CELEBRATIONS IN NEW DELHI

CELEBRATIONS IN NEW DELHI

CELEBRATIONS IN NEW DELHI Featured February 10, 2019
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi organized several events to celebrate the 71st anniversary of independence. The official ceremony in the morning of 04th February commenced with the hoisting of the national flag amidst the sound of the ceremonial drums (Magul Bera). Following the rendering of the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil, religious dignitaries representing all four religions in Sri Lanka – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity – blessed the country, the leaders and the people of Sri Lanka.
The programme included the reading of Independence Day messages by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana.At the end of the formal event, two dance items were performed by the Sri Lanka Navy Dance Troupe bringing colour to the event. The invitees numbering around 120 including Sri Lankan expatriates and students who are in New Delhi were hosted to a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast. An alms giving was held prior to the official ceremony at the official residence, for the Buddhist clergy representing the major Sri Lankan Buddhist Institutes in India.
On 04th February evening, a Diplomatic Reception for around 800 guests, was held for the political dignitaries, Senior Government Officials of India, members of the diplomatic corp, eminent business leaders and members of the Sri Lankan community in India at the Residence of the High Commissioner. The Chief Guest of the event was Hon. Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation of India.
In his address, High Commissioner Austin Fernando stated that as neighbours, friends, and relatives, Sri Lanka has had close relationship with India in many spheres. Buddhism has played a seminal aspect that binds us together, which is a significant factor that contributes to the celebration of Independence Day in India. While speaking on the Sri Lanka’s bilateral relations with India, he emphasized that enhanced application of the latter mentioned relationships will certainly pave the way to make Sri Lankans to fully enjoy the real freedom received in 1948. Hon. Suresh Prabhu stated in his address that India and Sri Lanka must explore expanding cooperation in potential areas for mutual benefit.
The 20 member dance troupe made a spectacular performance encapsulating all aspects of the Sri Lankan traditional dancing such as pooja dance, mask dance, folk and fire dances which mesmerized the audience.
The High Commission arranged for the guests to savour Indian as well as Sri Lankan cuisine, which was laid out by the Sri Lankan Chefs from the Hotel Blue Water, Wadduwa, and the Executive Chief Nihal Somasiri was specially flown in from Sri Lanka and the Indian cuisine was prepared by the ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi.
The National Day reception was supported by sponsors such as Sri Lankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Handicraft Board (Laksala), Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, DBS Bank, ITC Hotels Group, IRCON International Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra, MJF Tea Pvt Ltd (world famous Dilmah Brand) in Sri Lanka, RITES Ltd. And BRANDIX Lanka Limited, which is a leading apparel company in Sri Lanka with the largest Sri Lankan investment in India.
Additionally, a Sri Lanka Food Festival was inaugurated on 5th February on the sidelines of the 71st Independence Day celebrations, which will run through till 10th February and Sri Lankan Chef from the Hotel Blue Waters and his assistants will prepare authentic Sri Lankan food for the festival bringing the best of flavours of Sri Lankan spices while offering a wide array of curries and desserts to the delhiites. The Sri Lanka Food festival is jointly organized with the ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi.
A Sri Lankan cultural performance was arranged for the Delhi Public and school children on 5th February at the Charkha Museum, Open Air Theatre in the Connaught Place in the heart of the city of Delhi. This cultural performance was organized jointly with the New Delhi Municipal Council.

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GET A TASTE OF INDYA WITH COLORFUL DISHES & BOLD FLAVORS

GET A TASTE OF INDYA WITH COLORFUL DISHES & BOLD FLAVORS Indya by Vineet is located in Dubai Marina.
Chef Vineet Bhatia needs no introduction-the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin-star for his London-based restaurant, Zaika. Having opened over 25 restaurants around the world, his latest venture in Dubai (not his first), is Indya By Vineet.
Located at Le Royal Meridian Beach & Spa, the vibrant decor radiates good vibes. From grand cane chairs to a large collage on the wall and the bright accessories, this place is reminiscent of the colors and spirit of India.
The eclectic menu is neatly split into different categories and includes the greatest hits from India. If you are familiar with the cuisine, then you will instantly spot the usual favorites. A variety of sweet and savory chaats, small bites like samosas and onion bhajias, seekh kebabs and Amritsari-the menu covers the entire region from East and West.
The tapa style dishes allow you to order a variety of options and share with others on the table. We started with charcoal sev papdi dahi chaat (55 AED)- the charcoal elevated the dish from its humble street food status to something more intriguing. Samosas (55 AED) are our go-to Indian snack and the ones we tried here were presented in a pinwheel shape and accompanied with a lip-smacking homemade ketchup.
In the mains, we picked the homestyle chicken masala with dal (65 AED)-we scooped up the gravy of the chicken with freshly baked garlic naan. The prawn chili with curd rice (75 AED) is a unique but sinfully tasty combination.
We were keen to try the desert and after much deliberation picked the kulfi falooda (45 AED)-a classic ice cream topped with rice noodles that was given a new twist because of its refined presentation and the rose and mint syrup drizzled over it.
Indya by Vineet is a welcome new addition in Dubai Marina and is a celebration of the colorful and bold flavors of Indian cuisine and culture. Indya by Vineet Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Mamsha Street +97143165550 Join our WhatsApp group and receive curated news and offers in your WhatsApp Feed Thanks for joining us.

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In Turmoil: Layered tensions in the Holy Land

As we traversed the Holy Land of Israel we slowly began to feel the tensions beneath. My husband captured this beautifully in the poem that I post at the end of this post. Not having inherited such talent I write in prose of the various manifestations of the tensions beneath. A long the road to Nazareth in North Israel, we saw the ‘Wall of Separation’ with the Palestinian population on the other side. The wall was not continuous and there was limited interaction across the wall. The Israelis consider that this is a requirement for security against terrorists and the Palestinians call this racial segregation. The region had many other markers of racial segregation as pointed out by our tour guide, Dan. In the villages we passed there were houses with white water tanks and those with both white and black water tanks. The houses with only white water tanks were Israeli houses and those with white and black water tanks were Arab-Muslim houses. The white tanks received water from the local water supply scheme. The black tanks were storage tanks for water. The guide provided us the logic that the Arabs did not trust the government to provide water regularly to them. Hence they build additional storage tanks. The Israelis were confident that the government would provide water and that there would not be any water scarcity. An alternate explanation is that the Arabs mistrust of the government came from prior experience and it probably reflects the conflict ridden and tense situation in which the ‘other’ communities live.
A tour titled ‘The Other Tel Aviv: Culture and Food Tour’ fascinated me and we took this tour with guide Rikki, Abraham Tours. I soon understood why it was called the ‘other’ Tel Aviv! It was not just a tour of Israeli food, but a tour of the refugee communities who lived in the South of the city, an area called Neve-Shaanon. The Old Bus Terminal which was in this area had been moved some distance away, Central Bus Station, but Neve-Shaanon remained a major transportation hub.
The architect who planned this area did not want to create a symmetrical design. He chose to design the streets in the shape of a Menorah, a symbol of Judaism and emblem of the state of Israel. It is an ancient Hebrew seven-lamp stand with six branches. We saw this lamp in the background of a little room in Masada Fort where the scriptures of Judaism were being physically copied. The Municipality is now planning to re-develop this area and the poor owners of these old shops will be given ‘compensation’, but no space to set-up their business again. This is the story of ‘urban development’ projects and the informal economy everywhere in the world. The apparent reason is the fear that these areas are dens of smuggling and drugs. The tension escalates.
Transcribing the Jewish scriptures with Menorah in the background, Masada
Abraham
As we waited for our guide Rikki we noticed a set of three photos of people named Abraham who were Christian, Jew and Muslim. What a wonderful way to depict the mixing of cultures in this region. But what we saw on this tour were all the ingredients of conflict though the three religions originated from the same soil, the Holy Land.
A large refugee population lived here and since rents were lower, so did the student community. We first visited a shop that sold dried fruits and various dried seeds that could be had as a snack or in your morning cereal. The shop keeper did not want to be photographed, we got permission to click the nuts and seeds!!
Refugees from Eritrea formed a large component. We visited an Eritrean Shack, Dhabba in Indian vocabulary. It was a long hall with a canvas roof giving the impression of a tent. The Eritrean Shack had no name as others in the area. But when we pressed him, he called it ‘Chalo’. The Eritrean’s have a coffee ceremony as the Japanese have a tea ceremony. He served us the ceremonial coffee with nuts, incense and popcorn with sugar, Popcorn is served with sugar candy at weddings. Fresh coffee is brewed in a samovar like vessel and served in small cups.
There were three large Television screens and we wondered who would watch three at a time? Rikki explained that the community lived in very tiny apartments, often sharing with others. These shacks become the meeting place for the community. They converge here in the evenings, watch different shows on TV, singing along and drinking coffee with nuts and eating their meals. ‘Chalo’ Eritrean Shack WI FI at ‘Chalo’
The ‘Chalo’ Shack provided WI- FI facilities to attract and get the customers to stay. The language of Eritrea is Tigrinya and it is spoken in Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia, a bordering country. The two countries were locked in a border conflict!
Israel has a ‘Right to Return’ law for Jews all over the world. Ethiopian Jews are welcome in Israel. The Eritreans are generally Christian, so they come to Israel as refugees. There were also a large number of Muslim refugees, but many left for Canada in the recent years. There is a family reunification scheme in European countries. So some refugees were able to move to where their families resided, UK, European countries or even the US. The country also a scheme for ‘Voluntary Return’ to Africa, which according to Rikki is not so voluntary! The refugee population in Israel reduced from 7000 to 4000 with all these efforts, which was hardly 1% of the country’s population. The popular media depicted the refugees as creating conflict and racial tensions in the area and in the country leading to a hostile environment for the refugees.
Next we visited a Sudanese restaurant again with no name. This was however, in an established shop and not in a tent as our previous Eritrean restaurant. The Sudanese refugees have had a sad past in a country faced with genocide in Darfur since 2003. The Sudanese libertarian movement fought the government and the latter began ethnic cleansing of Non-Arab Darfur population. Hundreds of people lost their lives. Refugees escaped across the desert of Egypt. In this conflict ridden region, Israel is considered the only democracy. In 2006 Israel let in the refugees and gave them tickets to go to Tel Aviv, but no further arrangements were made for them. They arrived and settled in squatter settlements in the city. Later some efforts were made by the Israeli government and international NGOs to help settle these refugees. They have still not been given legal status, but are allowed to work informally.
Sudanese Restaurant served chick peas topped with salty cheese & chicken curry,
Tasted very Indian! The main street Nave Sh’anon Street is also known as the shoe street as it was originally a cluster of shoe shops. We visited an Indian store in the area and were served coconut water (from tins, a blasphemy for a Keralite!) and poor tasting Cashew barfi (nothing to beat our Gujarati Kaju Barfi!).
There is a large Sri Lankan and Indian community of domestic helpers, who work as live-in maids in homes of the well-to-do in the city. They have a five and half day working week. They hire apartments in this area as it is cheaper and a number of them live together during the week-end. They stock up food and provisions from these local Indian and other stores and cook together. This is different from the pattern I observed of domestic help in other countries, Singapore and Hong Kong. Domestic workers got one day off and spent it with friends picnicking in parks in Singapore and in garages and other empty city squares in Hong Kong!
Next we visited another Eritrean Restaurant, Shiro, a little more up-market than the one before. Ethiopian beer was available. The Eritrean refugee population was mainly male as the Dictator in the country controlled the media and conscripted young men to the army for life. It was very costly and dangerous to escape. Still the young men paid smugglers and crossed through Sudan, Egypt and the Sinai Desert. In the Sinai desert the Bedouin tribes kidnapped them and demanded huge ransoms from their families in Eritrea. They were released into Israel only after the ransom was collected from the families. These boys spent their lives trying to repay their families for the ransom paid for them to escape. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee_kidnappings_in_Sinai)
At the Restaurant, Shiro, we ate injera the Ethiopian/Eritrean appam (Kerala) in a large plate (thali) made from a grain called teff (jawar) grown in Ethiopia. The whole large plate (thali) with vegetables, lentils and meat over it is called injera. Very taste indeed!
Eritrean Restaurant Shiro Ethiopian Beer Injera, Yummy Teff plant and grain
Discussion at Shiro
At the restaurant our group of 3 Indians, 2 South Africans and 2 Dutch had a discussion on racial conflict with our Israeli guide Rikki. According to her the news media projected that there was tension between communities and the original residents were pushed out of this area by the refugees. However, Israeli youth who live in the area due to it being cheaper, are quite friendly with the refugee population according to Rikki who also resides here. In the recent local elections there were two parties, one was pro and the other anti-refugees. The pro-refugee party won the elections if that can be seen as an indicator of acceptance of the refugees. The Israeli government does not issue the Eritreans passports, while the Eritrean embassy will issue a passport after payment of a large tax or a bribe. The Israeli government has set up separate schools for refugees and is accused of racial segregation. Refugees do not have work permits, are informally employed and do not get minimum wages. These informal enterprises are set up by the refugees in ‘partnership’ with sympathetic Israeli citizens. This practice is followed in many countries including the Gulf countries.
Most refugees have been in jail and Detention Centers for long periods. This according to Rikki is to done to make it difficult for them to stay. Israel provides tickets to allow anyone willing to leave to go back to African countries.
Finally we visited a Chinese restaurant. There are many East Asian stores catering to the East Asian population of the area. The Chinese restaurant served genuine Chinese Chinese cuisine, unlike spicy Chinese food in Gujarat. We tasted a delicious Chinese spinach dish.
And so ended our wonderful tour with a close glimpse of the undercurrents and tensions of the land. Finally I end with a poetic description of the land and its underlying tensions by Rakesh Basant:
ISRAEL
Nationalities, Tied to a religion Religions, Anchored in a location Search for meaning In history and folklore Life in all forms
Dots the barrenness of the Judean
And celebrates
Human endeavour, perseverance and belief
While paranoia intermingles with
Shifting physical boundaries
And tense co-existence of diverse cultures Paper wishes stuffed in its crevices
The Wailing Wall mourns
More than the death of the sea
Even as it helps hands reach out to divinity
While feet trample on wishes
That lost the battle for space in the crevices
And are strewn on the ground Traversing Undulating cobbled roads of multiple ethnicities
That cover ancient civilizations
Cleanses the souls of at least the believers
Just as a float in the Dead Sea
And a paste of its soil
Cleanses the bodies of the believers and the non-believers alike!

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Raising a Toast: Lift to Loft

Raising a Toast: Lift to Loft 11/02/2019 Gurugram, February 11, 2019: After an impressive debut with the Clock Tower on Golf Course Road, noted restaurateur and owner of HT Hospitality, Tribhuvan Yadav announced the launch of the group’s highly anticipated second venture, Loft by The Clock Tower at the 32nd Milestone, Gurugram. Loft aims to further the legacy of the Clock Tower’s award-winning concept offering the choicest world brews and experiences. Loft by The Clock Tower is for all those who love their beers with a side of exclusivity. With a wide range of global brews on tap and a carefully curated progressive menu set in eye-catching architecture, Loft aims to bring the Manhattan pub experience to life. Best described as a progressive microbrewery with a unique take on world beers, Loft is looking to redefine the region’s nightlife landscape. Speaking at the launch, owner Tribhuvan Yadav said: “ We are very excited for Loft’s launch as this is our 2nd outlet in the city and we are hoping to introduce Gurgaon’s consumers to some innovative brews and progressive cuisine under the same roof. While we continue to experiment with our menu and introduce exciting offerings from across the globe, we promise to remain true to the original concept of the Clock Tower, of establishing an ideal neighborhood pub which provides a novel experience to anyone who walks in.” “The ambiance is heavily influenced by old fashioned meat-packing warehouses in Manhattan and New York, and with 5 sections spread over 12,000 square feet and 3 floors, the 300-cover drinkery is certain to cater to every need and whimsy of the demanding Gurgaon patrons” he added. The ambiance, true to its description will transport guests to the yesteryear bars of New York. From the vibrant Mad Hatter dance floor for those who love to party to the reflective Green terrace for corporate wine and dines, each corner has a one-of-a-kind theme to offer to create the perfect mood for any occasion with friends or colleagues. The huge performing area with over 10 monthly gigs and some of the most prominent Delhi performers scheduled is also sure to attract the city’s music lovers. With 4 always-available brews and 1 tap for seasonal brews, Loft’s bar menu is a delight for any beer lover. Rose Wheat American Lager, Oak chips infused Vienna Lager, Custom Blend Kaapi Stout and 5 spiced Saison make for a heady mixture of traditional brews with a twist and will keep the experiment-savvy public engaged. The menu at Loft by The Clock Tower is a multi-cuisine fiesta, with influences from across the globe craftily combined with Indian flavors and sensibilities to pander to the cosmopolitan palettes of 2019 Gurgaon. Guests may choose from a variety of sumptuous food offerings to pair their drink with – Malabar Quesadilla, Three Pepper Tofu, Wasabi Mushrooms, and Peanut Butter Paneer Tikkas among others. For the meat lovers, there are delicacies like Kadahi Lamb Burgers, Banger and Mash Crostinis and Triple Cooked Pork. Related Posts Enjoy the best of luxury at Sohum Spa Mumbai’s most romantic Valentine’s Day restaurants! With bicycle delivery, Zomato peddles towards sustainable mobility

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Recipe: Nopalito’s Carne Asada con Chorizo – Cowboys and Indians Magazine

Recipe: Nopalito’s Carne Asada con Chorizo BY José R. Ralat February 11, 2019 This easy recipe from an award-winning cookbook brings a taste of Mexico into your home.
San Francisco is well-known for its incredible dining. There’s Zuni Café, where, whatever else you order, make sure to save room for the perfect roast chicken. There’s Tartine Bakery, a buttery pastry heaven, and there’s Coi, a Michelin-starred fine-dining establishment that proved to be the training ground for a cadre of America’s great chefs — Carlos Salgado, Evan and Sarah Rich, and James Syhabout, among them.
Nopalito in San Francisco should have already been known as one of the Golden Gate City’s best restaurants. The 2018 James Beard Award for International Cookbook for its namesake cookbook, Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen by the restaurant’s chef, Gonzalo Guzmán, has cemented its well-earned status.
The collection of 100 recipes for Mexican dishes through a California lens offers readers an accessible entrée into the foods of one of America’s most popular cuisines, a gastronomy that has played no small part in the development of what we eat in the West.
Recipes include those representative of Puebla, the Yucatán Peninsula, Michoacán, and Mexico City balanced with primers on techniques and culture.
Give one of our favorite recipes, a grilled steak and chorizo dish, a try. Carne Asada con Chorizo
(Serves 4 to 6)
Carne asada is a ubiquitous feature of American taquerias, but we wanted to do something different with our version. In Mexico, it is very popular to combine two types of meat or seafood in one dish—typically a leaner meat with a fattier one—so here we added the rich chorizo to complement the nice lean skirt steak. Adding cooked cactus absorbs some of the chorizo fats as well, lending a vegetable component to an otherwise meaty meal. We serve it with salsa borracha, a chunky, dark chile–based salsa with a little sweetness and a splash of tequila for acidity and kick ( borracha means “drunk” in Spanish).
Even though this carne asada recipe is an entrée, you can forgo the fork and knife: it is meant to be scooped up with warm tortillas and eaten by hand like we do in Mexico .
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 4 limes), plus the zest of 2 limes ½ cup olive oil 2 pounds top sirloin or skirt steak, trimmed Salt 4 medium nopales (cactus leaves), spines trimmed away 1 cup crumbled chorizo oaxaqueño or crumbled store-bought Mexican chorizo, casings removed For serving
Salsa borracha 8 – 12 warm homemade soft corn tortillas store-bought soft corn tortillas
In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, and olive oil. Season the beef well with salt and add it to the citrus mixture; let marinate at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, rinse the cactus leaves with cold water and season with salt. In a large skillet or griddle over high heat, working in batches if needed, cook the cactus leaves until charred on both sides and slightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and let cool slightly, then slice into ½-inch-wide strips. In the same skillet, lower the heat to medium and add the crumbled chorizo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and fully cooked, about 6 minutes. Stir the sliced cactus into the chorizo. Turn off the heat but keep the mixture warm.
When ready to serve, preheat a grill or griddle to high heat. Add the steak and let cook, turning once, until medium, about 3 minutes per side; remove and let rest about 5 minutes.
Slice the steak against the grain into ¼ -inch-thick pieces. Transfer to a large platter or divide among 4 – 6 individual plates. Garnish the steak with cilantro and serve with the chorizo and cactus mixture, the salsa borracha, and warm tortillas on the side.
For more information on Nopalito or to make reservations, visit the restaurant’s website . Purchase Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen here .
Reprinted with permission from Nopalito copyright 2017 by Gonzalo Guzmán with Stacy Adimando. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright 2017 by Eva Kolenko.
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Excellent Hotel

I visited this hotel in January 2019 for a two week stay. It was awesome. The staff was excellent, in particular Shraddha, Kiran, Akshay, Guddu and Pushpraj. I had a 24 hour private butler and was able to get food at any hour of the day or night. The food was excellent. There was a wide variety of Indian and International cuisine. The staff was friendly and welcoming. The hotel was very clean. I enjoyed the daily massages. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay and appreciate the warmth of the people here who made it a home away from home for our stay. And I’ll never forget these guys who I mentioned and not forgetting the kindness of Yohan (manager). They are truly nice people. Thank you Svenska.

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Food, festivals, culture: Hong Kong is the place to visit

COLOURFUL festivals, big sporting events and new cultural hubs are just some of the reasons to visiting Hong Kong this year.
Then there is the fabulous shopping and eating.
Here are some top insider visitor tips:
A traditional performance at the Xiqu Centre. iMAGE28
CULTURE
The Xiqu Centre in West Kowloon is a platform for the conservation, promotion and development of Cantonese opera and other genres of xiqu (Chinese traditional theatre) in Hong Kong and beyond. There performances to enjoy inside the striking building which blends traditional and contemporary elements.
Down at Tsim Sha Tsui the Avenue of Stars has a new collection of celebrity handprints and statues on display. Visitors will be able to step back in time and relive the successes of past Hong Kong movies, set with the backdrop of the stunning Victoria Harbour.
The Peninsula Hotel’s newest guest experience, a 15-metre powerboat, is available for daily harbour tours.
EXPERIENCE
The Mills project has seen the former textile mills turned into a destination for innovation, business, experiential retail, arts, culture and learning. The former mills have been transformed into a single complex incorporating The Mills Fabrica, The Mills Shopfloor and the Centre for Heritage, Arts & Textile.
The Peninsula Hong Kong is the first luxury hotel in Hong Kong to offer a trinity of deluxe transportation options; the existing fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms, a customised helicopter and now a yacht. The Sunseeker Manhattan 60 is a 19m cruiser that can carry up to 15 guests each evening to enjoy a two-hour evening cruise featuring the Symphony of Lights on the mesmerising Victoria Harbour during the Harbour Sunset Cruise.
Join the grandchildren, or go alone, and step into popular Disney stories at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. It has new immersive attractions and exclusive Disney experiences.
Chef Bruno Menard’s kitchen, lightly cooked Tasmanian trout, chlorophyll jelly, wasabi.
EAT
Japan’s ramen noodle champion Hayashi Takao and leading specialist in Japan’s national culinary artform, Matsumura Takahiro, have launched Ramen Cubism at a chic basement venue in Wellington Street, Central.
Daarukhana, a contemporary concept delivering a new take on Indian foodhas opened in Wan Chai. It features lofty interiors while the kitchen shrugs off convention by using ingredients rarely seen in Indian cooking. Guests can indulge in pairings including chili honey glazed French langoustines with South Indian beans as well as other culinary innovations.
Former three Michelin Stars Chef Bruno Ménard has joined the Junon, a establishment that combines live musical performances with fine-dining cuisine. Chef Bruno crafts seasonal menus supported by premium quality, fresh ingredients sourced from Hong Kong and around the world.
Mokutan, a Japanese Izakaya, is open in Tsim Sha Tsui at Empire Prestige. It offers a repertoire of high-quality, seasonal specialties, highlighting three affordable Omakase menus.
Peking Garden in Star House, Tsim Sha Tsui, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. It offers dishes inspired by Beijing’s Imperial Cuisine, characterised by its elaborate detail and craftsmanship.
Occupying a multi-storey complex in Kowloon City, Sanwa Jo has five master chefs at the helm, the curators of the three Japanese gastronomic classics: sushi, teppanyaki, robatayaki and washoku.
Celebrity Japanese pâtissier-chocolatier Hironobu Tsujiguchi has opened four Super Sweets Galleries located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Causeway Bay and Shatin. The celebrated Iron Chef confectioner, introduces a range of his signature cakes, roll-cakes, desserts, pastries, truffles and chocolates ‘with a French twist’.
The exterior of the Mojo Nomad Central, a new concept in hotel-motel accommodation. Kevin Mak, Kingymak
DRINK
Fans of holistic tea purveyor Basao tea can now enjoy a cuppa of its exceptional single-origin clean-grown brews at the brand’s first dedicated teabar located on Moon Street, Wanchai. It uses exclusive fine teas from hand-picked partner growers in China, Taiwan, Nepal, India and Japan.
Taiwanese drink maestro Angus Zou has partnered up with Tasting Group’s Antonio Lai to unveil the city’s first cocktails on tap bar concept, Draft Land. They serve simple, no-fuss, high-quality cocktails at a reasonable price with seasonal pre-batch-only and garnish-free cocktails on tap.
The new Rosewood Hotel.
SLEEP
Mojo Nomad Central, a ground-breaking concept that turns the traditional hotel model completely on its head, is now open on Queen’s Road Central. It features exceptional food and beverage offerings and 24-hour facilities including a contemporary fitness centre, laundry area and an expertly appointed co-working space.
Rosewood Hong Kong, a new ultra-luxury property situated within the Victoria Dockside arts, design and conceptual retail district, will open on 17 March. It has eight restaurants and lounges plus recreational facilities including Asaya, Rosewood’s holistic wellness concept, a fitness centre and swimming pool.
For more information go to discoverhongkong.com/au .

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How to eat your way through Black History Month in K-W

In 1995, the federal government designated the month of February as a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions that Black Canadians have made in our communities.
For chef Derek Hines, it gives pause for thought.
“I’m hoping we get to a time when we don’t need to celebrate black history once a year because it would be celebrated every month. Black History Month has its good and bad for me,” said Hines, who is of Jamaican descent and operates Boutique Catering in Kitchener.
Black History Month coin celebrates Viola Desmond 6 Black Canadian writers to watch in 2019 I think the unique and delicious flavours of Jamaica, the Caribbean and Africa that we can find in the area are indeed worth regular visits: they include some of the best comfort food going, while at the same time highlighting ingredients and techniques that were brought to North America centuries ago.
While he loves the Jamaican flavours of ginger, allspice, Scotch Bonnet peppers, jerk chicken as well as African ground-nut (like peanut) stews, a favourite dish for Hines is one packed with a significant history.
“Hoppin’ John (rice and beans) goes back to African slaves,” he said. “It’s a dish that symbolizes prosperity, so the more black-eyed peas you get in your plateful, the more prosperous you’re going to be that year.” (His recipe is found below .)
Note: Red peas, an original ingredient of the dish, came from Africa; for more on how slaves shaped food in North America, read this interesting article by Karen Pinchin.
Kevin Thomas of Big Jerk BBQ and Smokehouse fills a plate with “peas and rice.” (Kate Bueckert/CBC) Blended mix Andrew Beckford of Gusto and Beckford Catering adds the unique flavours of Jamaican and Caribbean food comes from blending ingredients properly.
More food columns from Andrew Coppolino “It’s building the spice combinations. It’s not as curry-heavy as say Indian food, but curry is a part of the cuisine. Then you have cumin and allspice balanced with the heat of Scotch Bonnets,” Beckford said, adding that Jamaican isn’t necessarily a regional cuisine, but there are different ingredients used at different ends of the island.
At Mark’s Caribbean Kitchen in downtown Kitchener, chef-owner Mark Vaughan says he draws on those Indian flavours.
“We use spices and ingredients from around the Caribbean and mix them with a little bit of Indian. We do a lot of seafood at dinner too, like pan-fried snapper and curried prawns,” Vaughan says.
Regarding a couple of his dishes, Vaughan throws down a culinary gauntlet: “Ours is a unique style of oxtail, and customers say our jerk chicken is the best.”
“Run dung” is a unique dish of Kevin Thomas’s Jamaican background which he makes periodically. It’s Patois for “run down.” (Kevin Thomas/Supplied) Kevin Thomas at Big Jerk Smokehouse has a commercial kitchen for take-away on Dumart Place in Kitchener. Thomas cooked rice and peas at CBC Kitchener-Waterloo’s Sounds of the Season this past December.
He says “run dung” is a unique dish of his Jamaican background which he makes periodically. It’s a seafood dish in Patois, a lilting English-based Creole language that’s spoken in Jamaica and which has West African influences.
“In English, it’s run-down,” Thomas said. “It’s a thick coconut and curry stew that includes seafood and yams. It’s traditional to use mackerel, but lobster and crab elevate it.”
The idea of “run-down” refers to the reduction and thickening of the stew. Another of Thomas’s favourite dish is ackee (a fruit) that is sautéed with saltfish (salt cod).
Varied food … and a great deal of varied culture too.
– Chef Derek Hines
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the long-standing Ellison’s Bistro in Kitchener; Elvis Ellison has been cooking the dishes of his heritage for decades in the downtown. Look for lunch specials like fritters of pumpkin and callaloo (leafy greens), island-style fish and several vegetarian dishes.
Although the country is in the Horn of Africa and not Western Africa, Ethiopian restaurants in Guelph ( Warka Tree ) and Kitchener have become increasingly popular. They feature injera, a fermented, spongy pancake-like flatbread, that is used in place of conventional fork and knife.
Muya platter. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC) Both East Africa Café (with its new market store) on Ontario Street and Muya Restaurant on Highland Road offer excellent vegetarian options and the chile pepper-based spice mix berbere. The former venue serves a vegan buffet on Tuesday.
Regardless of where you get your fill of this comforting food, it’s good to recognize and value its place in the community, Hines summed up.
“The interesting thing is that there’s a great deal of varied food here and a great deal of varied culture, too.”
Rainbow ackee and saltfish from the Caribbean Kitchen in Kitchener. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC) Also notable Other local venues you should check out:
Ivey’s Caribbean on Wellington in Cambridge: A small shop that’s been up-and-running for 13 years.
Rainbow Caribbean Cuisine : A fixture on King Street in downtown Kitchener.
The Caribbean Kitchen : Upstairs at Kitchener Market, serving ackee with saltfish.
Guelph Caribbean Cuisine : Located on Cork Street in Guelph. They serve boneless curry goat.
Underground Kitchen : Take-away venue on St. Andrew Street, Fergus, blending Caribbean and Indian flavours. Daily specials like Turmeric Tuesdays for curried meatballs and Be a Jerk Thursday for Jerk Chicken.
There are also a number of southern U.S. barbecue restaurants around the region with dishes that draw on the ingredients, foods and techniques of African American cookery:
Lancaster Smokehouse. SOS Barbecue. Q Public House. Grand Trunk Saloon.

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Karanvir Bohra and Teejay Sidhu spotted at Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla during their Valentine’s shopping spree Mumbai February 9 th , 2019: Valentine’s Day is around the corner; starry-eyed lovers worldwide are getting ready to celebrate their love, some planning dates and others wondering what the perfect gift would be for their loved ones! Well, Mumbai’s premier shopping destination, Phoenix Marketcity, Mumbai today helped resolve this dilemma for celebrity couple Karanvir Bohra and his wife Teejay Sidhu, curating a unique shopping-date at the mall! The celebrity couple was spotted store-hopping across the extensive selection of fashion, food and lifestyle products at Phoenix Marketcity as their unusual Valentine’s date unfolded. They visited stores like Aldo, Charles & Keith, Westside, Tommy Hilfiger, Simon Carter, Superdry and Steve Madden. Teejay selected a watch for Karanvir at Daniel Wellington, while Karanvir chose the ultimate symbol of romance, a beautifully crafted ring from Swarovski, for his wife among a host of other gifts. Truly a shopper’s paradise, Phoenix Marketcity, Mumbai has been touted as not only a leading destination for shopping but also for dining and entertainment. The mall aims to provide customers with a holistic experience, offering a vast selection of the best international and Indian brands, a dynamic variety of entertainment options including music and theatre and a delicious array of gastronomical delights. Added offers and contests keep things even more fresh and exciting at this shopping paradise. “Phoenix Marketcity is definitely the destination to head to for everything happy and idyllicThere’s just so much to do here, we could easily spend a weekend without getting bored! This was one of a kind experience, something that is a special memory that Teejay and I both enjoyed tremendously!” says Karanvir Bohra. Says Teejay, “This was a very exciting date, and we had a great time! Whatever you crave – shopping that fits your style and personality (everything from luxury to premium brands in fashion, make-up and skincare); salons to indulge; restaurants, bars and a food court with an enormous range of cuisines; a variety of entertainment for both adults and children (movies, bowling, a fantastic indoor play park); and an ambience that exudes posh elegance and artful whimsy – this destination mall is geared to offer you everything you want and much more.” Phoenix Marketcity leaves no stone unturned to make the Valentine’s week a special one. Several F&B offers on Valentine’s Day will make sure your celebration is a delicious one, and you can register for a grooming workshop led by Vandita Singh- Founder, The Image Academy to get tips on looking great. Single folk can take heart; The “Single’s Crawl” organized by the mall takes happy singles through Urban Tadka, Amoeba, Café Delhi Heights, The Irish House, Bar Bar on the 15 th ! ABOUT PHOENIX MARKETCITY : Truly a shopper’s paradise, Phoenix Marketcityis a leading destination shopping, dining and entertainment in the city. The mall provides its customers the best international brands, offers, contests and a holistic shopping experience. Phoenix Marketcity houses over 600 premium and high street brands sprawled across literally millions of square feet. These include international brands like Forever 21, Zara, H&M, Mango, Splash, Westside, Vero Moda, Bobbi Brown, Sephora, Hamleys, MAC, Brooks Brothers, Mothercare, Calvin Klein, Steve Madden, Charles & Keith, Superdry, Fossil, Swarovski, Adidas and many more. Elegant, thoughtfully placed seating areas have been created throughout the massive 2.1 million square footage of retail space to soak in the tranquil atmosphere. Phoenix Marketcity also offers a variety of entertainment options such as Happy Planet, PVR Gold Class, P [XL] and 4Dx, Amoeba Bowling Alley, Snow World, and more. The mall houses over 100 eateries which cook up multifarious cuisines from across continents including Indigo Deli, Bombay Coffee House, The Market Project by Pizza Express, Punjab Grill, Chili’s and more. The massive entertainment hub – Dublin Square is the biggest indoor venue in the city with alfresco dining options where festivals, flea markets, concerts, and various other activities and cultural events that are regularly hosted. It’s accurate to say that Phoenix Marketcity offers an experiential adventure that you can easily spend days indulging in. Fashion is about constant reinvention. It’s about design evolution and sophisticated comfort. No one understands this better than Phoenix Marketcity, the definitive shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Mumbai. With its fusion of fashion, food, fun, culture and ambience, Phoenix Marketcity heralds a new era for destination shopping in Mumbai for the entire family. The destination mall is on LBS Marg, not too far from Bandra – Kurla Complex. It’s a quick drive from the domestic and international airports, and is well – connected by the Eastern Freeway, Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway, Santacruz – Chembur Link Road, and by the Mumbai metro. So what are you waiting for? All roads lead to Marketcity! Please visit www.phoenixmarketcity.com

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Continental Flambe returns to downtown Melbourne, with original owner

Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about Facebook Email Continental Flambe returns to downtown Melbourne, with its original chef/owner Ratib Ahmad opened Continental Flambe in 1996 in downtown Melbourne; now he’s revived the former date-night favorite Post to Facebook Continental Flambe returns to downtown Melbourne, with its original chef/owner Ratib Ahmad opened Continental Flambe in 1996 in downtown Melbourne; now he’s revived the former date-night favorite Check out this story on floridatoday.com: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/entertainment/dining/2019/02/08/continental-flambe-returns-downtown-melbourne-original-owner/2780217002/ Cancel Send A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Join the Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs This conversation is moderated according to USA TODAY’s community rules . Please read the rules before joining the discussion. Continental Flambe returns to downtown Melbourne, with its original chef/owner Suzy Fleming Leonard , Florida Today Published 3:41 p.m. ET Feb. 8, 2019 | Updated 3:04 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2019 CLOSE Ratib Ahmad, who opened Continental Flambe in downtown Melbourne in 1996, has returned to the location to reopen the restaurant Suzy Fleming Leonard, FLORIDA TODAY CONNECT COMMENT EMAIL MORE For Ratib Ahmad, reopening Continental Flambe in downtown Melbourne is like coming home. The elegant restaurant, known for its decadent crepes, prix fixe menu and date-night appeal, reopened on Jan. 4, after being closed for 2-1/2 years . Ahmad first opened Continental Flambe in 1996, but parted ways with his partner in 2010. He moved on, working in a variety of other restaurants, most recently at Meg O’Malley’s Restaurant & Irish Pub, which is also in downtown Melbourne. Buy Photo
Ratib Ahmad, who opened Continental Flambe in 1996 in downtown Melbourne, reopened the restaurant in its original location on Jan. 4. (Photo: Suzy Fleming Leonard/FLORIDA TODAY) When he was approached about reopening Continental Flambe in its original home, he jumped at the chance to breathe life back into the once popular restaurant. In the past month, word has spread that Continental Flambe is back, and Ahmad said he has enjoyed reconnecting with guests. The prix fixe menu is available (three courses for $27.99), as are a la carte items, but the menu is still being developed. “We’re listening to the customers,” Ahmad said. He has had requests for the mushroom crepes, Steak Diane, artichoke fritters and the potato-crusted red snapper. “Everybody wants me to open the front kitchen,” he said of the restaurant’s once popular open kitchen that stands in the middle of the main dining room. That’s coming, he said. Continental Flambe shares its big main kitchen with the adjacent 321 Tapas, a cocktail lounge and small bites venue that opened on Jan. 31. Buy Photo
321 Tapas, which shares a kitchen with Continental Flambe, features small-bite items such as the Vinnie’s Meatball Slider. (Photo: Suzy Fleming Leonard/FLORIDA TODAY) Ahmad can’t help feeling nostalgic. Returning to Continental Flambe is like coming full circle for him. Ahmad got his start in the culinary world in the 1980s working under Jean Louis Pallidin at Jean Louis Restaurant at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. From there, he spent several years at Anton’s on Capitol Hill. After a short stop in Ohio, he arrived in Brevard County in 1990, where he managed Flamingo’s Restaurant at the Cape Canaveral Radisson Resort until 1996, when he opened Continental Flambe. After leaving Continental Flambe, he opened Z Restaurant in Melbourne, Oceanside Grille in Satellite Beach and Too Cool Cafe in Indian Harbour Beach. Each had its appeal, but his heart stayed with Continental Flambe. Buy Photo
Beef tenderloin topped with blue cheese in port wine sauce is one of the entrees on the menu at Continental Flambe in downtown Melbourne. (Photo: Suzy Fleming Leonard/FLORIDA TODAY) He describes the restaurant as affordable European cuisine. Ahmad lured chef Vince Sirabl from the Melbourne Hilton Rialto to join him in the kitchen. The turnaround from El Antojo restaurant, which was occupying the site before it closed in December 2018, to Continental Flambe was quick, manager Amanda Miller said. “They closed, 10 days later we had our soft opening.” Some remnants of the Spanish restaurant remain: a bright mural in the second dining room and marigold yellow walls. But with the addition of white table cloths, the restaurant has a fresh, elegant feel. Paintings by local artists add more color. The artwork will change regularly, Ahmad said, as will the menu. For now, look for dishes such as brie spring rolls with apples and almonds in a calvados cream sauce ($6.99), nut-crusted goat cheese salad ($8.99) and beef tenderloin topped with blue cheese in port wine sauce ($25.99). And escargot with hazelnut, cognac butter on spinach and topped with puff pastry ($6.99). “I wasn’t going to put this on the menu,” Ahmad said of the garlicky snails. He worried the dish might be dated. “But people kept asking for it.” The details Where: 936 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne Info: 321-372-6002 or theoriginalcontinentalflambe.godaddysites.com Hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5-9:30 p.m. daily; brunch is served 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Also: 321 Tapas serves food from 4 to10 p.m. with the bar open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday. The space becomes a dance club on Fridays and Saturdays and remains open until 2 a.m. Email

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