Mauerpark Flohmarkt (Flea Market), Berlin

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Germany is known for its flea markets & Berlin more so. This Mauerpark one, I guess, is the most popular one in Berlin and the best thing about this one is that it combines the best of two worlds – German flea markets & Berlin’s eclectic culture.

No, truly, this is not something just for the sake of saying it. Berlin’s Mauerpark flea market offers tidbits, unique things & useful things to some people just like any German or other flea market. At the same time, it represents Berlin’s eclectic & diverse culture as closely as possible. Berlin stands for being the land for artists, illustrators, designers and entrepreneurs – a place where they can be themselves & do what they want with full acceptance, because Berlin accepts everyone & everything.

This is something that Mauerpark flea market also represents in one way. Unlike regular flea markets, it doesn’t only have vintage stuff, there are artists selling their latest creations & many people selling their handmade stuff. To add to this, the part of the Berlin wall here is also getting constantly painted & repainted by people/artists. On the sides, there’s a huge crowd sitting atop a hill & cheering Karaoke participants. If you enter the food area, you’ll see that you can literally expect anything in the stalls, Vietnamese, food from Uruguay, Mexican, Bao Buns – you name it. Yes! this is what Berlin is – everything & anything at one single point only.

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‘Mauer’ is German for wall, so I believe this park is called Mauerpark because it is around a section of the Berlin wall. I went here for the second time this past Sunday & thought I’ll do a photo tour. Thing is I didn’t click as many (or should I say as varied) as I wanted, but still here’s what I have. 🙂

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The main entrance

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Right adjacent to where all the flea market action happens, is an open ground where people come over for picnics, although its not a well-maintained or even a clean park.

The park is also lined by a hill sort of surface, as in part of it is high up and that high up surface has Berlin wall bordering it. Have a look!

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That graffiti laced wall that you see is the Berlin wall and, as you can see, its on a height.

On the top, you see the spirit of Berlin, people showing their artistic sense on the Berlin wall, people chilling on swings or just sun bathing!

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Picnic people, as seen from the top

Mauerpark is also famous for one more thing, something that quite exemplifies the young & hipster spirit of Berlin. A Karaoke that happens in the ‘bear pit’. A small area of the Mauerpark flea market is called bear pit & summers usually see Karaoke happening there. The happiness & energy of people there is purely infectious! The way crowds cheer for whoever is performing leaves you with a very positive feeling.

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I am standing here & clicking!

I totally feel that Mauerpark flea market & Karaoke is definitely an experience worth having while you are in Berlin. It happens on every Sunday & you can totally keep some time for it. If nothing else, you will love it for the food variety, for sure.

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You can literally find someone with a robot they made themselves!

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If you have been here or plan to head over, I would love to know your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

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and that is just Germany gearing up for the Euro Cup! 🙂

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QD’s, North Campus, Delhi University | Tandoori Momos & all that jazz

You know those places in a city which are known for a special something? If you live in Delhi, you know about QD’s, thanks to the frenzy around ‘Tandoori Momos’ since the past few years.

I am a complete momos person (I need to mend my unhealthy ways but that story is for another day). Momos roasted in a tandoor? Let the fun begin!

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I had visited this place around 4 years back and fallen head over heels in love with the tandoori momos. This place is very far from where I live, work or have studied. So, I went there again today after 4 years but did not enjoy the momos as much. I am not sure what has changed (apart from the stark increase in food coloring). Or maybe something has changed about my taste only. 😛 They are definitely worth a try anyway.

I love the fact that this place has a hell lot of things on the menu and a separate menu for desserts & innovative drinks. The peanut butter and nutella shake is calling out to me for the next visit! ❤ The food is mostly Indo-Chinese which is, frankly, available on every nook and corner of India now (not counting the hygiene factor because I usually eat irrespective of that concern :P, talk about unhealthy ways! ) but the fact that there is so much variety under one single roof is an important one. Their Zomato menu shows North Indian food as well but I am not sure if Zomato’s menu is an old one or I missed it.

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We tried the mixed veg in Schezwan sauce with noodles and I liked it a lot. Note that I am not even a big fan of chowmein but I liked these ones quite a lot. They were kind of crunchy, like pan-fried ones and not super soft like most noodles are. The mixed veg in Schezwan sauce was beyond lovely. I mean, it isn’t like you are missing out on anything if you don’t try it, but the experience of having it was really good. It was mild, comforting but spicy, all at the same time. I should also mention here that the helping of veggies in the sauce was really good for the price, I have tried this dish at few fine dining restaurants and the helping was comparable, if not more. Lots of mushrooms, broccoli (for those who like it) and the usual gang.

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We also tried their fruit beer and this innovative drink called ‘Black Manga’. Fruit beer was sweeter than other places and I liked it. My best friend liked the other drink, it’s fun to try their various experimental drinks!

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We ended it with this huge, huge glass of ice-cream, it doesn’t look huge enough in the picture. It was an assortment of vanilla, strawberry, jelly and fruits. It was a regular ice-cream, if you have tasted Giani’s fruit salad(or Sundae?) one, this is the same. I am not a big dessert person, so I don’t have much to say anyway.

In my opinion, this place should definitely feature on your must visit list, even if you can get similar food elsewhere and here’s why:

What I liked:

  1. It is very affordable! Considering how Delhi’s food scene is getting exorbitantly expensive, this would fall on the cheaper side although they have almost doubled the prices since my last visit 4 years ago.
  2. They have a huge variety of Indo-Chinese food and innovative smoothies and drinks.
  3. The service is super fast.

What I didn’t like:

  1. Tandoori Momos, their claim to name and fame, did not feel just as good as they were 4 years ago, not sure if it has got something to do with me or them!

We visited this place because my best friend is trying to stay away from ‘outside’ food since past two weeks, so he thought he deserved this. 😛 He was extremely satisfied and happy with the visit. 🙂

So, when are you going?

Not Just Paranthas!

……..and some confusions (blog related) that I am facing. I am also confused about which one to go for first but I guess you will all be interested in Paranthas more than confusions, so yeah, decision made pretty much. 😀

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First of all, my phone is not working anymore. Something went wrong and, therefore, I am not able to click pictures for the blog. I also lost the pictures I clicked in ‘Not Just Paranthas’. I’ll see if I have any in my computer.

Yes, regarding this place, it can simply be summed up in one phrase – average. The problem with me having North Indian food in restaurants is that I have a whole lot of places to compare it to. I mean apart from the food that gets cooked in North Indian families, we always have the option to compare it to awesome dhabas that we have visited. In that regard, it is disappointing. The paranthas that I had were not super tasty but they were not bad either. If you have nice, hygienic dhabas around you or you have access to good paranthas due to some reason (family, PG owner etc), you can give this place a miss. No need to pay 200 bucks for one average Parantha. However, if you work in a high-end place like Cyber Hub where Dhabas are pretty much non-existent or you don’t have access to good paranthas due to some reason but Parantha is one of those things that satiates your hunger like nobody’s business (like me), then you should check this place out. Amid all this, there are three things I really like about this place:

  1. Wide Variety of Paranthas
  2. The lassi (buttermilk) was really nice. I did not notice if they had other such drinks on the menu, I would like to try if they have.
  3. The water that they served had coriander and some other healthy herbs added which did not make much of a difference to the flavor but still it was a nice touch. 🙂

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So, try if you are craving Paranthas and cannot have a better option.

Oh, and, in the past few days, I have tried so many new places in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon as I have started visiting my office after a long leave and a long stint at the client. I don’t know how will I ever document them. :O But I will. 🙂

Regarding the confusions, well, it is just that I am thinking about some new things for the blog but I don’t know where or how to start. They are very small changes but time-consuming nonetheless.So, if you can give me any tips on how to clear my mind and go about things step by step, it would be great. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Life Instagrammed! #7

Hi there! 😀

It has been so long since I wrote here and even longer since I did an instagram snippets post. Well, work-wise everything remained pretty much the same and there were a lot of things occupying my mind relating to work, studying, reading and what not but isn’t that the case always? So, I guess, I was just plain lazy to post. 🙂

And what better way to break the break than a life snippets post, yeah? Here is whatever I clicked since around March 14 (I have reasons to remember the dates. No, not any romantic reason :D):

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1. The book that I was reading in the beginning of March. Can anybody take a guess which book it is?

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2. A photograph of the famous Olive Bistro in Cyber Hub taken from far away (because its too pricey to go near :P). I have heard really good things about this place, but I think the opinions are bound to be affected by the beautiful, beautiful ambiance. Do you see that terrace with the vintage-y white segregated areas and the lights! The indoors are as beautiful. :’)

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3. I was going to my hometown to celebrate Holi with my cousins. In this picture, I wait for the train to arrive.

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4. This was when I tried my hands on a Chinese dish that I learnt about on the internet. It did not turn out great, but it was fine. 😛

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5. Trying out a hot dog from Cafe DT in Cyber Hub. This Cafe DT is great, you guys! I mean when you pass by this place, you will never even give a second glance to it, it looks like those metro station fast food joints (or railway station food joints if you don’t know what am I talking about). However, if you do try any of the things here, believe you me, they are going to turn out very, very delicious. Everything on offer is pretty basic stuff but everything tastes good, like the vegetable momos, the hot dogs. Oh, and, DO NOT miss the 4700 BC popcorns!!

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6. You remember this from the holi post?

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7. I love this nail paint. You may have seen it here.

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8. Shahi Paneer. One of the yummiest dishes we eat here in North India. This is truly the stuff what dreams are made of. 😀

A quick note: Hey Guys! If you live in Delhi-NCR, I would suggest you give a go to Cyber Hub, Gurgaon for an evening out. This place has really fabulous fine dining restaurants opening here for the corporate people in Cyber City. It might be a fun place to hang out!

Keep Smiling,

Srishty

Life Instagrammed! Week #4

Snippets from the past week are too less, and the irony is that that week had so many birthdays and eating-outs. I don’t know, probably I was too occupied to even click. 😀 Anyway, here you go:

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1. Cutie sleeping

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2. Delhi’s chaat. You have got to try it if you haven’t already. By the way, this picture is taken at Connaught Place, Delhi on a warm winter afternoon. I love CP at that time (I love CP anyway, but you get the drift!)

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3. Late night maggi cooked for my brother. These kids taking board exams, and studying overnight, they almost survive on maggi (which is so wrong, I know! :/)

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4. The candles from my parents anniversary cake. 🙂 (Yes, I had a million cake cutting ceremonies this past week and I don’t have a picture from even one of them. I am astonished myself! :O)

Take care,                                                                                                                               Lots of Love                                                                                                                             Srish 🙂

National Street Food Festival (Happening now in Delhi!)

So today we decided to visit the National Street Food Festival happening right now in New Delhi. Just for a conversation starter, I love visiting fairs, exhibitions etc but I can literally count on my fingers the number of times I have actually visited them! Yes, I never get a chance to visit many of the fairs etc that I really want to check out. For instance, I have never visited THE trade fair even though I have been living in Delhi for some 8+ years!! Anyway, here are my two cents on the Street Food Festival which is on till Sunday, December 22 in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (nearest metro station is JLN stadium only):

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I loved the idea of getting to taste a wide variety of street foods at one place. We first bought entry tickets worth 30 INR each and then, entered the stadium which looked quite dull to call the event a ‘festival’. I mean when you are naming something as a ‘National Festival’, the stalls and sitting and everything should look classy and decorated. It looked like a college fest and a boring one at that. Anyway, we started with a plate of Aloo Tikki with chole. It was supremely delicious! We moved onto the next dish, besan chilla. It was just fine, nothing great to talk home about!

Besan Chilla

Besan Chilla

Moved on to try the next snack, mirchi bada, which was quite tasty in our humble opinion but it was cold. Fried snacks actually taste good when they are just prepared or atleast kept warm. This mirchi bada stall probably represented Karnataka.

Mirchi Bada

Mirchi Bada

Next dish we tried was the bhelpuri, which was again just okayish. Nothing great, we have had much better bhelpuris before!

Bhelpuri

Bhelpuri

We hopped on to another stall to eat pav bhaji. Again, it was just ok. Nothing exciting.

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

By now, we were quite full 😀 but since all that we tried were mostly snacks that we usually get to eat in Delhi, we wanted to try something unheard of. So, we moved on to another Karnataka stall for a snack called Puddu, which we quite liked. 🙂 (And, it was served warm too).

Puddu :D

Puddu 😀

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Puddu getting cooked!

We really wanted to taste the tandoori snacks too, the veg and the non-veg tikkas, but we were pretty damn full by now. So, we ended this eating expedition with a paan. 🙂

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What we liked:

  • LOT of variety in street food available from various parts of India
  • Quite reasonable prices for all the food items (everything ranged from 10 INR to 200 INR, i know right!)
  • Venue is well-connected by metro
  • Crowd was ok, usually there is a lot of cheap crowd at such fairs.

What we did not like:

  • Quite dull setup (Although I’ll make peace with it thinking that it was for cost cutting)
  • Expected more in terms of taste from the popular food items
Ongoing performances

Ongoing performances

Overall Opinion: It is not something that you can’t miss. However, if you do not have plans already for the weekend, go there for some hogging! 😀

Bisi Bel Bhat (from Karnataka)

Bisi Bel Bhat (from Karnataka)