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SANTE SPA CUISINE

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Vegetarian/vegan healthy cuisine

It’s serendipity!  Im about to mail my thesis to my mentor professors in Paris and my thesis subject is “The rise and the rise of vegetarianism”.  I m not only at Mumbai’s latest vegetarian/vegan hotspot “Sante spa cuisine” but also dining with most committed vegetarians,  who re into healthy and organic and who “walk the talk”. Gir cows in their home, organic vegetables in their garden,  the lovable creative Harsha Ashok Hinduja redefined “homemade” when some years ago she sent me “sandesh” made from  the milk of Gir cows at home. From spearheading Ikebana and Bonsai societies this fine art connoisseur, trained  vocal singer, philanthropist ensures that the finest most healthy and tasty food graces her table.

 

Shom Hinduja, the dashing Columbia university graduate, Mumbais most eligible bachelor,  is leading the group’s foray into the alternative energy sector, next generation digital technologies  and sustainability. He’s a great vegetarian gourmet too Im forever grateful to him for taking me to his vegetarian hotspots in NYC. I have a guiltfree, fun-filled dinner with the perfect dining companions.
Read my full article on https://www.bombaytimes.com/
Sante Spa Cuisine
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REVIEW : TOWN HALL

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Can something as mundane as a  “Townhall” (a building which is the seat of a town government)  be glamorous, rocking and buzzing? Yes! yes! when it comes to Mumbai from Delhi it most certainly is. Beloved of Dilliwallas, this Townhall comes complete with it’s South Delhi legend, partner chef Augusto Cabrera (sushi maestro). It’s reputation precedes it and a lot of the young restaurant going lot make an immediate beeline for it.

Read my full review on https://www.bombaytimes.com/

TOWNHALL
At the rocking Townhall, With the  fabulous foodie five: Jay Dalal,  Shrey grover. Aishwarya Mariwala Maneka Grover and Anchit Nayar

POWER YOURSELF WITH ENERGY

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Is it your dream to be full of energy? To be fulfil your days work with vigour and enthusiasm? To work hard? Play hard? And be powered with energy? Ive been researching this through my travels,  Health TV shows,  meeting experts, doctors and chefs.

Today I share with you nuggets of useful and usable information that ll get you kickstarted with vigor.

 

FROM GERMANY, DUBAI, CHENNAI …

 

MUNICH…ENERGY CUISINE

 

Im amid the magnificent mountains by the shimmering Lake Tegernsee. Here, the most amazing scientific research is taking place. The recipes are being evolved by 70 chefs and as many doctors.  This at the leading Lanserhof medical institution, which has been at the forefront of cutting edge research and most interestingly is based on a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine treating both mind and body.

I learn all the principles from the doctors, from the medical director Dr Elke Reisch. It is based on the Classical Mayr Medicine, genetic diagnostics, energy and information medicine and quantum physics with the age-old wisdom of healers.

Its all about  high energy. Happily,  good health and

pleasures of the palate are not mutually exclusive.

Energy Cuisine reflects the state-of-the-art research findings of nutritional science, yet still places great emphasis on regional, organic and fresh produce cooked in gentle, product protecting ways.

 

Other than having long sessions with the doctors I also attend chef Karsten Wolf’s cooking classes. The ever helpful Torstein Kiener translates the German explanations of the chefs.

Here, they not only demonstrate recipes but also explain why a good breakfast in the morning is essential. Why should you give your body high value protein, vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and vegetables in the morning ?

How come breakfast is the only meal at which heightened carbohydrate consumption does not cause you to put on weight?

The reasons are simple.Our enzymes (protein molecules that control metabolism) are very active Cortisone, adrenaline and thyroid hormones all attain their highest levels during these hours. So what you eat during this period is assimilated  easily and really well.

Here is an  easy to make  breakfast recipe from Chef Karsten

OAT MUESLI

Ingredients

100g oat flakes

100 ml soy or oat milk (alternative: water)

½ apple

½ pear

125g yoghurt (sheep’s milk, cow’s milk)

Alternatively soy or coconut yoghurt

 

Preparation

Soak the oat flakes in milk or water for 15-20

minutes (or overnight)

Grate the fruits and add to the soaked oat flakes

Stir in the yoghurt of your choice

Add nuts or raisins if you like

 

 

DUBAI …HEALING ENERGY

There is calm and tranquillity. He heals with gentle compassion. Hailing from Lebanon, Fady Habibi s fame has spread far and wide. I was recommended to meet him by  Jhanvi Panjabi the famous jeweller  in Hong Kong.

Other than a healing session, its his healer’s views on diet and nutrition that interest me “I believe in balance” he reiterates. “Food of course will effect your life of course effect your healing your health your mind, your thinking so its part of the package” You cannot keep  praying or being positive and then eat all the rubbish food in between, he points out.

 

Fruits are what Fady recommends. They emit the highest vibration ever he points out. Vibrations differ, between what grows underground (carrots potatoes et al)  and on the top (grass to or trees). Fruits grow on top on the tree or top of a bush and soak up the highest form of sun and air energy. Also eating them raw, without cooking further preserves their nutrients.

While considering a fruit diet it is important not to mix it with another type of food as fruits produces different type of digestive enzymes that can break food in 2-3 hours while fat, protein and carbs depend on another digestive enzymes

Eat fruit, advises healer Fady, it is highest the food and energy on this planet.

At any rate adding fruits is a must. They will fuel your body with energy and a higher vibration too.

 

CHENNAI…HIGH ON HUMMUS

Its surprising but it’s true! My favourite, creamy, delicious Middle-Eastern chickpea dip, hummus is an incredible source of energy goodness.

Firstly, its an excellent source of plant-based protein, a100g serving of chickpeas contains 20.47 grams of protein.  Also  it has all the essential amino acids needed to be converted and used for energy. Loaded with iron, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins. Hummus also contains lemon juice, full of vitamin C as well as antioxidants. Another ingredient, tahini, (made of sesame seeds) is loaded with copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. Garlic, is rich in antioxidants and it also has a ton of trace minerals along with a good number of vitamins too.

And then to my delight, in Chennai, at our “Whatshot tasting sessions” held at the ITC Grand Chola  I taste not only the most delicious hummus, but also different flavors and it is home made. Home made by

Anolii Mavani from Halls Road, Kilpauk, who does this full time. She takes orders . Sells by the jar. Anolii even makes tahini at home.

We choose You can choose options of  pesto, olive, jalapeno, sundried tomatoes, mixed herbs, spicy, classic and spinach and feta.  Helping me do the tasting, the globetrotting gourmet  Sanjukhtaa Roy and I both loved the refreshing pesto and the punch of the the  jalapeno.  As Sanjukthaa pointed out “ its light flavorful and can be combined with many dishes”

And to accompany the hummus, Anolii  also makes zatar pita bread and wholewheat crackers. The crackers come in paprika, parmesan, rosemary and multigrain flavours. Anolii supplies a box of three flavours of hummus   Ph. 09 7910- 88 988.

LEAD PHOTO 1FOR THE BOX 2FOR THE BOX 1

MINISTRY OF CRAB

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Crab and prawn cuisine

LEAD PHOTO

Hype. Hoopla. Awards. Crowned Srilankas “best restaurant 4 times in a row. Ranked 35thbest in Asia 2019, Maestro Dharshan Munidasa’s “Ministry of crab”  finally opened two months ago in Mumbai. Having had many a magnificent meal at the Colombo flagship, I was apprehensive about it’s Mumbai debut. Can the same high standard of live Mud crab be maintained? Will the fluffy woodfired Srilankan “kade” bread be as addictive? And wont the  Mumbai vegetarian be disappointed? The Colombo MOC has only veg side dishes. It offers only  three desserts and we Mumbaikars have a sweet tooth.  In short, Is there hope behind the hype?

BOOKED & COOKED

This is the first time that my ploy ( of my assistant booking in a fake name) did not work. Reason? Since we were six diners, they insisted my assistant  give   credit card details. That would’ve given my name away. So we  cancelled. We tried reserving many a time later, but it was all booked up.  And much later just two of us booked there. Under a fake name. Ofcourse!

 

DÉCOR

Majestic. Housed in a tall stand alone  corner building in Khar. A glamorous highceilinged space with arched glass windows. A sweeping staircase takes you upto the mezzanine bar. On the ground floor the  show kitchen takes centre stage. Railings and fluting, wallpaper and mirrors are art deco-inspired. Kudos to Basrai for the artful use of  tropical woody natural materials

 

FOOD

Go on. Get ready to make slurping noises, put on your bib and crack that perfectly cooked crab bathed in (my favourite)  bold lusty pepper sauce.

Take your pick ( Crabs  sizes, small, medium, half a kilo, XL,  the OMG and 2kg Crabzilla.) Pair it with pepper sauce, olive oil and chilli, soy, or garlic butter  and do lick your fingers,  every now and then.

My other addiction is the Prawnzilla served in a  glistening  pool of  the bold garlic chilli sauce.

Appetiser? Go for the crab salad scooped into a luscious avocado with a whisper of wasabi, perfect Crab cakes with raw mango sweet chutney. Must ask for the baked crab risotto, a masterly balance of  texture and flavour.

Vegetarians, youre in luck, delicious Coastal Indian dishes infused with coconut ( Goan curry with baby aubergine,  mangalorean gassi)   japanese style stir fried greens too. Keep space for a happy ending… “story of cocoa” . brilliantly presented in a giant cocoa  bean pregnant with

bitter chocolate mousse and coconut gel. Equally good is the deconstructed  spongy version of French Toast

sparkled with sago pearls and burnt butter icecream. Superb vegan icecreams and signature granitas too.

 

 

MINUS POINTS

Crabzilla was not available when we dined there. Kade bread baked in an  Irani bakery did not match up to its Srilankan counter part. Singapore Chilly crab sauce needed it’s sweetness to be toned down.

Lacklustre vegetarian ishtew and an oversweet Black pearl dessert were the other minus points.

 

MY POINT

Peel away the hype, take away the highprofile cricketing legends  partners with chef Dharshan Munidasa) and what do we get?  A seriously great restaurant dedicated to using only the highest quality of wild caught, even-clawed lagoon crab. Only live fresh crabs are used. And this shows in the glistening sweetness enhanced by the perfect cooking  of each crab (no matter which sauce you pick, it has oomph). Vegetarians are taken care of, as are those with a sweet tooth. My apprehension of maestro  Chef Dharshan Munidasa not being present in Mumbai is proved base less by the brilliant young chef Jerry Simon Thomas who ensures consistency in quality and recipe. Except for a few dishes which disappoint MOC Mumbai more than claws it’s way to meet up to expectations.  Be ready to shell out  high prices for stratospheric  quality. After all, we are in a three-levelled, high-ceilinged glamorous crab heaven.

 

 

MINISTRY OF CRAB

442, Chitrakar Dhurandar Marg, 14th Rd, Khar West

⋅Open 7:30PM

 +91 77108 98811

RATING FOOD 4 SERVICE 3.75 DÉCOR 4

Meal for two Rs 8000

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REVIEW: GOYAA

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Global

Discovery. Again and again, that’s the  word that kickstarts my adrenalin. Be it while researching the Worlds first vegetarian guide to Paris or Indias first  city restaurant guide. And todays’ restaurant gives me that same tingly, happy feeling. It sits quietly in Byculla. Elbowed into the printers compound, in one of the warehouses. It faces a Parsi chawl (yes  there is such a thing) and yes! we did get lost trying to find it (because of some road closures) and ended up in Ghoddopeo village.  We had a super time with great fun foodies. Yes! we will return. And make it a point to do so on Saturday… for the live-jazz night.

DÉCOR
Having negotiated your way into the winding Byculla lanes,  Walk into a low ceilinged reception area. And then wham! the  warehouse’s highceiling, with  amphitheatre-like steps comes as a surprise. There is a glassed in open kitchen, grey-toned industrial chic, Nikita DSilva ensures that the focus is on the food and the only   pop of colour are the bright green plates.

FOOD
Our server in a black uniform (like the rest of the servers) brings us the comprehensive short menu of what he calls “upscale comfort food” and when we ask for a a huge number of small and large plates of baos, burgers et al advises to slow down. A riveting parade of dishes begins …complimentry sticky rice balls with tangy sauces, prawn wafers with a dense bacon sauce.
Tart, sweet, salty, fruity bursts  pop in many of the dishes.  We love the refreshing juicy watermelon tucked into the Belgian pork belly bao with goat cheese enlivened with ginger coriander dressing.
Sweet persimmon chutney sparkles the charred broccoli served with airy burrata foam
Orange segments  top the cast iron cauliflower, under a layer of mashed potatoes with Vadouvan butter, Citrus pesto in the seabass, guava in the pork belly… unexpected marriages. Fleshy moist eggplant plump with  flavour and kissed with sweetness
Delicious dessert of PB & J–peanut butter mousse with  textured peanut brittle on a chewy macaron base. Must ask for this dessert…Pillows of marshmallow  bursting with blenders pride whisky over a callebaut mini molten lava cake sprinkled with miso caramel…Umami heaven.

MINUS POINTS
Open only for dinner. Uncomfy chairs.The location is at once a minus and also a plus point. They do have valet parking. Thick skinned duck dumpling and chewy pork ribs are avoidable.
Please note, no take-aways and no kids.

 
MY POINT
Tucked into one of Byculla’s warehouses, Goyaa has a wonderful feel of  discovering a hidden secret.  It’s a grey minimalistic high-ceilinged space. Vibrantly seasoned and creatively composed with unexpected flavour combinations  upscale comfort  food of baos and more (plenty for vegetarians).
Not all of it works. Dishes priced at
Rs275 to Rs350 (the most expensive being Rs 450)
. The whole experience (including getting lost due to the closed road) is an exciting story.  “Goyaa” is the Persian word for the art of telling a story. An unpretentious delicious story!
PS The twist to our story? we find out at the end…our unformed server is Siddharth Somaiya the brilliant 30 year old owner chef.

Goyaa, Unit No 2, JAK Compound, DK Cross Road, Byculla (E).

Rs 2000 for two.
Open from 7pm to 1am.
RATING FOOD 3.75 SERVICE 3.75 DÉCOR 3.75

LILT-Modern Asian| Bar room

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Modern Asian
One more new restaurant opens in the Lower Parel  area. It announced it’s arrival with hype and hoopla as the culinary hot-spot, serving “modern Asian with an Indian twist” . It’s “Lilt Modern Asian” and there is an obvious 
investment of money, time and dreams. We popped in unannounced into a more or less empty restaurant. Does Lilt have a memorable harmony? Or does it strike discordant notes? Read the full article on https://www.bombaytimes.com/
LILT 1

REVIEW: PLUM BY BENT CHAIR

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Questions: Is this a home décor store which serves food? Or is it a restaurant which sells home décor? 

Ans: Yes to both. In the intriguigingly named “Plum by Bent  chair” it’s possible to  eat your salad and buy not o that funky plate  (a skull wearing headphones) it is served on and also the chair youre sitting on. 

Read my detailed review on whatshot.in

shop and dine: Behman and Lynne Homjee at PLUM BY BENT CHAIR

REVIEW: SOI 69

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Good news! Breach Candy  got it’s own Thai sidestreet (Soi). It perches on the fourth floor and has chef co-owners Seefah  and Karan (who wowed with their  no-frills erstwhile “The Blue” in Bandra).  Bringing them in is celebrity restaurant- nightclub tycoon Rishi Acharya. Read my detailed review on whatshot.in

Review: House of Daaruwala

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I admit. I have a big fat soft spot for  Irani cafes. And I mourn their dwindling numbers as also the lack of  good Parsi food restaurants in our city. So when I hear about Andheri’s brand new Irani café lookalike “House of Daaruwala” I dash across the city with big hopes through equally big traffic jams.

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times.

House Of Daaruwala 2.jpg
House of Daaruwala : with  gorgeous actor producer foodie Neetu Chandra.