Friday, 11 January 2013

Phuket-James Bond Island and Phang Nga

James bond Island and Phang Nga

 Touted as the one of the most beautiful places to visit in Asia is Phan Nga in Thailand. The beauty of the place is truly God's work.

Online booking can be easily made through many tour operators. We had Booked a tour to James bond island and Phang Nga for 1800 Baht  per adult. This was a full day tour from 7AM to 6PM which included pick up and drop(hotel) and lunch.It included a trip to James bond Island,Phang Nga and Naka island by the big boat.

 After cruising for 1.5hrs we reached James bond island,we were there for 30 mins.

James Bond pose:)
James Bond Island, known originally and locally as Ko Tapu or Nail Island, found fame through the 1974 Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun". The film starred Roger Moore and Christopher Lee.
After taking pictures at James bond Island,we were taken to the big boat again.Lunch was served on the boat itself,the lunch was simple and good. We cruised for another 1 hr or so to reach the beautiful Phang Nga,where we canoed .
Phang Nga Bay is a 400 km² bay in the Andaman ses between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. Since 1981, an extensive section of the bay has been protected as the Ao Phang Nga National Park.

 Limestone cliffs with caves, collapsed cave systems and archaeological sites are found about Phang Nga Bay. Some 10,000 years ago, when sea levels were lower, one could walk from Phuket and Krabi.

 Exploring Sea cave lagoons and Panak Island by Sea canoe.
 It was a lifetime experience.Such beauty cannot be described in words.This is one of the must places to visit before you die.

Swimming at Naka Island

And this was something very special that happened,we had seen only in pictures,raining somewhere far.The trip was totally worth.

Multiple Shades of the sea!! magnificent

On the boat!
The tour was made truly truly wonderful thanks to our tour operators. We all danced and sang and enjoyed ourselves. This made this trip one of the most memorable and fin filled days ever!! :) 

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Recommendation: Booking Site-  These guys were really good,we had a gala time on the boat.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Phuket-Tri Trang Beach Resort!

Phuket is one of the hottest holiday destinations. Those looking for some fantastic beach holiday may want to visit Phuket. It has something to offer for everyone. From those who are seeking risque entertainment to those who want to spend some time in the lap of nature's beauty.
We reached Phuket at 9 in the night via a 1.5 hour flight from Bangkok.We took a pre-paid cab from the airport to the hotel for 800 Bhat, which is steep but the ride was comfortable. The other option is a shared Van which would take you to Bangla street from where you would have to take a Tuk Tuk to reach the hotel
We selected Tri Trang Beach resort after parsing through the options that the internet searches was throwing to us.The resort has its own private beach with corals,free wi-fi and 2 swimming pools and its close to Patong beach. Since October is not a holiday season we got a good deal on the room-rates as well. All this sounded like a reasonable package. 

The resort is neat and well maintained. From fitness to spa to private beach they have all that you would ask from a decent resort. The staff is friendly as well. The rooms were big and neat. They have ocean view rooms as well. Each room has a balcony attached to it.The view from our floor was amazing.

Start your morning swimming and strolling on the private beach!!

Private Beach and the view. Not bat at all!!!

The view of the corals from the balcony. The water is crystal clear.

 NOTE :Be warned that this place is about 5-6 Kms from the Bangla street, where all the actions happens. To make things easier the hotel has shuttle service that runs thrice in a day. Other option is to book a taxi for 200 Baht from the hotel to the Bangla street.While coming back the TukTuk (as they call it in Thailand) will charge 300 Baht from Bangla street to the hotel.
 This would add to your expenses but for those who want peace and quiet but still want to stay close enough to jump in the middle of the action whenever they want, staying in Tri Trang is not a bad idea.

The pool near our room. Nice backdrop
The only chance we had to eat there was the breakfast. The best part was the view the restaurant offered,having breakfast with a view of the sea-Priceless. What a refreshing start to the day
The restaurant
The view from the table

We loved the breakfast.The pancakes were amazing so were the french toasts.The maple syrup could have been a bit better tough.There were  not many options for vegetarians but were good enough to fill the stomach.We overate on both days.There was a live counter for omelets.There were 3 juices.Salad spread was good too and they were quite good to taste as well.They had a variety of rice on both the days,rice was well cooked with flavors coming out really well.

And we ate and ate and ate !!!!!!

Next day before checking out we decided to snorkel after breakfast.the equipments are kept next to the restaurant,they charge 100Bhat for the Snorkel.

The water is crystal clear,one can see fishes with the naked eye as well.
The corals are not colorful.We were quite astonished to see so many fishes.We snorkeled for the first time, so this hotel is going to be special for us.It was a  totally different experience.

First Time Snorkeling :)
Lovely stay. Recommended :)

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Monday, 7 January 2013

Tuscana on Chamiers

Tuscana on Chamiers launched their new menu on 12.12.12. A memorable date and to top it up Rajnikanth's birthday :).

The management had invited bloggers to try the new menu . The event was scheduled for 4:30PM and as excited as I was I, reached around 4:20PM itself. I had heard a lot about this place from friends, blogs and food-groups on Facebook .This was my very first visit to the place. It is not difficult to locate the place as it is next to a known landmark of Sheraton park hotel .

The first impression of the place was inline with my expectation as the place looked classy. I was greeted well at the gate and their gluten-free menu standee stood proudly near the entry gate. The menu was being showcased on the 1st floor.
We were served juices as welcome drink. Thereafter I tried hummus before anything else and it was good; just the way I like and similar to how I make it at home. The place started filling up with people with bloggers, members of Chennai Food Guide (CFG) club and from food review sites like Zomato. Vipin Sachdev, the owner, arrived after a short while and explained the menu to all of us and how the gluten free pizza has become a rage. The main attraction of the place was the multi grain pizza which was being added to the menu.

The Table!

Vipin Sachdev kept his guests entertained all the time by interacting with them and talking about his experiences as an owner.

We were served starters too; the first one was
Bruschetta of tomato,pepperonata,mushrooms and feta!
The tender chicken with parmesan cheese could have been a bit softer. Personally I like my chicken to be tender, not sure that the chicken was kept that way deliberately. .
Parmesan crusted chicken tenders with mustard and herbs.
Stuffed,Black and Jumbo olives with orange zest,herbs and extra virgin olive oil!
The tartlets were amazing too. Tender cheese with bits of veggies thrown in. The base was soft and crispy.

Cauliflower, leeks,carrot and yellow cheddar tart-lets!
We were told the pizza would be there any moment. Once the pizza started coming in there was no stopping the procession. One pizza came after the next. The first to arrive were the thin crust pizzas and it was good to taste but the base could have been a bit better. Then again it is a matter of personal choice and its best left to the option of customisation for individual customers.
Thin Crust Veg Pizza!
I had been hearing a lot about the gluten free menu and got a chance to taste oneFirst to arrive was Al Pesto- Feta cheese with mozzarella, pistachio pesto and fresh greens of spinach, broccoli and asparagus. The base is made of Bajra that is Gluten free. A really healthy option for pizza lovers. Good for health with hardly any compromise on taste. Bajra is very fibrous and healthy, unlike the regular flour used for making pizza bases .

Al Pesto !
The most awaited pizza of the evening was the multi grain pizza. Well as the name suggests ,the multi grain flour is used for making the pizza base. Its nice to see how the top restaurant are including more and more healthy options in their menu or making the unhealthy ones healthy so we can enjoy the taste and yet not worry about any health issues .Finally the multi grain were served hot straight from the oven. The pizza was nice, I liked the toppings of all the pizzas with the right amount of veggies and cheese .
Multi-grain veg pizza!
Lastly the desserts were served. There were 2 of them; coffee with agar agar and Tuscana's signature vanilla pannacotta.I do not personally like coffee in my desserts so did not quite like the coffee one. The vanilla pannacotta was out of the world, I was too full but could not leave it for anything :).A must try at Tuscana.
Reduced coffee cream dessert with agar agar!!

Traditional Vanilla Panna Cotta with compote of berries!!
The new menu is officially being served from 15/12/2012.Met a lot of people from Chennai food guide,Zomato :)Overall had a nice evening with some great food. Thanks Neha for inviting .It was a delight to meet Mr.Vipin.We were all given a CD of their new menu as we left.

Location-TUSCANA on CHAMIERS by WIlli, No. 89, Chmaiers Road, Alwarpet, Chennai - 35, Diagonally opp. Park Sheraton IN GATE.
Ph No-044 4500 0008
Timings-Lunch between 12.30pm & 3.30pm & dinner between 6.30pm & 11.30pm

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Azzuri Bay!!

Azzuri Bay known for their Mediterranean, Italian, Chinese, Pan-Asian, Chettinad cuisine. After trying out this place for a number of times,we finally decided to review it.We were impressed in our first visit itself but we did not want to review until we tried a few more dishes.
You need to make a reservation here,especially on weekends and Fridays chances are you might not get a place.So,in our first visit we did not get the rooftop and so we booked for the 2nd floor.
As you enter the place,there is a white Buddha Statue,looks peaceful.your reservation is checked downstairs and then you go upstairs by the lift.
Buddha at the entrance

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Roof Top
We love the Thai
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Pan Asian Veg Platter

Spring Rolls

Crispy Corns

Cheese Wonton

Burnt Garlic Rice

Thai Red Curry!