31/05/2015

The Oriental Kitchen | Bangalore | Review | Restaurant

My friend and I went for lunch after skipping our breakfast as were too tired to wake up early on a Sunday morning. Both of us wanted to choose buffet as we were extremely hungry. And I did not eat dinner the previous night and breakfast in the morning. 

We choose The Oriental Kitchen as the destination to eat for lunch. I booked a table for us to avoid any disappointment. We reached the restaurant and there were only two people seated. We did not really care about that as our only aim was to eat and eat a lot. We sat down and the buffet menu was handed over to us immediately by the manager. We were wondering why a menu was given despite having the buffet. After asking the manager, he replied that we will bring to the table whatever you order from the menu. Suddenly, I saw a spark in my eye and was happy to hear that as i was lazy to walk up to the buffet counter. 




Chicken Soup

Pan Asian Starters

Thai Curry and Rice


chocolate ice cream

muffin and darsan

Food - Rating: 3.5/5
Service - 4.5/5
Starters - 2.5/5
Main Course - 3/5
Soup - 4/5
Dessert - 4.5/5

Cuisine - Thai and Pan Asian 

Bill - Rs 1264/- inc taxes 
2 Buffets

Happy that the restaurant allowed to split the bill.

This restaurant serves no alcohol. So if you are looking to eat lots of food and not drink, this is the place to go. 

Disclaimer: This review is based on my tastes and preferences and my friend's. We do not support any entity. 


The Great Chappati Subji Challenge Day 1

I currently live in K R Puram in Bangalore and work for "foodeebuddee" a  startup launched in January 2015. In December, I returned to India and moved to Bangalore immediately. Thanks to my colleague, he chose a nice two bedroom house for me, next to the office. While I live alone on the ground floor, my house owner lives with his wife and son on the first floor. They are Teluguites and such wonderful people.

In the last 6 months I've been in K R Puram, I rarely cooked as had less time. But, eating out has created a lot of health issues for me including the most prominent i.e. stomach upset. After falling ill several times, becoming weak and going through all the pain, I decided it was high time that I started cooking again. I have always loved cooking but due to lot of work and travel in the last few months, I was unable to create time for what I enjoy the most. I read somewhere that "men tend to improve their health because of cooking their own food." May be that was a reminder for me to return to my cooking days.

In fact, when I was away from home and the country, I learnt how to cook and also improve my cooking skills. I still remember reaching the UK and for the first few months only cooked potato curry and rice. It was one of the easiest and most economical choices. Many of my housemates even harmlessly mock me for not cooking anything else. I was only waiting for to start work and earn more money so I could invest in better vegetables and ofcourse the most important thing i.e. time.

Four days back, my landlady in Bangalore said "let me make 2 chappatis for you so you can cook your own subji considering you can not eat the level of spice we eat." I was extremely happy and accepted it without a hint of doubt. So, that's how the #2ChappatisADay started and on the very first day I prepared aloo curry and that reminded me of my UK days. Guess, somethings never change in life. 


Homemade Potato Curry
Potato Curry

I am extremely happy to have such a wonderful landlady and more importantly a wonderful human being. I must admit that I miss my mom's chapattis but this offering has come to me as a blessing in disguise. I find this experience much more enjoyable instead of being lazy and waiting to eat my mom's food daily. 

In life, it is extremely important to have good and harmless people or positive energy around you but when both come at the same time, it feels like having hit the jackpot. I take this opportunity to thank my DAD and BROTHER for having taught me the importance of POSITIVE ENERGY and people with the same quality. I have also learnt from life that "if you keep putting out good, it will back to you in tenfold in unexpected ways. I have done something good in the past for which am being rewarded with #2ChapattisADay. 

Recipe for this aloo curry - No big deal - Anyone can make it

1) Cut potato into small pieces and keep it aside
2) Take a pan, add oil or ghee, mustard seeds
3) After 2 minutes, add the potatoes, salt to taste, 1/2 table spoon of turmeric powder and 1/2 spoon of chilli powder
4) Cook for 20 mins by closing the pan with a lid - every 5 mins just open the lid and give the potato a stir
5) The dish is ready. 

16/03/2015

Traditional and Yummy South Indian Tiffin - Pure Vegetarian

On 6th March, I got a call from Oxygen, World Fusion Music Band indicating that we have an interview with 104.8 radio station between 8 and 8:30pm to talk about the second #terracejamming session that was to be held on 8th March. I personally was quite happy about the interview as my online marketing campaign grabbed their attention and many more people who attended the session.


So, we went to the radio station, spoke about the session, and about Oxygen, the band. Afterwards, we decided to eat street north Indian food in Paris. So, we drove down to Paris only to find that that eatery is closed. We then decided to go to another eatery to eat biryani. Again to our disappointment, that eatery ran short of vegetable biryani that evening.


So finally, we chose to stop at Sapthagiri, recently reopened in T Nagar opposite the post office. We were terribly hungry so ordered whatever we like rather than how much we could eat. The list was like this:
Channa batura
Masala Rosa
Plain dosa
Parotta kurma
Nai pudi dosa *2
Pudi dosa
Sambar vada



Gosh, I ate so much that I felt drowsy and literally felt the food coming out of my mouth. The food was extremely tasty and hot. Even the chutneys had the right amount of spice. The sambar had the right balance of lentils and spice. This is a place for self service and one has to stand and eat. All the dishes in the menu are less expensive too.

30/09/2014

Oktoberfest in Germany is one of the biggest fun festivals in the World

My First Oktoberfest Experience 

Earlier,  I have been to the Oktoberfest hosted by Hyatt Hotels, Chennai. But, the actual and 

original Oktoberfest is no where closer to what hotels host globally. This is one of the 

biggest fun festivals in the world and the biggest in Germany. Millions of people from across 

the world come every year to attend this festival. Nearly 6 million people are likely to attend 

the Oktoberfest in Munich this year.

I have been waiting since last year to visit the Oktoberfest. On 20th September this year, the 

festival kicked off in style. It was raining in the morning but people thronged to witness the 

opening ceremony. There were beautiful horse carriages carrying beer casks, music, dance 

and a parade for nearly 45 minutes. Women were dressed in dirndl and men in lederhosen

varying in different colors and sizes based on the tastes and preferences. 

Owners start constructing their tents and stall 3 months prior to the festival. It is absolutely 

surprising and brilliant how much planning and effort go into this massive festival annually. 
Oktoberfest 2014 Photos


It is very difficult to reserve a space/seats at big tents. Reservations help but are hard to 

get. Totally, there are only 14 tents for people to choose from and each has its own 

specialities and theme. My brother got a reservation somehow through one of his contacts 

at Kafe's Wies' n- Schanke. One could take 8 people with that reservation. It costed us 320 

Euros which included food and drinks. 

Drindl Oktoberfest

Waiters and waitresses serving drinks and food have a hard time during the festival but they

make a lot of money from tips. A person I know for close to a year told me he takes off from 

his day job for three weeks and works at the Oktoberfest to make more money. It is 

extremely hard to get a job to work at the festival. Some people apply for years and still do 

not get it but some get it and makes it a routine every year. 

Essen und Trinken Oktoberfest

We initially ordered for beer and obatzda, a Bavarian cheese delicacy. It is prepared by

mixing two thirds aged soft cheese, usually Camembert and one third butter. Sweet or hot 

paprika powder, salt, pepper are the traditional seasonings as well as a small amount of 

beer. I ate Obatzda for the first time and it was very delicious.  

Beer Prost Oktoberfest

Prost (Cheers)! At the Oktoberfest, beer is served only in Mass. The Maß or Mass is the

Bavarian language word for a mug of beer. In modern times, aMaß is defined as exactly 1 

litre. I ended up having 3 Mass on my first visit and hope to consume more in my future 

visits. 

Chicken Lunch Oktoberfest


Since we sat at a Cheese and Chicken tent, I ordered for the latter that comes with Kartoffel 

(potato) salad. The chicken I must admit was very tasty, hot, cooked to perfection and was 

succulent. On the contrary, the potato salad was cold. 

Sausages German Food Oktoberfest

One of our friends ordered for sausages that comes with bread, mustard sauce and a special 

sauce. There was nothing great about the sausages as I have them regularly and tasted no 

different to the normal day. 

Oktoberfest 2014 Photos

There were men and women selling artefacts, dolls and souvenirs which were exorbitantly 

priced. One of our friends wanted to purchase a doll and the moment the seller said it 

costs 45 Euros, we went into a state of shock and decided not to buy. 



Men and women often stand on their seats and dance to the live music that is played inside 

the tents. It is quite a visual treat to see people dancing and singing throughout the day. I 

saw people getting drunk and sleeping on the roads, stations, and wherever one could find a 

place. At Oktoberfest, some single men and women bump into each other, befriend and 

even start a relationship after months. Some men and women even make out after getting 

sloushed. 

The Oktoberfest reminded me of my childhood days in India when my parents took me to 

exhibitions which had giant wheels, roller coaster rides, food, shops et cetera. 

The fest is not over yet and I may possibly visit it two more times before it ends on October 

5th, 2014. 


Video Of The Opening Ceremony at the Oktoberfest 2014

More Photos from Oktoberfest 2014

Check out what others talk about Oktoberfest 2014


Photo Copyrights lie with Pritish Soundararajan

15/09/2014

Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich

If you are in Munich or Germany, you should definitely visit Dachau Concentration Camp. 

Dachau was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany, intended to hold political prisoners. Dachau is about 16 km (9.9 mi) northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Jews, ordinary German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded, occupied the concentration camp. 


The Roll Call Ground:

The prisoners had to assemble on the roll call ground every morning and evening for roll call. In all weather conditions, they were forced to stand to attention motionless, for about an hour. Sometimes even the dead had to be dragged to the roll ground to be counted. If the number of prisoners on the roll count did not match the official head count, for example after an attempted escape - this torture could last many hours. It often happened that sick and weak prisoners collapsed during roll call. The other prisoners were forbidden to help them. On the roll call ground the SS carried out punishments for all the prisoners to see. In the final months before the liberation, large transports of prisoners arrived in Dachau and were brought first to the roll call ground. Many sick and exhausted prisoners died there. 


Furnace Dachau Concentration Camp


Each furnace could cremate two to three corpses at once. 

Dachau Concentration Camp Photos

Prisoners' shaving kit

Dachau Concentration Camp Photos

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

Erwin Gostner, a prisoner in the Dachau Concentration Camp once said:
"Four months in the bunker, four months detention in darkness, four months with hot food only every fourth day! Time crawls by. I only count every fourth day, and I am amazed when the food comes and wakes me up. I am in a state of trance."

Walter Buzengerger, another prisoner in June 1934 said:
"It was strict detention, a full 8 months in darkness. No exercise. Hard bed. Bare wood. Three days water and one pound of bread. Then 1 day of prisoner's food. Just a tin bowl and a spoon. No fork. No knife. No cup. No washing bowl. No soap. Nothing."

After visiting the Dachau Concentration camp, you will understand how these prisoners were treated so horrendously. After listening and reading some of these stories from inside the camp, you will feel a sense of depression.

History was, is and will always be cruel to mankind. Politics and Power are definitely evil.


16/08/2014

My First Date In Germany With A French Woman

In June 2014, I moved to Munich, Germany. In July, there was a technology start-up meet that was held at Starbucks. There, I met Claudine, a very nice French woman. Well, she left her blonde hair open, wore a white flared skirt and a printed top. She looked ravishing and hence did not want to lose the opportunity to befriend her. So, I asked her for her number and without any hesitance, she gave it to me.

I pretended to be like a gent so waited patiently for two days to message Claudine. After two days, I messaged Claudine on Whatsapp and she replied instantly. We then kept messaging for hours and hours. It seemed like we definitely struck the right chord. We discussed about a lot of things! She told me how much she liked the Indian food and culture while I told her about my love towards French food and wine, and art. I was quite impressed with her knowledge about India et al. 

Next day, I decided to phone her instead of messaging her. She worked during the day so I had to wait till evening to call her. I phoned her and we spoke for 2 hours. This time, our conversation became a bit more personal. While she told me about her affairs, I told her about mine. I obviously did not want to pretend this time by saying "I did not have a relationship before." I was not too keen asking her details about those previous relationships. But, since Claudine has a few traits of a most women, who has wonderful probing skills and immense amount of curiosity, asked me many questions. Well, just like most men, I too answered all her questions, trying to be good. After two hours, I thought it would be a good idea to meet her again but alone this time. So, I asked her out. I thought she was going to say "No" and make me miserable. But, she said "Yes" and that brought a sigh of relief and smile on my face. 

The next day, I asked her if we could visit The Grill, a fine dining restaurant in Munich, after seeing their menu. I was keen to eat Chateaubriand, my favorite French dish. She was happy to visit The Grill so we decided to meet on the following Saturday for lunch. 

The Grill Restaurant Munich
A Fine Dining Restaurant

On Saturday, I came early in order to woo her and not plunder the first impression. She walked in ten minutes after I arrived. I saw her from a distance and she looked stunning. She was wearing a tribal print bodycon dress, glazed multi white heels, less make up and left her hair open again. We were at the restaurant for nearly two hours and not a moment I took my eyes off her. Since she is French, she had this strong accent while speaking in English. It definitely demanded a lot of attention and I was happy to give all that. We enjoyed the chateaubriand and sauvignon blanc wine we ordered. 


English Garten Munich
Park in Munich

After lunch, we went to a nearby park, thanks to the wonderful weather. We sat there and started chatting. Suddenly, she held my hand. Well, that was a great start and I felt nice. I knew it was going to lead to something. For a moment, we stopped talking and just kept seeing each other in the eye. It was utterly quiet and I felt my heart pumping really fast. I was nervous but pretended to be manly. Claudine came really close to me and our lips were really close to each other. Just when we were about to kiss each other, my brother woke me up from my sleep. The rest is history. 




03/08/2014

Friendship's Day - Back In The Days

Friendship's Day is widely celebrated across the world on different days i.e. the first Sunday of every August or 2nd August or 30th July. Back in the days, Friendship's day was a day many of us waited very eagerly so we can explicitly share our love and affection to our dear friends. 

During our school days, my friends and I always planned much in advance what we were going to be doing on Friendship day. And, some of us were extremely popular in many groups. Many of us had different circle of friends including those from tuition, school, street, sports, and many more. And, we also bought gifts categorically. We weighed friendships and purchased gifts for one and other based on the intimacy levels with them. 

At school, many of us would buy friendship bands and tie them only on those we were always close to or perhaps end an enmity. Some even went a step further by tying friendship bands on a girl/boy who they loved or to create that new intended bonding. Some of them, comfortably, chose to tie bands on those girls/boys who they never wanted to treat beyond a friendship. So, for example, if a girl came to know that a boy liked her, she would immediately go to him and tie a friendship band on his hand to indicate that their relationship was limited to friendship and nothing beyond that. 

Some guys and girls never bought any gifts or friendship bands for others for two reasons:

1) they never believed in the concept of friendship's day
2) they never wanted to be friends with those people

So what did people really gift others on friendship's day? The list was endless and like I indicated earlier, gifts were based on the intimacy levels with that friend. Some of them included:




CD/Cassettes 



Jewelry 













Some of them never purchased gifts but would celebrate the day with their friends by going for a movie, dining at a restaurant, visiting a theme park, et cetera. Friendship's day was another to show more love and affection. 

A day after the friendship's day, many of us would discuss who gave what to each other. On that day, there would be heated arguments or discussions as to why some did not get or some got only what he/she could afford. If there was a common person in two groups that fought with each other, this common person was always asked:

a) Where did you go with that group or what did you do?
b) What kind of gifts were exchanged and why was not the same thing shared with us? 

For many friendship's day was a very big day and some eagerly waited not just to celebrate and give gifts but also to know what another friend has got for himself/herself. No matter how big the arguments or emotions attached over gifts that were sent/received, the only thing that really lasted between one and other was the friendship. 

At the end of the day, it is not gifts that matter. It is not whether you are there with that friend always. What matters is if you are there for the friend at the right moment. 
A Friend in need is a friend indeed. 

A friend is there even inside a mother, father or sibling. Without friends, we are nothing. We all need friends no matter what. Friends complete us. 

Happy Friendship's day
"Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."  Elbert Hubbard 
"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost." Charles Caleb Colton 
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." Anais Nin 
"My friends are my estate." Emily Dickinson 
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." Walter Winchell 
"A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else." Len Wein 

I LOVE MY FRIENDS


01/05/2014

Cakes N Bakes - Finest Cakes In Chennai

Cakes N Bakes has been around in Chennai for more than 30 years. My mom and I have been purchasing cakes from 1984 only from Cakes N Bakes whenever there is a celebration at home or at friends. 

There was a time in my life when I was going through an emotional wreck and purchased 1/4 kilo of chocolate truffle cake every two days. Not a single time did the taste or quality deplete. 

Cakes N Bakes is known for its exquisite quality of cakes. The blackforest cake at Cakes N Bakes is one of our family's favourite. Every blackforest cake in India is sweet unlike the original and authentic German Blackforest cake that is bitter. And still Cakes N Bakes manages to make the best blackforest cake of the Indian version i.e. sweet. 

The different variety of breads and other delicacies or snacks they sell are good too. The cakes are less expensive too and the prices have not changed a lot over the last few years and have managed to be extremely competitive to other bakers in the market.

It's quite amazing that Cakes N Bakes haven't marketed theirselves on social media platforms unlike new and emerging bakers in the city who spend a lot of time, effort and money on marketing their business rather than making quality cakes or looking at long term sustainability.

My favourites at the Cakes N Bakes are any chocolate cake (I love chocolate flavour) and blackforest cake. 

Cakes 5/5
Food 4/5
Service 4.5/5
Ambiance 3.5/5
Parking is available 

27/04/2014

Good Breakfast Spread At Courtyard Marriott, Chennai



This morning's breakfast buffet at the Courtyard Marriott was very nice. The spread was quite good and had variety of dishes that included Dosa, Idli, Chutneys, Cornflakes, Sausages, Bacon, Sandwiches, Paratha, Juices, Coffee and Tea, Live counter for Omlettes, Toasts, breads, Upma, Grilled Tomatoes, Roasted Oven Potatoes and many more. 

The food tasted delicious. The roasted oven potatoes was soft and a bit bland and tasted yummy. When I was busy gobbling bacon and sausages, one of the staff members came and asked if I need coffee and tea. When I said coffee, he asked if I would like to have indian filter coffee. In return, he asked if I wanted sugar and  for which I replied with a resounding yes. The filter coffee was extremely tasty and the nicotine just blew my mind. 

Overall, the breakfast buffet at the Courtyard Marriott was really good. I doubt they had any sweets though. 

Food - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Location - 4.5/5

26/04/2014

Buffet Lunch At Vasco's, Hotel Hilton, Chennai - Restaurant Review






Yesterday, the buffet spread at Vasco in Hotel Hilton was again exquisite. The buffet included dishes namely Paneer Butter Masala, Irish Steak, Fish Kebab, Pizzas (veg and non veg), Lamb Biriyani, Sushi, Indian Chaat, Strawberry Cheese Cake, Egg Fried Rice, Potata Mash, Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed, wide range of really soft Icecreams, Salads, Breads, and the list was endless. It is really a feast for big foodies.


Hotel Hilton Chennai


Am a regular at the Vasco's in Hotel Hilton, and the menu is fantastic every single time I visit it. I find many expats eating at Vasco's and majority are the ones who stay at the Hotel. And, its predominantly the Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) from the expat clan who come for the lunch/dinner buffet. The food is exotic, scrumptious and extremely delicious. The quality of food is definitely topnotch.





The only disappointment for me was the Lemon Mojito which was very sour. The service was extraordinary and I even had a few suggestions from one of the chefs. The suggestion was by far one of the best for the day.

Hotel Hilton is situated in Ekkadthangal, which is close to the Chennai Airport and not far away from town. Currently, there is Metro Work going on and it could possibly be quite annoying for guests to stay. But, that problem would not be for long. Once the metro is up and running, Hotel Hilton could possibly be one of the busiest hotels in Chennai.





Rs. 800 +TAX Breakfast (Mon-Sun)
Rs. 1295 +TAX Lunch (Mon-Fri)
Rs. 1495 +TAX Dinner (Mon-Thu)
Rs. 1900 +TAX Seafood Brunch (Fri)
Rs. 1795 +TAX Brunch Without Alcohol (Sat-Sun)
Rs. 2195 +TAX Brunch With Alcohol (Sat-Sun)
Rs. 1900 +TAX Seafood Dinner (Fri)




Food - 5/5
Service - 5/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Location - 4/5

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