Ziu, Sangam Courtyard: High on Thai

Vegetarian Thai food is often hard to come by, especially when you are in Thailand. Things are changing for the better in that land, albeit slowly. And when Skeeter heard of Ziu, a progressive Thai restaurant in Sangam Courtyard at R.K.Puram (Delhi), a reservation was instantly made. Run by Gurmehar Singh Sethi who is the chef-owner of Ziu, the kitchen is in expert hands. Gurmehar hails from Delhi but his Nobu and Le Cirque background sets the bar high for Ziu. Before ordering her meal,Skeeter quizzed Gurmehar about the fish sauce substitutes where required,  and was told they use fresh Soybean paste (flown in from Thailand) to make the vegetarian Thai food at Ziu. Needless to say, Skeeter was sold.

The meal
Looking at the menu at Ziu, one may detect some regular Thai menu offerings but prepare to be amazed. They treat the way they serve you, differently, and that sets them apart. Tom Yum soup (Rs 295) was a hearty portion, easily devoured by two. The flavourful veggies came seated in a polished coconut-shell bowl with a hint of smoke enticing you; the spicy and sour soup was poured from a little jug over the veggies at the table. Subtle and flavourful, this soup grows on you. You can adjust the spice levels with bird’s eye chilli powder and chilli oil that is served on the table.

 
                                                                   Tom Yum Soup

Skeeter ordered a Som Tam salad (Rs 295), next, quite unsuspectingly. Sipping on her Pineapple cooler that was served in a flute glass (champagne style) with a hint of chilli Skeeter was amazed to be greeted by a bowl of hitherto unknown ‘fried’ Som Tam salad: Juliennes of raw papaya and carrot fried in rice flour batter to a perfect state where they retained the softness yet were crunchy to bite in. These were tossed in a light dressing, adorned with cherry tomatoes, and could certainly make a hearty lunch with a bowl of Tom Yum.

Pineapple cooler (left); Virgin Mojito (right)
Som Tam Salad

A hungry table of two ordered Kanom Krok (Rs 295) and Meing Khum (Rs 255) next. Kanom Krok were wondrous coconut crème brulee bites filled with sautéed tofu, galangal, super finely shredded kaffir lime leaves in a finger-licking good tom kha and chilly lime dressing. Skeeter could volunteer to be the brand ambassador for these. These were washed down with a Virgin Mojito with Ziu’s twist of freshly shaved coconut swirls. One can’t resist those! And the Meing Khum took us by surprise. Skeeter forsees people writing about it as Thai version of Indian Paan. But the similarity ends there. These were the most incredible palate cleansers-cum-salad. Wild pepper leaves were stuffed with chopped lime, chilli, fried garlic, shallots, peanut, ginger, toasted coconut and tamarind jam. Skeeter will ask for extra tamarind jam and a notch higher chilli level, when she visits Ziu next. And the presentation was appealing too! Besides, the portion is generous for a table of two.


                                                                      Kanom Krok
                             

Meing Khum

Saving more appetizers for another visit to Ziu, Skeets hopped on to the mains of Tofu Song Krueng (Rs 525) or Pan seared tofu cakes, topped with wok tossed seasonal vegetables. What caught Skeeter’s fancy were the tofu cakes and what made her wary was the standard wok-tossed line written in menus. Soon enough, she was proven wrong. The hearty tofu cakes were encased in a crunchy peanut coat and the wok-tossed vegetables (like morning glory) had her craving for more.

                                                        Chef-Owner Gurmehar Singh Sethi at work

Saving more appetizers for another visit to Ziu, Skeets hopped on to the mains of Tofu Song Krueng (Rs 525) or Pan seared tofu cakes, topped with wok tossed seasonal vegetables. What caught Skeeter’s fancy were the tofu cakes and what made her wary was the standard wok-tossed line written in menus. Soon enough, she was proven wrong. The hearty tofu cakes were encased in a crunchy peanut coat and the wok-tossed vegetables (like morning glory) had her craving for more. The burnt garlic fried rice were the perfect accompaniment.

Tofu cakes (left); burnt garlic fried rice (right)

But the true test came in the form of their Phad Thai noodles (Rs 295), a make or break for Skeeter. And these didn’t disappoint either! They tossed in oodles of veggies with the noodles, and everything blended together with a lovely homemade tamarind sauce. Besides attention to freshness, they use home grown microgreens and herbs in their dishes and that gives them an edge too!

For dessert, try their coco-nutty twist on the classic Tiramisu, if you find even a wee bit of space left in your tummy bag and you’d dream of the meal when you turn to bed. Skeeter did!
                                                          Dreamy dessert: Coconut Tiramisu                      
Meal for two: Rs 1800
Address: Sangam Courtyard, Major Somnath Marg, Sector 9, R K Puram, New Delhi. 
Phone: 011 26180711

Tea, Snack, Main Course and Dessert

It wasn’t planned. But it happened. And it did good. It rejuvenated two tired souls.
We indulged, feasted, shopped, tattled and were transmuted to two new beings.
Tea, we did not drink, but shopped for. We shopped at Needs, the superb supermarket situated in DLF Phase-IV, Gurgaon. Needs has the most amazing variety a supermarket can house. No wonder it has become my favourite. Below is the picture of the array of teas and biscuits,cookies,shorbreads, they have on offer. I was stupfied by the variety. I still am. I have never ever seen so much variety under one roof in Delhi!!!

Bangkok 9
This cute little eatery (read Thai and Oriental Cafe) is tucked away in a warm little corner of the food court at The Mega City Mall, Gurgaon. We ordered Po-Pia Thod or Thai Spring Rolls for starters. Wrapped in rice sheets and deep fried till golden brown, they are the yummiest crunchies once can have. If I visit Gurgaon and don’t eat the Phad Thai noodles (which we ordered for the Main Course) here I feel like the trip lacked something. This was the reason, that in the midst of the then ongoing Gujjar clashes, when I reached Gurgaon with a plan to have a Greek Pizza, I ended up having Phad Thai noodles at Bangkok 9. Phad Thai noodles, that’s my best bet at Bangkok 9. They are tangy, soft, juicy, crunchy and have My Peanut!!!
AND AND AND more than anything else, Pritika (the one who accompanies me here and everywhere) and Bangkok 9 are the ones behind my resurrected interest in the delicious Thai cuisine. Pritika is the one who told me that Thai food is not all about Coconut (which I truly, deeply hate). So this post would have been meaningless without a mention, a salutation to the duo.
Costa Coffee
And then came the Dessert, ‘Chocolate Travoletta’, a titillating delight that can be sampled at Costa Coffee cafes around the town and beyond. I am not too sure if I spelt the name of the sinful delight right. It costs about 28 INR and is inarguably the best chocolate dessert any cafe can attract me to.

When its summertime and the time to dine

Much has been written about Dilli ki Garmi. And now its time to sit up and beat the heat!

Cool! Ain’t it?

In the past few days, i’ve been trying to find places to chill. Saltz @ GK-1, M block is a lovely place to chill out on a hot summer Sunday. When you don’t feel like doing anything head to Saltz, sip their Thai Cold Coffee, order a Gelato of your choice and sit ‘n’ stare by the window seat (they hv a few).

Veg Siomai
Braised Thai Noodles

My maiden visit to Saltz came on last Saturday. I was accompanied by a Thai food lover. In the company of this Thai food lover I am learning to appreciate Thai cuisine as this person orders stuff for me that does NOT contain coconut. And now about the ambience, food and masti: Ambience was excellent! The place is done up in blue, light silver and white. A perfect summery joint! Highly recommended! Food was only ‘ok’. But the fact that we can order Gelato from the Gelato parlour downstairs makes it cool as u don’t necessarily hv to order food. The menu is influenced by the South-East Asian region. It has many Thai items as must be apparent by now. Service again is only ok. There was only one more table occupied still the service was slow. If you are headed for a quick lunch or hunger is getting on to you, this is so not a place to be.
While we waited for our lunch, we checked out the GK crowd from our window seat 😀 One that amused us the most was a gentleman sitting under a tree and reading a newspaper. He was so lost in his own world that it appeared as if he was sitting in the balcony of his sea-facing apartment and readign it. LOL.

Can u spot him?

Anyway, we ordered Veg Siomai (Indonesian Steamed dumplings) for starters. They were simply yummilicious and were served with some hot red sauce. For the main course was ordered Thai Chicken Curry by the Thai food lover and I ordered Braised Thai Noodles which were served with Black Mushrooms and greens. The Thai Chicken curry was adjudged not good by the Thai food lover. My verdict for the Braised Thai Noodles was Pass. They were a bit bland, but that is the way they were supposed to be. The dessert was what we enjoyed the most. But sadly I’ve forgotten the name. However, a pic follows 🙂


Last words: Saltz was Sweet 🙂