Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Rest : Joss
Loc : Kala Ghoda, Rampart Row
Meal : Lunch

So it turns out that the women i know had a tremendous lunch at Joss last week. Not wanting to be left behind i made it to Joss for a quick bite.

Joss has been around for a while, i had been there a few times in its previous avatar Sanuk Thai, which then became Sanuk Oriental (Thai was way better) my last visit though was quite a long time ago. Even now i find the menu to be a little weird, they have Chinese, some Eastern hot pots and Sushi.

A scary start, i asked for a Hoegarden with a dash of oranges.. my server looked at me like i had grabbed his ass. They didn't serve it with oranges, to their credit they came back with an offer of apples or kiwi but they didn't have oranges. I did the safest thing possible and ordered a Tiger which turned out to be a splendid decision. It went great with everything i had.

Now, we ordered Sushi as the wife highly recommended it. Unlike most things this time she was correct. Joss is already quite popular for their Sushi but i was skeptical as they did Chinese and other Eastern dishes as well. The house rolls with avocados and cream cheese were fantastic. In fact they were so good that we ordered another sushi platter to make the most of it.

Button mushrooms with water chestnuts were very weak. Typical fried stuff with some chilli and pepper. nothing special.

The carrot and onion houserolls were amazing as well. I think the cream cheese has the edge simply coz its so different with the use of its ingredients. However this one too was a winner. absolutely no complaints.

For the main course we went for the Balinese curry, it was okay. I have had this curry elsewhere and its always been a very heavy flavor which i liked immensely. this one had the aroma but the thick flavor was missing, it felt watered down but it was not bad.

Overall, the ambiance is average, they need to redecorate, its like the space is stuck in the 90’s.

Food wise, i think they would do very well if they just cut out their Chinese which is average and focus on their fantastic Sushi. Which as good as it is i do consider it over priced. At 520 + tax for a platter of veg sushi its about 20% too high. .

Service was okay if a little scatterbrained.

Food : 8/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 1900

30, K. Dubhash Marg
Next to Chetana Restaurant, Kala Ghoda
Fort, Mumbai
Phone 66356908, 66334233

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sula & Beyond

The Sula vineyards are spread across Nashik & Dindori and they have created a beautiful, landscaped little gem with an Italian restaurant (Little Italy) and a tasting room.

A long road with grape vines on either side leads to the main winery and other buildings.

the space is clean and well laid out, we got there at 10 am and not a soul was stirring. Used to early starts from Mumbai we were a little surprised to learn that nothing would happen until 11am when everyone showed up.

the buildings are like charming old bungalows yet there is a great mixture of modern glass and bright colors

everywhere the eye can see you see the planted vines spread across the landscape. It was unfortunately not the right season and we had forgo the actual wine tour, instead we toured the winery itself and got a lesson in how they make wine.

the tasting room is a an outdoors and indoors space where they offer a tasting of six wines and one can also sit and order cold cuts and cheese to nibble on while sipping other wines from the menu.

The wine tasting was fun, six glasses of Sula wines were on offer, having taken a class on wines i knew a lot more than the layman but it was fun to get a refresher. Of all the wines a Dindori Reserve Viognier was the best, great refreshing taste, sweetish but not too acidic.

For those who like them sweet an interesting late harvest dessert sweet Chenin Blanc was also on offer. Indian wines are slowly getting there..

Sula also offers a space where one can stay the night, there is help on call as well as a chef, television with satellite tv and even an infinity p0ol.

the three rooms are modern and spacious, well laid out and extremely comfortable. The entire living area is modern and an oasis of calm looking out to a large lake and planted vines.

the breakfast was aloo paratha served with fresh yoghurt and pickle. plenty good this, very tasty and quite a large serving.

the dinner was tasty too, black dal, paneer kofta and mixed vegetables served with rice and chapatis. One can order the food from a set menu which is fairly expansive.

Overall the stay was fantastic, the place was a revelation and it would be foolish not to visit here at least once.

A special thanks to our beautiful hostess Mitali and birthday boy Kunal for having us over !

Road trip to a Vineyard !

Nashik, originally an industrial town, has grown into the wine capital of India with majority of the labels established in and around the area.

The city is actually not as far as people seem to think, we headed out at about 6am and were at the winery by 9.30 am including a rest stop. An under construction 4 lane highway connects Mumbai to Nashik and is a joy to drive on.

The 6am start however, seemed like a mistake, especially since our planned stop at Cafe Madras in Matunga did not materialize. None of the cafes were open and we moved on.

Unlike driving across the United States of Continental Europe, food options are fairly narrow when driving across India. They are narrower still between 7am-9am. So despite perking up at Kailas Parbat & Bhagatchand Tarachand we were gutted to find out that they wouldn't start serving till 11 am.

Finally it was Cafe Coffee Day that came to the rescue, 80kms from our destination, hungry and cranky we waltzed in to the amusement of the sole person manning the table.

A glorious cafe mocha and a very average sandwich ( we were not complaining) later we walked out with our blood sugar back to normal.  Thus ends part 1.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Moti Mahal

Rest : Moti Mahal
Meal : Lunch
Loc : INOX, Nariman Point

Moti Mahal is a popular name in foodie circles and many claim to be the original Moti Mahal started by immigrants in Punjab. Originally famous for its butter chicken and black dal, it has since then branched out into a wider menu and upscale clientele.

While i have been here often, this time i was there on the wife's insistence, she had a hankering for some black daal and tandoori.

I personally wanted to head to Busaba but as some of you know… a married man HAS to do what the wife wants..

We went straight for the jugular and started with the Paneer lababdar,which was cottage cheese in a tomato gravy with chillies, peppers and onions.
I prefer this to the dry paneer tikka which always works better as a starter or the buttery paneer makhani which is simply too sweet.

The garlic naan was not too bad, the onion kulcha on the other hand was a misadventure. It was not bad mind you, just didnt work for me. I prefer to taste the entree with the dryness of the bread, anything more is distracting.

The Daal.. the reason we were there. A massive flop. It was served so hot that we couldn't taste anything. When we did manage a taste the flavor underneath was missing.

The jeera rice served here is always nice, with ghee, it has a nice crispy taste to it, sort of like fried rice.

Overall, the food was okay, could have been much better but it was not bad nor was it as good as the other times i have been there.

The service though i was not impressed with. It was hardly busy but things took a while to come by, i kept asking for onions but no joy.

The one interesting thing about MM is that they make their own masalas and spice mixes, so your stomach might feel burdened but will not be upset after a full fledged meal here.

MM portends to be an upmarket restaurant, not 5 star but i think they can afford to not charge for Papad. I paid 120 bucks for papads, that is just NOT ON.

Food : 7/10
Service : 6/10
Damage : 1400

Motil Mahal
102 Level 1, CR 2 Mall
Nariman Point, Mumbai
Phone 32534134, 66546454

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tooting my own horn

Hi, i thought id toot my own horn a little. Following the Wall Street Journal piece i got interviewed by the Examiner (Detroit & LA) on the subject of animation and outsourcing within the Indian context.

the link is here

Monday, September 14, 2009


Rest : East
Loc : August Kranti Marg
Meal : Dinner

East is not the best located restaurant and one can drive right by it if not paying attention. They serve Pan Asian with a special focus on Malay dishes.


Since one does get a lot of Malaysian to choose from its refreshing to have the option, more so since i live right five minutes away. The space itself is very Tiki like in design with exposed bricks. The bar is in the corner and separate from the restaurant space.

The beverages were fairly straightforward, the Bloody Mary was allright not too spicy which is always good, it apparently had some Asian spices not that i could tell though.
Hoegarden is a Belgian white beer and served with oranges, the drink itself is quite straight-laced but the acidity of the orange if done right adds a great aftertaste, a new favorite .. The Iced tea was lemony and sugary sweet.

They serve these bean sprouts instead of the usual Kim Chi. Ideally i hate bean sprouts but these were nice, we must have polished of like 4 plates.

Usually Thai soups are full of bamboo shoots and other bits that give flavor (which i always end up spitting out) this one was devoid of it. Unfortunately it was devoid of taste too, i found it extremely bland however the wife thought it was great.

The Kung Pao Paneer was excellent, as inauthentic as it was the taste was great, the sweetish sauce is immediately followed up by the heat of the chilli, throw in some sacrilegious cashews… great !

My desire to experiment backfired however, the Roti Jala tasted weird, almost pancake like and it was *gasp* served with Mexican style salsa, what the f*** is that about? maybe its my punishment for having fake kung pao.. anyway, the dish was a total disaster, despite getting the peanut based sauce.

The Penang Curry was very average, nothing to write home about. It was also fairly similar to a Thai Yellow curry, a little more coconut in the base and it would be Thai. Not impressed.

The mushroom medley (i made up the name ) was shitake, button mushrooms in a oyster sauce, not bad a little on the sour side, not very flavorful but overall okay.

The Noodles were fairly ordinary.

Overall, the food was okay, they serve some dishes which are not to be found anywhere else in the city thus far. Unfortunately they dont do a very good job with them. The rest of the food is unauthentic but some of it works. They need to work harder, i have had some good meals here on and off.

They are very well priced and offer a 5 course tasting menu at 600 a head.

Ther service is quick but fairly absent minded. The waiters were chatting amongst themselves and arguing at times, the Chef was walking around aimlessly which probably explains why the food was so weak.

A lot of service staff seems to be badly trained, i had a similar experience at Busaba, curiously both serve similar cuisine though Busaba was many notches above.

Food : 6/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 2000

76 Nidhi, August Kranti Marg
Off Kemps Corner, Near Gowalia Tank
Kemps Corner, Mumbai 23811010, 23821010

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Can Taco bell come to India already!!!

Being a student in a college in upstate NY  i frequently found myself in the search of food post midnight. Midnight-2am were usually peak hours for hard working college students as myself. 

Denny’s was a fav but they went nuts for a little while and wouldnt serve pancakes at 2 am which was frustrating.

i  found myself spending a great deal of time post midnight waiting in the drive through of Taco Bell and it was here that i fell in love with the fast food franchise (Sorry Subway, its true, i love TB more than you)

I wouldn't be caught dead in a McDonalds or a Burger King and lets face it, Subway is just too healthy. At midnight one seeks the comfort of cheese and the pleasure of  devil sauce served up in a high cal mix that is Taco Bell.

The Burritos,Tacos,  Mexican Pizza, i miss them all  and i think they would do terrific in India.

I wish Yum! brands would get their act together and open a Taco Bell in India as they have been threatening to do.

Viva Chalupa !

Adios ! 

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tamnak Thai

Rest : Tamnak Thai
Meal : Sunday Lunch
Location : Prabhadevi

Tamnak Thai has been around for a while and they serve reasonably good Thai, not the most authentic but usually tasty. We were there for a quick Sunday lunch with the Puri-Das clan and it was an afternoon well spent, the focus was conversation rather than food, which worked well since the food was weaker than the chatter.

Mojitos were the poison of choice, well done, not great but not too bad for a Sunday afternoon.

The Soup was mushrooms in cocunt milk and it was excellent. A perfect beginning to the meal, i got robbed by my fellow diners who ate half of it but i guess that's okay.

The starter gave off no Thai vibe at all, it was some fried monstrosity, i would have preferred a Satay but lost in conversation i allowed the wife to order which isn't ALWAYS wise.

The Thai Green curry was average, not too good, not too bad simply adequate. It was what you would expect a Thai curry to be like..

The Red Curry was fiery hot and a shade better than the Green although not by much.

Overall, the food is okay, it isnt bad by any standards but its not compelling in any way either. The dishes hover around the average or above average mark. The service is fairly quick.

Food : 7/10
Service : 7/10
Damage for 5 : 4000 with 2 cocktails

Tamnak Thai
274, VS Marg
Shivaji Park, Dadar (W), Mumbai 24474949

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Impromptu Picnic - Oh, what a perfect day

Apologies to Lou Reed, he wrote about heroin but this is about a perfect day without the intravenously injected hard drugs.

This past Summer on our last day in London we ended up outdoors on a bright, blue, sun shiny day, the kind the English dream of. Having done our dining and shopping in the fortnight past we we walked aimlessly.

For some strange reason we kept walking towards Hyde park and bought what ended up being full picnic gear without having any prior plan of sitting on the ancient grass.

Hyde Park, it seems beckoned. Walking along we ran into the Kings Horse who were passing by in their finery and their guns. We followed them for a while until we reached Marble Arch.

and here is where we figured out what was calling. A perfect day, a bag full of food and green grass. Off went the shoes..

and out came the food. We had sandwiches, water, juice, chips and yogurt. not bad for 10 quid. the sandwiches were fantastic, hummus, peppers and carrots was sweetish sour. The other was Shapers Brie & Black Grape on Malted Wholegrain bread. Odd sounding combo but boy it worked well.

Its a pity, we dont get to do this more often in Bombay, not that many picnicking spots unfortunately.

Cant wait till im back in London again....
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