Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Food Review: 'Minus 6 Degreess'- Crisp, Frigid and Luscious!

"Everything you see here, have been neatly carved out of ice"- The Manager explained as we walked along, gazing at the "icy specimens" in wondrous joy.

"And here you see the glasses, these have been specifically designed in sync with the overall ambiance...the material, is again ice"- He sensed our degree of reverence and added fuel to the splinter.
"But then, what about the hygiene?"- I asked inquisitively.
"Sir, these glasses are non-reusable, these are disposed off after one time use"- He conjectured.
"Okay! So tell us, how long can a normal person 'sustain comfortably' in this chamber?"- A curious fellow blogger buzzed. Minus -6 degreess- goodness gracious me, seemed like it was the first step we took towards embracing the essence of a "glorified extinction" , but then we realized, it wasn't really depredation, but an illustrious juice of opulence. Glad we made it to this point.
"With the shielded jacket on, 45 minutes has proved to the threshold....but kids, as expected, have a better power of endurance. People indulge in birthday parties inside- the "coldest birthday" ever...they say, not literally though...", he continued...."we have a special menu designed for the chamber that consists of primarily the desserts...; though we are waiting for the liquor license....once that is procured, the party should gain momentum." The spark in his eyes expounded the story behind those "best laid plans".

The fellow bloggers, in the meanwhile, explored the chamber of wonder (termed as the Ice Lounge) that allowed a maximum of 20 prurient visitors at a go; the craftsmanship presented inside was amicable. It was a generous of overdose of the ice-sheathed embodiment; the freezing enterprise had everything that could quench your thirst after a week-long corpo grill. The Kolkatan gusto portrayed through the ice-sculptures added that bit "homely charm" to the rather alien envelope. We were mesmerized to the core...those "6 minutes of blissful refrigeration" would remain as the traces of the venerable escapade....


The Delectable Ride: Inside the "Chamber of chilled out secrets" ...The Ice-baked room...!
"How did we land up there?
How did the gang of Kolkatan food bloggers explore this "chilled out gorging zone"?"

20 mins earlier...

"Wow...what have we here!!! The items scripted out here, on the look of it, appear extraordinary!!!"- the fellow blogger exclaimed. I couldn't help but concur.

We, the group of 4 bloggers, were sitting right inside the gourmet igloo; the stunner that was corona-ted as the "Skimo Kitchen" in line with the overall theme that fabricated a "freezing saga", in complete contrast to the characteristic Kolkata humidity. In-fact, the epithet that read "MINUS 6 DEGREESS", was a striking divergence indeed.

Located at the RHS of 'INOX Swabhumi entrance', the ice-lounge cum bar is one of it's kind....indeed, there's no parallelism woven in this genre. Who would have known; the reserve of our "much needed solace" was parked in the "murky-yet-captivating" milieu of the igloo shaped eatery.

"Soup fellas?"- My voice resounded through the otherwise peaceful arcade...yes the surge was irresistible. And we stemmed out in our appetizing verdict. The starters were about to to be served. 
"This one has something very antithetic, creamy blend of mushroom appears to be extremely delightful"- The fellow blogger seemed to be extremely pleased while tasting the Fervent Creme Al Fungi; the dish, juxtaposed with the butter cheese toasts seemed to have unfurled it's groovy chemistry. The zesty lemon soup mingled with coriander was refreshing to the core as well.

"Eeeks! I guess this one's pretty intense"- The photo-blogger, sitting on the other end of the table, disclosed. The tropical asparagus and rice soup didn't seem to have impressed him to the core; the taste, according to him resembled that of a mushed herb, smitten and served hot. Perhaps those taste buds took a while to adapt to the rich essence of the "vintage herb"...or perhaps it was more of a "unfamiliar piquancy" case, as annotated by the head chef. We were destined to be "rattled" :D


The Delectable Ride:  The Starter Platter, looked very colorful indeed!
The Delectable Ride:  The Starter Soup...Zesty lemon with coriander!
The Delectable Ride: The glorious partnership....Butter cheese toasts..
The Delectable Ride: The Starter platter yet again...it was damn photogenic.
Bitten by the experimentation bug, we decided to explore the incognito...digging deep into the menu was the best part. The ambrosial ramble through the itineraries mingled with the in-house recommendations, our hunt temporarily stopped at the Luscious Vegetable Lasagne Rolls - The Italian punch...the scrumptious pasta-centric delicacy mingled with a creamy enterprise...that really set the tone for a grand lunch. The fact that we were literally fighting for the last bite established that we were definitely on the right track.

The Delectable Ride:  That's what I was talking about..the mindblowing Lasagne Rolls
The Delectable Ride: The Lasagne Rolls yet again...the perfect No.3 Batsman!

The gratifying Roller Rice (chopped vegetables rolled in crispy rice topped with cheesy herbs) and the Polar Veg Au Gratin (wholesome baked dish stuffed with vegetable and potatoes) were served next; I would say that 3 of the above mentioned "entities" had an underlying bond...the bond that stitched together well and lead to completeness of sorts. The Polar Veg Au Gratin had a softer core, the baked cultivation had it's characteristic charm, but the Lasagne hangover was still lurking high.

The Delectable Ride: That's how the roller rice was presented to us!
Back to the known territory then, my fellow blogger decided to "test" the inherent customization added to a apparently familiar entity called Sesame Flavored Singapore Noodles, and guess what the we were contentedly surprised. The fibers had an observant graze; the application of lime was peculiar improvisation nevertheless.

The Delectable Ride:  The Sesame Flavored Singapore Noodles, the glorious revitalize -r 
"Allz well that ends well, my friend" - Asserted my photographer friend- Yes his intentions were quite clear; we needed the perfect dose of "sweet nothings" to draw an ending line to this savory ride. And yes, the foodie hub specializing in the Asian and Continental genre had plenty to offer.

"Chinese chocolate moon rolls, Parky Ice-cream sandwich with Honey Nuts and...."- I was interrupted mid-way through the selection procedure.

The Delectable Ride:  The Parky ice-Cream Sandwich topped with Honey Nuts....
The Delectable Ride: The Chinese Chocolate Moon Rolls...molten chocolate inside....
The Delectable Ride: The Chinese Chocolate Moon Rolls served with Vanilla ice-cream...
"............and Nipping fried ice-cream with nuts- It's a must have"- The Manager asserted with a smile. Yes, he was pretty sure of "their strengths" !

"Fried Ice-cream?! Are you serious?!" - That was the moment, a squeaker to say the least.

"That's our chef's expertise, Sir....it's his finesse, wanna try it out?"- I could sense the impulse egress through his words.

"Of course boss, your wish...our command...bring it on"- We announced together. 

What appeared on to the table after a period of 5-10 minutes was something ingenious. The sweeter delegation that encircled around those crispy moon rolls stuffed with melted chocolate, found it's true manifestation through the fried sagacity. I wonder, how they could manage a sizzling hot outer coating sheathing the cooler inner half; much like a boiling outer cocoon guarding the "melting subsistence" - It's pure artistry I would say. The idea, though abstract, was indeed a stunner- Or rather the signature stunner..... The taste that lingered....


The Delectable Ride: The Nipping Fried Ice-cream with Nuts...Innovation & Finesse personified...
The Delectable Ride: That's the beauty for you- Tasty and ambrosial....
"It wasn't really over then....the ride had just gained momentum..."
20 mins later.....

We were freezing inside the "chamber of frosty secrets".....trying to claw back to reality.....
- Rating time:
Restaurant name: Skimo Kitchen, Minus 6 Degreess Ice-Lounge Cum Bar
Location: 89CMaulana Abdul Kalam Azad SaraniInox BuildingNear SwabhumiEM Bypass, Kolkata.
Genre: Multi-cuisine- Italian, North-Indian, Continental, Chinese, Mexican, Thai.
Type: Fully Vegetarian (Liquor to be introduced shortly)
Food quality: Excellent- 9/10
Price range: On the higher side, it might cost you INR 1800 for a lavish meal for two. 5/10
Service: Excellent, but needs a bit of capacity building in terms of treating the connoisseurs - 7/10
Ambiance: Fantastic- 10/10
Analysis: Highly recommended even for hard-core non-vegetarians (like me)..you might be genuinely surprised. But then, it's a bit taxing on the pocket.

There you go: Here are the bloggers who are analyzing every "fiber" with utmost care...
* This is a sponsored food review blog post...do share your feedback. Appreciated. You can read my co-bloggers' post here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Sigh....."

"Mala?!"----- I called out aloud..............
"Present Sir"----- She raised her hand in response.
"Neeta?!" ----- I hypothetically "ticked" on the column tagged to the attendance.....
"Neeta?! Are you there?" ----- I called out again....there was no response!

Pin drop silence. My voice resonated across the deserted corridor of the Panchayat Bhavan. Nobody bothered to respond.

"Can anybody, for God's sake, please speak up?" - I screamed out frantically, desperation had gripped my senses.

Neeta had been, by far, the most responsive and enthusiastic of all my "students" ; in-fact she was pretty perspicacious when it came to responsiveness towards technology.
Naturally her evanescence was pretty disturbing....

Presenting a few excerpts from Diary; to portray my first hand view of the sequence of events in it's raw and "un-cooked" form; the language of each of the entries have been left unaltered to maintain the puerile essence of truth embedded in them:

March 30, 2011:
From the Hotel Room, Bankura

"I think I am doing quite well....
She is picking up those e-oriented scripts and procedures rapidly. These alien hardware components do not seem to be challenging enough; Neeta has made it look simple. She is very punctual too; the DM's opening speech has invigorated her to the core. I bet she will be running the CSC well in the near future. She has to.
And yes, I like her....I like the way she giggles, the way she silently watches me from close by and turns away when our "perceptions" meet, but I know, deep inside there's a mutual nexus- a blissful testimonial.
Damn...what is happening to me? I guess it's a passing phase...I guess, I need to concentrate on my job at hand...to e-educate them for the future course; to assist them thoroughly, diligently. 
That's it for today....let's see how it goes tomorrow- Their first practical session...."

March 31, 2011:
From the empty training hall, DM Office, Bankura

"Well, well...guess what...the progress has been really encouraging. The OCJM himself monitored the e-Governance training cum hand holding session today and the batch responded well. Neeta was the stand out performer as usual. She managed to successfully generate a couple of dummy Birth & Domicile certificates...executing all the associated steps with amicable proficiency. In-fact, it was decided right away.. that she'd execute the "electronic receipt generation" during the official portal launch on the 15th of April 2011, chaired by the CM, GoWB.
I could see the sparkling "glow in her eyes"; her animated celebration was indeed indelible...unrestrained, undeterred...she was exuberant to the core. 
Oh yes...I forgot to write this.... she was looking beautiful today....her effulgent crimson-tinged salwar, her multi-colored bangles, her fancy "chappals", her fluttering hair neatly tied together- it had something fascinating stitched all around 'em. Her eyes are so damn expressive; she hardly talks during the session....she doesn't need to....
Dear, Oh Dear! ...what is happening to me? I need rest I guess...Signing off for today then. Ciao."

April 2, 2011:
At the Canteen, DM Office, Bankura

"She touched me today...not intentionally though; I was leaning over her desk, trying to help her out with the un-formatted letter drafted on the MS Word...when her fists rolled around mine. She was struggling with the mouse pointer then; the limping cursor seemed to have taken a toll already in due course of the 10 day training course....Hmm...one of those common atrocities associated with the Government projects.
Dude!!! The feeling was out-of-the-world; Yep...the so called "slow motion effect" did actually happen I presume...where the hell, did the breeze come from? It absolutely transported me into completely different world altogether. Hypnotized..so as to say!!
Manh!!  Hopping out into the corridor was the only resort.
Damn!! Am I falling for a "country-girl"? Me? No way? Time to concentrate on the final 4 days of the capacity building program...The Climax is here... Go Sammy Go!!"

April 7, 2011:
At the Bankura Railway Station

"I don't know what to write or how to write...but I HAVE to write. I'm suffocated like hell; the last couple of days have been abhorrent...'cruel' is the word. 
Life is a bitch, yes it is. 
It makes memories and destroys them bluntly...without giving us a glimmer of hope. Why, why why ?
She had finally started to respond to me, to talk to me through her signature hand-movements & sign languages....we had started to "communicate" silently!!  
She took me to the mud-banks...she took me to the fields....she took me across the country-side with revelry; she had found solace in my tutelage.
We used to hang around the Banyan Tree-side 'tea hub', before the training session started....and yes, she finally spoke.
"Neeta....my name, Sir"; she divulged hesitantly.
Arrrgghhh!!... Why "Sir" ? .... The barrier had to be broken.

"Can I have your number? In-case the classes are reschedules ?"- I had to put it in this way.
"On the attendance sheet"- She smirked....haha she had got me alright.

BUT! Oh God....Can't write any-more...emotions cutting deep into me...I'm struggling. Bye for now."

April 20, 2011:
Salt Lake, Sector V, Kolkata

"Yes, I'm writing after a long time now. It has been very difficult to concentrate of late....I have thought of quitting my job on a number of occasions, but then it would have been rather impulsive. But then, I have been bitterly disturbed....her memories have kept haunting me everyday...the sight of her scorched carcass had traumatized me to the core. She didn't return.

It was a Friday, I suppose and she was absent for the very first time. I remember, that she had promised to come early that day; she unknowingly broke her promise.

What arrived.... was her gutted remnants...
Unthinkable!!
The Goons had ripped her apart...she was kidnapped on her way to the DM office and brutally raped. What happened after that was harrowing....it scorched both of us, one from the outer core and the other from deep inside. She chose the route of self-destruction...leaving those short-lived memories behind.

Police investigation revealed that the last dialed number from her cell-phone was mine....perhaps, her last desperate attempt; but it was all in vain....it was shattered in a while....crushing all my dreams along with it..... It was meant not to be.... !"

What do I say.....I'm struggling with the keyboard now...these excerpts have brought back those terrible tribulations yet again. I wish, I could roll back time, I wish I could undo everything....I wish I could have warned her...I wish I could have saved her...!!

I wish, she had Smart Suraksha with her....that could have at least given us a chance...just a glimmer of a chance... "Perhaps" !   Sigh..... Cruel ! Cruel ! Life !

The Deserted Alley of life....Indeed....
Suppress the "animal" in you...save her soul..for Christ's sake!
* This is a true story, the excerpts from my Dairy have been reproduced as it is...even the typo or the grammatical errors (if any) haven't been corrected deliberately. It's a scar alright. I don't know why I wrote this, perhaps I needed an outlet..I got one!

* I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Smart Suraksha App.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

22 Yards ~ The 55 Word Shave

"Ignorance is indeed a bliss"- He thought to himself....the spirit of boundless joy had re-kindled the entire dressing-room.
The experts didn't even see a glimmer of hope at the onset. The pitch, on the other hand, looked conducive to the seamers.
He disregarded the speculations and jumped in. His buoyant squad responded to his call.



* This is a work of fiction & doesn't bear resemblance with any person, living or dead. The "image' is NOT fictitious though !
**  This post is my sixth attempt at the 55-Fiction Genre. I found it really really interesting. To view my other cricket related posts click here: "My Cricket Blog" .
*** This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Regal Epiphany: Ride into Durga Puja 2013 ~ "The Other Side"

Ride into #DurgaPuja2013: Dip into Bengal's rich heritage .....
The Divine harmony, the melody that resonates all along....
Ride into #DurgaPuja2013: Dip into Bengal's rich heritage .....
The Dholakiya's at the Hindustan Park Pujo set the tone alright.....



* I hope you have read through my posts depicting the essence of Durga Puja in Bengal; for the next couple of days I would be taking you on ride through the "other side"...the effect of festivities on our lives, it's glorious impact & it's aftermath...in other words, I would be exploring newer angles. That's why I have named this series as the "Regal Epiphany". Do join me on this "Post Pujo Ride"...it's gonna be delectable to the core. Do share your feedback in the comments section.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One Last Time Folks - Ride into Durga Puja 2013 ~ "Subho Bijoya"

- Bijoya Doshomi- The Final Moments -
(Click on the image to view on flickr)

* This is the final post of the series that scripted grace on the move, the wait for the next year's Pujo Begins here. The entire journey is depicted here - "Best of Durga Puja 2013" .
* Consolidated image sets so far: "Best of Panchami" / "Best of Shoshti" "Best of Saptami"  / "Best of Ashtami" /"Best of Nabami" / "Best of Doshomi" ...To see the "Duplets" click here.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

'Ride into Durga Puja 2013 ~ "Nabami" -Pic-Duplet of the Day'

#Road to #Durga Puja 2013: Shondha-aroti- The "Divine" Evening surge!
Venue: Nabamilan, Beliaghata, #Kolkata
The only kind of piety he knows, his 'divine service.'
Venue: 33 Pally, Beliaghata, #Kolkata
Join me on a photo ride across all the 5 days of Durga Puja in Kolkata.....I will be posting my favorite couplets every day.
* Consolidated image sets so far: "Best of Panchami" / "Best of Shoshti" "Best of Saptami"  / "Best of Ashtami" / "Best of Nabami" ...To see the 'Saptami Duplet' & the 'Ashtami Duplet' click here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

'Ride into Durga Puja 2013 ~ "Ashtami" -Pic-Duplet of the Day'

#Road to #DurgaPuja 2013: Artistry personified, You have dazzled us again....
Venue: Dum Dum Park, #Kolkata
#Road to #DurgaPuja 2013: Ashtami-r Shokal (The Ashtami Morning), Pushapanjani Preparations.....
Venue: Salt Lake , #Kolkata

Join me on a photo ride across all the 5 days of Durga Puja in Kolkata.....I will be posting my favorite couplets every day.
* Consolidated image sets so far: "Best of Panchami" / "Best of Shoshti" "Best of Saptami"  / "Best of Ashtami" ...To see the 'Panchami Duplet' & the 'Shoshti Duplet' click here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

'Ride into Durga Puja 2013 ~ "Saptami" -Pic-Duplet of the Day'

Road to #DurgaPuja 2013: "Saptami Blast" | Theme: "Innovation personified- Abstract, Truck Outsideo's"
Venue: 
Hatibagan Nabin Pally #Kolkata
Road to #DurgaPuja 2013: "Saptami Blast" | Theme: "A dip into the agricultural self of Bengal- BARN"
Venue: 
Kashi Bose Lane #Kolkata



* Join me on a photo ride across all the 5 days of Durga Puja in Kolkata.....I will be posting my favorite couplets every day.
* Consolidated image sets so far: "Best of Panchami" / "Best of Shoshti" / "Best of Saptami"  ...To see the 'Panchami Duplet' & the 'Shoshti Duplet' click here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

'Ride into Durga Puja 2013 ~ "Shoshti" -Pic-Duplet of the Day'

Road to #DurgaPuja 2013: "Shosti Blast" | Theme: "The Envisaged 3D Vision"
Venue: Chetla Agroni Club, Kolkata
Road to #DurgaPuja 2013: Shosthi Blast | Theme: "The "Inception" - The Dreamy Reality;
Venue: Badamtala Ashar Sangha, Kolkata
* Join me on a photo ride across all the 5 days of Durga Puja...I will be posting "couplet-pics" of the day throughout the biggest Bengali festival. Do follow me on instagram for live updates. Please click on the individual images to view them on flickr.
* Consolidated image sets so far: "Best of Panchami" / "Best of Shoshti"  ...To see the 'Panchami Duplet' click here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

'Ride into Durga Puja 2013 ~ "Panchami" -Pic-Duplet of the day'

Looking through someone else's eyes is always on the cards: That's indeed the best part.
Shot at: Adi Ballygunge Sarbojonin Durga puja...
My PICK of the day: Re-incarnating the Zamindari age...Durga in the form of Kali Maa
Shot at: Hindustan Park, South Kolkata
.
* Join me on a photo ride across all the 5 days of Durga Puja...I will be posting "couplet-pics" of the day throughout the biggest Bengali festival. Do follow me on instagram for live updates. Please click on the individual images to view them on flickr.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blush ~ The 55 Word Shave

He hustled downstairs with that ignited splinter in hand. The ruthless face of life plunged deep. 
Gutted emotions evinced.

He “dismissed” the blatant piece of rag on the canvas; the inferno swallowed it.

Stunned silence prevailed. She left.

The stains of a glorious delusion remained. Forever.

She said “Blush”. He mistook it to be “Flush”!


* This is a work of fiction & doesn't bear resemblance with any person, living or dead. The "image' is NOT fictitious though !
**  This post is my fifth attempt at the 55-Fiction Genre. I found it really really interesting.
*** This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda!

Another WOW Badge to savor!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Aviva - What’s your big plan.....

“Your interview’s over, you can leave now”- The interviewer didn't seem to be amused with my answer. I was.

I was pretty straight forward though; my response, to his queries were pin-pointed.

Food reviewer, your extra-curricular’s say”; he read out….. “What’s the relevance?”- He sounded pretty sarcastic.
“I love to analyse, to judge, to assess and to evaluate something that’s as elementary as food. I presume I could fit into the auditor’s groove perfectly….that’s the relevance” – I guess I sounded pretty convincing there.
“And what’s your plan then? Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?”- The grumpy fellow sitting at the other end of the table sounded curious.

Pretty simple plan: heading a pack of talented culinary artists and establishing the biggest restaurant chain in India, serving the best of food & creating fusion cuisines utilizing global recipes….ensuring proper quality control & serving them at affordable prices to the food-loving Indians…..” – I was cool as a cucumber, my words were almost resonating across the furbish cabin. Though, I could sense a dormant volcano on the verge of exploding.

Two very conflicting personalities were facing each other…itching to unleash their ‘flintlocks of words’….a glorious one-on-one face-off was almost in the pipeline.

“So you into photography as well….” He tried to maintain his composure.
“Yes, Gourmet photography! I love to analyse those grains…those expressive pixels help in deeper scrutinization”- I replied spontaneously.
The reaction was pretty evident…..

"WAIT…!"
Kahani me twist?
I was just about to take a step towards the exit, when something extraordinary happened.

“Wait!”- He asserted.
The cantankerous creature had picked up the receiver and issued instructions- “Please call the Aviva representative in, we need to discuss on their typical Business Insurance Related Policies.”
And what he said next, was staggering…..

“And confirm a slot for two at the ‘Taj Bengal's audit presentation’ next week, we have a new SME on-board”….he continued!

Winding up for the perfect shot..
The real tool of "capturing evidence" before the dish could be analysed...
Ensuring that the shot has captured the "perfect essence"..
Discussing and re-focusing on the finer aspects..
And this is the glorious out-come (Dish name- Delectable Fried Ice-cream)
The following video summarizes the crux of my big-plan in an effective manner..


You can find all my food-related blog-posts,insights and reviews out here: 

* This post has been written as a part of the Aviva What's Your Big Plan contest sponsored by Aviva, for more product related information and other relevant details, do visit their Facebook page.
* Well since I still believe that my "salad days" are very much on, I have written about MY big plan because I, unfortunately, I do not have a kid yet. Pretty much a happy-go-lucky bachelor of sorts.
* The images (except the first two images in which I feature myself, they have been shot by a co-blogger Soumya Mukherjee) and the video (self shot and edited) used in this write-up are my own property and should not be used without permission.

Dear Lunch Box.....

"A chit that unveils….
Those mysterious bonds….
A chit that weaves….
A nexus to cajole…
The scribbles that uncover…
A latent chemistry….
The etched phrases….
To milk the incognito….
The audacious vehemence…..
To plunder notions….
The padlocked chamber….
To be unlocked with pride…..
Dear Lunch Box….
My hopes are swelling high….
Dazzle me…..
Provoke me….
But please don’t divulge in a lie......"

* This post is effectively my 50th Indivine post. Half century of sorts.Will complete a century soon. Cheers to Indiblogger.

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