Friday, 14 October 2016

Family Dining Redefined At Family Tree Thane | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Universe works in delicious ways :D Thane is a tad too far off from my residence but it was Dussehra, my family had a much needed holiday to spend with some friends who happen to live near Thane and the whole plan came nicely together so we could land at Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane for lunch. 

 Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane 

Walked in to a large inviting family home veranda-style set up followed by an elegant yet funky and very homely proper restaurant set up, both filled to the brim with happy families. The d├ęcor and ambiance scream comfort and elegance, with cute family portraits, grandpa clocks, books, teapots and such knick-knacks giving it all European bistro look yet an inherent Indian vibe intact! Even the menu has been designed like a photo album which can easily take hours to stare at. The cute chairs have smiling faces of different family members at the back, signifying the tradition of our whole families sitting down to dinner together, with each member having their own reserved place. Ladies & Gentlemen, a family that eats together stays together, hence proved :-) 
Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane
 Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

The menu has something for everyone, selection of choicest Vegetarian as well as Jain preparations in Indian, Chinese, European, Mexican over Soups, Salads, Main Course, Desserts and Drinks. We would have to make 4 trips just to try everything out on the menu! We wanted to try different dishes so we asked them to provide us with only half portions because their quantity is quite awesome, especially in main courses where we saw almost every table asking for leftovers to be parcelled. Absolute value for money with a family of 4 spending about Rs. 1700-1800 for a Hulk –level meal! 

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Pita Pocket Falafel

Paneer Makhmali Tikka

Hara Bhara Kebab

Shanghai Paneer

We started with Creamy Broccoli soup, so dense and flavourful, I never wanted to stop slurping it (and yes, I slurped it, just like I do at home :-D) For starters, we had the softest Shanghai Paneer in mildly sweet-spicy sauce along with soft yet succulent Hara Bhara Kebab and hearty,creamy Paneer Makhmali Tikka. But the absolute star stunner, unexpectedly so, was Pita Pocket Falafel Wrap with the crunchiest veggies and most delicious mix of Falafel, cream, hummus inside. I love Falafel anyway but my mom doesn’t and here she was going for seconds!

Corn Shots

Jalapeno Potatoes

Corn Shots and Jalapeno Potatoes came in packing quite a punch too and am glad we decided to try them. At one glance, these do not sound like extraordinary dishes but tasting them made us happy about the burst of flavours and textures. 

Cold Coffee

Jamun Shikanji


We also enjoyed Jamun Shikanji, Masala Lemonade and Cold Coffee alongside. True to its name as the ultimate destination for each family member, they have a wide variety of drinks too to offer and some of these are mini meals in themselves. Do keep the Dessert Shakes for the end, they are pieces of art in themselves. When it comes to coffee, both Mocha Chip & Roasted Almond are among the best we ever had. EVER!

Navratan Korma

Stuffed Kulcha and Lachedar Paratha

Veg Dum Biryani

Navratan Korma, Stuffed Kulcha, Lachedar Paratha and Veg Dum Biryani made up our main course which would be more than sufficient for a family of 4 to eat before going on a fast for next 2 days :D Navratan Korma was sweet as expected but I like sweet things and I cannot lie. The Kulcha and Paratha were succulent and good enough to eat on their own. My mom says it is very difficult to find good places with authentic Lachcha Paratha and this is one of those rare ones she has loved, so there. Dum Biryani was flavourful, very mildly spicy and very light on the stomach too, no heaviness normally associated with Biryani. 

After a long loooong time, we all binged on hearty Indian food, replete with spices and gravies, yet not a tinge of heartburn even hours later, a mark of how fresh everything was and how only quality ingredients were used in preparing them. Otherwise, ask anybody who has binged on Indian food in most restaurants and they are running around for Eno 4-5 hours later! These things matter when one goes out to eat with family, we want to enjoy delicious food without any health hazards and we appreciate when we find a restaurant providing us just that :)

Pan Ice Cream

Banoffee Pie

Raspberry Cheesecake

We ended our meal with Paan Ice cream, Banoffee pie and Raspberry Cheesecake dessert shake. I am not a Paan fan but this ice cream is a must have for everyone, same goes for Banoffee Pie which my mom doesn’t like much but couldn’t stop herself from polishing off here! Raspberry Cheesecake dessert shake is the meal every 10 year old would love to have, in fact parents would have a hard time trying to convince them to eat anything else once they have tasted this, that’s why I recommend that you order it in the end :D 

Splendid is the word for everything at Family Tree-be it the menu with massive choices, the wholesome inviting ambiance, the quick and helpful service, the down to earth price points when compared to quality and quantity of food or the hands-on approach of the owner himself who takes feedback from all visitors. Not a single false note anywhere. Pure bliss is finding a perfect family dining place that motivates us to travel over and over just to dine there and Family Tree is certainly that place for us :-)

Friday, 7 October 2016

Friendship Fun Unplugged With Zee TV : From Yaadon Ki Baarat To Yaaron Ki Baarat

Yaadon ki Baarat Nikli Hai Aaj Dil Ke Dwaare,
Yaaron ki Baarat on Zee TV humko Pukare,
Celebrity Friendship ki kahaani,
Hongi telecast Dware Dware, sang humare!

There is a new show in town, called Yaaron ki Baarat,
It will show a new side of celebrities,
Let us watch it together and reminisce on Saturday raat,
And find out their friendship itti-bitties!

Surely they have some stories too,
Something that makes us go wow,
Something to tug at our heartstrings,
Bringing our own memories in tow!

Yo Celebs are just like us,
They have hidden friendship secrets too,
They have best friends 8-9-10,
The ones who have the right to say 'Boo'!

This reminds me of my best friend - My soul sister,
We have many a tales of our own- sweet & bitter,
Ones that give a smile whenever we remember them,
And the ones that still give goosebumps & jitters!

Trushali and I met in high school,
Those days when perming was still considered cool :P
At first we thought of each other as snooty,
Since we both were introverts being friendly felt like duty :P

We were in different classes but put in same library group,
From there we went on to the same college dance troupe,
Slowly our introvert shells melted away,
As we shared common interests every day!

In a lot of ways we were absolute similar & in some polar opposites,
We both loved dancing & reading and hated veggies like Brinjal & Beets,
However you wanted to go to Mauritius as your dream destination,
While mine was the moon -away from this world and all its nations :D

You loved Indian attire while I rocked the denims,
You loved Indian movies while I considered watching Himmatwala a sin :P
I spent time swooning over Leonardo di Caprio while you swooned over Akshay Kumar,
So I compromised & danced on your birthday to the tunes of 'Tera Pyaar Hukka Bar' :P

You taught me how to wear a Sari,
I told you the difference between Wine & Tadi :P
You taught me when to speak & shut up,
I taught you how to reach on time at all our meetups :P

It was silly how we fought over the last piece of chocolate brownie,
Or debating over how you lived in suburbs & had the right to call me a 'townie' :P
But then you would introduce me to all your school friends,
And call me your 'long lost sister',that's what I would remember to my life's end :)

You snoozed through all the Hollywood movies I dragged you to,
I returned the compliment at all your fav movies by snoring through :D
Atleast we never fought over which flavor of popcorn to buy,
And if anyone else meddled in our fights,we yelled together 'Die you meddler,DIE' :D

You are incapable of waking up early,
I could not sleep later than 11 PM, absolute no dilly-dally,
You cannot come to any meeting without being an hour late,
No matter how many free Akshay Kumar movies' VCDs I offered as bait :P

When tragedy struck,
We walked through the muck,
Never lost each other,
Always together!

I was struck by vertigo,
You were right there,
The world spun on its axis,
You were my rock solid core when my world was in a mix!

I walked through college with your shoulder as my support,
Wouldn't have found a more solid ship as my emotions' anchor :)
When I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without swooning,
You shifted your schedule to accommodate mine every morning!

All your appointments revolved around my timetable,
Others may look at this as just a fable,
I know what I owe you,
My recovery is all thanks to you :)

When people look back at their lives, they often search for an angel,
I can safely say that is what you mean to me,
You are the cheese to my sandwich,the nutella spread to my bagel,
I wouldn't accept the moon if it took me away from you,even if it came for free!

We don't need to celebrate our friendship on a special day,
Our love is made of rocks, not of clay,
So this day is as good as any,
For us to wish each other Happy Friendship Day :)

Monday, 3 October 2016

Go Fresh & Flavorful With Kaboom | Lower Parel Mumbai | Food Review | Restaurant Review

An extremely rainy evening saw our bloggers group scurry into the Lower Parel outlet of Kaboom to enjoy a tasting session of their new seasonal autumn menu, an enjoyable experience from the outset. The cool, fun vibe at the outlet (replete with a food truck set-up) mingles well with their philosophy of having delicious, different, global food everyday with the help of a rotating menu. The founder himself explained how he struggled in his search for good lunch options without going to full-fledged restaurants or ordering the same thing every day from neighbourhood delivery options. 

Refreshing Delicious Lemonade

Arts Decor Interiors painting photographs

Kaboom fills a very real gap that every office goer would identify with. When we get bored of having the same pav bhaji or curries or dosas or even enchiladas and nachos, Kaboom comes to our rescue. Food that is freshly prepared with ingredients that are responsibly sourced, retaining a good chunk of their nutritional value and rustic taste. Their USP is that they plan their menu in accordance with what is available seasonally, not the other way around. This lends respect to the way nature functions which in turn is better for our own food habits and health in the long run :)

Kaboom Food Truck Casual Dining Mumbai India

We started with Beer Soup (without alcohol) which is basically mushroom based with quite a few veggies lending a wonderful texture, extremely warm and spicy. This would go well with the Caponata Salad which is an amalgamation of grilled eggplant, peppers, lettuce, salad leaves with a mild basil (home-made basil oil) dressing. Everything is home-made and prepared freshly so it tastes different and better.

Vegetarian Vegan Caponata Salad

Delicious Gourmet Vegetarian Beer Soup

For beverage lovers, Lemonade is a must-have with the refreshing lemon taste cutting through everything :) We couldn’t resist having 2 bottles of these (check out those cute bottles too!) Iced Tea was also extremely authentic and rustic, tea lovers will surely love it while Banana Smoothie was a bit tangy for me but others loved it so I suppose they can be given a try too :)


Among a new category of delicacies they are introducing is ‘Spuds and Duds’ with spud denoting a variety of potato based choices (fries/baked potatoes et al) and dud denoting a base of veggies (carrots,spinach et al). We tasted a Baked Potato with caramelized/Glazed Carrots, the potato being decent enough but the carrots being absolute award-winning! These carrots are cooked till they are coated with a layer of their own sweetness, no extra honey or sugar added. WOW is this :)

Vegetarian Vegan Delicious Gourmet Spinach & Cheese Lasagna

Vegetarian Sandwich India Recipe

Lunch Vegetarian Sandwich and Iced Tea

The unanimous favourites on our table were the Veg Pullmans Sandwich and Malfatti. This sandwich is unlike any other we have ever had anywhere. The breads are freshly baked everyday by the good folks behind The Table, Colaba and the strong gouda cheese used in this sandwich is specially imported from Kashmir. Oh, the whole experience of eating at Kaboom comes equipped with such fascinating quips about where they source all their products from :) So the sandwich is choc-a-bloc with fresh veggies, a layer of crazy good gouda and homemade pesto sauce. We all asked for extra and could have still had more. Our fellow non-veggie bloggers could not stop raving about their Chicken Sandwich either, one of them saying it was the best one she ever had! Needless to say, sandwiches are da bomb here :D Note that the veg one is not bursting with cheese and has a very distinct fresh crunch to it, again something that endears it more to me as I love dishes with natural fresh flavours.

Malfatti is a traditional Italian lasagne dish, made with spinach and cheese and Kaboom has nailed it! Creamy, flavourful, not at all heavy yet having that distinctive cheesy comfort with a crackling baked cheese crust on top, we dare anyone to stop eating this or share with anyone else. Non veggies have a chicken version of the same, but a birdie tells me that the veg version is better than anything else :P Look out for the Italian day when they put this up on the menu and gobble it all down before it gets over!

Vegetarian Vegan Healthy Banana Bread Dessert

Fresh, Flavorful and unique, Kaboom ticks all the right boxes. Sure, pricing is a bit premium but at par with everything else in this location and definitely worth it for the wholesome quality. Enough to keep us tantalized and make repeat visits. Go Kaboom :D