Thanks to the setting up of several IT companies here, the capital's suburban neighbour is fast becoming a hub of young professionals and this splendid Belgian cafe is the jewel in the crown of its gastronomic scene.
Located in the ground floor of the Crown Plaza hotel, the Belgian Beer Cafï¿½ intrigues you from the moment you step in. What does one look for in a cafe like this? The quality of food and drinks, of course, is paramount but doesn't the ambience and decor have equal significance? Perhaps yes if you trust the French, who often say: "Food is served best at home, cooked by your beloved. When you eat out, you eat as much of the ambience as the delicacies of the Chef."
As you enter, you leave behind you -- right above the entrance -- a clock forever stuck at 11.55 p.m. If you are lucky, you will spot it once you are seated and if not, it will perhaps be the last sight before you leave. But why 11.55 p.m.? "Because beer bars in Belgium typically shut at midnight so it's saying you always have those extra five minutes for that one last beer," a steward explained.
The bar -- well spaced and adorned carefully -- is on the left. On the right are huge glass windows. The tables and chairs are not too luxurious but just comfortable enough for you to feel in place. The entire cafe is dominated by dark wood architecture, which is easily recognisable. There is a smoking room towards the extreme end of the room and it is well packed.
You cannot go to a Belgian cafe and miss the fries. As you flick through the pages of its menu, the Belgian love for fries comes alive and one that you must try is "Patat Royale", thick fries wrapped at the centre with ham giving it a piggy twist. And fries go well with a pint of beer, don't they?
If you wish to order something more Indianised, you can opt for chilly chicken. Served in a thick sauce of onions and chillies, they melt in your mouth; but do remember to instruct the waiter about your preference for spices (mine was too spicy).
In drinks there is a wide variety on offer, ranging from wines to beer and cocktails. There are some really exciting mocktails too if you don't drink. All in all, it is perhaps the most appealing place to spend some quality time if you are in Greater Noida.
The Seafood Festival, an annual public event held in Apalachicola, Florida, on the first weekend of November, which features a parade, a carnival, blue crab races and an oyster eating contest, is also being replicated at the hotel. The Chaobella restaurant is showcasing multiple selections of seafood from across the globe and on offer are red snappers from the Atlantic Ocean, shrimps and prawns from Ireland, as also lobsters, seabass and urmai for seafood lovers. It's worth checking out.
Where: Crown Plaza, Greater Noida
Timings: 12 PM to 12 AM
Damage for two: Rs 1,500
(Saket Suman was invited by Crown Plaza to review the restaurant. He can be contacted at email@example.com)