Gurgaon

Chhabra - The Table

Caffe Tonino – I’m at an Italian eatery, the ambiance is cozy enough for a cold winter evening and the warmth of the food being cooked is inviting me to have a seat inside. Caffé Tonino paints a lovely picture and walks the thin line between a café and a “fine dining” restaurant.

Impromptu – I can see myself going back to Impromptu. It has a certain charm that many a restaurants lack in this day and age. Whether it is the surroundings, the laid-back nature of it all, or even just for the food, there’s a lot that makes Impromptu an attractive option when deciding on a place to have a meal.

Spice It – Spice It is a positive step in that direction as it comes across as a hip, modern, and casual place where you can go with family or friends for a nice meal at any time of the day, and it is chic enough that if you want to hold a business lunch, the space still works.

Gollu Rao Dhaba – When on the Delhi-Jaipur Highway, and in-search of a Dhaba, Gollu Ram will give you the kind of rural and genuine atmosphere that you’re looking for. It’s pure vegetarian with just the right number of food options – not trying to please everyone – but requires a few tweaks to make the food memorable.

Burma Burma – The control over spices and importance given to flavours, especially those that dominate the regional cuisine, is what makes Burma Burma the new kid on the block that has everyone jealous. The playfulness of the food at the restaurant, especially in terms of textures is extremely stimulating.

Sublym – Sublym has a clean and clear menu, easy to understand, that focuses on South-East Asian and Indian cuisines rather than trying to please everyone. Limiting the menu to what you do best and sticking with it is also applaud worthy these days

Barcelos – Barcelos is the latest addition to the now extremely crowded Sector 29 restaurant space and like all the other places in this ever shrinking area, they will have to keep up with their A game, be innovative, and experimental if they want to continue attracting punters once the “coloured” bun craze fizzles out.

Bronx: The Brew Bar – Eating at the Bronx: The Brew Bar was a magnificent experience. The service was extraordinary and I can’t fault their food. Yes, I still have reservations when it comes to multi-cuisine restaurants, but Bronx is doing everything right.

Old Rao Hotel – With all the commercialization, bells and whistles, and the word-of-mouth popularity, Old Rao Hotel is definitely a place you’d want to stop and relax if it came in-between your journey, but is it a place I would make a special journey to, again, – honestly, I’m in two minds about that right now.

Stone Oven La Piazza – Serving from a small food-court booth, Stone Oven La Piazza serves a range of pizzas, some pasta and a few sides. They also convert the pizzas into sandwiches (think: pita bread filled with ingredients) which have also been a regular alternative for me to pizzas.

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Chhabra Hotel and Family Restaurant – It’s hard to categorize Chhabra Restaurant; it’s not the metropolitan restaurant that one finds in malls or even city arcades and nor is it the conventional Dhaba. A village restaurant maybe, or a city-Dhaba; it might in the end not matter how it’s categorized because like with most things food all that ever matters is taste.

Crusty Gourmet Pizza & More – If you’ve been living in Gurgaon and enjoy eating pizza – I know people who don’t – then there’s a good chance that you’ve either tried Crusty Gourmet Pizza or have at least heard about them.

Spectra – I like walking into Spectra; the glass floor, the little entrance alley with the glass wine-rack walls, and then suddenly the vastness of a bright, shiny, and busy kitchen floor. Food is in the dead centre of the restaurant…

Biryani Art – One of the smaller restaurants in a local market that celebrated Hydrabadi Biryani and tries to bring forth authentic flavours that somewhat hit the mark.

Kyoto – Eating at Kyoto is a humbling experience. Kyoto being not the Japanese city, but a small restaurant in Gurgaon serving, you guessed it, Japanese food. It’s a quiet place in all respects; the guests are subdued, the decor is simple, the service is gentle.

Jamie’s Pizzeria -Whenever the name Jamie Oliver comes up, two things pop up in my mind. No, not Naked Chef silly, and no I’m not even talking about cookbooks, rather Jamie Oliver for me is synonymous with “fresh” and “local produce”.

Sushi Haus – Sushi Haus, which only does deliveries, unless you happen to find their stall at a food festival, is an outstanding option to have one of the most expensive food items in restaurants at excellent price. I can confidently say, after having ordered from them on two different occasions that their statement of using only the freshest ingredients is genuine and they stick to it.

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Olive Bistro – Quirk is in and Olive Bistro is in the thick of it with an assortment of colourful tables and chair – some comfortable, others not so – plates and pots hanging off chandeliers, and a small cafe like appearance that is as comforting when empty as it can get claustrophobic when full.

Giani’s Ice Cream – Giani’s is somewhat of an institution when it comes to ice-cream. Surprisingly, I had not even heard about it till about a couple of years back when one of my family friends took me to this really tiny, dingy looking outlet of Giani’s in Connaught Place.

Leaping Caravan – I have a heart burn that has stayed with me since last night. The last time I experienced a similar heart burn was when in school I found out that the girl I had a secret crush on for almost a year was already seeing someone. Fortunately, this time the heartburn is more stomach related, and thus easily curable, and less to do with my love life.

Zaffran –  From what I ate, Zaffran seems to be a little hidden gem in the cut-throat world of the culinary business. Another attracting aspect of the restaurant is that it is moderately priced.

Pizza Express – I’ve always been a fan of Pizza Express. Their food, the world over, is exceptionally good and pretty much consistent through different regions. It’s a great change from the usual, especially in places where good options are scarce or if you are unsure about the other places and don’t want to be adventurous with your food. So, ever since they opened an outlet in Gurgaon, I had been patiently waiting to give the place a try.

For Foodies – It’s safe to say that when a new idea pops up in someone’s mind and is implemented to even moderate success, it doesn’t take long before that idea becomes a trend and everyone starts to follow it. I don’t know who rejuvenated the delivery-only food system in Gurgaon, but it’s at an all time high right now.

Sweets Corner – Sweets Corner was an early entrant in Gurgaon and as a result very successful. There would be people waiting outside to get in and an equal number of families inside staring at those already eating in the hope to make them uncomfortable enough to finish early.

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Drift – As I think about Drift I find it difficult to categorise it; it’s not exactly a fine dining restaurant and nor is it one of those new-age restaurants that open every day and close every third day. There’s certain cosiness about Drift, a sense of familiarity and nostalgia even.

Burger Singh – Even though there is a massive burger war going on in this region with many restaurants aiming to be listed amongst the “best burgers in town”, Burger Singh can easily achieve a standing by rethinking some of these crucial points. Till then, it’s a good change from the usual burgers and something I wouldn’t mind trying again… once in a blue moon.

The Pasta Bowl Company – I’m still smiling. It’s been two days and I’m in love. Love with food that is. It’s not that difficult to find food that gratifies your stomach, but coming across something that satisfies your soul to the very core is almost unheard of.

InstaPizza – My search for alternative home-delivered pizza options continues with InstaPizza, a relatively recent addition to the scene that challenges the big chains with gusto and comes moderately close to giving them their money’s worth.

Indian Bistro Company – It’s close to 24 hours and I can’t even think about eating. I’m stuffed. You could hang me up on your trophy wall and people wouldn’t know the difference. It’s been ages since I have had this much food. “This much”, in case you’re wondering, is what I mean when I extend my hands in opposite directions and stretch to the maximum.

Fat Lulu’s– Fat Lulu’s is an awesome alternative to the usual pizza options that one has. It is a little expensive, but certainly worth the extra money.

Di Ghent – It’s hardly ever that a restaurant gets everything right; Di Ghent on the other hand makes it look so easy.

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Cooper’s Grill & Bar – Cooper’s Grill & Bar works for the customer on a number of occasions; you can visit it for some drinks after work, or have a quick bite if not too hungry, and lastly it also works well for a place to have a proper dinner.

Roots: Cafe in the Park –  is an excellent place to visit. The food is outstanding and you can pretty much order anything with your eyes closed and it should turn out to your liking.

Eggjactly – One of the first food trucks to start in the Gurgaon region, it is still going strong.

Crystal Jade – Crystal Jade is a great place to visit if you want to try hardcore Asian food with a twist. While you might find your regular favourites, it’s recommended that you try something that is particular to the restaurant because therein lies their specialty.

Fresc Co. – Oh! How I love Fresc Co. It’s my go to place whenever I’m at Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. The fact that it’s still one of my favourite places after having eaten there so many times over the years says a lot. I was there during the first week they opened, and still remember the complimentary scrumptious Tiramisu they served us back then.

Sweet Tooth Chronicles – Got a sweet tooth? Staying in or visiting Gurgaon? If yes, then head over to Cyber Hub to try some unique concoctions that are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Farzi Cafe – Farzi is as much about showmanship as it is about the food and I enjoy the ambiance that in the evenings is very European in nature, but sometimes I do feel that it gets carried away a little in trying to be too hip and happening.

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Asia 7 – Would I visit Asia 7 again? Not in the near future. Twice it has provided me with food that was satisfactory but in the cutthroat world of restaurants where new and old places are trying to be innovative and competitive, Asia 7 sit rather comfortably in the middle and that no longer is sufficient.

SodaBottleOpenerWala – SodaBottleOpenerWala (SBOW) has been the talk of the town for quite a while now. It was about time that us North Indians were treated to something different and unique, and the notion of having Parsi and Iranian food, which is still limited across the country, was welcomed wholeheartedly.

TGI Friday’s – Going back to what I said earlier, there are a lot of memories attached to T G I Friday’s in general and the food might be good or bad, it was good this time round, but I’ll always end up here sometime, somehow, that much I know.

Gola Sizzlers – Gola Sizzlers is a nice change from the usual fare, especially if you want to have Indian food but want to avoid the usual Dal-Roti routine. However don’t go with high expectations and you should be just fine.

Hard Rock Cafe – You only have to walk into Hard Rock Cafe early on a chilly winter Sunday evening to shatter all your expectations about it. Granted it was very much before dinner time, but a quiet un-crowded look doesn’t fit well in my mind when I think of the legendary brand that is Hard Rock Cafe.

Choko La – Consistency is the name of the game in the restaurant business, and when it comes to that, Choko La hits the nail right on its head. At least that is true in their dessert and bakery department, as for the last few years I have been frequently buying pastries, cakes, cookies, breads and the likes from them and each and every time have been satisfied to the brim.

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Flip Bistro – There is definitely a return visit in the cards for Flip Bistro. The place also serves clay oven baked pizzas and that’s on my list the next time I hop in.

Made in Punjab – The food is typical Punjabi done so with a twist which gives the option of a few added dishes that stand out, at least on paper. Paneer Lababdar becomes Paneer Tikka Lababdar with the added smokey taste of the tikka which in turn flavours the dish differently.

Chili’s – Chili’s has quite an extensive menu and with big enough servings (we had to get some of our food packed) it is difficult to try more than just a couple of dishes per visit, but what I tasted I enjoyed, thus it should not be long before I visit Chili’s again to experience some of their other offerings.

Johnny Rockets – Who would have thought that keeping it simple can have such an effect, but Johnny Rockets does exactly that, but focusing on their strengths they guarantee delicious food that would certainly make this foodie visit them again real soon.

Cafe Delhi Heights – It seems Cafe Delhi Heights stands confidently with a 2-0 lead in my taste test. They have quite a varied menu which includes a number of different cuisines, so I am always skeptical about the food I order there, but they have proved me wrong both times.

California Pizza Kitchen – Unfortunately, I don’t feel I’ll be heading back to California Pizza Kitchen in a hurry. It’s a good place for a change when you’ve had enough of Pizza Hut or Dominos or your usual pizza place, but don’t expect to be wowed at the end of it all.

Dhaba by Claridges – Dhaba by Claridges doesn’t really re-invent food, but what it gives you is wholesome North Indian food in a setting that is surely impressive.

Indian Grill Room – The Sunday Brunch at the Indian Grill Room cost roughly Rs. 1000,- per person and it’s certainly not a bad deal. The food is without a doubt brilliant.

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