Take me home, to the place I belong

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Hellooo everyone!

I may be a little late, but wishing each and every one of you a very Happy New Year! Let’s make the most of 2017!

Firstly I’m super excited writing this post as I have recently returned from my Thai holiday. I’ve had the opportunity to see some wonderful places there, and I’ve soaked in everything I could. Can’t wait to share all the details about my trip.

In Thailand I covered Rayong , Pattaya and Bangkok. Each of them were visibly different from each other and most of the time I had some lovely experiences. Two things that I can happily cross off my bucket list now are Zip lining and sea walking. Both completely differ from each other, One had this whole adrenaline rush taking over while I was zipping through and the other that needed me to be calm under sea  while I walked in it and fed fishes. In  Bangkok, I felt all those happening city vibes and it reminded me of things back home (minus the pat- pong shows). Something I’ve gone a step further in, is eating Thai food. I did not experiment too much with street food but managed to try and enjoy the food at a few restaurants here and there (unlike Singa..).

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Of course I enjoyed my holiday and everything but the one thing I missed besides my loved ones was the food! The first evening after arriving in Bangkok, while walking down the Phloen Chit road, I decided to stop for dinner at this Indian restaurant Bawarchi Indian that served authentic North Indian food. Located at the Intercontinental , I knew there were fewer chances of disappointment. Plus, I really craved Indian food by then.

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It’s funny how when I introduced myself to the VP Mr. Vinay Chawla , he mistook me for an Indian girl who was to come in for an interview that evening. It did seem a bit off with the kind interview questions he put forward, until he realized his boo-boo. 🙂
*good luck to all those that interview here- I hope Mr Chawla doesn’t intimidate you*
Trust me, he was way too kind after that.

Now talking about the restaurant.

Firstly I felt at home, looking at the Indian staff around to greet us and offer the best service they could. The walls, painting, decor, ceiling, the swing, the music set up, the instrumental hindi music that played – everything made me forget that I was actually in Bangkok!  The staff (mostly Indian too) were quick on their feet right from our cocktails to dessert.

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The papadum cones itself along with their dips already set the quotient high. For starters, out of the Tandoor Jhinga (tandoor prawns), Stuffed wild mushrooms, Ajwani mahi tikka (red snapper- again the tandoor way), and murgh tikka (chicken tikka), my favorite was the huge Tandoor Prawn and the mushroom. The spices they used for the tandoor were mouth watering. Loved how it was very Indian, yet had an interesting twist.

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As a mushroom fan, I went on to try the Cream of Mushroom soup. As rightly described in the menu ,it is pretty much a classic creamy soup tampered with some Indian flavour. Don’t be surprised when you find some tadka to your soup.

When you’re in a restaurant that tells you straight that they’re full-on into North Indian kind of food, you must try the Biryani. Exactly the next dish I’m discussing.

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Served in cute little kadais, the portion is just right for 2.  The aroma itself screamed yum! The long grains, the fried onions, the spices in the biryani masala, the earthiness from that chicken in there were bang on! I’m glad this wasn’t a fusion kind of dish.
There cannot be a bigger compliment to a restaurant than for a person who is on holiday, staying at a hotel , is ready to take the food home and eat it the next day for lunch/ dinner, cold if need be, but will have it anyhow. Yes, I took the parcel, err 2 of them- chicken and the Lamb biryani (they get the lamb especially from Mongolia I understand). Did I say it’s yum??

It’s strange and funny how even though I claim I’m stuffed after eating a-lottt of food, I have plenty of space for dessert. It’s like I have a separate compartment within my tummy for it. Indian sweets are mostly extremely high on sugar and rasmalai is no less.But who’s complaining? I had it all. 😀 nuff said.

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I dined here on a Monday evening, the only day there’s no live Indian music. I strongly suggest if you plan on visiting this place, make sure you get to listen to some Indian music too.

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Hope you enjoyed reading my take on #bawarchiindian
If any of you have visited or plan on visiting this restaurant or any place in Thailand, give me a shout in the comments below! I love reading what you’ve to say.

Until my next post..

Lots of love,
The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

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Soon it will be Christmas Day

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Posing after an amazing dinner

Yes, the way days are flying soon it will be Christmas Day!

Last evening my sister and I went out to a newly opened Hotel as we had a meeting there with an executive of the Hotel. While we waited for our meeting attendee to join us, we sipped on some warm cappuccino and hot chocolate and listened to the soft instrumental songs that played in the background. The little beads of the chandeliers gleamed beautifully making the place look rich and well illuminated.

The highlight of the place was this tall Christmas tree. It’s the first one I’ve seen this Christmas season and it was adorned like a bride. The guests including us couldn’t resist taking pics of this beautiful tree. Also the high ceilings and grand stair case made the place look nothing less than a palace.

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Oh Christmas Tree, how true you stand unchanging

After our meeting was done, my sister and I were invited to stay for dinner too, an invitation we gladly accepted. The dinner spread was of a wide variety and consisted of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines. Frankly more than anything else I scanned through the dessert counter which I looooved. I’m sure by now you know I have a sweet tooth (no regret).

I’m so excited Christmas is approaching soon. It only means more Christmas trees and decorations, more hustle and bustle around us friends & families, more food and sweets, and a lot more pictures and memories , speaking of which you must follow me on Twitter and Instagram as I keep posting pics there.

A few pics from last evening:

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Warm Cappuccino

 

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Want a slice?

 

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A part of my dinner

Also a pic of my sister with the tree in the background. Beautiful right?

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Lady in Red, my sister.

Christmas Greetings to all of you! Happy Holidays to people far and near. Spread the Christmas cheer around.

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want

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We all know this peppy Spice girls song from the nineties, don’t we? Well, yesterday I went for lunch to this place called SpiceKlub at Lower Parel with college friends. Hence this special Spice Girls title for this post.

I’m glad a few of us college pals have managed to stay in touch despite us having moved onto different walks of life. Lately we’ve even been successful in planning a meet at least once a month, which is super great.

Franchua at Spice Klub

Franchua at Spice Klub

SpiceKlub, a Veg-only restaurant in Lower Parel boasts of modern Indian cuisine. While planning our monthly meets, we girls usually opt for restaurants that serve both veg and non veg food. It is safe to say that I love meat in my meals. So when SpiceKlub was decided, the restaurant per se didn’t get me all excited, even though I had heard great reviews of the place. We made a reservation 3 days prior as we were informed it’s really difficult getting a table. However, On reaching there at 12 noon (our reservation was at that time), there were many tables available. So I’m not sure if this reservation thing is just a strategy or it’s really that difficult!

Table set up

Table set up

Spice Klub pics

Spice Klub pics

As I reached before my friends, I had enough time to check the restaurant, the menu, the washroom, the ambience and few other things. I noticed couples walking in, families with children and college going crowd. The instrumental classical music played in the background seemed to be in sync with the overall arrangement at the restaurant. Waiting for others to join me even gave me the chance to look at the steeply priced items in the menu. To be honest, I rolled my eyes when I read the price of ‘Dahi chaat’. I mean close to 400 bucks, like really!!

Okay now the actual food bit. We called for some ‘Pav bhaji fondue’, something that I’m not very fond of usually. But my my.. was I surprised! This pav bhaji fondue was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! The whole presentation with the bhaji in a pot and a tea-light candle keeping the fondue hot was interesting. Even the bread was crisp and cut into small cubes to be dipped in the pot. Keeping presentation aside, just the taste of this Pav bhaji fondue was simply scrumptious

Pav Bhaji Fondue

Pav Bhaji Fondue

We then called for ‘Kesari Paneer Tikka’ and again, oh my! The paneer was beautifully barbecued, it was soft, tender and melted in the mouth. I’m not over exaggerating. Even adding those little cutely kept sauce dips on the table added to the dish’s flavours.

Kesari Paneer Tikka

Kesari Paneer Tikka

With these 2 appetizers , the 3 of us were so stuffed that we decided instead of ordering main course, we’d get just another appetizer and then keep space for dessert (which by the way was excellent!) Appetizer number 3 was Naanza. This dish looks like mini pizza slices topped with lots of cheese and spices. Each mini slice was extremely heavy and rich. It was a challenge for the 3 of us to finish 8 pieces! Had I not known that these were made with naan (Over baked flat bread), I’d easily believe these were pizza slices. In case I did not mention, this dish too was a hit.

Naanza

Naanza

I’m not biased in this review at all, it’s not even a sponsored post! Trust me, I did not miss meat at all in this meal. Every dish is worth the amount and can definitely fill at least 2 people’s tummies.

My favorite part of any meal- dessert was the best. Experience wise, Presentation and Plating wise as well as taste wise. I love chocolate is a well known fact to many. Among all those interesting options we ordered for ‘Soap Cake’.

Soap Cake!

Soap Cake!

Soap cake is actually cake in the form of a soap bar. It is placed on a dish that resembles a soap dish and even has dairy foam on it to make it look like soapy lather!! Super innovating I tell you. They serve it with a towel so that you can use it to wipe your hand after messing your hands (although it’s not all that messy). It tasted great, but full marks for the presentation.

As waiters took food to the other tables we saw some greatdishes there too. Dishes like Test-tube pani puri, de constructed dhokla and paan kulfi with liquid nitrogen looked extremely enticing.

Ambience and service was upto the mark, we didn’t have any reason to complain.

This meal made the pocket light by Rs 2000/- for 3, but the experience and food was totally worth it.

Oh I’ll even share with you my little embarrassment here at Spice Klub:
Due to being the first one to arrive, I didn’t want to look like I’ve been stood up on a date, so I decided to wait at the entrance for a while instead of sitting alone at a table. Just then 2 women walked in and mistook me for a hostess and were like “Hi, a table for 2”. Has that ever happened to you? I kindly told them they’ve got the wrong person and moved aside. I swear I wasn’t dressed like a hostess 🙂

Franchua- At Spice Klub

Franchua- At Spice Klub

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know what you think. I love hearing back from you. Also, add and follow me on: Twitter , Instagram and Bloglovin

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

5, 6, 7, 8!

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The Silent Hummer Turns one today!

Exactly this day last year I started The Silent Hummer, and I am super thrilled for myself that I actually stuck to blogging. Evidently, it wasn’t just some random phase. I can’t wait for this blog to turn 5,6,7,8! Thank you for all the likes, comments, follows and appreciation. You may also congratulate me in the comment box and show some love.. Haha!

What else I’m excited about in life? Getting to be Bridesmaid once again!! Being a Bridesmaid is so much fun with the dress, shoes, the make up, hair do, the attention you receive etc. There are responsibilities too, but who’s complaining about them?

The first duty assigned to me as a bridesmaid was to shortlist dress patterns from the internet. I thought I’d do a great job considering there are like a million pictures available online. However directly googling pictures and patterns wasn’t worthwhile leading me to nothing but those trite patterns. I knew Pinterest would not disappoint. Let’s say, I wasn’t very pleased with my search, but none the less I managed to shortlist a few patterns. Duty one : ✔

Next I got a text stating we need to go for dress measurements. Not that we’ve selected the pattern but just y’know- measurements. Immediately panic struck! I’ve put on 6 kgs in the last 3-4 months and I don’t want to be a fat bridesmaid. Luckily there are still 4 months to go so I’ve requested for a months’s time to lose a little weight here and there. Kellogs Cornflake diet started. Duty two: ✔

Yesterday was the coolest part so far. Shoes shopping. Yay! The bride already shortlisted a few pairs and we just needed to go with the comfiest. So after I finished work last evening we planned to meet at one of the shoe shops at Bandra and after some major debating on color, pattern, size, what looked lose but felt comfortable against what looked perfect but was uncomfortable, whether to use the half insole or whole, we bought our pairs of shoes. Duty three: ✔

Remembering Cinderella

This reminded me of Cinderella.

Reaching Bandra before the others gave me enough of time to glance, and try on a variety of shoes at the different shops.It’s difficult to not give into temptation and buy some pairs for office wear/ casual wear or whatever occasion. I thought my will power was awesome yesterday. But now on second thoughts I should’ve gotten those flats that were on sale. Anyway..

The post got it's title from here D

Shoe collection 2

Looking at the collection of shoes in all these shops, makes you want to have them all, isn’t it?

Here’s a little thing I’d like to share. While trying on different pairs of shoes, there was this one particular pair I saw and wished was the one we settled for, given the fact that there are going to be long standing hours, some last minute running about, and lots of dancing to be done. Good news? The bride agreed that those were the ones we’d be wearing on her D- Day! I cannot share the image of that pair now obviously, but when the time is right you will get to see them.

Shoes

Bride and her maid

Vellena, the bride to be! Wishing her love and luck!

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Anywhere you go always take the weather with you

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How many people actually stick to their New Year Resolutions? Exercise daily, Quit smoking, complete the 100 days challenge, study everyday? I remember last year I made the resolution of travelling. Travelling to some place new, some where besides the annual trips to Goa. Domestic or International wasn’t important, what was important was just to explore a new place and surrounding. As much as I wanted to complete that resolution, I didn’t. 2014 was undoubtedly the worst year of my life personally.

Like the previous year, this year too, travelling was on my resolution list. But the procrastinator that I am, I didn’t really work towards making it happen. But somehow the resolution found itself on my lap, when I received an invitation to visit Ahmedabad. My cousin’s wife who currently works in Mumbai is from that city and she was visiting her hometown for the long Independence weekend. All I had to do was pack my bag and go along. Of course I accepted the invitation.

Whatever little I knew about Ahmedabad was through my elocution competition in school about Gandhiji and through the popular Taarak Mehta series. With regard to some Gujrati delecacies, as much as I’m aware that Gujrati food is easily available in Mumbai, I’ve never gone out of my way to eat it. Maybe if someone offered something at work, I’d just take a bite and that was it. So here I left no stone unturned and gorged on the khaman, dhokla, khakra, fafda, khandvi, dal wada, jalebis,shrikhand, pedas and so much more! I love reading these typical Gujju delicacies out loud all together, it tickles that funny bone a little.

Ahmedabad special

At the Vastrapur Lake

The beautiful River Front Garden

As a tourist I was shown around the famous places in the city. Although public transport is easily accessible with Auto rickshaws, regular buses and BRT buses around, the best way to commute was the 2 wheeler. It was convenient in so many ways. We covered the Kankaria Lake, Vastrapur Lake, the Ellis Bridge, the beautiful River Front, some temples and mosques, the church in Mani nagar, Alpha 1 mall, Himalya mall, the famous Manek Chowk that starts serving their delicacies only late evenings and my favorite- the Sabarmati Museum and Ashram (Gandhiji’s ashram). Doing this much in just 4 days was awesome and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

A post specially dedicated to the Sabarmati Ashram will definitely make it on my blog soon. Enjoy the pics and Stay tuned.

Vastrapur Lake

River Front

River Front Garden

A big Thank you to Ro and her wonderful  family members for being such good hosts. It made my stay memorable and I’d definitely love to come visit you all again.

Roanna

With Roanna and Wilona

Lots of love,

Thesilenthummer
Franchua D’Souza

She’s been living in her white bread world

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I am used to eating a lot of bread whether it’s in the form of sandwiches, bread with chicken gravy at home, pav bhaji, vada pav, hot dog rolls, or garlic bread. I’m not the health conscious type so I don’t really know benefits/dangers of that much bread. As long as the bread accompaniment is good, I’m a happy person.

Recently on Groupon India, there was a deal for Pizza Express at Andheri which my friends and I tried. We love deals, we love discounts and we’re not ashamed of it.

Pizza Express We knew what to expect as there was a special groupon menu available and the deal wasn’t bad at all for the cost. To make it a fun trip to Pizza express we even used the famous Mumbai Metro, which worked out like a perfect plan considering the outlet we went to was just below the metro station.

Having been to the Colaba outlet before with college friends, I loved the ambience and the vibes there, especially the open kitchen. When we had visited then, we even had to wait for 20 mins. Keeping that in mind, this time we made a reservation which really wasn’t needed. This particualr outlet is quite spacious, with a lot of tables. Also, just one of tables was occupied when we reached. So we had the liberty to decide which table we wanted and were ready to get some good service considering there weren’t too many diners.

The 4 of us went with Peach iced tea (was very watery due to tooooo much ice) for beverages, chose Garlic bread with Mozarella cheese (I did say I eat a lot of bread, didn’t I?) and Bruschetta Originale (err.. bread again! Also, it wasn’t that great a starter) for starters. Since we weren’t too excited with the Classic pizza options, we decided to pay extra and upgraded to Apollo and the Giardiniera thin crust pizzas that weren’t part of the Groupon Menu. For desserts, considering there was just gelato flavours of lemon, vanilla and chocolate to choose from, chocolate seemed like the best.

Since pictures are a very important feature of my posts, here are some pics. Enjoy.

Garlic bread with mozarella cheese Bruschetta At Pizza Express Apollo pizza Giardiniera pizza Chocolate Gelato Open kitchen

My overall rating:

Ambience: ***
Food: ***
Service: ****
Groupon deal: ***

Note: This is not a sponsored post.
P.S: I’m still awaiting an invitation from sponsors, haha 🙂

Lots of love,

Thesilenthummer
Franchua D’Souza

You know I like my Chicken Fried

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On Friday, my friends and me met up for early dinner. We chose Busago- the BKC outlet (in Mumbai) since we’d get to have some Burmese food for a change.

Outside Busago

Busago is well known for their Kaukswe. I had never been to any of their outlets before, but I knew what the food’s like, as people often call for it at work and I’ve tasted it a couple of times. Since it’s located just opposite Sofitel, behind the popular Starbucks and just beside Masala Library I expected Busago to be a big place with wide spacing between tables and all. But really it’s like a little.. I mean little cafe.Momos

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Chocolate mousse

Foodwise, I relished their Tibetan chicken momos with their red original chibs sauce. However we had to wait for over 20 mins for them to arrive. Realising service could take time we immediately called for our main course which consisted of 2 Chicken Kaukswes, Cambodian Curry Chicken and Chicken in Basil. Peach iced tea is what we all went for from the beverages section. Since I am not a food expert and the fact that the food certainly cannot be compared to the chinese (Indian chinese)/ mughlai food we are used to eating, I may not be able to judge how good the food was. All I can say is I don’t have much to complain about which is a good enough thing.
My favorite part of any meal has be dessert. We had ordered chocolate mousse and it was just about alright. Let’s say I’ve had beter chocolate mousse in the past.
According to me Busago is decent enough for a first time visit or just to try Burmese food out. You won’t be disappointed with the food, but I’m not sure about how soon you will want to go there the next time.

Happy after food

Posing

As I usually do for all my posts, I did manage to get a few pics clicked. Hope you liked them.

Lots of Love,

Thesilenthummer
Franchua D’Souza