Wholsome ​Fine Dining Experience At The Basil Leaf

Situated in the Golden Plateau Hotel, right on the Porvorim Highway, is the recently opened fine dine restaurant Basil Leaf. Honestly speaking when I attended the launch of the place, I couldn’t make much of it. There were a lot of guests back then and I had reached quite late, also I tried only Thai Chicken Curry and Rice during the launch which was good, but I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out when dining on a normal regular day. So when I headed to The Basil Leaf for a lunch with my family, I had no expectations at all, but at the onset, I have to say that I was taken by a complete surprise. The overall experience turned out to be so good that it has already become a favorite neighborhood restaurant for my entire family who looks forward to going back there soon.

Another thing that added a feather to the cap was the fact that as a blogger I wasn’t given any specially curated or pre-selected menu. I was free to choose my order, and this was because the restaurant management wanted me to try, experience and provide with feedback like a regular guest. This helped me understand two things about the place very well, first, it showed their confidence in their preparations and secondly, they were open to constructive feedback and suggestions to improve.

Coming to food, I ordered the following dishes

Pan Fried Chilly Fish– An absolute must have!

Chilly Fish
Chilly Fish

Chicken Pahadi Kebab– Very highly recommended, especially for those who are trying North Indian

Chicken Pahadi Kebab
Chicken Pahadi Kebab

Garlic Pepper Prawns– A very decent preparation yet again

Pepper Garlic Prawns
Pepper Garlic Prawns

Pan Fried Tamarind Fish– Something very different and unique, must be given a shot

Tamarind Fish
Tamarind Fish

Chilly Paneer– This was ok, nothing exceptional, but not bad either.

Chilly Paneer
Chilly Paneer

For the main course, we settled for Dal Makhani, which could have been better, Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, which was great, Chicken Noodles and Chicken in Oyster Sauce, both of which were really well prepared. We ended the meal on a sweet note with some Hot Gulab Jamuns.

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
Main Course
Main Course
Gulab Jamun
Gulab Jamun

P.S.- They have something called as Cafreal Biryani, which is chef’s own twist to create a fusion with Mughlai and Goan flavors, although I did not try it, but it sounded interesting and I will surely try it soon. Just keep in mind that if you are ordering in, you will have to call the restaurant and especially ask for this one, as it is not part of the regular menu.

To sum it up, I had a great experience enjoying my food at The Basil Leaf and you definitely should give it a try.

Address 

H 818/3, NH66 Behind Delfino’s, Near teen Building Bustop, Porvorim Bardez Goa

Phone Numbers

+91 9158083333
00 08322417733

Cuisines

North Indian, Goan, Continental, Chinese, Seafood

Average Cost 

₹700 for two people

Have You Been To Cuebebar Smokehouse Yet? If Not, You Must!

There is food, then there is food made with a lot of love, there are restaurants, and then there are dreams, this place Cuebebar Smokehouse Goa falls in the latter category because it isn’t just a restaurant but a dream that a young boy of 23 all has seen and pursued, it reflects his passion along with that of his friend. Arjun and his friend Bunty are the two boys behind this amazing place. Arjun who worked with Marriott in Texas before coming back to India is the main chef while his friend Bunty takes up the charge for the bar and shakes up some amazing cocktails.

It is one of Goa’s first smokehouse and grills and no place can satiate your cravings for great burgers, and sandwiches than this one. All meats are smoked for a minimum of 6-10 hours and thus the flavors are to swear by. In fact, they are so particular about smoking techniques, that they made their own smoker from an old tank.

Ambiance

The place has a very raw, rustic and garage like feel with some super awesome bikes adding the funk to the whole atmosphere. I loved the use of raw wood at certain places, especially the plank which has the bar menu printed on it caught my eyes. And you just cannot miss posing with the bikes, I am sure it is gonna be one of the most instagrammable restaurants of Goa, in the times to come.

Food


Coming to the food, because of their sheer love and hospitable nature, they served us some homemade chips and you can’t avoid binging on them. I teamed it up with an amazing cocktail called Ice Age, while I waited for my food to be served.

The smoked beetroot salad was simply amazing, healthy, nutritious and very very tasty. The goat cheese and the use of orange vinaigrette gave it an extra punch that I loved.

Orange Brined Chicken served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes was typically my kind of food and I know I will be going back for it soon.

The Cuebebar style beef burger is a must have. Period. The smoked beef will melt in your mouth and the burst of flavors with caramelized onions is something you would definitely not want to miss.

The Cuebebar slider platter is also something you can’t miss. The pulled pork slider is something that makes my mouth water even when I write about it now. It’s definitely worth all the attention. The tender meat smoked perfectly and oh yes the onions, yum yum!

Service

The service was very quick and I did not have to wait too long to gorge on the scrumptious food.

Pricing

I found the prices very pocket-friendly given the fact they are almost like American portions and one portion is more than sufficient for an individual person. Average cost for 2 people would be Rs 500-600

Final Word

This place surely deserves to be on your list and apart from amazing food, they keep doing regular events to keep their clients entertained. So it’s my belief that you would love spending an evening enjoying great food and drinks at Cuebebar and it might become one of those places where you would go again and again. At least I can say I found a happy place which serves my kind of food 🙂

Address 

Behind SORO Village Pub, Assagaon – Badem road.

Important Information

Open only for dinners, 6 PM- 11:30 PM and closed on Tuesdays

To Experience Scrumptious Bohra Cuisine, Dig Into ‘Thaal’, Goa

The word Thaal is iconic with the Bohra Cuisine and hence full points to Rumama Roowala for naming her restaurant ‘Thaal’.

Little Bit Of History

Bohra Muslims, who are said to have migrated originally from Yemen to Gujarat, are firm believers in the maxim: “The family that eats together, stays together.” The entire Bohra family dines out of one platter called the thaal and it typically accommodates 4-8 people. Each dish is placed in the centre of the thaal and every member pulls his or her share. Bohras have a no-wastage policy. Not a single grain of rice is left on the plate when it is taken away.

To promote this thought and keep the tradition alive, Rumana came up with the idea of ‘Thaal’ as she too believes in community eating and bonding over food.

Location and Ambiance

Thaal which is located right opposite the Coco Beach on the Reis Magos Fort Road has both indoor and outdoor seating options. The indoor option with its low floor seating is where the traditional thaal is served. For savoring a thaal, you need to be in a group of minimum 3-4 people, otherwise, you could sit in the outside area and enjoy the smaller versions of thaal called thalis.

We chose a lazy Friday afternoon for our lunch at Thaal. Since we were just two people, me and my son, we opted for thaalis and sat down in the outer seating area that oversees the coco beach. It was a bright, beautiful and breezy afternoon, perfect to enjoy a great meal. The view was great too, I anyway am the happiest around the sea.

Food

Coming to food, we ordered two thalis for ourselves, one can choose between the starters, but the main course changes on a daily basis. But we were lucky and got to savor two different main course dishes as well. As per Bohra tradition, the meal usually begins by tasting salt which acts as a palette cleanser, it is then followed by a dessert, they consider it auspicious. So keeping with the tradition, I started by eating my dessert first, the Kalamra, which is basically sweetened curd and rice with lots of dry fruits in it. It was quite nice, after this I came to the Channa Batata, a salad with chickpeas and potatoes tossed in nice tangy tamarind chutney and the best part was some fried onions on the top, they enhanced the overall taste so much.

My starter included the Bohra Chicken Cutlets, these were simply amazing, crispy coating on the outside and almost melt in the mouth soft on the inside. Subtle flavors and a perfect texture, these definitely are worth trying.

My son’s thaali had Keema Pao as a starter and that too was excellently prepared. The Keema was delicious and the Paos soft and buttery, it made for a perfect combination.

For the main course, while I got to try Daal Gosht with Rice, my son had Gosht Biryani and both these dishes were mind-blowing. Especially the Daal Gosht is one dish that you definitely should not miss. The mutton pieces in both the dishes were extremely juicy and tender and that speaks for the quality of food. The biryani was Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani, which means that everything is cooked together and that’s one of the prime reason for getting out the best flavors. All meat is marinated overnight and slow cooked for about 4-5 hours and this explains its tenderness perfectly.

To finish my meal, Sheer Khurma, the dessert made with sweetened milk, dates, vermicelli, and loads of dry fruits was just perfect.

So I highly recommend it to both my Goan readers and friends and my readers from across the country and globe that when in Goa, this place should definitely be on your list.

The Flavors Of Bombay Come To Goa With Old Bombay Cafe

Even though Bombay doesn’t have any specific cuisine, different parts of Bombay are famous for different types of food. From the typical street food that includes Pav Bhaji, the very famous Bombay Sandwich to the food made popular by the old Parsi cafes in South Bombay, it has a lot of variety to offer. When in Bombay, you have to travel across the length and breadth of the city to savor these different delicacies, but when in Goa, you can taste all of this amazing food right from one beautiful cafe, bar and bistro.

Yes, that is the best part about Old Bombay Cafe, it brings out the best of Bombay flavors all under one roof, or rather 3 roofs :). The cafe cum bistro and bar is spread across 3 floors, with the top floor dedicated to the bar area.

Interiors

Interiors of this place are breathtakingly beautiful. It is one of the most Instagram worthy cafes of Goa. The colorful and vibrant ambiance is very craftily designed, the wall arts are just marvelous. You would actually want to stand at each nook and corner of this cafe and get yourself clicked, its actually that beautiful.

Food

I find myself struggling with the menu and deciding on what to order and what to leave when it comes to places like these. But obviously, I cannot eat it all in one day and have to leave a few things for my next visits, I tried and picked my favorites. Choosing favorites help me ensure the quality of the food because sometimes the simplest and the most popular dishes are the most difficult to get right. But, I was told by the cafe’s manager Mr. Sagar Puri that I ended up selecting all the signature dishes and these popular and simple dishes is what the cafe strives to serve with the most authentic flavors and yet with some twist.

Starters

Mutton Keema Pao Puff

Contrary to the regular Keema Pao, this was different but equally flavorful. This had lamb mince stuffed in ball-shaped bread and baked, yes baking did make a lot of difference. There was no dripping oil and I quite loved that bit.

Tandoori Paneer

I always enjoy a nicely done Paneer Tikka, and this too was perfectly done. The paneer was soft, well marinated and well roasted along with roasted bell peppers and onions, served with mint chutney.

Boti Chicken

This boti chicken is one of the most popular dishes in Bombay and I remember eating it at many different restaurants. The recipe isn’t very complicated, but the blend of spices and the way it is tenderly cooked, it has a punch of its own. Served on crispy roomali rotis with masala onions, this was really nice.

Grilled Prawns

This is one dish that I am going back to Old Bombay for, I simply loved the preparation. The prawns were delish. The spicy coating, the crunch of peanuts and the chilly chutney, ah, my mouth waters even at the mention of it and imagine my plight while writing this post just after midnight. Midnight cravings…. heard of the term?? I am experiencing it right now 🙁

Main Course

Butter Chicken

Now finding a good butter chicken in Goa has been a task for me ever since, but finally, I can now satiate my pangs for the same at Old Bombay Cafe. For me, butter chicken has always been a dish which I found at its best in Delhi and then in Bombay, but now Goa can boast of it too.

Dal Makhani

The butter chicken theory applies to Dal Makhani as well and I am so glad that I found a place where I can gorge on it. Felt like home. Coming from Delhi, and now living in Goa for close to two years, this literally was a craving I found no solace for until today. Also during my traveling years, I remember how much we sometimes miss these basic dishes, but now I can proudly say to all my North Indian friends and readers who love traveling to Goa but miss that typical food, guys this is the place for you!

Saag Meat

Another of my favourite dishes and again a very well prepared at that. The mutton was tender and well cooked, and the gravy was just perfectly done.

Final Word

After a long time, I found the flavors of both Delhi and Bombay at this one amazing place. For me, its gonna be my most frequented cafes in Goa, especially given the fact that now my entire family has shifted here from Delhi and Goa is home, we need to have a place which feels like home in terms of comfort food.

Please do visit this lovely cafe and let me know what dishes did you enjoy the most.

Details

Address 

5162, Baga Creek Road, Near Marinha Dourada Resort, Goa

Phone number

+91 7219597414
Table booking recommended

Cuisines

North Indian, Continental, Parsi

Average Cost 

₹1,600 for two people (approx.)

Opening hours

Today  12noon – 12:30AM

Old Bombay Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

These 6 New Places To Eat & Drink In Goa, Need All Your Attention

Goa is always buzzing of new places to explore, eat good food and enjoy drinks, but not all are actually that great. In the past couple of months, I have tried a whole lot of new places and some of them really deserve your attention. Also, I have tried to highlight different kinds of experiences and thus these places don’t overlap each other’s charm. Each of them is unique in its own right and you can visit them all for some amazing experience. Lets get started

Diva

Diva as they say is Goa’s freshest catch.

Chef Ritu Dalmia’s Italian restaurant, is elegant, warm and welcoming with a beautiful indoor and outdoor seating by the pool. The place spells class right from the moment you enter, the effort gone in designing the place to curating the menu and then delivering it right on your plate is evident all through. The restaurant uses authentic ingredients, often flown in directly from Italy and offers an extensive collection of wines.

It also has an outdoor pizzeria with a wood-fired oven. From handmade dough to handpicked herbs, every ingredient is chosen by the chef herself, making every dish special. The menu changes seasonally, as it does in Italy. For a truly authentic and unforgettable dining experience, one must experience Diva, it’s truly worth it! 

Top Recommended Dishes

Prawn Salad With Fennel Shavings and Citrus Fruit
Potato Roulade With Grilled Vegetables & Baked In Tomato Ragu and Parmesan
Ravioli Filled With Ricotta & Sun Dried Tomatoes With Butter Almond Sauce
Linguine With Prawns, Garlic & A Drizzle Of Chilli Oil
Tiramisu

Cuisine

Italian

Address

Andores Resort and Spa, Tivai Vaddo, Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹2,000 for two people


Artisan Backerei

This tiny little bakery in Calangute should definitely be on your list and there are more than one reasons for you to do so. Well the bakery uses traditional and year old recipes of baking that have been long forgotten.. be it savouries or the sweet delights.. each recipe has a history behind it.. the ingredients used are the finest in quality and using only raw sugar or low gluten free wheat flour, pure Belgian chocolate, and fresh crafted cheese is something that one of the oldest pastry chefs of India Vijay Nagpal is extremely particular about.. I tried the BBQ Chicken Croissant which was delicious, the Classic Lorraine Quiche loaded with bacon, cheese and egg is something you shouldn’t miss, the Hummingbird Cake Slice will give you a riot of flavors and the Hungarian Esterhazy Torte will simply melt in your mouth. This is one place you would definitely want to visit again especially for the cakes and pastries. So go on and indulge!

Top Recommended Dishes

Classic Lorraine Quiche
Hungarian Esterhazy Torte

Cuisine

Bakery

Address

Shop 16, Kamat Holiday Homes, Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹500 for two people


LIFE Beach Lounge

The launch of Life Beach Lounge and the first Sunday brunch that offered lovely drinks and a very appetizing Pan Asian meal gave my weekend the perfect end. This property overlooking the Morjim beach is so beautiful that one can spend hours sitting in, chilling and relaxing while also enjoying food and drinks. The view is breathtakingly beautiful and I mean who wouldn’t love such a beautiful Sunday, isn’t it?
Now coming to food, Life lets you enjoy a specially curated brunch menu that explores food and flavors from different parts of Asia. Salads, Soups, Sushi, Pizzas, Thai Curries, the menu has a lot to offer and is totally worth the money

Top Recommended Dishes

Glass Noodles Chicken Salad
Japanese Beef Salad
Gazpacho Soup
Margarita Pizza
Sushi
Red Thai Curry With Jasmine Rice
Panna Cotta

Cuisine

Japanese, Italian, Asian

Address

House 763/A, Gawde Wada Road, Morjim, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,000 for two people and Sunday Brunch starts from 1800/- onwards


The Coastal Spice By Ziva


The Coastal Spice at Ziva Suites is yet another hidden gem that I loved exploring, known for their home-style cooking offering great dishes from different coastal regions of Maharashtra, this place should definitely be on your list.. nestled in a quaint village side in Siolim, the peace, tranquility and, serenity that this place offers is unmatched. Surrounded by greens on all sides and enjoying a meal by the poolside is something that you will love. Coming back to the food.. they have a special emphasis on Goan and Malvani cuisines and particularly known for their fish thali but since I was alone and I wanted to try a few things, the very hospitable staff and Pooja Sawant who runs the place helped with smaller portions and customizations to make it more like a platter rather than full portions

Top Recommended Dishes

Prawn Papad Roll
Prawn Rava Fry
Rosemery Chicken Tikka
Malvani Chicken
Prawn Sukha

Cuisine

Goan, North Indian, Continental

Address

Ziva Suites, Wadi, Siolim-Chapora Road, Siolim, Vagator, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,100 for two people


Alibi and Pizzaronee

Two friends.. two different backgrounds but same passion..food.. one boasts of authentic North Indian cuisine to be his forte while the other is super proud about the Pizzas.. together they brought both these poles apart cuisines at a single place.ALIBI Goa is your go to restaurant for some lip-smacking Indian food. I personally loved the kebabs while Pizzaronee serves the best possible pizzas in Goa, there 20 inch super pizza is totally worth the indulgence if you are looking at sharing it with a set of friends and to top it they serve White Owl beers that simply complete your meals and compliment both the cuisines so just go for it!

Top Recommended Dishes

Murg Angara Kebab
Murg Pahadi Kebab
Chef’s Choice Pizza in 20 inches

Cuisine

North Indian and Italian

Address

1/281, Gauro Vaddo, Calangute Bardez, Opposite Tarkar Ice Factory Next To Literati Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,000 for two people


Owl Premium Night Club

If dancing the night away is your thing, then this place is definitely for you. The new kid on the block and situated in a prime location, Owl is a club you would not want to miss.

Goa is called the party capital of India and known for its lively and throbbing nightlife scene and beach parties that go all night long.

The Owl is a perfect spot to hit for a crazy night out with top-notch DJs who play music spanning across different genres, from funky and electro punk to trance, techno, EDM, Indian and pop that will persuade you to get your groove on. The vibe gets energetic and livelier with every passing hour and a wild party ensues. Although I visited the place during the launch and won’t pass judgment on the food, overall it’s one happening place that I guess everyone would love to explore.

Cuisine

Fast Food

Address

Owl Road, Shiroli Pulachi, Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,200 for two people


Sunday Brunch @ Life Beach Lounge, Morjim, Goa

Well, Sundays are actually meant to be spent in a leisurely manner and whoever came up with the idea of brunch was a really wise man.

History

Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning to early afternoon, generally served from 10 am up to 2 pm, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink which mostly includes champagne or a cocktail. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch. Brunch originated in the late 19th century in England and became popular in the United States in the 1930s. From there on the trend started catching up with the rest of the world and each country twisted and turned around with their ideas of brunch. Sunday brunches started becoming extremely popular because of the leisurely feeling attached with a Sunday. Usually, people party late nights on a Saturday and a Sunday Brunch seemed just like a perfect meal. Slowly restaurants started picking up the idea and the brunches became even more popular. One the timings made a lot of sense to late risers, plus Sunday could be a no-cook day and it also gave an opportunity for the entire family or even friends to head out together and enjoy a relaxed meal.

My Sunday Brunch

Ok now after the brief history and increasing popularity details about the Sunday Brunch lets bring the focus back to the fact that why am I writing about a Sunday Brunch. Of course, because I recently enjoyed a great Sunday Brunch that I would want to share with all of you. Life Beach Lounge recently got launched in Goa and this happened to be their first Sunday Brunch and so I had to attend it anyhow. All thanks to my PR friend Sinead, I got the opportunity to review the Sunday Brunch and we a handful of foodies headed straight to Life Beach Resort in Morjim.

The Ambiance

Even though you head out for a food review, you cannot ignore the effect that the ambiance of the place creates on you. Right from the entrance, the place is a picturesque beauty. The pathway that leads to the main seating area in itself is an Instagram friendly point and yes we did stop there to click some pictures first.

As you walk in, the first look of the place mesmerizes you completely. The classy seating, the lounge area, the lavish bar and then the blue sky above, the beach and the sea view that you can’t take your eyes off. I mean I could just sit there and do nothing for hours. Lucky are those who can call such a place their workplace. I could actually urge the management to hire me and allow me to work from such a quaint and beautiful place and ahhh life would then be more a bliss!

Anyway, I won’t say much, just see the pictures and you will know exactly what I mean.

The Food and Drinks

The Sunday Brunch comprises of a specially curated menu that offers the best of Asian food possible. From Japanese Sushi to Thai Salads, Oriental Soups To Pizzas, there is more and enough for everyone to choose items as per their taste buds. Since we were a group of 6 people, we went on to try everything on the menu and there were following dishes that we tried

Salads

Som Tam, Fresh Ice Berg Salad, Japanese Beef Salad and Chicken Glass Noodles Salad

Soups

Gazpacho Soup and Hot & Sour Soup

Pizzas

Margarita, Peri-Peri and Pepperoni

Sushi

Fusion Uramaki Roll, Veg Tempura Uramaki Roll, Prawn Tempura Uramaki Roll, Salmon Uramaki Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll

Mains

Thai Red Curry-Chicken with Steamed Jasmine Rice

Desserts

Panna Cotta, Fruit Salad & Brownie

Drinks

Champagne Cocktail and Rose Wine

Overall the food was very well done, my recommendations and favorites from all segments would include, The Japanese Beef Salad, The Som Tam Salad, The Chicken Glass Noodles Salad, The Gazpacho Soup, The Spicy Tuna Uramaki Roll, The Prawn Tempura Uramaki Roll, Margarita Pizza, Red Thai Curry with Rice and The Panna Cotta. And trust me on this, order minimum of two portions of the Panna Cotta, It was so so delicious that one would not be able to satiate the craving.

Final Word

So be it the ambiance, the music, the drinks or the food, this place is a perfect hangout place to chill and relax with your family and friends. Go with leisure in mind and don’t look at the watch, I am sure you will enjoy more that way. Sit back, relax, enjoy the food, drinks, music, get some sun and sand, dip in the sea and come back home fully charged up to tackle the new week and to kick off the Monday blues. For me spending this Sunday afternoon with my friends, enjoying amazing food and drinks by the beach was just the kind of relaxation I dig. Kudos to the entire team at LIFE especially the chefs to pull out such a lovely menu and the ever smiling and hospitable staff.

Sunday Brunch Details

The Silver Brunch that includes all of the above mentioned items(except the spicy tuna roll) come priced at Rs 1800 ++

Other sushi variety can be ordered at an additional price of Rs 1000 and drinks also come in two packages priced at Rs 1200 and Rs 1800 respectively.

Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to get regular updates about their events @life.beach.goa

Life By The Living Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

24 Hours @Sol De Goa- A truly blissful experience!

Many a time we get engrossed in the daily hustle of life so much that we almost forget that we need to stop, breathe and live. Although I try my best to maintain the work-life balance, sometimes the drudgery of life takes a toll on me too. But trust me whenever I get an opportunity to spend some me time, travel, explore a new place, I simply leave everything aside and grab the opportunity with both hands.

Well, this is my first post of the year and it has been so delayed simply because I have been either too busy sometimes or too tired and lethargic the other times to even think about writing a blog post. In fact a past few days I had not even been keeping well, and didn’t feel like doing much anyway, but then came this wonderful opportunity that I wanted to make the best of. I was invited to cover a beautiful event comprising of some soulful jazz music and a 3-course fine dining meal and was also offered a stay at the property. Now imagine, a person who has been feeling so tired and overworked since so many days, don’t you think I would have literally given anything to get a relaxing day at a beautiful hotel followed by a luxurious meal and music and of course that is exactly what I did. I did not think twice before confirming my spot both for the stay and the event.

The property was Sol De Goa, a very quaint hotel situated amidst open green fields and a serene river. I live in Porvorim area of Goa, and the property located at Nerul was about 20 minutes away from my house. I caught hold of a pilot taxi and started my way towards the hotel. One step into the hotel and I knew I was going to have a great time. The warm hospitality of the girl at the reception gave me enough insight to gauge the quality standards that the hotel maintains. I was given a quick tour of the property and the more I saw it, the more I loved. The hotel has two beautiful swimming pools to indulge in. One of the pool is like a sun deck and the hotel’s restaurant also surrounds that area. It seemed like a perfect place to spend some time relaxing. This was also the venue for our evening event.

After touring around the property, I was escorted to my suite which spelled class right at the entrance. The moment the door to my room was unlocked, I was spellbound. The expansive living room area, with a huge TV screen and the couch that you want to jump right on to and all modern amenities seemed very inviting. As I moved further and took my first glance at the bed, I shifted my mind and wanted to jump in right there. It was just the kind of bed I adore. But then there was more, the highlight of my room was the attached balcony which oversaw the green fields and also the pool deck area. The view seemed mesmerizing enough to spend my entire day there, maybe with some music on the iPod, or a nice book and a cup of coffee. Bliss! Check out the full room tour in the link below


https://www.facebook.com/aditinona/videos/pcb.10156999280189855/10156999278684855/?type=3&theater

So all of this led me confused on what did I want to do, dip in the pool, be a couch potato, take a nap on the bed or sit in the balcony and enjoy the view. Phew!! But then I felt that given my tired state of mind and body, the bed seemed just the right thing to do. So after fooling around a bit with myself, clicking some funny pictures and posting stories on Instagram, I cuddled myself up in that cozy bed and took a short and sweet nap.

After the nap, I woke up feeling quite refreshed and ready to do more in my room and began exploring all the windows and the scenes behind them. One of the windows offered me a spectacular view of the inner pool, the other opened to the pool deck and yet another gave me a glimpse of the fields and the river. For some time, I just kept sitting by each window, admiring the beauty of these scenes.

Then I made myself a cup of green tea and headed to the balcony to witness a beautiful sunset. The feelings can’t really be put in words and sometimes you literally have to experience to believe. Well, all I can say is, it was wonderful. The setting sun, the chirping birds, the orange sky and a silhouette kind of a tree, everything was just perfect.

After enjoying the sunset, I headed for a quick bath and got ready for the lovely evening that was waiting.

As I went down at the deck, the entire setting seemed magical, beautiful table layouts, candle lights, the reflection of lights in the pool and soulful Jazz music by a band named Orleans.

It was all fantastic. As my other friends joined in at the table, we started with what I can say was a mind-blowing culinary journey and riot of flavors.

Our menu comprised of:

Cocktail

Chilli Coco Pine- a drink made with white rum, pineapple juice, coconut syrup, and green chilies and it was amazing.

Starters

Pepper Rasam- Red snapper ceviche served in a puri with chilled rasam shots.

Camembert En Croute With Tomato Thoku And Coriander Chutney

Beef Seekh Kebab

Calamari Pepper Fry

Main Course

Murg Afgani With Lachha Parantha

Meen Chettinad With Coconut Curry And Kosambri Salad

Tandoori Spiced Pork Belly With Mango Chutney

Cranberry Kofta With Lachha Parantha

Dessert

Guava Cheese And Ricotta With Profiteroles

Gulab Jamun With Gelato

Well, now what words do I use to describe the food, I basically have just one word that it was amazing. We all had a tough time deciding what was the best, there was barely a difference, each and every item was delicious. But still to give you some grading, I would say that the Camembert was the best dish of the evening unanimously for all present, and the meen chettinad came a close second. Put everything else on the number 3 and I am sure you will get an idea about the kind of food experience I am talking about.

After this hearty meal and loads of fun and conversations with my friends, I happily retired to my cozy room for a good night’s sleep. I literally slept so calmly and peacefully that I had to force myself out of the bed for breakfast. But I surely didn’t want to miss it, and hence I headed to the pool deck once again for a lovely buffet spread of the breakfast. And now it was almost time to return home, so I went back to my room and got ready once again, but this time I wasn’t too excited to get ready because it felt that my holiday got over too soon. But nevertheless, I was taking back some great memories and feeling fully charged up and already looking forward to my next visit at Sol De Goa soon.

Sol De Goa

Address:
Road Opp Bank of India, Bhatiwado, Nerul, Goa, 403114,
Nerul India , Goa – 403114.

Phone : 0832 671 4141

Reservation Phone : 9552134385

Email : reservations@soldegoa.com

Kerala Kitchen At Cafe On 3, Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar

I visited Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida yesterday to experience Kerala Kitchen – Melange of flavors from God’s own country, a 9-day long food promotion at its all-day dining eatery, Cafe on 3. The ambiance, the decor, and the music, all resonated well with the vibes that Kerala has to offer.

 

Master Chef Rejimon, specially flown from Kerala, curated the food promotion offering various signature delicacies from Kochi, Malabar, and Travancore to cover the different elements of authentic food from Kerela. There were interactive stations with themed decor creating a memorable experience for the guests. The entire promotion has 3 cycling menus, which have been prepared to keep in mind the palettes of both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

 

Every place has its own culture, tradition, and food and so does Kerala. Few of Chef Rejimon’s signature delicacies include – 

Idiyappam Chemmeen Biryani, a dish prepared using Malabar style masalas and has an aromatic flavor

Murniga Kanthari, a tribal chicken dish from central Kerala

Prawn Urulakizhangu Dosa, prawn patties topped with chef’s special masala

Chemmeen  Kakka Roti, prawn and rice dumpling

Attirachi Vendakka, lamb cooked with okra

Pidi Kozhi, a traditional home-style chicken dish and many more creations from his repertoire.

 

The dishes that were the part of the menu on the launch day of the event is what I got to savor and they were as follows:

SALAD
PACHA MANGA SALAD

Shredded Raw Mango with onions & tomatoes

PINEAPPLE PACHA MULAGU SALAD

Pineapple and Green Chili

KOZHI PORICHA SALAD-NV

Fried Chicken with tempered mustard

SEAFOOD CURRY VEPPILA SALAD-NV

Curry leaves marinade mix seafood with onions and lime

 

Pickle – Raw Mango Pickle, Bitter Gourd Pickle, Pineapple Pickle, Beetroot Pickle, Inji Puli

Pachadi – Beetroot Pachadi, Bitter Gourd Pachadi, Pineapple Pachadi

Chutneys – Raw Mango Chammanthy, Coconut Chutney, Inji Chammanthy

SOUP
PINEAPPLE RASAM

Green chili infused pineapple soup

SEAFOOD THENGA PAL SOUP

Mix Seafood Broth with coconut milk

STARTER-LIVE STATION
VAZHAPOO CUTLET

Banana Flower with mashed potatoes patties

 

ULLI VADA

Red onion fritter

 

KANE PORICHATHU

Deep fried ladyfish infused with spices

SEAFOOD VADA MASALA

Seafood dumpling tossed with onion tomato masala

 

STAPLE – LIVE STATION

APPAM

IDIAPPAM

PAROTA

PUTTU

KADALA CURRY

VEGETABLE ISHTU

CHICKEN ISHTU

 

MAIN COURSE-VEG
VAZHAKKA KOON ULARTHIYATHU

Tempered Raw  Banana and Mushroom

VELLARI MANGA CURRY

Raw Mango and white pumpkin curry

 

URULAKKIZHANGU VADA CURRY

Potato and lentil dumpling curry

 

MAIN COURSE-NON VEG
KUMARAKOM MEEN PATTICHATHU

spiced fish curry with fish tamarind

SURIYANI KOZHI PIDI

Syrian Christian style chicken & rice dumpling curry

 

MUTTON KURUMULAGU ROAST

Mutton with black pepper masala

FLAVOURED RICE
MALABAR SEAFOOD BIRIYANI

Malabar style aromatic biryani with seafood

MALLIYILA CHORU

Coriander Scented Rice with grated coconut

DESSERTS
VAZHAPOO PARIPPU PAYASAM

Tender coconut and Banana flower cooked with jaggery and coconut milk

NEYYADA

Layered steamed cake with eggs and nut

PAZHAM VILAYICHATHU

Caramelized banana with coconut and nuts

 
PALADA PRADAMAN

Rice flakes cooked with cardamom infused sweetened milk

 

The dishes that I have marked in bold made for my favorites, the spices, and the flavors were just right. I had tried some of these dishes on my trip to Kerala and I can easily say that there was no difference in the authenticity of the taste. Kudos to chef Rejimon and Cafe on 3 team for recreating the flavors without any compromise.

 

The carefully crafted menu comprised of traditional food, succulently created from fresh ingredients and deftly spiced by the culinary expertThe festival is a celebration of Chef Rejimon’s culinary journey covering the state of Kerala from North to South and offers the guests an opportunity to treat themselves to authentic Kerala delicacies.  

 

The festival is indeed a rare treat for food lovers and shouldn’t be given a miss. I have been privileged to experience it on day 1 and also meet Chef Rejimon in person.

Date: 30th November – 8th December 2018 | Time: 1900 hours to 2300 hours | Venue: Café on 3, a full-service buffet restaurant at Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida

South Asian Association for Gastronomy Concluded Food for Thought Fest 2018 With A Lot Of Pomp & Show

The Fourth Edition of the Food for Thought Fest concluded in the capital city with celebrating the diverse culinary heritage of the South Asian region. The festival was organized at The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, with countries participating from different parts of South Asia.  A one of its kind initiative that focused on the common heritage and history of the region, as well as the unique influences that make up a part of it, it has set a benchmark as a forum for conversations, cuisines and the exchange of ideas and philosophies. The participating countries were India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The guest of honor for the event was HE Mr. Sidharto R Suryodipuro, Ambassador for the Republic of Indonesia.

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I had a chance to interact with his excellency and he shared some behind the scene facts about the event and how it was conceptualized.

This year’s edition of the Food for Thought Fest brought in the exciting components that made this a truly unique event. There were talks and discussions around culture, health, and cuisine in the “Thought Fest” by the expert, while the “Food Fest” offered cookery workshops with celebrity chefs from the participating countries and television celebrities Puja Talwar, Advaita Kala and Imam Siddique, had food stalls from some of the most superlative restaurants from the South Asia region like Soda Bottle Openerwala, Atara Catering, Chaat Chowk and Orza. This year the  Bazaar Section was beautifully curated.

Many celebrity chefs graced the occasion and showcased their culinary skills in preparing wonderful dishes. I happened to meet and interact with a few of them. Here is chef Ruchira Hoon speaking about her experience at the event

The dishes that she prepared were simply wonderful especially the aubergines.

Well, next I interacted with our very own Khurafati Nitin who never fails to amaze me with his abundance of energy and the ability to make laugh. He shared the stage with singer turned chef Anaida and they both literally rocked the stage together.

From bringing out the benefits and correct way to use saffron, Anaida’s preparation and insights both were valuable. Her traditional Irani dish of rice was simply delicious.

The MC of the day was none other than Fashion Stylist, TV Actor & Bigg Boss fame Celebrity Imam Siddique. He held the audience’s interest all through the event and kept them entertained. His association with the event has been a long one and here is he sharing his thoughts on the event and more

During the festival, I  thoroughly enjoyed learning from the greatest chefs in the region, explored some fascinating topics related to food and, of course, and tasted some splendid flavors of the subcontinents.

 

About the founders of S.A.A.G 

Mr. Maneesh Baheti, alumni of The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, is a seasoned hotelier with over 16 years in senior positions at leading brands such as The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International, before branching out as a hospitality industry consultant with a diverse projects portfolio. His love for cuisines has taken him on extensive travels, including the SAARC region of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Ms. Sonali Anand, a Masters in Tourism Management from Bournemouth University, U.K, she has spent over a decade in senior positions with multinational companies including, The Oberoi Group. She went for a second Masters Degree in Social Development from Euromed, Marseille, France, which equips her with an insight into international cultural relations and dynamics.

SAAG also has an eminent Advisory Board with PADMA BHUSHAN Mr. Shashi Kant Misra as the Chairman and comprises of experts such as Michelin Star Chef AtulKocchar from The, Master Chef Abhijit Saha, Chef Michael Swamy and renowned hotelier Mr.Gautam Anand to name a few.

 

Habanero- A Tex-Mex Culinary Experience

The moment someone says Mexican, I imagine cowboy hats, a raw appeal, some Guns and Roses type music and Nachos! So it was about time we explored this Tex-Mex Restaurant & Brewery in our very own Goa, and hence Habanero happened. Living up to its name, Habanero, which means North America, looked every bit Mexican. I especially loved the vibrancy of the place, the bold colors of lamps and those big Mexican hats adorning the tables. It has a picnic table kind bench seating, which gives it a very appealing look overall. You feel as if you have entered a happy zone and this seating enhances the experience. They usually have live performances quite often and there is a decent size stage where it happens. Unfortunately for us, it was only instrumental music, but anyway the place seemed lively enough. As we settled down, the first thing we did was to pick up those hats and of course, pose and get some pictures clicked 🙂

 

The lady manager at the Restaurant was a very warm person and came forward to both welcome us and then also suggest the must-haves. So going mainly by her choice we ordered:

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Starters

Macho Nachos, Chicken

Fully loaded with chicken, tomatoes, beans, jalapenos, olives, melted cheese, sour cream and guacamole, these were simply the best. Rated amongst their signature dishes, I would say it does full justice to it. I have eaten loaded nachos at a lot of places, but topping it with sour cream and guacamole was an add-on that I had just at this place.

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Sesame Shrimp Lime Tostada

Lightly grilled shrimps, cooked with a sesame lime sauce on a bed of lettuce leaves and salsa on a crispy tortilla, it made for an interesting dish. Totally worth indulging.

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Chipotle Chicken Skewers

I totally loved these, grilled chicken chunks in sweet and spicy chipotle sauce. The first bite may feel more on the sweeter side, but as you eat, you feel the chipotle spices doing the work. I quite enjoyed this sweet and spicy combination.

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Drinks

Bloody Mary

Pineapple Mojito

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Beer Sampler

There were 3 beers served as a part of the sampler, IPA, Lager and Mango Wheat, of all three I liked Lager the best. IPA was ok, but the Mango Wheat did not leave me with any mango flavor.

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Main Course

We were so full with the starters, that main course almost confused us. We glanced through the entire menu, shifting choices between Burgers, Tacos, Mexican Rice Bowl and Pork Ribs. All of them seemed appetizing enough to order, but we weren’t sure if we would be able to finish. Hence after a lot of deliberation, we settled for a Mexican Thali. Yes, even Mexican menu has a thali, though reading the word thali with Mexican food, didn’t quite gel well for me, but it made me all the more curious to see what was it all about and how was it served.

Well to be honest, when I saw the thali, I was disappointed. I understand that thali concept basically means getting to try a little bit of everything and we are normally used to seeing traditional thali’s in many cuisines, but with Mexican, all I expected was at least a different presentation. A typical steel thali with compartments didn’t do justice to this cuisine. I was quite put off with that, the food did not look appealing at all presented that way, neither did it look Mexican. It’s my heartfelt suggestion to the management, that even though the concept is great, it would be better it items are presented in some other manner, more like a combo than a thali. Taste wise the food was very Mexican and alright, but the presentation kind of ended the game for me, as far as the main course was concerned.

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Desserts

Fried Ice Cream

This was nicely done, but the outer covering does have a scope of improvement, it should be slightly thinner, the quoting was too thick.

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Tres Leches Cake

This definitely was a very soothing experience, both of the eyes and the mouth. It looked beautiful and tasted equally good. Again a small suggestion here would be to not sprinkle too much of cinnamon powder on the cake, as it takes away the subtle taste of buttercream cake dipped in milk.

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Overall the experience was not very great but wasn’t bad either, it was good, and I can surely give another chance to the place because I enjoyed the starters and my drinks.

 

Habanero Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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