Friday, May 4, 2012

An Involuntary Brownie Quest and The First One-Of-It's-Kind Food Blogger Meet Up




Every single time I bake a Brownie, I wonder about what else could be done with it. That does not mean that the Brownies are not good, just that they're so good that you want them to be better. Eating a Brownie is more of an experience in itself than anything else, at least for me. It's a memory. From the fragrant kitchen to feeling that feeling when your teeth hit the surface of the Brownie, to the chewy num num feeling when you eat it. Heck, some are so good, I just close my eyes and get lost into oblivion. If you haven't already thought I am crazy, then this should do it.

I baked a new kind of Brownie for the better half yesterday, something that would keep from spoiling over the two days that would take for it to ship to his city. I hunted and hunted for something new to try and found this recipe by Laura Vitale. I reluctantly gave it a try but something awesome came out of it, which looked like this:


And tasted something like this:


I took two pieces for my fellow foodies in the evening and they seemed to like it too! Talking about fellow foodies, I am happy to announce that this blog is finally getting some recognition. Burrp,  a leading food review website, among other things, organized a one-of-it's-kind food blogger meet up with select food bloggers off twitter, with Out Of The Blue Restaurants and we were invited to an awesome dinner party. Had so much fun socializing with people who spoke about nothing but food for hours at end. Had a lovely time!! Here are some snapshots from the meeting.

There can never be too much wine. Also I got introduced to an amazing gadget called the Wine Aerator.
Note : A wine aerator is a small, in-bottle, hand-held pour-through or decanter top device for aerating wine. These devices mix air into the wine as it flows through or over, increasing exposure to oxygen and causing aeration. They offer an alternative to swirling, traditional decanting, and to aldouze (i.e. to wait for wine to breathe) courtesy Wikipedia.

Full marks for this amazing work on the ceiling. I just kept looking at it the whole time :)
The decor of this place was so beautiful, and the colors pleasing to the eye. From the antique looking pigeon hangings by the huge glass windows, to the separate seating areas for people who would like to chat and the people who would like to enjoy some music, to an attentive and friendly staff, this place has everything to become the top visited restaurant.

Fondue Fun!
We ordered for their House Specialty, The Desi Fondue, which had lentils and cheese as the dip and grilled vegetables and bread for dipping. This was such a crowd pleaser, It was almost unfair to the other fondue we ordered, the Cheese Fondue with Chicken and Ham, which was actually a little off with it's texture and what I thought was that it did not coat the Chicken or the Ham properly enough.

Candid Conversations

But what took the focus away from the Fondue was the Introduction from all food bloggers which lasted for over an hour and in the end I did not even get to introducing myself :P But the next time, I will! I thought I was passionate about food, but there was so much passion about food on this table that I just feel like a mere speckle now. Special mention to Mr. Desh who is so well versed with all the street food in India, that one would just wanna sit and listen. Sad that he had to leave early!

And the Mains arrive!

There was a huge selection of mains to choose from. There was a separate BBQ section in the Menu and I loved the idea of being able to customize your own Sizzler. Two thumbs up for that. I ordered the Pork Sizzler in Brown Sauce, and other dishes that were ordered included a Large portion of their Four Meat Sizzler, Grilled Rawas in Lemon Butter Sauce, Spicy Basa in Caper Butter Cream Sauce, The Lamb Shanks, and others.

The most favorite item was the side dish with all mains except the Sizzlers, which was their special Caesar Salad. The general consensus was that it had fresh crunchy leaves and just the perfect dressing and was topped with another dressing. My Pork Sizzler was good, but I loved the Potato Mash on my Sizzler the most, followed by the grilled veggies, and then the Pork. The Brown Sauce could be a little heavier too, I felt. The 4 Meat Sizzler was a fail too, as the Mutton left a bad aftertaste and just did not go with all the other meats. Grilled Rawas was highly praised to the point that there was a discussion on Lemon Butter Sauce preparation. The Spicy Basa in Caper Butter Cream Sauce would have been way better had the dip been lighter and tangier so it did not coat the palette quite as much as it did. The Lamb Shanks were intimidating in their portion size and had more bone than meat on them.

A true food blogger!
 Here's the most fun thing. Put a bunch of food bloggers in a room, and bring out a pretty looking dish, or any dish for that matter and it would get more Paparazzi than Lady GaGa ever got. So many cameras hovering around! Standing on top of your seat and clicking pictures is completely acceptable in the photography world and more so in the Food Bloggy world :D

The Chef came in and said Hi to us and we gave him our critique of the food!
 The chef was kind enough to share some of his cooking techniques with us and took constructive criticism well. That's the whole thing about food. It's very subjective, like one of us mentioned. One may love something but the other person might hate it too. Impressing your customer is very difficult in this industry. Well, we had to wind it up quickly coz it was time for Desserts! :D The Chef was kind enough to open up the Dessert Bar area for us and offered for us to try their House Specialty, the Smoking Brownie.


The Dessert Bar included Mango and Cream Tarts, Mocha Slices, Strawberry Cake, Chocolate Cream Pudding and Mixed Fruits that were ready to hit the flambé station!

The Mocha Slices

The Chocolate and Cream Pudding

Fresh Fruits

The flambé moment :D

Although the flambé section was simply Wow with all the action, the desserts failed to impress me much. We had mixed views on the Chocolate Cream Pudding which I did not like but someone loved, whereas the Smoking Brownie which I liked was disliked by people too.

Although I have had way better Sizzling Brownies, this one was not really bad! But then again there is very little that I would ever find wrong with a Brownie :)

Burrp.com was kind enough to also offer us a bunch of goodies and I completely love them! I learned many new things at this superb meet up and only came back home as a richer person with more experience and knowledge about cooking, tips for Lemon Butter Sauce and of course the goody bag!

I extend a special thank you to each one of you who reads my blog, it is only because of you guys that I actually added the wings to this blog and kept posting for the appreciation which just made me smile so much :) It is only because of you guys that I am getting noticed. Thank you so so much.

Last but not the least, I absolutely HAVE TO share the blogs of all the awesome people present at the meet up.

The Big Bhookad by @TheBigBhookad
Thoughts On A Plate by @TheBlackSakura
Food Tryingstein by @FoodTryingstein
Sumthinz Cookin' by @ScrollsNInk
Belly First by @BellyFirstTweet
Food Chants by @FoodChants
Being Desh by @desh
Out of The Blue  and on Twitter @OofTB
A new blog shall be up here on this list soon by @KunalAilani7 who got inspired and decided to start his food blog!

Thank you so much guys!!

14 comments:

  1. You captured the evening perfectly! I know I had to go way early but reading this was almost as good as being right there! Thanks Ashrita :)

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  2. Not gonna let you go early the next time! :)

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  3. Woaaa. Looks so much fun.. Would want to join next time :)

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  4. You certainly look like you had fun..... love the lighting....

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  5. Amrita, it would be lovely if you could :) See you soon!!

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  6. V, yes we had lots of fun, met some awesome people! The place is beautifully done up. Wish you were here too :(

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  7. Aaaah! I'm so so jealous! I totally missed the meet thanks to an urgent meeting that popped up in Chennai :( and after making so many plans with Reema! sigh...
    Well, will hopefully meet you all next time! Looks like a wonderful time was had... the pics capture the foodie spirit i must say! and hey, thanks to burrp and twitter, now i have all your blogs to add to my blogroll :)

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  8. Hie there!! You have to make it for the next meet up please :) Would love love love to meet you.

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  9. Hi there!!
    First time visiting your space and it's LOVELY. M drooling just looking at the clicks :D. You guys must've had a fab evening.
    P.S. just wanted to add that m your new follower :D
    Have a nice weekend,
    Anuja

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  10. Hi Anuja! Welcome to my little space here :) Glad you like it! We enjoyed a lot and are hoping for more such meets to happen. Thanks for the follow, I'm gonna go check your blog too now :)

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  11. Invite me over next time...
    And now after watching all this I feel hungry :(

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  12. Sounds like so much fun! Hope Burrp does a Delhi round with food bloggers here :)

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  13. M, you are invited to come over any time and all the time!! :)

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  14. Charis, I really hope so too, it's an amazing experience! :)

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