Thursday, May 29, 2014

Asian Street Kitchen

Rest : Asian Street Kitchen
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Chowpatty

A serious hankering for noodles hit last week and we decided to go check out Burma Bumra, however being the new kind on the block, they refuse to keep tables for walk-in's and we were told not to bother coming.Next option was our club and on our way we got massively and quite oddly traffucked. 

Spotted the sign for Asian Street Kitchen and decided to hop in rather than spend another 20 mins trying to get through. 

anyway, the menu is Asian as you probably guessed, its the new fad, being the 5th or 6th Asian restaurant in the last 12 months. Italian was du jour the year before. 

the menu does not waver far from the usual suspects, familiar soups, appetizers etc. they also serve Pho, Laksa et al, so its like a greatest hits of asian cuisine and leads to a please everyone menu (which is fine) However its yet another place that misses out on Malaysian dishes, so no Roti Canai or Coconut Rice in the style. 

the space is tight but comfortable and split across two levels, not a fan of the weirdo lighting though, feels quite odd. 

horrible table sauces, just horrible.

mushroom skewers were just awesome, gobbled them down very very quick. the teriyaki was sweetish but the mushrooms held up well. 

no drinks, so this is what you get.

the steamed garlic wontons were also very good, tasted brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable. 

the khau suey was massive (this was an individual portion) 

but it was actually not very good. lacked any serious flavour, pretty weak.

usually avoid getting the regular Thai curries as am very partial to the Green at Koh & the Red at Thai Pavilion. Went for the Sri Lankan curry which looked interesting. unfortunately it came with Paneer :( and looked and tasted like a not so good, garden variety green curry. 

Overall, i didn't have high hopes for the space in all honesty, considering location i figured it would be going after the lowest common denominator in terms of flavor. Very pleasantly surprised by the appetizers which i would return for anyday but the mains are where the wheels totally came off. 

Food : 6/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 1300 for two 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chawala -

Rest : Chawala,
Meal : Lunch
Loc : Koliwada

A few days ago, my friend CJ @theflyingsikh, the big boss @anaggh and doc and Tarantino fan @qtfan (get it ?) got together to go to Koliwada, a place i had sporadically heard of but did not know existed.  I was the first one to get there and hung around the Dashmesh Gurudwara. Except for two smallish shops with wooden benches i couldn't quite find any other eateries, turns out the first shop was it.

In any case, Koliwada is like a small town or a large village, narrow lanes, no parking etc etc. So its fitting that a place like this exists, basic, authentic where one sits in the heat on uncomfortable benches because of the promise of a good meal. 

good old fashioned tandoor where all the cooking was being done in real time.

started with the Kulcha Chola, which was pretty huge and lightly stuffed and boy was it terrific. It went splendidly with the chola which is a pretty important little dance. My only complaint here was i wish they had makhhan instead of butter. 

The Bhaturas were largish and this too went well with the chola, so not a bad gig. 

Overall, the food was kickass, i do think the Bhaturas are easier to do but the kulcha requires finesse. They serve a mean glass of cold chaas as well to wash it all down.

CJ was ordering things and was being treated like one of their own, which makes me wonder if he secretly owns the joint. In any case, i would def like to go back once the weather is better and sample what else they do, perhaps Rajma or the mutter.

A light meal for 2 was about 250, so not only is it a hidden gem, its a steal too 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Smoke House Deli - BKC - A Superstar Affair

Rest : Smoke House Deli,
Meal : Lunch
Loc : BKC 

Post a meeting in Andheri East (the abomination that it is) i decided to catch up with two of my mates @kapilsamant @shaileshprabhu who i hadn't seen in sometime. Instead of driving into Bandra as we had origibally planned we were actually heading to the newly opened Tiffin but were running pretty late and were unsure if they would be serving lunch post 3pm. 

I knew there was a SMD in BKC and we decided not to muck around and headed straight for it. 

fortunately they brought us some bread rather quickly and we wolfed it down even faster with these two little fluffs of butter 

If you are drinking orange juice anywhere it has to be Malta Orange only, if i ever see it on the menu i immediately go for it. 

the waiters recommended their burger festival that was going on and i chose the rather unusual soy burger which was actually the only veg option on the list. I have had their cottage cheese burger but i thought id try this since they were pushing it so hard.

When i saw it i was a bit worried, since it came open i saw the full scope of what i was about to wolf down (appetite aint what it used to be) add to this the melted cheese. At first bite it tasted a bit weird, the soy has a meaty texture and is a well known meat substitute but here it worked well. Tasted pretty good and was gone rather quickly. Highly recommend it for meat eaters trying to wean themselves of the beef. Be warned though, its messy as can be. 

the dining companions were quite interested in the desserts and went for the mango cheesecake which was very good. good call in the season. 

the real winner though was the cheesecake. Goddamn ! Excellent and Philadelphia style as god intended it to be. 
I would like to point out that the moment i sat down 3 waiters and the lead waiter all came down to shake hands with @kapilsamant who we all know is a superstar but rarely do you get to see this in action. They all kept making small talk, asking him how he was, gave us special attention and till now we can't figure out why.

The service was pretty good and quick and made good solid recommendations. Didn't review my companion meals unfortunately since i was too busy eating my burger.

Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 2900* for 3 without drinks

Had a recent discussion on twitter about where a friend mentioned that he had a hot chocolate at LPQ in BKC (at the same time we were at SMD in fact) where it cost him 400++ rs which we both thought was pretty ridiculous. While SMD is certainly not cheap, it def is on the lower side of say an Indigo Deli etc price wise and just as good. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Crystal - A Summer Lunch

Rest : Crystal
Loc : Chowpatty
Meal : Lunch

After a long gap of not being able to dine out due to several issues, i finally persuaded my buddy CJ to tag along to lunch at Crystal. The bandra boy that he is, he had never been there and i thought he would appreciate the food being the Punjabi that he is.

Having been there many, many times i decided a while ago to order things that i didnt order on my previous visit. So we got the Malai Kofta which was excellent, tender koftas with the spicyish gravy, the always excellent Paneer Butter Masala and the ever dependable Chana Masala.

Not pictured here are the myriad glasses of their sickly sweet chaas and bottles of thums up (a must to wash down this kind of a meal) Finished off with their most excellent Rajma Chawal.

This being summer and the month of the Alphonso, bypassed the usual order of Kheer for the chilled Aam Ras, looks good and it tasted even better.
Overall, the food continues to be excellent, has become a little more expensive but still value for money this. Service is super quick. One of my fav places in the world, still. 

Food : 8/10
Serv : 7/10
Damage : 600 

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