Avoid a Storm in Your Teacup: Knowing Your Oolong from Your Matcha

While tea is most commonly associated with the British, its popularity across our own nation is on the rise. So it’s time to start getting to know your different types of tea, how and when to serve them and the different benefits that they can have on your health. For now, let’s stick to three of the most commonly consumed varieties of tea: black teas, green teas and tisanes.

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Black Tea

Black tea is the most widely tried type of tea in the West. It is made of young tea leaves that are picked at a young age, withered, rolled, fully oxidised, and fired. Who knew such an extensive process went into making the leaves that fill tea bags in our local supermarkets and grocery stores? Different blends are available. This is a trend that has been carried out by the British for many years. Certain strengths and qualities are chosen for different tastes. For example, you may get a strong breakfast tea or a light afternoon tea. If you have more sensitive taste buds, it’s good to bear in mind that teas from different regions have different characters and signature flavours. Some of the most popular signature teas hail from Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri. Others are processed in specific ways that affect the flavour. An example of this is Lapsang Souchong. The leaves for this tea are smoked over a pinewood fire to give the final result a deep, smoky flavour. When it comes to brewing your tea, it all comes down to personal taste. Some prefer to add sugar, others honey, some lemon. Most will add milk to black tea.

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Tisanes

Tisanes are floral or herbal teas. Technically, a “tea” has to originate from the Camellia sinensis plant, the label has been increasingly attached to blends created from other species of plant. These teas are more of a novelty, offering beautiful colours, aromas and flavours. There are seemingly endless varieties of tisanes available, from Chamomile options to laso Tea which claims to aid weight loss. So make sure to read up on whichever type you opt for in order to understand its ingredients, qualities and how its consumption may affect you.

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Green Tea

Green teas are easy to identify: the fact that they are not oxidised in the process of manufacturing them, they retain their natural colour. They are heat processed to eliminate the enzyme responsible for the oxidisation process that gives black tea its distinctive colour. Chinese varieties tend to have been roasted or pan fired, while Japanese varieties are more frequently steamed. Popular varieties of green tea to try out include matcha, Sencha, dragon’s well, and gyokuro. Make sure to do your research when it comes to storing your chosen type best. Some will taste much better when stored in cool temperatures or dark atmospheres.

Finding the best blend of tea for your personal tastes, whether black, green or tisane requires experimentation and plenty of trial and error. So it’s time to start exploring the world of tea!

 

Masala House- An outstanding culinary experience!

Masala House serves as a perfect place to tantalise your taste buds with some Modern Indian Cuisine. Each and every item on the menu feels like hand picked and curated with a lot of dedication and detailing, both in terms of taste and presentation. Spread across two floors, the ambience is comfortable, cosy and inviting enough for you to spend some relaxed time gorging on good food in company of your family or friends.

Katafi Wrapped Achari Arbi and Asparagus Paddu were the first ones to appear on our table, one look at them and my confidence in the taste increased multifolds, as both the dishes looked extremely tempting. Even taste wise, both of them were great. I am not a big fan of arbi otherwise, but this one was really nicely done.

Dahi Kebab, Murg Luqmi, Kadi Patta Jheenga and Dill Salmon Tikka were the other starters we tried and again all of them were delicious. I personally enjoyed the Murg Luqmi and Dill Salmon Tikka the most.

Coming to the main course, there was a wide variety to choose from, but our selection included Amritsari Wadi Tarkari, Khatti Tadka Dal, Palak Moti, Pota Kaleji Shitake, Bafat Masala Fish, Moge Wala Kukkad, Dum Biryani and Chur Chur Naan Platters. I loved the chur chur naan platter, the non veg one, which had keema stuffed naans, which I relished with some dal makhani. The pota kaleji shitake was a unique dish with this combination of kaleji and mushrooms and it was really nice. Moge wala kukkad aka our very own butter chicken was good too, I loved the balanced flavours, so as that neither it was too sweet nor too spicy, but just the way it should be. Another dish that I really enjoyed was the palak moti, creamy palak gravy with creamier mascarpone cheese, it was delectable.

Desserts included Gajar Halwa Kunafa and Saffron Pear Malai Chaap, and once again, the presentation bowled me over. Taste wise I enjoyed the Gajar Halwa Kunafa more, though it could have been sweeter, but it was nice.

I really look forward to another foodie experience at Masala House, and I urge you to give it a try, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
Masala House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dakshin Food Festival at Crowne Plaza Rohini!

The word Dakshin, by default doesn’t excite me much, because I am not a big fan of South Indian Cuisine, but recently when my foodie friends decided to visit the DAKSHIN Food Festival at Crowne Plaza Rohini, I reluctantly agreed. I am so glad that I actually went, because my perception of the Dakshin food changed completely, it was so so good that I can actually now say that I relished it.

The spread was an elaborate one and offered wide variety of dishes for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. I tried quite few things and I have to admit that I loved each one of them. Some of them need a special mention, The Rawa Fish was an amazing preparation, crispy outer coating to an otherwise tender fish, it just melted in mouth. Chonka Idly, Maysore Bonda and Paneer 65 were other delightful preparations. I loved the tiny tiny crisp idly a lot. Mulagu Vada too was a delectable dish and so were Chicken 65 and Meen Pollichathu.

Then we tried the Veg Stew with Appam and it was simply delicious. Rasa Omelette was a dish that stood out for its awesome flavours. Ulli Theeyal Mutton and Mangalorian Fish Curry were relished with Malabari Paranthas and trust me they were drool worthy.

After a hearty platter of desserts, we ended our culinary trip to Dakshin, without having to go their actually and enjoyed ourselves to the core. Now I can say that I look forward to more such festivals and I am extremely open to explore more South Indian dishes.

Experiencing Culinary Delights at Auro Kitchen & Bar!

Auro Kitchen & Bar, nestled in Aurobindo Market, Hauz Khas is surely one of the coolest places you will come across. With a huge terrace to spend some cosy time, they have an equally spacious interior seating as well. Even if the weather isn’t too fantastic to sit outside, the mist fans do the job and make it up the heat and humidity. For those who wanna try their various varieties of Hookah, by default will have to sit outside and enjoy both the weather and the hookah along with some scrumptious food and drinks.

This time around as I was with a vegetarian friend, and also for a change, I too gave non-veg a skip and I don’t regret it at all, as the food was great.

To begin with we ordered, Char Grilled Potatoes, small jacket potatoes cooked with tandoori masala which was spicy and topped with creamy cheese, this surely was one delectable dish. The spiciness of tandoori masala was perfectly balanced by the cheese and it was a match made in heaven.

Next we tried Paneer 65 Sliders and they were truly amazing. Spicy paneer 65 in soft buns, this made for a delightful dish and should definitely be given a try, I am sure even the non vegetarians will love it.

The mushroom Ranikhet was another amazing preparation, mushroom paste, truffle oil, matahari ranikhet cheese and mozzarella over a flat bread, though for my liking the mushroom taste was slightly overpowering, but nevertheless the dish was unique and can surely be given a try.

Truffle Kulcha and Wild Mushroom Seekh Kebabs totally compensated for the non-veg craving, because the mushroom seekh kebabs tasted just like mutton kebabs and were very soft and tender.

For drinks, I settled for Orange Thyme, an orange based mocktail which was quite refreshing, whereas I sipped 2-3 cocktails which my friend had ordered, Passioned Secret Tea, a whiskey based cocktail with bourbon and this was really nice. Other was The Union, a vodka based cocktail with pomegranate and I liked this one too.

While gorging upon the starters and slurping away the drinks, we really werent too hungry for a main course, yet we wanted to try something from the menu. We settled for Masala Cottage Cheese and were so glad that we ordered it. Cottage Cheese chunks cooked in rich tomato gravy served with paranthas, made for an amazing dish and I really recommend it to all my vegetarian friends. You will surely love it.

Overall, Auro was a great foodie experience and I look forward to visit the place again with my friends and family.

Pan Asian Foodie Experience at Kylin Premier

Kylin Premier situated in the Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj offers scrumptious Pan Asian cuisine that you can’t afford to miss, be it Chinese, Thai or Japanese and even Malaysian, it serves authentic food and also has some great drinks on the menu to explore.

Image Courtesy- Mr Polkadot

The ambience is chic and classy and gives you a fine dining feel. To begin with we ordered Chicken Dimsums with Shanghai Chilli and Chicken Dimsums with Aromatic Curry. Both the dimsums looked gorgeous and tasted equally good. The purple colour of Chicken Dimsums with Shanghai Chilli was a highlight, I kept on staring at them for a long time before actually eating them, and one bite into it, and you know you couldn’t have asked for anything better. The Aromatic Curry Dimsums on the other hand had a Thai curry base to them which added a great dimension to the overall taste. You cannot afford to miss both these dishes.

Sole Fish in Chilli Hoisin and Chicken Finger Chilli Hoisin and 5 Spice were other two starters that we tried, they both tasted quite similar, the only difference was the type of flesh you were eating, but at the same time, both did taste good.

Spicy Veg Roll or Veg Sushi as we would like to call it was another winner dish, a perfectly rolled sushi with great pickled veggies stuffed in. I simply loved it. Rice Paper Rolls and Yasai Tempura can also be given a try.

For the main course we tried Chicken in Ginger and Mild Soya, Stir Fried Ginger Soya Fish, Oriental Veg in Chilli Bean and Lohan Veggies with Oyster Mushroom along with some Udon Noodles and Wok Fried Sticky Garlic Garlic Rice. All the dishes were amazing, I especially loved the chicken and udon noodles.

To go along with our food, I tried the Cosmopolitan and then later settled for Magical Ming a Gauva based mocktail. I also sipped Green Apple Martini from a friend, and can easily say that drinks at Kylin are wonderful.

For desserts we tried Tub Tim Krob, a typical Thai dessert made with water chestnuts and coconut cream and milk. Its truly delectable and refreshing and you must try it.

Overall I had a fantastic time with my friends at Kylin and I look forward to visiting the place again soon.
Kylin Premier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hanging Out at SummerHouse Cafe!

Recently when my blog completed 2 years, I though of celebrating the special day with my special friends and headed out to Summer House Cafe for the same. It was a Sunday evening, and Summer House was also organising a Salsa night and this gave us another reason to chose this place for our celebration. Music, Dance, Friends, Amazing Food, I mean what more do you need to celebrate an important day.

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Initially we settled ourselves on the Terrace and enjoyed some starters and drinks.  The terrace was a very cool vibe to it and feels like a perfect place to hangout and chill with friends.

A veg platter, Oriental Spring Rolls and Falafel & Hummus made for our starters while Mai Tai and Junniper Pimms were our selection for drinks. The veg platter included Paneer Tikka, Roasted Pineapple and Stuffed Soya Tikka along with mint sauce, kachumbar salad and yogurt dip. The paneer tikka and soya tikka were perfectly done and spiced. Though the pineapple too was good, very juicy and nicely roasted, but I found it too spicy, if it would have been a little less spicier, it would have been better, as too much of spiciness doesn’t gel with everyones tastebuds.

Oriental Spring Rolls were to die for, crispy on the outside, stuffed with sautéed veggies, it was awesome. I can gorge on them anytime. Falafel served with Pita and Hummus were good too, though I would have preferred if the falafel wasn’t too dry. If eaten alone without the dips, it didn’t go down too well with me because of its dryness.

As for drinks, Junniper Pimms was a gin based cocktail with chunks of cucumber which give it a very refreshing taste and Mai Tai was a rum based cocktail, which had both dark rum and white rum along with orange and pineapple juice. Both the drinks not just looked good, but tasted good as well.

After sometime, we came downstairs to explore the inside seating and also enjoy the Salsa night. We ordered Bloody Mary, LIIT, a Pineapple and Red Bull based Mocktail and one other Pineapple Mocktail, both of which were amazing. Then we also ordered some Nachos to go along and sat ourselves in comfortable couches. The ambience downstairs is also very alive and quirky. Paintings, artefacts and random quotes on the walls, make for an interesting decor overall.

By 9:30, the place was buzzing with people dancing away to some great music and showing Salsa moves with their partners. Those who didn’t have partners, also found like minded people, who were all set to explore and thump their feet on the ground. It was an amazing sight to see so many people dancing, looked like many poetries in motion together.

We further tried a thin crust Bell Pepper & Onion pizza and loved it. To end our evening at a sweet note, Banoffee Pie made for a perfect companion. The taste still lingers on. Well in the end all I can say is that I had a perfect evening spent at Summer House Cafe and for me this place will always remain on my go to list when hanging out with friends.

Summer House Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thai Khun at Kylin Express…!!

Thai Khun typically means Your Thailand, and at an ongoing festival Kylin Experience at Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar brought the Bangkok Food Street experience live for its customers through this festival. Thai Khun is on till Sunday, i.e. 6th of August. So do try and experience the same.

I personally loved my overall visit at Thai Khun, the concept, the ambience and most importantly the food, all were simply great. Concept wise, the moment you enter you are given Thai Baht, which you can spend to buy food from counters selling different items. There is a fruits counter which serves special Thai fruits and salads. Then a grill counter, dimsums counter, the curry station and others. One could explore each one of these and get food in exchange of the Thai Currency (artificial of course).

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The ambience was given a look and feel of local Bangkok food street with colourful Thai umbrellas and rustic stalls. Now coming to the food, I have never been a big fan of Thai food, but this food festival changed my mind set. I have to say that I have never eaten a better Thai food than this. Each and every item in the menu was absolutely amazing and what made me drool for them even more was the fact that they were priced very reasonably. It didn’t feel at all that I was dining inside a hotel, the prices were apt as per the theme, and did full justice to the street food concept.

My personal recommendations would be the Salads, all of them were simply flavourful. Try the Corn on Cob, Lemon Grass Chicken Satay( never eaten better than these), Chicken and Veg Dimsums (loved the way the were roasted to perfection, the smokey flavour was a true enhancer), Grilled Soya Chaap, and Pandan Leaf Chicken. This pandan leaf chicken is something you can’t afford to miss, the sweetness and flavours of pandan leaf on a perfectly grilled piece of chicken was a mouth melting experience and I loved it.

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For the mains I tried the Red Thai Curry Chicken with Sticky Rice and it was yummy! and I truly mean it, It was by far the best I  have eaten, and also one of the reasons was as contrary to the use of Red Paste or Green Curry Paste, here everything was prepared fresh, no pre-made pastes were used in the making of gravies, and that I think gave it a very fresh and appealing taste overall.

For desserts we tired the traditional Thai dessert Red Rubbies, which had Water Chestnuts and Coconut Cream and it was delicious.

I had an amazing amazing time exploring Thai food at Thai Khun and you too must make the most of it, so hurry up..!!
The Kylin Experience - Holiday Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Back to University with Leela Ambience Convention Hotel!

Wanna revisit college days, head straight to Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, and in case you have missed eating the typical canteen food, the Back to University Food Festival at Leela, will help you recreate those memories again.

The ambience really catches your eyes the moment yo enter Cafe Knosh, with a huge gold spot bottle forming the centre piece and scholar hats and degrees hanging on the ceiling and blackboards on the walls.  A nice bus stop, sports zone and cycles, trophies shelf and loads of interesting artistic decor really brings the college life magic alive.

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Loved a Tapri Chai Thela, which served some cutting chai along with age old rusk and cookies. It was like a Deja Vu, remembering number of times we went for tea and biscuits to a near by thela and enjoyed simple things of life chatting away with friends.

The food has been inspired from various colleges across Delhi and typically served specialities from all these colleges. Like Rajma Chawal and Dosa from Hansraj College, Egg Fried Rice and French Fries with Mint Chutney from Ramjas, Minced Cutlets, Omelletes and Chicken Curry from St Stephan’s, Chole Bhature from SRCC and so on.

We tried Vada Pao, which was nice, crispy and spicy. I really liked it. Next on my plate was a piping hot Mattar Samosa, which was delicious. The stuffing of potatoes and peas was perfectly done and was very flavourful. You can’t afford to miss this one. Relish it with a glass of cutting chai and you will experience sheer bliss.

Then came one of the best dishes of the evening, the chicken sliders. Juicy chicken patty in soft buns, it was mouth meltingly delicious and again a must try.

We tried both Chicken Maggie and Masala Maggie, I mean how can you ignore Maggie in college days, its been a lifeline for most of the people and one dish which has evolved so much in taste. I mean the typical masala maggie is actually a legacy of colleges and at Leela, the same tastes were recreated, I personally enjoyed the Masala Maggi more.

We also relished some Crispy Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce and Paneer and Chicken Tikka and all of them were delectable and perfectly done. This is something that at least I didn’t get in my college days, changing times.. but I am glad I could experience it this way!

Then we came down to trying a plate of Kadhi Chawal and Chicken Curry Rice, a staple diet for many in college time. I still remember how we used to crave Rajma Chawal and Kadhi Chawal and the days Chicken was served was a boon. I loved the typical way of how Kadhi Chawal and Chicken Curry Rice were served here, nothing fancy, steel plate, rice topped with gravy and some onions and voila, you are good to gorge upon those plates.

Apart from trying these college legendary dishes, if you have appetite for more, Cafe Knosh serves an amazing spread of buffet that you can lay your hands on along with this special menu

I thoroughly enjoyed this REWIND.. BACK TO UNIVERSITY concept as those are the best days of anyones life and who doesn’t want to revisit them again. SO catch hold of your friends and head straight to Leela Ambience Convention Hotel to indulge in some great food and create new memories. The festival is on till 13th August so make the most of it!

 

 

ChaoBella- A perfect amalgamation of Oriental and Italian Cuisines!

Situated in Crowne Plaza, Okhla, ChaoBella as the name also suggests represents unity of two different cuisines under one roof. It serves authentic Oriental and Italian food and I simply loved it. The place has a very warm vibe, and his chic and classy interiors.

As it was my first visit to the place, I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to try both the cuisines and hence ordered a perfect mix of starters in order to have best from both the worlds.

Shredded Crispy Mushroom, Zhang Fei Spicy Chicken, Vegetable Dumplings and Chicken Jaozi made for the Chinese starters and Pizza Con Pollo Affumicato and Margarita Pizza for the Italian appetisers. I loved the mushroom and zhang chicken, both. The dumplings were perfectly done and I loved the way a green dot represented the vegetable dumplings and a red dot on Chicken Jaozi, they both looked as amazing as they tasted. I also tried Chicken Manchow Soup, which was great and loved a tiny miny chicken dumpling that floated in the soup and gave it an added taste.

The Margarita Pizza, Veg Pizza and Smoked Chicken Pizza were amazing, I especially loved the Veg Pizza. The juices of the vegetables, cheese and a nice crust made for a great pizza, I thoroughly enjoyed relishing a big slice of it.

For the main course, we tried Pan Fried River Sole, a stir fried fish served with Sichuan pickled vegetables and pine nuts and it was really nice. The fish was tender and juicy and the pickled vegetables made for a great accompaniment.

Sautéed Chicken Breast served with Charred Asparagus and Porcini Sauce was another amazing preparation. Loved the juicy chicken breasts, it was mildly spiced and I really liked it.

Chicken in Sichuan Sauce, Malak Vegetables, Chilli Garlic Noodles and Vegetable Fried Rice made for a perfect Chinese Meal, I loved each and every item and I can really gorge on these anytime. Its surely been one of the finest Chinese meals I have eaten.

For Desserts I tried the Tiramisu, which was the only thing I found below standards, as I could not taste coffee much and neither the taste of mascarpone cheese was coming across. I loved the presentation though and the macaroon served along was yummy.

ChaoBella - Crowne Plaza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lithiyum Launches with a Big Bang!

On 13th July, Capital Delhi welcomed it’s first international and premium club, lounge & fine dine property: Lithiyum at Hotel Ashok, Chankyapuri, New Delhi with a big bang launch party. The exclusive launch party was attended by all famous food and hospitality people & influencers. With its most professional sound system in the world by Outline, Italy based Company (yes, in the whole wide world), feel the pulsating beats and let your body groove to them. It’s a Brainchild of Mr. Saurabh Katyal (Director. Lithiyum) who was previously with renowned property Jynxx and who also who owns Imagine Ice as well.

The property is divided into 3sections: Club Room, Drawing Room & Arena. Lithiyum is a never before luxurious amalgamation of a superior fine dine, gastropub nightclub and a cocktaileria. “I am thrilled and overwhelmed by the response we have got from all the guest today. At Lithiyum, we promise to take the F&B industry a step forward with all the world class music system, lights, ambience, and fusion food” says Mr. Saurabh Katyal, M.D. Lithiyum at the launch.

The property is amalgamation of 3sections: Club Room, Drawing Room (Fine Dine) & Arena (lounge area). With area of more than 13,800 sq ft, Lithiyum is a never before luxurious amalgamation of a superior fine dine, gastropub nightclub and a cocktaileria. Lithiyum’s club room envelops you with the best mixes, the perfect pitch, the right timbre and the most balanced intensity of sounds. For times when one just wants to do nothing and just hang out, you could do just that in, well our Arena. Imagine, waking up and plunging straight into our special Watery Brunch as the clock strikes noon. Indoor waterfalls put you in splendid mood to relax and rejuvenate. Our lounge area and our fine dining areas are an extension of this splendid relaxation. Then on the other hand, if you are someone driven by a compulsive desire for luxurious dining, Drawing Room is too staid for your adrenalin levels. Relish the never before presented high end service with top-class butlers along with multicuisine food delicacies. The food has been curated by Internationally Renowned Celebrity Chef Akshay Nayyar.

The Sound System is the most professional sound system in the world (yes, in the whole wide world), feel the pulsating beats and let your body groove to them from Italy based company “Outline”. Lightening Softwares are from UK based company “Madrix”.

A video wall that is more than thrice the size of any person in the club stuns you with its gorgeous picture quality. Want to keep it private and exclusive? RFID enabled entry systems and double-point security screening ushers your guests to our three VVIP sections.

“We are happy to make this launch a success. Lithiyum synchronizes with energy and surely the Place ends up your search for a perfect celebration“ says Mr. Ashutosh Sharma, Director, Marketing, Lithiyum.

Going by the drinks and starters served during the launch, I can easily say that Lithiyum will not just be a hot music destination but also a food lovers paradise. The music and graphics at the DJ console kept my pulse rating really upbeat and it truly was a great launch. I had a great fun at the launch and I really look forward to visiting the place again soon.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/clublithiyum/?fref=ts

Website: http://lithiyum.com/

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