Archive | FOOD RSS feed for this section

Edible Flowers – Smell the roses and eat them too

26 Jul

Duck and Orange Salad (2)Flowers aren’t just for vases anymore. These pretty things are landing up on elaborately plated meals in fancy restaurants.  I spoke to renowned chefs on ways to bring some of that same decorative flair to your next dinner party.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Escape to Saj By The Lake

19 Aug

Should you need a nudge to get out of Mumbai and expand your sights, let me introduce you to a young resort just three hours away. It goes by the name Saj by the Lake and it’s warm and welcoming. Continue reading

5 things you must do at Aamby Valley

18 Aug

I love the rain. It’s my favourite weather. The smell of wet soil just when it begins to rain is not only sweet, but brings new hope and makes you look forward to the rainbow and sunshine. So when life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles! Or better still head to Aamby Valley a picturesque resort nestled amidst mountains and lakes, just 23 km from Lonavala.

chalet at Aamby Valley

The Aussie Chalet I stayed in

A visit to this scenic and mammoth resort was long overdue and thanks to Food bloggers Association of India (FBAI), it finally happened last month. So here’s a first person account of the five things you ought to do at Aamby Valley.

Continue reading

Vegetarian? Try Juno’s Pizza

17 Aug

masterchef PIzza - 1Hot or cold, thin or fat, round or square, cheesy or saucy – there is nothing like a pizza meal. What’s not to like about a hot, freshly baked pizza, with its crispy edges and soft centre, moist with tomato sauce?

Just the smell and the heat radiating off a pizza makes me hungry. This simple dish of bread, tomatoes and cheese could probably be Italy’s best gift to the world. Continue reading

Have you tried the new Cocktail Pre Mixes?

14 Jul

 

MojitoThough I am a whisky drinker, there are days when I long to have a great cocktail at home. But frankly, I don’t have the skills to whip one up myself.

Owners of Light House Café, Mumbai probably had people like me in mind when they introduced cocktail premixes (minus alcohol) that are super easy to put together. All you have to do is open it, pour the alcohol, shake it up in a cocktail shaker and add some rocks (if you wish).

TY ELDERFLOWER - LHC Mix Kit by Light House Cafe

LHC Cocktail premix kit 

 

Let’s face it: ready-to-drink mixes have a bad reputation for being fruit-flavored sugar bombs. While those versions are still be on the market, LHC Mix has a range of vodka, whisky, beer, tequila, gin, white rum and wine based inventive and classic cocktails that are as easy as uncork and pour. You can now enjoy everything from a Caipiroska to a Mojito without suffering the crowd or prices of a bar. The LHC Mix menu has 17 cocktail pre-mixes and one mocktail mix. Each mix of 150 ml serves 1.

SANGRIA LHC MIX POUCH

LHC Sangria mix 

Since I was looking for a low-key cocktail to sip at the end of a long day, I tried the spice infused Mulled wine with cranberries. The drink is topped off with dried cranberry bits for a little extra oomph. All I needed was a wine glass.

I also tried the Vodka based Green apple martini. While the mixes won’t win any prizes for best packaging (packed in a gold pouch), they were easy to rustle up (there is a detailed step-by-step note with every drink). The martini was nice and tangy with green apple, orange and lemon extracts. All I had to do was pour the mix in a cocktail shaker (even a high ball glass would do if you don’t have a shaker), fill it up with ice to the brim and give it a good shake. Remove the ice and pour it in a martini glass. Simple.

Ty Elderflower LHC MIX POUCHThe mix stays for 3 days if refrigerated and for 3 hours if kept at room temperature once delivered.

I think the premixes make perfect sense when you’re looking for a cocktail with minimal effort to impress at a dinner party or just unwind after a long day. If you need a bartender or a bartending team, the guys at Light House Café will even send them along (for an extra cost of course)

What you need to know

Price: Rs 60-110 inclusive of delivery charges

Delivery area: Juhu to South Mumbai

Delivery time: 20 to 45 mins

Order Timings: 12 pm to 11 pm (All Days)

Call: 9967414148/ 9987610897

 

Japanese restaurant Ruka – A review

21 Jun

Tuna SashimiWhen Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa in Bahrain decided to bring its popular luxury Japanese restaurant Ruka to Mumbai, it not just imported the brand but also its Japanese Chef Masato Toida from Bahrain. Styled in black and brown Ruka is quite stark and impersonal. Thankfully the food is bright and flavourful.

Continue reading

American Frozen Yogurt Menchie’s now in India

9 May

DSC_7532Menchie’s America’s premium frozen yoghurt chain has now launched its first outlet in Khar, Mumbai, India. The menu at this self-serving yogurt franchise holds non-fat, low-carbohydrate, no-added-sugar, gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options.

Continue reading

Bangla Food fest at Sofitel Mumbai BKC

22 Mar
Chitol Macher Kalia at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Chitol Macher Kalia

As much as I crave a good sambar rice, I hanker for Ilish Bhapa with equal fervor. My love for Bengali food often sees me land uninvited to Bengali homes. I unabashedly ask for leftovers of macher johol (yes they taste better the next day) and even tag along with Bengali friends to Durga Puja for the mahaprasad of khichuri and bhaja. So when I heard Sofitel Mumbai BKC had a East Bengal / Bangladesh food festival I did the obvious – drove there and ate till I was in food coma!

East Bengal/ Bangladeshi food is very similar to West Bengal barring the fact that Bangladeshi food has a slight Mughlai touch. Both cuisine favour fish and the use of mustard and poppy seeds are similar. The food festival at Novotel is put together by chef Sirajul from Novotel Kolkata.

Chicken Kabiraj at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Chicken Kabiraj

We started with a non vegetarian snack – Chicken Kabiraj. It’s a cutlet made with minced chicken and spices dipped in egg and coated with breadcrumbs. Like other chop cutlets, this recipe too is the result of British influence on the Bengali cuisine. Needless to say it was crunchy on the outside and succulent inside. Though I missed Illish bhapa  one of my favourite Bengali dishes, I was glad to see another favourite – Kosha Mangsho – a mutton dish. The perfectly cooked, juicy meat had a Mughlai touch with the use of whole spices and a thin layer of oil floating over it. Yummy. The Katla Macher Kalia (fish curry) was heady from the mustard seeds, nigella seeds, chillies and ginger paste.

Jhinge Aloo Poshto at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Jhinge Aloo Phosto

The amount of respect Bengalis pay to vegetables is unprecedented. Simple ridgegaurd is elevated with the use of poppy seeds and mustard paste in Jinghe Posto. It goes beautifully with steamed rice. The simple yellow dal tempered with mustard seeds is akin to the Maharashtrian waran with strong hints of ghee.

Bongs love to have their fish in unthinkable ways. Apart from frying, steaming, baking and dunking it in gravies they also put it in pulao! The Ilish Polao a great combination of spicy Ilish with rice was full of depth. Though Bengali food is known for its liberal use of green chilies, and Bangladesh in particular is famed for having some of the hottest dishes in the world, the dishes at the food festival have been toned down to suit various palates. Among the desserts I loved the misti doi and gurer kheer.

Dessert platter - Mohan Bhog, Malai Sandwich & Mishti Doi at the Bangladeshi food festival at Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Mohan Bhog, Malai sandwich and Mhisti Doi

Pondicherry Café the venue of the festival is dressed in Bangla fervor with a cycle tonga at the entrance, terracotta pots and jhal muri cycles.

Where: Pondichéry Café, Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Date: 18th to 27th March 2016

Time: Lunch – 12:30 pm onwards and Dinner – 7:00 pm onwards

Price: Rs 3,400 (all inclusive)

For reservations, call +91 (22) 6117 5115

NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR

 

Kareena Kapoor is a chocolate girl

27 Feb

Magnum Pleasure Ambassador Kareena Kapoor Khan launches Magnum Brownie 1“I am still to see someone who doesn’t like ice-creams and brownies,” said Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor at the launch of Magnum ice-cream brownie variant. The Bajrangi Bhaijaan star spoke of how she would gobble up multiple ice-creams after school. This didn’t go down well with her mother the yesteryear’s actress Babita. The ice-cream fixations stayed on all these years and the actress indulges in them every once in a while. She confessed to having downed two ice-creams just before the launch! “If it’s a cheat day it’s definitely chocolate icecream. Now even Saif is addicted to them and blames me for his weight gain,” she revealed.  And what does she like most about the new variant? “The crackling sound when you bite into the chocolate crust before reaching the brownie. I just love it.” Yes the new Magnum brownie has a Belgian Chocolate coating so thick that it creates a distinctive crack when you bite into it. According to Kareena her Ki and Ka co-star Arjun Kapoor is the dishiest chocolate brownie in Bollywood.

Magnum Pleasure Ambassador Kareena Kapoor Khan launches Magnum Brownie 2Magnum Brownie marries two all time favourite desserts – chocolate and brownie. It’s definitely a match made in gastronomic heaven! The new variant also comes in Magnum’s brand new packaging, with a bolder more distinct “M” logo and the famous Belgian chocolate crack.

While we don’t usually need a special time to celebrate our favourite frozen, creamy dessert, now is as good a time as ever. The new variant is available across all major stores in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai at Rs 90 stick.

NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR

Tried & Tested – United Sports Bar

23 Feb
Channa Express  - The United

Channa Express 

With the cricketing season just heating up, it’s important to find a good spot to settle in and catch the matches. United Sports Bar & Grill is one place where you can root for your team without having to get too rowdy.

This sprawling watering hole in Thane is big, loud and a bit fratty. Yet something about it keeps me coming back for more. Maybe it’s the numerous LCD screens that the friendly staff will happily tune to whatever channel you want to watch. It could be the music which seems to oscillate between chart busters and classics. Or the impressive selection of bar bites and comfort food by chef Dominic Sequeira. But most of all, I think it’s the vibe: easy, relaxed yet energetic.

low res Crispy Chicken

Crispy Chicken 

Another reason I make the trip to Thane is that it’s – whisper it – not that expensive. Sometimes we remember a place by the bill that drowns the credit card. But starters here are priced between  Rs 80-300 and a pint of beer costs Rs 195. Lounge on comfy couches or settle in with a pitcher on the long community table and catch all the sporting action on the numerous projection TVs. If you overstay, take advantage of the extended happy hours where you get two drinks for the price of one (12-8pm).

There is a range of molecular drinks but my favourite is Orange Popping Boba (Rs 400) which is a whiskey based drink with passion fruit. The herbs-n-spice infusions in the cocktails are interesting as they add a twist to an otherwise simple concoction.

low res Khichiya Papad Masala

Khichiya Papad 

Start with Spiced Chicken Wings (Rs 180) which come gloriously bathed in barbeque sauce. The chicken is full of flavour, rich and a little smoky. The orange infused chili chicken (Rs 200) gets a kick from fresh orange rind and chillies. If you like something light the Khiciya papad (Rs 100) topped with tomatoes, onions and chillies make for a quick and easy snack. Nothing glorious but deeply satisfying. So is the snack of fried chick peas with garlic and chaat masala (Channa Express Rs 100). Another must try are the bacon wrapped prawns (Rs 420). Prawns hugged by thin slices of bacon and sitting on a bed of lettuce are closer to haute cuisine than bar bites. If you’re looking for a stellar main course with a good dose of protein and veggies, this is where you can call off the search. The herb crumbed basa (Rs 280) with lemon butter sauce is refreshing in its simplicity. The veggies retain their crunch and colour and the sauce adds just a hint of adventure to the otherwise perfect fish.

low res Carrot Halwa Cheese Cake

Carrot Halwa Cheese Cake

My preferred way to close a meal is to finish whatever is left in my glass. But professional obligations require me to dip into cakes, cookies and other confections. I am not complaining as United Sports Bar entices me with a few simple desserts that bridge comfort with elegance. The sweet to be savoured above all others is the Carrot halwa cheese cake (Rs 200). It’s the best matrimony of mascarpone cheese with carrots. If you order the Paan flavoured panna cotta be ready to post the beauty on Instagram. A dessert in a martini glass and sparked with a chocolate coasted paan is sure to hike up your followers.

low res Paan-A-Cota

Where: United Sports Bar, Viviana Mall, Thane. Tel: 02261701331.
United Sports Bar, R City Mall, Ghatkopar. Tel: 02266429850

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: