Thursday, 24 February 2011

Malaka Spice - 4/5

Lane 5,
Koregaon Park,

If you are one who likes to try out different kinds of cuisines, then Malaka Spice is the perfect restaurant for you. Located in the heart of Pune, this restaurant takes fine dining to an all new level. Malaka spice has three different kinds of seating arrangements. You can either choose to sit in the normal air conditioned dining hall, with fine interiors.

Or you can sit outside under a canopy amongst the trees as shown in the picture on the left.

The third type of seating tries to bring out the "street" feeling. With chairs laid out near a handcart bar and close enough to the open kitchen where you can smell the aromas of fish being grilled, this was the place that I chose to sit.

The first thing that impressed me about the restaurant was the tagline. South East Asian inspirations - it said. It didn't claim to be the authentic south east Asian restaurant like many others do and then leave patrons like me disappointed. The food though very south east Asian, was also made keeping the Indian customer in mind and so the fish wasn't fried in pork fat and the tanginess of the curries was a little subdued. But it tasted great none the less.

We settled for the buffet, like we always do. Buffets are great value for money. The buffet includes 5 starters each, both vegetarian and non vegetarian. We had prawn, chicken, lamb, fish and turkey! The starters were served on wooden sticks, which reminded me of China and Bangkok! After eating starters for the best part of two hours, this is how our plates looked!

We ordered cocktails to go with the food. I settled for a 'Knight in White Satin'. It is a mock tail with coconut juice as the base. I generally always go for a Pina Colada but the exotic name made me try this one. Priced at hundred bucks, the mocktails are a steal. The cocktails are slightly more expensive at 250 bucks a drink, but it is money well spent! And ya, that is my room mate, Vinay Kuruvilla. The other two drinks are Long Island Ice Tea and Pina Colada!

After the starters, followed tempura, which is a Japanese dish of seafood and meat, battered and crisply fried! Tempura was followed with a tangy soup, which went by the name of curry mee. Which was followed by Singaporean noodles. Honey fried noodles with vanilla ice cream was for dessert! Priced at 500, this is by far the best buffet I have been to in Pune.

Some other things about the restaurant:

~ On each table, they have this 'know your host' card, which has a caricature of your host for the night, followed by a small description about him. It is the first time that I have seen anything like this and I was impressed!

~ The owner of the restaurant is an art connoisseur and so there is an art gallery on the first floor of the restaurant. In fact, there are canvasses and pieces of art placed all over the restaurant. In the picture accompanying this post is yours truly standing next to the bar, trying his best to not look awkward!

~ Malaka Spice has a relationship manager, who comes to your table every now and then to enquire if all's well. I always thought that relationship managers should either be great looking women (you know what I mean) or very fluent speakers, if not both. The RM at Malaka Spice was a middle aged man who stammered. That was the only let down during the entire evening!

~ And ya, Malaka Spice has a small souvenir shop which houses tees and mugs and keychains and every other thing you would expect a souvenir shop to have, with Malaka Spice written on it! Not quite sure if anyone actually buys such stuff!

Final Verdict: Paisa vasool and a must visit in Pune!

Warning: The service is slightly slow, cause the assumption is that you have come there to absorb the atmosphere and all that jazz. The starters could never keep pace with us!

'Pose' Script: This is a picture of Deepak, my second room mate. The post looked kinda incomplete without him!

Friday, 18 February 2011

When WC is World Cup and not Water Closet

Yes, it is World Cup time. And the sports section of Times of India has gone from 3 sides to 6 sides. That is a 100% increase and it quite resembles the growth in my monthly expenditure. But coming back to cricket and the World Cup. The papers are full of headlines as to how this is India's best chance to win a World Cup and all that jazz. I don't quite remember when I started reading the newspaper, but what I do remember is that these very same headlines repeat every four years.

The only major difference is that this year India has managed to win its warm up games. And so instead of 'India not in the danger of peaking too early', the headlines are more along the lines of 'Momentum will carry India to World Cup victory'.

The only positive I see in all this hype is that the poor 1983 World Cup winners get their share of attention every four years. We have read articles about how there was so little money in cricket in those days and that our Cricket Board needed a Lata Mangeshkar concert to bail them out of the financial mess so that they could pay the 1983 boys their wages. India cricket today has become a river of gold and I don't blame Kapil's boys for dipping their hands in every now and then.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

7 Most Hyped Things!

1. Celebrations: Whether it is a birthday or a festival or New Years' for that matter, I find celebrations over-the-top and to an extent, even unwarranted. I've never felt the need to party just because it happened to be the first day of the year or the 25th of December.

2. GPAs: Grade Point Averages are as hyped as anything I've ever seen. People make a really big deal about it. Apart from probably a few companies, I don't think the rest even bother with GPAs. And if anything, it only helps you get your first job. Nothing beyond that.

3. Bean bags: If you drive around Mumbai for half an hour, you will see bean bag graffiti all over construction sites and bridges. You just can't miss it. When I finally got a chance to sit on one, it hardly lived up to the hype.

4. Music: HYPED. Period.

5. Goa: I've been to Goa once and I really liked the place. I do plan on going there once more may be. But that's it. I've known people who've been to Goa like 10 times. If beaches are what you want, then some places in Karnataka have the most pristine beaches I've seen. And apart from alcohol, everything in Goa is simply too expensive.

6. Friendship: I think in life at any given point, we can have no more than 7 good friends. The rest are just glorified acquaintances.

7. US of A: Been there twice and there is nothing so great about it. Singapore is cleaner, Europe has more history, China can wow you instantly, Cuba has the girls and Africa the home-like feeling. America is hyped. Just like everything else on this list.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Shawn's Life's Fundas

Shawn’s Life’s Fundas – written on the last page of his notebook!

"These are my principles and if you don't like them.....well I have others."

- Groucho Marx

#1 Never get so attached to a person, that you cannot say goodbye without turning back.

#2 Never let circumstances dictate your behaviour.

#3 Your best friend, is after all, another human being.

#4 Tomorrow will have worries of its own.

#5 Unforgiveness is like consuming poison and hoping that the other person dies.

#6 An open door isn’t reason good enough to enter the house.

#7 Timing, is everything, in life.

#8 Time heals everything.

#9 Don't depend on someone else to make you happy.

#10 The first mover advantage is over rated. In the end the market share is captured by the best and not the fastest.

#11 The importance of a decision and the emotions involved while making it, should be in inverse proportion.

#12 Life is all about prioritisation.

#13 There are no good decisions or bad decisions. There are only decisions you regret and decisions you don't!