Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mainland China, G.K. - II

For long Mainland China (at Local Shopping Complex, Masjid Moth, G.K.-II) has been on my 'must-go-to-one-day' list. And somehow I was not able to go there. But today I went there for lunch and when I was coming out, I was wondering why the hell I did not went there earlier??? Yes, it is surely one of the best Chinese food place you can have in Delhi. And I was missing it till now!!

To start with, Mainland China has excellent staff (very friendly, helpful & courteous). The place is a modern setup and gives a no-nonsense feeling by the way it has been built and furnished. It covers 2 floors and has comfortable sitting arrangement. They have separate menus for Dim Sum and Other Items. It has several options for vegetarian and non-vegetarian stuff. And for a change I went all vegetarian today.

The best thing I liked about Mainland China is their Dim Sums - they are simply one of the best you can get in a city dominated by Chinese restaurants serving 'Chinjabi cuisine' instead of the real thing. I would personally recommend to try their Dim Sums if you go there. The best ones are SiuMai (also called Shaomai or Shāomài; small steamed open dumplings with chopped filling inside a thin wheat flour wrapper) & Hargao (also called har gau; delicate steamed dumpling with chopped up filling and almost translucent wheat starch skin). The translucent Hargao is a good demonstration of the chef's artistry to make these translucent dumplings.

For soup, try Silken Tofu with Clear Vegetable Soup - it is a recommended one. In the main course go for, Stir Fried Chinese Greens Cantonese Style (semi-gravy dish) or Vegetable in Chinese Parsley Sauce. They are wonderful and very tasty. Accompany it with any of the fried rice - they have some very good ones, specially Golden Onion & Shitake Mushroom Fried Rice - the one I tried and was very satisfied with the quality & taste. They use fresh ingredients and vegetables which was evident from the taste of their dishes.

Average cost for two people without drinks would be 1000 bucks - pretty cheap for the quality of the food. They also have buffet lunch available each day - it costs 350 bucks plus taxes and from whatever I could explore it is VFM.

A must go for:-
1. One of the best Chinese food in Delhi.
2. Dim Sums - they are among the best.

And since, I have rated the vegetarian options till now, I will surely write about their non-vegetarian stuff one day.

Contact info:
Mainland China,
Plot No. 4, Local Shopping Centre,
Masjid Moth,
Greater Kailash - II,
New Delhi - 110048
Tel : (011) 40535525 / 26
Email :

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pind Balluchi, Lajpat Nagar

If I could summarize Pind Balluchi at Lajpat Nagar in one line, it would be 'Good old Punjabi food without burning a hole in your pocket'. Yes, it is cheap, excellent & very tasty food. Once I was part of a party of about 16-17 people there and the host actually paid only around 2000/- for all our food!! I have been there on several occasions and I could say very easily that average per head never goes above 150 bucks. That's too cheap for good food in Delhi.

As the name suggests, Pind Balluchi, has been made like a Pind (Village). So there is a village chaupal (meeting place), haveli (house), gufa (cave), village well and even a (plastic) tree simulating stylised rusticity. The entrance itself is through a grand haveli-like-gate and the guard there would greet in Punjabi. The whole atmosphere is village like with constant chattering and tempting smells of delicious Punjabi food. The cutlery is also along the theme with big steel plates and large copper like glasses. It surely symbolises the return of Indian cuisine to main stage.

To the food now. It is one restaurant which has very good vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian options to go for. For vegetarians, go for 'Sarson ka saag' (curried mustard leaves) along with 'Makke ki roti' (corn bread), it is totally divine. Other good dishes to have are 'Dal Tadka' (lentils with a spicy tempering) and 'Butter Paneer Masala' (a bright colored, creamy and light buttery flavored cheese dish). For non-vegetarians, go for 'Tangri Kebab'(chicken leg piece marinated in curd, ginger garlic & spices - gone through the tandoor) for starters. Go for 'Dhaba Meat' (Indian-style-roadside-eatery-type mutton) in main course, it is really wonderful at Pind Baluci. Accompany it with 'Mutton Biryani' (rice and mutton cooked with Indian spices). The mutton biryani is served in a 'handi' (Indian style earthen pot) - and it tastes very spicy and tasty. Do not forget to have 'lassi' (skimmed curd) with the meal - it is served in large copper glasses, the traditional Punjabi style.

Overall, you will feel satisfied with food at this restaurant and your pocket will not feel light after coming out. One thing to note is that avoid going on weekends - it gets very crowded and you may have to wait a lot. The service also degrades at that time. It is open all days except Tuesdays.

Pind Balluchi Restaurant
M-58, 1 and 2nd floor
Lajpat Nagar-11
Ph: 011-29839001
Mob. 8527099880

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chor Bizarre, Noida

UPDATES (16 Sep 2103) - Chor Bizzare at Noida is closed now.  If you want to experience the Chor Bizzare, you would have to go to Hotel Broadway at Asaf Ali Raod in Delhi.


I thought a lot about which restaurant to rate first. I wanted a favorite of mine to be rated first. And after several thoughts from Flavors to Diva to Pind Balluchi, I settled for one of my most favoured restaurant - Chor Bizarre @ Noida.

Although eating at Chor Bizarre is more towards upper side on the purse but it is good value for money. Beleive me, I have eaten at much expensive places where food does not deserve the price they charge. Plus, the music which they play there is very soothing - old hindi songs from 50's & 60's.

Chor Bizarre is a unique concept in itself. Its name is derived from the famous thief market of old times in Delhi. The restaurant actually started as a collect-from-all collection of different items used - from chairs to paintings to tables to spoons - everything was taken from that thief market. And once the restaurant became popular - it was made the USP of the chain. The one at Noida also has the decor based on same philosophy.

The food is inclined towards Kashmiri & Wazwan cuisine (the original Wazwan cuisine used to had 36 courses - a lot to eat!!). My suggestion would be if you go there for food then order Kashmiri or Wazwan food - it is one of the best you can get outside Kashmir.

My recommended menu would be:-
1. Go for salad bar + buffet - unlimited salad/food/sweets (part of a fixed price menu)
1. For starters
- Go for non-veg platter as a starter. It consists of delicious sheekh kebabs, shammi kebabs, fish tikka & chicken tikka.
- If you like seafood a lot - go for "Tandoori Prawns" instead.
- If you insist on kashmiri food only, then go for a delicious kashmiri dish - "Tabak Maz". It is flattened lamb chops and the taste is oh-just-so-good.
2. In main course go for
- Hak (a light and pleasant tasting dish made of Collard greens is cooked in water, salt and oil). It is the most simple-yet-wonderful vegetarian dish I have ever eaten. Served with a bowl of rice at Chor Bizarre.
- Gushtaba or Rishta (dishes of minced mutton balls served with a ladle-ful of its Gravy). Rishta is small spicy lamb balls in red sauce, melting-in-the-mouth , Kashmiri dish. Gushtaba is mutton, bigger round ground pieces, made in white sauce, again very tasty. Their sauces are of rather strange-yet-feels-good-to-me taste - tangy (this is word closest to their taste).
- Breads (with these dishes anything would go)
3. In the sweets
- Phirni is worth trying; rest are just okay. You can actually skip them, which I usually do.
4. Drinks
- Do not go for them (except a beer, maybe). Reason being they are costly and nothing not available anywhere else.

Cost for two person:-
1. Without drinks it would be around 1K.
2. With drinks - sky is the limit :)

Go there for:-
1. Best Kashmiri or Wazwan food in NCR
2. Good Music

Contact Info:
Chor Bizarre
Savoy Suites,
A-79A, Sector 16,
Uttar Pradesh
Phone:- (0120)-2511420

A New Attempt

Yes, it is a new attempt from my side - to review the eating places in Delhi & NCR. I have always liked eating good food and this is my attempt to review the places I have liked or disliked.