Apr 5 2016

The American Joint, BKC- Review

Roochster

The American Joint 1I was invited to try ‘The American Joint’, an Indo-western restaurant that makes organic food. The moment I read ‘Organic’ I knew I had to visit it. They had a special menu for us bloggers and influencers as a part of their pre-opening trials and to get some honest feedback. Well, here is mine.

The American Joint, BKCFood and drinks-There were limited items on the Foodie menu but trust me we tried almost everthing so I’m briefly going to write what I liked or didn’t like about the stuff we had.

  • Lemonade Stand- So this is supposed to be your regular Nimbu pani using organic lemons but ends up being a real thirst quencher which refreshes instantly. It tasted like Mosambi juice with a lemon twist and it wasn’t even that sweet! I highly recommend this!
  • Southern sweet tea- This is basically your regular tea that’s cold sans milk. I didn’t like it much but if you’re a tea addict, this would be a great cooler in the summer.American Joint
  • Tex Mex Taters- These are basically jacket potatoes topped with beans, cheese, tomatoes, onions, olives and jalapenos. Taste-wise it was ok and would be way better if had with a nice sweet-spicy sauce.
  • Hummus To-You- This is hands down the best dish we had at The American Joint. It was perfect in every way. Right from the flavour of the hummus to the soft Pita bread, this is a definite must have at the restaurant and the best Hummus+pita I have ever had. I swear the first word that came from my mouth was ‘YUM’! Karan, my husband agrees.American Joint
  •  Southwestern COBB- This is one salad I would love to have everyday. Neatly portioned, you will find lettuce, beans, bell peppers, American corn and cheese. It is served with a creamy cilantro-lime dressing. It’s a great mix of sweetness, garlic, crunchiness and freshness.American Joint c
  • In Queso Emergency- Nacho chips with a delicious cheesy dip consisting of cheddar cheese, tomatoes, chillies and cilantro. I like that they served the dip separately instead of on top so you can have it un-soggy.
  • Mac & Tikka- A concept I’ve never tried before. The usual Mac n Cheese with a Tikka sauce on top. It was decent but I didn’t like that the macaroni was cold under the tikka sauce. Also, I’m not sure if people would like to mix their favourite Mac N cheese with an Indian topping. I for one may not want to have it again only because I like my Mac N cheese as is.American Joint b
  • San Fransisco Garlic fries- Super delicious fries that are too hard to resist. A must have.
  • Bombay Streets fries- These fries had Green chutney and Red chutney on top along with cheese. Both Karan and I didn’t like these fries at all. Somehow the green chutney was slightly bitter and didn’t go with the fries at all. A big no.
  • Say Cheeeese fries- This was a great combination and I’d love to have it again. Super cheesy, super yum.
  • Chilli Cheese Burger- The patty inside was nice and crisp, the bread was soft. The right amount of chilli and cheese.American Joint
  • Coffee & Donuts- The donuts I didn’t enjoy much. They were hard from inside and didn’t taste that great. The Choco-coffee dip on the other hand was delicious. I think instead of the donuts, if there was a mildly sweet sponge cake to dip inside the lip-smacking Nutella Espresso sauce, it would taste better.
  • Al Cappuccino- This was a nice, regular cappuccino with a lot of foam.

Ambience– The Capital building at BKC is pretty easy to find. Once you do, take the escalator up to the first floor and walk in to The American Joint, a small café-like restaurant with an open kitchen. You will find lots of green, brown and white, giving it a clean, earthy feel. The aromas of some of the dishes will pull you in and make your mouth water.

IMG_20160329_213520279 hService– We had gone there much before the restaurant even started so the staff was completely unaware about the items on the menu and didn’t quite place our orders properly. However, the owners of the restaurant were there and helped us quite a bit.

Prices– A thought that would come to anyone at first would be that organic food will be expensive. The people at The American Joint disagree. They source their organic supplies from a farm in Nashik and make sure the customer gets as promised. Their salads are about Rs.225-250, starters for Rs. 180-210, Mains for Rs.275-290, Fries for Rs. 110-120, Beverages for Rs.80-100 and desserts for Rs.75-110. They also have breakfast options priced reasonably. The portion size for all is good.

Verdict– This is one place I would like to go back to and have a hearty meal without feeling a pinch in my pocket. I’d consider it as a ‘Value for money’ place to dine. Go try!

Rating– 4/5

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Dec 1 2015

Vanilla Infused Kitchen, Bandra (W)- Review

Roochster

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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Sep 9 2015

Serafina, Fort- Review

Roochster

Serafina 1Being a Verified Reviewer on Zomato has its perks and I must say that I’m blessed ‘cause I’ve been trying so many new restaurants and cafes all around the city! When Kaiarsh from Zomato, mailed me about the Serafina #Zomatomeetup, I was super excited! I had read mostly good things about the restaurant and I was finally going to try it myself. *woot woot*

Food– Where do I begin! So there was this special menu just for us at the #Zomatomeetup from which we could order whatever we wanted. Now imagine a bunch of hungry foodies sitting at a table…yeah kinda like vultures waiting to sweep its prey off the ground. Haha! Here’s all the stuff I had.

Fresh Lime Soda (sweet) – Perfect in taste, just needed ice.

Potato & Leek Soup- Have it only if you really must have a soup. I’m not a fan of potato in liquid form.

Potato Involtini (Roasted baby potatoes topped with creamy fondue sauce and caramelized garlic- THE BEST potato starter EVER! You cannot, just cannot skip this beauty of a dish when at Serafina! This dish must win the best starter award if there could be something like that. I swear, it’s that good.

Margherita Pizza- Pretty good. I liked that the crust wasn’t as thin as a naan and in fact was slightly crispy.

Serafina2copyTartufo Nero (Robiola cheese, fontina, truffle cheese, truffle oil, sliced black truffle) – Stinks like rotten milk mixed sweaty shoes and methane gas but tastes so good that it will compel you to forget about the stench. It doesn’t sound appetizing at all but once you eat it, you will love it. You’ve just got to trust me about this.

Melanzane Speziata (San Marzano tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese, spicy eggplant, jalapeños, lettuce, goat cheese and balsamic reduction) – I’m not a fan of eggplant, especially on pizza but this one was quite something. A combination of everything right. Tad spicy but delicious nonetheless.

Penne Alla Vodka (Italian peeled tomato sauce, cream and a little vodka) – This reddish creamy pasta was good. I liked that the pasta was nice and saucy.

Farfalle Al Pesto (Bowtie pasta with homemade pesto) – I would have liked some more pesto in this pasta.

Serafina3Ravioli Al Tartufo Nero (Home style Black Truffle Ravioli and a touch of butter) – Smelly again but taste-wise ace.

Risotto Pepperonata (Creamy saffron Risotto topped with assorted bell peppers sautéed in pomodoro sauce) – Great combination and a happy taste that lingers till you have your next dish. I would say let nothing but dessert be eaten after this dish.

Jalapeno Mac n Cheese- Mac n cheese is my usual preference of pasta because I love white sauce pasta. I have to say though that this one at Serafina was just okay. The jalapenos didn’t do much and it was a little bland for my liking.

TiramisucopyTiramisu- OH MY GOD! Its been more than a week and I still can’t forget my first bite of Serafina’s Tiramisu. Whoever came up with that recipe, is pure genius! I would skip all my meals to have just that. Sogoodsogoodsogood! If you’re thinking of what to give me as a birthday or anniversary present, I would love Serafina’s Tiramisu, thank you.

Chocolate Ganache Mousse Cake- #Yummyinmytummy! This one’s got the right amount of chocolate to make you satisfy all your chocolate cravings, especially during that time of the month, ladies. Gentlemen, you will know what it feels like to have your craving satisfied during that time of the month if you were a lady.

Panna Cotta- This was my least favourite dessert. I didn’t like the texture of the Panna Cotta or the taste.

Ambience– With a mezzanine floor, Serafina at Fort is a very well planned and executed restaurant with adequate amount of space to sit, well done interiors and comfortable furniture. The music will take you back to the 80s and 90s, songs that are hum worthy. There’s a bar if you want to just grab a drink and a wood fire oven open for you to see how well they make pizzas from scratch.

Service– I can’t really comment about the service until the next visit as this was a #Zomatomeetup and we had waiters at our service throughout.

Serafina4copyPrices– I wouldn’t say Serafina is reasonably priced. Yes, it is on the expensive side but the quantity and quality of the food is perfect. The potato and leek soup is priced at Rs. 250. The Potato Involtini is priced at Rs. 375, the pastas are mostly priced at Rs. 600 and up and so are the mains. Now the pizzas are priced from Rs. 475 to Rs. 1250 for a 9” pizza. Yup! The Tartufo Nero is priced at Rs.1250 because of its expensive ingredients. The desserts are priced at Rs. 375 for the Chocolate Ganache Cake and Panna Cotta while the Tiramisu which is full value for money is priced at Rs. 595. A Fresh Lime Soda is priced at Rs. 150. In all, if you share a starter, main course and dessert along with individual mocktails, you would spend roughly 1000-1200 per head which is not bad for the brilliant food and Tiramisu you get here!

Verdict– My review can be summed up in 3 MUST HAVE dishes at Serafina- Potato Involtini, Tartufo Nero (Ignore the smell) pizza and TIRAMISU.

Rating– 4/5

Group photocopy

 

 

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Jul 29 2013

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

Roochster

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 4 2012

Sugadaddy, Hughes Road- Review

Roochster

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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Apr 4 2011

Fat Cat Café, Andheri (W) – Review

Roochster

When you hear the name at first it sounds thoda weird na? But this café is anything but weird!

Food– You’ll find continental cuisine here along with alcohol, coffees, etc.  Somehow, even though it’s called Fat Cat “Café” it’s not a café. It’s a proper restaurant and a pretty expensive one at that.  At the beginning of our meal we were served a plate of garlic bread complementary which was pretty good. Then we tried the Pasta Alfredo and absolutely loved it! Everything about it was just perfect! I doubt I’ve had a better Pasta Alfredo anywhere else before this! Then we thought chalo kuchh alag mangaate hain ‘cause we couldn’t really make up our minds about what to call for so we called for the Arancini Napoli (Crisp fried Risotto balls served with tomato dip). It might sound funny but they tasted like Sabudana Wadas even though not really bad in taste but still you know what I mean! Haan so that’s all we had among the 4 of us and were semi-full which means the quantity here is superb!

Ambience– Located near Andheri Sports Complex at Veera Desai Road, Fat Cat Café is a lovely, simple and yet artistic place. You’ll find dark wood furniture with lots of circles as a part of their contemporary décor. They have an indoor as well as outdoor section. I love the place!

Service– Very courteous staff and prompt service.

Prices– I think the prices are a bit much even though the quantity and quality of the food is good. The  vegetarian pasta was for Rs. 325 and the Arancini Napoli was for Rs.225. The sandwiches and burgers are priced at about Rs. 250, the mains start from Rs. 365 and the desserts are for Rs. 185. So price-wise, I’d really like to see either some offers or they should consider dropping the prices and make it a little more affordable so people will go there often.

Verdict– Fat Cat Café is a great place with good food, ambience and service but they definitely should work on their prices to make this a more frequented place. Two thumbs up otherwise!

Rating– 3.5/5

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