Review: Kaboom

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Ballard Estate’s intriguingly named, inexpensively priced, takeaway-friendly “Kaboom” has made it impossible for me to follow my own rules of reviewing.

Read my detailed review on timescity.com

Bonding with the best

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Ann Scott and Michael Waschl in the James Bond restaurant in the alps.

It’s not just the highest gourmet restaurant of the world ( perched 0ver 3000 meters above sea level ) its also the hottest one. The Ice Q peak restaurant,  where james Bond’s Spectre was shot has been making global waves. It’s a spectacular architectural glassed in  marvel, almost suspended in the air. It’s here that I attend the finale of the “weinamberg” “wine on the mountains”. We not only taste wine on the snow clad ski slopes ( and savor the difference) but our taste buds are pampered with wines from 15 countries. The first dinner  is hosted by the gracious Angelika Falkner, in the most magnificent Das central, in the Ötztal valley, an Eldorado of winter sports and summer activities. Chef Gottfried Prantl  and Chefs from all over the world conjure culinary magic and the  wine cellar houses more than 30,000 bottles of  the finest. The finale of the Mountain goutmet safari with music and wines at different heights  is truly spectacular. This is when we zip up  in the ski lifts to the Ice Q peak restaurant.  Ann Scott  (ranked as Londons 1000 influential individuals and arguably the UKs numero uno luxury hotel and spa PR)  and the ever gallant  Michael Waschl (who helms Das Central)  very sportingly raise a toast with the finest champagne in the freezing, snowy outdoors. It’s the  height of gourmet luxury. It’s getting redefined here!

Review: Sichuan House

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I’m about to sing praises about a restaurant located in Bandra-Kurla’s shopping mall. It’s Chinese, it’s moderately priced and the food is tasty and reliable, just the way we like it.

Read my detailed review on timescity.com

Home caterers and Dessert makers in Mumbai 2016

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#Homebakers & #HomeCaterers, I am thrilled with the response! Here’s where you can taste the creations of some talented Home Bakers and Caterers in Mumbai. Do share your experience in the comments below and I will try your favourites and recommendations soon. Should you want to be listed here, write to me on rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com along with your menu, contact details, pictures & social media handles.

  1. The Hungry Bunny

Company Name: The Hungry Bunny

Phone: 098200 28092

Email: thehungrybunnymumbai@gmail.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/THBMumbai

Instagram: @thehungrybunnymumbai

2. Mad Batter

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Company Name: Mad Batter

Phone: 099209 21601

Email: nikita25dalal@gmail.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Mad-batter-804375029613585/

3. Baked with Love by Annie

Company Name: Baked with Love by Annie

Phone: +91 9819363304

Email: bakedwithlovebyannie@gmail.com

Facebook : https://m.facebook.com/bakedwithlovebyannie/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/bakedwithlovebyannie/

4. Breakfast n Bites

Company Name: Breakfast n Bites

Phone: +91 9819766445

Email: breakfastnbites@gmail.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/breakfastnbites

Instagram: @breakfastnbites

5. The Green Snack Co.

Company Name: The Green Snack Co.

Phone: 074980 22022

Email: munch@thegreensnackco.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenSnackCo#

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thegreensnackco/

6. Asheys

Company Name: Asheys

Phone: 8828403690

Email:  ashima@asheys.in, orders@asheys.in

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/AsheysIN/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/

7. Bliss Over Bite

Company Name: Bliss Over Bite

Phone: 9699850002

Email:  order@blissoverbite.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/blissoverbite/?fref=ts

Instagram: @Blissoverbite

8. La Petit chef

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Company Name: La Petit Chef 

Email: itsswayam@gmail.com

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Spicesnme

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lapetitchef

9. Rainbow Rasoi

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Company Name: Rainbow Rasoi

Phone: 9892098240

Email: rainbowrasoi@gmail.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/rainbowrasoi/

10. The Hungry Momma

Company Name: The Hungry Momma

Phone: +919820502049

Email:  thehungrymommma@gmail.com

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/thehungrymommma

11. Simple Bakes

Company Name: Simple Bakes

Phone: 9820327974/9820433391/9920442201

Email: bpoorniima@gmail.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/SimpleBakesMumbai/

12. Love and Flour

Company Name: Love and Flour

Phone: 099301 52303

Email: sarah_9394@hotmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Love-Flour-897340076963360/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loveandflour/
13. Cup-a-luscious

Company Name: Cup-a-luscious

Phone: 098330 42828

Email: cupaluscious@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CupaLuscious/

Instagram -Cupaluscious

Medieval Magic

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Time is standing still here. I’m in Norcia (This charming walled city is 600 years older than Rome) dining  with it’s  most distinguished aristocratic 160 year old family Bianconi here. It’s their once a year Medieval day celebration and I’m also wearing a heavy, embroidered gown for this special occasion. I dine in their 160 year old historic restaurant with as much gusto as I do in Vespasia (Umbria region’s only Michelin restaurant) where chef Emanuele Mazzela conjures the most amazing masterpieces. Comfort meets hi-tech in the 16thcentury Palazzo Seneca, with it’s magnificent stone walls, art, library and fireplaces. I feast on Norcineria (sausages and hams,) drive to Casteluccia for tasting the freshest of Pecorino cheese and lentils. And then go hunting (with dogs) for the famous black truffles. It’s a feast to beat all feasts.

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Medieval banquet with the Family Bianconi in Norcia.

Review: Lima

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Mumbai’s first authentic Peruvian restaurant, with grills from Brazil and street cuisine from Mexico. It’s the Peruvian cuisine which shines through.

Read my detailed review on timescity.com

Paradise Found

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I’m in the midst of Chef Enrico Figliuolo’s cooking-class, but cant resist asking this question…

Question:  What do  Mona Lisa,  global luxury icon Ferragamo,  golf legend Tom Weiskopf, our very own hotelier extraordinaire Radha Arora and Brilliant chef Enrico Figliuolo  have in common?

Ans: They are all connected to  this secluded serene “castle in the woods” ( Castioglon del Bosco) two hours drive from Florence.  Coddled in Italy’s magnificent Tuscan countryside, this 800 year old. 2000 hectare Rosewood Castiglon del Bosco (translates to castle in the woods) not only has it’s own golf course ( designed by golf maestro Tom Weiskopf, it is also Italy’s only private golf course), vineyard, herb garden but also make it’s own olive oil, honey and  grows its own (hold your breath) truffles.

ICONIC LUXURY & MONA LISA 

Time stands still. I’m coddled in true luxury here…be it the luxurious flavors and textures of food, the restrained elegance of the décor (of the  private villas and suites)   and the lush green of the private sprawling golf course. Swimming in the infinity pool overlooking the magnificent Tuscan countryside is an experience I will cherish forever.  As also meeting the dapper dynamo Massimo Ferragamo,  the founder of Castioglone and (son of the legendary Salvatore Ferragamo). Castiglion del Bosco’s Castle was built in classic medieval style in 1100.

It was 200 years later,  in 1318 that Castiglion del Bosco was taken over by the Gallerani family – prosperous merchants who held public offices in Siena. Interestingly, it has been claimed that Cecilia Gallerani, was the subject of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “The Lady with an Ermine” and a muse for the “Mona Lisa”Now you see the Mona lisa connection?

WINE TASTING, TRUFFLE HUNTING AND MORE…

It’s a luxury to have a tutored wine tasting in the midst of the sun-drenched vineyards. And then to pair the local cheeses with the local wines is yet another dimension of learning and joy. All this in the resort’s very own vineyards (there are only a handful of Brunello di Montalcino wine producers.) The quality of Brunello (grape)  production is controlled and monitored and Brunello is among the first Italian wines to be granted the titles DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) and DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin).And all this in the valley  (Val d’Orcia) a site of ‘outstanding universal value’ declared to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

And our very own Radha Arora, the discerning farsighted President of the Rosewood group is the driving force of this unique experience resort. And its in the resorts own Church (with frescos dating to 1345)  where I just prayed in gratitude for being in Paradise.

FROM THE DIVINE TO THE SUBLIME

For me, prayer and gratitude for the food we are blessed with, are equally important. And I’m thrilled to find that this must be the worlds only hotel with it’s own church (where mass is held on holy days). Here, the well known artist Pietro Lorenzetti  has painted the fresco “Annunciazione dei Santi” in the Church of San Michele. And it is right next to it, that Chef Enrico holds his hands on cooking classes. First he took us to the herb garden(  we picked plump artichokes, smelt the intensely fragrant mint and other herbs) and then proceeded to the first floored cooking session area. Here, each of us students chopped vegetables and cooked ourselves as we followed Chef Enrico’s explanations. From useful tips to authentic recipes, Chef Enrico shared them all with us ( I share with you his panzanella recipe)

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Paradise found: Massimo Ferragamo flanked by Azzurra Casini and Chef Enrico Figliuolo

This is one of the simple but delightfully tasty, authentic dishes that the chef taught us in the hands on cooking class. This Italian bread salad is typical of this region.

ROSEWOOD CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO

PANZANELLA

… … …

Ingredients for 4 people

Bread 200 g.

Onion 100 g.

Celery 100 g.

Tomatoes 100 g.

Vinegar 20 g.

Salt to taste

… … …

Cut the bread into cubes and toast in a hot pan

or oven using extra virgin olive oil.

When the bread is cool, season with vinegar and

bit of water, allowing the bread to soak for one hour.

Chop the onion, celery and tomatoes, then season

with salt and oil.

Add the bread to the vegetables to make a salad.

Garnish with basil leaves.

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Ferragamo’s favorite

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Chef Enrico Fegliuolo and Azzurra Cassini with the famed truffle pizza.

 

 

Paradise found. I’m feasting on magically simple Tuscan cooking, truffle hunting and taking lessons in Tuscan cooking.swimming amid nature and golfing.Coddled in Italy’s magnificent Tuscan countryside, this 800 year old. 2000 hectare Rosewood Castiglon del Bosco (translates to castle in the woods) not only has it’s own golf course (Italy’s only private golf course), vineyard, herb garden but also make it’s own olive oil, honey and  grows its own (hold your breath) truffles. And it is these heady truffles that perfume the wood fired oven pizza that the owner of the estate Massimo Ferragamo (son of the legendary Salvatore Ferragamo) loves. Oh and did I tell you that the President of this group is our very own dynamo, Radha Arora? And this amazing estate with it’s villas also has it’s own   Church (with frescos dating to 1345) This is where I just prayed  in gratitude for being in Paradise. Amen!

 

Review: Mockingbird Café

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“Heartwarming” that’s the only way I can describe my lunch-experience in this brand new Churchgate café. I love books and the very fact that this brightly lit café is dedicated to books is wonderful enough.

Read my detailed review on timescity.com