Badshah's Culinary Crescendo: A Symphony of Flavors in Chandigarh

By Author

Published on December 19, 2023

In a flavorful twist to his illustrious career, global rapper and hip-hop mogul Badshah is making waves in the hospitality industry. Renowned not just for his chart-topping songs but also his knack for hosting, Badshah is set to redefine the culinary scene with the launch of three distinct brands: Sago Spice Symphony, Seville, and Sidera. In collaboration with Babita Puri Gupta and Udayveer Gupta, this venture promises to harmonize taste, culture, and sophistication.

Nestled in Chandigarh’s upscale Sector-26, the establishment spans 9,000 square feet, housing three culinary wonders: the earthy Indian fine dining restaurant ‘Sago Spice Symphony,’ the atmospheric Continental Lebanese restaurant and lounge ‘Seville,’ and the basement Pan-Asian cocktail bar ‘Sidera.’

Sago Spice Symphony pays homage to authentic Indian cuisine, offering a delightful experience with warm palettes, terracotta pottery, floral upholstery, and a blend of gold and marble accents. Seville, inspired by the Spanish city, exudes cultural richness and sophistication with an open-to-sky roof, rustic chandeliers, mosaic flooring, and a handcrafted ripple natural stone bar counter. Sidera, meaning constellations and stars in Latin, caters to a young, lively audience with luxe leather furnishing, LED lighting, and a backlit marble and onyx bar.

The culinary ensemble features chefs from various regions of India, curating a menu that marries tradition with modernity. Signature dishes like Sona Murgh Kebab and Chupa Rustam Beetroot Kebab at Sago, Asparagus Philadelphia Roll at Sidera, and Chicken Krapow Bowl at Seville are set to tantalize taste buds. Badshah himself shares his favorites, including Classic Mapo Tofu, Moroccan Chicken, and Multani Bhuna Paneer.

But it’s not just about the food. The craft cocktail menu is a modern reinvention of classics, featuring multi-dimensional concoctions like Grecian Glaze and Clarified New York Sour. Notably, a drink named after Badshah, the Badshahi, promises a royal blend of milk, rose, gulkand, and edible gold flakes. For those with a sweet tooth, the journey concludes with a dazzling array of confections and desserts.

Expressing his excitement, Badshah states, “My love for gastronomy has been a long standing one and one of my biggest passions after music is food. I’m extremely excited to embark on this brand-new journey and spearhead it from a city that has given me so much and made me who I am today. The brand’s vision is to indulge culinary aficionados seeking an out-of-the-ordinary gastronomical experience. Traditionally homegrown at its core, but globally experimentative in spirit, the offering is poised to be rich, deep and varied as we aim to blend tradition with modernity.”

Udayveer Gupta, co-founder, said, “Spearheading a one-of-its-kind but culturally ubiquitous business that amalgamates gourmet, culture and music has been a longstanding vision of mine which finally comes to fruition now. I hope to elevate the cultural exposure I have garnered over the years of travelling around the world through this new venture and present world class cuisine and a unique dining experience for our patrons.”

This venture adds another note to Badshah’s diverse portfolio, which includes investments in a Mumbai-based nightclub, production of Punjabi films, a Punjab-based music channel, and the founding of the clothing line BADFIT. As the fourth most followed Indian artist on Spotify, Badshah continues to break barriers and create harmonies, not just in music but now in the world of gastronomy.


The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts Hosts Grammy Winner Ricky Kej for ‘Rhythm of the Earth’ Concert Series

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on June 18, 2024

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts recently collaborated with three-time Grammy Award-winner Ricky Kej for an exclusive concert series titled ‘Rhythm of the Earth.’ This three-city musical tour aimed to raise awareness about environmental conservation and sustainability. The concerts were held at The Leela Palace Bengaluru, The Leela Palace New Delhi, and The Leela Palace Chennai, offering audiences an immersive experience that combined music with powerful environmental messages.

Ricky Kej, a globally acclaimed music composer and environmentalist, has received numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards and recognition as a UNESCO MGIEP Global Ambassador for Kindness. His music is a powerful tool for promoting climate change awareness and encouraging tangible environmental action.

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In line with its commitment to sustainability, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts launched its new campaign, #ThinkBigStartSmall, during these concerts. A significant highlight was the introduction of in-house water bottling plants under the brand ‘Aujasya by The Leela,’ replacing single-use plastic bottles across its properties. This initiative underscores the brand’s dedication to reducing its environmental footprint and promoting conscious luxury.

Last month, The Leela Palace Udaipur introduced new eco-friendly boats on Lake Pichola, equipped with the latest green technologies to minimize the hotel's ecological impact. Additionally, The Leela launched ‘Tishya by The Leela,’ a line of 100% vegan and eco-friendly bath amenities. These initiatives reflect the brand's holistic approach to wellness and sustainability.

Anjali Mehra, Chief Brand Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing at The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, “Sustainable luxury today is changing the paradigm as guests seek fulfilling experiences in harmony with nature and their sociocultural surroundings. We at The Leela are committed to providing these experiences and have in fact taken significant measures to reduce our carbon footprint, focus on holistic wellness of our guests and contribute towards community development through meaningful partnerships. Our #ThinkBigStartSmall campaign will highlight these initiatives and how each step that we are taking, no matter how small, is culminating in achieving a larger goal. Our collaboration with Ricky Kej is a testament to a shared passion and the brand’s commitment towards positive environmental impact. We are excited and feel privileged to be a part of the great work that Ricky is doing.” 

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The ‘Rhythm of the Earth’ concerts were not only musical events but also a showcase of The Leela's signature wellness program, Aujasya by The Leela. The program focuses on holistic wellness through mindful eating and restoration, featuring a special zero-food-waste menu curated for the concerts.

Ricky Kej expressed his excitement about the partnership, highlighting the power of music to communicate important messages about conservation and sustainability. He appreciated the overwhelming response from audiences in all three cities and the opportunity to reach a relevant audience who can drive change. “I am excited to have partnered with The Leela for a 3-city tour of Rhythm of the Earth,” said Ricky Kej.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in Mumbai, operates eleven award-winning properties across India. Celebrated for its luxurious hospitality, the brand emphasizes sustainability and community development through various initiatives and partnerships. As The Leela continues to evolve, it remains committed to offering guests unforgettable experiences that honor India's rich heritage and natural beauty.

This collaboration with Ricky Kej and the launch of the #ThinkBigStartSmall campaign mark significant steps in The Leela's journey towards achieving Net Zero and setting new standards for sustainable luxury in the hospitality industry.


Regent Hong Kong The Signature Suite Collection Revealed

By Nishang Narayan

Published on June 17, 2024

As part of its stunning transformation, the reimagined Regent Hong Kong continues to enhance its allure with the unveiling of the Signature Suites. This trio of luxurious residential retreats, each featuring a private outdoor terrace and whirlpool, offers unrivaled views of Victoria Harbour and the dazzling Hong Kong skyline, along with bespoke service tailored to individual preferences.

A Trio of Unique Luxury Retreats

The Presidential Suite, Terrace Suite, and CEO Suite showcase the sublime aesthetic of visionary Hong Kong-born architect and designer Chi Wing Lo. These one-of-a-kind personal havens elevate the Regent Hong Kong experience to new heights. Celebrating the Beauty of Contrasts, Lo has created timeless spaces with serene design sensibilities that stunningly juxtapose the hotel's spectacular vistas from multiple angles, providing guests with bespoke experiences that inspire special moments. From wedding ceremonies and intimate soirées to exclusive private events and romantic getaways, Regent Hong Kong's signature suites set the stage for exceptional experiences.

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Michel Chertouh, Managing Director of Regent Hong Kong, comments, "Each of our Signature Suites is designed to offer a highly personalized experience and the height of sophistication and discreet luxury. Guests will feel as if they are living in a luxurious contemporary residence with spaces that become their own, rather than a hotel suite." Lo has reenvisioned each suite with warm cream tones, custom furnishings in natural oak with leather detailing, and artisan craftsmanship, creating a tranquil ambiance with understated sophistication, elevated above the bustle of the city, while overlooking it all.

Exceptional Luxury and Discreet Service

The Signature Suites are the crème de la crème of the 129 stunning suites at Regent Hong Kong, among a total of 497 guestrooms. Each Regent suite is a residential-style luxury retreat with a spacious living area and Oasis bathroom. Guests can bask in discreet luxury and elevated amenities while enjoying magnificent vistas in Harbourview and Seaview Suites with intimate private havens designed for indulgent moments. Bespoke service 'on your terms' includes access to the exclusive Regent Club, offering elevated experiences over breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails.

For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury in Hong Kong, the Signature Suites at Regent Hong Kong promise an unparalleled experience, combining world-class design, breathtaking views, and personalized service to create unforgettable stays.


Goan Specialty Coffee: A Blend of Sustainability and Flavor

By Nishang Narayan

Published on June 15, 2024

Goa, known for its picturesque beaches and vibrant culture, is also making a name for itself in the world of specialty coffee. The state's burgeoning coffee scene is characterized by a commitment to sustainability, artisanal practices, and a focus on high-quality, single-origin beans. This evolution has created a unique coffee culture that attracts both locals and tourists.

Sourcing and Sustainability

Goa's specialty coffee often begins its journey in the region's lush plantations, which emphasize sustainable and ethical farming practices. Local coffee farmers prioritize organic cultivation methods, avoiding harmful pesticides and fertilizers to protect the environment and ensure the health of their crops. These practices are not only better for the planet but also enhance the quality and flavor of the coffee beans.

Sustainability extends beyond farming methods. Many Goan coffee producers engage in direct trade, establishing direct relationships with coffee farmers. This approach ensures that farmers receive fair compensation for their work, promotes higher quality standards, and fosters a deeper connection between the producer and the consumer.

Artisanal Roasting and Unique Flavours

Once harvested, Goan coffee beans undergo meticulous processing and roasting to bring out their best qualities. Local roasters often focus on small-batch roasting, a technique that allows them to experiment with different profiles and highlight the unique characteristics of each bean. The result is a diverse range of flavors that often include fruity and floral notes, reflective of Goa's rich terroir.

The rise of specialty cafes in Goa has further propelled the popularity of these artisanal coffees. These cafes are dedicated to showcasing the nuances of Goan coffee through expertly crafted brews and innovative coffee-based beverages.

The Role of Specialty Cafes

Specialty cafes play a crucial role in promoting Goan coffee culture. One notable example is Boho Box Cafe, located in Anjuna, North Goa. According to Ambika Saxena, CEO of Boho Box, "At The Boho Box, we've crafted more than just a cafe; we've created an experience. Nestled along the tranquil Baga River in Anjuna, North Goa, our bohemian-themed sports bar and cafe redefine the art of unwinding. We take pride in offering an exquisite blend of stunning river views, a diverse menu, and an ambiance that's trendy, vibrant, and serene, all in one. Our carefully curated continental cuisine, signature coffees, and refreshing cocktails ensure that your taste buds embark on a memorable journey with every visit."

Boho Box Cafe epitomizes the holistic approach to coffee culture in Goa. It offers a space where guests can relax, work, and enjoy the unique Goan vibe, all while savoring some of the best coffee the region has to offer. The cafe's emphasis on creating a memorable experience, rather than just serving coffee, reflects a broader trend in Goa's specialty coffee scene.

Trends and Innovations

The specialty coffee industry in Goa is also keeping pace with global trends. Sustainability remains at the forefront, with many cafes and roasters adopting eco-friendly practices and packaging. Additionally, there is a growing interest in cold brew coffee, which is known for its smooth texture and low acidity. Cold brew variations, including flavored and nitro-infused options, are becoming increasingly popular among coffee enthusiasts.

Another emerging trend is the infusion of coffee with health-boosting ingredients like adaptogens and superfoods. This aligns with the broader wellness trend, transforming the coffee-drinking experience into a mindful, health-conscious ritual.

To conclude, Goa's specialty coffee scene is a dynamic blend of tradition, innovation, and sustainability. From the careful cultivation of coffee beans to the artisanal roasting and the unique offerings of specialty cafes, every aspect of Goan coffee culture is designed to provide an exceptional experience. Whether you are a casual coffee drinker or a connoisseur, Goa's specialty coffee promises a journey of discovery and delight.

For those looking to immerse themselves in this vibrant coffee culture, a visit to cafes like Boho Box offers a perfect introduction to the flavors and ambiance that define Goan specialty coffee. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, Goa is poised to become a significant player on the global coffee stage.

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