Dinner Buffet – 'Feast' for you! — Reviewed!

What: Dinner Buffet
Where: Feast, Sheraton Grand
When: All Days
Cost: Rs.1295++

Meal at Sheraton Grand is always a memorable one. Be it the Truffle Festival at the Italian speciality at Bene or relishing the Thai Food Festival at the Feast, they have been a great host. As soon as you enter the Sheraton Grand, overlooking the big main lobby, on the left is the Feast, the multi-cuisine restaurant in the hotel. The all-day dining restaurant have a lively and family-friendly vibes. What I love about the place is the three walls of window which offers guests views of the activity in the hotel. Huge crystal chandeliers, natural wooden tones, comfortable seating are some of the highlights.

The restaurant buffet is extensive comprising of European, Indian, Asian and Arabic cuisine along with the A La Carte menu. Also, some of the live stations including Mexican, Asian, Pasta and Shawarma counters are a treat for the patrons. Also, there is a dedicated section offerings sushis, salads, cheese, and breads which can be paired with wine. Desserts too have wide range extending from Indian sweets to fine pastries.

Started my meal with some of the salads and really liked the chana chaat salad, Dahi vada, and Greek Salad. Chaat had the perfect Indian touch and had the chatkara to tantalise the taste buds while the Dahi vada was soothing. Greek salad had the freshness and was power packed to start any meal.

Since it was Sushi and Tempura Wednesday, I got to try lovely sushi and freshly made hot and crunchy tempura at no extra cost. Moving on the main course buffet, I really liked the Dal Panchmel, Bhindi-do-pyaza, Apricot Kofta Curry, Paneer Tikka Masala, Paneer chilli fry, Sauteed Mushrooms, Roasted spiced eggplants, stir-fried veggies, Tikki, and Veg pulao. So stuffed with these delicacies, but was really keen to try the eye-catching desserts.

On my plate was the freshly made baked cheesecake, chocolate overdose of nama cake, peanut butter caramel tarts, and peanut cake. It was actually a 'Feast'.

Overall, a wonderful experience and looking forward to visit again soon.

Two new fun drinks at Starbucks – Popzel and Irish Cream Coffee Frappuccino! — Reviewed!

"Coffee - A liquid hug to your brain", truly said. When all you need is coffee to get you going. I love my coffees at Starbucks which is just like my second home - a place for work, meetings, write-ups, book-reading along with good cuppa and scrumptious small treats. They have always been on a prowl to surprise their patrons by introducing new drinks like Teavana range, Roasted Nut Triple Mocha, Cookie Crumble Mocha Frappuccino, Ribbon Chip Mocha, or the holiday special beverages. I have tried all and always have been a fantastic experience.

This month they have come up with the two new exciting flavours...
  • The Pop’Zel Frappuccino
  • The Irish Cream Coffee Frappuccino
The Pop'Zel Frappuccino is one of its kind sweet and bit savoury concoction with a deadly combination of the coffee with popcorn and pretzel syrup topped with sinfully yummy whipped cream and real caramalized popcorn and pretzel to give the crunchy, salty texture. It is a fantastic cross between Popcorn and Pretzel. With the first sip, this beverage offers an experience like no other. The finest touch of delicious whipped cream and caramel drizzle adds to the taste. Though I wish it had more of caramel popcorn. I love 'em.

Another fun twist on a classic coffee beverage infused with unexpected ingredients is the Irish Cream Coffee Frappuccino. This too is my favourite because of the rich espresso. Rich, creamy coffee infused with rich Irish Cream flavor, then topped with fluffy espresso whipped cream and finely ground espresso powder. Each sip was pure indulgence. I could have it and sip for hours just to feel it. Just WOW! You can get both of these flavours in hot, cold and iced.

Really looking forward for more such new and exciting flavours.

Monsoon special snacks by Dr.Oetker – Quick and easy way relish in monsoons! — Reviewed!

With the onset of monsoon, our taste bud tantalises to try something spicy, crispy, crunchy which goes well with the climate. Bhajiyas and pakodas paired with masala chai have been the all-time favorite. Didn't want to go out in the rains for shopping grocery so was wanting to experiment with the existing material in the refrigerator. What I found was the Dr. Oetker's Mayo Veg, veggies, corn and macaroni so quickly wanted to try something quick and delicious. While browsing, I found Chef Gaurav Chadha's (In-house chef at Dr.Oetker) monsoon recipes which was just perfect with the stuff I had. I bookmarked few of them and used the other day. So, with the ingredients in hand, the fusion recipe of Italian and Mexican came into existence – Macaroni with Creamy Corn and Nachos. Following is the recipe...
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (Chopped)
  • 1 Onion (small. Chopped)
  • 50 g Corns Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
  • 100 ml Hot Pasta Stock
  • 60 g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Mayonnaise Veg
  • (4 Tbsp) 120 g Macaroni (Boiled)
  • 20 - 25 g Nachos
  • (8-10 pcs., Jalapeno flavour)
  • 50 g Cheese (Processed, grated)
  •  Heat oil in a nonstick pan (low flame) add garlic, onion and cook for 30 seconds or until onion, gets caramelize. Add corn and sauté for 1 minute. Season it with salt and pepper.
  •  Add pasta stock to above vegetables and stir. Take the pan away from flame, add mayonnaise and stir well. Bring it back to flame and let it simmer for 1 minute or until sauce thickens.
  •  Add pasta to above sauce and toss well.
  •  For Assembling- Place nachos around the plate, add above pasta in the middle and sprinkle cheese on top. Serve.
Then, other day, was in a mood to try my hands on Baking and with Mexican food my favourite, I was keen to bake Tex Mex Calzone. I am sure you will like the spicy and crusty deliciously filled calzone. So, here we go with the recipe...

350 g Maida (White Flour)
5 g Dried Yeast (1tsp.)
5 g Salt (1tsp.)
2 1/2 g Sugar (1/2tsp.)
150 ml Water
15 ml Olive Oil

Tex-Mex Filling:
70 g Onions (1 small, chopped)
70 g Tomatoes (1 small, chopped)
70 g Red Bell Peppers (1 small, chopped)
70 g Yellow Bell Peppers (1 small, chopped)
70 g Green Bell Peppers (1 small,chopped)
10 g Green Chillies (2-3, chopped)
60 g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Salsa (4tbsp.)
60 g Mozarella Cheese (grated)
15 ml Vegetable Oil (1tbsp.)

Preheat oven to 180°C.
For the filling: Saute onions, tomatoes and capsicums in oil for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp and soft from inside.
  • In a bowl sift maida, add yeast, salt, sugar and water. Knead with hands to make dough. 
  • Place the dough on the working surface then briefly knead it while gradually adding oil until soft dough is formed. 
  • Cover the dough with a thin kitchen cloth and leave for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  • Remove from heat and add in a bowl. Stir in salsa and green chillies. 
  • Make four balls of equal size from the dough and roll out in approx. 8inch diameter spread to make the calzone crust. 
  • Spread the filling in the center and sprinkle cheese on the filling. Fold top of the calzone crust into a half moon shape and seal the edges by crimping them with a fork. 
  • Place the calzones on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until base of the calzone is slightly brown in colour. Serve hot.
Again, for that 'chhoti si evening bhook' I had these Savoury Pancakes
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  • 1 medium Carrot, grated
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced
  • 4-5 Coriander Leaves, chopped 
  • 100 g Rice, boiled
  • 1 medium Potato, boiled and grated
  • 2 tbsp Refined Flour
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 50 g (3 tbsp) Dr. Oetker FunFoods Veg Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper Powder
  • 30 ml Water
  • 2 tsp Refined Vegetable Oil
  • Chopped spring onion for plating
  • In a bowl add carrot, onion, coriander leaves, rice, potato, refined flour, red chilli powder, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper powder and water. Mix well until smooth mixture is formed.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan (medium flame). Spread 2 tbsp of above mixture and cook from both sides till golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter and serve hot.
I am so glad with few easy to use and quick Dr.Oetker's product in hand, life becomes easier. Now can make delicious snacks in few minutes. Do try these recipes and let me know how did you like it.

Sushi and Tempura Wednesday – Feast, Sheraton Grand, Pune — Reviewed!

What: Sushi and Tempura Wednesday
Where: Feast, Sheraton Grand
When: Every Wednesday; Dinner only
Cost: Rs.1295/- plus taxes

My charming Sushi has dragged me places to try different varieties and this time its at Feast. With the monsoons onset, tempuras and sushis are a great combination. Sheraton Grand has been doing a day per week for speciality cuisines like....
  • Sushi and Tempura on Wednesday
  • Lebanese on Friday
  • Mexican on Saturday to cater the needs of all. 
And best part is that these are the bonus to the actual buffet. Yes! The prices are unchanged for the dinner buffet and patrons can enjoy the speciality cuisines along with the regular buffet at no extra cost.

Those who are still trying to prepare their palate for Sushi must know some differences between Sushi, Sashimi and Nigiri though all are the cold cuts. While Sushi uses rice, vegetables and nori sheets, Sashimi is just the meat and no other ingredients and Nigri is sashimi served on a molded rectangle of rice. So, I tried three types one of each from the separate section of the cold along with the wonderful spread.

Tempura are the Japanese version of Indian Pakoras or bhajiyas but the only difference is the light batter has a fluffy texture by using cold water. The buffet had a live counter for freshly made tempura.
Take your pick of favourite fish or vegetables and chef will serve fresh ones on the table. Some of the varieties of tempura included...
  • Nasu (Eggplant tempura)
  • Ebi (Shrimp)
  • Shitake (Mushrooms)
  • Ayu (Sweetfish)
  • Okra (Ladyfinger)
  • Ninjin (Carrot)
  • Satsuma lmo (Sweet Potato)
  • Ika (Squid)
I tried all veggie tempura and sweet potato being my favourite. The crust of tempura was nice, fluffy and crispy and without salt, the way it should be. Bit oily and the veggies were overly coated with the batter which was making it difficult to eat in one go. You must try it with the tentsuyu sauce served with the tempura.

Overall it was a good experience. Something new and exciting I learnt about the authentic way of preparing it. If you want to try the Sushi and Tempura, you know where to head on any Wednesday.

Genuine Broaster Chicken – Treat for Vegetarians too! — Reviewed!

Another Mumbai brand, Genuine Broaster Chicken Company has come up to Pune at East Block, Amanora Mall, Hadapsar. Being a vegetarian, after many ifs and buts and multiple thoughts, I finally decided to give it a try and trust me I was not disappointed. Heard about this brand but was curious to know the meaning of "Broaster". So it is a method of healthy cooking using a pressure fry technique to use little oil. The 60 years old brand, Genuine Broaster Chicken Company has put smiles on the faces of chicken lovers worldwide by using the same technique. Currently they have around 16 outlets Pan India.

The interiors are funky, chic rustic and raw. Being an American brand, the influence can be seen on the basic set-up like posters and the furnishings used. Base ball helmets lamps, colorful lights, artificial planters, paintings, background classic scores were some of the attractions.

Food:: Genuine Broaster Chicken have tied up with Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi (Namak Shamak fame) to create a special menu. American, Continental, Asian inspired cuisines are on the menu. Following was our menu for the lunch...
  • Cheesy Jalapeno Bites (4/5)
  • Firangi Palak Paneer Dip (4/5)
  • Sriracha Paneer (4/5)
  • Smoked BBQ Franchos (3.5/5)
  • Chow Chow Noodle Burger Paneer (4/5)
  • Penne Makhani (3/5)
  • Paneer Steak (4/5)
  • Ghotala Khichdi Veg (4/5)
  • Chocolate Samosa with Mango Ice-cream (3.5/5)
  • Salted Caramel Lava Cake (4/5)
  • Chocolate Wreck Freakshake (4/5) 
  • Gulkand Muffin (4/5)
Few mocktails were served to us but since it was a week they opened and bar tender was also on leave, we had a hard luck trying those drinks. But if you wanna try something unique, go for their much popular 'Palang Tod' drink which is a concoction of Red bull and Coffee.

Cheesy Jalapeno Bites were small bit sized deep fried cheesy balls. They were crunchy and had nice outer crust. Don't expect cheese ooze out but taste-wise it was lip-smacking. Paired well with the dip. Recommended!

Firangi Palak Paneer Dip was up next. A fusion Indian and Lebanese recipe with blanched spinach cooked with paneer in creamy cheesy sauce and served with soft and fresh pita bread. The sauce was extremely well made, the spices were perfect and the creamy texture was just lingering. Recommended!

Sriracha Paneer was delicious. It had all the flavours one dish should have - spicy, tangy, sweet. Fresh paneer sauteed in delish sriracha sauce. Recommended!

I was keen to try the Franchos - Fries+Nachos, so tried the Smoked BBQ Franchos ones. Portion size is huge to fill 2 people. Crispy fried french fries topped with olives, mayo, jalapenos, tomato and drizzled with minimal bbq sauce. I had suggested to add more of it to get the flavours right.

What excited me to try from the menu was the Chow Chow Noodle Burger. Never had tried this one, so was keen to go for it. Served in the wooden tray and accompanied with crispy fries and sauce, the burger had oodles of noodles along with the crunch of paneer, freshness of lettuce and mayo. Bit dry but super heavy and a meal in itself. Loved the portion sizes at this brand. I was willing to try Palak Paneer Burger, but kept something for next time too! Recommended!

Another fusion dish was the Penne Makhani. Somehow, it never impresses me. Penne cooked in silky smooth makhani gravy was well made but somehow I had to skip it. Those who like fusion food might like it.

Paneer Steak served was again a complete meal dish. A big paneer chunk with sriracha sauce was served with aromatic rice, salad and a cup of french fries. I know, you can't and shouldn't miss those fries. I found the paneer a bit overcooked though the sauce was just perfect. Rice were superbly aromatic and infused herb added extra taste and the salad added extra freshness to the dish. Loved it.

Much talked Ghotala Khichdi was next. A spicy rice preparation and the name since it had loads of veggies. Sort of Masala Bhaat, the dish had wonderful aroma of Indian spices and to balance out it was combined with curd and papad. Recommended!

Out of the desserts, Chocolate samosa was bit let down but the mango ice-cream was superlative. Their signature Gulkand Muffin is a must must try. Soft spongy muffin filled with gulkand added so much freshness to the palate. Loved it. Recommended!

Salted Caramel Lava Cake was sinful. With one dig, the chocolate lava oozes out though I was looking out for some salted caramel but it was only chocolate. The dessert itself was yum. Recommended!

Next and probably the last of the meal was the Chocolate Wreck Freakshake. As the name mentions, it had all the goodness of chocolate. Oreo, Kitkat and Wafer biscuit blended with chocolate to perfection. Bit sweet to my palate but is a treat to all the chocolate lovers.

Service was bit slow but as I mentioned, it was there first week, they were getting the hands on experience.

Overall, a wonderful place for everyone, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarians. If you are in Hadapsar, The Genuine Broaster Chicken is one of the few places to try scrumptious food with lazy, cosy, laid-back vibes. Do visit it and share your experiences in the comment box below.

Genuine Broaster Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato