Virgin Courtyard – Chandigarh’s Chak de Italiano 

If you are a foodie then Chandigarh should be a must visit on your cards. One of the best time to visit the ‘City Beautiful’ is during the start of Winter season.

Evenings are very pleasant with the mercury hovering slightly below 10 degrees. If you are from that part of the country where you don’t get the chance to take out your winter clothes then you will be super happy. The jacket that you had bought and kept safely secured in your wardrobe will come to your help while you are in Chandigarh.

 The first thing that comes to your mind while thinking of the cuisine here will be Paranthas, Kulchas, Chole Batture, Sarson ka saag & makkai di roti, dahi bhale, etc. When I was planning to have my dinner I had all these dishes in my mind. I started searching for the best restaurants in Cgarh. There were some great Punjabi cuisine options which popped up when I hit the search button.  My eyes caught the attention of a restaurant named “Virgin Courtyard” 😉 . This was rated as one of the top 10 restaurants in Chandigarh. I clicked on the link to check the details. To my surprise it turned out to be a fine dine Italian restaurant.

I continued my search for other restaurants to find out a place serving authentic Punjabi food. But somehow I was impressed and I was tempted to visit the Italian restaurant. May be this is what you call love at first sight and that too when you see a Virgin courtyard :).

Virgin Courtyard is nestled in one corner of Sector 7 . The moment you reach the entrance of the restaurant you will get the vibe that this is a place where you can sit back, relax and enjoy your food at peace. Since I visited this place on Monday and that too at 10 pm there were not much of occupants.

The flooring of the entry point is designed in such a way that you get the feel of the European cobble streets  decorated with pebble stones underneath. This is enhanced with a small water body flowing beneath the entrance. You will be greeted with colourful wall art works predominantly in blue color on top of the white walls. The décor and ambience is top notch and we’ll maintained considering that this place is 5 years old. They have a covered area and an open area seating as well. I chose to occupy a table on the outside to enjoy the cold weather. Candle lights and mashals are the only lights that will guide you to be table. The whole place is very cosy and will make you wish that you were here with your partner to enjoy the awesome weather and ambience.  

Wine is quintessential to enjoy the Italian cuisine. This place offers you some good variety of wines. I placed my order to the soft spoken waiter. Breads, Italian cheese and pesto sauce were served complimentary. Mushroom soup was served hot and preparation was typical European style – light flavors with thin slices of mushroom. Menu gives you lot of options to choose from in all categories including mocktails, cocktails, beverages, appetizer, main course which includes pizza, pasta, ravioli, risotto, etc. They also have healthy preparation available like grilled food served with veggies and sauces. Portions were good enough for two people. Luckily, though I was hungry, I didn’t order lot of food and still struggled to finish the portions all alone. 

Ambience, decor – Awesome

Food and Beverages – Classic

Quantity – Generous

Service – Excellent

Price- Luxurious

I had a wonderful evening  at the Virgin Courtyard. I am sure this place will be crowded during occasions especially Valentine’s Day.

Virgin Courtyard Details

Street Food Diaries : Loni (White Butter) Dosa – Davangere Special

Being a South Indian myself, normally I don’t get satisfied with the taste of Dosas i get to eat outside – either at restaurants or at the street side stalls.

Then I came across this variety of Dosa, a popular type of Dosa from Davangere ( a city in Karnataka State). Davangere Benne Dosa , as it is known in Karnataka, is popularly known as ‘Loni Dosa’ in Mumbai.

The USP of the Dosa is that white butter (instead of oil or ghee)  is used in the preparation of Dosa. This gives a different texture and taste to the Dosa.

There are different versions of Loni Dosas that you get to choose. My favourite ones are the plain Loni Dosa and the sponge dosa. Dosa is served along with sambhar, coconut chutney and masala (onion potato mix). Dosa powder is also available which normally is sprinkled on top of the Dosa while preparing it to make the Dosa slightly spicy.

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You can find this street side stall in front of the Happy Valley Entrance, Thane.

Yummy,, Delicious, Soft dosas served Hot…!!!

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Street Food Diaries : Yummy, Delicious Tirunelveli Idli available at Mumbai

Street Food at its best…!!!

Mumbaikars don’t have to travel all the way to Tirunelveli to taste the authentic Tirunelveli special Idli. It is available right here in Mumbai.

‘Shaktivel Idliwala’ is what the owner Shaktivel has named his cycle on which he sells the yummy delicious idlis.

Idlis are served with a topping of special South Indian Coconut Chutney and Tirunelveli Sambhar (the taste of this Sambhar is slightly different from the regular South Indian Sambhar).

He also serves “Medu Vada’ along with Idlis.

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Shaktivel puts up his idli cycle store near Samta Nagar Bus Depot, Thakur Village, Kandivili (E).

Timing: Morning 9 am to 12 pm and Evening 6 pm to 9 pm

Price is also nominal. Cost for one plate of Idli is just Rs.20/- (4 idlis). Vada served in the morning is of smaller size – so that is priced at Rs. 20/- (4 vadas). In the evening he serves bigger sized vadas at Rs. 10/- per piece.

One thing I liked about this person is that he makes sure that the garbage is not thrown around. He carries a garbage bag with him in which he collects the papers, left overs, etc. He also gets water along with him so that his Customers can wash their hands before and after indulging on a super tasty breakfast / snack.

You can speak to him at 9867255593 and make sure that he is available before visiting the place.