Exclusive Foodie evening with Zomato at Andaz Liverpool Street

Andaz, Zomato, Hyatt, Shrimoyee, Food Bloggers Meet, London
Starters

Strawberry Bellini’s, Champagne, Bread board, Cheese board, Cocktail Making, Fish Burgers and a group of 10 Foodies from London – This has to be a delicious combination and so it was. Andaz Liverpool Street and Zomato organised this exclusive evening for London foodies (Food Bloggers, Chefs, Writers) and I was one of the lucky 10 to be invited – woohoo!

Hyatt’s Andaz is a magnificent 5 star boutique hotel located in the heart of Liverpool Street – it still has the old word charm unlike its neighbour the stunning modern glass landmark, yes you guessed that right, I am talking about The Shard. This 1884 building has a restaurant Miyako, Catch champagne bar and lounge, Eastway restaurant and George pub besides catering the tourists with some swanky rooms.

We got a tour of the restaurants, starting with Catch where we were greeted by Andaz and Zomato with a glass of strawberry Bellini or Champagne (whatever floats your boat) along with nibbles (bread board, olives, cured ham). Then we headed to Eastway for a cocktail class – we all went down and lemony shaking cocktails with the friendly bartender while gorging on the assorted mini burgers, Chicken chermoula and Lebanese Mezze. I made a mixed berry cocktail with fresh berries, lime, brown sugar, Vodka and berry liquor – it was definitely delicious, made me think of an alternative career option!

Finally we ended up at 1901 Restaurant and Wine Bar for cheese board and desserts – by this point everyone had a few to drink so people finally drifted away from food conversation to films, supper clubs and travelling (perfect topic before the Easter break). The Cheeseboard had Innes Log besides Cheddar and blue cheese but my favourite was Innes (Staffordshire Goat Cheese) a Creamy, lactic, tangy, nutty cheese which was my favourite and that is a massive surprise because I personally always thought that I hated goats cheese – so if you are a goat cheese hater then you know what to try. Finally we were served the most awaited section of any menu,  yes you guessed that right – stressed spelled the other way round DESSERTS.  It was literally a feast because we had everything from Lemon and Blueberry Tarts to chocolates to Strawberry and cream parfait – wowza!

Andaz, Zomato, Hyatt, Shrimoyee, Food Bloggers Meet, London, Shrimoyee
I am posing with my cocktail creation!

Besides eating and drinking, I also met some fabulous bloggers, journalists and chefs. I had a brief chat with the chef from Catch who happens to be from Pondicherry in India (woohoo – go Indians). That man, has some serious talent in making breads – definitely one of the finest breads I have tasted and the rest of the gang couldn’t help but agree with me. The staff at Andaz were not just extremely hospitable but had great banter and chat too – which is always a great way to relax guests specially in such an intimidating venue.

I got some insider scoop and found out that they are starting – Weekend Brunch Clubs! Keep an eye on their website for more details, I am a huge fan of Brunch clubs and can’t wait to try it out!

Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you decide to try out Andaz!

xx

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Secret Supper Club

What would be your last supper? This is a question I never thought about till I attended The Last Secret Supper Club thanks to Lauren for inviting me.

Eating out has always been an important part of people’s life but in the last few years it has suddenly gone top of the charts even before gigs and rock concerts. There are foodies everywhere and instagram is filled with food photographs of people posting photographs of food they eat. Back in the days eating out meant going to restaurants – order your favorite thing from the menu, women gossiped about men and men talked about sports and the hot victoria’s secret model and then you went home. But now there are different kinds of eating out and the most interesting and popular of the lot are – Supper Clubs. Supper Clubs are not like eating out at any restaurant but its a mixture of both restaurant and a dinner party. You pay a fixed price in advance for your meal and a great time in advance, it has become the most popular thing to do in London and New York these days. Supper Clubs actually started in the early 1990′s in New York where it was a thing that the High Society people did and now it has made a grand come back – still quite elitist though.

I spend an evening with The Last Secret supper club, which is organized by Food Photographer Lauren and her business partner along with Top Chef Jesse Dunford Wood at Parlour in Kensal. Lauren was kind enough to allow me to bring a plus one with me, so I turned up with my friend Patrick at the venue 30 minutes late – we confused Regents Street in Kensal with ‘The Regents Street’. We were greeted by the lovely hosts and they immediately showed us the way to the bar where we were served Mandarin Infused Gin and Tonic in plastic bags which also contained a plastic fish inside it – quite an innovate way to serve cocktails I must say!

Last Secret Supper Club, Shrimoyee, Food Blogger, London, Foodie London, Supper Club, Dinner, Party
I am busy smiling while Patrick is digging into his fish pie!

There was a mixed bunch of people – Food reviewers, The hot New York media PR woman, Editors of Magazines, The Finance guy who works for a Hedge Fund and has no clue about supper clubs(he was my plus one) and a lot of American Expats (Supper Club’s are a big thing in The States). We were all seated like we were at a posh dinner party and then food was served finally – people ate, joked, talked about work (the introductions), then slowly once the wine and cocktail started kicking in, it went in all different directions including politics, sex and london stereotypes.

I thoroughly enjoyed my starter, Buffalo Wings in Blue Cheese Sauce – never tried buffalo wings before but every one in the table agreed that it was delicious and very well presented. The fish pie followed after that, I have to be honest I would never order a fish pie (I am a hard core meat lover when it comes to pies) but it was definitely tasty. And finally the dessert was served – Banoffie pie! You can’t really go wrong with this classic because its almost everyone’s favorite and the chef definitely nailed it, I loved the way she presented it too.

We had a good laugh, some good food and a very fine evening!

I had a chat with the ‘Brains’ of this wonderful concept Lauren and Lottie, this is what they had to say :

 The initial concept of Last suppers, came from a series of different ways of thinking around people’s favourite foods. This led to a slightly darker side, what would you choose if you only had one meal left? Would it be food from your childhood, or would you pick something you’ve eaten in a restaurant or abroad?

 This was the beginning of our brand. We started by asking friends and family about their last suppers and were amazed by the variety of menu choices. We began shooting their favourite dishes and soon found a style to the food and photography that worked well. The more people, we asked, the more we began to want to expand the idea into supper clubs. It definitely had a new twist compared with other London based supper clubs.

 We started off by running them from home and at a rented location, but soon realised how much work was involved and that it wasn’t going to work financially this way. Lottie is a full time recipe developer and food stylist at Seven Publishing, and I am a freelance food photographer, so it was very difficult to fit into our already busy schedules. This is when we decided to collaborate with a chef.

 I met chef Jesse Dunford Wood about 5 years ago whilst photographing restaurant reviews for a magazine. We remained good friends, making our decision simple when choosing a chef to involve in the brand. Jesse is very innovative, his culinary creativity still manages to suprise me. We have been running our supper clubs for 6 months now, 3 months of this in collaboration with Jesse. They have been a great success and I hope they continue to be!

 The exciting part about the Last Secret Supper Club, is that you won’t know what you will be eating until you arrive. It’s like a game of meal roulette! The menu is very varied, but we always cook an alternative for people just incase. We also ask all our guests to submit their meal and any dietary requirements before they attend. This way there is a chance of one of their courses being selected and winning £10 off their ticket price. This is also their moment to state if there is anything they specifically dislike! We will adjust their meal accordingly.

Our supper clubs are hosted every last Wednesday of the month. The next one is the 30th of April.

We are continuing to write our cookery book alongside, we’re in the process of putting together a shooting schedule, and we hope the book will be released in April 2015.

You can also find out more about the brains behind ‘Last’ via our websites-

Lauren Mclean- www.laurenmclean.com

Lottie Covell- www.lcovell.wordpress.com 

Parlour-  www.parlourkensal.com

Gajar Ka Halwa – Mother’s Day Special

Mum’s are special and super humans, and I love mine very much! She is an absolute super woman, who can juggle a million things at the same time. When she was visiting me in London, she was making all these delicious food for me everyday and my most favorite memory of her was walking to the nearest Sainsbury (Yes I am a big fan, and my mum says their meat is the best) to buy groceries – reminded me of my days as a toddler when I followed her to super markets.

With My beautiful Mum!
Mum and me having a jug of Pimms!

Most of the recipes I post in this blog are actually stolen from her, so this Mother’s day I am dedicating this recipe to her. It is the most delicious Indian dessert and you can never go wrong with it – its a mass favorite. So, why not impress your mum by making this exotic Indian Carrot pudding or most popularly known as Gajar Ka Halwa.

Gajar Ka Halwa
Gajar Ka Halwa

Things you will need 

3 – 4 Carrots finely grated

3 Table Spoon of Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Handful of Almond Flakes

Evaporated Milk (1 cup) or half a tin

1/2 cup (small tea cup) sugar

2 Cardamom pods

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Get Cooking to impress Mummy! 

  • Heat the ghee in a pan and then add the grated carrots and cardamom pods (smashed). Stir it for about 3-4 minutes in medium heat.
  • Add the evaporated milk and sugar. mix well and then cook in low heat till the you get a pudding like texture (you want it to be quite thick and not runny).
  • Finally add the almond flakes to garnish!

Serve it hot or cold – its so good that it tastes great either ways!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the Mum’s in the world!

Upma – South Indian Breakfast

Upma - South Indian Breakfast
Upma – South Indian Breakfast

‘Eat your breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar’ – All Indian’s take this sentence very seriously, which is why breakfast in all parts of India tends to be a very heavy meal. I am a big fan of South Indian food because it’s not just very tasty but very healthy and wholesome too. Upma is one of the most popular South Indian breakfast which has a huge popularity across the country. It is a healthy meal made with semolina and vegetables which keeps you full for a very long time but at the same time its extremely tasty and delicious!

Nudo Olive Oil
Nudo Olive Oil

Nudo Italia  send me samples of their new rosemary flavored olive oil .  I am a big fan of rosemary and always tend to use it with meat (which is the obvious choice) but this time I decided to see how well it goes with vegetarian food and decided to experiment it with Upma! Guess what? It turned out to be fabulous because the hint of rosemary makes adds a whole new dimension to the dish!

Ingredients

1 cup of semolina

1 tomato

Dried curry leaves (3-4)

Onion chopped (1 small)

Bay leaf (1)

Chopped green vegetables (I used green beans and carrots)

Nudo Rosemary Olive Oil (2 table spoons)

Red Chili flakes or powder (as much as you can handle)

Mustard Seeds – (5-6)

Lemon Juice (1/2 lemon)

Salt (to taste)

Pinch of Sugar

 Let’s get cooking 

Upma - South Indian Breakfast
Upma – South Indian Breakfast
  • Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, onions and bay leaf – fry it till the onions get soft for about 1- 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the tomatoes and green veggies to it and let them simmer and boil for about 3 minutes
  • Add the semolina to it and then add 2 cups of water to the whole thing and let it cook in low heat.
  • Add the curry leaves, lemon juice, chili flakes, salt and pinch of sugar – let it cook till you get a thick consistency similar to a risotto.
Upma - South Indian Breakfast
Upma – South Indian Breakfast

Serve it piping hot and relish it – :) Isn’t it rather simple to make?

If you like it, don’t forget to share it ;)

xx

Onion Bhaji – The queen of Indian snacks

Every time I go to an Indian restaurant with my friends, the first thing they order is a plate of bhaji’s. I have seen peoples eyes brighten up with happiness the minute they see a plate full of warm crunchy bhajis (or bhajias – thats the real Indian term) and rightly so because they are absolutely delicious. This is one of the main reasons why I always make different types of bhajis (onion, coriander, potato, bread, okra) whenever I have guests at home for tea. It is ridiculously simple to make – I mean literally you can make them in less than 10 minutes time!

Okra and Onion Bhaji
Okra and Onion Bhaji

 

Lets look at the ingredients:

  • Gram Flower (Chick Pea Flower) – You can get this at any asian super market
  • Vegetable of your choice – Onion, Coriander, Spinach, Potato, Okra (literally anything you want)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garam Masala

So there are 3 simple steps to making a Bhaji/ Bhajia -

Onion Bhaji
Onion Bhaji

Chop – Chop the vegetable you want to use, make sure you don’t chop them too much because you want it to be chunky and a good size. For example for potatoes, make thin round slices; for okra keep them about an inch long; onions could be chunky too and same with anything else.

Mix – Mix the gram flower, lemon juice, garam masala together , add some water to it to get a batter which is similar consistency like the pancake mix. Then add the vegetable to it.

Fry – Add a generous amount of oil to a pan which is wide spread (I usually shallow fry as its healthier) and then pick up a spoon full of the batter and just add it to the pan to fry it. Turn it the other way round and make sure both sides are cooked and it looks crispy and golden (slightly deep golden/ brownish).

Your hot, crispy, delicious bhaji is ready to be served with some chutney (whichever you want) and a steaming cup of tea!

Asian Dinner – Chinese Beef stir fry and Omelet

The best thing about living in London or any big city is definitely having friends from different nationalities and backgrounds. My Swiss- Chinese friend Julian (btw he is very British as he grew up in Cambridge) invited me over to his place for dinner for some authentic chinese food, but the best part was he actually did all the cooking in front of me – yay! The minute I entered his flat I got the smell you get in a really good chinese restaurant and thats when I knew the food is going to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Here’s the menu, which was so simple to make but equally delicious. He made all three of them in less than 20 minutes and I am not even joking, never knew cooking such delicious chinese food would be so simple.

Beef, beans, omelete
Chinese Meal

1. Beef Stir Fry – 7 minutes 

Ingredients:

Shredded Beef – 300 grams

Light Soya Sauce – 3 table spoons

Sesame Oil – 2 Table spoons

1 red Onion (Big one)

1 tea spoon cornflower

1 table spoon oyster sauce

2 table spoon rice wine

Get cooking 

Shred the beef into really small pieces so that it gets cooked easily and marinade them with soya sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, cornflower and sesame oil. Ideally leave them over night but its not essential.

Then fry some red onions in sesame oil, but not much because you want them to be crunchy.

Add the beef and cook them for about 5 minutes – Ta -da your beef stir fry is ready! As simple as it gets.

Beef Stir fry
Beef Stir fry

2. Spanish Omelet with a Chinese twist – 5 minutes 

Chinese- Spanish Omelet
Chinese- Spanish Omelet

Ingredients

3 Eggs

1 tablespoon Winter Cabbage (Magic Ingredient)

Chilly Oil (My addition, because I feel it will enhance the taste)

Salt and Pepper

Spring Onions (Chopped)

Get Cooking

Heat the oil and add all the ingredients like you would for a regular Omelet and you have an exotic omelet ready – trust me it tastes absolutely delicious!

Serve it with some chilly sauce or sweet chilly sauce (whichever you prefer)

3. Stir fried beans (3-4 minutes) 

Ingredients

Sesame Oil – half table spoon

Fresh Green Beans

Salt and Pepper

Soya Sauce

Get Cooking

Heat the oil and add the beans to it, let it cook for about a 30 seconds.

Then sprinkle water and put a lid on top of it (I have been told, this is the trick to make the best beans), let it cook for about 2 minutes

Add soya sauce, salt and pepper and serve them HOT!

Stir fried Beans
Stir fried Beans

 

There you have 3 simple but authentic chinese recipes, so go get the magic ingredients from your local oriental supermarket and get cooking! :)

Cheers,

xoxoxo

 

 

 

London Fashion Week 2014

Whoever said food bloggers can’t go for fashion week should be shot (okay maybe no one said that).

So I got an opportunity to attend the London Fashion Week 2014 last week – definitely one of the most fashionable experiences of my life. But when you get invited to one of the biggest fashion extravaganza in the world the pressure is immense and the question – ‘what should I wear?’ has never sounded more serious! When its the Fashion Week you know you need to make an effort (or more than that), but guess what? My mind stops working in situations like these and for some reason I don’t manage to find any dress in my wardrobe which I quite like – ah typical girl problems. Anyway I did manage to throw this old steel colored dress on and thought of going for the whole red and steel combination (it’s my made up fashion) and being utterly safe and definitely boring compared to the fashionistas! 

Somerset house has never looked more glamorous or star studded ever before – yes I did spot some celebs! Bradley – Oh so HOT – Cooper and Stella MacCartney. I possibly spotted others too but just did not recognize – not great with this celeb spotting game! I managed to watch two shows too – Ashish show at Tate, which was incredible and Saide Clayton at this vintage Church! 

Here are some of the pictures from fashion week! 

This is my famous steel and red look I was mentioning earlier ;) 

 

Shrimoyee Chakraborty
Shrimoyee Chakraborty

Right after my friend took this photograph, I got asked by a Paparazzi if i was Padma Laxmi (She is an Indian super model but is around 48 years old now) so I didn’t know if I wanted to slap that guy or hug him! Well I went with a smile and no I am not at this instance. 

 

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The Exhibitions 

 

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Saide Clayton Show 

 

 

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Ashish Show at Tate Modern

 

 

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Okay, I had to take a selfie ;) 

Shrimoyee
Shrimoyee – LFW2014

 

 

Cocktails with The Global Rum Ambassador – Ian Burrell

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You need food to live and a great cocktail to wash it down – this is what Ian said when I asked him to pick between a great meal or a lip smacking cocktail. I cannot agree with him more because even I face this dilemma every time I am out, should I spend more money on food or cocktails. Ahh the first world problems!

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Ian Burrell is the Global Rum Ambassador which basically means he is the man you need to go to when you want to find out about Rum and he tours the world talking about Rum and making cocktails, when I say world I mean literally because he has even been to Antarctica and set up a pop up Rum shack there. He now owns Cottons, the rum shack and restaurant in Camden where they also serve delicious Caribbean food. Besides being the cocktail and rum expert Ian is also an Actor, Rapper and Basketball player – talk about wearing different hats. Phew!

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So when I asked him for a lay man’s guide to making a professional cocktail he said you need to remember 5 different elements (yeah he treats cocktails like chemistry he said) because the best cocktails are punches! So here is the basic recipe to make the best cocktails!

1. Sour – Anything from Lime, Lemonade, Lemon, Tamarind (get wild)

2. Sweet – Sugar syrup, Honey, Sugar, Caster sugar, chocolate

3. Strong – Obviously any spirit, but according to Ian – Rum!

4. Weak – Coke, Soda, Juice, whatever floats your boat!

5. Spice – To make it nice, that is what they say in the Caribbean – Cinnamon, Chilly, Cardamom and likes.

Shake these 5 elements up with some crushed ice and impress your next guest!

Shrimoyee
Shrimoyee

When I asked him to make me a cocktail, he made this exotic litchi cocktail and I must say, being a non-rum lover I absolutely LOVED it. I must say, I was a very anti rum person  till I met Ian and he definitely convinced me otherwise, i had a great time chatting with him at his bar Cottons Camden, you must visit and try their cocktails.

Shrimoyee
Shrimoyee Chakraborty and Ian Burrell

Photographs taken by the lovely Luoana www.LuoanaNegut.com

When I met Simon Rimmer and Paul Rankin

So this lovely blog of mine somehow got noticed by Channel 4 sometime back and they asked me to participate in a food show (can’t name the show just yet) a couple of weeks back. Yesterday was the day of filming and guess who was the presenter of the show? Simon Rimmer (Yes the BBC breakfast guy, he also has his own restaurant in Manchester) and the guest judge was Michelin Star chef Paul Rankin! Yes, I did feel like a lucky foodie to meet them and do a show with them, and I must say they were lovely people with such enviable knowledge about food!

I can’t disclose more than this now because of copyright reasons, but will definitely post the video link when the show gets aired or just keep an eye out for a new food show on Channel 4 ;)

Here are some of the pictures from last night – Had to show them off! :D

 

Simon Rimmer, Shrimoyee, BBC Breakfast, Sunday Brunch, Channel 4, Win it Cook it, Food Show

 

Paul Rankin, Irish Chef, Michelin Star Chef, Shrimoyee, BBC, Channel 4, TV Show, UK, London

 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and will keep you posted on the date and time of the show, in the meanwhile I also created a facebook page for this blog - https://www.facebook.com/eatwithmeshrimoyee?fref=ts

Keep in Touch!

xx

 

 

 

 

Kolkata during Durga Pujo – The biggest festival for Bengali’s

The sound of dhak (percussion), loudspeakers on the road playing the latest bollywood numbers, every street lit up with bright lights, people flocking into shopping malls and other markets to get themselves the best outfit to wear for that special time of the year and ofcourse every restaurant/stall/food market coming up with pujo special menu’s — That is Durga Pujo or the biggest Bengali Festival in Kolkata, India.

After 7 long years I finally got to be in Kolkata for this crazy madness and boy I could feel the butterflies and excitement in lower abdomen the minute I made the decision. I decided to absorb every bit of it and dive into the whole craziness and fun right from shopping, eating, pandal hopping, raiding my mum’s wardrobe and wearing all the beautiful saree’s and dancing to the beats of the dhak! I am sharing a few photographs from my trip which could give you a very very faint idea about the festival because you can never know what really is without actually being there!

Biriyani
Biriyani
I try my hand at making some street side chowmein!
I try my hand at making some street side chowmein!
Chole Bature - A veggie delight!
Chole Bature – A veggie delight!
Sugar Cane Juice
Sugar Cane Juice
Malai Kulfi
Malai Kulfi

 

The Street Musicians
The Street Musicians

 

Durga Idol at one of the popular Pandals
Durga Idol at one of the popular Pandals

 

Street of Calcutta during the festivity
Street of Calcutta during the festivity

 

Creative Pandals
Creative Pandals

 

Our Apartment Pandal
Our Apartment Pandal

 

Sharing a cocktail with my Mum
Sharing a cocktail with my Mum

 

My dance performance
My dance performance

 

This is my Saree Pose!
This is my Saree Pose!

 

Dad and Me wearing traditional Indian attire!
Dad and Me wearing traditional Indian attire!

 

These are all the pictures from my trip and the festivity in Kolkata, hope you enjoyed it and let me know your thoughts or if you wanna know anything more! I definitely recommend everyone to visit Calcutta during this time of the year which is usually during September-October .

New recipe to follow soon! Keep reading :)

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why can’t I make you feel alive?

Hello folks, I wanted to share this short film with you guys as this is very special to me. I acted in the lead role and we are sending it for a few festivals now. It would be great to get some feedback from you.

Hope you enjoy it! :)

Egg-Chicken Roll – Indian Street Food

The recipe is in my last post, so I thought of sharing a new video of this delicious Indian Street food with you guys!

Please try and not notice how clumsy I am (well my whole dress is drenched in food by the end of it) and also check out this awesome man – Ben Herbert who helped me make the video!

Let me know if you like the video and if you do then please share it! :)

Egg Roll – Indian Street Food

There is a saying that if you go to Calcutta (or the new name Kolkata) then you MUST try Egg Roll from a street stall. Yes, that is how popular this dish is in India. All bengali’s (the people of Calcutta) swear by this dish and will have it atleast once a week if not more. It is almost like the fish and chips of Bengal – greasy, eggy and very very tasty! And the best part is, you can make it in less than 10 minutes in your own kitchen, but obviously you won’t get the taste of the ones that the street vendors make because the dirt definitely adds to the flavor :p

Ingredients (Most of them you always have in your kitchen) for one Roll

1 Egg

1/4 cup (tea cup) plain flour

Vegetable Oil/ Sunflower Oil/ Olive Oil

1 chopped green chilly

1/4 chopped onion

1/4 chopped cucumber

Ketchup

Chilly Sauce

Let’s get cooking (be ready to get your hands dirty)

  • Knead the flour with one tablespoon of oil and handful of water (I mean sprinkle some water) and after about 3-4 minutes you should get a soft dough.
  • Then make a round ball and flatten it with a rolling pin, till you get a nice big round somewhat like a pancake or chapati.
  • Heat up a pan and add one table spoon of oil and then fry the flattened dough till you get a light brownish color and then keep it aside, this is called paratha. (look at the image)
  • Then beat the egg and make an omelet, while still raw place the paratha on top of it while still on the pan. Then fry it together for a few seconds till you feel the egg is cooked.
  • Finally add the chopped onions, cucumber, ketchup and chilly sauce and make a roll and enjoy!

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I promise if you make this, you won’t regret or rather thank me for it! It is delicious and so simple to make! Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts once you make it and of-course share it on sorts of social networking platform :D

Cheers, 

Shrim 

xx

Lamb Curry & Polaw Rice

When people ask me what is my favorite dish of ALL times, I can’t help but say Lamb curry but having said that I am very fussy about the lamb curry I like. This is the one that I was used to having since childhood and never got bored of it, rather appreciated even more when I grew up. I have obviously made my own twists and turns in this but this is one dish that always has been a hit whenever I have made it for anyone!

Ingredients:

Lamb Curry:

1/2 kilograms chopped lamb
1 Tbs Yogurt
2 Onions finely chopped
1 Tbs Garlic and Ginger paste
3 Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tbs Turmeric powder
1Tbs Red Chilly Powder
1 Tbs Garam Masala Powder
2 Bay leaves
3 diced potatoes
2 Tbs Mustard oil/ regular cooking oil
Salt according to your taste buds

Lets start cooking..

  • Marinate lamb with yogurt, salt, ginger and garlic paste, turmeric and red chillies for 1 hour
  • Fry the potatoes in the oil and then keep it aside
  • Use the same oil to fry the oinion, remaining ginger and garlic
  • Add the tomatoes
  • Add turmeric, chilly and garam masala powder
  • Add the lamb and then cook it for 10 mins
  • Finally add the fried potatoes and let it cook on low heat for 1 hour
  • Keep stirring it every now and again
  • Test if the lamb is soft and the potatoes are boiled
Your lamb curry is ready to be served with boiled rice or Polaw Rice.
Polaw Rice:
2 Cups Basmati rice
2 Tbs Ghee (Indian butter)
 Few stands of saffron1/2 cup sugar
2 Bay leaves
3 Cardamom and 1 Cinamon stick
10 broken cashews
  • Heat the ghee in a deep pan
  • Add the bay leaves, saffron, cardamom, cinamon and cashews
  • Add the rice, fry till golden
  • Add 4 cups of water
  • Rice will be ready in 20 mins
Hope you liked the video and had fun making this meal and do not forget to let me know your thoughts by liking the post or dropping me an email. And please share on FB, Twitter or any other social media site if you liked it, remember sharing is caring? :D
Cheers
Shrim
xx

Simple Bengali Chicken Curry

Whenever I feel like eating something simple and fresh or when I miss home too much this is what I resort to. This dish is not just extremely simple to make but it is as real as it gets when we think of Indian food. And for all you health conscious folks who like eating non-bland food this could be your next favorite dish.

Ingredients you need for one person: 

One breast of Chicken chopped into chunks (you can also use chicken with bones, if you like to chew on them later like me)

One table spoon Coriander Powder

I tea spoon salt

2 tea spoon turmeric powder

1 tea spoon chilly powder

3 chopped green chillies

One small chopped red onion (you can also use white onion but red has a bit more flavor)

3 baby potatoes cut into halves

1 tablespoon fresh ginger and garlic paste (I prefer more ginger as it gives the fresh taste)

1 fresh red chopped Tomato

2 tablespoon of mustard oil/ vegetable oil/ sunflower oil (either is good but mustard gives the best taste)

Let’s start cooking : 

  • Marinade the chicken with ginger- garlic paste, turmeric, chilly powder and salt and leave it while you chop the onions and make other arrangements. Its good if you keep it for 30 minutes but not set in stone.
  • Heat Oil in a pan and fry the onions, green chilly and potatoes for about 4-5 minutes till the onions start getting brown.
  • Add the chicken (which you kept aside) and let it all cook while you stir it occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and half a cup of water and let the whole thing cook in medium heat till you get a really thick gravy. It should not take more than 7 minutes.
  • And then believe it or not your chicken curry is ready to be devoured! :D

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Yes you don’t need any yogurt, cream or anything fancy! This recipe is as simple as that…serve it with hot boiled rice or even fresh chapati (indian bread). Btw you could add fresh coriander if you wanted to but this one tastes good even without it!

Let me know if you liked it by sharing this post or even dropping me a line, always love a good conversation about food!

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Shrim

xx

Make Your Own Bagel!

I went for a professional baking workshop and discovered the joys and simplicity of baking – what a rewarding hobby to cultivate! I always wondered how bagels are made because they have a very different texture than any other bread and finally all my doubts were cleared after attending this super awesome workshop at The Baking Lab, London.

Here are 5 simple steps to make your own bagel :

1. Kneading – First and foremost, you will need to knead the dough obviously. So if you take one full cup of flour you need 1/4th cup of water and half a tea-spoon of oil and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Then keep kneading it till its not sticky and is stretchable. If it gets too sticky then all you need to do is leave it for 15 minutes and get back to it but do not add more flour, this is the mistake most of us make.

2. Shaping – Now you have your flour ready so the next step would be to shape it into a bagel (yay). Get chunks of balls from the dough and again knead it for some time (this is the part I enjoy most) and then with a sharp circular cutter just get rid of the center. After which you just keep playing with it and make the ring as smooth as possible. All done?

3. Boiling – Yes it sounds strange but this is what gives it the texture of a bagel, boil all of them in plain water for about 10 minutes. Then slowly take them out and keep them aside.

4. Coating- Glaze each one with raw eggs, use a brush for this almost feels like painting (haha). Then dip the glazed side in your favorite topping like poppy seeds or sesame seeds, you can use anything you feel like.

5. Baking – Finally put all of them in the oven and bake them for 15-20 minutes in 250 degrees temperature. In lay man’s terms bake it in medium heat so whatever oven you have just make sure its not in high temperature or low.

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And your bagels are ready to eat! Woooohooo!

Let me know if and when you try it, don’t forget to invite me! :D

The True Indian Cuisine captured by Rick Stein

Rick Steine Show

Indian Food
Full Bengali Meal

When ever I hear the word ‘Curry’ used to describe Indian Cuisine it really makes me very upset and irritated because Indian Food is so much more than curry! I have had millions of discussions with friends here where I tried to explain them what Indian food is all about. Rick Stein has finally captured it in its true essence!

This video just made me very hungry, nostalgic, emotional and a wee bit teary eyed! Ahh I miss home Kolkata now! If you are interested in Indian food or like it, this episode is a must watch! Don’t blame me later if you get really hungry later!

 

Yelping it up!

There have been some major changes in my life in the last 5 months, which is why I did not get any time to update this blog! Thankfully they are all good changes :) I am now the Community Manager for Yelp Manchester !

Thanks to this new job I have been eating out a lot besides doing some really cool things! I wanted to share a few photographs with you guys of my last 5 months of foodie adventure!

 

Yelp Manchester
Yelp Manchester

 

So now that you have seen what I have been up to lately, you can add me on Yelp and also read my reviews there! I would love to see some of you on Yelp and invite you for all these awesome parties and events! Perks of being a Yelper eh? :)

New recipe will follow soon!

Lots of love,

Shrim

xx

 

Indian Street Food – An absolute delight

One thing that makes India such a colorful country is definitely the street food, its not just absolutely mouth watering and delicious but also extremely vibrant. I cant help myself from gorging on all those gorgeous treats while I am taking a stroll down the streets and I am lucky that I have family back there so I get to visit the land of exotic food almost once every year!

Street food in India is definitely my biggest guilty pleasure even more than chocolates (yes you heard it right) and trust me once you experience that you cant help but agree with me (of course once you get over the Delhi belly fear). This time my visit to India was restricted to Calcutta (I refuse to call Kolkata) and boy this city is known for the food and Bengalis (The native inhabitants even though its extremely cosmopolitan now) LOVE their food! No wonder I am such a foodie!

Here are some of my personal favorites:

1. Dahi Phuchka (Crispy semolina pancake cups with  yogurt, potato and tamarind sauce filling)

 Indian Street Food, India, Street, Food, Indian, Student, Manchester, Cook, Blog
Dahi Phuchka

2.  Aloo Paratha ( Indian bread with a potato filling usually to be had with yogurt or any curry)

Indian Street Food, Blog Post, Indian Food
Aloo Paratha

3. Indian Saffron Tea

Indian Street Food, Blog Post, Indian Food
Indian Saffron Tea

4. Nolen Gurer Rosogolla ( Most popular Bengali Sweet and my personal favorite)

Bengali Sweet, Indian Food, Street Food, Dessert, Rosogolla
Nolen Gurer Rosogolla

5. Baked Rabdi (Baked Milk Pudding and extremely addictive nom nom)

Bengali Sweet, Indian Food, Street Food, Dessert, Rosogolla
Baked Rabdi

6. A special Indian Breakfast ( Different Kinds of Kachuri)

Bengali Sweet, Indian Food, Street Food, Dessert, Rosogolla
Kachuri from Gupta’s

Well after gorging on all these delicacies I definitely am having withdrawal symptoms after coming back to Manchester, but that is why I love cooking so that I can try making all these at home! :)

Finally a pic of me in Indian traditional clothing with my beautiful Mum (A fantastic Cook) who is the inspiration for me to make this blog and most of my recipes!  Yeah needed to show off my Indianess :p

Shrimoyee

Hope you enjoyed this post! And don’t forget to share and care like I always say ;)

xx

 

 

Palak Paneer

http://vimeo.com/57079364

This is a video of me cooking one of my favorite dish Palak Paneer that I made with my friend Daniel as an experiment! The recipe is already there in my previous post! :)

Hope you like it and let me know your thoughts! Always open to suggestions!

Palak Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese with Spinach)

Firstly Merry Christmas to everyone, I didnt quite have a merry christmas as I was coughing and popping antibiotics all through and my plan of cooking great food everyday hence was kind of ruined! I finally started feeling better yesterday so thought of making some healthy treat for myself and making those nasty greens taste good (yes I am not a massive fan of the greens) :p

Palak Paneer or Spinach with cottage cheese is definitely a superb invention by the Indians cuz it is not just healthy Indian Food but super yummy at the same time!

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Ingredients: 

500 grams Paneer/ Cottage Cheese (diced into cubes)

300 grams spinach (boiled and grinded) you can also use tinned spinach

1 tomato chopped into small pieces or grated

1 green chilly chopped

1 onion grated

1 table spoon garam masala powder

2 tablespoon oil (olive oil/sunflower oil/vegetable oil)

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon fresh cream

1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste

Method:

Heat oil in a pan

Fry the cottage cheese very lightly for about 2 minutes and keep them separate

Use the same oil and add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute for a few minutes

Add the tomato, salt and garam masala powder and fry till the whole thing looks like a smooth paste.

Add the spinach to the mixture and heat it till the whole mixture looks green and smooth, and then add the fresh cream and butter to make it creamy.

Finally add the cottage cheese that you kept aside and your food is ready to be served.

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Serving instruction:

Serve it hot with rice/ naan bread/ chapati/paratha

Finally here is a picture of me during Christmas while I was fragile and sick but never the less Hey Its Christmas! :D

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Cabernet-Pomegranate Braised Beef Short Ribs (Guest Post)

Anthony, my new blogger friend very kindly offered to write a guest post for my blog, I hope you enjoy this post because I surely did! :)Image

So, we’re still here. Today is December 22, 2012 and not only am I still here, but there still exist plenty of people to read what I’m typing. Our world has undergone no obvious natural cataclysm or tumult. The hour of the dreaded Mayan apocalypse prophecy that has caused December 21, 2012 to dominate so many imaginations for so long has come and gone with neither a celestial horseman nor a cosmic collision to show for it. This could seem to reinforce the plausibility of another widely-held belief, that the destined December 21st event was intended to reflect less of final curtains than of new beginnings and, as some believe, beneficial change in the collective spirit and consciousness of all humankind. I suppose we’ll see. Either way, it seems my opportunity to learn how the final season ofFringe will conclude is not lost, so color me elated.

Now let’s eat.

The most recent widely-publicized prediction of some sort of major planetary upheaval happened in May 2011, and I marked the occasion on FlavorfulWorld.com with a multiple-course Doomsday menu.  The recipe I am pleased and honored to share here today (Thanks again for having me, Shrimoyee!) is better described as a celebratory “We’re Still Here” dish, because the best kind of global catastrophe is the kind that never came.  In celebration of that truth, here’s my recipe for Cabernet-Pomegranate Braised Beef Short Ribs so tender the meat fell right off the bone when I prepared them just last night.

Ingredients

2 1/2− 3 lbs beef short ribs

1 bottle (750 ml) cabernet sauvignon

1  1/2  cups pomegranate juice

3 cups beef stock

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced sweet yellow onion

1/3 cup finely chopped green onion

1/2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted and crushed

1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

Vegetable oil (just enough to cover the bottom of a large frying pan or dutch oven)

Directions:

1. Trim any especially thick exterior fat from short ribs before preparing. Into a container deep enough for wine to completely cover short ribs, place short ribs in a single layer and pour entire bottle of cabernet sauvignon. Cover, refrigerate, and let marinate overnight (or minimum four hours).

2. Cover the bottom of a frying pan or dutch oven with vegetable oil on stovetop over medium-high heat.

3. Combine flour, salt, and black pepper in a bowl and mix until thoroughly blended. Remove short ribs from marinade.  Set marinade aside.

4. Dredge marinated short ribs through seasoned flour. When oil is hot, add flour-coated short ribs 3 or 4 at a time, turning them every minute or two to sear all sides until brown.

5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Set seared short ribs aside. When all ribs are brown, add sweet onion, green onion, and carrots to pan. Cook over medium heat for five minutes or until vegetables soften. If necessary, add another tbsp or two of oil to prevent vegetables from sticking or burning.

7. Pour in beef stock 1/2 cup at a time, using a wooden spoon to loosen any cooked-on bits of meat or skin from cooking surface. Add coriander seeds, thyme, 1 1/2 cups wine marinade, 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, and adjust heat to bring to a boil. Discard remaining marinade. Let liquid boil for 8-10 minutes, then remove from heat.

8. In oven-safe cooking dish with lid, arrange short ribs in single layer and cover with liquid. Place covered dish in 200-degree oven and cook for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Optional: For a thicker sauce, after dish is finished in the oven, remove short ribs from liquid and boil liquid on stovetop to reduce it to desired consistency.

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For more recipes, as well as product/restaurant reviews, interviews, and more, please visit Anthony Beal at Flavorful World food and drink blog.

Minced Lamb Curry (Lamb Keema)

Minced Lamb Curry, Indian Curry, Indian Food, Food blog, Shrimoyee
Minced Lamb Curry by Shrimoyee

I am a total sucker for red meat, be it lamb, beef or mutton I love them all! But one thing that puts me off cooking red meat is the amount of time it takes to cook the meat. Hence I came up with an alternative idea of making minced lamb/ beef when I am in a rush to satifsfy my taste buds, because it not only cooks super fast but also saves me the hassle of chopping the meat! :D

Minced Lamb curry has always been an instant hit not just for me but also my office colleagues and friends, they all love it when I make that for lunch! But the secret is it just takes me 20 mins to make that.

Ingredients:

500 gm Minced Lamb

4 Tbs Yogurt

2 tbs garam masala powder

1 green chilly chopped

1 Egg

2 fresh tomatos (chopped)

1 tea spoon of salt

2 boiled potatoes (chopped)

3 tbs sunflower oil/ vegetable oil/ olive oil

1/2 tea spoon chilly powder

1 onion chopped/grated

1 tbs garlic and ginger paste

Handfull of chopped corriander

Lamb, Minced, Curry, Indian Food, Food, Blog, Shrimoyee
Cooking Lamb

Method:

Marinate the minced lamb with Yogurt, Garam Masala and Salt

Heat oil in a pan and saute the ginger, garlic and onions

Add the marinated minced lamb mix to this now and cook it for about 5 minutes

Then add the tomatoes, potatoes and chilly powder

Fry the egg and scramble in a separate pan with a bit of oil and then add the egg into the main curry with the lamb and mix it.

Finally add the chopped corriander to garnish it and serve it hot with boiled rice/ bread/ naan.

Minced Lamb, Curry, Lamb Curry, Indian Curry, Indian Food, Shrimoyee
Minced Lamb Curry

Hope you will try it yourself and let me know your thoughts! I am a massive chatter box and always love to talk about food! :) Do drop me a line and if you like the post dont forget to share it with your friends on FB/Twitter/Pinterest! :)

Cheers

Shrim

Chicken Rezala (Chicken with Almonds)

This is my absolute favorite dinner-party dish, because its not just absolutely decilious but it has the most ‘Royal’ ingredients ever. Rezala is a dish which originates from Lucknow in India, it was created in the Mughal era and hence the association of Royalty with this dish. I obviously add my own personal touch to the dish as there are several ways of making it. But the best part is the ingredients are fairly simple and easily available at any super market.

Ingredients:

Chicken 500 grams (with bones) cut into small pieces

One big Onion or two small (Red or Pink) grated

1 and a half table spoon Ginger and Garlic paste (4 cloves of garlic and 1/5th of a large Ginger)

2 finger Green Chillies chopped

50 grams almond flakes

4 large table spoon Yogurt

2 table spoon Garam Masala (5 Spice) powder

1 tea spoon black pepper powder

5-6 strands of Saffron

2 bay leaves

2 large table spoon of Oil

1 and a half table spoon Ghee (Indian Butter, can be easily found in big super markets)

1 small cup fresh cream (double or single depending on your diet routine)

Chicken Rezala

Method:

Marinade chicken with yogurt,  half of the ginger and garlic paste, Garam Masala, black pepper and salt for 30 mins or over night if you have time. (I usually am never organised so I go for the 30 mins option :p)

Heat oil and 1 tbs of ghee in a pan and add the onion, chilly and rest of the ginger garlic paste and fry it till its slightly golden.

Add the bay leaves and stir it for a few seconds till it gets submerged in the oil and ghee.

Finally add the whole marinade mixture of chicken with the spices and yogurt into the pan and let the chicken cook in the yogurt and it will start releasing its own juice. Donot add any extra water.

Now add the almonds and Saffron to the whole mixture and cover the pan with a lid and cook it in medium heat for about 10-15 minutes giving it an occassional stir. (By this point the dish will start smelling heavenly!!! )

Once you get a thick creamy gravy and the chicken is perfectly cooked, add the fresh creme and serve it piping hot with either Boiled Rice/Naan bread/ Chapati/ Polaw Rice.

Ready to serve!
Yummmm

Hope  you enjoy this recipe and most importantly try it, let me know your feedback and comments and if you like it dont forget to share it with your friends! :)

Cheers

xx

Notting Hill Kitchen – Review

Notting Hill Kitchen, Review, London Eating, Spanish, Portugese
Notting Hill Kitchen – Review

You tweet a photograph and win a 3 course meal from Zomato – Yes Please! As a food blogger I do get invited to loads of places but having a sharp tongue I can’t always say that all of those experiences have been good because lets face it sometimes the food can be pretty bad – trust me even free food can taste bad! But the good news is Notting Hill Kitchen was definitely NOT amongst one of those – this Spanish -Portuguese restaurant definitely has made its way to my favourite places to eat in London.

Tucked away in the posh neighbourhood of Notting Hill it gives you a very exclusive-romantic feel specially with the candles and lamps which you can see from a distance while walking there. It is definitely a great place for a date – not the first date, because its too expensive for that (That is what my date told me ;p) but if you want to really impress someone then you know where to go – wink. I really want to meet the person who selects the music there because they clearly know what they are doing – making you feel relaxed, comfortable and takes you to a very Spanish beach restaurant mood. It is instrumental with a bit of a beachy vibe, loud enough to appreciate it but soft enough to not overpower your conversation.

The service is great too, most of the waiters are Spanish so they definitely add to the charm – imagine a Frenchman or someone with a posh English accent in a Spanish/Portuguese restaurant it wouldn’t create the same magic, would it? They were very well trained and definitely welcoming – the manager was very warm and kept coming back to ask if the food was good and our lovely waiter was very sweet to create some banter with us even though he was quite busy. The bar tender (who btw is very sexy, long locks and the whole Johnny Depp look about him) made an effort to greet us and also say bye to us even though we didn’t order any drinks at the bar.

Finally coming to the food – my most favourite bit! Drool, Slurp, Nom nom nom…… Yes these are all the adjectives I am going to use as I am lost for words – okay I know its Cheesy (even though we didn’t have any cheese). The manager told us that the chef of this place has one Michelin Star – Now you know what kind of food to expect right?
We ordered the scallops and sea bass for starters and both of them were absolute delights, the scallops well cooked and the sauce with it was divine (I was really upset, as I finished it in less than 2 minutes). I went for the slow cooked lamb shoulder with herbs for my main course – the lamb was soft, tender, beautifully falling off the skin ’nuff said! And finally the desserts – ohh boy they were such a treat – it didn’t just look like a million pounds but tasted like a billion! I went for this cocolately treat which was made with white, milk and dark chocolate mousse – I think I am going to dream about it for the next few weeks! Finally we were served a red dessert wine – which was just like the cherry on the cake to end a purrrrfeecttt meal!

Verdict : Doesn’t matter what kind of food you like – You NEED to visit this place when in London!

Grand Pacific Launch Party

The queen of Spinningfields, Australasia Manchester, has now extended its offering with the opening of Grand Pacific; a contemporary, colonial style bar in the heart of Manchester financial capital.

It can be accessed via a secluded staircase inside Austalasia, this unique cocktail bar  evokes the atmosphere of a luxury Pacific beach hideaway with smart colonial style decor in cream and white, a long bar, and a secret tropical garden. With exquisite cocktails as its main focus. The menu is the same as Australasia so you can expect some mouth watering sushi and desserts here. The whole place screams class and panache from every corner. This bar is definitely very unique and reminds me a lot of classy cocktail bars in London or New York. The pricing definitely is very high end as you would imagine and you need to put on some swanky clothes to feel not so out of place here. I can vouch that the food is delicious and so are the cocktails, but that you can find in a lot of other places too so this one you need to visit purely for the ambiance and the whole experience.

Verdict : Great place to visit when you want to feel special!

                                                       

 

Foodie night at The Grill – Dorchester

The Grill at Dorchester

They say good things happen to you when you least expect it – that is exactly what happened when I randomly got invited for a meal to Dorchester by Zomato one fine wednesday afternoon for a meal in the evening. It is really exciting for a foodie to get invited to one of the fanciest restaurants in London but then you also gotta think about what you gotta wear when you are going for a meal to a swanky hub like this. But well, I was working so had no choice but to land up in my work attire (snore bore) and to be fair I was a little worried that I might get some strange looks off people carrying LV bags and wearing Prada dresses, but guess what? I didn’t. The good thing about classy places is that you don’t need to make that much of a superficial effort as long as you are well behaved (which I think I am… ok most of the times).

 

Now let’s get to the most exciting bit – The FOOD (Yay). It was definitely one of the BEST meals I have had and when I say that I mean some serious business. The bread served at the table was beautiful, fresh and so tasty and I could binge on them all day. I absolutely fell in love with the lobster burger starter, they were the perfect size which goes inside your mouth in one go and was succulent soft and totally melts in your mouth (nom nom). We were served three different kind of wine with each course (yeah yeah I know its a given but hey still worth mentioning right?) and let me tell you m’dear that was definitely some high quality wine specially the dessert wine (usually not the biggest fan of this, but ohh boy this one blew my mind). I asked the waiter not to serve me dessert wine because of my obvious dislike towards it and then he took that as a challenge to serve me a different kind of dessert wine, which he promised I would love – he couldn’t have been more right. The wine was a smokey chocolately cinnamony wine – ’nuff said! My starter was a duck pate (they had some complicated name for it which I can’t recall now) followed by the perfectly cooked haddock and a beautiful sauce – definitely impressive to say the least. But the one dish that had me at hello was the gooey, creamy chocolate and marzipan dessert (must try).

The ambience was obviously very classy and royal – come on we are talking about The Dorchester here! But what I really appreciated was the customer service and the absolute politeness of the staff (a lot of times places like these have a different kind of snobbery about them which is rather off putting). The minute I entered one of the guys took my coat and then he again came and gave it back to me while I was leaving (without me even having to ask).

Verdict : Next time you gotta big celebration coming up or you need to impress someone you know where to go!

Eating your way through Coastal Spain – Guest Post

Like all food lovers do, I ate my way through Spain. I believe, food is how you see a country best, understand the people and their culture. My love affair with Spain is borrowed. It is my husband who is the Spain-o-phile. He speaks, eats and loves Spain. However, on my few visits to Spain, I fell in love with the food, the warmth, the sunshine and the people.

So, when Shrimoyee asked me to write a post for her blog all I could think about it was the amazing mediterranean food that I have had. Such variety and vibrancy attracted my expat Indian soul. Tapas in England just isn’t enough.

This incredible journey started in Malaga, costa del sol (coast of the sun) and as the name suggests, it was a sunny 15 degrees in December. The wonderful grilled fish on a beachside barbecue, as we enjoyed the view, was one of the highlights of the day. The simplicity of the recipe is what stunned me. No barbecue sauces or salad dressing for the salad was required and the fish and the vegetables on the side were dressed in salt and pepper seasoning with wedges of lemon.

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The second delicacy was the ox-tail. Although I ordered rather bravely, I had no idea what would appear on my plate. What if it flicked its tail at me? But what did come to the table was melt-in-the-mouth, succulent and did not taste like a tail (preconceived notions of what a tail might taste like)! You can see the Tortilla Española (Spanish omelette) on the side. I’ve ordered the same menu here in London but, sitting under the sunny skies with an oxtail and San Miguel keeping you company is an unmatchable experience. Ohh! and the man on the street corner was singing ‘chiquitita dime por que’ and strumming the guitar.

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My next visit to Spain was to Alicante in Costa Blanca (White coast). Alicante is a joy to the budget traveller. You can stay (in a good hotel), eat and loll around the beach for 250 GBP for two people for two days! The people are friendly, although they speak minimal to no English at all, unlike Malaga. My favourite food memory of Alicante was the paella. We were at a tiny Spanish cafe/restaurant, where they had a separate menu for different kinds of paella. Our’s was the Alicante paella

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My next visit to Spain will be in summer 2014 and this one will be a much longer holiday spent in Southern Spain.

Spanish restaurants that I would recommend in London :

Carmen Bar de Tapas in Clapham Common

Camino near King’s Cross station

Amrita Dasgupta

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Bio: Amrita is a traveller, food blogger , restaurant reviewer with too many opinions and

interests. When she isn’t jobless, travelling and blogging she is usually looking for and working

at website editorial roles.

For more such foodie adventures follow her blog – driftingtraveller