Sunday, February 5, 2012

Culinaire - GK 2, New Delhi - Restaurant Review

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Address - 1, Chandan Market, S Block, Greater Kailash 2, New Delhi
Tel - 011-29212413/4, 29218050
Credit Cards - Yes
Average Price - 900/- for 2 people
Alcohol - No

It all started with my better half talking to her friend, who went on and on about Culinaire in GK-II, New Delhi. With so much said, we decided to land up one evening to size the place up. We are both critical of restaurants and with praises coming from a few quarters, we had anyways raised our bar of expectations from the food ..needless to say, this review was going to turn out disastrous. It was a very mixed bag experience at the end and to say will I ever go back to the place, my answer will be a yes (not an emphatic yes, but surely a yes).And the yes comes with conditions attached which you will realize at the end of this review.

It's a blink and miss place, ahead of the famous M-Block market, nothing fancy in the decor, some seating outside for 25 odd pax and inside (which is hidden, so you wouldn't know unless you asked) for similar count. The ambience is very casual, with the outside area consisting of regular plastic tables and chairs.The kitchen is open and you can witness the entire commotion happening. In all respects it is just a roadside shack and nothing more. So if you go expecting a classy affair, you will be disappointed.
The staff is casual but extremely helpful. It was also nice to note that they had small coal sikris that were placed near each table to help keep us warm (it was cold in the night). The place is extremely busy and people are hovering around waiting for a table to vacate (we were there till 10:30 and it was packed ...thursday night).

Coming to the Menu, they serve Thai, Chinese and Lebanese cuisine (Weird combo of cuisines), which can be best described as extensive Thai food choices, decent Chinese selection and some sprinkling of Lebanese items. Strangely all pages of the Menu (4 odd pages) have a stupid "No MSG" watermark in the center. The prices of the dishes are a shock at first (considering the setting), but maybe the locality can command such prices for food. A decent appetizer can be between  Rs.150-300 for non-vegetarian items and Rs. 100-150 for vegetarians. This is unless you want to go for Doner kebabs and falafel rolls which are available for Rs. 85/- or the safe dimsum which is priced at Rs. 80 for vegetarian dim sums (Please note that our vegetarian dim sums had cottage cheese in it) and Rs. 100 for Non-vegetarians. The main course ranges from Rs. 175-300 for chicken, lamb and seafood dishes and Rs. 175-200 for vegetarian fare (strangely the mix vegetables Thai curries are at a staggering Rs. 300...I say staggering considering chicken & lamb Thai curries are at 325/-). There are no desserts, so don't even bother asking. Hop into the ice-cream parlor across the street or go someplace else for winter time sweets.

We ordered Drums of Heaven (150/-), Veg Dim Sums (80/-) and Crispy Potato Chilli Honey (150/-) for starters.None of them lived up to our expectations. The dimsums had cottage cheese (paneer) in them and tasted like the regular street fare (which is available at one-third the price), the potato chilli honey lacked the chilli part (And I dont blame them...not many restaurants in Delhi do this dish properly) and the Drums of Heaven were in short Chicken Pakoras (on the bone).

Our main course consisted of Thai Lamb Red Curry (325/- and yes all Thai curries come with Steamed Rice) and Veg. Burnt Garlic Rice(135/-). The Burnt Garlic Rice was passable but the Thai Red Curry was out of the world. The lamb was the best I have tasted for some time in a Thai dish. Later I came to hear that most people come here for the Thai food which is good value for the price.
And that brings me to the important point ..yes I will go back...provided I'm in the vicinity and only for the Thai food..nothing else.

FOOD -        

SERVICE -       



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