Friday, 28 April 2017

Forget Coffee Go Crazy For Chai At Chaayos Phoenix Marketcity | Food Review | Food Photography

Chaayos in Mumbai recently opened an outlet in Kurla and we were lucky enough to land here for review invite on the opening evening itself. We have been to quite a few launch events, blogger tables and usually there is a lot of chaos at any outlet during the opening days which is excusable. Very pleasantly surprisingly, the chaos here was very nicely contained and the staff was on their toes to attend to everyone. The ambiance is bright and quirky, menu is limited but has enough to bring back the feeling of having chai at roadside tapri with a bit of snacks thrown in, good old nostalgia with a modern twist in a contemporary ambiance :)

This review is comprehensive since I was here with my family, so it is not just me but even my mom and dad whose opinions matter! My mom tried Kulhad Chai- Saffron Masala Chai served in traditional Indian Kulhad, as well as Chatkaara Chai-Indian Masala Chai, and loved both, piping hot, very fragrant and flavorful.

My dad had 2 rounds of Pahadi Chai -Kashmiri Kahwa,basically this is Kashmiri Green Tea with a mix of almonds, saffron, very good for health and ofcourse light on the tongue, he loved it and wants to go back for this :)

My sister tried to go a different route and had a round of Desi Cold Coffee that was creamy and milky,not icy (hence superb for Mumbai summers) and a round of hot Drinking Chocolate- Thick Cocoa Indulgence, the big blob of cocoa actually settled at the bottom that we loved scraping off with a spoon :D

I meanwhile stuck to Golden Green-Green Tea with Honey, Tulsi, Lemon, nice and nutritious :)

For food, we tried Thepla Tacos Paneer -Thepla served in tacos style with spicy paneer chunks,juicy and flavorsome,

Kulhad Matar Kulcha -a classic from Amritsar, thick Kulcha bread served with green matar in earthen pots (kulhad),

My favorite Pakora Basket i.e. a platter assortment of paneer, mirchi, potato pakodas, these I can have any day, just the kind we love to have at home during monsoon with piping hot cups of chai :D

My parents would like to mention 2 must haves on the menu, the first being Palak Patta Crispies-Palak Chaat with Jalapeno Chutney & Masala, these are a novel concept with palak pattas being fried crispy and then masala + chutney splattered all over, oh boy, this is like chaats made by grandmas at home! Pure love,

And second one is Spinach Corn Cheese Sandwich with fresh Spinach, Crispy Corn and melted Cheese served in a Croissant, buttery, fresh, cheesy, lovely, something we would reorder without a doubt,

For desserts, do try the Blueberry Lemon Cake-light and moist, summer special, this is perfect for those who want to try something different than chocolate and/or do not like anything too sweet, it is light on palate as well as stomach :)

All in all, we are keeping this on our list of must-visits with fabulous food, chai, very value for money pricing depending on quality, nice ambiance and good service.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Drown In Hungama At Drama Mumbai | Food Review | Restaurant Review

One of better places to spend an evening with friends in a relaxed, laid back environment, reminiscent of a good pub/bar, decent pricing and attentive service :) I was here with a work colleague for a review invite and we enjoyed everything on offer. My colleague is from Spain and he loved the food too plus the quantity was so good that he got almost 1/3rd packed for home!

We started off with Long Island Iced Tea & Cosmopolitan, both amazingly refreshing. I also tried a special mocktail that was just anybody would want after a long day at work.

Among starters, absolutely loved Beetroot & Jalapeno Cheese Poppers- very reminiscent of Beetroot cutlets I used to have in childhood, wholesome, flavorsome,

Veg Loaded Nachos were loaded with molten cheese,veggies, nacho chips were appropriately crunchy and this would easily suffice for a party of 3,

My colleague being an absolute flatbread fanatic, we had to try Three Smoked Pepper Flatbread, we loved the generous cheese and crunchy crust along with bell peppers smattering, definitely will reorder,

He also tried Lebanese Chicken Basket and loved it, I ofcourse am not at all a good judge of anything non-vegetarian, it looked good though :P

For main course, we tried a shuddh desi feast of Dal Makhani, Bread Basket and  Paneer Makhanwala, traditional legends of our north Indian cuisine and it all tasted as rich, buttery, calorific and delicious as it should!

For dessert, we zeroed down on Churros, I was apprehensive since usually it turns out a bit too chewy for my taste but it was so dense and delicious that I gobbled it down before my colleague told the staff 'I am from Spain and these are the most authentic Churros I have had in a long time, just like we have in Spain!' Needless to say, that explains it all :D

The ambiance is cozy and classy, the music is a mix of old & new, pop & classic, at one glance the menu for veggies seems limited but actually it is more than enough to make any foodie happy, Drama comes heartily recommended thusly :)

Friday, 14 April 2017

Go Funky, Go Delicious With Bohemian Brew | Food Review | Decor Photography

Elegance, Taste, Health and TEA! All together at one place, it is Bohemian Brew all right :)

The decor speaks bohemian to the T, with tables adorned by hand paintings, hand made arts adorning the walls and not to miss, my favorite, glass-work lamps (the one Turkey is famous for!) illuminating the room like nothing else. The outdoors are cheery, they have a little private room for family gatherings or celebrating any occasion AND there is a cute reading room too! Floored over by the ambiance yet? The best is yet to come.

The exotic teas and excellent food take forward the free bohemian spirit. Pick anything from the menu and I am sure it will be fantastic since everything we had was amazing.

Among teas, I had the delicate (and verrry subtly sweet) Kashmiri Kahwa -Green Tea with Cardamom, Almonds, Cinnamon, Cloves, Saffron Strands, while my sister loved her refreshing Blueberry Flowering Tea- Green tea floral infusion with smooth blueberry and mild jasmine, and my mom couldn't get enough of her Adrak Pudina and Lemongrass Chai,yes as densely flavorful as it sounds :)

Then came the tasting portions of this review invite, starting from Watermelon & Feta salad-sweet & spicy watermelon with vodka infusion, mascarpone & feta cheese + pine nuts garnish, an explosion of all possible flavors in mouth, this one is for those who want a zing in their lives :D

My personal favorites were the wholesome Falafel with Hummus, the hummus here deserves to be taken home in big jars and I wish they start selling it :D So cooling, just the way my tummy loved it!

Another great dip was their in-house specialty served next!Spicy Cheesy Kuboos-sauteed vegetables and cheese stuffed between two flatbreads and lightly grilled, served with a spicy cajun sauce, the chef told us many patrons here actually ask him if he is selling this in jars and I am not surprised :D

Salad lovers can try Tea Leaf Salad -Burmese Fermented Tea Leaves salad with fried garlic, peanuts, roasted chana dal, sesame seeds, tomatoes and lettuce, very healthy and crunchy,

My sister is a pasta lover to the hilt and she specially requested Fettuccine Alfredo, a rich cheesy delicacy, keeping things simple, this can be considered soul food, very simple and delicious,

I personally loved (right after the hummus) their scrumptious Cottage Cheese Steak with Ratatouille, melt in mouth cottage cheese steak and all those veggies, yummy, this one is a wholesome treat :)

The passion with which the owners have conceptualized the theme of the place and the quality of ingredients used in everything makes it one of my newest favorites in the city. My sister and I are planning to revisit here at least once every fortnight (and my sister rarely ever wants to revisit any place easily) so that is high compliment indeed :)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Delicious Experience At Anarchy Lokhandwala | Food Review | Restaurant Review

A cool place for those who want to enjoy some sheesha with friends after a long day at work, there is a lovely outdoor section, or just relax with friends/family in the indoor section with nice nightclub style lighting and interesting geometric decor pattern on the ceiling. I was here with my mom and sis and absolutely loved the food (we didn't drink nor had sheesha,yet loved our experience solely based on food, so clearly this is a place for everyone). Tables are arranged quite far off so private conversation is easy and a round of applause for the staff who are fabulous. In fact, later in the evening, one of the dishes we ordered took an inordinate amount of time to arrive but the staff understood this and were so polite and apologized so profusely that we did not mind the delay one bit. Lovely!

We started off with a round of fresh lime soda and a papaya based smoothie, both were decent. Then we delved straight into food, all the while swaying to the beats of latest club hits (another plus,the volume is not ear shattering yet perfect for a club setting!)

First up was Broccoli & Corn soup -creamy broccoli puree with sweet corn, this is like a mini meal, huge portion and decent in taste, found it a bit watery but not devoid of flavor, it can be made a little bit thicker to make it perfect :)

Then we delved into their starters, each one stunning, be it the Spicy Hunan Cottage Cheese - Paneer sauteed with hunan style spicy sauce, or Poza Rica Nachos - corn tortillas topped with beans,bell peppers,cheese,jalapeno and tangy tomato salsa, or Cotage Cheese Sicilian - really soft Cottage cheese cubes sauteed with bell peppers,onion and pesto sauce. Will be going back to have these again & again :)

My sister being a pasta fanatic ordered Basil Pesto - Penne in cheesy mix of basil,garlic,pine nuts,olive oil and sundried tomatoes,served with garlic bread, and it was soooo good that even our mom,who usually loathes pasta, devoured it :D So cheesy, so comforting, this was one of the best pasta my sister ever had.

I was in the mood for some Indian dishes so I went for Stuffed Cottage Cheese Steak gravy-dry fruits stuffed paneer cooked in rich cashew and tomato gravy, a bit on the sweeter side (think of it like a cousin of malai kofta) went very nicely with amazing Tandoori Roti served alongside.

Another must have would be their Veg Biryani - good medley of veggies and spices in fragrant, high calorie rice :D Very satisfying, very dense, not very spicy but just perfectly so, loved it and finished it off in 2 minutes with cooling raita served alongside.

It was a pretty memorable visit on all counts and am so happy I got a chance to try it out for review :) Prices seem reasonable for the quality and quantity, ambiance is great, staff is awesome, am definitely keeping it on my places to revisit.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Tea Trails New Menu Launch | Healthy Deliciousness Ahoy | Food Review | Recommendation

Tea Trails holds a special place in my heart since this is the first place that opened my eyes to the wondrous vast world of different types of teas, their actual flavors and health benefits. So when I got a chance to try out some new additions to their menu,it was a no brainer that I would devote an afternoon to relaxing here with my sister and mom, the ambiance here is lovely, staff very attentive yet giving the patrons their private space, the wide cheery windows so welcoming, I recommend this place as a mental detox place to everyone! 

We started off with Tulsi Green Tea for me, Tapioca Bubble Tea for my sister and Five Spices Chai for my mom. None of the pesky tea bags business, real flavors, real aroma, real tea, real taste just like we like :) My sister had never tried Tapioca Bubble Tea and when she was ordering it, then only the staff clearly told her that it has coconut flavor and is milky and no everyone's cup of tea. My sister hated it and we send it back. Moral of the story-listen to the staff here, they give good suggestions :) They were extremely sweet about taking back the bubble tea and got my sister a cold coffee, which was perfect, one of the best she ever had! Apart from the brilliant array of teas for every palate, they have a brilliant food menu and we had a tough time deciding what to order. 

We started with Burghul Upma i.e. light yet flavorful and spicy Broken Wheat Upma with vegetable chunks, served hot, 

I chose Cottage Cheese, Celery and Apple Sandwich and we loved it so much we even got it parcelled home for dinner that night! Cheesy yet not overwhelming so, the crunch of celery and apples and wholesomeness of cottage cheese make it a must have, 

Salad lovers can try Veggie Panache Salad a good combination of heat of olives & jalapenos with crunch of romaine leaves and nutrition of corn & peppers, 

I usually like my pizza with an overload of veg toppings but here the fresh dough Paneer Tikka Pizza was just the kind of accompaniment one wants on an easy relaxing afternoon or evening, a smattering of paneer, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes with gooey but not overwhelming amount of cheese,extremely recommended :) Did not leave us feeling bloated at the end of it, superb!

Usually I am not much into waffles but the Choco Joy Waffle, chosen by my sister, were heavenly, the soft waffles with all that gooey chocolate sauce + nuts + chocochips curls making it so melt in mouth loveliness!

Yumm, cannot wait to be back :D
Tea Trails Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato