Friday, May 30, 2014

Come Home To The Himalayas- The White Peaks

~A Boutique Himalayan Home Stay ~

Nestled amidst glistening silver oak forests on all three sides, The White Peaks is a charming little private cottage located in the elusive Himalayan hamlet of Gagar in Uttarakhand. 

The crisp mountain air and the serene atmosphere of the place slowly ebbs away stress, making it an ideal place to slow down and enjoy the simple things of life. A boutique home stay, it is perfect for writers, poets, bird-watchers or even those who wish to spend some quiet time or run away from the cacophony of big cities. With a cozy fireplace and a sun- drenched courtyard that offers a dramatic, panoramic view of the imposing snow-covered Himalayan peaks, The White Peaks is your little home in hills.

As you reach the quaint village of Gagar, a walk up a sun-dappled, windy road, next to a handful of humble village shops, leads you to the cottage, giving you a glimpse of the oak forests that fringe the place.
The two rooms in the cottage are cozy, intimate and exude a subtle elegance. Sit by the fireplace and enjoy endless conversations or just lounge in the courtyard, admiring the stunning vista. For yoga junkies, there’s of course a small, private balcony which could be their own yoga space, overlooking the valley and if that’s not enough, the endless walking trails in the adjoining oak forests will surely urge you to stay outdoors. The White Peaks has a good collection of books and is just the right companion for idling away winter evenings along with simple, home cooked food, prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
Activ­i­ties here could be end­less from hik­ing, bird/butterfly watch­ing, or you could just laze in the bal­cony over­see­ing the Himalayas, sip your cup of chai and get lost read­ing your book. Promising an idyllic experience of staying in hills you could just sit soak in the serenity of nature and get enchanted every moment during your stay here!
Seasons at The White Peaks-

Spring is a riot of colors at Gagar. The 
cottage is surrounded with Rhododendron blooms that show up in bright bursts of red in the adjoining forest whilst peach and apple blossoms flaunt hues of pink and white casting a spell on those who behold the sight. Summers are happy and cheerful, breezy and pleasant, just perfect for exploring the numerous walking trails in the forest. Winters are magical. The little village of Gagar is covered in a sheath of wintery snow. Surreal and truly spellbinding, it is sheer poetry in snow.

Book 2 nights stay with white peaks and get the 3rd night complimentary
INR 3000 per person per night per room inclusive of all meals and stay
INR 7000 for the full cottage inclusive of all meals and stay for upto 4 adults
Terms & Conditions are applicable. Make your bookings before 30th June 2014
 For Bookings- mail at
or call at 9810050514 or 9810053380

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy-go-Sweety at Dhaba, The Claridges!

Food has strange effects on us. Food stirs emotions, brings back memories and creates instant rapport with people we've never met before. Food is panacea for jaded souls and the great leveller for people from diverse backgrounds. For Punjabis, food has always held a distinct pre-eminence, with all life activities revolving around creation and consumption of food. You may take a Punjabi out of Punjab but you cannot take the foodie out of him.

Today as we live more cosmopolitan lives in Delhi and other metros, it is difficult to eat Punjabi food everyday. Our palates have grown and diversified and courted other cuisines. Yet we carry our Punjabiyat with us wherever we go. It could be turning weak kneed at the sight of white butter, it could be the home-made Gobhi-Shalgam-Gajar achaar we beg our mothers to ship to us every winter. It’s the way we tell our kids that Dal Makhni is heaaalthy! A trip to Amritsar or Chandigarh or Ludhiana emboldens this closet Punjabi. As Punjabis trot out of their Pajeros and Audis in their Jimmy Choos and heavy, unrecognisable accents, they go gooey over that roadside Chole-Kulche wala that stands with his stall at the same place for the last 30 years or more! They go misty eyed to see hot rotis popping out of a tandoor.

If by any chance you are suffering from any form of (PFDD) Punjabi Food Deficient Disorder, there is help at hand right here in the capital! Dhaba at the Claridges Delhi that has for long been the sole vanguard of good old road-side eatery style, rustic Punjabi food right here in Lutyen’s Delhi, has tied up with Chef Sweety Singh, who specialises in authentic home style Punjabi cooking. His food is fuss-free and delicious, with none of the OTT trappings of pseudo-Punjabi-go-heavy-on-desi-ghee restaurants you find at every street corner in Delhi.

Chef Sweety Singh

The award winning restaurant at The Claridges, New Delhi along with Celebrity Chef Sweety Singh showcases an array of authentic preparations from the rustic Punjab region using his secret blend of spices. Chef Sweety Singh has conceptualised a special menu that is taking Delhi’s food enthusiasts on a culinary journey of rich flavours and appetizing aromas.

Ask him about his special magic mantra and Sweety Singh, with characteristic Punjabi hospitality and savoir faire says, “ Nothing ji, Maa da Pyaar, mother’s love. That is what Punjabi food is all about. My only food dictum is-no compromise!”

He further adds that he usally uses not more than 5 spices that he blends personally to suit every dish.

“You’ll never find any cream or dry fruits in my food. Have you ever seen these items being used in our food at home? Never. I wonder why restaurants douse them over all Punjabi dishes! Try my dal makhni and there is not an ounce of cream in it, but it is velvety,” he elaborates.

I know I am in for something special. The menu looks exciting and the names of dishes stir up a torrent of memories, of summer holidays in my childhood spent in Punjab and my culinary discoveries during a relatively recent stint at Amritsar.

Some of the highlights are Sweety Singh’s signature dishes such as Chukandar de kebab, Ajwaini Pomfret, Kandhari murgh de tikke, Nalli Meat, Kadi pakora, Jhinga masale de naal, Tandoori Kukkad, Tandoori bhuniya meat and many more.

I see a fairly impressive array of vegetarian stuff that my grandmother and mother would rustle up in minutes and feed overpoweringly huge families with patience and devotion. The meats were mostly handled by men, an uncle who would toil over on a stove for hours till we had perfectly browned mutton.

Chef Sweety Singh relates how he learnt the secret and complex food formulae from his father who was a legendary chef himself. With achingly sweet Punjabi that chokes me with emotion and gratitude, he asks me “ Aap ji de layi main hun kuch khaas khana bhejda haan(I am sending something special for you now),” receding into the kitchen. He has connected thus with almost every table in the restaurant, as I can see with great personal touch and involvement.

We start with Anarkali, a dhaba special drink of pomegranate.

For starters we have Chukundar ke Kebab, Tandoori Bharwan Aloo and Paratdaar Paneer Tikka. Then we try his sensational Fish Seekh and Jeere de Naal Tandoori Kukkad which is simply outstanding. There is none of the red colour you find in commercialised Tandoori Chicken everywhere but a rich brown cummin rich coating, roasted perfectly. The accompaniments of Mooli Chutney & Garlic Chutney are perfect besides the Pudine di Chutney.
Macchi di Seekh
Jeere de Naal Tandoori Kukkad

Assorted veg starters
For the main course we have Saag Meat and Dahiwala Kukkad with some tandoori roti and Gobhi wali Makki di Roti and Wadi Wale Chawal. The dal as promised is devoid of any overpowering dairy product and absolutely light. His other specials are Amritsari Meat Tari Wala, Ghiya Wadi di Sabzi, Malai Wale Tinde and Kathal Masaledaar all of which would be spectacular, going by the very original Aloo Bukhara Kofta Mattar De Naal, that I sample. Chikkad Chole Kulche de Naal is another speciality.

For dessert we have Beetroot Halwa, Panjiri and Kesari Kheer. Well a spoon each of, at least. The Chukundar Halwa is the clear winner, so much more than a Gajarela (Gajar Ka Halwa) and made absolutely without any khoya.

Finally the icing on the cake, the Dhaba Paan Shot which is a delightful liquid version of the ubiquitiois paan, leaving us absolutely refreshed. It's as Punjabi as it can get. Here's a call to Punjabis and Punjabis at heart or lovers of Punjabi food, have this great experience at 'Hidden Treasures of Punjab' promotion at The Dhaba, The Claridges, New Delhi. Rest is all balle balle! Aaho ji aaho!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Chef of the Week : Siriporn Krasae-at

Christened Chef Siriporn Krasae-at and known to everyone as "Joy", she lives up to her name with her sunny disposition and attitude. 

Chef Joy hails from picturesque Lopburi Province of Thailand and has studied at the prestigious Dusit Thani College in Thailand. Her first interest in Thai food developed on her home continent, at her grandmother's side from whom she learnt the intricacies of this complex and diverse cuisine. Thai cooking is not just her work but her avocation as well. 

A Thai specialty Chef, Joy possesses over ten years of rich culinary experience and has worked with some of the best hospitality brands in the world including the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, Grand Hyatt Doha, JW Marriot Phuket, Sheraton Krabi and many more. 

A lover of cinema and art, she is also an avid traveler and her love for cooking and travelling has taken her around the world. Her journeys around the world finally brought her to Shangri-La’s - Eros Hotel, New Delhi, where she has brought her own special magic to the Thai kitchen at the 
award - winning Pan Asian restaurant, 19 Oriental Avenue. 

Speaking on the appointment of Siriporn Krasae-at, Farhat Jamal, Area Manager and General Manager, Shangri-La's - Eros Hotel, New Delhi said “We are pleased to welcome 
Chef Siriporn Krasae-at into the Shangri-La family. Having worked with some of the most iconic brands in various countries, she possesses an extraordinary understanding of guest palettes and Thai cuisine. We are certain she will be instrumental in ensuring an inimitable Thai dining experience for all our guests."

It is certainly with high expectations that I land up at 19th Oriental Avenue to sample a special Thai lunch tailor-made for me by Chef Joy. Tall, cheerful and pleasant, Chef Joy has the natural, friendly manner of a perfect hotelier, peppered with interesting anecdotes about her experiences with food. She enquires about general information about my food likes and dislikes in an unassuming chat and leaves us to wait excitedly for what she might conjure. My companion is vegetarian and I am a bit of an omnivore! Chef Joy tells me that the predominantly non vegetarian Thai turn vegetarian briefly for a week during a festival in October. Celebrated primarily in Phuket since the 19th century when residents of Chinese ancestry, follow a rigorous ten-day vegetarian diet, and rituals at Chinese temples, parades and spiritual feats performed by ascetics are the highlights of this idyllic island's most exciting festival. The world is my oyster when it comes to food and I am all set for some Thai pearls of culinary wisdom.

Mar Hor- Thai Galloping Horses

It is the confidence of an accomplished Chef who sends a vegetarian starter five minutes after you've just told them you prefer non-veg! But what I see in front of me is a stunning rectangular platter with veg Mar Hor, square pineapple canapes on top of which is propped a ball of crunchy peanuts in an aromatic brown sauce, holding it all together. The taste is so appetising and complex and very refreshing to start a great meal with.
Gaeng Leang Prawn Soup
Next up Chef Joy appears with the soup-Gaeng Leang Prawn & Mixed Vegetable. I love the fact that it is clear, love the seafood flavours and perfectly cooked prawns with zero oil and an abundance of herbs. Also I love the fact that there are so many assorted vegetables in the soup, right from yellow pumpkin to babycorn to mushrooms. It is a meal in a dish actually. Chef Joy tells us that this soup is popularly given to new mothers after their delivery as it not only nourishes them but also helps clear and detoxify their system. A much better option than our desi ghee-filled, OTT Punjabi Panjiri, I say!

Squid with Chicken

Raw Papaya Salad

As we wait for the main course, Chef Joy surprises us with an entree- Squid stuffed with chicken. My companion has the classic raw papaya salad. This dish is nice but a bit heavy for me as it has glass noodles and too many tastes that are not summing up to a whole for me. Maybe the dish does not go with my interpretation of Thai food and is more like a cold meat terrine. Squid lovers would probably enjoy it much. Perhaps I don't want to ruin my main course, so I go easy on this.

I am glad I do that because the main course is truly spectacular. Chef Joy creates a stunning Duck with Tai Tum Krop in Red Thai Curry with plain Thai Rice. Tai Tum Krop is a fruit resembling slightly sweet and sour plums that offsets the duck brilliantly. It is the perfect dish, the tart fruit is just right with the rich duck. I try a bit of the Veg Thai Green Curry too.
Duck in Thai Red Curry with Jasmine Rice

The flavours are perfectly blended. I can't help admiring how beautifully the Thai create complex combinations of ingredients that are all too familiar to us Asians but at the same time treating them so differently and uniquely that the end result is nothing short of startling.

Take for instance water chestnut that we Indians have only during rainy season as a bland snack generally. The dessert here is water chestnut soaked in coconut milk and rose syrup with crushed ice. Simply divine!

The actual menu of the restaurant is expansive too but what Chef Joy has created especially for me, leaves me with pleasant memories of authentic Thai food one savours in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, right here in Lutyen's Delhi. I know I'll be back here whenever I want to experience sheer joy!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Imperial All Set For a Wholesome Mother's Day!

The Imperial celebrates 100 years of Mother's Day with delightful offerings across restaurants and at the Imperial Salon

11TH May 2014: Mother's Day is the perfect occasion to show your mom how much you appreciate and value her. It is one such day when we get to say a 'Big Thank You' to our mums for all that they have done for us. It is a day when we want them to feel absolutely pampered and blessed. So this Mother's Day, share priceless moments with your mum as The Imperial gears up to shower her with a delightful bouquet of offerings with special discounts and packages, celebrating 100 years of Mother’s Day across their restaurants & The Imperial Salon :

Let her indulge in a fabulous Brunch Buffet at 1911 while you feel satiated that you are at the right place to make her spoilt for choice. High fashion cup cakes with personalized messages, home grown soil free 100 % organic micro greens combined with a health station filled with a fine selection of healthy juices extracted live, leave you asking for more and promise to excite you to take your pick on a blazing hot day. The lavish buffet has much more to offer.

Uniquely designed chocolate nests with dainty eggs notify the genesis of life and pay an ode to motherhood while accentuating emotions and leaving the mouth-watering flavors in your mouth.

The buffet would be thematically designed by the expert team of chefs with lots of candles for a feminine touch to celebrate the occasion and make all the mothers present, feel special. Chef’s special Amuse Busch offerings would be served complimentary to all guests at the buffet. So this is your time to give back to your mothers and make this day truly special and memorable for them. Enjoy this unique brunch with your mothers while The Imperial creates lasting memories for you, one of it is the unusual souvenir from The Imperial- a specially designed Chocolate jewelry.

This special Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet at 1911 is priced at INR 3200 + taxes ( includes a special Mocktail as a welcome drink for all accompanying mothers)

The priceless memories get more enchanting with
·        20% discount on cakes and pastries at La Baguette
·        20% discount on High-Tea at the Atrium.
·        20% discount off Diamond Magnetic Body Ritual – 90 mins (Spa Gift Voucher valid in SUFI room at The Imperial Salon for 1 month and not to be used in conjunctions with any other promotion).
·        20% discount off Caviar Signature Hair Ritual – 90 mins (The Imperial Salon Gift Voucher valid for 1 month and not to be used in conjunctions with any other promotion).
·        20% discount off on Sufi products at The Imperial Spa and Salon and The Imperial Boutique.

To make your booking for this Sunday brunch  at 1911 call 41116602/03 and for any other queries call 23341234/41501234
Brunch Buffet Timings: 12:30pm to 3:30pm

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day Special Monkey Bar Breakfast

A Fabulous offer for All Super Moms from Monkey Bar

A Breakfirst offer you just can’t beat!

Delhi May 2014: This Mother’s Day, please dont mess up her kitchen trying to make her a special breakfast! Ditch the dishes and the hot stove and let Monkey Bar give your “Super Mom” the best Mother’s Day treat ever with the Monkey Bar Breakfirst©

So hop over to Monkey Bar at Vasant Kunj and get ready to kick-start your Mother’s Day celebration with a complimentary meal for your Super Mom! A delicious indulgence “on the house” awaits her. 
Earl of Willingdon

There’s something for every mother at the Monkey Bar Breakfirst©.  The Cereal Sundae with house-made MoBar granola with loads of pecan, dried cranberries, wheat, bran, oats and honey served up with delicious lemon- yoghurt is a must for the health conscious mum, while The Earl of Willingdon -a traditional English breakfast with eggs, grilled tomatoes, pork sausages, baked beans and toast is perfect for the big hearted with appetites to match! 
Pizza Omlette
Red Velvet Waffle
The Monkey Bar Breakfirst© menu lists almost everything that her heart desires for the best meal of the day!  Dig into a delectable set of eggs done just right, from the Pizza Omlette, or try the ultra sinful To Brie or not to Brie, a fully loaded mushroom, goat cheese, thyme and brie omlette, indulge her sweet tooth with the Red Velvet Waffle with Cream Cheese and Almond Praline or try the Cinnamon and Toffee Pull Apart Buns for a heady mix of flavours. If she craves something spicy, do not forget to order her, their take on the Misal Pav or the piquant Chilli Cheese Vada Pav. Pamper her on her special day with a Chandon Mimosa, or a Banana Nutella Smoothie or a cup of steaming hot coffee! 

Monkey Bar promises you this will be the best Mother’s Day ever with a super indulgent breakfast so you can take her to the movies, treat her to a spa or then hang out shopping. What more could you ask for to kick start the very special day? So kids…  Get ready for the Monkey Bar Breakfirst©- Only on Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.

What:  Mother’s Day Special Monkey Bar Breakfirst
Where: Monkey Bar, Plot No 11, Pocket C 6 & 7, Commercial Complex Vasant Kunj
(Adjacent to Kotak Mahindra Bank and Mini Cooper Showroom),New Delhi- 110070
When: May 11th, 2014
Time: From 10:00 am to 12:30 pm only

  • Offer available on food only, conditions apply