Anna Nagar finally gets a cafe worth more than a cuppa, courtesy Pantry da��or
Situated at a busy crossroad but removed from the frenzy, is Anna Nagara��s newest bakery-cum-cafe, Pantry da��or (Golden Pantry). Just two weeks old, the spacious 50-cover cafe has all the promise of becoming the new local hangouta��with a well-shaded outdoor area leading into comfy interiors with lounge seating, a pizza bar and shelves full of tempting pastries. The menu is simple yet full of flavour. a�?Our signature is fresh, healthy, tasty food. You wona��t find hydrogenated fat or artificial colours here,a�? says M S Khaleel Ahamed, who partnered with chef Antonio Maximilian to open the cafea��s doors. a�?The cuisine is global, with influences of Greek, Spanish, Turkish, American and French,a�? he adds.
Chef Antonio Maximilian
Chef Maximilian comes with over 30 years of experience. Having plied his craft on several cruise liners, including the QE2, the cafe is the realisation of his dreams of retiring his sea legs. a�?My globetrotting tastes have been condensed here. We wanted to give the kind of experience youa��d normally get at posh hotels right here in a neighbourhood cafe,a�? says Maximilian, as he serves up a hot-from-the-oven Turkish lahmacun or spicy Turkish pizza. Made from hand-stretched dough, we love the crisp crust that is a perfect complement to its succulent lamb, cherry tomatoes and smoked cheese topping.
And then it was on to some of the other unique offerings: like the juicy chicken schnitzel sandwiched between whole wheat bread, the tall glass of cafe frappe made from Puratos coffee paste (an expensive variety from Germany) and our current favourite, crispy golden churros with a delightfully soft and airy centre, sprinkled generously with cinnamon sugar and served with a dark chocolate sauce.
Pantry da��or is the culmination of a 10-year-old dream. a�?Ever since my aunt started a bakery in Kerala, wea��ve been talking about starting something,a�? says Ahameda��s daughter, Sulthana Khaleel, a designer and avid baker. a�?And when we met Antonio through common friends, we knew it was time.a�? Her favourite section is, of course, the bakery. She recommends we try out the Piedmont (a rich hazelnut mousse with a creme brA�lA�e centre) and the handmade chocolates with passion fruit centres (more varieties to be added soon). a�?Our fruit tarts and chocolate fantasy pastries are popular, too,a�? she adds. The only letdown: the macaroonsa��a hard shell that needs immediate attention. While there, pick up breadsa��from pullmans and brioches to multigrain and whole wheat. a�?We offer freshly-baked baguettes throughout the day, and focaccia on order,a�? she concludes.
Pantry da��or is open from 7.30 am to 11 pm. Pastries start from Rs. 60, coffees from Rs. 100 and pizzas from Rs. 110. Details: pantrydor.com
Stock up on recycled stands and miniature chalk boards, as Wishing Chair takes their unusual home dA�cor online
A pen stand made from paper clips and coasters fashioned from keys can certainly quirk up your home. Vivita Relan and Avneet Manna��s week-old online store, wishingchair.in, has all this and more. The two friends come from diverse fieldsa��Mann has a marketing background and Relan was a restaurateura��but insist that whimsy is what drives them. An extension of their two-year-old store (by the same name), in Shahpur Jat, New Delhi, the online platform delivers across India and features home decor, stationery, lighting and more.
Mann (left) and Relan
a�?We thought of the online business as we believe our products should be geographically agnostic. Just because you dona��t live in our city doesna��t mean you cana��t have access to the whimsical products we sell at the store,a�? begins Relan. Her favourites include the limited-edition Alice in Wonderland ceramic collection, with vases and lamps shaped like lopsided tea pots. Whata��s interesting about their products is that they turn trash into treasure by recycling bottle caps and discarded motherboards to make pen stands and coasters. There is a hooks board featuring regulators. They also have elaborate laser-cut storage boxes.
By the hand
Most of the products sourced from India (except chalkboards) are handmade by artisans in Rajasthan and UP. They also stock ceramics from China. Relan says they appeal to young women between 18 and 35. a�?Customers like our cute pegs, chalkboard stands and hanging angels,a�? says Relan, who goes on sourcing trips to Rajasthan, UP and Andhra Pradesh.
Features such as their Wishing Chair blog, wish lists, registry and customer reviews will be added soon to the online store. a�?We are going to add more products like tea sets, faux flowers and journals,a�? Relan says. Delivery is within five business days, and cancellation is allowed only within three hours of purchase. An annual sale is on the cards, and festive promotions are being planned for regulars.
Rs. 100 to Rs. 2,200. Details: 011 46572121 /wishingchair.in
Ita��s about time he saw a radio revolution in India. I dona��t mean having dharnas and processions, but a conscious effort to get the medium up to speed. Let it continue to be an advertising vehicle, but at least let there be radio friendliness when it comes to being a presenter and content worthiness when it comes to being the station.
Over the last 10 years, ita��s been a bittersweet story for many stations. Many came in with a bang, but failed to sustain as markets got more competitive and creative ideas dried up. Suddenly there was a surge of people who wanted to become radio hostsa��solely because of the mediocre presenters that were centrestage at that time. You as a listener felt you could do a better job than the person with the microphone.
You need to be patted on the back for standing up for the medium and stations should realise that they have failed miserably in front of their listeners when it came to on-air tactics. However, many stations held on to these mediocre presenters. In fact, you can still hear some of them today if you flip through the frequencies.
When someone from the city tunes in, they should find it hard to choose which station to listen to. Unfortunately in Chennai, thata��s not the case as many lack the on-air presence needed. The quality of radio presenting today is at an all time low. Presenters like Mirchi Ajay, Big Balaji and Radio One Sulabha have not only stood the test of time but brought in a certain quality and signature to their hosting. Ia��m sure Ia��ve missed out a few names and I plead to be forgiven for that.
Ita��s time that stations look for voices with personalities. Thata��s the magic combination for a good listening experience. Until that happens, dona��t be surprised if you hear frogs croak on air. Think of it as time spent in a marshland, with music. See you next week!
a�� Niladri (email@example.com) The writera��s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.
From left, The foam party at The Park &Surendran J, Sidra Jafri, Puja Gupta
Puja Gupta, Life by Design and Success Gyan, helped kick-start the week with an a�?Awakening workshopa�� by motivational speaker Sidra Jafri at Westin Velachery. a�?You will never see the world in the same way again, once you hear her speaka��, is the quote I read somewhere, so for some of us expectations were high. With the increasing popularity of life coaches, ita��s tough to sift through all of the information and find the one that works for you. What was great about Jafri was that she kept it simple. Instead of abstract ideologies, it was seven principles that you can put into practice. She stressed on the importance of visualisation followed by action. Hoping for something is great, but you play a part in making it happen. Members of the audience also got to interact with her in one-on-one sessions where she identified the issue that had them a�?stucka��. The crowd included everyone from young entrepreneurs to socialites, all hoping to a�?reach their true potentiala�� and get the best out of life.
Introspection was followed by celebration with the The Park marking their 13th birthday over the weekend. As usual there was something for everyone, with varying degrees of entertainment. At The Leather Bar it was a Back to School theme party with the bartenders and staff dressed in school uniforms. White shirts, ties, suspenders, you get the picture. Even guests were encouraged to turn up in their nerdy best, with many showing off plaid skirts and geeky glasses. For those who were in the mood for more action, there was the foam party at Aqua with international DJ Luke along with DJ Someguy. Besides enjoying the music, the crowd went crazy, covered in several feet of foam, which by the end of it was all over the place. The a�?sudsya�� chaos continued into the night with several people even ending up in the pool. The last leg of the party was at Pasha with the Techno Smasher event featuring DJs Shiv Moon, Calm Chor and Starteq.
A look at the latest from the genre in the top half of the list
Miley Cyrus joins will.i.ama��s bass thumping beats in this one that is all about having a good time. Their third collaboration also features rappers Wiz Khalifa and French Montana as it heads straight into your groovy playlist for the month.
Hip hop goes old-school with this one by Trey Songz that has a low tempo. Loungy with a catchy tune and lyrics, ita��s a pleasant break from the electro beats that dominate the countdown.
I Luh Ya Papi
J Loa��s lead single from her eighth studio album is clearly her answer to the objectification of women as is evident in her video filled with hunky, half-naked men and a guest appearance by French Montana. She raps through a major part of this upbeat, happy tune.
With the Indie sound of Nate Ruessa�� vocals, Marshall Mathers aka Eminem talks about the ebbs and flows of family and more specifically about his estranged relationship with his mother. Not as explicit as his other lyrics and a lot less angsty, this one talks about forgiveness and acceptance in a soft, soothing tune.
Wild Wild Love
Pitbull takes hip hop back into the club with his Midas touch once again. Broken into two halves with a spoken interlude, the song moves from the Playboy Mansion to Miami and revolves around certain questionable motives, well masked in a tune that goes easy on the electro and high on a pop-synth sound.
View the complete countdown on indulge.newindianexpress.com
Love fire shots and football? Your interests can make you friends on YoTurf
A LONG ride on a Mumbai public bus in the company of similarly-aged, smartphone-toting strangers a�� but with no common ground to start a conversation, gave Abhimanyu Amar Jadhavrao an idea. As the co-founder of Crackheads, a company started last year to develop apps and websites, he teamed up with partner Vaishnavi Iyer to create YoTurf, an app that helps you connect and chat with strangers based on shared interests.
Partner in crime
a�?I love cars, bikes, photography and food, and I love to discuss this with others. But, as an introvert, I never have the nerve to approach anyone. So YoTurf, in a way, is a tool to help out people like me,a�? says Jadhavrao, an advertising professional. Since neither he nor Iyer (a journalist) have any experience in coding, they approached Chennai-based developers, Openwave, to create the app. Currently supported by iOS (Android will be added later this month), YoTurf went live last month.
Its premise is simple: download the free app, add your interests (over 250 pre-loaded, with the option of adding more), switch on your GPS, find like-minded people nearby, and start a dialogue. a�?A user told us that he went to a pub and found another a�?Turfera�� who had a shared love of fire shots, and the two connected over it. So ita��s the ideal ice-breaker,a�? says Iyer.
While interest-based advertising will be a part of the experience, Iyer assures us that it will be unobtrusive. Up next for Crackheads? They are planning to develop an a�?anti-sociala�� app a�� something that will help you kick your addiction to social media!
Bringing you up to speed on the desi connect in the much-hyped Game of Thrones
With fans across the world addicted to the fourth season of the television adaptation of George RR Martina��s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, we scan through the series for actors who share an ethnic link with us. Playing significant roles on the show, they truly bring the popularity home.
Indira Varma: Ellaria Sand
Playing the part of the dangerous Dornish prince Oberyn Martella��s partner, Indira Varma is introduced in the fourth season of the series as the sensuous and caustic Ellaria Sand. The half-Indian, half-Swiss Varma, who was born and raised in England, has played significant roles in television series like The Canterbury Tales, Rome, Luther and Human Target as well as the lead role in Mira Naira��s controversial film, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. This is, however, the meatiest avatar of the actress, whose character goes on to be the mother of Oberyna��s bastard children, also known as the Sand Snakes. She appears multiple times in the season and is a character featured in the books that follow. a�?I was really keen to be a part of such a hugely creative and diverse project. It has dragons, for goodness sake!a�? said the 40-year-old mother of one in an interview.
Amrita Acharia: Irri
Amrita Acharia portrays a young Dothraki woman, Irri, who is given to Daenerys Targaryen as a handmaiden. She is fiercely loyal and teaches Daenerys the Dothraki language and customs. Part Ukrainian and part Nepalese, Acharia grew up in Kathmandu, and later moved to London where she lived for a brief while before moving with her family to Norway, at the age of 13. At 19, Acharia moved back to London to pursue acting. She has also been associated with British drama series Casualty and the biographical film, The Devila��s Double.
Ramon Tikaram: Prendahl na Ghezn
Of Indo-Fijian and Malaysian descent, Ramon Tikaram plays Prendahl na Ghezn, a warrior of Ghiscari origin. Alongside Mero, hea��s one of the captains of the Second Sons, an army of mercenaries. Tikaram was born in Singapore to a Fijian-Indian father, Pramod Tikaram, and a Sarawakian mother, Fatima Rohani. As a child, he travelled all over the world thanks to his dada��s job and attended primary schools in the UK and Germany before being sent to the Duke of Yorka��s Royal Military School in Dover, in 1978. Although Tikarama��s character only briefly appeared on the show, he made his mark when he tried to fight the Mother of Dragons, before being beheaded by one of his a�?brothersa��, Daario.
Game of Thrones season four airs on HBO Define on Sundays at 9 pm.
Sherlock's Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch
Now that the great Indian election tamasha is over, the decibel levels on TV sets have subsided. I for one am happy to return to watching TV without my eardrums being assailed by shrieking panelists at each flip of the remote. But is everyone happy at the winding down of idiot-box excitement? Or perhaps a�� dare I say it a�� they miss the high-pitched drama and intrigue that is Indian politics?
Cake Boss’s Buddy Valastro
Nisha Millet Chatterjee, swimming champ and supermom, tells me shea��s watching what she calls a�?happy stuffa�� now. She and husband Bikranjit are both self-confessed TV buffs, and it is not cricket for them, but basketball. a�?We watch every NBA game right up to the finals. I cheer for the champions,a�? says the Miami Heat fan, who is rooting for LeBron James to score big. With two small babies, her days are full, so she and her husband try and schedule time in the evenings for their favourite shows: crime serials like Criminal Minds and Elementary and, of course, the new attention-grabber, Game of Thrones. Being a foodie, she also enjoys Cake Boss on TLC. a�?We both love baking, and the show is light hearted.a�?
Ia��m totally with Nisha. I prefer non-stressful TV viewing myself. Luckily therea��s always some excitement on: Criminal Minds adds chills to drama, and I loved House of Cards, though it seems tame compared to our desi political shenanigans. But my favourite is Sherlock: I confess to being a fan of Benedict a�?Cheekbonesa�� Cumberbatch and his crackling-paced modern rendition of Holmes. I have also taken to watching Jonny Lee Millera��s eccentric, vulnerable Holmes in Elementary. He has grown on me.
Food blogger Ruth Da��Souza Prabhu is another crime show buff. She a�?couldna��t get into Elementary, but is a hard core fan of CSI.a�? With food her thing, she loves MasterChef Australia (the US version is too contrived, she says) along with Man vs. Food, Jamie Oliver and Nigellaa��s food shows (a�?She cooks the way we do, using her hands, licking her fingersa�?, she exclaims.) She enjoys shows with high production values where a�?you can hear the sizzle and pop of the food as it cooksa��.
Then there are the reality show fans. American Idol and The Voice have their own following (depending on if you prefer JLo to Shakira and Keith Urban to Usher). MasterChef Australia creates a megabuzz in food-driven Bangalore. I will testify to the fact that judges George and Gary are more loved possibly than Brad Pitt, judging by the mobs of frantic fans in pursuit during their visit to Bangalore some time ago.
So who is excited about IPL? Everybody! With the elections over, full attention is back on the matches. Biere Club director, Vishal Nagpal, a Royal Challengers Bangalore fan, doesna��t miss a game, even though hea��s a�?disappointeda�� in his teama��s showing this time. The IPL, with its colour and noise, makes for a quick, fun watch, the hard-fought matches adding to the thrill. a�?The heavy hitting, innovative strokes are fun to watch a�� anyone can win, any time,a�? he says. Nagpal will also watch the FIFA World Cup. a�?Players play their best for their country; therea��s something extra-special about it,a�? he says.
Right now, Ia��m waiting for the Champions League final, which should be heart-stoppingly thrilling, and the perfect kick-off to the FIFA World Cup. Ruth agrees, a�?I love football. Ita��s 90 minutes of non-stop action and I love the victory dances!a�? Now that the politicos have finished their victory jigs, ita��s time for the sportsmen. Bring on the celebratory backflips, guys!
-Ruma Singh(She is a A�Bangalore-based lifestyle writer and wine blogger, presents an (independent) column on observations, insights and whata��s buzzing in the city)A�firstname.lastname@example.org
With Currylicious, authentic South Indian meals are just a phone call away
If YOU feel like authentic South Indian cuisine, but dona��t want to make the trip to a restaurant, we suggest you give Currylicious a call. A new venture by Anoop Sequeira and Naresh Sharma, Currylicious is a home-delivery service based in Jakkur, that specialises in delicacies from Mangalore, Goa and Kerala. Plus, a small selection of Chettinad dishes too.
a�?We wanted to tap into something not too common and also work out of an area where the competition was less. Hence, we chose to specialise in South Indian cuisine and set shop in Jakkur, where there are not too many businesses of the same type,a�? Sequeira tells us.
Drawing on 40 years of collective culinary experience, Sequeira and Sharma developed the menu at Currylicious over three months. Lots of research and training have gone into the business to maintain quality and consistency, they tell us. a�?Consistency is the main challenge of Indian cuisine. We try to make our dishes taste as identical as we can. Wea��re still working towards making it 100 per cent consistent,a�? Sequeira, the ex-CEO of Nandoa��s India and Pizza Corner India, shares, adding that they use only natural ingredients and totally avoid preservatives and artificial flavours.
The Mangalorean chicken ghee roast, would be an ideal start to a lavish South Indian meal, with its
generous dose of spices and the rich flavour of ghee. We are told that it is the most popular dish on their menu and we are not surprised. From the range of coastal dishes, a must-try would be the Alleppey fish curry, famous for the addition of diced raw mango which gives it a tangy, spicy flavour profile. For those who like it mild, we suggest the chicken, mutton or vegetable stew, which go perfectly with the soft and light neer dosas. The menu also boasts a good selection of dishes for vegetarians too, some of which include the cashew potato curry a�� potatoes in a cashew gravy, bhindi ghassi a�� okra in roasted coconut gravy, and paneer pepper fry a�� cottage cheese tossed in pepper masala.
Customers can expect a personalised experience, with Sequeira and Sharma taking orders themselves. a�?We even know most of our regulars by name,a�? Sequeira tells us. With the Jakkur outlet off to a good start, the second outlet is expected in mid-June, however, the location is still under wraps.
Rs. 300 upwards for two.A�Minimum delivery of Rs. 350 for up to 3kms. Delivery charge of Rs. 50 for locations beyond 3kms. Details: 9663341341
Choose from a range of specialty breads and sweet treats at this online bakery
Whisk Affair by Neha Mathur is not just another home-baking venture. Started barely a month ago, the online bakery is the extension of Mathura��s baking blog, which she has been maintaining for three years. a�?A lot of my readers have told me that every recipe of mine that they try turns out great. It was their encouragement that prompted me to launch a bakery,a�? she tells us.
A dental surgeon by profession, Mathur quit her high paying job to invest in her true love a�� baking. Having spent two years each in places like Malaysia and Prague, it was during her time in the US that she started experimenting and testing out her own recipes. a�?There were a lot of utter failures initially. But I kept going and now I have become really good at what I do and my recipes are quite a hit,a�? says the self-taught baker who credits the internet for a lot of what she knows.
Hardly a month old, Whisk Affair offers a wide range of baked treats from exotic specialty breads to delightful French cookies and tea cakes. Boasting completely organic ingredients, one of her bestsellers is the chocolate and orange marble cake, which she describes as a light and soft loaf with a subtle orange flavour.
She also has on the menu, exquisite madeleines in two variants. Honey vanilla, in which she replaces sugar with honey a�� a healthy choice, and classic French vanilla, made from browned butter that lends the cake a beautiful nutty flavour. a�?These are very rare to find in the city and they have been selling out really fast,a�? Mathur says of the classic shell-shaped sponge cakes.
Mathur also puts a crunchy spin on regular brownies with her Oreo version that promises generous chunks of the popular cookie in every crumbly, chocolatey bite. a�?Since Oreos are so popular with everyone, I thought why not capitalise on that. Apart from receiving repeat orders for it, ita��s also the most viewed recipe on my blog,a�? informs Mathur.
In the cookies section, a must try are her pistachio tuiles a�� egg-based crispy, wafer thin cookies, that can be eaten as a whole or used as a garnish for desserts like pannacotta, ice creams and sorbets.
Her range of breads too are highly recommended with the onion and herb fougasse and bell pepper and goata��s cheese focaccia topping the list. The breads can also be customised as per the clientsa�� tastes with anything from adding bacon to sundried tomatoes. Mathur is currently working on a section of health-based recipes that are vegan and gluten free.
Rs. 200 upwards. Place your take-away orders at whiskaffairbakery.com or call 9845946421