Showing posts with label Non Vegeratian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Non Vegeratian. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Food Review: Smoke House Deli, Bandra Kurla Complex.

Picture Courtesy : Smoke House Deli

Pharrell William's Happy is doing the rounds almost everywhere on the internet. Its great, everyone is uploading their version of the Happy Song on youtube, so much so that someone has actually uploaded a parody video called 'Crappy'. Crappy makes them Happy. Well, whatever floats their boat!

Happiness for me is simple things. Food, Love, and Laughter. Smoke House Deli has consistently managed to maintain the number 1 spot in all 3 departments for me. It also happens to be my most visited place for a Date night, other than Big Chill in New Delhi, just for the perfect setting and feel-good ambiance along with lip smacking food.

Picture Courtesy: Smoke House Deli

Smoke House Deli has opened their brand new outlet at Bandra Kurla Complex, which happens to cater to mostly clientele who want to grab a quick lunch during their break from office, or who want to chill with a drink after work. Time is the essence to this outlet, in my opinion.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

When time flies but the taste remains : Reviewing Veda at Palladium Mall, Mumbai.

I always segregate my food review into parts such as decor, ambiance, service, attentiveness, taste and presentation, other than the most important question of whether or not I would visit this place again. I follow a checklist (I am a checklist person!) and review places accordingly. I wish I could

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Food Review : Good things come in small packages. Royal Sindh, Versova, Mumbai.

Sometimes, mess is good. Sometimes, chaos is all we want. I, for one, am a believer in organized mess and a planned chaos (control freak) and come to think of it, Cuisine is one such mess, and a mess that I love. Indian Cuisine in particular has so many distinct flavors and techniques involved that there has to be a region which has not had enough justice. For me, that cuisine is the Sindhi cuisine. Now I know that Sindh is in Pakistan but a lot of Sindhis migrated over to India during

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Reviewing the BBQ festival at Noodle Bar, Bandra, Mumbai.

Now that I am back to the drill, out of vacation mode and back to work, I decided to take up few reviews for this month. Noodle Bar in Bandra invited me to review their BBQ festival which is on till the 31st of January, 2013. They have a special menu for the festival offering out of the ordinary options like these :

After a little bit of a mix up on reaching the restaurant, we got right down to business.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The nth time I visited New Delhi but the first time that I experienced it.

Hauz Khas Monument
Note : Picture and Text heavy post.

I make it a point to be in New Delhi during this time of the year, every year. Since Mumbai doesn't exactly have what we call winters and the season is my most favorite, I feel at home in the foggy and unbearably chilly days in Delhi. My relationship with Delhi began on the wrong foot as is the case with most Mumbaikars, with the whole whos-better-than-who battle going on. I lived in the city for a good 10 months and I tried my best to not fall in love with it, but heck, I gave in. A city in its true beauty does comprise of culture and feel, and a certain mix of people, but I learned that people can be crappy anywhere, irrespective of their location. In being a little less judgmental, one can look past crappy attitudes and experience what the city has to offer.

Foggy Mornings

I hate to admit that I am (was) kind of a spoiled child, and this is one reason why I have not been able to even experience my own city in its true glory yet. I barely travel by trains (which I only started to do last year) and I prefer being at home. Same was my case with Delhi, as I was being picked up and dropped off everywhere by car. This time around, things were different, and I visited Delhi with a new mindset. I decided to stay in an International Youth Hostel for the first time in my life on the recommendation by a very dear twin sister duo (Hello Ramya/Kavya!) and was urged to stay in the *gulp*

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wine Trail at Veda, Lower Parel, Mumbai. And some Good News..

I have grown to really love my Wine over the past few months all thanks to this blog, and I have discovered that the more I am keen on learning more about Wines, the more I fall in love with them, and the vicious circle just keeps going on. But of course, for these reasons, I had to be present at the Wine Trail organized at the much spoken about Veda at Palladium in Lower Parel, by Four Seasons Wine. Before I talk about any of it, I have a good news to share with you guys.

I have teamed up with the most amazingly awesome team of photographers, Trisha Sarang from Trisha Sarang Photography and Varun Joel from ComePose photography to capture these one-of-a-kind experiences with me. I am so happy to be working with them and they have been doing an outstanding job. This feature was photographed by Trisha and you can already see how amazing she is with her work!

Veda boasts of its beautiful decor designed by none other than the famous designer Rohit Bal and the bright Red and Black interiors instantly prepare you for the melange of amazing Indian dishes heading your way. Four Seasons managed to up the ante with pairing some of their wines with the melt-in-the-mouth Indian cuisine for a wholesome experience. I spoke about the art of pairing food and wine on my previous post on Wine Tasting with Shamita Singha for Four Seasons here.

The food and wine were paired with great attention such that none of the food overpowers the taste of the wine and vice versa. The Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc was served with Delhi Spinach Chaat, The Four Seasons Blush Rose Wine was paired with Malai Broccoli which was an interesting combination, The Shiraz from Four Seasons was paired with Veda's signature melt-in-the-mouth Kakori Kebabs and my favorite was The Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a 9 month Oak aged beauty served with Gahlauti Kebabs.

With a tummy full of yummy and our minds going Hic!, we enjoyed a good Wine Tasting session with Clive Castelino, Training Manager at Four Seasons who was more than happy to entertain all our questions related to Food and Wine pairing.

A big thumbs up to the team at both Veda and Four Seasons for organizing an event that made us a little more enriched with our knowledge about wines. You guys are doing a great job with introducing the culture of Wine with food in India. All the best!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Of Procrastination, Inspiration, Recognition, Friendship, and a resulting Egg Masala.

Sharing is Caring. Whenever it comes to food, especially. I have always been intrigued with this fad of "secret recipes" especially with people who commercially sell their food, but with time and through experience I have learned that sharing it all does not steal anything from you or the way you would cook a recipe. I, for one, do not remember the last time where I would have followed a recipe to the T. I have always done something to add my little twist to it, or gone with my instinct and trusted my gut. There were times where I went against it and tried to stick to the recipes but that has never worked out for me, and the Chocolate Eclair Episode is a standing testimony to that!

What I actually want to convey here is that if you share your knowledge, you are bound to get it back multi-fold. Just like that, my school friend Rashmi (who posts amazing pictures of food on her Facebook Timeline) once put up a picture of Egg Masala. I'll let the picture do the talking here.

After few minutes of ogling at the picture and realizing that I was drooling, I went ahead and asked her for the recipe and like a true friend (True Friends are the ones who share recipes) she immediately inboxed me the recipe. But then I also had to live up to my other duties like playing Queen of Procrastination so it just went down one day at a time in my list of facebook messages and I forgot about it. But thanks to my specific cravings, I was craving for exactly the dish from the picture and I just had to make it. Until I got lazy again.

So I logged on to twitter to rant about how I was not feeling very inspired to cook anymore but I checked my mentions and could not stop smiling ear to ear coz Burrp Mumbai featured me on their list of 6 Foodies to follow in Mumbai, along with some pretty amazing Foodies! Here is the link to the article!

Well, that gave me the much needed push and off I went to the Kitchen!

Egg Masala
Serves 2
Recipe : Rashmi Desai Mehta

1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Medium Tomatoes, Chopped
1/2 Cup Mint Leaves, Chopped
1 Cup Corriander Leaves, Chopped
4 Eggs, Boiled
2 Bay leaves
4 Cloves
An inch of Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
4-5 Curry Leaves
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2 teaspoons Coriander Powder
1 teaspoon Meat Masala (I used Garam Masala instead)
1 Cup (1/2+1/2) Water
Salt, to taste
3 tbsp Oil/Ghee


Heat Oil/Ghee on medium heat in a pan. Add Bay leaves, Cinnamon, Carom Seeds, Cloves and sauté for a minute.

Next, add in the Cumin seeds, Curry Leaves and the chopped Onion. Sauté until Onions are soft.

Add in the Tomatoes and Mint Leaves and add half cup water. Cook till water evaporates, while stirring occasionally. Do mash the Tomatoes as you go along while stirring.

Add in the Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Meat Masala/Garam Masala and fry till fragrant (About 90 seconds), then add in the remaining half cup of water and half of the Coriander Leaves. Cook till the gravy reduces to desired consistency, you could add more water if you like.

Finally, add in the boiled Eggs and Salt to taste, (I sprinkled some Garam Masala here too) and Garnish with the remaining Coriander. Serve with Roti/Rice.

I personally felt that it tasted best when it was not piping hot. Have it when its warm and you would be able to savour it better. The aftertaste of the Carom and the Minty feeling is something quite different and you would definitely go out for seconds! Thanks again Rashmi I will be cooking this fairly often now!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Food Review : Sizzler Festival at Bombay Blue, Bandra.

I am the kind of person who is hardly random. I like to plan my days in advance, I am not a huge fan of last moment arrangements. But in certain exceptional cases, I don't even realize how random I can get. A last minute email was how I landed up at Bombay Blue in Bandra to try out their Sizzler Festival, and after having a previous bad experience with them and hearing not so good things about the place from my friends, I am glad I gave it a second chance.

Firstly, on entering the place it was amazing to see how full and noisy it was. The lady at the door graciously received us and we were promptly seated at a corner table by the glass wall. The Manager, Vaibhav, explained their menu in detail and each and every member of their staff was smiling, helpful, quick with suggestions and attentive without being a nuisance to us while we enjoyed our meal.

Chef Indraneel who heads the Bombay Blue team in Bandra welcomed us and spoke about the menu in more detail. Every July, they change their Sizzler Menu and add something new and different for their customers. This year their theme is to Sizzle as well as Chill so they have devised a set of 6 new flavors of Virgin Mojitos, and in collaboration with Vladivar Vodka, a set of refreshing cocktails too.

I had the Raw Mango Mojito which was refreshing and tangy, but a tad over sweetened.

The Vanilla Mojito on the other hand was surprisingly great tasting. Vanilla+Mint+Lemon+Lots of Ice = Win!

We also got to sample two of their Cocktails, The Vladi Foxy Lady with had Pomegranate Juice, Lemon and Vodka and The Vladi Shock with my new favorite Cucumber and Mint with Lemon, along with the Vodka.

Both Cocktails were pretty much fresh and new combinations with the hit of Vodka.

We started off with the Nachos Grande from their regular menu which the chef insisted that we try. I take my Nachos very seriously and believe me, these were unbelievably crisp, delicate, melt in the mouth with just the right amount of seasoning and the beans were cooked to perfection.

The Guacamole was a tad too creamy for me and the Sour Cream needed to be creamier. Or they could just do away with the Sour Cream altogether there. Great thoughts were put into not finishing that ginormous portion of Nachos for there were sizzlers waiting for us. Even after all that, we ended up with this.

Soon after, arrived our first sizzler, the Italian Crepe sizzler. We opted to go for one Vegetarian and one Non Vegetarian variety so we could have a taste of whats going on in both departments.

The Sizzler comes with  2 stuffed crepes, one with a mixed veg Ragu and the other with Mushrooms and Cheese a bed of Spaghetti Arrabiata and laden with some cheese and chilies on top and baked, with the side of Potato Wedges and Blanched and Sauteed Veg.

The crepes were an absolute delight for even a hardcore meat eater like me. I did not miss my chicken at all. While in the normal course one would be intrigued by the Mushroom and Cheese stuffing, which was absolutely classic, no nonsense and delicious, we were hooked to the Vegetable Ragu stuffed crepe which consisted of dices of Zucchini, Baby Corn, Carrots, Mixed Peppers and the works. All the vegetables in the Ragu were cooked to perfection, crunchy but not raw, and not over-seasoned like the gas station Ragu I am used to having over the years. The Potato Wedges needed some more cooking as well as seasoning and the Blanched Veg actually complimented the dish very well, especially the Spinach.

We also got to sample the Fritterati Sizzler which is a bunch of stuff like Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Onion Rings, Baby Corn and Potato Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers all coated in Panko Crumbs and fried to perfection.

Very little can actually go wrong with deep fried stuff!

Then arrived the Meat Medley Sizzler, which consisted of a Chicken Steak, a Prawn and Smoked Sausage Cutlet, Minced Lamb Con Carne served over a bed of Rice with the usual accompaniments of Wedges and Veg. They also gave us a lovely Brown Pepper Gravy and Garlic Sauce to go with it.

The Chicken Steak was cooked in an Isabella Marinade and reminded us a lot of the Char Grilled Chicken Sizzler from Red Box. It was cooked to perfection and was absolutely juicy and tender. The Prawn and Smoked Sausage Cutlet was the hero of the dish. Too bad that it was too small and I feel that it deserves more attention on that Sizzler Plate. The Minced Lamb Con Carne was loved by the brother while I thought it was too saucy for my liking. Or maybe it was just an overdose of Beans for me by then. And since I am a Fries+Gravy lover, I finished those Potato Wedges this time with a generous pour of Brown Pepper Gravy over it. The Garlic Sauce reminded me of Roadside Chinese Food and it could be easily done away with.

By now we were full, but hey we can can never say no to dessert!! And especially when dessert is teamed up with theater, it makes us forget all about everything and just go for it with the "come hither" kind of looks.

The Sizzling Brownie at Bombay Blue has always had rave reviews and is their house specialty alongside the Nachos. It was good to see the Giant scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream over the Brownie as opposed to the mini scoop of ice cream over all the other sizzling brownies I have had. The Brownie was Gooey, not overly sweet and everything just came together with the Chocolate Sauce poured over the assembly. Loved it.

Saying cheese with eyes between closed and open.

Would I go back to Bombay Blue? Yes, I am taking the parents sometime next week since they love sizzlers. And the way its priced, I think it is a complete Value for Money. Only if they pay attention to minor details like seasoning and saucing, they would do way better and attract another set of customers for whom it is more about the flavor than the price factor of their food.

The Bombay Blue Sizzler and Mojito Vladivar Vodka Festival is on till the 15th of August, 2012 at all their outlets and I recommend all of you to try it out!

And I end this post by saying that Randomness can also be good sometimes! :)

Thanks Melanie for the invite! :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Food Review: Coastal Delights at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai.

For all of you who think Coastal Cuisine is all about Seafood, the ITC Coastal Spice is an eye opener. There is much more to Coastal Cuisine and you would be surprised to know that they love their veggies as much as they love their meats, if not more. The ITC Coastal Spice is on till the 15th of July, 2012.

I feel so honored to have been invited for the Coastal Food Festival at the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, for not only did it feature lip smacking and mouth watering food, but also made us feel very welcomed.

Me and the best friend traveled a rather tiresome journey from Andheri to Parel (I should get used to train travel) and had to almost walk down from the train station till we managed to find a cab barely 500 meters (or so) away from our destination. Nonetheless, all that tiredness was gone in a jiffy when we entered the Hornby's Pavilion and Chef Harish and his crew were at the entrance with the most beautiful and handsome smiles. ITC does know how to make their guests feel special.

Chef Harish has been specially flown in from the infamous Dakshin all the way from The Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers, Chennai, and for someone who is in my honest opinion a master at pairing flavours and adding his special personal twist to the classic dishes without going overboard, he is so humble and easy to talk to. All reservations lie aside when people talk over one topic - Food. Chef Harish and Chef Sumit were happy and patient with my never ending questions (only till I started eating, coz then I was quiet) and willingly shared and exchanged ideas about coastal cooking. 

We were seated down in a comfortable corner and we chose to have some drinks to start off with. I had the Pink Fantasy (Rum + Cranberry Juice) whereas my friend had the ever so amazing Cucumber and Mint Mocktail. We could not stop raving about how refreshingly pleasant this combination is and every single sip was a fresh new experience. Must try making this at home (This applies to most of the things that will follow through the post, you may choose to call it an overdose of yumminess).

I must commend the ITC group for having such an extensive spread for their buffet. Although the damage is 1800 INR + Taxes per person, you get to sample food as well as alcohol with it.

We were too tempted to try the Salads and the Cheese Station, and we did give in to the awesome Sushi and of course the wide array of desserts (which were strictly okay except the Chocolate Mousse), but alas, we had to save space for all those Coastal Delights as they were the best thing on the menu.

We started off with Appams with Chutney, if you guys remember my Bettering Breakfast post on this you would know how amazing they are. The only difference was that Chef Harish used a rice flour batter instead of what I use (Semolina+Curd) and the results were absolutely delicious.

There was also Kodi Vepudu, a Chicken Appetizer preparation, mildly spiced and with a definite hit of Curry Leaves and Onions. The Chicken was a bit dry, though.

There was a Dosa Station, and the Dosa Chef was happy enough to send a couple of Egg Dosas our way. One was spiced with crushed pepper while the other with Onions and Coriander Leaves. For someone who makes/eats Dosas every Sunday (me), this is going to be featured pretty often from now on.

We then moved on to Melagu Sadam, or Pepper Rice, which was so simple yet too high on flavour. That is completely my kind of a palate. I am not a big fan of anything overloaded with so many ingredients that you don't even know what you are tasting. But this was clean, no nonsense, super tasty, Curry Leafy Rice with a compelling aftertaste of Pepper in the throat, and that would make anyone just go for the next bite by default.

There was a very simple Cauliflower and Potato Sabzi, Urralai Pookoos Peratal, and we make this at home so it was just like having Mom made food :)

Then there was the Kai Korma, a creamy, rich and delicious preparation with mixed vegetables in a coconut based gravy. I had 2 servings of this just by itself. It was that good.

I personally feel that Chef Harish outdid himself with The Red Spinach Gravy and it was beautifully earthy, cooked in lentils and I would totally have a bowl of that on a rainy day sitting by my window.

I loved the play of flavours in the Tomato Based Ananas Mensakai, which is Pineapple cooked till it's juicy tenderness and although I was not big on the sweet Pineapple in a tangy curry which is an acquired taste, I managed to polish off a good amount of the gravy.

Moving on to the Non Vegetarian section (my favorite, I was seen hovering around in this area mostly) there were carefully spiced Crabs, Njandu Masala, which we ate in the true desi style, going all slurp and bite on the shells and all the works with bare hands. That IS the way to eat an Indian style crab preparation, if you ask me! The Crab Meat was plump, juicy, tender and fresh, and the gravy had nicely flavoured the mild crabby juices perfectly.

The Chemeen Ularthiyathi, Prawns cooked with Onions and Tomatoes, which are a popular fare at my place on weekdays were a pleasant surprise since at home we eat it overloaded with spices and the mild flavouring on this one on the other hand brought out the the freshness and maintained the integrity and the original flavour of the Prawns. In MasterChef Australia lingo, Prawns were the star of this dish. Job well done!

Classic Meen Moilee did not cease to impress. Fresh Pomfret slices simmered to perfection in a light Coconut based gravy, and usually is ideal with plain rice, but as you guys can guess, we had no room for Rice!

But we always have room for Biryani! This Mutton Bori Biryani was bursting with awesomeness, the meat was fall-off-the-bone-tender and it did not taste heavy at all, as compared to most of the soda added Biryanis I have had before.

Another pleasant surprise was the Dried Shrimp Papads, which are rare to find in the local stores, Mom used to make them when we were little kids and I was instantly nostalgic.

Let me introduce the last dish from the Coastal Fiesta this way. Lamb Chops cooked in a gravy, simmered and reduced till dry, battered in Egg and then Deep Fried. This is the stuff for champions. This is the kind of dish that cannot be identified as a main or an appetizer. If I had a choice I would snack on it Nigella style in the middle of the night. Kaipidi Chops were the dish of the night for me!

Congratulations to Chef Harish and the ITC group for pulling off a different menu each night with this amazing Coastal Festival. Cheers to you guys and a big thanks to Arundhati from ITC for having us over!

And last but not the least Thank You so much for one of the most memorable meals we have ever had.
Older Posts Home