What a wonderful world. I repeat. What a wonderful, helpful and yummy world. I’d never met these young and brilliant food bloggers and yet on the basis of my SOS tweets and Instagrams, they came across gallantly to help me hitchhike into the alien galaxies and solar-systems of the internet et al.
EDDIES… AN EDDIFYING EXPERIENCE
Sorry for that cheap pun but my lunch in this new, small Bandra eatery was just that… eddyfying. The dynamic and articulate food bloggers Chandni, Pratishta, Anuja, Roxanne and Kumar (please read the Box, “My Tweet-hearts” ) patiently showed me not only the nitty gritties of tweeting and blogging and all that goes in between, but also shared their views on Eddies. Please take a look at the accompanying photograph, if it had a videotrack attached to it, here’s what you’d see… my charming guests with their cell-phones (of all shapes and sizes) taking photos of the dishes, me taking furious notes of all they advise, plenty of eating. So, what follows is a truly democratic restaurant review.
Airy, cheery, narrow and smallish. The blonde light wood and mirrored interiors give it a casual-comfy, all-day-dining bistro vibe. A couple of plasma screens complete the décor of the well-used small space.
We all agree that what comes out of the 26-year-old chef Nishant Mitra’s kitchen are attractively assembled dishes (dips and a dessert too served in cute cutting chai glasses) that will have diners (not just food bloggers) reaching for their cellphone cameras. What goes into his kitchen are fresh and good quality ingredients. The menu is divided into small plates and fat plates and once again we all agree that it’s the small plates that score over the mains, the burgers come out tops. Ask for the “Unbeetable beet burger” squishy firm with beet and cottage cheese as well as the perfectly juicy, moist with Harissa Mayo Mini Lamb Burger . Go for the refreshing Beetroot Carpaccio (perfectly dressed with caramelised apple vinaigrette), oven-baked discs of sweet potato made zesty with an emmental cheese and jalapeno sauce. Interesting Asian flavours peep through in the chicken plank with bok choy. We polish off the velvetty panacotta and the crazily addictive hazelnut torte. Bliss.
In some of the dishes, the flavour pallete wasn’t just bland but blurry, with not a single clear flavour coming into focus. Getting unanimous dislike votes were the gritty Polenta Fries (albeit with yummy goat cheese dips and tomato jam) and the stodgy Mac & Cheese Bites. Okayish Grilled Prawns (inconvenient in their shells) with the pineapple and wine sangaria dip, the strange marriage of the Russian Strogonoff and Italian Risotto (and the overcooked chicken) didn’t work. No valet parking.
Here it is. A truly democratic restaurant review. The acid test of a restaurant: will you go back? All my guests (except one) will surely do so. Me too. Unpretentious, casual, well-presented European (with a few Asian flavours too) “small” and “fat plates”, plenty for vegetarians, must-try burgers, some salads and superb desserts. Eddies serves up comfort with a bit of spin and a dash of international sophistication, comfort with a cheeky tweak.
Meal for two Rs 1,800 approx
Shop No. 6, Silver Croft Bldg,
16th and 33rd Road Junction,
Cheery. Stamp-sized. Crammed with five tables, open kitchen. Asian multicuisine menu and specials chalked onto the blackboard. A small alfresco area too.
Please notice the three bottles of “Chibs multipurpose sauces” in the photo. Turn up the spice levels of your food and buy them (Red chilly is the best at Rs 68) to take them home too. The star of Nikhil Chibs menu (the first to introduce it to Mumbai), is the velvety, coconutty Burmese Kaukswe, ladled on to either noodles or rice and sprinkled with crispy crunchy condiments and twist of lime.
Go for the meals in a bowl. Ask for the moist steamed crunchy Vegetarian Momos and Prawn Momos. The special of the day, the Bekti steamed fish sparkled with lemon is worth trying, as is the succulent, robustly spiced Korean Bulgogi. Go for the freshly squeezed “Make your own juice”, Nespresso coffee (served in a paper cup, Alas) too. Though not authentic the Bánh mì sandwich is tasty, filling and inexpensive.
Bland Thai curry, Madras curry powder-laden Cambodian curry are avoidable as is the Coconut nimbu pani laced with ginger and honey. Lacklustre Kungpao with peanuts. Hard crusted, oversweet Banoffee Pie. No alcohol.
Open through the day, VFM (average meal for 2, Rs 500. Home delivery too). Though some of the dishes are patchy the Kaukswe and Momos are worth trying. A welcome addition to buzzing Bandra.
Gaspar Enclave, Shop No 11, Pali Naka, Bandra West, 400050
Tel: 6127 8897
Open: 11:30am to 11:30pm
Rating: * Food: 3.5 * Service: 3.5 * Décor: 3
The world’s best restaurant” “El Celler can de Roca” and it is in Gerona,Spain. Viva Spain!
Learning how to use this big fat phone while driving to the beach…40 minutes away from Barcelona. Three Michelin starred restaurant. Woman chef. Watch this space…
I’m a beginner…an excited, fumbling one. I’m savouring Spain and sharing Spain as I tweet (tweat) Instagram and put delicious bits and bytes on Facebook and WordPress. I’m even writing this column on this big fat phone which I bought a couple of days before landing in Barcelona.
So here I am in Barcelona, the city of culture, knowledge, creativity and innovation, the capital of Catalonia, where Spanish genius has been nurtured over centuries…be it Gaudi or Dali or Picasso or Ferran Adria.
300 EL BORN
It is only in Catalonia that even the war which they lost (in 1714) is celebrated by Michelin starred chef Jordi val in his restaurant “300 el born” with typical Catalan dishes, which I enjoy as much as meeting him.
BAR BRUTAL CAN CISA
I went straight from the airport to the hot, happening, new bar Brutal Can Cisa in the old city, not only are amazing Catalan Tapas served but also only “natural wines”.
Perfection marks the three Michelin starred Carme Rustadilla’s masterpieces. The 62 year young Carme weaves magic in her seafront restaurant. Each dish is a work of art and artistry and our three hour long meal is a memorable parade of 23 courses. Bliss.
At “Tickets” the El bulli – Adria brothers, vibrant and fun tapas bar with a twist (and what a twist) wizardry and skill results in quivering spheres which implode with olive flavour, artichoke ravioli, the world’s first gourmet beer and more. It’s a treat to meet Silvia Albert Adria.
At the Adria brothers Peruvian-Japanese fusion “Pakta” I am blown away by the ceviches and sushi withPeruvian overtones
BODEGA 1900, a vermouth bar is a nostalgic return to the good old days and honest, simple flavours of anchovies, potato chips and rustic dishes delight.
A visit to the hallowed home of chocolate since 1906 and I can’t stop eating the rich, dark chocolates and the bakeries signature velevetty cream encased crisp “Cremadata” and hot chocolate.
A pop into the city’s oldest fruit and vegetable market BOQUERIA, completing the ritual of the grilled green onion dipped in Salbitaxada with Chef David Romero of Barcelona’s oldest legendary hotel; The Majestic and dinner on the communal table of Garrega’s family eatery complete my short, hectic stay here. Next stop?The “Worlds best restaurant” “El Celler can de Roca” and it is a part of CatalonIa. Viva Catalonia!
PS Looking forward to receiving your advice, how-tos and tips on Twitter and Instagram @rashmiudaysingh
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