Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Go East young man.. Hong Kong

Was in Hong Kong for a days work and flew in and out. The food scene in HK is quite vibrant and they have some big guns in the city like Alain Ducasse with his Spoons and Nobu both at the Intercontinental.

Hong Kong is a ultra urban metropolis with a healthy mix of cultures, like most big cities, food is a big part of its existence. Unfortunately i didnt have the time to check out the various options due to want of time.

a list of my meals -

DSC05523Kingfisher Airlines, served a great meal, it was some potato curry with lots of garlic, paneer in spinach with some pulav and naan. i almost exclusively drink tomato juice on flights.

VA took me out for a brilliant meal to a restaurant he frequents and got us some brilliant potato curry with pineapple rice (served IN a pineapple ) and some som tam salad. It was excellent, it always helps to have someone with an inside track.

DSC05545 I got hungry around 5ish and picked up some stuff from Marks & Spencer, a nice hummus and pepper sandwich, feta cheese salad (that i ate without a fork) and my fav thing, sparkling orange soda.

DSC05547A bloody mary in the hotel bar, below par.



I ended up at TGIF (hey, it was 11, i didnt know where i was going and i was REALLY REALLY hungry)


i got some ridiculous fajitas and an even more ridiculously strong margarita

DSC05563a traditional breakfast in the morning, cold soba noodles and tofu with soy, not too bad. Not my idea of an ideal breakfast ( see the pancake creeping out of there) but it was not bad at all.

DSC05564there is no such thing as too much orange juice.. is there?


Again KF outdid themselves with their meal, the Chana Masala was with bits of Paneer, the Paneer makhani was in an onion tomato gravy and very tasty. the salad was crap but the boondi and pineapple raita was brilliant. the chocolate torte was very flavourful.


Interesting name for a drink (the best one i think is Pimp Juice) , my friend Loki who spent 10 days in HKG told me about it and i got him a bottle. Its actually very electrol like in taste.

Overall, HKG was an impressive if short trip. Hopefully do a longer trip soon and try out some more local fare.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vong Wong

Rest : Vong Wong
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Express Towers

A random desire for Chinese and the lack of tables at Moshe (its always the same story with them) meant we ended up at Vong Wong once again. The place honestly, has a lot of potential and im not sure they are realising all of it.

The menu has changed, the older menu was a Thai section & a Chinese section and was fairly expansive. Now they have a shortened menu where both the cuisines are mixed, very sensible.

The place itself is massive with a very large physical footprint, floor to ceiling windows and private dining space. Attractively done, it would hold its own with any modern restaurant.

They did a fairly good Blood Mary, no real complaints with this one.

With the menu change, the other thing that has changes is that the old wet, boiled peanuts have changed to regular salted peanuts. Weak, very WEAK.


The Tom Yum was good, tasty, sour but good.

The dumplings were sweetish, not my favouraite taste in the world from my dim sum. Additionally, there were no real dipping sauces, the table sauces were horrible.

Feeling a little adventurous we picked the season veg on a bed of lettuce. again the taste was on the sweetish side and it did seem like it belonged to Chinese or Thai, however it was a decent dish by itself.

The ho phun noodles were very different, thick, oily but good. Dry tasting dish by itself if you pick it without gravy. The Asparagus and mushrooms in Oyster sauce were not too bad, the sauce was okay and the asparagus is a favourite of mine, so no real complaints.

Overall, the food is just about average which is sad since the location is excellent and the ambiance good. All they need now is to put a serious effort into the cuisine itself.

Revamping the menu was the right choice and the food is not bad at all, however its not memorable or outstanding on any front either.


Food : 7/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 1800 with a cocktail.

Vong Wong
Express Towers,
Nariman Point,
Tel : 22875633, 22875634

Monday, November 16, 2009

Muhammarah @ Cafe Moshe

Muhammarah is a red dip, hot with a spicy after taste. Its middle eastern but unlike popular dishes from Turkey & Israel this one originates from Syria but has travelled across to the Mediterranean.

Its made with red peppers , olive oil, garlic and other ingredients. First introduced by Chef Moshe Shek at Cafe Moshe. His version is not as spicy and has a creamy texture, kind of like hummus.

Its healthy and goes brilliantly with Pita. Try it at any of the Cafe Moshe’s across the city, the one above was at the Crosswords location.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jimmy Boy

Jimmy Boy is an Irani in Fort. We were standing outside Nandus Paratha House after dinner and were trying to give my friend Parin tips on how to run his restaurant (we Indians have opinions on everything) one of the thing my other mate VP came up with was selling raspberry soda. He went into a long spiel on how great it is and cant be found. Parin grabbed both of us and walked us up the 10 metres to Jimmy Boy.

Jimmy Boy is an old Irani and has been around forever. Located in the heart of commercial territory, their finest hour is lunch. I havent been to an Irani in a long long time but it looks just like it needs to. It was deserted and we were the only ones there at the hour.

Since we already had a huge meal we were in it only for the delightful sodas that are unique to Iranis. Parin knows the owners well and just strode in and picked out two bottles.

The masala soda, a taste unique to India, it is like thums up, but on the other end of the spicyness. Brilliant.

Raspberry soda has long been a talking point for Iranis and it does not disappoint. Perfect in every aspect, its got a sweet aftertaste.

Jimmy Boy,
Opp Turner Morrison Building

Monday, November 09, 2009

Nandus Paratha House

Rest : Nandus Paratha House
Loc : Opp Old Custom House, Fort
Meal : Dinner

A few days ago an old friend and school mate Parin Lakhani who i had not seen in a while added me on facebook. He happened to have a group called Nandus Paratha House, intrigued i checked it out and it turns out that Nandus is a famous Pune based paratha joint and its Bombay outlet just happened to be owned and managed by him.

Ever since, then we have been making grand plans to make our way there but it didnt happen until tonight and we are the poorer for it. Located in the hard core commercial area of Fort, Nandus is small, with limited seating and the majority of their business is take out and delivery.

While its a paratha house the menu is fairly expansive, they not only serve parathas but a large selection of Punjabi dishes as well as a bunch of rice dishes and snacks. Some of the parathas are unqiue and not to be found anywhere else.. like pizza paratha, pasta paratha, schezwan paratha,there is even a chocolate paratha which is crepe like.

Each paratha is served with dahi and a delectable onion pickle. If you want more, you can go for a thali platter which is served with daal and rice etc. We had the chilli cheese garlic paratha which was brilliant, the aloo and gobi paratha which was good but the real coup was the pizza paratha. It pays to be adventurous and it pays even more to listen to the owner, fantastic is the word for this one. I enjoyed it immensely and it rightfully is one of the more popular ones.

The papad churi came by as an after thought but it was perfect, lemony and chilli peppered up, it tasted just as it ought to.

We also got a roomali roti with a spicy lasooni paneer, which was sourish and spicy, just what a garlic intensive dish should be. Spot on. Next time im trying some of the rice dishes. Their dal makhani is also brilliant and worth a go.

Overall, there is just too much choice, not one thing we had was below par, even the cold spicy chaas was out of this world. The parathas might be a little out there for some but they are worth a try. The pricing is pure value for money, parathas priced between 40-100 each with entrees around 40-60 each.

Im going to be going back very soon, id suggest you plan a jaunt down asap or give them a call, they deliver almost anywhere within reason.

Food : 9/10
Service : 9/10
Damage : 600 for 3.

Nandus Paratha House
19, Sonawala Bldg, Green Street, Fort, Mumbai
Opposite Old Custom House
Phone: 22702265

Full Disclosure: The owner is an old friend and didnt let us pay but promised he would treat us like normal folk the next time around, which i am sure will be soon. Its a meal i truly enjoyed and which is why its up here on its own merit.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Madras Cafe !

Rest : Madras Cafe
Loc : Matunga Circle, Central Bombay
Meal : Sunday Breakfast

The looney tunes gang met this past Sunday morning, after their second attempt at breakfast, the first having been cancelled due to lazy, late sleeping girls and errant maids.

Anyhow we made it to the legendary Madras Cafe, located in what was once the strong hold of south Indians in the city.

The area is peppered with plenty of udipi restaurants and the only way to survive is to be good.

By that line of reasoning the 6 restaurants within walking distance are all pretty good. One has to get in early because it gets crowded and stays that way.

The menu is hardcore south Indian, so you get a variety of idlis, dosas and dishes such as lemon rice and biselle bhat.

They also serve madras filter coffee, very cool stuff although it could have done with a little more sugar. I had 3 and it gave me a slightly elevated heart rate, so don't go too crazy.

Excellent, the vada itself was nothing great but the rasam was brilliant. Sour, hot and tangy, probably work better if you get it with Medu Vadas.

The Madras Dahi Misal was brilliant, dish of the day for me, i had to get two because it was passed around by my fellow diners. Spicy usal with the crunchy farsan and dahi to top it off, each element playing with the other. Brilliant.

The Raagi dosa is made with Raagi flour, personally i found it sourish with a coarse texture. Uninteresting but its fairly popular

The Mysore Sada was small and different from all the others i have had thus far. Not too bad though.

Some of the other things we had were butter idlis, tuppa dosa and a disgusting upma.

Bear in mind that the Dosas are flatter, thicker, smaller and pancake like, not the long, lean crunchy dosas most people are used to.

Overall, Madras cafe has been around forever and its because its a functional place, everyone goes there simply for the food and nothing else.

The ambiance is noisy, busy and rushed, its like walking into 1964, you sit where you can, we sat next to a family, that had to put up with our profane discussions. A little on the authentic side, it covers enough bases to give you a wide ranging experience with plenty to choose from.

Service is quick as a place like this thrives on quick turn arounds.

Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 1080 for 10

Cafe Madras
38 - II, Circle House, King's Circle, Matunga, Mumbai
Phone: 24014419

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