Monday, July 28, 2008

I love pizza. I really do. I have it everywhere i can just to see how well its done. There are some splendid options while in Bombay. However delivery pizza is fairly weak across corners. The only good service is Papa Johns which isnt available in south Bombay yet.

Still, we persist with bad delivery pizza because its all we can get. However i draw the line at food that makes you sick. I think the pizza hut found out about my blog and how i love Papa Johns and tried to poison me. I kid you not.

We ordered some delivery, with no toppings just plain old cheese the three of us who had it fell sick over the weekend. Diarrhea, vomitus, upset stomach, name it. we had it. It was not a fun way to spend Sunday i tell you.

Not only is Pizza Hut bad but its a health hazard. Thanks but no thanks.

I would avoid it from now on like the plague. I suggest you do the same.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kebabs n Kurries

Restaurant : Kebabs n Kurries
Location : ITC Grand Central, Parel
Meal : Dinner

India has a few major hotel chains and ITC is the most Indian of the chains with specialist restaurants doing Asian, South Indian, North Indian cuisine. Kebabs n Kurries at ITC Parel is one of my favorite restaurants and is like visiting all the ITC restaurants at once. It assimilates the best dishes from across all the ITC restaurants.

The space is large, well lit and comfortable. The table setting is simple you get onions, pickles and lots of pappad.
The smartest thing to do is either avoiding appetizers and going straight into the food or to make a meal from the appetizers themselves. As the name suggests there is plenty of kebabs and kurries of all kinds and you can choose from a pretty strong list.

We chose the qaz e qaza which is a paneer dish with a heavy, red gravy, the paneer is stuffed with peas and it is delectable. A absolute must have is the Dal Bukhara, nowhere else is this dish made right. Absolutely spot on.

The bread selection is a little uninteresting, you have the staples but nothing interesting like the Sheermal etc.

The rice dish is very interesting, the yellow and white pulao with raisinis, is served with a side of yoghurt. If you can hold out till then, this rice goes fantastically well with the Dal bukhara.

Rarely do i get Indian desserts, however the Kulfi Falooda, ensure you get the one served in a glass. Its a tall glass with kulfi, falooda, rose syrup. Just perfect way to end a great meal.

Overall the restaurant is great as is the food. The service is friendly, quick and attentive. Definitely one of the best restaurants to eat out at in Bombay.

Food : 9/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 2500 for two without drinks.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Everyone has a fav bar or place to drink up, ours is Geoffreys at the Marine Plaza on Marine Drive. The place is built like a traditional English pub except for the music (though its usually good but too loud)

There is plenty of atmosphere and the place has its regulars, you will it gets a lot of the after work crowd but not to the extent where it is a corporate bar.

The coolest things about Geoffreys is tha they offer the best snacks in the country. Peanuts are ok but the chips and FIERY salsa go down so well with the drinks. You can go through 3-4 bowls in an evening and then it gives you trouble the next day but its a treat.
The service can be slow sometimes but it is never problematic, over the weekend or during sporty season it gets fairly well packed. Been going there since it opened and its never disappointed. They have a decent food menu as well, not much for vegetarians unfortunately but the Paneer Tikka is great.

Marine Plaza Hotel,
Marine Drive

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shanghai Club

Rest : Shanghai Club
Loc : ITC, Grand Central, Parel
Meal : Lunch

Chinese in India is a separate cuisine by itself. The taste is livelier, tangier, spicier then traditional Chinese. If you go to a restaurant like Royal China which is more on the authentic side chances are you will be pretty disappointed with its bland offerings.

However Shanghai Club at the ITC sticks to its Indian Chinese roots and offers a delectable selection of dishes. ITC is famous for its pan Indian offerings but they also have strong credentials in the Asian cuisine section as well (My humble house, Pan Asian) Shanghai Club is their lesser known restaurant in Bombay.

The place is small (compared to the gargantuan and perennially full Kebabs n Kurries) but it has charm and is a fairly comfortable place to dine. The silver and the china have subtle oriental touches.

Not offered but served with dim sums is the soy ginger and garlic sauce which is a must have. If not having dim sums do ask for this anyway.

Our drinks of choice as usual were a lemon iced-tea which was not that great

A diet coke which was well, a diet coke.

the traditional jasmine tea is a great palate cleanser however i reckon they forgot the jasmin somewhere as all i got was boiled water

The glass noodle soup with greens was a fantastic choice, i was expecting a clear soup but this was some tasty darkness. I wish it had been a little less salty but it tasted great nonetheless.

The vegetable dumplings, steamed were delicious. I was never very impressed with their dim sums but this one was great, it went great with the soy ginger garlic sauce it was served with.

The entrees were the pan fried noodles with veggies which were acceptable. However the veggies with mushrooms in a chilli sauce thing were completely wrong. We were told and expected something spicy and it turned out to be sweet. Not that it was bad, it wasn't it just wasn't what we had asked for.

The golden garlic fried rice was excellent, it has a unique sourish taste and goes well with anything spicy.

Overall the meal was good but there were little disappointments here and there. Usually they are consistent above average, this time however it seemed like a bit of a dip.

The service was friendly as usual but pretty scatter brained and slow.

Food 7/10
Service 6/10
Damage for 2 without drinks 2800

Shanghai Club also serves a four course set meal with unlimited Indian bubbly for 1000+taxes. Not bad but i always prefer making my own choices.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don Giovanni

Rest : Don Giovanni
Loc : 4th Floor, Atria Mall, Worli
Meal : dinner

Don Giovanni has been a big name in Italian dining but has been relegated to the suburban crowd along with Little Italy. Now DG brings its Italian fare to South Bombay and has to put up with out snobbish review of the place.

After having canceled twice we finally made it there over the weekend. Anyway, the decor is typical dim lighting, minimum spacing and there is no real bar. The menu is fairly expansive so there is plenty to try for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. I would recommend getting a proper menu made rather than printouts which seems cheap.

The chef is of course Italian which is very evident in the first page itself where he reminds you that the first basket of bread is free but then on its 50 bucks for bread and 50 bucks for Olive oil. Last time i checked we didnt levy bread charges. whats next ? cover charges for restaurants. This isn't Venice. Also the bread isnt worth 50 bucks. sorry!

The Bruschetta was tomato and olive oil, slightly on the saltier side but not bad. Although no one at the table was impressed with it. I have had some tremendous Bruschetta across the street at the Ivy

The Fagioli soup is pasta and beans. This was an average soup, nothing great, fairly thicky and heavy, pity they didnt offer a Minestrone.

The main course was Lasagna which was excellent, just the right bake and sauce. Worked well. The Risotto and this is what i reckon we should judge restaurants by was bloody weak.

There are tremendous risottos available in this city (Basilico, Moshe, Celini) What i got tasted a lot like a Khichadi and even looked like one, if they didnt have mushrooms i would have had to ask for some yogurt and papad.

The tiramisu was too creamy but had plenty of liqueur.

Over all the place is dull and constricted, the food is unimaginative and joyless. There is plenty to try so maybe another visit before i really make up my mind.

The service was fairly slow too, good thing i asked them for the entrees before the appetizers came in.

Food : 6/10
Service : 6/10
Damage 2000 without drinks for 3.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee is a london based coffee chain which is fairly wide spread in the South Asian region, their New Delhi outlet is the largest of any of the ones they have. Their sole outlet in Bombay is in Andheri, which i spotted while driving back from a meeting. The place itself is okay, a slightly superior version of Barista but not with the same youthful vibe.

Unfortunately anything upscale in the suburbs is patronized by B level actors and Tv people, things i find insufferable (yes i am a south bombay snob, sue me) so we got our coffee to go.

Blended coffee, iced. Superior to a lot of the stuff you get at our local coffee shops but at 90 bucks its a bit pricey.

I dont even know what the hell this was but it was recommended and i am glad my wife chose it. it was supposed to be some passion fruit sangria thing. personally it belonged on the pavement. 90 bucks this too.

Overall the place is okay, a definite upmarket alternative to Barista and Cafe Coffee Day.

Costa Coffee
Gazebo House, 52, Gulmohar Road, JVPD
Opposite Crossroad No. 7
Juhu, Mumbai
26255567, 9911868654

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Papa Pancho Da Dhaba

Rest: Papa Pancho Da Dhaba
Loc : Bandra, opposite Golds Gym
Meal : Dinner

Papa Pancho used to serve fabulous punjabi food but then the quality sort of faded away over time. While in the area we decided to give them a shot again and see how things have progressed since our last visit.

The place itself is made to look like a dhaba with some funny touches here and there. The decor seems to have come out of a kit but it works, the place has a charm, pity its two small unconnected units.

For drinks we got the usual Diet Cola which was Pepsi in this case

Masala Chaas (Butter milk)

The chaas was chilled to the bone which i thought was excellent but it had just too much masala in it which really made it an intense spicy taste. I asked them to hold off on the masala and i wish they had, it would been brilliant.

Sweet Lassi

The Lassi was thick, creamy, sweet and served cold in a huge glass. Unfortunately the wife said she could smell the chlorine in the water used and we had to send it back. I wish they had remade it and brought it back but they didnt bother.

The menu is fairly expansive and they have plenty of staples like Rajma Chawal, Paneer, Dal. However we chose the Dal Makhani and the Handi Paneer. Both were pretty good dishes.

The Dal was all right the buttery taste was there but it was missing the tastyness it should have had.
The paneer was soft and the gravy was pretty tasty, went well with the bread and the rice. The Cheese & Garlic Kulcha was pretty good but the Missi Roti was average.

The wife said she that though the food tasted ok she had a distinct feeling it had been prepared fair deal in advance and its freshness was suspect. The fact that at between 8-9.15 there were only four people for dinner including us reinforces the case.

The jeera rice was fairly average and definitely cooked and reheated.

Overall the food was above average, however i am not too impressed with their policy of maybe preparing things and keeping them.

The service is quick but dispassionate.

Food : 7/10
Service 7/10
Damage for 2 : 600

Papa Pancho Da Dhaba
B-4 Gagangiri Society, Union Park
Next to Cafe Coffee Day, Off Carter Road
Khar (W), Mumbai

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cheesecake Ahoy!!!!

One of my favorite desserts is a simple New York style cheesecake. Simple it maybe but it is not easy to find as most people seem to prefer the blueberry, mango variants but very few do it traditional style.

Moshe's is one of the places that does.

The other one is a pretty mean chocolate mousse cake which was fairly impressive. However i digress.

It was fairly good, did their New York label proud. The crust, the taste, not too hard and not too soft just traditional Jewish style with real cream cheese. No one does it Chicago style firm on the outside, creamy and soft on the inside. I guess you gotta take what you can get.

Good stuff. Also impressive is the price 185 ($4.50)

worth it though.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sammy Sosa

Rest: Sammy Sosa
Location : Andheri, Oshiwara
Meal : Late Lunch

Sammy Sosa, is the only Mexican restaurant in the city at present, the place has a young vibe and they ambiance is comfy and kitschy with Mexican movie posters on the ceiling etc. The menu is fairly expansive and they cover a lot of areas. I am guessing they had to throw in some continental to keep the idiots happy.

A bunch of Mexican favs are on the menu and you will be hard pressed to pick one from the lot, they are missing some side dishes but hopefully they will come as they get older.

The traditional but virgin (no liquor license yet) margarita was pretty much exactly how a margarita should be. pity most bars cant seem to get them right. only complaint with the drink was it should be bigger. Margaritas come in big f*ck off size glasses, not martini size.

The mango margarita was recommended and picked by my wife. I didnt like it much myself but the wife loved it.

The nachos, well they were good and worked especially well with the salsa and the sour cream. However nachos are usually with softer tortilla and are usually weighed down with all the beans etc. The serving style was different but i like them traditional. Not bad at all though.

The loaded potato skins, again, tasted pretty good and worked pretty well. Thank god for guacamole, they also had some excellent sweet mango salsa.

The enchilada again, good, heavy, with some monterrey jack cheese, put together nicely.i missed my sides of beans and rice on this but i guess some is better than none.

the verdura verde in my opinion was a good dish but had too much going on. avocado, rice, potato, tortilla, corn, mushrooms broccoli. sort of confuses you because you start looking for a theme and there isnt one. it would work very nicely if simplified a little.

not a Mexican dessert but pretty good nonetheless. pistachio and honey crepes, with ice cream and chocolate sauce. lets just say it was a great way to finish up a pretty solid afternoon lunch.

Overall the food was pretty good and they seem to be making a solid effort in ensuring a good all around experience. The experience is hampered by unavailability of ripe avocado, certain beans and peppers, so i hope they can find a way to source these regularly. They have the good sense to not serve items if they are not up to the mark (no guacamole if the avocados aren't good)

The food is good, a few touches to ensure authenticity and finding a way to serve missing items like refried beans etc will get them into a 9. Check them out !!!

Food : 8/10
Service : 9/10
Damage 1100

Sammy Sosa
Shop No. 18, Meera CHS
Oshiwara Link Road
Oshiwara, Andheri (W), Mumbai
65278722, 65278744

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Golden Star

Rest : Golden Star
Meal : Dinner
Location : Charni Road, near Hinduja College

My kid brother and i have been trying to get to Golden Star for a very long time, it finally happened for us last night. The place itself has no ambiance to speak of and is not the largest of spaces. However Thali is all about the food and not the conversation, so the seating is fairly tight and spread thin.

The calm before the storm. Waiting for the meal to begin.

We got a side of Daal Baati, it was fabulous, good enough to have as the entire meal, the baatis were small, rough and tasty and the daal was just out of this world. Best enjoyed hot!

The rest of the meal was fairly average and generic. Like most thali meals, its a gamble. You go in and hope they have all the entrees you love. We began with some dhokla (ok) papad churi (terrible, over salted) tomato uttapam with red chutney (fantastic)
Potato in tomato gravy which was pretty good. Other than that they had palak paneer (eww) and two other less than memorable veggies. The daal and white kadi were good.

The chaas was nice, served chilled like it is meant to be. Also top notch was the khichadi, very nicely done.

The sweet was a boring, generic fruit salad.

Overall, the food was just average, saved by the outstanding uttapam, daal baati and khichadi.

The service was slow, scatter brained and you had to ask for everything, weird since they were barely half full.

I know better places for thaalis, besides you get similar meals in better ambiance for less at Samrat and Status.

Food 6.5/10
Service 6/10
Damage 630 for 3.

Golden Star
330, Raja Rammohan Roy Road
Opposite Charni Road Station
Girgaum, Mumbai
23631983, 23671952

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