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  5. Culinary tour to South India with Sid Sahrawat – April 2025

Culinary tour to South India with Sid Sahrawat – April 2025

This exclusive culinary tour is curated by Sid Sahrawat, a renowned chef and restaurateur in NZ, known for his innovative culinary creations and success of his 4 Auckland restaurants – Kol, Cassia, French Café and Anise. Sid is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s most talented chefs and has been consistently recognised with numerous awards and accolades over the years. He has also appeared as a guest judge on TV shows such as MasterChef NZ and My Kitchen Rules NZ.

 

This 13-day tour covers 6 cities in South India and Mumbai. The landscape and culture of South India is so different from North India that it is like going to another country. Some of the highlights of this exclusive culinary tour are tea estates, spice plantations, coffee estates, night on a luxury houseboat, visit a French colony, fine dining, street food, Bollywood party and delicious culinary experiences at every destination.

 

The tour starts in Cochin, followed by Munnar for a couple of days. In Munnar we will visit a tea plantation 8,000 feet above sea level - the highest in the world. Our next adventure is overnight on a luxury houseboat cruising the calm backwaters with all meals cooked fresh on board.

 

Then from the West Coast, we head to the East Coast to Chennai. Highlights here are fine dining, day trip to the French colony of Puducherry, and a lot more. Then we go to Goa for 3 days of sunshine on the beach and amazing Portuguese influenced cuisine. Our last stop is Mumbai, and the highlight here is a fine dining meal at Sid’s favorite restaurant in India… easy to see why.

 

Sid wants a small group and therefore we have a limited number of spots available, and the tour ensures an intimate and personalized experience. Sid’s involvement ensures attention to detail and an insider's perspective into the culinary world, making it an enriching journey for food enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. Guests will experience Indian hospitality at its best in 5-star luxury hotels at all destinations. If you’ve always wanted to visit India and love Indian cuisine, then join us in April 2025 for a trip like no other.

 

On this tour we are supporting a local NGO called Phool. They collect millions of sacred flowers offered in the temples of India and upcycle these flowers into the world's first certified, handcrafted incense products. By joining us on this tour you are helping us help more than 300 women from marginalized communities.

Your Culinary Experiences on this Tour

Destination
Highlights
MunnarTea plantations, coffee estate, Spice plantations
AlleppeyMeals cooked live on the houseboat.
ChennaiFine dining
PondicherryFrench cuisine
GoaPortuguese cuisine, dine by the sea.
MumbaiBollywood party, Dabbawalas. fine dining

Your Accommodation on this Tour

Destination
No of Nights
Hotel
Cochin1 nightsHotel Brunton Boatyard
Munnar2 NightsFragrant Nature
Alleppey1 NightLuxury houseboat
Chennai3 NightITC Grand Chola
Goa3 NightITC Grand Resort and Spa
Mumbai2 NightITC Maratha

Includes

  • 12 nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • All dinners, 4 lunches including the culinary experiences as per itinerary
  • Air-Conditioned vehicle for sightseeing and transfers at all locations
  • English speaking guide at all locations
  • All requisite airport transfers with personal assistance

Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Domestic airfare: 3 domestic flights which is US$250 but may change while actual booking.
  • Tips and any personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages consumed during hosted dinner or lunches.
  • Anything which is not mentioned under Inclusions.
Cochin
Munnar
Alleppy
Chennai
Puducherry
Goa
Mumbai

Tour Plan

Day 01 April 9 - Arrive in Cochin

On arrival at Cochin airport, you will be met by our local representative for transfer to our hotel. After checking in, take a few hours to rest and unwind from the long flight. That evening you can visit a local market or book an Ayurvedic spa at the hotel.

Dinner is a South Indian cultural experience to welcome you to this part of the country.

Day 02 April 10 - Cochin to Munnar

After breakfast, we will visit the popular sightseeing spots of Cochin. Then later in the afternoon we drive to Munnar to visit expansive tea estates and coffee plantations. It is a 4-hour scenic drive through small towns and winding hill roads.

Dinner is a traditional vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf. Eat as much as you can!

Day 03 April 11- Munnar

After breakfast, enjoy the scenic beauty of lush tea plantations which are spread across hundreds of kilometers, nestled amidst the green mountains of Munnar. Visit the Kolukkumalai Tea estate, the highest tea estate in the world at 8,000 feet above sea level. We can pick tea leaves and learn about the tea making process.

  For dinner we will learn how to make crisp dosa and some other South Indian dishes.

Day 04 April 12 - Munnar to Alleppey

After breakfast we go on a 4-hour scenic drive to Alleppy which is also known as the “Venice of the East”. The backwaters of Kerala are a network of interconnected canals, lakes, and lagoons, offering picturesque views of palm-fringed landscapes, paddy fields, and villages along the banks.

 

The best way to experience the backwaters is on a traditional houseboat crafted from natural materials like bamboo, coir and wood. On arrival in Alleppey, check in to your luxury houseboat. Enjoy the beauty of sunset and sunrise cruising the backwaters, providing an unforgettable and tranquil night amidst nature.

 

Savor all meals of delicious Kerala cuisine prepared by onboard chefs, including fresh seafood, traditional curries, and local specialties cooked and served in authentic Kerala style.

Day 05 April 13 – Alleppey to Chennai

After breakfast on the houseboat, we will head to Cochin for our flight to Chennai on the East Coast.

 

On arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure to explore the awe-inspiring size and grandeur of our hotel, the ITC Grand Chola. It is a palatial tribute to the Imperial Cholas, arguably Southern India’s greatest empires. Traditional stone carvers and sculptors have contributed to the beautiful interiors of the hotel inspired by Chola themes.

 

Dinner tonight is a treat to all senses. We will enjoy modern South Indian cuisine with a superior experience of fine-dining degustation in an award-winning restaurant of our hotel.

Day 06 April 14 – Chennai – Puducherry

After an early breakfast we will go on a day road trip to Puducherry (erstwhile Pondicherry). It is a 3-hour drive to this former French colony. Although the French left Pondicherry 70 years ago the city retains a strong Gallic feel and vibe. Rooftop restaurants and boutique cafes serving fresh Croissants and delectable spicy local cuisine are all testimony to the influence of continental-Indian fusion.

 

We will also visit the famous Auroville township founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (known as "the Mother"). The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity. It is a universal town where men and women of all countries can live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, politics, religions and nationalities.

 

For dinner we will stop at a legendary Biryani joint that was established in Chennai in 1956 and now has outlets in 7 countries.

Day 07 April 15 – Chennai

After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit some of the tourist spots of Chennai. For lunch we will enjoy delicious street food guided by a local storyteller. We will learn about the origins of the local cuisine and its popularity across the globe.

 

Dinner is a bit of a contrast from our fine dining meal a couple of nights ago. This unique experience will stay with you for a long time!

Day 08 Chennai - Goa

After breakfast at the hotel, we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Goa. We will enjoy the sun and sand of Goa at our hotel, the ITC Grand Resort and Spa Goa.

 

Our next 3 days in Goa are a perfect break before we reach the hustle and bustle of Mumbai and then head back home. The golden beaches of Goa are inviting and the water is always just right warm for a swim.

Day 09 - 10 Goa

There is no itinerary in Goa. We will have a lot of time for rest and relaxation by the beach or poolside or enjoy a spa at our Resort. There is direct access to the beach from our resort. Optional sightseeing to marvel at the many Portuguese inspired churches and monuments, learn to make Feni (Alcohol made from Cashew), visit local markets, fishing, etc.

 

The 3 dinners in Goa are 3 unique experiences to enjoy the chilled vibe of Goa and each other’s company.

Day 11 Goa – Mumbai

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Mumbai. On arrival, the day is at leisure in the hotel or transport can be arranged for shopping at a nearby mall.

Dinner is at Bollywood dress up party with a Mumbai street food theme.

Day 12 Mumbai

After breakfast we have a sightseeing tour of South Mumbai to see the Gateway of India, Nariman Point, etc. We will have the opportunity to see the “Dabbawalla’s” in action. It is a lunchbox delivery system in Mumbai that delivers 200,000 home-cooked meals daily with 99.99% accuracy. It was the subject of a case-study at Harvard Business School

Later we will visit Pheonix Palladium, India’s first luxury retail mall with more than 250 premium brands. If you like watches, this is India’s biggest luxury watch destination. For lunch, there are several trendy restaurants in the mall, and you can pick your choice of cuisine.

Last dinner of the tour is fine dining experience at Masque, Sid’s favourite restaurant in India. It was ranked #16 in Asia and the Best Restaurant in India for 2023.

Day 13 Departure to NZ or onward destination

After breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport for your flight back to NZ. Alternatively talk to us about extending your holiday to visit Mumbai or experience the contrast of North India and visit the iconic Taj Mahal.

Tour Cost:

Per person (based on twin share)NZD 8150
Single supplementNZD 2550
schedule
Tour Length 12Nights / 13Days
rupee
Cost NZD.8150 per person (twin share) NZD.2550 single supplement
start
Date Tour starts in Cochin on April 9, 2025
sun
Best Season Oct - Apr
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    Delhi
    Agra
    Jaipur
    Udaipur
    Delhi
    Delhi
    Agra
    Jaipur
    Udaipur
    Delhi

    Tour Plan

    Day 01 Arrive Delhi (By Flight)

    Upon arrival at Delhi international airport, our company representative will meet & assist you with traditional welcome and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Rest of the day free & easy for own activities. Evening proceed for Dinner at Masala Library Restaurant ( www.masalalibrary.co.in) Masala library by Jiggs Kalra a magnum opus of the Czar of Indian Cuisine & tastemaker. The culinary offerings at Masala Library endevour’s to offer its patrons a never before under taken gastronomic voyage capturing the grandeur of centuries old traditions and the long last essence of one of the oldest known gastronomic tradition in the world. The main focus is to revive the traditional recipes specially KABAB & CURRIES. After dinner return to hotel(Meal Include – Dinner) Overnight at Delhi hotel

    Day 02 Delhi – Full Day Tour with Culinary experiences

    Post breakfast; proceed for a full day guided tour in Delhi starting from Old Delhi visiting drive pass Raj Ghat, visit Jama Maszid, drivepass through Red Fort & Chandni Chowk market and later enjoy an authentic old Delhi street food and taste (if guest like).

    After old Delhi tour; procced for lunch at a famous Old Delhi Indian restaurant called "Chor Bizarre" (www.chorbizarre.com/del) Chor Bizarre is the complete eating out experience, great décor, distinct ambience, wonderous cocktails, superlative food, charming old world service.  Every city in India have its own special ‘Chor Bazar’ which translate as ‘thieves market’. All kind of wares find their way here (with or without the consent of the owners). This brings an inspiration and to celebrate the eclecticism of India.



    Later proceed to visit India Gate, drive pass through Parliament Street & President house and visit Qutab Minar. 

    After sightseeing; In evening, you will take a cooking class session at chef Harpal Singh Sokhi at home with dinner. He is celebrity chef from India. Also known as “Energy Chef of India” is now a “Dancing Chef Of India”.  Hailing from North India, which, like the rest of India is rich in culture and cuisine, Chef Harpal is a music lover and is fluent in English and five Indian languages, namely Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya and Telugu. He graduated from the catering school at Bhubaneshwar, a capital of Orissa. He spent his initial years in learning different international cuisines but later realised that his interest lay in unearthing the authentic regional Indian food.

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Lunch)

    Overnight at Delhi hotel.

    Day 03 Delhi – Agra (By train Gatiman Express at 0810/0950 hrs) Half day Tour

    Early breakfast; check-out from the hotel and transfer to Delhi- Nizamuddin railway station to board the train to Agra; the city of Taj Mahal. 

    Upon arrival at Agra Railway station; Meet & assistance by company representative & transfer to hotel for check-in. After lunch proceed for a half day guided tour in Agra visiting Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Post tour; spend some time in shopping the world’s best Marble products and the famous James & Jewelry.  

    In night enjoy the dinner at Bellevue Restaurant in hotel Amar Vilas (www.oberoihotels.com/amarvilas) Bellevue offers an unforgettable dining experience. It is well known that Mughal Emperors were patrons of lavish foods. At here chef tried to capture Mughal’s passion for international flavours. You will find Italian Classics reinvented with an Asian twist that reflects the gout de terrior ot the spirit and nature of the South and South East Asian Regions.

     (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner)

    Overnight at Agra hotel

    Day 04 Agra- Jaipur (245 kms/ 04-05 hrs drive)

    Post breakfast; drive to Jaipur; the capital city of Rajasthan State and known as the “Pink City. Upon arrival Jaipur; check-in to the hotel and relax. 

    In Evening procced to visit Chokhi Dhani Village; Chokhi Dhani is a popular and remarkable attraction of Jaipur. It is an ethnic village resort offering you all type of entertainment options including dance, music, food and accommodations in royal styles. We can enjoy the activities at Chokhi Dhani include magic shows, puppet shows, Rajasthani dance, Rajasthani folk music, future tellers, acrobatics on a bamboo and luck predicting parrots. There are also interesting activities and adventures that will keep you completely engaged, like camel ride, elephant ride and horse ride and boating. Later take the Rajasthani dinner at the most sumptuous at Royal Rajasthani dining hall where we can enjoy delicious Rajasthani cuisines with cultural performances by bhopa and bhopan (Rajasthani songs & Music) 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner)

    Remark: After visit Chokhi Dhani village; if guest not like Rajasthani food than we can arrange the dinner on finest restaurant in Jaipur (Restaurant Peshawar in hotel ITC Rajputana – On direct payment basis/ similar )   

    Overnight at Jaipur Hotel

    Day 05 Jaipur – Full day tour

    Post breakfast; leave for an excursion to Amber Fort. Enjoy the Elephant ride to ascend the Amber fort. After visiting Amber fort, visit to a traditional Rajasthani Handicraft & handloom factory to see the craftsmen performing.

    Afternoon enjoy the lunch at a famous Jaipur restaurant Swapna Bhawan in Hotel Raj Palace (www.rajpalace.com) Formal receptions remained the local activity of country life during the British period. Hence the Thakur Sahib made Swapna Mahal imitating the great houses of the British and French nability. This hall is completely titled out with European furniture, Chandliers, Mirrors and Crockery Collection. The Food is serve in Royal Thali (is a big plate made of silver , gold or other metal). 

    Later procced visit to City Palace and Jantar Mantar observatory. Before returning your hotel; a short stop in front Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) for photo shoot. 

    After relaxing; In evening, we will proceed for dinner at Restaurant Rajput Room in hotel Taj Ram Bagh Palace; Here first we will explore Ram Bagh Palace and later enjoy the dinner. They special prepared the Rajasthani Thali and serve. 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast)

    Overnight at Jaipur hotel

    Day 06 Jaipur - Udaipur (By Flight)

    Early breakfast; on time transfer to Jaipur airport to board the flight to Udaipur; city of lakes. Upon arrived Udaipur; meet & assistance by company representative and transfer to hotel for check-in / or Proceed direct half day guided sightseeing tour of Udaipur. (Check-in time is 02 PM- Subject to early check-in facility if room are available) 

    visiting City Palace, an intriguing collection of buildings built in the year 1725. Also visit Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of Maids of Honour) and Jagdish Temple; the Indo-Aryan Temple and visit Old city of Udaipur.

    Later in evening procced for a cooking class demo on Rajasthani cuisine at chef home and enjoy the dinner with variety of foods which is prepared by chef.

    Chef : Mr. Vimal Dhar 

    One of India’s most renowned Young Chef, CHEF VIMAL DHAR is a highly experienced Chef with a passion for perfecting culinary specialties. With an impressive list of achievements to his credit, this astute and result oriented professional has been featured among INDIA’S TOP CHEF in the book MY LAST SUPPER by Melanie Dunea. The soft-spoken Chef Vimal Dhar also holds the distinction of having been featured in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA magazine by Mr. Stan Sessor and in the DISCOVERY CHANNEL by Anthony Bourdain. Also featured on TRAVEL & LIVING CHANNEL.

     

    CHEF VIMAL DHAR is featured among 50 Chefs handpicked globally by celebrity photographer Melanie Dunea for her latest coffee table book MY LAST SUPPER. For this book, the Dunea travelled the world to short list (based on surveys and extensive research) the 50 best names in the culinary world and interviewed each one of them herself.

     (Meal Include – Breakfast)  

    Overnight at Udaipur hotel

    Day 07 Udaipur – Delhi (By flight 9W-823at 1300/1410 hrs)

    Post breakfast; On time transfer to Udaipur airport to board the flight to New Delhi. Upon arrival, New Delhi airport; meet & assistance by company representative and transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the time is free for leisure and relax. In evening proceed for dinner at Indian Accent Restaurant. After dinner return to hotel 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner) 

    Overnight at Udaipur hotel 

    Day 08 Delhi (By flight) & Departure

    Post breakfast; On time transfer to Delhi International airport to board the flight to onward journey. 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast)

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