Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dome Monsoon Menu Preview

The Dome at the Inter Continental just added a monsoon menu and yours truly was lucky enough to be invited to sample it.

The Dome holds many memories (RG's at the old Natraj, is where i first had a vodka coke and where i officially hit on Mrs.Jain) so its always nice to come by. While i have been here often, it was the first time i was there whilst the sky was blue.

The monsoon has a few new dishes and they also serve Moet at 950 a glass/6000 a bottle. While i am personally a fan of Tattinger the Moet was delicious.

The stuffed Bhavnagri Chilli was delicious, i recall having something similar at one of Rahul Akerkars places but cant recall which one.

The Monsoon Butta with lemon and paprika was pretty decent but a tad awkward to eat.

The Cajun mushroom with water chestnut skewers was okay.

Veggie skewers with pineapple. It was okay but pineapple needs to show up on more skewers man. Missing are the cottage cheese skewers in rosepetal chutney, while i did not discern the rose petal it was terrific. Best of the lot.

Overall, the place continues to be a super attractive venue. They had someone playing some sweet jaazy tunes and the ambiance was terrific. Its quite an escapist environment.

The food is okay, i think there are way too many skewers, which can be unwieldy. The corn would be easier to eat if shredded. In any case the regular Dome menu is quite varied (actually a little cheaper too) Moet @ 950 a glass does not seem so expensive once you have dropped 1200 on cocktails at Ellipsis.

Its a great occasion place and certainly not for the faint of heart (and wallet) but deserves a visit, especially if you are wooing someone.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Delhi

Spent a few days in Delhi last week, ergo the silence. I dislike Delhi from the bottom of my heart, mostly because of the people. Its probably the air of menace, the willingness of people to get violently in your face which turns me off.

However Delhi is slowly turning into the capital that India deserves, as far as infrastructure is concerned. Two of the great things about Delhi is, it has the prettiest women of any place in the country, including Bombay. They also have an enviable range of dining options across the budget spectrum. Cheap street side food, to fine dine restaurants, to some awesome stand alone joints.

To start off, i got some Aloo-Tikkis at a highway side joints while traveling up and down the city.
The potato fritters spent at least 8 mins in the middle of that heated pool of oil.

Topped with yoghurt, sweet tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney. Fairly basic, nothing dramatic but boy did that simplicity work. Obviously its not good for you in any way health wise but taste wise it was exactly what you would expect a Tikki up North to taste like.


Our dear friend and hot shot book editor Ms.Dutta took us to Gunpowder in Hauz Khas, beware, this place is a 4 story walk up some narrow stairs. They serve mostly Malyali food from Kerala, i am a sucker for Appams as they are hard to find at lunch time in Bombay.

The curry was mostly an ishtew with mushrooms which was pretty awesome. Not a fan of green peas thrown in there, could have done without. However, a winner this one. The place itself is fairly basic, small, not too many tables, the menu is not too expansive either but the appams were soft and fluffy and the stew was delicious. Damage was about 600 i think.

got these brilliant choley bhature also on a highway side joint. These were just fantastic, not too spicy but just right. What was GREAT was the taste, it was just on the money.. plenty of people will take you to the BEST chaat place in Delhi but i think you could stumble into a pretty good one all on your own.

The Pot Belly is another one of those small roof top places that can only exist in Hauz Khas and Hauz Khas can only exist in Delhi.

They serve cuisine from Bihar, what we got was the Char Yaar Thali (four friend platter) pickle, some fried potato, rice and mixed lentils. Effing brilliant, like i said, the food in Delhi is just something else. 200 or so rupees. Deranged really.

Another one of the pleasures of Delhi is a Lassi in an earthen ware cup. Thick sweet, churned lassi with a generous topping of Malai (clotted cream) it could be a meal in itself. Things just taste that much better in an earthen ware cup be it tea or lassi they just go one better served this way. I had a really cold cup, standing outdoors under an awning in 45C/111F heat. A taste i will never forget !

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pizza By The Bay

Pizza by the bay is the new blue love child of Not Just Jazz by the Bay & Pizzeria. Post some weeks of renovation, they reopened recently.  Perhaps the only move made by the Narang's that has actually worked (and All Stir Fry) otherwise every restaurant they opened more or less bit the dust (Roti, Dosa Diner, Tides) 



The menu continues to be the same, lots more drinks available now in conjunction with Jazz.


Gone are the red and white table cloth, red walls and the pizzeria meets a brasserie feel. The new space is clean with blue accents, which makes it look like the inside of a cosmetic store. I personally dont like the new look at all. The old one was warm and hadn't changed in AGES. Also, cheapskates that they are there is still no air conditioning.



Bombay Masala, continues to be the best Pizza in Bombay. No question..


The Gnocchi was pretty awesome. Surprisingly in all my years have never gotten it before. Brilliant.

Overall, the food continues to be good, the service continues to be slow which means the status quo has been maintained. Unfortunately prices have gone up and the new d├ęcor sucks.

Will it stop me from going back? No, don't be ridiculous.

Food : 8/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 1100

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Jjammpong

Rest : Jjamppong
Loc : Walkeshwar Road, Walkeshwar
Meal : Dinner


For the past few days, i have been trying to make my way to the unlikeliest of locations for a restaurant, Walkeshwar. The location is known for many things but not for food. 
The area has a serious limitation of restaurants, Dakhshinayan is around the corner but other than you have trek downhill to Petit Hall for The Sun or Santosh Sagar at Napean Sea Road. 

 Not too much choice otherwise, unless you head on towards Chowpatty & Marine Drive. 

So this is a welcome addition. The shiny new eatery (only 3 weeks old) sits a few metres away from Teen Batti . The decor is minimalist, the ambiance casual, benches red. You could squeeze bout 30 people there and it has a hole in the wall feel to it.
 

Aptly named Jjamppong which i am told is a spicy Korean soup, derived from Chinese cuisine, it also has a Japanese version. The pan Asian antecedents of Jjamppong the soup sort of mirror the menu which has a dish or two from everywhere (cept malaysia) One of the more interesting things that drew me to the menu in the first place was their infusion of quirky ingredients such as lychee, plum, pineapple, raw bananas into dishes. 



 The obligatory and gratuitous shot of a Diet Coke. Someday like 1950's America we might get Coke in classic bottles and world will be a much MUCH better place. 


The Red Wonton Soup was pretty good. For a second it tasted like your regular Chindian Manchow but just for a fleeting second. It was hot, not too spicy but boy was it hot. The wanton was effing brilliant. The wife liked it so much she asked to try the Lychee Wantons.


While our original appetizer was the Kung Pao which was a mish mash of veggies, potato and paneer, the crunchy spears came highly recommended and we modified our order. In all honesty this was not bad, French beans, asparagus tossed in a wok, what's not to like. Not stupendous but not bad.


The lychee wanton, sounds uber weird and the truth is i am not a fan of Lychee i think its a bizzare fruit and looks like eyeballs.  The wife loves Lychee and what she loves she gets. I tried them with some hesitation but it turned out to be pretty good. Just a slight hint of the lychee not enough to distract just enough to entertain. The dipping sauce it came with sucked though. 


They also recommended Corn Curd but the wife shot it down, they brought out a sampler so she could taste it. She didn't approve, I thought they were pretty good if a tad luke warm. 


The gravy was a  veggies with cottage cheese in a reddish hot sauce. A little spicy and hot but not overt which was good. Just the kind of taste i was looking for. Not bad.


While i was leaning towards the Burnt Chili Garlic rice, it was recommended i try the minty Vietnamese fried rice. While this was not bad and without the hint of mint (hehe) it would have just been an ordinary fried rice it went well with the gravy.

We intended to order (when i say we i mean the Mrs) the Pad Thai Noodles but since we were going all Chinese we skipped it, which is good as the portions are relatively healthy and it would have been way too much food.

Overall, the space is small but the food is splendid. The menu has some pretty interesting dishes that deserve a try. They clearly win on imagination and unlike the other hole in the wall eater Francesco's they have got the formula right (when you are this small, the food needs to be superlative)

Best to go with a bunch of friends so you can try out a bit of everything. While there are a few misses, such as the dipping sauces which are weak, the funky bottles need to be clearly labelled but nothing major. There is enough standard pan Asian food and enough new ideas to keep most people interested.

I really hope they keep the standards up.

Service is warm and friendly but the waiters are a bit nervous.

Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 1010 for two.


Note : They are all Vegetarian & Serve No Alcohol 
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