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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tree of Life

Strange encounters happen with all of us everyday. Yet , at times or mostly we ignore them thinking that these are just once in a blue moon experience .    Not really.

Humans have this amazing power of thinking and yet this is perhaps the only power which they often forget to use much to their own benefit. 
Thinking helps us in more than one ways.  First , it gives us time to understand the situation and then see what is the way of working . Second , it gives us time to ensure we become patient and not react thereby keeping a cool hat . Third and this one is important; thinking helps us avoid make / take bad decisions.

Yet , we fail on all the three parameters .  A chance encounter with a stranger can actually surprise you in many ways.  Something like this happened with me .
Aerocity arena which seems to be the new Cyber Cub of sorts is a place where you may see the who’s who of Delhi and if lucky , India .

It has the best of properties and the top chefs at service .  This place also boasts of some amazing tea lounges where you can meet and greet and interact with some interesting people .

I happened to meet a renowned yet grounded lyricist sometime back . Never did I realize he was sitting just right next to me reading something which was beyond my comprehension .  And I being I , immediately popped up a quick hello with some warm regards and he with the gentlest of smiles acknowledged the same and we began chatting.

After a short introduction he asked if I liked writing or singing.  I answered may be blushingly, yes and also added a disclaimer that I try but hardly get the time .  Seemingly he said that he writes a close 50 pages everyday no matter where he is , what he does or how hard the day has been .  He ensure he writes even if he is travelling , India or abroad or is in a hotel or at home . This is his way of attaining Nirvana .
In case , if he misses one day he becomes restless and has no other option but to start it the very next day .   He shared an old college hostel story with me which I thought I can recreate and make it more relevant for my readers .

During his college days he met a girl who was very studious and intelligent  . Her study table was surrounded by more books than make-up items . She used to be the one who always had a smile on her face no matter how hard the day was .  People used to wonder what in the world does she do to make her feel so contented everyday .  A hostel life is anything but being happy . There is so much happening all around that being content is the last thing on the mind.

Though this girl had many friends yet she had a side which was not known to most.  As he gradually became connected to her he realized that she did something unique everyday . 
After the classes got over she used to head straight to the lawns and sit under a tree and scribble something in a note book which was guarded .

When she shared with him what she wrote , he was taken aback .  Everyday she used to write the entire day in just a few single words .  If a day was good she would pen down -  happy ,  elated ,  fun , Helped , kid , Esha ( may be her friend’s name ) , dinner, book , puppy   . If the day was full of learning it could be  - unhappy , shy , introvert , tears , mom , literature , class , thinking .

While it was tough to guess or make a story  out of these words yet each word was so powerful and yet so tough to code . This was a daily ritual for her and she used to do this without miss . That’s how he got inspired into writing. Though, time moved on and they were not in touch now yet this incident had an ever lasting impact on him.

Though you must be wondering if these guys had any ‘other ‘ story as well . No . Don’t think too much . Not everyone you meet necessary needs to be in relationship with you or vice-versa . See, not thinking again!? 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review - Pizza Express - Ambience Mall - 50 years celebration

What happens when you have a handful of 'best' Delhi/NCRs food bloggers / reviewers and are invited to an exclusive Friday evening of not only getting a rich insight about the brand but also a 'live' lesson on what exactly goes into the art of Pizza Making by its Pizzaiolos and being a part of a rich 50 years journey - WOW !!

The brand

Pizza Express is world's leading casual dining and consumer brand which has just launched its refreshing new 50 years celebration menu and I was super excited to be a part of this launch as a special guest. 

The journey of the brand started in 1965 in London and the recipes are prepared by its Pizzaiolos ( trained pizza chefs )  .  The brand now operates 500+ restaurants across 14 countries across the globe. 


Story in India

The brand was launched in India in 2012 in partnership with Gourmet Investments Ltd,  a company promoted by the Bharti Family office. 

They also have an  outlet in Vasant Kunj , Ambeince Mall besides this one. 



All their restaurants have unqiue interiors since they are inspired from the heritage and location of their sites .  The ' open kitchen '  is a core brand feature , as are the black and white colours used in different ways across the outlets. The Gurgaon design revolves around the industrial revolution of Gurgaon with influences of London's industrial elements. The open ceiling , raised floor on the kitchen add variety to the decor.

The furniture is a mix of side chairs and banquette seating wherein the chairs are made locally , the marble tops are from Jaipur.



The skilled pizzailos are trained for a minimum of 12 weeks to learn the art of pizza making and they emerge as experts in dough making and tossing . The signature bases are thin and crispy - called a Romana Base as it is like the bases one can find in Rome.

Also, to note their signature tomato passata is imported from the Greci Family of Italy since 1965. 

Large part of the menu is made in house including the pastas and desserts . 



The starters for the evening were Antipasto Verde ( assorted vegetarian platter with antipasto , roasted tomatoes , rocket and peppadew , fresh buffalo mozzarella served along with basil pesto , pesto rosso and dough sticks baked with emilgrana. 



Beisdes these , I tried the new Zenzero Fresca mocktail which has carrot , orange juice , ginger and lemon juice . Also, the ginger fresca with fresh ginger , mint , gren lime and ginger ale was a refreshing one indeed. 



For Pasta, I tired the Chef recommend Penne con peppadew which a cramy pene pasta in white sauce with peppadew , chargrilled vegetables , onion , garlic, seasoned with parsley and chilli flakes . Though high in fire but woth a good try. 



In the pizza , I loved the simple yet technique oriented margherita buffalo  which i a buffalo mozzarela , pasata on a Roman base with fresh basil leaves ( 6 ) , garlic oil , oregano and black pepper , topped with fresh cherry tomato , torn buffalo mozzarella , extra virgin olive oil and simply crispy and light with a lot of crunch . 


Highlight of the evening 

This was the best part wherein the in house Pizzaiolo gave a chance to make a pizza from scratch and see it coming live in front of us . This was an experience beyond anythin and I loved this part. 



I am in love with this one - chessecake - simple but mouth wateringly good , the baked vanilla cheesecake is homemade served with your choice of gelato , cream  or mascarpone . Beyond anything and a 100% must try.


This review within a span of 2 minutes has already crossed 275 views + and counting  . That too on a Saturday 'festive' evening . Thank you dear readers .

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