Punjab2000 Restaurant Review by Amrit – The Tapasya ‘Fine Dining Experience’ in Hull

Punjab2000′s Amrit reviewed one of Hull’s leading restaurants specialising in fine Indian Cuisine.

Tapasya Restaurant & Bar review by Amrit Punjab2000

Situated in the Beverley area of Hull, the restaurant is complete with outdoor wooden furnishings and lush green trimmed hedges.

Having been opened a full year on 29 August 2014, Tapasya celebrates being nominated as the Best Restaurant of The Year by Remarkable East Yorkshire Award. Proud to be in the heart of Yorkshire, Tapasya have also participated in food festivals local to the city such as the Yum Festival and hosted the Devil’s Kitchen Challenge, showcasing their exquisite Indian menu.

Punjab2000's Amrit with Tapasya managing director Mukesh Tirkoti

Punjab2000′s Amrit with Tapasya managing director Mukesh Tirkoti

A delectable menu has been compiled by head chef K K Anand formerly known for his TV appearances in the Indian Masterchef and his head role of Asian cuisine at the Olympic Village, London.

Interestingly the restaurant’s title Tapasya is not to be confused with the Spanish connection to tapas. On first hearing the name, many guests assume they will be dining in a feast of Spanish cuisine or tasting fine Indian delicacies in the style of tapas dining. In fact Tapasya actually comes from the ancient Sanskrit language –Tapas meaning heat, however also dependent on context can mean to meditate.

Tapasya Bar

Amrit met with Mukesh Tirkoti, managing director of Tapasya who walked her through the haute bar area lit with an inviting warm ambiance to the sound of the running water wall feature. A fine selection of spirits from high end whiskeys to vodka spirits are on display creating a cosmopolitan atmosphere. The restaurant’s decor compliments the modern yet welcoming vibe. White table cloths dress the scene against the plush cream upholstery and mahogany coloured furnishings.

Table setting at Tapasya Restaurant, Hull

Spice Room table setting at Tapasya, Hull

Amrit was taken to dine in the Spice Room used for entertaining VIP guests and available for large parties to book. The room has a fully functioning projector screen, perfect for business presentations as well as its own sound system so you can enjoy a private dinner party to your own personal playlist. This room comes equipped with a grand view of the Tapasya wine cabinet, where Tapasya’s very own brand of wine and beer stand.

Amrit of Punjab2000 at Tapasya Restaurant, Hull

Tapasya currently offer two house wines, one in red and white to go with their extensive wine selection. The robust red offers a deep rich flavour full of embodiment whilst the crisp white is a cool taste to the pallet with a refreshing flavour. Prices of the wines range from affordable to the ideal for that special occasion.

Tapasya brand wines

Two beers are also available under the Tapasya range in Pale Ale at 4.5% and Cardamon and Coriander flavour at 4.9% volume. The aroma of the cardomon and coriander infused beer, touches the pallet after a mouthful of subtle Indian spices, compliments the gentle flavours of each spice in the food. Tirkoti commented that the beers are a popular hit with the locals as well as the wine, selling around 80-90 bottles per week.

Tapasya brand beer

Amrit tasted a selection of entrrées  that were served, starting with black crunchy tiger prawns roasted in the tandoor, served with a mango and yoghurt sauce.

Black crunchy tiger prawns

Following this was a street food tiki (pattie) made from fresh spinach, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), potato and crushed chickpeas served with a tomato and onion sauce.

Street food tiki

The final dish of the array was a unique take on the authentic seekh kebab. Traditionally a blend of spiced lamb, though Tapasya have chosen a delicately flavoured chicken version of the seekh kebab. Leaving a main course of an exquisite chicken curry accompanied with basmati rice and rustic naan bread to finish.

Chicken seekh kebab

Overall Amrit said “the Tapasya experience delivered an afternoon of pleasurable, fine dining. The staff and service was of impeccable standard, my wine was kept topped up and my napkin was always laid out for me. The food is not your average Indian balti by no means. A true taste and feel of Indian excellence is what Tapasya replicates.”

Chef's table at Tapasya Restaurant, Hull

Tapasya radiates the perfect ambiance for a wondrous dining experience and sophisticated environment to celebrate that special occasion. Open seven days a week and offering a range of appetising dishes visit www.tapasya.org.uk

*Photo credits – Amrit Matharu 

ASIAN FASHION HOUR LIVE – panel featuring Noreen Khan, Ravita Pannu & Julien Trivedi

Punjab2000’s very own Amrit Matharu for Amaretto’s World is an official contributor for Asian Fashion Hour Live.

The Space Birmingham, business venture founded by Chandeep Uppal also known for her role as ‘Meena’ in Meera Syal’s  Anita and Me, hosts Asian Fashion Hour Live on Friday 26 September 2014, 7-10pm at The Space, Barr Street, Birmingham, B19 3EH.

Asian Fashion Hour Live

Uppal joined forces with Yasmin Sidat, blogger of pehrani.com. The two came together to bring Pehrani’s Friday evening Twitter chat #asianfashionhour (hosted weekly from 7-8pm), to a live platform where live contributors and a live audience can take part and contribute their thoughts and comments which can be then taken on board by future business entrepreneurs and researchers.

The event will be focussing on three big names in the south Asian fashion industry. BBC Asian Network’s Noreen Khan will be giving the audience an exclusive on her new couture range as well as renowned hair and makeup artist Ravita Pannu who will reveal more about her RP brand. This event is not just for the ladies as menswear designer Julien Trivedi will be talking about his menswear and sherwani ranges.

Asian Fashion Hour Live is different in the sense that it is not your usual fashion show showcasing a catwalk of latest trends, but is an event which allows you to openly discuss these trends.

In addition to Amaretto’s World, supporting the event are various parties such as Curvaceous and Maya magazines, Asians UK, The Asian Today and business group Asian Women Mean Business.

Tickets for the event only cost £10 and are available from http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/asian-fashion-hour-live-tickets-12543521009?aff=eac2

For more information visit www.pehrani.com & www.thespacebirmingham.co.uk

Exclusive Interview with Amit Shah from The Hundred-Foot Journey

Amit-Shah

Amrit from Punjab2000,  speaks with Amit Shah who plays Mansur in his new film The Hundred-Foot Journey which releases  in the UK on 5th September 2014

The 33-year-old actor from London graduated from Staffordshire University in Drama and went on to study at LAMDA in West London. From theatre plays such as the hit Bombay Dreams composed by AR Rahman, The Royal Hunt of the Sun and The Alchemist to name a few, Shah hits the big screens in the film industry working alongside award-winning British-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili in The Infidel and the most recent The Hundred-Foot Journey, co-produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.

The film is a screen adaptation of the Richard C. Morais novel beautifully capturing the journey of the Kadam family on an adventure to home their aspirations of a family-run restaurant after fleeing Mumbai. First settling in London and departing for Europe, a mechanical fault on Papa (Om Puri)’s vehicle results in the family residing in a nearby French village. Upon their stay, Papa’s discovery of the wonderful French food culture and an abandoned building a one hundred-foot journey from a Michelin star restaurant, their story begins.

Winfrey stated after titling the book her favourite summer read in 2010, “It’s about human beings coming to understand other human beings and more importantly, after you get to experience or step into somebody else’s shoes or see them for a real human being, how you understand that you’re really more alike than you are different”.

Shah reveals more in an exclusive interview with Amrit about his character of Mansur in the film and his experience working with stars of the industry. Read below for the full interview…

1. Congratulations on the release of The Hundred-Foot Journey. Can you tell us more about your role and the character you play as we see you only very briefly in the trailer in comparison to the other characters.

That’s right, there’s only so much that can be added to a two-minute trailer though I say one of the most crucial lines in the film, being “one hundred feet across the street the restaurant has a Michelin star”. Mansur as the older son acts as the responsible, straight-faced character who wants to protect and look after his family.

2. How did you get the part?

I auditioned for the part. My agent called me up and said there’s a big film project that he had lied up for me. At the time I wasn’t made aware it was a Spielberg production which I think is a good thing. When meeting the casting director you need to put your focus and attention on the story and the character. They want to see how you behave and respond on set.  I was filmed and the tape was sent over to Spielberg and his team. I think an important thing for them was to get the chemistry of the family right so they needed to get an older brother who is possibly awkward. And I have very similar ears to Om Puri  *laughs* so I think that might’ve helped project my role as his son in the film.

3. What was it like working with the legend that is Om Puri who’s been in both Bollywood and mainstream films, most famously East is East?

Well there’s a bit of a long story here but I’ll tell you. So when I was 18 and at uni, I wasn’t completely sure about going into acting properly. Then East is East came out and absolutely changed my whole world. It was such a huge film in the UK and I remember thinking this actor can make you laugh and cry within the same time. He has the full talent and ability of expressing this emotion very subtly. So I really aspired to him and followed in his footsteps and got to play his son in The Hundred-Foot Journey. And what is even weirder is I’m also now in East is East the play which is obviously associated with Om Puri. So I play Om’s son in the film and the writer of the play, Ayub Khan Din, also plays the father. So I am his son in the play which sets up this really weird triangle of son and my two dads.

Ayub Khan Din, Amit Shah & Om Puri - Son with his 'two dads'. Photo by Zareen Walker

Ayub Khan Din, Amit Shah & Om Puri – Son with his ‘two dads’. Photo by Zareen Walker

4. And what was it like working with Dame Helen Mirren who has of course been around for years?

She actually came up to me at the premiere and said to me that she really enjoyed working with me, that I’m free, inventive and spontaneous. And I think she is very much those things so we were able to get along really well.

When you look at the film, I would say that about 70% of what I do was certainly improvised because the kind of environment the director wanted. And most of the stuff I do with Helen is improvised; you know my character is kind of fumbling and awkward because hers is so intimidating. It was a nice relationship and it just worked. And you’d never guess she’s in her in her late 60’s because she’s so alive and got such energy. For me it was wonderful to work with her.

5. What was your most enjoyable scene when filming?

I would say all of the stuff in the kitchen and all of my interactions with Om and Helen because they’re improvised and there are some very sweet and funny moments between us. During the whole experience, we were very lucky to have filmed in three different locations. The South of France which was so scenic, then we went to Paris which was buzzing and  then Mumbai in India which was buzzing with a different kind of energy, it’s in your face and vibrant!

6. How was it meeting and working with Oprah and Steven?

I didn’t actually get to meet Spielberg until the New York premiere which was at the beginning of August. And I met Oprah half way through filming as she came on set for a few days. It was very bizarre especially when they’re complimenting your work. There was a moment at the premiere where I was talking to Spielberg and I look over, and my wife is talking to Oprah! So yeah like I said it is a very bizarre moment if you’ve never experienced that situation before, it’s just a whole another level.

There’s almost like a joke within the acting community where you often get asked, “are you working” when you reply, “no I’m just at home waiting for Spielberg to phone”.  He is a legend and most possibly the most famous man on the planet. Equally Oprah Winfrey is the most famous female on the planet so when the two come together and produce a film, you know that it’s going to be of a certain standard. And with that I can say I was surrounded by highly qualified talented people from the producers to the actors.

7. If you could work with anyone, who would it be and why?

Robin Williams. He was a huge huge hero of mine. When Mork & Mindy was on I’d be watching that. I’m a massive fan of his movies like Good Will Hunting and the Spielberg film Hook where he played Peter Pan. For days I was in shock as I’ve had experience with someone close to me with depression so I was really taken by his passing as he was a true inspiration.

Om-Puri-Amit-Shah

Quick Fire Questions:

Chocolate  or Vanilla? Vanilla

Dress Shoes or Trainers? Trainers (always Nike)

Tea or Coffee? Neither, milkshake (preferably strawberry or vanilla)

Cats or Dogs? Dogs

Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner

PC or MAC? MAC

Sweet or Savoury? Sweet (especially gulab jamun)

Scone or ‘Scon’? Scon (but sometimes change without knowing I’m doing it)

Shower or Bath? Shower

Mum or Dad? Mummy’s boy

So I’m back from Vegas and it’s time to repent my sins of indulging in way too much food and drink. The Americans certainly are hearty with their portions, and there is sugar in everything!
Blueberries for a boost of antioxidants  Honeydew melon for revitalising copper and vitamins Nectarine for a healthy dose of vitamin C
My favourite detox is Marks and Spencer’s Detox Infusion Tea. A perfect blend of a nettle, dandelion and milkthistle that is naturally caffeine free.
Happy detoxing for those who are with me! ‪

So I’m back from Vegas and it’s time to repent my sins of indulging in way too much food and drink. The Americans certainly are hearty with their portions, and there is sugar in everything!

Blueberries for a boost of antioxidants
Honeydew melon for revitalising copper and vitamins
Nectarine for a healthy dose of vitamin C

My favourite detox is Marks and Spencer’s Detox Infusion Tea. A perfect blend of a nettle, dandelion and milkthistle that is naturally caffeine free.

Happy detoxing for those who are with me! ‪

Holiday Fashion

#AmarettoInVegas

Necklace Haul

We don’t meet people by accident; They are meant to cross our paths for a reason, albeit a blessing or a lesson. 

Great bumping into madtatterfilms this weekend - Looking forward to catching up soon!

We don’t meet people by accident; They are meant to cross our paths for a reason, albeit a blessing or a lesson.

Great bumping into madtatterfilms this weekend - Looking forward to catching up soon!

Amaretto’s World featured on the official Asian Women Mean Business website 

Visit www.asianwomenmeanbusiness.com & take a look at how founders Rupinder Kaur & Panna Chauhan take charge for Asian women in the corporate world.

Thanks ladies for the start of something new! Looking forward to more great things to come!

Amaretto’s World featured on the official Asian Women Mean Business website

Visit www.asianwomenmeanbusiness.com & take a look at how founders Rupinder Kaur & Panna Chauhan take charge for Asian women in the corporate world.

Thanks ladies for the start of something new! Looking forward to more great things to come!

Keep peace | Spread love

Keep peace | Spread love

Exclusive Interview with Hollyoak’s Phoebe McQueen – Mandip Gill

As featured on punjab2000.com 

Bubbly 26-year-old Yorkshire lass from Leeds, Mandip Gill, Hollyoaks star who plays Phoebe McQueen talks to Punjab2000 about her role in award winning British soap in an exclusive interview with Amrit.

Mandip Gill plays Phoebe McQueen in UK Soap Hollyoaks

We were first introduced to Phoebe when she entered Channel 4′s Hollyoaks on the streets of Chester, where she then became best friends with runaway George, played by Steven Roberts. The two troubled teens sought comfort in each other as they got tangled up in a serious child grooming case. This teenage tearaway was kept on our screens by Jacqui McQueen who took her in after developing a soft spot for little Phoebe.

Amrit gets the chance to catch up with Mandip and learns more about what it’s like being an Asian and playing a character who isn’t necessarily linked to a stereotypical Asian storyline..

How long have you been in Hollyoaks now?
I’ve been in hollyoaks about two and a half years now. It has gone so ridiculously fast it’s scary.

Apart from Hollyoaks what other programmes have you been in?
Hollyoaks is my first television job. Before this I was doing theatre gigs in and around Manchester and doing a whole heap of auditions. This job came at the perfect time as I was starting to doubt my career choice for the first ever time.

How did Hollyoaks start? – Talk me through how you got this amazing opportunity…
I’d been to several auditions at Hollyoaks for different parts over the years so when this audition came around I didn’t think anything of it. The role was none race specific and if I’m honest I didn’t think the character was right for my playing range. I went through several rounds (and also lied about my love of dogs to get the part! *laughs*) I am so grateful to Emma Smithwick, the producer at the time and our current producer, Bryan Kirkwood for giving me such a great opportunity. Not once has the character been involved in any stereotypical Asian topics. Phoebe’s character isn’t seen for her race. Which I think is very rare.

Were you much of a Hollyoaks fan before you got the role?
I have older siblings who watched hollyoaks so growing up so I used to watch the soap along with all the rest of them. Weirdly my favourite family were the McQueens, so you can imagine how excited and proud I was when Phoebe became an official McQueen. It has been so amazing to be apart of such a popular soap family. Everyone knows who the McQueens are!

Are there any similarities between Phoebe’s character and yourself?
I’d like to think that weren’t that many similarities between us. I try to keep it that way when making character decisions. I’m nearly ten years older than my character so our mannerisms and characteristics are very different. I try to keep Phoebe young and a tomboy. Outside of work though, I must admit I am a little bit of a tomboy so I’d say that would be the similarity. However I don’t own half as many hoodies as Phoebe!

So you play the role of Phoebe McQueen. What is it like playing the role of someone with a different identity?
I have to say, playing a character with no race specific storylines has been amazing. They write her like any other person, her actions, decisions reactions etc are based purely on Phoebe as an individual and not on her race. Phoebe is mixed race Asian and White but we’ve only ever seen her mam. Maybe the topics will change if her dad was introduced, and rightly so in my opinion.

Do you ever get people stop you in the street or when you’re out and about like “Hey! There’s Pheobe from Hollyoaks”?
If I don’t wear makeup I get recognised! I still work in my parents newsagents on the weekends if they need me… So I just wear lots of makeup to look different. *laughs*

You’ve had some eventful story lines in Hollyoaks, what’s been your favourite and why?
My biggest storyline and I’d say favourite one, was the grooming storyline when I was introduced in the show. It saw my character meet George on the streets and together they ended up in the hands of child groomers. I enjoyed this storyline because I had meaty scripts to work with, it was very topical at the time and it was the beginning of Phoebe and George’s amazing friendship which still continues in the show now.

When you’re not filming, rehearsing or busy being an actor what do you like to get up to?
When I’m not working I like to eat! *laughs* I’m forever eating out with my friends from the show Steven, Aaron (Sonny Valentine) and Jason (Alfie Brown-Sykes). I took up knitting for a while and go to the gym in preparation for a half marathon in October – My cousin Alicia passed away last year from cancer. She was only 22 and we were all really close. The marathon I mentioned is to raise money for Alicia’s charity, www.aliciaboparai.co.uk to raise funds in her name to help other sufferers out there.

Mandip at British Soap Awards 2014

Quick Fire Questions

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.

Heels or Flats? Flats

Tea or Coffee? Tea. Preferably Indian tea. Coffee makes me weird…I cry!

Cats or Dogs? None! I’m petrified of dogs I stop breathing!

Breakfast or Dinner? Breakfast!

PC or MAC? MAC I hate slow things I’m so impatient

Sweet or Savoury? Sweet all day long

Scone or ‘Scon’? Scone. I’m posh!

Shower or Bath? Shower

Mum or Dad? Both! me and my siblings call them MAD (mam and dad rolled into one) they come as a package!

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