Xiian

Xiian embodies the power of numerology. My first visit was when the spelling of the name was regular. At that time, the food barely passed muster. On my second and third visits, the food has been improving by leaps and bounds. Coincidentally, it is when the spelling moved to the extra ‘i’. Whatever it is…

The Fight For The World Cup

WITH JAMAICAN, BRAZILIAN, KENYAN AND ETHIOPIAN ON OFFER, WHY IS JAVA’S KOPI LUWAK EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA? What does the land of reggae have to do with a fine cup of coffee? For that matter, how does a weasel-like mammal improve the flavour of coffee? Or is it the musty winds of the south-western monsoon…

CODE

The more things change, the more they remain the same. After almost every major cuisine in the world has come to our city, the one that really rakes in the crowds is good old North Indian and that too, with not a particle to distinguish it from hundreds of clones. Code, which stands for Cuisine…

Secret Ingredients

Is it the recipe that is important or the writer ? A backlane in New Delhi’s tony Uday Park is where you’ll find the famous Ahad Waza of Kashmir. The cavernous commercial kitchen is the scene of unusual activity,  for alongside a team of assistants who work with the precision of an army, chopping onions…

Invasion of the Food Brigade

It’s reasonable to expect that expat chefs are essential if the quality of five-star cuisine is to remain international When chef Gabriele Montevechhio of Hyatt Regency’s La Piazza is called out of the kitchen by guests, he generally knows what is ,in store for him. “I get so many puzzled enquiries from guests wanting to…

The K – N ready reckoner

Your complete guide to the unexplored treasures of the breathtaking Kumaon hills in Uttarakhand A is for apple, which together with apricots, peaches and plums constitutes Kumaon’s fruit crop. Centred around Ramgarh, country houses belonging to the Scindias, Birlas and Dalmias dot the hillside, surrounded by orchards bursting with blossom. B is for bungalow. There…

Looking for Quality

Genuine marble inlay can be expensive; but make sure you’re not getting dyed mother of pearl in the name of the original. When Shah Jehan commissioned the Taj Mahal for his beloved empress, marble inlay was to form the single most important decorative element in the complex. Records inform us that semi-precious stones were brought…

Witches’ Brew

Jancis Robinson, the well-known wine writer, and Silverio Cineri, master chef from Italy, occupy two ends of the spectrum of food and beverage. But last week, both found themselves in New Delhi. While Robinson, on a private visit to the Capital, was co-opted by The Oberoi to hold a wine workshop for the staff, Cineri…

Candid Camera on the Taj

How you can take photographs of the Taj Mahal for best results. As the most photographed edifice in the country, images of the Taj Mahal have appeared in books, magazine articles, calendars, postcards, even on t-shirts and as advertisements for tea and Scotch whisky! You’ll find it at once marvellously easy to photograph, as well…