02 May 2016

The California Boulevard

As Gurgaon's InterNation's ambassador I get to plan fun events and culinary adventures for our members each month. I like to keep it fresh and try to find a new spot to host my monthly events so I usually identify a new place or take suggestions from members then approach the manager/owner about our organization and mission. Now that I've been doing it for almost a year I sometimes get invitations from some restaurants that want to work with us. Yesterday was one such day. A friend who is a new activity group consul for InterNations and has a background working with restaurants in the area wanted to meet with The California Boulevard and combine forces to host a duel activity group dinner. I am fully aware that because of the special treatment I received when dining with the PR head and having the chef prepare us some of his favorites I had a very different dining experience than most. Full disclosure, I did not pay for my meal, and I am hosting a future event at their location, but they also did not ask me to write this. I miss writing and this just happens to be the most recent place I've visited and had a sit-down meal rather than just an array of appetizers. Also, I have attended a previous event at this location and paid at that time.

I visited The California Boulevard's Gurgaon location in Sector 29. It is known for its fine dining and Hollywood-inspired theme ambiance. It prides itself on the California "experience" and making fine dining available for all. And it appears that is something they are achieving, for a Sunday afternoon, there were a surprising number of guests in the restaurant.

The servers were well-trained in being available, but not hovering. The meal commenced with a waiter putting a silver bowl with a small white square in front of me. He then poured water over it and voila! I had a small wet wipe for my hands. It was a much nicer presentation than a finger bowl with nothing to dry your hands on. Not a novel concept, but something different from most restaurants I have eaten at in India. While our hostess ordered a variety of bitings for us, I did get a chance to look at the menu and was quite impressed by the selection which is apparently going to grow in the next few weeks with a new menu being launched. One thing I didn't get to try, but will definitely order next time is their cheese fondue. I love fondue (who doesn't love a pot of molten cheese?!) and didn't even know that there was a restaurant offering that option in Gurgaon.

We started with their version of a Dilli ki Chaat nibbler. I'm used to it looking like this:

Photo credit
But theirs was a light and airy appetizer that you could eat several and still feel like you have room for your main course. It was a great start to the meal and fun twist on a traditional Indian snack.

Crunchy spinach leaves with yogurt, tamarind, and mint chutney