- Once in a while we all back out from our travel plan in the moment. Bigger problem comes in picture when u have confirmed ticket which by default will be cancelled & others who were travelling are either in RAC or WL. Best part comes when all have confirmed ticket but the ticket which we want to cancel is lower berth & all others are not. Try to recall what all permutation & combination takes place in our thought process. (more…)
My Travel Diaries
The Great Kabab Factory
You salivate when thinking about a particular food, it means it has activated your gastronomical pleasures. Even while writing this I am experiencing the same, I went back into the delicious memory of those aromatic, tantalising, full of spices yummy kebabs.
Its 2.5 months back during my Bangkok trip, When we were informed that an Indian restaurant is booked exclusively for us for our lunch, first thing in my mind came cool, something of our taste but was not sure about the taste of food, will it trigger our taste buds or not as my last 3 meals were good but not great, (great in my definition is which gives u feeling of satisfaction even after eating little). Still trusting our host we reach to the restaurant “The Great Kabab Factory” which is in the premises of Majestic Grand Hotel.
As soon as I entered inside the Restaurant & first thing is WOW!! Beautiful interiors, Soothing Indian Ambience, Awesome aroma of spices. I took deep breathe. Half battle won by them. U somehow feel that you are standing in some posh restaurant in India. It was lovely. Even weather was in our favour. Its black clouds all around, little drizzling when we reached & later nice shower… wow… outer part of restaurant has open space with small fountain at one corner & nice sitting. I soaked myself little in the rain. Amazing experience.
Hospitality was good. After Settling down we were asked about the preferences of food (veg/non veg). Being vegetarian I was served Sabz Galauti Kababs with ulte tawa ka Parantha… OHH man, one of the best kebab I had ever eaten. They just melt in your mouth. Even paneer was so fresh & soft that u feel like eating again n again. I got so lost in eating the kebabs that it didn’t clicked to me that main course is also waiting for me. I was too full but still tasted the main course & loved their Dal.
Typical Ghar ka sawad which was followed by gulabjamun. WOW!! Is just very small to describe my feeling & the level of satisfaction. This was followed by our very own Masala Chai. What a deadly combination… Rains, Kebabs & Masala Chai.
Their flavours & taste was so amazing that after getting back to India I came in contact with them to know what makes their kebabs so amazing & whether its same in India also or just for offshore. What I came to know was very interesting & something with which I was not aware.
Its after Mongols invasion in Hindukush in 14th century, kabab changed their appearance n taste from just a barbequed salted meat to spiced & barbequed delicious smoky kebabs.
Secret recipe is the key factor in TGKF which owns owns a recipe bank of over 450 kababs that includes many closely guarded family recipes passed down through the ages. Our chefs have mastered this through extended travel to remote areas and after a decade of extensive research and development. The best part all the outlet use TGKF proprietary ‘Spice Packs’ which gives consistency of taste & quality to dish worldwide.
Unique service style is another key factor of TGKF .A different menu is set for each day except their signature kabab as the Galauti and the Burrah. Culinary journey at TGKF begins with fresh salad topped with dressing followed by the repertoire of six varieties of rusty & smoky kababs accompanied with butter milk. In the main course, you are served daal factory, daal tadka, biryani, and the best of seasonal vegetables, vegetarian or non-vegetarian curries along with exotic Indian breads. To end this royal meal, you are served an assortment of sumptuous and delightful desserts. You carry these tastes till your next visit. There few of most famous kebabas are Subz Galauti ,Kuti Kali Mirch Paneer,Tandoori Bharwan Aloo & Achari Khumbh in veg. In Non-vegetarian Galauti Kabab,Burrah Kabab, Amritsari Macchi & Jalandhari Chooza
It is the part of UMAK Hospitality an arm of UMAK investments. They opened their first outlet in Delhi at Radisson Blue Hotel in 1996. There after their journey started & no looking back after that. Graced with lots of awards their consistency in their food has bought them to this stage. Maintaining the consistent quality, taste & service, the top management gives credit to their dedicated corporate operations team who do lot of R&D & then enter into the specific market. Quiet interesting….
Now by the time I ended my review naaa my experience, I had already put on few calories merely by thinking about food…. A must try by all food lovers.
I am going soon back to them but this time in pune … trust me can’t think of something better than gorging on those yummy kebabs with romantic weather on your birthday.… just few days…
See u soon ….
My hour long travel from Suvarnbhumi Airport to Hotel Centara Grand was with lots of mixed feelings…Comparatively small country but nice building, there was traffic jam while going towards my hotel. Finally reached our adobe for 2 days. With warm welcome by beautiful Thai girls dressed in traditional Thai outfit with coconut water & beautiful orchid garland. U will find a huge variety of Orchids in Thailand. Even while coming back u can purchase Orchids on Airport. Considered as one of the best hotel, Grand Centara was indeed up to the mark. Loved the room located on 40th floor facing swimming pool & few beautiful buildings.
Getting good veg food there is a problem as you get limited options to explore, but if you are a non-vegetarian or even eggitarian than you can explore lot of options. In total food was good. I liked there Thai sweet which has the egg in it. Also I liked there green tea flavoured Pastry, this was a new flavour for me. We got the opportunity to dine in their two restaurants “The World” & “Ginger”. I liked there lobby at level 22. There is one corner for the artist where few paintings were there on the display. Loved the décor of the hotel. Simple yet charming, it attracted me.
Attached to the Hotel was the Central World, world’s 6th largest mall. To explore it you need complete one day. I just took the walk on 2 floors but saw the entire ground floor where I loved the collection by “NARAYA” which has bags & other daily use stuff in clothes only. There is one small area converted into the chocolate park with huge tree of Ferro rocher & lot of animals carved from chocolate. It was awesome.
I even explored half of the 7th floor as it caters to super market. I did all my chocolate shopping from there only. To promote tourism here u get your VAT back but only if u shop from the participating shops. Market which caters to local business like MBK & Platinum doesn’t have this facility else Siam Paragon & Central world has. Other mall which I got chance to explore is MBK. I t also has 7 floors. Top floor Movie Theatre & few shops. What I get to know with my experience is more deep towards back u go, the better deal u will get. For souvenirs I found one shop on 7th floor as soon as I step down from escalator where I found things cheap than other shops. .. 5th floor is dedicated to mobile & Accessories. I again picked few typical Thai dress but I went deep inside… over all it was a nice experience. I got the feedback from people that for few things Platinum is cheaper as that mall was started to give local people a place for wholesale & retail dealing. Also go n visit the night market which is not very great but a good experience.
While travelling to wards the reclining Buddha Temple which is third biggest temple in Bangkok, we pass through the “The Grand Palace”, a spectacular building which use to be the home of King of Thailand, now used for all ceremonial & auspicious happenings.
The reclining Buddha is 46 feet long & 15 meters tall. They have 3 more layers below the layer of gold first being brick, second plaster & cement and the third is
black lacquer. The feet of Buddha are 5 metres long & has pearls & all other precious stones embedded in it. In fact pillow below Buddha’s head also has pearl & precious stones embedded in it. 108 is considered as auspicious number in Hindus, the same way it is considered as the auspicious number in Thailand. In this temple there are 108 brass bowls are kept where in each bowl u can put coin which are available at the gate. They say it full fill your wishes.
This temple is also considered as the “the leading school of mass
age “. On the back side of temple there is huge premises which leads towards massage school. It also has 4 Chapels there, made in the remembrance of four old kings. They are the mix of Thai & Chinese cultures. A good quiet place to roam around especially the part which caters chapel. Like Indian temples here also we have to remove our shoes outside the temple.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is popular tourist attraction and a food heaven for new generation gourmands who flock here after sunset to explore the vibrant street side cuisine. At day time, it’s no less busy, as hordes of shoppers descend upon this approx. 1 km stretch and Charoenkrung Road to get a day’s worth of staple, trade gold or pay a visit to one of the Chinese temple. The back street of this china town is also very popular as it caters to second hand goods, car accessories & usually crowded on weekends resulting in traffic jams.
We passed through the road where we saw these beautiful structures & a circle with beautiful carving. Here on special occasions like Royal Families’ birthday or anniversary or mother’s day etc. they display their pics along with the family pics in these structures which has place for pics. In fact our guide told us that here people wear very less gold but they purchase gold for their king & queen. Evening we headed for the cruise dinner on Chao Pharaya River which is in the heart of the city. U can see Rama 1Bridge, Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), The Royal Grand Palace (Wat Pra Kaew), Rama VIII Bridge…, all look
so beautiful. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. In fact I enjoyed every bit of my tour including typical Indian food that too in Bangkok. Yes, u read it right delicious Indian food. It was at “The Great Kebab Factory “. Authentic Indian taste & food was so yumm that you definitely want to visit them again & again. I simply loved the food that I decided to talk to them & want to have detail about them… so wait for next blog….
I missed going to few places like Jewels palace which has huge variety of pearls & semi-precious stones along with few souvenirs & Thai crockery, The weekend market “Chatuchak”, the floating market, Ocean world… now which is my must visit list.
Along with my special lunch at “ The Great Kebab Factory “ , I got in touch with so many lovely ladies & learned lot of good things from them. Also I got the chance to be the part of the show by internationally claimed EHUD SEGEV “The Mentalizer”. He has super powers to get connect to your mind & literally play with your thoughts. He can actually read you r thoughts. It was the Show stopper in my entire tour.
Before coming to end on this part I really like to thank our Host & it was wonderful to meet few youngsters (Sunaina, Pratikshya, Shashank, Anshu) from the organising team & no doubt their their boss (Simranjit) who at the end of our trip will love his wife more than before (for being less confused).
More on “the Great Kebab Factory” soon……
U can read more about Ehud Segev on this : http://www.mentalizer.com/
I absorbed the fact that I am travelling. Got little time to read about Bangkok, so was absolutely raw about the country. We headed to terminal 2 of Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport. What an airport… whatever I had heard about it, it was beyond that narration. Glad to know that it was awarded as the best airport in central Asia & India. After few selfie we headed towards the entrance gates, every entrance gate has electronic display to tell which airlines has their counters on that gate though u can enter from any gate & reach to respective airline counter.
I was travelling with Air India. There was long queue for check in. There I realised that it’s better to do online check in as u can choose seats of ur choice & most important you avoid long queue as there was a separate counter for online check in. U can do online check in using this link: https://fastcheck.sita.aero/cce-presentation-web-ai/entryUpdate.do . Keep Ur e-ticket number & passport number handy for online check in.
Crossing security we reached to immigration counter… 20 mins & I got the stamp… wow… now legally also I am travelling. After this I was free to explore the beautiful airport & it’s museum. Though didn’t had the much time to roam around. Still fell in love with whatever little I saw.
Started with the huge place dedicated with duty free shops especially the liquor. even a non drinker like me will get carried away (i was so much fascinated that almost my hubby got convinced to gift me one bottle as a remembrance 😉 ) though i didn’t picked any… 🙁 n with heavy heart i moved little ahead )
There was a nice small garden waiting for me,feels good to see greenery around you. Moving ahead there were the gates for boarding, so beautiful that i forgot to click pics. While heading towards my boarding gate (no 85), I got chance to see Mr. Ratan Tata, by the time I realized who he is I lost the chance to even wish him. But hoping for better luck i moved ahead towards Museum.
It has some ancient artifact , some modern & contemporary. It was beautiful showcasing entire India, it’s culture, it’s diversity, it’s uniqueness.. depicting different vibrating colours , moods, expressions of a beautiful soul where my heart is… INDIA. Clearly spreading message of
” अनेकता मे एकता “
Even the lights were done so beautifully, my favourite was lights in the shape of our national flower lotus. Some full bloomed, some half & some waiting to be bloomed. (Visit museum virtually: http://www.csia.in/atcsia/jayahe.aspx ).
Area around every boarding gates is also extremely beautiful. i felt that we should have 2-3 hrs free with us to explore it.
Being a silent airport u have to keep check on the time of boarding on Ur own otherwise there is fair chance to miss flight. I was just on time.
few pics of art work near boarding gate
Had nice 4.5 hrs flight & before landing staff gave us ” arrival & departure card “ of Thailand, which are a must whether u have visa or its visa on arrival.It’s a simple form which need your basic details.
If u already have visa than after landing go directly towards the immigration counter otherwise go to the visa on arrival section. Here u have to fill a form again with details. U will get this form while entering visa on arrival gate but I will suggest that u use online facility as there are very few people right now who are using this facility ( i thought after seeing very few people on that counter.). U can fill online form using this link https://extranet.immigration.go.th/voaonline/voaonline/VoaonlineAction.do . (When u click on link the browser will show any page stating it’s unsafe but click on advance, there at the bottom u will get link. Click on link or continue & u will be directed to the page, fill details & take the print out of the page).
With this form you need few documents:
- 1 visa photograph (4*6 cm) with white background clicked within 6 months of travel.
- 1000 baht as visa fee for normal process & 1200 baht for fast process.
- Should have return ticket within 15 days.
- Evidence of adequate finance (10,000 baht/person 0r 20,000 baht/ family) (I was carrying my last 6 month bank statement. Banks give these statement for visa purpose)
- Verifiable place of stay in Thailand.
- Valid passport or travel document with minimum 6 month validity.
- Arrival & departure card.
(U can fill this form while standing in queue that saves time.)
Once u reach the counter , with all relevant documents it hardly takes 5 mins for verification & in another 10 mins u get your visa. Than head towards immigration & than towards conveyor belt. One more imp thing, keep your departure card safe as u will need it at the time of flying back.
You are now an international tourist 3500 kms away from your own country. I loved the feel of international tourist, the process , the smell of other country’s air.. everything…..
3 days of fun in Bangkok & I was returning back. The process was same except that this time I did the web check in, so avoided the queue. Also here in Thailand at security check u have to remove your shoes & belt also. Immigration was also swift (remember to keep departure card safe) with 15-20 mins waiting time & than flying back home.
More on Thailand coming soon…..
I love to travel, to explore new places. May be a small break of a day or two or a week long, everything is welcomed with open arms. Though I had always dreamt of exploring world still I had strongly believed that India is full of amazing places.
Being daughter of a banker father I had the privileged of staying in different parts of India & had visited quiet a few places in different states. Felt proud that our country is soo beautiful & diverse, but when it comes to international trip I instantly got the feeling of a tourist, an international tourist in that country.
International trip was in my wish list from quiet long time. Was not able to fulfill it due to workaholic husband. To fulfill it initially planned to visit a place where some close relative is staying, at least it will give a kick start to my international trip but somehow cancelled it twice, Felt little bad (u can say heartbroken) but didn’t give up. My dream was still alive.
Like every year was preparing to go to mom’s place for summer vacation, this time hubby was also traveling for his official meet to Bangkok. Deep down the heart I wished (in fact expressed the desire) to go along with him. 3 days before his departure i.e. Monday he informed me that he has preponed my travel by a day. Now rather than Friday I am traveling on Thursday that too I had my flight from Mumbai. I was shocked n amazed.
With lot of butterflies in my tummy, as only 2 days in hand & no packing in place I started my preparation. Got the call from mom to carry few things with me. OK!! Who has the power to overrule mom’s command? 2 days went in hush hush… in mid when I asked him for my flight tickets he said will give u later, which is usually a normal thing. All things set, everything in place we started for Mumbai. In the evening we were at terminal 2 from where we have to take the flight & here comes a big SURPRISE….. Yes a big SURPRISE…..
I am travelling to BANGKOK, my first international trip….. Ohhh my God !! I can’t explain my feeling; I was on cloud 9… Omg. My first reaction kids are also coming with us, but no they are not coming with us, they are going to my brother’s place. All the planning was done by my hubby, kids, ma – papa & my brother. Hubby after knowing that spouse can be part of his visit took swift action to get all the permission. Kids who agreed to stay alone with their mama. Ma papa for supporting kids & last but not the least Brother who changed his few meeting so that he can be with kids when they are with him. What a wonderful family… seriously I am blessed.
In few hours my dream will be a reality, a dream whose horizon is too vast but still all first (be Ur school day, crush, office day) in your life plays important role, so as this trip to me…..
More to come ……
रूठने के कई फायदे होते हैं, उसमें से एक का आभास मुझे अभी कुछ दिन पहले हुआ. ज्यादा सोचिये मत मैं खुद ही बता देती हूँ , अपनी ख़ुशी मुझसे छुपाये नहीं छुप रही.
गाना सुना है आपने ” चल चल long drive पे चल “, बस बस …. बिलकुल सही समझे हैं ,
long drive और उस पर पिज़्ज़ा…. Deadly Combination….
जी हाँ pizza..
ये नहीं कहूँगी की पिज़्ज़ा पुणे में नहीं मिलता. मिलता है, आजकल बहुत सारे Restaurants हैं जो Italian Cuisine के लिए मशहूर हैं, पर ये long drive और ये lunch अपने आप में बहुत special था | कुछ अनबन की वजह से मूड ऑफ था, कुछ रोज़ के कामों से परेशान थी, मेरी खामोशी सब से सही नहीं गयी | Solid planning हुई और सुबह घोषणा हुई की जल्दी तैयार हो जाइए | असमंजस सी मैं चुपचाप निर्देशों का पालन करती गयी|
जैसे ही कार ने गति पकड़ी मैं न चाहते हुए मुस्कुरा दी , मुझे महाराष्ट्र के hill station Mahabaleshwar लंच के लिए ले जाया जा रहा था| दो घंटे की ड्राइव के बाद हम Mapro Garden पहुंचे |
स्वागत गणपति की खूबसूरत प्रतिमा से हुआ |उनको नमन करके हम आगे बढे तो पेट ने भूख का संकेत दिया |
हवा में Clay Oven में bake होते Pizza की महक थी और सामने ताज़ी strawberries से बनी fresh strawbeery cream & shake दिख रहे थे| Diet Madam को बोला, आज तुम्हारी छुट्टी है और पति व बच्चों की मनुहार के बाद बेचारी मान भी गयी ( कोई और चारा भी तो नहीं था )|
मैं भी एक छोटे बच्चे की तरह Clay Oven के सामने जा कर खड़ी हो गयी और पिज़्ज़ा को bake होते देखती रही | उफ़ कितना स्वादिष्ट लग रहा है , वाकई बहुत स्वादिष्ट भी था | इतने अच्छे लंच के बाद, मैं अपनी पसंदीदा जगह गयी जो उनका Orchid Flowers का गार्डन है , अत्यधिक सुन्दर | कुछ पलों को कैमरे में कैद किया और घर लौट लिए |
चलते चलते मुझे खज़ाना मिला…. जी हाँ मुझे मिली strawberry , Gooseberry & Raspberry. जो खाए हुए मुझे अरसा हो गया था|
रास्ते में सोचती रही कितनी किस्मत वाली हूँ जो मेरा परिवार मेरी छोटी सी मुसकराहट के लिए कुछ भी कर सकता है | ये trip मैं कभी भी नहीं भूल सकती हूँ | लौटते वक़्त बादलों को ढलते सूरज के साथ अठखेलियाँ करते देख पीछे बैठे मेरे बच्चों की खिलखिलाहट और अच्छी लगने लगी क्यूंकि दिल में सुकून था, तसल्ली थी , ख़ुशी थी |
ऐसी ही और यात्राओं का सपना संजोये मैंने मन ही मन भगवान का और बच्चों व पति का Ice Cream की Party दे कर शुक्रिया अदा किया ( वो बात अलग है की बिल पतिदेव ने ही भरा आखिर हूँ तो पत्नी ही ना 😉 ) |
जल्दी ही मिलते हैं कुछ और अनुभव के साथ…….