Nagai

First Nobu, then Morimoto, now Reina Nagai Serving: Japanese Atmospherics: Want to know how authentic a Japanese restaurant is? Look around at the Japanese guests there. If they constitute over 90%, authenticity is guaranteed; if it is next to nothing, be sure it is a crowd pleaser for the desi palate. But what about a…

Andrea’s Eatery

An enormous menu that actually works Serving: South East Asian, western, Italian Atmospherics: The Amici of old has suddenly metamorphosed into a far more attractive version, with excellent food. Whereas there were formerly no doors, now there are glass partitions with black frames and a couple of shelves laden with mainly Italian ingredients, in the…

PDA (PCO + Diva Agenzia)

Cuisine: Italian bar snacks Atmospherics: The best little bar in the city. The music doesn’t blast your ear-drums, there’s none of the ‘open tab’ accounts that are the norm in places where crowds have to roar to make themselves heard. This is a stylish bar, in the manner of an Italian bar where an espresso…

Drift

Drift at Gurgaon’s Epicenter is several notches up from Habitat Centre. Both are run by the same person, yet Drift has an evolved modern European menu featuring duck, sea bass and salmon, all of which are notable by their absence at IHC’s outlets. What remains the same is the cultured, arty crowd; before long, Drift…

Chicken Plaza

Don’t go looking for a gourmet treat. At Rs 100 per head, on a Daryaganj pavement just under the overhead footpath, Chicken Plaza won’t give you a five star meal, but you will have a surprisingly tasty snack at laughably low prices. Chicken Plaza is right by a tiny mosque, which makes it less than…

Journey of Spices

Occasionally, you come across a restaurant that has not a trace of spark in it, yet manages to rake in the crowds. Journey of Spices in Noida’s popular Sector 18 market is such a place. Scan the menu for something approaching novelty or for some sign that the management is trying to stand up and…

Lemon Curd Tarts

Sometimes it is the simplest things in life which are the hardest to do. Lemon tarts are, on the face of it, not rocket science. You stir butter, sugar, lemon juice and grated zest and a beaten egg over a double boiler and add the result to short crust pastry baked in a pie tin.…

Viva Goa

The next time you’re in Goa, if you want to stir up hornet’s nest, try asking a group of house wives for the exact recipe of Goan fish curry. You’ll have a riot on your hands in no time at all. The exact details of the recipe may elude you — whether the gherkin-like bimbli,…

Chapa Pulusu

Travel down the west coast of peninsular India, eating fish curries all the while, and it is a fair bet that every last one of them will have coconut in them. Some will have ground coconut, others will have only the milk of ground coconuts, while still others will have no red chillies. All fish…

Begum Kulsum – One for the Road

Once upon a time there lived a king and his prime minister. Each had a slew of palaces in the city where they lived, one more fairytale than the other. Cars, retinues of helpers, suitcases of fabulous gems – they had them all. Even when the privy purses were abolished, they lived happily ever after.…