india

Review: CAFÉ ARPAN

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I’m an admirer. I have a big fat soft corner for the restaurateurs who use their restaurant not just to make more and more money (nothing wrong with that) but also for a good cause. To help the differently abled.

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!

Cafe Arpan 1
FEELING GOOD With Arjun, Siddhartha and Namrata Chatterjee. With the Café Arpan staff 
(Samvit Desai, Anand Jangir, Nazneen Kagalwala, Nandini Rajwade, Aarti Nagarkar  in the background).
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Review: EFFINGUT

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Pune’s Effingut opens in Colaba (in place of  Alibaba). Effingut serves up comfort, music, and fun and that’s why it is buzzing and mobbed. And that explains why even on a weeknight it’s Effingut.

Please read my full review on whatshot.in

Review: XICO

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Atlast! Mexico in Mumbai. Authentic ingredients, ( Hass avocados, homemade ground Masa for  tortillas, Mexican Cheese  Cotija, Requeson , Queso Fresco, Mole sauce too).

Read my full review on whatshot.in

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XICO: Freshly made  guacamole on the table by Deepak Dining with Shamit , Nina and PK Vasa.  

HOME TALENT UNLIMITED

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Please take a look at the accompanying photograph! What you can see are Chennai’s super-talented home-bakers and caterers. The youngest twosome are eighteen years old.  What you cant see are their tasty and innovative creations which they brought along to our “Whats Hot Tasting Session” held a few days ago.

Chennai foodie 1
HOT HAPPENING HOME TALENT…

A SNEAK PEAK

So here it is, just a quick peak at our newly discovered foodie talent. Due to space constraint I can only give a one line intro to each. To get  complete details you’ll have to wait for my friday column every fortnight. Are you particular about home-cooked fare? Looking for gluten-free? Healthful? Vegan? Pickles? Luxuriously sinful? Your search ends here.  From home made probiotics to home made strawberry and gin icecream, from vegan peanut chocolate cups to prawn pickle. Each one brought their samples to taste and set them up in the hall, on the display tables  graciously provided by the multi-talented chef Ajit Bangera in the ITC Grand Chola. We sipped tea and tasted each one’s creations, shot photos on the grand staircase and moved onto the lush green gardens outside, Thanks Anjali Sharma, Chef Sai Chand,  Chef Ajit Bangera, Sanjukhtaa Roy, Sayani Sinha Roy for making this Whats hot tasting session possible.  A memorably delicious evening.

BAGS OF GOODNESS

Palagapattu Bags

We just have to buy these cloth bags…  bags  made by women whose husband’s were farmers and who committed suicide because of drought. The sale of bags is their only source of income.

Sara koshy And Smitha Kuttaya brought these to our “Whatshottastingsession”  These cloth bags are perfect to hold cake boxes, for vegetable shopping, etc (Smitha is holding one in the photograph)

 

VIVA VEGAN

Would you believe that the most delicious peanut chocolate cups, also fudge brownie in a jar, are sans white sugar and actually vegan too? We have two 18 year olds Ranjani  and Akhil of Herbistore to thank for these. Baking Organic vegan chocolate cake is Smitha Kuttayya ‘s specialty. No maida, or preservative. And only Sulpher free sugar. Global theeni is her brand name and Pork chicken prawn pickle are her other specials.

Smitha Kuttayya (4)

 

HEALTHFUL …from sprouts to probiotics

You name it…alfa alfa, moong ,moth, black horsegram, brown horsegram, methi, peanuts, masoor, wheat, ragi ,jowar… Shobha Golecha sprouts it all. From organic grains and only on order basis. She also teaches  and advises on various ways to enrich dishes as well as new recipes.

 

I’m a great believer in the benefits of probiotics. I’m excited. This is the first time that I taste home-made probiotics. Abha Appaswamy makes the most delicious and much needed Kombucha, Milk Kefir, Beet Kvass, Ginger Ale. She also makes  Sauerkraut, Korean Kimchi, Hummus. All products contain live beneficial bacteria.Abha s Probiotics (3)

Snacky mood? Hungry? nothing better than munching on Seed crackers

Granola bars

Prathima Manikandan uses only natural sugars with low glycemic index, finest of seeds, nuts and dryfruits to make these. Pratima Manikandan (3)

WE ALL SCREAM FOR…

Get high on icecream! Literally too! Roasted strawberry in gin,

Bailey’s ice cream cake are Bhavana Arya’s signatures. Feeling particularly celebratory?

She makes Motichoor ladoo ice cream too.

 Named “Intox” (short for intoxication) she adds alcohol to some but ensures  that no colour or essence or sugar is used.

Jumana huzefa bakes tarts from millet and  tops them deliciously with zucchini and cheese. Delightful

Amaranth cookies, Granola with almond, blueberry  and gluten free oats.

Hummus fans, 24 year old Anoli Mavani not only makes ten different hummus flavors but makes the tahini at home too. Ask for her eggless whole wheat Walnut cake too.

Sweet finale? Baking is a passion with 23 year old Samyuktha Vale. The result? Most delicious

Earl grey short bread.

Baked mango cheese cake and the crazily addictive flourless chocolate cake. She also bakes Vegan desserts to Wedding cakes. Go ahead pig out…Ever had a kheema stuffed, pig shaped bread? Deepasri Kar Specialize in bread.Chicken Stuffed Braided Bread Pumpkin buns and more.

Home sick Gujaratis ask for Paruls’ classic Chundo and Methiya Keri.  Many a seasonal vegetable  pickle too.

Juhina Sabrina Samuel’s Andhra Chicken malabar fish konkani prawn pickles are her forte.And her wine (black currant jaggery cinnamon) is in great demand too. Home made! Ofcourse!Hamaree rasoi (2)Samyuktha Vale (2)

Cheers!

BE PART OF OUR NEXT WHATS HOT TASTING SESSION

Should you want to be be part of this “whats hot tastingsession” please email your details (background, specialities, pricing, home delivery, contact details) rashmiudaysingh18@gmail.cominstagram or twitter @rashmiudaysingh email anjalisharma966@gmail.com Call 9884065010

PATIALA IN BERLIN

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Jai ho! In Berlin’s magnificent, over a century old legendary landmark Adlon, there’s a beautiful Indian connection. Not only did the Maharaja of Patiala stay here regularly, ( as did and still do global royalty, heads of state, Hollywood and Bollywood superstars) but he also gifted Adlon a priceless elephant fountain (please see photograph) which occupies pride of place  in the throbbing heart of the hotel. In front of this elephant fountain I catch up with the charming, knowledgeable Sabina Held and the celebrated chef Hendrik Otto of the two Michelin starred restaurant, Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer . Here I have an amazing meal of vegetarian masterpieces too. This, since  Im researching vegetarian dining in Berlin. Masterpieces of flavour and texture dazzle as I dine with Bandana Tewari (who is here to address Ethical fashion at the Berlin fashion week). I taste it all. Including the comfort cuisine, as I  wallop the signature Berlin currywurst  in Adlon’s other restaurant.  In fact Adlon offers it all, including yoga sessions, singing bowl healings, meditations and more by Vijay Kumar Vyas. Jai ho!

FOR THE BOX (17)
Michelin starred Chef Hendrik Otto, Sabina Held, Vijay Kumar Vyas in front of Maharaja Patiala’s Elephant fountain at the historic Adlon.

Review: PLATE & PINT

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Charming surprise! Go past the long, brightly lit, wood-panelled corridor into alcove like rooms. Bakery counter, high table and chairs, booths, black and white floor, huge TV screen, large glass windows with green  foliage complete the decor.

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!

Review: ELLIPSIS BAKERY CAFÉ

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We took a long while to get to it. Once there the gabled roof cottage like facade, the daylight filled  space charmed. Marble topped tables, wooden floor, open bakery, cheery wall, glass panes painted with ‘Whip It’. And counters with wickedly indulgent cupcakes, desserts and more. 

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!

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American inspired Artisanal ELLIPSIS BAKERY CAFE.

Review: KALA GHODA CAFÉ & WINE BAR

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Shhh! There’s a new wine bar café in town. Surprise, surprise…there was no hype or hoopla surrounding it’s launch. But then keeping a low profile is in it’s DNA as it’s been sired by the simply named Kala Ghoda Café.

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!

Kala Ghoda Cafe
In the new Kala Ghoda Café & Wine bar; Niharika Singh (sitting)  
 and Ewa Simone (in red), Prerna Saraff.

FIRST TIME EVER

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He has done it again. Made India proud.

And that too at the most  prestigious and highly coveted World’s 50 best restaurant awards. Gaggan Anand’s Bangkok based restaurant is the only Asian restaurant to be amongst the top five. Here, Spain’s  gastronomique city of Bilbao is buzzing with the global whos who of the food world. Superstar chefs have flown in to attend these three action packed days of feasting, celebrating, deliberating. 50 best talks, Food meets art discussions  and then the grand finale of the awards in the Palacio.

On being crowned worlds best,  the tall, bespectacled passionate, inspired, philosopher genius Massimo Bottura and his lovely wife Lara receive a standing ovation.

Our very own Delhi London NYC based “Indian Accent” was ranked 90.

Powering this gigantic and magnificent global operation is an amazing dream team.  Hailing from different parts of the world, each one is dynamic, creative, efficient and  empathetic. Helmed by Charles Reed,   Tim Brooke Webb,  Helene Pietrini  William Drew who ensure that it is not just the definitive “list maker” of the greatest restaurants, but also the “tastemaker”. They  keep the World’s 50 best continuing be the Best of the best.

FOR THE BOX... (1)
Worlds best Massimo Bottura with Worlds 5th best  Gaggan Anand. Group: Will Drew, Helene Pietrini, Charles Reed, Gaggan, Rajesh Kewalramani Tim Brooke at the World’s 50 best 2018 in Bilbao.