Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Danone Yogurt

I am a big fan of yoghurt and eat lots of it. Within a day i end up consuming 4 cups of yoghurt + another glass or two of buttermilk. Milk itself however i cant stand, the smell or the taste. I dont think i have tasted plain milk since 1988 ( just to put that in perspective i was born in 1979)

Most of my yoghurt is made at home, like ghee and flour, my family can be quite old fashioned when it comes to our cooking. So i am quite glad that the wife picked up the ghee making skills from my grandma and mother.

Anyway, she also brought home some yoghurt from Danone, while the plain stuff is not bad and would do in a bind i really liked the strawberry flavoured bit. Surprisingly unlike other brands where they put some fruit bits on the bottom and you have to mix it up, this one comes pinked out from the start.

Specifically enjoyable as i am a bit fussy about the shape and texture of the yoghurt i eat. The curd should be hard and mashing it up with fruit makes it goeey which i have never liked. The wife says they are available everywhere now and arent very expensive either, i had some vanilla flavoured bits too, since vanilla is not a flavour i like, we sent some across to our neighbours who have kids.

All gone, last i heard.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Villa 39

Rest : Villa 39
Meal : Lunch
Loc : Colaba

Villa 39 has been open for quite a while and i have heard all kinds of things about it, from the good to the horrid. I havent been able to check it out for a while until the opportunity presented itself this past week.

The place is decked out in all white, which has been done to death but still presents a pleasant environment to be in. Split on two levels, the restaurant was previously known as Flags and before that China Gate. The location has turned out to be quite a jinx for restaurants thus far.

We walked in around 2pm and were the only ones there, which quite honestly threw me for a curve ball. Not sure what to make of it, we sat down and looked at the menus. They have a prixe fixe lunch menu which is not bad - 3 courses for 950 + taxes.

We chose to go for the regular menu and ordered two soups, the minestrone which was excellent, the best in the city thus far, the pomodoro which was oversalted and then exchanged for the minestrone.

The appetizers were mushrooms in something i cant recall, not bad but nothing spectacular. The caprese was good, no doubt because of the fresh mozzarella.

The main courses were a penne in a cherry tomato sauce and a risotto of oyester and other mushrooms. Both dishes were good.

All in all, the space looks nice but needs more people in it, an empty restaurant does not bode well.

The food was not bad but nothing stood out except for the soup. For the money they charge i expect great flavours and imaginative dishes. While the flavours are okay, the dishes lack in imagination and i can do better at an Indigo Deli, Cafe Basilico or Trattoria for same or less.

Food : 7/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 3500 for 3, no drinks.

PS. Sorry for the lack of pics, didnt have my camera and was too busy chatting to take pics this time anyway. Also its been an insane few weeks and therefore few updates, the coming days look the same but will try and write when i can.Cheers

Monday, November 01, 2010

Tote on the Turf - Menu Relaunch

Tote on the Turf has been a popular venue ever since its launch last year. I have been there on a few occasions and have always enjoyed its modern design and laid back ambiance.

One of the things i always found wanting at TnT was its lack of risk taking with regards to the menu. The food was good, the menu itself quite expansive yet it lacked a degree of imagination which one would expect from an Akerkar restaurant.

So when i received an invite for the relaunc of TnT's menu, i was quite excited to check it out. My visits to TnT can be found here, here and here

The bar talent at TnT is pretty accompalished, never had trouble with my cocktails there. The Mojito was refreshing.

The wife ordered some pink, pomengranate monstrosity which i sipped while she was in the powder room. Very nice..

Now, to the good stuff. The salad, fruits, olives, greens in a sweet drizzle with feta cheese. The greens were bitter and offset by the dressing. The fresh, feta gave it just another dimension. One of the best salads i have had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

A relatively safer choice by the wife, the tomato soup was not bad but lacked bite or a memorable aftertaste.

The Gnocchi was one of the first courses we chose, it came with onion rings and an onion sauce. It worked quite well as a whole, you had to mix up the sauce with the gnocchi, i enjoyed this dish. Not very complex in terms of taste but still pretty good.

Baked camembert with garlic toast, rosemary potato and some greens. Wow, a great concept, executed well. My chief gripe with this if you can call it that was that the set of cheese was just too large. The dish worked very well no doubt but another addition to the montage would have impressive.

Aah, the creamy, mushroomy fettuicini, what can i say about this except bravo. A few kinds of mushrooms in a mushroom sauce, seems like overkill but it was not. Worked very well, a heavy dish with just the right portion size.

A hunk of paneer in a leek sauce with a chilli salsa. Again, a better sum of its parts this one. The salsa was incredible and totally elevated this dish to another level. Smart move to limit it to a smear, going overboard would have been excessive.

The tiramisu, was okay, no great shakes. Their ice cream was melting and therefore i got an Orange sorbet. this is not on the menu but if you like a sweet tang to your sorbet, ask for this. It will rock your taste buds.

I would also highly recommend skipping dessert and getting their cheese platter, it is the cheese platter against which all others are measured.

Overall, my thoughts, the menu this time is def more interesting than the old one. There were some old staples, namely the pizzas (which are fantastic here) and some new dishes. The focus on the grill continues which is a good sign. I am hoping one of these days they experiment with the middle eastern side of the Mediterranean.

Possibly one of the largest dining spaces outside a 5 star and packed to the gills, they get full marks for attentive and friendly service all around (i wish i could say the same for Indigo Deli, a place i frequent more than any other)

The prices too have gone up a notch, so be prepared to pay for the good stuff.

Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : Was there via invitation.
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