Mad Over Donuts (M.O.D.)

July 25, 2008

M.O.D.

An English dictionary defines a donut (formally spelled: doughnut) as “a small usually ring-shaped cake fried in fat”.

Now I find that repulsive, vulgar, derogatory and almost punishable. To be able to get away with classifying the heavenly ‘comfort food’ as something as uncouth as “cake fried in fat” is rather preposterous. But then the same dictionary defines a star as “a huge mass of gas “. So you know where they’re coming from.

Though still a new fetish in India, doughnuts have been around for quite a while. Their origin can be traced back to the eighteenth century when they were known as olykoenks (meaning oily cakes) and it was the Dutch who have been credited with taking sweet dough balls and frying them in pork fat. It was the migrating Dutchmen who brought these olykoenks to America, who in turn prepared these with fruits and prunes in the middle. In the nineteenth century, Elizabeth Gregory fried flavored dough with walnuts for her son Hanson Gregory, hence the name doughnut.

By the turn of the twentieth century these ‘donuts’ had already achieved status as an American favourite. And during the First World War American soldiers were served doughnuts by the legendary ‘Salvation Army’ on the French front. These doughnuts were more than just a casual snack; they represented all that the men were fighting for— the safety and the comfort of mother, hearth, and home.

Coming to the purpose of this post, ‘Mad Over Donuts’ is one such doughnut place recently opened in Great India Place, Noida. Though not the first of its kind in the city, ‘M.O.D.’ is far ahead of its Indian contemporaries when it comes to quality, taste, service and just the sheer variety of doughnuts on offer. From the simple M.O.D. – My Original Donut to the exquisite ‘Cool Blue Ice’ this place has it all.

The brainchild of Lokesh Bharwani, ‘M.O.D.’ is truly a first of its kind. After a B-school stint in the US and with no prior experience in catering, Bharwani put his faith in science and formed a team of PHDs and top notch bakers from Singapore to come up with a special eggless batter for the doughnut, which has now been patented.

midnight beauty

The holy ‘Midnight Beauty’ – An exemplary union of dark and white chocolate

At the time of my visit, they were offering 16 different flavours (with the promise to introduce more soon, of course) ranging from ‘Perk Me Up’ (mousse) to the chocolate melted ‘Original Sin’. The strawberry flavored ‘Blush Factor’, ‘Coco Loco’ (coconut), the caramel oozing ‘Carameltz’, the ‘Almond Einstein’ and finally my personal favourite – ‘The Midnight Beauty’ – an exemplary union of dark and white chocolate, enjoyed both cold or warm. There’s even one with cheese, herbs & garlic and one with mushroom as well, for those without a sweet tooth I assume. To each his own I suppose.

Now if all this sounds rather expensive, then you’re in for quite a surprise. At Rs. 30 for a simple glazed donut and Rs. 35 for a flavored ring, it will hardly burn a hole in your pocket. Also the ‘buy 9 get 12’ and the ‘buy 5 get 6’ offers left me with a “six pack” of a very different kind!

Great doughnuts, friendly pricing and amazing variety. The perfect place to visit on a lazy Sunday , or any other day of the week, actually. The only thing missing was a hot a cup of latte!

Finally ending this post in the philosophical words of Matt Groening:-

Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?

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Place: Food Court, Great India Palace, Noida
Average spending: Anything between Rs. 30 to 300.

PSD Rating:       4.75on5
PSD Suggestion:  Midnight Beauty

Note: Text relating to the history of doughnut courtesy answers.com . Click to read more.

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Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat

July 16, 2008

Every now and then you read a book that makes you identify with the main protagonist, a book that makes you laugh out loud, a book that makes you applaud the authors style of story-telling, a book that makes you a better person…

Five Point Someone is – well – not that book.

I finally succumbed to hype. Had been avoiding reading this one for some reason or the other. Recently went out and purchased the entire-works of Mr. Bhagat.
Rs. 295 for 3 books, packaging and 3 bookmarks (free).
Quite a bargain you might say.

Chetan Bhagat starts his tale by thanking Mr. Bill Gates and Microsoft Windows, for without the ‘spell-check’ ability of the ‘powerful’ Microsoft Word this book wouldn’t have been written in the first place.

The folks at Microsoft can use this experience as an idea for their next advertisement, because Mr. Bhagat was obviously not using an original copy of Microsoft Office, or maybe someone forgot to tell him that Word can’t always be trusted when it comes to “replace-alls”.

The low cost of production meant that there was no money for an editor. Who needs an editor when you have Microsoft Word?

Coming to the story, FPS describes the lives of three students – Hari, Ryan and Alok during their under-graduate years at IIT-D. On the way it caters to each and every stereotype imaginable : –
Tough Professors – check
Students with high GPA’s have no life – check
The low scorers are actually the smart and creative ones – check
One professor who looks beyond just GPA’s – check
The girl falls for the supposedly unattractive one – check
and so on..

Ok, so you don’t expect a first time author to be a Shakespeare or a Wodehouse, but a certain rudimentary amount of style is expected.

Where this book scores on is the fact that it invokes nostalgia. Being an average student, bunking classes, getting high, falling in love, the parathas on the streets of Delhi and so on.

Friendly pricing and extensive marketing have helped in making this book the highest selling English language book by an Indian author.If you’re a light reader or a first time reader you might enjoy this book. But if you’re someone who ‘reads books’ then the odds are that this one will leave you disappointed (Again, standard disclaimers apply :-))

Poor style, lack of a good plot and absolutely no character development.. not a book I would recommend.

PSD Rating: 1on5

Note:
FOR SALE: The entire works of Chetan Bhagat, the author of the highly acclaimed FPS, ONAACC and TMOML. Great condition, original packaging (2 of the 3 books have not even been touched). Those interested can email me.(bookmarks not included)