Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Tourist's eye and a foodie's confession

View of Statue of Liberty from Hudson River
From New York: I have never seen New York from a tourist's point of view. After a late night on Saturday, I set out on a city tour on Sunday which included cruising along the Hudson (picture) on a steamer.
I either stay away from things or get deep into it. 
Helipad near Manhattan
So after the guided tour of the city – on land and by river - on Sunday, I went in for an aerial tour of the city in a chopper on Monday morning. Whether on land, sea or air you see the same things – The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, UN building, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre (picture) and so on. 
At the Rockefeller Centre, New York
There's nothing that I have not seen before. But seeing New York from a tourist's eye is a new experience altogether.
On Sunday evening after the tour, I went to the Tulsi restaurant again and met Hemant Mathur. He happens to be the very chef who had started the Sonar Gaon restaurant inTaj Bengal, Kolkata. From Kolkata, Hemant went to Germany where he set up a couple of Indian joints and then came this venture in a posh location in New York.
Being a Sunday the restaurant was a little less busy but Hemant had prepared so many different Indian cuisines. I was amazed with the presentation and quality of Indian food at Tulsi. The only other place I recall having seen such fine presentation was at the celebrity chef Vineet Bhalla's Indigo restaurant in Dubai.
While at the Indian Mission I came to know about Tulsi and Hemant. Initially I thought it was chef Heman Oberoi's joint but found it was Hemant Mathur of Sonar Gaon fame.
I also had a mocktail of fresh saffron juice, tamrind with orange flavour and some special masala. I have never had such nice mocktail till date in any of the Indian food joints. The mocktail was prepared by Nirupama Srivastava, a friend of Hemant, who was visiting him from California where she is into wine tasting. She has profound knowledge about cocktails, mocktails and wines.
I am at a loss to understand why can't we get Indian food like Tulsi's or Indigo's here in India. Or is it that all the good chefs, like the software engineers, have left our shores for greener pastures.
ess bee

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