“Courage has no gender, what you bring to the table is all what matters”- Chef Anahita Dhonde

“Courage has no gender, what you bring to the table is all what matters”- Chef Anahita Dhonde

© 2019 The Indian Express Ltd. All Rights Reserved “Courage has no gender, what you bring to the table is all what matters”- Chef Anahita Dhonde
Anahita challenged the stereotypes while climbing the chef ladder and feels that gender in no way can come in a way of what you’re truly passionate about. April 11, 2019 7:41:36 pm 61 Shares
“In my opinion, there is no difference between a man and a woman in the kitchen, in the industry, in my restaurant and in my life. A gender doesn’t define your profession.”
Delegating is tough and probably more than what it looks like on the surface. Anahita, the chef partner at SodaBottleOpenerWala knows exactly how it feels to be on the receiving end of remarks and judgments. Having paved her way from an intern to a chef partner, she shares how challenging it can get for a leader and most importantly, a female to get anyone to listen to her.
Anahita challenged the stereotypes while climbing the chef ladder and feels that gender in no way can come in a way of what you’re truly passionate about.
“From knowing a couple of food techniques to running a professional kitchen, it’s been a long way.”
A girl who always dreamed of cruising around the world cooking modern French cuisine is now a chef partner at the iconic Bombay Irani Cafe and Bar, SodaBottleOpenerWala. A cultural mascot, a youth icon and a trendsetter- Anahita Dhondy is as close to the perfect definition of a chef as can get.
Anahita inherited the skills from her mother who was always keen on learning something different. The new culinary experiments and a variety of cuisines presented on the table intrigued a little girl into creating something of her own. Being a food enthusiast, she began cooking at a very early age. From knowing a couple of food techniques to reading about them and then running a professional kitchen, Anahita has come a long way.
It is hard to miss out on every celebration but every single day is absolutely worth it. Even if you have to sacrifice, it’s worth the effort and struggle.”
For the rising chef, this journey was worth the struggle and every single day and every unique creation was an achievement that was way too fulfilling. While missing out on several occasions can be a challenge, everything becomes worthwhile when you love what you do.
(Video placement)
“You’re adding just one rice grain in a bag full of rice, but you’re still doing your bit and it goes a long way.”
Besides being an impeccable chef, Anahita also advocates for sustainability. The chef grabs every opportunity she gets to try something different and if that one grain can add value to the system while also benefiting a farmer, then it is worth the change.
“Courage has no gender, what you bring to the table is all what matters”
Although women are perceived to be the carriers of cuisines and keepers of the kitchen, they still had to face denial for moving out to cook. The profession was looked down upon and they were subjected to constant judgments. Anahita feels that the industry is now evolving and she is happy to see the level of acceptance for women in all spaces around the world. Being a female chef, she did encounter situations when she was doubted and questioned, but that never took the passion away from her. She strongly believes that a profession has nothing to do with gender, it’s what you bring to the table that matters the most.
“Creativity and innovation are the only two things that can distinct you from the crowd. If you’re working for something you’re truly passionate about, nobody can take that away from you. If you’re really good at something, you just need to keep pursuing it till the time the world gets to know about you.”
Anahita had her own ups and downs in a profession that was almost unheard of and she is still redefining everything around her. With perseverance and hard work, she is happy to create something unique every single day. The goal is to embrace the change and not run away from it, to chase something until the world gets to know about you.
The new season of ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’ on Amazon Prime Video is a story of a brave medical student Shreya Pathare who decides to stand up against the system. Watch this new series on Amazon Prime Video.

Read More…

25 Best Things to Do in Yangon (Myanmar)

25 Best Things to Do in Yangon (Myanmar) 25 Best Things to Do in Yangon (Myanmar)
Yangon is the former capital city of Myanmar and this is also the largest city in the country. The city is famous for having a mix of gorgeous colonial architecture which is located alongside traditional pagodas covered in gold leaf and studded with jewels. As you wander around the city, you can also enjoy delicious street food bites or you can also visit some of the more modern parts of the city to have a rooftop cocktail as you take in the glittering monuments and limpid lakes for which Yangon is so famous.
If you don’t have much time to visit Myanmar then this is also a good chose as Yangon is close to other spots that make an easy day trip such as Hpa-an and the Golden Rock.
Here are the 25 best things to do in Yangon …
1. Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda Source: ESB Professional / shutterstock Shwedagon Pagoda
The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in the world and is simply stunning.
This is the main attraction that you have to see when you are in Yangon and the pagoda is also one of the most sacred sites to the Buddhist community in Myanmar.
The pagoda is made up of a central structure which is covered in gold leaf and studded with precious stones like diamonds and rubies.
You will also find other amazing objects here such as diamond crowns and if possible try to come here at sunset when you can take in the gorgeous skies across Yangon.
It is said that the pagoda has been in situ since the 6th century AD when lotus blossoms bloomed here and a sacred hair of the Buddha was housed in the building. 2. Eat at 999 Shan Noodle Source: Wichawon Lowroongroj / shutterstock Shan Noodle
Many visitors to Myanmar don’t realize that the food is simply delicious, as Burmese cuisine has failed to catch on as much as other Asian foodstuffs worldwide.
That said, Yangon has an amazing food scene and when you are in town you need to try one of the most famous dishes in Myanmar which is Shan noodles that originated in Shan State.
The best place to eat them in the city is in 999 Shan Noodle and this small shop serves up bowls of steaming noodles which are accompanied by vegetables, herbs, and a range of sauces to customize your dish.
999 Shan Noodle is a humble eatery in the city so don’t expect anything fancy but the line of locals eating here proves just how delicious the toothsome delicacy served here really is. Check out the recommended hotels in Yangon, Myanmar 3. Walk through Chinatown Source: eFesenko / shutterstock Yangon Chinatown
Yangon has a sizeable Chinese population and as you would imagine it also has its own Chinatown.
This is one of the best places to visit in the city if you are looking for local markets as well as a whole plethora or barbecue and street food options.
Chinatown is located around 19th street in Yangon and this is also one of the best places to not only shop and eat but also take in the pretty architecture in this part of town which is quite different from other locations. 4. Visit the Sule Pagoda Source: Perfect Lazybones / shutterstock Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda was built some 2,500 years ago and is one of the most famous temples in the city.
What makes this pagoda so unique is that it is located in the middle of a rather modern part of town which serves to highlight its historical importance.
The Sule Pagoda, also known as Sule Paya is made up of a 46 meter stupa that is shaped like an octagon.
You can now walk around the pagoda and check out all the architectural motifs inside the main building and the walkways are an oasis of calm in the middle of the bustling city. 5. Tour the Martyrs’ Mausoleum Source: Prime Minister’s Office / Wikimedia Martyrs Mausoleum, Yangon
The Martyrs’ Mausoleum is located near to Shwedagon Pagoda and is a memorial which was built to honor the Major General and ‘founding father of modern Myanmar’ Aung San and six of his cabinet members who were assassinated.
It also contains the tomb of Queen Suphayalat who was the wife of the last king of Myanmar as well as others such as former Un Secretary General U Thant and writer Thakin Kodaw.
From the mausoleum you can also check out panoramic vistas over the rest of Yangon although bear in mind that it is only open on the 19th of July every year as this is a public holiday to remember the assassination of Aung San. 6. Walk through Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple Source: OPIS Zagreb / shutterstock Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple
Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple is known for having a statue of a reclining Buddha which is 217 foot long and is one of the largest in Myanmar.
This is one of the most beautiful Buddha statues in this part of the world and the attention to detail that was put into this monument is amazing.
The face was worked on several times as it was said to look too severe when it was first made, and you can now enjoy all the intricate details and design touches up close.
You can even take in the long eyelashes of the Buddha as well as inscribed feet which make this well worth the trip as the temple lies outside of downtown Yangon. 7. Feed the catfish at Yangon Lake Source: Dmitry Rukhlenko / shutterstock Yangon Lake
If you want to try a favorite local activity in Yangon then you can go down to Yangon Lake (also called Kandawgyi Lake) and feed the resident catfish.
This may sound strange but when you get down to the water you will find vendors who sell hunks of bread which you can then throw to the amazing catfish.
Be warned that the fish are rather large and if you throw bread to them this will result in a spirited feeding frenzy, but it is also one of the quirkiest activities you can enjoy in the city. 8. Have a bowl of Mohinga Source: jeeraphon chamkratok / shutterstock Mohinga
If Myanmar has a national dish then it is definitely Mohinga.
Usually eaten for breakfast, this dish is made of rice noodles which are cooked in a fish based broth.
The whole dish also has a curried flavor to it as it is packed full of spices and aromatics and this is usually eaten for breakfast so make sure not to miss trying a steaming bowl when you are in town. 9. Explore Botataung Pagoda Source: toiletroom / shutterstock Botataung Pagoda
Botataung Pagoda is also known as ‘1,000 soldiers’ and it was built to honor 1,000 military leaders in Myanmar who made of guard of honor and paid their respects to the relics of eight strands of hair that were said to have belonged to the Buddha and which were brought over from India some 2,000 years ago.
The hair is still preserved in the pagoda although it is not on show to the public, but this is still one of the most important religious monuments in Yangon. 10. Walk through Kandawgyi Park Source: Zzvet / shutterstock Kandawgyi Park Dragon Boat
Kandawgyi Park is one of the best places to visit in Yangon if you want to get out of the center of the bustling city.
The lake here is a top spot to watch the sunrise or sunset across the city and you can watch local families visiting the park at all times of the day.
From the park you can look out across the lake and see sights such as a massive golden dragon boat which sits on the water and also look across to the brilliant Shwedagon Pagoda. Check out the recommended hotels in Yangon, Myanmar 11. Visit Bahadur Shah Zafar Grave
Bahadur Shah Zafar Grave is located on Zi Wa Ka Street and is known for being the final resting place of the last Mughal emperor of India.
Bahadur Shah Zafar was also the last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty and after the Indian Rebellion in 1857 he was exiled to Yangon.
Nowadays you can visit the tomb and there are guides here who will take you around the modest complex and tell you all about the history of the emperor who is now also considered to be a Sufi saint. 12. Have a cocktail at the Strand Hotel Source: AMzPhoto / shutterstock Strand Hotel Yangon
The Strand Hotel is a Yangon institution and is known for being the grandest hotel in the city.
The Strand Hotel was built in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers and it was renovated in the 1990s to its former glory.
This is one of the most famous colonial buildings in Myanmar and you can come here for a cocktail or have a traditional English afternoon tea. 13. Stroll around Kaba Aye Pagoda Source: beejung / shutterstock Kaba Aye Pagoda
Kaba Aye Pagoda is one of the prettiest pagodas in Yangon and you will find a peaceful courtyard here that seems a world away from the busy streets of the city.
The main reason to come to the Kaba Aye Pagoda is to take in the Buddha centerpiece which is made of silver.
Make sure to note that you can’t wear your shoes in the pagoda so you will need to bring a bag with you or leave these outside, which is true of all sacred spots in Myanmar.
Also make sure you try to visit in the morning or late afternoon as the sun can make for rather a hot visit. 14. Visit the National Museum Source: gary yim / shutterstock National Museum Yangon
If you want to walk through some of the history in Yangon then you need to head to the National Museum.
Here you will find a whole range of Burmese artifacts as well as galleries filled with antiques and other regalia that date back to the Konbaung Dynasty.
The museum has one of the best collections of antiques in Southeast Asia and this is the ideal place to come for anyone interested in Burmese craftsmanship and heritage items. 15. Visit the Maha Wizaya Pagoda Source: HeadHog / shutterstock Maha Wizaya Pagoda
The Maha Wizaya Pagoda is one of the more modern temples in Yangon and is located on top of a small scenic hill.
The pagoda is notable as it is topped with a picturesque blue domed ceiling that is covered in motifs and you can also see turtles crawling around the monument and swimming in the lakes on the lush grounds.
Another reason to come here is to take in the amazing views over Yangon from the top of the hill. 16. Take a ride on the Yangon Circular Train Source: Nguyen Quoc Ai / shutterstock Yangon Circular Train
Myanmar is known for epic railway journeys and many of the train lines here were built during the British colonial period.
If you don’t have time to get outside the city however, then you can go for a short jaunt on the Yangon Circular Train which offers you the chance to take a three hour trip into the outskirts of the city.
As you ride on the railway you can take in the emerald green rice paddies and other sights like rustic villages that dot the railway line. 17. Enjoy the views at the Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro Source: Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro / Facebook Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro
The Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro is the best place to come in Yangon if you want to get a drink with a view.
The bistro is located on the 20th floor and looks out over the city with panoramic vistas over the downtown area which stretches to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
The best time to come here is in the late afternoon when you can watch the sunset with a bottle of ice cold local beer. 18. Check out Kandawgyi Lake Source: Dmitry Rukhlenko / shutterstock Kandawgyi Lake
Kandawgyi Lake used to be known as Victoria Lakes and although it is not the largest body of water in the city it is definitely the most famous.
The lake is located on Bogyoke Aung San Park and is known for its boardwalk which wraps around the water and is the best place to go for a stroll in the evening.
Depending on when you visit you can also find musical performances held in the park. 19. Shop at Bogyoke Aung San Market Source: Amir Syazali / shutterstock Bogyoke Aung San Market
Bogyoke Aung San Market is also sometimes referred to by its former name which is Scott Market.
This market was built in 1926 during the British colonial period and surrounding the building you will find a number of cobbled streets that look like they wouldn’t be out of place in an English city.
There is also a large indoor section of the market where you can get a good range of Burmese souvenirs such as textiles, handicrafts and paintings, so if you are shopping for gifts and mementos of your trip then this is the ideal place to come. 20. Ride on the Dallah Ferry Source: Thor Jorgen Udvang / shutterstock Dala Ferry
If you want to briefly get out of the city then consider a trip on the Dallah Ferry.
Dallah is a small village which lies across the river from Yangon but the main reason to come here is for the chance to ride on the ferry.
This is a local ferry so you will get the chance to take to the water with the locals and the ferry is usually used to transport local produce across the river such as fruits, vegetables and tea.
It is also free if you choose to sit on the upper deck. 21. Check out the Swe Taw Myat Pagoda Source: Nattee Chalermtiragool / shutterstock Swe Taw Myat Pagoda
The Swe Taw Myat Pagoda is one of the nicest in Myanmar and is made of gold leaf and white stucco which glows in the afternoon sun.
The pagoda is also covered in eye catching motifs in different colors and there are a number of entrances which mean that you can spend time exploring the different alleyways through the pagoda.
This is also a famous religious spot in Buddhism as it is said to house a tooth of the Buddha. 22. Walk around Inya Lake Source: tanaratm / shutterstock Inya Lake
Inya Lake is the largest lake in Yangon and has recently been renovated so that you can now easily walk along its pretty shores.
The lake also backs on to lush gardens and the area is known for its scenic villas which are owned by many of Yangon’s elite.
This makes a top choice to go for a walk in the evening and you can also stop off for a drink at the Inya Lake Hotel and watch the views across the water that way if you prefer. 23. Admire the colonial architecture Source: Phuong D. Nguyen / shutterstock Colonial Architecture Yangon
Myanmar used to be a former British colony and it is still covered in traditional architecture.
In recent years the government has made efforts to preserve the former colonial buildings and you can now go for a walk through the city and see some of the most beautiful spots.
Some of the best to look out for include the Strand Hotel as well as the old Yangon Railway Station. 24. Visit Aung San’s House Source: Prachaya Roekdeethaweesab / shutterstock General Aung San
Aung San was a famous Major General and some consider him to have been the ‘founding father’ of Myanmar before he was assassinated.
As such, he was an extremely important political figure in the country and you can now go and visit his home and learn more about his role in the founding of modern Myanmar.
On a visit to his home you will be able to take in a range of memorabilia including his old car, his suits and his library. 25. Try the street food Source: SOMRERK WITTHAYANANT / shutterstock Yangon Street Food
Myanmar has a delicious street food scene and what makes it so amazing is that it is made up of a range of influences including Indian, Chinese and Thai flavors.
As you wander the streets of Yangon therefore, make sure not to miss out on local bites such as grilled meats on skewers or delicious fried samosas.
If you want to stop off in a simple cafe then you can also try one of the most unusual dishes in the country which is a kind of salad which is made of tea leaves which have been pickled.

Read More…

Sunshine Coast Restaurants: Spirit House Thai Yandina review

media_camera The Spirit House at Yandina. Picture AAP/David Clark The Spirit House has become a busy tourist destination but the fare’s still fair Des Houghton, 11, 2019 8:00am
It was our first trip back to the Spirit House after several years, and much had changed.
The jungle garden – or the “oasis” as it is described in the brochures – seemed to have moved a bit closer. The bamboo was taller and thicker and created a green tunnel for us to make our entry. I wondered whether in a few years hence we might need a machete to hack our way to our table.
The cooking school in a separate building away from the restaurant looked exactly as it did when we were students a decade ago, although the lesson plans had changed considerably.
REVIEW: KOKUM INDIAN AT PALAZZO VERSACE FAILS TO IMPRESS
REVIEW: NOOSA BEACH HOUSE ON HASTINGS STREET IS A SURPRISE
Now there are modules in gluten-free Thai feasts, one-bowl wonders from Singapore and Korea, curries from Indonesia and India, and street food from Hanoi. I made a mental note to book a class in wok meals for busy people and wondered whether I would ever find the time.
Busy, busy, busy. That’s the new order and it seems to have caught up with the Spirit House, which is no longer the sleepy, rambling Sunshine Coast hinterland hideaway I remembered.
media_camera The Spirit House at Yandina is now a popular tourist destination. Picture AAP/David Clark
It is now a big production number, with the school, gift vouchers and tourist excursions, and even Spirit House holidays abroad to Asian cities whose cuisine inspires the menu.
We arrived without a booking and were told the joint was full – but wait! A smug duty manager found a spot where a table could be erected for our group. I got the impression he thought he was doing us a great favour.
First we would have to wait in the Hong Sa Bar, a comfortable Balinese shack that wasn’t there on our last visit. There I sat down to be engulfed by smoke drifting from an incense pot. It was as though my maiden aunt’s potpourri had spontaneously combusted. I sneezed.
Mercifully we didn’t have to wait long before we were ushered to a pleasant isthmus away from the mainstream with a view across the lake (pond?) to the main house.
media_camera The Spirit House at Yandina. Picture AAP/David Clark
A lizard climbed a tree and sat there watching us the entire meal.
Our waitress (she told us she came from Singapore) was pleasant and ruthlessly efficient, quickly rattling off the menu highlights and showing a deep understanding of Asian produce when quizzed about the ingredients.
As diners poured in, it suddenly dawned on me that the restaurant had morphed into a tourist attraction.
Spirit House is essentially a Thai restaurant with recipes drifting into Indonesian, Indian and Korean territory.
media_camera The Moreton Bay bug entree ($17) was a tiny morsel of bug meat, peanuts and ginger served on a betel leaf with a squirt of nam jim that verged on the sweet and sour. Picture AAP/David Clark media_camera The jungle curry with ocean trout ($48) was deeply satisfying. Picture AAP/David Clark
We all began with a tasty, but fleeting, Moreton Bay bug entree ($17) with a tiny morsel of bug meat, peanuts and ginger served on a betel leaf with a squirt of nam jim that verged on the sweet and sour. It was hardly the most generous starter.
Next came a smoked salmon-flavoured coconut soup ($18) with Thai spice and chilli oil. It was served from a teapot into little ceramic shot glasses containing the fish and was blindingly good, perhaps the meal’s highlight.
Ridiculously, there was no Queensland wine on a rather thin wine list so I drank tap water.
media_camera “I had mixed feelings about my duck braised in a master stock ($47) with a red curry sauce, charred baby corn, lychee and ginger.” Picture AAP/David Clark media_camera The sticky rice panna cotta ($18) had lovely bursts of tropical fruit, a mango sorbet and a coconut crunch. Picture AAP/David Clark
I had mixed feelings about my duck braised in a master stock ($47) with a red curry sauce, charred baby corn, lychee and ginger.
The stock seemed to me to be flabby and sweet with a mouth feel of oddly flavoured porridge. However, the blonde and the brunette would not hear a word against it.
We did agree the jungle curry with ocean trout ($48) was deeply satisfying, as was a sticky rice panna cotta ($18) with lovely bursts of tropical fruit, a mango sorbet and a coconut crunch.
SPIRIT HOUSE
20 Ninderry Rd, Yandina
BOOK: Ph (07) 5446 8994
spirithouse.com.au
OPEN: Lunch from noon seven days; dinner Wed-Sat from 6pm
MUST TRY Coconut soup with Thai spice and chilli oil
VERDICT
Food 7
Ambience 7
Service 7
Value 6
OVERALL: 6.5/10
Comments nav_small_down Show comments nav_small_down To join the conversation, please log in . Don’t have an account? Subscribe
Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout
Brisbane artist singing for her life premium_icon Brisbane artist singing for her life Why the tourists love our Spirit House premium_icon Why the tourists love our Spirit House How cycling’s golden girl is staying in the saddle premium_icon How cycling’s golden girl is staying in the saddle Can God be replaced by machine? Can God be replaced by machine? The day I fell for Dayne Zorko’s sister premium_icon The day I fell for Dayne Zorko’s sister More QWeekend
premium_icon The Spirit House has become a busy tourist destination but the fare’s still fair
premium_icon The day I fell for Dayne Zorko’s sister: our wedding
premium_icon I knew a woman who collected toenails from strangers at parties
premium_icon Mel Buttle is going on a road trip and taking her high-anxiety dog Ruby along
premium_icon The winners and losers as the Gold Coast counts the final cost of the Commonwealth Games
premium_icon Anna Meares finds her feet after retiring from cycling

Read More…

Warmth in Dubai

April 11, 2019 , by Twinkle Mukherjee Warmth in Dubai Whenever I visit Dubai, I visit for a long duration. I go there with a lot of work and it’s not just vacation (though our vacation is always shoot oriented too, but here there’s always some serious project involved as well). So, we always want a supremely comfortable place to head back to after the end of a long day for those month or two. Since, Dubai means I have a lot more business work, the days are quite grinding. Staying at a place that makes us feel like home is something we scour badly and thankfully we got to feel that warmth in Dubai during our stay in Swissôtel Al Ghurair . A lot of you are thinking Dubai is already a place with warmth ‘cause of its high temperature (oh yeah) but the warmth that we received at Swissôtel Al Ghurair was on a different level. Their affable treatment and effortlessly lavish design makes anyone feel like home. Me and my family stayed at their largest suite. It comes up with a super luxurious suite with a spacious hall and bathroom that greets you. But the best part is that it can actually adjoin the room next to the suite room via a door in the middle and can make it even bigger. So, they opened the door and ensured our family stay together in their fabulous enlarged suite. The first thing that I loved is that they understand the importance of a vacation – whether it’s a family vacation , work trip or couple time. They come up with their best arrangements as per the guests traveling purpose and their desire. So it is evident that they are brilliant to keep their guests together and happiest. Their suite room is really spacious and lavish. It has 2 washrooms for your and your guest’s convenience. One washroom is a small one adjacent to the gigantic hall. That is mainly for the guests when you like to invite them over and the other one is a private one. It is a super large one adjacent to the cozy room. Another important part that’s worth mentioning is the hotel is very close to the airport and offers you the view of one of Dubai’s heritage and prominent location Al Ghurair City. I love what a beautiful view I could have every morning whenever I pulled back the curtain at the hall. I could also enjoy the cityscape from my room while laying in bed as well. On top of all, their hospitality is simply mind-blowing. Each of the staffs are specially attentive to add a bit of happiness from their side. Be it the the staffs at the reception, house keeping or the staffs at the kitchen. Everybody greets you with warmth and big smile on their face.If I finish talking about Swissotel Al Ghurair just mentioning how fabulous my stay was, that would not still be enough. This blog about Swissotel Al Ghurair would be half completed if I don’t mention their food. If you crave for deliciousness, this is your place. Big foodies like me feel free to replace the word ‘place’ with ‘paradise’. Yes, the food at Swissotel Al Ghurair is one of the best that I have tasted in Dubai.It has its wide choice from Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern and continental. You name any of your favorite cuisine there and they’ll not disappoint you. They will come with the perfect taste. I was lucky that the day I checked in, they were inaugurating their Friday Brunch. I got to taste tons of delicious food in the same event (if you remember my IG stories, I was so carried away that I ended up binge eating… haha).I don’t blame myself because if the food is such delicious, a hardcore foodie like me would definitely find it difficult to resist.However, not just the Friday Brunch, Swissotel Al Ghurair’s wonderful restaurant Liwan always came up with the best of all flavors that we have tasted all throughout our stay.
They stood out in Friday Brunch, making breakfast or dinner. Sadly, whenever I eat a heavy breakfast, I skip lunch and due to my work schedule, I skipped dinner for a couple of days too. I’m sure I would not have left their restaurant if I got to eat more food. But anyway, I hope to visit them again in the future to re-live such supreme hospitality and to taste one of the best places for food in Dubai. They really made me feel the warmth in Dubai in a good way while offering such a magnificent treatment to me and my family.
Lots of love,

Read More…

The Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s Garden Brunch Is Back!

Rosewood Garden Brunch (7)
With all the recently opened competition in the hospitality stakes across the capital, one could be forgiven for wondering how Rosewood Abu Dhabi keeps the allure of its family brunches alive… well, we can tell you… their world-class offering of Mediterranean and international fusion dishes is second to none, the service is welcoming, vibrant and warm – as is the atmosphere – and all of this is complemented by stunning views of Abu Dhabi city and the glistening turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. Couple this with their expansive al fresco terrace, its newly extended range of live cooking stations, not to mention, the fun, entertaining kids club offering at Rose Buds and you have a pretty pitch-perfect family brunch. What’s not to love?!
As soon as we stepped out of the lift and were warmly greeted by Aqua’s hostesses, we spotted the welcome drinks station and smelt the enticing aroma of Mediterranean cuisine and we couldn’t wait to get started.
There were several large lively groups of families in the throes of a memorable gathering out on the terrace and we were accommodatingly offered a choice of seating. The weather was still a little changeable and dusty, so we played safe and opted for a more secluded table for two in the bright and lavishly designed restaurant, where we could enjoy the floor-to-ceiling window view of the stunning turquoise sea and Abu Dhabi city below. I have always been a huge fan of Aqua’s sumptuously upholstered chairs – if you’re going to sit and enjoy world-class cuisine from 1-5pm, this is where you want to be! So, why a table for two when it’s supposed to be a family brunch? Rose Buds… it’s that simple – the hotel’s kids club have got it covered! Within minutes, our 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son were settling in making new friends and eyeing up the colourful dessert corner, whilst I swiftly delivered a selection of children’s main courses from the kids’ club buffet as a prerequisite to the sugar fest they were coveting!
Once they were settled, we headed back to our table where two glasses of premium bubbles were waiting for us – heavenly! After a relaxing aperitif, we made our first tour of the banquet before us. Inside the restaurant we were tempted by beautifully fresh oysters, jumbo shrimp and sushi, but I was particularly intrigued by the sizeable tuna fish that was on display across the buffet counter and the spectacle of the preparation of fresh tuna carpaccio, tuna tartare, tuna ceviche and tuna sashimi. The tuna tartare was so perfectly balanced with a delicate lime marinade that enhanced the subtle flavours of the fish without overpowering it. This was clearly a personal favourite as I have to confess that I had two portions of said tartare! We opted for another round of starters with an exploratory tour of the al fresco live cooking stations, where the foie gras dishes and the Peking duck pancakes were too tempting to resist.
Faced with the typical first world brunch dilemma of too much choice, we attempted to be disciplined and plan our next course carefully. This was made all too easy by simply ordering a selection of perfectly sized portions of various mains to share such as a gourmet burger and grilled chicken from the BBQ and grill station, al dente creamy cheese pasta and a few dim sum on the side. All of these were accompanied by a wide selection of healthy salads and sides from inside the restaurant. Fellow diners were also enjoying a wide selection of meats from the Italian épicerie, fresh smoked delicacies, assorted manakish prepared in firewood and a selection of Asian, Chinese and Indian dishes.
We were also spoilt for choice on the beverage front as a mixologist was preparing a wide selection of signature cocktails to complement the quality offering of premium grape and hop beverages available.
The later finish time of 5pm allowed for a much-needed pause for digestion while we checked on the children, who were having a great time and wanted to come and join us for dessert. The dessert was an experience in itself to enjoy with the children as all the stations are grouped together in a ‘dessert room’ next to Rose Buds, so it felt like a ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ moment! We were able to choose mini portions of chocolate delicacies, fruit mousses, cakes, candies and even my old favourite, apple crumble!
By 5pm, we were truly defeated but extremely content and relaxed. The children had had their fill, so no need for a big tea back home and we could make our way home reflecting on the colourful and stimulating culinary journey that we had just had the privilege of enjoying.
The brunch is a friendly and sociable event and we met some very interesting people from various walks of life, all of whom, were emphatic about the Rosewood Garden Brunch being their favourite in town. I have to second that; we honestly can’t wait to go again. More Information The Rosewood Garden Brunch is available in four packages: ‘Gourmet’ with food and soft drinks for AED 400; ‘Connoisseur’ with unlimited house beverages for AED 465; ‘Gastronome’ for the bubbly package for AED 565; and the ‘Rose Buds Brunch’ for children aged six to 12 years for AED 165. For bookings, please contact Rosewood Abu Dhabi on or call +971 (0)2 813 5550. Tags

Read More…

14 Must Things To Do In Agra

#14 Taj Mahal in Moonlight Story that relates me to this city
It is said that Emperor Akbar was in great trouble of not having a son. So he took refuge in a Sufi-saint, Sheik Salim Chisti in Fatehpur Sikri. From there he got a boon of having a son, Salim. He was born on the 31st of August in 1569. I was also born on the very same date, 31st of August but in my case year was different and I am not telling it.
Are you seeing this, I have related my life with Emperor Jahangir and literally I have started assuming myself, Emperor Jahangir. And when I had my first visit to Fatehpur Sikri, the place where Jahangir was born. I was insanely tried to recall my childhood days of past birth. This is how I am falling in love with this city. I know it sounds weird but that’s the way which I found to love myself more than ever. By doing these 14 things in Agra Claim Yourself a True Traveler #1 Admire the beauty of Taj in the Morning
After settling myself in this city, one day I asked a localide that what the best time to visit Taj Mahal is. In return, I got ‘at the time of dawn’. So I planned to visit Taj Mahal in the morning and I had experienced the beauty of Taj Mahal in Sunrise .
It was the morning of chilled winters and fog was all the thing which have covered up the area. No sign of Sun was there. And there was a huge pileup of tourists waiting just outside of the main eastern entrance of Taj Mahal. Somehow the Sun managed to puke into the fog and cast its first rays on that white structures marble.
That was the moment which has housed in my heart. Taj Mahal was glittering orangy when the first rays of Sun imparted on it. Also, get to know about the Indo-Persian art ‘Petra Duera’ done on Taj Mahal. #2 Capture Some Beautiful Pictures From Agra Fort
As that Agra has served the nation as the capital city in the time of Mughals, it has everything that should be in the capital. Agra Fort is the symbol of a well-managed regime of Mughals.
This red sandstone building has inscribed thousands of lores which blow out the trumpet of Emperor Akbar, Jahangir, and henceforth. Art has not been done on this monument, in fact, this monument is itself a piece of art.
Actually, this place is best suitable for a photography session. The historically arced walls, a proper set of flora, and old days stories from the back door make this place a more amazing one. Often, people use this place for their pre-wedding shoot and I must say that they actually have a taste.
Most important, from the terrace (Diwan-e-Khas – Private room of the King) of this fort, one can easily spot the Taj Mahal. And you can also spot numerous visitor capturing that thing in their cameras. #3 Watch Mohabbat The Taj Show at Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Center
Yes, Agra also houses one of those live theatrical shows which can never be beaten by any other entertainment. Mohabbat the Taj, basically is the name given to a live performance of that time when the Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife demanded a symbol of their love, i.e. Taj Mahal.
Having experience of this type of things, made us release that we are actually living a fruitful life. Perhaps, not many people know about it and I think this can be the reason it is still able to maintain that charm.
Playing in over 45 languages, this show is for all the people, no matter which country or which part of the earth they belong. Every day, from 6 PM to 8 PM, lucky people can take advantage of this show. And due to the limited seats, bookings are made a day before the show time.
Note: Many travel agents just try to make fool of the innocent travelers, so the committee made an easier way. Now, people can book tickets directly on their website. #4 Spot Deer at Sikandra (Emperor Akbar’s Tomb)
As Agra city is famous for world-class architectural building, Sikandra has equally contributed along with others. It is the tomb of that Great Emperor Akbar, who ones united the whole of India, at the plinth of religions.
This is the place which comprises of vast gardens, plenty of flowers, and many Deer. It is nice to see them or I can say that it is a perfect combination of a different kind of beauty.
If you love to be in your ‘me time’, it will best suit you. I sometimes just go there and just watch out the things that happen there. #5 Baby Taj: One of the Rare Riverfront Gardens
Earlier people were very nature loving and they just wanted to be shrouded in greenery. Itmad-Ud-Daula is the name of this place. Basically, it is the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, father of Emperor Jahangir’s wife, Nur Jahan.
This is the mausoleum which has somewhat resemblance the sole Taj Mahal. That’s why it has a name Baby Taj. A tomb in the shape of Jewelry Box is just placed aside by River Yamuna. Giving it a name, riverfront garden. An evening is the best time to spend at this place. #6 Taste World Famous Indian Cuisine and Hospitality
By far now, I would suggest Grand Gopika Thaal. The way they serve food and that much tasty food, you will really get stunned. They serve the best Indian culinary with that sweetness of Hospitality.
From the cutlery to the glassware and from serving dishes to the tableware, all things are in the actual traditional way. The walls of this India cuisine restaurant speaks all about its beauty. At this place, you will definitely get one feeling that without food there is nothing in this World.
This restaurant is just trying to maintain epoch of that Mughals. #7 Visit Sadar Bazaar and Quench Your Taste Bud
Sadar Bazaar is considered to be as the most prominent and charismatic market in Agra. You can see the local life enjoyment at this place of Agra. You can see every brand outlet in this part of Agra.
Along with the daily materials, most people visit this place just because of the Chaat Gali. There is a street which is called as the Chaat Gali. Here you can taste the mouth-watering Indian snacks like Gol Gappe, Aloo Tikki, or Bhalla. If you are a foodie then this is the place which is waiting for you. #8 Caste a Glimpse on Taj Mahal from Dussehra Ghat
Mark this, believe me, it is the best thing that I have done in Agra. Dussehra Ghat is a place, situated at the southern hand of Taj Mahal. A bank of River Yamuna, as the Ghat indicates. It is off-the-path, not many people know about it and very few reach there.
Visit this place when the Sun about to go below the horizon. Sunset is the best time to visit this place and I must say that it is one of the important things in those 14 things to do in Agra.
The cool breezed air, the presence of that epic monument, Taj Mahal, and the low crowd, these are the things which can make an evening meaningful. #9 Visit Mankameshwar Temple
It is said that Lord Shiva himself founded that sanctum sanctorum, a Shiva Linga. Also, it is said that if a person with a pure soul has a wish in front of the Shiva’s one of the forms, Lord Shiva grants that. And I am a great devotee of Lord Shiva. I am a Shaivite and my religion is Shaivism.
I too believe in that power that’s why I am sharing this. #10 Listen to some Anecdotes of Fatehpur Sikri or the History of this ruined city
Fatehpur Sikri is a small city, situated on the outskirts of Agra. This city has a sanguine contribution in making a great history of India. When the third Emperor of the Mughal Era, the great Akbar was not getting any heir for his throne, he went to every frame of most precise saints of that time. And after wandering many places, he found a Sufi-Saint, Sheik Salim Chisti in Fatehpur Sikri.
That Sufi saint gave him a boon and in order of that, he got an heir for his throne, Jahangir aka Salim. This is the city which has many palaces which has world’s best Indo-Islamic art. Also, it has many beautiful gardens which are capable enough to give you some countable moments.
Perhaps, this small city is having numerous things to see but the main attraction is Buland Darwaza. A tall gate built in the celebration of a victory. You will get to see that thousands of people are taking photographs standing below it. To know more read this Fatehpur Sikri History . This thing is the most important thing in those things to do in Agra. #11 Get Bedai and Jalebi in Breakfast
If you have made your visit to Agra and not swallowed down this morning dish of Agra, then sorry, you just able made your visit worthy. Yes, this thing is much likely to happen as a visit to Taj Mahal, if you are in Agra.
When stuffed Puri with Spicy Aloo curry served, we Indian call it Bedai dish. And it makes the perfect sense of eating tasty food. And it best works with the Jalebi, a sweet dish in India. #12 Taste a variety of Egg dishes
In my life for the very first time, I have tasted a different kind of dishes in Agra. Well, there is a stall, on the Fatehabad Road near Hotel Howard Plaza, Ram Shankar provides the thing which an egg lover wants. And literally, I am the biggest one. I just think that Ram Shankar has brought to this place just for me only.
Fried Boiled Egg in butter, Egg Bhujji with Boiled Egg, Half-fry are my favorite ones. I just think that I can never let a day with a dish. Just because of a saying in our India “Sunday ho ya Monday roz khaao ande”… #13 Drink something while sitting at any of the rooftop Restaurants
But there is a condition, the restaurant or Bar should have a view of Taj Mahal from the Rooftop. And in Agra there are many. It might be a beautiful dusk evening for you also. And if you ask me that is my favorite time of the day. I just love watching Sun drowning in the horizon and lets an orangey color takes command over the sky. #14 Taj Mahal in Moonlight
First of all sorry, I haven’t experienced this thing till now but I have heard the drums of this moment. It is said that on the full moon night, ASI (Archaeological Survey of India ) allows a bunch of people to have this epic moment.
For the betterment of travel enthusiasts this all thing runs only for five nights in a month. Two before the full moon, two after the full moon and one that Full Moon night. ASI is the same for all, it provides tickets on the first-come-first service.

Read More…

On the move at Dentons, Great Wolf Lodge, CIVANA, Dove Mountain

Business News / Business Leaders / Newsmakers / On the move at Dentons, Great Wolf Lodge, CIVANA, Dove Mountain On the move at Dentons, Great Wolf Lodge, CIVANA, Dove Mountain
Dentons lands nine-lawyer powerhouse litigation and white collar team Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, today named four partners, two counsel and three associates to its Phoenix office as members of its Litigation and White Collar practices. Karl Tilleman, Paul Charlton, Erin Bradham and Quintin Cushner join Dentons as partners. Doug Janicik and Jason Sanders join the Litigation practice as a counsel. Three associates also join the Firm. Tilleman and Bradham, who join Dentons Litigation practice, focus their work on high-stakes litigation for corporations, insurance carriers and financial institutions, with an emphasis on aviation, healthcare, antitrust, RICO, intellectual property, and class actions. Charlton and Cushner, who join the White Collar and Investigations practice, represent Fortune 500 companies and executives in high-profile litigation, internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense. “We are very pleased to welcome these extremely accomplished litigators and strategists to our leading disputes and investigations practices,” said US CEO Mike McNamara. “Over the past 18 months, we have added the litigation bench strength of more than 40 litigators nationally, from the East Coast to Hawai`i, which only further deepens the trust we enjoy in representing clients in some of the most high-profile and front page cases and investigations in the US.” Tilleman is a veteran first-chair trial lawyer with nearly three decades of experience who handles high-stakes litigation for many of the nation’s largest corporations, insurance carriers and financial institutions. Among his high profile representations are his current work on behalf MD Helicopters, Inc., and the successful defense of the Harlem Globetrotters, major universities, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the country’s largest insurance companies. Prior to entering private practice, he clerked at the Supreme Court of the United States for Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice Warren Burger. In addition to his legal career, Tilleman is an Olympic athlete who played on the Canadian National Basketball Team in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, setting a record for three-point shooting that has never been broken. He earned his JD, summa cum laude , from Brigham Young University, where he was the editor in chief of Brigham Young University Law Review, and his BA from the University of Calgary. Charlton is known as a seasoned trial lawyer who successfully defended corporations and high-net-worth individuals who were the subject of state and federal investigations. A former career prosecutor, he ended his nearly 20 years of public service as Arizona’s United States Attorney. Charlton also works in Native American Law and successfully advocated for Native American tribes and tribal leaders on nationally reported leaders. He is sought-after and often-quoted media commentator on litigation in the news, and, with his wife, owns and operates a cattle ranch. Charlton earned his JD from the University of Arizona, where he was the note and comment editor for the Arizona Law Review, and his BA from there, as well. Bradham focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on disputes involving aviation, healthcare, insurance and class action allegations. She has extensive experience defending clients in state and federal courts, and has served as trial counsel in multiple lawsuits, including a two-week jury trial that resulted in a defense verdict in her client’s favor. Committed to pro bono service, Bradham has successfully secured asylum and other immigration relief for over a dozen clients fleeing political persecution or harm in their home country. She earned her JD, magna cum laude , from Duke University, where she was the editor of the Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, and her BA, summa cum laude, from College of William & Mary. Cushner focuses on white-collar defense criminal defense and civil litigation including the successful representation of individual and corporate clients across the state and on American Indian tribal lands. Most recently he led public corruption investigations and served as a special prosecutor in Indian Country. Previously he served as a clerk to US District Court Judge Stephen McNamee. Cushner earned his JD from the University of Arizona College of Law, magna cum laude , where he was a member of Order of the Coif and managing editor of Arizona Law Review , and holds a BA from Oberlin College. Great Wolf Lodge Arizona announces general manager Great Wolf Resorts named Brian Johnson as the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Arizona, slated to open October 17, 2019. Hailing from the portfolio’s first-ever lodge in the Wisconsin Dells, Johnson is making the move to lead the pack at the company’s newest resort located within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Talking Stick Entertainment District. Johnson begins his next chapter with Great Wolf Lodge and returns to the Arizona hospitality scene boasting three decades of hospitality industry experience, having previously held roles at both the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. “Brian’s knowledge and experience within the Scottsdale market, coupled with his proven track record with Great Wolf Lodge make him the ideal choice to lead the opening and on-going operation of our first resort in Arizona,” said Mark Rucker, Senior Vice President of Operations for Great Wolf Resorts. “Brian’s helped countless families make lifelong memories at our Wisconsin Dells location, and we’re excited to have him set a new standard for family entertainment with our Arizona resort.” Johnson was previously the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells, responsible for its 80,000-square-foot waterpark and 450 pack members. CIVANA welcomes Amanda Grant, Dana Wendell Following the completion of CIVANA’s nearly $50 million renovation and repositioning – including the grand opening of a 22,000 square-foot spa in December 2018 – Scottsdale’s newest wellness resort continues to build its leadership team with the additions of Amanda Grant as Program Director and Dana Wendell as Director of Marketing. Amanda and Dana will work alongside CEO Maggie Lang, continuing to grow CIVANA as an approachable, holistic destination wellness resort. “I’m very proud to welcome these wellness veterans and incredible leaders to CIVANA,” said CEO Maggie Lang. “They will bring a level of depth and expertise to our leadership team that will serve our guests with even more intention and purpose, while strategically growing our brand.” Heading up the programming division is Amanda Grant, a seasoned brand development and growth leader with over 15 years of experience across corporate, political, start-up, and non-profit industries. With a growth-oriented mindset and holistic mind-body health philosophy, Amanda is uniquely qualified to take CIVANA’s programming to the next level. She will oversee all aspects of wellness programs – including daily classes, special events, and bespoke retreats – which are at the heart of the CIVANA experience and make it a destination designed to connect mind, body, and health. Amanda spent a number of years at Disney and ABC Television directing digital, brand, and social strategy in multiple divisions, including consulting for ESPN where she spearheaded growth for the global brand. In 2012, she was trusted by Obama for America to lead social strategy for the re-election campaign. Most recently, she led values-driven work at the Living Peace Foundation, which included planning and hosting large-scale retreats. Amanda is a HeartMath Organizational Trainer and is completing a two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. Dana Wendell joins CIVANA with 20 years of marketing, public relations, and communications experience and will be responsible for spearheading the resort’s marketing, public relations, and brand communication efforts. Before joining CIVANA, Dana oversaw all marketing initiatives for Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, which included the award-winning Joya Spa and the #1 food and beverage program within the Omni portfolio. During her time there, she was nominated for Omni’s Marketing Leader of the Year for three consecutive years (2016-2018) and was awarded the General Manager’s MVP for Leadership Excellence in 2017. Prior to her time at Omni, she served as Assistant Director of Marketing for Miraval Resort & Spa, where she developed and executed the marketing efforts for the flagship property in Arizona. Born and raised in Tucson, Dana brings not only deep industry expertise, but also a personal passion for wellness. New executive chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Award-winning culinarian Emily Dillport has been named Executive Chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain – southern Arizona’s only Forbes Five Star/AAA Five Diamond hotel. For Chef Dillport, the appointment is the culmination of a career in which she has provided widely recognized leadership and culinary excellence for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and beyond. A native of Florida, Dillport has been with The Ritz-Carlton for 12 years and joined The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain as executive sous chef in 2016. Since 2016 she has led operations for the resort’s five dining outlets, banquet teams and culinary departments, and she was named its 2018 Five Star Leader of the Year. Prior to coming to southern Arizona, she held senior culinary positions at Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts in Orlando, Palm Beach, Aruba, St. Thomas and New Orleans – where she was a key presence at the hotel’s famed M Bistro. “I am delighted to welcome Emily to her new position as executive chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain,” said Liam Doyle, Area General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Arizona & Southern California. “Her proven culinary expertise, along with her talent, creativity and leadership skills, are true assets for the resort – and her promotion is richly deserved. Emily’s talents as a coach and mentor also bring great value to our team — as does her passion for this region’s unique local ingredients and cuisines.”

Read More…

‘We define authenticity as intention’: In Minneapolis, a chef’s panel explores who ‘owns’ Asian food

Save
MINNEAPOLIS — The last thing most chefs want to hear read aloud at a food event is a smug Yelp review of their hard work.
“Not impressed,” intoned Andrea Nguyen, an award-winning Bay Area journalist. “Was it as good as the same dish bought on the street? Not in my experience. Was it a value? No.”
It was a Monday night in early April at The Lynhall in Minneapolis’ Lowry East neighborhood, and an enthusiastic audience had gathered for a panel with a big, challenging topic: “Insiders and Outsiders: Who Owns Asian Food?”
Nguyen, in the Twin Cities to promote her latest book, “Vietnamese Food Any Day,” served as a moderator for a panel of Asian American chefs, food writers and restaurateurs. Among them was Yia Vang, the Wisconsin-raised Hmong chef of Union Kitchen. Vang is set to record a live podcast for The Corner Table at the Cap Times Idea Fest this September .
“For most of my career, I’ve been aiming to push Asian food from the margins into the mainstream,” Nguyen said. “I want to see Americans make this food part of their repertoire, not be some exotic thing that’s a weekend project. We pay attention to the coasts, and I wanted to see what things were going to be like for Vietnamese food, for Asian food, in Minneapolis.”
The thorny question of “authenticity” — a charged, problematic word when applied to food of any culture — loomed large over the room. Nguyen had dined earlier in the day at Lucky Cricket, the Chinese American mega-restaurant launched in St. Paul by Andrew Zimmern late last year. (It was described by one local critic as “a veritable roadkill raccoon of confused service and goofed-up dishes”).
“What was weird in the discussion about Lucky Cricket was, where were all the Asian people? You’ve got a lot of them here,” Nguyen said. “I don’t want to focus on Andrew Zimmern. I want to focus on the people you’ve had in your community for years and let them speak.”
Chef and author Raghavan Iyer opened Pizza Karma, a globally inspired pizza restaurant in Eden Prairie, last December. He said he hates words like “authentic,” “classic” and even “spicy.”
“They’re all so misused and misconstrued,” he said. “One guy said, ‘You’re not doing Indian food, it’s not classic.’
Iyer asked the diner to describe what “classic” meant to him, and it was his mother’s food.
“I said, ‘I ain’t your mother,’” Iyer said. “A country that is 6,000 years old, every invasion, every foreign power that goes through it has an influence in terms of techniques and ingredients. India has been doing fusion cooking for 6,000 years.”
Chef Hai Truong comes from a multi-generational restaurant family. He changed the name of Ngon Vietnamese Bistro to simply Ngon Bistro as a way to more accurately reflect his cuisine — French Vietnamese with a Midwest pantry.
“To expect these costs, to expect these portions, someone is losing and it hurts the community,” Truong said. “A lot of reviews I get are from the Asian community on portion size and cost. That perpetuates people not being able to spend time with their family, working constantly for your cheap, large portion of food.
“That’s something that needs to be talked about for authentic, traditional food.”
The pho at Ngon Bistro costs several dollars more than at other local Vietnamese spots, in part because Truong said he uses local and organic farms for protein.
“How do you have a sustainable ‘ethnic’ restaurant? What makes it ethnic, or authentic?” he said. “I live in a vibrant community. There’s lots of things that inspire me. I don’t limit things that inspire me, I want to push things beyond.”
Chef and restaurateur Ann Ahmed of Lat14 makes food inspired by the Southeast Asian countries along the 14 th parallel — Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. She listened to the Yelp review Nguyen quoted, from a man who felt a “disconnect” between the street food in those places and the experience of her Minneapolis restaurant.
“For this man to say there’s a disconnect — the story’s there, the picture of the beautiful space is there” on her website , Ahmed said. “We want you to sit and enjoy a meal that’s delicious in a beautiful environment. But you’re telling us it tastes better on a plastic stool in a smelly alley somewhere. It’s not a comparison. It’s a different world.”
Ahmed said she understood why the man thought that Asian food should be cheap. But she doesn’t think he understands why, or how, it became that way.
“When you think about Asian food and the history of how we got here, it’s a lot of assimilation, a lot of adaptation,” she said. “30 years ago people weren’t into Asian food. That’s why we priced it so low, so that somebody not within your race will buy it. Then you look at someone within your demographics, and they’re in the same struggle you are. They just got here. They probably got a job as a janitor, or at the flower factory. Does that justify you charging a lot?”
Several panelists moved to the United States from their birth countries as young children. Vang of Union Kitchen is Hmong, born in Thailand and raised in northern Wisconsin. Nguyen described the Hmong as “stateless people, people with no flag, brave people who lived off the land.” More than 50,000 Hmong people live in the Twin Cities.
With a pop-up kitchen, catering company and food truck, Vang distinguishes Hmong food by making it both distinct and accessible.
“I really encourage you to listen to the stories of the food that’s put in front of you, because it tells a story regardless of where you come from,” Vang said. “My white friends will tell stories about this Hmong kid they knew, they ended up going to their house, and their mom fed them. That was our language of love.
“Every time I go to the house, my mom says, ‘Hurry up, eat.’ That’s the same feeling we want everybody to have at our food truck. Come eat with us. Come be a part of my mom and dad’s story. Come learn about our people through the food that we make.”
Nguyen called all of the panelists “ambassadors,” building “bridge experiences” for their diners to a new way of thinking about Asian food in all its facets.
“I’ve had someone say to me, ‘Vietnamese Food Any Day’ doesn’t require Asian market shopping, so it’s inauthentic,” Nguyen said. “You tell my mother that shopping at a regular American supermarket to make Vietnamese food is inauthentic and she will hit you with her jade bracelets. And it will hurt!”
“Who Owns Asian Food?” is a question that leads to more questions. For Nguyen, “it doesn’t matter what your DNA is … and it doesn’t matter who you’re married to. You can all participate in Asian food.”
“Who’s going to define the food experience that we have in America?” she asked. “You’re getting a sense this evening of how these four people are defining their food experience within the context of being an American, hyphenated American. We can be hyphenated many different ways. We define authenticity … as intention, foundation, knowledge. Ann Kim’s pizza .”
Vang knows some people say, “Because you don’t look this way, you can’t cook this way.” He welcomes that ongoing conversation while challenging the “white dude who opens a Laotian restaurant” to ask himself why he wants to do that, and what community he wants to engage.
“At the end of the day, as cooks, things have to taste good,” Vang said. “Every hipster talks to me like they discovered (fish sauce). I get it. I look at it as a compliment.”

Read More…

Mickey & Mooch, Bob Evans: Restaurant Inspections

restaurants & bars Mickey & Mooch, Bob Evans: Huntersville Restaurant Inspections Heath ratings dropped at two Charlotte restaurants after recent kitchen inspections. Here’s what was found in Huntersville. By Kimberly Johnson, Patch Staff | Apr 9, 2019 3:59 pm ET Heath ratings dropped at two Charlotte restaurants after recent kitchen inspections. (Shutterstock) HUNTERSVILLE, NC — Two Charlotte restaurants saw their health ratings drop to a “B” recently after inspections found numerous health code violations, ranging from live and dead roaches in the kitchen to keeping food at improper and dangerous temperatures. In Huntersville, five restaurants were inspected, and while they all kept their “A” health grades, some were higher than others.
Do you truly know how clean your favorite coffee shop or restaurant is? Find out with the most recent restaurant and food service inspections in Charlotte, Huntersville, Davidson, and elsewhere in Mecklenburg County, performed by the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
In Huntersville, the following restaurants were inspected:
Kabuto Japanese Steakhouse, 16516 Northcross Drive — 96/A Showmars, 9605 Sherrill Estates Road — 95.5/ A Mickey & Mooch, 9723 Sam Furr Road — 95/A Mandarin Restaurant, 9548 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road — 92/A Bob Evans, 16706 Northcross Drive — 90/ A County health officials recently inspected 154 restaurants in the Charlotte-metro area. Health grades at the following restaurants drop to a B:
La Belle Helene, 300 S. Tryon Street — 88/ B Las Meras Tortas, 5661 Farm Pond Lane — 84/B At La Belle Helene, 17 violations were documented during a March 27 inspection. Violations included numerous food items, such as chicken salad, eggs and cheese held at the incorrect temperature that were discarded, and food without date marks.
A March 28 inspection at Las Meras Tortas documented nine violations , including no sanitizer in the dishwasher, food held past its time and at the incorrect temperature, as well as live and dead roaches.
Results from the Mecklenburg County Health Department inspections done March 27 – April 2, 2019 are listed below. You may look up your favorite restaurant or find more detailed information about this latest batch of inspections here .
Establishment Name Address Insp. Date Score Grade FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES #683 8944 J M KEYNES DR 4/1/2019 100 A LA SHISH KABAB 3117 N SHARON AMITY RD 3/28/2019 99.5 A DIVINE BARREL BREWING 3701 N DAVIDSON ST 3/28/2019 99.5 A STARBUCKS STORE #55028 4820 BEREWICK TOWN CENTER DR 3/28/2019 99.5 A SPX BISTRO 13320 BALLANTYNE CORPORATE PL 4/1/2019 99.5 A BEEF & BOTTLE 4538 SOUTH BLVD 3/27/2019 99 A VIVA CHICKEN 4500 PARK RD 3/28/2019 99 A CORNER BAR, THE 2016 AYRSLEY TOWN BV 3/29/2019 99 A JASONS DELI 3509 DAVID COX RD 4/1/2019 99 A STARBUCKS COFFEE # 29481 11510 WAVERLY CENTER DR 4/1/2019 99 A HAMPTON INN & SUITES 401 TOWNE CENTRE BV 4/2/2019 99 A HILTON GARDEN INN – UPTOWN 508 E MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BV 3/27/2019 98.5 A CHARLOTTE LATIN FOUNDERS’ HALL 9502 PROVIDENCE RD 3/27/2019 98.5 A NAPA ON PROVIDENCE 110 PERRIN PL 3/27/2019 98.5 A BAHN THAI 12206 COPPER WAY 3/28/2019 98.5 A DORCHESTER 12930 DORMAN ROAD 3/29/2019 98.5 A 204 N TRYON KITCHEN & COCKTAILS 204 N TRYON ST 3/29/2019 98.5 A CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL #2939 9821 NORTHLAKE CENTER PY 3/29/2019 98.5 A TOWN BREWING COMPANY 800 GRANDIN RD 3/29/2019 98.5 A PITA PIT, THE 214 N TRYON ST 4/2/2019 98.5 A HARRIS TEETER #27 DELI/BAKERY 9720 REA RD 3/27/2019 98 A NIKKO JAPANESE RESTAURANT 325 ARLINGTON AV 3/27/2019 98 A CABO FISH TACO 3201 N DAVIDSON ST 3/28/2019 98 A ROOM 112 MODERN ASIAN CUISINE & SUSHI LOUNGE 112 S TRYON ST 3/28/2019 98 A DOLCE RISTORANTE ITALIANO 1710 KENILWORTH AV 3/28/2019 98 A 7TH RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 321 N CALDWELL ST 3/28/2019 98 A TACO BELL #22687 8812 ALBEMARLE RD 3/29/2019 98 A THE FLOUR SHOP 530 BRANDYWINE 3/29/2019 98 A THE STANLEY 1961 E 7TH STREET 3/29/2019 98 A ILIOS NOCHE 11508 PROVIDENCE RD 4/1/2019 98 A CARIBBEAN HUT 9609 N TRYON ST 4/1/2019 98 A SMITHFIELDS CHICKEN N BAR-B-Q 5121 TROJAN DR 4/2/2019 98 A MINT HILL ROCK STORE BAR-B-Q 7032 BRIGHTON PARK DR 3/27/2019 97.5 A STAGIONI 715 PROVIDENCE RD 3/27/2019 97.5 A TIAA-BETSILL #30761 13520 BALLANTYNE CORPORATE PL 3/27/2019 97.5 A COOKING POT, THE 5622 E INDEPENDENCE BLVD 3/27/2019 97.5 A KID CASHEW FARMER BUTCHER 1608 EAST BV 3/27/2019 97.5 A PISCES SUSHI BAR AND LOUNGE 1100 METROPOLITAN AVE 3/27/2019 97.5 A SOUL RESTAURANT 1500 CENTRAL AVENUE 3/28/2019 97.5 A CEDAR STREET TAVERN 120 N CEDAR ST 3/28/2019 97.5 A NAKATO JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 8500 PINEVILLE MATTHEWS RD 3/28/2019 97.5 A CHICK FIL A #789 9010 ALBEMARLE RD 3/28/2019 97.5 A JOHNS FAMILY RESTAURANT 2002 WESTINGHOUSE BLVD 3/29/2019 97.5 A WALDHORN RESTAURANT 12101 LANCASTER HIGHWAY 3/29/2019 97.5 A CHINA SAUTE 9248 ALBEMARLE RD 3/29/2019 97.5 A HOOTERS OF SOUTH CHARLOTTE 9807 SOUTH BLVD 3/29/2019 97.5 A CHUCK E. CHEESE’S #64 7701 PINEVILLE-MATTHEWS RD 4/1/2019 97.5 A MCDONALDS #23409 8038 SOUTH TRYON STREET 4/1/2019 97.5 A BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION CAFE 4350 WESTMONT DR 4/2/2019 97.5 A LUIGI`S PIZZA 8170 S TRYON ST 3/27/2019 97 A 131 MAIN 9886 REA RD 3/27/2019 97 A COOK OUT #68 1815 SARDIS RD N 3/27/2019 97 A BURTONS GRILL AND BAR 1601 E WOODLAWN RD 3/27/2019 97 A TABLA INDIAN RESTAURANT 15025 LANCASTER HY 3/27/2019 97 A WAN FU CHINESE RESTAURANT 10719 KETTERING DR 3/28/2019 97 A ILIOS NOCHE 8426 PARK RD 3/28/2019 97 A SITHARA CAFE 120 N CEDAR ST 3/28/2019 97 A SUSHI GURU 1217 1217 THE PLAZA 3/28/2019 97 A PICKLED PEACH, THE 202 S MAIN ST 3/29/2019 97 A WHICH WICH #271 11318 N COMMUNITY HOUSE RD 3/29/2019 97 A QUEEN PARK SOCIAL 4125 YANCEY RD 3/29/2019 97 A DOMINOS PIZZA #5543 2801 FREEDOM DR 3/29/2019 97 A FUEL PIZZA – HEARST TOWER 214 N TRYON ST 4/2/2019 97 A MA MA WOK 11914 ELM LN 3/27/2019 96.5 A PROVIDENCE MEADOWS 4123 KUYKENDALL RD 3/27/2019 96.5 A BLACK CHICKEN WINE CELLAR 131 MATTHEWS STATION ST 3/27/2019 96.5 A HARRIS TEETER #157 DELI 1811 MATTHEWS TOWNSHIP PKY 3/28/2019 96.5 A JIMMIE’S RESTAURANT 7024 BRIGHTON PARK DR 3/28/2019 96.5 A HASAKI GRILL 440 S CHURCH ST 3/28/2019 96.5 A HIBACHI BUFFET SUSHI & GRILL 9925 E INDEPENDENCE BLVD 3/28/2019 96.5 A LEGION BREWING 5610 CARNEGIE BV 3/28/2019 96.5 A CO 4201 PARK RD 3/29/2019 96.5 A QDOBA MEXICAN GRILL AT IVEY`S #627 127 N TRYON ST 4/2/2019 96.5 A CARRABBA’S ITALIAN GRILL #3402 10400 E INDEPENDENCE BLVD 3/27/2019 96 A KABUTO JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 16516 NORTHCROSS DR. 3/27/2019 96 A HAWTHORNE’S NY PIZZA & BAR 8410 REA RD 3/27/2019 96 A AIX EN PROVENCE 545 PROVIDENCE RD 3/27/2019 96 A OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE #3463 8338 PINEVILLE-MATTHEWS RD 3/28/2019 96 A ROMANOS MACARONI GRILL 8620 RESEARCH DR 3/28/2019 96 A RED ROBIN – TORINGDON 3415 TORINGDON WAY 3/29/2019 96 A SHOWMARS – ARROWOOD 2216 W. ARROWOOD RD 3/29/2019 96 A WENDY’S #36 7900 ARROWRIDGE BLVD 4/1/2019 96 A POPEYES # 12902 4050 N TRYON ST 4/1/2019 96 A VICTORIA RESTAURANT 5025 N TRYON ST 4/2/2019 96 A LEOS 49 SPORTS BAR & GRILL 7801 UNIVERSITY CITY BV 4/2/2019 96 A HARPER`S RESTAURANT @ CAROLINA PLACE 11025 CAROLINA PLACE PKY 3/27/2019 95.5 A FIRE WATER 8708 J.W. CLAY BLVD 3/27/2019 95.5 A AKAHANA ASIAN BISTRO 1308 THE PLAZA 3/27/2019 95.5 A HAWTHORNE’S PIZZA & BAR 7319 MATTHEWS MINT HILL RD 3/27/2019 95.5 A HOUSE OF LENG 8933 JM KEYENES DR 3/28/2019 95.5 A FUJI JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 14126 RIVERGATE PARKWAY 3/28/2019 95.5 A ANGELINES & CATERING 303 S CHURCH ST 3/28/2019 95.5 A HARRIS TEETER #204 DELI/COFFEE 8538 PARK RD 3/29/2019 95.5 A DUCKWORTH’S GRILL & TAPHOUSE 14015 CONLAN CIR 3/29/2019 95.5 A AMALFI PASTA N PIZZA 8542 UNIVERSITY CITY BV 4/2/2019 95.5 A MIMOSA GRILL 327 S TRYON ST 4/2/2019 95.5 A SHOWMARS RESTAURANT-HUNTERSVL 9605 SHERRILL ESTATES RD 4/2/2019 95.5 A 500 DEGREES PIZZERIA 6037 SOUTH BV 4/2/2019 95.5 A WHOLE FOODS MARKET #10644 PREPARED FOODS&COFFEE 400 E STONEWALL ST 4/2/2019 95.5 A MIDWOOD SMOKEHOUSE 1401 CENTRAL AVE 3/27/2019 95 A JAPAN 49 10920 WINDS CROSSING DR 3/27/2019 95 A FRENCH QUARTER 321 S CHURCH ST 3/28/2019 95 A THAI HOUSE 8706 PINEVILLE-MATTHEWS RD 3/28/2019 95 A ARIA TUSCAN GRILL 100 N TRYON ST 3/29/2019 95 A CHIN CHIN II 9013 ALBEMARLE RD 3/29/2019 95 A TGI FRIDAY’S #2599 12811 S TRYON ST 3/29/2019 95 A MICKEY & MOOCH 9723 SAM FURR RD 3/30/2019 95 A RESTAURANT X 408 SOUTH MAIN STREET 3/30/2019 95 A O`CHARLEY`S 8140 S TRYON ST 4/1/2019 95 A LA FIESTA GRANDE 10916 BLACK DOG LANE 4/1/2019 95 A CHAR BAR 7 6300 CARMEL ROAD 4/2/2019 95 A DON PEDRO MEXICAN RESTAURANT 1009 CHANCELLOR PARK DR 4/2/2019 95 A TERIYAKI EXPRESS 7008 E WT HARRIS BLVD 4/2/2019 95 A GLOBAL RESTAURANT 314 MAIN ST 3/27/2019 94.5 A CHEESECAKE FACTORY, THE 4400 SHARON RD 3/28/2019 94.5 A TACOS EL NEVADO #2 4640 SOUTH BLVD 3/28/2019 94.5 A TRES PESOS 100 W WOODLAWN RD 3/28/2019 94.5 A STONE MOUNTAIN GRILL 13728 CONLAN CR 3/28/2019 94.5 A FAHRENHEIT 222 S CALDWELL ST 3/28/2019 94.5 A ZAXBY`S #70 7508 S TRYON ST 3/29/2019 94.5 A NIYO EXPRESS 3509 DAVID COX RD 4/2/2019 94.5 A GOLDEN TAIPEI RESTAURANT 8511 DAVIS LAKE PKY 3/27/2019 94 A CHINA BUFFET 9931 LEE ST 3/27/2019 94 A COTTAGE RESTAURANT 1704 HARRIS HOUSTON RD 3/27/2019 94 A JASMINE BUFFET 2305 WESTINGHOUSE BLVD 3/27/2019 94 A CABO FISH TACO BALLANTYNE 11611 N COMMUNITY HOUSE RD 3/27/2019 94 A PEPERO ORIENTAL FOODS 10920 MONROE RD 3/28/2019 94 A CHINA BUFFET 4336 E INDEPENDENCE BLVD 3/28/2019 94 A WENDYS #23 20410 W CATAWBA AV 3/29/2019 94 A PEI WEI ASIAN DINER 13855 CONLAN CIR 3/27/2019 93.5 A BERNARDIN’S RESTAURANT 435 S TRYON STREET 3/27/2019 93.5 A CHAUPAATI 9101 PINEVILLE MATTHEWS ROAD 3/27/2019 93.5 A CHINA FUN 9020 ALBEMARLE RD 3/28/2019 93.5 A MI PUEBLO #12 7003 UNIVERSITY CITY BV 3/28/2019 93.5 A WAFFLE HOUSE#2043 2125 W ARROWOOD RD 3/29/2019 93.5 A EL VALLE MINT HILL 9229 LAWYERS RD 3/29/2019 93.5 A UMAMI SUSHI & GRILL 200 E MATTHEWS ST 3/27/2019 93 A JIM `N NICK`S BAR-B-Q 13840 STEELE CREEK RD 3/28/2019 93 A CHARBAR 7 7312 TOWN VIEW DR 3/28/2019 93 A KABUTO 51 OF CHARLOTTE INC 7724 PINEVILLE-MATTHEWS RD 3/29/2019 93 A CICI’S PIZZA #674 10823 JOHN PRICE ROAD 4/1/2019 93 A RED SEA ERITREAN & ETHIOPIAN CUISINE 4301 MONROE RD 4/2/2019 93 A HERO JAPANESE STEAK & SUSHI RESTAURANT 20465 CHARTWELL CENTER DR 3/28/2019 92.5 A THAI HOUSE III RESTAURANT 230 E. W T HARRIS BV 3/27/2019 92 A MANDARIN RESTAURANT 9548 MT HOLLY-HUNTERSVILLE RD 3/29/2019 92 A HIBACHI EXPRESS JAPANESE RESTAURANT 7945 N TRYON ST 4/1/2019 91.5 A COTTAGE 7705 S TRYON ST 3/27/2019 91 A CHILI’S GRILL & BAR #411 500 UNIVERSITY CENTER BLVD 3/28/2019 91 A BIG AL’S PUB & GRUBBERIA 9306 ALBEMARLE RD 3/28/2019 91 A NEW ASIAN CUISINE 7114 BRIGHTON PARK DR 3/27/2019 90.5 A AMARAVATI 8145 ARDREY KELL RD 3/28/2019 90.5 A BOB EVANS REST #335 16706 NORTHCROSS DR. 3/28/2019 90 A LA BELLE HELENE 300 S TRYON ST 3/27/2019 88 B LAS MERAS TORTAS 5661 FARM POND LN 3/28/2019 84 B Latest News Nearby Charlotte, NC News FBI On The Hunt For ‘Ball Cap Bandit’ Davidson, NC News Input Wanted On North-South Parkway Study Huntersville, NC News Drug Take-Back Day: How To Get Rid Of Old Drugs Huntersville, NC News Here’s What Recent Restaurant Inspections Found Huntersville, NC News Duke Energy Plans Nuclear Siren Test Scheduled

Read More…

Kathiawadi food festival by chef Dhawal Ajmera (Hornby’s pavilion, ITC grand central, mumbai)

Foodies world – If u love ur tastebuds, this is the place to be Kathiawadi food festival by chef Dhawal Ajmera (Hornby’s pavilion, ITC grand central, mumbai) yummraj Indian , kathiawadi Leave a comment
In a NUtshell:
A meal that gave us as much joy as we experienced after eating at Dum Pukht (not comparing cuisines but the sheer feeling of joy) – loved the chat with chef, his team mate , the thoughtfully laid out festival section, ingredients sourced from Gujarat, fabulous taste & textures & most importantly the fact that chef had the guts to offer home recipes (some of them super simple, daily food) at the hotel dinner buffet.
Address & other details: ITC grand central
Meal for 2: ₹4600
Cuisine type : vegetarian only
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Short description- in case u r in a hurry
We got to know about this festival after seeing an insta post by historian & foodie Kurush Dalal. We follow kurush & his Rhea’s food stories & have always looked forward to pop ups by Rhea. We particularly remembered kurush mentioning ‘I went there with mild trepidation. Most buffet festivals are seldom close to the cuisines they say they are representing ….. after ages I had eaten a 5 star coffee shop buffet that not only rocked my palate but which was true to its cuisine’.
So we booked a table on a Saturday evening thru Zomato. While online booking is usually easy, it is non interactive. So we did not get to mention that we wanted to eat kathiawadi food. Neither did anyone ask.
As we took seat, our server asked us to check out the buffet – indian, continental, Asian etc etc. We asked him about kathiawadi festival. With a plain blank face he said ‘that’s a part of this lovely buffet I just mentioned’. Clearly there had been no training of the staff & they were surely not excited. This cud easily had us walk out & go to K&K downstairs but we just walked in to the buffet area by chance.
The lady at the buffet area gave us a nice talk about the spread & we thought it was worth. Then walked in chef Dhawal – he just sealed the deal. He explained the cuisine beautifully, not in a typical ‘over sweet’ 5 star kind of way but a normal human to human / friend to friend manner. Super enjoyed the chat with him.
There was obviously no menu card, but the food name stickers had short descriptions of the food.
Liked the visual merchandising of the buffet area.
Kunal, who took care of us as we started eating was very pleasing, warm and nice.
Food was marvellous. It was as close as it cud get to home cooked food. No extra thickener, no extra cream on top, no usual commercial kitchen tantrums – still in shock & awe that chef had the belief & strength to serve it on dinner buffet.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Starters
We started the meal with a Combo of jalebi, fafda, Mirchi & papaya
The fafda was the best we have ever had in mumbai. It was super thin, super super crispy , and just unbelievably good in terms of texture and balance of seasoning.
Chef told us that the fafda had to be had in combination with jalebi mirchi and papaya. Had he not insisted, I would not have tried it this way. very happy that he did. Also he did mention that the Jalebis are not crisp but a bit soft. The batter of the jalebis were more fermented & hence sour, that beautifully balanced the sweetness of the ras.
The papaya Chutney was mildly sweet. It gave a nice crunchy texture to the combo. It also was able to cut the sweetness.
Rate the combo 4.95/5
Patra was very good. We were told it is different than the other Gujarati Patra. But we could not make out the difference. Rate it 4/5
Dhokhla also was very good. however it was not any different from the good dhokhlas that we have so far had, either in Mumbai or in Ahmedabad rated 4/5
Khandvi was again very good. it was better than most other khandvis that we have had in Mumbai. Rate it 4.25/5
Dahi bhalla was excellent. it was soft enough in the centre to be enjoyable but firm enough to not crumble. the seasoning was perfect – not over sour. the masalas were not overpowering but just the right amount. Super loved the dish. rate it 4.5/5
Crisp gwarfali fries Were super fun to munch on. chef explained how Ranchi how crispy fries are served with food in the region, to compliment the texture. Rate it 4.25/5
Crisp okra fries were lovely. We constantly Kept munching on these with different dishes. The fries had Perfect seasoning. Rate it 4.5/5
There were few achars (pickles) at the festival.
Tindora achar was made from a green vegetable called tindora. Loved munching on the crunchy tindora – the achar had spices and punch but was not hot / on the face. Rate it 4.5/5
Vadhwan ka mircha achar was an achar made from chillies brought from a place called vadhwan – the chillies were flavorful, somewhat hot but not at all much. Rate it 4.25/5
Mooli achar was fabulous – cud not stop appreciating this simple radish pickle that had captured full flavors & also the crunch of radish. Rate it 4.75/5
Lasaniya batata was a super interesting evening snack that was on the menu. Tangy, hot & chatpata it was.
This was served Along with bhungra – a deep fried crispy roll.
Chef suggested that the Bhungra to be crushed & put atop the aloo. So we did. Loved it. Again, new combo for us. Rate it 4.75/5
Khichia , another crisp was also served. It was one of the best kinds of khichias I have had in Mumbai.
The mains
Khero – dehydrated besan & urad sev cooked in a garlic & tomato based gravy. Loved it. The thin, robust gravy went beautifully well with the once crisp sev. The Sev was now not soggy, it was firm, yet it wud melt away with the first bite due to its being ‘khasta’. Rate it 4.25/5
Moth was a thick dish made of lentil. Loved the texture. Beauty of the dish was the presence of spices but then not being over powering. Rate it 4.5/5
We were told that the kathiawadi Undhiyo was different than the other Gujarati undhiyo (a mixed vegetable slow cooked curry that traditionally was cooked by slow fire that was placed atop an inverted sealed vessel). Kathiawadi undhiyo did not have purple yam & some other ingredients.
Overall directionally it tasted very similar to the normal undhiyo – we had had the good luck of having done of the best undhiyo at homes of people we know. We love undhiyo otherwise & always look forward to it.
Rate this dish 4.5/5
The Daal was very sweet for our palate- however that is how the dish is supposed to be. Rate it 4/5
Sambariya bhindo was an okra (bhindi) dry curry with grated coconut. Loved the simplicity of this dish. Not in the face spices. Not too hot. The bhindi was not slimy, yet there was not oil floating around in the dish. Superb. Rate it 4.5/5
Kobi vatana was the simplest dish I have ever had in a restaurant – eating it was like taking a bite from a friend’s tiffin at office. Simple yet excellent. Rate it 4.5/5
Loved the Gujarati kadhi – as expected it is a bit sweet but was very balanced. The sweet was not overpowering. Rate it 4.5/5
Khichadi was insane. Super simple. Full flavors of ghee. Perfect to taste. Cud not just stop eating. Rate it 4.95/5
Chef had made Khichu for someone & offered the same to us as well. It was made from the atta of khichia. Again, super loved this. Rate it 4.75/5
Dessert
Basoondi was super thickened milk, slightly sweet, not extreme sweet. Flavor of spices was good. Rate it 3.5/5
Aamras was very good. We have had better though. Rate it 4/5
Mohan thal no locho was super fab. It was daanedaar, slightly sweet, had full flavors of ghee. Rate it 4.75/5
Overall rating of food at this kathiawadi pop up averages out to 4.4/5
We were also served a chaas that had a strong clove flavor in it. I asked chef if this was traditional – he said, no.
Wud look forward to next pop up by chef Dhawal. Advertisements

Read More…