After launching a makeup line last month, The Body Shop is back with a number of new skin care products. Amongst them are the Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask, British Rose Petal-Soft Gel Toner, Chinese Ginseng & Rice Toner and Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Powder. Out of the four, I have three products sent to me by the brand and I’ve been trying them out every day for the last 1.5 weeks. Here are my initial thoughts on these new launches.
There is no dearth of restaurants opening in Kolkata. Every month sees the launch of at least five new restaurants/cafes/lounge bars etc but very few actually manage to impress with their food. The Salt House does. Opened just a few weeks back by Saloni Jhunjhunwalla & Prachi Saraogi, founders of Kaos Gourmet, this European-style restaurant with Chef Auroni Mookerjee heading the kitchen is already making waves in the city’s culinary circuit. And when I went there last week for a tasting session, I knew why.
The Salt House
Located on the 6th Floor of Shakespeare Point, the concept of The Salt House is very interesting and for Kolkata, probably a first. It is a bar (will be functional soon), kitchen and club and they serve European food with a classic yet contemporary twist, focusing on local and international ingredients. The place is divided into three sections – inside dining area, glass house and courtyard terrace area. The terrace area is my favourite and I am sure will be yours too if you visit the place. The owners have plans of bringing back the concept of Dinner and a Show to the city. Hopefully, we should be seeing stand-up performances and live gigs in the terrace area soon.
Coming to the food, Chef Auroni is extremely passionate about what he cooks with. The ingredients are authentic, the produce is mostly local and where needed, sourced from different countries as well. He is against the use of preservatives and wants to give his diners a very unique experience of European-style food with a Bengali twist. Think a Gobindo Bhog Risotto served with Pumpkin Flower & Ricotta Fritters or Galda Chingri cooked and executed like a Parisian Langoustine and served with Aoli or Pancakes and Waffles, served with not a side of Maple Syrup, but with Nolen Gur.
My Favourites At The Salt House
It is tough to name a few favourites because honestly, I loved everything that was served including the vegetarian dishes and that says a lot about the quality of the food. To make ordering easy for you, I’ll name my top six.
Fried Brussel Sprouts with Feta and Pomegranate Salad – This is a warm salad and can be a perfect start to a meal. The crunch of the brussel sprouts, the salty feta with the sweetness of the pomegranate makes for a very refreshing combination.
Mutton Sliders – I love my burgers with a healthy portion of juicy meat without any dressing or sauce. These sliders are therefore perfect!
Fluffy Omelette – Strange that I am recommending an omelette right? But you’ve got to try it. Believe me this was one of the fluffiest omelettes I’ve had in my life! It just melts in the mouth. Another omelette that is worth trying here is the Skinny Omelette, Chevre and Salad Wrap. This is basically veggies, pine nuts and chevre or goat cheese wrapped in an omelette and is great as a breakfast/brunch item.
Mutton & Pork Ragu – This dish has mutton, pork and handmade silky, smooth pappardelle. Need any other reason not to love it?
Pan Roasted Bhetki – This dish is a must for a fish lover. The taste and freshness of the bhetki comes through beautifully. And the interesting additions to the dish are Kolmi Saag, Spinach and Gondhoraaj Lemon.
Doi, Berry and Kaos Granola Parfait – A dessert totally worthy of an Instagram post! Traditionally, a granola parfait is always thought of as a breakfast item but Salt House has made it as a dessert that can be enjoyed anytime of the day. Beaten Mishti doi, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and granola topped with nolen gur make a very healthy and very tasty mix indeed. And try the Hazelnut Mousse, Salted Caramel & French Biscuit if you want something more sinful 🙂
After my experience at The Salt House, I can safely say that the food there was one of the best I’ve had in many months in Kolkata. It is innovative, fresh, bursting with flavours and most importantly, delicious. I am hoping for a lot of exciting stuff from Chef Auroni and the team in the coming months and I hope they don’t disappoint.
Description: Bar, Kitchen & Club
Timing: 7 pm to Midnight till 9th February. Noon to Midnight, 10th February onwards.
Cuisine: Contemporary European cuisine
Address: Shakespeare Point, 40 Shakespeare Sarani, 6th floor, Kolkata – 700017
Pocket Pinch for Two: Rs 2000++ approx
Why Serafina 2.0? Because the city’s favourite Italian restaurant and the place where you get the best Tiramisu is back in a new avatar at Quest Mall. Serafina 2.0 has a new decor, new seating arrangement and a menu that includes some old favourites and new dishes that are sure to become favourites soon.
The place looks completely different now and I must say I like this decor much more than the earlier one. A red brick facade, roman arches, earthy colours and an open-seating plan make up the new Serafina. It looks much more brighter, cheerful and welcoming. With the new seating, one can get a clear view of the semi-open kitchen and the oven that churns out the restaurant’s signature pizzas. The al fresco area now has a coffee zone and the bar has expanded to accommodate an open display of an extensive wine collection.
Coming to the food. Fret not, the menu has retained some of the old favourites like the truffle pizza, baby lamb chops, risotto al porcini etc. What is new is a Chef’s Special Menu divided into soup, salad, veg and non-veg appetisers, pizza, pasta, veg and non-veg main course and dessert sections.
Serafina 2.0 Chef’s Special Menu
On the new menu, each dish has a distinct flavour. The Insalata Pollo Grosso is a simple salad with grilled chicken breast, kidney beans, roasted corn, iceberg lettuce with mustard dressing. The slight sweetness with the mustard dressing and the crunchy veggies make for a perfect start to the meal.
If you are fond of pork and beef, I will recommend the Crostini di Chorizo (slices of french baguette, gratinated with mozzarella & topped with slices of chorizo) and Polpette Di Manzo Piccanti (minced fillet Mignon dumplings with bell pepper in tangy sauce). The taste of chorizo comes out beautifully with the crostini and the filet mignon is soft and tender.
Serafina pizzas have always been brilliant and the one I tried is aptly named Paradiso. The toppings are chicken, olives, onions, mozzarella with basil pesto and tomato sauce and the base is a slightly crispy, thin crust.
What is Italian food without pasta? I tried the Cremoso Spaghetti Calabrese or Spaghetti in tangy, homemade pink sauce with seasonal greens, olives and aged parmesan. This is the perfect Italian comfort food and I did not miss the addition of meat in it. For fish lovers, the Pesce E Mostarda Salsa or pan fried bhetki with parsley mashed potato and creamy mustard sauce can be a good option. I found it to be too mild for my taste.
Enough has been said about the famed Serafina Tiramisu so I’m not going to tell you again how beautiful it is. What I will say is that the Tiramisu has found a worthy competitor in the Choco Hazelnut Crème Brûlée. This dish is like heaven in a ramekin. Think of the creamy, hazelnut filling in a Ferrero Rocher praline. Now think of that same filling as a delicious, smooth Crème Brûlée. Yes, it is that good and you must try it. Absolutely must!
For chocolate lovers, there is also the Rich Chocolate Temptation which is a truffle fudge with chocolate ganache. Delicious no doubt but my vote goes to the Crème Brûlée 🙂
5th floor, Quest Mall
Open from 12 noon to 11.30 pm
Pocket pinch for two – Rs 1800 approx exclusive of taxes
Now that the first month of the new year is gone, how do you think 2018 is shaping up? For me, it actually started off pretty well. I spent the first week with my family at home and then, the next two weeks I was travelling, saw new places, met new people and learned new things. I feel 2018 is going to be a year of change for me especially in terms of work. Fingers crossed, everything will go well. Now, back to my January 2018 Beauty Favourites.
January 2018 Beauty Favourites
BH Cosmetics Gold Rush Eye & Cheek Palette –
I used this palette pretty much everyday last month. BH Cosmetics makes really good stuff at very reasonable prices and this palette is another of their gems. It has matte and shimmery eyeshadows, a pale pink highlighter, a peachy blush and a shimmery bronzer. It is great for travel and the colours are perfect for those with warm skin tones. Unfortunately, this was limited edition and is now sold out but BH Cosmetics has lots of similar palettes and you can definitely find one that you like.
MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour Dance With Me –
After a neutral lipstick phase, I am back to loving my reds once again. And my red of choice last month was an old favourite, Dance With Me. It is a deep pink-red with cool undertones and is one of the best shades in the Retro Matte range. Pigmentation is great, the colour looks good on everyone and it stays for nearly 6-7 hours.
Deborah Milano Divine Volume & Curves Mascara* –
This is my first mascara from Deborah Milano and I’m loving it. The mascara gives great length and volume to the lashes, it does not clump, the price is reasonable and the effect lasts for a long time. Recommended!
The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation Moluccan Honey* –
I have written about this foundation and other new makeup products from The Body Shop Jacqueline’s Signature Line 2.0 in this post. I am loving this foundation. Gives great coverage and I love the natural finish.
Simple Kind to Skin Vitamin Night Cream –
I picked up this cream from Boots because I needed something extra to combat the freezing temperatures in London. Simple is a brand that really focuses on ‘simple’ skincare. All of their products are very gentle on the skin but they are extremely effective. Even though this is a night cream, I’ve used it as a day cream as well and what I like about it is the fact that the cream is not at all heavy. It absorbs into the skin immediately but provides hydration nearly all day and night long. I really hope this brand comes to India!
Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Cleansing Oil –
One of all time favourite cleansing oils has been the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil. I have found a very worthy competitor in the Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil. Nearly half the price and just as effective as the Kiehl’s one. This oil takes off waterproof face and eye makeup in only one application and that is quite a feat. If you can get your hands on this, definitely give it a try.
The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Butter & Shower Gel –
The Vanilla Chai range is available only during the holiday season and I’ve been buying it every year since they launched it. I love the slightly spicy, vanilla fragrance and the thick body butter is great for winter.
That was my list of January favourites. I would love to read about yours. Do share in the comments below.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick is one of my favourite matte lipstick formulas. In terms of pigmentation, texture, staying power, that range is absolutely brilliant. When she launched her range of liquid lipsticks late last year, I was obviously excited. A few days back, after much deliberation because all the colours looked so gorgeous, I finally settled for Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Matte Liquid Lipstick Screen Siren. It is a classic rich, ruby red with cool, blue undertones and a red that will work on every skin tone.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Matte Liquid Lipstick Screen Siren
“Darlings, contour your lips in one single swipe for a fuller, velvety soft Hollywood pout! My Hollywood Lips in Screen Siren has all the anti-aging ingredients you need to create high impact colour with a second skin feel. This buildable, ruby red shade glides on seamlessly like a gloss yet feels completely weightless – like lingerie for your lips! This showstopping classic ruby red shade is the perfect colour to make a statement in true Hollywood-style“.
Price – £24.00