Daily Archives: Feb 19, 2016
Chicken hunt Hot wings and coordinated decor set the tone at Ferraree
When a hotel called Benzz Park renovates its restaurant and changes the name from Porsche to Ferraree, you start wondering if it might not be a coincidence. And sure enough, the vice-president of the newly-renovated hotel, Deepak Ravikumar, is a bike racer, and the chairman, AC Shanmugam, is a connoisseur of luxury cars. It is their interests which has also spawned the names of the hotel’s banquet halls — Rolls Royce, Rover and Volvo — and the bar, Lexus.
A sizeable part of the diners are expatriates on our visit, and sous chef V Gopinath says this is usually the case. The restaurant keeps up with its eponymous inspiration with a colour code. The reds and yellows of the table linen match the dominant colours in luxury sports car Ferrari’s logo. The menu remains largely unchanged and the buffet doesn’t stick to a theme — unless variety is the theme, as Malaysian noodles, mutton biriyani, pasta and Chinese gravy find place alongside the ever-present paneer dish. Ditto for dessert, as
soufflés and cakes sit beside
rasmalai and gulab jamun.
The signature dish is the Hot Chilli Ferraree Wings, which is also executive sous chef Shiv Ganeshan’s personal favourite. Meant to be extremely spicy, it doesn’t make us break into a sweat as promised. The restaurant can seat 60 people.
Buffet at ` 649. Details: 28159999
Four current-day versions of classic motorcycles
The other Indian motorcycle in the armoury is also probably the sweetest motorcycle in production today. Fun to ride, the Scout has been given a neat edgy makeover and complements the bigger Chief brilliantly well in the Indian stable. `12.06 lakh
This one’s a throwback to the original Royal Enfield Continental GT that first came out 1963. On the current version, the design continues the Continental GT brand and comes across as a standout cafe racer for India. `1.92 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
When the Triumph brand got revamped, all we were happy about was that the Bonneville name still existed. The Triumph Bonneville is the closest you can achieve for a link to its past. The best part though—it is still as hardcore a motorcycle as British bikes ever were. `6.19 lach
Honda Africa Twin
There’s no better way to explore the country than on a motorcycle with some serious off-road capability. That sums up the Honda Africa Twin. The Japanese manufacturer’s design team has also given a current world twist to the classic design. Price: TBA
New Jagger on the block
The Rock n’ roll legend’s son makes his TV debut with Vinyl
MICK Jagger’s debut TV project Vinyl — about the music industry of 1970s — is finally on air. It is also the maiden TV outing of his actor-musician son James Jagger. While Rolling Stones’ veteran has co-created the 10-part series along with film genius Martin Scorsese, his 30-year-old son plays Kip Stevens, the lead singer of a punk rock band on the rise, called Nasty Bits. The father-son duo even wrote songs for the pilot. Jagger Jr tells us more about the show.
Tell us about Kip Stevens. Kip is an anti-rockstar. He is against the glam movement that the 70s music had become — it was more about stage action than music. He’s played for different bands, seen failure, and so he’s got this real darkness to him.
Inspirations for your character… Jack Ruby. He never came to prominence, but he was a seminal American rocker in the early 1970s.
Writing music with your father… My idea of the 70s was twisted and fairy tale-ish, it might as well have been Lord of the Rings. He gave me a sense of where we were in terms of the political, social and economic feeling. You can do all the research and still not get a snippet of how people felt about 70s music. So he was a huge resource.
Your biggest challenge on the show? It has to be acting and playing music at the same time. One day, I had a hard time — I was miming along to music, and then I had to see a guy come into the room, nod to him and follow his gaze until he left, and then look back. It was just like speaking ancient Greek. Wednesday, 10 pm on Star World Premiere HD
— Team Indulge
Friday, February 19
Movies Now, 9 pm
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster
It’s 2154 and the poor have been left behind on Earth, to eke out a miserable existence, as the planet’s resources have been exhausted. Meanwhile, the wealthy have set up base on an advanced space station, Elysium, that also stocks Med-Bays—medical machines that can cure diseases. Max da Costa (Damon) is a former car thief, who gets exposed to radiation. In his attempts to get access to a Med-Bay, he also tries to steal information that will help the people on Earth become Elysian citizens. But before that he has to face the Elysian army. The movie takes place in the exact year that Avatar was set in.
The Impossible (Drama),
Sony Pix, 9 pm
Cast: Ewan McGregor,
A family of five—Henry Bennett (McGregor), wife Maria (Watts) and sons Lucas, Tomas and Simon—go to Khao, Thailand, for a Christmas holiday. The vacation soon turns disastrous after a massive tsunami hits the area, leading to the family getting separated in the ensuing confusion. Reunited with two of his sons, Bennett then sets out to find Maria and Lucas. Though the trio manage to get help from strangers, relatives and volunteers, will they find the others? Watts was nominated for the Best Actress award at the Academy Awards.
Saturday, February 20
Slumdog Millionaire (Drama),
Sony Pix, 8.36 am
Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto
Jamal Malik (Patel) is in the middle of a dream run on the television show, Kaun Banega Crorepati. He’s just one question away from winning `20 million, when doubts are raised as to how a street urchin like him could come this far, and get all the answers right. Little do they know that each question is connected to a chapter from his childhood—which he spent in the slums, growing up with his brother, meddling with local gangs and chasing his love, Latika (Pinto). But game host Prem Kumar (Anil Kapoor) and the police still have their suspicions. After Schindler’s List (1993), this is the only movie to have won Best Picture, Screenplay and Director awards at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and Oscars.
Star Movies Select , 9 pm
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern,
Still reeling from the death of her mother and a divorce, Cheryl Strayed (Witherspoon) decides to go on a hike of over 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail—on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Despite a total lack of experience with such adventures, Cheryl powers through, meeting new people, drinking water from muddy puddles and even losing a boot. The journey soon turns therapeutic and helps her deal with her personal tragedies. Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific.
Sunday, February 21
Taare Zameen Par (Drama), Zee Cinema, 9 pm
Cast: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary
Ishaan Awasthi (Safary) is a bright, creative child whose imagination knows no bounds. Sadly, he is unable to perform well at school, much to the dismay of his parents. After bad grades and fights with his parents, he is sent to a boarding school where he meets Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Khan), his art teacher. Nikumbh immediately realises that Ishaan is dyslexic and sets out to bring out the best in him through art. The title of the movie (meaning Stars on Earth) was suggested
by Salman Khan.
American Sniper (Biography/War), HBO, 9 pm
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Texas boy Chris Kyle (Cooper) learned rifle shooting from his dad at a very young age. He grows up to be a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy. But when he catches his girlfriend in bed with someone else, he is crushed and decides to change his life around and enlist in the Navy. With his knack for long-range shooting, he qualifies to be a US Navy Seal’s sniper. Meanwhile, he gets married to a girl he meets in a bar. He is then sent to Iraq, where his marksmanship earns him the name ‘Legend’. But by his fourth mission, he becomes detached from his family and his PTSD is more pronounced. This movie earned Cooper his third consecutive Academy Award nomination.
Key & Peele, Colors Infinity,
Monday, 10.30 pm
Keagan Key and Jordan Peele are back with their famous sketch comedy show. In the fifth season, witness the drama ahead of a football game, meet president Barack Obama and his ‘anger translator’ Luther, or watch Hillary Clinton with her translator Savanna. The show covers a variety of societal topics, and features pre-taped sketches.
American Ninja Warrior,
AXN, Friday, 9 pm
It is a spin-off of the Japanese television series, Sasuke, wherein competitors try to complete a series of obstacles. This sports entertainment competition will air its season five finale tonight. Tune into the show, which has been shot in Las Vegas, to find out who will bag the $500,000 cash prize and win the coveted title of ‘American Ninja Warrior’.
Vh1 Box Set S3,Vh1, Wednesday, 9 pm
Vh1 has curated an eclectic mix of songs for its listeners. The collection features tunes from American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jimi Hendrix, Australian musician and actor Michael Hutchence, primary songwriter of the rock band Nirvana Kurt Cobain, and English pop girl group The Spice Girls.
Ed Hardy launches in the city with a spring/summer collection that includes a biker line.
OPENED last week at Phoenix MarketCity, Ed Hardy is globally identified by Japanese tattoo art inspired illustrations. Now in collaboration with Ahmedabad-based textile giant Arvind Lifestyle Marketing Brands, Ed Hardy brings competitive prices and reined-in designs for the Indian market. The brand has Levi’s, Diesel and Gas as competitors, and Asit Mandal, the Bengaluru-based design manager for the country, says, “From the beginning, we have always been placed differently. We have a bold, eccentric, divergent image.”
About the brand’s appeal to the Indian crowd, Mandal, who has worked on the brand’s latest spring/summer collection says, “We (the designing team) were worried that Ed Hardy’s signature loud, in-your-face look would be too bold for the Indian market. We also needed to bring the pricing down. We made the designing simpler, and the avant-garde and outrageous graphics were toned down.”
The relaxed new collection in time for the Chennai outlet’s launch is based on the biker line called Indigo Illes. “The shirts are made of lightweight cotton, linen and chambray. We have featured washed-down Indigo (jeans) to match checked shirts, which contrast with ivory and pastel shades. The more theme-specific shirts are inspired by Marine life, with sea horses, crabs and our trademark dragon in lazer-print.” The other collection is the Urban Wildlings, inspired by both American biker and street-wear, with lots of metal studding.
Also on shelves
Targeted at age groups of up to 35-year-olds, the brand’s kidswear is not in the country yet. The brand is known to retail perfumes, bags, hair styling tools, watches and lighters, and Mandal says, “Most of the Indian stores are sticking to belts and bags under accessories for now.” Ed Hardy has stores in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
Rs 1,099 onwards. 10 am to 9.30 pm. Details: 30083641
— Sneha Jalan
Made for Chennai
Uma Balakrishnan talks about limited-edition saris and her jasmine connect with our city.
Bengaluru-based Uma Balakrishnan has a definite connect with the city. “I love everything about Chennai — the sense of space, the beaches, the genuine yet unassuming local population — jasmine flowers at every street corner,” says Balakrishnan, the founder and creative force behind Shiuli Creations. It is no surprise that the name of her design enterprise is taken from the ‘shiuli’ jasmine. “I loved the quality and lingering fragrance of this jasmine. It is the only flower which is not plucked. It falls naturally to the ground, covers it in a white carpet and its sweet aroma fills the air!” says the designer who visits the city often.
By the hand
Bringing her limited edition saris and home décor (curtains) to Chennai this month, the Kerala-born designer has put together a special selection for her debut exhibition here. Her brand showcases the best of our indigenous fabrics and craftsmanship. “We have hand-crafted indigo dabu work on south silk, kothayee work on mull, indigo cotton kota saris, kalamkari on Chanderi and silk, hand-block prints on khadi, linen and cotton saris, kalamkari-inspired block prints on traditional Kerala kasavu saris and a few traditional shibori techniques on muga tussar silk,” she lists the tantalising array of hand-crafted weaves, all in vibrant colours.
The 61-year-old started Shiuli in August of 2012 after years of receiving compliments on her distinctive taste and requests for sartorial advice. This English Literature graduate from the University of Kerala, confesses her first love has been collecting and discovering handlooms for decades. “I cannot remember a time when I was not crazy about handloom saris. Being married to an army officer I had the opportunity of witnessing hand-crafted work and various embellishment techniques, generic to every place in India.” Over the years she has befriended and worked with “hardworking women with nimble fingers” from Punjab (Phulkari work), from Kutch (Ari work), Srinagar (chinon fabric) and weavers of Assam and Nagaland, to name a few. Another facet that customers of Shiuli love is its distinctiveness. “All our saris and dupattas are handcrafted and made in small numbers. We work closely with the weavers and in most cases the wooden blocks used in printing are made specifically for us.” Balakrishnan retails currently through her FB page and regular exhibitions at Bengaluru and Kochi.
Rs 2,000 onwards. Sunday at Rutland Gate, from 11 am to 7 pm. Details: 9008029184/facebook.com/ShiuliCreation
In a nutshell
A new app brings you up to speed on football, cricket and tennis news.
Sports articles are usually quite comprehensive—carrying everything from game analysis to statistical breakdowns. But very often we don’t have the time to read them all. That’s where Sports Nut comes in. This new app provides short summaries of articles published in your favourite sports newspapers and websites (think BBC Sport, Goal, ESPNCricInfo, and the like).
Founded by three friends—Mohamed Majid, Faheem Moosa and Zoheb Moosa—it is a follow-up to the parent website (of the same name) that was launched two months ago. Promising 10-second reads, the app, which was launched last week, is user-friendly and caters to news related to football, motorsports, cricket, and tennis. “We will be introducing more games categories and new features in the near future,” reveals Zoheb.
While the functioning of the app may appear simple, users must credit Zoheb’s team for curating and summarising original articles. They update information on the app “multiple times a day”, a challenging job, as they are required to read almost all the articles that are published in the spectrum of sports media. But the result is satisfying, as the 50-word snippets not only provide all the important information, but they also help you get the full picture by providing links to the original article below. Shuffling between the posts is easy through simple swipes, and each is presented with an accompanying picture. It is early days yet, but we think the app scores.
Available on Android and soon in iStore. Details: sportsnut.in
In the Spirit of Things
There is a genre of content on radio that’s performing quietly and successfully. Early-bird listeners find devotional/spiritual shows therapeutic. The content is a hit in a region like Tamil Nadu—which is also the land of temples, making it a perfect match. I caught up with the diva of devotional, Devasena. Her show, Devraagam, on 98.3 is a pleasant listening experience and I wanted to find out more.
How has the response been to devotional content?
It’s been pretty amazing. A lot of people like to start their day not just with filter coffee, but also with a dash of devotion. There are people who’ve said ‘when I hear the Shasthi Kavachanam on your show and I’ve not yet begun work in the kitchen, I know I’m running late’. It could be a tea stall owner or someone taking their morning walk, it is heartening to know they’re starting their day with you.
How do you prepare for such a show?
My prep is very collaborative. RJ Vijay helps me a great deal to get the show on air. I also have experts like astrologer Kaliyur Narayan and Revathy Shankaran who give us truck loads of information. I have listeners—like Kodambakam Hari—who will painstakingly send me pages of information they’ve collected. I feel blessed.
How has your radio journey been?
It’s been a very fulfilling journey. It has enriched my life. I’ve hosted different shows, worked as an executive producer, won an RAPA award, gained inroads into more voice work, and made great professional contacts and friends. Radio is a very powerful medium, yet it humbles you.
Given a chance, how would you design a soundscape?
I don’t think there is one formula that will cater to everyone. But if I were designing it for myself, my choice of music will be melodious and peppy numbers. For the RJ talk, I would go with intelligent humour.
Catch the wonderful Devasena on Devraagam only on Radio Mirchi.
The California kid
When you have a toddler in tow, the Golden State is not just about Hollywood or trying out the latest health fad.
Here’s what else you can do.
Part-time tourist, baby-sitter and grandfather—that’s the role I donned on my first trip abroad. Last year, I bought a ticket to California because my daughter Sandhya (there on work) could not juggle both her job requirements and her young daughter. I flew out to pick up 20-month-old Hoshika and bring her back to Chennai. But not before the three of us enjoyed some family time and, of course, ‘touristy’ things.
The weekdays went by quickly, with baby and I bonding over food and playtime. But the weekends were reserved for sun, sand and fun. From Redondo Beach, Universal Studios and Catalina Island to Seaworld, Hollywood and the San Diego Zoo, we did it all. For those who plan to visit these parts with a toddler for company, here are the best spots to go to.
Santa Catalina Island: Catch a ferry to the island (if it’s your birthday, the ride is free). You can even take a 15-minute scenic helicopter ride ($125 one way, and free for children below two). Once there, grab some homemade ice cream at Big Olaf’s, try some mini golf with your tot, or find Nemo at Undersea Adventure. A semi-submersible ($29 onwards) will take you on a 45- minute ride where kids can have fun matching pictures on their pad to what they see outside their porthole. For those five and above, the Dolphin Sea Quest Tour ($48 onwards) is a great idea. Cap it all off with some great food on the pier. Details: visitcatalinaisland.com
Universal Studios Hollywood: Encapsulating a true-blue Hollywood adventure, it can seem as if most of the rides are too fast or dangerous for young children. But may I suggest heading to Super Silly Fun Land with over 80 water play features. At the park, catch characters like Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants, or head to the Animal Actors Stage for a show (Shrek 4D leaves everyone in splits). As for rides, The Studio Tour and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem are great options, and if you are there in April, the new ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, will be open for business. Day passes from $80.95 onwards. Details: universalstudioshollywood.com
Redondo Beach: Just 20 miles from downtown LA, it’s a favourite resort location. However, this March will be great fun for children, too, as the beach city’s annual Festival of the Kite kicks off. Besides watching (and learning to fly kites), tots can try their hand at drawing at the Chalk Art Festival or get up close and personal with sea creatures at Sea Lab’s Touch Tank Tour ($2 per person). And while the adults catch the rays on the beach, children can splash around in Seaside Lagoon—an enclosed saltwater play space with a snack bar and playground. Details: visitredondo.com
San Diego Zoo: Need I say why this will be a thrilling experience for the entire family? The 100-acre zoo is home to over 3,700 animals, from tigers to polar bears. Besides safaris and shows, try some fun activities like Make it for Animals, where you can make treats for the zoo’s inhabitants, or head to the boardwalk and join Bamboo Panda, Monty Meerkat and their friends at the Costume Characters show. In October, children 11 and below can enter free of cost. Day passes at $50. Details: zoo.sandiegozoo.org
Seaworld: This was Hoshika’s favourite day out. From watching the shows—One Ocean (with killer whales, $40), Dolphin Days, etc—to feeding sea lions at Pacific Park or climbing rope structures at the Sesame Street Bay of Play, there’s never a dull moment. Don’t forget to catch the fireworks display in the evening. And yes, October gets your little ones free entry, and even a chance to dine with Shamu the Orca (otherwise, $26 per person). Details: sandiego.org
Of course, all good things come to an end, and after a month, I headed back with Hoshika. I was dreading the flight to Chennai (my first with a child who’d undoubtedly ask for her mother), but a most unlikely thing came to my rescue. I had recorded all the dolphin and whale shows we had watched, and every time she teared up, the videos helped me keep her occupied for hours.
— N Elumalai
Actress Lilly James packs a punch as Liz Bennet, a zombie slayer, in the latest version of Austen’s novel.
PERIOD-drama Downtown Abbey actress, Lily James, will star in another period action-drama, but this time, it’s the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a spin-off based on Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. The English actor plays Elizabeth Bennet who is a zombie slayer in the film. But why another foray into the same genre and what next? We find out.
Were you a fan of the source material before you got the role?
I hadn’t heard of it. I read the script and within the first opening sequence, when Darcy sort of gallops up on a horse and gets stripped down, I thought, “Yeah, this is cool.” Then I read the book and thought it was brilliant. It shouldn’t work, but it does.
You were in training and learned to run for Fast Girls, too. Was this more intense?
No, I don’t think anything will ever be as intense as that because for this we can hide all manner of sins in a period dress, but in Fast Girls I was in pants so we had to be toned. For this, it’s been more about a mental fighter attitude too.
Have you sustained any injuries so far?
Nope, but I’ve definitely injured others, like Sam (Riley). We had the proposal scene where I had to suddenly start beating him vigorously. I just got really swept away in the moment, and though they’re plastic swords, they hurt if you jab them at someone.
What about weapons?
The blade. I have daggers hidden everywhere. Liz Bennet is a dagger/sword ninja so I always fight with two. But she has a dagger on her at all times.
You’ve got the repartee of Jane Austen and then you make it physical. Was it difficult?
When we’re doing the scenes without any fighting, I treat it ordinarily. Where there’s dialogue and fighting, it’s been a bit of a battle. Sometimes I want to say lines in a relaxed way, but I’m saying them in a strained voice because I’m kind of punching Jane in the face.
You seem to do a lot of period roles.
I was always drawn to that as sort of a style and some of the actresses I loved growing up like Kate Winslet, I remember her in Titanic, was definitely something I wanted to do. Now having done it so much, I’d like to do something with style that slightly confines your choices and your emotions and the freedom to just let everything out.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies releases today.
— Team Indulge
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