Jul 6 2015

Wok Express, Bandra (W)- Review

Roochster

Wok Express 2It’s been a while since I’ve written a review of any restaurant. Well, I guess being married keeps you busy in some way or another whether it’s paying social visits to relatives or figuring out news ways to having a good work life. Since my husband is as much or perhaps an even bigger foodie than I am, he has been accompanying me to most of my Foodie meets where he tells me how the non-veg food is and I continue to enjoy my Veg food. Anyhow, here’s a place I went to recently at Pali Hill. This one’s another Wok place that’s now competing with several others such as Wok Hei, Wok in the box, Wok this way, Wok & Roll, All Stir Fry, etc. How good was Wok Express? Read on.

Wok Express 3Food– We started our evening with Bubble Teas by Boba. Now, we tried their Strawberry, Guava, Coffee Vanilla, Thai and Peach flavours out of which I liked Guava and Strawberry flavours the best but I would not recommend the bubbles (tapioca balls) ‘cause they’re chewy and taste weird, leaving an aftertaste I did not like. Karan liked the Thai Bubble tea the best. The coffee vanilla was more like watery cold coffee with the bubbles. Euh! Along with our iced teas we tried some Dim sums/Dumplings. The Crystal Dumpling (filled with carrot, mushroom and water chestnuts) tasted alright but the outlayer was super sticky. The other Veg Dumpling- Edammame & Truffle Dumpling was hands down the best dumpling I’ve ever had. Filled with Edamame flavouring, mashed potato, topped with carrot, we all agreed that it was melt in your mouth types and well made, an absolute MUST HAVE at Wok Express. Next we tried the Veg Bun. The sweetness and thickness of the rice bun mixed with the gingery, mushroomy flavours inside it didn’t go too well with my palette and I put it down after two attempts. It was now Wok time and like other Wok places, you choose your veggies, sauce, rice or noodles and garnishing. I chose the Udon noodles with veggies in Kung Pao sauce garnished with burnt garlic, peanuts and fried onion. I thought the Udon noodles were well cooked but the Kung Pao sauce lacked the sweetness and spiciness that I would expect. It was somewhere in between. It was a lot to finish though even though I had a medium size, the quantity is perfect especially if you plan to have just a Wok. Karan went for the Sambal sauce with chicken and left it at two bites because of how bland it tasted. For dessert we tried the Wok Kachang dessert which was more like a Roohafza flavoured Milkmaid Gola served in a plastic glass garnished with peanuts, or was it the Tab Tim Grob? Uhh…they tasted the same except that one had water chestnuts at the bottom and the other had peanuts on top. Avoidable.

Ambience– Wok in the box is located at Pali Hill, Bandra in place of Pinkberry Yoghurt and close to 5 Spice. They serve dim sums, bubble teas and of course customizable woks. The furniture is well spread out, giving each group their space. So even when it’s full, people can still walk up to make their Wok at the counter. They don’t have a washroom though so do all the deeds before getting there otherwise, like me you would have to go to the 5 Spice loo. Also, unfortunately on the day we went, their exhausts weren’t working and because of that, our eyes were burning and watering due to the spices and herbs used in cooking.

Wok Express 1Service– It’s all self service so there’s not much I can say in that department.

Prices– Given the fact that going to a restaurant now cannot happen too often because of the amount of taxes and cost of making food ends up becoming a burden on our head, Wok Express plays it safe between the reasonable eateries and the more expensive ones. Out here, if you have a medium sized wok and a drink, you pay about Rs.300 for a meal that will fill you up to the brim. The Veg Woks, medium size are for Rs.190 Chicken/Fish for Rs.210 and Prawns for Rs. 240. Large sized woks- Veg- Rs. 250, Chicken/ Fish- Rs.280 and Prawns for Rs. 310.a If you plan to share a starter plus wok plus drinks/ dessert it would make sense too. The Dumplings cost about Rs. 250. The Bubble teas are priced at Rs. 70 each. The dessert is priced at Rs. 100. Have it if you must.

Verdict– In a nutshell, Wok Express will have to up their game and make more flavourful food to want customers visiting again. Apart from the Edammame & Truffle dumpling, I don’t have any other reason to go back there.

Rating– 2/5

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Feb 21 2015

Me so happi, Khar (west) – Review

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Me so happi, kharAfter an amazing Arijit Singh concert, the husband and I were returning to our nest but before that we needed to feed our empty stomachs. I suggested Me So Happi since it was so close to home and sounded like such a fun place! I quickly Zomato’d the place, checked what cuisine we get there and we were there. Such a happi name! The place must be twice as happi… or so I thought. Sigh!

Food– Karan wanted to drink so he ordered some Gin and Tonic for himself while I went through the menu thrice to look for some interesting Veg starters to call for. After not finding many options, I froze on a Bruschetta (Cherry tomatoes, olives & Mozzarella cheese on garlic bread). It was exactly that. Cut cherry tomatoes, olives and small blobs of Mozzarella cheese on garlic bread with very few basil leaves sprinkled here and there. Bland, effortless and a complete let down. Karan being the non-vegetarian foodie that he is, called for a Bombillo (Bombay duck fried and tossed chilli style). He thought it was ok. Nothing spectacular. For main course I tried their Broadway sandwich (Cottage cheese, aubergine and tomato with pesto between breads). Now, I expected there to be small pieces of aubergine. This sandwich had huge slices of aubergine, some tomatoes and a big piece of cottage cheese which spoilt it for me. There was also barely any pesto. It lacked flavour, salt and character. Karan was craving a burger so he called for a Mighty Melt (Chicken patty, chicken bacon, chimi churi sauce and egg). The patty was huge and the burger looked pretty big but tastewise as Karan put it, it was pretentious and badly westernised, just like all the other food we had. By that he meant that it all looked really fancy and nice but tastewise it all lacked the flavours and special ingredients that would make us want to come back and have any of the dishes again. After the not-so-tasty dinner it was dessert time. I went to the counter, checked it all out and decided to call for the Double Chocolate pudding. That too was a tad disappointing. It looked better than it tasted. The saving grace was the last (but not the least) dish- The Crème Brulee. It was almost perfect. Just needed a little cooling.

Ambience– Nice, quirky, youth-appealing interiors. The tall chairs and tables add to the fun aura, perfect for a bar/pub feel but I would have liked to sit on a normal chair to eat my dinner.  The music is happi and they have a few games too, to keep you entertained. I love the lamps and the paintings on the wall.

Service– So even though the food is bland and honestly not that great, the service is excellent! The staff deserve the service charge amount and a good tip for the wonderful service. Our food was also brought to our table quicker than we expected.

Prices– Not worth the food we had. At all. The Might Melt (burger) was for Rs. 400, Bruschetta for Rs. 200, Bombillo (Fish starter) for Rs. 300, Broadway (Sandwich) for Rs. 270, Pudding and Crème Brulee for Rs. 150 each, Gin for Rs. 150, Tonic water Rs. 125. Now add service charge, Vat, Service tax to all of this. So we paid around Rs. 1700 for just the food (which we did not like at all) and the remaining for the 3 Gins and 2 Tonic water.  Our total was Rs. 2691! Pricey, much?

Verdict–  Unfortunately it was a not so happi experience for both of us and we’re not so sure if we would like to go back there again unless it’s just for drinks. More  effort to make better tasting food may change that though.

Rating– 2.5/5

 

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Jan 13 2015

Biryani360, Bandra (w)- Review

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Biryani360 RoochsterSo I’ve tried biryani at many places in Mumbai and inadvertently it’s only been ordered ‘cause there’s still some space in the stomach after eating some naan and sabzi. Other than that I’d have some biryani at weddings. Yeah, so I am a vegetarian and I don’t find biryani fascinating the way a non-vegetarian would find it that too because of the mutton, mostly.  Lucky, Harpal, Copper Chimney, Samrat, Santoor, Shiv Sagar are a few places I have eaten biryani at. I also tried some in Hyderabad when I went there since ‘Hyderabad Biryani’ is so famous (Nothing to brag about, really!) Oh but let me not forget the most ridiculously  ridiculous ‘Birizza’ (Pizza Biryani) from Pizza Hut. So that’smy little summary of how important biryani is in my life. And then came Biryani360. *drum roll*

The Build up– So on a random day I received an email from the very good looking Shayan Italia who is the man behind Biryani360. I was on my honeymoon then and promised I would get in touch in January once back. After many email exchanges, we froze on Friday night to try some Veg Biryani. Karan (mi amor) and I went to his place along with blogger Uday and his friend. Now Karan being a complete non vegetarian and not-interested-in-biryani-because-of-all-the-oil-and-garam-masala kinda guy, he was a bit apprehensive and not excited at all to go try the biryani with me. But well, things did change the moment we entered Shayan’s place. The aroma of saffron mixed with flavourful herbs and rice filled our nostrils. The next half an hour or so Shayan spoke about how Biryani360 as a concept came along sprinkling some PR dust onto us and while all that was going on, all I could think about was the biryani!

The Experience– As we sat on the dining table, Shayan filled some Biryani360 onto our plates and left us there to photograph, analyze, savour, compare and feast on the mouth watering Biryani and raita. After taking our first bites all of us gave him our nod of approval and gobbled up every morsel. Once we told him how we felt about it, he gaveus a small serving of some Lucky Biryani. Now let’s compare.

  • Oil: Biryani360– Very little oil and the vegetables are cooked to perfection. Lucky– Rice and veggies soaked in oil.
  • Spices and flavours: Biryani360– Just the right amount of spicy, using natural herbs and spices. Lucky– Oil overpowering the spices and flavours.
  • Freshness: Biryani360– No artificial colours or preservatives. The biryani stays fresh only for upto 6 hours. Lucky– Has colours, preservatives and can be consumed even after 12 hours.
  • Price point: Biryani360– Light on the stomach but heavy on pocket. Lucky– Heavy on stomach and pocket friendly.
  • Portion: Biryani360– Portion only for one person. Lucky– Portion sufficient for two people.

So after some comparisons, I have gathered that Biryani 360 is the sure shot healthy option. However, there are pros and cons which I shall mention too.

Pros of Biryani360:

  • A good meal option for office goers.
  • The biryani is rich in herbs, spices and uses very little oil so it is good for those struggling to maintain weight.
  • It is undoubtedly yummyinmytummy, thoughtfully made with the finest, premium
  • The raita that comes along with the biryani is lip smackingly delicious! It goes very well with the biryani.
  • The Veg biryani is given equal importance (if not more) as compared to the Un- Veg biryani so a non-vegetarian will also love the veg biryani without the pieces of chicken or meat.

Cons of Biryani360:

  • 360 for a Veg Biryani is a bit much for a regular meal. So for a family of 4, spending Rs. 1440 on just Biryanithat too to be eaten at home would be quite expensive.
  • They only accept online payments.
  • No dining in as of now. Once they begin operations, the delivery will be limited to Bandra and Khar.
  • No variety. Vegetarians can eat only one type of Biryani. Non-vegetarians can have Un-Veg or Veg biryani which is still a limited choice.
  • If the ingredients are premium and fresh, having potatoes and paneer variations in Biryani would be another reason for one to call for the biryani more often.

Verdict– My mouth is watering as I say this… Biryani360’s biryani is the best Veg Biryani I have ever had and highly recommend you to try it atleast once. The raita is super amazing too! It is a bit heavy on the pocket but I promise you it will be worth every penny! Must try!

Rating– 4/5

 

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Jul 16 2014

Jamjar Diner, Versova- Review

Roochster

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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Jun 28 2014

Kirith’s Patisserie, Byculla- Review

Roochster

I’m a total junk food and dessert person so it was no surprise that I was super excited to try Kirith’s Patisserie at Byculla.

What I had:

Kirith's pastries1 Chocolate heaven (Rs. 70) – Rich chocolate pastry that’s hard to share! Truly heavenly! Must have!

Death by Chocolate (Rs. 65) – Not as deathly as I wished it was. The cake was not very soft and it didn’t taste that great.

Black & White Forest (Rs. 60) – Soft, creamy and nice. Lots of cherries!

Walnut Brownie (Rs. 60) – Not the best brownie I’ve had but this one’s loaded with walnuts and is quite tasty. Not bad for the price.

Chocolate tart (Rs. 50) – Yum! Worth having for sure!

Kirith's tarts1Veg puff (Rs. 40) – Superb! Loved the crispiness of the puff and the taste of corn, spinach and cheese inside. Really good!

Veg pizza slice (Rs. 50) – The bread was a little chewy but not bad overall.

Green Goddess Burger (Rs. 50) – Avoidable. I’d go eat the burger from Mc Donald’s instead.

Kirith's savouriesWhere? I had called for all the items at home but was not too happy with that service so it would be better to just go to their outlet. They’re located at Byculla, near St. Mary’s school, opposite Mazgaon court. You can call them on 022 67303649.

Verdict– Kirith’s Patisserie is a bit of this and that. If you happen to be around Byculla, do go there and have their Chocolate heaven pastry or Veg Puff.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Dec 14 2013

Vicinia Cafe & Bar- Kemps Corner- Review

Roochster

When I heard that Subway had shut down at Kemps Corner I was a bit surprised only to find out that a sweet looking cafe called Vicinia had opened. I did want to try it immediately but never got the chance. Now that I finally did, here I am writing about my experience.

Vicinia Cafe2Food– The menu at Vicinia consists of European and American cuisine. My brother and I wanted to get a taste of everything and so we tried quite a few dishes. As an accompaniment with our food we called for mocktails. I had an Orange Blossom which was quite nice and my brother had a Sparkling Guava drink which was alright. As a starter the first thing that caught my eye was the Cranberry and Goat cheese Crostini. Interesting combination and taste. I totally recommend it! We also tried the Cottage cheese skewers which tasted very good but were too small so it was more like having a starter before a proper starter. I wanted to try the pizza so thought a Margherita would be the best to get an idea. The crust was hard and the pizza sauce was just ok so the pizza overall was a disappointment. The Herbed Rice with Mixed Veggies was superb! It had the right flavours to make it deliciously good! I just wish the portion size of all these dishes was larger. Superb presentation of food otherwise! After a heavy meal, surprisingly I still had space for desserts and so we tried the Gooey Chocolate cake which was yummy. The Berry Ricotta Crumble looked better than it tasted and I would have finished it if it was tastier. I also tried their Classic Cold Coffee which I will recommend because it really was awesome!

Ambience– Located at Kemps Corner, Vicinia is a sweet little cafe and bar that replaced the famous Subway. With a mezzanine floor, Vicinia is adorned with simple and yet comfy-classy furniture. Its actually much larger than it looks from down. Well lit, it gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling and would be a great place to go on a date or simply catch up with a close friend.

Vicinia Cafe1Service– The staff is warm and know their stuff. Our food didn’t take too long to come and there were some nice recommendations from them which helped us pick what we did.

Prices– I wouldn’t say that the items on the menu are well priced because for the quantity you are paying much more. The portion size is small and you would have to call for many items to go out with a full stomach. The Cottage cheese skewers were for Rs.225, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Crostini Rs. 425, the mocktails were for Rs. 150, Margherita pizza was for Rs. 295, Veg Paprika with Herbed Rice was for Rs. 450. The gooey chocolate cake was for Rs. 250 and the Berry Ricotta crumble was for Rs. 200. The Classic cold coffee was for Rs. 135.

Verdict– A great place to meet a friend for a light snack and cold coffee. I recommend their Classic Cold Coffee, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Crostini and Veg paprika with Herbed Rice.

Rating– 3/5

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Sep 26 2013

Cocheta Chocolates, Khar- Review

Roochster

Cocheta Chocolates

I’ve tried atleast 5 new places in the last 3 weeks, 2 being dessert places. Cocheta Chocolates is one of those dessert places that makes the best Tiramisu I’ve ever had! Read on.

What I had– COCHETA CHOCOLATES specializes in custom chocolate gift boxes, baskets and high quality business and promotional gifts for almost any event. I had the opportunity to sample some of Cocheta’s desserts and I’m quite excited to tell you how my experience was.

Cocheta chocolates KharChocolate Cake Bite (Rs. 20) – Being the first dessert I tried, I thought it was just ok and was hoping everything else was only better.

Peanut Butter Cake Bite (Rs. 25) – If you’re a peanut butter fan, you must try this. It was superb! Must have!

Date Walnut Muffin (Rs. 70) – Rich with walnuts! It would be a great tea accompaniment.

Moist orange carrot cupcake with cream cheese (Rs. 70) – This one is very well made. The cream does not overpower the muffin and even on its own, the muffin tastes great.

Choco Walnut Fudge Bites (Rs. 370 per 500 gms) – This one took me back to Lonavla! The fudge bites tasted just like the Lonavla fudge and trust me it was absolutely delicious! A must have!

Truffle Torte Dessert shot (Rs. 60) -This looked really nice but tastewise it was alright. Could have been more chocolaty.

Tiramisu Dessert Cup (Rs. 100) – This was out of the world! The best I’ve ever had! Highly recommended!

Chocolates- Oreo (Rs. 750/kg)Nice, Roasted Almonds (Rs. 950/kg) – Not the best roasted almond chocolates I’ve had but not bad either, Hazelnut (Rs. 1100/kg) – Alright, Coffee Fudge (Rs. 950/kg) – Amazing! Melt in your mouth types.

Where?  Cocheta chocolates has their workshops in Khar and Wadala but delivers anywhere in Mumbai. You can call them on 09322244043 to place your order.

Verdict– The packaging of the products varies according to your order but I wish they’d design boxes with proper branding. Apart from that, some of the desserts that I loved and recommend are the peanut butter cake bites, the moist orange cupcake with cream cheese , the Tiramisu and the choco walnut fudge bites! Good stuff Cocheta!

Rating– 3.5/5

 

 

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Sep 22 2013

Apron Patisserie, Malabar Hill- Review

Roochster

Apron  Patisserie 2There are loads of people who envy me for the amount of food I get to try and write about as a blogger. Apron Patisserie is one such dessert place I came across on Facebook and I decided that I just had to try it. I don’t think I’ve had a sweeter week and I’m just about to tell you all about Apron Patisserie where each dessert has a spoonful of love.

What I had– I tried loads of desserts and I can’t wait to tell you which ones are kickass! By the way, the packaging is superb! Very classy!  Home bakers must look at this as an example. Also, all the products are eggless so vegetarians can breathe a sigh of relief.

Chocolate chip, Cookie dough, Oreo Fudge Brownie– It looked great and I loved the top chocolate layer but there was this coconut taste which I didn’t like at all and that somehow took away the essence of the brownie.

Apron 1Cupcakes– Cinnamon cream & fudge- Yum! Even though I’m not a fan of cinnamon I thought the cupcakes was great!

Chocolate with Mocha cream- Delicious! All you coffee fans will love it!

Boston Cream Pie- Scrumptious, creamy and rich! An absolute must have cupcake!

Vanilla with hazelnut cream- Brilliantly made. The hazelnut didn’t have a very strong taste but it went well with the sponge.

Red velvet with cream cheese- Not the best Red velvet cupcake I’ve had. Again, a strange coconut taste took away the taste of the sponge and cream cheese.

Chocolate with chocolate mousse- The chocolate sponge was nice but I didn’t quite feel the same way about the chocolate mousse frosting.

Blueberry- Nice. Would taste great cold.

Apple pie- cinnamon- Well made.

Vanilla Cookies & Cream- The best cupcake of them all, hands down! Must have!

Rainbow cupcake- It looked beautiful but the sponge turned out to be bitter and overall it wasn’t as tasty as it looked.

Mocha- Yum! The cream had melted but still fantastic!

Cookies– Chocolate chip & M&M- Both cookies had a generous amount of chocolate chips and MnMs. Apart from the coconut taste, the cookies were rich, soft and would be great to munch on at any time of the day.

Apron 3Chocolate cake with chocolate fudge and cookies & cream– The cake didn’t just look tempting; it was full of surprises from the first bite. It was rich, creamy and fun to eat because of the many layers. Highly recommended!

Where? Apron Patisserie is run by a home baker- Anjani Kasliwal. She operates from Malabar Hill and delivers right upto Juhu. To place an order you need to give her a day’s notice. For a big order or to make a themed cake, she needs atleast 3 days prior notice. You can call her on 098 33 126116 to place an order.

How much? A 1 kg cake costs anything between 1200-1500 depending on the type you choose. Cupcakes are for Rs. 600 a dozen, Choco chip brownies are for Rs. 1000 a dozen, Walnut brownies are for Rs. 800 a dozen and cookies are for Rs. 450 a dozen. Great pricing for the quality of ingredients and richness of the dessert.

Verdict– Apron Patisserie’s desserts are rich, scrumptious and made with a lot of love! I highly recommend the Boston cream pie cupcake, the Mocha cream on chocolate cupcake and the three-layered chocolate cake with chocolate fudge and cookies & cream.

Rating– 3/5

 

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Sep 18 2013

Debonairs Pizza, Andheri (W) – Review

Roochster

Debonairs pizza 1There are so many pizza joints all over that it’s only getting more and more confusing as to where to order from. Here’s one more to add to the confusion, atleast for the Andheri people. Debonairs Pizza is a South African chain of pizzas that’s finally come to India. I went to try the stuff very recently as a part of a Foodies’ Meet and here’s what I thought of it.

Food– After a long journey to Andheri all the way from South Mumbai I was hungry and couldn’t wait to dig into the food! My friend and I arrived at the right time as we got to try their ‘Pizza Pop-Itz’. They’re basically shaped like muffins and filled with cream cheese that can be had instead of the usual garlic bread which you get everywhere. We tried the Green Chutney-cheese one which was nice and the cream cheese with jalapeno and corn which I loved and highly recommend. Now we all got a chance to go into the Debonairs kitchen and make our own pizzas, groups of three at a time. The first pizza I tried was the Veg Express which had onions, capsicums and mushrooms. I thought it was really good. Next I tried the Pudina Paneer pizza which had paneer, capsicum, American corn and Peppadew (South African brand of peppers). This was my personal favourite because of how wholesome it was. The taste was bang on with the right flavours all fused into the pizza. Next we tried the most expensive- 3 cheese pizza (Mozzarrella, cheddar, feta), spring onions and Peppadew. I thought it was nice but not worth so much money. After hurriedly finish our slices, it was our turn to go make our very own pizza. We decided to make a Half-n-half. Paneer Makhani and Chicken Makhani. I discovered that Debonairs is not only generous with their toppings but also with cheese. We added a generous layer of cheese on top of the sauce and bread after which we added capsicum, onion, paneer, chicken, makhani sauce and then cheese again. Not bad huh?! The pizza was in the oven for less than 4 minutes and our there it was! Hot, fresh and delicious! I’d like to point out that the dough was absolutely fantastic and very well made (in house), unlike other pizza places where the crust is hard and chewy. Also, the toppings and cheese cover the entire pizza right upto the end.  They also have this Triple -Decker pizza which sounds really exciting and I’ll definitely try it the next time I go there.

Debonairs pizza 2Ambience & Service– Debonairs is mainly a pizza delivery joint but they also have outdoor seating arrangements for those who want to dine in. Located at Juhu-Versova Link road, this little pizza joint is not hard to notice. The place is chilled out and great to hang out at with your buddies. The staff is friendly and warm and the pizza doesn’t take too long to be ready too. Like Domino’s they have a deal that assures you get your pizza hot. A little sticker on the box turns red when it’s hot and black when it’s not. So if it’s not hot when you get it, consider your pizza (Only if more than Rs.500) free! Neat, huh?!

Prices– A simple 7” Margherita pizza costs Rs. 75. The Pizza Pop Itz which contain 4 pieces each cost Rs. 125, all the Veg pizzas apart from the Margherita and 3 Cheese cost Rs. 175 (smallest size). The 3 cheese pizza costs Rs. 325! All non-veg pizzas start from Rs. 195. Taxes additional. So the prices are quite competitive with other pizza joints but Debonairs gives you value by adding a lot of cheese and toppings, making your pizza worth every penny.

Verdict– If given a choice, I’d choose Debonairs Pizza over Pizza Express and Dominos!  I recommend the Pudina Paneer pizza and Cream cheese Pizza Pop-Itz!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Sep 15 2013

Saffron Bay, Chowpatty- Review

Roochster

Saffron Bay I remember going to Saffron Bay in the first week of its opening less than a year back. Unfortunately I didn’t think it necessary to carry cash and they didn’t accept cards so we had to walk out without eating and decided to go to Cream Centre instead. Less than a year later, they still have a problem with their credit card system. Ummm… well, getting to my review.

Food– If you look at their menu it comprises of mainly Mughlai food but they also have continental food for the ones who would like some variety in food. For starters we tried the Malai Corn Tikki, a very different kind. The outer layer is covered in fried almonds and inside you’ll find a mixture of corn, paneer and cheese, chocolate sauce as accompaniment. Interesting yet strange combo. The tikki looked great on the outside and even tasted decent without or without chocolate sauce but was very bland. For main course we tried the Paneer Butter Masala which was tasty but the overpowering ginger taste could have been avoided. With that we had the Garlic butter naan which was nice and crisp with the right amount of garlic but slightly bland and Roomali Roti which was just right. We called for a Fresh lime soda and asked them to split it one by two. They went a step ahead and gave us almost two full glasses instead and it tasted great. For dessert we had the ‘dessert of the day’ which happened to be the Swiss Chocolate pastry. Now taste-wise it wasn’t out of the world but the quantity was perfect for two people. Overall the food was very well presented and the quantity wasn’t disappointing at all.

Saffron Bay2 copyAmbience– Now here’s a venue that’s at a prime South Mumbai location- Chowpatty. Saffron Bay is bang opposite the Girgaon Chowpatty beach. Several restaurants and Banquet halls have come and gone to replace the very famous ‘Revival’ that was known a long time ago. The restaurant is beautifully designed, keeping it contemporary with an Indian touch. I love the ceiling lights and overall colours in the restaurant. I just wish they played better music. When we just came in, they had some early 2000s Hindi music playing. A while later they had English pop music from the end of 90s playing. Neither of the two goes with the theme of the place but I excuse them because there was no one at the restaurant apart from us and the poor souls put that music for themselves and probably didn’t think to change it. Anyway, it’s a great place for a nice quiet dinner as there are several booths that make your experience more personal.

Service– Since we were just two of us, we had all the attention. Our food arrived after about 15-20 minutes of placing the order which is normal. Good staff and good service overall.

Prices– When you look at the prices you would estimate a spending of atleast Rs. 750-800 but once you order the food you will realise that the prices aren’t just for the heck of a fine dining experience. The Malai Corn Tikki starter was for Rs. 250, Paneer Butter Masala was for Rs. 350, Garlic Butter Naan and Roomali Roti for Rs. 50 and Rs. 45 each, Fresh Lime Soda for Rs. 100, Dessert of the day for Rs. 180. With taxes our bill came to Rs. 1136. Not bad at all.

Verdict– A nice experience overall apart from a few things that need to be worked on.

Rating– 3/5

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