Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Choco L'Art - Hyatt, Ahmedabad

Choco L'Art - Hyatt
Opposite AlphaOne Mall
Near Vastrapur Lake,
079 61908888

Stopped here for a quick bite. They have a good selection of basic coffees, milkshakes, cakes, pastries, breads and a few savoury dishes too.

The menu for savoury dishes is limited to a sandwich, burger, kathi roll and a Cesar salad among the non-veg options, so not much to choose from. But I was in no mood to eat at Collage, so we sat down here.

The Dining space is airy and there are quite a few outside tables, that look lovely, but with the threat of rain, we were quite happy sitting inside.

Service was on the slower side, but it could have been due to the large demanding kitty party at another table.

We had the lamb and the chicken burger which were really nice. My lamb burger (375/-)I asked for medium rare and it was beautifully juicy and well seasoned. Mum's chicken burger (375/-) turned out to be a piece of chicken rather than a chicken patty, so it wasn't as soft and juicy, but it was well seasoned too. The meat came with cheese melted on top of it and pickles, onions, tomatoes and lettuce on the side. The French Fries weren't the best I have tasted, but they weren't bad either.

Mum lived her nutella shake (250/-) but I felt there was more Hershey's chocolate syrup in it, than nutella for flavour. My latte (250/-) was a bit too strong for me (they had first mistakenly got me a cappuccino and I suspect, he just took off the foam and brought me the mug back), but once they got me some extra milk, it was good.

They have a huge range of pastries, we tried the Berliner (100/-) which is like a doughnut with some preserved fruit as a stuffing inside. The almond hazelnut gateaux (150/-) was slightly chewy but in a good way like caramel toffee chewy. It had a faint taste of orange blossom and was quite light. I suspect the texture of the biscuit base had gone a bit soft because of the humid weather and would be better when it was nice, crispy and biscuity.

Its a good place to stop for an evening snack, but not if you are in a hurry.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Monday, July 28, 2014

No Mad Baker, Ahmedabad

No Mad Baker,
Opposite Iscon Mall,
+91 9979899126, +91 9537156741

The first time I tried to order from here was a couple of months ago. I placed the order at 7:45pm and was assured delivery by 9:30pm. With no sign of the pizza at 9.45pm, I called, my call wasn't picked up, but it was returned after 15 minutes (now 10pm) to tell me that pork ham wasn't available anywhere in the city and would I like to change my order.

While I appreciated the honesty, I most certainly did not appreciate the 2+ hour delay in informing me of the same, even if they had spent that time, trying to source the ham. Since I had an early morning flight to catch the next day for a long trip and I'd emptied out the fridge in advance, I had a glass of milk and went to bed.

However, their consistent good reviews, convinced me that I should try them again and give them another chance. However, the second time I called they were in the process of moving their kitchen to a larger, commercial operation and home delivery wasn't possible at that time.

Today seemed to be third time lucky, because it was finally a "yes" on all counts and our pizzas did arrive home safe and sound (albeit 2 hours after the initial order)

Pork ham was again out of stock, so I said chicken ham was ok, but it turned out that the chicken ham (12" - 400, 9" - 225) was the weakest of the 3 pizzas that we ordered as the ham itself did not have much taste. The pork pepperoni (12" - 450, 9" - 275) was great and the mad pizza (12" - 700, 9" - 500 - pepperoni, ham, sausages, onions & olives) was excellent.

The quality and taste of their chicken sausage was the best of all the cold meats. They offered an additional smoked paprika topping on all the pizzas and for spice lovers like us, it was an excellent extra.

The pizzas were light on cheese and on the stomach. The homemade tomato sauce was excellent. I personally prefer a tinge more sourness, but I loved the non-commercial taste of the sauce.

Menu wise, the only drawback is that there aren't any fresh veggie topping options. Its one of the few restaurants in this city that do serve pork, which is great for us.

It took 2 hours for delivery and I had been pre-warned, but its a long wait. Husband was getting restless with the wait and was quite concerned when he realised that it was the same place that had told us that our pizzas wouldnt be possible after 2 hours the previous occasion. Once the pizzas arrived, he readily admitted that they were really good pizzas, but in the future he said that we would need to order before we even felt hungry. If No Mad Baker can get their delivery timings improved, it would be our go-to place for when the hunger pangs strike.

They are more expensive than any other pizza place in the city, but if you want fresh, home made, non commercial pizzas, this is a great option.

Click on this link to read the inspiring story behind the genesis of No Mad Baker.

Rating : 4 / 5

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Interview on sulekha.com

Sulekha.com is a very popular Indian Website in the US. It was one of the first websites to start a Indian Recipe section way back in the late 1990's as far as I remember. While their focus has slowly changed, the food section is still quite prominent and I'm quite kicked about the fact that they wanted to interview me :)

The interview can be read on site  - here
on my Karishma Pais (Kim) in Print Blog

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Photo Feature : Ramadan in Ahmedabad's Old City - Part 7 - Just a little More

To round up my series on Ramadan in Ahmedabad's Old City, here are just a few more pictures that we took. Of people, the sights, just things that interested us and were an essential part of the spirit and feeling around this part of town. So, I hope you enjoy this final part of the series.

A view into the markets around this area.

And the People

And to close it all, my favourite (most interesting) eatery in the Old City - Lucky Tea & Restaurant

There's a still a week left, so I wish you a blessed and peaceful final week of Ramadan and I may just dig up some old photos of Iftaar in Mumbai next :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Photo Feature : Ramadan in Ahmedabad's Old City - Part 6 - Faces Behind the Food

The food itself, was not as exciting to photograph as the photos of the Faces Behind the Food. The Chefs at the open air kitchens and laaris. Some were making really complicated dishes and others just simply chopping mounds of tomatoes. Each one seemed quite involved in what they were doing, which made for some very interesting pictures.

Here are some of them.

Don't miss the individual fans even on the push carts :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photo Feature : Ramadan in Ahmedabad's Old City - Part 5 - The Food

After the build up of the last 4 posts, I'm sure, you are most curious about the food. So here they are : from Chinese to Indian, Hyderabadi Haleem to Rangooni Parathas. Enjoy!

We started the evening at Lucky Tea, with a lovely Bun Maska to line our tummies (and because its so delicious at this particular outlet) and a chilled Thumsup to takeaway for the walk.

Followed this up with some brilliant Masala Doodh simmering freshly in a kadai on a little chulha in the middle of the road.

Followed by Garma Garam Samosas.

and some Bengali Kobiraji style cutlets

Then it was time for some Tawa Fried and Barbecued / Tandoori dishes.

We took a look at some curries, but didn't try any.

We did however try some haleem - which wasn't half as good as - the excellent haleem of Pista House in Hyderabad.

The Rangooni Paratha was a much more interesting discovery - deep fried parathas - stuffed with 2 differently flavoured meats.

Ended this outing with a soothing falooda from Gandhi Cold Drink

However, as you already know, we headed to Hotel Chetna for a more substantial bit to eat.


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