SHIMLA– With Christmas and New Year around, one of the most popular hill stations, Shimla is gearing up for lots of celebrations and parties. Tourists will be flooding into the town in hope of snow, so it’ll be helpful if natives could share good places to grab food, drinks, and snacks. In our last review, we had taken you to the Café Under Tree in capital town of Himachal – Shimla. Since then we couldn’t find another place worth a mention. But one of the HW Community Member happened to come across a place to dine.
Apart from being a popular tourist spot in Shimla, Mall is also the only place for most of Shimlaites to let their hair down, for shopping, to just roam around and to dine with friends or family. On weekend, it becomes a carnival – an amalgam of domestic and international tourists and local crowd. Here, you can witness the magical British Era charm at any day of the year.
Abundant options from budget to luxury for stay and dine are available in Shimla. Because, it’s a tourist oriented market, most of the places are either expensive or over-crowded, while other are too monotonous and hardly have any variety in the menu.
Recently, an HW Community Member, Priyanka Ohri, came across a recently opened restaurant, The 45 Central Perk- a combination of cafe and a classy fine dine restaurant.
Designed by a Delhi based architect, Pracheta Mehrish of the MOboutique fame, the interiors have finesse, like everything has been designed and installed with utmost care.
Quirky quotes on the walls render a boyish charm to the place and royal blue sofas are wonderfully classy.
Adding a dash of glamour to the restaurant are elegant ceiling lamps and the most coveted seat is right next to the window which offers food with a view.
Aditya Rajpal, the owner of the restaurant not only has an educational qualification, but also a substantial amount of experience to head an ambitious project like 45 Central Perk.
He comes across as a very calm person and that is definitely reflected in the ambience of the restaurant. Hardly, a month old, the restaurant is almost always full and the staff is courteous.
I want to give people of Shimla a place where different tastes can be accommodated,
And, looking at the menu, it is easy to say that Asian, Indian and Continental food is available under one roof in reasonable prices.
You should definitely try the Cappuccino – made with utmost care and you usually would not want to finish it. Of course, it also has a lot to do with comfortable and quiet ambience.
Trying food at a new restaurant and being curious about the USP (Unique Selling Point) is natural as we tried to review it from a commercial perspective. Why is the place different? Why should I come here again? According to
Aditya Rajpal the USP of the restaurant is the ‘Hot Mocktail’ section. For instance, Mulled Pom Citrus is served hot with cloves, cinnamon and is also great for digestion.
Appetizers in the menu are good enough to give you a taste from at least three different continents. Tomato soup, served with pistachios and Broccoli and Cheese soup, would reinforce your faith in Broccoli.
One thing that could be improved was that may be savoury dishes could be made with minimum salt possible, giving the visitors an option to add salt according to their taste.
Dahi ke Kabab was up to the expectations. The curd and salt in the filling inside the bread was quite balanced. This dish is definitely worth a try.
Another delightful feature of the food here is the use of vegetables in snacks. The vegetables are deep fried in a delicious batter, which is not Besan and you can call it Salt n’ Pepper.
Main Course of Hakka Noodles and Sweet and Sour as an accompaniment is worth a recommendation. Another recommendation can be Sesame Stir Fried Noodles, served with vegetables in a sauce.
For a delightful change, Gajjar ka Halwa is served as a dessert. You can also have Phirni which is quite difficult to find otherwise.
If the Central Perk is to be rated on the basis of different parameters, we would say the place is comfortable and ambience is charming. Of course, the location of the café is very approachable. The drinks are satisfactory, but the food seeks consistency of preparation.
The café also pays attention to presentation of the food, hygiene and cleanliness. The place doesn’t compromise with hygiene. The most expensive option is priced at 475 INR and meal for two is affordable between 500-700 INR.
Another feature that’ll surprise you is that the restaurant uses simple glass (mostly found at dhabas and tea-stalls), and it does look familiar to all.
It’s been hardly a month since the opening of the restaurant, so it is obvious that there is still room for improvement. Hopefully, the menu will evolve with consistency of preparation, which is a hallmark of any good restaurant. Lot of time, heart and passion has gone into the restaurant and Aditya Rajpal has wonderful plans for it.
Images: Tarun Sharda
Self-taught local artist to exhibit ’17 Paintings’ oil painting works at Gaiety, Shimla
Shimla: For the art lovers and critics in Himachal Pradesh, a self-taught local artist will showcase his collection of oil paintings titled “17 Paintings” on a two-days exhibition at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla on December 9 and 10 from 11.00 AM to 6.00 PM.
Surya Ranjan Shandil (31), who hails from Solan district, works in Bengaluru as a computer programmer in the field of education technology. After his schooling from Shimla, he obtained a B.Tech Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
However, he did not ignore his love for the painting and continued it at evenings after college, work, on weekends, and Sundays.
Later, Ranjan realized he has a collection of his own. His first solo exhibition was held in November 2016 at the Gaiety Theater.
The appreciation he received at the first exhibition encouraged him to present his second collection of oil paintings that he painted during 2017.
He received his education upto Class 12 from Shimla’s St. Edwards and Dayanand Public School.
He is best known for his captivating genre paintings.
I started drawing at the age of 3-4 years. At that time, I used to sign the drawings with incorrect spellings of my name,
Ranjan told Himachal Watcher
His father, Dr R G Shandil, who is now retired, was a professor of mathematics at the H.P. University, Shimla. His mother Dr. Sandhya Shandil was a teacher at the St. Edward’s School, Shimla.
After graduating in 2010, I started with oil painting during the evenings and weekends. Gradually I built up a collection and in November 2016, I held my first solo exhibition of 29 oil paintings at gaiety,
Ranjan’s paintings reflect people. The upcoming exhibition opens with simple themes like the joy of shopping, local festivities, celebration, dance and music. Most works painted on these themes are in the context of Himachal.
Following these are mellow paintings ‘Seaside Nap’ and ‘Personal Sunrise’ – more subtle takes on human thought. The artist also takes a step towards satire in comically interesting works ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Chimpanzees’.
Slowly moving towards expressionism ‘Kayal’ takes the viewer to the realm of subjectless painting while in ‘Frenzy’ the artist dispenses with form.
Ending on a light hearted note, the paintings ‘Bonfire’ and ‘A Silent Conversation’ recreate the magic of Gabbar Singh and Rajesh Khanna on canvas.
About his love for painting, he said,
I believe art is a journey of constant improvisation.
It would be his second solo exhibition. Earlier, he has participated and won prizes in several painting competitions throughout his schooling and B.Tech.
Bollywood film-maker Onir conducting auditions in Shimla for his next film
Shimla: Shimla-based production house ‘Secret Corridor Pictures’, run by award-winning filmmaker Siddharth Chauhan, is looking for new faces for Onir’s upcoming film “Kuch Bheege Alfaaz”. The film will be shot in Shimla.
Onir is a National award-winning director and producer. He needs a young girl in the age group of 14-18 from Shimla to cast in his film.
Onir has directed films like: My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal, Sorry Bhai, I AM, and Shab. His ‘Chauranga’ had won him multiple awards last year.
The Secret Corridor is looking after the casting & production process for this film. The production house is currently scrutinizing applications and organizing auditions.
In the first round of the auditions was conducted online and five finalists were selected out of over 50 applicants. These five candidates were invited for an interview with Onir on October 8, 2017.
The production house is also looking for actors in all age groups for other projects.
Onir’s films are known for the unique content that works as a trailblazer for the Indian film industry.
He is the man behind ‘My Brother Nikhil’ – the first Bollywood film that addressed the sensitive topic of homosexuality and AIDS.
His other film ‘I AM’ had won him the prestigious National Award & many other awards at various international film festivals.
Himachal gets a ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala as reminder of martyrs
Dharamsala – The ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. He also laid the foundation stone of the Freedom Fighters Memorial at Dari.
The War Museum, he said was a reminder of the sacrifices of the valiant soldiers of Himachal Pradesh, right from recipients of Victoria Cross to Parmveer Chakra. The Museum would offer a flashback to learn more about the Nations first Param Vir Chakra recipient, the highest gallantry awardee, Major Somnath Sharma to late Captain Bikram Batra, Saurabh Kalia, and others who laid their lives for the sake of the Nation.
Recalling the Kargil war, he said that 54 brave soldiers from the soil of Himachal had laid their lives. These sacrifices will find mention in this War Museum.
The Museum is spread over a total area of 2190 square meters and built at a cost of Rs. 9.85 crores. Outside the Museum, the statue of General Zorawar Singh and murals of heroic deeds are on display.
The inner Hall houses busts of Vir Chakra awardees, Jamedar Bhandan Ram and Jamedar Lala small description of their legend on the wall against a golden background.
The busts of Param Vir and Vir Chakras include those of Major Somnath Sharma, Major Dhan Singh Thapa, Captain Vikram Batra, Major Sudhir Walia, Hony. Captain Sanjay Kumar.
The Museum also houses photo gallery of all PVC recipients of the country besides the medals of various gallantry award recipients including Victoria Cross, Ashok Chakra, Vir Chakra etc.
There is also a 5×2 foot Ashoka Pillar beside a Pakistan captured flag, regimental flags, Medium Machine Guns etc.
The State government has requested the Government of India for MIG-21 and display of other warfare machinery, said representatives of ‘State Martyrs Memorial Service and Development Society’.
The inauguration of the Museum was timed with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the quit India movement also known as ‘August Kranti’.
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