Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday Brunch @ The Yum Yum Tree

Sunday Brunches have a charm of their own. There is something about Delhi’s winter afternoons that demand indulgence. A lazy morning following the late Saturday night that leads up to an afternoon of sin is the perfect way to spend a weekend.

In terms of selection of cuisines, my obvious preference is always Italian. My parents often joke that I should have been born in Italy rather than India. After Italian, my list would perhaps move on to Mediterranean. Which is why, I surprised myself this Sunday by opting for an Oriental Brunch. I had heard a lot about the “Yum Yum Tree” at New Friends Colony and decided that it was time to pay a visit.

Located in a market that defies logic, having some of the better pubs in town and yet always seeming so shady, the restaurant has created its own niche by not sticking to Chinese or Japanese cuisines. “The Yum Yum Tree” has a variety of tastes on offer be they from Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, Malaysia or Korea. To put it slightly, it is not a budget meal. The Sunday brunch costs Rs.1500 per person inclusive of tax (including unlimited cocktails and beer) but in my opinion, is worth every penny.

The d├ęcor is modern fusion with a lot of interplay of colors. There is a section that has been created especially for kids to play in and keep busy, a haven for parents looking for a meal out. We were ushered in to take our seats. The tables have been placed around an innovative concept not seen in India – a Sushi conveyor belt. The belt goes round and round serving fresh Sushi as the chefs prepare them.

As Sunday brunches should, the meal starts with drinks of your choice. The brunch includes unlimited cocktails from their list or Tiger beer. I would highly recommend the Mojitos. Well flavored with lime and mint, the drink is smooth and comes in a HUGE tumbler. They also have a range of Grey Goose Martinis you can choose from or stick to the safe Spiced Bloody Mary.

The servers start the first course with platters of Sushi served on your table. I was never a Sushi fan until I had someamazing sushi in Canada and now I officially call myself a convert. The crab sushi and the prawns sushi at YYT were phenomenal and I could not get enough of them. The next course served promptly is that of starters. The basil flavored Prawn skewers were well herbed. If you like them, the chicken satays were great too, though I honestly don’t like the peanut sauce that Indonesian food cant seem to do without. There was an interesting roll made with crispy duck. For the vegetarian palette, there were Wasabi Stuffed Mushrooms and a surprisingly good Cheese Wonton served with Mango Relish. The Beef Bulgogi, a Korean preparation was just right but the coup de grace was the Pork Spare Ribs. The ribs, dipped in barbeque sauce were to die for!!

This was then followed with a course of 6 types of Dimsums with 2 veg varieties, and one each with pork, chicken, prawns and beef. I am not a Dimsum person so this is one course I gave a skip.

And thank god I did. Because, this is when they brought on the main course dishes. One could choose between or have all of them ranging from Three Ginger Chicken, Thai Red Curry, Malay coconut curry prawns, Stir Fried mushrooms, Noodles, Roti Canai and Rice. My favourite was the prawn curry with steamed rice.

By now, my stomach was protesting that it could not under any circumstance be subjected to any more food. Nevertheless, not listening to it as I rarely do, I went ahead and dug into the Chocolate Mud Cake and the Cheese Cake for desert.

All in all, full value for money. By the time we walked out of the place, I believe I must have weighed atleast an extra 3 Kgs. But it was so worth it. Highly recommended.

PS – There is a smaller but similar spread on their Tuesday Deals (Rs.550 + tax inclusive of drinks). Check out their website for more information.

The menu for the greedy:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Live The Way You Want - Anyways...

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered
Forgive them anyway

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives
Be kind anyway

If you are successful, you will win friends, some false and some true
Succeed anyway

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you
Be honest and frank anyway

What you spend your life building, someone destroys overnight
Build anyway

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous
Be happy anyway

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow
Do good anyway

Give the world your best anyway
Because, You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God
It was never between you and them anyway

# Borrowed from Suchitra K.'s blog.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani Reviewed


Expectations are a darn thing. They can ruin something for you even before it happens. Take for example the case of Ranbir Kapoor’s latest “Ajab prem ki gazab kahani”. The guy has been on a roll and one automatically hoped for this one to crack it as well. Hmm…well, lets just say, he didn’t quite manage to.

Actually the post has started on the premise that the film’s success was his burden. Let us distribute the burden on everyone. The director, the producer, all the actors included.

Don’t get me wrong. Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani has its moments. Made in a manner which is not so much Govinda but more non stop nonsense like a Charlie Chaplin film (though not in the same league), the film is cute and fresh. The director has attempted to make it look like a parody, making everything seem real is not his intent. Else how could he have explained things like a train stopping in the middle of the bridge just to pick up the protagonists who are in the middle of a chase.

The best way to enjoy this film, and yes it is possible to enjoy it, is to leave your logic outside the door. To give it company, also leave behind your expectations….and your watch. The first 45 minutes drag by with you literally hanging on to every joke trying to find it funny. But hang on, it only gets better from here. The latter half of the film gets some quick quips in and unknowingly, you will find yourself laughing out loud. Ofcourse you sometimes wonder what’s with the deal about the stammering, but hey, dint I tell you to leave your logic outside??

The actors have actually done a good job. Ranbir is in my opinion the next big thing. He just seems to get better with each film. Katrina is absolutely stunning!! And her acting is cute and sweet. The music of the film gets a thumbs up. The songs are addictive and the picturization well done.

Some reviews have gone overboard and compared the film with Andaaz Apna Apna. In my humble opinion, that’s pure blasphemy. Don’t weigh down the film with your expectations and walk in for some entertainment, you may end up with a few clean laughs.

Rating: 2.5 on 5

Paisa Wasool Moment: When Salman Khan (guest appearance) says to Ranbir about Katrina “Arre tu itna kyun ghabra raha hai jaise meri girlfriend ko apni bolke introduce kara raha ho” !!

PS: I am in complete confusion about why all guys want to look beefy. Salman and Upen Patel, both who obviously gym and are portrayed as having awesome bodies in the film are in my opinion just plain blah. Bulk is not hot guys, lean is. Check out Ranbir….

Monday, November 9, 2009

Eternal Love - A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a far away land lived a princess. The princess had many a suitors but she had given her heart to a prince from another kingdom. The prince loved her with the same fervor that she did. One day, the prince came to her and said “Oh fair one, my duty calls. As much as I would like to stay, my people need me. I will travel my lands and serve my people. But my heart will always be true to you”.

The princess held on to his hand. She smiled through her tears and said “Darling, our love transcends distance and time. Go do your duty, do what is right. But know that whenever I will close my eyes, it is your smile I will see”. The princess then brought out a beautiful old carved box and gave it to the prince asking him never to open it.

Years passed. The father of the princess, the king had many enemies. One dark night, a masked intruder entered the princess’s chambers, pulled out his dagger and pierced the heart of the Princess. Not wanting to be caught, he slipped into the darkness and ran away.

The next morning, the king was rushed into the princess’s chambers. He couldn’t hold back his tears when he saw all the blood around. He held his daughter’s hand in his and started weeping. Suddenly, to his astonishment, the princess opened her eyes and said in her soft voice “Father, weep not. For it will take much more than a dagger from your enemies to kill me”. The king stepped back and lo behold, the princess got out of bed, unharmed and alive as if nothing had happened.

The kingdom declared it a miracle. There was rejoicing all around. When the news reached the prince, he was distraught with worry and sent a scroll with his messenger to the princess. It said “Oh fair one, tell me who saved you. I will honor that person for life”.

The princess sent a short scroll back. The prince smiled when he read “My love, you don’t need to look far for my savior. For it is you. The wooden box I gave you has my soul in it. Till the day you keep it safe, no one can hurt me. I remain – always yours”.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Book Review - Two States (Chetan Bhagat)

Two States. The Tale of Chetan Bhagat's marriage. Supposedly 'inspired' by his story but seems like more truth than fiction. I had given up on him after One Night @ a Callcentre. The first book - 5 Point Someone was actually a good read. Quick paced, with all the drama of a masala film, set in Delhi so references to places I'm familiar with. But the subsequent books fell so flat on their face that I concluded it was just his marketing strategy of pricing at Rs.95 that made him sell.

His latest book makes me eat my words. Its not a literary wonder by any yardstick. Yet, its an interesting tale told in a style which makes the reader part of the story. The book is about how a Punjabi boy from Delhi falls in love with a Tam Bhram (Tamil Bhrahmin) in IIMA. Unlike films, the story doesnt end there but goes on to narrate how they win over both the sets of families and finally managed to get married. Underlying this story is the pulse of the various countries that exist within the boundaries of India. The contrast drawn between the people from Delhi and those from Chennai offers a hillarious read. Not becasue it is far from the truth but because it is far too close to the truth. As much as I love being from Delhi, I must admit we tend to be a tad bit (!!) loud and show - offy. The bigger the car, the better to show off amongst relatives, office colleagues and even random neighbors. Unless there are some diamonds dangling from the bride's neck, the wedding seems to lack a little lustre :)! And our weddings do tend to look like the "All Continents Buffet" I ate in Canada....with atleast 6-7 cuisines being served and counters like live pasta, fish grill etc. taken for granted. Random relatives do expect to be given Saris and gifts at every wedding (why should they be rewarded I have always failed to understand). And yes, unless there is a DJ and a sangeet, we dont officially call it a wedding.

The portrayal of Chennai is brilliant as well. Of auto drivers who will always pretend not to know anything but Tamil, of women who dress in bright gold saris with so much gold on them that it could solve the economic crisis a few times over. Of roads that are spelt as tongue twisters. And weddings that happen at obscene hours in the morning with food served on banana leaves.

Most of it is exaggerated. But exaggerated so well that the reader cant help but chuckle along. The story is believable, funny and fast. Which is what works for the book.

I believe it must have taken a lot of guts for Chetan to write the book. There are things you dont want to share even after marriage. Making out on the IIM Campus is best hidden under wraps. Or things that you cant share like what he thought of his mother in law when he first saw her snap. These are potential timebombs! As 'inspired' as this book is, I give it to Chetan for having the guts to go out and write this. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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