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Sunday Brunches have been a must for us. Waking up late on a Sunday, brushing off the Saturday night party off you and heading on out for a perfect Brunch. That’s our idea of a perfect Sunday Brunch. I’ve been a regular at the Sunday Brunches hosted at Prego in Westin Mindspace. It was great to know that they’ve now revamped their brunch to include more options in grills along with fun activities.

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As I took a quick look through the spread, I couldn’t help but notice the decadent Ricotta Cheesecake right from the start. Turning away, I set my mind for later to anyhow get back to that. The Grills were the best way to start off a lazy Sunday. The Steak had been cooked Medium Rare as requested and the Jumbo Sea Prawns were quite enticing.

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I loved the Artichokes in the Salad counter. There was quite an array of dips to accompany the choice of dishes but it was the homemade cheese from Coorg which I thoroughly relished. Pizzas and Pasta options from choice of toppings and types rounded off the main course. The exciting part of the new revamped brunch at Prego is the personal interaction with the Chefs as they serve out food to the customers grooving to Italian tunes. Chefs have been the rockstars behind the kitchen and I liked the way at Prego giving them a fun time interacting with the people they serve.

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I was back for the Ricotta Cheesecake as spotted earlier and true to say was absolutely delicious. The soufflé was another highlight which I don’t think any other brunch serves fresh as part of the menu. Ending off the brunch with a lovely scoop of homemade gelatos, the brunch at Prego is one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Below is a Live Video of the celebrations at Prego during the Sunday Brunch.

 

Revamped Brunch At Prego

Prego, Westin Raheja Mindspace

Posted by Ashis Nayak on Sunday, 5 February 2017

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I still remember my walk through the street of Naples, Milan and countryside of Italy as I backpacked through the country. From the gorgeous houses, the lingering smell of cheese and pasta, pizza in the air, the way the locals made me feel comfortable in a new country. The Special Italian Food Menu at Prego brought back a lot of those memories.

Cucina Italian By Chef Roberto - Prego (2)

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At helm of the newly introduced dishes was Chef Roberto Boggio, with a handcrafted menu so unique it had us wanting more. Chef Roberto is part of the Le Meridian, Pune and a quick chat with him, you’ll know of his passion as he talks about his home-cuisine.

Cucina Italian By Chef Roberto - Prego (6)

We started our meal with the Tartara Di Asparagi Con Salsa Di Taleggio. Think of the Tartara as a healthy pudding of Asparagus with a feel good subtle after-taste as it goes down smoothly with each bite. It’s topped off with Taleggio Cheese sauce rounding off all of it’s deliciousness in a bowl.

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A lot of the dishes as part of the promotion bring with it an underlying theme of Winter.  The Minestrone Soup is a classic which I absolutely hate having been tinkered with. All Chef Roberto had to do instead was brush off some Pesto and it did wonders to the classic dish. Don’t miss to try the Minestrone Soup Ala Genovese. 

When I usually go along with a group of friends and they’re in the mood for “Italian”, It’s only fair enough to say that Pasta and Pizza favor prominently among the top choice of answers. If the French finessed the food, the Italians gave us PIZZA. We have them to thankful for the single best dish to have been created for man. Served on the table was the Double Wafer Marinara Pizza with beautiful seafood toppings of squids, tuna, crab, prawns, pesto and tomato sauce.

The Pasta course of the Menu by Chef Roberto Boggio turned out to be my favorite. While the Sundried Pomodoro Ravioli was stunning with filling of sundried tomatoes and topped with four cheese sauce, it was the Agnolotti Alla Monferrina which was a stunner. Much like most countries, the food of Italy too differs with it’s region. Going along with his heritage, Chef Roberto does a gorgeous Monferrina style (Northern Italy – Piedmont style) of Agnolotti. The Agnolotti comes wrapped in a towel, just so that it doesn’t dry up and keep it moist.

Cucina Italian By Chef Roberto - Prego (3)

For the main course, I settled for the La Cotoletta Impanata which was crumb fried chicken served with a side of salad and rosemary potatoes. This was a welcome change to the heavy cheesy (Not that I was complaining…) afternoon. It was right after the main course when I look back to see Chef peering over my shoulders. Why do you ask? Just so that I scoop up my Tiramisu than concentrating on the multiple photos I had been instagramming. The Tiramisu was perfect and the Pannacotta a wobbly piece of heaven.

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The Cucina Italian is on at Prego, Westin Hyderabad Mindspace till the 29th of October 2016.

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Casbah, the newest baby of Westin is an extension of the 2nd floor terrace. Taking the entry off the second gate, a quick zoom up the lift and they open to a Moroccan-inspired Casbah. The décor is done in white hues with shades of blue giving it a very Mediterranean look. Having a very Greek influence, it’s reflected in the color palette, texture and materials used in the designing of the arches.  It’s open on all ends and is absolutely beautiful to sit in on a breezy day and extremely relaxing.

Casbah Lounge

Hookah Parlour

Casbah

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Keeping in line with the theme, the food served here is Mediterranean. We were at Casbah on an exclusive invite to sample their menu. Considering that I had been there on the opening night of Casbah, I did know what to expect. I had been thoroughly impressed by the simple menu put forward by Chef Mukesh and Chef Rakesh at Casbah on the opening night and I couldn’t wait to try out the other delicacies on the menu.

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It was a beautiful winter night and the night breeze was at it’s best. Starting off with a Fresh musk-melon frioska which was a lot fresh with generous amounts of mint. This was one night where I was in no hurry with my food. I guess Casbah’s environment made me feel that. It’s one of those places which relaxes you immediately and you just need to soak it all in.

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We started off with the cold Mezze platter. Very few places get all the components of Mezze platter and Casbah did get every single detail right that night. The Hummus and Muhammara were brilliant with the pita breads. The Hummus with a light tanginess of the lemon juice and olive oil was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. The Labneh and Baba Ganoush was heavenly too. And especially kudos to getting the Baba Ganoush true to it’s roots with a light smoky flavor.

Cold Mezze Platter

Vegetarian Appetizer Platter

Spinach Fatayer

The menu at Casbah is small but well executed. I’ve always maintained that a short menu can sometimes do wonders for the guests than an elaborate one. Considering that Casbah sticks to the lounge concept, a two page menu was more than enough. The Chicken Souvlaki had been tossed in copious amounts of garlic and thyme. My favorite among the appetizers were the Chicken Sambousek and Kofte Kebab. Most of these dishes aren’t difficult to get right but it was the balance of flavors which struck the right chords. Paired with a good tazatski, the meat is rightfully balanced with the sourness of the condensed yogurt.

Non-Vegetarian StartersNon-Vegetarian Appetisers

The Samak Harra had been delicately grilled with sumac, loads of garlic and pepper. The star among the dishes we had at Casbah, the stand-out had to be the Chicken Tagine. The stew was delightful and distinctive but it was the cous cous which stole my heart mainly. It was simple, packed with light flavor and exquisite.

Chicken Tagine

Main Courses At Casbah

Main Course

Desserts is where Casbah’s other strengths lie. I’ve had the same desserts on two occasions at Casbah and they’ve maintained their consistency each time. The trio of Baklava is authentic and phyllo pastry is delicately made with a rich filling of walnuts, pistachios and other nuts. Even with the Umali, Casbah makes the pudding with puff pastry instead of succumbing to take the shorter route and using bread. And a rich rick double cream of top of Umali is sure to give you a dessert-high.

Desserts At Casbah

Casbah is artistic and sure worth the visit. It’s one of the few places in Hyderabad where you come out refreshed. Carrying with it a Mediterranean inspired décor, it’s going to leave you with a different view at sunset and another at night. The environment too goes a long way in making the Casbah experience even more enticing.

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And they have some of the most beautiful chandeliers and lampshades hung around which add to the charm of Casbah.

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Casbah - The Westin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Each time I noticed my favorite character on TV puffing a huge round of smoke, off the thick end of a Cigar, it’d amaze me. “I’m definitely going to have one of those” I thought. I remember my first cigar had been along with a friend. It left me quite astounded (and also a little more of cough) by the size and amazed.  I mean have you ever seen the Godfather smoke a cigarette? Nope he lights up nothing else but a Cigar. A glass of his favorite cognac in one hand and meticulously moving smoking his Cigar as he finishes off matters for the day.

Rocky Patel Range Of Cigars

Then began my love for the Cigar. I haven’t smoked a lot many though as of now, but have had the fortune of experience a few of the good ones. Nothing better compliments a cigar than a glass of Cognac. There is the feeling of exclusivity of being part of the Cigar and Cognac club.

Henessey Cognac

So you can imagine how elated I was on being invited by Westin to be part of the Cigar & Cognac club that night. The invitation was for a select few of their patrons with the seating right beside a beautifully lit pool at Prego, and things picked off.

Henessey

Starting off the evening with a glass of Hennessy Very Special. As I gave it a light swirl, the waft fresh toast with roasted almonds lingered on lightly. I then got a subtle vine fruit aroma as I got the glass closer for my first sip. On the palate – the Hennessy Very Special brings with it a dimension of vanilla, all rounded off with an exuberantly fresh and floral finish. Now that the Hennessey had daftly cleared my palate, it was time to light up the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990. The Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 is a mild cigar which leans more towards the milder side. It has a nutty, kind of caramel essence. The Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 has been placed in the Top 25 Cigars of the Year by Cigar Aficionado’s.

Rocky Patel 1

Cigar Conexion

Now to my favorite Hennessey and that’s the Hennessy V.S.O.P. Many cognac aficionados prefer the Hennessy V.S.O.P for it’s strong flavors yet delicate notes. With the first fragrance you perceive spices like vanilla, clove and cinnamon. Then the delicately tossed notes follow, arising from the maturation in oak barrels. The Hennessy V.S.O.P is really smooth, harmoniously creating a blend of maturity and vigor.

Henessey Drinks

To give wondrous company to the Hennessy V.S.O.P was the Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve. It’s quite a thick cigar featuring the non-traditional wrapper leaf grown in grown in Costa Rica around a core of Nicaraguan & Honduras Tobaccos. These give it an earthy, almost leathery flavor with hints of coffee. It’s medium bodied with a fine balance of cedar, toast, coconut and cocoa bean. If lingers long enough, you can find a subtle finish of anise.

Rocky Patel Range of Cigars

The evening was well-spent over delicious tapas and conversation revolving around food, travel and a slight hint of politics thrown in the mix. Nevertheless the Cigar and Cognac Club by Westin opens up so many mediums, a group of exclusivity with discussions which can only happen over a glass of fine cognac and an occasional puff of smoke.

Tapas For The Night

Prego - The Westin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Traveling brings along lots of experiences. Tales to carry forward that you can tell others and for us, we surround those stories with food. The best part of those memories experienced is they can be refreshed when you encounter food similar to what you had during your travel to that particular location. The ‘Vividly Vietnamese’ food festival at Westin Hyderabad did something of that sorts.

Shredded Green Mango & Salad with Spearmint

A bowl of ‘Pho’ from the counter brought back a flood of memories of walking the streets of Hanoi Old Quarters, while sitting down on the small stools by the eateries and relishing some good old Pho. The lightness of the broth, the strong aroma of fresh herbs and subtle flavors was all that I needed for my fix at the Vietnamese Food Festival. Chef Nguyen Hung Thong from Sheraton Hanoi, who has a great deal of expertise on Vietnamese cuisine personally curates the entire experience.

Pho

The stand-out dish at the #VividlyVietnamese food festival at The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace is the humble Pho. The broth packed a lot of flavor and the ingredients can be customised to your liking. Chef Thong Nguyen from Sheraton Hanoi has done a commendable job in putting out a fresh spread of Vietnamese to the already existing large one at Seasonal Tastes.

Posted by Food Drifter on Monday, 17 August 2015

Westin Hyderabad has always striven in bringing world cuisine on a plate at it’s all day dining restaurant Seasonal Tastes. There is something over there for everyone with an array of food ranging from Chinese, Indian, Live Wok and Grill Meat stations, Sushi and a huge range of desserts to end it all. But with the Vividly Vietnamese food festival I stuck to only the Vietnamese dishes on the menu.

Live Wok Station

Steamed Shrimps And Fish

No doubt the Pho was a favorite among us but the one dish which quite took me by surprise was the Banana Blossom & Shredded Free Range Chicken Salad. The ingredients were fresh, crisp and yet artfully flavorful. The banana flowers and bean sprouts provided the crunch and freshness as to what was an outstanding dish. I think the dish is close to the Chef’s heart – he came numerous times to our table to inquire how we’d like the Banana Sprout Salad specifically and it had won our hearts. The salad station was my favorite place that day with the fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Shredded Green Mango salad.

Sesame Flavored Vermicelli & Seafood Vegetables Salad

Banana Blossom & Shredded Free Range Chicken Salad

What shall be Vietnamese without the classic Pork Spring Rolls and they find a special place on the menu as well. The Vietnamese Wok stations has a variety of options providing access to various choices of chicken, prawns, squid, beef or vegetable. There is also the steam station available too and the prawns are steamed to perfection.

Steamed fish with soya sauce

After having gorged on the salads and steam station, I kind of had a little bit off the Main course. The Grilled Duck in Galangal was tad chewy and the galangal flavor too hadn’t penetrated the meat. The Steamed fish in Soya sauce is light and soft as you slice through. The vegetarian section of the main course had Deep Fried Bean curd with eggplant and Vietnamese Wok Fried Noodles.

Grilled Duck with Galangal

As I made my way to the dessert counter, I particular dessert struck my eye. The shiny little cubes of traditional Green Bean cake. It is a simple cake but the Vietnamese hold it very close to the heart and I loved having it with a strong coffee during my travel in Vietnam. Small assorted fruit candies that Chef Nguyen had brought in from his country also featured on the counter. But you might skip almost everything but leave some space for the Chilled Longan which have been stuffed with Lotus Seeds and immersed in syrup. They are nice, light and a delightful end to a meal. Chef Nguyen has carried some of the spices, ingredients from Vietnam to make sure we experience the authentic flavors right here.

Green Bean Cake

The Vividly Vietnamese Food Festival is on at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace from 14th – 23rd August 2015. It is a chance to experience a unique, authentic and extraordinary cuisine in the city.

Chef Huang Thong Ngyuen

Seasonal Tastes - The Westin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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