Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plan a wonderful visit to Berlin

Hello Berlin, How wonderful are you?

I have been hearing good things about Berlin for a long time now and I manage to visit it during May 2014 with family. It turned out to be one fabulous decision. Let me elaborate further now !!!

Gendarmenmarkt

It is an interesting square and an ensemble full of harmony with a French cathedral, German cathedral and a concert house. All the three buildings were damaged during world war II and rebuilt in 1970s. Currently, the cathedral’s houses museums. 


The below panorama picture is borrowed from Web. 


It is a beautiful place to sit and exchange ideas over a coffee. If you happen to go in December, you can also enjoy the Christmas market.

Brandenburg Gate & Bundestag

It was formerly used to represent the separation of the city between East and West Berlin. Since the wall was taken down it is now said to represent the symbol of German Unity.

It was constructed from 1788 to 1791 and was modeled on the Propylaea of Athens’s Acropolis. The quadriga was added to the gate in 1793 and it points to the east (towards the direction of the city centre). 


Situated at the Brandenburg Gate is the Pariser Platz square which is at the end of the Unter den Linden the main boulevard in the central ‘Mitte district’. Not only do you have the gate but you are also surrounded by elegant town houses, embassies.

You can visit the roof terrace and dome of the Reichstag Building, which offer spectacular views of the parliamentary and government district and Berlin’s sights. On the roof terrace you can obtain an audioguide to the dome of the Reichstag Building.



I would say, it is worth while to go through the waiting process of visiting the Dom and it is an awesome site to learn about the history and to enjoy the terrace view and walk.





Culture of Berlin

There are over 600 art galleries in the city. It is estimated that 6,000 to 7,000 artists live in the city, with a quarter of them being from outside Germany. The beginnings of the modern boom in Berlin's art scene were during the 1990s. In 1995, a Berlin art fair, Art Forum Berlin, was first held. Galleries and artists' residences are mostly found in the neighbourhoods in Mitte (particularly along Auguststraße), Kreuzberg, Wedding, and Charlottenburg. Berlin is home to 153 museums also.

Berlin Cathedral

The history of today's Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church and its community dates back to 1451. In that year Prince-ElectorFrederick II Irontooth of Brandenburg moved with his residence from Brandenburg upon Havel to Cölln (today's Fishers' Island, the southern part of Museums Island) into the newly erected City Palace, which also housed a Catholic chapel. In 1454 Frederick Irontooth, after having returned – via Rome – from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, elevated the chapel to become a parish church, richly endowing it with relics and altars.



An excellent view of the dome and entire interior can be had from the dome's gallery. The 270-step climb to the top is more pleasant than at most cathedrals, with a wide stairwell, plenty of places to pause, and interesting historic photos and models to look at along the way.

Museum Island

The ensemble on the Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated in the northern part of the Spree Island between the Spree and the Kupfergraben. As early as 1841, it was designated a "district dedicated to art and antiquities" by royal decree.



Subsequently, the Altes Museum (Old Museum) in the Lustgarten displaying the bust of Queen Nefertiti, the Neues Museum (New Museum), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), Pergamon Museum, and Bode Museum were built there.



The three-winged Pergamonmuseum has about one million visitors per year and thus is the most visited museum in Berlin. 

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz began as a trading post where several country roads converged just outside Berlin's old customs wall. The history of Potsdamer Platz can probably be traced back to 1685. Plenty of big offices housed here like Bahn, Daimler and Sony.

It is an wonderful place to catch a movie or walk along the Tilla Durieux Park or to wine and dine in places like Bayernhof, Rheingold or Pschorr.

First traffic lights in Continental Europe were erected at Potsdamer Platz on 20 October 1924 and still preserved for nostalgic purpose.


East side gallery painting

The gallery is located near mill road from the Upper tree bridge to the Ostbahnhof  consists of 105 paintings by artists from all over the world, painted in 1990 on the east side of the Berlin Wall. The East Side Gallery was founded following the successful merger of the two German artists' associations VBK and BBK. It is possibly the largest and longest-lasting open air gallery in the world.



The paintings at the East Side Gallery document a time of change and express the euphoria and great hopes for a better, free future for all people of the world. 

How to move around Berlin?

Do buy the Berlin welcome card and it is quiet convenience as it contains the load for commutation and visit to Museum Island. Berlin is amazingly well connected through Tram and Metro and you can rely on the public transport due to decent frequency.

Recommend to check the options below:

Cost of Food

Food is reasonably priced when compared to Paris for example. Plenty of options and ranges are available. One can even buy food and drink using Penny chain store and eat at your leisure. The variety of food is also equally good considering the international food options in every corner. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Filter Coffee at Dakshin

Filter Coffee or Mammi's Coffee at Dakshin, Park Sheraton

Entire South India barring Kerala favours Coffee than tea drinking. South Indian Filter coffee generally made out of powdering combination of roasted coffee beans and little bit of Chicory.


At Dakshin, Maami prepares the coffee and it is of blissful taste ! No second opinion for  South Indian coffee lovers… I must say !



Filter coffee gets served generally in a Dabarah  (cup holder) and Tumbler (glass)


An anecdote related to the distance between the pouring and receiving cup leads to another name for the drink, "Meter Coffee".



Diners can order Filter Coffee either at Lounge or at Cappucino restaurant of of Sheraton Park & Towers, while entertaining your business partners or friends. 

Coffee can be ordered while you are having  lunch or dinner at Dakshin restaurant too 




Monday, February 24, 2014

Dakshin Restaurant at Sheraton Park Hotels & Towers

Introduction

Dakshin is the iconic south Indian restaurant at Sheraton Park Hotel & Towers, that showcases the rich diversity of South Indian cuisines.  Flavors and aromas of the peninsular cuisine find fine expression in the style and presentation of the 5 states of the South India - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. 

Dakshin first opened its door at Sheraton Park on 14th April , 89 and would be completing 25 years of providing culinary delight to Chennaivaasis and visitors from all over the world.

Ambience


Ambience of Dakshin refers to the South Indian artefacts like Grand Wooden Door, Ganesha or Nataraja Idol or Tanjore paintings or the traditional silverware and brass cutleries which reflects the rich cultural heritage of South India. 







Who is behind the heavenly food ?

Mr Harish carries out the proud job of Sous Chef at Dakshin. Harish and his team perform an enviable job of keeping your taste buds craving for more.

Mr Harish tours all the states regularly to actively research and source old recipes and ingredients from respective regions before re-introducing in Dakshin. He also tours other ITC Hotels through out India to spread the Dakshin flavor. 



Fabulous, Authentic Southern Spread

Dakshin food is elaborate. Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian, one gets to taste superb variety. What makes you to think, South Indian food is all about Idry or Dosa ? Would you like to explore Crab meat or Lamb curry or Fish simmered in Coconut Milk or the chicken fry !!!

Generally, food is rice based or one can order authentic gravy to suite the crispy Appams or Idiappams (stringhoppers).  Diners can try out Gongura Mamsam or Chicken Chettinad along with. 




I am a vegetarian and I tasted fabulous starter named Banana Dosa which was absolutely fabulous. The chutney cart offered four varieties such as Coconut, onion & tomato, puliogere, ginger. Pickle and Gonguras were kept in different cart.

Paruppu vada, Vaazhai Shunti and Banana Bonda was also served as starters alongwith Pappadams. Vaazhai Shunti was served with raw mango and green chilli chutney and they turned out to be one addictive combo.


I also tasted Parotta, Kuruma, vegetable tomato pappu and Gundu Mullangi Koottu out of which I fell in love with Koottu.

Rice platter of the day turned out to be really surprising and captivating item called Thengai Pal Saadham (coconut milk rice) which was adequately sweet but did not hide the lovely taste of south indian spices.

How can a diner finish eating without tasting Indian sweet ? Dakshin offers Badam Halwa, Elaneer Payasam (tender coconut extract) out of which I took special liking to Payasam. 

Service

How do you define good service?

I would say, it is about …
  • Knowledgeable Staff
  • Friendly, prompt and attentive service
  • Little anticipation of your need
  • Warmth and Recognition in service

I can assure you… You will feel all of those at Dakshin ! Such is the hospitality of the valuable Dakshin staff !!!

Conclusion

Dakshin offers culinary delight of South India. Ideal place for quality dining and

Price for two to dine at Dakshin might come around INR 2,500. Dakshin is open between 12 Noon to 15:30pm and 19:30pm to 23:30pm. 

Bon Appetit !!!

Review of Sheraton Towers, On The Rocks Restaurant

Introduction

Sheraton Park Hotel & Towers, offers another exciting dining option named as On The Rocks – a stylish grill with internationally-inspired cuisine.


The driving philosophy of ‘On the Rocks’ Grill is to create a gastronomic experience, by way of an eclectic grill ethos, hot volcanic rock cooking and flambéed desserts. This multi-dimensional venue would be exemplified by handcrafted wine pairing menus, showcasing an enterprising range of dishes under the able craftsmanship of Chef Rohit and his grill brigade. 

What it offers

‘On The Rocks’ will offer two kinds of dining option to choose from, an A-la-carte menu from the grill called the ‘Grill Platter’ which will change every week and a table-de-hote menu for the new sensational cooking on the Hot volcanic rocks at your table !

The entrance to the ‘On The Rocks’ is through the spacious ‘ Lounge Bar’ Wine vertical houses exhaustive collection to service the diners and has a well ‘nosed’ sommelier Kathir at hand to guide the diner through the labels. 


Hot Rock

Hot Rock is an extremely unique and exciting new dining concept. Diners will hear the sizzle and smell, the incredible aroma of their meal cooking right in front of them on a searing hot volcanic stone! For service, the granite rocks are heated in a special oven and placed onto a metal plate, which is then carefully placed on a specially designed white platter. The Chef then grazes the Hot Rock with Rock Sea salt to prevent the meat from sticking to the hot stone. This then is presented on the table. The choice of meat cut is brought and placed on the sizzling lava rock to cook, and sealed on one side by the heat and then turned to seal the other, locking in the juices and natural flavors.

As the diner slices off pieces as thick or thin as they like and cook them to suit their individual palate. Diners eat straight from the rock. The food on the rock continues to cook as the diner enjoys the dinner. This is surrounded on the side by choice garnishes, seasonal vegetables and a choice of marinades / sauces. The meat continues to sizzle at the table, making the last bite as hot as the first. 



The ‘Table-de-hote’ menu on the Hot Volcanic Rock cranks out a three course menu - a soup, a main course and the dessert of the Day. The main course will include Jumbo Prawns, Duck Breast from France, Prime Tenderloin from Brazil and Australia, Mahi Mahi, Chicken Breast, to name a few. Thus this style of cooking absolutely customizes the main course to suit the palate of the diner making it an exciting experience.

A-la-Carte

Amusse bouche (Tomato Cups with lemon grass and coconut milk sorbet topped with Ginger crisp)




This small appetizer kindled the taste buds with the finely cooked ginger crisp on coconut milk sorbet and set the expectation of things to come after !

Focaccia of the Day




This finely baked bread tasted totally delicious when it was topped with elaborately prepared Garlic extract 

Creamy asparagus and pumpkin soup accented with fontal



Soup was thick, topped with Broccoli and bread stick and turned out to be a perfect, adequate quantity of appetizer. 

Baked camembert with honey garlic reduction   


I loved this out of all the dishes I had on the dinner. The garlic, honey extract was tasting heavenly on the cheese cake and left me craving for more. The black spots which you on the top of the plate was not plate design … it was bit of Pepper Powder !!

Harissa, sesame crusted pommes gnocchi with oriental greens
yellow cheddar and baby tomato cream sauce


That was one cool stuffed potato !

Tortilla wrapped red kidney bean, pico de gallo, tortilla crush, sour cream,                     tangy tomato sauce and picked greens    


Mexican burrito was fabulously stuffed with well cooked red kidney beans and onions sautéed in Olive oil with right amount of spicy taste. Flour tortillas were decorated with sour cream on the top dressing unlike what one normally gets in abroad. 

Chocolate torte, cherry compote with creme fraiche                                   


This chocolate dessert gave a memorable ending due to apt white cream topping along with Cherry extract.

Hot brioche doughnuts, raspberry coulis with vanilla sauce


I tasted Doughnuts separately, with Rasberry once and with cream once…. It was yummy ! But I mixed cream and raspberry together… it turned out to be… heavenly !!

Conclusion



Interactive menus are slowly edging out pre-set menus and the waiters hovering by your table. In the rate sphere of upscale dining, Chefs are taking centre stage while diners are participating in equal measure. 

At the induction table, diners are encouraged to plan the menu, customise ingredients and the Chef even lets you to interact with him and suggest suitable sauces to mix on his signature dishes.

it is fabulous to know and feel that the Indian dining scene is nicely evolving with sophisticated culinary traditions and ingredients replacing the old in the menu card. 

The Diners would need to shell out around INR 4,500 for two people towards the dinner at 'On the Rocks' but they would feel privileged when they complete the dining experience. 

This International Grill and Hot Rocks Restaurent opens daily between 18:00pm to 23:00pm on all days and you get to orrder wine on Glass too !!!

Strictly recommended for foodies,forever,  Bon Appetit !!!







Thursday, February 20, 2014

Business Center @ Sheraton Towers, Chennai

Would you like to conduct Board meeting at “THE TOWERS”? Would you like to host a Banquet or arrange a conference?

Sheraton Towers simply does not end with offering space. It offers a whole lot of facilities… right from large carpets, lights with dimmers …

& Facilities like:
• Projector
• High Speed Internet Access
• Video Conferencing Services
• Screening on TV Sets (Betacam, U-matic, VHS)
• Synchronized multi-projector, multi-screen audio-visuals
• Hand-held slide presentations
• OHP presentations
• Public address systems, lectern, table and lapel microphones
• 24- hours Business centre
• Printing, stationery, delegate kits
• Video coverage and photography

One can even host Theme parties and entertainment in The Towers.


Picture - Lobby of the business centre ! 



Picture - Conference Room 


Board Room

Would you explore conducting board meeting at The Towers? One can conduct the business review at the board room and the twin door offers utmost privacy for the business people and would allow you to focus on work.

Board room services can also be hired with private kitchen (located in the adjoining room). Guests would be served with quality food, cooked exclusively for them and the menu can be chosen from wide range.

The biggest surprise of the state of the art board room is the color combination…. You would come alive after seeing the bright colors of the room and you will feel relieved for not seeing another boring formal décor !!!



Training or Orientation

Not only that., Companies can conduct training or orientation for their staff at The Towers. 


Do explore when you have a chance to conduct business, next time !!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Introducing “The Towers” at Park Sheraton, Chennai



Background

One of the Chennai’s most popular luxury hotel Sheraton Park had recently opened its stylish and contemporary residential facility – “The Towers”. It is located at the entrance of fashionable Boat Club neighborhood or at the corner of the TTK Road.

Newly revamped “The Towers” would establish as a distinguished urban retreat to the city’s fast evolving hospitality landscape.

The 125 Towers Rooms are tastefully designed keeping in mind the unique requirements of the business traveler with contemporary sound proof rooms, luxurious beds, a smart Wi-Fi enabled work area and plush bathrooms with ample space.

Reception

Customer reservation details are taken from booking and pre-registration get carried out by Tower Staffers. Guests are simply required to collect key in Tower reception and sign the reservation form at the room. Can someone keep it simpler than that? Or would you prefer to call it as Personalised in-room Check-in?

Lobby

As one steps into the Lobby, a dazzling designer chandelier catches the eye and the heart. Suspended from the ceiling, this masterpiece, sourced from Austria provides a welcoming delight to the travelers.

The tall atrium allows the flow of maximum light and one can enjoy a delectable array of Hors d'oeuvres from the patisserie situated in the corner.





Luxury Suites

Rooms are plush and splendid …. But., what else is what you are curious to know, rite? Divider between reception and bed to ensure privacy and business to happen at the same time… motorized curtains and button operated mood lightings and what not !!!





Two LED TVs, can take USB card or can be connected with Laptop using HDMI Cables! Broadband or wi-fi internet connection to stay in touch with colleagues or family J



Connectivity

Sheraton Towers is well connected with the business districts of Chennai city … For example:

To Airport – 12.5 km or 7.8 miles
To MEPZ – 22.8 km or 14.2 miles
To Sholinganallur – 17.2 km or 10.7 miles
To SIPCOT, Siruseri – 26.3 km or 16.3 miles

Retreat



Sheraton Towers also offers well established Gym to tone you up, 'Kaya Kalp' spa for rejuvenation, swimming pool to improve your muscles and relaxation. 



Cost

Pls note that prices might vary due to seasonal demand and supply. I would request you to check it with hotel or the website:

Approximately, it might cost around INR 8,000, USD 130, Euro 95 or SGD 163 without local taxes.

Conclusion

Do come and stay in The Towers and enjoy the wonderful, memorable, personalized hospitality ! Allow yourself to get pampered to the trusted hands at fabulous customer service.

The Towers has also got business center, restaurants which will be covered in separate posts. Keep Reading !!!