Here’s our list of the top restaurants, hotels, movies, and shows, with a celebrity in focus to boot. It’s everything you need to get through August.
We can officially call Masaba Gupta an actor now, right? Not only did she create a (fictional) show about her own life, but she has also managed to get greenlit a second season of Masaba Masaba, which is currently streaming on Netflix, and an episode in Modern Love: Mumbai. Masaba seems to know where she’s headed with this acting stint, is pleasant on screen, and is as convincing as a character as she has been in real life. We can’t wait to see her in more experimental roles.
Asilo has a fan base, including yours truly, that has followed it to Pune. Its new address is Westin Pune,
and I’m happy to report that it doesn’t disappoint at all. In fact, it’s an elevating experience. Start with
exploring the vast cocktail menu that has its own gin and tonic section — a dry rose gin with tonic is
the perfect choice for those who like to taste their botanicals. The Roundhay Garden from the signature
cocktail menu is my second preference — tequila, fresco avocado, kiwi, and coriander come together to
pack a punch in a glass. The food has something for everyone, from cold and hot tapas to robata grills
to innovative mains. An assortment of spicy caramelised chicken skewers, tamarind prawns, and fish in
black pepper pair beautifully with the cocktails, and if you want to indulge in a main, I recommend the
signature chicken roulade. A hearty meal, indeed.
My strongest feeling with Juliette is that it brings a bit of Bandra to Andheri. From the owners of one of Mumbai’s most popular Asian restaurants, Yazu, comes Juliette, which brings a slice of European and Mediterranean flavours. The vibe is all Europe — clean lines, subdued nude shades, it creates this European countryside charm. The food supplements this charm, beginning with a cocktail menu that tells the story of Romeo and Juliet with each drink. Enjoy some in-house rub marinated prawns with a side of a flavourful whole grain salad, and follow it up with some handcrafted Lamb Lasagne, or Fettuccini Bolognese. The desserts are still finding their way, but a Baked Alaska will satisfy your sweet tooth.
My binge list this month is a mix of peer pressure and treasured finds. After giving in to OTT FOMO, I got to watching The Boys, and I’m so glad I did. For the uninitiated, The Boys is a comic book series that was adapted by Amazon Prime Video in 2019. Now, Season 3 takes off a year after the events of the previous
season, as the Boys now work for Victoria Neuman’s Bureau of Superhero Affairs to deal with the Supes. There’s a lot of adrenaline rush, and I can see why this show found such an ardent fanbase. I won’t give out much, but new characters have come into this season and have made room for an even more
exciting season 4. Don’t be like me, catch up now.
Random scrolling got me to Persuasion, based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name. Critics weren’t entirely happy with the modernisation of the story, but I think the cast of Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Richard E. Grant, and Henry Golding have held up their end of the bargain with their performances. I’m a sucker for romance, and the chemistry between Anne and Wentworth is goosebump-y — the tension and electrifying connection can be felt. So if you’re not paranoid about the authentic representation of a classic, Persuasion is a good weekend watch.
Speaking of a weekend watch, don’t you just love it that now Fridays become release days for OTT movies too? The much-awaited Darlings is finally out, and marks Alia Bhatt’s debut as a producer. They say it’s a dark comedy, but it’s definitely more dark and less comedy — domestic violence and the ‘enough is enough’ is shown in a much-triggering light. Vijay Varma and Shefali Shah steal the show, and Bhatt lets them — she is convincing as Badru, but nothing without these two. Darlings will surely hook you, and it’s promising to see the kind of content Bhatt wants to produce.
At the time of this issue going to press, I am eagerly awaiting I Am Groot (I have Groot miniatures, don’t judge me). Groot, the real star of Marvel’s Guardians Of Galaxy, is getting its own series this month on Disney+Hotstar, and will be a six-episode long animated series.
P.S: The series will feature Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, so watch with me.
Sitting at home for two years has led to realising how important it is to take shorter trips, and the city of lakes provides enough options to enjoy a weekend of luxury, culture, and peace.
With a gorgeous view of Lake Pichola, The Leela Palace Udaipur is a warm and welcoming option for your holiday. What works when you pick a hotel like Leela is that if you’re not the adventurous, will-see-everything-on-my-bucket-list kinds, their in-house experiences will cover whatever it is that you need to rejuvenate. 80 individually decorated rooms to pick from depending on the kind of view that you like, a newly introduced wellness menu called Aujasya By The Leela to ensure you’re not deviating from your health when on vacation, and dining options by the lake, under the stars — all in one place. Soak in the culture of Rajasthan with their evening cultural programs, take a spa day at the spa room that comes
with its own private pool, or do what I love best: read a book in The Library Bar, their intimate lounge designed like a den, where art, books, coffee, cocktails unite.
Udaipur is the city to enjoy views, lakes, and architecture. Hearty meals and luxurious stays aside, if enjoying history (which Rajasthan is essentially all about) is your idea of a good distraction from the busy to-do of life, soak in what City Palace has to offer. Even for the most detached-from-history folks, this gorgeous palace will be an experience of a lifetime.
Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani has an entire generation flocking to Monsoon Palace, where the ’sunset scene’ was shot, and it makes for the perfect place to make your IG reel.
From savouring street side tandoori chai, to soaking in the most beautiful sunsets the state has to offer on Lake Pichola and Lake Fateh Sagar, to taking some time to reflect at the top of the Karni Mata Ropeway, Udaipur as a destination will let you be at peace, but at the same time, offer an entire world in just a weekend. I promise.
I love some local fare, but also enjoy seeing what other kind of restaurants and cuisines do well in a city. The best way to start your culinary journey in Udaipur is The Tribute Restaurant, which is a tribute to Chetak, the legendary horse of Maharana Pratap. Situated near Fateh Sagar Lake, Tribute offers north
Indian, continental, as well as ethnic curries with the exotic breads of Rajasthan. While this one can be perfect for a family dinner with varied choices, you can head to Jaiwana Haveli for a classic Mewari meal: savour some rataloo ki sabzi with hot moong dal and chawala masala. Once a private residence of the Thakur of Jaiwana, it’s often difficult to get a table here, so reservation is recommended.
An experience close to fine dining will be Ambrai, which overlooks Lake Pichola at the most perfect spot — you can see City Palace and all the luxury hotels from here. Don’t miss their laal maas and the Ambrai fish with makhani sauce. If there’s a date night spot in Udaipur, this is it.
After a day of heavy food, on my second and last day, I indulged in some grills at Charcoal by Carlsson, a rooftop restaurant that’s underrated for the kind of view and food it has. Charcoal by Carlsson is the place to go when you just want to find a spot to sit with your beer, eat some hot, freshly done charcoal grilled chicken and bite-sized food, and take in the glorious view of the city.