Friday, February 10, 2017

Teamonk Unveils Its Valentine's Collection - Customized Gift Packs Just For Tea Lovers

I was ecstatic to participate in a tea tasting session hosted by Teamonk Global today at the DLF Club 5 in Gurgaon. One of the biggest reasons for me to be a part of this session was to know more about the specialty teas from the Teamonk brand.


The session was an eye-opener of sorts - as tea specialists from the company trained us on the tea basics, food pairing, blending, and most importantly, the history and health benefits of tea.


For me, the best part of the session was the unveiling of Valentine's Collection by Teamonk Global. These customized gift packs are lovingly crafted just for tea lovers.



And the timing could not have been apter! Just the perfect Valentine's gift for your loved ones.


My recommendation would be to try out the new Azaya Rose Tea with the exquisite Signature Pottery collection. It's the ideal handpicked teaware collection for the choicest tea.



The purity, rich aroma, quality, and peerless taste of whole leaf teas were further demonstrated through the Pyramid Tea Bags, which I absolutely fell in love with!


During the tasting session, I developed a particular liking for the white tea which is both hand rolled as well as sundried. It contains antioxidant properties which are good both for your skin and digestion. I also enjoyed sipping the spearmint and jasmine green teas. The brewing of oolong and black teas was a fun exercise, to say the least!


Teamonk Global offers tea from exclusive gardens in India - the eastern home of spirituality - where the organically grown tea leaves are plucked with great love and precision by artisan tea pluckers, processed with great attention to detail by craftsmen and packaged in the best manner to preserve its freshness and delivered to customers in record time.


I'm so glad the transition from coffee to tea is taking place in our country right now; slowly yet surely companies like Teamonk will play a pivotal role in making people feel healthier about the lifestyle choices they're making this year.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A Day at Pling - The most vibrant lux-lounge at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity

On my last visit to Pullman New Delhi Aerocity a couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Pling, a vibrant lux-lounge situated at the hotel's lobby level. Drawing its name from the sound of ice dropping in a glass filled with drink, the elegant yet tranquil lounge-bar connotes good times and laughter. If you're looking for a high-end lounge-bar experience with live music and exclusive club style services, Pling is the place to be!


Pling offers a sumptuous assortment of hors d'oeuvres and tapas while housing the signature 'Vinoteca by Pullman' - an international wine selection by the glass or bottle.


As a concept, Vinoteca is synonymous with Pullman across the world, providing modern-day travelers a minimum selection of ten wines and two champagnes served by the glass. The selection changes from time to time to vary the offering.


At Pullman, wine is considered to bring people together - an ice-breaker, a conversation starter - and therefore appropriate wine preservation systems to store and serve wines by the glass effectively are in place.


Hit the bar at Pling after work or meeting, before returning to your room, at cocktail time, or after dinner - a glass of wine always seems to do the trick! Pullman encourages you to try as many wines as possible.


And while you're at it, make sure to ask the mixologists to serve you some refreshing cocktails and mocktails made using fresh, homemade syrups with herbs from the in-house farm.


Head Mixologist, Topesh Chatterjee, can show you how to have a good time with a range of martini cocktails, inspired by the James Bond movies. Drop by Pling and order martini, the way Bond likes it - shaken, not stirred.


Here is a list of my favorite drinks at Pling.

  • Amalia - Legacy by itself, this cocktail is a fitting tribute to Amalia Bacardi. Contains a concoction of apricot jam, Earl Grey tea reduction, and Bacardi.
  • Ananda Brew - An amazing creation by itself, this cocktail contains Vodka and hand plucked teas from the Ananda region in Assam.
  • Grape Year - Creating an outstanding character by itself, this classic mocktail is made from breakfast compotes and preserves.
  • Shanghai Bell - Yet another nonalcoholic gem, this drink provides a perfect balance between bell pepper which complements the lemon grass, galangal, and basil. Offers a European touch to the much needed Asian soul!

The food at Pling further compliments your local tastes and aspirational dining desires and is made to suit the alcohol menu. Credits for the curated menu go to two people primarily - Chef Ajay Anand (Chief Culinary Designer) and Chef Ashish Dhar (Culinary Designer and Chef In Charge).


Pullman Tapastry, a tapas-style food concept, caters to a chic clientèle who enjoy exchanging ideas over a glass of wine and light sophisticated snacks.

Signature dishes include Olive Chicken Tikka, Kasondi Ka Jheenga, Parmesan Mathi with Basil Yoghurt, Mutton Boti Tart with Caramelised Onion and Mint Relish.


A selection of indulgent desserts is also available at Pling. My favorites include the Dark Milk Chocolate with dark caramel, candied macadamia, warm malted caramel, and milk chocolate mousse. If you're someone who looks for desserts sans chocolate, try the Hazelnut Praline with a flourless hazelnut cake, gianduja mousse, orange curd, and praline ice cream.


Pling's fashionable, upbeat atmosphere makes it the ultimate venue for winding down with friends or associates in the evening.


Your favorite lux-lounge is nominated this year for the Times Food and Nightlife Awards in the category of 'Best Bar - Luxurious Nightout'. Log on to http://bit.ly/Vote4PLING to make Pling the best in town.


[Seating capacity: 60 guests
Operating hours: 0700hrs - 0100hrs
Alcohol service: 1100hrs - 0100hrs]

Pling - Pullman New Delhi Aerocity Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

CIRCUS CyberHub: When A Local Restaurant Tells A Global Story

Somewhere in the heart of DLF CyberHub Gurgaon lies a casual dining restaurant cum cocktail lounge by the name of CIRCUS, held in great reverence by leading food critics and gastronomes alike.



I love any effing excuse to try out a new F&B property; this time around, however, I was eager to find out what the buzz was all about!


CIRCUS continues the epicurean journey from its first outlet in South Extension II Delhi. Offering the perfect global street food for your palate, CIRCUS introduces different regional favorites, much to the delight of the discerning foodies in Gurgaon.


The brainchild of popular restaurateurs, Shivkaran Singh and Sunny Singh, CIRCUS is a local restaurant telling a global story.


The place succeeds to a large extent in rendering novel experiences, and here's why.


Cocktails

Boozy Balti

  • Circus Kala Khatta Long Island Iced Tea (LIIT): Strictly for the connoisseurs of taste, this cocktail contains vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, and kala khatta. One LIIT shot was never going to be enough anyway; this should do the trick effectively!
  • Circus Mojitos/Caprioskas: Enjoy your favorite cocktail recipe with Cola/Fanta/Old Monk/watermelon.

Signatures

  • Masala Gang: A vodka-based cocktail with the unusual addition of anardaana/aam panna/imli/kala khatta/ramladdu.
  • Berry Sour: A refreshing concoction of fresh blueberries and 100 pipers.
  • Ring of Fire: Another vodka-based cocktail made with guava, fresh coriander, green chili, and chat masala. The tangy flavors manage to hit the right notes on your taste buds.
  • Pomo Sapphire: Made with the world's most awarded gin, Beefeater, this cocktail contains fresh pomegranate and chat masala.

Circus Sangrias

  • Melon Sangria: Delicious melon sangria recipe made with mixed summer melons, the perfect match for a crisp Sauvignon Blanc White Wine.
  • Sangria Rosso: Popular red wine sangria recipe made using Stella Rosa Rosso.

Appetizers

Vegetarian

  • Kurkurra Paneer Tikka: A near perfect chargrilled appetizer made of cottage cheese, bell peppers, and marinated cream cheese, coated with papad.
  • Paneer Pepper Fry: This wok tossed Andhra style appetizer is made of cottage cheese and curry leaves. Best served with chimichurri, which is a traditional Argentinian sauce.

Room for more? You can also try the Crispy Potatoes with Honey Chili Sauce, crispy fried Lotus stem, or the BBQ veg and thyme pizza.


Non-vegetarian

  • Murg Mirchi Taka Tak: Chargrilled creamy chicken tikkas tossed with fresh chili.
  • Chicken 65: Double cooked, pan tossed chicken with ginger, cayenne pepper, and lime.
  • Haryali Chicken Tikka: Chargrilled chicken morsels made of hung curd, cilantro, and green chili.

And while you're at it, don't forget to try the Crispy Lamb with bell peppers and schezwan sauce and the Butter Chicken Pizza.

Mains

Vegetarian

If you prefer bowl meals, try the all-time favorite Veg Manchurian or Vegetables in your choice of sauce such as hot garlic/black bean/schezwan/black pepper.

Tiffin meals are also available - my personal favorites being dal CIRCUS with lachha parantha/garlic naan or Jogeya Tarkari with jeera rice/mirchi parantha.

Non-vegetarian

Meat cravings? Go for the Chicken Thai Basil, which is made of chicken mince, holi basil, bird's eye chili, and oyster sauce.

You will also love the Kung Pao Chicken (served with ginger soy sauce, peanuts, and cashew) or Sliced Fish cooked as per choice (options include lemon coriander/chili bean/chili garlic/mustard chili sauce).

If you're ordering a tiffin meal, my recommendation would be Andhra chicken curry or Mutton ghee roast with lime rice/Malabar parantha.


Desserts

Don't leave CIRCUS without tasting the classic Rice Kheer and Aate Ka Halwa (a hot pudding made of almonds and cashew rich whole wheat flour).


Open every day from 12 pm to 1 am, CIRCUS brings to you the most delicious street food at one place.


The place is bound to satisfy both your hunger and wanderlust with its no-fuss food and superb ambiance, making it an experience like no other.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Soi 7 Pub and Brewery - The Best Watering Hole in DLF CyberHub Gurgaon

In this blog post, I cover the best watering hole in DLF CyberHub Gurgaon by the name of Soi 7 Pub and Brewery. Even though this property was launched way back in October 2013, it was only last month that I could get to visit it; wonder what took me so long!



For the uninitiated, Soi 7 derives its name from one of the most popular sub-streets in Sukhumvit Bangkok, which is hailed for its vibrant nightlife and food.


Riding high on good food and drinks, this Soi 7 too offers a near perfect ambiance to let your foot down after a hard day's work.


Open every day from 12 pm to 1 am, Soi 7 compiles essential components of the Asian kitchen, promising meals that are full of exotic flavors, aromas, and textures, yet extremely low-fat content.


The cuisine is authentic Pan Asian with signature dishes like the Yakitori, Ginger Chicken Dumplings, Prawns Salt and Pepper, Thai Green Curry, etc.


When it comes to the drinks menu, you're spoilt for choice; their microbrewery serves the finest variety of freshly brewed beers, including my favorites - Knock Out and Cobra Punch. All freshly brewed beers, in fact, are named after Muay Thai kickboxing moves.


Run by the good old folks who brought the popular Striker Pub and Brewery to the city, Soi 7 has a lot going for it right from the word go!

Rooftop seating is probably their biggest highlight - IMHO the best outdoor spot you'll find anywhere to spend a romantic winter evening. That said, make sure your reservations are done well in advance, as the place is chock-a-block with patrons even on weekdays.


Make no mistake, Soi 7 is not just frequented by foodies alone but also by party animals. Catch the TOYA BAND live in action every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and groove to their scintillating Rock & Roll music while gorging on your favorite food and drinks.


Sufi Tuesdays at Soi 7 are all about crooning to soulful music with live bands like QAREEB and FAKHRI.


Ladies have an even greater reason to rejoice as every Thursday 6 pm onwards, unlimited cocktails and mocktails are on the house for all women. It's Ladies Night after all!


Soi 7 is definitely not your run-of-the-mill Asian themed restaurant; instead, it is a great place to spend one whole day feasting your eyes on superb pub food, a wide range of spirits, and live acts that'll keep you coming for more!

Soi 7 Pub & Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato