Tucked around the corner from Chong Nonsi BTS in Bangkok’s bustling Silom district, sits chic Le Du Restaurant + Wine Bar, serving modern Thai cuisine. I was only visiting Bangkok for a couple of days, and Le Du was first on my list of places to eat at.
A melting pot for South-East Asian culture, Singapore is considered by many to be ‘Asia’s Food Capital’. Singaporean food has been greatly influenced by its close neighbour Malaysia, as well as China, India, Indonesia (each with significant sub-cultures of their own) and Singapore’s own Peranakan roots. Its culinary landscape is so diverse, it would be impossible to try and document it all.
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.
Yes, you read that right the first time. Brazilian cuisine has found its way to Pune – a sentence I never thought I’d hear myself say.
Last week, I was invited to check out DineFest – a ten-day culinary event (15th Feb – 28th Feb 2016) held across Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore. Featuring prix-fixe menus at several of each city’s casual dining restaurants, you can enjoy a three-course feast at a fraction of the a la carte cost.
I’ve never been as excited to visit a Restaurant, as I was before my meal at Gaggan. Ranked the #1 ‘Best Restaurant in Asia’ and Thailand (respectively) for 2015 by ‘World’s 50 Best’ (and being the only Indian Restaurant to crack the top 10), I’d only heard whispers of Chef Gaggan Anand’s culinary prowess until this past October. I really wasn’t sure what to expect – other than some interesting molecular gastronomy techniques. Gaggan’s philosophy is “progressive”, taking traditional Indian cuisine to the next level, using modern food science and techniques.
This August, Olive Bistro finally brought the Guppy by ai pop-up to Poona. Lead by their award-winning Chef Vikram Khatri, Guppy promised fun, contemporary ‘Japaneasy’ food and delicious Tokyo-style Cocktails. I was invited for the preview and was really looking forward to it, having sampled their fare once before at a Farmers’ Market.
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.
The EVVIVA Sky Lounge, on the rooftop of the Courtyard by Marriott – Pune City Center has the kind of casual-smart vibe that appeals to the twenty-to-thirty something working professionals as well as a slightly older audience. I’d been there before (two years or so prior), for a couple of after-work-parties, but never had a chance to sample anything from the menu. They’ve made a few renovations and changes since then, so I didn’t know what to expect when I was invited over, but I was looking forward to relaxing over drinks and dinner with a friend.