Monday, December 31, 2012

Espresso Grill. Review with the Blogger's Table

This post was meant to go up in November, but the last couple of months, I really haven't been a good blogger. That said, up this post goes before the year ends. :)


The first thing you notice about Espresso Grill is how things are so symmetrical. And how the open kitchen makes no noise. And that all the crockery is black.

No scratch that. The first thing you notice about Espresso Grill is the parking. Situated in the building that has Delhi's first proper multi-level parking, you know what your opening conversation is going to be in the restaurant. And then you take in the rest of the restaurant.


As the Blogger's Table met for lunch one Saturday - a cosy turnout though- since the holiday season was right around the corner and frankly quite liked the place a lot.

We started our meal with Gordon Ramsay's Roasted Cauliflower Soup with truffle oil. It had a nice wild mushroom crostini on it. Then came the Pan Asian Barbecue Pork ribs with Kimchee. While the kimchee was nothing to write home about the ribs were amazing. Falling off the bone with an almost teriyaki like sauce. 'twas lovely. Greek Salad with saganaki chicken was next. I loved the warm feta on top it just made it so much more delectable.


But for me, the piece de resistance and really the star of the evening was the Bruschetta. The tomatoes were roasted and then chilled with generous portion of Parmesan. The bread was warm, it was such an explosion of flavours, that a month later, when I went back with some friends, it was the first thing I recommended.


The main course came right along. Sushmita ordered the Forest Mushroom risotto, which turned out to be very generous and delicious. I got the Pan fried sole with fava bean puree with the saffron aioli ( I wish there was more of that aioli) , while my companion got the Lamb Shank with potato dauphoise. That was superb, meat falling off the bone, the leeks giving it an added depth. However when friends of mine went a week later the meat was undercooked and not up to the mark. Oh and a melange of roasted vegetables was also ordered.



You'd think none of us would have had any more space. But no we aren't like ordinary people, we are gluttons. A choice between baklava and creme brulee, all but one opted for the baklava. I didn't care for the baklava at all. It was too sweet (and I like sweet things) but it wasn't working for me. The creme brulee was nice. Not the best I had but nice. It had a nice crack and the Madagascar vanilla came through well. But when I went back the last time with my friends, I had the carrot cake, which I have to say was excellent.


I really enjoyed my meal at Espresso Grill and Aishwarya, whose first time it was with us brought us some of her brownies, which were really lovely.

In November when I went back, the liquor license had just come through. I'd like to go back in January for some of that bruschetta and the carrot cake. And of course the company, which is always always brilliant.

Find out what the rest of us had to say :)

Sushmita @ My Unfinished Life
Rituparna @ Chocolate and Dreams
Rekha @ My Tasty Curry
Aishwarya @ Aishwarya Eats

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sour cream and Blueberry Pancakes

Buttering up © Cookaroo
So I had a birthday this week. And the night before my birthday, I was a bit of an emotional mess. I'd slept in till as long as I could (read 8 pm) and then basically mooned around for a bit.

I'd my party you see, the week before. And I'd been celebrating for at least the whole week, so I don't know what it was, but I really caught the blues. I didn't want to talk to anybody, I didn't want to sleep anymore. I was just plain listless and sad. The husband couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, and when I told him, he looked absolutely surprised. A of minutes later he told me to hold my horses - he'd got me so many flowers - nearly 5 dozens - of lilies, roses, gerbaras. They were just beautiful. He even got me a cake. :)

(On another note, I cut three cakes this year - and none of them baked by me! Wheeee!!)

That totally upped my spirits and by midnight I was back to my cheery self. The next day was brilliant. My friends N and S sent singing balloons to my office, I  had lunch with three of my friends and dinner with the husband and parents. Quiet and just how I like it. And then off to mass we went.

Having said that, I craved something pampering on Christmas day. Pancakes seemed perfect. I'd made these pancakes for a brunch earlier this month and they were a big hit. Light, fluffy and absolutely perfect sized, I wanted to make them again. I think its the sour cream that makes it so awesome.

All stacked up © Cookaroo
My husband, whos really not a pancake lover, ate three of these! Three that's three too many for him. So it was good to know that they worked well.

I am not really sure where I read this recipe. But it could have been Betty Crocker or on someones blog. But for now, I'm going to assume it was on Food.com

I think you can substitute just about any berry in this recipe. I however had a handful of blueberries left in my freezer, plus it reminds me of all the good things in life.



Sour Cream and Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 14 small pancakes

Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Water if needed

Directions 

1.In a bowl mix together the flour, oat bran flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.

2. In another bowl  break the egg and then using a whisk break it down. Add the oil, milk and sour cream to it.

3. Pour it into the dry ingredients and stir in the blueberries. The batter should not be too thick but neither should it be runny,. Let it sit for 10 minutes before making the pancakes

4. On a non stick griddle, pour one soup ladle full, cook for two minutes on each side. Serve with butter and maple syrup.




I am sending this off to AlphaBakes as the letter this month is S for Sour cream and blueberry pancakes. It's hosted alternately by More than Occasional Baker and Caroline from Caroline Makes.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Pinterest Picks. For the most wonderful time of the year - Christmas

Those who know me, know how much I love Christmas. A. It's birthday time. B. Everyone is so happy. C. Presentss :)

Each year I try and think of doing fun things for my Christmas party, this year however, I have Pinterest for reference. Everything is so so pretty out there and Pinterest is filled with Christmas fun. Everything is so red white and green and you help but go  awww at all of them.

I've been looking at some of things that I'd like to replicate and so I've got a host of things that might interest everyone. I know cookies are the easiest things to do around Christmas but here are some of the things that I found awesome and just had to link up to.

Merry Christmas!

1. Mistletoes cupcakes


2. Reindeers cake pops


3. Snowman stirrers



4. Ginger Dead man (this really made me laugh, it might scar a child for life)



5. Eggnog cake



6. Snowflakes cookies


7. Candy train


8.  Pretty presents


9. Candy canes



10. Stocking cookies


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not Rosey this. A revisit to Rose Cafe

I've been AWOL. I know. But that's a story for later. Meanwhile I have to talk about this horrid, horrid experience we had at Rose Cafe.

I'm not sure if you'd remember but in August, my friend N and I walked into this quaint and pretty place near Garden of Five Senses and were totally floored by how tastefully done up it was. No? That's ok, you can read this for reference.



So you can imagine how excited I was to share this discovery with everyone on the Blogger's Table. And so on a lovely Sunday in October, we guys landed there for a languid brunch.  We were our happy chatty selves, especially since the night before we'd all met up at Zanotta at the Leela Kempinski for a lovely formal sitdown dinner, so our spirits were high.  As we all turned up and looked around and made our exclamations, it was just the way things went that made it downhill from the beginning.

The food? The pizzas were brilliant as always. The beans in a bun lovely, shepherd's pie exceptional but that was that. Really that's were the odyssey ended.

 Photo Courtsey: Deeba Rajpal

 
Like Charis said, there were signs. We should have known. We really should have. Since we were seated in a long table, we couldn't really see what was going on at the other end. So what was going on? Apparently only one end of the table received any food. The service was sooo terrible, that it was obvious that they weren't equipped to served more than 3-4 people at a table at a time.
 
There was a point Sid, who'd ordered a soup decided he'd much rather eat a kathi roll from down the road than wait for another hour. It had been 40 minutes since he'd ordered. Rekha's Eggplant Parmigiana was undercooked and really quite terrible and then beat this, Sushmita's appetisers arrived with our desserts. Ofcourse, icing on the cake, as always (as my luck would have it) is to have found hair on my plate.
 
Oh and the desserts that I loved? Well, didn't quite live up to the hype. Yes, the waffles were fabulous. Yes, the espresso cake was delicious. Everything else was slip-shoddy. The macaroons were cold and eggy, the raspberry cake which was "made especially for us"was frozen and terrible. And the tiramisu I loved the last time, total total mediocre.
 
Such a disaster. Still we were us. We were fun. And then as if adding insult to injury, we were subjected to such a large dose of rudeness that it left most of us shaking with anger. Months later, I still don't get it. Isn't the first rule of being in hospitality industry being polite? Isn't the second rule that if you can't be polite, don't open your mouth?
 
Apparently at Rose Cafe they don't believe that exists. The owner was plenty apologetic. But damage done is damage done. I think it was a learning lesson for all us. It's true when they say don't judge a book by it's cover - because this - this was just unacceptable. This was pure ugliness.
 
We got an apology mail later the next day:
 
Please accept my sincere apology for yesterday's incident. It was not my
intention to make you feel small, cheap or insulted. I sincerely apologize
for my tone of voice and will make sure that I am courteous and polite to
women and not make them feel small.

Sincerely

Uxxxg
 
I showed this mail to friends of mine in the hospitality industry and also in the field of journalism.  I don't have words that can be penned down about what I feel about this mail.
 
What do you think?
 
Please read the rest of the table's experience at Rose Cafe and judge for yourself, if you'd really like to go there:
 
Deeba Rajpal @ Passionate about baking
Charis @ Culinary Storm
Sushmita @ My Unfinished life
Himanshu @ The White Ramekins
Sangeeta @ Banaras ka Khana
 
 

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