24 July 2016

Hyderabad: Olive Bistro blows your mind with their Sunday Brunch!

The most breathtakingly beautiful place in Hyderabad with the most insane Sunday Brunch! You don't enter a restaurant when you come here, you enter paradise in Hyderabad. The route to Olive Bistro, Jubilee Hills is uphill (as the name of the location suggests), so much uphill and into the colony that you almost feel you're going the wrong way. But then you enter a parking where you see the signboard of Olive Bistro and you almost jump in excitement. The walk from the parking to the restaurant is a long one, and a super pretty one. Greenery on your left and right, white stone path on which you walk, a Greece-like look and feel of the place. 



The moment you reach the entrance of the restaurant, you see a sight that matches no other in Hyderabad- a lake surrounded by trees and greenery till wherever the eye reaches. There's an indoor and outdoor seating, both equally gorgeous. The outdoors may slightly have an edge over the indoors if the weather is lovely. Comfortable cane chairs outdoors with cushions on them, wooden tables decorated with white and yellow flowers, flowers and colourful interiors here and there, cute artifacts on the walls and tables, indoors with wooden cushioned chairs and sofas, servers wearing multi-coloured shirts that instantly take you to a shack at Goa. The interiors and everything you see around you has a major effect on the impact this place has on you, and that's the first thing that makes you fall in love with this place. There's a huge bar on one side of the restaurant with a place right in front for live singers/performers. 


23 July 2016

Superb Food and Delicious Cocktails at Bunta Bar, Janpath

Bunta Bar is easily the most chilled out, chic and relaxed place in town right now. With a concept that revolves around bunta bottles, you will find it envisaged in a lot of elements of the interiors, and to some extent to the drinks too. Situated right on Janpath, bang opposite the Janpath market, the place is spread across 2 floors, and is just huge! Also, they have both an outdoor and indoor seating.






I tried several dishes from the menu with the Hari-Mirchi Chicken Taco being the highlight out of all the tacos. It's spicy but delicious, you can taste the flavours and the green chilli doesn't overpower them. A great dish! If you're nibbling on your food while sipping on your drinks, you must order the Bunta Fries with Mutton Keema. They aren't exactly fries but fall somewhere between fries and potato chips. A thin crisp masala coating on them, lots of cheese, different sauces and minced keema, and all this baked in the oven. Quite interesting and different! Mangodi Vada and Hara Bhara Kebab were two dishes that took me by surprise. The Mangodi Vada was really well made, just how the authentic crisp flavourful mangodi vadas would taste like. The Hara Bhara Kebab was even better. They had a surprise element inside- a center of hung curd. A must try for the vegetarians. 

14 July 2016

New In Town: Bunmanchi by Yeti- The Rooftop Bar

Bunmanchi is the new kid in town, the bar at Yeti, the rooftop bar at Yeti, whatever you call it. Located in the GK 2 M-Block Market, on the floor above Yeti. A cluster of lamps hanging down in a row, wooden high chairs and tables, comfortable sofa seating, a long lit up bar, a rustic feel to the place, Bunmanchi exuberates a relaxed feel.



They have quite an extensive list of cocktails to choose from, and a wide variety at that. And their food menu is limited only to a few favourites from Yeti- some appetizers and nibblers. I tried their Yeti Iced Tea, Mimosa, Strawberry Collins and Cosmopolitan. The Yeti Iced Tea is my favourite of the lot. Gin, Bacardi, Vodka, Cointreau with fresh lime juice and pineapple juice. It’s then topped with sparkling wine- my favourite part of the drink. Damn nice this one is.


The Strawberry Collins is a completely yummy drink if sweet and strawberry is your thing. The classics are good as well, nothing out of this world.

11 July 2016

Social comes out with a 'Game Of Thrones'-themed Long Drink Festival!

Social or Social Offline as some might call it, has come out with another festival, and this one’s here to win every cocktail lover’s heart. Cocktail? No, not just that. Even a Game of Thrones’ fan. A Game of Thrones-themed LIIT festival, called The Long Drinks Festival! What in the world can be better for people who love Game of Thrones and LIIT’s. 9 new LIIT’s, all extremely different from the other, and so so potent! The drinks are all named after Game of Thrones related things, characters and situations.



My most favourite one is the White Walker- a coffee based LIIT with a little bit of milk in it. The flavour of kahlua shines bright in this and I really wish Social added this to their regular menu. Coffee lovers are going to adore this one! And if you’re looking for something that’s really really potent, and if you’re a complete die-hard fan of hardcore LIIT’s, the High Garden is going to make your day! Absinthe, Tequila, Gin, Vodka and Rum- you will find all of these in this LIIT. Quite aptly named.

For the ones who like subtler, yummier LIIT’s, Ours Is The Fury is a really delicious one. Orange Juice being the dominant one here, the drink is equally potent as the others but really pleasing to drink. Similar drinks, but with a different concoction of spirits, are The Sunspear and Blood Of The Dragon. But if you think Social isn’t being experimental, then you’re so wrong. Ice & Fire, with an jalapeno flavour (though not that evident), and a lavender tonic, is their take on trying unique stuff, and the drink is quite good.

 



The LIIT’s are priced at Rs.500 for half a litre and Rs.900 for one litre, with the exception of three drinks being priced at flat Rs.450 (they aren’t served in the LIIT towers). If you’re someone who loves LIIT’s, is a fan of Social’s drinks, or just likes to experiment with drinks, you must must give this festival a try. Drink what fancies you, but do go to Social before the festival ends, i.e. before 23rd of July. Available at all their outlets across Delhi and Mumbai.


Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. All views expressed are unbiased in nature but readers are advised to exercise their own discretion.

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9 July 2016

Vietnamese Festival at Cilantro, Trident Gurgaon with EazyDiner

Cilantro at Trident Gurgaon has an ongoing festival- Hello Vietnam, which showcases Vietnamese cuisine to the patrons of Delhi. With Chef Sandeep Kalra who curated the entire menu after spending a month in Vietnam and understanding the cuisine, plus with the help of two chefs flown down from Vietnam (one from the renowned Furama Resort, Danang), the food can be trusted to be every bit authentic. EazyDiner hosted an evening here where

Started the evening with a Salad Platter that consisted of Raw Mango Salad, Chargrilled Chicken in Betel Leaves with lemongrass and rice paper, and Crisp Fried Crabs and Egg Nest Spring Rolls. The spring rolls were my favourite though they were really oily. The filling was lovely and the crisp texture just took the cake away. You could gobble up as much of the Raw Mango Salad as you wanted and you wouldn’t feel sick. It had a beautiful balance of sweetness and acidity. The Chargrilled Chicken was juicy in every sense of the word! Damn nice, specially when you felt the crunch of the leaves and that lemongrass hit.



Pho Ga- Vietnamese Chicken Soup with rice noodles, scallion and basil. This was a very soulful delicious chicken soup with condiments on the side to add to your soup as per the palette. Red chillies for the spicy kick, basil and lime leaves with such fragrantic flavour, scallions for the crunch. The soup became even better with all this.


6 July 2016

Jaipur: A Delightful Experience at Okra- Jaipur Marriott Hotel, Tonk Road

Jaipur Marriott once again proves to me why I can blindly choose a Marriott brand wherever I go. On my recent weekend trip to Jaipur I went to Okra- Jaipur Marriott’s 24-hour coffee shop, also the restaurant that hosts buffet. Went in for their lunch buffet, and oh boy, was I in for a treat!

The restaurant is situated at the hotel’s lobby level, and a beautiful passage overlooking the pool area on one side leads you to it. Fine interiors, live buffet stations that make your senses get to work, Nice artefacts with signobaords on the walls, various kinds of seating to accommodate different groups, helpful staff and a lovely experience!



We started with their sushi- California Roll and Maki Roll with salmon, and a half n half pizza- pepperoni and chicken tikka with olives and jalapenos. Nice sushi- can’t believe Jaipur has such good sushi! The pizza made in a stone oven was too delicious. Crisp, full of cheese and some yummy toppings. They had a huge variety of salads, and all too fresh and not at all similar. The beetroot salad, capers salad, greek salad, fresh lettuce salad were all really nice.

2 July 2016

Mumbai: How Kyani & Co. with its Parsi charm will always be close to my heart!

Kyani is a restaurant that’s very very very close to my heart. Calling it a restaurant doesn’t set the tone right; it’s a bakery, it’s an old Parsi/Irani eatery, it’s the place to hit for a quick cup of tea, it’s the place you will see the maximum cute old people, it’s the place where you will find both kinds of people- those who’re hustling and those you’re relaxing. It’s a place that truly defines Mumbai for me. It’s what will always be on my mind when I think of Mumbai (or Bombay, as we all like to call it). Call it Kyani & Co., Kyani Bakery, whatever. Every dish that I write about here has a memory etched to it in my mind. So this is me opening up to you all, and trying my best to explain why Kyani is so special to me.

Kyani has a beautiful old world Parsi charm to it. Situated in Marine Lines, bang opposite Metro Cinemas, ask anyone where Kyani is and they will know. With checked cloths on tables (typical of Parsi eateries), basic plastic chairs for sitting, tables the exact same size spread across, a counter in the corner for all bakery items, a floor above that was usually operational only on weekends when large groups came for dining here, mirrors on the wall, a wash basin towards the end of the room. The most special thing here- a rope hanging from the ceiling to give support to old people while walking up and down those 4 stairs leading to Kyani. Though it was meant for support and I didn’t need it, I always had the kid in me come out when I visited Kyani and held that rope while coming down. It’s a joy that cannot be described! Enough about the ambience, but it’s the vibe of the place that made it special.

I first chanced upon Kyani in May 2015, also the first time I came to Mumbai. Got some Mawa Cakes packed from here, and some chicken patties for the road to the airport. Love is what this was. The Mawa Cake was like a dream. And imagine a person who has never had Mawa Cake before this in her life. Just imagine the effect on me! Fast forward to July 2015 when I moved to Bombay. Every trip back home meant at least 20 Mawa Cakes being packed for home. Not to forget their biscuits too. So so so good in taste, specially the Shrewsbury! My home in Bombay was hardly 2 minutes walking distance from Kyani, and I crossed it every single day at least twice. By crossing I mean being so close to the place that I could touch the window. Taking a walk back home and stopping at Kyani to grab a piece of Mawa Cake. Surprising my roommates by taking Mawa Cake for them. Friends working at the college fest and taking piping hot Mawa Cakes freshly out of the oven for them. A very prominent place this has had in my ‘eating life’ in Mumbai.


Nobody does better eggs than Kyani. Be it a Parsi Akuri, a Cheese Omelette, a Chicken Omelette, or my most most favourite Scrambled Eggs. Their Scrambled Eggs are beautifulllllll! You would have never tasted anything like this ever before. Their Scrambled Eggs can make me kill people! With crunchy toasts on the side and such yummy runny scrambled eggs, sprinkling some black pepper and salt on them and making my day worthwhile. Indescribable joy! Their omelettes- so damn fluffy that you keep wondering why you can’t get such omelettes anywhere else. Egg Roll- a hot dog bun with egg inside, scrambled but made a little dry. Akuri with tomatoes, onions and coriander- so much flavour in it that you need no seasoning.