Food & Drink

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

Opening Soon: The Bar Stock Exchange
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 10:56



Bulls, bears and everyone else, take stock of this!

We’ve been informed of a fresh entrant in the market this morning. From the guys behind Big Bang Bar and Café comes The BSE. The Bar Stock Exchange will be a new chain that allows you to apply the Stock Exchange’s demand supply algorithm to drinks. Complete with software and trading servers!

Trading in alcohol, The BSE will have prices of drinks that rise in direct proportion to its consumption over a period of time at the bar, but also circuit breakers, to ensure the price doesn’t rise over a specified amount.Plus, an app to keep stock holders in the know of prices and investments!

Launching in September in Andheri East & West, the outlets will be about 6000 square feet each, and their BKC outlet that opens in December will be 9,000 square feet, and will include a 30 seater mini theatre for private screenings, movie launches and live match showcases. 

Hedge Fun-d!

Watch this space for more details!

 
Opening Soon: The Bar Stock Exchange
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 10:56



Bulls, bears and everyone else, take stock of this!

We’ve been informed of a fresh entrant in the market this morning. From the guys behind Big Bang Bar and Café comes The BSE. The Bar Stock Exchange will be a new chain that allows you to apply the Stock Exchange’s demand supply algorithm to drinks. Complete with software and trading servers!

Trading in alcohol, The BSE will have prices of drinks that rise in direct proportion to its consumption over a period of time at the bar, but also circuit breakers, to ensure the price doesn’t rise over a specified amount.Plus, an app to keep stock holders in the know of prices and investments!

Launching in September in Andheri East & West, the outlets will be about 6000 square feet each, and their BKC outlet that opens in December will be 9,000 square feet, and will include a 30 seater mini theatre for private screenings, movie launches and live match showcases. 

Hedge Fun-d!

Watch this space for more details!

 
bpb Review: Café Nemo, Worli
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 10:44

 

‘Krunogthepmahanakhon Amornrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphopnoppha Ratratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiyawaitsanukamprasit.’

The name of a cocktail stretches from the beginning of your meal to the end, ensuring that conversation is brightened with star anise, the belligerent bits of arguments are made benign with tulsi tea and love is spiked with gin and vodka.

This formed the backdrop of our meal at the newly opened Café Nemo in Worli, where a weekday dinner with old friends and new, was spent in the company of this Thai inspired concoction(s) that supposedly has the longest cocktail name in the world. We’re not going to repeat it. The name, that is.

Monkeys Move To Worli

Taking over the space from Cool Chef Café – but with no connection to the brand – the boys behind Bandra bar Bonobo and Andheri diner Jamjar give you this latest offering. The mostly yellow space going from one dining room to the next and finally to the bar, borrows design elements from the fishing village nearby, including a village mural, terrariums for the table and soon we hear, fish nets. Owing to the large space, a weeknight can seem a little quiet, though.

To go with our long drinks we got small plates of bao buns (veggie and pork), black bean dip and soft shell chicken tacos.  The tacos, generously but not overwhelmingly topped with varied flavours of sour cream, pico de gallo and sweet-spicy Mexican chicken Tinga was our favourite. The big bowl of smooth black bean dip with sour cream will have you ordering more tortilla chips, but also wishing that the guacamole was more chunky rather than pasty. The two plates of bao came with tasty pork and crispy Thai Basil and pickle fillings respectively, but the buns should have been more moist rather than the pita-like texture they had. This could be a that-day thing though, since we’ve tried the baos here on a previous occasion and liked them.

Bek-ti For Two

And night moved to that time of night when more big drinks were ordered, and to line our stomachs mains consisting of Galbi Steak, Steamed Bekti and vegetarian Seol Bowl. Flavours in the Seoul Bowl (sticky rice with greens and spicy gravy overseen by an egg that sits up top) will sneak up on you – first chilli then peanuts, then lime. Delicious. The steak done medium rare with a kimchi puree was well made, but we’re going to ask for mash next time instead of the Hasselback potatoes. The star of the mains was the Bekti that was presented in a dark, broth-y pool of ginger, tamari (a type of soy sauce), shitake and cellophane noodles. The catch was fresh and the broth was spooned until the very end.

Skip the souffled cheesecake and get the dark chocolate Pot De Crème, which is rich and dense enough to be shared by a well-fed table of five looking for a swift, sweet end.

Ultimately, everyone in our party, including a particularly pernickety friend who consults with restaurants in NY, agreed that the meal was mostly tasty and Café Nemo deserves re-visits.

Plus, they have that long drink to match your long day at work.

Getting there: Café Nemo, 329/A, Thadani House, opposite the Indian Coast Guard, Worli , call 24379841, approx. Rs  2,500 for a meal for two with one drink each.

This review could not be conducted anonymously as we were recognised, but the meal was paid for by bpb.

 
bpb review: Joss, Santacruz (W)
Monday, 11 August 2014 10:42



Two years ago, South Bombay hearts broke and fortune cookies crumbled when restaurateur Farrokh Khambata decided to shutter the only Joss outpost located in Kala Ghoda.

The Pan Asian restaurant has now sprung up at Santacruz (W), replacing the short lived and short loved 212 All Day. Your imagination can slot Joss in a traditional dining space similar to Khambata’s Umame at Churchgate – beige and brown interiors, mirror details, and a patterned ceiling with light fittings inspired by upturned woks. An outdoor section, carpeted with faux grass and glistening waterfalls, sees an elevated private bar area. On day three of opening week, the place was already packed for dinner as guests (and friends of Khambata) flocked in to try the staples as well as new additions.

Robata Redford

The menu’s wide assortment of sushi, nigiri, hosomaki, sashimi, dim sum, appetisers, sea food, meat and poultry is fun but also leaves you fatigued. As we came up for air from the exhaustive reading, we noticed fog-like theatrics had taken over many of the other tables, each dish and drink made diners pause for reaction.

Flaming drinks in science lab-like containers made their way from the dispenser bar, and even sushi platters came smoked with the drama of liquid nitrogen, including our first choice, the Joss Volcano – spicy tuna, salmon, cucumber, crab, tobiko and shichimi togarashi. New on the menu under “Joss Special Rolls”, this one didn’t particularly impress. The vegetarian Spicy Samurai Roll (white asparagus, avocado, cucumber and spicy daikon) also lacked flavour and spice, and the chewy seaweed and the gigantic pyramid-shaped pieces made it cumbersome to eat.

Thankfully, we had a potent and delicious Wasabi Gazpacho cocktail, and a well-stirred Burnt Lemon and Vanilla Margarita to go back to. The Edamame and Truffle Oil dumplings, though a tad pasty, didn’t disappoint. The Mekong Whisky Flambed Prawns that came in a futuristic-looking platter also packed a punch with its smooth chilli finish. We also recommend the Robata Grill Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom skewers, but at Rs 780, it offers a measly portion.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away

A group of four seated near us was getting its personal solar system - the ‘Big Bang Theory’, Joss’s signature dessert prepared by the chef at your table - so we all turned to watch as dollops of dessert sauces and other edible elements came together to create ‘Earth’ that looked like a textured ball with a soft meringue centre.

By this point in the meal, we needed much more than nitrogen vapour (which has been overused in the presentation here) and theatrical antics to impress us. We wanted to tuck into a dish that would take us back to the old Joss– would it be the Korean Bibimbap or the Joss special classic chicken Khao Suey? The latter, though richer and creamier than what we remember the classic Joss dish to be, was comforting as usual. The rice dish of Crystal Jade Vegetables with Sprouts Bibimbap was satisfactory but didn’t wow us. On the other hand, the Joss Hot Kahlua Chocolate Souffle, paired with the Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream, was delicious.

We’re not sure if South Bombay hearts, stapled back together, will make the trek for this suburban Joss outpost, but its new neighbours can always stop by for a stiff cocktail and some whisky flambeed prawns. 

Getting there: Savoy Chambers, Next To Mini Cooper Showroom, Linking Road, Santacruz West, call 9022998424, meal for two (with drinks): Rs 4,000

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

This story was contributed by features writer and freelancer Bhairavi Jhaveri, a regular contributor to fashion magazines and Dailies.

 
New Patisserie: The Mystery Box
Friday, 08 August 2014 11:09


What: The Mystery Box, shop no. 3, Sai Pooja building, 16th Road, lane opposite Mini Punjab, Bandra (W), call 9920099381, view the Facebook page here, Rs 130 for a sea salt caramel with hazelnut pastry.

Why: Up the road from Theobroma, down the street from Tart and around the corner from Le 15 Patisserie, is the newest addition to possibly the sweetest suburb in the city. Launched just two weeks ago, The Mystery Box is a pretty patisserie that serves up pastries, cupcakes, chocolate and dessert jars. We tried and liked the sea salt caramel with hazelnut pastry. Steer clear of the cloyingly sweet tea cakes, though. A full savoury menu with croissants, tea and coffee will be up soon.

When: You could do with a nut job.

 
bpb Review: The Guppy Pop Up At Olive
Thursday, 07 August 2014 11:11



If we were to evolve to suit the current soggy scape of Mumbai, it would only be a matter of time before we all developed scales and fins of our own, with glistening gills and terrific tails.

It was with these thoughts that we waded over to The Guppy Pop Up At Olive (Mahalaxmi) wondering, if like us, this too would survive the deluge.

Fish Things First

A Japanese restaurant originally from Delhi -Guppy by Ai - this replaces Thalassa as a pop up project, until restaurateur AD Singh and team decide which restaurant can live here next. Outside, you'll first notice that Olive's trademark green door is now fire engine red. Inside,  you will find the same old Olive with a few cosmetic changes - metallic hearts, paper fish lanterns,  floral baskets and giant chubby girl face who you can call what you wish. Hungry after a long day at work, we settled in well with our delicious cocktails- the Cucumber Saketini, a refreshing mix of gin, lime and cucumber that was born out of summer; the Midnight Samurai, a stealthy, dark concoction mix of  Kahlua and Sake; and the Wasabi Mary that was superbly mixed, with hints of the wasabi and tomato juice hitting you at different points.

Marine Buy-ology

Our drinks were quickly followed by the Guppy Signature Pork Belly, a wonderfully done slow braised pork with a glaze of soy honey and mustard miso sauce that had us scooping up the sauce, long after the meat had disappeared.

To offset the meat overload, we got the lightly steamed Edamame sprinkled with sea salt- a good break from the intense, heavy flavours. Our Spicy Salmon Sushi rolls were next, served with a zesty mayo and generous amounts of salmon. Slightly crunchy and lightly spiced, the sushi was gone in sixty seconds.

Tempura Tantrum

Wondering whether to go with more sushi or not, we decided to try the Udon noodles with exotic mushroom and the Karashi Chicken and Bacon. The noodles, a slight disappointment ( we found them too oily for our liking), went well though with our wholesome chicken and bacon stew with juicy bits of  well flavoured meat.

Filled to our gills, but still greedy for more, we ended the meal with the Tea San Brulee, a trio of tea flavoured brulees that sadly, didn’t live up to the rest of our meal.

Giddy with the good meal and a fat cheque, we stumbled out into the rain, wishing we could swim right home.

Fin-i.

Getting There: The Guppy Pop Up At Olive, Amateur Riders Club, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mahalaxmi, call 33487711. Meal for three with one drink each: approx. Rs 7900.

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for all its meals.


 
Please Don’t Tell: Inside Lower Parel’s New Speak Easy
Monday, 04 August 2014 11:01

Please Don’t Tell: Inside Lower Parel’s New Speak Easy


If you’re skulking around Lower Parel, your next psst stop should be Please Don’t Tell. A fun speakeasy that isn’t trying too hard, we only wish they hadn’t ripped name off the NYC bar with a similar concept. Once you get that out of your system though, you’ll love the experience that starts with a bit of hunting.

Around Tilt All Day, you'll spot a heart red phone booth where dialing 5 (finger scanner for members), gets you on the other side and inside Please Don’t Tell. Sure, it’s a concept we’ve seen even here in Mumbai with The Local and in Delhi with PCO, but entering a space with a password never gets old.

The Interior

Inside, PDT is true to its neighbourhood with an industrial feel featuring exposed pipes and walls, and in general, a sparse landscape. We’re not sure we love the giant picture of the girl holding a finger to her lips while implying secrecy, but we do love the long bar with bottles placed on shelves that look like half shuttered shop fronts. Also cool is the voyeuristic bathroom with two-way glass (if you’re putting on lipstick in the mirror, everyone on the outside can watch you), and taps that work with foot pedals so you don’t have to use your hands.

Food & Drinks

The menu features a whole bunch of bar snacks including fries, hummus, nachos and the ubiquitous mini vada pavs. Larger plates are assigned to Kheema Pav and fusion dishes likes Sambhar Risotto. The cocktail list includes pre-prohibition cocktails as well as other tasty potions – we tried and loved the Old Fashioned.

Just outside PDT, the paan shop and roll joint remains open until the bar does, and in addition to regular paan also sells versions with vodka. You can also pick up condoms and cigarettes here on your way out.

Full review out soon! See our slideshow here.

 Getting there: Please Don’t Tell opens to the public on August 8, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, next to Tilt All Day, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on @PDTMumbai.

 
New Food Delivery Service: 8
Friday, 01 August 2014 16:45


What: 8 Food, see their website here, call 9222248888 to order, delivery from BKC to Santacruz, 11 am-11pm, Rs 370 for a soup and sandwich.

Why: Tired of our junk food delivery menus pinned to the soft board, the bpb office decided to give 8 a chance, the spanking new delivery service set up by a team with experts  in marketing and hospitality, along with the help of Michelin star chef Alec Howard. Unlike its One fat lady” reputation in Bingo, 8 offers healthy but (for the most part) tasty options. We ordered and liked the not-creamy-but-wholesome Broccoli and Spinach Soup, the super fresh Slow Burner Salad with chicken, lentils and brown rice and 8’s Stir Fried Chicken with steamed rice that wasn’t oily and very light on the stomach. Skip the Feta and tomato sandwich in multigrain bread though, with very garam masala-like flavours. Full points for the cute one-liners on their packaging! Soup-er stars!

When: After and before 8.

 
Get Imported Cheese Delivered To Your Doorstep
Friday, 01 August 2014 16:39


What: Imported & domestic cheese delivery at your doorstep by Cheesewala, call 9769001900/ email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , order 24 hours in advance, Rs 850 for 1 kg of mozzarella cheese, minimum order 200-250 gms, delivery across Mumbai.

Why: This morning, we're giving you enough cheese to make you very pleased.Discovered thanks to a fairly non-descript pamphlet that came to this Scouter's house is Cheesewala, a cheese delivery service across Mumbai. You can choose from imported goat cheese, smoked cheese, blue cheese, gouda, gruyere, mascarpone, emmental, edam, parmesan, raclette, mozzarella, and even their own garlic and herb cream cheese. Pure mould, this!

When: You'd like some dear dairy.

 
First Look: Social, Mumbai
Friday, 01 August 2014 10:54



What:
First Look: Social opens In Mumbai at 24-26, B.K.Boman Behram Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba.

Why: After Bangalore and Delhi, Impresario’s Riyaz Amlani finally brings Social to Mumbai. Part restaurant, part bar, part co-working space, Social is a super spot for freelancers (apply for a desk here www.socialoffline.in/#work), one designed to “take you offline, while still keeping you connected”. Tricked out with everything an office needs including a board room, wall sockets and conference facilities, there’s also a bar that serves cocktails in beakers and test tubes and syringes. Sounds like our kind of experiment! On the menu you can expect breakfast dishes named after the Impresario crew, soups, salads, sandwiches, baos, hot ‘dawgs’, Social sharing platters and more. All this against an industrial background with exposed brick walls, leather couches, lonely light bulbs and upcycled furniture.  Full review out soon!

When: Social opens to the public on August 8.

 
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