Linx - multi-cuisine restaurant at Premier Inn at Shalimar Bagh in Delhi

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Category: Food, Wine & NightLife | Tags: Food Review, Biryani, Dal Makhani, Premier Inn, Shalimar Bagh, 87, Linx, Whitebread Company, Pitampura Metro Station, Murgh Malai Tikka, Hara Bhara Kabab, Samarkha, Moong Dal Vada, Paneer Tikka, Chowmein, Phirni, Restaurants in New Delhi
Scribbled by: Sonika | On: 31st Oct, 2011

Premier Inn, one of UK and Ireland's fastest growing chain of budget hotels has opened doors to their second property in India and first in Delhi only four months back (on June 22, 2011). The first branch of Premier Inn was opened up in Bangalore. The Whitbread Company owns the Premier Inn, a budget hotel in Delhi that is strategically located on the ring road at Shalimar Bagh and close to the Pitampura Metro Station; convenient to reach. For me however, all the way from South Delhi, visiting the Premier Inn meant a long journey. But was it worth it? Read further to find out.

The Premier Inn boasts of a very modern building with fairly simple yet well-maintained and tasteful decor. The ambiance of the entire place speaks two words very clearly - modern and budget. The prices to stay in these hotel are Rs. 5500 (currently) and the same price is flashed outside the entry gate as well. The hotel has 143 air-conditioned rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant called Linx and a bar & lounge called the 87 besides a small Costa Coffee kiosk. All rooms are equipped with all amenities and quality items including the high quality bed mattresses! Visitors to Delhi should definitely check it out as an option to get great services in affordable and budget prices.

I visited the Premier Inn to try the food at their bar and restaurant. And boy, was I impressed! You know what's best. I went there expecting only average food with good-enough service. So to get great food with great service was definitely delightful.

Here's some trivia - Whitbread Company that owns the Premier Inn throughout the world, also owns Costa Coffee and hence Costa Coffee is available inside the hotel too. All the three food and beverages options at the Premier Inn, i.e. Costa Coffee, Linx and the 87 are on the second floor located adjacent to one another. Makes easy for guests to sip some coffee, to grab a beer or to have an elaborate dinner. The decor of 87 was minimalist with wooden flooring, wooden bar chairs next to the bar and a few brown-leather sofas. There were also a few large wooden tables with bar chairs. It was small place with adequate lighting and a fairly decent ambiance. On one side was Costa Coffee with no major demarcation between the two areas, a few sofas that resemble those placed at 87. On the other side was Linx - the multi-cuisine restaurant at Premier Inn at Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. The floor of Linx was marbled and spankingly clean. Wooden tables and beige-cushioned, wooden chairs were spread across the dining area. One of the sides occupies a large table with buffet items during breakfast hours.

Linx offers a buffet breakfast at the price of Rs. 350, plus taxes only! Kids unto 15 year can eat for free. Now that's quite a steal. I haven't tried the breakfast here but would love to hear your reviews, when you guys visit! There's something about the place, their ambiance, their service and all the food that I tried here - that tells me their breakfast will be absolute value for money. Go try it!

We first sat at the 87 to enjoy a few drinks with starters. Here were the highlights of the day - Crispy Chilli Potatoes (chill, with good taste but not crispy enough), Murgh Malai Tikka (these boneless kababs were very succulent and we gulped down big portions), Paneer Tikka (very ordinary but good nonetheless), Hara Bhara Kabab (a must-try even if you're hardcore carnivore), Moong Dal Vada (delicious flavours, crispy - try with the mint chutney served) and Samarkha/Lebanese Fish (I didn't try the fish but my friend absolutely loved it and could not stop raving about how good it was. In fact, even the staff at the restaurant spoke volumes about the Fish preparation).

We moved to Linx for the main course. We kickstarted our main course with soups - Hot n Sour Soup for me and Sweet Corn for my friend. Pretty alright. For main course, my friend ordered a Chicken preparation and a Lamb preparation and enjoyed those with assorted Indian breads. Meanwhile, I digged into the Dal Makhani which was the clear winning of the evening. Loaded with butter and calories, this Dal Makhani was absolutely delicious. The flavours were so good and this one is a must-have when you dine at Linx. The Vegetable Biryani and the Chowmein were fairly good.

We finished off with Phirni, which was nice as well but I was too stuffed to really savour the flavours of the dessert.

The food spots at the Premier Inn - the 87 and Linx are both great to grab quick snacks and starters or full meals. The highlight is Indian food but the menu includes many international dishes also. The choices are sufficient, without really being too many. The chefs, to satiate their want to serve new recipes, do a day's special every day. Having tasted the food at Premier Inn, I can say that the chef's special of the day would be safe to try! The service and ambiance are cherries on the icing.

I absolutely recommend a meal at the Premier Inn. It serves delicious food with value-for-money. Why miss it?

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La Vie at Khan Market, Delhi

Tags: Review, Food Review, Restaurants in Delhi, Newly Opened in Delhi, La Vie, La Vie Khan Market

Scribbled by: Sonika | On: 12th Aug, 2014

La Vie at Khan Market, Delhi As we drove to Khan Market to visit the newest pizzeria, La Vie, we wondered how this one would fare any different from the plethora of restaurants and cafes that serve wood-fired, thin crust pizzas in Delhi, and we wondered if our drive from Gurgaon to this petite, cosy cafe will be worth it. Placed next to Khan Chacha, right below Chonas and opposite Big Chill, La Vie has two entry doors, accessible from both the inner lane and the outer lane - very strategic. La Vie has a very warm, inviting vibe; you will know this almost instantly as you enter. While I loved the cute meet classy decor of this tiny cafe-restaurant and the purple cushioned chairs were equally adorable, I did wish they had better back rest. Like me, you may feel a little back of comfort if you’re not sitting on the sofa. While we browsed through the menu, contemplating what to order while wondering why this Italian cafe has a French name, we were greeted by Anirudh Gupta, the man behind this latest entrant in Khan Market. He with his passion and honesty gave us company through the evening for our dinner. You’d be interested to know, the owner is a vegetarian and hence, there are plenty of vegetarian dishes on the menu. La Vie bakes their own bread, do their own chilli oils and dips; they’re pretty darn good at it. The Garlic Bread, which was fabulous but slightly dry by itself, was great with the Chilli Oils. The Pesto dip was perfect and even though I thought the Salsa Dip was a tad bit too ketchupy, my friend absolutely loved it and saved it to have along the pizza as well! Our half and half pizza, a Chicken Mexicana and Pizza Tomatina had the perfect thin-crust, and came loaded with generous toppings and not-so-generous cheese and the idea of calling La Vie a pizzeria completely made sense then. On the other hand, the Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Basil Pesto sauce was a little short of perfection due to lack of seasoning. Oregano and Chilli flakes came to rescue. From the mains, try the Barbeque Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce that comes with fresh, crunchy, grilled vegetables, and delightful mashed potatoes which you can swap for rice pilaf. The Lemon Butter Sauce was spectacular. For desserts, we were very tempted to order the Blueberry Cheese Cake but we were sure it wouldn’t beat our favourite at the Big Chill Cafe. So we went for the Chocolate Truffle Cake that was beautiful with just the right texture. La Vie awaits Liquor license but has some darn good mocktails on the menu; their specialty drink La Vie Da, a spicy, tangy cocotion is noteworthy. Equally good here are the shakes that are done with low-fat milk. The live kitchen gives you a full view of the wood-fired oven. The world music and the warm vibe, coupled with La Vie’s great food are reasons enough for us to return and for you to stop by when you’re looking for a cosy cafe in Khan Market.

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Social Offline at Hauz Khas Village - Delhi's own collaborative, coworking cafe

Tags: Restaurants in Delhi, Social Offline, Hauz Khas Social, Social at Hauz Khas Village, Coworking in Delhi, Collaborative Working Space, Newly Opened in Delhi

Scribbled by: Sonika | On: 5th Jul, 2014

Social Offline at Hauz Khas Village - Delhi's own collaborative, coworking cafe Social Offline - the latest addition to Hauz Khas Village isn’t just a restaurant or bar, but adds up as a uber creative, collaborative working space for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Social Offline at Hauz Khas is a brand new concept by the Impresario group. Brainchild of Riyaaz Amlani, Hauz Khas Social is a brilliant coworking space that aims to bring together freelancers, entrepreneurs, bloggers and those who work from homes and cafes. This is perhaps Delhi's only collaborative working space that also doubles as a cafe and bar. The aim of this newest addition to the bustling Hauz Khas Village is simple, to encourage interaction between creative minds, independent workers, freelancers and give them a space to work from, collaborate and probably create something new. Social Offline opened at Bangalore a couple of months back, as Church Street Social and they're now planning to extend to Mumbai too.  Spread over two floors, Hauz Khas Social or Social Offline, as it is officially named, overlooks the beautiful Hauz Khas lake. The ground level is a large space divided in three areas - a lounge seating with a bar, a live gig area and a cafe with two bars. On the first level, which is the actual coworking space at Social Offline, there's space for around 50 to 70 people, where you're most likely to be sharing table with someone else; the idea is to meet new people! This place opens at 9 AM and has the work-like ambience till 6 PM (typical working hours), post which you can continue working but Social gives no guarantee of decible levels. During the work hours, only members (yes, there's membership), are allowed upstairs. After 6 PM, everyone's welcome. Here's how the membership work - apply at, and if they think you make the cut and belong at Social, you'll be a member at Rs. 5000 a month. And you won't just be a member of one location, but other Social Offline's pan India (currently, there's one in Bangalore; Mumbai coming soon). You can definitely sign up for longer periods too. What do you get - free WiFi (they have three high speed connections to ensure they take the load), ample charging points for your devices (laptops, phones, tablets, iPads), three conference rooms (that you can block as first-come-first-serve bases), printers, stationary, scanners, lockers and everything else work-friendly. Want more? You can use Social's address as your official postal address and they hold back any packages and letters for you in your locker. Super win! Add to this the awesome, and huge food and drinks menu and a crowd sourced playlist - Social is well equipped with anything you might need for a perfect office space. If you're not a member, you can still stop by at the ground floor with your laptop and work stuff and use Social's WiFi and enjoy their super awesome food and drinks. Get breakfast till 7.30 PM and cocktails throughout. We at TCG are huge lovers of working out of cafes and LOVE the concept at Social where you work amidst people who are there to engage and collaborate. No more disturbances of regular cafes and no more boredom of working from home. We have already applied for our membership and if you're interested, you should too!  Full food and drinks review out soon!

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Matchbox Pub & Grub, Hauz Khas Village

Tags: Food Review, Restaurants in Hauz Khas Village, Pubs in Delhi, Matchbox Pub & Grub, Pubs in Hauz Khas Village

Scribbled by: Sonika | On: 24th Jun, 2014

Matchbox Pub & Grub is amongst the new additions to the Hauz Khas Village that now has one too many places. Amidst all the rush in HKV now, it is important for newbies to stand apart to be able to attract people and keep pulling them back. Matchbox Pub & Grub, in that respect, has tried a bit too hard and has hit the home run in many areas. First Looks - Decor First, there is superb attention to detail in sketching out the layout of the place. The efforts and thoughts behind the place deserve an applause. At the same time, there’s a bit too much happening with posters of sports, music, films and more on the walls. To give a vintage, old-world feel to the place there’s a London telephone booth on one corner, another one adorns a drum set. The place is reminiscent of so many others; elements of all put together. A part of me likes the detailing; a part of wishes they do a little less. Food Talk - Menu The menu is like a daily newspaper; nice touch but very hard to read in the dim lighting in the evenings. Torch apps on the phone and recommendations from the staff came handy. We started off with beers and a cocktail - Fragrance (Rs. 356) which was essentially Guava Juice and Vodka with some magic portion (read: syrup) that made this taste too darn good! To go along, we ordered a bunch of starters between the three of us. Try the Vegetarian Bruschetta, excellent executive with buttered bread topped with fresh tomatoes and pesto; this one is a must try. Pigs in a Blanket, sausages wrapped in bacon, is getting really popular in Delhi Restaurant menus. At Matchbox, my two friends had dispute over whether this was good or not. While one loved it, the thought it was rather ordinary. I suggest, you try. The Fish and Chips (Rs. 325), the regular pub grub, was good. Stuffed Mushrooms with Herbs & Cheese (Rs. 245) and Cottage Cheese Shashlik (Rs. 345) were both loved on our table despite the majority of non-vegetarians. For main course, we ordered the Classic Maggi (Rs. 165) expecting a Mocha-style Maggi that comes topped with veggies and cheese, maybe. What we got was bloody interesting Thai-style Maggi with some fab flavours. We skipped desserts for reasons to come back another time. Music, Service and everything else The music was a tad bit too loud; but then again we were too close to the console and it was Saturday night. I would still have loved it a notch lower though. The service was good, the staff was attentive and well-aware of the menu. Overall, it was a good experience. I didn’t come out of Matchbox Pub overwhelmed or with the feeling of ‘can’t-wait-to-go-back’. But it is definitely a welcome addition to the village and seeing the commitment of the two guys who have put this place together and their love for the place, I see it as growing into something memorable. And of course, if you’re looking for a haunt to enjoy rock music, this is where you should be.

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