I have been writing about my various gastronomic journeys for some time now, and its time I put together some of the unforgettable experiences, that stimulated my taste buds to remain engraved in memory ever since.
Best Soup: Pumpkin Soup, Olive Beach, Chankayapuri (This particular outlet is closed down, but Olive is very much there in Delhi)
Soups are my favourite ... in a restaurant, you'd always find me experimenting with the choice of soup, whatever the cuisine may be.
On a fairly hot afternoon, at Olive Beach, the chef recommended his signature soup to my friend and me - a pumpkin soup. Both of us were skeptical, as pumpkin is not a vegetable we exactly like, but the chef assured us that we would like it.
Indeed it was wonderful, it had a subtle taste, enhanced by black pepper sprinkled over it.
Best South Indian Meal: Kausstubh, Saket District Centre
Foodie that I may be, my taste buds are inclined heavily towards non vegeterian food. So when my friend wanted to go to a strictly vegeterian place, I was initially unwilling. However, with some coaxing, I went - and had one of the most wonderful expeiences.
For one, the best of each South Indian state has been brought under one roof. I could never imagine there could be so much variety. Did you know there are numerous varieties of rasam and dosas?
Writing about this meal would be incomplete without mentioning the "1 metre Coffee"... a coffee that is blended in two mugs held at a vertical distance of 1 metre.
Perky Non Vegeterian Snacks: Punjab Grill
I am fond of non vegeterian snacks that are cooked on charcoal, are barbequed and have the perfect balance of spices. I fell in love with the presentation of mutton in a model of a charcoal iron - it had a lovely smoky taste as well. On the right hand side image, you can see chicken minced up and tossed with the spices to make a tasty snack.
Innovative Non Vegeterian Main Course: Le Meridien
If we are to talk about innovations in food, I can only think of Le Meridien - the chef is always willing to innovate and brings out the true essence of the ingredients. He served us a twin flavoured chikken tikkas - the ingredients come in layers for you to mix and enjoy. The prawn comes in its true form dipped in tangy sauce and basil leaves. And the biriyani is prepared in the serving bowl - it comes covered, and when one opens it, the aroma mesmerizes him.
Japanese Cuisine made Fun: Yum Yum Cha, Select City Walk Mall
This is again one of my discoveries. Attracted by the colourful decor, we stepped in this cosy outlet, and came out with a lovely experience. Some of the items in the menu have been brought to India for the very first time, so you must try this place. The items that swept me off my feet are: sea food salad - a cold salad of diced crab; sushi platter and Takoyakioctopus dumplings.
Best Dessert: Brownie and Tiramisu, again at Olive Beach
You are full, yet, your taste buds crave for something sweet to complete your meal. Chef Sujan at Olive Beach tossed up two perfect desserts for us - the perfect proportions, and so well presented. The tiramisu had a teasing coffee flavour to it, while a chunk of vanilla ice cream complemented the chocolate soaked brownie. For once, we simply forgot all about the calories!
Have I got your mouth watering?
Photos courtesy: Atul Tayade, Angon Bhattacharjee, Self