Nice location and some great service.

Nice location and some great service.

We stayed at The Claridges twice during our 15 day tour of India. Our check in process at 3:30am was efficient and courteous. The hotel location is in the central district and has a nice garden at the front where you can take drinks and snacks although on our first visit the service was a little slow and we had to rectify our bill but it is a welcome area to relax after a busy day! Having said that the rooms and lounge areas are well appointed clean and comfortable and the unheated swimming pool is excellent. There was a large Wedding going on at the hotel for one of our nights and a Conference on our 2nd stay. On our second visit we were kindly upgraded to a higher grade room near the swimming pool which was most appreciated. We loved the Sevilla Tapas restaurant and the Chinese Jade restaurant as a change from Indian cuisine. Both offer outstanding food and ambience at International prices. The wines in particular were very expensive which was disappointing so stick to The local Sula wines which are excellent especially the “bubbles”! nWe wish to give due recognition to 2 staff in particular for their outstanding service and knowledge. Firstly Mahinder who served us several times at Breakfast and in the garden lawn area. Thank you also Mahinder for your advice and knowledge of India and your wonderful recommendation of the Dosa’s and black tea with cardamon and ginger which we loved. We shall remember your “energy bombs” that kept us going after some long travel days! Thank you also to Atif in Jade restaurant where your service was excellent.

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Pricing madness hits Victoria Falls. . . US dollar primary currency amid sky-high prices

Pricing madness hits Victoria Falls. . . US dollar primary currency amid sky-high prices Gift Phiri • 17 March 2019 5:10PM • 0 comments
NZALA Milimo was born in Victoria Falls in 1974 and did her primary and secondary education at public schools in the resort town’s ghetto townships.
But unlike the thousands of well-heeled foreign visitors who flock to the world famous Victoria Falls — a famous “honeymoon” destination and a place where international elites have vacationed and conferenced for decades round the year — she cannot tell you what a “Flight of Angels” feels like.
The 12 to 13-minute scenic helicopter flight above the Victoria Falls costs a staggering US$150, excluding national parks, government fees and fuel surcharge fees. The longer 25-minute flight, dubbed “Zambezi Spectacular”, will set you back US$284, a top-line ripple for most Zimbabweans. The Flight of Angels is indisputably Victoria Falls’ most popular activity.
The best way to view the falls, they say, is from the air. The flight takes you on an unforgettable journey over the magnificent Victoria Falls, putting into glorious perspective the full breadth and height of the falls and the beautiful surroundings. The finest 13-minute ride gives unrivalled viewing, photographic and filming opportunities.
Milimo has never enjoyed the helicopter ride, neither has she bungee-jumped off the famous Victoria Falls Bridge, a must-experience 111 meters of free-fall and four seconds of pure adrenalin as you plummet towards the rapids of the mighty Zambezi River strapped with well-harnessed ropes. Despite living here for 44 years, these adventure activities that power the town’s booming tourism industry, have always been beyond reach, walled off by the financial constraints of indigent locals living on a shoestring budget.
“I have never done it; I will never be able to raise that kind of money. They want US dollars,” she told the Daily News on Sunday, adding only high-end tourists who flock to this town, can afford. Victoria Falls is a small town situated in the north-west corner of Zimbabwe and rests comfortably in the Zambezi Valley just a few hundred meters from the south bank of one of Southern Africa’s great rivers, the Zambezi which meanders through Mozambique right into the Indian Ocean.
At this point of the river are the mighty, world famous Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwe-Zambia border. The Victoria Falls or Mosi-Oa-Tunya — the smoke that thunders — is where the mighty Zambezi River suddenly plunges into a narrow gorge of over 100 meters deep, forming one of the world’s largest and most beautiful waterfalls with millions of gallons of water plunging over a 1,7 km-wide cliff. Milimo proudly says she has toured the “beautiful” falls several times.
It’s the cheapest thing to do here. It costs only RTGS$7 to get into the falls as long as you have a national ID or passport. But just inside the entrance gate to Victoria Falls’ national park, however, is this excellent cafe that does hearty breakfasts, real Zimbabwean coffee, fresh juices, burgers, toasted sandwiches and pizzas. It’s called the Rainforest Cafe. Here a 300ml bottle of a soft drink — the cheapest thing you could buy in this eatery — costs a cool US$2 or RTGS$6. At the elite confectionary Haefelis in town, a soft drink costs RTGS$7 or US$2. In the ghettos such as Chinotimba or Mkhosana, there is price differentiation. Imported soft drinks, mainly energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster Energy, Lucozade, and everything purchased outside the country, are sold in US dollars. Local drinks are sold in RTGS dollars, but at almost twice the regulated price.
A 500ml of Dragon energy caffeine drink costs US$2. There is no RTGS price. The US dollar pricing is perhaps a way by indigenous-run local businesses to sustain the imports from neighbouring Zambia and Botswana.
With a night in a three-star hotel averaging US$94 and a 5-star averaging US$202, Milimo laughs in disbelief at the idea of spending a night in the Kingdom Hotel, a luxurious, Omani-style family hotel built around a man-made lake which is within walking distance of the Victoria Falls.“Their prices are just unaffordable for someone like me,” she said, explaining that her meagre salary could never allow her such luxuries.“It’s too much, maybe if it was RTGS dollars,” she said, referring to Zimbabwe’s latest currency, made up of bond notes, bond coins and electronic money.
The single mother of two, who lives with her mother and aunt in the working class suburb of Chinotimba, said all her earnings are expended on food and taxi to get to work at a restaurant along the Zambezi River, where she sells Pizza to tourists. Business is comparatively low right now after a boom during the festive season.“In December, it was very, very busy. With what I earn, I can only afford food for the family and taxi into town. When I get to town, I then jump into the (staff) bus to work.“The change from my salary, I usually buy some clothing. I could never afford to go to places like the Boma,” she said, referring to the famous dinner and drum show, located on the Vic Falls safari lodge estate.
It is a legendary and must-do experience in Vic Falls, featuring dining and entertainment experience that offers an unforgettable fusion of mouth-watering local cuisine, energetic dance performances, interactive drumming and traditional storytelling. The Boma, over the years, has firmly established itself as a Vic Falls highlight, featuring a sumptuous four-course meal including a delicious platter of starters, soup from the campfire, a barbeque buffet, where no plate is complete without the famous warthog “pumba steak”, followed by a wide selection of deserts.“I would really love to go there if I find someone willing to take me, but it’s an unbelievable US$45 for that,” the vivacious Milimo said ruefully. The US$45 does not include drinks.
As a prime holiday destination, Vic Falls also hosts a great choice of nightlife entertainment options. The undisputed ground zero of nightlife in Vic Falls is of course Shoestrings Cafe, with a crowd almost always, for sure, ultra-white females and Rastafarians. It’s a place with the coolest revellers, largely white females, featuring a fantastic lounge club, naughty bar, pool tables, and a banging disco. It is definitely the place to have fun at night. Shoestrings does come alive with music, the food is lovely, and delicious, but the prices, like everywhere else here, are ridiculous. Taxi driver Mike, who is from Harare and is “gold digging” in Vic Falls, told the Daily News on Sunday he makes good money ferrying tourists. During the day, he picks up tourists from the Victoria Falls International Airport and transports them into town. And he charges a cool US$30 per trip.“It’s good money wangu (my friend),” he told the Daily News on Sunday as he drove through the good roads in the town, with a durable surface material laid down.
“I don’t waste money on those adventure activities, I have an extended family. It really ticks me off that I have to pay tourist prices for our own attractions.” Foreign arrivals into Zimbabwe as an aggregate has significantly picked up since the November 2017 coup. Key to the uplift in tourist arrivals is the new Victoria Falls International Airport, which is already playing a major role in the tourist town, with new airlines, new routes and increased flight capacity from existing carriers all adding to the growing momentum that is so clearly evident across the destination. The airport was refurbished at a cost of $150 million. The airport’s expansion began in February 2013 and was carried out by a Chinese firm China Jiangsu International Group through a concessionary loan by the China Export and Import Bank. It was commissioned in November 2016. It had been expected to smoothly handle around 1,5 million passengers annually up from 500 000, but is now struggling to contain the huge volumes of traffic.
This comes after BAComair is now operating larger aircraft on the Joburg-Vic Falls route, and over the coming months will be offering double daily flights on several days of the week. The BAComair daily schedule is operated by a B737-800 aircraft, which accommodates 162 passengers in a business and economy configuration. The airline is also licensed to operate these three additional services per week year-round as required, should there be demand. South African Airways is operating an Airbus A330-200 with 222 seats, which is 88 seats more than their previous aircraft capacity. In addition, Victoria Falls has new airlines servicing the destination, namely Ethiopian Airways and Kenya Airways, linking Victoria Falls to North and East Africa. Both airlines have their own hubs and networks for better connections and packaging. Kenya Airways fly-on from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, creating a much-needed route linking the three iconic African destinations of Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Kilimanjaro. The latest arrivals into Victoria Falls Airport are SA Airlink, offering the Cape Town to Victoria Falls route six days a week, and Fastjet, which has now added Johannesburg to Victoria Falls three times a week to their schedule.
In the domestic air space, Air Zimbabwe and Fastjet are now both operating seven days a week, which has been a boost for domestic tourism. New businesses are opening across the industry in the region, with new lodges, hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, and new activities, all of which combine to enhance the draw of the destination, which is a hub for Hwange, Matobo Hills, the rest of Zimbabwe and the Kaza (Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) region. Kaza, which is made up of five Southern African countries — Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe — boasts some of the most pristine and diverse wildlife areas left on the planet. Mike said he drives tourists to all the local “premium locations” that he, personally, cannot afford.
The chatty taxi driver said things like the Zambezi Sunset Cruise, costing US$40 — that allows one to take in the beauty and grandeur of the mighty Zambezi River as you spot an assortment of game, including hippo, elephant and crocodile; elephant back safaris costing US$275, lion walk that allows a side-by-side walk with the king of the jungle costing a cool US$210 — have mostly become exclusive spots for foreigners.“Mudhara, most Zimbos can’t afford these prices. Even if you do mukando, forget, king. It’s sad that these are our things, but we can’t afford them,” he said, taking a long sip from a bottle of fruit juice he had just bought from the country’s largest grocery chain, OK Zimbabwe, to quench his appetite in the scorching sun. OK Zimbabwe’s local stores and its rival TM Supermarkets, in which South Africa’s Pick n Pay owns 49 percent are the only places where locals can buy groceries at prices obtaining countrywide. “Hazvizi bho king (It’s not right),” added the streetwise taxi driver, shaking his head. Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Priscah Mupfumira — who last year surpassed a tourism target of $1bn in earnings — agrees that tourist resorts are priced out of local residents’ means, but said she was moving to address the problem. She said government will concentrate on creating products for local tourists.
“A lot of our people don’t enjoy our nature, our God-given experiences. There is the issue of pricing which we will be working on, especially our national parks,” she said, adding focus will also be on promoting cultural tourism and cultural villages. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority predicts the tourism sector will grow by 20 percent this year amid an improvement in sentiment. Zimbabwean officials have stated that the tourism sector has grown from a $200 million sector in 2009 to an over $1 billion industry now, but have also acknowledged that the country’s economic challenges have led to the sector underperforming. This comes as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last year announced a $15 million revolving support facility intended for the tourism sector.
Funding has been a real issue in recent years — the absence of adequate long-term project financing has left the country’s tourism industry with inadequate marketing infrastructure. However, like most of the country’s key industries, insufficient funding has not been the tourism sector’s only challenge. Liquidity shortages since mid-2016 have beset the tourism industry. Ordinary citizens as well as international tourists are impacted.
While major tourism facilities and service providers are able to facilitate electronic payments, small curio and arts vendors remain among those most affected by the liquidity crunch, although recent monetary reforms are expected to buoy the sector.

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Top Five Leisure Travel Destinations in India – Travel Trip Blog Services

Top Five Leisure Travel Destinations in India Top Five Leisure Travel Destinations in India admin
India being a secular country dooms distinct geographical landscape and has diverse tourist destinations that befit the interest and preferences of people of all age groups. Tourists from all corners of the world seek after the most popular tourist attractions of India because of its scattered and widespread incredible sites. It is also convenient to travel in India now as all the tourist spots are densely connected by roadways, airways or waterways. Each facet of leisure destination in India has its independent importance that can be contemplated in leisure time by freeing yourself from tiring routine of life.
The destinations that are worth a traveler’s time and money are Kullu Manali, Udaipur, Kerala, Goa, and Sikkim. The specialty of traveling to these destinations is that these destinations cover all four corners of the country and covering these places in leisure time gives an overall idea of the culture, cuisine, lifestyle, and language of different corners of India. Read on to be apprehended of the top five leisure travel destinations that are must to be added on tour destination list this year.
#1- Udaipur- The true métier of Udaipur which is also known as a city of lakes, lies in its royalty, and palaces. Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake are the most beautiful lakes of Udaipur and home of many small islands that can be reached by boat. Several humongous palaces are located close to these lakes to unleash a romantic and serene view especially when the sun sets. Architecture and history lovers are enticed by the stellar forts and magnificent palaces in Udaipur like City Palace, Lake Palace, the Monsoon Palace, Ahar Cenotaphs, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Bagore ki Haveli, Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum, Vintage Car Museum, etc.
#2- Kullu Manali – Abiding in the beautiful valley of Kullu, tour to the towns of Kullu and Manali are generally considered as one because of their close geographical connection. Sliding towards the northern parts of India in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Kullu Manali has been known for the enchanting nature’s beauty and temples giving a sense of cultural and religious influence in its architecture. People especially honeymoon couples find their leisure travel standing apart in the tranquility of snowcapped mountains. Divine and ethereal moments deem to last forever when visiting Rohtang Pass, Manikaran, Mall roads, Hadimba temple, Solang valley, and many other places.
#3- Kerala- Kerala has been evolving as a brand new tourist paradise for the last few years. Known for its extravagant beaches and delicacies this place is indigenous of Ayurveda. Tourists are attracted to Kerala for its serene backwaters, houseboats, and rich culture. Residing in southern India, Kerala exposes kinetic south Indian culture, architecture, language, and food. Awe-inspiring backwaters of Thekkady and Kumarakom, majestic beaches like Varkala and Kovalam, and beautiful flora and fauna of hilly Munnar, unbosom the tourists to prismatic Kerala. Also to spend the leisure time, tourists choose Kerala for it provides Ayurveda massages that give peace, relaxation, and rejuvenation to the soul.
#4- Goa- Beach and nightlife lovers are fascinated by the unbeatable coastline of Goa that stretches alongside the Arabian sea. Tourists feel chuffed to spend the leisure time walking hand in hand with their loved ones alongside the seashore. A glass of champagne and loud music in clubs at night followed by after party wanders in the town is what they call exhilaration of being a part of Goa’s energetic yet soothing lifestyle. Things to experience in Goa are the grooving along the music in Tito’s nightclub and Deltin Royale Casino boat, acknowledging the history, religious aspects and Portugal influence at Reis Magos Fort, Fontainhas, Naval Aviation Museum, Mageshi temple, Pandava caves, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Chapora Fort, and Fort Aguada, and enjoying watery surroundings at beaches and waterfalls like Calangute, and Dudhsagar falls, Ashwem & Arossim beach.
#5- Sikkim- Stunning sights and bliss of snowfall in Sikkim stand the state apart from the rest of the country. This north-eastern state has all natural components to soothe the mind and body of tourists who seek a relaxing leisure journey. Tourists are allured by the historical paintings at Phodong Monastery, breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga and mt. Everest at Singalila National Park, and beautiful valleys of Gangtok, Pelling, Zuluk, Namchi, Ravangla, Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang, Nathula Pass, and Yuksom, leaving adventure and nature lovers awestruck. A watery adventure at Teesta river and Tsomgo lake make Sikkim a gem worth exploring. This list is endless as India has enormous tourist attractions that have been captivating a large number of tourist traffic for a long time. Please follow and like us:

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download The art of war: English – Chinese edition kindle

Status: AVAILABLE Last checked: 1 Hour ago! Den nakna ledningsgruppen The art of war: English – Chinese edition buy ebook The art of war: English – Chinese edition ibook download This item: The Art of War: Bilingual Chinese and English Text (The Complete Edition) Setup a giveaway Item eligible to be a Giveaway. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1 . This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key … download 2/6/2017 · PDF The Art of War: Bilingual Edition, English and Chinese Sun Tzu Download OnlineDONWLOAD NOW http://softebook.xyz/1/?book=1530575370 Vart tar väckelsens folk vägen? : en studie av frikyrkligheten i de… 9/28/2016 · Indian Chinese Food,Indian Chinese cuisine , Indian Chinese Recipes – Indian Food Recipes 3:38 Liu Yifei Beautiful Chinese Song – New Chinese Singer – Young Chinese Actress Art of War: Bilingual Chinese and English Text (the Complete Edition) Published on Feb 4, 2019 Art of War: Bilingual Chinese and English Text (the Complete Edition) London and Shanghai under the more commercial title, Sun Tzu on the Art of War . Although written in 1910, this translation of Sun Tzu’s work continues to be the standard from which other English translations of the Art of War are measured. Dr. Lionel Giles had both a solid background in military affairs and was fluent in Chinese where he … The Art of War (孫子兵法) – full text database, fully browsable and searchable on-line; discussion and list of publications related to The Art of War. In English and simplified and traditional Chinese. The art of war: English – Chinese edition .doc download Singlemad The Trashing Of Margaret Mead: Anatomy Of An Anthropological Contro… Chevrolet Sprint Geo Metro Automotive Repair Manual Models Covered … Iran dar zaman-e Samanian . Arthur Emanuel Christensen. Translated … This Chinese/English edition of The Art of War, the oldest military classic of the corpus of Chinese literature, is translated from its original antiquated Chinese into English and modern Chinese by Cheng Lin, the renowned scholar of Qin Dynasty texts, based on … Parissyndromet A Murder of Consequence (A Darcy Sweet Cozy Mystery Book 15) read The art of war: English – Chinese edition ios The art of war: English – Chinese edition kf8 download The Complete Art of War The Art of War By Sun Tzu translated by Lionel Giles … Preface to the First Edition Notice The Introduction of the Author Brief Memoir of General Clausewitz Book I: on the Nature of War … of the Chinese are (1) humanity or benevolence; (2) The Trashing Of Margaret Mead: Anatomy Of An Anthropological Contro… Singlemad Iran dar zaman-e Samanian . Arthur Emanuel Christensen. Translated … A Murder of Consequence (A Darcy Sweet Cozy Mystery Book 15) Den nakna ledningsgruppen Vart tar väckelsens folk vägen? : en studie av frikyrkligheten i de… Parissyndromet Chevrolet Sprint Geo Metro Automotive Repair Manual Models Covered … The art of war: English – Chinese edition txt download B.O.O.K The art of war: English – Chinese edition Ebook R.e.a.d The art of war: English – Chinese edition read The art of war: English – Chinese edition ebook download This deluxe edition of The Art of War by Sun Tzu features both English and Chinese side by side for easy reference and bilingual support. The Art of War is one of the oldest books on military strategy in the world. Views: 1

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Best rice cookers 2019 – the top models for delivering fluffy and delicious rice every time

Buying Guides Best rice cookers 2019 – the top models for delivering fluffy and delicious rice every time From simple pop-in-the-microwave models to all singing, all dancing machines, we’ve tested the best rice cookers to make cooking rice easier and tastier than ever Ysanne Brooks March 16, 2019 5:23 pm
While the UK consumption of rice is less than a tenth of that in Asia, it’s definitely growing on us. If recent surveys of our take-away habits are to be believed, it’s Chinese and Indian food we turn to more often than any other. This is reflected at home, too, with many of us having at least one rice-based dish in our family favourites.
After all, who doesn’t love a chicken tikka masala, Thai red curry or sweet and sour chicken once in a while? But cooking rice is a bit of an art – despite what some chefs say. Getting fluffy, perfectly cooked grains is tricky when using the conventional pan method. As a result, many of us are turning to rice cookers. But how do you choose the one that’s right for you, and which are the best?
For more expert product reviews, see our other buying guides Best rice cookers 1. Bambo rice cooker, Yum Asia – best for induction rice cooking
This rice cooker really looks the part and cooks it too. Featuring an induction heating element and fuzzy logic it’s designed to produce perfect rice every time, whichever type you like and whatever way you want to cook it.
It features seven rice programmes, white long and short grain, brown rice, Yumami (to give a sweeter taste) GABA brown (which releases more gamma-aminobutyric acid to make the rice healthier) crust (for Persian Tahdig-style rice) and a quick-cook mode for white rice only.
You can also use it to steam, cook porridge, bake cakes and slow cook, too. The first thing we noticed on getting it out of the box is how attractive it is, with a rose-gold exterior, neat, curved shape and white, easy-to-navigate, pressure-sensitive touch LED display.
The sturdy Joubu bowl is ceramic lined and has carry handles, allowing for easy transportation to the table once the cooking process is done. It’s more than attractive enough to leave on the table, too. Both the quick-cook and the normal cook mode gave us delicious long-grain basmati rice and although brown rice takes just over an hour, it produced one of the best results we experienced.
Once the rice is done, the machine beeps and automatically switches to the keep-warm mode, which is great if you’ve been distracted by the kids. For a cooker of this quality, it’s a good price, with a special offer running when we tested to reduce the cost by a further £20.
Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 2. Sage by Heston Blumenthal Risotto Plus Cooker – best for no-fuss rice and creamy risotto
Stir-free risotto? Whatever next? This machine promises to perfectly cook the Italian staple. And that’s without standing over it pouring in ladle after ladle of hot stock. It no one-trick pony. We used it to cook both basmati and American long-grain rice. Both were fabulously fluffy with little sticking to the bottom of the pan.
We prepared just two cups each time but it can accommodate up to 10, producing around 20 portions. This is plenty for a party or big family gathering. There’s a ‘keep warm’ function, too, ensuring the last person to the pot has rice as warm as the first. It also cooks grains and porridge, steams and slow cooks, too.
A searing function means that there’s no need for another pan either, cutting down on washing up and making it a real one-stop-pot. While you don’t exactly throw everything in the pot and just walk away, we found preparing the risotto was pretty easy. Starting with the searing function to soften the onions and garlic, you add the rice and cook for a few minutes. Then the wine went in and was stirred until it evaporated. Once that was done, we added the stock, stirred and hit the ‘risotto’ and ‘start’ buttons.
Then we walked away. There’s a handy 30-minute ‘keep warm’ function, which was useful as we got distracted and almost forgot we were cooking. It is fairly pricey. However, consider the addition of the slow cooker function and one-pot searing and cooking. This all makes it a good choice if you want more than just a simple rice cooker.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 3. Argos Cookworks 1.5L rice cooker – best for white rice
If you’re just after a simple ‘does what it says on the packaging’ rice cooker then this great value model is a solid choice. With just a cook and keep warm switch to break up the cool black exterior, it also has feet to raise it up from the worksurface plus handy carrying handles.
Crucially, if you’re a fan of fancy rice then this one isn’t for you as it only cooks white rice, but it does cook it very well and was one of the simples to use with the best results.
The least amount of dry weight rice you can cook in this machine is 2 cups, which is about 4-6 portions, making it a great choice for family dinners. If there are just two of you, then you can freeze the remaining rice once it’s cooled.
The resulting rice is fluffy and fairly well sepaprated. We used basmati and short grain and both came out well, although both did form a very thin crust – as do some of the more expensive heat-from-below rice cookers – but it was easy to break up and stir in to the rest of the rice.
Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 4. Tefal CY505E40 All-in-one Pressure Cooker/Multi Cooker – best for speedy rice
For a while pressure cookers were out of favour, with their constant threat of a steam explosion. Instead, we moved on, favouring the microwave for speedy cooking. Well, now they’re back and much more user-friendly than before.
While this pressure-cum-rice cooker featured lots of bells and whistles and looked a little complicated at first, it actually coped brilliantly with everything we tried in it. You do need to do some important prep first, including checking all safety valves and seals. But the instructions were easy to follow and once it came up to temperature it cooked rice in double-quick time. In fact, it was one of the fastest on test, even for fairly big amounts of rice – it can cook up to 20 portions in one go. White basmati rice was ready in nine minutes and brown in 15.
It has 25 programmes, including baking, frying pressure cooking and steaming plus a keep warm button does exactly what it says. It also comes with a steaming basket, trivet and recipe book featuring dishes as varied beef curry, apple and yoghurt cake and risotto.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 5. Rice cooker, Clas Ohlson – best budget rice cooker
While it’s not the most attractive rice cooker we used, it certainly is a great all-rounder, producing both small (1 portion) and large (upwards of 8) with ease and not much variation in results. It’s also a good price, too, so great for singles or large families at a price that won’t break the budget.
After a quick wash and wipe down it was ready to go and one of the simplest we tested with an on-off, plus cook and keep warm button. It cooked a single portion of rice in just 14 minutes and the keep-warm function meant we could leave it until we were ready without having to worry if it would overcook, although this works better on bigger amounts rather than small.
If you’re cooking more cups of rice, then you’ll need to add enough water to cover, although the instructions stated to use the instructions on the rice packet, we used our tried and trusted double the volume of water to rice method, which produced fluffy, well cooked grains each time.
Brown rice will need more water of course, and we did have to experiment a little to get this one right but got there after a couple of goes. There’s also a steamer basket for cooking vegetables.
Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 6. Judge Family rice cooker – best value for cooking for big numbers
Although it’s called a rice cooker, this also has a facility for steaming, and it can cook a simple risotto, too. You can’t cook less than three cups of rice so it’s probably not a good choice for those on their own. Unless you have freezer space for Tupperware-filled cooked rice. It is, however, good for families or dinner parties. It will prepare up to 1200g of uncooked rice, which provides, on average 18-20 portions.
The instructions are pretty basic it doesn’t, for instance, say how many portions the minimum amount of three cups equals. We found going by 60-90g of uncooked rice per person that three cups (450g) was more than enough for four to five. It cooks all kinds of rice, including wild rice. Although that should be cooked as a mix with basmati, as on its own it requires too much water.
Long grain rice did get a little bit of a crusty bottom but we didn’t mind that. The risotto was a touch on the dry side at first but we added a little more liquid the second time around and that helped. The ‘keep warm’ function switches on automatically when the machine senses the rice has finished cooking. Apart from when you’re cooking risotto, which should be eaten straight away. This operates for up to 6 hours.
Some machines give off a little water when opened (that’s just the condensed steam from the lid). Therefore we found the condensation collector on this cooker was a handy addition. You just need to remember to empty it when you’ve finished cooking. As with many of the others, it’s not dishwasher safe. However, its unfussy design and non-stick interior means it’s a breeze to keep clean.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 7. Lakeland Mini multicooker – best for space saving
This neat little machine is great for those who want the function of a multi-cooker but just in a smaller package. Of course, its size means it’s not great for cooking party-size amounts of rice or slow cooking for larger families. But it’s a great kitchen addition for couples and small families. The instructions for rice cooking are a little confusing. They say you should cook rice in the amount of water stated on the packet. But most packets don’t recommend an actual amount.
That said, we used the traditional one cup of rice to one cup of water method and that produced good results for both basmati and long grain rice. Brown rice needs more water – about a cup and a half to every cup of rice. We did have to try it a couple of times to get it right. There’s a ‘keep warm’ function but the manufacturers recommend not keeping that on for more than four hours.
It also has a quick cook function for rice, which produces the same results in a little less time. There is a slow cook function for casseroles and programmes for porridge, quinoa, cake (ready-made mix) and yoghurt. We reckon you could replace a fair few appliances with just this one compact machine.
Ideal Home’s Rating: 4 out of 5 8. Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave rice cooker – best microwave rice cooker
As you’d expect from Joseph Joseph products, the M-Cusine microwave cooker is beautifully designed with no extraneous parts. Even the rice paddle cleverly acts to lock the lid into position ensuring you’re not likely to lose it. It’s also sleek enough to go on the table as a serving pot. This saves on the washing up which is always a treat.
Cooking times are dependent on how powerful your microwave is. We used the guidelines based on an 800w microwave and it produced both basmati and long grain rice to a good standard. It cooks porridge oats, too. We loved the fact that you could cook portion sizes from one up to six. However, we felt they were a little on the small side for our big appetites, so would recommend cooking an extra portion just to be safe.
There’s no fanciness with this machine, it does what it says on the pot. But if you want something that does the job and is small enough to store in a cupboard when you’re not using it, this is perfect. Unlike the electric machines, it’s all dishwasher safe, too.
Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5. 9. Sakura Yum-EN15 by YumAsia rice cooker – best for professional restaurant-style results
There’s nothing we don’t like about this fantastic rice cooker – apart from, perhaps, the price. That said, it is a hard-working, multi-functional machine. There are modes for steaming, slow cooking, cake baking, porridge and yoghurt making. We’d be willing to give up our slow cooker and steamer to find room for it on the worktop.
Designed by specialists Yum Asia, it’s modelled on high end Japanese designs, some of which sell for as much as £350. But it sells at a much more accessible price point. Delightfully egg-shaped, the blue light touch-button control panel is easy to read and use and it has fuzzy logic. This automatically adjusts the seven-phase cooking process depending on the contents and cooking conditions.
Having to press the start button for two seconds is a nice touch, ensuring it’s never knocked on by mistake. We tried long-grain American, basmati and brown rice in both the regular and fast cook settings. We found there was little difference in the quality of the rice. It produced fluffy separate grains, just in the time it took to cook. This was around 30 minutes on regular and 20 on fast.
We also experimented with the crust function. The crusty bits at the bottom of a rice pot are much prized in Asian cooking. Although at an hour and a half it took quite a while, it was definitely worth waiting for. There’s a sub-menu for cooking specific kinds of rice for more refined results and even a preset function. This allows you to set a timer up to 24 hours in the future, although if the pot contains perishable foods that long isn’t recommended.
Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 10. Russell Hobbs rice cooker and steamer – best easy-to-use rice maker
By far the least complicated of the electric models we tested, this rice cooker and steamer performed well. If all you want is a machine that cooks rice and steams then this is good value for money. We did have a few issues with the American long grain forming a rather thick crusty layer on the bottom of the inner pan at first. Once we adjusted the amount of water though, this improved.
We also noticed that the quality was better when we cooked bigger portions. Therefore we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one for producing smaller amounts. An attractive steel outer casing means that it looks good on the worktop. The glass lid is a nice touch so you can see at a glance what’s going on inside.
Be careful, though, as the vent releases quite a lot of steam during cooking so never take the lid off without the aid of an oven glove or tea towel. With basically two settings – cooking and ‘keep warm’ – it’s certainly not fancy but it does the job. It allows you to cook rice or steam veg without having to watch over it to ensure it doesn’t boil dry.
For steaming, we added more water than necessary to the bowl below the steamer then manually turned it off once the food was cooked. However, over time we could easily have worked out the right amount of water needed to get perfect result. That would mean that once the water had boiled away the cooker would switch to the keep warm function as for rice.
Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 11. Tefal MultiCook Advanced 45 in 1 RK812142 5 Litre Multi Cooker – best for extra functions
It’s not called the 45 in 1 for nothing. There are so many cooking functions in this machine, it may seem unnecessary to have any other small appliances at all! Tefal do have a perfectly acceptable simple rice cooker in their repertoire. So if you just want to cook rice then that’s a good alternative and it’s a third of the price.
However, the 45 in 1 can also cook, in no particular order, baby food, porridge, yoghurt, pasta, stews, cream cheese and deserts. And it can prove dough. Yes, rice is just one of the many cooking methods the 45 in 1 performs. But don’t think that this is a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. The LED control panel was easy to read and the instruction booklet clear. Although, with so many functions, there is a lot to digest.
The fat-bottomed inner bowl was gently curved – which helped to prevent our rice sticking to the bottom. It was also good for crusty rice, producing an attractive shaped patty when it was turned out. We liked the ‘delay start’ button and it also has a DIY function. This allows you to change automatic cooking times. Results were as we’d expect from a machine of this calibre. Though, at over 45 minutes for two cups of long-grain rice, cooking time was longer than with the other machines.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Buy now: Tefal MultiCook Advanced 45 in 1 RK812142 5 Litre Multi Cooker, £91.69, Grooves Land What should I know before buying a rice cooker?
The best rice cookers will help to take the guesswork out of cooking all sorts of rice, grains and some even pasta, too. Much simpler than constantly watching a pan, a rice cooker will take the strain. Generally speaking, all you have to do is add the recommended amount of rice or grains and water to the pot and press the ‘start’ button. And voila, perfect rice. Essentially, you’re steaming the rice rather than boiling it on the hob, which often produces better results. Get to know your machine so you can prepare rice to your taste – be that soft and sticky or light, separate grains with a bit of a bite. How much should I spend on a rice cooker?
A simple microwave rice cooker with rice paddle can cost as little as £8 but cheaper models are often not that pretty. These won’t be able to perform the extra functions included in the more sophisticated electric machines.
Electric rice cookers can be bought for upwards of £20. But if you’re after something thats offers rice and much more, prices can rise to an eye-watering £300.
If you’re cooking for just one or two, then the former might be more useful. Countertop machines are generally made to cook at least two portions, with some bigger models producing up to 10 portions. What features should I look for?
Basic microwave models and the less fancy electric cookers will prepare rice and usually have a steamer function. If that’s all you’re after, all well and good. But if you want your appliance to ‘earn its place on the worktop’ then we think it needs to have a little more about it. Electric rice cookers consist of a removable metal or ceramic non-stick bowl that fits inside the main machine. This pot sits on a heating element that heats the water from below when the cooking process starts.
Cheaper rice cookers turn off this element once it detects that boiling point has been maintained for a set period. More expensive models will have a number of ‘fuzzy-logic’ settings. These automatically adjust the cooking time and temperature depending on the contents.
Regular and fast cook programmes will allow you to cook rice at your pace. Ones with count-down displays will let you know how long your rice has to cook. Keep warm functions are useful if you want to go back for seconds or you’re a family eating at different times. Can I cook anything else in a rice cooker? Image credit: Chris Alack
Even the simplest of microwave rice cookers will cook grains such as quinoa and sometimes pasta as well as rice. In electric models, look out for extra cooking settings. These may include ones for specialist rice, including risotto, brown and wild, porridge, pasta, yoghurt and even cake! Rice cookers that are essentially multi-cookers will have all this. Plus ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ cook functions.
Some models we tried produce rice that has a crunchy, crispy bottom. No, we didn’t burn it, it’s a much-loved dish in many parts of the world. Called Tahdig in Persain cooking, socarrat in Spain and nurungji in Korea. This was, for us, a new taste and texture sensation, and one we’ll be trying again. Will my rice cooker speed up the cooking process?
Not really, no. Microwave cookers and some less feature-led models will give you well-cooked rice in about the same time as pan cooking. Some fancier models might even take a little longer. This is because they have separate stages to deliver the rice at the optimum texture. The beauty of these machines is not necessarily the speed of the cooking. It’s more the fact that you can walk away, safe in the knowledge that the machine is doing the hard work for you. Can I put a rice cooker in the dishwasher? Video Of The Week
All parts of microwave cookers are dishwasher safe. However, due to the nature of the non-stick on metal or ceramic inners, most electric versions are recommended to be washed by hand. Simply wipe over the exterior with a wet cloth to get rid of residual steam and water. Wash removable parts in warm soapy water. Some plastic steamer attachments and ladles can be popped into the dishwasher but check instructions to be sure. Latest news from Ideal Home

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Manchester’s lost restaurants – Kardomah Cafe, Meng & Ecker and more

The Kardomah coffee shop in Market Street, October 1966 (Image: Mirrorpix) Get the biggest What’s On stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email
Manchester’s restaurant scene is booming – with a faster rate of growth than anywhere in the country over the last five years.
But for every new opening, there are fond memories of the restaurants we’ve loved and lost over the years.
Our recent look back at Manchester’s lost shops has prompted us to take a look back at some of the city’s forgotten food and drink establishments too.
Do you remember dining at any of these, or are there any other restaurants you miss that aren’t on this list? We’d love to hear your memories and see your photos.
You can tweet us at @CityLifeManc , join in the conversation on Facebook or leave a comment below. Kardomah Cafe Kardomah in St Ann’s Square (Image: Manchester Libraries and Archives)
Founded in Liverpool in 1844, Kardomah is credited as Britain’s first coffee house chain and evolved out of a tea dealing company.
There were several branches in Manchester but perhaps the best known was the Market Street one, which opened in 1939 with an Art Deco influenced design and striking, curved staircase.
It was a popular gathering place for artists and writers: L S Lowry and William Turner would meet there, and it was referenced in Anthony Burgess’s 1989 novel Any Old Iron.
The brand peaked in the 1960s and the company was sold in the 1970s. Cona Coffee Bar The cover of Rainy City Blues (Image: MEN)
Another hip hangout in the early 1960s was Tib Lane’s Cona Coffee Bar.
It was as well known for its music as it was for its coffee and hamburgers. Writing in an M.E.N nostalgia feature in 2015, Paul Wilde recalls an RnB jukebox attracting a mod crowd and gigs in the basement drawing jazz and folk fans, including Ewan McColl.
A picture of the cafe appears on the cover of Rainy City Blues, a compilation of rare tracks celebrating Manchester’s place in the British Beat Boom.
Cona was also where textile artist Celia Birtwell and designer Raymond ‘Ossie’ Clark met, before going on to create some of the most iconic garments of the Swinging Sixties together. Meng and Ecker Meng & Ecker (Image: Manchester Libraries and Archives)
Situated in St Ann’s Passage, the arcade between King Street and St Ann’s Square, this tea room was the go-to place for coffee and cake long before the days when a Starbucks or a Costa dotted every high street.
It was established by two Swiss confectioners, Fleury Meng and Joseph Buchegger – who later changed his name to Joseph Ecker – who came to England in the 1890s. They had catering businesses in Newcastle and Sunderland before opening the Manchester tearoom in 1900.
The business was taken over in 1950. Its latter owner was Lilian Deakin, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 90. Man Fang
One of the first Chinese restaurants in Manchester, Man Fang was based at 49 Piccadilly from the late 1950s to early 1970s.
Adverts billed it as ‘Manchester’s latest and most luxurious restaurant’ serving ‘first class English and Chinese cuisine’ complemented by a ‘comprehensive wine list’.
It was opened by Lee Yau, who was born in Hong Kong and settled in England in the early 1950s, going on to open restaurants in Bradford and Leeds before opening Man Fang in Manchester with his business partners. Mr Yau died in 2005, aged 89. Lung Fung The famous Lung Fung cafe
Middleton restaurant Lung Fung was an unlikely celebrity haunt in its day, feeding stars including The Beatles and Cliff Richard.
It was established by Lily Kwok, a migrant from Hong Kong who brought Chinese cuisine to the town for the first time in the 1950s.
The modest spot gave little away about the remarkable family saga behind it – a tale of poverty, murder, triad associations and gambling .
Lily’s legacy continues at Northern Quarter restaurant Sweet Mandarin, which is run by her granddaughters Helen, Lisa and Janet Tse and features some of her favourite recipes on the menu. Reform The old Reform Club on King Street
Dripping with decadence, King Street restaurant Reform was a notorious hotspot for the city’s celebs.
Understated it was not: purple carpets, scarlet velvet and animal print provided the colour palette for Bernard Carroll’s lavish design scheme, with trappings including candlesticks fashioned from brass busts of naked women.
Its excess extended to the behaviour of its champagne-swilling clientele, from footballers to film stars.
It later became Room and is now home to Living Ventures’ opulent bar and restaurant Grand Pacific. Brasserie St Pierre
Run by chef-proprietor Francis Carroll – the brother of Bernard – this Princess Street restaurant was highly regarded as one of Manchester’s best restaurants in the 90s.
It was a ‘decidedly French, extravagantly art nouveau pace-setter’ in its day, with a menu full of classic brasserie cooking and big French wines.
Northern Restaurant and Bar show boss Thom Hetherington remembers: “Like Reform, it had a slightly theatrical, plush luxury about it: thick carpets, heavy drapes, moody lighting and cosy, intimate seating.” The site is now home to Greek restaurant Rozafa. Isola Bella Evandro Barbieri at Isola Bella
Italian restaurant Isola Bella had diners lining up down Booth Street for a table when it opened in 1970.
Owner Evandro Barbieri came to the city from Milan in 1958 and worked as a waiter at The Midland hotel before opening his own restaurant.
Three years later he opened another, Bella Napoli, around the corner on Kennedy Street, and expanded his empire further with the launch of Pizzeria Italia on Deansgate in 1977, and later San Marco, which would be destroyed by the IRA bomb in 1996.
His celebrity clientele included the likes of George Best and Sir Cliff Richard. Evandro retired in 2008 and passed away in 2012, aged 75. Dutch Pancake House Manchester’s old Dutch Pancake House (Image: Julian Brown)
Remembered for its massive menu and giant plates, The Dutch Pancake House was based on the corner of St Peter’s Square and Oxford Street.
It was a popular place to visit before a trip to the Odeon cinema two doors down.
The restaurant closed just over a decade ago and the building that used to house it – Elisabeth House – was demolished to make way for the shiny new 1 St Peter’s Square. Shimla Pinks Shimla Pinks offered something more modern than the Curry Mile restaurants
One of the city centre’s best-known curry houses, Shimla Pinks opened in 1999 at Crown Square and had been due to move to a new unit in Spinningfields when it closed in 2010.
The upmarket Indian restaurant offered a more modern alternative to many of the popular Curry Mile establishments at the time.
“With the aim of banishing any preconceptions usually associated with the traditional Indian restaurant – so no red flock wallpaper – they’ve created a radically different environ,” an M.E.N article described.
“A stainless steel and black slate bar greets you on arrival but it is the vast landscape behind that really catches your eye, changing colour gradually through a range of pinks, purples and blues.” Mash & Air This warehouse was home to Mash & Air (Image: Google Street View)
Based in an old warehouse on the corner of Chorlton Street and Canal Street, this ambitious venture by restaurateur and Great British Menu judge Oliver Peyton revolved around a micro-brewery set in an eight-metre tower dotted with portholes so diners could see inside.
It included a casual ground floor restaurant, Mash Forno, which served pizza, and a fine dining restaurant, Air, on the top floor, where the menu included dishes such as smoked haddock and pearl barley salad with rhubarb, ginger and apple, and rump of lamb with winter chard cannelloni with succotash and mustard oil. Bills were sent to tables in envelopes marked ‘the damage’.
Jason Atherton, now one of the UK’s most successful restaurateurs with four Michelin stars in his stable, was the head chef when it opened in 1996. It closed in 2000. The Market Restaurant The Market Restaurant in the Northern Quarter which has closed down (Image: The Market Restaurant)
Based on the corner of High Street and Edge Street, The Market Restaurant was serving diners long before the Northern Quarter became the busy bar and restaurant neighbourhood it is today.
Opened in the early 1980s, it stood firm in the face of major changes in the area over the decades and earned plaudits including a Manchester Food and Drink Festival Award for best restaurant in 2005.
“Inside it is a little island of 1930s France, with tinkling jazz, kitsch Parisian bar decor and a dark ceiling to increase the cosy glow,” an M.E.N reviewer wrote in 2007.
“The menu changes every five or six weeks and is British with a nod to the international, including an abundant vegetarian selection
The restaurant closed in 2015 after 35 years. The building is now home to French restaurant 63 Degrees. Read More Manchester’s lost shops: A department store with a farm in the basement and the record shop at the heart of Northern Soul Read More

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23 countries you can visit with a UK visa

International 23 countries you can visit with a UK visa Indian passport holders can visit a total of 23 countries across the world if they have a valid UK visa. Here’s the list 21:30:24 IST San Blas Islands, Panama. Photo: Image Source/ Getty Images
It may be one of the more taxing visas to get, and it’s definitely not cheap. But for all the trouble, the UK visa comes with its rewards. Like easy access to 23 countries around the world. Here’s our list of the countries that will give you a visa on arrival, or won’t ask for one at all, provided you have a valid UK visa. (Note: Visa rules can change without notice. So be sure to check with the visa office of the country you are visiting before you pack your bags) North America
Dominican Republic
Reason to go: The 27 waterfalls of Damajagua, white-sand beaches and flavoursome Dominican food. Visa Information: One can visit the country for 60 days with a UK visa. More info . How to get there: Fly to Santa Domingo via Dubai and New York
Bermuda
Reason to go: Bermuda is known for its turquoise waters, pink-sand beaches, buzzing nightlife, art galleries, museums and forts. Visa Information: A multiple-entry UK visa valid for a minimum period of 45 days beyond the visitor’s stay. More info. How to get there: Fly to Bermuda via London and New York
Cayman Islands
Reason to go: Sunbathe and swim with stingrays at StingRay City, unwind at the gorgeous Seven Mile Beach and enjoy the benefits of an all-inclusive resort. Visa Information: A valid UK visa. More info . How to get there: Fly via Dubai and Toronto
Turks and Caicos Islands
Reason to go: Little Water Cay (Iguana Island), crystal-clear waters and great opportunities for water sports such as jet skii, scuba diving and parasailing. Visa Information: A valid UK visa. More info How to get there: Fly to the island of Providenciales via London and New York
Mexico
Reason to go: Beaches lined with palm trees, architectural treasures, tacos and tequila. Visa information: Valid Schengen visa to stay in Mexico for a period of 180 days. More info . How to get there: Fly to Mexico City via Frankfurt Europe
Serbia
Reason to go: Rich culture and heritage, fortresses and monasteries, vineyards and world-famous nightlife. Visa information: Stay in Serbia for 90 days during a six-month period with a valid UK visa. More info . How to get there: Fly via Dubai to Belgrade
Montenegro
Reason to go: Verdant mountains, breathtaking beaches, Balkan cuisine, a regal mausoleum, churches and more Visa information: A holder of a valid UK visa can visit Montenegro for 30 days. More info. How to get there: Fly via Frankfurt and Vienna to Podgorica
Georgia
Reason to go: Valleys with vineyards, natural hot-springs, beautiful architecture and churches. Visa information: Valid UK visa for a visit of not more than 90 days. More info . How to get there: Fly to Tbilsi via Dubai
Ireland
Reason to go: Stunning scenery, abundant history, some of the best hike trails in the world and of course, the accent. Visa Information: With a valid UK short-stay visa, one can enter Ireland for less than 90 days. More info . How to get there: Fly directly to Dublin
Turkey
Reason to go: Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, hammams, Cappadocia’s hot-air balloon rides and food influenced by Middle Eastern, Asian and European cuisines. Visa Information : Indian passport holders may get their single entry e-Visas valid for one month via the website www.evisa.gov.tr with a valid UK visa, provided they meet certain conditions. How to get there : Fly directly to Istanbul, or via Kuwait or Sharjah
Albania
Reason to go : Fortress towns, sparkling beaches and majestic mountains. Visa Information : Multiple-entry UK valid visa which has been used previously in the country of issuance or a valid permit of stay in the UK. More info . How to get there : Fly to Albania via Turkey, Munich, Frankfurt or Spain, and take a connecting flight to Albania. Asia
Philippines
Reason to go: Hidden caves, emerald-green rice fields and diving with sharks. Visa Information: Indian nationals can enter with valid UK visa. However, this visa-free entry is only valid for 14 days and can be extended by seven days with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration. For more info . How to get there: Fly via Kuala Lumpur to Manila
Taiwan
Reason to go: Relax in the natural hot springs or shop and eat at the famous night markets. Visa Information : A multiple-entry Schengen visa exempts you from acquiring a visa to visit Taiwan for a period of 14 days. However, one has to apply for Republic of China Travel Authorization Certificate , which is valid for 90 days after arrival. More info. How to get there: Fly via Hong Kong to Taipei
Qatar
Reason to go: The 250-year-old market Souq Waqif and desert safari. Visa Information : Indian nationals with a valid UK visa are not exempted from acquiring a visa. However, they are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization ( eTA ) and then avail of the visa on arrival. One can stay for a period of 30 days. More info . How to get there: Fly directly to Doha
Oman
Reason to go: Muscat’s Grand Mosque, local souks, wind-blown deserts and delectable Omani food Visa Information: Valid UK visa for a maximum stay of 30 days. More info . How to get there : Direct flight to Muscat The Caribbean
Bahamas
Reason to go: Dive into the blue water of Andros, unwind at Eleuthera’s pink-sand beaches or kayak along the 365 islands of Exuma Visa information: A valid UK visa for a maximum stay of 90 days. More info. How to get there: Fly via London and Miami to Nassau
British Virgin Islands
Reason to go: Exclusive beaches, pristine waters, and fancy boats…British Virgin Islands are the perfect royal escape from the crowds. You might just spot a celebrity or three! Visa Information : Holders of a valid UK visa can enter BVI provided the visa has a remaining validity of six months or has been used to travel to the UK. More info . How to get there: Fly via Kuwait and London
Aruba
Reason to go: Wildlife, glorious white-sand beaches and all-inclusive resorts Visa information: Valid multiple-entry UK visa to stay for 30 days. More info. How to get there: Fly via London and Miami to Oranjestad
Antigua and Barbuda
Reason to go: Spectacular blue waters, soft-sand beaches, colourful huts and rum. Visa information: Visa will be granted on arrival to valid UK visa holders. This visa is valid only for 30 days. More info . How to get there: Fly through London; you may need a transit visa to go from Heathrow Airport to Gatwick Airport.
Anguilla
Reason to go : Enjoy the coastline on a horseback, savor the seafood and relax on pristine beaches. Visa information: A valid UK visa. More info . How to get there: Fly to Anguilla via Manchester and New York UK
Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory)
Reason to go: Beautiful beaches, Gorham’s Cave complex (a UNESCO world heritage site), Gibraltar Museum and fresh seafood along the beach. Visa information: A holder of a multiple-entry UK visa that is valid for six months or more can enter Gibraltar for a period of 21 days. More info. How to get there: Fly via London South America
Peru
Reason to go: With undulating mountains, historic towns and lush green nature, Peru is the place to trek for the most unmatched views. Visa information: A UK visa with a validity of 6 months. One can stay in the country for not more than 180 days. More info . How to get there: Fly to Lima via London and Miami Central America
Panama
Reason to go: White-sand beaches and great hiking opportunities along a volcano or up a mountain to catch the view of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. And of course, some of the best coffee. Visa Information: A valid UK visa valid for a year. The visa should have been used to enter the UK before. More info . How to get there : Board a direct flight to Panama city

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Female Chefs Take Centre Stage at Black Sheep Restaurants

March 17, 2019
Hong Kong (Hong Kong SAR) – March 18, 2019 ( travelindex.com ) – While many observers bemoan the lack of female representation in the restaurant industry, one Hong Kong hospitality group is leading the charge and embracing the change. First and foremost, Black Sheep Restaurants is about the people in our team and the family we have created,” explains Syed Asim Hussain, co-founder of Black Sheep Restaurants. “If you look after your people, give them opportunities to grow and support them wherever possible, they will do the right thing for your guests.”
Discover the Top Restaurants for Fine Dining in Bangkok only at Top25Restaurants.com/Hong-Kong
Together with his partner, chef-trained Christopher Mark, the pair founded Black Sheep Restaurants with the intention of creating a dynamic community and telling compelling stories through food. “Community is our cornerstone and we are dedicated to ensuring our family flourishes. In less than seven years, we have grown our team to over 1,000 team members and half of them are women. While other restaurant groups struggle to achieve gender equality, or are reluctant to promote female chefs to senior positions, women are a driving creative force in our restaurants and leaders in their respective fields.”
Gisela Alesbrook “My recipes have been passed down the generations from my mother and grandmothers.” At the Wes Anderson-styled Hotal Colombo, Chef Gisela recreates the humble cuisine of her childhood in Sri Lanka, paying homage to her family’s treasured recipes and her native country’s vibrant street food culture. Of Dutch Burgher and Indian by heritage, Chef Gisela prides herself as being one of Black Sheep Restaurants’ very first hires.
Despite dabbling in a range of interests, from banking to lingerie design, Chef Gisela is happiest in the kitchen. In Hong Kong, she is excited to showcase her native culture and its underrepresented cuisine. Her dishes come with all the staple spices, colours and flavours you would expect in a local Sri Lankan eatery, presented with added finesse.
Lisette Magampon “The most important class is technique. A great chef is first a great technician, and that only comes through endless repetition.” Chef Lisette oversees Osteria Marzia, Black Sheep Restaurants’ coastal Italian restaurant. After a five-year stint at the renowned Gramercy Tavern in New York, Chef Lisette’s passion for Italian culinary began when she bought a one-way ticket to Italy determined to learn about its regional cuisines. After travelling the breadth of the country, she returned to New York to work as Sous Chef at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, a restaurant focused on the cuisine of Italy’s Umbria region.
One of the challenges of working in a male-dominated industry like F&B is that female chefs have to work twice as hard to prove themselves. She credits Philippe Bertineau, of Alain Ducasse’s acclaimed Midtown restaurant Benoit, and Jonathan Waxman, who pioneered Californian cuisine, for helping to shape her early career.
Discover the Top Restaurants for Fine Dining in Bangkok only at Top25Restaurants.com/Hong-Kong
Safia Osman “For any skill, take your time to learn, study and stay in a place long enough to understand. To learn pastry, make it better and prettier than yesterday.”
As the pastry connoisseur who helms The Bakery, Black Sheep Restaurants’ central pastry kitchen, Chef Safia grew up with cereal and pie, the latter becoming a distinguishing part of her culinary repertoire.
Dedicated to creating sweet delicacies, she names honey as her go-to ingredient for its ability to bring classic sweetness to desserts and enhance savoury dishes with a layer of complexity. Born to Somali-American parents, she developed her sweet tooth from an early age. One of her earliest memories is discovering a local breakfast snack, Injera, comprising a layer of stacked sweet crepes with honey.
With over 20 years of experience, Chef Safia has worked alongside such celebrated pastry chefs as Claudia Fleming, winner of the coveted James Beard Award. After leaving the US, she worked in Dubai before arriving in Hong Kong in 2016.
Angie Ford “Being able to be creative through food is extremely freeing.” For Chef Angie, cooking presents endless learning opportunities. The Executive Chef of Buenos Aires Polo Club, Black Sheep Restaurants’ Argentinian steakhouse, Angie started her culinary career helping out in the family kitchen at the age of 11. She grew up learning the different roles in a restaurant, from serving and bartending to managing before finally beginning her apprenticeship when she was 18. She is continuing a family tradition as her three sisters are currently pastry chefs.
A vocal advocate of ethically-raised meat, her menus at Buenos Aires Polo Club demonstrate her expertise and ability to prepare various cuts of steak from one specifically-reared breed, the Aberdeen Black Angus. Chef Angie competed in Iron Chef Canada, which she recalls as “a super stressful hour but also extremely rewarding”. Her advice for surviving in the pressure-cooker world of restaurants: “Be a positive force in the kitchen, and do not lose your cool.”
Yen Chan “Nobody is born as a chef, and it does not happen overnight. If you want to succeed, you need the right attitude.” For La Vache Tsim Sha Tsui’s Yen Chan, her hobby became a passion and eventually her career. After studying Culinary Arts and Design in Canada, she worked front of house for five years before taking up the challenge to venture into the kitchen. Aside from overcoming a language barrier, she had to familiarise herself with the frantic pace of working in a large-scale line kitchen.
With the goal of one day opening her own restaurant, she was inspired by a visit to a fifth-generation sushi bar in Tokyo, where the resident chef produced a handmade piece of sushi every two seconds. “Watching that level of expertise is inspiring. It reminds you of the level of dedication required to hone your craft.”
Charrinn (Noom) Singdaechakarn “Be a chef who never stops learning, and love what you do.” Head Chef of Soul Food Thai, Chef Noom has been mastering the cuisine of her homeland since she was 24. While studying in Sydney, she took on a part-time job working in the kitchen of a Thai restaurant. Her passion for cooking began as a child. Living in a garden house, her mother would grow fresh ingredients to incorporate into their meals. Her appreciation for authentic ingredients extends to Soul Food Thai where everything is made from scratch. Originally from Issan, the Northeastern province of Thailand, her go-to dish is noodle soup. Although it looks deceptively simple, it requires lots of ingredients and patience to prepare and perfect.
For Chef Noom, the most challenging part of Thai cuisine is mastering the knife skills. Her mentor, Chef Chaiwat, helped develop these skills by having her “julienne the kaffir lime leaf into hair-like strands”.
About Black Sheep Restaurants Niche, thought-provoking and story-driven, Black Sheep Restaurants is a Hong Kong-based hospitality group founded in 2012 by Syed Asim Hussain and Christopher Mark. Together they share decades of experience in hospitality and business development, along with a zest for travel and discovering dining subcultures.
Black Sheep Restaurants curates distinct dining experiences that tell a story about a particular time, place, culture or cuisine while celebrating the bounty of premium ingredients available both locally and from abroad. Always pushing boundaries, the group continues to expand rapidly within Hong Kong and beyond.
In December 2018, Syed Asim Hussain became the world’s youngest restaurateur to hold two Michelin stars when BELON and New Punjab Club were honoured with one Michelin star each. New Punjab Club is the world’s first Punjabi restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star.

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Home Made Desi Tiffin Service – THE HILLS – DESI TASTE Sydney Region – Blacktown | 1201754135

Welcome to our home cooked Indian tiffin service.
We provide North Indian based cuisines cooked fresh daily for you with new meal choices EVERYDAY!
The Food is prepared fresh and can be ordered through a simple text!
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Indian antitrust watchdog raids Glencore business, others over pulse prices -sources

India’s antitrust watchdog raided units of global commodities trader Glencore and two other firms in Mumbai on Saturday in an inquiry into alleged collusion on the price of pulses, four sources with knowledge of the raids told Reuters.
More than 25 antitrust officials carried out the raids at the offices of local units of Glencore and Africa’s Export Trading Group, and India’s Edelweiss group which previously had a commodities business, two government sources told Reuters.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been investigating allegations that the companies formed a cartel to discuss the pricing of pulses while importing and selling them in the Indian market at higher prices in 2015 and 2016, when India faced an acute shortage, the sources said.
Advertisement A spokesman for Switzerland-based Glencore, Charles Watenphul, declined to comment, while India’s Edelweiss, which sold its commodities trading business in November 2016, and the Export Trading Group did not respond to requests for comment.
Two years of drought pushed up prices of pulses such as chickpeas and black grams, which are a staple of Indian cuisine, in 2015 and forced New Delhi to offer duty-free imports, encouraging foreign and Indian traders who imported pulses to sell locally.
“The collusion by these companies led to higher prices of pulses,” one of the government sources said, adding that the CCI’s inquiry started three months ago.
The investigation will also assess whether the companies have continued their alleged collusion even after the prices of pulses stabilized in recent years, the source said.
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The raids on five company offices in India’s financial capital began on Friday and were concluded on Saturday.
Antitrust officials collected evidence, including documents and e-mails, and questioned company officials during the raids, a second government source said.
Another source, an industry executive, told Reuters that CCI’s search involved going through company records at Glencore’s office in Mumbai, confirming it was part of the watchdog’s probe into accusations of fixing import prices.
The drought during 2015 wilted crops and exacerbated shortages of food such as protein-rich pulses and India, which consumes about 22 million tonnes of pulses annually, faced a shortfall of 7-8 million tonnes in 2015-16.
The CCI’s raids on commodities traders mark only its fourth such search operation in its near 10-year history. They can only be conducted with approval from a judge.
In October, the CCI raided the offices of global brewers such as Carlsberg and Anheuser Busch InBev and found e-mails which allegedly showed violations of Indian anti-trust laws. (https://reut.rs/2JeQKEs)
The brewing companies have pleaded leniency under a CCI programme, Reuters has reported. (Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Mayank Bhardwaj; Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav and Aditi Shah; Editing by Alexander Smith)
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