An annoying trend in restaurants

The other night we were eating at a restaurant and enjoying it. We were out for a family dinner. The restaurant is highly regarded. Life was good. And the food was great. But then it happened again. “Are you done with that?” the server asked. “Can I get it out of your way?” “No,” I said. “We’re not done eating.” I had to repeat “Please do not take an empty plate from one person while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.” Restaurants seem to have abandoned, or simply overlooked, a classic tenet of service etiquette. Rather than clear plates once everyone at the table has finished the meal, which has long been the custom, servers instead hover over diners, until the very instant someone puts down a spoon. If you’re lucky, they might ask permission before stealing your plate. When a server clears a plate before everyone is finished, he or she leaves the table with a mess of subtle but important signals. Those who are still eating are made to feel as though they are holding others up; those who are not are made to feel as though they have rushed the meal. Why that subtlety seems to evade so many restaurants these days is unclear. Publicly, restaurants might argue that they are trying to avoid clutter; privately, they might encourage waiters to speed tables along; but what it amounts to is an uncomfortable dining […]

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Dubai Mall — It’s not just a mall!

Today I got some time in the evening and I went to the Dubai Mall. The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall. As per Wikipedia, in 2012, Dubai Mall continued to hold title of world’s most-visited shopping and leisure destination, and attracted more than 65 million visitors, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the 54 million recorded in 2011. It attracted more visitors than New York City with over 52 million tourists in 2012, and Los Angeles with 41 million. There is a nice waterfall in the mall. In the souk, there is a fossil of a dinosaur — DubaiDino. It’s 24-metre long and 7.6-metre high. I first thought it was fake because how would you have dinosaur fossils in a mall? But, it’s indeed a real fossil. The long-necked, whip-tailed dinosaur (Diplodocus longus) is more than 155 million years old. The remains of DubaiDino were discovered in 2008 at the Dana Quarry in Wyoming, US and it was flown to Dubai. About 90 percent of this fossil’s bones are original and were found intact at the excavation site, making it one of the rarest discoveries in paleontology history. There is Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo inside the mall. It’s just not a mall! Bought a ticket for AED 120 ($33.33) and walked in. It’s really quite a big aquarium with great collection of fish. Then went up to the second floor for the underwater zoo. […]

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Mall to celebrate travels of Ibn Battuta

In the evening after the meeting was over, I went to the Ibn Battuta Mall. It’s the world’s largest themed shopping mall. This mall is uniquely designed to celebrate the travels of the famous Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta. Ibn Battuta visited India during the reign of Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Each region Ibn Battuta explored – Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China – is reflected in the architecture and theme of the mall’s six courts. These courts strongly project the historical and cultural richness of this Arabian icon’s life, serving as inspiration to all those who visit. Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1368) was a Moroccan explorer of Berber descent. He is known for his extensive travels. Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of the known Islamic world as well as many non-Muslim lands. His journeys included trips to North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa and Eastern Europe, and to the Middle East, India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China. Ibn Battuta is generally considered one of the greatest travellers of all time. The mall houses a 21-screen multiplex. I returned to hotel after having fried cod with a can of coke from London Fish N Chips at the Tunisia Court. It’s a nice evening today.

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Mall of the Emirates

I reached Dubai today for meetings with our software vendors. They’re located in Media City. We went and checked in at Hotel Radisson Blu at Media City. It’s also pretty hot in Dubai. I went down to Icon Bar for some beer. But the bar wasn’t serving alcohol as it’s Ramadan time. They said that alcohol is served during Ramadan after 8.00 pm. Anyway, I sat down there and had a cup of black coffee. To pass the evening time, I took a cab and went to Mall of the Emirates. The mall was opened in 2005. On November 2005, it was named the World’s Leading New Shopping Mall at the World Travel Awards in London. The mall also hosts Ski Dubai — the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park. I was just enjoying window shopping and walking with people around. Then went to an Italian restaurant — Emporio Armani Caffe and ordered for fried shrimps with calamari along with cappuccino. Fried shrimps and calamari were very delicious. I returned hotel after having an ice-cream from Baskin-Robbins.

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Dim sum, Hummus & Falafel

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It was 30 March, Jaya’s stitches on her right wrist were removed. Things were looking okay. Her abdomen stitches would be removed next day. It was getting into evening, Jaya was in no mood to return to the hotel so early. I was a bit hesitant whether she would be able to roam around as she was recovering from her […]

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Kolkata Book Fair

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I was returning from Gangtok on a two-week holiday from my institute after our third-year examination on February 1. My mom was in Kolkata to attend her friend’s daughter’s marriage followed by her routine medical checkups and consultations. So, I joined her in Kolkata. After her checkups and consultations at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, on February 2, we decided to go for […]

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Dining at Alfresco, Kolkata

On 16 October 2014, I came to Kolkata with my parents for my mom’s health check up at Quadra Medical Services, Hazra Road. My dad booked at Great Eastern Hotel in Dalhousie for our stay tonight. It’s the oldest five-star hotels in all over Asia and its establishment dates back to 1840s during the East India Company rule in Kolkata. The hotel has been in top charts since then. The location of the hotel is very good as it’s in the heart of the main business district of Kolkata. All the big and reputed companies have their establishment around. The hotel is quite huge with three separate restaurants. One of them is on the lobby named Alfresco, which is a multi-cuisine restaurant accompanied with a café. The hotel is now managed by Lalit group. We walked in there for our dinner. Well it is a very beautiful restaurant. As the name literally suggests ‘outdoor’, all the arrangements are like sitting in the outdoor porch or a tent with circular glass cane table and cane chairs complemented with sweet chirping of birds making you feel sitting at a garden in the open. The ambiance made us feel good. My mom was tired of the journey started feeling refreshed there. We had a hard time discussing the menu since there were a lot new dishes on the menu card. Finally we settled for ‘mushroom cappuccino’ soup for my dad and me and […]

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Ugrasen ki Baoli

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My dad has come to Delhi for attestation of some documents by Iraqi embassy. So, mom and I also accompanied him to Delhi from Ranchi. I went with my dad. Mom was resting at the hotel. After depositing the document at Ministry of External Affairs for their attestation before it’s attested by the Iraqi embassy, Dad & I went for a walk from Patiala […]

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India Gate at Night

India Gate is the pride of Delhi. An imposing structure, the gate was built in memory to the of the 90,000 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during World War I. The India Gate is a war memorial located astride the Rajpath. 13,300 servicemen names, including some soldiers and officers from the UK, are inscribed on the gate. The India Gate, even though a war memorial, evokes the architectural style of the triumphal arch. India Gate at night A photo posted by I.RoyChoudhury (@iroychoudhury) on Oct 8, 2014 at 5:51pm PDT In 1971, following the Bangladesh Liberation war, a small simple structure, consisting of a black marble plinth, with reversed rifle, capped by war helmet, bounded by four eternal flames, was built beneath the soaring Memorial Archway. This structure, called Amar Jawan Jyoti, or the Flame of the Immortal Soldier, since 1971 has served as India’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. During the night, India gate is dazzled by floodlit and the fountains nearby are lit up with colored lights. People throng the lawns around the India Gate in the night.We went there yesterday to enjoy the splendor of India Gate. There are many vendors selling tea, ice creams, chanachur, toys etc. We spent sometime there and returned after having dinner at Pindi Restaurant in Pandara Road, New Delhi. We had lovely chicken dishes and then returned to our hotel.

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Dinner with Indian Ambassador

Yesterday, while talking over phone Mr. Dharam Veer Singh, HOC, Indian Embassy invited us for dinner. Mr. Singh is a nice, friendly person and I agreed immediately. He again called me in the afternoon to confirm our presence in the evening at the residence. It’s so nice of him. He also informed me that he’s now getting posted at Atlanta in Georgia (USA). We reached the residence of the ambassador at 7:00 p.m. We had nice chat with Ambassador Ajay Kumar, Mr. Singh and Mr. Ashok Rawat, Consular over scotch whiskey followed a heavy dinner. There was kaju barfi in dessert! They said that they got the barfi just today. It was fresh indeed. Kaju Barfi is an Indian subcontinent dessert. Kaju literally means Cashew nuts and Barfi is a type of Indian sweet. We didn’t realize that it was almost 11:00 p.m. We wished them Good night and walked back to our residence. We hope to see Mr. Singh again before he leaves for Atlanta. I wish him all the best in his new assignment.

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