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Sunny (Leone) side up: Chica Loca makes you go loco over sumptuous food, trippy drinks

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Noida, March 5 (IANS) Sunny Leone's many talents include being a good cook and her ability to spot the right flavours has enabled her newly opened Chica Loca restaurant at Sector 132, Noida, pull off daring combinations in a menu curated by Chef Vaibhav Bhargava.

From butter chicken gujiya to a chicken tikka masala waffle, avocado koliwada and the ever-popular rock shrimp tempura, Leone's inspiration and Bhargava's talent have ensured none of the dishes is over the top, each combining a mouthful of flavours with creativity.

Spread over two floors, Chica Loca's decor is dominated by the rich hues of purple and gold accompanied by velvet seating. A ginormous bar sits on the first floor and next to it are pictures of the Canadian-Indian actress and her family in monochrome. It has seating, dancing and event areas. The terrace has romantic and breezy canopies.

Everything about the restaurant is luxurious, including the food and drinks, which can cost up to approximately Rs 2,500 for two people, but the price seems right for the satisfaction it guarantees.

Let us start with the drinks. Rainbow Trippin' is one of the best drinks in Chica Loca and is "mostly ordered by couples", according to the bartender, who insisted that it oozes love.

The drink is made with rum, mango puree, coconut cream and citrus and catches the eye because of hearts, a rainbow and a 'love is life' edible tattoo placed on it.

For those who like their cocktails sweet, a drink that cannot be missed is the tequila-based Charlie. It gets its sweet notes from passion fruit, citrus and berry puree. The drink is served in a glass full of crushed ice and the reason why it was created is because "Charlie Chaplin cried only in the rain".

Then came Sunny's favourite avocado chaat. The taste buds will go on a flavour carnival as it has everything right. "The main ingredient, the papdi, is made in-house," said Chef Arpit Verma, explaining their freshness. He added that the "avocados are marinated in chaat masala" and then dunked on to the papdis covered with tangy tamarind chutney, the 'chatpata' coriander chutney and sweet curd.

What caught my fancy were the butter chicken gujiyas. These will remind you of the popular Chilean dish, empanadas, but they come with a juicy butter chicken filling and are served in the gravy.

You must also try Sunny's other favourite, avocado sushi. Avocado, which seems to be a favourite of the actress, introduces a buttery texture, the sushi rice adds a sweet and sour flavour, and the cucumber adds the crunch and freshness to make it a complete tactile experience.

The satiating journey came to an end by flushing everything down with a lemongrass and litchi martini, the fruity gin-based drink that can definitely be tagged as refreshing and delicious.

The actress is joined by Sahil Baweja, director of Singing Bowls Hospitality, for this venture, which in every sense gives us a taste of her storied life. What it does not do is let luxury overpower the salience of good food and trippy drinks to ensure a restaurant survives competition and lives to see many milestones.

--IANS

dc/srb


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