a lot was left to be desired by this new player in the Delhi brunch scene.

For a change I am still willing to discount the food keeping into account my lack of exposure in somethings and over-exposure in others. But we felt the Cantonese section was a complete disappointment only the raddish cake stood out for us. While on the Tuscan one Anti-pasti and salads seemed to be the saving grace, more on pizza and pasta in a bit. And its hard for a 5 star hotel to impress a Dilliwalla with their North Indian fare anyhow. That said, nothing was ‘bad; in what we ate, however if I have to rate purely on food, strictly average.

Duck Wrap, couple of types of Chicken, lamb and sauces from the Cantonese Section
A cheese sampling platter we made with cheeses, dried fruits, crackers, pickles etc. 
The Indian Kebabs
Dishes from the Tuscan section
Dimsums
Some of the desserts from a very elaborate selection.
Some breads
Pomfret, Mackrel and another type of fish, grilled.

The things that stood out were small little things, maybe not too important to some, maybe teething issues for the establishment, however when someone is paying the full price, one expects the full service. So new to the business does not cut it as an excuse. Here is a list of things that were screw ups for us..

  1. Mostly at buffets I complain that they are too eager to clear my plates, however here no one seemed to bother even when we left the table for fresh plates and food our previous plates were not cleared and every single time we had to call someone to clear the table. 
  2. Cutlery – I cannot recall how many times I had to ask for it. Every time plates were cleared fork/knife/spoon went with it, and no one cared to replace them unless we asked.
  3. Chef told us about the fresh seafood they fly in every Saturday from Kochi and offered me to try some prawns, which I eagerly accepted. 30 minutes later I realized that i wanted prawns and they never arrived.
  4. Food laid out in the buffets was just not hot enough. 
  5. Only two sauces for pasta and on ordering spicy with extra seasonings you are served a bland and even salt-less mix.
  6. An Italian chef came to ask how was the pasta, we complained, he took the pasta away and we thought it would come back fixed. It never did. But then we can attribute it to communication gap, as I am not sure how well versed was the chef with English.
  7. Did I see only 4 types of cheeses in cheese selection??
  8. Pizza was served as severely mangled 4 slices kept in a cris-cross on a plate. Cold. Ugly. No seasonings served with it. 
  9. Ordered for a Chana Tikki – Badly made Chhole – like done by a cheap halwai in some tasteless wedding. Served with an almost burnt Tikki.
  10. Ordered grilled kebabs from the barbeque counter, specifically said I do not want fish but would like to sample everything else. What came to my table – Two types of fish and one piece of something else.
  11. Jumbled Name Tags on the dishes – too small a thing to mention?  
Biryani
Fresh Panini
Nalli Korma
Salted Caramel Gelato – Loved it.
Sarso ka Saag – ended up finishing it. Must have been nice.. 🙂
Salad based on Snow Peas was nery niceand fresh.
Cantonese Raddish Cake that we loved the most.

The way Pizza came on our table.
Tikki Chhole
Pasta that we did not like.
Having mentioned the things that I did not like, I would say there were certainly some positives. I did not like the indoor dining area, and anyhow I am an open air person. They have this small open air section where there are few live counters too. Offered a perfect location to dine on a pleasant day with aroma of food in the air and live jazz music setting the mood of the noon. 
Most of the cocktails that we tried were quite awesome, specially the smoked Apple and Pineapple martinis , the Whiskey Sour and one drink based on Cucumber. All cocktails served and suggested by the bar staff were refreshing and suited for the brunch. Arup from bar served us one of his concoction, in which he mixed some fresh fruits in whiskey and then flamed it so that the fruits get a bit caramelized making whiskey taste warm and refreshing.

Smoked Pineapple Martini being poured
A cucumber based drink I do not remember the name of.
Whiskey Sour
Special mention for Arup from bar, who looked after us very well, and here is special drink off the menu for us. 

The dessert section was lovely too, I do not remember tasting anything that was not good however Gajar ka halwa really stood out for me. So did the Tiramisu, Chocolate Ganache and the salted caramel gelato. 

Some might say that its too much nit-picking, but in my perspective if someone is paying that kind of rates, he is in complete right to nit-pick.

All in all, we can give them a lot of discount as its only their second week on the brunch and I am sure they would learn and streamline things very soon, but till they do, the experience is not justified by the amount of money at stake.


Connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

Pyara Sa Kabab Addiction – By Gurpreet Singh Tikku

Originally Posted: 9th August, 2012
Now just in case you are wondering why is the title so, then you will get to know as you Read on.
Baarish hui thi poore din aur sama bhi suhana tha, aise mausam mein humko kuch barriya khana tha.
That was the exact reason for this impromptu Eatup. For the past 1 month we had discussed Pyara Chicken and his Fish on the Eatlo Wall and were waiting for an opportunity to try it. So, yesterday it was. 7 of us reached Pyara Chicken at the J BLock, Community Centre in Rajouri Garden. The place is empty in the day, but as the sun sets, the mood rises and the vacant compound is filled by Tables and Chairs of all restaurant/Dhaba owners. So, we decided to take a table outside under the dark clouds and amidst the suhana mausam.

Pyara Chicken Corner
Pyara is a few decades old name for people in Rajouri Garden. The shop built its reputation by selling Fried Fish, Egg Pakora and Fried Chicken from small shop on the footpath along Bindra Park and shifted here after those unauthorized structures were removed.
Egg Pakora

Egg Pakora ..
So, the first order had to be Egg Pakora, which was very Decent. Boiled Egg, very delicately covered with a better of Flour, Maize, Besan, Rice Powder and some other ingredients. The Golden Hue of the Pakora invited us to pick it instantly. The Covering was very crisp, unlike what we have eaten at other places. At Rs. 10 a piece, it’s a steal!! Other dishes we ordered were Mutton Seekh Kebab (Rs. 120), Roasted Chicken(Rs. 140 for half), Chicken Kalmi (Rs. 260) and Afghani Chicken(Rs. 140 for half).

Mutton Seekh Kebab
Mutton Seekh Kebab was supposed to be his specialty, however I found it to be very simple and spicy. No Taste, No texture. Though our co-Foodie Ajay Soni liked it. We also kept discussing how well the Kebabs were which we had at a Eat-up few months back at Kebab Addiction.

Roasted Chicken
Roasted Chicken: Was ordinary stuff.
Afghani Chicken seemed to a Roasted Chicken with cream all over it. I wonder how?? Afghani Chicken is supposed to have a different marination and different cooking style and is to be served with a Creamy Salad and not with laccha pyaaz.

Afghani Chicken

Kalmi Kebab / Chicken
Anyways, we asked if he has any the specialty and were told that Kalmi Kebab is a specialty which is supposed to be specially Cooked Chicken legs. Which we thought would be good and be stuffed with Chicken Keema Mixture as in Tangri Kebab. What they served was over cooked Roasted Chicken. After this disappointment we decided to call it a day there and move on to Kebab Addiction which was tried and tested and was hardly 50 steps away.
As soon as we occupied the chairs at Kebab Addiction we ordered for Mutton Seekh Kebab (Rs. 150). The plate was placed on our table and it was with a great texture, was well coated with butter and looked as if it’s twinkling like a star and inviting us to have a bite and relish. And without wasting time, we did so.

Seekh Kebab at Kebab Addiction ..

Galawti Kebab
Having them were like JANNAT……………Soft, Tasty, Juicy with right kind and amount of spices and herbs used. Even after we finished the bite, we could sense the Kebabs playing on our taste buds. Then we ordered for Galawati Kebabs. (Rs. 200) The Owner being from Lucknow(Galawati and Kakori Kababs originated here) knows how to make them well and plays with spices and herbs in a big way which adds to the overall food experience.
TRIVIA TIME::: Galawati means “Melt in Mouth”. The Recipe was developed for an aging Nawab, Who could not chew meat having lost his teeth. The actual recipe is supposed to have more than 100 aromatic spices. Galawati Kebab is in the shape of minced meat round patty.
They had a Veg Galawati Kebab (Rs. 150) too…Made from a combination of vegetables and corn which were equally good.
Now was time to have some usual stuff and we ordered “Bhatti ka Murg” (Rs. 260), which literally means Tandoori Chicken. It was unlike the Tandoori Chicken we had a while before. It was very juicy, soft and was topped with some thick gravy, which added to the taste.

Bhatti Ka Murg (Tandoori Chicken?) :P
While having all this we ordered for Roomali Roti (Rs. 10), which came in a minute and was piping hot. And on inquiring we got to know that they have a live Roomali Counter wherein Roomalis are made in real time, wherein most of the other restaurants make it in evening and just warm it when they are ordered. This was another PLUS.

Sumit Sapra with Kali Mirch Tikka

Achari Chicken

Chicken Dum Biryani..
Next came the Kali Mirch Tikka (Rs. 180), which was succulent and different. Ab jab tak roti nahi khayi to pait nahi bharta……so we ordered “Achari Chicken” (Rs. 360) along with Rotis (Rs. 5) and Chicken Dum Biryani (Rs. 220). Achari Chicken was true to its name with taste of a pickle in the gravy. Briyani was cooked in Desi Ghee and had a nice colour, and soft boneless pieces of Chicken were well cooked. Overall the experience at Kebab Addiction was good and will make us keep going back for their Kebabs.
Pyara Chicken is a BIG NO NO!! It Produced MASS stuff without any thought on detailing on food.
No meal is complete without desserts and to get a closure we headed to Rajouri Garden Market to have a Daane Daar, Tille waali Kulfi from Gupta Kulfi Bhandaaaaaaar, which was quite a good way to end the evening.
Written by Gurpreet Singh Tikku
Editing and Images by Shashank Aggarwal
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Spice Kitchen – The Takeaway Express in Mumbai – A review by Mohaneesh Thapar

Situated near Western Express Freeway (Chembur) is Spice Kitchen. Owned by a young and enthusiastic chef Sanket Thakur, the take-away kitchen is churning up some real lip-smacking Indian & Oriental dishes. To begin with – the food section, we were fortunate enough to try 13 dishes in total (yes, that’s right). In Indian starters we had Chicken Rozeli Kebab, Rawas Fry, Malai Paneer Tikka & Chicken Chaklu Kebab – incredibly delicious. In Indian main course we had Nawabi Gosht Biryani (one of the best in town), Aagri Chicken, Kundan Kaliya, Asmani Korma with Lacha Parantha, Tandori Roti and Garlic Naan. Apart from Asmani Korma, all the other dishes impressed us thoroughly. Actually, Asmani Korma was neither a failure nor a success. But, as every dish had hit the right spot, we eventually developed a high level of expectation with this dish as well. 
Collage of Dishes we samples. Click to enlarge. 
Moving on to the Oriental section, in the starters we had Prawns Wantons with Gravy, Lemon Coriander Chicken and Crispy Chicken Hunan Style. All the three starters  which were completely different from each other in taste; got a thumbs up from us. In the Oriental main course, we had Malayasian Rice (with Fried Chicken and Gravy), which was also different from what you usually get elsewhere. Of course, food is the center of attention wherever we go but sometimes we also like to pay heed to the interiors and the ambience of the place. And in Spice Kitchen, despite it being a takeaway place, can accommodate 20 folks at a time with the interior being quiet minimalist sans any grandiosity. The service is quick with the staff well-versed with the menu and quite attentive as well. Last but not the least, the plus and minus of Spice Kitchen. 
Plus : Great food, friendly staff and reasonable pricing. 
Minus : Lack of sweet dishes, I think they should add atleast two sweet dishes to their nearly perfect menu. 
Written by Mohaneesh Thapar