The Masala Story @ Chaubara 601, Thane

Conceptualizing is often an easy part. Making it happen is what takes up maximum efforts. It took the Chaubara owners a 15 days road trip in Punjab and Delhi to experience the unexplored culinary delights and bring it to Mumbai/Thane.

Chaubara means a room with 4 doors on each wall. 601 signifies the PIN code of the place.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The moment you enter the place, you are instantly transported to a different place. The details if interior and ambiance is impressive. It may look a bit overdone but still doesn’t lose the aesthetic appeal.

Apart from usual table and chair sitting, they have shamianas, park bench and Pujnabi dhaba style charpai arrangements too. To promote recycle/reuse they have sourced old park benches, hospital beds, a door turned into a table top with a base of sewing machine. This creativity makes almost every nook and corner photograph worthy.

IMG_20170916_202910908
Red Guava Pomegranate

We were welcomed by Dhniya Jeera Pani, Bukka Pyaz and Suran Chips. To accompany this, we tried Red Guava Pomegranate, a sweet guava drink, topped with pomegranate and with a lemony twist.

IMG_20170916_194712998
Veg Platter

We started with Shakahari Platter, consisting tandoor cooked items Bharwan Kumb, Guncha-e-bahar, Aloo Najakat and Paneer Tikka.

Bharwan Kumb was mushroom stuffed with cheese, Guncha-e-bahar was spiced cauliflower, Aloo Najakat was paneer stuffed potatoes and Paneer Tikka was paneer marinated in yellow spices.

In main course we tried Sabj Mela Bahar, Daal Bukhara and Paneer Chaubara.

Sabj Mela Bahar as name suggests an assortment of vegetables. Paneer Chaubara cottage cheese cubes in mild khoya gravy and topped with roasted nuts.

A special mention to Daal Bukhara which is not to be missed. It is cooked for 16-18 hours to bring out the flavors of the daal and spices.

All these we tried with Roti ki tokri which consisted lal mirchi ka kulcha, laccha paratha, lachcha di naan, onoin kulcha etc.

IMG_20170916_204724538

Another worth a try is Amritsari Papad which are sourced from Punjab along with spices(masalas) used for various dishes.

In desserts, we tried Sheer Biranj, Sunehre Papite ka Halwa and Rabdi Parantha which was stuffed with rabri.

IMG_20170916_205727164

All these we washed down with a glass of heavy Lassi.

Staff was friendly and enthusiastic. A lack of proficiency was evident in the dishes and their ingredients but that is easy to overcome with a little practice and training.

Food: 4/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
VFM: N/A

P.S.: We were invited by Chaubara 601 to try their menu.

Chaubara 601 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you have enjoyed reading this, hit like, share and subscribe. I would like to hear from you. Provide your comments, suggestions below.

Follow me on Twitter @FTLofFood and Facebook For The Love of Food.

Advertisements

Iconic Milkshakes – Keventers

I was taken by surprise when I read the tag-line ‘The Original Milkshake’. A little search on internet revealed that it may or may not be the original, but they indeed have a rich history to back them.

After reading the history, I am glad that the company is trying to revive the brand and with new outlet popping like mushrooms, it appears to be going great.

The milkshakes are served in iconic bottles. Sometimes bottles carry additional image outline to signify some place or event making them a collectible.

I have tried the following milkshakes in my several visits.

Vanilla: The all-time favorite. You can never go wrong with this.

Mint Oreo Crumble: Delight for Oreo lovers. Would be better if blended properly to eliminate Oreo cream lumps.

Choco-Chip: Tasted like usual chocolate milkshake.

Kit-Kat: Personal favorite so far. Needs no explanation.

Chocolate Hazelnut: Better than choco-chip but lacks a distinct hazelnut taste. You are less likely to realize the hazelnut presence without knowing the name.

Verdict: Are the milkshakes good? No, they are great. But to say they are the best, is to clearly disregard some of the best milkshakes available in the city.


If you have enjoyed reading this, hit like, share and subscribe. I would like to hear from you. Provide your comments, suggestions below.

Follow me on Twitter @FTLofFood and Facebook For The Love of Food.

Breakfast @ Aromas Cafe, Powai, Mumbai

Even though I have visited Aromas Cafe several times as it is near to my office, it still remains the most under explored place for me.

From last two times Theobroma’s loss turned to be Aromas Cafe’s gain. It was Saturday morning and the indoor section was fully occupied.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I tried Akuri on Toast, which is spicy egg bhurji(scrambled eggs) with toast. The toast was ordinary brown bread but the Akuri was good.
The Hash Brown turned out to be really nice. Crispy from outside and tender from inside without being greasy.
The Nutella Hazelnut Coffee was was a delight to multiple senses i.e sight, smell and taaste.
French Truffle slice was a gooey pastry with 55% dark chocolate.
Looking at the occupancy, I expected a little less attentiveness but food very well made up for that.
Around Rs. 700-800/- for the sumptuous breakfast deters it from being a regular affair.

Food: 4.5/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4/5

VFM: 4/5

 

Aromas Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


 

If you have enjoyed reading this, hit like, share and subscribe. I would like to hear from you. Provide your comments, suggestions below.

Follow me on Twitter @FTLofFood and Facebook For The Love of Food.

Breakfast à la Vadodara @ Shree Krishna, Akota, Vadodara

This is relatively new branch of the age old Shree Krishna Restaurant, Madanzampa that exists from 1956.

The restaurant remains largely occupied during mornings, especially on week-ends for its local breakfast dishes.

Our groups of 6 tried Sev Usal, Bhajia Usal, Chatako, Bataka Poha, Sev Khamani, Sabudana Khichdi and Jalebi.

Sev Usal and Bhajia Usal are cousine dishes with one topped with sev while the other is served with bhajia. Spicy as usual and capable to heat up your entire body.

See my review of Jai Maakali Sev-Usal on Zomato to know more about Sev-Usal, a dish unique to Vadodara, http://www.zoma.to/rRwmzm

IMG_20170806_091411222
Chatako

Chatako, one of the most famous dish of the restaurant, is a dish of patra in spicy gravy. Although famous, I did’t appreciate it as much as I appreciate Sev-Usal or Bhajia-Usal.

Bataka Poha, Sev Khamani and Sabudana Khichdi requires no introduction. These dishes are more house-hold than they are street-food. None of them disappoint us.

Ambiance is canteen like and equally noisy. Service depends on readiness of food. Super quick for some dishes while you may have to wait for ages to get some. These are not unexpected given how these restaurant operates and the great value for money food it brings.

In all, a good place to spend a light morning with friends and family over local breakfast dishes.

Food: 4/5

Service: 3.5/5

Ambiance: 3.5/5

VFM: 4.5/5

Shree Krishna Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you have enjoyed reading this, hit like, share and subscribe. I would like to hear from you. Provide your comments, suggestions below.

Follow me on Twitter @FTLofFood and Facebook For The Love of Food.

Cream & More, Ellora Park, Vadodara

IMG_20170414_222515302~2

Place for a little more than ice-creams when you are bored with simple ones. Cream & More has options like waffles, bubbly waffles, ice-cream rolls, some knickknacks for children.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We tried vanilla Oreo balls which were tiny balls of ice-cream. Almond Carnival Roll, Nutella ice-cream and Blueberry Waffle. The ice-creams are strictly average in taste.

I also ordered a self-expanding balloon for my kid, which is nothing but a regular balloon filled with dry ice which expands automatically. For the item of Rs. 10, I saw 3 people struggling to get it fulfilled.

Service, as I observed, is clumsy. Multiple people addressing single order while one was just standing and watching and not bothered about taking/preparing orders. A proper training to the staff will improve their efficiency.

Good to try something different than the usual ice-cream but better not to expect more than this.

Food: 4/5

Service: 3/5

Ambiance: N/A

VFM: 3.5/5

Cream & More Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you have enjoyed reading this, hit like, share and subscribe. I would like to hear from you. Provide your comments, suggestions below.

Follow me on Twitter @FTLofFood and Facebook For The Love of Food.

Monsoon Menu @ Chaayos, Hiranandani Estate, Thane

When it comes to tea and related snacks, Chaayos requires no introduction. This is a month old outlet in the newly shaping-up The Walk @ Hiranandani Estate, Thane.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were invited by Chaayos to taste the Monsoon Special menu. Light rain, mild chilly breeze and a cup of Shahi or Pahadi Chai is an unbeatable combination.

Shahi Chai
Shahi Chai

Prefer Shahi Chai if you like milk based tea. Made with condensed milk, saffron and topped with lots of grated almonds brings a shahi touch to the humble tea.

Pahadi Chai
Pahadi Chai

Pahadi Chai is essentially Kashmiri Kahwa. Infused with lot of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, clove etc., this will sure bring warmth to your body.

Barish Wale Pakode 1
Barish Wale Pakode

No monsoon snack is complete without pakodas, a perfect pair with tea in the monsoon. Barish Wale Pakode was an assortment of Paneer, onion and Bhavnagri mirchi pakodas sprinkled with garlic and chili red powder.

Palak Patta Crisps 1
Palak Patta Crisps

Palak Patta Chips is an Indian answer to Nachos. Whole spinach leaves, battered, fried and topped with onions, jalapenos, sev and house chutney, made with tamarind, potatoes and tomatoes. The chips were crisp and had burst of flavors owing to the toppings.

Paneer Loaded Open Paratha
Paneer Loaded Open Paratha

Thin and crisp Paneer Laoded Open Paratha is a great tea time snack. Parathas were perfectly crisp and tasted great with topping of sauces and Paneer.

In desserts we tried Kulhad Wali Jalebi. The Chaayos special thin and crisp jalebi pieces served in kulhad were too tempting to resist. Chocolate Factory Cake too was equally tempting.

Food: 4.5/5

Service: N/A as this was an invite

Ambiance: 4/5

VFM: N/A as this was an invite

 Chaayos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you have enjoyed reading this, hit like, share and subscribe. I would like to hear from you. Provide your comments, suggestions below.

Follow me on Twitter @FTLofFood and Facebook For The Love of Food.

Sprout Gourmet @ Powai, Mumbai

The name may be misleading to make one think it’s an outlet serving just salad and healthy options but they have a host of Indian and international cuisines on the menu.

I tried Falafel Wrap, Burmese Khow Suey, Creamy Pesto and Northern Veg.

Falafel Wrap was refined wheat flour based falafel accompanied with potato chips. While it was good in taste, I would have loved if it had an option of whole wheat wrap instead of the ‘maida’ wrap.

4. Burmese Khow Suey

Burmese Khow Suey bough mixed feelings. Perfectly cooked noodles were getting over-shadowed by vegetables. Also, the curry that came along had smaller portion than what Khow Suey should have. It tasted more like Thai curry as both has the same coconut base. Most surprising was presence of chill flakes. If I had to rate the dish without knowing it as Burmese Khow Suey, I would probably rate it good based on the taste but for Burmese Khow Suey, it was falling short in most fronts.

5. Creamy Pesto and Garlic Bread

Creamy Pesto were pasta in green pesto made with basil, spinach and broccoli. Again, good in taste but the garlic bread became a little soggy. I have observed most food deliveries falling short here, so that was expected.

6. Northern Veg

Northern Veg. is one of their signature dish. This Indian dish had rice, cottage cheese, masala bhindi and very tasteful daal-makhani. The masala bhindi had unusual amount of red-chilli so It was almost inedible for us. Instruct them to prepare with lesser chili and it should be good.

3. Packing

All dishes had their own pluses and minuses but overall they were satisfactory in taste and in portion which was meal like but the non plastic food containers impressed me the most.

Sprout Gourmet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

P.S. The dishes were provided on the house for tasting and feedback.


If you have enjoyed reading this, hit like, share and subscribe. I would like to hear from you. Provide your comments, suggestions below.

Follow me on Twitter @FTLofFood and Facebook For The Love of Food.