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…

The Spice of Life

Go to a Thai restaurant anywhere in the world, and order a Massaman curry, chicken red curry or a vegetable green curry. You will have quite a lot in common with an Indian meal. Or, visit a Syrian, Lebanese or Turkish restaurant and there will be other things in common with Indian food. The same…

Indian Food, the International Way

Fortunately for me, every restaurant in London puts up their menu in the window, the better for passers by to judge the advisability of dining there or not. One thing that puzzled me was an item on the menus of all the Indian restaurants: they all had chicken tikka flavoured with rose petals. Rose petals…

The Leela and The Oberoi Gurgaon

It has been a while since high profile hotels have opened in the capital. No fewer than two opened in the month of April. The Oberoi Gurgaon and the Leela Palace New Delhi have been keenly anticipated, but nobody could have imagined just how divergent the styles of both hotels would turn out to be,…

Kayasth Khatirdari

In Delhi, there are Andhra restaurants, Kashmiri restaurants, even Naga restaurants but no restaurants of the Mathur/Kayasth community, which is why many Delhiites are not even aware that the cuisine exists. That is something that has piqued Anoothi Vishal’s pride. This food journalist belongs to the Mathur community. As she describes it, “All Mathurs are…

Salt of the Earth

Hotels routinely have food promotions centering around ingredients that have usually been brought from the other end of the world and that have great intrinsic worth. Oysters, wild salmon, truffles – the list of precious ingredients is endless. But what would you say about a salt festival? As a nonplussed hotel guest from Germany asked…

Bento Box

One of the most popular breakfasts in the ITC Sheraton, New Delhi is the Japanese bento breakfast. The brainchild of Chef Nakamura, he tells us about what these “Japanese thalis” stand for. Most bento boxes are rectangular and black, with a few being oval, square or crescent moon shaped. Red is an uncommon colour for…