Wednesday 30 November 2016

Sigdi food Festival at Sepia, by Renaissance Lucknow

Hello foodies, hope y'all are doing great! Firstly, thank you for making my last post a mega success, and you'll be glad to know it reached at the no.1 position on this blog beating others within a span of 5 days, and I cannot express how much your views and comments mean to me! So, I'm back with another yummy treat for you all in association with Renaissance Lucknow Hotel.

Some of you watched me dine out with my team at Sepia restaurant at Renaissance on my snapchat and instagram stories a few days back, and asked me to publish some details about the on-going SIGDI food festival there. So, as per your request, below is the full story for you to take a look and drool!

Renaissance Lucknow Hotel is well known for its unique food festivals that keep on taking place every month. With the start of winters this November, Sepia at Renaissance arranged a new concept of dining under the stars with their chefs preparing various Awadhi delicacies in the balcony area of the restaurant and serving everyone with love. The mix of cold, foggy weather in the evening with the barbeque setup looked ecstatic and I too tried roasting some paneer tikkas on the flames. With that, I along with my team tasted some scrumptious food from the chefs' set menu for the festival and we loved it like always (see all pictures below).

The SIGDI food festival is up till 4th December, so you can go and enjoy it yourself! 

LIVE Barbeque Counter


Mewe Maawe Ke Seekh Kebab

Tender kebabs with a melt-in-mouth tendency. Tastes sweet with a blend of rich flavors.


Baby potatoes roasted perfectly to core and coated with spicy flavors all over.  

Faldaari Falon Ki Chaat

Barbequed fruit chaat bursting with juicy flavors including sweet, spicy, sour.

Aurangi Paneer Tikka

Paneer is one of my favorite food items and the variety of dishes that can be prepared are innumerable, and the chefs at Sepia never fail to serve me something new everytime! The aurangi paneer tikka that I tasted this time was wholesome, marinated and barbequed perfectly and tasted delicious. 


Paneer Korma

Like I told you, paneer is something I've loved always and paneer korma is something that pampers my senses with its rich aroma every time. The soft, succulent paneer cubes in a onion-tinged tomato gravy with accents of cardamom and the abundance of fresh cream make this dish a true luxury. 

Sarson Saag

I've always savoured the authentic taste of sarson saag in winters. Its my staple food if I frankly tell you that's cooked at my home, but the unconventional taste that this saag contains at Sepia is winsome. It isn't too runny, nor too dry but contains the perfect texture and aroma with a hot spicy flavor! 

Bhuney Baigan aur Matar

I'm someone who doesn't experiment with food much, I like to eat something I've often tasted at a particular restaurant, and one dish I never forget to order at Sepia is a dry sabzi of roasted egg plant mixed with peas, tossed with onion & garlic that fills up your mouth with pungent flavours! (must try)


Makke Ki Roti

That's a crisp corn flour roti, often eaten with sarson saag. Extremely palatable and tasteful.

Warqui Paratha

Favorite bread at Sepia, these warqui parathas are the most ordered on our table always. Once tasted you're never getting over it, mind you! 


My favorite part of any meal are the desserts. I mostly tend to eat some before the main course and save the yummiest part of it for later. This time at Sepia, as I told you they had this new concept of welcoming the winter season with love, so they arranged a LIVE HALWA COUNTER for all their guests to experience something amazing. The huge variety of colorful ingredients ignited the sweet lover in me, and I along with my friends tasted various kinds of Halwa mixed with lot of dry fruits and other sweet toppings. #MustTry at the fest!

An array of Halwa ingredients at the counter

Three favorite desserts from the counter : Phirni, Malai Paan Pudding, Mix Halwa


P.S. : I'm sure many of you must be missing the non vegetarian food menu in this food review. Well, I'd like to tell you all that from now onwards I will not be posting about non vegetarian food on this blog or on any of my social media platforms due to some reasons I strongly stand for! I've always been a vegetarian by choice and one of the greatest reasons I refuse eating non-veg food is because of the extensive animal killing. I am a blood shed hater and strongly oppose the act of animal slaughtering anywhere.  

So, if you're looking for non-veg food reviews on Picker At Pace, this place isn't for you anymore. But you can always enjoy all the vegetarian food reviews here! :)

If you liked this post, go ahead and share it with your family and friends. Also, I write something for everyone on my blog so if you wish to, do check out other categories other than Food on Picker At Pace that include Fashion, Beauty, Travel, Lifestyle and Poetry, and I'll be happy to read your comments on some posts that might excite you. Until next time, lots of love!

Photographed by : Saumya Kumar


Tuesday 22 November 2016

5 Reasons Why Cappuccino Blast is Lucknow's Best Hangout Spot

Hi guys, welcome back to my blog. You're all doing good I know and I wish each one of you always stay smiling. Today's post is an extremely special one dedicated to one of my favorite places to visit, in my city Lucknow. 

Well, its a favorite for many of you and you'd be lying if you say you've not visited it more than 10 times already. And if you're like me, your friends and colleagues must be half pissed with you already because you ALWAYS have to call them for meetings, outings, meals or just any random plans at Cappi. So, if they repeatedly ask you WHY do you do that, share this post with them because its a direct answer to all our pals out there!

Cappuccino Blast (famously called 'Cappi') was started back in 2000 (so that's 16 long yeas from now) by a young lady Puja Vaid. Belonging to a conservative Marwari family, she had to outstrip her family notions and follow her passion for coffee. She borrowed a sum of 25,000 from her father and started a small cafe with just 4 tables and a few chairs. Well, the birth of Cappi became a rage in no time and even after Miss Vaid got married and turned Mrs. Puja Vaid Nemani, she opted to carry on working with dedication and love and since then she and her baby cafe has only flourished and flourished, and today its undoubtedly the no.1 hangout spot for all. Below are 5 reasons to prove the same

5.) TRENDSETTER FOR GASTRONOMY IN TOWN - Not many know that Cappuccino Blast came to Lucknow even before Barista and CCD (well, it shocked me too while I researched upon the same). But it was actually the first cafe to experiment with a wide coffee menu and served the best regular cappuccinos 16 years back (and even now). Gradually as years passed, the coffee cafe brought in more space and started a restaurant which was again a stand alone Italian restaurant in town then. Ultra Violet as we know is one of the oldest restaurants to bring in the trademark dishes to knowledge, be it Hummus & Pita, authentic Enchiladas or Risottos. And with that, we just cannot forget the introduction of traditional Hookahs to the younger crowd. For many many years, Cappi has been serving the best hookahs in town and the patrons know it better. Or it could be simply put as : Tunday ke Kebab, Sharma ki Chai aur Cappi ka Hookah nahi piya to kya khaakh Lucknow jiya! Last but not the least, recently Cappi started with molecular mixology in one of the outlets and that's again the first one in town, so once more they're all set to be the trendsetters in the city of nawabs.

Cappi has always been a hookah lounge trendsetter in Lucknow

Molecular Mixology at Cappi Bar

Paneer Enchilada and Garlic Bread from the Italian cuisine at Cappi

4.) LOCATION FRIENDLY - Lucknow has been a small town as compared to other metro cities. But in the recent times we've seen some rapid development around, and Cappi has always managed to cater to its customers all over the city. With 3 outlets serving in different areas, Cappuccino Blast is delivering yummy food to its lovers. The first one - their flagship cafe opened at MALL AVENUE serving to the mid city and around has always been everyone's easiest access point. The second one came by the Cappuccino Blast GOMTI NAGAR which served to a larger group living in the newly developed Lucknow and outskirts, and the third (the newest as we could say) Cappuccino Blast Aishbagh at MILL ROAD caters to the older Lucknow area which always lacked the exclusivity of a fine dine, but now I'm sure the residents around are quite excited! With that, I'd like to mention Cappi also started with Home Delivery facility recently and it delivers happiness in the form of food to literally everybody all over the town, and that makes me feel even delighted!

Cappuccino Blast (Mall Avenue)

Cappuccino Blast (Aishbagh)

Cappuccino Mini Blast (Gomti Nagar)

3.) BEST OF 8 WORLDS - Like I said, when Cappuccino Blast was launched, it was just a small area with 4 tables and chairs placed around. But as it grew, Mrs. Puja Nemani embarked new elements with indoor, outdoor and terrace CAFES serving to the younger lads who come along with friends for parties, group studies, or even dates with their girl friends. And take me seriously when I say, you've really not done justice if you've never been on a date with your partner at Cappi. Other than the cafes, the FINE DINE RESTAURANT at the Mall Avenue branch by the name Ultra Violet was started to serve the middle age group who mostly come for cozy dinners with families, corporate meetings or kitty parties, and the ladies never really stop from fetching exclusive accessories for themselves and their kids from the LIFESTYLE STORE called Dreams that too was stationed by Mrs. Nemani since she wanted everyone in town to taste some luxury, while the men check out the VINTAGE FURNITURE STORE - Zeme Home, that sells the richest sets of beds, couches, chandeliers, pocket watches, paintings, etc. Well, with the launch of new Cappi outlets, the concept of cafes and fine dine restaurants has already shot up, and at their Aishbagh branch even has a regular BAR, a VIP LOUNGE for private parties and a BANQUET to serve all purposes, and now they're even setting up a mini branch of Buttercup Bungalow there. Buttercup Bungalow, as we know is the cutest BAKERY & TEA ROOM in town and was started two years back, at the Mall Avenue branch by Mrs. Nemani's younger sister Aarti Vaid who isn't only a passionate baker but an extremely creative cake artist! Mrs. Puja being the biggest mentor for Aarti, pushed her to start her own venture and now Aarti's baby bakery sells the finest gourmet cupcakes in town with the luscious New York cheesecake, rainbow cake, signature redvelvet, etc; along with flavorful teas, and a variety of American and English breakfast. And hence, Cappi is the only place in Lucknow to have 3 different cafe setups, a fine dine restro, banquet, bar, VIP lounge, furniture shop, lifestyle store and a bakery in the same premises!

Dreams - The Lifestyle Store at Cappi Mall Avenue

VIP Lounge at Cappi Aishbagh

Fine Dine restaurant at Cappi Aishbagh

Cappi Aishbagh Bar

Indoor Cafe at Cappi Mall Avenue

Outdoor Cafe at Cappi Mall Avenue

Terrace Cafe at Cappi Mall Avenue

The time me and my friends gathered at Ultra Violet

Buttercup Bungalow

Zeme Home at Cappi Mini Blast

2.) CREATIVE INTERIORS / AMBIENCE - As I've been hearing it all my life, the daughters are mostly the shadows of their mothers, and I could relate to it whenever I meet the head of the heads Mrs. Rashmi Vaid - the mother of Mrs. Puja Vaid Nemani and Miss Aarti Vaid and is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious with her interior skills. The AWESOME THREESOME as I term the trio, these ladies have always decorated each part of all the Cappuccino Blast outlets themselves with love and beautiful goods. Not hired a single interior designer ever, for past 16 years these 3 creative ladies have been regularly experimenting with color schemes, the shades of wallpapers, the designs of chairs and tables, the restaurant setups, the floor, the blue pot wall, the lawn decorations and even work upon different theme parties occasionally to give it the personalized touch to make it interesting as ever. Be it an extravagant festival or a national holiday, India's world cup series or Valentine's Day, the decorations at Cappi are worth gazing at. Since I've been a regular visitor since childhood, I've seen it all upgrade myself and it wouldn't be wrong if I say everything placed at any Cappuccino Blast outlet is totally handpicked by them, while they also did up Aarti's bakery (Buttercup Bungalow) with the cutest personalised articles, we all sense the home like warmth around on every visit, isn't it?

Private Party decorations at Cappi Aishbagh

Buttercup Bungalow bakery has a beautiful umbrella ceiling

The very famous Blue Pot Wall aka the Selfie Wall

Cappi Mall Avenue all lit during the World Cup Series

Christmas Party decorations

Cappi has the cutest bird houses

The initial outdoor cafe setup at Cappi Mall Avenue

Bar Launch party at Cappi Aishbagh terrace

1.) FOOD & SERVICE - We've finally come to the no.1 reason why Cappi is the best of all in Lucknow, and its none other than the best quality food served and the services rendered at their outlets. For past 16 years, my parents, grand parents, uncles, aunts and all siblings and cousins have been regular customers here and two things that bring us back at Cappi every single time are a.) the varieties of cuisines to choose from, with an uncompromising quality of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and b.) the courteous attitude of the waiters, manager, the valet parkers, and even the owners. I remember Mrs. Puja Vaid Nemani telling me once that she loves to interact with her customers on her own since it helps her get ideas to better her work if she's lacking somewhere and I feel it mostly works in her favor also because she is super sweet and is always open to constructive criticism, just like her little sister Aarti who is already a popular name amongst the younger generation. While we talk of food mainly, Cappi's multi cuisine menu has over 300 dishes including the starters and main course, more than 40 types of drinks and 50 types of desserts to pick from and you will agree that it always confuses us, and no matter how much we try to switch the order we placed in the previous visit we end up ordering the same thing again because its just our favorite there!

Cappuccino Blast has been ranked as the no.1 coffee outlet in Lucknow

Gourmet preparations by Buttercup Bungalow

Marwari Thali at Cappi Aishbagh

Signature cakes, cupcakes and puddings by Buttercup Bungalow

The biggest Tandoori Momo at Cappi mall Avenue

Cheese Fondue

Mexican Grilled Chicken

Burmese Khow Suey

Kitkat Milkshake, Masala Shikanji, Ice Tea

Honey Chilli Potato, Italian Pasta Salad and Bruschetta

Its been a crazy journey for Cappuccino Blast since when it started and for us having it see grow to the BEST HANGOUT SPOT in town is unbelievable. Well, not just the citizens of Lucknow but people from all across India who come to visit our town make sure to drop in here atleast once. And we all know its even the bollywood and tellywood celebrities' favorite dine in place in the city of nawabs. Cappi has hosted to a lot of popular names, and I'll take a moment to list down as many as I know so you can counter those memories like when you banged into them at Cappi. Starting from our very own chief minister Shri Akhilesh Yadav who's family just cannot resist eating at Cappuccino Blast because they love everything about it. Then we witnessed Rannvijay Singha, Ali Zafar, Sumona Chakravarti, Kapil Sharma and team, Pravesh Rana, Kanika Kapoor, Juhi Babbar, Anoop Soni, Debina and Gurmeet Chowdhry from bolly and tellyworld, and even some cricketers namely Piyush Chawla, R.P. Singh. And not forgetting the Maharja of Udaipur - Shri Arvind Singh Ji Mewar who loved the entire setup at Cappi and was amazed to see such an exquisite place in the heart of Lucknow. So guys, its again one of the best reasons why Cappi has always been so dear to us!

Shri Akhilesh Yadav with family at Cappuccino Blast Aishbagh Launch

First row L-R : Pravesh Rana, Debina & Gurmeet Chowdhary, Ali Fazal
Second row L-R : Kanika Kapoor, Kapil Sharma & Team, Anoop Soni & Juhi Babbar

The time I met the amazing sister duo.
 Top : Mrs. Puja Vaid Nemani  |  Bottom : Ms. Aarti Vaid

For more, check out Cappuccino Blast on Instagram and Facebook or you can log on to to find out anything else you want to know. PS : If you liked reading this post and 
could relate to it even a bit, DO SHARE IT ACROSS and help others bind memories! Until next time, lots of love.