Kashmir’s Dried Vegetables

The first time I ever set foot in Kashmir, it was autumn, and far from noticing the stunning scenery, my eyes were riveted on the windows of the houses I passed. There were drying vegetables strung from most windows, especially those in rural Kashmir. Depending on which part of the Valley I was in, there…

FireFly

Cuisine: Bar Blurb: A neighbourhood bar where you can go with Rs 500 in your pocket! Intro: Delhi swarms with lounge bars, resto-bars and all manner of specialty bars, but there’s nothing else like a genuine neighbourhood bar where you can visit in your chappals and shorts and not feel out of place. Atmospherics: The…

Pit Stop: Madrid

Why do I love Madrid so much? I guess it is the energy. After Northern Europe, the Spanish are effusive, loud and full of joie de vivre. In fact, if you’re visiting Madrid over the weekend and like your nights early, take my advice and pack ear-plugs. The early birds in the city and the…

Crepe Rit

French & Italian Blurb: Small and cozy, it is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Saket malls. Intro: As soon as you enter, you are transported to a French bistro; the appearance on the menu of crepes heightens the likeness. Atmospherics: The cheerful, cozy vibe of Crepe Rit is the best part about…

Meat and its Textures

This is all about the glorious textures of meat, from the satisfying chew of chunk meat to the insubstantial lightness of pates. There’s little you can do with a vegetable to alter its texture, but meat, now, that’s a whole different ball game. There’s a grotty little dhaba in the bowels of the Old City…

Cinnamon Hotels

I am always asked what my first impressions are in any destination that I visit. My most recent visit to Sri Lanka was my third visit, so I can only say what my “third impression” is: the teardrop shaped island in the Indian Ocean is poised on the brink of a huge tidal wave. It…

Ladakh: The Desert Cuisine

When the three greatest cuisines of the world are enumerated, Ladakhi food seldom finds mention. Even in Leh, Ladakhi restaurants seem anxious to stand up and be counted by serving Mexican, Israeli, Italian, Kashmiri and North Indian – everything else, in other words, but Ladakhi. The hotel where I’m staying, Shambha La, on the other…

Chapli Kebabs

Will the real Pakistani cuisine please stand up? I have been to no fewer than four hotel food festivals featuring the cuisine of our neighbouring country, and every time the food has been so different that it has not formed a pattern. Deluxe hotels – and it is only they who have the means to…

Chef Manish Mehtrotra (2005)

Tamarai – as the newest restaurant in Rohit Khattar’s stable is called – has one thing in common with its country cousin in Delhi: Chef Manish Mehrotra, for it is he that is the driving force behind both brands. He is thus, in the singularly fortunate position of having worked in two continents, yet within…

SodaBottleOpenerWala

Gawking at Gurgaon’s Cyber Hub is good enough reason to visit; Sodabottleopenerwala (SBOW) is the icing on the cake Atmospherics: If the swish hub looks like Singapore or Dubai, with its spacious walkways, the restaurant looks like a throwback to another era. From the uber cool display window with its giant bottles of sweets from…