What!!! Korean (dakdoritang), Peruvian ( pescado Sudado), Uzbek (lagman), Greek (Garidas tourkolimano), Colombian (Bandeja Paisa Sizzler) and more such dishes in a Saki Naka restaurant? The intriguingly named “Oozo” sure had us intrigued and excited.
Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!
Mysterious magic in a bottle! Beloved of all, including royalty, movie moghuls, superstars from all walks of life whove stayed here. Please see the accompanying photograph I shot of this world renowned rose-petal jam and it’s creator the Swiss Patisseur extraordinaire Yves Matthey. It is in his jewellery store like cake shop that this gifted genius ‘s home-made delicacies that include the signature 1963 Mandarin Cheese Cake, pastries, chocolates and breads, that I first tasted this renowned homemade Rose Petal Jam. Originally from a small town in the Alps in Switzerland, the land of chocolates, Chef Yves passion for patisserie is all thanks to his mother, who enjoyed baking and making jam at home. Along with the helpful Jenny An I taste the world here.
THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS
It is fitting that this iconic rose petal jam is created in Hong Kong’s most iconic and oldest Mandarin Oriental. The epitome of contemporary luxury combined with Oriental heritage. Most exciting it not only has a collection of 10 outstanding restaurants and bars but three have Michelin stars too. And here with it’s emphasis on gastronomic dining there is equal importance to food and health too.
It is here that I get a taste of the world, all under one roof…Michelin starred Chinese on the rooftop, French by the Michelin starred Pierre Gagnaire. From Classic British to an Indian dish too.
It’s been reigning supreme as Hong Kong’s favorite dining room for decades.Any wonder that it has retained it’s Michelin star for nine consecutive years? It is here that the brilliant 38 year old Executive Chef Robin Zavou and his dream team serve up classics and many a time with a contemporary spin too. High-quality ingredients and seasonally inspired dishes.
A crustacean bar runs the length of the restaurant and I love the natural daylight and spacious seating, and legend has it that some of Hong Kong’s boldest business deals have been concluded in this very space.Princess Diana, Princess Anne,Prince Andrew,
Helen Mirrin and many others have dined under the moulded scallop-inspired ceiling and the handsome Mandarin Grill’s signature white lily floral displays. Chef Robin Zavou generously shares his classic Sole recipe. Should you want it please mail email@example.com
INDIAN AT CHINNERY
Delicious surprise! Here in Hong Kong’s iconic Chinnery (which was a gentleman’s club till 1990) I not only taste Indian food but on requesting, meet the Indian chef Satpal Sharma. All four brothers of his are chefs and Satpal has been working here past 19 years. The days of the Raj live on here, traditional British dishes, such as Roast of the Day and Fish & Chips, alongside a selection of Indian curries are served. The Chinnery offers the most extensive collection of whiskies in the region.
Food and health…Ive been researching that exciting connection for several decades. Here in Hongkong, Im over the moon. Reasons? Firstly It’s the cradle of Traditional Chinese medicine which believes in the intimate food-health connection. And even more so when I find that Hong Kong’s most iconic, the oldest heritage hotel has always had a Doctor of Traditional Chinese medicine in the spa. I book an appointment with Dr Clare Peartson and also take a long lesson from her on Traditional Chinese medicine’s view of Food. Please take a look at the accompanying photograph. It is not only the iconic harbour view of Hong Kong but has been shot from Hong Kong’s most iconic Mandarin Oriental. The dapper Pierre Barthes from France who helms this icon also very strongly believes in Traditional Chinese medicine and it’s belief in the connection between food and health. That this hotel gives equal importance to it’s constellation of ten fabulous restaurants ( three with Michelin stars) and a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor speaks volumes for this global renowned icon.
Can such deliciously addictive food be so healthy (Vegan,ovenroasted,no sugar, no oil and preservative free)? Not only healthy but for a great cause too. Home made by the Helping Hands Foundation which raises funds for the Accommodation Project for kids who live on the street with their families during treatment for Cancer
Thanks fashion designer extraordinaire Rakhee Grover Jain who’s been a regular buyer of the dedicated Madhavi Goenka s “Helping Hands” home made bags of goodness for introducing them to me. Cant stop eating these crunchy organic heavenly handfuls made by a delicious social enterprise that redefines goodness.
I raise a toast (with fine wine ofcourse) to the gorgeous supermodel turned celebrity chef Sarah Todd and Ashish Dev Kapur’s “The Wine Rack”. I raise another toast to my superstar guest Ananya Birla who though from India’s legendary industrialist family is following her dream and rocking the global music world with her songs.
Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times.
It’s a challenge. Ferreting out vegetarian restaurants in the world’s highest meat and seafood consuming city. And yet here we are in the pure vegetarian Japanese Isoya tripping out on their unique creations. My gorgeous guests are vegetarians too, like the forever helpful, committed to social causes, high profile Hong Kong based Malti Dialdas and the internationally known brilliant journalist, soon to be author Gayatri Shah. Together with the lovely Diane Won, former finance professional we have a fun lunch. My vegetarian research gets very exciting as I lunch with Bobsy at his pioneering vegan “Mana”, David Yeung’s “Green commons” taste the “ Beyond meat burger” dine at Peggy Chan’s “Grassroots pantry” and wow what superb dimsum at the all vegetarian “Lock cha” located in lush garden. Plenty of vegetarian-friendly high-end dining too, like the Michelin starred Amber, Otto e Mezzo, Duddells and Forum where the 86 year old legendary chef still cooks. “New Punjab Club” actually serves up balle balle food. Uber glamorous stylish Bonnay Gokson’s “Sevva” magnetises the whos who and here (thanks to Malti) I taste amazing Asian dishes and dosa too. Vegetarian Hong Kong preens with high octane oomph and glamor!!!
PS Please share your favourite Vegetarian Hongkong restaurants firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what if it seriously small? It was a delight to dine in Mumbai’s first dedicated Sindhi cuisine restaurant. And magnifying my joy was the fact that not only were my guests well-informed foodies who re Sindhis, have grown up on Sindhi food but also gave me a full lesson on the cuisine.
Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!
It’s a starry superstarry night in magical Macau. Here, at the prestigious Asian Oscars of gastronomy Indians and Indian cuisine is shining as our very own Gaggan Anand’s restaurant is crowned Asias best in fourth consecutive year. Asias 50 best restaurant awards are flagged off under the star spangled sky as culinary superstars mingle amid a feast for the senses by the poolside of the super luxurious Wynn Palace.
The Minister of Tourism, Celebrated chefs, restaurateurs and industry VIPs are in attendance. Asia’s 50 best restaurants in it’s sixth edition this year continues to grow in influence and magnetizes the best. Japan has the highest number of restaurants on the list (11), followed by Hong Kong and Thailand (9 each.)
ON YOUR REQUEST…SUPERSTAR’S RECIPES
Over the years, I’ve been receiving many a reader request for recipes from these superstars. Each one generously shares his. I serve them to you with a delicious scoop of news on each restaurant.
ASIAS BEST RESTAURANT..GAGGAN
“Lick it up” is genius Gaggan’s latest innovation which has already become an icon. The dish is designed to be ‘licked up’ directly from the plate. Constant creative evolution, soulfulness of Indian street food delivered through hyper-modern cooking techniques in a delicious way marks all his 25-courses.
10 g curry leaves 1 gm hing or asafetida 20 gm sesame seeds (black or white) 20 gm urad dal
20 g Channa dal 20 g rice 50 g red chilly of ur choice
Roast all ingredients and rough grind them.
Fish with Curry Infusion
100 g x 4 pcs fish any choice 50 g red onions, finely chopped
25 g ginger, sliced 25 g curry leaves 15 g green chili 15 g turmeric powder 50 g coconut oil, salt to taste .
- Portion filleted fish into 100 g each.
- Heat up the coconut oil, add curry leaves, red onions, ginger until fragrant.
- Roast for 2 minutes, add turmeric powder and chili
- Season with black salt and sugar.
- Blend mixture in blender and chill on an ice bath.
- Marinate the fillets with the curry infusion .
- Steam the fish with marinate
Take 50% cooked rice and 50% coconut milk blend. Place like a small coin in centre.Place fish in centre.
INDIAS BEST RESTAURANT
New Delhi, New York and now London… “Indian Accent” outposts continue to magnetise loyal fan followings. Leading the way, Manish Mehrotra has put modern Indian food on the gastronomic map. Contemporary food with an ‘Indian accent be it galautis stuffed with foie gras. Or pulled pork phulka tacos dazzle with their flavour and texture.
Tandoori Pineapple, summer shahtoot,Jaggery Glaze
I Pineapple / 2 tsp Demerara sugar/ 2 tsp butter/ I tbsp. jiggery/ 1 tsp fennel seeds/
2 Star anise/ 2tsp roasted sliced almonds
- Clean and slice pineapple. Into ½ inch slices.
- Brush with butter and dust with demerara sugar
- Put on the skewers and cook in tandoor or oven till edges are charred.
- MeanwhileHeat Jaggery, Fennel Seeds, &star anise in a pan with 4tbsp of water & cook to a thick syrup. Strain. Cool.
- Add fresh shahtoot (mulberry) to syrup. Toss gently.
- Arrange charred pineapple on a plate and drizzle sugar coated shahtoot on top
- Garnish with sliced almonds.
SRI LANKA’S BEST RESTAURANT
Chef Dharshan Munidasa has single handedly put Srilanka on the world gourmet map. And he is the only chef who has two restaurants featuring on the 50 best list. Set in a preserved 400-year-old Dutch hospital in Colombo “Ministry of Crab” is a Crab lovers paradise. His Japanese “NihonBashi” continues to be on the list.
Garlic Chili Crab
Ingredients – 500g meaty crab
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil/1/2 cup chopped onion/1/4 cup chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chilli flakes /1 tablespoon soy sauce /1 cup chicken stock
In a skillet throw in oil, onion, garlic and clean crab. Add chicken stock. Cook for 8 minutes. Add chilli flakes, cook for 2 minutes. Splash soy sauce and plate up.
Competing with the Japanese restaurants of Japan and still holding it’s own is a matter of pride for us. I refer to Wasabi by Morimoto. What
sets this fine dine Japanese restaurant apart from the others is the amazingly creative and fabulous vegetarian menu. Ofcourse, the gifted chef Sachin Poojary and executive chef Amit Chowdhary ensure that the exquisite non vegetarian dishes are as impeccable as ever. This Japanese salad dressing has My favorite past 14 years…
Soy onion salad dressing:
1- Onion – 8nos/ Soy – 400ml/ Mirin- 76ml/ Rice Vinegar- 200 ml/ Grape seed oil -200ml/ Sesame Oil- 100ml/ Mustard Paste – 16gm / Sugar 26gm/ Black Pepper – 1/4 TSP
Fine chop onion/ In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the grapeseed oil. / Mix ingredients well and slowly whisk in the grapeseed oil.store in fridge. Toss into salad when ready to serve.
DYNAMIC DREAM TEAM
Driving these awards and making them into high-octane international influential forces ( in gastronomy and tourism) is the London based dynamic dream team. Helming and driving the awards Charles Reed, Helene Pietrini, Tim Brooke Webb, William Drew Tiago Restani, Laura Price, Rikki Muddie Emer Schlosser Giulia Sgarbi, Rula Danias and Kate Cheverton. and I shoot their photo post awards..under the stars of course!
Indian cuisine and our very own Indian Gaggan Anand are blazing global headlines. Again. Here in magical Macao, at the prestigious Oscars of gastronomy, Asia’s 50 best, the air is crackling with excitement and every square inch is bristling with culinary star power. For the fourth year in a row Gaggan’s Bangkok based restaurant is crowned “Asia’s best” and “Thailand’s best’. “India’s best restaurant continues to be Chef Manish Mehtrotra’s Delhi based “Indian Accent” which shot up to no.19. Chef Sachin Poojary received the award for. Mumbai’s Wasabi. Srilanka’s best restaurant continues to be Multi-talented Chef Dharshan Munidasa’s “Ministry of crab” and he single handedly has put Sri Lanka on the world gourmet map, as his Nihon Bashi is in the list too. Japan has the highest number of restaurants on the list (11), followed by Hong Kong and Thailand (9 each.)
For the past six years, Asia’s 50 best been a mega force and credible guide to global gastronomy and to gastro-tourism. It is helmed by the dynamic Charles Reed and powered by the dream team of TimBrooke Webb, Helene Pietrini and William Drew.
Im feasting on the intense three day celebrations, awards, talks and dinners and great restaurants too. Obviously, this over the top Macau is not just for high-rolling gambling but also high gastronomy.
Happy news! There’s a new Keralite in Khar. Sandeep Sreedharan engineer and MBA turned chef restaurateur, fuelled by passion has set up Curry Tales and has plans to set up many more.
Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times.