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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

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Rub Shoulders With International Legends At Red Carpet Wax Museum | R City Mall Mumbai | Travel Tales

Having grown up reading about the wonders of Madame Tussauds in London & elsewhere, it had always been a cherished dream of mine to visit it and get a selfie clicked with the awesome life-like statues of global personalities there. The whole idea itself is so interesting. Celebrities from all walks of life, immortalized in wax, making them both dreamy as well as accessible to the masses. Kudos to the originator of this idea! But traveling abroad is not within everyone's reach. I know I have to wait quite some time before I can plan a dream vacation abroad. So does that mean my dream remains unfulfilled?
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
Absolutely not! This is where the good folks at R City Mall and the brains behind Red Carpet Wax Museum come to our rescue. Now we do not need to travel halfway across the world to appreciate global celebrities and legends in their waxed up avatars. Situated on 1st floor of South Wing at R City Mall, Ghatkopar West, Mumbai is Red Carpet Wax Museum, the brand new must-visit destination in Mumbai, something to charm kids and adults alike.
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
It took a good 5 years to bring this place to life and the results are stunning. From the grand entry that literally rolls out the red carpet for everyone, to the amazing staff that helps us get acquainted with our surroundings, to the true-to-life-effect of each statue and the innovative ambiance for us to get clicked at, it is an experience to savor. 
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
The entrance is akin to good old Golden Globes or Oscars, with blinding lights and array of photographers making us feel special, replete with a lovely welcoming lady (made of wax,ofcourse and vaguely resembling a young Hillary Swank) and a special Red Carpet Selfie Point. Thereafter comes the wave of global personalities from politics, philanthropy, religion, science, entertainment, sports, right from Mother Teresa, Anna Hazare, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs to Harry Potter, Brad & Angelina, Lionel Messi, Saina Nehwal and John Cena! Whoa, that is some list indeed :D Each statue takes 4-6 months to complete and has been meticulously created by International craftsmen, no wonder it really looks like these can breathe and walk and talk at any moment!
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson ObamaRed Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
It is not just the statues that take one's breath away. It is the little special touches that matter more :) First, every personality has its own dedicated little kiosk and accessories. So Barack Obama is standing behind a podium, just like a powerful politician making a speech while The Pope is standing in front of a 3-D church interiors wallpaper, Nelson Mandela is comfortable in a reading room and Steve Jobs seems to be unveiling the next big Apple product. It instantly makes us also feel a part of their lives :) 
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
Secondly, there are special accessories that we can use to pose and click photos with them. So put on a crown to stand right beside Queen Elizabeth or don a wizard's robe + hat and pose with Harry Potter. Albert Einstein looks on amusingly while we don special hats with bulbs on top while Michael Jackson screams happily while we pose with a guitar right by his side :D 
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
And thirdly, there are hidden surprises, such as a sleeping watchman opposite Obama. It literally looks like a man has fallen asleep and it is only when we went near it that we realized it was a wax statue! There are 3-D paintings and more, suffice to say there is no reason for anybody to miss this fantastic place.
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama

Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
As Neil Armstrong famously said, 'One small step for man, one huge step for mankind', I believe this place also puts forward a small but significant step in providing something innovative + entertaining for us all. Each one of us have different favorites, so I am sure at the end of the tour everyone would feel like their personal hero should also get represented here (my sister reallllly wants SRK here, and to be honest, so do I :D) but ofcourse, it is not possible to include 1000 wax statues at one place! I find the selection here really well thought out and perfectly executed. Steve Jobs, Saina Nehwal, Albert Einstein were my personal favorites and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Priced at Rs. 300 for weekdays and Rs. 400 for weekends (and there are discounts/offers too), it is oh-so-worth-it and here is to looking forward to flourishing times with the Red Carpet Wax Museum :)
 
Red Carpet Wax Museum India Mumbai Lifestyle Blogger Travel Photography Brangelina Mother Teresa Pope Michael Jackson Obama
 
Photo Credits : Loud Frames Photography