China In A Bowl

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Chef flanked by Paawan Engineer and Jessica Wang at Beijing’s Red Bowl.

Here, in Beijing, I’m tasting centuries of tradition and modernity at the same time. Dipping into China’s beloved comfort food, the boiling authentic hot pot along with Beijingers. And for the first time this favorite comfort food is being served in chic and sleek surroundings in Rosewood’s Red Bowl. Chef Zhu Qing not only ensures that the freshest of ingredients are served up to cook in the broth but also offers a fabulous choice of broths… Spicy Sichuan, Yuanyang, traditional Beijing to innovative options too. The surprise is the pure vegetarian and deliciously intense wild mushroom broth, The chef explains the intricacies of the Chinese cuisine which the charming Jessica Wang translates as we dine in this buzzy eclectic “comfort meets contemporary” restaurant. Not only are we joined by food and beverage head, Paawan Engineer, but I’m also delighted to discover that the managing Director Marc Brugger loves India and has an Indian wife. And powering this leading cutting edge international luxury hotel group as president is our very own Radha Arora. India shines!

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Review: Summer House Cafe

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Here is one more restaurant that focuses on everything except food (alas!)  It offers a cocktail of gigs, karaoke, live music and of course cocktails.

Read my detailed review on: https://whatshot.in/mumbai

Best of the Best … Shanghai

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At the iconic Peace on the Bund, Chinese masterchef Ma, George Wee and Jessica Zhang

Here, in the high-octane “Paris of the East”, Shanghai I’m thinking of Mumbai’s very own Sassoon docks and Sassoon library. Would you believe that Shanghai’s most exquisite and legendary  landmark (1929) The clàssic  grand art deco històric  Fairmont Peace on the Bund has an Indian connection? It’s founder Victor Sassoon and family made a lot of their wealth in Mumbai. Old world elegance and modern luxury here… It has a beautiful Indian suite  which Charlie Chaplin stayed in.

Here, I lunch at the city’s oldest Shanghainese cuisine restaurant. Chinese Masterchef Ma coaxes the most vibrant flavors and textures The dynamic George Wee — who helms this landmark and the everhelpful Jessica Zhang translate  his explanations. I dine at the worlds only multi-sensory, ten seater Ultraviolet to the hole in the wall, Jia Jia Tang Bao. Trip out on the most fabulous pure vegetarian Fu hu wei, Wujei. Godly …but thats a long story.

P.S Thanks for hundreds of your superb  vegetarian restaurant recommendations for Shanghai (on Instagram and email).…am off to Hangzhou, Chengdou and Beijing…please send more…xeixei!

Review: Jia – The Oriental Kitchen & Bar

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My review of Jia, Mumbai’s hottest new Oriental restaurant follows. Its been packed ever since it opened. In order to evaluate consistency I dined here thrice (therefore the three photos). Each time we came away delighted as did the guests there.

Read my detailed review on https://whatshot.in/mumbai

The Diverse Flavors of Shanghai

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Today I serve up a taste of the glamorous, vibrant “Paris of the East” I write from shiny Shanghai. Its the most modern, cosmopolitan city of China and it seems to be on steroids. Yet there is a core of history and the grace and elegance of it’s heyday in the thirties that still lives on. So I serve up a flavor  of two of the most icònic landmarks… the històric grand Fairmont Peace on the Bund (it’s founder Victor Sassoon and family made a lot of their wealth in Mumbai and India)  and the very modern Urban resort, The Puli.

LEGENDARY LANDMARK

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AT THE OLDEST SHANGHAINESE RESTAURANT IN THE PEACE ON THE BUND. CHEF MA, GEORGE WEE, JESSICA ZHANG

I not only soak in the luxury of this exquisite classical masterpiece but also lunch at the oldest Shanghainese cuisine restaurant of Shanghai here. The clàssic grand art deco històric Peace on the Bund (it s the only hotel in the world which has it’s own museum was the toast of the Far East in the 30s. It is located on the Bund (overlooking the HuangPo river) which is a centennial epitome of Shanghai itself. This classical architectural masterpiece started off as Sassoon House in 1929 and rich history tangos with modern luxury here. And whoa! Chinese Masterchef Ma coaxes the most vibrant flavors and textures using the traditional caramelised sweetness with soy sauce and more. Sweet and sour, the typical Shanghai taste  shines through and yet the original flavors of the raw ingredients are also preserved. Interestingly while he serves the most classical Shanghainese dishes he also adds contemporary interpretations and plates them artfully. The dynamic George Wee — who helms this landmark along with the ever helpful Jessica Zhang translate Chef Ma’s explanations. I revel in the most amazing bamboo shoots lacquered with soy, the crazily addictive, crunchy skinned Peace Duck , the creamy sago mango dessert to the crunchy marinated cucumbers (Masterchef ma generously shares the rècipe). All the while soaking in the històric rich red and gold details of the restaurant and the serene river view from the large Windows.

MARINATED CUCUMBER

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Cucumber:  500 g /Soya sauce: 80g

Sugar: 160g /Vinegar: 60g

Salt: 5g /Garlic (sliced): 10g

Ginger: 10g /Chili: 10g

Slice the cucumber and marinate with the above sauces for 24 hours and plate it.

MODERN MAJESTY

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MICHELIN STARRED PHENIX, AT THE PULI…Chef MICHAEL WILSON and KELLY KUO

What a super surprising contrast. Glimmering, shiny hoardings of the globe’s leading cosmopolitan brands festoon the gleaming buildings. And in the midst of this crazy cacophonic area in the throbbing heart of Shanghai is located a relaxed, zen like zone of Peace.  Handcrafted textures, the finest of natural materials weave a charming relaxed ambiance in the most modern icon The Puli.  Its been justifiably hailed as a “modern urban luxurious  resort”,  “a seductive sanctuary that guarantees a relaxing escape from the heart Racing city”. And in keeping with it’s sophisticated cosmpolitian essence, it’s French restaurant Phenix is not only hugely popular but has also been awarded a Michelin star. And further in keeping with it’s cosmopolitan essence, the Australian chef Michael Wilson creates light and delightful French masterpieces, which I enjoy with Kelly Kuo in the modren elegant restaurant overlooking the lush green park. Be it the Cod, the yoghurt compressed strawberry desert, violet ice cream.. Even the humble potato is elevated to luxurious creaminess. Its  a very simple rècipe, but its the ratio of the butter to the potato that is important as is the addition of the hot milk. The nutmeg gives it that special festive touch.

Pomme puree

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1kg  potatoes /Good quality butter

Nutmeg /Salt /Fresh truffles (optional)

Peel and cut potatoes into equal size pieces

Boil in salted water till tender

Strain and leave for 3 mins for residual water to evaporate

Mash potato by pushing through a fine sieve. For every 500g of potato add 200g butter.Mix the butter into the potato and add some hot milk to thin the mix

Season with salt and nutmeg

When availaible shave fresh truffles on top just before serving

Mumbai Dazzles in Dubai

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Mumbai shining: Faarah Mehta Shewakramani, Rita Karanjia Mehta and Liza Mehta Vyas at Coya.

Delicious news! Mumbai is trailblazing and showing the way to Dubai. In more ways than one. Our very own revered and feared, media baron (Blitz)  the late Russy Karanjia’s grand-daughter Faarah Mehta Shewakramani’s pioneering  and fully booked up elective educational academy is  the talk of the town. It is infusing culture, art and even  gourmet (love that)  knowledge  . High profile editor Rita Mehta Karanjia makes time from her hectic  media and celebrity management work,  to be the supportive mother.  Who would’ve thought that a dinner at  a world famous Peruvian restaurant in Dubai would be all about shining the spotlight on Mumbai and India? Over the vibrant, fragrant and colourful dishes, I discover that Lilavati hospital in Mumbai is named after my other guest, the talented Liza Mehta Vyas’s philanthropic mother. And as though all these Mumbai connections were not enough, not only is Coya owned by the Indian Waney brothers but even the executive chef is Indian. Jai ho!

Review: Candy & Green

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The two month old Candy & Green brings vegetarian carbon free dining. It promises “fit fresh and fun”.

Read my detailed review on https://whatshot.in/mumbai/candy-and-green-is-all-about-fresh-and-fun-food-r-9759

Luxurious Vegetarian

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Superstylish Palazzo Versace’s Jasmine Webb and Chef Dayan Hartell_Law.

My mission to sniff out the finest vegetarian food around the world continues. And even here, in “the worlds most stylish restaurant” in Palazzo Versace, (the worlds first fashion branded hotel,)  I’m dazzled by the parade of  sophisticated and delicious vegetarian dishes. I love the transcendence of Italian design which shines through the marbles and mosaics, vaulted ceilings hand-detailed in gold. And equally amazing is chef Dayan hartell-Law’s mastery over flavors and textures.  Including that over  our very own Madras Onion and curry powder which is elevated to stratospheric heights Finedining gets redefined. Juicy watermelon, crunchy radish and fingerlime morph in the most refreshing ceviche. The humble potato is elevated to a gourmet status as it is paired with kombu, the fleshy  portobello  and the flavorpacked porcini. As does the vivacious and beautiful Jasmine Webb. We raise a toast to Versace serving up style as well as substance…and we do it with  a sorbet, in a Versace cup of course!

P.S Should you want Palazzo versace’s  Madras onion dish recipe please email rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com  

Review: Stables

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Whoa! This brand new equestrian themed British gastropub has just galloped into Marol from Dubai.

Read my detailed review on https://whatshot.in/mumbai/critics-review-does-this-dubai-stable-has-hit-the-jackpot-r-9754