Rating : 4/5
Connaught place is fast becoming a generic hub of swanky fine fine restaurants and innovative conceptual bars, almost transforming the central delhi food and nightlife scenario. The latest addition
Explore the world of aphrodisiacs & experience exotic flavours that excite and delight the palate. Expect a bountiful use of aphrodisiacs: chocolate, chillies, spiced and lots more all across their food and drink menu.
Ambience : The restaurant has a seductive, saucy vibe to it with it bold and bright interiors colour palate. Wooden flooring, dusty pink couches, majestic design and quite a collection of temptress frames across the space lends a rather venereous touch. The slanting bar, all lit up is an interesting play at Hot Mess.
Service: very very warm and attentive staff members who were on their toes. Food arrived quick and looking pleasing as ever.
Food: seductive, pseudo Indian, highly fusion and mostly lipsmacking.
•Cranberry chicken salad with spinach was a pop of giant flavours and textures paired in a perfect match. The sweet cranberry dressing on the chicken salad tasted divine. I could eat that salad ever day of the year.
• Salt and Pepper pad Thai was a classic warm Asian noodle salad with basil and lemongrass hints. Tasted sublime.
• Mutton galouti pav with fermented chilli paste wasn’t as decadent as I expected it to be. The mutton galouti lacked depth of flavour. A very average dish.
• Braised lamb sliders were filled with delicious sliced lamb cooked in a sweet spicy brown sauce. Very tender and flavourful. Highly recommended.
• Spicy cheese chur chur naan pizza was the first of its kind that I have tasted and a serious contender for one of the most amazing fusion marvels I ate. Flaky buttery crisp pastry toppled with your regular pizza ingredients and a lot of cheese. Quite an indulgent bite there and absolutely amazing on the palate.
• Bourbon smoked honey chicken served in a Jack Daniel smoke with full on theatrics was feasty on the eyes and tasted good.
• Samosadillas with aam Panna chutney was interesting with a veg tangy filling and a sweet spicy chutney that elevated the bite to another level.
• Dahi ke kebab weren’t my favourite. Can be avoided.
• Jumbo mutton keema parantha was well, quite a plateful of happiness. Huge keema stuffed parantha glistening with butter, loaded with some more cooked keema in spicy goodness served with chutney and red onions. Pretty badass.
• Braised lamb with mash & red wine jus was surprisingly most tender and juicy with a beautiful saucy jus and creamy mash. Highly recommended.
• Punjabi Butter chicken and Dal Makhni, essentially Indian, were creamy rich and decadent paired with garlic butter naan. These were no less than the flavour bags you’d find in an authentic Indian restaurant.
• Fish in black bean sauce, sweet and sour with tender cooked fish pieces. Yum.
• Assorted mushroom with bamboo shoot and soy was spectacular. Beautiful variety of mushroom cooked in a semi sweet oriental sauce. I licked this dish empty when my stomach couldn’t even bear another bite.
Drinks: The aphrodisiac cocktails are the highlight of this fusion bar. Immensely creative and not just boozy, these are big on flavours. The bar menu is elaborate but I picked my personal faves.
The Sheesha was quite a show. Inventive and inviting indeed, their Sheesha is the kind that one can smoke from and even drink from. Now that’s an attraction for all Sheesha lovers and only available in Hot Mess as of now!
Dessert: Well, now, an aphrodisiacs experience is incomplete without a sweet sinful indulgence.
• sugar free firni was creamy, just rightly sweetened and delish.
• crunchy chocolate cake was just bloody beautiful with layers of chocolate goodness, creamy and crunchy all put together in one humongous guilty bite.
• Red velvet brownie with vanilla ice cream was a tad bit dry with one dimensional flavour. Could be more gooey and moist.
Verdict: Billing to be the first aphrodisiac bar in the country, this one deserves a visit. The food is elaborate, drinks are quirky and the ambience promising.
Cost/ person Rs 1500 (inc alcohol)
Will I visit again? Yes.
Just when you thought that healthy eating could not get any easier in the capital, Getafix appeared as the new kid on the block and boy! They have taken eating right to another level with some excellent alternatives to gluttonous fast food!
Ambience: The restaurant is the “girl next door”! Confused? Don’t be, because it’s a cute little cosy den, made across a single floor. Definitely a place that could become your regular hang out spot.
The interiors are fun, lively and inviting. I love the use of playful bright colours and just the right amount of quirk on the walls.
Service: The staff is efficient and well acquainted with the menu. Food is prepared fresh and fast in an open kitchen and service is swift.
Food and drinks: the menu isn’t vast but just enough to give good options to the diners without confusing them. The menu is creative but not pretentious and almost everything on it exudes clever creativity and a “healthy” element.
• The smoothies are divine. Made with fresh ingredients, you have the famous yummy ones and a few interesting concoctions too. They are made with fruits and yogurt without any sweetener or preservatives. I would suggest the sweet disposition, berrinana fix and the odd one out! These are desserts minus the calories.
• Shrimp salad is pretty much what dreams are made of. Juicy shrimp tossed with crunchy lettuce and baby tomatoes in an exotic Thai lemongrass vinaigrette. This was my favourite and an absolute winner.
• Air fried fish and chips were wholesome and delicious. Great portion too.
• Barbeque chicken wings were tossed in a tangy peri peri sauce and in no way any less than your regular fried chicken wings.
• Grilled chicken burger tasted delicious with fresh vegetables and sliced chicken with sautéed onions
• Turkey and ham sandwich was made in the softest bread with tons of flavour and texture packed in a bite.
• Popeye pizza was topped with spinach corn and feta. Wonderful crust and combination of flavours.
• Veg lasagna was huge in quantity and very nutritiously vegetarian loaded with beans, carrots and mushrooms. I missed some sauce because it was a tad bit dry.
• Mix mushroom pasta was WOW. Three varieties of mushroom in a Thai basil nutty sauce blew my mind away. The pasta is made in house and this is one dish that must be tried here.
It only gets better and better and yes the desserts are low fat and whatta taste bomb!
•Lemon pie is a party in the mouth. Made with hung curd and gelatin the textures are beautiful and it’s yum!
• Sugar free brownie is gooey and sinful without being overly sweet.
• Vanilla pound cake is subtle in flavour with a drizzle of orange syrup. I am pretty much salivating right now.
Verdict : Head over to Getafix! Period.
Health food is not just a fluke anymore. The dishes are adeptly concocted to suit the savvy eaters and leave a flavour trail on the tongue for quite some time.
Cost/ person : Rs 600
Will I visit again? Yes.
Rating : 4/5
Potbelly cafe has managed to create ripples in the delhi food scenes for its popular Bihari cuisine and indigenous, humble yet delicious dishes.
Ambience: The cafe is located at quite a floor! Walk through the slender alleys and dingy staircases to reach the top which is a decently spaced out simple hub at the rooftop. The interiors are quaint and humble. The sitting isn’t as comfortable as I would like but good enough to sit back and chill. The decor is rustic, very homely and the vibe is easy to slip in.
Service : The staff is efficient and courteous. Food arrived at great speed and perfectly hot!
Food : Coming to main hype around this specialised cafe, the menu is concise. It is strictly Bihari with their native snacks and main course dishes. Most items on the menu are deep fried which was a bit disappointing for me but nevertheless they looked very Bihari and typical of the cuisine.
• salted lassi was impeccably made. Frothy, rich and spot on with the spice hit!
• Lemon grass green tea was wonderfully refreshing with clean flavours.
• Mutton chops with mirchi parantha was quite a dish. The mutton was cooked to perfection in an utterly divine sauce with an overly generous trail of oil which was the only thing I would eliminate in the dish. There was a ton of aromatic spicy flavour and the dish was a sure winner. The paranthas were spectacularly crispy and delicious.
It’s a good idea to tell the server to keep a check on the oil content though.
• Chicken masala with boiled rice was again a good dish. The gravy was the basic Indian tomato onion masala simmered in essential spices with tender chicken pieces.
• Meat pakora basket is a typical Bihari starter of deep fried mutton and chicken pieces served with a tangy green chutney. Very homely and extremely satisfying.
Both the dishes came with a side of fresh cut salad and boondi raita which was the perfect accompaniment to the rich foods that we gobbled. The colour palate of most of their dishes is visually stunning.
Verdict: The flight to reach the restaurant might leave you exhausted but the quality of the food is worth it. The cafe is a humble attempt at serving good hearty food at extremely reasonable rates. Worth a visit atleast.
Cost/ person : Rs 600
Will I visit again? Yes.
Delhi is indeed a frying wok during the summers, making it a real task for survival. Add on the crowded streets, polluted pervasiveness of the air, and the dullsville of routine and Delhi summers turn into the worst foe of all times. Facing the exact same monotony, I was craving a whiff of fresh air and the mountains because there seemed no better way to calm myself down. Fortunately for me, I happened to come across a few friends who were planning a trip to Kasol and I jumped in at the opportunity even though it meant taking a week off from work, but hey! This was necessary for most mental and physical relaxation needs!
For those who don’t know much about this hidden little wonder, let me introduce it to you! Firstly, Kasol is a place! Its not kullu, its not kasauli, its not Manali, it is KASOL. Yes, nevertheless, there are several other neighboring valleys around Kasol.
Stretched along the lovely Parvati River and with mountain views, Kasol is the main traveller hang-out in the valley. It’s a small village, but almost overrun with reggae bars, bakeries and cheap guesthouses catering to a largely hippie/Israeli crowd. It’s also a summertime venue for trance parties transplanted from Goa, and at any time an easy base for exploring the forested valley or just chilling out. The village is divided into Old Kasol on the Bhuntar side of its bridge, and New Kasol on the Manikaran side.
Several rustic guesthouses and cafes along here, mostly foreign-run, are perfect for those who want to really ‘turn on, tune in and drop out’.
I was lucky enough to stay in one of the most beautiful yet humble properties in the valley. It was a tiny little hotel made on the river bed with balconies that stood over the gushing water, built across majestic pine trees and infinite scenic beauty. Greater part of my week was spent standing in one corner just gazing out into the rungs of nature and believe me, every moment managed to surprise me. I saw the night change into morning, dusk turn into dawn and several illusions at twilight hours. The water turned blue, grey and black and sharply mellow with the first hit of sunrise which made the entire sight dance and create an almost image like that of a painting.
Hotel: PMM Associates, Main Kasol.
Other than tripping over nature which is a huge high in itself, yes you have to indulge in it to believe it, there is an array of cafes and bakeries to try out in Kasol. The food is among the highlights, the ambience is close to hippie cafes and the vibe is extremely relaxed so one can take the load off and lie back in the lap of nature.
Having visited most of the prominent food outlets in Kasol, there are a few that shouldn’t be missed at any cost. It must be noted that almost all restaurants serve multicusine menu and the constitution of the menu is same more or less. The food takes quite a while to be served because hey, it’s a slow paced town so don’t complain. Also Nutella pancakes are a staple here, best to order it at the end of every meal because nobody ever got bored of nutella. Even better? Start every meal with a chocolatier pancake and end it with the same. At least I did this and it did me gooood!
An old idyllic little café resounding the spirit of Kasol with slow lowbeat music playing in the background, candlelit tables and a laid back air. The food Is among the best in Kasol. It is prepared with fresh abundant ingredients and they pay good attention to taste and quality.
Banana Nutella Pancake
Set Breakfast with Poached eggs and hash browns
Hummus and Flaky Naan.
2. Bhoj Café
This café might give off a shady vibe at first but it will do you good to go inside and spend an evening here. Just like its sister cafes, Bhoj is no exception in being dimly lit with some slow music playing in the background. The Desserts here are to die for and the service is again super slow. The managers are stoned themselves so don’t even try to ask for quick service. Put your feet back and try to take in the vibe as the open windows gush in the hilly air.
Indian curries and Dal Makhni
Chocolate nutella shortcake
Chocolate oreo shake
3. Little Italy
This restaurant is another nominee for the best restaurants in Kasol. The service here is relatively quicker and the servers are friendly and smiling (rare in the area). There is an open sitting to enjoy the good weather and a tiny little room inside for big groups where you can just lie back, eat, smoke, drink and have a relaxed time.
PIZZA, killer peri peri chicken pizza
Vegetarian Cheese Burger
Indian chicken curry combo
Watermelon/ Mixed Fruit Juice
4. Moon Dance Bakery and Café
This is the Café right in ther center of the main Kasol street which is mostly famous for their Pancake and waffle kiosk that sells the most orgasmic indulgent sweet treats in the valley. Adjacent is the open café serving the standard dishes, which happen to be pretty delish and satiating
Chocolate Nutella Banana Pancake
Chocolate nutella Waffles
Pasta in red sauce
Chicken and tomato Bruschetta
5. Stone Garden Café
This is one little den made in the central kasol market. The entrance is enthralled with several fairy lights and beaming trippy lights all around. The music is psychedelic and the whole place has a very cozy vibe to it. Its best to sit outside, enjoy the fresh gushes of wind and savor the yummies.
Pasta in pink sauce with chicken
Chicken Steak in pepper sauce
Foodie’s Tip: Pizzas, Burgers, Crepes, Pancakes and Waffles are the safest options to order at any café in Kasol. Although most food tastes average and pretty decent, our pick of Kasol’s restaurants serve the most popularly loved flavors and food quality. There are three German Bakeries around the valley, which are best for mid day snacking and coffee croissants and baked goods.
Verdict: Kasol is a paradise for whoever wishes to escape the stressful city life and wants to bask in the lap of nature teamed up with some crazy food and desserts, oh yes drinks of course. The variety of food and culture is enough for a weekend or a week even ( in my case, I didn’t want to return even after a week.)
A cute little cafe resounding of illuminati has just opened up in the neighborhood. Cafe Secret Society is a secret full of surprises and a nice spot for a casual hang out!
Sit back & sip on some drinks over a nice book or gorge on their limited but delicious menu, it’s a win win!
Ambience: The cafe isn’t very huge in space but good enough to exude a warm cosy vibe with decently spaced out tables and a pervasive dim lighting with hanging lights and a tad bit of quirk in the interiors. It is a humble place serving good simple food.
Service: The staff is efficient & fully aware of the menu to help you go through your order. Food arrived in good speed!
Food: The highlight is the humbleness of the menu. The dishes are mostly unpretentious but with great flavors.
• Lamb Burger was divine. A well grilled spicy lamb party with caramelized onions & the right amount of meaty juices. Literally salivating right now
• Vegetarian pasta salad was tossed in pesto and exotic vegetables. Tasted ordinary.
• Baked chicken wings with barbecue sauce was something I will definitely go back for. Loved the crispy skin on the chicken & the sweet sauce on it.
• Vegmezze platter was spot on. The hummus &babaghanoush were flavored well with even better falafel &cheeseysamosas.
• Greentini is a clever mocktail made with green tea apple juice & cucumber. This was my favorite drink! Sounds weird but tastes too darn good!
• Oreo Shake & chocolate shake were obviously overloaded with sinful sweetness & a straight winner.
Verdict: Good food at surprising rates and a wonderful warm ambience! This was definitely needed in the area and the new kid is here to stay.
Cost/ person: Rs 400
Will I visit again? Yes
A somber quaint restaurant in the day with a rather opulent setting and interiors serving some very fine cuisine and delivering a fabulous evening experience. It transforms into a club at night but the food is something that it still manages to serve in panache.
Ambience: Classy and bold with an air of subtlety, Zerruco is done up in partial grandeur with high ceilings, a huge area, divided sections and earthy tones. Spread lavishly in an open and an indoor area, both parts are beautifully justified. The open area is lit up at night gloriously and is pretty dreamy, the indoors are classy and upscale.
Service: The staff is well versed with the menu, attentive and they work fast. Food arrived in good speed and served to individual diners adeptly.
Drinks: very well concocted and flavored.
• Bourbon Berry is made with bourbon whiskey, cointreau, raspberry & lime. Gives you a good hit and tastes delicious.
• Red wine sangria was sweet and well made again.
• Passion Zerucco was a fruity cocktail which acted as a pretty good palate cleanser as well.
Food: The menu is largely classic with their specialty being of conventional international cuisine served delicately and creatively.
• Beetroot goat cheese salad with caramelized walnuts and balsamic was beautiful. Extremely subtle and full of texture. Straight winner.
• Smoked salmon tartar was delicately curated and seasoned.
• Chicken gujon salad was made with fried chicken on a bed of a summer tossed salad. Tasted quite okay.
• Chef Special Mezze platter was a WOWZIE. Probably the most humungous Mezze platter I have ever seen with six varieties of beautiful dips, lavash crisps, potato wedges, grilled prawns, pan fried aubergines, shish touk, fish tikka, excellent date phyllo puffs, tossed chickpeas and a few other chunky meaty items. Pretty loaded.
• Spinach pizza, Mushroom pizza and Chicken Pizza were all made on a thin crust baked pretty well. I was nibbling on the crusts. Te toppings were perfect and seasoned well.
• Mushroom ravioli in cream sauce was just plain perfection. Wolfed it down in seconds and I can still taste the silkiness of those raviolis on my taste buds.
• Grilled chicken with garlic smashed potatoes was well spiced but over cooked and a bit dry.
• Vegetarian calzone with a rocket tomato salad was huge again with sinful layers of buttery pastry.
• Souvlaki kebab was the most moist piece of chicken I have had in the longest time.
Desserts: Yes, they were just as brilliant as the main meal.
• Banoffie Pie was a gooooooodbanoffe pie with thick caramel and just the right amount of sweetness and godliness
• Chocolate mousse was one of the better chocolate desserts I have tasted. Silky and gooey texture that explodes like a bomb on the palate.
• Baklava was crispier than usual but it had truckloads of flavor.
Verdict: Just visit this place without a doubt! The menu is beautifully curated and the quality of the ingredients and assembly stands out. The food manages to leave an everlasting impact and a reason to come back here.
Cost/ person: Rs.1500-2000
Will I visit gain? Yes.