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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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

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…

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.

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.

sweet_potato_chilli_fries
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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#RoyalIndianExperience @ Shakahari, JW Marriott, Pune

Ever wondered how a royal dining would have been and what royals used to eat? I always did and it took me a trip to JW Marriott, Pune to understand that royal dining is less about royal food and more about a royal experience. As far as food it concerned, it is the authenticity that makes it royal.

A royal dining experience with authentic food is what makes Shakahari, a pure vegetarian restaurant at JW Marriott, Pune, distinct from others. Formerly known for its delicious Pan Asian veg. cuisine, Shakahari now showcases an entirely new theme of #RoyalIndianExperience, presenting a lavish menu based on authentic Indian cuisines inspired from regions of India with the royal monarchy.

Our trip to Pune started with light showers in Mumbai. While the atmosphere in Mumbai started becoming cooler, we received a warm welcome upon reaching JW Marriott, Pune. We were greeted with Kokum Sherbet to cool off after a tiring journey.

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After a quick introduction session with some of the key staff, we were ushered to the lunch table. The table was so meticulously arranged, we were reluctant to touch anything and make it unordered. Everything from the silverware, thali and cutlery, chutney and pickle container to the serviette and the ring had a royal touch.

Shakahari (PC: JW Marriott)
Shakahari (PC: JW Marriott)

We got started with a pour of Fratelli wines, a basket of papad/papdi, freshly cut salad, pickles and varieties of chutney like mint, peanut and plum which perfectly complemented the food.

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In starters, we had Dahi Wada, Palak Patta Chaat, Rajma Lasooni Salad, Palak Chawli Tikki, Beetroot Tikki, Besan Chilli and Amritsari Paneer. It will be almost impossible to describe the burst of flavors the dishes had so I will rather stick to what I liked the most. From starters, I liked Palak Patta Chaat and Rajma Lasooni Salad the most. The Palak Patta Chaat gave a typical crunchy chaat like experience and the Rajma Lasooni Salad had a hint of burnt garlic flavor in it which won many hearts.

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At Shakahari, the menu is continuously evolving and the restaurant follows the concept of dual cuisines. On the day we visited, the menu comprised Rajasthani and North Indian cuisines.

The Rajasthani main course included:

Ker Sanger ke Kofta
Rajasthani Ker, bamnera beans dumplings cooked in fresh tomato gravy.

Jodhpuri Gatta Curry
Steamed gram flour dumpling, cooked in spicy tangy hung yogurt gravy.

Subz Panchmel
Mélange of selected vegetables tossed in dry spices flavored with asafoetida.

Dal Bati Churma
Rajasthan special-lentil preparation and baked wheat flour dough served with ghee and jaggery.

Gatta ka Pulao
Spiced Gram flour dumpling cooked on dum with basmati rice.

Assorted Breads
Multigrain Phulka, Palak Poori, Ajwaini Poori.

I was trying Ker Sanger ke Kofta and Jodhpuri Gatta Curry for the first time and liked them both but it was Dal Bati Churma that I liked the most. perhaps one of the best I have had outside Rajasthan.

The North Indian main course included:

Dum Paneer Kasoori
Homemade cottage cheese simmered in rich tomato gravy, delicately flavored with fenugreek seeds.

Subz Makhmali Kofta
Vegetable kofta filled with dried plums, almonds simmered in a cardamom cashew gravy.

Pindi Chooley
Slow cooked chickpea preparation flavored with whole Indian spices tempered with dried pomegranate seeds, smoked with desi ghee.

Dal Shakahari
Overnight soaked black lentil, rajma, tempered with cumin, fresh garlic finished with white butter.

Gucchi Pulao
Long grain rice muddled with Himalayan morels flavored with whole spices.

Breads
Stuffed kulcha, Roti, Naan, Laccha Paratha.

Here, the spicy Pindi Chholey and Dal Shakahari along with Laccha Paratha is something I would recommend as ‘not-to-be-missed’.

No royal Indian meal is complete without desserts and Shakahari takes this to the next level. Shakahari provides a glimpse of what the Indian royal families would traditionally indulge in by having a ‘Mishtaan Bhandar’, a room full of sweets and desserts instead of a standard, run-of-a-mill dessert counter. Shakahari walks the talk by offering traditional Indian sweets instead of desserts and verities of Rajashthani Kulfi with a host of toppings instead of ice-creams.

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The dessert spread included Mango Rabadi, Malai Kulfi, Kesar Pista Kulfi, Moong Dal Halwa, Gulab Jamun, Lychee Gulla, Kaju Pista Roll, Moti Chor Ladoo, Kadambari, Badambhog and Ghewar.

Maharaj Jai Kishen
Maharaj Jai Kishen (PC: JW Marriott)

We also got an opportunity to interact with Maharaj Jai Kishen who carries over 4 decades of experience in the kitchen and is the energy behind crafting the new royal avatar of Shakahari.

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Chef’s Table in a private area

 

While we traveled from just Mumbai to Pune, Shakahari indeed embarked us on a much longer royal culinary journey by the overwhelming hospitality and authentic Indian cuisines inspired from princely provinces.

Shakahari - JW Marriott Pune Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

P.S. We were invited by JW Marriott, Pune to for #RoyalIndianExperience @ Shakahari.


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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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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