Lifestyle – Atul Karmarkar.Com http://www.atulkarmarkar.com Around Pune, Technology, Startups, Investing, Food Sat, 27 Jan 2018 13:45:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3411319 Dinner at Flying Duck Pune http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/dinner-flying-duck-pune/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/dinner-flying-duck-pune/#comments Sun, 08 May 2016 11:12:54 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3917 First visit to the much spoken about Flying Duck Pune and it was a good one. Had been hearing about […]

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First visit to the much spoken about Flying Duck Pune and it was a good one. Had been hearing about this eatery for quite a while now, thanks to photos and reviews all over social media so a visit was in order.

We made plans to visit on a Tuesday, only to realise they’re closed that day, and eventually went on a Thursday. It’s a small joint with 6 tables and a seating capacity of around 24 but one thing is for sure – whether weekday or weekend, better make a reservation to avoid any disappointment if you just land up there hoping to get a table.

On the flip side, a small joint also means personalised attention from the owner, as was the case here – and Alakesh was quite enthusiastic and forthcoming with suggestions. The Pork Chops here come highly recommended, so that was a no-brainer. Also the main reason we’d come over. They don’t serve alcohol so Lemon Ice Tea seemed as good a drink as any on a hot summer day to accompany the food.

Flying Duck Pork Chops

We also ordered the Smoked Pork with Bamboo Shoot which was a good change, and tasty. We ended up nibbling at it through most of the meal.

Flying Duck Smoked Pork with Bamboo Shoot

The Quail with Sauce and Butter Rice was next, and this was the first time I’ve tried quail, so it was quite an interesting experience. The meat was good and tender and our already messy hands got messier as we got to work on it.

Flying Duck Quail with Sauce and Butter Rice

All the dishes were quite good, and we could see why the Pork Chops here are such a hit. Ticked all the right boxes though could’ve been a tad less spicy. However all of us unanimously agreed the highlight of that evening was easily the Duck with Rice and Legume Sauce. Even Alakesh seemed somewhat surprised that anything could surpass the Pork Chops, but that’s how it was. The second time I was having duck, and it was cooked beautifully and that legume sauce only made things better.

Duck with Rice and Legume Sauce at Flying Duck

Best part – the prices. For all this food, the cost worked out to just ~ Rs. 500 per person, which is absolute value for money! There are several interesting dishes on the menu so another visit or two will be made for sure. The quality of food and the prices together easily make Flying Duck one of the must-try places in the eating out scene in Pune. If you’re looking to head there, just remember:

a) they’re closed on Tuesday
b) there are only six tables so make a reservation to avoid a long wait
c) they don’t accept credit cards (yet), luckily we had enough cash to cover the tab

The last bit is especially important since there don’t seem to be too many ATMs in that area, so carry sufficient cash to avoid doing the dishes later 😉

Flying Duck
Shop 6, The Capital Building,
Baner-Pashan Link Road,
Baner, Pune
Tel # 85518 48481

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Trying the Khanabadosh Lunchbox http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/trying-the-khanabadosh-lunchbox/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/trying-the-khanabadosh-lunchbox/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2016 03:01:30 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3885 With one chicken gravy dish, 3 chapatis, steamed rice, green salad, pickle and papad, the Khanabadosh Lunchbox at Rs.170 is value for money

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Nowadays, all newspapers come with a bunch of various pamphlets and flyers shoved in – right from some tuition classes to furniture sale, food delivery, broadband plans and so on. Over the past 2-3 weeks, we’d been seeing this flyer of ‘Khanabadosh’ and were somewhat intrigued – by the name as well as the menu on offer. I vaguely recall coming across the name last year but maybe they weren’t in the neighbourhood back then and I didn’t come across any mention either.

Khanabadosh Menu

They seem to be only based in Pune as of now, and in 3-4 areas of the city. They have quite a diverse fare – right from Malabari and Hyderabadi Biryani, Malvani and Konkani dishes, to Goan, Punjabi, Delhi and Kerala cuisine. Among all those items, one that caught the eye was the ‘Lunchbox’ which seemed good value for money at Rs. 170 per box. The catch is that it is only available on weekdays.

We ordered two lunchboxes for three people thinking it would be just right, and oh boy, it was 🙂

Khanabadosh Lunchbox

It is delivered in a nice big box with all the items neatly laid out in containers. There’s one chicken gravy dish (we chose Chicken Chettinad and Butter Chicken), 3 chapatis per box, steamed rice, green salad, pickle and papad. The salad was actually nice and fresh, not the limp and soggy mess that most restaurants send these days.

The dal was superb, as good as made at home. Ditto for the chapatis, nice and soft (and warm). Both chicken dishes were quite good too. The portions seemed just right, although if you consider one lunchbox for one person (and not 2 for 3 as in our case), then all that food would certainly be a handful mouthful. At Rs. 340 for 3 people, the Khanabadosh Lunchbox was absolutely worth it!

I’m definitely going to try their other fare on offer – will keep you posted 😀

You can visit their website at www.khanabadosh.com or give them a call on 020 3377 1947 (interesting last 4 digits).

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The Best of 2015 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/the-best-of-2015/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/the-best-of-2015/#respond Mon, 04 Jan 2016 16:16:39 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3860 Wow, 2015 seemed to go by so fast – but then each day, week, month, year seems to be whizzing […]

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Wow, 2015 seemed to go by so fast – but then each day, week, month, year seems to be whizzing by so quickly now. I’ve never been a fan of listicles and a ‘Best of’ kind of post, so this one is rather surprising – and even more so in a year when there weren’t too many opportunities / experiences to really merit a ‘Best of’ but here goes.

Best of 2015

This was actually more of an effort than I realised – not because there was a problem of plenty, but because there was a problem of too less, which means some many popular choices could be missing simply because I haven’t experienced them yet 😉

Best Book

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story – Hyeonseo Lee

The Girl With Seven Names

In a year where I read less than half a dozen books, and just three that were published this year, I thought “The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story” was one heck of a read. This is the story of Hyeonseo Lee and her escape the dictatorial regime in North Korea as a 17 year old, and finally returning 12 years later to reunite with her family and help get them to South Korea, overcoming incredible odds.

Best Movie (English)

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max - Fury Road

Yes, there were some very good movies that were released in 2015, but for sheer overall entertainment value, nothing tops this wild, adrenaline pumping, chest thumping roller coaster of a movie. The fourth in the Max Max series, it has fantastic stunts and action scenes, and Charlize Theron in probably one of her best roles ever.

Best Movie (Hindi)

Masaan

Masaan

A far cry from the staple Bollywood films, I first heard of this movie when it won a couple of awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Set in Varanasi, it tells the story of two separate couples from different strata of society. Poignant and helpless in parts, offering hope in others, it is a brilliant directorial debut by Neeraj Ghaywan.

Best Music Album (English)

The Universe Has A Strange Sense of Humour

The Universe Has A Strange Sense of Humour

Admittedly, I’ve not listened to many English albums this year, barring a stray song or two here and there. I’ve been a fan of Warren Mendonsa’s Blackstratblues since 2009, when I heard ‘The New Album‘, and at the NH7 Weekenders from 2010-2012, and though I felt this one lacks the same punch as their previous albums, it is still a damn good listen. Besides the link above, you can also get from iTunes.

Best Music Album (Hindi)

Roy

Roy

Again, as above, I’ve not listened to many Bollywood albums this year, and I’m aware there are several other contenders for this. There have been several good songs from other movies as well, but as an album, the songs from Roy have probably stayed with me that bit longer, whether randomly humming them or listening more often while driving.

Best TV Show

Narcos

Narcos

In a year that saw some brilliant new shows as well as the continuation/end of some all time popular shows, I’d pick Narcos as my favourite show of the year. The story of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel has been told before, but the way it was presented here was fantastic. A riveting watch, and I’m looking forward to Season 2. You may need to use a VPN to watch it on Netflix or use “alternate methods” to watch it Netflix is now available in India 😉 Incidentally, the theme music (below) is also my current ringtone.

Best Meal

Guppy by Aoi pop-up

Guppy Pop-up

Yeah, I know – this is a strange addition in this list, but I couldn’t resist. For me, 2015 didn’t see any travel out of Pune for various reasons, and although there were some good lunches and dinners in the year, the Guppy pop-up in late August and then again towards September-end was the highlight – particularly because when it comes to Japanese cuisine, Pune really doesn’t have much to offer.

So that’s it. Which were your favourites of 2015? Drop a line in the comments and share 🙂

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The Guppy by Ai Pop-Up at Olive Bistro Pune http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/the-guppy-pop-up-olive-bistro-pune/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/the-guppy-pop-up-olive-bistro-pune/#respond Mon, 24 Aug 2015 03:44:55 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3848 Planned to catch up with friends over the weekend and we had almost decided to meet at one of the […]

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Planned to catch up with friends over the weekend and we had almost decided to meet at one of the breweries when the Guppy pop-up came into focus. Originally based at Delhi, they had just concluded their pop-up at Olive Mahalaxmi in Bombay before touchdown at Olive Bistro in Pune.

Guppy Pop-up

Living in Pune, there have been very limited options to have Japanese cuisine, though Bombay fares slightly better in this regard. Thankfully, in our group of four, three were Japanese cuisine ‘veterans’ and I was the only n00b – so no worries in terms of what to order and look out for 😀

Another friend had been to the preview and and said it was good, so we booked a table for the opening day on Friday, 21-Aug, and landed up there at 8pm. A section of the indoor area has comfortable lounge seating and that’s where the drinks and and small plates were served.

We started with drinks – Gari Gari Kun (fortified rice wine, club soda and Blue curacao) and The Rising Sun (brandy, bourbon, coffee liqueur, cocoa cream & dark rum). I chose the ‘Crouching Tiger‘ – a cocktail with red wine, port, vodka, apple juice, red grape, pomegranate juice and chopped fruits. Phew.

We met Head Chef Vikram Khatri and besides discussing the cuisine and what was being served, asked what he’d recommend. He suggested the Prawn Gyoza (black tiger prawn pot stickers, pan fried), Chicken Nanban (marinated and tossed in Worcestershire sauce), Chicken Karaage (soy and sake marinated fried chicken), California Roll (crab, cucumber, avocado, tobiko). He also mentioned the Spicy Tuna roll – and then said salmon was available too. We unanimously voted for the Spicy Salmon Roll.

Guppy Pop-up

The main course is served outside and they have a separate section for the Guppi pop-up; based on the set-up, it seemed to accommodate 60-70 covers. We ordered the Guppy Signature Pork Belly – slow braised, glazed with soy honey, and served with mustard miso sauce. So crispy, succulent and melt-in-the-mouth – for me, this was easily the highlight of the evening, and certainly something I’d go back for!

Guppy Pop-up

We weren’t keen to have any more drinks, but on an off-chance, asked if any sake was being served. The steward initially said there wasn’t any available; the manager said likewise, and that they were expecting some stock from Bombay. To our surprise and delight, he turned up a few minutes later, confirming they had a bottle, and we were only to happy to have sake shots. I was probably having sake after almost 3-4 years. Super stuff, wish we’d had more.

The Chashu Ramen (egg noodles in a pork and soy broth, simmered for 72 hours, served with boiled egg, pork crackling, spinach, seaweed and corn) was something we were eagerly looking forward to. It was decent, though somewhat underwhelming in terms of our expectations. Chef Vikram clarified later that the broth was a fusion, catering to local taste. He did assure us that it could be made differently next time. This was only the first day, and he mentioned they planned to add more dishes as well as the momentum picked up.

Guppy Pop-up

Just as we thought we’d call it a night, Khodu Irani (the owner) suggested we try the desserts, especially the Nashi Pear Pie. We thought we’d share it among us, but were too content and satiated to go ahead so dropped the idea.

Although seemingly pricey at ~ Rs 2K per person, I’d say it was totally worth it and merits a visit again to try some of the other dishes and newer ones they plan to introduce. The pop-up is here for three months, and if you’re planning to go, do remember to book in advance. Call 7798720737 / 9765400484 / 9730068533 for reservations.

* The quality of the pictures isn’t all that great due to variable lighting and (horror of horrors), I had to use the flash as well, so pliss excuse :p

Olive Bistro
Poona Club,
6, Bund Garden Rd,
Camp, Pune 411001

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Snacking with Snackosaur http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/snacking-with-snackosaur/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/snacking-with-snackosaur/#respond Sat, 21 Mar 2015 08:24:06 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3658 Had come across mentions of Snackosaur recently, and even among some friends. Initially, I thought it was another regular food […]

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Had come across mentions of Snackosaur recently, and even among some friends. Initially, I thought it was another regular food delivery service – however, a visit to their site proved me wrong.

What they deliver are healthy snacks – right from the usual – dry fruits, granola bars and oat cookies to the unusual – Wasabi Moong Beans, BBQ Roasted Edamame, Strawberry Wasabi Peas, Dried Cranberry etc.

They have a range of options to choose from while ordering; a trial box for Rs.299 with (relatively) small sized packets of 4-5 pre-selected snacks, a two-box pack for a month with bigger packets, or a la carte in case you wish to order only selected items. They also appear to have a subscription option – however the FAQ on the site says that has been discontinued for the time being.

There’s no registration or log in, so it can be a bother to input details again for repeat orders, however getting to the site itself was somewhat irritating as it wouldn’t open and I kept getting errors.

Once I finally managed to get through, the process of selecting the trial box, inputting my contact details, selecting COD as mode of payment (they also accept cards and Netbanking) and confirming the order was pretty quick.

Snackosaur

We first tried the Multigrain Medley and BBQ Roasted Edamame with some beer just before lunch. While the former was ok, the latter was quite good and we pretty much finished the packet in one sitting itself. The dried fruit mix comprises of dehydrated and dried papaya, pineapple and mango – a sweet alternative to the other namkeen snacks. The appearance and taste reminded me of ‘jujubes‘ (the candy, not the fruit). The granola bar and cookies were good too though among all, I liked the Roasted Edamame the best. The portions obviously weren’t much since it’s a trial box and the idea is to get you to order the regular box.

The box was delivered in three days. Along with the packets, there was an information card as well with details about the snacks. Had a small error though; the description for Wasabi Moong was that of Wasabi Peas 😉

Snackosaur

Overall a satisfactory experience; the packaging was good, delivery was within stipulated time and the snacks were good too. However, I’d have liked to see some nutritional information on the packets though, along with a packing date and best-before date. Only the granola bar had the former.

Their site says the snacks have a shelf life of 3 months or so, but 3 months from when? :p

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Independence Brewing Company Pune http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/independence-brewing-company-pune-welcome-addition/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/independence-brewing-company-pune-welcome-addition/#respond Wed, 25 Jun 2014 01:48:32 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3214 Planned to catch up with a friend after a long time, somewhere around Koregaon Park. I’d also been meaning to […]

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Independence Brewing Co

Planned to catch up with a friend after a long time, somewhere around Koregaon Park. I’d also been meaning to visit Independence Brewing Company for a while now, and we finally landed up there on a hot afternoon. It is towards Mundhwa, as you take a right turn from the end of North Main Road, and I was surprised to see the level of development around that area, coming that side after many years.

The brewery setup is nice and big and they have indoor as well as outdoor seating. There weren’t too many people around at the time, so the AC wasn’t switched on and took a while to kick in. Till then it was like a mini furnace, and only became tolerable after 15-20 minutes.

Independence Brewing Co

Independence Brewing Co

Independence Brewing Co

It is quite a well spaced out place with seating at different levels and thankfully, the tables aren’t too close to each other. As we entered, we saw they had an offer of a free beer for every two consumed (weekdays). There are three beers on tap – presently, they’re serving craft beers from the Gateway Brewing Co – the White Zen, which is a hefeweizen or wheat beer, the Blonde Ale, and the India Pale Ale. I was a bit surprised at the absence of a Stout (available in the bottled variety).

Independence Brewing Co

The Gateway craft beers were decent – if I had to rank them, I’d go with the Hefewizen, IPA and Blonde in that order of preference. I wouldn’t go really raving about them, as for me, Doolally sets the benchmark, particularly where the Hefeweizen is concerned.

Independence Brewing Co

Independence Brewing Co

Independence Brewing Co

For food, we tried the Thai curry with garlic and basil rice, and the Paprika and Herb Crusted Chicken Breast. Both were good, though I couldn’t help thinking that the presentation of the latter (with the dip) reminded me of fried fish 🙂 The potato mash with it was actually small potato chunks with chopped onions, which gave it a slightly chaat/pav bhaji-ish taste.

Independence Brewing Co

Hopefully, at the next visit, we’ll get to try their own brews besides some of the 8-10 bottled craft beers as well.

Overall, it’s a nice place with good seating and ambience, good food, decent beers (Rs.240/pint), and is a welcome addition to the brewery scene in Pune. At ~ Rs.1,000 per head, it was reasonable and worth it for six beers and food. Maybe they can revise the prices downward once they brew their own beer 😉 and yes, improve the quality of the very random and nondescript music.

Independence Brewing Company
Zero One Complex, S. No. 79/1, Pingle Vasti
Ghorpadi – Mundhwa Road, Mundhwa
Pune 411 036
Tel: 020-66448308

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Paper Boat drinks review – a refreshing delight http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/paper-boat-drinks-refreshing-delight/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/paper-boat-drinks-refreshing-delight/#respond Thu, 20 Mar 2014 01:50:43 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3178 Received a mail via the blog’s contact form a few weeks ago from Hector Beverages, the company behind Paper Boat […]

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Received a mail via the blog’s contact form a few weeks ago from Hector Beverages, the company behind Paper Boat Drinks (and Tzinga). They had some interesting sounding new drinks and wanted an opinion about how they were – good or bad.

Intrigued, and as always, I first checked out their website to know more about them. It is quite an interesting site and has enough of nostalgia to remind you of your childhood, besides how they conceived the name. Do have a look.

The Paper Boat drinks arrived by courier some days later and once I opened the box, there was a cute looking orange bag, which contained seven different types of drinks. Having seen them on the website, I initially thought they were plastic bottles, but once I opened the bag, they seemed to be more like pouches. As the blurb on their site says,

Paper Boat pouches are made of a four-part laminate. The two outer layers are a blend of proprietary polypropylene and polyethylene. This makes the pack withstand extremes in pressure and heat while at the same time being easy to print upon. This is the one time you can actually judge something by its cover.

The penultimate layer is made of bonded aluminum. This is to keep any form of moisture and vapour entering the pack and tampering the goodness of the drink inside. Of course this layer makes no contact with the drink. That’s the job of the inner (and final) layer. This layer is made of virgin, food-grade polypropylene which keeps the content fresh, safe and tasty.

The packaging is quite attractive, strong, portable, and easily disposable (though not recyclable as of now). The capacity is 250ml, and they’re decently priced at Rs.30 each.

Paper Boat drinks

Once refrigerated, we decided to do the honours with the King of fruits, and started with Aam Panna followed by Aamras. The former had a distinct taste of rock salt and the mango flavour probably isn’t as much as in the homemade variety, but was quite refreshing. Aamras was good too, though it didn’t seem very different from the other mango juices in the market.

A few days later, we tried the Jamun Kala Khatta, Jaljeera and Kokum. All three were absolutely spot on and delicious. Probably the best of the lot. I was expecting the first one to be like the Rasna kala khatta mix we had as kids. No way, this was totally different and we loved the subtle hint of jamun. Jaljeera and Kokum were the perfect drink for a hot summer afternoon, and we were smacking our lips even several minutes after they got over.

Two days later, we had the Golgappe ka paani and Imli ka Amlana. While the former was decent, we didn’t really enjoy the latter much.

So, if we had to rate all the drinks, we’d probably go with

Excellent – Jaljeera, Jamun kala khatta, Kokum

Good – Aam Panna, Aamras, Golgappe ka paani

Average – Imli ka aamlana

One issue is the percentage of sugar overall, which is quite on the higher side. Having it occasionally shouldn’t be a problem however though opinions may vary on that front. Maybe going forward, Paper Boat can introduce other flavours like Watermelon, Guava or even Litchi. Hopefully, soon 🙂

Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd.
B-82, South City-1
Gurgaon, Haryana 122 001
Tel: 0124-4222033 / 34

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Wonder La Bangalore – a wonderful experience http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/wonder-la-bangalore-wonderful-experience/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/wonder-la-bangalore-wonderful-experience/#respond Wed, 05 Feb 2014 04:25:37 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=3160 Wonder La Bangalore – we had been hearing about this amusement park for quite some time and plans were finally […]

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Wonder La Bangalore – we had been hearing about this amusement park for quite some time and plans were finally made to check it out one bright Sunday morning. It is open to the public from 11am onwards. Located around 25-30kms away from the city on the Bangalore – Mysore Road, the condition of the road was quite good and as we drove via the NICE road, the commute was a breeze.

Wonderla Bangalore

As we approached, the first thing that caught my eye was the sprawling space – it just seemed to go on and on, all 82 acres of it. There was ample car parking and we alighted with the sun beating down on our backs. It was pleasantly warm though, not hot.

It was nice to see amenities like a rest room for drivers, a canteen and a couple of ATM machines, which are often missing at such places. The ticket counters were a bit chaotic and noisy as was to be expected, but we finally procured our tickets and entered the amusement park.

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonder La Bangalore has quite a well designed layout, with small eateries and restaurants at strategic places and we spent most of the morning and early afternoon exploring the place. They have a total of 54 rides on offer and the variety of rides was quite thrilling. I was glad to see that the machinery was well-manned and well maintained (no rusty bolts and creaking hinges). We liked the fact that there were kid-specific rides too, which was quite thoughtful. My little nephew of course had a blast, trying out all the kid rides possible, holding on to the guard rail with concentration and a fierce grip 🙂

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

It was getting quite late in the afternoon so we decided to grab some pizza at the Pizza Corner outlet. Again, the place was clean and I’m sure there must be at least 300-500 people overall, in the Wonder La housekeeping department to keep things ticking like clockwork. This was also quite visible in the changing rooms and lockers. Considering that people were coming here after water-sports and the like, I was mentally prepared to find it quite dirty and unhygienic but it was the opposite. All excess water on the floor was being mopped up regularly, the facility was clean, the lockers were good and so was the seating area.

There is also a counter close by, where one can purchase Wonder La merchandise, like swimsuits, track pants, tees, caps etc, across all sizes. It seems a pretty nice strategy – come here wearing just a tee, jeans/shorts, and slippers, purchase these clothes (decently priced), deposit your own clothes in the locker and enjoy *all* the rides without fear of spoiling your own clothes / shoes. Of course, as we came here for the first time, we weren’t aware of / prepared for this, so didn’t try out all the water rides.

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

There is a dedicated water sports section and what I liked about it was the separate enclosures for women and children. There are always some douchebags around at such places who don’t think twice before ogling / groping, and the last thing women want is to be in a pool / water ride with people like these. Of course, as I mentioned, we weren’t prepared for water rides so didn’t try them – something to look forward to on our next visit.

Wonderla Bangalore

The most colossal ride is of course the ferris wheel, at a height of 50 metres and a wheel diameter of 30 metres. Breathtaking view too. Close to it, we saw a sign saying ‘Friendly Fish’ so decided to take a look. It is a pool with fish in it and we’re allowed to feed the fish (given by the attendant, no outside food). It was a lovely experience to feel the fish as they came nibbling and we all really enjoyed it. Some distance away from the pool was a ‘Smokers Corner’ – another thoughtful gesture I must say, for those keen to light up 😉

Wonderla Bangalore

Wonderla Bangalore

Just as we were about to leave, there was a cloudburst and the skies unexpectedly opened up for a good 15-20 minutes. We were in one of the enclosures and decided to have some boiled spiced sweet corn to while away the time. Incidentally, my nephew had fractured his forearm some weeks ago, and it was just a day since the plaster was removed, so he was really enjoying being able to use both his arms during the rides. Also, like all kids, he loves to play in water and having being kept away from all this to avoid any infection, he was thrilled to step outside the enclosure & go stamping around the puddles, enjoying his first rain in almost three weeks 😀

Wonderla Bangalore

Soon the skies cleared up, and the setting sun made a final appearance as we headed home, tired and weary but delighted and totally content after such a wonderful experience. We’re definitely coming again, that’s for sure! Water Rides Ahoy next time! 😀

Wonderla Holidays Limited
28th km, Mysore Road
Bangalore – 562109

Tel: 080 22010333

 

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JFK Assassination – The Mystery Continues… http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/jfk-assassination-mystery-continues/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/jfk-assassination-mystery-continues/#respond Fri, 22 Nov 2013 06:10:06 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=2972 Fifty years ago, on November 22, 1963, US President John F.Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas. This is probably […]

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JFK-John Kennedy

Fifty years ago, on November 22, 1963, US President John F.Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas. This is probably one of the greatest whodunits ever, with no conclusive evidence about the events of that day. There have been so many conspiracy theories about his assassination that it’s simply mind boggling. They’re a mixture of probable, impossible, paranoid and some plain whacky conjectures, and there seems no end to it, with each year throwing up additional theories.

When I was growing up, I often came across some of this information in books which spoke of events that changed the world, and it really had me hooked. Of course, at the time, I was too young to appreciate *all* the stories – whether his own shenanigans and ‘sexploits’, backroom manouevering of the FBI, CIA and the US military, or even the political climate at the time.

As I grew older, I began to read more books and articles about his presidency, the Civil Rights movement under Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington, the Cuban Missile crisis, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Mafia, his equation with Vice President Lyndon Johnson and FBI chief J.Edgar Hoover, and of course, the report by the Warren Commission and other articles about his death.

I also tried to get my hands on as many books as I could that dealt with this slice of history; three of my favourites are – PT 109 – about his exploits in the Second World War, The Kennedy Curse – about the Kennedy family and the ‘curse’ they all seemed to be under, and one that dealt with his death, called J F K: A Conspiracy of Silence authored by Dr.Crenshaw, who was among the doctors attending to him that day; the book also has autopsy photos which piqued my interest and shed some more light on how JFK was shot.

Then of course, there’s the Zapruder film, possibly the most watched, analysed and dissected short film in history, ever. Abraham Zapruder was among the crowd who had gathered to watch Kennedy and had taken along his 8mm camera, little knowing how big a part his 26 second film of the motorcade was to play. His film captures the moments leading up to as well as the assassination itself (shown here in a frame by frame sequence).

It’s been 50 years now, and the mystery behind the JFK assassination continues!

This post, JFK Assassination – The Mystery Continues…, was originally published at Atul Karmarkar.Com

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Dinner at Mezzuna Pune http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/dinner-at-mezzuna-pune/ http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/dinner-at-mezzuna-pune/#respond Tue, 09 Jul 2013 01:49:52 +0000 http://www.atulkarmarkar.com/?p=2924 Had dinner plans this Sunday with a friend and another who was in Pune for the weekend. As evening approached, […]

This post, Dinner at Mezzuna Pune, was originally published at Atul Karmarkar.Com

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Had dinner plans this Sunday with a friend and another who was in Pune for the weekend. As evening approached, we had to zero in on a place and although we did consider WTF! at Phoenix, Mezzuna was the final destination.

Nestled inside City Point, it can be quite easy to miss as it doesn’t ‘face out’ unlike the other restaurants in that complex. They have a choice of indoor and outdoor seating. However, keeping in mind the possibility of rain and insects, we decided to sit inside.

Mezzuna Bar

Mezzuna Ambience

Mezzuna has a nice and warm ambience, relaxed seating (although a tad too close in some places) and overall, is well spaced out. They have a pretty decent bar and one side of the room is stacked with various kitchen goodies, sauces and breads.

Mezzuna Ambience

We were pleasantly surprised to see the management screening the ladies singles final at Wimbledon, on the adjacent wall, though it was a pity Lisicki lost.

The bigger surprise though, was the menu. Rarely have I seen such a ‘chunky’ and comprehensive menu. There were plenty of options for beverages, and we chose to order the draught beer pitcher.

Mezzuna Beer Pitcher

For starters, again there was no shortage of choices and we initially thought of ordering Barbecue Pork Ribs but were informed it had only two pieces. As there were three of us, obviously that was cancelled. We eventually ordered the Orange and Ginger Grilled Chicken. Enough pieces, delightful taste, and that hint of orange stayed right till the end.

Mezzuna Orange and Ginger Grilled Chicken

The beer was pretty ok too and we had downed two pitchers when we decided to order the mains. Both went in for burgers – Old Smokey Lamb Burger (Char grilled lamb patty, topped with smoked mozzarella) and Teriyaki Pulled Pork Burger (Slow cooked teriyaki pulled pork, grilled over charcoal with soy and ginger glaze).

Mezzuna Old Smokey Lamb Burger

Mezzuna Teriyaki Pulled Pork Burger

Obviously, with my right arm still in a brace, there was no way I could have a burger, so I ordered Stuffed Fried Chicken (Turkey ham and pesto stuffed chicken breast, soaked in brine and crisp fried, with purpleslaw and hand cut wedges).

Mezzuna Stuffed Fried Chicken

The food was fabulous in every way. The meat was well cooked and melted in the mouth. I liked the flavours in the stuffed chicken. During the meal, we had ordered a third pitcher and were feeling quite full, but then how does one come to a place like this and not sample the desserts? 🙂

Besides the regular menu, they had a special dessert menu and these had us scratching our heads as we couldn’t zero in on what we wanted. We asked the stewards to help us decide, but sadly, they seemed quite clueless about the desserts and preparation+content. Luckily the manager there was able to gauge our preferences and suggest some that we might like. Molten chocolate (with vanilla ice cream) and Crème brûlée were chosen from the regular menu, and I ordered cointreau souffle (with vanilla ice cream) from the special menu.

Mezzuna Molten Chocolate

Mezzuna Creme Brulee

Mezzuna Cointreau Souffle

The desserts were yummy; the chocolate was sinful, the subtle hint of Cointreau lingered on, however the Crème brûlée wasn’t among the best. Overall, an extremely satisfying time was had. The prices were quite reasonable and we thought having all of the above for just over 1K per person was quite good value for money.

Mezzuna
Ground Floor, City Point
Off Boat Club Road,
Pune 411 001
Tel: 020 – 39397755 / 56

This post, Dinner at Mezzuna Pune, was originally published at Atul Karmarkar.Com

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