Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hotel Radisson, Kharadi

In the inhospitable locality of Kharadi, the newly completed Hotel Radisson stands as a haven if you are looking for a nice meal. Its two restaurants, the coffee shop Carmine and the Great Kabab Factory, offer the only two fine dining options in the area.

Since the Great Kabab Factory is not open for weekday lunch, we reserved a table at Carmine for their lunch buffet. At Rs.250/- a head including taxes, the buffet is reasonably priced and definitely a good option. With high ceiling and tall windows, the coffee shop situated on the ground floor, has a pleasant and open ambience. The buffet does not overwhelm you with many options and is quite appropriate for a weekday office lunch. The luncheon crowd consists of office execs from the nearby IT parks.

Coming to the buffet menu, there were the usual two soup options - the egg and chicken clear soup was decent enough. There were 4-5 salad preparations available, the apple and chicken mayo salad being the best of the lot. The main course was well thought of with a mix of cuisines and without being very heavy on the stomach. The chicken dhaniyawalla was very well prepared and tasted awesome with warm rotis, the tofu dish was palatable (I have never been too fond of tofu), rice and dal makhani good as usual and jacket potatoes with bacon and . They have two live counters - a noodles counter and a pasta one. Both the noodles and pasta perparations that we tried were very tasty with the right mix of sauces, meat and vegetables.

The dessert counter was quite creative with the cinnamon fruit cobbler winning the prize. The chocolate brownies with chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of chocolate shavings was also irresistible. Besides this, other choices included a pineapple pastry, chocolate mousse and rabdi as the Indian dessert.

Carmine is definitely worth visiting if you are in Kharadi and looking for lunch options in the neighbourhood. Radisson hotel's other restaurant, the Great Kabab Factory, is open only for dinner and weekend lunch and at Rs.900/- a head, is quite expensive. Still, these places are a welcome addition to Kharadi's culinary landscape and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

11 East Street Cafe

Generally the name of 11 East Street Café does not spring to mind when one is in the mood to eat some fine continental food. However, I would label this place as one of the best continental places in town.

Located in the relatively quieter East Street area, this place has been styled on a happening London street theme. Old lamp-posts, the characteristic red telephone booths, a red double-decker bus, an old fountain in the centre, posters of old English films and some London place names displayed, give the atmosphere of a busy London street. And the seating arrangement with the dim lighting enhances the impression of sitting by a road-side, with people hurrying by.

Once you get used to the place décor, your attention will be diverted by the options available on the menu. Right from sandwiches, soups and typical English dishes like bangers and mash, the Sunday roast, fish and chips, the English ratatouille, lamb chops to regular continental fare like the chicken roulade, stroganoff, pastas and pizzas, the place has a huge variety of food to offer. They also have some select Indian and Middle eastern dishes on the menu. The diversity of appetizers is awesome with bruschettas, poutine and spring rolls to crispy calamari, falafel and jalapeno cheese balls. In the main course, the Bacardi chicken and the grilled lamb in pepper sauce are awesome. The English ratatouille, stuffed mushrooms with bbq sauce and bangers and mash deserve a special mention. The collection of desserts is also very tempting and is housed in the double-decker bus at the entrance. You just cannot refuse the chocolate vodka lava, the blueberry cheese cake and the lindt hazelnut fudge brownies even after stuffing yourself with the delicious food.

If you have to find a few faults in the place, there are definitely not many in the food section. The quantities may be a tad less as compared to the prices and please do not follow the attendant’s suggestions. The service is a bit lacking and getting a table is a problem, especially on Saturday nights. A meal for two from soup to dessert would cost about a thousand, but the food is definitely worth a visit.