Dec 28 2012

Happiness Deli, Fort- Review

Roochster

Happiness DeliSo there was this deal from Timesdeal which said that I could get a pizza/burger, a sandwich/salad and a drink worth Rs. 500 for Rs.250. Was it worth it? You’re just about to find out.

Food– Happiness Deli is just another cafe that serves sandwiches, pizzas, pasta, desserts, hot and cold drinks and sides. Unfortunately we didn’t get to choose our sandwich/ pizza/ drink and with our limited options we could have a cold corn and cheese sandwich, an iced tea, a cold coffee and a Margherita pizza (8”). Our sandwich came first and it was quite bad. There was no salt, pepper or any kind of taste except for boiled corn and cheese randomly put into 2 slices of bread. I asked them to atleast grill it which they said they can’t for whatever reason they have. Next, we had our drinks. The iced tea was good and so was the cold coffee but the quantities of both were more like a tasting. Our pizza finally arrived and gladly that did not let us down. The crust was nice and thin and the taste was superb! I would totally have that again. No meal is complete without a dessert and so I thought chalo let me finish off the meal with a happy ending.  Unfortunately the Oreo Mousse cake didn’t taste as good as it looked. It was quite bad.

Ambience– There are 2 outlets of Happiness Deli in South Mumbai apart from the one at Radio Club. We went to the Fort one very close to HDFC bank at Kala Ghoda. The cafe is decent but a bit cramped up.

Service– The service is alright. However, I would have liked it if my sandwich was grilled for me or the drinks were on our table before the food.

Prices– The prices are reasonable and especially if you go after 8pm, you can get good discounts. But Timesdeal and Happiness Deli certainly fooled us with their supposed ‘offer’. The Corn and cheese sandwich was not more than 50 bucks. The 8” Margherita was for Rs. 105 and the drinks together would not have been more than 160 bucks. So the deal that was apparently worth Rs. 500 was for Rs.250 which is what we would have paid anyway. The dessert of course was at an added cost of Rs. 70 approximately.

Verdict– I recommend the pizza and would like to try more of their food. Reasonably priced, Happiness Deli is a decent enough place to grab a snack but I wouldn’t recommend it for desserts.

Rating– 2.5/5

 

 

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Dec 11 2012

Starbucks, Colaba- Review

Roochster

Starbucks is overrated and how! I can’t even begin to tell you about how I finally got the taste of what the obsession or following is all about. And what a disappointment! Due to unbelievably long lines, I got to try it only in the third week of its opening and have been there several times after that to both the Taj and Fort outlets. Here’s my review.

Coffees, etc– The first time I went to Starbucks I had the Java Chip Frappuccino and loved it! The chocolate chips in it and the quantity make it totally worth it, a very good choice if you like chocolate. I wouldn’t say so about the Iced Cafe Latte which got over in a minute and didn’t even taste that good; or the Green Tea Latte which was more like soup and totally sucked! The Caramel Frappuccino was ok. At the Fort outlet you’ll have to ask them to put less sugar and to make the coffee strong because they make everything super sweet there. I’m looking forward to trying their Signature Hot Chocolate which I hear is supposed to be kickass! From my experience I wouldn’t say Starbucks is wow! I’d go for a Di Bella any day! For food they have sandwiches, muffins, rolls, etc and I’d like to try them soon.

Ambience– Starbucks has a certain rustic appeal to it. I loved the interiors at both the outlets. The one at Taj is more grand, classy and has a more International appeal. The one at Fort is more rustic and Indian. There are beautifully carved frames, doors, furniture and the curtains are huge and lovely. I’d like to point out though that this kind of grandness is not cool for Mumbai because there are far too many people who are Starbucks loyalists and standing in a long queue is not fun at all! So it would be great if they could reduce their grandness for more tables and chairs and hence more people to be accommodated. If I had to choose, I’d go to the Taj one for sure!

Service– Having multiple cash counters and more staff to make coffees can speed up the service and hence prevent us from waiting to get a cup of coffee! Overall, the service is quite below expectation.

Prices– It’s a good thing that the prices aren’t steep otherwise I wouldn’t find myself going there again because honestly I;ve had better coffee and I’m not interested in going there just for its name. The Java Chip Frappuccino (regular) is for Rs.140 plus taxes. The Green Tea Latte is for Rs. 90 plus taxes and so on.

Verdict– Not wow and not a ‘must go to’ place for coffee but it’s not bad either. I hope they do something about the long queues and make more space for more people. The Java Chip Frappuccino is a must have!

Rating– 3/5

 

 

 

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Oct 27 2012

The Pantry, Kala Ghoda- Review

Roochster

Sometimes you walk into a place and can’t help but fall in love with the ambience. There are many such. The Pantry is one of them. Here’s my review.

Food– The Pantry is mainly a breakfast cafe or one for the ‘High Tea’ kind of people. You get sandwiches, quiches, savouries, salads, mains, hot & cold drinks, breakfast specials and desserts. Now here’s an unusual concept. I was quite thirsty and so asked for regular water but we were rather surprised to see a jar with water and a slice of cucumber inside which they said was to add slight flavour to the water. I didn’t like the flavour of cucumber in my water, thank you. Make sure you ask them for water without cucumber in it if you like your water as it is.

The food options certainly are not like the typical cafe you’d have been to. I called for their ‘Flourless 70% cocoa chocolate cake’ as I had just had lunch. I thought it was delicious but would’ve tasted better had it been warmed slightly. My friend tried the Banana bread because she likes bananas. She thought it was nice. I thought it was alright ‘cause the concept of banana and bread doesn’t quite click for me.  She also tried the Ginger Lemon Iced Tea and really liked it. We decided to call for their ‘Fresh Meltdown sandwich’ (among the only 2 options in Veg sandwiches) which had Gorgonzola cheese and apple in multigrain bread. I swear it was just 2 slices of bread with cheese and apple slices and 2 dips/sauces on the side (mustard and tomato salsa). Interesting and also tasted good but not entirely satisfying in terms of quantity. The thing is that they’ve got their dishes right in terms of taste, presentation, quality and selection which makes them different from other cafes but the quantity is so little you’ll have to call for atleast 3-4 things to be full and that in turn might burn a hole in your pocket.

Ambience– Beautiful, vintage, charming, white, lovely. I loved it the moment I saw it from the outside and you will too. It sure is simple looking but is still very classy and chic with a high ceiling, fresh flowers, half blinds like the old times, bathroom tiles on one of their walls and a happy, positive aura overall. It is located in a very “officey” area at Kala Ghoda close to Rhythm House and Fab India. A lot of aunties and old uncles will love the place and will also relate to the music they play here.

Service– They’re warm, pretty aware of whatever little’s available on the menu and don’t take too long to get what we’ve called for. Even the watchman outside politely said, “Good evening” when we were leaving.

Prices– Ok so here’s the deal. If you’re willing to pay the price for a lovely ambience it’s all cool. If not, you’d be staring at the quantity you get for the price you pay no matter how nice the food tastes. The sandwich cost us Rs. 225. The Ginger Lemon Iced was for Rs. 95, the flourless cake was for Rs. 145 and the banana bread was for Rs. 55. So we ended up paying Rs. 281 (with 8% service charge) per head for barely a snack.

Verdict– The Pantry is a classy cafe that can boast of good food but that comes at a price which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s certainly not your regular cafe to go to but once in a while if you’re feeling rich and ok with spending a little more, go and live it up at The Pantry.

Rating– 3/5

 

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Sep 29 2012

Ne’thing for Chocolate, Charni road- Review

Roochster

I’m sure by now you know what a chocoholic I am and how excited I get at the mere mention of the word ‘chocolate’ or ‘dessert’. So it’s pretty obvious why I went and tried ‘Ne’thing for Chocolate’ in the first place!

Food– From thick shakes like Oreo, choco walnut, tender coconut, toblerone, ferrero, snickers, etc.  to sandwiches like choco chilly, roasted almond, double decker, etc.  to Mini Pizzas in different crusts with white choco, choco banana, etc. this place has some pretty interesting chocolate food ideas. I decided to try their basic Chocolate shake- Choco Blast. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy it. It was very ok. It’s similar to Cad-B so if you’re a fan of that, you’ll like it. Somehow the chocolate just didn’t taste that good. I also tried the Chocolate sandwich. Now that was good. It was basically made by grilling 2 triangular breads with chocolate inside and chocolate on top. Just the crust of the bread should have been cut because it was too hard. I’ll probably try their Choco Pizza next time I go there.

Where?– It’s a small little place located at Charni Road, in the same line as Central Plaza theatre and right next to Jawed Habib’s Hair Xpress. They don’t have place to sit so you can either pick up what you want or ask them to deliver if you stay close by.

Prices– The pricing is proper. I paid Rs. 40 for the Choco Blast milkshake and Rs. 40 for the Choco sandwich (2 separate occasions). The most expensive thing on the menu is the Ferrero shake which costs Rs. 90 apart from which everything else is very reasonable. College students from nearby colleges such as Hinduja go there in large numbers!

Verdict– Even though it’s reasonably priced, I wish their chocolate tasted better. It didn’t make me go ‘mmmmm’ like I do when I enjoy my desserts.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Aug 30 2012

Lagerbay, Bandra (W)- Review

Roochster

Lager… chunari mein daag…  (Not many will get this one) Anyway!

Thanks to Burrp, I won myself a lunch pack voucher for one at Lagerbay, Bandra which consists of 1 soup/salad, 1 main course, 1 dessert and 1 beer/iced tea. Now, since I obviously wouldn’t go alone and eat, I asked my friend Fash to join me and we decided to split the lunch pack between the two of us.

Food– We called for a Veg Caesar salad- lettuce, bell peppers, broccoli, mayonnaise, croutons and parmesan cheese (very unlike me to have salad but its better than boring soup atleast!). It actually was quite nice with the right amount of everything. Now, since I don’t drink alcohol, we called for a Black Currant iced tea but it had no trace of Black Currant, we were pretty sure. It tasted like normal lemon iced tea to both of us, not bad but not our order! For main course we had their Paprika Cream Penne pasta which was very good but also bland. I had to add salt and seasoning to make it right. For dessert we decided to try the Blueberry cheesecake which was just ok. It was nice and soft, yes, but it didn’t have the right base- it was super thin and barely made any difference to the cheesecake which it ideally should. I think their gooey chocolate cake would’ve been a better option. The options for the lunch pack are many which is a very good thing and the quantity is perfect! You wont feel the need to eat more if you’re pigging out on this offer alone.

Ambience– Lagerbay is at Waterfield road Bandra west, Subway ke saamne. They’ve got a huge space and have made it look fun and yet classy. The red couch is sexy and they haven’t overdone anything on the walls. I also love the music they play. We went for lunch and most of their lights were switched off, letting as much natural light in as possible. Also, the music was not loud and thumping like a pub’s. The music was good and completely appropriate for the time we went.

Service– The guy who took our order was sweet but looked a little nervous when we asked him about the contents of the various salads. So the staff could be better informed. Also, our food arrived pretty quickly but they got the salad and main course at the same time which is not a good thing.

Prices– Since I won the voucher, I didn’t have to pay anything but otherwise 600 bucks for a 3 course meal with a drink is not bad. But Fash made me think again. This offer is valid only from Monday to Saturday from 11am to 6pm. Not many people would spend Rs.600 for lunch on a working day just like that. The contents of the lunch pack are perfect and super filling for one person though.  Food for thought.

Verdict– The lunch pack is not a steal deal for sure but I like the place and would recommend it to those who wanna grab a drink after work or over the weekend and go to a fun place with good music.

Rating– 3/5

 

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Aug 29 2012

Daffodils, Andheri (W)- Review

Roochster

Another new dessert place has been tried. Man I love my life! 😛 Here’s my review of Daffodils, Andheri.

What I had– I had the opportunity of trying samples of their cupcakes, chocolates and the very interesting Brownie Pizza. Here’s what I thought.

Cupcakes (minis): Chocolate (Rs. 40)- Nice, soft and creamy. Strawberry (Rs.42) was my least favourite and didn’t have that awesome strawberry flavour I was looking for. Mint (Rs.42)- Was a little bitter but not bad. Hazelnut (Rs.47)- my favourite! I loved it and totally recommend it! Coffee Walnut (Rs.47)- I like coffee and was expecting more of the coffee flavour but it was good nonetheless. Their cupcakes are really soft and fresh.

Brownie pizza 5” (Rs.225)- A moist brownie pizza topped with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, nuts, and chopped Snickers, Milky Way, or Twix candy bar, with melted white chocolate for a finishing touch. It looked too good to eat but I ate it anyway because I just couldn’t resist. It was gooey and chocolatey.

Chocolates (Rs. 1300/kg)-Almond, hazel,  coffee, caramel, brittles- Can’t decide which one I liked the most! Loved them all! Yummy and mind blowingly awesome! Must have and perfect for gifting!

Where? Daffodils is located in Andheri West in Shastri Nagar, Lokhandwala. They have a small workshop from where they operate and take orders minimum one day prior. You can find them on Facebook- Daffodils.creations to check out some of their work and contact them to place your order.

Verdict– If you love chocolates, you MUST try theirs! Absolutely, chocoliciously, melt-in-the-mouth-ly awesome! Their products are a bit on the expensive side but they’re good and I definitely want to try one of their cakes!

Rating– 3/5

 

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Aug 21 2012

Salsa Wraps, Colaba- Review

Roochster

So this new Mexican place just opened very close to home, right next to the bus stop from where I catch my bus. I was super thrilled to try it out! Here’s my review.

Food– They’ve got Nachos, Burritos, Quesadillas and Tacos on their menu and I’ve tried all four now as I’ve visited the place multiple times. Their Nachos with cheese are nothing like what we’ve had at New Yorkers, Relish, etc. The Nacho chips are a little hard and the cheese sauce is bland and cold but the fact that they’re nachos makes you want to have them. They have various options in Burritos- Paneer, Mushroom, Chicken, Jain, Shrimp, etc. The Burrito I tried was the Paneer Burrito which had rice, black beans, paneer, vegetables, salsa, cheese, guacamole and sour cream. It was nice. Their quesadillas are my favourite. I always have the bean and cheese quesadilla. With the right amount of cheese, refried beans and sour cream, they taste awesome! The veg tacos (2 pieces) had beans, salsa, lettuce, guacamole in a taco shell. Again, the taco shells were quite hard and the filling was decent. The good part is that they have a lot of non-veg options especially for Burritos and also you can choose your fillings which is a great concept in itself!

Ambience– Located at Wodehouse road, next to Charagh Din and  a bus stop, Salsa Wraps is a Mexican fast food place, mainly into deliveries and take-away because of the struggle with space. Their food counter takes up most of the space and there’s place for only 4-5 chairs to fit on the other side. They do plan to have better seating arrangements in the near future though.

Service– Being a fast food place, you’ll get your order within 5 to 10 minutes. Good service and even the deliveries are quick.

Prices– Superb prices! The Veg Quesadilla is for Rs. 80, Nachos with cheese is for Rs. 45, The Veg Burritos are for Rs. 100 and non-veg for Rs. 120. The Veg Tacos are for Rs. 70. I would be happy with a Quesadilla and probably a Nachos or Tacos and I’m good. So, a good filling Mexican meal would cost me less than 200 bucks!

Verdict– They might not have the best Nachos but I’d swear by their Quesadillas and definitely continue to eat from there. Value for money! I recommend!

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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Jul 22 2012

Black Gold Café & Lounge, Bandra (w)- Review

Roochster

A brand new café in Bandra, barely a month old, already had some bad reviews. I just had to try it and find out for myself. And so I did!

Food– So as of now they don’t have a menu but it comprises of coffees, shakes, fizzes, sandwiches, desserts, etc. My friend and I had gone in the afternoon right after a heavy lunch so we decided to have something to drink. I had a Brownie shake which was too sweet  but delicious nonetheless. The Brownie in it made it awesome and probably the best brownie shake I’ve ever had! My friend decided to have an Iced Expresso which was too bitter for my liking but my friend loved it! After hanging out for some time, I decided to call for a Chilli cheese toast which was basically 4 slices of garlic bread with cheese, bell peppers and chilli on top. I liked it and the presentation too. The little rose made of tomato skin was super cute! The sandwiches are made as per choice, similar to the subway concept. I’ll probably try one of those next time.

Ambience– The name Black Gold basically came from the ancient idea of black coffee so before you start thinking what a lame-ass name for a café, its deeper than you thought ok! Located at Hill Road Bandra west near the Bandra Police station, Black Gold is a café cum lounge. The good part is that the café has an outdoor section too which is where we sat. Both the café and lounge have checkered flooring (indoors). The chairs inside look like teacups which is cute! Otherwise the furniture is simple. I love the centerpiece candles on the tables outside; very pretty but they don’t go too well with the look of the cafe outside unfortunately. The lounge area in the day sounds very weird to me. They should let it be a normal café in the day atleast without the gaudy lighting or do something better with that space. I think the décor overall  is mismatched and needs reworking. Also, the bathroom has one red light which is a complete turn off!

Service– The waiters seem slightly clueless about what’s available and suggested we go inside and place the order but luckily we had Elaine (the manager perhaps) who helped us out. They’re probably new to it but I guess with time that’ll improve. Also, there will be parking issues so make sure your vehicle is parked in the right place, in fact, double check that with them. My friend’s bike got towed just 5 minutes after entering Black Gold Café.

Prices– The pricing is moderate. The Iced Expresso was for Rs. 89, Brownie Shake for Rs. 131, Chilli Cheese Toast for Rs. 89. So with taxes the bill came up to Rs.363 which is normal.

Verdict– There are a few things that can be worked on apart from which Black Gold café is a great place to unwind with your friends, some coffee and good food. Go try!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Jul 18 2012

Not Just Desserts by Sabina, Wadala- Review

Roochster

Not Just Desserts was a place I had to try a long time ago but couldn’t because Wadala is too far for me. Luckily, they arranged to send a lovely dessert hamper to my place so I could try it and share my review with you guys. Oh and if you’re wondering why this place is called ‘Not Just Desserts’ when all you get is desserts here, there’s no reason.

What I had- Their desserts are mostly baked so don’t go there thinking it might be another yoghurt or gelato place! I got to try some really good desserts and I’m just about to recommend my favourites! I feel some of the desserts are a bit overpriced though.

Chocolate Tart (Rs.25) – This was ok. I would have liked a tastier crust.

Love Bite (Rs. 20)- Nice, the hazelnut on top made it better.

Dessert in a jar (Rs.200)- A perfect mix of rich chocolate, cake,mousse and oreos. Absolutely amazing! Must have!

Florentine (Rs.70) – Similar to the biscotti, only slightly glazed on top but delicious nonetheless.

Biscotti (Rs. 800/kg) – Yummy yummy! You’ve gotta love almonds!

Cappuccino- filled Soft centered chocolate (Rs.1200/kg)- Very good! I loved the filling!

Almond rocks (Rs.1000/kg)- I could have 10 at a time! That good!

Gooey choco-chip brownie (Rs.40)- As good as the Theobroma brownie! Delicious! I recommend!

Cupcakes-Soft, creamy and delicious!  Oreo (Rs.50) Yummy! I loved it!, Angry Bird Nutella (Rs. 120) Too expensive for a cupcake even though the art is good. I’d rather have just the Nutella cupcake which was superb!, Red Velvet (Rs.35)- Awesome! Loved it! Must have!

Where? – Not Just Desserts is your one shop stop for superb desserts! So in case you want to satisfy your sweet cravings, you can pay a one way taxi fare and have it delivered at your doorstep. Otherwise, if you happen to stay close to Wadala, drop in at their outlet which is at R.A. Kidwai road, near State Bank of India.

Verdict– I’ve tried so many desserts here and loved most  of them. The stuff is good. My parents and brother agree. So go ahead and try because your sweet craving will most definitely be satiated! I recommend!

Rating– 4/5

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Jun 30 2012

Dolce Vita Café Bar, Phoenix Mills- Review

Roochster

Its been long since I’ve tried a new place and I’m so glad I was invited to try Dolce Vita’s Café Bar which by the way is pretty neat!

Food– The menu contains food from all over the world except India. What I went for was the Afternoon High Tea offer which was too tempting to refuse! For Rs.500 plus taxes, 2 people can have unlimited tea or coffee; add to that a choice of veg or non-veg sandwiches with breads of your choice. Dessert consists of 4 different pastries and if that’s not enough, 2 scones with clotted cream and homemade jam. To start with, I called for a cold coffee instead of a normal coffee or tea because I just prefer having cold beverages instead of hot. I liked it but wished it was stronger and less sweet. On the veg platter, we had 3 different kind of sandwiches- Cream cheese with cucumber sandwich ,mixed vegetable sandwich and mushroom sandwiches. All 3 were delicious! Next, I tried the scones with the sweet cream and jam.  The jam had cinnamon and cherry. Since I’m not a fan of cinnamon, I stuck to the clotted cream and the combination of the scone with the cream was fantastic! I was already 90% full but realised that the pastries were still staring me in the face, tempting the hell out of me, and so, I started with the cream roll. That was the best cream roll I’ve had, hands down! I then tried the Mocha Cheesecake which was again out of this world and super sinful! The Lemon tart and Black Forest pastries were good. By the end of it, my stomach felt like a big ball!

Ambience– Phoenix Mills is one of the most celebrated malls in Mumbai and on weekends it seems like the entire South Mumbai goes there to eat, chill and shop. Amidst all the chaos when you find a premium gourmet store (Dolce Vita) and in that you find a warm and cosy café, you’d definitely want to stop by and grab a bite or a drink. Dolce Vita Café Bar is not one of those ‘in your face’ cafes. I go to Phoenix Mills almost once every 2-3 weeks and I didn’t even know about it. Well, now that you know about it, do go and try it. There’s one problem though- too many flies which is not cool when you’re out eating at a restaurant. The flies coming in is a problem though because of a fountain outside. Also, I felt that the music doesn’t quite go with the idea of the restaurant. I’d want to hear some world music instead of Backstreet Boys in a place like that.

Service– Good service. No complaints there.

Prices– The prices per dish are a bit on the expensive side in case you’re going to order a la carte, but if you go for their promotional offers like the one I had, it’ll be totally worth it! Their Afternoon High Tea offer is superb! Go there by around 6 and it’ll be more like an early dinner. Rs.500 plus taxes for superb food and unlimited tea or coffee is a brilliant offer!

Verdict– Great food, chilled out ambience and a High Tea offer you can’t refuse. Go try!

Rating– 3.5/5

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