Tag Archives: indulge

Indulge your taste buds, luxuriously

One does not really need an excuse to bite into a piece of sinful decadence – chocolates, I mean. I can never say no to chocolates. But yes, it is not every chocolate that I enjoy. The percentage of cocoa solids and sugar, matters to me, as this indicates the quality and taste of the chocolate. After all, the higher the cocoa content, the less sugar it contains and the more ‘chocolatey’ it’s going to be.

The epitome of chocolate for most chocolate lovers is the indulgent chocolate cake. But today, there’s more to chocolates than just that. Having tasted  many a luxury chocolate across the world, when I tried, Fabelle, our very own desi luxury brand of chocolates,  from ITC, I could safely say they had raised the bar. From now on, it is going to be difficult settling for any other.

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A visit to the Fabelle, exclusive boutique at ITC Maratha Mumbai, was a revelation of sorts. Fabelle chocolates have been in the making for almost a decade, with extensive research and innumerable trials in the company’s pursuit to craft the finest luxury chocolates in India that  compete with the best in the world. Fabelle has been created by  international chefs together with ITC master chocolatiers. Small wonder then that the end product is a piece de resistance.

 

The range of Fabelle creations  I experienced, were overwhelming. Fabelle Elements – intricately crafted pralines inspired by the elements of nature, Fabelle Ganache – velvety soft cubes of exotic cocoas delicately churned with butter & fresh cream, Fabelle As You Like It – personalized chocolate cup creations offering myriad possibilities of fillings and toppings, Fabelle Single Origin Cacoas – single origin bars, crafted using cocoa from 6 different countries (Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador, Sao Tome and Ghana), each asserting its own distinct flavour and Fabelle Gianduja – recreation of an Italian delicacy from the Napoleon era fashioned with infusion of hazelnuts into rich, creamy milk chocolate.

 

I was in a trance, mesmerized and my palate awash with decadence. It was difficult to decide which one I had relished the most. But yes, my instant vote went to the apple and cinnamon ganache. Those flavours, so intricately combined, plunged me into a coma, hitherto unknown to me.

Menu card 21st mar 16 single pages

The chefs at the Fabelle boutique enthralled us with their artistic creations, poetry on plate to say the least.

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A chocolate made from a single cocoa sourced from a single country, imparts a distinct characteristic and flavour which is unparalleled. Undoubtedly, chocolates made from blended cocoas cannot match this perfection. The cocoa % in these dark chocolate bars starts from 67% right up to 84% for the chocolate bar made from Ghana cocoa.The Fabelle Single Origins Cacaos – Rich Dark Chocolates were just that and stood apart, like none other. Each pack of Fabelle Single Origin Cacaos is a collection of 6 carefully crafted chocolate dark bars, each perfectly sized for a single serving. This is the most coveted box, a chocolate lover can possess.

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The chocolate boutiques also provide a range of exquisitely crafted desserts and cocoa beverages, created live by Fabelle Master Chocolatiers. Additionally,  one can pick up  the exquisite gift packs too for friends and family.

I left the Fabelle boutique, in a trance and of course with my dessert quota for the week. With the best around, there was no way I was not going to give into my guilty pleasures.

 

With the launch of the chocolate boutiques at ITC Maratha & ITC Central in Mumbai, Fabelle  is now present nationally across Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai & Kolkata.

So indulge all ye chocolate lovers!

Rating : 4.5/5

 

 

Bold flavours+Fresh ingredients = Palate tickling Sichuan food at Glass House

The term Sichuan or Szechuan immediately conjures images of spicy and fiery food in my mind. After all, food from this province of China is characterized by distinct flavours, unique taste and yes, hot, dishes. It is in fact one of the most popular schools of Chinese cooking.

Glasshouse, the all-day dining restaurant at Hyatt Regency Mumbai is hosting a Szechuan Food Festival from May 18 – 30, 2015With visiting Chef Steven Zhang from Hyatt Regency Chongqing, promising a wide range of China’s most popular dishes, cooked with authentic flavours to delight all palates, I decided to give it a try.

Chef Steven Zhang

With summer at its peak in Mumbai, the prospect of cold salads like Long beans, spicy garlic sauce, Poached chicken, numbing sauce (Chicken, spring onion, cucumber, numbing pepper, chicken sauce, oyster oil, chicken, Wok-fried mushroom, sounded inviting. These were palate-teasers alright, as these ignited our appetites. Each salad was distinct and different from the other. The cooking style was rustic and home-style and that appealed to me immensely. Chef Steven, was a master of his craft for sure.

The three fish and mushroom soup was comforting. Mildly spiced, one could taste the different flavours with ease. Subtle and delicate, not overwhelming at all.

As we walked past the vast buffet spread to decide what we were going to savour, the appearance of each dish struck me as spicy with an abundance of chilies and peppers. But then, that is typical of Sichuan food I thought. Pepper powder boiled in oil, an extensive use of chilies is common in this cuisine. Hu jiao, or the sichuan pepper, a dried peppercorn, from the citrus family is abundantly used and that’s what renders the food fiery.

Braised fish (Fish, green and red pepper, oyster sauce, salt, ginger, spring onion, chicken powder, soy bean paste “Lijinji”) was a delight. Again, braising, being a popular cooking method in Sichuan food. It tickled our taste buds and the succulent, basa simply melt in our mouth. The spice element, lived up to its reputation, but was manageable and we enjoyed it actually.

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Who can resist Wok-fried potato chips? Not me for sure, so I gave in. Potato, dry red pepper, numbing pepper, ginger, garlic, salt, spring onion, sesame oil, in an irresistible combination. The Wok-fried shredded pork, sweet and sour chili sauce surprisingly was not overtly spicy, but a tad oily though. But then again, Sichuan food is generous in its use of oil. A fact chefs are candid about.

The presence of many flavorings and seasonings in Sichuan dishes, make them unique and Chef Steven had deftly made use of this creating, lip-smacking fare. The vegetarian dishes were equally appetizing. An absolute surprise in fact.

Soy sauce, cooking vinegar, chiili sauce, are some of the oft-used ingredients which give a boost to the dishes in this cuisine. I was enjoying my meal with these unusual dishes and simple steamed rice. It actually accentuated the flavours of those dishes.

The menu, I observed, has been carefully crafted to cater to everyone’s palates. Make sure you are experimental and ready to indulge in Chef Steven’s signature dishes. Open for lunch and dinner, this Sichuan food promotion is on till the end of the month.

With bold flavours and exotic fresh ingredients, my palate was definitely rejuvenated at Glass House.

Rating : 3.5/5