K3 JW MarriottAs we are nearing end of 2015, it’s time of the year, to share my favorite places in Delhi\NCR. 2015 has been good year for Mystic Foodie Mantra! We have been to amazing places throughout the year and some of them were truly outstanding, some were good and some were just average! Honestly speaking I love when people ask our recommendations as a food reviewer and follow our activity and reviews! It is not only humbling but also very encouraging! Before I write any further, BIG THANKS for all the love and attention!

To begin with – Here is my list of favorite places and favorite chefs of this year and as always – This clearly is MY list, MY view and MY personal preference!

Chef of the YearGirish Krishnan, Executive Chef, JW Marriott, he is one of the most underrated chef IMO. Very passionate about his food, has great eye for details and his great working style that gives everyone equal importance and his team members feel very valued. Successfully running and maintaining the standards of K3 – this perhaps is one of the best, all day dinning place and serves great Sunday brunch as well.

F&B of the YearUmesh Dalal is my choice for this category and he has done remarkably good work at Eros Hotel, Nehru Place. He managed to pull off some of the most sought after food festival extremely well. Of them, the Pakistani food festival was one of its kind and was conducted for the first time in India. The Korean food festival too was another hit! I am already looking forward for 2016 where he has planned some great events.

Indian Accent ,Manish Mehrotra and IA -NYC– They don’t need any introduction and neither any sort of publicity. Indian Accent is India’s finest dinning place, where Chef Manish along with Chef Vivek and Chef Shantanu, have worked together to give gastronomical journey that you will never forget! And now they are going global, by opening Indian Accent in New York

North Indian Restaurant – This time, I tried two new places and found both of them as brilliant!   The focus was on north Indian food that not only Punjabi but covered other parts of north India. Dilli 32 at Kempinsiki Hotel serves finest Awadhi and rampuri cuisine. Made in India at Radisson MBD Noida , serves excellent indian cuisine. Delhi Pavillion at Sheraton saket has got rave reviews as well. And not to forget Tawak , Noida that was started by two young chefs. They serve excellent north Indian cuisine along with some great pan Asian food. The Kosha Manghso and the luchi that I had at Buzz, the all day dinning at The Gateway Resort Damdama, was one of the best I have eaten in Delhi/NCR.

Chor bizzare provides mouthwatering Kashmiri food and I have always enjoyed visiting this place. The food here is incomparable and I have not been able to locate any other place that serves authentic Kashmiri food.

South indian/Coastal – Under vegetarian category, Carnatic Café tops the list and for non-vegetarian it is Desse Dakshin, for their outstanding food. I terribly miss Gun Powder that unfortunately, is non-operational now. I would like to add that after Chef Arun Sundaraj joined as executive chef of Taj Mahal, it has been the best in town for Saturday brunch where he churns amazing Hyderabadi cuisine.

How can I miss Tamra, the newly opened all day dinning which tops my list when it comes to Sunday brunches! Since Chef Neeraj Tyagi joined as executive chef, things have got much better. Keep watching this space as they are coming up with some exciting dining options. J

Pan Asian/Chinese – I love Guppy by ai and without a doubt, it’s my favorite! The pork belly, here, is still the best in town. Another notable Japanese restaurant is EN, which I tried this year and is an absolutely brilliant place. Apart from this, It’s important to talk about Pan Asian and the way it has improved – All credit goes to the brilliant Chef Vaibhav Bhargava who has transformed the old fashion pan Asian place into a modern pan Asian( in terms of food). It’s high time that they should look at the interior as well.

European/AmericanAll American Diner is my all-time favorite and I love to my have breakfast here! Nothing has changed over the years.

I would like to mention about The Tasting Lab started by Chef Sujan Sarkar where he serves great food, local produce, mix of science and molecule, and some mind blowing cocktails. It happens every Thursday at The Green House, Olive and one shouldn’t miss this!

Regional Cuisine – This is for Imly for giving us food across India and that too at a very pocket friendly price and the ambience is of a moving train.

Desi Roots started with bang however missed the race. Good food, they stick to basics, excellent presentation – everything was promising, however somehow they lost the plot completely.

Jamie Oliver’s pizzeria and Jamie’s Italian finally landed in India. After dismal start of Pizzeria they quietly opened Italian and many aren’t yet aware of this opening. The Fatty bao looks promising; however the quality needs to be more consistent.

Sensational Debut of the YearEk Baar  – Ek bar has interesting elements w.r.t. interiors that remind us of our roots, culture, history as well as tradition too. The heavy red chairs take you to the era of 70-80’s. It reminds one of the fancy chairs on which villains of Bollywood would sit and drink black dog J. It has intriguing and yet casual set up that makes you comfortable and feel of home. Ek bar has well designed bar stocked with spirits. Ek Baar is first of its kind, an indigenous bar that will definitely set the standard for bars in India.

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