The Salt House: A Promising European Restaurant in Kolkata

Prior to my recent trip to Kolkata, I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media about The Salt House from trustworthy friends like Rukhsana and Anindya. The latest European restaurant to open in the city, it serves European cuisine with a twist, incorporating local ingredients into the dishes as much as possible. The innovatively styled dishes in their posts were some more aspects which interested me, and as a result, in spite of my busy schedule, I readily accepted an invitation to review the restaurant during my short stay Kolkata.

Bhetki Roulade
Bhetki Roulade served with Sauteed Mushrooms

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Milee Droog: Experiencing Russian Food in Kolkata

I try to visit Kolkata two to three times every year. The visits are always short and less than a week, given my constraints at home. And, for every trip, I carry with me a list of food places to cover. Visit after visit the list gets longer as I am hardly able to scrape the surface of the changing food scene in the city. The amount of experimentation which is being done on the local cuisine is praiseworthy, and places serving uncommon cuisines are also coming up fast.

Uzbec Lamb Plov
Uzbec Lamb Plov

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Street Food from Varanasi, Part 2: Thandai, Chaat, Mithai and Paan

Continued From Part 1: Kachoris, Lassi and Rabri

When we were students in the early eighties, one of the must-dos after exams was to go to Godowlia, have a thandai laced with a little bhang and then go watch a movie of Big B or Mithunda at Mazda. The go-to shop for thandai those days was Mishrambu, bang on the crossing. Now, thirty-five years later, there are about five shops next to each other dishing out a range of thandais. A chilled milk-based drink with a soaked paste of almonds, cashews, and pistachio along with saunf, thandai is not just a drink for Holi in Banaras but enjoyed year-long. I tried a Kesaria Pista Malai Thandai at Mishrambu, which has saffron and pista in it too. The heavy drink was still as sublime.

Malaiyyo

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Street Food from Varanasi, Part 1: All About Kachori, Rabri and Lassi

Varanasi is a city very very close to my heart. I spent the biggest chunk of my student life here, and the holy city has contributed to significant learnings and unlearnings that I have had. A return to the city after a gap of a decade was to soak in the spirituality of a place which is bustling and tranquil at the same time. The name itself signifies the philosophy of the city. Banaras is where the potion of life (“ras”) is ready (“bana”), you only have to drink it.


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Bohri Food Festival at The Westin Hyderabad

I have never had the opportunity to try out Bohri cuisine before. I had heard a lot about it from the Bohri food trails of Mumbai friends, read about it from the articles of food writers as well as seen photos of the food, which had made me quite curious. The Bohri Food Festival at Kangan, the Indian restaurant at The Westin provided me the first opportunity to familiarize myself with the cuisine.

Bohri Green Mutton Raan

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Rivaayat-E-Patiala: The Royal Cuisine of Punjab Recreated at The Trident

Rivaayat is an initiative of the Oberoi Hotels and Resorts group to revive interest in traditional Indian cuisine and bring back the nostalgia of recipes long forgotten.  As part of the nationwide program which started three years ago, we have had three festivals at The Trident Hyderabad. This year, the promotion is back with a difference, with Chef Parvinder Bali presenting the Royal Cuisine of Patiala as part of a promotion named Rivaayat-E-Patiala.


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Best Places to Enjoy Your Biryani in Hyderabad

Along with Charminar, the other thing Hyderabad is known for is its biryani.  Citizens of no other city can remotely come close to the fascination for biryani that we Hyderabadis have. We steadfastly refuse even any comparison with the other variants of biryanis in India, let alone accept that they come anywhere close to it in taste.

Biryani

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Andaman Travelogue, Part 2: Havelock & Neil Islands

Andaman and Nicobar Islands consist of more than seven hundred islands of various sizes, out of which only few dozen are inhabited. Of these, the most well-known tourist destinations are Havelock and Neil Islands. We had kept three days in our itinerary for visiting these two places, based on the feedback from our travel agent. We started off on this tour from Port Blair on the third day of our stay in Andamans. (See the first part of this travelogue)


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Andaman Travelogue, Part 1: In and Around Port Blair

The Union territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is possibly the remotest part of the country. You need to fly a couple of hours over the Bay of Bengal to reach these isles. I had been to Port Blair more than a quarter-century ago and remembered it as a pristine location with scenic beaches. So, when I got the opportunity to visit on a group tour with my friends, I did not take any time to say yes.


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Wine Tasting Event for the Best Bordeaux Wines

Bordeaux in southwest France is hailed as the wine capital of the world.  The largest vineyards of the country are located in this region producing some of the best wines of the world.


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Mohammed Ali Road Ki Masti at Barbeque Nation

Mohammed Ali Road is a popular destination in Mumbai which is known all over the country for some of the traditionally delicious street food which is available there.  From biryani, kababs and nihari, to firni, malpua and mawa jalebis, there are about a dozen iconic items which are not to be missed during a food walk in this locality.

Live Counter Barbeque Nation

Barbeque Nation, the nationally popular casual buffet restaurant chain has brought the delicacies from MA Road at a special promotion MA Road Ki Masti, which is currently on in Hyderabad. The promotion is part of the usual buffet and there is no additional charge for the same apart from the usual buffet rates. While the spread includes quite a few delicacies from the Bhendi Bazar area where this road is located, overall I also found a bias towards Mughlai food in the spread offered at this promotion, compared to the usual fare at the restaurant.

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The New Indian Night Buffet at Hyatt Hyderabad Gachibowli

Deori, the Indian restaurant at Hyatt Hyderabad Gachibowli is reborn in a new avatar. The restaurant now has a new look with fresh interiors reflecting the old Indian experience. The menu collection has been revamped with a perfect blend of North and South Indian recipes, with select dishes from states like Himachal which are usually ignored on the Indian culinary map. Old Indian favourites including varieties of pickles and mithais have been taken up for showcasing. And to top it all, the restaurant which is open only for dinner has introduced an Indian buffet presenting these well-researched dishes.


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The Portuguese Touch: Goan Promotion at Park Hyatt

Travelers to Goa who are lovers of the local food are aware of the strong influence of the Portuguese cooking on the dishes there. Goa was under Portuguese rule for around four centuries and many ingredients, as well as cooking styles had been integrated into the native fare to emerge as the Goan Catholic cuisine.

Goan Masala Fried Fish

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South East Asian Inspired Cuisine at Malaka Spice

Malaka Spice, the much-admired restaurant group headquartered in Pune has been operating its restaurant at Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad for more than a year now. I had been there once with my friends and had enjoyed the food there. So, when I was invited for tasting some of the best dishes on their menu, I was more than happy.

Thai Mutton Chops

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Farzi Café Brings Its Unique Cuisine to Hyderabad

Hyderabad had been somewhat ignored in the plans of national restaurant chains till about couple of years back. However, recently there has been a deluge in terms of the number of nationally acclaimed chains opening their outlets here. Farzi Café from the Massive Restaurants group, is the latest on that list, opening their much talked about the restaurant at Jubilee Hills.


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