When I think of Maggi, memories come gushing back to me: memories of that hostel-wala Maggi while last minute cramming for exams late into the night; memories of those long drives in the mountains and stopping by the dhaaba for a bowl of steaming soupy Maggi noodles; but most importantly, Maggi brings back memories of my mother whipping up a quick bowl of noodles for me as an after-school snack. Innumerable women across the globe, just like my mom, continue to resort to Nestle’s various products, including, but not limited to, Maggi to ease their kitchen duties. It is these everyday women that Maggi wishes to celebrate via their show Maggi Kitchen Journeys that airs on ZeeTV. Maggi Kitchen Journeys portrays women armed with determination, zest and an extensive love for food; who decided to build their own destiny.
We journeyed all the way to Vadodara to meet one such lovely lady – the enterprising Charmi Dave. Charmi’s story is special because at the young age of 28, she is the founder of the Maggevala chain of eateries. Maggevala celebrates Maggi noodles in all its glory, with an extensive and innovative menu keeping the humble noodles at the heart of it all. Maggevala is now a chain of eateries with eight branches across the country – three in Vadodara, one in Rajkot, one in Surat and three in Chennai. We sat down with Charmi at the original Maggevala outlet in Fatehgunj, a tiny yet warm eatery complete with rustic ambiance, for a tête-à-tête. Over bowls of signature Maggevala noodles Charmi gave us a glimpse of her story and her brand.
Bintan Island in Indonesia may be overshadowed by it’s larger, more popular cousin Bali when it comes to tourism. But what Bintan lacks in terms of popularity, it makes up for with it’s pristine beaches and laid back island life. Not to mention planning a Bintan getaway is a lot more easier as you can completely skip visa hassles, and you club a visit to Bintan with another larger destination such as Singapore.
I recently visited Bintan Island roughly three months ago on a whim, clubbing it with our Singapore vacation, not knowing what to expect. Bintan blew me over with it’s serenity and beauty, not to mention how easy it was for us to plan this quick Indonesian sojourn. Read on for why I think you too should consider a trip to Bintan, Indonesia for your next holiday –
‘Why Armenia?’, ‘What do you get there?, ‘What are you going to see?’ Most people echoed these words when I told them I was leaving for a quick getaway to this Eurasian country. Honestly, I had zero expectations myself, and had this not been a work trip, I’d never have voluntarily picked an offbeat destination such as Armenia to travel to. The only knowledge I had about this country that papa Kardashian hailed from here, and I remember seeing some pictures on Kim’s Instagram page. #KeepingUp
I guess sometimes travelling with a clean slate of mind helps. It helped me discover this beautiful country with no predisposed notions about what was in store for me. And ohh, I was in for a beautiful surprise!
A visit to The Clearing House (TCH) – a swanky dining space in Ballard Estate – had eluded me all this while, until recently. I finally decided to make good use of that one precious Sunday and trekked all the way to ‘town’ for TCH’s special weekend brunch. TCH does brunch a bit differently – for starters their brunch menu is ala carte and brought right to your table. Which in my opinion is a welcome change from the boring ol’ buffets where the food turns cold and insipid after lying out for so long. Their brunch menu is available on both Saturday and Sunday – because why should the joy of brunch be restricted to just one day in the week?
Shamiana at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai is synonymous with all day dining, being one of the first to launch this concept in the city way back in 1973. Ask any uncle or aunty and they’ll all have a story to share about this iconic eatery. They revamped, refurbished and relaunched the entire space in August last year after a small break and I’ve been meaning to go dine at Shamiana ever since.
The entire space exudes ‘Tajness’ and welcomes you like an old friend with open arms. The white canopies on the ceiling above your table pays homage to the restaurant’s name, with the entire space done up in a minimal chic style. The outdoor section with it’s intricate jaali work can get stifling hot during the day, but is perfect for a balmy winter evening. (Wish Mumbai had more of those. Sigh!)
The menu covers all day dining options, a ‘Bombay’ section featuring the city’s best, a nostalgic Shamiana section featuring old school dishes and comfort mains. What deserves a mention is their Taj Autograph Collection featuring signature dishes curated by Taj chefs across the globe.