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…

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…

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…

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…

Manna in the Desert

Our guide in Amman had the rather unlikely name of Basel Ahmed. Had I but known it, his name was the perfect metaphor for Jordan itself: on the crossroads of Christianity and Islam. He had two seemingly irreconcilable passions: history and cuisine. While on site – Jordan has an unfair proportion of world famous Roman…

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…