Friday December 15, 2017
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A food trail to Niche Lounge and Bistro

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Image source: zomato.com

New Delhi: In today’s age where the fine dining restro-lounges face tough competition to survive in a sea of plenty, we find one such lounge and bistro which stands out in the crowd. The Niche Lounge and Bistro scores full in terms of food, presentation and ambiance.

Here the cocktails are served in perfume bottles and the food is a breath of fresh air.

Located in the outer circle of Connaught Place, opposite the Statesman building, Niche is spread across two floors, including an al fresco dining area. The indoor-seating area has stylish interiors dominated with plush leather upholstery and panelling on walls. It also boasts of a stage for performance, a 20-seater Long Island-style bar and a cigar corner.

The menu is quite restricted, not offering an array of dishes like a lot of other places where customers get so confused that they end up ordering just a pasta or a pizza.

“Our aim is to make people taste everything that we have to offer. Our menu is limited, the portions are small and reasonably priced. We want to promote a culture of consuming three starters, four mains and a dessert between two people,” Assistant General Manager Matthew Radalj told reporters.

Niche is also big on its signature cocktails which are presented in things like a perfume bottle and the inside of a book, priced at Rs. 1,000 each.

“The pricing of our signature cocktails is a little high compared to the classic cocktails since we try and make as many ingredients in-house as possible since a lot of the things that go into producing a cocktail – like tobacco liqueur – are not available in India. So, we have taken a culinary approach to the drinks, producing the flavours ourselves,” said Radalj, who takes care of the bar.

Asked about its many competitors in the area, Radalj said: “We want the dining experience to be a memorable one and not having to leave unsatisfied after eating the same regular things.”

To begin with, we were served two of the signature cocktails; Daisy – a chamomile tequila based drink served in a Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume bottle. This drink does look very pretty especially to someone who loves perfumes but the taste is just the opposite. It is a very strong drink, a little towards the bitter side due to the addition of grapefruit bitters, not recommended for people who likes sweet, flirty drinks.

The second was The Cask of Amontillado, a Hennessy V S cognac-based drink with cardamom and grapefruit bitters. It was very warm and rich, excellent for a cold winter night, sitting by the fire, gorging on a piece of rare steak. The amount of alcohol was very generous in both cocktails.

The drinks were quickly followed by the star of this entire dining experience – pulled pork spring rolls served with sweet chilli glaze. Crunchy on the outside with a juicy and generous amount of pulled pork on the inside. A definite conversation starter along with drinks.

Three dishes really stood.

The first was the French onion soup rings – creamy, rich soup served with crisp onion rings and gruyere cheese. The soup was not heavy and the rings did not have any trace of oil, very light and full of flavour.

The second dish was Malabar prawns served with dates and olive tapenade and capers.This dish was one of the finest examples of fusion food and the prawns were of the melt-in-the-mouth type.

The third dish was the smoked salmon nicoise salad with gazpacho. When it was brought to the table, it seemed like the colours of spring had arrived on a plate: the pink of the salmon, the green of the olives, the red of the cherry tomatoes and the yellow of the gazpacho. The dish could very easily be dominated by either the salmon or the gazpacho, but on the contrary, the flavours were all well-balanced and could be individually tasted.

The dishes that did not really stand out were the chili aam papd pork ribs with strawberry chips and jus. The pork was dry, not well seasoned, the strawberry jus was delicious but did not do anything for the pork.

The second was the lamb shank served in a rogan josh gravy, ginger foam and sauteed vegetables. The meat was undoubtedly very tender, and of the fall-off-the-bone type but the gravy again was a little off in terms of seasoning.

The third was the chicken breast flavoured with mace and cardamom butter and chili korma. The chicken had a little char on the top but it was bland and dry.

The last dish was a complete mind-boggler. It was the dessert, a ganache served with chocolate mousse, white chocolate shavings, mango jelly cubes and chili ice-cream which gave it a ‘kick’.

Niche’s setting with the great cocktails, sumptuous food and a fabulous location, makes it a place where dining turns into an absolute delight. (Karishma Saurabh Kalita, IANS)

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Forks in the Road : 10 places to eat in Delhi

Delhi has so many diverse cuisines to offer. Here is the list of 10 places to eat in delhi which you can not miss

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Foodie Delhi
10 places to eat in Delhi (pexels)

Delhi, the present day cultural hub of India, which was once under the rule of The Parthians, The Turks, The Afghans, The Mughals and The Britishers which left an impact on the city and gave it its own  unique status. Tourists from all over the world come down to Delhi and lose their hearts to it scrumptious cuisines.

It’s winter in Delhi, a perfect weather for sampling Delhi’s most famous attractions- its incredible street food. It’s not just the street food that Delhi is famous for but a lot of history and culture that is mixed up with the food. Everything from Asoka era to Mughals to the invaders who held sway over Delhi to Purana Qila, have left the taste of the food behind.

To the variety of chats that will take you on tour of tangy, sweet and spicy flavours to the non-vegetarian food which will remind of the rich flavours to the food never tasted anywhere, Delhi has it all.

Here are 10 places to visit for indulging into the flavors of Delhi.

  1. Paranthe Wali Gali
IndianGyaan

 

Paranthe Wali Gali since 1870s is the name of a narrow street in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi known for its series of shops selling parantha, an Indian flatbread. The food is old fashioned, strictly vegetarian and the cooked dishes do not include onion or garlic. Stuffed aloo (potato), Gobi (cauliflower) and matar (peas) paranthas are the most popular ones. Lentil paranthas are also available. The cost could come up to 150 rupees for 2 people. This street is lit from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

  1. Dilli Haat
India Opines

Dilli Haat does not only showcase the rich Indian culture and diverse Indian Heritage, but is also one of the best place to enjoy regional food from all over the country. Dilli Haat provides various food stalls having food from various Indian States that gives you a variety of choice at low cost prices. Its timings are from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Bijoli Grill- a West Bengal food stall offering Fish curry and Kosha Mangsho; Momo Mia, an Arunanchal Pradesh food stall offering Momos and Fruit Beer; Nagaland Kitchen, a Nagaland food stall offering Raja Mircha and Momos; Manipur Foods, a Manipuri Food Stall offering Fried Rice, Tarai Tong ad Fruit Beer; Rajasthani Food Stall offering Pyaaz Kachori, Desi Ghee Jalebi and Rajasthani Thali; Maharashtra Food Stall offering Vada Pav, Puran Poli, Shrikhand; Dawath-E-Awadh, a UP Food Stall offering Kebabs, Biryani and Phirni and other food stalls from states such as Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Kerala.

  1. Khan Market
The Urban Escapades

Khan Market is not only a place for die hard shoppers, it is also Delhi’s incredible food districts. A neighborhood that never sleeps, whose streets are filled with the scent of mutton kebab and fried rice. Khan Market has restaurants such as Town Hall Restaurant, The Big Chili Café, Yellow Brick Road Restaurant, Wok in Clouds, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Soda bottle opner wala, Azam’s Mughlai, Café Turtle, Omazoni and Market Café.

  1. Spice Aangan
EazyDiner

Tucked away in Safdarjung Development Area’s main market is a hole-in-the-wall tandoor-and-takeaway restaurant known as Spice Aangan. Spice Aangan has been a staple of the SDA market food scene for a while now. The hole-in-the-wall is bang opposite the small, grassless park located at the centre of the market. While there are a couple of steel benches at edge of the park to sit and enjoy their food, it is otherwise a purely takeaway and home delivery outlet. Restaurant serves tandoori snacks–chicken tikka, malai tikka, seekh kebab–as well as mutton dishes, curries, biryani and shawarma rolls. Despite so many options, though, you’d be hard pressed to find the regulars ordering anything other than the chicken shawarma.

  1. Karim’s
Musafir

Karim’s is a historic restaurant located near Jama Masjid Gali Kababian, Old Delhi, Delhi. It is know that this is the best restaurant in Delhi, serving non-vegetarian food since 1913. The original Karim’s is bang opposite Jama Masjid in the walled city area of Delhi. It is close to a market known as Darya Ganj. Those visiting Karim’s for the first time will be surprised at the location. Getting there is not easy, you will need to ask locals for help. Mutton Burra, Mutton Raan-this starter is huge, and is meant for four or five people. There is a wide range of kebabs including Seekh Kebabs, Shammi Kebabs and Mutton Tikka. Chicken Seekh Kebab, Tandoori Chicken or Chicken Tikka for those who love chicken. Mutton Korma, Mutton Stew and Badam Pasanda Chicken Noor Jehan and Chicken Jahangiri are the main courses to be tried once you get there. As for the bread Khamiri Roti is something not to be missed. Karim’s serves two main desserts Kheer Benazir and Shahi Tukda.

  1. Pandara Road
ScoopWhoop

Delhi serves delectable food in almost every nook and corner of the city. Whether it is crowded streets of Chandni Chowk or the sophisticated eateries of Khan Market. One such stop is Pandara Road Market, located near India Gate, the place serves best non-vegetarian food of the city, so all the meat lovers out there fill your wallets. Havemore offering the best Butter chicken and garlic naan and Gulati which is best known for its Dum Biryani and kebabs with the cost price of 1500 rupees for two, and many other restaurants like Chicken Inn, Pindi and Ichiban.

  1. Amar Colony
TripAdvisor

Amar Colony is generally known to be the hub of garments but it is also the hidden street food hub. Home to a diverse population from India, Africa and Afghanistan, there is no doubt, diversity in food here too. A number of small joints for street food in Amar Colony exist which serve the most delicious dishes for you. Most of the shops are situated in the main market and are close to each other. Nagpal Chole Bhature, Hunger Strike, Tibb’s Frankie, Biryani Corner, 34 Chowringhee Lane, Sharma Chaat Bhandar, Deepaul’s Café, Dolma Aunty Momos, Muttu South Indian Anna, High On Burger are the best places to visit when on Pandara Road.

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  1. Hudson Lane, GTB Nagar
MY APRON DIARIES – WordPress.com

Hudson Lane, very close to the main North Campus area, is one place where you will find one of the finest cafés and best restaurants in Delhi. Mostly serving Italian, Café, and Fast Food Cuisine, these quirky joints offer an amazing culinary experience at an extremely pocket-friendly price. Woodbox Café, Mad Monkey, Indus Flavors, QD’s, Ricos and Big yellow Door are the most recommended places to munch at.

  1. Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala
Delhipedia

Situated near Paranthe Wali Gal, Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala is a small but popular street stall that’s been serving sought- after Kachoris since the early 1970s. Kachori stuffed with urad dal and served with special spicy chutney is a must try ther.

  1. Connaught Place
India Today – India Today Group

From fancy revolving restaurants to the delicious local rajma chawal, Connaught place does not discriminate when it comes to food. Home to some of the best restaurants in Delhii and also ironic dahbas, one can relish all kinds of cuisines here be it local, regional or international. Kake Da Hotel, Parikrama, Jain Chawal Wale, Minar and much more are the places to step up with.

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Thanksgiving Day Across the World

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated across the world and for each country, it has its own tale and tradition around food and days.

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Thanksgiving Day celebrations
Happy Thanksgiving Day, Wikimedia Commons

Thanksgiving Day. The name stands for itself as the day to give thanks and is celebrated as a national holiday in many countries like United States of America, Canada, Netherlands, Philippines, Grenada, Liberia while similarly named festival exists in Germany, Japan, and United Kingdom.
Thanksgiving holiday remains a day to give thanks at the close of the harvest season.

America
The official date for the American Thanksgiving that exists today was set by President Roosevelt to be on the fourth Thursday in November instead of the last Thursday in November as decided by President Lincoln as thanksgiving date.
But their thanksgiving is surrounded by a debate over the nation’s first celebrations and the two places embroiled in this debate are New England and Virginia as both the places provide certain proofs of being the spot for nation’s first celebrations for Thanksgiving.

Canada
Canadian Thanksgiving tradition is celebrated in the true spirit of giving thanks at the close of the harvest season. It is believed that due to the geographical differences from the USA, Canada’s Thanksgiving arrives on the second Monday in October as that is the close of their harvest season.

But in countries like Liberia, Netherlands, and Grenada, it is not just a day to give thanks at the close of the harvest season.

Liberia
In Liberia, Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated to mark the freedom from black slavery by the U.S.A. The Thanksgiving day’s date remains on the first Thursday of November and has been a tradition since 1820.

Netherlands
Netherlands celebrate thanksgiving to mark to commemorate the Pilgrims who had migrated and became residents of the city of Leiden and died at Pieterskerk. To commemorate the hospitality, the thanksgiving, a non-denominational Thanksgiving Day is celebrated as the same as American Thanksgiving Day’s morning.

But there are some countries like the Philippines where the tradition of Thanksgiving only arrived with the Americans due to it being an American colony in the early 20th century but the tradition of Thanksgiving there had seemed to die down.

Food:
The American Thanksgiving seems to dominate the Thanksgiving menu when it comes to this holiday. Their famous turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, pies, mashed potatoes, and yams are signature dishes related to this day.

Black Friday:
Not only food, American Thanksgiving has also made Black Friday, an informal day following the Thanksgiving Day to mark the beginning of their country’s Christmas season sales and it has been in the history books since 1952 such that it has become a tradition of its own now.

Thanksgiving Day remains an occasion for many families to get back together and celebrate this holiday in the spirit of one while giving the rise to the excitement of upcoming Christmas also which remains barely a month away from Thanksgiving day.

Samridhi Nain is a student of Philosophy (Hons.) from University of Delhi.

 

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Prepare these Amazing Cocktails for a tipsy Winter

Best Cocktail recipes you can prepare easily at home in winters

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Cocktail Recipes for winter
Cocktail Recipes for winters.Wikimedia commons
  • From wintery matcha, cherry punch to a cinnamon affair, there are many different cocktails that you can try to warm up this winter, say experts.

Karan Vasani, Chief Winemaker at Sula Vineyards, and experts at Hennessy list some cocktail recipes to try out this winter:

* Mulled Wine

Ingredients

Shiraz wine – 3 glasses

Star anise – 3

Cloves – 5

Orange peel

Cinnamon flavoured sugar syrup

Method — Boil the above ingredients till the wine reduces to half. Add 60 ml Janus wine and serve warm garnished with a vanilla pod.

* Wintery matcha Cocktail

Ingredients

Green tea – 1 tea bag

Green apple syrup – 10 ml

Ginger – 15 gm juiced

Lime juice – 30 ml

Sula Seco

Method – Brew the green tea as per packet instructions. Let it cool. Fill one-third of a sparkling wine glass with green tea. Add the green apple syrup, ginger and lime juice. Top it off with Sula Seco. Serve with a thin slice of green apple.

* Cherry punch Cocktail

Ingredients

Cherry puree -60 ml

Ginger – 100 gm

Water -150 ml

Riesling wine – 3 glasses

Method – Muddle the ginger and cherry puree together. Add water and bring it to a boil. Boil it till it reduces to half. Top it off with the Riesling wine. Serve cool garnished with a cherry.

* Magic Spritzer Cocktail

Ingredients

Ginger – 50 gm

Eclipse – 60 ml

Zinfandel red wine – 2 glasses

Martini Rosso – 60 ml

Method – Grate the ginger and juice it. Stir all the ingredients together. Serve at room temperature in a wine glass garnished with orange peel

* Cinnamon affair Cocktail

Ingredients

Green tea – 1 tea bag

Cinnamon – 2 stick

Lemon juice – 15 ml

Janus wine – 30 ml

Brut wine

Method – Brew the green tea as per packet instructions along with the cinnamon. Let it cool. Fill one-third of a sparkling wine glass with the green tea and cinnamon mix. Add lemon juice and brandy and give it a stir. Top it off with Brut wine. Serve cool.

* Mixed story Cocktail

Ingredients

Cognac – 4 cl (1.5oz)

Acacia honey – 0.5 cl (0.2oz)

Hot water – 4 cl (1.5oz)

Lemon -1 slice

Method – In a glass, add cognac, honey and hot water. Stir to dissolve the honey. Garnish with a lemon slice.

* Sugary winter Cocktail

Ingredients

Cognac – 4 cl (1.5oz)

Hot water – 4 cl (1.50z)

Sugar cane syrup – 0.5 cl (0.2oz)

2 lemon supremes (wedges without the peel, pith and skin)

1 thin slice of ginger

1 orange twist

Method – In a glass, add cognac, sugar, lemon, and ginger. Stir. Top with hot water and garnish with orange twist.

* Spiced orange smash Cocktail

Ingredients

2.5 parts of cognac

½ part Averna

½ part simple syrup

2 dashes of Angosutra Bitters

1 tablespoon of Orange marmalade

0.75 part Fresh Lemon Juice

Method – Add all liquids to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Fine strain. Pour over ice in a glass. Garnish with an orange twist.