Food & Drink

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

Sponsored: Pastry Week At Studio Fifteen
Monday, 10 November 2014 11:52



***This post is sponsored by Studio Fifteen***

What: Pastry Week at Studio Fifteen, shop no 4, Rajgruha Society, B Wing, BM Marg, Elphinstone West, to sign up for a single or multiple classes call 8454046544, start at Rs 2,500 for a class.

Why: When there’s a class dedicated just to butter, you know it’s going to be slick. It’s Pastry Week over at Studio Fifteen where visiting chef Girish Nayak (currently Pastry Chef at Olive Beach Bangalore, previously worked at New York’s finest pastry kitchens and bakeries like Daniel, Bouchon Bakery, Bouley Bakery and Le Bernardin), will take a series of classes dedicated to pastry that involve butter, salted caramel, choux pastry, petit four and breakfast pastry. Here you’ll learn to whip up treats like cream puffs, gougers, éclairs, bouchons, salted caramel popcorn, banana cream pie, opera, pavlova and more! Details on http://www.studiofifteen.in!

When: November 15-21. See full class schedule on www.studiofifteen.in.

***This post is sponsored by Studio Fifteen***

 
bpb Review: Bar Stock Exchange, Andheri
Monday, 10 November 2014 10:40

 

This review was conducted by Tarbir Shahpuri, who worked as a fund manager with Edelweiss Financial Services for over six years. After spending two years at the Bombay Stock Exchange, he now manages proprietary investments. He is a certified private pilot and holds a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.

It’s hard to find fault with a bar that 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.

This is Bar Stock Exchange, the latest offering from the guys behind the Big Bang Bar & Café, which has opened up at Andheri (E), and promises two new outposts at BKC and Andheri (W) within a month.

There to watch the market open, we reached BSE at 4 pm last Saturday evening. Even though we were mistaken about the time of opening (it actually starts at 6 pm) the staff was nice enough to leave the music on and offer us drinks and food. Since trading hadn’t begun yet, we thought it would be best to concentrate on the food stock(s).

Ten minutes later, the chef accompanied a Grilled Chicken Harissa and Stuffed Mushroom plate to our table. The stuffed mushrooms were cooked well and oozed enough spice to balance the sweetness of the peppers on the plate. The chicken was tender and the Harissa sauce, evenly applied to both sides. This went well with the hummus and pita platter that came next – a bowl of thick, tangy hummus, with lemon and garlic flavours coming through as they should. The bar snacks here are generic, yes, but will give you little to complain about.

Going Up?

We were soon joined by our third companion and moved into the inside section of the bar to catch market opening. The bar was dimly lit with a brick wall façade, which was pasted with logos of stock markets from around the world. Other wall space was awarded to screens with drink prices and their respective trends.

The Bar Stock Exchange has a fun application, which works seamlessly, and also allows you to send drinks to cute traders at other tables. Prices move within a daily brand between MRP and Rs 999. When Kingfisher for instance, reaches around Rs 300, most switch to Corona, one manager told us. However, usually when prices of a drink reach saturation point, management crashes the prices to bring it down to a more affordable rate. Much like a real stock exchange where prices move up in tandem to demand and are halted by price filters from time to time, the Bar Stock Exchange manages to capture the essence of price psychology quite well. 

Put the Ketel On

We frantically started ordering drinks on the application, from cheap beer to cocktails (Rs 250) to single malts (Rs 275). This writer was however firm in his resolve to buy only 100 rupee drinks.Kettle one, Rs 96 - BUY, Bombay Sapphire, Rs 106 - BUY, Jameson, Rs 106 - BUY, Khalua, Rs 100 - BUY. Drinks like Old Monk go down to Rs 17 and a Teachers can be bought for Rs 72 (for 30 ml)! A value investor by profession, this writer was in booze heaven.

Like the bar food, the cocktails aren’t a refined science, but the Whisky Sour and Gimlet we tried were mixed well enough to warrant repeats.

Then came another round of starters – chilli cheese toast with enough bread and cheese to soak in the last batch of drinks; a plate of long, crisp French Fries, falling somewhere between gourmet and McDonalds; coconut and chicken quesadillas that left our palates searching for the Thai styled coconut riffs.

The music ranged from pop and rock to retro (this plus the landscape of people and décor will remind you of the Irish House). Having spent four hours at the BSE drinking a total of 9 beers and 8 cocktails and a whole bunch of appetisers, our bill totalled Rs 3,600 only.

A fun night out, we’d return to BSE with a larger group of friends for the game, the ganoush, and the gin that costs less than prices at gymkhaanas.

Getting there: Shivani Industrial Estate, opposite Times Square (behind Mc Donalds), Andheri (E), call 26005858, Rs 3,600 for nine beers, eight cocktails and six starters. Rates are subject to market prices post 6 pm.  

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.


 
bpb Review: The Nutcracker, Kala Ghoda
Friday, 07 November 2014 11:24




What do you do when your favourite song plays on the radio? You turn up the volume, tap your foot, wait for memories to be triggered – of an old vacation, an old friend, an old flame, and you smile, almost unintentionally.

We felt the same way when we bit into The Nutcracker’s warm Seven Layer Cookie, with bits of Belgian chocolate, biscuit crumbs, butterscotch and almond flakes, and a slathering of ice cream. A dessert that’s guaranteed to bring on many memories of childhood cookies, teenage school time sandwich ice creams, kitchen crumbs, mom's improvised dessert, syrupy dates and more.

Reader, we dedicate this sweet, sweet song to you.

But that came at the end. Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a pretty good place to start.

Green Eggs & Hamburgers

We were there first day, first show yesterday as The Nutcracker debuted in Kala Ghoda, a new all day breakfast café. Cute meets grunge here with an “I see your exposed pipes and cardboard framed mirrors and raise you an art deco tiled flooring, bougainvillea flower beds and chalkboards’ vibe going on. We quickly cooled off with their fresh Ginger Lemonade, tangy, refreshing and made prettier with a long but harmless red chilli; along with the Passion Fruit and Basil Cooler, a bright green drink for a dull dusty day.

The Asian Salad and Pesto Scrambled Egg Sliders are what we picked first out of their menu that offers eggs, pancakes, burgers, salad and sandwiches.

The salad, perfect for Instagram, comes pretty as a picture with slivers of zucchini, carrots and spring onions tossed in an Asian chilli dressing, topped with crunchy curls of garlic. It was just as attractive to our taste buds, we’re happy to report. The Pesto Scrambled Egg Sliders also did well, with the caramelised onions, egg and pesto creating a slightly bitter-sweet combination. The portion of two sliders per plate however, seemed a little measly to us.

Who’s That Grill?

The Jalapeno Grilled Sandwich; Pesto Panini and Eggs Florentine made their way to our table soon after, and disappeared just as quickly. We loved the creamy texture of the eggs and garlic-y spinach of the Florentine, both sitting on a lightly toasted bun. The Pesto Panini was big hearted, wrapping itself around a substantial filling of succulent mushrooms, giving more than you ask for with each bite. While the good ol’ grilled cheese sandwich comes with its own comfort food attraction, it felt too heavy and bready for a midday meal. “Maybe as a stomach liner before a night of drinks?” our dining companion suggested. The weekend is here already!

We nodded and turned out attention to the dessert menu.

Apart from the Seven Layered Cookie, we also sampled the Gooey Chocolate Cake that was luxurious with its use of Belgian chocolate, but never felt too sweet. A friend on a lunch slot just before us at The Nutcracker mentioned that the blueberry pancakes could do with a lot more fluff and flavour. Hopefully that will get better post day one.

On the whole, The Nutcracker looks, tastes and feels tasty, a good addition to the collection of cafes in the neighbourhood.

Getting There: The Nutcracker, opposite One Forbes Building, VB Gnadhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, call 22842430, approx Rs 2,500 for a meal for three.

bpb reviews anonymously & pays for its meals.

 
bpb Review: Loco Chino, Bandra
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 19:29


No one expects dim sum to fall out of a piñata, but fall they do at Loco Chino, a new Carter Road restaurant that loves both its hats – sombrero and bamboo - equally.

Before you dismiss this Mexican/Chinese place as another multi-cuisine or worse, fusion eatery, you should know this: Loco Chino has many pleasant surprises up its sleeve.

 
Sushi Star: Should You Order?
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 20:23



Is it presumptuous for a sushi delivery service to put ‘star’ in its name? Maybe. But we took this star and wished upon it, hoping that the sushi would be well-priced and well made, considering they deliver almost all over Mumbai.

 
The Nutcracker: Kala Ghoda's New All-Day Breakfast Spot
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 19:48




bpb Bulletin

When we tell you that The Nutcracker opens at Kala Ghoda on Thursday, November 6, you might visit the neighbourhood expecting something Christmas-y.

A new all day breakfast café isn’t exactly the seasonal entertainment you were hoping for, but buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote and melted butter for dinner, does sound like music to our ears.

 
New Organic Lunch Box Delivery
Monday, 03 November 2014 20:35



When people tell Namita Ambani that they want to get fresh with her, slapping them in the face is not usually her first reaction. 

Instead, she gathers a round of farm fresh vegetables through her online organic marketplace Dialorganic.com, and puts together an office tiffin that’s home cooked and really quite tasty.

 
Chef Alex Returns To The Table
Monday, 03 November 2014 09:54



Put out another place mat. The Table’s chef Alex Sanchez is back!

Head chef at the Colaba restaurant, Alex had taken a one year hiatus to work at three Michelin starred Eleven Madison Park in New York, where he laboured his way up from Commis (one week training) to Hors D'oeuvres (Garde Manger) to the “very challenging” meat station.

He’s returned with plans for new menu additions, master classes with visiting chefs and a party catering arm for The Table, decisions that were influenced by Oyster Vichyssoise, his stay in Chinatown and New York’s Jewish food culture, to name a few. Chef Alex chats with us about his top five NY influencers and how they will translate into food for you at The Table.

Oyster Vichyssoise: One of the first, most challenging dishes I was responsible for at Eleven Madison Park (EMP). A single oyster in its shell served on a Vichyssoise Bavarois, glazed with its own liquor, and studded with exactly 13 individual eggs of caviar evenly spaced, placed with tweezers. I was responsible for 120 to 130 portions of this plus the four to five other dishes at my station. I learned speed, precision, cleanliness, and the importance of consistency. How long do you think it would take you to shuck 130 oysters?

Its Influence: I have returned with a refined set of skills, which will help in the kitchen. A new dish that went on the menu recently is a good example of this: Steamed Seabass with Confit Fennel, Roasted Peppers & Garlic, in a broth of yellow peppers and coconut.

Chinatown: For the year I was in New York, I lived in Chinatown. Much of it is a tourist trap, filled with cheap souvenirs and imitation handbags. But there are also many restaurants off the beaten path that offer incredible dishes. I was inspired by their ability to make delicious food from seemingly strange products like 1000-year-old eggs and dried jellyfish. I discovered the very first Dim Sum house in the US (Nom Wah Tea Parlor) here too!

Its Influence: Eating in Chinatown has encouraged me to explore the uses of less common ingredients.

Jewish Food Culture: Is a large part of New York's culinary heritage and it was the first time I had really delved into it. I’m Jewish, but have never been particularly religious. Experiencing the food at iconic establishments like the Pastrami Sandwich at Katz's Deli or the Classic Bagel at Russ & Daughters with scallion cream cheese and Gaspe Nova salmon, was an eye-opening experience.

Its Influence: I have come back with a renewed sense of purpose and self. It was a reminder to cook from my heart and to make food that appeals to me. Like the Fresh Ricotta Raviolo with a farm egg yolk, brown butter and sage at The Table, for instance. My younger self would have thought this was too clichéd or too simple. But when done right with ricotta we make that morning at the restaurant, the dish is outstanding.

 
Get Waffle Sticks From Waffle House
Thursday, 30 October 2014 20:24


What: Order waffles on a stick for your next party from the newly launched Waffle House, mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , see the Facebook page here, Rs 120 for a waffle stick (minimum party order of 75 pieces).

Why: It’s Friday, so here, a bunch of flours for you. On sticks. Baked as waffles. Presenting the Waffle House, a venture fresh out of the oven, one that aims to bring German style waffles to India (served as regular waffles and on sticks). Toppings in the bouquet include flavours like apple cinnamon, coffee, salted caramel and chocolate ganache. 

Sample them if you’re around at the Tapped Beer Festival on November 2 at Wodehouse Club, Colaba; and at The Farmer’s Market by Karen Anand at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel from November 22-23. .

When: You want to stick by breakfast.


 
Quick Byte: Serafina To Open In Kala Ghoda
Thursday, 30 October 2014 10:26



Another day, another new opening in Kala Ghoda. 

Italian restaurant Serafina that's currently at Palladium, Lower Parel, is all set to open its second outpost at Kala Ghoda. This will replace Pan Asian restaurant Chao Ban, owned by the same hospitality group. 

If you haven't been to the Lower Parel restaurant yet, we recommend you look out for the truffle or white pizza, spiced cocktails and Gelati e Sorbetti.

While an official date for the launch isn't set yet, we hear they will be opening in a month.

Getting there: 30, K. Dubhash Marg, Next to Chetana Restaurant, Kala Ghoda.

 
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