29 May 2016

What’s Your Name?

Lights went off as I entered her chamber.
I barely could see her
but felt her hot breath on my skin.
I grabbed her hand and asked for her name.
She leaned and kissed. She whispered in my ears.
The snakes on her hair hissed too.
That was the last kiss.
‘My name is Medusa’

19 May 2016

Feel Fresh with Fresh Pressery

Recently Bangalore has seen many new cafes emerging in every nook and corner of the city but only few makes a lasting impression. I heard about one such place, Fresh Pressery Café. The name itself caught my fancy.

Situated at Lavelle Road, a busy business development area, Fresh Pressery Café is truly one of a kind. Run by Rishaad Vazirally, CEO, they are also a pioneer in serving cold pressed juices which is already creating a buzz among Bangaloreans. Expecting it to be another little cafe serving good salads and sandwiches, I headed there one sunny afternoon. But it proved me wrong at the first look of it.

The moment I stepped in, surprisingly a cool breeze welcomed me. This is the worst summer at Bangalore, so for a sec I wondered how on earth this chillness at Fresh Pressery. That's when I noticed a couple of pedestal fans spraying water which added as the perfect accessory at the cafe to beat the heat. The shady trees, a small pond setup, the white woody tables and benches and with a lot of pebbles on the sides make it look more like a picnic spot. The ambiance was soothing and calm.

I wanted to hydrate myself even before having a look at the menu. I walked up straight to the refrigerator they kept outside and picked a bright colored drink named, Yellow Hydration. With the taste of Pineapple, Coconut Water, Amla and Chia Seeds, I felt replenished and renewed.

Yellow Hydration

The menu was fresh and light with an ample range of salads and appetizers. The mains and sandwiches were lucrative with a right mix of chicken, seafood and veggies. After a little bit of menu surfing, I finally settled with Cambodian Prawn Salad. The salad was colorful and the prawns were well cooked and served with the shredded veggies and peanuts. The caramelized onion topping added a tinge of sweetness to a bowlful of healthy serving.  It was one of THE best prawn salads I ever had.

Cambodian Prawn Salad

I asked the chef to surprise me with their best dessert. The dessert, served in a cute glass jar, was quite attractive. Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding was smooth and delicious. With chocolate chips and pomegranate sprinkled on top, it was totally irresistible. The pudding was very light and crunchy with the fruit chunks folded into it.

Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding

While having my dessert, I had a brief conversation with Adithi Shetty, Head Of Operations, about their juices. With modern day eating habits, our health conscious has taken a back seat. Toxins from our daily intake can damage our system. Like that of alcohol or too much caffeine. Even though our body is built to handle such toxins, sometimes we're not efficient in supporting our system with detoxification. And hence, the detox juices.

Lately, I've been eating out much. My diet has gone crazy and I feel like losing my stamina. Well, my system did need some rest and cleanse. So I signed up for the one day cleanse - Reboot. I ordered it over a weekend so that I can stay back at home and enjoy the juices.

I received my one day cleanse, a set of 6 juices, in the morning and I was fascinated by their colorful range. The bottles were neatly labelled with a catchy name, ingredients and the time to take the drink. That made it convenient for me to know when to have and what was I having. Every bottle was a reminder for healthy way of living. We need to increase our vegetables and fruits intake apart from the proteins from meat. If juicing them is the path to that, then, it's great!

I jump-started my day with Green Flush. With the combination of Doodhi, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Ginger and Lemon, the first drink I had was bland but rich in nutrients. The second drink Red Purifier was fibrous while the third Super Green was bit sweet and crunchy. The fourth Purple Saver was the best and my favorite. It tasted just as good as chewing beetroot and carrot. The fifth drink of the day, Yellow Hydration was tangy and good enough to quench my thirst. The last Almond Milk was heavy and filling and I enjoyed it like I enjoy my dessert. The drinks were lot better than I actually anticipated.

Fresh and raw, the cold pressed juices comprise only farm fresh vegetables and a small dose of fruits and nuts. Each 400ml bottle contains 1 kg vegetables which provides us with ample vitamins, carbs, proteins and sugar. They are rich in fiber and energizing with anti-oxidants. And, they've to be refrigerated at all times because they are made fresh, everyday!

The juices do not contain any added sugar, preservatives or chemicals and that itself proves it fresh, healthy and pure. I had a mild headache around evening but then it didn't last long. Skipping my meals and replacing them with juices sounds fun. It was more like fasting in Ramadan but taking juices every 2 - 3 hours. The drinks were satisfying and I was thirsty for more but didn't feel hungry in between.

Would I have it again? Yes, I can’t wait to try out the next level cleanse - Grounding. I'd prefer to take these juices maybe once or twice a month, occasionally with a salad. Fresh Pressery also serves Greek and Caesar salad with juices. Visit their Store for the range of detox juices.

Fresh Pressery Cafe is a cool spot to hangout with friends & family, or even to spend the mornings at peace with a book, not to miss their tasty and healthy dishes. And the Detox Juices are a gentle and appealing reminder to stay fit.

At the end of the day, I felt cleansed and light. My digestion was better and the bloating gone. I felt revitalized and slept well at night. The next morning I woke up and the first thing that struck my mind was 'It's Fresh!'

Get ready for a happy lifestyle. It’s time to drink your colors… :-)

Website - Fresh Pressery at Zomato and Facebook.
Location - 4, Good Earth Store, Former Cinnamon Building, Walton Road, Lavelle Road, Bangalore.

My Food Journey Continues...

Fresh Pressery Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

17 May 2016

When The Waves Tell A Story

Over the bubbles and its roaring echoes,
We sashayed along the white sands of this beach…
Our salted memories left to drown,
While each splashing waves whisper our story…
Spreading ripples over the shore as the tide turns away,
He left me all alone and broken, forgetting our beginnings here…

13 May 2016

Square Feet Subbu

Nadandhaal Irandadi.. Irundhaal Naangadi.. Paduthaal Aaradi Podhum..

This is one of the famous Ilayaraja songs that created a buzz in Tamil industry during early 90s. Not only the music but also the lyrics are rich and philosophical. When I was listening to this melody, she nudged me and said 'See, it's all about Square Feet!'. I nodded in agreement. She smiled and went inside. A moment later I realized, she isn't only talking about the song but also the discussion we earlier had about buying a home.

It’s been exactly 6 months I started thinking about investments. She has been nagging me to invest for quite sometime now. Since our second honeymoon, I totally lost my mind over her reminders, there are some 50+ sticky notes all over my table and closet. One can collate all of them and make a presentation about investments.

This is what happened in our trip.

Thus, our honeymoon ended in a not so honey way.

We returned back to Chennai with a Mission Impossible which I chose to accept. I would not want to end up in a Civil War with my sweety where I could never face the Dawn of Justice. She thinks I always like to wander around like Mowgli of The Jungle Book and buying a home will make me responsible like the Dragon Warrior.

Even someone as carefree as me knows that buying a house is a Herculean job. A long term investment that makes it a bit risk prone. Well, I had no idea where to start, but I was determined to get the basics right. If only the foundation is strong, so will be the house.


Guy 1: I think it’s the anger of Lord Devendran on the builders.
Guy 2: Really!!! So what do we do?
Guy 1: We should do Indira Loga puja before laying the foundation. Only then, the house will be safe!
Guy 2: You're absolutely right. Er, can I order one more Sambhar Vada?,*then turned towards the waiter* Thambi tea innum varala!

Over hearing the above conversation at a restaurant of people talking about home buying, jinxed me right at the start.

With the recent floods in Chennai due to heavy rains, people have been skeptical about buying homes. But that does not seem right to me. I'd say, few greedy builders, some desperate buyers, bunch of poor planning by the government along with the rain god’s ambition to break a 100 year old record during the monsoons, turned our Singara Chennai upside down, at the exact same time. But now, the city is recovering well and good, and we should grow along with it in an improved manner.

I finally decided to do the groundwork myself and that's when I found this video of the Open Secrets Season 2 with Square Feet Subbu. 'Real estate tips.. Straight from my lips' is very catchy start for a 4 minute webisodes.

This is the quirkiest way one can educate about home buying. And especially for a person like me who cannot stand seriousness in any form, Square Feet Subbu and his Sequel Square Feet Subbu Returns became the best buddies. I got to know how to look for locations, price comparisons, building regulations and other important aspects of buying a propertyI learnt the trick of keeping myself balanced between being ignorant and overlooking.

The DRA Group, a brand most popular for its innovative and unique approach to real estate has just made matters simpler. They have roped in stand-up comedian Venkatesh Harinathan from the theater group Stray Factory for their branding activities. And what’s more, you get to upgrade your knowledge while you are being entertained!

Failing is not a problem, not retrying is. As Square Feet Subbu rightly says how Ranbir will bounce back in a better way to find his dream girl, we, the prospective home buyers, should also research the market thoroughly, find a trusted builder and buy a home when the time is right. Anyways, I have my Katrina and would not want to lose her ever.

I plotted a 3 months plan for our home buying process and showed it to her today. And you know what she just jumped and hugged me saying 'You're the best!'. What more do I need?

Happy Wife! Happy Life! Happy Home Buying!

11 May 2016

False Ceilings ~ Book Review

I recently read False Ceilings by Amit Sharma and it was astounding.

False Ceilings is a gripping tale of a dysfunctional family and their secret that passed on through generations.

Born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930, Shakuntala is a pampered child of a wealthy builder. On her wedding night, she is gifted a bundle covered in yellow cloth, to use wisely when the time is right. But then she keeps it as secret forever which is then passed on through generations. The story spans more than a century and when her great grandson accidentally discovers that secret in 2065, he is perplexed by the malice that flowed in his family's blood. Not only him, but that secret also baffles us.

It is commendable that Amit Sharma has chosen such a complex story line for his debut novel. However complex it is, his narration makes it crafty and the pace was good enough to keep the readers arrested till the end.

The cover page and title becomes meaningful only after we start reading the story. This book is basically a family saga in which the story continually shifts between future, past and the present. I enjoy non linear narration and this style adds charm to the book. The author cleverly maintains the suspense by not revealing the characters and their relationships. So at the beginning, we don't know who is who and how they are related. But as the story oscillates back and forth, we understand what's going on in their lives.

Few mysterious references at the beginning and the family's domestic issues took the story forward. Then at one point, it struck me who they really were. This narrative technique worked seamlessly for this plot. At first, the author kept me wondering and then challenged me and finally threw some light. And that's when I could connect all the dots.

The entire story is like a jigsaw puzzle, where we connect the pieces one after another, finding the missing part much later and at the end the whole story makes a lot of sense. The narration might be confusing to some, but I enjoyed it to the core. I think this particular writing style adds the thrill factor to the book.

Some dialogues were really well done and the writing was profound. At few places I noticed something was not right and felt a bit dragging too. I loved the characterization. Each characters has their own flaws with unique identity and that makes them real. There's no lead character but everyone is pivotal. They all are connected with one family secret, knowingly and unknowingly.

Since the story sets in different eras, the as much as necessary mentions of few real life events added essence to that particular period. The story mainly takes place in Dalhousie and Delhi. The descriptive prose brought out the beauty of both the locations. I was mesmerized by the sunset at Dalhousie as much as I enjoyed the never ending and bustling Delhi. 

As the story evolves, it stirred my curiosity to know what could be that secret they were trying to hide. On the go, I witnessed love, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, envy and insecurities among the family members and how they transform as they get older. When the story travels to the future, many things have changed for better and easy lifestyle, but ironically, human emotions remain the same. There's a tinge of sadness and regrets throughout but the mystery alone makes the book intriguing and unputdownable. When I discovered what's inside that yellow cloth at last, I was dumbfounded.

The book begins with Aaryan and his IF ELSE statement, which he thinks, it's so much applicable to life. He made me chuckle and instantly grabbed my attention from page one. In the first few pages, I also came to know how his character evolved and then his death in the future. An IF ELSE statement he scribbled that night and the old almirah witnessed his death. Then in future, there's Lipi who is old and mourning her husband's death. She's left with no clue behind Aaryan's death but the IF ELSE statement and the almirah. Apart from the characters, the almirah plays an important role in the book. That almirah has seen and also became a reason for the deaths of the family members. What is in it? What secret it beholds? False Ceilings has all the answers.

On the whole, False Ceilings is a great story of a disturbing family silsila which might lead us to our own secrets.

Grab a copy at Amazon

I received a free copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

5 May 2016

Tea Tales from Teabox

There's nothing as refreshing and relaxing as a cup of tea. It is my favorite beverage and I live with people who say 'I can't live without tea.' Tea has come a long way with me and it is one thing I look forward to every morning. Not one day passes without a cup of freshly brewed ginger tea at home. Well, to cut it short, I’m a tea person.

When my grandfather introduced me to this tasteful brown colored drink, he said that tea has low caffeine. I can go on and on and rave about this flavorful drink and list the reasons for why I love it. We are tea lovers who have been tasting variety of tea. As we have Srilankan connections, we at home are bit partial about those delicious Ceylon teas. Be it served with milk adding a dash of nannari root or a spoonful of ginger and cardamom, or the lemon tea I crave for in the evenings, and the green tea that I’m fond of lately. You know, every cup of tea brewed is different and unique in its own way. But the regular Chai remains the same. Not that it wasn't sufficient enough to tingle our senses but once in a while we don't mind a little bit of excitement to add on our perfect mornings, don't we?

Two weeks ago, I visited the Bangalore Food Fete II. It was a haven for food lovers like me. The food trucks were inviting. But a small stall promoting tea in an unorthodox manner caught my attention. I was received by the coordinators and then they invited me for a tea tasting session. Strawberry Spritz and Tropical Aam Panna were delightfully aromatic and uniquely flavored teas. Those varie-TEAS ended my search of transforming my regular tea experience to an exquisite affair.

It’s always a pleasure to discover the best flavors from the nearby grocery stores or the tea kadais at the corner of our streets. But everything goes online now and so is the tea. Yeah, you heard me right. They serve you some best Teas online.

Teabox is an online tea store which is redefining the tea ritual in more than 90 countries around the world. Uniting the richest flavors of the finest teas with the curious, the cultivated, and the adventurous, all over the world. The freshest tea you’ve ever tasted, from crop to cup. There is simply no simpler way to experience the wonderful complexity of tea. A new experience awaits you at TeaBox!

Visiting their site itself is an experience. It is designed to perfection to search for the right tea. Teas are grouped by Type (be it black, white or green), by Region and by seasonal specialty (be it spring or summer). From Darjeeling to Nilgiris, Assam to Kangra, their tea leaves are hand picked, natural ingredients added for the aroma and palate make the Teabox tea very appealing. Their prices are affordable for any tea lover.

Subscribe and receive a box every month, with an unique set of quality tea. It was interesting to see how they serve their customers the best. They have devised an innovative way of picking the right tea for oneself. On their site, under the Subscription, we are asked to take a short fun quiz and then their hi-tech science selects the perfect tea flavors that suits to our palate and ta-da our first box will be shipped within 24 hrs. If we want to try different flavors, we can always go back and change our taste preferences anytime we desire. I think this is a cool idea which adds a wow factor to the site. Tea Box connects tea to people. It makes a perfect gift as well.

Pick A Gift

I purchased a spring green tea and a classic black tea. The tea sachets were air tight with inbuilt zip lock. The label even had the Picking Date and making Instructions per cup. I didn’t wait long to turn on the hob and boil the water. With strong notes of roasted corn and green peas persisting across its flavor profile, the Ilam Spring Green Tea makes a cup meant for relish.

Now did I tell you there’s an end of season sale going on in their site? Don’t miss the Summer Flush with 50% off.

Have you ever struck up a conversation over a cup of tea? Well, here I am sitting with my warm tea and looking forward to listen to your tea tales. :-)

My Food Journey Continues...

2 May 2016

Olá Amigos ~ #TasteOfMexico at Hard Rock Café

Bangalore always treats me with its multi cuisine dining scenario. Last weekend it was the #TasteOfMexico festival at Hard Rock Café, Bengaluru. I was invited to taste their newly added Mexican cuisine in their limited-time menu featuring fresh and fiery Mexican dishes and beverages.

Ready to say ‘Olá Amigos’, I arrived at the Hard Rock Café at noon. Surprisingly, the flavor was not only in their menu but the entire mood was set to complement it. Cool ambiance and the eye catching interiors were more than enough to impress me. Especially the Sombrero hats in every table added colors to that Mexican flavor.

There was music to spruce up the mood, cocktails & mocktails to kick the summer at it’s rear and hot & zesty Mexican food to spice up the day. Hard Rock Café India is ready to rock you this summer with its ‘Taste of Mexico’ festival. And I was in for an enthralling experience.

They received me with warm gesture and served me iced Berrylicious. I also got a chance to meet few fellow bloggers who came in to relish the Mexican dishes. A welcoming atmosphere, Hard Rock Cafe is a vibrant hangout place to kick back and relax with friends and family. With a rock band performance, this is also an ideal place to enjoy live music.

While enjoying the moment at its best, they served us colorful drinks. A range of Cocktails lined up on our table. I sipped my Mocktail while others enjoyed their drinks.

Smoky Mexican Street Corn Salad served with the choice of Chipotle Grilled Chicken and Chipotle Grilled Prawns initiated the munching.

Corn Salad with Chipotle Grilled Prawns

Corn Salad with Chipotle Grilled Prawns

They were accompanied by Fiesta Chicken Quesadilla and Tex-Mex Spiced Char Grilled Chicken Skewers. Other than Nachos, Quesadilla is my favorite Mexican dish. The chicken inside was perfectly done and it was mouthwatering. The salad was greener, the quesadilla was juicier and the skewer was fierier - every starter proved to be at its top notch Mexican form.

Fiesta Chicken Quesadilla

Tex-Mex Spiced Char Grilled Chicken Skewers
Having some fun, we all were done with our starters. Then the Entrée were served with an authentic Mexican flair. I loved the Chicken Tinga Tacos presented with a small flag on it. It looked like a boat arriving at the shore. Both Veg and Non-Veg Tacos were satiating and filling. The taste of the Avocado and the Tomatillo salsa simply made me drool.

Chicken Tinga Tacos


The Bahama Mama - Chicken Burrito was stuffy and with the accompaniment of French Fries sprinkled with crushed curry leaves left me with one word - Yummy!

Bahama Mama - Chicken Burrito

The Mexi Cali Spice Cottage Cheese BBQ Skewers was grilled to perfection. It was soft, spicy and salivating.

Mexi Cali Spice Cottage Cheese BBQ Skewers

While letting my taste buds feel the extravagance of the Mexican cuisine, the epic decor walls of Hard Rock Cafe and the classic rock music made the ambiance perfect.

Mexican food without Nachos? No way.. So, where is it? While I was fishing for Nachos and the salsa dip, I realized it was time to gear up for the fun filled game of eating plateful of Chicken Nachos. It was scrumptiously crunchable. Aha.. Eating mouthful itself is a victory for me. It was so much fun with the Sombrero hats on and the Nachos taste was unquestionable.

Chicken Nachos

Summer is here. So is the food fiesta. Everyone is welcome to experience the #TasteOfMexico at Hard Rock Cafe India. This is a limited time festival from 02nd May, 2016 through 31st May, 2016.

Here is a chance for you to win Gift Vouchers worth Rs.500 to enjoy this food festival at any outlet in India. All you have to do is:

  • Follow A Rat’s Nibble at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. (@ARatsNibble)
  • Follow Hard Rock Café India Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. (@HRCIndia)
  • Tweet this post tagging @HRCIndia #TasteOfMexico and @ARatsNibble
  • Write a catchy tagline/caption for the Taste Of Mexico festival in the comment section below along with your e-mail id.
  • The last date for the submission is 8th May, 2016.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to pique your summer with Hard Rock Café’s #TasteofMexico. I bet you all gonna love it.

Location - Hard Rock Café, 40 St.Marks Road, Bengaluru.

Click images for better resolution. Photo Credits - Mr. Crumbles.

My Food Journey Continues…

Hard Rock Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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