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The votes pour in...

india Updated: Sep 25, 2010 00:28 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Two weeks, more than 35,000 votes, and counting... As the city’s most exciting culinary awards night draws closer, the numbers on the vote meter are rising fast, as Delhizens send in their pick of the best among the best restaurants in the city.

The HT City Crystals People’s Choice Awards 2010 are all about the city’s gourmands putting on the food critic’s hat to select their favourite restaurants and bars. 200 diners are pitted against each other in 21 cuisine categories and 27 nightspots are vying for the Best Bar award. The nominees have been picked by HT City and will feature, as the city’s Top Tables, in our 2010 Eating Out and Night Out Guides, to be launched later this month.

Foodies in the city are translating their first-hand experiences at these places into votes. Explaining her reason for voting for Cafe Turtle in Khan Market as the best cafe (out of 19 nominees), 21-year-old Master’s student Rashmi Govindam says, “It’s all about the ambience for me. The books, nice interiors and of course the food give this place a warmth I don’t experience at any other place.”

Engineer Amit D’Costa has voted for 19, Oriental Avenue in the best Pan Asian category, because “the food is great and the wine selection awesome”.

The voting process is simple. Each week over the next two weeks, we will carry a list of all the 200 Top Table nominees and 27 Top Bars, along with their respective voting codes. Every week, we will also feature a few of the categories, along with our reviews for each nominee.

You can cast your vote through SMS, by logging on to our website, or by filling out a form and depositing it in a box at the nominated restaurant itself. Check the boxes above for details. Please note that voting will stop at midnight on October 10.

Winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in mid-October.

Best Japanese
Sakura, the metropolitan hotel

This is unarguably one of the best traditional Japanese restaurants in the city. Served kaiseki-style, each dish served is a work of art. Gourmands rate the sushi here as the best in Delhi. The seafood is flown in from Japan thrice a week, ensuring melt-in-your-mouth maki and fresh and tender sashimi. The fittingly obeisant service rounds off a perfect meal.

Where: The Metropolitan Hotel, Bangla Sahib Road, Connaught Place; New Delhi; 42500200
Cuisine: Japanese Timings: 12 pm to 11 pm Cost: R 5000

Sakura, Gurgaon
Sakura’s Gurgaon branch is a swish red and black space that notionally keeps to the
concept of kaiseki, but offers a far wider choice to diners. The menu list the elements in the order in which they appear in a kaiseki. Sushi is the thing to have, including premium nigiri. That it’s patronised by Japanese expats as much as desi clients is a testament to the food here.

Where: 1st floor, Time Tower, MG Road, Gurgaon; 0124 4200950-51
Cuisine: Japanese Timings: 12 pm to 11 pm Cost: R 5000

AI

AI (‘love’ in Japanese; and yes, that’s the way the restaurant likes to write the name) serves contemporary Japanese food in a beautifully stylised space that draws the well-heeled. The restaurant is huge, with a lovely alfresco area and live stations for sushi, teppanyaki and robata. Must-haves include the tender Pork Belly starter, Paper Pot Nabe and the Cod in Miso.

Where: MGF Mall, 2nd Floor, District Centre, Saket, New Delhi; 40654567
Cuisine: Japanese Timings: 12 pm to 3 pm & 7.30 pm to 11 pm Cost: R 3000

Wasabi by Morimoto

Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s sleek restaurant serves new-world Japanese cuisine using fantastic ingredients. The restaurant features a Sake Bar, a Teppanyaki counter and a Sushi Bar. It also stocks an impressive range of Japanese whiskies. Combine this with the cordial service and Wasabi become a place that’s definitely worth a visit.

Where: The Taj Mahal Hotel, 1, Mansingh Road, Delhi; 41681333/ 41681444; www.tajhotels.com Cuisine: Japanese Timings: 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm & 7 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 5000

TK’s Oriental Grill

TK’s tops the list of gourmands looking for some of the best teppanyaki-style dishes in town. You can enjoy signature dishes prepared at one of the seven grills, or have the chefs customise a dish using your choice of meats, veggies and sauces. The restaurant also has a sushi and sashimi bar. The Sole and Lobster Tempura are must-haves, as is Salmon Sashimi.

Where: Hyatt Regency, Ring Road, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi; 66771308/ 26791234;
Cuisine: Japanese, Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm-3pm & 7 pm-11.30 pm Cost: R 3500

Izakaya
A warm ‘Arigato gozaimasu!’ from the staff and striking greet you as you enter this classy restaurant. You can either sit in on chairs or choose the Japanese-style alcove, complete with sliding doors and a low table. Try the Nigiri Moriawase and the Tempura Moriawase. The pièce de résistance has to be the deliciously fatty Kaku Ni — slow-simmered stewed pork belly.

Where: 317, DLF Promenade mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi; 46656317; www.izakayaindia.com Cuisine: Japanese Timings: 12 pm to 3 pm & 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 2000

Tamura
The interiors are minimalist and cosy, and the ambience tranquil. There are quaint little cubicles on the side, with raised platforms that give the effect of eating on the floor in traditional Japanese style. Their complimentary Japanese tea, mugi, has a unique, smoky flavour. Tempura makes a good starter. There are enough options here for those who aren’t too fond of seafood.

Where: S-16, Green Park Extension, Upahar Cinema Complex; 26535868/ 26535769
Cuisine: Japanese Timings: 12 pm to 3 pm & 6 pm to 10.30 pm Cost: R 1200

Konomi
Apart from a wide selection of sushi and sashimi, this small, contemporary restaurant offers a traditional kaiseki meal, complete with yakitori, teriyaki and donburi. Start with the Hamachi Sarada, a wonderful salad of fresh greens and yellow tail. Next, try the Shake Maki, a preparation of fresh salmon with wasabi. No meal here would be complete without the Sashimi platter.

Where: Trident Hilton Hotel, 443, Udyog Vihar Phase V, Gurgaon; 0124-2450505/ 4124307
Cuisine: Japanese Timings: 12.30 pm to 3 pm & 7.30 pm to 11 pm Cost: R 5000

Best Coastal
Swagath restaurant & bar, Janpath Hotel

This newest Swagath outlet is swankier than the others. While it serves Mughlai and Chinese fare too, it’s the authentic coastal cuisine — featuring Mangalorean, Chettinad and Malvani dishes — that makes it a popular destination for the city’s gourmands. Perennial favourites include Garlic Butter Crab, Bombil Fry and Pomfret Koliwada.

Where: Hotel Janpath, Connaught Place, Delhi; 23366761; www.swagath.in
Cuisine: Coastal, North Indian, Chinese Timings: 11 am to 12 am Cost: R 1500

Purana Villa
Though this relatively new eatery in Jor Bagh serves Mughlai and Hyderabadi dishes too, it scores especially high on the Mangalorean fare. The attentive staff inquires whether you want the food very spicy, medium or less-spicy — a nice touch. Dakhini Prawn Curry and Kozi Curry are the stars of the menu. The portions are generous and the meal doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket.

Where: 4/172, Jor Bagh Market, New Delhi; 24629207; www.puranavilla.com Cuisine: Coastal, South Indian, North Indian Timings: 12 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 2000

Best Southeast Asian
Chilli Seasonss

The intentional misspelling attracts you, the serene décor puts you at ease and the food satisfies you. Bringing you food from Southeast Asia and tailoring it according to the seasons is their forte. You can begin with the extensive selection of starters, either Dim Sums or Thai corn cakes. In the soups, try the Tibetan noodle soup. The main course offerings are vast — try Braised Pakchoi and Black Mushrooms and Pan-fried Pork with Sun-dried Chillies.

Where: 47, Main Market, Defence Colony, New Delhi; 24618358; www.chilliseasonss.com
Cuisine: Southeast Asian Timings: 12 pm to 12 am Cost: R 1500

Spice by Q’ba
The outdoor sitting area is the big draw here – dark wood furniture, cobbled pathways and a cascading waterfall against the backdrop of a Buddha statue lend themselves to an enjoyable dining experience. The menu is extensive and the staff courteous. The Spice Chefs Prawn Soup is a gastronomical delight and a must-try, as is Chicken in Pandanu Leaves.

Kumgang Gonie
It’s the new avatar of what was Delhi’s first Korean restaurant. The menu retains many of the old favourites, such as Pibimpab. The Kochujang is classier than anywhere else in the city; also worth a try is Jatjup Machim. A meal here wouldn’t be complete without ordering some bulgogi and having it grilled right at your table! You can choose to dine in a karaoke room, too.

Where: The Ashok, 50 B, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi; 26110101/ 26878298
Cuisine: Korean Timings: 12 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 3000

Gung The Palace
This three-storeyed restaurant offers a unique dining experience, with low-lying, traditional seating as well as regular tables. The food is oil-free and the house special Pork Rib dish is prepared right in front of you. You will be surprised by the number of side dishes they offer — 14 — even before you get to taste your order! The wait staff is extremely hospitable.

Where: D-1B, Green Park, New Delhi; 46082663/ 9871295093 Cuisine: Korean Timings: 12 pm to 3 pm & 6 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 2500

Ego Thai

This spacious restaurant-cum-lounge bar has something for everyone — hip music in the lounge bar; a calmer, or a more private experience in ‘The Library’. The menu has enough for those who prefer to stick to the regular and also for the adventurous. Larb Kai Salad, Chicken Garlic Pepper, Lamb Basil, Phad Thai, Prawn Sweet Chilly and Penang Curry are must-trys.

Where: 53, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi; 26331181 Cuisine: Thai Timings: 12.30 pm-3.30 pm & 7.30 pm-12 am Cost: R 2000

Thai High
Thai High lives up and more to the appeal that made its predecessor, Thai Wok, a sought-after spot. The open rooftop setting, with its stunning view of the surroundings dominated by the Qutab, charms you. The menu spoils you for choice, as it dedicates itself more than most restaurants to Thai cuisine. The dessert selection here is worth a special mention, too.

Where: 3rd Floor, Ambawatta Complex, Kalkadas Marg, Mehrauli, Delhi; 26644289/ 26641796 Cuisine: Thai Timings: 11 am to 12 am Cost: R 2000

Restaurant de Seoul
The place has the feel of a minimalist authentic Korean joint with its no- frills decor. They have a main seating area as well as small, more traditionally done private rooms. The fare is authentic, and there’re enough options for vegetarians. The range of kimchi is impressive; Gim Bab and Pajun are great. A must-try is Bulgogi, that you can barbecue at the table.

Where: 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza, Khel Gaon, New Delhi ; 41003848/ 9810303848
Cuisine: Korean Timings: 10 am to 11 pm Cost: R 1500

Blue Ginger
The decor of this sleek-looking new restaurant at The Taj Palace hotel is pleasing — big windows overlook the bar and pool area — and the ambience is warm and inviting. But it is the food that is the real star here. The menu offers a mix of some of the best traditional Vietnamese and fusion dishes.

The food is authentic, without the extreme fishy flavours of the south-east which can be a put-off for the Indian palate. The Vietnamese Duck and the Basa Fish Kari are must-trys, as are Glass Noodles with Crab. Tom Rang Me — stir fried prawns in tamarind sauce with sweet potato and basil mash — is an interesting option. Pair your food with wine from their extensive wine list. Service is attentive and unobtrusive. Visit Blue Ginger for an exceptional dining experience.

Where: The Taj Palace Hotel,
SP Marg, Chanakyapuri, Delhi; 26110202 Cuisine: Vietnamese Timings: 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm & 6.30 pm to 11.45 pm
Cost: R 4000

K2

Korea and Karaoke come together at K-2 to create a lively atmosphere that attracts both youngsters and expatriates alike. This popular restaurant in Gurgaon is done up in red and black tones. Most of the dishes on the menu are listed in Korean, so you will have to take the help of the staff to explain what is what — the waiters are not only fluent in the language but also polite and efficient. The menu has impressive seafood, pork and tenderloin sections. We recommend you try Tanssuyuk, Octopus Stir-fry, and Beef Strips and Glass Noodles in a Soupy Broth. A great hit with the regulars is the delicious Kai Sen Udon and Scissors Chicken. The bar stocks a good range of spirits. A must-visit place for experiencing authentic Korean food in a lively ambience.

Where: MGF Plaza Mall, Third Floor, MG Road, Gurgaon; 0124-4379151
Cuisine: Korean
Timings: 11 am to 12 am
Cost: R 2000

Best Pan Asian

Taman Gang
Taman Gang is connected to the pan-Asian restaurant of the same name in London’s Mayfair. Luxurious and pricey, this swish restaurant is lit up with red lighting and ornamented like a grand palace. A crystal masterpiece, artistic clay-pots, checkered wall prints and feathered fat sofas combine to create a royal ambience. We recommend the Pomela Salad, Duck and Watermelon with Soy Caramel, and the delicious raw papaya salad. You would also do well to try the Wasabi Prawns, Thai Green Curry and Rendang Chicken.

Where: 315, DLF Promenade Mall, Vasant Kunj, Delhi; 45567777 Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm to 3.30 pm & 7.30 pm to 12.30 am Cost: R 2500

Chi Kitchen & Bar

Chi Kitchen & Bar promises a burp-ilicious journey and delivers it with flair. The highlights of the menu are the Vietnamese Grilled Fish with Pineapple Skewers, which simply melt in your mouth, and Copstar Crab. Among the variety of teas on offer, don’t give Ginseng Oolong a miss. And there’s a great selection of drinks to go with the food, too — try the Tom Yum Martini or Chi Mary cocktail. The dessert section has much to offer, but the best is the ‘Do it Yourself’ dessert. No wonder it’s a popular draw for shoppers looking for a pitstop.

Where: Ground floor, Select Citywalk, Saket, Delhi; 9717784453/ 40566919; Cuisine:
Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm-3.30 pm & 7 pm-12.30 am Cost: R 1000

The Yum Yum Tree

With an extensive menu and affordable prices, this Oriental eatery has its loyals, who come for here for regular dose of sushi and Singapore crabs. The food is superb and the cheesecake is to die for! The decor and ambience can be romantic alfresco, elegant and upmarket fine dining, casual conveyor belt or fun and funky bar style, depending on your preference. Try the Uramaki roll with deep-fried soft shell crab and Duck Har Gao.

Where: 1st Floor, Community Centre, New Friends Colony; Delhi; 42602020; www.theyumyumtree.in Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm to 4 pm & 7 pm to 1 am Cost: R 2500

19, Oriental Avenue

This fine dining restaurant been able to retain its reputation of dishing out the most exquisite dishes, where patrons go ga ga over their “innovative” names of dish and their presentation. The decor is chic, with red and black tones, and you can see chefs at work through the glass-fronted kitchens. They have three menus: Thai, Chinese, and Japanese; each is quite extensive. The wait staff is efficient, and the wine list is superlative.

Where: Shangri-La’s—Eros Hotel, 19, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, Delhi; 41191919/41191010
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm to 12 am Cost: R 4500

Kylin

Spread across two levels, this Pan Asian lounge has a lovely décor with low cushy seating and soft lighting. The specialties are Sushi and Teppanyaki. The menu has a smattering of Vietnamese starters, Indonesian nasi goreng, Korean kimchee, Chinese dimsums and of course, sushi. We recommend their Oriental Greens, a dish cooled in light soya sauce, and Sha Singwin. The signature Kylin Lettuce rolls are a must-try.

Where: 24, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi; 41669799/ 41669778
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm to 1 am Cost: R 3000

Mamagoto

If you feel like taking a quick bite while shopping in Khan Market then head for Mamagoto. The restaurant is best experienced in a group so that lots of little dishes spanning Thailand, Japan, China and Malaysia can be shared. The menu is predictable but good. Try the Nobu Favourite and Rock Shrimp Tempura. The eggplant dish basted with mirin and New Zealand Chops are especially worth a mention. The service is impeccable.

Where: 1st floor, 53, Middle Lane, Khan Market, New Delhi; 45166060; www.mamagoto.in
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12.30 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 2000

The Spice Route

A meal here ensures a scintillating trip across a historic route of the same name. The eye-catching dining area, designed on feng shui principles, is divided into nine sections corresponding to the nine aspects of life. Similarly, the menu covers a wide range of cuisines. The Thai-style stir fried lobster with ginger is excellent, as is Thenkay Kozhi Curry from Kerala. The desserts are excellent too, making this restaurant a perfect treat.

Where: The Imperial, Janpath, Connaught Place, Delhi; 23341234/41116605;
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm & 7 pm to 11.45 pm Cost: R 3000

Pan Asian

Here you’ll find the cuisines of seven countries, all under one roof. The simple decor, live oriental music and the smiling faces of the serving staff are among the highlights. The live interactive kitchen buzzing with chefs adds to the ambience. Their trademark style of preparing Dim sums and Peking duck is excellent. Try their Prawn starter Jin Sha Du Xi, the Sashimi and the Korean
barbecue. A tad expensive, but worth the moolah.

Where: Sheraton New Delhi Hotel, District Centre, Saket, New Delhi; 42661122; www.itcwelcomgroup.in Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 6.30 pm to 12 am Cost: R 3000

R.E.D.

It is the only restaurant in Delhi with induction cooking on the table. R.E.D. stands for ‘Rare Eastern Dining’. Their Singaporean chef serves cuisine from the Far East. The chef greets you personally and keeps track of your favourites. Among the must-trys are Pork Ribs with Coffee Sauce, Mermaid in the Mist (wasabi spiked prawns with kiwi and apple) and Silken Tofu with Chilli and vinegar. The wait staff is helpful and polite.

Where: Radisson MBD Hotel, L 2, Sector 18, Noida; 0120-4300000; www.radisson.com
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 2500

Side Wok, Khan Market

This restaurant-cum-lounge covers a wide variety of Thai and Chinese dishes. The food is authentic, well-presented and the portions are generous. Sample some really delicious Malay, Indonesian and Thai dishes, which look as good as they taste! A word must be said about the Sliced Chicken Angel and Goni Chicken — they are worth every penny. The service is prompt and the wait staff friendly.

Where: 45, Khan Market, New Delhi; 43587122/133; www.sidewok.in
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 1200

Best Pan Asian

Ano Tai

This plush restaurant-cum-bar serves an eclectic blend of South-Asian food. We recommend the Chrysanthemum Crispy Rice Noodle with Vegetable, Crystal Noodle with Soya Garlic, or the Sichuan Spicy & Sour Glass Noodle Soup. Also worth a try are Steamed Tender Custard with Prawns or the simple yet superb Wok-Fried Tomatoes with Egg. The popular
dimsum lounge features an superlative Dimsums menu.

Where: Jaypee Vasant Continental, 54, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, Delhi; 26148800/ 46072072 Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12.30 pm-2.45 pm & 7.30 pm-11.30 pm Cost: R 2500

Oriental Octopus, Noida

Oriental Octopus offers cuisines from eight countries of the East. The restaurant is done up beautifully, with art deco interiors in orchid and steel. We recommend the excellent Burmese Kauw-Swe, Thai Green Curry and the Chinese-style Lemon Fish. Round your meal off with the magnificent in-house Coconut Jaggery ice cream. Vegetarians also have a lot to choose from. Expect to be served with a smile.

Where: Hotel Savoy Suites, 79 A, Sector 16, Noida; 0120-2512143
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12.30 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R

Asia 7, hotel Clarion Collection

This new Pan-Asian eatery serves cuisines from seven Asian countries amidst a modern, elegant setting. Try the Tom Yam Chicken Soup, spicy and flavoured with lemon grass. The Prawn Tempura and Lamb Kauk’swe (noodles cooked in creamy-coconut gravy and mutton pieces), are also recommended.

The place also serves some very interesting drinks — try the potent Geisha cocktail. Service is excellent.

Where: Hotel Clarion Collection, Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, New Delhi; 46012745-52
Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 12 pm to 3.30 pm & 7 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 1500

Red Zen

A zen-like experience amidst warm, red interiors — that’s what Red Zen is all about. A specialised noodle restaurant, it offers everything from Pad Thai and Green Soba Noodles to Barbeque Duck Ramen. Start off with the delicately flavoured Tom Yum Phak soup, then move on to Sichun Chow Fun with Phad Kra vegetables. Service is good, and the chef makes frequently stops by to inquire after your meal.

Where: The Courtyard by Marriott hotel, Plot No. 27 B, Sushant Lok - 1, Sector 27, Gurgaon;
0124-4888444 Cuisine: Pan Asian Timings: 6.30 pm to 11.30 pm Cost: R 2500

Best All-day Dining/Coffee Shop

Eggspectation

This pleasant coffee shop with a warm décor is a haven for egg lovers — the unique menu featuring at a slew of egg-based dishes. But there’s also a wide variety for vegetarians. The brunches here are especially very popular. Amongst the highly recommended choices are the Egg-chiladas and Parmesan Crusted Chicken.

Where: Jaypee Vasant Continental, 54, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar; 46072072 Timings: 12.30 pm-3.30 pm & 7.30 pm-12 am Cost: R 2500 Facilities:

The One

With its declarative name, The One is obligated to produce a meal that you’d remember long after you’ve left the place, and it delivers on this promise. With its swanky new look — complete with orange panelling and a trendy decor — it’s quite inviting. Try Steamed Prawns with Celery and Babycorn and Mushrooms on toast.

Where: Le Meridien, Windsor Place, Janpath, Delhi; 23710101/43710710;
Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 24x7 Cost: R 3000

Threesixty Degrees

This restaurant is a favourite with corporate honchos as well as political bigwigs. With its open, full-view kitchen and airy ambience, the coffee shop offers the best of world cuisines, among them a Yakitori grill, a sushi station that is one of the finest in Delhi, a modern tandoor and a wood-fired oven. Come here to see and be seen.

Where: The Oberoi, Dr Zakir Husain Marg, Delhi; 24304360/ 24363030;
Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 7 am to 1 am Cost: R 3000

1911

Its curious name draws you, the tall pillars and bright lights put you at ease and the food completes the experience. Named after the year in which New Delhi was declared the capital of India, this restaurant is spread over three sections — the verandah, the brasserie and the bar. The food is good, as is the always-on-their-toes service.

Where: The Imperial, Janpath, Connaught Place, Delhi; 23341234/41116602; Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 6 am to 1 am Cost: R 3500

The Pavilion

One of the most popular all-day coffee shops in the city, The Pavilion is known for its elaborate buffets and Sunday brunches. Their extensive multi-cuisine offerings include Asian and Continental dishes. Try signature cocktails like the Litchi Berry Martini. The place never promises a dull moment or a dull taste.

Where: ITC Maurya, SP Marg, Chanakyapuri, Delhi; 26112233
Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 24x7 Cost: R 3000

Mist

Mist, with its light blue decor, brings in the element of ‘water’. The restaurant starts from the lobby and seemingly flows into the outdoor pool. The interiors are definitely a treat to the eyes. Starters such as Minestrone Genovese and smoked oysters with tuna salad, orange and mint set the pace. Also pick from the variety of pizzas.

Where: The Park, 15, Parliament Street, Connaught Place, Delhi; 23743000/ 23744000 Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 24x7 Cost: R 2500

Aman Restaurant

If you’re looking for a visual experience as much as a culinary one, the Aman is a wise choice to make. The place offers coffee shop regulars apart from Thai and Indian cuisine. Try Kerala Fish Curry and Pan Seared Tuna with Cardamon Lamb Jus. The French kaiseki at the naoki counter is one of its kind in the city. Great attention has been paid to the service, too.

Where: Aman New Delhi Hotel, Lodhi Road; New Delhi 43633333; Cuisine: Thai, Indian, French kaiseki Timings: 6 am to 11.30 pm Cost: R 3000

Cilantro

The lively, cheerful ambience here makes sure you like the place right from the word go. The place offers a range of Italian, Mediterranean, Indian and Southeast Asian dishes. You can start with rose-scented iced tea or asparagus and champagne soup, and move on to nasi goreng. Aso try some of their wood-fired pizzas, rated amongst the best in Delhi/NCR.

Where: Trident Hotel, 443, Udyog Vihar, Phase V, Gurgaon; 0124-2450505
Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 7 am to 1 am Cost: R 2500

Café, Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency’s coffee shop has metamorphosed into a sleek, trendy spot frequented by young and old alike. With its unique décor, dominated by the attractive crystal ‘Tree of Life’, this Café charms as much as it attracts you. The buffet is popular; there’s also a salad bar, a tiny cold meats section, and an extended chaat counter.

Where: Hyatt Regency, Bhikaji Cama Place, Ring Road, New Delhi; 26791234
Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 24x7 Cost: R 3000

Spectra

If there is one word that does not describe Spectra, it is ‘subdued’. With its space-age-ish name and bright lights, this space is made to attract. But nothing prepares you for the walk down the hotel’s aisle surrounded by the seven live and interactive kitchens, where chefs handle flaming woks and customers’ demands with equal skill. Don’t miss the incredible desserts.

Where: The Leela Kempinski, Ambience Island, NH-8, Gurgaon; 0124-4771234 Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 10 am to 11.30 pm Cost: R 3000

Kafe Fontana

A distinctly Mediterranean ambience with mood lighting, outstanding service, live music and delectable Continental, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine make this coffee bar-cum-restaurant a wonderful place to grab a meal any time of the day (or night). The optional outdoor seating also makes for a refreshing experience.

Where: The Taj Palace Hotel, SP Marg, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, Delhi;
26110202 Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 24x7 Cost: R 3000

Oasis

True to its name, Oasis is a welcome addition to the rather barren culinary landscape of Faridabad. The Indian tandoor, the Italian oven, Chinese wok all exist in harmony in a menu put together with care. Both the presentation and taste are exquisite. Must-trys include Kashmiri Morel Cappuccino, Bharwan Gucchi and Khumb Ki Galouti. The wines list is good, too.

Where: The Claridges, Shooting Range Road, Surajkund, Faridabad; 0129-4190000 Cuisine: Italian, Chinese, Indian Timings: 7 am-11.30 pm Cost: R 2500

Machan

This particular Machan is a popular jungle-themed coffee shop that offers both an elaborate a la carte menu and lunch buffet. The place also hosts frequent food festivals. Some of the show stealers on the menu are the Grilled Norwegian Salmon, Grilled Tarragon Chicken and Martini Shrimp Cocktail. For a truly royal experience, try the famed Sunday brunches.

Where: The Taj Mahal Hotel, 1, Mansingh Road, Delhi; 23026162
Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 24x7 Cost: R 3000

Emperor’s Lounge

This coffee shop provides the perfect setting for holding official office meetings. The place has a amazingly serene ambience. Come here and enjoy a cup of tea and coffee, in which they specialise in. You can also order from a range of snacks such as sandwiches, muffins, burgers, puffs and cookies. Alcohol is also served after
12.30 pm. A must-visit.

Where: The Taj Mahal hotel, 1, Man Singh Road, Delhi; 23026162
Cuisine: Snacks Timings: 9 am to 10 pm Cost: R 2000

Café Uno

Situated by the poolside and overlooking the lawns, this spacious, tastefully-decorated restaurant features an eat-till-you-drop buffet spread and live cooking stations. The hugely popular Sunday brunch here features more than a hundred dishes. The wine selection is extensive and definitely worth a mention. The efficient service add to the overall experience.

Where: Shangri-La's-Eros Hotel, 9, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, Delhi; 41191919/ 41191010 Cuisine: Multi-cuisine Timings: 24x7 Cost: R 3000