The World’s Best Chocolates

The best chocolate certainly comes from Western Europe. But, the question that needs to be asked is: does chocolate have to be made in Europe alone to be considered good? Not really, but making chocolate – as opposed to growing the cacao bean – does require a temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius. Warmer than that…

Golconda Bowl

I heartily approve of restaurateurs who spend money where it is needed and save where it is warranted. Golconda Bowl in Hauz Khas Village is a no-frills  place with minimal fuss decor. However, the airconditioning is effective on a humid afternoon and best of all, there’s a Hyderabadi chef in the kitchen, complete with the…

Delhi Best Burgers

If you think burgers are a strictly non-serious item on a fast food menu, you’re in for a surprise. In Delhi’s best restaurants, burgers intersect that point between science and art. The Upper Crust definition of a serious burger is one whose patty has tenderloin: vegetarian burgers, chicken burgers etc are oxymorons. Salt and pepper…

Coastal Fish Curries

Kaveri G Ahuja from Coorg remembers the simple fish curries her grandmother used to make in Coorg. Swarms of tiny fish used to feed in the rice fields on either sides of the weir. Once the weir was opened, the water would recede and fishermen used to catch the fish. Kaveri says that they were…

A weekend in Old Delhi

Forget Shah Jehan and the Mughals, I told myself firmly as I threaded my way through the meat market, in the shadow of the Jama Masjid. The Mughal emperor with the most developed aesthetic sense for architecture and jewellery may have been the raison d’etre for much of Old Delhi, certainly for the giant quadrangle…

Ethnic shopping in London

On Edgware Road, I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t in Iraq. Burqa clad figures were out shopping: at one end of a side road, a vegetable market had been set up. Fabric shops sold lacy lengths of cloth with liberal helpings of glitter. However, it was the small grocery shops that were…

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…