Friday, 16 November 2018

Bombay Dessert Company Mahakali Mumbai Review | Vegetarian Fried Ice Cream Pancakes Milkshakes Waffles | Food Review

Situated in a part of Mumbai that does not feel like Mumbai at all (you will know what I mean when you go to Mahakali area!), Bombay Dessert Company is like an oasis in a dessert :D Small but cute, very bright and clean place with a menu full of desserts,desserts and more desserts. Service is fast, prices are very reasonable for quantity and quality, they are open till late for midnight dessert cravings and staff is very helpful in suggesting the best things from the menu.

The menu has something for everyone. Their specialties are Fried Ice creams and Stuffed little pancake bombs. Alongside there are bubble waffles and milkshakes too. Literally everything is utterly delicious. For someone like me with a sweet jaw, this is pure heaven. Even my sister who is not much into desserts 100% LOVED everything. We had-

-- NUTELLA BUBBLE WAFFLE- Soft (but not chewy) bubble shaped waffle, loads of nutella, loads of dark chocolate sauce, what is not to love! Can be served with ice cream too, their ice creams are very creamy and flavorful.

-- RED VELVET MINI PANCAKE- Mini round pancake bombs with full bodied (but not overly sugary) red velvet flavor, enveloped in generous white chocolate & caramel sauce, beautiful sweet-salty flavors, worked amazingly well. My sister loved this one.

-- BLUEBERRY MINI PANCAKE- Another round of small pancake bombs with fresh tangy blueberry flavor, enveloped in generous dark chocolate sauce & chocolate chips. MY FAVORITE. What a delight ♥

-- BANANA CARAMEL MILKSHAKE- Bananas, Caramel sauce, a bit of white chocolate, yummy in tummy :D Not overly cold, not overly sweet/sugary, just PERFECT.

-- PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIE MILKSHAKE- The STAR for me. Peanut butter, brownie, a bit chunky, a lot dark, dense, mini-meal of sorts :D

-- JELLY STRAWBERRY FRICECREAM - Perfected the technique of fried ice creams, the coating does not overpower the ice cream at all, and they serve it nicely with all toppings in place. This one had delectable strawberry ice cream in a crispy fried ball alongside loads of jellies and sprinkles, making us feel like 9 year olds!

-- VANILLA NUTELLA FERRERO FRICECREAM - Subtle creamy vanilla ice cream in a crispy fried ball with loads of nutella & ferrero rocher pieces enveloping it, making it simple yet yummazing.

We  made a complete dinner of our invite here and can confidently say that this is THE place to be, for ages 9 to 99, this Hungry Hippo recommends whole-heartedly :)

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Aromas Cafe Powai Mumbai Review | Coffee Pizza Pasta Cheesecake And More | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Aromas is an established name in the world of coffee for almost a decade now. This Powai outlet was the first one I visited with my friends when I lived nearby and always had a nice coffee + gup-shup. Getting an invite to try out some of their food offerings too brought back all those college time memories :D

Prominently situated in Hiranandani Gardens Powai, this is pretty spacious outlet with loads of food & beverage options, healthy as well as calorific. Service is cool, staff is very helpful and the Chef himself was very accommodating when we told him we wanted something different from the pasta options provided to us in the bloggers special menu. A glance at price card shows it is standard for an outlet of this caliber in this city of Mumbai. Quantity & quality wise, no issues with either food or beverage :)

Tried and loved-

JALAPENO NUGGETS- Cheesy to the hilt, just a tinge of spiciness, served with thousand island dip, it was all delicious, a bit too cheesy but who complains about cheese,right? :D (Maybe add some corn or zucchini to add a little crunch)

WOODCUTTERS PIZZA- Thin base crunchy pizza with Spinach + Corn + Jalapenos + Sun-dried Tomatoes,  loved the balance of flavors in here. The sauce they used was spicy so every bite had a kick, usually I am not into spicy food but this was really good. 

AGLIO OLIO PEPPERONCINI - Spaghetti in very basic preparation with olive oil, generous inclusion of bell peppers, olives, jalapenos, garlic, smattering of parmesan cheese, it was utterly wholesome, healthy, delicious. My sister does not like Spaghetti at all and she devoured this because it was so simple yet so delectable! Aromas Cafe convinced my sister to devour Spaghetti, that is worth an extra star in itself :D

For beverages we had -
COLD COFFEE- Creamy, not icy, good,
NUTELLA COFFEE - Hot, soul soothing, goooooooood,

For dessert, we tried their BAKED CHEESECAKE and it was nice, the presentation was especially masterful.

Overall, Aromas stays on my list of places to make memories with friends, with a side of coffee and delicious food. This hungry hippo happily recommends :)

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Bakeology Mumbai Review | Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Healthy Nutritious Delicacies | Food Review

What to do when brain wants you to eat healthy but your heart says, 'Hey, it is Diwali, forget healthy because healthy means boring and tasteless'?

You land at Bakeology, Thane :)

Was here just prior to Diwali for a glimpse into how taste meets health in the most delectable way. Dr. Kasturi is on a mission and it is worth joining in. She started baking goodies for her little daughter, hoping to wean her away from fried/ junk/ artificial-flavors-laden stuff and pretty soon, not only her daughter but even her neighbors were hooked onto some unbelievably delicious yet superbly healthy baked goods. Yes, I am talking about cakes, nutella, cookies..a plethora of them. All this with-

NO Maida
NO Eggs
NO Butter
NO Sugar
NO Cream

Yup, imagine that. Baked goods that are sugar-free, gluten-free, made of ingredients such as Bajra, Jowar, Ragi, Honey, Almonds and more such nutritious ingredients. And when we tried some of them, we did not think, 'oh my God, what is this'. Rather we were delighted with  'oh dear God, how is this so good!'

We tried and utterly loved-

ENERGY BALLS- Oats, Flaxseeds, Coconut, Honey, Peanut Butter, Chia - true to their name, crunchy goodness),

HOMEMADE NUTELLA- This was 100% hazelnut, you realize what that means,right? The version we get in the market is barely 30-35% hazelnut. Imagine the difference. Clearly the winner of the afternoon for us. So dark and sinful, but no guilt at all because it is SUGAR-FREE (there is honey peoples) :D

NANKHATAI- Besan, Rawa, real Cranberries and Pista- delicious, no artificial flavor or excessive sugary aftertaste at all,

GLUTENFREE STAR LOAF- Made of mix of Ragi + Jowar + Bajra + Apple + Walnut + Cinnamon+ Coconut Crumble, my favorite :)

DARK CHOCOLATE BROOKIE- Brownie meets Cookie in this medley of Sea Salt Chocolate Brookie, niiiiiiiice :D

GRANOLA- My sister said this was the best granola she ever had, I wouldn't know because she finished it all alone :P Kidding, it was awesome. If you like granola, try this. If you don't like granola, try this. Just try this.

BANANA WALNUT CAKE- Base is made of Brown Rice but obviously we did not feel it any less delicious from any other banana cake we have ever had. Bananas, Walnuts, yum yum,

DARK CHOCOLATE LOAF - Ragi + Chocolate + Almond Meal + Choco-Chips + Almond Chunks, enough to make one salivate from memory,

Prices are a bit high because obviously only real ingredients are used, no shortcuts are used (no fillers, no sugar, no artificial colors etc.) and quality is top-notch. New recipes are being developed and you can always call Dr. Kasturi and place a personalized, customized order for your bakery needs. Bakeology delivers all over Mumbai and I know for sure where my next baked goods hamper is coming from :) 

Monday, 12 November 2018

Vedantika Herbals Anti Ageing Mask Review | Ayurvedic Beauty Review | Indian Beauty Health Lifestyle Blogger

In my quest to find good DIY natural beauty products, I have been trying several different brands of Herbal & Ayurvedic face packs. I prefer face packs that are in powder form, so I can mix them with yogurt/ milk/ turmeric and other ingredients from my kitchen and do some kick-ass DIY for my problematic skin. I find this approach works better than using other kinds of masks, most of the time. 

So the latest in this series is Vedantika Herbals, a brand I had heard of but never had chance to try. Four months ago, I redeemed some loyalty points on my bank card and got Vedantika Herbals Anti Ageing Mask, let us see how it fared :)

Packaging of Vedantika Herbals Anti Ageing Mask is simple, in a plastic bottle with cap. It looks travel friendly, I have not travelled with it but it looks and feels sturdy.

Ingredients list is full of ancient Ayurvedic ingredients (and their scientific name is given), I googled them and found out that basically this mask has Fuller's Earth (Multani Mitti) as base with addition of Ashwagandha, Aloe Vera, Basil, Beheda, Camphor, Shankhabhasma. Ooh, exotic list! 

Claims are keeping in line with how such traditional Ayurvedic ingredients work, it promises to prevent sagging of skin, enhance cell regeneration, leave skin radiant and shining.

Availability of Vedantika Herbals Anti Ageing Mask is quite common online on Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart etc. On Amazon, it is available for around Rs. 300 for 70 grams.

Quantity is quite good as I used it everyday on my face and neck and it lasted me more than 6 weeks. Only a small amount is needed to make a good paste. If you like really thick face masks then it will last just about a month. If you like thin layer of face mask, it will last longer.

Usage - Mix 1 teaspoon with rose water and add honey for dry skin. Apply a thick layer. Let it dry, wash off. Simple :D Suggested to use twice a week (but I used everyday and it was fine).

Effect - Having spent my whole life using similar products, I know how to use it and what effects to expect on my face. I mix it with yogurt and a little bit of almond oil to make a nice paste, apply on face, it takes 10-12 minutes to completely dry and then I wash it off. First off, the most important thing, my very problematic, very sensitive, very acne-prone skin did not react with any ingredient and I did not see any new pimples emerge after using this product, so I can vouch for its ingredients being pure and good for every kind of skin.

Immediately on applying it, there is a cooling and mildly tingling sensation, I think it is because of Camphor. I have used it constantly for more than 1 month and I saw visible changes. 

1- My skin feels more plump and supple to touch,
2- I could feel a lot of dry patches on my cheeks during monsoon, they have cleared completely leaving behind only baby soft skin,
3- On my forehead I had a little tanned patch that has now lightened a bit, even though lightening/brightening is not one of this mask's claims but I think I got this bonus good effect.

Vedantika Herbals Anti Ageing Mask is mainly made of Multani Mitti base, so I suggest always use it after mixing some oils or full fat cream/ milk in it. For combination-oily or completely oily skin, it is a boon since multani mitti will soak up all the oil. 

Even though my skin has been a bit on the drier side lately, I have never felt my skin parched or dehydrated after using this mask because I add some almond oil drops in it. I do not have any visible wrinkles so cannot comment on that but we all know that no cream or beauty product can 'halt ageing' or 'reverse ageing'. Ageing is a natural part of human life but what Ayurvedic ingredients can definitely do is impart a shine, a radiance to skin so that it does not 'look or feel old'. In that sense, YES, Vedantika Herbals Anti Ageing Mask is quite effective.

  • Good DIY product
  • Absorbs extra oil, yet does not dry out skin
  • Makes skin soft, a bit radiant, removes dry patches
  • Nice cooling effect due to camphor, mild tingling too
  • Made of pure Ayurvedic ingredients, no bad chemicals added
  • I saw bonus good effect of little brightening and reduced tanning too
  • No allergies, breakout or bad reaction on my super-sensitive skin
  • Available online, can be bought from Amazon or Nykaa or Flipkart

  • Main ingredient in multani mitti, very dry skin may feel dehydrated
  • Can seem costly for the quantity but quality is worth it

Recommended -YES. This is one of the best Ayurvedic face masks I have used. Rating is 4.5/5.  

Monday, 5 November 2018

Indus Valley Bio Organic Sandalwood Powder Review | Ready to use DIY Beauty Product | Beauty Review

The moment I tuned into the field of skincare and beauty (my high school years), I immediately latched onto the idea of using ingredients like  Sandalwood Powder, Turmeric Powder, Multani Mitti etc. Simply because I have seen my mom use such ingredients all her life and she has always had the most beautiful skin. After using Ayur Face Pack for years and years, it was heartbreaking when I couldn't buy Ayur anymore. So I started searching around for new DIY, ready to use sandalwood powder and decided to try Indus Valley Bio Organic Sandalwood Powder :)

Packaging of  Indus Valley Bio Organic Sandalwood Powder is similar to other such products. It is available in a little paper packet which has a plastic sachet inside with the actual powder. It is better to store it in some other container just like I did in an old Forest Essentials container.

Ingredients list is simple with Sandalwood Powder, Multani Mitti, Calamine Powder, Almond Powder. 

Claims are keeping in line with how such traditional ingredients work, it promises to provide cooling, nourishment, improve complexion of skin and give anti-wrinkle effect with regular usage.

Availability of Indus Valley Bio Organic Sandalwood Powder is not that common, I have seen it online on Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart. I bought it from Amazon for Rs. 189 for 100 grams.

Quantity is what I have a big problem with. I opened the sachet and stored the entire product in Forest Essentials container which is 75 grams while this powder is supposed to be 100 grams. YET when I emptied the sachet, the 75 grams container is all it took for the sachet to be emptied completely. So either Forest Essentials is giving 100 grams worth product in place of 75 grams OR Indus Valley Bio Sandalwood Powder is giving less than 75 grams worth of product in place of 100 grams. 

Anyway, only a small quantity is needed so even this much is enough for 1 month when used everyday.

Usage - Mix 1 spoon with rose water or fresh water, apply on face, let it dry, wash face. Easy-peasy :D

Effect - Having spent my whole life using similar product, I know how to use it and what effects to expect on my face. I mix it with yogurt and a little bit of almond oil to make a nice paste, apply on face, it takes 10 minutes to completely dry and then I wash it off. It smells nice, the aroma lingers for some time, it does soothe and calm my skin, makes it soft and even my super-sensitive skin has not reacted to any ingredient, so I can definitely vouch for it being a good effective product.

The face pack powder is mainly made of Multani Mitti base, where sandalwood, calamine and almond are added in smaller quantities and thus it can leave dry skin dehydrated, so I suggest always use it after mixing some oils or full fat milk cream in it. For combination-oily or completely oily skin, it is a boon since multani mitti, calamine and sandalwood are amazing ingredients to soak up all the oil. I have used it for nearly a month now and I cannot say that it has worked on my old acne scars at all, or about its 'wrinkle reducing' effect but overall it is a good basic product that can be used in conjunction with many other ingredients from the kitchen.

Depending on your skin type and preference, you can mix turmeric, lemon juice, tomato juice, some drops of face oil, milk, yogurt or any other such ingredient in Indus Valley Bio Organic Sandalwood Powder to make a good face pack. The biggest problem I had was with its quantity. I am disappointed that supposedly 100 grams of powder completely fit in 75 grams container!

  • Good DIY product
  • Absorbs extra oil, perfect for oily or combination-oily skin
  • Makes skin soft and smooth
  • Nice calming aroma that lingers for some time
  • No bad chemicals added, it is just mix of good ingredients
  • Calms and soothes skin, I have seen reduction in pimple size with this
  • No allergies, breakout or bad reaction on my super-sensitive skin
  • Available online, I bought from Amazon

  • QUANTITY! It is supposed to be 100 grams, yet it completely fit in a 75 grams container! HOW?
  • Main ingredient in multani mitti,while sandalwood is in lesser quantity
  • I cannot vouch for how pure the sandalwood powder is, whether it is really organic or not, no way to tell that
  • Not good for dry skin, they have to add something oily to it
  • I did not see any effect on fading old acne scars or pigmentation or sunburn even after 1 month of usage

Recommended - MAYBE. It is a decent product but I will continue my search for a better alternative. Rating is 3/5.