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Monday, May 4, 2015

Must visit restaurants serving seafood in Mumbai

Mumbai…the city that takes me into an eternal nostalgia...rushing crowds, local train announcements, shopping hot bargain trends and of course that fresh seafood straight from the local fish market. After spending 20 years of my life in Mumbai, I find myself comparing it with every city that I visit or stay in. And let me tell you all other cities have failed for that matter. It is said that a child carries with herself forever, the memories of the land she grew up in.

What is so amazing about Mumbai, is its love for food and the way the people are game for every cuisine on the earth, especially if it is seafood cuisine. The city offers a range of the best coastal fare from across various regions. This coastal land never ceases to be on the top of my list for its freshest and a wide range of seafood menu.

So, my friends after compiling a list of Bangalore eateries, here I am with a list of must visit seafood restaurants in Mumbai.

Trishna -
Trishna is one of the most popular places for seafood in Mumbai. Located at Kala Ghoda, Fort, the place seems constantly flooded with locals and tourists. The seafood menu here is a mix of Manglorean, Hyderabadi and Punjabi favorites. Some of their most loved dishes are butter pepper garlic king crab, the prawns koliwada, butter garlic squids, tandoori fish and surmai tava.

Gajalee -
Gajalee is another popular spot for seafood lovers. Although there are many branches of this restaurant in Mumbai, the oldest one in Vile Parle is still the best. The place specializes in Malvani food. The must tries here are Bombay duck fry, clam koshimbir, crab green chilly sauce, stuffed bangda, tandoori crab and their famous solkadi to wash it all down.

Mahesh Lunch Home -
Another seafood lover’s heaven is Mahesh Lunch Home. They have outlets in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Dubai, the original one at the junction of Cowasji Patel Street and Pherozeshah Mehta Road being the most popular joint. The prawn gassi and tandoori pomfret, clams sukka, squid koliwada, dakshin fried crab, fish Balti and crabs in butter-pepper- garlic are the popular dishes here.

Highway Gomantak -
This is a place with a history of 20 years and as the name suggests, serves Goan seafood specialities. It is to go place when you are craving a home cooked seafood thali (meal). Along with the different thalis like The Surmai curry thali, pomfret green thali, bangda curry thali, kolambi suke thali, tisrya masala thali, kurlya (crab) masala thali, other popular items are pomfret green masala, kolambi curry, bombil fry and mori (shark) masala.

Konkan Café -
Konkan Café is a fine dine seafood restaurant at the Vivanta by Taj with a wonderful ambience of a cozy seaside bungalow on Malabar coast. Curdee mango (prawns), Mangalorean fish curry, pomfret recheado, and meen polichattu are a must try at this place.

So friends, if you are a live-to-eat-seafood person and living in or visiting Mumbai, don’t forget to add these places to your to-do list.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Asus Zenfone 2...Marvel of beauty and power

My hubby is a big smart phone junkie and meticulously studies each and every smart phone that comes in the market. He has been keeping an eagle eye out for the Asus Zenfone 2 since a long time now and why not cause it comes with an array of attractive features and does not break your bank. 

Asus has launched three variants of the ZenFone 2 lineup in India (four including storage variants). These are moderately priced from Rs. 12,999 to Rs. 22,999 and is expected to even come at a lower price in the future, which is a plus when compared to its solid feature set. Asus, just like the first-generation ZenFone series, has made all the ZenFone 2 series models available for pre-order on Flipkart.
Asus Zenfone 2
Asus Zenfone 2

Another plus is the ZenFone 2’s simple design, with an attractive finish and ergonomic arc design. This design also keeps the sides clear of buttons, which enhances its aesthetics as well avoids any accidental button usage. They have moved the volume and shutter button to the back to reduce the thickness of the ZenFone 2 to a mere 3.9mm, which is in itself an engineering marvel. And all this with a 5.5-inch display, which makes the phone look sleek and attractive, as compared to what you pay for it. 

All the four Zenfone 2 variants support 4G LTE and run Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box with the company's ZenUI on top. Zenfone 2 ZE 551 ML comes with 1080p resolution display while the Zenfone 2 ZE 550 ML comes with 720p display.

Now, those of you who get frequent panic attacks when your smart phone takes 3 hours to charge completely, I am sure you will jump on your couch when you read this - Asus Zenfone 2 comes with a ‘BoostMaster Fast-Charging Technology’, meaning 60% of the battery gets charged in 39 minutes!!
I especially hate it when a smart phone slows down with multiple apps running at a time and becomes a dumb phone. To beat this Asus Zenphone 2 provides the largest capacity of 4GB RAM. This standout feature provides incredible multitasking and runs smoothly even with several apps running in the backend system. Well, try running 10-15 apps on it and you will know what I am talking about.
If you belong to the selfie lovers club and smartphone camera is the feature that you will check first, while buying it, you will be in love with Zenfone 2. It comes with a suite of camera features and 16 different built-in picture modes. The PixelMaster Camera on Zenfone 2 includes the world’s best low-light and and HDR modes. This feature lets you take best pictures indoors or in a poorly lit room of your house of workplace. Now, ain't this great!!

So, all in all, Asus Zenfone 2 looks like a wise choice for those of you wanting a large yet sleek smart phone with multiple features, without hemorrhaging your pockets. So go grab one, you smartphone lovers, what are you waiting for!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Explore Bangalore and its local cuisine

Few years back, when I moved to Bangalore, my knowledge of south Indian food was limited to Dosas, Idlis and filter coffee. After a few months of settling down, me and hubby started exploring the city. I firmly believe that one hasn't explored a city until one eats the local cuisine. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do and when in Bangalore, eat as the Bangloreans eat' has been my mantra since then.
As I explored the city more, I realized how much more of the variety the city had to offer. Right from the street side Darshinis and Tiffin centers to the classy fine dining restaurants, the city never stops amazing one. Now if you are used to paying 250 bucks for a Dosa, you will be surprised how some of the traditional places here serve food at a very low price. One can't fail but notice how their focus is on the taste and the quality of food and not on the decor or marketing tactics. With places serving Biryani at 8 o'clock in the morning to hot wholesome meals served on banana leaf, the city holds in a lot of surprises.
Well, my foodie friends here I have tried to compile a list of 4 of my best local places to eat in Bangalore. Of course these are my personal favorites so far and I am sure I will discover many more in the future.

1. MTR - Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
MTR aka Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
MTR aka Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
The list cannot begin without the mention of MTR. MTR is famous for it's crispy dosas, khara bhat, idlis etc. Yes, there are a lot of places that serve dosa in the city. But anyone who's had Dosas at MTR will agree with me that those dosas are nowhere close to the ones from MTR. There are many branches of this restaurant in the city; but the original one in Lalbagh still stands out for it's quality and popularity. Hot crispy dosas with a generous amount of ghee on the side, khara bhat and steaming hot bisibele bhat are some of my favorites here.

2. Kamat
Kamat North Karnataka meal
Kamat's North Karnataka meal

Kamat serves a home style North Karnataka wholesome meal on a banana leaf. Being a Maharshtrian, the taste of the food at this place is very close to the Maharashtrian cuisine.
What more can you ask when you get a scallion, a few sprigs of fenugreek leaves, roasted papad, tomato cucumber raita, lentil cucumber pachhadi, 3 varieties of curries and chutneys and hot jowar rotis straight from the kitchen with a glass of spiced buttermilk. Now, if that's not enough, all of these keep coming to your plate, oops! I mean leaf, until you cry 'NO! STOP, I am full.' This one's my favorite place to go to especially when I am missing my mom. And of course a great place for those with a big appetite!

3. Shivaji Military Hotel
Shivaji Military Hotel
Shivaji Military Hotel

Shivaji Military hotel is a small humble food joint with hardly any seating area, a small food menu, yet a clean open kitchen where you can peek through while you are waiting for your order. The place can get flooded during lunch time and you can see people from all walks of life. The specialties here are chicken legs, donne biryani, lamb chops and dry mutton.There are many more places that serve the famous donne biryani in Bangalore, but this one's my favorite....and if you are guessing that being a Marathi girl, I might be biased here because of it's name...well, I can't deny that either.

4. Koshy's

Unique sugar dispenser at Koshy's
This is Bangalore's iconic restaurant and hangout with an old world charm. Even though it is not a place that serves the local cuisine, it has and still is a favorite among the locals. Be it Spanish omelet and Koshy's special coffee for breakfast or Appam mutton stew, fish and chips or pork chops for lunch, the place never fails you.