June 2014 archive

Life on my Plate reviews our 6 course Hao Shi Nian Niann Experience.

One of GourmetItUp’s most loved Blogger’s , Life on my Plate, reviewed another one of our experiences, the second time in a row! Here’s her fabulous review on the same:

“Hao Shi Nian Niann is a specialty Chinese (Sichuan) restaurant located in the M-Block Market of Greater Kailash 2, and they are the latest to partner with GourmetItUp, a culinary web-portal that offers specially curated course meals to its members. I wrote all about GourmetItUp here in case you want to refresh your memory. You really should go sign up guys; they’re getting better day by day. A little birdie told me Olive just linked up with them as well (*does a little happy dance).

So anyway, coming back to the point, Hao Shi Nian Niann isn’t new to the dining circuit. It’s been around for a few years. And as the restaurant’s Marketing Manager Aashima Shetty told me herself, they specialise in Chinese food specifically from the Sichuan district, which is closest to the Indian palette.

Translation: Indian Chinese. The kind of Chinese food that is overly familiar. The kind we’ve grown up eating in Delhi. The kind that existed long before the wave of “authentic” Chinese food swept the city.

This review will focus only on the Chinese Food, as that is what is included in the GourmetItUp 6-Course Meal (though I believe they have other Oriental dishes such as Laksa Curry on the menu as well).

Beer and soft drinks (one per person), is included in the cost of the GourmetItUp experience. The sweltering heat called for a Beer; we sat back, sipped, and waited.

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It began with soup, which I would just like to say, it was way too hot for. But in the colder months, I’m sure they’ll be super comforting. The Lemon Coriander soup was subtle in flavor but the texture felt a bit too grainy due to the profusion of coriander in the broth. And the Sichuan Hot and Sour Soup (with Bamboo Shoot) was thick and spicy. This one was probably the most old-school dish in the meal. It took me right back to childhood family dinners at Aka Saka in Defence Colony.

Next was the Dim-sums course. The steamed chicken seiw mai (just another name for siu mai), had a good flavour, and the corn dumplings were interestingly different from any dim-sums I’ve had before. Not so much in taste as in texture. But I felt the dough in both was a bit too thick.

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The Appetizers came next. Ordinarily, you have to choose one dish per person, but Aashima was kind enough to send us tasting portions of each. The vegetarian selection consists of Stir Fried French Beans with Green Chilli and Black Bean, which I didn’t particularly care for; and Garlic Flavored Cornseeds which were awesome, airy and crunchy. The non-vegetarians can choose from Diced Chicken Dry Chilly Spring Onion, though I felt the chicken pieces were a bit too dry for my liking, and Crispy Fish Dry Chilly Garlic, which was delicious. Soft and tender, but wonderfully crisp from outside, I also loved the burnt garlic and greens scattered all over the dish.

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In the main course, we opted for the Prawn in Chilly Black Bean sauce, and the Chicken with mix vegetables in Oyster sauce, again served to us in tasting portions along with pre-plated garlic and spring onion fried rice. Both of these were great, the flavours were bang on. The prawns were absolutely delicious and I really liked that the plate of rice had also been sprinkled with the burnt garlic and greens mixture, lending a lovely crunch to the meal. My only concern with this course was that there was no gravy. Masala yes; but no gravy to go with the rice.

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And finally, the desserts. The Darsaan was unfortunately just a wee bit soggy, and the Brownie was just about okay. Both were served with Vanilla Ice Cream.

8 9So, where are you eating today?”

Click Here To View The Entire Blogpost

Click Here To Make A Reservation For Our Experience at Hao Shi Nian Niann

Chef Speak: 8 Questions With Masterchef Mike Li Wei

Greater Kailash’s prized Sichuan restaurant Hao Shi Nian Niann (stands for Here’s To A Good Life) with it’s all black interiors is one of the most elegant Chinese eateries in the vicinity and the man responsible for bringing to Delhi the authentic tastes of far east Asia is Chef Mike Li Wei. GourmetItUp had the privilege of talking to the great master chef himself and the tete a tete that ensued has been reproduced for our readers:

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Chef Mike Li Wei of Hao Shi Nian Niann is excitable when we discuss Sichuan cuisine. He attaches a sensibility to his food and is a paragon of his kind. Hao Shi Nian Niann offers stellar dishes with effortless ease and it’s all because of him. The chef de cuisine isn’t the least bit nervous as he prepares to answer all my inquisitive questions.

What was the first dish you ever perfected as a chef?

“It wasn’t so much a dish. It was a special sauce. It’s extremely versatile and can be paired with any meat of your choice, chicken, fish, you name it. You actually have to taste it to know what i’m talking about.”

How much/How drastically do you have to change authentic Sichuan cuisine to meet the Indian palate?

“I think authentic Sichuan cuisine is still very oily and very spicy for the Indian palate so i tone down some of my dishes. The traditional favourites are still left untouched of course”

How was Hao Shi Nian Niann born?

“I was back home in Sichuan when i got a call from Jagjit and Kartar Singh telling me ‘Chef, we want to open a restaurant for you so you have to come back’. That was how Hao Shi Nian Niann was born.”

What was your most memorable dinner at Hao Shi Nian Niann?

“It was my birthday and my team got me a cake with my face on it (he laughs) It was extremely special.”

What do you cook for yourself when you’re at home?

“When at home,  we cook a traditional spicy Sichuan pork dish that’s native to the province and is cooked by all families”

What is your favourite Indian dish?

“Oh, I have so many. There’s Black Dal, Tandoori Chicken with Butter Nan, Rogan Ghosh.”

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

“Hopefully taking Hao Shi Nian Nian to more cities and expanding but that really depends on the boss”

Can you share a star recipe with our readers?

“Here’s the recipe for my famous Double Cooked Pork:

PORK BELLY                           1000 gm
SPRING ONION                        100 gm
SALT                                             10 gm
GINGER GARLIC                         40 gm
COOKING WINE                           20 ml
CHICKEN POWDER                     20 gm
CAPSICUM                                   60  gm
RED PEPPER                               60  gm
WHITE PEPPER                              4  gm
SESAME OIL                                   20 ml
VEGETABLE OIL                          200 gm
CORNFLOWER                              50 gm
ONION                                         100 gm
PI XIAN CHILLY PASTE                  50 gm
TONG CHUAN BLACK BEAN        50 gm
HISION SAUCE                               50 gm
BABY LEEKS                                  100 gm                                                        CABBAGE                                      100 gm

METHOD:

METHOD
1) Blanch the Pork Belly till cooked.
2) Cut the pork belly into slices.
3) Cut all the vegetable into slices.
4) Heat oil in wok then add sliced pork belly and add hoisin sauce stir fryand put pixan chilly paste.
5) Add all the other vegetables and cook together till cooked.
6) Then add the seasonings.
7) And add the black beans at the end and then serve.”

Click Here To View Our GourmetItUp Experience at Hao Shi Nian Niann

‘Uber’-ize Your Dining Experiences With GourmetItUp

Last week, Uber, the most popular luxury car hire service in the world featured us on their city blog. We’ve partnered with them for almost two months now and are still growing strong. Mumbaikars have taken to booking these slick uber cars every time they book an Alcohol-paired experience through us.  We launched our Uber partnership in Pune too for all our experiences. As our Fun Friday activity of the week, the core team behind GourmetItUp booked two Uber cars last Friday to dig into boxes full of Munchkins and sip on lattes at Dunkin’ Donuts in Bandra.

uber Munchkins-from-Dunkin'-Donuts

Here’s an excerpt from their blog post:

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Uber has partnered with Gourmet It Up to add a dash of style and convenience your dining experiences in Mumbai and Pune.

GourmetItUp.com provides access to exclusive fine dining experiences at the best restaurants in Mumbai and Pune. These experiences range from 6-10 course degustations to alcohol paired set meals.”

Click Here To Read The Full Blogpost

Click Here To View All Our Alcohol-paired Experiences in Mumbai

Click Here To View All Our Experiences in Pune

 

Cheer Along With Our FIFA World Cup Specials

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The whimsical Mumbai rains have already started to make life a bit slower for us locals but that’s no excuse to miss out on the month long football frenzy of the FIFA World Cup. Sport your team’s colors at any of our recommended restaurants as you sip on Unlimited Beer and cheer between bites of truly luscious burgers. Our month long specials are running at Townhouse Cafe, Fort, Tilt All Day at Lower Parel and Vicinia at Kemps Corner.

3TownHouse Cafe at Fort is designed along the lines of an English Pub, the interiors reminiscent of brew houses in the countryside. The menu sports some lip smacking burgers and sides. Our experience at TownHouse Cafe includes unlimited beer, one burger and a portion of fries. This experience is priced at Rs. 1000 + taxes per person.

Click Here To Make A Reservation For This Experience

2Tilt All Day is the ultimate destination for a fun night out with friends. Cheer for the team you’re supporting at Lower Parel’s liveliest bar and eatery. The GourmetItUp experience brings you a portion of fries, a huge burger and unlimited Beer that’s priced at Rs. 1400 + taxes per person.

Click Here To Make A Reservation For This Experience

1(1)Vicinia at Kemps Corner brings two of your favourite things together in an experience that really packs a punch. Unlimited Beer and French Fries is Vicinia’s humble offering for the FIFA World Cup so gather your friends and get ready to Chug and Cheer, only With GourmetItUp.

Click Here To Make A Reservation For This Experience

If you still can’t zero down on an experience or need to consider a few more options before you take a decision, we’ve thrown in a couple of recommendations too.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ENTIRE WORLD CUP COLLECTION

GourmetItUp’s Delhi Launch Event

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After its successful launch in Hauz Khas’ Mia Bella, the pristine culinary web portal GourmetItUp promises a line-up of fantastic restaurant partnerships in the months to come. Co-founder, Deepa Jain, present at the event, introduced the brand and spoke at length about the curation process for these personalized culinary experiences. “GourmetItUp is a resource that enables the locals to gain access to new culinary experiences around the city at affordable prices” said Deepa Jain. The Four Course spread that followed was paired with premium wines from Sula. With a little help from the sommelier at the event, Ms. Neelam demonstrated how Braai’ cuisine too could be paired with a tasteful selection of wines. Celebrated illusionist, Mister Shankar Bakshi was also present and put up quite a show as the patrons and media feasted on Mia Bella’s special Nazzas (Pizzas with a nan base). Several prominent food bloggers from FBAI also graced the event. GourmetItUp has already partnered with some of Delhi’s finest gastronomic eateries such as Rara Avis, Ploof, Shiro, Lodi, Guppy By Ai, Diva, Olive, Uzuri and many more.

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