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Minaturizing Kala Ghoda festival

February 2, 2014 Leave a comment

To begin with it was the same old in a new bottle but what the heck the festival always gives us an opportunity to click some nice snaps. This time thought of experimenting with the photos. This post is really only about the miniature effects to some of the popular installations at the festival.

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Mumbai – Mount Abu – Udaipur – Mumbai: Day 2

October 27, 2011 34 comments

Day 2 began quite late as we slept like babies the night before! It didn’t take long to get dressed and get ready to check out. Decided to clean my bike before we left but the water ran out the moment I opened the tap. What luck! Cleared our food and drinks bill and we left for Mount Abu. One small note though: the food at Durga was actually pretty good. Only veg but good nonetheless.

The mountains are calling

We had to stop at a Hero Service Center as Jason’s accelerator cable had conked off. Unfortunately the buggers didn’t have the spare part. We found a small shop on the way to Mount Abu which did have the cable but though the problem was something else and we had to ride with the problem unresolved.

Mech checking fault in Jason's bike

It was only later we came to know the problem was a faulty cable and nothing else! Aargh noobs! Anyways, we continued riding and soon hit the ghat section. Here we realised we could have done this at night as the lanes are well marked. But riding in the day time, ensured we stop at every possible location as we had all the time in the world to reach Mount Abu.

The steeds

But stopping on the ghats has its perils. Every other car passing by would slow down to have a ‘dekho’ at the aliens with MH number plates in Rajasthan. We were been checked out more than the monkeys around! While this was unnerving at times, we got used to it! I have always loved to ride and for me the ride is what matters more than the destination. The road from Abu Road to Mount Abu is pure bliss. Loved the roads, the corners, the twisties and the ghats! Excellent and well maintained I must say!

The pretty pretty roads

After posing around and a few clicks we were on our way to Mount Abu. Was stopped at a check naka but after assuring the cop I was carrying luggage on my bike, they let us go without any checks. We entered Mount Abu.

The Paris feeling in Mount AbuPaid the entry and vehicle fees and were guided by a hotelier to come check their hotel. We obliged. Didn’t like the rooms and were on our way to another grand hotel search. Checked out a few places including one very very expensive cottage which cost the same as the amount spent in the entire trip! Finally found a hotel – Hotel Swastik. A room for just Rs.550 and a verandah to park, we wouldn’t be so lucky elsewhere! Ok we were lucky at Abu Road and were pleasantly surprised to find good parking space here as well! The owner was particular interested in our steeds and we had a good chat with him on our rides and our experience so far riding through Maharashtra, Gujarat and to Mount Abu.

We eventually went to our rooms after all the bakar bakar (which we didn’t mind really), freshened up and ordered for breakfast. Food was nice and the room service was so darn good. The guy was very helpful in letting us know places to visit, things to do, best restaurants in town and was generally very chatty which we didn’t mind REALLY!

Our first stop was the usual, Nakki lake followed by ‘Asia’s largest Aquarium’ and then proceeding to Toad rock and from there on Guru Shikhar, the highest point in Rajasthan. Yes, we did the usual touristy things but we missed the temple completely!

Nakki Lake

The aquarium was a disappointment! Most tanks didn’t have any fishes and the water looked muddy!

AquariumThe fishes looked like they would die anytime now! Very unprofessional but we didn’t expect a modern aquarium either!

Save me Save me!The best part of the Nakki lake visit was the water snake we spotted! It disappeared soon after the snake spotted us!

Water SnakeIt was getting hot here and we decided to go to Guru Shikhar. Now the ride here was nice. It got cooler as we proceeded upwards and I can only image how awesome it would be to ride this small stretch in winters!

On the way to Guru ShikharSome beautiful scenes were bestowed upon us and this short ride seemed more and more fun! We didn’t eventually go to Guru Shikhar, only went till the point where vehicles were allowed but the scenes were breath taking from here as well!

Nice Rock

Found a nice piece of rock on the way and Jason went all the way up to pose on this ‘raj loves Rani’ rock. Another great view from here meant our trip to Mount Abu was only becoming more and more fun! We returned back to Mount Abu after a sojourn in the mountains and the exotic views, we were back in the heat. So we made our way to the ‘child bear’ shop and bought ourselves an Indus Pride – Indian beer made for proud men. Ok I made up the tag line, but it really was a nice beer! Beer followed lunch at a popular restaurant here. Forgot the name, but the food wasn’t worth remembering either. Headed back to the hotel for a quick nap before we did another touristy thing.
Yes, this was a visit to the sunset point. And it looked like everyone in Mount Abu, hell every in Rajasthan wanted to be at the sunset point.

Brilliant Sunset!The sunset was pretty nonetheless though we quickly made our way out of the crowd and back to Nakki lake where we chilled for a while. Discussed, life, riding and even indulged in conversations with other tourists. One guy even asked me for a test ride of the CBR which I had to politely decline. He was amazed that I had earlier seen him ride a black Pulsar and backed off after knowing the little piece of knowledge I possessed! Hmm..fishy.

Day 2 ended with us visiting most of the touristy places in Mount Abu and that left us thinking about what to do the next day. We were short of ideas and time so decided to go to Udaipur. Now Udaipur wasn’t in the original plan and this on the fly plan excited us. A quick chat with the hotel owner, and he told us about the wonderful NH76 that will take us to Udaipur in a maximum of 5 hours! Now, a distance of 150 kms, in 5 hours – Jason and me looked at each other and smirked.It was going to be another good day tomorrow.

Slept off with some drinks and good chicken tandoor. The best part of the room was that it had a balcony for us to enjoy the food and drinks and wind up the night! Day 3 promised a lot! Stay tuned.

Cheapest & bestest

June 20, 2011 13 comments

Its been long since I posted here but my journey through Mumbai by lanes did not stop. Discovering many hidden jems, cheap restaurants and well, really tasty stuff, I couldn’t help but write about it.

One such is Ribbons & Balloons. Well, not exactly located in the by lanes but it does stock some really cheap and delicious snacks! one such is the Chicken Quiche. Doesn’t exactly look like a Quiche but it is for just Rs.20 and full of chicken. If I had to chose between a sandwich and this quiche, it would be the latter simple because for Rs.20, it doesn’t get any more filling than this! Chicken cubes stuffed between fried exterior, the quiche is pretty heavenly!

Heck, even my cat loves it! And if she does, this has to be a pretty damn awesome product!

Organise your kitchen with Enclume Pot Racks!

June 29, 2010 8 comments

A lot of foodies are also very interested in cooking. In fact, many love to start their adventure in the comfort of their kitchens. But before you do, wouldn’t you want to get the settings right? Wouldn’t you want all your boxes of spices and your utensils kept in an organized manner? The more experienced cooks will tell you that it is important to have an organized kitchen and for those who are starting out, it is a must!

One of the best ways to have an organized kitchen is to buy racks and none better than Enclume Racks. While Enclume has many varieties available one should look at the Enclume pot racks. These are excellent for hanging utensils et al. An Enclume pot rack is useful to organize the most used utensils while making food. Also, don’t forget to check out the lighted Enclume potracks. These are excellent in beautifying your kitchen and at the same time are very practical as well.

The Enclume freestanding pot racks are another excellent addition to the kitchen and one can easily work store their veggies and fruits in the multiple baskets provided with the Enclume pot racks. Don’t forget to stock up on accessories for your prized Enclume pot racks as well. So go on and organize your kitchen and get on with your cooking!

Cafe Lalten, as fresh as it gets! (via Travel and Food)

I love this place especially with its fresh supply of fruit juices and yummy sandwiches!

Cafe Lalten, as fresh as it gets! Cafe Lalten is an innovative name and goes well with the ambiance of the cafe. The decor is chic though very homely at the same thing. A make shift library adorns the walls on one side of the restaurant while the other side is stacked with Cafe Lalten mugs and bottles and other accessories. One can pick up any book and spend hours reading and subsequently forgetting about hoohalla outside. Infact, while we were seated there, we had enough of priv … Read More

via Travel and Food

Cafe Lalten, as fresh as it gets!

June 3, 2010 26 comments

Cafe Lalten is an innovative name and goes well with the ambiance of the cafe. The decor is chic though very homely at the same thing.

A make shift library adorns the walls on one side of the restaurant while the other side is stacked with Cafe Lalten mugs and bottles and other accessories. One can pick up any book and spend hours reading and subsequently forgetting about hoohalla outside. Infact, while we were seated there, we had enough of privacy along with a sense of tranquility that resulted in us losing track of time and reaching home late!

We were sitting in the AC section while most of the crowd was in the non-AC section probably for the WIFI available here. Probably that was the reason for the enhanced privacy, if I can say so. Oh my friend also noted that a lot of people who come to Lalten areaantels (slang for intellectuals) probably for the awesome ambiance and the WIFI.

Anyways, back to Lalten, we ordered for Watermelon Juice and Shaadi Walli Coffee. The watermelon Juice was fresh and extremely refreshing in this hot and humid weather. The coffee, besides being very frothy, wasn’t much different than a normal Nescafe coffee.

We also ordered for a Chicken Kebab Sandwich and an almond brownie. The Sandwich was fresh. It tasted fresh. The veggies were freshly cut, the bread felt fresh (and not microwave reheated bread) and the chicken was soft and tender. One single sandwich made me a fan of Cafe Lalten.  Nevermind the great ambiance and the WIFI and the hours and hours one can spend here chitchatting. The almond brownie was a first for me! And they were very liberal with the almonds which truly made it an almond brownie and not just a brownie with a couple of almonds attached.

The food was good, the drinks were refreshing and the ambiance was pleasing. The pricing isn’t too bad either and easily affordable. Lalten also serves Chaat items which is what I really wanted to try but couldn’t as the counter was closed that day! Probably will keep it for my next visit!

Check out the new Chocolate Melange at Costa Coffee

June 1, 2010 13 comments

Have been to Costa Coffee a few times and have never had any complaints with the coffee here. The hot varieties or even the cold coffees are simply superb. A recent trip to Costa was no different either. However, what intrigued us was this big slab of dark chocolate kept aside. Their most expensive pastry, the Chocolate Melange is worth Rs.95. The pastry was garnished with thin sheets of Melange which gave the pastry a slightly bittersweet flavour, a perfect combo for any dark chocolate lover.

We had it is ice cream and it went quite well with the cold vanilla ice cream. The pastry itself was warmed up just a bit which, in my opinion, really bought out the flavours! Thumbs up to Costa Coffee for bringing out the Chocolate Melange – an excellent dark chocolate treat!

On a side note what is up with Costa Coffee and Pheonix Mills? There are three outlets in the same damn mall! Can never miss Costa Coffee if you are in Pheonix Mills!

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Kobe Sizzlers, Why Have I not been here before?

May 21, 2010 1 comment



Kobe Sizzlers has been sitting pretty next to Spice Tree on Hill Road, Bandra for as long as I can remember. Have preferred to have my fill of sizzlers at Sahibaan on Turner Road but after a bad stomach (that my friend endured, I don’t endure such things as I have a bottomless pit!) we have avoided Sahibaan for the time being.

So when craving for sizzlers, we thought of crashing the party at Kobe’s to try a new restaurant!

Before ordering the sizzler we went through the usual ritual of getting ourselves a few drinks. This included an Ice Tea and Fresh Lime Soda. This was the first time an Ice Tea actually tasted like an Ice Tea. I could taste tea in there, for a change. It was an excellent coolant and could have done with another one too!

The fresh lime soda was the usual fresh lime soda!

Next up was the sizzler! (blame the ice tea for the long wait!). We ordered for a Chicken Sizzler with boiled vegetables. The sizzler was cooked well without burning the underside. The chicken steak was tender and veggies were boiled well. The french fries included were humongous! Thankfully there was no rice included or else we would have fallen asleep at the restaurant itself. The sizzler was excellent in my opinion.

Kobe has strangely gotten bad reviews at Burrp.com but I for one only have good things to talk about the place. The ambiance is no frills but the food is excellent! The Ice Tea was super and so was the sizzler. Pricey though it is, the food makes up for it.

Overall Ratings are:

Price: 3/5

Food: 4/5

Drinks: 4/5

Ambiance: 2/5 -(it isn’t the most well maintained place and one can notice seepage in certain parts of the wall)

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Torrp it up, healthier version of Subway

May 18, 2010 2 comments



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Torrp It Up is a new fast food chain located opposite Infinity Mall. It is quite small and is more of a have-a-quick-bite-and-buzz-off kinda place and we did exactly that!

Quickly ordered for  a chicken buritto and a chicken Torrp with Herb Garlic Bread along with the brownie and cold drink combo.While preparing both the snacks, the guy at the counter was helpful telling us how a buritto and a Torrp are made. Excellent service I say!

The bread used for the Torrp was soft and felt fresh which was a change from the subway bread! They have a range of sauces including Garlic Mayo, which is a must try for all Mayo and Garlic lovers. The chicken quantity was good too and so were veggies. However, we were surprised that that the Torrp was smaller than a Subway sandwich and accordingly had lesser quantities of all the ingredients.

The Buritto too was small (especially for its price of Rs.110) but had good filling. Again, the play of sauces worked wonderfully keeping the Burrito tangy without making it overtly spicy.

Lastly, the crunchy brownie made for a good dessert though it was stale.

Torrp It Up is a good place to grab a quick healthy bite. Not much of an ambiance here but then again a quick bite doesn’t need lazying around. The prices are about all right. Just like Subway, they too have a sub of the day but the price is higher than at Subway (Rs.70 vs. Rs.50).

Overall Ratings:

Price: 3/5

Ambiance: 2/5

Food: 4/5

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How to Cook Real Food: An Online Cooking Class

May 16, 2010 8 comments

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Please Note:

Classes start June 1st.

Enrollment ends Memorial Day, May 31st

Brewer’s cafe – Shakes are good, disappointed with the food

May 16, 2010 11 comments

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Hunting for a good place to unwind with a few non-alcoholic drinks, we landed up at Brewers Cafe. Brewer’s Cafe is close to Mega Mall, Oshiwara and an ideal place to hang out to avoid the mall crowds!

We got ourselves a good cosy seat and made it home for the next 3 hours! Quickly glanced through the menu and ordered ourselves two cold coffee creams, one with chocolate and another without. The cold drinks were really good and rejuvenating especially in this heat.

Along we the shake we ordered something to eat. French Fries with Cheese on top. The cheese used was Mozzarella. It was a crunchy treat along with the coffee shakes.

Endless conversations ensued but hunger pangs led us to order chicken nuggets. These are a lot different than at McDonalds for instance and far better too. Thorough enjoyed the nuggets with the tomato sauce. It was a chicken cutlet/puff mix with some pieces of chicken.

Next up we ordered for the Chicken Burger which is quite cheap here. At Rs.46 it is an excellent purchase though fresh veggies wouldn’t hurt! Chicken pattie is good and not overly cooked.

The food was good but we were disappointed in the end with the Mango Shake. It didn’t contain any real mango just extremely sweet mango flavour.

I think Brewer’s cafe is a happy place to hang out. The coffee is good here and there are other options too. However, it is clear the emphasis is more on the coffee here so fruit flavoured drinks are out of to-try list. The pastas seemed to be on everyone’s menu and we probably missed the boat. I think one can try the pasta here along with some yummy chicken nuggets.

Brewer’s cafe ain’t expensive so one can enjoy the time spent here without having to worry about burning a hole in one’s wallet.

Over Ratings:

Food: 3.5/5

Ambiance: 3.5/5

Price: 3/5

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Maroosh, Chilly Powder in Shwarma, a first for me!

May 8, 2010 1 comment

Maroosh is a small restaurant located inside Pheonix Mills, Lower Parel, next to three ice cream parlours. Maroosh owners like to keep their footprint small as evident from their second (or was it the first one?) restaurant in Carter Road.
We ordered for Chicken Shawarmas. The quantity was good for Rs.100. Even though we went late were served up freshly cooked chicken and pita bread. There was a liberal dosage of hummus in the shawarma. Many other player serve yogurt instead to give it a more Indianised flavour. However, we were disappointed with the unevenness of the spices. What was surprising was the inclusion of chilly powder which was put in haphazardly. They probably put in the chilly powder at the behest of the ice parlours nearby so probably people would go there next after a meal at Maroosh! Convenient eh?
I think the Shawarma was good except for the chilly powder mixed with it.

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Esfahaan – disappointing dinning

Esfahaan is a newly opened restaurant located in Bandra near KFC. The restaurant stands where Sahibaan stood earlier.

An extremely small eatery, it is ironic that the restaurant is frequented by groups of 5 or more. We too were such a group and occupied 1/4th of the restaurant.

Busy chatting and laughing, we had the entire restaurant to ourselves for quite sometime before the crowds started pouring in.

While chatting, we ordered for a couple of drinks including an Ice Tea and Fresh Lime Soda. I think the drinks are expensive for the quality on offer. Though its good, for Rs.90 a glass, other places offer better Ice Tea. The Ice Tea at Sahibaan used to be excellent in my opinion.

Moving on to the starters, we ordered a few of those!

First up for the Almond Smoked Chicken, Cheese Frittas, Fish Fingers, Manchow Soup, Nachos, Murg Malai Tikka and Crispy Baby Corn.
The starters here are extremely good. One should try the Cheese Frittas and the Nachos here. They are excellent especially the Frittas where the cheese is in liberal dosage. The Nachos were accompanied by spicy gravy. However, the tomato cheese sauce was the icing on the cake and ordered for a couple more to be had with other starters!
The Fish Fingers are a bit pungent and sharp in taste which could have been avoided, me thinks! Again, the starter was accompanied by spicy gravy!

The Manchau Soup was a bit different. It wasn’t watery but wasn’t the thick white soup that one generally accepts!

The almost smoked chicken was a delight though. Rich aromas filled the entire room when it was bought and even the veggies thought twice before denying themselves an opportunity to taste this exotic cuisine.

The Murg Malai Tikka was the usual Malai Tikka fare that one gets in most restaurants.

The Veg crispy/Crispy baby corn was good fare too. The baby corn especially seemed fresh.

The main course was a bit of a disappointment. The two gravies we ordered were thin and not exactly what we expected. The meal wasn’t spicy nor tangent and it felt like someone had forgotten to put in enough salt and masalas.

Murg Eshfani Malai was a bigger disappointment than the Murg Shabnami which had a far thicker gravy. However, the good thing was the chicken was soft, tender and well cooked.

The veggies ordered for a Paneer Shashlik Sizzler which was a bit bland for our taste buds. The paneer was soft and the gravy that came with the sizzler was a rich mix of veggies.

Not yet content with the food, me the gluttonous biryani lover ordered for a Chicken Biryani and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. The biryani wasn’t oily and was good enough for two people. But priced at INR 180, it was far more expensive than Biryani elsewhere which is where the disappointment stems from. Places like Just Biryani offer far better course and are cheaper as well.

Esfahaan is a multi-cuisine restaurant and we felt that it lost the essence of good food by trying to be more than what it had bargained for. A tiny kitchen can only give certain number of items and as for the rest, one has to do with subtle or sometimes major changes. Our biggest disappointment was their failed efforts to add spice to nearly every food item served which ensured that food didn’t taste the way it was meant to! Main Course was disappointment as well, as the gravies weren’t filling nor were they tasty.

Besides not to so good food were the not so good prices. Most starters were in the range of Rs.120-160, main course in the range of Rs.180-250 and the biryani for Rs.180. Clearly, the prices are on the higher side and I fail to understand what they plan to achieve with such high prices. Thankfully, we had Mydala.com coupons so the final bill wasn’t heavy on the wallet.

However, it seemed that the Tandoor items were in great demand here and probably that is something we should have tried out but couldn’t at that time.

My overall rating of this place are as follows:

Ambiance: 2/5 – There isn’t much of an ambiance to speak of here.

Food: 2/5 – I generally don’t give such low ratings but having tried a wide range of dishes on a single day, I have no other choice!

Price: 1/5 – Very very expensive is what I would term it as.

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Java Green vs. Mocha Shoot – Who is better?

Been to Java Green and Mocha a few times already so though of doing a shootout. Read on to find which is better.

Mocha is a well established coffee house, well know among the urban youth. It is more than just a café as alcoholic beverages and hukka is also served here. These two put together put the vote in favour of Mocha. Don’t forget the coffee they serve here is far better than any other café in Mumbai. Try out the Brazilian or Colombian coffee or just the espresso. Coffee here is as good as it gets.

Java Green on the other hand has coffee that I would  call ‘average’. It won’t keep you awake late in the night but that is not the point here. Coffee is cheap here but the flavours aren’t as diverse as what one may find at Mocha.

Coming to the food well it is a tie in that case. Though Java Green has far better Chicken Crispy Panini than Mocha. The bread is crispy and the chicken is tender. More important the chicken pieces are bigger than at Mocha which is a real disappointment. Overall, the food is better at Mocha.

Lastly, the ambiance at Java Green is no match for Mocha. At Mocha, one feels like spending time, chill out, relax, drink coffee and have conversations. Java  Green seems more formal and the seating isn’t as comfortable here.

Overall, Mocha is excellent for Coffee, Hukka, Booze and Ambiance. Desserts are excellent here and as well as at Java Green. Prices are on the higher side at Mocha so if you are in the mood for some cheap food, coffee and desserts than Java  Green is the place to be.

For those lazy to read, check the rating graph below.

Coffee:  Mocha (M) – 9/10 | Java Green (JG) – 6/10

Food: M – 7/10 | JG – 7/10

Desserts: M – 8/10 | JG – 7/10

Ambiance: M – 9/10 | JG – 6/10

Service: M – 8/10 | JG – 8/10

Price: M – 6/10 | JG – 8/10

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Annabelle’s-Cupcakes And Happiness

May 5, 2010 1 comment

Annabelle’s is a pastry shop located in Andheri. Close to Oh! Calcutta, the pastry shop makes for a perfect stop for dessert after a heavy dinner.


As the headline suggests, it’s where you will find cupcakes, lots of cupcakes! We tried the chocolate cup cake which was excellent. Though the donut we tried had hardened a bit as it was late in the night and it was clear that people come here for the cupcakes.

They have a variety here with coffee, banana, apple cinnamon flavours to name a few. They also had a strawberry cheese cake which should be yummy as usual.

Annabelle is a great little pastry shop which also has croissants and other bread items which seem to be in demand as  they were over by the time we go there.

Overall, I think it’s a great find, thanks to the Mydala.com vouchers! We bought some cup cakes for our friends as well. This pastry shop is highly recommended!

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