This traditional Russian soup is known to have existed as far back as the 15th century, when it was called ‘kalya’. Today, famous with the name Rassolnik, the authentic Russian dish is prepared mainly with veal and lamb kidneys (or pork and beef kidneys), pearl barley, sorrel leaves and some pickled cucumbers! Yes, you heard it right. A ‘pickle soup’ it is!
No matter how bizarre it may sound, but this bribing Slavic blend is definitely a bowl of happiness. Rassolnik or rassoljnik, as it is known, varies from family to family and region to region. Some include barley and potatoes and is so thick, a spoon can stand up in it. Others make it with prime cuts of meat instead of offal.
Despite of all the variations, the belief behind the recipe stays common, i.e. it is the one of the easiest and surest way of curing hangovers! This is due to the fact that this savory soup helps the body to hold water and counteract the dehydration produced by over-imbibing, which causes hangovers.
No, this isn’t your traditional glass of tequila and fruit juice cocktail that you sip casually on a usual Friday evening. Doug Laming’s Margarita is definitely much more interesting than that! As suggested by the name, this cocktail was introduced by Molecular Mixologist, Doug Laming at his experimental lab i.e. Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining, Sydney.
Laming uses ‘Cointreau Caviar Spherification’ to create spheres of Tequila, Cointreau and syrup, which results in little ‘pearls’ of alcohol that burst in the mouth! While the glass is only there for decoration, to actually consume this margarita, one has to lift up the salt rimmed lime and eat the pink finger lime and the two types of the caviar pearls. One contains a Souza Gold tequila and sugar syrup and the other contains Cointreau. Basically, you eat these and lick the salted lime. It’s a margarita unlike any other kind that you may have had.
It is, well, exactly as luxurious as it sounds: Breakfast served with champagne or sparkling wine and fruit juice, usually orange and/or peach.
This special treat is generally reserved for special occasions such as an Anniversary, Mother’s Day or a holiday. High-end hotels and vacation resorts often serve champagne breakfasts served in three elegant courses: bread, cake and fruit, followed by the main course, and finally, coffee, cheese and biscuits.
To give you a clearer idea, here’s the romantic champagne breakfast menu at the Governor’s Suitein Hartness House, an Inn in Vermont, USA.
Ice-chilled Champagne in a bucket with two crystal flutes;
Freshly-squeezed Orange or Carrot-Apple Juice;
Freshly baked Crumb-topped Blueberry muffins
and Orange marmalade;
Strawberries with Framboise Creme Parfait;
Your choice of: Smoked Salmon and Green Onion Omelet, or Almond and Graham Crusted French Toast; or Governor’s Eggs Benedict
French Press Columbian Coffee with Cream
Decorated with a beautiful silk Rosebud in Vase and newspaper
This indulgence for two can be yours for an extra $75 USD!
Along the way, hunger pangs hit. Hard. And since I was in Italy, the fragrance of herbs and the aroma of baked bread was everywhere. Honestly, I could hardly wait to drop my bags at the hotel and get back on the streets for a bite.
Strung along a pipe-thin lane, I spotted a string of eateries that promised big meals at incredible deals. Smiling restaurant staff stood outside their outlets, handing out colourful pamphlets that promised a free drink with pizza and seemingly endless menus.
And regretted it minutes later. The pizza was cold and leathery, with about 3 olives that tasted as if they had been glued atop the bread a month ago. Sure, it cost me “just 4 euros” for pizza and coke, but I would rather have spent a few bucks more to get a better bite.
I am sure the giant plastic chef standing outside the restaurant, holding that huge menu card, giggled a little when I walked in.
Moral of the story: do your research when you are going to Florence. Read helpful advice such as this. And this.
Just a few minutes out of Belfast airport, and you have a fiesta of Irish treats laid out for you. Rhubarb pie with homemade ice-cream, to begin with. At a pretty tucked-away place that overlooks the endless sea, and doubles as a local nursery. Called Harrisons, quite simply. That pie. It alone is worth a trip to Northern Ireland. The rhubarb is nice and tart, and the pie crust is perfectly crisp. And the ice-cream, it tastes like the cow was milked a few minutes ago and the hens just laid their eggs and all of it was churned quickly together and frozen swiftly up to create this fresh, fantastic dream in cream. Sorry, it’s easy to get carried away when you’re reminiscing about a treat so delicious. Many days after I arrived back in India and Googled it, I was blown away by the story of Harrison’s! It is owned by a family that lives on 90 lush acres of land. The location is called Ards Peninsula, one of Northern Ireland’s most picturesque locations. (But then, I was there for nearly a week and did not see one spot that would not qualify as that! All of Ireland, Northern or not, is an ode to natural beauty.) And I am not the only one determined to go back for that ice cream. Apparently, 30 per cent of its customers drive more than an hour to come and eat at Harrisons. I suspect that statistic will quickly crawl upward soon. I have to admit I wolfed down the entire pie and ice-cream, and those calories were worth lunch and dinner both. And I was too hungry to take photos of the treat! Shubhra Krishan
Located a short walk from the Golden Temple, in the Town Hall, is Bharawan da Dhaba, where we ate a hearty meal of chana masala, paneer kulcha, sweet lassi, and have never quite forgotten the taste!
This divine food is reason enough to go to Amritsar, and no, the dhaba hasn’t paid us to write this for them!
The name literally means “Restaurant of the brothers,” and whoever they are, they deserve a collective pat on their backs for dishing up such amazing food.
The dhaba is always crowded, and that is a good sign. It only serves vegetarian food, but even if you are a meat lover, it is hard not to fall in love with the hearty Punjabi flavours here. Those lachcha paranthas topped with big dollops of butter…mmm!
Address: Hall Bazar, Golden Temple Out Road, Town Hall, Katra Ahluwalia, Amritsar, Punjab 143001
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You should check out Dhaba by Claridgesat the DLF Place Mall, Saket. Read on to find out what TS writer Harshvardhan thought about the place and its food.
The zesty ‘Dhaba’ by the iconic Claridges is a welcome addition to the ‘Punjabi restaurant’ family in Delhi, which I always think is surprisingly small. (Besides Punjabi By Nature, Pind Baluchi and Pandara Road, it takes a bit of head scratching to think of other ‘good’ places to go to for a hearty North Indian meal, no?)
I was pleased to see the redoubtable Ravi Saxena heading the Dhaba kitchen—a good chef guarantees good food. Make that great. Once you have feasted your eyes on the very colourful decor of this eatery, focus on the delicacies that arrive, and let your taste buds feel pampered. The black dal rivals the best in the city, and I liked that it had a bit of fire in the form of red chillies. The only mild disappointment was the Kadhi, which felt a bit bland. But then as my companion pointed out, kadhi really is a matter of individual taste, and it’s hard to agree on the ‘right’ flavour. But the rest of the fare from lassi to kababs and everything after—was undoubtedly luscious, filling and satisfying.
The bar is alluringly named ‘Theka’ but alas, the restaurant was still awaiting its liquor license when I went. If you haven’t been to the Dhaba yet, now is the time. I am sure they are serving Makka ki Roti and Sarson ka Saag these days. You make your booking, while I make mine!
Meal for two: Rs.1400 plus taxes
They are also at DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon and The Claridges on Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi
TS Editor Shubhra Krishan met the lovely, lively Laurie Trognon, PR head at the iconic Printemps in Paris. The young lady wrote a beautiful ode to her home city, spilling lots of local secrets along the way!
Over to her:
I am 23, and have lived in Paris all my life. I live in the 17tharondissement in a quiet residential neighbourhood called Villiers, which is sprinkled with parks and French brasseries.
Every morning, I wake up in my apartment and feel lucky to live in Paris. I open the window and look out to a beautiful old Haussmannian building. In the very early hours, we can hear birds, wind, or rain.
Like any other big city, Paris gives you the feeling of being on your own—in a nice way! I start my day with a typical Parisian breakfast of croissant or a chocolate roll with fresh orange juice or a tea. Sometimes, I keep it simple with just bread and butter.
It takes me 20 minutes by Metro to reach my workplace, which is PRINTEMPS (the departement store) in the nine area (75009).
In summer, I like to wear colourful long dresses to work. Parisian women are very fashion-conscious, and enjoy sporting avant garde fashion.
I enjoy going out with my friends in the evenings. My favourite hangouts in the city are as follows:
Best pizza: Paparazzi restaurant (75009)
Best cup of coffee: Kooka Boora (75009) / Angelina (75001)
Best French cuisine: La petite Cour (75006)
Best bar: O Chateau (Wine bar)
Best bakery: Ladurée
Some of the restaurants, pubs and bars that the people of Paris love, and you won’t find in most guidebooks are :
– La Félicité (75010)
– Pershing Hall (75008)
– Le Club des 5 (75017)
– Candelaria (75003)
– Razowski (75001)
– Lefty (75002)
Paris looks most beautiful during summer time, when everybody is on vacation. All people are very open-minded, the weather is great and you can enjoy parks, terrace, swimming pools.You can really appreciate space at Rosa Bonheur which is a restaurant in the Buttes Chaumont park.
When I am unhappy and need some peace, Paris comforts me with wine! I sit with a glass of wine and a friend at Bertie or Vert Tulipe; very affordable, great wine, and perfect for forgetting your woes!
Plus, I like to practice sport and more particularly Aquabiking; sport is something very important when you live in a big city. It’s a great way to decompress.
When I’m looking for a moment of rest, I go to the NUXE Spa at Printemps Haussmann and get a manicure.
The city’s loveliest street is Rue des Francs Bourgeois, a typical Parisian street with trendy but not-too-expensive shops such as Zadig & Voltaire, Isabel Marant. For bargain shopping, I would recommend the area of Chatelet – Les Halles. For high-end purchases, you should head to Printemps Haussmann or Rue Saint Honoré.
In the evening, Paris looks an old city which is waking up; all brasseries and terrace are full, even during the winter and my apartment fills up with the sights/sounds of my neighbours who invite their friends for the cocktail hour.
I don’t have the time to cook, so I usually order food from a website named AlloResto. One of my favourite foods when I can’t cook is Japanese.
A typical Paris weekend is never complete without a brunch on Sunday morning.
All in all, I love my city because this is a city with a real history. The typical Haussmannian buildings are majestic, and I can’t get enough of admiring them!
(This story was first published in May June 2013 issue of Travel Secrets Magazine)
If you enjoy a long and leisurely drive, we know just the place. And a five-star chef, no less, tipped us off on this one: it’s called Sharma Dhaba, and it is located on the fringe of Jaipur city. Wind your way to Sikar Road and almost anyone will be able to point you to it.
Order the aloo paratha, and you’ll thank us for recommending the place. Sizzling hot and oozing filling, the paratha comes with a terrific pickle, yoghurt and subzi. The Sharma brothers have run this place for over two decades now, and the sheer number of moodhas and tables in front and at the much cleaner back section are testimony to its thumping success.
The brothers said their best-seller is the Mawa Paratha, which comes filled with khoya and dry fruit. We didn’t particularly enjoy the idea of a sweet filling, but maybe you will.
A meal for two here will cost you about Rs. 350. And the fare is all vegetarian.
One hundred per cent true! The tipple that’s making ripples has a deceptively simple name: Ono. It is served at the Wynn’s XS Nightclub, and one $10,000 portion serves two.
While you gulp that down, here’s why it costs so much: there’s a rare cognac in this cocktail, which costs a whopping $2000 per shot. As XS GM Yannick Mugnier puts it, “This cocktail is not about making money–it’s about extravagance.” Rather unnecessarily, he goes on to add that Ono is a big hit with big winners at the casinos. Well, duh.
Thirsty for more? Here’s where you can get all the mindblowing details. Hic!