THIS MAIDEN TOUCHES THE HEART
I had no idea that “dimsum” translates to “touch the heart”. All I knew is that over the years Ive loved the little steamed, parcels of Chinese delight. And on my recent visit to China I completely tripped out on dimsum. Of all kinds. On returning from China I was hankering for authentic Chinese food. Here’s the delicious ironiy: It happened again and again. My heart was touched. And that too in Dubai. It wasn’t just the superb dimsum and authentic Chinese food that did it but even the stunning views and the evolutionary designs that represent Chinese culture over the generations. Making waves in Dubai, this sexily glamorous, three floored Maiden Shanghai is strategically located in the cutting edge, Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai. And here I am on a perpetual feast, from the moment I enter the sparkling glass-clad jewel soaring directly over the Arabian Gulf, and walk into the pioneering design and trailblazing, amphitheatre inspired architectural masterpiece .
Within the timeless interiors a
hexagonal pattern runs throughout, complemented by a carefully chosen mix of contemporary
furniture. And Im thrilling to it all as I find my way to Maiden Shanghai.
CHINA CHARMS FIVE TIMES OVER
And then wham! the sheer seductive energy of the three floored Maiden Shanghai takes over. It is an exploration of authentic Chinese cooking there is a fresh and imaginative vibe. it invigorates traditional recipes for a modern audience.
It is set in the heart of the Five Palm Jumeirah and it lets in dramatic views across the marina from everywhere, its outdoor terraces, indoor bar, private dining rooms and an opulent rooftop bar. I love the décor which playfully fuses the traditional with the boldly modern, creating spaces that feel open yet connected.
It is here that the brilliant Executive Chef Luo Bing revitalises Chinese culinary tradition. Drawing from Cantonese, Sichuan, Shanghai and Beijing influences, he marries age-old techniques and flavours with imagination and refinement. Flavourful masterpieces result. Luo Bing honed his skills in Barcelona and Hong Kong, and as Executive Chef at Time Out’s 100 Best Restaurants In London.
He offers plenty of Signature dishes including traditional, hand-prepared Peking Duck and his take on the Sichuan Kung Pao dish. But what delightful dimsum…his dim sum bar selection offers exciting flavour combinations beautifully prepared in delicate parcels. From tiger prawn dumplings with luxurious black truffle to pan fried Wagyu beef buns.
It is here that the dynamic and dapper Aloki Batra who helms this hot happening landmark tells me all about the uniqueness of this haute hot Five. From the cutting edge design, artistic work here by Joe Ngai to the amazing Chinese food.
In the cool of the November night, while nibbling on dimsum on one of the stunning terraces I learn all about Aloki Batra’s over 16 years’ experience in equity financial markets. Formidable business and financial skills as well a flair for masterminding the hospitality industry shine through.
DIM SUM AND THEN SOME
This delightful dimsun is not unique to Cantonese cuisine. Shanghai has xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings), and there is chao shou (Sichuan wontons) in Sichuan. However What sets Cantonese dim sums apart, other than the extraordinary variety of dishes is that it takes years to learn the
finer points of making dim sum take years to learn, which is why it is important to have a demanding “sifu” [“master”). Chef Luo Bing has obviously mastered the art and on my request shares his chicken dimsum recipe
MAIDEN SHANGHAI DIMSUM
– Flour 200g
– 1 egg
– Water 30g
– Salt 1g
-Mix all the ingredients together until smooth.
– Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into 1mm thin pastry.
– Use diameter 3/5 cutter to cut into individual pastries.
– Minced chicken thigh or breast 150g
– 1 egg
– finely chopped fresh ginger 20g
– finely chopped onion 30g
– salt to season
– soya sauce 15g
– Sesame oil 3g
– cooking oil 2g
Method: Mix all ingredients together and put in chiller until filing.
– put a tablespoon of each filling into the pastry and pinch close
– boil for five minutes
Today, I send you the most delicious, queen of a traditional recipe which is versatile and reigns supreme. I also send you the recipe for good cheer by the global cocktail king. I taste the very traditional Spanish Salsa verde and watch the cocktail king stir the original Martini in the most iconic Maria Cristina in the stunningly beautiful san Sebastian by the sea. The luxurious iconic century old San Sebastian landmark is named after Queen Maria Cristina. It is the superstar hotel of superstars. Not only was it a beloved of Liz Taylor, Bette Davis and others but even today the charming and dapper Ned Capeleris ensures that it magnetises the best. Chef Miguel Piniero distils delicious Spain on our plates. And somewhere through my gourmet meal here, I get to know that Shah Rukh Khan stayed and loved it here too. History and luxury waltz in the elegant, high ceilinged marbled interiors. Since 1912 it has been magnetising the whos who of the world. And with good reason. Not only does it boast of amazing gourmet fare, superlative service, glamorously elegant surroundings but also has the world famous Dry bar and a cooking school (Mimo food, where I attend a cooking lesson) in it’s premises.
GREEN GOURMET QUEEN
Over the years and through my travels, I have been tasting this green-sauce in different countries. Ive been told that the basic recipe is probably 2,000 years old and has an Italian origin. But there is no documentary evidence. Sure! In Piemonte, I dipped the boiled meats (bolito misto) in it and I loved the cold Italian salsa verde. Rich with coarsely chopped parsley, vinegar, capers, garlic, onion, anchovies, olive oil, and mustard. In France the
So I was pleasantly bowled over when the Spanish version turned out to be the most memorable.
Also the most sparkling. In every way. We dined, under the shimmering chandeliers of the stunningly beautiful restaurant with it’s mirrored tables. The talented young chef’s masterpieces were served up one after the other. The pintxos (Basque tapas) delighted with their varied textures and flavors. The well traveled and well informed Ned Capeleris’s knowledge of the local and global cuisines had me riveted. Beans from.Tolosa, Hake and asparagus and the most amazing cloud of sweet bliss…Basque curd with honey followed by petitfours. Everhelpful Bryan Owen paired the finest wines, the local txakoli and champagnes
Ned Capeleris and Chef Miguel share the easy to make recipe
- 2 gloves of very finely chopped garlic
- Extra Virgen olive oil to wet the pan
- A pinch of Salt to taste add
- 100 ml of White wine or
- 200 ml of fish stock (optional) and then the parsley.
- Parsley very finely chopped in abundance stir in the
- 10g (soup spoon) of flour to give the salsa more body. Keep stirring till it has a pouring consistency.
Use it as a dip, a sauce or even spread. Yum!
Here im privileged to watch the maestro himself stir the most perfect dry martini. The World famous entrepreneur author charming cocktail maestro Javier de las Meulas founder of the iconic dry martini concept world over and a fab one in Maria Cristina also shares the perfect recipe.
From James Bond’s “shaken not stirred” martini to Ernest Hemingway’s quote “I’ve never tasted anything so cool and clean…They make me feel civilized,” this gin-based beverage is an iconic one. And fittingly enough, it finds its home in the iconic hotel in the “Dry bar”
FROM THE MARTINI MAESTRO
2-3 dashes of dry vermouth
l glass at Bombay
Optional: a twist of lemon
Garnish: a green olive
Type of glass
l Pour the vermouth and the gin into the mixing glass togethr
with plenty of ice
2 Stir tor l5 s
3 Serve in a cocktail glass
4 Garnish with a green olive
5 Optionally add a twist of lemon
#Homebakers & #HomeCaterers, I am thrilled with the response! Here’s where you can taste the creations of some talented Home Bakers and Caterers. Do share your experience in the comments below and I will try your favourites and recommendations soon. Should you want to be listed here, write to me on email@example.com along with your menu, contact details, pictures & social media handles.
1. Kavita’s Delicasies
Company Name: Kavita’s Delicasies
Contact No: +91 8010878000
Company Name: Chocasm
Contact: +91 9820744934
3. Sugar Trail
Company Name: Sugar Trail
Contact No. : 9167068950
4. My Yummy Spatula
Company Name: My Yummy Spatula
Sure dining at restaurants is exciting but tracking professional home chefs has been my overriding passion for the past three decades.And I continue to do this in Mumbai and Chennai. Are you a professional home chef ? Do you conduct any foodie services out of home? Then what you are holding in your hands is an open invitation to be part of our next #whatshottastingsession and of the Times Food guide. All you need to do is send us details about your work and contact details instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh firstname.lastname@example.org
Please excuse me if I’m getting carried away. I can’t contain my excitement at discovering Mumbai’s talented home chefs. And this #Whatshottastingsession is organised specifically for our very own “Times Food guide 2017” which is being readied for going to press. On a rained out evening, we meet (fittingly enough) at the city’s landmark, iconic sixty year old Gaylord and the ever gracious AN Malhotra plays host to Mumbai’s most talented taste-magicians. I’m grateful to the ever helpful team at Gaylord and also to the home chefs who’ve come all the way from Thane, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Mira Road…Im so happy. Cant stop smiling.
Breakfast & Bites | Worli | 9821086711
Looking for healthful and yummy fare? Call Mother-daughter team of Bharti and Bhavna Kumar. Crunchy and nutty bowl of muesli, Honey Nut Granola and Savory Oat Crisps (Matri), yummy trail mixes and Oatmeal Cookies, too.
Amshefs Gourmet | Bandra | 9820769788
Party time? How about a variety of sinful dessert dips like Cookie dough dip, Nutella Caramel Cheesecake dip and more ? .yum Golden Addictive hotseller (roasted almond n caramel popcorn clusters with a hint of salted caramel)? Amna Shehzad Furniturewala makes all this and more.
Through The Food Door | Thane | 9987090418
Mani Vinaik’s ‘Chocolaticious’ Brownies, boozy bakes and coloured ganache have a fan following. Try her decadent Cream Cheese Pound Cake. This expert at catering for kiddie parties; is also known for themed cupcakes and Lasagne.
Rainbow Rasoi | Powai | 9892098240
Radhika Ichhpuniani (A highly qualified CA turned chef) takes catering orders from her FSSAI certified home kitchen and dishes up delicious vegetarian Italian, Mexican and Indian fare. Mini Pizza Uthapams and Mexican rice are a must-try!
IndiKitchen | Mahalakshmi | 7045313491
This food delivery service by youngsters from the corporate world ( Alok Shah, Chirag Arya, Varun Ahuja and Anuj Bagri) serves it all… Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Try the Biryani, Chicken Kalimiti and the range of Wow Paws.
Cup-a-Luscious | Mulund | 9833042828
Eggless delights: Chocolate Strawberry Dessert Jars, Pushpops, and customized cupcakes with fondant. Blueberry cupcake takes the cake! Baijul Rathod 26-year-old freelance architect take a bow.
The Humble Pie | Ghaktopar | 9880069696
A network engineer turned pastry chef, MrudulaPutchahas adiploma in patisserie from Lavonne Academy of Pastry Arts. Pies, Tarts, Cookies, Brownies, Cakes and Cupcakes, she does them all. My favourite: Sticky Toffee Pudding in a dessert jar.
Indian Food Express | Sion (E) | 9969134995
Found. Home made and fabulous my favorite Mulgapudi Gunpowder, Sambar Powder, Rassam Powder and the softest idlis. A teacher, marathon runner and social entrepreneur,Geetha Shridhar has been featured in many cookery shows for her famed BisiBele Bhath.
The Hungry Momma | Mira Road | 9820502049
CallMugdhaAgnihortri for catering orders for Kiddie Parties and house gatherings. Dhansak, Indian Street Food, ChingriMalai Curry, DaalPakwan, dips, and fish pickle. Brownies, muffins, cupcakes to mousse and Jar Desserts.
I am rejoicing! I am celebrating! Chennai’s talented home chefs have this effect on me. Each time I visit Chennai and organise our #Whatshottasting session, I get blown away by the range of talent, by the sheer choice there is. Today, I write about two ends of the spectrum…from the deliciously healthy to the deliciously sweet.
Yes! Healthy can be tasty. Nutritious can be delicious. Handmade, natural, healthy, safe and tasty…that’s what Fouziya Kutty (a self-taught home chef) and husband Abdul Taher (an advertising professional) create and innovate. Pickles to jams…not only are they handmade, but also free from any kind of preservatives. They are also made from only the freshest and the best organic fruits and vegetables. To be sure only organic brown sugar and organic salt is used. And ofcourse, as they point our “ the secret to our jams & sauces being yummier, is the actual “content” of the main fruit”. For example, their strawberry Jam has an actual fresh fruit content of not less than “65” % and in their tomato sauce fresh tomato content is almost “80%”.
Take your pick from Lime Date Pickle Chutney /Tomato Sauce / Schezwan Sauce / Birds Eye Chili Sauce . For Rs 150 each. For those with a sweet tooth, Strawberry Jam / Orange Marmalade/ Apple Fig jam /Mango jam and even the unusual (5) Banana Jam
Sheik abdul taher – 9841063408
Fouziya’s Cooking products are handmade and marketed by Fouziya’s Cooking
# 5, Raja Garden, Kottivakkam, Chennai -41
A winner right through…International tennis champion, turned Public Relations expert turned ace patisseur. Cindana Manickavel’s ‘Sugar Monkey’ has a huge following for it’s cakes, cupcakes, cookies and dessert jars. Why the name “SugarMonkey? “When I first started baking, my mother always said the kitchen looked like it had been ransacked by a monkey!” explains Cindana. But that’s where the monkey analogy ends, because Cindana specialises in sophisticated and elegant patisserie. For those looking for healthy options, Cindana also makes eggless and vegan cakes. Ofcourse, the super-indulgent whisky and rum and chocolate options are all there. But most of all, it’s the dessert jars which are magnetising attention. Not only are they unique and handy and easy to carry but deliciously creamy too. They make for Sweet finales too!
Ph. 98848-57156. email@example.com
AN OPEN INVITATION
Would you like to featured in this column? What you are holding in your hands is an open invitation to do so. Be a part of our “Whats Hot Tasting session”. Mail details of your work, your signature dishes, a bit about your background and contact details. Contact me on instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh mail firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
#Homebakers & #HomeCaterers, I am thrilled with the response! Here’s where you can taste the creations of some talented Home Bakers and Caterers in Delhi. Do share your experience in the comments below and I will try your favourites and recommendations soon. Should you want to be listed here, write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org along with your menu, contact details, pictures & social media handles.
- Awadhi Season
Company Name: Awadhi Season
Phone: 099996 77746
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/awadhiseason/
2. Homeway Cakes
Company Name: Homeway Cakes
Facebook : https://m.facebook.com/homewaycakes/
Company Name: Foodport
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/foodportindia
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/foodportindia/
I’m excited. My sweet hunt has begun! Research for The Times Food Guide 2017 has started, with my very first “whats hot Tasting session”.
Today, Mumbai’s most talented sweet-magicians gather together and display their creations (fittingly enough) amid the showcase of Europe’s finest timelessly elegant porcelain tableware and glassware. Not only does the dynamic Deepika Gehani marketing director of this German tableware brand (which has been enhancing dining experience for Indians,) host our session but also recommended many of the mompreneurs and home bakers who re serving up sweet surprises…from healthy to sinful, traditional to modern..
What? A cake made of zucchini and quinoa and so moist and delicious? Gluten free, sugar free dairy free too? Yes. The lovely Divya Ranglani’s “Healthy treats”creations are a favourite with Sonam Kapoor, Malaika Arora, et al. The flourless date carrot mixed nut cake and granola bars are Kareena Kapoor’s favourite. Intense orange and dark Choc cake, vegan, bars, cookies and more.9820154550
PRIYAL & PRIYANKA
Beautiful, bespoke, stylish and gourmet wedding cakes, cupcakes, cookies, desserts as well as chic packaging and gifting solutions… Thats what Cordon Bleu trained Priyal and former investment banker Priyanka of “Confetti” serve up beautifully. Ph 9920907991
Believe it or not: the delicious brownies are made of sweet potato. The bubbly Roweena Bhatia of “Fatfree almost”blends innovation with food & health into flavorsome bespoke Brownies to Low fat Flavoured Hummus & Chocolate chutneys with a twist. 9920219993
Looking for eggless cakes and desserts? Check out the gifted Neena Mehra ‘s large repertoire of wedding cakes and birthday theme cakes and desserts.
The must trys are Signature light and delightful trifle pudding and the Indian firni. email@example.com
The Prince of chocolates in India- Chef Varun Inamdar’s latest artisanal chocolate series “Barcode” is a masterpiece.. Themed ‘Incredible India’ it is in reverance to flavors from 29 glorious states of our country. Enjoy volume 1 for now. Ph 9619256293
How about making and decorating makebelive cupcakes? Kids aged 4-7 here it is “The cool chef box”. Abha of “PodSquad” has designed many a fun hands-on, range of learning programmes-in-a-box. Each is complemented with dynamic digital content. Ph. 9833124258
Marzipan lovers mecca. The brilliant Estonian Thea Tammeleht, uses her family’s traditional recipe to create her labor of love, ‘Nordic Kandie’ Plenty of flavours, luxurious candies are vegetarian, gluten free, cholesterol free, trans-fat-free.Edible gold and silver candies too. Ph 9699641112
BE A PART OF THE NEXT WHATSHOT TASTING SESSION
Its an open invitation. If you cook, bake, provide foodie services and want to be a part of my Whatshottasting session…please email firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh.
#Homebakers & #HomeCaterers, I am thrilled with the response! Here’s where you can taste the creations of some talented Home Bakers and Caterers in Mumbai. Do share your experience in the comments below and I will try your favourites and recommendations soon. Should you want to be listed here, write to me on email@example.com along with your menu, contact details, pictures & social media handles.
- The Hungry Bunny
Company Name: The Hungry Bunny
Phone: 098200 28092
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/THBMumbai
2. Mad Batter
Company Name: Mad Batter
Phone: 099209 21601
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Mad-batter-804375029613585/
3. Baked with Love by Annie
Company Name: Baked with Love by Annie
Phone: +91 9819363304
Facebook : https://m.facebook.com/bakedwithlovebyannie/
4. Breakfast n Bites
Company Name: Breakfast n Bites
Phone: +91 9819766445
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/breakfastnbites
5. The Green Snack Co.
Company Name: The Green Snack Co.
Phone: 074980 22022
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenSnackCo#
Company Name: Asheys
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/AsheysIN/
7. Bliss Over Bite
Company Name: Bliss Over Bite
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/blissoverbite/?fref=ts
8. La Petit chef
Company Name: La Petit Chef
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Spicesnme
9. Rainbow Rasoi
Company Name: Rainbow Rasoi
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/rainbowrasoi/
10. The Hungry Momma
Company Name: The Hungry Momma
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/thehungrymommma
11. Simple Bakes
Company Name: Simple Bakes
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/SimpleBakesMumbai/
12. Love and Flour
Company Name: Love and Flour
Phone: 099301 52303
Company Name: Cup-a-luscious
Phone: 098330 42828
14. Green Appetite
Company Name: Green Appetite
Phone: 98202 15188
Company Name: Indikitchen
Phone: 070453 13491
Company Name: Janice’s Kitchen
Company Name: The Chocolate Factory
Company Name: Lets Eat
Company Name: Bhuke Plate