Friday 26 February 2016

McDonald's, Lower Parel, Mumbai

McDonald's. Now there is a name that needs no introduction :D The first name in fast food industry. I remember when the first advertisements of McDonald's had started appearing in India, I was still a school child and lived in a city with no outlet of the same. In my school,we were all in awe of these 'American brands'. Soon, I shifted to Mumbai and voila, had my chance to check out all the McDonald's, Domino's and Pizza Huts I could have ever hoped for. Today,I am nearly done with burgers in general because half of my college life was spent stuffing myself with McDonald's burgers, wraps and ice creams :P Yup, a real fast food addict I turned out to be. Today,I limit myself to entering these places (McD, Domino's, Pizza Hut, Burger King) just about once every 6 months. 

Having spent nearly a decade in Dadar-Lower Parel area, this has probably been my most visited McDonald's outlet. It is spacious and one of the stars in High Street Phoenix area,always filled to the brim. I like how the seating area is conducive to large groups, couples, families and singles as well. The staff is very quick on their feet and helpful. The menu is standard McD in India-burgers, wraps, milkshakes, ice creams. Everything tastes the way it should. They have a Paneer Wrap that is not written on the menu display but they will make it for you if you ask for it *secret tip* :D I like the McPuff, Paneer wrap and Paneer Burger. They also have whole wheat buns if you ask for it,in case you are health conscious (going to McD as a health conscious person,how does that even make sense? :D)

I like the McCafe here which has some really good coffee and they also personalize it just the way I love them :) Cappuccino, Hot Chocolate and Latte, tried them and love them. Muffins and pastries in the display section look really good though I have not tried them yet, maybe on my next visit. The best time to visit here is early morning, anytime before 12 PM, as it is really a peaceful place to sit with a cup of coffee and a book before the hustle and bustle of daily life takes over.

Monday 22 February 2016

RAW Pressery, Mumbai

Cold-Pressed Juices.

I have no idea what it means. Sure, I can google it all and understand the technical part. But I already know what is the important part. It IS Good For Our Bodies.

Sorry for a little detour but I have to include a little health lesson here. About 3 years ago,I was diagnosed with severe Vitamin D & some important minerals deficiency when I went for my annual health checkup. Now, I had an unfortunate accident about 5 years ago which led to a long bout of feeding very strong medicines to my body which led to this little health catastrophe,so I had an excuse. BUT this led me to a nutritionist and we got talking and she assured me that even seemingly healthy people nowadays are often diagnosed acutely deficient in many important minerals and vitamins. Reasons? Of course,we all know that. Our lifestyles are terrible, we don't exercise enough, we eat junk food all the time etc. etc. But what about people who eat very strict healthy food,loads of veggies and fruits and STILL fall sick? Well, we are not eating the right kind of food AND we do not take the changing soil composition and such external factors in consideration. A 100 years ago, we would get enough minerals and vitamins in our diet but today, the soil has become so depleted in minerals (thanks to soil erosion and blasting chemical pesticides) that it is not transferring that same level of nutrition to our modern foods! So today we all NEED to think very carefully about our diets. 

THIS is where cold pressed juices come in the picture. They possess a large quantity of essential nutrients needed for our well-being which we often do not get from our regular diets. We can juice several veggies and fruits at home to get delicious drinks/ smoothies and use the left-over to make fibrous snacks too. But then again, not everyone has the time to do that (blame the 21st century horrible jet-setting lifestyle!) So I was introduced to Raw Pressery by my nutritionist. These are brilliant little bottles of health and vitality. Apple, Watermelon, Pomegranate, Carrot, Kale, Spinach, Celery, Cucumber, Almonds and so on, in several permutations and combinations. Trust me, it all tastes utterly refreshing. I have tasted almost every variant and my absolute favorites are SHIELD which is tangy, GLOW which is so cool and FLUSH which has a full-bodied taste,like red wine :) My sister loves TRIM which has Kale, Spinach, Celery, Ginger, Lemon -> all ingredients that she would never eat in a million years but since they are so choc-a-bloc with good nutrients,she gulps this down without protesting :) One would think that anything with Kale + Spinach would taste horrible but it doesn't! 

Just had their latest offering Pomegranate and loved it. Putting it in my list of favorites too from now on :)

If left to my own devices, I know that I will never have the time or inclination to go shopping for Kale, Celery and a 1000 ingredients and then search for various recipes to use them. It is so much convenient and healthy to just get a bottle of Raw Pressery. This is of course its only drawback too. It comes at a hefty price tag of Rs. 150 per bottle. 4 people in an average family, 4 bottles per day equals Rs. 600! So I just buy 1 variant every 3-4 days and share it with my sister :) It also comes with no preservatives so needs to be gulped down within 2-3 days (always look at the expiry date while buying!) But then again, it is about health and purity, so I guess it will always be a question of how much is it worth to spend to get good health? :) I know that Raw Pressery is something to instantly refresh and rejuvenate myself and my family. It is an indulgence but I am hopeful that some day soon, the prices will go down as more people come to know of this brand. Absolutely recommended!

Box8, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Box8 is one of my favorite places to order food from in Mumbai :) There,I said it! 

I had tasted a royal meal from Box8 for the first time about 3 months ago and my sister & I had loved the experience, read all about it here :) Ever since that day, I have recommended Box8 to everyone in my office and we order a lot of our lunches from here. I often end up having the Veg or Paneer salad (Yup,I am trying to slim down,so healthy dieting is a constant endeavor :D). I can blindly order any sandwich or wrap and know that it will be tasty AND healthy. 

My absolute favorite is Paneer Overload and every single time, the melt-in-mouth bread makes it 1000% worth it. I still haven't tasted any main course meal box but pretty sure that thanks to my frequent late night shifts, will do so soon :D Recently, had the pleasure of tasting Masala Lemonade and Moong Daal ka Halwa too and they are lip smacking! Remember, when we were kids,this candy called 'Swad' used to be our favorite? It was tangy and had this brilliant hint of Amla/ Raw Mango? The Masala Lemonade at Box8 is that exact taste! It actually tasted of childhood,all the good parts. The Moong Daal ka Halwa was choc-a-bloc with Ghee which of course made it brilliant in taste without being overtly sugary sweet but again,not something someone health conscious would love, so beware :P It reminded me of the Prasad they serve in Gurudwaras, so tasty, dripping in Ghee! 

The packaging every single time is perfect,no food spillage of any kind. It is also so funky with drinks being labelled as 'Gatak ja pyare' and Dessert as 'Mooh meetha karo' :) Delivery is always done within 25-30 minutes. Food comes in piping hot and fresh. AND they have a brilliant customer service too. One time, a colleague of mine had ordered for a Sandwich but got Biryani due to some mix-up. He called them up, they sent over his correct order within 25 minutes with a complimentary drink & dessert and let us enjoy the Biryani too apart from apologizing profusely-> which frankly was not required since we later discovered it was an error on my colleague's part as he had double ordered, it was not Box8's fault! 

Seems they have launched an all new menu with Pizzas as a part of it and many of my friends have been singing praises for the same. Can't wait to try the pizzas very soon :)

Dunkin' Donuts & More, Khar, Mumbai

Just another lazy Friday morning when I had some work in Khar and needed a place to sit for some time waiting for a friend. Spotted this cheerful outlet of Dunkin' Donuts & More and decided to try it out. I am not a big fan of fast food, the reason being I overdosed on McDonald's burgers & happy meals in college (thanks to long evenings spent doing group projects) and now my system is just sick and tired of burgers/milkshakes/fries. I hardly ever have them (maybe once every 6 months!) and I enter McD, Burger King, other such places only when I have friends with me who badly crave a burger or I have some time to kill (usually waiting for friends who end up craving burgers) :D So here I was,with some time to kill waiting for a friend who invariably would have ordered for a burger and I spotted Dunkin' Donuts. Providence!

Very energetic, funky, cool ambiance welcomes everyone, loads of young couples on almost every table just enhance the vibe. Photographers and Selfie Lovers will love posing against the walls covered with peppy art and the lovely lamps. Menu has a wide variety of Donuts, Burgers, Coffee. There are some unique Donuts,personalized as per Indian tastes. I got a Motichur Donut for my mom and she liked it a lot. It was a basic Donut generously covered with Motichur Laddoo bits, how innovative :) I ordered for a Cappuccino with extra caramel and it turned out pretty tasty just as expected (AND came in a huge cup,yummmm :D). My friend later on had a hot chocolate and loved it too. It is a nice place to just curl up with a good book in a corner with a cup of coffee, a Donut and maybe a burger to give us company :D Yeah, why worry about calories :P 

The staff was very swift, efficient and polite. I am sure the burgers are great too but I had just had one a couple of days earlier so my next burger treat will arrive only after 4-5 months. Maybe then I will visit a Dunkin' Donuts to grab a burger and update this post with how that tasted :) As of now, I will recommend this place for those looking for a good hang out place to chill with loved ones or a good book in hand.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Jughead's, Khar, Mumbai

Since my sister briefly went to a school near this outlet of Jughead's (a looooong time ago), she has been a great fan & been pestering me to check it out too. I haven't been traveling to this particular area in recent times but last month I was in Khar for some reason and so was my sister, so we made a late lunch date of our trip here :)

A very relaxed ambiance,with colorful walls,some vibrant sketches brightening them up here and there, LCD screens broadcasting some sporting event. We were actually the only ones here at around 3 PM. This is the kind of peppy,fun place young people love to hang out at. No wonder my college going sister has been worshiping it for some time now :P The best part for them is the cheap, and I mean, really cheap alcohol here! I am not an alcohol lover myself but my sister enjoys an occasional glass of wine/vodka/cocktails and this is the place she and her friends aim for. They spend hours here,apparently because some really awesome happy hours and such offers are always happening at Jughead's. And the staff does not mind even if you spend hours just chilling with your friends. So there,a major reason people love Jughead's, it is as good as lounging around in a best friend's home :)

The menu has a lot from soups,salads,pasta,pizza,sizzlers,burgers and sandwiches. Prices are quite affordable and quantity per dish is enough for 1 hippo like me which means 2 light eaters can share 1 dish and be happy :D Garlic Bread, Pasta and Sizzlers are the star dishes. Here is a secret -> There is a Primavera Pasta, NOT on the menu, but you can just ask the chef to make it. Best. Pasta. Ever. :) I also had a litchi punch, which I got personalized with no ice and it was so creamy yummmm,I can still taste it :)

We were sitting there talking for a couple of hours,the staff was absolutely non-intrusive, polite and attentive. It felt like our little oasis of calm and friendship. Definitely a must-visit place for everyone in the area, especially with siblings/friends/boyfriend or girlfriend!

Thursday 11 February 2016

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016 - Part 2

As always,the magnificence of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is impossible to be described in just 1 post :) Catch a few glimpses HERE and come back to douse yourself in some more awesomeness here :) I wish I could create something half as amazing as these artists have done! 

Yet another Kala Ghoda (Literally,Black Horse)...Reminds me of the Trojan Horse in Troy :)

Lord Ganesha at Kala Ghoda! Lord Ganesha, yup, LORD The Ganesha :)

Aha, There is no dearth of hard hitting questions here :)

As always,it is the Children's Corner at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival that always wins over my heart with all the colors and peppy vibe :)

Boundless Creativity! What an inspiration :)

Also,if this post inspires you to explore Kala Ghoda a bit more, then do browse through THIS :)