Monday, 24 April 2017

A Trip To The Mediterranean With Greek Food & Beyond...

Greek Food & Beyond Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Greek Food & Beyond has come up as the newest addition to South Point Mall, Gurgaon, and on a recent shopping spree, I decided to try the Mediterranean fare they had to offer. The outlet is the brainchild of Anita and Sachin, a couple who are running the same establishment successfully in Bhopal since 2010.



On my visit, I was greeted by both of them with a hearty smile and decided to savor dishes according to Anita's recommendation since she is also the Executive Chef there. The place is done in vibrant hues of blue and white with floral prints thrown in for an elegant touch. The outlet has a capacity of approximately 70 covers.




Located on the third floor of the mall, it is one of the three restaurants that have been set up on the floor. Greek Food & Beyond, however, is the first outlet that you will spot as soon as you set step on the third floor, as it is situated right across the elevator.




Greek Food & Beyond as the name suggests offers a mix of Greek delicacies. The menu at Greek Food & Beyond has been designed in a detailed manner by Anita herself and demarcated into two sections, namely 'It's Greek' and 'Beyond Greek', wherein cuisines from Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, and Syria are included in the latter section with some influences from English, Spanish, and French cuisines. Also, all the dishes have a one or two explanation right below their nomenclature so that the preparations at Greek & Beyond are easy for even a layman to decipher.



Since we went by Anita's recommendations, our meal consisted of all dishes from 'It's Greek' section. Here's what all was presented as a structured meal from the Mediterranean at Greek Food & Beyond.

Soup:

Avgolemono which is essentially a Chicken Broth flavored with egg and lemon. It was served alongside a piece of garlic bread and had beetroot glaze on the platter to enhance aesthetic value. The lemony flavor was what provided a head start to the meal.



Salad:

Cous Cous and Grilled Vegetables served in a bowl wherein an assortment of veggies were layered with sumac dressing.



Mezze (Appetizers):

Trio of Dips comprising Babaganoush, Scordalia, and Chili Aioli was served along with Pita Crisps seasoned with Chili Flakes.



Chicken Hummus Bowl was served alongside Pita Bread had quite a presentation and the key elements were cooked well.



Fish Kebabs are a signature preparation at Greek Food & Beyond and they turned out to be one of my favorites dishes from the spread presented. This one was served with an accompaniment of Garlic Aioli.



Mocktails:

Even though they have not yet fully developed a Beverage Menu in print, considering this is a month-and-a-half establishment in NCR, some basic fresh juices were available (made using fruit or vegetable pulp and no concentrates) and feedback was taken as to the taste of the same, if or not they needed changes. All of them were prepared well.

Virgin Mojito



Beetroot and Carrot Juice

Strawberry and Orange Juice



Main Course:

Pasari Plaki is essentially fish baked with tomatoes and served alongside mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. The fish was cooked well and the tomato dressing on top added a flavorful touch.



Chicken Souvlaki was all about chicken skewers marinated in Chef's special sauce, served alongside Pita Bread, Garlic Aioli, and Tabbouleh.



Desserts:

Chocolate Fondue that was served with soft chunks of chocolate brownie and freshly cut apple slices.



Molten Lava Chocolate Cake had the most splendid presentation and formed for the perfect conclusion to our Mediterranean meal.



On a closing note, Zizo comes across as this place's close competition as it specializes in Lebanese fare and since some of the preparations overlap, there is bound to be a comparison.

All in all, Greek Food & Beyond comes across as a nicely conceptualized outlet that presents Mediterranean cuisine in an authentic form. Coupled with Anita and Sachin's brainstorming and methodology, I am sure it will gradually gain popularity among the masses. :)

Midnight Snacking With Flying Kukkad...

Flying Kukkad Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Flying Kukkad has gradually gained popularity as one of the midnight delivery-only joints in Gurgaon. Though the name implies that it caters to a true-blue Punjabi palate, it is not so, as their menu boasts of North Indian, Continental, and Lebanese cuisines.



Of late, delivery-only joints have caught pace and I decided to try this one owing to the fact that it delivers across Gurgaon. To have a fair idea of taste across the variety they offer, I decided to give a few of their Indian and Continental preparations a try.

Whenever going ahead with a home delivery joint, I make sure to assess the nitty-gritty of packaging, and Flying Kukkad scores on that part for providing spill-free packaging.

Also, these folks are on point with their on-time, rather before time delivery. This is a massive positive point, as it reflects professionalism, them being a delivery-only joint.

Here's what all I ordered to form my first impression of Flying Kukkad:

Kashmiri Reshmi Kebab were succulent pieces of chicken layered with egg. This dish closely resembled Murgh Malai Tikka.



Pudina Paneer was all about cottage cheese chunks marinated in mint and served with a topping of julienned ginger.



Paneer Naan could have been much more flavorful. The stuffing seemed scarce. This one has room for improvement.



Basil Aglio Olio Spaghetti Pasta was served alongside two pieces of garlic bread. The dish was well made but could have done better with fewer amounts of oil and red chili.



Stuffed Grilled Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce (served with rice) was the star dish. The rice was not regular steamed rice but was flavored with Dill (soya). The chicken had a proper amount of stuffing and the mashed potatoes and grilled veggies went along well with it.



All in all, Flying Kukkad came across as a nice option for food delivered to one's place in case those midnight hunger pangs give a knock on your door as apart from lunch and dinner time, they also pull an all-nighter in bringing delicious food to your doorstep. :)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

India Runs On Chai At Chai Point...

Chai Point Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

India Runs On Chai. This seems apt to say as the most loved beverage in our country could as well be considered as the uncontested winner for the titular role of a National Beverage.

Among the frontrunners, when it comes to Chai being marketed in the food and beverage sector, are two prominent players with their respective demarcated target audiences - Chai Point and Chaayos.

While I have been to Chaayos multiple times in the past, recently I had a chance to try all that Chai Point had to offer, on the occasion of a Blogger's Meet being organized at their Cyber Hub outlet with their GM - Delhi & NCR, Shashank Sharma in attendance.



Must I admit in the beginning itself that Chai Point should set foot in my vicinity soon enough, because more than the quality and taste of their products, I was fascinated, rather compelled to appreciate their strategic methodology - from training their staff to delivering quality tea and snacks to being one tech-savvy Chai Retailer to caring for the environment - Chai Point does it all with panache.




Founded in 2010, Chai Point is the brainchild of Amuleek Bijral and had begun with its first pilot store setting base in Bangalore. From then on,  Chai Point has rapidly grown to become the go-to brand for a perfectly brewed cup of Chai with over 3,00,000 cups sold every day.


Having expanded from Bangalore to Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai, Chai Point has a variety of Hot Chai, Iced Chai, Shakes; and bite-sized Made-For-Chai snacks to offer.



The unveiling of their newest Jaggery Chai, on the occasion of World Health Day, along with some flavorful Iced Tea variants and unconventional Shakes formed for my reason to pay these folks a visit.


With Shashank, Rohit, and Kehkashan greeting me with a hearty smile, we begun with getting to know Chai Point better – from the perspectives of tea being their priori'TEA’, how they keep their promise of delivering a quality cup of Chai each time to patrons, integrating Internet Of Things and cloud-based services in the form of SHARK (for suppliers and warehouse) and boxC.in (dispensers for corporate clients) to tackle accessibility and convenience constraints to uphold quality and taste of their products at all times, and attempting to make a positive contribution towards the environment.

Chai Point’s claim to fame is their heat-retaining disposable flask which is partially recyclable and sports a five-layer insulation that keeps steaming Chai hot for a good fifty minutes. Also, their Chai-on-Call is perfect for times when a craving for that steaming cuppa arises.

Also, some of their in-house Made For Chai bite-sized snacks that perfectly complement a cup of Chai include Multigrain Biscuits, Mathri, Cake Rusk, Quinoa Puff, Gud Chana, Masala Peanuts and Cornflakes Mix.



Here's what all was presented at the launch of their new beverages on the occasion of World Health Day...


  • Jaggery Chai ditched the usual sugar and instead opted for a healthier sweetening agent for the much-loved beverage that is Tea. 



Some 'Summer Chillers' were launched as new additions to their Iced Teas and Shakes sections respectively. These drinks are marketed in glass bottles that are perfect to serve the purpose of portability as Chai Point's consumer base in Gurgaon consists of working professionals who are always on the go.




  • Cranberry Iced Tea
  • Peach Iced Tea
  • Imli Jaljeera Iced Tea 
  • Green Chai Lemonade 




Both shakes were of a thick consistency and scored with the perfect flavors.


  • Chili Guava Shake reminded me of the guava slices that I am accustomed to having with that tangy seasoning.
  • Berry Blast Shake was all about a mix and match of an assortment of berries. 




Some of the snacks that went along with these newly introduced teas included the following:


  • Schezwan Noodles Samosa in which chili noodles replaced the usual potato filling. 




  • Matara Kulcha that had a generous filling of peas. 





  • Roasted Vegetable Sandwich 





  • Chicken Tikka Sandwich 





  • Egg Puff 





  • Omelette Pav 




The meet ended on a sweet note with the following bite-sized desserts that had on-point flavors to offer:


  • Banana Cake 





  • Masala Chai Cake 





  • Brownie 




Also witnessed some of their newest infusions by appreciating a whiff of authentic tea leaves paired with an assortment of crushed spices that came in flavors like Rose, Cardamom, and Kashmiri Kahwa.


I feel like this is a fresh beginning for Chai Point and I wish them all the luck in exploring new areas to further spread the love for Chai all across the nation. After all, India Runs On Chai! :)