Thai High

The first time I went to the spruced up Thai High (earlier the roof-top restaurant was Thai Wok, owned by the present owner plus two partners who have since moved elsewhere) I was distinctly underwhelmed. There was a Thai chef in place, but the restaurant had too many teething troubles, food being just one of…

Celebrating the sweet tooth

When you’re walking by a pastry shop, chances are that science and art are the last things on your mind. However, it’s the permutations and combinations of these two elements that go to make dream desserts, decadent cakes or eye-popping pastries, to say nothing of creamy confectionery. And ask the army of pastry chefs in…

Jaisalmer. At the edge of the desert

If Jaipur is the Pink City and Udaipur the City of Lakes, how can Jaisalmer not be the Golden City? Every edifice, from its fort downwards is made of the same golden sandstone, known in the rest of the world as Jaisalmer stone. Perhaps it’s fortunate that Jaisalmer’s airport has little, if any, civilian traffic.…

Claridges Suraj Kund

Claridges Suraj Kund has a singular distinction: it is the only five star deluxe hotel in and around Faridabad. Far from being smug about it, the hotel tries hard to walk the fine balance between keeping its standards high and catering to the local palate. Oasis, the all-day dining area of the hotel is a…

Zaffiro by Zaza

Most restaurants are just that: commercial establishments, where a manager escorts you to your seat and a disinterested waiter takes you through the menu. Real estate in the NCR being what it is, no individual with a flair for cooking can ever hope to open a restaurant. There are very few exceptions to this rule:…

Zanotta

“Never change a winning formula” goes the conventional wisdom and certainly the current formula at Zanotta seems to be working well for the Leela Kempinski Gurgaon. It is billed as an Italian restaurant, has its own wine library, is open only for dinner and was crowded to capacity on a Monday evening. On the other…

China Garden

It was a Sunday night, the elegant restaurant in Ashok Hotel was packed to capacity. There were at least half a dozen five year olds on the premises and they were all making a beeline for my table because I was sitting near the fish pond that runs the length of the restaurant. The kids…

Smoke on the water

A houseboat holiday As the setting sun turned the sky first golden and then rose, the waters of the Dal reflected the multitude of tints. Other shikaras were darkly silhouetted against the sun’s rays, and I supposed my own shikara was too. My shikarawallah sang a mournful ditty that made up in gloom what it…

Sikkim

It’s my pet theory that you can never really have explored a new destination till you’ve seen its market. It was with that in mind that I set off to the floor above the local taxi stand in Gangtok. Extreme pressure on real estate and not much in the way of flat land means that…