Until last year, Noida was still carrying forward the tag of ‘Not-so-Happening’ place since ages. And then suddenly two malls popped up in the downtown Noida and changed the game. While DLF Mall of India got some international breeze in the NCR region, Gardens Galleria Mall beside GIP Mall of India has emerged as the new party destination of the city. Be it a good looking pub to hang out with friends or a place to bring your first date to – there’s Time Machine, the time travellers’ lounge for every occasion.
Trust our local guide who recently explored the place on a weekday evening. As you know Tuesday evenings in Delhi are bit lean for the people in food business. But what the fish! There was a waiting period of 10 minutes as the courteous manager had to struggle for a while to find a place. It was like the entire Noida had swarmed up here, quite literally! And that too on a Tuesday evening.
The place doesn’t look so vast when you get in. Thanks to the strategically placed lights, Time Machine at a glance looks like a little cozy place where you want your first date to happen. But wait, if you are with a gang of dudes looking for a place to chill, just go outdoors and you will understand how huge this place is. It’s bigger than any standard pub in Noida.
There is so much of wood elements to the décor and the yellow ambient lighting just cheer your mood up. And that marvellous display of whiskey that looks straight out of Captain Jack Sparrow’s barrel, will already hint you how sloshed you would be by the end of the evening.
As we settled at the outdoor seating area, a light breeze was flowing by enhancing the comfort to the next level. The DJ was playing some soft beats to keep up with the vibes of the young professionals who have gathered from nearby office areas.
Drinks are a bliss
The mixologist has an excellent expertise at making cocktails suited one’s mood. Suppose you are strong hearted (you know what we mean!), then you can choose from Dodge Charger, Dodge Daytona or Dodge Nitrate. But you are one of the oldies, you have sangria. And if you like something smoky, order for Smoking Dutch Time Zone – Gin crushed with black pepper, kaffir lime, orange juice, or Smoked Pirates Time Zone with Vanilla Sugar, Triple sec, sweet vermouth, lime and cinnamon-smoked rum.
However, we don’t prefer alcoholic drinks. And the mixologist didn’t disappoint us. We were served Red Chevelle – watermelon and star anise crushed on a lemonade and black lining – lavender with vanilla, balsamic reduction and lime. The star anise in Red Chevelle gives the mocktail a warm feeling inside the mouth – so the magic of cool and warmth lends a calming effect to your inner self.
In Noida you find many places boasting about seafood but then serving you frozen prawns. When we found this on their menu, we decided to try it. So we ordered a seafood platter for starters (Hari Machhi Fish Tikka, Crumbed Fish Fingers, Tandoori Jhinga) priced at Rs 995. When the platter arrived, we were wowed.
The fish was fresh and didn’t have a chewiness to it. And the prawns were marvellous – so soft and juicy. However, given the price point, we would expect Time Machine to add some calamari or buttery prawn to it. The full portion, we were told, is enough to feed three people. There is also Veg Chakna platters on the tapas menu, which they call sharing plates.
We have had pizza all your life. But as per the insistence of the manager we decided to go for Dilliwala Chicken Tikka Pizaa. And we believe that was the greatest decision of the evening. The classic chicken tikka has been spread with jalapenos and olives – giving a grand fusion twist.
The mixed veg and water chestnut dim sum are a must try. Dimsums are like the regular ones with a bit thick outer layer. However, the stuffing of water chestnut tasted good.
For the main course, we opted for Chicken in Kung Pao sauce served with wok tossed noodles. Now here one needs to understand, while the peanuts in Kung Pao preparation are a blessing, the main hero of the whole dish is the sauce. A little bit of the wrong measurement of soy sauce, wine or vinegar can ruin the taste. And trust me I have had Kung Pao chicken right at the Sichuan Province of south-western China so I am supposedly certified to judge. Well, the sauce came out well and the dish passed with flying colours.
We planned to end the gastronomic sojourn with warm walnut brownie sundae. As the cool spring breeze gave way to nip in the air, the warm sundae brownie tasted delicious. There was a bit of overpowering of chocolate thus making it a bit strong, but given my taste buds trained at less sugar, I liked it.
Time machine is an apt name for a place, which can transport you to a place where happiness (read food) is all around.