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EarnesTaster last won the day on June 5 2017

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  1. Regally situated high inside the gorgeous Shangri-la hotel, Caprese is an elegant deluxe-quality Italian restaurant with stunning views of the green Bangalore cityscape. Entering and luxuriating in the large high-ceilinged hotel lobby shimmering with gold, beige-'n'-chrome is an experience by itself. The airy restaurant is classily done up with executive-grade burnished wood and plush furniture while huge windows create marvellous views that I have rarely seen in other establishments - overall an excellent venue especially by daylight for that special outing.The cuisine uses high-quality ingredients with a style and level that is a clear advancement on the mama-mia basics. Weather permitting, there's an adjacent al fresco space invitingly and expansively occupying an oversize balcony deck. But Caprese's cuisine, since the whole set-up spread-eagled its ambitious wings two years ago, has consciously desisted from post-modern fare - this might soon change. Suresh Hinduja, Bangalore's leading cuisine impresario and a familiar national figure in the specialist circles of cutting-edge gastronomy, hosted a grand luncheon wherein Caprese's eager-to-please staff presented a special six-course meal of cutting-edge Italian cuisine. I had the privilege of being one of the select invited guests. Executive Chef Anurudh Khanna (who oversees the whole hotel's cuisine) and Chef De Cuisine of Caprese, Wasim Raja were assiduous in presenting to us the tastes and insights underlying the food while Resident Manager Rakesh Sethi shared his keen understanding of the industry's nitty gritty. Chef Anurudh Khanna (L) : Resident Manager Rakesh Sethi Even before the food, I very much enjoyed a wonderful cocktail "Her Hype" by the brightly smiling and talented mixologist Jayandran Anthony, which was a chilled exquisite blend of vodka, chenin blanc and the works, superbly presented in a tumbler-size steel bucket adorned with more designer frills. Men At Work : (M) Mixologist Jayandran Anthony, (L) The Don (L) Ila Naidu (R) Shamira Ajani (Director of Communications) The first two starters were a cool confident display of Italian umami - a boutique of mozzarella, tomato and parmesan with cameos by olives and aubergine. A surprise Japanese cameo : Technical acumen then came into play with melting-soft tortinos of mushroom, with mushroom crumble sprinkled over for texture while a burrata sauce formed the white base. Good-quality grilled prawns marked the first meaty foray but the star of that plate was a shrimp flan, like a super-soft morsel of frittata. The expert touch of spices and fresh embedded prawns in that little cloud of starch created exquisite echoes of aftertaste. The restaurant had a decent sprinkling of guests for lunch but from what I have seen of other city restaurants like Graze and Caperberry, it suffers from the same problem that afflicts all of Bangalore's nouvelle cuisine places - insufficient patronage. There is uncountable money in the city but regrettably, its cuisine-oriented customers are still hesitant to put Bangalore on the international dining map. Cut to the mains : The vegetarian main of an 'Involtino' was a entry fit for a masterchef competition - so deceptively simple, yet challenging and elegant it was. Thin tender zucchini strips were wrapped around beautifully rendered aubergine in a rich core of fontina cheese, with creamy tomato sauce at the base. It was all so soft and agreeable you could feed it to a baby but it takes a discerning adult to appreciate the quality of its composition. Moist, tender Indian seabass had a robustly crunchy crackling-like exterior, with a smooth sauce of saffron blending into mashed potato, my only quibble being that the acidic element needed to slice through those broad savoury waves, was inadequately supplied by lemon foam. Deconstruction and stylish reconstitution informed the desserts. "Tiramisu" appeared as a galaxy compressed linearly. The central dark 'sun' was a chocolate sphere encasing the cream, while a long streak of biscuit crumble lined the whole set-up. The next dessert was even more enjoyable - deconstructed lime pie, with sharply tasty swirls of lemon curd intertwined with arcs of crunchy pastry. This was a brilliant afternoon, in a glorious venue with special company and confident evolved cuisine. I hope these next gen offerings find a special section on Caprese's existing menu.
  2. EarnesTaster

    Awadhi Lucknow cuisine

    Complex discussion , Mr.Hinduja indeed had a "tagda" panel to keep him company !
  3. EarnesTaster


  4. Grasshopper : Restaurant Review Rating : 3 stars out of 5 (Good) Visited in October 2015 Bangalore, India Grasshopper restaurant in Bangalore has been doing for fourteen years what no other restaurant in Bangalore has dared to do - present a degustation meal with no a la carte choices. Chef Himanshu Dhimri and his wife Sonali Dhimri operate their restaurant in a farmhouse-like property in a peripheral part of Bangalore better known for its proximity to the zoo, and in an area that is yet to show good urban development (even the busiest parts of central Bangalore are barbarian miles away from real civic development). My dining companion was Mr.Suresh Hinduja - restaurant critic of The Times of India - and the most sought-after restaurant personality in the state at the time of writing. We opted for a long leisurely multi-course degustation offering the very best that Grasshopper could offer. Grasshopper does not do lunch on weekdays which is why our weekday event was illuminated by night. When is the last time you have heard your fellow diner shrieking with pleasure? If you leave out the last two words , I did on this night when a young lady next to our table climaxed her vocal cords not courtesy the chef, not due to her co-diners , and certainly not as a reaction to the waiters (this place does not have topless service staff anyway) but because the friendly restaurant dog leapt onto her lap. I am not an admirer of chicken liver pate , but Chef Dhimri had accomplished a texturally faultless pate excellently cut by caramelized onion and tart scintillas of capers - it was a beautiful opening example of flavour calibration, and an auspicious start to our meal (the dog instinctively knew that it should leave us alone). Thin slivers of asparagus yielded very easily to the bite - just like the versions tasted two weeks ago in Caperberry - but neither these nor Caperberry's had that crucial dimension of extra thickness that can really bring out the tres tender slightly crunchy totally wonderful soul of asparagus. Even more fetching would have the been the feat of contrasting it with something that would intensify the vegetable's fresh essence - like how Flower Drum does by pairing asparagus with superb pearl meat ,but here there was no such value-enhancing companion. I was surprised that Chef Dhimri could condescend to present us with a crostini for the next course - sure it was a moreish morsel with chopped zucchini, basil pesto and feta but this , eventually, is bar food which has no business being in an ambitious fine-dining establishment. From aeons , Grasshopper has been presenting beetroot with blue cheese - and this de rigueur dish was also given to us. Pinenuts are added for crunch , and the overall flavour blend is interesting without being memorable - I was mainly interested in seeing whether the beetroot had remarkable flavour, which it did not have. Disappointment intensified with a prettily composed diagonal lay-out of salad. Its elegant esthetics were not matched by underwhelming contrasts of grapefruit, lettuce, nuts and a tart dressing. Two plump prawns - looking palely gorgeous - had ginger, seasame and seaweed plainly evident on the tasting as per the chef's intention but unwittingly the prawns' intrinsic taste did not manifest. This long procession of average flavours had begun to take its toll on my peace of mind. We sat in the verandah , overlooking the pebble-strewn courtyard which has tables of stone. Irrespective of the seating domains, all the tables are admirably spaced widely apart. The very limited wine menu cries out for more variety , and charging only Rs.300 (US$ 7) as corkage fee for bottles procured from outside is not the most elegant of solutions. A reasonable Rs.3000 is billed for a seven course meal. Suresh Hinduja Esquire I don't think Grasshopper understands how pliable and satisfying a German lass has the potential to be. The pork with pickled cabbage it presented had cuts of fat amalgated with inadequately tenderized meat . Sea bass was dressed up as an appetizing voluptuous hunk of white fish bathed in a tart sauce. I see now that in restaurant after fine-dining restaurant - in NZ, Australia and India experienced over the last four years - a major chunk of chefs present fish which is admirably soft with an odour that is very safely non-offensive but very few of these gentlemen know how to channel the fish and manage the supply chain in such a way that the taste's redolence satisfies a true fish-lover. The one here had everything going for it except deep flavour and a smartly roasted exterior - two crucial qualities the absence of which semi-sunk this sea bass which Mr.Hinduja informed me was likely farmed near Vizag (overseas seabass tasted in JW Marriot's Alba was not impressive either). Mr.Hinduja was greatly impressed by the lamb which he felt to the best version he'd tasted in the entire country. Superbly slow-cooked with a slickly roasted exterior, it displayed a beautiful disclipine in texture right throught the entire thickness and for all its manicured sculpted beauty, this tournedo would have been a complete tour de force, were it not for its slightly dry interior. Chunks of potato on the same plate lacked the pillowy softness that fine-dining restaurants are expected to engineer. Service was just about par for the course but it could easily be more polished and charming, apart from doing more to ensure the kind of vigilance that redeems world-class establishments. Keeping service staff of that caliber will easily drive up the bill but I am sure that the extra bucks will not matter to the kind of people who come to Grasshopper expecting it to be a destination restaurant (there is a very low likelihood of diners accidentally finding themselves in this remote place). Desserts totally atoned. Their excellent panacotta had soft body - with cool creamy notes of exquisite espresso. Discs of chocolate ganache were terrific - their silky melting sophisticated richness recalling an intimate encounter with a curvaceous supermodel. This was cleverly paired with mustard ice cream that would have benefitted from slipping one notch lower in sweetness, but that is strictly a minor crib only. I admire the audacity of Mr.Himanshu Dhimri and Mrs.Sonali Dhimri but yes, there is certainly space for this restaurant to evolve. This 10 course Grasshopper meal came at the end of a month-long India trip that included dining experiences in Orient Express and Indian Accent in Delhi, Zodiac Grill and Masala Library in Mumbai, Caperberry and Dum Phukt Jolly Nabobs in Bangalore. It was a succession of dining experiences that sometimes made me collapse with the exertion of it all, with my ability to remain standing not exactly helped by the fact that the pocket had become much lighter. Sadly, in none of these restaurants did I come across an auteuristic signature that I could deeply admire. I realized as I did in my whirwhind coverage of Sydney's and Melbourne's elite restaurants, that in fleeting trips like this , reaching restaurant nirvana is often a throw of dice. Sometimes you come away with experiences that dreams are made of, but on both of the above journeys I mentioned, I have been left with a mixed bag that one is not entirely persuaded to lug along the lanes of memory. UPNWORLD
  5. EarnesTaster

    Veg Forever

    After pledging to be strictly vegetarian for the rest of my life (it's been 3 easy months now) , I was hankering for some well-made Vadas and got handsomely rewarded with these beauties in Dosa Plaza, Botany Junction, Auckland. Amongst India's greatest contributions to the world, was , is and will be , mind-smashing vegetarian cuisine. In Pic : Vada (deep-fried savoury lentil cakes impeccably paired with sambhar and chutney). I told the restaurant owner what a fine job he had done considering how difficult it is to find good Vadas in NZ , and he told me that after achieving 40 minute-long queues for his joint in Australia , he had come to Auckland to revive the franchise and hit similar success. He's obviously on the right track :):)
  6. EarnesTaster

    Indian Accent NYT Review

    The review I was awaiting from aeons has finally arrived !!! Indian Accent opens its New York branch and gets the treatment by Pete Wells : restaurant critic of New York Times. And what larks it brings! Good ol' Pete bhaiyya of NYT skewers the Dilliwala persistent over-keen salesmanship for his appetizer lines "The emails from New Delhi began last spring." - he starts! ' "Dear and Most Revered Mr.Pete" one began' - that's the line from the third para (ROFLOL whole squared !!! : small wonder they didn't proceed to call him St.Peter !) . In the previous para, he says " a new mail arrived every few months".. reminding him of the "Greatest Indian Restaurant In The World". Manish Mehrotra & Co. showed have known that St.Peter (for all of NYT's Hillary kow-towing) would have plastered such solicitousness prominently in his write-up. Khair, koi baat nahi ! The good news is that Mehrotra gets 2 stars from NYT ( a rating I find reasonable to understand though I have tried only the Delhi joint , not the NY one) and that is no easy achievement given that four stars is the absolute maximum, and a "Good" rating itself starts with 1 star , while there are 3 separate unstarred levels of Fair, Satisfactory and Poor. Mehrotra needs comparison to nobody and I feel he can ascend greater heights if he pushes himself relentlessly , but if one does consider the NYT yardstick for now , Indian Accent NY can gloat that it occupies the same 2 star pedestal as the formerly haloed "Per Se" which NYT smashed down this year from its glittering Four star status (and it is a measure of NYT's honourable clout in restaurant reviewing that Thomas Keller apologized to his patrons, instead of protesting). Wells' Indian Accent review was briefer that I expected though he covers a fair amount of ground. He concedes that Indian Accent is a "young restaurant,,learning to transplant..." and that gives me hope that Mehrotra can shoot even higher on the rating scale provided he does not get distracted by money and accolades. Here's hoping for more of Manish Mehrotra's ilk. Now for some band baaja of my own ! Pic from archives : Top Chef Manish Mehrotra with UPN , in Indian Accent, last year. Insert other media
  7. EarnesTaster

    Zorawar Kalra's Farzi Café in Bangalore

    Certainly going to check out this joint when in town. But Sureshji (trust you're doing swimming well) you should have given your gyaan to Zorawar apropos the video! Video , aside from misadvised shots of violin playing and unconvincing food circus, does not tell me much about the restaurant
  8. EarnesTaster

    My HK - Mongolia trip

    Fantastic write-up! Vicarious experience through your neat evocative account. Keep going!
  9. EarnesTaster

    Duck Wellington

    © Upnworld

  10. EarnesTaster

    Matterhorn , Auckland

    1) Duck Wellington 2) Rabbit Renditions 3) Plate of Pig 4) Guanaja Chocolate, et other heavenly delights.

    © Upnworld

  11. EarnesTaster

    Matterhorn, Auckland

    Matterhorn : Restaurant Review 3 stars minus a quarter, out of 5 (Good if you don't have harsh standards) Visited from July to September 2015 Auckland , New Zealand In the domains of controlled madness that is Parisian fine-dining, it is not uncommon (L'Ambrosie, Pierre Gagnaire) to find one appetizer priced at 80 euros and a main course at 120 euros with more expensive options easily available - your three course meal garnished further at delivery by tax, can effortlessly hit 250 euros (US$285). You have to be either obssessed or rich or both to dine here regularly. But as the century turned, "bistronomy" took wings in France - the coddled service and five-star frills of fine-dining were chucked out through the ungilded window and ambitious economy-price restarants helmed by equally hard-working or even harder-working top-chefs broke surface. Many of these offered 8 courses for as little as 80 euros with cuisine intended to be just as visionary. Across the oceans in New Zealand, folks will laugh you out of town if you charge such astronomical prices, though a certain section will still try to get in and see what the fuss is. Fine-dining blooms the brightest in Auckland but pared-down joints which cut the faff while amping up the wow factor on the plate have always been discovered by the searching gourmand since I set foot in this country. Antoine's or French café may charge you anywhere between NZ$45 (the latter) to NZ$55 (the former) for a main course but now , like the following export from Wellington, you will find $35 mains like those presented in the the CBD's newest hipster-mafia entry : Matterhorn. Out goes the white tablecloth and and also the attendant stresses of formally suited top-tier service but the overall rigour of a serious restaurant is still maintained while the food continues to look very much like its European luxury cousins. Replacing and gracefully compartmentalizing the high-ceiling place once occupied by the vast interiors of Libertine, Matterhorn's air is still reasonably casual, what with its exposed brick walls and a ton of wood all separated by ample ether. There is a thirty feet high broadly arching ceiling of thin ribbed wood , ten feet below which a solidly business-like aluminium air duct carves the air as it curves around that height. I suppose this is what they call Scandinavian chic. This is, quite admirably, not a place which cranks up its music literally. And you realize the serious intent behind this operation when the food arrives - plating esthetics is certifiably of the post 2000 era, and more importantly the execution is mostly excellent. John Dory was beautifully soft , and boneless chicken wings were exquisitely tenderized - these agreeable clouds of protein in a beautiful appetizer skirted a russet sea of well-suited sauce. Beef Wellington was given a different spin here with the core ingredient exchanged : soft chunks of duck lined with a feather of greens and jacketed in gentle pastry were a satisfying success, further enhanced by a cherry-sauce's touch of acidity. "Momma's fried chicken", on the snacks menu available only in the bar area, was recommended by multiple patrons. I can almost hear some stoked Southern dude remarking it tastes as good as his own momma's fried chicken . I don't mind not being able to make a similar remark as my mother , who does not cook meat, nonetheless synthesizes terrific cornflour-fried cauliforets that are as good as any other fried hoot in the world. Now that I've satisfied my soul with this digression , let's get back to regrettably record that Matterhorn's fried chicken depends too heavily on an excellent capsicum-spiked mayo - neither the chicken's tendresse nor the coating's chutzpah measured up to a dozen different chicken karaage-style hot-eats you can discover in Auckland. I was about to ditch the rest of the bar offerings and repair to the main batting pitch when my attention was arrested by what sat near the bottom of the bar snacks menu - a mention of the state from which my ancestors fleed like cowards five hundred years ago from the marauding Portuguese. Unfortunately NZ's Matterhorn, in a noble bid to give back to Goa what other Europeans took away, seemed to have conflated culinary cocoons while confounding me with what I eventually ate. "Goan Fish Dumplings" , presented as two plump spheroids, as a softly dry variety akin to yeast-n'-flour-based Char Siu Bao buns, received the intrigued attention of my teeth and tongue. The more I bit into this, the more I realized that there was no filling to be found!, but before the joke turned plainly crazy, I encountered ensconced in a corner of those pillows an orphan pocket containing some spiced coconut-leavened gobbets of fish that recalled a Tulu semi-dry renditon of Chicken Kundapur. It turns out that Matterhorn ultimately did doff its knowing anthropologic hat to me ,wittingly or unwittingly, as Kundapur belongs to the state of Karnataka where my folks now live. This Kiwi-bred German joint did another cultural pirouette when it featured "Persian Egg" among its other delights. The seductive oozy umami of a soft boiled egg is set to nestle amongst the deep richness of pomegranate molasses, the perfumed crunch of pistachios and a few creamy annointments. I woundn't be surprised if the wafers and little compacted bricks of toasty bread in this dish were actually a solid avatar of the "beurre noisette" listed amongst the dish ingredients. Only in retrospect did I realize that this might actually be a modern exotic spin on Eggs Hollandaise ,which then made me remember a certain select brand of expressly intellectual films that you don't enjoy that much on the first watching, but later as you chew the ruminative cud, you progressively realize a torrent of revelations enough to glamourize your PhD thesis. I don't like venison -this being very much a meat that a true carnivore (a tiger, sometimes a human) often appreciates - but my French companion admired Matterhorn's version , and went on to praise its fruit-based sauce and in particular the cinnamon-enhanced rhubarb. Hosannas however were bilaterally reserved when it came to sides on the menu which carry separate charges : hand-cut chunky chips soon became stodgy and the duck-fat mash should have been a richer attestation of its name. On the night that I had New Zealand's most abundant protein derived from land-borne violence, I smilingly told the charmless hostess while leaving, that the restaurant should be having more customers for the quality of food it was offering (out of eighteen tables in sight, only four had been occupied that night). "That's because it's raining", she said without a smile. That lame excuse does not augur well for the spirit of Matterhorn. When I entered the restaurant that evening, it had been a rainless day, and then it did pour down but only for ten minutes during the middle of my meal and there was just a drizzle when I left. The most fickle dame in NZ is no match for the two-faced Auckland weather whose bright beauteous facade can change complexion any given day suddenly into the dark cries of torrential rain - Kiwis of course are accustomed to this eternal betrayal and the majority of them laugh in the face of rain enroute to promising chow-spots. Also, they aren't that different from their gastronomic brethren elsewhere in climes populated by European extraction -if what the young lady said were really true, cities like Seattle would have restaurants going broke nine months a year. And no, I haven't forgotten the meat main course mentioned at the start of the paragraph, although there wasn't much to make it memorable - it continued the long sorry list of lacklustre lamb I've consumed in NZ. Interestingly the lamb and the wheat grains and the shoulder meat and the red sauce and the starchy vegetable were all in the same plate sampled at Bracu last year. And no, Chef Mikey Newlands has not moved from Bracu to Matterhorn (although its possible that both might have sourced from the same recipe which I can't find online). The much-vaunted plate of pig did not make me squeal (although the same plate's superbly soft potato fondant quietened me considerably). The very serviceable pork belly and an interestingly spiced disc of pork sausage made me eat them with more enthusiasm only when applying the sauce on the forkful , which is not a good sign for those who like the meat per se to sing. The service is not top-tier but is definitely not your regular café-class either - while they may not nail the vigilance even after catching your beckoning gesture, napkins are regularly picked up, folded neatly and placed on the linen when you return to your table after a break. The staff impressing you with their sociability or pleasant polish, only occurs rarely but dish delivery almost never taxes time. Our server did not know why the place was called Matterhorn - named after the famous 5000 metre-tall formidable stony peak of the Swiss-Italian Alps - but returned later to inform us that the first owners of the original café in Wellington were from the region that holds this snow-kissed behemoth. I often crib that most Auckland restaurant fish have little flavour but Matterhorn's kingfish had an intense piscine sharpness that oversaturated the fish lover in me. To the last bite it remained splendidly soft. Being smartly coated in tender tendrils of white-green zuchini swirls gave it a beautiful textural lift. I've long pondered the formidably difficult ways of making squid taste terrific - and I got a hint here - the little slices beside the marquee fish had a touch of garlic that interested me but what made it really take off , on one bite out of six others, was an additional whisper of olive oil. The weakest spot in Matterhorn's skill set is in its use of vegetables. Brussel sprouts on that 'Plate of Pig', were more of a martyr than the animal, and on another night, both the cannellini beans and the sauce made from it, could have done with silkier zestier treatment. Matterhorn smartly realizes how snappily crisp and welcome fennel can be , but the version chosen to complement seafood was so sweet that it made no sense both in its own and when tasted with the fish. Before the first dessert I experienced here, I had sampled more than one rendition of chocolate with orange while finding no remarkable merit in this pairing but Matterhorn's finisher of cocoa and fruit - presented as a multipartite disc - changed the game with its myriad persuasions. Guanuja Chocolate was intense and silky, leavened by a milk sorbet and beautifully contrasted with cinnamon-accented poached peaches and walnut among other delights. Only in the final stages of consuming it did my enchantment begin to wane. Excellence of sweet farewells continued in another composition which rendered liquorice three-ways : liqourice cream being the best version, with a wafer adding textural perk and lastly a token offering of candied root. This triumvirate of taste was reflected in the overal dish which juxtaposed the former element with the uncomplicated Creaminess of white chocolate, and with Acidity which silently zoomed from the entry-level tartness of rhubarb to the sexy zenith of an intense mandarin sorbet. If the entire menu had the caliber of the desserts, Matterhorn would have been a comfortable contender to its more formal fine-dining brethren like Clooney, Meredith's & The French café. UPN
  12. EarnesTaster

    How to compromise a brand.

    Right off the bat, let me make it clear that I have no problems with Manish Mehrotra and Old World Hospitality's plans for international expansion. Indian Accent has rapidly climbed to become the most happening and cutting-edge restaurant in modern Indian cuisine in the nation (though some Masala Library lovers might disagree) and numerous accounts all indicate its commendable devotion to taste rather than high falutin' faff - a consensus I'm happy to note. But when it was formally announced that they would be opening another Indian Accent in NY, I instantly thought it was a bad branding move. Now the two restaurants will be forced to be exactly similar on all restaurant parameters or it will cause confusion on what exactly "Indian Accent" is offering in terms of food, ambiance and service and every time from now on when one hears something about "Indian Accent" the reflex question will be "Wait, are you talking about the Delhi one or the NY one?" There is only one L'Arpege, one L'Ambrosie , one Le Bernardin - and for good reason - it allows quality control and uniqueness in a way that brand duplication can never ever manage. L'Atelier of iconic chef Joel Robuchon has many branches - Paris, NY , Tokyo - the middle one closed a couple of years ago and now when someone mentions L'Atelier no one can be sure which branch they are talking about. Jean Georges Vongerichten has been criticized for opening multiple restaurants without concurrent regard to consistent high quality that has come to be associated with him, but one good thing he has done is to keep just one Jean Georges - his flagship in NY - it is the place his admirers keep coming back to, to re-discover what the JGV brand really tastes like. It would have been much better if Old World Hospitality would have changed the name of the proposed NY branch - they might argue that then they will lose the familiarity quotient of an already famous brand - but in cuisine-crazy New York you don't always need ancestry to back you up (that place is not Gandhi-land) - just establish a solidly hot kitchen and the clientele will come in droves. And then if you have two hot brands running with the name of Merhotra & OWH , isn't it nicer to have two distinct successes rather than one split one? Thomas Keller showed it in USA with French Laundry for California and Per Se for NY. I admire Vir Sanghvi's restaurant jottings and perspectives , but when he had suggested not long ago that Merhotra should also open a branch in NY , I was peeved. I would Not have been , had he expressly specified that the NY restaurant should open under the umbrella of a different name. And on a slightly different note, we have to consider whether Indian Accent will dare to do in NY the mistakes they were brazen enough to commit in India. In the Delhi restaurant , more than one patron has complained of how a whole 7 course 3000 rupee affair was concluded inside 90 minutes! When you're charging that much for the Indian milieu ,why can't you have the decency to pace the meal over a longer more indulgent time instead of rushing to turn covers? If the NY branch's service standards are distinctly higher, then again it will cause confusion over where and what the Indian Accent brand's real service credentials are. If the NY branch's food suffers in comparison to the Delhi peration , it will unwittingly accomplish the opposite of what the group set out to do. I do not insist that the marquee chef should always be in his restaurant - that is a foolish demand considering that these chefs slog so hard in their early career in the evenings and nights - they really do deserve time off especially when they get established - as long as their deputies maintain quality control. But now even if you do have a desire of wanting to meet Merhotra in his hallowed stadium when you go there, your chances will be much lesser thanks to his transcontinental shuttling. I repeat that I'm not against Merhotra and OWH's entrepreneurial plans, or the international extension of a high-quality Indian establishment. What sticks in the craw is the risk of needlessly compromising a brand with the risk of name duplication and its consequent perils. UPN
  13. EarnesTaster

    Javelina - Pete Wells NYT

    I was shaking my head as to why I didn't think of this in all my time as a restaurant critic. A brilliant take-down of a Tex-Mex restaurant by NYT gun Pete Wells - figures why they sometimes call him "Pete The Punisher"! You may read this delightfully duplicitous Javelin throw into the heart of Javelina here - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/20/dining/restaurant-review-javelina-in-gramercy-park.html?ref=dining
  14. EarnesTaster

    Food Photo blog II

    Lamb from "Vinnie's" : a fine-dining establishment in Herne's Bay , Auckland - it was reportedly cooked at the bottom of emptied wine barrels for giving it a different spin, but it was hardly memorable. Lunch at the café next to my workplace - pleasant whispers of flavours @ $7 Pakodas of the expected shape are rare in Auckland , most are disc shaped flattened versions - this is from Kairali. Fried Flounder from a Korean restaurant in Newmarket : well-selected fish on the bone is a thing of profound beauty! Assam Fish with rice at Selera, Newmarket : I couldn't understand why this usually reliable restaurant would make their fish so sweet. Chicken Biryani at Kairali - it's fantastic when the chef concentrates. and it reiterates my belief that a well-made Kerala biryani can be the best in the world.