Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

May 31, 2012

Curry House, Coolidge Corner

Ever since Kim Kardashian's ever so graceful remark about Indian cuisine, I have been craving curry so bad. LOL.

I am moving tomorrow so all my pots and pans are packed away - I have no choice but to order take out. En route from home to my boxed-up apartment, I stopped by Curry House in Coolidge Corner to satiate my appetite for Indian food.

I ordered combo#1 which allows you to order two curries with rice or naan. I ordered aloo gobi and saag paneer on top of jasmine rice. Though I just ate the last morsel of this about 2 minutes ago, typing about it is making my mouth water.

Indian restaurants are tricky in the US. I have never ever really found an Indian restaurant that satisfied my taste buds only because I feel the restaurants here are trying to Americanize, so to speak, the food. Curry House definitely did not do that. It tasted just the way I would expect real Indian food to taste.

Long story short, there are two Indian restaurants in Coolidge Corner - go to this one (the other is Rani). It's inexpensive, has a cute cafe-like environment with Bollywood music videos blasting in the background, and delicious food! CHECK IT OUT!

Here is a new, fun Bollywood music video... CRAZINESS right?!? Just the way I like it :D (This video gets me everytime LOL)

May 29, 2012

Globe Bar & Cafe, Boylston Street

Boy oh boy have the last couple of weeks been absolutely NUTS! Being me has not been easy. Not only did I run into wisdom teeth issues (ugh!), but I'm moving this Friday, Memorial Day weekendin New Hampshire, my sister's wedding is in three weeks, and I'm simultaneously trying to become a movie star LOL Hectic would be an understatement. 

In any case, I treated myself to mid-week drinks last week at Globe Bar & Cafe located centrally on Boylston Street near the Boston Public Library. I have lived in Boston for 5 years and have passed this joint probably 100,000 times but never once did I have the urge to go in. Nothing about its exterior appearance and ambiance ever intrigued me. At last, I finally went based on a friend's recommendation.
It was a beautiful, summery Wednesday evening with the sun still at its best. We decided to sit inside with the bay windows wide open to still be able to enjoy the summa weatha. I ordered a sangria and a veggie burger. Doesn't seem too time consuming right? WRONG. It took way too long to get our drinks, even longer to get my food, and even even longer to get the tab when we were fed up. Actually, let me correct myself, we had to go up to the young waitress and remind her for the tab and also bring our credit cards back to her after she neglected our table for a good 20 minutes. It wasn't even that busy! The service was AWFUL! It was so bad that I thought it was some kind of a prank lol. 

Anyway, I think the only thing this place has going for itself based on my experience, is its location. Other than that, drinks were mediocre, service was terrible (including the waitress's inability to crack a smile once in a while) and ambiance was blah. For Globe's sake, I hope this was just an off night and not a usual occurrence.

May 12, 2012

Toro, South End

 Guest Blogger:
Heikki Nikkanen

I am honored to be writing a guest entry on Flower's blog.

Having just returned from three months in Paris, I have avoided going out to eat in Boston to avoid tarnishing my culinary memories. However, one cannot live by Ramen alone... so Flower and I headed out to catch up and get a bite. 

Few will not have heard of the Ken Oringer - directed Toro on Washington Street in the South End. It consistently wins accolades, most recently Food and Wine's People's Best New Chef Award 2011 given to Jamie Bissonette. 

As usual, it was packed at 7:30 on a Thursday evening. The promised wait of an hour for two actually turned out to be a bit less, and we eased the sting with a beverage at the bar. The drinks menu combines classic with inventive... although I still couldn't bring myself to order red wine and coke. 

The high central tables give a great view of the dark and cozy space, with its brick walls, imposing bull's head on the back wall, and open kitchen. Impossible to test all the offerings on the Tapas menu, so we tested a few classics and a few more inventive dishes. Gambas al ajillo are still the best in the city, with delicate chillies and strands of saffron. Unlike virtually every other Tapas place, Toro does not drown them in oil or garlic. They were however, a bit oversalted. Foie gras with rhubarb, bacon, and thyme on a bit of toast was spectacular and gone all too quickly. Croquetas de Bacalao accompanied by breaded and fried meyer lemon rings were good but the frying oil was not fresh, which detracted from the dish. Toro has improved the mais asado with espellete peppers and cheese, making it a bit lighter and still just as tasty. The one disappointment of the evening was the coliflor a la plancha which was soggy from its bath in a bowl full of oil, pine nuts, and raisins. 

The service was smiling and rapid, if a bit perfunctory. Dishes were removed as the last morsel of food was lifted from them, and the check followed just as swiftly, unbidden. To make this more authentic Barcelona experience, give the diners a few moments to savor and digest. I'd give the whole package a B+, but it's the brilliant food that will keep me coming back for more. 

Thanks Flower!


May 06, 2012

Himalayas, Newbury Street

On this mood-swinging (weather) Sunday afternoon, I was making my way down Newbury Street when something caught my eye. Did I see what I thought I saw? I think so. Let me go check. 

I walked into 230 Newbury Street and entered a haven of colorful, ornate Indian-inspired clothing. Now, the concept is not new - Indian attire with a modern twist - but the execution sure is. 

Himalayas as a boutique is a sight of its own, let alone the GORGEOUS clothing in there. Every item is beautifully hand-crafted and designed in the Southeast. It is a little pricey but the quality is superb. The atmosphere & service are equally as wonderful. I actually felt like I was shopping in Bombay. 

The mastermind behind Himalayas is a demure, polite young fellow named Yuxuan Huang. He is not Indian himself but was left so inspired after having completed his studies in the Himalayas. He is an ambitious BC student ready to add some spice and flavor to Boston's fashion scene!

Newbury Street and Boston in general was in definite need of a store like this. I speak on behalf of the Brown community in Boston (LOL) that there is not enough Southeast Asian clothing stores in the area. 

Please give a warm welcome to Yuxuan Huang and Himalayas to Newbury Street and check out his beautiful collection!

(obsessed with this Himalaya Collections dress!)

May 05, 2012

On an Aside... MADMEN

Recently, I randomly decided that I was going to get into the television series MADMEN. I had no idea what the show was about but all I heard about was the surrounded hype and sexy, suited men. I bought season 1 last weekend and I am already onto season 2. That being said, I think my opinion about the show is obvious - it is amazing! 

I love the concept of the show, the beautiful men, and how true to its times the show is. You know, in many ways, people have become progressive and open-minded in their thinking, but there are still many things that are very much the same as it was in the early 60's. This show is very interesting in that it gives alotta perspective. Hmm...

In any case, if you need a television show to get into, DEFINITELY watch MADMEN. Every element of this show is sexy and slick. LOVE IT! I'm hooked!

PS. Isn't Jon Hamm one of the most beautiful men you've ever seen? Gah, so hot. PSS. Once I move to my new apartment, I'm going to host a MADMEN-themed day party. LOL

Shanghai Gate, Allston

On this lovely Saturday afternoon, I treated myself to lunch at Shanghai Gate located in Allston. Shanghai Gate serves Chinese food but very different from your conventional American Chinese food. Seems more authentic to be honest. 

The food was phenomenal! I ordered scallion pancake for my app and rice cakes topped with stir fried shrimp - sounds interesting doesn't it? I asked for spicy and boy did they give me spice. An hour later, my tongue is still burning. Considering I am brown and live for spicy food, this definitely says something. These people are not joking around when it comes to spicy food. 

I love the decor of this restaurant. There are bright colors everywhere and the walls are adorned with Chinese paintings and calligraphy. It's definitely a cute, cozy spot. 

HOWEVER... the service is TERRIBLE! These people are SO RUDE! I've encountered rude waiters and waitresses before but these people take nasty to another level. I left flabbergasted by how they treated their customers. Though the food was really good, sadly I will never be returning here because of this. Oye, what are ya gonna do?

Anyway, I hope you all have crazy Cinco de Mayo plans. So happy it's finally May! Ciao bellas. XOXO

(Spicy shrimp stir fry with rice cakes)

May 01, 2012

I Shellac NEVER Again

Shellac - the newest phenomenon in the nail world and the worst thing I could have done to my nails since acrylic tips in high school. About a fortnight ago, one of my friends convinced me to get Shellac. I was excited because I had heard great things about this revelation in manicures but little did I know what it was going to do to my nails...

Sure the ads say Shellac polish lasts 14 days, remains luminous, requires zero dry time - but no nail damage? That is an outright LIE! My nails haven't been this thin in years! While removing Shellac, a whole layer of my nail came off! UGH... I was all about it because the ads all say there is no nail damage. 

If you care about the health and thickness of your nails, DO NOT get Shellac. It's going to take weeks for my poor nails to recover. :( But if you don't give a hoo ha, then get Shellac because it does last a long time with a shiny finish. At least now I won't keep wondering if I'd like this or not... Ciao bellas