Ottimo with its emphasis on showcasing traditional Italian cuisine, brings to us the food from the region of Apulia or Puglia till the 18th of June. Popularly known as the ‘heel of Italy’s boot’ this sun blessed region enjoys all the benefits of hugging the Mediterranean coastline. The produce is fresh and the rustic dishes are kissed by the sea. You have just a week to enjoy these signature dishes that Chef Greco Vittoria has lovingly crafted.
It’s time to indulge! Karavalli’s famed Aquafest is back and is going to leave you in raptures till the end of this month. A veritable feast from the sea, Bangalore’s most esteemed dining institution brings to you sublime flavours of the southern coasts. Like every year, the menu is a careful composition of recipes gleaned from homemakers with a deep love for their cuisine, perfected in the rustic kitchens of Karavalli over 26 years. Chef Naren and team have an outstanding menu this November and I for one am always surprised on how they keep pushing the perfection envelope!
With the gazillion cookbook’s I own, it would be a shame to let them collect dust. I do pick up my favorites and rummage through the pages greedily for some ‘flashbulb’ recipes, but the rest of them are read once and relegated to the back shelf. Samar’s book runs the ambiguous path of a cross between ramblings of one’s life and recipes that relate to that phase, scribbled onto pages of a scrummy diary. As he states in the preface to the book – he is a glutton. And if he needed to feed his rambunctious appetite without upsetting the balance at home (his wife is a vegetarian), he had to learn how to cook. Years of living away from home, coupled with hosting innumerable impromptu parties has given him the ammunition to be creative with his cooking techniques. The book is a result of him documenting his attempts to create palatable meals through a blog in the Hindustan Times and a column in the Mint.
The Sunday Brunch at the Movenpick Hotel & Spa, turned out to be the first Brunch of 2016 for me. I’ve been taking French classes over the weekend and it pretty much consumes the best part of the day. May 1st was declared a class holiday and I used that opportune moment to take a break and catch up with my friends over lots of food and drink. The newly launched brunch menu by Chef Rayomund promised over 250 different dishes. I was probably not going to sample each and every one of them, but it was encouraging to know I’d have a smorgasbord of delicacies to indulge in.
Kerala has the privilege of being Gods Own Country and the dubious distinction of having the most number of toddy shops across India as well. For anyone who has tried toddy, the fermented buttermilk-like-drink is no connoisseurs poison of choice, but it sure is the cheapest way to end the day on a ‘high’ note. For people like me however, the highs are linked to the very unique food that is ubiquitous of Toddy Shops in the state. Considering women are rarely never encouraged to go to toddy shops, I’m beyond thrilled that Ente Keralam has bought the toddy shop experience to me. Just one downer – Karnataka doesn’t let establishments sell Toddy in the state (without a special toddy license), so we’ll just have to make do with the food!
My favourite festival at my favourite restaurant in Bangalore is back! Aquafest at the Karavalli started 24 years ago and has become an event to look forward to every year. A seafood lover is assured of a sublime experience till the end of this month! Karavalli (the land by the sea) has distilled the best cuisine secrets from the bunts of Mangalore, the Kodavas, the Malayalees, and the Goan Portugese to bring them under one roof. And Aquafest is the crown jewel, where twenty new Sea food preparations with as many seafood varieties, will be dished out from the kitchen as well as the ‘West Coast Grills Station’. And for those who love their classics, the Karavalli Signature Collection is also part of the festival.
One of my favorite restaurants in Bangalore – Karavalli at The Gateway Hotel, runs a seafood festival every year. This year’s Aquafest runs from the 15th to the 30th of November and is truly a gastronomical delight. For those of you who have never heard of Karavalli (face turning blue), it is an award winning restaurant that focuses on home-food recipes sourced from the coastal regions of South West India. (Think Mangalorean Bunts and Konkanis, Kodavas from Coorg, Malayalees, Calicut Muslims and Syrian Christians of Travancore, Havyaka Brahmins of Vitla and the Portuguese of Goa). The only restaurant in India to feature in the Top 50 list of The S. Pellegrino Asia’s Best Restaurants, Karavalli has always lived up to its legacy of creating fantastic food and amazing memories for me. Last week I had the chance to dine with the most affable, humble and accomplished Chef Naren Thimmaiah during the preview of the Aquafest menu. I have to thank dear Monika Manchanda of Sin-A-Mon Tales, for taking me along as her date for the …
My love for seafood is a direct result of Goan cuisine. There’s nothing I like better than good prawn curry rice or a pomfret recheado or a kane rawa fry. I’m not Goan by birth…not by a good 485 kms 567 kms, but I love that place and it’s sussegado (laid back) culture like my own! So when a friend invited me to the Hyatt for the Goan Food Festival, it was hard to say no. Especially because the delicacies on offer were from the kitchen of Chef Edrige Vaz from Casa Sarita at the Park Hyatt, Goa! My biggest grouse that night was the mood lighting. Apart from the fact that I wasn’t with my better half, it also didn’t make for the best photographs! (Sorry S…it’s the truth J) But I shall choose to regale you with my tangy tale nevertheless. Amuse Bouche was a Rissois de Camarao – a beautiful half moon shaped fried dumpling. Filled with a mildly spiced prawn mixture and served with a smudge of chilli sauce, it was …