Mar 3 2016

Sushi Cafe, Bandra (W)- Review

Roochster

I went here with my husband on a very random evening when we were both hungry and he was craving Sushi.
He had tried this place before but it was my first time there and I was hoping I’d like it cause I’m a vegetarian and I’ve eaten Sushi just 2-3 times before. The owner was very sweet and welcoming and we ordered according to his recommendations and weren’t disappointed. Turned out that we kept ordering more sushi till we were both stuffed.

We loved it that much, especially my husband. Its a very small place but very sweet and nice for a date night. We ended up paying about 2000 bucks which is not bad at all considering how much we ate.
I have to say that after that I’ve tried Sushi at a couple of other places too but it just wasn’t rightly done. Sushi Cafe knows how to make good Sushi and I would totally recommend it.

I look forward to going there again soon. 🙂

Rating– 4.5/5

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Mar 2 2016

O:Cha, Lower Parel- Review

Roochster

Oh Cha aHello! I think it’s been a while since I’ve written a full length review. Well, that’s because of so much happening at my end- house getting done, weddings, travelling with family and friends, blocked nose and bad throat, events, etc. etc. Clearly, I’ve also gotten lazy to sit and write so much but I think it’s time to bounce back now.

I was invited to try Oh:Cha and finally went there last week. I left it to the restaurant manager Monisha to send us Veg and Non Veg items according to our preferences in smaller portions. That gave us the opportunity to try 20 items from the menu. Boy were we lucky!

Drinks– We were both rushing from one meeting to another so obviously we couldn’t consume any cocktails. However, we did try some mocktails. I had the Orange & Kaffir Lime Caipiroska which had a nice citrusy zing to it. Karan had the Apple & Cucumber Fizz which would have tasted better had there been real apple juice instead of it being canned. We also tried the Mango Chilli Rocker which was basically mango milkshake with a hint of chilli. The Fresh Lime Soda was nice but quite syrup-y.

Oh cha bFood– For starters in Veg, I tried the Vegetable Chive Dumpling which was light and tasty. Karan tried the Chicken roll and said although it was soft and tender, he did not like the prominent chicken smell that came from it. On the other hand, he absolutely loved the texture and flavours of the Prawns cake with Lemon Grass starter. The Fried Turnip cake in black pepper sauce was one of my favourites. Who knew Turnip tasted that good! It was on the spicier side though. Next, the Stir Fried Sriracha Tofu was super soft and super spicy too. The Gai Hor Bai Toey or Pandan wrapped Chicken with Sriracha lemon chilli garlic sauce was a perfect 5 on 5 according to Karan. He loved the smokey chicken taste. The Gado Gado salad (Assorted veggies in Indonesian style peanut dressing) was a nice flavourful salad and I almost finished the entire thing by myself. Karan loved the Som Tam (Thai spicy raw papaya salad) and ended up eating quite a bit of it. After having so many starters and salads, it was time for main course. The Veg Phad thai noodles were great, more so because of the tamarind sauce and sprouts. We also called for Burnt garlic fried rice as I prefer rice to noodles and I have to say it was perfectly cooked! To go along with the noodles and rice, we had Tofu and Stir fried veggies in Sweet & Sour sauce which I thought was absolutely delicious! Karan had Stir fried prawns in Oyster mushroom sauce which was a bit too salty and it overpowered the taste of the dish.

Oh cha cOh Cha dDesserts– By now, we were pretty full but not stuffed, mind you. There’s always room for desserts, isn’t there? Ha! So we chose to try 4 different desserts! Yes you read right! First we tried the Chilli Chocolate tart with cremed Coconut icecream & chocolate soil. Now, this was basically a chocolate tart with a hint of chilli, coconut icecream with real shredded coconut, topped with Bournvita which they called chocolate soil. So I’d eat this dessert again but totally be ok without the Coconut Icecream. Also, maybe cake/brownie crumbs would be better than the Bournvita. Next was the Lemongrass Crème Brulee which was nice but could have been less sweet, a bit cool and with a bit more lemongrass flavour. The Gooey Chocolate Cake was lipsmacking! Wish they melted it and got it though so it would be a bit more gooey. The final dessert was the Passionfuit pudding with cashew and dates which was the least favourite of them all. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Oh cha eAmbience– Located at the Mathuradas Mills compound, Lower Parel, O:h Cha is easy to find. From the time you enter, you will see a lot of grey, high ceiling, a big eagle, huge cane lamps, a big bar and a very fine dine sorta feel. The music they were playing that day was awesome! Amazing covers of hits by Michael Jackson by some lady singer. (I would like to know the artist.) The place is pretty big and can easily be used for parties and events.

Service– We were served by 3-4 different servers and when we asked any of them about any dish, they all knew what it was so that’s good. They were all very warm and welcoming.

Prices-Considering the quality of ingredients used in making the dishes, the restaurant has priced everything decently but slightly on the expensive side. The starters range from Rs. 350- Rs. 650. The soups and salads are priced at Rs.300-350. Main course dishes range from Rs. 450 for Veg, to Rs. 550 for Chicken based and Rs. 650 for sea food. The rice and noodles range from Rs. 400 to Rs. 750. Desserts are all for Rs. 300. So in all you would end up spending about Rs.1000-1300 per head without alcohol easily.

Verdict– If you love Chinese and Thai food, you must try O:h Cha but I suggest you skip the desserts here.

Rating– 3.5/5

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Feb 26 2016

Aligarh- Movie Review

Roochster

The proverb ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ holds true for Aligarh as Manoj Bajpai’s flawless performance takes you through his emotional journey in the most sensitive and intense manner leaving you with a heavy heart.

Rating- 4/5

Aligarh poster

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Feb 25 2016

Neerja- Movie Review

Roochster

It’s always nice to watch a film based on true events which haunt you for days together and for me Neerja is a winner because of the realistic performances (shockingly so by Sonam Kapoor), well written screenplay brilliantly executed by director Ram Madhvani and the entire team that made it look so effortlessly real.

Rating- 4/5

Neerja poster

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Feb 12 2016

Fitoor- Movie Review

Roochster

Fitoor posterIn Kamaal R Khan’s words, “What a Wahiyat, Ghatiya, Pakaoo film #Fitoor! It will beat #BombayVelvet easily. Abhishek has defeated Anurag Kashyap by far”. So, I thought it would be boring and slow too but that’s ‘cause sometimes movies like these that look too ‘artsy’ turn out to be complete rubbish. Now, here’s how it turned out to be for real.

Plot in short– As a young boy from Kashmir, Noor (Aditya Roy Kapur) falls in love with Begum Hazrat’s (Tabu) daughter Firdaus (Katrina Kaif) and she too somewhere has feelings for him. They are separated when Firdaus moves to London for further studies. When he’s old enough to make a living, Begum makes Noor meet the gorgeous, sexy and totally different Firdaus in Delhi, where she now lives. She helps him make a career out of his passion that is art and painting and pushes him to go after Firdaus about whom he’s already smitten. Will their love stand the test of time and materialize into something?

The Good– One thing about Fitoor you can’t deny is that it is visually stunning! The snow falling like musical notes onto their faces, the houses, Begum Hazrat’s creepy yet beautiful mansion, Katrina’s red hair, Aditya’s body and natural acting which we have never seen before, Tabu…everything about her, the dialogues, the soulful music, the red and yellow dry leaves dancing around with the breeze… There’s basically a lot of beauty in the look and feel of the film which I loved. What I like about director Abhishek Kapoor is that like in Rock On and Kai Po Che, he makes sure his characters are well sketched and each stands out from the other making their own presence felt in the film. With Fitoor too, Tabu’s sadness is seen in the way she’s lying on the diwan, smoking sheesha and the longing she has in her eyes for love. I also absolutely loved Aditi Rao Hydari. She’s one of the understated actresses in Bollywood and I think she should get more recognition.

The Not-so-good– Although the film moves at a pace of its own, it could have been crisper in terms of screenplay and editing. I can’t really think of anything major that I did not like because there was so many wonderful things to watch.

Verdict– With a fairytale-ish feel to it, Fitoor is engrossing, visually  beautiful and Tabu is just brilliant!

Rating– 3.5/5

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Jan 22 2016

Airlift- Movie Review

Roochster

Airlift-PosterWhen I saw the trailer of Airlift it reminded me so much of Argo which has a very similar story. There may be the similarity of fleeing from the hostage country to their own, but apart from that, Airlift is based on a true story.

Plot in short– Airlift highlights the 1990 Iraq- Kuwait war that left about 1,70,000 Indian nationals hostage in Kuwait.  Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based Indian businessman along with his wife (Nimrat Kaur) and his office staff helps free the Indian hostages from the war zone in Kuwait during the reign of Iraqi emperor Saddam Hussein.

The Good– The performances for one are top grade. From Akshay Kumar to Nimrat Kaur to Purab Kohli to all the other supporting actors, they all make the film interesting to watch thanks to their fantastic performances. The screenplay writer has handled the story well and written the script in a way that engrosses the audience. The movie is well paced. Director Raja Krishna Menon has put together a team of people who know how to do their work well; taking the art director, stylists, cinematographer, producer and every single person involved. There’s no melodrama or filminess to make the film look larger than life, which I like.

The Not-so-good– I felt that even though the story and screenplay are well written, there could have been more heroic scenes where you feel more proud of Akshay Kumar. I also felt that there was no need for so many songs during the film.

Verdict– Airlift is another one of Akshay Kumar’s best films in the recent years. Go watch!

Rating– 3.5/5

 

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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

 

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Nov 12 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo- Movie Review

Roochster

prdp-posterI had been seeing every single ‘Dubsmash’ of the much awaited Salman-Sonam starrer ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo’ since about a month and it only made me more and more curious to know how it would be as a film. Salman Khan of course was my biggest reasons but Sonam Kapoor definitely made her presence felt with all the social media posts everyday with regards to her outfits and all the promotions that the duo were doing.

Plot in short-Vijay Singh (Salman Khan) belongs to a Royal family with an evil brother and the CEO (Armaan Kohli) who want to kill him and two step sisters who are not in talking terms with him because they think he wants to rule with all the wealth from his ancestors. His manager (Anupam Kher) somehow saves him and has doctors attending to him 24/7 so he can attend his coronation ceremony with his Bride-to-be Princess Maithili (Sonam Kapoor) in four days. In Ayodhya, Prem Dilwale, who looks exactly like Prince Vijay Singh (Salman Khan) is a small time actor who does Ram Leela shows for a living. Not knowing if Prince Vijay would be able well enough to attend his coronation ceremony, he requests Prem Dilwale to pretend to be Prince Vijay for those four days until Princess Maithili is with them. Turns out that Prem and Maithilee fall in love and the family comes together as one. What happens to the Vijay then? D’oh! The film’s title is only ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ so that would be an easy guess.

The Good– Salman Khan is the biggest reason to watch this film and I would totally watch it again. It’s so nice to see him in movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sooraj Barjatya films like these where he plays the kind of person you want to marry. I wont deny that Sooraj Barjatya went a little overboard with trying too hard to instill good values and old school romance but we’ll come to that a bit later. What I really like about the film is that human emotions are shown in the most simple, pure form, not sliding towards ‘just- an- adult- audience’ to get eyeballs. The sets and styling add to the grandeur of the film. I also thought Sonam Kapoor was not that bad compared to her previous really bad performances. Anupam Kher, Armaan Mallik, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Swara Bhaskara are all a great support to the film.

The Not-so-good– Sooraj Barjatya has great intentions but he has forgotten that an audience in the 21st century is watching his film. The story is kacha and the characters are not sketched out properly, leaving a very incomplete-ish, half-hearted story that could have been written better. The screenplay is all over the place, especially in the first half where you’re like what the hell am I watching and from which generation! It’s a little too corny and most people, who are not Salman Khan or Sooraj Barjatya fans, will wait to run out of the theatre! The visual effects are quite amateurish; especially the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ parts. The music by Himesh Reshammiya is not appealing at all. I’m surprised I was actually waiting for the title song to play till the end because all the other songs were so stupid and unnecessary. Not that I love the title track but it’s an example to tell you how bad the other songs were. So yes, quite a few flaws in a film that also has a very funny title.

Verdict– Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is not the kind of film most people would like but if you’re a Salman Khan fan and also a Sooraj Barjatya fan, you wont mind sitting through the entire film and even get teary eyed. I did, multiple times.

Rating– 3/5

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Oct 30 2015

Titli- Movie Review

Roochster

An interestingly told and engaging story of a man, his wife and his life with noteworthy performances by the entire cast.

Rating- 3.5/5

Titli movie poster

 

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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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