Thursday, December 28, 2006


Rest : Govinda
Meal : Dinner
Date : 28/12/2006
Location :ISKON Temple, Babulnath
Company : Gautam, Dr.Bones, UTK, UTS

Experience- This is a pretty small place with seating for no more than 35 people and it gets crowded. The staff is mostly hare krishnas and the place does not serve any alcohol, meat, onion or garlic

Drink :Water

Food : We started out with a round of starters the chili paneer (75) which was ok, the schezuan balls (75) which were a little burnt and crispy but i like it like that and the dry manchurian (75). The starters and soups arent the strong point of this place. \
We moved on to the main course pretty quick which was The Veg Makhanwala (95) excellent stuff this, the paneer kadai (95) not bad, good taste, it isnt as good as the makhanwala but on the money. The Dal Makhani (75) was pretty weak. We got an assortment of Nan and Rotis the bread selection is pretty limited.
It was topped off with a bunch of fried papads along with a biryani which was too sticky for my taste and a veggie raita which was slightly on the salty side.
All in all the meal was good but short of great, however if one avoids the starters and gets a safer rice option the meal is bordering on a must have.
The only downside is the lack of punch due to no onion or garlic. but hey, you cant have everything.

: Food 8.5/10, Service 8/10

Damage : 780 ($17)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Indias Most Expensive Restaurants

The following is a list of restaurants touted to be the most expensive in the country by Forbes. They arent necessarily the best but def the most expensive in the country.

Zodiac Grill - Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai
Sakura - Nikko, New Delhi
Celini - Grand Hyatt, Mumbai
Zen - Leela Kempinski, Bangalore
Travertino - Oberoi, New Delhi
Pure - Taj Lands End, Mumbai
Dum Pukth - ITC Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi
Wasabi by Morimoto - Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai
Orient Express - Taj Palace , New Delhi
San Gimigano - The Imperial, New Delhi

Bold indicates restaurants visited.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Spagetti Kitchen - Repeat Visit

Was at Spagetti Kitchen again this weekend. Got in around 1.30 and wasnt sure if id be seated but oddly enough most of the crowd waits for Copper Chimney (weird coz you could go to the mother ship which is less than 10 mins away)

Anyway they have done away with the Pomodoro roast soup which was a huge hit for me. I was pretty dissapointed and not sure how it would play out from there.

However they have seemingly brought in a slightly newer menu with some items gone and some new ones added. Not that much of a difference and they have also raised prices.

However the service has gone up a WHOLE notch. The new crew seems to be friendly, eager to please and on the money with their service. We spoke to our head server and said we were unhappy with the lack of pomodoro and he said to try minestrone and he voluneteered that he would take it back if we werent happy. Well.

We were happy with the soup as well as the service. The bruschetta platter has changed and turned into this 6 portion divvied up into regular and mushroom bruschetta and again one of the best dishes in TOWN. this was better than the Bruschetta from cafe Ivy which i thought was the best until now.

We got the spagetti with blood red tomatos done in olive oil and parsley. Fantastic, not a very rich taste like the penne paprika or the spagetti from Indigo Deli but this has a taste of its own.

I think this restaurant has turned a new leaf and gone from a inconsistent restaurant with great potential to a place that is going on to discover its potential.

Highly recommend it.

Food 9/ 10 Service 9/ 10

Damage 750 (16$)

Minestrone Soup
Spagetti with tomato and olive oil
Diet Coke x 2

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Yorker (new)

Rest : New Yorker
Meal : Lunch
Date : 21/12/2006
Location :Chowpatty
Company : Pie, Gautam

Experience- Terribly hungry but not in the mood for too much food, we decide to trek to the closes place possible for a quick quick lunch. The place has recently been renovated, seating has increased, the place itself looks like an impossibly high end, chic minimalist restuarant which is completely contrary to the cuisine, crowd and prices. Its also not as comfortable as it should be (not that it ever was a comfortable place)

Drink :Brownie Shake, Water

Food : The first order of things was a nachos with cheese as is their specialty. thing came out in less than 3 mins too. before the drink was there. talk about anticipation. Then we ordered half a portion of enchiladas which werent too bad, they tasted like they used to. the taste hasnt changed so far though the decor has.
At last we ordered the lebanese sizzler (they need more options for this thing) it was a bit of a mish mash, veggies, rice, chick peas topped with baba ganoush, hummus, some felafil, hummus and leabanese sauce (watever THAT is) It took a while to come, which i reckn means they werent anticipating this.

The choc brownie shake, was nice and big, had enougb brownies, but wasnt cold enough and was too heavy on the hersheys.

Rating : Food 7/10, Service 7/10

Damage : 700 ($17)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Japengo Cafe

Rest : Japengo
Meal : Lunch
Date : 20/12/2006
Location :Nariman Point
Company : Pie

Experience- A well lit, modern design outlook to this place. Not bad, in terms of design, seats made my back hurt though

Drink :Water

Food : The cuisine is spread around lebanese, japanese, italian and american. quite hodge podge. The hummus was not too bad, but it wasnt tasty either though the pita bread was fantastic.
We got the stir fry veggies in schezuan with rice. Very Japanese taste to a chinese dish. no kick, no flavour just sauce. Next thing was a Lebanese pizza thing which was pretty off too. i think. No real taste, salty cheese thats it.
The wait staff didnt know much about the food and when they asked if the meal was ok i said it wasnt, they didnt do anything about it other than saying its not very Indian. No Shit it isnt. I would have gone to Moti Mahal upstairs if i wanted Indian.
Rating : Food 3/10, Service 7/10

Damage : 850 ($17)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tex - Mex - The Missing Cuisine

Bombay being the massive city that it is has a multitude of cultures and cuisines available much like New York City. One of the more popular NYC cuisines missing from Bombay is Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex is Americanized Mexican cuisine, heavy on the chicken, pork, beef, beans, salsa, sour cream, tortillas & guacamole.

The most popular tex-mex dishes are Chili, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Chalupas, Burritos, Fajitas, Tacos, (soft shell and hard shell) served with tortillas salsa (regular or picante-hot) and guacamole made from avocados. Side dishes normally include referitos (refried beans) mashed potato's, chilli, mexican rice, charred beans, black beans.

Like any cuisine there is a related beverage service, unfortunately no one in Bombay so far makes a decent Margarita, although you do get Corona here(Dos Equis or XX is another good Mexican beer) Lemonade and Bloody Mary are other drinks that go well with Mexican food.

As a college student in N.America, Mexican food was on the cards very often. Post 12 am when you are in the hankering for fast food Taco Bell was a popular choice. Although taco bell is nothing close to proper tex-mex. There are fabulous options across North America and even England to experience this cuisine the way it should be.

On a Christmas trip to Yuma, Arizona(the pregnancy capital of America WITHOUT my contributions I might add) I once crossed the border and illegally entered, lived in Mexico for two weeks, it was probably the first time someone did THAT.

Having had Mexican food (in Mexico DF they serve termites much like our Singh-Chana all roasted and salted) in Mexico I would safely say that I prefer the tex-mex variety (eating a cactus somewhere in Guadalajara will do that to you)

India serves truncated versions of the tex-mex cuisine and is nowhere in the same league. The nachos are too bare (Tex-Mex nachos are served on a massive plate topped with beans, tomato’s, sour cream etc) the enchiladas too sweet and corn heavy. There arent enough choices with fillings, entrĂ©es or side dishes, no referitos or Mexican rice and no one uses Monterrey Jack cheese.

Back in the day there existed El Mexicano as well as Casa Mexicana both in Bombay based 5 stars but they have ceased to be a long time ago. As of now most tex-mex dishes are served in blanket fast food restaurants where there isn’t a focus or expertise on any one cuisine.

Of late places such as TGI Friday, Ruby Tuesday have opened doors but the cost of eating in these places is having to well EAT in these places (both are amongst the worst restaurants opened in this city chain or otherwise) The Hard Rock Cafe is an interesting enough place which offers some Tex-Mex fare. Its not one of the more glamorous cuisines therefore I think people are a bit slow to look at it on a establishment backed scale.

Some of the better restaurants abroad for Mexican food are the Don Pablo’s Chain (USA) as well as Il Cantina (Leicester Square in London and Texan Embassy near the National Art Gallery just off Trafalgar Square) There are numerous tex-mex places all over California and Texas. One can drive into Mexico from these states for some real Mexican fare.

Such opportunities for Bombayites are presently lacking.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thai Ban

Rest : Thai Ban
Meal : Lunch
Date : 17/12/2006
Location :St John Road, Bandra
Company : Pie, Anie

Experience- A pretty small place this, its nestled between Papa Pancho and Cafe Basilico, the decor is ok, they dont have more seating than 30 i reckon and the ambience is eveningish, cosy and casual.

Drink :Water, Fresh Lime Soda, Ice Tea

Food : Sticking to the staples, we got the Tom Yum Soup which was a bit ginger heavy but the tangy after taste was interesting.
The appetizers consisted of schezuan potato (dont even ask, my protests were disregarded) it was spicy, generic schezuan taste, we also had the baby corn mushroom satay which was on the money, rich full taste and enough portions to make 3 people happy.
The main course was just green curry with rice, pretty good here,but again, it all tastes the same, as if all thai cooks seem to be cooking from the same recipe book. bit dissapointing that but no complaints.

: Food 8/10, Service 8/10

Damage : 800 ($17)

Friday, December 15, 2006

The best bloody mary in the whole wide world !

The bloody mary is the holy grail of cocktails. Very difficult to get right and with complex construction. Usually it gets screwed by not being spicy enough, having too much vodka, being too spicy or being served without a salted rim.

I personally have tried cracking the riddle through different permutations Absolut pepper, dangling chilly in vodka for 2 weeks (it was college, give me a break) bloody mary mix (shhh) celery powder, horse radish sauce, short of adding some of my own blood i have tried just about everything. It has never really worked out. Therefore to save my innards from blowing up i decided to just consume this fine work of art from the hands of professionals.

Now i do understand that everyone has a different mandate for what is spicy and what is tasty. However a good bloody mary will make you smile with its complex satisfying taste hidden under a myriad of tomato juice and different spices.

Also, this is MY blog, so we will all go by ME.

A list of the five best places to have this precious cocktail.

(in no particular order )

  1. Gramercy Tavern - New York, New York, ($8 - INR 350)
  2. Marios Via Abruzzi - Rochester, NY ( $5 , INR 225)
  3. Hard Rock Cafe - Bombay ($4.50, INR 200)
  4. Spicy Tom Mary - JW Mariott Bombay ($7 , INR 300)
  5. Gallop - Turf Club, Bombay - ($4.50, INR 200)

Outstation meals - Aurangabad

Taj Residency Aurangabad

Rest : In Room Dining
Meal : Late Lunch
Date : 13/12/2006
Location :Taj Residency, Aurangabad
Company : Sampy

Experience- in room dining. was quick.

Drink :Water,

Food :We were going to get some pasta and stuff but then we figured dunnow what pasta is like up here so we went for Indian which was a good idea. Paneer Makhanwala which was excellent, light red sauce, spiced a little, melt in your mouth paneer, naans were average (nothing like the ones you get at Masala Kraft) rice was ok. Came with a ton of papads and an onion salad.

: Food 8/10, Service 8/10

Damage : 550($13)

Rest : Taj Residency
Meal : Evening Snack/Late Nigh Snack
Date : 13/12/2006
Location :Taj Residency
Company : Ronnie Tango.

Experience- in Room dining. on time.

Drink :Water

Food :we got hungry around 3 am after a little partying and came back to the room and ordered a taj veg club sandwich. Not bad at all, toasted properly, with delicious onion rings and cole slaw and a Tomato Saar which is just a regular tomato soup spiced up which wasnt too bad though ive had better soup out of a Campbells can.

: Food 8/10, Service 9/10

Damage : 260 ($5.50)

Garden Cafe

Rest : Garden Cafe
Meal : Breakfast
Date : 14/12/2006
Location :Taj Aurangabad
Company : Times of India .

Experience- The weather was nice so i chose to sit and dine outside. The rest itself was a typical coffee shop.

Drink :Coffee

Food : I hd the sunny side up eggs but they werent served with any accompaniments, just toast. The coffee was bad and i was quite dissapointed with the set up. They were only serving a buffet but were nice enough to give me eggs (or so i thought) i ended up paying 250 bucks for a cup of coffee and eggs. I wouldnt have minded that but it was just shite! RIP OFF !

Damage : 250 ($5.25)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hornbys Pavilion

Hornbys Pavilion

Rest : Hornbys Pavilion
Meal : Dinnerish
Date : 10/12/2006
Location :ITC Grand Central, Parel
Company : Pie, Mr.Mattu.

Experience- We got to the hotel and werent willing to sit down for a MEAL coz of a truncated schedule, so we did what people with no time and hunger do, go to ze coffee shop. The ITC coffee shop is called Hornbys Pavilion, its tastefully done up, very classy, very generic. The place has an extensive menu, which is wider and fuller than any other coffee shop around (palms, shamiana, bayview etc) however its def priced on the higher side and located on the shitter side. So its a trade off for sure.

Drink :Water, Fresh Lime Soda, Bloody Mary, Margarita

Food :Ok, i didnt order the food coz i was in the loo, mr.Mattu is a ITC, Delhi chap and had been eating at Parel for sometime apparently the place to go there is Kebabs and Curries.

Anyway we got this veggie Kebab platter thing which is paneer, bread, tikkaish sauce, small cups of biryani, salan and raita. Fantastic little thing this. Great taste, for the accompaniements, the paneer itself was soft, velvety, very good.

Mushroom Wrap, not very interesting, it was tasty but just no real love, it came with a tomato sauce which didnt help it much.

Lasagna, not bad actually, tasty, tangy, enough veggies but the pasta layers itself were very tasty. Nice stuff.

The drinks were terrible. The Lime soda was ok, the bloody mary served with no ice, tasted below par, the Margarita was just plain BAD. they dont know how to make drinks over at ITC.

Service itself was slow, menus took a while, drinks too longer, the chaps were polite and nodded, but didnt understand much it seems.

: Food 8/10, Service 7/10

Damage : 2900 ($65)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Joshi Club

Joshi Club

Rest : Joshi Club
Meal : Lunch
Date : 5/12/2006
Location : Kalbadevi
Company : Darth & Ma Vader, Gautam.

Experience- A very basic place, wooden chairs and benches, its on the first floor and seems like a hostel cafetaria in its appearance. So its not an ambience or experience eatery. You cant sit across from each other either. Its all sideways seating.

Drink :Water, ButterMilk

Food :Ok, they serve two dals ( i went for the sweet gujju one) some fried farsan (not bad) on this day they served chana masala, aloo tamatar, some weird green thing, cauli flower, u get your start up off salad, pickle, onions, in the roti you get regular rotis, bhakri, bajra rotli and masala roti (new thingy, not bad) they served 4 mithai things but its over the cost of the thali if you want it. i avoid mithai so i didnt go for it. i however did go for about 5 glasses of chaas (buttermilk) which unforutnately is extra too. Rice is of course also available and khichdi in the evenings. The service is pretty good, although a little headless chickened with a lot of having to ask for things sometimes but its all good natured.

Rating : Food 8.5/10, Service 8/10

Damage : 400 ($8)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Corleone - Repeat Visit

Rest : Corleone
Meal : Dinner
Date : 2/12/2006
Location :The Intercontinental, Marine Drive
Company : Pie

Experience - Got in slightly earlyish around 7.30, the place was empty and we got the perfect table by the windows. The ambience was fantastic, once the lights dimmed.

Drink : Lemon Something (not lemonade) Bloody Mary

Food : We repeated the lemon drink we ordered on our first visit.still good. Now the soups were Pomodoro (tomato) and mushroom, both soups were underwhelming, especially since the tomato had been great before.

The appetizer was mushroom in olive oil and stuffing and the anti pasti, combined, the maitre d offered this to us since we werent happy with the soup. Very good, the oil and stuffing didnt overpower the mushrooms taste and the anti pasti was pickeled and then marinaded and served with rictotta cheese. The ricotta makes the dish.

For the entree we got the penne in an arrabiataesque sauce (should have avoided the eggplant in it) but overall it was a good dish.

I would like to say the service was excellent however, attentive, gracious and above the call of duty.

Damage : 1600 ($35)
Rating : Food 9/10, Service 9.5/10

Damage : 1600($35 )

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