Archive for the ‘aundh’ Category

A CLEAN WELL LIGHTED PLACE – MOMO Cafe Courtyard by Marriott Hinjewadi Pune

August 10, 2009

A CLEAN WELL-LIGHTED PLACE

“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place!”

That’s the first thought that instantly comes to my mind the moment I enter Courtyard’s MoMo Café on Saturday afternoon.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is the title of my favourite Ernest Hemingway Short Story – the phrase depicts the café where the story is set.

Well that’s what MoMo Café is – a Clean Airy Well Lighted Spacious Friendly café with wonderful feel-good ambience and superb food, tasteful décor and pleasant aesthetics which make you feel fresh, cheerful, comfortable and relaxed. Yes, the bright vibes of the place certainly lift my spirits and make me feel good the moment I enter the lobby of Courtyard.

We walk in the spacious “courtyard”, past MoMo 2 Go, the “to go” grab and go deli, stocked with tempting baked delights, for those in a hurry.

Well, I am not in a hurry, so I leisurely stroll past the spic-and-span counter adorned with tempting goodies and the appetizing buffet spread. There are pickles, in traditional jars, a mix and match and toss your own salad counter, and soups and broths. Everything is so visually pleasing that I can sense the appetite being built up inside me.

It is heartening to see the immaculate open display kitchen – it always feels reassuring to see your food being cooked in front of you with impeccable standards of hygiene and quality.

I look around. MoMo Café is a happy place and the seating is comfortable, ample, user-friendly and well-designed.

It is a leisurely Saturday afternoon cosmopolitan crowd comprising a delightful assortment – joyful families, young IT executives, couples, singles, friends, business guests, eager foodies, relaxed tourists and cosy friends spending a leisurely afternoon over a chilled beer, a tasty bite and snug conversation. There is plenty of space, there is plenty of light, freshness in the air, and everyone, the kids and the adults, seems to be having a pleasant time, enjoying the food and the friendly atmosphere.

A discerning yet innovative menu features an imaginative choice of select dishes from a variety of cuisines, from the Orient and the Occident, ranging from starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas to Kebabs and an astute selection of traditional Indian dishes, sumptuous main course delicacies, and exclusive desserts to round off your meal. Despite the impressive array of multi-cuisine, it is a short and sweet uncluttered concise well thought-out menu – a sure sign of a restaurant that takes its food seriously.

We are wondering what to order, when Subhash, the Executive Chef, joins us, so we leave it to him to do the honours. He asks to select anything we fancy from the impressive array of dishes laid out for the lunch buffet and then we’ll try his recommendations from the a-la-carte menu.

I pick up some Seafood Broth – it’s non-spicy with a combination of seafood and lots of vegetables and nourishing, just like a basic Seafood Broth ought to be. The buffet seems to be very popular perhaps because the spread is so elaborate and I wonder what to sample. I start off with some bhuna gosht – it is excellent – succulent flavoursome pieces of mutton in luxuriant gravy. The scrumptious Mustard Fried Fish and Stroganoff tempt me to try out the whole buffet lunch but Subhash has already ordered a pizza from their wood fired pizza oven – I’ll only say this: The thin crust pizza is probably the best pizza I have ever tasted – it’s light, the crust melts in the mouth and allows the tongue to fully relish the taste of sauce, cheese and delectable toppings.

“Let’s have a Momo,” I say, harking back to mouth-watering memories of my Shillong days when I first relished the yummy wholesome Momo. At first I thought that maybe MoMo Café was a Momo place but Vyshnavi and Subhash educate me – the name MoMo Café exemplifies the concept of Modern Living and Modern Eating. But surely, isn’t it apt that MoMo Café has Momos on its menu – maybe next time!

Subhash orders Nasi Goreng for me and Conchiglie Pasta for my darling vegetarian wife. There is an interesting choice of wines, spirits and cocktails, but we prefer freshly squeezed orange juice as an accompaniment.

We are indeed fortunate to have an opportunity to interact with Subhash who is a veritable human encyclopaedia on wining and dining and all things culinary. The enlightening “foodie” conversation is sheer delight and Subhash’s  sincere love of food, passion for cooking and impressive repertoire of culinary knowledge enhance the eating experience and make our meal even more appetizing and intellectually stimulating.

The Nasi Goreng, Spicy Prawn Fried Rice with soft fried egg and Chicken Satay, is lip-smacking and fulfilling. I have a bite of the vegetarian Conchiglie Pasta too, savouring its inimitable taste of spinach in basil flavoured sauce, as Subhash explains the intricacies – the foam and the way this delicate dish is made.

For dessert, we have Tiramisu, the pièce de résistance of the meal. MoMo Café’s inimitable signature Tiramisu is marvellous – a fitting climax to a splendid meal. Subhash tells us it is a non-alcoholic Tiramisu, to cater to children and local preferences, but let me tell you that it is the best Tiramisu I have ever had and the delightful symbiosis of delectable tastes lingers within me for a long long time.

I will cherish mouth-watering memories of this lovely Saturday afternoon forever. I am sure MoMo Café is going to be a hit, a boon to the foodies of Pune, due to its unique location, superb food, vibrant ambience, impeccable standards of hygiene and quality, and the warm and friendly service.

I am certainly going to eat at MoMo Café again. And this time I am going to check out the Indian Cuisine. I’ll start with melt-in-the-mouth dissolve-on-your-tongue Galawat Kebab, savour a Nalli Nihari – let’s see how it compares with the authentic versions of this luscious fortifying breakfast dish I’ve relished in the heart of Delhi and Mumbai. Then I’ll try some Dum Biryani and end with a soothing Kulfi Falooda.

A true Foodie eats twice, first in his mind’s eye, and then with his taste buds. So whenever a Foodie ventures out to a new place he builds up some expectations – MoMo Café certainly exceeded my expectations in all aspects and we thoroughly enjoyed the overall dining experience.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009

Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Dear Reader, if you enjoyed reading this, and want to relish more such delicious foodie adventures, do read APPETITE FOR A STROLL


http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

vikramkarve@sify.com

http://www.indiaplaza.in/finalpage.aspx?storename=books&sku=9788190690096&ct=2

http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o

http://books.sulekha.com/book/appetite-for-a-stroll/default.htm

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APPETITE FOR A STROLL Foodie Adventures, Simple Recipes, Musings on The Art of Eating and Vikram Karve’s Authentic Guide to Value For Money Food in Mumbai and Pune

November 30, 2008

APPETITE FOR A STROLL 

[Foodie Adventures, Simple Recipes, Musings on The Art of Eating and Vikram Karve’s Authentic Guide to Value For Money Food in Mumbai and Pune]


By


VIKRAM KARVE

 

I have recently written a Foodie Adventures Book – Appetite for a Stroll.

Please click the link and read the review of Appetite for a Stroll titled Food for Soul in the Indian Express [Pune] Sunday 7th September 2008 

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/358363.html

expressonline book review

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Food-for-soul/358363/#

 

If you want to get a copy of the book just click the links below:

 

http://www.indiaplaza.in/finalpage.aspx?storename=books&sku=9788190690096&ct=2

 

http://books.sulekha.com/book/appetite-for-a-stroll/default.htm

 

 

I am sure you will enjoy reading the book, the delicious food at all the value for money eateries and cooking the recipes.


Happy Reading and Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

Mumbai Good Food Guide – Foodie Day

October 28, 2007

Click the link and enjoy a Foodie Day in Mumbai:

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/foodie-day-in-mumbai.htm

Happy Eating

Vikram Karve

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

Heavenly Dips

October 10, 2007

Lip-Smacking Dips for Cocktail Snacks.

Click the link and read on:

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/heavenly-dips.htm

happy eating

Vikram Karve

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

A Yummy Indian Cuisine – Dabba Gosht – Recipe

October 8, 2007

Want to try dabba gosht – just click the link below

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/dabba-gosht-my-all-time-favorite.htm

Happy Eating

Vikram Karve

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

Mumbai Good Food Guide

October 4, 2007

Eating out in Girgaum – click the link below and savor authentic maharashtrian cuisine in the heart of Mumbai

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/mumbai-good-food-guide-eating-out-in-girgaum.htm

happy eating

Vikram Karve

Aflatoon – an inimitable sweet, an easy recipe

October 4, 2007

My improvised recipe for aflatoon:

 Just click the link below and read on my creative writing blog

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/aflatoon.htm

Happy eating

Vikram Karve

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

ITBHU – Alma Mater

August 21, 2007

Alma Mater

 

 

 

ITBHU  

 

Institute of Technology

 

Banaras Hindu University

 

Varanasi

 

India

 

 

       

On what basis do you judge an educational institution – an Engineering College or a B-School? In today’s world there is just one criterion – market value – the starting salaries and campus placement the students get – the more outrageously astronomical the pay packets, and the greater the percentage of lucrative campus placements – the better the institution. And with the increasing commercialization of education, many institutes blatantly compete, advertise, and focus on these materialistic aspects to attract students – it’s a rat race.

 

   

I feel the cardinal yardstick for appraising the true merit of an educational institution is the value-addition it instills in its alumni – and I’m not talking of utility and materialistic values alone; but more importantly the inculcation and enhancement of intrinsic and intangible higher values. The student should feel he or she has changed for the better, professionally and personally; and so should other stakeholders observing the student from the outside be able to discern the value enhancement.

     

 

 

I studied for my B.Tech. in Electronics Engineering at ITBHU from 1972 to 1977 (first batch IIT JEE) and I experienced the well-rounded value addition I have mentioned above. Later in life, being academically inclined, I continued studying, completed many courses, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, an Engineering and Technology Post Graduation [M.Tech.] at a premier IIT and even taught for many years at prestigious academic institutions of higher learning, but I shall always cherish my days at ITBHU the most. I knew I was a better man, in my entirety, having passed through the portals of ITBHU, and I’m sure those scrutinizing me from the outside felt the same way.

 

 

 

ITBHU was amalgamated by integrating three of the country’s oldest and best engineering colleges: BENCO ( Banaras Engineering College ) – the first in the Orient, and certainly in India , to introduce the disciplines of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, MINMET – the pioneer in Mining and Metallurgy in India , and College of Technology – the first to start Chemical and Ceramic Engineering. Indeed these three institutions were the harbingers of industrialization in our country.

   

 

In my time ITBHU was indeed a center of excellence, an apt institution to study in, and a lovely place to live in. The vast verdant lush green semi-circular campus at the southern end of Varanasi , the largest university campus I have ever seen, with its pleasant and relaxed atmosphere was ideal for student life. And being a part of a premier university afforded one a consummate multidisciplinary experience.

    

 

It was a delightful and fulfilling experience I will always cherish – learning from erudite and totally dedicated Professors, who were authorities in their fields of specialization, amidst excellent academic facilities and ambience, elaborate labs and workshops, lush green campus, well-designed comfortable hostels, delicious food, expansive sports fields and facilities for all types of sports, the beautiful swimming pool, the unique well-stocked and intellectually inspiring Gaekwad library, and the exquisite temple that added a spiritual dimension to the scholarly ambiance. One could learn heritage and foreign languages, fine arts, music, indology, philosophy, yoga, pursue hobbies like numismatics – the avenues for learning were mind-boggling. The idyllic environs of BHU helped one develop a philosophical attitude to life.

   

 

Like all premier institutes ITBHU was fully residential, which fostered camaraderie and facilitated lifelong friendships amongst the alumni. I can never forget those delightful moments in Dhanrajgiri, Morvi, Vishwakarma, Vishveswarayya and CV Raman hostels, mouthwatering memories of the Lavang Lata and Lassi at Pehelwan’s in Lanka, the Lal Peda opposite Sankat Mochan, and the delicious wholesome cuisine of the city, and the cycle trips all over Varanasi, Sarnath, and even across the holy and sacred Ganga on the pontoon bridge to watch the Ram Lila at Ramnagar.

   

 

Way back then, in the nineteen seventies, ITBHU was a wonderful place to study engineering and live one’s formative years in. I wonder what my dear alma mater is like now!

 

        

VIKRAM KARVE

 

   

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

   

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

   

 

http://www.ryze.com/go/karve

      

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

 

vikramkarve@hotmail.com

               

The Art of Eating

August 13, 2007

THE ART OF EATING

By

VIKRAM KARVE

 

 

Are you in the habit of “grabbing a bite”? Do you ever eat in the office while continuing to work or just skip meals altogether? Do you multitask while eating? Do you have power breakfasts, working lunches and business dinners? Do you eat fast and hurriedly, finish meals well ahead of everyone else and eat in bigger bites without savoring the taste of food? Can you vividly recall the taste of all the dishes you ate for dinner yesterday night?

 

Do you want to master the Art of Eating and enjoy your food? Dear reader, remember, there is no love greater than the love of eating – so read on, learn and try to master the Art of Eating!

 

Good food must be savored delicately; slowly, attentively and respectfully; in a befitting manner, with finesse and technique, with relish and appreciation and you will experience true gustatory delight. That’s essence of the Art of Eating.

 

It’s sacrilege to eat in a ravenous and rapacious manner. And never eat when tired, angry, worried, tense, hurried, and at mealtimes refuse to think or talk about unpleasant subjects. It is best to eat alone, mindfully, with yourself, in glorious solitude, in a calm, serene, conducive and unhurried environment. If you must have company, you must always eat with relaxed and tranquil people who love food and whose company you enjoy; never eat with “toxic”, “harried” or “stressed-out” people or in a tense or hurried atmosphere.

 

If you want to do full justice to good food, you must build up an appetite for it – merely being hungry is not enough. And the first step towards building up an appetite for good food is to think about it – simulated imaginative gustatory visualization to stimulate and prepare yourself for the sumptuous indulgence. An important thing we were taught at boarding school was to read the menu and prepare for the meal by beginning to imagine relishing each and every dish, from soup to pudding, in our mind’s eye.

 

Remember: First plan your “eat” and then eat your “plan”. It’s true. I eat my food twice. First in my mind’s eye – imagining, visualizing, “vicariously tasting”, fantasizing, strategizing on how I am going to savor and relish the dish to my utmost pleasure and satisfaction till my mouth waters and I desperately yearn to eat it. And then I do the honours – actually go ahead and eat it and enjoy the delightful experience.

 

Eating is not a gustatory experience alone; it’s visual and olfactory as well. Food must look good, smell good, taste good and, most importantly, make you feel good. The Art of Eating. It’s Holistic. Multidimensional. Encompassing all domains of your inner being.

 

Eat in silence. Mindfully. With full awareness. Savour the aroma, delicately place the food on your tongue, chew slowly and experience the variety of flavours as the permeate your taste buds, fully aware and sense the nourishment as the food dissolves and sinks deep within you. Chew your food to a pulp or milky liquid until it practically swallows itself. Never mix food and drink – alcohol dulls the taste buds, and olfactory sensation, and encumbers the unmitigated enjoyment of good food.

 

You must always close your eyes during the process of eating. When you eat, you must eat; nothing else, no seeing, no hearing, no talking. No multitasking. That’s right – never multi-task while eating. Just eat! Focus all your senses on your food, eat mindfully, meditatively, and you will attain a state of delightful bliss and happiness.

 

It’s simple. Create a positive eating atmosphere, honour your taste buds, respect your food and eat it in a proper state of mind, with love, zest, awareness and genuine appreciation and it will transport you to a state of bliss and happiness. Remember: There is no love greater than the love of eating!

 

In a nutshell, this is ‘The Art of Eating’.

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE


vikramkarve@sify.com

    

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

 

http://www.ryze.com/go/karve

 

 

 

Hyderabadi Dessert

August 1, 2007

KHUBANI KA MEETHA 

[Qubani Ka Meetha]

 

By

 

VIKRAM KARVE

   

What’s the perfect ending to a rich and spicy Mughlai meal? A cool soothing Falooda, perhaps!

 

And after fiery Kolhapuri fare? A chilled Mastani, maybe, to quench the fires within!

 

And do you know what the ideal finale to a Hyderabadi Biryani repast is? It is a unique refreshing apricot-based sweet-dish dessert called Qubani Ka Meetha, or Khubani Ka Meetha, spell it whichever way you like. And you get it only in Hyderabad. That’s what I thought, till yesterday afternoon, when famished after a tiring bout of shopping on Main Street, I entered my all time favorite eatery, George Restaurant on East Street, and spotted on the “Today’s Special” menu board, written as the last item – Qubani Ka Meetha.

 

Now first a bit about George “The House of Quality Food, since 1936” – as the logo says. When I was small boy, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, once in a while, my father used bring for a meal to East Street in Pune Camp, to Kamling for Chinese, or Latif or Kwality for Mughlai, and after our meal we always had a meetha paan at George Paanwala at the entrance to George Restaurant. I used to peer inside to see the animated expressions of the hungry hoi-polloi patrons vigorously devouring their food, and yearn to taste the fare, but it was only in the late 1970’s that I became a regular patron and began to savor the mouthwatering cuisine served at George. Since then, there has been a remarkable metamorphosis in the ambiance and variety of cuisine and George has transformed into a decent affordable family restaurant.

 

Having decided to end my meal with the legendary Hyderabadi dessert Qubani Ka Meetha, I ordered a Mutton Biryani to pave the way. Well, the Biryani at George is first-rate, but not as superb as those I have tasted in Hyderabad, or even as good as that served by Olympia or Shalimar in Mumbai, or Dorabjee, Blue Nile, or Good Luck in Pune. It certainly passed the spread-test with flying colours, and tasted wholesome, maybe, a wee bit bland. Now-a-days, I’d rather savor the inimitable tender succulent Rotisserie Chicken, a Mix-Grill, a Roast, or a Mughlai Gravy dish with Naan, at George, but right now I focus on mindfully relishing the Biryani in front of me, enjoying every morsel.

 

The Qubani Ka Meetha, or Khubani Ka Meetha, is served. I lovingly caress the bowl – it’s nicely chilled. They’ve put a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. I wish they’d served it with chilled freshly whipped cream [malai] as they do in Hyderabad. I push aside the ice cream, dig deep, scoop some of the darkish brown dessert on my tongue, and close my eyes as the luscious tang, sublime flavor and invigorating aroma of the apricots permeates within me. [Qubani, or Khubani, means Apricots or Jardaloo]. Something tickles my taste buds – it’s a pistachio nut – delectable as it disintegrates and releases its characteristic taste and the contrasting flavors mingle on my tongue. I blend in a bit of vanilla ice cream, and slowly and deliberately, relish every bit of the ambrosial Qubani Ka Meetha as it glides on my tongue. Today I’m not going to have a Paan, for I’ve had an ideal end to a delicious meal.

 

Dear fellow Foodies, please do let us know if you know any places in your town where one can relish this splendid legendary Hyderabadi dessert – Qubani Ka Meetha.

     

VIKRAM KARVE

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

vikramkarve@sify.com