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Nutella Pancakes, Scenic View and Solitude: The Ramgarh Retreat Has It All

If you are a sucker for hills and bored of the usual spots like Mcleodganj, Dharamshala and looking for solitude, then you are sold for this already. Suggest you to save up this monsoon and make the most of the long weekends coming your way by planning a visit at The Ramgarh Retreat, located about 150 km from Delhi.

Home Away From Home

The idea of a cute cottage nestled on the top of a hill, secluded from the hustle bustle of the city is enough to get majority of us pumped. The minute you lay your eyes at the entrance, you know you’re going to feel at home within minutes. A sprawling garden with blooming flowers, the view looks nothing short of a picture from a fairytale.

The Ramgarh Retreat has 7 rooms with 2 separate categories called Himalayan Room & Garden Room. I’d suggest you to opt for the room with a private balcony overlooking the hills solely coz of that breathtaking view it offers! What’s more? A movie library, a fancy collection of books to board games to keep the guests entertained. We hear about a glass house coming up this December with an open air cinema for movies coupled with barbeque! Enticing enough?

Kumaoni Food, Waffles & More

I’d strongly suggest waking up at 5 am and watching the sunrise at The Ramgarh Retreat. This accompanied with a cup of hot tea and Coke Studio on the playlist is pure solace.  Enjoy a hearty breakfast comprising of waffles, live egg station and several other dishes. The cook has a knack in local Kumaoni Cuisine and dishes out some fabulous food with a very warm smile. Right from home style food to those midnight greasy Chinese cravings, he can prepare it all.

Pro-Tip

A great time to visit this resort is during peak summers to escape the scorching heat. Catch a Shatabdi train till Kathgodam station and enjoy the drive till The Ramgarh Retreat. The gorgeous view plus light snacking on the way would be fun! Be rest assured to get your heart melted by the warm hospitality of the owners. Aditi Ramdev, a 25 year old from Delhi and her daddy won’t mind joining you if you have a rocking 90s playlist and a great sense of humor. In another news, she also bakes some fabulous desserts, and dons the chef’s hat at times to cook for the guests!

Outfit Courtesy: Koovs
Location: The Ramgarh Retreat
Phone: +91-9811668760
Email: aditisahdev@gmail.com

 

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Light Lunch Festival – Enjoy Free Bira 91 Light. Here’s How!

A Low-Calorie Beer? Yes, You Heard It Right!

Bira 91 is easily the most loved drink of millennials these days. Within a span of close to 2 years of launch in India, it has won for itself a zillion fans {including me}. And the latest news doing the rounds is India’s first low-calorie beer making a grand debut, courtesy the kind folks at Bira 91. At 90 calories – Bira 91 Light is the lowest calorie option for any alcoholic beverage in the bar. It is positioned as a light drink to pair with a light meal anytime across the day. So light lunch or early supper, you can count on this pleasant, and crisp tasting drink to give you good company.

Grab Your First Free Drink!

Bira 91 is hosting 10 days of ‘Light Lunch Festival’ starting 30th June across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. A total of 50 restaurants in these cities have curated a special menu that is paired with the new Bira 91 Light. From salads, sliders to snacks, there are a host of dishes you can order from and enjoy a free Bira 91 Light paired with them and gleefully end the meal on a ‘light’ note!

Where & How?

Simply check out https://www.keepitlight.in/ and book a table at your favourite restaurant from 12 noon to 3 pm from 30th June to 9th July. Pending treat or long due catch up with friends, just ditch the laziness, ignore the beer belly and indulge guilt free!

#JabDilBoleyDominos : Enjoy Domino’s Pizza Starting @199 ONLY!

Domino’s Pizza is known to be on speed dial of every Pizza fanatic, one being me for sure. Domino’s offers an array of crusts which are also priced at a very nominal price. Right from Cheese Burst, Classic Hand Tossed, Wheat Thin Crust, there is something on offer for everyone!

Common notion exists wherein we assume that pizza prices are expensive and hence they are to be savored on special occasions, but Domino’s Pizza prices make you take back your words. They have an extensive range of deals & offers that are quite a rage, the latest one being Domino’s Everyday Value. You can enjoy your favourite pizzas starts at Rs. 199 each. Everyday. 365 days.

Go ahead, binge guilt free and stop waiting for a weekend, a coupon or a special occasion to indulge in a cheesy affair. #JabDilBoleyDominos go listen to it and thank me later!

Order here.
F
ollow Domino’s India on Facebook.

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My Coastal Odyssey: Nariyal Cafe with #CoolpadNote5Lite

Hop away from the rumble of Adchini, and you can spot this cute little cafe nestled at the top of a building called Nariyal Cafe. Enjoy a delicious ride of coastal flavors and drool at my favorites from the menu shot using my latest device – Coolpad Note 5 Lite. It’s tiny, power packed and has the best of camera quality in a shoe string budget!

Shotgun Murugan Tacos – You know there can’t be anything wrong with the dish when homemade cheese sauce, salsa, sour cream and a stuffing of spicy Chicken 69 come together. Wrap this in a crunchy taco shell, and voila! Here is the perfect starter of Nariyal Cafe.

Chicken Chettinad Pizza – The extensive use of freshly roasted spices is the sole reason why Chettinad cuisine is my favorite. This classic offering of Indian cuisine, is by far the best creation if you have a knack for spicy food. Now picture this on a pizza- Chunks of juicy and succulent chicken, marinated in Chettinad gravy, with a topping of roasted onions, garlic and red chillies – Well, Nariyal Cafe easily aces the fusion test with this dish.

Passion Fruit Coconut Water – While coconut water has always been my favorite due to its immense nutritive value, Nariyal Cafe has surpassed all levels of innovation by serving different flavors of this miracle water. From Strawberry, Peach, Passion Fruit to Mango – there is something for everyone and every mood. And wait till you hear the best part, they engrave your name to make you feel all the way special.

Murugan Chocolate Bomb –  Desserts like these deserve to be bookmarked for the cheat day. Piping hot Chocolate Sauce breaks open the shell with delicious Coconut Ice Cream inside. Though this concept of Tempered Chocolate Bomb is over done by a majority of restaurants, yet somehow the whole routine never ceases to be a visual treat for me.

Chicken Caferal  Slider– Some authentic Goan flavors right here, the minute you dig into this dish. The spices were well balanced, and the quantity is suffice for 1 person easily. The fine part about this cafe is the nominal pricing, and also how each dish is distinctive from the other in aspects of flavor and presentation.

What: Nariyal Cafe
Where: A-4, 3rd Foor, Adchini, New Delhi
Cost for two: INR 1200

Image Credits – Lakshay Sachdeva
Buy #CoolpadNote5Lite here: http://amzn.to/2o2v8zP

 

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Calling all Dimsum Lovers: Yum Cha Festival at Asia 7

Asia 7, a venture of Lite Bite Foods nestled in Ambience Mall; Gurgaon has rolled out a fabulous reason for every Asian food fanatic to make a visit this March 2017. Called as Yum Cha Festival, the restaurant has on offer an array of Dimsums with a very moderate pricing as well.  Here are my two cents!

What Not To Miss?

Yummy Cheese in Chilly {Priced at INR 259 per basket} – Shitake Mushroom & Water Chestnuts filled with Philly Chilli make for a fabulous combination & surprisingly emerge out as the hero from the entire menu. It would take some serious courage to resist yourself from a second serving.

Chicken Siew Mai {Priced at INR 279 per basket} – Finely chopped Chicken, Basil & a dash of fresh Red Chillis are a trio that you can never go wrong with. A classic combination that is done outstandingly well.

For the vegetarians, Spicy Asparagus in Thai Flavours {Priced at INR 229 per basket} – Initially I was pretty apprehensive on trying this variant, but the presentation for once bowls you over. This, and the amalgam of Asparagus with Thai herbs is outstanding. Top it with the the Peanut Sauce, and your taste buds are in for a treat!

What’s more?

Wash down the food with a fancy Chinese Green Tea or a dessert whichever suits your mood & appetite best.

What: Yum Cha Menu at Asia 7
Where: Third Floor, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
Cost for two: INR 559

Coolpad Cool 1 Dual: A Social Influencer’s Must Buy in 2017

Coolpad Cool 1 Dual recently launched in Delhi, and I made an announcement about it here. I tried my hands on the device for a decent 2 weeks, and putting it to good use to run my daily errands which involve a whole lot of hopping to events and meetings, followed by the need to tweet every 30 mins or Instagram every delicious dish I eat in a day. Well, to make sure this routine sails smoothly in the life of a social influencer and a part time digital junkie, a smartphone must be THE best in the league. After testing the device thoroughly, here are my two cents about how Coolpad Cool 1 Dual is going to be worth every penny you invest in 2017:


BATTERY

Coolpad Cool 1 Dual is inbuilt with a 4000 mAh non-removable battery. A considerable strong battery backup, the device easily last for a day with a moderate to heavy usage. From running multiple applications to heavy Internet usage, countless calls and messages – I was pretty impressed with the battery surviving the day. It also features Quick Charge 2.0, which lets you charge the device to 50% in nearly 30 minutes. A total win-win if your work requires substantial usage of a smartphone 24×7 in a day, like me.


DESIGN 

With a sleek look and metallic grey body, the device easily makes for a great first impression. The design is similar to the other Le Eco phones in the league, so it is nothing strikingly new. With a 5.5 inch display, chamfered edges and weighing nearly 170 grams, the device is very comfortable to hold. The fingerprint sensor houses below the rear camera, and works just right. The device offers USB Type-C port, in addition to a very fine and bright display which gives a wide viewing experience!

CAMERA 

Before I even get talking about the image quality, I think it is time we bust the myth of a budgeted smartphone to be used by average common man only. Coolpad Cool 1 Dual‘s camera is at par with veterans in the smartphone league without burning a big hole in your pocket. I had a great 2 weeks experimenting with the camera while doing my food reviews and the results were indeed mind blowing. The device offers a dual rear 13-megapixel camera with a dual-tone LED flash and an equally impressive 8-megapixel front camera. If you are a fan of selfies unlike me, you could totally rely on the device for some stellar shots. However, the best thing here is the camera’s ability to capture the tiniest of details, hence you can expect some great macro shots if not high end landscape shooting.

Having said that, this device captures detail, color, depth and brightness pretty well and is by far one of the most-affordable smartphones with a dual camera set-up on the rear.

PERFORMANCE

After close to 2 weeks of use, I haven’t yet witnessed any lags or unexpected crashes courtesy Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 64-bit octa-core processor that Coolpad Cool 1 Dual is powered with. The device offers dual SIM support and 4G VoLTE which might interest Reliance Jio users. A slight setback is no microSD card, which is preferred for someone like me who likes to click 100 pictures in a day. The phone heats up a little after prolonged usage, but considering how easily the phone handles social networking, video streaming and Internet browsing, there is not much for me to complain here.

PRICE

From a commendable camera, massive battery life, premium metal look and seamless performance, the Coolpad Cool 1 Dual makes for a great purchase for a social media influencer. At Rs. 13,999, it is easily a steal deal!

You can buy the device here.

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Srilankan Kotthu Roti and Coconut Jaggery Pudding: Zambar’s New Menu is GOLD!

Right when I thought there is nothing more to Gurgaon except breweries, bars and restaurants serving world cuisine to make numbers, I happened to make a visit to Zambar in Ambience Mall. The restaurant serves a plethora of dishes with a forte in South Indian and Coastal Cuisine. Zambar is one of the many brands owned by Lite Bite Foods, among my other favorites namely Punjab Grill, The Artful Baker, Asia 7 and Fres Co.

Lead by chef Vetrimurugan Natesan, who comes with 12 years of experience and hailed to be a prominent South Indian cuisine specialist, Zambar is in for a fresh change this season. He brings some great new additions in the new menu like Kingfish Reichado, Chicken Stew and Coconut Jaggery Pudding. You are in for a salivating treat as you continue reading below!

The meal began with an assorted basket of Poppadums, Appalams, Vadam and Vathals paired with Zambar signature chutneys. I can imagine how these names sound alien to you, and to make it little easier for you I would like to tell you that these are the most amazing munchies you could pair your drink with! My favourite is Vadam {Rice based Papad} paired with Toraiyal Chutney {Made of Coconut, Onion, Turmeric, Garlic and Red Chilli Oil}

Next we warm up our palate with Pineapple Rasam which was tangy, sweet and spicy all at once. This was such a refreshing change and an interesting twist to the usual Rasam we all have always had. For starters, you have a fancy line up which is too hard to skip. I’d suggest ordering in small portions and going beyond the usual Dosa and Idli and exploring the menu {Explore your palate, maybe?}

Kingfish Reichado

Spicy and crispy fried Ladyfingers called Karukhe Murukhe Vendakai are the closest to when I have LOVED green vegetables. It is not too oily, unlike how majority of deep fried dishes end up becoming. Enjoy them piping hot though! Kingfish Reichado wins your heart with the gorgeous crust and having been rubbed with famous Goan spices, you find it hard to help yourself from a second serving. Nadan Chicken Tikka, inspired by the flavours of the chef’s native state Nadan are a refreshing change from the usual ones flooded in the market. The spices for this dish are made with hands, without use of any machines so you can count on the chef’s credibility.

Srilankan Kotthu Roti

Srilankan Kotthu Roti is another great dish, and one of the firsts I ever had. A half fried egg plated on a bed of Flaky Parrotta stir fried with Chicken, damn that did taste good. The garnishing of Coriander and sprinkle of Lemon just alleviated the flavour to another level. For the herbivores, Potato Cafreal is a safe bet. The crispy fried Potato Wedges taste great with an addition of minty Goan Cafreal Masala. Spicy and very flavourful! I chose to skip the Vegetable Stuffed Poppadums though, courtesy TOO much oil draining out of it despite a gorgeous plating.

Coconut Jaggery Pudding

In the mains, DON’T skip the Chicken Stew served with fluffy Appams. It is mildly spiced with very juicy Chicken and just the perfect dish to keep you warm this winter. Acchamma’s Lamb Curry which is inspired from a Grandmother’s recipe from Kerala that involves simmering of Mutton in Coconut milk. The dish is very mildly spiced and the lingering taste of Coconut is flawless. Enjoy it with the Flaky Malabar Parotta and you can call it a day. Wash the meal with a wide variety of sweet offerings. My pick is hands down the Coconut Jaggery Pudding, which is Zambar’s take on a Souffle. Despite being bloated and practically unable to move due to food coma, I wiped it clean and wouldn’t be ashamed of a second serving. Despite being apprehensive of exploring a new cuisine, I took the plunge and already thinking of a second visit. Next time you’re in Gurugram, binge on some delicious Coastal cuisines at Zambar and do share your experience with me in the comments below!

What: Zambar
Where: Ambience Mall, 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, DLF Phase 3, Sector 24, Gurugram, Haryana 122001
Cost for two: INR 1400

*Featured Image Courtesy: Zambar

A Lavish Indian Meal within ₹299: Item No. in DLF Mall of India

DLF Mall of India houses some great brands for food lovers. The customary Food Court is also very unlike the usual one – spacious and bringing together some old and new F & B brands under one roof. After braving a chaotic session of retail therapy or if you fancy enjoying a filling meal without sky rocket prices, then head to Item No and bust your cravings while you’re in Noida next. The restaurant is a venture by the fabulous people behind Wok in the Clouds, who had me at their Dahi Kebabs and Kulfi. Keeping the tradition of Indian food alive, their latest venture Item No. is a refreshing change offering some great Indian delicacies all in a price range of INR 299!

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BOLLYWOOD LOVERS, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU!

The vibrant colors of the brand, the snazzy name and the catchy Bollywood one liners greet you as you enter Item No. While you wait for the food, these quirky quotes can keep you entertained.  I loved how every concept related to this eating joint, right from the name, food and design of menu bring alive the undying love affair of Bollywood and Indian food so well!

LET’S TALK FOOD!

Bun Samosa: An interesting twist to Samosa wherein it comes placed between two Buns, laden with Mint Chutney and garnishing of Onions! Very filling, giant in size and totally worth shelling out INR 95++ from your pocket. Pair with a Lassi and you are sorted for the day.

Bhatti Ka Murg Meal: At a price of INR 245++, you get 2 giant pieces of juicy Tandoori Chicken marinated wonderfully with ground spices. Needless to say, the meal is suffice for two people easily and will leave you licking your fingers till the end. Sprinkle some lemon on the chicken and enjoy the roller coaster of flavours!

Achari Paneer Kulcha: Throw in some pickles and Paneer to the usual Kulcha we all have grown up relishing, and what you get is an interesting snack called Achari Paneer Kulcha. Served with a bowl of spicy Cholle, this one priced at INR 145++ will certainly suffice two people.

Anda Pao: The perfect desi breakfast if you are looking for a protein laden meal on the go! The traditional Egg Bhurji served with Paav is a legit answer to the mid-day hunger pang, don’t you agree?

Jumbo Combo Non-Veg: If you’re looking for a more filling meal, and want a proper sit down meal, go for this Jumbo Combo Meal. From Daal, Chicken, Mutton to Rice and piping hot Naan – there is absolutely everything on your plate in just INR 265++.


Wipe the plate clean and wash it over with a Tilla Kulfi. The joy of enjoying this dessert, unlike the usual frozen Nitrogen ice creams is such a refreshing change! Hop on over and do share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

What: Item No.
Where: 
4th Floor, Food Court, DLF Mall of India
Cost for two: 
INR 500

New Menu at Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Gurgaon

Le Meridien Gurgaon is in the process of undergoing some fabulous changes post the Marriott – Starwood merger. Their all day dining Latest Recipe, best remembered for the lavish buffets under the expertise of Chef Tanveer Kwatra is now led by the new Executive Chef Suprabhath Roychowdhury, who brings a glorious 16 years of experience in the culinary industry. His insights on Progressive Indian Cuisine are very indepth and sure to give limelight to Indian Cuisine amongst the global food offerings! A few of the additions slated to be a part of the new menu from January 2017 are as follows:

Lasooni Murgh Tikka with Cucumber Jelly, Mint Foam and Garlic Chips: The evergreen and most loved snack in Indian Cuisine – Chicken Tikka gets a fantastic twist by Chef Roy. The topping of Garlic Chips, brilliantly marinated Chicken lying on a bed of Cucumber Jelly was a first for me. To add to the riot of flavors was the Mint Foam, which made me wipe the plate clean within seconds!

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Nalli Gosht with Green Pea Khichdi: Lamb lovers shall swear by this dish. Meat cooked so well that it falls off the bone easily, and the dish plated beautifully on a bed of Green Pea Khichdi which balances the spice content really well. The garnishing of fresh Microgreens makes it a delight for both eyes and the stomach. This one is sure going to be an instant hit with anyone who fancies great flavors!

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With the launch of the in house Italian restaurant Bella Cucina and Chef Suprabhath Roychowdhury taking over the mantle at Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Gurgaon is slated for a plethora of changes in the days to come. Plan your next visit here and let the warm hospitality and great food make you a regular within no time.

What: Latest Recipe
Where: MG Road, Gurgaon
Cost for two: INR 3000++

Indian Food For The Win: 5 Reasons To Visit Khaaja Chowk 2.0

Khaaja Chowk seeks inspiration from Indian cuisine that seems to lost its charm in a pool of fading food trends. With the onset of bars and lounges running solely on the theme of cheap booze, it is not a surprising sight to see restaurant brands dying a slow death and shutting their shop in a span of 2 years. Separating itself from the clutter is Khaaja Chowk, which stands tall with an 8 year brand legacy of delivering promising Indian food to its patrons.

Upon my last visit, the brand has diversified and expanded its portfolio multi-fold. With a version 2.0, they have forayed in the bustling MGF Mall of Gurgaon that has a footfall of a massive crowd each day. Here are a few hits that make this one a must visit if you are a sucker for authentic Indian delicacies!

  1. The Flaming Claypot: It is indeed an appreciative effort for a restaurant to keep alive the old school style of cooking food. The joy of devouring Nalli Botti ki Nihari slowly cooked in a flaming claypot and served piping hot was indeed extraordinary.

  2. Hazrajganj Ke Galouti Kebabs: If a restaurant gets Galouti Kebabs right, then you can truly vouch for their authenticity in nailing Indian cuisine without a second thought. Right from the plating in a wooden roll, to the melt in the mouth texture, this dish has everything that invites you for a second visit!img_2093
  3. Crazy Ice Cocktails: Staying true to the theme, Khaaja Chowk 2.0 has inculcated an element of Indian cuisine in every item in the menu. The cocktails that range from Ice Spice which have a Green Chilli frozen in an ice and served with Mango juice had a lingering and unique taste.

  4. Interiors That Evoke Nostalgia: Simple interiors with elements that range from an auto rickshaw, umbrella, tiny colorful bottles filled with sugar coated sweets that take you back to 90s. An instant nostalgia trip down the memory lane making you value the joy of relishing the simple pleasures in life! The bar is equally opulent, and very neatly done. The color green and the use of yellow lights make a great combination together.img_1980
  5. Street Food Classics Done Right: Palak Patta Chaat to Golgappe, these evergreen street food delicacies are presented with a very unique twist both in taste and plating. The prices are very moderate, the taste is authentic and they are original in taste to every extent. It is not a usual sight to catch yourself relishing these in the ambiance of a fine dining restaurant with that joy.img_2011

    What: 
    Khaaja Chowk
    Where: MGF Metropolitan Mall, MG Road, Gurgaon
    Cost for two: INR 1000