Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Wine Lover's Eve with Princess Sabina Corsini at Hyatt Regency, Kolkata

La Cucina Hyatt Regency Kolkata
I am sitting with a glass of Prosecco in my hand, watching the crowd brave the torrential rain and enter the intimate space of La Cucina, Hyatt Regency. Around me, glasses clink, mirth spills, and there is a general sense of merriment which comes, perhaps, with anticipation.

Princess Sabina Corsini 
Princess Sabina Corsini reigns over this space, walking around in all her glory, introducing herself to the guests, and indulging in conversation about the wines she will be presenting to the Indian market. J looks around rather anxiously till the meal begins, and I make my selections quickly, anticipating an evening of mirth, a few bottles of good wine, and perhaps something more, and so, of course, glasses are filled, and re-filled, and the sound of wines being poured is always a beautiful sound to me.

Our menu has been kept simple, to match the wines served to us on the table. A simply designed dish of Caprese is presented on a bed of Zucchini Carpaccio, the slivers of the vegetable mildly aromatic with the olive oil, and the Mannara Pinot Grigio, which is cold and sharp, with citrus notes and a rather dry finish, a nice way to wake my palate up. Although I am not much of a fan of dry whites, the sharpness does complement the milky mozzarella slices of my salad.

Mannara Pinot Grigio
A rather intriguing Caramelized Onion and Cheese Tart is next in line, and although I find its crust a bit too hard for me to cut through, the onions are sweet and a hit of rocket livens it up with its peppery notes. The light drizzle of balsamic is needed to balance the flavours of the shards of Parmesan.

caramelized onion and cheese tart
With this, we have a rather new White from Villa Antinori, with fruity notes, and a zesty hit of citrus to keep things interesting.

Villa Antinori Blanco
For our mains, I choose one of my favourites - the signature Lamb Shanks at La Cucina which Chef Sumeet Priyadarshi excels at. I tasted these a few weeks back, and could not forget the taste, so a re-cap was necessary.

Lamb Shanks at La Cucina
And Chef Sumeet does not disappoint. The Lamb Shanks are succulent, tender, but not mushy, the roasted vegetables accompanying it are fork-tender, and I pick up a bread roll to mop up the juice.

Durvillea Marlborough Pinot Noir
With the robustness of the lamb, I sample the Durvillea Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011, which has rich cherry and currant notes, not too sweet, and a finish which I am not much of a fan of, but I find myself finishing my glass all the same.

la cucina Hyatt Regency
We have a lovely light dessert, the Truffle Panna Cotta, with a generous hit of strawberry coulis on top. I did miss the rather beautiful Sant'Andrea Corsini, which is an excellent wine to be had with some cheese, but at this point, I was pleasantly full and quite mellow from the wine and food. Corsini wines are going to be served in India soon, and you should look out for their Chianti, where I dare say, there are a few winners.

Truffle Panna Cotta 

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee dined at Hyatt Regency at the kind invitation of the management. 

Yauatcha Celebrates Golden Week till 18th October, 2015

The 'Golden week' is considered to be China's biggest annual national holiday, spanning 7 days in October, where all workers are given 3 days of paid time off.  Its also a popular period of time, when the Chinese folk travel significantly across the globe to experience luxury offerings. To celebrate, a specially curated menu, along with exclusive chefs picks, celebrating 'Golden Week' at Yauatcha, is presented. Asparagus Corn Roll, Vegetarian Poached Peking Dumpling, Prawn and Water Chestnut Roll, Chicken and Prawn Shui mai, Chicken Shanghai Dumpling, Crispy Duck Roll and more in the dim sum segment, move over to the Four style vegetables in Szechuan sauce, or Spicy aubergine, sato bean ,okra and French bean, Stir fry lotus root, asparagus and water chestnut, Crispy Lamb with raw mango, Braised chicken with Szechuan peppercorn, or the noted Kung Pao chicken with a staple, and finish with the crowd favourite Raspberry Delice, or the delectable Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse. The Golden week menu is available till 18th October, 2015, and is priced at INR 1200/- plus taxes per guest.

Disclaimer: Press Release. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Asian Paints Presents Sabyasachi for Nilaya

Asian Paints Nilaya Sabyasachi Collection
Designer Sabyasachi has collaborated recently with Asian Paints to bring a gorgeous set of rich, layered décor into your home with Nilaya, a luxury line of wall covering. Although the brand will be launching pretty soon, here's a quick preview of their collection, which is divided into five themes, which are India Baroque, Jodhpur, Spice Route, Makhmal, and Varanasi. Each of these lines represent a particular strand of the historic heritage of India, and are unique in their own way.

Nilaya Sabyasachi
The five different themes are quite beautiful in their own way. I received a preview from Asian Paints, where I was able to explore the themes and find out more about them. While India Baroque is all about the richness and glamour of the Kings and Queens of the bygone years, Jodhpur explores the shades of blue, using block prints and paintings to express itself. On the other hand, Spice Route takes you back to the original trail of spices which led people from all around the globe to India, and the colours are inspired by the spices of India, and their lingering warmth.

nilaya designs
Makhmal is a series which explores, beyond everything else, the beauty in texture, and the designs represent the same, with different shades and textures coming in to play. Varanasi depicts the spirituality of the holy city, and its long-standing connection with beautiful, intricately woven sarees which have been created and sold for centuries. Each design is unique and represent the luxury and subtle glamour which Sabyasachi stands for. These wallpapers are a true reflection of the designer.

sabyasachi for nilaya
As a lover of Sabyasachi, I must say the preview looks promising, and the brand has selected Deepika Padukone as their face for this collection. Keep your eyes out for the launch of Sabyasachi for Nilaya during the festive season.

deepika padukone for Nilaya
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was sent a preview of the launch by the brand. 


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Unilever’s skin care brand Vaseline announces the re-launch of its core variant Vaseline® Intensive Care Deep Restore with a brand new TVC. The re-launch of this variant comes along with the announcement of Nargis Fakhri joining the Vaseline family. Known for her healthy and glowing skin, the actress demonstrates the scratch test and Vaseline’s power of healing* in the new TVC.

In the winter months, when your skin is so dry that you scratch it with your nail and it leaves a mark, it requires healing. With micro droplets of Vaseline® Jelly, the new formula of Vaseline® Intensive Care Deep Restore deeply moisturizes skin and helps keep skin healed and hydrated.

“I am thrilled to be associated with a brand that I use so regularly. I firmly believe that one of the best kept secrets to soft and glowing skin is moisturization. No matter where I travel I make sure to carry a Vaseline body lotion with me to keep my skin well moisturized all the time, said Nargis Fakhri, Bollywood actress.

Commenting on the product re-launch and Nargis’s association with the brand, Srinandan Sundaram, Vice President, Skincare and Make-up, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. said, “Skin needs special care in the winters. Vaseline understands this and we have formulated our core product keeping in mind the care skin needs during winters. With the re-launch of the product, we are also delighted to be associated with Nargis Fakhri who is the apt fit for the brand given her glowing and healthy skin.”

Vaseline® Intensive Care Deep Restore contains specially designed blend of glycerin to pull moisture into skin, and micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly which helps locks moisture in.

Vaseline® Intensive Care Deep Restore can be used daily. It is priced at INR 68 for 100 ml and INR 205 for 300ml.

Disclaimer: Press Release.

Pujo Preview 2015: A Short Collection of the Pujo-Special Menus around Kolkata

For Pujo 2015, I have compiled a set of attractive offers available at different places around Kolkata. Here's the first part of it.

1. Taj Bengal (19th to 22nd October):

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At Sonargaon: Sonargaon is acclaimed for serving the celebrated cuisines of India in a truly ethnic environment. Discover the nuances of authentic traditional Bengal cuisine as you savour a Bengali Thali. The large platter is served with portions of different dishes like Topshe Fish fry, Golmorich mangsho and Bhapa Misti Doiprepared from recipes from households of Bengal. Enjoy a regal touch as you dine out of silver! Thalis are available during Lunch and Dinner. Seafood Thali is INR 2900/, Aamish Thali is INR 2700/-, and Niramish Thali is at INR 2500/- plus taxes as applicable.

At The Hub: There is an array of delectable Buffets for Durga Puja. The Hub, the stylish multi-cuisine restaurant, offers diners with elaborate lunch and dinner buffets during Durga Puja. The Hub will have something special to offer guests at any time of the day! Varied choice in Continental and Indian cuisines like Smoked salmon and beckti duplex with spinach veloute, Tomato and aubergine galettes melted mozzarella and holy basil,Achari gosht, Chanar muthiaand many more, the buffets also present a choice of regional favorites. Sashti, Saptami and Ashtami Lunch and Dinner is priced at INR 2050/- (Lunch) and INR 2250/- (Dinner) plus tax,, while Nabami/Dashami Lunch is priced at INR 2450/- plus tax, and INR 2250/- for Dinner, plus tax. 

At Souk - The winner of ‘Best Mediterranean Restaurant’ presents a lavish Middle Eastern buffet spread during Durga Puja. Savour a choice of delicious starters, seafood, grills, main course preparations, shavarma, rice, pitas and desserts. The Menu includes interesting food items like Fattesh hummus (Chickpea with yoghurt & tahina), Spinach fatayer (Oven baked pastry triangles filled with spinach and pine nuts), Haluwet jazar(Carrot cooked in Arabic ghee), Ashta bil asal (Stuffed homemade Turkish cheese) and many more. Between 19th October to 22nd October, the lunch and dinner will be served at INR 2150/- plus tax. 

Taj Bengal also announces luxury Pujo Packages from 15th - 25th October, 2015 for a minimum of 2-night stay.

Ø Deluxe Room @ INR 7500+/8500+ per night ( Breakfast at The Hub; Meal credit of INR 1000 per person per stay and many more)

Ø Taj Club Room @ INR 11000+/12000+ (All Deluxe Room privileges; Access to the exclusive Club Lounge, offering daily evening cocktails and hot & soft beverages all day and many more).

2. Taj Gateway (21st and 22nd October, 2015):

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Taj Gateway's The Buzz will have a celebration of food from all across the globe with a touch of the border that is woven with flavours of the east. Lunch Buffet (12:30 pm to 3:00 pm) is on Ashtami (21st Oct 2015) and Navami/ Dashmi (22nd Oct 2015), while Dinner Buffet (07:30 pm to 11:00 pm) is on from Saptami (20th Oct 2015) to Navami/Dashmi (22nd Oct 2015). Price is INR 1550/- plus taxes for buffet per person. This includes two small pegs of scotch whiskey or two small pegs of absolut vodka or two glass of bacardi breezer or two glass of domestic beer. 

3. Serafina (9th to 22nd October, 2015): 

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With Pujas round the corner, it’s time for celebration and enjoyment. The festive season ushers a new anticipation that is filled with delight, happiness, renewed hope and wealth. Since food is an integral part of any celebration, to add to the fervor, SERAFINA plays a perfect host with an elaborate and palatable spread The spread at SERAFINA will be available over all the days during Pujas period starting from 9th Oct till 22nd Oct 2015.

Apart from the regular menu, SERAFINA (authentic North Italian restaurant) serves a special “Seafood Menu” for the not so Bengali serving a variety of options such as Seafood Risotto, Pizza Marinara, Lemon Scented Jumbo Shrimps with Blinis, Herd Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna with Tossed Baby Beans, Steamed Bekti with Verdure griglia with Tangy Mustard Sauce, Stuffed Calamari with Citrus mixed Mesclun, and Mint Flavoured Pan Seared Snapper with Caper Berry Sauce. There are also delectable desserts and some great mains added. Cost for 2 at Serafina is roughly INR 2000/- plus tax.

4. Bombay Brasserie (18th to 25th October, 2015):

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In addition to the regular menu, Bombay Brasserie will serve a special “Puja Menu”, including Kosha Mangsho, Murgi Gota Masala, Jeera Murgi, Betki Tak Jhal, Daab Chingri in the Nonveg menu, and 
Basanti Paneer, Bengali Aloo Dum, Kachkalar Kofta, Echoor Er Kalia, Dal Chechki, Sona Moong Dal, Misti Pulao and Luchi in the Veg menu. This delicious spread will be available for the Puja week starting from Panchami to Dashami (18th Oct – 25th Oct 2015) for Lunch and Dinner. Cost for 2 is roughly 1500/- plus tax.

5. Q-COURT (Masala Kitchen) (19th to 22nd October, 2015):

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Q-COURT (Masala Kitchen) will serve a special menu on the occasion of Durga Puja from 19th- 22nd October between 11 am and 11 pm. 

The spreads include a number of dishes like Ghee Bhaat,  Bengali Mishti Pulao, Basanti Pulao, Mangsher Jhol with Aloo, Kosha Murgi, Murgir Jhol, Rui Tok Jhal, Rui Macher Kalia, Rui Macher Jhol with Aloo, Sorshe Paneer, Paneer Dalna, Panch Phoron Paneer, Kosha Aloo Dum, Bengali Aloo Dum, Panch Mishali Sabzi, Dhokar Dalna, Mochar Kofta Curry, Jhinge Aloo Posto, Kach Kolar Kofta, Assorted Bhaja, Bhaja Moong Dal, Cholar Dal, Luchi, Amsotto Khejur er Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Pineapple Chutney, Tomato  Khejur er Chutney, Mishti Doi, Roshogolla, Komola Bhog, and Mishti Paan. 

There are special offers, which includes a few things:
  • The Special Veg Combo is reasonably priced at Rs 350/- & The Non-Veg Combo is Rs 425/-
  • Only two Veg dishes in case of Veg meal combo
  • In case of Non-Veg meal there will be one Non-Veg item and any one Veg item
Disclaimer: Information collected from Press Releases sent to me by the groups. Information might not be 100% accurate, and can change as per the restaurant's wishes. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

FunFoods by Dr. Oetker adds a fun 100gm standing pouch to its Veg. Mayo family

100g Veg Mayo Packshot Artwork

FunFoods, a leading purveyor of western cuisine in India, today announced the launch of its 100 gm standing pack of its famous– Veg. Mayonnaise. Adding a small size to its vast Mayo family, the 100 gm pack with a nozzle will be the first of its kind packaging for Mayonnaise to be introduced in India. Priced at just Rs. 35, the 100gm Mayonnaise Veg. Pouch is set to cater to the uninitiated consumers as a trial pack, as well as those who always aspired to try this delightful condiment.

This is the first ever 100 gm Mayonnaise Veg. pack and promises to keep the flavour of FunFoods signature Veg. Mayonnaise intact – smooth, creamy and a rich fulfilling taste! The nozzle of the pack helps in quick application whether you want to enjoy a juicy sandwich for breakfast or dress up your favourite Russian salad for dinner, the Veg. Mayonnaise pouch by FunFoods will fulfil your day-to-day western culinary needs. You can also satiate your taste buds while you are on a road trip or a picnic as this single serve, ‘easy to use and easy to carry’ pouch, will save you from the hassle of storage, make for easy application and help maintain hygiene.

FunFoods Veg. Mayo Family is spread across all possible sizes and price variants. The price of 270 gm., 500 gm., 750 gm., and 875 gm. is INR 79/- , 119/- , 149/- and 169/- respectively. 

Disclaimer: Press Release.