Hyderabadi Food Festival

Hyderabad is known as the land of Nizam’s and Nawabs so the cuisine would be no less than a feast. I went to Grand Barbecue to taste their Hyderabadi Food Festival menu.

The menu was lavish and there were more than 30 dishes and every section had something for everyone’s’ taste.

I started with salads where there was a mix of green salads to Indian to middle eastern options. I liked the spread of the section and the tasted was good too.

Next up were the starters and soup. The starters were served on the table. The served the Chaat Platter first which has Gol Gappe, Dahi Puri, Dahi Bhalla & Papdi Chaat and I loved all of them so the chaat gets a big thumbs up from me.

 

 

Next up were the hot starters. First, they served Pav Bhaji which was served hot but personally is not a big Pav Bhaji fan. Followed by this they served veg and non-veg starters. My favourites were the Dahi Kebab, Kurkure Fries and Chicken Hyderabadi & Shami Kebab.

 

 

Followed by the appetizers were the lice grill which was placed on our table. All the vegetarian and non-vegetarian skewers were placed on the grill. My favourites were the Mutton Seekh Kebab, Paneer Tikka, Broccoli Cauliflower Kebab, Pineapple Watermelon Skewer and Fish Tikka.

 

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After the starters, I tried the main course dishes. They had a variety of veg and non-veg mains. My favourites were Khatti Daal, Hyderabadi Gosht, Mirchi Ka Salan, Baghara Baingan.

 

 

 

I loved the Rooh Afza drink so much that had 3 glasses of it. My son loved the Salt Lassi too.

 

The service was on point and Milan was serving us with a smile.

 

Taste: 4/5

 

Ambience/Decor: 3/5

 

Service: 5/5

 

Value for Money: 5/5

 

 

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Mama Mia

I was recently invited for lunch at La Vigna which serves authentic Italian Cuisine. La Vigna is located in Century Village in Garhoud and has been a popular place to go out with friends and family.

The interiors had a rustic look with glimpses of a traditional family run restaurant.

We were welcomed with a bread basket served with Olive Oil & Balsamic. The breads were fresh and soft and the garlic bread was crisp to my liking.

I then got my Virgin Strawberry Mojito which looked so pretty and tasted even better.

For Appetizers we order a variety of dishes with the Bruschetta being my favorite.

1.Caprese – This is the only salad I like in this cuisine because i like the combination of Buffalo Mozzarella cheese & Cherry tomatoes. The buratta had the right texture but i wasnt a big fan of the flavor.

2.Bruschetta – This was my favorite starter because the bread to topping balance was perfect. The bread was not too hard or too soft and the tomatoes and olives were seasoned very well.

3.Frittura Mista con Insalata Verde – Crispy Calamari and Prawns are everyones’ preferred starter along with some refreshing mocktails. I liked the fact the the batter had the right consistency and the seafood was cooked properly.

MAINS

1.A La Vigna – I ordered this with Tagliatelle Pasta and added Prawns to it. The pasta was served with Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes , Vegetarian Porcine and drizzled with Truffle Oil. I was sold at Truffle Oil because I love the flavor and the entire dish was balanced.

2.Petto di Pollo alla Pizzaiola – This was an entree with grilled chicken breasts served with seasoned tomato sauce topped with olives and chilli. These were served with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes.

3.Diavola – I love freshly baked pizzas and this was one of them. The base was made on order with ingredients like beef salami, tomato sauce, spicy dried chilli & mozzarella cheese.

I liked the fact that the table i was sitting on had 1 server who was just serving us. He was prompt and made sure the food is served on time.

Offers : 1+1 on Main Course on Entertainer

Taste: 4/5

Ambience/Decor: 4/5

Service : 5/5

Value for Money: 4/5

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Marwari Food Experience

I was recently invited to try the new menu at Sagar Ratna JLT. It is a pure vegetarian joint serving Marwari Cuisine. Marwar region is located in the west of India and the cuisine is represented by the people with a lot of pride and passion which I witnessed during the tasting.

We started our meal with a soup followed by starters, mains and finally desserts.

Raab Shorba was the unique soup which was served to us. It had a kadhi flavour in it and the best part was that the spices were not overwhelming which is something critical for me.

APPETIZERS

1.Chaap Imli Tikka– I am a big fan on Soya in chop form. Coming from northern part of india, soy chops have become a very popular street food in the past few years.

2.Pyaaz Kachori – This was my favorite dish of the entire tasting. I love kachori and if its stuffed with potatoes and/or onions that i am sold.

3.Ulta Pulta Mushroom – This was their version of stuffed mushroom. The mushrooms were sliced and served with a masala in between along wth crumbs of papad which was very creative.

4.Ghewar Chaat – This was my second favorite dish because this was my first experience of trying a savory Ghevar Dish. The ghevar was crispy and the chaat had the perfect spice balance.

MAINS

1.Danger Paneer Tikka Masala – This is a loved dish not only in India but across the globe & it can never go wrong which was the case here too.

2.Gulab Jamoon ki Sabzi – This was the first time I have tried Savory Gulab Jamun dish. It was served with unsweetened Gulab Jamun dumplings in a cashew based gravy which was an interesting combination.

3.Papad Methi Dana – I personally love papad based dishes and I also like Methi so this was a win win dish for mw.

4.Dal Makhani – Everyone loves Daal Makhani and I do too. But I some favorites and have my standard set on them. This one was well balanced but not as good as the ones I like.

5.Jodhpuri Kabuli- This was a vegetarian version of Kabuli Pulao from Jodhpur. I frankly wasn’t a big fan of it but otherwise i liked the concept.

The breads were fresh and soft and I personally loved the Jadibuti Naan.

The service was prompt and the owners were explaining the concept of each and every dish personally which made it even better.

Offers : 15% off on your first Zomato order

Taste : 3.5/5

Ambience/Decor : 3/5

Service : 4/5

Value for Money : 4/5

 

 

 

 

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Venice in Dubai

Venice is one of the popular romantic destinations of the world. And Casa Da Venice was started by a husband out of love for his wife who could not make it to Venice for their honeymoon. This restaurant was made out of pure love and passion and I am a sucker for such love stories. I was invited by them to try out their menu which FYI is purely vegetarian.

I was so impressed by their creativity and authentic flavor of the food. They had an extensive menu with some vegan and gluten free options too.

FRUTA MENTA MELONE

First up , I tried their mocktail called FRUTA MENTA MELONE which was served it a bulb shaped glass with a straw. As the name says it was a watermelon based drink with hints of citrus fruits and some fresh mint. I loved both the flavour and the concept of the dish.

BRUSCHETTA

I enjoy trying bruschetta with different kinds of toppings. Here the bread was rubbed with some garlic and then served with a topping of fresh tomatoes, olive oil and oregano. I liked the freshness of tomatoes and herbs but I feel the bread was a little hard whereas mostly bruschetta are served on softer bread.

FONDUE CON PAPRIKA

Fondues in savory foods is getting some popularity lately but I have never enjoyed a cheese fondue till I tried this one. The best part about this was that it was properly seasoned which is very important for me and it wasnt just some melted overpowering cheese served to us. If you ever go here do order this and trust me u will want more. It was unlike any random plasticky tasting cheese dips/fondues at other places.

NAPLES PIZZA

This was a refreshing change from all the meaty pizzas i have been eating lately. The pizza dough was made on order with fresh homemade tomato sauce (tomatoes imported from Italy I was told) topped with onions, capsicums, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapenos and chilli oil. The pizza was served right out of the oven with melted mozzarella on top.

NERO PASTA

This was their take in the currently popular edible Charcoal based foods. This was the first time I tried a savory charcoal dish. I couldn’t eat much because of my dietary restriction but i can guarantee it was worth trying.

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

I am not a big fan of this dish personally but this was my favorite that evening. After trying out the vegetarian version with soya mince I can confidently say that I can never like the non veg version with beef/chicken/lamb mince anymore. The Spicy Tomato tomato sauce with the soya mince, cheese, onion and basil was the perfect combination for me.

MONA LISA PASTA

This was a creamy sauce pasta with penne along with broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, chilli pepper and parmesan.

After tasting so many well prepared dishes, I was looking forward to the dessert hoping I could eat it (hoping its lactose intolerance friendly).

LOTUS KILLER

It was one of the few desserts i could eat and actually enjoyed. The base was lotus cake topped with lotus iced cream. It was served with a lotus biscuit and a salted caramel sheet. I loved the lotus cake because it wasn’t too sweet and tasted very good.

The service was on point with the owner personally looking after all of us. He was explaining each and every dish and the inspiration behind it which was excellent. I loved the food so much that my family also came down and dined there after my tasting and the service and food were loved by them too.

OFFERS : 1 + 1 on Food on Zomato Gold

Taste : 4.5/5

Ambience/ Deco : 5/5

Service : 5/5

Value for Money: 4.5/5

Wok it like its hot

Asian cuisine is one of the favorites worldwide and u will find restaurants serving food from various asian countries anywhere u go. I was recently invited to try the menu of a brand new Asian Restaurant called Wok’s Den in Jumeirah 1. It was a small cosy restaurant on a busy road serving food from China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore etc.

The interiors were simple with sit down arrangements as well as high chairs with long tables. The walls had a giant dragon painted on it which was all around the restaurant. The music played was very upbeat and up to date.

We placed our order as per the manager’s recommendation.

Appetizers

1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls – These are cold spring rolls wrapped rice paper stuffed with juliennes of vegetables like carrots, cucumbers , bean sprouts etc rolled in the rice paper. These are served with thai sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce. This were probably my husband’s favorite appetizer.

2. Chicken Lollypop – This is a must have for all Indians whenever they go out to eat chinese food. These are basically chicken drumsticks shaped like lollypops, marinated and then batter fried. I loved the ratio of the chicken and the batter. The marination was perfect and the chicken was fried very well. This was my favorite appetizer.

3. Dragon Shrimp- This dish was their version of spicy shrimps. The shrimps were batter fried and then tossed in a spicy mayo sauce. I loved the after taste of the shrimps because it was spicy initially but the after taste had a sudden blast of wasabi in it which was so good.

Mains

1. Thai Chicken Green Curry – I love Thai Food but I always preferred red curry over green till i ordered their green curry. I loved the riot of flavors in every bite.

2. Make Your Own Wok- I love the concept of make your own wok because i like to experiment with different combination of ingredients and sauces. I ordered the Egg Noodles with Shredded Beef & Chicken, Broccoli, Bell Peppers and Onions in a combination of Hot Basil & Burnt Garlic Sauce. The plate was served with a garnish of Crushed Peanuts and Brown Garlic. The noodles were so spicy that I had tears in my eyes but I still didn’t stop eating because they were so flavorful.

3. Triple Schezuan Fried Rice – This was an all in one meal in one dish. The plate had Chicken, Rice & Noodles all together which made it a complete meal. I loved the flavour because it reminded me of the street style chinese food served back home when i was a kid.

We ordered Watermelon Cooler, Lychee Waterfall & Mixed Berry Mojitos and none of them disappointed us.

The service was excellent with the manager , servers and also the owners looking after us .

Taste : 5/5

Ambience/Decor : 4/5

Service : 4/5

Value for Money: 5/5

Rajdhani Express

Indian Cuisine is one of the most creative cuisines when it comes to cooking with vegetarian ingredients & I love to eat vegetarian food is because of the same.

I was recently invited to try out the food at the new concept of Rajdhani called Rajdhani Street. Its a more fun and has more options from Ala Carte.

We started with some drinks and because I had a sore throat , did not order jal jeera or any other similar drink. I finally ordered Strawberry Lassi which actually helped me every time i would taste something spicy. It was soothing and not extremely sweet which I really liked.

We started out meal with some finger food Followed by some chaats and desi favorites.

1. Veg Lollypop – This was the vegetarian version of seekh kebabs/chicken lollypops. These were served on sticks which had vegetarian mince around it like a popsicle and served with spicy sauce. The seasoning was very good but was too spicy for my taste.

2. Thepla Paneer 65 Tacos – I absolutely loved how creative this dish was. The soft taco was made of thepla which tasted amazing. The filling was of Paneer 65 which is a spicy south indian style dish. Overall, I enjoyed eating these tacos more than the veg lollypops.

3. Puchka Bombs – Puchka is a Bengali name for Pani Puri/Gol Gappe. This was a very interesting way of serving Puchkas. Basically, the puchkas were first stuffed with chutneys, potatoes etc and then were crumbed and then deep fried. These were served with the water in a separate bowl which was supposed to be had like a shot.

4. Raj Kachori Chaat – This chaat is every North Indian’s favorite because it is like a proper meal so it tastes like chaat but fills u up like a main dish.

5. Dahi Papdi Chaat – The usual papdi chaat was served in a glass jar with the yoghurt served seperately. The yoghurt was put in the jar and then the jar was shaken like a mocktail shaker. The taste was very refreshing too.

6. Mixed Tandoori Platter – This was a vegetarian mixed grill with a variety of their tandoori dishes. It had Zaitooni Paneer Tikka, Tulsi Paneer Tikka, Sarson Waali Brocolli and Subz Nawabi Seekh Kebab. My favorites were the Broccoli and the Zaitooni Paneer Tikka.

MAIN COURSES

1. Subz Tawa Masala – I love a well balanced plate of mixed vegetables with a lot of spices and garlic. These vegetables were well seasoned and not too spicy so i enjoyed eating them with naan.

2. Paneer Tikka Masala – This was a gravy dish with a spicy tomato based sauce and cubes of Paneer. I wasn’t too happy with the flavor because it was so spicy.

3. Dal Bukhara – I really liked this black lentil dish with spices.

The service was very prompt and the servers were always around to be there for all of us.

Taste: 4/5

Ambience/Decor : 3.5/5

Service : 5/5

Value for Money : 5/5

Spoon & Glaze

Going green has even reached the Epicurean circle & Spoon & Glaze is leading the way. I was so astonished at the beautiful arrangements all around the cafe. Their concept was very unusual which made it different from any other dessert café in town.

I was given all information regarding their desserts by the server and was happy to see some lactose free option for myself.

I was served a mix of Western and Arabic varieties, which looked so, pretty and mouth watering.

1. Mahalabia with Maltesers – This is a very popular Arabic dessert made with milk & rice sweetened with either sugar or condensed milk. They had given their twist to it very serving it with some maltesers on top instead of dry fruits. The sweetness of the dish was perfect and the maltesers gave it the right amount of crunchiness.

2. Um Ali – This was the only dessert, which was prepared on order and served in an earthern pot on a stand with a candle under it to keep it warm. It was served at the right temperature, well-balanced consistency and the right amount of sweetness.

3. Basbousa – This is a traditional Arabic sweet cake dessert with semolina as the core ingredient and sugar syrup. It is generally consumed with hot beverage like tea. The texture was soft which was good.

4. Nutella Cake in a Pot – This was the prettiest dessert we were served with a cute purple flower on the top and looked like a real flowerpot. The cake was very spongy and the flavor of nutella was on point.

5. Dark Chocolate Brownie in a Pot – This was a Lactose free option, which was made with pure chocolate and no cream. The brownie was to die for the melted chocolate was just perfect.

DRINKS

1. Iced Caramel Latte – I ordered this because they had an option of Soy Milk, which was just perfect addition to all the desserts.

2. Mango Juice – Mango Juice was served in earthen flask which enhanced its flavor and kept it cool.

In their quest of making the environment greener they take the initiative of giving their customers some real soil and some plant seeds for them to grow our own plants at home in the earthen pots.

I would definitely stop by again to have desserts whenever I am at Dubai Mall next.

Taste : 4.5/5

Ambience/Décor : 5/5

Service : 5/5

Value for Money : 4/5