Freelance lifestyle writer and Mumbai city passionista
For close to two decades, Priya has been writing about her favourite subjects – food, travel, social trends, popular culture and interesting people – in mainstream newspapers and as founding editor of the Indian edition of an international magazine. She’s now savouring her freedom with freelance writing, micro-blogging and tweeting (@priyapathiyan). And everything that she’s seen and heard as a journalist helps to add a unique perspective to the bespoke cultural and culinary tours of Mumbai that she does for discerning visitors in her avatar as The Hungry Happy Hippy.
I believe that half the fun in life comes from constantly challenging yourself and trying out new things. But recently, I surprised even myself when I agreed to test the IO Walk, a self-balancing board that seemed to represent everything I feared most. Seemingly unstable, highly sporty, with reports of similar brands self-combusting... these were boards that I'd seen only reckless 12-year-olds trying out at Mumbai's Marine Drive.
Right from bounteous dim sum lunches with colleagues, to dance nights with friends where sushi provided the sustenance, to salsa or romantic dinner dates in the week when a tasting menu tantalised the senses, the food at Shiro has essayed an important role in our lives. So when we're called upon to come and experience some changes in the menu, we comply with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity.
The mention of Haridwar brings to mind images filled with piety and picturesque pujas and the Ganga aarti by the fast-flowing river at Har ki Pauri, right? But, as we discovered on a recent, visit, there's much more that you can explore on the banks of the Ganges.
I'm here at this beautiful boutique property called Bay 15 on Odxel Beach, close to central Goa. Just two kilometres from Dona Paula and about 10 minutes drive from Panaji. So close to all the bustle of those touristy spots and yet so serene in its seclusion. This is a different pace from my usual Goan holiday, where I'm trying to savour many different experiences within the span of a few days. This beach, that restaurant, this spa, that sport, this drink, that dish... It's what we do in the big city and find hard to divest ourselves of when we travel. This time, I've decided to stay in one place and let the peace seep into my pores.
Its name is reminiscent of the quintessential Bawaji. Its easy-eating Irani-Cafe-meets-Parsi-home menu has some cleverly named drinks and delicious dishes. It's chock-full of eclectic and eccentric design elements. Basically, the SodaBottleOpenerWala (SBOW for short) that's just opened over the last weekend is a roomful of fabulousness that's just waiting to be discovered.
When we first visit, it's just about three weeks old but gives you the feel of an old familiar. Like Cheers, the sitcom bar where everyone knows your name, Havana has a cosy, lived-in atmosphere. Perhaps it's because the space is filled with memories. After all, as a card-carrying member of Three Flights Up and a regular at Polly Esther's, the 70s themed club that followed in its wake, this has been our go-to place for fun for a long time.
The Monkey Bar somersaulted its way into Mumbai via its successful branches in Delhi and Bengaluru and has had the chatterati going bananas about it for some time now. If you haven't been there yet (what WERE you doing all this time?), you should. And even if you've already been there, checked it out and marked your territory, here's why you'll be jumping up and down for more...
Ananya explains how it's traditionally eaten together from one large plate, much like a Bohri thaal. She's made it easier for us to break bread with near strangers though, by serving it up in individual portions. The mainstay is the Injera, an Ethiopian sourdough crepe with a delicate, spongy texture. On this are heaped all the other dishes.
Call it Classic, Old Skool or by any other name, Retro never goes out of style. Fads may come and go like ballet skirts and bushy beards, but things people have grown up with will always remain close to their hearts. The guys at Radio Bar in Bandra seem to understand this very well.
Only last month, Mumbai's plush JW Marriott hotel in Juhu played host to a one-of-a-kind pop-up pleasure. Until now, most pop-ups in India have been with restaurants from other parts of the country coming to visit. But this time, here was a true-blue two-Michelin star chef cooking up a culinary storm in the city!
Switzerland just earned the title of the World's Happiest Country in this year's World Happiness index. And the Swiss resort town of St Moritz is celebrating 150 years of existence this year. Two compelling reasons to find out what all the fuss is about!
Boiling an egg? Been there, done that to perfection, right? But what about 'unboiling' one? In the last couple of weeks, the scientific world has been going gaga about this amazing feat accomplished by a team of American and Australian scientists. But wait! The heroic scientists may just have egg on their face. Their 'breakthrough' may have poached an old idea executed by Hervé This, the father of molecular gastronomy.