Udaipur Diaries : Laal Mass & more !

Ok so I have no qualms admitting that food is always a really important part of my holiday. No matter where I travel to I always try to eat the local cuisine and check out the must goto spots & recommended restaurants.

While Daal baati is the most famous dish from Mewar , in my opinion it’s too heavy and after having tried it at my friend’s wedding in Indore I decided to skip it this time. On my hit list for my Udaipur trip was Lal Maas in non vegetarian & Ker sangri ki bhaji in vegetarian food. Also on my list were the following restaurants :

1. Upre  

2. Jag Mandir

3. The Bar at Udai Villas

4. Paantya at the Shiv Niwas Palace

5.Ambhrai, Amet Haveli, O/S Chandpole, Udaipur (+91 294 243 1085)

6.Café Edelweiss – European Café Street 73 Gangaur Ghat Rd 

7.Sheesh Mahal, The Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur (+91 294 670 1234; www.theleela.com)

8. Palki Khana, Shiv Niwas Palace, City Palace Complex, Udaipur (+91 294 252 8016; www.hrhhotels.com

Bhairo, Taj Lake Palace, Lake Pichola, Udaipur (+91 294 242 8800;www.tajhotels.com)

I recommend making reservations before your trip as during peak season everything gets booked out ! We missed out at Udai Villas dining because it was all sold out until January 4th 2014 !!

The restaurants at Taj Lake Palace and the Sheesh Mahal are only open to resident guests so we missed out on them. We also visited Devi Garh by Lebua and I have already reviewed it. I can’t wait to review the others and share my pearls of wisdom and pictures both Va and I took during our stay. 

The Laal Maas was the best at Shiv Niwas , we tried it at Trident & Lebua as well and thought that Lebua’s version of the Laal Maas was average and too mellow and adapted to suit the western palate ( low on spice , sweeter than others and the meat was a little chewy ! ) . The Trident version we had with rice and the one at Shiv Niwas scored a 10 on our spice – o – meter and had us gulping water with every bite , yet that didn’t stop us from finishing it ( so you can imagine how good it was ! )

Our meal at Shiv Niwas was about 2000 Rs for Laal Maas + Rotis + Curd + Ker Sangri Bhaji ,  Trident was Rs 1000 for one & the Thali we enjoyed at Lebua was priced at Rs 2500 ( non veg ) & Rs 2000 ( veg) .

While we enjoyed our meals at every restaurant as each one had something unique to order I highly recommend you visit Shiv Niwas for a meal & Jag Mandir as well.

I am going to try attempting Laal Maas at home and will be happy to share the recipe I got from a friend with all who are interested !

 

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Udaipur Diaries : Devi Garh ( Lebua)

On our way back from Nathdwara where we had the most amazing darshan of lord Shree Nathji we were tired & hungry and realized that it was almost 2 pm . We suddenly spotted a sign that said 1 km to Lebua Devi Garh property ( I had read about this on Trip Advisor but given it’s on the outskirts of Udaipur we did not stay here) and decided that we must pay this beautiful property a visit.

If words can describe our experience then the key terms would be – Royal , Exclusive , Beautiful & Scenic.

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For non resident guests dining at the restaurant means a minimum billing per head and average food but in my opinion this property is definitely worth a visit ( you can only visit if you have a reservation for dining here) .

As we drove up the winding slope to the fort our driver mentioned that the movie Ek Lavya was shot at this scenic property – yes the Vidya Balan – Amitabh Bachchan starer movie that had us all oohing at the scenic beauty the locale has to offer.

Devi Garh Lebua Udaipur

We were informed at the reception that one would need to have atleast Rs 3000 worth of a bill ( plus taxes) to dine at the restaurant – hungry and tired we totally decided to stop here and enjoy the experience.

The Restaurant at Lebua

The restaurant is on the first floor and offers an indoors and outdoors dining option. Given it was around 2 pm and the sun was bright we decided to stick to the indoor option , though if you like the sun the view is wonderful from the terrace.

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We decided to try their non veg & veg Thalis so that we could taste flavors of Udaipur all together in one meal !

Our host was a chatty young girl who worked abroad before getting placed at this property and we were informed that the property tends to get very cold at night ( there is no facility for electric heating here even for the suites so if you enjoy low temperature and not too much heating this maybe a good option for you to try ) .

The first course comprised of Kebabs – vegetarian and non vegetarian ( the food was served in style and the Galoti kebab was great ! ) this was served along with some fried & roasted papad and pickles.

Galoti Kebab

The main course comprised of a Thali – the non vegetarian Thali had a bowl of Lal Maas & Chicken along with Ker Sangri ki Bhaji ( typical to the region of Mewar) , Corn Bhaji , Yellow dal , Jeera Rice , Roti , Dahi and the Vegetarian one had Paneer ki bhaji additional.

The Lal Maas was average ( having eaten it the previous day at Shiv Niwas , we used that as a benchmark) . The food was not spicy at all and was made keeping a non Indian patron in mind ( though Rajasthani food is essentially known to be spicy and this is not the right meal for one who would like to enjoy the true flavours of Mewar) .

The meal was followed by Gajjar ka Halwa for the Vegetarian Thali & Gulab Jamun for the Non veg Thali . I must admit that I really enjoyed the Gulab Jamun and it did redeem the meal for me especially since Rs 2500 for a Thali of average food is not really justified by even the best view especially when the staff is over chatty and a bit annoying because they hover around and don’t know when the guests would like to be left alone.

The thing that upset us most was that the bill arrived and we were charged a flat Rs 3000 + taxes for just the food and the drinks were charged for separately , something that had not been clarified by the staff at the reception. The difference in the amount was small yet the attitude of the staff especially the manager of the restaurant was upsetting who kept arguing and then realizing our point said ok for you I will just charge as per the menu + drinks included as per cost ! This too was done in a way that left us feeling obliged for an average meal & poor staff etiquette.

All in all our experience at Lebua was average due to the staffs attitude and average food but I would still recommend you to check it out for the view !

Food to try : Galoti Kebab & Gulab Jamun , good for people who don’t like spicy food.

Food to Skip : Laal Mass & Thali or atleast specify you like the food to be spicy.

Drinks : We ordered a glass of bubbly each and they served us from a pre opened ( from the day before !! ) bottle of Sula Brut & the lady attending our table did not know how to pour it and kept on chatting along even after pouring it , which in my opinion is a big no no when it comes to bubbly !

View : Fantastic view and beautiful property

Location : Outskirts of Udaipur , good for an older couple who wants to stay in the property and not really spend too much time sightseeing .

Value for Money : 2/5 because of average food and poor staff , which is a pity for such a beautiful property and such a good brand name.

Hong Kong calling !

I’ve been wanting to take off on a holiday for a few months now. I often joke that I will work for travel and adventure if there’s a way to do that. Last year by this time I had taken 4 holidays already and this year , well I’ve only been out once for a real holiday – to Goa. So there’s a LOT of catching up to do !

My trip to SG in May got canned (last minute) and I’ve been itching to take off since. So when the long weekend coming up this month presented a perfect excuse and opportunity I decided to take off and catch up with my 2 wonderful friends in HK. I last visited HK more than 10 years back and that only means that there’s soooo much to see and do for me.

I’m looking forward to catching up with friends, walk around the city (with my DSLR for company) and also check all the cool restaurants and bars that Hong Kong houses. While Disney is on. Y to see list , ill be skipping Macau this time round (need an excuse to go back).

Can’t wait to board and fly away from the mundane city life and icky weather ! I guess it’s a great birthday gift for myself eh ?

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If you have any travel recommendations and tips for Hong Kong please feel free to share ! Of course once I’m done experiencing HK through my looking glass ill update it here so those who are looking to visit it can check all the cool places out !

Yay it’s time for my holiday !

#ineedaholiday

There comes a point in the year when your body is itching to take a break from the mundane and annoying Life that we lead. Some people have many such points in their year, yours truly being one such ‘gifted’ individual. I often joke that I “will work to travel” if life would give me the chance to.

I am a social and fun loving person, who is flexible with the quality of my holiday (can range from a backpacking trip with friends to a 7 star luxury stay) just as long as it’s a new place and I have my camera Jand good food of course!!! 

With the Financial year coming to a close this weekend, I think the time has come for me to plan the next trip. The last year was a kind year for the traveler in me. I managed 13 small trips – 3 of which were international and exceptional as it was, I hope to do at least 6 trips – of which at least 2 should be international and to new destinations. 

So far this year has been a boring one on the travel front 😦 by this time 2011 had me take 3 trips to Sri Lanka , Delhi and Indore and 2 of them were first time ever visits. 

I think my time to travel this year will begin with trip #1 to my favorite place in India – GOA. I did 2 trips to Goa last year and though my first ever visit to Goa was only in 2005, since then I have visited the city 8 times.

Goa in the 2nd week of April will be HOT but it will be a fun trip – my friend Avi is getting married to the love of her life J( yayyy) and we are all heading to the beach city to make it a memorable wedding. Given that it’s on the beach ( and given I missed Miss Malini’s FUNtastic Goa Wedding in Feb due to crazy work deadlines) I really am looking forward to it and have 20 days to whip myself into beach worthy shape.

I have been struggling with my recently gained 3-4 kgs and while I have managed to drop about half a kg since I last whined about it online I still have an easy 3.5 kgs to go. This calls for an extreme measure ( crazy running and working out) and control on my diet ( so difficult thanks to the wonderful foodies I have for friends !). 

Beach body or not – GOAAAAaaaaaa here I come, 20 days and counting down! 🙂 

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