Wednesday, August 27, 2014



What sets this brunch apart is a kid’s knee high buffet, as well as their corner with entertainment options tailor-made for the children, while you sit back and enjoy! 

Sen5es brings 5 International show kitchens to the lobby level of the Hotel, with a stylish yet relaxed atmosphere that extends onto a skylight section overlooking luscious greenery. Digital art and colourful hand blown glass art installations by Reshmi Dey adorn the pristine walls. What caught my fancy was a dominant and striking large size table that can accommodate up to 10 people. Each of the seating arrangement has been styled individually and with a uniqueness of its own, allowing individual guests to share meals and enjoy diverse company.

The idea of a Sunday Brunch or Picnic is truly enticing. A red letter day, get up late, laze around a bit, get ready , give mummy a break too! And a good Sunday Brunch in which no one has to bother at all my vote goes all out to the Champagne Brunch at SEN5ES which makes for the perfect getaway for pure indulgence and innovative engagement for the entire family.
On offer is a menu created by the very talented Executive Chef Tanveer Kwatra featuring global flavours with local appeal that takes one on a culinary journey for the senses, it sure is one to return for. On offer is scrumptious food across live stations, try any of the pizzas with a topping of your choice; it will surely transport you to Italy. The Indian section is no less spectacular and the Burrah kebab here is hands down the best in India! There are a number of dishes in each section that allow you to sample widely. On offer are also the best of eclectic sandwiches, burgers, salads, pastas, steaks and the final flourishes come in the form of freshly brewed coffees and sweet temptations from the in-house bakery. From sparkling and artisanal wines and innovative cocktails to the Pullman Pamper Program for the kids, this restaurant ensures you have the perfect Sunday. What sets this brunch apart is a kid’s knee high buffet, as well as their corner with entertainment options tailor-made for the children, while you sit back and enjoy! All in all, it was a treat for my senses that I shall never forget. Truly a celebration of the Global essence of interactive and friendly cooking, where food is not just what you eat but also what you see and what you sense!

Where? : Sen5es is at Pullman Gurgaon Central Park Hotel, Sector 26, MG Road, Delhi Gurgaon Border.
For Reservations: +91 (0) 124 4992000
Sunday Brunch Timings: 12:00 pm to 04:00 pm on Sundays
With a selection of non-alcoholic beverages                              1,999 (Rs. 2478 AI)
With a selection of alcoholic beverages & sparkling                 2,599 (Rs. 3221 AI)
With a selection of alcoholic beverages & Champagne            2,999 (Rs. 3717 AI)

Sunday, August 24, 2014


These cities offer you the promise of a deeper and more engaging experience beyond a usual holiday; through experiential and shared learning and cultural activities, and you get drawn to an emotional connection between you and the destination.

Though the Middle East is very modern in nature, meals are not served in courses like in the West. There is a splendid array of appetizers to be enjoyed throughout the Mediterranean, famed as ‘Mezze’ which are the inexhaustible and highly flavoured range of irresistible nibbles served as either appetizers or as a meal itself.
Hummus, rice and meat wrapped in vine leaves, mashed beans, hot and cold salads, grilled seafood and meats and pickled vegetables being the most popular. The other accompaniments like the Kebabs and Bread are usually brought together with the Mezze on the table from which you can help yourself with your hands, sort of a community style eating, (of course you can ask for cutlery if you wish to). Later of course you can wash your fingers in orange flower oil warm water. In a few places Islamic laws also make it unimaginable to have alcohol with the meals so the locals enjoy water, light teas, a lemon mint refresher or a yummy sweet and sour drink called ‘Carcade’ made from tangy flowers. Baklava or a fresh bowl of fruits will make for a sweet dessert.

There is more to coffee than a 43-bean blend and I discovered this in Melbourne, which is home to a thriving cafe culture.
Interestingly unlike the Italians who consume their coffee while standing at the bar for people in Melbourne it’s more like enjoying their cuppa, in a social setting, immersed in a crowded environment, preferring to take a seat at a table and savour the taste of their coffee. To get a peek take a guided tour for stories of the coffee revolution, from the large coffee palaces in the 1950s to today’s hip boutique coffee bars, and you will discover why the cafe has become an important part of Melbourne culture and daily life. The tour includes a tram ride to quaint lanes which are supposed to be the coffee junkie’s paradise. As you walk you get an awesome whiff of the rich aroma of coffee roasting and can also smell exotic herbs and spices from the cafes all around. Each café is different from the other. The tour comes to an end with a light and delicious cafe-style lunch and a cup of coffee, and yes all included in the price.

A large, modern Asian city yet rich with Chinese culture Taipei is an enchanting and charming place to visit. Your first port of call should be The National museum at Shilin which houses the biggest number of Chinese artefacts in the world that they need to rotate displaying the 655,707 items every 3 months. According to research each set averaging fifteen thousand items means that one needs to come back at least every quarter for almost 12 years to see every item in the museum. Your visit to Taipei would be incomplete without going to the famed 101, a construction wonder (also the tallest building in the world before Dubai came along). The ground floor of the building is a mall and a nirvana for shoppers. The mall is spacious and filled with designer stores.

Trying out dim sum should definitely be on your Hong Kong checklist so does stop by at a ‘yum Cha’ joint for Breakfast. Hong Kong indeed boasts of the best dim sum chefs, who prepare these mouth-watering delicacies ranging from buns to dumplings and rice rolls that contain a variety of ingredients, including pork, chicken, shrimps, prawns and a selection of vegetables served steamed, deep fried, baked or grilled.
Most famous traditional tea house in Hong Kong is Luk Yu which is an authentic vestige of a lost era. Interestingly the restaurant staff will walk around pushing a cart or carrying a tray stung around the neck to offer their goods. The prawn dumplings are a staple to any yum cha meal, and are probably the best dish of the day. The portions are usually served 4 pieces to a plate, so you can share if you wish to.   Besides the dim sum items listed on the checklist menu where one places one’s order, on offer are several fragrant teas to wash it down. The ‘bo la’, (a fermented black tea) compliments the food extremely well. The tea house is raucous most of the time as it is well patronized.

Time is of no importance in Fiji Islands, from the second you arrive in the laid back terminal and breathe the frangipani scented tropical air; you find yourself to be even more romantic. The tropical island of Fiji, is one of the favoured honeymoon destinations for wedding couples, is now fast emerging as a venue of choice for dream weddings too. The island offers diverse options in locales, wedding themes and cultures to match. Most couples for the convenience experience and beautiful locations opt to have their marriage at the hotel resort they are staying. As such, the hotels in the Fiji Islands now offer customized weddings that offer complete packages including travel, accommodation, gourmet spread, decoration, themes and even chapels. Moreover the islands prove to be attractive as it provides a readymade perfect setting for an exclusive and idyllic honeymoon with all the principal ingredients. Among the three hundred plus South pacific Islands, one can capture simple pleasures of a less complicated world along with friendly Fijians everywhere. In one word Fiji is freedom – freedom that comes with lush tropical gardens with far reaching waterways and secluded nooks to ensure the tranquillity of the environment. Whether you choose to relax soaking up the South Pacific sun, drop anchor at one of Fiji’s islands, scuba dive at world famous dive locations, surf the reef breaks or bush walk through the abundantly lush tropical rainforests, there is a myriad of ways to enjoy Fiji.

published in tlf

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Capital gets its hippy groove with a spunk at Cafe Torque

Indeed the Capital gets its hippy groove with a pinch of spunk with this new space. Café Torque has been designed to encapsulate the nostalgia of riders by including various elements along the lines of grungy garage interiors, with super-bikes for sale on display, a World map made of nuts & bolts adorning a prominent wall, bannisters propped with chains, guitars made of heavy metal etc.
A hot spot for the young generation and a favourite place for fun without spending too much ‘moolah’, the décor suggests just chill out.

The bartender is every ready to whip up mocktails or pour you a glass of whatever you fancy (liquor license is awaited). An inventive beverage list means you won’t be let down. I loved my ‘Go Green’ a refreshing mix of Cucumber, Green Apple, Parsley and lime as well as the 'Paan Asian Mojito'.

 For starters along with your tipple.

I would recommend quirky, satisfying snacks to nibble which includes ‘Jerk spiced chicken wings’, ‘Peri Peri fish skewers, ‘Turkish Roast chicken’ , ‘or a ‘Mezze platter’ which is an assortment of goodies for the vegetarians.  For those in the mood for something more substantial I would suggest the ‘4 Stroke Mezze’ is the sort of monster dish that’s good enough for two. There are even pastas, sandwiches and Burgers on the menu. When all’s done and accounted for, there are the desserts crafted for the truly indulgent. To end on a sweet note, go for the ‘Apple rings’ with vanilla ice-cream. I must add that consultant Chef Arun Chanda has surely done a great job!

The experience at the cafe is a combination of its bold interiors and refreshing themes along with all the unique interactivity built in. The restaurant scores tops on its unique concept and is a joy to discover for jaded young crowd and is definitely value for money.
Meal for two: Rs. 2000/-++
Timings: 11:00 am to 1:00 am
Address: 4 Basant Lok Priya PVR complex in Vasant Vihar
Must Do: Torque Sunday Breakfast for Riders, Torque Live Evenings.


Singapore is the best place for street food owing to the Hawker centres being clean, cheap, and offering diverse and delectable food. Interestingly even Anthony Bourdain’s No reservations …a well-loved foodie show features Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice shop which by the way also has the longest queue At the Maxwell Hawker centre (read leading all the way around the corner) in Singapore. It is a wonderfully buzzing, multi-cultural society... Chinese, Indians, Malays and assorted expats all live alongside one another in this city-state. And needless to say, with such a mix of cultures, it is a foodie’s heaven. The variety on offer is mouth-watering. Certainly the Island republic’s reputation as a culinary paradise is well earned and merits more than one reflection of what makes good eating! So when I heard that K 3 at the JW Marriott has flown in Chef John Chye, all the way from Singapore Marriott Hotel, the husband and I simply had to go as we have some very fond memories of our many foodie trips to Singapore.
So in we went, looking like fish out of water and the first thing we ordered were two Traditional ‘slings’ as though this is something we do every day.  It was a good start and trust me it was as authentic as it can be! Later we even tried the French and the Italian take on it which were equally decadent. Coming to the food, the Kitchen dished up perennial Singapore favourites such as the famed Singapore Chilli Crab

which almost Singapore’s national dish, so I had to try some of these tasty crustaceans, fortunately it lived up to my expectations. The exact sauce recipe is a closely guarded secret, but I guess it consisted of garlic, ginger, fresh red chili, honey added to a rich tomato sauce, finished with chicken eggs. The Hainanese Chicken Rice is a winner out here the rice is flavourful and the slow steamed chicken along with chilli sauce complimented it rather well.
The Satay consists of chicken and lamb grilled over a charcoal fire. I relished the delectable and succulent meat with a tasty peanut dip; along with some fresh slices of cucumber and onion…I was in heaven for sure. All in all, I thought my meal was a magic experience for the senses, a moment of true happiness with dishes like the  Seafood Laksa, Ma Po Tofu, Soya Braised Duck with Tofu Skin, Ayam Masak Kicap (Chicken in Spicy Soy), Ikan Masak Assam (Fish with spiced tamarind gravy) among others.


Chef John is the guest Chef at JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity during the Singapore Street Food Festival from 22nd August, 2014 – 31st August, 2014.
Guests who enroll for the Kris Flyer membership during the food festival will receive bonus 1000 Kris Flyer miles.
The Singapore Street Food Festival is available as part of the daily Lunch/Dinner and Sunday Brunch buffet at K3, priced at:
Lunch Buffet (Price- INR 1800++)
Dinner Buffet (Price- INR 2250++)
Sunday Brunch (Price- INR 2500++ | INR 3000++ | INR 4200++)
Timings: 12:30pm to 3:00 pm (lunch), 7:30pm to 11:00pm (dinner) and 12:00pm to 3:30pm (Sunday brunch)
For reservations call: +91 11 4521 2120

Friday, August 22, 2014


My younger Child Natasha, died of no Platelet Production in her body, a birth disorder (happens to one in a million) which led me to research on Platelets which are tiny elements in the blood that help us to not bleed to Death. For example if we get a cut, they can clump together within our arteries owing to Cholesterol or laque build up in the artery lining. There are most active in the morning and tend to form internal blood clots at a great frequency and eating breakfast prevents this activation associated with strokes and heart attacks! Unfortunately Natasha did not ever get a chance to even Breakfast as she was only 35 days old when she passed away. I dedicate this for the breakfast skippers; you should stop that habit now! Iam sure you may hear innumerous times that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Research confirms that one of the worst practices you can develop may be avoiding breakfast. Studies have shown that as compared to Breakfast skippers, Breakfast eaters have one half the risk of Obesity ( metabolism slows while you sleep, and does not get back up until you eat again), strokes, heart attack and sudden death. Eating a healthy breakfast can also help regulate your appetite throughout the day so you don't overdo it at lunch and dinner or nibble unnecessarily.


Makes 2
Yogurt: 2 cups; Honey: 2 teaspoons; Bananas (sliced): 3 nos.
] Combine all ingredients in the KitchenAid cordless hand blender.
] Puree until extremely smooth.

Makes 2 (Make two omelets separately)
Egg whites: 6 nos (for a 2 egg omelet); salt: to taste; pepper: to taste; Tomato Chopped: ½; Broccoli (diced): ½; Butter: as desired.

] Beat the egg whites well (after separating from the yolk of course) in the KitchenAid standmixer; season with salt and pepper.
] Heat the butter in an omelet pan over high heat, coat surface.
] Pour the egg mixture into the pan, spread around with fork, when the mixture has coagulated a bit, and add the filling.
] Let it cook, don’t stir.
] Turn the omelet gently, be sure it’s not sticking while you do this and fold it inside to the center.
] When cooked serve in a plate. Have it along with hot multigrain toast or some fruits or grilled vegetables on the side.

 (You can choose your own filling or topping for example cherry tomatoes and basil or Spinach etc.)

Monday, August 4, 2014


The dream of having your own home-style luxury space is now a reality. Lemon Tree gives you the opportunity to get this and more at very affordable rates. That is the premise of Alleppey the private resort escapade offered by Lemon Tree in the breathtaking destination of Kerela! So go ahead and re discover yourself, at this stupendous resort situated right at the edge of Lake Vembanad with a magnificent view of the calm backwaters, which is easily accessible from Kumarakom and Cochin.
The resort is out of the way in the backwaters, far from the maddening crowd and tourist touts. It is the perfect place to rejuvenate your spirit with spectacular close up views of the lake from every room and unwind amidst the wide open spaces and fresh green environment of the resort. Located in the secluded Vembanad Lake, this exclusive retreat offers guests absolute privacy and seclusion along with value for money.  Comfortable rooms, a plunge pool and steps from the pristine lake, are exclusively designated for the use of the guests.

They also have their own luxurious houseboat, which can be hired for a night or just breakfast. Uniquely designed to reflect the rustic sophistication and timeless elegance of a chic expedition, the houseboat is an oasis of indulgence, offering magnificent views of the Vembanad Lake for carefree enjoyment.
The dedicated house boat is on hand to tailor make a magical experience for a special occasion with family or friends. For couples seeking the ultimate in privacy, the house-boat is perfect as a private retreat for two. Chef and his team in the kitchen are second to none, the food is fantastic, especially the Appams and stew. If you take a trip on the hotel’s Floating Villa Houseboat, The chef will be in early that day to make sure that all of the dishes are well prepared - incredible service and passion for food. The houseboat itself is lovely with the top deck Jacuzzi being the star of the show.
Does life get any better than sailing along the backwaters in a Jacuzzi on a luxury houseboat and getting a nice Kerela massage at the end of the trip in the resort?

It is great for a few days of doing nothing but lazing by a gorgeous pool and exploring the area. Bicycles are available for use and the hotel can arrange boat trips or taxi/car service further field, Alleppy is only a short drive away. Alleppy was described as Venice of the East by Lord Curzon.

The lighthouse is its major tourist attraction. For those who wish to explore more there is a selection of water sports such as fishing and sailing excursions. The never-ending panorama of lush green paddy fields, towering coconut trees, shimmering water and long canals around Alleppey make a delightful setting for the town. After swimming through in the pool guests can relax in the villa for the ultimate indulgence - a private spa treatment by special Kerela therapists.
Breakfast is served daily in the coffee shop and after a busy day in the plunge pool or on the beach, dinner is cooked by a great team of chefs, usually a feast of seafood served fresh from the crystal waters of the lagoon or a barbecue on the beach. A castaway dinner can be arranged outside your room - just a table and chairs and an exquisite meal served by a private chef and waiter and surrounded by the serenity and beauty of the Vembanad Lake.

Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort, Jana Sakthi Road,
Kayippuram Muhamma, Alleppey, Kerala.
For Reservations -0478 2861970
Best Way to Reach?
Fly to Cochin. From Cochin it takes 1 hour and 230 minutes to Reach Alleppy.
Best Time to visit?

August- April

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Chef Avin Thaliath, Assistant Professor , The Hotel Management Department at the Christ University has a BHM degree and an MBA in Human Resources, both from Christ University. He has the distinction of winning numerous national level culinary competitions and Olympics, as well as receiving a Golden Certificate from La Vatel, France, and being named the Best Outgoing Student of Christ College for the year 2005. Apart from Industry experience at Royal Orchid Hotels, he has presented numerous papers on areas such as Front Office, Housekeeping and bakery.

He shares two amazing Bakery Recipes using the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer.

Butter: 75 Gms; Sugar: 78 Gms; Egg: 1 No; Hot water: 45 Gms; Cocoa powder: 15 Gms; Cream: 62.5 Gms; Flour 62.5 Gms; Baking powder: 2.5 Gms

Whisk butter and sugar till white and creamy using KitchenAid® Stand Mixer.
Fold in the eggs, one at a time, at slow speed using KitchenAid® Stand Mixer.
Mix the cocoa powder and hot water together, and add slowly to egg mix.
Add fresh cream slowly.
Sift the baking powder and flour together.
Fold the flour into the mix using spatula.
Portion out into cupcake moulds or paper cup cake holders
Bake at 140degC for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cup cake comes out clean.

Egg White: 75 Gms; Sugar: 100 Gms; Icing Sugar: 125 Gms; Almond powder: 62.5 Gms

Whisk egg white and sugar together in KitchenAid® Stand Mixer till shiny and stiff.
Fold Icing sugar, almond powder and flavour powder into the meringue, half first, and then, when all folded in, adding the second half and continuing to fold.
Once all folded in, stir fast, to remove air and make it shiny.
The texture is right when, after scooping up a spoonful, it is dropped back into the bowl, and is steadily absorbed seamlessly back into the mix.
Use a 1cm nozzle, and a piping bag.
Use a baking tray line.
Pipe out the macarons evenly, with sufficient space in between.
When a tray is filled, knock the bottom of the tray against the table to knock out any air bubbles.
Let the macaroons dry till it is not sticky to the touch.
Bake at 165degC for 13 minutes or 14 – 15 minutes.