Mama Mia, how can I resist you!

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On this lazy Sunday afternoon as I lay in bed with my feet stretched out to the cupboard next to it, I’m thinking mozarella cheese. I’m thinking Burrata cheese. I’m thinking home made pasta. I’m thinking a glass of fancy red wine. I’m thinking some great music. I’m thinking great company. I’m thinking of a great Italian pasta bar in Hong Kong. Oh wait, I’m transported to Pici (Pronounced as Peachy)!

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If you’ve read my previous travel posts, you will know that I’m not a big fan of South East Asian cuisines. Considering it is an acquired taste, I think my palette is opening up to it, but I can’t say I’m fond of it yet. Thankfully Hongkong has so many options available, I survived it without missing Indian food.

Here’s another thing about me. I’ve never gone trekking in my life, well at least not until Hong Kong happened. On one of my days there, the inner athletic in me decided to go trekking on the Dragon’s back. A legit 4 hour morning trek with a few stops to admire and click the scenic views.

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It was certainly a personal accomplishment and what better way than to celebrate it with some great Italian food!

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If you’re in Hong Kong, you’re probably well acquainted with Pici. Initially I called it everything from PC to Picki to pishi. On being seated, I finally gathered some courage and decided to get it out of the way with and asked what’s the place actually called! Peachy it is!

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It is hard to miss Pici. If you’ve not visited it yet, I strongly suggest you give it a shot. It’s definitely worth the hype. The food for one is amaaaaaaazing, I mean I’m actually drooling thinking about that burrata cheese and gnocchi Al pesto pasta right now! I’m not a Tiramisu or Panna Cotta fan generally, but boy! I really did enjoy my dessert too here. Did I mention they’ve got some interesting cocktails?

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Pici is well located and that’s another plus point. The place has got such a relaxing feel and vibe to it, the music and decor certainly add to it. The staff is warm and welcoming, happy to give their recommendations when needed. And the fact that you get to see your pasta being made in front of you is just so cool.

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This restaurant is all about a great experience. Having been able to have super fun conversations with strangers, I won’t be shy in saying this restaurant can actually be an ideal place for a first date/tenth date.. Whatever! I mean this is where I got to know about the ‘Brad Pitt returning to Jennifer Aniston’ rumour. Don’t forget to make a reservation in advance, I tell you! You can thank me later.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you’re visiting Hong Kong, you should definitely put this on your list of restaurants that need to be visited.

I’ll keep sharing tidbits from my Hong Kong trip here on the blog. Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer

Franchua D’Souza

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Tie a Yellow Ribbon round the old oak (mango) tree

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This weekend we celebrated my Sister’s birthday. It was celebrated with family and close friends, good food, drinks and cake. That’s the way we usually prefer it. I’d prefer a house party/ pajama party any day over late night clubbing. I’m not judgmental about people who prefer it, but that’s not my kind. I’ve informed you about how terrible the heat currently is in Mumbai, so dressing up in this weather isn’t easy for me. I chose a basic mustard yellow top and blue jeans. The top is actually a hand me down, and is now one of my summer favorites. Mom’s necklace added some more color to my look. IMG-20150524-WA0002 IMG-20150524-WA0009 Here in India, it’s the season of mangoes- the weakness of many! Since being spontaneous is fun, I got some mangoes that were around in the house and posed with them specially for this post. The color of mangoes matched my top perfectly.Check the pics, hope you like them. IMG-20150524-WA0010 IMG-20150524-WA0008 IMG-20150524-WA0007 Photography credits: Nolasco On a completely different note, did any of you watch the IPL Finals yest?? Mumbai Indians won the tournament in style! It was awesome! I’m so glad I watched a match live this season. Sorry Dhoni and team, better luck next time. You all have a great week ahead!

Lots of love,

Thesilenthummer
Franchua D’Souza

Main Toh Raste se Ja Rahi Thi

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Remember this song? It’s the first thing that came to my head while deciding a title for this post.

I’ll be honest. The only thing that keeps me ticking in the week is the fact that the weekend is getting closer. And until the weekend doesn’t arrive, I bask in the happiness of my previous weekends, especially if they went well. Remember that Saturday lunch at Candies?

I really, really believe that the best things happen when they’re unplanned and random. I apply this unplanned funda to weekends too.
I happened to meet a friend/neighbor on my building terrace early on a Sunday evening. We got talking about our lives and suddenly came up with a random plan of going street hopping to relish some street food delicacies. Being a Mumbaikar that’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never did.
Anyway, In 20 mins we were decently dressed from our regular home clothes and off we were on the bike.

When we started out, we only knew we were going to have ragda pyaali at Bhendi bazaar. The place we went to was a simple street cart, somewhere in one of those similar looking bylanes, close to an intersection. The only landmark I remember as of now is Ezee Farsan which apparently is well known.

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I won’t deny, had I come unprepared to this place with someone, I would’ve been put off immediately looking at the area, the cart, the people around etc. But here I knew what I was up for. I knew Mumbai street food means..arr.. forget it, we’ll focus on the good things.

So the pyaali was pretty good, and was typically street food happiness. There’s a reason they say chaat food is better on the street than in hotels.
While ordering the pyaali we did mention we didn’t want it spicy, clearly that didn’t help because we needed to have something sweet soon after the dish. Also, the little maaza bottle we got from a nearby shop didn’t do the trick.

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As we were sitting back onto the bike, we decided we’ll have some water melon sharbat from this place in Grant road. Apparently this is famous too. Now while we were on our way, there was this place Sickanagar which had quite a few carts of street food too. We decided to go in for Khicia at Bajrangi Papad corner. As per my friend’s explanation, Khicia is something like an Indian veg pizza which has papad at the base instead of pizza bread. I did not quite relate to the pizza bit, but I understood it as something like sev puri, just that instead of the puris there’s this big papad as the base. Toppings are the same. Lime and cheese add to the flavor totally. We chose the masala khichia, and must admit it’s interesting, and very filling.

Watermelon sharbat

Not forgetting out Watermelon sharbat plan, we continued our mini food excursion. This particular stall is very close to Navjeevan Society. We had to choose between the sharbat with water or milk. My pal chose water, while I took a chance with milk. It was sweet, refreshing and mine being with milk was quite heavy too. Even the water melon pieces put in were sweet.

To have all of this in the span of an hour is a great deal for me, so obviously by now my tummy was stuffed completely. But what about pleasing my sweet tooth?? There’s  always place for dessert right? Tee- hee 🙂

Now we needed something sweet (read chocolaty) and light, enough to end this mini food excursion on a happy note. What better way than the very rich and famous “Muchhar  Paanwalla” at the posh Breach Candy? In approximately 5 minutes we were there on the bike. The paanwallas here have competition to the core. We hadn’t even stopped our bike when they started approaching us and asking us what we’d like to have from their respective little paan shops. We chose chocolate paan, and it was awesome! With the chocolate oozing out from it, just yum!

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That was it for our early evening dinner and we finally decided to head back home.
But we did make one more stop at Lucknowee Tunday Kebab, but that was only to get some packed kebabs for my sister back home, and my pal’s folks. We share food, sometimes 😛

Lucknowee Tunday Kebabs

Selfie with foodie pal

And that’s a selfie with my food pal!

I’m sure people have had crazy experiences like this, do let me know!

Yours Truly,
Thesilenthummer.
Franchua D’Souza

Dark Horse Art Festival 2015

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The one event I’ve been attending every year since college is the Kala Ghoda Art Festival. This year too, it was no different. It was a Saturday, the second last day of the festival, PLUS Valentines’ Day. In short it was super packed! Check out the crowd.

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My trip to the KGAF 2015 was never planned to be a Valentine day outing, t’was simply mere co- incidence. Bigger co- incidence? I wore a red shirt, that I’ve never worn ever!! It’s not like I’m anti- valentine, it’s just if I had realized, I would’ve chosen something else.

Me at KGF

On getting out of the cab, as we stood at the entrance, looking at the crowd we were in two minds whether we should get in or not. But we realized that the security check was just a formality and the lines were moving real quick. Rightly, I didn’t even have to open the zip of my bag at the security check point and I got in.
Despite the afternoon heat, the place was bursting with color and energy. There were the young and the old. College going youngsters, little boys and girls with their parents, even elderly couples were around. The stalls were packed, we attempted looking at the stuff in a few stalls initially but with the crowd it was tough, both for us as well as the stall keepers. We decided we’ll be happy just watching the art.
It’s amazing how every year they have magnificent themes and art installations, that too with very loud and clear social messages.
One of my favorites this year was the Big tap placed above a bigger bucket. As you looked into the bucket, there was a video on Saving Water. There were others too, see the pics.

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Wheels Art

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A round of the entire place took us nothing more than an hour or a little more, considering we didn’t stop at too many stalls, just a few dozen pics you know.

Even outside the main venue, there were a lot of sellers with innovative and interesting things, right from posters, to junk jewellery, to floral hairbands, toys, musical flutes and what not. Getting a cab with all this hustle and bustle wasn’t possible no matter how tired we were, so we figured it was best to walk to CST Station and move accordingly from there.

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Junk Jewellery

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Life outside Kala Ghoda

Nolasco who loves photography, would never miss a chance to click this monumental building no matter how often he’s here, and this is what he captured.

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Over all, it was a great outing with friends, except wrong time of the day chosen. Lesson learnt.

Photo credits: Nolasco Alphonso

If you like his photography, write him a line here.

Yours Truly,
Thesilenthummer.