April 13, 2011

Oh Calcutta, New Delhi…interesting and good bengali delicacies

They serve a buffet lunch here but being the gluttons that we were, we opted to create our own personalised buffet by choosing from the ala carte menu.

We picked bengali delicacies like Koshan Mangsho – pot roasted mutton with traditional spices in traditional style of calcutta. It was nice. The meat was slightly spicy and the very thick red gravy went well with the naan we were having. The mochar chop (banana flower croquettes) was also up to the mark. Daab Chingri (prawns cooked in tender coconut cream) featured large, succulent shrimps so fresh they almost seem to be swimming in the tender green coconut in which they are served. Magnificent. The (deshelled) crabmeat cooked in mango flavoured mustard gravy with young ginger is a good and memorable choice. What about the classical railway mutton curry? Well, the meat was nice but the curry was not flavourful enough. Must try my personal favourite, fish fry (fried fish calcutta style).

On the whole the restaurant has a good ambience and the food is good not great, but those who want Bengali cuisines would find it interesting. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

March 26, 2011

Punjab Grill, New Delhi…pretending to be a 5-star restaurant

This place pretends to be a 5-star restaurant. It is most definitely not!

We had the tandoori duck and fish curry. It’s average. Nothing much to write about. Perhaps the only thing worth mentioning is the grain and texture of the rice is very nice. Overall, it was relatively pricey as well.

The staff were attentive but they simply don’t understand the meaning of the word prompt. They were  awfully slow in serving the rice and bringing the bill. If it wasn’t for my constant reminders, by the time we received the bill and rice, we wouldn’t have been young anymore.

Do yourself a favour and eat elsewhere. This is the true truth as I still say it as it is…

January 18, 2010

Trishna, Mumbai…a rage among seafood-loving folks

Filed under: Food & Beverage, Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — PEr @ 8:37 am

Trishna, one of only a few exclusive seafood restaurants in Mumbai, continues to be a rage among the seafood-loving folks of the city.

The menu is typical of any sea food restaurant. A varied offering in Indian sea food across fish, crabs, lobster and squids. The squids cooked with butter, garlic and pepper were delicious. the pomfret with black pepper was superb. The king prawns tandoori was amazing. I’ve now run out of superlatives to describe the rawa fish.

It is a somewhat snobbish restaurant. Trishna isn’t about ambience (the seats and tables are packed together to create a seafood experience for the diners – sardines) – everyone is here for the food. 

I bet you’ve heard the groan-worthy pun that goes “I’m on a seafood diet … I see food and I eat it!” But, jokes aside, whatever food I see (on my table or those on the tables around me) in Trishna, I’d needed the help of my two colleagues and 20 wild horses to stop me from pouncing on them….that is the true truth. I only say it as it is.

January 17, 2010

The tipping point at The Grand New Delhi Hotel

It is customary to tip service providers at hotels in India. You can tip the bellman, the room service in-charge and the person who brings you food in the room. Giving Rs.20-50 is ideal. However, the staff of The Grand New Delhi Hotel take “asking for a tip” to a new art level.

I stayed in the hotel in Delhi for 2 nights with 4 other colleagues. We all had the same experience. The bloke who brings in your stuff to fill up your minibar (one wonders why they don’t fill it up BEFORE we checked in as is the practice of most hotels) keeps going on about “I have filled up your minibar,” “I have finished,” “I’ll be leaving” without moving a single muscle in his body to leave the room. Another colleague had a problem with his room key card and requested a housekeeping staff nearby to help him get into his room. Upon doing so, the housekeeping staff took three eternities to leave the room, while waiting for a you-know-what. Long story short, every encounter we had with a hotel staff in our room waas the same. We figured it must be some kind of effective training program the hotel put the staff through. They were so competent…waiting for their tips.

We are natural born tippers who wouldn’t hesitate to leave 10-15% for good services rendered. But for helping a guest get into his room when the key card didn’t work (it’s the hotel’s mistake) and filling up the minibar (when the minibar is supposed to have been filled)??? At the rate they were going, it made me wonder if I should start tipping my everyone who does anything for me, including my mother. Perhaps I should tip the postman for delivering my mails. Should I tip the guy who signs my paycheck?

Tipping aside, the hotel is a stunner. Great spacious lobby, a sprawling landscape, nice rooms with even nicer beds and a fantastic wonderful set of staff in the restaurant. They were so attentive, cheerful, accommodating. The chef and kitchen staff were great too. I’d requested a dosa (thosei) made in a way they are not accustomed to, but they produced it and did a fine job with it too.

Location wise, the hotel is located within a whisker of the DLF Promenade which houses designed boutiques like LV, Gucci, etc great food outlets like Zest, Smokehouse Deli, HRC, Italia  and leisure outlets like cinemas.

Stay at this hotel but don’t get pressured beyond the tipping point. This is certainly the true truth as I am still saying it as it is.

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