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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Say NI HAO to Flavours - Radisson Noida

The words Ni Hao mean 'Hello' or 'Hi' in Chinese, but for the people of Delhi-NCR this is the newest stop to stuff their bellies with the most authentic flavours. Earlier Park Plaza but now Radisson Noida at Sector 55, a week ago opened its doors to the most authentic oriental restaurant. An intriguing ambience, subtle table settings, an ideal atmosphere for fine dining, the most perfectly designed food and a team of courteous staff - this place fulfils the whole laundry list of being the best in class restaurant. 

As the bunch of bloggers, all decked up and excited entered the highest floor of the Radisson, the Manager, Head Chef Mr. Rishi with the PR team stood there to welcome us. The place was so warm and welcoming with the most precisely set tables with orchids. What got us the most excited was the live kitchen!  From the mise en place to the actual cooking process to cleaning everything is there in front of you. There is no back kitchen to this place and you can see your order being whipped up. 

Because we all knew that once the food comes out no one will be able to concentrate on anything else, everybody captured the essence of the ambience in their cameras and like one happy family we all sat down on this long table. If in one word I have to describe the food it would be – perfection. 

Each dish was served precisely to everyone by some supremely trained staff. First came the appetizers and the first one only stole the show and set the tone for the rest of the event. It was the Crispy Lotus Stem in Chilli Plum Sauce; if anyone needs a definition of the word balance on their plate, well then this is the dish to order. I am not lying when I say this for a whole of 15 mins only this dish was doing its rounds on the table. We simply could not stop eating it. Crunchy, sweet yet spicy- it was a hit. Then the Melted Cheese & Vegetable Spring Roll which was overflowing with gooey cheese, Pan-fried Slit Chili Chicken which was again a delight was binged on.
They also had a Fish Salt & Pepper which did not please me that much, maybe because the pepper was too sharp for me. Dimsums were obviously a must and what I loved that for the Broccoli & Water Chestnut ones, even the dough was bright green. Every ingredient’s organic taste was perfectly highlighted. Another appetizer that was kept a secret was the Pecking Duck with Pancake. I had something like this for the first time and I actually enjoyed it. 

We all were so stuffed when the main course was served that we tasted only a few dishes. I enjoyed my Stir Fried Minced Chicken with Basil and the Shandong Style Vegetable Fried Rice. They have an array of 130 dishes on their menu which is a hefty number to leave you spoilt for choice. As everyone was having a hearty chat at the table, the expression in unity changed to ‘ooooh’ when the dessert i.e. Fried Ice Cream was served. Coated with coconut and served on a basic crisp with a chocolate cigar oh my god I can happily go back to Ni Hao just to eat 2 plates of this. They also serve fortune cookies with the most interesting pieces to read. 

When you visit Ni Hao, from the moment you enter to the time you leave only one thought will keep ringing in your mind- that how detailed a planning and careful an execution would have gone into bringing this gem to us. Delightful, perfect, instagrammable, warm, pleasing, every positive adjective is for this place. Go make a reservation now!

NI HAO, Radisson Noida, 
C Block, Sector 55, Noida

Review By : Ritika Dhawan
Compiled By : Vickrham
Email :

Thursday, 7 September 2017


With more than a 100 km of glorious golden coastline, exquisite cuisine and a rich Portuguese heritage, Goa has long been India’s most loved resort destination. Ever since the colonial times India’s smallest state has attracted tourists from all over the world. Thanks to the influx of tourism over the last 50 years however, it is among India’s richest states and undoubtedly boasts some of the best beaches in all of Asia. Goa is a place where there are no restrictions in enjoying your fullest regardless of whatever age one is at. It is quoted that in Goa one always feels young! 

This was my second visit to Goa, and this time I planned to stay for a few days both at North as well as South Goa. I was booked for my first 3 days at Taj Exotica, South Goa. Located along the white sands of Benaulim Beach, the Taj Exotica is spread over 56 acres, enjoying spacious grounds and ample facilities. Peace and tranquillity are easily found in its lush manicured gardens, while activities can be enjoyed in the shape of several sporting opportunities.

Atrium - Lobby Area

Golf and Sea View from the Atrium Balcony
 As you enter the gate of this property, you are directly transported to a green heaven. The elevated porch takes you up to the lobby and a traditional Goan style welcome awaits you with open arms. A Goan band (duo) sings a traditional Goan song while playing the guitar. A fresh tender coconut is offered while the check-in is done after you are in your designated room or villa. This whole process is so easy and you don’t even realize that it’s been done with already. 

Lush Greens
We were escorted in a buggy (golf cart) to our Presidential Villa which also had personal swimming pool in it. I was totally stunned by the sheer excellence and the ambience of the villa. Each and every element, be it the lamps, the dining table, loungers, beds and the upholstery were just stunning. Keeping the colonial essence intact everything was done in the most modern way. 

Presdidential Villa
Villa Main Door

More than living up to the reputation which comes with the Taj name, Taj Exotica is a luxurious, palatial hotel with something of a colonial style in terms of its architecture and design. Grand polished marble floors, beamed wooden ceilings and antiques all add to the hotel’s character and charm, flaunting a stylish and affluent appeal that adds to the memorable aspects of a stay at this luxury hotel.
Living Room - Villa

 When it comes to the rooms, you’ll enjoy spacious and comfortably decorated choices, harmoniously blending Goan and Portuguese influences. The recently renovated deluxe rooms are set in the main building, while the Garden villas and Pool villas are scattered within the gardens. You’ll enjoy a great range of features in the rooms, including air-conditioning, a minibar, a television in every room (of the villa) and tea/coffee-making facilities. 

Master Bedroom
2nd Bedroom

Pool inside the Villa

A special mention of the restrooms of our villa is mandatory, as it was beautifully done in golden hues. The walls, ceiling and the vanity area are done with opulence. A bath tub with Jacuzzi in both the bathrooms was also an added feature. Though, we didn’t really get a chance to use it, as the personal swimming pool was just four steps away inside the villa itself.

In Room - Butler at your service
In Room Dining - Taj Style
 As this want enough, we also had the luxury of a personal butler, whenever we needed his services, he would come over and serve us hot and fresh food onto our own dining table in the most pristine and hospitable manner onto a perfectly laid out table full of wine glasses and the silver cutlery. 

Personal Lawn - Inside the Villa

 Did I mention the lawn, Oh! How can I forget that? There was a personal lawn inside this villa too facing the manicured golf greens and the Arabian Sea; it was about 300-400 sq yds with coconut palms and the greenest grass I have ever seen. You have all the liberty of walking alongside the serene Benaulim beach just at the edge of the resort which will enrich you with priceless memories.

Exec.Chef Shyam Longanii (centre) and Masterchef Rego (right)
Taj Exotica, has a wide range of dining experiences for the food lovers to choose from. The hotel has 6 restaurants (some are being renovated) and bars, offering a variety of different culinary options from Mediterranean, Oriental or Goan. Round the clock in-Room Service is available while the resort serves buffet breakfast every morning in the Eugenia restaurant. Breakfast here is an amazing spread catering to every diners needs in one or the other way. You won’t be disappointed at all. 

We also tried the Mediterranean restaurant Miguel Arcanjo at dinner and the experience was truly superb. I recommend this place to everyone while you are staying or not at Taj Exotica. 

A Glimpse of some of the dishes we had at Taj Exotica

The hotel also offers a Jiva Spa offering Indian and holistic treatments. The Spa has a number of treatment rooms, steam rooms and a Jacuzzi. Jiva spa offers its guests an impeccable place to relax and detox themselves with exquisite pure Indian Wellness Treatments. The resort has 2 separate spa’s Jiva and Jiva Ayurveda, one of the only resorts to have 2 spas as well as a combination of Ayurveda & Yoga therapies. A dedicated 7000 sq ft area of Jiva Ayurveda has got therapy rooms along with a large Yoga pavilion in the plush greens.

SPA entry & YOGA PAvillion

STEAM Session in the SPA

The sprawling lawns of around 20,000 sq ft not only add up the beauty of spa but also provide the fresh organic supply of raw materials required for the therapies. All of these make it unique form other spas.

The hotel has an extensive list of facilities that you would expect from a resort of this kind. This 5-star property also houses a business center and offers small meeting rooms and audio-visual equipment and takes care of  even the samllest of the things. Taj Exotica has event space as well consisting of ballroom, banquet facilities and conference/meeting rooms. The hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle which is available on request. Additional hotel amenities comprise a library, a coffee shop and a concierge desk. 

Swimming Pool
Children's Activity Area
Moreover, you can keep your kids busy in the activities which are specifically designed for them. These include cycling, swimming and a children's activity centre with sand pit, crafts and computer zone. Fun and innovative games are conducted daily for children.

Taj Exotica is a showcase for relaxation with tropical-inspired design touches, grand architecture, a sun-drenched atrium, wide shady corridors, and flower lined patios for a memorable stay. The ambience created all around this resort gives one a feeling of bliss in which nature as well as the architecture plays a great role.
My overall experience was just exceptionally fabulous. The property, its ambience, the location, the setup and most importantly the people who were impeccable in what they did. 

Atrium - Lobby area
The Tajness! as they call it is what I really experienced. Tajness can only be felt , it’s something more than perfect a feeling which is so royal and grand, I don’t have word to express my gratitude and joy. Each and every staff member will go to any extent just to make you (guests) happy and satisfied. 

With the TAJ Hotels Team at TAJ Exotica
Biraj Saikia (Left) - Most Hospitable and Always at your service

 I strongly recommend this heavenly property to each one of you, who wish to taste a piece of heaven in Goa. And I bet on it, you stay once at Taj Exotica and you will be here for your lifetime.

Savour the Taste of SUMERU - PARANTHA 2.0

Enter a superstore, take a stroll around; no matter if you are a kid or a grown up, one section that catches you attention every time is the brightly beaming freezer of frozen food. Packaged in a subtle way with an artistic picture of the final product as its cover- it makes everyone believe that no matter how amateur a cook they are they might be able to pull this through and present something new for their family or friends. The kids go bonkers on anything that is cheesy, fried or has the wonder vegetable –potatoes and parents get hooked to the idea of easy cooking. 

From peas to sausages, fries, smileys, samosas and paranthas; frozen foods ease and please i.e. provide ease of cooking and please the taste buds. 

Sumeru- a brand by Innovative Foods Ltd. graciously invited bloggers to the media launch of their new range of paranthas. Organised at The Lalit, New Delhi, the event involved unveiling of the new range by their brand ambassador Chef Ajay Chopra followed by a question and answer round. While this was enlightening what stole our hearts was when chef whipped up 3 delightful dishes with Sumeru’s finest products. 

Leading its way to glory, the brand is amongst the top 4 frozen food brands in the country. They already had acquired a strong consumer group thanks to their range of stuffed, Malabar, flaky and atta paranthas, but the brand always wanted to do something more innovative. As acceptability of frozen foods grew multi-folds they decided to take a step further. Keeping in mind factors like health, storage safety they decided to come up with the Classiques Parantha 2.0! 

After extensive market research they narrowed it down to this- while mothers focus only on health, kids refuse to compromise on taste. Sumeru then decided to take the most traditional recipes and innovate them to create a tasteful experience for the customers. The result of this were – Beetroot & Jeera Parantha, Multigrain Parantha, Turmeric & Ajwain Parantha and Methi & Spinach Parantha. They focused to make this the healthiest range with no trans-fat or added color and by respecting the natural goodness of each ingredient. 

Soft as hand rolled paranthas, flaky and light; we all had surrendered to the taste in the first bite itself. Available at all superstores, each packet with 4-5 paranthas costs around Rs. 100 which depends on the variant and can be heated on the tawa or simply microwaved for 1-2 mins. These can last up to an year in your freezer and we are definitely ready to stock-up.

Chef Ajay Chopra, the ever charming Punjabi foodie laid out a lasagne in which the pasta sheets were replaced by these paranthas, a desi chole quesadilla and a kebab wrap to show us the versatility of these new variants. 

While most brands focus on the taste only, Sumeru has carefully studied the market from both the consumer and supplier perspective. They not only monitor the production but also keep a check on the storage of their products at the retail outlets and the delivery drill of these to your doorstep. With guidelines laid out to maintain the temperature and an ideal storage environment, they have gone an extra mile to ensure you get the best. 

Running late from office, stuck in traffic or simply too lazy to knead the dough and roll out paranthas- well Sumeru Classiques are here to ensure that you have a delightful meal every time. So rush to your nearest store and fill in your carts. Enjoy a true match of tradition and innovation in every bite.

To know more about the brand and its produce, visit
You can also buy these online on Grofers and Big Basket.