ziu delhi

Once I quit restaurant reviews and to some extent food blogging, many things changed. Now, I have the liberty to go to well reviewed restaurants and not be first one on scene. The one to photograph every bite banned photography when we started our pop ups. We will photograph every dish and mail, we said. I strated writing about food in 2011. Times were different then. There were few, there were no perks or rewards. Like the programmers from 80’s, the first movers were there…Continue Reading “Ziu, Delhi for thai food. And, about quitting restaurant reviews”

hotel folksy madikeri

This is a really small place in the small town of Madikeri. It is run by a couple, we never saw the wife who cooks. Food for two including chicken, mutton, pork and a veg thali that had sambhar and rasam and a bean coconut fry was 360 rupees. The rice portions were massive, we returned a bowl and got a discount too. Now, all the three curries tasted different. The gravies had nothing similar. The pork was the most alien flavour – it was…Continue Reading “Hotel Folksy Food, Madikeri”

asiatique the riverfront bangkok

Let’s start with a confession. This was some sort of a tourist hotspot. The approach by road is bad. You have to go by a boat that is specially run by Asiatique. Everything about it sounded like a tourist trap. And, to add to add to stigma, friends who went there had loved it. So, the challenge of discovering something that very few knew or liked was also gone. I was not at all kicked about going to Asiatique. But, eventually, we did. Right after…Continue Reading “Asiatique the riverfront, Bangkok”

indique jodhpur

Lately, we have hit on a formula. Food trips. Some cities may be stinky, some sights may not be worth the pain, some plans may not work out etc etc. Then, fall back on food. And,it works every time. This time, after being fed up of the general stink of Jodhpur, we decided to eat the very best places. Indique was at the top of the heap. And, it was such an antidote to everything else. Amazing view of the fort. Amazing khada lamb. This…Continue Reading “Indique Restaurant, Jodhpur”

shahi samosa jodhpur

The shahi samosa is not a snack, it is a meal. It was the size of my palm and my palms are like any other ape’s. And, it was spicy and awesome. But what was remarkable was the alu bonda. The moment you bite into it, the universe smells of hing. It is massively spicy, has onions and garlic etc too. In my estimation, the bonda was way more potent than the samosa. In contrast, the mirchi bhaji was nice and the green chili sort…Continue Reading “Shahi Samosa, Jodhpur”

ginkgo japanese bangkok

Bangkok is spotlessly clean but it’s hard to find a public toilet within the city streets. Tourist places have plenty. So, as a last resort, I walked into a Japanese restaurant near Sala Daeng station for a beer and a pee. Sadly, they could not serve beer till 5 in the evening. Some rule that bars restaurants from serving alcohol before 5 pm. Even Seven Elevens that sell alcohol have these time rules. Anyway, in the absence of beer, I ordered a chicken thigh and…Continue Reading “Peeing in Japanese”

vertigo bar bangkok

Every time, we go out of Delhi, I feel rich. Other Indian cities don’t compare. Bombay, Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry etc are way cheaper. No expensive restaurant there would shock you. In Bangkok, Vertigo, which is on 62nd floor and is ranked one of the best bars in the world had dishes and drinks priced around 900 rupees (450 baht). The drinks came with 2 chips and wasabi peanuts. Then with food, we got a bag of chips and prawn and mayo complimentary. We ate at…Continue Reading “Something shady about Delhi restaurant prices”

naga cafe sathorn

How do you eat in an unknown place? You pore over tripadvisor, ask friends and bloggers and spend days on internet planning. I did pore over the internet. But eventually, the places we ate at were places we found through just walking around. If you can feel vibes and trust your instinct, you will end up eating well or you will have an experience anyway. To think that there is only one best way to navigate a city is stupid and you should be open…Continue Reading “Naga Cafe, Sathorn, Bangkok”

All of us know there is a massive hole in Odia food writing. I am not talking about recipes, I am speaking of writings that deliberate on cuisines, compare cooking methods and practices in different parts of Odisha as well as giving a historical context to what we eat. And, then there is the issue of exploring lesser known regions. The recipes currently floating are majorly coastal Odisha. Rarely something is seen from the north, west or south or regional variations in cooking. I have…Continue Reading “Appeal to Odia food writers and bloggers”

khoi

There are three kids in the family. The younger is all nonsense, mischievous, gets into all sorts of trouble. Nothing is out of bounds for her, she can do anything she wills to. She is also incredible fun, full of zest, laughs like a wild kid and every one loves her. The middle kid is more serious, a workhorse of sorts, does all the heavy lifting for the family and chips in when the younger one just can’t do it. he is reliable, dependable and…Continue Reading “The rice siblings”

masala papad

Have you ever spent a moment to think about the guy who created masala papad? His friends who created butter chicken and vada pav and jain shikanji have become legends. This poor dude who gave India the starter it never had is a nameless one. How unfair!

goan sausage pulao ambot tik thane

For the bombay trip, we decided to try out the iconic places and the places that not many talk about. That’s how we covered Britannia, Bade Miyan and Leopold but we also got to try Mi Hi Koli, Metkut and this final one – Ambot tik in Castle Mill, Thane. A small place, not even an AC, a place where most others ate a thali but they had an impressive Goan menu. Let’s go dish by dish: The Goan sausage pulao was awesome, it smelt…Continue Reading “Ambot Tik, Castle Mill, Thane West, Mumbai”

tadgola in mumbai

Long long ago, in a village far far away, we had taal trees. A help would be sent to cut down a bunch. The only rule was that it had to be after lunch, never in the mornings, never after sunset. Lunch never tasted worse. The help would cut the fruits off the cluster, pile them and start chopping their heads off. We would sit in a circle and the palm hearts would be passed around. Most of the fruits had 3 hearts, some would…Continue Reading “Taal aka Tadgola in Mumbai”

aamras puri

The things you make fun of are born as your child. That’s an old Hawaiian saying even if I just made it up. I always scoffed at the idea of puri and aamras. So, after walking out of Britannia, full to the brim and 90% humidity killing all appetite, we see this interesting vegetarian place. We stand at the door, pressing our bellies to see if there is some space and just oogling at the tables and people who were eating. We stood long enough…Continue Reading “National Hindu Restaurant, Fort, Mumbai”

koli bread basket

Later in the day when Mahesh Lunch Home turned out to be very average, this little place turned out to be a beautiful memory. Found on Zomato through searches of koli cuisine, this place is a must try. On the table behind us was seated this healthy girl with a young dude as videographer. Must be one of those vloggers – we ate our food while listening to review of the food. Anyway, let’s talk about the food. First, the bread basket was some 120…Continue Reading “Mi Hi Koli, Panch Pakhadi, Thane, Mumbai”

summer foods

Some folks are picky eaters. And, summers are the worst times for them. There are less vegetables, as the common refrain goes. But is that wholly true? We are a tropical country after all. Summers can’t be that good. Though, these days, we get most vegetables round the year, most are seasonal. Only idiots eat cauliflowers in summer. Anyway, summers are a bounty if you are not a difficult person. Let’s count – jackfruit, gourds (ash, bitter, snake, bottle, pointed), squash, pumpkin, cucumber, papaya, okra…Continue Reading “Summer food”

pakhala

Odias were a prosperous people. You know, Kalinga, Utkala, shipping prowess, java, sumatra and all that. They also invented head transplant before Ganesha’s doctors did and aeroplanes before Ravana did. Then, some jealous race planted this dude insidious character among Odias. The character created something called Pakhala. Within a generation, Odias stopped all shipping bullshit. Within five, they stopped going out of Odisha. By twentieth century, Odias were used to sleeping 12 hours a day, rarely stepping out of the house and generally being lazy…Continue Reading “The story of pakhala and Odia decline”

misti doi

Misti doi. Say that in your head, now move slowly move to the tip of your tongue. Say it silently on your lips. Now, say it loudly. Mubarak ho, aap baangaaali ban giya ho. This is the conversion ritual that bongs use to convert others. The moment you say misti the way they say it, that sensuous halt on the S, like a skid mark on the road, sssss, coming to a sudden stop, you are half a bong. Doi. There is no h. They…Continue Reading “Misti doi and Bengali conversion ritual”

kulath dal

We called it Kolatha in Odia. As I came to know only recently, it is also known in North India, Kulath, it is called. I was surprised, I thought this dal was eaten only in Odisha, rather only in my village, in our sai, there is no equivalent term in English, may be clan. Anyway, the point being it is a very unglamorous dal. Moong was used in puja and on special days, arhar was, even then, a prized dal. Chana was the hardworking common…Continue Reading “Kulath Dal”

jasmine pulao forktales

We do these pop ups under the name Forktales. The latest one was on 5000 years of Indian food history and tracking each influence via a food item. This post is based on the latest event.  The mughals had flower pulaos. Nothing can do more damage to their image than this one sentence with 29 characters with spaces. I eat flowers too. Pumpkin flowers, deep fried in rice batter. Love it. You can’t see the flower and what you eat is so delicious that you…Continue Reading “Eating flowers”