When I travel on my own, I prefer to stay at local B&Bs or smaller boutique hotels, rather than cookie-cutter commercial hotel chains. It’s one of the reasons I decided to sign up for GranTourismo’s Culinary Tour of Cambodia – because they promised accommodation at local-owned and operated boutique hotels like Templation, in Siem Reap.
Farzi Café has finally made its way to Pune, opening on the corner of Fortaleza in Kalyani Nagar. Using a blend of theatricality, modern cooking techniques and presentation to create a multi-sensory experience, Farzi Café means to appeal to a new generation of gourmands.
The first time I’d even heard of Cambodia was when I watched the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider for the first time. I was probably around 11 or 12, and apart from Angelina Jolie’s fierce badassery, what most had an impression on me were the Temples of Angkor, where some of the scenes were shot. Add to that, Angkor Wat’s ties to ancient Indian mythology (another fascination of mine) had firmly fixed its place on my ‘bucket list’ of places to visit before I die. Sounds morbid, but that’s how I roll.
Walking into the new Conrad Hotel on Mangaldas Road can be a little intimidating at first. Once you get past the super-high ceilings and sprawling square footage, it can actually be quite a comfortable place to settle in to. A little further past the casual seating area and down a wide flight of marble steps, is Coriander Kitchen.
The first time I walked into Kaboom, I was struck by the vibrant green of their open Kitchen. Though I’d heard about their organic, farm-fresh fare, I hadn’t made a visit yet, until I attended the launch of the Slow Food Movement – Mumbai Chapter (more on that later). Mezzanine seating, bold colours and re-purposed furniture – while somehow still retaining that eccentric charm of the Irani Cafe which previously occupied the space – make up Kaboom’s interiors. Read More
Contrary to my experience with most Restaurants that pull out all the stops at tastings and then slowly decline in consistency, The Bombay Canteen (TBC) continues to impress. After my first visit (read: What’s Old is New at The Bombay Canteen), I went back for a meal with my family, and even ordered take-out from them. Each visit has been more enjoyable than the last.
Earlier this year, I spent a week in Bangalore – catching up with old friends, making new ones and trying to get a feel of the City in the few short days that I was there. Most of my time was spent eating (of course) and sampling some of the best that Bangalore had to offer, with a smattering of sightseeing thrown in, too. It really didn’t take me more than a day to see why everyone I know raves about Bangalore so much – it’s so lovely, I definitely want to make another trip again soon. Keeping in mind that I stayed with a friend, and didn’t have an unlimited spending budget, here are some great things to eat, see and do while you’re in India’s Garden City:
There’s a lot that can be said about Indian food – we have more types of cuisines than I care to count, and more than enough restaurants and street food stalls touting the same. I love our cuisine, for all its bold flavours, subtle aromatics and delicate spices. On trips abroad, I often find myself craving it after a couple of days of the regional food – there’s just something about Indian cuisine that no other culture can capture in its flavours.
Among the most popular dishes in our country (and my personal favourite), biryani is way ahead of the rest. The origin of biryani is a highly debatable topic, but we all can agree that it has strong roots in both Mughlai and Hyderabadi (Nawabi or Deccani) cuisine. A simple dinner at the newly opened Food Story on Boat Club Road in Poona, however – changed the way I will look at every biryani dish I eat from here on out.
Pizza is something I take very seriously. Thin crust, hand-tossed with a perfectly balanced tomato sauce base, topped with stringy mozzarella, fresh basil and spicy pepperoni is just heaven on a plate! I hate the fast-food re-heated frozen pizzas with their doughy, pasty bases and not enough toppings. When done right, even a plain cheese pizza can blow your mind. I’d eaten at PizzaExpress – a chain of Italian eateries founded by Peter Boizot in Great Britain in 1965, now with a global reach – before, and had been quite impressed with their pizza, so when I was invited for a tasting of their new Summer Menu, I was looking forward to it.
Recently, Mamagoto celebrated their five-year anniversary, and I was invited to celebrate with them by dining at their Bandra outlet. On the menu, was a new range of Dumplings and Mantau (Chinese Bread). With open minds and empty stomachs, my cousin and I made our way through Bombay’s horrendous traffic for an 8:30pm dinner.