Kumar Samose Wala – The Samosa is not so humble anymore.

Ashish Tulsian : kaun kaun se samose hai bhaiya?
Kumar Samose Wala : ji Pizza Samosa, Chowmien samosa, Pasta Samosa hi hai abhi to. Aap kaunsa lenge?
Ashish Tulsian :Pasta waala de do bhaiya…
Kumar Samose Wala – red sauce or white sauce??
Ashish Tulsian : :O :O :O :O
Yup! that is how the conversation went. This guy is selling good old samosas with a twist or rather lot of twists. Some of thme unimaginable combos like Pizza samosa, Chowmien samosa, Soya keema Somaosa, Red sauce Pasta Samosa, White Sauce pasta Samosa, Chilly Paneer Samosa and what not, the list I am sure goes on and on. But then all of them varieties might not be available all the time, as they keep coming fresh and selling fresh. 
Have tried a few of them and can say that all of them are well made, one might appreciate the different flavors or not, but all are made with care. Which for me means that fillings are not stop gap arrangement, each filling has its unique flavor and stands out from other. Besides that they are very well fried and have an even shell around them, no haphazard job or quick fixes here. 

Pizaa Samosa – not sure why its called that, but not back at all.
Chowmien Samosa.
Red Sauce Pasta Samosa
And the best part is that the humble Aloo ka samosa is one of the best I have ever had. In all the sheen of fancy samosas, this all time classic has not lost its charm. Among all those western and oriental sauces, the the mix and flavor of spices in the Aloo samosa was captivating enough to capture all my senses. And honestly, they gained a lot of respect by doing this one right
Aloo Samosa – Loved it.
Cost varies from Rs.10 -20 per piece depending on the type. Like the aloo was for Rs.10 and pizza one was Rs. 15. The paneer ones ought to be pricier. 
Location : Impossible for me to explain, however find Milan Cinema in New Moti Nagar / Karam Pura area and then ask around for Kumar Samose Waala. The shop is a non-descript one in residential area. You are in 500 meters radius and asking around would lead you there for sure. Well known name out there. Or you might check google maps, it is marked there by name of Kumar Samose Wala. 
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Mia Bella, Hauz Khas Village – Tax Theft and Overcharging – by Rajeev Gulati

Restaurant – Mia Bella
Location – Hauz Khas Village
Event – Evening Party on 27th March
Issue – Excess Charge and No Pakka (Proper) Bill

I booked for a Birthday evening get together at Mia Bella Restaurant for 27th March for my Son on recommendation of a known friend of their marketing consultant Mr.Virat Chhabra. I was quoted an all inclusive price of Rs.1500 per person including premium liquor and few snacks. I made it clear that I would settle the bill against cash. I asked for some further discount for which I was told that they cannot give any further discount as they’ve to pay around 25% taxes (around Rs.300 per person) from this all inclusive price and all they’re actually getting is Rs.1200 per person.

Now I’m not going in to details about their food & service quality as that’s another issue. My son was presented with a kachha bill on a paper slip and was charged @ Rs.1700 instead of quoted price of Rs.1500 per person. He had complete trust on the restaurant as entrusted by me and paid the bill with additional suitable TIP.

As he reached home, I immediately called Mr.Virat Chhabra that we’ve not only been charged excess amount of Rs.200 per person but that too without proper bill which results in additional taxes of Rs.300 per person thus making them a benefit of Rs.500 per person totalling to Rs.7500 for 15 person. He assured me that he’ll get it sorted soon. I also sent him scanned copy of kachha bill.


Scanned copy of the Kacha Bill
Ever since then, I sent him many messages but he did nothing. Later he ducked the responsibility towards Mr.Anuj Kumar saying that he’s the owner and he would settle the matter. I talked to him and messaged him. He too assured to resolve but nothing happened despite 2 months have passed.

Their response and behavior is disgusting and I feel dejected because of my own trust. Despite charging extra and saving (avoiding) taxes, they’re thick skinned in responding and resolving a erroneous billing favoring them.

What do you suggest I should do ???

My Humble Suggestion…. If you must go to Mia Bella, please double check your bill. If you’re making a party commitment, take it in proper writing from them.

Better, AVOID it altogether !!!

Written by Rajeev Gulati

Uzuri – Deck and Dining, GK2 – International, Very International

Sometimes I wonder in what direction is the food scene of Delhi evolving. There are more restaurants opening in Delhi than ever before, however what I feel a severe lack of is the variety of cuisines. Every third restaurant is selling ‘Italian’ pizza and pasta, while the fourth one would claim to be Mediterranean with Pita, falafel and hummus. If you are wondering what happened to the first and second one, then first one would be your Indian food joint, being Delhi mostly North Indian and the second one is the one who has no clue what he is selling, they just do everything they can find names of.

The Chicken Bacon Burger you would read more about later.

However one look at the menu of Uzuri Deck & Dining, and you know that you are not in for the usual, a menu which they claim is inspired by modern European Cuisine. A menu that was good enough to excite the imagination and taste buds of any inquisitive food lover like me. Inquisitive because most of it I did not understand, however tempted enough to make an effort and give it a chance. 

The evening started with ordering the cocktails, which again were ordered because there were drinks on the menu that stood out, and somehow promised to be something different than the usual fare that we get. Exotic names & exotic ingredients listed in the menu sure made us hope that we would be served something unusual and we were not disappointed at all. We ended up ordering 4 different cocktails and all of them were every well made, they definitely have a good man at the helm of things on their bar.

The first drink we ordered was called ‘Rafiki’ which as per the menu comprised of Cognac, Creme de mure liqueur (basically Blackberyy flavored Liqueur) , Blackberries & lemon along with with some soda and sugar.  It was a very refreshing drink and loved the pulp of the fruit that adds to the fresh feeling.

Rafiki

The second one being ‘Kitamu’ which had Blackcurrant Vodka, Blackcurrant Liqueur (Creme de Cassis), fresh muddle grapes and all of them were strained together in a Martini Glass. 

Kitamu

The most refreshing drink of the evening for me was the Kiwi Cucumber Freeze. Kiwi and Cucumber blended to perfection with ice, served in a glass rimmed with sugar power. Not too sweet, very refreshing. 

Cucsumber Kiwi Freeze

The fourth one being a sparking wine based drink, but this time I had an overload of cocktails and was not really able to discern was was going in my mouth. But then I remember finishing it off for sure, as confused as my palette was, it was still enjoying what it was having. 

The sparkling wine cocktail I am forgetting the name of. 

I guess I got so excited about the cocktails (as usual) that I forgot to mention the bread basket which was served to us. The basket itself was a bread, yup, the basket was made of edible bread and had assorted breads which were served along with butter in two flavors, pesto and paprika along with a small portion of Spicy Salsa. Both pesto and paprika were blended very well in the butter and added a very interesting twist to it, while we choose to ignore salsa after trying ti with couple of bites, was not appreciated by me or my dining partner. 

Bread Basket, with edible basket. 
Pestro Buuter, Spicy Salsa & Paprika Butter

Coming to the food I really like places which can showcase their entire menu on one page, less confusion for the diner and more focus for the chef and kitchen. So technically speaking, it should translate into a better dining experience. But since everything on the menu seemed exotic to me and we had the luxury of Chef Rishim Sachdeva attending to us, we left it to Chef to pamper out taste bud. 


We were served with an Appetizer and a salad. The appetizer was a combo of Salmon Cakes which were served with a slaw made of fennel and kohlrabi which again are as exotic as they come for me. A bit of chilli mayo for the sauce and then a sprinkling of roasted pumpkin seeds. The cakes were like delicate kebabs in texture, however the highlight of the dish was the slaw and the seeds which added lot of texture and flavor to them cakes. The menu classifies it under Sea category, however I would not order it if I was looking for seafood flavors, but as a standalone dish its something I would love to have again. That reminds me, salmon is not exactly a sea fish, but its more of a fresh water breed.

Salmon Cakes

I am not much of a salad person, however the one that was served to us was like the best salad that I have ever eaten. It was loaded with Puy lentils (french dal) which were poached in red wine, had lot of hazelnuts in it and feta amongst various things, which is like my most favorite type of cheese. very Crunchy, very robust, right up my alley. 

Puy and hazelnut and feta Salad
Keeping the dining preferences of my vegetarian partner in mind, chef next served us Crosstini which had three pieces and all three came with different toppings. One was Mushroom with feta, second being roasted peppers and third had tomatoes and another vegetable glazed in pesto sauce and have a brilliant flavor. Out of the three I did not like the roasted pepper one, the mushroom and feta was best for me but then i would also attribute that to my love for feta in general. The bread again was very fresh and done very nicely.

Crostini

Despite me asking for a light meal, chef ended up recommending a Chicken burger with some bacon in it and the brave front I was putting up resisting good food just crumbled. The burger was simply called Chicken and Bacon burger, and I loved it and how. Though I have not tried many high end burgers and cannot really compare, however this one was juicy like hell and was impossible to eat it without making a mess. I really liked that the carbs (bread) in it were way lesser than the proteins (meats, vegetables etc) as that allows the flavors to really come through. And finishing the burger literally sent me in a food coma, but then isn’t that the hallmark of gluttonously, unashamedly  good food? 😛

Though I am a very dessert person, and for me that is generally the best part of the meal, specially at fine international places where they do something other than what we are used to eating at usual restaurants for desserts, however after that burger I decided to let guilt rule my mind and restrain my sweet-tooth to sharing just one with my dining partner. And that one dessert was a Chocolate Parfait, which managed to make me fall in love with it like a starry eyed lover who gives all his heart and soul on the first date itself. Light in texture, nuts adding to the crunch and bite, it just managed to hit the right spot. I am coming back for you sweetheart.

Chocolate Parfait
Chocolate Parfait – Inside

Talking about ambiance and feel of the place, its very classy and international, however in its current avatar I would prefer to dine / chill / drink at their upper level or on the open air deck.Would not comment about the service we were their to discuss some event and was with the owners, however generally speaking the staff seemed very courteous and hospitable.

Looking at the menu and prices, it does not seem overly expensive for the kind of food they are serving. Cheap by no measure, however its the kind of food that would end up in higher zone and comparatively they are not really over the top.

I am sure that I would end up making more visits to this restaurant, as while writing this post as well I referred to the menu a few times, and every-time I looked at it, I found something new that I need to try. Not sure if I would appreciate the all the flavors, but I am certain that I would not have to complain about the quality.

Uzuri Deck & Dining
M-Block Market, Greater Kailash 2
New Delhi

Dudefood, Satya Niketan – A review by Varun Chaudhary

It was a few days ago I read a user rant about how the FED days were so good and now its all commercial, well not for anything else – I thank him for this blog’s inspiration. For all wondering, how – I joined the FB group FED randomly, went for a food raid at American Diner – met a few people (most of them are on my FB friends list now) and have also contributed through some blogs and occasional posts. So to revive the FED goodness, and to salute the spirit – Happyness is Eatlo. I decided what better way than to revisit the past habits and write a blog J
Okay, enough of history rambling.  Now to present rambling, one of my colleagues – who is excellent cook and who lives for food – as most of us, Eatlo members – told me about this new place at Satyaniketan. Then after reading some reviews, I got inspired enough to visit Satyaniketan, particularly for DUDEFOOD.
Dude food from outside
Once a nondescript market, Satyaniketan, has now seen a metamorphosis of sorts.  My last visit to this market was when someone took me to a joint bang opposite Sri Venkateswara College – operating from a mezzanine floor of a PG(paying guest accommodation) serving 20 types of Maggie noodles variations. From what I ate then, left such an impression that it took me almost five years to visit this area again.
Me and the life-partner in crime (my wife) went to DudeFood for the second time in two weeks.  The first time around it was a quick visit and we were fairly full from the tandoori momos we ate at QDs – which were the most pathetic food item I’ve eaten in a while.  Truly bad, and I don’t say bad for food so easily. First bad part, they were cold – like the first batch of pre-steamed and not steamed before serving cold. Second, the chicken momos filling was not of chicken but soya – you need not be a genius to tell the difference and the icing on the cake (here momos) the tandoori paste on top is nothing but orange color with a hint of ajwain flavoring and some salt.
Nachos
Moving on to the agenda of the visit – DudeFood, what is this place all about  – big serving sizes teamed with decent pricing. Sample this, where in South Delhi can you get a quarter plate sized mountain of freshly fried corn tortillas topped with layers of mozzarella cheese, some liquid cheese, boiled kidney beans (rajma not tomato sauce breakfast variety), onions, tomatoes, capsicum and some mild sauces for hold your… lets say pockets… Rs75, total after Sarkaar’s kharcha paani – Rs88.59. Not impressed yet, okay, lets add chicken chunks too for … Rs10 (Rs11.81), and note the fact on freshly fried nachos. The chips taste very similar to the pakwaan of dal pakwaan in Sindhi food.  And yes, do ask for the salsa sauce, our server forgot this and got it just in time before we polished off the entire lot.
Along with the awesome pricing, the place is done up very well. A break from the classic movie posters or feedback sticky notes – the walls feature funny art and a big wooden bike (decorative size big, not drivable size) adoring the wall as you enter through the sliding door (be careful if the door is shut, do not try to pull it in or out). The single wire for each hanging bulbs and the almost reflective mirror with partial view of the kitchen and yes the BIG factor (especially for this market) – they have a restroom. Apparently, there are not many places with restrooms – infact we were told only PHD (Pizza Hut delivery) is the only other pee or poo option. Another interesting fact, the whole market area is a free parking zone – unless the traffic cops otherwise instruct (this does happen on some odd days).
The wall
The roof
Okay, what else made the cut for DudeFood – Vietnamese french fries, as cosmopolitan and international the dish may sound it’s a simple yet good version of french fries topped with cheese.  DudeFood has a variety of cheesy fries, the Vietnamese version was recommended by our server.  It was topped with spicy chilli mayo sauce and cheese, and yet again the quantity was impressive. It tasted fine for the first few pickings, but it got cold very soon and oil taste started dominating.  So a word of caution – ask the server to make sure they make a fresh batch of french fries or make sure they are hot enough for the best taste till the end.  The pricing for most of these variations are again very decent, Rs125 – with chicken chunks Rs145.
Vietnamese French Fries
DudeFood also has a long list of sandwiches, almost two pages of vegetarian and non-vegetarian listings. You can choose your bed, I mean bread type from jumbo white / jumbo brown / baguette (the footlong type) / pita (the kulcha type). I choose one of the cheapest and simplest version, chicken & mayo sandwich. If you like your sandwich grilled (I do) then that comes for an extra cost of Rs15.
Four fairly decent sized double breaded pieces arrived with some cheesy dip. For the price I paid for the sandwich, it was good. Taste – not the best, not the worst ever eaten. I guess the over usage of mayo killed it a bit. But yes, for a student – whose metabolism is faster than Shatabdi and loves extra of everything – this will hit the spot on any given day for the after lecture treat. How much you guessing (since I said cheapest) Rs65+ Rs15.
Moving to sort of mains, yes we were still hanging around ‘hors d’oeuvres’ – bhai matlab, snacks J
We ordered a Mama Rossa pasta and Dude lamb burger, on the recommendation of our smiley server. He was also recommending a Dark Knight burger, which is a BLACK burger. Now that would intrigue anyone, so on asking we were (not) told why its black – ‘its our secret’ was the reply.  The classified info remained intact.
Pasta (Rs125), penne with mixed sauce (red& white walon ki baat hi kuchh aur hoti hai – if you understood this, then you were definitely watching TV in the early 90s) version with added chicken (Rs50). Now two things here, one I’m spoilt by Big Chill, Kafiaa and similar pasta kitchens which hooked the punjabee in me to the gravier pastas and second my heart breaks when I see just one garlic bread piece along with a plate full of pasta. But here couldn’t complain much, for the money charged one slice was justified (kahin toh cost cutting karengey na, boss).
Mama Rossa Pasta
Now, the pasta was not fully boiled and hence was very chewy so was the chicken – which was neither grilled, smoked or roasted. With pasta and chicken being flavourless items in themselves and then without being tossed in the sauces for the goodness to soak in – Elvis left the building – in this case, killed the goodness of the mix of sauces, which by itself was good to dunk in the single garlic toast.
Now for the ‘claimed’ pièce de résistance, dude lamb burger. Okay, imagine two fairly soft buns packed with two big a$$ sized lamb patties, smoked bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese – this will make anyone drool. Well for this one, stop the imagination just at that moment.  Why?
Well, the patties otherwise nice and flavorsome but sadly were done ‘rare’.  And one bite, I knew something has gone wrong. I ate one half of the burger (they cut it into two pieces and add a big toothpick, which is a blessing from messing it up) and couldn’t go further. 
Dude Lamb Burger
The server noticed it, and asked if I didn’t like it, and I told him that the patty was not well done and he offered to change. Here I told him since I’ve eaten half, its not fair but I requested him if he can just put it on the griddle for a minute – hoping it will help.  Sadly, it didn’t.  So, I chose the saving grace option, opened the burger, peeled the bacon strip with some cheese and devoured it. That was a good feeling to end the meal with. The burger also came with wedges, which were A+ class – I even suspected a hint of cinnamon on those.  They can be ordered as an extra side on any given day – that good.
Then I wondered, what could be the reason for something I read such good reviews about, turning out to be so wrong. Was it because I choose mine without fried egg? or Was it because it was a Monday (Delhi restaurants and cafes are usually very low on business on Mondays – notice it, next time)? or was it because we were the only ones present then? So after all the permutations and combinations I concluded on this:
DudeFood is eager to serve, now that is a good thing on service standards.  But to keep with pace I believe they keep the food half done before – so it gets dry or chewy – or they simply have been told by the owners to whip it fast – like factory line fast: one burger = one minute, else no beers n bitches for tonight J
The beverages, again there is a long list to choose – from smoothies, shakes, cold coffees, iced teas, hot  beverages and even flavoured lassis.  We played safe here with fresh lime soda and mint mojito. Good!  A bit sweet, but again – perfect for the days when I was sweating it out at the basketball courts of my college – ahhhhhhhh, those were the days of guilt-free gluttony.   
We were done enough with no space for desserts. But they were tempting enough, particular intriguing were fried mars chocolate bar and another one was ice cream with caramalised bacon strips.  I’m the kind who would make a face at the mention of meat as sweet, but then I will go back for this one – definitely.
Like I just said, yes – I will go back. Even after a mixed bag, this place deserves a visit on the sheer benefit of the 16+ page menu, so there is still lots to go before the towel can be thrown in and for the fact that after so much stuffing we still walked out with a bill under 750. Please note, the chicken sandwich and the cheesy fries not part of this bill – those are from our previous visit.

Bill 
We headed out with a smile and thank you, received a Big smile and a loud thank you in return. 
On our way home, stopped by at the newly opened Starbucks store at Lajpat Nagar – right next to Big Apple (I find Big Apple as a name for a grocery store cum veggie market – very funny). This Starbucks outlet is a big one with two floors and has ‘free’ international coffee tasting sessions J. The store also deserves a special mention for the paintings on the walls – superb! 
Written by Varun Chaudhary