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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Punjab Grill BKC Mumbai | Royal Vegetarian Punjabi Feast | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Punjab Grillone of those places that need no introduction. The brand name that is synonym with elegance, royal hospitality and of course super-delicious food. Their new branch at BKC is no different. It is spacious, shimmers in golden hues, has comfortable seating options for couples as well as families, a vast menu with choicest Punjabi delicacies for veggies as well as non-veggies. 





Staff is constantly on their feet, nothing amiss in their hospitality. Even weekdays get packed so sometimes service can get really slow. But hey they also have LIVE music (at least they did last Friday) so that kept us entertained :D This was a review session but we stole a glance at their menu and prices are same as other branches, a bit on higher side, totally worth the complete experience here.




Started off with DRINKS-

-- Nariyal Paani Cucumber Detox- I loved it, simple and soothing to my nerves, since that evening had been crazy and we reached here really late, but this immediately made me feel fine :)

-- Coffee Mocha Shake- My coffee addict sister liked it a lot, basic cold coffee with some cocoa element.

-- Kesar Pistawali Lassi - If you have a small appetite, beware because this is a complete meal. Solid Punjabi Lassi, thick, delicious, loaded with dry fruits and love :D

-- Blueberry Frozen Margarita- My sister loves blueberry flavor and Margaritas, but she said this one was simple Blue Lagoon, not even remotely blueberry!

-- Pineapple-Coconut Juice- Healthy option chosen by mom, simple, pure, had a lot of pulp from both pineapple and coconut making it fibrous, really healthy :)


For SOUP, had-

-- Khumb Pudina Shorba- Light broth with distinct solid Mushroom flavor, but very little mint and a lot of pepper pods that made it strong. If you like mushrooms, go for it.




For STARTERS-

--Paneer Multani Tikka- My absolute FAVORITE. Paneer in beautiful silky creamy marination, grilled in tandoor to perfection. So wholesome.

-- Quinoa Methi Tikka- Healthy twist to Veg tikkas. LOVED it. Mildly spicy but delicious. Like all Tikkas, a bit dry, but went really well with accompanying mint dip/chutney. 

-- Tandoori Malai Broccoli - Oh God, if you love broccoli, do NOT miss this! Huge broccoli chunks doused in a lot of cheese, cream, curd concoction and grilled in tandoor, a bit on sweeter side because of all the cream, so soooooo good :)





For MAIN COURSE-

-- Dal Punjab Grill- The CLASSIC. Slow simmered kali daal, full of butter and cream and loads of Punjabi love, this is always a must-have, this dal at Punjab Grill is probably the most famous dish here. It goes well with everything, be it rice or roti and infact it tastes delicious on its own too. Can drink buckets :D

-- Pyaazwali Bhindi - While generally speaking, people think of Punjabi food as ultra-rich, fattening, calorific but this is one of the many dishes available here that bring the home-cooked food taste. It is simple, not unnecessarily doused in spices/masala/gravy and really tastes like grandmom made it. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. Down to earth and MUST-HAVE dish :)

-- Malai Kofta- Soft Koftas filled with cottage cheese, dry fruits, cardamom, immersed in creamy saffron-y, fragrant gravy, garnished with pista. Another ROYAL classic. On sweeter side of course but not sugary at all.

--Butter Naan and Zafrani Naan- Both were delicious, I personally like Butter Naan more but my mom liked the Zafrani Naan more, so it is about personal preference.


For DESSERTS-

-- Gulab Jamun- These were the mini versions. Were decent. I prefer the big gulab jamuns I have had here earlier, those are divine!

-- Phirni- Good! Mildly sweet, creamy, well cooked, served chilled. Good for people like my sister and mom who do not have sweet tooth and just want something simple.

Overall, had a beautiful meal here and will certainly be back :)  

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Lakme Blush & Glow Strawberry Gel Face Wash Review | Beauty Review | Indian Health Beauty Lifestyle Blogger

Lakme Blush & Glow Strawberry Gel Face Wash has been a popular staple among beauty bloggers for quite some time now. My sister knows my penchant for beauty products and gets me some surprise gifts from time to time, this was a part of a little gift hamper she got for me couple of months ago :) Let us see how this popular face wash fared on my skin!


Packaging of  Lakme Blush & Glow Strawberry Gel Face Wash is very simple, in a transparent tube. It looks nice with bright reddish-pinkish gel inside. The texture of tube is classy, doesn't look cheap at all.

Ingredients list is a long whos-who of chemicals like most face washes (and definitely almost all products from Lakme). Strawberry Extracts is mentioned near the end. Well, cannot complain because they never complained to be a pure/ herbal/ ayurvedic/ natural/ eco-friendly/ exotic ingredients' laden brand.

Claims to gently cleanse skin, wash away dirt and impurities while imparting a blush-like glow thanks to soft cleansing beads and strawberry anti-oxidants. 

Availability of Lakme Blush & Glow Strawberry Gel Face Wash is very common, it is available offline in almost all beauty products selling shops, stores like Big Bazaar, and ofcourse online on every shopping portal such as Amazon for Rs. 195 for 100 grams. My sister bought me this particular piece from Big Bazaar.

Quantity is good, lasts a long time even when used twice everyday. This 50 gm tube lasted me and my sister a complete 1 month because we used it barely once a day for about a fortnight, later on we gave it to our dad who used it sporadically.


Usage - Instructed to first take a small quantity on palm, work a rich lather and then gently massage on face, rinsing it thoroughly. Immediately rinse if it gets into eyes.

Effect - I remember more than a decade ago, I had just started experimenting with beauty products and my favorite face-wash used to be Strawberry face wash from Lakme. It used to have strawberry pulp kind of texture that used to really clean my face, refresh it and yet moisturize it. I used to look forward to come back home and melt away entire day's stress by using it! Back then I was not a blogger nor was social media so huge in our society else I would have recommended it everywhere. It used to smell so nice, fruity, just like strawberries too.

So when I got this I thought the same product was back in a new avatar. But NO! It is completely different. This is not pulpy at all. It is a gel, has a more chemical-y feeling, it completely dries my skin, completely cleans all oil and makes my skin parched. It does deep cleaning but absolutely no glow at all. Very oily skinned people might find it better but combination skin, normal skin may find it drying and dry skinned beauties, please stay away. This will destroy your skin. 

It also has little beads that are probably supposed to lightly exfoliate skin but frankly they did not do any exfoliation on my face, they were very minute so no danger of scratching skin but at the same time I did not find any exfoliating effect. It did give a little tingly minty fresh feeling for couple of minutes.

The only good thing I liked is that it did not increase pimples on my face or give any kind of breakouts/ acne/ allergies. 

I miss the old Lakme strawberry facewash


YES 
  • Deep cleans
  • Cleans oil from all pores
  • Lasts a long time
  • No breakouts/ allergies/ acne even on my super-sensitive skin
  • Very easy on the pocket,maybe among the cheapest face washes in the market
  • Very easily available, offline as well as online.

NO 
  • Completely dries up skin, a big NO-NO for normal/dry skin
  • Only oily skinned or combination-oily skin people may like this
  • Too much chemical-y feel
  • No blush-glow at all

Recommended -NO! Oily skin people might like it but it made my skin parched like a desert. Rating is 2/5.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Streax Pro Nutri Care Repair Max Masque Review | Beauty Product Review | Hair Care Product Review | Indian Beauty Lifestyle Blogger

Streax Pro Nutri Care Repair Max Masque is the latest in a series of hair products I have used in the hope of making my unruly, horribly dry, dandruff-prone, itchiness-prone hair behave in a normal manner. Got it on a whim when I was browsing through amazon while twirling my fingers through my hair that felt like haystack. So just bought it and here is how it worked on my hair.


Packaging of Streax Professional Vitariche Care Repair Max Masque is very simple, in a simple round jar. The colour of the mask itself is light pinkish/light orangish and it smells like any other commercial hair spa mask (basically it smells like a tub of fragrance chemicals). The jar looks secure enough to travel with.


Ingredients list of Streax Pro Nutri Care Repair Max Masque is a long whos-who of chemicals, starting from Cetearyl Alcohol to Methyl Paraben and everything in between. I saw Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein in there alongside Citric Acid and those are the only two beneficial ingredients I can think of. Rest, I am sure is going to harm me in the long run, but honestly I have seen the alternatives and almost every brand has same ingredients in their formulations. This is the price we pay for convenience in our modern lifestyle. 

Claims to revitalize dry hair with the help of 'Polymeric Conditioning Agents and Milk Protein' and give a healthy nourished look + shine to damaged hair. 

Availability of Streax Pro Nutri Care Repair Max Masque is not very common, I have not seen it in stores like Big Bazaar, it is available online on sites such as Amazon for Rs. 275 for 200 grams. 

Quantity is decent, last for 1 and a half month on my thick, very frizzy, very dry hair when used twice a week. Basically lasted 12 washes on my hair, may last more on yours if your hair is thinner/shorter/less frizzy/less dry. Value for money for me.


Usage - Instructed to use on hair from mid-length to ends (not on scalp) after shampooing while hair is still damp. Leave for 2-3 minutes and then rinse off. Also instructed to use it with shampoo from the same range but I honestly use my own favorite shampoo and keep changing conditioner/hair mask. I do not think it makes that much of a difference. I believe that every product has its own individual unique ingredients that will work irrespective of any other product of the same brand is used or not.

Effect - Every time I use a new product, I am very excited to see its results. Most of the time, I am not very disappointed but this time, I was. First of all, Streax Professional Vitariche Care Repair Max Masque looked good and smelled ok and I thought it will give same result as those hair spa masks in beauty salons. But it is a bit more liquid-y than a hair mask should be. On applying it, yes, my hair felt instantly smooth and soft and it also seemed to immediately clear all the tangles in my hair. I rinsed it off and air-dried my hair and it did feel good, but just for about a day. After 24-30 hours, my hair was again back to being super duper dry and frizzy. 

So for me, it was just a normal hair conditioner. I expect more from a hair masque. 

Moreover, I feel that after using this for 10 washes, I started noticing increased itching on my scalp. My scalp is naturally itchy, that is why I do not experiment much with shampoos or hair oils and I am not blaming Streax for my scalp problems. My scalp is riddled with dandruff, sensitivity and itchiness. But still I keep it under control most of the time by using my trusted combos of hair oils, essential oils and shampoos. I did get increased scalp itchiness couple of months ago and I cannot think of any other reason my scalp would itch (more than usual) other than this one new product that I started using at that time. Soon after I started noticing it, the product got over, and now my scalp is back to its normal level of itchiness. So I am definitely worried about that.


YES 
  • Moisturized hair, temporarily gave shine
  • Did not see increased hair fall after using it
  • Got 12 washes on my really thick, frizzy hair, value for money

NO 
  • Results did not last more than 30 hours at most on my hair
  • Worked like a normal conditioner rather than giving some extraordinary results like a good hair masque
  • I have a strong suspicion that it increased itchiness on my scalp
  • Not easily available, I buy it from Amazon 

Recommended -NO! Apart from the fact that Streax Professional Vitariche Care Repair Max Masque did nothing extraordinary for my hair, I suspect it increased itchiness on my sensitive, itchy scalp. Rating is 2.5/5.  

Monday, 8 October 2018

D Rajnikhant Dosa Vile Parle Mumbai | Vegetarian Classic & Fusion Dosa Delights | Rajnikant Meets The Khans | Food Review

What happens when Rajnikant meets THE Khans, Tollywood meets Bollywood and good ol' Dosa meets Pasta/ Pav Bhaji/ Manchurian/ Palak Paneer....




Well, that is what we found out at D Rajnikhant Dosa this weekend over an evening of too much fun, food and frolic. A menu with more than 50 varieties of dosas, right from the classics (Masala, Mysore Masala etc.) to mind-boggling range of fusion dosas right from Pav Bhaji, Maggi Cheese Burst, American Chopsuey to Paneer Pasta, Paneer Bhurji, Cheese Chocolate and everything in between. Phew! We need to make atleast 5-6 more visits to try all their varieties.

It is a very small but cute place situated close to Vile Parle Station (East), with a total capacity of 10-12 people (including both indoor as well as outdoor seating) and the place is packed on weekends. Still, the staff is on their toes, the chef in the open kitchen smiles while churning out delicious dosas at super-speed, service is fast, ambiance is upbeat and prices are extremely reasonable (ranging from Rs. 60 to 180). Even for a very hungry hippo like me, 2 dosas from here is more than enough as dinner.




My sister, my mother and myself were part of review session here and we tried-

MASALA DOSA - Mom's ultimate FAVORITE, perfectly crispy dosa with generous dose of potato-onion masala and delicious chutneys alongside, 

KOLHAPURI DOSA - Another one mom liked a lot, it basically has crispy dosa with a layer of masala inside and veg kolhapuri style gravy masala (with generous cheese) served alongside, making it a full fledged meal just like having normal naan-gravy combo (except here naan has been replaced with dosa). Innovative and tasty. I am not much into spicy dishes and I feared Kolhapuri would be very spicy but surprisingly it was not, quite mild actually and enjoyable :)

PANEER CHOW MEIN DOSA - My sister's FAVORITE. If you love desi chinese and you love paneer, then do not miss this! Think of the most delicious plate of chowmein you have ever had,now mix soft paneer, cheese, some spices in there and stuff them all inside freshly made crispy dosas. See what I am talking about? This is basically how all innovative dosas are here. Lip-smacking good.

D RAJNIKHANT DOSA SPECIAL - MY 1st FAV. If your mind boggles on seeing the vast menu and you cannot choose what to try, GO. FOR. THIS. Dosas stuffed with cheese, paneer, mix vegetables such as corn, capsicum. Presentation is unique and facilitates sharing with friends too. I say go here with many friends so you can try out dozens of varieties at one time :D

CHOCOLATE DOSA - My 2nd FAV. Now here is where a chocoholic like me draws a line at sharing. This is good enough to be hogged all alone. Dosa with a layer of molten dark chocolate and drizzled with dark + milk chocolate + choco chips. Think of it as desi version of decadent chocolate crepe. The best thing is, it is not too sweet and chocolate is not overwhelmingly dark. It is chocolatey enough to make sweet addicts like me happy and mildly sweet enough to make people like my sister happy too (she does not have a sweet tooth). Basically, MUST-HAVE ♥ (only con- it is messy to eat because chocolaaaaaate :D)




Honestly, we walked in thinking we might get some half baked over cheesy versions of dosa but what we got instead were delicious, generously portioned, well thought out, distinctly flavored dosas we could not stop eating. Hungry Hippo gives a thumbs up ♥

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Pick Pocket Powai | Steal Yo' Meal | Lebanese Arabian North Indian Quick Bites | Food Review

Situated in Hiranandani Gardens Powai, Pick Pocket shares its premises with El Rancho and focuses on Middle Eastern fare, most notably the idea of pita pockets filled with different ingredients to make a filling meal-on-the-go. 




Small and cute place with comfortable seating, a friendly vibe, very efficient staff, fast service, very hygienic ambiance and down to earth prices. Menu is compact but has good enough options for both vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians for quick eating as well as big hunger pangs.





For this review session, we tried-

PANEER BHURJI- Grated Paneer tossed in Indian spices with onions, tomatoes and green chillies, this was my FAVORITE, with creamy soft generous portion of paneer, very mild flavored and very filling,

VEGETABLE JALFREZI- Sour, Spicy flavored Indian vegetables stuffed in Pita Pockets, this was actually a bit too spicy for me (that is exactly how veg jalfrezi is), so if you like spicy flavor, this is BAE for you :D Very generous filling of veggies like onions and capsicum in bold spices, you need a dessert after this :P

PITA & HUMMUS- AMAZING. I like good hummus because it is so cooling to stomach and this was just perfect. Also, 1 portion is enough as a light meal for a hungry hippo like me :D

BAKED CHEESECAKE- New York style cheese cake, this was decent. My sister liked cheesecake and she found it a bit too dense. If they add a layer of jam or fruits or say a blueberry/strawberry compote on top, then maybe the density will be less and there will be more varied flavors. Right now, it is just a bit too cheesy. But anyway, she still finished it. It was not bad at all, just can be a bit better :)

Overall, we had a great time here and whenever we are in the area, will certainly be back here. We find the menu here well thought out, food is delicious, flavorful and prices are very reasonable. Hungry hippo recommends it :)

Saturday, 6 October 2018

El Rancho Powai Mumbai | Quick Delicious Mexican & American Bites | Pizza Pasta Tiramisu Feast | Food Review

Cute little place situated in Powai Hiranandani Gardens, both El Rancho and Pick Pocket are situated in same premises. One wall is decorated in 'Mexican' way with bold colors and revolutionaries' paintings. Other wall is decorated in calm Mediterranean blue to show its 'Lebanese' influence. Both are equally pretty. 





Comfortable seating, enough for 2 large groups also. Very hygienic. Compact menu with enough for a quick snack or even a heavy meal. Very value for money since quantity is very good and so is quality. Service is fast, staff was extremely polite and quick. 




From El Rancho, we tried-

EL RANCHO VEG MEXICAN PIZZA- Cumin scented grilled peppers, beans, melted mozzarella cheese, EXCELLENT, very wholesome, good proportion of cheese and vegetables, crust is neither very thick nor very thin, overall very delicious and one slice is enough as a light meal in itself.

MAKE YOUR OWN PASTA, CHEESE SAUCE PENNE with Bell Peppers, Broccoli and Zucchini, again EXCELLENT, my sister loved it. Very dense and filling white sauce and generous portion of exotic vegetables. One of this is heavy meal for a light eater. If you want to lighten the density, just add some ketchup. 

TIRAMISU - Good enough. Nice strong coffee flavor. Have had some authentic tiramisu at a Greek eatery some years ago, this was pretty good compared to it. It is also the only egg-less dessert, try it.

Overall, had a great time at the review session here and we find it a great foodie destination in this area :)