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Saturday, 15 September 2018

Hello Guppy BKC Mumbai Interior Decor | Quirky Fun Colorful Vibrant Instagram Worthy | Lifestyle Photography

Walking in at Hello Guppy I had no idea on what to expect. Well, not only has it become one of my recent favorite foodie destinations in Mumbai, it is also a quirky, beautiful, vibrant place that deserves a full post on its brilliant interior decor. So without further ado, soak in its beauty here and read its full review HERE :)

You can also check out more interior decor posts HERE, HERE and HERE! A stroll through a mall or a 5 star luxury property, there is beauty everywhere to behold ♥











Friday, 14 September 2018

Hello Guppy BKC Mumbai | Japanese All Day Cafe Menu, Koinonia Coffee, The Parfait Co Dessert | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Me, before going to Hello Guppy :

'I am a vegetarian, this is a Japanese place, I am gonna starve today'

Me, after going to Hello Guppy :

'Why did I not come here earlier? And when am I coming back again!'

Suffice to say, I did not starve at all and cannot wait to go back to this quirky Japanese food destination, Hello Guppy.


Walked into a bright and extremely colorful spacious eatery with loads of Japanese cultural motifs everywhere. It deserves an interior decor post of its own. Forget the beautiful food presentation, even their plates and glasses are instagrammable. Huge bar and menu with surprisingly fair amount of choices for vegetarians and vegans (as well as gluten free options). If you know some depressed soul, get them here. The ambiance will perk them up instantly. Staff is extremely polite and helpful, service is very fast. Prices on the higher side (in line with the location and quality of food).






We were here to review their newly launched all-day-cafe style menu alongside special coffees in collaboration with Koinonia Coffee Roasters and collaborative dessert bar by The Parfait Co. What won our hearts was that literally every dish here has very clean, distinct, fresh flavors, comforting to Indian palate but with a unique Japanese twist

I have never been to Japan, am not a gourmand and all I care for is delicious vegetarian food. So I cannot vouch for any cuisine's authenticity (except Indian :P) but what I can vouch for is that Hello Guppy served me and my sister some of the most unique flavor combinations and most delicious dishes. We can proudly say that food here is unlike anything else we have tried.

Imagine eating an apple, the crunchy exterior giving way to a juicy core that tastes like pear and in the end, the lasting flavor on the palate is that of pomegranate! Every dish we had here surprised like this, starting off with one flavor and then suddenly a burst of something else and then ending with a third flavor! LOVED the experience :)





BEVERAGES-

CRAZY CRACKLE POP - Indulge the 5 year old inner child in you with this. Creamy chocolate shake with Pop Rocks candy. What a combination, right? Unimaginable, also unforgettable :D MUST-HAVE.

CALL ME HONEY- Yogurt based fruit smoothie with Raspberry, Orange and Honey, appropriately tangy, no added sugar, delicious, thick enough to eat.

SWEET MINT- Sweet Lime, Apple, Mint, again no added sugar, simple and sort of palate cleanser. We had it at end of meal and it felt good.

MISO-CARAMEL CAPPUCCINO- Specialty coffee from Koinonia. I was apprehensive about whether Miso (fermented soyabean paste) would ruin the taste of cappuccino but surprisingly enough, all it did was cut the sweetness of caramel and give a very robust punch to cappuccino. Simple, good.




FOOD- (we had only half portions for tasting, yet we were full by the end!)

SOYBEAN HUMMUS WITH SESAME LAVASH- Hummus made with Black Soyabean, Tahini, Garlic, EVO, alongside Sesame Lavash cracker with Shichimi-Nori seaweed powder. EXCELLENT. Healthy, delicious. I love normal hummus too but my sister is not fond of those. She could not stop licking the plate clean here :D

PAN GRILLED BROCCOLI- Grilled Broccoli with sweet and spicy sesame sauce and shichimi chilli powder, this was the closest to Indo-Chinese kind of food we got here. Intense flavors, sweet, salty, spicy, all at once. And there was a smattering of pine nuts to give some crunch too. Liked it.

AVOCADO TOAST WITH CRISPY RICE BALL- Rice Ball with loads of soft Avocados on top, served alongside Shichimi Chilli, Nori Seaweed, Lime, Braised Onion and Sweet Potato Chips on the side. Looks deceptively simple. Try having all the layers together and then you will understand how different flavors work their magic together. Healthy, flavorful. MUST-HAVE.

JENGA CHEESE TOAST WITH JAPANESE KARE- Multigrain Toast slices with Cheddar and Mozzarella, served with mildly spicy hot Japanese kare (curry sauce) and creamy Garlic Aioli (Garlic-Olive Oil-Mayo dip). Comfort food at its best. Cheesy but not heavy. Dip the toast in Japanese Kare and see the flavors change instantly. MUST-HAVE.

MUSHROOM KATSU SANDWICH WITH FRIES- 5 types of mushrooms (Shiitake, Shimeji, Button, Milky, Enoki) make up the patty, alongside Lettuce, Tomato, Braised Onion, Cheese, Pickles and Sweet Potato Chips + Potato Fries. I think we had full portion for this because it was HUGE and delicious. Juicy patty, the bread was herbed and grilled perfectly, loads of accompaniments, just 1 of this is enough for a heavy hulk like me! Well, this and 1 dessert of course :P




DESSERT-

The collaborative dessert bar by The Parfait Co. is worth checking out. Remember that the parfaits all have eggs. The normal menu has egg-less dessert options.



PBJ SUNDAE- Peanut Butter Blondie with Raspberry Jam, Salted Caramel Parfait, Caramel Popcorn, Grape Jelly. My sister liked it, all the elements were delicious, HUGE portion, need 2-3 people to finish, had a faint egg-y smell.

MAKE YOUR OWN SUNDAE- My sister chose Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla with Sprinkles, Chocolate Soil, Chocolate Ganache, White Chocolate Chips..this is a WIN-WIN situation. You go upto the Parfait Bar cart and choose your own flavors plus your own toppings, how can it go wrong :D

CHOCOLATE & MISO CARAMEL TART- If you love egg-less desserts like I do, go for this. Need 3 CHOCOHOLICS to finish this! The tart itself is full of dense caramel that is pure heaven, on top there is sesame crunch for texture, alongside there is dark chocolate sorbet and couple of fruits for palate cleansing. Overall, about 10,000 calories but Who. Cares. When. It. Is. So. Much. Delicious. Chocolate. ♥♥♥


So there you go. Such a pleasant and memorable experience where I least expected it, Hello Guppy is full of surprises. Hearty recommendation for all foodies :)

Thursday, 13 September 2018

CHAAYOS Mumbai | Chai Snacks Shakes Desserts And More | Food Review | Food Photography

Chaayos is like home away from home. 

So far, my family and I have been to more than 4 Chaayos outlets in Mumbai on multiple occasions and have tried almost everything veg from their menu. And we love how consistently good they are. 

There are many tea/coffee hangout places but what makes Chaayos different is that they have taken the very Indian chai tapri concept, modernized it, presented it with earthy Indian/ fusion fast food evening snack items in a clean, vibrant, contemporary ambiance, thus making a space in all age groups' hearts :)


This Bandra outlet is similar to other Chaayos outlets in its decor and color combination, making it fun and young at heart. Good space (from Mumbai's standards!), very fast and attentive service and delicious beverages + food. 





KULHAD CHAI - My Mom's FAVORITE CHAI in whole Mumbai. Masala Saffron Chai in Kulhad, the earthy aroma and flavor is to die for.

SHAHI CHAI- Mom liked this too, very rich, milky, loads of cream and garnish with good amount of dry fruit slivers on top, a royal indulgence indeed.

SULEMANI NIMBU CHAI - Comes in a small glass, simple strong black lemon chai, no milk, it was okay, something new my sister tried.

DRINKING CHOCOLATE- This is my standard go-to whenever I am at Chaayos. Steaming hot cup of cocoa indulgence, makes my inner child gleeful. Not the best or darkest chocolate out there but enough to make a chocoholic happy.

HONEY GINGER LEMON- Simple, sweet, works wonders on sore throat (something I suffer from almost all year round thanks to Mumbai's humidity!) Good for health, Feels like Grandma made it :)

CAKE SHAKE- My sister's favorite. Dark chocolate with brownie bits, dense, sinful, real good, no icy pieces in there ruining the shake. Honestly, real gooooood.

KULFI SHAKE- My mom tried this, even though she is not into cold drinks, just like me. This is must-have for those who are not into chocolate and want something mild, not too sugary. First,the fragrance of rose is a winner and every sip is delicious. Milky but not very thick or creamy, this is instantly cooling and I recommend it especially for summers. Again, no icy pieces. Lovely.




BAARISH WALE PAKODE - You cannot go to Chaayos and miss THIS! This has got to be their bestseller and if you are an Indian, you know exactly why :P Pakode, perfectly balanced mix of spice and savory fun, a plate is what I order in every time. My mom specifically comes to Chaayos for Kulhad Chai & Pakode combination.

PALAK PATTA CRISPIES- Another MUST-HAVE. Independently deep fried spinach leaves with sev, tangy imli chutney and jalapenos on top, amazing explosion of flavors.

PANEER OPEN PARATHA- My dad really liked this one. A bit tangy for my comfort, but overall good. Paratha with good amount of soft paneer, tangy gravy and some cheese. 2 of these is a good lunch/dinner option for a normal hungry person.

2 MINUTE SANDWICH- Being the Maggi fanatic that my sister is. this is one of her MUST-HAVES here. Maggi made just the way we all like it, stuffed inside soft bread. 

HOMESTYLE ALOO SANDWICH- Really liked this one. Homestyle Potato Mash (mildly spicy) with tomatoes,onions and mayo made a good heavy snack. 

PANEER BHURJI BUN- Dad LOVED this one! Generous amount of Paneer Bhurji, creamy, wholesome, alongside some peppers stuffed inside a bun. Filling, delicious, will reorder for sure.

CHOCOLATE FACTORY CAKE- Dense, sinful, dark chocolate cake. Enough said. Pure LOVE.

Overall, memorable experience. The only little problem we had was, when we got sandwiches, we did not get any dip with them. The sandwiches, though delicious, taste dry without any dip or sauce alongside, especially the Maggi sandwich feels really dry. The staff did provide us ketchup packets immediately when we asked them. No other problems. Food, beverages are all delicious and consistently so across outlets. Prices are keeping in tandem with how cafes and chill out zones are priced across metropolis of the world.

As I said, Chaayos now feels like home away from home :)

Friday, 7 September 2018

Chino Romano Khar Mumbai | Chinese Italian Feast Home Delivered | Food Review

With the mid week blues hitting hard, I decided that perhaps something out of the ordinary was in place to lift my spirit. Enter ‘Chino Romano’. An intriguing concept of a promise to blend the spices and flavors of the Chinese Cuisine with the subtle and refreshing aromas of Italy.


The dishes under review included Paneer dumplings/ Bao, Basil Paneer with Fried Rice and a Malay/Thai inspired Yellow Chilly Curry Soup with Noodles


The winner of the show were the Paneer Bao. Great stuffing with a pleasantly thin casing of dough (a win for those who missed their Wednesday gym session!), and a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds for good measure. With a nice infusion of basil, the taste definitely grew on me with every bite. Further accentuating the flavors was the pairing of the sweet soy and chili dips that were served as accompaniments with the dumplings - all working in harmony to provide for a delicious beginning to the meal.


Next up was the Basil Paneer Gravy with Fried Rice. A wholesome and delicious dish. The slightly sweet undertones were fine with me but not much appealing to my sister; it is a matter of personal preference. The paneer in itself was extremely fresh and melted in our mouths, and much appreciate the lack of corn flour coating on the paneer. 


Finally comes what seems like an attempt to infuse some degree of Malay/Thai flavors into the Chino-Romano connection (Yellow Curry Soup with Noodles, or I think it was LAKSA). Unfortunately, this dish was disappointing in comparison to the dumplings and paneer gravy. Extremely sweet to the point of being ketchup-y. Some vegetables may have added a little more character to this dish. The addition of a fistful of chopped red chilies did not help the situation, as the rollercoaster ride of sweetness mixed with a sudden sharp hit to the head (courtesy the chilies), threw the flavors completely off balance. This dish fell flat in terms of flavors and could do with some improvement. (Being blessed with sweet jaw means I am fine with sweeter things myself but others like my sister or mom won't be, they want robust spiciness)

Summing up, decent quantity, great quality of food and very interesting flavors, would definitely call in here again, especially for the Paneer Bao. Some of the other dishes could do with more balance of flavors (especially the sweetness).

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Tea Villa Cafe Ghatkopar East Mumbai | Tea Coffee Conversations And More | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Found Tea Villa Cafe outlet in Ghatkopar East while strolling on a lazy rainy saturday evening pretty close to our new home and just walked in for some weekend impromptu foodie feast. Quite spacious, colorful yet elegant outlet, bright, a nook for book lovers too. Menu has tea and so much more, from pizzas and pastas to coffee and waffles and what not. I have forgotten the exact name of what we ordered but I do remember their taste!



First up was their SPINACH-CORN DIMSUMS- They were good, nice outer covering, crunchy stuffing, a bit oily, but delicious nonetheless.




Then, BAKED LASAGNA- My sister's fav, the cheesier the better for her and this was extreeeeemely cheesy, saucy, creamy, perfect for indulgence. Quantity just enough for 1 hungry hippo like me.

Finally, I had a MONSTER CHOCOLATE SHAKE (Forgotten the name but this is what I think of it as!)- It was chocolate overload in every sense of the word. HEAVEN for chocoholics. It came in a huge jar, dark chilled chocolate nutella shake, garnished with oreo, kitkat, caramel, white chocolate chips. Maybe 1 MILLION CALORIES inside but who cares! If I even have heart attack while having this, it would be totally worth it :D




Our server was Miss Simran and she was very sweet, service was fast. The only thing is, like all such cafes nowadays, prices are on the higher side. I mean, paying nearly Rs. 200 for 5 pieces of dimsums is definitely overpriced. But that is not specific just to this cafe, almost all cafes/eateries in Mumbai nowadays have similar pricing. So that's the price we pay for living in a metropolis and relaxing in such a cool place with friends. 

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Ice Cream Works Kemps Corner Mumbai | Premium Exotic Vegetarian Desserts | Food Review

Ice Cream Works has established itself as a premium dessert destination, their motto being 'Creamier, Nuttier, Goopier, Crunchier'. Have tried couple of flavors some years ago from their other outlets and liked them, so this review session for their new outlet was a no-brainer to say Yes to :)



They generously sent over 5 flavors to my home for tasting over the weekend. Classy black and white cups securely packaged with dry ice, very polite delivery staff. Every flavor was distinct, not icy, clearly made of premium ingredients, delicious. The flavors included some innovations and some classics-

MASALA MILK - Tasting it without knowing the name, I thought it was Kesar Pista. Rich, creamy, had ample dry fruits, not very sugary, just right for those like my mom who prefer mild desserts with Indian taste. RECOMMENDED.


SILKY BELGIAN CHOCO FUDGE - Good one. For those who like chocolate but also don't want to go too dark. Chocolate, vanilla, delicate balance, not too bitter, not too milky, sharp and delicious enough. 

WIMBLEDON STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE - BEST OF THE LOT! Simple cheesecake with strawberry coulis swirls, pure love. The sweetness, creaminess of cheesecake meets the tanginess of strawberries in the most exquisite way. LOVED. My sister loved it too. RECOMMENDED (Unless you don't like cheesecakes, in which case...say whaaaaaaaaaat?!)



SALTED CARAMEL CHOCO BISCUITS -This was strong. So liking it depends on personal preference. There was caramel and there was crunch but it also tasted very strongly of coffee to me. I am not a big coffee person, but overall I liked the flavors. Still, this is one of those niche flavors everyone might not like.


EXTREME FERRO HAZELNUT - My personal FAVORITE. Hazelnut is my favorite nutty flavor and anything with that is my instant recommendation. This was dark, sinful, did not want to share it with anyone, in short it was JUST PERFECT for both me and my sister. RECOMMENDED.

Overall, my family recommends Ice Cream Works to all ice cream lovers. I don't know the pricing of these flavors but I suppose it must be in premium range too. The flavors really are exotic which means these folks do not use sub-par ingredients. 

Thank you Ice Cream Works for sending over these delicious flavors for review and making my weekend nuttier, goopier, creamier and crunchier :)