If You’re in NZ, Do not Miss Out Tasting Pavlova

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A complete meal is seldom said to be complete till the finishing touch is provided by a fine dessert. The sweet aftertaste lingers on and reminds you of the wonderful meal you just had. When I visit a place, I make it a point to not only experience the place but also the cuisine. The cuisine after all is as much a part of the culture and heritage of the place as anything else. So missing out on the best of dishes will mean that you will end up missing out on a part of the place and not be able to experience the complete essence.

During my visit to Wellington in New Zealand I experienced one such dish, the taste of which I can still feel with my eyes closed. This lip smacking dessert is called Pavlova and is one of the delicacies of New Zealand. While the New Zealanders claim that it is ethnic to their land, a similar claim is also led out by the Australians. Wherever you go on these two island nations, people will claim that the Pavlova is their very own invention. While this debate cannot be settled one thing has no two opinions about it. The Pavlova is going to be one of the best dessert experiences you would have ever had and in both Australia and New Zealand it is extremely popular among the people.

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To make this unique dessert you need to take some egg whites in a bowl. Whisk it well and make it smooth. There after slowly add some sugar to the egg whites. To get the exact ratio of sugar and the egg whites, make sure to use one cup of sugar for every three egg whites. Make sure that while you are whisking the egg whites in the bowl you are adding the sugar simultaneously. Now pour this mixture in a pan on the oven. Once poured sprinkle some meringue properly over the mixture. Make sure that the meringue is at least a quarter inch thick. Now is the time to bake the entire thing. Bake for about an hour and then it will be ready. Add some whipped cream on top and you can even add some fruit cuttings for the garnish. Fruits like cherry or strawberry are ideal for the garnish. Your wonderful and exquisite dessert is now ready and you can enjoy the experience.

 

Table Nine Makes It Fine

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Isn’t it amazing, if you come across a passionate dance-duo who have successfully done 8 big reality shows in India since 2006 and then turning out to be a real ‘Baazigar’ by virtue of showing guts to open up Table Nine, a Shisha cum pure veg café-kitchen?

Yes, believe it, or not, that’s the story of Saurabh-Vivek.

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Saurabh Bangani and Vivek Jaiswal started their dancing career way back in 2004 with local school level competitions and made their way up to state, national and International level dance competitions. In 2011, what it all started as a small dance class, gradually grown in leaps and bounds and has now become a multi activity centre where they groom talents young and old. BORN2DANCE PERFORMING ARTS is an Activity Training Institute for imparting training of different courses and event management services with over 200+ performances in Reality Shows, Talent Hunt and Events across the Globe.

Table Nine is their latest stunt in the market. I slipped into it on a lazy Sunday afternoon when the rush was about to set in and I bumped into two super cool guys, Saurabh and Vivek. It started on 10th October, 2018 just opposite to Derozio College on the roadside at Rajarhat Road, New Town. And it is yet to pick up in spite of the lovely décor and lip-smacking veg cuisines. The major reason probably, to my mind, is its awkward location. Food lovers having their personal vehicle can only venture out to reach here. But those who are not lucky enough to possess a personal vehicle will find it difficult to reach out.

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Somewhat dark with a dramatic Lumiere had set the tone of the approaching Sunday evening. And with the rhythmic number in full blown, you would certainly expect a dancing floor in front. Alas!! There is no such arrangement. Do not get disheartened though, for not being able to shake your legs. Instead try out some fabulous mocktails and pure veg Chinese and Italian delicacies.

I am both a mocktail and cocktail lover. Since this is a NO ALCOHOL zone, I had to rely on mocktails only. And I had apprehensions whether I’ll get my mocktail well-prepared. And they really impressed me in no time. The freshness in the drink usually comes from the mint. And they strike a magic by incorporating a twist of cucumber. Presented beautifully, this is one of the virgin mojitos in town. So if you’re a mojito lover like me, go ahead and definitely try it.

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Black Forest Shake: This shake had 3 layers. The bottom layer contains berry jelly. Middle is filled up with a dollop of cream and the thick chocolate shake served on that. The shake is decorate with chocolate shaves, an Oreo and a cherry. It was a burst of the flavours of the famous black forest combination.

Crispy Potato Cheesy Roll: The dish was drizzled with cheese clustered with a tangy, tasty dip. The rolls are neither too crisp nor too soft. A great munch to have with hookahs or mocktails.

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Crispy Chilli Babycorn: It is pretty common dish, known to one and all. But I loved their style of preparation. Neither too much sauce coated, nor too less. Just the perfect balance. And a little spray of sesame seeds made the dish more interesting.

Special Pizza: Cheesy pizza with Generous toppings. Gooey cheese with crispy french fries. And it is big one!

Hara Bhara Kebab: The coatings are a bit crisp, which enhanced the taste of the kebabs. They garnished the dish with cashews and peas and served with a mint yoghurt dip.

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Hakka Noodles: Nothing exceptional. But I loved the mild flavours. The noodles are thin. Tossed beautifully, and wasn’t too oily.

Veg Manchurian: A perfect, inseparable match for the noodles. This consisted of soft vegetable balls tossed in a spicy sauce. I loved the flavours of this one.

Average Cost 

₹650 for two people (approx)

Exclusive of applicable taxes and charges, if any

Cash and Digital Payments accepted

Opening Hours

12 Noon – 12 Midnight

More Info

  • Home Delivery
  • Vegetarian Only
  • No Alcohol Available
  • Table Reservation Not Required
  • Indoor Seating

Address

Siddha Pines, 1st Floor, Commercial 102, Opposite Derozio College, AS/185 Rajarhat Road, New Town, Kolkata

Contact Numbers: 9883388818, 9883888816

Enjoy Rye Bread and Take home a Kuksa Cup

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Finland is a remarkable European nation and has a rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. A visit to this place for me has been rewarding in every way imaginable. However, even in the midst of all the Northern lights and exquisite natural beauty on display I could not help but take notice of two unique items you would find there. One among them is the famous cup made in Finland. The other is a kind of a bread or cake known as the Rye bread.

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The cup is an amazing specimen of Finland’s craft and culture. Devised by the locals, the cup is made from the barks of the Birch tree. This is known as the Kuksa cup. It is not breakable like the usual cups and is thus a great idea to use for beverages. The Lyap group of people in Finland usually indulges in the making of such cups. They are hardy and strong and easily withstand a lot of damage without a scratch on them. There are however replicas that are made and sold in the markets. These replicas are made of ceramics and can be handy items to decorate your house. In fact as a gift from the capital city of Finland, Helsinki, this can be a great gift item for your near ones back home. This is an ideal cup for those willing to delve into a hot or cold beverage. The usage is very convenient and it is in fact a lot of added advantage to use these cups.

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The Rye bread too is a delicacy of this land. These breads last for a fairly long time and the best part is thus that you can get some of this bread and not worry about them going bad in course of the journey. The cultivation of Rye in these parts of the world is as old as 2000 years. The German Rye bread is oilier than this and this is thus the better pick. As far as the Swedish rye bread is concerned it is spicier than this and thus once again this emerges as the better option.

Finland has been a rewarding experience and made me more evolved a traveler but pardon me for being materialistic in just this one instance and not getting over these two fine items from Finland. You too must use them or buy it for gift purposes if and when you visit the beautiful country of Finland.

Healthy Grey Rye Bread Bakery Nutrition

Smell of India in South African Bunny Chow

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A visit to South Africa can be rewarding in more ways than one.

On one hand, you have some of the most beautiful sceneries around you to leave you in a trance. On the other, this part of the world is known for some of the best cuisines whose taste appeals to a majority of the tourists. On my visit to this South African city I had the chance to experience one of their most popular, but easy to make street food; the Bunny Chow. This is regarded as one of the native food items of Cape town and is also extremely popular among the inhabitants of this region.

The dish can be modified in many ways as per your liking. It is a filling and tasty snack and is yet not unhealthy by any means. To put across the simplest description of this dish I have to say it is more of a combination of bread and curry. The best of both worlds come together and create a dish that is unique and is also sure to entertain your taste buds. If you go by the history of South Africa, you would notice the imprints of an Indian community from ancient times. This dish is a creation of that Indian community and a synthesis of the Western and Indian flavors. While it started with the Indian community it soon spread among the entire nation of South Africa and became widely popular.  You would find it in any Indian restaurant in South Africa and this could be just the thing you are looking for after a stroll along the beautiful beaches of Cape Town on a lazy afternoon.

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To make this dish you have to first make a hole by scraping out some bread from a big loaf of bread. It should be big enough to hold the curry that would be gently poured inside. Fry some onions in a pan first and then add some ginger, garlic, cardamom, chopped chilly, minced meat, carrots and tomatoes. You can easily substitute some of these with vegetables of your choice or even make the snack vegetarian if you so want. The insides of the bread loaf can be laced with some lemon juice to add the tangy flavor to the dish. Then the prepared curry is to be gently put inside. The dish is now ready and can be garnished with some coriander.

If you happen to visit this part of the world, never miss out on this amazing food item.

Screw Driver transcends You to a Different World

Cocktails for Vodka Lovers, My Choice

Star drink of 80s, vodka still rules the shelf. The distilled spirit has a charm of its own. This is winning everyone’s taste for spirit. The specialty of vodka is, it can mix easily, thus adding kick to any drink. The spirit retains its texture even after mixing it with any type of flavour.

I prefer vodka with my cocktail over hard on the rocks. A dash of tomato juice with a wedge of lime and lip smacking salt over the rim is simply sublime. Freshly squeezed orange juice mixed with the spirit along with a wedge of orange. That is the idea of a perfect cocktail party. Vodka has a certain level of finesse and sophistication in it, with the potential to become rowdy and wild if necessary. In my opinion, it is one of the most versatile types of liquor there is.

 

I have had a few house parties and vodka has never disappointed me. It has the superpower of turning even the most boring people to party animals, if you know what I mean. Be it a planned affair or an impromptu set up, vodka will always set the scene of an epic party. Here’s some of the cocktail that tops my list, if I am ever planning a house party.

  • Screw Driver

Easy to prepare vodka based drink. If you are ever having a house party, this is the D- drink to serve. All you need is freshly squeezed orange juice and your drink is ready to be served. Remember to chill it before serving to your quest. Its tangy fruity flavour is ideal both for lunch and dinner.

  • Cosmopolitan

Vodka is ideal for light fruit flavoured drink. And while talking about light fruit flavoured cocktails, what can be better than Cosmos. Classic pink drink topped with a cranberry, sweet and sultry at the same time. A party winner. If you are having a long day just sit by the corner with a glass of cosmopolitan. Take small sips, let the flavour of cranberry and orange roll on your tongue and silently observe those around you. 

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  • Madras

Madras reminds me of the setting sun. It is the perfect drink of the afternoon, when the sun is just setting over the horizon. Spend your lazy afternoon by the pool with this glass of orange red drink. The fruity flavour of orange with a dash of cranberry mixed with vodka is the drink to savour.

  • Bloody Mary

Unlike all cocktails, which are sweet and succulent, this is on the savoury side. The tangy and spicy drink is ideal for those who don’t like their cocktail sweet. The kick of salt with every swig, flavours of Bloody Mary just plays around your taste bud. Take it slow; relish every sip if you are trying this drink for the first time.

  • Vodka Gimlet

Sweet and tangy taste is always a winner when it comes to vodka based cocktails. Vodka and lime, always seems to go hand in hand. And this drink is simple to make and refreshing to taste. All you need is lemon juice and sugar syrup, and off course the guest of honour, Vodka. Simple as it looks, it has a different effect on the taste bud. Sit with your friends and chill over a glass of Vodka Gimlet.

Be it a sophisticated office party or a fun wild party with your friends, vodka is your drink. The biggest advantage it has is that the vodka based cocktails are simple, classy and very easy to make. Moreover, the ingredients are easy to get and most importantly, pocket friendly.

So, when are you planning your next house party?

Vada Pav and Samosa: The Inseparable Cocktail in Mumbai

I often become part of such trips that form a part of the most cherishable memories. My trip to Mumbai couple of months’ back in order to attend the Freelance Foundation 4 city India tour is one of those trips that will be a part of the golden memories I happen to have created. I always feel excited whenever there is a trip to the industrial capital of the country but I was unaware of the rich haul of experiences that awaited me over there.

The conference was to be held in Lower Parel in Mumbai in GK Marg. For the journey to the venue we had to avail the sea link which truly is one of the most enriching road trip experiences I have had. To add to the beauty of it the weather played in perfect harmony creating a magical overcast condition. We drifted through the vast stretches of the sea link for about an hour wading through the thick dark clouds that had gathered overhead. The view of the ocean below and the wind blowing with the hint of rainy odor is still etched well in my memory.

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I was to attend the conference as one of the speakers and I lost no time in getting to business once I got to the venue. Little did I know that much of my experience was yet to be done with. During the break, there were some arrangements for snacks and beverages. For snacks the venue laid out for us an array of Vada Pav and Samosas. Both of these are extremely popular snacks in this part of the country. The Vada Pav specially is among the favorite snack items in Mumbai and after the taste of the best they have got, I can tell you that they have good reason to choose so.

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It is basically an Indian vegetarian alternative to the very popular burger. The serving however is a bit different. Instead of cheese and meat patties it is usually a potato fried patty placed immaculately under the buns. The serving is with some masala powder and some green or red chutney. You are supposed to take a Vada Pav, dip it in some powder and chutney and indulge in a blissful bite. The Bengali in me initially fussed about the absence of meat or fish from the snacks section. But I witnessed the enthusiastic excitement of the locals who easily identified their delicacy as a snack item here.

My disappointment was however soon transformed to a blissful explosion in my taste buds. A bite into the hot Vada Pav and I had to take a few seconds to let the feeling sink in. The lingering taste was so empowering that it took me some time get accustomed. But once I did, there was no stopping me. I ate so many of these mouthful bites that when it was dinner time I had no space left for more. I have no regrets however as I can finally say that I have had the taste of the best Vada Pav in the country and the experience is as memorable for my taste buds as it was for my brain.

 

A Mahou Afternoon

Beer has always been my fancied drink and I have the knack for experimentation when a new product seems promising enough. After a tiring week a tall glass of beer does me as good as an Oasis does to a weary traveler in the desert. So last weekend, when the bartender drew my attention to a bottle of finely packed and attractive bottle of beer and suggested that I should most definitely have a taste of it, I was intrigued. What drew my attention in particular was the fact that this brand had apparently made a recent introduction in the markets of Kolkata and was apparently worth all the hype around it.

It was wheat beer as my bartender pointed out, alongside his rich promises of this beer being as good as the heavenly nectar Hoegaarden. “Do you actually mean what you just said?!” I expressed unable to hide my surprise. It was a tall claim indeed and now I most definitely had to taste this new brand of beer. “You will not be disappointed sir” the bartender assured me and added that this would be like no other beers that I have tasted in my life. By now the curiosity in me had beaten the combined curiosity of all cats on this planet. With no further delay I placed my order.

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From a bottle which was covered in a half white and half gold colored label shone in the lights and the condensation around it made me thirsty. I saw the beverage being poured into a tall glass from the attractive bottle and soon the glass made its way to my table. Now was the time for the first sip. Expectations cluttered my mind like the public after a new government had been elected. After all, my bartender spoke so very highly of this Spanish beer and compared it to the great Hoegaarden. Now was the time to check the facts in the claims.

The first sip transcended me into a different zone for a while. Clearly the beer was different from the various kinds of which I had gotten a taste of or developed a taste for over the years. In some ways I can say it was stronger. The wheat taste was strong enough and in fact after a few gulps of the chilled beverage I think it is safe to suggest that it is a bit too strong for my liking. The raw wheat texture and taste that hits your taste buds like a refugee caught in crossfire is most definitely not the most experience of my life.

It must also be pointed out here that the entire heavy flavor and strong taste is due to the starchy and strong hint of wheat and for those craving a different yet strong drink, this can be a great option to try out. The hint of coriander is something I missed out on even after the numbing sensation due to the chilled beer died down with time. So overall it was an experience I would not regret but surely it did not match up to the standards of the Hoegaarden.