GOOD OLD DAYS 

Take me back to the good old days. Here I’m not talking about the beautiful memories of my past, but this incredible restaurant in effotel, situated right next to Radisson.



Tired of spending weekends in same kind of bars? Here’s a quirky alternative. Good Old Days’s theme speaks volumes. It’s a small retro themed bar lounge. Comfortable, Cosy, Elegant and Dramatic. Dim lights, checkered walls section, old Hollywood movies posters, red sofas, illuminated floor (tiles which light up with different colors!), mirror ceilings, and of course, posters of the likes of Merlin Monroe, Elvis Presley, Che Guevara & Bob Marley bringing the good old days back.



I would like to thank Chef Thapa who hails from Nepal and is associated with Sayaji since 4 years and Indore Bloggers Association for making this meet happen.

We were served –
FILO WRAPS  

Filo or Phyllo is very thin covering usually used in pastries and it dates back to Ottoman empire. We were served a vegetarian deep fried filo wrap which was actually wanton wraps, filled with cheese and three kinds of bell papers. It’s a vegetarian delight.
Another highlight of this dish was it’s dipping – saffron mayo sauce. It’s distinguished garlic flavor gave the dish a beautiful twist.

CHARMOULA CRUSTED COTTAGE CHEESE –




Another dish to please vegetarians palate. Chef has definitely succeeded. It’s cottage cheese served with herbed rice and sautéed vegetables like broccoli and zucchini.
Dish is medium spicy and it’s sauce take away the cake. It’s served with barbecue mango sauce which is definitely a must try here.
Also, presentation gets 5/5.

MEXICAN RED  KIDNEY BEANS AND CORN QUESADILLA  –


Pc – Satyajeet David



Quesadillas is one of my favorites and this place doesn’t disappoint. Flat circle grilled tortilla with a stuffing of red kidney beans and corn. It was served with salsa sauce made with minced tomatoes and perfectly complimented the dish. Here, I would also like to mention that they are smaller than regular size.

CRUMBLED FISH  – 

Fish is marinated with lemon, garlic and parsley, coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. Its boneless fillets of basa fish and is a must try here.
RUBIYAN MESHAWAI  – 


Pc – Satyajeet David



I’ve a new favorite!! Them prawns ❤️

Medium prawns with tail, perfectly grilled in Arabic spices will leave you wanting for more and more. It’s beauty lies in its simple preparation. Prawns are marinated in garlic & black pepper. It’s served with risotto rice in tomato sauce and saffron dip which is rich in garlic and butter. It’s a must try here.

DRINKS –



COCKTAILS

MARTINI


“Shaken, not stirred!” – James Bond’s iconic drink, this Martini is a must try. Instead of gin, they have used vodka but I really can’t complain. Garnished with olives and a small umbrella, staying true to its classic colors.
STRAWBERRY MOJITO 

It’s a proper ladies drink. Not too subtle, not too strong. Mint and strawberry complimented each other & it’s a treat to the eyes.

MUDSLICE  –

The moment I heard about BAILEYS cocktail, I was waiting for its serving. It looks like chocolate coffee especially due to chocolate syrup lining the glass. Sadly, bailey’s flavor is diminished by coconut and chocolate flavors. Avoid.

GIMLET  –

Pc – Satyajeet David

I unfortunately didn’t try this gin based cocktail. There were two glasses amongst ten bloggers, what do you expect?


COSMOPOLITAN


One of the best cosmopolitan I’ve tried in this city. I order cocktails because hard core strong drinks are not my thing. The bartender has beautifully managed to keep it not too sweet and not too strong and I really don’t think you can go wrong with cranberry and vodka. Mama Mia. We have a winner here.


MOCKTAILS


SHIRLEY TEMPLE


Too sweet. Strawberry syrup with ginger and lime and of course the lemonade.
VIRGIN COLADA  


This was definitely my favorite mocktail. Creamy coconut drink with pineapple, with a tint of vanilla and pineapple. A must try here.

My ratings

Taste – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Presentation – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Drinks – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

Service – ⭐️ ⭐️

Value for money – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Ambiance – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

Overall – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

Address: Effotel Hotel, Plot No. 10-C/ C.A., Scheme No. 94, Sector C Indore, Indore.

Open time: 1 pm to 11:30 pm

In the end, I just wanna say that this is a place to spend some quality time with your friends or lover over drinks. They usually play 90’s pop music in the background, adding to its theme. Seating arrangement is comfortable. I’m definitely gonna visit again & so should you.

Good Old Days - Hotel Effotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The 78 Boulevard 

I recently attended their new menu launch with my fellow bloggers at INDORE Bloggers Association & team Indori Zayka.

The name intrigued me, hence my first question to the owner was – why? Turns out, it’s because of the beautiful street outside this bistro cafe and 78 as it’s situated in Scheme 78, Vijay Nagar.

Not just the name, a lot of thought has been put into its interesting interiors too. The moment I entered this place, I was mesmerized with its theme. “Le le re selfie le le re!” 🎵 Yes, this place is a treat for selfie lovers like me.

Its theme is vintage new york style with a cosmopolitan vibe. I’ve never seen an apter industrial decor in Indore. Antiques on the weathered brick walls make for a beautiful rustic & mature interior. Dim lights just add to the feels. Wooden tables, colorful chairs, benches and sofas on a cemented floor completes the whole look. The credit for this goes to the co-owner and interior designer Miss. Anushri Jain.


📷 – burrp (link below!)




This is by far the best-themed restaurant in Indore. 
The V in bouleVard stands for Vegetables. Yes, it’s a 100% VEGETARIAN bistro & this place serves alcohol on weekends. If this isn’t a good news, then maybe the fact that drinks aren’t overpriced will be soothing to your ears.
It’s one of the first few restaurants to introduce the event culture in Indore. It not only hosts cooking workshops, but also meddles with open mic events (free entry for all! Best platform to feature local talent!!) twice a month, rock concerts, underground music nights, & yes, bringing a dose of STAND UP COMEDY shows featuring best of the best in India – Sorabh pant, Abish Mathew, Kanan Gill, Sahil Shah, Sapan Verma, Varun Thakur, Atul Khatri, Kunal Rao & Abhishek Upmanyu. 

These events are guaranteed to put you in a mood for riotous revelry. Oh yes, Rock and roll baby!!!

Don’t lose heart if you couldn’t attend Kanan Gill on the house, here’s another one you wouldn’t want to miss – 

In a Kamra with Kunal Kamra! #Sorrynotsorry 

Tickets available on bookmyshow & at the 78 Boulevard for Rs. 800/-

More on the event in my next blog. Don’t miss it! 

They usually play deep house in the background, which is a subgenre of house music, and a youth’s favorite.

A bistro is a place that serves a quick and simple meal at moderate prices & living true to its bistro cafe title, they have introduced a ‘happy hour menu’ that runs from 11 am to 6 pm. When asked about this special menu, Anushri says, “the items are more for students and we serve cafe style food like sandwiches, burgers, combos etc. The catch is that the entire menu is under Rs.99. Pocket-friendly for student crowd.”
Wait wait, don’t rush to this place just yet. Do it after reading the whole review! Okay?
Now let’s get to the part for which we were invited for. Their new menu launch!!
I was beyond excited. So will you be, once you see this place!
The menu is as quirky & varied as it’s interiors. Their philosophy is to have, ‘something for everyone.’ Chinese, Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Burmese, Indian and Thai, they serve it all.



We were welcomed with a mocktail called ‘sex on the beach!’ Since it wasn’t on the menu, we all started guessing its contents! It was like playing ‘guess what?’ game. Just like classic sex on the beach – virgin, it had cranberry & orange juice with a dollop of peach syrup. Rimmed with salt & garnished with mint leaves & lemon. A beautiful warm day & this tangy fruity mocktail as a welcome drink. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.




CREAM OF PEAS –



I had a sore throat so this soup came like a blessing. I can totally call it my favorite amongst all the dishes I tasted that day. The twist was in its presentation, it was served in a shot glass with breadstick on top. SHOT SHOT baby. One sip and you’ll fall in love with its taste and creamy texture. Its vibrant green color is it’s another highlight. It’s a treat for your eyes and palate.

Price – Rs. 180/-

Verdict – must have.
FATTOUSH SALAD –



Okay, I’m not big on salads but this didn’t disappoint. Fattoush salad is a Mediterranean dish & it’s big on vegetables. Lettuce, tomato, radish, bell peppers, parsley, you name it, this had it. Tossed in lemon, garlic & oregano dressing giving it a sour taste. A perfect starter for health conscious people. Fried pita bread tasted like namak pare & Uff that crisp gave it the oomph factor.

Price – Rs. 220/-

Verdict – Do try. Less on calories, big on taste. Although, if you’re not a salad person & don’t like to experiment, avoid this.

CAPRESE SALAD – 


It’s a simple Italian salad, typically made of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes & basil. However, mozzarella the chef used here wasn’t really fresh, but it did taste good. The hero of this dish is the honey balsamic dressing. It’s sweet and tangy & it can be regarded as a perfect salad dressing. Its presentation gets full marks & who says no to cheese?

Fun fact – this dish has these ingredients so that it will resemble the Italian flag which has red, white & green color.

Price – Rs. 240/-

Verdict – Do try.

DIMSUMS –


This restaurant doesn’t have bright lights because of it dim sum. This Taiwanese dish is my favorite. Looking at dim sum, I got all excited. Served in steamer baskets and oh so colorful. However, my excitement was short lived. It had a filling of shredded cabbage & carrots & they were steamed, not fried hence making it a healthy choice. Although it was more on the spicy side.

Price – Rs. 240/-

Verdict – Avoid.

THAI SPRING ROLLS – 


Thai spring rolls had capsicum, cabbage, & carrots infused with Thai flavors. It’s crispy & if you like lemongrass, this is for you. However, I found it to be pretty mundane.

It’s served with Thai sweet chili sauce, & to be honest, it made normal Thai spring rolls, extraordinary.

Price – Rs. 260/-

Verdict – can be avoided.

EMPANADAS – 


You can never go wrong with a combination of corn and cheese. First look, and I shouted – ye to ghujiya hai! Lol. Empanadas are Spanish appetizers & are traditionally baked/Fried. This place serves the baked version with a filling of potatoes, corn, onions, garlic & mozzarella cheese. I totally loved it. It’s served with sweet chili sauce, which to be honest was an irresistible combination.

Price – Rs. 240/-

Verdict – Do try.

CHEESE FONDUE PLATTER –


It’s a cheese lover dream. Colorful fondue prongs & a small lamp below the fondue pot were very appealing to my eyes. It’s said there are 246 varieties of cheese in France alone, and this dish had a beautiful amalgamation of three of them. This dripping, melting, yummy cheese fondue is served with grilled veggies and bread croutons.

To be honest, I think it will taste even better on a rainy day.

I wish they also had a cranberry walnut loaf in the pattern. That would have been majestic.

Using the fondue prongs, dip the bread cubes/veggies into the cheese and experience the magic.

Price – Rs. 500/-

Verdict – worth it.
TANDOORI PLATTER – 


Fir bhi dil hai hindustani. Finally an Indian dish.

This platter had Paneer Tikka, makkai seekh kebabs, bharwan achaari aloo, tandoor ke phool (cauliflower!) and shabnam ke moti (mushrooms!)

And the winner is – bharwan achaari aloo. It’s lip smacking good. If you love mushrooms, you’ll enjoy shabnam ke moti too.

Price – Rs. 500/-

Verdict – if you’re a tandoor fan, this dish is for you. Although I think with this price range, you’ll get better options.

NAANZA –


A big NAA NAA to NAAnza from my side. It’s basically a NAAN BREAD SPICY PIZZA. The highlight of this dish is house style basil pesto sauce & it contains salad greens, roasted tomatoes, toasted nuts and mozzarella cheese with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. However, even balsamic glaze couldn’t save it. The crust was thin but chewy. Also, this pizza was more on the sweeter side.

Price – Rs. 360/-

Verdict – Avoid.

RATATOUILLE –


Well, this dish reminds me of that cute little rodent chef. Only 90s kids will remember him. It’s a French dish that originated in Nice & has Rice. A fresh medley of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers & topped with herbs infused tomato sauce. The texture of the vegetables are creamy, and the sauce is rich, but it still lacks any real depth of flavor.

Price – Rs. 340/-

Verdict – if you like authentic French food, this is for you but if you’re a chatora indori like me, avoid ordering this.

STROGANOFF – 


It’s a Russian delicacy. Another dish that stands out. Rice is served with a consomme of exotic vegetables, sour cream, and mustard. It’s delicious and height of luxury. It’s creamy and cheesy. Its traditional version is served with beef and given the cow vigilantes, even writing about beef is scaring me! However, it’s a 100% vegetarian restaurant & they have succeeded in making it an eight on a delicious meter. You can ask for flat pasta instead of Rice.

Price – Rs. 380/-

Verdict – worth a try.
KHOW SUEY –


I can never appreciate this Burmese dish as I’m not big on coconut and although I saw my fellow bloggers taking a dig at its pungent taste, I somehow liked it. Perfectly blending in my taste buds with its vibrant flavors, this dish has noodles and vegetable curry made with coconut milk, medium spicy & served with contrasting condiments of spices, cashew nuts, fried onions, fried garlic, spring onions and zest of lemon. My favorite being fried onions & peanuts. These condiments gives away a unique flavor to the dish. It’s an Indian version of this Burmese dish, so if you’re a fan of authentic Khow Suey, I’ll suggest you to ignore it.

Price – Rs. 380/-

Verdict – with this price range, I’ll suggest you to try other things then experimenting with Khow Suey.
DUM BIRYANI –


Biryani is my go to dish and the chef didn’t disappoint here. It gets its flavor and aroma as its cooked on slow fire or dum. Well if you’re a hard core non vegetarian like me, you’ll think twice before ordering this royal dish but the moment its aroma reaches you, all your doubts will vanish away. A medley of basmati rice, vegetables, saffron, whole spices, are slow cooked to perfection in dum pukht style. It’s served with plain curd and this dish will surely blow your mind and taste buds away.

Price – Rs.300/-

Verdict – must have.

CHOCOLATE FONDUE WITH ASSORTED DIPPERS –


A chocolate lover’s delight, this dessert is served with array of DIPPERS like mini brownie bites, waffle sticks, kiwi, bananas and different flavors of mini ice cream balls. Dark melted chocolate alongside cream makes for an irresistible dessert.

Price – Rs.500/-

Verdict – if you love chocolates, this is a perfect dessert to end your meal.


GULAB JAMUN LEMON CHEESECAKE –

​​

This is the cheesecake I want after dinner. It remains true to its description which goes like – “This rich sweet-tart is made with cream, Philadelphia soft cheese, and a zest of lemon waver a crumbled biscuit base bursting with delicate flavor and sweetness of Gulab Jamun.”

It’s sweet, not too sweet & the lemon brings out the natural tartness of the cheesecake. It’s smooth and creamy & trust me, one bite of those, & you too will sound like Meg Ryan in that famous “When Harry Met Sally” deli scene.

Price – Rs.320/-

Verdict – must have.

My ratings –
Taste – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
Presentation – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Service – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Value for money – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Ambiance – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
Overall – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
Address: Gf 69, Opposite Prestige College, Vijay Nagar, Scheme 78 Indore.
Open time: 11 am to 11:30 pm

In short, this cafe is an experience in itself. From local to global, I loved their new menu. Happy hour menu is a value for money. Events like rock concerts and stand up comedy are like a cherry on the cake.

 

 

https://www.zomato.com/RevaParihar

The 78 Boulevard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

For any queries, you can get in touch with me at Revaparihar@gmail.com.
Till next time,

Xoxo.
Sources –

(Picture credits – https://www.google.co.in/amp/m.burrp.com/indore/the-78-boulevard-bistro-cafe-vijay-nagar-listing/428401%3Famp%3D1)

Let’s talk about Depression & Why is it still a taboo?

Health is defined as, “a state of complete physical, MENTAL, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease.”

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects the body, mind & behavior that often manifests by feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness & pessimism.


According to WHO, more than 350 million people are suffering from depression worldwide, that’s more than the population of Russia & Bangladesh combined. It’s the leading cause of disability & close to 800,000 people commits suicide to get out of depression, and yet it’s still so hard to talk about it publicly. Why? It’s 2017, not 17th century. Even Gay marriages are legal in so many parts of the world, why is it a shame to talk about depression then?


We all suffer from mood swings, we all go through highs and lows in our lives but with some people, this ‘low’ period is prolonged to an extent where it affects how you feel, think & handle your day to day activities like your work, sleeping habits & eating.

It has been estimated that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. 

Depression is a mood order characterized by several symptoms like – 





Sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, guilt, self-loathing just won’t go away. You can’t control your thoughts anymore. You are screaming inside but you’re smiling outside because you don’t want others to look at you the way you look at yourself. You lose interest in things that you used to love. You’re irritable, restless & tired all the time. There’s an emptiness that can’t be filled. 





Sounds familiar?




We all have been there at some point or other, maybe not to this degree but let’s just say, to a milder version of this.

Depression occurs due to chemical imbalance.


Amygdala, a part of the limbic system is responsible for emotions like anger, pleasure, sorrow, fear, and sexual arousal. It becomes hyperactive in depression & responds excessively to negative events. Amygdala is connected to the medial frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus & the insula – part of the brain which hones the physiological & behavioral response to emotional stimuli.



If you wanna read more about it, check this article out – http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression




Mental illness changes your perceptions on things and if allowed it will make you feel so alone & vulnerable. It’s like living life on what if’s.

One of my friends was severely depressed. She kept on canceling plans for almost 2 months, I’m amazed she didn’t run out of excuses. One day we decided to surprise her. I don’t know if she was surprised, but we were definitely shocked. She had lost 10kg weight.

‘I want to eat, I’m hungry but I just don’t feel like it.’ 

‘Please leave me alone!’
‘I am fine!’
‘Maybe I deserve this!’
I’m not mad, I won’t go to a psychiatrist!’
It’s just a phase when things will be sorted, it will go away!’

NO, IT WON’T AND NO THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THIS PHASE TILL YOU’RE WILLING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. REASONS WILL CHANGE, SITUATION WON’T.




Looking at her was still okay, but I won’t forget her mom’s face. That feeling of helplessness. 


She didn’t want to visit a psychiatrist but we pushed her & although she hated us for this but once the treatment began, she was thankful and we were happy. We can see the change in her.

She didn’t reach that stage in one day. It was a long process. Wouldn’t it have been better if she had just shared her feelings with us right at the start?

I was furious. I asked her – Why didn’t you reach out?

She said she did.

Her boyfriend said, ‘stop this drama.’
   Stop this drama!’ – what the hell! If you can’t understand her, at least don’t add to her issues. 

Her other friend said, ‘let’s go out, you’ll feel better!’

    Of course, you will feel better when you’re out with your friends, but what happens when you come home and you’re all alone with those crazy thoughts?

Going out won’t help till you’re ready to face your situation instead of running away from it.

She said, ‘that time, it felt easier to push you guys away rather than facing the situation. I assumed you won’t understand. I’m sorry for doubting you & thanks for being there.”

The feeling that your loved ones won’t understand, along with the fear of  social stigma, prevents people from seeking the treatment.






I’ve been depressed, not to an extent she was but yes I was there too. Aren’t we all are?

First we are worried about school grades, then about college admissions, then college grades, then job, then promotion, & also, add broken heart into the mix. See, reasons changed but situation didn’t. 

Nothing is happening in our life the way we want it to be. Life is not fair & it won’t ever be. Stop asking yourself, ‘Why me?’ 

We all face challenges but when there’s no one to support you through it, you won’t even realise when normal sadness will change to clinical depression. Struggling at jobs or break ups, anything can lead to depression if you give up. 

Accept it, embrace it, face it. Talk about it. 

We think we will be okay once the situation change. WE START JUSTIFYING OUR STATE BECAUSE WE WON’T ACCEPT THAT WE NEED HELP. WHY? Because of – ‘what will people say?’ We live in a society and society thinks mental illness is equivalent to insanity. Will society label people like us?


This is the REASON I wanted to write this post. THERE’S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. Have pride in your strength and compassion in your struggles. Talk. Nearly 57 million Indians suffer from depression, YOU AREN’T ALONE.
Few words of encouragement & love can do wonders.
If not, there’s always Therapy & medicines. Try meditation. Try exercise. Running is my way of telling my brain to shut the fuck up. Read a book. Make a list of all those things and people you are grateful for. Close your eyes and try to remember your happiest memory. Listen to music. Go offline or talk about your issues online. Seek help.

Figure out your issues and try solving them, and if you can’t solve it, accept it. You won’t ever get everything in your life and it’s okay. Have faith in yourself and embrace your weakness just like you do with your strengths. Keep the negative people away from your life. Don’t indulge in drugs to ease your pain. Sharing and caring is the best solutionSuicide is not. It will just pass away your pain to your loved ones.





According to WHO, ‘Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally in 2015,’ 78% of global suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2015.’ DO YOU SEE A PATTERN HERE? Maybe it’s because of lack of awareness and seeking help is considered a social stigma. “The stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression, remains a barrier to people seeking help throughout the world,” according to WHO. 

India accounted for the highest estimated number of suicides in the world in 2012, according to a WHO report published in 2014 which found that one person commits suicide every 40 seconds globally.
“Depression is also the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.” – WHO.
Maybe it’s time to change the thinking? Spread awareness. Be kind to people, you never know what they are going through. Even a slight remark on social media can push them off the edge. Be careful what you say. 

 ‘I want to tell my countrymen that depression is not incurable. The first mantra is the expression of depression instead of its suppression.’ – Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A Mental Healthcare Bill decriminalizing suicide attempt is passed by Parliament & this is just a baby step in accepting that they are not criminals, they just need help. We still have miles to go.


On the occasion of World health Day – 7 April 2017 ‘ WHO has launched a one-year global campaign on depression – LET’S TALK. http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/en/

It’s time for a change. If my post can change even one orthodox opinion on depression, I’ll take it as an achievement.

To all of you beautiful people out there, if you’ve survived depression – kudos! To all those who are currently seeking help – proud of you. To all of you, who are currently facing such symptoms – please reach out & break this chain of solitude & stigma because you’re not alone. We are here for you. 

Let’s talk. Share your experiences and suggestions with me. We are in this together.


Sources – 

For data – 

1. http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/depression/wfmh_paper_depression_wmhd_2012.pdf

2. http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic

3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

4. https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.livemint.com/Specials/Ysja8QtaVqjRpKg7eAFJfL/Over-5-crore-people-suffer-from-depression-in-India-WHO.html%3Ffacet%3Damp%26utm_source%3Dgoogleamp%26utm_medium%3Dreferral%26utm_campaign%3Dgoogleamp

Freito celebrated Good France Day!

“Talking about cuisine — French cuisine — is also talking about joie de vivre, delicacy, optimism, and pleasure — ideas that are all crucial to the image of France.” Alain Ducasse.

Bonjour gourmands.
21st March is celebrated as Goût de France / Good France Day to relish & spread French gastronomy in various locations worldwide.

The idea of good france day came from a tradition called “Epicurean Dinners” which was started by Auguste Escoffier in 1912, which means – Same menu, same day, different cities. It’s purpose was to promote French culture, tourism & cuisine.

Celebration of Good France Day on the lines of Epicurean Dinners was recreated after UNESCO included Gastronomic meal of French on the representative list of ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity.‘ This is a festive meal which is a customary social practice to celebrate special occasions like birthdays, marriage etc.

In short, it’s just another beautiful excuse to bring people together for good food and even better wine.

I along with fellow bloggers got this amazing opportunity to savor France at Freito restaurant, the only restaurant in central India to participate in Good France Day.


When I think of France, the first thing that comes to my mind is Eiffel Tower. It’s the epitome of Romance. Now imagine dining at the eiffel tower. That’s freito for you.


It’s a rooftop restaurant & it’s divided into two floors with indoor and outdoor dining facilities.




Chef Amit Pamnani has set the perfect food and wine pairing, for authentic French gourmet experience. He has over 20 years of experience as a chef in India and abroad. Initially from Mumbai, he is now settled in Indore, he does menu consulting for restaurants, runs his cooking classes at Amit Pamnani Culinary Studio and has set up his own culinary homestay.

2000 chefs across 5 continents have participated in the third Good France Day celebrations.

Let’s get started with the Gastronomic meal. It was a four course meal which started with an apéritif (drinks before the meal) and ended with liqueurs.

1. Amuse Bouche

Shot of tomato essence.

Amuse Bouche means starter or appetizer. We were served ‘Shot of tomato essence.’ You can’t order amuse bouche off the menu. It represents chef’s choice & it’s often served as an introduction to his meal.


To amuse you with Amuse Bouche, here’s the RECIPE

Tomato essence: Take around 3 kg of cherry tomatoes, add 200g each of onions, fennel and celery to it and chop them roughly in a food processor. Add a handful of basil leaves, fresh tarragon, thyme, salt, pepper, sugar, a dash of tobasco and worcestershire sauce to it. Mix thoroughly and let it sit for 3 hours. Now, take a large muslin cloth and put the tomato mixture in it and let it hang overnight and collect the drippings in a clean bowl. These drippings are your tomato essence, serve it chilled garnished with fresh chopped tomatoes, roast peppers and basil.

In short, they are COLD SOUP SHOTS, easy to prepare & are refreshing to the core. A perfect summer surprise.

“The amuse-bouche is the best way for a great chef to express his big ideas in small bites.” – Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

If you don’t like tomatoes, this is not meant for you. Although I bet you will still appreciate it’s freshness.

2. FRENCH ONION TARTS –

Oh my. I totally fell in love with this one. This is a classic old French dish. When onions are slowly cooked (10/10 to chef for such patience!) natural sugars caramelize to bring out a delectable richness. Caramelized onions had perfect deep mahogany color & the taste was simply divine.

It was served with green salad, dijon mustard dressing, & garnished with crispy sage tempura (a herb).


3. Main course – 

a). Vegetarian – BAKED SPINACH AND MUSHROOM CREPES 

Such enhanced flavours tantalised my tastebuds. Cheese and mushrooms are like a match made in heaven. For a hard core non vegetarian like me, this dish was a winner. I couldn’t stop eating and yes it was finger licking good. Maybe, just maybe being a vegetarian or vegan isn’t that bad Haha.


b). Non vegetarian – CHICKEN FRICASSE MAMAN BLANC 

It’s the signature dish of Raymond Blanc’s mother & hence the name. Raymond Blanc has a ‘Two Michelin Star’ restaurant in UK. To my surprise, the dish didn’t surprise me with flavors. It is braised in white wine, vinegar & herbs. It’s served with Fondant potatoes, & French beans. Maybe it was too authentic French cuisine for me, but I just didn’t like it much.


5. CHOCOLATE DELICE 


I can still feel it in my mouth. I’m not a chocolate lover ( I know I know, it’s quite difficult to believe!) but I’m not & yet I loved this dish so much that I actually started eating from my fellow blogger’s Plate too, after finishing mine.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the RECIPE, make it and do let me know the outcome!

Take 125g flour, 125g soft butter and 60g icing sugar. Put them in a food processor and blend to a paste. Wrap the paste in cling film and chill for 2 hours. Remove from the fridge, roll it into a sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees C for 10 mins. Put a square ring in which u wish to make the dessert over the baked biscuit, press it slightly and bake for further 4 mins. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.

Meanwhile, Boil 150 ml milk, 350ml cream in a pan. Chop 700 g of chocolate and keep aside. Break 2 eggs in a bowl and slowly whisk in the boiling milk and cream mixture to it. Once the milk and cream are combined with the eggs, mix the chopped chocolate and whisk till smooth. Let the mixture cool a bit and then pour the same over the baked biscuit. Put the dessert in the freezer until set. Once set, cut it into long bars and serve with caramelised nuts and custard. This recipe will yield 15 portions.


& we are done. I can’t honestly thank the Chef enough for sharing this with me to share it with you beautiful people out there.

In the end, I would also like to thank team Freito – Mr. Akash Rochlani & Mr. Ankit Punjabi for inviting us to celebrate the Good France Day.


Ambiance – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Service – ⭐️⭐️

Taste – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Presentation – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Freito Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Was it Love?

I’m a romantic. Hopeless romantic. Also, I still don’t know if it was love or just attachment or maybe infatuation.


So many days have gone by and I still think about you. It’s funny how someone can become your everything in such short time. Short time. Oh wait, that doesn’t sound right!?  Was it love? Was it attachment? Was he the love of my life or was he my obsession?Was it my loneliness or my need to feel special?

This is my second post on the series, ‘How the year 2016 changed me’ – an attempt to understand my feelings.

If anyone can answer –

‘why we fall in love?’

Or 

‘how to fall in love?’

They’ll be billionaires (not kidding! Their YouTube channel will be a go to destination for all & their books will be bestsellers!) and also, they’ll be LYING. No you can’t PREDICT love. It’s a beautiful mysterious thing.

We all get attached to people every now and then. Right? Atleast I do. We want to talk to them, tell them our stories, spend time with them. We love their attention & we Miss them when they aren’t around.

Familiar enough? 

But is this attachment is what we call ‘love?’

Maybe. Maybe not.

They say, ‘love at first sight!’ isn’t love. I agree. That’s  pure attraction. But the catch is, LOVE & ATTRACTION go hand in hand. 

Love is weird. Every one is different and so is their idea of love. But I swear these romantic Bollywood movies have hyped love so much.

I think it’s a mix of attraction and conversation. You wanna kiss them so bad and at the same time the idea of just sitting in a park looking at the stars and the ability to talk about anything & everything is equally appealing.

Love is comfort.

Love is happiness.

Love is your support, your backbone.

Love is your strength.

But what if your love is ‘one sided?’

I can’t just smile and accept my ‘unrequited love!’ They don’t love you? Maybe it’s gonna hurt right now but you can’t make someone fall for you. Just move on. Clinging on to something that doesn’t belong to you, is never a good thing.

You can’t keep that love in your heart always and no you shouldn’t hurt others because you were hurt & needed a Rebound. I’ve been there. But then I realized –

Love doesn’t hurt, obsession does.

If you still want closure to move on, because It’s. Driving. You. Crazy. Honey, that wasn’t love. Learn to ignore. 

We think so much before investing our money (also before uploading a picture on Facebook/instagram), so WHY can’t we think so much when choosing a right partner?

Don’t settle because you were scared of being alone. I almost dated this guy because wow he was too kind. He complimented me. Pampered me. He was right for me, I was right for him but as the great Robin Scherbatsky has said, ‘timing’s a bitch!’ I had to let go. One bad decision to hang on to my so called ‘attachment’ ruined what I could have had with him. But I wasn’t in love with him. I was in love with the way he made me feel. 


Attachment is your need, you need the attention and feel good about yourself. But love my dear, it’s beyond that. Attachment will go away with time, love will always stay. In one form or another, but it will. Love is unreasonable but attachment isn’t. 

Difference between love & attachment –

If ending the relationship makes you hate your partner, it was love. But If it just makes you anxious, or makes you think, ‘I have to make them love me!’ that’s attachment. Love is passionate, attachment is just a manifestation of your ego. Love is painful but attachment is painful only when you don’t get time from them.

Don’t spoil your time because you couldn’t let go. Don’t confuse infatuation with love. 

And you know what? It’s okay to be single. You’ll find the ‘one’ eventually. Till then, drink a little. Dance a little. Maybe some healthy flirting. And don’t ignore the power of good food & a bit of  workout (stay in shape, will you? Fit to fat is just one vowel away!)
BOOM. MIC DROP.

Ego


Before I start, here’s a question for you guys – “How the year 2016 changed you?”

Change is inevitable, & so is personal growth. Looking back at 2016 I can think of so many incidents that shook me & I’m not talking about Brexit or Trump’s win for that matter.

I’ve decided to document these changes on this 7 part series called ~ ‘How 2016 changed me‘ & here is the first part – EGO.

You don’t care about anyone but yourself.”

“You’re such a condescending jerk!!!!”

“You’re so full of yourself!”

“Why can’t you call first?”

“You really need to stop showing off!”

“It’s just a grammar mistake on a casual chat, please stop being a grammar nazi all the time.”

“Yeah yeah, you’re a Mr. KNOW IT ALL.”

“Will you stop fishing for compliments?”

“I know you have connections with powerful people because you mention that to me thrice a day. Stop!”

“You’re so materialistic!”

“Is it so important to have the Last word in an argument?”

If you’ve heard any of these sentences for yourself before, darling you’re suffering from ‘Ego-mania.’


So what exactly does Ego mean?

 Ego is nothing but an image you’ve created for yourself that gives you an identity or should i say, Ego is an exaggeration of who you are. It’s the feeling of self importance that blinds you to the truth. Ego is your over confidence, Ego is what gives you a superiority complex. 


Ego is ‘self image’ gone on the rampage.

We all have Ego, some have big Egos & others have realistic ones. A big ego is nothing but high self esteem & sometimes, it’s not a bad thing but most of the time, it is. 

For example – When Muhammad Ali, a man who proclaimed himself “The Greatest,” you appreciate it and you certainly don’t call him overconfident for saying “I’m the best!!” because he has proven his mettle. That’s his swag. That’s his charm. That’s his big ego but it’s this ego ṭhat tells him, “You are unstoppable!” & he believes it. The truth is, it’s not just his big ego that made him great, it was his practice that did. But again, you can’t ignore the much needed motivation that his big ego gave him.

If some mediocre boxer announces that, ‘I’m the best!’ And lose his next fight, will you still appreciate it? No. You’ll laugh at him. 

There, that’s the difference.


One thing I’m glad that changed in 2016 is my EGO.

The trouble with big ego is, there’s a constant need of approval from others that you’re the best. You want to be appreciated. You think you deserve it, because come on, “you’re the best.” Things should go exactly how you want them to be.

You need all the attention in the world to feed your ego. Sometimes you’ll get it, sometimes you won’t. Trouble starts, when you are so immersed in this emptiness that you start lying around to make yourself sound important. You’ll belittle others just to prove you’re better than them. You become the drug sniffing dog of finding faults in others just to satisfy your need to be feel superior.


Ego is like that corrupt politician who makes false promises of making everything better & before you know it, Ego starts controlling your actions & all of them will be to gratify only yourself.

Ego is not ambition, ego is ‘over ambition.’ It’s an illusion. It’s a shadow you live behind to protect yourself from your own mediocrity. It is the root cause of ignorance.

“The ego is a terrible taskmaster who drives you to distress.”

(The Tao is Tao, 73)

It will be wrong to say that I’m not egoistic anymore. I don’t think that’s a state even possible to achieve. But yes, I’m not ‘that’ egoistic as how I used to be & that’s a progress I’m really proud of.

I’m not saying I don’t care about the compliments I get, I’m saying I don’t fish for compliments. I’m not saying I don’t like 300 likes on my pictures, I’m saying I don’t care even if it’s just 10. I’m not saying I’ll sell my iPhone because I’m not materialistic anymore, I’m saying I’m not gonna show off my iPhone. I’m not saying I’m satisfied with my life, I’m saying I’ve accepted the emptiness. I’m not saying that I won’t argue with you if I think you’re wrong, I’m saying I won’t hesitate accepting my mistakes. 


The hardest lesson you will ever learn is to accept the fact that you aren’t that important as you think you are, or that they won’t love you back just because you’re in love with them


It’s heartbreaking. If you have big ego, this is gonna shred you to pieces but if you are mature enough to understand that not everything is meant to make you happy, you might find happiness in letting go. 

Everything that happens in your life, is not happening TO you, it’s happening FOR you. You don’t have to like it, but life will be happier if you do.

Even the word says, let it (e)GO.



Food Review, Radisson blu!

Good FOOD is Good MOOD.

The idea about starting a food blog came ṭo me last week when i was sitting with my friends & one of them jokingly asked, “Is there anything you love more than food?” And I was like, NO! Next question came – “Then why not write about it?”

This post is my answer.

Luckily, I came in touch with Mr. Rakesh Dawani of Indori Zayka who himself is a food blogger & he invited me ṭo the food tasting session at Radisson indore .



Radisson has always been a favourite for Sunday brunching scenes for obvious reasons like great ambience & live music, but honestly I’ve never been a big fan when it came down to authentic Indian food they serve. I’m an Indori by heart. I don’t like bland food (sorry, not sorry!) but with this tasting session, they have managed to change my views.

We dined at Inḍiya Oye, which was a first for me. I’ve been to TCK quite a lot of times, but never tried Inḍiya Oye or Ni Hao. Now, I know I should have.

The first thing I noticed was the colourful interiors, deeply rooted in India’s culture featuring handcrafted artifacts & it was a delight to my eyes. 


Rustic furniture, embroidered curtains, colourful accent pillows, wooden table with chairs & bench style sofas just added to it’s Indian appeal. Terracotta dolls, Handis, lanterns, art metalware of Rajasthan, handwoven baskets, beautiful paintings, wall hangings & all the wooden work successfully creates the true essence of India.


The ‘bangle decor’ took my breath away. It gives the feeling of visiting a ‘haat bazaar’ and it was visually appealing.

Time to talk about the food.

Radisson Blu has revised their menu to make it more authentic.

STARTERS 

We started with Gosht Nalli ka Shorba. It’s a bone marrow broth & you can call it a ‘spicy version of the soup.’ I’ll definitely suggest you to try this one if you’re a non-vegetarian as it is indeed a perfect starter.

For vegetarians, the menu includes tomato tulsi ka shorba which sadly I didn’t try as I couldn’t stop hogging on Gosht Nalli ka Shorba.

NON VEGETARIAN- 

1. tandoori Champien-

Here’s a little surprise for you lovelies. With this review, I’m SHARING its RECIPE by executive Chef Sujeet Singh –

It tastes as good as it looks.

There we go –


Tandoori Champien or Mutton Chops (served with flavourful chutneys) made the best pairing with the wines and drinks that followed. 

You can never go wrong with Lamb chops but the chef has taken it to a new level. Simply phenomenal. DO MAKE THE DISH AND PLEASE SHARE YOUR VIEWS HERE 😄

 

2. Jheenga balchao 

If you like spicy sea food, this is for you. Jheenga (Prawns) Balchao is basically a Goan cuisine, & has a fiery tangy flavour. If it was better seasoned and not undercooked, it could make for a great dish. 



3. Fish tikka amritsari 

Yes you heard it right. It’s not fish tikka or amritsari fish, it’s ‘fish tikka amritasari’ made with singhara fish marinated with red punjabi masala & cooked in tandoor – an innovation by the Chef Sujeet Singh to add that extra zing! 

4. Nizami Murg Tikka 

This Hyderabadi dish has a flurry of aromatic masalas. It’s well tempered & grilled to perfection. Tandoori grilled tikka of chicken reserved overnight in a melange of Hyderabadi spices accented with dry onion seeds.




5. Lucknowi GALOUTI 

As they say, save the best for the last. I can still distinctly remember it’s taste. ‘Galouti’ or ‘Galawati’ means melt in the mouth & these kebabs does just the same. There’s an interesting story behind the invention of this dish. This dish was especially made for the ageing Wajid Ali Shah nawab of Kakori, Lucknow. The Nawab had lost all his teeth but not his love for meat. So, galouti was made to satisfy his palate. 


Usually They are made with beef but Radisson serves it with Lamb (thank goodness for that!)

If you are a non vegetarian & you haven’t eaten this dish, you’re definitely missing something. This dish in itself is a delight. I didn’t even need chutney to eat it. Kebabs are softer than butter & are served with ulta tawa paratha.

Must try – Needless to say, Lucknowi galouti is the winner in this category. 

VEGETARIAN –

1. Tandoori Bharwaaṅ mushrooms 


Button mushrooms filled with spinach & CHEESE, coated with spicy marinade & chargrilled. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms but i will tell you that this dish was amazing. I absolutely loved it & yes, you gotta try this one. 

2. Subz mewe ki seekh 


No veg starter is complete without veg kebabs. These are flavoured in cardamom & cooked in clay oven. Since I was so immersed in eating Galouti kebabs that time, I totally ignored this one. Hence, I can’t write about them without being biased so I’m passing. 

3. Kumbh ki galouti 

This is the vegetarian version of lucknowi galouti made with mushrooms cooked in mahi tawa, served with ulta tawa paratha. 

4. Kale chane ki spicy sammi

Iske toh naam Mei hi spicy hai 😉 It’s made with black chickpeas. The chaat masala adds to its tongue tickling flavour. Sadly, there was nothing special about it. You can pass on this one.



5. Pithi wali tikki 

You can never go wrong with potatoes & yet somehow I didnt like it. Maybe it was because of the strong Hing flavour. It has stuffing of moong dal & is cooked on mahi tawa. If you’re okay with hing, you should try it.

*Mahi tawa is a copper vessel used for shallow frying*

Must try – tandoori bharwaaṅ mushrooms.

That’s all for the starters.

MAIN COURSE –

I made the mistake which Iam pretty sure you all do at times. I ate too much of ‘starters’ to leave only a little space in my tummy for the main course, but nevertheless I ate it all. Being a foodie ain’t easy man. Log samajhte hi nahi hai 😂

Non Vegetarian 

1. Raan e Patiyala Shahi 

It’s slow roasted whole baby leg (raan is thigh) of lamb served with masaledaar gravy. It’s one of those magnificent dishes that always create a stir when served at table. 

2. Raarah Murgh 

Enough with lamb, it’s time for Chicken. It’s a flavourful punjabi dish with keema. It was well cooked and tasted best with laccha parantha. You’ll find whole red chillies in it. I’m glad they added yogurt to the mix so it’s spicy but not that spicy. I didn’t like it that much but it wasn’t bad either.

3. Nihari Gosht 

We were told that it’s an specialty of Indiya Oye & after tasting it, we knew why. Baby lamb shanks simmered slowly in stock with crushed black pepper. If you love mutton, this is a MUST HAVE. Nihari is said to be originated in Old Delhi in the late 18th century when it was ruled by Mughals. The word ‘Nihari’ originates from Arabic word ‘nahar’ meaning day as it was served to kings after sunrise who would then sleep till afternoon.

The meat was tender and perfectly cooked. I loved it to the core and so will you if you’re a hardcore non vegetarian. This dish is marvellous. It’s said, “every good thing takes time” and well oh well Nihari is usually slow cooked overnight, so yes the saying makes total sense. 

4. Meen moilee 

I’m sorry I can not comment on this one because I’ve strong aversion for coconut but my friends seemed to love it. It’s a popular Kerala fish stew cooked in coconut milk & spices.

5. Chicken bharta 

Baigan ka bharta is a favourite so when I heard ‘chicken bharta’ you can imagine the excitement. It’s something different and worth a try.

6. Dhaba Gosht 

Ah! Ḍhaabe ke khaane ki baat hi niraali hai. Desipan jhalakta hai 💕 I loved it. Its home style mutton curry preparation flavoured with ginger.

7. Hyderabadi kacche Gosht ki Biryani 

Biryani ne toh chaar chaand laga diye! Mashallah! Any Hyderabadi cuisine is bound to be a delicacy and so was this biryani. The texture of the meat was far more tender than how you find in the usual biryanis & the aroma just added to it’s charm.

Must try – nihari gosht & biryani.

DESSERT –

Well, a meal is incomplete without the desserts. We were served – 


Malai kalakand –

I’m not a big fan of kalakand & it was too sweet for me, Although everyone around me seemed pleased.

Gulkand rasmalai –

This was wow. The fragrance of gulkand and the taste of Rasmalai was a perfect combination.

Kesari phirni –

This was the winner. It’s a kashmiri traditional dish. I sincerely can’t stop raving about this one. You gotta try it.

Must try – Kesari Phirni.

That would be all folks.
My experience at Indiya Oye was delightful. Nothing beats the combination of Good food, good music 🎶 , good wine 🍷 & even better company. 

Ambiance – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Non vegetarian Food – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Desserts – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Presentation – ⭐️⭐️

Service – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Radisson has successfully created an inviting space for family gatherings. It’s a must visit 🙂

In the end, I would like to thank the Radisson blu team – Mr. Rahul Joshi (GM), Ms Nidhi Khatri (marketing manager), & the man behind all the action – Executive Chef Sujeet Singh & his team.

This was my first attempt at food blogging, hopefully you enjoyed reading it. Food is not just food for me. Food is a language that knows no barriers. It’s a conversation. It’s a story. It’s happiness. 
Till next time.

Xoxo.

Indiya Oye - Radisson Blu Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato