YUMMRAJ eating out in Beijing, China

………………… an Indian Foodie’s experience of eating Chinese food in China (including vegetarian dishes) YUMMRAJ was in Beijing last week. Here’s a peek into what transpired on the plate. Njoy the super YUMM pics & read the small description. In most of the descriptions, everything in the menu card was written in Chinese & hence I left the ordering to my able friends. Hence I … Continue reading YUMMRAJ eating out in Beijing, China

Persian Room (17040 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA)

An Indian foodie’s experience of Iranian food in USA vs.& comparison with similar dishes available in India. In a nutshell: Excellent flavors & taste of a wide selection of Food from Iran in a beautiful Restaurant whose Dining hall reminded of Palaces described in the Arabian Nights. Address & other details: Persian Room Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian Meal for 2: US$ 60 onwards Short … Continue reading Persian Room (17040 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA)

Huxley’s Bar & Kitchen (Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport)

An Indian foodie’s experience of British food in London vs same dishes available in India.

In a nutshell: Enjoyed the good food here & some of the excellent ones – look forward to revisiting on my next trip

Address & other details: Huxley

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

the facade

Meal for 2: US$ 60 onwards

Short Description – In case u r in a Hurry:

This is one place where grabbing a table always seems to be time consuming – u can mostly see a queue outside the Restaurant. This time we got a chance to get in & try the food without having to wait in a long queue. We chose the basics & not fancy dishes to see how they taste in London vs. say in Delhi India.

Add ons on the table at Huxley’s

The ambience is good inspite of being a bit dark in some corners. There is a bar on one side & one can choose to sit at the bar as well.

Mixed Meat Grill at Huxley’s

The menu card is self explanatory – so one does not need to ask too many questions to the person waiting on. We were lucky to get a very warm & helpful waitress.

Food was good overall & some of it was excellent.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

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Mi Amigo’s Mexican Grill (455 N 3rd Street, Arizona Center, Phoenix, Arizona , USA)

In a nutshell:

Loved the food here – hope something similar to this opens up in India.

Mi Amigo’s

Address & other details: Mi Amigos

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

the facade of Mi Amigo’s

Meal for 2: US$30 onwards

Short Description – In case u r in  a hurry:

This post is an Indian Foodie’s perspective on Mexican food in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. He has never been to Mexico though. The comments are purely based on the taste & not on authenticity / proximity to the traditional Mexican taste.

The Restaurant is in a building that has many eateries. I cud not figure out why but this place attracted me & we just walked in.

The ambience was good – predominantly dimlighting with lamps on each table. Njoyable peppy (I guess) Mexican Music was being played in the backdrop.

After reading the menu card twice we figured that we had not figured anything at all. So time to seek help. We asked the lady serving us. She patiently explained the names, the meanings & at times the ingredients as well. She suggested some dishes & drinks as well. Full marks to her patience , product knowledge & role as a hostess.

The food was good & we loved it so much that we revisited the place in just 3-4 days.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:

As we sat waiting for the food, we were served inhouse made super crispy super thin & very tasty nachos with unimpressive looking but outstanding salsa. The salsa looked a bit watery (not thick) but its taste was too good. Once we started eating this, the hands were just going to the mouth & back to the plate inspite of repeated signals from the brain to stop doin that!!!! We finished a full load of nachos & salsa.

Nachos & Salsa

As suggested by the lady serving us, we went for Mi Amigo’s signature Margarita served ‘frozen’ with a splash of citrus tinged Blue curacao……….I added a bit of sweet & salt. Too good. Refreshing longggggggggggggggggg drink.

Signature Margarita

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La Fiesta (628 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101, USA)

Contributed by Guest Blogger Vasudha Mukherjee Bal Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian Meal for 2: US$ Address & other details: La Fiesta I was in San Diego for work recently and was craving for some authentic Mexican food. Living in Boston can leave you with a craving for spicy favorites if you are in Southern California for sure! There is this one dish that I … Continue reading La Fiesta (628 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101, USA)

Shiraz (Al Abbas Building, Bank Street, Bur Dubai)

This post has been written by Guest Blogger IshitaUnblogged & was originally published here. All photos in this post courtesy ishitaphotoideas.

the facade

The Shiraz Nostalgia

Amongst all the golden memories of my college days in Kolkata, the one thing that consistently churns up is Shiraz Golden Restaurant in Circus Avenue, Park Circus. All our random parties or any special party for that matter (for example Holi, Diwali or even Durga Puja!) was necessarily powered by Mutton Biriyani, Chicken Chaap and Firni (an Indian Dessert made with milk and powdered Basmati rice with Saffron) from Shiraz. Each one of us would be handed over one packet of Mutton Biriyani each and one piece from the Chicken Chaap to start with… and would end with forever licking the spoons that scooped out the mildly aromatic Firni (a dessert) set in an earthen small pot! The same menu was repeated at every occasion when friends would meet and Mums would refuse to host a mini impromptu parties.

Even today when we go to Kolkata, the same menu from the same Shiraz is waiting either for us at some of our friends’ houses or at our Kolkata home for others who visit us!

Most of the Bengalis that I have met, associate Biriyani, specially the Mughlai cooking with the Lucknowy or the Awadhi style of cooking. Hence, as much as we love the various kinds of Biriyani – the Hyderabadi, the Sindhi, the Pakistani Biriyanis, our taste-buds still search for Shiraz’s Biriyani. Though there is no dearth of Indian restaurants in Dubai, there was definitely a dearth of Indian restaurants which could satiate the Mughlai food nostalgia for those who grew up in Kolkata.

Well, till Shiraz Golden Restaurant came to the shores of Dubai, all the way from Kolkata. Till then some dishes occurred only in my dreams. For example – the Kolkata Kathi Rolls! Or the Mughlai Parathas!

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Excelsior Hotel (281, Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hongkong)

In a nutshell:

Exceeded my expectations as usually Coffee Shops in Hotels r not the best places to have a memorable meal. Liked it.

Excelsior Hotel, Causeway Bay, Hongkong

Meal for 2: HK$ 300 onwards

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Non Vegetarian


Have been staying in this Hotel for the past two days & have had different kinds of food so far. Here is how it was.

Room service

We asked for Fried seafood noodle – It turned out to be what we know as American Chopsuey in India. Deep fried thin noodles, Hard & crispy in texture, looks like a nest, placed at the base of the plate. Gravy poured on top of that. The gravy soaked noodles tasted better than just the dry crispy ones coz those were different from normal noodles but attained a very interesting texture.
Pok choy was the only green vegetable in the noodle & among the seafood were large prawns, calamari (squid) & some excellent scallops. The scallops were very soft in texture & had a very robust taste. Prawns were soft, mildly juicy & not at all chewy. The calamari was a bit short of optimum in terms of the texture. Overall, a very enjoyable meal.

Fried noodles with seafood

Fried Oyster cake with leek & egg omlette – A deep fried food, this conceptually cud have been a baked dish as well. A bit more oily – the texture initially reminded me of Fish Batter fry that we used to eat around at Benfish Kolkata. However, quite quickly I figured out that it was closer to fish Kabiraji.

oyster omlettes

The inside was deshelled oysters (as it is) bound together by egg & sprinkling of leeks. I found the same dish being served at the traditional Roadside eatery at Temple street night market. Tasty, Enjoyable & interesting dish but a bit too oily for some people. Maybe this one wud have felt much better if it was cooked by any method other than deep frying………… but who am I to comment on traditional dish of this place??………….. just a humble foodie.

fresh fruit platter to end the meal

Breakfast & Lunch spread:

Its got a huge breakfast & lunch spread wth Oriental & Continental sections.

There was a tiny Indian section too. Live stations constantly had queues. Needless to say that the Indian food was just ok. Nothing great.

Special mention to the salmon sashimi at the Japanese counter, Peking duck at the Chinese Counter, a very large dessert & fruit section. The sashimi was outstanding & the wasabi was good at hitting the sinuses. The Peking Duck at China Garden, Hyatt, New Delhi is much better.  The choice of everything was so high that at times I was feeling like a kid in a candy shop.

peking duck, sashimi & honey pork

The coffee shop

Went for Thai Fish cake & salad with Nuoc Cham dressing. The texture reminded me of crab cakes. The fish cake had a slightly thick outer layer & very soft & juicy inside. Tasty & cool – though some people might find it a bit oily since it is deep fried. I liked it & likely to order again.

thai fish cakes

For main course, had ‘fish balls with flat rice noodle soup’ – Though the menu card mentioned fish balls, the dish had fish ‘cuboids’ as well. Loved it so much that had it again next morning at the live food station. So here is how it was made:

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Hongkong Street Food – Tong Tai Seafood Restaurant (Temple Street Night Market, Hongkong)

In a nutshell:

A roadside Chinese Dhaba in which u actually sit on plastic chairs on the road & eat from makeshift tables – some marvelous fresh seafood & other Chinese food. I wud have regretted to have missed this place.

te facade of the shop

Meal for 2 : HKD 200 onwards

people sitting on plastic chairs & tables on the street & eating

How to get there: Get to Kowloon station & take a taxi to ‘Temple Street Night Market’.

live (most of them) seafood on display

Cuisine Type: Predominantly Nonvegetarian, limited but good Vegetarian selection.

live seafood – view 2

Short Description –In case u r in a hurry:

In many years of my regular visits to Hongkong, there has hardly been an occasion when we have not visited the Temple Street Night Market. It is a makeshift market that comes up everyday post sunset, on a place that is a road in the daytime!!!! I guess there are hundred or more stalls in this place & they sell a huge variety of merchandise like – Chinese traditional dresses for adults & kids, very innovative toys, paintings, a plethora of things that u can use for decorating ur home, Hongkong memorabilia, DVDs & fakes of all kinds of brands from clothing to accessories & shoes.

A very common sight in Hongkong – Full roasted birds of all shapes & sizes hung – with their beaks intact

What this market also has is a few roadside eateries that served fresh seafood & other Chinese food. On the display is a host of sea animals of different shapes, colors, textures & sizes. U can choose from them & they will cook it for you in the way you want (u will have to choose from multiple choice questions). U can also order from a printed menu card in which almost every item has a colored picture.

the aquarium section – u choose ur food

We generally used to go to one of these eateries for a long time – The food was great but the service was dramatically poor. They wud not come to take the orders for long, u wud struggle to get a fork (food is usually served with a pair of chopsticks), they might forget serving one of the things that u ordered etc. We always thought that all popular street food joints are like this only. Yesterday it crossed our mind to try out a new joint. To our pleasant surprise, the service was perfect, so was the behavior & the food was awesome. The food was actually better than our earlier joint.

from shelled beings to swimming fishes (background)

What is interesting is that on each table u will get a toilet paper roll – in place of tissue paper, for wiping ur hand!!!
Incase u r a nonvegetarian beyond just boneless Tandoori Chicken, do not miss this place if u happen to be in Hongkong. This is a foodie’s heaven.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

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Giraffe (London Heathrow Airport)

In a nutshell :

Very cool set breakfast. Alacarte stuff quite mixed – good , bad & also ugly. Staff – mostly great, one of them was a real disaster.

Continental food in London compared to similar food served in India – An Indian foodie’s perspective.

Entrance to Giraffe

Restaurant website: Giraffe

Cuisine type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

I always like to get a grub here if it’s a morning. My comment after first several visits : “Love the breakfast. Also good things r – a bright & colorful decor, peppy music, fun & cool staff – they actually crack jokes at times, make u feel like u hv come to a cool hangout place.” Experience on my last visit – We came across a disaster of a waiting staff – worst than anyone I have come across anyehere in Europe / USA.

The Giraffes at Heathrow airport

Had a breakfast set menu – Soft & creamy scrambled eggs with some really good bacon, rich & super tasty sausages, baked beans , grilled tomatoes & some really crunchy potato fries.

A graphiti on the wall inside the restaurant

Detailed Description: In case u have the time to enjoy  reading:

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Applebee’s – The neighbourhood Grill (South Shore Bay, Boston)

In a nutshell –

Loved the American food served in this place with a few ifs & buts

Tasting American Food in America & comparing with similar food served inIndia – A Indian foodies’s perspective.

As u enter the Restaurant

Restaurant Website: Applebees

Cuisine Type: Predominantly Nonvegetarian

Short description – In case u r in a hurry:

This place looked like a true American Neighborhood Food joint & interestingly most of the tables looked to b occupied by people around or those who had come in to buy at the mammoth Supermarkets in the vicinity.

So, being American, the portions of food were large & so were the drinks. Started with a large Mojito – was good, potent but a bit too sweet.

Large Mojitos

We ordered Appetizer Sampler – Loved the peppy mozzarella Cheese sticks, Were over impressed with the creamy spinach & artichoke dip that came with nachos, Cheese Quesadilla with bacon was good but nothing extraordinary, very unexpectedly hot & spicy, mildly sour marinated, buffalo wings with a crispy outer layer sautéed in an orange sauce – liked it.

For main course we had some outstanding ‘Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp ‘ & some not so outstanding ‘Grilled Shrimp & Island Rice’

Detailed Description – In case u hv the time to enjoy reading:

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