Review : New set lunch at Hakkasan, Mumbai

A lot of people consider Hakkasan to be a pricey dining option but they are trying to break away from this with their latest offer of a set lunch menu priced at Rs.1200 + tax. The set lunch menu is on till the end of June and included 3 small eats, 2 mains, 2 rice/noodles and 1 dessert. Apart from the set lunch they also have a weekly lunch menu with new dishes added weekly along with the favourites.

We started off with a large spread of small eats and a round of refreshing cocktails. See what our table looked like!

IMG_20140610_141150My favorites from the small eats were the fresh and juicy Hargau with its prawn filling, crisp Chicken roll served along with a delicious mango chili sauce, pretty purple pakchoi dumpling with crunchy veg filling and veg chive dumpling with its pretty green wrapper and corn filling.

Prawn Hargau
Prawn Hargau
Veg Pakchoy Dumpling
Veg Pakchoy Dumpling
Veg chive dumpling
Veg chive dumpling
Crispy chicken roll
Crispy chicken roll

Apart from these we called for the crispy duck rolls and prawn cheung fun, both didn’t disappoint!

crispy duck roll
Crispy duck roll
prawn cheung fun
Prawn cheung fun

After all these we moved on to the mains. My favourites were the crunchy stir fry french beans in a nice soy sauce, chicken Ho Fun Noodles were perfect, steamed salmon in black bean sauce was amazing and tasted really nice with the fried rice. For the vegetarians Ho Fun Noodles with mock meat is a good option.

Stir fry french beans
Stir fry french beans
Steamed Indian salmon with black bean sauce
Steamed Indian salmon with black bean sauce
Chicken Ho Fun Noodles
Chicken Ho Fun Noodles

After the mains we still wanted to try the desserts. We did decide not to eat for the rest of the day! I enjoyed the three chocolate bavarois with coconut and lemon sorbet and from the a la carte the coconut panna cotta with pineapple coconut sorbet was light and refreshing, though I’d wish for more panna cotta in this dessert. We also tried the white chocolate parfait with blueberry sorbet. I found the parfait too sweet but the blueberry sorbet was a big hit!

Coconut panna cotta with pineapple coconut sorbet
Coconut panna cotta with pineapple coconut sorbet
Three chocolate bavarois with coconut lemon sorbet
Three chocolate bavarois with coconut lemon sorbet
White chocolate parfait with blueberry sorbet
White chocolate parfait with blueberry sorbet

We enjoyed the lunch thoroughly and felt that the set menu is a great deal to go for.

Restaurant details can be found on their Facebook page here.

A sweet treat! Review: Love and Cheesecake & Icing On Top

Recently I got a chance to try out sweet treats from Mumbai’s two dessert places – Love and Cheesecake and Icing on Top. And only because I got to try their stuff in a really short period I thought of clubbing their reviews together. So let the sugar over dose begin!

Love and Cheesecake is one of the patisseries in Mumbai whose menu revolves around cheesecakes. Currently they make their cheesecakes in a kitchen behind the Guess showroom on Khar Linking road from where they sell and deliver their sweet treats too. I visited Love and Cheesecake to try out their Mango mania menu along with a fellow food blogger Amrita who writes at Life Ki Recipe. We started off with trying their chocolate mango cup. It was basically a dark chocolate cup filled with a really thin layer of syrup soaked sponge topped with a mix of mascarpone cheese and fresh cream followed by fresh, bright as the sun mango cubes. Overall the dessert was really nice and we easily wiped it off in a few minutes but the only downside was that I found the chocolate cup too thick. Tiny bit thin and this dessert would be a hit!

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Next we tried the Mangofee which was a blend of mango, cream and caramel with a bit of caramel crunch. This dessert was just okay.

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Then came the Mango mascarpone cake which had thin layers of sponge, mascarpone creamy cheese and fresh mango. All in all good, not too sweet and worth a try.

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After this we took a break from the mango and tried few of their other cheesecakes. Bailey’s no bake cheesecake was a plain no bake cheesecake with an Oreo crust topped with Bailey’s caramel sauce. While the sauce was a hit the frozen centre of the cheesecake was a turn off.

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We also tried a chocolate cake layered with mascarpone cheese with a slight hint of orange and dark chocolate pieces. I don’t remember the name of this cake but the flavour balance was spot on. Only issue is that the chocolate cake was a bit dry.

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Overall Love and Cheesecake has a good range of desserts with a few misses. They are soon to open a store in Lokhandwala so cheesecake lovers in Andheri can be happy.

Details: Shop with the red door behind Guess showroom, Kusum kunj, Linking Road, Khar west (9819935135). You can also check out their Facebook page here to know about their latest creations.

Icing on Top

Run by Ayushi Shah, Icing on Top serves only eggless desserts from their central kitchen in Masjid Bunder and store at Kemps Corner. Their menu includes tini tiny cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, cakelettes, tarts, mud pies and shot glass desserts. I received a goodie bag from them filled with a lot treats that would give you a crazy sugar high. The packaging was really impressive. Take a look at the pictures below!

Now lets come down to how it tastes..

There were 3 Cake pops – oreo, double chocolate and red velvet. To be frank I’m not a big fan of cake pops in general and the same applies to cup cakes. I find them too sweet and have gotten bored with the overdose of them being around for really long! So it wouldn’t be fair for me to judge them but anyways these are my thoughts.One bite of the red velvet pop and I knew it was too sweet for me. Double chocolate was fine and so was the oreo one.

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Next I tried the Mud pie which had pieces of chocolate cake soaked in dark chocolate sauce. Tasted nice!

IMG_20130509_173730The dessert shot glasses were up next – Hazelnut which I thought was really sweet and it could have done with a little less Nutella, Blueberry which was a bit tart for me but my dad relished it and last was the Chocolate mousse which was my favorite of the three shot glasses. It may seem like I’m being over critical here but I just couldn’t figure out the why very fine biscuit crumbs were present at the bottom of the shot glasses. They didn’t add anything to the dessert.

IMG_20130509_173959Icing on Top cookies look cute. They are really tiny and come in different flavours. I got to try the cinnamon, lemon and chocolate chip. Of these three I’d pick the chocolate chip one cause of its texture. The other two were to crumbly but I did like the lemon cookie’s icing. Also there was a piece of an oat and chocolate bar which had nice texture.

IMG_20130509_173154And then only dessert left for me to try was their Red Velvet cake which was moist and red, obviously! It was good overall.

On a whole Icing on Top is a great package but can be better with a few tweaks.

Details:Shop No.5, Ground Floor, Advani chambers, Kemps Corner (9867013315) or like them on Facebook here.

Food, Birthday and some news! Review: Serafina, Lower Parel

Last week I celebrated my birthday in the most obvious way…filled with food!! The day was going to start with ‘Breakfast at Candies!’ and mind you it wasn’t really breakfast. We ended up eating noodles, macaroni and cheese salad, hot chocolate, coffee, lemongrass coolers and chocolate tarts. Not your regular breakfast but well it was my budday!! 😀

So the next food event of the day which is also the news..I finished a certificate course in bakery from IHM, Mumbai..Yay! The last day and the examination was on the special day too for which I baked fancy shaped bread rolls and a spongy chocolate genoise cake.

The day had been filled with loads of food but I was too tired with the travelling, baking and ofcourse eating! But birthday dinner with family at Serafina was yet to happen. Our meal was mostly around the vegetarian side of the menu and this review is pretty short as we had tiny appetites that day. So here’s what we ate..

We started of our meal with fresh and light D.Chopra Salad which had mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, pear slices, asparagus and walnuts tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette dressing. The name did make me curious enough to find out the salad is a tribute to Mr.Chopra as he has always been a regular at Serafina’s NYC branch.

D.Chopra Salad
D.Chopra Salad

We also called for the lemon and kiwi iced teas. I did like the kiwi one more than the lemon one.
Next came the soups of the day:
Carrot and ginger soup which was really well balanced with a mellow hit from the ginger.

Carrot and ginger soup
Carrot and ginger soup

Minestrone soup was light and packed with herby flavours. It had tiny pasta, crisp zucchini, carrot dices floating in a light tomato herb broth.

Minestrone soup
Minestrone soup

Portofino pizza was next and it had a nice crisp base topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pine nuts and a pesto pinwheel. The pesto was just spot on!

Portofino pizza
Portofino pizza

Then came the V.I.P Margherita which is not only for important people as the name suggests but it’s named so because the mozzarella is imported Italian mozzarella. I liked this pizza but didn’t love it, I preferred the pesto one. But this was a hit with the rest of the family.

V.I.P. Margherita
V.I.P. Margherita

We also called for Homemade fettuccine with tomato basil sauce with a touch of cream and Rigatoni alla bolognese. Both the dishes were great and the sweet tomato sauces (I hate the extremely sour tomato sauces that’s served in so many places) coated the pastas really well which made you crave for more. The bolognese sauce was spectacular with well infused flavours of the meat.

Homemade fettucine in tomato cream sauce with basil
Homemade fettuccine in tomato cream sauce with basil
Bolognese
Rigatoni alla Bolognese

We didn’t have any appetite left for dessert..to be precise their much praised Tiramisu, but the server made it really easy for us to not binge any further by telling us that they ran out of tiramisu. This place is kind of heavy on the pocket but I’d definitely go back to Serafina for the deliciousness they have to offer!

You can find more information about Serafina here.

And how can I forget…check out my birthday presents!
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Restaurant Review – SingKong, Khar

The food scene in Bandra/Khar is going through a lot of changes recently. The new openings have been Aoi, Kofuku, The Big Burger, Between Breads, Busago, Le 15 Patisserie, The Daily and SingKong. I was invited to for a special preview of what SingKong, run by the guys behind Aurus and Sancho’s, had to offer along with a few fellow food bloggers couple of weeks back.

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SingKong has replaced Tasty Tangles which was located right above Sancho’s. A climb up a few steps and you are welcomed into a grey toned restaurant with a live sushi bar and colourful tables. I felt that they could have done something more with the decor but for me the look of the restaurant is not as important as the food. So getting to the food! 

We were served tasting portions of practically everything that is on the menu but I don’t have pictures of every dish so apologies..but here it is!

Cocktails:

SingKong Martini was a great mix of Expresso vodka, old monk, cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder. I would highly recommend you to start and end your meal with this! Truly delicious!

SingKong Martini
SingKong Martini

Thai Basil Martini also had really clear flavours of the thai basil, pineapple syrup with a perfect vodka hit.

Tropical Sangria which failed miserably with strong flavors of star anise that put off the freshness and sour punch of the kiwi.

Tropical Sangria
Tropical Sangria

Dimsums:

Beetroot coloured Aromatic Spicy Chicken dumplings had a huge ginger hit with subtle flavours of beetroot. It has a lingering spice taste so beware! The Crystal shrimp dumplings were perfect and the fish and sesame ones were pretty okay.

I wasn’t quite sold on the dumplings until the next brilliant ones arrived – Steamed prawns wrapped in spinach leaves. Texture and flavour wise this starter hit the right spot.

Steamed prawns wrapped in spinach leaves
Steamed prawns wrapped in spinach leaves

Sushi:

Frankly speaking I’m not much of a sushi person but I still enjoyed the sushi that the newly opened AOI in Bandra has to offer. But unfortunately, SingKong didn’t help me love sushi any further. The veg sushis were really disappointing whereas the non veg ones were still a bit okay. Here are the ones I thought were pretty decent..

Crispy Philadelphia Uramaki – smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado and cucumber

Crispy Philadelphia Uramaki
Crispy Philadelphia Uramaki

California Uramaki – crabstick, avocado and sesame seeds

California Uramaki
California Uramaki

Starters:

Honey Hunan roasted pork slice steamed open bun had well cooked succulent slices of pork between soft steamed buns with thinly sliced cucumbers rendering the textural balance.

Honey Hunan roasted pork slice steamed open bun
Honey Hunan roasted pork slice steamed open bun

Oriental shrimp nest was great! Crunchy, deep fried shrimp on a sugarcane stick which was to be dunked in sweet chili sauce, served in shot glasses made for a great start! Highly recommended!

Oriental shrimp nest
Oriental shrimp nest

Grilled Lemon grass chili basa was a tad bit salty for my liking but the basa was cooked perfectly.

Grilled Lemon grass chili basa
Grilled Lemon grass chili basa

Wasabi prawns were crisp fried prawns tossed in wasabi mayo and served along with a tangy mango salsa. It could have done with a bit more of a wasabi hit but overall it was great.

Wasabi prawns
Wasabi prawns

Stir fried chili basil chicken was again salty just like the basa. The presentation was pretty neat but it didn’t impress me much though the fellow bloggers did seem to enjoy it.

Stir fried chili basil chicken
Stir fried chili basil chicken

Rock corn was deep fried sweet corn kernel balls tossed in tossed in some creamy mustard kind sauce. A pretty good option for vegetarians!

Rock corn
Rock corn

Pandan leaf wrapped cottage cheese was my favourite starter. Mildly soy and chili flavoured paneer pieces wrapped in pandan leaf just melt in the mouth. This dish is a must try for vegetarians and non-vegetarians!!

Pandan leaf wrapped cottage cheese
Pandan leaf wrapped cottage cheese

Shichimi Togarashi potato & vermicelli on sugar cane stick was a vegetarian version of the shrimp nest but for obvious reasons I liked the shrimp one more.

Spicy Lemon grass cottage cheese cakes was another great veg starter. More like a ‘tikki’ these cottage cheese cakes were well spiced with a distinct lemon grass flavour and the chili sauce they were served with was purely spectacular.

Spicy Lemon grass cottage cheese cakes
Spicy Lemon grass cottage cheese cakes

Mains:

Stir fry king prawns in SambalOelek big plump well cooked moist prawns were let down by the overly corn flour-ed sambal (red chili sauce) sauce!

Chilli beef with red onion had melt in the mouth cooked meat but the sauce didn’t do any justice to it. Also another issue with this dish was that one serving had chewy meat!

Chilli beef with red onion
Chilli beef with red onion

Phuket style fish was a big piece of perfectly cooked fish with a chili sauce adorned with finely diced bell peppers. A big thumbs up for this dish!

Phuket style fish
Phuket style fish

Singaporean black pepper paneer was like any other Chinese-style paneer dish you would get in any other restaurant in Mumbai. Not spectacular but not bad either.

Wok tossed garlic greens was something I really liked maybe because I was over stuffed with the starters. This light garlic and soy tossed crunchy veggies worked for me.

Stir fry king prawns in SambalOelek and Wok tossed garlic veggies
Stir fry king prawns in SambalOelek and Wok tossed garlic greens

Celery garlic rice was prepared well with nice and fluffy rice with the “super amazing” garlic aroma.

Celery garlic rice
Celery garlic rice

Some noodles which were highly mediocre in terms on texture and flavours. Not memorable at all!

The mains were a bit of a let down after a good run of starters. Stick to the rice, fish and wok tossed veggies and you should be good.

I don’t have pictures of the desserts they had to offer but the ones worth trying are the decadent Carrot cake and Mocha fudge.

Moist carrot cake layered with cream cheese frosting was great but I was a bit put off by the flavour of the balsamic strawberries. They were a bit too tart for my liking.

The dense mocha fudge was a rich chocolate cake with hints of coffee which made it a good way to end a meal!

Their signature dessert are tiny sesame honey cones which are only pretty to look at but have nothing to offer in terms of flavour. This was a big miss!

Overall the highlight of the meal were the starters and cocktails accompanied by decent mains and non-pan-asian but good desserts! Worth a visit I’d say!

Check out SingKong’s Facebook page here for further details.

London’s pizzeria brings Nepoletana pizza to Mumbai! Review: Pizza metro Pizza

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Mumbai is seeing a lot of new pizza brands recently and Pizza metro Pizza is a new addition to this list. Pizza metro Pizza is a cute little cozy pizzeria in Bandra with copper pans hanging on the walls, a colourful wood fired oven, Italian chefs tossing pizzas, and murals on the walls.

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The thing that sets them apart from the other pizzerias in Mumbai is that they serve a meter long pizza!! You can choose four kinds of toppings for the meter long pizza which is perfect if you are confused about the toppings you wish for and are really really hungry for a lot of pizza! They also serve 12 inch, 1/2 meter and 3/4 meter pizzas too so you can pick accordingly.

We started off our meal with a refreshing glass of house special red wine while we waited for the antipasti.

House special red wine
House special red wine

Arja, one of the owners, recommended that we should try  Polpette al Sugo (beef meatballs in tomato sauce, parmesan and basil) and Frittura di Calamari (fresh rings of fried squid). 

First up were the beef meatballs and they were spectacular. The meat was perfectly moist, well seasoned and served with a light tomato sauce. I feel that the sauce needed a bit more flavour but everything else was spot on with this dish.

Polpette al Sugo (beef meatballs in tomato sauce, parmesan and basil)
Polpette al Sugo (beef meatballs in tomato sauce, parmesan and basil)

After the meatballs we moved on to the fried calamari and I was a bit disappointed. Firstly the dish wasn’t hot enough and secondly the coating on the squid rings weren’t crisp. The dish could also use a bit more seasoning but the lime wedge it was served with helped save that a bit. The dip that was served was good which kind of made it easier to eat this dish. I’d say give this dish a miss if crisp fried calamari is what you are looking for.

Frittura di Calamari (fresh rings of fried squid)
Frittura di Calamari (fresh rings of fried squid)

Next we moved onto the pizza and deciding what to pick is such a task cause they have too many options!! So taking help from Arja again we decided to go for a half meter pizza with two toppings – Portobello (mozzarella, mixed mushrooms, truffle oil, wild rocket and shavings of grana padano) and Capricciosa (mozzarella, tomato, ham, salami, black olives and mushrooms). After seeing the Italian chefs make the half meter pizza with so much ease, we couldn’t wait to try it. And it didn’t take that long enough till it reached our table with bubbling cheese and bright green rocket leaves. It takes about 4-5 minutes for the pizza to cook in the wood fired oven! They serve pizzas along with oregano, chili flakes and their “super awesome” chili oil.

Wood fired oven
Wood fired oven at Pizza metro Pizza

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Chili oil
Chili oil

The pizza was delicious! It had fresh ingredients which were not just over covered with excess cheese, the crust was thin and soft and the chili oil just took the pizza to another great level.

Half a meter pizza
Half a meter pizza

The Portobello ,which was without the regular tomato sauce, was topped with fresh mushrooms and rocket which were perfectly balanced with the light creaminess of grana padano. Whereas the Capricciosa had a lightly flavoured tomato sauce topped with fresh muchrooms, olives, hot bubbling mozzarella and super juicy ham.

We were so stuffed after the pizza (we did pack leftovers!) that we had to skip the pasta and move on directly to the desserts. Yes, we always have a special place for desserts. Arja brought a dessert platter for us to choose from. The options were  tiramisu, wheat and ricotta cheesecake, panna cotta and caprese (chocolate and almond cake with a bit of rum). We decided to go with the Tiramisu and the Caprese.

Caprese and Tiramisu
Caprese and Tiramisu

The Tiramisu was light and deliciously creamy with a crunchy Amaretto cookie on the top. Pizza metro Pizza don’t put any liqueur in their tiramisu but the coffee syrup that the sponge fingers were soaked in did give it nice flavour. The only issue I had with this dish was the some bits of the sponge fingers were rubbery and it was a bit difficult to eat those bits with the spoon.

The Caprese was kind of okay. It looked moist but wasn’t so after you take a bite. I’d give this a miss but would love to try their wheat and ricotta cheesecake next time.

Pizza metro Pizza has a lot of delicious food to offer especially the pizzas. The place is kind of steep with respect to the pricing but the pizzas are truly worth a try. I’d like to thank Arja for her great hospitality and the delicious meal.

You can check our more about Pizza metro Pizza here and here.

Food paparazzi, conversations and smiles!! Bloggers meet at Polpo Cafe and Bar, Mumbai

It’s truly funny how food bloggers jump around and click pictures when the food arrives. The most funniest expressions and postures can be seen while they..actually we, try to capture a delectable click. This was clearly the scene when eight food bloggers met at Polpo Cafe & Bar in Bandra. Polpo Cafe & Bar, an all day cafe, is the new venture by Shantranj Napoli. As you enter the first thing to hit you is the al fresco seating with white and black tiles, miniature plant green wall and curved bamboo roof. It’s pretty, cozy and surprisingly the tiled seating is not uncomfortable as I thought it would be.

Polpo cafe 2

The inside has a separate dining section – Shatranj and the other is Polpo cafe. The cafe is casual with low tables, a well stocked bar, open kitchen tempting with aromas and a chef’s table right near the open kitchen where we were seated.

Polpo cafe

We started off with what Polpo is famous for…the Sangrias! Blonde, Classic and Blushing were called for. All nice and refreshing with crunchy slivers of apple. The only issue was the way the apples were cut..slivers did create a lot of embarrassing moments while sipping the Sangria. A fellow blogger called for Limoncello which was served warm with hints of ginger…unusual but nice. Along with the drinks we munched on warm bread and spiced bread sticks with butter.

Sangrias

So while we were happily sipping on our Sangrias, clicking away and laughing the appetizers were served. And here they are…

Fonduta di Funghi – fresh mushroom caps filled with fondue, served with spicy tomato sauce. Looked pretty, tasted well okay. Not bad but not memorable.

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Pollo Della Chef which was mustard marinated chicken grilled and served with garlic mayo. Chicken was cooked well but the I couldn’t taste the mustard. And also the mayo over powered the chicken flavor.

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Next up was the Zucchine Fritte and this was spectacular! Thinly sliced zucchini batter fried and perfectly crisp, sprinkled with a bit of spice and served with tartare sauce. A great bar snack!!

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Another stand out dish was the Asparagi al Prosciutto. Cooked to perfection asparagus which had a bit of a bite to them, then wrapped in prosciutto, topped with cheese and grilled! Yum in a bite!

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On the other hand Caprese salad didn’t stand out for me. I do prefer the authentic version.

I did have another favorite appetizer – Girandole di Salmone Affumicato (smoked salmon pinwheels, served with rocket salad). Nice smoky flavored salmon with a light cream cheese filling and the capers on the side just lifted the flavors immensely. *love*

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Another chicken appetizer was served..Pollo con Salsa Piccante which was basically chicken tossed in salsa and chili flakes. Chicken was moist, well seasoned and had a spice hit. But not anything unique.

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Done with the appetizers we were ready for our mains while a second round of drinks was served. *Happy us!* The mains were served and the weapons, I mean our cameras and smart phones, were in action again!!

There is a long list of what we ate..so here it is…

Risotto alla Genovese – basil-pesto risotto with sundried tomatoes, topped with pine nuts. The rice was well cooked with the pesto coming through and the pine nuts added a bit of crunch. I must tell you I do have a soft spot for pine nuts and it was delicious. DSC_3546

Then came the gnocchi dishes..the veg one – Gnocchi al Gorgonzola (gnocchi tossed in a creamy Gorgonzola) and the non veg – Gnocchi alla Ciociaria (gnocchi cooked with chili flakes, bacon, Italian sausage, porcini & tomato-cream)Both good, creamy and the gnocchi well cooked but I did prefer the vegetarian version. The Gorgonzola added a nice zing to the creamy sauce and the gnocchi melt in the mouth.

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I don’t a picture of the veg one..it was too far to click and I just wanted to eat! :p

The pesto chicken pizza was light with a crisp thin crust. But I felt that it was tad bit under seasoned and even though Polpo is known for its pizzas this didn’t stand out for me. May be I need to try the other pizzas they have to offer.

Pizza

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich – thinly sliced steak, onions, bell peppers, melted cheese & horseradish mayo on multigrain bread. The issue we faced here was that we were so engrossed in the clicking that the sandwich got cold and hence a bit chewy. But the meat was flavorful and well seasoned and the caramelized onions, bell peppers and mayo went really well together. And the fries on the side were nice and crunchy and so was the coleslaw. But the chewiness of the meat was a turn off.

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Petti di Pollo alla Griglia (grilled chicken breast, served with mashed potatoes, vegetables & mushroom sauce). The chicken was moist and juicy and the sauce accompanied it well. I loved the herb tossed veggies, they were amazing and had a bite to them. But the mashed potatoes were ho-hum. The potatoes were completely over shadowed by the rest of the dish.

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Fish Veracruz (baked fish with capers, jalapenos, bell peppers, olives & tomato salsa, served with Mexican rice). I was looking forward to this dish bit it was a disappointment. The basa was cooked well. It was flaky and moist. Everything was fine with the dish other than the tomato salsa. It was too tangy and clearly over powered the delicate flavor of the fish. The sauce needs to be rectified and it will be all good.

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There were two other mains, Chicken with penne and Lamb Birria (roasted lamb with rich chili sauce, served with mexican rice & pico de gallo). I didn’t get a chance to taste the penne but fellow blogger seemed satisfied but the lamb is something that should be avoided. It was terribly chewy. I didn’t eat more than a bite. That’s something they need to look into.

There were a few misses here and there mainly due to the imbalance in flavors on the plate. They need to get the flavors mentioned in the menu on the plate and also make sure that the main component is not overpowered by everything else.

Stuffed with the mains we decided how we’d like to end the meal and the desserts were called for. We got a little greedy here I feel.

Desserts

The desserts which hit the spot were – Bailey’s surprise, Tiramisu and Pizookie. Bailey’s surprise was a chocolate filled with dense chocolate mousse and when we dug deep…*surprise* there was baileys in the center  Tiramisu had the perfect hit from the coffee and liqueur and smooth light cream. Pizookie was basically a large freshly baked cookie topped with ice cream, nuts and chocolate sauce. New and different and surely a treat for chocolate lovers.

The desserts that didn’t do much for me were the overly sweet red velvet cake and the so-so soggy crusted cheesecake.

All in all I feel that Polpo cafe did well when it came to the vegetarian food we tasted, the drinks and desserts but fell in the meat main course. The chewy lamb and steak made me crave for the pesto risotto and Gorgonzola gnocchi. A must visit for the desserts, drinks and the appetizers though!

And while we thought that our really long lunch (we got done at 5 pm) came to an end there was more. Sambuca shots! It had Sambuca and mint. Yum and not so crazy strong..may be that’s why we could take it so easily after a heavy meal. All in all it was an amazing afternoon, meeting interesting food bloggers, laughing and enjoying good food. Bliss!

Bloggers

Here are the twitter handles of the bloggers..

@AmritaRana ,@DelishDirection, @Shivzi, Kumar from @PetPujaris, @ChandniT, @Snehasaysso, @CulinaryMuse1 and me 🙂 @kneadwithlove !!

Know more about Polpo cafe and bar here!!

The Chef’s Table at Sancho’s courtesy Burrp! and Yes Bank

Burrp! had organized Chef’s Tables along with Yes bank which required burrpers to review 7 restaurants in one day and they could register for a free 3 to 5 course meal at few of the best restaurants in Mumbai. After seeing all the buzz around this on Twitter, I immediately got my reservation done for Sancho’s and so did Mr.P. Well we chose Sancho’s because even though we had visited this place once before; we hadn’t got a chance to try a lot of dishes. And also we preferred suburbs considering the travel convenience.

We were the first ones to reach the restaurant all excited but unfortunately the restaurant management didn’t seem to be aware about Chef’s table. This was kind of a put off as we were just asked to sit at different places till they figured out what the event was all about. Slowly people for the event started pouring in, including a Burrp! representative – Sanjana. We were all seated and introductions began during which the Vegetarian fiesta nachos were served. I didn’t have an issue with the nachos per say but the menu that was shared online had a different choice of starters which we weren’t given! Coming back to the nachos…there were blue and yellow corn chips placed on a layer of refried beans and covered with fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, olives and jalapenos. The guacamole was nice and creamy but needed a little bit of a lime zing and so did the salsa, but considering that we were very hungry we wiped it clean pretty soon.

Fiesta Nachos

Next came the drinks. We had a choice of any one cocktail or mocktail. Me and Mr.P both settled for cocktails. I got the Classic Margarita and Mr.P got the Cancun Tea. The drinks were nice with the right hit from the liquor. Cancun tea was a mix of liquors kind of like long island iced tea.

Classic margarita and Cancun tea

The servers were ready to take orders for the mains. Atleast this time we got to choose. We ordered for Talla fish and Chicken Enchilada. After everyone was done with the orders Chef Sanjay gave us some information regarding the meal for the night. He spoke about refried beans, chipotle chili, how tres leches is made and a lot more. Pretty soon the mains were served. A few of the other diners called for the Vegetable tacos and vegetarian fajita. 

Veg Tacos
Photo courtesy – Burrp!
Vegetable Fajita
Photo courtesy – Burrp!

We didn’t taste the tacos and fajita but the diners seemed to be pretty happy with them. Mr.P was making *big eyes* after seeing the huge portion of the Chicken enchilada!! 

Chicken Enchiladas

Here is what I thought about the enchiladas – The sauce was nice, piping hot and tangy with a chili hit. The portion was huge with generous portion of chicken and cheese. The only issue I had with the dish was that due it’s huge portion the pile of cheese cooled pretty soon and then became a little difficult and heavy to eat. Just a little less of the cheese and it will be good to go.

And here is what Mr.P thought – The dish looked pretty and was loaded with chicken and cheese. The mexican rice & refried beans were flavorful which gave a great twist from the otherwise monotonous tasting chicken enchilada.

I had called for the Talla fish which didn’t look visually that great but tasted truly great!! It was a nice moist fish fillet covered with smokey chili paste and then baked on a banana leaf. It came with a side of a salad, flavorful mexican rice, refried beans, salsa, guacamole and a couple of nacho chips. An entire meal on one plate I’d say!

Talla fish

Mr. P’s thoughts about the Talla fish – Like said above, not the best looking dishes of the evening but it certainly livened up our tastebuds. Real soft fish with amazing accompaniments to help reduce the intensity of the chili. Not really impressed though as I was still looking forward to the best part of the meal.

After the mains we were a little too full but I was really looking forward to the dessert. I had never tried Tres Leches but had heard so much about this cake and there were no second thoughts on what I wanted for dessert. So I got the Tres Leches and Mr.P got the churros with chocolate sauce. Like we always do! Always order different things to get the best.

Tres Leches – the sponge that is soaked overnight in three types of milk i.e evaporated, condensed and regular milk and then covered with a thick layer of whipped cream, was YUM in a bite! I seriously did expect it to be soggy and too milky (I’m not a fan of how milk smells!) but it wasn’t so. Not too sweet, still holding its shape the cake stood tall on the plate and Mr.P agreed with me on this.

Tres Leches

The Churros came with a serving of dark chocolate sauce. Churros were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside but were a little too covered with sugar and not cinnamon sugar. And the chocolate sauce too wasn’t glossy and free flowing…it kind of just set in the bowl and that made it difficult to dip the churros. I’d give this a miss and give the Tres Leches a thumbs up! Mr.P’s felt that the churros were a tad too sweet and the chocolate despite being bitter (my favourite type) didn’t help alter the sweetness that much and for a person who loves San Churros it was a tall order to compete with.

Churros

Overall the experience at Sancho’s was pleasant despite the few hiccups. We were stuffed with good food and smiles which is always a good sign. I’d say head to Sancho’s for their cocktails, Talla fish and Tres leches.

Here is all the information you need about Sancho’s.

Suzette 2.0

Me and Mr.P can’t seem to get enough of this place. You can check details about my previous blog post for more details about Suzette. Heading to Bandra and we involuntarily end up craving for Suzette and Candies.

As Mr.P says…

“For me it is one the coziest/most comfy spots in the city! Even though it being in the heavily crowded area of Pali Naka it stills give a very peaceful feeling. Maybe it’s the simple yet amazingly yummy food, the wooden seating platform, the polite staff or the quick and efficient service!”

The menu at Suzette has a lot to offer and we thought we’d try something new this time. Not that we covered the menu …they have a lot of salad options as well as crepe filling options. But this time croque was a must have!

Sometime back Mr.P had tried a croque, tiramisu and black coffee frappe. Here’s his take on what he thought about the food.

Mr.P : I tried the Onion Croque which had tomatoes, mozarella, caramelized onions and mushrooms and it was just brilliant. The lettuce salad accompaniment had the most amazing dressing (great flavour) that perfectly complimented the croque. Off lately, I am really addicted to black coffee (not really a good thing) and so the Americano Frappe had to be ordered and it didn’t disappoint.

Croque onion and black coffee frappe

We always have the mousse and so this time I wanted to pick something new. The dessert of the day was Tiramisu and as you can see from the pic it looked nothing less than stunning. However, I felt that it did not have enough liqueur to give that hit which I always long for in this “loved by all” Italian dessert.

Tiramisu

During our most recent visit we tried the Pesto Croque, Estragon crepe and Chocolate mousse. 

The pesto croque was unlike the regular French croque you would expect with bread and loads of cheese. It was more like a quesadilla. It was filled with generous amounts of flavourful fresh pesto, grilled zucchini and stringy melted mozzarella. The croque came with a side of a zingy salad dressed in mustard. And as I’ve said in the previous post too..the herb oil does wonders with everything.

Croque Pesto with Estragon crepe in the background

The crepe estragon had a filling of grilled chicken, mushrooms, mustardy yogurt sauce, emmenthal and tarragon. Well accord to me and Mr.P the emmenthal and tarragon flavours were a bit over powered with the yogurt mustard sauce. But overall it wasn’t too bad..though not my favorite. I still love the ratatouille crepe!! Filled with the croque and the crepe we settled one just one of our favorite chocolate mousse. And immediately we were fighting to grab a bite of the mousse. Same and heavenly as before…airy, chocolatey but not too much, hit of coffee….pure YUM!

Chocolate mousse

Suzette didn’t disappoint us but does feel steep to head here regularly. But once in a while digging into that airy mousse is not bad right!! 🙂

J’aime Suzette

Suzette is like the perfect French cafe I’ve always wished Mumbai should have. Considering how noisy and crowded this city is entering this café suddenly makes it all calm and old world like. Despite its small area it doesn’t feel that you are cramped up and stuffed in a noisy box. It is cozy and thanks to its earthy color palate décor and simplistic yet artistic look there is a certain calmness this cafe emits. It has 2 branches in Mumbai, Nariman point and Pali naka, and it does manage to keep the food, flavor and the atmosphere consistent..which is worth acknowledging because many places arent very successful in pulling off consistency. Special pat on the back for the three people behind this cafe!!


Moving on to the food..the cafe serves salads, buckwheat savory crepes, dessert crepes, juices, smoozies, coffee, breakfast from 9 am to 11.30 am and the latest addition to their menu are croques. They also have specials of the day written on a rustic blackboard.
I’ve tried the buckwheat crepes here and I’m a fan of the ratatouille with emmenthal filling. You can make your own crepe too!! But don’t forget to taste the herb oil which is kept on all the tables..it really adds that something extra to the crepe.


The cappuccino here is refreshing..though I don’t know much about coffee but I do like it strong and crisp!


The Belgian chocolate crepe is divine and there is no chocolate lover who wouldn’t louvee it!! A bite of the crepe and you will be forced to go mmmmmm….

I had heard a lot about the chocolate mousse this cafe has to offer and it was given that I had to try it. I’m so glad I did 😀
The mousse is served cutely in a cutting chai glass. Its everything that a mousse should be – airy, melt in mouth, not too sweet, not too rich that you just can’t eat another bite. I was sold and I did return to Suzette just for the mousse..so much so that I agreed to wait for a table just to eat the mousse!

Only disappointment that I have is when I opted for dessert of the day : the chocolate fondant…it didn’t ooze the chocolate the way it is supposed to!

I won a free crepe with ratatouille, mozzarella and tepenade through a Facebook contest and I was more than happy to head to Suzette again…!

Its a perfect place you go to relax, enjoy authentic french cuisine, sip on some nice coffee, have a pleasant conversation and get lost in wonderland with every spoon of Suzette’s chocolate mousse!!

Check out Suzette’s website for more information!