Thursday, December 18, 2014

Restaurant Review - Hyderabadi Food Festival at Salsa

Hyderabadi cuisine is famed for its delicious spicy Biryanis and array of chicken and lamb dishes. The cuisine draws its flavour from two rich legacies - the Deccan cuisine of Nizams with its delectable biryanis (rice flavoured with meat and vegetables), haleem (pounded wheat and mutton dish) and kebabs, and the spicy Andhra style of food, laced with mustard, garlic and chilies accompanied by spicy pickles. I stayed in Hyderabad for 3 years before I moved to Pune so I got to savor lots of delectable dishes from the city and am in love with the cuisine. Sadly I do not get to eat it very often in Pune as I pretty much always end up dining at South East Asian and Italian restaurants. Fortunately for me, my desire to eat Hyderabadi food was fulfilled as Salsa, the multi cuisine restaurant in the Corinthians Resort & Boutique Hotel is running Dawaat-e-Nizam (feast of the Nizam) which is a Hyderabadi Food Festival.

They have a grand spread of dishes like Kacche Gosht Ki Biriyani, Haleem, Dalcha and many more specialties. I started my meal with a variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian starters. My favorite chicken dish in the whole wide world is Chicken 65, which originated in Hyderabad and is a spicy deep fried chicken starter that's garnished with curry leaves.

Chicken 65
I also loved the Pathar Ka Gosht, another spicy delight which consists of lamb marinated overnight and seared on a hot Granite stone over charcoal. Besides these, I also tried the vegetarian options of Madrasi Paneer Tikka (Cottage cheese tikka) and Makai ki tikki (Corn patty) which were pretty good. 
Clockwise from L to R: Makai Ki Tikki, Madrasi Paneer Tikka, Chicken 65 and Patthar Ka Gosht
Since I'm quite a carnivore and am always partial to non vegetarian food, I decided to do the opposite and try some vegetarian food for a change too. In main course, I had the Paneer Charminar (cubes of cottage cheese in a slightly sweet orange sauce), Mix Dal Masala (the lentil soup in the bowl) and Hyderabadi Bhindi (Lady's Finger aka Okra aka Gumbo). The Bhindi was particularly outstanding as it was the perfect blend of onion and crunchy curry leaves with the lady's finger.

From left to right: Paneer Charminar, Mix Dal Masala and Hyderbadi Bhindi
Getting back to my carnivorous ways, I also had the Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani in which lamb is slow-cooked with the rice to produce a succulent, flavorful layered delight along with Gosht Tamatar, a tomato based non spicy lamb gravy. Both were delicious.

Clockwise from L to R : Paneer Charminar, Gosht Tamatar, Hyderbadi Bhindi and Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani
I was also in the mood for dessert for a change. I had the Gulab Jamun Day Light, which was a unique tasting gulab jamun which was halved with a dollop of cream on top. I also had the Kulfi Falooda which is an ice cream like dessert.

Clockwise from L to R : Vanilla ice cream, Dil E Firdaus, Kulfi, Gulab Jamun Day Light with Falooda in the Centre
Overall, I had a great experience at Salsa once again, and really enjoyed their range of Hyderabadi cuisine. Their staff is polite and courteous and the ambiance is nice and relaxed. If you are in Pune and have a craving for Hyderabadi Food, don't miss this food festival. It is on till Sunday, 21st December 2014.

Have you ever tried any of these dishes? Let me know in your comments below. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Make Your Wedding Memorable With Moments

As winter finally arrives in India, along comes with it, the wedding season. In India, the period between November to February is infamous for loads of weddings. In fact, four of my friends, including my high school BFF got married this month. When it comes to the Big Fat Indian Wedding, every girl wants hers to be memorable and right from her outfit to the venue to the decor to the food and so on. Besides all these factors, another important aspect of your wedding is the invitation, packaging and gifting and this is exactly what Moments specializes in. 

 This tastefully done up store & studio in Koregaon Park showcases various essential items for wedding like engagement ring platters, invitation and jewelry boxes, trousseau packaging and Sangeet and Mehendi giveaway presents. They even have specific items for any custom particular to a community. You can make selections from their existing range of designs on showcase but if you want something totally personal and unique that you wish to convey, you can have it customized at Moments thanks to owner Riona's aesthetics and love for perfection.  

Its really easy to give someone a card in an envelope but if you were to receive a wedding invitation that sits in a basket along with sweets, dry fruits and a little gift, it would definitely make an impact and show your guests how you went that extra mile to make your wedding more memorable. 

They have boxes in all shapes and sizes which can be customized to match your wedding theme
These boxes are ideal for placing gifts, sweets or invites
Beautiful Ganesha idols make perfect auspicious gifts for any occasion 
These little pouches are great for invites and can be reused for storing trinkets
From mehendi cones to bindi holder packets, the smallest details are looked into by Moments
These bags can be given as return gifts or along with invitations
These beautiful vibrant bangles are perfect as return gifts for a wedding
Besides wedding gifts, Moments also caters to birthdays, baby showers, formal corporate gatherings and festivals( Holi, Diwali & Ganesh Chaturthi)

 Address-
1 Adit Enclave, 
Lane No 5. 
South Main Road.
Koregaon Park 
Pune - 01

T: 020 26158305
M: 9823205780, 9881025780  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Yoyomelody Christmas Giveaway

Yoyomelody is a nice online store with some really nice clothing! I've got a bunch of stuff from them so I can vouch for their quality and service. Since Christmas is around the corner, I'm hosting a giveaway with them!


RULES
  1. Register on www.yoyomelody.com and share at least 3 products on your social platforms such as facebook and pinterest.
  2. Leave your registered email id and share links in the comments below.
PRIZE

Winner gets a $40 coupon to spend on yoyomelody.com. All participants get a $5 coupon.

This contest will end on Wednesday, December 24th at 11:59pm. Winners will be announced shortly after.

Here are some amazing clothes that you can get from them, all under $25 -


GOOD LUCK WITH THE GIVEAWAY!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Rescue Repair Review


Okay so as I've mentioned many times before, I regularly torture my hair by getting it chemically straightened and recently went really light and got very prominent highlights because I was bored of dark hair and have loads of greys. As a result of this, my hair became more porous and needed better nourishment so I started using the Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Repair Rescue range. Schwarzkopf claims that with BC Repair Rescue the recovery starts at cellular level, with a formula that nourishes, restructures and repairs hair from the inside out. The in-depth restoration gives an incredible 100% replenishment and resilience, with up to 95% less breakage. The result? Hair feels reborn, with a super soft feel, renewed elasticity and a healthy looking, long-lasting shine. 

The gently cleansing shampoo is meant for normal to fine damaged hair and is suitable for daily use. I've been using it for a few weeks now and am glad that it leaves my scalp feeling squeaky clean, removing all oils, dirt and product residue from my hair. I use it in conjunction with the intensive creamy conditioner for damaged hair which improves strength and elasticity. It detangles and smoothes and seals the hair surface while adding shine. Since my hair is quite dry thanks to straightening and coloring, instead of rinsing off the conditioner, I then apply the reconstructing treatment that provides extra strengthening qualities and improves the elasticity of the hair. This product is a thick masque which comes in a tub and has an amazing fragrance that lingers in my hair. 

Though this routine is slightly time consuming as I tend to shampoo twice, then apply conditioner and the masque which I keep on for 3-7 minutes, the results are amazing and my hair feels soft, silky manageable and looks fabulous! Check out the results below - 

My highlights and grey coverage were done by my friend Pooja who is an amazing hairstylist and bridal makeup artist. You can see her work here

If you frequently treat your hair with chemicals like I do, I totally recommend you to try Schwarzkopf's BC Bonacure Rescue Repair range. I feel that shampoos and conditioners suit different people depending on their scalp and hair type so results may vary from person to person, however, if you're looking for a deep conditioning treatment, you must try their treatment (which comes in the tub) as its a fabulous product and makes hair soft, silky and shiny.

Do you use any Schwarzkopf products? What's your favorite?

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Doll Lover's Dream Editorial

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Barbies. I had twenty five of them and had been convinced to chop of all my hair on one occasion and get full marks in Maths on another, all in exchange for a precious Barbie. Since I used to stay in small cities as my dad was in the Army, I'd often make outfits for my dolls using paper and tape because of the unavailability of Barbie clothes there. As I grew older, I couldn't relate to Barbie's signature favorite color as its so girly, and you couldn't find a single pink piece in my wardrobe in the past 5-6 years till I got this dress recently.  However, ever since Jeremy Scott's created Barbie's dream collection for Moschino for Spring Summer 2015, I think I'm gonna channel my inner Barbie! Right from the trademark Barbie font, to the bubblegum pink outfits and their styles, you'll instantly recognize Barbie's looks from the collection (Images here and video here). Check out model Charlotte Free roller skating down the Moschino runway below -


Barbie is definitely making a comeback and Vogue Paris' editorial named Panoplies takes this to a whole new level. Shot by Giampaolo Sgura as "Never Removed From The Box" Barbies, models Elizabeth Erm and Magdalena Frackowiak transform into real-life designer dolls in looks by Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and more. Each picture has the models positioned in their boxes, wearing this clothes from each designer's latest collection, surrounded by accessories attached to boxes by those plastic twist ties that instantly reminded me of my childhood Barbie obsession. I'm loving Gucci, Valentino and Moschino, of course!













Don't you love these? Which one's your favorite?

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

NEW John Jacobs Sunglasses!

Hey there! Long time no see!! In a stark contrast to my former vampire lifestyle, I finally started working like other normal human beings and thus have to drive quite a bit in the morning sun. And of course, complimentary with this is the dire need for sunscreen and sunglasses. This is when I discovered John Jacobs - an online store that offers boutique, world-class eye wear for men and women at very affordable prices.  They have a great range of eyeglasses and sunglasses made of high quality materials which are manufactured by state-of-the-art technological finesse. This brand is owned by the same folks who own Lenskart, a site which leads the online eye wear market in India.  


After trying various shapes and sizes in the past couple of years, I've finally concluded that aviators suit me the most so I was delighted to find a beautiful pair of brown ones which are perfect for daily wear. The process of ordering was fast and simple, and the package reached me within 4-5 days after I placed the order. Not only do they look great and feel comfortable, they're also very good quality, all at an extremely reasonable price of Rs 1599 (approx $25) 


Oh, and did I mention they compliment my recently highlighted hair perfectly? :)



 If you're in India and looking to buy good quality glasses or sunglasses without breaking the bank, make sure you check out John Jacobs. How do you like my new sunglasses (and highlights)?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Piccing - New look & Features!

Remember I spoke of a fashion and style app called Piccing last month? The app that lets you locate the things you want within the images you love? Now they have a brand new website with a user-friendly and more enjoyable experience. 


Here’s what you need to know now:

You can still upload and share images from your mobile, tablet or computer’s library and directly from websites. You’ll just need to drag & drop the new ‘Share it on Piccing’ bookmark to your bookmarks bar.

When uploading an image from a website the green plus icon has now been replaced with pink heart icon. Because who doesn’t need a little extra love in their life?

You can picc items you love within these images. Once an image has been uploaded to your profile, by clicking on the green ‘picc it’ button you can select up to 5 items you want within an image.

You can find similar items and see exactly where to get them. Once you’ve provided a description, suitable category and color of an item —a selection of similar items will be displayed in a pop up menu.

You can click through to a direct link to purchase items. Once you’ve selected the item you would like to purchase you’ll be redirected where to buy that item.



Here’s what you’ll be able to do in a few weeks:

Update your profile picture. Your existing profile image will be pulled from the original website, but don’t fret you’ll be able to change this soon.

Add your location and city. If you’re in Cali or Cape Town you can now add your location to your profile. This way, you’ll be able to follow fellow picc’rs from around the world.

You can remove and edit your individual piccs soon. This will help you to make changes orEdit or delete a picc.  updates to piccs whenever you like.

You’ll be able to select individual categories when following users. This will help to streamline your image feed to include only the things you love.


All these changes are set to happen over the next couple of weeks. Great news right? So just sign up on Piccing right now and start piccing!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Envy Box

I just got my November box this afternoon, and for the first time, have had a free slot in my blog schedule to be able to post immediately! This month's box is a beautiful shade of purple, perfect keeping fall/winter in mind. Labeled as the Detox box, this one has a lot of skincare goodies!



There's a small tube of ZA Perfect Solutions Cleansing Foam which is really handy to stash in your bag when you're out in the day. I can confidently say that ZA products are really good since I've tried a face wash and day cream from their range before. 


These are complimented by the Thalgo Freshness Exfoliator and Bottega Di Lungavita Sunscreen cream SPF 30. I've received a sample of the Thalgo product in a previous Envy Box and I don't like it much, but the sunscreen is a blessing as I need to slather loads on my face daily while I drive to work.


Moving on to body care, there's a handmade Ayurvedic soap - Suganda Fresh Milk and Olive Soap. Since, I've recently switched over to soaps from shower gels, this one will prove pretty handy!


Then there's the Natio ‘Meditate’ Shower Gel which is sized perfect for traveling. I'm off to the capital city next month's for my best friend's wedding so this will be very handy for my small trip.


Last but not the least, is a cute little package of San-Cha Mint Green Tea. I'm not a fan of any sort of tea but my dad's was eyeing it from the moment I opened the box. So this one's for you dad :)


For those of you who don't know about it, My Envy Box is a luxury beauty sampling service in India which has a bunch of samples from luxury brands, and if you like any, you can buy the full sized product from their site. The box retails at a reasonable Rs. 850 per month. Its almost a year since I've been getting it, and I love it so I totally recommend it to all of you!

How did you like the contents of this box? Do you subscribe to any boxes too?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Moscow Metro Dogs

I may be more fond of cats but I'm a huge dog lover too! Since I'm recycling this post, here's what I had to say two years ago when I used to stay in Bombay - There are five stray dogs who live right outside my house and the leader of the pack - an adorable affectionate and  hyperactive mongrel I call Jumpy, really makes my day. Every morning he follows me to the main gate which I must open and wait for him to cross over, only then does he give me permission to walk out and head to work. And the evenings are the opposite where he sits behind the gate waiting for me to open it, while he waits for me to enter, squealing, whining and jumping on me a million times till I don't pet him and he doesn't calm down. Thus, the name Jumpy. Its really nice to come home to a happy and excited animal. The funny thing with him is when he whines and cries and I mimic him, he keeps going on and on carrying out a conversation in doggie language with me. Nevertheless, I have had a long affectionate one sided conversation with him in English after too much wine.


Anyway, this is something I've known for a while but I though I should share with you. Moscow has a huge number of stray dogs, but a small number of them have figured out how to navigate the subway system.

Biologists say these dogs have figured out that taking the subway is a fast and convenient way to get from place to place. They also have a good sense of time which helps them not to miss their destination. Also, they often choose the last or the first metro car as those are usually less crowded. If they’re traveling in pairs or groups, one dog generally stays awake if the others are snoozing, and wakes them up when they reach their station.


ABC News found a female stray in the Kievskaya station, and followed her as she zipped between the legs of the bustling travelers around her to catch a ride on the Koltsevaya Line. Once aboard, she settled down on the floor among the feet and legs, even dozed a bit, and occasionally got up to mingle with friendly humans. 


These metro dogs have not only mastered getting into or out for trains, but, as observed by Ecologists,  they have also started playing games like jumping into the train just seconds before the doors shut for fun.  
Another skill they have developed is that they cross the road on the green traffic light. “They don’t react on color, but on the picture they see on the traffic light”, a Moscow scientist said. 


There is also a touching story about a stray mongrel called Malchik who lived at the Mendeleyevskaya station on the Moscow Metro for about three years. Malchick was a popular station ‘resident’ among rail employees and commuters, and territorially protected the station from drunks and other dogs. He was killed when a 21-year-old woman Yulia Romanova stabbed him with a kitchen knife. Later it was revealed that Romanova has a long history of cruelty to animals and psychiatric treatment. The incident sparked a wave of public outrage regarding the treatment of animals, and, in 2007, a monument was erected in Malchik’s honour at Mendeleyevskaya station. Passersby now rub the Malchik's shiny bronze nose for good luck. More on the monument HERE and HERE.

Malchik's statue
Are you a dog lover too? Aren't the Moscow Metro Dogs so cool?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Indulgence - Cake Shop & Snack Bar Review

In the corner of lane 6 in Koregaon Park lies Indulgence, a quaint cake shop and snack bar that offers a variety of delicious cakes and cheese cakes in flavors like lemon, strawberry, peach, double chocolate mousse cake to name a few. The biggest USP of this eatery is that besides conventional dessert favorites, it also offers a variety of traditional Austrian delicacies, made by the owner - Mazo Hoppel. That's not all – Mazo's expertise makes her bring out delicious Apple Strudel, Cream Cheese Strudel, Black Forest cake and lots more.

For those who prefer something savory, they also stock multi grain bread, whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, dinner rolls croissants, garlic fingers along with a delicious dip that goes perfectly with all of them, and me and my family couldn't get enough of it! I've tried a few things from here so feast your eyes below!


They offer a mini New York cheese cake which is perfect for those who want to indulge while taking care of the calories at the same time!


Their red velvet cupcakes are absolutely heavenly. Probably the best I've had in Pune.


The chocolate cupcake again is an absolute winner. I actually ate this one in three bites while driving to work (steering in one hand, cupcake in the other!) 


Indulgence is famous for its fantastic variety of cheesecakes and I tried the blueberry which was nice and creamy and not too sweet, just the way I like it!


So if you happen to be in Pune and have a sweet tooth, don't miss Indulgence! Its worth indulging in :)

ADDRESS -
Shop No. 7 
Rajat Rashmi Society, 
Lane No. 6 
Koregaon Park, 
Pune 411001
Ph : 020-65001068

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