Mia Cucina, Powai, Mumbai

Most of our visits to Mia Cucina were impromptu except one which was the worst one. It was 30th December and we were informed that all the tables were occupied when we inquired about a table for 2. Their body language was enough to indicate that “you are just two and today we don’t care!” Even in general, I would appreciate the staff to be a little grateful.

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That was probably the worst part. Now, coming to the good part, the food. In my several visits, pizzas and desserts have never disappointed.

Freshly baked and hot bread are savory start to a meal
Bruschetta Bell Pepper
Cicchetti – Bruschetta Bell Pepper

During my recent visit, we tried, Cicchetti, a range of bite-sized snacks/appetizers famous in Venice, Italy. The Bruschetta Bell Peppers had bell peppers, tomatoes with chili mayo and balsamic vinegar which gave it a distinct taste.



Vegetarians have only a few options in pizza and having tried most of them, one thing is for sure, pizzas won’t disappoint. Pair it with a good wine like Grover Zampa La Reserve and it will leave you craving for more.

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Very few places get Tiramisu right and this is undoubtedly one of them. No further explanation needed!

Decadence Cake was a real surprise. A heap of whipped cream on top of a chocolate cake. The textured look completely contrasts the luscious smoothness of the dark chocolate.

A deadly duo for sinful indulgence!

This relatively small and rustic place may not deliver a complete package but food and ambiance make me keep going to the place.

Mia Cucina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I would like to hear from you!

If you have any recommendation on something I should try during my next visit to Mia Cucina, do drop a comment below.

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The Brioche Trio @ McDonald’s

Once in a while on lazy weekends, we like to have breakfast from McDonald’s.

In the usual breakfast menu, the crispy Hashbrowns are a little oily but great in taste. Try them with canned baked beans. McMuffins are also worth having once in a while. Pancake with maple syrup and butter may not stand a chance when compared to its authentic counterpart but not that bad either.

Today morning when I opened the app to place an order, I found some new entry in the menu. Brioches.

Brioche is a French pastry made with egg and butter and is used as breakfast, dessert or snack item. Brioche has a tender crumb and is a little sweet.

More on Brioche: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brioche

With an expectation that this will be far from the authentic one, we decided to try all the 3 varieties, namely, The Veg Brioche (Corn and Spinach Brioche), The Hashbrown Brioche and the controversial The Dosa Masala Brioche.

All the 3 brioches had glazed bun and were little sweet. The little sweetness can be identified only when the bun is tried alone.

Corn & Spinach Brioche 2
The Veg Brioche (Corn and Spinach Brioche)

The Veg Brioche had corn and spinach patty and was a little spicy.

Hash Brown Brioche
Hash Brown Brioche

The Hashbrown Brioche is essentially a hashbrown burger with mayo and other condiments. If you like McD hashbrown, this will not disappoint.

Double Patty Dosa Masala Brioche
Double Patty Dosa Masala Brioche

The Dosa Masala Brioche has invited a lot of flak on social media but if the taste is what matters to you, this will surely surprise you with a great masala dosa flavoring. In no way I found it disrespecting our all time favorite dosa or masala dosa. If we enjoy Manchurian Dosa/ Schezuan Dosa and Pizza Dosa, why not a Dosa Burger?

All the 3 Brioches were worth giving a try if you like McD burgers.

New Menu @ Farzi Cafe, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Farzi Cafe has already established itself as a go-to place for Indian food with a twist. I got an opportunity to be part of their new menu launch last month.

The moment you enter the place, you feel like entering an ancient place primarily because of the intricately carved patterns and a little dimly lit interior. But the repetition of it gives the feeling of a confined place.

Farzi Apple Foamintini
Farzi Apple Foamintini

We got started with Farzi Apple Foamintini. A strong concoction in vodka, green apple, mint foam and elderflower syrup. I found it a little sweeter than what I like.

Farzi TIna
Farzi TIna

The Farzi Tina gets its name from the first guest by the same name who asked for a vodka based cocktail with a strong flavor of oranges and lime.

The Bunta was a collection of cocktails in goli-soda bottle. The Kolavari was a refreshing mix and the Aam Papad had an overpowering flavor of raw mango.

There were also Farzi Shoonya drinks. As per the name, they had shoonya / no alcohol so I gave them a miss for the sake of my non-alcoholic friends.

Upma and Curried Mozzarella Bites
Upma and Curried Mozzarella Bites

In veg. Tapas, we were served Upma and Curried Mozzarella Bites. Which was a quirky dish of piping hot Upma and Mozzarella fritters. Give it a try if you like Upma.

Besant Nagar Chilli
Besant Nagar Chilli

The Besant Nagar Chilli Fritters were fried Bhavnagari Chilli served with tamarind sauce banana wafers. It’s a popular dish known as Marcha na bhajiya from western parts of Gujarat.

Charred Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Bisi Belle Bhaat
Charred Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Bisi Belle Bhaat

In the main course, we had Charred Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Bisi Belle Bhat, a fusion of the humble South Indian Bisi Belle Bhat with western ingredients like artichoke and cherry tomatoes.

Wok Tossed Vegetables, Peanut Tamarind Salan, Dhania Kulcha
Wok Tossed Vegetables, Peanut Tamarind Salan, Dhania Kulcha

I liked the Wok Tossed Vegetables, Peanut Tamarind Salan and Dhania Kulcha the most. the peanut sauce on wok tossed vegetables gave the dish a good twist and the fluffy dhania kulcha paired very well with it.

Malai Ghevar Tart Saffron Aire
Malai Ghevar Tart Saffron Aire

In desserts, we tried Ghevar Malai Tart with Saffron Aire, again a nice fusion of Indian Malai Ghevar in Tart with saffron foam.

Candy Floss Paan was a perfect end to the meal.

Overall a good place to venture out from the usual Indian food.

Wok Express, R-City, Ghatkopar (W), Mumbai

Wok Express is primarily famous for “Create your own box” and is one of the few QSRs serving sushi.

Previously I have tried their Cheung Fun and Baos and I am not a fan of those. Here, in my couple of visits, I tried Edamame and Truffle Dumplings, Crispy Tempura Roll, Jalapeno Cream Cheese Roll and Create your won box.

The Edamame and Truffle Dumplings filling may have edamame but the taste was missing for sure. Considering the portion of the dumplings and price its a low value for money proposition, The Crispy Tempura Roll with a little sweet taste and topped with chili mayo was a delightful, though. Jalapeno Cream Cheese roll was equally good.

For ‘Create your own box’, I tried flat wheat noodles as base and Teriyaki sauce. I left the vegetables and condiments choice to the server and the final box turned out to be great. A large is sufficient for 2.

Prices are quite high from a QSR standpoint. Stick to sushi if you like or ‘Create your own box’ and the food will not disappoint.

Ambiance: N/A as this is a food court outlet.
Service: 3.5/5
Food: 4.5/5
VFM: 3.5/5 (Approx Rs. 700/- all inclusive, for two)

Overall: 4/5

Wok Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Mysore & Coorg #2: Day 1 – Mysore sightseeing

Mysore is approx 185 Kms and 3.5 hrs drive from Bengaluru airport. The drive is smooth once you escape Bengaluru traffic.

The route has multiple outlets of Cafe Coffee Day and a local chain Adyar Ananda Bhavan AKA A2B, for short breaks. Adyar Ananda Bhavan serves North and South Indian veg. food. In the morning, they serve only South Indian breakfast. Prefer this for good food, ample parking space, children play area and relatively cleaner loo options.

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A cup of filter coffee and a humble dosa was just enough to keep us going.

Hotel Ruchi the Prince was our accommodation for the next 2 days. Post check-in formality, lunch and a couple of hours of rest, we were all set to explore Mysore.

Our first day’s itinerary included,

  • Mysore Palace
  • Mysore Sand and Sculpture Museum
  • Sri Chamundeshwari Temple

Mysore Palace:

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We started with the Mysore Palace to catch a glimpse of the lifestyle of maharajas. You can explore on your own or take an audio-visual guide to get more details of various points of interest inside the palace. Palace illumination on every Sunday and on all public holidays from 7 PM to 7:30 PM provides a good photo opportunity.

Approx Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs.

Related Links:

Mysore Palace Official Site

Mysore Palace on Wikipedia 

Mysore Palace on TripAdvisor

Mysore Sand and Sculpture Museum:

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Next stop was Mysore Sand and Sculpture Museum en route Chamundi Hills. This artistic museum houses more than 100 sculptures based on various themes like religious epics, fairy tales, history, wildlife, culture etc.

Approx Time: 15-20 mins.

Related Links:

Sand and Sculpture Museum on TripAdvisor

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple:

Mahisasur Statue at Sri Chamundeshwari Temple
Mahisasur Statue at Sri Chamundeshwari Temple

Located on the top of Chamundi hills, Sri Chamudenshwari Temple is a place of worship of goddess Durga. There is also a statue of Mahisasur, from which Mysore has got its name.

Besides the temple, there is a place from where you can have a panoramic view of the city but the untrimmed plants obstruct the views. There is another spot around a KM down the temple which has much better, unobstructed views of the city.

Approx Time: 2 Hrs including an hour of to and fro travel. Time taken at temple relies on rush which is higher on Sundays, holidays and festive season.

Related Links:

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple Official Site

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple on Wikipedia

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple on TripAdvisor

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The evening was well spent with a candle light dinner at the sprawling lawns of the hotel. Garden with a nicely done landscape, flowing stream in between, ghazals on big projected screen combined with good North Indian fare was more than enough to retire for the day.

More than food, it is the ambiance that makes this place worth considering if you happen to be in Mysore.

Next: Day 2 – Mysore Zoo and Vrindavan Garden

Previous: Pre-Trip Musings

For that little pause – Pause Wines

Life can wait, as they say, a little pause in a life that is constantly in rush hour works more than just a stress buster. That’s the philosophy behind Pause Wines which has 100 acres of vineyards in Nashik and now has become a prominent name in the Indian wine industry.

For me, that little pause came bundled as two bottles of Pause wine, Cabernet Sauvignon and Indian Pearl.

Cabernet Sauvignon also known as the king of grapes is a french origin and most widely recognized red wine grape variety. The Pause Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied deep red wine. The tantalizing aroma of blackcurrant and berries triggers the senses while intense tannin of the wine engulfs mouth leaving a spicy aftertaste.

The Pause Indian Pearl is a white wine made from special blend of selected grapes. It has a fruity aroma, sweet fruity taste with a soft spicy aftertaste.

A glass of wine or not, friends, family or alone make sure to take a little pause!

Click here to know more about Pause wines.

Mysore & Coorg #1: Pre-Trip Musings

Mysore-Coorg trip during February ’17 was a result of my inaction to book Mumbai-Udaipur flight tickets on time in December ’16. The prices increased by half and my VFM conscious conscience did not allow me to go ahead.

This was supposed to be the first vacation with our soon-to-be-three year young son, barring a couple of weekend trips nearby Mumbai. The inaction I referred to earlier had less to do with ignorance than reluctance, induced by my son getting down with fever whenever we planned a trip around.

But the flight ticket prices overweighted the reluctance and one fine evening we found ourselves planning the itinerary.

Coorg is 4.5 to 5 hrs continuous drive from Bangalore and this being a tread-cautiously trip, we sneaked in Mysore in our itinerary. Another reason for Mysore was the Mysore Zoo.

Coorg is a district and has primarily two locations for tourists. Kushalnagar and Madikeri. Coming back to Bangalore from Coorg would again be tiring, so we let Mangalore too sneak-in the itinerary for an overnight stay.

The Itinerary:

Day 1: Mumbai – Bangalore – Mysore

Day 2: Mysore

Day 3: Mysore – Kushalnagar (Coorg)

Day 4: Kushalnagar – Madikeri (Coorg)

Day 5: Madikeri

Day 6: Madikeri – Mangalore

Day 7: Mangalore – Mumbai

Next was the selection of accommodation options. What can be better than Trip Advisor for the same.

Mysore: Ruchi The Prince

Kushalnagar: Coorg Jungle Camp

Madikeri: Serene Woods

Mangalore: Ginger

Bookings were done and the countdown started, so was the preparation!

Next: Day 1 – Mysore Sightseeing