What is a festival without its food, more so a Christmas without its share of cakes, mulled wines and turkey roast. A host of bakeries and restaurants are hopping on Santa's sleigh with special offerings.
'Angels in my Kitchen', a patisserie here has stocked its counters with plum cakes, specially made for Christmas, in various sizes. They are also offering a Christmas Plum Pudding which is bathed in rum to be set aflame on the Christmas Eve.
Other treats available at their outlets include mince pies, Christmas cookies and Yule Log cakes.
Yule log cakes (Photo: Shutterstock)
"We have made a Gingerbread Village with a total of 5 houses, including a shoe house, made entirely of ginger cookies. We also have an edible Christmas tree which is 6 feet tall," says Bijoy Majhi of Angels. All these installations, he says are on display at their Cyber Hub outlet in Gurgaon.
The Leela Palace has set up a life-size gingerbread house. fashioned out of 1200 bricks of freshly baked gingerbread on the outside and over 1000 gingerbread tiles on the inside. It also includes royal icing bejeweled with wreaths, traditional Christmas lights, stars, baubles, and gold foil decorations.
The sweet shop at The Imperial, 'La Baguette' is dishing out conventional Christmas treats like Ginger cakes, cookies, plum cakes, plum pudding and Yule log cakes.
The plum cakes are being made in the traditional manner with dry fruits used in the cake being soaked in rum for a considerable time before being baked.
Another offering at 'La Baguette' are cute 'Snowman' cup cakes in red velvet flavour available at Rs 190 per piece. The bakery is also building a ginger bread house, the size of an average room to celebrate the festival in their premises.
With people across different religions participating in celebrations, menus are customised according to demand.
Dry plum cake with chocolate icing (Photo: Shutterstock)
Chef Rakesh Pandey of the The Park says the hotel has set up ham stations and live turkey carving sessions.
Cafe Knickerbockers, a designer cake shop offering only vegetarian cakes in Kailash colony has dabbed red, green and gold, the colours of the season as they say, on many cakes.
"We're doing a lot of cupcakes, cookies and plum cakes. Traditionally plum cakes are soaked in rum, so we do this two months in advance for the flavour to penetrate well," says Rttika Takhr of Cafe Knickerbockers.
Takhr shares that people are demanding traditional goodies to celebrate the festival, "so stars, candy canes, Santa Claus, elves, glittering trees are being made in hundreds".
In the market filled with choice of eats and gifts for friends and family, an online portal Dogspot.in is offering an assortment of treats including strawberry flavoured fruity sticks made of chicken meat, meat flavoured dog biscuits, and roast chicken strips for pets. It even has a present for the pet -- a cotton rope toy with ball.
"We received a lot of queries from pet owners who wanted to make this festive season special for their pets. They wanted to know if we had a special package for pets that they could buy online at ease. We worked on the idea and created a Christmas Pack with products suitable for all dog breeds," says Rana Atheya, CEO of the website.
Candy canes for Christmas (Photo: Shutterstock)
A Mumbai-headquartered chocolate studio is set to offer a first-of-its-kind whimsical cake for the sweet toothed.
32 Degree Studio has set up a cake of 5 feet, spreading across 7 feet at Backyard Restaurant.
"This is the first time that such a huge cake will be done for Christmas in India. These cakes will simultaneously be showcased at Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. While Bangalore's fondant caricature is already being showcased, Mumbai's fondant human-sized Santa and Delhi's structural cake be available," says Rakesh Saini, chocolatier at the studio.
Saini, who has also authored a book called 'Magical Christmas Cupcakes' says we want to make people aware of the rapidly developing cake industry in India.
"Intricate and impressively designed cakes can be created by anyone once you have learnt the art," says Saini who also organises sugar-craft classes in different parts of India.
Cupcakes for Christmas (Photo: Shutterstock)
Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar is ushering in the festival cheer at 'Cup Cakes' with an array of pastries and confectioneries on sale along with the hum of Christmas carols.
'The Old Baker' at the Jaypee Vasant Continental is offering a variety of dry cakes including those made of figs, prunes, chocolate cakes, plum cakes and 'cherry basket' (dry cake with cherries on the top).
The bakery is offering special breads and sweet breads like Stollen as well as almond, ginger and lemon zinged breads.
The celebration, however, does not end with the toothsome treats, as many restaurants across the town have created special menus, catering a classic Christmas meal.
Popular cafe in the heart of Hauz Khas village, 'Elma's Bar and Kitchen' is offering a special menu for Christmas and New Year which is scheduled to extend till January 6. It includes a starter, a main course and a dessert. People can pick a starter from Pumpkin-ginger soup and Beetroot pomegranate salad.
For the main course there is traditional Turkey roast, Rosemary Lamb Roulade, Beef Wellington to choose from. Vegetarians can take their pick from equally scrumptious options like Baked Camembert and Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni.
To satiate the sweet tooth there is a special Christmas Pudding with brandy butter for dessert along with the good old custard.
Chocolate pudding (Photo: Shutterstock)
The cafe is also offering mulled wine (a warm concoction of red wine and mulled spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) and Hot Toddy (warm mix of whiskey, sugar and spices). On demand the cafe is also serving a gooey hot chocolate with home-made marshmallows.
"One of the things customers are demanding this season is the traditional roast turkey, and even while enjoying a pizza or a burger, people are asking for mulled wine to beat the weather," says Khushboo from Elma's.
Offering delectable picks from French cuisine and traditions, 'Le Bistro du Parc' in Defence colony will be hosting a culinary soiree with a special menu designed by Chef Alexis on Christmas eve.
"The evening will comprise of a lavish five course gourmet meal with organic duck three ways with red cabbage and gratin dauphinois, rustic onion tart with artichoke, rocket and parmesan mousse," tells restaurant team.
To cleanse your palate there is also a French cheese plate with nuts and fresh fruits. The meal will wrap up with chocolate macaroon with caramel chantilly (cream) or delectable crêpe aumoniere with champagane sabayon.
The restaurant is also offering a special offering for kids with 'Le Kids Brunch' serving Smoked Salmon, French cheese, Buche de Noel (a special French Christmas dessert).
However, not everyone seems to be celebrating with cake as fine dine outlets like 'Sattvik' in Saket set to celebrate the festival with North Indians treats of the season like 'Sarson ka Saag and Makke ki roti', 'Moong dal Halwa' and 'Gajar ka Halwa' in addition to a colourful Christmas ambience.
Delhi is also offering the South Indian style of Christmas celebration for its people.
Zambar, that serves cuisines of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, is set to host a special buffet feast that includes dishes from the Malabar region.
Thirty exotic dishes from south like cashew chicken, onion 'theeyal' and pumpkin erissery are on offer.
Zambar's chef Arun Kumar's Duck Roast and Tenderloin Fry will also be a part of the Christmas special menu.
Duck roast for meat lovers (Photo: Shutterstock)
Bringing the Mexican-style Christmas feast, Rodeo which serves Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, will present a special buffet on Christmas and Christmas eve designed by Chef Sanjay that includes roast turkey with cranberry sauce, almond soup and the savory dessert of plum pudding with custard sauce. Rodeo and DLF Emporio have organised carol singing events.
A special Christmas tree, 'Vitraya' adorned with carefully crafted golden bulbs decorated with sparkle is set to greet visitors at DLF Emporio this Christmas season.
Kick-starting its winter sale, DLF Emporio is also hosting a special Christmas feast designed by Set'z which includes traditional Christmas recipes like mulled wine, eggnog, divine rum cake and so on Strawberry yule log cake, mince pie, stolen bread, rich plum cake, plum pudding with brandy sauce.
Roast Turkey with cranberry sauce, almond soup and a savory dessert of plum pudding with custard sauce is on offer at Rodeo, created by executive chef Sanjay Kumar.
The Yum Yum Tree offers Christmas brunch featuring sparkling wines, dim dums, sushi, lamb skewers and a Christmas 'Macaroon Box'.
Sparkling wine (Photo: Shutterstock)
Olive Bistro in Gurgaon offers Roast Red Bell Pepper 'Cheesecake', Roast Turkey Ballotine with Saffron, Hazelnut and Honey and a variety of exotic dishes for Christmas.
Taj Hotels in Delhi, Gurgaon and Surajkund have also created Christmas special packages for lunch and dinner.
Barbeque Nation, a chain of barbeque restaurant presents "Grill Se" a Bollywood themed festival offering a range of new beverages named after films.
Cocktails are named 'Paan Somras Wala' Paan flavoured whiskey, 'Kaan Khol Ke Pee Lo' a margarita, 'Khoon Pee Jaoonga' and 'Mogambo Khush Hua'. Their Bollywood-themed mocktails have names such as 'Soda Akbar', 'Aakhein Khulli', 'Saath Khoon Maaf', 'Arey Oi Elaichi' etc.