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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Jun 27 2013

Chez Moi, Oshiwara- Review

Roochster

Chez Moi, Oshiwara Roochster‘Chez Moi’ in French means ‘At my house’. When you walk into this charming restaurant at Oshiwara, you will feel like you are stepping into one of those vintage European homes, so beautifully designed and decorated. I’m so grateful to Chez Moi and El Sol for inviting me to try the place and do a review! Here’s what I thought.

Food– I was quite hungry and super excited to try the food ever since my friend Sneha had mentioned that the one in Bandra is very good. We were lucky to have met the chef of the Oshiwara restaurant- Roshanwho suggested some of the food we had. For starters in veg, we tried the Cheese & Leek cigars with Ponhzu sauce by the chef’s recommendation. A unique, tasty and ‘must have’ dish! My friend had a chicken wings starter which he happily wiped off clean! For drinks, I had a very well made Strawberry iced tea which was neither too sweet nor bitter. Just right. My friend seemed to enjoy his Dirty Martini which I thought was quite bitter. Being a pizza lover I just had to try a pizza to judge the place better and I must say that it did not disappoint. It was a 12” Margherita thin crust and was absolutely delicious! We were pretty full by now but still wanted to try something more so we called for a Pasta Creole (A mix of red and white sauce) with veggies in it. That was the least favourite dish from all that we tried. But the best part about our meal was still to come- the desserts. We decided to try the Baked cheesecake (with a few blueberries inside) and the Chocolate Torte which were both heavenly and scrumptious! I wished they would never get over! Oh and I also tried the cold coffee which came in a small glass. It was good but the iced tea was better. And yes, superb presentation of food!

Ambience– Chez Moi is a beautiful bistro and pub located near Oshiwara Police Station, in the same lane as Sreeji restaurant. The decor is tastefully done, following a European theme throughout. There’s an al fresco area as well as an indoor section much like a pretty looking house. When you enter, you will find a small bar, a fireplace, a sweet kitchen with bar stools and a tall table. Gorgeous interiors that make for a great place to come with someone special.

Chez Moi Oshiwara 2 RoochsterService– Most of our communication was with the chef and manager so I can probably judge the service better the next time I go there without being known as the “reviewer”.

Prices– The cheese and leek cigars starter was for Rs. 220, the Chicken wings starter was for Rs. 245, The Margherita Pizza was for Rs. 245, and the Pasta Creole was for Rs. 300. The Iced tea was for Rs. 90, the cold coffee for Rs. 95. The Dirty martini was for Rs. 350. The desserts were for Rs. 220 each. I think apart from the pasta and cold coffee, everything else was worth the price, keeping in mind this is a slightly high-end place. So with taxes and without alcohol one would end up spending about Rs. 750-800 per head. For such good food and a wonderful dining experience, the prices are worth it.

Verdict– I had a great dining experience at Chez Moi, Oshiwara and can’t wait to go try the Bandra one since its closer to home! I loved it and so will you!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Jun 19 2013

The Little Chocolate Shop, Goregaon (E)- Review

Roochster

The Little Chocolate Shop, GoregaonGet ready to try a smacking new dessert place in the ‘burbs! This one’s called ‘The Little Chocolate Shop’ and they’re based in Goregaon. Lucky for me, I got some goodies delivered at home in town! Here’s my review.

Desserts– When you have tons of patisseries and dessert shops opening up, the competition is tough. The Little Chocolate Shop offers everything you’ve tried before in their own little scrumptious way. The items on the menu include baby cakes, petit fours, tarts, brownies, biscuits, bite-sized desserts and chocolates all made to order.  Now here are the items I got to try.

Salted Butter Caramel Tart (Rs.42) – I tried it in a melted state but it was yummy! The tart was perfectly baked and the caramel blended very well with the chocolate. Delectable!

Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting (Rs. 42) – Gooey, chocolaty, mindblowingly delicious and an absolute must have! Easily the BEST brownie I’ve ever had!

Mini Banoffee Tart (Rs. 42) – The bananas made a very strong presence even though the tart did a good job of balancing the taste. For some reason I don’t enjoy bananas in desserts and so I thought it was ok.

Chocolate Baby cake (Rs. 50) – The cream was very good but the muffin bit was quite grainy. Didn’t enjoy it much.

Where? The Little Chocolate Shop for now is a kitchen and they deliver the goodies to your home for free if you stay in and around Goregaon/ Malad. If you’re located further away, you’d have to order goodies for a minimum of Rs. 1000. A minimum of 12 pieces of most items need to be ordered. You can call them on +91 75060 13831.

Verdict– You must, must, must try their brownies! Out of this world and highly recommended!

Rating– 3/5

 

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Jan 31 2013

Pizza Express, Colaba- Review

Roochster

Pizza Express, ColabaI’m crazy about pizza and you probably already know that. For me Pizzeria a.k.a Pizza by the Bay sets the bar for good pizza. Is the latest UK based Pizza Express better or worse? You’re just about to find out.

Food– Considering the place is called ‘Pizza Express’ it’s not a surprise that you’ll find pizzas on the menu along with pasta, salads, sides, etc. We were super hungry and so decided to call for 2 portions of Garlic Bread first. It was a small round loaf which we had to ask them to cut into 3 slices each. Really good bread but where was the garlic? Next there were Baked Mushrooms… about 5 small ones served with dough balls to fill the plate. I don’t like mushrooms so didn’t have it but from what I saw, it looked pretty decent with some cheese as a filling. Thinking that the prices are steep, we decided to call for 1 veg and 1 non-veg 14” pizza. The Veg Giardiniera had mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, artichokes, olives and cheese. I didn’t like it at all but the general review of it was just ok. The non-vegetarians had Pollo Ad Astra pizza which they thought was ok and adding a proper amount of toppings would help. Now we thought two 14” pizzas would suffice but we were wrong. We had to call for 2 more 14” pizzas- a Margherita which was boring and a Veg Calabrese (jalapenos, bell peppers, cheese) which was eaten mainly to fill our stomachs. But no, we did have to call for pasta to make sure. It was a simple red and white sauce penne pasta but they had the talent to make it an Indianised version or as our friend Sandeep very rightly called it ‘Penne Makhani’. In short, the pizzas have barely any toppings, the pizza sauce is not that great, the crust is super thin and not filling at all. The pasta is avoidable. Oh and I had to call for ketchup to make the pizza taste better but instead I got the same sauce they put on the pizza and pasta so the pizza didn’t taste any better.

Ambience– Pizza Express is located in Colaba, close to Gateway of India and opposite Indigo Deli. The decor is chic, fun and casual at the same time. I love the little booths and all the sayings all around the restaurant. The place is quite huge and has an upstairs section as well. The black and white flooring adds more character to the interiors. They have some pretty cool ceiling lamps too!

Service– Let’s just say we went on the wrong day. There was an event happening upstairs because of which the place was super noisy and crowded. Also, the staff seemed to be pretty disoriented and confused. They came to our table so many times with food that belonged to another table that we did get a bit impatient to get our food. Also, they are probably too confident that their pizzas are very good and so they just don’t have tomato ketchup. They shouldn’t forget that in India, most people like their pizza with ketchup.

Prices– I’m just going to list the prices first. Garlic bread- Rs. 150, Pollo Ad Astra (Chicken) 14” pizza- Rs. 595, Baked Mushrooms- Rs.280, Veg Calabrese 14”- Rs.725, Margherita 14”- Rs. 450 and Penne pasta- Rs. 495. Total- Rs. 3425 + taxes = Rs. 4125. I’m ok with paying Rs.700 per head as long as the quality and quantity of the food is good. Unfortunately, Pizza Express lacked both.

Verdict– Pizza Express doesn’t even come close to Pizza by the Bay in terms of taste, quality and awesomeness. I’m not sure if I want to go there again.

Rating– 2.5/5

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Jan 8 2013

Cafe Sundance, Churchgate- Review

Roochster

Cafe SundanceSundance cafe is back after about 2 years, only more classy and sophisticated. However, it was my first time there and here’s what I thought.

Food– The Sundance menu is very cool! Designed like a newspaper with tempting visuals, it serves burgers, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salads, sides and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. My friend and I decided to share their Factory Nachos- Tortilla chips with cheese, guacamole, tomatoes. Now, it was good but the taste of the tortilla chips was so strong that we could barely taste the cheese sauce. Also, the quantity was barely enough for one person. For main course, my friend had the Terderloin Beef burger served with fries and salad. She really liked it but wished the bread was slightly crispier. I had the Penne in Alfredo sauce pasta sans mushrooms. It was good, a little bland but not meant for more than one person. Adding some bell peppers or corn would have helped. The Garlic bread was nice. My friend tried the Grapefruit Minty cooler which tasted more like Lemonade with a slight bitterness of Grapefruit. We were super full by now but decided to have a dessert anyway. We had their Baked Philadelphia cheesecake with Raspberry and really liked it but it would’ve tasted better warm. Also the sauce on the side tasted like Raspberry Tea sauce.

Cafe Sundance 2Ambience– I hadn’t eaten at the earlier one but I remember the decor used to be very different. Today, Cafe Sundance is classy, posh and expensive, located at Churchgate near Eros cinema. As you enter you’ll see an open kitchen to your left and a mezzanine floor above that. While you’re climbing the stairs, you’ll see some very cool items on display. The seating is comfortable and chic. The lighting is perfect. Also, they give the bill in an Archie’s comics book which is very unique!

Service– Our food came faster than expected and the staff is pretty efficient so no complaints there.

Prices– I understand that everything is getting very expensive but the prices at Cafe Sundance are a bit much for a casual dinner. The Terderloin burger was for Rs. 385, the Alfredo pasta was for Rs. 375, the Nachos were for Rs. 345, Grapefruit Minty cooler was Rs. 150, Cheesecake Rs. 240. And sadly I realized later that they charged us for a Garlic cheese bread when we had a normal Garlic bread portion. We were charged Rs.120 for it. With the taxes and service charge our bill amount came up to Rs. 1864!

Verdict– Good food, lovely ambience and prompt service but the prices are too high to go to for a casual meal.

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 27 2012

The Pantry, Kala Ghoda- Review

Roochster

Sometimes you walk into a place and can’t help but fall in love with the ambience. There are many such. The Pantry is one of them. Here’s my review.

Food– The Pantry is mainly a breakfast cafe or one for the ‘High Tea’ kind of people. You get sandwiches, quiches, savouries, salads, mains, hot & cold drinks, breakfast specials and desserts. Now here’s an unusual concept. I was quite thirsty and so asked for regular water but we were rather surprised to see a jar with water and a slice of cucumber inside which they said was to add slight flavour to the water. I didn’t like the flavour of cucumber in my water, thank you. Make sure you ask them for water without cucumber in it if you like your water as it is.

The food options certainly are not like the typical cafe you’d have been to. I called for their ‘Flourless 70% cocoa chocolate cake’ as I had just had lunch. I thought it was delicious but would’ve tasted better had it been warmed slightly. My friend tried the Banana bread because she likes bananas. She thought it was nice. I thought it was alright ‘cause the concept of banana and bread doesn’t quite click for me.  She also tried the Ginger Lemon Iced Tea and really liked it. We decided to call for their ‘Fresh Meltdown sandwich’ (among the only 2 options in Veg sandwiches) which had Gorgonzola cheese and apple in multigrain bread. I swear it was just 2 slices of bread with cheese and apple slices and 2 dips/sauces on the side (mustard and tomato salsa). Interesting and also tasted good but not entirely satisfying in terms of quantity. The thing is that they’ve got their dishes right in terms of taste, presentation, quality and selection which makes them different from other cafes but the quantity is so little you’ll have to call for atleast 3-4 things to be full and that in turn might burn a hole in your pocket.

Ambience– Beautiful, vintage, charming, white, lovely. I loved it the moment I saw it from the outside and you will too. It sure is simple looking but is still very classy and chic with a high ceiling, fresh flowers, half blinds like the old times, bathroom tiles on one of their walls and a happy, positive aura overall. It is located in a very “officey” area at Kala Ghoda close to Rhythm House and Fab India. A lot of aunties and old uncles will love the place and will also relate to the music they play here.

Service– They’re warm, pretty aware of whatever little’s available on the menu and don’t take too long to get what we’ve called for. Even the watchman outside politely said, “Good evening” when we were leaving.

Prices– Ok so here’s the deal. If you’re willing to pay the price for a lovely ambience it’s all cool. If not, you’d be staring at the quantity you get for the price you pay no matter how nice the food tastes. The sandwich cost us Rs. 225. The Ginger Lemon Iced was for Rs. 95, the flourless cake was for Rs. 145 and the banana bread was for Rs. 55. So we ended up paying Rs. 281 (with 8% service charge) per head for barely a snack.

Verdict– The Pantry is a classy cafe that can boast of good food but that comes at a price which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s certainly not your regular cafe to go to but once in a while if you’re feeling rich and ok with spending a little more, go and live it up at The Pantry.

Rating– 3/5

 

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Oct 4 2012

The Chocolate Heaven, Vile Parle (W) – Review

Roochster

So, this was one of those random, unplanned visits. Actually that’s not new, considering it’s me. So yeah, after snacking at Ice n Rolls at Vile Parle, my friend and I decided to go have some dessert at The Chocolate Heaven. Was it as heavenly as it sounds? You’re just about to find out!

Food– Ok so they have some really cool desserts here. Pastries, chocolates, sundaes, waffles, pancakes, shakes, coffees, teas, cold drinks, chocolate fondues are just among the desserts and drinks. They also have pizzas, sandwiches, pasta and garlic bread. Phew! Now, since we’d already eaten food, we decided to share a Nutella Waffle (2 pieces) which came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The waffle was nice and thick but the sauce on top was not the original Nutella sauce. I could make out from the taste. It was definitely fake Nutella sauce and didn’t taste that good and more so because it was too thin. It could have been a big hit otherwise! For sure! They also had these Chocolate shots which fascinated me and so I decided to try one with Hazelnut syrup. It came in a small shot glass and trust me it was incredibly sinful. I actually had it as a shot and loved it! I recommend that for sure! Also, my aunt said that their pizzas are superb so I’ll probably try them the next time I’m there.

Ambience– Located at Vile Parle west, opposite Bhaidas hall and next to NMIMS, The Chocolate Heaven is a sweet cafe with an outdoor and an indoor section. It’s the perfect hang out for all the college students who want to get out for a quick bite. They’ve got some really awesome quotes on the walls which every chocoholic will agree with.

Service– They’re nice and pretty quick and efficient with their service.

Prices– The Nutella waffle with ice cream was for Rs. 149 and the Chocolate shot was for Rs. 45. The chocolate shot is totally worth it, the Nutella waffle can do with some improvement (Original Nutella sauce). With taxes, the bill came up to Rs. 216 which is decent for what we had.

Verdict– The Chocolate Heaven is here to stay with reasonable rates and good food on their menu. Chocolate shots are a must have! Go try!

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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Sep 22 2012

Love Sugar & Dough (LSD), Khar (w) – Review

Roochster

I’m not a big fan of cupcakes but the “trend” has somehow made me want to try them from different places and see which ones are really good. Not everyone can get cupcakes right. Is LSD one of the better cupcake places? You’re just about to find out.

Desserts– Love sugar & dough is what they claim their desserts have and to see that, I decided to try 6 different mini cupcakes (eggless). All the cupcakes I had were really soft and fresh!

Oreo cupcake- Tasty but could have had a more distinct Oreo taste which it didn’t.

Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese- Yummy in my tummy! Must have!

Rich Chocolate cupcake (blue) – Ok. It didn’t live up to its name.

Choco -vanilla cupcake- Good.

Strawberry cupcake- So-so. I would’ve preferred a better muffin base.

Red velvet butter cream cupcake- Yum!

There were so many other pastries staring at me in the face and I was super tempted to try them but decided to wait till the next time I go there; and I will for sure.

Where? LSD is located in Khar west. You take the main (Food lover’s, you know which one I’m talking about!) Carter road lane, cross Olive, go down the slope and you’ll see LSD right there on the left. It’s a small outlet right next to Butterfly cupcakes. They have a super small seating arrangement upstairs for 3-4 people as a mezzanine floor in case you want to sit and enjoy your dessert.

Prices– The prices are normal. Just like any other dessert shop. I got 6 mini cupcakes for Rs. 100 which is not bad at all. If you go for the normal sized cupcakes, they’re for Rs. 60 minimum and more if you want fancy ones. They also have pastries, cheesecakes and coolers at their outlet at decent prices.

Verdict– Lots of ‘mmmmmms’ happened while having the cupcakes which means it definitely is a good place for desserts. You can say there’s a lot of love mixed with the sugar and dough. Go try!

Rating– 4/5

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Sep 4 2012

Faaso’s, Colaba- Review

Roochster

I had been wanting to try Faaso’s for a long time. It’s just opened near my place and my brother tried it before me and said it was good so I just had to try it! Here’s my review.

Food– Faaso’s is all about wraps. They have a good variety of wraps- veg and non-veg. I tried the Cheese Melt Paneer wrap which was quite nice but I wish there was a little more cheese. I also tried the Mixed Veg wrap which was very ok. Slightly on the spicy side if that’s your thing. I wouldn’t recommend that. My brother had tried the Paneer Tikka wrap which he thought was good but liked the Cheese melt paneer better. He had also tried their ‘Meetha Fantasy’ sweet dish which he absolutely loved and didn’t stop talking about it. I’ll probably try it soon some time. Their roti/paratha is soft and much better when compared to a lot of other wraps and rolls places and the size of the roll is not. Also, their packaging is very good!

Service– They travel on cycles so their deliveries are super fast. I’d like to mention though that they messed up with my order. I had called for a potato cheese wrap and a Reshmi Paneer wrap. What I got were 2 totally different wraps. Luckily they weren’t non-veg. Thinking it was the correct order, we paid up, took bites and realised there was some gadbad. I checked the bill and saw their mistake. I called them and told them about it and they were sweet enough to accept their mistake so they sent me another Cheese melt paneer wrap for free and within 15 minutes.  Now that’s what I call superb service! They’re located at Colaba, near 3rd pasta lane, on the main road.

Prices– Their basic veg wraps are priced at Rs. 35 only. The Cheese melt paneer wrap was for Rs. 90, the paneer tikka wrap is for Rs. 70. The non-veg wraps start at Rs. 80 and go up to Rs. 110 depending on the one you order. They have a great deal for those who want a complete meal. For Rs. 110 onwards you get 1 wrap+ 1 chutney+ wafers + 1 drink (500ml). Not bad at all! If you want to add a dessert to the meal, pay Rs. 45 more for a Meetha Fantasy or brownie.

Verdict– Reasonably priced yummy wraps and super fast service! Go try!

Rating– 4/5

 

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