Food & Drink

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

bpb Review: Burger King, Oberoi Mall
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 10:45

bpb Review: Burger King, Oberoi Mall

 bpb Review: Burger King, Oberoi Mall

First, let’s all take a moment to mourn - and then get beyond - the much-hyped, much-lamented fact that Burger King India will not serve any beef. Done? Good. Now, let’s dig in, because you’re going to want to taste this.

Turning Over a New Beef

Mumbai’s first Burger King outlet opened last week at the food court in Oberoi Mall, Goregaon East, the same launch pad that Taco Bell used to debut in the city. Look for the brightest lights, the longest queues and chirpy, helpful staff, and you’ll know you’re in the right place.

Once we stepped in line, we were handed a menu and given a quick introduction to the food available. This is a smart move, because it helps make sure that people have their minds made up by the time they’re at the counter. Our dining companion, a die-hard Burger King fan who makes it a point to eat at an outlet during all international trips, was skeptical about all the “Indianised” dishes available, but determined not to let her spoil our fun, we ordered generously anyway.

Cottage (Cheese) Industry

Vegetarians have plenty of options here, including the wincingly-named Paneer King, Spicy Bean Royale, Veggie Burger and Veg Whopper, along with a ton of sides. We tried and enjoyed a Paneer Melt, cheesy, crispy and better than its counterparts at McDonalds and KFC. Also get crunchy Fiery Rings, fried onion rings in a chilli batter; and Chilli Cheezos, nuggets suffused with shredded cheese and vegetables. While they sound promising, Rock It Fries, doused in Burger King’s chilli sauce, were a soggy, mushy mess by the time we got around to them. Stay away.

Carnivores should skip chicken options - the patties are too thin and bland – and zero in on the Mutton Whopper instead. Starring a tightly packed patty, barbeque sauce and mayo on a soft, sturdy bun that held its own against all those juices and condiments, it is the closest you’re going to get to a meaty beef burger here.

We washed down our meal with a thick chocolate milkshake as well as alarmingly fluorescent drink called Razzberry Blues, and decided that all in all, Burger King trumps its competitors in terms of service and food, offering burgers that are larger and taste less synthetic. If only they could open up in South Mumbai and Bandra soon.

Getting there: Oberoi Mall, Film City Road, Goregaon (E), approximately Rs 550 for a meal for two.

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

 
bpb Review: The Sassy Spoon, Bandra
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 10:46


Sitting out at The Sassy Spoon in Bandra feels like you’re idling away time on someone’s patio, people watching while drinking pink lemonade.

An all-white ‘outside area’ that’s really air conditioned but comes with big see-through panes, has flowers creeping along the wall, lots of sun in the day, printed tiles below your feet (even a manhole cover) and a view of a busy Hill Road street lined with bakeries and school and hospitals.

Inside, a wall installation is done with breadboxes as opposed to travel trunks that make up the one at Sassy Spoon’s Nariman Point outpost. This hip replacement runs deeper than décor, telling you that unlike its South Bombay branch, the Bandra space (replacing Mocha at Hill Road) is meant to be more casual and café-like. We only wish they’d refrained from the lettering of dish names on one wall, but it’s small enough to ignore.

Cherry Picking

At lunch on debut day (November 25), we browsed only dishes that aren’t available/newly launched at Nariman Point, starting with the breakfast section (from 9 am to 4 pm) that’s just for Bandra, plus flatbreads and skillets and a few sandwich variations. What arrived after was a bright cluster of bowls and plates featuring sunny side ups, French toast, sour cherry and chicken flatbread.

The sunny side up served with two lightly crisp rotis are topped with herbs and come with yolks, golden and just the right amount of runny. Also from the breakfast section is a stack of five French toasts, soaked in coffee and caramelized maple and served with a side of whipped coconut cream. Easily one of the best French toast we’ve had in the city, this dish made Monday so much more palatable. Other things we’re going back for on the breakfast menu: roasted banana pancakes and eggs Benedict on brioche.

 
iChef.in: Math Major Portions Your Food
Monday, 24 November 2014 10:41

Soft, jazz music plays in the background. You stand tall and proud, taking in the aromas wafting up from your masterpiece dish that’s on the stove. You stir proudly, and take a sip of single malt from a crystal glass, while you think up an inventive plating option.

Sounds like an ideal cooking scenario? Yes!

Sounds familiar? Errr…not exactly?

Save Our Bowls

Then see iChef.in, started by siblings Chirag and Sneha Arya, with engineering and mathematics backgrounds respectively, which is a carefully calculated venture that delivers the exact portions of ingredients + recipe required to make one dish.

Sign up on the iChef website and choose from their six featured recipes of the fortnight. Place your order, and hours later (last order for same day delivery is 1 pm), all the raw materials for a meal get sent to your home.

With the help of some young chefs from Trident Hotel and other food consultants, iChef has addressed basic cooking conundrums. “When you shop for a fancy, one off meal, you end up being stuck with large quantities of ingredients you probably won’t reuse,” explains Chirag, The iChef kit comes pre-packaged with exact quantities of what you need for your cook out, to ensure minimum wastage, and maximum taste.

“We try and pick a global recipe we’ve encountered on our travels, one that’s been really popular on Masterchef and other trending dishes to keep it current,” says Chirag, who will be introducing an African stew, based on his recent visit to South Africa.

Kitchen Confidential

Attempting to channel her inner Nigella, this writer sampled the Kung Pao Chicken Tacos and Basil Spinach Risotto kits last weekend. With small packets for all ingredients and simple, pictorial representations of what the dishes should look like at each step, the kits were easy to follow, attractively put together and came with super fresh ingredients.

What’s great is that apart from basic kitchen essentials like salt, pepper, cooking oil and a food processor, the kit doesn’t really demand too much from you or your cooking abilities.

Go on then, give a fork.

Getting there: Ichef.in, call 65680555 to place your order, deliveries all across Mumbai, prices start at Rs 250 for a meal for two, last order for same day delivery is taken at 1 pm.

 
Two New Lower Parel Restaurants
Monday, 24 November 2014 10:33


A new shift begins at the mills, with two Lower Parel restaurants -  Millk and Byblos – working night and day to open at the end of this month. The former houses a café, kids’ center, spa and salon while the latter will be serving African and Arab-inspired cuisine.

Got Millk?

If you spot us noshing on a waffle sandwich, treating ourselves to a massage, and rounding it off with detox tea, then we’re probably at Millk. Taking the name from its location (Kamla ‘mill’s) and the owner, Karishma Gowani’s first initial, it also fits with the children angle. Here, you can eat at the main café, which predictably serves burgers, sandwiches, salads (think Citrus, Caesar and Feta and Beetroot), sweet and savoury waffles and crepes, pasta, khow suey and a range of milkshakes. There’s also the option of dining at the spa, with healthier food like kale smoothies, baked chips, low-fat dips and detox teas and waters. And for the kids, there’s a special menu and also a section where they can cook their own meals supervised by a professional.

Millk is opening in the first week of December at Kamala Mills, next to Please Don’t Tell, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.

Byblos

We’re told that our first meal at Byblos starts off with a bit of trickery (spoiler alert): a bread basket and a candle will be brought to the table, but turns out the candle is really just a dip for baguettes with a soya wick that melts as soon as the server lights it. Neat! A new dining spot in Phoenix Mills, Byblos begins with sister duo, Vidhi and Nidhi Behl who head the kitchen and the management respectively.

Playing to its Arab and African-inspired food, the décor bears strong streaks of gold and copper mingled in with earthy brown. The food features dishes like African Spiced Tandoori Chicken, Jalapeno Oil Prawns, Baby Lamb Shawarma and Peri Peri Rock Corn with Bacon Dust. And for the herbivores there’s a Mushroom Biryani, Jalapeno Popper Sandwich and a Mustard and Sriracha ice cream, which reveals a Turkish eggplant dish beneath.

You’ll unearth it soon enough!

Opening on November 28 at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.

 
Sponsored: Cocktail Cockamamie At The Daily
Friday, 21 November 2014 13:52


*** This post is sponsored by The Daily***

What: Cocktail Cockamamie at The Daily, ground floor, behind Shopper’s Stop, SV Road, Bandra (W), call 9920446633, Rs 250 + taxes for a cocktail with premium alcohol.

Why: If The Daily was to make a behind-the-scenes video of their latest offering, Cocktail Cockamamie, you would see mixologist Eluther Gomes hunched over a tables  full of intriguing ingredients including aloe vera, avocado, bacon infused vodka, wine reduction, paan liqueur, peppercorn, candy floss, carrot juice. These, he mixed, muddled, shook and stirred with premium alcohol and turned  into fifty delicious cocktails  that you can buy at The Daily for just Rs 250 each! “The idea was to give people a chance to get acquainted with and experience new cocktails at an affordable price, but without any compromises,” says owner Dishant Pritamani. Go and try the Candylicious, Ballroom Blitz, Newton’s Apple, Secret Crush, Lock N Load.

When: Sunday to Wednesday, until mid-December, 7 pm – 1 am.

*** This post is sponsored by The Daily***

 
Jam by UpStreet
Friday, 21 November 2014 10:59



What: Christmas flavoured jam by UpStreet, call 9960453453 to place an order, check their Facebook page here, jars cost Rs 180 for 125 grams.


Why: Pucker your lips for what we found under an early mistletoe this week –Christmas flavoured jam, a handmade blend of plum, port and walnuts. Ordered from the newly launched UpStreet, a label by two food writers who do a range of flavoured, no-preservative jams and butter. The Christmas version tastes exactly like it sounds - a sweet, festive (could be boozier) spread for waffles, morning toast or cold cuts.  Our butter knives also dipped into the slick and delicious Basilico, a basil, garlic and parmesan butter (slather on grilled prawns) and the Bella, a jar of roasted bell pepper and jalapeno butter. White wine and strawberry jam and fluffy orange butter are works in progress at UpStreet.


When: You need to make a spreadsheet.

 
Sign Up For Abode's Pop-Up Restaurant
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 18:20


As spent as the term "pop up" has become in Bombay, we couldn't resist writing about this one. The pretty boutique hotel Abode in Colaba is now open for reservations for its first pop up restaurant. Gnocchi to my room?

For ten days starting November 28, three super chefs -  Pali Village Café’s Conrad D’souza, Impresario’s Xavier Fernandes and ex Hyatt chef and restaurant consultant Mrinmoy - will move into Abode and make it their own. Set up in the lobby area,  the 'restaurant', an untitled project, will serve a four course dinner featuring dishes like a Roasted Walnut Gnocchi, Seared Sri Lankan Tuna, Pistachio Crusted Lamb Shanks and Chocolate Meringue.

All this comes at a pretty little price of Rs 3,600 per head. Can you get on (A)bode with it?

Getting There: First floor, Lansdowne House, M.B. Marg, near Regal Cinema, Apollo Bunder, Colaba. Pop up menu available from November 28 to December 7, 8pm onwards, daily. Bookings open today, Rs 3,600 per head (including sparkling wine by Chandon), call 8080234066 to make a reservation.

 
Krispy Kreme Opens In Bandra Tomorrow!
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 13:37

Krispy Kreme Opens In Bandra Tomorrow!

Krispy Kreme Opens In Bandra Tomorrow!

Bandra bums, here's a quick byte to sweeten your day.

Krispy Kreme opens its doors in Bandra and replaces Gloria Jeans at Turner Road tomorrow!

Go for the Original Glazed, Cinnamon Apple filled doughnut and Kookie Krunch,  all of which were deserving of encores when we went over to Powai, to review their first branch. See you there, fatsos!

View our full Powai Krispy Kreme review here.

Getting There: Carlton Court, junction of Perry Road & Pali Road, opposite Bank of India, Bandra (W).

 
bpb Review: Hoppipola
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 10:42


It’s tough to go around the bend in Bandra without bumping into a new bar or restaurant. One that’s loud, another that’s proud, ones that are no fuss, and others that just missed the bus.

Luring us in last night was Hoppipola, a new Bangalore/ Pune import that has occupied a fairly large space behind Oh Calcutta! in Khar. Taking a cue from its out of town counterparts, this version is dotted with cutesy elements like a cluster of mail boxes with shot glasses (bar avion?), printed tiles, suspended airplane models and revolving French doors that are individually cute but together, might become a bit much for some grown up eyes.

Waiting for the menu, we occupied ourselves with the all slate table and chalk, drawing a pretty conclusion that Hoppipola is a fun place to drink.

 
How To Pay Less At Mumbai's Bars
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 10:40



This party season, we’ve noticed something strange – drinks are getting cheaper, and not just during happy hours. We don’t think this is going to last forever, so we put our Rs 17 Old Monk glass down (that’s right!) to quickly write up the cheapest way to drink at Mumbai’s bars right now! Who needs a (c)hug?

The Bar Stock Exchange
This newly opened bar serves alcohol at MRP from noon to 4 pm, and then makes a game out of the prices post 6 pm through a phone app and a series of stock market-like screens. During our visit a few weeks ago, we saw Old Monk drop down to as low as Rs 17, while Teacher’s was priced at Rs 72, cocktails for Rs 250, single malts at Rs 275, Kettle One at Rs 96, Bombay Sapphire for Rs 106, Khalua for Rs 100 (all prices for 30 ml)! See our full review here. Branches opening in Andheri (W) and BKC soon.
Shivani Industrial Estate, opposite Times Square (behind Mc Donalds, Andheri (E), call 26005858.

 
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