Sunday, November 29, 2009

Of Wedding bells & Christmas bells


So today is when the season of Advent kicks off, Christmas Carols start playing, parties get planned, sweet shopping lists get made, phew… the tasks are endless.

And what other perfect time to get married than during the month of December! We’ve been getting invitation cards practically everyday (what with last year being leap year and all.)

Best of all, there’s nothing like a wedding in the family--when my cousin decided to take the plunge, it was all hands on deck. I’ve had a blast creating Wedding-related stuff at home and here’s a sampler:

The Ring Holder



I created a cluster of roses and set them on a bed of creamy vanilla satin and lace

The Toasting Glasses


This arrangement is made with handmade French beading flowers

I’d be happy to get feedback and suggestions, so feel free to shoot me a mail!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Jobsites, Networking sites & Matrimonial sites


So after a really really really long sabbatical I’m back, with a vow to be more regular. After all, its about being connected and staying connected.

And that brings me to my anecdote for today. For most of you who don’t know I work in Human Resources and in my line recruitment is huge chunk of what I do. So what do  we recruiters do? From mere mortals we metamorphosis into complete social animals . Everyone—and I mean everyone—is a potential candidate and/or a client.

I’ve had interesting conversations at the chemist, at the gas station and church (client converted!). Well the down side is you get pesky neighbours who ask you for a status update every three days (makes you want to change your cell phone number, but try juggling three numbers like I do and its not worth the trouble!!!)

And if you want to get over your shyness in public places, being a recruiter is just what the social skills teacher ordered! Parties where you probably know only the host/ hostess is the motherlode. Its like an untapped oil well, an undiscovered mine, a pharoah’s tomb. Loads of new many people to meet, the potential is endless. (Big ticket closure last May via one such birthday party, ka-ching!!)

You see, networking is an integral part of our job. The other is to stay recruiter ahead of the curve and find newer more innovate ways to find that elusive candidate or client lead or industry. The usual suspects are the, and so on. Then of course there are the LinkedIn's and Vaults of the world. And for some (and I mean those companies that actually do have not site restrictions…pray do those still exist??!)  there is Facebook and Orkut and Hi5. (Pssst… if you know of something new drop me an email)

In my experience, women do well with people and maybe that’s why you will find a higher percentage of women in HR and recruitment. Now as is the natural progression (in most cases), you graduate, you get a job, you find the right ‘boy’ (even if he is in his 40s, here in India I don’t why we still call them boys) and get married. How do the last two happen?

Well, some get lucky, fall in love with Mr Mostly Right (Mr. Perfect retired a lifetime ago), others have parents (and the extended family) pitching in (see its all about networking) and then there is the trusty, and a host of other regional .com matrimonial sites to choose from.

But, I’ve come across a very ingenious colleague. The person who Swaymwar cannot be named (WCBN) comes from a traditional family. Hence when  it comes to the eligibles there is a long list of parameters  that have to be fulfilled before round 1 (aptly called ‘coming to see’ stage). This is where the one WCBN had a brainwave.

Remember, its all about being connected :) So LinkedIn, here’s  another revenue spinner for you.

Step 1 -  Log onto Go to people search (top right hand) and  type in possible prospective first names and surnames.

Step 2 – Shortlist ‘suitable candidates’ from the populated list and send them invites on LinkedIn. Offer them an ‘exciting’/‘interesting’ opportunity. (Such an opportunity may or may not exist in reality)

Step 3 – Invite them to the office for an interview for a ‘personal interview’  and to discuss the ‘opportunity’  (the aforementioned ‘exciting’/‘interesting’  opportunity) in more detail.

Step 4 -  Meet with candidate and evaluate the role/ candidature for the ‘opportunity’ and secondary Main & actual agenda -  is he good husband material. The other thing -  its the only way you can ask a guy how much he makes within the first meeting, brilliant!

Step 5 – Inform candidate if he’s made it through or declined. Now in this particular case, insider information says all declined. Not sure if the candidates know though, if they failed the interview of their lifetime. (Good for them!!)

I guess, the WCBN needs to work harder at sourcing the right candidate or the ‘client’ aka WCBN , needs to re-work her parameters.

But heck, if this isn’t ‘marrying’ business with pleasure and making the most of networking sites, I don’t know what is. LinkedIn… Jai Ho

Watch out for :- Soon to be launched LinkedIn application – MatchIt  - The perfect partner… Life Partner

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Plum Rum, Peach Schnapps & Irish Cream hic hic..


Just wanted to let you know, this year, bitten by the movie a Good Year, I am rolling my sleeves up. So welcome to my homemade liqueurs.

Getting set for Christmas I have Plum Rum. I know, I know Christmas is 6 months away, but the rum takes 6 months to mature and you get the best plums now. This will be ready for pick up in the 2nd week of December. Its gorgeous, served chilled on Christmas evening.(Charmaine will attest to that! Twice over!)

Then - Peach Schnapps, which due to the seasonality of the fruit will be made this month and will be ready for pick up by mid July.

And last but not the least is Irish Cream, available throughout the year.

Please let me know, if you would like to order the first two as the best quality of fruit is now - June.

So if you want to get your hands on a bottle please let me know!! You can email me on or +91 98201 31194 and I will get back to you by the end of the day.

Cheers!! Prost!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Movie nights!!

Its been a drought the last few months, with no releases what with the multiplexes on strike. So it wasn’t a wonder that Friday night was a full house show for Angels and Demons (released in single screen theatres, but what the hey). Then again it was the much anticipated Ron Howard movie, so maybe I shouldn't be wondering so much!

Angels & DemonsThe tighter storyline, so makes the prequel - Angels & Demons, three years after the Da Vinci Code worth the wait. The cinematography is breathtaking and honest to goodness Salvatore Totino (Frost/Nixon) leaves you spellbound. The marriage of the ancient with the modern is brilliantly showcased through stunning panoramas of churches and  Vatican City along with the yet to be understood concepts of antimatter or the God Particle. To a certain extent there is some suspension of belief, but overall the performances of Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor and the pace of the movie definitely captivate the viewer. I love the fact that there is no hint of romance between Dr. Langdon & Dr. Vittoria Vetra, which keeps you riveted to the story at all times. Doesn't matter what faith you believe in, if its the history shrouded in mystery that excites you, this one is a must see. (I've seen it twice!).

Definitely Maybe Now for my weekly dose of chick flicks,  I caught up on my current favorite - Definitely, Maybe, a 2008 release starring Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks & Rachel Weisz. In this romantic caper, the unexpected but most welcome element comes in the form of Abigail Breslin (from Little Miss Sunshine fame), as the daughter of Ryan Reynolds.

The story is told in flashback and there is a certain tempo which keeps you engaged in spite of soo many  characters weaving their way in and out of the storyline. Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) is a single dad in New York, has just been served with divorce papers and picks up his 10 year daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) who has just learnt about sex education in school. Pretty tough day huh?

So instead of getting into the birds & bees stories, Will decides to get Maya to guess who her real mother is in the form of a puzzle, with name changes et al.

He takes us way back to 1992, when a green behind the ears, Will Hayes leaves Wisconsin and his college sweetheart ‘Emily’ ( Elizabeth Banks) behind to pursue a career in NY while working on Bill Clinton’s political campaign. Here is where he meets a free spirited April, who for all her brilliance is a copy girl at the campaign office. Stuck in a series of relationships that are not going anywhere, April finds herself drawn to Will. There is on extremely tender scene, that made me sob buckets and buckets, where April gets Will to practice his proposal to Emily on her.  Jeez, sparks fly and how.

Well, sometimes the pot of honey is not always at the end of the rainbow and as the story unfold, we see Will move from an almost engaged to Emily relationship to Summer (Rachel Weisz), a journalist unsure how to find herself as a true writer. In that mix, April flits in and out as Will's shoulder to cry on, sounding board and everything else except the one thing she wants the most.

The path of discovery throws up startling revelations to both Maya & Will and by the end of the movie you feel like you are trying to brook all the welling up emotion inside you by jus squeezing your eyes shut. Eventually the tears come and how. Thank God for Kleenex.  A lot of Kurt Cobain, a lot of references to a certain President shouting himself hoarse about his alleged extra circular activities and lot of feel good endorphins! Call 70mm today or just catch it on HBO. On last count I saw it twice on HBO and twice on DVD!

Oh! And if you do get Kettlecorn, save a bag for me.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My DVD picks for this week (Angels and Demons isn’t out on DVD yet :()


Now that IPL is finally over, its time to hit the silver screen once again. To kick of this weekend, there was Angels & Demons, finally finally releasing. Phew a movie release in ages. (Thank God for single-screen theaters).

But if religion and science is not your cup of tea, then my recommendations would be:

  • Hairspray, a must watch for John Travolta fans. Travolta plays an  adorable ‘mom’ (Edna Turnbald) from the 60’s, dealing with a ‘happy to be chubby’ free-thinking daughter (Tracy)—played by the very talented singer and dancer Nick Blonsky. In an Hairsprayage where black and white couldn’t even share the same dance floor, the movie captures the battle of racism through a heartening love story and aspirations of a teenager. The all-star cast is completed by Christopher Walken who plays the dotting father and completely devoted husband. The soundtrack has to be the best in a long time, and combines jazz, rhythm and a complete 60’s vibe. You will absolutely love the powerful performances of Queen Latifah and Zach Efron. This movie doesn’t leave you with foot-tapping music—the sheer energy and passion that the cast brings, leaves you foot stomping (you will know what I mean when you get to the grand finale).


  • If animated movies are your thing, grab a copy of Flushed Away. The movie opens with a peek into the life of Roddy (voiced by Hugh Jackman), who’s a rat living as a pet in the posh Kensington area of London. When Roddy gets flushed down the toilet by an insurgent gutter rat, he loses all the comfort and luxury he was used to, but eventually gains a lot more than what he bargained for. Down in the sewers, there exists a whole parallel London city,  whose inhabitants are just rats. That’s Flushed Awaywhere he bumps into Rita (Kate Winslet), who agrees to take him back to the surface and his family, if he helps her on her mission. The adventure begins with the duo dealing with villains like Le Frog (Jean Reno, hilarious) and the Toad (Ian Mckellen). The story takes amazing twists and turns (in several cases, literally) and the goal is much much bigger than what the two intrepid daredevils ever imagined it to be. The soundtrack is awesome, and is interspersed with choruses from the cutest animated slugs. With a wire-tight storyline, great voiceovers, and in-your-face visual effects, this is great entertainment for any age group.
  • And to really tickle your funny bone, if you like Russell Peters (or not) be sure to check out the fantastic entertainer, comedian, and world-class ventriloquist, Jeff Dunham. Catch his videos on YouTube—the views are in the millions. He starts each of his shows as a regular standup comedian, poking fun at his wife, his daughters, his dogs, and his cars. Once we’ve established what a family man he is, you get to see the little guys that made him so famous. His repertoire of talking, irreverent and wholly hilarious puppets ranges from a redneck Bubba J, to a cantankerous senior citizen Walter, to a one-sneaker- purple-skinned fuzzy thing (for lack of a better word) called Peanut. The other guys that make up the pack are Jose Jalapeño (on a ‘steek’) and Achmed the dead terrorist—they’re a hoot! Each of these fellows have their own personalities and Jeff Dunham is brilliant at taking situations from everyday life putting  side splitting, laugh-worthy twists on them. Nobody is spared from his barbs—George Bush and Michael Jackson are but the tip of the iceberg. Good luck on getting your hands on his must-own DVD: ‘Spark of Insanity’.

And don’t forget to stock up on a couple of bags of Kettlecorn. Happy watching!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Home made goodness… Part 2


Now to my Mumbai chapter of marzipan eggs--I have to introduce you to the lovely Rebecca, who can very easily whip up a storm in the kitchen as she can on the dance floor.

Called Happy Bunnys, you may be fooled into believing she only caters to the Easter season, but if your are looking for that special themed birthday cake or anniversary cake and even a naughty hen party cake, this should be your stop. You can order anything from a chocolate to a sponge to a fruit or a plum cake, and even  the more traditional Goan Coconut cake (Baath).  To put it mildly, when it comes to making celebrations memorable Rebecca should be on your speed dial. You will definitely  be the talking point of innumerable conversations.

DSC02714Rebecca has pretty much experimented on her own in the bakery department and comes up with winners each time. Its not just the final product (each of her creations are visual treats) but the satiated feeling you get when you dig in, is serious nirvana. Pictured here is one of her creations for a Chinese themed anniversary cake. Wish it was mine… :(. She has some wikkid specialty cakes, like a Skull cake too.

DSC02666Marzipan making is a talent that runs in the family and there is no one like her mum Ramona, who can make it as drop perfect as it has to be.  (Just thinking about the last lonely egg sitting in my fridge has set me drooling). The consistency is smoother than a baby’s bottom--when it comes to flavor, it beats any competition hollow.

DSC02648In addition to her many talents, Rebecca is also an artist and this is ever so evident in her presentation and the accents she uses on her  masterpieces. Each egg or bunny and cake is one of a kind. And the best part: you also have the option of going completely eggless.

Operating out of Bandra, Rebecca does take orders over the phone. Reach her on +91 98216 94917. Happy Munchies from Happy Bunnys!

Home made goodness……..Part 1


After three weeks of silence, I’m back. Blame it on my busted motherboard and graphics card. Lost all my data (damn you technology). But now that I’m back online there are two treats that I have to, have to share with you.

Easter conjures up images of marzipan eggs, bunnies and chocolate nuggets (sigh)…. Well, my first discovery comes from Bangalore, in the form of Fiona Smith. She goes under the name of ‘fijo’ and now let me walk you through her Easter specialties  and then take you on the dessert trip of your life.

Fiona is a complete self-taught patissier and trust me when I say, she has mastered desserts, chocolates and cakes to an art form.  For starters, she makes her marzipan out of blanched almonds (patience thy name is Fiona). It has to be the smoothest marzipan, I have ever eaten and ensconced in dark chocolate, it is truly salvation. There are also twists in her marzipan based eggs, go for the dark chocolate with a hint of orange. Very unusual.

But she also makes chocolate Easter eggs, like Chocolate Truffle - aclip_image002 light filling of chocolate ganache (blend of chocolate, butter, cream) with a dash of Kahlua or Cointreau. (doesn’t your mouth just water). Or the Chocolate Praline Egg - dark chocolate eggs with a crunchy filling of roasted hazelnuts and almonds and caramelized sugar.

Now if you have a constant craving for sugar, fijo has a fix for anything that you desire. I will put my hand on my heart and implore you to order a batch of her chocolate chip cookies. The cookie just groans with the chips and they are they are the right consistency between chewy and snappy. Chomp on them as is or nuke them in the microwave for 15 seconds, crumble over ice-cream. Most fulfilling feeling ever.

Now if brownies are your Achilles heel, the dark chocolate brownies are what you need to go after. Each piece is huge, so maybe you savor half a piece at a time (who am I fooling here). The brownies are a little crusty on the outside, which surprises you when you bite in,’coz its so moist and chewy. Micro for 30 seconds, so you release the dark cocoa aroma and add a dollop of ice-cream, yummy..

Fiona also has a wide repertoire of cakes. Her pound cake has been a favorite for years. Also ask for her lemon sponge. If you are looking at season specific cakes, don’t look any further. The Easter Simnel cake that I’ve had thanks to fijo, has not been matched by any other so far. For Christmas, not only do you get the rich and sumptuous rich fruit and rich plum cake, you will absolutely reach nirvana with the mince-meat pies. The filling has been matured for a year and has the right mix of candied peel, dry fruit, spices and alcohol (hic).The crust puts all other shortbread to shame.

And finally, phew, pies, tarts (try the coffee tart) and mousse are her forte. I personally love the three mousse cups, but the list is endless here, so best to call and check with Fiona herself. High on experimentation, she will be coming out with her new menu for May shortly. You can call her on +91 98860 17450. (Remember it is a Bangalore number). She takes orders pretty much year round for her chocolates and cakes, so you will not be disappointed.

Do try her out and let me know what you think. Hey and check, if Fiona has any of her stock of Coffee Liqueur ready for sale. Bonne Appetite.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Truly an old world experience - Sarvi


Having heard innumerable tales of Sarvi's sheek kebab's, we ventured down to Nagpada in a South Mumbai suburb on Diwali, last year. You hear about Nagpada in the same breath as police station, but this little treasure is definitely worth a visit. This haunt has been in the Sarvi family for over a half a century & kudos for the management for just letting it be the way it was back then.

You can take your pick of seating areas, a table with the view of the Nagpada police station or one with a view of the erstwhile Imperial Bank. Its fun watching the world go by while rubbing shoulders with taxi drivers & mêlée  of other transient Nagpada residents.

Nothing much has changed since my Mum frequented this quaint eatery close to 30 years ago. (I promised my Mum wouldn’t give her age away).The typical Irani marble top tables and wooden chairs may have lost their sheen, but the guys in the kitchen haven't lost theirs.

We stuck to the basics which were sheek kebabs and naans. Must I say, they were done to perfection. The meat is done just so, & is mildly spiced which does not set you up for heartburn later. (No blasts from the past here). The kebab's have this unusually crusty outside & a melt in the mouth inside. Ohh!!! the naans have to be the biggest in all of Mumbai & are definitely better than any other I have had anywhere else. They are soft & fluffy, without getting all rubbery in five minutes. They also make a mean bheja fry( brain). Their service is quick, helpful and extremely efficient. Suffice to say that the portions sizes are large with excellent VFM.

The only drawback is they offer no desserts. To add to our woes, Rolex (which is across the street) has now sold out, so that’s the end of their famed pudding. Well I guess if you liked stone pudding…..But if your sweet cravings still need to be pandered to, then don’t miss their cutting chai in the most mismatched teacup set you will ever see. i like it because the teacups & saucers look very nice together even if they don’t belong to each other.  All in all it’s a must do, if you are in the vicinity.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PS.. I Love You


I am not one to read romantic novels of any kind and yet PS I Love You, will definitely be one of my current favorites. Cecelia Ahern, introduces us to Holly Kennedy. Set in Dublin, Holly, newly widowed is struggling to move on with her life.

Through flash back memories of Holly in happy times with her  soul mate, childhood sweetheart and husband—Gerry—we get glimpses of their lives, hopes and dreams. As with childhood sweethearts, no one knows and understands Holly, her quirks, her fears & her compulsive and impulsive shopping as much her Gerry. The book takes us through the last few months of Gerry’s life and how in spite of his absence still lingers on in Holly’s life, giving her something to smile about, helping her look for her goal, encouraging and sometimes pushing her to the brink to overcome her fears.


Gerry leaves behind ten notes for Holly, to be opened every month, a missive to help Holly  move on with her life. Some of them are difficult challenges (I love the episode of Holly attempting a karaoke competition in utter sobriety. I know that fear, I’ve been there. Its amazing how a couple of margarita's give you the prowess to take on Mariah Carey’s five octaves, cold turkey sober its a different story altogether). Holly finds unlimited support in her friends Sharon and Denise and her sometimes MIA sister Ciara & brother Daniel.

Each of the notes left behind by Gerry touch a chord, because trust me, we’ve all been in each of those situations at some point of time. While on holiday, Holly and the girls attempt to ‘catch place by the pool’, done that in Andheri local train. Dealing with unrequited feelings, inadvertently stepping on someone’s toes at work, misjudging people’s intentions, spending way too much on clothes and shoes (well sometimes they are on sales!) and the list goes on.

Couple of things that I’ve learned from this book is the clichéd live every day to the fullest and cherish every relationship like its the only one you have. I guess that’s why my husband’s encouragement  and support got me here. Thank you Marco. I learn from you everyday.  Like Holly’s parents, my folks who have been my constant support, my secure base and just being my giant rocks of Gibraltar. My brilliant brother, Michael. I have yet to come across some as talented, thoughtful and yet so oblivious to it. Thank you Suellen, my closest friend. Thank you for keeping me grounded, giving me grief when I deserved it and just looking out for me. (I have cut down on coffee and stiletto's, I promise).Guess we all have some thanking to do.

Can’t wait to catch the movie!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My last lecture…


In a training program at work last month, my MD showed us a clip of Dr. Randy Pausch, who was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. This man delivered a speech --  Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams --months before succumbing to pancreatic cancer. This was his message to his children, to his family and to his friends. I must tell you, whether you read his book or watch the clip, you will be moved by the sheer grit and determination of this man, who never let anything or anyone get in his way. And yet you see him as a human being like anyone of us, trying to make sense of the crosses we have to bear, and trying to come to grips with a destiny that is not of our making. That’s when we got to think about what would our legacy be. So after not too much pondering, here are my musings…

I may not have a string of alphabets behind my name, and I may not have millions in a Swiss bank account, but what I do have is the experience that has enriched my life through the years.

Experiences that I have my family, my friends, my colleagues to thank. Its not about what knowledge I have imparted, but what I have gained from those who made my memories and the foundations of my existence.

Respect, for everything and everyone around me. No one is too small to accord respect to. Treat others with the same dignity you expect. You are only as superior as the next guy.Last lecture

Give people a chance. How many times did I fall off my bicycle? (you don't even want me to answer that one). How many times did you try and get to the bottom of an algebra sum? Did your parents every throw their hands up? Did you teacher every say you were no good? Everyone of us has potential its just up to us to help people realize what they are good at and give them a leg up.

Not everyone is the Joker. Are people inherently bad? Or are we catching them in situations that bring out their worst? Are they really mirroring our actions and behavior? Everyone is entitled to a bad day, and its not for us to judge who’s good or bad. Someone is judging us back.

Learn to give. They say charity begins at home. But it doesn’t always have to be material. When at home are we really spending time with the family, or are we glued to the TV? Is there someone at work who will benefit from your time at the company or from the knowledge you have gleaned. Be accessible to people, and make your time with them count.

I urge you to pause for a moment and think of what legacy you leave behind. Impact somebody, anybody…

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Del Italia – Prima



There are a lot of mixed reactions to Del Italia (DI), but I for one will rate it 11 on a scale of 10. Over the last few times that we've been to DI,  they have delivered consistently on every count. So if it is ambience, service or the food that excites you, these guys will not disappoint.

However, my recommendation is to please stay away from the Sunday Brunch. For Rs. 1250 + taxes, it’s limited fare leaves a lot to write home about. Ironically, they call the Sunday Brunch – home-style….

Now back to the good stuff. They are one of the few restaurants that can boast of an all-out Italian wine list that spans from Milan to Naples. A must try are the sangrias. My personal favorite—the Melon Sangria. They even make a regular brandy with hot water taste great. For the teetotalers, the plum-based mocktails are the best.

When it comes to the antipasti, the quail wrapped bacon wins hands down. I love the caramelized onions and succulent roast potatoes that go with it. The Carpaccio is done very well, but the salad topped off with toasted pine nuts that accompany it is sheer bliss. This should be earmarked, as it comes from someone who is fatally allergic to salads. Being mainly a carnivore, this review will be biased accordingly.

For most of us who grew up with Smokin' Joes & Dominios, the pizza's are really a shocker (but in a good way). They are authentic to the 'T' as far as thin crusts go. Don't miss the BBQ Chicken. The Ricotta and wilted Spinach pizza is highly recommended as well. Go exotic with the Parma Ham pizza ( though, they do get a  little stingy on those celestial slivers of perfectly cured ham)

A side order of garlic bread, which arrives nice and warm straight from the oven with a hint of oregano is perfect for a between-courses nibbler. So heavenly… . At this point you an actually hear violins.

Now to the meat of the matter: the Duck and Chicken Lasagna just melts in the mouth. For a meat and potatoes kind of person, please, PLEASE have the medallion. It’s a hunk of the best beef cooked to order, and the quality of the meat is supremo. I am not a big fan of continental fish dishes, but the John Dory just blows you away. The fillets are cooked to al dente and the lemon butter sauce just completes it. Saffron risotto makes the perfect accompaniment. What a holistic experience. I am a Risotto freak, and I must say that this is one area ( & I've tried all their Risottos)where I think DI could work on ditto for the Carbonara that lacked identity.

When it comes to dessert, these guys have got it down to an art. The Panacotta is the lightest thing on the menu after the pizza. DI panacottaPlease ask your server about the stewed fruit of the day: you will be in luck if they have figs or pears. Now if you are one of those chocoholics (like my mum), you can take your pick from the Chocolate & Grappa Torte (rich divine chocolate), Chocolate & Mascarpone Torte (a fine balance of cheese and chocolate) or the classic Tiramisu.

Admittedly the pricing is on the other side of VFM, but it is well worth the indulgence.

Sigh…… happy memories…. Damn you dietician, damn you (she who cannot be named)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coffee with the Stars


If you’ve cried every time you see Meg Ryan with her coffee in “You’ve got Mail”, here’s your chance to re-live the moment. An unassuming little café in New York lets you experience this moment and make your own movie history.

After walking through a place as expansive as New York’s famous Central Park, every warm blooded sweet toothed mammal would be craving to seek out the solace of a great desert den.

That's where Cafe Lalo steps in.Walk a few blocks north to 83rd street  trust me when I say, that the walk will be worth the pot of honey (in this case a groaning cheesecake display) at the end.

Unlike in the movie, make sure you get there early in the evenings, to ensure, if not reduce the waiting time for a table. As the evening progress Lalo’s get jam packed with its regular patrons and first timers like me, out to get their dessert kick.

Lalo Lalo’s is very easy to find, in the evenings, just follow the string of fairy lights, or  the throng of people waiting to get inside. While in the mornings, you can’t but stop to look into the large French windows, showcasing the shelves and counters stacked with every imaginable cake, pastry slice and cheesecake.

The café offers a wide selection for breakfast. The chefs here have really captured the essence of New York here, by catering to every palette here. A true melting point, of cultures. Don’t miss the Authentic Belgian Waffle served with cinnamon whipped cream and pure maple syrup( I know, I know, you put on half a kilo just reading this). Add your choice of pecan or hazelnuts to it and pure sin. For the more adventurous gourmet, a must try would be the traditional Jewish breakfast, comprising of Lake Sturgeon with greens and fresh baked bagels and rugelach. Ask for the Espresso, they make the best Espresso on the other side of the Atlantic.

Alternatively, you can also try the true blue New York breakfast or lighter options such as Swiss or the Irish breakfast.

If you do stroll in for brunch, Lalo’s has a surprising array of items and vegetarians can be assured that there are plenty of options. Go for the grilled sandwiches, which are huge or choose the entrées. You can end your meal with a wide selection of cheese. And if you still have room top it off with frozen yogurt. (Give me calorific sin any day!!)

Now, we get to my favorite part. Lalo’s has one of the largest selections of desserts ever. You can take your pick from the rows of tarts, pies and cakes. A must try the Chocolate Trip, a silky chocolate walnut truffle cake with mixed berry sauce and home made vanilla ice cream. Don’t miss the Hazelnut mousse either. The velvety consistency you just can’t miss. My personal favorites are the New York cheesecake and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse. ( Go in a big group, that way you get such a wide sampling….. bliss). Do ask the waitress what the specials are, because the patisserie team here out do themselves combining chocolate and coffee based deserts with fruit. Round it off with a mug of Lalo’s hot cocoa and you can die and go to heaven a very happy person.

The café is extremely vibrant the waitresses are extremely polite and efficient. The pricing is a little above average. But you really shouldn’t bother, because at Lalo’s it is not just food for the stomach, but for the senses.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Looky, I’m here!

So I’ve finally gotten down to setting up my own blog (thanks to the persistence of my husband!). Watch this space for reviews on food, holidays, books, and general life in the city of The Slumdog Millionaire!

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