Food posts

Soul Brother passes away

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Ben wrote ‘Soul Brother’ in soap on the front windowThe Trinidesi owner of well-loved D.C. restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl, Mahboob Ben Ali, has passed away at 82. Site of D.C.’s first silent movie house, the tiny restaurant is frequented by politicians and celebs. Ben’s Chili is famous for serving both sides during the ‘68 riots [...]

Good morning, Kalimpong

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

The only time I ever see these names in Amrikan life is on the specialty tea board at the local café: Kalimpong (hello The Inheritance of Loss!). Assam Golden Tip. Darjeeling, of course. Sri Lanka Ratnapura.
It is still freaky how these people are required to memorize your face and order. The machinations of a BigCo [...]

Win one for Infringement Uncle

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

After an eight-year legal fight, Malaysian Knockoff Uncle finally wins one against a multinational, against McDonald’s:

… the Federal Court in Kuala Lumpur ruled that there was no evidence to show McCurry was trying to pass itself off as part of the McDonald’s empire. [BBC]
And the legal win is all because of the little-known Scottish-Punjabi community [...]

Tangra Masala

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

On my last trip to NYC I hit three out of the five boroughs, which some Manhattanites consider worthy of some kind of medal. (Sorry, Staten Island. Still waiting on better transit.) In Queens I visited Tangra Masala, which supposedly serves the best Indo-Chinese food this side of Calcutta. It’s got such a fearsome rep [...]

Vada pav addict

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Grim news, New Yorkers: Indian Bread Company is dead. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. Its metabolic processes are now history. It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the choir [...]

Mistress of clichés

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

(Quick impression of the first few pages, not a review.)
Here’s an excerpt from Marsha Mehran’s Rosewater and Soda Bread, an Iranian-Irish novel not nearly as interesting as it could have been. It begins with yet another exotic-female-meets-white-guy-at-her-ethnic-restaurant cliché like The Mistress of Spices, Chocolat, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and so on. An Irish character [...]

Taro-obsessed (updated)

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

The continuing adventures of taro root man: taro almond tea at Fantasia, a high-end Asian tea café at Santana Row, San Jose.
Update: The next evening I’m sitting yet again at a sleek little East Asian café, having another taro root milk tea, hold the pearls. Bless their flavas.
We can’t desis have nice fast food cafes? [...]

The Debate Continues

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Lifehacker suggests the tiffin carrier - readers respond.

Manu’s got a little Captain in him

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Manu Narayan (Bollywood Dreams, The Love Guru) stars in a new campaign during The Daily Show which features the gayest, most mustachioed alcohol mascot on TV. These too speak to a male fantasy, but the Rangpur ones were funnier.
My all-time favorite Narayan clip is him crooning ‘More than Verds’ with Mike Myers:

Mo’ bhujia mo’ problems

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

It’s only been a week since president-elect Obama and Haldirams is already honoring him in Ebonics:


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Courtesy of nutmeg

If you happen to cross the street from the Bay Area mall formerly known as Vallco Fashion Park, you’ll find yourself drawn magnet-like to a strip-mall joint called Yogurtland. It’s partly the Pinkberry-like trance music, partly the hypnotic green tiles, partly the buzz around the entrance.
But Yogurtland, an LA-based chain, is not like [...]

‘Bottle Shock’ (updated)

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

In 1976, California wines topped the French in a blind tasting in Paris for the first time, an event on par with the Protestant Reformation for European wine snobs. ‘We have shattered the myth of French invincibility,’ says Alan Rickman in Bottle Shock, which fictionalizes Napa Valley’s triumph, ‘and not just for California. The world’s [...]

Food review - Spice Market

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Despite many opportunities I’ve mostly shied away from doing food reviews, the chief reason being that I like to be able to simply enjoy a good meal without having to analyse or make mental notes about it (it’s bad enough that reading books and wat…

‘Guru’ shishya

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Where the Ambanis started: their original chawl

Anand Giridharadas of the NYT just penned a lengthy profile of Mukesh Ambani, who may soon become richest in the world on the strength of Reliance shares (thanks, Dad). He’s more a chowhound than a gourmand:
Ratan Tata cruises down Marine Drive on Sundays in fast cars and favors Hermès [...]