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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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


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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.

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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


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The United Sports Bar & Grill, Viviana Mall, Thane

Not being a sports or beer fan, sports bar seldom appealed me; but wanted to try their LIITs since long based on my friend’s recommendation.

No special mention of the ambiance. Typical sports bar like atmosphere with multiple screens displaying ongoing sports events and a super-size screen for any mega event. I would be glad if they pump-up the lighting little bit.

The staff is very friendly, but service lacks consistency and depends on the food you order.
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The unlimited buffet lunch didn’t appeal us much and we stuck to a-la-cart option.

We tried Onion Rings (Rs. 150++), crisp and well prepared. Bruschetta (Rs. 180++) would have been better with the softer bread base. The service staff happily customized my Veg. Penne Pasta (Rs. 280++) to make it as per my choice and we liked it the most. Mexican Burger (Rs. 280++) was good in taste but was a little dry.

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Among drinks, LIITs have considerable wide varieties. Being here for the first time, we stuck to the Classic LIIT (Rs. 350++).

Visit my another post In search of the best #LIIT for more info on their LIITs.

United 52 (Rs. 225++) is actually B52, a layered shot of a coffee liqueur, Baily’s Irish Cream, and triple sec.

The Making of United 52
The Making of United 52


With good food, good drinks and pro-sports ambiance, The United Sports Bar & Grill is most suited for hang out with friends and happy hours are an absolute icing on the cake.

Recommended: Pasta, LIITs
Tip: Visit during off-peak hours, lunch or early evening to get belter service.

The United Sports Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Burger King, Viviana Mall, Thane

Expectations were high and time was less when I approached BK. Selection took quite a while as this was the first experience but eventually the menu turned out to be a cousin of other burger serving QSRs namely McD and KFC.

Service was quick but not quick enough for extra marks.

My order, Paneer King Melt Combo (Rs. 159++) and Veg. Stripes (Rs. 45++). The combo included fries and Pepsi.

Paneer King Melt burger was good in size, good in taste but not a great one. Paneer lovers can better have McSpicy Paneer. Definitely not as great as burgers of Dunkin Donuts and More.

Fries and Veg. Stripes were again good but inferior in taste to their counterpart of McD and KFC respectively

Veg. Whopper looked appealing with whooping size. Didn’t get a chance to try it so it’s first my checklist with other burgers and beverages to try at BK.

B Bhagat Tarachand, Viviana Mall, Thane

A shiny metallic board catches your attention even from the farthest corner of the food court. Bhagat Tarachand or B Bhagat Tarachand, in this case, is always a preferred name when it comes to great Indian veg. food.

This being an outlet in the food court, you are left on your own to find a seat and getting it near to the outlet becomes a challenge especially in the weekend rush.

My minimalistic order was Dal Fry Tadka and Tandoori Butter Rotis. Order placing was smooth, but a noteworthy thing is their upselling skills. If you don’t remain firm, you end up ordering more than you required or planned for. Order arrival took a while and must be attributed again to the weekend rush.

Dal Tadka and Butter Tandoori Roti
Dal Tadka and Butter Tandoori Roti

Now coming back to my order, the Dal Tadka was great in taste, a little thin with generous onion tadka. Butter Rotis were topped with a dollop of butter.

Worthy of consideration when it comes to Veg. Indian food.

B Bhagat Tarachand Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Alfredo’s, Viviana Mall, Thane

Supposed to one of the promising Italian fare outlet @Viviana, Alfredo’s is surely above par for food but leaves a lot of room for improvement in service.

Nice decor, ambiance and spacious seating, especially the central sofa arrangement.

Alfredo's Interior
In food we ordered Roasted Tomato Garlic Pepper Soup, Pepper and Olive Hot Bruschetta, Penne Vodka, Lasagna Florentine in vegetarian along with some non-vegetarian fare for our friends. None of the items disappoint us. Our poultryvorous friends appreciated the veg. order as much as the non-veg one. Lasagna was little extra cheesy and was in good quantity. Pasta was great too but a single bread served with it do not meet the purpose as usually there are more than one person sharing the plate.

Pepper and Olive Hot Bruschetta
Pepper and Olive Hot Bruschetta
Penne Vodka
Penne Vodka
Lasagna Florentine
Lasagna Florentine

Service was extremely slow and lacked promptness. We even heard person on next table raising concern over delay in serving his order. I can’t stop myself from asking, why so serious? Wear a smile at least. That’s half of your job done. All the staff including a manager like lady were damn serious.

I would still like to visit the outlet again for food with high expectation of improved service.

Visited: February, 2015

Pizza Express, Viviana Mall, Thane

It must be an expensive brother of Pizza Hut was my first impression and I am glad my very first visit to PE broke it big time.

Usually I refrain from writing point-by-point review but doing it here would be injustice to the experience.

Contemporary and tidy ambiance with ample seating choices. Only one table was occupied when we entered and I couldn’t stop myself from clicking a few shots of the perfect setting. The open kitchen also adds to the charm if you are curious and want to see how your food is being prepared.

Food: We tried Berry Fresca (160++), Sunrise Ice Tea (160++), Dough Balls Doppio (325++), Garlic Bread (180++), Giardinie (675++), a classic pizza upgraded to Pizza Romana, Lasagna Verde (510++) and Bonaffee Pie (325++).

Sunrise Ice Tea
Sunrise Ice Tea
Berry Fresca
Berry Fresca
Dough Balls Doppio
Dough Balls Doppio

Dough Balls was something new to try. Made with very soft and fresh ingredients, it was good for single try but not an exceptional item. Garlic bread, again with fresh and soft texture didn’t disappoint either.

Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread
Giardinie Pizza
Giardinie Pizza upgraded to Romana
Lasagna Verde
Lasagna Verde

Pizza and Lasagna were excellent and well balanced in taste while Bonaffee Pie satisfied the sweet tooth. A must try if you are fond of banana and cream. That also come wsith choice of gelato.

Bonaffee Pie
Bonaffee Pie

Service was a pure complement to the high-on-quality and high-on-aesthetics food. The friendly staff knew very well the ingredients and taste of the food on the menu.

Prices are definitely on higher side but somewhat justifiable given the gourmet experience.

Recommendations: Sunrise Ice Tea, Garlic Bread, Giardinie Pizza, Bonaffe Pie