Missile pao, Pasta nashta, Mr Aloowalia…serving all this and more is one more restaurant which joins the new Tsunami of “Modern Indian” restaurants sweeping Mumbai. We check it out to find out which of it’s names it lives upto “Hitchki” as in the hiccup which connotes that some one is remembering or thinking of you? Or “hitchki” as in the hiccup, the glitch? the setback? Impediment? It turns out to be the first. Happily.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/mumbai/critic-review-hitchki-plays-with-indian-flavours/C2722
Foodies, here’s news for you. Zuma, the award-winning world renowned and my favourite contemporary Japanese Izakaya restaurant rocks in over ten cities, but what a happy surprise to find Arjun Waney’s highoctane restaurant on the beach in Phuket. Zuma is making waves (literally, too) in the superluxurious Anantara Layan. And last week in Phuket, I got to know about it, thanks to the dynamic Fred Varnier and got a taste of Chef Wingtam’s rendering of Zuma signature dishes. Miso black cod, spicy beef tenderloin with sesame to the yellowtail with ponzu.The fresh sea breeze added even more punch to Zuma’s zest. Cheers!
What you see in the photograph is a live wheat bread (decorated with leaves and tree branches) and it was cooked over hot stone on our table. And it yielded two most delicious warm, slightly chewy bread balls, we devoured with butter covered with black olive powder and green moss.
This was just the beginning of Michelin starred Maestro Yoshihiro Narisawa’s magic. “Essence Of the forest” and a parade of dishes inspired and dedicated to nature follow. Dining at the Best of the best, taking an hours bullet train ride (from Tokyo)to stay at the exquisite traditional Japanese Ryokan (inn) San Jyuan thanks to Chef Munidasa are some of the highlights.
In Kyoto, I bow in Reverence at the Buddhist temples, wear the Formal “Furisode” kimono and attend Zen meditation there. And dine on the pure vegetarian “shojin” temple cuisines. Im still savouring Did you know that till the 19th century, Japan was largely vegetarian due to the Buddhist influence? And awesome vegetarian at that. In Japan the wow never wavers…
I’d heard about the hot new opening at St Regis: “Luna Nudo Gusta”. And the lovely mouthful of a name had me mystified and confused. Luna Gusta’s ambiance is high gloss nostalgia with a contemporary sheen.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/mumbai
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.