21 April 2016

Vaisakh Festival at Blooms, Eros Hotel, Nehru Place, New Delhi

Blooms at Eros Hotel Nehru Place is hosting a Vaisakh (Baisakh) festival till the 23rd of April. With food from 4 different states- Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, they’re giving a wide array of flavours to treat your taste buds with, and dishes that you don’t usually get all under one roof.

The set up of the restaurant, the d├ęcor, ambience, the music, the entire feel- everything has been designed keeping the theme in mind. There are 4 counters for each state in the outdoor area, and seating that takes you back to the village life. Charpai with tables, waiters dressed up blended so well in the theme,  but most importantly the menu!

Started the meal with the first counter- Punjab. I was a vegetarian that day due to the navratras so can only say how the vegetarian food was. Paneer Tikka and Aloo Bharwan were the first appetizers I tried. The aloo was superb, but the paneer could have been softer. Moved to the Bengal counter- the most exciting one and the one I was the most unacquainted with. The Jhal Muri and Puchka was so so different from the ‘gol gappe’ and ‘chaat’ we’re well-versed with in Delhi. Sour, with a kick, without any pinch of sweetness. So different! Tried some cutlets here which were made of banana peel, and I was totally blown away by them! Extremely impressive stuff! The Kerala counter was however my favourite. Fluffy appams with stew, Paniyaram- a deep-fried South Indian dish made of idli batter mixed with cashews and raisins. Bite-sized things that you dip into the tomato chutney and pop into your mouth. Superb! Envied people enjoying Meen Polichhattu, Fish Curry, Roasted Chicken and all the non-vegetarian goodness.

Food from the 4 states was incorporated in the main course menu too. And that was surprisingly even more delicious than the starters. Coming from a person who was only eating vegetarian, it has to be really good! Punjabi Aloo Paneer Kofta was something everybody would fall in love with. Paneer and aloo wrapped in a kofta, tossed in a rich thick tomato cream gravy. Bhaja (from Bengal) was potato, eggplant and kerala). Crisp, delicious, not spicy but full of flavour. Puliyodharai (from Kerala and tamil Nadu) was tamarind rice. I can go on and on about the other dishes too, but you get the point. 

Desserts saw everything from Mishti Doi and Rosogolla to represent Bengal, Moong Dal Halwa and Dodda Barfi to represent Punjab, and Payasam and Rava Kesari to represent Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The food in this festival is really delicious! The restaurant makes sure they have everything going right for them in whatever dishes they prepare. Must must try the Baisakh festival buffet here- there’s something for everyone.

Address: 19/20, Samartha Vaibhav, Andheri Lokhandwala, Andheri West, Mumbai
Timings: 11AM to 11PM

Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from the establishment. All views expressed belong entirely to me and are completely unbiased in nature. However, readers may exercise their own discretion.

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12 April 2016

Mumbai: New In Town: 'Create your own pizza' goodness at 1441 Pizzeria, Andheri Lokhandwala

Andheri gets a new pizza joint, one that isn’t like any other. 1441 Pizzeria in Andheri Lokhandwala has a concept of 'create your own pizza' with the toppings, cheese and sauce that you like. They do have a few pre-fixed pizzas as well, but the core concept of the placed remains 'create your own'.

With 4-5 kinds of cheese, 4 kinds of sauces, a lot of toppings to choose from, the place offers a compact solution for your pizza craving. We often order pizzas where we ask the restaurant to omit 1-2 toppings and add something else in place of that, for which we pay extra. 1441 Pizzeria solves that problem for you.

The place has tall wooden chairs with every table having olive oil and other condiments placed on them. The walls are done up with the fields and the scenic beauty of Naples being painted on them. Naples, the place where pizzas originated. They have a live counter for making pizzas where you go and get your pizza made from scratch. From scratch it is, because the dough is also hand-rolled in front of you. A big wood fired oven to bake your pizza in, and a super clean and hygienic kitchen. There’s a soft drink vending machine in the corner which somehow gives the place a very cool vibe to it. Also, the servings of soft drinks are bottomless.

Tried their Dough Balls, which were made from the same dough used for the pizzas. This appetizer is a great option for people who don’t like fattening food. Beautiful dough balls with some seasoning on them, without any cheese or using any more condiments. Pour over some olive oil on it and see how that elevates the taste.

Bohemian King- A new Czech beer comes to the Indian market!

Roneli and Bohemia Beer Pvt. Ltd bring to India the first Czech beer- Bohemian King. A strong Lager beer which has a slight bitter taste, is very smooth in texture, and is not coarse on the throat. It is very similar to the beers we’re so used to having, hence my belief that the Indian market will take it very well.

This Lager beer has its ingredients brought in straight from the Czech Republic. They have only come out with a strong version of Bohemian King, and it comes in 2 kinds of packaging- a 500ml can and a 650ml bottle (priced at 160). With a pull-on cap and a sturdy attractive black and red design of the bottle, you will absolutely love this beer which has a 7.5% alcohol content in it. It does not have a fruity flavour to it, or a fruity aftertaste, it’s very firm and full in texture- really really good!

Launched barely a week ago, the event at Embassy of the Czech Republic saw a lot of people from Czech Republic, Roneli and Bohemia Beer Pvt. Ltd present. Milan Hovorka, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India spoke about the ingredients of the beer, its taste and texture, the culture that beer drinking is in Czech, and how they wish to bring not just their beer but also this culture along with them to India. Antonin Kovarik, Export Director, Roneli talked about the consumption of beer in the Czech Republic being 140-150 litres per person annually, as opposed to only 2-3 litres in Indian. But how they wish to tap into the rapidly growing beer market in India and expect the consumption in India to double soon. Gaurav Sharma, Director, Bohemia Beer Pvt. Ltd explained how the premium beer market segment is growing at a rate of 200%, much faster than the normal segment, and how Bohemian King which is focused on the premium segment will be a strong player in a short span of time. Rakesh Dhawan, Managing Director, Bohemia Beer Pvt. Ltd talked about their vision of being the 6th largest player in the Indian beer market in their first year of operations, and the Indian beer market currently growing at a rate of 10% annually.

The recipe for Bohemian King comes from Brevnov Monastery in Prague- the oldest brewery in the Czech Republic (established in 993), with over a 1000 years of Czech brewing experience.

Bohemia Beer Pvt Ltd is responsible for the sales and marketing of the beer, and is currently supplying Bohemian King to Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Assam, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. The brewery is situated in Punjab, and they plan to expand their distribution to other states as well by creating more breweries in the next phase. The attractive design of the bottle with a red and black colour, the beer recipes, technical know-how and securing of premium hops is being taken care of by Roneli.

The bottle looks really impressive, the beer inside it is all the more impressive, and beer lovers now have more variety for them too. This one’s definitely going to be loved by people! Get your hands on a bottle now and tell me how you liked it! 

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10 April 2016

'Mitti Ki Khooshbu' themed Sunday Brunch at K3, JW Marriott Aerocity

K3 in JW Marriott Aerocity is hands down the best Sunday Brunch place in Delhi NCR in my opinion. They have a rotating theme for their Sunday Brunch, which changes every month, and the theme for April is ‘Mitti Ki Khooshbu’. The name suggests the theme is something to do with Indian food and how the food is closer to our roots. Not just the food, but the concept, the cutlery used, the presentation, the menu- everything talks about the theme K3 has for its Sunday Brunch for April.

Talking first about the theme and the Indian section devoted to it, this section was done up really beautifully with spices and dried red chilli for the presentation, and a standee in front with all the dishes on the menu written on it. I cannot even begin to explain how interesting and mouth-watering each dish was. By ‘each’, I really do mean EACH. I’m a person who would choose European and Mediterranean over Indian at any given day, but on this particular day Indian outshone the rest. It really was the best. Gosht Sakura Kebab was a soft minced lamb kebab which came in a small earthen bowl. Dishes in the main course were Aloo Ka Salan killing it with its flavour, Bhuna Lasan Palak giving no scope for error with its delicious kick of flavour, Baghara Gosht Pulao with the soft pieces of mutton in the yummy aromatic rice, and my two most favourite items from the menu- Kunde Ka Dum Gosht and Sondhe Masale Ka Jhinga. Oh my god! I do not have words to describe these. They were simply out of this world! Even when I was absolutely stuffed with my appetizers and food from the live counter, I still hogged on the Indian food like there is no tomorrow. It really did live up to being the core theme.