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
HPTDC’s Online Service for Ordering Food for Takeaway and Home Delivery Launched
Shimla-An online facility to place orders of food was launched by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation on July 21, 2020. It was informed by the HPTDC, Managing Director Kumud Singh. She said the Corporation has introduced a facility to place an online order of food for takeaway and home delivery at its selected properties.
“The public can place orders for a variety of tasty, hygienic and healthy cuisines at their homes by placing online orders,”
Consumers can place online food orders at these properties by visiting its website (www.hptdconwheels.in). Currently, the orders can be placed from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The HPTDC staff has been imparted special training to take all necessary steps for prevention of COVID-19, she said. The food is prepared by trained Chefs of the Corporation in safe and hygiene environment, she added.
She informed that this service has initially been started at Hotel Peterhof Shimla, Goofa Ashiana Restaurant Shimla, Hotel Kunzam Manali, Cafe Monal Kullu, Cafe Raviview Chamba and Cafe Satluj Rampur. She said that this service will be extended to other properties in a phased manner.
Photo: Himachal Watcher
Fursat Se- Shimla Based Cultural Community to Plant 550 Trees on 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji
Shimla-On the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, Fursat Se, a cultural community based in Shimla plans to plant 550 trees. The founder of Fursat Se, Amrita Bhasin, is working towards creating safe spaces for promotion of art, literature and open dialogue through the medium of events.
“We invite 550 people (&more) to pledge and plant one tree each and help us initiate a Green Movement by the people and for the people,”
Anyone interested in this, can pick a local tree sapling and plant it in allowed areas of the neighborhood and pledge to take care of it, and send the information on the same with a picture and hashtag #TreeTalesIndia to Fursat Se. For pledging, volunteering and becoming a part of this initiative you can contact them, and Fursat Se will share the pictures from their social media handles.
The initiative is organized by Fursat Se- A Cultural Community in association with- Swach Himalayas, a Himachal based NGO started by Savitoj Singh, that works towards spreading awareness about various environmental issues, undertakes initiatives like regular visits to old-age homes, orphanages through numerous community driven events and Unbox Himachal valley- a Himachal based start-up by Shivee Sirmauri, working towards empowerment of rural women by providing employment opportunities and reviving old cultural handicrafts.
Himachal’s fitness enthusiast shines at Indian TV Reality Show
Shimla: Sachin Sharma, a handsome man of 26, is currently a person who stands in contrast to Himachal Pradesh’s ill-famed youth struggling with drug and substance abuse – a crucial issue that has sounded an alarm in the State. Sachin is the one who joined a gym at the age of 19 – an age at which teenagers are struggling to escape from the jaws of drug/substance abuse, especially Heroin (Chitta).
Sachin, born in a middle-class family of Deha village, Theog, Shimla district, recently appeared in what could be called India’s first fitness reality show “Indian Fitness League.” It wasn’t a bodybuilding show, but the challenge was to undertake tasks designed to check who is the fittest. Sachin was the only one from Himachal to have made through the auditions. He was selected as one of the 40 fittest people of India. He earned the special attention of the hosts of the show as well as among other competitors.
The next episode of the TV show would be telecasted on October 6 on Discovery Sports at 4 PM.
To know more about him, Himachal Watcher interviewed him (Watch Video). We found that his story is inspirational in its own way:
Far from ill and unhealthy habits, he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink or take anything that would toy with his physical and mental fitness. He definitely doesn’t take steroids. Since last seven years, he has followed a strict discipline in diet and habits. He didn’t compromise with his studies either. He completed his schooling from Dayanand Public School in Shimla.
In 2018 he completed his post graduation in Masters of Business (MBA) from Himachal Pradesh University and had procured a placement for himself too.
He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth so placement did matter for him. His father Mohan Lal Sharma and mother Subhadra Sharma are both serving with the Crime Investigation Department (CID), HP, as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and Head Constable respectively. It wasn’t easy to manage an additional expenditure of Rs. 15,000 – 20, 000 on his protein diet for seven years.
At this point, his decision-making ability was put to test. He had to choose one of the two: job placement and passion for fitness. He listened to himself and decided to seek a career in the fitness industry.
Though Sachin’s body is in good shape, he isn’t actually a bodybuilder. He is a fitness enthusiast, who has trained without a professional trainer or a mentor. He made ample use of YouTube to learn. He didn’t take up fitness as his passion because he was inspired by someone. He was his own inspiration.
He first received an opportunity to get on a stage at annual Mr. Himachal competition. Later he won the Maruti Suzuki Devils Circuit held in Chandigarh.
Now, after his tremendous performance at the IFL, Sachin has received sponsorships and was inducted in the TG Athlete group. Opportunities in the fitness industry have begun to appear before him. He believes that someday, he would extend support and guidance to other fitness enthusiasts of the state, which he could hardly receive for himself.
He is an idol for the youth of Himachal, especially because fitness is an antonym to drug/substance abuse and indiscipline. In the majority of cases filed under the Narcotics, Drugs & Psychoactive Substances (ND&PS) Act, the accused are reported to be between 20-25 years. A couple of days back Shimla Police arrested a 22-years-old local boy with a packet of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) stamps.