AkiMi Gourmet

I love desserts, I like to stock up and have at least two or three things at home to binge on. I found AkiMi on Instagram, their images look appetizing and I had to try some. We are all spending so much time at home and ( I am done experimenting in the kitchen for this year) trying something new is the most exciting thing these days found treats that that are not only good in taste but also healthier; imagine indulging in desserts, guilt free.

Brain child of MidhilaRaavi and Akila Vankalapati, AkiMi Gourmet brings you sinfully satisfying treats that are guilt free, vegan and refined sugar free. All their desserts are made from fresh ingredients, and since they are preservative-free, the shelf-life is limited. All the treats are made to order, so you know something special is whipped for you only after an order is placed.


The desserts are packed in minimalistic cardboard boxes, that can be reused. My top favourites are ‘Almond Flour Cake which is moist and flavorful ‘Pecan Pie Bars’ , ‘Banana Walnut Cake’ and ‘Chocolate Cookies’ arrive like a gift box. I totally forgot about their vegan brownies that are extremely lightweight, healthy and satiate your cravings for chocolate (never thought, I could put these two in same line)


They also offer things like Energy Bites that include flavours like cocoa pistachio, dark chocolate and peanut butter, black sesame bites and even postpartum bites made with nuts and edible gum, range of Tea Cakes. Their ‘cheat eats’ menu offers carrot, pistachio and strawberry cakes, along with brownies.


While you may find the prices on heavier side than the usual desserts, the quality too is better since they use. Gourmet food is a premium, especially because of the quality of ingredients used and the elaborate process that ensures nutrition is intact. This is why we might be a bit expensive compared to the other processed and packed equivalents in the market.”


They are delivering via Swiggy, Dunzo
Find them on Instagram at @akimi_gourmet

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Zuci, Hyderabad

Zuci (SHU-CHI) is the brainchild of Aparna Gorrepati   she is trained from the finest institute s of France and Belgium and has been a chocolatier connoisseur for almost 12 years.  While the place specializes in exquisite handmade chocolates, it is not limited to just those.

This new Chocolaterie and Boulangerie in Hyderabad offers products that are result of a decade of experience.  Zuci offers an exquisite range of artisanal chocolates, cakes, pastries and baked treats.

My visit to Zuci was an extremely special one, it was the first place I had visited post 96 days of lock-down. The safety measures were being followed, the staff was limited and the dine in was controlled making sure the seating is limited, to maintain social distancing

Italian Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows at Zuci, Hyderabad

Hot Chocolate  
If you have been following my page you know how I love my share of Hot chocolates, Hyderabad offers a fair share of incredible Hot Chocolates and I am happy that I can add Zuci’s gooey and sinfully delicious Italian Hot Chocolate to my top 3 favorites, add some marshmallows and it will move over to top two. In this monsoon, I have already had this decadent drink thrice and it’s a must try.  

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Assorted chocolates with Cappuccino at Zuci, Hyderabad

Chocolates  
My first experience of Zuci was biting in 70% Dark chocolate ball and it was so fine that I immediately requested for a box of assorted chocolates packed.  Their range of chocolate include Soft Centered, rich creamy filled ones to cocoa rolled Truffles, cream and nut infused Pralines to hand molded nutty Chocolate Bars hand molded nutty Chocolate Bars.  
My top recommendations: 70% Dark Chocolate, Rose Truffle, Roasted Almond, Milk Chocolate Truffle, Maple Pecan and Mango Chili.  

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Deconstructed Tiramisu with Chocolates and Espresso at Zuci, Hyderabad
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Strawberry Vanilla Cake & Citrus Rind Berry Cheesecake at Zuci, Hyderabad

Desserts 
Luscious (fresh) Chocolate Éclair, Citrus Rind Berry (creamy) Cheesecake, Strawberry Vanilla Cake and Tiramisu. The four desserts we tried came with burst of absolutely different flavors and felt like a well deserved treat of not being able to have desserts for so long, every bite I took, I relished it, letting my taste buds savor the taste and my mind register the experience. I cant pick a favorite because all four them are quite different and absolutely worth digging in (more than once)  

Avocado Toast with Iced Americano at Zuci, Hyderabad
Chicken Steak in Mushroom Sauce, Lasgane, Mushroom Soup (L- R) at Zuci, Hyderabad

Food 

Iced Americano with Avocado Toast was incredible, they source their coffee from Roastery coffee house, which is already a favorite and this healthy option is a burst of flavor and refreshing choice.  I absolutely relished the chicken steak with creamy mushroom sauce, i gorged on to every bite with an absolute delight. I also tried Gnooci (they prepare it house) and Lasagna, it was surprisingly wonderful to know that most of their sauce just like their breads and chocolates are made in house. 

Breads  
My time in Pondicherry has introduced and educated me to some of the finest breads, I may not be an expert yet but I can say I have developed a sense of what I like and have a better understanding of a bread should be, like they say, if you had the best you can never settle for anything less.  
I really liked their cheese and caramelized onion Sourdough bread, crusty on outside and chewy inside; I highly suggest you consume it within a day or two. The other highly recommend bread is their garlic herb Baguette which I tasted fresh out of oven and it blew my mind on how perfect it was.  
Must try:  They highly recommend (and so do I) their in house Babka, the cake whose origins are like Central Europe and is quite popular in Poland. It combines the richness of hazelnut and chocolate, and when warmed slightly melts in your mouth and keeps you coming back for more. 

Where Zuci Chocolates – Cafe, Desserts

Plot no: 1359, Road No:45, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.

*** I do not in any way endorse stepping out until necessary, In case you do step out please wear you mask, sanitize and maintain social distance, if you do plan to dine out, please understand the staff is as concerned for their health as you are, so follow safety measures for yourself and people around you.Love
Satpreet Kaur

Prego, The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace


Prego has been one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Hyderabad since the very beginning, the pool side dining on special occasion or just craving for the cheesy thin crust pizza, it has always satisfied my Italian cravings. Prego at the Westin Hyderabad has always kept things interesting, food festivals, guest chefs who sing as well as they cook, live cooking sessions, hosting events where guests turned to chefs and now with their all new menu, giving yet another reason to dine here.


The basics of pizza, risotto, pasta stay same but it’s the twist in them that makes the new menu at Prego interesting. Over a quite Monday we visited the restaurant to enjoy some of the new dishes.


We started off with choosing some wine to accompany our meal while enjoying the prego garlic bread the signature accompaniment. The first dish presented to us was ‘Ages of Cheese with Parmesan Crackers’, four types of cheese melted together leaving with a captivating taste, I it was blast to show the best of Italian course coming my way.

Next came a miniature of ‘Pizza Ortholana and Pizza Polo Picante’ the thin crust pizza , Fried Ravioli made from pizza dough and filled with Caponata, Sautéed Prawns which was served with thin layers of bouget that complimented the buttery garlic flavor (I love anything that has garlic and this very dish is something I am coming back for very soon) very basic but buttery and perfectly.


In main course we tried the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli which is the twist to the old one, Chicken Parmigiana, Baked and Marinated Sea-bass that was sweet and sour, two types of Gnocchi in a bowl and the best of the lot Black Rise Risotto with Mascarpone, creamy texture that will bind your taste buds for a quick sojourn to food heaven.

There is so much more on the menu, including desserts, while we were stuffed to soul chef got us a not so small portion of Chocolate Stones with Parmesan Ice Cream and I sinfully dug into it without any guilt.

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Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur 

Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

After a good few days in Udaipur I headed to Jodhpur – The sun city of India. My love for Rajasthan only increases with what I see. They told me monsoon is not the season to visit Rajasthan, but I feel every place has a unique experience in each weather (well of course, peak summers don’t count in Rajasthan) I leisurely spent my days in Jodhpur, so I din’t really miss anything despite rain, but loved every bit of monsoon.

corridor and open space outside room at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

The city of Jodhpur boasts of heritage hotels that reflect the spectacular royal status that this place once had. I was staying at Devi Bhawan a boutique property that only after, I stepped out of the reception, saw for what it is. a little tropical paradise in the heart of the city. In between its dense green cover were little blips of building spread across the area, which you won’t spot until you are in front of it. There were two little water gardens of which one was full of lotus and had a swing at the end of it, where I spent a lot of time every day of my stay just swinging and breathing  all of it.

Breakfast with a view at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Over breakfast at Devi Bhavan, I had a quick conversation with elegant Rambha Singh, who with her family owns and manages Devi Bhavan and stays in the other end of the property and is a warm host who is available for any queries in case guests need. She indulged me in details of how this property came to what it is today – Interestingly she mentioned Devi Bhavan is an eighty-year-old residence of Thakur Ratan Singh and his family.

My beautiful room at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

colours that spark joy at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Rooms: There are 20 rooms at Devi Bhawan, housed within five, two-storey buildings spread among green lawns with neem trees, flowering plants and fountains. I stayed in a deluxe room that had view of both garden and the pool, the rooms at Devi Bhavan are simply furnished, my room had a four-poster wooden bed, sofa and wardrobes. The bedspread, cushions and sofa cover all matched in colorful prints, that perked up the room. While most rooms have a private sit-out mine was on top floor and had a huge veranda with lounge on daybeds and rattan chairs. I spent most of my time out in the beautiful and spacious verandah, listening to chirping birds, sipping tea while overlooking the lush space and the pool on other side.

Pool at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Well one thing I couldn’t do was get into the pool and swim in crystal clear water. It is located at one end of the property and is great to soak in the sun on the deck chairs the pool a touristy day.

Breakfast at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Food: They have an in-house restaurant that serves all meals, or you can choose to order in room dining and enjoy your meal leisurely like me. All meals are served in the dining room at the center of the property you can also enjoy your meal outdoors where tables are decorated with vibrant sunny cloths, wrought iron chairs dotted around the garden. I only had breakfast during my stay and tried a thali for dinner. The service was tad bit slow; menu is limited but food was decent.

Food 2
Thali for dinner at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

When to go: The best time to visit Jodhpur is between October and March when the maximum temperature is around 27C and the minimum around 15C.

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Palais de Mahe, Pondicherry

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If you ever visit Pondicherry, i promise, voluntarily or involuntarily you will find yourself in front of Palis de Mahe. The hotel is one of the hot spots for tourist to click pictures. Well i will know because the one year i spent in Pondicherry, i stayed right next to it (oh i was damn lucky) tourists would flock in front of the building right form morning 6 till sunset, apart from that there were movie shoots, pre-wedding shoots and what not.

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Palais De Mahe is situated at the intersection of two beckoning worlds. One gently murmurs the spirit of Colonial France with its clean streets, neatly plastered bungalows and flower-decked balconies while the other envelops you in its salt and spice-laden air coming off the Coromandel coast of India in great animating gusts.

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Colonial To The Core, The hotel and the rooms have plenty of distinctive French elements that will catch your eye at Palais de Mahe, in particular, its classical period style furniture. We believe that if Monsieur Dupleix were to visit us he would feel quite at home at Palais de Mahe. There can be no better endorsement for all our painstaking efforts to go French.


It stand out with its yellow and white walls and is one luxurious option to stay when in Pondicherry. However, if you don’t stay here don’t miss an opportunity to have a meal at their fine dine restaurant – Les Alizes. They are known to serve some of the best seafood in town, keeping it fresh and appetizing. Overlooking the pool, the place also serves some interesting cocktails. You should try their Mushroom and Spinach crepe, served with chickpea salad, Prawn curry and Spicy Orange – Grilled Calamari.

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Les Alizes, rooftop restaurant at Palais de Mahe, Pondicherry

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Ayurvedic Spa, No travel is ever complete without a relaxing spa therapy. The Ayurveda center at Palais de Mahe offers a range of herbal massages and therapies to help you get rid of accumulated stress and shape up a bit while you are with us. My masseuse was the sweetest and gave me a lot of tips to keep my skin and hair healthy with simple home remedies and absolutely loved how warm she was.

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Must try a cup of freshly brewed coffee and baked croissant at Earth cafe by the pool at Palais de Mahe, Pondicherry

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An indulging evening at Hyatt Regency, Amritsar

Being in golden city of Amritsar is always bliss. As a routine i come back here every year and right amidst the pleasant weather when, winters is just calming down leaving behind days that are pleasant and nights more chilly. I can’t even count the times i have been here yet i find something new to do and indulge in every time. This time i was welcomed by the team of Hyatt Regency, Amritsar, who hosted me for a lovely day.

While i waited at their all day cafe ‘Tarteria’ a Patisserie that promotes the notion of tarts to the taste of locals and travellers alike. What i really liked about the place is its soul- Chef Shiv who holds the reigns in kitchen and makes sure everything they offer is homemade, only natural colors are used and dishes that will impress your taste buds as well as your soul, after all you are in land of Amritsar. I tried an array of fresh tarts and sipped some coffee, a relief from the windy afternoon outdoors. He promised me an authentic local meal for lunch, I had no qualms about it and parted ways while I checked out the property and went for a spa session that was preplanned for me.

I then stepped into ‘Shanti Spa’ a spacious space that has an inviting ambiance. From the moment you walk in, you feel a sense of luxury and relaxation, leaving the outside world behind. The scents that fill the spa are calming and the spa is every bit stunning as the property itself. I love to leave all the pampering sessions to the last day of my vacation, so I can have a rejuvenating experience before my trip came to an end. The well-lit spa was spacious with masseuse who attended me began with a ritualistic feet wash, and treated me with an hour of soothing body massage. The massage began with kneading and long strokes, the pressure on each trigger point was so fabulous, I let go my senses in no time. You know you are in hands of well-trained masseuse when you immediately slip in Zen mode and next 60 minutes were pure bliss.

Pro Tip- while most of the spa’s make you fill forms and know your requirements. Make sure you let them know about your concerned areas and don’t ever feel conscious to tel them if the pressure is too much.

Punjab Province – Post spa i made my way to the in-house restaurant where Chef Shiv prepared a scrumptious North Indian meal for me. Tempting scents of food and an air of extravagance calls you out in this airy restaurant, I stepped out and took a sit in their alfresco seating, appreciating the slight winter chill.

We started off with a platter of appetizers that had tandoored ‘Chicken Tikka’ ‘Lamb Chapli with Anda’ ‘Fish Amritsari’ and ‘Kala kukkad’ the robust flavours made me realize how no part of India can beat the flavours of Punjab, maybe i was being biased but the food was just a gastronomical treat. My favourite and highly recommended dish is Kala Kukkad, with subtle yet lip-smacking flavours.

For main course chef presented yet another platter in an intricate ceramic plate, with a leaf that had several dishes like ‘Butter Chicken’ i mean you can’t leave Punjab without this. I was so glad it was still end of winters so i got to taste seasonal specialty like ‘Sarso Ka Saag’ paired with ‘Makke Ki Roti’ and side of gud (jaggery) and makkhan (butter) ‘Matka Gosh’  with tender mutton cooked really fine, i am not a big fan of chole so skipped that. The accompaniments like ‘Masala chaach’ ‘Kuchumber Salad’ made the meal elaborate and authentic. For desserts chef had a sweet gesture and presented me with a dessert that was full of different desserts. I mean literally desserts in dessert, it had kulfi faluda, ice cream with unique flavours like pan, gulkand etc all served in a glass. Well i can say it was not just food and presentation but the also the hospitality that made my visit a memorable one.

On my tour to property I noticed a vibrant section dedicated to kids, they had staff dedicated to look after kids while you enjoy a spa session of a leisure drink at the bar. They have 2 rooms divided for different age groups and open throughout the day. Form soft toys to video games, board games to movies; they were all stacked dup so your kids can easily spend a few hours without getting bored. I felt it was a wonderful thought and more and more hotels should do this as it gives the parents a much desired break and make the most of their vacation.

For more check out – Hyatt RegencyAmritsar

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Feranoz Patisserie and Cafe

Started by two brothers with passion for food and soft spot for desserts ‘Feranoz’ in Hyderabad is latest addition of soul pleasing Patisserie and cafes. Pretty and minimalist the cafe is spacious and almost gives a English tea room vibe.

Trained in baking, they have laid down some incredible options for sweet tooth lovers keeping in mind both- quality and taste preference of the city.

Desserts, starting with my favorite ‘Salted Caramel Eclair’ a version of long choux pastry filled salted caramel cream, glazed with caramel and topped with a tiny gold leaf is something i savored with every bite.

I also gorged one of their highly recommended ‘Rocher’ that is a result of hazelnut chocolate sponge, crunchy hazelnut praline disc topped with chocolate hazelnut gianduja mousse finished with nutty chocolate gourmand glaze.

When it came to ‘Tiramisu’ i was really keen because having tasted quite a few, i was mentally prepared to compare it with others, that was until i had dug out my first bite right through it layers and transported it to my taste buds who relished it thoroughly. It was lite, creamy and rich in taste.

Apart from desserts they also do gourmet cakes on pre-order, and offer a range of teas and coffee as as perfect accompanists to the desserts. I really like the Kashmiri Kahwa and Mountain Rose tea, i cant wait to try their hot chocolate, which they claim is good.

The location is great, valet service is definitely a bonus as the area can see a lot of traffic during the day.

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Top 10 places that serve best hot chocolate in Hyderabad

It’s always a good time to indulge in oh-so delightful hot chocolate. Some come topped with marshmallows or whipped come, others with a twist of spice or flavor of mint. While winters and the festive season make it a seasonal favorite, this decadent beverage is always welcome. So, I decided to bring you the tried and tasted list of my top favorite places in Hyderabad that serve some incredible hot chocolate, there is something to please all palettes. So, go ahead take a pick and relish your favorite hand warmer: a piping hot cup of cocoa.

Hyderabad Baking Company- Spice Mix Hot Chocolate
For a bit of added fire to your chocolatey mug, try this spicy blend at HBC in Marriott while admiring the life size ginger bread wonderland this festive season. One of the very few places in Hyderabad that serves boozy hot chocolate, that has Cointreau and Baileys as its ingredients. In its nonalcoholic counterpart, the spiced hot chocolate really stands out. Their hot chocolate is definitely the most Instagram-able cup in town. Rich in thickness, rimmed with Nutella and cookie crunch, topped with marshmallows and frozen spoon of chocolate…and like that was not enough they have also added a miniature gingerbread house as season special. The options of flavors at their special hot chocolate counter include maple syrup, caramel, peanut butter, Nutella, Choco chips, cookie and cinnamon sugar.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price Rs 250/-
Alcoholic- Rs 1650/-

Fabelle – Milk Cocoa
The grandeur of the place doesn’t cease to amaze you, located in ITC Kohenur the brand sparks luxury in every sense. Those with a weakness for chocolate will find Fabelle hard to resist. The Milk Cocoa with Pistachio – Almond ‘torrone’ nougat chunks, is incredibly decadent. For people craving a twist, the ‘Spiced Hot Chocolate’ is yet another stellar options. The drink is filled with chocolate nibs, has a batter-like texture and infused with Indian spice, 67% single origin dark Madagascar chocolate and served with truffles French Chantilly cream.
Price- Milk Cocoa Rs 450/- Sweet not on 5- 3
Spiced Hot Chocolate Rs 450/- Sweet note on 5- 3

Churrolto – Irish hot Chocolate
They have a scrumptious seasonal menu, but what we are totally loving the creamy cup of Irish hot chocolate. Two types of chocolate and baileys topped with Irish cream, this is purely soul satisfying. They also serve Spanish hot chocolate, Nutella and something I am looking forward to try on my next visit-Brownie hot chocolate.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price Rs 215/-

Feu – Dessert Bar – Mint Hot Chocolate
The new place in town whips up a silky, smooth, creamy hot chocolate. Go off beat and try the one infused with mint, that gives you tasty and entirely luxurious experience. Make sure to accompany your warm drink with something delicious—tarts, cakes, pastries, I choose the madeleines in flavor of lavender and lemon!
Sweet note on 5 – 4

Sante Spa Cuisine- Tall Dark Hot chocolate
Known for its healthy offerings Sante Spa, I love this place for their beetroot hummus, and visited the places on occasions where I was just particularly for this specific one. Sante’s version of hot chocolate is a no-frills, whipped-cream-free cup. It has soy milk in it and is slightly thick which makes you enjoy the flavor with every sip. I really like the consistency of it, it is just about right.
Sweet note on 5 – 4
Price- Rs 220/-

Papa Roti- Classic Hot Chocolate
Can it get better when a hot chocolate is served with the softest and freshest bun in town? I guess not. The hot chocolate here is foamy and great in taste, the bun that comes in combo is delightful.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price- Rs 345/-

Concu– Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow
Concu has been always been a treasure of delicious treats! From their tiramisu to strawberries dipped in chocolate, eclairs to Tres leches every dessert lover is loyalist here. But did you know they also serve hot chocolate with a mountain of tiny marshmallow just as good? Rich, thick, and chocolaty, this tiny cup of happiness brings great joy.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price Rs 200/-

Kaficko– Belgian Hot Chocolate
Some people prefer variety in life, but sometimes you just gotta stick to the simple stuff. Kaficko crafts coziness in a cup with their Belgian hot chocolate—perfect for when you want something that’s juuuust right. The Peanut butter, Salted caramel and Nutella hot chocolate are also something you can indulge irrespective of what season it is.
Sweet note on 5- 3.5
Price Rs 250/-

Starbucks- Signature Hot Chocolate
The commercial chain is favorite for a lot of coffee lovers. Starbucks offer a mug (not a cup) that is light, frothy, creamy blend topped with whipped cream. Pair it with a muffin and have a chatty time.
Sweet note on 5- 3.5
Price- Short 190/- Tall 215/-

The Gallery Cafe – Nutella Hot chocolate
You didn’t think I would close out this list without including something Nutella-related, did you? Just like the name suggest, art is everywhere at this place, including the table my hot chocolate was served and the chair I sat in. By the time I took my first sip, the tip of marshmallow melted and formed a fascinating flower like design, after having two of those I took my first sip. This particular one proves that sometimes the simplest things are the best. They also offer flavors like Nutella, cinnamon, hazelnut and mint.
Sweet note on 5 – 4.5
Price – Rs 200/-

Additional Surprise: Iced Chocolate
Well for those who like to try something more, here is a bonus option. Try the ‘Iced Chocolaye’ at Fabelle, ITC Kohenur, a beverage topped with a scoop of ice cream. The drink has single origin 67% dark Madagascar chocolate with citrus, berry notes juxtaposed with creamy coconut, served chilled topped with ice-cream is absolutely rich and delicious.
Price Rs 450/-
Sweet note on 5 – 3

***All prices are excluding taxes

Let me know which one of these you have tried and if I missed out on something in comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe so you get all updates right in your mailbox. Also follow me on Instagram @ssatpreetkaur , Facebook –FashionEatista, for more instant updates on all things fun, food, fashion and travel.

Love Satpreet Kaur

Sailana food festival, The Park

Royal cuisines are always a treat, they are extravagant, flavorful and a taste of food that has been passed on by generations of zaikedaz. Just as such is a royal cuisine of ‘Sailana’, a food festival curated by the park this December. Being hosted in ‘Aish’ the specialty Indian restaurant at The Park Hyderabad adds further charm and feel to the experience.

The food festival included delicious kebabs and aroma-filled gravies. According to what I read and heard, Sailana, a princely state located in Malwa of Madhya Pradesh, was famous for its hospitality and cuisine that included dishes laced with exotic spices, rose petals and sandalwood powder. The recipes as part of the culinary world of Sailana are over a century old. Influenced by Maharaja Digvijay Singh’s book, The Park, Hyderabad offers this well curated menu for the two-week festival.

From the array of dishes, I tried over the bloggers table, they were few that really stood. ‘Be Masale ka Gosht’ it was great way to start the meal and instantly won my heart, the dish is mutton slow cooked in yogurt and ghee without any spices,‘Luft-e-Dariya’ a prawn appetizer was spicy and crispy and Gosht Asafjahi a bhunna mutton enriched with nuts and spices paired with crisp naan.

In mains Machhi Ki Biryani, the one served in a big deg with a fish right in between is one you should definitely try. Murgh Irani, Gosht Asafjahi, paired with naan or kulcha made for flavorsome options

There are more options, a lot of which include vegetarian options like Harey channe ke kebab, Karela Nafees (even bitter guard haters will like it) Gooler kebab made of wild fiigs, Aloo La-Jawab, Zarda Pulao, Sailana Daal and its non-vegetarian counterpart offered Raan Mussalam, Maans ka Soola yet another mutton dish tempered with cloves, Murgh Kebab Gorkhar – whole chicken roasted in whole spices and Machhi Kebab Sailana that has a tangy twist.

Desserts were something I was really looking forward to, with names like Laisun Ki Kheer, Gosht Ka Halwa and Hare Chane Ka Halwa i was intrigued and well it was met with complete satisfaction. The kheer was delicious, but I loved the halwa, unlike its name, the flavor of meat was very subtle and it was very unique.

Till December 9th
Price for two: Rs.2,000.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Fab Cafe,  Hyderabad

The new trend on rise is where good old retail therapy ends with a cup of coffee and good food. Just few months after Masaba Gupta opened her first store and cafe- Good Cow cafe, that meets retail and food under one roof, India’s yet another favorite brand known for its quality ‘Fab India’ as come up with their own cafe- Fab Cafe. With immense response in other cities, Hyderabad has seen the launch of its first outlet as part of the Fab India experience center.

The place offers a wholesome experience, you can shop, have a delicious meal and a plus is the kids’ area with staff supervision. You can enjoy your meal while kids are busy playing right in next room. I don’t see how catching up with friends and family can get much easier than this for a lot of women.

The café boasts quaint interiors, with full focus on menu. Just a look at it made me happy, it had familiar options with refreshing combinations. Fab Cafe

I began with the cold brew, with almond milk and loved how I have a healthier option, as I can’t help reduce my caffeine intake, this at least will be guilt free. Everything on the menu, I noticed as I ordered was a healthier combination of familiar food. Fab cafe focuses on offering gluten free and health friendly options of quick snacks and beverages.

The ‘Almond Fig smoothie bowl’ along with the ‘Berry Blast Shake’, came first from the all-day breakfast options. The crunchy topping of muesli, layered with fruits followed by gooey smoothie was outrageously delicious. I have always been a fan of smoothie bowls, they are eye pleasing and surprisingly nutritious bowls of goodness! This in particular was satisfying and it’s something you can have any time of the day to keep those hunger pangs away. They have flavors like Mango Mint, Peach Cinnamon, Chunky Monkey and lot more you can choose from. We also tried the veg option of ‘Ajwain Croissant Breakfast Sandwich’ which also has a non-veg variant with egg and bacon. A little to try in taste for me. They also offer options like Pao with Veggie Bhaji, Red Rice Uttapam Trio, Matter Paneer Stuffed Paratha with Cashew Cheese and Idli with Tamato Naryal Chutney and Sambar.

In appetizers we tried the ‘Spicy Sprout Filled Pani Puri’ simple yet innovatively done and comes with three flavors of water- Pomegranate, Pineapple and mint, ‘Tandoori Tofu Rumali Tokri’ another outstanding dish that is crispy shell stuffed with spicy tofu, served with mint chutney and cashew cheese. It was flavorful and I loved the whole crispy and soft combination in each bite. In Non-Vegetarian we opted for ‘Chicken Momos’ that are gluten free, made with jack fruit flour and root starch, served with garlic chive dip and chill chutney that nicely brings out a scrumptious flavor. The showstopper for me was however the ‘Kaleji Masala Dip with Chips’ it is spicy liver paste seasoned with south Indian spices and served with sweet potato chips. Every bit was a winner and I highly recommend this one.

Of course, I wasn’t leaving without trying out the desserts, especially when it comes with guilt free tag. I ordered for a ‘Baked Strawberry Nolen Gur Cheesecake’ that has a crumbly almond flour crust, sweetened with nolen gur, and topped with a scrumptious strawberry compote, ‘Himalayan Organic Honey and Walnut Tart’ another favorite dish for the day is made of almond flour, drizzled with honeyand gur, and tastes heavenly (especially with a cup of cappuccino). it was relaxing, intimate and the food.

While focusing on nutrition, the menu brings delicious, unique and creative recipes to the table at moderate pricing. They also have a range of slow-pressed juices, tea, coffee and coolers. The place is aesthetically pleasing ambiance, basic dishes with a healthy spin, that’s what the new ‘Fab Cafe’ is all about.

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NH 2 Food Trail by Marriott Hyderabad

Get on highway of taste with ‘NH 2 Trail’ a food festival curated by Hyderabad Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre. The food festival showcases food from streets of Delhi to cafes of Kolkata.

The effort that went behind the conceptualization is commendable. The team lead by Chef Aungshuman Chakraborty traveled 10 days on National Highway 2, stopping at most famous places, tasting food, even trying their hand on recipes, to get the best sense of flavors and what goes in process of it. They covered places like Delhi, Mathura, Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Bihar, Dhanbad, and finally Kolkata, savoring the best each city has to offer.

I was glad to be invited and be part of this food trail, that brought to life the outdoors of Mariott, not only were the dishes an inspiration but the setup, presentation was all given a hint of relatability to where they hail. There were 28 live counters and it took me first 45 mins to just go around, from a foodie point you will definitely need to visit twice before you taste it all, and trust me you will want to have a bit of everything. Apart from special counters outdoors, the buffet indoors will also be a part of the food festival.

From what I tasted I really liked the Chur Chur Thali, Butter Chicken, Malai Kofta, Lamb Chops and other Tandoor Kebabs that included Chicken Mutton and Fish all of which came from Delhi counter. Sattu ka partha with almost five types of chokha sets in perfectly with the weather, also the Litti Chokha that’s made right in front of you is proper winter food that’s so hard to find in Hyderabad.

Even when i wanted to take a break, i went for Puchka and Jhal Muri begging them to give me smaller portions. Inspired from streets of Kokata, they got the flavors just right. More from the state were steamed and baked Momos, Hakka noodles and Egg and Chicken Rolls.

Sweets were delightfully from the world famous Mathura, it has everything from Petha, Peda, Imarti, Jalebis and my favorite Malpua that comes topped with rabri, just thinking of it right now makes my mouth water.

Choose to have cocktails from special drinks menu, masala chai with Nankhatais or lassi because it’s not just food that will leave you spoilt for choice but beverages too.

They had so much more that I still wish to try, Parthas, Chole Bhature, Dahi Bhalle,Samosa Chat, Chaap both veg and non veg. Undoubtedly Delhi counter stood my favorite and also most recommended to begin with, but make sure you have ample of time and a good appetite for it is going to be one big feast.

It is one of the best food festivals of 2018 in Hyderabad and i would recommend you to take your family and friends along, as there is no better way to experience an array of dishes form different parts of the country, all at one place. I for one, am sure many travel memories are going to resurface and nostalgia will accompany throughout the evening of good food and ambiance.

Where: Okra, Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre
When: 14th Nov to 1st Dec for Dinners Only & Sunday Brunch
Price: 1800/- plus taxes for Dinner
2300/- plus taxes for Sunday Brunch (with alcohol)

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Feu Dessert Bar, Hyderabad

Feu, the French inspired patisserie in Jubilee Hills is a welcome addition to city’s list of dessert places. A dessert studio that plans to offer much more than mere desserts opened its door just a few weeks back and they are loving the response so far.

Located at a quite byline of Jubilee hills, I was almost nostalgic, as the spot housed my college days cafe almost 11 years ago. The dessert bar overflows with delights, from Toffee Salted Caramel, Tiramisu, Colorful Macaroons, Isphahan, Black Forest, Strawberry Cheesecake Velour, flavors of Eclair and much more.

Patisserie that offers gourmet desserts that are both eye pleasing and delicious. When I got to know the chefs here have been trained by much talented Sanjana Patel of La Folie Mumbai, my hope went up, because won my last visit Mumbai I had engaged in a lot of desserts from the place. She is not only the mentor to the chef but also help design the menu.

While i really loved all flavors of macaroons, what my absolute favorites at ‘Feu’ are ‘Toffee Salted Caramel Dessert’ that looks beautiful, tastes delicious with a mix of crunch and gooey all in one bite. ‘Tiramisu’ one of my favorite desserts ever is a heavenly blend of mascarpone, sabayon mousse with kahlua coffee-soaked ladyfingers, is great. ‘Ispahan’ , tops my list even though i love anything chocolate, this stole my heart. With a rich almond base and burst of flavors like litchi, rose and raspberries. The confections are not only meticulously executed, they’ are also very sculptural, that will you happy.

They also offer homemade breads like croissants that make for a great coffee accompaniment any time of the day. The crispy flakes and buttery flavor is just a delight in your mouth. Apart from this they also have jams, granola cubes, biscuits and muesli.

Indoor and outdoor seating allows you to enjoy your slice of dessert with a cup of tea or coffee on the premises. Cant wait for the winters to set in, which will make the place even more fun to enjoy the outdoors with a hot cup and goey slice of dessert. ‘Feu‘ can be your next go-to spots where you can get anything from an elegant pastry for a dinner party to your morning croissant. Whats better is they are open from 11Am to 11Pm on all days and till midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

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Staycation at Trident Hyderabad

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I have been focusing a lot on my travel side of blogs lately, when i am in town i work on my full-time job that helps me set my next travel goals, amidst all this when i got an invite for a staycation from Trident Hyderabad, i just obliged happily  

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Trident Hyderabad is a business hotel, part of The Oberoi Group located right in the heart of formidable global tech capital. A quintessential business hotel, thanks to its contemporary finishes, club floors with a dedicated lounge, and prime location in Hitec City.  From the lobby that is welcoming, staircase with grand chandelier to the rooms the architecture is modern fused with contemporary art; all while fulfilling that expected 5-star flair. We were mesmerized by the expanse of the property and how simple, yet artistic and modern the architecture was.

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Room: We were allotted the ‘Premier Suite’ one of the best at the hotel, that is perfect for work and relaxation. As soon as we entered there was cozy living room with a work desk and ceiling to floor glass window. The bedroom, spacious and contemporary had a walk-in closet and the bath area with a double vanity counter, bathtub, shower area, robes, toiletries, and everything required to ensure that you feel pampered at any given time of the day.  The comfort was so intense that overslept and ordered a lavish breakfast in bed, because for me its not a relaxing holiday until you get a good 10 hours sleep followed by breakfast in bed.

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The pool was our favorite part to unwind, the pleasant weather outdoors just added to the whole feel. From taking a long dip, lounging post breakfast to enjoying our cocktails and quick bites with twinkling skyline to accompany us during evenings, it was just splendid.  

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Restaurants 

Tuscany is an award-winning Italian restaurant that is focused on fresh seasonal produce, reinventing menu and hosting most interesting food festivals expanding the taste of Italy to guests in finest way possible. The risotto and pizza are my staple favorites here. I love Italian and food festivals like ‘Fiesta Fungi’ that bought a line of dishes all using mushrooms was this year’s favorite. With finest of wines, soulful dishes Tuscany is my favorite in-house restaurant at Trident Hyderabad, also it is open only for dinner only making it a great place for special diner dates.  

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Amara is a multi-cuisine buffet restaurant at the Trident Hyderabad that offers Mediterranean, Asian and European cuisines. The restaurant is functional all through the day from 7 am to 11 pm and also serves a la-carte. While Sunday buffet are extravagant the spread on weekdays are also lavish. We picked a seat by the long window glass that has a view of cyber towers and let world pass by as we savored everything from salads to desserts.  

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Kanak, I feel is heart of this uber luxury business hotel that offers Indian specialty. From a bar at entrance that offers you best of world class spirits to santoor players adding dreamy music to the ambiance the visit here is more of an experience that speaks luxury with every detail.  I was glad to be a part of ‘Lazzat-E-Rampur aur Awadh’ curated by guest Chef Rehman who is known for his expertise in this cuisine all over India. The food was a gastronomical journey of rich flavors, age old recipes in company of talented chefs including in house  Chef Dharmender Lamba, who shared stories and memories that made for an evening to cherish. The menu included dishes like Murgh Tikka Mirza Hasnu,  Chapli Kebab, Nasheela Jhinga in starters, Changezi Murgh, Yakhni Gosht Pulao, Nawabi Baigan Bharta, Anannas ke Boti, Taar Khorma in main course and star of the evening were desserts Ande ka Halwa, which was surprisingly good (i tried something like this for first time) and Chukander-e-Afroz made from beetroot served along with  Gur Ki Yaquiti. 

Ninety-Six, the lounge is open from 1 pm to wee hours of 4 am. Be at an after-meeting drink or just late-night cheer, it is a very soothing place that offers range of single malts, cocktails, beer and wine. The bartender can whip up some really fascinating cocktails just tel him what you prefer and leave the rest on the specialist.   

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Our experience has been a combination of excellent service, great food and warm people that would always bring us back. What truly touches your heart are the little things, the attention to details, in everything they do that sets them a class apart. 

Book : Trident Hyderabad 

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Brunch at The Square, Novotel

 

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The Square at Novotel Hyderabad Convention Center, is especially popular for its Sunday Brunch but I decided to go for it today since i was at the hotel for a meeting. Having heard so much about the place, I have been here for dinners but never lunch. This chic and friendly restaurant and its AL fresco area has quite a welcoming vibe.  Executive Chef Gaurav Malhotra joined us for lunch talking about the new live station additions to the brunch counters and upcoming food festivals at the hotel.

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The brunch menu has a lavish spread consisting of revered regional classics to contemporary international highlights, from counters that stocked variety of reads, cheese, salad there was a special counter of grills that I loved the most.

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While most of it came on table, I always enjoy going for a quick round, around the spread picking some breads, choice of salad, maybe (definitely) a piece of dessert too.

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Being a weekday it was quite laid back and I enjoyed the relaxed ambiance of overlooking lush greenery, letting the monsoon air soothe me while I enjoyed every delicacy that came my way.

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A sinful assortment of desserts, along with a selection of wines and beverages, are the perfect complement to revered regional classics and international delights.

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Opening hours: Daily – 6:30am to 11pm
Address: Novotel Hotel Road, Near Hitec City, Kondapur, Hyderabad. Ph: 66824422

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Dum Pukht Begum’s at ITC Kohenur  

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ITC Hotels are synonymous to the term responsible Luxury, with launch of their latest gem ITC Kohenur it has wooed its guests (and me) with artistic charm at every corner.  The moment you step in, the grandeur of the place engulfs you. The more you explore the more you realize how Kohenur dint just gets its name from the famous Kohinoor diamond found in Hyderabad but finds inspiration for its interiors from different legacies and aspects of the royal city of Nizams.

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Dum Pukht Begum’s

The restaurant offers a regal dining experience, one that needs to be enjoyed in complete leisure, from indulging in delightful aromas emanated from the dish to its flavors that’s spark your taste buds. Set in a beautiful setting, Dum Pukht offers a unique culinary experience that is inspired from the kitchens of begums. The food here is delicately spiced yet packed with flavors. There are two aspects to the Dum style of cooking: Bhunao and Dum or ‘roasting’ and ‘maturing’ of a prepared dish. Herbs and spices play their own unique role in Dum style of cooking by lending their characteristic flavors and aroma to the dish. The slow-cooking of Dum Pukht , pushes the spices, meat and vegetables used to give the maximum flavor and cook gradually in its juices.

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Appetizers at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad

During my review chef had an exquisite line-up prepared all we had to do was sit back and savor it all. Our meal began with the welcome drink ‘Jamun-E-Sahi’ which was a jamun juice with hint of lemon and chilies. In appetizers I really enjoyed the ‘Dudiya Kebab’ that melts in the mouth just like its non-vegetarian counterpart ‘Galauti Kebab’ For the ones who are fond of lamb must try the ‘Kakori Kebab’ cooked to perfection with flavors of cloves and cinnamon.

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The appetizing dishes at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad

I enjoyed the assortment of breads, especially the sheermal with dishes like ‘Qasar-E-Pukhtan’ paneer simmered in tomato gravy, ‘Murgh Khushk Purdah’ another aromatic dish that has succulent pieces of chicken. The mandatory try is the ‘Dum Pukht Biryani’, the showstopper dish which is mutton biryani served with curd chutney, raita and mirchi ka salan.

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Biryani at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad (p.c  Saloni- salt to taste)

Wrapping up the meal we were presented with ‘Khwaish-E-Shereen’ , an assorted platter of desserts that includes Khubani ka Meetha, Badami Kheer &  Gulab Jamun.

 

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Desserts at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad

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