Man follows his passion for cooking

Check out this interesting story of a chef in NY. Originally from India, he went on the become a chef after a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry.

I’m out of the restaurant on weekends, and people at Tabla know not to call me unless they really need to. I spend that time at home with my family, cooking three meals a day. It drives my wife insane. She doesn’t understand why I can’t just relax and eat cold cereal. I tell her I don’t think of cooking as work. I really love what I do.

Hunan Chili in Mountain View

I have visited Hunan Chilli restaurant on Castro Street in Mountain View several times in the past. The most recent visit seemed no different until the day after. I was hit by food poisoning (or possibly a stomach flu). The net result was that I ended up with non-stop vomiting for an entire day! Never ever experienced anything like this ever before. Everything I ate or drank came right out. It was a dreadful experience.

In general, I have liked the food at this restaurant. I have no idea if my sickness had anything to do with my visit there. But it sure sounds like it because I hardly ate anything else that entire day (barring some home made soup at night). I plan to stay away from there for the foreseeable future! Presently, I am on the road to recovery and hope I have no further surprises in store for me!

Omar Restaurant in Kannur, Kerala

If you are hungry late at night and in a mood for normal food (by this I mean not fast food or the Denny’s variety), small towns in India have plenty to offer. I was recently in Kannur in North Kerala and found myself in exactly this predicament. I was happy to find Omar restaurant very close to the Kannur Railway station. It was close to midnight. There were a few people at the restaurant! It took them close to 15-20 minutes to get the food, causing me to believe that the food was fresh. This was further confirmed by the fact that the food tasted great.

Gulistan: Another Shalimar Alternative

Gulistan Restaurant
34579 Alvarado Niles Rd
Union City,CA,94587
Telephone: 510 471-6536

If you are a big fan of Pakistani food and a frequent visitor of Shalimar or Pakwan in the bay area, I recently discovered an alternative that you might want to try. The place is relatively small, clean and homely. It appears to be family run and the owners are Bangladeshis. So if you like Bengali food, Gulistan might be an interesting option especially because of some fish menu items. Price-wise, this restaurant is a little more expensive than Shalimar. Nevertheless, worth a try.

Cedar’s: Great Lebanese Restaurant in Chennai

If you are interested in non-desi food in Chennai, check out Cedar’s in Kotturpuram (I don’t know the exact location, if I am not mistaken its not far from Gandhi Mandapam) which serves Lebanese food.

The food is excellent. The restaurant feels more like a house with an upstairs, terrace etc., so you don’t feel like you are eating at a restaurant, which is nice. There was nice middle eastern music playing all along. To add to this, when asked, the cook and the waiters (all Indians trained under a Lebanese cook who worked here for 2+ years) are capable of "radiating lots of fundas" about the food and the cooking, like you normally observe in western countries. The costs average about Rs. 300+ per dish. Sheesha (hookah) is also available at the restaurant.

The picture shows the cook (Sundar) and the waiter (Milton), both were very impressive with their knowledge of Lebanese food.

Restaurant Review: Monsoon Cuisine of India

Restaurant: Monsoon Cuisine of India
Location: Castro Street, Mountain View, CA

I had been to this restaurant sometime last year shortly after it opened for the first time. The food at that time appeared to be good, like most Indian restaurants do in their early days. In general, I prefer to avoid buffets at Indian restaurants mostly because it fills you up no matter how little you eat (thanks to the generous use of baking soda). However, Indian restaurants are the safest bet from a variety point of view for strict vegetarians. I was taking a friend of mine to lunch and chose Monsoon Cuisine of India based on my prior experience at this restaurant sensitive to the fact that it might have deteriorated since my last visit more the 6 months back. Boy I was disappointed to find that the quality had come down quite dramatically. There was plenty of empty space with no chairs or tables (a sign of difficult times perhaps). Barring this, the decor and ambiance seems to have sustained the passage of time.

However, the variety of the food was far from impressive, and whatever was available didn’t appear very fresh either. Wonder if this was all because of the weekend? I guess I’ll never know because I don’t intend to visit this restaurant for some time to come, weekend or otherwise!