Food & Drink

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

When Restaurateurs & Chefs Crave Street Food
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 10:54



The city’s dishiest restaurateurs and chefs surpass the usual Bade’s, Ayub’s and Elco to tell you where they get rolls at 5 am, how to find an aunty behind a paan shop who only sells vada pav in the evening, and where to eat authentic Tunde kebab in Mumbai.

Riyaaz Amlani, Owner, Impresario Hospitality (Salt Water Café, Smoke House Deli, The Social)

Lucknowee: One of my favourite places to eat street food is at Lucknowee at Doo Taanki. Lucknowee has been around since 1937 serving the best Awadhi and Lucknowi food in Mumbai and the reason I love going there is because it is the only place where you find the authentic Tunde Kebab parathas of Lucknow and of course, the Murg Musulam is too die for.

121-129, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Do Taaki, Byculla.

Ashish Sajnani, Co-owner, Please Don’t Tell

Ashok Vada Pav: I never liked vada pav, before I tried this.

Off Cadel Road, Kirti College Lane, Prabhadevi

Sindh Pani Puri: It’s the best pani puri I have ever had. And the best part? It’s always chilled.

Camp Road, Chembur

Pankil Shah, Co-partner, Neighbourhood Hospitality (Woodside Inn, Woodside All Day Bar & Eatery and The Pantry.)

Prakash: Because they have THE best Sabudanawada in the city!

Shiv Sena Bhavan, Next to Kithe Hall, Gokhale Road, Shivaji Park, Dadar (W)

Zaffran: For the yummy late night Chicken Bhuna Roll

Branches in CST, Bandra, Malad, Lower Parel, Ghatkhopar.

Kakori house: Always works for those Galouti Kebab and Black Dal cravings

Branches in Hill Road, Andheri E & W, Mahim

Mr. Mihir Desai, Co-Owner, The Big Bang Bar & Café

Ram Sham, Santacruz: They serve the best pani puri in the city.

North Avenue Road, Santacruz (W)

Maruti Pav Bhaji: The pav bhaji here  - super spicy - is amazing.

Bajaj Road, Opposite Vishwakarma Baug, Vile Parle (W)

Viraf Patel, Chef and Co-owner, Café Zoe

Kathi Kabab Roll: I usually get the extremely spicy Tikka Roll and the BBQ one. The guy makes his own barbeque sauce.

Shop no 1, Bara Building, SB Marg, Lower Parel, opposite High Street phoenix. Call 9819284454,view the Facebook page here.

Pooja Dhingra, Owner and chef, Le 15 Patisserie

Maharashtra Chana Bhandar: For bhel and sev puri

3, Pali Naka, next to Janta, Bandra (W), call 26004652.

Suren Joshi, Co-owner, Pali Village Café & Pali Bhavan

Sheetal Restaurant: These guys deliver rolls 24/7. They even recognize my voice now! I call and they send my order of Reshmi Chicken Roll and breast chicken piece cooked Afghan style right over.

648, Rajasthan Building, next to RTO, off Linking Road, Khar (W), call 26497938/26460643.

Antonia Achache & Jeremie Sabbagh, Co-owners, Suzette

Modern Juice Center: We love the chicken shawarma rolls and fresh juices here!

Near Radio Club, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, call 22812457.

Mitesh Rangras, Co-owner, Lemon Leaf (formerly Lemon Grass)

Kanpur Dugdhalaya:  A must visit for what is definitely the best Kothambir wadi in the city.

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Rd, Radhika Saikripa Co-op Society, Naigaon, opposite Chitra Cinema, Dadar (E)

Just a few blocks from Dudhalaya, behind a pan shop, an aunty sells home made vada pavs, which is available only in the evening and gets sold in almost two hours flat. Look out for her when you’re in the neighbourhood!

Sahil Timbadia, Co-owner, Jamjar Diner, Bonobo & Cafe Nemo

The chat vendor (sev puri, bhel puri, pani puri) in the lane opposite Portuguese Church is consistently very good.

In the lane opposite Our Lady of Salvation Church, SK Bole Road, Dadar (W)

Also for a momo fix, the vendor outside the Worli nature's basket outlet is a great option for freshly steamed momos served with a piquant chili relish.

Dev's Momos, Abdul Guffer Road, outside Flora restuarant, off Worli Seaface.

However, both these vendors set up shop only in the evening.

 
bpb Review: Brewbot, Andheri (W)
Monday, 08 September 2014 10:45



Stuffed to her gills after an awesome Onam Sadya by Poppaddum yesterday, this writer rolled back home, hoping to spend Sunday like it should be spent – doing nothing.

After several hours of doing just that however, the prospect of being served beer by robots made us get up and head to Andheri’s new pub and brewery, Brewbot. Call of duty!

When In Foam

Okay so we didn’t expect real bots, but we did hope for freshly brewed beer, which unfortunately, will only be served when they get their license in October. For now, they are open to the public – located on the same street as Boveda and The Little Door - with a fully stocked bar and kitchen.

We ventured over on opening night and encountered a super packed joint, full of what we assumed were friends and family of the owners. Made up of some predictable décor elements like exposed brick walls and retro TV sets with plants in them, this two storey bar has a separate dance and al fresco section.

With opening night comes a set of hiccups, and after having to locate a table on our own, we waited a good twenty minutes until someone took our order. Brewbot’s thick menu offers a range of cocktails and spirits along with Italian, Lebanese and Continental mains, in addition to salads, pizzas and burgers.

No Major Ale-ments

Still sulking slightly over the unavailability of fresh brews, we remedied this disappointment with more alcohol. Beer n’ Margarita, strong and shandy-like in terms of taste with tequila, triple sec, fresh lime and Corona, got us started. This, along with a Long Island Sunset featuring spiced rum, peach schnapps and cranberry mix, which our dining companion described as a ‘tall glass of Benadryl’.  Both were fairly lackluster, but the appetisers made up for it. The assorted plate of crostini with mushrooms,bocconcini, pesto and zuchhini helped to soak up excess alcohol. The Charboiled Prawns topped with an orange chilli dressing were succulent, with the prawns absorbing just the right amount of zest from the dressing.

For round deux of our drinks, we switched to regular spirits and got the Big Bot Burger, with a tenderloin patty, onion jam, Monterey Jack cheddar cheese and rocket leaves sprinkled with mustard on the side. Juicy and well done, the burger was served minus fries, but we didn’t mind considering how heavy and decadent the patty was. That we added bacon to it meant a nice, crunchy texture as well. A must order for those looking for a good beef burger this side of town.  Our Chicken Roulade came quickly too, and was given a thumbs up by our Master Chef-loving companion, who thought the chicken was cooked to a perfect consistency. However, this writer didn’t care too much for the spinach and vegetable stuffing.

Adding to the growing number of bars in Andheri West, Brewbot definitely stands out for its good food and just-born buzz. But with serious competition down the road, a price adjustment on the menu, improved cocktails and prompt service would go a long way in not bot-ching this up. An actual robot at the bar would be fun too!

Getting There: Brewbot, Morya Landmark One,  in the lane opposite Infinity Mall, call 4003 4448 / 4449. Rs 200 for a Kingfisher pint, Rs 150 for a small Antiquity, Rs 300 for a small Absolut. Meal for two with one drink each, approximately Rs 4,300.

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

 

 

 

 
Uzo Replaces Sula's Vinoteca In Worli
Friday, 05 September 2014 10:58



What: Uzo Bar & Kitchen, ground floor, Sunville Building, Annie Beseant Road, Worli, view the Facebook page here, Rs 200 + taxes for a Kingfisher, Rs 300 + taxes for a small Absolut.

Why: If you haven't taken a pitcher at all the new places yet (Yuuka, PDT, Café Nemo, The Guppy Pop Up at Olive, Terttulia), you better get cracking because there’s a new one on the list. Uzo replaces Sula’s Vinoteca at Worli, bringing you a bar with yes, ouzo-based cocktails, and a kitchen that emphasizes on bar snacks. Started up by Aditya Dwivedi (one of the investors at Café Zoe), this all-day space will feature lunch + jazz music in the day, and a more hyper scene at night with commercial English music and well-priced booze.

When: It’s currently open to the public, but official launch on September 12. 11 am onwards.

 
bpb Review: Yuuka, Palladium Hotel
Thursday, 04 September 2014 10:39



Two really nice dresses. One return ticket to Delhi. My share of the rent.

There are many things that Rs 16,000 could have been spent on this month, but instead it bought three bpb people one lunch at Yuuka yesterday. Sitting prim and pricey on the 37th floor, Yuuka is the brand new Japanese restaurant at the Palladium Hotel, manned by Chef Ting.

But before the billfold sighs and dress goodbyes, there were three courses and a rounds of drinks at Yuuka. We got a table by the big windowpanes and tall, tall bamboo shoots that appeared to be on growth hormones. While the wooden interior is kind of generic, the high ceiling and flood of light will make you like the space instantly. And in this flood of light it’s impossible for the Secret Scouters to be secret, we discovered, after being spotted by someone from their marketing department. Note to self: invest in wigs and a prosthetic nose for next review.

Maki To Your Heart

The cocktails at Yuuka – all priced at Rs 1,200 + taxes – are nicely mixed concoctions of the usual Asian restaurant ingredients: lychee, ginger, Japanese single malt, green tea. These could however, be heavier on the booze, we discovered, as we sipped the Lychee Martini, Cucumber Sake and Ginger Manhattan.

A few sips later, the appetisers began to arrive, starting with the theatrical Salmon on Fire. Here, four thick bands of the freshest salmon, slick with citrus ponzu, are draped over a stick and a fire is lit below for just a few seconds. This plus a salad could be a quick, light lunch on its own.

The Okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake was dense and slightly chewy, and smothered under too much mayo for us to taste the wild mushrooms and zucchini that it kept within. Also, someone at the table remarked that it looked like a plate of Aloo Tikki Chaat.  From the rolls we picked the Soft Crab Maki, Pearl Explosion and Tiger Tear Maki. Of the three, the vegetarian Tiger Tear (avocado, habanero, cream cheese) was the most fun to eat, offering spicy, crunchy and creamy flavours all at once. The Pearl Explosion with potato and rice was less appealing as it was too starchy and better doused in soy sauce, while the crab maki rolls’ ingredients of egg, soft shell crab, unagi, cucumber chives got on well together, they could been bound tighter and neater.

High Rising Sun

Mains were kept simple with the highly recommended Ting’s Spicy Fried Rice and the Katsu Chicken. The small portion of rice was barely spicy and fairly standard. The Katsu Chicken came with strips of succulent fried meat (with no trace of oil) that sat in a shallow puddle of sweet onion sauce, wearing a fried egg as a hat. You’ll like this if you prefer your meat fried and not doused in too much gravy. 

Now we don’t usually order dessert with green tea in it, but we’re glad we made an exception this time with the Green Tea Cake. Made up of forty elegantly stacked thin layers, this cake doesn’t overwhelm with its green tea flavour, and is served with rum soaked raisins. This immediately took us back to Lady M’s Green Tea Cake in New York that one of us Scouters had made a weekly ritual.

Despite the course that came after this – the bill – the cake and its forty layers make us think fondly of our meal at Yuuka. But considering Kofuku’s sushi platter is tasty, cheaper and closer to the office, we’re not sure when we are going to return to this Lower Parel restaurant.

Getting there: Yuuka, 37th floor, Palladium Hotel, Lower Parel, call 61628422, approx. Rs 16,000 for a meal for three with one cocktail each.


This review could not be conducted anonymously but bpb paid for its own meal.

 
The Sassy Spoon To Open In Bandra
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 10:53




In case you were wondering what's going to replace the now shuttered Mocha Mojo at Hill Road, Bandra, we have the answer: The Sassy Spoon!

The pretty Nariman Point restaurant run by Rachel Goenka and Chef Irfan Pabaney, is moving across the Sea Link and into Bandra soon. While we first heard it was going to be a cafe format called The Sassy Teaspoon (adorable!), we now hear that the brand will continue as The Sassy Spoon, but will be less formal in its approach. So the menu for instance, will retain the more casual bits like eggs and sandwiches. We in Bandra are most excited about the fact that they will retain their signature dessert.

More on this soon!

Getting There: Classic Corner Building, Next to Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra (W)


 
New Smoothie Joint On Carter Road
Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:21



What: Slurrp, shop no 10-A, Gagangiri premises, Carter Road, Bandra (W), no delivery, Rs 140 for a detox smoothie, Rs 200 for an Oreo shake.

Why: Slurrp’s milk maid-en voyage begins at Carter Road, where it sells all kinds of smoothies. If you’re not eighteen anymore, you probably will be passing it after a run rather than hanging out on the strip with your friends. So skip the dessert shakes like the Nutella, Oreo Cookie and 5 Star Crunchie shakes, and sample the fresh Detox smoothie made with mixed fruits and probiotic yogurt, as well as the Happy Appy apple smoothie.

When: You want a Kula Shaker.

 
Ask ForMore: Made To Order Cereal
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 10:57


 

Can you start a cereal business from watching too many serials? In the case of Alka Dujodwala, a Napeansea Road resident, you can. It’s kind of like that famous Groucho Marx quote: “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

When Alka took a year off to do nothing after she stopped her handbag business, her son Akshay would say to her, “Mom, you’re watching three TV serials a day. You need to do something!’ That’s when Alka, who always had a flair for cooking, decided that the kitchen would be her next workshop. How did she go past the ubiquitous chocolate and cupcakes and zoom in on cereal? “My husband had a heart condition, and since then I’ve been researching health food,” says Alka. Cereal was a product of this combined with her love for breakfast food.

Test (You)Tube

After months of watching Youtube recipes, hunting and gathering, Alka recently launched Ask Formore. The Oliver Twist antonym, Ask Formore let’s you ask for seconds + more, serving up sweet and salted cereal that you can use as morning meals, but also in-between snacks at the office, and ice cream toppings. These are made with canola oil, olive oil, healthy seeds, nuts, jaggery, oats and Baba Ramdev honey. Breathe inn?

Last evening, we topped our yogurt with the audibly crispy Ask Formore honey-raw sugar-flax-poppy-seeds-white sesame version, which can also add a bit of personality to a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The Pecan-walnut-hazelnut with chillies and salted oats has found a new place in the office pantry next to 5 pm green tea. Next time, we plan to try her Italian mix with herbs, olive oil, garlic and ginger.

The very basic packaging could have been more fun, but we suppose it’s what’s on the inside that counts. “I’m a big breakfast person. My day begins with cereal and that’s what I want for you too,” Alka says at the end.

My morning (c)oat!

Getting there: Ask Formore, to order call Alka Dujodwala on 9819825523, pickups only from Nepeansea Road, approx. Rs 500 for 500 gms of cereal.

 
bpb Review: PDT Mumbai, Lower Parel
Monday, 25 August 2014 11:01



 

We said it during the launch of The Local, and we’ll say it again: there’s nothing secret about a speakeasy if it comes with a press release, a launch party and a PR team. But that doesn’t take the fun away from punching in a password and entering a bar through a bright red phone booth, does it? Collect(ive) call?

This is how you get to Please Don’t Tell (PDT), the new Lower Parel speakeasy that has nothing to do with the New York PDT, except inspiration. This past Friday, after a long day at Fashion Week, we booked a table where we began the weekend with our favourite hers, hims and a glass of something called Pimms on A Whim. 

Inside The Booth

Finding Please Don’t Tell isn’t so much of a task. 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.

Inside, PDT is predictably industrial in the elements that make up its interior, but you’ll like it for its long bar with shutters that look like half-closed shops, and well spaced out tables.

At one of these, bobbing our heads to The Foo Fighters, we brought in the weekend with The Dutch Enigma, a fruity mix of pomegranate, gin and cranberry juice, made grown up with a dash of bitters.

By now Alanis Morissette was playing, and we were already thumbing through cocktail list for our next drinks. We only wish they had omitted silly lines on the menus and coasters (like ‘sex is good only when it’s dirty’), because with its main gimmick plus interesting cocktails, PDT doesn’t really need to try so hard.

Breakfast at Night

Our dining companions, sipping on a Pimms On A Whim (a regular Pimms cocktail with orange juice) and a Puzzle Guzzle(vodka, fresh ginger, grapefruit juice and ginger bread syrup), enjoyed their drinks, which weren’t recklessly mixed, but still potent enough for a Friday night.

We lined our stomachs with the Secret Breakfast, paneer sticks coated in cornflakes crusting that were so heavily fried, it masked all flavours except the tangy sauce that came with it. For snap-crackle-pop get instead the ill named but well made Prawn Star - succulent, large shrimp wrapped in lovely greased bacon strips. The Chicken Kathi roll titled Under Wraps is a roll cut up in pieces for your convenience and served on a wooden board. Taste wise, it will come close to your favourite late night street kathi roll, but will cost you more. 

Stealth is Wealth

Next at the table was the Stealth Bomb, a classic Goan Sausage preparation that came served with garlic bread and Silence Of The Lamb, lamb kebabs served with pav, imli and pudina chutney. Neither of these dishes really impressed us – the sausages were too chewy and the lamb kebab featured too few and too small pieces of meat.

Go to PDT for initial not-so-secret secret thrills and stay for the cocktails. But in its current still-new phase, picking a week night might be a better idea. For past 11.30 pm on a Friday night, it got too crowded, the music turned commercial, the service dropped substantially, resulting in us quickly wrapping up for the night.

Don’t however, leave without going to the restroom, a voyeuristic booth where the mirror comes with a two-way glass and our favourite – the tap is operated with a foot pedal so you don’t get germs on your hands.

Best faucet-up ever!

Getting there: Please Don’t Tell, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, next to Tilt All Day, call 8082783783 to make a reservation. Meal for three with one drink each: Approximately Rs 6,000. Kingfisher pint for Rs 300, small Absolut and Jameson for Rs 300, average price of a cocktail is Rs 700.

 
New Mexican Bar In Fort: Tijuana Iguana
Friday, 22 August 2014 15:16



What: New Mexican bar Tijuana Iguana opens, Bombay Mutual Annexe building, Rustom Sidhwa Marg, behind Citi Bank, opposite Hotel Residency, Fort, call 33487715.

Why: After a Barking Deer, a White Owl, a Blue Frog and the Lazy Dog, comes another creature of the night, for dinner and drinks. Recently launched, Tijuana Iguana at Fort is a Tex-Mex bar that serves up nachos, chicken wings,  burgers and steaks. The artwork on their Facebook page seems slightly tacky, but we suspect that the bar, which looks nice enough in pcitures, will dole out well-priced drinks and great deals considering the offices in the neighbourhood. Full review out soon!

When: Lounge lizards, go this weekend!

 
Recipe: Blueberry Mojito From Tilt All Day
Friday, 22 August 2014 13:04


Tilt All Day has introduced Happy Hours, with super deals on cocktails and food, from 5pm to 9pm. Try this Blueberry Mojito recipe from their cocktail menu on for size this weekend.

  • Method: muddled
  • Glass      : Roly Poly
  • Garnish : blueberry pulp on top

Ingredients

  • 60 ml Captain Morgan
  • 15 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20 ml simple syrup (sugar syrup)
  • 1 bar spoon fresh blueberry pulp
  • 3/5 Macerated lemon
  • 5/8 mint leaves
  • 1 Lime wedge

Method

  • Place the blueberries, mint in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the fruit and mint with a muddler until the blueberries release their juice and you can smell the aroma of the mint.
  • Add the Captain Morgan, Simple syrup and lime juice.
  • Fill the glass 2/3 full of cracked ice.
  • Just give a nice stir in the mixing glass. Once the mix is done perfect. Pour it in a roly polly glass.
  • And garnish it with a top of Fresh Blueberry Puree and lime wedge.
 
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