Why did you start Blogging?
Back in the day, i used to go out even more than i do now, ever so often i would end up having a bad meal/service and would bemoan the lack of a ready, regularly updated review and rating resource. Since no one seemed to be doing it i thought why not keep a record of my experiences so they could help others.
Can i use pictures from your blog
Only with permission please.
Can i use your reviews on my site/blog
Yes but only on a non-commercial site/blog and only with permission. For use on commercial sites or for publishing email me (gauravgjain @ gmail.com)
What is your favorite cuisine?
My favorites keep changing with time, i used to love Indian Chinese but my stomach cant handle it anymore. I would pick Mediterranean, even though its its a bit of a cheat to pick it as it covers a really wide area. It encompasses a wide range of my personal favorites from mezzes to pastas.
What is or are your favorite restaurant(s)
I have quite a few - Thai Pavilion (Bombay), Swati Snacks (Bombay) Santosh Sagar (Bombay) Indigo Deli (Bombay) Wasabi (Bombay) Aladdins Natural Eatery (across upstate New York) Tortilla (London) Texas Embassy (London)
What do you drink ?
Beer is something i enjoy, Hoegarden, Stella Artois but my fav is Strongbow cider which is not available in India. I also love Gin n Tonic, Red Bull Vodka, Riesling and would like to drink more Bollinger than i do now. I am also a fan of Indian butter milk and can go through copious quantities. Diet Coke, Thums Up which is an Indian cola drink is a preference since child hood. Malta orange juice, Bloody Mary's are an all round fav and Mojitos in the summer.
I disagree with your reviews
I dont find that surprising at all, most of my views are my own and come from personal experience. There is bound to be a difference of opinion and i welcome a difference of opinion. So drop me a line, always open to the discussion.
What do you do other than blogging?
I am professionally in the media space. I head an animation and media production studio www.illusion-i.com where we created animated content for film, tv, web and mobile. Ashoka the Hero (www.ashokathehero.in.com) was our first theatrical release and can be seen on Cartoon Network in India at present. We are also working on a slew of live action projects in various capacities.
I am coming to Bombay where should i eat ?
Briefly i recommend Thai Pavilion, Swati Snacks, Amadeus, Indigo Deli, Kebabs n Kurries, Wasabi, Dakshin, Peshawri, Dum Pukth, A thali restaurant. Bombay is a fairly large city with loads of restaurants and cuisines. Its best you go through the blog, it will give you a fair idea. Feel free to email me for specifics an recommendations on gauravgjain AT gmail.com
How much should i budget for a trip to Bombay/India?
Bombay being a metro is about 30-50% more expensive than smaller cities/towns. I would reckon for three meals a day one would need a bare minimum of INR 300-500 ($7-$11) to dine in relatively decent places. If you stick to street food you could perhaps do it for 200 ($4) spend A meal at a five star restaurant would run you anything between INR 2500-6000 ($55-$150) without alcohol.
What is a Thali?
A thali is a prix -fixe, pre-plated, set meal. It can be all you can eat refered to as the unlimited thali or the limited thalis where dishes are served once. It is like a buffet except the dishes are brought out to your table. A thali meal can be from any part of India though Gujarati, Punjabi, Maharashtrian, South Indian are the popular variations.
A thali usually consists of 1-2 appetizers, a dal, a kadhi (not curry, but a sweet or spicy yoghurt preparation) a dry vegetable, 1-2 gravy vegetables, buttermilk or curd, poppadums, 1-3 kinds of of rice, 1-3 kinds of breads, 1-2 desserts. A thali can be had at a small hole in the wall restaurant for as little as INR 50 ($1.10) or at five stars for 1500 ($35) and in between. The greater the variety, the higher the price. Read for more.
I want to start blogging what should i do?
Be patient and find your voice. It may or may not come easy to you but just try and update at least once a week and you will figure things out for yourself. Avoid typos and grammatical mistakes and try and present your point of view in as short a space as possible. Use pictures if relevant and be open to criticism. Most of all respect your readers and by that i mean offer them an easily readable, navigable page with relevant, interesting non plagiarized information.
Do you pay for all your meals
99% of the time i do pay for my meals. A few restaurant owners are old friends of mine from school and sometimes they will refuse to accept money despite insistance. I also get invited to some launches, re-launches or tastings and every so often i end up going. Such instances are clearly mentioned on relevant posts.
Do you really go out this often?
oh you better believe it! many a time i go out to restaurants i have reviewed often and don't write about them unless something worth mentioning happened.
How do you pick where you go?
Well, it depends really on who is in the dining party, sometimes its about going for old fav's or trying something new or just finding a place close by. There really isnt a method, its fairly random.
Do you travel often?
I travel a little bit, over the last few years the formula really has been a 2-3 week trip to Europe, a week somewhere in Asia and a few visits across India. I always try and sneak in some work in a vacation so its a mixed bag.
Are you a vegetarian?
yes for the most part. i am def not a hard core meat eater, i also dine with a large group of vegetarians. However i am def someone who will try anything (except drugs and organs) once.
Do you make money off this blog
Nope. The blog is for the most part ad free and i dont accept, money or gifts for writing about places or things. I do however receive payment for commissioned pieces i do for blogs and magazines.
How much have you spent on eating out ?