Come September and we see a lot of fresh names make in-roads on to the already buzzing FB scene of Delhi NCR. With competition getting stiffer and patrons becoming more discerning, it’s not easy to stay relevant, but we’re sure these newbies will.
Twist, Cyber Hub
Replacing the ill fated Canton Spice Company is this 100-seater chic space dishing out inspired Asian fare and good old favourites in smaller portions – all for under Rs 300! Great pricing and a handpicked menu, which is still work in progress, with interesting plating and affable service is what you can expect. There will be new additions every month, but for now, we picked the Asian Chicken Satay (Rs 250), Yang Pork Belly (Rs 250) and Crispy Calamari (Rs 295). The satay oddly came paired with coriander chutney instead of peanut sauce, so we steered clear and dug into the pork belly and calamari instead. While the former won our heart with its juicy flavours, the latter was crackling-ly good. Vegetarians must try the Tofu Crunch (Rs 195), which we spotted at several tables, that had great texture and flavours. The cocktails will need some TLC, but if you want to order one, choose The Pot (Rs 450) – vodka, elderflower extract and orange peel.
A dedicated dim sum section includes delicious Prawn Chive (Rs 275), a Poached Chicken Dumpling (Rs 265) that’s not for the faint hearted with its abundance of green chilli, spot-on Spicy Asparagus (Rs 250) and Lamb Pot Stickers (Rs 265) that get a big thumbs up. For mains, the Pokemon Chase (Rs 215) – stir fried bokchoy with shitake mushrooms and Pepper Tenderloin (Rs 275) mopped up with Sticky Jasmine Rice (Rs 145) are good picks. Even with a few hits and misses, the menu is intriguing enough for us to go back once they begin their wine programme – an exclusive list of wines from Italy that you won’t get anywhere else.
Price: Rs 1,800 for two
Timings: Noon to 1 am
The Big Chill Cakery, DLF Mall Of India
After a lot of anticipation and patience, the Big Chill Cakery finally comes to Noida with its first outlet. Bringing their signature rich desserts with the addition of some new savoury treats – this cute outpost can seat about 35-40 people, unlike the one in Khan Market that’s only for takeaways. With the look of a European bistro look, they have divided the seating into indoor benches and colourful wrought iron table and chairs outside. Before you start the sugar OD, try their renditions of Chickpea Salad with Mediterranean Vegetables (Rs 295), Cheese and Mushroom Toastee with Pesto Honey Oatmeal Bread (Rs 250) and Greek Salad (Rs 280). If you like it tangy yet sweet, do sip on the Lemon Smoothie (Rs 250), that is prepared using fresh in-house lemon yoghurt, keeping it both health and delicious. And of course, save room (lots of it!) for their bestsellers like Blueberry Cheesecake (Rs 308), Raspberry and Chocolate Cheesecake (Rs 250) and Milk Truffle Balls (Rs 75). The full-fledged restaurant is opening soon as well, so keep an eye out!
Price: Rs 600 for two
Timings: 11 am to 11 pm
Little Saigon, Haus Khaz
If authentic Vietnamese food is what you’re looking for, then his tiny eatery in the village is definitely worth a visit. The simple one-pager menu is full of stories from the Mekong Delta besides a list of in-house specials. The vegetables and herbs used in the kitchen are all homegrown, and all the dishes taste fresh because of that, thanks to the efforts of Chef Simon – who was born and raised in Saigon and has brought along those homely flavours. We recommend the Pho Thap Cam (Rs 350) – aromatic Vietnamese rice noodle with chicken, Braised Fish in Claypot (Rs 375) and Banh Xeo Nam Bo Chay (Rs Rs 170) – a South Vietnamese pancake with veggies.
P.S: Delhi’s high-end Vietnamese eatery – Blue Ginger at Taj Palace has shut down to make way for Spicy Duck. Read our critic Marryam Reshii’s review here.
Price: Rs 700 for two
Timings: Noon to 11 pm
Playboy Café, Gurgaon
Upping the glamour quotient of Gurugram is the soon-to-launch Playboy Café in Baani Square. Touted to be your everyday bar with a fun quotient, they will be serving up world cuisine and innovative cocktails. Watch this space for more.
Launch Date: Mid September
The Irish House, Nehru Place
The Irish are coming and you need to prepare yourself for hearty pub grub and stellar brews. Known for their extensive beer and vino list, we can’t wait to dig into large platters of nachos and loaded fries. Oh and we hear the popular chain will have regular sports screenings and community tables as well.
Launch Date: End of September
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There’s a barrage of outlets from existing brands springing up across town this month and in early October with popular names including The Beer Café in Khan Market that will don a Spanish theme and tapas style menu. Shivkaran Singh’s Circus will also replace Smokey’s in the ever expanding Cyber Hub as well as launch in Noida’s Logix City Center along with another outpost of the above mentioned The Beer Café. The Moroccan and Middle Eastern lounge Zerzura will breathe new life into Ansal Plaza, while F Bar is heading to South Extension in an effort to revive the neighbourhood. Caffé Tonino too is churning out Tuscan fare in Gurgaon’s soon-to-blowout One Horizon Center, while Nooba is already serving its signature Sichuan yummies at Cyber Hub.