Monday, 15 May 2017

Summer Fiesta Festival At Barbeque Nation Mumbai | Family Favorite | Food Review

Barbeque Nation has been a favorite with our family ever since we first visited them on my mom's birthday 2 years ago (their Worli outlet) and had the most fabulous experience :) We loved the food, the ambiance and most importantly, the endearing warm service. Since then, we have been to various Barbeque Nation outlets thrice more and every single time their food and service has been fantabulous. So we landed here with family for their Summer Fiesta,and yes, they exceeded all our expectations once more :)

The outlet is pretty spacious and geared to give everyone a homely feel,the staff is always happy to dance for those who have their birthday or any other special occasion (and you get a free cake too!) Service is fast with exceedingly polite and attentive staff, eager to take feedback and make every customer's visit special. Cannot praise them enough! Food is divided into starters & barbecue grilled items that are served on the table, followed by main course (mostly Indian) buffet laid out to choose from, salads and then a lovely dessert spread with multiple Kulfi flavors, ice creams, pastries, gulab jamun, phirni and so on. It is actually impossible to taste everything so pick and choose :P The starters are the star but I find the main course and dessert also pretty awesome and make this place quite value for money in my opinion. Don't go here thinking of exotic global gourmet dishes or fine dining, this is good food at a very down to earth level, just the kind a normal Indian family loves on a day out.

Right now, they have incorporated many special dishes for the Summer Fiesta. We started off with Sweet Lime Soda, Chaas, Jaljeera, all of them exceedingly refreshing and recommended (they also have Rooh Afza!). Then the starters made their appearance - skewers of juicy Mushroom Tandoori, melt in mouth Paneer Tikka, Pineapple Tikka, Corn on the Cob, each one marinated perfectly, just a few minutes on the grill needed. We especially loved Veg cutlets, crunchy Corn and Cajun Spicy Potatoes that kept coming till we were ready to burst :P

My mother checked out the chaat section thereafter with Mumbai Chowpatty style chaats (sev puri,dahi puri,pani puri etc.) to be savored while my dad and I landed at the main course section. Noodles, Paneer gravy, Dal Tadka, Fried Rice aside, what caught our fancy was Gatte ki Sabji and Kathal ki Biryani, not dishes one usually finds on menu! Everything tasted good and we even had a watermelon + mint gazpacho which was decent, a bit too sweet in my opinion. Gatte ki sabji though was brilliant and easily my favorite while my sister munched happily on the noodles. A good salad section also provided me with lovely apple salad with coleslaw, yum yum :D

When it comes to the dessert section, going straight to the vast Kulfi Nation section is a must. They have some new flavors such as mango, jamun, goa chilli, along with old favorites of Malai, Kesar Pista, each one superlative. So creamy, so authentic, so full of real flavors, loved each one we tried here and it was with great difficulty that we tore ourselves away to do justice to everything else, including Cut Fresh Fruits, bite-sized chocolate pastry, brownie, mango mousse with chilli, Phirni, heavenly halwa and an array of Ice Creams (Creamy goodness)!

Walk in, relax with family/friends, indulge in some happy conversations, let the staff take care of you, eat, drink, eat some more, talk some more and walk out happy. That's how things are done at Barbeque Nation and that is why it is my family's favorite. This is a place we go to dine together and we always come out feeling full not only of food but of happiness and good memories :)

Friday, 12 May 2017

Breakfast Menu NRI - Not Really Indian | Vegetarian Food Review | Restaurant Review | Food Photography

Early morning stroll through BKC turned even better as we walked in to this lovely spacious house of taste - NRI- to review their all new Breakfast Menu available everyday from 8.30-11 AM. The ambiance is tasteful, elegant and screams fine dine from the word get go, the staff exceedingly warm and helpful. With the concept of serving Indian food with a twist making it stand out, we were more than ready to dig into the breakfast specialties and they rewarded us immensely in terms of innovation, taste as well as health quotient. Each dish in breakfast menu shows the calories it contains, thus making it easy to choose something as per one's health/diet chart! And for hippos like me, the milkshake + smoothies section in itself is more than sufficient to take us to 7th heaven :D

I tried Turmeric Hot Milk which was divine, followed by Banana+ Peanut butter shake, best for someone who loves Toblerone (I do!) while my sister enjoyed the tangy yet creamy combination of strawberry + kiwi (antioxidants power!) and my mom loved her Old Fashioned Shake with real dry fruits (one sip and our hearts screamed with pleasure like a 5 year old walking into Disneyland the first time!)

Not being able to choose 1 or 2 dishes from the food section, we asked the ever-smiling chef to present us with small portions of ..well, everything. And it was a feast. We started with Multigrain Porridge with Berries, Cinnamon Honey and Cocoa, very simple, basic ingredients making it wholesome and went on to 3 types of Parathas - Potato Green Garlic, Do Pyaaz Mirchi and Peri Peri Cheese. If you want me to suggest just 1 from these, I can't because all 3 were fantastic-very reminiscent of the typical Punjabi breakfast, including grandma's loving touch through a dollop of butter! The crunch in Do Pyaaz Mirchi was especially endearing to me :)

For those loving their dosas and uttapams, like my mom does, I suggest Hopper with Seeni Sambol and Tomato Chutney, sort of a clean modern take on good old Appam, it made my mom extremely happy and would be loved by everyone.

My personal favorites include Moringa Yogurt with Berries, Nuts, Fruits and Honey, a combination of all things good and tangy-sweet, making my sweet jaw happy beyond belief. It wasn't tooooo sweet, just a hint from real fruits and honey that gives the delicious kick of health while making tastebuds happy. My sister loved Fresh cut fruits with Vanilla Yogurt and Chia Seeds, even though normally she stays away from Chia Seeds just like Voldemort stays away from Dumbledore :P

We were pleasantly surprised by Apam Balik, it came in looking like a Dosa pancake but it was something different, thanks to Fruit Slaw, Coconut Jam and Syrup accompanying it to elevate it to another level.

As is evident, every dish here is carefully thought out and put together to give the best of both worlds-health + taste, incorporating different ingredients and textures that blend together magnificently. I wish I could go back here everyday to have a different dish for breakfast everyday, lucky are the folks working around here. The prices might seem high at a glance but for the extraordinarily lovely experience of dining here, it is completely worth it.

We ended up consuming more calories in 2 hours here than we should in a week but who is regretting? We cannot wait to come back very very soon :)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Say Cheese Festival At 1441 Pizzeria | Perfect Pizza Goodness | Food Review

Having heard about 1441 Pizzeria since months from a lot of my friends, it was finally a joyous occasion to be here last week to review a slice of their Say Cheese Festival. A small (can seat about 30 at a time) yet very cozy and beautiful outlet near Lion Gate, the beautiful Italian countryside paintings and photos adorning the wall, upbeat music in the air and enthusiastic, smiling staff to help out the visitors, first impression itself 1441 Pizzeria made us really happy :)

Their concept is simple-you can make a pizza the way you like, the way you want with whatever toppings, sauce etc. and its all unlimited! One look at the toppings available-from paneer to bell peppers to broccoli to zucchini and it is impossible to not be as excited as a 10 year old in a candy shop! They have wood fired ovens that give a distinct smoky flavor to the pizzas (my favorite kind!) and the staff will even let you try your hand at actually making the pizza if you are here on a weekday afternoon :D How much better can it get.

Oh their Say Cheese Festival makes it better. Along with the regular make your own pizza or order from their specials, now we can try various types of cheese from all over the world. This is a real treat for gourmands (which I am not but I try), and there is a little informational flyer you can see on which various pizzas with different cheese are depicted, with the cheese being the king of the pizza, instead of a 1000 toppings.

We first tried a half and half pizza asking the staff to make us something special and they gave us half of bell peppers, olives, broccoli and another half of mushrooms, corn and onions. Splendid! The smokey thin crust, the melt in mouth cheese and sauce mix and fresh toppings, it is one of the best pizzas I have eaten. The staff knows their pizzas here. Ofcourse, next time I will be going straight for the make my own pizza.

From the Say Cheese Festival we tried Stracciatella Pizza with rocket leaves, tomatoes and stracciatella and parmesan cheese as well as Greek Cheese Pizza with white sauce and mozzarella topped with smattering of spinach, onions and sprinkle of feta cheese. It looked and tasted just like we expected it to,no complaints. Mind you, these are international cheese, very different from the usual processed cheese we are all used to having. So somebody like my parents, who are not really experimental when it comes to food, would probably be wondering why these pizzas taste so different. But I think that is the point of the whole festival-to expose our tastebuds to something different and exotic :) I had tried Stracciatella cheese a long time ago so I already knew what to expect and I loved it, similarly greek cheese pizza was lovely with the saltiness of feta and density of white sauce +mozzarella making it unique for my experimental palate. I would suggest go ahead and ask the staff to suggest something good based on your unique palate and they will not disappoint :)

Even though I would have loved to try every other variant of cheese they had, we decided to try some other items from the menu too, including their refreshing Peach Iced Tea, extremely delicious Masala Lemonade and Lychee Lemonade (Lychee fans would like this, I do not like Lychee as it is and also found it a bit too sweet), and in dessert we could not resist their Chocolate Mousse which is a MUST-HAVE, along with Nutella Pizza which comes adorned with fresh fruits and is actually just the perfect kind of sweet (not overpowering) for everyone :) Needless to say,we were grinning like idiots by the end of the meal since everything was so perfect!

This is a place I am keeping high on my must-visit pizza places in Mumbai and recommend whole heartedly to everyone who dreams of cheesy goodness :D