Bootlegger Cafe, where you may or may not shake that bootay!

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A particular close friend, on her birthday after much planning, discussing, rejecting, finalized the Bootlegger Cafe to throw her birthday treat and food connoisseur like me, we prey on people throwing birthday parties to add another review to our blogging site. Okay, kidding, but why waste an opportunity?

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We were disappointed the moment we entered the stairway leading up to 3rd floor where they cafe is located, dingy stairway, no lift, lazy bunch of snobby girls, not a great combination. But then all the heels and touched up faces, nobody wanted to go find another place while strutting around in the heat. So we settled and that was the best decision ever made even if it took us more than an hour to realize that.

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The cafe is set in three floors, the first one (read:3rd) seemed well suited to private parties or lusty teenagers looking to cozy up away from the prying eyes and the second one seemed more of a public place an open terrace designed to give a romantic vibe with low seating arrangement, white curtains, pretty plants, bird cages very much like Taylor Swift’s lovestory,

“Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.
I’ll be waiting; all that’s left to do is run.
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess,
It’s a love story, baby, just say, ‘Yes.’”

After an hour of running after the waiters, hunting them down, placing our orders, the food arrived and yes all of them tasted lavishly good and I let my friend mutter, “Good things take time, Ana.” She knew I was fuming.

nothing really to describe here

nothing really to describe here

 

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The crispy nachos were finished by eight famishing girls within minutes, the Margherita Pizza with hint of basil was relished by everyone. Then came the Chicken and Onion Skewers which the carnivorous population loved! (The chicken cubes more, onions, not so much)

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Also, these gang of girls cannot go anywhere and not order French Fries.

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Or Crispy Honey Chilli Potatoes…

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Or a selfie for that matter..

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Then a guy friend of the birthday girl arrived and he changed the course of orders by asking for three different things that were unavailable and ultimately settling with Tossed Chicken Wings. We loved the glazing and even though I hate chicken with skin, this one I loved.

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Another friend suffers from Celiac disease, so after an exasperating conversation with the waiter she finally got her gluten free Baked Chicken in cream with lovely mashed potatoes with mustard and crispy vegetables on the side! (I LOVED the beans, seriously!)

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And while nobody was looking, Shourya and I, ordered the Chicken Stroganoff which turned out to be the deal breaker of the day! It was so good I cannot even begin to describe. We couldn’t put our spoons down. The alfredo sauce-perfect, spiced rice- perfect, flavours- perfect, Chicken- perfect! There was nothing that I could crib about!

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So while you might not go to Bootlegger simply to eat (It has its name for being a pub) but do go there to try their Chicken Stroganoff!

And while you are at it, find this-

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Or admire this-

As a child I wanted to collect telephones. I still do.

As a child I wanted to collect telephones. I still do.

And then descend down the stairs and go back home. (you are allowed to get a scoop or ice-cream from the gelato parlour downstairs)

Plus…

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

‘Cause we were both young when I first saw you…”
Okay I need to stop.

 

 

P.S. They play loud music which after much insisting they might lower the volume but since that would take a lot of effort, simply just rise up and twirl.

Photojournal: Roadtrips- Murthal, Haryana

A rainy day, best girl friends, long drive to eat paranthas (stuffed pancakes) at Sukhdev dhaba, an extremely famous stopover at NH1 for travelers and random pictures on the road!

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Aashna and the paranthe uncle

Aashna and the paranthe uncle

Paranthe!

Paranthe!

chholey bhature

chholey bhature

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On our way back at Connaught Place, New Delhi, may the flag of our country keep flying high!

On our way back at Connaught Place, New Delhi, may the flag of our country keep flying high!

 

On a sweet note, Kunafa

Baklava, the name itself carries a certain kind of lure to it. Its like you know its some kind of middle-eastern ecstasy and why not, sweet and nuts embedded between rolls of sugary phyllo/ filo.

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I have never been to Turkey and it is definitely one of the places in my bucket list, while going there isn’t quite possible at the moment but having a baklava, or two, or a whole box of it, is quite possible. That is where Kunafa, came to my rescue. Situated in Meherchand Market, this place serves a huge variety of baklavas and other Turkish sweets that one must go and try. They don’t really have an elaborate seating arrangement so it is best you pack their stuff and bring home or gift your near and dear ones.

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I decided to go with their assorted collection which comes in varying prices depending on the quantity. Or you can also pick your favorites and ask them to make your own customized assortment. While you are there, try their pistachio baklavas, various kinds of dates, cakes and semolina roll baklava!

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Their prices are a little steep and for students it can be little bit of quarterly treat, but once in a while they are definitely worth it!

So next time you are at MCM and after a hearty meal at Chez nini, elma’s, tikka town or MI, step away from banoffee pie, cheesecakes and red velvets for once and try a baklava, maybe?

Check out their website for more information- http://www.kunafa.in/

Rama Meat Pulao, a tad too spicy?

Coming back hungry from a meeting with a friend is not something any foodie should have to try, but if the situations calls for it and there is a place you have wanted to try since quite some time, nearby, then make the best use of it (or not).

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Rama Meat Pulao, one of the places that has been standing since times immemorial, at a corner in K-block, Connaught Place and I heard a lot of mixed reviews about it. The place serves mainly mutton and chicken pulao at pretty cheap prices (Rs, 230 for full plate and 160 for half) along with rumali roti and soup. A lot of people flock there almost everyday to fill themselves up with a hearty meal and a burning esophagus, maybe?

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I cannot say I had a fulfilling experience at the place and I am willing to call it over-rated. The pulao was EXTREMELY spicy, if you aren’t an Indian, please don’t even think about it. And even if you claim you love spicy food, it can bring you down or you might stand there wiping your nose like a plain disgusting idiot. I would like the soup they served though if I were suffering from a bad cold, not so much the left out chicken parts thrown in the soup. The rumali roti was the best part of the meal, seriously.

I have never posted a harsher review of any place before, but I simply couldn’t stop myself from doing so this time. However, since there are people who brave the place everyday and can kill me for posting this, you can go and try their pulao or kormas or maybe even a roll. Come back and let me know. I would still recommend to get take away, since the ambiance can put off a person with an iron stomach.

I used images from google since I packed my food and came home to eat and then swallowed ice hoping it would give my food pipe some peace.

Photowalk: Dehradun: Holi & dimsums

From a never ending journey starting from Delhi to Haridwar, then Rishikesh and finally Dehradun (perks of not researching well before booking a bus ticket through make my trip), befriending a really frustrated American in India and an angry German couple, living with my friend’s family and getting immensely attached to their dog and giving the cuddly little thing a bath, cooking Chholey for them and then returning by another rickety bus that broke down in the middle of nowhere in Roorkie. Being a girl and waiting outside sipping on chai at 3 am, was clearly not in my itinerary. But what I learnt is, the world isn’t necessarily an evil place and people aren’t out to get you all the time, being alone and vulnerable, there were people who offered me a chair away from an enormous swarm of mosquitoes, kept re-assuring me that another bus will reach soon and I learnt to relax a little, let go of my anxieties and become way more addicted to this life.

To undaunted travels and many more new places to come!

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Barista, Rajpur road along with a book house.

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There is no doubt that, it indeed is your home- La Mia Casa, Dehradun

Paradise, they say is heaven, but life on earth could be paradise too. Specially when you are a food blogger.

I am not much of a HOLI person. Every year around this time I escape town or hide inside my house to avoid all the hullabaloo outside and this year I decided to go visit a friend in Uttarakhand.

Dehradun has suddenly turned into one of my favorite places. The city is known for its scenic beauty, tranquility, low pollution, vast empty stretches of land and well it’s a valley so I rest my case here. Once there, I began my search to find a place that stands out and La Mia Casa fit the criteria perfectly.

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Situated almost at the end of Rajpur road (Jakhand), the place has an esoteric charm to it. The kind of place that will always call out people looking for offbeat. Serving mostly pizzas, burgers, pastas, a variety of Chinese and traditional Nepali momos- an indefinite variety of it, this place is a must visit!

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I almost ordered a burger but then there were only two varieties of the same so I decided to try something new and nothing could beat their array of momos. My friend ordered chicken kothay and I decided to try dark chocolate momos, yes, you read it right. DARK CHOCOLATE MOMOS. And I must say you need guts to put something like this on the menu.

The chicken ones were lovely, juicy and every bit flavorful, I only wish they had a little more quantity for their price. But let’s not complain, they are dimsums after all.

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Then came the dark chocolate ones, ooh-la-la, I must say, I was pretty wary of my first bite but let me tell, it was PERFECT. Gooey dark chocolate mixture in a dimsum, there couldn’t be a better dessert. I loved it and it is surely something that I would love to try for a reinvention, only I am not brave enough for that. :\

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The place is beautifully set on old mosaic tiled floors, lovely yellow colored walls adorned with posters of films, actors, beer and other things you would want to be framed and a shelf full of books to choose from.

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What more? The place is not just for the intellectual snobs, you can take your pretty girl, snag the only couple seat on the rooftop, whisper sweet nothings in her ear and nibble on food while looking at the hills only few yards away. Could there be anything more romantic?

The cafe with a blue door, essentially, the Blue Door Cafe

So its been some time since the last time, but you all know how much a sabbatical helps at times.

Here, I am, back and with more new places, food and a travelogue added here and there.

After hearing so much from others about the Blue Door Cafe, I decided to walk in and taste what they has to offer.

Do not expect a very fancy ambiance, it is simply decorated in the lines of modern, chic and there is nothing deep and nostalgic about it, but you know, do not judge a book by their cover. Their dishes are pretty pocket friendly, unlike some of the others in Khan market.

The first time I stepped in, I was weirdly craving breakfast, like I often do, and ordered their French toast slam which came with scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon. The eggs were a little soggy and watery but they were okay, I couldn’t call it outstanding but definitely comforting. Plus, I can eat bacon everyday and still not be satisfied, so that made me really happy. I also ordered their mont blanc, wait there, it’s not some sexy kind of champagne, only a vanilla shake!

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My friend ordered her favorite, Alfredo penne with mushrooms, she hates exploring and is quite happy eating whatever she already knows of. I thought the pasta had a little too much garlic but Aashna was satisfied, so who am I complain?

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Fast forward a week, it was one of my really low days where everything failed to impress me. Therefore, I decided to head off and treat myself to a quaint dinner and unfailingly, I walked up through the blue door and flickering through the pages of my book, I ordered their, spaghetti con gamberetti al pepperoncino- seafood pasta with lemon, cheese and other condiments.

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Now, here’s what happened next- I devoured every bite, being  a Bengali and growing up loving shrimps, it really was a gastronomical fantasy come true. The spaghetti was perfect, seasoning perfect, again a little too much garlic but I could always go home and brush. I paid my cheque like a happy customer, walked out, found myself an auto and headed home.

5 minutes later, I unusually started to scratch myself, it was like 40 mosquitoes biting me at the same time all over my body. My worried auto driver dashed me to a medical store where I picked up an anti allergy tablet, swallowed it and finally the scratching stopped. The funny thing, I never knew I had an allergy to shrimps, or maybe it was something else, the weather, some particular kind of shrimp, I have absolutely no idea. Maybe, next time, you go out and eat somewhere, it is exetremely important to be aware of your food allergies, needless to say my life as a food blogger is over! :(

However, if you want a nice simple continental meal, without a burning hole in your pocket, go to Khan market, find the Blue Door Cafe in the middle lane, walk up and eat all you can, because it sure wouldn’t disappoint you.

Presenting Mumbai- Cafe Mangii, Powai

Its been some time, I have been thinking about it and now its time to incorporate it. I lived in Mumbai for a year, studying fashion designing and working as a stylist to designers and for print shoots. It was the best year of my life, I made the most fabulous friends and lived a kickass life!

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We kinda always got crazy!

To that one year, I am starting with my “Presenting Mumbai” posts. Most of the pictures will be sourced from various other webpages through Google, since I didn’t really document my stay there and TTL wasn’t even a seed then. So incase you see one of your pictures here, don’t get mad, send me a message and I will take it down, or give you due credits!

I shall start with my favorite restaurant, Cafe Mangii, Powai.

Every Saturday in Mumbai, was date night for me and my roommate, Agni. She is my childhood friend and we lived together sharing the same dreams and aspirations- making it big in B-Town. While that dream was cut short for me due to few other obligations, she is still there, living it! The date nights were to celebrate our single status and the beautiful city.

Mangii, is located in Hiranandani, one of the posh-est places of the city. The restaurant is known for its pretty outdoors, lovely service and amazing array of breakfast menus. Bandra and Versova too have their branches but I somehow preferred the Powai one best.

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We ordered our bacardis with cranberry juice and char grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies along with Spaghetti with salmon and roasted asparagus in vodka cream sauce.

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While I couldn’t go back there again- so less time, so much to eat- they still left a lasting impression in my heart, one that I haven’t been able to forget despite sampling so many other restaurants serving European cuisine.

If you live in Mumbai, take a Sunday out, enjoy their vast sprawling brunch menu. OR. Take your better half out for a romantic dinner, Valentine’s day is almost here and make candlelight arrangements and choose from their most delectable menu. (The best thing, they always have offers on their wood-fired-brick-oven pizzas!)

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And yes, NEVER, I say, DON’T EVER, miss out of their desserts!

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To Mumbai. To the city. To love. To friendships. To everything fabulous!

Picture credits: zomato and Cafe Mangii’s facebook page!

 

Also if you love our posts, hit “like” on our facebook page!

Chandni Chowk, yet again.

Chandni Chowk is a place where photography enthusiasts cannot help but revisit every now and then. While I already did a review of the place earlier (read here), Deep really wanted to go and explore Delhi-6 his own way.

So Old Delhi presented, with all its charm and glory, in parts, again.

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And the photographer himself!

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