Category Archives: Asia – India

Gajalee – Mumbai, India

On our last day in Mumbai, we had an evening flight so we could fit in another meal. There wasn’t much left to do in Mumbai so we spent the day shopping at Phoenix Mills, an upscale luxury mall in Mumbai that also had a branch of the famous seafood restaurant Gajalee.

We were the only non-locals eating there…

bombay duck! so yummmmsbutter garlic crab…..  the crab was a lot smaller than Trishna’s and the meat wasn’t firm…. quite a disappointment… grilled masala prawns… the spice overpowered the natural prawn taste…..

panfried pomfret…… pretty good!! the meat was tender….

My brother stayed at the hotel instead so we brought him take out…. bombay duck and calamari..

Gajalee had good seafood but because we ate this after Trishna, this was a bit disappointing…. because Trishna was that good!

This concludes all the food I had in India and on returning home, I did try the most-authentic Indian restaurant at home.. but nothing could compare to the real deal!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Gajalee

Phoenix Mill Compound, Unit No. 2, Block 3 ABC, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Skyzone, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013, India

Phone:+91 22 2495 0667

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Four Seasons Mumbai – India

In Mumbai, we stayed at the Four Seasons…..the service was good, but not as personalized as Trident.

The view from our rooms.  You could see the disparity between rich and poor in just this photo: Mumbai’s slum and the world’s most expensive private residence in the distance.

The breakfast buffet was better than Trident  though….masala chai…… watery though…

mango smoothie……………….. sooooooo goooood

mango lassi…….. I had 2 smoothies and 2 lassis… I have no self-control because I should have limited myself due to my lactose-intolerance…..

eggs benedict and floretine together!!!! I told them to put a piece of ham onto my eggs floretine….

hashbrowns and bacon…..

omelette….

dosa….. most modern plating for dosa ever….

japanese breakfast…. I love trying the Japanese breakfast at the Four Seasons because it’s also the only time I have it (apart from when in Japan)….

waffles with chocolate chips and syrup…..

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai

1/136, Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400018, India

Phone:+91 22 2481 8000

 

Trishna – Mumbai, India

Mumbai isn’t normally part of tourist’s itinerary because there isn’t much to see because it’s just a city.  I didn’t know this until we talked to fellow tourists and locals and they were all surprised we were going to Mumbai.  I think Mumbai was heavily in my head because of it being a major player in international business.. o and the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

We just had a day tour and visited: Dhobi Ghat.. Mumbai’s outdoor laundry business

Gateway of India

Victoria Terminus

We only had one dinner in Mumbai so it was hard deciding where to eat.  We finally chose Trishna, a very famous seafood restaurant lauded by critics and foodies alike.

chutney

garlic naan….

bombay duck…. when I first heard of this, I thought it was really a duck… but actually it’s a fish.  It’s sooooooooooooo delicious! Beneath the crispy exteriors lies the softest fish ever.  Soooooooooo good! When I returned to HK, I tried 九肚魚.. which is bombay duck!

the famous butter pepper garlic crab…………… the sauce was so good and the crab was HUGE!

king prawns baked in cheese…. the prawn was so big with roe too!

hyderabad-style fish…… lots of spices but was delicious!

calamari

My dad went to Mumbai a few years ago and came back raving about the seafood.  Safe to say, he really was telling the truth about the seafood!  We had such a feast at Trishna and I want to return back to Mumbai for the food!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Trishna

 7, Sai Baba Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai

Phone:022 2270321

Eating in Udaipur- India

From Jaipur, it was a boring eight hour drive to Udaipur and the only stop we made was one bathroom break by the highway……..

Udaipur is known for its beautiful city palace by the lake.  I was a tad disappointed that this lake is man-made….  This is also where they filmed the James Bond movie, Octopussy.City Palace

Jag Mandir Palace

We wanted to find a place for dinner with a view found Upre, the rooftop restaurant of Lake Pichola Hotel.unobstructed view! We got there early to watch sunset!

mango lassi……

papadum (chips) and chutney…

garlic naan…..

At this point, I’ve forgotten what I’ve ordered….. but it should be more butter chicken and curry!

In Udaipur, we stayed at Trident again, and the service was superbe as well.

For breakfast, there’s a omelette station, buffet and made-to-order dishes. put together the most unhealthy cereal combination: flakes, nuts and chocolate!

chocolate- drizzled pancakes….

We also ate at the restaurant for dinner….

mango lassi…… this was the best ever because there’s herbs sprinkled on top… it looks good and tastes good also!

papadum (chips) and chutney…

garlic naan…. sooooooooo buttery and flavourful!

From top left clockwise: Chicken curry / gobhi adraki (cauliflower tossed with spices and ginger) / palak makkai (corn kernels and spinach cooked with cumin seeds and garlic)/ murgh tikka makhani (chicken in mild tomato gravy) …… delicious food even though it was spicy……

We ate at the hotel’s restaurant again the night we flew to Mumbai.  We were supposed to leave the hotel by 6pm but wanted to eat something before heading to the airport.  We wouldn’t be able to eat because lunch service ends at 3pm and dinner service begins at 7pm; however, the restaurant staff was nice enough to open for us at 5pm.  This was bend-over-backwards service!

Because they couldn’t make naan during off hours (I guess no one was manning the oven), they made paratha instead.  Paratha is another type of flatbread but it’s finished by shallow frying…

I was so impressed with our stays at Trident and would not hesitate to stay with them again!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Upre

Lake Pichola Hotel, Roof Top, Outside Chand Pole, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001, India

Phone:+91 294 243 1197

Trident Udaipur

Near Lake Pichola, Haridasjiki Magri, Mullah Talai, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001, India

Phone:+91 294 243 2200

A variety of meals in Jaipur – India

From Agra, we drove to Fatehpur Sikri, the capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. I have read about the many tour guide scams at this place so I was kind of iffy when our driver picked a random man off the streets to be our guide.

 

However.. this was clearly a case of “don’t judge the book by its cover.”  Our guide turned out to be extremely intelligent and apparently teaches French at the local university.

From Fatehpur Sikri, we continued onto Jaipur, where we also stayed at Trident.

Our room over looked the lake and could see Jal Mahal (Lake Palace) in the distance… The entire front yard of the hotel was set up for the MANDATORY Christmas Eve buffet dinner.  I did not like the mandatory dinner and it was 80 USD and the quality was sub par…… For that price I would assume they would be seafood but nooooooo….. It’s just regular western food and Indian food….

The only interesting thing was they had grilled steak! The one and only time I saw beef in India.

freshly made roti and naan….

I tried this interesting milk and herbs.. It was very rich but also very sweet….

The next day, we had a day touring Jaipur… elephant ride up to Amber fort…

Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace)….. This building looks extremely out of place because it’s located on a busy main street with normal looking buildings around it…

Jaipur is also called the “pink city” as their buildings are pinkish in colour….

We had a very late lunch at another restaurant catered to tours and again the naan and butter were delicious!

For dinner, we had a lovely home-cooked meal at the house of Sabu, the tour company’s owner.   It was a very traditional meal.. .we even sat on the floor to eat!  His wife prepared vegetable curry, briyani and naan… delicious, but a bit spicy!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Trident Hotel Jaipur

 Amber Fort Road, Opposite Jal Mahal, Gujarghati, Parasrampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India

Phone:+91 141 267 0101

Trident Agra Hotel – Agra, India

From Delhi, we drove to Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located.

The first glimpse of Taj was surreal…. which was why everyone stood at at entrance to take photos…

After that, we also visited Agra Fort…..

While in India, I wanted to visit one of Mother Teresa’s  Missionaries of Charity orphanages.  I went to a Catholic elementary school where we learned all about Mother Teresa’s work so it was so uplifting to visit the orphanage in Agra.

While in Agra, we stayed at the Trident hotel, where the hospitality surpassed all of the international luxury 5 star hotels.  

We had dinner at the hotel restaurant and there was a choice between buffet and à la carte.  We decided to order from the menu because we could order Indian dishes.papadum (chips) and chutney (condiments)….  The chips were peppery and a bit spicy…

dumplings in yogurt…..  this wasn’t spicy!!! but I didn’t like the dumplings, which basically was a ball of tasteless dough….

Methi aloo gobhi (stir fried potatoes and cauliflower with fresh fenugreek leaves)

Chicken tikka masala……

chicken curry

Murgh makhanwala (chicken tikka in tomato and ginger gravy with fenugreek)….

Chicken briyani (basmati rice with spices cooked in clay pot)……

When we ordered, we requested the food to be not spicy… but I still found it to be spicy!  The staff was so accommodating and even gave me Thai coconut soup because that was definitely non-spicy.  The head chef even came out to apologize, even though it was totally my problem!

thai coconut soup….

The server felt sorry for me so he told me to get dessert from the buffet.  I felt kinda bad because it was my fault for ordering Indian dishes instead of ordering safer non-spicy dishes…I ended up just getting a slice of cake only.

However, the server brought over some coconut dessert…..so nice of him! But this was reallllllllllllllllly sweet….

For breakfast, apart from omelettes, we also tried the Indian breakfast, dosa.  It’s spiced potatoes wrapped in thin crepe… the crepe was thin and cripsy!  Didn’t like the stuffing because it was spicy….

We were so amazed by the hospitality and thoughtfulness of the staff at the Trident Hotel as they went over the top trying to make our stay as pleasant as possible.  They also gave each of us a gift, wrapped and with a personal note! This was probably the most memorable hotel stay ever,  considering we often stay at other luxury hotels…..

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Trident Hotel Agra

 Next to TDI Mall, Fatehabad Rd, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
Phone:+91 562 223 5000

Punjabi by Nature and other Delhi Eats – India

I can finally cross India off my bucket-list!!!!  Our family spent last year’s Christmas holidays in India and it was an incredible experience. We started off in Delhi, then drove down to Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur before flying down to Mumbai.  We found a tour agency that organized a private tour with a driver, guides at each city and hotels…. so I didn’t have to plan anything!

Our first stop was Delhi ….spice market @ Chandni Chowk

I actually felt a bit unease because mom and I were one of the few females on the street so everyone was staring at us….. It was a shocking first morning for sure…

Our tour guide took us to a touristy restaurant for lunch but the food was really good.. better than at home.fresh buttery naan

chicken tikka

chicken biryani

Because I can’t eat anything spicy, we asked for the food to be non-spicy.. but it was still flaming hot!  After lunch, we also visited the other famous monuments…India Gate..

Red Fort…

Gandhi Memorial….

Qutab Minar……

After seeing these monuments in real life, I feel like I have an affinity with Delhi.. especially when on the flight home, I watched an Indian movie called Kick and I was excitedly pointing out the places I’ve been.

For dinner, a lot of people on Chowhound recommended Punjabi by Nature, a chain of fine dining restaurants specializing in Punjab cuisine that is supposedly one of the best and most famous restaurants in Delhi.  My brother’s friend even took Arnold  Schwarzenegger there to eat when he was in Delhi so it should be good….Most of the locations are outside the touristy centre so we went to the closest location in Ambience mall.

The decor is a mix between European style and a sports bar!

mango lassi….

the best garlic naan of our whole trip…..

butter naan….

Murgh makhani also known as butter chicken….. I guess butter chicken is an North American term for this because this name doesn’t show up in any of the menus in India!

The specialty: raan-e-punjab (whole leg of baby lamb braised in the marinade of malt vinegar and smoked with Indian spices)….. We don’t normally in lamb but ordered this because it was their most famous dish and my brother’s friend highly recommended this .  Surprisingly, this was pretty good! Very tender meat and didn’t have the gamey taste…..

Masala vegetables with okra……

Even though I requested for the food to not be spicy, it was still very hot!  This was a very expensive meal (even more expensive than Indian food at home) but I guess you pay a premium for such an environment.

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!!

Punjabi by Nature

305, 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi