9 February 2017

To Malaysia and Back at Glasshouse, Hyatt Regency

As we settled down for dinner at Glasshouse, I couldn't help but admire the glass paneled walls on either sides of the large room -  from where the all day restaurant at the Hyatt Regency gets its name. I was here to sample some Malaysian fare as a part of their ongoing Malaysian food festival, and also to get an understanding of their cuisine better from Chef Taripin who is down in the city to showcase some of his culinary magic. I'll repeat myself here - food has the ability to make you travel to far off destinations without leaving your seat. And I was really looking forward to the culinary journey to Malaysia, I was about to embark upon that night.

Over a generous serving of fish crackers and prawn crackers, that Chef had flown in specially, we got around to talking. 'Malaysian cuisine has strong Indian and Chinese influences along with traditional Malay influences, of course. Owing to the multicultural population of Malaysia, food is constantly getting adapted and hybridized', Chef explained. These influences were highly evident throughout the meal with the dishes carrying flavour profiles that we Indians are used to.  

The Roti Canai is a typical Malay flat bread that had contrasting flaky and soft textures akin to a Malabari Parotha. We paired this with a Dalcha - their version of the Indian dal with South East Asian elements. The Murtabak we bit into was freakishly similar to the Mughlai Parathas of Kolkota, or the more local Baida Roti sans the egg. Makes you wonder who inspired whom in this case

Roti Canal with Dalcha

29 January 2017

My January Food Favourites

I've started the new year with a bang. I've incessantly stuffed my face with the most delicious food, explored some new haunts in the city, and rediscovered old favorites. Sometimes it becomes impossible to write individual blog posts on each of my dining experiences to due lack of time or lack of content, so I've decided to list down my favorites at the end of the month, every month. In completely random order, here are my January food favorites. 

1. Value for Money Meal Deal - The Sassy Spoon, Bandra

Now The Sassy Spoon may be known for their delicious food, but they're definitely not known to be pocket friendly. Their fabulous weekday lunch deals are about to change that notion. We had a lovely four course lunch there complete with soup/salad, appetizer, mains and dessert priced at Rs 745 ALL INCLUSIVE. (Yes, you read that right. This is not a hoax.) They did not skimp on the portion size as well, and by the end of the mains we were stuffed to the gills. Make sure you try the Coriander and Rava Crusted Bombil, the Confit Garlic Fettuccine, and the moist Carrot cake - all on the set menu! They also do a similar three course meal deal for Rs 545 and that may be worth considering if you're a light eater.

2. A Meal with a View - Boardwalk by Flamboyante, Mandwa Jetty, Alibaug

An hour long ferry ride from the Gateway of India brings you to the picturesque Mandwa Jetty. It is right here that Boardwalk by Flamboyante is housed - a stunning, sea facing restaurant that screams serenity and luxury, drizzled with a little bit of romance. The outside section is housed right on the pier, and you can look ahead at the Arabian Sea lashing while you guzzle down your third beer. The white and blue Greco-Roman inspired space is perfect for a sundowner, and the music amps up as the evening progresses. They serve some delicious grub as well - thin pizzas, smokey kebabs, and sizzling sizzlers. (Sorry. Not sorry.) Highly recommended for your next Sunday brunch, or a leisure lunch date.

21 January 2017

Consider Karnala Bird Sanctuary For Your Next One Day Picnic

The sprawling Karnala Bird Sanctuary and Nature Park in Panvel is home to over 222 species of birds. If you are a nature lover – this place is paradise! It’s a different feeling altogether watching the birds in their natural habitats calling out to each other, amidst a variety of trees and shrubs that we city dwellers rarely see. Karnala Bird Sanctuary makes for a pleasant retreat, and is a wonderful spot for a one day picnic close to the city.

Karnala Fort and Sanctuary is located off the Mumbai-Pune national highway, 12 kms from Panvel. Turn on Google Navigation and you shall have no problem if you are driving down. It's a 90-120 minute drive one way, depending on the traffic. Otherwise, take a bus or an auto from Panvel station, though this may add to your travel time.


11 January 2017

Bombay Bygone: Touring CST Station

I am one of those people for whom 'Bombay' will always remain 'Bombay' - an emotion more than a city. The marvelous structure now known as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, was introduced to me as Victoria Terminus back then. A structure I drove past on many occasions as a child, looking out of the window in awe and admiration at the giant structure. A sea of people gushing in and out of this intricate building is what my earliest memories of CST station hold - and nothing has changed over these years.

CST station is a historic structure constructed in 1888, and has been christened as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But not a lot of people know that the 128 year old station houses a railway museum and also conducts heritage tours for those who'd like to get up close and personal with this beautiful structure. I enrolled for the CST Station Heritage Museum Tour one weekday afternoon, and I felt like a tourist in my own city.

Star Chamber

19 December 2016

Five Must Dos For That Perfect Jaisalmer Getaway

Rajasthan has been calling out to the traveler within me all this year. After a beautiful Jaipur holiday which I took in July (read more about that here), I got a wonderful opportunity to re-live the royal Rajasthani experience yet again during a short getaway to Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer symbolizes everything the state of Rajasthan is famous for - the desert, the camels, the folk music and dance, the forts, and the food! A visit to Jaisalmer may be the best way to experience Rajasthani culture at its best, something that makes that five-hour, back-breaking drive from Jodhpur totally worth it! There is so much to see, and so much to do, but here are my top five recommendations for that perfect Jaisalmer holiday. 

Patwon Ki Haveli

Jain Temple, Sonar Quila