An elaborate dinner at California Boulevard, Gurgaon - A nice place to spend some quiet time

I love food, and am not averse to trying any cuisine or category of food. And a restaurant that serves fusion food is the perfect place for someone like me.  Yesterday I visited California Boulevard with Vibha, my wife. The restaurant is situated in Sector 29, Gurgaon. It was a long drive from Noida and we were hoping that the experience would be worth it. 

Upon entering the restaurant, we were struck by the innovative decor and the ambience. The restaurant is done up to look like a street in California, as one would expect considering the name, and the decor makes you feel warm and at home. The staff immediately took it upon themselves to make us feel comfortable. We were attended to by Himanshu who not only performed his day-to-day duties impeccably, but also offered excellent suggestions about the dishes to order. And thanks to him, we were able to get through the 6-course menu cheerfully and comfortably. 

At one point during our stay, the executive chef Karen joined us and shared some of her wisdom. Generous, calm, cool, and composed, she seemed to be the perfect person to be running a restaurant's kitchen.

And now coming to the most important aspect of eating out - the food. 

As of now the restaurant doesn't have a bar license so we ordered mocktails. I ordered Spicy Guava, and my wife ordered a Ginger Honey Smoothie. Of course, we tasted each other's drink too and agreed that Spicy Guava was definitely the winner. It was sweet, tangy, and hot, all in the right proportions. 

I also ordered a Californian Punch, and was scared to see a pink drink being delivered to our table. I haven't had good experiences with pink drinks and was afraid that it would also be a disappointment. And I was proved right. One suggestion I would like to make to the restaurant about the mocktails is that the menu doesn't tell us exactly what goes in each drink and as a result it is very difficult to gauge what a drink may taste like. One liners describing the drink should be added to the menu. 

Along with the drinks, we ordered some "Nibblers". These are really quick snacks that can be served within 5-7 minutes of one's arrival at the restaurant. We ordered two: Dilli ki chaat and Prawn Crackers. Both were really good, but I found Dilli ki chaat really smart. Instead of the usual wheet papris, the curd and chutneys were smeared upon crunchy spinach leaves, and it was really really tasty. 

After the nibblers, we moved on to the soups and the appetizers. The restaurant offers popular soups from various cuisines. We tried the Chilled Blueberry Soup and Penang Curry Laksa (chicken). Blueberry is my wife's favorite so she enjoyed it. I preferred the Laksa. It had a cononut flavour that I love.

In appetizers, we ordered Golden Crispy Cups and Kaffir Lime Chicken Tikka, and we loved both. 

By now, as you can imagine, we were almost full, even though we had been consistently requested Himanshu to keep the portions small. But Mains and Desserts were still waiting to be tried. 

We ordered New Zealand Mustard Lamb Chops, and Seafood Thermidor. Lamb chops were lamb lambchops, and Seafood Thermidor was a mix of prawns, lobster meat, and squid served in lobster shell. I liked both but my wife felt that the lamb chops were slightly chewy.

For dessert, we ordered TCB Kulfi Gazzak, which was sheer magic on the plate. It had kesar kulfi with pieces of Gajjak served in an inverted chocolate cup. Very beautiful and tasty dessert indeed. 
On the whole, we loved the experience and felt that the long drive was completely worth it. Following are some facts about the restaurant:

1) The restaurant also has a branch in Rajouri Garden, Delhi
2) The restaurant serves American, Asian, and European cuisine, along with some beautiful fusion dishes.
3) A 4-course meal for two would cost somewhere around Rs. 3,500. 

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