Hot. Hotter. Hottest. Mumbai’s foodscape is rocking. Ive been tracking it past three decades and it’s never served up so much of choice, innovation and fun. And now that your very own Times Food Guides 2017 are going to press, I ate my way through a quick round up… Cookies baked on site, candies made on site, treasure trove of a Deli and an everchanging concept. Here’s the best part, (Im all admiration for the foodpreneurs) who are getting younger and younger (Sanjana Sanghi of Popuphut is 23 years old). A quick round up of the brand new…
OH DOUGH…Kala Ghoda
Go. You must. It’s a charming cookie, icecream, coffee heaven. It’s small (two marble topped tables and 8 bentwood chairs) but it’s powered by huge passion, dedication and a brother sister team ( Cordon Bleu trained Ritika and Lausanne Hotel school graduate Pawan Chawla). The cookies are freshly baked (on site) through the day. Everything is home made from marshmallows to icecreams.
Go savor those saucer-shaped, perfect textured cookies, be it the regular chocolate ones or the unusual (I love tang of the cranberry balsamic, the orchestra of flavors of S’mores and Chipzel). I love the smoked French vanilla icecream, the dark Chocolate and even the oozing umami Pistachio Black Truffle is rcommended. Ooh la la vegan dark chocolate icecream, eggless cookies, Superb Ohffogato (Smoked Vanilla icecream & shot of espresso) too.
Hind Rajasthan Chambers, 6 Allana Marg, Kala Ghoda, 22631313
11.30am to 11.30pm; Monday, closed.
POPUP HUT…Kemps corner
Pizza in a cone, gourmet kulfis, tea tasting…everchanging excitement here. Walk through a narrow alleyway to get to this seriously small space. The brain child of 23 year old Boston and London educated Sanjana Sanghi , this curated marketplace promotes and provides a retail platform for budding chefs, food entrepreneurs and culinary experts. And happily offers newness to us customers too. Till the 20th of December you can look forward to Chado tea (sip-sit-shop of a 100 loose leaf teas), In January it will be the unusual “Coney island” pizza in a cone, by 26 year old Bharat Advani. Since they opened, they’ve had home made organic icecrams, Thai street desserts, Natural-Homegrown and Artisanal products by Anirban Poddar’s Shophop (Id popped in here and bought some too)gourmet kulfi’s by Pistascia and more.
Kwality House, next to Crossword, below Kemps Corner Flyover. 9819334698
Open 12 noon to 11pm
A SALUTI …Bandra
Khuljasimsim.A gourmets treasure trove. It specialises in obscure International Ingredients like guanciale,Truffle salami, to Wakame to Porcini to free range eggs and elderflower syrup.
You’ll find it all…selection of cheese – cow, sheep, goat & vegetarian, cold cuts – turkey, chicken, pork, duck, seafood. All meticuloursly sourced by Sapna Lawyer who honed her skills in India’s finest Fortune Gourmet Specialities pvt ltd and worked in Spain and Dubai too. Lagos born Milanda, patisseur extraordinaire (Bollywood superstar clientele too)bakes all the desserts (cupcakes, Brownies, Apple & Cinnamon Streusel loaf cake to Eclairs) here. Also pestos, stocks, dips, salad dressings and more. And conducts Gourmet Cooking Classes too.
Shop No. 1, Shahina Apts, Pali Mala Road, Pali market
Go to this colorful candy production “theatre” where handmade candy (from Spain) is not only made but you can also get it customized. Choose your color and flavor and get your name written inside (yes your read that right) each candy or on the lollipops too (only remember to give them enough advance notice). Great for kids and adults.
Once again it’s two young owners Samir Gadhok and Avani Raheja whove brought in this variety of colors and over 40 flavours (watermelon to strawberry, Paan Masala and Kala Khatta too). There is rock candy, marshmallows…but I loved the lollipops and with every lick, I regressed to my happy childhood.
Level 3, Palladium, 462 Senapati Bapat Marg. +91 22-40235077
Hours: 11am to 9pm
I’m rejoicing! It’s a joy to discover Chennai’s amazing home-bakers and catering talent. To fly down from Mumbai for our”Whats hot Tasting session” and to get a taste of the delicious and healthy variety too that is cooked up at home. Today, I feature two of the talented participants. More follow in the fortnights to come.
Warm brown Baking Studio
Please take a look at the accompanying photograph. I shot it in the midst of our “whats hot tasting session”. You can see the array of home made goodies which Suresh and Vyanjana Nambiar from Warm Brown Baking Studio bake up. Not only are some of these healthy and tasty but have many a nutrient benefit too. They use flaxseed, millets, amaranth and more. Some are low calorie and others gluten free too. They are gifted home bakers who take orders for organic and regular cookies, brownies, cakes, breads and also pesto, hummus, pickles etc. Their USP is no margarine or preservatives in both the organic and non-organic products . Vegan, organic, glutenfree can all be sourced from them.
Before I tell you more about their creations, let me introduce my official tasters. Shvetha Jaishanker, former Miss India International not only painstakingly tasted through each and every item of each and every home baker (as did Chef Makwana) but also shared her opinion. Not only is she a discerning foodie but her book Eat well, look great will be a treasure trove of foodie-secrets to looking as fabulous as her. And ofcourse, the official taster-in-chief, was the brilliant and creative executive chef Dharmen Makwana. He heads up the stunningly beautiful Leela Palace by the sea. Having honed his skills nationally and internationally, Chef Makwana now masterminds the Leela Palace’s authentic Chinese and Indian restaurants and a versatile all day dining restaurant too. So together we tasted our way though “Warm Brown’s” organic 100% Whole wheat bread, gluten free Millet cookies, Vegan cookies, Organic, gluten free cakes and muffins, Organic savouries, Organic breakfast cereals, amaranth Ladoos, Millet Ladoos, Flaxseed sesame dates Ladoos, Fruit and nut energy bars.
We all loved the texture and flavor of the amaranth cookies the most. Delicious flaxseed onion crackers, Millet ladoos, and flaxseed sesame date ladoos too. We all agreed that those looking for Gluten free items have found their mecca here. As though all this wasn’t enough they also make the most delightful Hummus and Pesto to add zing to your snacks and meals and home made drinks like Jaljeera and Ginger Nectar. Cheers to that.
Warm Brown Baking Studio, 30/18, 2nd Main Road, CIT Colony, Mylapore. Ph. Tel 98840-60652
If you are looking for Italian herbs to spike your dishes with zing, but are particular about them being organic and grown with utmost care, then look no further. Sreehari Shete & Ishwarya Thirumalai from Milagro grown these herbs in their farm in Ooty. They do so with utmost care. They do not use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers and ensure that their herbs are completely organic. These herbs are then airdried. Ask for their Oregano, Rosemary & Thyme herbs. Here’s the best part, you can get them Bottled, Fresh and also Potted. Rosemary Crackers, Rosemary Scrub, Herb Regalo, a festive offering too.
Visit them on www.themilagro.org or facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/themilagro/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf or pick up the herbs from them at J block, No. 47, 7th street, Annanagar East.
YOU ARE INVITED
Discovering. Tasting. Writing. Especially about home bakers and caterers has been my passion for the past two decades. I ve done this in Pune and Delhi and continue to do it in Mumbai and Chennai. This column was a result of one such #whatshottastingsession. Are you a home baker? Provide foodie services out of home? want to be part of our next #whatshottastingsession? And be featured here? The please mail mail firstname.lastname@example.org,Anjalisharma966@gmail.com, instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh. Call 9884065010 Watingly yours.
Paris. Milan. Dusseldorf. Three fashion capitals of Europe. So what is a foodie like me doing in Dusseldorf? Getting a taste of this charming 800 year old city ‘s history, in the Old town, Altstadt (freshly brewed local Altbeer feasting on Himmel und Ad, Sauerbraten) et al. But in this truly international city, I have many a superb Japanese, Korean, Italian meal too. At the top of Koenigsalle, (the world famous glittering fashion boulevard) at the finest, most luxurious, over a century year old Steignerberger Park hotel’s “Artiste” I have a world class meal. And do so with equally cosmopolitan and brilliant Dusseldorf residents: Gerd Hess (German) Giulia Kim (Korean), Sushil Bilaney(Indian) Sara (British) … a true taste of cosmopolitan Dusseldorf.
You’ll agree with me that taste in food is very subjective. What is my nectar maybe yucky to you. And yet as restaurant critics we strive to give objective and accurate critiques with relevant guidelines for the majority of readers. So, what do I do when an all-vegetarian salad restaurant opens in swish SOBO Breach candy? Land up unannounced for two meals.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/ministry-of-salads-r-9545
Did you know that the Chinese will never accept an overweight gourmet. The reason? A gourmet has to know his/her food in all it’s aspects and not just be an over-indulgent hog. As part of my ongoing learning (I am a perpetual student) Im in the world renowned, cutting edge Lanserhof, in the stunning snowy Bavarian mountains. I am studying the connection between food and health and taste. More than 70 doctors and as many chefs here have been working together on the principles of food and health. Im attending cooking classes and working my way through many a unique and easy healthy recipe. Should you need some of these please, instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh email email@example.com
The Modern Asian “Dashanzi” replaced the Spanish “Arola” at the JW Marriott in Juhu. I ate at Dashanzi twice and Yes! Dashanzi met with our approval.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/arola-restaurant-and-bar-r-6617
Aha! Applause. Admiration. Ambition. Guts. Atlast…India’s very own (call it what you will) “farm-to-table” “botanical bistronomy” “ethical dining” restaurant opened end-September, in Mumbai.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/masque-r-9505
I write this column from Chennai, where I am conducting an exciting #whatshottastingsession too. Are you a home baker? Provide foodie services out of home? want to be part of our next #whatshottastingsession? mail firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh. Dr Rajul Matkar, from Dubai (a gynaecologist who for a passion, bakes, develops healthy recipes, caters malwani food too) came specially. As did Sameer Malkani, dynamic chief of the Food Bloggers Association of India who has been conducting many a #homechefmatters session. All are welcome.
I can’t stop smiling. Discovering Mumbai’s talented home chefs at our #Whatshottastingsession has this effect on me. Organised specifically for our very own “Times Food guide 2017” at the city’s landmark, sixty year old Gaylord, where the ever helpful team plays host to taste magicians (from Powaii, Chembur to Colaba) who present their sweet and savory magic…
The Bohri Kitchen (TBK), Colaba, 9819908095
Superb Raan, Mutton Samosas, Dum Biryani and other Bohri specials by the brilliant mother and son team of Nafisa Kapadia and Munaf. This exciting home dining concept hosts 12 guests once-a-week. They also deliver across Mumbai, at a day’s notice. If you live between Mahim to Colaba, give TBK two hours’ notice for home delivery.
The Mad Batter, Walkeshwar, 9619117601
Baking since she was 10, Dimple Sanghvi offers all kinds of eggless bakes – cakes, whoopee pies, Glitterati Cookie Tower, brookies… The 21-year-old’s home baking venture is popular for its boozy treats (Jack Daniels Dessert Jar and Cookie Shots).
B.O.H. (Back of House), Nepean Sea Road, 9867199994
For dips, small eats and all kinds of vegetarian fun fare for home parties for upto 40 people, call Mansi Koradia. Rosemary Mushroom on Toasties, Lebanese and Italian starters and maincourse, and kiddie specials, Jain specials… she does them all!
Simple Bakes, Chembur (E), 9820433391
Nothing simple about the baking adventures sisters Poornima and KavithaBalasubramanian undertake. Ask them for brookies, bespoke fondant cakes and especially the fusion cakes. My favourite, the Paan-flavoured cake.
Ambrosia, Powai, 9820968751
Call Rachna Prasad, for Mughlai, Rajasthani, Goan, and Bengali specials, non-vegetarian dishes being her speciality. A dedicated menu for kids (pasta, cutlets, kebabs, and her popular creamy cup potatoes) too.
Ashey’s, Bandra, 8828403690
Eggless macarons? Student and homebakerAshima Chawla’s Sesame and Pistachio macarons will never have you go looking elsewhere. Interesting combos of jar and fusion desserts too.
Baked With Love By Annie, Matunga (E), 9819363304
Hazelnut Truffle Decadence, Vanilla and White Chocolate Torte, Philadelphia Cheesecake, 23-year-old AnneitaaBhambani does them all and does them well. Customised, eggless cheesecakes, brownies, cakes and cupcakes on a day’s notice too.
Love & Flour, Nariman Point, 9930152303
A Hotel Management graduate, Sarah Patka honed her skills in the Taj and Oberoi kitchens before she set up her home bakery that specialises in custom made cakes (fondant and non-fondant), cookie pizzas and brownies.
Nosh, Worli, 9833104829
Commercial artist, product designer Karishma Mehta moonlights as a home chef with her newly set up catering business Nosh. Ask for dips like the Pizza Dip, bite-sized party food, and desserts ( in glass jars and ready-to-eat containers.)
Icekreamskee, Andheri, 9321129029
Looking for freshly made, preservative-free ice creams in a variety of Indian and international flavours? Give mother-daughter duo Asha and Sucheta Thakur 24 hours’ notice. Asha has been making ice creams at home for 17 years now. Must-ty flavours, Masala Chai Biscuit, Thandai, Fresh Orange, Rose Pista and more. Vegan ice creams. Home delivery too!
That’s The Story, Malad, 9619946134
Have eggless macarons, pana cotta, crème brulee, gelatin-free cakes and desserts delivered at your doorstep. Premium ingredients and experience in commercial kitchens ensure that 25-year-old Swati Soni’s desserts offer just the right kind of a sensory treat. Try the Deconstructed Lemon and Basil Tarts with Pistachio Shortbread and Saffron and Pistachio Nankhatai!