Thursday, 12 October 2017

Ph Se Food Mulund Mumbai | F For Fun Family Friendship Food | Vegetarian Food Review | Favorite Recommendation

F for Fun, Friends, Family...and ofcourse, Food. Ph Se Food takes this philosophy and has created a complete destination for all foodies with this theme in mind, a place for friends or family to walk in together, eat innovative food, have some fun & frolic. It was a pleasure to be here for a memorable review session and we cannot wait to be back again very very soon :)

Situated at Runwal Greens, it is a decently spacious pure veg food destination with some eye-catching, vibrant, contemporary and comfortable ambiance, quirky artwork on the walls, comfy seating, space for large groups and a large screen TV dishing out some LIVE matches constantly. Staff goes above and beyond their roster of duties with a smile and the menu has something for everyone, it is vast, it is fusion, it is delicious.

Now here I would point out 2 things that make Ph se Food an absolute must-visit-

1- It is a product of passion for the founder owner couple duo who can be seen walking around, interacting with the customers, taking feedback. The menu keeps changing, they have made a promise to themselves that they will constantly give the customers something new,something to come back to.

3-The extraordinary amount of personalization and customization for the customers. When you walk in here, talk to the staff, ask them to suggest something or even ask them to make something NOT on the menu, and THEY WILL! I was here on a day with terrible cold and wanted something to drink from the mocktail section-but all the beverages were cold. So what happened? Chef made a special hot beverage of HOT TODDY for me, I have had that a long time ago just once in a pretty upscale restaurant. This is what they do. You in a mood to have Puri bhaji but it is not on the menu? No problem. ASK them and they WILL make it for you :) Similarly, you order a starter but feel it is too salty/less salty? TELL them and they will REPLACE it immediately. This is truly rare and the kind of stuff only luxury restaurants in premium 5 star properties dole out, so I believe the Chef and all the staff here deserve a special kudos for this!

We tried out quite a number of dishes from the menu and whole-heartedly recommend-

BROCCOLI CHOWDER SOUP - Cheesy, warm, wholesome, worthy of drinking a gallon at a go, PURE HEAVEN!

BURMESE KHAO SUEY SOUP - Coconut milk based, distinct flavors, not very sweet thus making it lovely start to our meal, quite a MUST-HAVE,

HOT TODDY- Chef saved my life (and my throat) with this beautiful combination of honey,cinnamon, lemon, times I have a cold, I am just heading here and making a tent in the corner and sip on this till I am perfect :D

CHOLE BHATURE BOMB- Deep fried bhature with chole wrapped inside, making them look like little bombs, hence the name! Mildly spiced, a tinge of tanginess from chutney on top, a bit of cheese, lovely amalgamation of flavors, definitely worthy of reordering,

VEG CANELLONI - My sister wanted to marry this one! Cheesy sheets of pasta interspersed with spinach and more CHEEEEEESE, just have this one if you love cheese :D

MELTING CHEESE BUN -Another one for hardcore cheese lovers- Bun stuffed with cheesy veggies (oh that crunch of zucchini and herbs in tangy cheesy sauce,slurrp!) and then a thick layer of cheese on top that is flamed on the table so it just becomes this huge boat of cheesy goodness you want to drown in..just look at the pics and order it, I know I will definitely be reordering it even though it probably contains 1 million calories :P

VEG CORN TIKKIS- Pretty famous Indian starter, not on the menu but Chef made this..because this is what they do,constantly make something new and present to the customers, remember what I said above :D Liked these a lot, nice balance of crunch of corn and other veggies and was quite spicy too, went really well with the mint as well as cheesy cocktail dips they provided,

MINI SIZZLER - Again,not on the menu but one of their constant innovations, this one was strictly decent. Good portion of rice, paneer steaks, fries, veggies and caramelized onions on the side, everything was okay, it would be better on adding some sauce to it-which I suggest you do, tell them to make it spicy or sweet or tangy just the way you like and they will,

TAWA PULAO WITH PAV - This one comes recommended by my mom especially -a fusion of Mumbai's favorite Masala Pav with Tawa Pulao, extremely filling, flavorful, the little bits of pav in the middle of pulao really elevated the dish, MUST-HAVE,

PANEER BASKET -Gotta have this one too, filling rich baskets of paneer,cheese,loads of flavors, looks good and tastes even better, 

Most of the dishes here are fusion like this, but they do have comfort food on the menu too, the regular gravies and rotis and kulchas and naan and khichdi, so if that is your thing, go ahead, I am sure it will be fantastic,

Special mention to the desserts because I am 100% going back for these very soon, and I implore you-even if you become a sanyasi and give up food, do come here for the desserts (and invite me too :D)

DESSERT PLATTER is where they showcase 4-5 chosen desserts such as-

ORANGE RASGULLA - it is not just colored orange, it actually has fresh orange flavor and I bet nobody can have just one, moreover it is actually baked in a half orange shell, MUST HAVE to the infinity, only I know how I managed to not ask for another piece because I was already bursting from so much food!

Same goes for other desserts be it MALAI PAN, PERU RASMALAI, CHOCOLATE FUDGE..and I am sure they will be introducing more such innovations soon,

Creme De La Creme of the section is their icecreams- BOONDI LADOO, PURAN POLI are 2 flavors we had and I want these in my refrigerator to have everyday. If you love hatke ice cream flavors as much as I do,you will freak out over these flavors just like I did :D Hats off to the Chef!

We just had tasting portions of dishes but looking at the quality and normal quantity, it is not actually a very expensive place. Go here in a large group to try out more dishes, be it on the menu or off the menu. Can't wait for them to include all kinds of crazy fusion on the menu- think Idli burger, Maggi mousse or Khakra milkshake! THAT is the level of innovation they are thinking about :D All the best Ph se Foodies! Mulund has got a gem for sure :)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Desi Meals Delivered By BOX8 Mumbai | Vegetarian Lunch Meal Beverage Dessert | Food Review

Been ordering from many different outlets of Box8 since almost a year and half now and with just a few misses here and there,experience has been quite positive. So about 2 weeks ago,had a good feast at office with a colleague and again had a memorable meal :) Delivery was done on time, pricing quite good for complete meal based on both quantity and quality (and a major reason for their success,they are not exorbitant) and packaged in bright,colorful containers, quite spill proof and handy for having meals on the go.


We absolutely loved their Iced Tea and Masala Lemonade, both very refreshing, tangy just what we like the flavors as,

Superfit Paneer Salad was fantastic, with loads of jalapenos,olives, ice lettuce, paneer in tangy-sweet sauce, really great lunch option for 1 average eater, would be reordering it for sure,

We had chosen Mushroom-Spinach meal box which also had rice, rajma, onion-tomato salad and a piece of brownie, overall the flavors were nice and the box is big enough for a complete meal for anyone (even a hulk eater like me), but we felt that the rice was more in quantity than the gravy, please increase the rajma and veggie gravy portion to go well with the rice otherwise it feels a bit dry. Also brownie is okay, we expected Gulab Jamun and would prefer that to brownie actually,it was good but with these corrections it would be so much better and preferable :)

Oh now come the desserts and these actually get extra stars from me, because all 3 were fantastic-
Choco Lava -cannot miss this guys, so gooey and chocolatey and sinful, MUST-MUST-MUSTTTT HAVE,
Moong Dal Halwa- very verrrrry calorific but good to binge on once in a while :D
They have gotten a whole new range of ice creams, we had Tender Coconut and it was FANTABULOUS, will be reordering again and again :)

So overall very good meal with excellent beverages and desserts and paneer salad, all worthy of reordering, keep up the good work Box 8 :)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Magic of Morocco Food Festival | Pondicherry Cafe Sofitel BKC Mumbai | Sublime Wholesome Flavors | Food Review

My third visit to Pondicherry Cafe within 3 months and these guys are still fantastic. This time, it is to review their Magic of Moroccan Food Festival. A special kudos to these folks for coming up with such exotic food festivals helping us acquaint with all the classical cuisines around the world. I have tried some Moroccan dishes earlier but my sister hadn't and generally she does not like bland-ish food (which I expected this to be), but she really liked it here too,so a complete win-win situation for everyone :)

Walk in on the ground floor of the luxurious Sofitel at BKC, enter the plush Pondicherry Cafe and take a moment to soak in the ambiance. Bright rich colors, beautiful view from the french windows, an array of food counters, and for the special occasion of Moroccan Food Festival, classic Shamiana like set-up and staff donning Moroccan libaas too, oh and not to forget Chefs Monabbih Mohamed Amine and Bouhmad Mohamed who have specially flown in from Morocco with authentic spices to bring a taste of their culture to us :)

And the fare is good indeed. One would expect that the food would be mostly non-vegetarian but they actually had many great vegetarian options. Moroccan food is reflective of amalgamation of various cultures, with Arabic, French, African Berber influences and food here definitely had a hint of all that. Most important dish would be Tagine, the famous slow-cooked Moroccan stew in clay pots with spices such as ginger, cumin, pepper, cinnamon etc. Many people consider these to be bland because they do not use many hot spices like traditional Indian food, so flavors are subtle, juicy from the slow-cooked process (they literally cook it for hours on end) and for those who like wholesome,clean flavors, I very much recommend coming here :)

Cauliflower Tagine was my personal favorite-extremely smokey, felt creamy, delicious, totally changed the way I look at cauliflower :D

Potato Tagine was my sister's favorite with sweetness of potatoes contrasting with tanginess of olives in the juiciest way possible,

Makfoul Tagine would be an acquired taste with overload of onions & tomatoes in sweet-ish + tangy spicy mix, I liked the punch it had,

Chermoula Tagine is what I already had sometime ago and liked,this was the BETTER version with brilliant explosion of flavors-basically Chermoula mix is potent mix of many spices such as cumin, parsley, pepper etc. and this stew with mix vegetables had all the kick you want from a truly explosive dish, took us to the heart of Moroccan feast,

Chorba Fassia is a beautiful clear soup with veggies such as potatoes,tomatoes, carrots, celery , coriander blended with spices such as saffron, turmeric -so both the aroma as well as the texture was very tempting, very smooth and soothed my throat (it was fighting a losing battle with terrible cold last week!)

Pumpkin Salad was good, I liked the Carrot salad even more with delicious shredded carrots topped with almonds & raisins, a bit tangy, a bit sweet, really healthy, down-to-earth, simple yet lovely dish,

There was an Eggplant salad that they included in the 'Vegetarian' section but it has EGG on top! I know, in a lot of places outside India, egg is actually considered vegetarian, but without getting into whole cultural /sociological debate of veg vs non-veg, I think it is safe to say that in India most of the vegetarians do not consider egg as 'vegetarian'. It should have a red dot in the name, not green. This is the only peeve I had here this time. 

Anyway,moving on, the buffet includes many other dishes too for those who want to stick to tried & tested/conventional fare, in Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai sections, these are the ones my sister and I really liked-

Lipsmacking Paneer Bhurji and Subz Handi,
Creamy Veg Thai Green Curry,
Nutty Crunchy Stir Fried Vegetables,
Soft, Sweet-Sour-Spicy Tofu in Soya Ginger Sauce,
Assorted Veg Sushi (Coming back for these!)
Delicious Veg Dimsum platter,especially Water Chestnut,
Citrusy Beetroot & Orange Salad,
Tangy Wholesome Tomato Rice,

AND the whole dessert section deserves repeat visits, hands down one of the best dessert spreads in the city, alone making the price of buffet totally worth it - especially recommended are Moong Dal Halwa, Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse, White Chocolate Pastry, Chena Chop and Basundi :)

We tried and liked the special Moroccan dessert (I think it is called Ktefa) made with layers of fried pastry with cream and almonds plus nuts, really good and light dessert. For ice cream lovers, there is London Dairy too, with my sister recommending their Mango variety (in her own words,pure heaven) 

Very value for money looking at the quality of the buffet, the excellent service from beginning to end, very polite and helpful staff and our delicious experience here. Will surely be back.