Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thank you.
ess bee

1A Camac Court, 25B Camac Street, Kolkata – 700 016, India.

Phone: 91 33 2281 6934

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

9/11, Osama and Hotel Millennium

Hotel Millennium, New York: Tuesday, May 3rd: It is celebration time in New York. People came out of homes cheering and waving US flags to gather at Times Square and Ground Zero as they heard the news of Osama's death. Cafes, salad bars, offices, tube stations, tourist and business spots and Osama's death was the talking point.
Morning dailies lavished space to report the story at length. The Monday eveningers carried special issues with banner headlines screaming “Got him” or “No more”.
Yesterday, at a bookstore on the 5th Avenue and 49th Street, I saw famous international magazines had printed special issues of the royal wedding. But in sudden turn of event, the whole media focus shifted from London to Pakistan.
For me, Hotel Millennium seems to have a common thread with both the events. As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, I was in this Hotel when 9/11 took place. I had seen the twin towers coming down from the window of my hotel room. Now, after 10 years, like an action replay here I am again in the very same Hotel reading about the killing of the very same perpetrator and master mind behind 9/11 and also witnessing a public outburst of people's emotions.
I even saw a hawker selling pictures of The Statue of Liberty holding up a severed head of Osama Bin Laden. The New York Times reported “....the history's most expansive, expensive and exasperating manhunt was over.”
In the evening I went to an Indian restaurant Junoon near Madison Square on the 24th Street. Junoon and Tulsi are the two Indian restaurants that have recently come up in New York city. Both are elegant and well decorated and in situated in posh locales.
Tulsi has modern Indian fusion food while Junoon maintains original Indian food. Though Junoon is much bigger than Tulsi, I wasn't at all impressed with the quality of food. Also, there aren't many Indian service staff and it is bit difficult to make them understand Indian food.
I had gone to Junoon with a lot of expectations but apart from the decor and the ambience there isn't much to talk about. Seems it is aimed at catering to the foreign clients. But yes! They have a spice room which is quite impressive. They use freshly grounded spices everyday.
I told one of the senior servers, a Nepali, about my observations on the quality of food. I told him that I really liked the food in Tulsi. He admitted that no one can beat Chef Hemant Mathur and when it comes to Indian food, he was the best.
Junoon also has a bar lounge and a waiting area. I met the restaurant's Chef de Cuisine, Walter D'Rozario, who showed us the spice room located at the ground floor. He was born in Rowdan Street, Kolkata and lived in the Tangra area. He left Kolkata some 20 years back and has worked at Taj President, Mumbai.
In this trip I have done enough research on Indian food and restaurants. I leave for Canada today evening.
ess bee

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