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Job Openings at Compare Infobase and MapXL August 27, 2010

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , add a comment

I have never used my blog to work for me, almost never, but this time it must. Compare Infobase Limited has few openings in New Delhi office & in its wholly owned subsidiary MapXL Inc.

  1. Project Managers (3) BCA/ BE + MBA (IT/Marketing) with  at least 2 years of independent website management experience – (Salary Range Rs. 700,000/- to Rs 1,000,000/- P.A) for CIL
  2. SM Technology Specialists (2) BE/ BTech Computer Sciences/ IT with independent team lead experience in handheld/ mobile devices and FB/ Twitter applications PHP/ J2ME/ J2EE (Salary Range Rs. 600,000/- to Rs 1,000,000/- P.A) for CIL
  3. Site Optimization Specialists (6) BCA/ BE + MBA (IT/Marketing) with at least 2 years of experience in managing sites with more than 10 million PVs per month. (Salary Range Rs. 8,000,000/- to Rs 1,200,000/- P.A) for CIL
  4. Content Writers US Economy (1), World economy (1), World Politics (1), Geography (1), Travel (2), Technology/ Gadgets (2)  16 to 40 hours a week (Compensation $ 10/- to $ 40/- per hour, initial contract for 6 months) for MapXL MapXL team would offer the compensation on the basis of experience and qualifications.
  5. Senior PHP programmer – Minimum 3 years experience  (Compensation $ 65,000/- to $ 90,000/- (Payroll) PA, initial contract for 12 months)

You may send your resume to (nivedita at infobase dot in) and you may send me a DM at (twitter dot com slash simarp)

All vacancies are current and are on the basis of first right candidate gets the job. this blogpost is to supplement openings displayed at Compare Infobase site on Naukri.com

Penguin Froyo Ice-cream February 23, 2010

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25241
Penguin Froyo is the place to go for your ice-creams. I like their flavors and firmness of theie ice-creams. The melting in the mouth feeling which I get is really worth the crime. It is between 1st and 2nd on West Santa Clara Street, San Jose.

Restaurants Around San Pedro September 28, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : Bay Area, Food, Review, USA , add a comment

I am a foodie and would love remaining one for rest of my life. My work place is just across San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose, this post is aimed at putting on a piece of paper on what I like most at that specific restaurant. It is not a detailed review but more like – I have been there and I have liked this.

  1. The Old spaghetti Factory – Shrimp, Spinach and Artichoke Dip – Quality and quantity both are fine 7/10 & Lasagna Vegitariano – 9/10 This is yummy Marinara sauce makes huge difference (Both have artichoke’s)
  2. The Old Wagon – Popcorn Shrimp – Yummy 8/10 & Been Fishing, there take on Fish & Chips – Chips were out of the world, fish was fine too, decent portion 8/10
  3. 71 Saint Peter’s – Pan Seared Crab Cakes 5/10 Not to my taste & Bruschetta 9/10 – the way it should be. Main course Seafood linguine - Prawns, Scallops, Mussels, Lobster, Tomatoes – this is my favorite and I give it 10/10 – very tasty, very juicy and filling
  4. Sonoma Chicken Coop – Crispy calamari – Its is flash fried and tastes awesome, good helping 9/10 & Grilled Salmon Risotto 10/10 – The Wow dish of the downtown – I’ve had it over 20 times and every time the experience is just out of the world
  5. 19 Market – The Vietnamese fine dining – Crab and Avocado Spring Rolls – a bit dry but very tasty 7/10 & Grilled Salmon with Spicy Green Beans 8/10 (2 points go the portion is slightly less at this price point) & Brown Rice 8/10
  6. La Vic’s – Best Tacos and Burritos town – Super Veggie Burrito – 9/10 – awesome taste too filling and a meal for the day and Veggie Tacos – 9/10 Wow taste – in Orange Sauce takes you there 101/10
  7. Amici’s - Artichoke Panzanella Salad – All the veggies with bread cubes thrown in - 8/10 Tastes best with some Olive oil and vinegar & Veggie Pizza – Green Pepper, Mushrooms, Onions, Black Olives 10/10 – There just can’t be any better Pizza in this category
  8. Peggy Sue’s Diner – Clam chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl – 9/10 tastes good, filling & Fish n Chips – 7/10 Chips are great, fish can be less oily, helping is generous.

The above are my best 8 out of about 20 and I have had food at them several times. San Jose is a foodies delight and the San Pedro neighborhood is a jewel in the crown.

Amber India at Santana Row – A Review July 9, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Bay Area, Food, India, Review , 1 comment so far

I have mentioned Amber India several times in my reviews about Indian restaurants in Bay Area, however i never got to doing a detailed review of Amber. Amber is a brand name for Indian food on one side and to many Indians it is not an Indian food restaurant at all. Yours truly being one of the many who never choose Amber for Indian food. With my (negative) bias put aside, I initiate my full review of Amber:

Date: July 6, 2008

Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Address:  377 Santana Row, Ste 1140

City: San Jose, CA 95128, USA 

Tel: # ( 408 ) 248 5400

Restaurant Name: Amber India (Everyone pronounces it as Amber (the color), but to an Indian it is Amber (pronounced as Um ber – meaning Sky). The roof decoration with a star lit night sky puts the intent of the owners clearly and literally.

Location & Address: On Santana Row, San Jose. My rating: 10/10. You just can’t beat it. Ample parking too.

Food/ Menu: Indian and/or Americanized Indian/ Multi cuisine. My rating 4/10 very confusing, unstructured and lacking character. If Pindi Channa and Karavali Shrimps are in the same menu something has to be horribly wrong. Pindi Channa is supposed to be a take off on White Garbanzo or Chick Peas which are native to RawalPindi region of Punjab (the part of Punjab in Pakistan). http://www.mapsofworld.com/pakistan/pakistan-political-map.html   In the state of Punjab/ Pakistan. Rawalpindi is popularly known as Pindi. My mother was born and brought up in Pindi, I know my Pindi Channa – Pindi choley – or Chitey Choley as it is called in pindieven today. So if you go to Rawalpindi ask for Chitey Choley and not Pindi Channa. Karavali Shrimps are a take off on the Canara region of the state of Karnataka in southern India. Canara region comprises of the three coastal districts of Karnataka (Between Goa and Kerala on the western coastline of India). http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/karnataka/karnataka.htm food from Uttar Kannad, Shimoga and Dakshin Kannad is commonly referred to as Coastal Kanada food or Coasatal Karantaka food, or Karavali or Canara food or Mangalorian cuisine. Karavali style of cuisine has influence of both Goan and Kerala style of cooking and has liberal coconut flavor to everything. I very strongly feel that putting these two distinct signature items from their respective regions on a single menu in the city of San Jose in California, is more of opportunism than culinary challenge.

Pindi Channas were not Pindi Channas because the Garbanzo beans are little different than Indian Chick Peas and they were not soaked overnight in milk and water or even only water, or kept under moist muslin cloth for two days. Pindi Channas need to be slightly white in color as a dish not jet black what we got on our table.

Karavali Shrimps were not Karavali Shrimps. Amber India’s website claims Karavli Shrimps to be “Our signature recipe of stir-fried shrimps flavored with curry leaves and black pepper”,  curry leaves fine, black pepper fine but what is paste made of onions, tomatoes, and practically every Indian masala doing out there. That’s not what the description reads. At least I couldn’t find the coastal kanadatouch in the paste or in the shrimps, it was spicy with little more than usual salt. I remember the flavor of paste but not that of the shrimps. Curry leaves and black pepper should have highlighted the flavor  of very fine quality of shrimps which were used, but it just didn’t. On our table was an (by heritage) Irish/American, a  Malayali, a Bengali and a Punjabi. The Irish/ American couldn’t finish even the one piece he had taken, the Bengali and the Malayali choose not to take second helping, the Punjabi on the table of course had the second helping (after scrubbing the paste).

Ambiance: Excellent. The best for any Indian restaurant in the bay area. My rating 10/10.

Format: A la carte, full service. my rating 10/10

Drinks:Mango Lassi, Lemonade, Heineken – No issues. My rating 8/10.

Appetizers: Karavali ShrimpsExplained in food 3/10, if your guest just leaves it after eating one morsel, it just can’t be more than that. My 2 cents, if you are by heritage Indian go infor it, otherwise best avoided. Goan Steamed Mussels: They were in Goan gravy, they were steamed and they were fine mussels. My rating 9/10. I just loved them. Tandoori Appetizer Platter: Shrimps were good, Chciken (I am told was) excellent, Lamb (I am told was) horrible. My rating 6/10

Main Course: Mint Salmon Tikka: From no angle an Indian dish, except for the tikka word in its name. OK taste 4/10.

 Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani – was good, but I am told Tandoori Oven in downtown San Jose makes it better 7/10.

Bombay Fish Masala – Sea Bass in tomato & onion thick Garvy, very tasty and well cooked, my rating if you don’t look at authenticity as an Indian cuisine 10/10. 

Pindi Channa – I didn’t like it at all. Was left on the table too. Rajjot on Wolfe Road is my best choice. My rating 1/10.

Breads: Lacha parantha, Garlic naan. My rating 6/10.

Dessert: Gulab Jamuns were very nice. As they were not stuffed, I would say my rating is 9/10.

Interior: Nice and functional – My rating 8/10.

Tables: Comfortable 8/10

Cooling: About 75 (F) could be lower. 8/10

Rates: At about 15% to 20% lower this place would have been a good value for money. My rating 6/10.

Why go:Ambiance; Location; Americanized Indian Food, Something for everyone

Why Think Twice: If you want to eat what you love and you know how it should be made and how it should taste. Names and preparations can be misleading and authentic Indian food lovers may just avoid.

Book Expo America 2008 L.A. – A Review May 30, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Books, Review, Uncategorized , add a comment

There are authors, there are books, and then there is me. I must be the third most seen and noticed in this largely “white American” show.  So what is this turban doing amongst all this? MapXL Inc, the holding arm of Compare infobase for mapping business in the US decided to participate in this Book Expo; Mani felt that my being “Local” could be of “help.” I would wait for the verdict.

I drove south from San Jose on I-5 and covered the distance in 6 hours with three breaks. The journey was fine, and the Garmin Nuvi knew where I had to go, exactly.

  1. Pre arrangements and communications – 9/10
  2. Official hotel selection – 9/10
  3. Website: 9/10
  4. Shuttle service to the venue 10/10
  5. Information in rooms: 0/10
  6. Exhibition venue and guidance: 6/10 – technlogy is absent, signage is inadequate, the exhibition – it looks like hasn’t grown.
  7. Cooling: 8/10, Could have been a bit cooler
  8. Particpants :10/10 you name it and the publisher is there
  9. Authors: 9/10 Very Good book signing activity
  10. Walking area: 9/10 Plenty
  11. Food: 9/10 Plenty
  12. Restrooms: 4/10 -No good

After checking with a few regulars, I conclude there is a significant recession rub-off. High gas prices have also contributed in lesser footfalls.

I am glad we had prefixed appointments before coming here.

 

Tandoori Oven – North Indian Food Restaurant, San Jose, Quick Review January 19, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Food, Review , 1 comment so far

What is in a name? To me Tandoori Oven as a name of an Indian restaurant in California sounds very Californian. It’s Hybrid and people just like that. (Tandoor means oven, tandoori connotes food cooked in an oven)

So here we go:

Where: The Tandoori Oven

150 South First Street, San Jose (1) 408 392 7222

Format: Fast Food/ Counter Order Table Service 6/10

Location: Downtown San Jose - 9/10

Parking: Abundant around the area – 9/10

Menu: They got the India Map wrong…. For them the region of Punjab is on the banks of River Ganges. May God bless them, if you really care to know look at http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/india/india-political-map.htm 

Menu Rating 0/10 for getting the region wrong and 6/10 for the menu choices and options.

Ambiance -  Could be better, some Punjabi Music could have helped. 7/10,

Chicken Tikka Masala – 8/10 This is one dish which is so non Punjabi but finds itself on every menu. My friend (Mother Indian/ Father White American) really liked it, he just polished it off 8/10

Samosas – They came with Safed Channa (I prefer to call them Safed Channa and not Chitey Cholley bcause the were made in tipical (non Punjabi) UP style, though the beans were of-course closest to chitey cholley – garbanzo), portion was small, Samosas could have been slightly bigger as they are not exactly finger food, and they taste better when they are stuffed more and crust is slightly more crunchy. But they were OK. Rating 7/10

Chicken Biriyani – Portion was unending, it tasted good, good enough for my Bengali colleague who was here for the second time in one month. Rating 8/10

Karai Shrimp – I make it better, far better. The gravy was not for Shrimps. Conventional Punjabi food has nothing to do with Shrimps though but we all love our Punjabi Prawn/ Shrimp curries. Tomatto was less, Masalas were just about OK. There was no Khada Masala, as in most of the Kadai dishes, it was strangly similar to Chicken Tikka Masala Gravy.  Shrimps & Gravy were talking two absolutely different languages. It tasted fine though. I rate it 4/10, if it was called Shrimp Curry, I would have rated it 7/10

Plain Naan – You just can’t make them any better 10/10 

Basmati Rice – The rice was cooked well, but quality was not the finest. It was more of Basmati Tukda (Pieces). 7/10

Raita:  Hopeless – They just don’t know how to make it. Curd was bad, the so called homemade yogurt didn’t look like one. Masala’s were dis-proportioned.  It could be a good Dip, but Raita  – no way. 0/10

Allo Matter(Vegetable of the day)  - Just OK.  5/10

Cucumber Salad – Just OK 5/10 – I thought it would be salaad, the Punjabi version of Salad, which it was not.

Why Go? Only Indian Joint in downtown San Jose. Better than Amber, few miles away. Reasonably OK food. Not too bad prices.

Why not go? You can call it North Indian, but as they position it as Punjabi, you would be disappointed though. Food of Rajjot is far better than Tandoori Oven but Rajjot’s ambiance is zero, Amber’s food is horrible when compared to Tandoori Oven but ambiance is far better.

My 2 cents: Go grab, it looks like the best package deal in bay area for north Indian food.

Pot Belly Deli, San Jose – A Review October 28, 2007

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , 3comments

Location: 111 N Market Street

Franchise Runner: Moon

Layout: Standard

Food: Standard but absolutely fresh on the fly

Layout: Inside and also under the great Californian Sun…

Soft Drinks: Great Range

Service: Out of the world, Moon takes personal interest and is friendly to everyone. She knows all of her regulars and not so regulars.

Price: A good Lunch with Drink for $ 7 – $ 10

Specials: Makes to your taste Sandwich, I prefer the Salmon. Also Grills Salmon and Tilapia Steak very well.

Must Have: Biscooti

Tilapia October 14, 2007

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Unlike meat eaters, fish lovers celebrate every new catch. Every region offers its very own and one just gets to try it reluctantly and enjoy it at leisure.

When a dear friend recommended Tilapia as an option in Austin. I was sceptical, particularly didn’t like the whiteness of the fillet, the texture and feel during marination was rough, decided to play conservative with marination. I did the mandatory  just used three salt and turmeric washes, and just used lemon, garlic and salt for marination, no herbs, no wine, no vinegar. was it the grill or the fish, I can’t say five minutes into grilling and I had the taste in my mouth which has stayed on. Tilapia had arrived.

Back in San Jose, CA,  after Save Mart & Safe Way my search for the right Tilapia  landed me at  Trader Joe’s. Once again the  same taste. Tilapia joins my gang of must have fish.