Coffee by Di Bella, Pedder Road, Mumbai

I was awaiting my maiden visit, to any outlet of Di Bella, ever since my Twitter and Zomato feeds got flooded with the super sumptuous pictures of their waffles.

So let’s begin with the very purpose of the visit.

Chocolate Explosion Waffle:

Keep aside the guilt of indulging for a while and enjoy the fluffy sinful waffle loaded with chocolate and accompanied by chocolate ice-cream and whipped cream.Di Bell has an extensive waffles menu and covers almost every possible combinations of toppings you can try on waffles.

Ferrero Roche Milkshake
Ferrero Roche Milkshake

Ferrero Rocher milkshake was next in line. A perfect blend of the chocolate milkshake with Ferrero Rocher topped with whipped cream.

Mango Milkshake
Mango Milkshake

The last one was the flavour of the season, a Mango Milkshake. The good part was, it was a good blend of milk, mangoes and cream. Di Bella has got it right here with the blend, unlike a popular premium star coffee chain which has an ice-blended variety for their mango offering. Coming back to the one we tried at Di Bella, it lacked the sweetness I would like otherwise. That probably makes it ‘just-try-it-once’ item and not a must-try.

Now the worse part. Specifically about the outlet. The AC is non-functional and the comfortable temperature is not maintained and it has its own effect on ice-cream and whipped cream. There is also the constant noise of carpentry work going on at Vama store. It just is a matter of time but must be considered if you are planning a visitRecommended: Waffles.

Recommended: Waffles.

Coffee by Di Bella Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you have a recommendation on something we should try on our next visit to Di Bella, kindly drop a comment below.

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Tao 9, Powai, Mumbai

Rating a delivery only outlet or rating only based on delivery is always a tough task. Delivering food always has its own perils. It lacks presentation, usually doesn’t have the right temperature and has added risk of delayed delivery.

This was the maiden experience with Tao 9 thanks to the recommendation of my wife and my office colleagues.

The Ordering: I had to call a couple of times to place the order. The first two attempts went unattended post the automatic response. The third attempt was a success with a person promptly completing the order taking formalities.

The Delivery: I was informed 50 min. delivery. It took a follow-up and almost an hour. Well, 10 min. of delay is acceptable but overall 50-60 min. of delivery time is quite high. For an outlet, entirely dependent on delivery, the quickness should be their forte to survive as the vicinity has a good number of Chinese/Oriental food joints in the competition.

The Eating: My order consisted Baby-corn Mongolian Five Spice, Veg. Pad Thai and Veg. Burnt Garlic Fried Rice.

Baby-corn Mangolian Five Spice
Babycorn Mangolian Five Spice

The Baby-corn Mongolian Five Spice was the baby-corn variant of Veg. Crispy and was better in taste.

 

Pad Thai
Pad Thai

 

Pad Thai was quite a disappointment. First, the flat noodles were broken and not long enough as it should be. Second, the condiments out-proportioned to the flat noodles making the taste of the base ingredient, the flat noodles, getting hidden. Last, the strong taste of tamarind and soy sauce (not sure if they use it or it was because of some other ingredient) was running the entire dish.

 

Burnt Garlic Rice
Burnt Garlic Rice

 

BG Rice was satisfactory. The rice was dry enough, non-sticky and had a perfect balance of the burnt garlic taste.

Next time, I would like to attempt for Make Your Own Wok Box.

The VFM Quotient: Rs. ~500/- for 2 for a vegetarian meal. The portion of all food items was satisfactory.

RSVP – The Lounge, Vadiwadi, Vadodara

RSVP – The Lounge tries to fill up the void of the lounge or sports bar like joints in the city, of course sans alcohol.

The interior is done to imitate a sports bar atmosphere and ambiance wears a strong red hue, visible in the photographs, to make the ambiance livelier. (I had to spend a lot of time re-touching my photographs to minimize the side effect of the lighting). I would have liked the ambiance more with little pumped-up cool white lights along with a little toned-down red-colored lights.

The place has a number of sitting arrangements including casual lounge type and usual table and chairs.

Service is good and the wait staff is friendly but they clearly appear to be untrained and new. (This is when I visited a couple of months ago). This didn’t bother us much as they were always ready to accommodate our requests.

In food, we tried 2 types of pre-fixed menu. The first one, a global variant, included a mock-tail, a soup, 2 starters, 2 main courses and a dessert. The second one ‘Thrilling Thursdays’, an Indian variant, had a soup, 2 starters, 2 vegetables, roti/naan, dal-rice, papad, salad, buttermilk and a dessert.

The mock-tail, Magic Blue, served in chemistry lab beaker, was a concoction of blue curacao syrup and soda water and lacked any punch.

Magic Blue
Magic Blue

The Chilly Bean soup was moderately spicy. Thai Sticks tasted like kebabs marinated in spicy Thai gravy. Mexican Rice was nice but a little dry. Pasta Arabiata and noodles (don’t remember the exact name) were also satisfactory in taste. All the continental items had Indian touch to please a typical Indian palate. (Well, authenticity shouldn’t be an expectation here.)

The Indian items ranged from ok to good in taste. Sunehri Aloo, boiled potatoes tossed in some gravy, were avoidable. Corn Seekh Kabab was ok in taste. We liked the Veg. Makhani and Paneer Do Pyaza though.

This place tries to be a pocket-friendly hipster place and may succeed too as far as the authenticity of the food not being much of a concern among the target audience.

Would you like to recommend something we should try on our next visit to RSVP – The Lounge? Leave a comment below.

RSVP - The Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Countries Connection, Andheri (W), Mumbai

What happens when five friends sharing the same passion, the passion for food, come together? You get a restaurant serving good continental food including Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican and much more.

C2, as they call it, is relatively small-sized, is diagonally opposite to Infinity mall and easily reachable. The neighborhood boasts of plenty of restaurants and you have to have your USP well defined and maintained to survive, let alone thrive.
Although it was Friday evening, only a couple of tables remained occupied during our entire visit. This can be easily attributed to lack of alcohol permit. But this very fact makes it a silent and peaceful place to spend some good time with friends and family over a meal.
C2 has a vast menu and options to choose from. The start of the dinner was nice with Veg. Manchow Soup having a right amount of spiciness. Just the way it should be.
Veg. Manchow Soup
Veg. Manchow Soup
In starters, the Veg. Seekh Kabab, made with minced vegetables, cheese and potato, was again satisfactory.
Veg. Seekh Kabab
Veg. Seekh Kabab
Mexican Pizza had a thin crust and the right amount of crispiness to it. A little more pizza sauce would have certainly enhanced its taste thought.
Mexican Pizza
Mexican Pizza
Onion Kulcha was something innovative. Pizza triangles like cutouts of Onion Kulcha pieces stuffed with cheese. A cheese burst variant of Onion Kulcha.
Onion Cheese Kulcha
Onion Cheese Kulcha
Next in the line of innovation was Pav-bhaji Fondue. Made with Pav-bhaji gravy and cheese mixed together to form a fondue served with bread pieces, cut parathas and vegetables sauteed in garlic. It had a well familiar cheese Pav-bhaji taste with little indispensable sweet taste may be because of the type of cheese or white wine used.
Pav Bhaji Fondue
Pav Bhaji Fondue
Although late but we went for mock-tails. Hazel Samrat, a combination of cream and Nutella was my selection but to my disappointment, it lacked any taste of the latter.
Hazel Samrat
Hazel Samrat
In the mains, we were served house specialty South Western Chipotle. A dish of rice with paneer marinated curd and cream gravy. This was again a fusion dish and less spicy because of use of Indian chilies than their Mexican counterpart.
South Western Chipotle
South Western Chipotle
In desserts, I rested my choice on Tiramisu and the chef also have us try Blueberry Cheesecake. This is where C2 strikes the chord.
Blueberry Cheesecake
Blueberry Cheesecake
The round shaped Blueberry cheesecake with blueberry compote was an instant hit amongst us. Tiramisu had the right balance of coffee, cream and chocolate which even some Italian fine dine restaurants fail to maintain. It was one of the best I have had lately.
Tiramisu
Tiramisu
Almost every food item will seesaw between average to above-average yet satisfactory when it comes to taste but scores considerably high on presentation and appeal.
Service has some scope of improvements. We experienced a few hiccups like some dishes arriving early and for some, we had to wait considerably. Errors and omissions in ordered items, mainly in drinks.
Recommendations: Tiramisu, Blueberry Cheesecake.

Would you like to recommend something we should try on our next visit to Countries Connection? Leave a comment below.

Countries Connection Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


I was invited by Countries Connection for the food tasting session.

Go doolally over beers! – Doolally Taproom, Andheri (W), Mumbai

Doolally from Pune, now has the 2nd outlet open in Andheri, with the first one being in Bandra. Fresh brews arrive from Pune, once on a couple of days to replenish the stocks.

OnTap

The place gets occupied with mixed crowds, casual hipsters and formal office goers retiring in the evening. The super casual ambiance is noisy, happening and bright. To complement your experience, along with having beers, you can optionally read books, surf net if you are alone or play board games if you are in a group.

Hefeweizen 2
Hefeweizen

We started with Hefeweizen, a German wheat beer, light in color and on the palate. For coffee aficionados, there is a Coffee Porter. Essentially a coffee flavoured beer so to say. Yes, try only if you like black coffee.

Coffee Porter
Coffee Porter
Apple Cider
Apple Cider

Apple cider has an equal amount of haters and lovers. For some, it’s a fizzy apple cold-drink and for rest, including me, it’s something different to try than the usual. All the three beers we tried were light and had malty flavours than the usual strong, bitter and punchy taste. Those who like it strong may try Oatmeal Stout.

Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal Stout

The food menu is short and hassle free. So even we restricted ourselves with only a couple of items.

A must have is House Fries accompanied by 5 type of dips which includes mayo, mango, garlic and mint. The piping hot thick fries will make other famous QSR fries look famine affected.

House Fries
House Fries

5 dips

Chuchvara
Chuchvara

Chuchvara, the Uzbek steamed dumplings are stuffed with sauteed mushrooms and are quite spicy.

Both items were great in taste and equally great combination with beers.

With all inclusive prices, ‘What you see is what you pay!’ works greatly in favour of Doolally which doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Recommendations: Hefeweizen, Coffee Porter (Coffee lovers only!), House Fries.

Doolally Taproom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you have a recommendation on something we should try on our next visit to Doolally, kindly drop a comment below.