Aug 3 2015

Noodle Play, Powai- Review

Roochster

Noodle PlaycopyWhen I heard about the concept of food according to star signs, I was intrigued more than anything. How does the star sign of a person define their likes/dislikes of a particular dish? That one question was enough to get me excited to try Noodle Play.

Food– I am an Arien and Karan is a Virgo so the gravy and rice was selected by them accordingly. I got Thai Chili Basil Rice to go with a Mixed veggies in Hunan gravy. While the Thai Chili Basil Rice was perfect, every grain separated by a burst of exactly the flavours promised.  Karan got Egg Fried Rice with Chicken in Sopa gravy. He liked the gravy but felt the chicken could have been juicier. As a starter we got Paneer in Black Pepper which was superb! It wasn’t too spicy neither too sweet. Even though we had it cold, it tasted great so I can imagine how delicious it would be when it’s nice and hot. Great concept and so far they were pretty accurate about the food according to starsigns. However, I would love to try their Kung Pao gravy to get a better idea the next time around.

Prices- The prices are competitive with a lot of other Chinese and Thai places that have opened serving custom made noodles or rice in a paper container that surprisingly stays well inside. The starters are priced at Rs. 200, my Veg Thai Chili Basil rice was for Rs. 130, Egg Fried Rice was for Rs. 140, Gravies are for Rs. 150 for Veg, Rs. 200 for gravy with Paneer and Rs. 220 for gravies with chicken. They also have lemonade and Iced Tea priced at Rs. 60 if you’d like some. So a vegetarian would end up spending about Rs.250 if shared between two. Not bad at all!

Verdict– Apart from the star sign concept, which I think is just a gimmick, the food here is really good and I would definitely like to call from there again.

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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Jul 29 2013

Roochster Recommends: Chef’s Basket- Creamy Tomato Penne Pasta

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Creamy tomato Penne PastaWhat? Creamy Tomato Penne Pasta. It’s got the right flavours to make yummy pasta like they make them at restaurants. With rich ingredients and quantity that’s perfect for 3 people, you’re set for a great lunch or dinner.  The pack contains everything you need. In a way its a ready to eat pack but you need to boil the pasta, add water, etc. The sauce, olives, sea salt olive oil and herbs are all there so you need not go hunting for ingredients unless you want to add more. I was lucky enough to try the Black Bean & Salsa Burritos too which were nice but not as good as the Penne pasta.

Other Chef’s Basket Packs- Black Bean & Salsa Burritos, Arrabbiata Penne Pasta. I hope to try the Arrabiatta pasta soon!

Where? You will find the Chef’s Basket packs at most supermarkets in Mumbai. You can also order from Localbanya.com

How much? The pack of Creamy tomato penne pasta costs Rs. 250 which is an introductory price. It’s totally worth it because of the quality of ingredients used and the quantity. The Burritos kit is for Rs. 350.

Roochster Recommends!

Pasta   Penne, Burritos

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Jun 13 2013

The Daily, Bandra (W) – Review

Roochster

The Daily2The best part about being a blogger is that you get invited to try new places every now and then. I was one of the privileged few foodies to turn up at The Daily for the ‘Top Zomato Foodies Meet up’ on a Monday rainy evening. Here’s my experience.

Food & Drinks– The Daily is a pub that also has a lot of food and a good collection of a variety of drinks. To begin with our lovely evening, we called for drinks sans alcohol. I tried a lemongrass, basil and lime based drink called ‘Lemon Beat’ which was refreshing! My friend tried the Pineapple & Coriander Mojito with pieces of pear, mint and lime and that was quite nice too.  We were also offered some interestingly prepared ‘molecular cocktails’ that are made at your table on only Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. We saw the making of Oriental Passion- a vodka drink concocted in style with passion & orange and dry smoked with kaffir lime and basil. This was definitely my favourite drink! The mix of all the flavours along with just the right amount of vodka made it special, not forgetting the way it was made! We also got to try Gypsy Queen- scotch, peach & lemon, smoked with cinnamon, apple wood and clove. This I didn’t like much because of the wooden flavour and smell but I do think men would enjoy it. Coconut Mountie was another different kind of cocktail which had chocolate syrup, coconut cream and dark rum. A fun drink that was weirdly nice. I think they take their food as seriously as their drinks because we were quick enough to eat it all up the moment it was on our table.

For starters we tried 3 portions of French fries-with cheese, with chicken mince and with a two bean spicy sauce. The one with cheese was the best but had very little cheese; the beans one was more like dal makhani on fries which I would not recommend. My friend liked the mince chicken though. Next we tried the Bruschetta- two types. One was the usual- tomatoes and cheese which was yum. The other one was with mushrooms and since I don’t like mushrooms, I didn’t try it. The Jalapeno Dippers were yum but weren’t very different from the ones you’ve had at many other places. The Pimento Hummus & Pita tasted awesome! A flavourful hummus which both tastes and looks different is a winner for sure!  Another interesting starter we tried was the Arancini- veggies mixed with risotto rice and cheese with arrabiata sauce on top and I have to say that it was well prepared and delicious! Since we stuffed ourselves so much, there wasn’t much scope to eat more but we still dabaod on a Margherita pizza which was scrumptious!

Ambience– The Daily is not hard to notice especially if you visit Bandra often. Located at SV Road, in the same building as Suburbia theatre, it is one of those chilled out places you’d love to hang out at. The Daily believes in sharing nothing but good news and you’ll feel that positivity when you’re there. They have an indoor as well as an outdoor section and the decor of both is very different. Lots of frames with the latest good news posts adorn the walls and ceiling of the inside section along with high chairs and tables. Even the washrooms have some really funny news articles to keep you entertained. The outdoor section on the other hand is quite the opposite. Lots of plants, chatai curtains, comfortable seating and a big screen. I’d also like to mention that they play great music! A good compilation of songs that are relatable, fun and happy. The waiters are dressed in black and white with suspenders and black rimmed old school spectacles minus the glass. Funky eh!?

The daily1Service– When they opened 2 months ago, alot of people had issues with the service. The management did take that seriously and decided to hire new staff and trained them well. Looks like they’ve been successful because there are no complaints whatsoever with regards to service. The staff is polite and are doing their job well.

Prices– The prices are like any other pub or restaurant you’d go to nowadays. There are some cocktails that are expensive like the Molecular Cocktails which cost Rs. 650 or the Tiki Cocktails that cost Rs. 500 which are anyway only available on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. A pint of beer would cost about Rs. 200 and mocktails Rs. 150. The starters are priced at Rs. 185 and upwards and the Margherita pizza is for Rs. 255. Of course, add taxes and service charge to all of the above. So I’d say that you’d end up spending about 600 per person without alcohol which is decent or normal in today’s times.

Verdict– The Daily is a happy place with good food and unique cocktails. Go try!

Rating– 3.5/5

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May 19 2013

Icing on Top, Kemps Corner- Review

Roochster

Icing on top 1

Icing on Top has been around for some time now but not many people knew about it. I’m one of the lucky few who’ve gotten to try their stuff and let you in on it. Here’s my review.

Desserts- I remember trying their Red Velvet cake slice at an exhibition and thought it was exceptional! I really was looking forward to trying all their other desserts and I’m glad I did! All the ‘pure veg’ people will be very happy to know that all the desserts at Icing on Top are eggless.  

Cake Pops (Rs.30) – In general, soft and tasty and also a great idea! I tried Red Velvet- The outer layer wasn’t as good as the cake inside. The Double chocolate cake pop was Chocorgasmic! A must have! Oreo was Oreoliciously good!

Oaty Caramel Crunch cookie (Rs. 100 for 100gms) – If you’re health conscious or love granola bars, this one’s for you. Crunchy and wholesome.

Mini Cookies (Rs. 100 for 100gms) – A great idea to have bite sized cookies that you can pop one every hour and not feel guilty! I tried the Cinnamon mini cookies – Not a fan of cinnamon but these were just fantastic! Melt- in-your-mouth types!  Chocolate chip mini cookies – Yum! Lemon mini cookies – Addictive! Can’t stop at one!

Chocolate Mud Pie (Rs.150) – Gooey, rich, amazing!

Red Velvet pastry (Rs.125) – Sinful indulgence! Easily the best item on the menu! A must have!

Hazelnut shot glass (Rs.50) – Divine! Like a creamier version of nutella!

Blueberry shot glass (Rs.50) – Great mix of blueberry with a crushed biscuit base.

Chocolate shot glass (Rs.50) – Ok. The least favourite of them all.

Icing on top 2I didn’t get to try the cupcakes (Rs. 30) which I’ve heard good things about. But I’m definitely going to stop by when I’m at Kemps Corner next and give it a shot!

Where? Based out of Masjid Bunder where the main kitchen is, they’ve very recently started a small counter inside a shop called Besos at Kemps Corner near Cumballa Hill Hospital. So you can either go grab a bite or doggy bag a bunch of things to try at home; if not get it delivered.

Verdict– Reasonably priced eggless desserts that taste very good! Must haves- Red velvet pastry, chocolate mud pie, mini cookies, Chocolate cake pop. I look forward to trying their cupcakes and other pastries!

Rating– 3.5/5

 

 

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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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Sep 24 2012

California Pizza Kitchen, Lower Parel- Review

Roochster

I’ve tried the pizzas at CPK on two occasions, both times for free. Now, it’s a good thing because I love pizzas. Here’s my review.

Food– Apart from pizzas, they have soups, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, pastas, desserts, etc. I tried their thin crust pizzas- Margherita- super bland with a prominent taste of tomato, Spicy Cayenne (spicy cayenne pepper sauce with cottage cheese, sliced onions, red, yellow and green bell peppers)- too salty in some parts and bland in some. It was a weird pizza! Five cheese & Fresh Tomato pizza- Ok. Their thin crust pizzas are wafer thin and barely filling. For appetizers I tried the Mediterranean Wonton Spring rolls (Sautéed shitake mushrooms, grilled eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions and cheese) and the Margherita Wonton Spring Rolls (Fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, cheese) and again, both were superb bland! The Margherita was better though because of the cheese. So, in a way the food in general at CPK is bland and not meant for Indians.

Ambience– Walk into Phoenix Mills at Lower Parel, reach centre. Turn back towards Palladium and go up the escalator to California Pizza Kitchen. The place is dimly lit with comfy couches, a long bar and lots of brown! It looks more like a corporate place to dine rather than a place for young people or children.

Service– The staff is courteous and efficient. No complaints.

Prices– The wonton starter costs Rs. 295 which includes 2 types of wontons. The Margherita thin crust costs Rs. 425 and the Spicy Cayenne Pizza costs Rs. 325! So eating at CPK is not everyone’s cup of tea! Actually it would be, had the food been even remotely tasty!

Verdict– CPK is a big let down with probably the worst pizzas ever! Don’t even think about it!

Rating– 1.5/5

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Aug 27 2012

Spices & Flavours, Fort- Review

Roochster

S&F has been around for a long time and we know about their outlets at Chowpatty and Worli. More than the food, people went there for sheesha. Now, they’ve opened a new outlet at Fort so I thought there must be something about their food which is what made me go there to try the place.

Food– Spices and Flavours is a multicuisine veg restaurant that serves almost everything. We were 3 of us and had gone for lunch. We called for Flavoured cheese bread which was more like chilli cheese toast and looked like the Shiv Sagar pizza but tasted really good. Next we had Cheese corn balls which were quite bland but tasty nonetheless. The quantity was quite good so we decided to call for main course- mix sauce pasta. It looked really weird cause it was yellow but we were surprised after tasting it. It was really well cooked with the right flavours. Their quantity is perfect! For drinks we called for an Oreo shake and a Diet Coke. My friend and I decided to share the Oreo shake and were glad we did because they gave us amazing quantity and it left us craving for more because it was superb!

Ambience– Located at Hamam street, right next to The Bombay Stock Exchange, Spices and Flavours is a well done up place. With chic décor and furniture, there’s lots of space and comfortable seating. They also have a banquet hall. You’ll find mainly office people here at lunch time because of its officey location.

Service– Their service is good, especially on a day when they don’t have too many customers. They customised our pasta for us which was really nice of them. Also, they forgot to get one of the dishes we had called for which is not a good thing but was good for us because we had over-ordered and luckily didn’t have to waste any food.

Prices–  The prices are reasonable and worth the food. The flavoured cheese bread and corn cheese balls were for Rs. 150 each, the Mixed sauce pasta was for Rs. 160, the Oreo shake was for Rs. 135 and diet coke was for Rs. 45. We paid Rs. 220 each for a wholesome meal. Also, they have a great offer for buffet lunch- Rs. 180 only! No taxes extra! Perfect for office people!

Verdict– Totally worth your money, Spices and Flavours is a great place with yummy food, good ambience and service! I’ll definitely go there again! 2 thumbs up from me!

Rating– 4/5

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Aug 7 2012

Poco Loco, Bandra (w)- Review

Roochster

I went to try this swanky new Spanish restaurant at Pali Naka, Bandra. To be honest I was a little skeptical besides being excited because Spanish food would mean mostly non-vegetarian which I’m not, also this was my first shot at spanish cuisine. Here’s my review.

Food– Tapas, Paella (Saffron Rice), Patatas (Potatoes), Wines, Sangrias, etc. are Spanish specialities. There were 3 menus from which only 1 was for food which means their wine & sangrias are more popular here. My friend and I decided to call for 2 mocktails- I tried the Poco Loco Especial and my friend had the Maracuya Fizz (Passionfruit Fizz). Both tasted and looked the same; not to say that they were bad but I expected something more special from the ‘Poco Loco Especial’.

Tapas are like starters and unfortunately for veggies, there are barely any options at this fine dining restaurant besides Potato, mushroom and aubergine. I don’t like the latter two so we decided to call for Patatas Ali-Oli (baby potatoes in garlic mayo sauce with and crushed peanuts). Both of us really liked the dish and I think the nuts just made it better. We also tried the Patatas Bravas (Spicy potatoes in special tomato sauce) which was yummy, quite similar to the Kung pao sauce and I loved it! My friend thought the sauce tasted like tomato ketchup though and she refused to have more than 1-2 pieces. For main course, I decided to call for the Paella Vegetariana as that sounded the most exciting from the very few veg options. Paella is saffron rice cooked in olive oil with bell peppers, asparagus and other vegetables. At first I didn’t like it at all because the arborio rice was super sticky and oily but the taste and flavours set in soon after a few bites and you can’t help but love it. That coming from me, a person who’s not too fond of vegetables means it’s a must have! My friend Fash had Pollo a la Brasa, a wholsesome dish which consisted of half roasted chicken with spanish style mashed potatoes and vegetables. She felt that the chicken gravy was infused with thyme, the mashed potatoes were flavoursome if a bit salty, the beans were long enough to be like substitute spaghetti and the broccoli was ‘meh’.

For dessert we had a New York Cheesecake which was brilliant, soft and delicious and a Molten chocolate cake with caramel filling which was alright. The overall presentation of the food was very good but I wish the portion size of atleast the tapas was larger!

 Ambience– Just 10 steps away from Toto’s Garage at Pali Naka, Bandra (w), Poco Loco is a bar more than a restaurant and the décor is lovely. All the walls are different and you’ll find that they’ve made the most out of the space they have, including an open kitchen and bar. They have a mezzanine floor that is a bit cramped so I’d suggest you seat yourself downstairs instead. In a lot of ways it’s a warm, friendly place that automatically makes it perfect to go to on a date.

Service– The staff is courteous and decently informed about the dishes.

Prices– Its not a place where you can go regularly for sure unless you have that kind of money. For a drink maybe; but if you’re planning to eat a meal, be prepared to spend atleast 1200 per head without alcohol. The tapas start at Rs. 120 with small quantities. The Paella Vegetariana was for Rs. 395, our mocktails were for Rs. 175 each, Pollo a la Brasa was for Rs. 550. The wines and sangrias are priced at Rs. 250 onwards.

Verdict– Tasty Spanish food with an Indian twist and a glass of sangria. If that’s your style and if your pocket allows it, try Poco Loco. I wish they’d introduce more options for vegetarians though.

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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May 16 2012

Francesco’s Pizzeria, Kemps Corner- Review

Roochster

Thanks to Burrp’s Twitter updates, and Zomato for putting up the menu, I found out about Francesco’s Pizzeria at Kemps Corner and so rushed to go try it. Here’s what I thought of it.

Food– As the name suggests, Francesco’s serves an interesting variety of pizzas with choices in toppings. I had a basic Margherita 7”(normal cheese pizza with basil leaves on top) which I thought could have been tastier but was decent nonetheless and Fash had a 7” pizza called ‘Insalata’ or Garden pizza (basic margherita topped with Rocket leaf salad, Basamic Reduction, Heirloom tomatoes and pickled onion slivers). As fancy as it sounds, to me it tasted like bitter leaves with cherry tomatoes on a pizza. Fash liked it somehow. For the weight conscious, they also have a pizza called ‘Wellness Pizza’ or ‘Magro’ (Multigrain crust, wood roasted zucchini & honey carrots, Fresh Broccoli Florets, Mini Heirloom tomatoes & Fava Beans). As a side order we had their ‘Garlic Ciabatta Mini loaf’ meaning Herby Garlic bread. I liked the taste but the hard crust spoilt it for us. They also have a couple of desserts so we decided to try ‘Francesco’s Signature’ cupcake- Tiramisu with Mascarpone Frosting. That I will have to admit was just superb- soft, creamy and delicious!

Ambience– It might be slightly difficult for you to find this place if you’re not well acquainted with Kemps Corner. It’s located in a small lane right next to Creo and Subway on the main road, also close to Muchhad Paanwala. It’s mainly a delivery place as most pizza joints are but if you plan to go there, it’s a cosy place with 3 just tables. The décor is simple and contemporary.

Service– The pizzas didn’t take much time to be prepared but the hard crusted Garlic bread took ages and came after we finished our pizza so that wasn’t a very good thing as far as service is concerned. Otherwise, the staff is polite.

Prices– I thought the prices are normal because anywhere you go now you’d end up spending atleast 300 bucks but Fash felt that the prices are a little high. My Margherita pizza was for Rs. 125, Fash’s garden pizza was for Rs. 195. The Garlic bread was for Rs. 50 and a cupcake Rs. 70 each. After getting back home I realized that for a pizza joint, they are slightly over-priced. A 7” pizza would not fill me up for sure if I were to have it for a proper meal. This was just a snack. But we were lucky enough to get 2 cupcakes complimentary from them for which I would happily pay Rs. 70 because they were that rich and delicious.

Verdict– Francesco’s Pizzeria’s pizzas have good quality ingredients but taste-wise can be better. Their prices are slightly higher than the usual pizza joints which could be a drawback especially if they’re mainly into home deliveries. Their Signature cupcake rocks! Go try!

Rating– 2.5/5

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Mar 18 2012

Quattro, Lower Parel- Review

Roochster

I’d heard mixed reviews of Quattro and was wondering if I’d like it. I finally went last night and this is my take on the place.

Food– It’s a veg restaurant that serves Italian and Mexican food. They also serve alcohol and some pretty interesting desserts. Let me tell you what we had. We called for a Margherita pizza which was decent, thin and crispy and we didn’t even come to know when it got over but definitely better than California Pizza Kitchen’s! Then we had Nachos with beans, cheese, salad and sour cream which was strictly ok, in fact even a little bland. Then we called for an Alfredo pasta (penne). It was nicely cheesed up but just white sauce, pasta and cheese is not what I’m paying so much for. It was quite bland also and because of that I had to add a lot of pepper, oregano and ketchup (yes, couldn’t help it!). I felt the quantity was less. For dessert we had a Chocochunk Fudge Brownie in a chocolate cage with vanilla gelati. Now, the cage was beautiful and the chocolate it was made of was too rich and delicious for words but the brownie was not that great. Also, the waffle basket the gelati came in was bakwas! Drinks mein we had a Fresh Lime soda and Diet coke. Oh by the way, their pepper machine is too cool! Ask for it to know what I’m talking about!

Ambience– I wish I had taken a picture of the restaurant from outside to show how lovely it looks! However rustic and Italian it looks from the outside, its chic and contemporary inside. White walls with comfortable seating, Quattro is located at Lower Parel, opposite Phoenix Mills.

Service– The service was good. No complaints there.

Prices– The pizza was for Rs. 325, the nachos for Rs. 315, the pasta for Rs. 345, dessert for Rs. 275, Diet coke- Rs. 75 and Fresh lime soda- Rs. 80. With 40% overall tax it came up to Rs. 1730 and was divided among the 3 of us so about 600 per head which is on the expensive side.

Verdict– Nice restaurant but taste-wise the food can get way better for the price you pay with heavy taxes.

Rating-3/5

 

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