Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kiosk Franchises - Wraps & Rolls

Folks in Bombay have probably seen the bright yellow kiosks of Wraps & Rolls in places like Churchgate, Phoenix Mills, Bandra Link Road (total of 9 outlets in the city)

This fast food kiosk vendorship has spread fairly quickly across the city. The concept is simple, they serve roomali rotis (think they also have a soya option) and they stuff it with a veggie or a meat or paneer, they lade it with onions or garlic and then they add a specific sauce to it.

All done in a seemingly hygenic manner, way cleaner than Bade Miya. One of the other things they offer is the number of options available. You can choose from Lebanese Falafal, Paneer Tikka, Mexican Salsa, Greek, Schezwan amongst others (total between 14-18) options all between 35 for a small and 55 for a large.

Its yummy, its quick and you can have more than one. Def a better alternative to roadside stuff or compared to other rolls.

Just so people dont think i am getting paid to write this, there are criticisms too.

The biggest is that they dont offer any kind of a beverage service. For the kind of food they sell its impossible not to want a soda or juice of somekind. An impossible oversight, that they are not rectifiying (probably coz they dont want to or cant get a refrigertator together)

Second and probably most important is that the quality is not consistent i.e. the best rolls are at the original Phoenix outlet. I have tried Breach Candy which is allright, however the one in Bandra is downright bad.

So the quality is nowhere near as consistent as it should be.

Check it out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Return to Flamboyante

Flamboyante Cuffe Parade Dinner, With Ze Wife, Mrs Star, Mr India

Back at Flamboyante again second time in as many months. The place was full, it was Wednesday and they had a live band. The place has def grown on me.
The bloody mary was good, the glacier continues to be a hit mocktail.

We got steamed spring rolls, kung pao paneer and chilli potato. Not bad, all the dishes were allright, the spring rolls (vietnamese) were very cool, refreshing for the palate.

The main course was green curry (great) egg fried rice (below average) pan fried noodles (good) kung pao paneer (excellent)

Overall the service was slighly scatter brained but the food continues to be pretty good. I wish the starters were slightly better. I also hope one of these days i get to try some of the other stuff on the menu rather than the Asian fare. the menu is expansive.

Do try and insist for the tables Opposite to the wooden flooring as they are the best vantage points.


food 7/10 service 7/10
Damge with 2 drinks 2800.

Places i will not return to

The following are a list of places i just dont go anymore. Some of them i have been loyal to for a long time and some i have been only once. The criteria is how good the food really is, cost notwithstanding.

Five Spice

This place, the last time i was there looked so run down, with staff who didnt want to be there, food that was completely generic and pointless, ambiance of a street shop. When they started out it was a good quick, value for money joint. Not so much anymore. Damage : Moderate

All Stir Fry
Gordon House Hotel, Colaba
This used to be a complete favorite and we used to end up here at least 3 times a month. the food was great, the service quick and the people remembered you. Once they took over the floorspace of Tides next door quality quickly plummeted. Good dishes were taken off the list, the wok which was such a cool thing to try seemed the same no matter what you tried. Overall, a sad let down. Damage : Moderate

Oberoi, Nariman Point

Or as i call it, throwing your money down the tube. If i go to a restaurant, no matter which one i expect the food overall to be good, this can even compensate for bad service. Vetro, generic setting, average service, retarded prices and absolutely below par, inconsistent food. No, No, NO. Damage : Very Expensive

Taj Mahal, Palace & Tower, Apollo Bunder.

Souk is like the other Taj restaurants, seemingly on the down ward circle. Golden Dragon a little while ago was frightfully expensive and bordering on the above average experience. Souk on the other hand was just useless. The soup was bad, the hummus ok (they scrimped on the pita, you fucking believe that) the pasta though was superlative. However one out of four is just not on.
Damage : Very Expensive

Lemon Grass
Phoenix Mills.

Well, i personally love the food they serve. However the service is bad beyond belief. They always ALWAYS get the order wrong, then they forget to put in orders for dishes. My wife and my brother are my usual dinner companions and they have pretty much put their foot down, ergo i cant go their anymore either.
Damage : Moderate

Marine Plaza

Someone ought to just rip this place out and restart this coffee shop. Wonderfully located but painfully bad. the food is mediocre, the choices even worse. Sometimes the actual quality of the food is also so bad, its incredible. Overall, one of the worst coffee shops in South Bombay hotels. However if you are here just walk down to Geoffreys for a drink of to Oriental Blossom for some chinese.
Damage : Expensive

Udipi Sri Krishna Boarding
Matunga Station
This is one place that has been around for 50 years, in fact you will never hear a bad thing from anyone who eats here regularly. You will also find a crowd and may have to wait between 15-50 minutes for your turn. However me and four of my companions found the food weak, bland and completley pointless. The service is of course average. A myth shattering experience this. Sadder still because i was looking forward to it for many many years.
Damage: Cheap

Bade Miya
Bade Miya is a veritable Bombay institution catering to just about every strata of society. However the place is filthy and completely unhygienic. The new seating space is no great shakes either. I can understand street food, however they have not evolved at all. the place continues to be a cesspool (sad, though some of the food was not bad)
Damage : Cheap

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Rest : Vetro
Location: The Oberoi
Meal : Dinner

The Oberoi is a great hotel chain, they know luxury and leave even the Taj behind fairly often. However of late, it seems there are plenty of options for better food when it comes to the upper echelon and very few reside at the old guard of the Taj or the Oberoi.

Vetro is one such place. The all Italian eatery opened last year and has been fairly popular.I took the wife for a visit and it was disappointing. The decor was new york chic (glass, whites, minimalism) and the service was slow. However the place for full on Wednesday night so that cant be a bad thing.

The primi platter was super below par. The bruschetta was strictly ok and the polenta and black truffle crostini was just bland (how can you make black truffle bland?)

The Minestrone was pointlessly tasteless ( again. HOW?) besides being impossibly small portion (which is good if you make it incredibly tasty) it was just a waste of time.

Fortunately the entrees were great. The ricotta and tomato ravioli was great, tasty and well made. The Risotto with black truffle was outstanding. Top notch, a complex, layered taste definetely a must have.

The menu has quite a few dishes that use black truffles. So make sure you have a taste for it.

Overall, the place is ridiculously priced 2400 ($60) for a glass of Moet (no vintage mentioned either) what the f**k is wrong with these people. Hell i have never seen so many zeros in my life and i have been to quite a few ridiculous joints in my time. The wine list is just looney.

In the end, the place needs to work on its first two courses big time, speed up its service a chunk to be remotely acceptable at its prices.

I mean a place like Indigo has some imagination and effort that it puts into the food, so i can understand their pricing.

Vetro, however seems like someone was playing 'lets get away with it' and i guess they have.

Food 5/10 Service 6/10

Damage: Total. 3800 for 2 with a glass of wine.
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