Posted in chicken, cochin, custard, fish, fish tikka, fried fish, grilled fish, kayaking, scuba diving, soup, south indian, south indian cuisine, travel, travel diaries, travel writing, traveller, travelogue, Uncategorized, upma

Travelogue – Come and enjoy the pristine white sand beaches of Lakshwadeep

Can you keep yourself away from the clear turquoise blue waters of Lakshwadeep after you have visited the Andamans? An absolute no!


Compared to the Andaman islands, Laccadive and Minicoy are difficult to visit because prior permission is required from the Government of India. There is only one aeroplane which flies from Cochin to Agatti island once a day and the ships plying between different islands has a frequency of three days. Helicopter services are also available but at an added cost.

We could only visit one island but you should plan your trip in a way that you visit not only Kavaratti(where you can indulge in water sports) but also Bangaram(where you can enjoy the mesmerising view).

Day 1

We boarded the evening flight from Delhi to Cochin and reached the latter at 9pm. We had booked a studio apartment in the Atlas hotel which is just 2 kms from the airport. The pick up and drop services were provided by the hotel.

The studio apartment was nothing short of extraordinary. There was a big hall with a television, a dining area, a spacious kitchenette, two bedrooms, one with the attached washroom and a stand alone washroom. The amenities are top notch considering the price – 4800 for four people.

Day 2

Waking up early to relish the Cochin skyline was a good thought. A beautiful view with towering coconut trees awaited us as we opened the balcony doors. But we could not keep basking in this magnificence as we had a flight to catch at 8am.

A 36 seater Air India plane is responsible for carrying the dreamy eyed travellers heading for Lakshwadeep. The turbulent airs above the Arabian Sea make this journey a tad scary considering the small size of the plane. But adventure is always welcome!

We reached Agatti at around 10:30am. Since this is a military airport, we are not allowed to shoot once we are out of the plane – army personnel make sure of that. This is the smallest airstrip we had ever landed on. The surrounding turquoise blue waters do seduce you once in a while to steal a photo shoot but no rule breaking here.

From Agatti, ships and helicopters are the means of transport to the other islands. We were headed to the capital Kavaratti and a two hour eventful ship journey awaited us as we clambered on the slippery deck. We had booked our stay at SPORTS complex and one of their people accompanied us and carried our entire luggage, which was a relief as it is a huge task to carry heavy items across a boat which is swaying dangerously.

The waters of the Arabian Sea are ferocious and the waves have a tendency to move the ship by 1 or 2 metres – enough to give you nausea.

We reached Kavaratti around 1pm and had a delicious lunch at the SPORTS complex where we had booked a stay for three nights. It was a lovely change to hog on the authentic Lakshwadeep cuisine which has evolved from the Keralite one. And to have this while sitting at the beach and listening to the roaring waves is another experience in itself.

Lunch – a delectable spread of fried tuna, chicken curry, beetroot prepared with coconut and rai seeds, chappati and rice.


Dinner – Slurpy sweet corn soup, spicy fried tuna, dry matar paneer, yellow dal, chicken curry and beans cooked in coconut milk.

Day 2

The second day started with us gearing ourselves for SCUBA diving in the lagoon area around Kavaratti. The SPORTS complex offers experienced instructors who first teach you about the do’s and don’ts of breathing underwater and then they give you a first hand training in the shallow waters of the beach, thus allowing you enough time to practise. While Shrenee was able to cope with equalising pressure, I had a difficult time getting used to venting air pressure through my ears.

After 10 minutes of practise, we were taken by a motor boat to the area where corals are in plenty with colourful shoals of fish and sea creatures residing in them. The deep turquoise blue waters hide a vibrant world reminding me of The Little Mermaid.


The evening was spent in a jeep which took us to all the nooks and crannies of the island. We also got to see the eastern section of the island where the general public is not allowed to roam because of the shallowness of the continental shelf.

The Kavaratti light house is one place that you should visit. The view from the top is mesmerising and comes after a hard climb of 180 stairs. And you have to clamber the steps without your foot wear which are definitely not allowed inside.


Breakfast: Idli, sambhar and chutney.

Lunch: North Indian spread

Dinner: Two types of chicken, mixed vegetables and caramel custard

Day 3

The third day started with a lovely breakfast spread of fluffy omelettes, breads and upma. The upma was prepared in a different way – finely grated carrots mixed well with roasted semolina.

We were taken a small glass boat to the borderline lagoon area from where we could relish the colourful corals and fishes. Bread crumbs were thrown to the fishes which merrily ate them and kept swimming near our boat for more treats. The zebra fish and the parrot fish are regular here and the boat men said that they actually wait for their arrival.

Lunch: Dal, roti and chicken cooked with caramelized onions. The dessert was a mouth watering coconut cheese cake.

Evening was spent in kayaking around the shallow waters. You can get the kayaking boat for 200 bucks for an hour. It is one of a kind of experience to row the boat yourself and go wherever you desire. The water is so clear that you can clearly view the sea bed.


One more advantage of staying at the SPORTS complex was that you are always on the beach where you can sit back and relax. The hospitality here was top notch. We might have missed out on Bangaram but where could we have enjoyed seeing those colourful fishes and beautiful corals! There is so much more to enjoy in Lakshwadeep that we are not crossing it off our bucket list anytime soon!!


Posted in cheese, cheese cake, chicken, chicken sausage, cottage cheese, creme brulee, dessert, fish, gnochhi, grilled fish, noodles, Salad, Uncategorized, yakisoba noodles

Raise the Bar Rooftop, Clarens Hotel, Sector 29, Gurgaon

Winters have officially arrived in Delhi NCR and it is time to come out of your closet and enjoy the glorious winter sun. The poisonous haze has gone for good now and you can embrace the chilly weather which is there to stay for a month or so.

And what better to do on a weekend than have a brunch on a roof top from where the Gurgaon skyline is visible? Located at the Clarens Hotel, Sector 29, Gurgaon, Raise the Bar Rooftop offers one of a kind experience. There is a huge bar counter running along half of the length and a special dessert and patisserie counter awaits you when you enter this place. The polished wooden interiors with a good seating arrangement promise a relaxed ambience and a slew of well trained servers is there to make your stay memorable.


Patisserie special: All cheese – oregano filled pungent and layered Adam cheese, herb cheese filled with chilli flakes and gouda are prepared from cow milk and are imported. The crackers are light and crunchy, the pickled olives not so sour, raw papaya and cucumber subtle and the focaccia airy.  RECOMMENDED.


Gnochhi salad: The gnocchi is oh so smooth and melt in the mouth and served on a pan fried spinach base with hints of garlic and ginger. The spinach is not so bitter and is easy to gobble on. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Barley salad with chicken and green beans: The tangy chicken sausage leaves you in a deep food coma, while the crunchy grilled green beans, plump and juicy cherry tomatoes add more depth to this salad. The best part – the sauce has penetrated to every element. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Fried chicken popsickles: Hats off to the chef who thought of this. Who wants ice popsickles if you can have fried chicken one? And they go well in the winters too. The finest chicken mince fried in bread crumbs to a lovely brown and golden hue and served with garlic mayo can leave you in splits. The crispy exterior and the soft mince like interior will definitely win your heart. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Herb crusted sole fillet: The very thin layer of herb curst with mellow insides – perfection of a well seared sole fillet. The potato wedges are served as sides and slightly soft. RECOMMENDED.


Yakisoba noodles with vegetables: Disappointment. The noodles did not taste like Japanese noodles in Yakisoba sauce but resembled a desi pan fried version of our street food variant in flavours.


Crème Brulee: Not good at all. The well defined crust is not there and the flavour of the cheesecake resembled the taste of raw eggs.


Raise The Bar Rooftop-Clarens Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in chicken, chicken dimsums, chicken hong kong, chicken schezwan dimsum, chinese cuisine, delhi, dimsums, fish, fish butter garlic, fried fish, grilled fish, kung pao chicken, noodles, Uncategorized

Spice Wok, Sector 50, Gurgaon

Their site mentions myriad cuisines and the pictures from every type are drool worthy to the core. Without much ado, I will start with my reviews for their Chinese dishes:

Fish in hot sauce: Soft lightly fried fish drenched in a thick sweet sauce and topped with spring onions, caramelised onions, carrots, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Chicken Schezwan Dimsums: Artistic! Such softness of the dainty skin enclosing light minced chicken in a spicy gravy – mesmerising. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Fish in butter garlic sauce: If heaven is a dish, then this is it. Very lightly fried fish tossed in butter along with finely chopped garlic and peanuts is sure to melt in your mouth. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Orange chicken: A very novel concept of pairing chicken with a citrus fruit – hats off! Small blobs of chicken fried to crusty perfection and tossed in oranges and sesame seeds – a plethora of flavours to serenade you. The sweet and sour refreshing flavour of orange coupled with  fine crunchiness of the sesame seeds is a winner for me. However, the chicken was slightly dry from the insides and the whole ensemble tasted too sweet sometimes. RECOMMENDED.


Kung Pao chicken: Ahhh, the king of the Oriental main course. Those crunchy peanuts working their magic on soft and chewy boneless chicken pieces and the thick gravy lending the typical sweet flavour of vinegar – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Hakka Noodles: One of the best I have tasted – not too oily or dry and pretty thin and fine. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Chicken Hong Kong style: Diced chicken again in a sweet sauce with chewy shiitake mushrooms – RECOMMENDED.


The Spice Wok Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in chicken 65, chicken 65 bruschetta, chicken pizza, chilli mushroom, fish, fish fingers, grilled fish, grilled prawn, oreo shake, Pizza, Uncategorized

Uncultured Cafe & Bar, Kailash Colony, New Delhi

Situated in Kailash Colony, this is a fancy restaurant which serves some lip smacking dishes. Uncultured should be your go to place if you love trying on a myriad of cuisines. A great rooftop terrace is just one of the advantages of visiting this place.


I recently got an opportunity to taste some of its items and here are a few of them:

Fish fingers: Served with a dip, these are crunchy and had a subtle taste. RECOMMENDED


Oreo Shake: Yes we all are head-over-heels in love with this one already. Heavenly is just too small a word to describe this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Chicken pizza: When I order chicken pizza, I expect chicken to be there as well. But you need a magnifying glass to locate the chicken pieces on the pizza as there are hardly any.


Primavera Pizza: Now atleast this pizza was not disappointing. It had a lot of bell peppers, olives, zucchini and a good amount of cheese as well. RECOMMENDED


Chilli Mushroom: Its time to move on from the regular chilli chicken and chilli paneer and try this dish. As I am not a huge fan of mushrooms, it does taste a little bit weird in the starting. But the spiciness and the tanginess of the mushrooms will definitely delight you. Its spiciness hits you and tanginess makes you fall in love with this dish. RECOMMENDED


Grilled Prawn: Ordering this one was a huge mistake as it is high on disappointment. The prawns were bitter and I could not even finish the one I tasted.



Chicken 65 Bruschetta: After a huge disappointment faced from grilled prawns, this was a beautiful respite. It had oodles of cheese covering the soft juicy chicken placed on toasty bread which leaves you wanting for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Grilled Fish in lemon butter sauce: Served with a dip and side vegetables, the fish was mellow and had a sublte taste. Light on your stomach, it certainly leaves you wanting for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Uncultured Cafe & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in asian cuisine, bao, cheese cake, chicken, chilli chicken, delhi, dimsums, fish, french fries, fried fish, grilled fish, italian cuisine, japanese cuisine, kebab, oriental cuisine, Pizza, prawn, prawn tempura roll, sushi, tart, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

The Junction, Hauz Khas, New Delhi

This new property in Delhi is actually a junction of multiple cuisine trains. Spread across a huge area with different sections, this one boasts of a distinct sushi and dimsums bar, The Big Baker with a lovely assortment of desserts, a pizzeria, an outdoor seating area under the shade of trees (full marks for that) and indoor fine dine area. The Junction redefines the word multi-cuisine for you by serving multiple cuisines from all the courses. Here are a few of them that I recently tasted:

Veg pizza: The thinnest crust with a lovely succulency and the chewiness and juiciness of yellow and green zucchinis should not be missed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Chicken dimsums: The exceptionally thin exterior is attractive but the extremely tangy flavour of the mine chicken mince is not acceptable.


Mushroom wantons: I usually avoid wantons because they are deep fried but I could not keep my hands off this one. The finely chopped mushrooms were enveloped in a chewy exterior whichw as fried to crispy perfection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


California roll: Their sushis are a must try and this one was a burst of subtle flavours – sweet, tangy and piquant. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Mac n cheese: Ahh, the gooey cheese works its magic again! The al dante macaroni drenched in warm parmesan with bits of chicken is one dish which you would not want to miss! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Veg mezze platter: I have never ever tasted a mezze platter like this one! For the first time, the pita breads were slathered with butter and were soft yet crispy – the characteristic brittleness was absent here. Additionally, the beetroot flavoured dip was ohh-so-delicious! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Prawn dimsums: If you leave the intense watery aroma of prawns aside, the these dimsums are heavenly! The skin and the filling are perfect and better than the chicken ones here.


Chicken and cashewnut dumplings: Who could have thought that the nuttiness and crunchiness of the cashewnuts could be used to innovate the usual chicken dimsums? These guys did and it turned out excellent! And the form of these lovelies are way too attractive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


The Junction Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in asian cuisine, big wong, chicken, chicken satay, delhi, dimsums, dumpling, fish, grilled fish, japanese cuisine, oriental cuisine, prawn, prawn tempura roll, salmon sushi, sushi, Uncategorized

Big Wong, D block market, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi

Let us move on over the Chinese dishes created in Indian flavours. Because authenticity of experience is so in demand these days. We wish to savour the real flavours of the Oriental and Thai dishes and this is where Big Wong comes in.

Let me get straight to the point. Big Wong is one if the few places high in flavours – the subtlety of their dimsums and non vegetarian preparations is a force to reckon with. And the ambience is a tad bit different from classy oriental environment. They have an amazing collection of retro, rock n roll and heavy metal songs which amps up the atmosphere.

I had a beautiful dinner there recently and I am able to recreate my experience here:

Chicken dimsums in thai herbs: I am amazed at the super soft and moist skin of the dimsums offered by Big Wong. And this particular one was no different. Add to it the sweet thai sauce with the prominence of lemon grass and what you get is an explosion of flavours. And let us not forget the freshness of the minced chicken. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.



Chicken dimsums in home made sauce: This one was responsible for giving me a major cough and sneeze attack. Because I was already suffering from cold and this was fiery hot with red chilli kernels dipped in soy sauce. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for spice lovers.


Prawn dimsums in thai herb: Whole prawns wrapped in soft dimsum sheets and topped with a light and sweet sauce. The freshness of lemongrass is so profound here, giving you an authentic Thai experience. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Thai basil fish: How can these guys make simple fish dish so out of the world? The fish pieces had a slightly crispy exterior and mushy interiors and were hot yet sweet in taste. The freshness of the fish is commendable here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Chicken sake wine: If the softness of the chicken can be retained even after cooking it in heavy sauces, then the chef should be given an award. The chicken was so delicate and soft with ginger dominating the flavours. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Crab stick: Fresh and sweet as expected.

Tuna nigiri: Sweet again


Prawn dumplings: Soft again with the fineness of prawn mince.

Corn and water chestnut dumplings: The freshness and crunchiness of water chestnut compliments the delicateness of sweet corn kernels. RECOMMENDED


Crystal chicken dumplings: Moist to the core with super thin skin, this one is a tad bit different from the crystal dumplings served at other outlets. RECOMMENDED

Spicy salmon roll: Crispy but smelly and not very spicy.

Curry prawn dumplings: If you are a fan of the famed Thai green curry, you will fall head over heels with this one. The dainty prawn dumplings are warm and firm and adorned with a fine thai green curry. The profoundness of coconut milk, lemon grass and thai herbs is relishing.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Big Wong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bourbon, burger, caesar salad, chicken satay, cocktail, custard, delhi, greek salad, grilled fish, gurgaon, Healthy, ice cream, japanese cuisine, lettuce, nachos, prawn tempura roll, Salad, suchu wine, sushi, Uncategorized

Feel Alive, Sector 29, Gurgaon

When it comes to a Friday night parties, I am not a big fan of resto-pubs playing the loudest possible music and serving the cheapest dishes and drinks on their menu in happy hours. Neither I am too fond of crowded lounges where you can hardly ever make a conversation. Many of us have moved on over the “My bar” type of parties and would prefer a sophisticated place to relax and enjoy.

Keeping all the above factors in mind, Mr. Vasul Chauhan, whose brainchild Biryani and Quorma Express is doing excellent in the Gurgaon delivery circles, has come with a premium property by the name of Feel Alive at Sector 29. The opulent ambience, the live bar, the elaborate food and drinks menu, the huge TV screens and the plush interiors will compel your heart to skip a beat. And the excitement does not end here. There are five party rooms for group get togethers which can easily seat around 18-20 people with a personal butler, a smart TV, kickass sound systems and comfortable seatings. Thursdays are reserved for Salsa and Fridays are for dancing to a live DJ.

And it does get better with the gastronomic experience….

Suchu wine sangria: After getting to know my love for Sangria, Mr. Vasul Chauhan, an accomplished mixologist himself, conjured a wonderfully delicate Japanese rice wine sangria. The refreshing taste of watermelon, guava and orange cubes coupled with the subtle tanginess of the rice wine was pretty appealing to me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Caesar Salad: Thank God these guys know how to prepare a simple Caesar salad. The lettuce leaves were crisp and the parmesan shavings were fine, therefore adding to more subtlety here. No extra cream or cheese. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Chicken Satay with peanut dressing: After having the same dish at Yo China, I had developed a strong antagonism towards satay dishes. But the one served here is ohh-so-lovely in taste! The boneless chicken pieces are cooked in their own juices, they are soft and tender and topped with coconut milk with peanuts. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Grilled fish stick: Fish grilled in a marination of basil, spinach and coriander with the extra spice of black pepper is a wonderful new entrant. The fish is grilled – no disintegration. But it is slightly salty. RECOMMENDED.


Jalapeno Cheese poppers: If they were called just cheese poppers, then I would have given it top marks. Because these poppers were warm with light melting cheese oozing out and enmeshing the finely chopped vegetables. The exterior was crumb fried and crispy but I really wish they increase the quantity of jalapenos in it if they want the name of the fiery chilli associated with it. RECOMMENDED.


Prawn Tempura roll: Crispy prawns rolled in the finest Japanese rice with sesame seeds adorning the top – can not get better! RECOMMENDED.


Yaki Soba: After this, I am definitely going to forget the Indianised Chinese noodles. Made from buck wheat flour, and cooked in sesame oil, oyster sauce and black pepper, these were ohh-so-light in their slurpy goodness. And lets not forget the fine juliennes of spring onions, cabbage and carrots. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Peri Peri chicken: Not the best one I had. The sharpness and the spiciness of the peri peri sauce was amiss here and the chicken was way too firm and therefore difficult to eat. The potato mash served was smooth but salt was the sole ingredient missing here. The grilled vegetables- bell peppers and zuchhini were done so well that their skins were slightly crusty and their insides juicy.


Chipotle chicken burger: The French fries served with this burger were out of the world and were not overdone. But the burger was a bit of a downer. It was hot but the patty was not grilled properly and was a bit cold.


Taco vs basa: Roasted tacos spread over grilled basa with lemon butter sauce and rice. The tacos were crispy to the core and the basa was delicious. The fish was grilled well and served with blossoming rice with the rich lemon butter sauce. RECOMMENDED.


Bombay Rib pork: The pork was too hard and arduous to cut and served with potato mash and charred vegetables. NOT RECOMMENDED.


Super Sundae: I actually ate this whole dessert. With a vanilla sponge cake at the base and two scoops of vanilla ice cream topped on the cake, this was was heavenly as it was topped with a custard mix, fresh fruits and strawberry tart. The custard mix was so creamy and subtly sweet. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Crème Brulee: With a crunchy exterior and soft and smooth creamy interior, this could win your heart. RECOMMENDED.


Burn Bourbon burn: One of the masterpieces by Mr. Vasul, this one combines the fumy flavour of cinnamon and the woody taste of bourbon. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Feel Alive Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato