Best Buys

Friday, November 17, 2017

A little Meraki in the busy city.

meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you're doing, whatever it may be.

So my post today is about a little bit of 'Meraki' in this busy city. 
A little place with a soul, where you will get a feast for your soul made with love, for you and your loved ones. 
- does this sound cheesy to you... too lovey dovey perhaps, don't believe me ?
Then let me take you ...
On the bustling street of Koregaon park is the newly opened Meraki.
A small place inside Atelier. I forgot to mention a small place with a soul and a beautiful one at that.
A place perfect to de stress, unwind or just be with your loved ones.

I have always adored cute nature places like these where you feel one with nature especially in this man made concrete we call home. To peel of layers of pretences', gadgets, technology and listen to the beauty of nature to eat with our eyes; food cooked with love and let the robust aroma control our senses.
To sit with your loved ones holding hands and not mobiles - in short simple ways of the heart with love.
Candles, Bonfires, Barbecues, open sky and twinkling stars - well they have it all.



They serve Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian cuisine and they are doing a pretty well job.
The service is good, the staff is well informed about what they are serving, the portions are good and the prices are completely, totally vfm.

They still are in the process of securing the liquor license and it will be in place shortly.

We started our evening with -


Peru pyala
and don't you underestimate the power of common peru ka pyala ... it made me fall in love with its super spicy rim and the sweet nectar juice ... every sip was a balance of this eternal love affair there after. 
Honestly, I tried this peru mocktail at other places reminiscing of this one and wish I hadn't ... nothing minutely close. 
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 


What better on chilled nights than warm mugs of soup to keep you company..

One pot Minestrone
Laden with winter veggies and that lovely fresh tomato broth infused with basil - healthy much ...

Caramelised fennel onion and Kale
Oh how I loved those creamy notes with blanched kale and sweet farm onion.
It was like soupy cream and onion (chips).
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED



OA Chicken Ceasar Salad 
Perfect !
Those crispy croutons with the fresh iceberg and Romaine lettuce with roasted garlic. The dressing was perfect and so was the chicken.. 
Recommended 



Greek salad and watermelon 
Well one of my favorite salad is watermelon and feta - i never miss having it. 
I enjoyed this salad and it was almost perfect with all its fresh ingredients, sweet watermelons, feta and other veggies. 
The dressing too was yum what witheld it back was the quantity. 
They can be a bit generous with the watermelon, feta and balsamic vinegar dressing . 
Still - Highly recommended! 
Request them earlier when you order to be generous in the above department and you have a winner. 


Sweet Corn & Mozzarella Fritters with Chilli Jam 
Another crowd favorite ...
Cheese and corn - corn and cheese and that too gooey mozzarella with flavorful Jalapenos stuffed in them and that jam - literally omg - so good, so spicy with hints of sweet notes... totally addictive.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 


Market fresh veggie sliders
These are falafel and feta with dill tzatziki, bulb onion and plum tomato spicy sauce with cheese and lettuce between sliders. 


Jhinga Mirch Espetada 
Espetada means meat on stick (portuguese) with a rub, barbequed
This was my star of the night .... 
Prawns marinated in green chilli  thecha and garnished with fresh coconut.
So hot, so spicy, so me ... 
The marathi mulgi in me was happy with the proper justice done to my all time favorite green mirch thecha ( not toned down) and prawns my love - i will always chose you no matter what. 
I was doing a happy thecha prawn dance in my head whilst everyone ate. 

BHAKTI DIARIES RECOMMENDS THIS HIGHLY. 
Statuary warning :  not for the faint hearted at all.

Lebanese Chicken Shish Tawook Espetada
Grilled chicken marinated in spicy yogurt, mustard and fresh herbs.
Juicy, succulent chicken mildly spiced. 
It was beautiful. 
Highly Recommended 


Lamb Kibbeh Espetada 
Minced lamb with spices grilled to perfection and chilli tzatziki
It should have been more juicy though lovely middle eastern flavours. 



Jalapeno Margarita Nanza
For the nanza lovers. 
Crisp base with generous toppings. 
Tomato and basil sauce base topped with jalapenos and mozzarella and drizzle of garlic olive oil. 
Yumza 


Rosemary Potato Nanza 
Pesto base rosemary, potato wafers, sun dried tomatoes, steamed kale, jalapenos and olives... 
Quite a feast happening there haan


Lamb Bolognaise Pizza 
I am not such a bolognaise girl but this definitely was a table favourite with generous topping of home spiced minced lamb bolognaise, Turkish flat bread baked in a wooden oven with generous mozzarella topped on. 
Lovely flavours. 


Philadelphia cream cheese and chicken pizza
Plum tomatoes, onions , Mozzarella and generous amount of ricotta drizzle with cream cheese sauce. 
Those who love Margarita pizza will definitely love this. 
I completely loved it. 
Subtle flavours making such a huge impact.
Their pizza base is thin and crisped lovely. 
Highly Recommended. 



OA Ravioli
Ravioli not many get it right however they got it bang on. Perfect thin raviolis cooked to perfection stuffed with farm tomatoes and fresh ricotta (oh so good) basil and Parmesan. It was tossed in that super yummy creamy sauce made up of cheese fondue cream and sage, garlic butter.
Its the chef's favorite. 
Highly Recommended 


Tomato Basil and Ricottta Risotto 
Italian Khichdi - Risotto
In house Pomiodoro sauce with Italian ricotta, grilled fresh vegetables and herbs.
So filling, so comforting and creamy, so yummy. 
No wonder i love khichdis 😉
Highly Recommended ... 


Jaipur koftas and Lachcha parathas
The koftas were made of corn, green peas and dried figs with cardamom scented gravy. Something like malai koftas. Rich creamy flavours on the sweeter side. You can eat it with steamed pilaf as well. 
Recommended 



Salli Chicken 
Boneless chicken in a tangy gravy topped with crispy potato salli (potato straws or batatyacha chivda) served with butter naans
Nice non veg main to have. 



Lal Maas Bunny Chaw 
A very quirky combination. 
Cant comment a lot about this dish cause It was an off day for it. The salt was a bit more though it tasted quite flavourful. 
Their breads are a bit on the toastier side to my liking. 
I was really looking forward to this dish anyway I got to know from others that it was fabulous when they had it. Will definitely give this another try.



Surmai Darne 
Darne - (french) a thick cut from the middle of the fish.
So there were two thick cuts from a soft surmai which was rubbed with a Moroccan spice and pan fried.  The fish was bland but the curried sauce accompanying it was a bomb and completely full of robust flavours. Wish they were generous with that sauce. Creamy mashed potato served with it was perfect and smooth and the sautéed vegetables all of it together made for a big tasty mouthful. 
The food was completely awesome and blew me away. Almost every other dish was recommended. Coming to the desserts, now they really had to meet some high expectations. They definitely fell short in that aspect. 



 Cardamom Pannacotta and honeyed figs
I love Panacottas.
This failed to impress me to the hilt however this was the second best dessert of the night.



OB Mandarin Crepe Suzette 
Classical sweet crepes in caramelized sugar, orange liquor and butter sauce. With Malta orange segments. 
Overtly sweet for me- i found it nothing special. 


Coconut Bread Pudding 
Warm soft pudding drizzled with red current and caramel rum sauce. 
Very subtly sweet perfect for those who like it that way. 


Tiramisu
This takes the second place on my dessert list for the night alongside the panacotta



First place goes to Orange chocolate fondant.
Warm dark chocolate baked to perfection with a very subtle hint of Malta orange. Served with vanilla ice cream. 
This finished no sooner than it was served. 
Highly Recommended 

And that was the sweet end to this soulful journey.
Still don't believe me .. you need to check it out yourself.


Thanks to Svetlana for introducing me and inviting me to Meraki and what lovely time I had.

Until we meet again
xoxo
Bhakti 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What is a STAYCATION?

staycation
steɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
informal

a holiday spent in one's home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

The popularity of staycation is increasing and rather why not. I think staycations are very underrated.
Staycations are vacations with utmost comfort without stressing yourself giving you the leeway to do things as much or as less you want according to your liking. Giving you the complete rest and indulging you in utmost relaxation .. instead of going on vacations where you want to see it all and do it all without much chance to relax . One needs another vacation to just get over and relax all the tired muscles after all that sightseeing and activities back to back.
Staycation is the new league of vacation or not, just our age old vacations where we stayed at home and did as little or as much as we wanted or visited some relative to do the same.
So an old vacation wrapped in a new package - staycation - which is catching everyone's fancy and rightly so.
Especially staycations at neighbourhood / nearby hotels and resorts are very much in demand. Why not ? With amenities, comforts, pampering yourself to the hilt, good food, spa, without worry in the world, no agendas, fun activities that the hotel plans, yoga, nearby sights if you want to see that is and the works ....
In today's fast paced life where everyone is running a race against time .. staycation helps us to stop, unwind just relax and catch up with yourself or your loved ones ..
and in the end ....
some snippets of our staycation -

Just unwind

Indulge

Catch up on some reading

Feast away

Do what you like - hobbies, activities, spa - anything that makes you happy and that which you don't do in your daily routine.

Play your favourite games, take up a class or sport activity, dance, do yoga ... endless possibilities...


Be one with nature, hike , be a tourist in your own city...

Get loads of rest, catch up on movies, catch up with friends ....
Just Relax and do what your heart and body feel like.



Check out How We Do A Staycation


xoxo
Bhakti

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Stay at Mercure Hotels Lavasa - Accor Hotels

Staycations are underrated - Don't you think ? We crave for vacations from this hectic life but dont have the luxury to take them often and then they are these magical mini vacations which you can have at your comfort nearby or at home anytime.
Well enjoying one such staycation amidst the hills in Lavasa at Mercure and I am taking you guys along with me. This place is located amidst the serene Sahyadri Hills.
Mercure Hotel is a small property by Accor Group. A mid range brand which has around 750 hotels in 51 countries.





Though this property is small it takes very good care of all the comforts and is equipped with all modern amenities.
The service is superb and the staff does deserve a huge shout out for their warm hospitality. They make you feel at home without being intrusive. Soft spoken, polite and good at their job - they really deserve a thumbs up.


We were booked in a standard room for a one night stay.
Upon arrival the formalities of checking in were swift and we were ushered to our room quickly.
First thing that impressed us was it was a cosy room with a pretty view.


The room had all the amenities like safe, toiletries, iron, hairdryer, hot kettle, mini bar, 24 hours in room dining, Wi-Fi, LCD and more.
The bed was comfortable and we just wanted to sleep like logs but we were ravenous, hence headed to their restaurant - Celebration.

Everywhere you look every place you go - the view truly takes your breath away.

I have to say after having three feasts over here - I hereby certify the food over here is nothing less than mindblowing.
It was a food coma that we were lulled into by the feasts that greeted us at every meal.


For Lunch we had had from top L - R clockwise.
Arak of tomato with golgappa shot.
This dish was so different and the rasam like tomato arak went so well with the golgappas. Must Try!

Smoked Murgh Lazeez kebab
As the name suggests a smoky tantalising flavour engulfs you with melt in your mouth juicy tender chicken. Mild flavours, this was my favourite from the lunch. Highly Recommended.

Dahi Ke Kebab
Another must try especially for the vegetarians - soft creamy Dahi mixed with paneer and a centre filled with cheese, mild flavour of green chillies. All this crispy fried and served with a spicy green chilli dip.

Baked Gosht Ki Tikki
This was again Mashallah Lazeez. The flavours were lovely and robust. The meat well cooked, minced blended with masala in a tikki and cheese on top.


For the main course we had Paneer Chilla with okra and potato
Palak Aur Mushroom ki Mail with Baingan Bharta

Patrani Macchi with Moilee Sauce  - exceptional, melt in the mouth fish, amazing flavours, highly recommended!
Himachali Tawa Murgh with Minted Cashew Curry.

Dessert was Chef's Special ;p

After this long elaborate lunch we desired a much needed long snooze and so we did and the bed just made it so much easier. Waking up to another elaborate feast, this time it was oriental and did they hit it off or what....



Crispy Corn Tempura
Fish Salt and Pepper - THE STAR OF THE NIGHT
Chicken Kentucky
Chicken salad with peanut dressing and oriental soup as if that was required.
You might just think that we are lunatics because inspite of all this we even requested for an Alfredo pasta.



The main course consisted of
Stir Fried Vegetable
Kung Pao Chicken -STAR
Fish Thai Curry - STAR
Veg Hakka Noodles
Burnt Garlic Rice
Everything was so good I just cant pick one. We ate till we dropped and then the Dessert arrived with its full aplomb.


Honey Noodles with Vanilla Ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce with a side of Banana fritters, Toffee Apple with choco chips.
Need I say more. The table was quite for the next 3 minutes within which we demolished that entire plate and licked it clean - two happy puppies.
After that we really required some effort to get to our room like literally....
So we used the time to play some carom and let our food digest a bit followed by a movie marathon and we just fell asleep like that.


After eating so little and doing so much naturally morning meant another favourite meal of the day - BREAKFAST and oh boy we did break our fast in a royal way.
It was the weekend and they had an elaborate, vast and a yummy spread covering quite some cuisines. Must Try !
The weekend was spent in eat - sleep - chill REPEAT mode and we really got the much deserved break we required.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back home after an amazing and relaxing staycation which I think was more of foodathon (guilty - nahhhh )

Btw they also have tie ups with Spa facilities and offer an awesome discount ( well that's surely for the next visit ).

You guys can check out the videos below to know more about how our staycation was and what we did.

Until we meet again.

xoxo
Bhakti







Easy Pasta Recipe from the Chef at Mercure

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why I Like Only A Closed Few Around

I am not shy neither am I introvert in fact I mingle with people in no time. When I go out to a new place or party I gel around pretty easy and then i just leave it to that. A nice time spent in that moment. Its not that I don't like people, its just that I don't want unnecessary drama in my life. I believe in the great philosophy that even if you have few closed people you can count on your fingers you are lucky and blessed. After all according to another great one you are sum of characteristics of closed people in your life. So I chose wisely rather I connect with people not that easily.
I believe in every one comes in your life for a reason and for a time so enjoy that and learn from them. Let them go without holding grudges or stretching things till they get bad. Sometimes you grow up or you just become a different person and status quo of the relationship changes - then instead of holding on, learn to live with good memories. After all decluttering is required in every aspect of your life. Don't get me wrong I don't judge, I just live life and its a short one, I want to be happy and so why complicate it with people who don't add to the beauty of it. Keep it simple na .. hence a closed few of my circle keep me sane . 







Shirt - Limeroad
Jeggings - Zara
Neckpiece - Jabong
Bracelet - Vero Moda 
Footwear - Inc 5 
Bag - Rocky S 

Photo credits - Jerlyn 

xoxo
Bhakti

you might also like