Two joyous whoops! Double celebration time! A shiny brand new 2015 (I wish you miracles!) . And more of my dreams come true as I discover some amazing talent that creates magic out of home. Ive been finding different ways and means of tracking talent that hums out of home kitchens (so I can include it in our very own Times Food Guides) and this time I find it when I happen to pop in to the dynamic entrepreneur Shaan Khanna’s Spicy Sangria gathering. It’s at the elegant and stylish Mana Suneil Shetty’s fabulous home store which is buzzing with great food and unique flavours. Heres a taste…
Nidhi Gadia’s waffles
How about some mobile pleasure food? Waffles on a stick. Waffle House specialises in a wide variety of Waffles. The charming Nidhi Gadia is already well loved for her sweet as well as Savoury waffles along with mobile pleasure food – Waffle Sticks ! : +919820026511
Instagram& Twitter: @wafflehouse_in
Raashi’s The Picnik Basket
Make your life into a picnic… add oomph to your table with onion marmalade, slow-roasted bruschetta, cranberry mustard,chocolate peanut butter..or whip up a gourmet meal in minutes with thai curry paste, flavoured mayo’s, marinara & barbecue sauce! The gifted Raashi Sawhney also makes hampers and gifts and more.
Shweta & Sanya’s Teacharmers
Amazing fragrance and flavors.Superb packaging too. The lovely Shweta and Sanya of Teacharmers have a exclusive range of exotic blooming tea from all around world such as rose,chyrsthameus as well as pyramid silken teabags for the ultimate tea experience .
Shweta/sanya -9821532699/+91 98-70-061617
Nitika and Minnie’s Cocoa Bean
Chocoholics this way please! The talented Nitika and Minnie serve up an array of the most intense and flavourful sweet delights. Cocoa Bean – Their desserts are all about taste and texture!!! Highly recommended are the malakoffs and truffles.
Minnie mehra 9833079217
Srikanta & Neha’s Open Table
Try Open Table’s delicious fresh dips – from a Layered Lebanese Dip to Sundried Tomato Dip, everyone has a favourite! Essence and color-free Cooler concentrates (Simply Rose and their Ginger Lemon Appetizer) Prices: approximately Rs 200 for a box of dip, Rs 220 for a 550 ml concentrate bottle.
Srikanta Taparia 9819592278 Neha Chokhani 9820133487.
Amrita Diwanji…Food Photographer
A photographer with a great passion for food, the brilliant Amrita Diwanji has
shot for Ellipsis, Cheval, & Burgs.
+91 98205 48700
Rohan’s Pack a Pav
In his time off from work, Rohan Mangalorkar potters around in the kitchen whipping up yummy recipes (his mothers) that typically involve bread, meat, and inventive condiments. Tasty, juicy homemade mutton shammi kebabs, chicken seekh kebabs, and veg shammi kebabs sandwiched between fluffy pavs.
Pack-a-Pav, a stall that pops up at food festivals and can be called for your next party catering too. “This works well at sundowners or parties that need bread to soak the alcohol,” says Rohan.We agree!
Sanjnaa’s Ellipsis Bakery
Brownies, cupcakes red velvet Oreo and chocolate chip cookies, freshly baked breads…the gifted Sanjnaa Talwar of Ellipsis gives a sneak peek of their about to open standalone bakery in Worli. “It is a month or two away” she says, but trials are on …give us this day, our daily bread!
This talented young home baker, sources the finest of ingredients and take orders only on weekends. She specialises in customised fondant cakes, cupcakes, macarons, cookies, cake pops, brownies, cheesecakes. And if you are looking for eggless, she has those for you as well.
P.S. You’ll find ALL the above and much much more in your very own Times Food Guide 2015 (the “caterers and dessert makers” volume). Should you wish to be part of the Times Food Guide 2016 and this column please firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh waitingly yours…
I write from cacophonic Christmassy shimmering, glittering and shivering London. Am here for three days and Indians dazzle. It’s not about Indians in Indian restaurants,
its far more exciting than that. I have an exuberantly flavored meal at the two year old Peruvian “Coya” (Zagat rated it the worlds best restaurant) and guess what? It is not only owned by Indians, the Waney brothers but even the chef is Sanjay Dwivedi. Making waves with it’s luxurious elegance is Rosewood London the first new truly grand hotel to have opened after 25 years. It has already got cult status as a quintessential London destination. And just by chance I bump into the mega-Octane Radha Arora, the President of the group who is on a flying visit to London. His vision and genius is powering this dynamic, exciting group (which amongst other iconic properties also has the fabled Carlyle in NYC). Here, the creatively grounded Chef Palash Mitra, master of spice, deftly delivers authentic, simple Indian food. I savor every morsel, send you wishes for a delicious Christmas and New year! Lets raise a toast to our India!
Our verdict: Stop wasting time analysing the name, Andheri’s four month old Brewbot is worth a visit! My four fab dedicated foodie blind dates (who I contact on instagram the evening before) from different professions dine here with me. Whoa! What fun! there’s Salonee Sanghvi ( @foodalong an equity analyst loves travelling) Poonam Kakodkar, (@poonamdk HR professional, foodie, marathoner, amateur photographer.)
Alok Verma (@chocolate_and_zucchini
a doctor-in-making, trained singer and a baker at heart)
and Sagorika Datta
Information Technologist, leaving for masters in New Zealand extreme bibliophile and tech-freak.) I savor every moment with them.
We like. “Beer factory” ambiance, exposed brick walls, gleaming gigantic copper and steel brewing vats, painted bots, TV sets et al. Alfresco seating too.
The mutli-cuisine menu offers comfort for those who want it and adventure for those who dare. Go for the Goat cheese lollipops (stuffed with jalapeno and dates), delectable salmon pizza with marscapone, unerringly cooked mussels in wine or involtini eggplant and you wont go wrong. Ask for the comforting juicy Burger, home made pasta, sweet, tangy chicken with honey chilli sauce and you wont wrong either. Outstanding chocolate foindant with a whisper of coffee, we love the caramel crème brulee (in the trio). Swiss trained, hugely talented partner and chef Anand Morwani masterfully combines flavor with texture and both with presentation.
SERVICE AND DRINKS
How do we judge the service accurately? my blind dates go in half an hour before me: are greeted by Julie the brewmaster and given attentive service. The partners, Ketan Gohel (Prince of Palitana) and Ansh Seth ensure that all goes smooth. Though their microbrewery license is awaited. the well-stocked bar and creative cocktails (beer margarita :A bottle of Corona inverted in a Margarita glass) and others delight.
Loud, very loud music. The grating sound of the frozen margarita blender disturbs. Doughy, lackluster bread, ditto for the Crab sliders. Hard Risotto balls. Bland chicken roulade.
OUR TRIED, TESTED AND TASTED VERDICT
We all love the lived-in, age-softened feel of the Beerfactory ambiance.
And Chef Morwani ‘s cooking appealingly complements that atmosphere. It’s mostly a mix of beer-bites, comfort foods and gourmet ones (molecular dishes are on the cards, as is the microbrewery and my favorite Kolsch .) We still couldn’t decide whether this restaurant was positioned to be a drinkers’ refuge with ambitious food or a proper restaurant with a particular vanity about its beer-cocktails and microbrewry. Either ways it rocks!
Note: Sunday Brunch Rs 1200- 1800
Off New Link Road
Near Infiniti Mall
PHONE 4003 4448
HOURS Daily, 6pm to 1am
FOOD 4 SERVICE 4.5 DECOR 3.5
Here it is. The long and short on the Long & Short. This gastrobar (with ambitions to be an interactive entertainment zone) opened on the first floor of Hotel Intercontinental almost a year ago. However, it limped along trying to hit it’s stride: went through a change of chef and menu tweakings. Over the past year, I ate here six times. And since it serves up international street food, I dined here with a bunch of great-fun global foodies: banker Dianne, private equity investor Rohit, ( both from London) strategy consultant Romanch (Chicago,) oilfield service expert Rishabh, lawyer Tulsi (both from Mumbai). We start at the bar and actor, writer Dhruv (Los Angeles) raises a toast to Viveka and Umang (both NYC based) for their forthcoming wedding. The global foodies love the ambiance, enjoy the innovative cocktails and only some of the food.
A bicycle at the entrance, sets the quirky tone. Cutting chai teapots, dabbas and kerosene tins, knick knacks , old photos and an interactive stage for gigs here. The charming small, alfresco terrace overlooking Marine Drive is a boon, especially in these cool months.
Flavors and cuisines jostle and joust across the eclectic menu under “Shorts” (starters) and “longs” (mains) and the cocktails too are funky, (footlongs, jars and so on) It’s Chef Kayzad Sadri’s Cajun style chicken and waffles with a thrillingly salty charge, salmon vibrant with Terriyaki and the unerringly roasted chicken with jus that come up tops. Other recommendations are the sweetly spicy tasty American spare ribs, grilled strawberry and sprout salad and the tortilla chips tasty Mexican fondue. Chatpatta Corn bhel. Tenderfirm dimsum, crunchy Tempura are worth trying too. Must end with the luscious strawberry Pavlova rum cream delightful with burnt marshmallows. The deconstructed apple pie is a masterpiece of crunch and squish.
Some interpretations of the streetfood are completely off the mark, be it the Mumbai masala sandwich, strange “Swiss brick”, bready NYC hotdog. Lacklustre Flatbread ditto for the steamed fish and the Patila biryani. The cauliflower spa risotto and the pork steamed buns have (sadly) been taken off the menu.
Though, comatose and off the foodie map till now, this open through the day gastrobar has refreshed itself. It’s interactive entertainment buzz is beginning to build up (evenings with French singer, karaoke etc). I popped in here for the Sunday karaoke four course brunch (Rs 1999 ) and even though not packed, it was fun. The menu still has weak spots, with a few too many dishes not from the heart but from a marketing plan, Chef Sadri’s exuberant new menu is on it’s way. There is playfulness in it’s décor, food and cocktails and with Happy hours from 1 to 8pm and meal for 2 at Rs 2500 served through the day, it sure is good value. Cheers!
InterContinental, Marine Drive. Ph 39879999. Open from 7am-1.30am
FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3.5
AVERAGE MEAL FOR 2: RS 2500
I have a big soft spot for Pune restaurants. When I researched and wrote Pune’s first ever restaurant guide more than 15 years ago, I noticed a certain homespun charm and the usage of fresh ingredients here. Ofcourse, one cannot generalize, but I was delighted when Pune’s Imrun Sethi’s Terttulia opened in Dadar, mid July. That, here, I met two friends who have known each other for decades further added to the charm. Just having flown in with Kamal Morarka, her jetsetting industrialist and politician husband, Bharati, grandmother of five, makes time for Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, classical music, handicrafts and ofcourse gourmet food. “Bharati’s dinners are always fabulously organised with exquisite food and personal artistic touches ” says her lively warm friend Nina Vasa. Rooted in tradition yet modern, charmingly outspoken Bharati has us riveted. We enjoy the food, cocktails and Terttulia (Spanish for social gathering)
This cozy Dadar eatery captures the clubby, chaotic spirit of a handsomely timeworn saloon :
floral sofas, mismatched light-fixtures, birdcage. antique trunk, chalk art on the walls.mantlepieces with vintage-looking knick-knacks…get the picture?
All day dining here…burgers, pizza, pasta, steak, sandwiches , interspersed with some unusual dishes ( bite-sized Bacon ’n Parmesan Wrapped Dates, feta-stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are must trys). Veggies go for the flavorsome organic brown rice with olives, tasty, thin crust pizza, well made paninis crunchy with walnuts and superb with artichokes.
It is chef Parag Naik’s unerringly roasted chicken that comes up tops in the non-veg options. The Gooey chocolate cake lives up to it’s name. Cocktail lovers make a beeline for the Ginger pear martini, Melon Sangria, Terttulia special Sunday sangria. Orange basil mojito is a must try.
Sadly the red snapper was not available. The Rawas was dry and lacked flavor. Ditto for the pasta and the Cremebrulee cheesecake.
Happy that this stretch of Dadar has got a restaurant like Terttulia. Charming and open through the day Terttulia ‘s well-stocked bar area whips up a buzz at night. The standard European here aims to comfort and not dazzle. Comforting prices too.
Ground Floor, Hotel Parkway, Near Natural Ice Cream, Ranade Road Extension, Shivaji Park, Dadar (West). Fo 6002 0202 Hours: Daily, from noon to 1.30am
RATING FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3.5
Its cold and sunny here in Dubai ! And boy! Is it teeming with restaurants, gourmets, foodbloggers, foodwriters. instagrammers, tweeters (is that what we are called?). The high-flying, media-baroness now sought after brand consultant Rita K Mehta, loves the cutting edge “Tresind”. Her gorgeous daughter Faarah, director of an elective educational academy and media house is also busy setting up her granpa (the legendary Russy Karanjia’s) foundation. They update me on all that’s rocking here as we dine at the brand new, super-glam Cle. I also meet up with Dubai’s leading bloggers @secretsquirrelfood, @thehedonista @ishitaunblogged they guide me through the gastronomique maze of Dubai. Michelin starred chefs restaurants rub shoulders with cheap and cheerful mall eateries. Want more info? Please mail email@example.com, instagram twitter @rashmiudaysingh
You’ll agree with me, that to meet a legend in her own kitchen is a treat. To watch her cook is even more delightful and then when this 70 year young sunshiny, cheerful legend starts to share the secrets not only of her cooking but also of her staying young, its time to raise a toast. Over the years I have been a great admirer of the Australian Maggie Beer, watched her on TV (Masterchef included), read her books and even tasted some of this cook, food author, restaurateur and food manufacturer’s delicious products. The list of awards conferred on her, is unending…from the Centenary Medal to
the “Senior Australian of the Year“, to
Member of the Order of Australia and counting.
Maggie is an inspiration! She turned all the obstacles in her life into stepping stones. Her parents faced issues with bankruptcy, she did not complete her high school education (even worked as an elevator operator) and has no formal training in cooking. Her parents became caterers and she went on to establish a hugely popular Restaurant in South Australia’s Barossa Valley . I ate at her café (alfresco in the cool sunshine) and not only tasted but also bought her range of gourmet foods, including Pheasant Farm Pate, quince paste, verjuice and gourmet ice creams.
I’m fascinated. I watch her smile and deftly toss and swirl and conjure up her signature dessert with her home made icecream. She smiles a lot and has a generous smile which lights up her eves and the whole room. Maggie explains that it all begins with your food shopping… “Think local and think seasonal” – it
ensures fresher food options. She advises to grow your own and to have a vegetable garden (Maggie’s is within 20 metres of her kitchen door)
We live in highrise apartments, I remind her. “Growing your own produce would have to be my best health tip ever, even if that means a tomato plant in a pot, or some herbs in a planter box on an inner city balcony, it will make all the difference to your cooking.” Put the season in a jar, is her next advice. Always cook from the heart, with ingredients at hand, never letting anything go to waste.
The time-honoured craft of preserving in times of plenty is one of the most effective guards against waste. So she advises the practice of making jams, chutneys, sauces and pickles, which means you will never throw away excess fruit or vegetables again.
How is she so positive inspite of her hard life in her younger days? “I love what I do” she says emphatically. “I, also, always wear rose colored glasses” she points out. Maggie values family relationships and ensures that she spends time with her two daughters and five grandkids. How does she stay so young and full of energy? Its all about eating fresh food, but food that is in season , no preservatives, “ moderation” are some of her tips. As is cooking with olive oil. Yes! she loves butter, but it’s all about moderation.
Thai / Dimsum
I’m getting high on Thai! And by a yummy coinicidence Im writing my review of Mumbai’s O:h Cha while Im in Thailland. Before leaving, (over months,) I ate thrice at this standalone Thai restaurant. My okayish ho-hum first meal was followed by two memorable ones. This was due the joining in of a new Thai chef I was informed by the foodie family Kilachand, who have been regulars here and swear by the food.They are committed foodies, with gourmet genes. Industrialist Anil C Kilachand, (an advisor to a NGO which teaches English to Maharashtra’s free vernacular schools ) makes time to cook and eat out too, as does his dapper son Tushar Kilachand who runs the family engineering business. His mother Indira gives us her well-thought out vegetarian take on the food. Equally discerning about their eating habits as the exquisite line of childrens clothing they make are the enterprising and lovely Sunaina Patel and Mansi Kilachand.
Dive into the traffic choked Lower Parel restaurant strip, go through the strange long corridor and find yourself in this pleasing space.
Faux-grass walls (an inspiration from the rice fields), slate-grey paint, colourful gladiator masks, and huge basket-like cane lanterns charm.
We love the way sweet and fiery notes, soft and crunchy textures snuggle together: be it the piquant prawn or papaya salad. The delicately steamed fish with lemon garlic chilly sauce is as superb as the robust grilled spicy pork tenderloin. Must trys are also the airy crunchy Thai style tempura prawns. Chef Satit Chaimano’s curries delight: with coconut milk, lively with kaffir lime and lemon grass.
In the veggie section (there’s plenty,) it’s the stir fried morning glory enlivened with chilli & garlic that comes up tops. End with the flavorsome Lemon Grass Creme Brûlée The enterprising Sanat Patel keeps innovating and has added on Great Value dimsum ( ask for plump shrimp and chive, shitake)
and the weekday
Express Lunch (Rs. 599++)
The dreary entrance is a put off, but once you enter it is like an oasis in a desert.There are inconsistencies…the raw papaya salad was superlative one time and lackluster the next. Ditto for the stir fried beef and the waterchestnuts in coconut milk dessert. Okayish Som Tum rice. Rubbery fish cakes.
This seven month old stand alone Thai eatery is already making waves. Frequented by Karan Johar, Shraddha Kapoor, Ritesh Deshmukh, Kajal Agarwal and the Kilachands, Oh Cha envelops you in the flavors and perfumes of Thaliand. It celebrates the sweet heat of the region’s cooking preparing everything in the kitchen from scratch, including the coconut milk which is extracted in the restaurant kitchen. I don’t know what O:h cha means but (pardon the cheap pun) Oooh! It sure is accha!
O:h Cha Mathuradas Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Ph: 6633 4455
Open for lunch and dinner.Av meal for 2: Rs 3000
RATING FOOD 4 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3.5
THAI ME UP
I write from Phuket, where nature is working her turqoise – blue- water and lush- green- trees magic alright, but here’s the gastronomique surprise: Spanish Michelin starred magic is being conjured. Having feasted on Thai cuisine, now its time to be blown away by the Michelin Spanish genius Eneko Atxa’s Aziamedi. Set amid swaying palms by the stunning blue Andaman sea in the luxurious Iniala his dishes are fantastically nuanced and dazzle. Gaggan’s in Bangkok thrills, want to more Thai news ? mail firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh.