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Sid Khullar

Sid

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member since 12-2008
   
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Reviews Posted by: Sid

16 Reviews

Blanco

"Blanco: Worth a try" 15 Dec 2008
We visited Blanco a few days back for a drink and some food. Quite a nice place. Either I haven’t been getting around as much as I used to, or restaurants are becoming more and more daring and experimenting with bold themes for their decor. I did like the way Blancos was set up. The staff was quite friendly and attentive and we never had to wait for more than a few seconds for service. They have these quaint wooden tables, a kind of ‘polished around the corners’ rough look, very dim fluoroscent lighting and quite uncomfortable chairs. They have a smoking section and serve drinks. Talking about drinks, for some reason, their bar just consists of a few cubby holes in the wall, where bottles are stacked two deep, which doesn’t let you see what exactly they have in stock. What they did have, didn’t seem like too much, but then looks can be deceptive. Strangely, they *only* stock Kingfisher beer among the Indian variety, which we chose to avoid and instead selected ‘Tiger’ (125 a pop) - never drunk it before - quite nice. Also note, their peg size isn’t mentioned on the menu and it is the normal quantity - 30ml. Some places don’t mention it, but use 25ml as the norm. The wine section of their bar menu was probably the most exhaustive I’ve seen in quite a while. While it was grossly overpriced, as retail liquor in India usually is, it did have different sections for different wines described as ‘full bodied’, ‘rich flavor’ and so on. On to the food. The menu was very interesting, with a wide range of extremely tempting food. Curiously, it was hand written, which I guess is a nice touch. We ordered a Sushi Platter (INR 500 for 8 pieces) to go with our meal. This included California Maki, Salmon Nigiri, Prawn and Zucchini rolls. They looked absolutely delicious! It was served with a dip (probably soya and rice vinegar and/or mirin), sushi ginger (gari) and wasabi paste. Quite nice, though the taste of the rice wasn’t coming through as it does when fresh. We also ordered ‘Legendary Vietnamese prawn rolls with Sweet Chilli Dip’ (INR 350 for 6 pieces). These too looked just the way they should and tasted fabulous. The dip served with it was very delicately flavored and just right. In retrospect, we really should have had dinner here, however, plans dictated another location for dinner. I’m sure that too would have been just as great as the starters. Definitely worth a visit. Smoking: Yes | Alcohol: Yes | Meal for Two: INR 1500 | Cards: Yes

Side Wok

"Sidewok: Last alternative" 15 Dec 2008
Ashwin and I decided to meet up midweek and yesterday seemed as good a day as any. Since I had had enough of western style food, the general consensus was either an Indian or a Chinese restaurant. Roaming around Khan market, we found SideWok. If I were to choose a single redeeming feature at SideWok, it would be their manager - Rakesh Puri. He impressed us to such an extent, that (since they didn’t serve alcohol) we went elsewhere for our pint and came back here to eat, solely due to him. The decor here is quite neatly done in a mixture of wood panelling, glass and brick. It could be a little less cramped, but once you’re seated it is quite alright. Have you ever been to some really good restaurants and wrinkled your nose at their toilets? For example, Golden Dragon Lajpat Nagar’s loos are cramped, dingy and stink! Not so at SideWok - *Very* well maintained and well designed - I was quite impressed. The service is attentive, friendly and efficient. I asked for my food to be served a certain way and they ensured it was done so, down to the smallest detail. The manager was all smiles, suggestions and I found willing and polite answers to everything I asked… and I can be pesky at times. Here’s where the experience starts to dull a bit. We ordered Mizutaki Soup, Crispy Fried Sweet and Sour Pork, Mixed Meat Noodles and Vegetables in a Garlic Wine Sauce. While it came to the table exactly the way I asked, *nothing* except the soup met the mark. The Mizutaki Soup was exellent, even though they used Koyadofu - a type of freeze-dried spongy Japanese tofu that I don’t care much for. The taste, textures and contents were splendid and I’d love to have it again. The Vegetables in Garlic Wine Sauce was grossly overdone and the whole dish could be described as one step short of the mush fed to babies. The Pork was fried to the extent that it couldn’t be chewed, definitely wasn’t crisp and was in a sauce that was a couple of marks short of syrup (sweet!!!). The noodles would have been fine if the shreds of omelette inside it didn’t smell of burnt egg. None of the food matched the high expectations set by the decor and service. The food was more Delhi street Chinese than that you would expect in a restaurant. I’ll say it again here - the soup was exellent. :-) I don’t think I will be visiting here again, inspite of the wonderful people, service attitude and service.

Baby Dragon

"Baby Dragon: Avoid Avoid Avoid" 15 Dec 2008
Bumping into Nishant and Prashant, Culinary Entrepreneurs at large, we thought of having dinner together. Always ready to try new (and sometimes risky) restaurants, we decided to check out Baby Dragon. Baby Dragon! The name has kept me away in the past for some reason and as it turned out, I was right to stay in visual distance. Located in Sector 18, it has been around for a while, though the mention of its name doesn’t really send people into delicious shudders of culinary memories. Its the opposite really, as I will proceed to illustrate. For some reason, the place has a door and a rubberised plastic strip curtain before the door. On entering, you find a small, relatively cramped dining area, but pleasant to look at nonetheless. The staff are friendly and attentive. One thing I liked was the presence of table mats and pencil colors that my daughter, Cherie, could color and spend time with.On to the food. We ordered vegetarian and non vegetarian lemon coriander soup, a mixed meat noodle soup meal, a vegetarian Thai red curry, chilli chicken, chicken dim sums, noodles and lime sodas for all of us. The lime sodas were good. The lemon coriander soup had red chilli powder/flakes added to it and was over flavored and quite pungent. The noodle soup meal, while quite well presented and full of vegetables, chicken and prawns, was totally devoid of flavor. Closer to hot water than soup. The chilli chicken was over fried, had way too much vinegar and was tough. Each and every one of the dumplings were stuck to the container they came in and broke apart on the way to our places. They were quite ordinary otherwise. The Thai green curry was concentrated enough to be nearly called a paste rather than a curry. It contained all the right ingredients, but the flavors of lemon grass and galangal were overpowering. The noodles were dry and uninspired. All in all, the food was a disaster, though the portions were ok. The prices were a surprise. Our total bill was just a little over INR 1,000 and thats with 4 adults and one child. If you’re looking for good food, this isn’t the place for you. Update 14th May 2008: Went to Baby Dragon for another go. The area outside was stinking of urine. The dining area inside was stinking of the same. Placed an order and tried to stay put, but the smell was overwhelming. Cancelled my order and left. Not good. Sid

Nazeem's Kathi Roll

"Nazeems: Stay Away" 15 Dec 2008
We were shopping yesterday and I saw this place that I’d never visited - Nazeems. Thinking I’d pop in for a quick snack, I headed over. Located in a corner of sector 18, NOIDA, Nazeems claims to have been serving the public since Adam. Inside, it has a college canteen kind of decor and the staff is total devoid of any kind of welcome or smile. Each face you see is dour and has a staid, fixed expression for some reason. I ordered a mutton roll, which took nearly 20 minutes to reach me. Thinking it would be like the pictures adorning the interiors, I patiently waited. What finally reached me was a mutton seekh kebab and some sliced onion, wrapped in a rumali roti. It was served with the ubiquitous green chutney and a bowl of chopped onions. Since the rumali roti is quite large, there was much more roti than kebab. The taste wasn’t anything to write home about. The Mutton Nihari wasn’t available and so were a number of other items on the menu. I wonder why people stuff their menus with items, only to have to refuse customers all day. Anyway, I would advise any weary, thirsty or hungry shopper to totally avoid the place as it won’t do anything for your weariness, thirst or hunger.

Wok and Talk

"Wok and Talk: Only if you must" 15 Dec 2008
Wok and Talk is a part of the Spoon Food Court, in the Great India Place, NOIDA. Just like any other food court, you can take in the many aromas wafting around the place, the hubbub of many people talking at once and the occasional loud crash of a strike at the bowling alley ahead. The options are few, but well designed. We tried their Lemon, Mint and Coriander Wok, which is supposed to be pan fried noodles topped with vegetables in a lemony, minty and coriander flavoured sauce. What we got however, were vegetables cooked in Thai Green Curry paste, without the coconut milk. I will admit it was interesting and tasty, though a bit oily. It was served with a very hot red, peanut sauce along with their rendition of Kimchi. Wok and Talk is an integral part of the Spoon Food Court and is present wherever Spoon is. It is worth an occasional visit – perhaps a bit more. I’m sure you’ll return though.