The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Kandy, Sri Lanka (2019)
The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Kandy, Sri Lanka (2019)
Travel Tips HOW TO APPLY FOR AN ETA TO SRI LANKA
Applying for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) to Sri Lanka was super fast and easy. Everything is done online and my Tourist ETA was emailed to me within minutes of submitting the application and making payment. You can check my post on applying for an ETA to Sri Lanka for a step-by-step process. KANDY AT A GLANCE
Located less than three hours northeast of Colombo, the historic city of Kandy is the capital of the Central province of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the Sinhala Kingdom , a monarchy that flourished for over 2,300 years until it was ended by colonial rule and absorbed by the British Empire in 1815.
A popular pilgrimage site, Kandy is regarded as a holy city and is home to The Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), one of the most sacred places of worship in Buddhism. It’s a key religious site not just in Sri Lanka, but in the entire Buddhist world. Because of its historic and religious significance, Kandy was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and is often referred to as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. BEST TIME TO VISIT
Sri Lanka experiences two monsoon seasons – Yala and Maha. The Yala monsoon season happens around May till August and affects the southwestern part of the country. The Maha monsoon season goes from October till January and affects the northeastern parts of Sri Lanka. Kandy is located towards the center of the island and will be affected by both monsoon seasons to some degree, bad not as badly as coastal cities.
I went in early November and didn’t experience much rain in Kandy, but I did see a lot of rain in Sigiriya and Ella. I got stuck on Lion Rock in Sigiriya during a heavy downpour and I experienced rain everyday in Ella that kept me indoors for much of the time. It sucked.
If you can, then it’s best to go sometime between mid-January and March as this is typically the driest time of the year in Kandy and the rest of the country in general.
JAN-APR: In terms of the weather, this is the best time of the year to visit Kandy. The weather is dry and mostly pleasant, especially in February and March. Central Sri Lanka is known for its hiking trails and other outdoor attractions so going when the weather is driest would be ideal.
MAY-SEPT: As described, this is Yala monsoon season in Sri Lanka. It doesn’t rain as heavily in Kandy yet but you can expect more rain.
OCT-DEC: This is Maha monsoon season and the wettest time of the year in Kandy. As described, I went in early November and though I was lucky not to see heavy rain, it was overcast everyday with light showers throughout the day. Climate: Annual Monthly Weather in Kandy
For more on Kandy’s weather, check out these climate graphs from timeanddate.com . I’ve also created average temperature and annual rainfall graphs with the most ideal months to visit marked in orange.
Annual Rainfall TRAVELING TO KANDY
Kandy is located in central Sri Lanka. There are many ways to get there depending on where you are, though the majority of tourists will probably be coming from either Colombo or Ella. It’s common to visit Sri Lanka’s most popular destinations on a loop, either going clockwise or counterclockwise from Colombo. From Colombo Fort
Colombo is where most people will be coming from when they visit Kandy. After flying in to Sri Lanka, they’ll spend a day or two in the capital before taking the 2.5-3 hr train ride to Kandy.
I booked my ticket through Visit Sri Lanka Tours over thirty days in advance. You can follow the link for a timetable. If you can, then I suggest reserving as early as possible. This route isn’t as popular as Kandy-Ella but it’s still a good idea to book early. Another popular and reputable site to purchase Sri Lanka train tickets is 12Go Asia .
For this Colombo-Kandy leg, you’ll have three classes to choose from – 1st, 2nd, and observation. Based on people’s recommendations, I went with observation class for GBP 11 which is the car pictured below. Jump to the TRAVEL TIPS section on these different train classes and which one you should pick. From Ella
One of Sri Lanka’s most popular attractions isn’t actually a place, but a train ride. This Ella-Kandy leg (and vice-versa) has often been called the most beautiful train ride in the world . It’s a 6-7 hr journey that takes you through a lush mountainous terrain with tea plantations as far as the eye can see. This is by far the most popular train route in Sri Lanka and the most difficult to book, so it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you reserve early. Again, you can read about my experience booking train tickets in Sri Lanka in the TRAVEL TIPS section.
Like the Colombo Fort – Kandy route, I booked this leg on the Visit Sri Lanka Tours website, but you can also purchase tickets from 12Go Asia . There are two departures from Ella to Kandy everyday, at 6:40AM and 9:24M. On Visit Sri Lanka Tours, 1st class costs GBP 14 while second class goes for GBP 13. If it’s your first time experiencing this train ride, then it’s best to take 2nd class .
I started from Colombo so I took the Kandy-Ella route. If you’re going counterclockwise on the tourist loop, then you’ll be going from Ella to Kandy.
NOTE: There are other ways to get to Kandy from either Colombo or Ella but train travel is widely considered to be the best. Buses may be cheaper but they won’t be as comfortable. I rode buses going between Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy and the rides were always bumpy and crowded. Plus, there’s no luggage compartment on these public buses so you can’t take large pieces of luggage with you.
If you’re going straight to Kandy from Bandaranaike International Airport, then one option would be to book a private transfer . It’s more expensive but it’ll save you the trouble of having to go to Colombo Fort train station first. Bandaranaike International Airport isn’t actually in Colombo but in Negombo, about an hour north of the capital city.
Regardless of how you get to Kandy, train travel is such a big part of the Sri Lanka experience that you should definitely experience it on your first trip to the country. As advised, the most popular routes sell out quickly, even during low season, so it’s VERY IMPORTANT to reserve your seat as early as possible. Jump to the TRAVEL TIPS section of this guide for more details. From Other Cities
I focused on Colombo and Ella because most travelers will be coming from either place to get to Kandy. If you’re coming from somewhere else, then you can check 12Go Asia for available transportation options. link or use the widget below. WHERE TO EXCHANGE CURRENCY
The unit of currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). Kandy won’t be your port of entry into Sri Lanka so you’ll probably already have LKR with you. I’ve often read that the best place to exchange currency is at Bandaranaike International Airport so that’s what I did. I exchanged enough to last me my entire trip.
But if you need to exchange currency in Kandy, then the best place to do it is at a bank or a licensed currency exchange office. You can check Google Maps for a list of banks and licensed money changers in downtown Kandy .
Another option is to withdraw LKR from an ATM. Rates are competitive. Some people say ATM rates can even be better. Just make sure you tell your bank you’ll be using your ATM card overseas so you don’t run into any issues. In my experience, my card works in some machines but not in others.
NOTE: Some ATM machines may ask if you’d like to proceed “with or without conversion”. NEVER proceed “with conversion” because this leads to unfavorable rates. Instead, choose “without conversion” so the local bank in your country does the conversion. Based on this article on Medium , the difference can often be as high as 10%. BEST AREAS TO STAY
The way I see it, there are three ideal areas to stay for first-time visitors to Kandy. The downtown area puts you closest to restaurants, tourist attractions, and the train station but it’s also the busiest and noisiest part of town. If you’d like to have more peace and quiet, then you might want to stay a little farther away by the lake or in the Anniewatta area.
I’ve created the color-coded map below to help you visualize where all these recommended areas are: (Please note that marked areas are approximations only)
GREEN – Anniewatta BLUE – Kandy Lakeside ANNIEWATTA: Bernard’s AirBnB
This is where I stayed when I visited Kandy. It’s a more peaceful suburban area that’s higher up on a hill and offers great views of the city. My AirBnB hosts made me a delicious Sri Lankan breakfast everyday which I’d enjoy on their rooftop terrace surrounded by trees and troops of passing monkeys hoping to share in my meal.
Anniewata is a large area so I suggest staying closer to the eastern half of the section marked in green in the map above. That way you don’t have to walk too far to get to the city center. I stayed in that eastern half and it would take me about 10-15 minutes to walk to the downtown area. No worries if you don’t like to walk as plenty of tuk-tuks pass by the main road.
I booked a room in Bernard’s home on AirBnB . He, his wife, and their staff are lovely people who really went out of their way to make my stay as comfortable as possible. I enjoyed my time there and would be happy to recommend them. But if you’d like to see what else is available in the Anniewatta area, then can do so on AirBnB and Agoda . If you’re new to AirBnB, then you can get up to USD 43 free travel credit when you sign up via this link .
Approximate Room Rate: USD 40 per night (as of May 2019) DOWNTOWN KANDY
As described, this is the most convenient area to stay in Kandy as it puts you close to everything. But as with any city center, it may not be the most pleasant. But if you want to be close to restaurants and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic , then this is where you should stay. You can search for accommodations in the downtown Kandy area on AirBnB . Again, if you’re new to AirBnB, then you can get up to USD 43 free travel credit by signing up through this link . KANDY LAKESIDE
This area offers terrific view of Kandy Lake, especially at night . I passed through the area fronting the lake on my way to Helga’s Folly , and I saw many trendy hotels along the way. Like Anniewatta, it’s higher up in the hills so I think it might be a prime area because of the views. You can search for accommodations here on AirBnB and Agoda . As described, AirBnB newies can get up to USD 43 free travel credit when you sign up via this link . THINGS TO DO 1. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
As described, the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is one of the most sacred places of worship in Buddhism and a big reason why Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s said to house the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. According to Sri Lankan legend, when the Buddha died in 543 BC, his body was cremated and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre. A belief then grew that whoever possessed the tooth relic had a divine right to rule that land.
The Temple of the Tooth is located inside the royal palace complex. Through the tunnel pictured below is the inner shrine where the tooth relic is kept. I wasn’t there at the right time but a daily ritual service called tevava is held there three times a day. If you’re lucky, then you may just get a glimpse of the jewelled casket containing the sacred tooth relic. This was taken on the second floor of the temple. On that long table was a mound of fresh flowers left by devotees to honor the sacred tooth relic. I was here mid-afternoon but I read that evening is the best time to visit the Temple of the Tooth. Aside from getting a chance to see the casket during tevava, the temple is lit up and looks most dramatic at night.
If you have a particular interest in the tooth relic, then July/August would be a great time to visit Kandy. That’s when the grand 10-day Esala Perahera Festival is held. Suggested Length of Visit: About 2-3 hours / Admission: LKR 1,500 2. Take a Stroll Around Kandy Lake
Kandy Lake is an artificial lake situated right next to the Temple of the Tooth. It’s a beautiful area and a great place to go for a stroll before or after visiting the temple. Suggested Length of Visit: About 2-3 hours 3. Have Dinner at Helga’s Folly
I think this is the first time I can add a place into the where to stay, what to do, and where to eat sections of a travel guide.
Helga’s Folly is a hotel in the jungle hills of Kandy. It’s one of the strangest hotels I’ve ever been to and without a doubt the most unique hotel in the city. Characterized by eclectic furnishings like candelabras covered in decades of wax, nearly every square inch of the hotel is covered in murals, mostly by the hand of its eccentric socialite owner Helga De Silva Blow Perera. Check out my post on Helga’s Folly for more pictures and information.
I didn’t stay at Helga’s Folly but I had dinner here one night so I could see the hotel for myself. Though interesting as a hotel, I think it’s a little too far from the city center to be practical for many travelers. Suggested Length of Visit: 2-3 hours / Cost of Set Dinner: USD 20 per person 4. Enjoy the Greenery at Udawattakele Forest Reserve
Udawattakele is a protected forest reserve and sanctuary just north of the Temple of the Tooth . It covers an area of 104 hectares (257 acres) and is home to an extensive array of birds, plants, trees, giant lianas, and small mammals. None of the hiking trails are difficult so you can easily cover the entire reserve in a couple of hours or so. Suggested Length of Visit: 2-3 hours / Admission: LKR 662 5. Watch a Kandyan Dance Performance
If you’re in the mood for a cultural experience in Kandy, then watching a Kandyan dance performance is one of the best things you can do. It’s regarded as Sri Lanka’s primary cultural export and covers a wide range of dance forms, many of which are native to Kandy.
There are a few venues where you can watch a Kandyan dance performance, but I read that one of the best is held at the Kandy Lake Club from 5-6PM everyday. Length of Show: 1 hr / Admission: LKR 1,000PHOTO: “ Kandyan Dancer ” by Ronald Tagra , used under CC BY 2.0 / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom, removed watermark 6. Unwind & Enjoy the Views
Kandy City is surrounded by hills on all sides so there are plenty of vantage points to enjoy the view. If you stay in elevated areas, then you’ll be treated to views like this one. As previously mentioned, I stayed at an AirBnB in the Anniewatta area and enjoyed this view every morning over a home-cooked breakfast. When I had to work on my laptop, my hosts would prepare a full pot of hot tea and biscuits for me. It was one of the highlights of my stay in Kandy. Here’s a night view of Kandy Lake from a viewing point en route to Helga’s Folly . In this area are many hotels with views as beautiful as this one. SIDE TRIPS FROM KANDY
Kandy makes for a great base to visit other places of interest in Central Sri Lanka. Here are some of the most popular. 1. Sigiriya (Lion Rock)
Sigiriya or Lion Rock is an ancient rock fortress sitting on top of a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft) high. To get there, you have to climb about 1,200 steps first. But not to worry, there are plenty of opportunities to rest and the views from the top are absolutely spectacular and worth every step. Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most popular attractions.
Sigiriya is located about three hours north of Kandy in northern Matale District, near Dambulla. Though it’s near enough to visit on a day trip from Kandy, it may be best to do it on an overnight trip so you can visit Dambulla Cave Temple and Polonnaruwa as well. That’s what I did. I took a minibus to Dambulla and stayed the night near Sigiriya before taking a bus to Polonnaruwa the next day and heading back to Kandy at night. Full details to come in a separate guide.
Sigiriya is easy enough to visit on your own but if you’d rather go on a guided tour, then you can check out this one on Klook . It’s a 12-hr day tour that takes you to Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa from Kandy.
NOTE: This picture was obviously taken with a drone. It’s legal to fly drones in Sri Lanka but you’ll need to get a permit first. Jump to the TRAVEL TIPS section of this guide Estimated Time Needed: About 3-4 hrs / Admission: USD 30 2. Dambulla Cave Temple
Before climbing up Sigiriya , I visited Dambulla Cave Temple first. It’s the biggest and most well-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Like Sigiriya, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on top of a large rock about 160 meters (525 ft) above the ground. It’s a beautiful network of caves noted for its 153 Buddha statues and intricate murals covering an area of about 2,100 square meters (23,000 sq ft). Note the gorgeous murals on the ceiling. They look almost like hand-painted fabrics.
Dambulla is less than half an hour south of Sigiriya so I suggest visiting this cave temple first, soon as you arrive by bus from Kandy. You can then climb up Lion Rock later in the afternoon when it isn’t as hot. Estimated Time Needed: About 2-3 hrs / Admission: LKR 1,500 3. Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa is an archaeological site located about an hour-and-a-half east of Dambulla. It served as the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. Like Sigiriya and Dambulla Cave Temple , Polonnaruwa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the best planned archaeological relic cities in the country. If you like visiting archaeological sites like Angkor Wat , Bagan, or My Son Sanctuary , then you’ll have fun exploring Polonnaruwa by bicycle.
You can take a 4-hr bus from Kandy to Polonnaruwa. I was already in Sigiriya so I took a bus from Dambulla instead. Buses between Dambulla and Polonarruwa run frequently and takes about an hour and a half. Just be sure to tell the conductor where to get off for Polonnaruwa, otherwise you’ll wind up at Kaduruwela bus station which is about 5 km away. Again, I’ll describe it in more detail in a separate guide.
If you’d rather not bother with public transportation, then you can visit Polonnaruwa on this guided day tour with Klook . It’ll take you to Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa from Kandy. Estimated Time Needed: About 4-5 hrs / Admission: USD 25 4. Knuckles Mountain Range
Most first-time visitors to Sri Lanka will probably do the majority of their hiking in Ella, but if you’re really into hiking and want to challenge yourself, then you may want to spend a day or two in the Knuckles mountain range. It’s less than two hours northeast of Kandy and is home to some of the most scenic but toughest hiking trails in the country. My AirBnB host and his family spent a couple of nights there while I was staying with them in Kandy. Check out this hiker’s guide to Knuckles
Based on this TripAdvisor thread , you can take a bus from Kandy to Mahiyangana and get off at Hunasgiriya. From there, you can take a tuk-tuk to the Knuckles Range Conservation Centre. People say it’s possible to go on a day trip but you may want to stay the night to fully appreciate the area. For your safety, be sure to hire a guide no mater your skill level.
If you’d rather go on an organized day trip, then you can book this 12-hr Knuckles day tour from Kandy . Estimated Time Needed: Full dayPHOTO: “ knuckles range ” by Claire Rowland , used under CC BY 2.0 / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom
NOTE: There are other places you can visit on a day or overnight trip from Kandy, like Nuwara Eliya. But that’s south of Kandy and along the famous Kandy to Ella train route. It’s closer to Ella than it is to Kandy so it makes more sense to stop there on your way to or from Ella. For the purpose of this guide, I focused only on the places that are located to the north of Kandy and best visited from Kandy. WHERE TO EAT 1. Soya Food Centre
Nearly every “where to eat” list in Kandy recommended this place so it was the very first place I went to after checking in to my AirBnB. Located in the YMCA building, the Soya Centre is a Kandy institution offering strictly vegetarian products, all of which are made from soya beans.
Pictured on the left is the soya roti which is one of the most popular items at Soya Centre. I got one of that and a smaller roll that was breaded and deep-fried. If no one told me this didn’t contain any meat, then I wouldn’t have believed them. It tasted just like a chorizo roll. It was deceptively delicious and something I wouldn’t mind having all the time. The smaller roll had a filling similar to this one except it was crunchier because of the breaded coating. No matter what dish anyone starts with here, everyone ends with a cone of soft serve soy ice cream. It’s clearly the shop’s most popular item. It’s surprisingly delicious considering it isn’t made with any dairy. Soya Food Centre is located in the YMCA building in downtown Kandy. It’s a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee so if you’re looking for delicious and affordable healthy food, then this is one of the best places you can go. Getting one each of the soya roti and ice cream will cost you just a little over one US dollar. Expect to Spend: LKR 200 for soy roti and ice cream 2. The Empire Cafe
Located just a short walk from the Temple of the Tooth , the Empire Cafe is a stylish restaurant offering a range of Sri Lankan and western dishes. One of their specialties is the Sri Lankan national dish of rice and curry. It’s served with chicken or fish and 2-3 vegetable curries along with papadum (crispy flatbread), pol sambol (coconut condiment), and mallung (vegetables with coconut). It was delicious and something you need to have at least once in Sri Lanka. The Empire cafe is located inside the Olde Empire Hotel. Like Soya Food Centre, it’s also a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee and popular with both locals and tourists alike. It appears to be one of a series of restaurants operated by the same group in Sri Lanka. Expect to Spend: LKR 490 for Sri Lankan rice and curry 3. Balaji Dosai
Balaji Dosai is a chain of vegetarian restaurants offering Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine. As their name suggests, they specialize in dosas which are pancake-like dishes made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram. You can get it plain or stuffed with a variety of ingredients like cheese, onion, and mushroom.
I had the masala dosa which was stuffed with potato, leeks, and spices. It was served with a side of sambar (lentil stew) and chutneys. I went to the branch near my AirBnB in Anniewatta but there’s one near the Temple of the Tooth as well. Balaji Dosai it also a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee. Expect to Spend: Between LKR 120-600 for dosas 4. BUONO
I needed a place to work one day and I was so happy I found this place. BUONO is a cafe that offers coffee, tea, smoothies, a few sandwiches, and dessert. I had a veggie mushroom burger and a papaya smoothie, both of which were delicious. BUONO serves breakfast as well so you might want to start here before heading off to the Temple of the Tooth or Kandy Lake . A nice cup of cappuccino to power me up while I wrote an article for a client. I love this digital nomadic life. BUONO is in downtown Kandy so it can be a be a little hard to spot. Do you need that brown BUONO sign on the left? Follow the arrow on the sign to see another sign just like it on the right. BUONO is on the second floor. Like everything on this list so far, it’s also a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee. Starting to notice a pattern here? Expect to Spend: LKR 920 for a veggie burger, smoothie, and cappucino 5. Biger Bites
After several days of vegetarian fare, I was craving for something meaty and grilled. I usually do research and plan every meal in advance, but when I walked past this Pakistani restaurant grilling chicken over coals by the side of the road, I had to break protocol. I ordered grilled chicken barbecue and two pieces of butter garlic naan. Yes, it was every bit as delicious as it looks. Few things in life elicit as much joy as a glistening, freshly baked piece of naan bread. My god was this good. These guys really know what they’re doing. Grilling so close to the street like that, how can anyone resist?! Expect to Spend: LKR 390 for chicken bbq (1/4) and butter garlic naan POINTS OF INTEREST IN KANDY
To make it easier for you to understand where everything is in relation to one another, I’ve pinned most of the places recommended in this guide on this map. HOW TO GET AROUND
Kandy is a relatively small city. Aside from Colombo, it’s bigger than any other city I visited in Sri Lanka but not big enough to make it impossible to get around on foot . You can explore most of the major sites by walking but be prepared to do a lot of it. This is hill country so you’ll often be walking up and down inclines. I stayed in the elevated Anniewatta area and had to walk up and down a hill everyday.
If you don’t like to walk or have mobility issues, then you can get around by tuk-tuk . There are a lot of them all over the city. The only problem is, tuk-tuks in Kandy don’t have the best reputation. You can refer to this TripAdvisor thread to see what I mean.
There’s a Sri Lankan transportation app called PickMe ( iOS | Android ). I’ve read mixed reviews about it, that it works better in some cities than in others. I didn’t use it in Kandy but I did try it in Ella without much luck. I think it works better in bigger cities like Colombo or Kandy. In any case, I suggest downloading the app anyway because it can tell you approximately how much a trip should cost. Knowing that will help you negotiate. As a general rule of thumb, I read that tuk-tuk rides in Kandy should cost you LKR 50 for the first km , then around LKR 40 for every subsequent km .
I took a tuk-tuk just once during my entire stay in Kandy. I took it to Helga’s Folly which is over 4 km uphill from the city center. I paid LKR 600 each way. I may have been taken for a ride. HOW MANY DAYS TO STAY / SAMPLE ITINERARY
Kandy isn’t that big so you can actually visit its top attractions in a day. With that said, it makes a great base for side trips to Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa. If you plan on visiting those destinations, then I suggest planning to stay for at least three full days in Kandy. I stayed for three and a half and had plenty of extra leisure time. Here’s a 3D/4N Kandy itinerary to help you plan your trip.
NOTE: If you’re traveling with big pieces of luggage, then it may be a good idea to keep your accommodations in Kandy while you’re on an overnight trip to Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa. This is why I’m suggesting staying in Kandy for 3D/4N. Public buses won’t let you take large pieces of luggage onboard so it’s best to leave them in Kandy and just bring a smaller overnight bag with you. DAY ONE • Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic • Kandy Lake
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Paaspop/Easter Doll, has been going since 1974 and has grown year on year. It went from a friendly regional festival to an internationally recognisable three-day event. Last year 83,000 people more Event Details
Paaspop/Easter Doll, has been going since 1974 and has grown year on year. It went from a friendly regional festival to an internationally recognisable three-day event. Last year 83,000 people attended Passpop to see 230 different acts, on 14 different stages. They also got to try 42 different food trucks, offering a variety of different cuisines from all over the world.
Paaspop has seen acts such as Iggy Pop, Bastille, Nothing But Thieves, The Prodigy, Underworld, Kaiser Chiefs, The Kooks, Fatboy Slim, The Wombats and many more. So, who is going to be there this year?
25 Years Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo • 2manydjs DJ Set • 4shobangers • 80’s Verantwoord • Aap uit de Mouw • Abba Fever • Alex Agnew • The All Star Gary Moore Tribute Band • All Them Witches • Amartey • Amyl And The Sniffers • Arie & Silvester • Atmozfears • Baby Blue • Bizzey • Black Water County • Blood Red Shoes • Brennan Heart • Camo & Krooked • Circus Brothers • Claw Boys Claw • Clean Bandit • Comeback Kid • D-Block & S-te-Fan • D-Sturb • Daddy Long Legs • DAISY • Daniel Caldèras & the Shrunken Big Band ft. Benjamin Herman • Davina Michelle • De Hofnar • De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig • De Lievelings DJ’s van je Zusje • De Staat • The Devil Makes Three • DeWolff • The Dirty Daddies • Donnie & Joost • Dopebwoy • Douwe Bob • Dr Phunk • Dropkick Murphys • Drunken Dolly • EAUXMAR • Ellen Ten Damme • Famke Louise • FATA BOOM • Fiesta Macumba Soundsystem • Flonti Stacks • For I Am King • Freddy Moreira • Frenna • The Gaslamp Killer • GENTA • Handrick • Hannah Williams & The Affirmations • Heavy Hoempa plays Iron Maiden • Hef • Heideroosjes • HENGE • Herrie met Gerrie • Ho99o9 • Idaly • IDLES • Ilse DeLange • Indian Askin • Jailhouse Jimmy • Jameszoo • Jarreau Vandal • Jeangu Macrooy • Jett Rebel • Jiri11 • JoeyAK • Johnny 500 • Jordymone9 • Kovacs • Kraantje Pappie • Kris Kross Amsterdam • La Fuente • LNY TNZ • Louder Than Love • Louder Than Love (Soundgarden tribute) • Lukas Graham • MADUK hosted by Ben Verse • Mash-Up Jack • Mate Power • Merol • Mia More • Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions • Mike Krol • Mike Williams • Mr. Belt & Wezol • Mula B • NAFTHALY RAMONA • Navarone • Nervana • Nicole Atkins • Nielson • Noisia DJ Set • NOMA$ • Nona • Novastar • Ooostblok • Oscar and the Wolf • Passenger • Pendulum DJ Set • Phuture Noize • Ploegendienst • Plunder • Poke • Prime • Puinhoop Kollektiv – The Final Weekend Tour • Puri • Que Pasa! • Ran-D • Rondé • Ronnie Flex & Deuxperience • Rowwen Hèze • Russkaja • S10 • Sam Feldt LIVE • Scooter • Sevn Alias • Singlefeestje • Sir Reg • Sjaak • Sjannies • SMP • Snelle • Son Mieux • Stahlzeit • The Stand-Up Club • The Stand-Up Club • Steel Panther • T & Sugah b2b NCT • Tabanka • TAPE TOY • Ten Times A Million • Terry Alderton • Thijs Boontjes Dans- en Showorkest • Tim Akkerman Sings The Boss • Tim Knol & The Blue Grass Boogiemen • Trobi • Tusky • The Vintage Caravan • Vinylfeestje • Waxfiend • The Wetnecks • White Lies • Winne • Within Temptation • Yonaka • Young Ellens • Yung Felix • Yungblud • Zer00’s Heroes Tickets
The food is amazing and service toon Especially the staff members chandra and receptionist. The taste food is amazing also the variety is also good from indian to chinese you can find all cuisines. Will definately come again
Epic channel gives its popular series ‘lost recipes’ a second season
Epic channel gives its popular series ‘lost recipes’ a second season Aditya Bal To Continue Reviving India’s Culinary Heritage 29 Mar, 2019 – 02:18 EPIC Channel has announced the second season of its popular food show ‘Lost Recipes’ hosted by celebrity chef Aditya Bal. In the first season, the renowned chef and author travelled extensively around the country in search of recipes and food preparations that have quietly been forgotten over time. Dishes such as Mutanjan- Sweet Chicken Pulao, Houk Sun-Curry or Sun Dried Vegetables, Bevina Hoovina Payasa- Neem Flower Payasam, Painda-E-Khas – special stuffed game birds; and many more were revived from their slumber.
The 10 episode second season will see him, once again, walk down the forgotten road of culinary traditions that have been lost, forgotten, or simply neglected. Straight from the traditional kitchens that stand like tiny oasis of food memory, this season will explore dishes from Hampi, Vizag, Darjeeling, Bodhgaya, and Maharashtra, among others. Accompanying the cooking, shall come alive tales steeped in history and folklore.
Commenting on anchoring a second season, host Aditya Bal said “I had an amazing time shooting for Season 1 of the show where so many delicious dishes were revived. As a chef, I’ve always felt that the history and heritage of a dish makes it all the more interesting. I’m looking forward to making more discoveries in Season 2, after all some of the most iconic times in our history go hand in hand with food.”
Lost Recipes S2 is sponsored by “India Gate Basmati Rice” and soon will be announcing more sponsors. The show will be aired in June 2019 on EPIC Channel for its viewers.
EPIC Channel has previously showcased an impressive array of food-related shows. ‘Tyohaar Ki Thaali’ hosted by popular actress Sakshi Tanwar, that celebrated festive Indian dishes; ‘Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaaniyaan’, a unique food-travel show and ‘Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha’, where celebrity chef Ranveer Brar rediscovers recipes and experiments with Indian cuisine.
As per the new TRAI tariff structure, EPIC Channel is now available for a cost of Rs.2 per month. tags
Finding art and antiques in New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana, known as the “Big Easy,” is famed for fun, food, festivities, and letting the good times roll. Its unique blend of French, Spanish, African, and European culture draws visitors from around the world.
New Orleans, though founded by the French, came under Spanish rule in 1763. Until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it welcomed Cajuns, French-speaking refugees from Acadia (today the Canadian Maritime Provinces), French-speaking Haitian immigrants, Europeans, and people of color, along with large numbers of African slaves. Afterwards, Americans, free people of color, and Creoles, people of Franco-Spanish descent, also arrived. Shopping New Orleans for antiques
New Orleans’ unique boutiques, shops, and galleries, famed for their fine jewelry, fashion, furniture, funky art, and one-of-a-kind antiques, reflect this rich past. The historic French Quarter, bound by the Mississippi River and boasting architecture from the Spanish era, hosts many of the city’s finest antique stores. Pair of large, regal, hand-crafted, bronze-mounted Sèvres vases featuring mythological scenes with Neoclassical-style ormolu mounts, signed “A. Nicolas” within each painted scene, ca. 1860, 48 1/4” high. Courtesy rauantiques.com Rare, prize-winning, tiered desk incorporating five drawers and a pigeonhole, with fine rosewood trellis marquetry, cast doré bronze mounts, elegant clock, supple leather-covered top, and four candleholders, marked “MILLET,” 44” wide x 28” deep x 45 3/8” high, Theodore Millet of Maison Millet, Paris, ca. 1885. Courtesy rauantiques.com Remarkably rare, elaborate Louis XV royal presentation sword, adorned with numerous royal and gilt marine embellishments and crowned head of Neptune, Roman god of the sea, silver, marked SHF, designed by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier, crafted by Thomas Germain, l. 37”, blade l. 31”, ca. 1730, provenance known. Courtesy rauantiques.com M.S. Rau Antiques Incredible Spanish, embossed, chased, silver-gilt monstrance, featuring rising octagonal temple enclosing the Mater Dolorosa below the crucified Christ, with four ceremonial bells, illegibly marked on the base and three panels, 8 3/4” square x 24 1/2” high, 5630 grams, ca. 1550. Courtesy rauantiques.com
M.S. Rau Antiques, a spacious landmark for over a century, for example, has earned the trust of discerning antique collectors from around the world. It is famed for its remarkable collections of fine art and exquisite jewelry, as diverse as diamond and emerald bracelets, untreated Burma rubies, and black opal rings. In addition to stunning Spanish antiques, which reflect the city’s early history, Rau offers exceptional 18th- and 19th-century items from around the world. These typically command a broad range of prices.
Whether seeking a 16th-century Spanish silver-gilt monstrance, a Pablo Picasso painting, a Louis XV royal presentation sword, a royal jeweled and inlaid walking stick, or that perfect pink diamond ring, visitors will likely find it here. In addition, Rau’s highly trained staff, sales employees, and research associates are second to none.
M.S. Rau’s greatest treasures, however, are hidden in a secret gallery behind a door painted to resemble a bookcase. It houses a treasure trove of rare, important, museum-quality art and artifacts — some whose prices extend into the 7-figure range.
Here, serious customers, escorted by requisite sales consultants or gallery employees, introduce prized one-of-a-kind treasures like paintings by Pissaro, Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Norman Rockwell, Napoleon’s bronze death mask, 18th-century furniture made by Thomas Chippendale, fine sculptural work, and furnishings that have graced palaces around the world. The Brass Monkey
On the other hand, The Brass Monkey, located just a few blocks away, offers shoppers an intriguing assortment of distinctive, affordable gifts, tiny antiques, and quirky collectibles. Vintage walking sticks and medical instruments, for example, nestle beside slot machines, gently used jewelry, and sunglasses.
Bright, hand crafted Halcyon Days enamels, European reproductions, and English Staffordshire porcelain vie with vintage Venetian glass and delicate Limoges porcelain figurines and trinket boxes — their specialty.
This delightful shop carries tempting, locally made chocolate truffles as well. J.H. Cohen & Sons
J.H. Cohen & Sons, located on Royal Street in the French Quarter, has been a history buff’s heaven since 1898. This museum-like, family-owned emporium specializes in priceless, vintage gold and silver coins, paper currency, stocks and bonds, maps, knives.
It also carries antique swords, French dueling pistols, war memorabilia (Revolutionary, 1812, and Civil War firearms), miniature lead soldiers, campaign buttons, and exquisite estate jewelry. Louisiana Music Factory Louisiana Music Factory record store, Frenchmen Street, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Music, the soul of New Orleans, has celebrated hope and despair, love and life for generations. These days, Rhythm and Blues, Afro-Caribbean chants, Mardi Gras Indian, funk, Cajun swamp rock, and Zydeco strains rock local bars, clubs, and dance halls, inspiring revelers to high-step, bop, boogie, and shake booty.
Many of these modern genres, however, are based on earlier musical traditions. Enthusiasts of historic harmonies will find new and used ragtime, blues, swing, Dixieland, big band, gospel, and vintage jazz vinyls, videos, albums, and CDs at the Louisiana Music Factory, just outside the French Quarter. Moreover, this musical oasis not only celebrates local artists, but also hosts live performances. Shop Magazine Street
Magazine Street, which parallels the Mississippi through some of the city’s most historic areas, boasts countless cafes and coffee shops, havens beckoning weary shoppers to indulge in local treats like tarts, croissants, and beignets, alongside cups of café au lait. Magazine Street also features six miles of enticing antique shops. Magazine Street by Richard Nowitz, Courtesy New Orleans & Company, www.neworleans.com
Aux Belles Choses , for instance, specializes in treasures old and new, personally chosen from shops, boutiques, and flea markets that dot the English and French countryside.
This shop, fragrant with an abundance of scented soaps, dried flowers, and lots of lavender, carries collectible plates, vintage linens, fabric napkins and tablecloths, silver-plated cutlery, and attractive pieces of enamelware. Aux Belles Choses also markets appealing, vintage biscuit barrels, cake stands, jelly molds, mixing bowls, fly catchers, and bottle carriers — perfect gifts for grandmas.
Balzac Antiques , located a few steps away, offers exceptionally elegant, curated 17th, 18th, and early 19th century European period pieces famed for their fine detail and quality design. Though many may initially seem simple, closer inspection often reveals high levels of sophistication.
All items, whether a polychrome 19th century Italian hall bench, a Louis XV style chinoiserie inkwell, or a walnut music stand with extending candle holder, are thoroughly examined and researched. Yet to discerning Balzac customers, beginners and seasoned alike, charm and uniqueness often trump provenance or style. Mignon Faget New Orleans charm bracelet, sterling silver, available at https://www.mignonfaget.com/shop/product/0836.html.Courtesy https://www.mignonfaget.com/
Mignon Faget , a New Orleans-based jewelry brand also on Magazine Street, features imaginative collections of exceptionally fine, handcrafted, wearable pieces of art, honoring the city’s history, diversity, and splendor. Scores of necklaces, pendants, earrings, rings, and bracelets, for example, feature the fleur-de-lis, the state emblem worn widely in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Elegant, white freshwater pearl necklaces, enhanced with handfuls of rose gold “rice” and “beans,” celebrate customary Creole cuisine. Delicate moonstone necklaces, accented with aquamarine, peridot, and — incongruously — plump sterling silver or 14 karat gold shrimp, crab, and okra-shaped pendants, celebrate the glory of New Orleans gumbo.
In addition, exclusive, Mignon Faget’s Voodoo Doll Pendants, shimmering with natural pinhead diamonds, feature wild, whimsical, Mardi Gras-inspired purple, green, and golden shocks of hair. Julia Street: Gallery Row
Since picturesque New Orleans has long inspired sculptors, ceramicists, and painters, numerous art museums and galleries abound. Enthusiasts will find many contemporary exhibits along “Gallery Row,” on Julia Street in the Warehouse District.
The Jean Bragg Gallery of Southern Art, for instance, specializes in Louisiana pottery and paintings.
The Arthur Roger gallery exhibits up-to-the-minute works on paper, mixed-media sculpture, glass sculpture, and kinetic sculpture.
Le Mieux Galleries represent emerging artists, including Philip Gould, document and architectural photographer, Teresa Honeywell, mixed-media artist, and Shannon Landis Hansen, an assemblage artist currently incorporating ceramic figures, mosaic tiles, plates, cups and saucers into her creations. Signmaker extraordinaire: Dr Bob Dr Bob Artist, Bywater by Paul Broussard. Courtesy New Orleans & Company, www.neworleans.com
Some of the funkiest, most unconventional street artists, workshops, and art studios, however, are found off the beaten path, in the up-and-coming Bywater neighborhood. Bob Shaffer, aka Dr Bob, a half Crow Indian and half French-German self-taught artist, for example, creates some of the most unusual, respected, recognizable art in the city — and indeed throughout all Louisiana. His creations invariably feature a unique, primitive painting style enhanced with recycled found objects like old ironing boards, bits of Katrina detritus, stray splinters of wood, wheelbarrows, whatnots — and anything else that comes to hand.
Though Dr Bob paints whatever moves him, he returns time and again to personally pleasing motifs that reflect the colorful spirit of New Orleans. He often depicts quirky characters of the Quarter, city scenes, and juke joints, for instance, typically framing them with rows of cheery metal bottle caps.
Mirroring the local penchant for protective gris-gris, amulets, and Voodoo dolls, Dr Bob also offers an impressive selection of Mojo Hands. These historic, open-palm images, reputed to deflect evil, often incorporate the All-Seeing Eye, representing Divine Wisdom, along with images of good-luck hearts and horseshoes. On the other hand, this easy-going painter also depicts their nemesis, New Orleans’ spirits and demons. Voodoo Authentica by Zack Smith,Courtesy New Orleans & Company, www.neworleans.com
Dr Bob also paints and sculpts fearsome creatures of the Louisiana Bayou, especially “smiling” alligators, which symbolize shrewdness, strength, and primal energy. (Fans of natural collectibles, however, may prefer acquiring authentic, preserved “gator” heads — another New Orleans specialty.)
Dr Bob may be best known, however, for his signature signs, which are found throughout New Orleans and indeed, around the world. All feature a phrase that characterizes not only his Big Easy way of life, but also his personal philosophy: Be Nice or Leave. And he sells them too.
Melody Amsel-Arieli is an Israeli-American freelance writer whose articles appear in collecting, genealogical, and historical magazines across the US, UK, and Canada. She is the author of Between Galicia and Hungary: The Jews of Stropkov (Avotaynu 2002), and Jewish Lives: Britain 1750-1950 (Pen & Sword 2013). Visit her at www.amselbird.com .
AntiqueTrader.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated websites. CATEGORIES
Grand Spices- Grand Plaza Munnar
were staying at the beautiful Grand Plaza in Munnar. We had arrived there from Kochi in afternoon and were really hungry after a long tiring drive. While we were checking in the Grand Plaza team informed us that we could have lunch at their F&B outlet Grand Spices which is on level 1 (or 1 st floor).
The outlet has indoor seating. They serve buffet in morning breakfast and at night for dinner. One also has ala carte option for Lunch and dinner. The outlet is a multi-cuisine outlet. The view from the outlet is beautiful, with glass façade on 2 sides of the outlet facing the river and lush green mountains. The outlet promotes sustainable tourism so we could see refurbished items used as décor, a lot of greenery and most importantly no or limited use of single use plastic. The drinking water is RO water served in glass bottles.
The menu has a variety, even suiting people looking out for North Indian food. We ordered ala carte for Lunch – a simple Roghan Josh and Naan. Complimentary poppadum basket arrived in different shapes, sizes and colours just a few minutes post our ordering. The service was fast.
Welcome to land of spices, that’s what our food was saying. A delicate balance of spices, perfectly cooked mutton, yes this is what we got in our first meal in Munnar. Perfect was the only word we could think off.
The buffet dinner was amazing with many options and an amazing array of dessert items. What we loved a lot – Dragon Fish and Fish in Lemon and garlic gravy. All dishes on all days (yes we didn’t venture out for dinner – the food was delicious) were perfectly cooked and had a perfect balance of spices.
The buffet breakfast had many options – both Indian including the local Kerala cuisine and continental. Fresh coffee brewing machine was surely an attraction for coffee lovers.
décor, the food
Ambiance: 4 out of 5
Location: 3.5 out of 5
american Essay — essays research papers
Thursday, March 28, 2019 american Essay — essays research papers The 21st century Ameri fecal matterThe traits of the typic the Statesn gestate changed drastically throughout the years. Americans have flex unalike in many ways from when they rancidicially became separatist in 1776 to the present time in 2001. America is strong, powerful, and influential. Americans exemplify collateral values, selflessness, cordial reception, and the American way of life. Our values often differ from values of separate countries due(p) to cultural contrasts much(prenominal) as with religious, racial, and upbringing issues. We give frequently to a greater extent freedom than many separate countries do to those of distinguishable races and religions. Also, we invite education in a much higher regard than other countries. It is these differences that sometimes make our country seem more appealing to those of conflicting lands. Our crude American values bind us together as virtuoso unit. Americans be often stereotyped as living a steady paced wor king environment in which they eat unbendable intellectual nourishment and ram down fast cars. Some of the aspects of American socialisation which atomic number 18 typical atomic number 18 pizza, jeans, sunglasses, baseball hats, name brand clothing, tattoos, cellular phones, bagels, and bottled water. The Popular culture that has real in America has had a major influence on cultures in countries all over the world. Cell phones have begin habitual in Europe name brand clothing has taken off in Asia, and McDonalds restaurants exist all over the globe. While the American can be looked at as a singular uninventive entity, it is all-important(a) to realize the many differences that exist in the midst of Americans living in diametric regions of the country. When plenty who have lived in America all their lives pass away to a different part of the country, they argon often just as astonish at the differences in culture as people be who drive to America from foreign count ries. For Instance, a woman who is a recent England infixed that travels south to unification Carolina for the first time will be ball over at the cultural differences she encounters. The New Englander will discover that the natives of North Carolina direct different, eat differently, and even act differently. She discovers what is referred to as Southern hospitality when she interacts with people who exhibit a sense of kindness and manners remote beyond that of which she is accustomed. On the menu at restaurants she will see items she is strange with, such as grits, pigs feet, cheesy westerns, an… … his luggage he has a converse with a man who introduces himself and for some strange reason takes his hand and shakes it. When approach with the finality of what to eat he finds it difficult to decide because of the many different types of restaurants in America. He has trouble deciding whether to eat at a fast food place, southern restaurant, western restaurant, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Indian, or French cuisine. subsequently make his decision he is again amazed that rice is nowhere to be found on the menu. Despite the differences in culture between America and China he realizes he is in a vast population that is full of opportunity.America is a just and free nation. Its enormousness is prize by the entire world. Many immigrants come to America to find a better life and for others it is merely a dream. Those who do become citizens are welcomed into the greatest most powerful nation in the world. American is make up of a cornucopia of cultures from around the world. The fact that Americans from different regions are different does not obscure our identity as a nation. Instead, these differences are what unite us as one nation, under God, Indivisible, for liberty, and justice for all. american Essay — essays research papers The 21st Century AmericanThe traits of the typical American have changed drastically throughout the ye ars. Americans have become different in many ways from when they officially became independent in 1776 to the present time in 2001. America is strong, powerful, and influential. Americans exemplify positive values, selflessness, hospitality, and the American way of life. Our values often differ from values of other countries due to cultural contrasts such as with religious, racial, and education issues. We give much more freedom than many other countries do to those of different races and religions. Also, we hold education in a much higher regard than other countries. It is these differences that sometimes make our country seem more appealing to those of foreign lands. Our common American values bind us together as one unit. Americans are often stereotyped as living a fast paced working environment in which they eat fast food and drive fast cars. Some of the aspects of American culture which are typical are pizza, jeans, sunglasses, baseball hats, name brand clothing, tattoos, cellu lar phones, bagels, and bottled water. The Popular culture that has developed in America has had a major influence on cultures in countries all over the world. Cell phones have become popular in Europe name brand clothing has taken off in Asia, and McDonalds restaurants exist all over the globe. While the American can be looked at as a singular stereotypical entity, it is important to realize the many differences that exist between Americans living in different regions of the country. When people who have lived in America all their lives travel to a different part of the country, they are often just as amazed at the differences in culture as people are who come to America from foreign countries. For Instance, a woman who is a New England native that travels south to North Carolina for the first time will be shocked at the cultural differences she encounters. The New Englander will discover that the natives of North Carolina speak different, eat differently, and even act differently. She discovers what is referred to as Southern hospitality when she interacts with people who exhibit a sense of kindness and manners far beyond that of which she is accustomed. On the menu at restaurants she will see items she is unfamiliar with, such as grits, pigs feet, cheesy westerns, an… … his luggage he has a conversation with a man who introduces himself and for some strange reason takes his hand and shakes it. When faced with the decision of what to eat he finds it difficult to decide because of the many different types of restaurants in America. He has trouble deciding whether to eat at a fast food place, southern restaurant, western restaurant, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Indian, or French cuisine. After making his decision he is again amazed that rice is nowhere to be found on the menu. Despite the differences in culture between America and China he realizes he is in a great nation that is full of opportunity.America is a just and free nation. Its greatness is admire d by the entire world. Many immigrants come to America to find a better life and for others it is merely a dream. Those who do become citizens are welcomed into the greatest most powerful nation in the world. American is made up of a cornucopia of cultures from around the world. The fact that Americans from different regions are different does not obscure our identity as a nation. Instead, these differences are what unite us as one nation, under God, Indivisible, for liberty, and justice for all. Posted by
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When Tapas met Tandoori: What happens when award-winning Spanish chef Andoni Luis Aduriz samples the flavours of Old Delhi?
Search When Tapas met Tandoori: What happens when award-winning Spanish chef Andoni Luis Aduriz samples the flavours of Old Delhi? The main man behind two-star Michelin restaurant Mugaritz was found flipping rotis at an Old Delhi dhaba recently. Here is what happened next! brunch Updated: Mar 31, 2019 00:07 IST Hindustan Times We took award-winning Spanish chef Andoni Luis Aduriz to savour flavours of Old Delhi (Raj K Raj)
It’s a gentle winter afternoon, the perfect time to escort celebrated chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, the man behind the award-winning Spanish restaurant Mugaritz, around Old Delhi. The two-star Michelin restaurant Mugaritz is housed in an old mansion on the border of the Basque towns Errenteria and Astigarraga close to San Sebastián. It ranks ninth on the list of World’s 50 Best Restaurants (2018) and is the only one in the world to have been in the Top 10 of World’s Best Restaurants by Restaurant Magazine ranking for 12 consecutive years. “When I saw fish and seafood being used with milk as a base in India, it was revolutionary for me!”
Andoni, who answers to ‘chef’ only in his kitchen, is now on his fourth trip to India’s capital, but he has never been to Purani Dilli before.
That’s because his first trip to Delhi about 25 years ago could have sent him running back to Spain instantly, never to return again.
“The temperature was touching 50 degrees for the first time in many decades,” Andoni remembers. “My luggage too was not to be found. When I went out on the street – I had not travelled the world then as much as I have now – everything just piled on me. It came as a shock. This was my first impression of India.”
Shock and awe
Part of Andoni’s shock at his Indian debut came from the fact that he comes from San Sebastián, a small town in Spain with a small population. Even Madrid, he says, had been a shock to his system.
But the shock of Delhi soon turned into awe. Andoni had come with another chef and neither knew anything about food in India. “We just ate what we had heard of from people, but this visit left a great impact on me,” he says. Andoni, who answers to ‘chef’ only in his kitchen, is now on his fourth trip to India’s capital, but he has never been to Purani Dilli before ( Raj K Raj, Photo Imaging: Piyush Garg )
He particularly recalls the masala lassi he had, and how the fresh, cold yogurt delighted him. “I found it very exotic,” he declares with a child-like excitement.
To tell the truth, almost everything not from San Sebastián was exotic to Andoni – for instance, the first time he ever travelled by plane, he was 18 years old and headed to Frankfurt. “Now I have an eight-year-old son who has already been to 20 countries,” he grins. “Super modern restaurants are embracing the culture of India, and that is incredible!”
Forget Indian food, which then was only available in the big cities of Madrid and Barcelona, Andoni had his first pizza long after he was 15 years old. “I did not even know what a pizza was!” he laughs.
Today, just as his life has changed, so has his opinion of India. He is here, this time, to recreate the Mugaritz-magic using many Indian ingredients as part of the ITC Global Tastes.
The melting pot
India, he says, has definitely changed a lot. Says Andoni: “I was very naïve when I came for the first time and India was extremely rustic. When you come for the first time you either love it so much that you embrace it, or else you hate it.”
He relates this change to how he himself has changed. He was a young, aspiring chef 25 years ago for instance, and he’s now a proper chef, which certainly means a massive change of perspective. “Please keep one thing in mind also,” he says. “In the last 10 years, the concept of restaurants has also changed. Super modern restaurants are embracing the culture of your country and all this has happened in a very quick time. It’s incredible.” Andoni visits the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, and enjoys hot kebabs and sheermal at the iconic Karim’s ( Raj K Raj )
He cannot name any one particular dish as his Indian favourite. He can’t even name any Basque dish as beloved. “That’s because I love diversity and variety,” he shrugs. “So if I eat fish today, I’d like to eat chicken tomorrow or meat the next day. Even though I might love something, I don’t want to repeat it. I want my food to have as much potential for change, variety as possible.” “In a Basque-style fish you can smell its bones, whereas in India there are so many spices used that you end up smelling something else!”
And this explains why, after his visits to Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, he’s been using cardamom in some of his Basque dishes, as well as milk or yogurt as a base. “When I saw fish and seafood being used with milk as a base in India, it was revolutionary for me,” he says. “Many times what you see in a different culture, you end up using in your own.” India’s taste for sweets however, he cannot identify with. Andoni much prefers savouries to sweets and has had no sweet dishes at his restaurant Mugaritz for the last two years.
Down food lane
We’re now in Old Delhi, and in the company of Manisha Bhasin, senior executive chef of ITC Maurya, we begin our food trail at Karim’s. Andoni is good at traversing through crowds, and soon begins to observe the skilled workers spinning handkerchief-thin roomalis. He takes a bite of the succulent kebab and relishes the sheermal before hitting the serpentine Parathe Wali Gali, stopping for a quick look at roadside biryani and chaat on the way. Manisha Bhasin, senior executive chef from ITC Maurya, savouring juicy jalebis with Andoni ( Raj K Raj )
Despite his lack of a sweet tooth, he cannot resist a bite of juicy jalebis at Chandni Chowk’s famous Jalebi Wala. And after this sweet, he claims he is now an Old Delhi pro and is happy to hop into an e-rickshaw to get back to his car near Jama Masjid.
Despite his interest in Indian cooking techniques, Andoni says the Basque and Indian cuisines are totally opposite from each other. “Basque food is clean in the sense that nothing else is put in it,” he explains. “For instance, in a Basque-style fish you can smell its bones, whereas in India there are so many spices used that you end up smelling something else.”
Which does not mean that he’s closed his mind to other tastes and aromas. Andoni’s next trip to India will hopefully be to Mumbai and the southern states, this time accompanied by his wife and eight-year-old son who tries his hand at cooking from time to time.
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From HT Brunch, March 31, 2019
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First Published: Mar 31, 2019 00:01 IST tags