Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Went back to Crystal after ages, this time with usual Crystal partner in Crime Shailesh Prabhu (@yellowmonkeygames) for a pretty terrific meal. As usual we got there just at 1.15 pm and got an empty table.

Slash and i usually vary up our orders but this time we stuck to the usual the dry aloo, the chana masala and the paneer bhurji. unfortunately there was no space for a rajma chawal this time but in any case, the food was terrific. no complaints whatsoever.

The prices though have shot up. it was 350 for two which is about 70-80 more than i would pay usually. A few days after this i got another round of take out for some friends where we had malai kofta and rajma as well as the chana masala and the sukha aloo. terrific then too. easily one of the best places ever. 

Friday, December 05, 2014


Rest : Byblos
Meal : Lunch
Loc : Phoenix

Byblo is the new Middle Eastern/Lebanese restaurant that has replaced the much lamented Komala's. It is the second middle eastern restaurant in Lower Parel, the splendid Aqaba being the other. I 
met with @vbubber for a nice drawn out lunch. Varun had already been there on the second night and said the menu now was actually shorter than the launch menu from a few days ago.
Still, its a pretty substantial menu, with plenty of mezze, flatbreads, salads, sandwiches , shawarma, some pasta and my fav Byblos all day iftaar breakfast which has some dishes you wouldn't find around the city easily. 

started off with the hummus with fried chick peas, which i didnt like at first bite but then it grew on me. good stuff. also they have the toum which is a garlicky butter which is just awesome. make sure you get your hands on it. 

The full egyptian fry up from the breakfast menu was freaking HUGE. with the medames (fried beans) potato, tomato and mint salad, this was something else. i was oddly expecting a skillet for some reason but this was pretty brilliant if a little unwieldy. 

The Red Velvet Gnocchi was pretty amazing, the sauce was kind of like an Alfredo sauce but pretty good nonetheless. Worth a try certainly. 

Varun also got the peri peri chicken which he said was amazing but pretty hot. We were suckered into splitting a brownie with some caramel (sweeter than id like) 

Overall, i think the menu is a tad too large but going by all i had, if they do all the dishes well enough, no complaints. The prices are okayish, just a little less than what you would pay at Indigo Deli.

Its a great place to go in a bigger group so one can share dishes. Def hoping to make it back soon to order some of the dishes i missed out on. There is a bar too and considering its slightly secluded location, it could pick up as a place for a bit of a party.

Food : 8/10
Serv : 8/10
Damage : 3300 for two without drinks. 

Friday, November 07, 2014

A Return To Serafina

Rest : Serafina
Meal : Lunch
Loc : High Street Phoenix

My last few visits to Serafina were middling, despite the brand name, they were distinctly underwhelming and it took some convincing to take Mrs Jain there again. She refused to give it a go but relented in the end. 

At the time of our visit, the space was being renovated and was down to 1/3 of its original size. The bread basket is still chargeable and still the same though the bread was decent. 

the bruschetta was terrific and tasted super fresh which i suppose is the secret to a good bruschetta. 

The Arrabiata fries were mis labeled for sure, there was nothing flavourful or tasty about em. More like masala fries. And i for one would never order fries at a restaurant (except at the table) this was all Mrs Jain. 

The Aglio Olio Pacino was excellent again, no drama there. Lightly flavoured and done just about right. perfect with some parmesan. 

The Fettucini (Paglia & Fieno) was another winner, a hearty preparation with  well done portion topped with a helping of Parmesan.
Overall, the food was good, there has been a definite improvement, i was gutted that we had to order those fries instead of soup or one of the salads but otherwise it was an excellent meal. Was running late and had to skip dessert.

I think the present size works for them and i hope they can keep the experience the same in case they do expand again. 

Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 2400 without drinks for 2.  

Friday, October 17, 2014


Rest : Yauatcha
Meal : Lunch
Loc : BKC

Yauatcha, sigh, i really get a hankering for Dim Sum once in a while and since it was my birthday and we Yauatcha was going to be en route, we decided to whizz by and do a quick all dim sum lunch. Little did i know, what a disappointment i was in for. 

the menu is fairly expansive, various options with dim sum, chinese tea as well as a set of mains, they also do some really interesting desserts, which unfortunately due to our paucity of time we could not try out. 

The vegetable crystal dumpling was strictly okay, no great shakes. 

The Truffle Edamame dumpling was actually underdone but the filling was okay.

i debated between getting the golden fried vegetable puff (which i did) and the fried turnip cakes, my last visit i had these and they were fantastic, this time however they were the exact opposite. nothing standout about em at all. 

the only saving grace was the lotus leaf sticky rice was pretty decent, thankfully.
Overall, i was pretty disappointed, the food was just not upto the mark considering dim sum is their specialty, definitely not a taste of the orient this one. Contrast this with my previous meal at Yauatcha or my meal at their far superior sister restaurant Hakkasan. Standards have certainly fallen. 

Food : 4/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 1800 for 2 without drinks 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Two One Two

Rest : Two One Two
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Worli

Two One Two has been around for a while and i have had a few decent meals there. The wife really enjoyed her last meal and we decided to dine there for my birthday evening. So the four of us (sisters in law in tow) showed up to break the bad celebration meal jinx.

The space is laid out okay, the outdoors section is def lovely, the inside seems a little dated now. The menu is varied and has a lot of options, they have loads of dishes with truffles on the menu if that is your thing. 

this is the bread basket, okayish, served with some very mediocre butter. 150 if you want more (we didn't) 

the minestrone was okay in a generic sort of way, a bit more effort and it would have great.  

not so fresh caprese, unfortunate, as i was really in the mood for a good salad. i think they should just not serve this if the cheese has been in the fridge too long. it was not bad, just wasn't fresh which is what its all about. 

the pizza was excellent, crispy, tasty on the money thin crust pizza. i think most Italian joints in Bombay have their pizza down pat. 

the wife is obsessed with aglio olio, its disconcerting but she refuses to eat anything other than this everywhere she goes. This is what they came up with. It was strictly okay, however it had bits of some stones in it so we sent it back. 

the sun dried tomato and goat cheese risotto was pretty good and disappeared quickly. 

Overall, i found the food to be patchy and def below par to my previous visits. i really hope they up their game because i don't think they inspire enough confidence in me to try out one of their truffle dishes (2700 for the risotto, 2000 for the pizza 2800 for the tagliatelle)

Service was quick and friendly but overall experience was disappointing.

Food : 6/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 3500 for four with no drinks

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Table

Rest : The Table
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Colaba 

I have long considered The Table to be the best restaurant in the city, the ambiance is lovely, black and white floors, dim lighting, jazz music. I only wish they had a zinc bar it would have been damn near perfect.

the menu is fairly eclectic and adjusts according to what kind of ingredients are available. for the most part the menu hasn't changed in a while. they do the small plates tapas style selections as well as larger main's, i am not a fan of the setup but they make it work. 

they do some great fresh bread, just loved it. 

the truffle fries are an evil creation and must be had. MUST. 

Roast Veg Tacos were fantastic, a little on the spicy side but the best thing ever, i had to literally pause after taking a bite. Served with a side of some excellent fresh salsa and not so great pico de gallo.

got a side of asparagus and parmesan because i couldn't help myself. okay, the rosemary potato would have been a better choice. 

The Lasagna Verdi was Ricotta and Spinach pasta in the most delicious sauce. Stunning little dish this was. Rarely have i seen a lasagna basked this well, usually it falls apart the moment you begin to cut it. 

the weakest dish of the evening was the spaghetti. Its unfortunate that restaurants serve this version where they create some sort of a stock base, it never works. Smoke House Deli used to do a brilliant aglio olio which was then replaced by this version and called boss style and it sucks. 

In any case, the meal was stellar despite the weak pasta. I wish they had a slightly larger menu.

The portions on the large plates could be slightly larger as well, they were just about adequate. Place does a mean Old Fashioned and an even meaner Margarita, do give them a try.

Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 3200 for two without drinks.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Breakfast at Indigo Deli

Meal : Indigo Deli,
Meal : Breakfast
Loc : Colaba 

Our Sunday breakfast is usually the samosa, papdi variety, sometimes we head to Matunga for our South Indian fix with mates. However, i immensely enjoy heading to Indigo Deli once in a while to break away from my steady fixes. 

Its probably the single most visited restaurant for me and my only irritant is that their breakfast selection is a little limited, especially if one does not like eggs. 

Couscous upma, is a fav of ours, Mrs Jain enjoys it too, served with a side of Pineapple compote, this one neatly walks the line between being Indian & Middle Eastern. 

Mrs Jain of course got the pancakes with maple syrup and a dollop of strawberry compote. Pretty fantastic. 

i again, stuck to the usual and got myself some eggs and baked beans, next time,i swear ill get something else. 

lovely hashbrowns on the side. 

Overall, the space was largely empty at 9am, we got a nice booth and spend an hour or two just relaxing. Need to do this more often. The food as usual was on the money, no complaints except for the limited options.

Food : 9/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 2000 for 2 

Onam @ Mani's

Rest : Mani's
Meal: Lunch
Loc : Matunga

Onam along with Rakhi and Festivus are my fav festival of the year, Onam, especially because i am only in it for the food. After my last year's epic run where i had not only a lunch sadhya at 11am, i also went on to add a 830 pm Dinner service. Insane by all counts but loads of fun and unlikely to be pulled off ever again.

This year Onam was on a Sunday and afraid of the big ass queue that was sure to form, i got there at 11 am to make sure i was one of the first ones in. It was a relatively hot day and with some struggle in finding the luncheon location, (its never at the restaurant, they hire a hall or a larger venue, this time a school) i made it there and was 23rd in line. 

In anticipation for the feast

While they seated us at 11, they didn't start serving till about 11.15 and only when all the seats had been filled. 

pretty, self evident. 

the chutney was fantastic, out of this world even. 

as was the tamarind chutney, again, pretty insane. had some amazing tamarind chutney at a friend's wedding and this was just as good. 

unfortunately, i dont recall all the dishes that were served coz its been a little while. 

of course, they serve no roti or puri, only rice with papad. Dahi, Rasam & Sambar are not pictured here. 

Overall, it was a fabulous meal, blew the socks of last years which i thought was a little middling and badly organised (while i was there anyway) Was so glad i made it there and that too early enough because i got texts from mates who took about three hours in all to get in and out. 

While food at Mani's is pretty good throughout the year, Sadhya is Sadhya.

Food : 9/10
Serv : 8/10
Damage : 250

Monday, August 25, 2014


Rest : Aqaba
Meal : Lunch 
Loc : Peninsula Business Park 

Aqaba plays a pretty important role in my single fav movie of all time Lawrence of Arabia and that they serve Middle Eastern cuisine, there was little chance that i was not going to go check em out. So i caught up with my buddy Reema Prasanna (@ScrollsNInk) who i hadn't seen in a while. 

The place is largish and has a lovely section by the window which looks on to the garden which thankfully obscures Central Bombay 

now, the official drink of choice. 

the kinda sorta amuse bouche if you will, was a little side of tzatziki with radishes which both of us immensely dislikes 

The mezze platter was going to happen no matter what and it was a pretty decent spread. 

The Muhammarah was kind of disappointing, the weakest item there, more like a salsa then a fine, fiery paste. 

The rest of the dishes were great, the hummus and the labneh were awesome, as was the taztziki. The olives were slightly sweetish, brilliant. 

the greek style salad was huge, fresh to taste but too much food.

the caprese was pretty decent, a little colder would have been good, the cheese was not stale but this wasnt quite farm fresh. 

randomly chose the Veg Kofta which was a haloumi and cottage cheese served on a bed of arabic rice and a side of some seriously delicious sauce. this was just awesome, loved it. sometimes not thinking too much can be a good thing too. 

we shared the dessert which was a rose petal ice cream, which i always tell myself i wont like but end up loving. delicious. the biscotti they were served with were super chewy though. 

Overall, the space is huge, airy and well lit, might be a little too big though. The service is quick and the food is pretty good, there are some things they could work out (muhammrah, the biscotti) but in the end a middle eastern joint, in south bombay which serves good food is gold. lets hope they can keep it that way.

I was, there on invitation but the restaurant is on the expensive side.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Eating Out In Hong Kong & Cebu

I was recently in Hong Kong & Cebu, Philippines and thought i would do a run through of my meals whilst there. It is not a complete list but sort of the greatest hits. 

Shanghai Popo 336,  iSquare, TST, 

This is apparently the best branch of this fairly popular Shanghainese restaurant. Loads of local here which is always a good sign. Its a very attractive place from a design stand point and I loved its bare cemented walls, the decor being harsh and hip, the food the exact opposite. 

the menu like mostly restaurants in HKG is fairly expansive, covering plenty of ground, Noodles, Dim Sum, Vegetables, Sea Food, Meats, etc. 

The hand made noodles in a special Schezwan soup was excellent, spicy but loads of flavour. 

yummy green beans

and even yummier pancakes, freaking delicious. 

the buns were fought over, minced mushroom from what i recall 

Highly recommend a meal here, it was about HK$500 for four without booze. 

Din Tai Fung, Ye Woo Street, Causeway Bay
Have been a fan of Din Tai Fung, every since my friend Sam turned me onto them in Singapore. Every since then i have had atleast one meal a year at one of their restaurants in Singapore or Hong Kong and look forward to these with great relish. 


Both the branches of this Taiwanese eatery in Hong Kong have a Michelin star each and deservedly so. The food is delicious, consistent and the service is quick and impeccable. Which is especially important because i have had some less than excellent service in Hong Kong at times. 

the meal starts of with a little pot of Jasmine tea, which goes down very well. very well indeed and this is coming from a not very tea friendly person. 

Noodles with spicy sauce, what can i say, just perfect and actually not as spicy as one would reckon. 

These were the mushroom dim sum which was also muy excellent. One can also get mushrooms in a soy sauce which i didnt end up getting as it would have been too much. Next time perhaps. All in all, excellent meal with great service.
HK$300 for two without drinks. 

Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong Station, Level 1 

I end up in Hong Kong station either when i am in or heading out of HKG and always try and make a go of grabbing a bite at Tim Ho Wan which is still the worlds cheapest michelin star restaurant, although the original branch was in Mong- Kok and has since shuttered. Folks in Singapore can find a bunch of Tim Ho Wan's however. 

i got the turnip cakes this time which i missed out on the last time and everything else was much the same. check was about $90 and the wait was about 20 mins. 

Sorabol, Lee Theatre Plaza, Causeway Bay

Sorabol is a Korean restaurant tucked up on top of the LTP building, its a pain in the arse to get to if you don't take the correct elevator. 

Served up a bunch of varied kim chi while we waited for our meal. Since my mates had been there before they did the ordering. 

the kim chi pan cake was downright delicious, especially when doused with a little hot sauce. 

This was one of the 'stone' rice preparations done in a traditional Korean style, pretty good. We couldn't order to use the grill to cook our own food because we were pretty full by then. all in all a go to Korean place for a lot of people in HKG and rightfully so. 
HK$600 for four without drinks. 

The Flying Pan Old Bailey Street, Central 

One of my fav meals in Hong Kong, this 24 hour diner is super popular with breakfast crowd as well as post drink 4 am party people seeking nourishment. Although small, the place packs a serious punch when it comes to its menu which is pretty wide. Egg, Griddle, Pancakes, Frittatas, Omelets, you name it. they got it. hell they even do cocktails. 

The Rancheros were terrific, eggs sunny side up on on a tortilla with refried beans, jalapenos.  

The eggs benedict were pretty terrific as well, as good as my rancheros were, would be hard pressed to pick between the two. great good, prompt service, must check it out i reckon.
HK$250 for three no booze. 


was walking around on Nathan road and saw this small teppan place, no idea why i went inside, it was a little late around 2.45 and they were about to wrap up but they were kind enough to seat me. i had the porcini mushrooms with a side of veggies, mung beans and rice. the soup i did not like very much but the rest was terrific and only cost HK$75 

Kirin Ichiban 

Frozen beer at the airport by Kirin Ichiban at the airport, pricey at HK$80, tad weird but def worth trying. great for a hot summer day this. again, trust the Japanese to come up with this. 

Maxim's Cakes All across  Hong Kong 

My friend Amit, picked up a few of these to chew on while we hung out at the airport. he also took every opportunity to pick some up every time he could. good stuff this, wont go wrong picking these. 

Royal Krua Thai, SM Mall, Cebu, Philippines 

Cebu is a glorious place to Scuba dive and indulge in water sports, which is why we were there. However its not the best place in the world to eat out. Food was pretty weak across the board and we stuck to mostly bad pizza until our last day there when we decided to try our luck with this Thai joint. The decor of the space was pretty far out as well.

delicious iced tea.

terrific spring rolls. 

tofu in all kinds of hot sauce. 

all in all the food was very good and the service was super quick and friendly. The people o the Philippine have a friendly, musical way about them and can be pretty hospitable, as was our host at the restaurant. meal was 600PHP without drinks for three. 

while walking around the SM mall we came across this small ice cream space. anyway, this is a pair of warm cookies with chocolate ice cream in the middle. need i say more, 100PHP

Also, if you find yourself in Cebu and want to party, head to Mango Square, find JM-Ave and get a private table for 5000PHP. worth it and the place is banging till about 5 am. 

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