When one is working in the food industry, an exploratory trip is a blend of business and pleasure! So was this trip of mine.
Starting with the 1st destination, Chandigarh, IN.
Gopal’s: A very well known chain of sweets and savories brand serving wide range of sweets, chats, quick bites and other savories. Our bites of the visit included Paneer Pakoda, Dahi Bhalla, Papdi Chat, Rabri Falooda, Gulab Jamun and Chole Bhatura. We packed some sweets for eating later. The Chole Bhatura was the best and sweets all were well made, be it dry fruits or ghee ones.
Malt & Co.: A microbrewery in Sector 22 serves some great beers and food. With elegant ambiance, its a blend of fine dine restaurant and a present day brewery. Our picks were Malt & Co. Spl Beer and Dooplebock Dark. The latter was a bad choice as my friend found difficult to finish 😀 Not that it was bad, but it was too much black coffee-ish for a beer. On the other side, the M&C spl was mild and good.
Bella Vista: Serende is a restaurant in Bella Vista by Welcom Hotels. This place serves good food, and its an all day dining place. We went there on Sunday Night and along with buffet, the main attraction was Live Music. Every Sunday night, they host Live Music, Deepak Wali was performing that day. Coming back to food, liked their pasta and strawberry mousse a lot, while other items scored above average.
2nd destination was Jalandhar.
Enroute to Jalandhar from Chandigarh, we stopped at a local dhaba for lunch. Wonderful Khali Dal and Paneer Butter Masala, with dollops of butter on rotis! Served with loads of love and care 🙂
Rangla Punjab: This is a Punjab village themed property by Haveli Heritage Group of Punjabi Veg restaurants. An excellent property showcasing various aspects and lifestyles of a village. The place has Street Magic, Puppet Show, Horse Riding, Kuntebille (Hopscotch), Dance, Music, Pottery and much more to offer. Being known to the promoters of the place, our entry was free. Yeah, it has a single Entry fee which includes the food and few other activities. The restaurant serves wide range of punjabi thali (image below) and its unlimited!!!! Great food, perfect village ambiance and homely service and care are the pros of this place. A visit to this place is recommended when in Jalandhar.
Lovely Sweets: The Mittal Halwai family basically from Rajasthan started making sweets during British Rule era at the Cantonment area of Jalandhar. From then, there is no turning back for this family. today, the Lovely Sweets has become bigger than ever, has opened Bakery and yes, Lovely Professional University too! Even though the group has grown big, it has stayed down to earth in terms of making some really good sweets and savories. A 4story sweet shop is just the display of their professionalism and success. With 300+ varities of sweets, they keep inventing new sweets every now and then. They cater to weddings and other events too, of massive size. One can easily get confused as to what to buy, after seeing their sweets display 😀
Amritsar was our next pitstop!
A Grand welcome is given by the Golden Tomb-Arch at the entry point of Amritsar City.
Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple): All these days, this place was just a photo or video in my life. And this time, being at the serene spiritual place was a wonderful feeling. At the abode of generosity of the Sikhs, in the middle of the nectar of purity, this massive Golden temple is the holiest worship place for Sikhs. One can see equality, humbleness and happiness all around. Even with such crowds, the peace prevails.
A visit to the Jallianwala Bagh brings so much of sadness for the killing of hundreds of peaceful protesters by the British. Returned with a heavy heart. 😦
Bharawan Da Dhaba: A very well known restaurant in Amritsar serving veg food. Our pick remained constant with Khali Dal (Dal Makhani) and Paneer Butter Masala. Paneer was real soft and masala added great taste. Dal was lip smacking on the other side. Though service is a bit slow and not friendly, their food can compensate the cons. Seating is quite basic with normal chairs and tables.
After having a heavy meal, it was time to have the heavy feeling of Patriotism! Yes, we headed to Attari, for the Beating Retreat Border Ceremony at India-Pakistan border. With VIP pass, it was easy to get parking and dedicated seating! The lowering of flags of both nations before the sunset involves parade, showcase of rivalry, co-operation and brotherhood, ending the ceremony with a formal handshake and closing of border gates. A feel everyone must experience, being among the defense forces.
From there, it was time to head to the national capital, New Delhi.
Bikanerwala and Haldirams were our interests in New Delhi.
Bikanerwala: Being a second visit to this place, we opted for Deluxe Thali and it was indeed a pleasurable lunch. Paneer was the best, next were Dal and Kadai Veg. The sweet was way too sweet to relish. Rabri and Gulab Jamun were really delicious, with rabri winning the competition.
Haldiram’s: Amidst the every bustling Chandni Chowk market area, lies this abode serving to all the sweet teeth. Crowded shop has 3 floors of operations. Sweets, savories, quick bites, meals and more are on the offer. Spl Malai Rabri, Kesar Rasmalai, Paneer Pakoda, Dhokla Sandwich, Kesar Kulfi (served from the live counter) entered our tummies, making our hearts smile 😛
Gurugram has something good to offer us too.!
Famous Jalebi at the Gohana Sweets was yumm! The bigger version of the regular jalebi is heavy and has a unique taste because its made of pure ghee, it is not very sweet and perfect. Do visit this small shop when in Gurugram. And make note, you can’t have too much of it 😀
New York Slice: This brand serves pizza slices unlike many of the regular pizzerias around. Our eats were Madison Square, Rockefeller, Strombolis and Garlic Bread, while sipping was Ginger Brew. For a surprising dessert, it was Oreo Surprise (a delight which you can’t stop at one, not even at 5 😀 ). Pizzas were fresh and good, the cheese and base sauce were the plus points. Strombolis was my first time and it was great.
From the national capital, the flying was next to the financial capital, Mumbai!
Or foodie journey took a major time in Mumbai. From street food to global cuisine, everything was on our plate!
Mee Marathi: A small joint in Vile Parle East, serving authentic Maharashtrian food. We had Bakhri thali, mini thali, Tawa Pulao and Aamrakhand. A heavy delicious food to enjoy. Good service adds to the great food.
Tewari Bros is a famous Sweets outlet chain having wide range of sweets, majority of them are above the regular sweets range sold. They do have Exotic dry fruits and Arabian sweets. Apart from sweets, are the Thali, Chole Bhatura, Dosa and other eats you get there. They have many outlets across North India and one in Bengaluru too (Dickenson Road).
Anand Stall is known for its varities of Vada Pav and Dosas. Right opposite to Mithibai College, this place attract people from far off places. We had Cheese Vada Pav and Schezwan Vada Pav. Both were excellent. Schezwan as always was on a spicier side.
A filling Veg Cheese Sandwich at Balkrishna’s Brijwasi in Andheri East. One can never get such sandwiches outside Mumbai.
A visit to the Gateway of India and a walk along the Marine Drive is a must when you are in South Mumbai. After all the long walk, Girgaum Chowpatty is the best place for re-fueling oneself. From Pani Puri to Pav Bhaji to Dosa to Chinese to Ice Creams and Kulfis, it has everything one would love to eat at a beach. If you ate a lot, you can come back to Marine Drive and sit on the benches looking at the beautiful waterline all night (you’ll be safe, don’t worry 😉 ).
Global Fusion: This is a restaurant which is premium in terms of design/ambiance, service and food. Serving buffet lunch and dinner, it has one of the widest range of starters for both veg and non-veg. A place where main course is just a small part, while starters and desserts take the major portions 😀 Starting from the Cream of Corn soup, Schezwan Paneer, Tandoori Sweet Potato, Corn Sheek Kabab, Crispy Corn, all the items were perfect in portioning as well as taste. Hope they maintain the standards same. while the Paneer curry was delicious, the rotis were hard. Pasta and Noodles were good on the other side. Moong Halwa, Chocolate Mousse, Red Velvet Cake, Mango Mousse were like the icing on the cake.
On the go, did a pitstop at The Boston Cupcakery for the Nutella Cupcake. A small place serving wide range of cupcakes. You can’t stop at one. But after a heavy meal, we couldn’t eat more. Surely going back there.
A Hungry Head is one which has crazy ideas of making anything and everything out of Maggi! That’s right, Biryani to Thai Curry to Pizza to Picadilla, everything is made out of Maggi at the Hungry Head in Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. A small kiosk serving such delicacies attracts many people and during peak hours, one must really have patience as the service gets slow because of crowd, but that doesn’t hamper the taste of food. Great going Mr.Yash and team 🙂
The night was coming to an end, and we were in no mood to end without some liqour ice creams at Haute Artisan Creations. Irish Cream (18years old Chivas Regal), Raisin Monk (Old Monk Rum) and Drunken Apple (Smirnoff Green Apple Vodka) were the options available. while Irish Cream and Raisin Monk were moderate, Drunken Apple was the best and loved! We felt IC and RM needed more of alcohol to it.
Our Final day of the tour needed some refreshing drink. Taj Mahal Tea House just made the morning energetic with Parsi Mint Tea, Jaipur Royal tea, Kashmiri Saffron Tea and Darjeeling 1st Flush. An old bunglow converted into a heritage cafe is an excellent concept. Very courteous staff provide good care. The breakfast was made up of Hari Matar Masala Pao, Vada Pao TMTH Style, Misal Pao, Crispy Bread Upma with homemade chutney and Idli Dahi Chaat.
A Mysore Nibbles coffee and Hoegaarden were add-ons at Versova Social. With this, the foodie trip cam to an end and I headed back to the base with loads of weight put on 😀 Need to shed some calories now!
BTW, how can I not make you all feel jealous and hungry? All pics will surely do justice to my ambition of making your tummy crave for food 😀