Tonino (Opp 1 MG Road, Between Chhatarpur & Sultanpur Metro stations New Delhi)

In a nutshell:

Romantic restaurant with excellent ambience & service, serves very good food but not the best in the category.

Address & other details : Tonino

Cuisine Type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Meal for 2: Rs. 3000 onwards (similar spread as described below) Beverages extra

Short DescriptionIn case u r in a hurry:

Before the food is served, came the breads & a tiny bowl of dark green ‘Olive pesto’……. Simply awesome. For starters we had fairly good calamari aglio. Then came the super thin crust signature Pizza – Provencale (vegetarian) baked on woodfire in a stone oven that u can see in one corner of the Dining Room of the Restaurant. Very good Pizza I must say, especially after we topped it up with some lamb salami, homemade red chilli flakes & oregano. The Grilled sole in Olive oil was good but have had better elsewhere. The Chocolate Lasagna dessert was again excellent with layers of not too sweet chocolate (with a slight hint of salt) amidst a non-fluffy chocolate cake, topped with Vanilla flavored ice cream. Loved the experience overall – Tastes r great but cud have been even better – prices r on the higher side.

Detailed DescriptionIn case u have time to enjoy reading:

Continue reading “Tonino (Opp 1 MG Road, Between Chhatarpur & Sultanpur Metro stations New Delhi)”

Fat Lulu’s (Ground & 1st floor, Shopping Mall, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase 1, Gurgaon)

In a nutshell:

Awesome slim pizzas at fat Lulu’s that r cheaper & much superior than the average fare served by MNC pizzawalas. I pinched myself to ascertain whether I was dreaming or awake – as the food hit my tastebuds.

Fat Lulu’s

Address & other details: Fat Lulu’s

Meal for 2: Rs. 600 onwards

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Pizza is a common snack that has become almost an indian food in a decade & half of its getting popularized. MNC pizzawalas like Dominoes Pizza, Pizza Hut etc rule the market with their ‘average to good but seldom outstanding’ breaded & other pizzas, mainly due to smart marketing. Then come the expensive ‘Italian’ restaurants like Tonino, Spagetti Kitchen etc which serve good pizzas but u easily end up spending Rs. 2000+. Good Budget Pizzas were a miss in general & Fat Lulu’s has just filled the void.

Make ur own pizza @ Fat Lulu’s

Between both of us we had 3 pizzas (8 inch) back to back for dinner & we kept craving for more………………….. alas our stomach pouches raised red flags beyond 3.

The Restaurant has a tiny ground floor which is essentially a home delivery & ‘pack’ section. A wooden staircase took us upstairs. I was impressed by the simplicity of the décor & the casual ambience. On one end was the Wood fired pizza Oven & the rest of the room was dining chairs & tables. Tables are for 2 people & they were being joined in different permutations & combinations by the staff to accommodate 4 or 6 or 8 guests together.

Inside Fat Lulu’s

Each table had 3 things – chili flakes, herbs seasoning & most importantly olive oil, in addition to the usual salt, pepper etc.

olive oil on every table

The menu card is a one pager & has an interesting concept: The menu card read – ‘Pick ur base, size, topping & cheese – we wud do the rest’ or ‘choose from our selection of Pizzas’. See the picture below for understanding how the matrix works.

Pricing matrix as of oct 2012

Example. We chose an 8 inch vegetarian pizza with a choice of any 4 toppings. That made it Rs.250. We then chose 1 non vegetarian topping. Those were for Rs. 75 each. So our pizza came for Rs. 325.

As mentioned above we were shocked to find the pizzas so good. They were not gourmet kinds that u get in Hilton / Park Hotel but they were excellent.

For beverages the only option is lipton ice tea / soft carbonated drinks.

The staff members seemed to be new to the job & still learning. However, they tried their best to be helpful. The owner lady was always at the floor & constantly supervising the floor. I was amazed to see that she actually was helping the staff in relocating & re-setting the furniture as well.

Continue reading “Fat Lulu’s (Ground & 1st floor, Shopping Mall, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase 1, Gurgaon)”

Cafe Bel Cibo (Ground Floor, Ninex Mall, Sohna Road, Gurgaon)

In a nutshell:

Cool interiors, nice ambience, warm staff, good place to hang out with friends, good for a date as well, but food – average, inconsistent – good at times & bad at other times.
cafe bel cibo

Address & other details: Cafe Bel Cibo

Meal for 2: Rs. 800 onwards

the interiors - long shot

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Ninex Mall

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

You’d love the atmosphere. A bright colorful interior with lots of super cool detailing, a large graphiti,

cool graphiti on the wall

nice little figurines,

figurines

books

books & other stuff on shelves

……………… The interior designer excelled in his / her work.

I heard from two different sets of foodie friends that this new place is good. Both of them have had good experience here. So decided to go there for the first time to have some pizzas.

cool NO SMOKING guy on the wall

We were impressed with the look of the menu card as it arrived – the design, looks & feel.

the cool menu card

Menu options were focused, not too many & not too less – soups,salads, pizzas, pastas, lasagnes, starters, sides & a mezze platter.
Service was good.

The food looked great & very appealing. Some of the food was good. Rest was a disaster. Since my friends have liked it on previous occasions, I guess it was my bad luck – maybe the chef was not around / absent / left the restaurant & the trainee / someone novice was around to cook our food.

Cool Presentation of food

Whatever be the case, it was frustrating to pay full price for the food & get something stupid on the plate. In fact if u r as unlucky as me, U might also turn up there on such a bad day.

I am surely not going back there to re-try & waste my hard earned money.

We ordered a mezze platter, a pesto based pizza & a Belgian Chocolate drink & fresh lime soda. A part of the platter was good, part average. The Pizza was a disaster. The Chocolate drink was good but not what we expect in Belgian Chocolate. It turned out to be like a Belgian ‘Milk Chocolate’ – not dark. The fresh lime soda ‘sweet & salt’ was ok.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

Continue reading “Cafe Bel Cibo (Ground Floor, Ninex Mall, Sohna Road, Gurgaon)”

Fresc Co Restaurant (Ambience Mall, NH8, Gurgaon, Terminal 2, Domestic Airport, New Delhi)

In a nutshell:

A roller coaster experience for us & our tastebuds, an evening with moments of dissappointments & ecstasy…………thankfully eventually we walked out smiling.

The warm interiors of Fresc Co

Address & other details: Fresc Co

Meal for 2: Rs. 1200 onwards

Cuisines of the countries that are served at Fresc Co

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Day 1 (Ambience Mall):

We walked in seeing a huge poster of Pizza with seafood, took a seat, waited for the waiting staff to reach us (which incidentally took a while), & to be told that it is not being served. So we asked, ‘why do u have the picture outside?’ – pat came the answer ‘sir, we change our menu card often. We do not have this any more in the current menu’………….. was that a joke??? Isnt one supposed to replace product advertisements for which the product has been discontinued? Very frustating start.

The Huge picture of seafood pizza outside Fresc co which is not a part of the menu!!!!!

The overall service was slow, it was very difficult to make an eyecontact with the staff even though at times we saw them chatting near the counter. It felt like Castaway Tom Hanks in the island trying to wave at the aircrafts flying above to rescue him but those guys r busy flying.

Must mention that when they are at the table, they are very nice to us & in fact some of them are real smart & have good product knowledge.

What surely needs a mention is the live music. That is something for which we might revisit – performance by Gregg on Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings.

They have some good vegetarian & nonvegetarian buffet spreads. I wud not drive from home to go & eat at that buffet again but if I am around & am hungry, will surely consider this as an option. Fresco at the Domestic Terminal however feels like an Oasis – Relatively much higher standard of food than the regular fast food kind of chains that r present at the Airport. Infact I have eaten more often at Fresco in the airport than at AmbiMall.

Excellent Sicilian Pizza at Fresc Co

In alacarte we had some cool Greek style prawns, some weird Chelo Kabab, an excellent Sicilian Pizza & a very enjoyable virgin mojito.

Detailed Description – in case u have the time to enjoy reading:

Continue reading “Fresc Co Restaurant (Ambience Mall, NH8, Gurgaon, Terminal 2, Domestic Airport, New Delhi)”

Eating out in Gurgaon – Non Indian food

This post is kind of a recap of non Indian cuisines & eateries in Gurgaon – I have covered detailed reviews of many of these eateries in doifferent posts in this blog . Needless to say that this is not a comprehensive guide of food places in Gurgaon but then it is good to start with – its about our favourite pik or not so favourite pik.

This post was first written in early 2011 for www.socialmantra.in. I am republishing this with minor changes. You will find updates to restaurants that we have revisited if u click on the links below.

Moving to cuisine from our neighboring country China, I must first explain the two types of food available Gurgaon. The first is authentic Chinese & the second is Chindian (Indianization of Chinese food). Manchurian is a common example of Chindian food – When I went to China years back, I asked for the famous Chinese dish Manchurian, to be told that they had never even heard of this. Later while reading a book called Rude Food by Vir Sanghvi, I came to know that Manchurian was invented in Mumbai by a Chinese origin Indian National hailing from Tangra in Kolkata who later opened a very successful Eatery in Delhi!!!! The Chinese of China have never even heard of it. The technique is basically to make koftas of meats & vegetables in the Indian way, deep fry them & then cook them in Chinese sauces. This form of food is so popular that last time I was in Boston I saw a restaurant with a board saying Indian Chinese Restaurant!!!

A good example of a restaurant serving Chindian food is Yo China. With most of the Chinese cuisines tweaked to cater to local tastes, this little eatery in MGF mall is a super success. Food is very tasty in general – Starts with a limited but good selection of dimsums (very chicken heavy). Honey chilli potato is a good vegetarian starter that even carnivores like me would love. Special mention for the fish & prawn dishes in starters as well as main-course. The full pomfret is excellent & so is garlic fish. Crispy mutton is also worth a try. There are a few very good sautéed chicken options as well. In the desserts section, there is a unique ‘snickers sundae’ which is actually pieces of snickers chocolate pieces dunked in vanilla ice cream. In food courts of other malls, movie halls & large departmental stores, you may come across a little colorful Yo China Cart which serves yummy momos & honey chilli potatoes. This is our favorite ‘little munch’ during our Gurgaon hopping exercises.

Continue reading “Eating out in Gurgaon – Non Indian food”