All about from the Thanks Giving brunch @Grand Hyatt

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Grand Hyatt has always been known for its pizzas. One of the first few places to begin woodfire pizzas. I have grown up and all my dad has spoken is how good their pizzas are. I have tasted them too.

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But this time I headed to 55 EAST for their thanks giving sunday brunch. Its just a very nice feeling to go for a brunch where everyone is celebrating the feeling of grateful.

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I entered in and was welcomed by the Moet Chandon collection everywhere at the bar.

Then as I walk towards my table, there is a huge dessert counter and hola yes I am gonna start describing it from the other side in reverse.

Being the strawberry season, there was strawberry cream, strawberry tarts. Not just that, also there is tons of chocolate. There is dark chocolate, there is hazelnut tart, there are other inspirations of flavours too. I really liked the aesthetics of the dish. There was usage of lot of delicate ingredients like little flowers, little beads,etc

And being the occasion of thanks giving there were cupcakes inspired from thankgiving and chocolates with thanksgiven written on it.

The place was buzzing with people and was jam packed. I found the service a bit miss out. I placed an order for mocktail twice but then had to go by myself and wait at the bar till my drink was served.

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Coming to the food, I could spot turkey being the key critical part of the thanksgiving and whatever i heard from people was that it was perfectly cooked.

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Coming up next, there was salad and sushi bar. And there was everything that you could think of like watermelon feta, exotic decorated sushis, corn.

In main course, they have limited options of starters. The only thing was cottage cheese and vegetable pattice. Then they had pasta, pizza, noodles. I liked the asian spread which was basically choosing your own curry, veggies and all.

Overall had a good time.

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Indian Marries Western and brings you desserts at Bista Purfi

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BistaPurfi is an Indian dessert brand in an attempt to mix West with east .


Initially when I heard of it, I was not so convinced as many times it’s a fusion but not an actual blend of flavours . I had the Rose barfi entree and loved it. It was sweet flavoured with rose having a soft filling of barfi.

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And then I had kajukatli chocolate bar. They had used wafer biscuit below filled with chocolate.


Then tried different truffles like pan and anjeer. Really liked the anjeer one
Overall it was good

 

Order in gourmet style pizzas from 1tablespoon

Who doesn’t like the delivery of pizzas? Pizza and pasta have become so essential to up the moods and almost synonymous to party at home
I have been loyal to this place since its inception in Matunga. But yes today I think I should write it down.


What I love about their pizzas is the thin crust with the taste of their sauce. It’s just amazing in its way. The smell of that cheese makes my stomach tickle with joy. I have been staple with pizza Margarita. I just feel pizza is all about cheese.


But nevertheless I tried the vegetarian pizza which had loads of veggies and was yumm.

Coming up next would be the arrabatia pasta . And they were good in its own way but there were less of veggies.

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Next was mozzarella cheese garlic bread. I really loved it as there was lot of flavour of garlic and stuffed with cheese. Ended it with chocolate icecream .
It was a little home party with my favorite delivery pizzas !

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Bageecha by the Beach

What’s bombay all about? The juhu beach, sunsets, celebration of food & laughter.

Welcome to Bageecha, where lost Indian recipes are found, where the Waves of the beach are encountered, where the wind flutters & the pool Besides shines.
As you walk here on a winter evening you will see an open kitchen set up and aroma of spices in the air is enchanting you.
It’s just too wonderful and welcoming.
Here authentic Indian food is served to you and lost recipes which Indians had are found.
To start with,


Sabz makhmali seekh which was really soft and flavoursome


Then had the Mushroom galouti and I absolutely loved it


Who doesn’t like Paneer? The Parakdar Paneer was soft and luscious.


I know it’s nothing what people mention but I feel assorted papads with variety of chutnis are a major thing in Indian cuisine. . The different chutneys served in a bucket with Papad refills and raita just made me too happy.
Bhakharkhani flavour of fennel and nuts . I had this sabji and loved it as I had never tried it earlier.


Paneer Damani – I really liked this Vegetable as it again the dish depends on how soft the cottage cheese is with its gravy too.
Sabz Bageecha – This was their speciality. I loved it completely
Palak aur gobe or kofte – Kofte were perfectly held up and I didn’t think that palak would taste so good.


Dal bageecha dal Makhani : A lot of people and well renowned chefs say you judge a place by its dal . It’s all about the dal . The thickness, the consistency all has to match. And thankfully this one did justice to it .


Dal tadka : Dal Tadka had that touch. The masala yet nor so strong .


I tried different breads this time apart from the normal Roti sabji : I really liked the Shirmal saffron flavour and Taftan awadhi bread
And now my favourite part 😍😍😍😍
The desserts . I don’t know but Indian desserts just have my heart . They make me feel at home .
From falooda to the three flavours of icecream (not to forget the Motichoor icecream) and the rasmalai !
Do head there for a memorable meal,
the Indian way

More deets : Kailash Gundupalli is the Executive Chef at AccorHotels’ Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach. Bringing over 18 years of adept hospitality experience, Chef Kailash leads the culinary operations at the hotel. His impeccable execution abilities, flexible approach towards work and flair to deliver positive results, makes him the ideal choice for this role.

Kailash Gundupalli, Executive Chef, Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach-1

 

Jehan Numa Retreat , a natural therapeutic home to Rewind , Relax , Reinvent and Rejuvenate

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“A vacation must be calming, soothing where you can refresh yourself & be ready to tackle work

Where you can reinvent yet feel at home ”

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Jehan Numa retreat is a nature’s paradise . It is the natural escape away from the bustling city which acts as your perfect vacation destination .
Having been brought up in Bombay since the past 20 years , I am so used to the bustling city but during my vacation all I need is peace where I can rejuvenate myself .

India boasts of natural beauty . I chose this Place mainly as it so natural and gorgeous , that as you step here you feel at peace . You know the feeling when that heavy weight is lifted off your shoulder and you are just relaxed , yes I would term this as this .

As you step in , there is wooden rustic furniture lying around . As you approach the room , there is fresh air bursting .
I open my room and I am stunned . I see a beautiful huge room with seating area . Wait till I unveil my entire description of the room .
My bathroom had an open shower ! Hell yes !

Then I opened my balcony and is so exotic . There is natural beauty surrounded . The balcony is right amidst the plantations where you can sit for hours .

So I checked in , got fresh and then planned my stay of two days .

What to do at the property ?
1. Take the Nature’s Walk . The property is built in 12 acres . 3 acres are the rooms and 9 acres consists of natural yards . I see farmers working . They have natural cabbage , sugarcane , tomatoes , arugula , etc grown in there . The walk is just therapeutic.
2. Do the bird watching . As you get out of your room or even when you keep your balcony open , you will be welcomed by the melodious chirping sound of the birds . There are different kinds of unique birds and spotting them is such a pleasant site


3. Have a private dinner amidst the jungle underneath the fairy lights and private waiter Yes , have you dreamt a fairy tale proposal or watched a movie ? This one is straight that . No exaggeration. Beautiful fairy lights all over , candles are light , the trees at swaying while you are mesmerised 😍. DO PLAN THIS FOR YOUR LOVED ONE

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4. Have a buffet under the Jamun Tree . Yes , the place is surrounded by beautiful purple wild grass . Do try the lemon grass iced tea as it’s made from the fresh grown lemon grass inhouse . Also have the lemon coriander soup . It’s just so beautiful to eat there as all you can see is greenery around


5. Go for a swim amidst the natural setting. The pool also has a soothing music which will just make you feel relaxed .

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What to do around ?


1. Wake up one morning at 7am . Jehan Numa retreat has a backside short cut to Van Vihar National Park . Rent a cycle there costing barely 20₹ for two hours with entry fee of around 50₹ .

Taddaaa , You are exported into the most scenic natural Safari . Say hello to the birds in the lake or deer on the grass or if you are lucky watch the tiger besides . It’s a 7km drive one way . They allow cabs too with 250₹ fee . But take the cycle if you can , it’s just exotic .

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2. Watch Gauhar mehel . It was a Mahal created for queens leisure . The palace is in ruins now but as you stroll further , history will come alive . From her dressing room to secret rooms , you will be stunned
3. Go see the Masjid – it’s the biggest in Asia .

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4. Go boating in the city of lakes – Bhopal . Personal recommendation take the row boat where the person will row it for you and you can sit back and relax . Go there around sunset . The boat costs around 250₹ for an hour or so .
Also you can try the local markets there . Nothing to shop much in Bhopal though ! But go to Manohar , Bhopal if you have a sweet tooth

Points 2,3,4, 5 can easily be covered in one evening . Leave by 3.30 pm and all shall be sorted .
5. Go watch the Sanchi Stupa (Sadly I missed this one) . But it’s a world heritage site and 1.5 hours away . The Sanchi stupa is done up beautifully.

There is uber over there . So it’s very easy to travel anywhere over there .

Best months to travel : November to February

Cannot forget the Warm staff at Jehan Numa Retreat who made me feel at home . They were so nice that I remember names of everyone . From guiding me where to go to helping me book a cab to serving me Warm food to cleaning my room .
Kudos !
Mr Wincent , the Manager – you are a kind soul .

Do go there ! You will be mesmerised by the magic nature can do !

 

 

 

Jehan Numa Palace, a royal abode in the city of Lakes – Bhopal

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“Don’t judge a place for your myths. JUST GO.SEE for your own self. Explore. !ncredible India”

When I first heard Bhopal for a vacation spot, I had a typical reaction like “ Eww, How would Bhopal be”
I have travelled a lot of parts in Madhya Pradesh but never Bhopal. Still for curiosity sake, I took the chance.
And Oh Buoy!! It was the best chance.
As my flight was landing, all I could see from my flight window was waterbodies & greenery.
I landed and there I saw my driver from the Jehan Numa Palace waiting for me.
As I travel through the roads from the airport to the hotel, I see well plantations, sign boards and not a speck of dirt. I was already surprised.

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“Welcome To Jehan Numa Palace”
As you enter, you feel warmth of hospitality already. Everyone is doing Namaste and greeting you with smiles.


As I am walking towards my room, the royalty of the place is just sinking in.
And as I opened the room, I am welcomed by a chocolate brownie engraved with my name.
You know that’s what hospitality is all about. That’s what makes the little difference.

Coming back, I was staying in the Imperial category of rooms. My room was spacious with a choice of olden era kind of furniture.
Hola! My room has a beautiful verandah where I can sip onto my coffee.
No I am not done as yet. I mean sip onto my coffee while hearing the melodious tapping of horses overlooking the poolside.

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Yes, you read it all right. The owners of this property have a fetish for horses. The horses come for their walk twice in a day. The sight is something to behold.

I then moved for a scrumptious breakfast. The breakfast spread was wholesome with muesli, juices, nuts , fruits , waffles , cookies , poha , paratha and more.

What to do in the property?
 Stroll in the property. Yes I mean it. The beautiful courtyard with the fountain will make you refreshed whereas the pictures on the wall of the ancestral history will make you wonder with awe.

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 Do try out their different restaurants. Chef Akash, the executive chef has curated delicacies from around. I tried the Oriental cuisine which they have recently started and it was on point.

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 And if you go to Bhopal and don’t try the kebabs, then have you even been to Bhopal?
The restaurant “ under the mango tree” is legit made under the shelter of mango trees and speaks of Nawabi Era cuisine . If you are a non – vegetarian, YOU HAVE TO TASTE THE MUTTON SEEKH KEBAB.

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I had the rajma galouti kebab and oh god! It melted in my mouth. Also the Cottage cheese tikka is amaze.
Have their buffet spread please. You will be spoilt for choice. Try the beetroot halwa please.


After having eaten the buffet spread, you shall crave for something Continental. The La Cuchina is your royal Italian Joint. Woodfire pizzas and broccoli soup are my recommendations.


Take a dip in the pool. The pool is built amidst the royal property and is very refreshing.

What to do in Bhopal?
The travel desk at the Hotel is very helpful. And all Hands down to the MP TOURISM, who have done great to promote the local culture.


 Do visit the tribal museum which is nearby to the hotel :
Usually we all find museums very boring and uninteresting. I am maybe one of you. But do go to this museum. It is a 3D museum where the local craftsmen from different locations were called to create the museum. From Tribal huts to vessels to artefacts to celebration of festivals, you will be awed , awestruck with the awesomeness around

Go for a breathtaking sunset overlooking the lake on a weekday to Wind N Waves:
Wind N Waves is a property owned by MP Tourism. Choose the upper most deck. Go there by around 5.15 pm. It is not a very high class property but serves cheap food and the most amazing view.
So you will be mesmerized by nature. Imagine the pink hues of the silhouette sky overlooking the beautiful sky with dearth of tranquility

 Let History greet you , Hello Bhimbetka caves:
The ride to Bhimbetka caves is around 1.5 hours from the property. It is ranked as the number one world heritage site for rock painting followed by France and Spain. The painting done by tribal is still intact. The caves are just a depiction of the beauty that India has to offer

 

More coming up in the next blog

Lastly but most importantly Kudos to the staff! The General Manager Gaurav Rege , he has transformed the hotel by infusing modernity yet keeping olden culture intact. The entire staff from housekeeping to drivers to the servers – everyone is so kind hearted which makes you just smile.
Also the owner Mr Faiz Rashid is a person with bespoke humility despite the royal ancestrals. He is a man with insights!

Do visit Bhopal & stay here. Mostly even you will be one of me, who cannot wait to go there again.

 

A hidden find in the streets of Khar

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Pi Pizzeria is your offbeat find for some good authentic pizzas ! They import ingredients from different parts of the world to keep it authentic .

Beginning with the appetisers

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Dough balls with garlic butter , this dish only had one hero and that had to be the garlic butter . It was smooth soft and full of flavours

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Baked mushroom with garlic butter – Again the mushroom was so well made that I had to gorge onto them.

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Baked mushroom with pesto and mozzarella – This was one of the best dishes as the pesto sauce was totally rich in its flavour.
Penne arrabiatta – I then tried the pasta which was amazing in all its kind !
Spaghetti aglio e olio – This was average .
Wild mushroom and truffle oil risotto – This was filled with mushrooms and had a strong taste .


Coming to the main dish what the place shouts all about is pizza . They have a medium size crunch and 10 inch pizza 🍕 . They are inspired from the Europe with the motto of not sharing pizzas


I had the four cheese pizza and really liked it a lot .


The desserts were good too. My favorite has to be the tiramisu .

You gotta order this one if you are here
Overall it’s a chilled hidden gem place to grab a dinner over some great food!