Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pune Dining 2017

It’s been a long time since I wrote about the Pune dining scene. When I began this blog, there was no Zomato, Google couldn’t identify most restaurants in Pune, and there really was no good way to even locate new restaurants.  Much traffic ended up at this blog from search engines as people searched for reviews and/or phone numbers. Zomato’s founder-CEO called me up one day to review their newly-introduced printed food guides for the city; he had to introduce himself since the company was pretty much unknown those days. Well, a decade has since passed.  Zomato and Google Maps both do a decent job in identifying all food places worth visiting and even many that are not. There are thousands of reviews online (though fake reviews abound too!).


Sunday, October 01, 2017

Mourad & Akiko’s Restaurant

It had been a while since I had indulged in some fancy food at San Francisco and I wasn’t going to let this chance go. First, the stand-out Mourad which continues to earn its Michelin star.  Like the Michelin guide puts it, "Chef Lahlou is at his best when reinterpreting modern Moroccan cuisine with ingredients such as za’atar, harissa, and dates.”

Mourad has striking interiors with its soaring ceilings, glowing columns, and Persian motifs on its flooring tiles. The chef’s menu was also perfect for me, and I waited in anticipation as they quickly brought in my glass of wine and the amuse that started me off on a modern Moroccan culinary journey.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

AI and Steaks at SF

I was in the United States to attend an AI conference.  Luckily for me, it was being held in downtown  San Francisco, a location that is chock-full of my favourite restaurants.  This trip turned out to be a perfect mix of business and pleasure. I had been missing steaks for a while, and this also gave me a chance to try out some of the city’s better steakhouses.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mirchi and Mime

Its been a while since I have reviewed a restaurant and for good reason.  Almost at the same time as I begun this blog, I had also begun jet-setting to foreign lands.  As I discovered a multitude of cuisines, restaurants, and food habits across geographies, I got interested in the stories behind the plates I enjoyed. Pune too began growing as the software industry thrived bringing with it a boom in restaurants and bars. During the initial years, I wrote many a review of restaurants I visited and liked.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Singapore Detour

Regular readers of my blog will already know this: Emirates and Singapore Airlines are my two favourite airlines for international travel. This time we were on Singapore Airlines which meant transiting through the always-welcoming Changi Airport.  We had a pretty long stop-over here and wanted to make the most of it, so we decided to take advantage of a transit visa to head into the city,  dine at Jumbo Seafood and take a leisurely stroll in the cool breeze on the water’s edge.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Brief Stopover at Vegas

On our way back from New Orleans, we had decided to stop at Las Vegas.  Since we had our daughter along, I had to figure out a ‘family-safe’ itinerary here for the first time! After some research, I decided to combine some food adventures (of course!) with the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show and tours through some of the the resort hotels on the Strip.


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Back in New Orleans

I was back in The Big Easy, this time with my family! We had travelled by Southwest across the United States and it was early evening when we got in. After that long flight were were looking forward to our room at the Roosevelt Hotel. This was another imposing and historic hotel we had the pleasure of staying at during this visit to the USA.  Some rest and a shower took care of our travel weariness and we were soon headed down Bourbon Street. The city’s ‘party street' was getting ready for the evening, welcoming the usual mix of eager tourists and raucous conference attendees.  We were more interested in taking in the sights of the French Quarters before heading to a good gumbo place nearby.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Ahoy San Francisco!

For a period of about four years, I flew in and out of San Francisco almost every other month. The Union Square area, its restaurants, cafes and bars were as familiar to me as those in  my hometown of Pune. Then in mid-2015 I left my jet-setting corporate life to start my own thing ending my international travel.  Now after a gap of two years I was now flying back into SFO with my family.  As we drove down to our hotel, I felt like I had only momentarily been away. There were a few changes I noted immediately: a larger, fancier Apple Store at Union Square and a new steel and glass building on 2nd St., that houses LinkedIn. My favorite lunch destination Osho Thai on 2nd St. has morphed into a fancy Laotian restaurant (sadly), the La Boulange outlet at Metreon has moved out. But otherwise, much of this city seemed exactly as I had left it.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Planet Goa

Now that we had tasted the freedom a road trip to Goa gave us, it was inevitable we would try this again. So it was just five months later, we were packed on a wintry Pune morning headed out to our favorite Indian beach once again. Given our experience, I would strongly urge people to try and get to Goa right after the New Year's celebration and party hordes are gone.  The weather is every bit as desirable and the beach-side shacks are open. Yet, the prices are down when peak season ends on January 2nd.

This time, we decided to try out a newer resort, Planet Hollywood, not because we really wanted a Vegas/movie themed resort, but rather because of its splendid location.  Unlike our last trip when we camped within reach of the capital, this time we were amidst the quieter beaches of South Goa.