Who makes the best cheesecake in town? Foodaholics. And who makes the deadliest Mexican food in the city? Foodaholics again. Foodaholics (www.foodaholics.in) is run by young Kishi Arora, a 20-something bundle of energy and initiative who has passed out from the Culinary Institute of America after a two year programme. Rather than work for a hotel or restaurant, Arora decided to go it along, using her residence for creating works of art. It is an approach that has paid dividends. She only makes cakes, desserts and savouries on order, which means that nothing gets wasted as it would in a restaurant. Also, in a restaurant, you have to cater to the “average customer” who may just want something quite banal.
Kishi Arora has, in one fell swoop, managed to sidestep all that. While her core competence is cakes and desserts, she also does a small amount of savouries – both snacks and main courses. I had laid a bet with a friend that Mexican food cannot be both vegetarian and authentic at the same time. The friend rang Kishi Arora and ordered a lavish Mexican meal (only vegetarian). The deal was that the loser paid the bill. The bet cost me Rs 3,000, but it was one bet that I didn’t mind losing. Arora and her family are vegetarian and she does not cook non-vegetarian food in her kitchen. She also does not attempt Indian food, and out of all the cuisines that she does, (Italian, Lebanese, Mexican) it is probably Mexican that turns out the best. This is because she has actually lived in Mexico according to our mutual friend and thus, knows the taste of the food. We received Tortillas and Tacos. The latter were as good as anything you could buy ready-made but were made in Arora’s kitchen.
There were two types of Salsa: a sweet-sour one featuring mangoes and the regular tomato-onion one. There was a more than adequate Guacamole which was creditable considering that Delhi in July-August is not the best place for avocadoes. There was re-fried beans and sour cream with chives. Best of all were the Tortillas: Whole Wheat with Spinach and Mushroom as well as Corn Tortillas with Cheddar and Jalapenos. The Black Bean Soup was meant to be had with the Sour Cream and Chips. The whole huge thermacol box was carefully unpacked and written instructions were handed over to us about what went with which dish: we had to assemble the tortillas ourselves.
Foodaholics is not cheap. Each cake costs Rs 1,500 a kilo but it includes delivery to anywhere in Delhi in a car. However, you can order cakes of less than one kilogram as long as the minimum order is Rs 1,000. I have tried Foodaholics’ cheesecake. The cheesecakes are, expectedly, the New York style – full of the rich goodness of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. They are as smooth as silk and are always combined with the flavours that Arora seems to specialize in: Valrhona chocolate with Berries, Orange with Real Lavender, Passionfruit and Coconut – after having spent two years in CIA, Arora will not let her customers cop out and order Black Forest and Pineapple Pastry!
Most ladies who make cakes and desserts from their homes suffer the problems of inconsistency and being let down by domestic staff. Kishi Arora works unaided and her training at one of the finest cooking schools in the world has stood her in good stead.
Cost of 1 kg cake: Rs 1,500