Food & Drink

From where to buy sake to the newest restaurant reviews, we scout out the best of Mumbai’s culinary scene.

New Bandra Eatery: Hunger Pangs
Friday, 25 April 2014 12:57


What: New Bandra quick service eatery, Hunger Pangs, 53 Hill road, Bandra (W), call 9930099895, meal for three approx. Rs 1,300.

Why: These days it seems like we're always hungry - we call it Insta-induced pangs. On one such evening while scrolling through your Instagram feed of ridiculously delicious dishes from your vacation in New York, we found ourselves passing a new eatery in Bandra called Hunger Pangs.

Seemed about right.  We went in for a quick peek and ordered Spicy Cheddar Cheese Balls, a Chicken Caesar Salad, a Tomato Basil Pasta, the Big Cheese Burger and the Legendary 10z Chicken Burger. Tasty, though catering to the desi palate, Hunger Pangs is a good option if you work in the area for when those random bursts of hunger hit you smack in the middle of the day. Full review out soon!

When: You’re looking for a new(s) feed.

 
Sponsored: Mamagoto Opens in Andheri!
Friday, 25 April 2014 10:35



*** This post is sponsored by Mamagoto***

Open the yellow door. The chopsticks point North. You’re in a warehouse. You read the writing on the wall. You’re finally here! At Mamagoto’s brand new Andheri outpost, a fourth Mumbai home for the super Pan Asian restaurant.

After Bandra, Kala Ghoda and Ghatkopar, Mamagoto sets up shop in Andheri this month, all set to open on Monday, April 28. The décor here has retained the brand’s quirk, but not without incorporating characteristics from its new neighbourhood. Given Andheri’s relationship with film and television studios, the restaurant resembles a warehouse-like space with props strewn around, graffiti on the wall and rebellious furniture and lighting that refuse to match with each other. If you’re the outdoors-y type, there’s also a lovely al-fresco space with lots of plants and a bar that serves lots of drinks. Sounds like our kind of watering hole!

Andheri freelancers take note! Your neighbourhood Mamagoto is an all day dining space, perfect for eating in solitude to read that next big script or for meetings with your creative crew.

So get one of Mamagoto’s signature noodle bowls – our favourite is the Chiang Mai Train Station Noodles –create a fun cocktail using their interactive Play With Your Drinks Bar, and your scene is set.

Andheri, you’re looking pretty photogenic right now!

Getting there: Mamagoto opens in Andheri on Monday, April 28. Plot no B-40, opposite Citi Mall, New Link Road, Andheri (W), call 67495660 for reservations, approximately Rs 1,500 for a meal for two.

 
*** This post is sponsored by Mamagoto***

 
When In Delhi: Try Sue’s Homemade Preserves
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:34



Suniti Dhindsa started Sue’s Homemade Preserves out of her kitchen, whipping up jams, preserves and pickles with seasonal produce largely sourced from her own orchard, which she describes as “doted with wild rose ramblers, golden raspberry bushes and traditional Himalayan herbs and roots.” Want a piece of that? We suggest you grab a spoon.

Our taste test yielded peach preserve spiked with just the right amount of ginger, gratifyingly spicy Chettinad garlic pickle and apple cinnamon preserve that we ate straight out of the jar. If you’re looking for something a little more grown up, however, we also got Suniti to advise us on how best to team up her treats:

Don’t use the jar(gon)

Apple cinnamon preserve is best served as an accompaniment to pork chops, or any roast meat. You can also pair it with vanilla ice cream, a yogurt smoothie, or just with hot buttered toast.

Plum preserve, and orange and lemon marmalades make great marinades. Mix sweet preserves with herbs and spices and grill or bake the meat of choice. Apricot preserve mixed with cumin, coriander and cinnamon spread over a pork tenderloin and baked in an oven is my favorite.

Orange marmalade is good to glaze chicken, pork or duck before roasting. Brush onto the meat just before popping into the oven.

Sweet preserves are great as fillers in cakes.

Pear and ginger preserve goes well as an accompaniment to a cheese platter, especially strong cheeses such as Manchego and Brie. Also good as a flavour enhancer with cold meats.

Up next: Suniti tells us she's currently creating mulberry preserves- to be bottled and available in a few days. Yummy!

Getting there: Sue’s Homemade Preserves, M-52, GK 1, view Facebook pagehere, call Sue on 9958215553, email them at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Rs 275.

 
Nordic Kandie Magic: Handmade Luxury Marzipans
Thursday, 17 April 2014 13:05


 

Kandie Crush

As a kid, this writer’s associations with marzipan are brightly coloured hardened sweets in the shape of fruits that you bought around Christmas and almost broke your teeth with.

But the marzipan is all grown up now: yesterday, we received a beautifully packaged blue box with gold ribbons - each marzipan individually packed with a key for nine flavours: mint, chocolate, strawberry, orange, cherry, green apple, lychee, blackcurrant and almond.

‘Orange’ya Gonna Try One?

Thea Tammeleht’s Estonian marzipan recipe has been in her family for years, a closely guarded secret. Luckily for us, Thea’s finally spilling the beans.Launched early this year in India, Nordic Kandie Magic is Thea’s line of premium handmade marzipans.

Wonderfully light, each marzipan is made with mamra almonds sourced from Iran and coated with edible gold, silver and Belgian chocolate. We loved the velvety insides with the light almond aftertaste - try the fresh cool mint and zesty orange flavours!

Thea and her team are also doing special Marzipan Easter eggs, and will deliver anywhere in India at no extra cost. All you need to do is order a box online, and it’ll get delivered in 48 hours.

A definite must if you’re a Marzi-fan.

Getting There: Nordic Kandie Magic Marzipan, place an order here or via whatsapp to 9699641112 , Rs 1850 for a 215 gms  Easter egg gift box, shipping free.

 
Sponsored: Salt Water Café’s Poetic Summer Menu
Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:57



***This post is sponsored by Salt Water Café***


To find summer in a fig and jalapenos smear; the hope of snowflakes in goat cheese and a reminder of the sun in the Smoked Mushroom + Red Bean burger.

Salt Water Café (Churchgate and in Bandra from April 21)’s new summer menu might just be this season’s brightest spot in the city.  The super Chef Gresham Fernandes takes local ingredients or “homegrown stars”- and creates a green menu with a ton of options for herbivores, focusing on vegetarian fare.

Your First Thyme

This will include dishes like Butter Bean + Goat Cheese Crostini; Smoked Mushroom + Red Bean + Thyme Cheddar + Pickled Fennel Burger; and Paneer Baked with Miso + Pakchoi + Radish.

Also taking the temperature down considerably will be cold plates, salads and mains featuring ingredients like grapefruit, poached pear, organic honey, balsamic, brie, jaggery, oysters and plums.

Also, if you like your summer fling with some meat on them, then there are a few carnivorous options as well. Look out for the Balsamic Roasted Duck + Romaine + Water Chestnuts + Wild Rice Granola and the Marinated Deli Veggies + Grilled Haloumi + Garlic Toast.

And if you think the dishes are poetic enough to have a rhyme scheme of their own, let us take you to the poet himself. Chef Gresham Fernandes shares his one-glance local ingredient supply list. Quick, print and pin on your fridge.


Gresh’s Local Supply List

  • Honey from Under the Mango Tree
  • Pomelo, mango, spring onions, raddish, and baby beets from Bazaar Road, Bandra.
  • Kale, radicchio, lemon grass and kafir lime from Trikaya available at Nature’s Basket outlets.
  • Limes, lemons, baby corn, and small onions from Apmc Market in Vashi
  • Fish from Sasoon.
  • Pork from Bazaar Road, Bandra


Getting there: At Salt Water Café (Churchgate and Bandra), call 66336070 /26434441 to make reservations, view the Facebook page here, follow them on Twitter and Instagram on @saltwatercafe, dishes start at Rs 250

 
Ham Aadmi Party In Delhi: The Divine Pig List
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 11:10



Juju Basu and Auroni Mookerjee are a pair of ad men in Mumbai who love to pig out. Quite literally. When they’re not working on campaigns (the former heads up the communications team at Star India’s sports network, and the latter is a copywriter at BBH), they’re updating their Facebook page, The Divine Pig - Giver of Plenty. Here, they sniff out all things porky, share recipes and recommendations. Here’s their quick round up on the best ways to get porked in Delhi( see their earlier published Mumbai list here). Think the fattiest cuts, off the menu goodies and dishes that can fit a few suckling pigs (and more).

Pigpo for the Breakfast Sausage and other cured goodies.

Any piggy list of ours can’t not have a mention of this institution of porky goodness. And while they offer a mind-boggling list of delicious products our hearts oinks the loudest for their breakfast sausages. The fattiest, juiciest meat minced to the perfect ratio between fat and lean, seasoned with generous amount of salt and pepper and stuffed into a casing of natural intestines. These almost-artisanal bangers might only be made in small quantities but they’re massive on flavour. Fry them up with some eggs, use them to add a big bang of flavour to your stuffing, stir fry them with Thai basil, fish sauce and oriental greens or just toss the mince with some pasta, sage and pecorino. Our only warning to you, if you don’t fry these bangers right, they tend to splutter and bang, no not pop, open in your skillet.

Other than their breakfast sausages, make sure to score freshly smoked bacon, smoked German frankfurters (best we’ve had in India), smoked pork sausages (great to add to hearty potato stews) and a shoulder or two of their excellent smoked pork.

PS – All the leftover grease from the sausages comes a close second to rendered duck fat. So make sure you save it to roast your next batch of spuds.


Getting there: Shop No 9, Main Market, Jor Bagh, call 24611723 or 5, Shanti Niketan, call 24115335.


Mr. Kim’s Fine Food Mart. Korean & Japanese Store at DT Mega Mall For the Perfect Spare Ribs

Hidden in the basement of DT Mega Mall is this Korean food bunker, stocking all you’d need for a Korean or Japanese meal from sashimi grade tuna and octopus to nori sheets and rice cakes. In the pork department they have great cuts flown in from Thailand. Belly, neck, mince, but what stands out the most are perfect spare ribs. These Thai spare ribs trump the average pork chop in length. They look great and maintain their chunky appearance after you’re done grilling, cooking, double frying and whatever else you put them through. One attempt with a bourbon, kinu, sugar and chili marinade, seared both before and after pressure-cooking, was a classic.


Getting there: Kim’s Mart, DT Mega Mall, LG 36, Gurgaon, 0124-2562189.


Gung the Palace for the Jowl and the Belly

Not to say that these guys don’t grill, barbeque, deep-fry or stew every other part of the pig and every other animal you can think of really, really well. But the trick to eating right at Gung is to a) always go with a really large gang – 6 people at least because their portions are ginormous; b) not to get distracted by all the free snacks and condiments; and c) definitely not to get distracted by one of the largest and meatiest menus you have seen in ages. We recommend you stick with bar-be-que pork belly and jowl, because once you’ve taste these two spectacular mouthfuls, there’s just no going back. It’s even better than that first bite of bacon you had and can never forget. What’s so special about this preparation you ask? I think the simplicity of it as all they add to the meat is some light soy and seasoning. Oh and might I add, the meat is grilled table side thus filling up your cosy rice-paper-wall room with the meatiest and fattiest smoke that we’re quite sure have powers to cleanse your mind, body and soul.


Getting there: Gung The Palace, D1B, Near Ashirwad Complex, Green Park, call 46082663 or 9871295093.


Kyoto – for grilled pork ribs

Like Gung, walking into Kyoto is like visiting another country because invariably you’ll always be the only Indians eating at the establishment. Home to the growing population of Japanese expats, this joint does not serve out prime cuts of o-toro and kobe like the Wasabi’s and Sakuras of the world. Here they do the simple, heartier preparations like grilled fish and meats, tempura and ramen. But on the top of their list are the grilled pork ribs, grilled Tepanyaki style on an open coal fire and glazed with some salty teriyaki sauce. The perfect mix of charcoal, juicy, fatty and salty. Trust us when we say that nothing goes better with a chilled glass of beer.

PS - Go early because the kitchen closes by 10 pm. After an early dinner, go two shops down to Cocktails and Dreams. Sample their many delicious cocktails, and at closing time (by when you’ll have digested your very light Japanese meal) finish off with a second dinner of succulent Nepali Pork Curry.


Getting there: Kyoto Restaurant, 20, Part 2, Sector 15, Gurgaon, call  9873349961 or 0124 2221645.


The Nagaland’s Kitchen for Pork Chops, Raja Chili and other Naga specials

This menu goes from exotic to hardcore. Golden and crispy fried pork chops marinated in the family’s secret sauce is a tasty starter. Accompanying Raja Mircha dip takes you to as extreme a place as you want. Pork curry with dried yam leaves has a warm smoky feeling about it, great comfort food. Then push the threshold with any of the Akhuni - fermented bamboo shoot. This authentic Naga ingredient is acquired taste for some, but once acquired, hard to let go of. Then there’s the knuckle and the entrails for the truly devoted. A lot of the food is also available at the original Dilli Haat outlet, though we recommend the restaurant as the AC helps with the chili and they have a bar with the signature Raja Mircha bloody mary. A drink that you’ll remember for a long time, trust us.


Getting there: Nagaland Kitchen, S2, Uphaar Cinema Complex, Green Park Extension Market, call 46088968 or 26515058


Tres

This is a short entry. Tres is a restaurant with a lot of fun on the menu. The crispy Chilean spare ribs with garlic dust are a must. Juicy, falling off the bone meat dusted with a coarse mix of garlic shavings, sea salt and herbs that add a super tasty crunch to every bite. Polish off a plate and venture further into the chef’s adventurous ideas.


Getting there: Tres, 17, Main Market, Lodhi Colony, call 24625520 or 9910061041.


French Farm

About 20 years ago a Frenchman, Roger Langbor, bought a piece of land a little outside Gurgaon to start a farm. And in this farm, along with some other birds and bees, he had some pigs. And some bloody good ones. Of American origin, sourced from Kerala, these swine eat healthy and taste divine. The hot sellers are big, juicy chops. He also makes some good bacon, ham and sausages and has the usual suspects of belly and spare ribs. Ready to eat goods include a roast and a pork paté. All his stuff is butchered at the farm, processed and prepared by his team lead - the ever enthusiastic Biswa. A call to the farm can get you deliveries to Delhi and Gurgaon on designated days. But if you make friends with Roger and the talented Mr Biswa and do make a visit, place will open up a new world of offal any student of pig would love to get lost in. The head, trotters and everything in between. Just make sure you get there before the Chinese do.


Getting there: M-7/15, DLF City- II, Gurgaon, call 1242359701 or 26359701


Nanking

Just like its cousin Ling’s Pavillion in Mumbai, you’re always better off ordering outside the menu at Nanking. Pay careful attention while taking the elevator up, they tend to tape up print outs of the day’s specials. If nothing happens to catch your eye in the elevator then just go up and ask for James – make sure he orders you their Pork Belly, braised for hours in light soy and oyster sauce, and finished with earthy black shitake mushrooms and tender bamboo shoot. Also, enquire about the pork knuckles. While they are not always available, they’re a deliciously pleasant surprise whenever they are.

Getting there: C 6, Local Shopping Complex, Vasant Kunj, call 33036080.

Honourable Mentions

Tee Dee and Momo Point near North Campus for Piggy on a Budget

Both these are about 15 minutes away from the Vishwavidylaya metro station and are North Campus institutions for the simple reason that they serve up some of the most affordable (never spent more than Rs. 500 for a meal) yet satisfying pork in the city.

At Tee Dee, always start your meal with some Pork Shaphaley (fried momo like pockets, only larger and thus have more stuffing) and pork ribs with gravy, so you can mop up all the fatty cornflour thickened goodness with some Ting Momo (steamed buns). Wash it all down with a steaming hot bowl of Pork Thentuk, a thukpa like soup that’s full of delicious pork broth, roast pork, radish, greens and hand rolled noodles.

At Momo Point just blindly order pork momos, steamed or fried, they both have the same thing going for them – a squirt of porky juices that gushes out the moment you take your first bite. Follow that up with pork fried rice and double fried pork and lots of red momo chutney on the side.

PS - Considering all that momo chutney, we take no responsibility for what happens the morning after!


Getting there: Tee Dee, 32, New Aruna Nagar, Majnu Ka Tila, call 23939414. Momo Point,
27 UB, Jawahar Nagar, Kamla Nagar, call 23858435


 
bpb review: B’wiched
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:09

 

When we passed by Juhu's newest eatery B'wiched, a bunch of images came to mind - bubbling cauldrons and green-eyed cats, a twitching nose that induces magic, and NDTV's cartoon of Arvind Kejriwal with a pointy hat flying around on his jhadu. Hoping for magic in food and politics, we decided to try it out.

To Be Or Not To Be

Sandwiched between two random general stores in an unglamorous part of Juhu, B’wiched tries hard to look pretty with monochrome photographs, exposed brick walls and mosaic tiling. This is an 'American Bistro’ with a menu that comprises mostly sandwiches (of the hot, cold and flatbread variety), salads, burgers, cheesecakes and juices .

Noteworthy at B’wiched is their list of interesting juice potions like Canatloupe Parsely and Cucumber Yogurt Mint. We picked the Pomegranate Basil and Sweet lime Apple juice that were both light and refreshing, with tangy undertones. Along with the juice, we got ourselves a Chicken Caesar Salad, Roast Lamb Flatbread Sandwich, Multigrain Smoked Chicken Sandwich and the Seasoned Seafood Sandwich.

‘Wich Hunt

Prettily plated on a wooden board, our sandwiches arrived, with lavache, salad and dip on the side. The Roast Lamb Flatbread Sandwich had delicious bits of tender lamb cooked in spicy gravy with tomatoes and bell peppers wrapped in a warm soft flatbread. Slightly messy but ultimately tasty. The Smoked Chicken Sandwich too, fared well- get this if you enjoy the Roast Chicken sub at Subway. Not too heavy on the spice or tummy, we felt it was a little too bready.

Off to a good start and wondering if luck and magic were on our side, our opinion changed when we sampled the Chicken Caesar Salad and the Seasoned Sea Food Sandwich. The salad was extremely average with no flavours or quality ingredients that really jumped out at us, while the sandwich (though packed with a whole lot of seafood) was bland and derived its zing from the generous heap of bell peppers in it.

With some hits and a couple of misses, B’wiched is a promising new cafe in the area. Just a few days old, the seven-table eatery was just about half full, with a mix of students and assistant directors who probably live in the area. We think you should come back with us to sample a few other juices and sandwiches soon.

We'll be there to pick you up on our best jhadu.

Getting there: B’wiched, Shivsagar Building, next to Chand society, A.B.Nair road, ISCKON temple lane, Juhu, call 26246821, home delivery in Juhu only. Meal for three approx. Rs 1730

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

 
Entrepreneurs To Save The Pig’s Rep
Monday, 14 April 2014 10:42



When entrepreneurs Arindom Hazarika, Anabil Goswami and Ranapratap Brahma got together, it wouldn’t be wrong to call it a sausage fest. 

Besides all being from Guwahati and holding MBA degrees (the first two from IBS Hyderabad, the third from IIM Indore), they have one more thing in common – they’re food lovers who want to save the reputation of the pig, and feed you quality meat while they’re at it.

“Pigs are intelligent animals. Given a chance, you won’t find them wallowing in a drain, but cooling off under a fan,” says Arindom, who left his job at Kotak Mahindra Bank to pursue the pig. He tells us that there is still a stigma attached to eating pork (besides a religious one), because pigs are perceived as unhygienic.

Mr Piggy

This endeavor combined with research results that pointed out that there is no company like theirs in India, which focuses exclusively on pork, the three MBA grads started Choice Pork Natural (with a more fun ‘The Next Pig Idea’ url to launch soon). Under this, pigs are raised in North East India farms and ready-to-eat sausages and salami is created, which they started stocking at Nature’s Basket a week ago.

They claim their pork is top quality and different from what others offer in a couple of ways. They’re one of the few meat processing companies that has a Government of India approved stamp on it; they work with a whole bunch of small farmers that raise four to five pigs each. “This means that we don’t run a single big farm where pigs are raised in unhygienic conditions and given a feed with chemicals and growth hormones. Our farms are small, which leads to a natural feed.” This should get them an organic certificate in three years too, Arindom tells us.

Take Your Pork

On the grocery basket shelves now you’ll find sausage flavours in savoury garlic – the team’s favourite – English Allspice, Peppy Paprika and cocktail sausages and pork salami.

If you’re ever in Guwahati, give Arindom a shout out. He’ll make you his favourite slow cooked pork with bamboo shoots and mustard greens, and tell you why the pig is not dirty. 

Getting there: Choice Pork Natural products, available at all Nature’s Basket outlets, Rs 160 for one packet of 250 gms.

 
Snack Jars By Cereal Killers
Friday, 11 April 2014 12:30


What: Breakfast/snack jars by Cereal Killers, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to order, Rs 250-350 for a jar, delivery charges extra.

Why: So you're not a morning person? We get that. Attempting to make you less of a grouch at the crack of dawn is Natasha Fernandes, who has recently launched her own snack/ breakfast range-Cereal Killers. What started as something she prepared for her husband every morning has grown into a business that she manages apart from her day job in television. Natasha does a whole bunch of fresh fruit flavours mashed in with yogurt, honey, nuts and muesli. We tried the Strawberry De'lite' and Choco Love jars. While we preferred the latter, we thought both were tasty, packed with energy and wholesome enough for a small meal.


When: You want to turn that frown upside down.

 
New American Bistro In Juhu: B’wiched
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:06



What: New American bistro B’wiched to open shortly, next to Chand society, A.B.Nair road, Juhu.

Why: bpb scoop! Passing through the sleepy by-lanes of Juhu, we spotted B’wiched, an all-American bistro slated to open this weekend. The fairly tiny space is trying to stir up some magic with an interesting menu, slated wooden tables and pretty black and white photographs. Expect entrée salad bowls, sandwiches like the Pink Seafood (seasoned prawn with fish cubes, crab meat and melted cheese), Cold Smoke Aroma (coleslaw chicken with smoked processed cheese), yoghurt and several kinds of cheesecake. ‘Wich you were here?

When: Slated to open over the weekend.

 
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