June 2013 archive

Gourmand Of The Week – Praneetha Chintangal

 

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Praneetha Chintangal

Every week GourmetItUp features a Gourmand Of The Week and asks them questions about eating out in their city, how they use GourmetItUp and other fun stuff. This week we have Praneetha Chintangal.

How and when did you discover GourmetItUp?

Through BPBWeekend, about six months ago

Which is your favouriteGourmetItUp experience? Why?

Tasting Room, unlimited Sangria and a three course meal for a birthday party, great ambience, good service and amazing food

What cuisines do you prefer? What’s the craziest food you’ve ever eaten?

Anything goes. Being a complete foodie, I love trying new cuisines.

Craziest food would be a Yak Burger in Thimpu, Bhutan

Tell us your pet peeves about dining out in Mumbai.

Bad service

Reading a great review and find out the food is not so good when you are the one recommending it

Who’s your favourite celebrity chef?

Anthony Bourdain

If you were stuck on an island and could only eat one dish for the rest of your life (or until you are rescued), which dish would it be and from which restaurant?

Too many choices, I would have to choose between the Komala’sThali, Chicken Hakimifrom Noor Mohammadi, CrabSukha from Goa Portuguesa

What is your favourite midnight snack?

Maggi Noodles

Where was your first date? 

Pizza Hut

What is your idea of a perfect meal?

A good antipasto followed by a perfectly cooked tortellini paired with a glass of wine and cheese cake!

If you could be the chef for a day at any restaurant, which one would you choose?

Shiros

Create your own ice cream scoop with any ingredients.

Plain old vanilla with loads of chocochips, perfect for binge-movie watching

What are your plans for this weekend?

Colaba cruising, starts with a Sharwarma at Picadilly, shopping followed by drinks at Sea Palace

Now that you are a minor internet celebrity (you will be after this article is published), what advice would you give to your foodie fans?

Read atleast two reviews before trying a place! And unlimited sangria never fails to impress.

Try the GourmetItUp experience at The Tasting Room

Indian Tastes and Travels at Neel

My colleague,Hersh, and I thought it would be fun to give Trabblr members an opportunity to share their tales of Indian travelsover a delicious Indian meal.  As a social discovery platform, Trabblr is known for hosting unique, small-group activities; and a dinner designed to stir travel memories seemed like a greatfit for the site!The pressure wason to make this eventas flavorful and fun as possible, but fortunately we had just come across GourmetItUp, a new startup that offers exclusive dining experiences across Mumbai.  We quicklygave them a call to see if they could help us find the perfect spot and menu for this Indian-themed event… and boy, did they deliver!

From the start,GourmetItUp recommended Neel, a chic but often overlooked restaurant at Tote on the Turf in Mahalaxmithat serves up Indian grille cuisine inspired from the old Muslim Nawabi families of Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Kashmir.  A few conversations and clicks later and the event,Indian Tastes and Travels at Neel,was ready for sign-ups on Trabblr.com.

After looking at the menu, I quickly became not just a coordinator of the event but also an excited participant. Though I rarely indulge in Indian cuisine(I am a weakling when it comes to spice!),I was so enticed by the promise of delicious food and interesting company that I opted to venture beyond my comfort zone and join in the fun.

My evening at Neel began with a friendly greeting from the host.  He escorted me straight to the Trabblr table, a walk that involved passing by a warmly lit outdoor seating area.  The Trabblrgroup opted for an indoor spot, and I was immediately struck by the cavernous and cozy feel of the restaurant’s interior.  After taking my seat I was handed a custom GourmetItUp menu, which made the already warm setting feel even more personal and inviting.

Soon the other threeTrabblr members arrived and – as expected – they were a fun, well-traveled bunch.  There was Deep, who – though having traveled extensively through Australia and Europe – has his eyes set on seeing more of India, his home country.Then there was Sherry, who recently moved back to Mumbai after working in the startup space in the States for a few years.  She wants to travel up north.  After introductions, conversation quickly gravitated towards everything travel.  Various stories were told,ranging from crazy tales of Indian train rides to brazen attempts to sneak across the Swiss-French border!

We all gushed over the customNeelmenu, which included a complimentary cocktail, a three-course meal, and Indian breads and dal.  We were equally enthused by the value – all this carried a price tag of just Rs. 1,200all inclusive!Wemade the decision early on to share each dish‘family style’, quadrupling the flavors and fun at every course.

To kick-start the meal, we ordered drinks– a glass of sangria, two caprioskas, and a mocktail.  The drinks were well-made and arrived in good time.For the first course – a choice of shorba or kebab – we opted for jaitunikhumbtikka (mushrooms), paneertikka, murghmalai kali mirchtikka (black pepper chicken), and ajwainirawastikka (fish).  The mushrooms had just the right pinch of heat, and the fish was cooked perfectly.  The highlight for me, however, was the chicken.  It was incredibly tender and moist, and as a mild dish, it certainly passed my spice test!

For the second course each guest had his or her choice of a curry or a biryani.  We all opted for curries (Hersh tends to feel narcoleptic at just the sight of rice!) and shared two vegetarian and two non-vegetarian dishes.  The sebkisabziwas particularly unique and tasty, with a deep, tangy red sauce covering slightly firm slices of cooked apple.  The Hyderabadihaleemwas thick, flavorful, and simmered to perfection. Though tender and tasty, I unfortunately struggled with the heat of the murgh-e-khaas, a chicken dish cooked in a rich tomato-based gravy.  The paneer offered a nice cool down to the course, which was also accompanied by a selection of Indian breads and dal.  I passed on the black dal, which looked a little heavy with dollops of cream and ghee, but very much enjoyed the crunch and flavor of the tandoori rotis. The overall portions were quite large and we ended up packing half of the second course to go!

The third and final course included a selection of desserts.  We ordered agrekailaichijamun, kesarirasmalai,Neel rabdiice-cream, and jalebi.  I was particularly fond of the jalebi, which had a great crunch and a rabdito accompany it.

While my fellow Trabblrs and Iwere busy eating and swapping fun travel tales, thewaitstaffat Neel remained alert and attentive throughout the meal, refilling water glasses without prompting and clearing plates just in time to bring on the next course. Their recommendations were also on point, which further helped us to navigate our spice, rice, and veg / non-veg constraints!

For me, this event was a series of positive introductions:to the warmth and outstanding service at Neel; to the wonders of Indian cuisine; to the excellent team at GourmetItUp; and to the incredible travel experiences of fellow Trabblr members.It was a genuinely fun and fulfilling Friday night, and I look forward to keeping in touch with these newly-found friends and to visiting Neel and GourmetItUp.com again.

Author: Jennifer O’ Brien, Business Development, Trabblr

Try the GourmetItUp experience at Neel 

The Gourmet Diary at Busaba

Chef Nikhil Chib of Busaba displayed his unique cooking techniques and culinary style specially for our valued members. Read what Ankita Vaidya had to say at The Gourmet Diary at Busaba to know more.

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Masterclass with Chef Nikhil Chib

About Ankita Vaidya: A foodie by nature, Ankita is also a loyal
GourmetItUp follower and member. She writes a series of posts
circling food and everything to do with it. 

Try GourmetItUp’s experience at Busaba

 

Ankita Vaidya’s Gourmet Diary at Two One Two

Best Looking Restaurants in Mumbai

We in Mumbai are spoilt with choices, especially when it comes to dining out. Every turn made at every corner presents a new restaurant, or eatery, or café, waiting to be tried out. In this commotion of options, GourmetItUp, sieves out Mumbai’s 10 best looking restaurants that would be a crime to miss out on.

Neel at Tote on the Turf

Neel at Tote On the Turf, the first ever Indian grill cuisine restaurant reinforces renowned chef and owner Rahul Akekar’s belief in presenting a tasteful blend of flavours, textures and colours to create a sensational gustatory experience.

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Tote on the Turf

Hakkasan 

Hakkasan has a unique combination of glamour and elegance, contemporary yet traditional food, modern yet ethnic decor, a nightclub ambience and superlative food and service. Acknowledging traditions of the past, Hakkasan has interpreted  today’s discerning patron.

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Hakkasan

 The Tasting Room 

The Tasting Room suceeds in transporting any visitor to another era. It is surrounded by deep pink walls bejeweled with paintings and tapestries that envelope wooden, well spaced out tables. This is essentially a wine connoisseur’s heaven.

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at The Tasting Room 

Olive

The Olive Bar & Kitchen transports you a charming, rustic slice of the Mediterranean. Olive’s charm and innovativeness has built it a very loyal patronage across the country’s who’s who. Chef Manu draws inspiration from across the Mediterranean mixing ingredients and cooking styles expertly to produce a menu as delectable as ever

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Olive

Yauatcha

The restaurant is a haven for food aficionados tucked away in the heart of Mumbai’s financial hub, Bandra Kurla. The cuisine is inspired by history, acknowledges the traditions of the past, yet also interprets them for today. Yauatcha’s chefs have taken recipes from all over China, and using cooking methods true to a thousand years of Chinese tradition, have infused them with a modern sensibility.

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Yauatcha

 Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien is known for it’s distinctive farmhouse decor and central communal tables which evoke the timeless charm of the Belgian countryside. It presents a wide selection of breads – wheat, rye, five-grain, flute, baguettes, brioche, croissants, muffins, and more – is baked daily.

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Le Pain Quotidien

Two One Two Bar and Grill

Two One Two Bar and Grill boasts of traditional dishes from Milan as well as Mediterranean delights such as French Onion Soup, Wild Mushroom Parcels, Char Grilled Prawns, Grilled Chicken Diable and Chocolate Fondant.Nestled in a leafy, serene lane in Mumbai’s upscale Worli area, Two One Two is understatedly elegant and generously spaced over 4,000 square feet.

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Two One Two Bar and Grill 

 Shiro 

Shiro, the premium fine dining restaurant, with its signature high ceilings, grand statues and award winning oriental cuisine, hosts locals and expats alike, offering them a memorable Pan Asian experience.

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Shiro

Ziya 

Ziya is a sophisticated Indian restaurant at The Oberoi, Mumbai, serving modern interpretations of Indian cuisine. The restaurant’s name is derived from the word diya, which means “glow, light, and splendour and the interiors have been carefully designed to reflect the name.

Ziya, contemporary Indian  restaurant at The Oberoi, Mumbai

Try the GourmetItUp experience at Ziya

Koh 

Koh, the fine dining restaurant serves exclusive Southeast Asian culinary (conceptualized by the mastermind chef – Ian Kittichai) along with plush interiors, warm service and dreamlike presentations of dishes.The menu of Koh is crafted and created with intricacy to appeal to the Indian palate

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Try the GourmetItUp experience at Koh

 

 

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