Monday, March 29, 2010

Discovery of 31 items in Philippines

Discovery of 31 items in Philippines

Waiting at Manila Airport (Philippines) for Boarding on Flight SQ 417 to Singapore….I was assessing last 2 weeks I spent in Republic of the Philippines and thought lets write on 31 interesting/new items observed/did/found/tried out during my stay in Philippines –
1. Forgot my Camera in the car, I realized it after final security check. I met Mumbai Airport Security chief, understood the process and got back the camera without reversing security stamp, immigration stamp and boarding pass.
2. Saw 9 Episodes of “Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya hi Kijo” on ZeeTV (Hindi) which was one of the two known channels.
3. Religiously watched “pravachan” of a Punjabi Baba every morning at 6.00am on Doordarshan while getting ready for the office and “Taara” on Doordarshan Delhi.
4. Patiently tolerated recently USA returned Ms. Imee Benjamin’s echo statement “Very Very American… I am telling you, they are Very Very American”.
5. Watched live taping of ABS-CBN (local channel) teleserye “Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo” – super-Action daily soaps in the hotel lobby. Also tried unsuccessfully to get role as a passerby in the tape. Hero was stud like Rohan Datar. Actress was also stud like ... I dont know.
6. Any person wearing a Tie or a blazer is pre-fixed with “Sir” in Philippines.
7. Heard IPL Cricket Highlights (only) at Doordarshan National News at 9.00pm.
8. Watched Cycling, Arrow Shooting, Sky Jumping etc. sports on Euro Sports channel and also a Japanese Sumo match on NHK sports channel, then a recorded Tennis doubles match between Sampras-Fedrer vs. Agasi-Nadal on ESPN.
9. Lunched ONLY SALADS for 10 days.
10. Out of internet connection/bad internet connection during most of the stay.
11. Heard continuous bombarding of anti-America on Russian Times (RT) news channel.
12. Saw a daily soap in Filipino language for 4 days and tried to digest it.
13. Ate “Spiciest” Chinese noodles at Chow King, which was below children level compared to India.
14. Dined vegetable sandwich at Olivier’s Super Sandwich after walking for 1 hour. Worth taste.
15. Met a beautiful skin specialist doctor for my facial skin infection….she cured me 7 days (do not interpret it Indian context).
16. Watched a special report on illegal detentions by FBI in USA on RT News channel.
17. Unsuccessfully tried to boil milk in Microwave Oven Toaster!
18. Lived without breakfast for 5 days and thereafter only Cornflakes with milk. Filipinos eat meat even at breakfast :( .
19. Messed in road crossing due to reverse driving rules (American) and heavy traffic in Manila.
20. Watched a movie where the Hero dies after 20 minutes and becomes a Dog….then he observes his family and his best friend.
21. Tried out Fruit Salad at Star Megamall….but unknown fruits and hence strange taste.
22. Peacefully Observed a wild Friday party at a Disco Pub in Metro Manila.
23. Restless and begged/implored for Tea/Coffee for first 11 days, but then accepted.
24. Hated smell of Philippines made cigarettes smoked on roads by people.
25. Visited manufacturing company as a customer after 8 years. In my opinion, all manufacturing companies in the world have same style of premises, mind-set and cultures.
26. Philippines have built their economy on their own. Food and Malls (trading) appears to be major players in the economy. Filippinos are nice people, very very hard-worker.
27. Explained how cricket is played to 2 Filipino friends. Trust me... it is not easy.
28. Thought that Philippines Government never counted its population….or may be it has countless population.
29. A 6 years old girl was smoking cigarette on the street with utmost ease.
30. Shamshu Lakhdir became my friend on FaceBook!
31. Successfully claimed for damaged baggage for third time in past 2 years. But now feels that fault is with my bag quality and not with Airline’s handling/loading.

Disclaimer: The writer of the blog do not intend to assualt any person, country, religion, caste. Please read the blog post with humor flavour. The opinions expressed in the blog post are writer's personal opinions/judgments and may not constitute unbiased thoughts. Any action taken on the basis of any line of the blog post will be the sole responsibility of the reader.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

EAT PUNE 06 - Top 10 Misal Spots in Pune

EAT PUNE 06 - Top 10 Misal Spots in Pune
Hmm….this is the post I reserved since long. Although I am known for my Misal craze, let me de-secret interesting facts that existed before I started eating Misal. Till 10th Standard, I avoided Sambhar in hotels since it was too spicy for me. Although my mother makes Konkanastha Bramhni style sambhar at home, I always stayed away from it. My wife loved spicy food before marriage (she has changed now…and prefers to avoid spicy food). So to make her happy, we shared Schezwan Chinese Rice and I then topped it up with sugar. Suddenly about 5 years ago, I started trying out spicy food and then…….now I eat super spciy Misals like an alcoholic food.
Now, there you go with top 10 Misal spots in Pune –
1. Aba Pawar aka Shri Kala Snacks Centre, Rasta Peth: I won at least 7 bets of de-ranking all other Misal spots in Pune. It is an open challenge to all Misal lovers to taste and then rank this patent spot of misal…..it should be 1. Undoubtedly BEST taste followed with customized spice level. This hotel started about 30 years back, owned by Mr. Aba Pawar. Interesting style of facing wall while eating which ensures that you are focused. A steel make ‘Dabba’ containing ‘Thecha’ made of up of fresh green chilies. Misal made up of chiwda, pohe, beans and farsan-shev etc. You may order spicy ‘Kut’ on top.
Now, After Misal – you must enjoy – 1) Shengdana Ladu 2) Khajur Ladu 3) Butter milk – all three home made. My combination is – 2 glass of butter milk + 3 Khajur Ladu + 1 Shengdana Ladu......
Located on lane opposite to Kings Edwards Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Rasta Peth, 5 minutes drive from Pune Railway Station. Lane starts with Ganesh Temple. This hotel is also crowded with Hamals (low class labours) as it serves them food at low cost. Car parking is also possible in adjacent lanes.
2. Shree Misal: Now, this rank may be debated. But dear readers, it is Shree Misal who taught me eat spicy misal. Owner is also Konkanastha Brahmin. Made up of Poha. Tease waiter for less spicy taste….i did it once but then punished (gifted) with terror spicy misal. Butter milk is worth trying. Located at lane adjacent to Ramesh Dying in Sadashiv Peth. Branch opposite to N. D. Thakarsi Kanya Shala on Kelkar Road (next to Mandar Lodge). Parking for two wheeler is easy at both places, but for four wheelers either you can find place near Khunya Murlidhar temple/Peruget Police Chauki (3 minutes drive) OR at Vijay Cricket Club parking near Patrya Maruti Chauk (safe park, 4 minutes drive). Hotel closes generally by 4 or till the stock exists.
3. Bedekar Misal: Interesting (in American language), but Misal lover should try it out. Bedekar Misal is probably most popular misal junction in Pune. Mr. Bedekar (owner) warmly welcomes you with big smile. He personally encourage you to try various versions of Misal and sweet dishes too. Mr. Bedekar force you to top Misal with Shahi Tukda !! and then top up your bill too ;). Hotel closes generally by 4 or till the stock exists. Located near Patrya Maruti temple, off Lakshmi Road.
4. Shri Krishna Bhuvan: Another old and popular spot run by JOSHIs. This hotel was known for closing out during noon hours. But the next generation of the hotel owner have changed work hours and is now open throughout the day. Different style of make of misal. Butter Milk is must try out. NO NO NO for Spicy misal lovers. Located on Mandai end of Tulshibaug. I hate Tulshibaug though.
5. Kaata-Kirrr Misal: Typical Kolhapuri style misal. Wait….Kolhapuri does not necessarily mean spicy in taste. In Kolhapuri style Misal, the ‘rassa’ contains more amount of water. So…’Puneris’ may not like it.
Kaata-Kirrr Owner claims that he was born-brought up in Shahunagari at Kolhapur. Misal taste is perfect Kolhapur style. Option of extra spicy Misal available on request. Buttermilk is of ordinary quality... oh sorry in Kolhapur they call it as 'Mattha'. Located opposite to Garware College of Commerce, next to Airtel Gallary on Karve Road.
6. Nevale Misal: Mr. Bobby aka Shailesh Bhor – an ex-approvian challenged Aba Pawar Misal during lunch for taste and spicy level. So…immediate next day morning, me and my colleague Mr. Abhijit Joshi went to Chinchwad to eat Nevale Misal on my motorcycle. Taste was indeed good, but still cannot compete with Aba Pawar Misal. No buttermilk available !!! I hate such Misal houses where buttermilk is not available. Buttermilk helps to digest misal appropriately. Located at Moraya Chauk in Chinchwad, next to a Masjid. Car parking not feasible at least near 500 mtrs.
7. Ghorpade Misal: Located in the heart of Khadki Bajar. Good taste, but more use of Farsan and Papdi. Buttermilk is not available.
8. Ramnath Misal: Although regular misal eaters may not like getting Ramnath into Top 10 list, but since it is one of the oldest Misal house in Pune and equally popular, I have to refer this spot. Known for super-spicy taste, Ramnath Misal contains beans and fried poha. They charge you extra for Onion and Lemon. I hate this !! The ‘Kat Rassa’ contains heavy use of oil. Some people may not to be able to digest the oil. My two friends – Mr. Abhijit Joshi and Mr. Prashant Kukde can drink this danger spicy ‘Kat Rassa’. Located next to Maharashtra Mandal/Sahitya Parishad / Konkanastha Chit-pavan Sangh Office on Tilak Road.
9. Misal stall on Income Tax Office Lane: Very good Misal. This stall is located 100 meters on right in Karve Road Income Tax Office Lane (from Karve Road). These guys serve Misal only for breakfast. They fry chilly on oil and thereby make it dangerously spicy. Misal basic taste is good. No place to seat as it is a street hawker.
10. PYC Hindu Gymkhana: There were 3 contenders for 10th Place – PYC Hindu Gymkhana, Prabha Vishranti Gruha – Narayan Peth, Shri Datta Snacks – Express Highway. After careful, analysis I chose PYC Hindu Gymkhana located at Deccan. Traditional Puneri type misal. I will define it as ‘Family Misal’…not real spicy in taste. The only disadvantage for Misal lovers is – ‘Maahol nahi jamta yaahan pe’ ;).

Outside Pune Misals – I have tasted Mamledar Misal – Thane (Nice Taste), Murud Naka Misal - Dapoli (Different taste), Jamsandekar Misal – At & Post Jamsande Tal. Devgad, Dist. Sindhudurg (Good one).

Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to provide reader with interesting food spots in Pune. The spots referred in the blog have only been recommended by writer and unfortunately, he does not hold any control on reader’s tongue ;). It also does not mean that writer never eats at home or writer’s wife cannot cook the food. Please talk to writer before making any perception in this regard.