Romantic Evening

This one is a sure winner. Besides the comfort and luxury of a hotel we do like to go for meals for our special occasions. And ofcourse all of us know that besides the expense sometime after a tiring day at work you just don’t want to get out of your home. Here Small Luxury Hotels of the World(SLH) help us to create a romantic meal for two at home complete with serving wine like a Sommelier

The Arch, London, UK 

Gemma Dean, F&B Manager, The ArchLondon

“It’s all about first impressions, get your table set correctly and have a wow factor element – whether it be a pot of fresh herbs on the table, a personal name card with secret message or a special bottle of well selected wine ready. Match it with soft background music and candlelight and you’re on to a winner!”

Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, USA

Mark Severs, Restaurant Manager,WentworthMansion

“I have many guests order a bottle of wine that they are familiar with and have enjoyed at home.  It is amazing how many times the guest will comment how much more pleasing the wine was here at the restaurant.  There is infinitely more that goes into the tasting of wine than just the actual flavour – it’s the temperature, the stemware that it is served in and the feel it has on your hand, the visual presentation of the wine, the food you are enjoying with the wine, the surroundings in which the wine is being consumed, and the company that you are sharing.

The first step in wine presentation is making sure your bottle of wine is at the correct temperature.  The temperature will be different for whites and reds, as well as for wines with different weights. Once the bottle is selected and you have the correct temperature, I like to present the bottle of wine.  Tell your guest which wine you are serving, including the year. When pouring, twist the bottle about 180 degrees and wipe against a napkin so that no wine is spilled.  For white wines I will typically ask whether they would like the bottle kept on ice or on the table.  Some of your heavier whites (chardonnay) will benefit from a little warmer temperature. Make sure you top up your guests’ glasses throughout the evening.”

To check out more tips on How to Create Hotel style in your home click here

Review: Amreli, New Delhi

If you are an avid food lover or even if a stylish ambience is your thing, Amreli the new offing at New Delhi’s Diplomat hotel is just the venue for you to try out. A cross between an upmarket London diner and a classic bistro, Amreli offers seamless dining experience, with faultless service and exquisite multi-sensory food experience.

Amreli, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Situated in the embassy area of Delhi, Diplomat hotel is a serene property hidden away from the chaos of the city and this is the reason it makes for a perfect venue for a chic fine-dining eatery, attracting a crowd which knows its food and desires the perfect ambience for a business meeting, a lazy sunday brunch or a romantic night out. Amreli suits all these purposes and fills in the gap of a fine-dining restaurant in that area. Conceptualised by Sidhant Lamba, Amreli aims at offering palate pleasers without the extravagant commitment of time and money. His aesthetic influences are as broad as his travels. Through Amreli he is introducing a signature style to the city,“Amreli will have its own culinary leanings, and it will exhibit a laser-like focus on professionalism and impeccable service. With Amreli, we will be serving a multi-concept menu that focuses on freshness and ingredient quality,” says Sidhant.

Amreli, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Amreli, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Amreli’s décor is modelled on that of an upmarket London diner, complete with chessboard floor, mirrors and gorgeous artworks. Some of the pieces have also been curated by Sidhant to go with the ambience, trust me if you love art, you would want to buy a few pieces for your collection (Not sure if they are for sale!). The alfresco area, in a quiet courtyard has a lovely lush green and perky seating to enhance your enjoyment of the exquisite fare, while the indoor dining room is a mix of casual yet sophisticated seating with casual perches at the bar. The menu has been done by Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, a well-known name among India’s dining public. Popularly known as Chef Saby, he doesn’t walk the route of a traditional chef, but that’s arguably what brought him such fame. With his high-end techniques and culinary curiosity, he has given a diverse menu to Amreli. The all-day breakfast menu is also strong, in fact it is the highlight of the menu with the dishes done spectacularly well. The beautiful display of each dish is a threat or a promise—depending on whether you would want to wear your skin-tight jeans again. For breakfast you can choose from, Homemade Granola, French Toast, Mushroom on Toast, Egg Appam, Eggs Florentine, Keema Eggs Benedict.You can also expect aromatic dishes jewelled with nuts, herbs and dried fruits, plus hearty peasant-style stews, spiced roasted meats and seafood. The careful spicing and flashes of creativity means the menu is peppered with classic dishes (Sole Meen Moilee, a fish curry from the coast, The Humble Plate, dal and vegetables of the day and Kerala Mutton Stew, melt-in-mouth mutton chunks in a creamy coconut stew) to please conservative diners, as well as more inspired interpretations of well-known recipes. So whether you are cutting on carbs or you are after that plate of comfort food in the company of a few friends, or a celebration that requires plenty of bubbles or probably at lunchtime for peace and quiet; dinner for buzz, Amreli is the place you should try out for sure!

Address: 9, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic enclave
Phone: 011 46050200
Pricing: Average Meal for two approx.: Rs. 1400-1600 (without alcohol)

Australian culinary delights; Shangri-La, New Delhi

Australia is on everyone’s lips, literally. Australia is affecting our culinary experience, be it thanks to Masterchef Australia the most watched food show in the world or the fact that a lot of chefs at restaurants and hotels around the world, especially in India originate from Australia. So even though Australia is multi-cultural and you cannot trace something which can be called Australian cuisine, it has added a lot to world cuisine, making it the new and upcoming destination for food lovers. Like London, Australia too is setting trends in what we eat and how we eat it. This August, Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi, brings you the best in food and culture from Australia, as Chef Matthew McCool, chef de cuisine at the iconic “Altitude”-Restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney comes to Delhi. The weeklong Australian food festival opens in the last week of August 2013 and will run across two outlets – Café Uno and 19 Oriental Avenue – between 24 and 31 August 2013 under the expert guidance of Executive Chef Darren Conole.

Shangri-la, new Delhi, 19-Oriental-Avenue

Carrots with walnut snow, olive sand, fennel,wheat, Shangri-la Salmon with horseradish, watercress, pancetta soil, Shangri-la

The food festival started with a wine dinner on 24 August 2013, showcasing the best of wine and food from Australia. Patrons savoured delicacies such as Tasmanian Salmon, Quail, and Riverina Lamb Loin amongst an array of other plated delights paired with fine Australian Wolf Blass wines such as Eagle hawk Cabernet Sauvignon, Eagle hawk Chardonnay, Merlot as well as Rothbury Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Café Uno will feature an extensive and sumptuous Australian buffet for dinner using the fresh and organically grown gourmet produce, meat, cheese, seafood, seasonal fruit and root vegetables for which the region and its food is renowned worldwide. The festival will feature the flavours of Australian food for lunch and dinner at 19 Oriental Avenue until 31 August 2013 and will excite and enliven your palate. Come and celebrate Australian Culinary delights this August at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi.
Café Uno – (91 11) 4119 1010
19 Oriental Avenue – (91 11) 4119 1040

Review: Vinoteca by Sula, Mumbai

Vinoteca, literally means a wine collection. Although in Spain, an exclusive wine bar is also called Vinoteca. Having sommelier Cecila Oldne at the helm of the vino collection, Rajeev Samant of Sula, decided to open a wine bar, for which he was looking for the perfect chef to design the menu. When he met Silvia Grimaldo of Ibiza, he was originally thinking about serving sushi but the chef convinced him to go for a Spanish authentic tapas bar.That is what makes Vinoteca the perfect place to lounge on a Sunday afternoon — their great (and might one add highly affordable) collection of Indian and international wines, and the beautifully designed menu, put together carefully with traditional snacks from the Latin countries from both Europe and America. The decor while being slightly cliched “wine bar” comes with the Spanish tapas bar chalkboards with specials thrown all over the place. But the music most definitely works for the mood.

VINOTECA, Mumbai. www.stylecity.in

“All the tapas places serve very fancy tapas. I didn’t want to do that because I don’t like it. Spanish tapas, to be enjoyed with wine should be light, and basic. I wanted to recreate the traditional tapas bar menu that I have grown up eating,” says Silvia, who comes from a family that makes their own wine. And we must say that Silvia’s menu manages to blow your mind right from the first course. A Sula Brut with a Cheese tabla, which featured Manchego from La Mancha, the smoky Idiazabal with Kalamata olives and dill hummus. “I don’t know why Indians ask for crackers with their tabla.”

VINOTECA, Mumbai www.stylecity.in

And then we had something that we will recommend you to go all the way to Vinoteca to just try — their Ceviche. A cold food, raw chopped kingfish in marinate made of sweet lime, lemon, orange, french mustard, coriander and green chillies — Peruvian tapas that evolved after the second world war when a large Japanese community had settled in Peru. Along with which, the main course had Beef Tagliata — a light beef tapas with parmesan, porcini mushrooms — the best thing to have with a Sula Dindori Shiraz. Vegetarians should not forget to try their Melanzana a la Parrzegiana, which by the looks of it might remind you of creme brulee but it blows your mind with the fresh mozarella and brinjals like you’ve never even fantasized about brinjals. And finally Berenja Rellena – halved brinjals, topped and cooked with minced lamb. Each dish had its own distinct flavour, simple yet tantalizing. Dessert lovers have nothing to worry about. Vinoteca with Amore gelato have developed a Shiraz and a Zinfandel gelato, both of which are the most refreshing flavours in cold desserts that you will see.

Overall, Vinoteca gets a two thumbs up. Get yourself down to Worli and park yourself there till your head is swirling between a wine buzz and a food coma.

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Tapas-wine Pairing:

Chef Silvia Grimaldo recommends–

1. Brut with the Cheese tabla
The stronger the cheese is that is served on the tabla, the better it pairs with the refreshing and a little bubbly Brut.
2. Sauvignon with Almejas Marinera
Sauvignon is the driest of the wines, pairs well with seafood in tomato sauce, the onion and garlic in the Marinera sauce.
3. Rasa Shiraz with Entrecot a la Pimienta
Rasa Shiraz is a red wine that works perfectly with the pepper in the white sauce of the Entrecot
4. Solar de Estraunza with Jamon patanegra de guijuelo
Nothing goes as well with rich Spanish food as does a rich Spanish wine
5. Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV with Tuna Tartare
This Piper is an amazing dry wine with refreshing bubbles. It pairs brilliantly with the raw tuna.