Fresh
Sponsored: The Table’s Diwali Hamper
Monday, 20 October 2014 11:21

***This post is sponsored by The Table***

What: Diwali hampers put together by The Table, ground floor, Kalapesi Trust Building, Apollo Bunder Marg, Colaba, call 9833948363 or emailing on  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to order, Rs 1,500.

Why: Gift someone The Table’s Diwali hamper this season, and you’ll earn some serious brownie points, considering all the made-to-order goodies that go into it. There are dips, assorted cookies, fudge brownies, house made pastas, peanut brittle, maple granola and sauces! Order must be placed a day in advance.

When: You need to bask(et) in their glory.

***This post is sponsored by The Table***

 
English & Hindi Classes For Expats & Foreigners
Monday, 20 October 2014 09:41



After a few crazy years in the advertising industry, Isha Pahuja decided to go from being tense, to minding her tenses.

Armed with a professional language teaching degree, Isha launched Travlearn- English and Hindi classes exclusively for foreigners, expats, tourists and NRIs in Mumbai and Delhi.

With clients like the staff of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, diplomats, ambassadors and even the Afghanistan President’s son, Isha’s classes cover the basic things like everyday negotiations, colloquial terms and practical trainings in markets and restaurants. “Sometimes I leave my students in a shop and tell them to come back out only after a good ten minutes of conversation. The idea is for students to experience using the language first hand, in everyday situations,” she says.

Isha’s business model even offers customised, one-on-one classes for international yoga and Ayurveda instructors. Bend over backwards? Yes, she does.

Getting There: Learn English & Hindi as a foreign language at Travlearn, classes exclusively for foreigners, expats, tourists, NRIs, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , call 09811571059, Rs 1,500 per hour for an individual lesson, Rs 500 an hour for a group of four people, see their Facebook page here.


 
bpb's Big Transport List
Monday, 20 October 2014 09:30


Win 1 of 3 exclusive Chandon Diwali boxes today! See our Twitter feed at 11.30 am to participate.

bpb’s latest list, a logistics directory of sorts, helps you transport everything from yourself to your St. Bernard, your gold fish and even an elephant (in the room) across the city, country, world. Plus, how to transport expensive paintings, jewellery, money and wine, and the best things on wheels! Go on, zoom in.

Objects of Your Desire: Moving Stuff Around

Art & Sculptures

International auction houses and art galleries swear by these companies when it comes to shipping their valuable art pieces within the country and internationally. Nouveau reach? G4S security company (http://www.g4s.in/), Siddharth Logistics (www.siddharthalogistics.com).

Plants and Trees

Vriksha Nursery can move your plants – even if you didn’t buy it from them – anywhere in the country. They recently relocated 18,000 plants, shrubs and even large trees within 48 hours, from a building that was going into redevelopment. Their trucks come with gardeners and plant care equipment. Hoe bags!

1 Ganga Apartments, Irla Railway Society, Vile Parle (W), call 9820704069.

Carpets & Antique Rugs

Hands Carpets, the guys behind the carpets at MGM Grand Casino in Macau, The Armani Hotel in Dubai, The Ritz Carlton in Singapore, The Palladium Hotel in Mumbai, use Gati – KWE to transport their antique rugs and recommend them for their impeccable care packaging and timing.

Visit http://www.gatikwe.com/

Frozen Meat & Cheese

While most people in Mumbai just use an icebox, dry ice and a car to deliver frozen foods on a small scale, special refrigerated vans can be ordered as well. Anish Chinai, an advertising executive who also runs a meat and marinade delivery service, recommends VG Frozen Food Carrier (61626414) and RK Foodland (rkfoodland.com) for larger orders. Also see Brattle Foods (call Deepak from the Mumbai office on 8826991755).

Wine

FineWinesnMore makes customised bags with sections for wine bottles and also temperature controlled boxes for 1,2,4 and 6 bottles. These you can purchase from them even if you aren’t buying their wines. FineWinesnMore, Fine Mine Boutique at Laxmi Industrial Estate in Andheri (W), visit http://www.finewinesnmore.com.

Perishable Hampers & Bulk Gifts

Just Deliveries specialises in delivering perishable, high value, fragile products within the city. They distribute bulk gifts and hampers for Taj and Trident Hotels, and also did the birth announcement hamper delivery for actress Aishwarya Rai. Also great for wedding card distribution and corporate gift delivery. Vans are temperature controlled and come with racks for wine and careful handlers. Call 9769557799, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.justdeliveries.co.in, start at Rs 100 per delivery.

Musical Instruments

Paramount Services helps transport musical instruments and gear across the country for gigs and concerts. PS: Norah Jones used them too during her India tour! That’s right, pitch! Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , call 28327911.

Fish & Large Animals

Need to transport a large horse, zoo animal or mini aquarium within the city or across the country? Of course you do. Jetex Oceanair helps with transportation and handling of larger animals across India. And exit, elephant in the room. Prices vary as per quantity and location.

See website here, call 9004848168.

Your Home

Basically everything in it. These movers and packers offer complete end-to-end solutions, whether you are moving in or out of the city. See their international or domestic relocation services and even orientation packages (for home finding, to set up basic utilities, spouse support and networking) for a new city you’re in.

Writer Corporation: See their website here, call 66170100, write to them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nippon Express: See their website here.

Important Documents

Law firms in the city recommend Blue Dart’s priority service to send contracts, college applications, transcripts and other important documents. They ensure domestic delivery by 10:30 am the next day. Contact your nearest BlueDart centre, see their website here, minimum charges Rs 450.

Natural Ice Cream

Travelling for Diwali to meet relatives? Surprise them with a batch of fresh Natural Ice Cream from Mumbai. While they don’t courier the package for you, they will pack it in an icebox that keeps it fresh and rock hard until you reach your destination. Contact the Natural Ice Cream branch near you, minimum orders of 2 kgs, which includes four family pack boxes, Rs 1,100 inclusive of packaging.

Expensive Jewellery + Cash 

Have your family jewelry and/or cash transported anywhere in India or abroad using the secured vaults of logistical service, Lemuir Logistics Pvt. Ltd. Be prepared for some daunting paper work, though. Call 61126112, freight charges are a combination of fixed charges + percentage of the valuables being transported.

Biryani and Haleem from Hyderabad

These services prove to be twice as rice - Biryani by Air and Pista House will both fly Hyderabad’s famous biryani (from Shah Ghouse Cafe and Paradise)

and haleem respectively to Mumbai.  Biryani House, 325 Siffin Apts, Ambedkar Road, Bandra (W), call 9699512233, available for dinner only. Rs 1,200 for two plates of Biryani that serve four; Pista House, order here, Rs 575 for a 1 kg tub.

Food From Different Restaurants

Want two dinner courses from two different restaurants? The sites below help you order from more than one restaurant, café and bakery at a time. Meals On Wheels (http://www.mealsonwheels.in/), Food Panda  (http://www.foodpanda.in), Tasty Khana (http://tastykhana.in)

Titbit (http://www.titbit.com).

Midnight Deliveries
Pizza, chocolate mousse, cigarettes, condoms, mixers, tampons. You’re having some night aren’t you? Fly By Knight (http://flybyknight.co.in) and Mad Bites (http://madbites.co.in) deliver these at any time of the night.

For the Odd This & That

Have an odd item that no courier service or packer will accept? We thought you might, you creep. UShip runs an online market place where you can sign up and enter the item you want to transport, get market players to bid to ship for you and choose the cheapest option.

See their website here, view their video on how they work here.

Get Up & Go: When You’re On The Move

Food Delivered to Your Train Seat


If you hate railway pantry food, there are a bunch of services that ask for your PNR info, help you choose dishes from the menu of a nearby restaurant and have hot food delivered to your seat at the point of boarding. Visit http://www.travelkhana.com; http://www.travelerfood.com; https://www.yatrachef.com

Best Bus Services + BEST

Have a flock of visitors in the city for a family wedding? Luxury Limo offers comfy Volvo and Mercedes mini coaches and buses (they rent out high end cars as well) that are perfect for that fancy Mumbai darshan you have planned. In a bit of a downgrade, you can also organise a party on open air BEST bus. And Grallo provides bus services for music festivals including NH7 Weekender, Sunburn and more! Visit luxurylimo.in; for BEST call 24145237 and speak to Mr Jadhav; visit https://grallo.com/.

Bands on Buses


White Collar Hippie organises Band on the Bus, live bands on buses that are heading to music festivals, camp sites and sometimes to who knows where and back. Visit www.whitecollarhippie.com for details.

Plane/Chopper Rentals

Much money must greet the fleet at www.airchartersindia.net that allows you to charter flights within the country and internationally as well. Reservations need to be made with adequate time in hand. Charges depend on the plane/chopper you hire and these generally operate out of the T2, International Airport (Mumbai). Call 28250272/73/74/75 and contact Mr. Khalil.

Seaplane Rides

MTDC in collaboration with Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Limited (MEHAIR), has launched a schedule of seaplane services that has sea flights from Juhu airport to Pawana Dam, Nashik, Mahabaleshwar, Shirdi, Talegon and Aamby Valley. A good way to feel like you’re in an Indiana Jones film! Visit www.mehair.in, Rs 2,999 for a one-way trip from Juhu Airport to Pawana Dam, see flight schedule here, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , call 26172929.

Segway Rentals

Rent a Segway – apparently also big on the baaraat circuit - from Segway Races. The ride will be delivered to your place of your choice (conveyance will be chargeable). For more information call 61801582/9820602218, starts at Rs ,9000/- per ride.

Vintage Classic Car Rentals

If you must make a getaway, do it in a Rolls Royce, Jaguar or Chrysler rented from the VCCCI. (B)Ride away! Call 22664773 / 9820082637 or log on to http://www.vccci.com, start at Rs 20,000 a day.

Rickshaws You Can Book Online and Hail On Whatsapp

If finding a rickshaw in your neighbourhood is a pain, you can book one on Autowale’s website. The only bummer is that the minimum distance for plying has to be 6 kms. Log on to www.autowale.in and fix your ride.

Much sexier is Sandeep’s rickshaw often spotted around Bandra, which comes with newspapers, LCD screens, Wi-fi, fancy upholstery and sometimes, his favourite film promotions. Call 9594236040.

Also hail, Deepak Shewale’s rickshaw in Bandra that can be ordered via Whatsapp. Call 9768617980.

Skyrunners, Pogo Sticks for Sale

Monkie Gears’ Skyrunners and Pogo Sticks seem like the best way to skip (over) Mumbai’s traffic. Buy on monkiegears.com, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Skyrunners (adults) start at Rs 16,500 and Pogo Sticks (adults) start at Rs 9,000.

Driver Services

Can’t drive. Too drunk to drive. Your calves hurt.

Baby, they can drive your car!

Party Hard Drivers, call 43331333; Driver in Mumbai, call 8080468686, Dial-A-Drive call 98215-DRIVE (37483).

Cool Taxi Services

Vira Cabs and Priyadarshini Taxi services are meant for women and are driven by lady drivers only. Boys, this is no time for jokes!

And if you’re heading to Goa this season, Goa Tourism has just launched the Women Taxi service with lady drivers trained in self-defense techniques. The cabs are also equipped with GPS and card payment option.

Meanwhile in Mumbai, Uber launches uberX, a lower end AC cab service that costs almost as low as taking a regular black and yellow! And Ola Cabs allows you to book regular black and yellow cabs as well, through their app.

www.viiracabs.com; www.priyadarshinitaxi.com; for Women Taxi call 08322437437; www.uber.com/cities/mumbai; http://www.olacabs.com.


Stretch Limo Rentals

You’re way past prom age, but you’re never too old to get together a bunch of buddies and booze for a stretch limo.

Call 9890467667 or log on to http://www.luxuryrentalcarindia.com/, starts at Rs 25,000 (4 hours) and Rs 45,000 (8 hours).

Padmini in Pictures


Mumbai’s Padmini taxis may be fast disappearing, but you can get to stop and stare (at them) on photographer Aparna Jaykumar’s website, through her Goodbye Padmini series. See here.


Follow Monisha Rajesh

The author of Around the World in 80 Trains tweets about travel experiences – her own and those of other authors. Follow!

Carpool Apps

Be kind to the environment and find people to car pool to work with in your neighbourhood. Visit to http://smartmumbaikar.com/ orhttp://www.poolmycar.in/index.asp



Boat Services

Besides taking a regular ferry (PNP and Malda) to Alibaug from the Gateway of India, there is also a fleet of yacht and motorboat charter services provided by West Coast Marine (http://www.westcoastmarine.co.in), Ocean’s Blue (http://oceanblue.in) and Gateway Charters (www.gatewaycharters.in).

There’s also the new live music and art festival Eden, part of which takes place on a boat every year. Visit http://www.eden-festival.com

Baaraat Bar Carts

Rahul Akerkar’s (of Indigo Deli) Moveable Feast catering service offers mobile bars stocked with booze and quick nibbles that moves alongside the groom’s baaraat. How thoughtful! Call 43490000, visit moveablefeast.net, will be part of a larger wedding event catering.

More Bars on Wheels

This bar on wheels pops out of a suitcase and can be assembled at your home in under fifteen minutes, mixologist and bar assistant included. Holy spirits, Batman! Call 9821302348 / 9820468682 or visit www.barmobile.in, Rs 5,500 for five hours with the mobile bar and mixologist.

Idol Transporters

Vishal Band arranges decked out flower chariots to transport Ganesh, Durga and other religious idols. See attached band (cringe). Call 61632732

Customised Cycle Makers

Faisal Thakur and Zubair Lodi build custom-made bikes including art ones with graffiti ladders and pull out palettes; silver Alien bikes with attached telescopes; and on one client’s demand, a cycle that looked like a Harley. Ply them with enough cups of tea and they’ll be happy to share maintenance tips. Shirley, Pali Hill, Bandra (W), call 9769712311, view the Facebook page here.

City Walkabouts

Travel Logs City Walks: Travel logs organizes alternate walks and tours around the city around communities, areas and festivities. Sign up for their upcoming walks on the East Indian community, a Halloween special walk and more. See their calendar here, call 8425830004

Mumbai Magic: Keep guests from out of town busy with Mumbai Magic’s “a la carte” city tours, or better yet, get Deepa to customise a trail for you.

Call Deepa on 9867707414 or log on to www.mumbaimagic.com, start at Rs 800 per person for group tours.

Past Life Regression Therapist
And finally, for the traveller who has been to everywhere and back, how about time travel? Dr. Trupti Jayin, who used to have a celebrity TV show (yes, that makes her legit) conducts past life regression sessions. Call 9820858816/9830858816, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , a 3 hour session for Rs 10,000/- (first session) and Rs 5,000/- (successive sessions).

See you in another life!



This picture has been taken from our archives, and is for representational purposes only.




 
Dresses With Ants From Polka
Friday, 17 October 2014 11:51



What: Dresses with ants, Mexican embroidery and pineapples at Polka, view the Facebook page here, message them on Facebook or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to order, online store in progress, prices range between Rs 2,300 and Rs 7,800.

Why: “Coloured threads become embroidered stories on our dresses,” says Poonam Agarwal, who wants you to be well-(th)read. A Parsons graduate who has worked in retail for many years, including designing custom jewellery for Bergdorf Goodman (NY), Poonam says Polka does daywear and will be an alternative to Zara. Along with her partner Anais Basu who worked at a French export house, they debuted a pretty line of linen clothes for women this month, hand embroidered with ants, pineapples, black hearts, roses and a Mexican pattern that Frida Kahlo would wear.

When: You want to stand out in the line(n) up.

 
Scoop: Kaboom To Open In Ballard Estate!
Friday, 17 October 2014 11:48


What: Scoop! Kaboom @ Cafe Model, 3A Spott Road, next to Grand Hotel, Ballard Estate.

Why: Among other Diwali explosions, see this: opening soon at Ballard Estate, Kaboom, started by two NY returns will feature a new cuisine every day - South East Asian; Middle Eastern; Cheese toasts with a gourmet touch (what? cheese toast could be a type of cuisine!); Italian; and American. Replacing Café Model and aiming to feed the office goers in the neighbourhood, Kaboom will source all its produce from local farms, and will ensure that their packaging is 100% bio-degradable, ink and dye-free.

When: Dyna-might open in the first week of November or mid-month.

 
Event Roundup: Oct 17-19
Friday, 17 October 2014 10:24



Oct 17: Begin the weekend with some bass-heavy electronic music at the ‘Bass Camp Festival’ featuring artists like Symbiz Sound ft. Zhi MC, Sickflip, EZ Riser, Ox7gen, Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mill compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, 10.30 pm, Ticket price – Rs 600, book your tickets here.

Oct 17: Attend ‘Stringtstruck’ featuring Purbayan Chatterjee (Sitar and Vocals), and the percussionist duo of Taufiq Qureshi and Fazal Qureshi. Tata Theatre, NCPA Mumbai, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, 7 pm, ticket price – Rs 225 onwards (Members), Rs 300 onwards (Non members), book your tickets here.

Oct 17: Head to this Max Mueller initiative– an expressionist theatre performance, ‘From Morn to Midnight’ directed by Karlheinz Martin at Prithvi Theatre, 20 Janki Kutir, Juhu Church road, Juhu, 7pm, entry free.

Oct 18: Join the Red Bull bus tour 2014 as it kicks off on Saturday.Catch Pentagram, Bhayanak Maut, The Raghu Dixit Project and alternate rockers 'Skrat'  at the the Mumbai gig among several others. Richardson and Cruddas Ltd, Sir JJ Flyover, Byculla. To RSVP and for more information click here.

Oct 18: Attend the screening of the ‘Cindrella’ Dutch National Ballet performance at PVR Juhu (6pm) and PVR Lower Parel (7pm), tickets start Rs 250 (PVR Juhu) and Rs 350 (PVR Lower Parel), book your tickets here.

Oct 18: Join Snigdha Manchanda as she sets out on foot to understand the tea culture of the city as a part of ‘Mumbai chai walk’. Begins at Bombay Stock Exchange, Kala Ghoda, 4 pm to 6 pm, ticket price – Rs 1500, book your tickets here.

Oct 18: Attend ‘Live From The Console’ featuring debut acts like Sid Vashi (Mumbai), MoonDogs (J&K) and veterans like The Ska Vengers (New Delhi). Stage 2, Mehboob Studios, Bandra (W), 6pm, ticket price – Rs 250, for more information click here.

Oct 18-19: Just in time for some Diwali shopping, the ‘Nor Black Nor White’ (NBNW) Open Studio is returning this weekend in collaboration with Kichu with a whole new range of handmade textiles. House of NBNW, Out house of VithalBhavan, 11/12, Guru Nanak road, Bandra (W), 11 am to 7 pm, call 9833050138, for directions click here, entry free.

Oct 19: Watch a play ‘The Buckingham Street’ as it does a humorous spin on the ‘true identities’ of the members of the Royal family. Tata Theatre, NCPA Mumbai, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, 7 pm, ticket price – Rs 270 onwards (Members), Rs 360 onwards (Non members), book your tickets here.

Oct 19: Head to ‘Bombay Local’ and try a whole new range of dips, sauces, teas, juices and baked goods by vendors like Busago, The Ramen Girl and Little Jars among several others. The Easel, 32, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church road, Juhu, 3 pm to 8 pm, to participate email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , only cash accepted, entry free.

For Diwali:

Put together an Ellipsis Diwali hampers with your fauvorites items from their bakery! They even let you create bespoke hampers (of different price points)as per your preferences and requirements.

Ditch the regular mithai routine and gift goodies from The Elephant Company instead! Choose from their range of home décor, furnishings, personal and tech accessories here

 
Weekend Guide: Ctrl + Salt + Del
Friday, 17 October 2014 10:12



bOMB

What: Scoop! Kaboom @ Cafe Model, 3A Spott Road, next to Grand Hotel, Ballard Estate.

Why: Among other Diwali explosions, see this: opening soon at Ballard Estate, Kaboom, started by two NY returns will feature a new cuisine every day - South East Asian; Middle Eastern; Cheese toasts with a gourmet touch (what? cheese toast could be a type of cuisine!); Italian; and American. Replacing Café Model and aiming to feed the office goers in the neighbourhood, Kaboom will source all its produce from local farms, and will ensure that their packaging is 100% bio-degradable, ink and dye-free.

When: Dyna-might open in the first week of November or mid-month.

***

What: Dresses with ants, Mexican embroidery and pineapples at Polka, view the Facebook page here, message them on Facebook or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to order, online store in progress, prices range between Rs 2,300 and Rs 7,800.

Why: “Coloured threads become embroidered stories on our dresses,” says Poonam Agarwal, who wants you to be well-(th)read. A Parsons graduate who has worked in retail for many years, including designing custom jewellery for Bergdorf Goodman (NY), Poonam says Polka does daywear and will be an alternative to Zara. Along with her partner Anais Basu who worked at a French export house, they debuted a pretty line of linen clothes for women this month, hand embroidered with ants, pineapples, black hearts, roses and a Mexican pattern that Frida Kahlo would wear.

When: You want to stand out in the line(n) up.

pINE

What: Calmshet Crunch organic Indian peanut butter available at Regal Stores, Pali Naka, Bandra (W), Rs 499 for a jar.

Why: If you’re going to raise a toast this season, slather it with some Calmshet peanut butter. Film producer and mom Priyanka Thakran’s own blend – organically certified coconut, Himalayan salt, peanuts, jaggery – this is bottled and sold at a Bandra food store, and will soon also be available at all Smoke House Deli outlets.Smooth, though we would have preffered crunchy, the peanut butter was thick and had a rich peanut-y flavour. Priyanka suggests you combine with fruit puree; jam to make a PBJ; or eat with Thai chilli sauce on a khakra.

When: You need a new Jar-va script.

bLADE

What: Dial-a-shave with Ganesh, call 9322013516, Rs 200 for a shave, Rs 200 for a head massage.

Why: Hey scruffy, when was the last time you got blade? Ganesh, who works part time at Churchgate’s iconic Air Cool Gents Hair Dressers, will come over when you need a shave, haircut or head massage (you’ll have to work around his work timings, though). After conducting a shave to the Godfather soundtrack in a friend’s Cuffe Parade study, Ganesh realised the importance of music’s relaxing role in his work. If you give him song requests while booking an appointment, he will make sure his phone has your favourite tracks when he comes in. It’s an offer you can’t refuse.

When: You want to stubble upon a great find.

 ***

What: Tickets go on sale for music festival Magnetic Fields at Shekawati, Rajasthan. Buy on http://tickets.magneticfields.in, view the Facebook page here, Rs 5,000 for a three day pass

Why: We can’t help but be drawn to the Magnetic Fields music festival this year, set in the middle of a desert. The festival will feature acts like France’s Dream Koala, India’s Sulk Station and Monica Dogra and Spain’s Begun with a mix of hip hop, electronic, punk, techno and acoustic tunes. Accommodation choices range from a pretty Rajasthan Haveli to breezy Bedouin tents. You get the pitch-a

When: December 12-14.

 
Join The Robin Hood Army
Thursday, 16 October 2014 11:09

Every Sunday night, a band of merry men and women dressed in Lincoln green shirts, collect food from restaurants and distribute it to the homeless and hungry all over Mumbai. Borrowing their moniker from the English outlaw, the Robin Hood Army “takes from restaurants which have plenty and give it to the poor, who have only a few,” the fearless co- leader Anand Sinha tells us – only this operation is legal, and woefully devoid of Kevin Costner brandishing a bow and arrow.

Launched recently by Delhi-based entrepreneur Anand and a Zomato operations professional Neel Ghose, Robin Hood Army is modeled after Hunter Halder’s Re-Food program, an initiative to help end both hunger and food waste in Portugal. After spending some time volunteering in Portugal, Neel came back to India with the idea of starting something similar with his friends in Delhi; few weeks later, they launched Robin Hood Army. "We sat down and discussed the idea and spent the first few weeks just scouting,” Anand tells us.  After identifying clusters, they reached out to their contacts in the food and restaurant industry to help out with initial rations of food.

Now, never short of volunteers and food, the army functions like clockwork. “We meet at my place, divide ourselves into groups and distribution starts at 8 pm every Sunday evening,” Anand tells us. The food, once collected, is distributed by volunteers to people who are homeless and hungry or in any other condition that leaves them without the means to secure the food they need.

Besides leftovers, some restaurants and late night delivery places in Delhi, provide additional services, including cooking and packing special wholesome meals like vada pav, dal chawal, khicchdi, aloo parathas and more. In Mumbai, it is still in a very nascent stage. They are currently sourcing their own food, but are in talks with several restaurants including Persian Durbar, Ideal Corner and Ayub’s.

Feeding 1,600 people a night across the country, Robin Hood Army has approximately 50 volunteers in the city, mostly professionals from companies such as Google, Zomato, McKinsey and law firms. As they grow and expand, they share with bpb that they plan to start their own kitchen, as they “don’t want to depend on collections alone.” With winter a few months away, the Robin Hood Army also plan to start collecting blankets, bedding and warm clothing for distribution, along with the food. Plus, they also hope to get more organized and increase their base of volunteers and partner restaurants, so they can start operating on a daily basis.

Already Robin Hood Army has become so popular that Neel and Anand have replicated the model in four other major cities after Delhi: Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata; Chennai will follow soon. Additionally, they will also be launching a website to make volunteering easy. Until then, if you’d like to help out, please connect with founding volunteers on the Facebook page here.

You can do good, and also maybe rock some tights. We hear they’re making a comeback.

Getting there: Get in touch with the Robin Hood Army through their Facebook page, call Neel at 8826468651 and Anand at 9717270961.

 
Nordic Kandie To Launch First Store
Thursday, 16 October 2014 11:09



Sweet treats this morning.

After news of Krispy Kreme and the Ellipsis' standalone bakery launches, our favourite marzipan brand is finally opening its own store on Saturday, 18th October!

Nordic Kandie Magic will set up shop in Kemp's Corner, where they will sell their signature gold and silver plated marzipans made with an Estonian recipe and mamra almonds sourced from Iran. These come assorted and packed in fancy boxes that are nice for gifting.  
We sampled them in April when they launched their gourmet service and recommend the  fresh cool mint and zesty orange flavours. 

Getting There: #1, Vasant Villa, 3 Peddar Road, Kemp's Corner, Rs 1850 for a 215 gms box.


 
bpb Gift Hamper On TV!
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:21


 

bpb is happy to announce that we are the official gift partners for Zee Café’s celebrity talk show, Look Who’s Talking With Niranjan Iyengar, putting together the hamper for them filled with all our favourite treats! See below for the lovely list of vendors we featured in the goodie basket that went out to Karan Johar, Sonam Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Kajol and others!

Tea Trunk Tea

With an aim to educate tea lovers across the country about ‘tea as it should be’, Snigdha Manchanda’s teas come in flavours that are anything but usual, and most certainly lovely.

We love her vanilla black tea, lemon green tea and the rose oolong flavours. Look out for the newly launched Marigold lemongrass tea this festive season!

www.teatrunk.com, Rs 800 for a box of vanilla black tea.

Indian Bean Coffee

Just so that coffee drinkers don’t feel left out, the good guys at the Indianbean.com gave us their "robust, aromatic and persuasive" blend of Appa’s Coffee that’s picked from estates in South India and Nepal, packed in Mysore and shipped, right to you!

To order view their website here, the Facebook page here, starts at Rs 300 for 250 gms.

The Table

A bpb favourite, Colaba’s The Table contributed to the hamper with their signature ketchup and hot sauce bottles, that is part of their made-to-order service.

Kalapesi Trust Building, Apollo Bunder Marg, Colaba, call 2282 5000, see their Facebook page here

Eighth

Ever since we sampled Anurita Ghoshal’s home baked treats, we haven’t stopped dreaming of the giant smeary chocolate chips in her cakes. Fittingly, Anurita gave us her special biscotti and chocolate pound cakes for the hamper, that we’re pretty sure were well received.

Eighth, flat no 4 , Mudheshwari  Building , YMCA road,  off Carter Road , Bandra (W), view the Facebook page here, call 9820267003.

Sweetish House Mafia We’re over the moon that we finally have a steady stream of SHM’s crater sized cookies, with the launch of her first outlet in Lower Parel! Adding to the sugar overdose in the hamper, Neha Sethi gave us her decadent chocolate chip cookies.

Next to Café Zoe, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, call 24988740.

Nordic Kandie Magic Marzipan

Launched early this year in India, Nordic Kandie Magic is Thea Tammeleht’s line of premium handmade marzipans. Made with mamra almonds sourced from Iran and coated with edible gold, silver and Belgian chocolate, these are definite must if you’re a Marzi-fan.

Nordic Kandie Magic Marzipan, place an order here or via whatsapp to 9699641112

The Good Juicery

To wash all that down, we also added juice from The Good Juicery, that contains no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours. Slurp’s up!

Visit http://www.thegoodjuicery.com/

Sula Wine

Sula also sent us a pint of their wine to go with each hamper. Hic Hic Hurray!

Visit http://www.sulawines.com/

The Coup Card

And finally, bpb’s super culinary card that gets you 15% off at Mumbai’s best bars and restaurants!

Visit www.coupcard.in

 
Bring A Band To Your Living Room
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:00



Just ahead of Diwali, we found two aces for your next card party!

Musicians Anurag Shanker (Slow Down Clown, Caesar’s Palace) and Sankarshan Kini (Whirling Kalapas, ex-Hipnotribe, Kailasa), of the guitar duo The Bombay Acoustic People or BAP, are now open for bookings to play in your living room!

Attempting to ‘break the barrier between the performer and viewer’, Malini Hariharan, the band’s manager and one half of Culture Grind, says that the band is looking to encourage and build informal settings for people so they can connect and appreciate music.

But when The Bombay Acoustic People (their new album is set to release in a couple of months) come over for a special live performance, they’ll insist on your full attention while they’re there. The idea is not for people to have a background score to their evening, but to create an additional dimension and experience to a regular event, Malini tells us.

While costing for these performances will change as per duration, location and other requirements, The Bombay Acoustic Peoplepromise they aren’t too picky, and will be open to playing in any Mumbai apartment (as long as it’s not a compartment).

With organic and breezy acoustics like these, we’re guaranteeing some relief from the firecrackers outside.

Getting There: To book BAP for a private performance, get in touch with Malini Hariharan on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 09167405489/9008017386

 
The Parfait Co: New Parfait Only Delivery
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 09:58



“This is not ice cream. This is its fussy French cousin.”

A cousin who is used to holidays on the Riviera, big furs and luxurious strolls in manicured gardens, you’ll find when you take your first spoon of Sharmeen Indorewala ‘s offering – cold French Dessert Parfait.

Tomorrow she launches this specialised parfait-only delivery service in the city, under the brand The Parfait Co, sending out ten flavours that were picked after months of feeding friends who served as guinea pigs. Boy, did we pick the wrong people to be friends with.

Shar-meen Lean Parfait Machine

If like us, you’re imagining tall glasses of dessert layered with cream and fruit and ice cream, you’re imagining the American version of parfait. In France and most of Europe, it’s really just rich and creamy ice cream-like dessert made with heavy cream, eggs and all natural flavours.

Sharmeen is armed with what many home chefs in Mumbai have today -  a Le Cordon Bleu degree – and used to be the pastry chef at Kala Ghoda restaurant Nico Bombay. She was part of the team responsible for introducing parfait into the apple cinnamon dessert, an improvisation that came from the fact that they didn’t have their own ice cream maker.

During that time, she also started preparing parfait at home, and it soon turned into her husband’s favourite dessert. “I won’t say we got addicted to it. The right thing would be to say we got used it,” she says. That’s when Sharmeen decided that everyone should have access to this delicious “habit”. “The cool thing is that parfait is usually available as part of plated desserts in fine dine restaurants. I don’t know anyone else who sells them in tubs and makes them as accessible and casual as regular ice cream.”

Snowman Ship

Four parfait boxes arrived at our office via an icebox yesterday afternoon, prettily packaged, brightly coloured and covered in snow flakes, which is The Parfait Co’s logo. The well-balanced Salted Caramel and just-enough-sweet Pomegranate versions were our favourites, the rich Hazelnut Crème came a close second, and the Passion Fruit we thought could do with a little more fruit. With all the flavours though, the texture remained consistent and impeccable – silky and so, so creamy. That’s when you understand Sharmeen’s “fussy French cousin” analogy. Other flavours include Belgian chocolate (one of Sharmeen’s favourites), strawberry, blueberry, tangerine, milk chocolate and espresso.

How To Eat Parfait

You eat it just like ice cream. The only difference is that parfait has no artificial flavours or colours or stabilizers, and yet the same shelf life as ice cream. Just stick it in the freezer, eat as is or top with fruits and crumble.

Like all fussy cousins you’ll find that this one can also be a bit of a pain– you have to do a pick up if you don’t live in South Bombay – but ultimately, a treat to be around.

Getting there: The Parfait Co, launches on October 15. Call 9920029229, delivery from Haji Ali to Gowalia Tank, pick up from Gowalia Tank for others, starts at Rs 395 for a 500 ml tub. Follow them on Instagram on @theparfaitco and visit facebook.com/theparfaitco

 
Sponsored: Diwali Hampers from Godrej Nature's Basket
Monday, 13 October 2014 09:52


***This post is sponsored by Godrej Nature’s Basket***

There are gifters and then there’s you. Always imaginative, proving that while you can give a friend a wad of cash for Diwali – losing in teen patti aside – you want the gift to be fun, match the giftee’s personality and be appropriate for the situation.

We help you achieve just that, sifting through the Diwali Nature’s Basket hampers and matching them with your friends.

Organic Gourmet Hamper For Your Crossfit Obsessed Friend: Always bragging about how many planks they can do. Always nagging you about your expanding waist line. Always lagging far behind at the dessert counter. Get him/her the Organic Gourmet Hamper. By the time they’re done going through the multi-grain muesli ,  flax seeds, white quinoa, organic honey and more, you would have finished a bunch of dessert without their watchful eyes on you.

The Grand Coffee Treat Hamper For Your Zoned Out Friend: Have friends who take a year to complete a sentence? Nothing will perk them up like this Grand Coffee Treat Hamper with a selection of exotic coffees, biscuits and Diwali candles. Also see, Tea Fiesta Hamper.

Fruity Celebration For Your Over The Hill Friend: We all have that one friend who’s over the hill, even if he or she is a month older than the rest of the gang. They’re the ones who turn that terrible age first, and the old people joke is always on them. Continue the mockery with this Fruit Basket , because nothing says old guy like a fruit hamper.

World Cuisine Hamper for the Show Off: So there’s that guy who’s always place dropping, talking about how the Mexican food in Mumbai isn’t like it is in Mexico. Perfect Diwali gift would be the Mexican Cuisine Hamper featuring spicy jalapeno, salsa, tortilla chips and more. There’s even hampers that belong to other countries like Thailand.

Festive Celebration Hamper For Your Better Half: Chocolate, dry fruit, juice, champagne all make up this beautifully packed hamper.

Have other kinds of friends? Nature’s Basket has other hampers too. Ones that are centered around dry fruit, chocolate, gourmet spreads and more! Plus, there’s one we’re giving you. You won’t know what it is and why because it’s called Exquisite Surprise!

Happy Diwali!

Getting there: Diwali gifting hampers from Nature’s Basket, order online on http://www.naturesbasket.co.in, delivery within 24 hours, start at Rs 400.

***This post is sponsored by Godrej Nature’s Basket***

 
Scoop: Kofuku Owner To Launch Korean Restaurant!
Monday, 13 October 2014 09:49



 

If you’ve whined about the absence of Korean food in Mumbai, this is for you. The guys behind Japanese restaurant Kofuku are starting up Heng Bok, a new Korean restaurant in Bandra.

Launching next week (they’re hoping to start on the 17th) at Turner Road, the kitchen will serve Korean specials including kimchi, galbi, barbeque pork ribs, and will even send individual grills to tables. There will also be a small selection of sushi, should you have a Kofuku craving.

We’ll raise out glasses of soju to that!

Getting there: 11/1, Kalpak Corner Building, Turner Road, Bandra (W), call 26510044/66/77.

 
Ca-noodle With The Ramen Girl
Monday, 13 October 2014 09:44



It Udon-ed upon Roshni Lachhwani quite early in life, that she would never be happy doing just one thing.

After completing an LLB course last year and working as an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR ) lawyer at a top city firm, she still felt like she had time for more. “I’m not that person who can do the work-and-back-home routine. I need another dimension. Noodles gave me that.”

We bite on the obvious using your noodle joke, as she tells us about her childhood in Hong Kong, where her love for ramen first began. “I’d eat ramen almost every day, for every meal. I was obsessed.” Moving back to India and unhappy with the noodle varieties here, she began to experiment with recipes of her own. After some trial and error and much persuasion by friends and family, Roshni has set up her own ramen home business, The Ramen Girl.

Grapes of Broth

To help fuel those busy days and lives of people stuck in the work/home rut (sound familiar?), Roshni serves up ‘bowls of chi’, or energy to get you by. Experimenting with fusion broths of soy and ginger for vegetarians and beef and pork broth for non-vegetarians, her ramen bowls come with fresh veggies like corn, tomato, spring onions, deep fried soya beans, with additional topping options like sausages and chicken cubes for meat eaters. We sampled the vegetarian bowl last afternoon- a tangle of ramen noodles sitting in a cloudy soy and ginger broth, flavoured but not overwhelmed by its crunchy veggies. Well done, but we would have preferred to see more interesting ingredients like assorted mushrooms and scallion.

Oompa Lumpia

Apart from the ramen bowls, Roshni also makes spring onion rings (deep fried in maida batter), Cheese Lumpia (thinly sliced cheese rolled in a lumpia wrapper) and a Choconut Roulade, all of which will be available at her stall at the Bombay Local pop up at The Easel, on October 19.

The crunchy onion rings and Cheese Lumpia make for addictive snacks, but could have been more skillfully put together in terms of taste and presentation. The Choconut Roulade, sprinkled with coconut shavings and riveted with chunky nuts was quickly polished off.

Roshni is currently taking only party and bulk orders, and can either drop off the ramen to where you are with DIY instructions, or assemble it for you at the venue. And if that’s not enough, she can throw in some IPR advice too, at a special rate. A real noodle republic, this.

Getting There: The Ramen Girl, prices start at Rs 99 for a ramen bowl, one box of onion rings with five pieces for Rs 150, see her Facebook page here , free delivery in Andheri West only, delivery charges apply for orders beyond the radius.

 
White Owl Brewery Tour for bpb
Monday, 13 October 2014 09:43



Birds of a feather, flock together to The White Owl, that has finally got its beer brewing license and is all set to launch on October 17. The Brewery will serve four types of beer - Diablo (an Irish Red Ale), Halcyon (a classic German Hefeweizen), Shadow (an English Porter), Torpedo (an American Pale Ale).

Now here’s the fun bit: bpb subscribers get an exclusive tour on October 18 at 7 pm, to experience the process of hand crafting artisanal beers. The happy ending involves sampling the four beers. Write in to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and CC This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with “BPBWHITEOWL” in the subject. The first ten to write in get free tours + beer, while the remaining 20 pay Rs 600 each.

See you then, my feathered friend.

Getting there: The White Owl Brewery, One Indiabulls Centre, Tower 2-B Lobby, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, call 24210231, view the Facebook page here

 
Sponsored: Jashn-e-Kabab at Neel
Friday, 10 October 2014 14:57


***This post is sponsored by Neel***

What: Jashn-e-kabab Festival at Neel at Tote On The Turf, Mahalaxmi Race Course, opposite gate no. 5 & 6,  KeshavRao Khadye Marg, Mahalaxmi; and ground floor, Crystal Paradise, off Veera Desai Road,  Andheri (W), call 615 77777 / 26749999, follow them on Facebook and Twitter on @NeelRestaurant, Rs 999+ taxes with unlimited repeats.

Why: The meat and greet at Neel this month involves a delicious, unlimited serving of Chef Mukhtar Qureshi’s special kabab menu which highlights the lesser known kebab specialities of India. Carnivores will get wooed by Gutwa Kabab (slow cooked lamb), Murgh Karachi Sheekh (minced chicken and beetroot Sheekh Kabab), Bhatti Ka Murgh Tikka (tandoor cooked Chicken Tikka with crushed spices) and more!  Vegetarians can look forward to Dahi Singhada ke Kabab (tawa seared patty of gram flour, water chestnut and cheese infused yoghurt), Subz Fauladi Sheekh (almond-crusted Sheekh Kabab of raw banana & seasonal veggies) among others.

Plus, this comes with complimentary accompaniments like Murgh Nawabi Salan, Dum ka Subz Salan, Dal Q-Man and rotis.

Tikk-a this off your dining out check list!

When: October 10 – 19.

***This post is sponsored by Neel***


 
Pre-Mixed Sangria!
Friday, 10 October 2014 10:46


What: Bottled sangria from Turning Point (11% alcohol), Rs 135 for 330 ml, available at wine shops across the city.

What: New bottled sangria from Turning Point (11% alcohol), Rs 135 for 330 ml, available at wine shops across the city.

Why: Nas-hik of all your wine trails back and fourth? Stay in this weekend with these ready-to-drink Sangria bottles instead. With packaging that reminded us of Santana’s Supernatural album cover (a good ear for wine?), these newly launched bottles can be bought from your local wine store. Chug or be civilized and pour into a wine glass, plus add chopped fruit. We prefer white wine sangria so naturally we gravitated towards the Nashik Mule (white wine, orange and ginger ale). If you don’t like the slightly bitter after taste of the Metropolitan (red wine with cranberry and orange flavours) version, we recommend you add some sweet apples.


When:
Now. Vino you want to.

 
Dine With The Faulty Towers Cast
Friday, 10 October 2014 10:39


What: Faulty Towers – The Dining Experience at Taj Land’s End, Bandstand, Bandra (W), ticket at Rs 5,500 per person. Make reservations here!


Why: Save this weekend’s lunch…er cocktail money for a super fun interactive dining experience. The original cast members of the theatre production ‘Faulty Towers’ are in Mumbai this weekend and they’re going to serve you. Based on one of our favourite BBC sitcoms of the ‘70s, Fawlty Towers, we can’t wait to be served by the exceedingly rude Basil, his wife Sybil, and clumsy server Manuel.

When: Roll play on October 11 and 12 at 12.30 pm (lunch) and 7.30 pm (dinner).


 
Rent Out A Brothel's Backyard!
Friday, 10 October 2014 10:34


What:  The Backyard of The Brothel - new event space to rent at Bungalow 14C, Boran Road, opposite Elco Market, off Hill Road, Bandra (W), call 65254573, approximately Rs 15,000 for eight hours.

Why: If you can’t choose between a ho’s garden and a rose garden, we’re here to help you combine both. Seriously.

In a bungalow called The Brothel, there’s a garden called The Backyard that is now available for parties. Owned by ad man Prahlad Kakkar (this was previously a scuba dive equipment shop), the breathing space can be rented out for  “pretty much anything”. It’s equipped with benches, an outdoor and indoor kitchen (complete with deep freezes and barbeque grills); staff; crockery; cutlery and even their wine and beer licenses.

We’re thinking of an open-air film screening with cocktails and barbeque, once the weather gets better. Who’s in?

When: You need a new patch phrase.

 
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