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.


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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…

asian_cooler
Asian Cooler

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

apple_foamintni
Apple Foamintni

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

bubbling_liit
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.

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Lychee Desire
melon_twist
Melon Twist
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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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Indian Curry @ Tansha Comfort Regency, Vadodara

 A family gathering of around 15 people and an obvious and annoying question, where to go for dinner so that everyone gets some or other thing of their liking?

Long discussion and Indian Curry @ Hotel Tansha Comfort Regency came out as a choice. It was Sunday evening and we called to book a table only to discover that they don’t take bookings. Reaching early helped secure one as the restaurant got fully occupied by 8 PM.

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Our order consisted Hot and Sour and Almond Broccoli soups, Bruschetta, Jalapeno Cheese Nuggets, French Fries, Roasted Papad and Palak Makai Lahori Seekh Kabab to start with. In the main course, we stuck to north Indian and tried Paneer Do Pyaza and Veg Deewani Handi.

Almost everything in food was up to the mark and didn’t disappoint us.

With average service, decent interiors and good food, this surely secures a backup option berth.


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Indian Curry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Be on a gastronomical world tour @ Asanjo, Aundh, Pune

Here comes yet another global cuisine restaurant set-up by Chef and Consultant K. M. Saif.

The place is quite small compared to usual restaurants and has 2 floors for dining. The interior is minimalistic but vibrant and the well-lit ambiance makes this place elegant.

We started with mocktails and tried Dusky Damsel, Sweet, sour and spicy punch, Cucumber margarita, Kiwi margarita, Blushing caipiroska and Ethiopian spiced tea.

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Dusky Damsel was a concoction of black current crush, grape juice and black salt. Salty and a little sour.

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Sweet, sour and spicy punch was liked by all of us. This mix of pineapple, green chili and jalapeno gave a great spicy punch.

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Cucumber margarita was muddled cucumber drink. Try only if you like cucumber and feeling adventurous.

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Kiwi Margarita was made with kiwi crush blended with ice and was garnished with fresh kiwi. This was perfectly sweet and refreshing.

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Blushing caipiroska is ice crushed mint and cranberry juice mixed drink will freeze you over. You can never go wrong with this.

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The Ethiopian spiced tea was a hot concoction of spices like clove, cinnamon, honey boiled in tea. A perfect drink to clear to the throat or to induce internal heat on a winter morning.

The food menu brings great dishes from around the world. You get the best of uncommon varieties of different cuisines like Indian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, South American, Greek, Balkan and Spanish cuisines etc.

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Sambal Baby Potatoes:

Baby potatoes tossed in olive oil with onion, garlic, bell peppers in spicy sambal sauce.

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Papas ala Saif:

This is never to be missed. Named after the chef himself, this was a dish with fried potato discs, topped with yellow pepper cheese sauce and black olives. The eggetarian variant has boiled eggs on top of the fried potato discs.

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Greek veg souvlaki:
This kabab dish had soft cottage cheese and assorted vegetables accompanied by greek salad. The feta cheese and olive complemented the grilled paneer very well.

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Nachos with cheese balls:

These spinach-flavored tortillas, fully loaded with cheese sauce, beans, pico de gallo, bell peppers, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Will be a delight for cheese lovers.

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Gallo Pinto:

From the main course, we tried a Costa Rican dish having beans and rice served with grilled cottage cheese steak, red pepper sauce, pineapple salsa and dill yogurt. This is a meal in itself.

To end the meal, we were presented a deadly duo, of highly decorated and calorie laden Chocochip cookie shake and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Milkshake.

Chocochip cookie shake was chocolate milkshake served with ice-cream sandwiched between donuts in a glass rimmed with peanut butter and chocochip cookies.

The Peanut Butter Pretzel Milkshake shake was a blend of vanilla ice-cream, peanut butter, chocolate sauce, topped with whipped cream and garnished with a piece of a Pretzel which gave a crunchy and salty twist to the shake.

Service: N/A as this was an invite.

VFM: N/A as this was an invite.

While we visited just one place, we surely had a gastronomical world tour.


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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.

American food on a platter: The All American Diner, Lavasa

The moment you step inside this place, you instantly get transferred to the rock-n-roll era. Chequered tile floor, jade walls, red furniture along with posters of American classic cars and rock stars adds their due share to the retro feel.

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The restaurant is housed in the hotel The Water Front Shaw right at the promenade. If you are staying at this hotel, inadvertently you will end up at this place for breakfast.

Quick and friendly service along with courteous staff is a pure complement to the food they offer.

The have the most comprehensive menu serving American food. Right from Burgers and fries to sausages, decker sandwiches and salads to name a few. The breakfast served includes all cuisines from Indian to Continental. The spread is good enough in varieties with satisfactory taste. Have dinner anywhere, at the promenade, among plenty of choices but don’t miss to end your day with sumptuous desserts offered here.

Recommendations: Peanut Butter Malt (185++), a must try for peanut butter lovers. Brownie Blast (215++) for those who want sinful indulgence.

Peanut Butter Malt
Peanut Butter Malt
Brownie Blast
Brownie Blast

The Deck, Dasvino Club, Lavasa

You are seldom out of food options at the Promenade but in case you are, The Deck at the Dasvino Club comes as an alternate.

Located on the other side of the Promenade, the Dasvino Club is at walking distance from the Promenade. Even driving down there hardly takes a couple of minutes and the club has ample parking space.

Now coming to the best thing first. The location of the restaurant overlooking the lake and the Promenade gives an excellent opportunity to have a panoramic view of the Promenade, especially in the evening.

Promenade
Promenade

The Deck has outside, inside and by the pool seating options. We were the first and only one that evening despite the fact that it was a high season. That was surprising, the first. Second was the time it took for our order to arrive.

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The multi-cuisine restaurant serves Indian, Italian, Meditirrenian food with limited options in each. We ordered Cream of Tomato Soup (110++), Veg. Mezze Platter (225++), Pizza Afumicato (245++) and Veg Steak BBQ Sauce and Garlic Bread (255++).

Cream of Tomato Soup
Cream of Tomato Soup
Veg. Mezze Platter
Veg. Mezze Platter
Veg Steak, BBQ Sauce and Garlic Bread
Veg Steak, BBQ Sauce and Garlic Bread

The average in taste food came with the second surprise. It took us 20 mins from order to bill. Flat 20 mins! Rather than a compliment to the service, this makes me think and makes me worry about the freshness of the food.

Conclusively, an average VFM fine dine option at Lavasa complemented by great views.