Goa Carnaval 2014 Food & Cultural Festival

Filed under:Food,Goa,Travel — posted by dhempe on 19 April, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

To coincide with the Goa Carnaval 2014 celebrations and grand parade on March 1st 2014, Goa Tourism department organized the Food and Cultural Festival from February 28th to March 4th. I was honored to be invited by Goa Tourism board to visit these celebrations and blog about them. The Food & Cultural Festival 2014 happened on the Merces grounds just outside the capital city of Panaji and had some amazing performances lined up like Salsa Dances, Samba dances, performance by Indipop star Rabbi Shergill and popular bollywood singer Kunal Ganjawala. Along with this, there was food not just from Goa but from 15 different states of India so that visitors could venture on a gastronomical journey!

I was very excited to be there as I’m a foodie and love to try out different varieties available not just in Goa but across the country. The cuisine and rich legacy of Goa was depicted in this Food & Cultural festival which also included Samba performance by a Brazilian troupe specially flown down just for this occasion!

Chouris Pao which is a Goan delicacy made of Goan bread stuffed with Goan sausages was a big hit at the food festival as everyone wanted to try it. Firefly had a very interesting take on it saying “Susegad Rao and Eat Chouris Pao” which translated to “Chill out (Keep Calm) and eat Chouris Pao”!

There were lot of live BBQs set up with pork ribs, beef steaks and chicken steaks which were actively sought out by many tourists who loved the Goan masalas. The weather was perfectly cool allowing people to enjoy the BBQ along with some chilled beer or soft drinks.

Goa is well known for it’s sea food as it is home to more than 25 beaches even though its India’s smallest state! So it’s but obvious that Seafood is the best here and I tried many varieties of fish fry along with this Squid fry which was really spicy and jelled well with my chilled Kingfisher Beer! The prices of the liquor and food was kept very cheap so that every Goan and tourist could enjoy the food without worrying about the hit on their pockets!

There was also food from other states like Karnataka like Mysore Special Gobi Manchurian and American Sweet corn. Goans as well tourists were enthusiastically trying these dishes out. The food and cultural festival was Goa’s tribute to its diverse population and heritage; it’s aim was to spread a message of peace, unity and harmony.

Magsons, one of the legendary food and retail stores of Goa, also had a stall with Mexican Wraps which were Salsalito Tortillas with Chicken or Felafel fillings and served with Hummus and Tabouleh. They also had Salsalito Nachos with Guacamole and Garlic Cream Cheese! Needless to say, it was one of the most popular stores that evening too!

Moving on to the performances, there were wonderful Salsa performances by Goan dancers, few of whom had even appeared on national shows like “India’s Got Talent”. The energy and the enthusiasm by which these dancers performed got everyone on their feet and start dancing to the Salsa and Samba!

One of my favorite Bollywood Singers Kunal Ganjawala was up next who ensured that he kept the crowd pepped up and enthusiastic throughout the evening. He joked with the audience, interacted with them and even invited couple of them to dance with him! He sang some of his most popular songs like “Dil Keh Raha Hain”, “Dil na Diya”, “Channa Vey”, “Saalam Namaste” which got the crowd dancing like crazy but they were all waiting for his most popular song!

At the end he tried to leave the stage without singing “Bheegey Hont” but pleads from audience got him back and he sang the song to thunderous applause! In fact he had to sing it twice to appease the audience who just wouldn’t let him go!

I loved the way he sang “I got to go” in the same tune as the yoodle from “Bheegey Hont” song from Murder which made him famous overnight! He proved himself as a versatile singer who has a solid and deep knowledge of music rather than recent singers who claim to rap or sing in a nasal voice!

This year’s Carnaval revived the yesteryears’ fervor with larger-than-life décor, mask installations and a Food & Cultural Festival – the biggest of its kind in Goa. Goa Tourism left no stone unturned to take the 2014 Carnaval experience to a heightened level of excitement and entertainment!

The Food & Cultural Festival for the first time allowed visitors to not only get to taste local Goan Cuisine but also cuisines of 15 other states of India. It offered visitors the opportunity to experience cuisine and culture through a unique blend of food, fun, local and national live music performances, fashion shows, and entertainment.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the Food and Cultural Festival organized on the side lines of Goa Carnaval 2014 by Goa Tourism board and I thank them for a wonderful opportunity to be able to have a ringside view of the wonderful celebrations!

Goa Carnaval 2014 – Carnival depicting Goa like never before!

Filed under:Goa,Reviews,Travel — posted by dhempe on 18 April, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

Having lived in Goa during college times when I did my Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Dhempe college, I used to always look forward for the carnival in March which was a time for much merriment and rejoice. But since I moved to Bangalore to pursue my career, I had hardly gone to Goa during the carnival times as I would be busy with one or the other thing. So it was wonderful when I got an invitation from Goa Tourism to be a part of Goa Carnaval 2014 and live tweet the entire experience! Upon landing in Goa, I was very excited to see the streets of Goa decked up in revelry for the carnival!

Goa Carnaval 2014 is a celebration of Goan culture in the format of a Carnival which has been passed down to them from the Portuguese who ruled Goa for more than 400 years! The tradition of starting the carnival is that King Momo with his beautiful wives declares the Carnaval open and says that there will be no work for next 4 days, everyone should eat, drink and be merry!

Initially we saw a lot of kids from different schools in Goa impressing Deputy Chief Minister and Tourism Minister of Goa along with other VVIPs by dancing to different peppy numbers and bringing in the carnival zest! These kids were so enthusiastic and cheerful that they didn’t care about the hot afternoon sun and danced their heart out and received thunderous applause from the audience.

Once the floats started, there were lot of floats which depicted Goan life in a very different way than what you see in media. This float showed how women and men work together in different capacities in cottage industries to create some amazing produce from Goa. The hardwork and determination of these people was depicted in this float.

Many floats showcased the evils existing in the society right now and how we should counter them immediately otherwise they will destroy us. This particular float depicted how we should counter evils like corruption and cage it before it cages our children and our future. The creativity of the participants who had toiled for days to create such a beautiful float was well appreciated by all through applause and cheers.

Another float depicted the evils of smoking and drugs. It showcased how our youth is falling prey to these addictions and if not checked in time, it could lead to really bad consequences. It was wonderful to see this float as Goa is trying to eradicate the drug menace from the state and it won’t be possible without the support from the locals who want their beautiful state to stay beautiful!

All floats were not just about messages or supporting social causes. There were a lot of floats which had a lot of entertainment like live dances, loud music and generally spreading the cheer among all the audience. There were live bands on the floats which belted Goan songs along with popular music and the dancers on the streets following these floats never let their energy down and showed how hard Goa parties!

One of the most popular floats was the Konkan railways one which had its own King Momo with two very beautiful Salsa dancers from Russia who made many youngsters’ hearts skip a beat! This was one of the most colorful floats in the Goa Carnaval 2014 parade which didn’t showcase anything special about Konkan railways but scored high on the entertainment quotient!

The creativity and talent of the Goan folks who had put these floats highlighted the fact that Goan lifestyle is not about ‘susegad’ (lazy) lifestyle but about pouring passion and hard work in anything they do – business or leisure. The intricate detail with which this dragon is made is an example of the same.

Goans being big fans of Football and Brazilian football team (Brazil also being an ex-Portuguese colony like Goa), how could there be no float about the World Cup in Brazil specially as it is happening this year? So this float made innovatively over a Maruti Omni showed what is going to keep Goa busy when their cousins will be decking up for biggest celebrations of the world’s most popular sport!

Most popular float however should go to this dinosaur float which was moving around and scaring everyone, not just children! In such a small street also, the float driver could manoeuvre his way so well that we were quite surprised! The sound effects were really scary too and ensured that it provided a good laugh for both children and adults who were amazed and thrilled to bits!

Goa Carnaval 2014 was attended by Deputy Chief Minister of Goa, Mr. Francis D’Souza and Tourism Minister of Goa, Mr. Dilip Parulekar. Their support and encouragement made this event a world-class event. We were privileged to be seated with them and see the carnival celebrations. They mentioned they wanted to make Goa a destination for World class tourists by not just making them enjoy the natural beauty of Goa but also by seeing and experiencing Goan culture via the carnival floats.

Had an amazing time being treated like a VVIP thanks to Goa Tourism and reliving my teenage memories of Goa Carnaval. It feels great to proudly showcase this amazing carnival to the world which many don’t know about. Come to my home Goa during carnival times and experience a wonderful slice of life!

The Making of Harry Potter tour in London – Potterverse comes alive!

Filed under:Britain,Reviews,Travel — posted by dhempe on 7 April, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

Dreams do come true! I have been a fan of the Harry Potter Universe since I was introduced to the 4th book “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” way back in early 2003 in Stylus; and then started reading all the old books to get up to speed before the next book released in June 2003! I was such an addict to the Harry Potter series that I actually came to my office during a weekend to read the pirated PDF version of “Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix” as I didn’t have access to any other computer then! I was elated when I won the last book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007 in Accenture and I again finished the humongous book in just a weekend! So imagine how I would have felt when I reached “The Making of Harry Potter” Warner Bros Studio Tour in London in late March 2014!!

As part of the “Food is Great Britain” long haul food bloggers trip, I landed in London on the 21st of March 2014 and after checking in at the stunningly located Cheval Three Quays right next to the Tower Bridge, started on the trip of a lifetime to one of the most popular new tourist attractions in London – Warner Bros. Studio Tour of “The Making of Harry Potter”. Golden Tours, one of the leading tour operators in UK, runs regular trips all over Britain not just for the WB Studio Tour. The hangars which used to produce fighter planes in World War II in 2000 became home to sets where the highest-grossing film series ever was shot!

As soon as we entered into “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter”, we saw one of the most unforgettable locations in the Harry Potter film series – The Great Hall! How many of us have not wanted to be sitting in this great hall with Harry, Hermoine and Ron being a part of Gryffindor! It was wonderful to see the original customes used by the actors kept next to the tables and all the 4 houses of Hogwarts represented in the small hall which appeared to be a Great Hall in the movies! The table has some of the graffiti by the cast too as they thought of it as their own school!

The guides at the Making of Harry Potter tour were very knowledgeable and explained to us many aspects of film-making like how make up was done, what kind of props were used for the filming, some interesting anecdotes during the shooting, etc. It was great to see the guides talking passionately about the movies and they looked like Potter fans too! Did you know that the Greyback makeup effects artists developed a seven-piece silicone prosthetic mask for Greyback’s werewolf face? Each prosthetic was made with real goat hair that was inserted strand-by-strand!

One of the best movies I love in Harry Potter series is “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”. It featured some really cool sets like this time piece which was constantly being shown in the background to showcase that time is running out on Harry Potter and his friends! It was wonderful to see this along with the customes worn by the lead cast which were significantly different from the other movies as director Alfonso Cuaron (of controversial movie ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’ fame) wanted to give the movie an edgy feel!

The art department designed the Potions classroom to appear as though it were located in a dark, underground corner of the castle. The brass-leafed archways are inscribed with the Latin and English names of potion ingredients and rare minerals, all selected from ancient alchemy recipes. Students brewed their potions using old-fashioned, gas-powered Bunsen burners and among the ingredients kept on the classroom shelves were baked animal bones from a local butcher shop and dried leaves and herbs. It was also nice to see potions master Professor Snape’s custome there, who is indeed the half-blood prince!

I liked the fact that film-making was very well explained through many of the display items in the WB Studio Tour of Making of Harry Potter. Showcasing these vehicles including Hagrid’s motorcycle against a green screen with visuals playing at the back about how green screen shooting happens, helped everyone understand the entire film-making process. It was wonderful to see so much effort being put into creating each of these vehicles exactly similar to the ones described in the books, right down to the detail!

I tried my hands at few of the spells which were taught to me by enthusiastic guides and I must say I did manage to master a few, especially “Expecto Patronum” which is the Patronus Charm! I guess my animal was a HippoGriff cause I saw a moving Buckbeak next!!

In the back lot, I took a ride in Hagrid’s motorcyle which reminded me of Sholay movie and also the 22 foot tall Knight Bus! It seems the Knight Bus was created from pieces of three vintage London double-deckers. 2 versions of the bus were built – one that was motorised and able to be driven; and one which was the ‘stunt’ version which spun around on a turntable! Interior shots of the Knight Bus were filmed on a soundstage though! At the back you can see Number four, Privet Drive which was the house of Harry Potter for 11 years and also during most of his summer holidays!

The Creature Effects section was excellent, specially the life size robots which were created for shooting. Aragog, the giant spider, had an 18-foot leg span and was covered by hand with yak hair, sisal (a fibrous plant of the agave family) and hemp from brooms. The animatronic figure was so complex that it required nearly 100 technicians to operate each time! The head of the Basilisk was huge and could be moved by animatronics too!

Finally the jewel in the crown of the art department was the intricately detailed model of the Hogwarts castle. Built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the model’s every courtyard, tower and turret were filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create unforgettably realistic views of the magical school. It was great to see how you can differentiate between day and night versions of this castle by the lights dimming and lighting up across this model. Most of the special effects scenes were shot with this model and not the real set. The work on the model itself was so extensive that if one was to add all the man hours that have gone into building and reworking the model, it would come to over 74 years!

I would suggest everyone going to the UK to definitely make a trip to “Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter” as it is one of the best ways you can spend your 3-4 hours just 1 hour away from central London. Golden Tours operate regular buses but remember that you must book your tickets in advance. No tickets will be available at the venue.

Brasil Reveal at Puma Social Club Bangalore – a slice of brasil!

Filed under:Fashion — posted by dhempe on @ 12:30 pm

#BrasilReveal @ PUMA Social Club - A slice of brasil in Bangalore

Everyone is talking about Brasil. Everyone is thinking it. PUMA brought a little slice of Brasil to Bangalore at the PUMA Social Club!

PUMA’s brand new Brasil collection has only just hit the stores, but before it did, they gave a handful of very creative people a sneak preview of the collection.

PUMA invited a few special folks across the industries of music, fashion, design and photography and revealed the Brasil collection to them.

They then asked them to use the next 3 hours to interpret the collection through their art or through a collaboration with a fellow creative person present there.

Among those present were:

Shyma Shetty & Pranav Misra (HUEMN)
Sounak Sen Bharat (House of Three)
Elton Fernandez (Make up and hair stylist)
Akshai Sarin (Producer)
Premik Jolly (Musician)
Raka Ashok (Illustrater/Music producer)
VJ Kaycee (Visual Jockey)
Ashish Parmar (Photographer)
Richaa Agarwal (Photographer/Film Maker)

They came, they saw, they got inspired and the result of their inspiration was stunning!

Cheval Three Quays, London – fabulous stay in the heart of London!

Filed under:Britain,Food,Reviews,Travel — posted by dhempe on 5 April, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

As most of you know, I have been blogging on and off for more than 12 years now both in a personal capacity and for brands and events. Recently I got an amazing opportunity to be part of a 30 member blogger team from all over the world who were invited by Visit Britain to tour their amazing country by experiencing it first hand! This 30 member team was from all over the world but I was the only Indian in it! I was a part of the 5 member long haul food bloggers team which spent 2 days in London and 4 days in Scotland to experience amazing food and travel experiences!

Our first stop was the fabulous Cheval Three Quays serviced apartments in the heart of London, right next to Tower Bridge and Tower of London! Serviced Apartments are becoming a credible alternative to world’s finest hotels in London, attested by the arrival of a striking new collection of 97 serviced and 62 extended stay luxurious apartments at Cheval Three Quays, which opened on 10th March 2014 next to the Tower of London alongside the River Thames. Bed rooms and bath rooms were spacious and included every amenity required!

Cheval Three Quays is the latest desirable address from luxury apartment specialists Cheval Residences which already offer seven beautiful residences in some of London’s most sought after locations. The spacious and elegant one, two and three-bedroom apartments at Cheval Three Quays have dramatic floor to ceiling windows allowing guests un-obscured views of the River Thames with most featuring private glass and steel balconies with spectacular views including the Tower of London, City Hall and the Shard.

Each of us were staying in a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartments which was shared with a fellow blogger. My apartment mate was Lee Abbamonte who claims to be the youngest American to visit EVERY country! Unfortunately I couldn’t talk to him much as we both were tired from long journeys to London and he left early the next day to Scotland for adventure blogging, I’m following him on Twitter and hopefully will take tips from him sometime soon!

My room had wonderful view of the legendary Tower Bridge which is an iconic landmark of London along with Tower of London. I was surprised to know that this is NOT London Bridge as we hear in nursery rhymes. I saw a documentary about Tower of London being an execution place for high profile criminals and a heavy security jail many centuries back so I was a bit scared hoping that it’s not haunted as I was just staying opposite to it!

This is the video I made from the pent house at Cheval Three Quays, London where we had our breakfast with brilliant views all around. I have mentioned how we could see the world famous Shard and Tower Bridge very clearly from our rooms itself! I would definitely recommend this place over any other hotel as you have the flexibility to make your own meal and have easy accessibility to all the touristy places.

We were blessed with wonderful weather while in London so we had some brilliant views of the Shard, London Eye, Tower Bridge and Tower of London in the evenings too! It was calm and peaceful in the evening to just have a cocktail or tea and see the cruises on River Thames with the entire London skyline lit up before you. It was a bit chilly though so it was important to always wear a jacket or pull over as Spring was just ending and Summer was around the corner.

During breakfast at Cheval Three Quays London, I loved these pancakes with dollops of honey and topped up with fried eggs. I’m a big fan of pancakes but loved to see this version of it. I asked for seconds and from the likes of it, world’s top travel and food bloggers liked it too!

Another dish was brownies with sausages on top of them. I didn’t find this dish very interesting as I didn’t feel they mixed well. But it seemed to be a hit with Europeans. I guess it caters to their taste buds.

Stay of 2 nights at Cheval Three Quays London was excellent as they were like home away from home in the heart of one of the biggest and historically important cities in the World! I’m looking forward to my next stay there with my family for a longer duration when we could cook inside itself and save up money to do more travelling! Here is a 360 degrees vine video I made from the pent house showcasing brilliant views around!

Steaming Sensations makes a comeback at Shiro!

Filed under:Food,Restaurant Reviews,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 20 March, 2014 @ 11:54 am

Shiro brings to its food connoisseurs ‘Steaming Sensations’

Shiro – the flagship restaurant of JSM Corporation has opened its door to food lovers with ‘Steaming Sensations’ yet again after last year’s sterling success! The restaurant is offering an enviable variety of dim sums specially created by their expert chefs. From February 24 – March 23, guests can choose from a varied range of 13 ‘new & freshly created’ dim sums that are exclusive to Shiro’s guests!

Patrons can choose from a wide array of vegetarian dim sums such as Vegetable Crystal Dumplings, Spicy Broccoli & Water Chestnut Dumpling, Cabbage & Iceberg Lettuce Gyoza amongst many others. These small yet explosive bundles of flavour make for a perfect healthy meal.

Non-vegetarians can now savour on Steamed Chicken with Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf, Chicken & Sichuan Peppercorn Dumpling, Steamed Fish with Ginger Lemon Sauce; not missing on the culinary masterpieces that include Aromatic Fish in Banana Leaf and the Classic prawn dumpling that is filled with a twist of chillies and fish sauce known as Phoenix Eye Dumpling. Keeping it steaming and juicy in bamboo baskets, the dim sums are accompanied with a tongue-tickling dip that is made in-house by the chef; called the XO sauce.

Staying true to the Oriental tradition, Shiro ensures a complete experience as it offers detoxifying Green Long Ding, aromatic Jasmine Mandarin and cooling Rose in Bloom from SUBLIME’s tea that can be paired well with these ‘delicate’ dumplings. These dim sum delicacies are available in a la carte as well as in baskets of 3 and 5, and this new menu is accompanied with unlimited tea, priced between Rs. 650 – 950++ taxes.

Shiro continues to ‘touch hearts’ with their exotic spread and amazing offers with Steaming Sensations!

Forum Value Mall celebrates the festival of colours Holi

Filed under:Reviews — posted by dhempe on 17 March, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

Forum Value Mall had decided to make this festive season bright and jolly by celebrating Holi in all its glory. This year the mall planned to spread joy and colour through a very exciting “Holi-Guns Flea Street”. The mall exterior was lined with colourful tents for two straight days, on the 15th and 16th of March. The flea street was theme based, sure to bring out the bright and playful side in everyone.

Holi, being the festival of colours is widely celebrated and usually comprises of a variety of fun activities, keeping this in mind, the market was be split into four zones, each catering to something “Holi Specific”.

One zone catered to all Holi related products, such as Pichkari’s and water balloons. The area was also littered with stalls selling colourful powders and bangles. Moreover, this zone also included an ethnic stall that was selling colourful dupattas as well as traditional and brightly patterned colourful chappals.

The second zone comprised a choice of enjoyable workshops. You could get your hands delightfully decorated at the mehendi stall or sign up for some unadulterated fun at the pottery stall, set up only to make your day more memorable. There was something for everyone at Forum Value Mall during the Holi weekend, there was a zone dedicated to stalls exclusive to bags, jewelry, furnishings, artifacts, portraits and T-shirts. These stalls also gave a resplendent look in light of the festival heightening your joyous mood.

Any festival isn’t complete without food, to satiate your appetite a zone was exclusively dedicated to mouthwatering delights from Rajdhani. Start at the finger licking chaat counter and make your way to the delicious samosa and kachori stalls. Indulge in the Holi drink Thandai or the infamous Masala Chai and wind up the festivities with some sweet treats such as hot jalebis and delectably dripping Mal Pua’s.

Furthermore, get your groove on with the Zumba and Bollywood dance sessions that will be held inside the atrium and conducted by Zealers Dance Studio, the sessions will be held twice between, 10 am-12:30 pm and 5 pm-7 pm. Forum Value Mall is certain to put the ‘fest’ into festival this weekend.

FASHION PARTY COLLECTION forays Bangalore’s party circuit

Filed under:Fashion,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 15 March, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

Kristal Spirits in collaboration with F BEVERAGES LTD, an affiliated company of Fashion TV launched the globally celebrated FASHION VODKA in Bangalore at the capital’s most fashionable party destination, Icebar at Vivanta by TAJ. Globally renowned DJ Helen Swan and a live performance by MC Ms. Ania J, the voice of Fashion TV, got the crowd to dance the night away till the wee hours of the morning; while the guests enjoyed cocktails perfected by FASHION VODKA.

The rocking Fashion Party was immaculately planned to host the city’s elite socialites and renowned personalities from many walks of life. The party animals walked the red carpet while the photographers snapped away their pictures with the paparazzi inspired backdrop at Icebar. Performances by exotic LED dancers and an exclusive Fashion show by Michelle Salins featuring sensuous and exquisite cocktail and evening dresses inspired by the style and confidence FASHION VODKA embodies set the evening high on fashion, glee and glamour.

Adding to the glam quotient was a live performance by Ania J, the voice of FTV, who amused the crowd with her chartbusting song “What’s app Man” and her latest song for Fashion TV “Trillionaire” among others. It turned the heat up among the city’s crème-de-la-crème at the rocking Fashion Party.

Speaking at the launch party, Mr. Arun Aditya Singla, Managing Director, Kristal Spirits, commented, “Youth in India today is fashionable, stylish and confident and all these characteristics epitomize the FASHION VODKA Party Collection. Our main aim is to deliver world class premium products to the Indian consumers. FTV has a great fan following and the beverages by FTV have got an overwhelming response across the globe. We are getting closer to our audience by bringing in innovative concepts like F Parties and premium global products to the Indian market and we are confident of its success.”

Commenting on FASHION` VODKA’s launch, Mr. Rahul Kashyap, CEO, Kristal Spirits, said, “FASHION VODKA Party Collection is meant for those who seek a fashionable lifestyle, are stylish, sociable and enjoy partying. Fashion Vodka is all about style, elegance and celebrating success. It is a brand that represents style and confidence and it perfectly complements the urban lifestyles of Bangalore’s jet-setters where fashion is a key influencer.”

FASHION VODKA was brought to the world by Michel Adam Lisowski, Founder of FTV under the concept of fashionable drinks. Termed as the “Essence of Fashion”, the vodka is designed to mirror the signature features of the FASHION VODKA family. FASHION VODKA Party Collection follows the principles of purity, clarity and simplicity with a design that successfully represents style and confidence. The extended use of gold color in the overall product presentation makes the design more unified, conveys an extravagant mood and a reflection of high quality, as the spirit within.

Sensational Sliders from Mai Tai Lounge & Trader Vic’s

Filed under:Food,Restaurant Reviews,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 14 March, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

Aloha! It’s sliders time at Mai Tai lounge & Trader Vic’s ~ ‘Sensational Sliders’ from February 24 – March 23, 2014~

Trader Vic’s & Mai Tai Lounge are known for the unique tropical environment around the world. The lounge offers a phenomenal range of world-inspired food with fresh ingredients that are seared to create deliciously prepared global cuisine. This spring season the Tiki-culture inspired lounge is all set to introduce an exquisite array of sliders called ‘Sensational Sliders’, which starts from February 24 and goes on till March 23, 2014. The lounge has inspired various palates globally & continues to do so during this month long activity where diners will relish flavorful sliders at Mai Tai Lounge and Trader Vic’s.

With the Chef’s expertise, Trader Vic’s & Mai Tai Lounge have come up with interesting renditions of this latest dish in the food trend. Vegetarians can choose from a refreshing Beetroot and Brown Rice slider to a Falafel Pita, or a wholesome Cottage Cheese & Olive Tepanade to a Mushroom Alfredo slider.

Non-vegetarians can indulge in varying fillings and flavors with a choice of Italian Herb & Chicken, Jalapeno & Olive Chicken or a seafood delight such as Thai Fish Cake, Chilli & Lime Fish, Black Bean Prawn Slider. These sliders are priced between Rs. 250 – 290++ taxes. The fantastic buns and toothsome patties make these sensational sliders a perfect accompaniment with Kingfisher beer, which is priced at an additional Rs. 99++ taxes which will be available only at Trader Vic’s & Mai Tai Lounge.

Embark on a culinary journey with exquisite sliders accompanied with Kingfisher beer- All only at Mai Tai Lounge & Trader Vic’s

5 amazing food destinations in Malaysia

Filed under:Food,Travel — posted by dhempe on 13 March, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

I have traveled to many countries in the world like United States for official conferences, Hong Kong for video blogging, South Africa for Travel blogging/Cricket blogging and Sri Lanka for photo blogging. Each of them have been interesting in their own ways and one of the main differentiating factors have been the food destinations in each of these countries. Being a foodie, I love to explore amazing food that each destination has to offer and try out however unpleasant it may look like or smell like!

2014 being the year of “Visit Malaysia”, I would love to visit the wonderful country which embodies the soul of entire Asia in just 1 country! Following are the 5 amazing food destinations I would like to try out in Malaysia:

Jalan Alor market, Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Alor market in the heart of Kuala Lumpur has got a bustling nightlife scene with regards to hundreds of food trucks dishing out yummy fare to thousands of hungry locals and tourists who want to enjoy a slice of fusion of cuisines available in Malaysia. You can also get into the many “Kedai Mamak” (Curry Houses) or “Kedai Kopi” (Coffee Shops) to mingle with the locals who mostly know English and chat with them and ask them for suggestions before trying out some local fare. The food cost is very easy on the pocket too and thus you can do a food trail with very less investment from your side!

Cameron Highlands, Pahang

Cameron Highlands in Pahang is Malaysia’s largest hill resort. There is a British culture here of having scones with your afternoon tea while you enjoy the cool weather and taste some fine produce of strawberries and vegetables. I would love to see the picturesque view of flourishing tea plantations while I enjoy a refreshing cup of tea.

Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

I would like to enjoy amazing views of World’s tallest twin towers – Petronas Twin Towers while enjoying a meal at a restaurant in Bukit Nanas tower. Having a glass of wine while eating a salmon while looking over the amazing skyline gives an exhilarating feeling of power and success!

Hawker food at George Town, Penang

George Town, the lively capital of Penang, has over 200 years of history and cultural heritage under its belt. It is renowned for its mouth-watering food, attracting steady streams of foodies from around the world to its warm shores. I would love to try out some amazing food from all over the world here with special emphasis on British and Malay food!

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah

Popular among divers and ecotourists, Tunk Abdul Rahman park’s relatively shallow waters are filled with an abundance of corals and aquatic species – perfect for snorkelling and diving for beginners. It’s also an amazing place to have BBQ lunch or dinner overlooking the ocean where you can relax with family and friends.

So the above 5 are my most favorite food destinations in Malaysia which I would like to explore this year! Hope my dream comes true and I can make all these dream experiences true!

I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with BlogAdda.com.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace