Soiree with Australian Chef, Scott @ Hyatt Regency, Delhi

Cosmopolitan, Elegant and chic, Australia has a passionate soul and a welcoming heart that makes every thing truly memorable about that place! From thrilling world class events and renowned architecture, to cafe-lined streetscapes and verdant parklands, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in that country!!!! Well, Well, Enough Said! or rather having said that, it was my true pleasure to visit Hyatt regency when they bought Australia on Platter because after all it was #ScottPickettInIndia , Melbourne’s most celebrated chef and culinary personality.

Event started off with Avocado master class and effortlessly lead us to reconstruction of Local favorite Bombay from there. We all carefully watched Chef Scott and the way his hand moved like an undulating waves giving perfection to each and everything.

How do i express this.. Well, serving soul food and exclusive, Dinner was beautifully divided into a satiating 3 course meal with the options of both veg and non veg and not to forget with the love of both White and Red wine!

In between the meal, they premiered a small video talking about Australia tourism. From world famous wines to fabulously fresh food and breathtaking sceneries, magnificent forests with cascading waterfalls and quaint mountain villages, that video spoke about everything which allured me to plan my next big visit.

It was lovely to hear Chef Scott and his experience about both our country and his and it was awesome to come back home after an amazing experience of Auatralian culture and food that evening

 

 

 

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Food Delivery Service Review: POHA Xpress

I recently happened to receive some delicious and importantly healthy breakfast from POHA Xpress. POHA Xpress is based out of Gurgaon and does different kinds of breakfast meals like poha, daliya and other healthy meals made of oats.

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They also do many drinks and I especially loved the range of lassis they do – in particular, the ghamandi lassi. With a hint of cardamom, rose water and saffron it is refreshing, flavourful and healthy.

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Come and try this new breakfast place , it is a fantastic alternative to regular old breakfast at home or the unhealthy, greasy breakfast one is served everywhere else.

POHA Xpress Phone Numbers: +91 9999447742, +91 9999447752

Review “Yauatcha”-The Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj

“Afterall, Life is delicious when you pull up the chair and take a taste” !

Once you step inside the Ambience mall, Vasant Kunj, you know it well enough that it’s going to burn your pocket,be it shopping or eating at a good restaurant. “Yauatcha” is one among the many, located in a corner of the second level of the mall. This restaurant does not require a second thought for their take on-“Cantonese cuisine”.

So, let me give you a detailed insight to what this luxury dining has got for the rich class of people and for foodies who wouldn’t mind burning their pocket.

Out of so many restaurants, I picked “Yauatcha” for the review for a stomach full and content dinner.We were however, swiftly escorted to our table by the nice courteous service staff member who even guided us through the menu.

Ambience:

It’s dimly neon glow and dark facades are perfectly offset by the glass partitioning to one side that contributes to the restaurant’s airy vibe even by evening and has a long bar at the other end.It has a capacity to accommodate approximately 137 people and has the crowd of a good class of people.

Staff and Higher Management:

We barely had an interaction with them. Even the staff did not make an effort to attend us timely so after having placed an order and having done with it, we literally had to look here and there for the staff to make sure that he sees us and comes and takes the next order. The service was indeed very slow and even got frustrating at times which kept us at bay from ordering the main course and just being done up with their starters and drinks.

This place will never disappoint you when it comes to their dim sums-ranging from steamed,pan-fried and fried being available in vegetarian and meat select and for a wide range of their drinks.

Drinks:

We had ordered a glass of orange and chilli smoothie which was a good blend of orange juice,palm sugar,chilli,mint and lemon grass ( although,the lemongrass was not a necessity). We also ordered a glass of plum cut larissa smoothie which had grapes,plums,fruit syrup,oolong tea and apple juice in the right mix. The virgin mary mocktail was indeed very nice. I have seen a very few restaurants come up with this drink as a perfection,apt for my taste buds. Overall, we were content with our drinks.

 

Dim-sums:

We tried their Chicken and Prawn sui mai, vegetable shanghai Dumplings at first, which clearly reflected the artistry and silken touch that goes into making each of these babies. Each one of them looked stunning, made with the sure touch of a master craftsman.

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Having finished both these starters and craving to try for more of their range in “Cantonese Cuisine”, we also ordered a chicken cheung fun, crispy spicy vegetable cheung fun and chicken wrapped in pakchoi. The Chicken wrapped in pakchoi was just too good. My favourite among all. It was very well presented to us and it was a dish that I had tried for the first time and truly relished it. I could have definitely gone for more had my stomach permitted me to do so..( hahahahha…)

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Desserts:

This being the best part of our meal (and I am sure your’s too….)

At the end we were presented with a curated dessert platter which included three flavors of ice cream, religieuse,six french macaroons, milk choco praline and mango mascarpone gateaux.
Macaroons…Ahhh..those gorgeous,little French cookies-delicate and pretty. They were fluffy and delicious. And they were so super cute!They were perfect with not a single crack in any batch.They were fresh and delicate but too sweet for my taste buds.

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The milk chocolate praline, was my favourite (sure, it’s gonna be your’s as well…! ). The Sacher biscuit on top was a commendable way of presenting it. Very delicate and soft and dissolves in your mouth right then. Tempting and mouth watering…You need to get your eyes off it inorder to resist it.

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The religieuse, had a good presentation with a disc shaped on top having “Yauatcha” written on it but, was a little hard. Didn’t find it fresh and I would not like to go for another try of it.

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Mango mascarpone gateaux- Soft and delicate and a bit crunchy…

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If you are having the crave for “Cantonese food” and like to try out their deep fried dim-sums, then you can give it a thought of burning your pocket.

The service needs to improve and also the higher management needs to make sure that each and everyone there is attended properly.

It might leave some of you with a content heart and happy taste buds but as for me, I was a little disappointed with some of their dishes and might think of considering it the next time.

Highly Recommend: Chicken wrapped in pakchoi, Chicken and Prawn sui mai and milk choco praline.

(Feel free to comment…..)

Colors of South, Chettinad Food Festival @ Crowne Plaza, Gurgaon

Crowne Plaza held the amazingly aromatic Chettinad Food Festival. Starters consisted of Kozhi Varuval (masala coated fried chicken morsals), Kari Kola urandai (minced lamb dumplings spiked with chettinad spices), Keerai vadai (spinach and lentil patties), Vazhakai kola urandai (Golden kebabs of raw banana with coconut and chillies). Our favourite was the minced lamb. The flavours were delightful. The chutney it was served with was brilliant too.

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The Main course consisted of “Meen kozhambu” (Spicy tangy fish curry simmered with shallots, cumin and curry leaves), “Kozhi uppkari Chettiyar” (spices rubbed chicken simmered with shallots and poppy seeds masala) but our favourite was the “Kari chops masala” (A traditional Lamb chop preperation).

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We had a few vegetarians at the table who particularly enjoyed the main course “Kai Kari mandi” (A combination of vegetables , green chillies cooked in gravy of tamarind and garlic) and the Vellai poriyal Cauliflower and double beans tempered with garlic).

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DSC_0850The desserts of “Kalkandu Pongal”(A sweet preration of sugar candy and rice) and “Chettiiyar carrot halwa” (Grated carrots and reduced milk finished with ghee and nuts). The buffet wasn’t restricted to only Chettinad food though. There was Sushi, Chinese and Chaat that we all loved.

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The food festival lasted until the 20th of March and was hugely successful, the menu was changed almost everyday and the chefs ensured that the spices were just right to suit the taste of North Indians and Expats.

Review: The Tipsy Project, Janakpuri

Spread out on two floors with uncluttered seating, The Tipsy Project is a lightly dim place which is best for friends to hangout, have some drinks and food while enjoying the music or a game of cricket. The seating is comfortable, with options of accommodating large groups of friends, couples and a bar table. The music is loud, and the day we visited was a mix of Punjabi and English songs – though they definitely failed to impress me.

The mixed cuisine menu offers you quite a variety. Chicken Tai-Chi is stir fried boneless chicken pieces with a variety of bell pepper and other veggies, a sweet and sour sauce. I would have a preferred it to be drier, but that’s a personal preference. Crispy Congee Lamb is a winner – the lamb as it should be and the sauces maintain the balance. Baked Chicken Nachos fare well, with in-house nachos topped with chicken and cheese, but the salsa fails to impress – too sweet. Pita bread with hummus repeats the story – the pita bread is good, but the consistency of the hummus is not – it is watery, but the taste is perfect.

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crispy crongee lamg

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chicken tai-chi

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baked chicken nachos

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pita bread with hummus

The TTP Special Pizza wins hands down – a combination of veggies and loads of cheese on a thin crust, wood fired – bliss! Penne in Golden Sauce (you’re right it’s not gold and it’s not that costly as well 🙂) – basically a mix sauce is a must try – the individual flavors of pesto, arrabbiata and alfredo retain themselves and create a medley of flavors.

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pasta in goldenn sauce

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TTP special pizza

With an extensive beverage menu, TTP is surely going to keep the alcohol loving fraternity happy. We tried a few cocktails and mocktails – Cucumber Spritzer & Fruit Punch from the mocktails section – the former refreshing and the latter a must try – temperature, taste and texture – all get full marks! From the cocktails menu Dirty Martini, Sangria, Green Apple Martini  were ordered and they absolutely justified themselves. A glass of Masala Coke (very well made) complimented the main course very well.

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dirty martini and green apple martini

For dessert, we could only try the TTP Special Pan Rabri – and I am pretty sure we didn’t make any mistake here – the pan flavor didn’t overpower, the sweetness was perfect. Wanted to try the Bailey’s Gulab Jamun as well, but our appetite didn’t agree with us!

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A good place to hang out with friends, have some drinks & enjoy those moments of friendship and love with music or over a cricket match – TTP brings cheer to the residents and visitors of Janakpuri – yeah definitely a place to get tipsy!

Plot 4, C Block, Community Centre, Pankha Road,Janakpuri, New Delhi
Open 11 AM to 1 AM
North Indian, Chinese, Italian – Extensive beverage menu and Hookahs!

Barcelos Opens at Hauz Khas Village

After successful debut in India with its first restaurant in  Khan Market, now Barcelos launches its second restaurant in the most happening and a very prominent foodies zone, Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi.
Barcelos is famous for its flame grilled Peri Peri menu and has created its own unique following by introducing to the discerning Indian foodie their own brand of innovation. Barcelos revolutionized the concept of the ‘burger’ in India by presenting it in different colors! That apart, they have created a niche for themselves with their innovative salads, beverages like Molecular drinks, boozy shakes and by introducing India’s first Sangria Bar.

I Do Barbeque-Jaypee Siddharth- Amazing Concept Awesome Food

I have visited a lot many restaurants and amazing food joints, but this one is a class apart. From ambience, to the food and most importantly the novel concept, this place entices you through and through.

Let me introduce you to ‘I Do Barbecue at Metro Grill by Jaypee Siddharth’. Metro Grill at Jaypee has introduced this very innovative concept ‘ I Do Barbecue’ which is synonym to DIY (Do it Yourself) and winters in Delhi has been the perfect time to launch this concept.

The ambience is just beautiful and apt to spend a winter evening enjoying with your family and friends, its one of those places, where the more people you visit with the more you will enjoy.

Now the idea is, that they have these shops, from where you buy your selection of meats or veggies, then select your marinates or rubs, and then they set up a barbecue grill for you, which comes with all the necessary equipments and spices, oil, utensils etc.

The meats start for as low as 90/-Rs for 100 gms and veggies for Rs. 65/- onwards per 100 gms which makes it very reasonable and affordable as against normal 5 star rates.One can choose the accompaniments and dips as per liking from a variety of offerings.

You are also given a chef’s apron and all necessary assistance you could need to become a chef and barbecue for yourself. The staff is extremely friendly, takes care of minutest details and makes you feel very very comfortable. BTW, they also have few leisure games to take care of those long interesting hours that you sit and enjoy while barbequing the food.

Well, in my case I left the decision of choosing meats and marinates in the hands of extremely talented and friendly chef, chef Ashish Joshi, who is the executive chef for Jaypee Siddharth. To start with chef brought us Five Spiced Chicken Picatta, Cajun Chicken Breasts & Tandoori Marinated Cottage Cheese Steak.

 

The chicken breasts were very tender and very very yummy and so was the chicken picatta. I was surprised to see that the cottage cheese was very well coated with the spices and retained the complete flavour, because normally the paneer tikkas that we get at restaurants end up tasting bland with a very thin coating of the marinate, but this cottage cheese tasted amazing, were grilled to perfection.

The fun of doing it one self, makes the barbeque experience indeed a unique one and most enjoyable. The next set included some Curried Spice Fish Fillet and Indian Spiced Pineapple and both the preparations were impeccable. The fish was succulent and pineapple very very juicy and both the marinades had a very distinct flavour complimenting the dishes respectively.

The place in itself fills with so much excitement, that one starts looking forward to going there again even before the first visit comes to an end. My son accompanied me on the visit, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, because its not just eating, but the entire process of choosing things, wearing the chef’s aprons, chilling and relaxing, sipping a mocktail,/cocktail while you see the food getting grilled, and giving them twists and turns in between.We tried the Fruit Punch and Mixed Berries Mocktail and both were amazing.

The next we tried some Garlic Peppered Marinated Chicken Sausages and Orange Citrus Glazed Chicken with Skin. I am personally not very fond of Sausages, but all I can say is they tasted quite nice, but this zesty chicken was something I cannot forget, it just tasted amazing. It had a perfect zing because of the orange flavour and the spices balanced it nicely, so as to not overpower the citrusy taste.

Last on the barbeque were some Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Reduction Marination and Garlic Peppered Chicken Breasts. And once again they tasted awesome, though we ended up tasting quite a variety of marinades and rubs, but I must say that each one had its own distinct flavour and cannot be compared. One must definitely try all of them and pick your own favourites.

Well they also offer a Lazy Menu, for those who do not want to indulge in this process of Barbequing, though I highly recommend giving it a try, its so much fun. The lazy menu includes some pre decided food combinations and have quite a few options to choose from, not only in Indian, but Continental, Italian and other Cuisines as well.

In spite of feeling too full with the over load of Barbeque menu, we ordered Dal Makhani and Butter Naan. Somehow without a Roti, Indian meal seems incomplete and hence the choice. I suggested the chef to keep some Roomali Rotis as accompanimants with the Barbeque Menu, so that it becomes a complete meal in itself, and I hope they would try and accommodate the same in near future.

The Dal was simply top class and proves the quality of overall preparations of the restaurant.

I really cannot put in words how much I enjoyed being at this place, and I extend my wishes and thanks to Chef Ashish Joshi, F&B Managers Prashant and Ravish for their hospitality and excellent fooding experience.

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This place is highly recommended if you are fond of Barbeque Items and want to spend a great time in the company of your family and friends trying your hands at doing the Barbeque on your own without worrying about getting and collecting the ingredients and cleaning the mess next day. I give it a very deserving 4.5 star rating out of 5.

Review Credit: Aditi Malhotra

For more updates and recipes please visit my blog http://www.ikreatepassions.blogspot.com

Restaurant Review: Filmy Cafe and Bar

Weekend in other words means exploring new places to eat and spend fun time with family and friends. This weekend was no different, and I got a chance to visit this newly opened cafe and bar called the “Filmy Cafe & Bar by Deez”.

Deez Biryani has been a synonym for best biryani for almost all Delhi Walas and I am no exception, so when I came to know about this new venture of theirs I got all excited.

Filmy cafe & bar is a cosy place tucked away in one of the most prime locations in Delhi, i.e. Connaught Place and further more, it is very prominently located in the PVR plaza building and makes it an ideal place to indulge in food after a movie at PVR. Anyway, movie, or no movie, it surely calls for a visit if you are a film buff. The entire place has a very thematic ambience with posters and dialogues of famous films adorning the walls. The seating is very comfortable and we see filmy cushions thrown away on couches adding more to the theme.

The music at the place is a great mix of bollywood and hollywood numbers and keeps you in an upbeat mood.

Now coming to food, they have an elaborate menu to choose from, and very cleverly, the menu is also divided into bollywood and hollywood flavours, where in bollywood represents our very own Indian food, and hollywood serves  a mix of International cuisines from American, to Italian, Continental and Chinese.

They have a great bar menu as well and a wide range of cocktails and mocktails to choose from.

As per their manager, Mr. Subhash’s recommendation, we ordered Chilly Chicken Dry and Bhatti Ka Murg Tikka for starters, along with Cosmopolitan( A vodka based cocktail) & Safe Sex on the Beach.

The drinks were fabulous and so were the starters. The chilly chicken was spicy, just the way it should be, and the bhatti ka murg was a sure shot hit and highly recommended.

For the mains, we settled for the bollywood menu, aka our Indian cuisine, because of the big bollywood keeda that I have in me 🙂

We ordered, Dal Makhani, Peshawari Korma Gosht, and Murg Handi Biryani(how can one not try the biryani that the Deez group has been known for all the time).

Dal was rich in its texture and had a perfect taste, the mug biryani was great as expected from Deez, but the only surprise part was, that it had pieces of chicken tikka rather than the usual road chicken pieces. It did take away the authentic biryani taste somewhat, nevertheless the biryani in itself was good. The clear winner was the peshawari gosht, the gravy was very rich in texture and tasted just awesome. The mutton was tender and makes for a perfect meal with hot tandoori rotis. Trust me, you don’t need anything else, if you are a mutton lover.

I was almost full, but was tempted to try the desserts, because of the filmy names that they were given and got most interested in “Chakki Peesing Peesing” and ordered the same, and also on staff’s recommendation ordered “Fried Chocolate Bars”.

Chakki Peesing Peesing was a twisted version of Kesar Kulfi on a bed of strawberry crush, topped with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce. It made for a rare combination and definitely a must try.

The fried chocolate bars, were also good to taste, but the only disappointing thing was, that barring one main flavour, which is the chocolate bar, and the kulfi, there was no differentiator in the desserts. The chocolate bars were also served with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce and had the strawberry crush on the base. As a good gesture of Mr. Subhash, we also got a complimentary Paan Bahar to taste, but again the same thing, only the pan kulfi as a central flavour was different, rest all same. After the initial bites, once your dessert starts melting somewhat, all the desserts start tasting same. This is something I am sure they need to work upon.

All in all, it surely is a highly recommended place, and food and film lovers must give it a try. It has a great ambience, great music, and great food and you would not mind splurging your money on this one. A special mention for the entire staff, they are very cordial, courteous and attentive, which also means great hospitality.

 

#RakhiwithMcCain – Cooking up a Storm with my Sibling!

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I have to be honest. I have never really cooked with my brother. We are both huge foodies and we cook all the time but it has never been with my brother. The fun part about this Rakhi was that McCain sent us a lot of interesting stuff and we were asked to create fun recipes with it. We decided to make a delicious Indian Burger or Pav Burger with McCain Aloo Tikki. It sounds simple and it really was. Cooking with McCain is a walk in the park! 
 
Ingredients: 
 
4 pieces McCain Aloo Tikki Shallow Fried
1 red onion, finely chopped 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tomato
1 thinly sliced onion 
1 handful Parmesan, grated 
1 heaped tablespoon Dijon mustard 
Groundnut or other flavourless oil 
Pav bun, 
Toasted Tomato ketchup
 
Serves 4 

Directions 
 
Cook the Aloo Tikki in olive oil and keep it aside to rest. Cook the Pav Burger in a little oil flavoured in onions. To assemble the burger first use a mix of the mustard and toasted tomato ketchup. Then add onions, tomatoes, parmesan to it. Then add the McCains Aloo Tikki but and top off with some more mustard and the top part of the Pav. It’s that simple!
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I loved cooking with my brother. What a fun experience this was. 

Say Yes to more funventures and enticing menu offerings at Starbucks this season!

Are you ready to bid farewell to summer yet? Starbucks definitely isn’t! It’s time to rejuvenate the fun spirit with exciting new Frappuccino flavours, new menu offerings and funventure activities at Starbucks!

Strawberry Chocolate Frappuccino and Alphonso Mango Frappuccino

Debuting this season is the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino® – a divine combination of rich mocha with chocolate drizzle, topped with crunchilicious Chocolate Cookie Crumbles. This masterpiece is all set to win your hearts over! Adding to the delicious menu is the Strawberry & Chocolate Frappuccino®- A blended perfection, which really hits the spot with all its goodness of strawberries and chocolate mixed with a creamy lush. Ever heard of a chocolate whipped cream swirl at Starbucks? Well for the first time in India, Starbucks is introducing this delicious innovation with the new Frappuccino® flavours!

If you haven’t tried the summer royal exclusive Alphonso Mango Frappuccino® yet, hurry to your closest Starbucks to enjoy this limited edition mango treat while it lasts! You don’t want to miss this exquisite concoction of pure Alphonso mango with a Starbucks twist!

The indulgence doesn’t end here. Say yes to happier times at Starbucks with delightful treats- Get 40% off on your second beverage during select evening hours (Monday to Thursday). My Starbucks Rewards members have an extra bonus hour where they can exclusively enjoy the benefit. Indulge in Frappuccino delight by getting 30% off on food items when you sip on Frappuccino. You are also in for a treat on your receipt by getting 40% off on a beverage when you come back on the same day.

While you sip on these new fresh, creamy delights, Say Yes to rewards and surprises by sharing your fun adventures with Starbucks and putting it up on the store community board!

New Frappuccino Flavors

For those of you looking for a hearty bowl of goodness, try the new range of delicious salads introduced at Starbucks. Spruce up your summer with the Tossed Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Veg Salad or the Mexican Veg Salad!

Say Yes to the blissful world of delicious goodness as you devour the newest and the best at your closest neighbourhood Starbucks!

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest-quality Arabica coffee in the world. Today, with more than 17,000 stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at http://www.starbucks.in

About Tata Global Beverages
Tata Global Beverages is a part of the global Tata Group. Tata Global Beverages is a global beverage business and the world’s second largest tea company. The group’s annual turnover is US $1.5 bn and it employs around 3000 people worldwide. The Company focuses on ‘good for you’ beverages and has a stable of innovative regional and global beverage brands , including Tata Tea, Tetley, Himalayan natural mineral water and Eight O’ Clock Coffee. For more information, please visit http://www.tataglobalbeverages.com