Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Evil Things from this week

Haven't really been out dining much this past week. Just been trying to watch the weight so its going to be only munchies once a week from now on (in theory anyway)

Anyway, let me tell you about two of the most evil things i have had the pleasure of nibbling and feeding on.

First is the nutella filled crepe at Crepe Station (125) where i was for breakfast. I had the traditional English breakfast (145)

the wife was looking for something to order and she couldn't make up her mind, so i just threw this out there. Last time i had one was somewhere in Europe and before that a German room-mate used to cook them up once in a while. The dish was pure evil, gooey chocolate, powdered sugar, a fat mans (i am not) best friend or ultimate enemry depending on your perspective. It was such a hit, everyone at the table got one. A must have, you can also try the chocolate chip crepe.

The Brrista Blast (170) i heard about this drink from my wife, i used to always say she was delusional a near $5 coffee at a coffee chain, what is this Starbucks? anyway, so there we were at Phoenix Mills, flitting around and she goes i want coffee, so in we went. She did the ordering so i didn't know. I did see the bill and i was wondering what the hell this thing was, it has to be a pretty special thing to cost that much.

It is. It is chocolate sauce, brownies, coffee, milk and ice cream and some more brownies. It is the most sugar you can probably get in one dish. It is also quite fun to have, since every time you sip or move the straw a different taste shows up. It also takes about 15 mins to get through one. I would recommend this once a month no more.

It is also not available in all Barista outlets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pan - Asian

Pan Asian
Location : ITC Grand Maratha, Sahar
Meal : Lunch

Was in Bandra for some work and since we got done early, we decided to drive to Sahar for lunch at Dakshin. For the second time in as many years the bleeding place was inaccessible (not open for lunch, last time it was closed for a private party) well, their loss anyway.

So instead of trying Peshawari which i reckon is similar to Kebabs n Kurries, so we walked in to Pan Asian where we enjoyed a fantastic meal earlier this year.

The place was mostly empty, so we got seated right away. The place looks the same, generic fine dine, comfortably laid out and well lit. We started off with some crispy veggies Thai style, which were allright, nothing great but not too bad.

We moved onto the main courses skipping the Dim Sums ( i am disappointed with Dim Sum everywhere of late) we got the pan fried noodles, a safe choice, very well done the entree was veggies in a brown chili sauce, i forget the name. This dish was ably supported by a interesting

dish. Steamed rice tossed in Thai Green Curry, which is good, sometimes you dont feel like getting a giant portion of both. I wish it had not been as spicy thought, just a tad less and it would have been great. As it happened the spicyness overpowered the rich taste.

The beverages were just coke and ice - tea (very good) and the service was fabulous, attentive, friendly and prompt. It seems only Hornbys Pavilion at ITC Grand has bad service of all the ITC restaurants i have been to.

The meal was not in the same league as last time, however it was fairly good in my opinion. The service some of the best.

Food 8/10 Service 9/10

Damage 3000 without drinks.

ITC restaurants are consistently the most expensive of all the comparable
restaurants but they are fairly high quality.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Not so rocking Hard Rock

Restaurant : Hard Rock Cafe
Location : Boondocks of Worli
Company : Loki,Ze Wife

Trundled in around 10 on Monday night and the place was practically full, which is a good thing i reckon. Although the 50 bucks to park i don't quite understand. Didn't think the folks at Bombay Dyeing needed money THAT bad.

Got a nice booth in the back, the place is truly well designed, humongous area and we always get seated quite easily. The booths are the place to be.

They were playing some great music, 90's Rock, followed by some Doors but the song for the evening came on with the Stones singing (cant get no) Satisfaction.

Its how we felt. We got in and took about 5 mins for someone to come over and actually take the order form us. That was the easy part, the same gentleman came in and reconfirmed three times (Half order of Nachos, Entree sized Mac n Cheese, Bloody Mary, Ice Tea) then another gentleman came over and then another.

Then guess what, they screwed it up anyway. They got us a side order of mac n cheese and when i made it apparent, i got a silly ass grin and a smiling sorry.

The food itself is average, the mac n cheese is quite good. The drinks were ok, we got another Strawberry Daiquiri which was not too bad.

Overall, they play great music, the place is spacious, the crowd is young and loves rock music. Its unfortunate the menu is weak and the service sucks.

What the hell, ill just eat the music....

Food 6/10 Service 3/10

Damage 1800

Hard Rock Cafe
BDMC Compound, Behind Bombay Dyeing
Pandurang Budhkar Marg
Worli, Mumbai

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A trip to New Delhi

New Delhi is a foodie paradise (so they say) so i figured i hit the jackpot once i got there. Unfortunately caught up in meetings i had to skip a prospected lunch at Dakshin which came highly recommended. However they have a branch in Bombay so i guess i can go here.

So my wife recommended one of her fav joints, Punjabi By Nature, in Noida. PBN is quite popular and has a few branches. We got in after a reservation and were seated promptly. The Restaurant itself is just so so, not much in terms of ambiance or decor.
The service was quick and food was great. We got the paneer makhani which was succulent, sweet yet had a tang to it, the dal makhani was quite robust and almost dal bukharaesque (which has more dimension to it) the breads were average and the biryani was just weak. Overall worth going to, they could def try and take things up a notch. Food 8/10 Service 8/10. Damage 1500 for 3 without drinks.

The next day we tried another of her favcs, Bercos in Connaught Place, this one was actually dissaponting. I expected something fairly competetive but it was wanting on every level. The dim sum (called momos) was just terrible. No taste all texture. The Veggies in schezuan were allright but nothing to really crow about.

The only saving grace was the green curry which i think they mucked by making it well. It wasn't exactly authentic but it tasted good, so cant complain. Food 3/10, Service 4/10 Damage 1200 without drinks.
Also had some interesting chaat, interesting only that it was pretty bad, dont know how they have a chaat culture when almost everything we do in Mumbai is clearly better except maybe the Punjabi/Moghlai fare, which i reckon is only better on averages. The tikki and stuff was just plain bad, the pani puri was somewhat tolerable.

An interesting sidetrack while driving around we came across this guy called Jain Shikhanji, he is all over the place Noida, Meerut, Aligad, etc etc.

All he does is make fresh lime soda with his own special Masala. At 17 a glass he apparently sells 4000-5000 glasses a day. Go figure. I had some it, it was pretty good, although there are plenty of imitators all over the place.

So all in all i couldn't make it everywhere i wanted to but i got a sense that New Delhi and surroundings can really cook up some North Indian fare but they are at a complete loss when it comes to creating an ambiance, setting a palate and then doing anything Western or Eastern well.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tea !

Drinking tea is a huge deal here in India, especially in the North, Coffee is more popular in the South. My grandmother told me that no one really drank tea until the 1930's (around where she was) someone from Lipton used to offer free samples to all and sundry and thats how it caught on.

I was just in Ootacamund or Ooty which has quite a few tea estates in and around (Conoor)
so i thought i would sample some tea, i bought a bunch of different varieties but a hugely disappointed. One of the ones i got was cardamom but it just tastes watered down no matter how much you let it brew.

I have a bunch of others, strong ctc dust, orange pekoe and niligiri but i am not sure if ill try em all out as of yet.

Personally prefer what my folks call the truck driver special, half a cup, minimal milk and sugar, strong brew.

The tea we use is blended in 2-3 brands and its a short brew and really tastes pretty good. Ill add some pics later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More of the same

Nothing new to report for now, been out and about a lot past week but its mostly been the tried n tested eateries, places like Moshe, Oriental Blossom for some great food. Both the places continue to do extremely well, the Menu at Moshe is about to change which is great news. Oriental Blossom is def a good ol warhorse, quick service good food, a friend down from New York, really liked the food as well.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Bembos - South American Burger Joint in Suburban Bombay

Things just get weirder and weirder. On my way back from the burbs i get a call and pull over (too much work to go run over people and go to prison) i look around and see this sign Bembos Burger A South American Burger Joint.

Now that is NEW. I thought it was some marketing schtick but actually Bembos is from Peru and they have quite a few outlets there as well as in Panama, India is their first sort of first major sojourn out of S. America.

Boy are we lucky they found their way here. They make some killer burgers, its not fast food, its good food quickly (apologies to the movie i stole that from) place like McDonalds seemed to have just focus on the branding aspect but the truth is i never 'feel' like going to McDonalds or 'want' to have their burger.

Bembos, is whole another story. they offer some seriously tasty burgers, they have figured out that a bunch of Indians are vegetarians so instead of offering one or two options they offer a classic, a bean and spinach, a south American and a north American burger. Add to this a whole bunch of options (pickes, onions) etc its more like eating at a Grill rather than a fast food place.

The decor is a bit childish, but that does not really matter now does it?

Check it out, you wont regret it. they deliver as well.

34, Manorama Chambers,
Opp. India Bank, S.V. RoadBandra (W), Mumbai

26415599, 26415600, 67100625

Nirmal Lifestyle
LBS Marg
Mulund (West), Mumbai

Monday, November 05, 2007

Best Pizza Ever - Papa Johns

I have been a huge Papa Johns pizza fan, unfortunately since i moved back to India all i could get here was Dominos which is why i never really order out much. Dominos always seemed sub par. However I was driving down from the suburbs and saw a Papa Johns pizza outlet. Pulled over and picked up a pie (14inch, Margarita, 295) cheese sticks (65) bread sticks(45)

It was so good. Firs thing i checked was if it looked like it did back in college and it did. It tasted just the same as well. The taste is in the sauce mostly, it just has an amazingly good taste, very different from anything else notched up by Dominos or Smokin Joes, Garcia's does a unique sauce as well but nothing like this.

The cheese sticks are almost like the pizza just crisper and without the sauce. The bread sticks were disappointingly, over salted.

However everyone with me loved the pizza and we are hoping an outlet opens this side of town soon.

Shanghai Club

Rest : Shanghai Club
Location : ITC, Grand Central, Parel
Meal : Dinner
Company : Ze Wife, Ze sweets.

Shanghai Club is the Chinese restaurant at the ITC Grand Central, who probably do the best food services of all the chains i have been to so far.

The restaurant is much smaller than the largish Kebabs n Kurries but then it is not as good either. Dont get me wrong its still pretty good but KnK is just sublime.

We started with mushrooms, fried in batter of sorts and served with chillis n onions, along with some regular dim sum.Both the dishes were ok.

The entree was veggies in chilli paste/sauce, golden garlic fried rice and pan fried noodles. The veggies were fantastic, the rice was different, the noodles were surprisingly generic but good.

Overall the meal was quite satisfactory, only disappointment being it wasn't GREAT.

The iced-tea however was just fantastic.

Damage was 3000 for 3 without drinks.

Food 8/10 Service 8/10

Monday, October 29, 2007

Kebabs n Kurries

Rest : Kebabs n Kurries
Location : ITC, Grand Central
Company : Ze Wife

Late urge for Indian food, we strolled in around 10.30, were seated promptly, it was mostly full. The place is like any other 5 star hotel eatery, fine dine set up, comfy seats, dim lights.

Kebabs n Kurries blends the signature dishes from the ITC line of Indian restaurants. So even if you dont have a Bukhara around and the Peshawari and Dum Pukth are too far you can still taste the goods.

The service was prompt, attentive and friendly. The food was out of this world. We avoided the kebabs and went straight into the food. The Paneer Makhani from their Dum Pukth brand, stuffed with peas and other veggies, different but mind numbingly good. The Dal Bukhara a Bukhara specialty and boy it was just delectable. We debated between the white rice and the sweet pulao and went for the latter.
The pulao was interesting, sweetish but not really, went just amazingly with the dal.

Overall the meal was splendid. I would recommend this place anytime, any place. already looking forward to stepping in there again.

Food 9/10 Service 9/10

Damage: immense, 2200 for 2 without drinks

Lemon Grass

Rest : Lemon Grass
Company : The Boys n Ze Wife
Meal : Dinner
Location : Phoenix Mills

Lemon Grass at Phoenix Mills is a great option for a mixed Asian meal, although it has a strong Thai menu, they do serve some other Oriental dishes as well.

The restaurant is very well priced, even with drinks you would be able to stretch the currency plenty.

We got the platter that serves 2, it comes with mushrooms, spring rolls, paneer or tofu and some potato. Its a good way of getting a feel for the menu, the mushrooms and paneer are the highlight. The tom yum was allright, little too spicy for me. The Green Curry and the Mongolian BBQ were just top notch. Two things you must get when you are there.

The problem with them is that their service is at best incompetent. The help always gets the order wrong, they dont have dishes sometimes, overall they just dont offer a positive experience. I dont want to have to worry if i am going to get what i ordered.

Not sure if i would go back, though i love the food.

Food 8/10 Service 3/10


Rest : East
Meal : Dinner
Company : Gotti, Ze Wife

East is a pan Asian restaurant but what sets it apart is that is offers some Malaysian dishes which are not usually available at other pan-Asian restaurants.

The decor is tikiseque, reminds me of Penang in NYC. However it has a fine dine feel to it and offers a upscale environment.

Food : The menu is short, and sweet, We started with some really bland steamed wontons def avoidable, the roti canai was a welcome dish, wished for more Roti however it was not great but it was def not bad. So far the only place i know that serves this. The green curry was not bad, the singapore noodles were average, the tofu was good.

overall the place has potential, it just needs to take the food up a notch and round out the edges.

the service is slightly scatter brained but friendly.

overall the damage was 1700 for 3,

food 8/10 service 8/10

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fine Dine

Restaurant : Fine Dine
Location : Chowpatty
Company : Mr & Mrs Singhania, Ze Wife, Gotti
Meal : Dinner

Fine Dine is the new avatar of the old but very popular Revival.

I expected a half baked Gujju experience since it used to be a stronghold but i was pleasantly surprised.

The new decor is funky, orange but the tables are too close for comfort and you cant make fun of others without them hearing.The whole thing works, its just that the clientèle isn't young and funky.The food is paired with wines from all over the world in case you want to pick what goes with what. Which is as good sign for those who want try out wines.

The menu is a 'safe' mix of popular appetizers while the mains are a selection of pasta as well as Asian dishes. They also have a menu of Punjabi.

We ordered the fondue which was good, better than Indigo but not as good as Moshe. The mezze platter was actually better than what i have had so far. Although the mezze platter always ends up leaving you sort of underwhelmed.

The moment i saw the elusive Dal Bukhara i decided on an Indian meal. It was delectable, a must have, the khadai paneer was excellent, soft, spicy, delicious. A selection of breads, some good roomali, ended with a dum biryani and a veggie raita. Again, excellent. My friends who have dined here before, say its even better on weekdays.

The meal was just beyond what i was expecting. It has always been a place i have avoided going, one or two more meals like this and it will become an even favorite.

Drinks were a Corona & Diet Pepsi. Overall the food is very good, the service is a tad slow when crowded. The portions are pretty generous.

The damage was 1600 which is not too bad.

Worth a visit.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Recent Meals

Instead of individually reviewing each meal ill do a quick run down as the restaurants have been reviewed plenty of times before.

Indigo Deli
Sunny side Eggs, Fondue and Coffee. the place seems to have cooled down a little bit for me, simply coz i went there so often for so long. Overall the food was not too bad. The fondue is def not better than the one at Moshe, so thats one thing cleared up for me. The mushrooms on the side were fantastic and it was nice to know that Indigo dont do baked beans out of a can. Overall the meal was good (Damage 1000, Food 8/10, Service 8/10)

Dinner at Corleone consisted of Stuffed Mushrooms which were good but tasted different. Even the tomato salsa tasted different and not as good. The Lemon Nere is a must have drink here. The Lasagna was not good and its a stupid idea to use peas in it. completely destroys the taste. The Siciliana pizza is a must have.
Overall the meal was decent but not worth the money, def a fall from grace. the service was outstanding (Damage 1900, Food 6/10, Service 9/10)

Were there hanging out with friends for a couple of hours. However the F&B experience was not good. The Sula Shiraz tasted terrible and completely different. Dont know why. The paneer shashlik was tasteless and the cheese corn balls were also pretty weak on taste.
Overall not impressed with the food before, and it does not change now.
Damage (400 pp, Food 5/10, Service 7/10)

Shiv Sagar
Popped in here on my way back from Crosswords for a plain Dosa which was just fabulously well done. Best i have had in some time. Although not as crisp as i like, it still was not too bad. The Masala Pav was pretty good too, not as good as Santosh Sagar but still not bad.
Damage (130) Food 8/10 Service 9/10

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nawabi food festival at Shalimar

Restaurant : Smooth/Gulmurg
Location : Shalimar Hotel, Kemps Corner
Company : Rishi, Gotti,

The past week there has been a Nawabi food festival going on at the Shalimar, Hotel at Kemps Corner. Since it is so close to where i live it becomes off limits. However Saturday night, last moment decision and no reservations made us trek up to their restaurant Gulmurg.

The restaurant was packed and there was no chance of getting a table. the option being takeout, however we were directed to sit at their bar (smooth) and get the same menu there as well.A lucky break if we ever had one.

We got going and ordered only from the festival menu. The one thing we ordered off the bar menu was some very good mushroom popper things which came with cheese. Excellent.
We got the Paneer Musallum which was a spicy paneer dish, red and angry but a very good taste nonetheless. We balanced it out with a Nawabi Korma which is a sweet vegetable and went very well with the spicy paneer.

The naans and biryani were not too bad. All the cooking was dum style which i think is cooking it with steam and then letting it marinade in its own juices. A great example of this cooking is the Dum Pukth at ITC, Grand Maratha.

The most interesting thing was the sheermal whcih is somethign we havent had before. Its a flat bread like pizza bread, tough in the centre. The taste was interesting and it seemed like something someone would be chowing down around the palace of the Nawab. Very interesting.

The Beverages were Gin n Tonic, Whiskey and Corona. Very unhappy with the billing as they insisted that they served us an Absolut Vodka which they didnt. Absolutely unacceptable behaviour. Shocked.

Food : 8/10 Service 7/10

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lemon Grass - Phoenix Mills

Rest : Lemon Grass

Meal : dinner
Location : Phoenix Mills, Entrance below Monza
Company : Rishi, Gotti.

Lemon grass is the town side version of the Bandra based Thai restaurant. Considering there are only a handful of Thai restaurants in the city to begin with (less than 5) it is a welcome addition. Also like all things town side its better than its Bandra cousin. Much better.

Meal : We started with the Tom Yum soup, which was a little too spicy and didn't have enough mushrooms or veggies in my opinion. However it wasn't too bad, not as great as some of the recent ones I have had (Vong Wong, Flamboyante)The tanginess was missing too. However if you don't think on those lines, on its own it was not too bad.

Then we moved onto to the appetizers which was the paneer satay (nothing else available since we didn't want potato or broccoli) Top notch this one, ensure you try this out, also use the sweet sauce to clash with the spiciness of the dish. Very good. They forgot to tell us that they didn't have the order of the thai pancakes in peanut sauce until 15 minutes into the meal so it was only one appetizer.

Next we moved onto the entrees which were the Thai Green Curry with Steamed rice. Again, the curry was very good, flavourful and just about perfect, except for the spiciness. We asked for a medium spicy one and it was still too hot. I don't mind that, its just that it makes it hard to savour the flavor if you are too busy with a fiery tongue.

The Mongolian stir fried bowl – Wow, this one was a piece of work. Again slightly on the spicy side but very very tasty. The veggies and the noodles (we chose wheat) worked very well together. This was def the one perfect dish of the evening. The portion was only enough for two people however, so we ordered the Pad Thai noodles.

The noodles were not too bad, too sticky in my opinion but the taste was just right. Would have worked nicely with a nice little veggie entrée but we had had quite enough by then so that was it. The dessert was a chocolate truffle which was slightly above average.

Beverages : Gin Tonic, Large Absolut-Sprite, Corona.

Overall, I would recommend the place as a decent Thai meal. It's a viable option and its very value for money. The dishes are priced very well, the taste is great (just ask them to make things non-spicy) However it is a great place to get a drink as well which are priced exceedingly well.
The service is a little scatter brained but they are attentive and more or less quick. The restaurant itself is not the best designed place, they could easily have made the bar shorter and had tables slightly more spread out. All in all its much better than the below average experience I had at Lemongrass, Bandra.

Rating : Food 8/10 Service 7/10
Damage : 1350 (800 food + 550 drinks)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

5 new restaurants i plan on visiting

Bombay is the veritable eating out capital of this country. Plenty of new restaurants open up quite often. However being creatures of habit we end up at old favs and being averse to traveling to the suburbs avoid 'their' restaurants.

Anyway my list of 5 restaurants to visit before the end of the year is

  1. Pure at Taj Lands End
  2. Vetro at the Oberoi
  3. Tetsuma in Colaba
  4. China House at Grand Hyatt
  5. Vong Wong t Express towers (which i have since visited and enjoyed)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Moshe - A fantastic meal

Restaurant : Moshe
Meal : Dinner
Location : Moshe, Cuffe Parade
Company: Ze Frau, Rishi, Gotti, Dr.Bones

A truly memorable meal at Moshe last night. It was just mind boggling, the tastes, the contrasts and the overall experience. Moshe almost always does a good spread but last night was just superlative. I wish they would change the menu though. I am glad there was a 45 min wait at the Indigo Deli.

Meal : We started with the Gorgonzola & sun dried tomato fondue (185), and boy it tingled the taste

buds - all the way. The gorgonzola is def the best choice out of the three fondue options they offer. Next up was the med platter which is bascially hummus, eggplant and two other yoghurt and dipping sauces (250) not bad, not spectacular but def above average. The garlic bread with cheese is pretty on the money too.

The main courses were the house special Sicilian Risotto (225) mind bogglingly good, the penne with almond sauce (220) another great dish and las but not the least was the Turlu Turlu (250) a dish of couscous topped with vegetables served with a tomato broth on the side. Each dish i have had on its own, at one time or the other.
First time did we make it a little more communal with all of us sharing. It blew me away. Each dish sort of complemented the other, the sweetness of the risotto, the creaminess of the penne and the relatively spicier couscous.

Drinks : Diet Coke, Iced tea (one of the best you will get anywhere)

Dessert : Mousse Cake (not bad) Tiramisu (not bad either)

Rating : Food 9/10, Service 8.5/10

Damage : 2000

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Rest : Flamboyante
Meal : Dinner
Location : World Trade Center, Cuffe Parade
Company : Ze Frau
The new Asian restaurant in town. Its divided into a lounge, fine dine and outside dining area. The exterior dining area needs to be better enclosed to give a better feel of a restaurant, its a bit to open on one side and one can see into stores and walk ways. Not cool.

Meal : We started off with a Tom Yum soup which was slightly spicy but very good taste, i wish people would stop putting in so much bamboo and other stuff in the soup.

Dim Sum - The glutinous rice came wrapped in the lotus leaf, the taste was interesting but it cooled down very quickly. Was fun trying to figure out if i should unwrap the leaf or eat it whole (i unwrapped) Veggie Dumplings were allright, nothing great. Small and only three in an order. Overall the appetizers were above average.

The Main Course was Kung Pao Veggies (off menu) which were red and slightly spicy and the Teppan Soba Noodles.
Both were excellent light crunchy noodles, with a hot spicy sauce, a great combination.

Beverages : Diet Coke x 2 & Frozen Lime drink which was excellent.

Dessert : Tiramisu, slightly on the sweeter side, the taste was concentrated in the center but not bad, not as good as the one i had in Milan (check previous posts for details)

Experience : The restaurant needs a little work towards its outdoor dining area. It seems incomplete. However the food is good and has the potential to get better. Once they find their bearings and get some customer response. The service is very slow but they try hard to please.
Also the menu is a little limited, they need some more options in there and if its going to be styled as an Asian joint, then they really need to represent some more of Asia.

Rating : Food 8/10, Service 6/10

Damage : 1500

World Trade Centre Arcade,
Ground Floor, Shop #1, Mumbai
22180434, 22180433

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vong Wong

Rest: Vong Wong
Location : Express Towers, Nariman Point
Meal : Dinner
Date : 24/6

Ambiance : Vong Wong is the new hot chinese-thai place to be. Its a spacious restaurant with plenty of seating. Its done up in a minimalist, functional but still generic up market motif. Not a lot of chinese or thai influences in the decor. More upper end than ethnic.

Food : The menu has two sections,make sure both sections are checked out before ordering. We did the thai soup and appetizer and a chinese meal. The Tom yum soup which was fantastic, great taste, lemony aftertaste but overall a great taste. Too much bamboo and lemon grass however. Next came the appetizer platter for two which consisted of spring rolls (average) tofu in a sauce (average) corn based fritter (pointless) satay (good) The main course was veggies in schezuan sauce, singapore noodles, burnt chilly rice. The veggies were good but not fiery enough, the noodles were nicely done but the fried rice was just fantastic.

Drink : Diet Pepsi x 2 , Virgin Mary was just tomato juice.

Experience: The service is ok, overall they should get better with a little more experience. The food itself was great except for the really weak appetizer (avoid the thai selections) Overall i would recommend the place and would go there again too to see how they fare overall. However it is not in the league of a place like Golden Dragon yet. I would also recommend the owners daughter dress a little better and not run around like a headless chicken so much its not professional.

Rating Food 8/10, Service 8/10

Damage : 1900

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Sun

The Sun is a small restaurant in South Bombay, specifically at Napean Sea Road. I have been eating there for the best part of 15 years and the food has not changed in all this time.

Its mostly North Indian/Punjabi fare and they serve no alcohol. However the Sun is easily the best Punjabi food in the city. The people who come here are mostly people who live around in the neighborhood. There is another outlet at Breach Candy but i have never eaten there personally.

They serve a Malai Kofta which is unlike anything you have ever tasted. The taste is so good and so amazing it will just make you stop and savor it. The Veg. Makhanwala is another dish with a very unique and amazing taste. They have a few other dishes which are very good as well the Navratan Korma, Kaju Mutter etc are all worth a try. They also make an amazing rice dish, the Kashmiri pulao served with pineapples and a cherry. An amazing contrast of spice and sweet.

The service is quite basic but pretty quick.

A meal for two would cost you around 650.

A 9.0 on all accounts.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Quay - A new nightspot

Name : Quay
Location : Above Fine Dine, Chowpatty

Recently i got a chance to party at the Quay which is a new nightspot in town, located above Fine Dine bang on Chowpatty. Wife and I with one of the managing partners Sumit Singhania and his wife Vandana
Overall the the place isn't very large, they can accommodate about 60 people, so it is a cozy little joint. The place itself is quite new and it hasn't hit the news yet, as the management is waiting until the end of the monsoon to begin its PR assault on the people to get the crowds rolling in time for party season this year.
turn the beat around!!!
The place itself is quite classy in its decoration, with ample and variety of seating form bar stools and tables to hammocks and couches. With enough space for one who wants to shake a leg.

DJ Amit was in the house playing some really cool electronic and house which you don't get to hear much in this town. It seems they are going for the niche crowd that wants to listen to some very cool music and hang out with friends.
DJ Amit & his lovely wife Prachi
Another special thing about Quay is that the food is pretty good, they have some nice appetizers to go for with your drinks (reasonably priced Teq + Red Bull at 275, Gin n Tonic at 220)the wait staff is slightly slow but polite and friendly.

Quay has the potential of becoming a niche, player with an upper end crowd, interested in house, a good bite to eat and a little tipple.

The management is new and they have some good plans to make the place popular right before party season starts. Some great nights, new additions are on the anvil.


Restauran : Joss
Meal : Dinner
Company : Ze Wife
Location : Kala Ghoda , Foodie Row

Experience : Joss has been around for a while. Prior to this it used to be Sanuk Thai (not bad) and Sanuk Oriental (average) before turning into Joss. Spread out on two levels its a spacious place but the seating is so dense that you will not have much privacy and can play proper attention to the table next to you.

Beverages : Virgin Mary (ok) Diet Coke

Meal : We started with the BBQ Paneer (175) which was light and very excellent.However one needs a proper selection of schezuan or hot sauce which isnt available with Joss. We went for the mushroom and veggie soup with rice noodles (150) which was again a good selection.
For the main course we went for the Stir fried veggies in garlic sauce (225) slightly generic tasting but not bad, Pan Fried Noodles with veggies n mushrooms (200) thin, crispy with great taste and the Nasi Goreng (200) which is an Indonesian rice preparation. The Nasi Goreng didn't fit with he meal, it kind of clashed with the overall taste but it was my choice and on its own it seemed to work fine.

Overall : Joss is an excellent choice for Chinese, well priced, the food is good, the menu has plenty of options and it slightly more Pan Asian then Chinese only. The service is good and attentive but i dont like the decor or the closeness to other tables.

Damage : 1400

Rating : Food 8/10 Service 8/10

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hornby's Pavilion - The best city coffee shop after hours

Restaurant : Hornbys Pavilion
: 4am binge
Location : ITC Grand Central
Company - Ze Wife, Mr&Mrs Singhania, Mr.Patel

You getting a pang of hunger at midnight? or post midnight? where do you go?
In Bombay only hotels are allowed to have restaurants that stay open for business beyond midnight.

Therefore your choices are limited especially Palms shut down and Shamiana refuses to improve. Trattoria isnt exactly a coffee shop, The Bayview is just boring and Flavours is just plain bad.

Having finished a night out around 1.30. we hoped to get to Ra for the 4am deadline. However when we got in and the cops were already there peeing on the parade. Not wanting to end early and considering the above choices we avoided the drive back downtown and head to the ITC Grand Central.

Mr & Mrs Singhania at The Hornbys Pavilion

Their coffee shop is the Hornbys Pavilion is on the first floor, an average looking coffee shop (average for a 5 star anyway) but it rocks where it counts. The food was superlative (as usual) offering an expansive menu overall,which is only slightly shorter for the midnight version. They also offer a midnight buffet (550+taxes)and an all day light breakfast dining menu which is also lighter on the wallet.

Ze wife looks on at the hungry lunatics

Drinks - Cold Coffee (150), Cappuccino (125) (good)

Eats - We ordered Beans on toast (220) The Hornbys Omlette (210) Pancakes (195). The beans on toast seemed canned to me, the taste was just too uniform and seemed but they were pretty good nonetheless.

Mr.Patel is extremely pleased with his omlette

The pancakes were fantastic, i finally found a place for decent pancakes in this city. The best pancakes money can buy this part of town (better than the Indigo Deli pancakes)

The Hornbys omlette was amazing, soft, delicious with veggies and mushrooms served with a side of toast and a grilled tomato.

Me defending my pancakes at all costs

There are plenty of other usual options like dessert, ice cream and heavier courses western and Indian depending on how hungry you are. The service was good but can be inconsistent. The crowd there was plain weird.

Service : 8/10 Food 9/10

Damage : 1700

Hornby's Pavilion
ITC Grand Central Sheraton & Towers,
Dr. Ambedkar Road, Parel, Mumbai

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Best Thali - Friends Union Joshi Club

What is a Thali?
A thali (platter) is a system of eating very popular in parts of the country. It is a complete meal served in a large steel plate and consists of an 1-2 appetizers, 4 veggies, daal and curry, 2-3 types of bread and two kinds of rice along with dessert and other accompaniments (pickles, onion, salad, buttermilk).

There are many kinds of thalis - gujarati, south indian, north indian, maharashtian etc (gujarati being the most popular) They can be unlimited/bottomless (all dishes except dessert are all you can eat) or set meal.

How it works
The serving process is the same as any other thali restaurant. Each server is dedicated to serving the dish or dishes and comes by at every interval to make sure you can have more of what you like. Within a few minutes everything on the menu is served to you and you begin, when the server returns, you either take what he has or ask him to move along.

Thalis for me
My dad loves a good gujju thali. Its is his single fav thing when we dine out. He passed on his passion for the thali to me. So along the years he has had a few favorites such as Thackers (Birla at Chowpatty) Rajdhani at Kalbadevi, Panchvati near Bombay Hospital.

He recently took me to a nondescript place in Kalbadevi called the
Friends Union Joshi Club. It isnt an easy place to find, being on the first floor of some million year old building. While walking there i was wondering if my dad had finally hired someone to bump me off because if he had there is no way they would have found my carcass.

When you walk into the place the first thing that hits you is how the place probably hasn't changed for the 50 odd years it has been in existence. A very basic eatery this one, simple chair and tables in a U formation. This one is all about the food.

The Dishes
They serve a typical thali 4 vegetables, farsan, rotis and small bhakri, sweet dal, chaas, rice or khichadi, chopped salad, chutney and pickle. Dessert can be gulab jamun, rasgullas, or whatever is seasonal (aam ras nowadays). however dessert isnt included in the price of the thali and is extra. The chaas(buttermilk) was great.

FUJC more so than other thali places work on the principle of home cooked food. i.e. if you go to a gujarati household you will have more or less a similar meal (not just in the name of the dishes but the cooking will be a lot closer)

The verdict
Ultimately the meal was great. It was clean, light, all the dishes were nicely done, with less oil, the buttermilk was great. All this done in a simple surrounding. Sometimes simplicity works better. instead of focusing on the ambiance the FUJC has focused on the food and the people who come here (typically local shop keepers, single men or those who live away from their families

Other Thalis
There are a million thali restaurants in Bombay, some that charge close to 220 a thali (FUJC was around 90) and serve you on luxurious surroundings in chilled rooms with attentive service. However the food turns out to be weaker than anything dished out at FUJC.

Thackers (Chowpatty)
Rajdhani (Kalbadevi, Opera House)
Golden Star (Charni Road)
Chetna (Kala Ghoda)
Status (Nariman Point)
Samrat (Churchgate)
Panchvati (near Bombay Hospital)
Shagun (Bombay Central)

Out of these Samrat is ok, Shagun does a regular set meal thali which is actually pretty good. Chetna is dreadful. The others are just a lot of style over substance.

Friends Union Joshi Club
381-A Narottamwadi, Kalbadevi Road, Mumbai

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tzatziki - A garlic, cucumber dip from the Mediterranean

While i was in Athens i got to try and a wonderful little dish called Tzatziki. The last time i had this was at a Turkish restaurant in New York with cracked bread (the turks call it Cacike)

Anyway, this is a sublime dish, enough to rock your socks and tingle your taste buds. It can be head for breakfast and as an appetizer for lunch or dinner and if you are particularly fond of it (like i am) as a whole meal.

This restaurant round the corner from our hotel in Athens served it with Bread soaked in olive oil and herbs. By the time we would get done with it there was really no more hunger left (well throw in a bottle of house wine at 3Eur , what else is going to happen)

One of my best friends mum makes a dip very similar to this, except she leaves the cucumber out and lets the yoghurt in thicker.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bars, Clubs & Lounges - S.Bombay

A low down on the places i like and frequent.

Is this quaint but lively pub that plays some loud music and serves a mean pint. The crowd is a mix of older distinguished folk, yuppies and expats. They serve chips and salsa which is the best free munchy in the history of free munchies. They also do a really really good paneer tikka. Drinks to get are a mean Mojito a decent bloody mary. Any night out involves a stop over at Geoffrey's either at the beginning or at the end, after all it is our local.

Salt Water Grill
Although a halfway decent yet inconsistent restaurant, SWG makes a great place to just sit down and sip some Shiraz.
It has one of the best views money cant buy. Equal parts open sea, concrete jungle and city lights. The ambiance towards sun set is terrific and has all the makings of a magical evening.

This rooftop bar at the Intercontinental is without a doubt the best located bar in the city bar none. The view is worth a million bucks as is ably supported by the minimalist decor. There is ample seating with comfortable couches for groups and small tables for two-somes. The drinks are on the expensive side, the snacks are weak, the dessert is on the money however. A must visit.

One of the best restaurants in the city is also one of the better bars. The entire set up is more or less part of the 'scene' that aside, its a great place to plonk down and catch up with friends. The drinks are actually 'not' on the disgustingly expensive side, even though the restaurant is one of the m
ore expensive ones in the city.

Opium Den
Opium Den, is located in the Oberoi Hilton and is actually not one of the more popular bars around. You may actually end up here on a Sat night and find the place less than half full. This isnt all bad (especially when you are trying to set up a group of 20 on a busy night) It is an extremely comfortable place and can be a boon when you want to be out but not around noise.

Wink is the minimalist bar that replaced the Library Bar at the Taj President. Its a very well designed dimly lit place, with comfy couches and cosy tables. They play some very cool Buddha bar music and serve sushi and some satay. Overall its a very chilled out place though unnecessarily loud at times.

Henry Tham
Henry Tham is another very popular hangout located in Colaba opp the Indigo Deli. It is also a restaurant but more popular as an evening out than just plain eating. The crowd is usually younger and it gets packed very quickly.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Salt Water Grill

Restaurant : Salt Water Grill
Location : Near Chowpatty Beach
Meal : Dinner
Company :Ze Fraulein

Experience : Last time i was at the SWG it seemed like the place to be. I dont know if its the monsoon coming or what but the place seemed a little on the rundown side. Lot of uncles & aunties, the group seating with curtains was shut. The whole place in general seemed a little rundown.

Drinks : Again, they had licensing issues so werent serving anything, so we got a pitcher of some pretty awesome ice tea (450)

Meal : We started with an appetizer of the camembert crostini (250) . Terrible, i didnt see the point at all. It seemed like they took some toasted bread, added some stuff and topped it off with a slice of camembert. Crap.
They had terrible salads last time i was there so we skipped entirely over and went to the tomato consome soup (210) which was very average. No great taste at all actually, quite a pointless concoction.

The main courses again, very limited and i dont get the obsession with zucchini. anyway we got the tomato and mascarpone risotto (350) penne georgetta (zucchini, garlic with a zucchini inspired sauce)
The risotto was sublime. Fantastic taste, just a smashing dish all around. The pasta was undercooked and had to be sent back. When it came back it was pretty ok, not bad at all but def not in league with the risotto.

Overall, the food was underwhelming. One dish out of 4 being good isnt a good sign (was the same last time too) I think they have begun to believe that they are selling the ambience as well rather than the food.

Rating : Food 4/10, Service 9/10

The service staff, was attentive and friendly and they were there everytime that you needed something. pity the cooking wasn't up to par.

Damage : 2000 (50$)

Salt Water Grill
2O Water Complex, Next to Mafatlal Swimming Pool
Chowpatty, Mumbai 23685485, 9820289619
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