Must have things in Mumbai- a foodies guide

What’s most exciting about the local food in Mumbai is not the ‘authentic’ fare from other states. It’s the native, borrowed, interpreted, re-interpreted, refurbished versions that collectively create the landscape of Mumbaiah cuisine.

Here are a few meals that will make you understand what food means to Mumbaikars.

Street food in Mumbai has a distinctly different flavour from that of the street food in other parts of the country. What may have started as chaat from Uttar Pradesh (UP), eventually got modified to a whole new kind of food. The addition of onion and garlic and the abundant use of red chilli powder which was traditionally missing in the Lakhnawi version gives an earthy quality to most dishes.

Image Courtesy- Google

Image Courtesy- Google

 

From Paav BhajiVada Paav, potato and onion Bhajias, Bombay sandwiches, street-sideDosasPatti Samosas, Pani PuriSev PuriDahi PuriRagda Pattis, boiled Channa Chaat,Kala Khatta, raw mango slices and berries in Chinese Bhel Indian-style pizzas heaped with cheese to fresh fruit accompanied by real dairy cream that is rare to find in most places. This is a gastronomes delight.

From Paav BhajiVada Paav, potato and onion Bhajias, Bombay sandwiches, street-sideDosasPatti Samosas, Pani PuriSev PuriDahi PuriRagda Pattis, boiled Channa Chaat,Kala Khatta, raw mango slices and berries in Chinese Bhel Indian-style pizzas heaped with cheese to fresh fruit accompanied by real dairy cream that is rare to find in most places. This is a gastronomes delight.

To start with, if you are in the suburbs you could head to Juhu and seek out – ChowpattyAmar Juice CenterSharma Chaat Center near ‘On Toes’, and hawkers outside Mithibhai college in the Suburbs.

Image Courtesy- Google

Image Courtesy- Google

In South Mumbai, Girgaum Chowpatty snack shops, Bachelors for shakes, Indian style pizzas and sandwiches, and Homji Street Khao Galli (Fort) offer a spectrum of street food.Cannon (near CST) and Sardar (Tardeo) are famous for Pao Bhaji, Gurukrupa (Sion) for Samosa Ragda and Haj Ali Juice Centre for fresh juices, fruit cream, sandwiches and Indian style pizzas.

Image Courtesy- google

Image Courtesy- google

Bombil, prawn and Surmai fries, fresh and tangy fish curries and Sol Kadi as a before and after drink are a must. If you have any space in your tummy left, I would enviously recommend Mutton Masala and Tisriya (mussels) Suke, rice Bhakris and fried, deep-golden wade to mop it all up. If you are extra lucky, you will run into a Gaboli fry in season for fish roe. This is a meal that will grow on you and have you coming back each time you are in Mumbai.

whereSatkar (near Goregaon station) for Malvani, Highway Gomantak (on the Western Express Highway, Bandra East) and Goa House (Juhu), Singhudurg and Pradeep Gomatak(Fort).

There are a number of Mumbai’s old school bar’s, A modern american/international meal, A mangalorean meal, An irani cafe or parsi meal these are a few few things to look for in Mumbai.

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Noodling at Le Belvedere, Le Meridien New Delhi

It was a fine summer afternoon when I entered the building of Le Meridien New Delhi. I was supposed to visit Le Belvedere which is located on the top floor of the building and happens to be the oriental (chinese) restaurant of the hotel. Le belvedere is a Chinese restaurant with British architecture and french name. Sounds interesting much?

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Le belvedere

The quaint restaurant that Le Belvedere is, has got one of the best top views of Delhi. You feel as if you’re seeing the other side of the city for the first time and the fact that Delhi is greenest of all gets assured.

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View from La Belvedere

After doing a small tour of Delhi through the eyes of the manager who also happens to be a very humble and gentle person (sorry I forgot the name), we sat down for our food. The starters and drinks were brought first, and out of all the starters I loved the prawns to the core! They were jumbo prawns with beautiful taste and splendid aroma. Such crispy outer covering with perfect taste gave the prawns a perfect blend. Whereas the crispy lotus stems were way too crisp and as far as my taste goes I like it a little chewy, where I can taste the stem.

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Prawns

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crispy lotus stem

Next on our table was the highlight of the day, the “Noodles”. We had various types of noodles along with stir fry vegetables. Pad Thai, Shanghai, Wok Tossed with gravy and Pan Fried homemade were the ones we had. Out of all these Pad Thai were the ones that I found a little too dry for me to eat. Wok Tossed with gravy and Pan Fried were my favourite out of all the others I had.

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Don’t they look amazing and colourful? Oh they were tasty as well! The only problem I had in almost every dish was the salt. In each dish I had to put salt separately and not just me I saw other 2 bloggers doing the same.

This is a promotional menu which is still going on at Le Belvedere, Le Meridien New Delhi.

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Thai New Year brings the royal kitchens of Thailand to b-bar

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b-bar brings to you a feast for your senses with exotic specials from Thai cuisine in association with Tourism Authority of Thailand from 13th to 19th April.

Indulge in authentic Thai specialities and their exotic taste, fragrance and flavours with dishes like Melon & Asparagus Summer Roll, Thai Fish Cake with Sweet Chili Dip for starters; and mains including Mix Vegetable with Light Thai Soy Sauce, Pan Seared Barramundi with Thai Herbs Sauce for Thai experience unlike any other. And if that wasn’t enough, the Lemon Grass Creme Brulee, and the Mixed Apple, Raisin & Peanut Dumpling with Mango Sauce will definitely have you coming back for more.

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With a perfect blend of all four tastes, the cuisine is a unique mix of hot, sour, sweet and bitter flavours and the week long celebrations at b-bar will surely leave you a fan.

When: 13th to 19th April 2015
Where:  b-bar, Select CityWalk, Saket
    
       Happy eating & Happy reading!!!

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Breakfast date at Market cafe, Khan Market

Nani's Breakfast-  Aloo toastie, fresh juice, cutting chai, parle G, brownie.

Nani’s Breakfast- Aloo toastie, fresh juice, cutting chai, parle G, brownie.

Market cafe is the most visited and loved place of Khan market and why wouldn’t it be, the place has everything to be loved about. Good food, great ambiance and generous staff and for me these are a few things I look at when visiting a food joint or cafe. Market cafe is known for its scrumptious meals and refreshing juices and quaint atmosphere and also they have the best terrace in all of the khan market.

NewYork Cheesecake

NewYork Cheesecake

Recently this cafe introduced a new breakfast menu and luckily I dropped by the very day they started this menu. The menu is not very vast but has everything that one would want to have in his/her breakfast. There are a certain quirky names given to the different sections of the menu that are,  Classic MC Breakfast ( 2 eggs done your way, baked beans, chicken sausages, bacon strips, grilled tomato, hash browns, juice, tea/coffee, toast, butter and preserves. Cost- 425/-), Not So Shudh Desi ( anda or aloo parantha, paneer bhurji, cutting chai, parle G, juice, achaar. Cost-275/-), Healthy MC Breakfast ( bagrry’s muesli with milk/yoghurt, fresh fruits platter, 2 egg white omelettes, fresh juice, tea/ coffee. Cost- 345/-), Uuuse the Foooork ( pancake/waffle stack with butter & mapple syrup, 2 eggs done your way, bacon strips/chicken sausages, juice, tea/coffee. Cost- 345/-) and last Nani’s Breakfast ( aloo or veg toastie, fresh juice, cutting chai, parle G, brownie. Cost- 225/-).

Stack of Pancakes

Stack of Pancakes

I tried the combo of two breakfast options and other dishes from the regular menu too. The aloo toasties reminded me of childhood days when I used to go for long vacation at my Nani’s place and this used to be an all time favourite with that hand toaster she had at that time. A light breakfast option which is different from the regular crepe and other continental breakfast options. The next on my table was my favorite, stack of pancakes with maple syrup and butter. The fluffy and mildly sweet pancakes were gone down my tummy withing minutes, leaving my friend shocked because she couldn’t try more than two bites.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Apart from ordering from the newly launched breakfast menu I ordered a salad and potato wedges. Both of these didn’t disappoint me either and by the time my dessert arrived I was fully satiated. But as I always say, no meal is complete without dessert for me. So I ordered a lemon tart and newyork cheesecake. Here I was a little disappointed because the tart was way too hard and the cheesecake was too dry. I might not go for the desserts next time but other than that, the food was brilliant.

Tart

Tart

Happy eating & Hapyy reading!!!

Defence Colony gets “Social” once again! #Listing

Def Col "Social"

Def Col “Social”

Defence Colony is ‘Social’ once again.

Ahhhhh the “Def. Col.” market; an iconic spot with which Delhi has had an ongoing love affair! Built in the 60s, and known for its specialt restaurants and availability of ‘imported delicacies and cold cuts’, the market has also hosted legendary names like Moets, Swagath and Kents which evoke affectionate nostalgia. However, in recent years, everyone’s beloved ’Def. Col.’ has been a little out of sight and hence out of mind. So here is the good news……

Def Col "Social"

Def Col “Social”

We are thrilled to bits to present to you ‘Def. Col. Social’! Social arrived on the scene in Delhi nine months ago, and has, may we say,stirred things up. Dilliwallahs got themselves their first collaborative workspace meets café meets bar (a space where you can work AND play/’your second place’). And Hauz Khas Village got its mojo back! And now it’s time to stretch out a bit and spread the love. We are opening one more haunt and it couldn’t have been at a better location! Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants says, “In my college days, which was not so long ago, Def. Col. was the place to drive around, dress up and walk around and strut your stuff. Just being there was exciting enough. We are really happy to be a part of Def. Col.’s magic and its revival, by bringing Defence Colony its very own Social! It will be a space where minds collaborate and create, a ‘second place’, a relaxed neighborhood café/bar. We are really excited about our second home in Delhi. From the first Social in Bangalore a year ago, to Colaba Social via Hauz Khas Social, and now
Def. Col. Social; the journey has been exhilarating and we’re not stopping anytime soon!” Co-working is a revolution in working culture dedicated to openness,accessibility, and sustainability. It is a community of people sharing resources,
as well as a space to meet and work. Social is a concept; an initiative; an idea. It provides a legit physical space for inspired minds to come together to work,to interact and to explore creative collaborations. Delhi is inundated with
creative minds that love experimenting across various fields.Social seeks to provide a space to these very artistic souls where they can share their creative energies.

Bombay Bhel Puri Salad

Bombay Bhel Puri Salad

Hauz Khas Social has established itself as a platform where artists across all fields can explore and display their creativity. Somewhere between an office and a café, its floors are packed with entrepreneurs and freelancers every day. With countless creative people in the capital, here’s a second Social to work AND play out of. Def. Col. Social, like its Hauz Khas sibling has a rustic chic feel. True to its design philosophy of minimal intervention and maximum up-cycling, the anti Def.Col. Social – 28A, Defence Colony Market, New Delhi – 110024 design theme runs through the two floors complete with chipped walls exposing the underlying brickwork and much more. Like its cousins across the country, the newest Social also keeps it real. Spring bar chairs and hanging staircases will greet you in a space that’s effortlessly stylish with 100%
recycled and up-cycled furniture juxtaposed with varied elements. Don’t you love it when environmentally-aware comes with a healthy dose of hip? One can’t miss the building, with the marquee “Defence Colony” visible from almost anywhere in the hood! Staying true to our agenda of delivering the unexpected, the food and drink menus at Def. Col. Social are quirky, deconstructed and just like the space,foster a culture of creative liberation. Social offers “fun-dining” comfort cafe
grub that is satisfying and wholesome with its own distinctive touch. The food is simple, unpretentious and fun, presented in a quirky and unconventional fashion.

Def Col "Social'

Def Col “Social’

The city is thriving with entrepreneurs, professionals, freelancers, writers,designers, techies, consultants; it has become a creative hub of sorts. Social blends the best of the office within the ambiance of a café, a relaxed space to create and collaborate; to work AND play. And we’re bringing Social outposts to your neighborhood soon!

Def Col "Social"

Def Col “Social”

Hours: 9 am to 1 am
Facebook: /SocialOffline
Instagram: @SocialOffline Twitter: @SocialOffline
Website: http://www.socialoffline.in
Address: 28A, Defence Colony Market, New Delhi – 110024
Number: +91 7838520799, 011 46588445

Zarin- Indo- Persian Restaurant at Fairmont Jaipur

Tomorrow rank and fame for none may be,

So for today thy weary soul set free,

Drink with me, love, once more beneath the moon,

She oft may shine again, but not on thee and me.

― Omar Khayyamرباعيات خيام

Zarin- Interior

Zarin- Interior

Last month, Fairmont Jaipur invited a few bloggers from Delhi for the launch/Review of their India-Persian Restaurant Zarin along with an experience of the newly launched Hotel in India.

The newest entrant to arrive on the Rajasthani dining scene – Zarin, the Indo-Persian restaurant at Fairmont Jaipur, breathes life into a culinary art that has, over centuries, celebrated the fusion of two of the most ancient cultures in Asia. At the helm of this new dining destination, Executive Chef Manpreet Singh takes a novel approach with the use of dominant Indian flavours in his new menu, while paying tribute to the Persian influences of each dish, in order to familiarize the modern day gourmand with traditional Indo-Persian cuisine.

Private Dining Table

Private Dining Table

Serving as a resilient cultural marker within the royal courts of the Delhi Sultanate in the early 13th century, Indo-Persian cuisine celebrated the symbolic unification of India and Persia; one that began along the ancient spice route, leaving a legacy that has influenced modern day cuisine in India.

Plating style at Zarin

Plating style at Zarin

Carefully crafted culinary offerings form the basis of Indo-Persian dishes at Zarin, each an applaud-worthy combination of flavor, technique and tradition. Dishes such as Iranian Biryanis served along with matzoon (yogurt refreshment) and salad, Atta Raan (leg of lamb wrapped in sour dough), Iranian Haleem (wheat porridge with flavorful meat proteins or vegetables), and Mahi Zameen doz (fresh-off-the-net fish marinated in aromatic Persian spices and gently grilled and then baked), also help highlight a rich cultural landscape stemming from the trade between both civilizations. This exchange of cookery styles and herbs and spices like basil, cumin, saffron and cloves, resonate throughout Zarin’s menu and aptly showcases the culinary styling of both great ancient empires.

Tabrez koftey

Tabrez koftey

Atta Raan

Atta Raan

A name inspired by the Persian word for gold, Zarin offers diners a distinctive and enriching culinary experience. According to Chef Singh, “steeped in tradition, Zarin will capture the imagination of diners by taking them on a journey through a bygone era that has influenced our cuisine in countless ways.”

Talking about food at Zarin, it was full of fresh flavours, refreshing ingredients and authenticity. Each dish is prepared with keeping in mind the original flavours from Persia and taste of Indian audience. The spices are more or less brought from Persia or Iran or out sourced by the vendors who sell such authentic stuff in India. Atta Raan in particular is a dish full of hard work and patience as it take 1 hour for the marination and 2 hours for cooking it. And yes after tasting the dish I can say just one thing, “WOW” becuase that is what it was.

Let me give you a little insight about the chef too, the Executive chef of Fairmont Jaipur, Manpreet Singh Malik wields his knives as easily as he does his wit and charm. A thorough planner and a die-hard food aficionado Chef Manpreet has the distinction of working in some of the most challenging kitchens across the world. He began his career in the year 2000 in Ludhiana and his culinary journey has taken him across leading hotel chains from England to Bangkok and now back to India at the Fairmont’s flagship property in Jaipur. As the Executive Chef at Fairmont Jaipur, Chef Manpreet will be responsible for firing up the culinary experiences at the hotel and establishing the Fairmont Jaipur as a food lover’s destination. His prowess in the Indian kitchen is legendary as is his ability to lead his team to deliver memorable dining experiences for guests of different nationalities.

Chef Manpreet Mallik

Chef Manpreet Mallik

From Sheermal and Bakarkhani – traditional breads to the live tandoor and succulent preparations of Aab Gosht (succulent morsel of lamb cooked with chick peas), Mastava (a hearty lamb soup – an Uzbek specialty) and Tabriz Koftey (juicy chicken dumplings with mixed nuts), meat lovers are spoiled for choice while dining at Zarin. Vegetarian diners will find offerings such as like the Subz Irani (Persian style vegetable stew), Nadru ki Gullar (stuffed lotus stem pods) and Kebab Tokri (a flavorful assortment of stir fried vegetables) with red wine. To round off this ambitious culinary undertaking, desserts such as Baklawa platters (filo sweet pastry) and Badshahi Faluda (vermicelli combined with milk and rose flavouring), are just some of the masterstrokes on the menu that await guests at Zarin.

Dessert Plate

Dessert Plate

The interiors of Zarin reflect a tasteful rendition of luxury that has been painstakingly crafted from the finest materials. Tucked away in a gilded corner, past a splendidly appointed grand doorway, the Zarin experience unfolds amidst fine crystal stemware, bespoke stone, silver and antique brass tableware, plush seating and opulent teakwood tables (that are specially fitted with tandoors and sigris to keep the dishes warm) – a fitting introduction to the 120 seat restaurant.

The dining experience at Zarin can be best described as indulgent owing to the eclectic ambience that complements the food. While guests soak their hands in lavish bowls of scented water, strewn with rose petals, awaiting the start of their meal they are serenaded by the sights and sounds of the nearby Emperor’s Bazaar with treasures from the cultural riches of Rajasthan. Folk dancers, story tellers and sufi singers lull diners into a hypnotic trance, as exhaustive selections from the menu appear dramatically on swords and as such, are robust with flavour and history.

Menu at Zarin

Menu at Zarin

A full review of my experience at Fairmont Jaipur will be uploaded shortly. keep looking this space for more!  

Happy eating & Happy reading!!!

Spring Food Festival at Lodi- The Garden Restaurant

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Lodi- The garden restaurant

Spring is a great time of the year to get outside and enjoy delicious specialties at one or more of the many tempting seasonal food festivals. From freshly picked spring onions to roasted beetroot, Chef Elam Rana, Executive Chef, Lodi, makes sure an array of lip smacking delicacies on your plate.

 
The delectable dishes on the menu will offer a wide range of fresh green farm grown vegetables, thyme marinated chicken, vanilla & rosemary panna cotta and beverage include thyme martini, cold fumes and many more.

 Soak in the lush green surroundings, enjoy the cool breeze and savour on the freshest seasonal menu this spring.

 
Venue: Lodi – The Garden Restaurant

Validity – April 30, 2014

Time – 11am to 12:30am

Address: Lodi – The Garden Restaurant, Lodhi Road, Opposite Mausam Bhawan, New Delhi – 110003.

For Reservation Call: 9818743232

Meal for two – Rs 1200 approx. (exclusive of taxes)

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