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Quick Bytes: Parsi Bhonu Thali at SodaBottleOpenerWala

The year-end festive season is on, and SodaBottleOpenerWala, the Bombay Irani Café has a special promotion for the occasion. Known as the Parsi Bhonu, the menu has assorted delicacies from Parsi cuisine in the form of two thalis – vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Bhonu in Parsi means special food for a feast, and the thalis are indeed special, featuring quite a few items which are not available usually at the Bombay style café.

Parsi Bhonu
Parsi Bhonu
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Celebrating Awadhi Cuisine at Jashn E Audh

The Royals of Awadh were known for their love for music, dance, culture and food. The Nawabi cuisine from Awadh boasts of a recipes perfected by Royal Bawarchis like kababs, qormas, qaliyas and biryanis – with a strong influence of Mughlai style. Today Tundey Kabab, Kakori Kabab, Awadhi Biryani and Sheermal are some of the items for which Awadh is known for. Anyone visiting Lucknow in particular will never miss out on these delicacies.

Jashn E Audh
The Interiors of Jashn E Audh

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A Taste of Kabul in Hyderabad

When we talk about food from Afghanistan or North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, huge naans and sweet pulaos come to our mind. A decade ago, there was a restaurant called Kabura in Begumpet serving North West Frontier and Afghan food. After it closed down, Hyderabad had no place which served this cuisine for a long time.

Kabul Darbar
Chicken Sajji at Kabul Darbar

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Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine with Chef Suman Kaul at ITC Kakatiya

Whereas the Kashmiri Wazwan or the traditional feast from the Kashmir Valley have become popular in the major metros in recent times, nothing much is known about Pandit cuisine – the food of the Brahmins from  Kashmir. As we are aware from the press, the pandits have gone through a lot of hardship in the valley, leading to their eviction into Jammu, Delhi and other parts of India. Last time I went to Kashmir valley I was told that some pandits still live in refugee relief camps in their own country.

Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine
Nainey Yakhni

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The Great Indian Sunday Brunch at Kangan, The Westin Hyderabad

The restaurants in The Westin, Hyderabad are known for their elaborate Sunday brunches. For an Italian experience there is the Bubbalicious brunch at Prego, and the multi-cuisine brunch at Seasonal Tastes is arguably the most popular Sunday brunch in the city. Now the hotel has another feather in its cap – a completely Desi Sunday brunch at their Indian specialty restaurant Kangan.

Kangan Westin


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Seafood Festival at Nook, Aloft Cessna Business Park

Located inside an IT park, the Aloft Cessna Business Hotel is truly one of a kind. The hotel stands tall amongst the other buildings in the business park and is located quite close to the gate. The ambience is casual and vibrant with a colourful theme, mainly comprising of green and blue shades.

Inside Aloft Cessna Hotel
Inside Aloft Cessna Hotel

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Daawat Purani Dilli at The Trident Hyderabad

During my frequent travels to Delhi, a must visit place for me had always been the bylanes of Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi for its street food. The niharis, seekhs and the cream butter chickens lure me there, and every time I end up discovering some new hidden gem. So, when The Trident decided to bring the Purani Dehlvi cuisine to Hyderabad, I felt that a big bonanza awaited me.

Osama Jalali
Kacchi Keema Tikiya

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Grand Opening of The Grills at the Fifth Anniversary of Taj Falaknuma Palace

The Falaknuma Palace needs hardly any introduction to either Hyderabadis or to the lovers of history. One of the finest palaces of India, it has been a crown jewel of the Nizami state. In 2010, Taj Group of Hotels opened the doors of the renovated palace as a luxury hotel, and since then the hotel has been widely acknowledged as one of the best palace hotels of the world.

Taj Falaknuma Palace

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The Nawab of Arcot Food Promotion at ITC Kakatiya

ITC Hotels have been regularly presenting cuisines of different regions of India at their various restaurants in ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad. In recent times, we had festivals showcasing food from South India, such as Mangalore, Telangana, Chettinad regions as well as the cuisine of Navaithas of Tamil Nadu. The hotel now has one more feather in their cap – “The Cuisine of the Nawab of Arcot” promotion at Deccan Pavilion. This was a part of the initiative known as Kitchens of India – Royal Repast, where chefs from ITC Hotels research the different Royal cuisines of India.

Arcot Biryani
The Arcot Javahi Murgh Biryani

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Quick Bytes: Return of Ohri’s 100 Degrees and Their Signature Sizzlers

Of the many restaurants run by Ohri’s group in the city, 100 Degrees used to be distinctly different – a favourite of the sizzler lovers of Hyderabad. Couple of years back we were disappointed to see the place next to Hussain Sagar close down. However, the restaurant has reopened at a brand new venue, the complex next to Shilpa Kala Vedike in Hitech City with an expanded menu. A Blogger’s meet was organized by the management to present some of the items on the menu.

Ohris 100 Degrees
Mutton Chops Sizzler

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Karwar Thali and The Coastal Thali Festival at Spice Junxion

I was a traveling salesman in the early part of my career, and during my journeys to the interiors of various states I visited, I made it a point to try out the local fare, often presented in the form of a thali. A thali meal anywhere in India is pure soul food, where an assortment of simple items of the region are provided usually in limited quantity.  As you move from district to district, just like language spoken the composition of the thali gradually changes and after hundreds of kilometers the content is totally different.

Spice Junxion at Taj Deccan, Hyderabad is organizing a promotion of the Exotic Thalis from the Peninsula. On offer are the typical thalis from seven different locations around the coastline ranging from Kathiawar in westen India to Bengal in the east. Except the Gujarati version, all the thalis have a separate spread for non-vegetarians. The cuisines showcased apart from Kathiawad (only veg) are Malvani, Konkani, Karwar, Chettinad, Kerala and Bengali.

Karwar Thali
Karwar Thali

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Oh So Stoned Has a New Outlet at Jubilee Hills

Oh So Stoned has always been widely acknowledged as one of the top ice cream outlets in Hyderabad.  Their Nutty Overload, Rum Baba and Scarface have been long time favorites of mine. From their initial place at Karkhana, they expanded to the “Ice Cream Street” opposite KBR Park. And finally they have come to Hitech City with opening of their larger Jubilee Hills outlet.

Oh So Stoned
Red Velvet Ice CReam

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Turkish Culinary Delights at Amara, The Trident


Positioned at the cusp of Asia and Europe, Turkey is a confluence of culture of the two continents. However, though the Turkish food has marked influences from the Greek and Arabic cuisines, it retains its own uniqueness derived from Ottoman cooking.  Seafood is abundantly used in the cuisine as the country is surrounded by sea, and the favourite vegetables are eggplants, cauliflower, okras and chickpeas.

These were some of the points explained by Chef Memis Alkan who is here from Turkey to curate the “Turkish Culinary Delights” food promotion at Amara, the all-day dining restaurant at The Trident. Chef explained that the Turkish cuisine in the western part of the country has wide uses of Olive oil, the eastern part has a touch of West Asian delicacies like hummus and babaghanoush in their menu. The cuisine also has a few rice delicious and meat dishes, though they were not part of the menu on the day I visited.

Turkish Culinary Delights
The Turkish Mezze and Salads at Amara

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Above Ground Levell Lounge at Bangalore Airport

Spending time at the airport is not something most of us are comfortable with. Delays, layovers and cancellations cause unpleasant surprises as we think of the airport as a pit stop to our final destination. However, after a wicked meal in one of the airlines, I nowadays prefer to drop into one of the nearby cafes or lounges to relax and grab some quick snacks before boarding. One such place to relax at the Bangalore Kempegowda International Airport is the Above Ground Levell Lounge. Invited for a review, this was my first non-travelling visit to the airport.

Above Ground Level Lounge
Above Ground Levell Lounge

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Cuisine of the Navaithas at Deccan Pavilion, ITC Kakatiya

In the recent times there has been a lot of work going on in the restaurant industry in researching and presenting niche or forgotten cuisines of India. In our Hyderabad, we have had events showcasing Moplah, East Bengal, Mangalorean and Anglo Indian cuisines to name a few.

 I must admit that I had never heard much about Navaithas and their cuisine before.  Having spent a considerable time in Bangalore, I love the delicious non-veg food available in the bylanes of Shivajinagar and Fraser Town.  At a preview of the promotion of Navaitha cuisine at Deccan Pavilion, I was told by Chef Jamal that some of the items available at these places have evolved from the food of Navaithas, the Urdu speaking community from South Arcot in Tamil Nadu. The Navaitha cuisine has evolved from the food of the  Arab traders who were their ancestors with incorporation influences of the Nawabi and South Indian flavours as the time went by.

Navaitha ITC Kakatiya
The Navaitha Non-Vegetarian Starters
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Launch of Bistro Lunch Box at Olive Bistro

During the busy weekdays, the need for serving a quick meal for lunch has been felt by  many customer oriented restaurants who are oriented towards customer satisfaction. Olive Bistro at Durgam Cheruvu is no exception. So the popular restaurant has decided to introduce the Bistro Lunch Box – a quick lunch served in a jiffy.

Olive Bistro
The Bistro Box

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ASAP! The Bistro, Madhapur

The name ASAP! The Bistro would have beckoned me as early as possible, but somehow I missed visiting this place in Madhapur even after couple of months of opening. The feedback I was getting from the food lovers were mixed, but a couple of reliable friends insisted that this place is a good try.  Finally on a weekday evening I went for an invited dinner to try out their offerings.

ASAP The Bistro
Vegetarian Starters

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Chettinad Chronicles Unfold at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya

One of the South Indian cuisines popular all over India and perhaps worldwide is the Chettinad cuisine. Known for its unique freshly grounded spice combinations, the offerings from the land of Chettiars are extremely aromatic and a treat for the taste buds. Chettinad is a region in Tamil Nadu, spread over the Sivaganga area, with Karaikudi being one of the major towns in the area.

Dakshin ITC Chettinad
The Chettinadu Spices

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Scabetty: Trying out the ready to cook gourmet meal box

In today’s fast paced world, many busy working couples find it difficult to do their weekly groceries, and often face a situation where after a hard day’s work, they find that their house does not have the minimum provisions to cook a meal. In another case, food lovers often think about cooking exotic dishes but shudder at the thought of shopping for the unusual ingredients which may not be available locally. Also the minimum quantity they may need to buy of some of these may be too much for them to use even over a month.

Scabetty Sumac Chicken
Sumac Chicken in Pita - the packed ingredients

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Flavours from the Earth at Bidri, Marriott Hyderabad

The name “Earthen Flavours” for a food festival got me curious, and on enquiry I found out that it is a festival quite different from the usual ones.  The focus of this fest at Bidri, the Indian restaurant at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre, is not on food specific to any region or country – it is celebrating the traditional slow cooking style perfected in our kitchens of yesteryears, and still practiced in many parts of the country, using wood fire or a stone.

Bidri Marriott

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The Taste of Korea Festival at Syn, Taj Deccan

Korean cuisine is a novelty in Hyderabad. Unlike Bangalore or Chennai, the city does not boast of a Korean restaurant – one guest house which used to serve this cuisine closed down recently. Against this backdrop, Syn Asian Grill & Bar at Taj Deccan, known for its exquisite Pan-Asian food, is organizing “Taste of Korea”, which is offering the discerning food lovers of Hyderabad a chance to try out the delicacies from the Korean peninsula.

Kimchi
The Cabbage Kimchi

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The Goalondo Steamer travels to Nabanno Hyderabad

Hyderabad has had its own share of  good Bengali food. Most of the usually popular Bengali specialties like Kosha Mangsho, Paturi, Chingri Macher Malaikari have been presented well by these restaurants as well as a number of Bengali food festivals held during the year. So when Subhasis Karmakar of Nabanno talked about doing a pop up or special feast of “Goalondo Steamer Cuisine”, food enthusiasts wondered whether it was the same old wine in a new bottle.

Goalondo Steamer Fowl Curry
Goalondo Steamer Fowl Curry

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Indian Regional Cuisines and Hyderabad

Hyderabad had always been fairly conservative in its choice of food. People were reluctant to go beyond their favorite biryani and other Hyderabadi items, Telugu cuisine and at best Chinese food. The level of experimentation was very low and only other cuisine which found some acceptance was the tandoori Punjabi cuisine also loosely called North Indian.

Murg Angar
Murg Angaar at United Kitchens of India

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The Exciting New Menu at Kanak, Trident

Even when a restaurant is doing well and already has a set of loyal customers, a relook at the menu is often desirable. This is because of the fact that however satisfied your customers are, still their “Dil Maange More”. With this in mind, Kanak, the popular fine dine Indian restaurant at The Trident, Hyderabad has recently revamped their menu. The old favorites are still there, but a new set of dishes have been added primarily from the items which became popular from the numerous food festivals conducted by them. As the restaurant states, it is in fact a menu created by the patrons of Kanak. The menu marks the second anniversary of The Trident in Hyderabad.

Soya Ke Tootak
Soya Ke Tootak

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Quick Bytes : OktoberFest at Feast, Sheraton

One of the most popular German festivals, Oktoberfest is celebrated from late September through early October every year. Filled with fun and frolic, it has been made famous by the gallons of beer flowing in throughout the 16 day period. And where there is beer, there has got to be food !! The cuisine of Germany represents its love for meat, right from the sausages to the roulades and the stews. Invited for the fest at Sheraton, Bangalore, I got a taste of the same in one meaty evening.

Roast Beef at Feast, Sheraton
Roast Beef at Feast, Sheraton
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Underdoggs Sports Bar and Grill: Wings Of Fire

In a city filled with the young working people, the presence of bars, breweries and pubs are quite the necessity to maintain work-life balance and relieve some stress. In Bangalore, there is no shortage of such options and posing as Underdoggs <pun intended> in the already long list of pubs, the famed Sports Bar from Delhi NCR has finally made its way down south and has recently opened up in JP Nagar.



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Radisson Blu at Banjara Hills celebrates Goan Cuisine

A few days back a friend was discussing Indian regional cuisines available in Hyderabad. He mentioned that he was surprised that there were no Goan restaurants here, despite the fact that many Hyderabadis love to frequently travel to Goa and enjoy vindaloo, bebinca and xaccutti. The discussion set the craving in me to revisit Goan cuisine and soon after I was extremely happy to see Radisson Blu Hotel at Banjara Hills organizing a Goan Food Festival at their Chill Restaurant and Terrace.

Invited to preview the food festival, I was pleased to meet Chef Leon Dexter from Radisson Goa, who has specifically come down to Hyderabad to organize this festival.  Chef Leon explained that he has crafted the menu in this festival in such a way that the dishes represent all three influences on Goan cuisine – the Hindu, Catholic as well as Portuguese. Also, he has chosen some special dishes which are not usually showcased in festivals but represent the food from Goa’s homes. The spices have been brought from Goa, and they are freshly prepared for each dish.

Radisson Goa Festival
Squids and Chicken Peri Peri

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Quick Bytes: VIPTable and the Curated Set Menu at Via Milano

Over the last few months many startups related to food are making their presence felt. There are some that facilitate restaurant reviews or deliver food, while others organize themed foodie meets or present home chefs to the world. VIPTable.in operates in a different area – it ties up with restaurants so that you can book tables at your favourite place and avoid the disappointment of being turned away on a special day, or even on a regular weekend. If you want to visit a busy restaurant for a quick lunch, VIPTable may be your answer too. Not only can you book online, you also have a nice app from them for your smart phone.

Whisky Sour
Whisky Sour

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Times Passion Trails: The Royal Maratha Cuisine of Madhya Pradesh

In the eighteenth century Maratha chieftains under the Peshwas took control of most areas of Madhya Pradesh, and over a period of time established their own kingdoms. Prominent among the Maratha kings in this region were the Holkars who ruled the Indore region,  Scindias of Gwalior and the Puar Parmars of Dhara. The cuisines of many of these royal families have evoked interest in last few decades, and the food lovers have especially been exposed to them from an engrossing book written by Maharaja Digvijay Singhji of Sailana.

Ahilya Fort and Palace
Dinner Table at Ahilya Fort and Palace

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Quick Bytes : The New Rasta Cafe

Rasta Cafe, one of the vibrant destinations on Mysore Road, is a popular stopover and is thronged by the masses throughout the week. Fully packed even at night, it became popular during the ban of hookahs in Bangalore (being outside city limits) and has grown many fold since then.

Rasta S02E01
Rasta Season 2 Episode 1


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A Journey Through Venice at Prego

Prego, the Italian restaurant at the Westin Hyderabad is universally acclaimed to be one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. The fine dine place serves the choicest delicacies from the cuisine and boasts of a sumptuous Sunday brunch. For the diehard fans of the Italian cuisine, Prego is hosting Foods of Venice, a festival showcasing culinary delights from the Venice region of Italy. Invited for a preview of the festival, we were extremely interested in trying out the specialties on offer.

Prego Venice Food Festival
Sarde In Sour

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Mangalorean Food Festival at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya

Dakshin, the South Indian restaurant of ITC Kakatiya is known for its delectable South Indian fare. Apart from offering delicacies from the states of South India, the restaurant also organizes food festivals showcasing the cuisine from a particular region. In September, a Mangalorean Food Festival is on here, offering the flavours of this region of coastal Karnataka.

Dakshin ITC Kakatiya
Dakshin

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The New Menu at Le Café, Novotel

During my numerous visits to Novotel Hotel in Hitech City, I had noticed the small café in the corridor towards the left of the reception area. However,  I never got an opportunity to try out the goodies there. Recently the hotel invited me for a preview of the new menu at Le Café, and I had a first hand feel of the delicacies offered there.

Le Cafe Novotel
Le Cafe 
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Times Passion Trails: Royal Cuisine of Bhopal and the Palace Dinner

Food enthusiasts in India are very familiar with the Royal Awadhi or Hyderabadi cuisines. However not much is heard of the cuisine of the Royals of Bhopal, which was a large state under Nawabi rule. I had heard from a few friends earlier that the Nawabi cuisine of Bhopal was indeed very unique and had a strong influence of the Afghani rulers who ruled here from the 16th century.

The Banquet
The Banquet

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Arif Miyan Ki Rasoi: An Awadhi Affair at JW Marriott, Aerocity, New Delhi

K3, the all-day multicuisine restaurant at JW Marriott, New Delhi, is known as a food theatre with multiple cuisines on display such as North Indian, Cantonese and Italian. It is a big and spacious restaurant with various counters, each serving something different like cold cuts, varieties of cheese, tandoor dishes, pizzas and many more. K3 has a separate dessert counter too for all food lovers with a sweet tooth and a crêpes station.

Amidst these stations is a small but noticeable counter of Chef Arif named "Arif Miyan Ki Rasoi". Aptly named, the rasoi serves rich delicacies from the Mughal, Nawabi and Nizami is a part of a Food Festival, which launched on 28th August and will go on till 6th September.

Arif Miyan Ki Rasoi | Foodaholix
Arif Miyan Ki Rasoi


Chef Arif, popularly known as Arif Miyan, has an inspiring life story. Chef Girish, Executive Chef of K3, told me about how Chef Arif used to be a streetside chef in Hyderabad and from there how he has grown to this level. It seems Chef Arif knows the art of bringing out the actual flavor of meat in his dishes and is not being overly reliant on spices, oil and herbs.

Chef Arif | Foodaholix
Chef Arif

Invited for a review, I started off with their Keema and Gosht Nihari with some Sheermal, an Awadhi sweetish bread made of maida.  Most of the Awadhi dishes have an onion base with very less tomato and spices and cooked slowly in a dum pukht style. Dum pukht style of cooking is extremely popular in India, where the vegetables and meat are cooked on a slow heat for a long time in a sealed utensil to get the flavor out of the meat.

Keema prepared here has a very distinctive taste and is cooked with caramelized onion and tomatoes. It is delicious with the aroma of the meat tingling the tastebuds. Sheermal is a small perfectly round bread with a hint of sweetness mostly used in Lucknowi cuisine. It is the perfect companion for both the gravy dishes. The Gosht(Lamb) Nihari which is dum pukht stew along with the bone marrow was quite different from the Nihari we get in Delhi. The meat came off the bone with little or no effort and the subtle flavors were packed right in the meat and the stew.

Keema, Ghost Nihari and Shreemal | Foodaholix
Keema (left), Ghost Nihari(right), Shreemaal(top)

Next I tried the Chicken Stew, which had similar spice levels as the Keema and Nihari.  Chef Arif knows how to work with meat dishes and bring out the subtlety of its flavors. The chicken has a very different taste than of the Keema and Nihari but was enjoyable nonetheless.

Chicken Stew | Foodaholix
Chicken Stew

I took off to a different counter to taste Chef Arif’s Murgh Tikka Biryani.  Biryani has evolved a lot from its early Persian days, and a lot of regions have their own style of preparing a biryani. Here Chef Arif uses an achaari flavor to add a twist to the perfectly cooked rice. The biryani is simply divine and as you bite into the Murg Tikka, hiding under the bed of rice, you will be taken to whole new level and will not be able to stop yourself from polishing off the plate.

Murgh Tikka Biryani | Foodaholix
Murgh Tikka Biryani

It was time for dessert and we were offered the Seviyaan Muzaffar as one of the rasoi's special preparations. Muzaffar is the flavor which comes when we use saffron and lots of nuts to slowly cook the main ingredients of the dessert. The dessert was to die for, with mild sweetness and lots of nuts and khoya for garnishing it ends the dinner on a very high note and adds a smile of satisfaction on your face.

Seviyaan Muzaafar | Foodaholix
Seviyaan Muzzafar

I would definitely recommend all the meat lovers not to miss Chef Arif Miyan ki Rasoi. Although the price is a little on the expensive side, you can additionally try out dishes from the entire range of cuisines K3 has to offer along with the Awadhi delights that Arif Miyan Ki Rasoi provides. Also the menu changes and the rasoi offers new dishes each day. It is available as a dinner buffet from 28th August to 6th September, with timings from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM.

Address:
K3,
JW Marriott,
Near AeroCity, New Delhi

Price for buffet: INR 2350++

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Breakfast in Bangalore : The American Cafes of Koramangala

Breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day is heavily underplayed in the daily routine of young individuals. Working for excruciatingly long hours, an extra minute of sleep is often given more priority with breakfast taking the backseat and generally consisting of a slice of bread or at best, a bowl of cereal.

Mama I'm Coming Home
Mama I'm Coming Home at the Hole in the Wall Cafe

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The Dakshin Executive Express Lunch at ITC Kakatiya

On a typical weekday, corporate executives are hard pressed to take out time for lunch within their busy schedule. Often, they wish is for a quick turnaround at a fine dine restaurant for a meal which needs to be also very satisfying. Dakshin, the exclusive South Indian cuisine restaurant at ITC Kakatiya has come up with the concept of Executive Express Lunch, where you can complete your lunch enjoying all the delicacies of a thali within 30 minutes.

Interiors of Dakshin
Interiors of Dakshin

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Vividly Vietnamese Food Festival at Seasonal Tastes

Seasonal Tastes, the all-day dining restaurant at The Westin Hyderabad is very popular for the vast spread of its buffet. Apart from this, the restaurant periodically organizes food festivals to augment the experiences of their loyal clientele. Vividly Vietnamese is one such initiative to showcase authentic Vietnamese cuisine to the food lovers in Hyderabad.

Pho The Westin Hyderabad
Pho with Chicken and Vegetables
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An Elaborate Sunday Brunch at Radisson Blu Plaza, Banjara Hills

Radisson Blu Plaza Hyderabad Hotel at Banjara Hills used to be one of my favourite places about three years back. I used to especially love the fare dished out by their Pan-Asian restaurant Holy Basil.

Radisson Blu Banjara Hills
Sushis

However over the last couple of years, the hotel had somehow dropped out of the radar. The chefs and the other staff had changed, and a few visits had been disappointing.  When I received an invite to review the Sunday brunch here recently, I must say I did not have huge expectations. However, I was informed that a new team is in place and they are in the process of revamping the place, and a lot of efforts have gone into designing the new brunch.
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Quick Bytes: The Sizzler Festival at Melange, The Golkonda Hotel

Melange, the global cuisine restaurant at The Golkonda Hotel is organizing a Sizzler Food Festival. Aptly named during the monsoon as Sizzle in the Drizzle, the festival incorporates contemporary/fusion sizzler recipes ranging from continental to Indian to Pan-Asian.

Invited to sample a few of the offerings, we were very enthused after having a look at the menu. The concept is quite different from the conventional sizzlers that we are familiar with.  Each item is a complete meal by itself and includes a number of sides. For example, all Indian sizzlers are served with biryani rice, kaali dal and naans - which one would not have encountered in an usual sizzler fest. Totally there are about 20 different items, priced between Rs 375 and Rs 575 (plus taxes).

Paneer Tikka Sizzler
Tulsi Paneer Tikka Sizzler

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Quick Bytes: Alhumdulillah and beyond at Nampally

Tucked in the bylanes behind Niloufer Hospital at Nampally is a heaven for beef eaters. Many people in Hyderabad actually believe that the quest for Hyderabadi food is not complete without a visit to Alhumdulillah.

Tala Hua Gosht
Tala Hua Gosht at Alhamdulillah

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Blue Eyes Vodka : A new entry in the mid-range Vodka category

Rock & Storm Distilleries was launched in 2010 and has made its name in premium and semi-premium whisky, rum, and gin. Headquartered in Punjab, it has launched its own Vodka brand, by the name of Blue Eyes in Delhi NCR. It is widely available in all the stores and is also pocket friendly. The vodka brand comes in two variants - Pure Grain and Green Apple.


Blue Eyes Vodka: Green Apple (Left) & Pure Grain (Right) | Foddaholix
Blue Eyes Vodka: Green Apple (Left) & Pure Grain (Right)
The company had sent us samples of both the variants requesting us for a feedback on them. I first tried the Pure Grain Vodka which is diluted to 75 proof. Every liquor contains alcohol but not in its purest form, while Pure Alcohol is 190 proof normally all the liquor is diluted down to lesser proof, in case of Vodka it is generally 80 proof. I tried this with some orange juice and a little Tabasco sauce and the drink went smoothly with little burning sensation in your throat which can be expected of any other Vodka.

The Green Apple Vodka has a very prominent flavor of green apple and goes very well with some mango juice and lemon chunks. There is very nice aftertaste from both of these versions, making them a perfect drink to have on a Friday night with your friends, if you are looking for some liquor that suits your pocket. It will surely give competition to the well known brands such as Smirnoff and Magic Moments, in the mid-range category .

Blue Eyes Vodka have created some cocktail recipes keeping the freshness and unique role of each flavor in creating a premium and refreshing palate experience. They have used seasonal fruits, topped up with tangy flavors and signature chaat masalas. Their mixologist has infused these flavors measured with precision to create the perfect Blue Eyes Vodka cocktail mix, which everyone can enjoy in this hot summer. I have mentioned a few of their recipes below:

1. Blue Eyes White Lily

Ingredients:White Lily, Blue Eyes Vodka - 45ml, Lychee Juice - 60ml, Limca - 60ml, Lemon Juice - 2-3 drops
Method: Put 1/3 part of Crushed ice in a Glass, Pour 45ml of Blue Eyes Vodka, pour 60ml Lychee Juice, Limca 60ml & 2-3 Drops of Lemon Juice. Slightly Stir.
Garnish with Fresh Lychee bulbs
Blue Eyes White Lily | Foodaholix
Blue Eyes White Lily (Image Courtesy: Blue Eyes Vodka)
2. Blue Eyes Summer Crush

Ingredients: Summer Crush, Blue Eyes Vodka - 45ml, Tomato - ½, Cucumber - ½, Melon - 1/8, Sugar Syrup, Mint - 5-6 Leaves
Method: Blend Half Tomato, Cucumber & Melon in a Blender with Some Crushed Ice.  Add Blue Eyes Vodka 45 ML Add Sugar to Taste Pour in a Glass. 
Garnish with Twisted Slice of Cucumber
Blue Eyes Summer Crush | Foodaholix
Blue Eyes Summer Crush (Image Courtesy: Blue Eyes Vodka)
3. Blue Eyes Green Tea

Ingredients: Blue Eyes Green Tea, Green Tea Bags – 2, Boiled Water - 20ml, Gin - 20ml, Blue Eyes Vodka - 40ml, Sugar syrup, Lemon juice, Whisky - 2 to 3 ml, Sprite 
Method: Dip 2 Green Tea Bags in 20ml boiled water in a Shaker, Squeeze a little, pour the water in a Glass already filled with Ice Cubes. Add 20ml Revolution Gin n Lime Duet with 40 ML Blue Eyes Pure Grain Vodka, Sugar Syrup & lime Juice to taste.
• Top up with Sprite
• Spray 2-3ml of Big Boss Whisky
• Garnish with Mint Leaves
Blue Eyes Green Tea | Foodaholix
Blue Eyes Green Tea (Image Courtesy: Blue Eyes Vodka)

4. Blue Eyes Mango Sunrise

Ingredients: Mango Sunrise, Vodka - 45ml, Mango Juice - 45ml, Coke - 60ml, Crushed Ice, Gin - 15ml
Method: Put Some Crushed ice in a glass, Lock it on base and fix a Long shot Glass filled with 30ml Blue Eyes Vodka & 30ml Chilled Mango Juice In the glass. Pour Coke 60ml and Revolution Gin n Lime 15ml
Use two different Straws in Both the Glasses
Blue Eyes Mango Sunrise | Foodaholix
Blue Eyes Mango Sunrise (Image Courtesy: Blue Eyes Vodka)
5.Blue Eyes Masala Twist

Ingredients: Blue Eyes Masala twist, Blue Eyes Vodka - 45ml, Lime chunks - 4 to 6, Mint Leaves, Brown Sugar, Chaat masala, Sprite 
Method: Pour 45ml Blue Eyes Vodka in Shaker Put 4-6 Lime Chunks, add Brown Sugar Muddle Them Slightly , Add Tapped Mint Leaves, Add Some ice and Chaat Masala Shake Well and Double Strained in a glass topped, with Sprite, Garnish with Lime Chunk or Mint
Blue Eyes Masala Twist | Foodaholix
Blue Eyes Masala Twist (Image Courtesy: Blue Eyes Vodka)

Alcohol Content :
Pure Grain Vodka 42.88%
Green Apple Vodka 37.5%

Cost :
Pure Grain Vodka - Rs 400/- per bottle
Green Apple Vodka - Rs. 440/- per bottle
(Note: The prices mentioned are for Delhi region)

Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent to us for a review. However the opinions expressed in the post are honest and unbiased.
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