Monthly Archives: September 2016
From a contemporary dance performance to a marathon with a message, there’s enough to set out of your house for.
Here’s a golden opportunity for young artists in the city to showcase their painting skills. Pondicherry Art Akademy is organising the third edition of their National Painting Competition and Exhibition. Open to students of standards one to 10, it requires paintings to made with either crayons, water colours, colour pastels or oil pastels. Last date of submission is October 10. On October 13.
Three-year-old contemporary dance troupe, Annette Leday/Keli Company, will be enthralling their fans when
they commence their seven-city India tour in Trivandrum next week. Catch them at Alliance Francaise de Pondicherry on October 8. Details: pondicherry.afindia.org
Run for a cause
If you are one of those who are concerned about where our drinking water comes from, here’s your chance to spread awareness about the importance of consuming ISI certified water. Participate in a marathon being organised by the Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Association. It will be held on Pondy Beach Road. October 2, 6 am. Details:tpdwma.com
The EDM dose
Gear up for VH1 Supersonic’ s debut in Chennai, with Dutch EDM duo, Sick Individuals, as one of the headliners. The duo, Joep Smeele and Rinze Hofstee, will be accompanied by other artists such as Rohit Barker, Answer, Get Massive, DJ Anto, Ashish Nagpal, Siddarth Raheja and DJ Sonic. On October 15, from 6 pm onwards, at Confluence Banquets and Resorts. Tickets from Rs 1,000 onwards on BookMyShow. Details: gosupersonic.in
Try your hand at building tree houses at an upcoming workshop in Auroville. Learn how to mount beams and install roofs on trees. Besides building tree houses, you will also be taught how to climb trees, which includes making knots, installing ropes, followed by the climb. From October 8. From Rs 10,000 per head. Details: 9008779360
At Tasmai Gallery, catch two talented musicians—Soham Munim and Ravish Shet—perform. While the former is a sitar player, who is credited to have created a music instrument of his own called SiGui (hybrid of sitar and guitar), Shet is one of the most promising young tabla players in the country. Sunday at 8 pm. Entry at Rs 100. Details: tasmaipondy.com
From kebabs cooked inside a container to a dinner under a thatched roof, our pick of all things new along the SH 49.
WHEN you’re talking about an 800-kilometre stretch along the country’s south- eastern shoreline—chock-full of amusement parks, wildlife conservatories, ancient ruins and the choicest adventure sports—food is a given. Earlier limited to the many beach resorts along the highway, travellers today have a variety of options ranging from nasi goreng at New Town and burgers at Double Roti, to dum biryani at Taj-Fisherman’s Cove. Even celebrities are trying their luck in hospitality here (think God-Ka by Simran). So if you’re planning to head out to Mahabalipuram or Pondicherry this weekend, take your pick from our list of the newest eateries on the coastal culinary scene. Read on.
Highway 49: kebabs
When he’s not working behind the camera as cinematographer MS Prabhu’s first assistant, Ganesh Raj serves delicious kebabs, rolls and beverages at his container-kiosk, Rollin’ on Highway 49, in Injambakkam. “I am a kebab lover, so I wanted the varieties to move out of niche restaurants and become available in the streets for an easier price,” adds the 29-year-old. The kiosk also has chef Mohammed Naimudeen, who has worked at the Taj Maldives and Radisson, among other places. The galouti kebab with its soft spicy meat, paired with mint chutney, is going to have you reaching for another plate. Their cheese chilly seekh- bajji molaga stuffed with mutton is bound to make you sweat, but nothing a glass of refreshing chilled Punjabi lassi can’t fix. Rs 95 onwards. Details: 9884977495
Chakraa: Big meals
Launched this March, Chakraa predominantly serves South Indian cuisine, along with other dishes. Already drawing in the crowds, the restaurant is going to introduce a special three-course meal for couples and families. Rs 700 for two. Details: 24491922
After largely catering to OMR’s IT crowd over the last nine years, Student’s Burger’s new outlet in Neelankarai offers pasta and burger options to those driving along the East Coast. Sample some delicious meat in their Jungle Burger, complete with a thick chicken patty, mayonnaise, vegetables and an omelette topped with barbeque sauce.
Rs 120. Details: 30257969
peri peri shawarma
Instant noodle baron Maggi isn’t the only one smitten by the peri peri bug. The spicy variant is a delicious addition to the shawarma kiosk, La Shawarma’s popular menu at Thiruvanmiyur. Another newcomer to the spread is the Hummus Shawarma, but we pick the former. Rs 200. Details: 42618888
Mascarpone: pastas and grilled fish
Armed with 14 years of experience in hotels like The Leela Palace and The Park in Bengaluru (as kitchen-in-charge), and as sous chef in Kipling Cafe, C Manigandan is well-equipped to launch his debut restaurant, Mascarpone. Serving an Italian menu, the three-month-old eatery is becoming popular for its handmade pastas (fettuccine and ravioli), thin-crust pizzas, risottos and more. Their desserts—think tiramisu—are a hit, too. The 65-seater has already got good reviews on Zomato, with patrons complimenting their Bolognese carbonara, Lombardy chicken pizza and more. “I am currently preparing an updated menu with new dishes like grilled salmon, tortellini pasta, and others,” Manigandan says. What’s more, the quaint ambiance will soon be complemented by an air-conditioned space, to be opened in around 20 days. Meal for two from Rs 1,200 onwards. Details: 30853604
Radisson Blu Temple Bay: offers
This weekend at Radisson, enjoy a range of French pastries, served alongside a multi-cuisine buffet. Enjoy crème brulee, profiterole (cream puffs), French macarons and more. At Rs 1,750 plus taxes. Coming up next weekend—a special dosa promotion. Details: 27443636
Thoondil:live sea food
A love for fishing and natural spaces drove M Raja, a former IT professional, to venture into hospitality with Thoondil, his 100-seater multicuisine restaurant. “I enjoy going out to sea and fishing. I find it hard to find places that retain the freshness of their fish and hence decided to offer people an option to pick their own, live,” says the 32-year-old. Located at Akkarai, the quaint four-month-old space, with thatched huts and lush greenery, is perfect for a lazy lunch or a private dinner. We are surprised by the tender meat of the tandoori tiger prawns and the flavourful aftertaste of their chilly crab fry. Don’t miss their sea bass and squid varieties and visits from Rocky and Blacky, their in-house labradors. Meal for two from Rs 800 onwards. Details: 9750333303
Titoas Resto Bar: new menu
Titoas Resto Bar may be an oldie, but guests were happy to welcome its revamped look three months back. One of the few places to offer shisha on ECR, the place is also known for it’s ambience. It’s coming up with a revamped menu in a month or so. Price from Rs 1,500 for two. Beer from Rs 300. Details: 33011508
Text: Lavanya Lakshminarayanan & Karan Pillai
A chat with a globetrotting whisky ambassador reveals new trends around the world.
Struan Grant Ralph is a Scotsman of a different kind—the globetrotting variety. As global brand ambassador of Glenfiddich whisky, he lives out of a suitcase and hops on and off planes more times than we can say slainte (the Scottish toast meaning ‘good health’). But in that suitcase he also packs his kilt, sporran and a dry sense of humour. All of which were on show at a whisky-paired sit down dinner at the ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru last week. Glenfiddich has been around longer than our forefathers, having entered India in 1909, brought by Glenfiddich’s founder-owner William Grant’s son-in-law, Charles Gordon, to grow into India’s biggest selling malt whisky. The word whisky itself came from the Latin phrase aqua vitae or water of life, translated to the Gaelic uisge (which then became the Scottish ‘whisky’). Incidentally, he doesn’t live by a Scottish glen, but in buzzing New York city with his French wife and enjoys a good vintage champagne on occasion.
Which whisky would he pick if he had to choose just one? “If I had to pick a desert island whisky, Glenfiddich 12 year old would be the one.” And others from around the world? “Sullivan’s Cove, based in Tasmania, Australia, is an innovative small-batch distiller. And probably a Balvenie 21 year old. A Japanese whisky too, the rare Yamazaki 1984. The just-launched Glenfiddich 26 year old.” Also, Hudson whiskey from a small distillery in New York and an experimental Glenfiddich variant finished in IPA (India Pale Ale) casks are worth checking out.
I chatted with him about the trends he may have spotted. Whisky has a loyal band of followers who enjoy the stock age specific variants most, he adds—the 12, 15, 18 and 21; but the new in-thing is the rise of the NAS (non-age specific) whiskies, originally driven by stock constraints of the age-specific whiskies. These variants, he says, “allow for more innovation by the distillers and do well because the modern whisky drinker looks beyond substance, at style too”. The Snow Phoenix, a Glenfiddich NAS is one that disappeared off the shelves in a jiffy. Look at what’s happening with whisky around the world and you’ll see a blurring of categories, he explains. Today whiskies come from countries all over: Taiwan, Japan and countries you wouldn’t even imagine. With competition and sales growing, it’s good news for whisky lovers.
“A whisky must engage all your senses,” he adds. Tongue firmly in cheek, he explains how whisky should be tasted. “Raise your glass, hold it at a distance and gaze longingly at it. Then take a whiff and nod approvingly. Now drink.”
— Ruma Singh
Four experts on what the party scene in India requires right now.
From Tito’s in Goa to Monkey Bar and Social, the men behind some of the biggest brands in the nightlife industry of the country and members of the advisory board of the newly-introduced India Nightlife Convention & Awards (INCA), talk to us about the party scene in India and where it is heading:
Mumbai-based consultant, Dilip Joshi—who conceptualised projects like Bling in Mumbai —feels that travel and exposure has made a big difference to the industry, with people emulating what they see abroad. It has lead to the opening of many places today that are on par with international standards, he says.
St Tropez in South of France
Memorable nightlife experience: Back in 2008, in Poison nightclub, we had over 50 girls dancing on the bartop. That’s when I realised that India has woken up to partying.
If you have ever been to Goa (for business or pleasure) then Tito’s is a name you must have come across. The man behind the brand, Dilip Joshi, feels that the party scene sees more action now as there are bigger acts and bigger DJs being brought down and more advertising, thanks to social media.
His party spot: London
Memorable nightlife experience: Privilege in Ibiza where they got trapeze artists. They were dressed as birds with gold dust on their bodies—like a full-on circus. This was 15-20 years ago. I’ve always tried to improve my place by looking at something like that.
Mumbai-based restaurateur Riyaaz Amlaani (Salt Water Café, Smoke House Deli, Social), believes that a very vibrant creative industry scene (theatre, music performances, bars, museums) is the key. “You need to make cities pedestrian friendly and you need to make people enjoy public spaces,” Amlaani says.
His party spot: Hong Kong Memorable nightlife experience: RG’s on Marine Drive. It has many fond memories for me because I spent a lot of my growing up years there. I met my first girlfriend there.
AD Singh, the name behind brands like Olive, Guppy by ai, Monkey Bar, Olive Bistro, Sodabottleop-enerwala, believes that rules, timings and other restrictions of open areas are very important.
“The nightlife has changed from dancing and more hard partying to more lounging, relaxing and chatting,” he says.
His party spot: Barcelona
Memorable nightlife experience: December 31, 1999, when the millennium was changing, we were at a party at Jimmy Gazdar in Goa. It was a lovely fort and I proposed to my wife that night.
— Simar Bhasin
Catch world renowned automotive designer, Afzal Kahn showcase his automobile customisation skills on the new show, Supercar Megabuild. Witness Kahn tweak a Rolls-Royce into a drag racer, make a Nissan GT-R beat Bugatti in a race and make a Range Rover Evoque into a rally car. Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 PM, on National Geographic Channel.
Men in blue
Catch the season four premiere of the American police drama, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Continuing from season three, the Primetime Emmy Award winning show depicts the adventures of detectives from the New York City Police Department, how each officer has a unique way of solving crimes and the conflicts between them. Tomorrow 8 pm on Comedy Central.
Inspired from the works of celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos and American talk show host Larry King, is the newest criminal justice show, Notorious. Watch how a defense lawyer and a media mogul work together after an incident that receives nationwide attention. Premiering tonight at 7 pm on Colors Infinity.
Big stars and new shows, an update.
Watch your favourite television and film stars play new character roles as they come back to the small screen. Here is our pick of the A-listers whose upcoming shows cannot be missed.
The Bull, AXN
Having recently quit NCIS after a 13-year stint, Michael Weatherly comes back to the small screen with the American drama series, The Bull. The show revolves around Dr Jason Bull (Weatherly), based on Dr Phil McGraw’s early days when he co-founded a famous trial consultation service. The 48-year-old actor has recently been in the news for signing up to produce a spy thriller series, Mata Hari. The show will premiere on October 16 at 11 pm.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Divorce, Star World Premiere HD The Sex and The City star Sarah Jessica Parker had quit television in 2004 after the series finale but she is back as a lead in the new comedy series, Divorce. Also starring Thomas Haden Church who will be playing Parker’s husband in the show (of George of the Jungle fame), the show follows their marital troubles. The 51-year-old Primetime Emmy Award winner recently hinted at another sequel of the SATC franchise.The show premieres on October 17, at 10 pm.
The Shannara Chronicles, Zee Cafe Watch the most hated orc from The Hobbit, Manu Bennett try his luck on another TV show, The Shannara Chronicles. Based on The Sword of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks, this show revolves around heroes of the four lands who embark upon a journey to find and stop an evil demon who seeks to destroy the world. The Shannara Chronicles premieres on October 15 at 8 PM.
— Team Indulge
Even though over the years actress Evan Rachel Wood has held our attention with her tumultuous personal life, we are eager to see The Ides of March actress as a cowgirl, in the sci-fi drama Westworld. Created by Jonathan Nolan (younger brother of Christopher Nolan and co-writer of Interstellar) and his wife, Lisa Joy, the television series is a remake of the 1973 movie of the same name. With a star cast, which includes Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris, the plot is based on a machines vs humans premise. Here the 29-year-old actress talks about the new show and how she coped in the Western setting.
Let’s talk about the show
It’s based on Michael Crichton’s 1970s film, but it’s really just the premise–this is a complete re imagining. Instead of focusing on the humans being terrorised by robots gone haywire, it’s flipping that on its head and it focuses more on the hosts, as we like to call them, and what would that be like if they were trapped in a world they thought was real.
The show focuses more on the hosts than the film did?
Yes, and they raise questions about how you measure feeling and suffering–but when you think about it, what is consciousness? We don’t really know. That’s one of the many things we tackle on the show.
Your mind state after appearing in the show?
I genuinely started questioning my own reality. There was at least one moment I remember very specifically on set, when I was kind of scared, just thinking: I honestly don’t know anymore. I realised that our DNA and computer code really isn’t that different. And computer chips in our brains are not all that far away.
How was it working with Jonathan and Lisa?
They are the smartest people I know–so gracious and down to earth considering they are absolute geniuses. What they’ve done with the show–I’m just in awe of them every day.
With bustles and long frocks, Dolores has quite a different style to yours.
You know, it was funny, because I’m such a tomboy. But one thing I love about Dolores, which you will see more of, is that she is the quintessential beauty, but she’s also a farm girl. She’s a cowgirl. She’s tough. She’s the one that you can fall in love with. Westworld can give you that experience as well. It doesn’t just have to be sex and guns, you can actually be a knight in shining armour and go save the damsels from the train tracks and fall in love.
Westworld premieres Tuesday at 10 pm on Star World Premiere HD
— Team Indulge
Dhanyam Organics ventures into handmade.
To THOSE who’ve been regulars at Dhanyam, the city-based organic grocery store, the handmade bookmarks available at the counters are a familiar sight. If you’ve loved those, you’ll definitely fall in love with Yaksha, the new line of curated handmade products launched by Dhanyam’s co-owner Thendral Madhusoodhanan. From traditional cookware (think copper jugs, iron skillets and kalchattis) to jewellery made of tamarind seeds and neem seeds by Tamil Nadu-based Rope Seed Jewellery, each product exhibited at this six-month-old endeavour is handpicked by Madhusoodhanan herself. “As a concept, it has always been there alongside Dhanyam. But, I thought we weren’t doing justice to the products. That’s why we launched Yaksha, inspired by the tree spirits who are revered in folk tales as patrons of art,” begins entrepreneur.
The right pick
Sourced during her travels across the country over last two years, one of the most striking elements among her ensemble is the handloom sari collection, which includes the 1,000 butta saris from Kanchipuram, dotted with rudraksh motifs (with one piece taking over 20 days to complete). “We have over 600 saris including Maheshwaris and Sambalpuri ikats, sourced directly from the weavers. I am also hoping to collect weaves from Kutch and the North East,” adds Madhusoodhanan, who designs terracotta jewellery sets inspired by the colours and motifs of her handloom collections (`2,000 onwards). Apart from apparel and accessories, Yaksha is also keen on reviving dying traditions of iron and stone vessels by collaborating with artisans from Shenkottai and Sirkazhi.“We’ll be opening another Yaksha store at Velachery in a couple of weeks,” she concludes.
Saris from Rs 1,500 -Rs 15,000
At Adyar. Details: 28157654
— Arya P Dinesh
Give with love
Tomorrow, Grand Mall
Introduce your children to the value of charity with Daan Utsav. At the yard sale being organised at Grand Mall, kids can sell their old toys, books, satchels and stationery, the proceeds of which will go towards education projects by the Rotary Club of Chennai. The two-day event will also include street plays, drawing competitions, live entertainment and more. At Velachery. Details: 9677008787
October 1-2, DakshinaChitra
This weekend, nudge your creative side and make your own colourful bangles and earrings. At the silk thread jewellery making workshop organised by DakshinaChitra, artist Kantha Narasimhan will teach you how to create intricate designs. `2,000 onwards, including materials. At ECR. Details: 27472603
Till tomorrow, Amethyst
Check out Kadambari, the latest collection of silver jewellery curated by Singapore-based designer, Rashantha Devanesan. The new collection, called The Journeys, features vintage jewellery sourced from Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and South-East Asia. Pick up necklaces and earrings with colours and motifs inspired by the culture of these places. `7,500 onwards. At Chamiers Road. Details: 43042099
Paws for a cause
Sunday, Blue Cross
Here’s a chance to make a new friend. Blue Cross of India is holding its adoption drive this Sunday. Puppies, kittens and a few pedigree adult dogs will be looking for their forever homes. Address and ID proof required. At Velachery. From 1 pm to 5pm. Details: 9840297942
On the ramp
Today, Phoenix MarketCity
Phoenix MarketCity showcases the autumn/winter collection of brands like Gap, Guess, Steve Madden and Kenneth Cole with a special fashion show. Choreographed by Mumbai-based Lubna Adam, known for her work at Lakme Fashion Week, models like Ketholena Kense and Diva Dhawan will be walking the ramp in seven sequences. Talking about current trends in fashion, the choreographer says, “I feel that metallic is coming back in a very strong way.” Pink star Tapsee Pannu will be the guest of honour. From 7 pm onwards.
At Velachery. Details: 30083618
Till October 16, Online
Think you can break down any science concept into information that a layperson can understand? FameLab, in association with the British Council, is inviting science buffs to upload three-minute science explanatory videos. Finalists from India, shortlisted based on content, clarity and charisma in their presentations, will win an all-expenses paid trip to the UK to participate at the world-renowned Cheltenham Science Festival. Details: famelab.org
Memory Space experiments with sounds we find in our daily lives.
Reinterpreting sounds that are characteristic of city life—from loud street vendors to church bells, in both Berlin and Chennai—is the musical project, Memory Space. Producer and director Thomas Bruns, who is at the Goethe Institut for rehearsals before the world premiere of the act, explains the inspiration behind the project, which is a collaboration between western traditional music and South Indian classical tunes. “I have been looking for a piece or a concept that is based on how to listen and about perception as well,” Bruns begins. When the artistes were in India last November, they were taken in by the different sounds of the city, specially during the rainy season. He says the name and concept was inspired by American installation artist and sound researcher, Alvin Lucier, and his work by the same title. Following what Lucier had written, they listened carefully to ambient sounds in Berlin and Chennai, recorded them, and then “we went back to our rehearsal spaces and tried to find a reinterpretation on our instruments, Indian as well as western.”
City-based artiste Ramesh Vinayakam, the only Indian composer on the team, provided help in mixing the two styles with his new notation system—which lets people not familiar with Indian classical music play raagas. In fact, this will be a separate segment in the performance, called the Gamaka Box.
Today, at Kalakshetra, from 5.30 pm.
The first part of the performance will include audio massages, a service offered to those who come early. Bruns says that an audience member can walk up to a performer and ask for one. He will then get to hear soothing sounds from nature. “It’s a service like something you’d get at the hairdresser’s. It is meant to cleanse the ears a bit and to open them to surrounding sounds,” he concludes.
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