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

 

 

Sharing is caring :)

Sep 4 2015

Welcome Back- Movie Review

Roochster

Ridiculously corny, not funny, not entertaining and not worth your time or money in spite of the huge star cast, production costs involved and the so called legacy of ‘Welcome’.

Rating- 1.5/5

Welcome-Back-Official-Poster

 

Sharing is caring :)

Aug 26 2015

Apsara IceCreams, Powai- Review

Roochster

Apsara Icecreams PowaiApsara Ice creams has been around at Walkeshwar since longer than I can remember. The Roasted Almond ice cream was undeniably one of the richest and creamiest I had had. Apsara has been known for its sancha ice cream (Handmade, without preservatives or added flavours). So when I was invited to try the ice creams at the Powai branch, I just couldn’t say no.

Flavours– They have a whole range of flavours from sorbet to chocolate-based to fruit based, even sugar free and apart from that have Kulfi and thick milkshakes. Karan and I were super excited to dig into all the flavours so we actually tried each and every one. The Guava sorbet has to be my favourite. It was light and filled with fruity goodness. It was served with masala on top! So cool! Killer Kiwi and Watermelon Wonder were alright. The Mosambi flavour was slightly bitter. Paan Pasand would be a better and in fact an amazing replacement for real Paan.

Now coming to the flavours we had. I had Funky Ferrerro- a lethal combination of the sinful Ferrerro Rocher chocolate, Vanilla and a hint of chocolate. I thought it was good but could have been more chocolatey. Karan had Mint Marvel which is Apsara’s version of the famous ‘After Dark’. With a not-so-over-powering taste of mint and just a hint of chocolate, this one too was so-so. Apart from ice creams they also have milkshakes and I couldn’t resist trying those either, considering what a big sweet tooth-greedy bugger I am. I loved the Orange Blossom milkshake; bits of orange mixed with milk and barely any sugar. It also had the thickness one would expect from a milkshake. Their cold coco is out of the world! An absolute must have! I must thank the staff there for being so patient and letting us try so many flavours. Apart from Powai and Walkeshwar, they also have an outlet at Vile Parle, Matunga and Thane and have a free delivery service to homes close by.

Pricing– I like that Apsara doesn’t differentiate between their flavours in terms of pricing. All flavours are priced at Rs. 55 for a cup and Rs. 65 for a cone. The milkshakes are priced at Rs. 70 for a glass. Their family packs are for Rs. 250.

Verdict– Apsara is here to stay and after this I am sure I will go back to indulge in some Cold Coco and Roasted Almond Ice cream. Slurp!

Rating– 4.5/5

Sharing is caring :)

Jul 31 2015

Drishyam- Movie Review

Roochster

Drishyam excels in many ways such as performances, cinematography and styling and will keep you gripped during most parts, giving special credits to Ajay Devgn and Tabu but falls short of a tighter screenplay that could have made the movie more thrilling.

Rating– 3/5

drishyam-poster

Sharing is caring :)

Jul 17 2015

Bajrangi Bhaijaan- Movie Review

Roochster

Bajrangi Bhaijaan posterI woke up at 7am to watch my Salman Khan in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. Excitement was flowing through my system even as I was on my way to PVR Juhu, impatient to watch the 9am show, and before that hoping there wouldn’t be a long queue for tickets. So there I was in my seat, waiting eagerly for my Salman to appear on the big screen. But even before he came, the visuals before me took me in completely, making me forget that I was there, so early in the morning just for him.

Plot in short– ‘Shahida’ (Harshali Malhotra) a mute 6 year old girl from the Kashmiri side of Pakistan named after her mother’s favourite cricket Shahid Afridi gets left behind near the tracks of a train going from India to Pakistan in the wee hours of the night as she gets off trying to save a goat’s kid stuck inside a ditch. Finding another train to get onto, she hopes to go back home to her mother only reaching a village in Haryana where she meets our Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Salman Khan). Pawan or Bajrangi as he calls himself is a worshipper of Lord Hanuman, the monkey God and believes in always telling the truth. He meets Rasika (Kareena Kapoor Khan), his father’s friend’s daughter in Delhi and also stays in their house. They fall in love and want to get married but can only do so if Pawan can make enough money to buy a house.  Shahida who is mute and cannot read or write has no way to tell them where she’s from and so she too starts living with Rasika’s family and Pawan. As time passes by they find out that she’s from Pakistan and the only person who can take her there is Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Will he be able to cross the border and find her family? What are the obstacles that come in their way when he tries to?

The Good– Everything about the movie is good. I am not even exaggerating. Director Kabir Khan and his entire crew have let no stone unturned in making sure that the movie is made in the most honest and sincere way, not thinking of only Salman Khan and his superstar status. Salman Khan’s role is that of a very simple guy and he plays it with perfection. I can easily say that this is Salman’s finest performance and he made us cry this time. The pretty little girl Harshali Malhotra too is excellent as a mute child. She speaks volumes with her hand gestures and eyes alone. Kareena Kapoor Khan is merely a supporting actor here with not much to do but she looks gorgeous and does her usual Kareena stuff. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s entry scene is superb! The funny Pakistani reporter Chand Nawab’s scene is exactly like the one I had seen on Youtube ages ago and laughed my ass off. He’s one of the best actors we have today and is as natural as natural can get. Also, the screenplay is refreshing and moves steadily throughout. The camera work is brilliant. Beautiful visuals. The music is not the typical Salman Khan type foot tapping sorts that we’ve heard and danced to in the past. The ‘Selfie’ song is quite fun though. People in the theatre went crazy! Technically superb and emotionally perfect.

The Not-so-good– To be honest, I can’t think of anything. Just the fact that Salman Khan didn’t have any work to do apart from go and drop the girl to her mother.

Verdict– This has to be the best Salman Khan movie after Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun. Pure content with brilliant performances. Left me teary eyed in the end.

Rating– 4.5/5

Sharing is caring :)

Jul 6 2015

Wok Express, Bandra (W)- Review

Roochster

Wok Express 2It’s been a while since I’ve written a review of any restaurant. Well, I guess being married keeps you busy in some way or another whether it’s paying social visits to relatives or figuring out news ways to having a good work life. Since my husband is as much or perhaps an even bigger foodie than I am, he has been accompanying me to most of my Foodie meets where he tells me how the non-veg food is and I continue to enjoy my Veg food. Anyhow, here’s a place I went to recently at Pali Hill. This one’s another Wok place that’s now competing with several others such as Wok Hei, Wok in the box, Wok this way, Wok & Roll, All Stir Fry, etc. How good was Wok Express? Read on.

Wok Express 3Food– We started our evening with Bubble Teas by Boba. Now, we tried their Strawberry, Guava, Coffee Vanilla, Thai and Peach flavours out of which I liked Guava and Strawberry flavours the best but I would not recommend the bubbles (tapioca balls) ‘cause they’re chewy and taste weird, leaving an aftertaste I did not like. Karan liked the Thai Bubble tea the best. The coffee vanilla was more like watery cold coffee with the bubbles. Euh! Along with our iced teas we tried some Dim sums/Dumplings. The Crystal Dumpling (filled with carrot, mushroom and water chestnuts) tasted alright but the outlayer was super sticky. The other Veg Dumpling- Edammame & Truffle Dumpling was hands down the best dumpling I’ve ever had. Filled with Edamame flavouring, mashed potato, topped with carrot, we all agreed that it was melt in your mouth types and well made, an absolute MUST HAVE at Wok Express. Next we tried the Veg Bun. The sweetness and thickness of the rice bun mixed with the gingery, mushroomy flavours inside it didn’t go too well with my palette and I put it down after two attempts. It was now Wok time and like other Wok places, you choose your veggies, sauce, rice or noodles and garnishing. I chose the Udon noodles with veggies in Kung Pao sauce garnished with burnt garlic, peanuts and fried onion. I thought the Udon noodles were well cooked but the Kung Pao sauce lacked the sweetness and spiciness that I would expect. It was somewhere in between. It was a lot to finish though even though I had a medium size, the quantity is perfect especially if you plan to have just a Wok. Karan went for the Sambal sauce with chicken and left it at two bites because of how bland it tasted. For dessert we tried the Wok Kachang dessert which was more like a Roohafza flavoured Milkmaid Gola served in a plastic glass garnished with peanuts, or was it the Tab Tim Grob? Uhh…they tasted the same except that one had water chestnuts at the bottom and the other had peanuts on top. Avoidable.

Ambience– Wok in the box is located at Pali Hill, Bandra in place of Pinkberry Yoghurt and close to 5 Spice. They serve dim sums, bubble teas and of course customizable woks. The furniture is well spread out, giving each group their space. So even when it’s full, people can still walk up to make their Wok at the counter. They don’t have a washroom though so do all the deeds before getting there otherwise, like me you would have to go to the 5 Spice loo. Also, unfortunately on the day we went, their exhausts weren’t working and because of that, our eyes were burning and watering due to the spices and herbs used in cooking.

Wok Express 1Service– It’s all self service so there’s not much I can say in that department.

Prices– Given the fact that going to a restaurant now cannot happen too often because of the amount of taxes and cost of making food ends up becoming a burden on our head, Wok Express plays it safe between the reasonable eateries and the more expensive ones. Out here, if you have a medium sized wok and a drink, you pay about Rs.300 for a meal that will fill you up to the brim. The Veg Woks, medium size are for Rs.190 Chicken/Fish for Rs.210 and Prawns for Rs. 240. Large sized woks- Veg- Rs. 250, Chicken/ Fish- Rs.280 and Prawns for Rs. 310.a If you plan to share a starter plus wok plus drinks/ dessert it would make sense too. The Dumplings cost about Rs. 250. The Bubble teas are priced at Rs. 70 each. The dessert is priced at Rs. 100. Have it if you must.

Verdict– In a nutshell, Wok Express will have to up their game and make more flavourful food to want customers visiting again. Apart from the Edammame & Truffle dumpling, I don’t have any other reason to go back there.

Rating– 2/5

Sharing is caring :)

Jul 3 2015

Guddu Rangeela- Movie Review

Roochster

With a thin plot, Guddu Rangeela manages to bring out the best in the screenplay, direction and performances making it a decent Bollywood entertainer.

Rating- 3/5

guddu-rangeela-poster

Sharing is caring :)

Jun 5 2015

Dil Dhadakne Do- Movie Review

Roochster

Dil dhadakne do posterAfter Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Dil Dhadakne Do has been the most awaited movie this summer and boy was I excited to watch it! Here’s a quick review.

Plot in short– A dog by the name of Pluto tells the story of a Punjabi family that’s got quite a lot of issues in their lives. The husband (Anil Kapoor) and wife (Shefali Shah) are rich but have their own set of problems. The business is going downhill and so is their married life. Their son (Ranveer Singh) is an obedient boy (so they think), following his father’s footsteps and trying hard to do well at the business but sadly can’t so they’re trying to marry him off to a rich man’s daughter. Their daughter (Priyanka Chopra) is married unwillingly to rich businessman Rahul Bose. There’s everything but love in their marriage and she can’t wait to break free and get back to her one time love Farhan Akhtar. It’s their parent’s anniversary and to celebrate, invitations are sent out to close friends and family for a cruise holiday in Turkey and Greece. On the cruise, Ranveer meets Anushka Sharma, a dancer, Priyanka Chopra meet her ex boyfriend Farhan Akhtar and bitter truths come out between the anniversary couple. Will this dysfunctional family come together?

The Good– Being a Zoya Akhtar film, this one is a pure family entertainer with witty dialogues by Farhan Akhtar, a super stylish ensemble cast, setting, production design, beautiful cinematography and very good performances. She brings out the best side in all her actors. As you will see, Anil Kapoor, with his salt and pepper hair looks like the charming 50 year old who barely looks his age. He’s fantastic as the authoritative and hyper father. Shefali Shah as the wife and mother plays her part with finesse. Priyanka Chopra flaunts her taunt body and delivers an outstanding performance. Ranveer Singh is superb! Naturally witty with his own style, he creates a screen presence like no one else. All the supporting actors- Farhan Akhtar, Rahul Bose, Anushka Sharma, Zarina Wahab, Riddhima Sud, the gossiping aunties, and the others equally contribute in making the film a fun 170 minutes to watch.

The Not-so-good– Even though the film is entertaining, there are some things which are extremely underplayed. For instance, Ranveer and Anushka’s love story doesn’t seem to have enough depth to go fighting for it in the end. Also, the first half is a bit of a drag. Too many people, maybe? The music by Shankar Ehsaan & Loy is alright. Luckily not too many songs. The humour in the film may not appeal to a large audience. The classes may love it but the masses may not because of the ‘upper class humour’.

Verdict– A movie with a happy ending and some great performances, this one’s a fun, light humoured family entertainer.

Rating– 3.5/5

 

 

 

Sharing is caring :)

May 22 2015

Tanu weds Manu Returns- Movie Review

Roochster

Tanu-Weds-Manu-Returns-PosterVery rarely would you find sequels better than the first part. Tanu Weds Manu has returned and how! Let me explain.

Plot in short– Tanuja (Kangana Ranaut) and Manoj (R Madhavan) have been married, maybe not happily since 4 years. With disagreements, senseless arguments and fewer sparks both want to end their marriage to live a more peaceful life. A heated up fight at the psychiatrist makes Manu end up in a mental hospital while Tanu escapes to Kanpur. Feeling slightly bad for her husband, she calls his friend Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) to come rescue him. Once back home, she goes back to being the rebellious, notorious Tanu who would walk out in a towel while a boy’s family has come home to meet her sister. During her stay at her family home, she reconnects with one time boyfriend Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Sheirgill) and also basks in the attention she gets from a new lawyer friend- Chintu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub) who’s been staying without paying rent at her family home. Meanwhile, Manu comes to India and meets a Tanu look-alike Kusum (Kangana Ranaut) who is a state level athlete from Haryana. Within a couple of weeks he falls for her and is ready to get married. What will happen to Tanu and Manu’s marriage?

The Good– I have to say I enjoyed every minute of the film. Not once did I get distracted by my phone’s constant vibrations (Whatsapp messages). The pace is perfect and the very well written dialogue and screenplay by Himanshu Sharma add the raw desi masala mixed with real cinema making it juicy and flavourful in one go. Director Aanand L. Rai expertly weaves his magic in combining it with great music, styling, production design, cinematography and acting. The song ‘Banno tera swagger’ is a definite favourite. Kangana Ranaut shines in her performance as both Tanu and Kusum, making a clear demarcation between both characters. She looks gorgeous! R Madhavan in all his subtlety is superb! He has great screen presence. Supporting actors Deepak Dobriyal as Pappi is a live wire, very entertaining, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub as Chintu is good, Jimmy Sheirgill is Raja Awasthi is charming. All the other actors too made their presence felt, adding value to the film.

The Not- so-good– I didn’t want it to end. I wish they make a part three.

Verdict– I loved the film and would highly recommend it to everyone. Two hours of pure desi entertainment- music, drama, humour and a lot of masala. MUST WATCH!

Rating– 4.5/5

Sharing is caring :)

May 15 2015

Bombay Velvet- Movie Review

Roochster

bombay velvet posterSince the time I saw the trailer and heard the songs from Bombay Velvet, I knew the film would be absolutely brilliant. Well, umm I wish that was the case for real!

Plot in short– Balraj a.k.a Johnny Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) has one dream- to be a big shot. Impressed with his dare devil attitude, Kaizad Khambata ( Karan Johar), editor of a tabloid called ‘Torrent’ appoints Balraj to manage his club named ‘Bombay Velvet’ and also wipe out Jimmy Mistry (Manish Chaudhury), editor of another tabloid called ‘Glitz’. Jimmy appoints the gorgeous Rosie (Anushka Sharma), a jazz singer to lure Johnny and destroy his competition among other things. Meanwhile, Johnny and Rosie fall in love and are in too deep to fall out of it. What happens to Bombay Velvet?

The Good– I haven’t seen any period film look so rich and real. Every set, every costume, props, graphics, hair and make up done take you back to the 60s and 70s. There’s a tremendous amount of effort that went into the research and ground work plus the magnificent camera work that make it a visual delight, this Bombay Velvet. Apart from that, the actors are all superb! While Ranbir and Anushka draw you in with their performance and chemistry, Satyadeep Misra, Kay Kay Menon, Manish Chaudhury and Karan Johar are good. Raveena Tandon in her special appearance looks more ravishing than she has ever looked. I’d like to point out that the music and background score of the film are fantastic! Amit Trivedi makes jazz come alive with some of his compositions. I like Anurag Kashyap’s Tarantino-like story-telling style, however there is room for improvement. The part where Karan Johar, unable to keep his straight face, breaks into an infectious giggle away from everyone is one of the best scenes in the movie, without a doubt.

The Not-so-good– While there are so many nice things about the movie, the screenplay and editing could have been way better. The first half is a bit of a drag and overall, there is something amiss, perhaps more attention given to the script.

Verdict– Bombay Velvet is visually stunning and has some great performances and music but falls short of a script that’s interesting enough to hold a two and a half hours film.

Rating– 2.5/5

 

Sharing is caring :)