Ruha Kitchen & Bar, Powai, Mumbai

The first thing you notice after entering the place is the royal and nawabi interiors. Colorful and cozy enough to give you feeling of entering a royal dining room. While the interior is aesthetically great, the combination of western music and pan-Asian menu imposes an identity crisis to some extent.

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We opted for corporate lunch option and it had limited but sufficient varieties considering the price of Rs. 555/- all inclusive.

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Veg. Thyme Soup

The Veg. Thyme soup gave a great start to the lunch. I gave salads a miss and jumped directly to starters. The Shanghai Chilli Cottage Cheese was a standard paneer preparation with Chinese condiments. Tandoori Subz-E-Thal were marinated vegetables cooked tandoori style.

In mains, Daal Makhani and Subz Makhanwala were good in taste. Probably you can’t go wrong with this one of the most popular Indian dishes. Seemingly unappealing, I gave Four Seasons Vegetables in Hunan Sauce a miss.

Veg Hakka Noodles was again good in taste and so is Korean Fried Rice. Well, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the Korean Fried Rice given that I was trying it for the first time.

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The desserts didn’t’ disappoint us either. Malai Firni was adequately sweet and had a good consistency. This was liked by most of us. Chocolate Brownies were bite sized and good in taste. Vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup would have enhanced the experience further.

The only let-down was the service. “Order for tandoori roti taking time in buffet” is a passe but they seem to have not overcome it. The basic sanity of the service fails here.

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Ambiance: 4.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Food: 3.5/5
VFM: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

Ruha Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Oozo Bar & Diner, Andheri (E), Mumbai

Inspired from Ouzo, a Greek, anise-flavored alcoholic drink, Oozo Bar and Diner is the newest hangout place in Andheri (E) near Sakinaka. The place has dedicated sections for casual dining, lounge & bar and a rooftop lounge for sheesha.

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This place is being set-up by none other than K. M. Saif. A renowned chef and consultant who has successfully set-up some of the great places in Mumbai and Pune like Fusion Kitchen, The Little Door, Flip Bar and Kitchen, Asanjo etc. to name a few.

Some of the best international dishes and finger food ranging from Indian, Mexican, Italian, Greek & Mediterranean, Korean etc. find their place in the menu. We tried some of them.

1.Yin_Yang_Martini

Yin Yang Martini: This non-alcoholic milk based, whipped cream and vanilla based drink is topped with shaved chocolate and M&Ms to resemble Yin Yang symbol. Prefer if you like milk and cream based drinks.

2.Watermelon_Caipiroska

Watermelon Caipiroska: One can never go wrong with watermelon to beat the heat. A mix of muddled watermelon, lime, mint, topped with crushed ice and fresh watermelon juice.

3.Crazy_Currant

Crazy Current: This seemingly simple black current crush and grape juice mix taste good when sipped with the white pepper rimmed on the cocktail glass.

4.Jalapeno_Margarita

Jalapeno Margarita: This is a twisted flavored spicy drink. Jalapeno, lime, and finely crushed ice.

Royal Saffron Nachos are saffron flavored nacho chips, topped with lip-smacking saffron cheese sauce & black olives. This is one of the signature dishes.

Korean Cheese Nachos are spinach flavored nachos topped with Gochujang(Korean hot pepper paste) spiced cheese sauce and loaded with chopped bell peppers, black olives, mozzarella, cheddar & parmesan cheese. Both the nachos are house made, thin and crisp and the accompanying sauces are something extraordinary.

Chipotle Chili and Chickpea Mini Cake are mini fried patties stuffed with chickpea and parmesan cheese. The accompanying chipotle mayo gives it the much needed spicy twist.

Chipotle Cheese Balls with fiery mayo is gooey cheese balls filled with mozzarella & cheddar cheese and is served with spicy mayo. The outer shell is crisp and inside there is a burst of flavors.

 

9.1.Romesco_Potato_Bites
Romesco Potato Bites

 

Romesco Potato Bites are bite-sized scooped baby potato with skin. The perfectly baked potato bites are stuffed with mixed veggies tossed in spicy romesco sauce and are topped with garlic mayo and chopped jalapeno.

The main course dishes we tried are a meal in itself. Locro de Zapallo is a Peruvian dish made from red pumpkin stew cooked with onion, garlic, potato, green peas, veg stock, yellow pepper paste, oregano, cream cheese served with parsley rice and oven roasted baby potatoes.

The vegetarian Bulgogi, as its name suggests, is a vegetarian variant of Korean dish, Bulgogi, which is primarily made from meat. Instead of meat, cottage cheese cubes, mushroom are cooked in soy sauce, sesame oil and gochujang(Korean hot pepper paste) and is served with coriander rice.

 

13.1.Paneer-Shslik_Sizzler
Paneer Shashlik Sizzler

 

Paneer Shashlik Sizzler requires no introduction. Grilled Paneer with rice, fries, veggies in sweet and tangy shashlik sauce.

Our meal ended with their signature shakes. Chocochip Cookie Shake is again a classic milkshake made with vanilla ice-cream, choco-chips, whipped cream and topped with ice-cream sandwich.

The calorie loaded Tiramisu Milkshake is a great blend of milk, white chocolate, strawberry crush, sponge cake, vanilla ice-cream and mascarpone cheese topped with vanilla ice cream, mascarpone cheese & sponge cake.

Forget about the workout you did for the week and gorge on these shakes. Have one of this and you will have to skip your meal for sure.

Vicinity to offices of Andheri and Powai combined with good ambiance and great food, this place is for people who work hard and party harder.

Ambiance: 3.5/5
Service: N/A. This was an invite.
Food: 4.5/5
VFM: N/A. This was an invite.

Overall: 4/5

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

P.S. – We were invited by Chef and Consultant K. M. Saif to try their menu.


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Lord of the Drinks, Andheri (W), Mumbai

Exclamations like ‘big’, ‘spacious’ are often missing while describing restaurants in Mumbai where cramped spaces are a way of life.

Spread across 8000 sq. feet and divided into 3 sections, al-fresco, a ground and a first floor, Lord of the Drinks would be synonymous to those hardy found exclamations.

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The moment you enter the place, you get the similar vibe as Tamasha, Lower Parel, primarily because of the interior. Not to mention that it is owned by the same restaurateur, Priyank Sukhija.

See my review of Tamasha here.

I got an opportunity to visit LOTD within a month of opening. Here is what we got to try…

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Asian Cooler

The concoction of rum, cucumber juice and lime helped cool off the heat!

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Apple Foamintni

This animated drink made with vodka, green apple syrup, mint foam topped with blue curacao syrup too was a great cooler.

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Bubbling LIIT

mumbai_tea
Mumbai Tea

Another highly potent cocktail was Mumbai Tea. A mix of cinnamon tea and Kahlua, orange liqueur, vodka and apple juice.

litchi_desire
Lychee Desire
melon_twist
Melon Twist
mint_papaya_rita
Mint Papaya Rita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the variety of fruit flavored cocktails, we tried Lychee Desire, Meon Twist, and mint Papaya Rita. A mild infusion of spices like cloves, smoked cardamom stick and chili pepper makes these different from run-of-the-mill fruit flavor cocktails.

 

smoked_sangria
Smoked Sangria

Smoked Sangria brought a smoky twist to a regular sangria. Try it only if you like sangria.

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Sweet Potato Chilli Fries

I realized only after the server told us that the fries are made from sweet potato.

The Tender Coconut and Galangal Soup and the Black Daal Soup turned out to be my personal favorites. Tender Coconut and Galangal Soup is a must try if you like Thai curry as both has the same base, tender coconut broth. Usually, soups made from lentils are bland but this one had a unique taste.

Chukandar Galauti and Bamboo Shoot and Chestnut Kabab were served with bite-sized Malabar parotha and dips. Tzatziki and fresh fruit chutney respectively. Both were a little bland in taste when tried alone but gave a different taste when tried with the accompanying dip.

roasted_vegetable_pizza
Roasted Vegetable Pizza

Other different dishes we tried were Tandoori Platter veg, Trio of Bruschettas, Yellow Chilli and Roasted Garlic Dimsum, Trio Mushroom Dimsums and Roasted Veg. Pizza. none of them disappoint us but the star main course was Lasooni Shingada Palak and Makai Roti.

Lasooni_Shingada_palak_with_Makai_Roti
Lasooni Shingada Palak and Makai Roti

With unusual presentation and equally unusual taste, the water chestnuts in garlic and palak gravy was a burst of flavors.

And if this was not enough, the desserts served raised a level in combining unusual flavors.

paan_ice_cream_martini
Paan Ice-Cream Martini

The Paan Ice-Cream Martini gave a good twist for a dessert and was served with thandai shot. A great combination for paan and ice-cream lovers.

malpua_lasagna_with_french_toast
Malpua Lasagna with French Toast

Another quirky dessert was cinnamon malpua topped with cream cheese rabri and Kiwi fruit accompanied by French baguette. Not to be missed if you like malpua or have a sweet tooth.

Considering the great and potent drinks and equally great food options the more apt name would be ‘Lord of the Drinks and Food!’

Ambiance: 5/5
Service: N/A. This was an invite.
Food: 4/5
VFM: N/A. This was an invite.

Overall: 4.5/5

Lord of the Drinks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

P.S. – We were invited by Lord of the Drinks to try their menu.


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Set Lunch @ Neel, Powai, Mumbai

Neel literally means indigo in English. While it’s English named twin serves Continental, Neel caters Indian cuisine.

This twin restaurant shares kitchen and is separated by a partition. Guests can sit on either of the section and can order food from either of the menus.

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When we visited for lunch on Friday afternoon, they assisted us to sit at Indigo Deli and order food from Neel menu as there was not enough quorum to make the section operational. Neel is about half the size of Indigo Deli and has similar spacious table arrangement with airy and well-lit ambiance. The decor is minimalistic yet wears a classy look.

Influenced by others experiences of a long time taken for a la carte, we decided to go for the set menu.

Tamatar Ka Rasam
Tamatar Ka Rasam

The South Indian style Tamatar Ka Rasam was the only choice in soup. Unlike the usual Rasam, the soup was so spicy that none of us could complete it.

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In starters, Hare Matar Ki Shami was the usual green peas patty. Malabari Paneer as the name suggests was cottage cheese prepared in Malabari spices. Bhavnagari Mirch ka Aloo were spicy baby potatoes in Bhavnagari chili. The humble potatoes cooked with right spices were liked by almost all.

In veg. mains, there were 3 dishes. Paneer Khatta Pyaaz, Uttari Lahsooni Saag and Dum Aloo Ka Khumb. Although good in taste, the Paneer Khatta Pyaz, made with paneer in sour onion and tomato gravy had no distinct flavor while the rest two carried it well. Uttari Lahsooni Saag was made from green leafy vegetables with chili and garlic. Usually, I don’t like green leafy vegetables but this one made a mark. Dum Allo Ka Kumbh, too was satisfactory in taste. The Lahsooni Dal Tadka and Green Peas Pulao was a perfect combination. The little dominant taste of burnt garlic in the Dal Tadka enhanced the taste greatly.

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The meal ended with Pineapple Ka Sheera and Mango Ice Cream. While Pineapple Ka Sheera was good, it was the Mango Ice Cream which left a lingering taste in the mouth.

Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Food: 4/5
VFM: 4/5 (Rs. 600/- all inclusive, per person, for the set menu)

Overall: 4/5

Neel Indian Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Cheese bases to match your mood – Ovenstory, Bhandup (W), Mumbai

Pizza has always been a comfort food as it is just a phone call away. Ovenstory, a delivery only kitchen, with 17 outlets across Mumbai and suburbs adds to this.

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Overstory has 4 different pizza ranges based on types of cheese used. Chipotle, Peri-Peri, 4 Pepper and El-Classico.

IMG_20170517_210533497~2I got an opportunity to try out Chipotle Veggie Dream from their Chipotle range along with Cheese Garlic Bread and Sicilian Red Velvet Cake.

The Cheese Garlic Bread lacked consistency in size and in cooking. The taste didn’t disappoint but not something they can boast about.

The Chipotle Veggie Dream pizza had a thin crust and Chipotle Cheese topping along with the regular Mozzarella cheese. The Chipotle Cheese is flavored with dried, smoked and crushed jalapenos. In the veggies, onions, olives, jalapenos and corn, complemented the overall taste.

The Sicilian Red Velvet cake too was satisfactory in taste. The ‘Red-ness’ may be attributed to beetroot but the good is, it didn’t dominate the taste.

As far as pizzas are concerned, I would love to try their other cheese base varieties and would prefer Ovenstory over the so-called ‘Pizza Delivery Expert’ and yes, they too are just a phone call away.

Ovenstory Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

P.S.: The delivery was on the house to try out their menu.


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Bottoms Up, Andheri (W), Mumbai

Bottom’s Up is the latest addition to one of Mumbai’s great neighborhood famous for great restaurants, pubs, micro-breweries and nightlife.

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Bottoms-up is a tiny place carved out if Punjab Grill. The industrial-themed interior is minimalistic and ambiance is dimly lit, a typical of a night-life-spot.

Their cocktail collection has Mumbai inspired names and flavors, like Nariman Point, Sandra From Bandra, Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, Beedu etc.

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Gateway of India
Gateway of India

I tried Gateway of India, a vodka based drink with mint and cucumber was good to cut down the heat. Marine Drive is typical LIIT with cola replaced by beer. Try if you feel a little adventurous.

Nariman Point
Nariman Point

Nariman Point brings the spiciness of jalapeno and Chaat Masala with the base of vodka and orange.

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The food menu is concentrated to appetizers and finger food. We got to try Kachhi Mirch Ka Paneer, Makhan Masala Garlic Corn, Smoky Achari Mushroom, Chana Jor Garam and assorted chaats that perfectly complemented the drinks.

To sum up, a worthy place for weekend evenings but space can be a limiting factor.

Bottom's Up Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

P.S. – I was invited by FBAI and Bottom’s Up on their launch party.


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SodaBottleOpenerwala, Powai, Mumbai

Finally, Powai too gets its own bit of Irani Cafe legacy, albeit in a new avatar, with SBOWs 3rd outlet opening up replacing Pizza Hut, the auto rickshaw navigation landmark to enter Hiranandani.

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The interior largely resembles the BKC outlet and carry the charm of old world Irani cafes, chaotic, lively and elegant. It was almost 11 PM on Thursday late evening when we reached and people were still pouring in.

My friend wanted to try a something called ‘Bava Ji Ka Thullu’ but we got informed that it is available at BKC outlet and not at Powai. So he settled with Mumma Nu Double Dose and got served The Bumsuckerwala without even asking us as the base for Mumma Nu Double Dose was not available.

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The Bumsuckerwala
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Bunmaska
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Cheese Chili Pav
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Mushroom Cheese Khari
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Bharuchi Paneer Akuri
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Navsari Hot Sauce

In food, we started with Bunmaska and Chilli Cheese Pav and Cheese Mushroom Khari. Try the Navsari Hot Sauce if you feel adventurous. Not as hot as Tabasco but the initial sweetness is deceiving. In mains, we tried Bharuchi Paneer Akuri, a Parsi style Paneer Bhurji. Smooth and melt in the mouth Paneer with the right mix of spices makes this a must try for vegetarians.

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Lagan Nu Custard
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Parsi Dairy Kulfi
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Mawa Cake

Lagan Nu Custard was a pre-decided as I had never tried that. This baked dish will not disappoint if you like custard. The same goes with Parsi Dairy Kulfi. The Mawa Cake always sneaks-in the desserts order. Can’t avoid it!

I would appreciate if they improve a little on the service. Food never disappoints.

My experience of SBOW, BKC: Irani Cafe v2.0 – SodaBottleOpenerWala, BKC, Mumbai

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


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