Smoke House Room

What do you get when you cross a bon vivant with a solitary translator of Ghalib’s poetry? You get maverick restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani. He has two sides to him. He is blessed with friends across the planet on one hand, yet on the other, he loves nothing better than to hole up in his study…

Suvarna Mahal

If you want to feel like royalty, there’s just one place in the country to make your dream come true, and that is at Suvarna Mahal, the old dining room when Rambagh Palace really was a palace. Old timers to the restaurant remember the late Rajmata dining there. Of course, the royal experience begins long…

Muzaffar and Meera Ali

In the heyday of Lucknow, say a hundred and fifty years ago, nobles delighted in presenting their guests culinary quizzes. There would be a table-spread of dishes that appeared to resemble lamb qorma and biryani but would in actual fact turn out to be made of spun sugar. In days of yore, says Muzaffar Ali,…

A Tale Of Two Cups

In which we juggle multiple cups of tea and coffee, just in time for the monsoon showers! Tea and coffee bars are a dime a dozen in this city of ours and most of us visit them because we want to set down our shopping bags or to cool off in the frosty air-conditioning. In…

Side Wok Khan Market

The time is not far off when Khan Market will be crammed end-to-end with restaurants and cafes. Sidewok is the latest to join the band-wagon, but there are others still waiting in the queue. So, how does the latest kid on the block fare? As far as décor and service goes, it is the most…

Smoke House Grill

Delhi’s newest restaurant – Smoke House Grill – is from the stable of Riyaaz Amlani, the maverick genius who gave us Mocha. Expectedly, it is not just another fine-dining eatery with a lounge section, but contains a novel concept that is set to change the way we look at cuisine. The restaurant actually has a…

The Chowk, Gurgaon

The Chowk is among MGF Mall’s latest crop of eateries, many of the original ones having faded away into oblivion, but then, that is the malaise that affects all of Gurgaon. This restaurant is reportedly a branch of Khaaja Chowk, in another mall down the same road. This avatar has none of the exuberance of…

West Delhi’s Delights

Am I alone in thinking of West Delhi as a gastronomic treasure trove? I’ll happily by-pass Chandni Chowk and its culinary offerings for a day of roaming the area that lies between Karol Bagh and Rajouri Garden. Here’s where you’ll find dhaba owners who are virtually unknown in all but the neighbouring localities. Take Sindhi…

The Fabled Kashmiri Wazwan

What makes the Kashmiri wazwan the culinary masterpiece that it is? There are several answers. The first one is that it is only in the cool climes of the Valley that you can eat around a kilo of lamb over a dozen courses and actually enjoy it. Then too, it is fiendishly difficult to replicate…

The Mystique of Saffron in Kashmir

Kashmir is the only place In India and one of the few places in the world where saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, grows; to be more specific, it grows only on the plateau land of Pampore, just outside Srinagar. Saffron is not grown on any of the other fertile alluvial plateaus of Kashmir, and the people of Pampore…