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Seven Deadly Sins of Komatose

A new and upcoming bar and lounge at Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Komatose does an excellent job in redefining the concept of cocktails in the twin cities with the sole purpose of putting customers in a drunken Koma - a state of incoherent speech or thought, which all of us have experienced at some time or the other.

Invited for a review, we found their menu is presented in an innovative manner with quippy snippets tracing the origin of Koma through the legend of Chena Mama and funny names of drinks like Mary Koma, The Hobbit and The Battered Bum which matches well with the casual ambience of the place.

Komatose Bar
Komatose Bar

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Rivaayat: A Revisit of Traditional Indian Cuisine at The Trident, Hyderabad

Kanak, the specialty Indian restaurant from The Trident, Hyderabad was recently adjudged the best North Indian restaurant in Hyderabad at The Times Food and Nightlife Awards, 2015. A couple of weeks after that, the restaurant is playing host to “Rivaayat” – a festival that revisits the traditional Indian cuisines.

Kanak Trident Hyderabad

Many heritage recipes of India starting from Nawabi cuisines to the traditional street food have hardly been documented so far. As a result, many recipes have gone into oblivion and some are restricted within a select few families. Rivaayat, which in Persian means revival of tradition, has aimed to recreate these recipes. A team of master chefs across the Oberoi Group has worked in collaboration with Khansamas and well known experts of these cuisines to bring these recipes back and present them to the discerning food lovers of the country. Recipes have been culled out from deep interiors of Delhi, Awadh, and Rampur to revive dishes which were on the verge of fading away.
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Quick Bytes: Breakfast at Karim's

A morning breakfast at Chandni Chowk is not complete if there is no Nihari on the table. Karim's, one of the most established restaurants in the Gali Kababiyan is critically acclaimed for serving a great Nihari though there are others like Kallu, Bilal and Haji Shabarati Nihari Wale which do an equally if not a better job.

Nihari at Karim's
Nihari at Karim's

Served with Khameeri Roti, which is a soft and fluffy roti made with the fresh smell of yeast, the Nihari is basically a calorie laden meat stew garnished with ginger and green chillies. Karim's welcomes customers in the morning with the sight of handis on coal fueled stoves, in which the Nihari dishes are slowly cooked. Though the authentic versions are made of beef, the restaurants in the Urdu Bazaar road primarily make it of buffalo while Karim's uses mutton, majorly for sensitivity issues.

Khameeri Roti and Nihari at Karim's
Khameer Roti and Nihari at Karim's

Nihari, in general, comes loaded with oil and is definitely not for the health conscious. Ours at Karim's was no different and had a garnishing of slivered ginger and chopped chillies which cut the richness of the dish. The meat had been cooked slowly for hours before being served and the thick consistency of the dish was simply amazing. Karim's also serves Paya for breakfast which is essentially the slow cooking of the goat trotters till the gelatine seeps off the marrow.


Address:  16, Gali Kababiyan, Jama Masjid, New Delhi
Telephone  011 23264981

Also read: Street food around Jama Masjid

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The California Boulevard, Gurgaon: World on a Platter.

The California Boulevard has definitely cheered up the Gurgaon food lovers by opening its recent outlet in Sector 29, Gurgaon. From a compact restaurant in Rajouri Garden, it has raised its capacity to a huge two floored restaurant with a big façade that is brightly lit up at night.

California Boulevard, Gurgaon
California Boulevard, Gurgaon

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Vegetarian Delicacies from the Telangana Kitchen

With the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into two states, there has been lot of interest generated about the cuisine of Telangana and how it is different from the generic Andhra dishes. So, when fellow food enthusiast Purushottam Chanda organized a vegetarian Telangana Daawat through Feazt, I jumped at the opportunity to taste the wares of the newest state of India.

Telangana Thali
The Telangana Daawat

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Random Restaurant Rants from Kolkata

I have always been a huge fan of the Kolkata food lovers – any random family will have at least half a dozen food enthusiasts. Another aspect is their penchant to try out new cuisines – Kolkata perhaps has one of the best variety of food available in the country. So 2015 turned out to be a Happy New Year for me – as I could spend a significant part of the first month in Kolkata.

Koshe Kosha
Koshe Kosha
One thing which you can’t help but notice in Kolkata is the opening up of eateries offering Bengali food. About two decades back, when I was working here, Aaheli, Suruchi and only few other restaurants offered Bengali food. But now, in my locality around Gariahat there were at least a dozen of them.

My first stop was a small place called Koshe Kosha opposite Aminia in Golpark. I had been hearing good reviews of this restaurant from various places, especially from a Delhi based blog. We had reached Kolkata the same day, and after barely dumping out luggage in our neighborhood flat we set out for the food journey.

Bhetki Chingrir Malbondhon
Bhetki Chingrir Melbondhon at Koshe Kosha

As you enter the place, you find the dark interiors of the restaurant a bit surprising. The place is nicely decorated though, with artefacts from rural Bengal. We ordered quickly and the restaurant responded by a short turnaround time.

The Gondhoraj ghol here is a perfect start to any meal. The prized lemon provides a endearing aroma to the ghol. Bhetki Chingrir Melbondhon was a fish fry with a layer of prawn it. It was decent, though I would have liked the prawn content to be a bit more.

Sholoana Bangaliana
Mochar Ghonto at Sholoana Bangaliana

Luchi and Kasha Manghsho which is one of their signature combos was nothing great. I have had better Kosha Mangsho (Bengali sautéed mutton) even in the Hyderabad Bengali eateries. The gravy in Chital Macher Muitha could not delight us – mainly because the onion and garlic in the gravy was not sautéed well, and gave out a raw taste. Sorshe Ilish was nice, though I was not happy with the size of the Hilsa fish. Meal for three costed us around Rs 1400.

Chingri Macher Malaikari
Chingri Macher Malaikari at Sholoana Bangaliana

Sholoana Bangaliana close to South City Mall had been a favorite during my earlier visits. One evening after a Bengali film at the mall, we landed up here. A small restaurant with only a few tables, service here is quite quick. We started with a Mochar Ghonto. The banana flower preparation was spicy. Flavors of desi ghee and garam masala stood out, making it go extremely well with rice.

Shorshe Ilish
Sorshe Ilish at Sholoana Bangaliana

The non-vegetarian dishes followed soon. The Mourala Macher Bati Chochhori, a traditional Bengali recipe to be prepared in a katori was par for the course. The Chingri Macher Malaikari stood out, both in terms of the quality of the prawn as well as the creamy coconut based gravy. The Sorshe Ilish here beat the previous place hands down, the Jumbo Hilsa piece (costing Rs 410) was so juicy and dripping with fish oil that I can possibly make a trip to Kolkata to just taste this. The satisfying meal here came to about Rs 1000.
Chili Garlic Chicken
Chili Garlic Chicken at Big Boss
Kolkata is also well known for it’s Chindian food – the Chinese population had settled in East Kolkata from about a century back. The Tangra area has more than 50 restaurants – and we received suggestions favoring many of them. We finally decided to visit Big Boss.

The place is one of the most spacious and cleanest of the Tangra joints. However we felt that the wait staff is not very keen to attend to you, and for anything you want you have to literally shout for them. We started with the Seafood Soup, which was a thick soup with prawns, crabs, egg drops and vegetables. The Chili Garlic Chicken as starter was very decent – the trademark Kolkata Chinese taste was very visible – a combo of soya sauce, green chilies and chopped garlic.

Mixed Szechuan Chowmien
Mixed Szechuan Chowmein at Big Boss

For the main course we went for Mixed Szechuan Chowmein and Spicy Ginger Chicken. The noodles were spicy and tasted nice with assorted vegetables, red chilies and chicken except that it was a trifle too oily. The Spicy Ginger Chicken was a disaster -  the gravy did not have any taste at all. Overall, a disappointing outing cost us around Rs 900.

Lat Mai Kai
Lat Mai Kai at The Wall

The Wall, a boutique Oriental  restaurant in South Kolkata is again an old favorite. Close to Southern Avenue, this place has been converted from a residence. The menu here has lot of special dishes normally not available in standard “Chindian” eateries in Kolkata.

The Tom Yum Seafood soup here was tangy with a generous portion of prawn and other seafood. The day was very cold and the piping hot and spicy Thai soup really warmed us up for the meal ahead. The starter Lat Mai Kai was superb too. It  was essentially boneless chicken pieces along with veggies fried in a chili based oil.


Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng at The Wall


The Indonesian Nasi Goreng was presented very well with an egg on top and looked very appetizing. It had stir fried rice, chicken and seafood in a spicy sauce, and combined well with Moan Char Chia Mui Nay, a Cambodian ginger based chicken dish. – though I found an overdose of black pepper powder in the latter. Apart from this aspect it was a satisfying meal, and cost us around Rs 1400 for three persons.

Moan Char Chia Mui Nay
Cambodian Ginger Chicken at the Wall
Also read : More restaurant rants from Kolkata

Addresses:

Koshe Kosha
62, Ballygunge Gardens (opp Aminia)
Golpark
Kolkata 700019
Telephone 64606401

Sholoana Bangaliana
14C/114B Prince Anwar Shah Road
(Near South City Mall)
Kolkata
Telephone 9051301111

Big Boss
54C Maheswartala Road
Tangra
Kolkata
Telephone 23282405

The Wall
31 Dr Sarat Banerjee Road
(Near Sarat Bose Road)
Kolkata 700029
Telephone 24649041



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