South of Vindhyas, the south Indian specialty restaurant at The Orchid Hotel is running a very fascinating and one of its kind sea food festival till Feb 1, 2016. I say fascinating since I have not come across a sea food display like the one South of Vindhyas is sporting in any restaurant in the city. As soon as you enter the restaurant you are welcomed by about 29 treasures of the sea on offer - from white snappers to sardines, mackerels to salmons, lobsters to king prawns, crabs to squids are on display. Diners can “go fishing” for the sea food they prefer from this eclectic display and ask the chef to prepare it in the way they enjoy.
The mascot of this sea food festival is a beautiful fisherwoman welcoming you to sample chows at this food festival. In keeping with the theme of the festival, the menu design as well is in the shape of a fish. Master Chef Bala is the brain behind the menu for this festival, which has preparations from coastal states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
The entire restaurant is done up in a manner to recreate the look and feel of a fishing village. The restaurant ceiling has been adorned with fish net and there is a boat full of spices, traditional paintings on display.
Here is a glimpse of some of the fares we ended up chomping on:
Chemeen Rasam: This was a very subtle flavored prawn soup and a perfect way to begin our meal on a chilly winter evening. The flavors were derived from use of very simple ingredients like onions, tomatoes, garlic and dry spices like coriander powder, cumin seed powder and pepper powder.
Raal Vattal: This was a lip-smacking preparation of prawns that were wok-tossed with curry leaves. The flavors of the dish were arrived at by marinating the prawns in garam masala powder, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin seed powder and pepper powder, which also imparted a delicate amount of heat to the dish.
Talela Tarla: Tarla or Sardines were deep fried to arrive at a very crunchy starter flavored again with aforementioned traditional ingredients. The fish had a distinct flavor of its own and the spices just worked enhancing this flavor further.
Talela Surmai: Also known as King Fish, the surmai was tawa fried in the traditional ingredients like lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. The fish was perfectly cooked, however it had not been able to absorb the spices and left us underwhelmed.
SEA FOOD SIT DOWN BUFFET:
This had a variety of offerings of seafood and a few vegetarian preparations and dessert too. Here is a look at some of the dishes this sit down buffet for the day included:
The restaurant also has a mobile pickle unit that consists of delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian pickles to go along with your food. My favorites from this wide variety of in-house pickles offered were the gongura pickle and the chicken pickle.
We tasted four different desserts on offer. They were as under:
The restaurant is offering sit down sea food, non-vegetarian and vegetarian buffets.
Pricing: Rs 1800 plus taxes (sea food sit down buffet), Non veg- Rs 1500 & Veg Rs 1300++
For further information on the festival below are the details of the restaurant.
Venue: South of Vindhyas, The Orchid, 70/C Nehru Road, Near Domestic Airport, Vile parle (East).
Contact No.: 022-26164000
Everyone resolves to be healthy with the advent of the new year. But, how many of us take the initiative to stick to this resolution throughout the year. Well, I decided to take a small step in this direction. For scores of people like me, who have a challenge planning out meals that are calorie counted, I recently came across a viable solution in the form of http://burgundybox.in.
In the “Served” Meal Box category mentioned on the site, they have recently started the New Year Resolution plan. This is a subscription plan comprising of six nutritious offerings primarily salads delivered at your door step. Once can choose a full non-vegetarian plan or a vegetarian plan or even a combo plan that has an equal mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
I opted for the non-vegetarian plan, in which all the six meals comprised of chicken. The calorie count of the offerings in this plan ranged from 230-350 kcal. The investment for this healthy gourmet meal plan was INR 1300 that included the delivery charges as well.
Here is a glimpse of the six offerings in this meal plan I recieved from Monday to Saturday.
It's pleasant in Mumbai or as a perpetual resident of the city, I would say its winter. A slight chill in the air is merely an excuse for me to indulge in traditional delights like parathas laden with ghee or butter.
It is with this intent I set out with my foodie pals to explore how hearty parathas are made at Oye Kiddan, a specialty paratha home delivery service with kitchens in Bandra (delivering in Bandra(W), Khar(W), Santacruz(W) & Juhu) and Andheri (Andheri, Chandivali & Powai) localities of Mumbai.
I call my self The Bombay Glutton. The reason being, if I were to be punished for my sins, then gluttony would be the foremost one. As much as I try to not be a glutton, Mumbai is coming up with evermore exceptional food joints each day and I find my self engaging in voraciously sampling their fares.
Similar was the case, when I was invited for a special preview dinner of Foodgasm, which will swing open its doors to the Mumbai junta from 22nd January 2016. Now, what does a glutton expect to find at a place called Foodgasm? One would expect decadently delicious, calorie-rich food that would leave you feeling guilty for your indulgence. Contrary to this belief, Foodgasm has been created with the aim of providing preparations that incorporate fresh, natural ingredients and have a healthy twist yet are flavorsome.
This casual dining place is the brainchild of Kapil Ghorpade, a Real Estate Financial Analyst and supporting him in this venture is his better half, Lavina. The innovative menu has been conceptualized by renowned Chef Varun Inamdar, who is an ace food stylist, chocolatier, entrepreneur & author and Chef Aditi Goel, who is the owner of culinary studio ’Food-E Culinary Studio’ in Mumbai as well as a food writer & consultant.
Here is a look of some delicious food we were pampered with. Please note these are images from a prelaunch and we were a group tasting multiple dishes throughout the evening. Therefore, portion sizes may tend to vary when you visit the restaurant when it opens up.
EATING OUT: GLUTTONY @ CRAFT, MUMBAI
A crazy shopping spree at the Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla, Mumbai ended up creating hunger pangs that required immediate satiation. While making our way to the food court, we came across the newly opened Craft - Deli.Bistro.Bar one level below it.
The place looked classy from its external experience and see through glasses at this new eatery ensured our curiosity got the better of us. We skipped the food court plan and quickly settled in for lunch. It came as a relief that we had to encounter absolutely no waiting time to secure a table on a bustling Saturday afternoon.
The ambience shouted the word wood loud enough for everyone to notice yet was oddly chic. The gastronomy here is predominantly European but there are a select Asian offerings as well. The Italian influence on the menu is quite evident. Well, we were a sizeable group of diners, so trying out several options on the food menu was possible and we went ahead and did so.
Here is the fare we ended up trying:
The era of the Maharajas’ & Nawab’s was a period of grandeur in our country. The worship of art in all its forms was at peak during this era. One would agree that a golden leaf out of the pages of this history is the development of culinary traditions across the numerous royal kitchens of India. Today, these culinary customs form the basis of some of the famous cuisines of our country.
While a big chunk of food enthusiasts end up travelling to the state of Uttar Pradesh to sample fares of the famous Lucknowi & Awadhi cuisines, there are some who would agree that the state has many more gastronomic marvels to offer beyond these two rich and popular cuisines. One such cuisine being that of the erstwhile kingdom of Rampur in the state.
Today, this cuisine does not enjoy the same popularity in the country as the Lucknowi or Awadhi cuisines but it is slowly and surely making its presence felt. The Rampuri Food Festival held recently at Poolside - VITS Hotel in Andheri (East) gave me a chance to explore this cuisine right here in Mumbai.
The Royal Rampuri cuisine is characterized by use of khada masala or whole spices coupled with a complexity of cooking procedures that impart a robust flavor to many traditional preparations. Along with select ingredients, these unique procedures lend a touch of secrecy to the recipes of the Khansamas, who have proudly defended them for years together.
In bygone days, Rampur apart from being famous as a hub of renowned poets was also known to have a huge populace of Khansamas. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the curator of this food festival was Chef Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, a descendant of the Khansamas of Wajid Ali Shah era. Chef Rehman had put together a delectable spread for this festival and ensured that each and every guest was well-informed of the nuances of this cuisine. He patiently sat through our questions, quizzed us on ingredients & flavors and shared his immense food knowledge.
He ensured that even the ambience, the table setting, the attire of the staff and ghazal singers were all organized in a way so as to recreate the imperial setting of the Nawabi traditions of Rampur.
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast