Dec 1 2015

Vanilla Infused Kitchen, Bandra (W)- Review


I had been following Vanilla Infused Kitchen on Instagram for a while before I actually got to try some of the stuff. The completely self-taught home baker Shazli from Bandra has mastered the art of making beautiful cakes after 4 years of R&D and she has arrived! Yup, she has, alright.

VIK 1Desserts– Vanilla Infused Kitchen is your dessert heaven. They bake various kinds of cakes, Jar desserts, cupcakes, Brownies, chocolates and a lot more. Their cakes range from Rs. 1000- 1800 per kg depending on the cake you choose. For cupcakes, you need to order minimum 12 pieces. They also make Chocolate Hampers for occasions.

The first time I tried her stuff, the delivery had gone terribly wrong because of which all the desserts she had sent were mixed into each other, causing a flavourful confusion of sorts. So the second time around, she made sure she sent me a proper box with 6 cupcakes so I could taste each one properly. Here’s what I thought.

VIK 2Gooey Chocolate Brownie (Rs. 750 for 750gms) – Excellent taste and texture of the brownie. It could have been more gooey but otherwise, it was absolutely yummyinmytummy.

Red Velvet cupcake (Rs. 70 per piece) – Not many can get the Red Velvet right in terms of everything. I enjoyed every bite of this one!

Salted Caramel Kitkat (Rs. 70 per piece) – The crunchiness of the Kitkat along with the cupcake made it a very enjoyable eating experience.

Boston Cream Pastry cupcake (Rs. 75 per piece) – My favourite from all the cupcakes I tried! It was amazing how the cream came oozing out after my first bite. I can’t tell you how much I loved it! I was left craving for more after I finished gobbling it down within seconds! An absolute must have for sure!

Homemade Toffee Buttercream cupcake (Rs. 70 per piece) – This was my least favourite cupcake to be honest. I felt the icing was too strong in flavour and it overpowered the muffin underneath.

Hummus (Rs.250 for 450gms) – Now, she doesn’t usually make Hummus unless you’re an old client of hers or unless she really loves you but I have to say I’m just lucky cause I got to try her Hummus. It is perfect, probably the best hummus I’ve ever had! If you’re lucky too or get the chance to, you must order the Hummus for any party or when you want to have a healthy meal.

VIK HUmmusWhere? – Currently Shazli works out of her home kitchen in Bandra near Mount Mary Church. You can call her on 9819652129 to place an order or follow Vanilla Infused Kitchen on Instagram and Facebook to see delicious, mouth watering pictures of all the cakes she bakes!

Verdict– Vanilla Infused Kitchen has lip smacking desserts which you just can’t resist. I’ve only tried the cupcakes yet, but I can’t wait to try all the other items on her menu. I recommend the Boston Cream pastry cupcake, Brownie and Hummus! Go try!

Rating– 4/5


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Aug 26 2015

Apsara IceCreams, Powai- Review


Apsara Icecreams PowaiApsara Ice creams has been around at Walkeshwar since longer than I can remember. The Roasted Almond ice cream was undeniably one of the richest and creamiest I had had. Apsara has been known for its sancha ice cream (Handmade, without preservatives or added flavours). So when I was invited to try the ice creams at the Powai branch, I just couldn’t say no.

Flavours– They have a whole range of flavours from sorbet to chocolate-based to fruit based, even sugar free and apart from that have Kulfi and thick milkshakes. Karan and I were super excited to dig into all the flavours so we actually tried each and every one. The Guava sorbet has to be my favourite. It was light and filled with fruity goodness. It was served with masala on top! So cool! Killer Kiwi and Watermelon Wonder were alright. The Mosambi flavour was slightly bitter. Paan Pasand would be a better and in fact an amazing replacement for real Paan.

Now coming to the flavours we had. I had Funky Ferrerro- a lethal combination of the sinful Ferrerro Rocher chocolate, Vanilla and a hint of chocolate. I thought it was good but could have been more chocolatey. Karan had Mint Marvel which is Apsara’s version of the famous ‘After Dark’. With a not-so-over-powering taste of mint and just a hint of chocolate, this one too was so-so. Apart from ice creams they also have milkshakes and I couldn’t resist trying those either, considering what a big sweet tooth-greedy bugger I am. I loved the Orange Blossom milkshake; bits of orange mixed with milk and barely any sugar. It also had the thickness one would expect from a milkshake. Their cold coco is out of the world! An absolute must have! I must thank the staff there for being so patient and letting us try so many flavours. Apart from Powai and Walkeshwar, they also have an outlet at Vile Parle, Matunga and Thane and have a free delivery service to homes close by.

Pricing– I like that Apsara doesn’t differentiate between their flavours in terms of pricing. All flavours are priced at Rs. 55 for a cup and Rs. 65 for a cone. The milkshakes are priced at Rs. 70 for a glass. Their family packs are for Rs. 250.

Verdict– Apsara is here to stay and after this I am sure I will go back to indulge in some Cold Coco and Roasted Almond Ice cream. Slurp!

Rating– 4.5/5

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Jul 16 2014

Jamjar Diner, Versova- Review


Oh I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to try Jamjar Diner since the time it opened. Unfortunately, the distance (South Mumbai to Versova) was just too much. Luckily, I had to go shopping that side and so Fash and I just decided that we’d just go! Bahut ho gaya!

Jamjar diner  foodFood– Jam Jar serves Italian, American and Mexican food apart from various drinking options. We had gone for lunch and were super hungry so we decided to quickly call for a starter that they recommended – JJ’s Chili Cheese toast. Ok so it was nice but not the best I’ve had. With ketchup, oregano and chilli flakes, it tasted better. For main course I decided to call for the Basil Pesto+ Feta+ Roasted Veggies sandwich. Now it smelled really good and was stuffed with veggies but tastewise, it was quite bland and there was barely any feta. After having half the sandwich I decided that some more feta was needed to improve the taste and thankfully, it got a lot better. Fash had the Chimichurri Grilled chicken and she loved it. For drinks, I had a good old Chocolate milkshake. Trust me; it was just too good to be true! One glass just ain’t enough! Fash decided to go healthy and had the Carrot+Apple+Ginger juice which was nice and refreshing. She also called for the Smoked Paprika Fries which were just perfect. After eating so much we were quite full but couldn’t go without trying a dessert. We wanted to try the Flower Pot Surprise (Brownies, marshmallows & ice cream) but ended up having the Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Mousse which was absolutely delicious, especially the salted caramel at the bottom! So, the food overall was tasty, well presented but slightly bland.

Ambience– Located at Versova, Andheri West, Jamjar Diner place gets full marks for its ambience. Skillfully decorated, you will find something new to look at everytime you go there, especially because there is so much to see! Lots of vintage and classic looking furniture and accessories with lovely colours everywhere. The vibe is positive and fun and that translates into an experience that is such. You’ll find randome things like a Jukebox, Mango Bites, a gramophone, old Tv set, ancient looking barni, pots, pans, plates, tools, a goldfish in a glass bowl and so much more. All of it adds character and makes Jamjar Diner an interesting place to kill time, especially if your friend’s late.

Jamjar diner, VersovaService– I was quite happy with the service. These guys know their stuff and will help you choose something nice, especially if you’re there for the first time. Our waiter was nice. We were stuffed and still wanted to have the Flower Pot dessert. He told us that it would get too heavy for us so go for something lighter; which is exactly what we did.

Prices– The prices are slightly on the higher side. You would end up spending about 800 bucks per head without alcohol. Jamjar’s Chilli Cheese toast was for Rs. 225 which I felt was a bit overpriced. The Veg sandwich that I had was for Rs. 295. The Chimichurri Grilled Chicken was for Rs. 312. The Smoked Paprika fries were for Rs. 156. The awesome Chocolate milkshake was for Rs. 156 and the Carrot, apple and ginger juice was for Rs. 174. The dark chocolate & salted caramel mousse was for Rs. 174. So our bill came up to Rs. 1720 including taxes and service charge.

Verdict– Jamjar Diner is sweet and has such a positive vibe that you’d want to visit again and again even though the food is slightly bland and the prices a little high. You must have their chocolate milkshake!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Sep 18 2012

Twist Monkey, Nariman Point & FYI, Churchgate- Review


Yogurts are the ‘In’ thing right now and I just thought it was better to write 2 reviews in 1 and fill you in on the latest ones in town. So, here they are.

Twist Monkey-Review:  Twist Monkey is a small stall that sells frozen yogurt located at Spoon Food Court at Inox, Nariman Point. I had Belgium Chocolate (delicious) in a mini cup (Rs. 40) with Ferrero Rocher sauce as topping (Rs. 40). The combination was good. I really liked the taste of the yogurt. The next time I went there I had the Honey Nut Crunch flavour (Rs. 40) with Mocha Ganache- bitter and tasty (Rs.40) as the topping. Now the part that sucks is that the cheapest toppings which are for Rs. 20 are just syrups. All the good toppings are for Rs. 40 so you have to end up spending Rs. 80 to have the smallest sized yogurt with a topping. I’ve also tried their other flavours- Blueberry- ok, Strawberry- yum!

Verdict– Twist Monkey is yummy! Most of their yogurts taste good and so do their toppings but I wish the pricing was better.

Rating– 4/5

FYI (Frozen Yogurt Inc.)- Review: FYI decided to be smart and locate themselves at Cafe Markiv’s, Churchgate where the college crowd is. Out of the ones I tried (Strawberry- superb, Blueberry- bad, Original- good) I thought their Fruitella flavour was yum so I decided to go for that (Rs. 40). Now the good part is that you pay per topping. So 1 topping is for Rs. 30, 2 for Rs. 40 and unlimited for Rs. 60 which is a fair deal. With my mini yogurt, I decided to try the red velvet topping (Rs. 30) which was not that great. As a promotional deal, they also added some Nutella sauce which made the bad taste of red velvet go away to a large extent.

Verdict– FYI is good and so is the pricing. Their yogurts taste great but they definitely should look at getting better toppings.

Rating– 3.5/5

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Jun 4 2012

Sugadaddy, Hughes Road- Review


I’d been wanting to try this place for a while now and finally got to try it just a few days ago. Here’s what I thought of it.

Desserts– They don’t like to limit themselves just at yogurts, as most dessert shops are doing so. They brand themselves as a place for softies, smoothies, milkshakes, cupcakes and other desserts besides just frozen yogurt. I decided to try their yogurt and so tasted whatever flavours they had. Unfortunately some of their machines were spoilt because of which I only got to try 4 flavours. Blueberry- more like the original with no taste of blueberry at all, Strawberry- good, Mango- ok and Toffee- very good. As a topping, as per their suggestion, I had the cookie sauce which was yum! So I decided to go for the Toffee yogurt with Cookie sauce as the topping. I truly enjoyed my yogurt and was happy with my choice. After that I decided to try their Red velvet cupcake. Now I liked the muffin bit but the cream on top was quite grainy even though it was quite tasty. I wanted to try a milkshake but have saved it for next time.  They also have hot beverages like coffee, tea, etc. in case you don’t want to have a dessert.

Ambience– Located at Hughes road near Sukh Sagar and Chowpatty, Sugadaddy is the new place in town for desserts. Pink, white and gold are the colours you’ll find here. It’s pretty and nice except for the section upstairs where they’ve spoilt it with red chairs and other mess lying around. So, yeah if you do plan to take some time and enjoy your dessert, you can go upstairs and rest your butt or settle in for their bar stools down.

Service– They’re friendly and polite and let you try their flavours before making your choice which is a good thing.

Prices– The yogurt comes in different ‘cup sizes’ as they mention on their menu. A- Rs.30, B- Rs. 70 and C- Rs.150. I chose cup size A because I think that much quantity was more than enough. Toppings are also Naughty (Rs.30 each) or Nice (Rs.20) I chose a naughty topping. So my yogurt + topping cost me Rs. 60 which was decent and worth it. The cupcake was for Rs. 65 which I felt should not have been more than Rs. 50. Their smoothies and milkshakes are for Rs. 150 and I decided to save trying them for later.  A tea/ coffee is for Rs. 65, Green tea for Rs. 85, etc.

Verdict– Sugadaddy is not the best place for yogurts or desserts but is not that bad either. Give it a shot and decide.

Rating– 2.5/5


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Jul 29 2010

Pali Village Café, Bandra -Review


There have been mixed reviews of the place so far so in order to find out the real deal, I had to go there myself! So, I finally went to the most talked about café opened recently- Pali Village Café in Bandra.

Food– Ha! Where do I start from?! They serve Italian, European and Mediterranean food. They also have a huge range of wines to choose from. Since we went in the evening at around 5, we thought we’d stick to coffees and light snacks. So I called for a Goat cheese & garlic Pizza slice and since I’ve heard their desserts are great, I called for a cake that looked nice in their display. My friends called for a Sweet potato gnocchi and coffee. Ok the coffee was strong and good but the rest of the stuff was quite bad! My pizza slice was more like 2 large Tortilla chips with cheese on top. So basically I had a pizza without the pizza sauce. Is that how pizzas are supposed to be in Italy? After I looked at the sweet potato gnocchi which were barely 4 tiny pieces with some sauce, I could not imagine eating a meal here. I mean, do they think people have pea-sized appetites or do they think everyone is anorexic?! It felt like you’re being offered prasaad from a temple, man! The dessert was a huge disappointment too! The cake was not warmed well and the ice cream had a strand of hair in it!  Although they changed it, the taste didn’t make up for it one single bit unfortunately!

Ambience– Located at Pali Hill near Janata Lunch Home, Pali Village Café is one of those hoity-toity places meant for those who don’t really care about cost, quantity or quality of food and are more concerned about being there just ‘cause it’s one of “those” places. The place if you see has an interesting décor, different from other places you’ve seen. I’ll give them credit for that. The dim lights, Italian flooring, classy furniture and old frames on rustic walls give the place a very unique look. They play old classic European music which sets the right mood for the place. There’s just this one annoying wall near the stairs that looks really bad! I wish they’d do something about that…well…Ok maybe that’s just me.

Service– These guys really need to buck up with their service! My friend had to ask 3 different waiters to get her a sachet of sugar for her coffee! Also, if you ask them what the dish contains, they haven’t a clue!

Prices– Ridiculously priced! The goat cheese & garlic pizza slice costs Rs. 110! We called for 3 cups of coffee, 1 pizza slice, 1 starter and 1 dessert. The bill came up to 1100 inclusive of tax! That’s almost 300 per person just for an afternoon snack… not even a snack, actually! I’m not complaining about it being expensive…I’m complaining because it’s not worth it at all!

Verdict– Pali Village Café might be extremely popular as of now, with people making reservations to go there but I think the place honestly needs to change a few very important things; namely- food quantity, prices and service! I don’t think I can go back there if these things don’t change!

Rating– 2/5

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Jul 5 2010

Chocolate Treat- Raapchik Recipe


Ok, let me tell you that I’m a foodie but I hate cooking! So, me making something out of choice is actually surprising for most people who know me. I make things that are super easy, and no sweat! Today I made this random dessert which I call Chocolate treat. This I made after my friend Komal told me her mom made Brownies with biscuits.Toh maine socha, chal I’ll also try making a raapchik dessert! My recipe is super easy!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

–          1 packet of Butter Biscuits/ Parle G Biscuits/ Nice Biscuits/ Oreo Cookies (10-12 biscuits)

–          1 tbspn Amul Butter

–          1 cup milk

–          Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup/ Nutella

How to make?

–          Crush the biscuits and turn them to powder in your mixer/grinder. Leave 1 for garnishing for later.

–          Take a bowl. Add 1 table spoon of butter, 1 cup milk, Hershy’s chocolate syrup (depends on how chocolaty you want it to be) and the powdered biscuits.

–          Heat it on the gas for a minute so that the butter settles down and it’s easier to mix.

–          Now put the bowl in your microwave/oven for about 4-5 minutes. Remove it only when you feel your chocolate treat is in a cake-like form and not liquid.

–          Once it feels a little hard, crush the biscuit you saved and make designs with your Hershey’s syrup/Nutella.

What it tastes like:

Hard on the outside and soft on the inside, Chocolate treat tastes best when it’s hot and can be had with Vanilla ice cream.

Responses from family:

Brother– This is the first time I’ve liked something you made!

Dad– Hmmm nice!

Mom– She had a fast and still took a bite and was impressed that I made it in the microwave by myself, willingly!

If you plan to try this, do let me know how yours tasted! 🙂

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Jun 28 2010

Tart, Bandra


After a not-so-tasty dinner at Ray’s last night, the four of us decided to go for sheesha to Mumbai Times Café. We spent at least 15 minutes waiting for an auto but were highly unsuccessful. And so, while walking, I saw a small little cake shop called Tart at Hill Road, near Al’s Tattoo. I remember having seen it before and I was super keen on trying it, plus I wanted to have my dessert. So I just walked into the little place whether or not my friends wanted to go in! The best part was that they were closing but they still let us come in and have what we wanted. 😛 Anyway, I’m just glad we walked in because what was to follow was a pleasant surprise!

On the Menu– Tart is a lovely cake shop which sells cupcakes, tarts, pies, cookies, mousse and all sorts of yummy stuff. Basically it’s a place for people like me who love everything sweet, especially chocolate. Now All 4 of us decided to have something and luckily we all had something different. Fash had a Caramel Cream Cheese Pie which was the melt-in-your-mouth types; I had a flourless chocolate cake which felt like heaven in the mouth; Sneha had Nutella fudge which was quite nice and Kunal had a Cappuccino Éclair which I thought was ok. I wanted to try a lot more but unfortunately we had to leave and plus I was quite full.

Prices– At first when you read the prices you’d think… whoa that’s quite a lot of money for that much… but once you’ve had your first bite, you’ll forget about the prices because the stuff they have is superb! I think its value for money! My flourless chocolate cake cost 85 bucks. The cup cakes cost around 55 per piece with a nice cream layer on top. Totally worth it!

Verdict– I totally recommend this place. You wont leave this place disappointed for sure! The guys who work there are also kind enough to open boxes for you even though it’s closing time for them. I know I’m going to try their cupcakes next time!

Rating- 4.5/5


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