Eatopian Delights Chai Box – Very Interesting Concept

Eatopia approached me asking me to try out and review their product. By the name of it, the horrible food court at India Habitat Center came to my mind, and the first reaction I had was of repulsion. However their representative was quick to point out that they have nothing to do with the food court however they are a Mumbai based entity which sells food boxes online. They told me about couple of boxes that they are doing these days and the Eatpoian Delights Chai Box caught my fancy. While I was away #FoodTippin’ in the Himalayas, a box got delivered to my doorstep for me to savor and cherish.

First look was quite disheartening, the box was crumbling, the cookies inside were not in a very good shape, overall a very unpleasant experiences. However then there was a huge benefit of doubt that this was coming all the way from Mumbai and its not too easy to the packaging right for food in any form to travel such long distances, that too by individual boxes.

The box had : 

– Chilli Chai from Tea trunk
– One sample each of Ginger Root and Lemon Green Tea
– Jeera Butter Cookies from an un-named bakery on Bazaar Road in Mumbai.
– Sesame & Semolina Cookies from the same Bazaar road bakery.
– Coconut Macaroons from an Old Iranian Bakery. 
The cost of the box was Rs.699 which might seem a bit steep, however with the tea box itself worth Rs.350 I would not mind paying that amount for the box. Why would I not mind? Because the tea was an absolute delight, a masala chai added with some Chilli, just gave it the right kick and made it hit the right spot time after time. The quality of all the three types of cookies was absolutely delightful. And given how melt in the mouth types they were, I was not surprised that they crumbled a bit in transportation.

My 2 cents on this box : Improve the packaging, I know its tough, but they got to do it and I would love to have a bit more of those cookies. I know I can order them in a different box, however I would have appreciated just a bit more in this box itself.
Oh and did I tell you about the cute little cutting chai glass that was included in the box? For a sadakchaap like me, its happiness re-defined. Now I am waiting for them rains to pour, so that I can brew that that Chilli Chai, sip it from my cutting glass and order some piping hot samosas while I sit back and let my mind romance the feeling that life is…

Big Yellow Door Café at North Campus – Restaurant Review – By Rajeev Gulati

After receiving countless recommendations from friends, I finally went to Big Yellow Door Café (North Campus) for a mid-day meal. It’s a café mainly targeted towards students and so has a very basic seating to fit max people in minimum space. The decor is ordinary and AC cooling is average. I was presented with a laminated sheet of printed menu card with items listed on both sides.

The choices are very basic as Mocktails, Shakes, Beverages, Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, Sandwiches, Wraps, Fried Chicken, Nachos, Few Side Dishes and 3 dessert options. Prices are very student friendly with dishes starting from Rs.40 with average dishes around Rs.100 and maximum still below Rs.200. My server tried hard to sell me with an optional seafood platter available off the menu which contained few pieces of Basa fish and 4 small pieces or Prawns but I did not fall in to the trap of eating Basa Fish for that amount.
The dishes I tried are…
1. Juicy Burger Non Veg – Very basic deep fried patty of chicken (definitely frozen types) with a thinner than thin leave of lettuce resting helplessly in a mess of Mayo applied in abundance on both portions of a mid sized bun. I would call it a Mayo burger with chicken.
2. Chicken Tikka Wrap – It was mentioned and assumed to be a chicken tikka preparation and I inquired the server if it contained egg, to which he confirmed. It was nothing else than a thin hard maida roti with filling of thick masala curry of hard chicken pieces (breast cut) without any egg or onion or dressing. I was disappointed with the dish as it was not according to the explanation of the server as well as per the menu and it was immediately taken back. They did not charge me for that either.
3. Chicken Mushroom sauce Penne pasta – It was very much obvious that their pasta would be good as most of the tables were already having it and my expectation was right. It was a good flavored pasta with mushroom sauce and chicken pieces. Well cooked, well flavored. Huge portion ar Rs.140. Not as good as Big Chill but much better than many 5 star coffee shops.
4. Chicken Mushroom Panini Grilled Sandwich – This again was a huge sandwich with a little less filling than what would have been called adequate. Mayo again in abundance but with filling of Mushroom and Chicken was still acceptable. I would say good VFM but can be improved with balancing the spices and seasoning.
5. Rocky Road Shake – I have heard so much about this shake that I was more than eager to have it. It’s a thick (OK, not so thick) chocolate shake with a slice of brownie warm and crumbled in it. Much like a liquefied and diluted Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream from Gyani’s. I specially asked them that I want it chilled and they put a lot of crushed Ice in it, not even blended properly with chunks of ice clearly felt.
All in all, I would rate my experience as extremely average. True, that I never expected a fine dining experience from such café but there is a lot of scope for improvement within their parameters and budget with some fine tuning with their dishes and seasoning.
They use Mayo in almost anything and everything and I guess the students around love it. It gives them an impression and feel that anything loaded with Mayo is rich. But for information, a 1kg bulk pack of Mayo is easily available for Rs.120 around and 15 to 20gm usage of it can load a burger upside down with it for only 2 rupees. It serves very bad calories with only vegetable oil used in it’s making but a student in his 20’s is already a calories burning engine and I don’t think they bother for it. When I was their age, I didn’t.
It’s a very basic restaurant / café with more than 75% of their items either served from packaged or readymade or frozen contents. They serve few pieces of non-branded potato wafers with almost every dish instead of French fries. I agree that their prices are very low (Mid Range) but then the value they deliver is even lower than what they are charging. But it’s their business model and they seem successful with that. Nothing sells like success.
I would certainly visit them again but this time with a lower level of expectation and that might give me a higher level of satisfaction.

by Rajeev Gulati

Mövenpick Ice-creams – Swiss finesse in India

Mövenpick is a swiss brand which has recently setup shop in Delhi in upmarket Select City Walk mall situated in Saket. The Swiss label behind it ensured that we had huge expectations from the ice-cream and I must tell you that we were not disappointed at all. It seems its the only genuinely European ice-cream available in Delhi right now (no Häagen-Dazs just sounds sounds European, but its an American disguised as European). It seems Mövenpick is the direct competition to Häagen-Dazs in the super premium range and honestly speaking their finesse does show in taste and quality. And its as expensive as its American rival if not more. 
The Waffle was very light, amongst the best I have had.
Was served with couple of ice-creams
There were multiple things we tried – the waffles were like best in Delhi and the pancakes were extremely nice too, however what left me spell bound was their Chocolate (Swiss Chocolate) Flavored Ice-cream, it was MIND BLOWING to say the least. It was rich, it was dense and it was bitter in short it had everything that would make the great Swiss legendary for their chocolates. Then comes in the Tiramisu flavor for coffee lovers, it was nothing short of a fine piece of art followed by the Cappuccino flavor which again is good enough to send any coffee lover into a tizzy from happiness. 
Tried the Mini-Pancakes – Loved them
Ice-cream basket – loved the basket itself, plus the ice-creams of your choice. 
They have a range of flavors and the three I mentioned are the ones that took the top honors from me, also well appreciated were their Honey & Walnut flavor while Black Currant did bring a nice tangy twist to the things. Anyhow I am sure when you visit you can do some sampling and choose your flavors according to your flavor profile, but I would definitely recommend a visit, specially if you are in the area. 
A look at the flavors, do they sorbets too.
More flavors.
PS : Some research tells me that this brand is now operated by a subsidiary of Nestlé called – Nestlé Super Premium which is headquartered in Switzerland. Also the servers told me that ice-creams are made in Switzerland itself and are imported in India, which I feel should justify the super high prices to some extent.