Cheflife, Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Lunch, Party Snacks / Appetizers, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Travel

Bengali food festival at Eighty Eight, Hyatt Pune.

Chef Suvendu Roy & team have have come up with yet another must visit food festival, from a land best known for its poetry, music and delicious food….Bengal ! 

Extend the festivities a bit more and indulge in this rich cuisine once, before you start with your diet again, post Diwali. 

This amazing buffet which serves different delicacies everyday include Bhetki Machar Paturi, Mochar Chop,  Cholar Dal, Aloo Pateler Tarkari, Sarse Hilsa, Kosha Mangsho to name a few. 

You will also find here, a variety of street style foods, soups, momos, rolls, noodles and other Tangra style preparations, which are an equally important aspect, when you think of the typical daily cuisine from Bengal.

This fest is on till 3rd November, at Eighty Eight, Hyatt Pune. 

At 1300++ per person, this huge buffet is definitely worth a try, & value for money. 

And how can any Bengali meal be complete without their famous desserts ?! 

Indulge your  sweet tooth with an array of desserts that include the legendary Rosogulla , Misti Doi  & much more ! 

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Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Lifestyle, Lunch, Quick Meals, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews, Travel, Work

3 Spices – Double Tree by Hilton, Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Located in the heart of Pune’s Industrial belt, Double Tree by Hilton is an ideal venue for a lunch meeting, corporate event, or even to stay on a business trip.
I was recently invited to their restaurant ‘3 Spices’ for the launch of their new menu.

A warm inviting ambiance with a lively vibe, this place isn’t just for mundane meetings, but also a good venue for an evening out with family and friends.
We started the tasting session with an assortment of wines from Sula Vineyards, and some delectable starters to go with it.

Keeping in mind the preferences of the guests, the newly designed menu is a mix of cuisines, to cater to all palates.

There’s a wide variety to choose from Indian, Oriental, & Continental cuisine.

A special mention has to be made about the Desserts though. Everything on the dessert counter looked so attractive, that we started our meal with a couple of desserts !

We were quite literally alternating between the sweet and savoury courses.
I particularly enjoyed the Continental cuisine and preferred to stick with that, over the Indian mains. And then some more desserts ofcourse !

The place felt a little crowded and noisy later, as the restaurant was almost packed to capacity by late evening…but then again, that’s a good sign…right?
Everything from the food, to the plating, presentation and the service was upto the mark & definitely worth another visit.

* Bloggers table was hosted by 3 Spices *

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Diet, Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Healthy Meals, Home Cooking, Lifestyle, Lunch, Motivation, Party Snacks / Appetizers, Quick Meals

Wok Tossed Prawns & Rice Stick Noodles 

​Homemade meals + cozy winter afternoons = Bliss 💜

This one dish meal is my favourite. 

I always have some chicken/prawns, some flat rice noodles/rice vermicelli at home, for a quick wok tossed meal that I can prepare in minutes. 

I used some fresh plump prawns that I wok tossed in some sweet chili sauce, garlic & crushed peppercorn, in a tsp of sesame oil, over a high flame. 

Added cooked flat rice noodles to the wok, tossed till they were coated evenly with the sauce. 

Garnished with fresh spring onion. Yummmm…

Delish meal ready in minutes ! 

PS- That’s why it’s important to have basic sauces, spices & grocery at home with which you can rustle up a quick meal, so that you don’t end up eating junk food. 😛 

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Diet, Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Healthy Meals, Home Cooking, Lunch, Quick Meals

Honey Chili Chicken 

​Dinner last night, was this easy Honey-Chilli Chicken. 

It’s the kind of dish that gives you a healthy dose of protein, plus add veggies of your choice, like brocolli, bellpepper, onion, mushrooms, or baby corn…and your 1 dish meal is ready in under 15 minutes! 

■ Cut boneless chicken into bite sized cubes. 

■ Marinate with a bit of salt, pepper, soy sauce, & ginger-garlic paste. Set aside for 15-20 mins. (You could also marinate the chicken & leave it in the fridge before you go to work. All you need to do is stir fry it later in the evening, & your meal will be ready in minutes. 

Anyway…so back to the chicken. 

■ While your boneless chicken cubes are soaking up the soy sauce, & ginger garlic flavours, dice veggies of your choice into bite sized cubes. 

■ Finely mince some ginger & garlic. Slit some green chillies lengthwise (or mince them if you like) 

■ Toss the marinated chicken In some dry cornstarch so that all pieces get covered with a thin and even dusting of cornstarch. 

■ In a wok, heat couple of tsps of Sesame oil, add minced ginger-garlic, green chillies, veggies, soy sauce, salt to taste and Honey. Toss on high heat for a minute. 

■ Add cornstarch dusted chicken to the wok and keep tossing till the sauce coats all the veggies and chicken evenly. This should take only 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook chicken and vegetables. 

■ Garnish with fresh spring onion and sesame seeds. Serve hot. 

■ If you want to serve this chicken with rice, add water and simmer for a couple of minutes till you get the desired consistency of gravy. 

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Quick Fried Rice 

​This one dish meal works wonders when you have a cup of leftover cooked rice and want to rustle up a quick meal on a busy work day. 
This literally takes the same amount of time it would need to cook a packet of Instant Noodles. (ok… maybe a minute more, to mince and chop the veggies…. but so much more nutritious than a pack of junk food)
I generally stock up a few bottles of Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, and Curry Pastes to instantly jazz up boring veggies and meats.

You can use any meat/veggies you have at home, as there are no set rules for this recipe. 

So don’t be lazy, and try this simple recipe next time you have the urge to just pop a ‘ready to eat’ packaged meal in the microwave. 
● In a wok, heat a tsp of Sesame Oil (any other oil would do) Add in minced Ginger & Garlic,  Soy Sauce, (Fish Sauce- optional), Black Pepper/Chilli Flakes. 
● Add lightly whisked Egg (/Sausages/Bacon) and any of the following veggies – Pak Choi/ Bok Choy /Mushrooms /Cabbage/ Spring Onion. Add Salt to taste.

Saute on high heat for couple of minutes.

● Add in the cooked rice (should be cold/room temperature) and toss it just enough, so that all ingredients mix well. Serve hot. 

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Food Blog, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews

Shizusan – Asian ‘pop’ Bistro

Phoenix Market City is definitely becoming one of the best places for experiencing interesting food concepts.
The newest addition being Shizusan, as Asian ‘pop’ bistro.
Minimalistic decor, with touches of the Orient which are smart, but not in your face.
The charming alfresco section would be my choice to dine, when the weather is pleasant. As for the summer months, its best to sit indoors.

The concept and menu revolves around ‘Shizusan’, a fictitious character, and his travel and culinary experiences all over Asia.

Painstaking research has gone into designing this extensive menu and bringing together some of the most popular dishes from Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Chef Paul Kinny and his team have done a remarkable job with these dishes, and have taken care to see that there’s something interesting for every palate.

We sampled around 30 dishes at the bloggers table that evening.
Yeah…being a food blogger is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it … Lol ! 😜

My favourites from that evening were-

# Edamame Dumplings- steamed edamame dumplings with a light hint of wasabi. Subtle yet flavourful.
# Prawn and Coriander Dumplings – a whole succulent prawn with a hit of fresh coriander. Superb.
# Pepper Garlic Mushrooms – With generous use of Thai herbs and spices, these mushrooms had a bold flavour and will defintiely be appreciated by the our Indian tastebuds that need the zing of chili and garlic.
# Thai Spiced Lotus Stem – Another almost addictive starter, you just cannot stop eating it. Crisp lotus stem slices tossed in a sweet-spicy-tangy sauce. It makes a great starter to have with your drink. A definite hit with all the Vegetarians.

# The star of the evening for me, however, was a plate of Baby Back Ribs!
Melt in the mouth, tender, ‘falling off the bone’ kind of meat. Delish Bbq sauce that had an Asian twist to it, had me shamelessly licking my fingers, and the plate clean.
If there’s one dish I absolutely wouldn’t share with anyone, its this !

# Shizusan offers a large and impressive variety of sushi (classic and modern) which cannot be tried in just one visit.
Rainbow Maki (assortment of Tuna, Salmon, Crab)
Tuna Tartare Roll,
Philadelphia Roll (salmon with cream cheese) are all worth a try.

Vegetarians need not worry , as there’s plenty for them to choose from.

The Baos served at Shizusan are shaped like Tacos, instead of the classic stuffed buns.
The 12 hour braised pork belly with a spicy jalapeno slaw was ace. Such a gorgeous bite. I fell in love with it !

The dishes that failed to impress me were –
Thai Chicken Wings with a drizzle of sriracha.
Hot Stone Rice, and Pad Thai, were rather average, as compared to rest of the dishes we sampled that evening.

Inspite of trying so many things I was eagerly waiting for dessert, as my expectations had reached sky high.

Sadly for me, desserts were a Disappointment.
# Tiramisu Asia – is a twist on the classic Tiramisu, where coffee is substituted with a mild green tea. This one failed to impress completely.
# Peanut Butter Pie was bit of a saviour with its creamy peanut butter mousse like center with chocolate ganache. Interesting, but for a ‘Snicker’ lover maybe.

I would’ve loved to see some adventurous experiments with the desserts. Since there’s so much twist on the classic recipes, how about a Cake or Panna Cotta infused with Pandan leaf ?! Now that would be unique and interesting.
Hope to see it on their menu soon !

As for the Dimsums, Bao, Sushi and some wonderful mocktails (ohh….Don’t forget to try the ‘Thai Thai’ a wonderful blend of orange juice and kafir lime leaves) people of Pune, go check it out soon, and thank me later ! 🙂

* Review conducted on Invite *

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Food Blog, Reviews

Dimsum Festival at JW Marriott, Pune

A peek into the ongoing Dimsum Festival –
I was invited last week to Spice Kitchen, JW Marriott, where they are hosting a Dimsum Festival till 29th February ’16.
This huge spread of Dumplings, bao, chinese green tea is definitely a treat for the tastebuds. The vegetarians need not feel left out as there is plenty to choose from.
My favourites from the Vegetarian spread were –
Chinese chive dumplings
Shitake mushroom dumplings
Veg coriander bao

And the must haves from Non Vegetarian spread are –
Prawns Hargan
Lamb Bao
Chicken Sesame Sphere

While enjoying these yummy dumplings, dont forget to try the green tea cocktails.
My favourite was a blend of Chinese Green Tea and Gin, served chilled to wash down the sumptious spread of dimsums and the huge variety of accompaniments and sauces.
There’s something for everyone here…and you have only 2 days left to check it out.

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