Monday, May 13, 2013


Rest : Vicinia
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Opp St.Stephen's Church, Warden Road 

Vicinia is a brand new eatery that replaces the Subway at Warden Road. South Bombay has only a handful of restaurants from end to end and a new one is always welcome i suppose. The wife and i were bored on Sunday night and decided to swing by, took exactly 8 mins on foot ! 

The split level joints has a small bar on the bottom floor and the space is quite well done up, cozy, comfortable, exposed bricks and wood panelling. The use of space is immensely better than what Subway managed. 

The couches look supremely comfortable, however the tables are a tad tightly packed together. The menu is fairly generic and seems to try and keep a balance between the gujju Jain's and the well travelled that inhabit the area. 

The mushroom soup was good, considering the blandness that tends to be served out in the name of mushrooms this was certainly on the better side, a few pieces of chopped mushrooms would have really been stellar, perhaps a little garlic..

The nachos, i was dead set against them not knowing what to expect, the mrs however would not hear of it. good call too, they were delicious, held together by their choice of cheese and the fresh, slightly cold tomato. 

The aglio olio was a decent dish, too many peppers etc, you dont really need much in a dish like this aceept maybe sun dried tomato and some mushroom. It is definitely not in the league of Cafe Zoe or Smoke House Deli. 

The lasagne promised with a red sauce came drizzled in a pesto and was a rather dry bake. Not bad but none to impressive either. 

Overall, the space looks good, comfortable and welcoming. The staff needs training, they don't need to loudly sing along with Adele and need to know their menu and how dishes are prepared.

No shame in asking the chef and then informing diners correctly, rather than guessing and showing up with the wrong dish. I could have easily made a hue and cry about the lasagana but i chose not to.

The food is okay, the menu takes absolutely no risks or shows any flair or imagination. its very straight laced and generic which means its that much less interesting. If they really want to make a dent in the scene with a boring menu, every dish must be executed to perfection or they could try a few new ideas and they will surely do well, the Jain's not withstanding.

The prices are okay but the portions are strictly for single diners, wont be much to share.

Food : 7/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 1100 for two without drinks. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Cafe Zoe

Rest : Cafe Zoe 
Meal : Dinner 
Loc : Todi Mills Compound 

Todi Mills is fast becoming the dining and drinking hotspot with some pretty awesome old and new places in the compound. If you ignore the industrial meat packing district like buildings and the ridiculous entry and exit conditions its not too bad. 

Cafe Zoe is perhaps the most interesting of them all from a dining standpoint. I have been there a few times now but this is the firs official review. The place is fairly well laid out, spacious and modern in design with split level seating. Massive windows mean this is a pretty nice place to be on Sunday morning.

Started with some fries to munch on while we waited for the party to assemble... no complaints as far as fries go.

The cherry tomato & goat cheese crostini was a little tangy but mostly allright. not my first choice though.

while we waited for the main coures to arrive we got some snacks to munch on, olives, pickles and feta with some crostini. delicious way to spend a wait. 

The home made parpadelle was just insanely good, regret not havnig ordered it on my own and had no shame in stealing, just brilliant and a must have. 

the mushroom risotto was pretty good, a tad on the lighter side, taste wise, perhaps a dash of truffle oil might have added a kick. 

mrs J is fast becoming predictable with her food, aglio olio again, not too bad but apparently not as good as the one they had at Smoke House Deli.

Overall, i like the place, the ambiance is nice and casual and the seating is spaced out enough to have your privacy. A separate bar area is always a bonus. Service is mostly quick and friendly.

Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 4000 for 4.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Mamagoto - The awesome new pan Asian eatery !

Rest : Mamagoto
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Gazebo House, Hill Road, Bandra.

So, Bandra gets a new Aisan eatery, after Sing Kong comes Mamagoto and this was on invitation i was glad to accept, as the restaurant was yet to open and  i could spend more time chatting up the folks behind the business.

Originally from Delhi where they have multiple outlets, this is their second in the city and they seem to be out to change the rules of the game a tad.

The look and feel and menu reminds me of Wagamama, the Brit Asian chain which is also supposed to be opening shop (no one knows when) However as someone on my twitter time line said, they are  Wagamama meets Manga. They have a decor and ambiance in the Japanese Grunge motif. The space is casual, well laid out and skews young. 

The menu is pan Asian but with an interesting accent on street food and playing with ingredients, not the usual wonton, dim sum here. My only complaint is that the menu is very long, so they have a lot going on, which is not a bad thing but i hate having too many things to choose from ! 

i tried the Wasabi Mary with some trepidation but was pleasantly surprised by a very clean, delicious taste. 

Water chestnut spring roll with a chilli black bean jam, the only reason i chose these was because the jam was intriguing.. and rightly so. pretty nifty, not overtly chindian in taste despite how it looks.

the little lettuce cup cam with shredded veggies, mushrooms and a slightly hot dipping sauce. they were okay by themselves but went great with the sauce. 

the corn fritters were not my choice, pretty good, went very well with the black bean chilli jam which was sitting on the table from the spring rolls. there is lot of interesting stuff on the menu, so i wouldn't necessarily try this one again.

The snow peas and green bean salad, very interesting this one, sweetish, apparently made with a coconut milk reduction, fried onions and peanuts. what is not to like, however it was on the sweeter side. 

Asparagus in a sweet soya sauce, almost like a balsamic reduction, freaking brilliant, i wolfed this down and would do so again in a heart beat. All of it worked together brilliantly, i personally would have liked the asparagus colder but thats just me. 

The Chiang Mi Noodles deserve to be first among equals. Absolutely stunningly delicious, the noodles, the coconut broth, the fried onions and peanuts, come together like a flavour party. Not very different from a khow suey, this. The portion was huge and the dish itself is fairly heavy and really not meant for one  person, do keep that in mind when ordering. 

A caramel sponge cake this one, with a toffee sauce and some vanilla ice cream. mrs J loved it, not often you see a sponge cake show up on dessert menus. well done, the combination worked well. 

Overall, the food was pretty good, i enjoyed every dish and that rarely happens, nowadays. We have plenty of Asian eateries in the city and we certainly have come a long way from the days of China Garden & Five Spice (who have their own space and charm of course)

Its good to see a restaurant go Pan Asian which is quite easy to do nowadays and be able to find a yet untouched niche. Their approach is a lot like Busago who offer street food but in terms of execution and complexity Mamagoto is far ahead.

Possibly one of the more impressive entrants and this review sounds a little ga ga but that is because it is. Pity its in Bandra which means i cant go visit on a lark.

 A meal for two without drinks would be 1500-2000 & i was invited to dine.

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