Sunday, 18 September 2016
Stunning Marine Drive needs no reason for repeat visits. Still, here is a pretty good one to visit it right now. The Bayview Restaurant at Hotel Marine Plaza is hosting Mumbai Street Food Festival dinner buffet from 16-25 September :)
Stay glued to mesmerizing Arabian Sea views while relishing on some iconic dishes. This food festival has an huge array of starters, main course and desserts with a rotating menu that has all the spunk one needs from a feast. The beautiful decoration creates an amazing rustic ambiance. Staff is exceedingly courteous and treats everyone like family.
We were honored to be present on the very first day and started with Bhel Puri and Sev Puri from Chaat Corner, Veg Manchurian and Fried Rice from Chinese Counter and Kala Khatta Gola from Gola Counter. Manchurian here has to be the best I have had in a long time, so soft and none of that extra cornflour dough-y feel that a lot of Manchurians have. Fried Rice too was not over-oily, pure love this combination was.
I and my sister already love the buffet at Buffet with its wide variety of salads, right now they also have Dhokla, Khandvi and Patra in addition to usual veggies, all of them authentically delicious. Among the main course, loved the Stir Fried Vegetables, Aloo Anardana Tikki, Hara Bhara Kebab, Paneer Bhurji, Dal Fry and Veg Hakka Noodles. Myriad flavors, textures, absolutely lip-smacking.
Jalebi, Brownie, Pastries, Chocolate Balls, Rasmalai and Cut Fruits made up the desserts section, none of them too sweet and capable of making every palate happy :) Rasmalai and Chocolate Balls especially were the star desserts we couldn't stop eating with their dense, rich flavors.
Both vegetarian & non vegetarian palates have plenty of options to enjoy and the buffet does complete justice to the theme of Street Food with some local classics sharing the same space as International delicacies. The staff, service, rotating menu, value for money price points all make it an experience to remember. I suggest all foodies make it a priority to visit this festival right away :)
Saturday, 17 September 2016
From Farm to Fork.
Today we are lucky to be living in a world where healthy lifestyles are getting their right due, bringing to us an increasing realization that our food chains are messed up at many levels. Abnormal use of growth hormones, chemicals and pesticides at every level of food cultivation & processing are giving rise to health hazards at hitherto unheard pace! Moreover, as foodies, while we are lucky to be in midst of a food revolution, with eateries providing everything from Oriental to gourmet South American fare mushrooming all around us, how often do we get to go to a place and relish only healthy stuff without wondering about the amount of oil/ghee/cheese/fats/cholesterol in it?
Mahindra has brought a solution to this scenario with the launch of Saboro lounge at Churchgate, Mumbai and I was honoured to be a part of the Press & Bloggers Meet for the same. It was fascinating to view first-hand the amount of care they provide to the entire food chain when it comes to fruits & vegetables, going to the extent of co-ordinating with the farmers right from the stage of testing soil! Result- a brand of packaged fruits with 100% guarantee that it is natural and nutritious.
Same concept comes to Saboro lounge where every dish is prepared with nutrition intact, free of chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavouring or colouring. A small nook in the busy Churchgate area, it is comfortable and retains a young vibe. Book lovers like me can rejoice at the presence of books like ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ making it the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. Service is polite, efficient and staff knows the menu inside out so don’t forget to take their suggestions on what to order. The menu is cohesive, designed in a way that a complete meal has about 500-600 kcal (again showing the thought process that has gone behind the whole concept!) Prices are definitely on a premium side but completely in sync with their avant-garde offerings.
Juices are cold-pressed, nothing is over-laden with cheese or anything else to artificially enhance taste, yet it dispels the myth that healthy or nutritious food is tasteless. As a part of this launch preview, we tasted a few items and they definitely made us want to go back to taste everything else on the menu. We had the Appo-Granate i.e. Apple-pomegranate Mix juice which was refreshing and choc-a-bloc with nutrients, followed by Zucchini Sushi, a piece of Zucchini rolled around mushrooms & a bite of cheese, making it a healthy appetizer option.
An indulgent meal without feeling guilty, I like the sound of that. And having tasted the goods in reality, I am sold on the concept as well as its execution. Saboro is charting a new territory and I am glad to be a part of the health conscious foodie group that will be back to sample all that it has to offer.
My favourites were the Orangeer greens Salad and Hummus Pizza. Oranges, Paneer, Lettuce, Honey, Sesame Seeds made a tangy luscious option for a quick bite while Hummus Pizza had the earthiness of whole wheat pizza base, dense hummus and a medley of veggies like corn & mushroom with little cheese, overall making it a complete meal option without any heaviness associated with normal pizzas. For those with a sweet tooth (or a sweet jaw in my case), a bevy of indulgent desserts (without the associated guilt) follows with Banoffee being at top of my list with banana, yoghurt, muesli, almond making it healthiest indulgence.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Every once in a while, even a hardcore foodie and non calorie-counter like me wants to detox, but without going on a boring 'diet'. Unfortunately when we say healthy food, we just think about bland tasteless mush most of the time. Foodgasm has taken one of the most trending hashtags on instagram,one that usually denotes something sinful and presents it in a new avatar, one without the guilt of clogging up arteries :)
Situated in the famous ONGC colony at Bandra Reclamation area, Foodgasm is a small outlet which can accommodate 30-35 people in a cute & colorful ambiance. Prices are a bit high which is perfectly reasonable looking at the location & wholesome quality of food. Service is extremely polite and efficient even when the place gets full. Extra marks to them for making everything in-house, whether it be breads, sauces, dips, as freshness in their taste is pretty evident. They also deliver in Bandra, Khar, Mahim and BKC areas :)
Our bloggers table had heard great things about this place from all our friends already and after the welcome drink with chia seeds, we were just raring to explore the menu. Among the drinks, I would recommend the thick and delicious Power Shot with bananas,muskmelon, honey,dates and almonds, the unanimous favorite of everyone. I also loved Sea Breeze with Coconut Water getting a little twist with mint and just a dash of lemon juice. For those sticking with safe basics, Nimbu Soda or Lemon Shikanji are options nobody can go wrong with.
The appetizers and mains in both veg as well as non-veg sections are choc a bloc with options such as Quinoa & Brown Rice, but don't worry, it all tastes superlative. No compromises on the quality and taste of food here, that too without making it over-oily/greasy.
Having never had a non veg Kheema in my life, I cannot vouch for how Shakahari Kheema Pav compares with them but I have been told that this veg Foodgasm version is actually better than the non-veg version at many places. It is undoubtedly tasty, think of it as Soya Bhurji, quite delicious, little spicy, served with whole wheat pav to make a complete meal for a hungry hippo like me!
Another star dish would be Baked Pumpkin and Feta Fusili with a creamy pumpkin puree elevating the whole dish to another level. Tastes like a dream. Silky yet light as air.
My favorite was Bugs Bunny Cake with extremely soft and fragrant carrot cake served warm with ice cream to give a nice hot-cold, dense-light playfulness on our palate :)
The next time somebody tells me that healthy food is tasteless or when I need a detox without torturing myself with a starvation based diet, I know the destination to head to. Here is to a long life without giving up one of the biggest pleasures of life i.e. good food, thanks to Foodgasm :)