Thursday, July 19, 2018

Experience Amsterdam in Chennai - A Restaurant that serves Cheese in so many forms & also world's most spiciest Paneer

Have you have had a craving for cheese sometimes, but never got the chance to really fulfill those desires . Except for the occasional cheese-burst pizzas or a small layer of cheese in the pasta, you might have not encountered cheese in different forms in restaurants.

So it's time to rejoice if you are a cheese lover  This restaurant in Chennai has decided to make things go a notch above and has a cheese variant in many (if not all) of their dishes . The restaurant is incidentally called Fromage, another colloquial name for Cheese in French.

To be honest , never before have I seen so many forms of cheese dishes in a single meal and the Fromage dinner totally floored me. Hence a mini food review of the place :

The Vegetarian menu consisted of the following:


Brocolli & Cheese Soup-  Served in a bowl made out of bread with cheese melt on the inside.


  • Mango Screw Driver

A mango based spicy drink garnished with a chilli inside.
This tasted super awesome and perfect blend to have along with the starters.

  • Mango Strawberry Daiquiri

A mango and strawberry infused drink . Had the perfect blend of sweetness of mango and the taste of strawberry slightly overpowering the mango flavour, overall creating a kickass combination for a mocktaill


  • Assorted Bruchetta : Came with different toppings of Mushroom & Onion,  Tomato & Cottage Cheese among others
  • Mac & Cheese Tarts with fillings
  • Assorted Fried Cheese Crumbles (Mozarella)

Main Course

  • Are you Crazy 

The highlight of the entire meal was this. A special one of a kind dish that made your eyes literally pop out. A freshly marinated paneer soaked with the world's most spiciest chilly, "Bhut jolokia".(There's actually a contest where the person gets to go home with a lot of prizes if he manages to finish it all by himself). The spice level is pretty high in this chilly and shouldn't be eaten with hands ( even if you end up touching it, dont take your hand anywhere near your face). Have a small bite of this paneer & chilly . You might feel the initial spice hitting you. But once the coating is done, the next few pieces will not make much of an impact and you can actually get to feel the Paneer. Easily, a definite experience you should try in Fromage.

  • Parmesan Wheel - Ratatouille

Spaghetti or Penne Pasta cooked in the pasta wheel and served with Ratatouille : This is the first time I got to see a Parmesan wheel that was used to cook delicious pasta by melting the cheese layers inside it.  The Penne pasta was indeed excellent and very authentic , compared to the other average pastas served elsewhere.

You can check out my making video here :

  • Veg Lasagne

A vegetable , multi layered lasagne served with a bit of cream on top and topped with fried basil and cheese.


Death by Chocolate : Yes, it's finally available in Chennai at Fromage and you don't need to visit Corner House in Bangalore for this anymore. A 24 layered chocolate cake that can make this fantastic dinner even more better . Order one for an entire table and that'll be more than sufficient.

Oh , I also was lucky to meet the wonderful music director, Yuvan Shankar Raja who also happened to dine at the restaurant at the same time

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Battle of Premium Smartphones

Premium smartphones in the Indian market, until 4-5 years back, was only confined to two brands only. Apple iPhone(iOS) and only Samsung in the Android zone. Premium smartphones constituted any phone above the 30-40,000 price band.  Though there were more than 100 brands fighting for the market share, no one dared to venture into the higher priced segment and played it safe in the < 20,000 price segment.

premium smartphone battle

Some of the top brands were Micromax, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung , Karbon, Asus , Motorola and LG.  But except Samsung , noone had a premium phone in the higher bands. This was because of expensive raw materials, lesser margins and relatively lower purchasing power.

The first two brands to actually break the barrier, offer expensive features at a relatively mid-premium segment was OnePlus and Xiaomi.  At just 20K, the OnePlus One and the 14K Xiaomi Mi3 became a major viral hit. Even some of the brands didn't take these two brands seriously , only to be hurt badly years down the line. The success of these these phones with premium features made the users aware of the need of top quality phones.

It didn't take many years for the launch of premium smartphones by almost every other phone manufacturer, including Huawei, Honor , Vivo and Google.

Here's a look at the best selling smartphones of 2018 that comes loaded with all the best premium features

OnePlus 6

I have written a detailed review of the OnePlus 6 in my previous post. This premium smartphone, priced at 35,000 comes with a Snapdragon 835, 6GB RAM and 64GB capacity. It sports a 6.28″ Optic AMOLED display along with a Dual camera with 16 MP resolution. 

oneplus 6 premium smartphone

Honor 10 

Almost days after the release of OnePlus 6, Honor followed suit and launched their version of premium smartphone, called the Honor 10. This "AI" enabled smartphone was priced at 33,000 and  came with the following features
  • 6 GB RAM | 128 GB ROM
  • 5.84 inch Full HD+ Display
  • 24MP + 16MP Dual Rear Camera | 24MP Front Camera
  • 3400 mAh Battery
honor 10 premium smartphone

Google Pixel 2

Though it was released last year, the Pixel 2 is still a popular phone (after a massive price drop of nearly 21,000 rs barely two weeks after it's release). The Pixel 2, offering a pure stock android experience, AR features  came in two versions : 2 and 2XL. The phone had 4GB RAM, 64GB capacity, unlimited online photo storage and a 6' Quad HD display. With a discounted price tag of 40K+ for the Pixel 2 and 52K+ for the Pixel 2 XL it certainly gave a good fight to Samsung's S8. The phone also ranked 98 in DXO mark.

pixel 2 premium smartphone

Asus Zenfone 5Z 

This is a "To be" launched phone from Asus . Asus had a fair share of success when their brand of Zenfone series had a good run , esp the Zenfone 5 around 2014 and disappeared post that. After a brief hiatus, Asus is launching a high-end premium smartphone called the Asus Zenfone 5Z.
The phone launches on 9th of July. The initial launch price is 30,000 for the 6GB, 64GB variant.
The phone comes with a Snapdragon 845 processor,  6.2'  FHD Display  and an Artificial intelligence system(that actually distinguishes between different objects).

asus zenfone 5z  premium smartphone

The Zenfone 5Z has a powerful Adreno 630 Graphics chipset and an Octacore CPU.
Coming to the camera, the Zenfone 5Z comes with a  12MP SonyIMX 363 Sensor camera with a 1.8 Aperture and 4K recording capabilities and promises good low light photography.

Vivo X21

 Though Vivo was always a stronger contender in the 10-20K segment, they made their entry in the premium smartphone segment with the Vivo X21. The phone comes with a 6GB, 128GB ROM, a 6.28' FHD AMOLED Display . However it comes with just a Snapdragon  660 processor (usually available in 15K phones itself) than going for a 800 series. The phone's pricing is quite steep at 36,000 though it has a few premium smartphone features such as in-screen fingerprint scanner, dual pixel sensor camera and face unlock system.

vivo x21 premium smartphone

Which is your favourite pick among these phones and what phone do you currently own?