Monday, 14 January 2019

The Public Co. Vashi | European Comfort Food | Food Review | Restaurant Review

One of the best feelings about being a foodie is when you find a little gem unexpectedly. This is what happened with me at The Public Co. The review invite made it sound like majorly a drinking place and I don't drink, PLUS it is pretty far off from my home, so I almost did not visit here but my sister decided to drag me here on Saturday for lunch. Don't tell her this but she was right :P This did turn out to be pretty amazing find for us :)

Situated at Satra Mall, Vashi, The Public Co. is an ode to best of Europe. Spacious and bright (with lots of yellow color taking center-stage), the vibe is bright + happily laid-back. Huge bar. Yes, majorly a watering hole (as I suspected) with many offers on drinks, but a nice compact menu with sandwiches, burgers, soups, pasta, pizza, sizzlers, all with a promised flavor of Europe in there. Just think of comfort food and you are set here. 

Prices a bit on higher side. Portions are good, staff is very polite and helpful. Some dishes did take a long time coming but we did not mind since none of the staff were hovering around us, they let us chill and we soaked in some Dua Lipa and her new rules followed by Edward Sheeran's magnetic push and pull and Sia's Chandelier (rocking music) :D

Started off with SWEET FRESH LIME SODA, E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T, very refreshing,

-- SOUPS--

MINESTRONE- Italian soup, very mildly spicy, tomato based, little bits of veggies, garlic, onions, LOVED,

CORN AND CHEESE- My sister's FAV, creamy and thick corn + cheese mix, 2 bowls of this is enough as a light lunch, RECOMMENDED ♥


COTTAGE CHEESE MAMA ROSA- soft pieces of cottage cheese in mildly spicy rich tomato sauce, this was good,

VEG PLATTER - Big platter consisting of MAC & CHEESE NUGGETS, JALAPENO-CHEESE POPPERS, BROCCOLI-CHEESE CROQUETTES, ONION RINGS and GARLIC BREAD. Now, I am not much into heavily fried stuff. It all tastes the same to me. I liked the mac-cheese nuggets, garlic bread, so this platter for me personally was not great. BUT my sister who often parties with her friends said that this is EXACTLY the kind of platter one wants while drinking. So I am letting her be the judge of how good this platter was. I will not reorder it but apparently people want something like this at a watering hole, so go ahead, order it if you are drinking.

Oh, the platter came with 2 dips, those were amazing.


We were pretty full after hearty soup and big platter so even though I had my mind on trying a lot of other stuff, we just tried-

SPINACH LASAGNA- Easily, one of the BEST Lasagna we have ever had ♥ I would come back here just for the soups and this lasagna. Pasta sheets, perfectly layered with spinach, cheese, herbs, it is a simple dish that tastes magnificent. Mind-blowing, great dish. RECOMMENDED ♥

THAI GREEN CURRY- Spicy full-bodied creamy coconut-based Thai curry served with huge portion of steamed rice, very good, I liked that they did not unnecessarily add any sweetening flavor in the curry here. It was rustic good taste.


CHOCO LAVA CAKE- Chocolate enclosure cake with oozing molten lava, served with vanilla ice cream, I single-handedly demolished 75%,YUMMY :D

SIZZLING BROWNIE - Sizzling plate, Moist Brownie, Vanilla Ice cream, Chocolate Sauce, what's not to love ♥

Well, our long drive to and fro here was certainly worth it, 100% recommended for some hearty comfort food. Bon Appetit! 

Sunday, 2 December 2018

New Year Event Experience Nostalgia | Or What A New Year Party Should Never Be Like | Mumbai NYE 2019

"Happy New Year"

Three words that inspire immense happiness and hope and a zeal for celebration. Food, Fun, Friends, Frolic. After witnessing amazing New Year Parties in countless Bollywood movies, it is but natural for a Mumbai resident (like moi) to want to indulge in some out-of-this-world party. This is what happened 10 years ago...

My college friends (who were avid nightclub goers) decided on a long drive at first but at last minute the plan had to be cancelled because the farmhouse they had rented was rented out to someone else by mistake and there was a lot of confusion. This happened just 2 days before the New Year Eve! And remember, since this was 10 years ago, we did not have active social media scene like now- twitter, facebook were in nascent stage, instgram had not captured our attention and we did not have any centralized website to find out options for celebrating New Year. We had to go by connections, word-of-mouth, all that jazz!

So finally we decided that we would gate-crash whichever NYE Mumbai party we could score last-minute tickets for. Turns out that one of my friend's mother had a friend who got us 8 tickets for a New Year party at a resort at Madh Island. Yoohoo, we were so excited now. Madh Island sounded rad (that was the cool party term back then :P) So 6 of us friends and the kind lady who scored us the tickets plus 1 of her friends, we all landed at this huge resort at Madh Island on 31 December by 9 PM, dressed in our finest part attire and ready to boogie the night away.

(What we expected)

At first glance, it seemed okay. Guests were still streaming in. Of course, real party won't start before 11 PM, we all thought. Till then, we were ready to maybe play some fun games, indulge in light dancing, nosh on some nibbles, down some cocktails...but guess what, there was nothing in sight! Sure the place was all decked up, balloons and streamers and some stray disco balls too, but no food or drinks in sight at all. The invite had made it sound like there would be some entertainment program too but all we witnessed was a sad DJ belting some retro tunes sporadically.

(What we got)

We waited and waited some more. More guests streamed in and finally we saw some servers with trays roaming around. After frantically flailing our arms for 5 minutes, we managed to capture attention of one of them. Chicken drumsticks, that's what arrived. Now half of our party was vegetarians, so our non-vegetarian compatriots polished the plate clean and sent a special request for some vegetarian delicacies. Half an hour later, we got a plate of Paneer tikkas after 4 rounds of about half a dozen non-vegetarian dishes had paraded through the area. Come on, this is India, it is not difficult to come up with 3-4 good vegetarian appetizers at a New Year Eve Party. 

Meanwhile, 2 singers had started a sort-of entertainment program on the vast stage. They were good, but this was not supposed to be a singing event. Where was entertainment? Dancers? Maybe a magician? Maybe an emcee with some jokes, some fun games? Something to make it an interactive event? No idea. 

(What we wanted)

Finally around 11.30 PM, we were famished and started searching for proper food. There had to be main course and dessert, right? Especially for us vegetarians who by now were fed up of Paneer Tikka :P We found a small shack with literally 3 items- Fried Rice, Manchurian, some Mutton gravy. That's it. And unlimited Vanilla/ Strawberry scoops of ice cream. Yay!

(What we got was worse than this)

After dancing for 15 more minutes and watching a half-hearted cracker bursting at the stroke of midnight, we left the venue, trying very hard to convince ourselves that we had not been to just a kid's birthday party and this really was a New Year Eve Party. We reached home by 3 AM and the ride in car on the way back was more entertaining than the entire 3 hours we spent at this so-called New Year Party celebration.

But fret not, 10 years later, I know now that no situation like this can happen with my group of friends on NYE 2019. Just came across HighApe that seems to be the ultimate one-stop platform for discovering India's best nightlife options. And guess what, they have a handpicked list of New Year Events & Parties in Mumbai. No more landing at strange places with false promises of a rocking time, HighApe is where we get to pick and choose our poison aka New Year 2019 Event ourselves. 

How does a 'Masquerade Experience' sound? Intriguing enough? Or maybe NYE 2019 Event at an amusement park is more your thing..well how does 'New Year Bash at Imagica' sounds then? Fun, Food, Friends, Music, Dancing, Live Acts and is all there ready for us to choose from and make our New Year 2019 very special. I am logging on to make NYE 2019 awesome for me and my friends, and hope you do so too :)

Source : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Mukta A2 Cinemas Jai Hind Lalbaug Mumbai | Blockbuster Movie Watching Experience | Fantastic Beasts Crimes of Grindelwald

Mumbai is synonymous with Bollywood. The city of dreams. The city of glitz and glamour. The city of stars. Obviously, being a Mumbaikar, a true-blue citizen of this glorious megapolis, watching movies every weekend is one of my biggest hobbies. Spending 2-3 hours immersed in a fantasy land, what could be better than that. How about adding a super-cozy ambiance, excellent food and beverage options (delivered on seat) and such perks? We got it all at Mukta A2 Jai Hind Cinema, Lalbaug, Mumbai last Sunday when we watched Fantastic Beasts : Crimes of Grindelwald (Hindi dubbed version) here :)

Once upon a time, I used to believe that all movie theatres are alike. How much difference can there be among a bunch of buildings that house super-dark halls with huge white screens? Well, turns out, a lot! In my childhood (that was spent in a really small city), going to movie theatres was a mixed experience. Ofcourse, this was back when there was no Netflix, no internet, no youtube, no Amazon Prime…watching movies on the big screen was the big family thing and we were naturally elated. BUT it also meant going to theatres with cramped leg space, 1-2 horrible and stale food options, a lot of crowd, wailing babies and I kid you not- we even sometimes found termites in seats. Yup, all this and more.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised on arriving in Mumbai and visiting its many famed cinema halls to find that watching movies in theatre can truly be an enchanting experience. Especially now with the advent of multiplexes everywhere and movie-goers getting more demanding with each passing day, the theatre owners have also upped their game. This was my first visit to Mukta A2 Cinemas at Lalbaug, Mumbai and we found it top-notch in every department.

The building itself is quite colourful and stands out in Lalbaug area. Buying tickets is a breeze. The lounge on ground floor has some vintage framed colourful movie posters, very inviting touch for any movie lover. Lift was out of order on the day we went but that’s okay, sometimes these things happen. Taking the stairs just meant a bit of cardio for us, always a welcome idea :D Right outside the theatre, there was a food-beverage station (Cafe Park) with a bevy of choices for us.

Prices are very affordable, both when it comes to movie tickets as well as for food and beverage options. We had Nachos, Samosa, Burger, Sandwiches, Popcorn, Coffee, Cold Drinks to choose from. And we enjoyed Veg Coleslaw Sandwich, Caramel Popcorn, couple of Cold Drinks, Hot Coffee and couple of Samosas, to the hilt. Everything is fresh and tasty, especially the Samosas were fantastic. On-seat service meant additional convenience for us. 

The theatre itself was very clean. The entrance stairs' carpet has prints of movie-reels, nice and quirky. Seats had more than ample leg space, something I am very particular about because cramped spaces give my knee trouble and I want to avoid that at all cost (thinking about my family’s history of arthritis here!). Here I could comfortably move my leg around, made it a very cozy experience for me. The screen is wide, both visual and audio quality top notch. Volume was just right, not too loud and not too low. 

Completely relaxed from beginning to end, we loved being at Mukta A2 Cinemas Jai Hind, Lalbaug, Mumbai. That’s a complete blockbuster movie-watching experience right here :)