Saturday, 31 December 2016

Last Day of 2016: HAPPY NEW YEAR !

Another year comes to an end, and I feel like it was yesterday when I drafted this post exactly a year ago. And yes, even this year I miss those days when I was young and carefree and one year end, actually felt like 2.
Anyways before I border on the nonsensical and bore you, let me say a Big Thank you to each of my readers for giving So-Saree another fabulous year of love and readership.
We are slowly and steadily catching up on numbers and are finally have a presence on Instagram too.

This year we crossed 1000 followers on Twitter and 6000 on Facebook and attended tonnes of events.
This year we took the plunge in reviewing restaurants as well, because deep down this saree clad women is an epic foodie too.

All in all it was a good year, and I can't be thankful enough for it.

So here's wishing all So-Saree Readers a Very Happy New Year and hope u continue to shower your love on us always.

And just to take this New Year Wish a notch higher, I have a special message recorded from a very special person.

Thank You team Oriflame, who gave me the opportunity to meet this beautiful woman.
And thank you Sonali Bendre, for being the nicest, coolest and most chilled out celeb I have met till date. You will be my Girl Crush forever.

Happy 2017 Everyone!!!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Restaurant Review: Andamental, Mumbai

When I asked to review a restaurant called “Andamental”, I was extremely curious and interested. The name sounded quirky and contemporary; but most importantly it sounded all about the EGG – which I personally love. I like everything prepared from eggs – boiled, omelettes, curries, desserts, rice preparations – everything!
We visited the place on a Friday evening. It is pretty easy to locate even though it has opened only about five months ago. The decor is neat and simple but not too appealing. But that could mainly be because it is more of a takeaway/home delivery kind of place.
The manager was very courteous and suggested the best dishes for us. Based on her recommendations, we ordered Australian Omelette and Afghani Anda curry first. Both dishes were served without a very long wait.

The Australian Omelette, served with buttered pav, was heavenly. It was loaded with veggies, herbs and CHEESE. It had finely diced broccoli, zuchinni, onions and really divine smelling herbs. The buttered pav was the perfect accompaniment.


The Afghani Anda curry was a tomato based curry with a fried egg and a boiled egg inside the curry. It was well seasoned and not too spicy. The taste was very different from the regular Moghlai curries. This too was served with buttered pav.


We then ordered their signature dish which is Street Style Anda Bhurji, and I must say it was bang on. And I guess the buttered pav just makes everything better.
Since we also wanted to sample some vegetarian dishes, we ordered the
Mental Maggi Masala and Paneer Makkhanwala.

The Mental Maggi Masala was a bit of a disappointment, but we really liked the texture and flavour of Paneer Makkhanwala.


We wrapped up our meal with the Andamental Biryani.

Colourful, flavoured rice topped with boiled eggs and infused with Andamental's signature gravy was a big hit. The portion is huge and we had a hard time finishing everything and had to pack some home.

Overall I think the quality and taste of the food is very good. They also have other interesting sounding dishes like the Andamental Maggie, Mumbai Vadapav omelette, Andamental Ghotala etc.., which are apparently the hottest selling items on the menu. Definitely on my list for my next visit!
For vegetarians, Andamental has a variety of non-eggitarian dishes like Paneer roll, aloo roll, choice of various curries, biryanis.
I would definitely recommend our readers to try this place out.
My only suggestion would be that if you are a big group of diners, opt for a takeaway, since this place is a little compact. But a big thumbs-up to the chef and the Andamental team for coming up with a unique and interesting menu!!


Rating: 3.5/5

-Gauri Patwardhan
  For So-Saree

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rose, White, Or Yellow: Which Gold Woman Are You?

Gold, Gold, Gold, they just Gotta have that Gold.
Gold, Gold, Gold, they'll do anything for Gold.


The original soundtrack of the classic Hollywood movie Mackenna’s Gold amplify the worth of gold. Undoubtedly, gold is one of the most precious metals known to the mankind. Gleaming with brightness and extremely malleable, it has adorned the crowns of royalty in the past and found a prominent place in the treasuries.But today, gold is mostly associated with jewellery. Gold Jewellery is timeless and is the most preferred choice of metal for most women. Elegant, ornate and elaborate, gold jewellery is the mainstay of every Indian wedding and festive occasion. However, recently there is a new wave of gold jewellery designs that are contemporary and chic in style and come in different colours.

Yes, you heard it right!! Gold is not just yellow, but are also available in white and rose colour. Each has its own characteristic, composition, price and texture and is used to craft the most exquisite pieces. With so many options at ones disposal, it’s natural to be confused when it comes to reaching a buying decision. So, what must one do? The key is to realize which gold woman are you? To find out,whether you like the brightness of yellow, purity of white or the elegance of rose gold, here what you need to keep in mind -

Keeper of Tradition
 

Yellow Gold is the most traditional and also the purist form of gold. Most traditional jewelleries, indigenous to different parts of India are mostly crafted in yellow gold. If your style is more traditional, put your bet on yellow gold. Since time immemorial, some of the best jewellery designs donned by Rajput princesses and even Mughal empress were made in gold, embedded with semi-precious stones like sapphire, ruby and emeralds. Due to the timelessness and versatility of these patterns, many jewelers replicate these designs even today.

At the same time catering to the demands and preference of modern contemporary women, jewellery retailers like CaratLane have come up with a line of very wearable and light gold jewellery designs that are suitable for everyday wear. Whatever be your pick, the dazzle of quintessential gold can never be undermined.

Prefer Elegant Charm


White Gold is made out of alloy of gold and platinum. Known for its scratch proof, smooth and pristine texture, some of the best range of jewelleries are designed and crafted in this metal. White gold personifies elegant charm. So, if you have a contemporary taste in fashion, jewellery made out of white gold will surely win your heart.

The metal also happens to be very chic and minimalist in its appearance. Unlike, yellow gold, jewellery made from white gold is designed to suit subtle preferences.

Feminine mystique


The colour rose gold has earned supreme position in the fashion and accessory world. Even the world’s top gadget and Smartphone companies have fallen for the charm of rose gold, choosing to manufacture products in this colour. So, what’s so special about this colour? For starters, the colour rose gold is equated with exquisite taste and is perceived to be somewhere between luxury and fashion.

Made from the alloy of gold, copper and silver, rose gold is a very robust metal that allows very intricate craftsmanship.

Gold is gold, white, yellow or rose. It  never goes out of trend and no matter what your preference of taste is, the relevance of gold is evergreen.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Restaurant Review: Cafe Mojo, Mumbai

A few weeks ago, I was invited to visit Cafe Mojo in Mumbai,the first e-beer pub in Mumbai.
On speaking to the management about the concept of e-beer pub, I learned that with Cafe Mojo's distinctive e-Brew self-serve system, you can pour your own chilled beer straight from taps fitted at your table. And you pay by the ml instead of traditional ‘by the glass’ method! This distinct feature has caught attention nationally and is much admired by their patrons.

The invite said Food, Drinks and Sheesha are on the house.
The line, kind of set an alarm for me, as I don't drink and don't do Sheesha either.
My past experiences at such pubs had told me that there is hardly anything in store at such places, for people like me. But since I had no other plans for that day, I decided to accept the invitation.
We reached the place at 8 pm and the place was already in its elements.
The first thing that caught my attention was the cool decor of this place. Quirky yet an element of sophistication scored some brownie points from me. The next thing to catch my attention was the music. From pop, hip-hop and Bollywood, they had it all.






















 



















I loved their seating arrangements, where customers have the option to sit on round tables, bar stools along the bar, private seating for those seeking calm and quiet, an open air area for smokers, and a rooftop place for Sheesha.
We chose a seat in the open air and were immediately brought the drinks menu.
After fidgeting with the drinks menu, we finally ordered what we normally do.
I ordered the Virgin Pina Colada, while husband went for Safe Sex on the Beach.
The mocktails were refreshing and not too sweet...just the way we like it.
We then moved on to the food menu, and husband was really happy to see the vegetarian menu. Unlike other pubs we have visited, this place didn't stick to cliche cheese balls and chinese starters for vegetarians, they had a whole bunch of interesting stuff for the vegetarians and non vegetarians alike.
Husband ordered for the veg Burg-wich and Paneer tikka pizza, while I ordered for Chicken Tikki, Zaffrani Prawns and St. Louis style Fried Chicken.
First things first, I loved the presentation of each and every dish that arrived.
Let's speak about the vegetarian stuff first. The veg Burg-Wich was bang on. Spicy, tangy and crispy. It hit the taste buds at the right spots.

The Paneer Tikka pizza was good too, but I thought it was a bit dry.


The Chicken tikki, was another surprise.
It was sweet, succulent and lightly spiced. I think it was a perfect start to my evening.
The Zaffrani Prawns did not work for me.
But the winner of the evening was the St. Louis Style Fried Chicken.
Having traveled around the world and tried fried chicken in almost every place, I feel no one makes them better than Cafe Mojo.
It was well cooked, adequately spiced and guiltlessly fried.
It was so good that it almost melted in my mouth, I constantly kept checking if they had added cheese to it, but I couldn't find a trace and I am still wondering how they made it.
A few of my friends who had visited Cafe Mojo, had asked me to try their desserts, but we were so stuffed, that we decided to skip it. But definitely next time.

All in all we were very happy with our experience, and wouldn't mind going here again with our bunch of friends.
I rate this place: 3.5/5

P.S. I was invited to eat for free, but my comments remain completely honest and my own.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Off-Beat Rides to take in the USA

Hey Guys, can you believe we are nearing the end of another year in a few more weeks?
I know, I can believe it either.
Today I am going to speak about my travel in my most favourite country: The United States of America.
When you think of USA, things that instantly come to your mind are The Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge, Las Vegas, etc.
But having explored all these places on my first trip to US, I thought I would not have much to do in my later visits.
But I was so wrong. Every time, I visit US, there is always some fun thing I do.
So today I decided to make a list of all such fun and offbeat rides that I took in the US.

Biking:


New York is a place that grows on you. The crowd, the chaos and the energy is so addictive that once you visit this place, you want to be here for life. On our trip to New York, we decided to explore the Brooklyn Bridge on rental bikes and we so loved the experience. The road and traffic is so encouraging of bikers and everyone is too glad to guide your way. I had rejected the idea of biking in SFO once, and so this time, I decided I will give it a try and I am so glad I did. 

ATV:















 






I rode the ATV for the first time at Pismo Beach in California, and it was super fun. Racing with our friends on the sandy beaches, with cool breeze flowing on my face…WOW...it was so much fun.

Go-Cars:


Go-Cars look like small toy cars, but are the first-ever GPS-guided Storytelling cars. They are battery operated and around 200 points of interest are loaded into the Go-Car’s friendly GPS system. You can rent these in various cities in the US and they are so much more fun than normal cars.
We drove through downtown SFO and also the crooked street in go-cars, and I felt like I was a child again. It just gives you a much better view of the places you visit and people around you courteously let you go first. How sweet, isn’t it?

Segway Tours:


Anyone and everyone, who visits SoCal, wants to be in LA, for obvious reasons. But believe me if there's one city that I love more than LA it is San Diego.
Famous for the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and Balboa Park, San Diego in itself is such a beautiful place that you will find it difficult to depart from here.
We explored this beautiful city on Segway’s...n WHAT an experience it was.
It took us a total of 7 minutes to learn how to ride Segway’s, and after that we swooshed through the beautiful lanes of San Diego while our guide gave us the complete history of the place on our tour. We also took an ice-cream break on the way. All in all, totally recommended by us.

Surrey Ride:


Solvang is a pretty little Danish city in the Santa Barbara county of California and you will find all things Danish here. The windmills, Danish bakery, ice creams, wines and culture. On our trip to Solvang we drove a surrey and I can’t even tell you how much fun it was.

Hot Air Balloon ride:


If you are visiting USA and visiting a vineyard is on your mind, make sure you book a hot air balloon ride there. We took the hot air balloon ride at Temecula Vineyards and flying over the gorgeous vineyards witnessing the first rays of the sun, is something that will be etched in my memory forever. We witnessed the process of filling the magnanimous balloon with hot air and thankfully our ride was so smooth, that we didn’t even realize when we landed on the ground.

Jet Boarding:

Yup..that's me!
Inspired by Bollywood, husband wanted to try something fun and adventurous, and so he signed us up for a Jetboarding experience. In spite of the fact that we both can’t swim. I was terrified and kept complaining till the last moment.
And how was our experience??? Not bad, but not too great either. Jet boarding requires a lot of practice, strength and stamina. We kept falling in the water and the salty water kept entering our eyes and nostrils. It wasn’t exactly the way we had expected, but at least I can claim of trying Jetboarding, which very people can do.

Dog Sledge Ride:


We visited Alaska, this summer, and so we didn’t exactly have a dog sledge ride due to the absence of snow, but we tried the dog cart ride and I can’t even tell you how much fun it was. Believe it or not, the dogs really enjoy pulling the cart ride and they keep barking when the cart riders are picking dogs to tie to the cart. They get really excited because they really enjoy some exercise in the cold weather and also the treat that follows after the ride.

Glacier Landing Flight
:


One of the major reasons for visiting Alaska was to view glaciers, but when husband booked a Glacier Landing Flight, it was a huge surprise. They actually fly you on the top of the highest mountains and land the flight directly on glaciers. You can walk on the snow, play snowball fighting or simply act to meditate like yogis.
Well at least that’s what I did.

Since we had so many activities that we had planned on our US trip, we had made arrangements for adequate foreign exchange. But since we found great deals online, we actually saved so much bucks that when we were back, we were left with loads of USD, which we had to later get converted.
So I would recommend that after you book your air tickets, you check out the deals and coupons for the various excursions that you want to experience in advance. This way, you will have a fair idea of how much foreign exchange you need and you won’t have to fret over converting your excess left over US Dollar to INR once you are back.

Hope you like this post, because I had so much fun drafting it.
I relived my entire holiday in this one post.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Get #Instaxicated

Selfies, Groupies, duck faces, pouts...all words suddenly dominating our day-to-day conversations in the past couple of years. We are now a generation of instant things – instant food, instant relationships, instant social media reactions and most importantly instant photos. We just are not ready to wait for anything.
Unveiling of the new collection
So when I came to know that FujiFilm is launching a new range of cameras, I was not sure whether to applaud them for being gutsy or wonder about the ingenuity of such an idea. But after attending the launch of this new series and some really cool products, along with an enlightening session conducted by the Fuji India team, I must admit that I am completely sold!Firstly, no one can deny the cutting edge stuff that Fuji has introduced over the last few decades in photography. Secondly, most of us would probably still remember the cameras which needed roll. There used to be a whole excitement around seeing the roll being developed and awaiting the photographer to hand over the developed pictures to us!
Like I said before, none of us have the patience anymore to wait for this anymore. But let me ask you one thing – what is the favourite past time during family get togethers, even today? In ours, it definitely is reminiscing over old photographs and getting nostalgic. So even with all the digital advancements, we still do like the feeling of a physical photograph, right?
That’s where Fuji is here to help us.

They have come up with a fabulous range of “Instax” Cameras, which not only give us instant photographs, but the camera range is absolutely delightful & quirky – the Hello Kitty one being the most innovative and fun! It comes in various colours like purple, yellow white and black.



The buttons and features are fairly basic; 'up front' is a button to extend the collapsible lens and turn on the camera. Around the lens is the brightness adjustment dial you can twist to choose the different exposure levels. On the hand grip is the camera trigger with the viewfinder above and the always on flash just beside it. Around the back is where you’ll find compartments for film and the battery on the hand grip. Yes it takes batteries, two AA ones to be precise.
To take photos you simply need twist the dial to the appropriate exposure level, peer through the viewfinder and take your shot. It's as simple as that.
To top it, one of the best things I loved is the variety of borders available to the film, so we have a chance to get really creative with the photographs and can personalize them to our liking! Also, the photographs apparently last about fifty odd years!
The Mini 8 bundle packs and the Party box also includes bunting cards, stickers and such other really fun stuff, which can be used for scrapbooks, wall decoration etc.
 
So guys, what are you waiting for...GRAB you INSTAX TODAY!!

-Gauri Patwardhan 
For So-Saree

 

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