Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Go Lebanese

A Cute Little Tea Paradise

When my wife called me and said she wanted to have tea this evening, it seemed like the strangest request, especially when she's not really a tea drinker. Anyway, I played along and wondered how this sudden desire to drink tea. And then she went on to specify where exactly she wanted to have tea. She mentioned the place and I said I'd meet her after work and so in the evening I made my way down Lansdowne Road. A bit of a problem finding the place, but then I guess I wasn't following directions as specified. The Lane between Jai Hind Dhaba and Samilton Hotel. Do that I you can't miss the Bright Green Sign-age of this cute little place.

I had a to wait a bit before my wife arrived, so I scoped out the place a bit. Lovely soothing yet happy green shade on the walls. The white Cane chairs inside and I think 3-4 coupĂ© tables outside. those will be nice in winter. Everything about the place seemed well thought of and hand picked. The tea menu card was nicely done. Food as accompaniment was a fairly decent spread. But what was a shocker was that it was 100% Vegetarian Fare. Well, well being one of those hard core meat eaters, this was going to be a challenge.

So my wife finally arrived and we got to the business of ordering. What can I say the tea arrived. One sip and yes this place lived up to it's name. The tingling sensations on the pallete, beautiful aromas and lingering taste of mint from my iced tea was just what was needed after a hard day.

Then the food arrived. I was amazed by the simplicity yet ingenuity of presenting Vegetarian food and making it look so inviting. Believe it or not, the cheese rollers left me salivating for more followed by the Mozzarella on Toast, which did spice up things and then the wonderful concept of Cinnamon with sugar on toast completely balanced out what was intended as a light snack to a wholesome meal.

Definitely will head back there on a regular basis to sample the entire menu over time.





* taxes extra

TEL: 033 40013937
WEB: www.ttbt.in

Saturday, September 15, 2012

South Indian Delight!

OK, so I like food, but do I know enough about food, is really the question. Yeah I follow Masterchef Australia religiously, but does that qualify me as an expert on food. I realised that when I visited Ammini. 

Most of us believe that South Indian Cuisine is "Dosa, Idli, Vada, Cocunut Chutni & Sambhar". Well that might be true for Tamil Nadu, but the south also includes Kerela, Karnatak & Andhra Pradesh and each of these states have their own distinct cuisines.

Ammini is a restaurant dishing out South Indian food  from Kerela. Yessir! Non-Vegetarian fare with appams: Mutton, Chicken & Fish to go with those flat dosa looking things.

The Restaurant is tiny but accommodates about 30 pax. The food, I think is decent and what's best is that the menu is short, sweet and simple. I hate it when you go into a restaurant and they hand you a menu that reads like an encyclopaedia and invariable you point out to a dish on the menu which you can't even pronounce and the waiter tells you 'that's not available' and you browse a bit more and point to another tongue twister and get the same reply. So you have to resort to 'why don't you tell me what's available and I'll let you know which one I want'.

And you know what's most likely, he'll mention all the common dishes that you've eaten a million times before and have to just settle for the same old fare.

Anyway the Food was delicious, and I loved the Rasam, it was unlike any I've ever tasted. That said, the bill for a meal for three was something else. At approximately Rs. 1,700/-, it's bloody expensive.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Bohemian Dining Experience!

The Meal:

Sex on the Beach Rs. 79
Magic Potion Rs. 84
Packaged Drinking Water Rs. 15

Bacon Wrapped Prawns Rs. 399
Chilli Pickle n Cheese baked Crab with Kolmi Greens Rs. 249

Fish & Shellfish:
Bhetki Gondhoraj Rs. 319

Chicken & Pork
Spicy Pork Curry (Anglo-Indian spices)
Served with wilted greens and steamed rice Rs. 349

Gondhoraj Souffle Rs. 149
Roasted Pineapple Souffle Rs. 139

Total: Rs. 1782 (inclusive of taxes)

32/4, Old Ballygunge 1st Lane,
Ballygunge, Kolkata - 700019, West Bengal, India
Tel: +91 33 6460 1001 Ext: 127
Website: www.chefjoybanerjee.com

Call to make reservations.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Result of Following Traffic Rules in Kolkata

My colleague and I were heading back home after a long hard day. I was driving southwards on the E. M. Bypass. The Road is a nightmare during the day with traffic piling up on both sides. By night, the road poses a whole different set of problems. One, because it is such a wide road and quite a straight long stretch, motorists tend to step on the gas; two, having stepped on the gas and reaching breakneck speeds, dodging potholes that can swallow entire cars becomes a sort of game; three, the road becomes a paradise for truckers, speeding down either carriageway to transport goods before the city shuts its doors again to heavy vehicles in the morning; and lastly, absolute disregard for traffic laws is the rule on this so called Expressway.

That said, I made the stupidest mistake and that too and the last Crossing before my house. I stopped for a Red Light at the Ajoy Nagar intersection on the E. M. Bypass. My colleague egged me on to jump the signal, citing reason no four and while I explained to him the values of following traffic laws, I heard this screeching sound from behind. I immediately looked in the rear view mirror and as I noticed these two lights engulfing the entire mirror, I automatically engaged the 1st gear, let out what would have been some swear words and the next thing we realised was that we were in the middle of the intersection. The Truck had made full impact with the rear of the car and pushed us all the way to the middle of the intersection, which was about 10 feet from the stop line, where we were waiting for the light to turn green.

Fortunately for the both of us, I am a bit paranoid about Seat Belts and so we were both saved from the impact. My colleague immediately got out of the car and headed over to the track to catch him before he fled from the scene, which is the common practice. By the time I got out of the car and headed to the truck, a crowd had gathered. It’s amazing how a crowd can appear out of nowhere anywhere in India, when some incident occurs, that to at any ungodly hour; it was a bit past midnight. Before the mob could take matters into their own hands, meting out what would surely have been a merciless thrashing to the Truck Driver, I intervened and asked everyone to step back till the Police arrived; and they did a couple of seconds later. That too was amazing, because the Police Picket is right beside where the accident occurred and there are cops stationed there 24x7.

So to my amazement, the cops arrive and ask around to know what happened; even though the accident occurred right before their eyes. Anyway the crowd, now had all sorts of stories to narrate, some said the light was green, some said, I had braked suddenly, but they all agreed that the Truck driver had braked suddenly and it was but obvious, that a truck that size with a full load of sand would not be able to stop suddenly. Of course when the cops asked the driver for his statement and enquired whether the light was Red or Green, his answer was “RED”. Well that says it all.

We were escorted to the Police station and what transpired there was a totally different saga altogether. All I can say is that we finally got out of there at a little past 2:00am and I have a little less trust for our Law Keepers and know why the rest of the country is wary of the very men who take an oath to Serve and Protect.

Below are Pictures from the morning at the Work Shop.