Dinner at the Fabulous Teatro- Towers Rotana

Dinner at the Fabulous Teatro- Towers Rotana

April 24, 2019
We had a nostalgic experience when we dined at Teatro after a decade. The taste and the flavor of food was just like the way it used to be, all those years ago. There are few restaurants in Dubai that can match Teatro’s level of consistency.
Located on Level 3 of Towers Rotana in Sheikh Zayed Road, Teatro is a spacious restaurant and bar with a spectacular view of Sheikh Zayed Road. It boasts of classy, chic and contemporary interiors.
My favorite part of the venue is the glass encased walk-in wine cellar which houses an impressive selection of wines. The unique element the cork collection displayed at the entrance of Teatro.
As we entered Teatro, we went over to their bar first and had a drink. After that their staff escorted us to our table and we enjoyed a relaxed dinner.
Teatro’s menu offers different cuisines like Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian and European. Their menu offers something for everyone.
We started with drinks first. Their signature cocktails and wines were good. As vegetarians we were happy with their food menu.
Starters
Som Thom the classic Thai salad was light, crunchy and packed a flavorful punch.
Vegetable Samosas were crisp mini samosas served with mint chutney and salad. They were not the best samosas that we had and needs to be improved especially the outer covering.
Vegetarian Roll was the most amazing sushi roll that we ever had. It was a roll made with mango, avocado and cucumber. A must-try.
Mains
Vegetable Handi was a rich, tasty and flavorful Indian curry with a medley of veggies and cottage cheese. It came along with long-grained basmati rice and pickle. We also ordered Assorted Naan to have with the veg handi.
Next we had the comforting Thai Green Curry with Jasmine rice. It was perfectly cooked and tasted oh-so-delicious.
Dessert
Dessert was deliciously divine and very creative. It was a Meringue with coconut and pineapple ice cream in a passion fruit coulis topped with fresh berries.
Ended our dinner with a soothing cup of Green Tea .
Our dining experience in Teatro at Towers Rotana was fabulous. Everything from the atmosphere, decor to food, drinks and service was excellent.
Phone: 04 526 9138

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Intro Indian Cooking Classes at Masala Dosa

By Aubrena Armstrong on April 24, 2019 2019 Cape Town City Bowl Cape Town Lifestyle, Food & Wine Food & Wine Experiences Saturdays Weekly Events
Masala Dosa chef and maitre’d, Riyaz Mir guides guests through Indian cooking, demystify the techniques, and explores the sensory abundance of exotic herbs and spices.
Masala Dosa was created in 2006 and specialises in dosas and thalis, both long-established favourites in Indian cuisine. Dosas are light, crispy pancakes, eaten with different fillings and condiments. Thalis refer to the round metal plate on which six different tastes of sweet, salt, sour, bitter, astringent and spicy items combined in one offering, served with rice and puri (puffy Indian bread).
The cooking classes are 3 hours long and include lunch.
Venue: Masala Dosa, 167 Long Street, Cape Town Time: 9am to 12pm
Tel: 021 424 6772 | 082 6655345 Email:

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Office Space for rent in Madhapur, Hyderabad

PropertyWala.com Office Space for rent in Madhapur, Hyderabad 10,001-15,000 Office Space At Affordable Price At Madhapur, Hitech city. Ayyapa society, Madhapur, Hyderabad (Telangana) Area: 9000 SqFeet Rate: 2 per SqFeet -95% Description Office Space At Affordable Price At Madhapur , Hitech city . Fully Furnished With No Extra Charges.
Please mention that you saw this ad on PropertyWala.com when you call. Location Price Trends Madhapur, Hyderabad Office Spaces for rent in Madhapur, Hyderabad This property is priced approximately -95% under the average for an Office Spaces for rent in Madhapur, Hyderabad (Rs.49/SqFeet) * Disclaimer: Data may be approximate. Locality Reviews Madhapur, Hyderabad One of the hot locality in Hyderabad . It’s like cosmopolitan having every culture here. Pros: by Hyderabad Estate (Hyderabad Estate) Madhapur city developed fastly within 10 – 15 years fast growing IT hubs and residential / commercial zones within heart of new city called CYBERABAD with all educated professions settled in this cyberabad city connecting to all major roads and connnecting ORR and entertainments like star hotels, pubs, exhibition centres hitex and marriage halls hifi hospitals schools and colleges any parts of the country can settle here with peaceful and good oxygen here in this area people are healthy, there were no polluted companies, in this area people enjoy like western countries saturday and sunday week holidays people move around inorbit malls, shilpa ramam handicrafts exhibition beside hitec tower food areas like paradis court, kfc, snookers, pubs, star hotels all parts of country people u may find out in future US embassy is going to come near kondapur – gachibowli areas its constliest city in Hyderabad in this area less crime because cctv cameras are more to cover any type of offences so anybody can stay in this zone its free zone and also people can invest their hard earned earnings in this area either to purchase plots,flats independent house row house in gated community all top class people like doctors, lawyers, judges, business men, celebrities are settled in this madhapur area, i love this area very much because within short span of time i have seen this type of city cyberabad has grown fastly other than any other city. Pros: VERY GOOD LOCATION NEARBY ALL FACILITIES SCHOOLS COLLEGES JOBS HOTELS HOSPITALS AND ENTERTAINMENTS Better to be early at home please dont go to lonely areas and new areas developing in some areas no cc tv cameras beware Posted: Jul 7, 2016 by Raj Kumar Madhapur is a part of prime business district of hyderabad . It is a part of the IT Corridor of hitec city. It has a cosmo touch to it with a presence of young IT professionals working here from all parts of India. It is the hub of many startup companies and has rentals ranging from a Rs. 30/- per sqft to Rs. 65./- per sqft for a fully furnished office space. Thus it caters to clients ranging from start up to large mnc’s. The place also has variety of restaurants covering most of the indian cuisine. There are ample options for people looking for residential options in and around madhapur. Pros: IT corridor with cosmo culture Excellent connectivity to all modes of transport Flexible rental options suiting all clients ranging from startup to large MNC Cons: Shortage of A grade space Lack of good hospitals Parking challenges in standalone buildings. Posted:

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MMPRC invites Indian journalists and bloggers to promote Maldives

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A team of Indian journalists and bloggers arrived in Maldives on a familiarisation trip organised by Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). They visited local islands and resorts to experience off the beaten track activities available in Maldives.
The main purpose of this trip was to promote Maldives as a tourist destination via blog posts and articles. The team explored the undiscovered side of Maldives, which is the local island life and Maldivian culture. Their trip started at Guraidhoo Palm Inn, where they experienced the local way of life by sightseeing the island and experiencing the local cuisines of Maldives. MMPRC also gave a destination presentation to the group to share information regarding the Maldivian tourism industry to further promote Maldives. The team then travelled to Adaaran Rannalhi and Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi where they experienced life at a resort and sunset excursion on a cruise.
The team comprised of writers from Pioneer Group, an English language daily newspaper and Outlook Traveller. Bloggers in the team include Snigdha Bhowmick from ‘Salt and Sandals’ which is a luxury travel, food and beverage blog, Archana Singh from ‘Travel See Write’ travel blog, Pallavi Chaturvedi from ‘That Desi Girl’ Blog, and Nivi Shrivastava, a freelance journalist with Deccan Chronical and Asian age. They will be posting dedicated social media posts with destination articles that feature their experience in Maldives.
This is the first of a series of FAM trips that are being planned by MMPRC for this year in order to promote Maldives. These trips are an integral part of MMPRC’s marketing strategy to relate the stories of Maldives to the world by inviting various media from across the globe to experience Maldives first hand. Tags:

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Takeaway Tales: What we really thought when we secretly tried these eight Essex takeaways – Essex Live

We reviewed eight Essex takeaways and this is what we thought Get the biggest Daily stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email
In Essex we love our food, particularly when it comes to takeaways.
The idea of sitting back eating something delicious, with minimum effort required to cook it, is always an appealing thought.
But eating a sub-standard dinner is also likely to spoil the occasion.
So here at Essex Live we decided to test some of the county’s takeaways for you to let you know which ones to avoid and which ones to enjoy yourself. Read More
Here you can find our thoughts on the eight takeaways we reviewed as part of Takeaway Tales. What is Takeaway Tales?
Here at EssexLive we love a takeaway as much as you do.
There are thousands of them scattered across our county, from seafront chippies in Southend and Clacton to curry houses and Chinese takeaways in the centre of our towns.
With such a variety on offer, choosing where to splash that hard-earned cash on takeaway food can be a tough decision and that is where Takeaway Tales steps in.
To save you the aggro of trying out somewhere new, we’ll do it for you.
No money will exchange hands apart from that of our reporter finding its way over the counter and into the till – so you can expect our honest opinion.
If we enjoy what we eat, we’ll tell you but if we get served up a dodgy dish, you’ll also find out.
If there’s somewhere you think is in need of a review why not get in touch and tell us? Message our Facebook page with your tip off and we’ll see what we can do! Shanghai House in Chelmsford – Sophie Finnegan
Anyone who knows Chelmsford knows Duke Street. And anyone who knows Duke Street knows one thing in particular – takeaways.
The road is littered with them; kebab shops, pizza places, curry houses, anything you could possibly want for a lazy evening dinner is situated just next to the bus station in the heart of the city.
Shanghai House is in a lot of ways a fairly typical Chinese takeaway. It’s brightly lit, maybe a little bit over the top in fact, with a frontage that changes colour and Chinese lanterns in the window. In essence, it looks a bit cliched and bit cheap.
But don’t be fooled because after your first impressions, you end up discovering one of the best Chinese meals in the city and service to match.
Here’s what I thought of it: The menu The food was still hot and super tasty
After a pretty light lunch, I was feeling particularly hungry and I was ready to go all out. I’m talking starters, mains, prawn crackers, the whole lot.
After surveying the varied menu, my boyfriend and I decided we would share a hot mixed starter alongside a main meal each.
The mixed starter had two satay chicken skewers, two ribs, two pieces of sesame toast (although they snuck in a third), four vegetable spring rolls and crispy seaweed.
For my main dish, I split chicken fried rice and salt and chilli chips with my boyfriend and got deep fried crispy shredded beef, alongside some curry sauce (of course).
My boyfriend topped his half of the rice and chips with roast duck in plum sauce and we both got a can of Fanta each.
We also got a free large bottle of Tango, a free Chow Mein and two free bags of prawn crackers because seemingly the fine people of Shanghai House are the most generous takeaway owners in Chelmsford. The order
Once we had decided on our meals, I paid using the app and selected the collection option. I’d normally get it delivered (why would I ever choose to go out for my lazy takeaway?) but given it was for a review, I stepped up.
The restaurant accepted the order almost immediately and we were asked to collect the food at 7.10pm.
We were on the way when, at 7.02pm, I got a text to say my order was ready for collection.
As I parked up and walked to the restaurant however, I noticed I had a missed call and voicemail off the restaurant informing me that my order was ready. Talk about service! All in all, it was ready 20 minutes after the order went in, perfect for two starving journalists ready to eat their body weight in rice. The experience
Situated on Duke Street, Shanghai House isn’t the best place for parking.
If you’ve ever driven on Duke Street you’ll know how busy it can be and how there’s not much parking space actually available.
Luckily, we found a spot round the back in the Railway Road car park, next to the Ship and took the two-minute walk round the corner to collect our meal.
As I say, Shanghai House doesn’t look like much from outside with its name lit up in flashing lights and a variation of fairly standard oriental decoration- but don’t be fooled.
The interior of the shop kept up the oriental theme and was very neat and tidy. I was then greeted by a friendly woman from behind the counter who asked me if I was here to collect.
She proceeded to bring over a HUGE packed bag of food before directing me to a fridge where I could choose which free large bottle of pop I wanted.
Once I grabbed a Tango the woman helped me put the drink into a separate bag and thanked me for my order.
All in all, I couldn’t fault the service. We were in and out within about 30 seconds so we didn’t even have to survey the selection of magazines. The food
After an agonising five-minute drive home I unpacked my food and plated up.
We started on the mixed starter first where I ate both satay chicken skewers and some spring rolls which were both delicious. The chicken was served with a pot of satay sauce which was amazing.
My boyfriend described the prawn toast as “some of the best he’s ever had”- and was delighted when he saw we had an extra piece.
The only hiccup for us were the ribs, which were too greasy and an oily curry sauce, which I think we could both look past.
I loved the crispy shredded beef and the salt and chilli chips- they were both really flavoursome and some the best chips I’ve had in a while. My boyfriend’s duck also hit the spot, leaving both of us unquestionably full but very very content. The verdict
The variety of the menu- 8/10
The menu had an extensive list of dishes so there was plenty to choose from.
Easy to order- 10/10
We had no issues whatsoever ordering the food on the app and the order was accepted almost immediately.
Parking- 3/10
Shanghai House is in located on the busy Duke Street with very limited parking available.
Ambience- 7/10
I was greeted very warmly and the restaurant itself looked very nice both inside and outside.
Speed- 10/10
It was ready ten minutes before it was due to be collected so if I could give it 11 I would.
Food- 8/10
Although we had some little pointers here and there we really enjoyed our meal and will defintely go back very soon!
An overall Takeaway Tales rating of 8/10
You get a takeaway for a very select number of reasons – taste, ease, speed. It wins across the board. It’s just that simple. Read More Robinsons Fish and Chips in Chelmsford – Bronya Smolen
If you thought chips were pretty much God’s gift, then this Chelmsford takeaway thinks they can get better.
Robinson’s Fish & Chip shop in Moulsham Street has decided to fry chips in batter. No calories spared. So we thought we’d try them out for you.
At £3 per portion, the pimped-up chip is described as a cross between a roast potato and potato wedges. They’re literally carb fried in carb. A snack the battered Mars Bar-loving Scots would proud of. But what did Essex think of it? The service
We put an order in around 6pm on a busy Friday evening when the takeaway was already filled with people collecting orders. There was the dad treating his girl to a fish supper, numerous Deliveroo cyclists and some hungry pub-goers.
The battered chips were only meant to be sold at lunch time, but the girl behind the counter informed us they’d added them to the evening menu now. They must be popular?
“One portion of battered chips please”, she called back to the kitchen. And in they went.
Along with a battered sausage, a medium portion of chips and two fish fingers, our order took around 30 minutes to cook. This was mostly because the battered chips and fish fingers took extra time to prepare.
Meanwhile we were left to sit fairly comfortably in the warm chippy, occupied by magazines and an Essex Chronicle to read while we waited. The price
Everything came to £9.50, very reasonable for dinner for two. The only gripe would be the £2.40 sachet of mayonnaise. We may as well have bought a jar of it from Tesco across the road for the same price. A sachet of ketchup stood at an eye-watering £1.40 too. The goods
The portion looked average. It came in a small square box, a bit like the one you would find garlic pizza bread in from Domino’s. Some of the battered chips came in clumps where they had cooked together, but that meant all the more batter for your bite.
The box may have been small but once you tuck in you’ll likely be glad you didn’t order extra. Battered chips are filling. It was safe to say the Eton Mess set aside for dessert stayed firmly in the fridge.
Alongside our battered sausage, fish fingers and regular chips, we didn’t need more than a box of the battered ones. They went brilliantly with ketchup or mayo and a touch of salt. They were fluffy inside and crispy on the outside, and they were the highlight of our meal. Probably because they were a bit different. Verdict
Price rating
8/10 – you can’t knock two meals and an (expensive, but unique) side for less than a tenner.
Condiments rating
1/10 – so expensive. Still kicking ourselves that we didn’t just go to Tesco during the 30-minute wait.
Ordering experience
7/10 – I went at what is probably the busiest time of the week and ordered something that was far from on the ‘most-ordered’ menu, so a half hour wait is not unexpected.
Grub rating
8/10 – Hats off to Robinson’s for trying something different to ensure their offering, and food, remains a cut above the rest. Top food.
An overall Takeaway Tales rating of:
7/10 – I couldn’t quite stretch to an 8 because of the cost of the mayonnaise and tomato ketchup, and the slightly lengthy wait. If we did half marks, we’d have stretched it to an 7.5. Read More Star Kebab van in Chelmsford – Paige Ingram
Up until earlier this week I had never eaten a kebab. Yes, you read that right- in all my 22 years living in Chelmsford, a kebab has never been my takeaway of choice…until now.
While for many, Mr Ram and Mrs Cod on Moulsham Street is a popular pit stop on the way home, the look and smell of a kebab has never really appealed to me.
Chelmsford city centre has takeaways galore but I’m more of a McDonalds chicken nugget type person after a night out, or a Chinese takeaway in front of the TV on a night in.
But for the first time I jumped out of my comfort zone, and what better place to try my first ever kebab than Chelmsford’s iconic van, Star Kebab.
Having lived in the Moulsham area all my life, travelling into Chelmsford city centre means negotiating the Miami roundabout, and nine times out of ten when I’m at the junction, so is Star Kebab.
Thousands of motorists must pass through the junction every day and judging by the queues at the van a lot of them must stop off for a bite to eat.
If you think on a weekday evening a kebab van a mile out of town wouldn’t have many customers, then you haven’t visited Star Kebab.
No matter what the weather, day of the week or time of night, there is always a row of hungry customers waiting.
Blessed with a day off work midweek what better way to spend it working up an appetite before indulging in a takeaway.
After going to the gym and spending some time at the stables, by 5pm, my stomach was telling me it was time for dinner. What makes Star Kebab iconic?
Star Kebab has been serving up fast food in Chelmsford for at least 15 years.
It opens everyday from 5pm- 12am and opens until 2am on a Friday and Saturday.
For many Chelmsford residents, its long standing presence at the Miami roundabout is what makes it iconic.
I decided to go at 5.30pm, shortly after it opened, mainly because I hadn’t eaten all day and was super hungry.
With no kebab knowledge I went for a small Doner, just because that’s what the person in front of me ordered and that’s the meat I have always imagined a proper kebab to use.
The staff were really helpful, I told them I had never had a kebab before and they talked me through the toppings and sauce choices.
I also ordered a side of chips and onion rings to be washed down with a can of Pepsi.
For a small kebab van I was quite impressed with the amount of choice of both food and drinks.
Even though I had never eaten a kebab before I knew what toppings they had, lettuce, onions and red cabbage usually smothered in a sauce of your choice.
Not being a huge lover of cabbage I decided to opt for lettuce, onions and garlic sauce.
After ordering and paying, it began to rain and the staff told me to wait in my car and they would bring it out to me.
15 minutes later the side door of the van opened and I was called to collect my food.
As to be expected with any takeaway, the food was presented in polystyrene trays.
As I lived local I drove home before tucking in.
When I unpacked the food it was still piping hot and at the bottom of the bag was a plastic folk which if I had wanted to eat my food in the car parked up near the roundabout would have been useful.
Sometimes, especially with chips, the grease can seep into any paper or packaging, but my hands were grease free after unpackaging it.
Despite the car journey home, the kebab was as intact as a kebab can ever be. The verdict
There was just too much food- which I guess is never a bad thing, but you can’t exactly warm up the leftovers for tomorrow with this type of takeaway.
Parking- 10/10
No doubt on a Friday and Saturday night there are more cars than on a Wednesday at 5.30pm, but I pulled up alongside the van and in the 15 minutes I waited, parking was not an issue for customers.
The variety of the menu- 9/10
Even if you don’t like kebabs, there is plenty to choose from- burgers, wraps, bacon rolls, side salads, chicken nuggets and more.
Ease to order- 8/10
The friendly staff were very helpful while I was trying to decide what to order, they offered me a menu to take away with me. The menus were clear and easy to read, with clear pricing.
Speed- 7/10
The only downside from ordering from a kebab van is that the chefs are not working in an industrial kitchen, so naturally the limited space and equipment means a slightly slower service is to be expected.
But the tasty food definitely made up for the 15-minute wait.
Food- 7/10
The onion rings were crispy, not too greasy and really tasty, not the ones that when you bite into and almost choke on the stringy onion.
The chips were perfectly seasoned with salt and vinegar with crispy outsides and fluffy insides. However being a lover of spice, I do like pepper on my chips which they did not have.
I liked the crispy lettuce and onion and the strong flavour of the garlic sauce, and all-in-all my first kebab experience was a positive one.
Price- 10/10
My entire meal set me back just £9.80, which for the generous portion sizes was very surprising.
Overall Takeaway Tales rating – 7/10 Read More Chris’ Fish Bar in Tiptree – Elliot Hawkins
Let’s face it, nothing beats a good chippy. That’s why we decided to review another one.
They epitomise everything that’s great about British food and with so many scattered across Essex, you never have to go far to find your local fish and chip shop.
In my home village of Tiptree we’re lucky to have two of the county’s best chippies right on our doorsteps, and that’s no exaggeration.
Chris’ Fish Bar, voted by Essex Live readers as one of the top ten fish and chip shops in the county, is only a 30-second walk from my front door. And while this is great for convenience, it’s not so great for my figure.
I’ve been buying from Chris’ for more than 15 years, but for those of you who’ve never had the chance to try, here’s the review of my latest experience. A family favourite
Chris’ Fish Bar is a family-run chippy that’s been serving the people of Tiptree since 1987.
Located on Church Road (or the High Street as we call it), the shop is just a short walk from most areas of the village and never fails to bring customers through the door.
You’re welcomed by a smile from behind the counter and the glorious smell of freshly cooked fish and chip shop classics. While the food seems to get better every time, the atmosphere inside will never change.
From the variety on the menu to the quality of the food, I’ll be reviewing five different aspects of my latest Chris’ Fish Bar experience to give you a true flavour of what to expect. Food quality: 9/10
When you’ve eaten from Chris’ as often as I have, you soon learn what to expect. And it’s nothing short of first-class.
I wasn’t in the mood for fish this time so I opted for a couple of other options to review as much of a variety as possible. However, mum and dad both went for the classic choice of cod and chips.
It was saveloy, burger and chips for me.
Saveloy: The classic sausage that only southerners seem to have heard of. The skin had a nice crunch to it, nothing too chewy but it wasn’t falling apart in my mouth.
The meat itself was soft and full of flavour, the only thing I regret was not buying a second.
Burger: Wherever you go burgers will have a unique taste, but you’ll never fail to recognise one of Chris’. The bun was soft and the meat itself was well done, just how I like it.
I opted for a cheeseburger to add that extra flavour, and Chris’ classic relish is to die for. If you choose the burger, make sure you add all the fillings to get the full experience.
Chips: Arguably the most important feature of any fish and chip shop is the chips. Some would say the fish, and I can understand why, but no matter what meat you opt for you will always have chips alongside.
They were soft and fluffy on the inside, as they should be. The skin wasn’t quite as crispy as I like them, but they were a lovely golden brown colour and they still went down a treat.
Cod: According to mum and dad, the cod was white and flaky. The batter was crispy and had been fried to perfection.
In terms of taste it was another more than satisfactory trip to Chris’ Fish Bar, almost faultless. Price: 8/10
We paid just over £16 for a large cod, a saveloy, a quarter-pounder cheeseburger with all the relish and two medium chips.
My meal itself cost just over £7, which I think is fairly reasonable considering how much I bought and the size of the portions.
Yes, you may well find a cheaper chippy somewhere else in Essex, but you’re unlikely to find one that’s better quality. In terms of value for money, it’s hard to beat. Service: 8/10
Nothing beats a friendly welcome and you get that every time you visit Chris’.
Fortunately there wasn’t a queue when I went, however there were about four or five people waiting for their food. The girl behind the counter took my order and in a matter of seconds it was done. Very quick and efficient.
The only downside was that the WiFi was playing up, meaning the card machine wouldn’t accept my payment. I had to go and get cash out but with a machine just around the corner, it was hardly an inconvenience.
By the time I’d returned and paid for my food it was already being wrapped up, and I only had to wait around ten minutes from the time I ordered to walking back home with our meals. Menu variety: 9/10
There’s plenty on offer at Chris’ with something for everyone.
The signature fish options of cod and plaice are always on the menu, with alternatives of haddock, skate and scampi also available from time to time, however they can’t be guaranteed.
You can find chips of all portion sizes, chicken, burgers, battered sausages, saveloys, pies and a variety of classic sauces and condiments.
Or why not try the monster burger for only £5! Parking: 10/10
For me, parking isn’t an issue. I’m just round the corner and it would take longer for me to get in my car and park up there than it does to walk.
But if you’re travelling in from further afield there are plenty of options.
There’s a parking bay big enough for four or five cars right next to the shop, and there’s a small car park round the back.
There’s plenty of parking in the surrounding roads, or if you’re only going to be a couple of minutes, just pull up outside the main entrance. Overall Takeaway Tales rating: 9/10
Overall, I can hardly fault my latest visit to Chris’ Fish Bar.
As the empty plates suggest, all three of us throughly enjoyed our meals and there wasn’t a scrap left in sight.
So if you’re ever in Tiptree and in need of a fish and chip fix, this is the place to go. Read More Mangal Meze in Grays – Lottie O’Neill
Turkish cuisine has been made somewhat ‘trendy’ recently thanks to celebrities visiting the likes of Sheesh (Chigwell) and Pivaz (Epping).
Often splashed onto the Instagram accounts of TOWIE cast members and even footballers, there’s no denying that Turkish, without such a focus on a doner kebab, is more popular.
But would it compare to a more traditional takeaway?
We only have one or two Turkish restaurants and takeaways in Grays compared to several kebab, burger, Chinese and Indian restaurants already established.
One of the most mundane and nearly family-destroying decisions is choosing where to order from. It’s difficult to find one place that suits all tastes and what we’re all looking for in a meal at home.
Mangal Meze, based in Orsett Road seemed a perfect fit as it offered Turkish style kebabs but also traditional Turkish food.
I have tried a small portion of Turkish cuisine before, such as Lahmacun and Boregi, which are like a thin pizza and a cheese pastry, so I wanted to try more dishes. What did we order?
For two adults and a 10-year-old child we ordered two mains, one side, and three portions of a starter. Chicken donner kebab, medium Sigara Boregi, (cheesy pastry roll, x4) Adana Kofte, medium (kebab) Lahmacun (wraps, x3)
The Lahmacun (pronounced La-ma-jun) is best described as a tortilla wrap with meat and herbs on top, resembling an extremely thin pizza. Traditionally you eat it by opening it and placing salad in the middle before wrapping it up like any other wrap/fajita.
In Turkey it isn’t an expensive dish and is quite common, and they only cost £2.99 each from the restaurant with salad.
Next we decided to go for a chicken donner kebab for the young one, and an adana kofte for the adults, offering a take on a ‘classic kebab comparison’ and a traditional Turkish meat.
I’ll be reviewing five different aspects of the experience at Mengal Meze to give a true account of how the food is received. Food quality: 9/10
This isn’t my first roadshow when it comes to Lahmacun and the Turkish cuisine. I am an avid lover of the weird pizza-tortilla wrap scenario and this is a great dish.
Lahmacun: It was simple, tastes fresh, the wrap was nice and soft, showing it hadn’t been under or over cooked in the process.
The salad was pretty standard but I wish there was more red cabbage – that’s my preference.
Adana Kofte kebab: It came with a heap of couscous and rice and a large piece of Adana (Those long minced kebabs which are cooked on an iron skewer). The meat was tender, juicy and I had never eaten it before. It was a highlight of the meal and very enjoyable.
It came with a side of Turkish bread. which was airy and floury and a great free side order. It can be a bit carbohydrate heavy, so the bread is ideal to save for the next day.
Chicken Donner kebab: This also came with rice, couscous and bread. I am not a fan of chicken donner but I tried this anyway for taste. It was lean and cut up in small pieces and I could tell the meat was decent.
Sigara Boregi: These are fried feta rolls and had a crunch to them. I have had these before in Turkey, and when someone else made them but I prefer them softer. They can come as part of a spread or a side order. What did we order?

Read More…

Scottsdale Arizona Travel Guide

Scottsdale Arizona Travel Guide April 23, 2019
Scottsdale, Arizona is the perfect resort destination if you’re craving a desert landscape with nearly 300 days of sun per year. And it’s only a 2.5 hour flight from Seattle, and 10 miles from the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.
Alaska Airlines flies direct out of Seattle – as low as $150. I actually found a ticket during peak season for $166 round trip. The trick is to book mid-week and be flexible with arrival/departure times.
In this post I’ll share a travel guide of my favorite things to do in the city known for that warm, dry heat that we all pine for this time of year! Scottsdale Arizona Travel Guide Where To Stay in Scottsdale The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Located in the heart of “new” Scottsdale, the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa caters to every vacation style – whether you’re looking for family fun, a girlfriend getaway or romantic respite.
One of the Resort’s biggest attractions is the Adventure Water Park which includes a lazy river ride and 110-foot-long waterslide. There’s also the Kierland FlowRider and children’s splash pad with zero depth entry.
If you prefer to relax, the Aguamiel Pool, located near Agave, The Arizona Spa on property, is a heated adults-only pool, open 24 hours with private cabanas available for rent.
And of course, the spa, which I mentioned above, offers rest and restoration with their new CBD oil massage enhancements.
The Resort also has a golf club with three 18-hole combinations, making it one of Scottsdale’s premier golf courses.
The property’s featured fine dining is deseo , featuring traditional Latin cuisine like black Peruvian ceviche, gazpacho verde and rock shrimp empanadas.
Another bonus to staying at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is the close proximity to Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons, which offers the best outdoor shopping in Scottsdale, AZ. Things To Do In Scottsdale Hot Air Balloon Ride
Rainbow Ryders is the #1 Hot Air Balloon Ride Company in Phoenix/Scottsdale offering a one-of-a-kind experience above Deer Valley and the Sonoran Desert, followed by a gourmet breakfast and mimosas. Flight time is about 45 minutes to an hour and they start at $179 for adults, $99 for kids. Horse Back Ride
Located in North Scottsdale, Cave Creek Outfitters offers guided horseback rides, cowboy cookouts, authentic cowboy games and old west entertainment. They’re also the only Scottsdale ranch that offers rides in both the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the Tonto National Forest. Art Galleries
Recognized as one of the premier destinations for art collectors, The Galleries on Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale features work from over 1,000 artists. It’s also home to “America’s original Art Walk,” open every Thursday from 7-9pm. Hike
Everyone goes to Camelback Mountain, but I prefer the Phoenix Mountain Preserve which has 50 moderate trails ranging from 1 to 16.7 miles, up to 2600 feet above sea level. We did a quick sunrise loop and only passed a few hikers and a biker. Taliesin West
Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is also the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin. It’s open to the public year-round for a range of guided tours including Insights, Night Lights, Behind The Scenes and Private Collections Tours, among others. Desert Botanical Garden
Just 15 minutes out of Scottsdale, you’ll find 140 acres of garden trails, wildflowers and blooming cacti and the Desert Botanical Garden . Open daily from 8am-5pm, tickets start out at $24.95 for adults, and are free for kids 3 and under and active military. Phoenix Art Museum
Located in Downtown Phoenix, about 20 minutes from Scottsdale, is the Phoenix Art Museum , the largest art museum in the Southwest. In addition to the featured exhibits, the permanent collection galleries include over 19,000 works of art from modern and contemporary, to fashion, Latin and Western American.
In an effort to reduce economic barriers and increase access to the arts, Phoenix Art Museum offers Pay-What-You-Wish admission every Wednesday from 3 to 9 pm. Roosevelt Row Artists’ District
Downtown Phoenix is also home to the Roosevelt Row Artists’ District , which includes dozens of art venues, murals, public art and hundreds of local businesses who support the arts, bringing in over 100,000 visitors each year. I highly recommend an Arizona Pedal Cab Tour to learn about the area! Heard Museum
Also located in Downtown Phoenix is the Heard Museum , a dedication to the advancement in American Indian Art, sharing stories from a first-person perspective. The museum offers free general admission each first Friday of the month from 6 to 10 p.m. except March (specially ticketed exhibitions/events are extra). Grand Canyon
I’d be remiss not to mention Grand Canyon during your visit to Scottsdale. It’s about a 4 hour drive and one of those bucket list experiences that you just need to see to believe. If you have the time, make a day of it. Best Restaurants in Scottsdale
The restaurant scene in downtown Scottsdale has a menu and ambiance for every flavor. Southwest or Italian, tapas or elevated, there’s a vibe for whatever you crave. My personal favorites are below… Diego Pops
Quite possibly the most photographed restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale, Diego Pops is known for their tacos, tequila and treats with a neon pastel aesthetic. If you go, make sure to order the brussels sprouts nachos, snow cone margarita and campfire sundae. And snap a pic for Instagram – they love to regram! Diego Pops offers happy hour 7 days a week from 3-6pm and $3 tacos every Monday. The Churchill
Back in Downtown Phoenix, a quick 20 minute drive from Scottsdale, you’ll find my favorite spot to eat, drink and hang out – The Churchill . Made up of ten small local businesses in a collaborative 9,000 square foot courtyard, you’ll find some of the best food in the city from restaurants like Freak Brothers Pizza, Foxy Fruit and Pobrecito Cocktails. With plenty of seating, lawn games and good company, it makes for the ideal afternoon. Press Coffee
Press Coffee is a Phoenix favorite with locations in Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe and Downtown Phoenix serving drinks made from fair-trade, small-batch beans, plus beer & wine. I recommend the cold-brew made with single origin Brazil Mogiano. Teaspressa
Voted best tea in Arizona, Teaspressa takes coffee-inspired tea to another level. A flower-filled shop with rotating blooms and rose-petal-decorated drinks, it feels like a midsummer night’s dream the moment you walk in. Add a watermelon radish and avocado toast to round out the experience. Postino Wine Cafe
Known for their colorful brushchetta and high-quality approachable wines, you can find Postino in several locations all over Phoenix, including Kierland Commons in North Scottsdale. My personal favorite is the bounty board charcuterie with a side of smoked salmon, but I know the prosciutto and brie panini is also super popular. *Note – they also offer gluten free bread. True Food Kitchen
They have locations all over the US, but one of my favorites is in the center court of Scottsdale Quarter. True Food Kitchen believes in delicious dining and conscious nutrition which is apparent on their menu and once you take that first bite. Offering seasonal ingredients with variations for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, it is one of those few places that just gets it. They know how to prepare really impressive healthy food. I recommend the cauliflower polenta or banana pancakes. And an el verde Juby True organic cold pressed juice. Original ChopShop
I was recently introduced to the Original ChopShop by my friend The Blonde Giraffe , a Phoenix transplant who also has an affinity for clean ‘feel good’ food. They have several locations in Arizona, including North Scottsdale, and just launched delivery. You can also filter their menu online by dietary specification. I’d recommend something, but honestly it’s all amazing. Gertrude’s Restaurant
Located inside the Desert Botanical Garden, Gertrude’s offers a farm and pasture to plate experience. I recommend a dinner reservation followed by the Electric Desert exhibit in the garden which runs October through May after dark.
I hope you found this travel guide helpful in planning your trip to Scottsdale, Arizona…stay tuned for more breakout posts on some of the experiences including our hot air balloon ride! WAIT!
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A fine dining chef and a streetside eatery: Teasing Filipino palates with Indian flavors, minus the heat | Inquirer Lifestyle

Pork belly tandoori from Ricksha A fine dining chef and a streetside eatery: Teasing Filipino palates with Indian flavors, minus the heat By: Angelo Comsti Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:30 AM April 25, 2019 Pork belly tandoori from Ricksha
There is no such thing as a big Indian influence on Philippine cuisine as compared to Spanish,” says Radhey Shayam, The Peninsula Manila’s new Indian specialty chef. And he makes a good point. Samosas and tikka masalas are not as widely accessible and appreciated in Manila as paella and tapas.
But that may soon change, with Shayam at The Pen, and with the opening of another Indian place in Kapitolyo, Pasig, called Ricksha Streetside Tandoor.
Shayam, 36, holds an impressive resumé. Before joining the hotel, he served his curry specialties at the exclusive Red Club 96 Nanchizi in Beijing’s Old Quarter, then at Jing Restaurant at The Peninsula Beijing.
At Spices at The Manila Pen, the New Delhi native brings his authentic Indian dishes.
He introduces two kinds of naan—the butter naan, a leavened, blistered tandoor-baked flatbread, and the lasuni naan, which is flavored with roasted garlic and herbs, then slathered with ghee or clarified butter.
Spices chef de cuisine Radhey Shayam
Both pair well with the Tomato Shorba, which Shayam describes as a healthy Indian version of roasted, vine-ripened tomato soup.
With a palate fine-tuned by home cooking and professional experience, Shayam shows his flair for balancing flavors through dishes like salmon fillet tikka masala and chili paneer, where the spice is not too strong to kill the taste buds, nor too faint to doubt its presence.
An advocate of the Pandit Brahmin diet which forbids meat, the chef has also mastered cooking vegetables, with a worthy fare in the form of mali kofta (potato and paneer balls with a tomato-based gravy), palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese in cashew nut sauce), and vegetable biryani (mixed vegetables in yellow curry, served with saffron basmati).
Though Spices offers a well-rounded Asian menu, the Indian dishes are proving to be an easy lure for diners, thanks to Shayam.
Spices, The Peninsula Manila, corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, Makati
Streetside eatery
Ever since Cyril and Pierre Addison moved to Manila, they have been wanting to run their own restaurant. But they thought they knew nothing about the local dining market, so they decided to work in the hospitality industry to gain experience (Cyril with the Raintree Group, then both of them at Gallery by Chele).
Five years later, with a good grasp of the food scene and a solid restaurant concept, they opened Ricksha, a humble eatery that sits on the busiest street in Kapitolyo, Pasig.
They don’t claim to be authentic Indian cuisine. Just food that one’s mother makes every day, the kind one can eat anytime, would be a more appropriate description, Cyril says.
“We like to focus on flavor, not only on spice,” Pierre adds. “Somehow, there is a big misconception that Indian food is always spicy. Indian food is always packed with flavor, not necessarily hot.”
This notion is represented by their summer sundal, composed of chilled chickpeas tossed with grated coconut, green mangoes and cilantro; and the kofta curry, meatballs in a pool of rich sauce that can be enjoyed with warm rice or naan.
Butter chicken from Spices
They also have comfort food with an Indian touch, like the curry fries and tandoori hot wings.
To ease diners into the cuisine, the dishes have pairings (for instance, all curries come with parathas) and are served with an array of sauces (the bhaji fritters come with mint-coriander and tamarind-date sauces).
Everything is made from scratch—from the breads and desserts, to the curries and samosa wraps—in an effort to capture the “real” flavors of India.
“It may cost more, but the taste is undeniable,” Cyril says. —CONTRIBUTED
Ricksha’s “gulab jamun,” or milk balls soaked in cardamom syrup
Ricksha’s Chicken Dum Biryani is cooked in the tandoor and covered with naan bread.

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Food Forward Quebec City and Country Getaway: Quebec City, pt.1

0 Peaceful retreat at Le Monastère des Augustines
Who knew (well, I guess the Québécoise did!) that winter is the perfect time to explore Quebec, whether you want to take advantage of the snow for some excellent skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, dog sledding, etc. or, like me, just looking for some quality nesting venturing out mostly for local food forays.
Quebec City-Epicurean Winter Wonderland Seemed like I was the only tourist in town…sweet!
Q.C. in the winter is a thing of beauty. The dismal weather forecast was totally bogus. Yes, it could get chilly, but in a delightful, crispy-clean manner, since the sun shone brightly almost every day, with just the merest dusting of snow, which only added to the city’s romantic charm. As I wandered the European-esque cobblestone streets, popping into shops whose doorways were decorated with festive lights, red ribbons and empty cans of maple syrup, I was greeted with a cheery ‘Bonjour” by the helpful staff, as I was often the only one in the store. Amazingly, Old Quebec City, a UNESCO heritage treasure, felt like it was all there just for me to explore.
But I’m happy to share some of my favorite discoveries.
Where to Stay:
If you’re allergic to generic, cookie-cutter hotels here are two exceptional, one-of-a-kind accommodations that will knock your wool socks off.
Le Monastère des Augustines
Tucked away off the main drag, Le Monastère des Augustines offers a transformational retreat that is way cool! The sisters of this former convent (well, not quite former since there is still a handful of elderly Augustine nuns living there) were worried about keeping their valuable heritage alive. Honoring the centuries-old Augustinian healing tradition
After much thought they decided to restore the 17th -century monastery and transform parts into a historic museum with over 40,000 artifacts dating back to 1695, a non-profit health and wellness center, an organic restaurant, and an authentic yet exceedingly comfy hotel located in the wings of the old monastery. My official greeter.
Each time I walked to my room, I’d take a different route through the museum, discovering yet another mind-boggling display, such as some rather frightening medical instruments showing the evolution of medicine through the ages, a 17th-century trunk the three original sisters brought with them, and a variety of life-sized religious statues. Cozy authentic nuns room with handmade quilt
You can stay in one of the 33 authentic, immaculately clean and cozy cloister rooms that are simply decorated with antique furniture and colorful handmade quilts. Note the little hand-knitted cozies to house your cell phone in so it gets a vacation too, although they do have complimentary Wi-Fi. Since these rooms have shared bathrooms, I opted for one of the 32 contemporary attic rooms with a spacious private bathroom and comfy, cloud-like, king-size bed. Overlooking relaxation classes in the vault
Different wellness programs are available depending on how holistic you want to go. For full-on escapism, there are three daily relaxation classes and meditation walks, as well as workshops in Tibetan Sound Bowls, herbal medicine or traditional crafts. Although I usually flunk yoga, I have to admit that the class here which was led by a spiritual French Canadian teacher and held in an old vault dating back to 1695 (where I was surrounded by ancient wooden angels and crosses) had me doing some of my best Down Doggies ever. Afterward you can indulge in a therapeutic spa massage, facial, or reflexology treatment. Green dining room
Following their well-being mission, the organic restaurant promotes healthy mindful eating, in a pleasant dining room with living garden walls and shelves of green sprouts. The buffet breakfast is designated a no-talking meal, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I was happy to see that the dinner menu, a gourmet prix-fixe extravaganza, included a lovely wine list. Healthy gourmet dining.
The talented Chef Sylvestre Hervieux-Pinette guides you through a culinary escapade, with imaginative creations utilizing native ingredients such as elderberry, lichen, green alder, sea pea with local game and seafood.
Inside Tip: Check what time the museum tours are offered in English because the eloquent tales that the enthusiastic tour guide shares are mesmerizing. My guide explained to me that the rotating wooden circular cabinet facing the street was not for the mailman to deliver mail but was used by unwed mothers to secretly drop off their babies for the nuns to raise. Morning vespers
Also, don’t miss morning vespers where you can observe the few remaining nuns sweetly singing their morning praises.
Auberge Saint-Antoine Auberge Saint-Antoine – looks so pretty in the snow
For another historic, living museum, sleepover experience, this upscale, family-owned, 95-room boutique hotel, can’t be beat. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, A occupies a 17th-century wharf and cannon battery plus three other 18th- and 19th-century buildings in Québec’s Old Port. Tastefully decorated suites in soothing tones for a good night’s sleep tones
A member of Relais & Châteaux , the owners have pampering down to a fine art. Plush, spacious guest rooms beckon with decadent goose feather beds, Frette bed linens, bathrobes and slippers, heated toilet seats and bathroom floors, fog-free mirrors, gas fireplaces, complimentary high-speed internet access, minibars, and Nespresso machines, plus they are dog friendly!
Instead of common paintings the walls are embellished with museum quality glass cases displaying 17th and 18 th -century pottery shards, old buttons, eyeglasses, and other artifacts discovered during excavations to expand the hotel. Complimentary archaeological tours are offered for a more in-depth explanation of the hotel’s storied past. Some bits and pieces found during excavations.
The too-cool-for-school, 24-hour, LeGYM fitness center has top-notch cardio machines arranged around an inside garden as well as a Finnish sauna, a yoga room and private spa treatment rooms. Chez Muffy
Unfortunately, their signature restaurant, Chez Muffy, which occupies a historic maritime warehouse dating back to 1822, and has received many rave reviews for their farm-to-fork dining, was closed for a mini face-lift when I was there, however, I did enjoy my helpy-selfie buffet breakfast at The Bar Artéfact, which also offers some creative deconstructed cocktails to go with their live music. The Bar Artéfact
Inside Tip: Leaders in guest service, the multi-lingual concierge could not have been more helpful. Be sure and pick up their “Quebec, Our Insider’s Guide to the City” map, filled with concierges top recommendations.
Where to Eat:
It’s almost sacrilegious to come to Quebec City and not to, at the very least, have a meal at which holds the Guinness World Record for “The most photographed hotel in the world”. Still as stunning as it was 125 years ago!
This stately old gal has a certain je ne sais quoi about her that belies her 125 years holding court atop a tall bluff overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. We toured the exquisite lobby exhibition which was honoring HSH Princess Grace of Monaco’s visit here, fifty years ago, complete with the gown she wore to the Regency Ball before heading up to dinner at Bistro Le Sam, (named after Samuel de Champlain, the city’s founder) which is famous for its innovative mixologists and river views. Assorted apps are perfect for the undecided.
I opted for the appetizer tasting platter, which came with nice-sized portions of their salmon tartar, bison tartar, crab cake and fried local cheese, which I highly recommend. I had been looking forward to trying Chef Stéphane Modat ‘s culinary journey through the discovery of a new Quebec Cuisine at the famed Champlain Restaurant but, it was closed that night. Dine in style at Le Champlain Room.
While peeking around the dramatic dining room I saw his cookbook, and after a quick mouth-watering perusal, I quickly decided that it was well worth flying back for another dinner!
Hipster Restaurant Légende located in Old Town by the farmers market, is not only the stuff legends are made of, but as self-described, “A tribute to our ancestors A return to our roots.” The menu specializes in “Quebec’s boreal cuisine”(think balsam fir, foraged mushrooms, green sea buckthorn, and, since it was winter, lots of root veggies) using only local ingredients from cocktails to dessert.
You definitely want to go with the Chef’s creative tasting menu, because otherwise you’ll see them drop off a stunning dish at another table and you’ll be heartbroken that you didn’t order it. For example, my amuse bouche was a delish, little mushroom tartlette, that I probably would not have ordered if I had read that the pastry crust was made with ground up toasted crickets, but then I would have missed out on one exquisite bite of sheer perfection. Almost too pretty to eat.
What followed next was a two hour culinary hit parade, including a Verjuice marinated flounder ceviche (they don’t use citrus juice since not local, hence the successful verjuice stand-in), and a silken lamb crudo with marigold oil and a splash of fermented elderberry. An incredible Rutabaga and shitake dish had me licking my plate even though I normally hate rutabaga. All were beautifully plated, and each was presented to me by a server who eagerly explained the who, what and why of each dish. Most memorable meal! I suggest sitting at the bar to watch all the action.
Inside tip: For the liveliest seat in this casual, artsy bistro, nab a bar stool in front of Max, their mad genius of a mixologist. It was like watching the food channel on fast forward to see him smoke, swirl, and garnish his exotic cocktails, many based around his homemade tonics, which is not to take away anything from their young, impressive somm, although I would have liked to have more local wines offered.
Fun foodie things to do:
Where most folks shop for groceries at the corner store, lucky Quebecois can make the measly 5 km drive from the city to Île d’Orléans . This rural island is nicknamed “Québec City’s market garden” for its abundance of quality food products that are grown here. Definitely worth an afternoon exploration since not only can you sample many tasty terroir products, including ice wines, cheese, cider, farm fresh fruits, and of course, pure maple syrup in many guises, but you can also meet the food purveyors who supply Quebec’s finest restaurants. What a line-up!
A few must-stops to get you started are Cassis Monna & Filles , the black-current specialists! Now run by the owner’s two beautiful filles (daughters) the family has mastered the art of transforming black currents into gold-medal liquors and other high-end products. Their blackcurrant onion jam would rock any sandwich. Loving the girly pink tractor.
Inside tip: Don’t leave without buying a cone of their artisanal blackcurrant-vanilla “softie” ice cream, a huge fan favorite.
Another enjoyable sipping spot is the Ciderie/Verger Bilodeau , the first mill implanted on the island, where the family turns their 3,000 apple trees into a plethora of ciders, ice ciders, sparkling wines and countless other gourmet products, including a flavorful apple butter. They are very generous with their tastings so sip them all before deciding.
The best gift to bring home is a bottle of Fascination, an apple and maple syrup flavored mistelle. Best non-gift to devour on the spot is one of their fresh baked apple pies!
The end of winter is maple sugar season which means get ready for some old-timey fun lunching at the Le Relais des Pins Sugar Shack , where hearty, family-style French-Canadian meals are served accompanied by traditional Québécois folk music. (We were given wooden spoons so we could play along with the musicians.) Plus, they offer never-ending refills!
I stuffed in a lumberjack’s quantity of pork rinds crumbled over steaming pea soup, maple syrup baked beans, meat pie, maple ham, boiled potatoes, sausages, poached eggs in maple syrup, pancakes, sugar pie, and just in case it wasn’t sweet enough, there was a jug of maple syrup for you to pour over anything that was missing it! Make-your-own maple taffy.
For our final sweet, we all headed out to the back yard where we learned how to make hot maple snow taffy.
Time to pack up and head to the country for Part 2, Charlevoix. Janice Nieder
Janice could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. She was a specialty food consultant in NYC with a client list that included Tavern on the Green and Dean & Deluca. A culinary trendsetter, Janice has visited almost 100 countries searching out gastronomic adventures. She might be found sharing a smoked monkey dinner with Shuar Indians in the Amazon jungle or “running with the dogs” while truffle hunting in Marche, Italy. To keep things in balance, Janice also writes about her Girlfriend Getaways, including everything from luxurious city penthouses and Michelin starred meals to bespoke travel in remote destinations. You can follow her travels at www.janicenieder.com

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An ocean of flavours

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 An ocean of flavours Claus Meyer, one of the founders of the New Nordic cuisine, gives his impressions about Kerala food, while on a recent visit By Shevlin Sebastian In the farm kitchen at the back of CGH Earth’s Marari Beach resort, Corporate Mentor Chef Jose Varkey points at a large green leaf, on a wooden table, and tells Danish culinary entrepreneur Claus Meyer, “This is a mango ginger leaf. We wrap fish in it and grill it. Sometime back we came across some people who began using it for cooking purposes. We never knew this could be done.” Several chefs of the CGH group, in their starched white-and-black uniforms, listened attentively. The tall Claus, dressed casually in a green T-shirt and khaki Bermuda shorts, and brown sandals, says, “So you have to find a way to tell the story about this leaf. You have to tell it, not only with words but also through the food itself. Maybe, you can add some mango and ginger. Instead of using a lot of spices, you could try to retain the fragrance.” Claus had come on a ten-day vacation to Kerala with his family and took a small break to interact with the local chefs. The Dane had established his reputation internationally when he founded the New Nordic Cuisine along with several Scandinavian chefs. For long, the Danes would ape Spanish, French and other European cuisines. But Claus said that Danish cuisine should consist of local and seasonal vegetables and follow the agrarian traditions of the country. When many chefs adopted this philosophy, a new cuisine was born. Later Claus, along with chef Rene Redzepi set up a restaurant in London called Noma (short for ‘Nordisk Mad’, the Danish words for Norwegian food). It received two Michelin stars and was voted the best restaurant in the world in 2010-12, and 2014 by Restaurant Magazine. In Kerala, he has been spending his time tasting the local cuisine. “I enjoyed the fish, placed between banana leaves, dosas, sambar and mud crab dishes,” says Claus. “The crispy puris were wonderful. There were so many delicious items.” Asked the difference between Nordic and Kerala cuisine, Claus says, “In Kerala, the food is cooked for a very long time. For the most part, it’s difficult to distinguish what has gone into the food because it’s typically an ocean of flavour in the curry. In the Nordic cuisine, we only have a few elements that go together.” As for the Kerala-style thali, with its multiple items, Claus is honest enough to say that it can be a bit bland. “There’s nothing that stands out,” he says. “I like to think this is about the wonderful chicken or beef or herb. Having said that I enjoyed the thali. I don’t want to come to another country to judge anything.” But he did suggest that local chefs could try some innovations. “If a young Indian chef went to the Nordic region, it will be an amazing adventure for him,” says Claus. “He could learn a totally different approach to cooking and take that home and figure out what part of it could make sense here.” Meanwhile, at the international level, life in the culinary business can be very stressful. A few Michelin chefs, when they came to know they might lose a star, have committed suicide. “The pressure is unbelievable,” says Claus. “But at Noma, this is being borne by Rene. You have a critic from ‘The New York Times’ eating at your restaurant. And if you make one error, then you are finished. However, for a single meal at Noma, there are 150 components, like herbs and leaves, reaching the plate. So, it is not easy.” Claus’s role has been different. He has been the entrepreneur, ideator, visionary, the man who brings in the money and sets up the team. Apart from being an entrepreneur, he has been a successful cookbook author, TV host, associate professor ( Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen), as well as a social worker. He started a foundation called Melting Pot, in 2010 and set up a restaurant called Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia, and several culinary schools in the country. As for the selection of the South American country, he says, “We picked Bolivia for a combination of factors: it is very poor; there is a large and unexplored biological diversity; and low criminality. I didn’t want my staff to go to a place where they could be kidnapped.” Finally, when asked the reasons behind his success in so many fields, Claus says, “A simple technique that I have used many times in my life is to ask myself a question: what is the most wonderful thing I can do in the world, with the resources I’ve been given, and the experiences I have had? This simple thought process has led me to the most amazing collaborations and journeys. Any person anywhere in the world can ask himself this question. And wonderful things will ensue.” (The New Indian Express, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode) at

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Healthy food secrets from Chef Kelvin Cheung’s kitchen

Healthy food secrets from Chef Kelvin Cheung’s kitchen Healthy food secrets from Chef Kelvin Cheung’s kitchen Last updated on: April 24, 2019 17:20 IST
Want to eat healthy, but don’t know how to do it right? Trailblazing chef Kelvin Cheung will teach you a thing or two about healthy eating.
Videos: Afsar Dayatar/ Rediff.com ; Text: Anita Aikara/ Rediff.com Photograph: Courtesy Kelvin Cheung/Instagram Chef Kelvin Cheung has been tempting and teasing the taste buds of patrons at Mumbai’s Bastian with his impressive culinary skills.
His Bodhi bowls are a huge hit, and so are some of his healthy treats.
He has been leading food enthusiasts deeper into unfamiliar grounds with his refreshingly light and fresh recipes.
Gluten-free herb spiced chargrilled king mushrooms, Korean charred octopus with housemade kimchi, edamame hummus and pan seared buns, he is the king of experimentation.
Kelvin was born into the restaurant business.
“My father has nine restaurants and my grandfather owned restaurants too. I started working in restaurants at the age of 12.
“After I finished my education, things just fell back into place and I got back into the restaurant business,” says the chef who is known for his fuss-free cooking.
“I want my food to be honest, tasty, fresh, simple and I also focus on using seasonal, local ingredients,” he reveals, adding that his latest obsession is bacteria.
A fan of dosas and idlis, Kelvin feels that Indian cooking is highly misunderstood. “A lot of people see it as an over-indulgent, spicy, oily, rich and heavy meal.”
“But when Indian food is cooked well at home, it can actually be one of the healthiest cuisines. It just needs to be done right,” he shares.
“Most mothers use very little oil when they cook food at home.”
According to him, healthy eating is all about balance — whether it is the spices or flavours. “All food when done right is healthy.”
In support of Sony BBC Earth’s anthology, Healthy Binge , which currently airs on the channel, Chef Kelvin Cheung shares his insights on healthy food options and eating right.
“People think that salads are assumed to be healthy. But if you had some proteins, veggies and carbs instead, that could be much healthier.
“Compare a Caesar salad to a plate of pan-seared fish and some veggies, the fish is definitely more healthier. The salad is drenched in dressing which is an unhealthy fat.”
Sharing tips on how people can cook healthy he adds, “Try and avoid using vegetable oil. It is very easy to get ghee, avocado oil and other healthy alternatives.
“Salt is a misused ingredient. People are in the habit of over-seasoning their food.
“If you’re cooking at home, once you train yourself to reduce the salt, you get used to it. There’s no need for extra sodium.
“Learn to enjoy your meals. Keep your food fun. That makes healthy eating a sustainable lifestyle.”
Watch Kelvin Cheung bust four myths about eating healthy. Divulging cooking secrets, he shares tips on how you can embrace a healthy lifestyle with ease.
Fans of the chef’s famous Bodhi bowls can watch him plate a Tahini bowl here.
Chef Kelvin Cheung shows you how to plate a vegan green curry. ANITA AIKARA and AFSAR DAYATAR

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