Restaurant review – Mainland China, Avani Riverside Mall, Howrah

Mainland China is located on the third floor of Avani Riverside mall in Howrah. My husband and I have lunched quite often in this outlet whenever we have been to this part of the city. On a weekday, one can directly walk in for lunch or dinner while it is always recommended to have a reservation over the weekend.

Having stayed in Bangalore for over a decade, we are extremely familiar and delighted with the hospitality of Speciality group restaurants, specially the outlets of Mainland China in Koramangala and Church Street. Thus there’s an inevitable comparison that follows. Sadly, I must say that this outlet really needs to scale up on quite a few parameters in this aspect.
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The beauty called Varkala(Kerala) through my lens

Until two years back, my husband and I were obsessive wanderers. My posting in a leading private sector bank and my husbands’ medical specialization course landed us both in Mysore. While the city is beautiful and someday I intend to write about our experiences there,weekends left us high and dry. Since both of us had working Saturdays, any extended weekend would see us planning a short trip to the beautiful places in Tamil Nadu,Karnataka, A.P. or our favorite state Kerala.

During an extended Christmas and new year holiday, I happened to take a mini break before switching jobs.That was when we planned for Varkala which was a unknown name to us,until then. But with a little help from friends, a lot of suggestions from Trip Advsior and unmatched enthusiasm from my husband got us visiting Varkala in the winters of that year. After hunting down for options, we decided to stay at Hill View Beach Resort since it assured us of a magnificent view of the sea through its website and reviews. We drove down to Bangalore from Mysore in 4 hours.At Yeshwantpur station, we took Trivandrum Express.The idea was to get down at Trivandrum and take a cab from there to Varkala. But a helpful co-passenger guided us to get down at Kollam and it took us less than an hour to reach Varkala. the resorts are situated on the cliff the it is one long stretch that can’t be missed.
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Restaurant/Shop review – Putiram sweets, Kolkata 

The first time that I was introduced to this fascinating sweet shop was way back in 1999. As a grad student of Presidency, this was our favorite place for a quick evening snacks or even lunch at times. Located in College Street area, near College Square, this happens to be a favorite joint for students of both Calcutta Medical College and Presidency University.

You really don’t see people sitting and chatting here. They enter, place order, eat, pay and leave. Because this place is always over crowded. Sometimes it’s difficult to even find a place to stand and eat on the pavement near the shop. One of the favorable factors aspect of this place is that they open very early. One can savor the delicious items even at 7am
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Resort review – Aqua Marina Drive Inn, Mandarmoni, West Bengal 

In the last few years, Mandarmoni has turned out to be one of the most favorite destination in Bengal. The distance between Kolkata and Mandarmoni can be covered in 3.5 to 4hours by car. Roads are in good condition. Train options are available till Contai/Ramnagar/Digha and the resort can arrange for a pick up from there.

Trying to avoid the much crowded Digha, people have started moving to the more tranquil and serene Mandarmoni. While the town has ample options for stay and most of them are on or near the beach, Aqua Marina Drive Inn takes the cake away for being not only right on the beach but having rooms that let one view the sea from both the room and balcony.DSC00409
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Restaurant review – JW Kitchen @ JW Marriott, Kolkata

Despite being from the same city, we checked into  JW Marriott, Kolkata for couple of days in July 2017 for a mini vacation. That’s when we were introduced to their amazing in house  restaurant JW kitchen. It is quite a common sight to capture celebrities there. During our stay, we were lucky enough to meet the handsome and talented designer Mr. Manish Malhotra.
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Restaurant review – Kabuliwala (delivery only), Kolkata

The first time when I was introduced to this delivery joint was when they had started out as a single outlet at Rajarhat and biriyani and bhuna masala(chicken /mutton) were the only options. They has come a long way with three outlets and a range of offerings now.

Since this is a take away restaurant, there’s nothing to write about ambiance.
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Resort review – Ri Kynjai, Shillong /Umiam, 

My husband and I, along with our 2 year old son visited Meghalaya from 12th to 15th October 2017. After weighing in on the options available in Shillong for stay, we decided to give Ri Kynjai a shot. The reservation process was smooth through frequent mail exchange between the reservation manager Ms. Dariti and me. The three room options available are forest view rooms, lake view rooms and cottages. While cottages are supremely luxurious spacious and beautiful, the view is same as that of lake view rooms. Unless one decides to spend considerable time inside the rooms, considering the pricing and almost similar facilities, it is advisable to book lake view rooms.
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