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Story of a Drop, Pan Asian, ITC Grand Chola

Story of a Drop, Pan Asian, ITC Grand Chola

Tian at ITC Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi has been eluding me for a while. Why Tian? That is where Chef Vikramjit Roy moved a couple of years back. During his few years here when he set up Pan Asian, it turned out to be a restaurant that served the whose who of Chennai. He developed a fan following! As a food writer, I was still getting my grip on writing about fine dining when I first met Vikram. As I've been more exposed to fine dining over the years, he has taken his food a couple of notches above. Over the years, we've connected over food. And that connection refuses to break, touch wood! So when Vikram comes to Chennai, he is usually here on request to host something really big. And while he is here, he takes reservations from his fans and cooks up a storm. He was gracious enough to host us yesterday and a storm it was indeed. You hear people serve art on the food. You hear of chefs tell a story through food. But not Vikram. He has to tak

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Delhi Street Food Festival, Gateway by Taj, OMR

Delhi Street Food Festival, Gateway by Taj, OMR

Gupta's Burger! Rahul's ande! He he he. Yeah, these are real food names! Why would you see them in a fancy hotel's menu? Somethings are not easily accessible for many of us. Like one of the best buffets in town being located a long drive away on OMR. OK, there is a sizeable population on OMR, but for the folks in Chennai (yes, pun intended), buffets are defined as loads of mediocre food! BUZZ, the all day dining at the Gateway Taj on OMR has this super star chef whose brunch I had the privilege of enjoying! Now the dinner buffet! Normally food festivals as part of the buffets have a few dishes here n there, but the sheer number of dishes from the festival is mind boggling. And add stuff like Gupta and Rahul's dishes from the streets of Delhi, you realise that these guys are serious about their food festivals too! The drink maybe far from Delhi, but when you have that spiced Angoor Sherbet, you won't care where it came from! In my limited

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Classic vs Contemporary, 601, The Park

Classic vs Contemporary, 601, The Park

Food brings about many debates! Authentic or tweaked to the market? Fusion or Classic? Modern or Classic? Original recipe or Modern Twist? Classic or Contemporary. These debates rage on forever and like most debates, there is never a winner! Canon or Nikon? Nope, no clear winner! Then one smart alec chef decides to put on the plate! BOTH! I mean, no this or that. This AND that! Every single dish on the (festival) menu has two versions of dish on one plate! While I've been seeing a lot of interesting food promos at The Park recently, today I've been kicking myself for not attending those! Clearly, their Chef Saravanan has few tricks up his sleeve. He is already a mini celebrity with a TV show for himself on Sun TV, and gladly, I got a chance to meet him. It was the first day of the festival and the orders were delayed because they had an overwhelming response! Obviously! If you are giving two dishes on every plate, this is something indeed! We started off wit

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Sunset Grill, The Westin, Restaurant Week India

Sunset Grill, The Westin, Restaurant Week India

All you have to do is wait! Yes. It's that simple, I guess. First we had one, then the same thing happened twice and now we have two festivals every six months! I am talking about Food Weeks and now Restaurant Week India, the original, is back! This time also powered by Ola, so you can get picked up and dropped back as part of the deal. Wonderful places at a fraction of the price, so only thing left is for them to physically take the food and put it in your mouth. Having been to most of the restaurants on the list, I was excited to see a few new places and I thought I will try Sunset grill at the Westin! It was cloudy and there was a chance that we may have to dine inside, but the rains were kind and put off plans till a little later. And that is how we were able to dine at this beautiful open air restaurant. The ambiance is beautiful to say the least and the beautiful weather made it a perfect evening out. The menu is interesting. No single cuisine, but any

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Fabelle Chocolates, ITC Grand Chola

Fabelle Chocolates, ITC Grand Chola

Chocolates. Ah. The word brings so much comfort and pain at the same time. Like most things, the mind knows what it has been taught and chocolates are no different. The first time my patient told me that she was on an overdose of chocolates because she read that it was great for health, my response was, "What chocolates are you eating?" Foreign chocolates are an aspiration and those who travel will tell you that the same brand of chocolate tastes different abroad. In this scenario, India is fighting back with home grown bean-to-bar chocolates and handmade chocolates are slowly catching the fancy of those who want more than sugary, milky, vegetable fat laden chocolates. Amidst this, an Indian brand decided to take things on in a bigger way. A much bigger way. Factory made chocolates, but treating every chocolate bean the way it is meant to be treated. Curated by chocolatiers. Some big names from around the world. From cocoa beans from around the world.

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Peshawri, ITC Grand Chola

Peshawri, ITC Grand Chola

What if a restaurant doesn't serve rice in any form? And they don't give you cutlery? OK, if you notice that there are no knives and forks, you could ask, and they will politely tell you that their food is best enjoyed with hands. Of course, if you insist, you will have your way. Not the best way to eat food, but your way. More often than not, your way may not be the best way like some of us from our party of 5 found out! Get reservations. We were on for a Friday dinner and the place was packed! We were told during entry that there is no rice served and that it is not really kid friendly. We had packed some stuff for the kids, so they were fine. So were we! Small menu on a large menu! Yes. Just a handful of stuff, printed on a super large wooden block. Actually, two menus. One, the usual. Two, the unusual. A 10-11 course meal on one side and I think a 13 course meal on the other, priced at Rs. 3150 and Rs.3500 respectively! Nope! No way. We need to have star

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