Masters at work: When inspiration struck in the form of a sandwich

Inside the Big Fat Sandwich. Inside the Big Fat Sandwich.

Inspiration struck in the form of a sandwich as Siddharth Manchanda and Anant Kataria strolled the quirky-yet-cosy streets of Amsterdam nearly seven years ago. The two began dreaming of starting their own casual dining restaurant with the cult favourite as its pièce de résistance.

They first tested waters a year-and-a-half ago by setting up a surreptitious al fresco diner in the alley between Ambience and Promenade Mall in Vasant Kunj and called it the Big Fat Sandwich (BFS). As praise poured in, in footfalls, they took the plunge and another BFS cropped up at the popular SelectCity Walk.

While Manchanda and Kataria had sandwich-making in their clench, beverages and desserts were beyond their ken. So, they reached out to Matt Chitharanjan of Blue Tokai, and Bani Nanda of Miam Patisserie, two of the best in the business. The three frontliners, together, have pulled a bit of a gastronomic coup by coming under the Big Fat Sandwich’s roof.

“Going to Bani was a no-brainer. We had been ordering from her since she opened her catering business last year. It took a little bit of convincing, but we’re so glad she agreed to come on board. As for coffee, we used to go to Blue Tokai everyday and absolutely loved their coffee. So, we asked them to join us. They refused to collaborate with us if we continued to function in the mall,” says Manchanda.

The idea of finding a space away from the centre of the city appealed to Manchanda and Kataria who found a snug place in Hauz Khas Market, which is going through a makeover, with new restaurants popping up. Though the market does not ensure as many customers, as most of them are from the hood, the owners seem to be clear about the kind of clientele they wish to attract.

“The mall culture does not fit in our vision. Both BFS and Blue Tokai source their ingredients from local producers and we’re all about making great food and good coffee more accessible. Malls don’t allow that to happen,” says Chitharanjan.

The minimalist, modern decor gives a sense that they aren’t trying too hard until you get to the menu. It is exhaustive. From the breakfast menu to an array of French desserts. When encountered for the first time, the options require your complete and undivided attention. You are spoiled for choice. With the help of Manchanda, a respectable order of Nitro Coffee, Truffle infused Mac ‘n’ Cheese and the Philly Loving was placed.

The Nitro coffee packed the anticipated caffeine punch but lost points on the texture. It was not as foamy as one would have liked it to be. The Truffle infused Mac ’n’ Cheese Croquettes were crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside. You want to consume this soon after it has been presented to you.

It’s no good when cold. Manchanda’s suggestion, Philly Loving, was the star of the evening. A warm, soft French loaf arrived stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, caramelised onions, cheddar and slow cooked baby lamb which had been marinating in its juices for more than 48 hours. Mint mayo played the ideal sidekick.

Soon after, Le Cordon Bleu alumna Nanda walked towards us, holding up a pink box. Her gait was a gentle reminiscent of the French waiter caricature. She brought us macaroons and a tart. The temperamental cookies, which she makes using the French method, were as pleasing to the taste buds as to the eyes.

Where Nanda truly wins you over is with her panache for converging varying textures on the same platter. The tart was an assemblage of orange mousse, orange curd and lime custard on a kafir lime cookie base — a refreshingly unusual dessert for a Delhi restaurant.

“I like to give multiple textures to my desserts because it’s the best way for me to express my flavour pairings. Everything can fit in one bite and it also poses a fun challenge for me as a chef,”said Nanda. Her only complaint — everyone wants to eat something with chocolate.

Meal for two: Rs 1,500

Address: A-15A Front, Hauz Khas, Delhi

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India’s DRS report card: A work in progress


India’s DRS report card: A work in progress

Deepu Narayanan • Last updated on Wed, 29 Mar, 2017, 03:21 PM

Only 10 decisions were overturned out of the 51 referrals made by India while fielding in this home season. © AFP

A statistical look at how India fared with the use of DRS technology in their inaugural season:

139 Number of DRS referrals made in ten Test matches in its trial season in India. 73 of these referrals were made by India and 66 by the opposition teams – 31 by England, 28 by Australia and seven by Bangladesh.

87 Referrals made by the fielding captains out of the 139 reviews, 49 of these were by Virat Kohli. Out of the 52 reviews by batsmen, 22 were by India, 13 each by England and Australia and four by Bangladesh.

10 Number of decisions overturned out of the 51 referrals made by India while fielding. One of the review was off a no-ball while the remaining 40 off them were struck down. Australia and England got four overturned each out of 15 and 18 referrals respectively while Bangladesh got all three of theirs wrong.

4 Test matches out of 10, where India failed to get even one on-field decision reversed while fielding. In the first two Tests against Australia, India made eight reviews while fielding and got all eight struck down.

Haseeb Hameed became the first batsmen to be given out in Test cricket on Indian soil with DRS in place. Hameed was given out leg before wicket off R Ashwin by Kumar Dharmasena in Rajkot and the review by batsman was struck down.

6 Referrals made by the fielding side while Wriddhiman Saha was the striker – the most against any batsman. Interestingly, all six of these referrals were struck down. Five each were made against Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Murali Vijay by the fielding side.

4 Referrals made Johnny Bairstow while batting – the most by any single batsman. Two of these were calls were reversed and two were struck down. Cook, Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, R Ashwin and Saha each challenged three of their dismissals.

19 Reviews made off the bowling off Ashwin – the most of any bowler by the fielding side. Five of these calls were reversed and 14 struck down. Out of the 14 struck down, 10 were for LBW decisions and only three among these were ‘Umpire’s Call’ on hitting stumps.

5 Reviews made with Cook batting and Ravindra Jadeja bowling – the most off any batsman-bowler combination. Three of these were made by India and two by Cook and all five occasions, the on-field umpire’s decision was upheld.

14.29 Percentage of decisions overturned of Kumar Dharmasena – the lowest among the 11 umpires who officiated this season. In the two Tests he officiated as on-field umpire, 14 of his decisions were challenged and only two were overturned.

33 Referrals made of Maurius Erasmus, the most of any umpire. Only seven of his 33 were reversed which gives him a success rate of 78.79%, only behind that of Dharmasena’s 85.21. Among the 11 umpires, Richard Kettleborough is the only one who had more decisions overturned than upheld – three to two, while Bruce Oxenford had an even rate of four to four.

21 Reviews in the Vizag Test between India and England – the most in a Test this home season. 15 of these referrals were struck down. The fewest referrals were made a Test earlier – nine in Rajkot – which, in fact, was the first time the technology was used on Indian soil.

90 Percentage of wrong referrals in the Dharamsala Test against Australia, the worst among the 10 Tests this season. Out of the 10 reviews, only one decision was overturned – a caught behind dismissal of Ravindra Jadeja off Pat Cummins.

© Cricbuzz



Syria gets 50,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in aid, none from commercial deals

Syria has received 50,000 tonnes of Russian wheat as humanitarian aid, Syrian and Russian government sources said on Tuesday.

The two cargoes arrived in March, they said.

However, no Russian wheat from the commercial deals signed with state grain buyer Hoboob have arrived yet, the Syrian government source said.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry declined to comment.

Russian government officials said in November their country plans to send around 100,000 tonnes of wheat as aid to Syria.

A deal struck in October for Syria to buy 1 million tonnes of Russian wheat with little known firm Zernomir is in jeopardy, according to Syrian and Russian government sources, after Hoboob failed to receive any grain from the deal.

Also no wheat has arrived under another deal struck with local Syrian wheat traders in February for 1.2 million tonnes of Russian wheat.

“We have received nothing from these two deals yet,” the Syrian government source said.

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