Its been long since I posted here but my journey through Mumbai by lanes did not stop. Discovering many hidden jems, cheap restaurants and well, really tasty stuff, I couldn’t help but write about it.
One such is Ribbons & Balloons. Well, not exactly located in the by lanes but it does stock some really cheap and delicious snacks! one such is the Chicken Quiche. Doesn’t exactly look like a Quiche but it is for just Rs.20 and full of chicken. If I had to chose between a sandwich and this quiche, it would be the latter simple because for Rs.20, it doesn’t get any more filling than this! Chicken cubes stuffed between fried exterior, the quiche is pretty heavenly!
Heck, even my cat loves it! And if she does, this has to be a pretty damn awesome product!
Cafe Lalten is an innovative name and goes well with the ambiance of the cafe. The decor is chic though very homely at the same thing.
A make shift library adorns the walls on one side of the restaurant while the other side is stacked with Cafe Lalten mugs and bottles and other accessories. One can pick up any book and spend hours reading and subsequently forgetting about hoohalla outside. Infact, while we were seated there, we had enough of privacy along with a sense of tranquility that resulted in us losing track of time and reaching home late!
We were sitting in the AC section while most of the crowd was in the non-AC section probably for the WIFI available here. Probably that was the reason for the enhanced privacy, if I can say so. Oh my friend also noted that a lot of people who come to Lalten areaantels (slang for intellectuals) probably for the awesome ambiance and the WIFI.
Anyways, back to Lalten, we ordered for Watermelon Juice and Shaadi Walli Coffee. The watermelon Juice was fresh and extremely refreshing in this hot and humid weather. The coffee, besides being very frothy, wasn’t much different than a normal Nescafe coffee.
We also ordered for a Chicken Kebab Sandwich and an almond brownie. The Sandwich was fresh. It tasted fresh. The veggies were freshly cut, the bread felt fresh (and not microwave reheated bread) and the chicken was soft and tender. One single sandwich made me a fan of Cafe Lalten. Nevermind the great ambiance and the WIFI and the hours and hours one can spend here chitchatting. The almond brownie was a first for me! And they were very liberal with the almonds which truly made it an almond brownie and not just a brownie with a couple of almonds attached.
The food was good, the drinks were refreshing and the ambiance was pleasing. The pricing isn’t too bad either and easily affordable. Lalten also serves Chaat items which is what I really wanted to try but couldn’t as the counter was closed that day! Probably will keep it for my next visit!
Kobe Sizzlers has been sitting pretty next to Spice Tree on Hill Road, Bandra for as long as I can remember. Have preferred to have my fill of sizzlers at Sahibaan on Turner Road but after a bad stomach (that my friend endured, I don’t endure such things as I have a bottomless pit!) we have avoided Sahibaan for the time being.
So when craving for sizzlers, we thought of crashing the party at Kobe’s to try a new restaurant!
Before ordering the sizzler we went through the usual ritual of getting ourselves a few drinks. This included an Ice Tea and Fresh Lime Soda. This was the first time an Ice Tea actually tasted like an Ice Tea. I could taste tea in there, for a change. It was an excellent coolant and could have done with another one too!
Next up was the sizzler! (blame the ice tea for the long wait!). We ordered for a Chicken Sizzler with boiled vegetables. The sizzler was cooked well without burning the underside. The chicken steak was tender and veggies were boiled well. The french fries included were humongous! Thankfully there was no rice included or else we would have fallen asleep at the restaurant itself. The sizzler was excellent in my opinion.
Kobe has strangely gotten bad reviews at Burrp.com but I for one only have good things to talk about the place. The ambiance is no frills but the food is excellent! The Ice Tea was super and so was the sizzler. Pricey though it is, the food makes up for it.
Overall Ratings are:
Ambiance: 2/5 -(it isn’t the most well maintained place and one can notice seepage in certain parts of the wall)
Maroosh is a small restaurant located inside Pheonix Mills, Lower Parel, next to three ice cream parlours. Maroosh owners like to keep their footprint small as evident from their second (or was it the first one?) restaurant in Carter Road.
We ordered for Chicken Shawarmas. The quantity was good for Rs.100. Even though we went late were served up freshly cooked chicken and pita bread. There was a liberal dosage of hummus in the shawarma. Many other player serve yogurt instead to give it a more Indianised flavour. However, we were disappointed with the unevenness of the spices. What was surprising was the inclusion of chilly powder which was put in haphazardly. They probably put in the chilly powder at the behest of the ice parlours nearby so probably people would go there next after a meal at Maroosh! Convenient eh?
I think the Shawarma was good except for the chilly powder mixed with it.
Been to Java Green and Mocha a few times already so though of doing a shootout. Read on to find which is better.
Mocha is a well established coffee house, well know among the urban youth. It is more than just a café as alcoholic beverages and hukka is also served here. These two put together put the vote in favour of Mocha. Don’t forget the coffee they serve here is far better than any other café in Mumbai. Try out the Brazilian or Colombian coffee or just the espresso. Coffee here is as good as it gets.
Java Green on the other hand has coffee that I would call ‘average’. It won’t keep you awake late in the night but that is not the point here. Coffee is cheap here but the flavours aren’t as diverse as what one may find at Mocha.
Coming to the food well it is a tie in that case. Though Java Green has far better Chicken Crispy Panini than Mocha. The bread is crispy and the chicken is tender. More important the chicken pieces are bigger than at Mocha which is a real disappointment. Overall, the food is better at Mocha.
Lastly, the ambiance at Java Green is no match for Mocha. At Mocha, one feels like spending time, chill out, relax, drink coffee and have conversations. Java Green seems more formal and the seating isn’t as comfortable here.
Overall, Mocha is excellent for Coffee, Hukka, Booze and Ambiance. Desserts are excellent here and as well as at Java Green. Prices are on the higher side at Mocha so if you are in the mood for some cheap food, coffee and desserts than Java Green is the place to be.
For those lazy to read, check the rating graph below.
Coffee: Mocha (M) – 9/10 | Java Green (JG) – 6/10
Food: M – 7/10 | JG – 7/10
Desserts: M – 8/10 | JG – 7/10
Ambiance: M – 9/10 | JG – 6/10
Service: M – 8/10 | JG – 8/10
Price: M – 6/10 | JG – 8/10
Ever since I found Joey’s Pizza at DN Nagar in Andheri, I have stopped going to any other pizza places. But this time, I decided to go to Pizza Hut at Oberoi Mall, Goregaon as I had a 1 on 1 free Pizza voucher.
The offer was either buy a family sized pan pizza and get another family sizes pan pizza free or buy a medium-sized pizza and get another medium size for free.
So we ordered for a Chicken Supreme Medium and an Ultimate Temptation Medium. The thing with Pizza Hut is the cheese they use is really yummy. It is probably a combination of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. The hot pizzas were accompanied by drink including an Apple Cinnamon Ice Tea, Tangy Orange and a Grape Sangria Cooler. The Ice Tea was excellent with just about the right quantity of Cinnamon while the Tangy Orange was well, Tangy! The Grape Sangria was almost like wine without the alcohol in it. I’d recommend the Ice Tea and the Grape Sangria cooler as ‘must have’ drinks while waiting for the pizza to arrive.
We also had the Barbecue chicken wings and Garlic Bread which pretty much standard fare here. The Barbecue chicken was cooked in Barbecue sauce but we were disappointed with the small size of the chicken pieces. The good thing was that the processed chicken tasted good.
However, coming back to the title of the post, there was waiting of nearly 45 minutes before we got a table, this after we were told it will take only 20-30 minutes, sigh. The service was excellent, (we were served by Rupa who is adept at multi-tasking and seemed to be serving multiple tables without much problem, kudos to her!). So no complaints in the service but once we were done eating the wait for the bill was an endless one. It seemed as if people had forgotten about us completely as we waited for the bill for another 20-odd minutes. What was amazing was that we had called for the bill at least 4 times but no one obliged and finally when the manager was in sight, we requested for the bill which was promptly delivered to us.
Oh and we didn’t leave any tip. Food was good, service excellent but really who charges 10 percent service charge and 12.5 percent VAT?? That total amounted to the price of a small pizza! Hence, no tips!
As the title reads, Papa Pancho does serve a big glass of Lassi. Served in a traditional way, the Lassi alone can satiate a lot of people, for the quantity is a lot. The only other place I know of which serves a huge glass of Lassi is the now closed down Grill Cottage at Carter Road.
The glutton that I am, a lassi wouldn’t satisfy me. So I ordered for a Bhuna Gosht Meal and a Lachcha Paratha. Since it was two people sharing the meal, my first impressions was that the main course quantity was low. No complains with the food though. We thoroughly enjoyed the red meat (mutton) which was succulent. The Lachcha Paratha was one of the better Parathas I have had in recent times.
The meal was expensive at INR 250 for the Bhuna Gosht and INR 35 for the Lachcha Paratha. The Lassi priced at INR 85, a bit exorbitant, even as the quantity was quite good.
Wouldn’t mind visiting the place again to try the chicken fare but that may not happening anytime soon due to the high prices here.
Oh, and before I forget the ambiance here reminded me of Pratap da Dhaba, though on a smaller scale. Though I love Bandra, I rather go to Pratap da Dhaba for some affordable Punjabi Food. Though, I think, I will miss the bada lassi da glass!
5 Spice serves one of the best Chinese Foods in Mumbai. There is little doubt that good food and great ambiance are one of its biggest attractions. However, 5 Spice also serves excellent desserts. One of them being Summer Bliss. Sinful, to say the least, it is much like a sizzling brownie except it comes in a humongous glass bowl. Brownies, ice cream and a liberal dosage of nuts makes it an excellent dessert option. off course it is for INR 140 but if five people can share it, then price doesn’t matter.
Besides Summer Bliss for dessert one can try out the Spicy Pot Chicken which is a complete meal full of rice, veggies and offcourse chicken! To have along with the Spicy Pot Chicken, one can order for a Lemon Mojito Mocktail which is an excellent cooler for the hot summer months in Mumbai.
There is something about a beach. The sound of the waves crashing, the touch of sand and the chills of the cold seawater on bare feet is but a generalization of an experience one can have on a beach. Yet it is amazing how each of these experiences is unique.
Over the last four months I stepped foot on more than 20 different beaches across Maharashtra and Goa. It is not an achievement I brag about (Well maybe I do ) but it is the experience that I treasure. Some of these visits seemed mundane while others were pure bliss. After all what is a visit to a beach if it does not enrich your soul, calm your mind and clear your head?
It all began with a trip to Kashid and Murud beaches which are ahead of Alibaug. Regarded as one of the prettiest beaches in all of Maharashtra, Kashid was one place I was eager to go. White sands and calm and cool waters was what I expected and it is what I got, or rather, experienced. A blog post about the trip to Kashid and Murud is up here.
But little did I know, that this little trip will set in motion a chain of events that would lead me to the point of penning down my experience of many more beaches, some of them pristine, untouched paradises!
The long-deserted stretch of the Diveagar beach won me over while the more famous Harihareshwar was only a small visit for the sake of proof through photographs for I was too eager to head back to my new found solitude at Diveagar. Harihareshwar though is an excellent beach with the waters calm all throughout the year!
Then, after a lull, came Goa. This party destination is the destination of choice to spend my new years eve. Unless I find another beach destination with lesser people and same old Trance/Techno/House/Electro music, Goa will continue to remain my preferred destination to ring in the new year. But this is not the only reason why Goa is a preferred destination.
For one, I am in love with Goan beaches and can never get enough of them. Secondly, beaches have a calming effect and no where but in Goa am I at peace within.
Be it basking in the sun on Calangute, or having dinner at Souza Lobo at Baga, or light snacks at Bob Marley Shack at Candolim, Goan beaches offer a lot more than sun, sand and booze and apparently great sights too .
Chill on every beach and enjoy the unique beauty was my moto on this trip. Offcourse, like a dog, I left my imprint on each beach I visited. The massive early morning waves at Calangute are not to be missed while the serene waters of Colva and the unpolluted ocean at Palolem is as close to heaven as any living mortal can get.
Anjuna has its own charm as well. The erstwhile rave capital of Goa still thrives just like any other beach. Tall cliffs that overlook the ocean make for a perfect sunset point. Baga, on the other hand, is dotted with clubs and discs and shacks that go on all night, but it is Anjuna where the real parties happen. It is not just the parties, the coarse Anjuna sand and the strong water currents are an attraction of their own.
But really, the most fun is the long stretch starting from Baga and ending at Taj Aguada. Different sands and a different colour of the sea every few 100 meters is a sight that greets one. It is like a beach buffet – every delicacy is there – choose the one you want! Speaking of delicacies, one should try out the Bob Marley’s Shack at Candolim. They serve good Vindaloo and excellent Veg Pakodas. It is also located in one of the less crowded parts of Candolim, partly due to the anchored ship there, which apparently no one wants to take responsibility for. Then there is X-Bar Restaurant at Calangute which serves good biryani and good food in general. Another is Manik which serves good Hukka too and has excellent chicken tikka! It is located just ahead of X-Bar on the road that leads to Baga Beach.
Moving away from the more commercialized yet very pretty north Goa beaches, we checked out the long deserted stretch of Colva. The day we went, there was a strike by the locals forcing us to take the longer, prettier road to the beach. Once there, didn’t feel like leaving.
A beach with so few people on it – surely this cannot be Goa in December. But it turned out that the strike was in part responsible for the desolation that was Colva. Anglers’ beach primarily, this is where many locals come as do the tourists.
The prettiest beach in all of Goa and by far the prettiest I have stepped foot on, Palolem was as enchanting as they come. A round cape, rocks and boulders mark the edges on either side. While the beach is pretty, it is the southern tip, which caught my attention. A natural pool by the sea, it was a pretty sight.
So much so that I chose to spend time sitting on the rocks there gazing out to the endless sea as if there was no tomorrow. A quick lunch at Chascaa was preceded by a long walk.
Amazed by the beauty, I felt sorry for the beach wondering how much pollution the resulting commercialization must be causing. But it was a clean beach suggesting that shack owners could be responsible for preserving its beauty.
Goa has so much more besides beaches. There is Fort Aguada with its majestic Lighthouse and the panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.
Then there is the Anjuna Flea Market which is probably the biggest I have seen so far. Excellent place to buy gifts and everyday items at throw away prices. Offcourse, one would need to bargain hard to get those throw away prices in the first place!
Palolem was my last beach visit in Goa. However, beach hopping did not end there. It continued with frequent visits to beaches across Mumbai and Maharashtra. I have penned down my subsequent travelogues in the following posts:
Its been more than two years since I went to Open Affair last. This time thought of trying out something Italian in this multi cuisine restaurant. But before that, we ordered for a Pahadi Kebab which was just about ok. I distinctly remember the food being really good when I was here last time around. The Kebab was a bit spicy but the chicken was a disappointment. It felt like the chicken wasn’t fresh. It wasn’t juicy or tender either.
Next up we ordered for a Risotto. It is an Italian dish and according to the Wikipedia – Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish cooked with broth and flavored with parmesan cheese and other ingredients, which can include meat, fish or vegetables. The name means literally “little rice” and it is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Well, a Risotto should ideally include a lot of veggies, meat, cheese and sauce.
The one offered at Open Affair is accompanied by one of the three sauces including a Paprika sauce which we ordered for. The sauce is mildly spicy but not as good as the one at Out of the Blue.
The rice used was a short grain rice which is what a Risotto should be made of which was good to see. However, the menu said Arborio rice which I am not sure you get here (unless imported, which explains the high price) though a similar variety is available from South India. The cheese though, wasn’t sure which one it was. The disappointment though was the lack of veggies. There were a few salad items here and there and garlic bread too but overall the Risotto seemed to lack the veggies which otherwise would have made it a great dish!
Overall, the Risotto was good but could have been better. The Pahadi Kebab was a major let down while the drink was ok. Honestly, I am disappointed with Open Affair for they have increased the prices but the Quality of food hasn’t gotten any better.
Food: 3/5 – Good Food but wouldn’t come here again if the prices remain the same!
Price: 2/5 – Too expensive. Don’t mind paying but the food should live up to its price tag!
Ambiance: 3/5 – The outside section is too noisy but cannot blame them for the restaurant is right on Carter Road.
Amruteshwar and MTDC are resorts (or hotels) in the scenic hill station of Bhandardara. Both have restaurants to serve their patrons digestive needs however, neither serves food upto the standard you’d expect.
Amruteshwar’s restaurant (Valley View Garden Restaurant) should be avoided even by those staying at the hotel. The food they serve either smells and tastes weird or the food is stale – either ways it is a no-eat! We had ordered for Poha (Which was on the breakfast menu) and Tea. Never thought one could go wrong with the tea, but here at Valley View, they give a whole new definition to it! The Poha too was nothing special and we had to leave it and head to MTDC for breakfast.
The view though, is spectacular. Hence the name, Valley View. No other restaurant than Amruteshwar has a better view! But pretty sights alone do not satiate one’s hunger, pun intended!
We headed to MTDC for lunch at its Lake View Restaurant. The non veggies ordered for fish (a local variety caught from the lake) and Chicken Masala. The fish is quite bony and has we had a touch time but the well cooked preparation had us licking our fingers!The chicken masala though was nothing special. It was slightly pungent and had us ordering a couple of lime juices to negate the flavour!For dessert we ordered for Shrikhand and never has anyone of us seen nearly 200 grams of Shrikhand served for just Rs.25. Though the MTDC restaurant is cheap on the wallet, it doesn’t really leave you wanting for more. So my hunt for good food continued.
For dinner, went to Panch Sheel which is down the road from MTDC. It was a place recommended but we didn’t find it up to the mark (or maybe up to the mark of what we thought it would be). We ordered for butter chicken and Jeera Rice. The butter chicken was half the quantity and yet it was still a lot for us. It tasted like a south Indian dish with lot of Kadipatta (Curry Tree) minus the richness of butter and ghee generally found in Butter Chickens in Mumbai. The Masala Papad here was very pungent, so much so that, we had to remove the masala, mainly composed of tomato and red chilly sauce!, and just have the roast papad. Though I must say, the super heavy dinner, helped us sleep like babies especially after being awake for more than 24 hours!
Next day, we went for breakfast to road side stall named Coffee Dam Corner. Owned by Sanjay, a BCom graduate, this highly profitable stall serves the best Batata Vada (made of potato) and tea. They also have Bhajiyas (again made of potato) which are awesome. The food here is just too good. The best food/snacks in Bhandardara was being served in this small stall. It is easy to find as well as the ST Bus stops next to the bus stand and the road to MTDC begins from this stall.
While coming back home, we went to Manas Lifestyle Resort for lunch. ‘Sweet Poison’ is one of the two restaurants at Manas. We ordered for a Chicken Biryani. The lucknowi version of biryani, it was one of the best I have had so far but shelling out INR 300 for it was way too much I thought.
Bhandardara is an excellent place but disappointing on the food part. Though for sure, there will be a few more which I hope to visit on my next visit!
Happened to go to South Mumbai for the movie Wolfman (boring movie, please avoid though fans of Emily Blunt will be interested!) with college friends. Before the movie, since we were pretty early, decided to have lunch. Roaming around the fort area we found a Parsi restaurant ‘Jimmy Boy’ (we found it ’cause we searched for it at the behest of a friend’s recommendation!).
We ordered for Chicken Dhansak and Brown Rice. Brown rice accompanies Dhansak but we ordered for another plate as well. It was a first for me seeing brown rice at a restaurant but apparently brown rice is the staple diet of Parsis!
The food didn’t take much time to arrive while we sipped on our cranberry cold drink manufactured by Pastonji Industries and available only in Parsi restaurants! The cold drink was nice but didn’t go too well with the Dhansak. Well cooked chicken dipped in yellow-dal looking gravy is what chicken dhansak looks like.
The best thing about the food was that it tasted like home-made food. It was pretty heavy lunch especially with the brown rice and mutton sheekh kebabs that comes with Dhansak. The dish almost tastes plain (not bland though) but a tinge of lemon adds the much required flavour!
Overall it seemed an expensive meal with chicken dhansak costing INR 245 and brown rice INR 85. The food was fantastic though and I think I will visit again if I am at Fort!
Its been a long long time since Mughlai food passed through my intestines. The urge was a little too much hence decided to go to the best Mughlai place I know – Moghul Sarai.
The place is a bit dark and hence was termed ‘sidey’ by my female friends though we decided to continue our meal at the restaurant itself. First up we ordered for drinks which included lassi for everyone. Apparently it wasn’t just me craving for a heavy lunch!
The lassi was the way I like it – cold and thick! The lassi followed a couple of starters including Afgani kebab and Sheekh Kebab along with Chicken Biryanis. Each dish was amazing. The flavours were well balanced without any particular flavour standing out.
However, the Afgani Kebab was a bit too sweet which was in contract to the Sheekh Kebabs. But the best meal was the Biryani. Again, amazing flavours, the biryani was cooked in a North Indian style. We all agreed that it was the best Biryani we have had in many months!
Moghul Sarai most definitely serves the best Mughlai food in Bandra. Besides awesome food once can also taste the many Arabian hukka flavours here with pricing in the range of INR 100 – INR 500.
The food prices are moderate as well with most dishes in the range of INR 80-200. Though the ambiance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea the food makes up for it! Bon Appetite!
The Bagel Shop in Bandra is one of those places I have been wanting to visit for a very long time. Located on Pali Mala Road, it is hard to miss this brightly lit little place. Cozy is the world that comes to mind when you step inside. Bright yellow lights and the bright decor actually make it feel more inviting that it already is!
We grabbed ourselves a long sofa and a rocking chair for yours truly. Waited for sometime to come out and take our orders. But waiting tired us out so we went inside and grabbed ourselves a couple of menus. The Bagel Shop is divided into two section, the much bigger outer section where we were sitting and the inner section with limited seating space. The outer section is preferred by most people for its homely atmosphere.
While we are really liked the ambiance we were a bit stuck on things to order. Eventually ordered the Club Bagel Chicken. Have never had it before and was completely disappointed with it. Tasted like pita bread with humus and was nothing special to have spent INR 175 on it. Though Bagel is a popular choice of bread for Jews so a similarity with Pita Bread cannot be a coincidence.
Though I had no qualms about the quantity it, I didn’t think the bread or the salads were fresh! The chicken pattice inside was alright since it was minced chicken with all the masala in it (don’t think much goes wrong with mince chicken!). The Bagel seemed to be of the frozen type which I guess is acceptable if they do not make it anywhere here (or nearby the Bagel Shop).
It took us time to gulp down our food but we choose to stay back since all of us had a cozy little seat to keep us warm on a cold winter evening.
However, on a closing note, if this is how a Bagel is supposed to be I think I will avoid the place since it did not suit my taste buds. I rather have humus and Pita Bread as I like that better! Though I may come here again for I loved the ambiance. We spent three hours here and didn’t realise it until after we left!