China 2020 ; An exclusive preview of the future of dining- Breeze Restaurant - lebua Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand



Situated on 51st and 52 nd floor

Here the chefs have come up with an exquisite preview of the future of dining in China by 2020. Menu is given here


 Entrance through a glass sky bridge and a spectacular view of the city.


 Dramatic presentation of cocktails! 




 Amuse Bouche ! Beautiful presentation


 Assorted accompaniment sauces



 An assorted seafood platter with Sea Urchin in the center - Delish!



 Great food! Spectacular view! Attentive Service ! 

Another fabulous dinner after recently dining at Lebua's flagship restaurant located on the 65th floor MEZZALUNA. If time permits before I head back to Washington, looking forward to dining at yet another of Lebua's restaurant located on the 63rd floor SIROCCO ; the world's highest al fresco restaurant with a dramatic view of Bangkok.


100 Very Best Restaurants of Washington - Washingtonian Magazine Jan 2012

We are humbled and honored to be featured among the 100 Very Best Restaurants of Washington in the latest issue of the Washingtonian Magazine - January 2012 issue . Indique,located at 3512- 14, Connecticut Avenue, N.W.Washington DC and Indique Heights, located at 2 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, MD - 20815 are both featured in the list with 2.5 stars.

We were also fortunate to be voted by the readers as one of the the top Indian restaurants of Washington in last month's issue of the Washingtonian Magazine.

Heartiest congratulations to my partner Surfy Rahman, our team of Executive Chefs, Managers and each and every member of our team. 


 Here is the article as featured in the Washingtonian Magazine - January 2012.

The following is from last month's Washingtonian Magazine - December 2011 issue.


Junoon - Indian Cuisine - New York


I was recently in New York to attend the Varli food festival and spend time with my good friend Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. My wife Nisha, my friend & business partner Surfy, his wife Madhavi and I decided to drive from Washington DC to New York. Normally on all our trips, as foodies and restaurant owners know, everything revolves around food, food and food. So this trip was no different.  

For some time now, Rajesh Bhardhwaj, another dear friend of ours from our days in New Delhi had invited us to check out his latest venture -Junoon. So this was an opportune time to take up him on his offer and spend some quality time with good old friends.

Junoon, a restaurant located very close to the Madison Park on  27 West 24th St., btwn 6th & broadway, is stunningly beautiful. Junoon means passion and Rajesh's passion is clearly visible from the time you step in. The restaurant is opulent, built beautifully, the walls made with stones hand- carved into a basket weave, with an inviting reflecting pool in the front, beautiful hand-carved swings, antique wood palace doors, an open kitchen, a lovely bar with majestic drinks, and a beautiful spice room downstairs.

We left the ordering to our friend and host Rajesh. Nisha, Madhavi and Sanjeev Kapoor were all vegetarian for the day as this was the time of Navrathri - during which time most folks either adhere to a strictly vegetarian meal or have a very restricted diet. Nisha and Madhavi had ordered a vegetarian thali - a beautiful array of fresh seasonal vegetables, dal,rice,yogurt, bread etc brought out on a copper platter. Rajesh, knowing my preference for seafood, ordered a konkan fish curry, which had a smooth and silky gravy with coconut milk and the right spiciness from the chilies balanced by the tartness of the kokum. I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre Champault,Loire, France - which complemented well with my konkan fish curry.  Surfy had a spicy bloody mary and the rest of the group stuck to water. 

An amuse bouche of a cauliflower was brought at the beginning. It was beautifully plated and it had the right combination of the heat from the chilies, tartness and sweetness from the tomato and garlic. I also was able to taste all the vegetarian dishes from Nisha's platter which consisted of an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables, dal, raita, rice and breads; thali was exquisite. Sanjeev ordered a Kadi Pakodi ( a vegetable dumpling in a flavorful yogurt based sauce) - this is comfort food at its best.

We finished off with some lovely desserts including a trio of Kulfi, with three flavors - cardamom, Mango and Paan.

After lunch we went next door to Hotel Wyndham where we were all staying, relaxed a bit, changed into Indian outfits and went to the Varli food festival. It was indeed a delight to see do many Indian restaurants and restaurateurs under one roof showcasing the cuisine of India.

After the Varli event, we got back to Rajesh's Junoon again, where first we had some drinks in the gorgeous lounge and then moved into a private dining room with some more friends joining in. We went in for another feast. Some of the highlights of the evening were Chicken Awadh Korma, cooked with almond, onions, yogurt and saffron, Goat Matke Wala, very tender goat pieces cooked with garlic, tomato, bay leaf and pomegranate, Amristari Aloo Wadi, sundried lentil dumplings and potatoes cooked with spices - this is a peasant dish,  rarely seen in restaurant menus. This was followed by more desserts, masala chai,& coffee. 

By this time, it was 1.30 AM and we were in no mood to drive back to DC; but we had already checked out from the Hotel; our wives had to report for duty the next day and we ourselves also wanted to get back to our own restaurants for a busy Friday. So we had no choice but to drive back at this unearthly hour - slowly but surely, with the help of a few hot cups of coffee on the way and some nice hindi music I decided to take over the driver’s seat and by the time the sun was rising we reached home, sweet home! a memorable trip indeed! 


  Left to Right : Surfy Rahman, Rajesh Bhardwaj, Sanjeev Kapoor and yours truly at Junoon, NY


Rajesh, narrating to us as to how he went about sourcing materials for the interiors!


The service here is impeccable, attentive without being obtrusive!


The layout of the dining room is very good with a nice wine cellar at the back and chic lighting.


Nisha is happy that I brought her here !

Chef Walter Rozario is a very dear friend. Chefs Vikas Khanna and Walter Rozario are the two masters in the kitchen.


This is the Amuse Bouche! Crispy Cauliflower, garlic tomato chutney. Exquisite!

Vegetarian Thali - served in beautiful copper utensils with cute small wooden spoons! 


Service here is immaculate! It reminded me of our days at "Hyderabad House" where the Prime Ministers and Presidents were served in India. Well synchronized and executed with a panache.IMG_9874

These curries are served from striking small copper pans.


 Nadru Kofte - These were croquettes made with lotus root, home made cheese"Paneer" and cashew nuts in a rich sauce garnished with lotus root chips. 


Seated at the private dining room during Dinner


 The expansive lounge and Bar at Junoon serves innovative cocktails

Picnik collage-dessert
An array of desserts included a seasonal trio of Kulfi - cardamom, mango and paan- Date Pudding Cake - with a cranberry reduction, orange buttermilk ice cream, Passion fruit bomb, and spiced chocolate ice cream with chai ice cream! 


Friandises -  the grand finale! 





My Birthday at Estadio, Washington DC

Estadio - Spanish Tapas - Washington DC

A few days ago I celebrated my birthday at the relatively new Estadio in Washington DC. 


I was lucky that my birthday fell on a Monday as it was easier for me to get away from my restaurants. It was delightful to have both my children home for winter break so they could join my wife, Nisha, and I for dinner. A dear friend of mine was kind enough to make a reservation for us at 8 PM and the moment we walked in it brought back nostalgic memories of our trip to Madrid and Barcelona last Spring.

Here is a collage of pictures from our trip:

Picnik collage spain1

Estadio was live and kicking and a charming hostess seated us to a nice window table. The menu here is Tapas inspired and is divided into various sections like Starters, Cheeses, Cured Meats, Eggs and Fried Dishes, Vegetables, Open - Faced, Sandwiches, Desserts, etc. I left the ordering to my children, Rahul and Rathi, and as usual had not told them where I was taking them out. They enjoyed the surprise and did not waste any time ordering dinner.

I ordered a glass of cabernet blend from Catalunya, Spain – Casa Gran del Siurana Priorat GR-174 $9/-  and my wife had Sangria ($6/-) and the kids stuck to cold water.

Sangria1_lzn-1                                  Above : Sangria 
1. Foie gras mousse, smoked duck breast and caramelized onions–open face sandwich - $9.00


2. Escalivada - grilled vegetables, black olive puree and aioli - $8.00 This was one of Nisha's favorite dishes of the evening.IMG_0279_lzn
3. Croquets de Jamon with pickled cucumbers - $6.00. Four Croquettes, which were very easy to share.

4. Deviled Egg stuffed with ensaladilla rusa - $2.50. This took me back about 25 years when we used to make stuffed eggs in the shape of a bird and make a Russian salad at the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi, India. IMG_0272_lzn
5. Grilled Scallops  - $14.00 This was served with roasted cauliflower and and salbitxada sauce, which really complemented the scallops.

6. Sautéed Shrimp, garlic, parsley, lemon - $10.00 - six decent size luscious shrimps! IMG_0289
7. Grilled Octopus, potato-caper salad pimento - $11.00 - I have always been intrigued and enthralled by Octopus. Therefore, I have been ordering octopus at every other restaurant where I see it on the menu. I have heard about all the tales of the right way to cook octopus so that it does not get tough and leathery. Growing up in India, I did not cook octopus or did not even eat it till I came to the US. I have always been very curious to know what is the right way to cook octopus; whenever I run into conundrums like this, I always look for Harold McGee, the Guru on the science of food. I distinctly remember that Harold McGee wrote an article in the New York times about cooking Octopus a few years ago (Download To Cook an Octopus Forget the Cork, Add Science - New York Times). Here at Estadio, the octopus was very flavorful, delectable, and tender. For some reason, I can't help it when my mind starts to imagine the octopus cooked with Indian spices... I keep visualizing the octopus with different permutations and combinations of Indian spices and sauces..Octopus_lzn
8. Tortilla Espanola, $8.00 - This is basically a Spanish omelet with sweet hot peppers and aioli (garlic plus olive oil) piped on top. There was not one coffee shop in any five star hotel in India which did not have a Spanish omelet on its menu. (Here again, I am talking about the 80's) - so this too brought back nostalgic memories of my Hotel days in India.  Omelette_lzn
9. Porkbelly, chorizo,morcilla and gigante beans - $12.00. Pork Belly is a trendy item seen very often in menus these days. This was soft, tender, and bursting with flavor; the contrast with the beans was delightful. At the back of mind, I was thinking again of Indian spices, chili-tamarind glaze etc..


10. Spice Grilled Chicken - $12.00 .This was served on top of a coleslaw and a sauce called: salsa loco.The Chicken was very moist and the sauce was fingerlicking good! Chicken_lzn

11. Mixto - $16.00 AssortedWe ordered this only to reminisce our trip to Barcelona and Madrid. Jamon Serrano, Fuet, Chorizo, Salchichon de Vic, Lomo Embuchado, House Made Terrina

12. House Made Bread - $2.00 IMG_0281

13. Banana Mousse - $8.00 Dessert1
14. Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Ice cream - $8.00 IMG_0336_lzn



Overall we had a wonderful evening at Estadio - excellent food, admirable service, refreshing ambiance and great company - and yet another year has passed in my life....