Singapore Fling

Budget travellers to Singapore head happily to the thousands of hawkers centres in that city-state. Two people can have a filling meal of noodles, soup, Hainanese chicken rice or something called roti pratha, and still have change left over from Singapore $ 5. Hawkers’ centres provide variety. In the interests of fairplay, owners of a…

SIAL: the French Gastronomy Exhibition

Salon International de l’Alimentation, better known as SIAL, just concluded in Villepinte, Paris. No matter where you looked, you couldn’t have missed the Indian contingent, and I’m not referring to exhibitors like Satnam Overseas. We were a motley bunch of executive chefs and F & B Managers, importers and food writers, looking at what France…

Smoke House Room

What do you get when you cross a bon vivant with a solitary translator of Ghalib’s poetry? You get maverick restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani. He has two sides to him. He is blessed with friends across the planet on one hand, yet on the other, he loves nothing better than to hole up in his study…

Smoke House Grill

Delhi’s newest restaurant – Smoke House Grill – is from the stable of Riyaaz Amlani, the maverick genius who gave us Mocha. Expectedly, it is not just another fine-dining eatery with a lounge section, but contains a novel concept that is set to change the way we look at cuisine. The restaurant actually has a…

Coffee: Ways to Brew It

Unless you live in south India, where coffee is grown, it’s a nightmare getting a decent cup. It shouldn’t be, because India grows plenty of coffee, of which, three are specialty coffees: Monsoon Malabar, Mysore Nugget Extra Bold (MNEB) and Robusta Kapi Royal. OK, so you’ve heard the age old argument that arabicas are inherently…

Red Blooded Royal

“Cumin and asafoetida is an appropriate combination, as is onion with garlic. Just don’t go mixing up the two combinations.” I was learning how to make the Rajasthani signature Lal Maas (which translates less than felicitously as red meat) from Arvind Singh of Mewar, Maharana of Udaipur. Shreeji as he is called affectionately, reportedly keeps…

Celebrating the sweet tooth

When you’re walking by a pastry shop, chances are that science and art are the last things on your mind. However, it’s the permutations and combinations of these two elements that go to make dream desserts, decadent cakes or eye-popping pastries, to say nothing of creamy confectionery. And ask the army of pastry chefs in…

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…

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…