Sync up your digital life at Univercell Sync store

Filed under:Reviews,Technology — posted by dhempe on 28 August, 2014 @ 10:33 am

Recently Indiblogger invited me to visit Univercell Sync store in Bangalore to experience the new place and share my views on the same. I was pleasantly surprised to walk into the Univercell Sync store in Indiranagar as it was very spic, span and spacious. It is just next to KFC junction on CMH road in Indiranagar so you can’t really miss it! It was also wonderful to see that customers were being able to experience the phones and tablets in a very casual manner rather than being restricted to see only dummy phones.

I loved the following quote on the wall at Univercell Sync which was “The future isn’t what it used to be and neither are you. Why just see, if you can do. Tomorrow is here, Tomorrow is you.” This was a wonderful line which encompasses the entire logic of Univercell Sync store which is to experience future hands-on as it is created by us the consumers, not companies!

We were fortunate to meet Soumya Menon who is the VP Brand Strategy of Univercell and who was very excited to meet the indibloggers and showcase their store’s USP to us. She started with the music section of the store where you get to experience the best speakers and headphones for your phones. Soumya was of the opinion that present headphones given with mobiles and tablets are not good enough to experience the real audio power of your devices. So it’s important to experience music in the way it is meant to be with Sony speakers and Beats headphones which ensures you a wonderful listening experience. She was mentioning that customers experience this zone and return to buy the speakers and other musical devices.

I experienced the music zone and would say that is a wonderful thought process by Univercell to incorporate this zone to make understand that our smartphones are not just good for apps but also for music. It’s important to experience this in the right format rather than get adjusted to the below-par musical experience we get via the regular headphones or loudspeaker mode. It was also nice to see music apps being featured here along with music accessories.

Another section which was very prominent in the store and was just next to the entrance was the New & Noteworthy section. This was featuring all the latest, most popular and most talked about phones and tablets in the market. This ensured that customers got quickly what they wanted when they got into the store rather than search for the popular products across the store. Very good idea, I must say!

In this age of selfies and instant photographs, how can they miss not having a section for photography enthusiasts? This section was a collection of the best photography enabled phones and a good mention of photography apps. This ensured that Univercell Sync store is not just a selling platform but also a sharing and community building platform for customers who were entering into the smartphone world for the first time.

There was also a printing zone where you could experience the best printers and perfect quality prints possible right now. It is one of the most essential zones right now for a family because right from the working parents to the studying children, everyone needs access to a good printer for their multiple needs.

I also liked the accessories zone which allowed me to mix and match different headphones for different phones and understand more about their features and specialties. It was also good to know that Univercell Sync has a Sync squad which enables customers to configure devices with other existing devices at home for a nominal fee. This is very good for non-tech-savy customers who want to experience the products. I would recommend Univercell Sync store to any customer who wants to enjoy his mobile and accessories buying experience rather than be dictated by the shop owners or distributors which is happening right now!

This post is written for the Univercell Sync contest on Indiblogger.

A memorable family outing in the Coorg District…

Filed under:Reviews — posted by dhempe on 23 August, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

Located amidst the forest area, Coorg District in Karnataka, is my favorite destination to be in touch with the nature. It is a common tourist attraction, famous for coffee and ethnic warrior people. There’s a lovely temple near the river bank dedicated to Lord Brahma, which is worth a visit for it’s spiritual attraction.

For me this holiday was a special one as I finally took time off from my busy schedule to be with my family. My wife and I were always fond of exploring the forests. With Coorg Resort as an ideal destination, you can enjoy being in the forest as well as relax in a luxurious resort and get the free time to play with your kid and teach him about the wonders of the nature.

Interestingly, this vacation taught me a lot about being a responsible parent. Coorg district has plenty of resorts and we chose to stay at the Orange Country Coorg resort where you can isolate yourself from the society and indulge in the romantic getaway. My son wanted to go out and see the wildlife in the jungle. However, I was fearful for him getting affected by the diseases caused by the harmful mosquito bites. You can never say anything about the health and hygiene of a particular place, especially when the environment is new and open. Everday, the newspaper reports stories of people dying due to Malaria, Dengue, Chikungnya . My kid was insisting me to go and explore the natural vegetation in the forest, but I was unsure about the plan, but nevertheless, I also didn’t want to spoil his enthusiastic spirit. My wife suggested that I should go and ask the resort guy about the safety measures to undertake while exploring out in the open forest.

The resort guide was very polite and helpful. Looked like a well qualified individual from some Hotel Management course, he instructed us to spray an insect repellent before venturing out in the forest. Honestly, I had not used an insect repellent before, so I was unsure about its performance. I read the details on the repellent and the insect repellent factor indicated that the product gives the protection for up to 8 hours from mosquitos and it can be used by adults and children below the age of 3 years.

I became a little confident upon using the repellent which was named as Jungle Formula. After that my son and I went out to see what was stored in the jungle, whereas my wife wanted some time alone, as she was engrossed in reading a book on Human Psychology. I felt really proud as a father to take him out in the jungle. He was mesmerized to see dense wooden forest and we also spotted a deer from a distance. I was lucky enough to take a photograph of the deer.

When returning back to the resort, I inquired about the insect repellent which the resort guys were using. It was a Deet based mosquito repellent, meant for the purpose of lowering the risk of getting exposed to the harmful insect bite. I had immediately bought two bottles for the future.

We had sprayed the repellent to be protected in the outside area. The next day was spent in exploring the wonderful temple of the Coorg District. It gave me such positivity to be around with nature, family and among the old temples of India. But as they say all good things must come to an end. Our two-three days vacation also ended, on a simple and subtle note. My kid learnt so many things about the nature, wildlife and the history of India, which could be interesting to a kid only when he/she explores the beautiful world outside. He has also learnt to take care of himself. Now he understands the importance of carrying a first aid box and insect repellent on a vacation. It is simply the small and subtle things of life which can help us grow and realize that the ultimate wealth of life is – Good Health.

#FightAgainstMosquitoes and do your bit in saving yourself from the harmful diseases. Don’t take life for granted because prevention is always better than the cure. Enough said. Now I am back to work with a new energy and love for life.

Stay United at The United Sports Bar and Grill Bangalore

Filed under:Food,Restaurant Reviews,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 12 August, 2014 @ 11:02 pm

The United Sports Bar and Grill which has newly opened in the premium mall of Bangalore, Phoenix Market City, Whitefield is a great place for friends and family to unite, have fun and to enjoy the best of sports. It’s a full service, casual all-day dining bar that predominantly features multi cuisine to suit the taste buds of diners across the region. It is a place for like-minded individuals to gather and cheer for their favorite teams, share a smile and swear over winning or losing!

The United Sports Bar and Grill, a 136 seater is a treat for all Sport fanatics. The place comes alive during a match where the fans scream their lungs out in support of their favorite teams. Key design features of the outlet includes Community Table, Stick of Fame, Pool Table and Giant projector screen.

I liked the concept of the Community Table as can be seen in the above picture. It is a seating area which has a direct view to the giant projector screens. It’s a perfect setting to enjoy a great game with friends. The live telecast of some of the biggest sporting events happens on the giant projector screen which is the biggest and widest projector screen in Bangalore!

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Foodie adventures at Inorbit Mall Whitefield Bangalore

Filed under:Food,Restaurant Reviews,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 11 August, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

4Seasons multi cuisine restaurant

Launched in the year 1998, became very popular and desired destination for many to enjoy multi cuisine delicacies. Thanks to their customers who are their brand ambassadors rewarding them with growing popularity. Not only their customers grew in Hyderabad but it was surprise and pleasure to see the increase in customers from neighboring states like Karnataka. Lot of business travelers going out of city plan to get back to their destination with their takeaways, the only reason, customers enjoy the food they serve and want to carry the same to their families and friends. This is moment of pride for all at 4Seasons to see their reach widening. Bangalore outlet was started in July 2011 and Whitefield outlet started with the starting of Inorbit Mall.

Some of the best non-vegetarian starters there were Lassoni Kebab, Goan Fish Kebab and Arabic Saute Prawns . In mutton dishes, Mutton Rogan Josh was the best. There is also Mediterranean food like Hummus, Fattoush and Tabbouleh. In desserts I liked Mango Souffle and Umm Ali which is Arabic dessert with dry fruits.

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Relive the taste of Bangkok in Bangalore at Mr.Hong

Filed under:Food,Restaurant Reviews,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 9 August, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

Mr.Hong, an Oriental all-day dining restaurant and bar in Bangalore is now fully operational and serving up a great selection of inspiring dishes. Mr.Hong strives to offer the most authentic Asian fare in town together with comprehensive collection of teas from the Asia Pacific region.

Set against a contemporary décor with subtle art deco undertones featuring Chinese artifacts such as clay pots and jars reminiscent of the age-old Tea trade, Mr. Hong’s dining room is both theatrical and welcoming. In mocktails, we started with Apple Ginger Mint.

As a food and beverage concept, Mr.Hong revolves around tea as the underlying theme infused in every aspect of the brand, from food and beverage recipes to interior design. Serving an eclectic range of tapas-like steamed or fried dishes such as the proverbial Chinese Dim Sums, Mr.Hong aims to epitomize Chinese and South Asian hospitality at its best. In non-vegetarian starters, tried out the Steamed Chicken Dumpling which was perfectly made and reminded me of the streets of Bangkok!

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Troika’s Cocktail Workshop with Rohan Carvalho

Filed under:Food,Restaurant Reviews,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 8 August, 2014 @ 10:33 am

Recently we were invited to the new, airy and fresh terrace lounge in Bangalore which is the Troika lounge on 100 feet road in Indiranagar just next to Starbucks. It promised a perfect blend of spirits, food, and an open sky. There was protection from too much wind and rain though due to a canopy so we were not worried about the same. It was time for us to indulge our senses in an extensive array of beverages and an exquisite spread of global cuisines ranging from Coastal to Oriental to Mediterranean, along with a live interactive kitchen.

One interesting activity was lined up for us. It was a cocktail making workshop with one of the best bartenders in India – Rohan Caravalho of Bar Square. Having known Rohan for more than 2 years now, we knew it was an amazing session which lay ahead of us as he mixes anecdotes with tips on how to make the best cocktails and drinks for parties. My friend Nivedith and I were one of the first to start making the cocktails which was the Azure Twist.

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Lebanese Food Festival at Grand Mercure Bangalore

Filed under:Food,Restaurant Reviews,Reviews — posted by dhempe on 5 August, 2014 @ 6:40 pm

Grand Mercure Bangalore is a luxury hotel tucked away in the residential area of Koramangala in Bangalore. I was surprised to know this hotel has been there for more than 3 years now. When I heard of Lebanese Food Festival at the 12th Main restaurant at Grand Mercure Bangalore, I decided to check it out. When I usually read about Lebanese food, all I think of is hummus and Babaganoush. But it was wonderful to know that there was a lot more to cuisine as I could see when I went for the buffet there. The entire restaurant was decorated in Arabian and Lebanese style. The beauty of the place was charming and inviting people to take part in the gastronomical journey of Lebanon there.

As many of you know, Lebanon is an exotic country located on the Eastern Coast of the Mediterranean. Like India, the culture of Lebanon is infused with cultures from various empires. From the Ottoman Empire to the French Empire, the taste of Lebanon has been widely influenced. From the Ottoman Empire, the Lebanese menu changed to include olive oil, fresh bread and Baklava, a famous dessert. From the French empire, they included many of their famous patisseries. And of course how could one forget the evergreen and the most popular Shawarma! It is from Lebanon too and was on the live grill so that we could enjoy it’s taste! Executive Chef David and his team were on hand to ensure that we had a wonderful experience of tasting the best Lebanese food this side of the Mediterranean!

In starters for vegetarians, there was Arnabit Makhali( Fried Cauliflower) and Mucver (Zucchini fritters). For non-vegetarians, there was Lamb Kibbeh (Mutton Kebabs) and Sheesh Touk (Tender chicken pieces with tri peppers marinated in Lebanese spices). Personally I loved the Lamb Kibbeh and Chicken Shawerma which was from the live counters. The highlight of main course for me was the Batenjen ablama which is stuffed eggplant with minced lamb meat. Executive Chef David explained to me that this recipe is very rarely seen in Lebanese restaurants but is one of the most sought after recipes in the homes of Lebanon! I must say it tasted brilliantly well.

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Test driving the Tata Zest car in Green Goa

Filed under:Goa,Reviews,Travel — posted by dhempe on 27 July, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

Sunday started with a heavy breakfast and briefing about the 24km Tata Zest drive that we were going to take in Goa with 2 pit stops. We were a group of 3 bloggers who were going to drive 8kms each and then each interchange. My group consisted of Nivedith G and Christine who are famous bloggers from Bangalore and Delhi respectively. We started with a Diesel car and it was wonderful to drive through some of the most scenic locations in Goa.

We had a comfortable drive in it but we missed the touch screen dashboard which is present in the Diesel version. The Harman speaker system in the car was wonderful, we had a great time connecting the Bluetooth to the speaker and then talk to our friends on it while driving. The AC was perfect and provided great relief for us.

Next we tried the Petrol version which had touch screen dashboard and also 3 modes – Eco, Sport and City which can be used in multiple situations.

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Wonderful experience in Tata Zest blogger meet in Goa by BlogAdda

Filed under:Reviews,Travel — posted by dhempe on @ 12:32 pm

It all started with a mail from Harish Krishnan of BlogAdda. He asked me to keep the weekend of 26th and 27th July free for an unforgettable experience. I was wondering what it will be as I know BlogAdda arranges some exciting events for its star bloggers like car drives, events, books, prizes, etc. Immediately I blocked my time as I was sure I was never going to miss it for anything! Slowly the details started trickling in that it was the beautiful state of Goa which is going to host us.

As a part Goan (I grew up there) and someone who loves the sunshine state, I was really excited to go there albeit for a weekend. And then the most exciting news came up – I was going to be a part of 50 top bloggers from across India who are going to be flown down to Goa to experience something which many Indians haven’t experienced yet – the smashing new Tata Zest sedan car! Though the car is going to be officially launched only in August, we got an amazing opportunity to experience it much beforehand!

We landed in Goa from different parts of the countries and met at the airport which was wonderful as we could put faces to names of bloggers we have following and interacting for a long time. We drove down to beautiful Zuri sands resort where luxury was at it’s best. We were welcomed by Harish, Anant and Ankita of BlogAdda who made us comfortable and ensured that we were fed well so that we could exercise our brain cells in a better way.

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Budweiser’s Rise As One global campaign for FIFA World cup 2014

Filed under:Reviews — posted by dhempe on 23 July, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

As anticipation was growing across the globe for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, Budweiser proudly revealed Rise as One, their global creative campaign on behalf of their sponsorship of the global tournament. As the official beer sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, Budweiser had designed a holistic creative platform under the Rise As One thematic, which served to celebrate the moments that united and inspired fans of the beautiful game around the world.

#RiseAsOne

“While football brings out regional pride and fierce rivalries, it also brings fans across the globe together once every four years through shared passion,” said Andrew Sneyd, Global Vice President, Budweiser. “With the Rise As One campaign, Budweiser celebrates the world’s favorite game and its role in inspiring fans to celebrate the moments that unite us as a global community.”

BudFans

Budweiser is present in over 80 countries around the world, and Rise As One had truly global reach as markets around the world bought it to life through a unified platform including new television and out-of-home advertising, as well as customized local market activations and initiatives to engage fans in-store, online and across social channels. Additionally, Budweiser developed and distributed global broadcast and digital FIFA World Cup™ related content through strategic media partnerships.

Budweiser Winners

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace