Escape to Saj By The Lake

19 Aug Pool Area at Saj by the Lake

Should you need a nudge to get out of Mumbai and expand your sights, let me introduce you to a young resort just three hours away. It goes by the name Saj by the Lake and it’s warm and welcoming. Continue reading

5 things you must do at Aamby Valley

18 Aug bridge

I love the rain. It’s my favourite weather. The smell of wet soil just when it begins to rain is not only sweet, but brings new hope and makes you look forward to the rainbow and sunshine. So when life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles! Or better still head to Aamby Valley a picturesque resort nestled amidst mountains and lakes, just 23 km from Lonavala.

chalet at Aamby Valley

The Aussie Chalet I stayed in

A visit to this scenic and mammoth resort was long overdue and thanks to Food bloggers Association of India (FBAI), it finally happened last month. So here’s a first person account of the five things you ought to do at Aamby Valley.

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Vegetarian? Try Juno’s Pizza

17 Aug masterchef PIzza - 1

masterchef PIzza - 1Hot or cold, thin or fat, round or square, cheesy or saucy – there is nothing like a pizza meal. What’s not to like about a hot, freshly baked pizza, with its crispy edges and soft centre, moist with tomato sauce?

Just the smell and the heat radiating off a pizza makes me hungry. This simple dish of bread, tomatoes and cheese could probably be Italy’s best gift to the world. Continue reading

Have you tried the new Cocktail Pre Mixes?

14 Jul

 

MojitoThough I am a whisky drinker, there are days when I long to have a great cocktail at home. But frankly, I don’t have the skills to whip one up myself.

Owners of Light House Café, Mumbai probably had people like me in mind when they introduced cocktail premixes (minus alcohol) that are super easy to put together. All you have to do is open it, pour the alcohol, shake it up in a cocktail shaker and add some rocks (if you wish).

TY ELDERFLOWER - LHC Mix Kit by Light House Cafe

LHC Cocktail premix kit 

 

Let’s face it: ready-to-drink mixes have a bad reputation for being fruit-flavored sugar bombs. While those versions are still be on the market, LHC Mix has a range of vodka, whisky, beer, tequila, gin, white rum and wine based inventive and classic cocktails that are as easy as uncork and pour. You can now enjoy everything from a Caipiroska to a Mojito without suffering the crowd or prices of a bar. The LHC Mix menu has 17 cocktail pre-mixes and one mocktail mix. Each mix of 150 ml serves 1.

SANGRIA LHC MIX POUCH

LHC Sangria mix 

Since I was looking for a low-key cocktail to sip at the end of a long day, I tried the spice infused Mulled wine with cranberries. The drink is topped off with dried cranberry bits for a little extra oomph. All I needed was a wine glass.

I also tried the Vodka based Green apple martini. While the mixes won’t win any prizes for best packaging (packed in a gold pouch), they were easy to rustle up (there is a detailed step-by-step note with every drink). The martini was nice and tangy with green apple, orange and lemon extracts. All I had to do was pour the mix in a cocktail shaker (even a high ball glass would do if you don’t have a shaker), fill it up with ice to the brim and give it a good shake. Remove the ice and pour it in a martini glass. Simple.

Ty Elderflower LHC MIX POUCHThe mix stays for 3 days if refrigerated and for 3 hours if kept at room temperature once delivered.

I think the premixes make perfect sense when you’re looking for a cocktail with minimal effort to impress at a dinner party or just unwind after a long day. If you need a bartender or a bartending team, the guys at Light House Café will even send them along (for an extra cost of course)

What you need to know

Price: Rs 60-110 inclusive of delivery charges

Delivery area: Juhu to South Mumbai

Delivery time: 20 to 45 mins

Order Timings: 12 pm to 11 pm (All Days)

Call: 9967414148/ 9987610897

 

Japanese restaurant Ruka – A review

21 Jun

Tuna SashimiWhen Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa in Bahrain decided to bring its popular luxury Japanese restaurant Ruka to Mumbai, it not just imported the brand but also its Japanese Chef Masato Toida from Bahrain. Styled in black and brown Ruka is quite stark and impersonal. Thankfully the food is bright and flavourful.

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Are you guilty of these Skincare habits? Get rid of them now!

15 Jun

skin1While we all have the best intentions when it comes to taking care of our complexion, we sometimes sabotage our skin without realizing it. Daily habits make a major difference when it comes to preventing damage and premature aging. For my story for The Week Smartlife June issue, I spoke to renowned dermatologists for an insight in to the 10 most common skincare mistakes and how to fix them.

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American Frozen Yogurt Menchie’s now in India

9 May DSC_7532

DSC_7532Menchie’s America’s premium frozen yoghurt chain has now launched its first outlet in Khar, Mumbai, India. The menu at this self-serving yogurt franchise holds non-fat, low-carbohydrate, no-added-sugar, gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options.

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Book Streets of Mumbai

21 Apr Foreign tourist browing through the stacks
Low res Dilip Mahindkar at the booth on Book Street

Dilip Mahindkar specialises in architecture and interior design books

It’s true that there are book streets all over India but none rivals the ambiance of the one in Mumbai. Nestled against the backdrop of beautiful Victorian buildings and tall peepal trees the book street in Mumbai is where Vikram Seth jostles for space with William Shakespeare. Who knows what you could find here?

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The Rise of the Freelancer- Business News

7 Apr

Source: The Rise of the Freelancer- Business News

Bangla Food fest at Sofitel Mumbai BKC

22 Mar ????????????????????????????????????
Chitol Macher Kalia at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Chitol Macher Kalia

As much as I crave a good sambar rice, I hanker for Ilish Bhapa with equal fervor. My love for Bengali food often sees me land uninvited to Bengali homes. I unabashedly ask for leftovers of macher johol (yes they taste better the next day) and even tag along with Bengali friends to Durga Puja for the mahaprasad of khichuri and bhaja. So when I heard Sofitel Mumbai BKC had a East Bengal / Bangladesh food festival I did the obvious – drove there and ate till I was in food coma!

East Bengal/ Bangladeshi food is very similar to West Bengal barring the fact that Bangladeshi food has a slight Mughlai touch. Both cuisine favour fish and the use of mustard and poppy seeds are similar. The food festival at Novotel is put together by chef Sirajul from Novotel Kolkata.

Chicken Kabiraj at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Chicken Kabiraj

We started with a non vegetarian snack – Chicken Kabiraj. It’s a cutlet made with minced chicken and spices dipped in egg and coated with breadcrumbs. Like other chop cutlets, this recipe too is the result of British influence on the Bengali cuisine. Needless to say it was crunchy on the outside and succulent inside. Though I missed Illish bhapa  one of my favourite Bengali dishes, I was glad to see another favourite – Kosha Mangsho – a mutton dish. The perfectly cooked, juicy meat had a Mughlai touch with the use of whole spices and a thin layer of oil floating over it. Yummy. The Katla Macher Kalia (fish curry) was heady from the mustard seeds, nigella seeds, chillies and ginger paste.

Jhinge Aloo Poshto at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Jhinge Aloo Phosto

The amount of respect Bengalis pay to vegetables is unprecedented. Simple ridgegaurd is elevated with the use of poppy seeds and mustard paste in Jinghe Posto. It goes beautifully with steamed rice. The simple yellow dal tempered with mustard seeds is akin to the Maharashtrian waran with strong hints of ghee.

Bongs love to have their fish in unthinkable ways. Apart from frying, steaming, baking and dunking it in gravies they also put it in pulao! The Ilish Polao a great combination of spicy Ilish with rice was full of depth. Though Bengali food is known for its liberal use of green chilies, and Bangladesh in particular is famed for having some of the hottest dishes in the world, the dishes at the food festival have been toned down to suit various palates. Among the desserts I loved the misti doi and gurer kheer.

Dessert platter - Mohan Bhog, Malai Sandwich & Mishti Doi at the Bangladeshi food festival at Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Mohan Bhog, Malai sandwich and Mhisti Doi

Pondicherry Café the venue of the festival is dressed in Bangla fervor with a cycle tonga at the entrance, terracotta pots and jhal muri cycles.

Where: Pondichéry Café, Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Date: 18th to 27th March 2016

Time: Lunch – 12:30 pm onwards and Dinner – 7:00 pm onwards

Price: Rs 3,400 (all inclusive)

For reservations, call +91 (22) 6117 5115

NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR

 

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