Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I am not much of a Tea lover, but tried the Mango Tea Shake with an Egg Puff.
Both tasted awesome but that wasn't quite enough for me. So I close the deal with an Iced Green Tea on the rocks!
Chai Point has a couple of combo deals, where you can get your favorite flavored tea with any snack you like. The prices are very reasonable. The mango shake + egg puff + iced green tea costs me 57 INR.
Chai Point is for tea lovers and for those who wants to take a quick bite. The seating capacity is very limited and open to the streets. Chai Point is located in Kaikondrahalli, Sarjapur Road and opposite to Pai Electronics.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
1. Find the perfect destination.
Do start early with some good research on finding your perfect destination. Your budget and days to spare are the major things to consider prior decision. Once finalized, do some in-depth research on the place. Places to visit, Places to stay, Places to eat, Mode of transportation, Expenses, Exchange rates, Climate, Safety and Visitor Reviews.
2. Make the reservations.
Book your travel tickets and a visa if needed. You could do this directly but to be hassle-free, its better to assign an agent to do this for you. A tourist visa wouldn't take longer than a week to process but its wiser to provide at least a month. Agents will let you know what all documents you need to file along with your application. You could google the list of documents needed for each country. Once the tickets are confirmed and the visa is under process, you can proceed with making other reservations. It’s always good to reserve every attractions/hotels that you intend to visit on your trip before you're there, if possible. For Inst: If you are planning to visit Universal Studios Singapore, you can book your tickets online, carry a printout and enter straight into the park. It saves a lot of time and makes you tension-free. However it’s a must that you have the reservations for your stay ready with you, before travel. You could use any travel review sites to locate recommended hotels depending on your budget. Most of the hotels need credit card information but that will only be charged once you've checked in.
3. Make an itinerary.
Once you've completed your research and reservations, its time for you to make yourself an itinerary. Itinerary is either a hard or soft copy on the things that you want to do on your trip. An itinerary should include, your traveling tickets, your hotel booking confirmation, a document on day-by-day activities you are planning, attraction reservation slips, In-country MRT/LRT/Bus Route and Stations, A map of the place with locations you want to go, highlighted. If you have a smart phone (which by-the-way everyone has now), you could carry a soft copy of the itinerary as well for easy access. But you need to carry hard copies of all your tickets anyway.
A very important rule to remember: Travel light. I would suggest a single piece hand luggage for each one and that’s all! Only do carry clothing you need for the duration of your stay. If you are anxious do make a list on what to wear each day. Do invest in a quality backpack, preferably one with a laptop compartment. Do take a travel adapter and all the cables you need to charge your devices, but do it wisely. For inst. If your phone supports USB charging and you have your laptop, do not carry the wall adapter of the phone. This will save a lot of space when you wish to travel light. Put all your travel documents in a compartment that is easily accessible.
5. Carrying Cash.
Be ready with your finances at least a week before traveling. Convert 3/4 of your total budget (left-over post reservations) to the required foreign currency. Put the remaining 1/4 on your credit card and carry it along as reserve money. Do carry a few notes in your wallet for emergency needs but make sure that you have the major portion safe inside your hand luggage.
6. Bon Voyage.
As mentioned earlier, if you are carrying just one piece of luggage, you don't need to worry about reaching early at the airport. You can reach the airport two hours prior to your departure and start with your check-in procedures. Now here are some tips to avoid some very common delays at the airport. After getting your boarding pass, grab an immigration form and start filling it. Keep the passport handy for this. And do not forget to carry a Pen! Be cool at the immigration department, they might irritate you, but you will definitely get through that counter in less than 5 minutes. Be ready to answer some very silly questions. What is the purpose of your visit / Where are you working/ Traveling alone? Etc. Answer those , get your passport stamped and proceed to the security check. Now here's one useful advice. Before going to the security check, take out your wallet, your cell phone and your watch and put it in your hand luggage's front compartment. If you are carrying a laptop, take that out and hold it in your hand while waiting in the queue. Now you can just dump your laptop and bag in the belt and walk. Once its over get back your bag and laptop. Pack it back and proceed to the gate of departure. Most of the major international airlines will have a second round of security check, which is a bit more serious. They might ask you to remove your shoes and your belt. It would be embarrassing to hold your documents in one hand and your pants with the other one! So I would suggest wearing a perfect-fit trouser without a belt. Also do prefer shoes that you can easily get out of and vice versa.
7. Flying time.
I am not going to put statistics here, but they say flying is the safest mode of transport out there. Still many people are afraid of flying. I am one among them! But even then I am forced by opportunity to fly at least 7-9 times an year. Trust me, there is no easy way to get out of that fear but these tips will make your journey as smooth as possible. If you are traveling on an international flight, track the flight a couple of days before your flight on the Internet. You will see that the flight is making a safe landing and take-off on time every day. Turbulence (or a bumpy ride) is another common fear most people have. Turbulence is a very common phenomenon and all the flights are made to withstand even higher levels of turbulence. So don't think that your flight is going straight down. For every downdraft, there is an updraft as well. If you are still worried about it, try and get a seat by the middle of the aircraft (the wing area). The effect of turbulence will be less there, though with only a negligible difference. Another easy solution for your anxiety is to go see a doctor, get a prescription, and take an anti-anxiety drug before you fly. It will give you a peaceful sleep on-flight and thus will take care of any on board anxieties. (Restyl .5mg helps for a 4.5 hr flight but will give you a bad hangover the next morning. Be cautious, as the drug is addictive).
If you hate to sleep or you have an even longer flight, take some entertainment with you. Throw in some movies and music to your iPod/iPad whatever and carry it along. Don't forget to fill out your disembarkation form (the attendants will provide one to you) before your land.
Most of the international airports will have the smoothest arrival procedures. Though it will be good to have your destination airport map handy. You can grab a bunch of required brochures from the airport ( maps, mrt information, attraction info etc).
Hope this helps someone someday!
Travel Safe; Eat a lot of food; Travel Back Safe!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Well weird enough, but not too weird that I'll be left out at dinner parties back home!
I went through the menu and my wallet. Frog with spring onions sounded ok. But the chef said its gonna take atleast 15 minutes, so while waiting I got myself a box of seafood dumplings, which was exquisite!
A perfect well-cooked blend of flour with a mixture of squid, prawns, fish and oyster. They gave me 3 in a box with a chilli paste to spice it up a notch.
And finally, it arrived. A smoking pot full of Frogs and Spring onions.
One bite and I was gracious to my perfect appetite. The pieces were soaked in a hot and thick sauce gravy. The flesh were well cooked and its taste reminded me of chicken wings. I left the Spring Onions just the way it came.
Final Verdict : It was delicious by default and the thought of this being forbidden, juiced up the taste a bit!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Paneer - 200 gm
Onion - 2 medium-size (thinly sliced)
Tomato -1 medium-size
Ginger - Small size
Garlic - 2-3
Chili Powder (Kashmiri) - 1 ½ tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Cashew nut - 10-15
Cream - 2-3 tbspn
Green Chilli - 2
1. Shallow-fry the Paneer with a little butter
2. Make the cashew nut into a paste and keep it aside
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onion. Fry till it turns golden brown. Add into it finely chopped Ginger-Garlic pieces. Then add Kashmir Chilli Powder, Coriandar Powder, Turmeric Powder and Garam masala to it and cook well. Add Salt as needed. Add Tomatoes and Stir Well. Once it becomes cool, grind it well in a mixer along with Kasuri Methi leaves and keep it aside
4. Put needed butter in a pan. Add the above prepared content onto it, then paneer, cashew paste and finally the cream. Mix well in low flame. Garnish with Coriander leaves and Butter. Can put two finely chopped chilies on top.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Last night was Pasta Night. I had a pack of Fusilli pasta and arrabbiata sauce. I've kept it really simple for the fact that I don't want to spend more time in the kitchen!
Oil as needed
One Pack of Fusilli (Cork Screw Shaped Pasta)
Two Chicken Sausages
Red and Green Capsicum
Salt as needed
PS: You can do it either with the Sausage cut to dices or with the wrap removed.
0. Cook the Fusilli as per Pack Instruction and Keep aside.
0. Boil the Sausages and Keep aside.
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add nicely cut onions and stir fry till golden brown
3. Add in the dice cut capsicum
4. Pour in the tomato puree
5. Add the cooked pasta to the pan
6. Add dice cut / sausage content to the pan
7. Add in Arabbiata Sauce
8. Salt if needed
9. Mix well
10. Add in basil leaves
11. Simmer and Serve Hot
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Back in the mid-90s, Dining out was a once-in-a-while family tradition for us. Me and my brother will be really excited when Dad stops our mighty old ambassador by the well lit parking lot of any of our regular diner. I still remember those tastes. It was exquisite, Out of the world and nowhere comparable to what we are getting now in the name of indian chinese! Our dinner date menus were pretty much preset and regular. Sweet Corn Chicken Soups, Vegetable Fried Rice, Nans and Chilli Chicken. Well cooked chicken pieces in a light and red viscous gravy along with green chillies and capsicum. The taste is unexplainable. It satisfied every single bud in my tongue. As time passed and with more and more hotels and fast food counters, the above said taste was somehow lost. The chicken pieces became a last minute add-on to the thick buttery spicy gravy and Chilli Chicken started tasting like any other Chicken in the menu. Traditions became memories.
Last month, I was traveling in and across Cochin on an assignment when my senses unexpectedly flew back down the memory lane. We stopped at Hotel Mamma in Tripunithura for our lunch, Well we got the exact same Chilli chicken I was talking about earlier (Note for dummies: not the exact same stuff, that wouldn't be edible after all these years!).
We (me & my brother) ordered a Portion of Chilli Chicken,Chilli Beef, Chilli Pork , Butter Nans and a plate of Mixed Fried Rice.
All of these were awesome and not that expensive. We spend the next 1 hr there eating, drinking and refreshing our memories!
Friday, June 3, 2011
Our visit to Singapore Universal Studios was a Semi-Disaster due to the unexpected bad weather. We hardly went on outside rides but made sure that we are in the Jurassic Rapids, the best ride in the park. We had to wait in the queue for about an hour (which is usually considered fast moving there) and had an exciting Jurassic Water Adventure.
I was quite hungry after all the waiting, animatronic dinosaurs and water splashes. So we decided to have lunch at the Discover Food Court.
The place, though heavily crowded (most of them were there to escape the rain), reminded me of the Visitor Center in Jurassic Park.
There was a huge queue to the food counter. We could see only two items on the display board from there and hence decided to go with it . The Hainanese Chicken Rice Set and the Roasted Chicken Rice Set.
The Hainanese chicken rice set had Sliced up Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Rice and Onion Sprouts.
"The chicken is prepared in traditional Hainanese methods which involve the boiling of the entire chicken in a pork and chicken bone stock, reusing the broth over and over and only topping it up with water when needed, in accordance with the Chinese preferences for creating master stocks. This stock is not used for rice preparation, which instead involves chicken stock created specifically for that purpose, producing an oily, flavourful rice sometimes known as "oily rice" with Southeast Asian pandan leaves added sometimes. Some cooks may add coconut milk to the rice, reminiscent of the Malay dish nasi lemak." - Wiki
The Roasted Chicken Rice set had a No-Frills Roasted Chicken , Flavored Cabbage Slices,Rice and Onion Sprouts.
Being inside the park, the food was comparatively expensive at 10.50 S$ each.
Don't ,by any chance ,miss out on the Hainanese Chicken Rice set, if you are anywhere near Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand. It is definitely worth a try.
Monday, May 30, 2011
This place was on my wish list for a long time but never got a chance to go there till the other day. Was on my way back to bangalore when we made our last pitstop at the Koshy's for a Meal.
Had to wait outside for a while as the Jewel Box a.k.a the posh lounge of Koshy's wasn't open. The Paradise Cafe a.k.a the regular Koshy's cafe was crowded even at that odd time. We soon moved in to the Jewel Box.Well lit, warm and Cozy , the Jewel Box stood up to its name.
Inside Koshy's Jewel Box.
Sangiovese Red Wine (INR 110).
For the Meal , we ordered the Famous Pineapple Steak with Spring Onions and Grilled Pork.
Both tasted awesome. The Steak was well cooked, soft and juicy and was served with a slice of Pineapple,which went well with a fork of steak. Pork was delicious but the occasional bone encounters were tough to handle.
As usual I needed to have a dessert to consider the meal complete. I chose the Caramel Custard.
Friday, May 27, 2011
I wouldn't say the menu of Benitos has much variety to offer, but what they have there is worthy for an entry to your system. I would always start my course with either a salad or a soup. Then I would go for a house special and will close the deal with a dessert.
I am suggesting a (my favorite) menu that you could try once you are there.
Well, this is not the end of it. The list goes on and it goes on good. Other items worth mentioning are the Lasagna, Chocolate Crepes, Chicken & Leek Soup and the Fish Sizzler. Don't miss out on the Tender Coconut Souffle though, its without a question one of the best desserts I've had in Bangalore.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
We were a bit confused when we saw the board "kallu" (Toddy) showing up prominently over the hotel's actual title 'Attuvanchi', But hunger won over confusion the very next second. We were on our way home from Alappuzha and almost near changanassery when we decided to stop at any place which offered some food.
We got in and thought of doing it the right way and hence appeared a pot of fresh toddy on our table.
The toddy was so fresh and sweet.It was definitely tingly but not sour.
We ordered one plate of Kappa ( Mashed & Cooked Tapioca), A Set of Appams, One Kada (Quail) Deep Fried and Crabs. We had to wait for a while to get these ready but meanwhile we were offered a Duck Curry we could use as an appetizer.
The Duck curry went well with Appams. Spicy with lots of bones.
Kappa well cooked and spicy. Hot delicious.
Kada fry was alright. Eatable to the last bone, it resembled chicken in taste.
We got 3 adult crabs and an over sized adult crab in one plate. Tasted amazing even though you had to struggle through the shell.
And finally the battle was over.
To our surprise the bill for all the above said menu, was under 300 INR, which was a huge relief as we only had 500 on us and these places wont accept any cards!