Saturday, February 28, 2015


Sakura has Renewed the rich tradition of Japanese cuisine by adopting a new look, a new menu and a whole new attitude…

Sakura is a gem of a beautiful restaurant in a neighbourhood shopping centre, offering the enlightened diners of Gurgaon to a great choice as well as adds to their repertoire of preferences and meets the needs of guests who have to drive a long way to reach Sakura at The Metropolitan Hotel. Soft yellow lighting sets you in a mellow mood while the soft plunking Shamisen music wafts through the place. Japanese elements such as the window blinds are deliberately designed to resemble with Japanese interior accents common to most houses in Japan. The rich fabrics and highest grade wood furniture gives the space a current and warm look, but also maintains the balance between tradition and modernity. Dining here is to dine in a setting of tradition and artistry.
Coming to the food, here guests can unravel their own part of the enigma and experience Japanese food, lovingly prepared by Japanese Master Chef and his team, as it was always meant to be. For me this is the only Japanese restaurant in the city that specialises in the art of yakitori. The Japanese sense of order and aestheticism prevails even in this humble little restaurant as the food arrives in skewers with everything cut to bite sizes.
Delightfully delicate artistry seen in the handiwork of the chef on the Sushi whets your appetite for more as on offer is a repertoire of over a dozen fillings, including mackerel and yellow tail.
 All sea food and sashimi are fresh and of immaculate quality, artfully presented and down to the finest detail. Each category of Teppanyaki; seafood, meat and vegetables, comes with its own selection of sauces for dipping your grilled bite sized treat. Some are tart, some tangy, others sweet or savoury- all are marvellous. Recommendations also go all out for the Sakura style Tantanmen aka hot egg noodles topped with spicy ground meat sauce or the ever popular Ginmutsu Saikyoyaki, cod fish marinated with white soy bean paste, mirin, and sake and grilled to perfection. All this washed down with a range of Sake including Taru sake, Hakutsuru, Kiku Masamune Nama and Tamanohikari Bizen to name a few. To end on a sweet note go for the green tea ice-cream…its divine!
Sakura, Time Tower Building, Main Mehrauli Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon
TEL: (0124) 42500951
TIMINGS: Open for lunch and dinner.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Eest creates a new culinary experience of South East Asia by representing its basic life elements…

AMBIENCE: The decor is modern with an Asian influence. The restaurant design integrates the interactive glass show kitchens with multiple and private table booths and an exclusive private dining area, ensuring the venue is a visual feast.
WHAT’S ON OFFER? Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean with five private dining rooms, tea bar, a large semi-private main dining room and a private sushi bar are on offer. Having a penchant for soups, I truly enjoyed Chef Chia’s wholesome and utterly delectable seafood dumpling soup. Eest also incorporates very good sea-food under its Oriental Umbrella. No other restaurant does the stir fried prawns to such magical effect. Fragrant, crispy and flavoursome, they are wonderful. If a light meal is what you want, the sushi and sashimi selection is excellent, deftly prepared by the chef. Not much has been left unsaid about Thai food but there seems to be a special touch in the dishes here. The steamed fish is supremely good and underscores the Thai way of using spices, enough but not too much and altogether like an exotic perfume. Another highlight is the traditional set course lunch menu under each section. The fragrant green tea ice cream here is one of the best in town. Contemporary Oriental cuisine shows off the chef’s innovation with excellent service that Westin is well-known for.
STARTERS: ‘Do chi zheng pai gu’- steamed pork ribs with chilli black bean sauce, ‘Zha cai qie zi’- steamed eggplant with Sichuan preserved cabbage sauce, ‘Sashimi & Sushi’, ‘Tempura moriawase’- assorted tempura platter, ‘kai yang’- grilled marinated chicken, ‘Laab kai’- spicy minced chicken salad
MAIN COURSE: ‘Hei jiao niu rou’- tenderloin in black pepper sauce. ‘Qiang chao bai cai’ -wok fried chinese cabbage with burnt chilli, ‘Gintala miso yaki’- cod fish with miso sauce, ‘Pla nung manao’- steamed basa fillet with garlic lemon sauce, ‘Gaeng ga-ree kai or phak’- vegetable or chicken in yellow curry with potato and onion
DESSERT: ‘Pu shi dan ta’ -Portuguese egg tart, ‘Maccha aisu kulimu’- green tea ice cream, ‘Sang khaya ob’- baked coconut egg custard
Eest @The WestIn Gurgaon, No 1 MG Road, Gurgaon-122002
For Reservations: +91-: 0124 4977777
Meal for two: INR 2,500 without alcohol.
Timings: 12pm – 3 pm and 7pm till midnight

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Traditional recipes are masterpieces like art created by Picasso and Van Gouge wherein even a slightest of change made, could destroy them. It is a rich heritage we have inherited, and I firmly believe that no mixture or as people call it ‘fusion’ will ever measure up to what we call ‘authentic cuisine’. No person who values heritage will ever tell you to sell his family heirlooms. That said, times are changing and people are inventing new ways to get rid of the old. But is it necessary? Well I would say fusion if married well is a sure shot winner but can be confusion if isn’t done the right way.  Fusion is good unless people don’t use it as an excuse to mix ridiculous ingredients, charge double the prices and upset customers.

To me eating is joy of life, which ancient traditions and practices have enriched, pampered and protected to make them what they are today. Hence when I got an invite to try out secret recipes by celebrated Chef Izzat Husain at Saffron, how could I have ever miss a chance to experience the magnificence of the royal kitchens of Awadh as he recreated treasured Indian classics like the Kakori Kebabs, Gosht Yakhni Pulao, Zaffrani Nehari and Baqakhani? For those who do not know Chef Izzat Husain has been taking Awadhi cuisine across the globe. A hard working food enthusiast, he has spent several years to search and revive authentic recipes of Mughlai, Awadhi & Lakhnawi cuisine and has left no stone unturned to learn the cooking techniques it from a royal kitchen khansama or a home cook.
Executive Chef Sandeep Kalra
Coming to my experience, Just stepping into Saffron made me feel like royalty as my table was replete with a table reserved with my name tag on it! The food is neither fussy nor complicated, but hugely tasty, with very generous portions. I tried a mix of the regular menu at ‘Saffron’ coupled with some dishes from ‘Rivaayat’ which Executive Chef Sandeep Kalra specially curated for me. The piece de resistance for me was the melt in the mouth ‘Kakori kebab’ For me the benchmark of a good Indian restaurant is its ‘Biryani’ and here I found an ancient recipe that has faded from the memory of the world rediscovered in this rare Biryani eating experience, the multifaceted identity of the Nizam’s preserved in its original form. 
The dessert menu was a whirlwind of flavours, as for me, after a delicious meal the ‘Paan Ice-cream’ was a fitting and soothing ending. I guess I’ll need to make another trip to do justice to the entire menu. Attention to detail is clearly a valued premise at Saffron. The restaurant is a balmy strip of foodie fun and a meal of Rivaayat dishes adds a measure of gustatory refinement. Truly I enjoyed here not just a cuisine, but an experience that goes beyond mere satisfaction of appetite to the realm of sensuality! Trust me being here is reason enough; soaking in the colonial grandeur of an elegant era while enjoying a selection of viands well beyond reproach!!

Saffron, Trident Gurgaon, 443, Udyog Vihar, Phase V, Gurgaon 122 016.
Tel: 0124 412 4307
Timings: Lunch - 12:30pm - 3:00 pm. Dinner - 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm.