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Monday, 23 October 2017

Halloween cocktail recipes from The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi

Cocktails Recipes

Sangria (Red cocktail)


Red wine                                          120 ml

Cognac                                              15ml

Triple Sec                                          15 ml

Seasonal fruits                            as required

Witch’s Spell (Blue cocktail)

Vodka                                                45 ml

Blue Curacao.                                   15 ml

Lemon juice                                        5 ml

Orange juice                                        5 ml

Orange Spiral                                for garnish

Saturday, 21 October 2017

1st INDIAN TO COVER ALL DISTILLERIES IN JAPAN IN JUST 10 DAYS - Whisky Tour of Japan by Vineet Mishra

This article is about a true sleuth when it comes to Whisky & Scotch - Vineet Mishra. After being the first Indian to cover all scotch distilleries of Scotland, Vineet's crusade of tasting the divine elixirs of the world, led him to Japan to be first Indian to visit all Japanese Distilleries.

Japan is a country filled with contrasts between modern society and ancient tradition. From bustling Tokyo and zen-like Kyoto all the way to wintery Hokkaido and laid-back Okinawa, Japan is a high-tech world mixed with the politeness and respect of their past. And as per Vineet, quite the same can be said about its whisky culture.

"There are many people who still aren’t familiar that the Japanese produce their own blended and single malt whiskies. Infact, Japan is the world’s third biggest producer of whisky behind the Scotland and USA – yes, they beat the Irish." says Vineet.

Although Scotland has near about 100 distilleries, Japan has less than 10. And the fact that so few distilleries are operating and the people that operate them have such a passion and ability to control the quality means we can trust what is being produced 100%. Mix this with the traditions they have adopted from Scotland along with high quality raw ingredients imported from the homeland of Scotch, and you have a welcomed guest to the worldwide whiskey party, and Japanese whisky provides some much-needed excitement in the world of spirits.

After reaching Tokyo, Vineet headed to Miyagikyo the next morning. Originally named Sendei, Miyagikyo was built in its location near Sendai City in northern Japan because of the combination of its clean air, mild humidity and water access. The distillery is surrounded by two rivers and is the main reason that Taketsuru Masataka, the founder of Nikka, travelled to this location when looking for another ideal site to build a distillery and decided that the pure waters and mild humidity would be more than a perfect to complement to the already well established and regarded Yoichi. The picturesque setting lends Miyagikyo a soft, mild malt. Used in Nikka blended whisky, with recent single malt releases is starting to gain recognition.

Next was Yoichi, another big distillery owned by Nikka. Japan's most northerly distillery and the only one located on the island of Hokkaido - the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands, and the last to be developed. Yoichi distilled whisky gets its distinct aroma and body from direct heating distillation, in which the pot stills are heated with finely powdered peat--the traditional method that is hardly ever used today. Their latest release no longer carries an age statement but it does bring the traditional Japanese profile to mind with its rich, peaty and masculine malt.

By now Vineet was pleasantly overwhelmed by the Japanese whisky culture and he couldnt wait to get to the next distillery on his list - Akkeshi. Akkeshi Distillery is located in an area where the climate and terrain remind us of Islay in Scotland. The nearby sea helps give the whisky a more maritime flavor that is strong and smoky to the palate; the fog and mist that roll off the sea water also enhance the flavor of the casks. The environment could not be more suitable for whisky production.

Chichibu distillery was next. This one is not open for public but Vineet had arranged a visit with Yumi, Chichibu brand ambassador who herself guided the whole tour for Vineet. Chichibu is recently launched, with only 10 employees. It is a small distillery. Same room had mash tun, distillation, fermentation and blending. All fermenting vats including blending vats are made from mizunara tree. The nosing gave a fruity hint with a more spicy hint on the palate.

The next distillery on Vineet's exploits was Hakushu, situated in the foothills of Mount Kaikomagatake and thus also being known as the 'forest distillery'. Considering it's 120kms from Chichibu, the bullet train got Vineet to his destination in less than an hour. Also owned by Suntory, Hakushu is the highest and remotest distillery in Japan with a unique climate that is perfect for maturing whisky. Hakushu whiskies carry a smoky, herbaceous characteristic. Both lightly-peated and heavily-peated malts are used for this complex and deeply enjoyable whisky. The Hakushu distillery was once the largest whisky distillery in the world, with an annual production capacity of 12 million litres. The distillery premises is so big that it houses a bird sanctuary as well.

"It would be wrong to visit Japan and not mention Mt Fuji. And Fuji Gotemba distillery provided the same" says Vineet. The view of Mt Fuji in the  distance adds to the iconic location of the distillery. The distillery was opened in 1973 by the Kirin conglomerate with an international partnership with Seagram’s, Chivas Brothers and Four Roses. A huge 1.7 million square feet facility, it includes a bottling plant as well as the distillery. Fuji Gotemba's water is originally rain and melted snow from the top of Mount Fuji. Fuji boasts of the area’s mineral-rich soil and underground water vein, which yields spring water that’s perfect for making whisky. Fuji Gotemba single malt whisky is marketed under two names- Fuji Gotemba and Fujisanroku. Again the tasting gave hint to more spicy notes with favoring more towards caramel, vanilla like essence upon nosing.

Next up was Yamazaki, Japan's first whisky distillery opened established by Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii in 1923. It only took Vineet 15 minutes to get here on train ride from Kyoto. It has the most popular visitor centre, a world famous bar and the stunning whisky library — with more than 7,000 cataloged bottles elegantly displayed, it's a mesmerizing sight for a whisky aficionado. Last year, the World Whiskies Awards named Yamazaki 25 Year Old the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky.

With only a couple more distilleries left to visit, Eigashima was next. Established more than 100 years ago, the Eigashima distillery mostly focuses on producing sake and shochu. Tours are only available for the sake production area. But that didn't stop Vineet to an get indepth whisky making process of the distillery. Proper whisky production did not begin until the company moved in to their new facilities in 1980s. This new facility was named the ‘White Oak’ distillery and has separate still rooms for sake, shochu and whisky. In 1984, however, it began making proper whisky known as White Oak. In the following years, the distillery made only blended whisky until 2007 when it started production on single malts as well.

Mars shinshu distillery used to produce whisky only during winter, it closed in 1992 only to be opened again following a surge in whisky demand. Vineet booked a private tour for a more indepth guide and covering the entire distillery including the warehouse and stillhouse visit took 30 minutes. The pot stills were moved in from the Yamanashi Plant and were designed based upon the records left by Masataka Taketsuru. The high quality water passing through granite rock is high in natural minerals, and is a large factor that the whisky has a full and balanced flavor. At the distillery shop, complimentary sampling of whisky, beer and wine is available. Talk about adding to the experience.

The tour had almost come to an end and there was one more distillery left for Vineet to visit - Okayama. It was originally located in Tamano City, the owners of Miyashita Sake Brewery moved to Okayama over 80 years ago. An impressive brewery which has spared no expense in up-dating its facilities to help it move into different types of products and now it produces a wide range of sake,  shochu, and in 2011 the Okayama distillery ventured into the whisky business. The distillery decided to launch the production of whisky to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the brewery. Okayama Single Malt whisky, made from malted barley, of which half comes from Japan and half from Germany, and aged for three years in brandy barrels, this was released to celebrate the 100th anniversary. Like most Japanese whisky there is floral and spicy favoring to it with a traditional Japanese profile.

The tour had ended. It was time to come back home - India. Reflecting back upon his entire journey, Vineet thinks it was nothing short of a miracle to visit such scenic places and enjoy their native drinks in a span of only 2 weeks. "I have to come again. There is so much more to learn. Whether you're a whisky fan or not, definitely visit Japan, its a true experience of discipline, craftmanship, and a perfect yin yan mix of technology and the traditions" exclaims Vineet.   

Coverage By : Vineet Mishra
Compiled By : Foodmaniacs
Email :

Monday, 9 October 2017

Aab-o-Namak Munaasib Hai - Royal Cuisine of Mahmudabad at The Leela Ambience COnvention Hotel, Delhi

Continuing the culinary tradition and journey at The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, ‘Dining with the Maharajas’ will be the signature gourmet food festival which will look forward to this.

The first pit stop on the ‘Dining with the Maharajas’ journey is Mahmudabad, situated in the heart of the holy city of Sitapur. To bring this royalty and finesse to the heart of the capital, The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel sent their talented Chef de Cuisine Ashwani Kumar Singh to the land of royals, Mahmudabad. Chef has always been a keen researcher in whatever he does. We have already experienced his deep knowledge in the previous years. His sheer passion for taking food so seriously is really something I miss these days in others. Chef, himself is cooking and finishing all the dishes in this festival as he doesn’t want to take any chances.

The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi a landmark destination for both business and leisure travellers in the city, is celebrating the gloriously grand and royal cuisine of Mahmudabad as its inaugural city. The food festival is a part of the signature ‘Dining with the Maharajas’ series at the hotel. This series of culinary festivals has been especially created to celebrate and revive the love for the fabulously diverse range of dishes served in the royal households across India. 

The journey to the Quila of Mahmudabad served as the perfect beginning to the festival. The melodious live performance by in-house Ghazal musicians at the hotel just creates an ambience that is similar to the one in the Mahmudabad palace and facilitates an authentic experience for the guests.

To experience the grandeur and indulge in the flavoursome Mahmudabad specialties such as Murgh Mussallam, Gosht Makhana Kurma, Matter Latpata, Paneer Hazrat Mahal, Laab- i- Mashooq and much more you need to visit Dilli 32 the specialty restaurant at the hotel.
I bet you won’t regret at all.

Dilli 32, The Leela Ambiance Convention Hotel
1, CBD, Maharaja Surajmal Marg,
Near Yamuna Sports Complex
110032 Delhi, India
Dinner only INR 1677 Plus taxes

Friday, 6 October 2017

PVR & L’Opéra Join Hands to Take Cinema and Hospitality to New Heights in Delhi;Introduce L’Opéra – Salon de Thé by PVR

PVR Cinemas, a pioneer in the movie and entertainment space in India along
with L’Opéra, Delhi-NCR’s finest, award-winning pâtisserie have come together to launch L’Opéra – Salon de Thé by PVR, a new delightful experience at PVR Director’s Cut, located at the 3rd Floor of Ambience Mall, in Vasant Kunj.

Always a trend-setter, PVR, over the years, has placed a distinct emphasis on curating an exceptional food and beverage offering, understanding cinema goers’ ever evolving expectations for a wholesome experience encompassing both entertainment and hospitality. The opening of L’Opéra – Salon de Thé by PVR continues this legacy.

 It also marks the opening of L’Opéra’s 14th outlet in Delhi NCR. Renowned for its unparalleled quality bakery and pastry products, L’Opéra prides itself in sharing its French culinary roots with an evergrowing number of discerning patrons throughout the Delhi-NCR area.

The much-awaited launch event witnessed the esteemed presence of H.E. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, together with over 200 select guests, including leaders of the diplomatic, business and artistic communities, as well as prominent members of the press. 

PVR Director’s Cut has changed Delhi’s moviegoers’ experience by constantly elevating it to unmatched new heights. It has brought in many innovations in the recent past, from ‘Simply Sushi’ which has redefined the food experience while watching your favorite movie, to The Den - a members-only wine and jazz lounge, where one can unwind before or after a film, to “Popcorn Bar” which offers an unparalleled proprietary selection of sweet & savory gourmet popcorn and now, L’Opéra – Salon de Thé by PVR.

L’Opéra - Salon de Thé by PVR, embodies Parisian refinement and luxury at its finest. It accommodates up to 20 guests, allowing them to enjoy the very best of French dessert culture at PVR’s luxury flagship. It is all set to become the quintessential destination.
So, be it for lunch or high tea as well as light French meals throughout the day and evening, it lends for a truly immersive experience not only for movie-goers and the mall, but the entire tri-mall area.

With fittings and furniture brought in from overseas, including antique furniture markets in France, painstaking rigor in the detailing of the setup and an exclusive setting recreating the most refined café atmosphere in Paris, guests can now enjoy the finest of both worlds.
Adjacent to Director’s Cut, this handshake in the world of luxury presents the city with a one-of-a-kind offering, underlined by an exclusive L’Opéra dessert menu exuding sophistication and class, to the wellestablished savoir-faire and chicness that both PVR and L’Opéra are known for.

“Guests at PVR Director’s Cut can expect a world class and exclusive experience not only in cinema viewing, but also in the food and beverage. L’Opéra’s exclusive selection is in line with our endeavor to provide a one-of-a-kind experience to our patrons.” said Renaud Pallière, CEO – International Development at PVR.

“Guests at the L’Opéra Salon de Thé by PVR will truly be transported to Paris – they will taste Paris, they will see Paris and they will hear Paris – an exquisite experience, not to be missed!” said Laurent Samandari, Managing Director at L’Opéra. 

The guests at the launch event were seen thoroughly enjoying the night of Parisian delicacies filled with live jazz music followed by a screening of the movie ‘The Hundred Foot-Journey’ at PVR Director’s Cut. 

Noteworthy fact points: 

• Architecture & design: L’Opéra Salon de Thé by PVR draws its inspiration from some of the
most iconic classical Salon de Thés in Paris.
• Details of the furniture and fixture: classical Parisian café furniture has been sourced from one of the oldest furniture design houses in France, and lighting fixtures from antique stores from the
famed Paris fleamarket.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Cha Bar introduces Bubble Menu

Cha Bar, Delhi’s most popular and frequented Tea Café introduced Cha Bar Bubble Menu a refreshing range of beverages, extending its much-loved current menu. The latest Bubble Menu offers freshly created Bubble Teas and Bubble Milkshakes. These offerings promise to give customers a whole new experience this season and take them on a nectarous cruise. 

The concept of Bubble Teas originates from Taiwan where chewy tapioca balls are infused in teas to derive special flavourful slushy iced blend drinks with fruity pearl balls. Cha Bar has developed its own version of Bubble Teas and Bubble Milkshakes with bursting fruit flavours, adding a variety of interesting options to its existing menu of over 155 teas.

Cha Bar’s range of flavours in the Bubble Menu includes Blueberry, Cherry, Green Apple, Mango, Passion Fruit, Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry and Milk Tea under the Bubble Tea section. The Bubble Milkshake section presents flavors like Blueberry, Cherry, Green Apple, Mango, Passion Fruit, Peach, Raspberry, and Strawberry. 

Following the promise to provide differentiated experience and bringing in some of the best beverages, Cha Bar has added these nine new teas and eight new milkshakes to its latest range. This entire exciting new range of beverages are available at Cha Bar’s Connaught Place outlet in New Delhi. The Bubble Teas are priced at INR 160 and the Bubble Milkshakes are priced at INR 180.

Address: N-81, Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Opening Hour: 11 AM to 9:30 PM

About Cha Bar:
Cha Bar is the first of its kind urban contemporary space that created a rage in Kolkata in the year 2000, turning tea from a dry page in history to a lifestyle drink! Ms. Priti Paul’s brainchild backed by generations of Apeejay Surrendra group’s experience in tea plantation business, Cha Bar was created as an integral part of more than 90 years old iconic Oxford Bookstore in city centre Park Street. The concept was expanded pan India integrated into Oxford Bookstores and customers loved the experience of being able to browse at leisure, leafing through the books of their choice, over a cup of tea from the wide selection available at the Cha Bar or simply unwinding with friends sipping the rejuvenating beverage, iced or piping hot!
Whether one prefers a rich, full-bodied, strong flavor, or a light fragrant taste, the Cha Bar offers a wide and enviable choice. Cha Bar believes that there is indeed nothing quite like a good cup of tea so every cup of blend we serve has journeyed, be it from the dhabas in India or from across the Globe from other cultures. Today, Cha Bar offers this experience at Oxford Bookstores across multiple stores in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.
From the Flowering Teas, Organic Teas, Herbal Teas, Diet Teas, Fruit Teas, to an exclusive range of Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Sikkim and Oolong, complimented by the best in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, Russian, Sri Lankan, South African and Thai Teas – make up more than 150 varieties on offer to create pure joy for our customers as they browse through a book by their favourite author. Cha Bar’s Menu boasts of exotic and cultural blends like the Moroccan Mint, South African Rooibos, Decaf Teas, Green Teas and Ayurvedic Teas with healing powers and all of them are popular amongst our patrons. A special category of ‘Chai Hindustani’ and the Cutting Cha has been reinvented here at Cha Bar. Single Estate Virginal Teas from our Plantations in Upper Assam are also served here in a truly contemporary setting delivering an experience that has made Cha Bar a preferred destination. It was in April 2007 that we first brought Bollywood Masala Mix Cha, Truck Drivers 100 Mile Ki Cha, Katakali, Formosa Oolong, Yellow Tea, Emerald Green, Vervain Blue, Jasmine Pearl, Chinese Lapsang Souchoung, Verbena Tea, Licorice Tea, Fruit Melange, and Japanese Genmaicha to our Menu.
To complement the collection of Teas, Cha Bar offers a wide selection of Ala Carte savories such as fresh wholesome salads like the Mediterranean salad, classic Caesar with a choice of dressings that are perfect for a nutritious meal. Scrumptious finger foods like chilli cheese toasties, cha piazi , cocktail sausage rolls and fish and chips are the ideal appetizers to share with friends and family. Other tit bits include the classic English tea sandwiches, pita wraps and rolls, house special soft centered muffins, freshly baked cookies and cupcakes, home-style special cakes and pies like the carrot and walnut apple and cinnamon pie is perfect to round off tea-time or take away. Other delightful savories include Falafel Hummus in pita pockets, Earchi pathiri, Barbequed chicken sausages, Paneer khurcan roll, Keema Samosas and Double chocolate chip and walnut cookies.
The stylish and relaxing ambience of Cha Bar can make hours go by browsing through our huge collection of books while one is spoilt for choice with an assortment of Teas blended and prepared with precision, and after exhaustive research, with personalized and informed service. The space dedicated to the Cha Bar adds to the experience. The natural colors of all material generate a serene, placid, refreshing and a comforting environment. The unique design and concept incorporates the original textures of wood, steel, glass, aluminum, onyx which are uncoated and exist in their original beauty and contours. The predominating color white used in our latest Cha Bar in Connaught Place offsets the brilliant mélange of hues of the Oxford Bookstore Connaught Place – the active space brimming with energy.