Sunday, December 30, 2012

In and Around Chennai - II

Kapaleeshwar in ChennaiChennai is home to several functioning temples that are over a thousand years old.   These temples are located in places that continue to bear names by which they were referred to in Tamil hymns dating back to 7th century AD.  On our second day in Chennai, we spend most of the day visiting a few of the most famous ones.

Kapaleeshwar is probably one of the most venerated temples of Tamil Nadu. Located in the temple complex of Mylapore, this temple is visually stunning with its elaborate gopuram.  The name of the temple refers to a legend where Lord Shiva plucked one of Brahma's head because he had failed to show respect.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

In and Around Chennai - I

Mahabalipuram Five RathasRecently we have begun adding smaller 'culture tours' within India to our vacation plan every year.  During my childhood days I remember taking long train journeys to distant parts of India during summer vacations that left an lasting impression on me.   Now, as the parent of a ten-year old girl, I realise I haven't given her the same chance to discovery our country.  She has seen more places outside India than she has within; I am hoping to rectify that.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hakkasan vs. M.Y. China

December saw the entry of two fancy Chinese restaurants in San Francisco, within a few blocks of each other.  The first, Hakkasan, founded by a self-made billionaire from Hong Kong has made waves wherever it went for its extravagant interiors and exquisite food.  The second, M.Y.China, is celebrity chef Martin Yan's first own restaurant. Yes, that is the same Yan from Yan Can Cook!


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Enoteca in Barcelona

Rack of Lamb at Enoteca BarcelonaBarcelona's restaurant scene effortlessly straddles the distance between avant-garde culinary innovation and the more rustic dishes of traditional Catalan fare. Catalans have been famous for their love of the fresh bounty from the Mediterrenean to the Pyrenees.  The phrase mar i muntanya - meaning sea and mountain - reflects their love for 'surf and turf' combinations on their dinner plates.