Showing posts from March, 2015

Takeaway level: Singapore

Tucked away in an indoor building on Maxwell Road, right at the edge of quaint Chinatown, lies a busy hawker stall selling a dish that has become synonymous with Singapore. The humble food offered by this stall, considered to be the best by many connoisseurs, may just define what the country is all about – a little mild, a tad fiery and whole lot fragrant – in other words, a melting pot of ethnicities.

I speak of the largely modest and yet exhilaratingly delicious Hainanese Chicken Rice, or just chicken rice, if you please. 

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In Singapore, food is a passion. This is a place where you are allowed to insolently pursue your love for food. A place right after my heart, where I could talk nineteen to a dozen about the various cuisines on offer. A place where the whole world would be on my platter, and for half the price that I might be expected to shell out. For, my dining options would most certainly be centred around hawker centres or food courts, rather than r…

Birding in the Nilgiris - Ooty and Coonoor

For a long time, the wallpaper on my laptop featured a bird whose name elicited a disbelieved laughter from my colleague. 

“Black and orange flycatcher?” he had said with a slight guffaw. “Are you sure you are not making up its name?”

He had once sent me the picture of a domestic goose from the resort he was staying in Wayanad with the caption ‘Orange-footed White Wayanad Goose’. 

“It sounds like the name of my goose,” he had inferred.

Perhaps it did. But as I was saying, it had been one of my long cherished dreams to catch sight of this beautiful bird, endemic to the Nilgiris. For that to happen, we would have to pay a visit to Ooty, or Udhagamandalam. 

So, like they show in the advertisement for Alto K10 car, we decided to ‘chase our passion’. The date fixed was 6th March. The itinerary comprised four birding spots – Botanical Gardens, Doddabetta and Cairns Hill Reserve in Ooty, and Sims Park at Coonoor. My humble wish list had four birds – Nilgiri laughingthrush, Nilgiri flycatcher, gre…

Eating out in Ooty

One of the best things about travelling is that you get to taste some amazing food at local eateries. For me, travelling is just another excuse to splurge on food. The last time I visited Ooty, or Udhagamandalam, I was part of a tour package run by KSTDC. That, unfortunately, did not provide much leeway to my gastronomic adventures. We had to eat where the bus stopped. 

This time I was better equipped. We had our own car, so I could drive around to any place in Ooty I wished to dine. Also, this time we were travelling with my parents, who are somewhat finicky about food and the place it is served in. So that largely cancelled out the rickety places we generally find ourselves in.

During our stay at Ooty, we tried out several places for food, but the top three that really took the honours are:

1.Nahar’s Sidewalk Café

We reached this quaint little café located at the bustling Charing Cross market after a long, tedious walk at the Botanical Gardens and an equally taxing shopping session. My …

Black grapes jam and some old, old memories..

Every time I log onto blogger to publish a post, I wince with guilt. My inner voice looks at me accusingly, arms akimbo, and says “I thought your blog was about food as well.” I slink away with a pacifying “I know, I know…I will write something next time.” But then, like we all know, there is nothing as ‘next time’.

So, finally, after a long time, I hauled myself by the ears and sat down to write. About food, for a welcome change. 

Since the time my parents have come, I have been making my dad’s favourite dishes but not clicked any pictures of them. He is still the foodie that he had been, though my mom has kind of lost her appetite and interest. Unfortunately, both of them being diabetics, they could not taste the one thing that I made for the first time in my life – fruit jam!

I grew up watching Ma make luscious jams, jellies and marmalades from the fruit growing in our backyard. I especially remember the bottles of rich, crystalline guava jelly – their delicious dark pink colour spark…