travelmemoirsofswaati text

I am an intrepid traveller. Travelling has been my passion since school days. Hailing from the steel city of Rourkela in Odisha, I always had an opportunity to plan out my holidays with my family to exotic destinations that are rich in history and heritage in India. Looking back, I have also taken up trekking in Chauragarh hills of Pachmarhi, Shatrunjaya Hills of Palitana, Vaishno Devi or the Muktinath temple in Mustang Valley in Nepal and Lalang Waterfall in rainforests of Tioman Island in Malaysia. I have penned down the Odisha destinations in Pick2Move-India Travel planner brought out by Sampan Media Limited, New Delhi. I have compiled a travelogue themed- “Journeys across India” published by Best Books, Kolkata. I generally take up travel to pen down travelogues, know the art and craft of the faraway lands and of course, I do travel reporting for leading English dailies of India.

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Thursday, 12 March 2020

Mynt, Vivanta

Culinary pleasures from other side of the border                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

It was at the onset of Makar Shankranti that I received a chance to sample the culinary delights at Mynt, the all-day dining food outlet of Vivanta Kolkata EM Bypass. The upscale business property is looked after by the Taj Group and has been opened for visitors sometime on August 15, 2019. The outlet rests on the ground floor of the hotel with an area spread over 3,500 sq. ft and emphasizes on a fine balance of regional and global platter that have been rustled up by culinary professionals of the hospitality group.

A view of Mynt

The 110-seater outlet has an invigorating interiors with the face of Goddess Kali done up on metal ware at the entrance of the outlet. 

Goddess Kali at the entrance

There are impressions of mint leaves on the interior walls, not to mention the gold-painted bamboos adorning the walls. The essence of the outlet is to offer a major push on the heritage journey of Kolkata and Bengal.  The outlet has walls adorned with metal carvings on wood highlighting the remarkable structures and culture of Kolkata and Bengal including Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial Hall, tramcars, drum beats and paddy fields.

Impressions of mint leaves

A metal carving on wood of Howrah Bridge

An interactive live kitchen churning out Asian and Western dishes with the presence of Italian pizza oven are the distinguishing features of the outlet.  As I settled down for lunch, I was taken aback to find that the chef had cooked up a veritable delight on the lunch table with Bangladeshi thali meal, Italian dish and Bengali desserts.  I began with hand-made Ravioli, an Italian platter made from zero and semolina flowers and stuffed with generous fillings of spinach, mushroom and ricotta.


 Thereafter, I moved on to the Bangladeshi thali to savour Chhaach that was garnished with king of lemon. I had my pick of Mochar Chop or plantain flower cutlet and Poori with Saag Chochori, a green leafy vegetable preparation. There were a number of non-vegetarian items including Lamb Biryani, Shorshe Ilish, fish cutlet, Kosha Mangsho and Parshe fry (Mullet fish) but I could ease my taste buds with the sweet delights including Khajoor Chutney and Chushir Paayesh or rice pudding.

Finally there were sinful treats including the traditional sweets of Bangladesh like Sandesh and Kolkata like Malpua, Rasgulla, Chhanar Jalebi or Paneer Jalebi and Gulab Jamun that were quite tempting.

A platter of Sandesh

Address: Mynt

                Vivanta Kolkata EM Bypass

                1930, Rajdanga Main Road,

                Kolkata -700107

Phone: (033) 66660000


Food for two:  Rs 1,200 exclusive of taxes. Alcohol is served on demand.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Jain Mithai Bhandar

Sinful delights of Indore

With celebration comes good food and at the onset of Holi, gorging on sweet delights is a tradition in Indian household. For those on a trip to the commercial capital of Central India- Indore during this festive occasion and craving to grab a bite of the dessert delights, there’s no better way to celebrate Holi than to drop in at Jain Mithai Bhandar, well-known as JMB lying at Moti Tabela on Pipliyahana Chowraha in the outskirts of the city.

 An outer facade of Jain Mithai Bhandar


 Malai Dodha

At Jain Mithai Bhandar, there is an extensive list of desserts including Rajasthani Motichoor ke Laddoo, Moong ki Daal ke Laddoo, Besan ke Laddoo, Gujiya and Balushahi also known as Makhan Vada.  One should not leave the outlet without having a bite of Punjabi delights- Malai Dodha. 

 Sweet delicacies on offer

 Rajasthani Motichoor ke Laddoo

The sweet delights are tagged at Rs 400 per kg and apart from the desserts, there are lip-smacking snack items including Mirchi Vada, Aloo Vada and Masala Poori. Indore’s popular Sev is a must-try and one can also select a variety of Sev stuff like Ratlami Sev and the spicy Ujjaini Sev.