The Oberoi Maidens Hotels – A Soothing Breakfast.

Spent a very relaxed Sunday morning at The Garden Terrace Restaurant of Oberoi Maidens Hotel (New Delhi) which is a Heritage Hotel in its 111 years now . Neither there is something exceptionally good about the food, nor the spread too lavish. Its a very small restaurant by modern standards (40 pax types),  which has a beautiful setting, the indoors being from colonial era while outdoors being a very soothing green. Overall its the old world & quaint charm of the property that attracts someone like me. 
However I found the food to be quite good and generally speaking not too many reasons to complain about if I am not being too demanding, a kind of place where you would want to have a relaxed conversation while soaking all the Shanti around  and have the luxury of all that good food at your disposal at the same time.
Barring couple of service issues, speaking the hospitality was upto the mark, courteous and were serving with a smile. The service issues we had I would attribute to peak hour and then we ourselves were 14 people who were there solely to eat and generally to make most of the buffet. Yes, it was an Eatlo Eatup after all. 
The buffet costed Rs.750 + taxes and had usual mix of Cereals, Juices, Cold Cuts, Cheeses, South Indian, North Indian, Breads, Donuts, Fruits, Eggs etc, not of the lavish side, however still offering great choices. 
Here are some pictures of food from this morning, mostly clicken by yours truly, some of them by fellow Eatlopian, Shivendu Mittal.

The Outdoor seating that I enjoy the most, heavily dependent on weather though. In picture fellow food lovers from Eatlo. 
The Spread, very functional, however still did not make me miss anything.
Tomato Idli with two types of chutney on top.
Scrambled Eggs
Chocochip Pancakes
Sausages – Closer look
Oh! we had some company..
A look from the Inside
Eggs Benedict – Off the menu, still served with smile, multiple times. 
Aloo Puri – If you an Indian Avoid, if you are a tourist do try them. 
Crispy Bacon and Chicken Sausages.
Pancakes were really nice, served with molten Butter  & maple Syrup
Mixed Parantha
Paneer Parantha – very nice when it came the first time, however second time kind of a disaster with extra salt and missing Methi leaves. 
Paper Dosa – sambhar was bland, chutneys were really nice. 
Paranthas from outside. 
Poached Eggs
Waffles, served with molten Butter & Maple Syrup.

The Lawn next to the outside seating area – With fellow foodies from Eatlo
Photo Credits : Shivendu Mittal
Photo Credits : Shivendu Mittal
Photo Credits : Shivendu Mittal

Photo Credits : Shivendu Mittal

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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

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
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?  
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

Indian Grill Room : A Perfect Mix – Review by Rajeev Gulati

Restaurant Visit – Indian Grill Room
Cuisine – Indian / Mughlai
Concept – Unlimited Kababs Service on table + Full Course Buffet
Location – Suncity Complex, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
Visit Date – 19/06/2013 (Dinner)
Yesterday evening, Me and one of my friend were on a Kabab hunt and had short-listed VEDA at Promenade Mall for our fill. We were disappointed to reach VEDA only to know that it has already closed operations around two months back. I insisted my friend to visit Indian Grill Room at Gurgaon. He was hesitant because of traveling another 22 kilometers in evening rush hour traffic but finally gave in to my choice. Our GPS showed us a distance of 22 Kms from Vasant Kunj with estimated travel time of 38 minutes. We were greeted with clear lanes in traffic and despite taking a wrong turn in Gurgaon, we managed to reach our destination in 40 minutes flat. 
Indian Grill Room is located on 3rd floor of Suncity Business Towers and gives you a soothing feel of openness because of its huge area and no frills decor. They also have an open terrace area which is open for A La Crate orders only. They also have a private dining room which is suitable for 10 to 14 persons and can be pre-booked.
The first thing which catches your attention is wide spread space between tables, comfortable Sofas & Chairs, chilled air-conditioning and a tempting wooden tray kept on your table filled with salad. Chutney (Green, Tamatar & Mango / Pineapple) and papad. Our dinner plates were spotless clean, large sized and warm. Quality of cutlery and glasses was above average.
We opted for their 6 Veg & 6 Non-Veg snacks (kababs) + full course buffet and were almost immediately served with Gosht Gilawat on a mini parantha. We didn’t touch the parantha and focused on the Gilawat, which was extra soft but a little over spiced with cinnamon. Other kababs were Noorani Seekh which was fusion of mutton seekh coated with chicken seekh – taste average. 
Rest was Parasi Tali Machhali, thin fillet of basa fish deep fried with thinly coated barter, again average because it’s not my kind of dish. Murg Tikka Kali Mirch could have been much better, had it been a bit more tender. We were served Chingari Jhinga (Fiery Prawns) which were fresh, juicy and flavorful. Also on offer was a South Indian kabab named Kozi Prichatu (Chicken) which was different from usual chicken tikka and was very good in taste. Also on offer was Chicken wings in Punjabi Masala, which we could not try.
We also tried few of Vegetarian Kababs in a ceremonial fashion. Tandoori Annanas ki chaat was very good, Fresh pineapple cooked with teekha masala in a tandoor. Masoor Daal ki Seekh was avoidable as it was below average. They also served Dahi Ke Soole, which was made with stuffing of hung curd and was a surprisingly refreshing dish from vegetarian’s point of view. There were also on offer, Subz Gilawat, Paneer Surkh Tawa Masala & Soya Achari Champ, which we could not even sample due to stomach space being on premium.
The salad counter had a complete chat-papari counter, a design your own raita set-up and other assorted salads. Main course consisted of Raara Murg, Mashmiri Maas Kofta, Doi Maach (Fish) in non-veg section and Makai Palak, Kashmiri Laal Paneer, Bharwan Tinda & Shimla Mirch (Live), Rajasthani Gatta Curry & Daal Makhani in Veg options. Also the chef had made a signature Biryani with Cabbage and some secret ingredients. Assorted breads were served on table. To tell the truth, we were so full with our kababs that we could not even taste all the dishes from main course but the dishes were looking fresh and tasted good as far as we sampled.
Moving on to the desserts counter, they offered Moong Daal Halwa, Ras Malai, Two varieties of Fruit Kulfi (Strawberry & Mango), Fresh Fruits (Live) and two flavors of Ice Cream (Paan & Butter Scotch). We only tried some fresh fruits with honey and Rabari topping (Excellent Combination), both flavors of Kulfi (Mango was Good but strawberry was below average) and two helpings of Paan Ice Cream, which was good.
Now the surprise element… we paid less than 900 per person for this entire spread. To be precise, Rs.899 per person all inclusive. More so, their lunch (Except Sunday) is priced at Rs.699 all inclusive (menu is short by one kabab each, in Veg & Non-Veg category but with a free soft drink)
All in all, would I recommend this place?? YES. Not because it’s out of the world food or anything alike. But because, It’s a near perfect mix of soothing ambiance, good quality & huge quantity of Food with attentive & precise service and that too, at a less than perfect price.
Written by Rajeev Gulati
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Hotel Park Plaza, Gurgaon – Buffet Review

Me and Shashank went for Dinner Buffet at Park Plaza Hotel in Gurgaon. The deal included 2 starters and IMFL drinks at an open roof Rest-O-Bar called Sky Lounge. You can get 2 small or one large peg, there are no swap options available in case you don’t drink and we never asked as well.
Sky Lounge
Each person can order one veg and one non-veg snack, so we ordered Lamb done in Chettinad Style, Maahi Seekh Kebab, Matar Tikki and Yam (Jimmiand) with Pineapple. The Jimmikand and Chettinad lamb stood out. Tikki was crisp and had the usual matar with flavors in it. The portions are small but good enough for one person and in our case good enough for two. We appreciated the ambiance at the sky lounge, it has a roof top pool so you get goodness of two in one.
Aloo Matar ki Tikki
Lamb done in Chettinad Style
Yam and Pineapple
Seekh Kebabs
The buffet is served in New Town Cafe on the ground floor, and there we were after the first round. We started with Salads and soups. The Tom yum chicken soup was well made and balanced while the Tomato Adraki Dhaniya Shorba was tasty.
In salads the surprise serving was Sausage with Corn Salad and Lamb with Green Beans. They had small Chickpea bowls with multiple types of condiments that one could add to suit personal taste or go experimenting. The tandoori style mixed salad was another novelty item, tasteful it was. We had apple with walnut in cream there, never had that before as well.
Apple in cream with Walnuts
Assorted Salads
Khimchi was not good at all
I started with Chicken in Green Curry Thai style, Fish in Red Curry Thai style, plain rice, grilled Aubergine with Mushroom. The Chicken in Green Curry was little bland considering my earlier experience with Green Sauce. The Fish in Red Curry was soul food, heavenly it was especially the tender, delicate and fresh Fish while the Red Curry had just the little tangy brush-off flavor. The grilled Aubergines with Mushroom were done to perfection and another deal maker. We ordered Spaghetti in Pesto sauce and Chicken Penne in Red Sauce from the live Pasta Counter. Both of them were cooked to perfection and a must order. Do ask them for fresh Garlic Bread which is very crunchy, and garlicy, superb it was. The Chicken Penne had Oregano flavoring added to it with Pepper seeds adding that zing to it, yum bum…:)
Penne with Chicken in Red Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce with vegetables
In the next round I went for chicken gravy indian style, fish in red Thai (again), malai paneer, Chinese cabbage and broccoli in cornflour style gravy and lamb biryani. Really loved the texture and the flavors of biryani while I was impressed with the crunch of Chinese cabbage and broccoli, my personal fav’s. The malai paneer was just as the name suggests soft and tender paneer in silky malai gravy which was cut above the rest. The dal makhani and mirch ka salam were done perfectly. The chicken gravy was not really there considering other super tasty items we have had so far. Time for deserts…:)
Dessert Counter
Bitter Chocolate Cake, Mocha and other desserts
Kiwi Cake, Phirni, Gulab Jamun with other desserts
We had Cherry n Vanilla Mousse, Walnut Pie with White Chocolate Sauce, Bitter Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce, Strawberry Mousse, Fruits in Custard, Kesar Kheer, Badam Phirni, Pistachio Baked Cheese Cake and Blueberry Baked Cheese Cake, Pineapple Gateaux, Kiwi Gateaux, Gulab Jamun, Fresh Fruits, a very unique item was a small vertical Croissant dipped in light sugar sauce on the outside with Lemon flavored whipped cream.
It was a very pleasant experience with nice ambiance and relaxed atmosphere especially what you need before manic Mondays. The meats and fish were fresh and so were the veggies. The staff was attentive and courteous, our dessert spoons were placed on the table while we were cherry picking the deserts…:). The deserts made it a VFM deal, super thumbs up and a must visit place.
Text by Kapil Bahl
Pictures and Editing by Shashank Aggarwal
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