Restaurant Review : ViaMumbai Restaurant, Anna Nagar

Have you visited the viamumbairest yet? This is now open in Anna Nagar (very close to Anna Nagar Tower) and I had a real good time today after visiting them with my friends.

I along with Katie Nathan Sairanjani Sankar Aashi Sahu, Anand Kumar, Mahalakshmi, Vikas Pandita & Aakash had an opportunity to taste on some of their offerings and we found it really good and irresistible.
What did we have?
1. Vada Pav
2. Mumbai Chowpatty Chaat Tray
3. Berry Pulao
4. Mumbai Pancakes
5. Indian Farmers Rice Plate
6. Himachali Rajma Tiffin &
7. Bun Chaska Jam

1. English Breakfast
2. Bohri Kheema Pav
3. Sonia Gandhi Prawns
4. Seekh Kebab
5. Koliwad Fish Curry &
6. London Curry Tiffin

Coming to the interiors:
The hotel is set up in a posh location with lot of greenery surrounded with serene locality. It has enough space for parking your 2/4 wheeler. Interiors were tastefully done (check my stories). They play some beautiful Hindi numbers coupled with friendly staff and fully Sri conditioned rooms. This would make it a great place to have some great conversations with your family and friends.
Food is the best part. I did not eat Non-Veg but I was told by Mahalakshmi & her foodie hubby Mr Anand Kumar who said they tasted real good.
Coming to vegetarian food. Vada Pav tasted very similar to the one that is served in Mumbai. Indian Farmer’s plate reflected the scene of the Farmer’s in Maharashtra. It was a different experience altogether. The Berry Pulao is something you shouldn’t miss. Himachali Rajma tiffin was amazing. Pancakes did not fail to meet our expectations. Bun Maska Jam was too good. If you have a sweet tooth, you shouldn’t miss this & Mumbai pancakes.
We finally had Golgappas & ended with Irani Chai. Trust me, Irani Chai is the best I had ever had in the recent times. #ViaMumbai

Book Review - Dalal's Street

Title - Dalal's Street
Author - Anurag Tripathi
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - Olive Turtle(An imprint of Niyogi Books)
ISBN - 978-93-89136-15-9

A super fast story that would keep you on your feet from the start to the finish. To begin with, I liked the cover page which is as good as the story. The cover page also gives the hint about the story or at least the characters involved in it namely Varun, Devika, Pooja and Anil.

The book talks in great detail about what exactly is happening in the Fund Houses, Investment Banking, Stock Market Exchanges and the role of the fund managers who manipulate the figures at their will and wish. Who else other than Anurag Tripathi could pen it better since he himself was an investment banker once.

The story talks in great detail about the power and influence of money in the day to day operations which manipulates the stocks and figures by keeping the unsuspecting investors at bay. The story begins with Varun and his friends Devika, Pooja and Anil joining the firm - though Pooja wasn't interested as like the other three. Varun and Anil starts learning the trick of the trade slowly but steadily. Varun finds his mentor in Tiwari-ji who teaches him the nuances. He also finds a God sent Angel in Aunty-ji through whom he starts making lot of money as incentives/commission. While Pooja was in love with Varun, Devika does an unthinkable act. Anil found an investor in Nikhil Seth.

Sunny, the CEO never cared about anyone and his attitude was beyond comprehension. He joins hands with Salil-bhai who is known to manipulate stocks in order to solve the troubles faced by Reddy Oil and Gas. The manipulation game takes a toll on aspiring career of Anil who was forced to push on wrong advice to Nikhil Seth. 

What happens in the end is something you wouldn't want to miss.

The story is an eye-opener for all those who do not have slightest of knowledge about trading in stocks and shares. It warns you of being greedy in making quick money in no time thereby ending up losing all that you had. Remember, castles are not built overnight...

This book is available on Amazon in Flexibound and Kindle edition formats.

Book Review - A Drizzle in the Desert

Title - A Drizzle in the Desert
Author - P C Balasubramanian
Genre - Fiction(Drama/Relationships)
Publisher - Inkstate(A Leadstart Corp publishing co)
ISBN - 978-93-52010-86-8

A real good story which is not only appealing but would make you think deeply about what is happening in the present day world when it comes to relationships. India has always had a traditional joint family system which slowly started getting disintegrated in the twentieth century. The story revolve around Abhishek or Abhi, The Protagonist who has doned the role of a caring son, loving husband, affectionate father and above all, a great lover. 

Abhi had a crush on Anjali during his college days. On the other hand, Deepali was affectionate towards Abhi. Abhi gets married to Anjali and Deepali to Karthik. While Deepali had troubled marriage, Abhi was leading a cozy life in the U.S. looking after the operations of NeoMart. All comes to a standstill one day when he was asked to head over to India to make the company more profitable.

Anjali never wanted to move since she felt that her daughter Avantika would have a better life and prospects in the USA. On the other hand, she was apprehensive about a mystery man who Abhi's father was taking care of, back in India.

Who is this man?
Why is Abhi's father Sundaram so much indebted to him?
What happens to Deepali?
Did Anjali move to India along with Avantika?

The story emphasize on the importance of human relationships. Author has handled the otherwise delicate subject with such an ease. It would make you feel for the characters in few places and you would desperately wanted things to happen real fast. This isn't a movie but a book where you need to spend quite few hours for you to see as to how the story takes its shape or transforms. 

Whether the ending is a happy one or not, is something for you to figure it out by buying this real good story/novel.

This book is available on Amazon in both paperback and eBook formats.

Book Review - By God, The Making Of A Messiah

Title - By God, The Making Of A Messiah
Author - Shashi Warrier
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - FingerPrint
ISBN - 978-93-8917-835-7

A real classic. The book would make you realize the shortcomings in the present world by taking you through a journey of an Utopian society which was dreamed by Alkanza, The Protagonist H.E. Tomikanza embarks on a journey. He is assisted by a not so faithful barber Neepane, who keeps clearing his doubts as he was not exposed to the outside world.

The story line is subtle. The sequence of events flows fluidly. I loved the artistic way of representing the characters and the situations surrounding them by the author. I found it unique as this gave me an impression of going through a Hollywood film, in writing. 

When you get to witness a sudden surge in the emigration, how would you react?

Does this not sound similar since,we, as a country has been witnessing it for a decade or so?

Was Tomikanza able to find answers to his questions related to Democracy?

What was unique about this mix of God's rule and self-governance?

The two Ghublistanis who embark on the journey of their life time happen to come across varied characters which includes but not limited to policemen, spies, politicians etc and how they tackle them an their blunders is certainly a point to ponder.

While we see how religion plays a vital role in the politics - both in National and International level, it is the same which has been described in this story which also revolves around the shortcomings of the system coupled with duplicity and hypocrisy which is pretty much exists in abundance in the present day politics.

Would we through the characters be able to find answers and connect it with the present day events? It is for you, the readers to find out.

P.S. I liked the way, the book ended. Read it. You will not disagree to agree with me.

This book is available on Amazon.

Timex India launches iConnect and iConnect Fashion Smart Watches at Zimson

Today Timex India launched new smart watches #iConnect & #iConnectFashion at Zimson Watches in T.Nagar.
The event was attended by Rohit Singh -Product Head, Smart Wearables - Timex India who was felicitated by the Directors of Zimson. Post this, he unveiled the watches and gave a brief description of the watches as well.

The dial is of two variants - Circle & Square. The rectangular dial is priced at ₹7995 & the chic round dial is priced at ₹9995

Each of them are available in 4 colours:
1. Black
2. Grey
3. White &
4. Beige

Zimson Watches has its stores in leading shopping malls like Expressavenue -chennai VR Chennai Phoenix MarketCity (Chennai) Ampaskywalk Ampamall Theforum Vijaya and also in the newly opened Infinity Marinamall
The watch has multiple functions which includes
a. Make/Receive Calls
b. Sleep Tracker
c. Heart Rate Monitor
d. Find your phone(anti lost)
e. Controlling camera on your smartphone
f. Get texts & enable notifications from FB,WA,Mails etc.,

The watch has in built speaker. It has touch screen colour display. It has 4 faces. It has a smooth silicone band and also has an alarm function. Under normal usage, it would last a full day and in a standby mode, it will be good for 3-4 days.
The charging time it takes is just an hour.
The app that allows you to integrate your smart watch with your smart phone is called iConnect by Timex and is available on both #Android & #iOS
The event was a grand success since it was attended by press and media in large numbers and the Directors of Zimson, Mr Matheen and Mr Shakeel were interviewed by the Press/Media.

What more would you need and what are you waiting for? Go ahead and grab yours now from the market leader on watches & specially from Zimson Watches who are known for their professionalism, range, superior products and an amazing after sales service.

Yamaha launches PSS Series Compact Keyboards - A50,E30 and F30 For Kids and Youngsters

The event which was held at THE Park Hotels this afternoon saw the launch of Yamaha Music keyboard models PSS A50,PSS F30 & E30. The target segment for this is kids. However, I found these ones appealing that it could be used even by the elders.

The event saw the presence of Child Prodigy Lydian Nadhaswaram who came well before the event could commence and was there till the end. He was presented with a memento. He then happily obliged to perform on the three variants. Trust me, it was a stunning performance. There is no wonder that he is called a “Child Prodigy”. After his performance was over, we were delighted to see the performance of 5 kids from Bala Vidya Mandir. They were:
Vijetha Vijay
Nandan Venkatesh
Jayanth Pradeep
Aditya Swaminathan
Rishi Sriram kumar

Each of them performed well. Then there was a Q&A session where the questions that were asked were answered by the business heads of Yamaha India & Lydian.
This was followed by a Demo Session by the Product Manager of Yamaha Musical Instruments, India Glen Fernandes who enthralled us with his performance as well(Thank You Glen for giving your time chatting with me about the products ‘ other things. It was really nice catching up with you after a while).

He gave us the insights about the instruments which includes:
1. The instruments are sleek and classy.
2. They can be carried over easily, even in a backpack.
3. They are light.
4. They are funky and appealing.
5. All these are Made in India under the “Make In India” campaign.
6. The instruments have a USB port.
7. They are powered via AAA batteries or plug and play. Best part is, they can be charged via your Power Bank as well.

Best part is the pricing:
PSS A50 - ₹7190
PSS F30 & E30 - ₹4190

This could be a perfect gift for your kid/sibling. Why give them mobile phones or other gadgets but this one which could make them creative & give them relaxation from this speedy world. Go ahead and gift one.

P.S. All the videos will be available on my Youtube Channel - AryanSarath

Book Review - The Shiva Sutras

Title - The Shiva Sutras
Author - Ranjit Chaudhri
Genre - Spirituality
Publisher - FingerPrint
ISBN - 978-93-8917-820-3

Spiritual books needs greater attention in order to grasp the content. This is mainly attributed to the language that is being used which is usually The Sanskrit. Not all of us would understand the language hence making it even more difficult for us to understand the content. This is where, translated scriptures comes into picture. These translation, most of the time, reproduces the content as it is making it even more complicated or make the readers to feel bored. Hence there is a need of finding the right book which not only gives the content but makes it an interesting read.

The Shiva Sutras by Ranjit Chaudhri is one such book. As said in the cover, it talks about Eternal Wisdom For Life. This 134 page book is a power house in itself. Since the content that is present in this book is of greater importance and significance, I would personally recommend you to read 4 to 5 Sutras(sub-chapters)in a day. This would make you understand the concept as it is rather than making you believe that you grasped the content.

The book has references from 16 different sources(most of them are books penned by renowned authors in the subject of Spirituality) and each of them were used at the right juncture to make it even more appealing.The book talks in detail about three various aspects of life through three main episodes namely

1. Removing the Veil
2. Detaching from the body
3. Awakening

Each and every episode is different but is interconnected with each other. The very introduction in the beginning would invoke interest in you to start reading the book. If you are not aware about how The Shiva Sutras came into existence, it is believed that Lord Shiva came into the dream of Sage Vasugupt and asked him to go to a particular stone near a stream and when he went there the next day and touched it, its face was inscribed with Shiva Sutras. There are few other legend/beliefs as to how this came into existence(explained in the book).

Some of the concept in the book has already been made into motion picture. Hence you wouldn't be surprised but be able to connect with it when you read those chapters. Ranjit has made it real easy for even a novice or a person with no knowledge(on spirituality)to understand what these actually are which needs a special mention and appreciation.

This book is available on Amazon

Book Review - Shadow Of The Past

Title - Shadow Of The Past
Author - Mayank Manohar
Genre - Fiction
Publisher - FingerPrint
ISBN - 978-93-8917-822-7

What a story this turned out to be. The actual story line may be similar/old but the way it was written makes it an exceptional read. Firstly, I was impressed with the cover page. The picture as they say would convey the meaning of what a thousand words would do, is very apt for this. I fell in love with the picture and simultaneously the story as I started reading it.

Mayank has captured the perfect rhythm of love and separation in a way one couldn't even imagine. The story revolves around three main characters - Lavanya, Rehan and Arpita. Then there is Gaurav as well but I would say that the first three characters are the protagonists as they had equal role to play. 

The way the story moves would keep you suspecting till the end as to who would finally emerge triumphant in this so called "Battle of Love". The introduction of Lavanya's meeting with Rehan is a perfect filmy material. There are few letters in this story. I loved the one which comes in the very beginning(Page No.86 onward)and is a lengthy one among all. I would not reveal it here as to who had written it to whom. 

This would connect with many of the readers since many of them, if not the majority, would have gone through this in one way or the other in their life. There is a popular saying which goes like this "Marry the one, not you love but the one who loves you' is pretty much apt for this story. There is a slight deviation though. Lavanya and Rehan loved each other but had to part ways due to some reason or the other - in more than one occasion. Arpita loved Rehan unconditionally. Gaurav was ready to accept Lavanya despite knowing about her past.

This forms a complex equation and what happens in the conlusion is an expected yet unexpected ending.

This book is available on Amazon 

Masterclass with Maestros @ Sheraton Grand Resort & Spa

Today, I had an opportunity to attend the Masterclass with Maestros. There was a bunch of participants who had come over enthusiastically to attend the class.
What did they make?
Classic Tiramisu

Chocolate 🍫 Texture
Peanut 🥜 Butter Cookies 🍪
Chocolate 🍫Chip Cookies 🍪
Classic Chocolate 🍫 Brownie

Chefs did a great job in demonstrating initially about making the products. It was then the turn of the participants to try their hands on replicating the same. To our surprise, each and every one mastered the act in no time and brought out the best output. I managed to capture the last bit of the making process through the LIVE Video (on FB).

After the session was over, we were allowed to click pics with the cookies and it was a tasting session thereafter. Trust me, each and every cookie that was baked came out really well. I could see the happiness on each of the creators which was very evident on their face. I had the cookies & the taste still lingers in my mouth while I’m writing this message.

The brand said that they would be coming with many more such classes. Follow their page Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa to know more about the upcoming events and to actively take part in it.

3 Important Questions to ask before ordering your food

3 Important Questions to ask before ordering your food

We are living in a fast paced world wherein both - husband and wife goes to work. What does it leave with?

A very little time to take care of household chores.

Do we bother about it?

No. As long as the income is good and is supporting our lifestyle, we do not care much about it.

This in turn leads to lot of compromises(I would rather say seeking convenience). So, we invariably end up spending a lot on food, outside. While this is not bad, always, due care/diligence should be taken while ordering your food - be it online or offline.

What are the three important questions one should ask prior to ordering the food?

1. What oil do you use?
2. What water do you use?
3. Do you use preservatives/additives/artificial colors?

These three questions are really important. Let us see in detail.

Oil is one of the most important ingredient in our cuisine. There are various types of oil available out there. Some are priced as low as Rs.50 which goes up to Rs.500 per litre. In case,if you are wondering what these were, let me make it simpler for you. The cheapest oil you get it in the market is palm oil or palmolin. Which oil do you think the road side dhaba/eateries are using it? I wouldn't be surprised, if this is used in many small eateries too since this is cheap and can help them have good margin/profit in their sales. This is not healthy when it comes to consumption. Prolonged usage may bring ailments to your body. Hence the first question you need to ask before ordering is What oil do you use? Vanaspati is also used liberally and this is also not good for health.

Refined oil is good when it comes to cooking and for consumption. You may find expensive hotel/restaurants using Olive oil since their food is priced on a higher side.

Water is another major ingredient. Majority of the diseases caused were mostly because of water. Hence it is imperative that you need to know as to what kind of water is used in cooking. Most of the roadside dhaba/eateries use water which they procure from unknown sources. These may not have been filtered or treated under UV/RO. This would invariably lead to various health complications like diarrhea, indigestion, food poisoning to name a few. Hence ask this question without fail. Ensure that the food you are having is cooked by using mineral/treated water and not just some randomnly sourced one.

Preservatives/Additives - As long as they are the approved ones by FSSAI or other competitive body, you need not have to worry. In reality, the usage is at an all time high. The colors are used liberally in all the food. Preservatives/Additives may help in increasing the shelf life of the food but at what cost? Most probably our health.

Hence, try to eat fresh food. Eat them as soon as they are prepared. Do not blindly order the food. It is your right to know about the information (about quality) of the food you are having.

Credit/Inputs - Mr Krishnan Subramanian Kolazhy

Dine Out at Shack@Elliots and Flavours Of Nellai

An amazing dine out experience this afternoon. This place is located very close to Besant Nagar Ashtalakshmi Temple.

This is a pure veg restaurant. Since the theme is Shack, they do not use flame stove. All are cooked with electric stove & oven.

Speciality of Shack:

1. Located in serene locality
2. Very close to Besant Nagar/Elliot’s Beach
3. Ample parking space
4. Spacious restaurants 
5. Separate dining for Family 
6. Rent a Shack for 2 hours for just ₹2500 where you get to surprise your spouse during Birthday/Anniversary (The Cost includes food voucher worth ₹1000)
7. Serves Oriental & Continental Cuisine
8. Neatly maintained
9. Friendly staffs
10. Reasonably priced

Specialty of Flavours of Nellai:

1. Fully air conditioned 
2. Neatly done interiors 
3. South Indian cuisine 

Both the restaurants use refined oil & they make their own batter. They do not use preservatives or additives. It is as good as home made food.

What did I order?

Nellai Special Meals
Podi Idli Platter
Paati Urundai (All from Flavours of Nellai)

Penne (Pasta) - All from The Shack

I highly recommend all of them not because I had them but because of their taste & quality. They were incredible. Best part is their Chief Chef is away. Food was prepared by their Executive Chef. 

Nellai Special means was truly tasty & fulfilling. Though the items were served in small quantity, each one of them stood apart.

Podi Idli Platter is awesome. It had 5 different varieties (5 different podis). It is served with two different chutneys and amazing Sambar.

Paati Urundai is again their specialty. Try that as well.

Macaroni & Penne were well prepared. It was so tasty that I felt sad missing to eat the full portion(as I was full eating the South Indian cuisine).

Do visit the place & you will keep visiting them :)