Flavours of Awadh | JW Kitchen | JW Marriott |

” I have an enormous fondness for delicious food. It’s very comforting”- Teri Garr

And, if you chime in along with Teri Garr then the Royal feast that JW Marriott has put across for you, is a must visit. There are very few times that i’m dumbfounded and sit there gawking at how delectable the food is. Let me assure you that this was one of those times.

Flavours of Awadh by JW Kitchen in Association with MasterChef Rehman Mujeebur:

MasterChef Rehman, is no newbie and has put himself out there on the culinary map by being a well known Chef & restaurateur who has always focused on reviving and bringing forward the flavours of North West Frontier cuisine.

I, was delighted to be a part of the exclusive chef table, where he spoke about the intricacies of the cuisine and how he believes in using pure and minimal ingredients to allow each of the ingredients to be the heroes of the dish. His food has subtle yet clean flavours and you can very well feel the notes of the ingredients come across. He believes in banishing the use of artificial colours and hence his food is devoid of the gimmicky colours and are of the natural colour that particular dish.

For instance, the “Kale Channe Ki Ashrafi” was such a delight to bite into where you could feel the texture of chickpeas and also of some floral notes.

Chef Rehman, also manages to break the stereotype of NW Frontier cuisine being exclusively Non vegetarian based. The plethora of vegetarian food was just perfect from Ittar ki Dal to Lehsuni bhindi, each and every dish was par excellence. Another interesting aspect was the bread ; not only were they magnificent but they also were packed with so much flavour. The sheermal & the Lucknowi kulcha paired like a dream with the gravies & there was no way you could feel satisfied after one.

We even saw some regal dishes like the Lagan ka Murgh, which is cooked in a lagan ; a Lagan is a copper vessel that’s shaped like a huge oval tray and is used to cook meat based dishes primarily.

Apart from the main course, we even relished some meetha in the form of “Chakundar-e-Afroz & Sheer Qorma”.

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Verdict : The festival is just brilliant and will be on till the 4th of November. They have an exquisite selection of sizzling Kebabs, rich gravies, unique flatbreads & delectable desserts.

I, urge you to not miss this feast and go try Chef Rehman’s Royal treat to your tastebuds.

Rating :

5/5

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Tim Tai | Poke Bowls |

The Poke Bowl trend has taken all over the internet and has gripped a lot of people in it’s clutches. While there are literally 100’s of recipes flooding your screen on how to make the perfect poke bowl, i acquainted myself with one a few days back at “Tim Tai”. Poke bowl, traces its origins back to the Polynesian culture and more specifically Hawaii and comes replete with a slew of bases & vibrant colours that tickle your appetite.

About Tim Tai :

Tim Tai, is a Pan Asian restaurant and believes in proffering you with dishes that are unique and palate pleasers. We were invited to experience the preview of the new menu Launch and the results were very satisfying.

What did i devour?

We started with the delectable amuse bouche which was ” crunchy crackle cup with crunchy veggies”, the perfect mouthful.

I, chose the “Pan fried Noodles in Hunan Sauce” was a delectable mix veggies in a light & dark soya based sauce. The umami flavour was prevalent and i thoroughly enjoyed the poke bowl. The poke bowls comprise of a protein component which usually is fish & tuna in particular but they can be customised as per your fancy.

These bowls have been customised under the keen eye of Chef Nimish Bhatia and were quite a wonderful bowl full of goodness. The portion is quite satisfying and really fills you up. The poke bowls are a meal in itself and trust me are one of the most easy on your health & time kinda meals.

Some of the well loved poke bowls were :

1. Steamed noodles with Kai Ka Prao in Hot Basil Sauce

2. St. Shanghai Noodles with Mapo Tofu in Black Bean Sauce

3. Kao Mali with Kung Nam Prik Pow in Thai Roasted Chilli paste

4. Steamed Rice with Pla Ra in Sweet & Spicy Sauce.

We then finished the meal with the darsan of crispy fried wanton sheets & vanilla icecream.

We were also treated to an eggless sizzling brownie, which again was quite a delight.

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Verdict : I, would definitely urge you to try these poke bowls at Tim Tai when the release and relish the melange of flavours on your palate.

Rangeelo Rajasthan | My Place | Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa|

Rajasthan, the land of the kings, the land of colour and the land of heritage. Rajasthan, depicts the picture of India in the most beautiful way possible, with its soaring winds, breathtaking views and delectable food.

I, experienced the “Rangeelo Rajasthan” food festival, a few days ago and i still can not get over, how well the whole meal went. It had robust flavours, it had a hearty spread and it had the pure authenticity of Rajasthan.

About the Rangeelo Rajasthan Food Festival:

The minute you entered, you were greeted by a lavish set up which mimicked the forts or garhs of Rajasthan. We were welcomed with the traditional welcome Aarti by a beautiful young lady & the place spilled with colour all over.

The staff was dressed immaculately in the Rajasthani finery and this caught our attention immediately along with the folk singers singing. “My Place”, was converted into a beautiful set up, that instantly took you to the land of the kings.

After being stimulated by the eye, it was time to look after those longing tastebuds as well. We, started with a refreshing chaas & then while the soothing music pleased our ears we were served “Paneer Methi Tikka” & ” Hara Bhara Kabab” for the vegetarians and “Murgh Angara” & “Macchi ke Sooley” for the non vegetarians.

Being a vegetarian, trust me the starters were just done to perfection. The Paneer filled with the flavours of Methi & the Kabab, so soft and melt in the mouth. Shown here are the Paneer Tikka & Murgh Angara.

After the starters, i had seen a beautiful array of chaats and had to turn my way towards it. In, the chaat section we saw a melange of “Kachoris, Chutneys, Bajjis & Dahi Gujiyas”

The main course was immense with ample amount of options for both the vegetarians & non vegetarians. And, over here i would like to reiterate a very important point which i got to know through the Chefs.

The Chefs were flown down specifically for this occasion all the way from Rajasthan and they got along with them, the special ingredients and the masalas from Rajasthan & in a true essence gave you a flavour profile, which was unforgettable. They really put in a lot of effort to make this a learning as well as a discovering episode for all the patrons of “My Place”.

Coming back to the main course, we feasted upon some famous & some unsung heroes of the Rajasthani cuisine. We had “Laal Maas” , “Ker Sangri”, “Aloo Mangodi ki Subzi”, “Haldi Ki Subzi”, etc..,

Some of these were dishes that i, was devouring for the first time & it was a delight. My ultimate favourite was the unique “Daal Bati Churma” with 4 different kinds of “Churma”, like the rose petal “Gulab churma”, pineapple churma, Bajra churma & normal churma.

And, then the desserts. The desserts, were classified as “Continental desserts, Pan India desserts & Rajasthani desserts”. The Rajasthani desserts had the delicious “Pantua, Malpua & Lapsi” .

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Verdict : Rangeelo Rajasthan, was an astonishing success with me as it explored the Rajasthani cuisine in depth and spoke volumes about the culture. The food was like no other as even the ingredients were imported from Rajasthan.

Rating :

4.5/5

Masterclass at Academy of Pastry Arts | Bangalore |

I, had the pleasure to experience a baking Masterclass, by Chef Kimberley Rozario at Academy of Pastry Arts, where we were taught how to create a delightful modern French inspired pastry, “The Berries Vanilla Gateau”. A lot of us dream to bake cakes and pastries but take a step back when you’re faced with the challenge, APAI will make you realise that though it’s a tough job, it’s all about discipline & if you manage to get disciplined about baking, there’s nothing stopping you.

About Academy of Pastry Arts :

The Academy of Pastry, India, has its well established centres in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore, run for and by the people who are passionate about Baking and Culinary. Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia” has the finest Pastry chefs team in entire Asia & Middle East. The Academy is one of the top 10 Pastry schools in the world.

USP Of Academy Of Pastry Arts, India :

•Academy of Pastry Arts follow European trend and the courses are designed on French pastries.  

● Best Pastry chefs of the world visit India regularly providing skilled workshops.

● Organized & structural training for Bakers, Pastry chefs, Chocolate, Cake designer and Ice Cream Makers.

● Bridging the gap of Hotel Industry expectations and students level of Expertise by providing a platform for all pastry chefs in the country to learn and share.

● The Academy presents the opportunities to their students to become a part of their professional community and brine the international brands of raw material and equipments to young chefs.

● Academy of Pastry Arts maintains a positive relationship with alumni throughout their career and provides continuing education courses for graduates, professionals and food enthusiasts.

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Masterclass with Chef Kimberley:

Chef Kimberley demonstrated the intense techniques & technicalities of baking. She spoke about the science behind the baking and how it is imperative to be alert at all times, when you’re baking.

She started with creating a delicious chocolate almond sponge from scratch, allowing us the liberty to ask questions. Little nuances like using a high quality cocoa powder like “Callebaut” was highlighted.

After the chocolate sponge was set to bake, she went onto create the simple yet complex “Vanilla Mousse”. One of her pro tips was using a strainer after having made the cream, milk & vanilla to reach a boil, as this would result in a homogeneous mixture that would result in better taste & texture.

She then went to make a beautiful berry jelly, where all the concentrates were ready made so that there is uniformity in flavour. She then layered it with the vanilla mousse & Chocolate sponge.

She also spoke about the kind of tools that you will need for baking.

Lastly, she assembled the cake & glazed it with a glaze she had made.

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The APAI, have a great team of dedicated professionals who will make sure that your culinary dreams can be achieved. Though, the name is quite upfront about it being a Pastry School, allow me to enlighten you that they also train people in culinary arts.

Please check the website for more details:

http://www.academyofpastryartsindia.com/

JW Kitchen | JW Marriott | Bangalore

“When you bond, you bond with your soul & the way one easily bonds with one another is through the victuals on the table”- Noorain.

The simple act of eating food, has so many facets to it. It not only satiates your hunger but it also satiates your soul. It’s over food, that the best of conversations happen & it is over food that I believe that you even carve bonds with each other.

For me a Sunday is a very special day, it’s the only day that we as a family get to spend time with each other. So, more often than not, i love spending my Sundays doing what i love the best sans the restraints of time or pending paperwork.

Last Sunday, i found myself savouring the “Monsoon Brunch Buffet ” at JW Kitchen curated by Chef Daniel.

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About JW Kitchen’s Monsoon Brunch Buffet :

The Monsoon Brunch Buffet , is a tongue tickling affair with a vast spread of delights for you. The buffet consists of a Salad & Cheese Counter, Indian Street Food Counter with Chaats, Bunny Chow & Pav Bhaji, Oriental Counter, Grill Meats Counter, Indian Cuisine Counter, a special Spice Terrace pop up by Chef Saddam, Dedicated live Sushi Counter, a dedicated section for the vegetarians with homely flavours, live Pasta Counter, a dessert counter with both Indian & Continental ones & of course a bar counter, to get your spirits high (pun intended) while, the there is a live music performance going on.

They also have a dedicated food counter for the kids, with live entertainment & play area replete with an Air castle, inflatable pool, games & go around.

The ingredients that go into the dishes are sourced with great care. Special mention to the in house pasta that is made fresh for some of the dishes, so that they can stay as authentic as possible. The desserts are done with utmost care and trust me, they are a delight to indulge in.

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What dishes i loved during my Monsoon Brunch Buffet sampling :

. The delicious array of Salads, specially the tomato & boconccini salad.

. The Sushi’s hit home with demure flavours.

. The Ravioli with Alfredo sauce. I opted for a vegetarian version.

. Thai Curry.

. Kothu Paratha.

. Bunny Chow & Pav Bhaji

. Valrohna Mousse ( took me to the moon & back)

Here are a few pics from around the buffet :

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Verdict : It’s a great way to unwind and enjoy a lazy Sunday with the family. Definitely, something to check out, if you’re on the lookout for great brunches.

Rating : 4.5/5

BBQ’D| Restaurant Review| UB City |

” The essence of great food, is in the revoking & relishing of the memory when you ate it”- Noorain

For me, i have almost always gingerly caressed the memory of the first time i relished the “Lehsuni Palak Chenna” at Made In Punjab. It was one of those delicate dishes that left a strong impression on my memory. Post a few visits, they unfortunately closed down and i tried to recreate that dish at home with no success, whatsoever.

Recently, my ears picked up some news from the grapevine that said that ” Made In Punjab”, was going to be revived and it was going to happen at BBQ’D. My joy knew no bounds when it was confirmed that the news was as true as the rising of the sun each day and then the a quiet lunch at BBQ’D on a breezy day, revoked the memory of the first time i had that “Lehsuni Palak Chenna” after all.

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About BBQ’D : It’s a restaurant on the 2nd level of UB City, located where MIP* was. The food is predominately served as a buffet and the cuisine is North Indian. They are hugely popular for their grills and happy hours.

BBQ’D, revived MIP* after a huge demand from their patrons ; who just missed MIP* and their signature dishes a tad bit too much. BBQ’D listened and got back their signature dishes on the a la carte menu.

Decor & Ambiance : The decor is done tastefully with the amber lights to superimpose an ambiance of relaxation while you dine. Equipped with plush sofas in stone grey hues & contrasting wooden parquet flooring, rest assured that your dining in style.

Hospitality: Always done perfectly. The staff are well groomed, ready to help and always smiling. Special mention to Mr. Joyjit Bannerjee & Chef Mahabir for looking after us so well.

The Grub Story : The MIP* menu, that you can find on the a la carte menu is as follows :

1.Palak pata Chaat.

2.Malai Broccoli.

3.Chicken Tikka Chaat.

4.Dahi pataka

5.Dhansu Aloo

6.Tandoori Mushroom.

7.BBQ’D special Paneer Tikka.

8.Karara bhatti Paneer.

9.LOL Tiki.

10.Murgh Tikka.

11.Lehsuni Tikka.

12.Legacy Tandoori Champ.

13.Tandoori Jheenga.

14.Bhatti Murgh.

15.Dal Makhni.

16.Lehsuni Palak Chenna.

17.BBQ’D Special Butter Chicken.

18.Murgh Dum Biryani.

19.Rasmalai

20.Nukkad Jalebi.

My favourites out of the list are the crispy yet flavourful Palak Pata Chaat with the delicious potato mash to bind the mouthful. The Dhansu Aaloo was just another treat with baby potatoes basking in glory with little sesame seeds over them. While the Tandoori Mushroom created an uproar on my tongue with extremely power packed flavours, the BBQ’D Special Paneer Tikka soothes it down with the creamy and melt in the mouth marinated cottage cheese.

Last but not the least, the stars of my show ” Lehsuni Palak Chenna” & “Dal Makhani”. Allow me the privilege to tell you that nothing has changed with these, if it has ; then it’s only better. Must must must try! Your meal is incomplete without these beauties when you pair them with a crispy & hot Garlic Butter Naan. What’s life, without some indulgence?

Close the feast with some crispy Nukkad Jalebi and Rabdi and maybe silently engrave another day in your memory to speak of, to people when you meet them.

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Verdict : A delight to indulge in. Their MIP menu must not be missed, feel free to try them and thank me later.

Rating : 4.5/5

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5

*MIP : Made In Punjab

NutriPot – Another Healthy Wonderchef Creation.

Last Saturday, cooking became a little more easier & a lot more convenient. While all of us dread those prep hours in the kitchen ( aloo kato, lauki dholo, Garam masala pees lo, etc) , the scariest part is keeping a keen eye on the process after the prep session. It’s like you need to be glued near the stovetop & if it’s the pressure cooker day then you must be in sync mode with the “Seeti” aka “Whistle”.

Wonderchef, comes across as a saviour & promises to ease your stress. Wonderchef unveils an advanced way of nutritious cooking, with their “Nutri-Pot”.

After 14 months of rigorous market research and product design, Wonderchef has curated a fully automated appliance, that brings health, taste and convenience in your daily cooking.

With an embedded advanced micro-computer technology, Nutri-Pot automatically controls temperature, pressure and time according to different types of food ingredients. 18 pre-set dishes – Rice/Pulav, Khichdi/Biryani, Chicken Curry, Mutton Curry, Dal, Rajma/Chole, Veg Curry, Soup, Yogurt, Cake, Sambhar, Baby Food, Steamer, Slow Cooker, Sauté/Bhuna, Manual and Reheat – allow one to achieve perfect results every time.

With 6 Litre capacity, Nutri-pot prevents over–cooking of food protecting precious vitamins and minerals. PIt uses only optimum amount of water for cooking. The tight – fitting lid traps the steam rising from the food within the pot, retaining important nutrients within the food.

Nutri-Pot offers a delay timer that allows one to program when exactly to begin cooking. One can go for shopping and come back to a freshly – cooked hot meal. Apart from the above features, Nutri-Pot also offers:

1. Automatic Keep Warm function keeps the food warm until ready to serve

2. Hard-anodized inner pot – The process of anodizing makes the aluminium harder and non-reactive ensuring years of hassle-free use, faster cooking and even heat distribution

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“Wonderchef has always focussed on offering innovative and quality products to its customers. A thorough research based approach led to the curation of this product. We have customized the built-in functions as per the Indian cooking style. The delay timer feature offers convenience to the customers at finger-tips”, Says Ravi Saxena, Managing Director, Wonderchef.

Nutri-Pot is available for pre-booking on wonderchef.nutripot.com and in retail stores across India.

Carrots | Vegan Restaurant Review | Koramangala |

“I can’t think of anything better in the world to be but a vegan.” – Alicia Silverstone

Being a vegan, according to me is a brave & a kind decision, where one takes responsibility of their choices & actions. Veganism isn’t a trend or a diet fad rather it’s an emotional experience. It’s great to see, vegan options available widely today and it’s a pleasure to know how delicious they are.

About Carrots :

Carrots, was one of the pioneers of vegan dining experiences in Bangalore. When it started, it had subconsciously started a trend of diverting people towards a more holistic way of living. While, non vegans were made to understand what being vegan really meant, the vegans had a safe haven to lose themselves in.

Carrots was one of the first vegan restaurants in India, which not only had a full fledged vegan menu but also encouraged staff to try veganism by providing them with vegan meals. This, is one of those places in Namma bengaluru that you must try whether you are a vegan or not.

Decor & Ambiance:

The decor, is very humble and like the concept of the restaurant is kept very simple. The ambiance on the other hand, is highly relaxing with soft instrumental music playing in the background. The place has charms & almost resembles a quaint shack.

The Grub Story:

I’m a vegetarian and i really wouldn’t mind being vegan for sometime but the only thing stopping me is, the lack of skill whilst preparing a vegan meal. Here is what i relished and was quite dumbfounded that this was vegan :

  • Chatpata sprouts Salad : A beautiful and mellow salad of sprouts, with Indian flavours.

  • Millet Croquettes : Delicious mix of millets, mashed potatoes & beans in a simple mix of spices and crumb fried.

  • Chilli MockMeat Tofu : This was the star of the evening, the flavours were bang on and having converted from being a non vegetarian to a vegetarian, this mock meat instantly reminded me of meat, albeit in a very nice way. The melange of Tofu and seitan strips coated in tomato sauce was just phenomenal.

  • Mighty Buddha Bowl : A dish, that beats any Buddha bowl. This is a signature dish, by Chef Susmita who has as we all know been a pioneer of vegan eating. The flavours of the peanut sauce and tofu on a bed of rice was something you must not miss.

  • Black Forest Pastry : Made with vegan cream, you really could go ahead and order another one just because it was so good.

  • Vegan Ice Cream : Oh my Goodness!! This is something that you must not miss if you’re here. The vegan icecream range is just so smooth, delicious & flavourful, that you wonder if this really has no milk at all. The scoops are melt in the mouth & the best part is they don’t melt the way, your traditional ice cream melts, so they are a great idea for takeaways. My favourite was chocolate & mango vegan ice cream.

  • Energy booster : Made with soy milk, cashew, sesame seeds and dates for natural sweetness, this drink was highly delicious. Sorry milk, I didn’t miss you at all.

  • Soy Buttermilk : The drink had a very smooth and palate pleasing texture and aroma. The little gritty texture had me over the moon.

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Verdict : This is a must visit for all vegans and non vegans alike. The place has menu curated by Chef Susmita of the “Veganosaurus” fame. She has always been advocating clean vegan eating and explains the little details with such happiness that it’s just a delight to dine in here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

4/5

Housefull | Restaurant Review | Kumarapark|

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment to the soul and body, it’s truly love”- Giada

So, while i gingerly took a sip of some orange grenadine gala and had my soul satisfied with just the most delicious meal in recent times, i couldn’t help but reiterate the above quote and smile inwardly.

About Housefull :

Housefull, is the new kid on the block with its fare being completely vegetarian and no alcohol is served as well. The restaurant caters to not only the vegetarian folks but to the non vegetarian folks as well, by making you fall in love with vegetarian. It’s a complete family experience, which will hit a home run on the nostalgia factor.

Decor & Ambiance :

The decor, is tastefully done and is power packed to take you back to the past. It has a faux wall made out of cassettes and painted with the iconic Amitabh Bachan’s character from Sholay. The menu is done like a Filmfare, Stardust magazine, with legendary actors on it.

The ambiance instantly relaxes you and gets you anticipating for a great meal ahead.

Hospitality:

The hospitality is par excellence, from their staff to Chef Istikhar, who makes it a point to come over and get your feedback after the meal.

The Grub Story :

I’m too full on the experience and loved the way, they have curated their menu and furnished the dishes with a twist. Here were my favourites :

  • Mini Dal Pakwan : The crispy puri’s were topped with just the most smooth & palate pleasing mix of Bengal gram & sev.

  • Pav Bhaji : By far, this was the most good looking Pav Bhaji, I’ve seen in recent times. Totally Instagram & Pinterest worthy. It tasted as good as it looked. The ladi Pav was a delight to eat with the bhaji.

  • Paneer Ghee Roast : Allow me the privilege to tell you, that this was the most melt in the mouth cottage cheese, your money can buy. The Paneer literally had absorbed the mangalorean masala and the heady aroma of the spices intoxicatingly welcomes you. Must have.

  • HF samosa : Filled with Cheese, Paneer and potato, this take on the samosa will have you wanting it for a long time after you eat this. Another must have.

  • Gulab Jamun Mousse & Oreo Cheesecake duo : The light on the palate dessert was delicious and had me wanting for more. Came replete with some sugar nest to make it even more pretty.

  • Masala Chaas: What perfect way to have a hearty meal, save for some masala Chaas on your side? Try their desi masala Chaas to cool you down and give you a desi experience.

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Verdict : The restaurant doesn’t restrict your palate, from experiencing ambrosia just because it’s vegetarian rather it opens doors for you to understand how versatile and delicious vegetarian cuisine is.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

5/5