Authentic! Traditional! That 90s touch! Old street taste, inviting aroma – Few phrases we use to locate that specific food that will take us back to those golden days when each dish with that one common main ingredient tasted so different and unique. Those days, the chef signature was imbibed in everything and whatever we try at home, we will go back to him for that specific flavor. These days, most of the times when we eat out, we end up feeling better making the dish at home and let me tell you, at times it is much better. Take for example, tomato soups at restaurants taste almost like Maggi soups we make at home. Where is that signature that makes us drool and walk in to the restaurant for that experience? We happily had one such experience with Copper Chimney at The Great Indian Kabab Festival happening now till April 14th 2017.
We had a long pending visit to Ujjain and Omkareshwar and since young when I studied history, Ujjain has always enamored me. So finally, we decided to make it and our travel began with train tickets to Bhopal and travel in car from there on a round trip to Ujjain and Omkareshwar. One hard lesson we learnt is never trust cab services of Ola or Uber on a weekend. It took 45 minutes for us to get a vehicle to Madras Central and thankfully for clear roads and green signals, we would not have made it to our train on time.
We have been hearing so much about better services in long distance trains and to utter disappointment, Tamilnadu Express food remained the same as we have seen few years back. The only solace was cleaner toilets. We reached Bhopal at 8.30 PM the next day and stayed overnight at our friend’s place who won us over with their hospitality. Our friend suggested that we visit Kharjana Ganesh Temple in Indore on the way to Ujjain. The temple is maintained by volunteers and is a very famous temple in the area.
Chennai known more for its affinity to Coffee or kaapi is now getting its share of tea tasting experience with exclusive outlets for getting that Tea experience. Tea is no more limited to the hot beverage you get in roadside shops with a huge bag like filter and served in glasses. Tea Trails located in Ashok Nagar near the police station serves 80 different types of tea categorized as black, white, green, Oolong and herbal teas. Known as Chai, it is served without milk and there are 12 types of tea with milk.
The most interesting part of having the tea is the setup placed on the table along with instructions on brewing the specific tea. The tea we had was Kashmiri Kahwa. Expecting a glass of dark brown tea (we had without milk), we were surprised to see an apparatus placed on the table with an instruction card specifying 1 to 2 minutes to brew the tea. So we waited for 2 minutes and pressed the button and lo!, we had 150 ml of filtered brewed tea. We were told we can brew the tea 4 times with the same ingredients making for 4 cups of tea when you buy one. Certainly an interesting concept and we were surprised at the cup of aromatic yellow tea. It is not over yet; we were served with Almond bits which we were told is sprinkled as an add on to the Kashmiri Kahwa tea.
Hair problems do not end with crowning glory and extends beyond. Hair is wanted and unwanted and it all depends on its location. Imagine a quick call from a friend in the last minute to have fun; it can be an invite from friends, a fun party, and a smoothie with your crush. The first thing that comes to a mind is the time we went for our last shave and the possibility of stubble. All the enthusiasm wanes away and the invitations are no more inviting. Epilators have come a long way and the leader is Braun epilators, researching and specializing on getting silky smooth skin at a moment’s notice!
Cars are no more a luxury in India now. The challenge in maintaining a car lies in regular service and interiors. After all, we spend a lot of time travelling in a closed air conditioned car. And if you are the kind of person with motion sickness, the smell of diesel can be quite a challenge to manage. To add to it, we have leather seats and what not. Just getting into an ill maintained car is enough to spoil the day for us. With the cabs service picking up big away in Chennai, maintenance has become one of the key factors to get those star ratings from the customers. Car perfumes have a great role to play in keeping the vehicle drive worthy. Though many car fresheners have come into the market, many simply adopt the room freshener style which lasts for an hour and we are back to square one. What we need is a car freshener that keeps the fragrance constant.
Flower drum has been in our hit list for quite some time for its Vegetarian Chinese Thai Food. Located in Egmore, it was just not forthcoming rather getting distracted to other restaurants once we hit heart of Chennai. Flower Drum opened their other restaurant at Namma Adyar near Aavin circle (above ICICI Bank). We are thankful to Flower Drum and the Chennai food bloggers community to have made it possible to have a firsthand tasting session at this new establishment. First thing we noticed is the ambiance. Few tables were arranged to have a circular seating accommodating 6 people and more. This has always been an issue when we go as a family for get-togethers.
The menu was exhaustive with good varieties highlighting Paneer, Corn, baby corn and Mushroom. For Tofu lovers, we had few items for you too. Now to the food we had –
Winter is in and this spells onset of mosquitoes. It is a known fact that mosquitoes are vectors responsible for many diseases. As always prevention is better than cure and it is important for us to take necessary steps to secure us from potential mosquito bites. Immunity is a major factor in keeping away seasonal diseases communicated by various medium. When we talk about immunity, babies and children are the most susceptible and as a parent every one of us know how difficult it is to control them and keep them away from places where mosquitoes breed. The next aspect of immunity is allergic reactions. Today, allergies are the cause of many respiratory associated infections and so we hear ‘natural’ being chanted everywhere and in each item we purchase. It is not that everyone is allergic to chemicals but we can say that there is a formidable population in that area too.
A group of bloggers, including me, were invited for the So Chennai & Sensodyne Food Walk here in Chennai. Needless to say, I grabbed the offer and set out for the great food-adventure!
The concept at hand was that a few bloggers and actual tooth sensitivity sufferers, who had been using Sensodyne for a number of months, would get to go on a food walk, sampling food and drinks without the fear of any sensitivity.
Here is a description of our food-adventure experience at three popular eateries in Chennai.
Millets is the new age food and we can confirm it with the number of restaurants offering millet based food aka healthy food. Healthy food is not something we want to eat once in a while and to make it regular, it must be prepared at home. This was one area which we were not familiar with as we belong to the city bred crowd. So we ended up hunting for such food and brought home ready to cook powders with which we can prepare dosai or adai. The problem with the powder is the dryness we get when preparing dosa or adai. It is manageable if we eat it immediately and how much ever we soak the powder, there is that hard feel in the end product. This is when we came across Gomathy Mami’s home batter and had the opportunity to try out 6 different batters –
Brown Rice Dosai , Multi grain Adai , Bajra (Kambu) Dosai, Horse gram (Kollu) Dosai, Ragi (Kezhviragu) Dosai, Regular Rice based Dosa / Idly and Paruppu Adai from them. I must say I am more than happy with the product in the pricing, quality and taste. Here is our experience –
Pizza mania just like the Biryani Mania today had seen a big surge in Pizza offerings. We can see Pizza in every fast food joint but then innovations have not been much forthcoming from them but from the leading Pizza joints such as Pizza Hut.
Pizza Hut claims to have the tastiest pizza, with the dough, vegetables prepared freshly every day. They also claim to use only hundred percent mozzarella cheese. We always found the normal crust a bit boring with its doughy nature since the middle gets the best of cheese, sauce and the flavorings. Nevertheless, it is the filler but having the crust filled with gooey cheese or masala vegetables is a nice twist. Pizza Hut never fails to impress us with their new varieties. Same applies to their new stuffed crust, which comes in two exciting options, Veg Kebab for the vegetarians and masala chicken sausage for the non-vegetarians. They have introduced Cheese Maxx- where the crust is stuffed with full load of cheese to cater to the cheese lovers who just do not bother about those extra kilos, being a foodie and getting diet conscious just does not work together. 🙂 Another interesting aspect of Pizza Hut Pizza is the 100% herb infused sauce to add extra freshness to the Pizza.
Phoenix Market City (Phoenix mall) is a happening place in Chennai not only as a shopping destination but also as the location for trying out different cuisines. Currently Phoenix mall is hosting a new one of a kind experience with Culinary Quest, a festival with specific menu and host of discounts/offers for its customers from leading restaurants such as Nandos, Rajdhani, Punjab Grill, Jonah’s Bistro, ID, Noodle King and Spaghetti Kitchen. The festival is on till Dec 4th. We along with popular food bloggers from Chennai had the opportunity to check out the vegetarian options (Many non-vegetarian dishes too but we cover only vegetarian food in our blog). Get the offers booklet for the festival carrying the respective discounts with 2 complimentary parking passes. Now to our experience on the food at the participating outlets, we tasted out the vegetarian dishes at the first five restaurants – Nandos, Rajdhani, Punjab Grill, Jonah’s Bistro, and ID.