rashmi uday singh

Review: Rue Du Liban

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Hallelujah! A star is born. It has  risen in Kala Ghoda. It sparkles with flavour, authenticity and nostalgia and recreates the Levant. What is the Levant?  A place? a flavour? a region which serves up tastes of all cultures in the southeast corner of the Mediterranean? All this and more. And the three month old Rue du Liban not only serves up these authentic flavours but does so in a refined, gracious fine dine ambiance. Read my detailed review on whatshot.in.

Superb experience at RUE DU LIBAN with Dina and Dr Shahrukh Golwalla

 

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FLAVOR PARTNERSHIPS

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Here it is. An inspiring idea for our hotels and big restaurants… Five star hotels tie up with small, local, artisans, bakers,  and cooks and serve up local flavours in five star environs. 

 I get a delicious taste of this Flavor partnership series at  Loews Hollywood. Thanks to Chef Mark I Ching, I meet  26 year old David Vanlochem of Duidough’s Cookie Lab who started off pushing a cart on Hollywood Boulevard and today owns a bakery. I taste his creations in this host hotel to the Oscars  (connected with the winners walk corridor to the Oscars Dolby theatre.) I watch chef Mark add innovative touches and transform David’s  addictive chocolate cookie into the “German Blondie”…named after superstar Marlene Dietrich. “Tasting Hollywood” gets redefined!

The “German Blondie” with Chef Mark and David’ “Flavorpartnership” in Loews Hollywood.

Recipe: MARILYN MONROE TOMATO SALAD

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 LEGENDARY HOLLYWOOD FLAVORS

 

Legendary Wolfgang Puck and Denise Flanders feeding Belair’s swans.

He’s a living legend. Not only does he have his own star of fame…in Hollywoods walk of fame, but for over three decades has had all of Hollywood eating out of his hands (literally too). Over a hundred restaurants in five continents cookbook author celebrity chef and official caterer for the Academy Awards blazed the trend  for  its gourmet pizzas topped with caviar and smoked salmon. He’s starred in movies (as himself)  and yet the revered legend Chef Wolfgang Puck remains down to earth and charming. To spend time with  the legend in the  Belair, Los Angeles, the world’s  most famous Hollywood hideaway is amazing. To watch him feed the long necked swans that glide in the swan lake and then to lunch on his masterpieces in his renowned restaurant is to get a true taste of  legend.  This serene 12 acre lush paradise ( the serene, gleaming swan lake et al)  is actually at the heart of cacophonic, bustling Los Angeles. It is in these stunningly beautiful serene surroundings styled
as  private residences, an amazing Californian oasis of relaxation and indulgence which is the

secret Paradise of superstars
It nestles in the canyons of Los Angeles. And how I love that Swan Lake.Four beautiful white swans call the lake home, and together they embody the romance, grace and elegance of Hotel Bel-Air.

The glamorous charm   reminiscent of Hollywood’s Golden Age is palpable here.  It is here  that Hollywood’s history lives and breathes. Any wonder that it has been Hollywoods  most beloved hideaway? Legends like Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor stayed and dined here regularly.

Marilyn Monroe a regular here

It is this very exclusivity and tranquility  that continues to magnetise the likes of Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and many other Hollywood notables. As the lovely. Denise Flanders points out “The emotional attachment that so many have for Hotel Bel-Air is so very special.” I love the way it is steeped in cultural history, defines historical moments  and highlights the Dorchester group’s stylish heritage, not just with fascinating historical anecdotes but exceptional service and food. Memorable!

 

MARILYN MONROE TOMATO SALAD

Beloved of Marilyn Monroe
Chef Hugo Bolanos and the Marilyn Tomato salad.

Here’s the refreshingly beautiful taste of the tomato salad, so beloved of the beautiful legendary Marilyn Monroe, who lived and dined here.

2 each Red Beef ( big) Tomatoes

4 each Figs

3 each Cherry Tomatoes (variety colors)

3 Tbsp  Olive Oil ( Marilyn liked her olive oil)

1 Tbsp Basil Oil

1 Tbsp 18 year aged balsamic vinegar

4 oz of Italian Rich Fresh Buratta cheese

6 each flowers of Micro Basil

To taste  Salt Large Flake

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

 

Method:  This dish looks like a mosaic or painting in the summer .The colors are beautiful just like its celebrity inspiration. Thick cut tomatoes just like Marilyn preferred, figs, buratta all un marinated and carefully layed out to fit like a perfectly aligned painting on the plate. Dress the salad with the 2 olive oils, balsamic vinegar. Lastly season the tomatoes with the salt and  black pepper and finish with the micro basil over the top. By dressing everything on the plate you lose no flavor from a separate seasoning and the tomatoes will release there delicious juices from the salt directly onto your plate.

That’s the explanation of his  creation given by WolfGang Puck’s  brilliant Executive chef Hugo Bolanos.

As a veteran team member of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group (having worked at Michelin starred  CUT, world-renowned  Michelin starred flagship Spago including Wolfgang Puck catering) Hugo Bolanos delivers masterpieces in taste and textures. He has worked with the worlds greatest chefs (from Ducasse in Paris to Daniel in NYC).and today he continues to weave drama in Puck’s award winning restaurant in Belair.

Wolfgang Puck…vegetarian masterpiece …of pumpkin baked in salt.

It is here too that I taste Wolfgang Puck’s delicious classics, from the Weiner Schnitzel to the vegetarian pumpkin baked in salt and his famous vegetable soup. Should you need the recipe please email rashmiudaysingh18@gmail.com

 

 

Review: London Taxi

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Disco vibe, custom-made, taxi-shaped floor tiles, colourful pipes run across the ceiling, (we’re told it’s the tube map of the London Underground) backlit bar, a giant screen, suspended hoops of lights (picadilly circus we are told) There’s even a  Sherlock Holmes PDR. Read my review of London Taxi on http://www.whatshot.in

London based Safdar Bandukwala and Haider Bandukwala checking out LONDON TAXI.

 

Recipe: Adlon-Currywurst

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THE MAHARAJA OF GERMANY

Maharaja of Patiala’s fountain: Vijay Vyas, Sabina Held, and Chef Hendrik Otto

Q: What do the Maharaja of Patiala,  Einstein, Berlin currywurst (curry sausage), Michelin starred meals and singing bowl healing, have in common?  Ans: Berlin’s magnificent, over a century old legendary landmark Adlon. The world distils itself on my plate here amid  outstanding culinary talent, luxury, old world graciousness and modern high-tech. Renowned as one of Germany’s finest hotels, since 1907, it truly has been the Maharaja of Germany. Under the same roof, I get a taste of the local Berlin signature  Currywurst, an uber gourmet two Michelinstarred  meal and  also flavorpacked Pan Asian dishes. I not only taste but also request recipes of these. And how do I taste the Indian connection? By requesting Vijay Kumar Vyas to do a healing singing bowl meditation for me.  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, knowledgable Sabina Held and the celebrated chef Hendrik Otto of the two Michelin starred restaurant, Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer and request their Vijay Kumar Vyas to do my favourite tree pose.

This is when I get to know of about Albert Einstein, Angelina Jolie, Charlie Chaplin to Barack Obama who stayed here.

BERLIN’S CURRY SAUSAGE

Chef Michele Muller of Restaurant Quarre.

I remember shooting (several years ago) for my TV show in Berlin and tasting the Berlin currywurst.  The history of this sausage dish dates back to 1949. Herta Heuwer prepared the very first currywurst in her snack stand in Berlin-Charlottenburg when mixing a sauce consisting of tomato paste, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce. Though this was not a favorite of mine, the Adlon version of  currywurst delighted. I ate mit in their Restaurant Quarre while sitting outside on the terrace, within airkissing distance of the landmark Brandenburg gate, I tasted the “Adlon-Currywurst”. Here, the talented Chef Michéle Müller offers local specialties and

international classics  with a modern twist.

Recipe „currywurst“ sauce

2 pieces onion

3 stems lemongrass

10 pieces lime leaves

4 pieces thumb-sized ginger

½ piece garlic

5 pieces star anise

2 grams cumin

10 pieces cloves

3 tbsp. curcuma

2 tbsp.  curry powder

1 litre mango puree

1 litre Coca Cola

10 litre ketchup

 

Cut the onions into cubes and sauté together with the flavors and spices.

 

Douse with mango puree and Coca Cola and reduce them.

 

Fill it up with ketchup and bring to a simmer. Cover the sausages with it. Serve.

 

 

 

PAN ASIAN

Pan Asian maestro Chef Kai Weigand of Sra bua by Time Raue

Delicious surprise! Tasting   awesome Asia’s culinary diversity in Berlin. Right here in The Adlon’s restaurant “Sra bua by Tim Raue”. Here, the brilliant head chef Kai Weigand, serves up modern Pan-Asian cuisine executed with seasonal produce. I taste his creations, simple, light and intensely flavorsome, precise with a perfect balance between sweetness, acidity and spiciness. On my request,  Chef Kai shares the recipe of the amazing Wasabi prawns, should you need it please email me rashmiudaysingh18@gmail.com as it is too lengthy to reproduce here.

 

HIGH END GASTRONOMY

Dazzling mastery of the culinary arts “tradition eats modern”. Any wonder that Adlons restaurant  Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer has been showered with two prestigious Michelin stars and a huge number of other awards? The European-inspired, imaginative and contemporary creations, it’s classic menu is reminiscent of the hotel’s illustrious past delights. ‘Adlon-style fillet of sole’  the famous ‘Canard a la presse’ are Chef Hendrik Otto s masterpeices.

Here, I have an amazing meal of vegetarian masterpieces too. This, since  Im researching vegetarian dining in Berlin. Masterpieces of flavour and texture dazzle.

 


CHENNAI S CULINARY  HOME-TALENT

…VEGAN HERBISTORE

HERBI STORE’s Akhil and Ranjani

Delicious talent! Ever since last fortnight when I wrote about our Whatshot Tasting session, Ive been flooded with reader- queries about details of the home-bakers and caterers who attended it. I flag off  the series  with the youngest, the talented and committed 18 year old Ranjani and Akhil’s superb HerbiStore. Absolutely loved their creations and was even more thrilled to know that theyre all vegan, sans white sugar too. Guiltfree feasting on intense chocolatey“Peanut butter cups”. Needless to add the protein rich peanut butter is homemade. Couldn’t stop eating the Fudge Brownie in a jar and the Cookie dough.You can order on

@Herbistore_official

DMs and retailing

Ranjani- 9789254650

GOURMET IN THE BOILER ROOM

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Tracking global gastronomy is a fun job, but this one experience (in a 127 year old boiler room in the Srilankan mountains)  takes the cake. It was here in this boiler room of the iconic Grand hotel Nuwaraeliya  that the distinguished looking Boilerman provided an unending supply of hot water throughout the day to enable the aristocratic British guests to bathe.  After almost nine decades of burning tree logs to keep the water hot, a  diesel-fired boiler was introduced. It still keeps the water hot, but there is no dust or soot. It is here,  that the celebrated Chef Priyantha serves up a unique dining experience: delicate carpaccio to luxuriously creamy cake. Gems of delicious wizardry parade with panache. “Unique dining experience” gets redefined. Kudos!

In the Boiler room Masterchef Priyantha gourmet dining with Tyrone David and Chinthana Bandara

Review: BOTANICA CAFÉ AND DINER

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Perched opposite the Opera House, Botanica is  a 65 seater modern, bright, cheery and tile-floored space. The interiors are a mix of classic and contemporary with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Read my detailed review on whatshot.in

At BOTANICA with superachievers, Ashiesh Shah flanked by Bimal Parekh (specs) and Sheetal Talwar

THE DNA OF EATING RIGHT

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Deliciously exciting news! I’m getting definitive, scientific advice on what I should eat to lose weight, to detox, to be healthy. It’based on hardcore scientific genetic research. Nutrigenomics cracks the connection between diet and health and ensurethat everyone benefits from the genomic revolution. And all it takes is a saliva test. And that simply cracks the genetic code.

Spearheading this is renowned Biotechnologist Dr Vice Soljan of Nutrigenext Sàrl. He’s based in Switzerland but I’m fortunate to meet him in Dubai, after the Master Class given by him at Faarah Mehta’s amazing Maison Imperiale educational academy for adults.

And in the photograph, the food they are holding are what Faarah should eat to reach optimal health. Through that one simple saliva test for her genetic profile she has learnt what to eat and what exercises to do, simply superb and superbly simple. 

Faarah Mehta flanked by Dr Vice Soljan and fitness professional Danny.

“To India with love”

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“To India with love” …Lara and Massimo Bottura

 

BREAKING NEWS

In Mumbai. On a whirlwind three day trip. Internationally celebrated as the worlds finest,  highly awarded, three Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura is in town. Not only is he the global leader of gastronomy but along with his vibrant wife is spearheading  social change, with their NGO “food for soul” (where, in London, I was privileged to volunteer as a waitress). Forever etched in my taste bud memory is my  five-hour, 15 course mind-blowing meal at Massimo’s Osteria Francescana in Italy where the genius’s thoughts became deliciously edible.

And now, it’s an exhilarating joy to give the lovable power couple a taste of Indian flavours and most of all to observe their responses and reactions. The sheer bliss on his face when the delicate fragrance of biryani at the finest Indian K and K seduced. Kerman Lalkaka, Chef Sunil Gadihoke had fittingly laid out a feast for an emperor.  Lara tripped out on the sweet tangy spicy pani puri in Pinky Dixit’s Soam. Hay strewn cacophonic Crawford market to the serene, stylish Ensemble

to the iconic Taj where chef Amit Chaudhari served up regional flavors. Prateek Sadhu and Aditi Duggar’s cutting edge Masque, Floyd Cardoz and Chef Zachariah’s Bombay Canteen delighted them.

“Indian food is an encyclopedia of overlapping landscapes, cultures, religions and people” says Massimo. “our small sampling has opened our eyes to a world of flavors… strong and delicate, powerful and submissive, fun and serious… Eating is the best way to learn!”

P.S. And even as you read this we will have lunched in Shree Thakker Bhojnalay and they will have landed back home in Italy.