Best Momos in New Delhi_Yashwant Place.

I was apprehensive of coming back to Delhi for a break; May is a mind-numbingly hot month with hot winds, locally known as loo. These loo winds are hot heavy winds which rob you of your vitality, and leave you feeling dry, weak and really sleepy.

Luckily, the rain gods smiled and blessed Delhi with a slight shower on Sunday evening that I headed out. I was going for a Couchsurfing Delhi meet at Lodhi Gardens, a beautiful park located in central Delhi. Couchsurfing is a great concept; basically you can reach out to travelers in your city or the city you plan to visit (India or abroad) and request to stay or hang out. Read all about it here. The members in different cities keep having fun get-togethers and meetings.

It was a pleasure driving to the park in a light rain, with music on the speakers. Though I didn’t see it, there was a double rainbow visible, which others showed me later:

Double Rainbow. Can you see it?

Double Rainbow. Can you see it?

The Delhi Couchsurfing meeting was nice, with a lot of different travelers from different countries. Organized by Karan and Charan, two enthusiastic and cheerful guys, everyone had fun. And of course, I carried a large box of Alphonso mangoes from Goa to share with everybody. Later, I was even quoted for a Couchsurfing article written by a Hindustan times journalist who’d come to cover the event :)!

After the meeting was over, I got talking to a girl from Hong Kong, Melody. She and a few of her friends were working in India, and had come to check out the CS meet.

So of course, I suggested going for some of the best momos in Delhi, before we all went back home. Momos are considered to be a Chinese fast food; they are little meat dumplings inside dough that is either steamed or fried. Very popular in Delhi. However, Momos are originally called Dim Sums in China. Like Chow Mein noodles (tasty noodles sold as fast food in almost every neighborhood of Delhi), there are certain foods which have become “Indian-ised”, and have names which you’ll never find in the original country. There are no Chow Mein noodles in China, as far as I’ve heard and confirmed from Chinese friends.

Melody and her friends enthusiastically agreed, and we all set out for Yashwant Place. Everyone bundled in my car, and we were on our way. We reached Yashwant Place in 10min, as it was not too far from Lodhi Garden. Here’s the map, giving easy directions from the closest Metro station:

Google map to Momo Heaven: Yashwant Place

Google map to Momo Heaven: Yashwant Place

Though there were a lot of guys inviting us in to their specific outlet, I went to my favourite one, “Bawarchi’s”.  Bawarchi means “Cook” or “Chef” in Hindi. The owner greeted us warmly, and we went inside.

Chi and Jay with pork momos

Chi and Jay with pork momos

I placed an order for 1 plate chicken momos and 1 plate pork momos. 1 plate had 8 momos. So we could order more of which we liked.

The momos arrived and we all devoured them. There was a delicious red hot sauce which tastes amazing.

Perfect Combination = Momos + Red Chilli Sauce + Chilled Coke

Melody and her friends loved the pork momos, and we ordered another 2 plates. These took time to arrive, so one of Melody’s friends Chi, asked us how to ask the waiter to bring the food faster in Hindi. So when he came past our table, she said “Bhaiiya, mujhe khana khana hai” (Bhaiiya, I want to eat food). The look of bafflement on his face was priceless.

Momos and us!

Momos and us!

We had a good time with momos, and conversation. Steer clear of too much chilli sauce; delicious though it may be, it can cause trips to the bathroom the next day if taken in excessive amounts.

Yashwant Place is well known for its momos. Many embassies are located in the nearby area, and they cater to them for lunch/dinner. Do check it out if you happen to be near Central Delhi.

Riva-ving a Sublime Experience at La Plage – 2 Great Food Reviews and 1 Free!

It has been a busy busy busy week for Goan Flavour.

Yours truly has been to not one but 3 restaurants in the space of the last 10 days. 2 for leisure and 1 for work, but all three were fun.

Keep in mind that these were not your typical backpacker hangouts, but slightly higher end. Be sure to carry some cash with you, as credit cards may not be accepted at some place. They are perfect for working couples on break, newcomers wanting to try something adventurous and those looking for nice warm places with a distinct character.

In the order I visited them, they are Riva Resort, La Plage and Sublime.

Enjoy the reviews below:

1. Riva Resort and Spa 

Hai? Where’s That ?- Located at Arambol, not on the beach, but on the road between Mandrem and Arambol. Its about a 45 min bike ride from Anjuna beach.

What’s there to eat and what’d you have, anyway? – The menu is quite comprehensive. It had been a while since I had some good ol’ North Indian Food. I was missing the kebabs of New Delhi. So I ordered Chicken Malai kebabs and Pudhina Paranthas. And keeping with the spirit of Goa, I ordered some Prawn’s Vindaloo as well. It was the first time I had ordered Vindaloo in Goa, and I was curious to see how it was going to be. I ordered an orange juice, no liquor that day.

Chicken Malai Kebabs, simply delicious!

Chicken Malai Kebabs, simply delicious!

So how was it? –  The Kebabs were nicely done and good with the green mint chutney. Pudhina paranthas were the stuff of dreams, soft and delectable, with just the right amount of crispiness. The Prawns Vindaloo, came with a deep red gravy, was spicy-tangy and quite nice.

Bill came to around Rs. 1200 for 1 person. (I told u it was steep!)

Still, why should I go there? – There’s a small wooden platform which takes you from the restaurant across a small stream to the sandy beach. At night, all you can see is the shining yellow lamps on the middle of the wooden platform, and the hint of the beach beyond. Walk across and you feel like an explorer at the summit of the vast unknown; the light and the massive darkness beyond play on your mind, especially when you are alone. The restaurant itself has decent music playing. There were lot of foreigners there, mostly Russians, enjoying an evening out. 2 small Russian kids, a boy and a girl, kept running around, playing games.

Cool! Who can I take? – Go here for a relaxed evening with friends and family. It’s a nice place to take your parents.

2. La Plage the French Restaurant

Hai? Where’s That ? – At Ashwem beach, just before Arambol (if you are heading north from Anjuna). Around 30min by bike from Anjuna.

So what’s there to eat and what’d you have, anyway ? – The menu is focused on a range of interesting French dishes and they have a good selection of wines as well. I was with a group of architects, and decided to go for a Filet du Poisson avec Moutard. I’ve probably spelled this wrong, but it basically means Fish Filet with mustard sauce. I promise you the description on the menu is much better than the boring one here. We also ordered crispy potato wedges and some other starters which are not interesting enough to comment on. We had a few beers (Tuborb) and 2 white wines, a Sula and an Italian one.

Fish Filet with Moutard Sauce

Fish Filet with Moutard Sauce

So how was it? –  The fish was nicely cooked and tasted very nice interspersed with the light mustard sauce. Trés Delicioux! The white wine nicely complemented the dishes.

Bill was around Rs. 6300 for around 7 people. So roughly Rs. 900 per person (We had wine, which was the major component, around Rs. 1200 each)

Lamps with shellfish!

Lamps with shellfish!

Still, why should I go there? – The tables and chairs are placed in the sand under a wooden canopy out in the open. So you can sit and enjoy a nice meal in the shade even during the hottest day. The decorations are nice, with paper lamps covered with actual shellfish. The place comes alive in the evening with many guests from all over the world, animatedly chatting away.

Cool! Who can I take? – Go with your girlfriend. Go with your friends. Relax, enjoy the food and wine and let the conversation flow, as the night passes.

3. Sublime

Hai? Where’s That ? – At Morjim beach, just before Ashwem (if you are going towards Arambol). Around 20-25 min by bike from Anjuna.

So what’s there to eat and what’d you have, anyway ? – Sublime is famous for having fusion food.  And we ordered everything backwards; dessert, then main course, then appetizer and then dessert (x2) again. We had an Apple Turnover (a kind of pie) with ice cream, then a Rock fish filet, a Nut encrusted Fish, a Spring Chicken, Thai Minced Chicken Salad, a hollow cake with butterscotch cream and then another Apple Turnover. The waiter kept laughing each time we called him for the menu; he couldn’t believe the amount we had.

The first victim: Apple Turnover.

The first victim: Apple Turnover.

So how was it? –  I was with 2 college friends. We hogged like we hadn’t eaten since the dawn of civilization. Plus we were all laughing continuously for some reason. The food was delightful, and we couldn’t get enough of the Apple Turnover. We still haven’t had the chocolate dessert, which I am looking forward to trying next time.

Bill came to Rs. 2400 for 3 people. (But this was just because we were pigs. There is no excuse for the massacre we committed that night)

Still, why should I go there? –  I met Chris, the chef and owner of the restaurant, at another of my favourite restaurants, Sakana read about it here) He is an Indian dude who works 6 months in Ibiza, Spain and 6 months in Goa (what a life!). He invited me over to this place, and when I heard it had fusion food, I knew I had to be there. He had a Spanish sushi chef helping him. Sublime is right next to the beach, and the seats are in the sand. It’s a cheery place and you can see Chris going around, greeting people taking orders, and seeing them off with such a passion, energy and infectious friendliness. You can see why people patronize the place and keep coming back.

Cool! Who can I take? – Great for a relaxed evening with friends and having food you’ll never have elsewhere. Enjoy.

So thank me, and tell me which place you want to visit the most :). Hit the comment button below!

 

Kingfish and Passion Fruit Chocolate Tart @ Sakana_Chapora, near Vagator Beach

The endless sea_Vagator Beach

The endless sea_Vagator Beach

There’s something special about being on the road on your own. Watching the road whiz away beneath your wheels with the beautiful Goan landscape of green hills and tall coconut trees in the backdrop.

On the last such weekend getaway, I visited one of my most favourite places in Goa; Sakana, the Japanese restaurant at Chapora, very close to Vagator Beach. The first time I went there, I could hardly believe such a place existed, just on the main road of Goa. Well lit with warm yellow lights, tastefully and simply decorated with myriad Japanese memorabilia, you have to see it to believe it. There is a Sakura tree, with pink flowers and lights adorning its upper branches. It hardly seems possible that it has been made out of plywood and painted over. There are pictures of sake, Asahi beer and Japanese ladies in kimonos on the wall. You literally step into another world.

Sakana and the Sakura tree

Sakana and the Sakura tree

I sat down and waited. A blonde girl came to take my order. From her accented English, I knew she  was French. I asked her which place in France she was from. I always enjoy the look of surprise on people’s faces when they wonder how I know which country they are from (usually accurate 90% of the time, of course French is easy, some other European languages are much harder), hearing their stories about how they ended up working in Goa while backpacking or on vacation.

She gave me the menu, but I already knew my order. Kingfish with rice and miso soup. I tried a different kind of salad with shitake mushrooms and noodles.

Kingfish, Miso Soup, Rice and Salad

Kingfish, Miso Soup, Rice and Salad

And of course, the dessert, which is one of the best I have ever had, anywhere in the world. Passion fruit chocolate tart. Eat it to believe it and know that there is a God (it sends you to heaven). You will find religion after eating this sumptuous, scrumptious dish.

There is a God.

There is a God.

I had a Japanese green tea while waiting for the food to come. I looked around while sipping on the hot drink.  There were many people, busily chatting away with friends and family. There was a Russian family, with small kids (around 5-6 years old) running around. The Russian kids were playing some kind of hide and seek game, and their worried parents would shout (“Idzisuda!” – Come here!) whenever they ran out of sight or towards the road.

Sakana (which means fish in Japanese) is owned by a sweet Japanese lady and her Israeli (to be confirmed) husband, Niko. Both are

"Welcome"

“Welcome”

very nice and warm people. I make it a point to talk to the Japanese lady on each visit. She is always happy to converse in Japanese, and I am happy for the opportunity to catch up. Though she was busy in the kitchen, the Japanese lady came out for a smoke, and I said hello. We talked for a bit about how the restaurant was doing and then she rushed back to the kitchen to attend orders. I caught up with Niko later at the bar, before leaving.

The food was fantastic, as always. The bill came in a cute little wooden box.

I also took a picture of the menu, which had a picture of a fish and Irashaimase (“Welcome”) written on it.

The restaurant is on the main road, and open from 12.30 pm to around 11pm. Definitely visit when you are in Goa. Keep in mind that the dishes are slightly expensive (around Rs. 200-500 for main course) but the ambiance and experience are totally worth it.