Tag Archives: brunch

Magique (Garden of Five Senses) 7/10

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Tucked away in the middle of the Garden of Five Senses, is this gem of a restaurant. Magique ranks up there with Lodi Restaurant and Thai High in terms of ambience. Additionally, where it scores over many of the other high-end establishments in Delhi is the quality of food. One cant really categorise the cuisine into any particular type. The chefs have been creative (and adventurous) enough to do a kind of mix and match between cuisines. So be prepared for a continental style pasta with a lemon grass flavour!

However, be prepared to shell out quite a bit. Magique is not what you’d call a reasonable restaurant. For example- a full meal, which included two starters, two mains, a glass of wine and a cup of tea set us back by 4K plus! So, make sure you have full pockets before you get there.

We started with the Bali inspired sushi- involving search chicken and crab maki rolls and a platter of grilled skewers which had a selection of chicken, lamb and fish. While the sushi was up to par, we found that the fish (salmon) was simply out of this world. Next time, I intend to tell them to hold the chicken and the lamb- and just get us the fish.

For the mains, we chose the grilled halibut and the tenderloin in green peppercorn sauce. The tenderloin was up to par- medium rare, as requested and the green peppercorn sauce was spicy enough to offset the tannin provided by the Chilean merlot I had on the side. The grilled halibut however, was a bit of a let down- it could have possibly been seasoned a little more- the seafood pungency had remained in the fish.

The portions are just right. At the end of one starter and one main each, both fellow foodie Rukmini and me were stuffed to the gills. Hence it didnt make sense for dessert. As an aside, I have been to Magique before- do try the grilled sausages (but ask before you order them- they usually dont have all three varieties at the same time) and the stir fried chicken. Diners of the vegetarian variety should try the Stir fried shitake, oyster and cloud ear  mushrooms. But like I said- its expensive.

Top Tips:

  • You wont need a reservation
  • Try going when the weather is nice- possibly during the cooler months for a sit-out lunch
  • They do have valet parking
  • The wine list is impressive!
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 9
Ease of access 5
Service 8
Quality of food 8
Value for money 4
Would I go back there? As many times as my credit card allows
Meal for two Rs 3500 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted
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Cafe Delhi Heights (Galleria, Gurgaon) 7.7/10

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After having dined Delhi Heights thrice in the last month or so, I’m happy to say that this is one gem of a place, which is yet mostly unknown, except for residents of the area. Diagonally opposite Galleria market- next to the Looks salon, there’s plenty of parking space and none of the crowds that have become the bane of Galleria. Also, Galleria needed a slightly classy eatery as opposed to the ubiquitous chaat wala.

Look for Enrique- a most helpful chap. Of course, we found the entire staff to be polite and courteous (even the DJ, who very kindly turned down the music at our request), but Enrique clearly stands out. The menu, while slightly confusing, shows you that these guys can pretty much deliver most kinds of cuisines and its fun watching the chefs in action in the open kitchen.

Try the Asahi beer. Even if the waiter doesnt mention it, they usually have a few bottles stashed away. This Japanese beer is a good accompaniment to most kinds of cuisine. Upon Enrique’s recommendation, we tried the galouti kebab- amidst much trepidation, I might add. I strongly believe that super-specialty food (such as a kebab from a specific location in UP) is best left to specialty restaurants. However, I am happy to report that the galouti kebab at Delhi Heights does live up to its recommendation. The skin is slightly crispy, offering the slightest resistance before the fork breaks through into this perfectly minced and marinated meat. While its not exactly melt-in-your-mouth (which is the realm of Al-Bake in New Friends Colony), the kebab is a viable option as a starter. You could also try the mezze platter which includes their own twist- a beetroot paste!

Onto the main course, the standout dish of choice is the singapore laksa- the Singaporean twist to the Burmese khao swey. You could also try the tenderloin- one of the few places in the NCR where I would recommend a steak. The juicy lucy burger is also an option. However, stay away from the schnitzel- the chefs could do well to slice the lamb less thinly so that there’s more meat and less crumb. You could also give the pizzas a miss. But do try the tiramisu!

 

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 8
Ease of access 7
Service 9
Quality of food 8
Value for money 6
Would I go back there? Absolutely!
Meal for two INR 1500 + taxes (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Top Tips:

  • Try having breakfast here- interesting menu for the mornings
  • The decor is fairly minimal, but do check out the mini-TVs for each booth and the no smoking sign that starts with a large SEX!!! on top

 


 

 

 

 

 

All American Diner (India Habitat Centre) 6.8/10

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The old favourite, the safe haven for brunch seekers, the dependable All American Diner at the India Habitat Centre is usually packed to capacity on most weekends. To add to that trouble, they dont take reservations. Getting a table at around 10 am at the AAD is about as difficult as swimming through honey while your hands and feet are tied.

So you get a stool at the bar and you place your order. The food is dependable. You know what to expect. My favourite happens to be the Sunrise Skillet along with the Peanut Butter Malt. The Sunrise Skillet is an all-sorts mix of eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes and cheese while the Peanut Butter Malt is- simply put- an orgasm in a glass. If however, you happen to be not partial to peanut butter in general, there are a number of other malts and shakes- ranging from fruit-based to chocolate to coffee. The Belgian Waffle Combo is also highly recommended.

Eventually, you may get a table and be served there. Of course, you may not get a table at all- in which case you get to suffer the ignominy  of eating at the bar.  If however, you manage to get there post noon, the breakfast menu is no longer available and as a consequence, you’re more likely to get a table.

On the lunch and dinner menu- the Buffalo Wings, the Surf ‘n Turf and the Fusilli with Chicken & Veggies could possibly end up on your table and you wouldnt be disappointed. However, stay away from the Chicken Pot Pie.

There’s an interesting semi-buffet as well for the starving masses on a Sunday morning after a Saturday night out on the town. You pay Rs 445 plus taxes and you get to have whatever you want on the breakfast menu. Yes, whatever you want AND in whatever quantities you want. Obviously, you cant be sharing that. But its a good option for those pigging out sessions.

As a breakfast/ brunch place, the AAD has few comparisons. In recent times, in order to keep up with the ever increasing fan base, they now have tables outside, on the lawn, which on a cool morning- is a fairly awesome place to have breakfast/ brunch. Overall however, they could do with a little more hygiene- having spotted cockroaches in the diner a couple of times.

Ratings Scale (on 10)
Ambience 8
Ease of access 8
Service 4
Quality of food 8
Value for money 6
Would I go back there? About once in six months
Meal for two INR 1000 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Top Tips

  • Check out the wide variety of Americana on display- from old Coke poster ads to a jukebox!
  • Alcohol is served from 11 am onwards. A beer with breakfast anyone?
  • Try pairing a brunch at the AAD preceded by a walk in Lodhi Gardens (right opposite to the IHC) and followed by a tour of whatever art show that’s on at IHC. Cant think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday.
  • Forget about calories- just this time 🙂

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News Cafe (Vasant Kunj) 6.2/10

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Fancy a Sunday brunch anyone? We did. And tired as we were of the usual haunts of IHC and the like, News Cafe in the DLF Promenande Mall, Vasant Kunj was a likely choice. Having dined there a couple of times before, we knew to expect decent food.

However, what we didnt expect was that the restaurant was on the verge of shutting down. In fact, we are told that the restaurant did shut down for a couple of weeks (?)- possibly because of lease rent issues. Anyway, that’s besides the point- just call in advance to check if they’re open.

As a group of eight, we managed to plough through quite a cross section on the fare available. Note that I mention the ‘fare available’ and not the menu. Just as not all that glitters is gold, not all that is mentioned on the menu is available. For example, in the traditional breakfast, the sausages weren’t available. You couldn’t order a hot drink, or any drink that used to be hot, but now cold (e.g cold coffee or iced tea). However, the restaurant waiters were nice enough to run down to the la marche nearby and get us fresh sausages.

While the bacon and cheese burger was large and wholesome, the burger buns left much to be desired. By the time I had finished the burger, the buns were falling apart into crumbs- rendering the whole concept of a burger as completely irrelevant. The steak and eggs, was a different story altogether. The steak wasn’t tenderised enough prior to cooking- and when you serve a steak dish without steak knives (apparently they don’t have steak knives), that doesn’t help either. The fish fingers were too thin and didnt have enough fish in them. Although, the tartar sauce served with the fish fingers left everyone wanting more.

On the flip side, the salads are wonderfully fresh and well seasoned. The same goes for the eggs benedict. And while the tiramisu was wonderfully light and fluffy, the cake in the ganache was stale- atleast 2 days old.

Apart from that, the food is acceptable, the waiters are really sweet (the chefs might be a little slow, though) and the location is excellent.

Ratings Scale (on 10)
Ambience 8
Ease of access 8
Service 6
Quality of food 5
Value for money 5
Would I go back there? Maybe- if stretched
Meal for two INR 1800 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Top Tips

  • The pièce de résistance really is the location. On the 3rd floor of the DLF Promenade Mall, it has a seated balcony overlooking Nelson Mandela Marg which, on a sunny winter morning would be an awesome place to have brunch.
  • Try their ‘habanero’ sauce. Has a ‘hot’ rating of 10/10 and a Scoville rating of 100,000–350,000! And keep a glass of water handy.
  • Ask for Vijay Yadav- one of the funnest waiters ever. Our meal at News Cafe would have been a lot less enjoyable if it hadnt been for him.
  • A wonderful alternative to the overpriced Smokehouse Deli on the ground floor and the overrated TGIF next door.