Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Long & Short Of The New Menu

The Dome may be the most sought after place at InterContinental Marine Drive, but for me Long & Short, the casual dining and lounge is equally a star. The reason being the eclectic menu, fun cocktails, affordable menu and of course great service. It is a place where one can unwind, relish good food and prompt service.
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Executive Chef Arzooman Irani, being the creative genius and restless person that he is has introduced some new exciting dishes in the already exhaustive menu, thus revamping parts of it.
Wanting to keep it global, Chef Irani was keen on ensuring that comfort food was the focus. “Guests should be able to dine in a fun and relaxed atmosphere with the food being light and enjoyable. Of course, apart from comfort food, there is a section for those seeking healthy food too and that need not be boring. Low cal, low carbs or no carbs, gluten free and so on. There are plenty of options. And of course those wanting to indulge can do so as well,” Chef Arzooman elaborated.
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We started with the crisp lavash dome, almost customary here. Crunchy and laced with herbs, it set our taste-buds tingling. The platter with starters was a treat for the eyes, as it was for the palate. The springs rolls with varied fillings were crisp and luscious, the wasabi prawns fresh and delectable and the chicken boasted of distinct Pan Asian flavours. The presentation was appealing yet, devoid of unnecessary gimmicks.
The crisp pea shoot salad  from the healthy food section, was a delight. It was as fresh as it could get. With a subtle flavoured dressing, the medley of textures of the lettuce, seasonal fruits, micro greens and cherry tomatoes, came out trumps and it was a veritable feast for the taste buds. Healthy food can certainly be delicious.
Mushroom feta cheese waffle from the petit toasties section caught my eye and struck me as innovative. But then, Chef Arzooman is legendary for his innovative streak. Equally unique were the slider offerings, I thought. Butter milk fried chicken, sriracha mayo was certainly out-of-the-ordinary. I made a mental note of it for my next visit.
The brie & potato gnocchi surpassed everything that I have ever tasted before. The garlicky creamy sauce, wrapped over the potato gnocchi made me slip into a food coma. But what got my vote instantly was the zucchini spaghetti. No, not spaghetti with zucchini but spaghetti made out of zucchini strips and tossed in aglio olio. It was outstanding and  yet another testimony to the chef’s creativity.
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Comforting curries, Mumbai street food, pizza, salads, care has been taken to ensure that the menu caters to every palate. Vegetarian options abound too.
Surprisingly the dessert did not wow my palate as expected. The salted caramel oreo tart was not the hero of the evening as the chocolate drizzle overpowered all other flavours, relegating them to the background.
With alert staff, warm hospitality and first-rate food, the  experience at Long & Short was memorable and the new menu is clearly a winner.
Rating: 4.5/5

The Cocoa-Tease

Somethings don’t change and that includes my sweet tooth!

I’ve been a cocoa addict, ever since I can remember. Yes, I have been hooked to this, “Food of the Gods,” for various reasons, but most of all for its elixir like qualities.

Loaded with medicinal properties, Cocoa reduces levels of stress hormones in the body and is used to treat ailments and maladies.

With anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities, the health benefits include relief from high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, constipation, diabetes, bronchial asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome and various neuro- degenerative diseases. It is also beneficial for quick wound healing, skin care, and it helps to improve cardiovascular as well as brain health. Whew! some benefits those!

With so many benefits, who would not indulge in the goodness of Cocoa? And with Cocoatease just a hop away from my place, I was delighted to gorge on some goodies.

Their range is simply marvellous. Their English Toffees with Almond, Hazelnut and Pistachio variants are crisp caramels wrapped in silky smooth chocolate and nuts. The Date Truffles are deliciously treated Turkish date morsels coated with chocolate and nuts, they too, are available in Almond and Pistachio variants.

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Then there is the classic Almond Rocks and Rochers which are basically morsels of goodness, packed with either nuts or dry fruits like figs and coated with pure chocolate.

Apart from this the place has a range of cakes and brownies. The cocoa used in these Cocoatease products are of premium quality and they taste luxuriously splendid.

So enjoy some cocoa. And with the festive season round the corner, a guilt-free, heavenly, flavourful and beneficial bite of cocoa is good for everyone. Be generous and share some of the gift packs they have and trust me there is an array to choose from.

 

Snack your way to good health

 
Nibble, munch, crunch… are routine, where snacks are concerned. But there are rules to the snacking game. The quantity and the quality of food that you snack on, is the cause of your woes or joys of a healthy living.
 
We are all obsessed with snacks and snacking too often,  or at the wrong time and place can make you obese.  Not snacking at all, too has its flaws. This sounds contradictory, but it is true.
 
So what are the best snacks to consume? Simple, something that you can nibble, munch, crunch which is salted, sweet or spiced and at the same time makes you feel satisfied. Satiety value is important.
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So the best way is; kill old eating habits, pick the right snacks, eat at the right time and the right amount.  Choose nutrient-dense snacks and what better way than snacking on fruits and nuts?
 
It is a known fact that dry fruits and nuts packed with abundant sources of proteins, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and essential nutrients, keep diseases and stress away. And thus you need to include it in your diet.
 
While the Pistachos, Almonds, Cashews and other dry fruits contain the right blend of unsaturated fats, vitamin B and minerals, they are conducive for the proper functioning of the crucial organs of our body. They prevent cardiovascular problems, Anemia, Maintain Cholestrol, Improve Hemogoblin levels, and improve the functioning of the brain.
 
A tasty and convenient snack, dry fruits and nuts are the ideal substitute for high-calorie snacks. With natural sugars and fibre, zero cholesterol and fats, and a variety of delectable flavors, dry fruits and nuts are an easy source of all essential nutrients. The right and regular mix of almonds, cashews, pistachios, cranberries, strawberries and other dry fruits and nuts are all you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
 
Gourmia, from KBB Nuts Pvt Ltd. the latest entrant in the market, with an array of products like Roasted Pistachios, Almonds and Cashews in classic salted, salt-pepper, tangy masala and Jalapeno flavours are worth a try as the variety is tremendous.  The nuts they offer are crisp, crunchy and tasty.
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Their seasonal fruits range consists of Cranberries, Strawberries, Prunes, Mangoes, Kiwis and Pineapple. These are equally luscious and perfectly sweet to appease your taste-buds.   
 Hygienically packed and affordably priced, each variant is available in packages of 200 gms and 40 gms. The nuts and fruits are handpicked and their flavours unfurl flamboyantly at every bite.
Go for these this festive season and indulge in your guilty pleasures!

Bengali Food, that I miss

It’s that time of the year when I miss Kolkata,  more than ever. And this has been the story of my life for 24 years now, every year. Durga Pujas are almost here. The fun, gaiety, adda and Bengali food, is all a part of the ethos that contributes to this festival.Having grown up in Kolkata and am almost a Bong, so love Pujas and the food we relish during these 5 days.

Even otherwise, I have a soft spot for Bengali food. The aroma of food cooking in mustard oil. Ooh the flavour of paanch phoran(five spices) spluttering in this oil makes me nostalgic. Kosha Mangsho with luchi or even cholar dal, chorchori, sukhto, begun bhaja, alu dum, ghee bhat, maccher jhol and sada bhat, chitol muthia are my all time favourites. And the delectable chana sweets. What can I say about those? The list of my favs is endless.

It is the oil and the spices used in Bengali cuisine that lend a special flavour to the food which is so unique. Also the taste of the fresh water fish that one normally eats in Bengal is different. The salt water fish Hilsa or Ilish which is such a delicacy in Bengali, is unfortunately not my favourite. I prefer Rohu or Rui as the Bongs lovingly call it. Each household in Kolkata has a different way of preparing fish. A lot depends upon the texture, size, fat content and the bones in the fish. It could be fried, cooked in a simple spicy tomato or ginger based gravy (jhol), or mustard base with green chillies (shorshe batar jhaal), with posto, steamed inside of plantain leaves, cooked with doi (curd/yogurt). The steamed fish in plantain leaves is similar to Patranu Macchi of the Parsis. Even Goans make fish in this manner with green chutney inside the fillet. I can devour fish fry or maccher jhol with rice. Have a soft corner for Doi Mach too, if prepared well.

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Mumbai has always had a few Restaurants serving Bengali food, but somehow they are not upto the mark. 25 Parganas at Sahara Star was good, but alas! it exists no more. Bijoli Grill of Calcutta is  still decent, but Bhojohari Manna is a perfect example of hype, save a few dishes. Of course Oh! Calcutta has been around for a while and serves Bengali food, but not 100% authentic.  Some of the dishes are closer home though, in flavours. But obnoxiously priced. Hangla  has become a popular chain with outlets in several places, but only takeaways. Their food is good, specially the rolls. They are the closest to the ones I am used to from Stop Over in Ballygunge Phari Kolkata or Nizams.

Gosh, with all this talk about Bong food, have to prepare something tonight as my mouth is watering or  head to a Bengali friend’s place for dinner.