Where to eat in Pamplemousses, Mauritius

One of the not-to-be-missed things on your Mauritius holiday list should be a visit to the lovely Pamplemousses Gardens (or to give them their proper name, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens).

But don’t worry, everyone still refers to them as the Pamplemousses Gardens.

When I lived in Mauritius and used to visit the gardens with my children, picnics were the order of the day, since there wasn’t anywhere to eat.

Not anymore.

A 2 minute walk from the main entrance of the Gardens, located in a pretty terraced house, is a little café.  I went there last month with a girlfriend, and since it was a year since we had met, we talked and talked and then some.  All the other lunchtime clients left, there were just the 2 of us chatting away, but the staff couldn’t have been sweeter.  They left us alone, with no hint of hurrying us along.

Simple food.

Clean loo.

Friendly service.

What more do you want from a little village café ?

 

ELMA’S in HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE, NEW DELHI

Hauz Khas village is changing at the speed of light, with new restaurants and shops opening seemingly every week.  I had heard about Elma’s Bakery & tea House in Hauz Khas for quite a  while, so last Friday Sonam and I went there for lunch.

The place is charming, with a real chintzy, English feel to it.  A lovely collection of tea-pots is dotted on shelves around the small restaurant, and there is even a tea-pot-covered piano in one corner.

They have lovely china –  pretty flowery cups and plates, in different designs, adding to the English tea-shop feel.

We both had smoked salmon sandwiches, which were delicious.  Lovely brown bread, generous amount of salmon, but Rs 350 for 4 tiny sandwiches ?

We both had tea.  Of course.

I was more adventurous than Sonam and tried echinacea and lemongrass (for serenity, I think it was ).

Nice, but Rs 100 per pot = non-serenity-making.

Sonam had pudding and declared it delicious.

So.

Verdict ?

Charming, nice relaxed service.  But I think Rs 1500 for sandwiches and tea for 2, and one small pud is expensive.

I didn’t tell them that I review/blog and we paid our own bill.

 

 

INDIAN ACCENT RESTAURANT in NEW DELHI

This review is different, since it is a guest post by a Twitter friend?/acquaintance?/cyber-friend? –  well, anyway, someone with whom I chat and tweet online. His Twitter handle is @alltough, and last month, he tweeted a review of a Delhi restaurant, which caught my eye.

@alltough tweeted in a series of posts – for those of you who don’t tweet, you are limited to the numbers of characters per tweet.

This review, sentence by sentence and photo by photo, appealed to me enormously as it unfolded slowly in cyber-space, and so I asked @alltough if he would guest post for me.

Here is his review.

 

A pictorial tribute to an exquisite fusion dinner that was indulged in at the Indian Accent restaurant on March 28, 2012 based in the Manor Hotel in 77, New Friends Colony. The meal was prepared by the friendly Chef Manish Mehrotra that evening for a table of five. For their menu online, click here: http://www.themanordelhi.com/restaurant-menus.htm

  1. Went to the Indian Accent at the Manor Hotel last evening. Had never heard of it before but now I won’t stop raving about it for a few days.
    delhisultan
  2. Had the most delicious little parathas stuffed with blue cheese as an appetiser. I think, I can safely recommend, it is worth dying for it.
    delhisultan
  3. Share

    Too much naatak; too little to eat – a cheese ball hung over a slender cup filled with shorba. I couldn’t dunk it
    delhisultan
  4. Items on menu have a slight Indian twist to it hence the name. the chef came to our table & explained the aesthetics of his presentation.
    delhisultan
  5. most fine dining places can be quite snobbish but this one had the friendliest staff. They make you feel at home. not everything is priced.
    delhisultan
  6. Share

    The chef sent this to our table as a complimentary item:  enjoyed the tangy chilli strawberry dip but ignored liver
    delhisultan
  7. Share

    The famous Pao Bhaji at Indian Accent
    delhisultan
  8. Share

    veggies wrapped in thin paneer was ordered for a starter but I think I could order three more and make it a mains
    delhisultan
  9. Share

    It took time for us to touch this one because nobody had the heart to destroy the way it looked. Potato chaat
    delhisultan
  10. Share

    This was a strict no-no for me. I pretended it wasn’t there. some part of a goat’s ankle many will relish
    delhisultan
  11. Share

    crisp Mexican rotis stuffed with chicken gravy (naming whatever I like as I don’t remember menu) this was delish
    delhisultan
  12. Share

    I could have died & gone to heaven if I had eaten the whole thing. Prawns on a bed of thick Goan rice. Must have
    delhisultan
  13. Share

    Some very exotic fish whose name I can’t be bothered with. With fried lotus roots. Again, nice mellow flavour.
    delhisultan
  14. The names on the menu were simple but long and without any added adjectives like ‘creamy’, ‘smooth’ and ‘spicy’, but staff use it liberally.
    delhisultan
  15. dessert was strictly okay. Fancy names but I was too stuffed to change the way my palate felt. Order assorted stuff & share in a small group
    delhisultan
  16. Indian Accent is in the Manor Hotel in New Friends Colony (West) at #77. Make a reservation. Good experimental food and great service. Go.
    delhisultan
  17. We paid for our food. My hosts loved it so much they asked the unassuming celebrity chef to come to South Africa and open one there. #Delhi
    delhisultan
  18. That was a restaurant review in 16 tweets. Must storify. Thank you, ladies & gentlemen. You may now resume with your work day. Bon appetit!

Good home-delivered sushi in Delhi

The young, enterprising company “Sushiya” has filled a niche in the Delhi market –  good sushi, freshly made and delivered to your home for just a nominal delivery fee. (Rs 50 for South Delhi)

They have veg & non-veg sushi on offer, and your order comes complete with chopsticks, wasabi, ginger, soya –  the whole works.  The sushi is good, service is prompt, and though not especially cheap, it is well worth it for those nights when you absolutely crave Japanese food.  As we did, 2 nights ago –  so this review is very much a fresh recommendation.

Their website is under construction but you can download the menu from it, even so.   www.sushiya.in

DELIVERY NUMBER: +91-9312444086

A safe, reliable choice for lunch in Delhi – Basil & Thyme

If you are looking for a safe, reliable, air-conditioned, relaxing place for lunch in Delhi (and come to think of it, who isn’t ?) then look no further than the little restaurant tucked into the far corner of the Santushti Shopping Complex.

Welcome to Basil & Thyme.

A favourite haunt of ladies who lunch and foreigners shopping at Santushti’s elegant shops, Basil & Thyme serves consistently good, Western food.

Lots of quiches, salads, pasta, crepes.   Divine olive pate.

No alcohol.

Good puddings.

OK coffee.

Delicious ginger fizz, which is a lurid bubble-gum pink, but refreshing.

It’s not that cheap, I warn you – well, I think Rs 125 (+ VAT) is a lot for a small coffee.

Having said that, it’s a relaxing place to eat in one of Delhi’s cutest and quietest shopping centres.

 

Here is our recent bill for 3 people :

 

FLIPSIDE CAFE in NEW DELHI

Hauz Khas village, a popular arty enclave in New Delhi, India, is changing at the speed of light.

My first visit in 2 months, and lo and behold, I now have to pay for parking.  But to be fair, the muddy sidewalk is now paved over, so I suppose one mustn’t crib at paying Rs10 to park there.

I went with one of the city’s better known food writers and critics, for a casual getting-to-know-each-other lunch in Flipside, a new café, tucked away up a steep flight of stairs.

Simple food, relaxed service, wi-fi, and all very pleasant it was, too.

We opted for crepes, rather than pizzas.  My companion had a sweet one – a rather daunting sounding confection of peanut butter, chocolate and whipped cream, whereas I opted for savoury.  Cheese, mushroom, corn and lettuce –  the latter not really doing it for me as part of a crepe, to be honest.  I’d rather have had the salad on the side.

Nice cold coffee.

The puds looked good, and my companion proclaimed the sacher torte she ate as tasting home made.

I can see this place becoming popular with tourists and students, with its easy atmopshere and wifi.  Today, for example, there was a young lady on her laptop in one corner, nursing a coffee.  There were 2 rather bedraggled-looking French tourists, and later 2 American youngsters with their rucksacks propped against the wall.  I met another girlfriend having a quick lunch reading her paper.  All very casual and easy-going.

At Rs 90 ++ for a cold coffee, it ain’t cheap, but I can see myself calling in whenever I am wandering through Hauz Khas.

Flipside is open 10-10 every day except Tuesday, doesn’t have a liquor licence, takes credit cards – what else ?  Oh yes, seriously, nice clean loo.

7, Hauz Khas Village

New Delhi 110016

 

Tel : 011 2651 6341

Are these the best olives in Johannesburg ?

Every Sunday morning, the otherwise completely ordinary rooftop parking lot of the Rosebank Mall becomes one of Johannesburg’s iconic markets.

Crafters, traders, performance artists, food stalls all spring up for the morning, the crowds pour in to eat and shop and wander, it is all a tad bohemian and great fun.

When we lived in Joburg, Rosebank Rooftop Market was a Sunday staple, and now, whenever we return on holiday, we aim for at least one Sunday morning in Joburg, just for the market.

There, we make a bee-line for traders we have patronised for years.

Such as Doreen, who sells what have to be THE most delicious olives in Johannesburg.

Her olives are fat and plump and well-stuffed – and not cheap, I must in all honesty warn you. But they are absolutely delcious.

We have been buying feta-stuffed olves and garlic-stuffed olives from Doreen for years, and on a visit to Rosebank last Sunday, we tried out a new product – olives stuffed with blue cheese.

Heavenly.

Doreen also sells stuffed artichokes, which are a long-standing family favourite, and pestos, and ginger and all manner of utterly delicious treats.

Doreen and her husband can be found every Sunday, in 5th Avenue on the Rooftop Market, in the section where all the food stalls are, quite close to the Polish meat seller and next to the Indian spice seller.

ROMBOUTS FILTER COFFEE

For the travelling coffee-a-holic (and I know you are out there) there is help available.

No more unpalatable instant coffee from your hotel room.

Nor, in desperation, is there any need to schlepp a travelling filter coffee maker.

The convenient, though admittedly slightly pricey, answer is Rombouts individual coffee filters.

10 in a box, they weigh virtually nothing at all, so don’t take up valuable weight in your luggage, and the coffee is genuinely good.

This system is ideal for camping, for budget hotels, for any form of cheap and cheerful travel, where you don’t want to pay through the nose for your caffeine fix. I have taken these little beauties up to Everest Base Camp, so this is a serious addict speaking.

They work so.

Put individual filter in its housing on top of a cup, pour boiling water, et voila.  A decent cuppa.

 

The only problem is that you may well find hotel staff returning the filters to you, convinced you have chucked them in error.  They don’t exactly look like, say, a used tea-bag.  They look as though they are meant to be kept, to be re-used.  In Pushkar, in India’s Rajasthan state, where the hotel definitely didn’t run to filter coffee, I used my Rombouts coffee, and the staff kindly washed and dried the finished filters, and returned them to my room.

Agreed, they are probably not the “green”-est form of coffee going, what with all that plastic housing.

But, according to the ones I bought in Johannesburg recently, they are kosher.