Best Appetisers of 2016 – Exatraveller’s recommendations

Hi folks,

I hope you have enjoyed reading my feature on the Best deserts of 2016.

I was approached yesterday by a few friends – who unfortunately are NO sweet lovers, and they wanted me to come up with a story on the best starters of the year 2016.

So here it is – once again in no chronological order – these delicacies were amazingly tasty and almost every place I am talking about has made me happy and full before I could order any main course dishes.

Well, friends, once again I will mention first about the starters at Artusi Ristorante e bar, an Italian restaurant managed by an Italian – just like an Italian will serve you when in Italy.

I personally have no love for salads, for me its just green leaves, cucumber, sliced onions and tomatoes and at times including some cut fruits. But I was floored when I started relishing Ferro, an Arugola or baby spinach salad with grapes, raisins, pears and goat cheese with sprinklings of toasted pine-nuts, extra-virgin olive oil and  Balsamic vinegar. It really is a great salad with amazing combination of pine-nuts and goat cheese. And I suggest this to everyone who is planning a visit to Artusi.

Also the Cold Tomato soup made with mixing of cucumber and served with cut veggies is a must for everyone while at Artusi.

  • California Boulevard, Gurgaon

Dilli Ki Chat, a deep fried battered Spinach with chat toppings and loads of sev.

The Tangy Button Mushrooms are the best mushrooms one can ever have. Even mushrooms would love to be treated this way. The flavour is tangy, sweet and spicy. The sweet chili sauce served along with the mushrooms is a perfect combination.

Sushi Panner Rolls – Crispy rolls filled with mushrooms, mint and coriander, served with four different types of chutney is superb.

Chilled Blueberry soup. The soup is served chilled and is heavenly.

  • Ambrosia Bliss, CP, Delhi

Indian Veggie Platter – The platter has Dahi kebab, Harra kebab, Galouti kabab, and Paneer tikka.

International veggie platter has Philadelphia cheese rolls, crisp garlic breads, Mushroom nuggets (crispy balls filled with mushroom filling), and Tex mex nachos in the middle.

The tamarind tofu cups. The presentation of the tofu cups is great and unique. The tofu cups are delicious having a tangy, sweet and sour taste.

Assorted Dimsums. Tibetan, spinach and water chestnut and mixed veggie stuffed – each one is done with utmost care and the tastes amazing.

  • 38 Barracks – CP Delhi

Amuse Bouche. A bite-sized salad with tomato sphere on bocconcini slice with modena balsamico & basil pesto. It was a great tasty n nutty welcome dish with unique flavours of balsam and bocconcini.

Paneer Tikka Barrels. The barrels are superbly presented, placed on Beet-root sauce. Instead of the usual mint chutney, here at 39 Barracks they came with butter milk. The paneer barrels are stuffed with lots of nuts and are marinated perfectly.

Dahi ke Kebabs, the traditional dish from Marwar. Dahi ke kebabs served to me were well spiced and this infact was the best kebab made of Dahi I have ever had outside Rajasthan.

  • Dalal Street CP Delhi


Tawa Paneer Golgappas- they are one of their kinds.  The dish is Innovative and tasty. The Golgappas are served with a makhani dip and the filling is small cubes of tawa paneer (in place of the traditional aloo-chana).

  • Prankster, Gurgaon

Lotus stem crisps served in an aeroplane model.

Litchi Tikka – the best innovation, it is mouthlicious, fantabulous, and heavenly. Litchi pulp filled with mawa and tossed with dry fruits, a must for every fruity food lover.

Dahi Kebabs – Super duper, have all the flavours of a typical Marwari style Dahi preparation. The almond on the top added to the looks, and a not to be missed dish.

  • Aannch Rajouri Garden, Delhi

Lemon Grass Mushrooms. One of the most amazing dish from the Terrific 25 Menu. The presentation on the rolling cart is super.

  • Unpugged Courtyard CP Delhi

Chili Paneer Ghosla, a basket in form of a bird’s nest made of noodles, filled with chili paneer cubes and topped with a slice of cheese. The presentation is awesome and so is the taste.

Achari Paneer Tikka, the achar flavours are distinctive and wonderful. The perfectly marinated soft paneer cubes just melt in your mouths leaving behind the aroma of home made achars.

Onion n Cheese Dimsums with black bean dip are well-made, the coating is thin and the fillings were juicy and flavourful.

  • Barush CP Delhi

Advut Karela, i.e. the magnificent bitter gourd. Yes, Karela is considered Advut – as it helps the Diabetes patients in fighting sugar levels.  But here it is advut in the way the chef prepares it. Super tasty with the bitterness of the karela taken care of by fusion with air fried onions and tomatoes served with imly chutney. Spiced right with herbs – it tastes fab and I guess that even the biggest karela hater will start enjoying it.

Chatpata Chukunder Shorba a tasty soup made of Beetroot with garlic flavours and served with Gujarati Khakra.

Bharwan Paneer Tikka. Bharwan or stuffed Paneer tikkas. The outer crust is kept dry and Jalapeno fillings with onions and tomatoes are awesome.

  • Zerruco, Hotel Ashoka, Delhi

Beetroot with goat cheese and caramelized walnut Salad –  tender beetroot and green apple slices with loads of white goat cheese and garnished with caramelized walnut. The presentation is like an art work, and is a real treat to the taste buds.

  • Pirates of grill- MOI, Noida

Has a great variety of grilled starters, Pinenut Zaffrani Broccoli, Olio Cheese Kurkuri, Peanut Butter Paneer Tikka, Potato Salsa of spicy fried potatoes served with mayonnaise, Sauteed cilantro Dimsum, crispy Churrasco Pineapple, etc. All these are served with a variety of dips n sauces that further add flavours to the dishes.

  • Habibi Rajouri Garden Delhi

One-bite Cottage Cheese and Spinach Fatayer (Arabic oven baked rolls – Juliennes sprinkled with Sumac) along with Lebanese dips with Lavash.

Kebab Shandar, made of minced Beetroots and prepared with authentic Arabic Aromatic Spices.

The Cheese Manakish (Arabian Pizza) with Halloumi cheese and Morrocon Bokharat spices was another great dish.

  • Dockyard Gurgaon

Doodh Dahi ki Galauti (medallions of Lauki and dahi on ulta tawa paranthas),

Kairi (raw mangoes chutney based) ka Paneer Tikka.

These recommendations are from the cafes/restaurants that exatraveller’s team had reviewed. We have not covered some other great places which were visited by us on personal basis.









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