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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Dec 18 2012

Piccoli Tortini, Bandra (w) – Review

Roochster

Piccoli TortiniThanks to Burrp I got to go try the very classy cafe- Piccoli Tortini in Bandra. Here’s my review.

Food– Piccoli Tortini means small tart in Italian and the place sure does live up to its name. As we were expected to come drop in from our Christmas trail, the menu was pre-decided for us. We tried their Veg paninis- tomato, mozzarella and basil which were yum. Next, we tried the chocolate cupcake which was decent and the ‘piccoli tortini’ which was made of ricotta cheese and was just the right amount of sweet! Now that was definitely the highlight and I think you’ll love it too! The Pumpkin spiced cupcake was not bad either. I didn’t like the cinnamon taste in it though. The cold coffee was very ordinary and could have been better. And of course, since this is an Italian cafe, you’ll find pizza, pasta, starters here besides the regular coffees and teas.

Ambience– Located at Bandra west on Hill road, Piccoli Tortini just like its name, is a tiny place hidden behind a bus stop, very close to Mocha Mojo. Very classy, very pretty and very feminine, the cafe is an ideal place for girlfriends to catch up and relax. The interiors, furniture, the cutlery, menu and even tissues are lovely!

Service– The staff seem courteous and seem to be settling in as of now. We however had the opportunity to be served by the owner herself so we obviously got more attention and gave her our feedback on the spot.

Prices– Ok so this cafe is definitely on the expensive side. The cupcakes which are medium sized cost Rs. 90 each, a Veg panini costs Rs. 195, the little tortini costs Rs. 70, a cappuccino costs Rs.185 and all this plus taxes amounts to quite a bit. So to have an evening out with the girls might just turn out to be a high ended affair. The quality is definitely good but the sizes don’t justify the costs and that is where the problem lies.

Verdict– Piccoli Tortini is a beautiful cafe in Bandra that oozes warmth and love but all at a price. You must have the little ricotta cheese tortini!

Rating– 3/5

 

 

 

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Oct 10 2012

Cafe Marina, Colaba- Review

Roochster

I love open air places and ever since I read about Cafe Marina, I did want to try it but thought I’d wait it out because the prices were a bit much. So it was one of those random visits again and here’s what I thought.

Food– They mainly serve alcohol here so people would in all probability come here to drink; but they do have food too. We hadn’t gone there to drink though, and after seeing the menu we just decided to call for 2 veg starters among the 4 of us. One was garlic bread with cheese which was good but not something that you can’t make at home. They hadn’t even cut the pieces properly! It was more like 2 pieces of a loaf left upto you to slice! Next we tried the veg assorted platter with which we got a free beer (Fosters- big bottle). The Tandoori Veg Platter had 2 kinds of paneer, mushroom, cauliflower, babycorn, aloo, some other tikki). The variety and taste both were very good.

Ambience– The ambience is the USP of the place. Located in Colaba, walking distance from Gateway of India, Taj hotel, and super close to Radio Club, Cafe Marina is a terrace cafe atop Hotel Sea Palace. With tall tables and chairs facing the breathtaking sea, who will not fall in love with the place?! I did, for sure! Being an open air place with dim lighting and lots of peace, it would be the best place to go to on a romantic date, especially in the winter season.

Service– Now this sucks. We got there at 6 45 and placed our order by 7 max. Our food did not arrive till 8 30! And what had we ordered? Just Garlic bread and a Veg platter. To top that, the beer which was free also did not arrive till we had to ask them to get it at around 8 15! Ridiculous! It’s not the waiter’s fault; he tried his best to convince us that the food would only take half n hour to come. But there was some mismanagement and the cook probably wasn’t prepared to cook (strange to even say this)!

Prices– I understand that the ambience is amazing and all of that but the pricing could be better! The veg platter is for Rs. 475 (we were lucky to get a free beer with it). I don’t remember how much the Garlic bread with cheese was for, adding to that service tax, it came up to Rs. 184 per person. The platter was a good idea, more so because of the free beer. Also, they have some offers and happy hours for those wanting to drink.

Verdict– Ambience- Outstanding! Food- Decent, Prices- Too much for food but ok for alcohol, Service- BAD! You make your choice.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Aug 11 2012

Cocolicious, Mahim (W)- Review

Roochster

This was a totally random visit. I had crossed it on my way to Bandra a couple of times and was pretty curious to try their cupcakes. So one day, when I was at Mahim market, I decided to stop by and try it out. Here’s my review.

Desserts– Their small outlet at Mahim sells mainly cupcakes, chocolate mousse and pastries. They also make cakes on order. I tried ‘Dark Desire’ which was basically a chocolate cupcake and the lady at the counter’s recommendation. I tried ‘Dark Desire’ which was basically a chocolate cupcake and the lady at the counter’s recommendation. I thought it was very ok. The cream was not tasty and the muffin/cake part was blah. I also tried the Oreo cupcake which look very tempting but when I tried it, I found out that the top part was just the cream that comes in an Oreo cookie and there was too much of it which made it extra sweet and the cupcake as a whole tasted quite bad! Also, the Oreo on top used to make the cupcake look good was naram. After trying these 2 cupcakes, I decided not to try any more. They look really good when you see them, but taste-wise they come into the category of average-tasting cupcakes and hence do not make it to my ‘Must have cupcake’ list.

Where? The small outlet is located at Mahim Causeway, next door to Baskin Robbins. There’s no place to sit. You’ll have to eat your cupcake on the pavement or parcel it and take it home.

Prices– The cupcakes are priced at Rs. 50 each which is so not worth it! I wouldn’t pay more than 30 bucks for them.

Verdict– Cocolicious doesn not live up to its name. The cupcakes might look good but looks can be deceptive. Avoid.

Rating– 2/5

 

 

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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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Jun 30 2012

Dolce Vita Café Bar, Phoenix Mills- Review

Roochster

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

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

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

Service– Good service. No complaints there.

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

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

Rating– 3.5/5

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May 17 2012

6th Street Yogurt, Kemps Corner- Review

Roochster

Yogurt has never been a part of my choice in desserts. I prefer ice creams or milkshakes to gelato or yogurt. 6th Street Yogurt was not on my ‘To try’ list but since I was in the area, I thought of trying it anyway.

Flavours & Toppings– We went on a day when they had just three flavours of yogurt- Original, Cranberry-Watermelon and Orange Cheesecake. I tasted all 3 and chose to have Cranberry- Watermelon and my friend Fash had the Original. Waise toh they have more flavours but that day some machine had gotten spoilt because of which we could only make a choice from 3 flavours. Both flavours tasted great and were thick and creamy. They have a good variety of toppings- chocolate-based to real fruits to marshmallows, etc. I chose the Ferrero Rocher sauce which was yummy yum yum with my Cranberry-Watermelon yogurt and Fash chose MnMs with her Original yogurt which was quite nice too. They don’t do kanjoosi with toppings which is a very good thing. They also have smoothies, waffles and parfaits which I would like to try some time for sure.

Ambience & Service– Located at Kemps Corner, near Gangar Opticians, 6th Street Yogurt is a small place where you can just buy your yogurt and get out. The staff is courteous and let you try the yogurt and even toppings before you make your choice.

Prices– They have various sizes of cups to choose from depending on how much you want to have. Rs. 40 for a small cup, Rs. 70 for a medium one, Rs.140 for a large one and Rs.180 for an extra large one. We both had the one for Rs. 40 and that much was perfect for a dessert after our meal. Toppings are Rs. 20 for Regular and Rs. 25 for Premium ones.  So, we paid Rs. 65 each for our respective yogurts with a topping each. Now, considering other yogurt places, this one’s not only good taste-wise but the most reasonable too.

Verdict– Value for money and Yummy in my Tummy! I recommend!

Rating– 4/5

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Mar 7 2012

Che Bar & Grill, Churchgate- Review

Roochster

I had passed Che Bar & Grill a couple of days back and made a note to myself that I’d definitely come and try it. Luckily, a plan was made and I got to check it out sooner than I thought! Here’s my review:

Food– The resto-bar serves Mexican, Italian, Cuban, American, French and Brazilian cuisine and a variety of spirits including Absinthe. We were 6 of us and decided to go all out and try as much as we could from the menu. For starters, we called for their legendary Nachos which were so good that we just couldn’t get enough of them! We also had a Veg combo platter which included vegetable skewers which were ok, onion rings and French fries which were nice and crisp and Cuban ‘bombas’ which were delicious! The non-veggies liked their Chicken Skewer Appetizer. After that we called for a Primavera pizza 10” (tomato sauce, grilled onions, bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and asked them not to put aubergine) which was decent.  The Penne Pesto was yum and decided to repeat it. I personally didn’t like the veg Mexico burger (veg patty, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos & cream, chopped onions) and would prefer the burger at Mc Donald’s any day! The steak that the non veggies called for- Chicken steak lemon herbs and chicken mix grill were both good but the chicken could have been more tender. Also, the sauce that came along with it should have been more. I really wanted to try a dessert but everyone was too full to so we decided to skip that. Overall, the food was pretty good but it has scope for improvement. I loved the presentation which made the food look scrumptiously awesome! The quantity was just right.

Ambience– Che Bar & Grill is located at Churchgate near the famous ‘Eros’ theatre. It’s opened in place of the French restaurant- Chez Vous which was a high-end place that not many could afford to dine at. The décor at Che is simple, chic, comfortable and fun. Lots of red and cool pictures all around. The music they play is also fun. From the looks of it, college students from Jai Hind, KC, HR and Sydenham will frequent the place pretty often!

Service– Now this is what got us slightly disappointed. We were not served water till we were almost done with our first starter and that too we had to ask for. We were 6 of us and got only 4 glasses so again we had to ask for 2 more glasses. The AC was not switched on until we asked them to switch it on. Also, some of our dishes took ages to arrive which sort of killed my appetite.

Prices– The pricing is good and reasonable. The Nachos were for Rs. 199, the Veg Platter for Rs. 449, the Pasta for Rs. 229, the Veg Pizza for Rs. 229, the Chicken Mix Grill for Rs. 499 and so on. So including all the taxes and everything, we ended up paying Rs. 550 per head which is not bad considering how much we all ate! For those who find it a bit much for a casual meal can opt for their Lunch Buffet which is for Rs. 349 + taxes.

Verdict– Che Bar & Grill is a great place which had good food, a chilled out ambience, decent prices and service that can be worked on. Their Nachos are a ‘must have’!

Rating– 3/5

 

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Feb 4 2012

Café by the Beach, Chowpatty- Review

Roochster

I’d been super tempted to try Café by The Beach at Chowpatty ever since it opened but since it was an expensive place; I just kept pushing it for later till I could take no more.  But today I gave in to the temptation and just went!

Food– Since it’s a café, you’ll find light snacks such as sandwiches, quiches, salads, wraps, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages. We were 3 of us and had decided to call for just 1 or 2 things as we had to go back home and eat dinner. To keep it light both for our stomachs and wallets, we called for Ravioli with sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts & ricotta and a cold coffee. The Ravioli was delicious and the cold coffee was perfect! I just felt that the quantity could have been more. If I ate the Ravioli on my own for a meal, I probably wouldn’t have been fully satisfied but the taste and quality of food compensate for the quantity.

Ambience– Located at Chowpatty, Café by the Beach is without a doubt the best place to have a restaurant/café. It’s beautiful, super duper romantic and just amazing! The décor is simple and yet classy with the right colours and lighting. The sea, the sand, the dim lights, amazing weather and the food just make it right and the perfect setting for those wanting to ‘pop the question’.  I absolutely love the place!

Service– We waited for approximately half n hour to have someone come and leave a menu at the table. Maybe they’re too chilled out and that’s obviously not a good sign. Otherwise, after taking the order, the food came in 15-20 minutes.

Prices– Café by the Beach is not just another café. You pay the price for the beautiful ambience and that’s fair but I do wish it wasn’t so expensive… I would go there very often then! The cold coffee was for Rs. 120 and the Ravioli was for Rs. 375 so our bill total was Rs. 545 (taxes included).

Verdict– Love at first sight! Café by the Beach is awesome! Its easily one of my most favourite places in town and I totally recommend you go there!

Rating– 4.5/5

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Feb 1 2012

Oye Kake, Fort- Review

Roochster

I had heard so much about this place and how it serves pure Amritsari water and blah blah blah that I just had to go check it out! Here’s what I thought of it.

Food– You’ll find North Indian food here- kulchas, dals, parathas, sabjis, chawal basically typical Punjabi cuisine. We were four of us and decided to call for 2 lassis (initial taste-bitter, found a small strip of plastic in mine so probably readymade lassi), 2 makke di rotis (ok), 1 sarson da saag (slightly bland), 1 Amritsari roasted papad (not nice) and 1 Cheese garlic kulcha (no traces or taste of cheese) to start with. We got complementary chhole (decent) with the kulcha. So yeah, after being totally disappointed with the food, we decided not to call for anything more and fill our stomachs properly at a restaurant we could trust. About the Amritsari water taste, does it really matter?

Ambience– Oye Kake is located in an area your dad might be familiar with. It’s in Fort, the left lane from Chroma, right next to Yazdani Bakery. The décor is simple, contemporary with a dash of ‘desi’ness.  The music instruments, frames and fun stuff on the wall brings out the theme but I wish there were more colours.

Service– The service was sad. When I gave them the strip of plastic they just took and it didn’t even apologize let alone do something about the lassi. Also, I don’t think they really cared if we really enjoyed the meal ‘cause they didn’t bother to come and take feedback or in any way look like they were interested in working on their negatives.

Prices– The prices are very reasonable but the food and service make me regretfully say that it’s not worth it. The kulcha was for Rs. 89, the sarson da saag for Rs. 89, Lassi for Rs. 40, Makke di roti Rs. 25. The bill came up to Rs. 368 and we were barely full or satisfied.

Verdict– They’ve got to change their attitude most importantly followed by the food quality. They do have potential to do better.

Rating– 2/5

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