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Herbs and Spice - new site and shop

Sep. 19th, 2007 | 01:08 pm

Bangalore folks have probably heard of the European restaurant "Herbs and Spice" in Indiranagar. It's run by Manjit Singh, a friend of mine. Manjit has just started a delicatessen in Whitefield with the same name. It sells their well-known desserts, as well as quiches and gourmet sandwiches. (The sandwiches will be introduced soon.)

Since Manjit changes his restaurant menu twice a week, I suggested that he start a web site to make his customers aware of the day's menu. And I adapted WordPress to do just that. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you...


The header images are from photos I've shot (full set is here.) Some stuff still isn't updated (like the "about page") but the main purpose is fullfilled. :)

Thanks to the calendar view, you can also check out previous menus.

So if you visit Herbs n' Spice, tell Manjit that I asked you to check out his site.

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Dinner at I.T.alia

Jul. 17th, 2007 | 03:02 pm

A bunch of us went to dinner at I.T.alia at The Park (the top-ranked Italian joint in town) to check out their new menu. Since one of us knew the chef, we got a "tasting menu" of some of their best food. The food was excellent, I must say.

And of course, I took lots of photos with my camera to share with you. Here are a few:

Insalata caprese with a twist

More pictures insideCollapse )

And the rest (14 of them) are on my Flickr page.
So do check them out at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/themadman/

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Pissed off with Flickr

Jun. 27th, 2007 | 09:35 am

I posted this on the Flickr forum because I see this as serious incompetence on the part of Flickr.

I am a little pissed right now.

I wanted to upgrade to a Pro account and I thought Flickr accepted PayPal payments, so I clicked the order button. When I didn't find a PayPal payment link there, I sent a support request on June 18, asking this (Flickr Case 275732):

I have a regular Flickr account. My Yahoo id is [xxxxx].

I am trying to upgrade to a Pro account and I know that
PayPal is an option for payment, yet the payment page shows
only Yahoo Wallet and does not offer me PayPal as an
Why is this happening?

to which I got this response the same day:


Thank you for contacting Flickr Customer Care.

Flickr's PayPal email address is:


Thank you again for contacting us. If you have any other
please feel free to reply to this email.

So of course I went to my PayPal account and sent $24.95 to paypal@flickr.com

A week goes by and my account is still not upgraded, so I sent another support email (Case 281782) asking Flickr to please look into the issue and see if my funds have been received. I gave my transaction ID as well.

I went nuts because I got THIS response from Flickr:

I am very sorry but we stopped accepting payment by PayPal
as of June 12. Please contact PayPal immediately to cancel
your transaction.

We can only accept payment through Yahoo! Wallet at this
time: just follow the links on the order page to remit a
payment to us


WHAT on earth? Are you kidding me? If you stopped accepting PayPal payments on June 12, why did you:

a) send an email on June 18 (six days AFTER), giving me an email address to send funds to, after I sent a support request specifically asking for PayPal payment information?

b) continue to have a section in your help section dealing with PayPal payments, which doesn't say anywhere that you don't accept PayPal any more? In fact, it says I should simply wait a few days for the transaction to go through.

I don't see where I have done anything wrong in this matter. This is a serious screw-up by the people responsible for support. Even your documentation is out of date. How am I supposed to get my money back now? PayPal's site doesn't even have any information on cancelling a transaction. Why should I have to pursue PayPal to get my money back eh?

I don't think I want a Pro account any more. :(

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Conversation with dad

Jun. 13th, 2007 | 11:35 am

Just had an interesting phone conversation with my father. He calls up to ask about some stuff, and after we're through, here is how the conversation goes:

Father: People have been calling me up to congratulate us on you getting married.

Me: Huh?

Father: Lots of people think you're getting married.

Me: What on earth? Who's been telling them that?

Father: (laughs) Well, word has been spreading that K P Menon's son is getting married, so most people just assume it's you and are calling me up to say how great it is that Madhu is getting married.

Me: (laughs loudly) Ohhhhh... well, I guess you have to tell them it's the wrong son getting married. Or maybe it's the right son, depending on one's perspective. Or maybe it's a son... oh well, the other son at any rate.

(At this point, I can sense him sighing silently at being unable to get me to talk about the prospect of getting hitched, and I try to avoid the awkward silence and quickly talk about other things.)

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New recipe posted

Jun. 8th, 2007 | 01:01 pm

Finally, I have managed to get past my laziness and post a new recipe on my chef blog. This one is for Thai Tom Kha soup.

Picture of the darn thing:

Tom Kha soup

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(no subject)

May. 23rd, 2007 | 12:48 pm

The American Idol final is being shown tonight, but I don't really give a rat's arse who wins it. Melinda Doolittle, the best singer by a mile in the competition, was voted out last week, and my interest in the show departed with her. That lady was a pro!

As someone on the Television Without Pity forum wrote, this year's final three results were just like last year: the best singer got thrown out, and the final was between the Disney Princess and the guy with a gimmick. So true.

Teenagers with mobile phones are capable of ten times more votes than regular people. So shrieky Jordin will probably win. Pity.

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Monday morning food pics

Apr. 30th, 2007 | 10:49 am

Well, the good news is that the healthy eating plan I've been following for the last 2 weeks or so seems to be paying off and I have actually lost an inch or so around my waist. I've been eating food like this:

Steamed chicken breast and veggies

That's a steamed chicken and rice dish. The chilli-ginger sauce in the background gives it added punch without adding calories.

The eating plan can be summarised as follows:

1) Eat smaller meals more frequently. 5 main meals and two healthy snack meals in between.

2) Follow the rule of thirds on your plate: 1/3 carbohydrates, 1/3 protein, 1/3 veggies

3) Cut out all refined flour and sugar-based products. Eat foods with complex carbs instead. (For instance, whole wheat bread instead of white bread, and eliminating all soft drinks.)

4) Drink enough water. In this heat, that's about 3-4 litres a day.

5) Avoid foods high in saturated fat.

6) One meal in a week, you are allowed to eat something that breaks the rules, but don't go overboard with it.

In keeping with rule #6, I decided to go meet a couple of friends for lunch at Spiga restaurant on Saturday. The place was way too crowded, and we got dumped on a table that was designed only for two people. (And not a fan in sight!)

The lighting was a bit low because we were right behind a wall, but I managed to get some decent shots of the desserts we had. I could only squeeze in a couple of shots each because the others were in a hurry to eat. ;)

Please do not go any further if you don't want to see food pictures.

Pictures of our dessertsCollapse )

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More nonsense from the moral police

Apr. 27th, 2007 | 09:51 am

Apparently, a judge in Jaipur has issued a warrant for Richard Gere's arrest after he destroyed Indian culture by kidding Shilpa Shetty on the cheek a few times. I quote:

'After examining video foot-age of the event, the judge said that the stars’ behaviour was “highly sexually erotic”, “transgressed all limits of vulgarity” and “denigrated” Indian culture and social values.'

Wow, I wonder what he'd say about a sex scene in a movie.

For crying out loud, please save us from these self-appointed protectors of our "culture". I wish our country would be truly free instead of just pretending to have freedom. We have idiots who file cases like this and are just waiting for a chance to be offended. We have judges who issue warrants over a peck on the cheek when the lady being kissed had no problem with it. Will we ever have a country where people just live and let live?

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Gripe of the day

Apr. 26th, 2007 | 06:05 pm

Why do some people come to my South-east Asian restaurant and then insist that I serve fortune cookies? For one, I am not running a Chinese restaurant, and for another, fortune cookies were invented in USA, and are not from China.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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News priority

Apr. 19th, 2007 | 11:39 am

"Khans off the big list", screams today's Times of India on its front page, complete with a picture of Amitabh Bachan greeting guests at the sangeet ceremony of his son's wedding. The story hogs most of the attention.

"Car bomb kills 140 in Baghdad", on the other hand, gets a cursory one-line mention in the left column.

I am so glad the Slimes of India has its priorities straight over what is newsworthy.

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