Sowing the Seeds of The Olive Tree Group – BFM Podcast

Sowing the Seeds of The Olive Tree Group – BFM Podcast

Leslie Gomez, The Olive Tree Group
20-Feb-19 10:35
The Olive Tree Group owns and operates 17 restaurants and pubs in 5 states across Malaysia. From authentic northern indian cuisine in bustling KL city to gourmet Asian-Fusion-style bar food amongst the clouds in Genting Highlands – The Olive Tree Group prides itself in creating F&B experiences that never disappoint. We speak to founder Leslie Gomez about his secret formula to running many successful F&B businesses.
Produced by: Audrey Raj
Presented by: Audrey Raj
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Youtuber Of The Month – Abish Mathew

February 20, 2019 Harsha Prerna exhibit latest No Comments
He is the breakthrough stand-up comedian in India who made his way up with his sheer talent and his rib-tickling humour. With some great shows like the hit talk- show Son of Abish and Comics than in his kitty, Abish’s fan following goes way beyond the boundaries with over 1000+ shows in India and abroad like New York, Canada and Utrecht international Comedy Festival (Holland). Just in case you still doubt his popularity, he was one of the first Indian Youtuber, whose views crossed over 30 million on his channel. Engrossed with talents like singing, dancing, creating content, Abish had also debuted in Bollywood with Meri Pyaari Bindu in 2017. If you think you know all about him, well, there’s much more to discover about the unapologetically funny, Abish Mathew in an exclusive interview with Harsha Prerna.
E X : to our curiosity, when and where did the concept for stand-up comedy take birth in your mind? When did you first realise that you could make people laugh?
AM: From a very young age I liked to make people laugh. Never had an audience but always had an extended family. Honed a skill to hold the attention of a gathering at family parties, where whiskey took most of the attention away. Much later in my youth with the advent of the internet, I stumbled upon Robin Williams live at the MET & immediately thought, “This is what I do with friends and family and school while hosting, but this is exactly what I wanna do”. After that, I followed what stand up comedy was & one comic after another I was on route to figure how to make this my profession.
E X : What are the secrets to telling everyday jokes in order to get the biggest laughs?
AM: Try and try and try again. Some jokes will kill hard and some jokes will bomb hard. We are unable to generate laughs every day, it’s on an average that we judge a comedy set. The intention is to always make people laugh & with more years of experience, it gets better. So, the secret is more like an open secret which is “GO AGAIN”.
E X : What is your backstage routine before a performance?
AM: Before I go on stage, I hate being left alone. I love speaking to people and keep the vibe happy because I take that energy in the stage. But, when I am backstage, as soon as my name is announced, I always make “a sign of the cross” and then walk on.
E X : How much influence does social media have on you? how often do you check and post updates?
AM: For me the appreciation that social media grants are highly addictive not the voyeurism. So, the days I don’t post anything, I am of social media, but if I start posting them my usage also increases to check how it’s doing. My brain has also figured a way for me to not feel that guilty by lying, “Abish you are not checking for the number of likes so that you feel better, you are merely checking the analytics of our recent posts for optimum correction for future posts”
E X : Is the respect given to solo artists in India catching up with the respect solo artists get abroad?
AM: YES, it is for sure catching up & we will be among bigger strides in this field.
E X : If not a stand-up comedian, then where do you imagine yourself?
AM: I would have been a robotics engineer or an astrophysicist or a mad millionaire scientist. And, in this hypothetical situation, I am considering myself to be good at any of these.
E X : Do you observe situations and create comedy or can you create a comedy just in your head?
AM: I feel, “Opinion leads to acute Observations which is a good set up for a punchline you can craft”
E X : What is one of your most embarrassing memories from childhood?
AM: They are not embarrassing any more. As all embarrassing moments for a stand-up comedian are premises for their next bit.
E X : Who in your mind would make an excellent talk show host?
AM: Kaneez Surka
E X : fav celebrities to have on the show?
AM: I would love to have all Gods on the couch to finally get to the bottom of this. If not, any 5th dimension being would also be good.
E X : After an insane season, what sets season 4 apart?
AM: Right now, we are on season 5 and its back on Youtube. All our learning from the previous 4 is making this season a bit more of what people might like. But most importantly for me, having retained a huge team for 3 seasons when they have done bigger shows and stuff does make me feel happy that they might be liking working with me.
E X : Season 3 of Son of Abish, went from just being an idea into a full-blown production. how do you feel about it?
AM: It was the faith that people had that made me also feel confident about the show. I would have continued in a season 1 show but the team was confident that we could make it bigger & more polished and that shared confidence is what keeps me going.
E X : What can we look forward to 2019?
AM: Other than 2 seasons of Son Of Abish, I am looking at doing something special which will be a surprise for all. And if I don’t do it, there will be no evidence anywhere about this “surprise”. TechQuarter Favourite Gadget: Mac Book Pro Most inspiring tech entrepreneur: Abish Mathew in an alternate dimension. Your favourite social media app and why: IG, because it breaks down the distance between creator and audience. One gadget you wish existed: 1. Gesture control for typing. 2. Even more Accurate voice to text. Quickies An advice to the new comedians just starting out: Go again and again and again! Best piece of advice given to you: If your life plan has the word “eventually” replace it with “right now” and re-read it. Favourite cuisine : Malabari food.

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Bangkok: The most exciting food metropolis in the world – travel

The estimated reading time is 4 minutes Bangkok: The most exciting food metropolis in the world – travel February 20, 2019 at 4:44 am 0
Street food in Bangkok is legendary because it’s good, even very good. Why? The answer is on the road. A declaration of love.
If you stroll along the Klong Banglamphu Canal in Bangkok, you will not reach ten meters until a wonderful fragrance breaks the walk. It swells out of three food stalls, which are squeezed into a side street. It’s eight in the morning and the heat is still tolerable, but the cooks are already in the middle, asking the passers-by energetically on one of the plastic chairs. Those who are accustomed to large German cities, where the sidewalks not only fold up during peak times, but are also carved and sealed from a culinary point of view, feel sadness when they have fresh soups steaming at eight o’clock in the morning or four o’clock in the afternoon gets.
The Thai, on the other hand, finds it normal to eat well around the clock. As a greeting, he does not ask “How are you?”, But literally, “Have you eaten yet?”. But long ago, the legendary food outside the fixed restaurants, which brought the city a recommendation from CNN as the place with the best street food in the world, is no longer the only reason to eat in Bangkok. The fine dining scene with celebrity chefs like Gaggan Anand or “Bo” Songvisava attracts foodies from around the world. European chefs are making a pilgrimage to Thailand’s capital to be inspired. And in the culinary center you will find a “Best of Asia”, with Korean, Vietnamese, Indian restaurants. Many people see Bangkok as food, which is why it is currently the most exciting city in the world.
A provider of street food tours in Bangkok wants to bring holidaymakers and locals together for dining. For them, food stalls are part of the culture of the city. By Monika Maier-Albang
Can that be true? The answer, that’s for sure, can be found on the street first. As in most Asian countries, if you can not watch the chef cook, he has something to hide. The best food you get on the sidewalks, in yards and side streets. Bangkok is a city like a single large open plan kitchen, plus pantry. Whether on one of the huge markets, in Chinatown or north of the Khao San Road, around the canal, where small passenger boats bring the locals from east to west: You can walk around for days and spontaneously eat something anywhere – you will be disappointed never. Sometimes you only have to overcome the cook’s suspicious look, whether the guest is serious about the sharpness –”not that your head explodes”!
Already three lumps of Thai help there, “yes, mai phet, a bit spicy, it’s okay.” But once you’ve convinced them, the hospitable Thai fish the best tofu pieces out of the pot. The classics are everywhere: Pad Thai, spicy papaya salad, all kinds of grilled, tofu in soy and algae and of course the best noodle soups in the world. Beware only of offals on the spit, which can taste extremely intense. Be sure to pay attention to the sweets, in Thai restaurants in this country often disappointing, in Bangkok Highlights: A pancake may first appear dry, with sweet and sour sauce, it will be a taste explosion. Or you can get stuffed banana leaves with sticky rice and mango at the next stall, from a strictly parted man in a shirt and cloth trousers. Food can also be a civil servant’s job, every morning from eight o’clock.
A little bit further, a cook in a print shirt and silver pastes can bring a cappuccino with milk froth and cocoa powder from next door, as much vests have to be. Suddenly her colleagues jump up as an orange-robed monk comes to collect food with a large pot. They kneel before him and give him their gifts. So you sit in the city air like in a warm bath, hear the women talking and never want to leave. No tripadvisor, no travel guide is needed, only your own senses and often only one euro for a main course.
The only question is: why is the food here so outrageously good?
Saleswoman in front of her food stall on the roadside in Bangkok.
(Photo: Lonely Planet Images / Imago)
Because good Thai food means above all: do it yourself. Sauces and pastes are mixed to house recipe, and even the smallest stand on the road has its own recipes. In addition, there are an infinite number of herbs, roots and spices from all over Asia: coriander, star anise, cumin, turmeric, pandanus leaves, tamarind, Thai basil, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and peel, various chillies and curry powder and several ginger varieties. Goods that have always been handled in Bangkok as a trading city and soon integrated into their own kitchen. Global pleasures, centuries ago
Bangkok owes its Muslim influence from the south of the country and Indonesia to dishes such as the Sop Buntut, a hell of a spicy oxtail soup, a legendary favorite with revelers because it soaps faster than a saline infusion. As a balance, Cha Nom Yen, a cinnamon iced tea with condensed milk, is recommended, so you can even enjoy the spiciness.
However, the influences go much further: on the eastern shore of the Chao Phraya, for example, you will find the Portuguese quarter of Kudichin. Portuguese sailors settled here in the 18th century and brought the sweets into Thailand’s cuisine. Today you can find there lemongrass mixed with cream cake (Pastel de Natas), spicy latte (Galao) and the realization that Bangkok centuries ago was a globalized city avant la lettre.
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Head to Holiday Inn Express in Gurugram for a quick and relaxing weekend getaway

Hotel/Restaurant
After a tiring week at work, all we want is to relax. But then we also do not want to end up wasting the entire weekend just sitting idle at home. At times when we think of travelling out of station, it is time-consuming hence the plan keeps on getting postponed! Now how do you tackle this? Very easy! Head to a hotel or a resort that is convenient for you to travel by road, and one that is in your budget too. This way, you don’t even spend excess time or money, and yet get a relaxing and fulfilling experience.
I did the same, and planned a short weekend staycation at the Holiday Inn Express, located in sector 50, Gurugram. Since I am based in Delhi, it was pretty convenient for me to travel to Gurgaon. And this hotel is rightly claimed to be one of the most affordable yet beautiful property in the area. I went there with few of my friends, and we all had a super fun and relaxing time.
The hotel is just adjacent to the Good Earth City Centre, and has a lot of options of shopping and eating right around the property. The location of the property adds to the convenience of the visitors for many reasons, be it travelling locally, eating, buying something from the convenience stores, salon requirements, etc.
The hotel’s staff was very welcoming and courteous, which we experience through our stay. They made sure that all their guests were having a good and comfortable stay. Be it the daytime, or odd hours in the night, they were just a call away to help us in case of any need without any delay.
The food options were multiple. They had quite a lot of cuisines on their menu, such as, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai, and few more. We tried quite a lot of dishes during our stay across various cuisines, and liked all of them. The buffet served at breakfast was also pretty elaborate with a lot of options. We enjoyed our every meal at the hotel during our staycation. And to add to this, the hotel also had a gym in case you felt guilty after eating so much of tasty food, and wanted to shed some inches 😀
The hotel was beautifully designed and the ambience was also very niche and classy. The restaurant and the lobby area were picturesque! And so were the rooms; cozy and comfortable. All the basic amenities were provided in the room and the room service department made sure we did not have to ask for anything.
So if you are travelling to Delhi anytime soon, or if you are already located in Delhi, do give Holiday Inn Express in Gurugram a try. You will love the experience and it will be worth every penny spent! Go ahead make your bookings soon J 2019-02-20

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Arizona credit card users information exposed by North Country data breach

Home Business Arizona credit card users information exposed by North Country data breach Arizona credit card users information exposed by North Country data breach About 50 restaurants and hotels identified throughout state February 19, 2019 ADI News Services 0
A data breach at a point of sales company used by many Arizona businesses may have compromised consumer’s payment card information during transactions between Jan. 3 and 24.
Customers of Dunn Brothers Coffee, Holiday Inn, Zipps Sports Grills, and other hotels and food establishments, may have been exposed in North Country Business Products’ data breach.
The company has established a dedicated assistance line for individuals seeking additional information regarding this incident, said a statement from North Country.
Consumers may call 1-877-204-9537, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In a statement released last week, the company reported that an investigator working for the company on Jan. 30 ,”determined that an unauthorized party was able to deploy malware to certain of North Country’s business partners restaurants between Jan. 3 and 24 that collected credit and debit card information. Specific information potentially accessed includes the cardholder’s name, credit card number, expiration date, and CVV.”
North Country’s Arizona vendors whose customer data was potentially exposed: Black Barts of Flagstaff, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Brookside II of Surprise, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) CCV Chandler LLC of Chandler, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/22/2019) Chutney’s Indian Cuisine of Tempe, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Collins’ Irish Pub of Flagstaff, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) The Wren at Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport of Phoenix, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Ernie’s Inn of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Forefathers of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/22/2019) Frog & Firkin of Tucson, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) GCRC Skywalk Restaurant of Peach Springs, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/23/2019) Goldie’s Sports Cafe of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch of Tucson, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Herb Box of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Holiday Inn of Chandler, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Holiday Inn of Yuma, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/22/2019) MSR Properties, LLC of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/22/2019) Isabel’s Amor of Gilbert, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/21/2019) Karichimaka of Tucson, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Holiday Inn of Phoenix, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Loco Patron of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Market Bar & Kitchen of Flagstaff, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Modern Round of Peoria, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Morenci Motel & Lanes of Morenci, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Mudshark Brewing Company of Lake Havasu City, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/22/2019) Picazzo’s Gourmet Pizza of Sedona, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/22/2019) Rancho De Tia Rosa’s of Chandler, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Salsa Brava of Flagstaff, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Sapporo of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Chai Bagel Corp of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Someburros of Flagstaff, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/11/2019) Someburros of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/11/2019) Someburros of Gilbert, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Someburros of Queen Creek, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Someburros of Tempe, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/11/2019) Someburros of Gilbert, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Someburros of Tempe, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Tucson Truck Terminal of Tucson, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Voyager RV Resort of Tucson, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Zipps Ahwatukee of Phoenix, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill of Phoenix, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill of Glendale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill of Gilbert, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill of Phoenix, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill of Scottsdale, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill (McClintock) of Tempe, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Zipps Sports Grill (Mill Avenue) of Tempe, AZ (Transactions Occurring from 1/4/2019 to 1/10/2019) Burger Jones of Burnsville, MN (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019) Chompie’s Best at University Inc of Tempe, AZ (Transactions Occurring on 1/4/2019)

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Two former Million Pound Menu stars are launching a restaurant – SquareMeal

Two former Million Pound Menu stars are launching a restaurant Two former Million Pound Menu stars are launching a restaurant They’re taking up residency at Atul Kocchar’s Hawkyns Posted on 15 February 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe If you’re an avid viewer of BBC2’s restaurant competition Million Pound Menu , then you’ll know all about husband-and-wife team Rupert and Marita, who won praise for their Bubble& concept, which updates the classic dish of bubble and squeak. Bubble&’s founders Rupert and Marita
Now, they’ve announced that they will be opening Bubble& Café Bar at Hawkyns restaurant in Amersham, which is headed up by two Michelin-starred chef Atul Kocchar. Opening on 25 February, the residency will take over the bar area of Hawkyns, and offer a menu featuring an array of dishes, starting from as little as £5 per plate.
Options to try include the Bubble& Classic, a traditional bubble and squeak with a soft poached free-range egg, smoked streaky bacon and hollandaise sauce. If you’re looking to try something a little different, you can opt for the Bubble& Pork Belly, which is served with slow-roasted pork belly, cajun bean stew, green chilli salsa verde and crackling.
It’s not all about the signature dish though, as other options from the menu include rump steak every evening, and full English breakfasts and roast beef dinners on Sundays. There will be sweet treats too, such as a hybrid sticky toffee baked Alaska, which mixes sticky toffee pudding with sticky toffee ice cream, meringue, toffee sauce and spiced oranges. Dishes will start from as little as £5
As a key investor on Million Pound Menu , renowned chef Kochhar went to see Bubble& in action at their pop-up restaurant in Manchester . He was impressed with what he saw and their modern take on an English classic, bubble and squeak. Following their winning performance, he confirmed he would invest in the venture and the Bubble& Café Bar is the result.
Atul Kochhar commented, “It’s really fantastic to see Rupert and Marita in the kitchen. They are incredibly passionate about the food they create, and they’ve developed a fantastic concept that really works – a modern version of bubble and squeak. I’m delighted to be supporting this couple and I’m looking forward to our continued collaboration.” Bubble and squeak is not the only thing on the menu
Bubble& was created by Rupert and Marita in 2013. Rupert spotted a gap in the market while working at a gastropub as head chef, believing that the much-loved dish of bubble and squeak could be as versatile as pizza or pasta. This led to the creation of Bubble&, which originally started out life as a food stall.
The main dining room at Hakwyns will continue to operate as usual, serving a menu of pan-Indian cuisine. Looking for more restaurant residencies? Check out our constantly-updated pop ups page .

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Long stay with girl in north-east. Hello friends,
I am an experienced monger from Kolkata.
I am looking for a very picturesque place anywhere in north-east to spend time with my girlfriend.
Anywhere in north east. Assam, arunachal pradesh, mizoram, sikkim, meghalaya. Off-beat location is fine.
The place must be amidst deep greenery and great views.
Place must be very safe, quiet and clean. Kind of honeymoon place. For 15-20 days. Suitable for couple. IDs will be provided. If multi-cuisine / north-indian / punjabi food is available that would be great. Total all inclusive budget for expenses including accommodation and food is around 3 K per day. Hotel or resort or lodge or BnB. Anything. Also ready on 1 month rent basis. But, the place should have great views amidst deep greenery.
Please help with the best choices of location and place of stay.
I will be pleased to reciprocate if you need any help in Kolkata.

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Top 24 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2019 events for families

Join Gradi’s renowned chef Johnny Di Francesco as he celebrates Italy with pizza, pasta, gelato, cannoli, salumi and formaggi.
There will also be live entertainment, activities for the kids plus exclusive pop-up bars for the adults.
Gradi Italian Festival , Crown Riverwalk, Southbank (03) 9292 5777 Fri 15 Mar – Sun 17 Mar Free
Enjoy a family dinner showcasing classic dishes from an Argentinian bodegón. Dishes for this event have been influenced by immigrants mainly from Spain and Italy. There’s a special children’s menu too.
Enjoy the classic flavours with some traditional beverages and tango dancing!
A Night in an Argentinian Tavern , The Independent Gembrook, Gembrook (03) 5968 1110 Fri 15 Mar 5. Sunshine Food Fever Enjoy a 3-course progressive dinner with food from Sunshine’s diverse community. First try the South Vietnamese cuisine, then Ethiopian dishes and North Indian sweets. Best for older children with some stamina in the evenings and a taste for adventure (and a bit of spice).
Sunshine Food Fever , Thuan An Restaurant 253 Hampshire Road, Sunshine Thu 14 Mar, Fri 22 Mar $51 6. The Village Feast
At The Village Feast in Jindivick pop-up stalls will line the streets offering food and drink. At the town fair, kids will be kept entertained by fairground fun and competitions while stalls will offer retro treats like snow-cones, homemade cakes and fairy floss. There’ll be barn dancing competitions, meat raffles, CWA cake competitions and live music.
On Sunday 17 March, spend the day exploring nearby towns, taking a bushwalk and visiting farmgates across Gippsland. Some farmgate tours will be offered especially for attendees of The Village Feast. To register your interest in a farmgate tour you’ll need to visit the Baw Baw Shire Council information stand at The Village Feast on Saturday 16 March.
If you like you can even stay the whole weekend in a glamping tent for 4 people. It includes two nights in an Under Sky luxury tent, a chance to see life on Gippsland Jersey’s dairy farm and participate in the morning milking, and tickets to The Village Feast.
The Village Feast Jindivick 1300 829 190 Sat 16 Mar
Fri 15 Mar – Sun 17 Mar $665 – $815 7. The Great High Tea Party
Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie is hosting an indulgent, chocolate-coated family high tea.
A free-flowing couverture chocolate fountain is the centrepiece of a buffet of specially crafted sweet and savoury treats that can be enjoyed with unlimited tea and coffee, real hot chocolate and milkshakes.
Kids activities will be hosted on the lawns and play areas, including the sweet opportunity to find a Golden Ticket and be treated like Charlie for a day.
The Great High Tea Party , Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, Bellbrae (03) 5263 1588 Sat 16 Mar – Sun 17 Mar $35 – $65 8. Pour & Picnic in the Yarra Valley
Join Medhurst Wines and Cookes Food for an indulgent and relaxing afternoon grazing table picnic overlooking the picturesque Yarra Valley hillside.
The grazing table will include slow roasted beef shin and sides of trout and an array of farmgate produce from the Yarra Valley including cheeses, seasonal vegetables and condiments.
Pour & Picnic in the Yarra Valley , Medhurst Wines Estate, Yarra Valley, (03) 9510 9443 Sat 16 Mar 9. River Feast with Karen Martini
The River Feast is a three-course lunch prepared by chef Karen Martini matched with local wines, as diners overlook the expo against the background of the picturesque Loddon River.
Afterwards, take a wander around stalls showcasing the region’s gourmet food and wine, all to a soundtrack of live music and entertainment.
Entertainment for children will include a jumping castle, face painting and roving clown.
River Feast with Karen Martini , Newbridge Recreation Reserve, Newbridge 0427 357 386 Sat 16 Mar 10. Surf Coast BBQ Block Party
Mike Patrick from Fancy Hank’s is teaming up with Igni’s Aaron Turner, Captain Moonlite’s Matt Germanchis and Elliot Moss from North Carolina’s Buxton Hall Barbecue for the best barbecue block party the Surf Coast has ever seen. Kids under 5 years are fre.
Surf Coast BBQ Block Party , Captain Moonlite, Anglesea 1300 274 753 Sat 16 Mar

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Taste the Himalayas in Carlsbad

0 likes The Lamb Momos are all that and then some. Photo by David Boylan
OK, so I should probably clarify up front that the name of the restaurant is Taste of the Himalayas (TOH) and they have several locations around San Diego. The Carlsbad location is in the center courtyard of the Carlsbad Village shops and definitely has an East Indian look and feel that stands out among the mix of touristy and more mainstream stores and restaurants in the complex.
Their website describes the cuisine as giving us “A glimpse of the inherited culture and tradition of the sub-continent and serve you the exotic flavors and authentic tastes of the finest cuisines from Nepal and India.”
I needed a refresher on the geographic area described, namely the Himalayas which is the mountain range that separates the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has some of the highest mountain peaks in the world including Mount Everest but include over 50 mountains over 23,000 feet.
Himalayan cuisine covers all ends of the Himalayan borders and includes a wide variety of flavors and ingredients. It can include Chinese, Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan favorites. Cooked lentil soup (dal) is a staple throughout the region and is brought out prior to our dishes arriving at TOH. It was an unexpected treat and so good. It was more of a pureed variety and some of the best lentil soup I’ve had anywhere. Dal with some fresh baked naan bread with some charred edges is one of those perfect dipping combinations. In fact, most of our dishes were made for dipping and scooping with naan bread so it’s good to keep plenty on hand.
As you may be aware, there is a dumpling craze happening in San Diego at the moment. I encourage you to read Troy Johnson’s recent recap in San Diego Magazine. I’m a huge fan and count the Dumpling Inn on Convoy in San Diego as one of my favorite places anywhere for them. So it was a very nice surprise to be turned on to Himalayan Momos at TOH. They are steamed dumplings with either minced veggies, lamb, chicken or a mix of any of them. We went with the lamb and, oh yeah, they are as good as they look in the photo.
Momos can now be easily found throughout the subcontinent and with obvious Chinese influences they are often compared to the popular Baoxi buns of China and also have much in common with the dumplings of Japan. Regardless, I would highly recommend them.
We also started with the Vegetable Samosa and Sadae Ko Aloo ra Kakara. The Samosa is a delectable deep-fried patties stuffed with spices and the Sadae is a salad with cucumber, potatoes and green beans that are marinated Himalayan style.
Aloo is one of the must have Himalayan foods and perfect for fans of curry. TOH has it in many varieties including one of my favorites Aloo Cauli Ko Tarkari. It combines potatoes and cauliflower with onion and tomato sauce and Himalayan spices.
One of my visits was at lunch where there is a very popular lunch combination special where you can get your choice of a limited selection of two dishes on one plate for $8.95. I found the variety more than enough and did the Chicken Chilly and Chicken Vindaloo combo and had more than enough food. The Chicken Chilly is a simple mix of chicken strips with bell pepper and onion while the Chicken Vindaloo is chicken in a fairly typical curry gravy.
It should be noted that most of the dishes are offered on a heat scale from 1-10. I went with a 5 and could not imagine going much hotter as that packed some heat. That said, my dining companion is a heat seeker and went with 7 which had him in a full on spice sweat, something he enjoys evidently.
Most of your favorite Indian staples are represented including Tandoor and Masala along with dessert favorites like Kheer, the delicious rice pudding. There are plenty of flavorful vegetarian options and the place has always been bustling when I’ve visited which is always a good sign. I’m thinking it’s my new go-to joint for that type of cuisine.
Taste of the Himalayas is located at 300 Carlsbad Village Drive Unit 106 in Carlsbad. Call (760) 696-3007 or visit http://tastethehimalayas.com . Share this

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Begin: The chic new gin-focused bar in a ‘secret spot’ at Boat Quay

Begin: The chic new gin-focused bar in a ‘secret spot’ at Boat Quay Coconuts 4 hrs ago Benita Lee Photo: Begin Of all the gin joints in all the world, Begin stands out as a secret spot on the second level of Boat Quay bar The Penny Black. There’s a good chance you’ve passed by the latter at some point in your Singapore life — it’s been touted as the country’s oldest traditional English pub — but betcha didn’t think the gritty watering hole could house a trendy “concept bar” on its same premises.
© Provided by Coconuts Media Limited The bar’s spread of food and drinks. Photo: Coconuts Media To find it, keep an eye out for the neon pink gin sign by the indoor staircase, and brush past the curtains to head upstairs, where you’ll find a completely different aesthetic. It’s rustic chic, it’s gritty industrial, and a little eclectic — it’s got all kinds of little decor details that make the space interesting to gaze at while you nurse your liquor.
© Provided by Coconuts Media Limited Cocktails and a look around the space. Photos: Coconuts Media According to the folks behind the bar, Begin’s interiors are a nod to the British Industrial Revolution and the gin craze from the 1760s to the 1850s. With a mishmash of exposed brick, concrete walls, copper pipes, multi-colored chairs, retro stools, and a psychedelic wall mural, the cozy enclave offers you a seat at the bar, next to windows that look out on the Singapore River, or on lounge chairs in nooks.
© Provided by Coconuts Media Limited The bar counter and a cozy nook. Photos: Coconuts Media Once you’re settled in, it’s time to pick the poison, your style – neat, with tonic, or in a cocktail. The bar’s collection features more than 50 varieties from across the globe, including local names like Tanglin Gin and Brass Lion Distillery.
As a quick introduction, try the gin flight ($28) of four types, each chosen for its association with its era of origins. Start with Genever, the “foundation of gin”, a basic, easy-to-drink bottle of malt wine and juniper, before you move on to Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, referred to here as “Britain’s discovery of ‘Dutch courage’,” with notes of gingerbread and orange peel.
© Provided by Coconuts Media Limited Gin flight. Photo: Begin Next up, Tanqueray London Dry Gin, the most potent of the bunch with a hint of licorice, repping the first gin renaissance. To end off, a familiar name: Hendrick’s, mentioned here as part of the second gin renaissance for its part in stirring up the return of numerous other small bespoke brands.
© Provided by Coconuts Media Limited Bar bites. Photo: Coconuts Media For minimal alcoholic damage, pair your booze with British-Indian cuisine done up in small plates like the Samboo-sa Pasties ($11/three, a tandoori masala chicken curry pastry-like puff), Nacho Del Goa ($15/five, with butter chicken sauce on grilled prawns and tiny papadums), or Crab Bomb-a ($13/five, crab curry in a crisp shell).
If you’re more of a cocktail person, try the concoctions, which come with their own little presentations that may or may not distract you from the taste. The signature curry- and clove-spiced tequila mix Jagmohan ($25) is served on a platter with the aroma of spices wafting your way from dry ice, a chutney dip, and a couple fried crisps that, sadly, look like they’ve been drowned in oil.
© Provided by Coconuts Media Limited Jagmohan. Photo: Begin Meanwhile, the stereotypically “girly” floral drink here is Lavender ($25), which comes in a glass jar à la Beauty and the Beast , cloaked by dried lavender-scented smoke, which dissipates to reveal a blend of butterfly pea-infused gin, coconut water, and elderflower. It’s a familiar flavor, and pleasant enough to the palate.
Matcha maniacs can sample the Yukie ($22), a citrusy, creamy combination of gin, fennel, matcha, and lemon that allows you to sip on one side for its egg white froth, and the other for a dusting of green tea. Otherwise, sit back and watch the glowing blaze of Koko ($23), which features cocoa-infused rum, espresso, and orange liqueur, with a dehydrated orange cup that bursts into flames when the server lights the splash of absinthe on fire.
© Provided by Coconuts Media Limited Koko, Yukie, and Lavender. Photos: Begin Style over substance, you ask? Perhaps a smidge. The cocktails are decent, though — and who doesn’t love a good show on a night out?
Begin
is at 27A Boat Quay, second floor of The Penny Black.
6538-0584. Mon-Sat 5pm-1am.
MRT: Raffles Place
This article, Begin: The chic new gin-focused bar in a ‘secret spot’ at Boat Quay , originally appeared on Coconuts , Asia’s leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!

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