Washington DC outfits + travel diary
Washington DC outfits + travel diary
Express trench coat xxs (borrowed from mom; sleeves are long on me), M.Gemi Pastoso loafers 35.5 c/o, Sam Edelman jeans ( very similar – runs small), Goyard tote
Like every grade school kid, Nick and I each made the obligatory visit to Washington D.C. hitting up all the monuments, museums, and touristy sites when we were younger. I didn’t think I’d need to visit again, until so many of you mentioned D.C. in my post asking for recommendations of “walkable cities with character and a diverse food scene.” This past month, we got to explore different neighborhoods and experience the area a little bit through fresh eyes, and we loved it! I feel like we barely scratched the surface, so will have to go back soon. Some highlights from our visit:
Express jacket xxs (sleeves shortened), Ann Taylor sandals 5.5, A&F cami xxs, Uniqlo skirt, Goyard PM bag, Vince Camuto sunglasses
rainy day Museum Hopping I loved that there were so many -and free- things to do in D.C. on a rainy day! The U.S. Botanic Garden (free admission) was a little respite in the city, good even for those who aren’t typical museum-goers. The rooms are modeled after different ecosystems, and we loved seeing and learning about so many varieties of flowers, cacti, and other plants!
A&F lace cami xxs ( similar in satin), adhesive bra “covers” , Ann Taylor sandals 5.5, Uniqlo skirt
On Nori: Cloud Island set 6-9m (love these!), Turban for Tots headband 6-12m
We also enjoyed the National Gallery of Art (free admission) and Newseum , but do plan half a day to explore the exhibits at Newseum to get the most out of your admission fee. The Portrait Gallery also came highly recommended by you guys, but we didn’t make it this time around!
We popped into the American Indian Museum since several people strongly recommended the food there (inspired by Native American cuisine and ingredients). Maybe it just wasn’t our day, but the food we got was not great and cost about $60 for two people in a cafeteria setting.
Gibson blazer xxsp, Everlane tee xxs, M.Gemi Pastoso loafers 35.5 c/o, Sam Edelman jeans ( very similar – runs small), Nuna pipa carseat (the new ones look so good!), Babyzen yoyo stroller
morning walks around the tidal basin We absolutely loved our family walks around the picturesque Tidal Basin ! Peak bloom only lasts about a week and we were lucky to catch it by following this blossom watch forecast . It’s about 2 miles around so definitely wear comfortable shoes.
It was so nice having my mom meet up with us again! I’m grateful for her help on the road, and Nori loves time with her “po po” (grandma)!
casual Seafood @ the Wharf At the suggestion of our hotel, we stopped by the Wharf which was in walking distance. There’s a large seafood market here where lots of people were buying crab and shrimp by the bushels to cook at home, and then numerous restaurants a little further down that we didn’t get to check out. We grabbed lunch from Captain White’s but it was just ok to be honest, and took a very long time to get our order.
Explored historic Georgetown Georgetown reminded me a lot of Beacon Hill in Boston. We browsed the shops along M St, then turned down O street for the charming, colorful homes and cobblestone roads. There was a small line outside Greenworks Florist to take photos by their door, so I joined right in ; )
Waited in line at Falafel Inc for a delicious meal under $10!
We’re familiar with Georgetown Cupcakes from their Boston location, so indulged in the cake cups at Baked and Wired instead! I got their one vegan flavor since I’m still avoiding eggs and dairy due to Nori’s allergies, and it was scrumptious.
dinner @ Founding Farmers, Sushi Taro Got so many polarizing messages about Founding Farmers , but that’s to be expected when a restaurant has over 12,000 reviews (read more about their story)! We made dinner reservations and still had a 30 minute wait since it was packed. Our food was nearly cold when it arrived, but overall we thought everything was fairly tasty (pot roast and fried chicken were table favorites). Nick described it as a Cheesecake Factory but with better food!
While staying in Dupont Circle, we tried to get into a few places you guys recommended but ended up at Sushi Taro since there was no wait at the bar! We enjoyed their chirashi bowl and omakase, although the omakase is more of a sushi dinner set (pictured above on the white plate) that comes out all at once.
Where we Stayed For visitors, the most popular areas suggested by you guys on Instagram were Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, or Foggy Bottom. A lot of you also recommended the trendy Line Hotel as well but it was a bit far for us. We booked the Mandarin Oriental for the first part of our stay since it’s super close to the cherry blossoms, then moved to an apartment rental near Dupont Circle to explore a different area!
Room & club lounge appetizers spread at the Mandarin Oriental DC
The Mandarin was a splurge due to peak bloom week, but we loved our stay and 10-minute walk each morning to the Tidal Basin. Their club lounge was better than I expected (with a full breakfast bar, robust appetizer & snack bar, and complimentary alcohol) and worth it for busy travelers with little ones. We were able to walk to the National Mall and numerous museums (15 – 20 minutes walk), but note the surrounding area by the hotel is mostly offices and government buildings without much to do or eat in the proximity.
Our apartment rental on the outskirts of Dupont Circle
For the second part of our trip, we rented this unit (2nd floor, no elevator) but it’s actually run by a management company with tons of other units on Airbnb (for a range of 2 to 10 guests) that look similarly renovated and decorated in the same Dupont Circle area! They very responsive and our unit was clean, comfortable, and looked recently renovated. If you’re new to Airbnb, here’s a referral link for $40 off your first booking.
I also have to thank you guys for the wonderfully detailed recommendations in the comments of this post ! Be sure to take a look through there if you’re planning a visit. Some of the top restaurants from your suggestions that we didn’t make it to include:
– Rose’s luxury (limited same-day reservations )
– Thip Khao for Laotian
– Le Diplomate for French
– Union Market for various food stalls
– Toki Underground & Daikaya for ramen (no reservations, wait was 1-2 hours)
– Little Serow for Thai (no reservations; nightly set menu for all diners)
– Rasika for Indian
Let us know what else we missed and have to hit up on our next visit!
Celeb Nutritionist Gives This Simple Hack That Works Like Magic To Stay Away From Acidity, Bloating
Also read: Health Benefits Of Neem And Jaggery
Rujuta highlights that it is important to consume foods like neem in the aforementioned combinations in order to maximise the benefits from it.
“We are turning into a population that chews raw salads for lunch and pops a neem tablet for health. The same is valid for haldi tablets or consuming huge amounts of flaxseed / jeera / ajwain with water. Or for that matter, starting the day with coconut oil or adding ghee to coffee. Basically, trying to maximize the intake of a particular nutrient for the perceived benefit of weight loss , detox or what not,” writes Rujuta in her post.
Also read: Five Amazing Health Benefits Of Neem
“The truth, though, is that health doesn’t lie in isolated compounds of our native produce but in its link to our food combinations and cuisines,” she adds.
So this summer, enjoy the benefits of neem in multiple combinations. From neem chutney to neem juice and even neem sabzi. Following are the other benefits of this superfood that you cannot miss: Health benefits of neem
1. Neem leaf can be used for leprosy, eye disorders, upset stomach, loss of appetite and even for birth control and to cause abortions.
2. Bark of neem leaves can be used for malaria treatment , skin diseases, pain and fever.
3. Twigs of this medicinal plant for reducing cough and asthma .
Also read: 5 Benefits Of Neem That Will Make You Fall In Love With The Herb Instantly
4. Neem is beneficial for the skin and is often used as an ingredient in skin cleansing astringents.
5. Neem can also be applied directly to the skin for treating head lice, wounds, skin ulcers, skin softener and even as a mosquito repellent.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. Get the latest election news , live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. NDTV Beeps – your daily newsletter
Aruba – the most romantic island in the Caribbean?
Aruba – the most romantic island in the Caribbean? This post has been sponsored by Aruba Tourism Authority. Most Romantic things to do on Aruba – plus WIN a holiday!
The chances are you’ve heard of Aruba. A tiny Caribbean island with swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches and as many cocktails by the pool as you can manage. But did you know it also boasts an intriguing rugged interior where the landscape wouldn’t be out of place on the moon?
Located just off the coast of South America and not far from Curacao (together with Bonaire these islands are known as the Netherlands Antilles), Aruba is the perfect place for a honeymoon, or romantic holiday in the sun. It’s super easy to reach via Europe too, so even a long weekend isn’t beyond the realms of reason. The weather is gorgeous, the cuisine exotic and the colonial architecture colourful. The island is Dutch so there’s a distinct European feel, with a Latin vibe that gives Aruba its tropical atmosphere.
There’s so much to see and do on Aruba you’ll be forgiven for forgetting that it’s a relatively small island. You could stay for a couple of weeks, but if you only have a few days, here’s what we recommend you do. Barefoot Beaches and Tropical Seas
Of course you can’t visit Aruba without spending time on some of the island’s beautiful beaches, which cover 9 miles of coastline and are everything a Caribbean beach should be! There’s also snorkelling over shipwrecks (where else can you do that in the world?), meeting the fish that live in the colourful coral reefs, and swimming in sheltered bays. Diving here is incredible too, and one dive site even includes a plane wreck! For those with energy to burn why not try stand up paddle boarding, water-skiing or parasailing. Yet maybe the best way to enjoy the shores of Aruba is to watch the sun go down whilst strolling along a secluded spot with your other half, does it get any more romantic than that? Snorkelling in Aruba – image licensed by Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba.com Explore Arikok National Park
If you’re into hiking and want to explore a land unlike anywhere you’ve been before, then head to Arikok National Park, which covers a fifth of the island and has 29 miles of trails snaking through the rocky desert. Arikok is home to some unique wildlife, and you’ll see lots of the famous cacti. To avoid the heat of the day (it gets pretty hot here) make sure you head out early in the morning, and take plenty of water with you. Guided tours are available for those who want to find out more about the incredible scenery, and don’t forget to check out the caves and indigenous Indian paintings whilst you’re there. The most romantic walk has to be the “Full Moon hike”, which is done with an experienced naturalist, to show the national park in a rather unique light. Arikok National Park – image licensed by Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba.com Off-Road Adventuring
Aruba is an amazing place to explore by quad bike (ATV), which gives you access to the wilder side of the island. Ride at your own pace with a qualified instructor through the rugged landscape, along the tropical shores and through colourful towns. There’s even a gold mine to explore. And if you’re a confident ATV driver, you can even explore independently. It’s a fun way to explore the outdoors a little differently, and you’ll cover a lot more ground than you would on a hike alone. ATV Tour on Aruba – image licensed by Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba.com Cruise into the Sunset
Is there anything more romantic than going out sailing as the sun sets on another wonderful day in the Caribbean? In Aruba there are several sailing excursions, ranging form banana boats and pirate ships to dinghys and luxury catamarans. You can snorkel straight from the boats and have picnics and cocktails whilst sunbathing up on deck. Make sure you keep an eye out for dolphins! As night falls enjoy a sunset dinner cruise and plan the next day’s adventures. Sailing into the Sunset – image licensed by Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba.com Exotic Dining
Did you know that Aruba is one of the best foodie destinations in the Caribbean ? There are over 250 restaurants to choose from on this small island, with everything from freshly caught seafood, straight from ocean to table, to curried goat. The diversity of the culture here is reflected in the food, so expect dishes from all over the world. The blend of Latin, African and Asian flavours is quite incredible, and not something you’ll find anywhere else! Favourites include red snapper with vibrant creole seasoning, Dutch pancakes, and even Argentinian steaks. Whether you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, or prefer to stick to old favourites, there’s something here for everyone. Dining at Flor de Oriente – image licensed by Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba.com Competition Time – WIN a holiday to Aruba
Does all this sound good?
Well you’re in luck, because Aruba Tourism are running an incredible competition. The prize is an amazing trip for two, including return flights, airport transfers and a 7-night stay (on a bed and breakfast basis) at the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino. The winner will also enjoy a Palm Pleasure’s sunset sail on board a luxury catamaran with De Palm Tours.
5 Most Popular Indian Dishes That Make You love Indian Cuisine!
5 Most Popular Indian Dishes That Make You love Indian Cuisine! 5 Most Popular Indian Dishes That Make You love Indian Cuisine! 0
An Indian dish seems complicated to cook yet there is no comparison of the taste that this cuisine offers – Indian food cooked in a variety of spices that adds mouth-watering flavor to the food. A person cannot disagree with the fact that Indian dish is capable of changing the mood in the first bite. Talking about Indian food how could we forgot about tandoori dishes that add more flavors in our plates.
If you are also fond of Indian food and belong to Downtown Cincinnati, you have many options of good Indian restaurants, but if you belong to any other location and want to taste some Indian cuisine you can make them at home. If you stock some essential ingredients in the kitchen that are found in Indian food, you can easily prepare these dishes for adding new taste in the menu of next house party. Here are some of the famous Indian dishes you can try for at least once:
Tandoori chicken is one of the renowned barbecue chicken recipes. For the making, it marinates chicken pieces in yogurt, tandoori masala, and other spices for an hour then grill it. The signature flavor comes from tandoor masala give it a unique taste. It can be a perfect snack at any dinner party with family and friends.
Chicken tikka masala:
It is a delicious grilled chicken dish with thick and creamy gravy that has an unforgettable taste. In this dish, tomato yogurt sauce is spiced with garlic, ginger, chilly and some other Indian spices to marinate chicken. Leave the chicken marinating overnight then grill it. On the other side prepare a creamy, spicy gravy for grilled chicken and serve this dish with rice or naan (a type of Indian bread)
Palak paneer or spinach and cottage cheese is a dish that is famous in most of the Indian restaurants. This dish is super healthy as it contains nothing more than spinach and cottage cheese along with some spices. Due to the large portion of spinach, it is also called green paneer in some restaurants. Palak paneer tastes better with flatbread.
Matar mushroom is made with peas and mushroom. This recipe is perfect if you want to cook something fast. It needs ginger garlic paste and some of the spices. You can replace mushroom with cottage cheese if you are allergic to mushrooms. In many recipes, you can easily place mushroom with cottage cheese and vice versa.
Naan (Indian flatbread)
Naan is an Indian bread that can go with everything you make, including tandoori chicken and all kind of kebabs. The ingredients list includes flour, yeast, yogurt, and ghee. Mix all the ingredients and make a soft dough, give them round shape and put the naan on a pan over medium flame. Serve hot by applying butter on it.
Apart from mentioned above, many other dishes have a magical taste, and they also deserve to taste for once, so the author of this article suggests Tandoor cuisine of India for the next dinner or lunch party. My name is John Kruz and I love to write about Indian foods. You can visit my profile to read articles about varieties of Indian Foods. Rate this Article
The Start Of Fusion On Jamaican And Chinese Food
By Christopher Powell
The Jamaican Chinese cuisines are popular style in food resulting that is from the West Indian and Chinese cuisines. Those influences would be predominantly being Cantonese, main source to the Chinese immigrants at West Indies. The fool itself would be mixture of different time of cooking styles like the Jamaican and Chinese Fusion NY .
First groups on people were force to be deceived and kidnapped in making journey, though that practices were curbed in somewhat through agreement between Chinese and British authorities at formally supervise would be recruitment processes. Then from on, the family was encouraged into emigrate, though without often being in completely informing the living and working conditions and the contractual obligations. The women start arriving around eighteen sixty on small numbers.
Even the chips and fish are essentially being the early combination dish that combines the elements of the Belgian, French and Jewish cuisines. Some have contain original ingredients in what is known now as chips and fish though that tend associated with more in British seaside pair with lashings and ketchup or vinegar and salt. Original recipe would be used in coating the fish with flour then dipped deep in batter just before frying it. With later include of corn flour, soda water and beer have a lot of modification in recipe.
There also are some of kitchen gadgets which arguably the result in mixing the food itself and those would be the Japanese spiral. The machine which encourages few carbohydrates in diet and creates the pasta free and vegetable of ribbons that only not satisfies the gluten free selection but also put some creative twist in healthy food. For the blade storage the interchangeable blades along with the cleaning brush features would be perfect.
Another dishes could are fusion or novel in traditions and techniques. Additional, the ingredients which are native to the island, there are foods that have introduced and now are grown locally. The wide variety at seafood, the tropical meats and fruits are available. There are dishes that are variations in cooking and cuisines styles which brought the island on elsewhere.
The food fusions are form in cooking which combine the contrasting or techniques in culinary traditions in single dish. There were various forms in fusion food that includes the regional fusion that combines food of different sub regions or regions. The mash ups could also the from in food fusion that one to fastest growing trends from across the world.
It includes the Rastafarian influences. They have the vegetarian approach in preparing eating, cooking and food and it have introduced in hosting of the unique vegetarian cuisine to that Jamaica. The Rastafarian does not eat pork, those strict ones at least do not, and that includes the fish and poultry.
The fusion foods are generally term to combination in various forms at cookery and then come on several forms. The regional fusion could combine different the food of sub region or region. The fusion of Asian restaurant that combine various the food in different of those Asian countries, in having become popular on lot of parts in United Kingdom and United States.
Good fusion combines the cooking techniques and ingredients from lots of culture in way that pulls the food taste all together, creating the seamless and the fresh dish. The confusion cuisine is throwing any ingredients together and causes the inevitable clash. The cook that wants to go experiment must research the ingredients and think the flavor and the textures that would be combining for later. The novelty would certainly be commendable and the restraint also is important for people whom just be beginning in exploring the world of culinary traditions.
About the Author:
You can get valuable tips for picking a restaurant and more information about a fantastic Jamaican and Chinese fusion NY restaurant at http://www.henricasrestaurant.com now.
5 Best Yogurt Recipes | Easy Yogurt Recipes
5 Best Yogurt Recipes | Easy Yogurt Recipes 5 Best Yogurt Recipes | Easy Yogurt Recipes Aanchal Mathur | Updated: April 25, 2019 15:46 IST Tweeter Yogurt Recipes: These yogurt recipes can work wonders if added to your daily diet
Yogurt Recipes: With summer season coming over to its peak, you’ll definitely be looking out for cool and light eating options to beat the heat. While there are endless options to beat the heat and help keep your body hydrated and cool, a bowl of fresh and creamy yogurt can be a wonderful addition to your diet. This dairy product is simple, versatile and comes with numerous health benefits. Believed to be of Turkish origin, yogurt is a meal in itself that makes it convenient for us to pair it with our other meals every day. And if you don’t already include it in your daily diet, the many benefits would surely make you do it. Being a dairy product, yogurt is loaded with essential nutrients like vitamin B-2, calcium, magnesium potassium and majorly vitamin D and protein. Despite being a dairy product, it is light on the stomach and easier to digest than milk .
Let’s unravel some of the most amazing benefits of including yogurt in your daily diet before we tell you the delectable yogurt recipes to try:
1. Strengthens Immunity: Yogurt has certain live active cultures which have the ability to fight against gut-related issues.
2. Helps in Digestion: Being an excellent source of probiotics (good bacteria), yogurt is known to improve the gut activity and can provide relief from an inflamed digestive system and stomach.
3. Good for Bones: According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of yogurt of about 250 grams contains about 275 mg of calcium. Intake of such amount of calcium on a daily basis not only helps maintain bone density but also strengthens them.
4. Promotes Healthy Skin: Yogurt acts like a natural moisturiser that can help heal dry skin naturally. Many of us suffer from dull skin and acne due to certain gastrointestinal problems especially during the hot summer season. Yogurt helps in keeping the gut healthy and active, which further leads to healthy skin besides being an excellent beauty ingredient for face packs.
Now that you know how yogurt can be an essential element in your diet, try our best yogurt recipes at home: Here are 5 Best Yogurt Recipes: 1. Yogurt Parfait
A healthy, delectable yogurt-based recipe that can re-energise your body. With no added-sugar and packed with the goodness of fresh fruits like watermelon, pineapple, oranges, apples, kiwis, pomegranate and goji berries along with pine nuts and cereals, this is a nutrient-dense dish to prepare and pack as a mid-day meal or post-lunch snack. Multiple layers of yogurt, nuts, cereals, pine nuts and fruits. 2. Curd Rice
One of the simplest and easiest dishes to prepare, curd rice can be prepared at home as a whole meal in itself on a tiring weekday when you don’t wish to prepare an elaborate meal. It is light on the stomach yet filling enough for a meal. Just a few ingredients and goodness of milk, carrots, urad and chana dal with a spicy tadka makes for this delicious yogurt recipe. A perfect stomach filling instant food that you can prepare at any time. 3. Dahi Bhalla
Can we mention dahi and not talk about dahi bhalla? If you are a fan of North Indian cuisine, you just can’t miss a chance to gorge on this mouth-watering street food . With khatti-meethi flavoursome chutneys, made with a host of spices poured over chilled curd, tantalise your taste buds with this easy dahi bhalla recipe. The quintessential street food from the by lanes of Delhi will get you hooked. 4. Oatmeal, Yogurt and Fruit Breakfast Medley
As the name suggests, this yogurt recipe is perfect for breakfast! There is goodness of fibre-rich oats along with nuts, raisins and your choice of fruits. It’s a layered mix of sweet and citrusy fruits in a delicious mix of yogurt that would energise as well as fill you up for the entire day.
First Tree to be Planted in Marco’s Food Forest
First Tree to be Planted in Marco’s Food Forest Submitted Submitted Photo
On Friday, April 26, 2019, Marco Island will celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day by planting a sweet tamarind tree at 11 AM in Calusa Park (1500 block of Winterberry Drive between Pheasant Court and Persian Court).
This annual event, presented by the Beautification Committee and chaired this year by Becky Irwin, marks the first planting of what will become Marco Island’s own “food forest” and community garden in Calusa Park.
Along with Becky Irwin, Allyson Richards of the Parks and Rec Committee, Al Benarroch owner of Affordable Landscape, and Elsa Grifoni, community volunteer, planned the event and continue to work toward what will eventually be an edible oasis open to the public to be enjoyed by all.
Says Irwin, “Our food forest will essentially be a botanical garden which highlights tropical and subtropical edible species that grow well in Southwest Florida. The purpose of this garden is to be educational, aesthetically pleasing and practical, with the public enjoying the overall experience as well as tasting the seasonal fruits. There are already so many edible fruits that grow in our landscapes, from cocoplums to sea grapes to Surinam cherries to ginger just to name a few. Most people have no idea how bountiful our island is! A food forest is such a unique way to enhance this large beautiful park with a practical, fun and educational attraction for our community. We look forward to showcasing a diverse variety of edible plants in the coming years.”
More fruit trees, shrubs and plants are already being planned for the park. The first tree selected for Friday’s planting is a sweet tamarind ( tamarindus indica ), perfect for this location. Growing 80 to 100 feet tall, it loves heat and sun and is very drought and salt tolerant as well as wind resistant. The sweet fruits are encased in long pods and are widely used in Indian and Caribbean cuisines.
The public is invited to attend Friday’s ceremony and stay involved as the food forest grows over the next few years. City Council will read a proclamation, Marco Island Charter Middle School Jazz Band will play, and refreshments will be served. The tree is donated by Affordable Landscape.
Restaurant: Maya Dhaba, Suva, Fiji
mostly cook at home, but once in a while we’ll go out to eat. Maya Dhaba is an Indian restaurant on our list, located in downtown Suva, Fiji.
The space is big; maybe too big. It might serve the business better if they had a more intimate ambience with fewer tables. But when it comes to food, they know what they’re doing. The restaurant serves a range of vegetarian and meat and poultry dishes in elegant metal servers.
I recommend the vegetarian bhaji, a type of fritter, for an appetizer. There’s the classic tandoori chicken, which you can order as appetizer or main. If you want to explore the cuisine further, I recommend the creamy cashew kofta, a type of curry served with dumplings; it has a luxurious mouth-feel and lots of umami. I also like the dal and spinach dishes. An order of naan or roti rounds out the meal. Share this:
Theatre of taste at Masala Library
The deconstruction of a samosa is one of the many examples of molecular gastronomy available at Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Image Credit: Supplied Three tiny, innocuous dots arranged symmetrically on a puff pastry strip atop a banana leaf on a straw mat.
I take a bite and the flavours explode, sweet and sour, tangy and salty, hot and cold, a carnival of tastes and sensations that slam the senses into a time warp, transporting me to my childhood, to days spent in Kolkata and Mumbai in India, revisiting a bucket list of confectionary and sweetmeat shops that the mind conjures up in split seconds. Chef Vaibhav Sawant studies the myriad of reactions flitting across my face with quiet amusement, happy with the desired effect of his creation.
“It’s just a deconstruction of the samosa,” he says simply. But how can so little do so much, the slim puff pastry strip topped with spicy potato mash and peas dressed with chutney drops prompting a trip down memory lane. The near-flawless execution follows up on an equally incredible amuse-bouche of mango pulp floating on a base of coconut water, visually perfectly mimicking the contents of a raw egg and aptly served up in ceramic egg shells within a bird’s nest. It’s a cunning feat of molecular gastronomy that leaves diners happily fooled, craving for more.
Amuse-bouche, mango pulp in coconut water
It’s all part of an elaborate 12-course non-vegetarian chef’s tasting menu, a symphony of flavour, a near-endless retinue of well-researched dishes from across India, punctuated by some fascinating interpretations in molecular gastronomy undertaken by Chef Vaibhav and his team. Welcome, then to Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.
Authentic flavours Jiggs Kalra is the first Asian to be to be inducted into the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. A renowned Indian food columnist for more than four decades, the restaurateur is quite happy to have the food at his restaurant do all the talking now.
Launching Masala Library in India with the intention of providing food connoisseurs a window to the amazing tastes, authentic flavours and essence of Indian cuisine, the fully booked restaurants in Mumbai and Delhi are an indication of how successful he has been in plating up his ideas to a discerning clientele. Launching a branch last month in Dubai, the region’s foodie capital, seemed apt, a logical step that is part of an elaborate expansion plan into the region, and the world.
A restaurateur and foodie, Zorawar Kalra oversees operations at Masala Library
Like dad, Kalra’s son, Zorawar is equal parts foodie and restaurateur, overseeing operations at the first Masala Library restaurant outside India.
Commenting on the ethos behind the Masala Library brand, Zorawar says, “Since its commercial proliferation, Indian cuisine has come to a point of stagnation. Being an avid lover of our robust cuisine, my father and I consider it our mission to reintroduce Indian food in a new avatar. This vision and aim helped create Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, a signature fine-dining concept.”
The restaurant serves progressive Indian cuisine, says Zorawar, retaining the traditional elements of each dish while using modern culinary techniques, cooking styles and unique presentations. “We use molecular gastronomy as an integral part of the menu to enhance the flavour and visual appeal of the dish, as well as to introduce an element of surprise,” says Zorawar.
The Rajasthani mutton curry, shell kachori, part of the mains is a must-try
With an ambience that offers enough props as fair conversation starters – cue the massive, ornate wooden pillars and the gigantic murals dominating the restaurant walls or spectacular Dubai Canal views from the restaurant’s location on the fourth floor of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai – the surprise element is not just served up on a plate, it’s all around you.
However, visitors sampling the menu are left in no doubt that it is the food that sets the pace.
Open to experimentation So, while the jhal moorie cookie (novel interpretation of an Indian street snack), caviar malai prawn and wagyu pathar kebab (chef’s take on a succulent cut of beef served up tableside, delivering theatrics and taste in spades) come highly recommended, the innovative streak is expected to see a build-up in coming months as the team of chefs hope to tap into the immense reserves of Middle Eastern ingredients and flavours, integrating and incorporating them into an already elaborate Indian restaurant menu.
“The Masala Library menu here in Dubai is between 35-40 per cent different from the menus in Mumbai and Delhi,” says Zorawar. “It’s a result of the different tastes and preferences of the city’s clientele as well as access to the incredible ingredients that Dubai allows.”
From start to finish, the dishes and the interpretation of flavours are spot on, the attention to detail part of a culture in culinary innovation inculcated into the chefs at Masala Library.
“Before the launch of Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra in Dubai, we worked on the concept, conducting numerous food trials and tastings for almost eight to nine months,” reveals Zorawar. “This resulted in a selection of highly curated dishes with elements of molecular gastronomy that genuinely add value to the dish without taking away from its flavour profile.”
Chef Vaibhav Sawant is part of a well-drilled team responsible for the amazing fare at the restaurant
11 courses on, fully satiated, as I dig deep into my reserves and reach out for the last course, a splendid dessert of jalebi caviar, reinterpreting a famed sweet from the subcontinent, everything that Zorawar says about the dishes, and the restaurant rings true.
Desserts such as the jalebi caviar allow molecular gastronomy to enhance the flavours and visual appeal of traditional dishes
Masala Library delivers the best of what Indian cuisine quintessentially stands for on several levels – hearty, soulful fare illustrated on an expansive canvas of taste – while successfully offering a new and rapidly expanding global clientele what they expect from a dining experience: Innovation in cooking fine-tuned into an art form.
Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is open daily, 6pm to 11.30pm. For reservations, call 04 414 3000. Twelve-course tasting menu is priced at Dh245, or Dh385 with four glasses of paired grape. Vegetarian option is also available for Dh215. Book your table today.
Abyssinian, Koregaon Park
The name of the restaurant is derived from The Ethiopian Empire, which was historically known as Abyssinia, a nation that comprised the northern half of present-day Ethiopia.
Abyssinian is India’s first Ethiopian Fine Dine restaurant that serves traditional and authentic Ethiopian cuisine. Ethiopian food is one of the most exciting cuisines in the world. Not only is the food extremely unique and extraordinarily flavorful, but the food culture that makes up Ethiopia is also something I found truly fascinating.
Even the way Ethiopian food is served, on a communal platter, is designed for sharing food with each other. Food is not meant to be eaten alone in the culture of Ethiopia. On my visit to Abyssinian, I learnt a tradition known as Gursha, where you hold the Injera bread in your left hand, tear a piece with your right and the first bite is to be fed to the person sitting to your right side as a blessing. Taking the time to feed your loved one, or a friend you really care about, that just has to be one of the greatest culinary traditions that still exists today, anywhere.
Apart from serving Messob – A Communal Platter, Abyssinian recently introduced an A La Carte menu for people coming in as a small group or a couple.
The food of Ethiopia is humble and nothing sorts of fancy. The food greatly represents the culture of Ethiopia and the values they live by. The main staple is the Injera Bread.
Injera is made from a grain known as teff, which is ground into flour, made into a batter, slightly fermented, and then fried on a heavy skillet into a giant circular pancake. The texture is soft and spongy and the flavor is lightly sour. However, Teff rice is difficult to procure in India hence, Injera at Abyssinian is made with Ragi. Injera Bread
Food in Ethiopia is served on a platter known as a Gebeta, a large circular, usually metal platter. First, a circle of injera is placed on the gebeta, then the different stews, curries, or vegetables, that you’ve ordered are placed on top of the injera. From a single dish to a mix of different dishes, everything is piled onto the plate of injera.
I enjoyed the food in the form of Baraka – a Messob platter with a mix of stews and curries atop the Injera bread. A brief description of the elements in Baraka follows – Baraka
1. Mandassi –
D eepfried dumpling made with refined flour and served with Abi: a form of chutney made with coriander parsley and chilli. Definitely visiting again for the Abi! Mandassi and Sambosa Lentile
2. Misir Wot – Red lentils boiled and mashed, cooked with slightly fiery spices. The lentils are cooked with a few spoons of berbere spice powder to give them a nice redness in color, and cooked until tender, yet they still have some texture to them.‘Wot’ is an Ethiopian word for Stew.
3. Yedinich Alicha – The curry is made with potatoes and carrots. Yedinich Alicha or Dinich Alicha, is very similar to the Indian version of a potato vegetable preparation.
4. Fosolia – A curry made with Carrots french beans with a base of mashed potatoes and turmeric.
5. Shiro Wot – It’s basically a stew or curry made from ground dried chickpeas and various spices. The chickpeas give the stew a beautiful texture and nutty flavor with a consistency of thickened soup.
6. Timatim – It is a non-spicy delightful tomato salad or Salate served on the side as a taste changer after eating spicy stews or curries with the Injera.
7. Ayib – Also served to tone down the spiciness from the stews, Ayib means Cottage cheese in Ethiopian.
8. Mit Mita Ayib – Mit Mita is a ground spice added to the shredded Cottage Cheese served as a variant of the regular Ayib.
9. Awaze – Awaze is an Ethiopian chilli sauce made by combining mitmita spice and berbere spice with honey mead to make a paste. Usually served on the side for people who like extra spice in their food.
10. Inguday Tibs – Mushrooms sauteed in Berbere spice and onions. A traditional spicy Ethiopian pan fried curry preparation served with Injera.
Apart from the stews and curries, I also tried,
1. Adengare Shorba – A warm soup made with boiled kidney beans and carrots. Very light on the stomach and very soothing indeed. Adengare Shorba
2. Sambosa Lentile – An Ethiopian version of our desi Samosa, the filling in sambosa is of red lentils (masoor). The filling was a bit dry as we open the outer crust of Sambosa, but goes well with Abi.
3. Suf Fit Fit – Suf Fit Fit is a Salad made with soaked Injera bread and raw capsicum and peppers. It serves as a light snack before you dive into a wholehearted meal. Suf Fit Fit
Made with fried semolina and flour, the dumplings were just too sweet for my palate. Fried Sweet Dumplings
5. Ethiopian Baklava – Baklava is a traditional sweet preparation originating from the Middle East. The Ethiopian version substitutes the traditional almonds with walnuts and dry coconut making it a tad less sweeter than the middle eastern version. The Baklava was a delight and a highlight of the tasting. Ethiopian Baklava
6. Ethiopian Coffee – One of the key highlights of the dining experience was the Ethiopian coffee! Single origin, exclusive coffee is a big delight to Coffee lovers. Traditionally, Ethiopian Coffee is had with butter and salt to cut down the bitter taste of it. The first sip of coffee is to be had as it is, followed with few sips by adding few drops of melted butter and lastly, with a pinch of salt and drinking it unstirred. I enjoyed my coffee as it was since the bitterness was bearable to me, but to truly experience the joy of Ethiopian coffee, following the traditional path is your way to go! Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
You get all of the above items inclusive in the Baraka Messob at 1199/- INR. If you have the large appetite to eat it all, order one of the Messobs starting at 799/- per person or else choose from the A la Carte menu.
The interior of the restaurant has a huge number of artifacts, picture frames and some of the furniture that is sourced directly from Ethiopia itself! Not just that, the colour scheme is made to match the national flag of the country too! Interiors.
Apart from the normal seating, they also have a section where the traditional seating is arranged in case you want to be seated that way. Traditional Ethiopian Seating
The staff makes sure you get a royal treatment as would you have in Ethiopia and help you out with what to order and to decide according to your liking.
Dining at Abyssinian was a wonderful experience as I got to learn and try Ethiopian for the first time! The flavors and spices are similar to our Indian ones hence, do not worry much about how would you like it, I can vouch that you’ll definitely have a great time here!
A shout-out to Team carpe Diem for extending an invitation and the staff at Abyssinian for their hospitality.
We were invited for a complimentary tasting. The above review is a narrative of our experience at the restaurant and is in no way biased, influenced or plagiarized. All rights reserved on the pictures and review. 18.536208 73.893975 Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra, India Share this: