Sunday, 26 June 2016

Grand Food Festival | 3rd Anniversary Celebrations | Vivana Mall | Thane

It was just another day, just another food festival to be attended.

Or, was it? :)

The invite to a Grand Food Festival at Viviana Mall (Thane) glistened in my inbox. 
Occasion? Viviana Mall's 3rd Year Anniversary Celebrations. 

Now I & my sister live way far too off from Thane to just go there on a whim. So we needed to figure out if this was going to be worth it. And therein lies the starting point of a beautiful journey.

All Pictures Credit : Prachi Shailendra Photography

I have quite a few friends in Thane-Mulund area whom I would always ask about entertainment & leisure options in the area. See, I love spending time in shopping malls. They are the new temples of our urban lifestyle,aren't they :) Shopping, Entertainment, Events, Food, we get everything here under one roof. Chilling with friends, catching up on latest movies, connecting with family over gourmet options and much more, shopping malls are our one-stop destination. And I, like many other people, was under the impression that the best and greatest is only in Mumbai :P I love High Street Phoenix in Lower Parel, Phoenix Marketcity in Kurla, Inorbit Mall in Vashi and I never thought that people living in Thane have any such awesome options. Big mistake!

Viviana Mall is one of the largest and most premium destination malls in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Spread across 1 million square feet with over 240 stores featuring some of the most premium shopping brands, 14 cinema screens, international standard gaming experience options and more, this is one place no shopping/leisure/gaming/food/entertainment fanatic can miss! That is why I am so glad we got to experience the grandeur of its 3rd anniversary celebrations in form of a grand food festival.

Viviana Mall is situated right on the Eastern Expressway, very easy to locate. Walk in and be spoiled for choice as every favorite brand of ours is present here, right from Shopper's Stop & Lifestyle to Tanishq & Hypermart, from Jughead's & Tea Trails to Mad over Donuts & Rajdhani Thali. Shop at India's biggest retail outlet of Bata, let your kids take a ride on the Panda trail or the colorful train, eat at one of the multitude gourmet restaurants or the massive food court options and watch movie in a whole new way at Cinepolis 4DX cinema. Just one walk through Viviana Mall and we could see why it garnered so many accolades for its architecture, design and management within one year of its operations. It is not just a mall, it is a city in itself! A city of dreams indeed.

The best part is Viviana Mall being the only visually-impaired friendly mall in India, with a special resource center situated right inside the mall in association with St. Xavier's College, albeit away from the public areas and all the hustle-bustle that could distract them. In fact, even all the restaurants here have special menus in Braille, a solid step towards something much needed in our life and times :) Corporate Social Responsibility at its best!

We walked in and got right in the middle of anniversary celebrations bonhomie. There are many stunning offers going on right now, such as -shop for Rs. 2000 from the mall and get a chance to win a stunning car! Or shop for Rs. 3000 and spin a wheel to win vouchers of brands such as Rajdhani, AromaThai, MOD and so on. It is for this occasion that a special anniversary menu has been planned in various restaurants and some select bloggers were invited to try out a part of it. We went to Northern Tadka for starters, The Yellow Chilli for main course and British Brewing Company for desserts. This is what the good life is all about :)

Northern Tadka was the first step in our Grand Food Festival tour during Viviana Mall's 3rd Anniversary Celebrations. The ambiance is rustic, colorful and so very Punjabi in flavor. A little bit on the expensive side, menu has all the famous Punjabi and North Indian delicacies we crave for, portions are generous and service is extremely polite and helpful. We tried the Tandoori Platter and it was enough for 4 people's light meal! Spicy Marinated Paneer Tikka, Melt in the Mouth Softest Malai Paneer Tikka, Juicy Flavorful Mushrooms and Corn, Stuffed Mildly Spicy Sweet Potatoes and Creamy Dahi Ke Kebab, this is one awesome starter any day. Also had a Kiwi Punch Mocktail which was creamy,not too sweet, not too much The amazing staff made sure we wouldn't leave without trying their Crispy Luscious Piping Hot Jalebis with Mildly Sweet & Oh-So-Dense Rabdi :) I suggest everyone walk in here to get a taste of the famous Punjabi dishes as well as hospitality,not to mention get brilliant home decor tips from the numerous paintings, artifacts, puppets and mirror-work all around. Definitely recommended for all food lovers.

The Yellow Chilli was the second stop for us in our Grand Food Festival tour during Viviana Mall's 3rd Anniversary Celebrations. The ambiance is contemporary, elegant and lends itself well to an enjoyable dining experience with family. Right now they have a monsoon special menu in effect with the regular menu too. Staff is very helpful and would suggest dishes as per your preference. We were already a bit full from the heavy dose of starters at Northern Tadka. So we were not ready to have a boatload of main course dishes. We ordered for a bunch of Mocktails - Evil Princess, Deep Sea Diving, Daredevil and they were all great. Just the right kind of refreshing and deliciously fresh. In main course, we had Roomali Roti, Plain Naan and Pyaaz Mirchi ki Roti with Adrak Dhaniya Paneer & Shaam Savera. While Pyaaz Mirchi ki Roti was delicious itself to have on its own, Adrak Dhaniya Paneer had a good balance of spices to make it delectable and Shaam Savera was the most exotic Creamy Tomato Gravy nestling Soft Spinach Koftas, definitely THE dish of the day. Sanjeev Kapoor's name and focus on quality makes this a good place to land up for lunch/dinner, however it definitely is quite expensive, especially considering the portions of dishes. I would still keep it in a list of places to check out at least once.

British Brewing Company was the final stop for us bloggers in our Grand Food Festival tour during Viviana Mall's 3rd Anniversary Celebrations, specifically for Desserts. Their outlet in Palladium Mall, Lower Parel is far too spacious and seeped in nostalgic, 19th century English novels' ambiance while this one is more contemporary and has the rustic English Pub feel. Polite and helpful staff. The menu is brought on an ipad that directly syncs with the kitchen, so just order, let the staff repeat and confirm it and sit back, relax, enjoy :) We ordered for a bunch of Dessert pastries and they were all fabulous. Chocolate Mousse (soft and creamy), Lava Lava (most sinful molten chocolate I have had in a long time), New York Cheesecake (dense yet light in texture), Chocolate Hazelnut Mocha (dark and divine), Chocolate Brownie (decent enough), Chocolate Gooey (classic!) are what I can remember relishing right now, salivating at the mere mention :D The quality of every ingredient is top-notch which makes even a little expensive price point all right for a real food lover :)

I will never again ask my friends from this area about where are they going for shopping/watching movies anytime again. In fact, I am going to be jealous of them a bit and search for excuses to land here :D Here is wishing Viviana Mall many more fantastic anniversaries and grand celebrations in years to come.

All Pictures Credit : Prachi Shailendra Photography


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