Restaurant Review

Review: Luna Gusta

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I’d heard about  the hot new opening at  St Regis: “Luna Nudo Gusta”. And the lovely  mouthful of a name had me mystified and confused. Luna Gusta’s ambiance is high gloss nostalgia with a contemporary sheen. 

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/mumbai

Review: Toast Bistro & Bar

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Located within air-kissing distance of T2 airport, this rooftop Toast’s bar driven bistro-plus menu is smartly calibrated. The ratio of hearty to lighter fare, is just right. Don’t go looking for gourmet fare to this urban young bistro.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/mumbai

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Review: TAG Gourmart Kitchen by Ranveer Brar

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TV chef Author, Filmmaker, Ranveer Brar’s brand new, all-vegetarian TAG has an inspired, exhilarating cooking of a caliber we couldn’t have imagined.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/tag-gourmart-kitchen-r-9615

India Shining Globally

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GLOBAL POWER COUPLE. Mukesh and Vandana Luthra at COYA

The world is distilling itself on my plate. I write from Dubai, where Im dining at brand new Caribbean, Peruvian, Modern Indian and more. But it’s the India-shining factor which is dazzling me here.I dine (again)  at the finest Peruvian restaurant  in London and Dubai, Coya. Vibrant authentic Peruvian cuisine seduces. Here are the surprises,  not only is it owned by the Indian brothers Gulu and Arjun Waney, even  their executive  chef is Sanjay Dwivedi. Creating international waves too are my charming dining companions.  Global power couple, Mukesh and Vandana Luthra, pioneers of the wellness and beauty  industry. The globetrotting gourmets jetset between South Asia, Middle East, Africa, India and  Uk tending to their everexpanding company. No wonder Padmashree Vandana Luthra has been on the Forbes and Fortune list of the 50 most powerful women in business. Powering this global business, the dynamic Chairman Mukesh  shared the most amazing insights about global food too.

From ceviches sparkled with Peruvian chillies to raw fish hamachi with Kolkatta’s jhalmudi and that at the brand new, stunningly beautiful Jaan. Perched in the penthouse of a swish downtown hotel,  maestro Farokh Khambatta’s Jaan, is Dubai’s hottest opening. It dazzles with it’s tantalising  repertoire of progressive Indian creations. Yet another Indian is making global waves. Jai hind!

Review: All Stir Fry

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At the heart of All Stir fry is the “eat as much as you like”,  wok which is cooked up in front of you.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/mumbai

Review: Ministry Of Salads

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You’ll agree with me that taste in food is very subjective. What is my nectar maybe  yucky to you. And yet as restaurant critics we strive to give objective and accurate critiques with relevant guidelines for the majority of readers. So, what do I do when an all-vegetarian salad restaurant opens in swish SOBO Breach candy? Land up  unannounced for two meals.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/ministry-of-salads-r-9545

Review: Dashanzi

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The Modern Asian “Dashanzi” replaced the Spanish “Arola” at the JW Marriott in Juhu. I ate at Dashanzi twice and Yes! Dashanzi met with our approval.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/arola-restaurant-and-bar-r-6617

Review: Masque

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Aha! Applause. Admiration. Ambition. Guts. Atlast…India’s very own (call it what you will) “farm-to-table” “botanical bistronomy” “ethical dining” restaurant opened end-September, in Mumbai.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/masque-r-9505

I’m Feeling Hot, Hot …

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Chef Victor Alvarez in the organic garden of Tambo Del Inka.
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Chef Wilfred Das and Ana C Vidal on superfood, Quinoa

Three  very delicious reasons are pumping up my adrenalin: the hot, fiery chillies of Peru, the healthy quinoa here, and now that I’m back in Chennai… our very own “Whats Hot Tasting session”  yesterday.

DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS

I’ve always loved the nutty flavour and texture of Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Most people call it a grain, but it’s actually a seed — grown more than 7000 years ago in the Andes Mountains. And  it is in Peru that I get to know it in all it’s glory. Did you know that  it’s the same family as beetroots and spinach?  Enlightening me on this is the well informed chef Wilfred Santana Dass and the everhelpful Ana C Vidal.

Chef Wilfred Das, a Malaysian by birth has not only worked for Sultan of Brunei, Sheikh of Dubai, cooked for Kings and queens and Michael Jackson, but now as   executive chef of Lima’s stylish and sprawling Westin is fully conversant with Peruvian cuisine. Here, I  trip out on his 777″SuperFoodsRx, an amazing menu created together with doctors and nutritionists; antioxidant rich and naturally low in calories.I love the fact that quinoa has the highest protein content (amongst all grains and seeds) it is also rich in fiber and vitamins, minerals and iron. Here’s the best part, it is easy to digest and is gluten free.

Chef Das shares his tips on cooking quinoa. It’s like cooking rice, Don’t throw away the water, after soaking it, reduce the water in the cooking pot. He also recommends soaking it overnight  (1 cup quinoa in 3 cups water).

CHILLI MAGIC

It is on the way to the Machu Picchu, in the Sacred valley that I am thrilled to learn all about Peruvian gastronomy and the amazing chillies that sparkle it.  All this in the sprawling organic garden of the  beautiful “hunting lodge”-style  Tambo Del Inka, set in extensive grounds beside the Urubamba River, amid the

Inca terraces, valleys and rivers and Inca ruins. I visit  the ancient salt mines  at Maras (world famous Maras salt) but most of all it’s chef Victor Alvarez’s cooking and the sharing of his extensive knowledge of Peruvian cuisine that dazzles. The brilliant young chef makes the time to explain the basic of Peruvian bio diversity.   The intense fragrance and tastes of herbs, from huacatay ( its a cross between cilantro and rosemary) or Munya  to the widely used tree tomato and avocado. Fascinating colors and flavours of chillies. The  Aji Amarillo (pronounced Ahi Amariyyo) the most commonly used deep orange colored has a  searing, clear pungency. The Aji Panca is used almost daily for making aji sauces, to flavor most fish dishes, and is popular as a powder to sprinkle over pizza (like oregano). Its the Aji Limo which is the hottest and is used in the making of ceviches. There are a huge number of chillies like the fat round plump Aji Rocoto to the slim, slender Aji Limo. They shine and gleam and sparkle our food with their flavour and heat.