Tag Archives: blogger

‘Smaaash’ing the weekend away

My brother and I had been looking for a chance to sneak away from too many friends and spend a brothersโ€™ day out. The weekend before Christmas while he prepared to head back to his home town on Sunday, we decided to head to Smaaash on Saturday.

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Before visiting Smaaash, the only reason why it brought a smile on to my face was that it is co-owned by none other than the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar. Smaaash is located at four locations in Delhi and NCR region. The one in Sector 29 Gurgaon also boasts of a Go-Karting track which is next on my list after this visit. We visited the one in Cyber Hub.

Personally, I am not someone who jumps out of the seat on the name of a visit to a gaming arcade. However, this visit might change my opinion about such places.

Smaaash offers so many types of entertainment options that no one from the family can get bored. The kids can have a lot of fun at the Arcade Zone with so much to choose from. The youngsters can enjoy the bowling, the pool table, the cricket nets and gulp down a few beers along with the oldies of the family.

Smaaash has a lot of the virtual reality games which eventually turned out to be my favourite. We started with the roller coaster ride. What fun it was and yes for the first few seconds, I was wishing if someone could press the stop button. Guess what, this was one experience which we came back to at the end after trying many other games. Among other virtual reality options, I would recommend the Jurassic Park and Vertigo. The latter is sure to give you a lot of funny experiences to laugh about later. My only wish, if only haunted hospital really felt scary. While playing the virtual reality games we did have a few beers from the bar. Just added to the real feel. ๐Ÿ˜Š

 

Done with the virtual reality, we headed for a game of bowling. No prizes for guessing, I lost. I enjoy bowling a lot but I always feel that it ends too soon. Especially for someone like me who hardly gets a strike and gets no extra chances at the end. Nonetheless a great experience. Love the atmosphere at the bowling alleys with those radiating carpets and neon lit alleys.

One of the most popular experience at Smaaash is the cricket. You can experience a very enjoyable cricket net session with different bowlers from around the world. Believe you me, it will not be as easy as you think. There is one very interesting story that I heard and even witnessed. One fine gentleman visits Smaaash every Saturday and plays cricket in these nets for 3-4 hours. Now that is called passion.

Smaaash also has many other games such as the very popular Air Hockey, basketball, crashing cars, car and bike racing and much much more. We tried many more and I do recommend this place to you for a good family day out.

Smaaash also has two restaurants by the name of Unforked Bar and Cafรฉ. One side of the restaurant is more of a pub with good music and big screens to catch up on all the sporting action live. The second restaurant offers a more silent ambiance for those family conversations, gossips and loud jokes. We ordered a Deconstructed Chicken Chaat and a Mezze platter to start with. Both these went well with the beer. I just wish the Chicken inside the nachos was served a little warm to make it more delicious. Post this, we also tried the Paneer Kathi Wrap. The presentation of the wrap was a pleasant surprise. The taste was a little extra spicy so make sure you highlight your preference to the chef in advance. We ended our meal with the Chicken nuggets and The Smaaash Lovers Pizza. The expectation was very high from the pizza since it is named after Smaaash. Fresh veggies but the crust could have been better.

While all the excitement of the games took over our minds, we forgot to order desserts. Now that clearly explains the good time we had at Smaaash. I think going forward I might just jump out of the seat if someone offers me a visit to Smaaash. The excitement will be higher when I visit the Go Karting in Sector 29 Gurgaon.

 

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Food Tales from Bunta Bar, Janpath

I had the chance to visit Bunta Bar at Janpath, Delhi on a blistering afternoon last week. The place was exceptionally quiet except for the light music in the background. The interiors were pretty and there is a huge space divided in two floors.

I started with “Banta”- a popular carbonated drink of India that is usually served in lemon flavor. It contains salt and spices along with crushed ice and is quite popular as a quick go to option.

At Bunta Bar (Bunta is spelled differently here), it was available in different flavors here and that is their USP, hence the name.ย The staff is very polite and recommends you to try new dishes.

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My Bunta is here!

With my Banta, I ordered paneer tikka and arnacini as starters-both delicious and fresh. I especially enjoyed the arancini which were given a little Indian twist as they were stuffed with kidney beans made in local style.

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Paneer tikka

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Arancini with kidney beans (rajma)

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Pretty plating

I ended the afternoon with a margherita pizza- simple and classic with tons of cheese.

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WANT! NEED!

Are you hungry yet??

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All About Pizza: An Insta Story

Sometimes I am amazed at Delhi, the city that I have now been calling home since 2010.

Why am I amazed??

Simply because of the number of options it gives me for food! And for PIZZA!

If you search for pizza in Delhi, a whole new world that opens up! You will get a variety of pizzas in every size, shape and errr color. And let me tell you, no two pizzas are ever alike. You will agree with me at the end of the post ๐Ÿ™‚

Mid week happiness๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ•

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I love my veggies… Especially when they are on a pizza ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ•

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When in Rome….What?? . . Just go and eat Pizza ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

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Say Cheese!!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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Tag a fellow pizza lover you would love to share this pizza with ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ‘‡

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That's kinda loaded ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

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Summing up the sumptuousness ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค— @italiano_restaurants

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Love comes in all shapes and sizes ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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Do you agree with me??

Three of My Favorite Food Blogs

Ever since the time I have taken to instagramming food and initiating this blog, I have also started to understand food better. The more I eat, the more I realize how much I love it and how much I want to cook. Whenever possible, I try for my own benefit.

Thanks to the amount of information available these days, it is very easy to google a recipe and cook. But it also gets confusing because there is a lot out there. So how to narrow??

I have a few blogs that I seriously read when it comes to easy recipes and inspirational content. Sharing with you all, three favorite food blogs that I love for their inspiring content and recipes. Hope you like them too!

Conifรจres & feuillus: A fellow Indian who is passionate about all types of food, Annika’s blog will make your mouth water! Her dark photography and simple vibrant pictures of delicious recipes are a treat to the eyes. I always learn more than a thing or two from her posts. I love the way she has categorized her blog section to make it easier for the reader. Keep up the great work Annika and inspire more people with your cooking!

Chez Moi:ย Chez’s blog has everything under the sun but the food section stands out for me. I love everything about her cooking from her simple breakfast ideas to unique drinks. Chez’s USP is in her write up and you will know as you head to her page. I hope you keep trying more family recipes, Chez.

Ministry of Curry:ย Another wonderful blog on food, Archana is a super talented cook with an eye for detail. Her inviting and simple recipes of vegetables found in our day to day lives will make you try the dish in your kitchen very soon! Archana also does cooking classes for us learners. Cheers to her!

What are some of your favorite blogs??

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An Ode to Summer

I love the summer season. There is so much variety in food and drinks. Whether it is a glass of chilled beer or an ice cream cone, a large piece of watermelon or thick chocolate shake, summer bring an amazing variety. Although I am not a big fan of the seasonal vegetables that come with it, I love the fruits in the summer season. Plums, cherries, apricots, peaches, berries and mangoes. As I write this line, I think of the delicious juicy summer fruits and how I have another 9-10 months before I get to taste them again. At least the fresh ones!

In a memory of this summer, enjoy some shots of summer in my city:

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Fresh mangoes for you

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Let’s have the almost new beer in town

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Chocolate shake in the over rated mason jars

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Anyone??

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Watermelon juice galore!

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Home is where mangoes are like this

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Needless to say..!

All being said about summer, I am now waiting for the colder season to arrive. Can’t wait to have some piping hot tikkis with tea and a cup of cappuccino or soup at my favorite cafe. I love the way food rules our world. What do you think??

Best Places to Eat in Gurgaon

The name of the post is pretty self explanatory so without further adieu here’s a curated list of my favorite places to eat in the Millennium city (err….) Gurgaon (to be read as Gurugram as per personal preference).

While a few of these might be obvious choices, I hope you enjoy them nonetheless:

Di Ghent- As the name suggests, the place gets its name from the city Ghent in Belgium and so the entire cafe is themed around Belgian food with hints of Austrian in between. The menu is extensive and one is really spoilt for choice. What I particularly love about this place is how quaint it is. The interiors are thoughtfully done and the whole cafe gives a very European vibe. I have had my fair share of food experiences in Di Ghent and my favorites here include a good old cappuccino with an evergem bagel and livinus waffles. I usually end up ordering a lot of waffles and pancakes whenever I go here because they are so good! The only downside here is a slightly higher model of pricing but it turns out okay if you visit it in a couple of months.

-Roots- Cafe in the Park: Roots is my favorite place in Gurgaon. Yes. Located in the lap of nature away from the hustle bustle of the city, it has a huge green belt hugging it closely. It is a different side of Gurgaon not known to many and one may quite feel closer to nature. You can even feed squirrels who have an eye on your food constantly.ย It has a roofed as well as an open seating area. I always chose the latter for obvious reasons- I love sitting in the open especially after six in the evening once it is beautifully lit up.

Fried tikkis with chai= epic combination๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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At Roots, the lightest of meals give you a break from the usual heavy chicken tikkas, over loaded pizzas and thick creamy chocolate shakes. It is a place where you can sit for long peacefully and have great conversations. My favorites here include traditional Indian food, bun omellete, a wonderful innovation in the form of the Wai Wai Bhel, regular tea, vegetable biryani and poha. The poha is probably my favorite because it is loaded with vegetables and cooked without haldi (turmeric) that makes it look fresher. I have also loved their Willingdon Kejriwal sandwich which is enjoyable with a perfectly made Sunny side up.

Impromptu: There are very few places in Gurgaon that come under the “WOW” category of Gurgaon’s nightlife. Impromptu is one of them. Definitely not your average run in the mill place, Impromptu is a rare find of space. It is chic and tastefully done with subtle lights at the entrance, the cool interiors clubbed with outside sitting makes it a win win!! My favorites here include the quintessential Italian Martini, Soya Kebabs and Crunchy Caprese Pizza. We would definitely recommend these dishes to everyone and to try Impromptu. They even serve buffet.

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The Pasta Bowl Company:ย If you are looking for the best Italian meal in Gurgaon, The Pasta Bowl Company is the winner hands down! It will give you instant Italian Foodgasm with its authentic fresh flavors and seasonal menu. The staff here is very kind and accommodating to your tastes. What I love the most here are several dishes but my most favorite are the truffle oil Bruschetta, tagliatelle and amatriciana pasta. You can add as many vegetables or meat you want as they offer customized pasta options. I also love their panna cotta and cannoncini.

A toast to the week gone by and a funny life ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

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Turning 30 in the land of the namesake

When you find your calling….

It redefines you. It redefines your purpose, your attitude, your perception. Exactly what I experienced last winter.

When you find your calling??

It took me four years to arrive at this one destination. I do not regret that it did not happen four years ago for me. I believe I was not wiser than today to make the most of it. And surely one is expected to be more wise at 30.

December 2016 I finally took the plunge. I am usually not very upbeat about birthdays and even if it is the 30th. However, everyone around me was quite excited about my 30th. I decided to do it my way. I booked myself for Vipassana at Bodhgaya in the same week in which I turned 30.

โ€˜Be Careful What you Wish Forโ€™

New Delhi to Bodhgaya are connected by railways as well as airways. You can take a train to Gaya which takes approximately 15 ย hours. I have always loved train journeys and have always wanted for more of them. My excitement of going for Vipassana almost went a notch higher when I realised that I was getting ready for another train journey. The journey that was supposed to end in 15 hours lasted for 29 hours. ย Someone has righlty said โ€˜Be Careful What you Wish Forโ€™. I spent some time clicking a few pictures around the station and how could I have not tried a few eateries around the train station.

 

Vipassana at Bodhgaya

Vipassana is a Buddhist form of meditation which has its roots in Myanmar (erstwhile Burma). It was revived in India by S.N. Goenka who is fondly referred to as โ€˜Goenka Jiโ€™. This technique was practised by Gautama Buddha about 2500 years ago.

It is ten day meditation course wherein the participants are required to practise complete silence and refrain from any activities such as reading, listening to music, consuming intoxicants etc. The millennials need to take note that mobile phones are not allowed during the ten days.

The campus in Bodhgaya is located at a 45 minutes drive from the railway station and is very near to the Magadha University. Going from Delhi it was a transition from an urban concrete jungle to an ocean of greenery. I was able to spot butterflies and that too in different colours throughout my stay at the campus. Break during the lunch were spent strolling amongst the woods like I have done never before. Breakfast time was one of the most serene and beautiful morning times I have seen in a long time. Foggy, moist mornings with Goenka Jiโ€™s recitals echoing all around the campus were pure bliss.

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A day at the Centre

Our day used to start at 4:30am. We were woken up using the prayer bells. Breakfast was served at 6:30am after the first session of early morning meditation. The second session led us to lunch which was served at 11:30am. The last meal of the day which somehow turned out to be my favourite was served at 5:30pm. This was one level of discipline I have never observed in my life. The day had 12 hours of meditation which ended with a televised discourse by Goenka Ji.

I am sure if this routine is incorporated as a part of our daily lives, it would transform us in ways more than one.

My Learnings

The centre at Bodhgaya is within touching distance of the Bodhi Tree where Gautama Buddha attainedย enlightenment. ย There was some energy at the centre that made me feel that I was so close to the iconic location which has no parallel in this world. Fellow participants who had attended the course at different locations earlier agreed to my observation .

The course had 100 participants from all over the globe. I mean it when I say that. Africa was the only continent which was missing. Would have loved to have had a complete grid though. It was such a privilege for me to have participants who had done the course at various locations almost a dozen number of times but were back again. Such is the power. Their belief and faith was not only extremely positive but also very re-assuring.

We did not speak a word to each other but it was the faith that was the common thread. It helped us strike friendships and connect with people after the course ended. I am lucky to have met wonderful and inspiring people with so much to learn from.

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Jim, Petr, Azar and Me

I will not be able to do justice to the course by trying to write what I learnt and gained from it. Firstly, it is just not possible to explain the feeling and I also believe that every person would gain differently from the other one. Everyone has to have his own judgement independent of any perceptions.

However, there are two things which I would love to conclude with and highlight from my experience. While I was preparing to leave from Delhi, I felt it would be a kind of retreat from the world and its worldly concerns. No doubt that was true but this was the closest I could have come to myself and understanding myself.

Last and most important, one thing that Goenka Ji always reminds us and which has been eternally etched in my mind is โ€˜Annicaโ€™. This is one word to describe how I have started living my life โ€“ everything is temporary and it shall pass.

Annica.