Gunpowder

In a more civilized city, there would be plenty of places like Gunpowder. Small, advertised strictly through word of mouth and the redoubtable Facebook, bold enough to have an off-beat menu and stick to it and above all, chef-owner driven eatery that is focused on two things: food and customers. The good news is that…

DumPukht

It is probably one of the most stylish Indian restaurants in this country. The recent makeover has made it more traditional and classical in appearance, while making the food lighter, less spicy and rich yet just as flavourful. DumPukht used to be something of an also-ran compared to its more popular neighbour, Bukhara. However, since…

Cafe Qahwa

The only problems with Barista, Cafe Coffee Day and Costa are that they are formulaic, cookie-cutter clones of each other and that while their coffee quality is steadily declining, their snacks range from inedible to uninspiring. That is what you get when you’re a large chain and have to outsource your snacks to the same…

Indonesia

“Hardly any of us visit the islands of Indonesia, and that’s the only reason why the cuisine is relatively unknown in India. What other explanation can there be?” This is Suddha Kukreja’s take on Indonesian food, which has a resonance with Indian food. Both cuisines depend on long cooking times, plenty of spices and relatively…

Ten commandments for restaurateurs

Though shalt decide on a cuisine and concept before opening. Then, tempting as the idea might be, thou shalt not attempt to beef up sales by calling your Japanese hot pot restaurant a lounge bar. Thou shalt set up a restaurant serving a cuisine thou believest in. Resist the temptation to open a pub just…

Marwari with Mukta

With most of Delhi’s chattering classes making their way to the cooler climes of Europe these days, Mukta Khetan is one busy lady. She is one of the few members of the Marwari community in the city to cater to the culinary needs of her tribe. So well-known are her samosa potlis, chivda and kalmi…

Westin Gurgaon

Westin Gurgaon is the new landmark hotel of Gurgaon, standing proud by the side of the expressway. Inside, the spaces are clean and contemporary. Right now, all that is open is Seasonal Tastes, a cutting edge all-day diner. The best part of the restaurant is the Lebanese spread on the buffet, which also features Indian…

K is for Kimchi

I ducked into the nearest branch of Dunkin Donuts in order to escape the onslaught of the ubiquitous kimchi. In Korea’s capital, Seoul, local food traditions are very strong. During the four days of my stay, every meal featured the highly distinctive Korean cuisine. Even at the breakfast buffet at the hotel I stayed in,…

Madrid

You see, that was the day that Chef Ferran Adria announced at a press conference that he was going to close El Bulli for two years. I don’t think I’ll forget the flash of lightning that was almost tangible in the auditorium. The uproar that ensued was like a clap of thunder. The very fact…

Chef Luzinier

When Chef Luzinier lived in his ancestral village near Bergerac in South West France, his grandfather had a particular way of drinking his soup. Every night of the year, bar none, Grandfather Luzinier would eat garlic soup, about which more in a minute, into which stale bread would be crumbled. When he was just short…