Posts Tagged ‘Good Eats’
Should have called it “Taste of Italy”….
Find out what Italian food and kinky sex has in common at Perbacco.
If you are going to the financial district of San Francisco, also check out:
Kathi rolls are Calcutta’s specialty cuisine. What is a kathi roll? It is a wrap – the outside is a flaky shallow fried flat bread and inside can be scrambled eggs or sauteed chicken or slow cooked mutton or a combination of meats with fried onions, chutneys and other spices. There are a few shops along the famous Park Street of Calcutta where the best kathi roll makers are to be found – the shops are typically small shacks and the popularity can be gauged by the length of the queue outside the shop.
Considered a landmark on Calcutta’s mindscape, Flurys on Park Street is an old tearoom in Calcutta that has been serving tea and pastries since late 1920s. Don’t expect mustiness of a hundred years – a few years ago, it underwent a total re-haul and was turned into a retro styled patisserie. It occupies a charming spot in the fashionable part of Calcutta, inviting the loitering visitors and busy locals alike for a spot of hot tea and fresh baked cakes and pastries. With a girlish pink in the logo and its old world black and white tiles, Flurys continues to engage a cosmopolitan clientele.
When I land in India, my first port is usually Delhi. And if I am craving for Calcutta food, my only option is to head out to Oh! Calcutta.
This time, for lunch at Oh! Calcutta – here is what I ate.
Maxim’s outpost in Hong Kong – indubitably.
This Hong Kong trip had been a bit of a disappointment in terms of food – I was expecting greatness at every meal but it ended up being a mixed one. The congee breakfasts were exceptional. Fried rice at the traditional Luk Yu Tea House was good. Lunch at the casual Kyoto Joe’s was below par. The 16 course dinner at the Yellow Door private kitchen was a complete disappointment. The fried noodles at Crystal Jade, famous for their hand pulled noodles, were greasy. So, when the 36 hour sojourn at Hong Kong came to an end, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to come back to this city again.
We were in Tokyo and we couldn’t possibly go back home without making a pilgrimage to Asia’s largest fish market. The only hitch was that the recommended visiting hours are 5am-8am. According to legend and Lonely Planet, the famous Tuna auction happens at 4am, which many websites informed us, is now closed to tourists. We were going to give it a shot anyway. Or not. At 4 am.
Here I was again, stuck at yet another airport in the middle of a San Francisco-Delhi trip. My last long layover was a twelve hour one at Bangkok when I had managed to sneak away to the city. I had the urge to get away again – in a decade of hopping between San Francisco and Delhi, I had never had six hour layover at HKG before.
We continue our occasional series about Chocolate and Coffee with a cafe in New Delhi called Chokola.
The place is done up in chocolate-y colors, the menu is the size of a small book with overwrought foodie descriptions of cocoa, single origin chocolates, and truffles, followed by the standard cafe fare of sandwiches, pizzas, etc.
I am visiting Delhi for two weeks. I shouldn’t be hankering for crepes in the midst of this heat and mangoes and parathas and samosas and the kababs. But I am. So, I am at Yellow Brick Road, a cute little cafe at Hotel Ambassador near Khan Market. It is painted bright and cheerful with a touch of toy-store feel about it. Judging by the clientele, it is popular with all – eastern and western, young and old, men and women.
Even in blazing summers, a visit to Delhi is incomplete without a taste of its famous kababs. We had already tried satisfying this craving by eating some sheesh-kababs in the cool comfort of the regal Curzon room in Oberoi Maidens Hotel. Their sheesh was competent, but it had failed to hit the spot.
We were planning a visit to Khan Chacha when we happened to read about Salim’s, yet another tiny kabab corner in Khan market, at “Eating Out in Delhi” blog. It is a rare happenstance to find a foodie proclaim a kabab corner as good as chacha’s, so we were intrigued. On author’s suggestion, we decided to seek out Salim’s kakori kabab and are glad we did.
It is Sunday, the day of rest. Rest from the kitchen, that is. I am at Pindi, a popular establishment in Delhi frequented by visitors and locals alike. It is devilishly hot outside. I can smell grilled meat a good hundred feet from Pindi. It is late for lunch but the joint is crowded. People are tearing apart tandoori chicken with gusto and hungrily sopping up creamy curries with naans. All accompanied by cheerful faces, animated conversations, and sounds of laughter. Very Punjabi indeed.
This monsoon season in Delhi, I tasted jamuns after nearly two decades. As a child, picking ripe jamuns used to be a pleasant way of killing time. It often involved sneaking into a neighbor’s yard when the elders were dozing off in the summer heat. It also meant getting up on precarious fences or branches to reach up the tree for a handful of jamuns. I saw some street urchins doing the same the other day; the girl appeared to be as old as I was then.
- Location: Market Street, Financial District
- Coffee: None! Although you can find imported bottled soda here. And magazines …
- Chocolate: Tasting bites and bars - Dolfin, Vosges, Scharffen Berger to new a few …
FCN is not your atypical chcocolate store. It is an atypical magazine shop. If you like to lay your hands on hard to find magazines and periodicals, this is your place to be. Ditto for chocolates. The store fits in with busy life of financial district. Grab a chocolate and a magazine and be on the run…or, grab a soda and a magazine and be on the run … May even be a nice spot to spend ten minutes browsing during the dull part of the day. And to pick up gifts as well.
- Location: Ferry Plaza
- Coffee: Peets’ or Blue Bottle is available a few doors down.
- Chocolates: Truffles, caramels, …
Recchiuti’s is what you would expect a fancy chocolate store to look like. All trim, polished and glittery and that is just the staff. No chairs for shoppers to sit around and look flabby, unpolished and drab. No coffee either to ruin any nice perfumes the staff or customers may be wearing. Their price helps to not overindulge.
Are we sounding curmudgeonly?
- Location: Pier 17, San Francisco
- Coffee: Blue Bottle
- Chocolates: Tasting squares and bars
We had known about Tcho long before we sampled it. They had been getting reviewed on boingboing since their beta days (yes, even chocolates have beta versions in silicon valley).
Our first taste of Tcho’s chocolates was on a walk along Embarcadero. On that occasion, we tasted all four of their varieties and picked up a small pack of 8 tasting squares. On our last visit, we picked up a 30 day package called tcho-a-day.
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David Lebovitz says that some of the best artisan chocolatiers these days are from America. So, we decided to bring to you as many of them as we can find in San Francisco.
We start with XoX Truffles – a friendly shop for a cup of coffee and some handmade truffles.
- Location: North Beach, San Francisco
- Coffee: Espresso
- Chocolates: Handmade truffles
The store front is unpretentious, the coffee delightfully strong, and the handmade truffles are small nuggets of perfection. These truffles have won so many awards that the list of awards exceeded our attention span.
They give away a free truffle for every cup of coffee you buy. Our plan is to sample all their truffles for free. OK, we lie. We buy them too. This time we bought a few Earl Grey truffles.
Walking in front of “Old Ship Saloon”, you would have never guessed it. Looks like any other brick building surrounded by many other buildings. But this saloon was originally on a ship. How did the ship get here? How did the saloon get here? Well?
North Beach, the Italian sector of San Francisco – great location, great food, and great views. Just don’t come looking for a beach.
Aside from being one of the most expensive real estate areas in US that allows them to keep the riffraff out, Palo Alto is also the home of one the best universities in the world, the Stanford University. Its campus, although not as beautiful as the old and dilapidated Berkeley, is home to a wonderful museum, The Cantor Arts Center. This museum comes together with the second largest Rodin collection in the world – an outdoor bronze sculpture garden and indoor collection of wax and terracotta pieces. Rodin was a bit of subversive artist in his times and was considered progenitor of modern sculpture, so now that we are in a modern world, his art reaches out to normal folks who are totally uneducated about mythologies and scriptures. Gates of Hell is a particularly awe inspiring piece that has nearly 200 individual sculptures, including a miniature Thinking Man. In this exurbia devoid of any public collections of great art, this museum is charming.
After doing the touristy spots of the Wharf and North beach, Nob Hill, Chinatown and Union square, what is the next best thing San Francisco city has to offer. Is it the Golden Gate park or Crissy Field? In my mind, it is the Mission District. But it is a bit overwhelming to plan and navigate if you are new to the place. And, yes, it can be a bit scary seeing the run down buses and ghetto neighborhoods if you take a wrong turn. So, let me take you on a short walking tour that will be fun and full of local flavors.
Dum Pukht, Maurya Sheraton is one of Delhi’s finest. Khan Chacha’s at Khan Market is a tiny shop where you queue up and eat out of a paper plate. Dinner for one at Dum Pukht is easy $150. And a meal at Khan Chacha’s is $1.50. The only thing common to them is their reputation for exceptional kababs. So, of course, I had to try both.
Everyone knows a taco truck in California – the truck that come rolling around with sounds of simple jingles and sells fresh Mexican staples with their mouthwatering salsas. Fresh, yummy and cheap is what a good taco truck fare is.
My question is this – what not an Indian version of the same serving chaat and tea?
In the afternoon, when my vampire’s nest (I call my windowless, sunless, fluorescent tube lit, office cubicle that) is at its dullest, I often find myself craving for some samosa and chai. On a winter afternoon, when the incessant rain is doing its worst damage to your mood, a plateful of samosa is the only escape. Sex would be better but samosa is safer. Surely.
The year was probably 1978-79. Time of the year – the summer holidays. Our family – mother, father, my younger sibling and myself – visited my grandparents whenever father could afford a short break during the summers. I think it was Kalka, going from Delhi to Kolkata. Could have been Shatabdi too. The ride typically was two days or more, depending on when and where the train got stuck. Rajdhani express, the first revolutionary train that traversed the same distance in seventeen hours, with its air conditioned carriages and Kwality Cassata for dessert would happen later during my teenage years.