India Food Bloggers Awards 2016

Event: India Food Bloggers Awards 2016 (#IFBA2016)

Date: 10th December 2016

Venue: Mahi, JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai

The FBAI celebrated the 4th edition of the India Food Bloggers Awards 2016 (#IFBA2016), the FBAI’s annual showcase felicitation award ceremony.

The #IFBA2016 formally honored winners in various categories of food blogging that included

  • Micro Blog Facebook and Instagram
  • Recipe
  • Baking
  • Culinary Travel
  • General Food
  • Restaurant Review
  • Regional
  • Lifestyle
  • Vegetarian
  • Beverage
  • vLog
  • Debut
  • Food Photo
  • Wine Vlog

The esteemed jury felicitating the winners were

  • Sameer Malkani
  • Gaggan Anand (via Skype)
  • Kunal Vijayakar
  • Chef Ranveer Brar
  • Rashmi Uday Singh
  • Chef Vicky Ratnani
  • Rocky Singh and Mayur
  • Antoine Lewis
  • Rushina Ghildiyal

The event also invited renowned Chefs – Saransh Goila, Rakhee Vaswani and Amrita Raichand.

The Jury
The Jury (Picture courtesy: Aspri Spirits)

#IFBA2016 brought together over 250+ food bloggers, chefs, jury members, partners and food enthusiasts from the industry.

And that’s me and Sucheta (http://thevegetarianbhukkad.com) receiving the runner-up award in Vegetarian Blog category.

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The complete list of winners here http://ifba.thefbai.com/part/ifba2016-winners

How can an award ceremony to felicitate great food bloggers be complete without great food?

The Dessert Table

The Dessert Table

There were some fabulous cocktails by the poolside by Skyy Vodka, shots by Amarula and some fantastic red and white wine by Two Oceans, followed by delicious food and live grills by Chef Himanshu Taneja, Executive Chef of JW Marriott, Juhu.

Until next time!


Picture courtesy: The FBAI

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More than happy!

This blog received runner-up award in The Best Vegetarian Food Blog category at India Food Bloggers Award 2016, held on 10th December, 2016 at JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai.

 

Oktoberfest @ True Tramm Trunk, Juhu, Mumbai

How do you describe October, Beer and Germany in a single word? A foodie barely gets it wrong. The Oktoberfest has not remained limited to Bavaria, Germany and this year I got a chance to be part of the Oktoberfest fever that gripped Mumbai’s bars and pubs.

True Tramm Trunk, Juhu served a special menu, through the October, as a tribute to the great festival of beer. The menu included some exquisite beer cocktails, specially crafted burgers, a wide selection of beers and beer platters.

We started with beer platters and each came in a crowd of three.

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Kingfisher Draft – Still more than defaulter’s beer.

Bira Blonde

Hoegaarden – One of the great wheat beer.

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Ace – An apple cider from White Owl’s. Sweeter than Side Car.

Spark – A Belgian beer with citrus notes.

Halcyon – A beer with banana and clove notes from White Owl’s.

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Side Car – Apple cider from Gateway

White Zen – A Hefeweizen from the Gateway with clove and banana notes.

Doppelganger – A German dark beer with caramel malts.

Apart from a wide range of craft and draft beers, a noticeable addition to the Oktoberfest menu was beer cocktails.

Michelada: Beer cocktail with tomato juice and a blend of secret sauce. This tangy variant of a beer cocktail or Bloody Mary, in other words, were liked by many but failed to impress me.

Cuber
Cuber

Cuber: Beer cocktail with a right proportion of muddled cucumber was more like a cooler and had great refreshing potency.

Coronarita
Coronarita

Coronarita: Corona Served Upside down in a frozen margarita

Beer Bomb
Beer Bomb

Beer Bomb: Jägermeister and beer served in a glass inside a glass. Mix it or sip from both the glass together and with great care to get the best out of this beer cocktail.

With a great selection of beers, burgers become an inevitable accomplice. Out of total 6 burgers, half of them were vegetarian and all were accompanied by French fries and dips. All burgers were greasy and require utmost attention while eating not to end up being messy.

Asian Mushroom Tofu
Asian Mushroom Tofu

Asian Mushroom Tofu: A veg patty and tofu with mustard mayo oozing out. This was served with green colored slider bun and tartar dip.

Sri Lankan
Sri Lankan

Sri Lankan: A veg. patty with Sri Lankan spices packed in a desi pav. Came with Sri Lankan spiced dip.

French Chilli Corn Spinach
French Chilli Corn Spinach

French Chili Corn Spinach: Cream sautéed veg patty served in Burgle with tartar dip. Medium in size and requires expertise while eating. It can be very messy.

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Country liquor inspired cocktail served in quarter bottles is USP to True Tramm Trunk. We got to taste most of the quirky selection and liked them too. The flavors included santra, gulab, saunf, tadi, gulkand, coconut, fenni, pawsar country, tharra, kesar kastoori to name a few.


I was invited by the FBAI and True Tramm Trunk to try the Oktoberfest menu.

Backyard BBQ @ Hyatt Regency, Mumbai

Ever felt like escaped from the hustle-bustle of Mumbai while being right in the heart of it. Add one place to the rare list, the backyard of the Hyatt Regency, Sahar Airport Road. And if you happen to visit on Friday evening, all these comes as an added bonus to the sumptuous barbecue spread called Backyard Barbecue. This Friday-evening-only menu is arranged by the poolside from 21st Oct to 30th Dec,  2016.

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Cool October breeze, sparsely arranged tables, rustic setting by the poolside were a great combination for a laidback Friday evening to retire from the hectic weekdays and start a great weekend.

A stack of Jenga, Chess board, Foosball and selfie point for social media savvy were some of the highlights to get you started on the fun part.

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We directly hoped on to the bar counter to grab beers and made-to-order cocktails. The bartender was courteous enough to answer all our queries and demands. In fact, the entire staff was one of the friendliest I have encountered lately.

stax
Stax

Must try is one of their signature drink Stax. With orange and pineapple juice as a base, vodka adds spirit to the drink before finally being topped by cherry syrup and lime juice.

The assorted bread counter had a selection of bread and yummy dips to pair with. Don’t miss the garlic butter. The salad counter added the Mediterranean feel to the evening.

The barbecue counter had local and international grills. These included all-time favorites Grilled garlic bread, Grilled potato slices, Grilled Paneer and Corn on the cob. The special ones included Balsamic marinated vegetable skewers and eggplant marinated with roasted cumin and Cajun and char-grilled to perfection.

Dessert counter had enough verities to satisfy the sweet-tooth. Sacher and Walnut Brownies were there for sinful indulgence and for guiltless indulgence, there were varieties of fresh fruits like melons, guava, pear and dragon fruit.

A barbecue setting should provide a laid back and relaxing atmosphere with soft music in the background where you can have a good conversation with your companion. This perfectly matches how a barbecue event should be. What should be in the menu needs a little improvement as I would like to see more verities specifically on the grills.


I was invited by FBAI and Hyatt Regency to taste the BackyardBBQ menu.

Food Crawl @ Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla

Housing some of the best food joints and fine dining restaurant, Phoenix Market City, Kurla is a foodie’s paradise. An invitation to attend Food Crawl, on 15th October, organized by the mall and FBAI means you get the best food from the finely curated places.

The plan included…

  • Khiva for appetizers
  • Wok Express for Cheung Fun and Bao
  • Harry’s Café + Bar for drinks and
  • Take-away donuts from Krispy Kreme

VIP access to Shaan Live-In-Concert @ Dublin Square was icing on the cake.


Khiva:

Khiva is one of the prominent fine dining place serving Bukhara cuisine along with Mughlai and North Indian fare.

Khiva is a town in Uzbekistan and the interior of the restaurant attempts to represent the very spirit of the land. Large murals on opposite walls, with one of them representing Buzkashi, swords and chandelier with a wooden & rope framework in the background adds to the elegance of the place.

Their specialty is Bukhara or Royal Frontier Cuisine from North-West Uzbekistan. Rather than normal chilies, Khiva uses specially sourced Yellow chilies which are an essence to the cuisine on offer. One of their specialty is Daal Khiva, which is simmered for 8 hours before being served.

Para with cheese dip
Para with cheese dip

Our journey to this exotic cuisine started with a side dish called Para. Colorful crispy sticks most likely prepared with rice as a raw material and were served with cheese dip.

5 types of chutneys
5 types of chutneys

With appetizers, Khiva serves 5 types of dips/chutneys. From spicy to very spicy, Chico Tamarind and mint are among different varieties to tickle your taste buds.

Cheese Kurkure
Cheese Kurkure

Cheese Kurkure were first to arrive and remained star dish throughout. These are deep fried thin and crispy wraps with cheese and mushroom stuffing.

Makai Seekh Kabab
Makai Seekh Kabab

Makai Seekh Kabab was corn and herbs in soft vegetable kabab.

Chowki Ki Tikki
Chowki Ki Tikki

were potato tikkis stuffed with cheese and peas and were cooked to perfection.

Peshawari Paneer
Peshawari Paneer

Peshawari Paneer is one of their signature appetizers. Large blocks of house made malai paneer are marinated in yellow chilies and yoghurt to give a great taste.

Subz Lacheela Kabab
Subz Lacheela Kabab

An eye-catching appetizer, Subz Lacheela Kabab was last to arrive. A vegetable kabab wrapped in vermicelli was as complex in eating as it looks.

An array of appetizers was enough to break a stereotypical notion of ‘What’s there for Vegetarians at a place like this?’


Wok Express:

Next stop was Wok Express to taste their Baos and to taste a new entrant in their menu, Cheung Fun.

Cheung Fun are rice noodle rolls with vegetarian or meat stuffing. It’s a Cantonese dish originated in HK and southern China and is popular as a snack. We tried Asian Green Cheung Fun which was mildly sweet.

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Bao are essentially steamed stuffed bread. We tried Chilli Mushroom and Chilli Paneer Bao.

Both the dishes were good but lacked any greatness. This being my first encounter with both the dishes, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the food and would like to take a second attempt to finally judge the dish.

We were a large group and our visit was planned with the pre-fixed menu. Still, it took them considerably long time to serve the food. I really wish them an improvement on this.


Harry’s Bar + Café:

The last stop for the Food Crawl has to end with great cocktails. Harry’s has appealing ambiance with great numbers playing in the background. Great place to unwind after a hectic day.

We tried a couple of cocktails and none disappoint us.

LIIT:

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With a standard combination of 5 whites and a dash of cola, LIIT was good. Not the most potent I have ever had but didn’t disappoint me either.

Blood on the Rooftop:

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4 spirits, peachy lemonade and a splash of red wine, forming a red layer at the top, hence the name. Recommended!

Twisted Whiskey Swizzle:

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A potent combination of bourbon and citrus. A great whiskey cocktail.

Black Scotsman:

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Again, a highly potent mix of 100 Pipers, Kahlua and cola. Kahlua adds the right coffee flavor with cola balancing the bitterness of the scotch and coffee.


A takeaway bag of Donut from Krispy Kreme ended the Food Crawl with a sweeter note.

The Food Crawl was followed by Shaan performing live on his great numbers at Dublin Square.