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Former grand corporate chef of the Taj, Hemant Oberoi (who has opened over 100 restaurants in his four decade career)  finally opened his signature restaurant Hemant Oberoi.

Read my detailed review in today’s Bombay Times.

Hemant Oberoi 1
Gloved service and gracious at Hemant Oberoi.

Hemant Oberoi 2


A Golden treat to beat all treats

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A request. Please take a look at the lead photograph in the collage above. Till date, it’s the most “speaking” photograph I’ve shot. Not just because I shot it from a helicopter (while sitting next to the pilot) but because this one photo distils the spirit of Australia’s gorgeous Gold coast. Ofcourse the focus is food…Australia’s iconic dessert, the coconut dusted Lamington (more about it later) which I put into Gold coast’s style icon, an expensive Versace bowl from the Palazzo Versace here (more about it later too) and ofcourse the golden beaches lazing in the sun are visible in the photo too.  What follows is my attempt to encapsulate the delicious beauty of this part of the world, ( Gold coast in Queensland) in a few paras.


How I love this comfortingly delicious  Australian dessert.  The fluffy square of sponge cake coated  with chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut, the Lamington is a my must-have dessert here. Ofcourse there are variations like cream or strawberry jam added on too.  I also love the many varied stories of it’s origins from  the one that says it was named after

Lord Lamington, ( Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901,) whose chef was called upon at short notice to feed unexpected guests and so he used left-over vanilla sponge cake baked the day before, dipped the slices in chocolate and set them in coconut. The lamington you see in the photograph is the one I picked up at Gold Coast’s buzzing “Nighquarter”. An amazing weekend collection of food stalls, local fashion and more. It was packed and here, not only was my palate regaled with many a different cuisine and local favourite but I also bought a dress made of bamboo (you read that right) and ofcourse brought back the Lamington to take it on the helicopter for my photoshoot.


Located in this stunning sun drenched, famous-for-fun Gold Coast  is  the worlds first ever fashion-branded hotel, PalazzoVersace. That is sprawls luxuriously and every detail is impeccably perfect, is to be expected. From the custom made Rolls Royces (Versace cushions et al ) to the Medusa head every where. But whoa! what surprises… it’s dynamic General Manager  is our very own Subash Basrur ( former chef of the Taj)  who delivers experiences beyond expectations. And the other amazing surprise is the many a vegetarian masterpiece,  Jain too. French chefs create magic with vegetables here. Even in, Vanitas the fine dining restaurant, I am regaled by many a vegetarian masterpiece.  The third surprise is the sprawling pristine swimming pool and it is here that I request the chef to serve up the local seafood delights as I sit chatting with the dynamic Subash Basrur and the gorgeous Jasmine Webb.


Endless beauty of beaches, nature in all her magnificence is a feast in itself but to find restaurants that  serve world class fare is a treat to beat all treats. In Brisbane it is the superstar Matt Moran’s Aria (located on the river, overlooking the Story Bridge) that serves up amazing fare (pl see the pumpkin dish in my collage). From the Greek Hellenika to the buzzing modern Australian “Soical eating House” , Max Brenner’s chocolate  cafe to Bazar in the uber-cool QT hotel, there is something for everyone.   Gourmet meals seduce:   even at  “Three Little pigs” in the Mountains, Amazing Asian infused “Rick Shores” too. Australia surprises with it’s  gourmet vegetarian meals (be it  a Jain meal at the Australian Outback dinner theatre   while watching horses on stage or  the bustling nightquarter.

I feast on it all…From floating gently in a balloon at sunrise. hovering in a helicopter  to walking on treetops in the rain forest which covers Mount Tamborine (an hours drive from Gold coast) to soaking in the beaches…. I’ve said it before, I ll say it again… I’m feeling like a queen in Queensland!

Review: Bar Stock Exchange

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This boozy stock exchange has hit the sweet spot. That’s why its packed noon onwards. It injects excitement into getting the cheapest booze price, using TV monitors and phone apps.

Read the rest of this entry »


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As the Times Food Guide 2015 goes to press, here’s what I find …


Looking for oven fresh healthy and yummy weight watchers  goodies? brownies, Raggi and oat cookies, assorted muffins  and more by talented Pallavi Dayal.
(9619483431. 02223865852)


Superb Gourmet & Classic Salads, Dips, Dressings, appetizers & Desserts are brilliantly prepared by

the two sisters Janaki Grover  and Devaki Trivedi.  Fashion  and home accessory designer Rakhee Grover Jain swears by their“Saladicious” fare ( 98202 22342
98200 24842).

H.A.S. It All Foods

Call H.A.S it all.  husband, wife and son (Haresh, Anju and Siddhanth) for healthy low-calorie fare to tiffin services and multi-cuisine corporate party orders. Superb roast cashew peanut chaat, swell n simple
Indian and western desserts.( Ph 23517086, 9870408072, 9870008081)


 Sharmeen Indorewala’s rich, creamy, frozen, preservative free , gluten free dessert in 10 fun flavours.

Place your orders for delivery/pick up at (9920029229)

Sweetest Fairy

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Looking for unusual and personalised Diwali  Cupcakes? Need eggless cupcakes, desserts et al? Low calorie, Low fat, and Sugarfree? 3D Mickey Cookies ? 3D Batman and Spiderman ? Voila!  The “Sweet fairy” conjures them all. Tops the diwali specials with   chocolate diyas, festoons them with rangoli and more.

I don’t know about you, but I believe in Santa Claus and elves and fairies. And for our “Whats hot tasting session” when I met “ Sweet  fairy”  I  was delighted. “I was always obsessed by fairies since my childhood”Apeksha Agarwal explained and so when this daughter of the Kitchen Queen title winner of Jaipur took to baking “Sweet fairy” was the most natural name for her home kitchen company.This young lady  learnt her first recipes from her mom and heres the good news, she bakes only eggless desserts.

“Since my closeones are vegetarians and prefer eggless,  food, I ve specialised in EGGLESS baking” Apeksha clarified. And sure enough all her creations are soft and sweet and yummy… be it cupcakes, teacakes, custom made cakes, cookies, customized cookies, desserts (Apple Pie, Tiramisu, cheesecakes, Trifle puddings and  eclairs), homemade breads, chocolates .

Particular about the finest  ingredient and  freshness she keeps introducing new desserts in their menu, Red Velvet Cupcake, “I have also started making the Green, Yellow and the Orange Velvet Cupcakes. The major change here is flavour of icing, these are frosted with Cardamom flavour cream” she explains. I have yet to try these, but enjoyed the ones I did.

“There is a common misconception in baking that eggless bakes are not as soft as those made with eggs. This is not true at all and the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Literally and otherwise.

  1. “Sweet fairy” kiddy specials include designer cupcakes with any cartoon characters, 3D mickey cookies, cake pops, designer cookies (doremon, mickey, winni the pooh), designer cakes (for example doll cake for girls, car cakes, cricket cakes for boys).

Apeksha Agarwal, Sweet Fairy
Call – 9677267380
email –
One can call, email or contact her through their Facebook page and place orders and pick their desserts.



1/2 can (400 gms for a full can) condensed milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
125 gms all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Cocoa
1 tbsp Chocolate powder
60 ml, melted butter
1 tsp Vanilla essence

– Sieve flour, cocoa, chocolate powder, baking powder and baking soda.
– Mix the condensed milk, flour, 75 ml water, vanilla essence and melted butter thoroughly
– Grease and dust a 7″ diameter pan
– Pour the cake mixture in the prepared pan.
– Bake in a hot oven at 190 C for approx 20 min (check by inserting a toothpick, when inserted it should come out clean)
Take it out on a wire rack and cool it away from the fan