Casablanca Wine presents Bubbly Brunch Fortune Select Dasve Lavasa -Reviewed.

 

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Good Drop Wine Cellars is a specialist sparkling wine producer. Founded in 2009 by chartered accountant turned winemaker Ashwin Rodrigues who learned his craft in the Barossa Valley, Australia, our objective is be at the forefront of the Indian wine revolution. We do this by offering quality and value wines, tailor-made for the Indian wine drinker. We got off the blocks in 2010 by using contract winemaking facilities in Nashik, Maharashtra. Our own sprawling state-of-the-art winery was set up in 2013 at the Vinchur Wine Park, Nashik, Maharashtra. Our wines are available in Maharashtra and Goa and will be steadily expanding to new markets.

Ashwin Rodrigues -A founder of Good Drop Wine Cellars

At Good Drop we believe that India has tremendous potential to be a quality producer of wines. The world is sitting up and taking note as more and more serious drops come out of India. We see ourselves as the harbingers of this revolution. However if the base of the industry has to grow we need to make not just high-end wines but quality and affordable wines that are suitable for the local palate. Good Drop does exactly that and with a swirl of innovation. Rio has taken wine to the masses by making it a fun beverage at under a hundred rupees a pop. Our competitively priced Casablanca is India’s only Charmat method premium sparkling wine. It won the Indian Consumer Choice Awards 2015, a testament to our listening to our consumer’s needs. More recently we have acquired Good Earth Wines the brand as part of our strategy to be a complete wine producer. I’m happy that we’re on course to fulfill our vision of seeing India as a wine drinking and producing country, one glass at a time.

THE WINERY

A winery is the heart of a wine producer. In 2013 Good Drop Wine Cellars set up one of India’s most innovative wineries in Vinchur Wine Park, Nasik, designed for especially for sparkling wine production. A sprawling facility, it has a current tank capacity of 550,000 litres extendable to 2 million litres within the existing building. The entire building is a pre-fabricated structure using sandwich PUF panels, a first in India. The machinery is largely imported from Italy. The winery is equipped with a range of pressure vessels especially for Charmat, a method of sparkling wine production.

I was Invited for the Tasting of their beautiful Sparkling Wines and Rio Spritzers at Zodiac 24hrs Astral Coffee Shop in Fortune Select Dasve Lavasa.

There was huge array of Saturday Bubbly Brunch right from the live counters, Fresh Salads, Starters, Mains and Delicious Desserts. You need to have huge appetite to taste all of these along with the Bubbly Wines.

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Good Drop Wines had two variants of wines to offer: Rose Spumante and Vino Spumante.

What are Spumante Wines: It is also called Asti or Asti Spumante It’s made from the Moscato Bianco grape.
Frizzante and Spumante are two wine words most associated with sparkling wine.
Both frizzante and spumante describe the level of effervescence (i.e. the strength of the bubbles) in a bottle of sparkling wine. Wines labeled ‘frizzante’ are what we call gently sparkling, while wines labeled ‘spumante’ are more effervescent and fully sparkling.

The carbonation in sparkling wine is created using one of two methods: Méthode Champenoise (Champagne method) or Metodo Italiano, which is also known as the Charmat-Martinotti method.

Good Drop Wines is made from the Charmat Martinotti Method. They are sweet and quite bubbly which you can feel it with every sip. My personal favourite is Vino Spumante – Its Sweet Mild and Bubbly. On the other hand Rose was bit Dry for me, wp-image-554387866wp-image-2084535738wp-image-2131941042wp-image-1160928272wp-image-2065034230wp-image-1807031249wp-image-900377540wp-image-271159453wp-image-1444210147wp-image-1229467812wp-image-1304003056it retained a slight sweetness although it’s not sugary sweet.

Next one in the line up was the Rio Spritzers- There were three flavours, out of which I could try two only. Lemon & Passion and the other one was Orange & Pineapple.

Rio- First Fizzy Wine in India to be packaged in affordable party drink with a pull-off cap.
I loved the Tangy and Refreshing Lemon & Passion Rio Spritzer. This was the Best ever combination till now I had in Alcoholic based Fruit flavour Drinks. All the Spritzers contains 8% v/v Alcohol.

Orange and Pineapple– This had Tangy and slight after taste of sweetness with every sip. Nice palish in colour.

Bubbly Brunch: As I mentioned earlier that the buffet spread was huge and one should have a good appetite for it. As per the brand standard the quality of the food was really good. The Staff is courteous and happy to help.

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The Bubbly brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 pm – 03:30 pm along with free flowing of sparkling wine.

A big shout out for Anupama for the invitation and Thanks you Team Zodiac for hosting us. 

Other Details: 

Zomato Link for Fortune Select Dasve Lavasa 

Good Drop Wine Website 

 

 

Rajasthani Food Festival – The Orchid Hotel Balewadi.

Rajasthan- Land of Kings.
Rajasthani Food Festival @Orchid Hotel Balewadi.

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You will get the feel of the richness right from the entry when you arrive, you will be welcome with a tilak and offered with the Rajawadi Lassi loaded with Dryfruits. Then you enter through the replica of the Jaipur’s Famous Hawa Mahal. The staff is dressed in Rajasthani attire will welcome with Ram Ram Sa or Khamma Gani – A traditional way of welcoming the guest. The Boulevard is decorated with the Rajasthani artefacts and they also have traditional seating arrangement.

Coming to the Food: The Buffet spread is as usual is huge. They have three types of Dal Baatis, Seven types of traditional subzi, Ten mouth watering desserts, four types of appetisers, live counter of Chaat and Pani Puri along with Golawala, Salads and Soups. This is a huge spread!!!

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Things I tried: All the Dal Baati’s with the Panchmel Dal: Very Nicely prepared soaked in ghee, with Richness overloaded!! Gatte ki subji was perfectly cooked, with right amount of sourness.

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I just skipped the regular subzi’s to keep up some space for the Desserts.
In between I also tried some of the Chaats like Papadi Chaat, Kachori Chaat, Pani Puri. all were the winners!!
To end the mains I tried the Khichadi Kadhi- Hot Kadhi and soothing Khichadi completed the meal.

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Desserts:

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Churma: This was nice moist and aptly sweet, and it was a perfectly going with Panchmel Dal and Baati.

Churma Ladoo: The Churma was nicely roasted and added some dryfruits to it.
Malpua: It was bit dry, so gave a skip.
Other desserts were Imarti, Mawa Kachori a sweeter version of the Kachori with dryfruits, and some fusion desserts like Churma Mousse, Jalebi Rabadi Pie, Rasmalai.
Moong Dal Halwa- Graciously loaded with ghee and dryfruits.

Overall: This was a very unique experience of the rich culture of the Rajasthan. Rest Drool over the Pictures!!

A big Shout out to Neha for the Invitation and Team Orchid (Boulevard) for hosting us.

Important things to be noted:
Date of Festival: Its a ongoing till 6th of August.
Price : 1050/-  (Its a Pure Vegetarian Festival) 
Timings- 12.30 to 3.00 PM & 7 to 11 PM, Sunday Brunch- 12 to 4 PM

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Gong – New Asian Restaurant – Reviewed

 

 

​Sacred Chinese gongs are inscribed with the Mandarin Chinese characters called Tai Loi, which means, happiness has arrived.

 

GONG- Modern Asian takes you to a new level of happiness with its high energy ambience that is a contemporary take on traditional Japanese temple architecture and diverse Asian flavours that are prepared using western cooking techniques and presentations.

The menu features a progressive mix of Sushis, Asian Tapas, Stir Fries and Curries – rolled, steamed, baked, fried, tossed or slow cooked. The cocktail concoctions make use of fresh and dehydrated fruits, herbs, spices and liqueurs to achieve a perfect harmony of flavours.
The result is a perfect balance of ingredients and textures that are all a testimony to GONG holding the baton of innovation.

GONG is a venture of Speciality Restaurants Ltd, the company behind favourites like Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta and Hoppipola. MD Anjan Chatterjee teams up with son Avik Chatterjee, who’s designed GONG to oscillate between an elegant dining space and a pumped up, high-energy bar.

Ingredients from Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and its neighbouring countries jostle for space in the exhaustive menus. There’s a wide range of sushi, rolls and dimsums to spoil you for choice, and the long list of noodles and mains ensure that deciding what to order is a tough decision.

I was invited for the tasting some of their speciality.

We started with Amuse Bouche: The term is French and literally means “mouth amuser” It has often becomed a showcase, however, due to the artistry and showmanship of the chef, intensified by the competition among restaurants. They had a cranberry sphere Jelly type with basil crumble, followed by kaffir lime tofu. Nice mix of sweet and spice in one go.

Mushroom Cappuccino Soup: This was Smooth enough to start with and served hot with Extra finely chopped Mushrooms by the side in a small bowl. Very nicely presented. #MushHave

Sushi Rolls: 

Asparagus Tempura: A Chef’s speciality. Young leafy tips of asparagus, tempura fried to a nice golden colour and rolled into a chumaki size sushi. Avocado inside and are topped with crunch. So delicious!!

Cream Cheese Avocado: This was another gem from the Chef. Mouth melting Cheesy with Mayo dressing along with Asparagus and Cucumber were there for holding up. Rolled in Sushi rice. Served with WASABI, Tender and sweet Thai Ginger. #MustHave.

Dimsums:

Edamame and Truffle Dumpling: These little babies were tender soft, silky and shiny. Along with this to add some spice and enhance the taste they had given us some authentic Dipping Sauces.

Asian Cottages Cheese Ravioli: This was absolutely must have. Flimsy Ravioli dipped in Thai flavoured curry served in Martini Glass. Wow. This is a beautiful creation by the Chef. #MustHave

Crispy Vegetable Cheung Fun: This cheung fun is one of the more untraditional dishes, mixing the textures of the soft cheung fun skin, the crispy beancurd sheets and the Veggies filling. I loved this! No wonder its the Gong’s most favourite dish.

Crispy Lotus Stem: This is unarguably the best Crispy Lotus stem I ever had. The speciality of this is the Stem are big in size and which are directly imported from Thailand. Thats it has a different taste and crunch with every bite. #MustHave

Burnt garlic fried rice with vegetables in Chilli basil: This is the only restaurant where I liked the Fried rice, nice and flavourful with burnt Garlic. Vegetable tossed and served with Chilli Basil sauce.

Stir fried Noodles: Good in taste Finely chopped veggies added to it.
Desserts:

Chocolate Dome: One of the fancy items from the menu. Big Chocolate Dome is placed and Hot Chocolate Sauce is poured over it to uncover the hidden gems like Brownie cubes, Crispy honey flat noodles, Some Popcorns, and a Scoop of Vanilla Ice-Cream. #MustHave.
Mocktails:

Malaya Spiced Melon and Hot Guava Punch: Its bit difficult to decide between both but Hot Guava Punch is my favourite.

Overall:

Gong takes you to the Journey of Asian cuisine along with some latest Molecular Gastronomy techniques and which embellishes the overall dinning experience. The Interiors of the Gong makes this journey Magnetic and Delightful.

A big Shout out to Shweta from ESOL and Team Gong for Invitation and hosting us.

 

 

 

Khiva-The Royal Treat. 

​Khe Vakh! (What a pleasure!) is what the folks in the city of Khiva, Uzbekistan, say to celebrate good life and good food.

The award-wining restaurant, first started its operations in Mumbai and now have taken the challenge to tempt Punekars by offering a unique journey of exotic Royal Frontier Bhukara Cuisine. The restaurant is located in Phoenix mall, third floor, next to Copper Chimney.

This concept food restaurant has travelled all the way from the province of Uzbekistan to Mumbai. And after creating a tremendous impression among the Mumbaikars, it’s on its way to bowl the Puneiites over with delectable food. Bukhara food is known for its richness and is famous for its exotic use of spices, dried fruit and nuts. Khiva will welcome you with it’s unique and spacious ambience done aesthetically with rustic wall décor, cosmopolitan yet ethnic that will instantly give you a feeling as if you have been transported to a different land. Says Roshan Nichani, owner of Khiva, “After receiving an overwhelming response by the people of Mumbai, we are now coming to this beautiful city of Pune. Known as a complete foodies’ paradise, Pune was undoubtedly our next destination to bring Khiva, and we are sure the people will like this gourmet experience as much as Mumbai does.”

After bringing its patents the pleasure of eating finger-licking good food in Amchi Mumbai, Khiva, the award-wining restaurant, offering a unique journey of exotic Royal Frontier Bhukara Cuisine, is opening its first outlet in Pune. The royal luxury dining, Khiva will serve sumptuous culinary delights such as ‘Seekh Kebab’, ‘Sikandaar Raan’, ‘Peshawar Paneer Tikka’, ‘Chandni Chicken Kebab’, ‘Lychee Ki Three’, ‘Nalli Ka Salan’, and the signature ‘Dal Khiva’, to name a few.

The ‘Asli Dum’ preparation of food is Khiva’s pièce de résistance, along with earthen pot cooking, simmered for long hours to ensure that the taste buds get ticked with every bite. Khiva tries to revive the lost art of slow cooking, using fresh and pure flavours and ingredients, keeping it simple and minimalistic – the true taste of Maharajas.

The chefs at Khiva have mastered the art of Peshawari and Bukhara cuisine. The iconic dishes such as the ‘Sikandri Raan’ and Dum Biryani offer a sampling of the menu’s best features.

I was Invited for the food tasting as a part of the Media Preview of Khiva Restaurant. 
As we settled  down after the brief introduction with the owner himself and Imran who handles the operations of restaurant was there to take care of us.

We started with Virgin Mojito and the traditional complimentary dish known a PARRA which was served with three different Dips. Parra is basically are crunchy sticks which are suppose to be dipped in the dips and enjoy till your food arrives. As it was mentioned to me that everything is made fresh and taken full care to maintain the quality of the food which the patrons can enjoy and relish the Royal Cuisine. Three Dips were Fresh Mint dip, cheese garlic mayo, and the spiciest one was the Tomato Chilli dip (Have it with caution)
Appetizers:

Paneer Peshawari Tikka: This was tandoori cooked Creamy Soft and big square pieces of Malai Paneer marinated in Yoghurt and spiced with yellow chilli served with basic salad. This had its own distinct flavour not too spicy not too sour but right amount of flavours made this paneer yummy.

Mutter Aur Cheese ka Tikka: This was just out of the world dish!! Served hot enough to hold the googy cheese within. The base was of green peas and gram flour which was shallow fried. Perfect to start with and highly recommended for the Vegetarians.

Makai Sheek Kebab: Sheek Kebab preparation is not everyone cup of tea. This has to be perfectly cooked from within and at the same time it should not get overcooked or burnt from outside. The Moisture in the dough plays a important role in it. These were so well cooked and sprinkled with homemade masala to add the extra flavour to it. Recommended.

Mains: 
Paneer Khurchan: This is served in a Flat plate cottage cheese or Paneer sautéed in Capsicum, Tomato, fried onion to give extra flavour. Its colourful and flavourful dry subzi.

Subzi Nargisi Kofta: Soft Mix Vegetable dumplings or kofta’s fried and cooked in Tangy Tomato Onion Gravy. Little sweet -little tangy at the same time made this subzi unique of the lot.

Meloni Tarkari: As the name suggest its a kind of a seasonal and fresh mixed vegetable with perfect consistency of the gravy.

Dal Khiva: Black Dal cooked overnight and shimmered with tomatoes, Ginger, Garlic, Cream and butter is added to get the perfect taste and thickness. The dal has to be cooked at least for 8-10 hours to attain exact consistency and aromatic flavours of all the ingredients.

Dum Biriyani/Subzi Biryani: This is one of the dish to be Musthave to end your Mains. Steaming within the Covered clay pot gave the rustic taste to the Biryani. There are very few places you will get biryani less oily and more and rich in flavours this is one of those places. It was served with Raita and Mirichi ka salan which blended with it very well.

Desserts:
We tried Lychee ki tehree, Elachi Jamun, Baked Anjeer Halwa, Zaffarani Angoori Rasmalai. Out of this Lychee ki Tehree was the winner, flavourful not too sweet.

I found Baked Anjeer Halwa bit too greasy not for my Palate.

Overall…
It was a royal and wholesome experience for the evening.

 

 
DisclaimerI was invited for a complimentary food tasting event. This blog is a narrative of my experience at the event. These are my views that I have expressed in the blog. Others are most welcome to agree or disagree with the same. The blog is not personally or commercially influenced. I have not lifted, copied or plagiarised it from any source either. However, I have done my due diligence via publicly available information on the internet and as shared by the client/PR agency.