Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Celebrating Indian Cuisine At Laat Saab...

Laat Saab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Laat Saab literally meaning The Lordship is the newest gem added to the food sphere at Gardens Galleria Mall in Noida. True to its name, Laat Saab celebrates India, its vibrant hues, rich cultural heritage, pre-partition grandeur, and delicious cuisine.

The outlet is situated on the first floor of the mall and has a dedicated entry solely for itself, through stairs that open into the outdoor seating section of the restaurant, for which one is not needed to step into the mall even.

Bringing together a melange of the best of all regions in our country, much like India On My Plate at Fortune Excalibur which celebrates the art forms of India in its decor, Laat Saab emulates pre-partition India in its decor with a life-size carriage and rickshaws lining the open-air seating, sofas drawing inspiration from the wheels at Konark, wall decor highlighting a rustic Haveli with pieces of artistic excellence, a well-lit fireplace, and a deer head with shooting guns put up as a prized possession that make one feel as if one has been teleported to that era and its times.

The food and service are as lavish and courteous respectively as the decor is grand. Being the brainchild of Mr. Raminder Malhotra, Laat Saab has been taken care of, and nurtured like a child, with attention being paid to the finest of details. Having a separate area outdoor for people fond of Hookah is a huge plus that caters to the comfort of both smokers and teetotalers.

Each of the dishes at Laat Saab has been painstakingly prepared, bringing to the fore the essence of flavors that each dish encompasses. Being invited here for a Blogger's Table was a pleasure in its entirety.

Celebrating India at Laat Saab takes the form of the best of all regions being presented at the table, thus appreciating the best of Indian Cuisine, be it food from North, East, West. or South. Here's what all was relished at a lavish meal presented to us bloggers at Laat Saab.


Grill Fish Amritsari which is a whole fish grilled to perfection with that near perfect dash of lemon, and a blend of butter and carom seeds elevating the dish to a different level altogether.

Peshawari Chicken Tikka which was all about succulent chicken chunks.

Chicken 65 was an authentic preparation from down south, being thoroughly cooked in an amalgamation of 65 spices, hence the name.

Chowpatty Paneer Tikka is hands-down the best cottage cheese I have had in a long time. Smooth on the palate with a distinct flavor thanks to the mint layer and charcoal cooking.

Dahi Ke Kebab were again uniquely made because nothing but hung yogurt had been utilized. No frills made for a humble dish that emerged a star.

Hazratganj Subz Galouti Kebab is the Chef's Special with an amalgamation of a claimed 160 spices making it the most melt-in-mouth Galouti I've ever had.


Safed Gulab Sherbet equaled the perfect start to the well-curated meal at Laat Saab for it was a lemonade with rose essence to the extent that it had a rose petal as garnish.

Khus And Chilli that made for an unusual and amazing combination. It is perfect for people who are on the lookout for spicy mocktails.

Pink Woman was the superb blend of orange and strawberry.

Main Course: 

The following curries were presented for Mains served with assorted Indian Breads, each prepared impeccably and presented aesthetically.

Butter Chicken
Pepper Chicken Chettinad
Meat Belliram

Authority Wala Meat
Paneer Lababdaar
Subz Punjrattani
Dal Makhani

Soya Roghanjosh which was vegetarian Soya Chaap cooked in Rogan Josh gravy. The most out-of-the-box dish that I have heard of, coming from Indian Cuisine is this.

Darjeeling Chutneywale Rice served with Dal Tadka


Malai Kulfi

Paan Kulfi which had an entire life-size Paan Leaf in its making.

Shikora Phirni

Figs, Chocolate, and Honey Kulfi, a best-seller from their recently concluded Valentine's Menu.

While at Laat Saab, the servicemen made sure that I felt like royalty. Having a word with Mr. Malhotra at the end of the meal served as the perfect conclusion. Laat Saab would be my go-to place for delectable food, courteous and attentive service and a vibrant ambiance, all of which form for a memorable meal. :)

The Artist Within At #BergerXP...

IndiBlogger has been a constant ever since I stepped into the world of blogging. Be it about providing a platform to Indian bloggers or bringing out the creative exuberance from each by means of collaborating with various brands or introducing inspirational prompts, IndiB has been constantly shaping itself to the acumen of Indian Bloggers and it has been taking all the bouquets and (some) brickbats with a wide smile.

A characteristic perspective to IndiBlogger have been their Blogger Meets organized in various Indian cities from time to time, in collaboration with numerous brands, referred to as IndiMeets by us regulars. Regulars on the IndiBlogger platform also know that the last IndiMeet that had been organized was back in May 2016, with Horlicks #CatchUpOnGrowth.

More than anything, IndiMeets provide a fantastic means to put a face to the virtually existing and evolving entity that is a blog. Of late, IndiMeets in Delhi had seen quite a boom of sorts with Delhi bloggers turning up in full strength.

So, this time, when IndiB collaborated with Berger Paints for their Painting เค•ा T20 - #BergerXP across the major metro cities of the nation, beginning with Kolkata, advancing to Bangalore and Mumbai, and finally arriving at the last leg of the journey that was Delhi, the folks at IndiB decided to lend an exclusivity to the attendees at Delhi by opening the platform in order for bloggers to express interest and request an invite. Being limited to 75 attendees at Vivanta By Taj, I was sure that this one was bound to be a chic premier of Berger's newest concept of Express Painting.

First things first, as had been done at #CatchUpAtGrowth, each attendee's IndiPass (QR Code) sent to respective inboxes was scanned to let everyone know that they had arrived at the IndiMeet, along with the picking up of a blank pin-up Twitter badge to write one's Twitter handle on the same, and wear it with a smile. :)

Also, various speech bubble placards were placed at the entrance, wherein one could gleefully pose against a #BergerXP wall. I picked up the speech bubble that said 'I ๐Ÿ’— Delhi'.

Once inside the hall, to begin with, the customary 'Introduce Yourself' session was held, with a 14-year-old Vlogger Ayush Chopra making himself known. After that, each blogger was presented with an IndiBlogger envelope that concealed within itself, five slips with the catch that each had some trivia or a blog link pointing to a blogger present amongst us.

This activity served as an ice-breaker as the blogger who was able to correctly identify those five people and obtain signatures on the respective slip in a time-frame of five minutes (Manjulika was the one to do so in record time) was rewarded with a voucher. As for me, I was able to pinpoint four of the five bloggers.

After such frantic pacing across the length and breadth of the hall, it was time to take our seats as Mr. Vinod Das, Chief Manager, Berger Paints since 1991 stepped in to introduce to us, how Berger Paints India being an innovation-driven organization has come up with the Berger Express Painting service in order to revolutionize the painting process.

For quite some time now market research showed that the process of painting, for consumers was a time-consuming and back-breaking affair which came with its share of health hazards. Keeping this in mind Berger Paints has come up with the motto of a “Faster, Cleaner and Better” experience for consumers with its Express Painting service.

It has been designed keeping in mind the upgradations of the painting process whereby both the consumers and the applicator benefits from this new service. On one hand it promises the consumer a world class painting experience minus the dust, dirt and paint spillage with excellent finish and on the other hand, it assures the applicator of more business by reducing the time required for each painting assignment.

With tools designed to specifically make the process of painting faster and hassle-free, painting is now an enjoyable experience:

  • 40 percent speedup compared to traditional painting - #TeamFaster
  • Trained painters for efficient and better painting 
  • Sparkling results thanks to no-mess tools - #TeamCleaner
  • Cutting-edge vacuum suction-enabled sanding machines keep the house dust-free  
  • Better coverage and smoothness guaranteed each time and perfect finish with high-efficiency thanks to certified tools - #TeamBetter
With the innovations of textured designs, close to ten thousand shades, easy clean weather coat, and anti-dust provisions, #BergerXP promises Home Painting Any Time. Thanks to their automated machinery of the likes of Airless Paint Sprayer, Auto Roller, Jet Presser, Mixer, and Sanding Machine, home painting is now a hassle-free experience.

All such benefits are to be offered to patrons at no additional cost, as Express Painting is all about I Train, wherein painters are trained to utilize modern tools that facilitate saving time in the house-painting process at various academies across Indian cities at minimal or one could say no extra cost. What's more, 25,000 painters have already been trained to hit the ground running till date. :) 

With the urbanization of painting being their motive, Berger Paints have made sure to provide for a laser meter for the area measuring, moisture indicator, pH scale, an estimate of the products involved, costing and timelines of the painting process, thereafter proceeding to painters visiting one's place, accompanied by a customer executive. 

After Mr. Vinod's insightful session, it was time to summon the artist within each blogger as teams of seven to eight bloggers were formed for our very own Painting เค•ा T20. Being provided with surgeon's masks, caps, surgical gloves and sandpaper was the first step as each team had to smoothen a whiteboard against the timer.

Being Team No. 1, we took a cue from this activity and named ourselves 'Surgical Strikers'. My team-mates mutually agreed on me being Captain as we chose our theme 'Delhi Diaries'. Before we began, boxes of eleven strainer colors were brought ahead and a demonstration was given as to how these colors should be mixed with water and base paint.

We brainstormed our way into the heart of Delhi to depict contrasting aspects of the capital city with revelry all around in Delhi owing to its love for food, festivals, music, and dance on one hand and a pitiable condition owing to corruption, pollution, traffic, crimes, child trafficking and all such on the other, with a backdrop of the tricolor and an iconic Delhi monument like Qutub Minar.

This led us, Team Surgical Strikers, to bag the second place while the first place was bagged by the team with the theme Vlogging In Blogging and the third place by the one with the theme Festivals of India.

The winning team walked away with vouchers and Delhi Bloggers brought #BergerXP to a close with the customary group picture. :)


Monday, 27 February 2017

At The Launch Of Becoming Assiya...

Launch of Becoming Assiya by Simran Keshwani

Tuesday, February 21

Office Office, Janpath

Simran Keshwani, aged 20, and a Final Year Literature student at Lady Shri Ram College launched her first flagship literary work, Becoming Assiya. The event was compered by Mrs. Seema Keshwani, Simran's inspiration behind the text and mother, and originally a resident of the U.A.E., "a true daughter of War", as Simran recounts.

The chief guest of the day was Mr. Rajesh Goyal. With a vision of making lives better than earlier through employability training, Rajesh Goyal with his brother Ravinder Goyal founded the IACM Smart Learn Ltd. which is one of the most awarded and committed vocational training companies in India since 1997.

Rajesh for past several years has taken up an assignment of inspiring his world through his writings, messages and social media. His sole motto is to propel his world towards togetherness, peace, prosperity and real happiness. Today, he owns and runs over five hundred skill development and training centers all across India for the youth.

I have always believed that Human life is demarcated with thin fine lines between fear, conformity, hate, acceptance, and love. It is very hard to ascertain one from the other, and the graph which they lie on, that of an uncertain mortal life, very often throws them in together. They coalesce, they intermix. One little slip and we land on another end of the spectrum altogether. What is happening to the world today, is a narrative of Hate and Fear. To combat the Fear of the Unknown, we must extend a hand and know the Other. Somewhere between love and hate lies acceptance, and that is the toughest emotion humans can endure. Perhaps, that's what we have forgotten.

Becoming Assiya is the journey of a Syrian girl through the crevices of time and the ravages of war, in an attempt to find herself and regain her lost identity. What inspired me to embark on such a riveting and tense journey with my protagonist was a feeling that in times of collective tragedy and fear, what stands towering above Hate is Courage and Love. And those two can only come through conscious efforts. The Word is my catalyst. This is my conscious effort to throw an echo of acceptance and love into a World of Hate.", says the aspiring 20-year-old author to the trailblazing and enigmatic tale of Love, Identity, and Loss in the time of War.

When asked what inspired her to write about violence, when everybody else is moving towards softer themes, she recounts, "I remember my first tryst with War came rushing to my door in the form of a neat hardbound book with verses written in Urdu. We are all children of War, and my ancestors were landlords in Pakistan. They felt the horror of war at its face value, a horror no words could capture. When a woman's breast lay desecrated on the street and a child was beheaded in front of the mother, such was the gory horror that the Partition brought. The book I had found was my great grandmother's memoir of the War. It is the only childhood treasure I have known. I think, that book, even though I lacked the knowledge to interpret the loss entwined in its pages, screamed to something in my soul. We all carry the wounds of a distant past within our DNA. It is an inescapable fact, and it is up to us, the Children of the Present, to learn from the past, carry it along, but not repeat it."

"The past is always in a discordant love with the present. And it is up to us to unleash its secrets, and learn from it, not repeat it."

"Becoming Assiya is the story of a misplaced Syrian refugee and her trial with a past of Blood, wounds, War, Doubt and Hatred and the troublesome Hope of a better tomorrow. The woman's journey encompasses through the landscape of Wartime Syria, through her mother's journal and the rebuilding of a Post War identity for a land washed with blood, and what it meant to be alive, stuck in the middle with No Identity. Identity and Struggle, two complex concepts intermingle in this book and intersect at a common point, that of finding yourself.

It's been five years that the Syrian internecine began. The world shed tears while towns and cities bled to death. Now, what remains is mud and mortar while the world sleeps. Simran has been one of the lucky few to be able to firsthand understand the struggles of the people trapped inside War Torn areas, and their fight towards peace continues.

As a child, she recounts visiting her maternal home in the UAE, holding her mother's hand and asking her why the people there dressed differently than us. What she said was what the world has forgotten - it doesn't matter, they're human too. Becoming Assiya is a small attempt to capture Syria's moment of crumble and a look into the dystopian future we signed up for, where bullets replace lives.

Office Office, Janpath played venue partner to launch Simran's attempt at penning her thoughts around a critical subject. Co-working space by the afternoon and a quintessential nightlife spot by the night, Office Office provided a curtain raiser to its new menu, featuring Wasabi Pea and Potato Patti, Vegetable Skewers, Papad Paneer and Dal Makhani Aranci.

Wishing Simran luck for Becoming Assiya, that it may go on to become a best-seller. :)