Elma’s Bakery, Cakes and Tea Room

Elma’s – owned by The Living Room couple – has plenty of the owners’ personality stamped all over it, from the old-fashioned glass ‘conservatory’ windows that look out onto verdant tree-tops to a white piano and a couple of pieces of furniture that date back at least 40 years. The olde worlde look has been…

The Legendary Kashmiri Wazwan

It may be 40 degrees plus in Delhi, but as I write this in Srinagar, I’m shivering in the cold of a spring evening. I am on the extensive lawns of the Lalit Grand Palace, arguably one of the most picturesque spots in the Valley. I am talking to the wazas (cooks) of the late…

Sampan

Now that the renovation is complete, Sampan has morphed into an attractive, sophisticated dining space with a menu that is bound to make waves. After all, teppanyaki, oriental salads, sushi, tempura, Thai, Chinese, soups all in one massive effort is no mean feat. Some of the items on the menu are seldom seen elsewhere; others…

Landmark Restaurants

Most of this list serves multi-cuisine, a certain recipe for patchy quality in a jack-of-all-trades sort of way, so the nature of the game is a few really great dishes and about ninety menu fillers. But just as likely, you may love a certain dish in a landmark restaurant, whether or not it is a…

Manna in the Desert

Our guide in Amman had the rather unlikely name of Basel Ahmed. Had I but known it, his name was the perfect metaphor for Jordan itself: on the crossroads of Christianity and Islam. He had two seemingly irreconcilable passions: history and cuisine. While on site – Jordan has an unfair proportion of world famous Roman…

Hakkasan: the master comes to Mumbai

One of the most famous restaurant brands that originated in London has traveled across the continents to land at our shores. Every Indian traveler in Old Blighty has visited Hakkasan at least once for its brand of Chinese food reinterpreted for the international palate. The most interesting aspect of the restaurant is the name. Hakka…

The cuisine of the Royal House of Sailana

Enough attention has never been paid to the heritage of royal cuisine. Now is a good time, before it gets shrouded in the mists of the past. Palaces and havelis still exist; the people who once inhabited them still live on, although in vastly different circumstances. Look hard enough and you’ll even find jewellery and…

Royal Birthday Bash in Udaipur

Maharana Arvind Singh of Mewar celebrates his birthday in style. Visitors from all parts of the globe, villagers from the erstwhile princely state of Mewar, townspeople from Udaipur, a phalanx of press people, even filmstars beat a retreat to the doors of the living quarters of the City Palace. While lunch was a strictly family…

Chettinad Delights

Travel around Delhi and you’ll chance across the occasional restaurant that advertises its unique selling point. “Our chef is from Bukhara” proclaims the signboard outside. Wherever the chef is really from, what the restaurant is trying to do is to hope that some of the greatness of the legendary restaurant will rub itself on their…

Zaffrani Zaika

You can tell the sincerity of a restaurant by the quality of the freebies it serves. Zaffrani Zaika won’t give you store-bought papad. Instead, it makes a sort of baked matthi and serves that with three dips, all made in house. And here’s one place you needn’t be afraid of over-ordering: the waiters will tell…