Archive for December, 2013

Christmas Trip to the UK

December 24, 2013 4 comments

BBC's Ultimate roast beefThe British MuseumJude Law as Henry V

When it comes to Christmas and Year-end holidays, we Salazars are very much set in our ways: we celebrate at home with an over-large tree decorated with ornaments saved over decades; of course, cookies; Christmas music 24 x 7 that always includes at least one playing of The Waitresses 1981 should-have-been-a-hit Christmas Wrapping; then Christmas Eve dinner at home and Christmas Day dinner with good friends Tom and Meredith.

Alas, this year our traditional celebration is not in the cards.  Rather than open up our home from storage-mode, stock food, etc., we decided to all meet elsewhere for the holiday.  And, where better than London, a place Kim and I have long had on our when-will-we-visit-there list.

The plan is already packed: We all arrive early Christmas Day; then it’s off to afternoon Christmas Dinner at the strangely named Scoff & Banter; then, back to the hotel to watch the debut of the twelfth Doctor on BBC One.  Boxing Day is for some shopping, then a matinee of The Mousetrap.  Friday we see Jude Law in Henry V.  Then its visits to the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert, and the Tower of London.  We all depart for our respective homes morning of New Year’s Eve, I’m sure all properly exhausted.

I’m sure we’ll report on our travels during the coming week.  Meanwhile, whether you stay or go, we hope the holiday brings you joy.  Be well.

Categories: Travel

Kapila Kathi Kebab

December 22, 2013 1 comment

 Kapila Kathi Kebab menuCooking baida roti on the tawaAssembling some baida roti

Yesterday we were not in the mood to cook, but neither were we in the mood for the production of going to a restaurant.  I had the idea of trying baida roti – a kind of fast-food where a roti is lightly fried, coated with egg, then used to roll a variety of fillings.  Probably the top place to get baida roti here in Pune is Kapila Kathi Kebab, so off we went.

Set on barely 100 sq feet at a busy corner on Dhole Patil Rd., KK Kebab has no tables; you eat while standing, or in your car, or you get “parcel” – the way you say “take out” here.  In a way it is the ultimate food experience: Just food, prepared while you watch and put into your hand by the cook.  Also, as you get there you see this is exactly the sort of place Tony Bourdain would go to, so it’s worth a try on that basis alone.

The verdict: Great.  The rotis themselves had excellent flavor, kind of like a fresh white-flour tortilla but made rich with the egg and the ghee for frying.  The filling – chicken, fresh onion, and the ubiquitous green coriander-and-chili chutney – was spiced just right, with just enough heat and a bit of cardamom, cinnamon, or both, underneath.

I went by KK Kebab around 6:30 pm and, frankly I expected more of a crowd, but aside from 1-2 others, it was just me and Morgan ordering.  I think these guys need a business plan.  When you think how shawarma-like these rolls are I think the plan is pretty obvious:

If it worked with the Avengers is can work with Krrish, India’s super-hero:


So, KK Kebab is you’re listening, get on the phone and start dealing – next year I want to see Krrish Kapila Kathi Kebab.

Categories: Expat life, Food

A Haircut

December 8, 2013 2 comments

Fernando's haircut

Here in Pune I get my hair cut at A Cut in Time barbershop, located in the Boat Club Road area only about 4 or so kilometers from my flat.  Some months back I posted a picture of a roadside barber; these are very common across the city.  However driver Rupesh recommends this place as better quality, and I’m always happy to have him guide me in matters of this sort.  The cuts I get here are good, though a bit reminiscent of the Kennedy Administration.

This shop provides a great many services:

Barber's price list

At Rs. 50, a haircut is less than $1.

I have not yet dared the chest-hair trim, but I have sampled the head massage with oil.  Among the oils you can choose from is a rather terrifying fire-engine red substance – this I declined, and instead selected olive oil – extra virgin of course.  The experience was both relaxing and invigorating, though the waft of olive oil that followed me the rest of the day kept me much in the appetite for shrimp scampi.

Categories: Expat life, Pictures