Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Spotted Gauri Khan at the Launch of Steinway Lyngdorf's First Flagship Showroom in Delhi

I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by. As we enter into the last leg of 2015, I am happy to let you know about my upcoming business visits to the United Kingdom and Oman. What that essentially means is: I'll be signing in from London in October and from Muscat in November and December, respectively. I'm quite excited about these visits for various reasons (obviously!) and can't wait to blog about all the fun places that I'm hoping to cover during my short sojourn.

In the meantime, let me fill you in on all the latest news from my blogging world.

Last week I attended the launch of Steinway Lyngdorf's first flagship showroom in capital. Since 2005, sound systems from Steinway Lyngdorf have been the pinnacle of the audio industry, and their name has always been associated with impeccable craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.

For the uninitiated, Steinway Lyngdorf is a Denmark based company with markets in the USA, the UK, China, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. In India, they have partnered with Trescent Lifestyles, leaders in providing high-end home theatres, audio-video (AV) and home automation solutions for several Bollywood and Forbes 500 celebrities. With this partnership, Trescent Lifestyles becomes the exclusive distributor for Steinway Lyngdorf sound systems in India.

Exciting news for the Ultra HNI segment in India, who prefer to buy only the best speaker series from companies like Steinway Lyngdorf, Bang & Olufsen, etc.

At the launch, I was lucky to spend some time with none other than the Scandinavian tech guru Peter Lyngdorf, who is better known as the founder of Steinway Lyngdorf. According to Peter, sound continues to remain the number one priority for Steinway Lyngdorf. Contrary to popular belief, Steinway Lyngdorf is not a typical 'luxury product' company; they only sell the 'best' sound systems in the world today, with focus on technology, performance, and premium build and aesthetics. In the latter half of the day, there was an enthralling demonstration of the Steinway Lyngdorf systems for a select audience by the man himself.

Peter Lyngdorf (in middle)

The launch was attended by who's who of Delhi's rich and famous, including Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Shalini and Sanjay Passi, Natasha Nanda, Mandira Wirk, Lecoanet Hemant, Neeraj Soni, Tanaaz Bhatia, and more.

But in all honesty, the showstopper of the evening was Gauri Khan, an Indian film producer and interior designer, more popularly known as the wife of "King of Bollywood", Shah Rukh Khan. She graced the opening to talk about the one-of-its-kind Steinway Lyngdorf S–Series sound system, which is also installed in her new design studio in Mumbai.

Gauri Khan

Steinway Lyngdorf took the global audio industry by storm in the year 2007 with the launch of its Model D sound system that offers one of the most exquisite audio experiences in the world, combining state-of-the-art innovation in sound reproduction with finely-crafted aesthetics.

Model D

Also on display is the LS Concert that combines technologies from two of Steinway Lyngdorf’s most popular speakers - Model LS (line source technology) and  Model D (dipole technology). Designed as an open-baffle dipole line source, the Model LS Concert speaker renders an ultimate audio experience.

Model LS Concert

Both the models are showcased at the flagship showroom of Steinway Lyngdorf in Defence Colony, Delhi.

Moi at the Steinway Lyngdorf's First Flagship Showroom in Delhi

We, Indians, are simply passionate about music and Danish people are known to be the best in audio technology. I sincerely hope that the Ultra HNI segment in India will welcome these top of the line audio systems from Steinway Lyngdorf, making India one of the most profitable markets for the company after China, the USA, and the UK.

Monday, September 14, 2015

b-bar Celebrates Robatayaki Festival in September

A trip to b-bar in Delhi brings back so many vivid memories. I've been to the popular fine-dining restaurant a couple of times earlier, and since they primarily cater to A+ and A type audience, their hospitality is absolute top-notch. 

My first visit to b-bar was for an Indiblogger event, more specifically, for the launch of Kotak Jifi (a social banking product) on March 23, 2014. More recently, I came here again, this time as a participant for Romedy Trail, India's happiest and tastiest social media race organized by the Romedy Now channel on July 18, 2015.

My third visit to b-bar was unlike any of my last visits. Yes, I visited my favorite haunt again this Saturday, to review the ongoing Robatayaki Festival. You can imagine the Adrenalin rush and level of excitement.

I wanted this affair to be quite intimate, so chose to arrive early on a bright yet humid Saturday afternoon. The restaurant is located on the Level 4 of the sprawling Select Citywalk Mall in Saket, Delhi.

A Buddha Statue at b-bar

As soon as I arrived at their premises, I was escorted by their team leader, Naresh, to the dining area. He later gave me a full 360-degree tour of b-bar, including their lounge and cellar areas where I tasted some of the most expensive wines in the world such as Chateau Margaux 2007 and 1992 Petrus Pomerol.

Champagnes at b-bar
Wine Glasses at b-bar
Cellar Area at b-bar
Chateau Margaux 2007 & 1992 Petrus Pomerol

If that wasn't exotic enough, I was made to taste the world's most expensive Scotch whisky, The Last Drop, which is composed of 82 different whiskies including 70 single malts and 12 grain whiskies. Talk of gold standard and it cannot get any better than that!

The Last Drop Scotch Whisky

Ever since b-bar opened its door to public on September 6, 2012, the restaurant has undergone a massive renovation to leverage its space and resources.

Artwork at b-bar
A Beautiful Chandelier at b-bar

The cuisine is predominantly Pan Asian, and you can order from Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian food.

Artwork or Cutlery - You Decide!

The restaurant is open seven days a week from 12.30 pm to 1 am, and is usually chock-a-block in the latter half of the day. They also organize a Rasa Night every Friday from 9 pm onward, where Bollywood Progressive music is played for patrons. On other week days, they play b-bar Lounge music, which is the same music you'd find in any Buddha Bar across the world.

Dining Area at b-bar

The wall projections at night are breathtaking, when Martin lights swing into action, illuminating the b-bar in hues of vibrant colors.

DJ Console at b-bar

Robatayaki - Famed Japanese Grill and Barbecue Cooking

The Robatayaki Festival at b-bar is on from September 7 to September 30, 2015. How could I not meet the man behind this month long exciting festival, Badan Richard Biswas, who works as an executive chef at b-bar. Not only did he accept my humble request to acquaint about this festival, he also volunteered to cook for me.

Robatayaki Festival at b-bar

Badan has worked for over 15 years in Dubai, and has served as a chef in Metropolitan, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, Grosvenor House, and Grand Millennium Hotel.

Robatayaki Menu

Badan hails from West Bengal and has been with b-bar since its opening. He told me that Robatayaki is a Japanese word that means fireside cooking. In this traditional Japanese barbecue style of cooking, skewered food is slowly grilled over hot white charcoal called Binchotan. The food is cooked in front of your eyes and served smoking hot. Surprisingly, you wouldn't find any grill marks on the food. The whole process of cooking takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

The Yays

I gorged on the Ramuchoppu or Lamb Chops which was served with two types of sauces - Yakiniku (made of Light Soy, Mirin, Sake, Yuzu Juice, and Green Apple) and Teriyaki (made of Mirin, Soy, and Sugar). The lamb is imported from Australia and tastes absolutely delicious.

Ramuchoppu or Lamb Chops

For someone like me who isn't really fond of fish very much, it takes something extra and something special to please. That said, the Barramundi Fish (a. k. a. Akame) did it for me. If you're thinking of ordering this fish from the festival menu, make sure it is served with Lemon Herbs made from Lime Juice, Fresh Herbs, and Olive Oil.

Barramundi Fish (a. k. a. Akame)

Don't leave the b-bar without tasting the Jumbo Prawns (a. k. a. Janboebi), Chicken Breast (a. k. a. Niwatori no muneniku), and Chicken Thigh (a. k. a. Niwatori no momoniku), served with two types of sauces - Yuzu Chimichuri (made of Onion, Garlic Green Chili, Coriander, and Yuzu Sauce) and Teriyaki.

Jumbo Prawns (a. k. a. Janboebi)
Chicken Breast with Yuzu Chimichuri
Chicken Thigh with Teriyaki
Yakiniku and Teriyaki Sauces

The Nays

Personally, I loved everything from the Robatayaki menu but if I had to nitpick, try not having the Eggplant (a. k. a. Nagai nasu), Bottle Gourd (a. k. a. Hyotan), and Shitake Mushrooms.

Veggie Delights at b-bar

Finally, if you're in the mood of some hard drinks that go with this menu, you can order a 17-year-old Japanese whisky called Hibiki or a 12-year-old Japanese whisky called The Hakushu (Single Malt Whisky). You can also jazz things a bit by ordering Asahi, a Japanese beer.

Japanese Hard Drinks

I ordered a classic mocktail called Fresh B, which is made of US Orange chunk, Peach Syrup, Sprite, and Soda, plus topped with Orange Gel and Lime Slices.

Rishab & Me at b-bar

The thing I liked the most about the Robatayaki Festival is the menu price, which starts at INR 225 only and goes up to mere INR 2455.

b-bar Entrance

b-bar truly lives up to its worldwide reputation of delivering high quality food and beverages. So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

When I Learned the Art of Dough Making and Tossing at Pizza Express

It's unlike anything I have ever done before. Am writing this blog post from the Terminal 1D of the domestic airport of Delhi. For the uninitiated, I'm heading towards Goa to attend the iMedia Brand Summit and will board my flight in a couple of hours from now.

Why not use this time to tell you about one of my recent escapades? Did I tell you that last Friday I learned how to make a full-blown 'winning' pizza? I kid you not, a real, large-sized non-vegetarian pizza.

Learning How to Make a Pizza

For someone who spends very little time in the kitchen, it was historic to win a 'pizza-making challenge' in my very first attempt.

The Winning 'Sunrise' Pizza - Designed by Yours Truly

I'll come to the 'winning' part a bit later but first thing first. While some of you might think that making a delicious thin crust pizza with your favorite toppings is a tall order, quite honestly, it isn't. In fact anyone can cook a sumptuous pizza in less than thirty minutes but not everyone will have a 'secret dough recipe' that the iconic Pizza Express is raved for.

In this post, I'll not go into the intricacies of how to make a pizza at home. Neither will I share a special dough recipe to make your pizza stand out. This post describes my experience of being at a unique food event alongside a group of 20 inquisitive food bloggers at the newly opened Pizza Express in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon, where I learned, er, mastered a new culinary skill besides tasting some finger licking awesome pizzas.

Pizza Express is the world's leading casual dining and consumer brand since 1965. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an American, Italian, or Indian brand. The first Pizza Express outlet opened in Soho, London, and to commemorate their 50 years journey into the food business, they've launched a new refreshing menu for patrons in Delhi-NCR.

And guess what, who got to taste it first? Yours truly of course!

Rishab & Moi - Pizzafied for Life

I was blown away by their exotic Italian platters, prepared by trained Pizza chefs (a. k. a. Pizzaiolos). From vegetarian (Antipasto Verde) to non-vegetarian (Antipasto Pollo e Gamberro) starters, there is so much variety to choose from.

Antipasto Verde

Indian Pizzaiolos train for nearly 12 weeks to learn and perfect the art of pizza making. Isn't that amazing!

An Indian Pizzaiolo in Action

The thing you'll particularly admire about Pizza Express is the perfect use of quality ingredients on handmade pizzas, like the harissa marinated tomatoes or perfectly seasoned mozzarella with pepper and oregano, garnished with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta.

Another Shot of Antipasto Verde

My personal favorite was the Amore Nascosto, a special pizza topped with speck ham.

If you enjoy pizza with grilled chicken as topping, try the Il Padrino 65, which also contains a seasoned mix of charbroiled vegetables and fresh mozzarella. 

Il Padrino 65

Pizza Express has also introduced a wide variety of delicious pastas, such as the Penne con Peppadew, the Pollo Pesto Baked, the Linguine Ai Gambero a Pesto Rosso, and the Pollo Arrabbiata.

Penne Con Peppadew

Ever since Pizza Express was launched in India in the year 2012, they have continued to innovate, bringing out the same flavors and ingredients that you'd find in any of their global outlet. Like their signature Romana base, which is the same base you'd find in Rome.

Linguine Al Gambero A Pesto Rosso

Do you need more reasons to visit the Pizza Express? Here are my top five recommendations:
  1. Nowhere else would you get an exceptionally thin and crispy pizza base.
  2. The ingredients are freshly procured and diced daily.
  3. All pizzas are made to order. Fresh, quality pizzas, served in no time.
  4. The restaurant advocates an open kitchen concept. See how your handmade Pizza is cooked in front of your eyes.
  5. The decor is fantastic with hues of black and white colors. I couldn't stop admiring their marble table tops from Jaipur.

Finally, I walked home as a happy camper by perfecting the art of dough making and tossing. Thank you Pizza Express for such a wonderful evening of fun and serendipity.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Day At Sura Vie - Sanjeev Kapoor's Popular Restaurant in Delhi

Last week I received an invite to review the Grand Buffet Lunch at a popular Sanjeev Kapoor restaurant in Delhi called Sura Vie

I have been a huge fan of Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, one of the most celebrated faces of Indian Cuisine in the world today. For me, Sanjeev is not only a successful chef but an equally successful entrepreneur, author, consultant, and TV show host and judge. After all who can possibly forget Khana Khazana - the longest running show of its kind in Asia - aired in around 120 countries and seen by over 500 million viewers worldwide.

Only a fool would turn down an offer like that!

Sura Vie is located in the heart of Connaught Place (CP), one of the largest and busiest financial, commercial, and business centers in New Delhi. Parking is a hassle in CP, so if you're planning to visit Sura Vie via your own conveyance, try taking the metro instead.

First Impression

You can tell that the restaurant is recently renovated, perhaps to render a more contemporary look and feel.

Among the first few things that caught my fancy, I particularly liked the dim lighting, LED lit tables, soothing background music, multiple projector and TV screens, and colorful couches.

If you're fond of soulful Sufi music, make sure to catch the famous Sufi band 'Aawaaz' live in action every Thursday night. Plans are underway to host a Fashion Night at Sura Vie every Tuesday of the week.

Aawaaz - A Sufi Band

The property has two floors; the first floor can accommodate up to 40 people and the second floor can accommodate up to 80. If you're someone who likes to sit closer to the bar/lounge area, move to the second floor directly.

Colorful Couches on Second Floor

The DJ console is set on the ground floor. While you are dining, entertainment is taken care of with the first-of-its-kind concept of live acoustic music with same visuals being played on screens.

A Projector Screen at Sura Vie

At the restaurant, I was introduced to Sura Vie's Corporate Chef Vicky Sharma, who provided his valuable insights into the daily operations of the restaurant. Chef Vicky has over 16 years of work experience, including stints at the Vivanta by Taj - Ambassador (New Delhi), Vivanta by Taj - President (Mumbai), Vedas (China), etc.

Second floor sitting area at Sura Vie

According to the chef, Sura Vie is primarily a fine-dining restaurant, which is open seven days a week from 12 pm to 12 am. Known for hosting parties, reunions, events etc., the restaurant attracts high profile crowd from Delhi and NCR.

The Grand Buffet Lunch is served between 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm every day, barring Sunday when it is served till 4 pm.

Grand Buffet Lunch

Being a multi-cuisine restaurant, you can choose from a wide variety of food options like the Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Indian, etc.

The Grand Buffet Lunch contains a lavish, healthy, and oil free spread, featuring over 50 dishes from all over the world.

The sumptuous spread is divided under the following sections:

  • Chaat: This counter has some of your favorite, finger-licking Indian Street food such as Bheeja Kulcha, Gol Gappa, and Paapri Chaat.
  • Starters/Entrées: Try picking some lip-smacking and innovative starters like Fruity Seekh, Cheese Melters, Lemon Grass Chicken Tikkas, Makhmalli Boti, Tandoori Lolly Pops, and so on.
  • Mezze and Mexican: Indulge in an interesting assortment of Nachos with salsa and cheese, traditional Hummus with Pita bread, Tzatziki, Babaganoush, Tabbouleh Salad, Mexi Salsa, Sour cheese, and Refried beans.
  • Salads: In this section, you'll find a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian healthy delights.
  • Pasta and Dim Sums: Pick your favorite spaghetti, penne, or fettucine and get it cooked with vegetables and sauce of your choice. The Dim Sums counter brings to you appetizing vegetarian and non-vegetarian Dim Sums made to perfection.
Dim Sums
  • Main Course Section: Features your favorite dishes from across the globe, for instance, Noodles and Thai Green Curry, Fish Roulade, Deewani Handi, Dum Biryanis, Oriental style noodles, Cottage Cheese Curries, Daal Makhni Nahari, Safed Korma, Saag Koftas, and more.
  • Desserts: My personal favorite, this counter has a classic variety of desserts ranging from Blueberry Tarts, Butter Scotch and Pineapple Pastries to Rose Kheer, Gulaab Jamun, and more. In short, a scrumptious spread for everyone with a sweet tooth.

Grand Buffet Lunch

What I Liked

We were very well taken care of by Jyoti, who works as a Senior Floor Supervisor at Sura Vie. The staff, in general, was prompt in responding to our queries about the menu.

In fact, it felt like a delightful gastronomic expedition; a culinary extravaganza that featured an eclectic mix of mouth-watering delicacies from around the world.

The menu is carefully designed by Sanjeev's team of experts, led by Master Chef Saurabh Saxena, who heads the Sura Vie Kitchens and Operations.


We started the Grand Buffet Lunch with two signature mocktails - Peru Pyala and Spicy Affair.

Peru Pyala

Both Peru Pyala and Spicy Affair are unconventional Guava drinks that contain chaat masala, Tabasco (very hot red peppers), and salt.

Spicy Affair

My rating
  • Peru Pyala: 4 out of 5 for its unique taste and flavor. I liked that they mix Guava juice with lemon juice and mint.
  • Spicy Affair: 2 out of 5 for its classic presentation (too "chilly" for my comfort though).

We later ordered two more mocktails called Seventh Heaven and Ginger Mint Lemonade, respectively.

My rating:
  • Seventh Heaven: Essentially a fruit punch topped with strawberry crush and lychee. The fruit punch is a mishmash of mixed fruit juice, apple juice, vanilla ice cream, and blended pineapple/orange slices. I'd rate it a 5 out of 5.
    Seventh Heaven

    • Ginger Mint Lemonade: Fresh ginger muddled with mints and topped with lemonade. My rating: 4 out of 5.
    Ginger Mint Lemonade


    We tried both non-vegetarian and vegetarian appetizers from Chef Naresh Kumar's kitchen. Chef Naresh works as an executive chef at Sura Vie. I have to admit, the vegetarian delights were much better in taste.

    • Achari (Pickle) Chicken Tikka: Slightly tangier and spicier than what you'd generally expect. The homemade achari masala was great though. I'd rate it 3 out of 5.
    Achari (Pickle) Chicken Tikka

    • Lucknowi Mutton Seekh: If you're fond of the Awadhi cuisine, go for these mouth-watering kebabs without thinking twice. Savor the kebabs while they're smoking hot and don't forget to ask for the mint chutney and lemon wedges. My rating: 4 out of 5.
    Lucknowi Mutton Seekh

    • Matar Methi Tikki: Matar (or Green Peas) make great tikkis when combined with potatoes and a handful of methi (Fenugreek) leaves. My rating: 5 out of 5 (an absolute must-have).
    Matar Methi Tikki

    • Exotic Green Paneer Tikka: The green color in this tikka comes from the same herbs and spices that are used to make the Indian green chutney. I am not sure if the marinated Paneer was fried or baked, but something sure felt incomplete. And it is for this reason alone that I rate this dish as 3 out of 5. 
    Exotic Green Paneer Tikka


    • Spring salad (My rating: 4 out of 5)
    • Beetroot salad with sesame seeds (My rating: 3 out of 5) 

    Main Course 

    • Green Thai (fish) curry - Vegetarian/Chicken/Prawn (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Grilled chicken with Mushroom sauce (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Hyderabadi chicken biryani (My rating: 4 out of 5)
    • Keema mutton (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Baked vegetables (My rating: 4 out of 5)
    • Veg Thai Massaman curry (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Burnt Garlic Noodles (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Corn Rice (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Mushroom matar hara pyaz (My rating: 4 out of 5)
    • Middle Eastern cuisine (My rating: 3 out of 5): Includes Falafel, Hamas, Jajiki, Mutabal (Eggplant dip), Sour Cream, Salsa, Kidney Beans, Nachos, Pita bread, and Lavash. 
    Main Course


    • Gulab Jamun (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Seviyan (vermicelli) kheer (My rating: 4 out of 5)
    • Mango souffle (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Italian Bomb (My rating: 4 out of 5)
    • Tart (My rating: 3 out of 5)
    • Pastry (My rating: 3 out of 5)


    The buffet also comprises exotic foods like Gosht Dalcha, oriental style stir fried smoked chicken, Lulla Mussa Dal, Safed Murgh Korma, Fish in lemon butter, Shaadi Wala Paneer, etc.

    The best part is that the lunch menu changes every day, so there are plenty of choices for everyone. The buffet lunch also includes exciting offers on alcohol.

    So what are you waiting for? 

    At INR 777 plus taxes, the Grand Buffet Lunch provides the best bang for the buck.

    If you're a sucker for elegant interiors, jovial ambiance, entertaining music, extensive beverage menu, and warm hospitality, Sura Vie CP is the place to be!