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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Wharf 2.0, Radisson BLU Temple Bay, Mahabalipuram

As we drove into the large gates, I was filled with memories from the earlier visit. That was a day trip with friends, we had just decided to get on the road, ending up here at GRT Radisson Blu, Temple Bay in Mahabalipuram.. Walked around for a while, had a lazy fun lunch at the Wharf and drove back to the city.

This time, I was here to do something similar, except it would be visiting the newly revamped Wharf, aptly titled Wharf 2.0, a refreshing new version of something familiar...  The restaurant is situated right next to the ocean, with open views all around. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, I chose the outdoor especially since the weather was fabulous, it had been drizzling that morning.  The lovely canopy provides just the right amount of shelter , the new metal chairs were quite comfy and the green was a colour that stood out against the brown sand and blue waters.

We got to interact with the team at the restaurant, who spoke with such pride and drive, it was endearing.. The chef told us the menu was based on the elements of the planet- earth, wind, fire, water and air, which extended to how their menu was laid out as well. You won't find "starters", "soups" but instead you find "earth", "air" etc..  Now, since it is situated along the ocean, a big chunk of the menu is seafood/non veg based, but they do have a good selection of food for us veggies [which is such a relief to see and it is not all about paneer] :)

The afternoon was lazy, relaxed and packed with some yumm food, starting with the interesting cocktails, moving on to starters, main and the show stopper desserts.. Come join me on this journey, 

The view from our table..

 The two drinks to kick off lunch - Above Sea Level [berry based with a thin sugar sheet on top] and Sunkissed [ gin, tender coconut water and vettiver] 

Amuse bouche.. while we waited for the soup..


 Thai matcha soup - the broth had thai flavours fused with pumpkin puree and it was sinful.. esp since I love thai cuisine!

Aloo shakkarkand aur chilgoza ki tikki [Inspired by earth]- it was melt in the mouth delish and that dip was perfect..


 Crumbed olives  with Blue cheese &paprika dip [Inspired by Earth]- it was heaven, every bite was sinful.. the olives were super fresh and that blue cheese dip, well i would be happy with just that.. 

Paneer Ghee Roast [Inspired by Earth]- paneer slices packed with a milagai podi of sorts and cooked in ghee- it was surprisingly light and well, quite yumm.. Chef recommended we try this with plain rice and it was a good combination indeed.  

Dastaan-e-kumbh [Inspired by Fire]- Stuffed mushrooms served with green chutney and peanut sauce. It had pomogranate seeds inside two mushrooms...  WOW!

Makkai ki tikki- cooked on the tandoor, these were also good , simple sweet and light.. 

The main dishes - There was the bread basket with an assortment of naans, Mushrooms cooked in chettinad style, Dal makhani and Paneer sabzi. Apparently the cutlery used to serve dishes has also changed, gone are the ceramic pots and in came the traditional vessels, which I think is quite a neat touch... The starters were wow, and the mains were the usual line up of dishes... 

Eggplant Zucchini layered baked Casserole [almost like a diff version of the ratatouille]








   

Hard surprise- the ultimate show stopper of a dessert , you should watch the drama before it becomes what it is on the plate... It had a thin outer chocolate bowl, filled with everything from mousse, cake, fruits, compote, and more... 



Gulab Jamun Cheesecake topped with sugar candy- again it involves some amount of drama.. Loved this dessert as there was the perfect balance between sweetness of the Gulab jamun with the cheese cake & the berry compote sitting on top 


It had been a good 4-5 hours by the time we had polished of f the desserts and my oh my, was it one hellova afternoon or what. It is the perfect setting for a group to come chill, have a few drinks, nibble on the various dishes and have a good weekend afternoon at.  So, next time you are looking for an option for a relaxed weekend lunch, head out to the Temple Bay property and you are in for a treat.. We told ourselves that we needed to walk for a while before heading back to the city, and so the walk from the restaurant to the main lobby was what we did... :D

The cottages we passed by looked so inviting.. Maybe next time should combine a weekend stay and lunch..


Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bombay Salad Co, Mumbai

After a few hours exploring the lanes of Bandra, some shopping and chai, we were all set to head over somewhere for dinner and wind up the long day. A bit of deliberation, some options thrown out and then voila, we had decided where we were going.. It was going to be "Bombay Salad Company", on Linking Road in Bandra. 

That particular day the traffic was mad, and we noticed there was some repair work going on that street, so we got off and walked it down.. It is a fairly large space, with both indoor and outdoor seating. We chose the indoors, and the 1st thing you notice when you walk in is the large salad section on the right side. Tonnes of containers with various vegetables, sauces, toppings and more. Quite a range, I was overwhelmed. And then came the menu, damn they sure had a gazillion salad options- from make your own to pre designed Salads. I did quite a bit of playing around with the choices, till I finally settled on the Avocado and Feta Salad.. 

The others chosen were The Farmer and Bombay salad, while for the kid we ordered the three cheese sandwich. The portions are huge and quite filling. All the elements in the salad were fresh and had a lovely bite to them as well. I went ahead and got myself a Fresh lime soda salt as well.. Apart from Salads, they have a small selection of sandwiches, wraps, beverages and desserts.. 

This is one of those places with no fancy decor or seating, but the food speaks for itself... 










Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bombaysalad/


Address:
Bombay Salad Co.
#340, Near Mini Punjab Hotel, 16th Rd, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Chaayos, Mumbai

After an hour wandering about Bandra, the lanes of Ranwar village and the fort, we wanted to grab some chai and maybe something to eat as well. Friend's son chose Chaayos and that was that.. We headed to their outlet in Bandra. 









The place has a certain charm to it, it is not fancy, it does not have any fancy decor or seating but then it was quirky in its own way. The lights instantly caught my eye. It was a set of tea glasses in their 6 tea cup stand with a bulb in it. That apart, the tables and chairs were in an interesting arrangement. Some were long, some were for 2 and then there was the long slab with high chairs overlooking the road. Oh and they had outdoor seating as well. We looked around and decided on the high chairs near the entrance, mind you these are comfortable high chairs, not the ones where a butt is hanging out or you are worried you might fall and break some bones..  Oh and must mention the murals on the wall- so eclectic and simple, they were almost all black & white sketches, funky ones at that. 

When it came to orders, we went over to the counter and checked out their menu. Friend suggested I try their cold chai, and so i went with her option and ordered a Cold Masala Chai.. Along with it, I wanted something to eat. Pav bhaji and Spinach chaat was the selection made by friend. And boy oh boy they were yumm. The pav bhaji portion was huge- there were three sets of buns  and two kullad [terracota cups] with Bhaji in them. Hot tea came in a taller kullad. Friend told me that you could take these back home if you wanted to. Mine came in a take away plastic container.. sigh~  Apart from these, we also ordered two slices of cakes- a Date & Fig, and a Chocolate slice. My Date & Fig slice was heaven, esp since it was served hot. 

The food was divine, the drinks were refreshing and the place was fun. It was their 5th anniversary and so the place was packed with white and green balloons.   I noticed some folks on their laptops working away, others holding a meeting of sorts and some just sipping on tea and reading a book. Looked like a good place to chill at.. 

They also had these juice carton kinda boxes of sorts for take aways [4-5cup capacity].. so if you are in a hurry, grab and go~ After about an hour here, we finally headed out, and were all set for a round of shopping before dinner time..  What fun it is to travel to a different town, you discover so many amazing places... 



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Lets millet..

If you’re into healthy eating, chances are you have heard of millets like Thinai, saamai, ragi and others.. But then the one word that many seem to be chanting these days is "quinoa". Well, for those who are clueless what we are talking about, it is "Millets".. 

They are coarse grains and a repository of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They include jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet), foxtail millet, kodo millet, saamai (little millet), bajra (pearl millet), proso millet and barnyard millet. While the practice of consuming millets as part of the daily diet is not new to India, it had gone missing for a few decades and has now made a re-entry. So much so that every other person you meet is talking about how they have stopped eating rice and shifted to millets. For some it is about healthy, but there are a few who are doing this just to stay in "trend" .. 

Few days ago, I got a call inviting me to an event at Prems Grama Bhojanam, Adyar where Sri Krishna Byre Gowda- Minister of Agriculture, Karnataka would be coming .. He was here in his endeavour to promote millets and for the upcoming Organic & millet trade fair [Jan, in Bangalore]

The meeting with the Minister and few others from the group was very interesting and insightful. I learnt about how millets have always ruled over rice in some parts of Karnataka and how they are so different from rice, in every aspect. 

1. Require lesser water for cultivation
2. Don't require any/little pesticides and so is good for the environment as well
3. They grow in any climatic condition [worked in times of drought ]

The restaurant where the meet was happening - Prems Grama Bhojanam is one I have been to few times earlier and love their food. Infact I know of quite a few who went on my reference and enjoyed their menu.  The menu is mainly millets and offbeat items like Neer dosai which we dont get too much here in Chennai. One other dish that stands out from here is their Black rice puttu.. It is divine!! you need to try it to believe me... 

The Minister also told us that many farmers would rather not cultivate anything during drought season rather than switching to millets. He said it would involve changing mindsets of not only the people but also the farmers. 

When questioned about the high price of millets, his response was again to do with the yield being low and in only in some pockets. 

Just like everything else, it requires effort from people to be open to trying new ingredients, understand their value+health benefits and start making the shift. [While millets take longer to cook than rice, they hold off hunger longer because they are low in GI. ]

Different kinds of millets..

[Image courtesy- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/327566572876033801/]


Minister Sri Krishna Byre Gowda

 Mr Krishnamoorthy of Prems Grama Bhojanam




The food served at Prems Grama Bhojanam that day was phenomenal, as always. Started with Mudakathan keerai vadai and a cup of Mushroom+banana stem soup. They were both sinful and we went for a 2nd helping of the soup. 

Following this came the thali 
Sambar rice, rasam rice, curd rice, lemon rice, [except there was no rice, they were all made with different kinds of millets- saamai, thinai, guthirai vaali and one other] moong daal halwa [with palm jaggery], kara kozhambu with ragi & red rice balls. And along this was Beetroot kari. 

The next time you are looking for something different to try, do head over to Prems Grama Bhojanam.. It is a small non descript place, tucked away behind a bunch of stores, but well worth a visit~~  Do meet Mr Krishnamoorthy if he is there, he is such a treasure chest of information..

Address:
Prems Grama Bhojanam
#19/90, Sardar Patel Road, 
Beside GRT store/Jalpaan, 
Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai - 600020

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