Nov 16 2015

Loco Chino, Fort- Review

Roochster

Loco Chino 1Being a frequenter at the Carter Road Food lane, Bandra, I had seen Loco Chino several times but never really thought of trying the food there for some reason. Thankfully, I was invited to try Loco Chino at Fort and I’m so glad I did!

Food– I took my Foodie brother along for this review as he’s going to the RannUtsav in Kutch for 4 months and I’m going to miss him! He was more excited than me though to try the food! Being a pre-set menu for just the two of us, we were served smaller portions of loads of dishes. The Veg Fiesta Nachos was the first thing we tried and I have to admit, we were disappointed that there was less cheese. Also, the nacho chips could have been better tasting.  Next we tried the Kung Pao potatoes and trust me when I say that they are an absolute must have! After 5 Spice, only Loco Chino serves the crispiest, tastiest and most flavourful Kung Pao potatoes. We also tried the Chili Basil Paneer which was not something I had tried before. I loved the basil flavour on paneer! For drinks we had the Sassy Senorita, a signature drink which is a tasty concoction of orange juice, passion fruit, grapefruit and a prominent peachy zing mixed with soda. Sassy indeed! We then tried the Assorted Sautéed Veg Quesadilla which was a perfect assortment of veggies and cheese and tasted really good. Next we tried the dimsums. We were lucky enough to get to try 3 different types of Dim Sums at Loco Chino. The Spinach and Parmesan was the best one with amazing texture and taste. The Thai Sambal Cottage cheese was like having paneer makhani sabzi in a dumpling. Different and yummy.  The Edamame Truffle dimsum was my least favourite. It was a little bland so in order to get some flavour, I had to dip it in the sauces on the table. We were half full and had some space for main course so tried a wok where we could choose rice or noodles, the sauce, veggies, proteins and toppings. I chose Steamed rice as the base, Brocoli, Bell peppers and Corn as the veggies, Cottage Cheese as the protein (Very few chinese places offer paneer), Sweet and sour sauce and for toppings there were spring onions, Fried Onion and roasted peanuts. I felt the sweet and sour sauce was a little sweeter than I thought. I would have liked it to be slightly spicy too. After all of this, there was no way we could eat more after this for sure except for some dessert, of course.

We had two desserts and both were fantastic! The Tres Leches Cake (Vanilla sponge cake dipped in liquid milkmaid. When I saw it at first, I thought what the hell am I going to be eating but one bite changed it all. It was amazingggg! The Sumatra Chocolate was basically chocolate mousse with coconut. Now, I am not a coconut fan but this mousse was too good! There was a perfect amount of coconut, not overpowering the taste of chocolate and the consistency of the mousse. Absolutely loved it.

Loco Chino 2Ambience– Located at Fort, near ‘Ayub’s’ and ‘Forbe’s One’, Loco Chino is this colourful little restaurant that has a young, fun vibe. The furniture and décor is inspired from Mexico and Spain is what I see; nothing Chino in it. The tables with Moroccan tiles look beautiful but I’m not quite sure they go with the coloured plastic chairs. I loved the Mexican Hat lamps though. Very cool. One thing I would like them to pay urgent attention to is the washroom. It was quite dirty, wet and not well maintained.

Service– Being a complimentary lunch, I can’t really say much about the service but from what I observed, it was pretty good and the customers seemed to be eating their lunch happily.

Loco Chino 3Prices– I think with the quality and quantity you get here, Loco Chino is very reasonably priced. The Veg starters range from Rs. 169-189 and non-veg is between Rs.199-269. The Dim Sums all range from Rs. 199-239. The Veg Wok is for Rs. 199, non veg for Rs. 209 and seafood for Rs. 249. Desserts are all for Rs. 149. The Sassy Senorita was for Rs. 89. So it would cost approximately Rs. 350-400 each after eating very comfortably. That is amazing considering how expensive it is to eat out at other places.

Verdict-Loco Chino has good food and is reasonably priced. If you’re there, please have the Kung Pao potatoes, the Spinach & Parmesan Dim sum, Thai Sambal Dim Sum and Sumatra Chocolate!

Rating– 3.5/5

 

Sharing is caring :)

Feb 21 2015

Me so happi, Khar (west) – Review

Roochster

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

 

Sharing is caring :)

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

Sharing is caring :)

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

 

 

Sharing is caring :)

Sep 24 2012

California Pizza Kitchen, Lower Parel- Review

Roochster

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating– 1.5/5

Sharing is caring :)

Sep 18 2012

Twist Monkey, Nariman Point & FYI, Churchgate- Review

Roochster

Yogurts are the ‘In’ thing right now and I just thought it was better to write 2 reviews in 1 and fill you in on the latest ones in town. So, here they are.

Twist Monkey-Review:  Twist Monkey is a small stall that sells frozen yogurt located at Spoon Food Court at Inox, Nariman Point. I had Belgium Chocolate (delicious) in a mini cup (Rs. 40) with Ferrero Rocher sauce as topping (Rs. 40). The combination was good. I really liked the taste of the yogurt. The next time I went there I had the Honey Nut Crunch flavour (Rs. 40) with Mocha Ganache- bitter and tasty (Rs.40) as the topping. Now the part that sucks is that the cheapest toppings which are for Rs. 20 are just syrups. All the good toppings are for Rs. 40 so you have to end up spending Rs. 80 to have the smallest sized yogurt with a topping. I’ve also tried their other flavours- Blueberry- ok, Strawberry- yum!

Verdict– Twist Monkey is yummy! Most of their yogurts taste good and so do their toppings but I wish the pricing was better.

Rating– 4/5

FYI (Frozen Yogurt Inc.)- Review: FYI decided to be smart and locate themselves at Cafe Markiv’s, Churchgate where the college crowd is. Out of the ones I tried (Strawberry- superb, Blueberry- bad, Original- good) I thought their Fruitella flavour was yum so I decided to go for that (Rs. 40). Now the good part is that you pay per topping. So 1 topping is for Rs. 30, 2 for Rs. 40 and unlimited for Rs. 60 which is a fair deal. With my mini yogurt, I decided to try the red velvet topping (Rs. 30) which was not that great. As a promotional deal, they also added some Nutella sauce which made the bad taste of red velvet go away to a large extent.

Verdict– FYI is good and so is the pricing. Their yogurts taste great but they definitely should look at getting better toppings.

Rating– 3.5/5

Sharing is caring :)

Jan 2 2011

Sky Café, Fort- Review

Roochster

Accidental love. That is what this place is for me. I accidentally noticed this place just last week when I went to check the show timings of Tees Maar Khan at Sterling and just when I turned, I saw a lovely open air restaurant called Sky Café. It was love at first sight!

Food– They serve Italian, Continental and Oriental cuisine here along with desserts and mocktails. Let me tell you honestly, we had pizza, pasta and potato wedges among the two of us and taste-wise it was a little above average. The good thing is that they were ready to split the toppings on the pizza-half n half for my friend and me. The desserts were ok. We tried the Rich Gooey chocolate cake and Chocolate Mousse. If you plan to go for coffee, they have a nice 4pm to 7pm offer where you can have unlimited filter coffee for only Rs.45 per person.  They’re also planning to introduce breakfast there which I can’t wait to try!

Ambience– Located opposite Sterling theatre at Fort, Sky Café is an open air restaurant, (very rare in South Mumbai) which not only surprises you but also makes you feel at home. The décor is simple and sweet. There’s no snobbish air around to make you want to run out; in fact, you’d feel like chilling there for a long time. I think the love at first sight thing happens because of the first appearance of the place…but I think its too charming to lose its charm. I just have one complaint- their huge white umbrellas cannot take the pressure of the wind and while chilling there, we saw 2 of them fall. Luckily no one was sitting where they fell. So yeah, that definitely needs to be taken care of. Other than that, the setting is perfect for a date! Super romantic!

Service– This is one of their minus points. They are really sweet and try their best to make sure everything goes right, but the food takes forever to come! I think it’s the kitchen staff that takes so long (45 minutes for a pizza) but in the end it’s the overall service level that goes down. So they need to be a little more careful about getting food in atleast 20 minutes.

Prices– I think the prices are perfect. Not too much and not too less. Totally worth the food, though the food ka taste could be better. All food items (pizza, pasta, etc.) are priced at around 160 bucks. Toppings are about 20 bucks each. The desserts are about 90 bucks each. In case you want to go chill in the afternoon, the unlimited coffee offer is great priced at only Rs. 45 per head! So not bad at all! It came up to only 350 bucks per head and we were super full!

Verdict– Town really needed this place. I love it and totally recommend it to everyone! The food’s decent, the ambience is awesome and overall its paisa vasool!

A word of caution for snooty people– In case you only chill in places with A/C or places which charge a bomb for bad coffee, please don’t ever come to Sky Café…its better off without you! [Yeah, I just tend to get a little defensive about everything I love]

Rating– 4/5

Sharing is caring :)