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Chascaa Multicuisine Bar and Restaurant, Palolem, Goa

January 2, 2010 1 comment

My first trip to Palolem couldn’t be complete without trying out a restaurant here and what better than Chascaa, located on the south end of the beach. The view from here is splendid and as the day progressed we found out the food here isn’t bad either!

Hadn’t had fish in Goa yet so couldn’t resist ordering a Fish Tikka and what a good choice it turned out to be! Not sure what fish it was but it was good. Cooked well it did not smell like the way it does in many small eateries. Fish Tikka and beer was enough to make my day! My veggie friend though had a full meal. From Veg Pakodas to Malai Kofta and Rice. Even the veg items were great. Cooked well, the Kofta and Pakodas tasted nice. The combination of Jeera rice and Malai Kofta was good as well. One of the best things at Chascaa was that the flavours came out really nice and none of the dishes had any one single flavour overpowering the others.

Overall the meal was good. In fact I’d say it was excellent as the veg and the non veg items were both very good! An amazing view of the beach and of the ocean coupled with good food makes Chascaa a must visit place on Palolem! Also, the beer here is really cheap, at INR 35, it is the least I have paid for a Kingfisher Pint!

The bonus for me was when the owner played the song ‘bliss – kissing’ twice while we were here. It is one of my favourite songs and its been ages since I heard it last!

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Harish Bar and Restaurant

December 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Irla is not a place I have eaten much at except for the overpriced Papillon and Amar Juice Centre. So it was a surprise for me when a friend suggested we go to Harish Bar and Restaurant for some choicest meat dishes and off course some drinks.

For starters, which for this post means drinks, we ordered for Royal Stag quarter at INR 220 which is quite reasonable by any standards! For the food though, there was a long list which included the choicest of prawns (Prawns Lassuni), the sweet tasting Crispy Chicken, Chicken Lollypop, and the evergreen Surmai Tawa Fry. I think the fish here was awesome and so were the prawns though the lollypops held forth for the chicken!

The main course included Chicken Hyderabadi and the Chicken Sukha. The Sukha I rather have at Janta Bar and Restaurant. Though not bad,  it wasn’t the same as at Janta. The Hyderabadi Chicken was lip-smackingly good as were the Parathas we had them with.

Overall the place is on the expensive side though the booze is reasonably priced.

Verdict

Food: 3.5/5 – No complaints with the food. Though the prices could be reduced a bit here.

Service: 4/5 – Attentive and friendly waiters.

Price: 3/5 – The real downer here. Harish could possible be a back up if only the food prices are slashed by 20% or more, which seems unlikely to happen!

Aurus @ Juhu

December 2, 2009 1 comment

Been to Aurus once but this time it was different. Came here for a dinner date with my school friends who I was meeting after ages. We almost had conversations like ‘OMG! Look how old u look! or ‘You have grown big’ you get the drift… Anyways, Aurus being expensive, I curtailed myself from ordering and let the orders! Though I should have known better. Had a chicken starter, which was just alright. The presentation (I assume that matters at Aurus) wasn’t up to the mark either. One would have thought they chicken would be accompanied by some salad dressing et al but none, we found.

Next up were a couple of vodka shots but since I had already had my pre-party pegs I avoided more shots! But sadly, still ended up splurging INR 1500 on a dinner that never was!

Rasoi – Good Food, Great Service!

November 15, 2009 Leave a comment

This past week was a good one as far as finding new eateries is concerned. Rasoi is no different. Until last week, I didn’t know it existed. And on top, Daniel tells me it is a good restaurant. So I had to check out for myself. At first sight, Rasoi comes across as an expensive place. But then again, it is also a bar besides being a restaurant and a makeshift banquet hall.

But since we had travelled all the way to Malad just to try Rasoi, we weren’t going back now. So parked the bike and moved towards the restaurant as we were greeted by 2 gentlemen who led us inside a huge hall with four rows of tables and chairs. Upon request we were guided to table in the corner as opposed to sitting right in front of the exit! This was a good gesture I though as the other table was apparently reserved for someone else.

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Once seated, we were greeted by a North Eastern gentleman was kind enough to suggest us some dishes. Infact his friendly nature made us feel comfortable and at home at Rasoi. His first suggestion was the extra spicy Tangdi Kebab followed by the not so spicy Chicken Kadai. Ironic how the dish that is supposed to be spicy was nearly sweet while the Kebab was a spicy affair. In fact, we utilised their promotional offer of one-on-one free beer from the stable of Little Devil. The mild beer perfectly complimented the Kebabs but lost their usefulness once the starters were over.

P1040654The main course, Chicken Handi, was good to taste, albeit a bit sweet. The quantity was quite good as we were of the consensus that three can eat from this dish as opposed to the two of us then! Following the Handi were the Gulab Jamuns and the Malai Kulfi. My friend and me are in love with this combo which is akin to having a sizzling hot brownie – the only difference being this is an Indian version of the same! Mix a bit of sugar syrup with the Kulfi, and have the hot Gulab Jamun – the combo is just heavenly!

Whilst we were already contemplating another round of desserts the bill was served. The to

tal meal cost us INR 668 which for just the two of us is expensive! Minus the beer at INR 125, the price was still on the higher side for us (others may differ off course!). The food was good, the service even better but the not so affordable prices at this stage of our lives makes us wonder when next will we go to Rasoi!

Dum Laga Ke – Not as good as before!

November 8, 2009 2 comments

A search for an apparently cheap eatery in Malad West led me to Dum Laga Ke which is an offshoot of the famous Borivali Biryani Centre. Though a friend suggested Rasoi (Which is close to Dum Laga Ke), we choose to go to Dum as it is a tried and tested place by my friends. I have been here only once, which was over a year ago, and honestly speaking, it was amazing back then! So for me, it was to know whether Dum was still maintaining the same standards!

Dum Laga KeOur order consisted of the Prawns and Chicken Tikka Biryani and also Brain Garlic Fry for starters. While there are no complaints about the Brain Garlic Fry we were a tad bit disappointed with Biryanis.

The quantity of rice was good but sadly that of the prawns wasn’t. We were hunting for the prawns in the sea of rice! Though my friend who ordered for the Chicken Tikka Biryani didn’t have any such problems he did complain about the Chicken Tikka not tasting like Chicken Tikka. Correct though he was, I think it was deliberately done so as a pungent Chicken Tikka negates the flavour of the Biryani so you either taste the tikka or the rice and not the Biryani. As a whole, it tasted like Biryani and not chicken pulav which was a good thing in my opinion.

What was missing from both the Biryanis was the distint aroma associated with the dish. My guess is that since the Biryani here is in such high demand they must be preparing the dish in huge quantities. That’s a shame really for food made like it’s an assembly line product never comes out as good as the one made with love and care!

In comparison though, the Biryani at ‘Just Biryani‘ at the same price is better!

The best meal of the night was the Brain! Cooked to perfection. Though expensive at INR 170 it was worth the money. Many write tales about how a certain dish at a certain place gets them hooked on for life. Well Dum Lage Ke did just that with their Garlic Brain preparation.

Lastly for drinks I ordered for Zaffran which is a Kesar flavoured drink. Last time I came, there were Kesar strands floating in the drink which gave it the peculiar taste. This time, it was just a sugary-flavoured drink! Recession affecting them?

Overall, the meal was satisfying. Though a bit disappointed with the Prawns Biryani but the Brain Garlic Fry more than made up for it!

Address: Shop No 2 & 3, Ganga Niwas, Next to Toyota Showroom, Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai

Rating: Ambiance – 3.5/5. Setting of the place is nice though intriguingly the seats here are a little too low and for tall people it could cause a major discomfort!

Food – 3/5

Price – 3/5. Definitely on the expensive side but they don’t cringe on the quantity. Not yet atleast.

(All the pictures are courtesy my friend Neville Chesan who was kind enough to click the pictures for me!)

Good food though expensive – Sheetal Bukhara, Khar West

October 20, 2009 1 comment

Got an opportunity to try out a new place with friends over the Diwali weekend and so here I was at Sheetal Bukhara which is located in the same building as H20 club. From the ambiance its quite evident that this place is expensive (and it is!). It has a chilled out feeling to it, as if saying that you can spend all the time you want to here! Order a couple of drinks and spend the rest of the afternoon with your friends gorging on the many starters available here!

Anyways, we ordered a few starters ourselves along with a few non-alcoholic drinks. I had a Kash ma Kash while the rest drank Shahi Samundra, Coca Cola and Masala Chaas. I must say the drinks were wonderful especially the Chaas and so was the Kash ma Kash. Infact, I think they make awesome Chaas, even though it is a bit pricy it is still worth having! Complimenting the drink were the starters which included the Murgh Hariyali Kebab and Paneer Seekh Kebab and some Masala Papad. I cannot comment much on the Seekh Kebab as I didn’t get to have much of it and besides Seekh Kebabs aren’t my specialty either! The starters were good with the Chicken Hariyali Kebab as green as it gets! The chicken was well cooked and wasn’t spicy or bland but just about right!

Next up is the main course which consisted of Veg Bukhara Biryani and Murg Bukkhara Masala. The chicken dish was much like Chicken Kolhapuri without the hotness attached to it while the Veg Biryani was very rich in spices.The Murg Bukkhara Masala was accompanied by Kulcha and Butter Paratha which were both oven fresh when bought to the table.The biryani here isn’t the Dum Biryani but more of like a Kashmiri Biryani with a mixture of Awadhi spices to make a mix variant!

Finishing of the meal was the Rabdi which tasted very much like the one my mom made over the Diwali weekend. Good stuff! The food at Sheetal was exceptionally good and it seemed clear that the chefs were very particular of the way they made their food. The kulchas weren’t burnt a bit, the masala wasn’t overdone and neither was the food coloured! I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone with a taste for good food!

Here are the prices:

Drinks

Shahi Samundra – INR 125

Masala Chaas – INR 65

Kash Ma Kash – INR 125

Coca Cola – INR 100 (Just realised we were charged a good INR 90 more than the street price!!)

Starters

Masala Papad – INR 20

Murg Hariyali Kebab – INR 200

Paneer Seekh Kebab – INR 165

Main Course

Murg Bukhara Biryani – INR 185

Murg Bukhara Masala – INR 210

Kulcha – INR 28

Butter Paratha – 29

Diveagar & Harihareshwar Food jaunt!

October 20, 2009 3 comments

A trip to the beach and temple towns of Diveagar and Harihareshwar (in no particular order) proved to be good on the restaurant review front. We were able to try out different restaurants on both days to give us a sense of the kind of food you can expect there. To summarise right now, food is much better at Diveagar and there are quite a few options and most of them remain open till 9-10 PM which is a good thing for travelers like us who prefer to be just-in-time for dinner!

I would like to start in sequence from breakfast to dinner where we had breakfast at Vadkhal Naka and dinner at Harihareshwar. First up is Gandharv Family Restaurant which is located at the Vadkhal Naka on NH17. It is on the road that goes towards Mangaon. Gandharv is a veg-only restaurant (which we only realised the next day when we stopped for lunch and had to move out as we were in the mood for some prawns and chicken!). We stopped here for breakfast and had Tea and Puri Bhaji, a combination which rarely goes wrong anywhere! The food was pretty good, hot puris and hot bhaji along with chutney and sambhar which made for an odd but interesting combination! The tea was nice as well, full of milk instead of water! It was a full breakfast costing us INR 22 for the Puri Bhaji and INR 4 for the tea. A must go to place if on the NH17. Maybe next time, will try for lunch as well. There seem to be a couple more expensive places nearby but I think they will only charge more for the same quality food.

Breakfast was followed by lunch at Mihika Bhojnalaya which is located in Diveagar. The restaurant is situated inside Prathamesh Holiday Resorts. Mihika doesn’t have an extensive menu – it serves only fish in non-veg and Watana in Veg and there is Omlette Pav as well. We were served Surmai as there wasn’t anything else available, though they do seem to serve a couple more types of fishes, the names of which I cannot recall. The food here is pretty good and for INR 140 we got a Surmai Fry, Surmai Masala, some more Surmai Masala and plain rice and rotis – quite a lot for just INR 140! It was a hearty meal and I cannot remember eating so much fish for so less!

There is another restaurant, Prathamesh Holiday Homes, right opposite the resort where Mihika is located.  Holiday Homes also serves Punjabi food among other things, as the board outside clearly mentioned. Will try this place on my next visit!

We also had a chance to try out snacks at Grasshopper Inn (not sure what an ‘inn’ is doing inside a resort!) at the MTDC Resort at Harihareshwar which seems to be the only place far and wide to serve any kind of food! We had Kanda Bhajiya and Batata Bhajiya which was priced at INR 35 each. The Kanda Bhajiya was golden brown and not burnt, a serious sigh of relief! The Potato Bhajiya was oily but acceptable for it wasn’t dripping of oil! The snack at the MTDC Resort was followed by dinner at a roadside Chinese eatery, the name of which escapes my memory. The food here is nothing to talk about though everything you get here is edible. If atall there was a rating of 101 places to eat the same chinese food, then this place would be in the low 90s. The tandoori chicken we had here though wasn’t bad, a little too overcooked for my liking but tasty nonetheless. Ironic how a chinese branded eatery served better tandoor than chinese!!! The half tandoor we had was worth INR 70 while the Manchurian Rice cost us INR 60.This small eatery is on the way to Diveagar from Harihareshwar and was the only eatery we came across in the 35 kms stretch until we reached Diveagar.

We started the next day with Poha mixed with grated coconut at the Cottage where we stayed. It was a wonderful breakfast to kick start the day as the meal was nice and hot with a liberal addition of coconut. I think I will ask my mom to add coconut the next time she makes Poha! The Poha was enough to keep us going until lunch for which we stopped at Upkar Restaurant which is right next to the Gandharv Family Restaurant. Upkar was the choice as we wanted to have non-veg food. The boys ordered for a Prawns Masala, chicken fried rice and a chicken schezwan fried rice. The Prawns Masala was awesome – it wasn’t spicy and the prawns seemed fresh.  I guess we got there at the right time!! Had the prawns with Bhakri – a bread (more like a chapati) made of rice instead of wheat – which incidently was a first for me! The chicken fried rice was good and had a lot of chicken pieces in there. The meal was a cheap one as well as we spent a little less than INR 100 per person.

Interesting is the fact that two of the best places on the whole trip were located at Vadkhal Naka. In my view, this is a definate must stop place for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Also, Vadkhal has a more Veg places than non-veg places it seems as all I could see was veg resturants all throughout the Naka.

This was a good trip as I got to try out so many different places and more importantly different food items at every place. If it was fish at Diveagar then it was prawns at Vadkhal though I think the chicken and the veg food was good as well! Overall, the food was good and the trip was refreshing – nothing else matters beyond that!