Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Habanero - Truly tex-mex !

Habanero has introduced its new menu and I got an opportunity to try some of them ! It's called the Mexican Discovery lunch.


Dan Durkin, COO – Habanero Chef Dan Durkin, a native of Colarado, US, spent a significant amount of his youth in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, which inspired his interest in and love for Mexican cuisine. A certified chef with more than twelve years of experience under his belt, Dan has consulted with several prominent food and beverage brands in Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia Hong Kong, Jakarta and Thailand. He has been involved with Habanero from its inception in 2011, when he helped to create the recipes for Bangalore’s first Tex-Mex dining experience.The current menu includes his personal signature creations as well classic Tex-Mex favorites.

I got an opportunity to meet chef Dan Durkin and taste his recipes! Cuisine
The menu is experimental and bold, full of rich, spicy flavors that characterize Tex-Mex cuisine. The dishes are inspired by various parts of Mexico and the bordering American region.
The First  thing we saw was a person dressed in Mexican style bringing us a live counter of freshly made Guacamole right in front of us. The menu card also has some interesting facts about the origin of Guacamole and other dishes too.

Guacamole and chips which is a perfect creamy combination of avocados, garlic and cilantro made fresh at the table, upon request and served with warm homemade chips.
Zucchini Fritters with Tomatillo Relish

Habanero’s signature appetizers include Macho Nachos, consisting of layers of corn chips, topped with melted cheese, beans, tomatoes, olives, jalapeno peppers, guacamole and sour cream

Stuffed Roasted Red Pepper
Healthy and pure veg: sweet red capsicum stued with paneer and rice and served straight from the oven.
Classic Tex-Mex dishes on the menu include a choice of six fillings served as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, burrito bowls or chimichangas.

Tres Leches cake :This is a lovely looking desert made with milk and served with milk which has to be poured on the cake while eating. A butter cake soaked in different types of milk and garnished with fruit.
These were some of the mock-tails we enjoyed!

Simply summed up, Habanero is a little piece of Mexico, right within Bangalore. With brightly painted interiors that lend a cheerful and cozy ambience, it’s an ideal place for people to have loads of fun over drinks and authentic Tex-Mex food.

Location: Conveniently located in three central locations in Bangalore -– Whitefield, Indiranagar and Koramangala -- the restaurant’s proximity to companies as well as residential areas make it an ideal spot for business lunches and celebratory gatherings.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

YAUATCHA - The Dim sum Tea house celebrates the Double 10 day!

In commemoration of this important event in China, Yauatcha Bengaluru offers a special and delectable "Double Ten" four-course menu.  I was invited to review the 'Double Ten' four-course menu.
The name, ‘Yauatcha’ has no literal meaning, but is made up of three words: Yau is the surname of the founder Alan Yau. At Cha means tea. In colloquial Chinese, to have tea is to ‘yum cha’, but the phrase implies ‘going out for dim sum’ and this has more social significance than merely having a drink. In English vernacular, the phrase ‘atcha’ is a stylization of ‘at you’, implying a playful and calm attitude.

Yauatcha’s menu offering, served throughout the day, is a Dim Sum dominant cuisine. Traditionally, there are about ten Dim Sum dishes that form the generic definition of what Dim Sum is all about.
Apart from Dim Sum, there are anumber of wok items which serve as complementary dishes to the Dim Sum menu; these include stir-fry noodles, Chinese vegetables, and stir-fry ‘small eats’. With the rising culture of vegetarianism around the world, Yauatcha has also crafted an extensive selection of vegetarian items on its menu starting in India.
I was very happy hearing this Vegetarian concept and great care was taken while designing my menu which was very impressive.

 Asian Green with Tofu
 Veg chive dumpling
 Fried turnip cake
 veg peking dumpling
 Hofan noodles
  French beans with shiitake mushroom
 Szechuan vegetable and tofu claypot

 Veg Fried Rice

Yauatcha has an extremely high focus on its selection of teas. You can order from a vast selection of teas which will be brewed and perfectly blended at the infusion bar.The extensive tea menu at has also been carefully selected to ensure guests have a selection of only the finest green, blue and white teas. Don’t be surprised to see over 15 varieties of bespoke labels of tea.

  The Brand

A Michelin-starred restaurant from London, Yauatcha is now present in Bengaluru. Yauatcha is a dim sum tea house which started its first Indian operation in Mumbai in December 2011. Opening its doors to its guests last 16th September 2013, Yauatcha Bengaluru aims to delight food connoisseurs and aficionados of the city with its authentic international dining experience. Yauatcha is located at the bustling heart of the city at #1 MG Road Mall, MG Road, Bengaluru.

The symbol + means 10 in Chinese, and ++ is the symbol of the Double Ten Day, which is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China towns all over the world on the 10th of October. It is the anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising , a revolt that led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in China, thus ending more than 2,000 years of imperial dynastic rule and ushering in the Republican Era (1911-1949).

In commemoration of this important event in China, Yauatcha Bengaluru offers a special and delectable "Double Ten" four-course menu priced at Rs 1010 (plus taxes), available from 6th to 10th of October. Veg and non-veg options are available.

My Special thanks to Ema Trinidad

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tuscan Food Festival - Cook Off with Chef Antonello Cancedda !

Italian cuisine has a great variety of different ingredients which are commonly used, ranging from fruits, vegetables, sauces, meats, etc. In the North of Italy, fish (such as cod, or baccalà), potatoes, rice, corn (maize) and different types of cheeses are the most common ingredients. Pasta dishes with use of tomato are spread in all Italy.

I was invited for a cook off with Chef Antonello Cancedda at JW Marriott hotel. It was Tuscan Food festival at Alba, a specialty Italian restaurant, serving Italian and Tuscan Cuisine. The Restaurant has beautiful decor, Ambiance and lighting with a fully equipped open kitchen.
I was welcomed by the friendly staff and got introduces to chef Antonello Cancedda, a very modest person. I was carried away by his simplicity. He was cooking a few Tuscany dishes for us!

Chef Antonello Cancedda, the expat Italian Chef De Cuisine at JW Marriott Chandigarh and looks after the culinary operations of Oregano Restaurant & Bar.  With over two decades of experience Antonello brings with him rich experience, exceptional talent and understanding of an authentic Italian Kitchen to the hotel.  He is passionate about creating unique flavors, catering to distinct tastes as he cooks to the guest's taste and preference.
He is known for his passion for Italian food and attention to details that marries the classical Italian flavors and ingredients with contemporary, fine dining presentation and cooking techniques.  He strongly believes in retaining the authenticity despite the contemporary fashion of cooking.  A native of Sardinia, Italy, Antonello has worked in some of the most prestigious Hotels and restaurants in Europe, Canada, Asia and United States.  A Graduate from Scuola Alberghieria Restaurant and Hotel School of Genoa.
In his leisure time he enjoys playing guitar and sings Hindi songs too. He loves butter chicken and biryani and speaks a little Hindi too.  He is also an avid practitioner of yoga and never misses his daily practice.
Simplicity is central to the Tuscan cuisine. Legumes, bread, cheese, vegetables, mushrooms and fresh fruit are used. In Tuscany and Umbria pasta is usually served alla carrettiera (a tomato sauce spiked with peperoncini hot peppers).
I was asked if I had any special request before they start the cook off and I asked them if they can make something vegetarian for me :) The chef decided to make a veg pasta! The rest were made according to the chef's taste. The cook off started with Tiramisu - the desert. It was let to set in the fridge while we proceeded for making the Pasta from scratch!
The pictures show a step wise process of pasta making from the pasta machine.
This pasta is called Chianti Pappardelle made with flour and red wine which gives a slight red color to the pasta!
The vegetables were gently sauteed and the pumpkin puree was simmered. Pasta was cooked and tossed with the veggies. The recipe was not very complicated with many spices. It was just some salt and pepper. The Chef said he likes to keep it simple. He plated the pasta and topped it with pumpkin puree and some cheese.
Tiramisu meaning "pick me up" or "lift me up" is a popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert. It is made my assembling layers of Savoiardi lady fingers with cream of mascarpone and espresso!

The Tuscan food festival was on until the 24th of August and sorry I am late on my writeup :) But you can always visit Alba for a romantic Italian dinner and experience the Tuscan cuisine.

Alba JW Marriott Hotel
Vittal Malya Road,
Bangalore - 560001