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Monday, 24 April 2017

CHAI DI PARTY at EROS, New Delhi - Chai it, you’ll like it





Any time is tea time in India. We, Indians are ready for a cuppa anytime of the day. I still remember the days when my Granny used to ask for tea, everyone in the family agreed to it and asked for a small cup each. This shows our undying love for Chai/ tea.

Tea is India's most popular drink - the country consumes approx. 900,000 tonnes of it every year.

Tea in India, only gained popularity as a national beverage in the 19th century after the British began to create large scale tea plantations in order to ensure adequate supplies for their country’s growing thirst. India is one of the world’s largest suppliers of tea, and yet because of this very recent history, tea has not had time to appropriate any elaborate tea rituals like in Japan or China. Although not ritualized, tea is more a part of everyday life at home, work, on the streets and while traveling.

 
 


Chai is the preferred style of tea sold on the streets, at railway stations and at cafes. Chai is strong black tea, spiced with cardamom, fennel, cloves or other spices, sweetened with sugar and mixed with milk for a sweet and creamy beverage that many Westerners would know as Chai tea. This tea is often enjoyed with a savory snack like samosas or biscuits or rusk. Usually street vendors or train stations will sell this tea in small clay cups that are only used once, and then smashed after use. Whether enjoyed on the street or at home, Chai provides respite from the heat or weariness from travel or work.




Chai Di Party at Eros Hotel, New Delhi celebrates this tradition of having tea anytime of the day, whether we are alone or socializing with friends and family. Chai Di Party aka CDP is a great concept through which we got a chance to savour the most flavorful masala tea or Ghar ki Chai as they are calling it with a serving of Fan (light filo pastry) and cookies. 


Chef Nikhil Rastogi has come up with great variations in the snacks which are part of the festival. The ever so popular Samosa is stuffed with mawa, green peas and raisins which give out an awesome flavor. The most innovative was the Jalebi Chaat; yes you read it right Jalebi ki Chaat. We also liked the drinks like the Jamun Thanda which is an awesome concoction of dried berries and is highly recommended. The Bhajia and the Stuffed Mirch Pakoras with Dhokla ni Dhokla needs to be savoured too.

  
Without doubt, I can say that CDP is a beautiful concept and should continue forever as it gives everyone a chance to socialize with friends, family and also business contacts over a cup of chai and snacks.




 

Venue: Tea Lounge, Lobby Level, Eros Hotel, Nehru Place, New Delhi - 110019

Timings: 10:00 hrs – 18:00 hrs

Validity: On till 30th April 2017
Price:  INR 250 + taxes each





Friday, 21 April 2017

DELHI MIXOLOGIST WINS INDIA'S FIRST EVER NORTH AMERICAN WHISKEY COCKTAIL CHAMPIONSHIP



Vikram K.U from Blue Bar, Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi walks away with the grand prize of a guided tour to the Jack Daniel and Woodford Reserve distilleries in U.S.A


 Vikram K.U from Blue Bar, Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi emerged as the winner of the inaugural edition of the North American Whiskey Cocktail Championship held in India. As the grand prize winner, Vikram will now be going on a guided tour to the iconic Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee and the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky. Vikram impressed the judges with his innovatively crafted recipe “The Amazing Grace” which was made with walnut and fig infused Woodford Reserve, spice syrup, homemade spice bitters and homemade lemon bitter. 

 Vikram was visibly elated after his triumph and said “I am thrilled to win such a prestigious competition and am really looking forward to visit the Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve distilleries for a glimpse into the making of these fine whiskeys. I have really worked hard and put in a lot of effort in creating my recipe, which is inspired from the inherent flavors of Woodford Reserve complemented by local Indian spices. I thank Brown-Forman for giving me such a great platform and opportunity to showcase my skills."

 
The final 15 participants were shortlisted from across India with representation from multiple cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Chennai. All the shortlisted cocktails were original recipes created by the participating mixologists.

 The North American Whiskey Cocktail Championship involved a multi-stage selection process. In the first round, participants were asked to submit an original cocktail recipe using Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack or Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, and it saw participation from over 230 bartenders across the country. 89 entries were shortlisted for the second round, which were then judged on the basis of creativity, balance, presentation and consumer acceptance to arrive at the final 15.

In the final round held today in New Delhi, these chosen 15 finalists presented their recipes live in front of the judges. The four member panel comprised of Vikram Achanta, Co-Founder and CEO of Tulleeho; Vaibhav Singh, Founder, Perch Wine & Coffee Bars; Jay Malik, Senior Brand Manager - MENA, Brown-Forman and Vineet Agrawal, Head of Marketing - India Area, Brown-Forman.

Speaking on the championship, Vineet Agrawal, Head of Marketing, India Subcontinent and Maldives, Brown-Forman Worldwide LLC said, While having whiskey straight up is certainly one of the most traditional ways to consume it, whiskey cocktails have also been a part of popular culture for a very long time. In fact, some references state the classic Old Fashioned cocktail is so old that it was called an Old Fashioned even 100 years ago! As more and more Indians travel the world, they are seeking experiences which are authentic and have a legacy of craftsmanship. The increasing availability of whiskey based cocktails in popular bars in urban centres and key metros are bringing this experience closer to the consumer than ever before. We are happy that we could provide a credible platform for these talented mixologists to experiment and create unique recipes using our American Whiskies and showcase them to a wider audience. We received overwhelming participation from mixologists across the country and are thrilled to see the enthusiastic response from everyone.”

He added, “The jury was impressed with the creativity demonstrated by the participants and the innovative presentation techniques on display. The talent showcased promises a great future for the cocktail culture in India. While it wasn’t an easy task to pick the winner, Vikram was the deserving winner of the first North American Whiskey Cocktail Championship”
 



***
About Brown-Forman Corporation:
For more than 145 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach and GlenDronach. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by nearly 4,600 employees and sold in approximately 160 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com/.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

ARRIBA - Mexican Grill and Tequileria





South Delhi. Not a place one associates with tranquility or anything even remotely close to it. My studio is in Shahpur Jat, a place that is increasingly mad, bustling with designers, karigars and shoppers and there is once in a while, that day where I will dramatically sweep everything off my desk and head out for a drink to calm my nerves. Well, any excuse would work really but you know what I mean.



 It is on one such crazy afternoon that I found this perfect tiny oasis of calm. Arriba. A stone throw from my studio, this absolutely gorgeous Mexican tequileria is in the Asiad Village Restaurant Complex. Now Mexican is not quite my first choice when eating out but tequileria caught my attention and once I sampled their signature margaritas, I knew this was a place I would return to. So yes, it became my go to for a quick relaxing margarita in the afternoon, as refreshing as a siesta. The frozen coconut one is my absolute favourite here. But I had not yet tried the food, because like I said Mexican never tempted me.



 So when Vickrham and I received a dinner invite to the place, I'll be honest I went with all my hopes pinned on their fabulous cocktails. And yes they were superlative from my favourite frozen coconut margarita, to the Jalapeño Bandito and Basil Agave Margarita. 


What I wasn't prepared for though, was Chef Noah's spectacular food! Every bite a beautiful distinct flavour and not a hot sauce drowned ingredient to be seen. We started with the Salsa and Guacamole Carnivale, a lavish platter with 5 salsas and homemade tortilla chips. The mango coriander and habanero is such a delight. Your server will prepare the guacamole right there not the table for you, ensuring it's absolutely fresh and seasoned just how you want it. 
 
For appetizers we had the Stuffed Spiced Jalapeños with Goat Cheese Mousse. This is comfort food at its best with all that flavorsome churros,  cheese. The Mexican Charred Morita Chili Chicken Skewers have become my new favourite dish; Aromatic, tender with just the right punch in the sauce. The mini tacos are something you should definitely try. I would recommend the Cilantro Line Chicken. The Chipotle Chicken Fajitas were really good too; especially the Mexican Rice that came with it and the El Pollo Loco was happiness in every bite.
 

 Mexican food really is quite a familiar taste for the Indian palate. With roast cumin, coriander and chilies dominating the flavour profile, it is really not something one needs getting used to. The difference lies in the preparation style and there is nothing better than enjoying a meal cooked by a chef who is passionate, innovative and approaches his art with respect.


Having stuffed ourselves that full, we decided to go with something simple for dessert. The Churros with Chocolate Duo Dip was anything but simple. It was perfection, especially the chili chocolate dip that comes with a warning!

Arriba has put Mexican Dining right up there on my list and like it's beautiful cocktails, the food too is going to bring me back.




ARRIBA
The Village Restaurant Complex, Asiad Village,
Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi





Review By : Sonalini Chaudhary for Foodmaniacs
Compiled By : Vickrham (vicky)
Email : Vickrham.m@gmail.com  

Monday, 17 April 2017

SKY KARTING IN GURUGRAM - SMAAASH






All Adrenalin junkies and people who love adventure and live life to the fullest, here it is what you must have always dreamt for, but could not get till now. Stop racing your cars on the most dangerous of roads in Delhi/Ncr instead come to SMAAASH Sky Carting, Gurgaon to experience the best of racing tracks and racing carts. 

 
The best of technology being used in the carts worldwide has been imported from Spain. The all-electric, top of the line, RTX range of karts offer superior acceleration as compared to their engine powered counterparts while also being noise, vibration and pollution free. Electric power means you get to experience a deluge of torque right from the start, resulting in stronger acceleration. 


The racing track has been done by Germany based Protex Karting. The track features dramatic elevations meant to be battled with karts that are equipped with exclusive speed control. The Protex barriers instead of the old tyres which usually form the boundaries of the tracks have been deployed to give better and great safety to the karters. These barriers are spring loaded and shock absorbing which makes things more safe and sound.
The staff at the track is professional and briefs you properly about everything so that you are ready to race, though if you have any doubts you can always ask for it. The attention to hygiene and the quality of gear being used is top notch. You can avail of the shoes, if you are in slippers or sneakers at no extra cost. They also provide you with a neck brace to avoid any whiplash injury. They ensure that no adults are allowed to kart when there are children in a slot, so that only the small karts race together. This is a great policy, I must say.


All the gokarts are equipped with exclusive speed control to give track operators an extra degree of ensuring safe fun. The minimum height required to enjoy Sky Karting is 4 feet & above. SMAAASH also has smaller kiddie karts for the young ones. With these exciting features, SMAAASH is clearly the preferred choice of adventurous spots in the Delhi/NCR. 


We all had great fun at the karting arena, but all the wait and excitement made us hungry which got us to the Pitstop Brewpub. This is India’s biggest Truck Restaurant and Bar. A great place to unwind, with friends and family over a glass of freshly brewed beer paired with sumptuous food on offer. The ambience is rustic and carries an old world charm with it, 160 ft long restaurant and bar is attractively designed like a truck, featuring rustic interiors, with cozy amber lighting, contemporary furniture and quirky décor elements.

The menu features a good variety of Cocktails and Mocktails as well as freshly brewed beer from their in house brewery. The food served at Pitstop is an eclectic mix of Thai, Italian, and American and North Indian cuisine. We tried the Mutton Galouti kebab, Mutton Burrah kebab, tempura mushrooms, Fish n Chips which were truly yummy. They also serve wood fired oven pizzas and quick bites like chicken nuggets and potato smileys for the young at heart.


Food and Drinks are very aggressively priced and are not too pricey at all. Service is great and the staff is well trained.

Get set and run for more ………….


SMAAASH
Address:SMAAASH Pitstop Brewpub and Sky Karting ,Behind Huda city Metro station Next to Appu Ghar Water Park, Sector 29, Gurgaon



TIMINGS AND PRICING FOR
Gurgaon ( As per the official website of Smaaash)

Weekdays (Monday to Thursday)
Prices: Rs. 499 (5 mins)

Weekends (Friday to Sunday)
Prices: Rs. 599 (5 mins)

*T&C Apply





Reviewed By : Vickrham (vicky)
Email : Vickrham.m@gmail.com

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Patanjali enters Restaurant Business with 'POSTIK' at Chandigarh

Patanjali which is synonymous to Baba Ramdev is already the talk of our nation for being omnipresent in whatever one can think of in the FMCG arena.

They are eyeing to enter into new verticals  and sectors everyday.The latest being the hospitality sector.POSTIK a 100 % vegetarian eatery has opened its gates in Baltana, near Chandigarh.

The ambience is simple and walls are adorned with the pictures of Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna. Even the Menu displays the same pictures on it. A few health tips come handy on it too.

As per the staff, food served here is as per the taste and health of the customers.

Though Postik belongs to Patanjali, the data at Registrar of Companies shows the names of Directors of Postik Restaurant Private Limited as Rajpal Singh and Jaspal Singh Sembhi.



Compiled by : Foodmaniacs
Pics Source : Google