Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

At Prince's School and khana at Gymkhana

10 July, 2014, Dubai: I am at the Dubai airport en route to Kolkata from London. The last few days in London were very busy. On 7 July (Monday) I went for a dinner at Mr Om Chohan's residence in London.
The next day I visited The Prince's School of Traditional Arts (PSTA) which is a very unique institution founded in 2004 by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.
I was invited by Sir David Green to the School which runs educational programmes to rekindle awareness in the traditional arts and aims to encourage appreciation of the universal values that are fundamental to the great traditions of the world.
I was really impressed by the work in progress and came to know that 10 students from across the globe are given a chance to enroll for a two year course. Two of these seats are reserved for students from Brunei. I wonder if it is possible to work out a similar arrangement for an Indian student.
I went to another Indian restaurant in London called Dishoom with Sir David Green. It was a very nostalgic experience amid fantastic ambience that recreated the old world charm of Parsi restaurants of Mumbai. The dishes were truly from the old Bombay days. 
On 8 July I met Sharmila Tagore over a cup of coffee. Later, I went to the Gymkhana restaurant which was reported in one of the leading Indian newspapers of having bagged the top position, beating the best UK restaurants, in the latest National Restaurant Award list. Since this was the first time an Indian restaurant had achieved such a feat, I decided to pay a visit. It was tough getting a reservation and I had to make few phone calls to get one done.
The khana (food) at Gymkhana was not up to my liking. I went there with great expectations but it was a let down. Though an Indian restaurant, the food was not at all cut out for the Indian palate. 
The restaurant manager informed me that their chef was someone who had taught the craft to the chefs of Banaras restaurant in London. My earlier dining experience at Banaras was not so pleasant with hardly any choice for Indian vegetarian food. I feel they are more geared up to cater to the non-Indian palate.
I am out of Kolkata for quite some time now and am beginning to miss the city.
ess bee

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