Food & Drinks

Taksim, Ansal Plaza

January 27, 2017

You’ve got to visit Taksim at the re-launched Ansal Plaza (Khel Gaon, Delhi) to believe that this recently opened restaurant is going by reservations due to its excessive demand. Be it a cosy weekend hangout or an ice-cold weekday evening meetup, Taksim is getting sold out on table reservations as we speak. The credit goes to the restaurant’s location, impeccable menu plan and the earthy-meets-eclectic ambience with live music & dj nights to keep the spirits high. Taking orders left, right and centre, the staff of Taksim is doing a tremendous job in keeping up with the demands of its customers, serving 2 floors,a mezzanine and a sprawling open-air patio setup; on a daily basis. Speaking about the ambience, the 4200 sq ft. place is well-lit, with wooden infrastructure, cutlery inspired modernistic art decor and comfortable seating arrangements. With a fully equipped live bar, Taksim offers an array of imported and domestic hard drinks, along with some signature cocktails on demand. My favourite has to be the Summer Cyclist which has an interesting combination of Orange and Litchi juice. If you like spice, then opt for Amrud Masala which has a base of Guava juice and a concoction of green chillies and Tabasco blend. No bar experience is complete if not for a dense list of nibblers and starters to munch on. Be it Lebanese platters, Mexican Salsa spread, American Diner Chips or Desi Fries; Taksim offers world cuisines on its menu. We tried Thai Grilled Chili Basil, Bombay Chicken which is basically mince chicken cutlet served Bombay Pav style, Feta Stuffed Sweet Potato Patty, Palak Patta Ki Milly Filly Chat, Dahi Ke Sholey which was thick spiced yogurt wrapped in crispy fried bread, Cottage Cheese Shawarma Quesadilla and many other sliders to try out. What is worth appreciating is the well …

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January 7, 2017

The country has been under the chaos of Demonetization – with limited access to cash and never-ending ATM lines. While at the moment every Indian hates the very idea of visiting an ATM and standing in line for the clock, KFC did something really fun recently – they introduced an ATM that dispensed ‘currency that you’d love to stand in line for’. Bringing the Nashville flavours of fried chicken to India, KFC has recently introduced their newest food trend from America – The KFC Nashville Chicken! It is smoky, extra crispy, intensely flavoured and topped with a generous portion of tangy American pickles. KFC Nashville Chicken is another level of being crispy (and finger lickin’) and can be had on a bun, with rice bowlz, as strips or even in 5-in-1 Meal boxes. And to introduce this American Food Trend to the foodies in India, KFC had installed an ATM machine (for a day) at the popular Cyber Hub in Gurgaon that dispensed Nashville Dollars – giving chicken lovers a chance to redeem these for the crunchiest KFC Nashville Chicken. Talking about this unique initiative, Lluis Ruiz Ribot, CMO, KFC India said: “In the past few months, everyone has seen that good things are worth the wait – whether at ATMs, or in life.  We just decided to make the waiting a little more fun and rewarding! The Nashville chicken has a cult-like following across the USA and KFC is the first QSR, to bring this USA original recipe to India. We wanted to make the launch as legendary as the product and therefore chose a format that is topical, strategically connects with consumers and induces trials.” Now who says luck only strikes once? KFC India has collaborated with me to giveaway 2 of my lucky readers a chance to …

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Dabur Honey Fruit Spread Loaf – Last Minute Healthy Bakes

December 24, 2016

Dabur as a Science based Ayurveda ensures products that tastes good and are healthy for all age groups. Right from their array of Hommade organic base products to a range of ready-to-eat products, Dabur is making our lives easier and eating habits healthier! Caught up in the festivities of Christmas but ran out on sweets for family and friends? An easy bake and healthy dressing will save you time to indulge in the celebrities and will become a yummy and healthy treat for your loved ones. With Dabur Honey Spread you can do much more than just spreading it on a jam. It is yummier, zingier and fruitier than any regular jam and comes with the wholesome nutrition that ensures a healthier and yummier treats always. Dabur Honey Fruit Spread is packed with elements of vitamins and minerals which boosts strength, immunity and balanced health of our body. Dabur Honey Fruit Spread comes in cute mason jours and have four gourmet flavours to offer – Strawberry, Plum, Kiwi and Exotic Berries. What’s more? These spreads contain chunks of real fruit bits and contains zero sugar and colours in them. Coming back to our last minute Holiday 2016 quick fix, you can do wonders with these Fruit Spreads! First off, here’s a recipe of simple Dabur Honey Fruit Spread Cake Loaf that is quick to make and requires limited ingredients but provides maximum flavours! Take a look at the recipe : Ingredients 500 gms Vanilla Cake Mix 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil/Olive Oil 1 cup fresh milk 1 tsp Sweetened Cocoa Powder 1 jar of your favourite Dabur Honey Fruit Spread (I’ve used Plum) Marie Biscuits (optional) Recipe 1. In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil in 500 gms of Vanilla Cake Mix. If you don’t have a Cake mix, then …

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STUDIO – Pan Asian Restaurant, Novotel Kolkata

December 19, 2016

Being in Kolkata, you get to taste many varieties of sea food preparations. Right from the roadside deep fried fish chops to a gourmet seafood platter at a renowned fine dining restaurant, you get to try it all. But with the influence of Oriental flavors in North East region of India, you also get to savour authentic and region-customised Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisines alike. Novotel Kolkata too proudly exhibits their oriental skills with a stand-alone restaurant called ‘Studio Pan-Asian’ that excels in Oriental menu. Bringing flavors from different parts of East Asia, Studio offers platters from Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore under one roof! My recent visit to Kolkata gave me a chance to dine in at Studio by Novotel Kolkata, where the Chef presented me an array of Oriental courses to try on. Looking back at my experience there and virtually re-visiting the dining experience for you let me share with you the items from the menu that I tried. For Appetizers, I was served Satey Kai from Thailand, which was basically marinated succulent grilled chicken in a skewer, served with peanut sauce. The combination of grilled chicken skewer with peanut sauce was simply spot on! Following this, we had Ebi No Tenpura from Japan, which was Prawn ‘Tempura’, served with freshly grated ginger & radish and came with a side of Tempura Sauce. We were served Juicy Tiger prawns, fried to perfection with very little room for leftover grease. From Malaysian region we tried Ikan Panggang, the Indonesian take on char grilled fish on a banana leaf. The flavors of the fish were well preserved; the earthy flavor of the banana leaf well coated the fish that was partially crispy on the outside and absolutely moist and soft from the inside. My favorite …

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#ChefStyle Cooking with Dabur Hommade Range

December 17, 2016

No matter how much you like cooking, time management always becomes a priority. With daily needs of cooking food that matches the culinary expertise of any Michelin Star restaurant is no less of a dream, right? But if the basic ingredients can be simplified to an extent that it saves time and also provides Chef-style taste for the dish? Dabur Hommade by Dabur has been promoting smart cooking experiences with a Science Based Ayurveda technology since the last 13 years. Being one of the first brands to introduce a quicker and more convenient ways of cooking in Indian kitchens, the journey has been backed by celebrated chefs like Vikas Khanna who often uses Dabur Hommade range to simplify the cooking process and time. Indian cuisine is incomplete if not for a tadka of Ginger-Garlic paste, which is why my mother has been a fan of Dabur Hommade Ginger Garlic Paste since forever. But what about adapting international cuisines in the Indian Kitchen? To prove that these base products by Dabur Hommade cut down on the cooking time and serve the richest content possible for great flavors, I picked up Dabur Hommade Ginger Garlic Paste and the thick Coconut Milk to create a Burmese Recipe. To keep the cooking fair and give you an insight on how I cooked Khao Suey, a soupy wholesome Burmese Meal with Dabur Hommade products, I clicked some ‘In The Making’ photographs. Take a look at my recipe and how I prepared this interesting yet detailed food item from the oriental kitchen. Ingredients For Soup 6-7 White Mushrooms 1 Carrot 1 Zucchini 250 gms chopped Cauliflower 150 gms finely chopped beans 1 Spring Onion 1 Shallot 1 ½ tbs Dabur Hommade Ginger Garlic Paste 2 inch stalk lemongrass, finely chopped 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tbsp …

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Mosaic Hotels Christmas Delicacies At M-LOUNGE

December 14, 2016

This article needs no introduction, because it’s the spirit of this festivity that brings out the best in any hospitality group and other brands alike. Mosaic Hotels too, getting into the festive mood, has introduced an array of Christmas Delicacies that are now available for the entire month for purchase! And to give us food lovers a personal experience of what they have in store for their Delhi and NCR foodies, they invited us over a tête-à-tête to introduce their Holiday Season specialities. M Lounge Patisserie, which comes under the Mosaic Hotels banner excels in breads, cakes and other assortments like chocolates and breakfast spreads. Keeping in mind the utility of products for a month long holiday season, M lounge has introduced a variety of breads, cakes and edible decors to meet the requirement of their clients. As simple as a bread loaf has been done 3 ways to bring in more flavours and a sense of being merry to everyone’s breakfast table. I personally loved their marble and jam flavoured bread loafs. Priced between INR 125-150 for 500 gms, these bread loafs will last 2-3 weeks and can be micro-heated to retain freshness at the time of serving. For chocolate lovers they have Leopard Bread and Marble Bread as well. For those who love the jam-bread traditional combination, the chef has introduced the Swiss Breakfast Bread and for the health conscious lot they have an array of Mutli-Grain breads too. Their festive star is the Chimney Cake which is basically an edible chimney made of croissant dough stuffed with battery-operated candles and an option of assorted chocolates, cookies and choco-cookies. These chimneys have been designed as a table decoration which can be savoured past it’s decorative show. The chimneys are priced between INR 274-475 and can last for up to …

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PepsiCo Lays – Making Of The Golden Chip

December 9, 2016

Saving every penny to buy a pack of Lays and pray to get a TAZO different from my over-flooding collection of these 286 colourful plastic disks – That’s how I spent my childhood! Growing up on Magic Masala and switching to the American Style Cheese & Onion, the transition has been quite a wonderful journey. Not just myself, but I have seen my elders switching from the regular ‘Namkeens’ to offering & gifting packs of Kurkure as the ultimate snacking option with friends and family. We have all cherished munching on an array of Lays and Kurkure flavors throughout our lives, with Saif Ali Khan and other Bollywood sirens sharing our love for PepsiCo all the while; nothing has ever deterred our love for these bites. And to experience the true value of PepsiCo’s dedication towards producing the best quality snacks and motive behind maintaining a production environment that balances all spheres of lifestyle, I was invited over to visit their biggest Lays & Kurkure production plant in Dhulagarh, Kolkata. I can write an entire article on how I felt; taking a tour of this plant, but let me summarize it to this, that while I was taken through the entire production process, all I could think of were 2 things – 1. Can I just stretch my hand, pick a crisp chip and munch on it already? 2. Why do people say that Kurkure has plastic in it, when not even a plastic vessel is used in the production?  Lay’s- Making Of The Golden Chip PepsiCo not only takes extra precautions in the production of Lays, but the brand takes active participation with thousands of farmers, providing them resources and regular interactive technical knowledge to produce the right quality of potato in India. Their major part of potato sourcing …

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Bella Cucina, Le Meridian Gurgaon

November 25, 2016

We Indians are still warming up to the Italian palette. While we’ve had pizzas and pastas all our lives, this European region has much more than just the P’s to offer when it comes to Italian cuisine. Add a spin of gourmet touches to the palette, and we have Bella Cucina, the newest addition to Le Meridian Gurgaon, offering finest of the Italian blends in a luxurious fine-dining setup (of course). Call it the amalgamation of Starwood – Marriott hospitality or the need to have Gourmet Italian Addition to the ever exploding lineage of dining in Gurgaon (or Guru Gram), Bella Cucina is abiding by the Italian culture in its purest complexity and bringing it to our palettes; on a daily basis. Thanks to the excellent efforts by Chef Suprabhath Roy Chowdhury and Sous Chef Amit Kumar, Bella Cucina is churning out some of the finest ricetta on our piatto! BELLA CUCINA, in Italian, means ‘Beautiful Kitchen’ which stands true to the word because of the restaurant’s imported Molteni design, customised based on the Chef’s requirements. And to celebrate the opening of Bella Cucina over Italian dining and wine, we had an array of ricetta crafted by Executive Chef Suprabhath Roy Chowdhury and animatedly presented by Sous Chef Amit Kumar. For antipasti and soup we were served ‘Cappuccino of Mushroom’ served with a mushy portion of Porcini Brioche. If you adore the flavour of mushroom then you will definitely fall in love with this soup. Unlike other thick mushroom soups, this one is medium in its consistence which brings out the flavours more and doesn’t leave you feeling fuller already. I loved the smokiness that has been blended with the mushroom concoction which goes perfectly well with the buttery Porcini Brioche. The next thing on the menu was ‘Caprese Salad’ …

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This Place Serves The Best Mediterranean Food In Seattle!

September 19, 2016

Who says you got to survive on fish & chips or a burger trail in Seattle to be alive? When the Mediterranean sea winds gush through your hair and makes you crave for some Baba Ganoush & Pita Bread love affair, head on to Petra Bistro on the 4th Avenue. This place serves the best Mediterranean food in Seattle! And that’s exactly what our globe trotter Akanksha Saxena did, on her vacay-mode with husband; in Seattle. Petra Mediterranean Bistro at Downtown Seattle will take you on a food journey that stretches from Jordan and Lebanon, to Greece, to the Northern shores of Africa, with an extensive variety of authentic dishes and house specialities. While visiting, Akanksha was transported back to the Middle East and enjoyed the enriching personal elements that tie this vast global area together, creating one of Seattle’s loveliest dining experiences. To begin with, she ordered Baba Ganoush – The eggplant was perfectly grilled giving it a very nice smoky flavor. Garlic and lemon juice took it to another level and taste buds were definitely satisfied. Hummus was a blend of chickpeas, garlic, sesame oil, salt and lemon juice. The preparation was pretty standard, not that great, as it was tad bit more tangy for her liking. Next came the entrée which is generally served with a choice of soup or salad. She ordered the Red Lentil Soup which was the perfect marriage between pulses vegetables and spices. The soup was soothing and comforting and definitely helped in preparing the diners for an awesome main course experience. The mains consisted of a Veggie Royale – Fried Cauliflower Served with charbroiled vegetables topped with sautéed garlic, onions and tomatoes in their original house Seafood spices. It was served over a bed of rice, topped with sautéed almonds, pine nuts and garlic sauce. Akanksha relished the bold secret spices, loved crispy cauliflowers over …

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September 12, 2016

Fairmont Jaipur is a renowned name in the city of pink buildings and royalty. It’s not just the architecture of Fairmont Jaipur, but the very hospitality that vouches for the luxurious experience one gets to witness over a stay at this Mughal-Rajputana inspired hotel property. And when I speak about the luxurious experience, you can expect a round of glitz engulfed food trail accompanied with lodging that makes you feel no less of a king/queen; upon stay. For those who’ve read our travel diaries for a long long time must be aware of our primary rendezvous with Fairmont Jaipur 2 years back. As we mapped the extravagant world of the property in our travel video, our focus was mostly on the intricate decor of the hotel palace. And so this time, we promised to capture the very essence of intricate detailing and heritage of Rajasthan that has been adapted by Clive Gray of Bangkok-based Randolph Gray Design to create magnificent interior decor of the property. Fairmont Jaipur consists of 199 rooms overlooking Char-Bagh courtyard or the picturesque Aravalli Hills. Each room matches the extravagant accommodation style of Mughal royalties, with spacious bedrooms and vibrant bathrooms. Each room is bolted with traditional studded timber door which welcomes guests into an alley dotted with traditional silverware flower vase and a room dipped in bright colour palette of distressed gold and rich turquoise. Most of the furniture is crafted with timber and includes Portuguese colonial-inspired four poster beds to keep up with the old-school charm. The details of studded furniture, jaalidaar-air conditioning, carefully curated interior-decor accessories and excellent amenities build up the luxury factor of Fairmont Jaipur accommodation. Whereas silverware makes up for most of the accessories, dim-lit lamps, Mughal themed mirror-work and paintings add on the royal glory of the room; making the residents feel …

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