Flights of Fancy – Sapna Bhavnani’s eclectic home

18 Sep

Celebrity hair stylist Sapna Bhavnani’s Bandra apartment is very much like her – quirky and in your face. The bachelor pad juxtaposes rugged industrial elements with lots of greens. I recently got a tour of the eclectic space for my fortnightly feature in Hindustan Times.

The studio style apartment reflects her love for nature and ‘do it yourself,’ concept. Adorned with pieces designed and built by the stylist herself the one bedroom home is a green oasis in a concrete jungle. A mannequin adorned with creepers takes centre stage in the living room, solar lights brighten up the balcony, old shoes hold plants and books act like book shelves in this nature inspired house. A perfect and intimate space for a maverick stylist and her three cats.

Here’s a link to the story

By Nivedita Jayaram Pawar

A secret hideout

16 Sep

phone booth at pdtThe newest pub in Mumbai – Please Don’t Tell (PDT) has everything going for it – playful interiors, foot-tapping music, innovative cocktails and a James Bond style entry.

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Dining in the clouds

8 Sep
Mekong - Palladium Hotel

Mekong – Palladium Hotel

A restaurant with a gorgeous view can take a dining experience from mediocre to magnificent: giving it that lift that makes it a memorable meal. Looking out over Mumbai’s silhouette, the glittering skyline and cloud-grazing buildings is Mekong, at Palladium Hotel, Mumbai. A meal here remains memorable long after your plate is cleared.

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Bohri Biryani

3 Sep

Processed with Rookie

Biryani buffs often argue on the merits of Hyderabadi biryani versus lucknowi biryani. Now add Bohri Biryani to the battle!

I stumbled upon this biryani last week and found it to be the one of the best biryanis I have ever had. The rice packed flavour and the meat was delicately spiced. The slow-cooked, saffron-laced box of happiness came topped with browned onions and accompanied with raita.

Le Berian is a Bohri style Biryani delivery outlet in Lokhandwala, Andheri. I tried 5 varieties of biryani (yes I am a glutton for biryani) and found the Afghan Tikka (Rs 220) to be the best. Unlike the Hyderabadi or Lucknowi biryani this one’s far more moist and flavourful. The masala layer at the bottom was topped with yellow rice and then a layer of white rice. The meat was succulent as if marinated overnight and the brown onions imparted a subtle aftertaste.

Chicken tikka biryani

Chicken tikka biryani

I also loved the Lamb Tikka Biryani (Rs 240). The Butter Chicken Biryani (Rs 220) was strictly ok. I am not a big paneer fan but Paneer Makhni Biryani (Rs 180) could be a great option for the vegetarians. The paneer was fresh and the spices were not too over powering. However the raita could have been a little more creamy.

Le Berian is the brainchild of Chef Mohammed Bhol whose family has been running a successful biryani catering business for the last four decades. The 29 year old who previously manned the kitchens of 212 at Worli, LPQ and Café Sundance decided to brand the community food and retail it. And thank god he did!

Address:Le Berian, 311, Snehanjali CHS, Adarsh Nagar 2, Lokhandwala. Near Samartha Aiswharya

Tel: 022 26348844, 022 26348855

Ajay Chopra brings Veggistan – a cookery show for Veggie Lovers

29 Jul Chef Ajay Chopra @ the launch of Veggistan on NDTV Good Times (1)

Chef Ajay Chopra at the launch of Veggistan on NDTV Good Times

Chef Ajay Chopra at the launch of Veggistan on NDTV Good Times

Do you dread the question ‘what’s for dinner tonight’ after a tiring day at work? I do. It gets even more complicated if you are vegetarian.

Help is at hand. Chef Ajay Chopra, Executive chef at The Westin Mumbai is hosting a new cookery show – Veggistan featuring uncomplicated and easy to rustle up vegetarian dishes. A 100% vegetarian journey across 52 episodes, the show seeks to evoke the die-hard foodie and also the home grown cook to prepare a variety of vegetarian “easy-to-cook-at-home” dishes. In the series, Chef Ajay will showcase an all vegetarian menu with dishes that are not so common yet easy-to-prepare, while being inventive and exciting. Each episode will contain handy tips; focusing on cooking, food and health.

Finally Green Gets Its Glory!

Veggistan every Saturday at 7 PM only on NDTV Good Times

Go with the Pho

14 Jul


Though Vietnamese food has been threatening to take India by storm for the past few years, it has so far been more niche than nationwide. Now, finally, the cuisine is ready to battle for wider recognition.

By Nivedita Jayaram Pawar. Continue reading

The little Door to good times

11 Jul

The little door

It almost feels like you are entering the world of Alice in Wonderland as you step in through the small blue and white door. Once in you are greeted to a sunny place with lots of greens, stuccoes on the walls, colourful bottles dangling and pebbled pathways.

XL BurgerThe Little Door (TLD) is not just inventive in its décor but concept as well. The restaurant hosts a pop up store by designer Fenny Ganatra in the day. The store folds up at 6 pm to give way to a throbbing, pulsating resto lounge by night.

TLD’s compact menu channels the flavours of the Mediterranean, Spain and Italy. Dive in with Arancini Di Riso (Rs 277). The risotto balls stuffed with cheese and crumb fried manages to ferry the flavours of Italy via the cheese and warm pomodoro sauce. The Currages (Rs 187) which is charcoal grilled sausages makes an impact, perhaps because the meat includes an extra kick of red wine, which seems to amplify the entire dish. Interestingly TLD marries food and alcohol in a perfect matrimony. Like the Tequila Lime chicken (Rs 277). Accompanied by red cabbage and green onion slaw each bite is wicked with tequila, lime juice and Tabasco. The spirited journey continues with Champagne risotto (Rs 327).  The saffron-tinted creamy dish is good to the last spoonful.


When you may need to pause from the frenzy of meat and acquaint yourself with something light try the Bruschetta (Rs 147) with tomato, basil and mozzarella. The Trozos De Papa (Rs 133) is the Spanish version of wedges topped with sour cream and onion sauce. Portions ensure that you won’t leave hungry. One of the greatest pleasures at TLD is also one of its simplest: the burgers. Dunked in melted provolone and finished with leaves of green peas the hearty burgers feel as right as a bowl of hot soup on a cold rainy day. Going, going, gone.

Peppered Chicken Steak

But the dish I’m most eager to return for fuses Italy with Spain. Grilled shrimp and white fish tossed in chilly orange sauce and served with buttered rice is one of those brilliant combinations that keeps forks flying. A runner-up for my affections is the filling and fabulous Vodka Penne.

The bar dramatic with an illuminated wall of spirits sees more action than the Kumb Mela in December. Try TLD’s version of the famous Cosmopolitan – Podka (Rs 293), a medley of vodka, pomegranate and chilly syrup. In a mood to experiment? Go for the Whisktea (Rs 293) which is whiskey with Assam tea! There are ample choices for those who like to fake it – iced teas, ginger honey sodas and cucumber drinks.

Even if you are not a fan of the cuisine TLD is a fun place to indulge in one of the many fun nights. Put your bladder to test by downing unlimited beers only for Rs 393. But you can’t visit the washroom for those three hours!

The Little Door
B-31, Ground Floor, Shree Siddhivinayak Plaza, New Link Road, Andheri (W)
Tel: 022 2490 2068

Meal for two: Rs 1500-2000

By Nivedita Jayaram Pawar

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