30 January 2016

Hungry Duck at Pali - Can a Restaurant Flourish Without Marketing?

Last week post my round of avocado scouting in Pali market, I saw a tiny restaurant nestled away inside Pali village. The Hungry Duck at Pali situated in a tiny lane after Janta bar, can easily be missed especially if you're not proficient with Bandra by-lanes. The next day I dragged Bee down there for dinner, after a quick Zomato search brought out some wonderful reviews. Selling points included the words - roast tongue, Messi burger, and grilled chicken. 

The space is tiny. An open kitchen counter ensures you can smell the meat aromas wafting through the kitchen - no complaints there. The menu is exhaustive and covers meat of every kind - buff, pork, chicken, and the namesake duck - in dishes of every kind - roast, grilled, chops, sandwiches, and burgers the size of your face.

Grilled Chicken for me, Duck Burger for him!

In an attempt to eat healthy I resisted all temptation and ordered the Grilled Chicken (LOL) with mashed potatoes on the side (because balanced diet). The chicken was cooked perfectly with caramelized onions and carrots on top which tasted divine with the creamy mash. I would have loved more sauce on top though. Also when your meat comes with a large steak knife on the side, you know they mean business! Bee's Duck Meat burger was messy, meaty and indulgent - just as how burgers should be - with the meat cooked in a sweet spicy sauce. Overall, delicious food, and the icing on the cake was our bill. We paid Rs 550/- with tip (I heart restaurants that do not shove service charge down my throat), which is a steal considering the portion size, and meat quotient.

21 January 2016

NRI, BKC - Indian or Not Really Indian?

I love restaurants that tell me a story with their food. Restaurants that transport you to a different place or time, with food that enriches and enlightens. Which is what happened when I dined at Not Really Indian - shortened to NRI - the newest addition to the ever increasing list of restaurants opening in BKC. 
I learnt about the lineage of dishes such as South African Bunny Chow, and a Caribbean Goat Curry. I tasted dishes such as the Mamak Lamb Chops, for an authentic taste of which I'd have to travel to Malaysia.
This is the entire concept of twice Michelin starred chef Atul Kocchar's new flagship restaurant - Indian food that has traveled out of the country. This is the food that migrating Indians took abroad with them, and started hybridizing with ingredients and cooking techniques of their new home. Thus, the food is Indian but Not Really Indian!

16 January 2016

One Two Chia Chia Chia

(My apologies for that hopeless pun in the title.)

We saw a lot of food trends in 2015. One of which included a tiny, black seed taking supermarket shelves, cafe menus, and our lives by storm. Salvia hispanica or chia seeds have been included in the Mayan and Aztec diet since the beginning of time. But only recently this 'superfood' has gained impetus in our lives. 
I first encountered the trend at an all-organic cafe in Bandra, where I found 'chia seed pudding' on the menu. That very same day thanks to my local grocer, and recipes off the internet, I decided to experiment with chia seeds. This was roughly six months ago, and since then I cannot stop advocating the benefits of chia seeds to all!
Warm Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Ohh, So Healthy!
Chia seeds are known for their innumerable health benefits - high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, low in saturated fats. They are also a very high source of protein, aid metabolism and help in weight loss. (I can go on, but I suggest you simply read more in the article here.) I have resorted to eating a bowl of chia pudding with honey, post my work out to satiate my hunger pangs, and I've found that I don't crave junk food post workouts anymore. 

15 January 2016

Hyderabad Holiday Highlights

(I love the use of alliteration in titles. It excites me to no extent.)

My Christmas weekend was fun, albeit different this year. I spent it eating heap loads of biryani, exploring the uncharted territory of Andhra cuisine, standing in lines trying to get into tourist destinations, ogling at the opulent lifestyle of the Nizams, and enjoying the chaotic madness the city of Hyderabad has to offer. Most importantly I spent Christmas weekend spending quality time with my folks. And that's all that really matters. Here are the highlights from my quick trip to the Nizam's city - 

Charminar + Makkah Masjid + Lad Bazaar 
Four minarets towering high over a cacophonous marketplace - the Charminar is symbolic to Hyderabad. It is an enthralling experience when the Charminar reveals itself to you, hiding in the midst of this chaotic street. Sadly we didn't have the energy to wait through the serpentine queues to enter, and missed the birds eye view from the Charminar. The Makkah Masjid that sits adjoining the Charminar is one of the largest mosques in the country and is worth a visit. What I enjoyed seeing the most was the presence of a Laxmi temple right under the Charminar, and when we visited the chants of aarti and azaan intermingled in the air, giving me hope for a future filled with religious respect and tolerance. The Laad Bazaar bangles must be on your shopping list for the sheer variety and design, but don't forget to sharpen your bargaining skills!

The Blog And I Made Some Resolutions.....

Resolutions are meant to be broken, they say. Ohh, but not these. This year The Blog and I sat down over a glass of mulled wine and some leftover Christmas cake, and retrospected over the year gone by. 
2015 was fabulous in so many ways - met idols from the food industry, worked on some interesting projects, got recognized for all the hard work at IFBA 2015, and even got to shoot for this season of Masterchef India! We decided that 2016 has got to be equally awesome, if not more. The Blog decided it needs to continue writing consistently and churn out interesting posts regularly for you readers. I decided to make some personal changes that will indirectly reflect on The Blog as well. Here are our resolutions, ones that we intend to keep!