Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brunch on the river

The day started with a reservation on the Hotel launch Patria. This was a brunch cruise.

The system is that you got a menu, fascinating I must say, of 14 items. These are in Tapas size. You could have as many or as little as you wanted. It was a fixed price. All liquids, coffee, water, booze you had to pay extra for. The boat had 3 decks. On the lowest were the dining tables, as you can see with white linen. The middle deck had a lounge type seating and the top deck was open to elements. Kids were not allowed in the dining area. The waiter was charming and on seeing we were not German took our menu away and translated it into English. Very sweet. No one here cares if you have any food allergies, fetishes, quirks, dislikes or are Jewish [God forbid] and can’t have shellfish. Two nights ago we were given Cows Head [waiter’s description]. Today we started with Tuna Tartare and Beef with pesto. Let me inform the Alibaug smart set that the French discovered sushi before the Japanese. Actually it was probably the Mongols who did so but that is another story. It’s been a good 15 days without any Masala. It’s  not that I was dying to have an aromatic Kosha Mangsho and Hyderabad Dum Biryani but suddenly we were served Orecchiette with Shrimp in a curry sauce.

Very nice morning. Complete waste of 3 hours with very little by way of excitement or discovery. The one tense moment was when the camera fell into the desert. Desert damaged, camera survived to take another photo. The boat went thru a lock twice, once in and once out. Terribly exciting. Like watching a bathtub fill with water and on the way back slowly drain out. The boat naturally rises and falls with the water level. But then it’s Sunday and as we say in Indian English you have to `take rest’. So today we are `taking rest’.

We had made a reservation at the famous Sindhi patronised restaurant Hakkasan[ani] in London. In fact it’s a coming home of sorts as Hakkasan is setting up its Indian outpost in collaboration with a mover and shaker Sindhi in Bandra. We were deeply suspicious of our move and often questioned our motives at making this reservation. Were we drunk? Did we want to keep up with the Mansukhanis and Advanis? Why oh why had we done this? Finally today, we cancelled this and have got ourselves a table at a fantastic new restaurant called Gilbert Scott. This is really a great setting, and we hope great food. The Chef is Marcus Wareing whose books we absolutely love. Do have a look at the website. It’s quite something especially those who have an architectural love/eye. We are looking forward to this meal.

Tomorrow we leave for Stuttgart a city a scant 90 kms from here a short 45 minute train ride. Stuttgart is the home of Mercedes, Porsche and BMW. We will go to the museums as we had done at Marnelo the home of Ferrari.  Stuttgart is also home to beer gardens.

Dinner is at a nearby restaurant called Goldene Falke. Most restaurants are shut on Sunday so we don’t have much choice. Our Hotel owner assured us that (i) he ate there once a week and (ii) it was good simple German food. Iii) He would make a reservation for us

Arti had classic German/Swiss potato pancake with apple sauce as a starter and I had a Goulash [which was a bit too sour]. For mains Arti had a sausage with sauerkraut in a wine sauce  while I had a Wiener Schnitzel [pork]. Both very good. 

Loads or rather busloads of Indian have turned up in Heidelberg. I feel so sorry for them for a variety of reasons too long to write here. They are another cookie cut clone of each other. All with new sports shoes of poor quality and all with totally inappropriate winterwear of all shapes, sizes colours and types. They are a nightmare.  Very sad and not much scope for improvement unfortunately.

More later 

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