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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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/

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

Burma Burma | Restaurant Review | Indiranagar |

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”~ Alan D. Wolfelt

The ingress of the restaurant, prepossess you with its charm. I’m pleasantly mesmerised by the welcoming ritual, at the doorstep. The lady smiles and prompts me to put my hand forward and once I do it, she dips a leaf in water and lightly swishes it across the palm. Quotes she, ” This is the traditional Burmese welcome, done to the guest who visits any home in Burma”.

About Burma Burma :

Burma Burma boasts of the nouvelle cuisine from the regions of Myanmar, North East India, Thailand & China. The synchronised harmony of these varied cuisines, is at display whilst you playfully rotate the chopsticks in your hand. Reviving and creating awareness about the Myanmar aka Burma, the place takes you on a journey across regions.

As, it’s also a teahouse ; expect yourself to be pampered and huddled with the tea warmth as you choose your pick. The place brings to you teas that a connoisseur would love to immerse herself in.

Decor & Ambiance :

Provided by team Burma Burma

While Anodos found his portal to the fairy world in MacDonald’s “Phantastes”, i found mine when i passed the threshold of the doorstep. Immediately, a whiff of warmth engulfs you & you are surrounded by artifacts. Some holding a deep spiritual value, such as the Burmese Prayer Lacquerware and some as trivial as the Burmese storage containers.

Immense amount of dedication has gone into making this decor a slice of Burma. The hand painted wall mural is almost alive, if she just slightly opens her eyes.

The Grub Story : The Food as we know, is from the shores of Burma. Burmese cuisine on its own has been influenced by a few regions. Here’s what i savoured & relished :

  • Samuza Hincho : A tangy soup, which I have to inform you is a bit on the spicier side has a hidden samosa. The samosa melts and you are supposed to enjoy it with the broth.

  • Tayat ti thoke : Raw mango salad, which makes you reminisce of the Som Tam Mamuang. The flavours are similar, but a little more on the sweet sour spicy side. Extremely enjoyable.

  • Mandalay Laphet Thoke : A fermented tea leaf salad, which proved to be my favourite. Replete with garlic nuts, sesame seeds, tomato & lettuce.

  • Crunchy Tofu Sliders : These mini sliders had the most softest tofu encased within them. Perfect for a quick fix.

  • Burma Burma Oh No Khow suey: The khowsuey was curated to please your taste buds. The delicious bowl of coconut milk with lemongrass, tamarind flavours & soft noodles brimming in the broth ; just made this one of the best, I’ve had in the city. Accompanied by a tray of fried onion, chilli, garlic & peanuts.

  • Avocado Icecream with Honey Caviar: The soft smoothness of the avocado, could be sensed when you took the first mouthful, along with the bursts of sweetness from the Honey caviar. The presentation takes the cake, with the smoke effect a la dry ice. Check this little video out 👇🏻

  • Tagu Pi Yan : A beautiful concentric circle of coconut custard engulfing the firm yet soft to burst pearls of Sago in palm jaggery. The humble dessert, had all the flavours that make it feel authentic & true to taste.

  • Teas : I, tried an assortment of the peach & passion fruit flavoured Shangrila tea & Yuzu Bubble Tea. While, the Yuzu bubble teawas a different ball game altogether with a fresh & cooling punch. The Shangrila tea, was subtle and calming down with the flavours.

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Verdict : The place is purely vegetarian and non alcoholic. This is like a dream restaurant for me. For anyone who has a soft corner for South East Asian food, this restaurant serves as a great place to escape and find yourself happy.

Rating : 4.5/5

P.S: The pic of the wall decor has been provided by team Burma Burma for representational purpose.

Vurve Signature Salon Launch |Indiranagar |

” Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it”-Confucius

These words couldn’t ring any truer, as i see myself with a beautiful cascade of sun kissed caramel blonde hair. You really ought to know beauty to see beauty in everything.

About Vurve Signature Salon :

Vurve Signature Salon, has inaugurated their fourth salon in Indira Nagar, Bangalore. This is their first salon in Bangalore after having had an overwhelming response in Chennai. The launch saw, the who’s and who of the beauty community.

We were given a chance to have a one on one, with the team of Vurve. Vurve Signature Salon is co-owned by Rebecca Samuel, Sushil Thomas, Manoj Samuel, Sathya Marie with over seven years of experience in salon industry set-up and handling successful operations of 5 salons across Chennai, India. They are highly skilled professionals with a single goal of ‘Customer Service Excellence”.

The salon is spread across 2700 sq.ft on one floor & has been designed by by a renowned Architect Group – RSDA from Delhi who have deep knowledge and experience in building unique and customer friendly salons.

The inclusion of handmade tiles, cloud ceilings and exposed brick just revs up the ambiance by notches.

Services Provided by Vurve Signature Salon:

The comprehensive range of services include all hair services such as Haircut, Hair-Colour, Hair Rituals, Creative Makeover, Keratin, Bridal Makeup services and Spa using the brands of Kerastase, L’Oreal, Skeyndor and OPI nails .

They offer a wide range of Signature Facials and Kerastase Luxury Hair Rituals to choose from and a host of manicures and pedicures too.

L-R: Mr. Manoj, model, Ms. Rebecca, model.

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Verdict : I, completely loved the salon & it’s aesthetics. The main factor, that will make me visit them again is the staff. The staff have just so much expertise & are extremely efficient at their job. I, had my hair coloring done and I must say, I haven’t been happier.

Stay tuned for my next post, which will be describing the hair colouring experience.

Lady Baga| Restaurant Review|Lavelle Road

” Be groovy or leave, man”- Bob Dylan

Keeping that very thought alive, infiltrate yourself with the positive vibes floating about at Lady Baga. While you cosy down and get ready for an experience to jot down in your memory, you feel the floral halo materialise on your head.

About Lady Baga :

Lady Baga, is a beach shack themed restaurant that emphasises the Goan cuisine and it’s speciality. The restaurant, tries to create a shack like experience where the food is fresh and soulful.

Decor & Ambiance : Lady Baga, is divided into 2 floors. The first floor is air conditioned with a little pop up souvenir shop, complete with boho jewellery & beautiful silhouettes. If something catches your fancy, you may always pick it up. The second floor, has all the quirk factor along with a hippy van.

Remember the mystery machine, from Scooby Doo? Well, we’ve got one here. Nostalgia! The ambiance is peppy yet relaxing with extreme quirk prevalent all across.

Hospitality:

The service is impeccable, the staff are really pleasant. The wait time is the usual 10-15 minutes and I appreciate the fact that they inform you, if there would be a delay whilst you’re ordering your dish.

The Grub Story :

The food, is primarily Goan and has a few continental dishes as well, which fuse with the menu. Here is what I ordered :

  • Virgin Mojito : I, super loved the freshness of the virgin Mojito, it seems to be the only thing I drink. They even customised it for me, by giving a little shot glass filled with ginger syrup as i had requested for it.

  • Rissois Verde (₹229/-): The little crescents of happiness, just made my day. This undoubtedly is one of those things, that you just mustn’t miss. Baby crepes stuffed with mint, cilantro, cheese, carrot & corn filling and crusted with panko crumbs.

  • Konkan Cutlet (₹210/-): Another one of those crumb fried creations, that’s just filled with deep Goan flavours. A harmonious potato fritter imbibed with Goan masalas.

  • Wild Mushroom Vol-au-vent (₹349/-): The flake! Oh my God.. that flake. The vol-au-vent, was just so flaky yet melt in the mouth buttery. Pair that flaky puff with a mix of shiitake, porcini, morel & button mushroom infused with creamy truffle sauce and you have love.

  • Root Veg Crepes (₹490/-): Every mouthful of this, was a complex yet simple mix of flavours. The crepes were soft and fluffy filled with root veggies and dunk with truffle sauce tempered with cherry tomatoes, cracked pepper and basil.

  • Valrhona Dark Chocolate Fondant (₹295/-): This is just the most sinful thing ever. The chocolate fondant, is made out of Valrhona and is filled with molten & gooey chocolate that just erupts into goodness.

  • Vanilla & Saffron Pannacotta (₹250/-): The Vanilla flavour profile is very subtle yet makes an impact & is made with Elle & Vire cream.

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Verdict: Lady B, is definitely a place that you must try. The experience is just bang on right, it rates pretty good on the VFM meter as well. I, would highly recommend this restaurant.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5

4.5/5

Food Fair at StoneHill International School

” Children Learn More From What You Are, Than What You Teach”- W.E.B Dubois

The carefree helter skelter of those little feet and the innocent smiles carefully carved on those faces, had all of us slip slowly into the bygone days of us as children ourselves.

About Stonehill International School :

They are a co-educational day and boarding school located in the lush Indian countryside north of Bangalore, near the International Airport. They are the member of Australian Boarding Schools Association, and serve students from age 3  through secondary school.

Their state-of-the art campus covers 34 acres and includes extensive sports fields and facilities, a swimming pool, an equestrian centre, three boarding houses, two libraries, and a cafeteria.

About Annual Food Fair :

I, was invited to experience Stonehill International School’s Annual Food Fair. The Food Fair, is an annual ritual, which recognises, embraces & celebrates the vast geographical diversity that is prevalent in the school’s students.

Every year, parents come together to put forward home cooked food, which is a representation of their country. They put up stalls and create a fair feel, to it. You are welcomed to experience so many dishes, all under one roof.

They also had a great entertainment quotient going on, with a display of the art by students, live music, games & cultural show.

What I Savoured :

With about 16 countries participating at the Food Fair, it really was a difficult choice to just chose a few dishes to gorge on. Every dish, looked delicious & every parent was enthusiastic. Here is my food walk :

  • Mini Cheese Pies from Brazil : These were just nothing short of amazing. The delectable, feta and egg made this such a delight. One of my favourites.

  • Chocolate fudge truffles from Brazil : Just so gooey and delectable, they were light on the palate as well.

  • Japchae from Korea : Thin glass noodles, stir fried with soy sauce & sesame oil and tossed with veggies. Just so comforting!

  • Zucchini & Carrot Quiche from France: Oh lord! This was just out of the world. The soft crumbly crust & the zucchini & cheese topping, just so filling!

  • Cinnabons from Sweden : Soft, melt in the mouth and nothing like you’d ever find anywhere here.

  • German Bundt Cake : Filled with flavours, I would love to get my hands on this again.

  • Raspberry Pop Tarts from Denmark : This was, just what I needed after the little food escapade that I had. Crumbly, soft & that acidic punch made this complete my meal.

Here are a few masterpieces made by the students, on display:

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Verdict: The Food Fair, was just the perfect experience to sample & try a lot dishes that you do get in Bangalore, but are never as authentic as they are supposed to be.

Shizusan Shophouse|Travelling Bao Festival | Phoenix Market City |

” The more you eat, the less flavour; the less you eat, the more flavour”- Chinese proverb

While baskets filled with little miniature masterpieces, fill the dwam before my sleep ; I slip into a state of trance and let the bygone moments, decide the menu of the day.

About Shizusan shophouse:

Shizusan, is an award winning South East Asian eatery, where the emphasis is, on food & drink that’s customarily found in eating houses across South East Asia. The concept is a prototype of the foregone era of 2-3 storey shophouses.

Ambiance & Decor :

The decor, transcends you back to a time of cultural exuberance. The wall art depicting whooping cranes standing in harmony & the ceiling bound & brimming with faux plants makes this just perfect, while i try to ignore the modern snippets of technology here and there ; it’s quite easy to think that you are in an actual ShopHouse.

The ambiance is very relaxed & is extremely soothing.

Hospitality:

A set of well groomed & helpful staff always makes you feel at ease about dining in at any place & Shizusan was successful in doing so, as well.

The Grub Story :

I, was here for “The Travelling Bao Festival”, which is a curated special menu dedicated to different kinds of Bao’s. Both vegetarian & non vegetarian options are available and are extremely delicious.

The Bao’s were immaculate and was almost like gulping little chewy bits of cloud. The Bao’s have a nice firm bite to it & are yet soft. Here are the different kinds of fillings that I savoured :

  • Geisha (₹155/-) : A deep flavourful pot of kukicha infused with rose petals, sesame, bamboo shoot, ginger & schishandra superberries. I, really must say that this was one of the most flavourful teas that I have had in Bangalore. Must try. The subtle berry tones coupled with the deep freshness of bamboo is just so refreshing & the best way to start your meal.

  • Hirata & Tofu Buns (₹275/- for 2 pcs): A crunchy BBQ tossed Tofu enclosed in a Bao with pickled cucumber & miso mayo. The tender yet smoky Tofu, melted against the knife. Flavours are subtle yet very pronounced.

  • Banh Bao Chay (₹275/- for 2 pcs) : The Vietnamese Bao, filled with wild mushrooms & glass noodles. The filling is imbibed with deep flavours & the umami flavour comes across.

  • Five Spiced Tofu (₹275/- for 2 pcs): The Tofu in both the Bao’s was just so tender and literally fell apart with no resistance. The five spiced Tofu was had faint hints of the spices.

  • Nai Wong (₹275/- for 2 pcs) : These were the Cantonese Custard Buns, just the perfect way to end your meal, which replaces the dessert actually. The custard within was well cooked & was just so lightly sweet. Must try again.

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Verdict : The Travelling Bao Festival, is certainly a light on the pocket opportunity to experience the different kinds of Bao’s from the Far East. An immersive experience to understand the cultural differences & similarities.

I, would certainly recommend trying the special Bao menu out, till it’s on.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5