Thursday 31 March 2016

Sigree Global Grill, Powai, Mumbai

After my family's beautiful experience at Barbeque Nation on my mother's birthday, I thought it would be pretty impossible for any other buffet place to top it. Buffet places in general also give people an idea that somehow they 'do not take food seriously' or it is too much like an 'Indian wedding with a mish-mash of a 1000 dishes,none of which taste authentic' and other such grouses. Well, Sigree Global Grill dispels all these notions with a swift wave of its culinary and service magic and how! It is now one of my most favorite dining places EVER,right there with Barbeque Nation :) 

Go to Hiranandani Gardens, Powai which is in itself an architectural marvel sort of place. Then go to Ventura building which also houses Pizza Express, Chili's, Aromas Cafe. Take an elevator to the 1st floor and walk in to the paradise named Sigree Global Grill. The ambiance is spectacular and it is so spacious. Large groups walk in without a moment of hesitation and watch the amazing staff arrange the chairs & tables as per personal preferences within minutes :) A special note to the staff who are omnipresent to refill water, mocktails, clear the plates, provide fresh cutlery, without hovering around, and doing everything with a refreshing smile, from good afternoon to goodbye.

Start with the culinary adventure of a lifetime. When they say 'global grill', they mean global grill :D The cuisine here on offer is a mix of everything best from all over the world. So there is Tandoori Paneer, Mushrooms, Spicy Potatoes, Marinated Pineapple and Corn on the grill. Every single one of them is scrumptious and enough to put us in a food coma :D Tandoori Paneer were a bit high on salt,yet I ended up having them twice, that's how incredibly soft and flavorful they were! The starters' parade continues with Dim-sums, Pizzas and a Bread + Nachos Platter with Dips. Dim-sums were a bit dry from outside while inside the filling was delicious. Bread & Nachos were brilliant and went so beautifully with the dips. Pizzas, Oh boy, these little crunchy pieces, I could not stop having them. Simplicity is sometimes the best reward and these pizzas prove that! Simple toppings on a thin crust baked to perfection. Pure LOVE.

Move on to the main course and don't forget to order the brilliant range of pastas/noodles that they make as per personal choice :) Penne in Pesto sauce is lip-smacking. The main course parade has the usual suspects of Veg Biryani, Paneer, Veg Gravy, Steamed Rice, Thai Curry, Naan/Tandoori Roti. I love how they have taken the best dishes from different cuisines and provided perfect attention to preparation of each one of them. The Biryani is not just another prank played on vegetarians by providing Pulao :D It IS Biryani, yet it is not overpowered by Kevda essence that a lot of dining places resort to. Absolute WIN. Paneer gravy is mildly spicy, paneer itself is melt-in-mouth soft and has these adorable chunks of Capsicum and Tomatoes. Steamed Rice and Thai Curry are absolutely spectacular. That aroma of lemongrass... well the fans of thai curries know exactly what makes them addictive and THIS here is very authentic version of the same :) Oh, there is a wide spread of Salads, Papads, Sauces, Chutneys to go with it all..and for people like my sister who simply cannot choose, Oh are you in trouble here or what :D

Finally, we come to the Dessert counter. Assuming that one is built like Hulk (I am) and has an equivalent appetite (I do), there is still space in tummy for some heavenly treats waiting for us here :D For those who have already slipped into food coma, I told you to not eat for 2 days before going here, didn't I? Oh,I didn't. No worries, I am saying so now :D Go here like a starving person with enough space in tummy for 2 elephants or forget being able to taste everything on offer :P Okay, back to desserts. A choice of Pastries, Mousses, Fruits, Ice Creams with several garnishes. How can it get any better, especially since everything tastes really incredible. Chocolate Pastry and Mousse are dark and sinful, Red Velvet Pastry is decadent, Fruits are fresh and delicious, Ice Creams are soft and taste heavenly with Chocolate Sauce and Choco Chips :) There is Jalebi and Rabdi too, I liked the Rabdi on its own instead of with Jalebi. My only regret is I am not endowed with multiple stomachs so that I could make a round of this area more than twice :D 

As I said before, the dining experience is made memorable with lovely food & enhanced by the amazing service, spectacular ambiance and foot-tapping vintage retro-hits like 'Video killed the Radio Star' and 'Sugar, Honey Honey' filling the air :) And they simply hate wasting food and have taken steps to ensure nobody does, how cool is that! All this for just Rs. 630 (Vegetarian)! No wonder Sigree Global Grill constantly wins all awards for best multi-cuisine buffets in Mumbai. The only thing the management can do to enhance the experience? Establish a room with king-sized beds on premises where we can rest for an hour or two after Hulking it out :D 

Needless to say, 5 Stars all around :) ♥♥♥♥♥

Wednesday 30 March 2016

March 2016 Fab Bag : More Power To You!

Every Fashionista and Beauty Lover in India knows of Fab Bag. I had been hearing about it for at least a year now. 'You must try out a Fab Bag', 'Fab Bags are the best', 'I Love my Fab Bag' and so on and so forth are just some of the reactions I came across. But somehow, always resisted the urge to give in to the temptation. Primarily because I have been lucky enough to get many beauty products as either prizes in various twitter/facebook contests or my friends have gifted me huge hampers/vouchers on my birthdays *touch wood* and many times,I got beauty products staying in my closet for months before I used them :) So I thought, 'Hey what will I do with a Fab Bag' :D But March 2016 was finally when I succumbed and got myself a Fab Bag subscription. I am blaming a rush of endorphins on account of some really great news on my career front one fine day in second week of March which made me go, 'I am going to give myself a little treat now' (also because I managed to use up all pending beauty products :D). And Fab Bag turned out to be the perfect treat!

Fab Bag is indeed a bag/beauty box, a beautiful and unique bag filled with samples and full sized beauty products from the field of makeup, skincare, haircare and occasionally jewelry and accessories too! These are handpicked by the wonderful peoples of Fab Bag themselves. Just need to go to the Fab Bag website and book a subscription for either 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. Price ranges from Rs. 599 for 1 month to Rs. 4999 for 1 year, so if you are cautious like me and just want to test the waters before swimming, go for the 1 month subscription like I did. I went through a friend's referral link and got a 10% OFF so essentially I paid just Rs. 540! You can save 10% too if you go via my referral link HERE-> Fab Bag :) 

Now how do you ensure that you get the best products in your bag, suited to your skin? You make an account and log in on the website and there is a beauty questionnaire that you fill up. This Beauty Questionnaire has questions about your skin type,hair type, your product preferences, color preferences, problems you face etc. etc. which help the awesome peoples at Fab Bag make a judgement as to what products are good for your skin and what isn't and that is how they ensure to send you a perfect beauty bag filled with goodies customized for you.

Now the best part about Fab Bag is that every month,the bag has 1-2 full sized product and 3-4 sample products. The full size products by themselves are worth Rs. 500-600 or even more! So the cost of subscription is covered there only. Thereafter the sample products from different brands are enough to last 1 week-10 days and help us make a decision on whether to invest in the full sized product or not. So it is triple benefit-We get MORE than what we paid PLUS we get to try out wonderful products from premium International + Indian brands as a bonus AND we get to keep a cute little bag which can be used as a travel pouch, as a party bag, as a makeup kit and well, imagination is the limit :)

So I subscribed to Fab Bag sometime around 2nd week of March and then started waiting patiently for arrival of the bag itself which was delivered within 2 weeks. Meanwhile, I checked out some reviews of March Fab Bag by other beauty bloggers and saw that there was a Sugar Lipstick, a Nailpolish and samples of Wella Shampoo, Conditioner Plus Suganda Neem & Green Tea Face Mask and such other products. I am not that big on makeup and focus mainly on skincare & haircare. But my sister loves makeup. So I planned on giving the lipstick to her and just wanted to get good beauty products for myself. I seriously think that peoples at Fab Bag have hidden powers to read minds because when I got my Fab Fab, I was in for the biggest,most pleasant surprise of my life! I got these products-

SUGAR Lipstick Breaking Bare (Full Size worth Rs. 599) - My sister loves this shade. She has been shrieking with happiness all day :D

Suganda Neem & Green Tea Mask (Sample) - Just started using it and my sensitive, problematic skin loves it so far! Will last me 5-6 uses more easily.

Natural Bath & Body Clay Mask & Whipped Cream (Both Samples) - Mask for face and Whipped Cream for body, again just used it for 2 days and my skin loves it! Will last me another 4-5 days.

Votre Face Serum (Full Size)! Say whaaaaaaat! I got a full sized, much sought after, much loved Votre Face Serum worth Rs. 1670! As I said, I was hoping to not get nail-polish or any other makeup product since I don't use them much. I would have been happy with Wella shampoo/conditioner samples too but I was secretly hoping for something more geared towards skincare and VOILA! I have no idea how they read my mind but they sent me the perfect product :) 

I am especially pleased because all these products are perfect for my skin. If you have read my blog carefully,you will know that I have the most sensitive, problematic skin that breaks out without any reason. I have come to accept that I will have to keep searching for my holy grail products for a long time and now that I have seen how carefully Fab Bag takes care of our special skin needs, I think this will be my numero uno source for the best products out there. I need something to soothe and calm my skin and the samples I have received plus Votre Serum are geared to do just that! How can I ever thank them enough :)

Now just look at all that I got. I paid less than Rs. 550 and got products worth almost Rs. 2550. Is this a good investment or what? :D 5 Times Returns! If only our banks gave similar interest rates on our investments! It just shows the commitment of everyone at Fab Bag to give us the best bang for our money as well as products that really are useful for us. I am sold and I am never going to wonder again how so many people are such big fans of Fab Bag :)

More Power to Fab Bag :)

Saturday 26 March 2016

Spring Summer 2016 Online Fashion Shopping At Faballey and Koovs

Online Shopping is a boon for us, especially when we live in big cities like Mumbai where we spend hours just going from point A to point B or stuck in traffic! It saves time, money, energy and thanks to online coupon and discount sites like Cashkaro, gives us extra cashback too :) The only glitch is-when it comes to shopping for fashion, we are not always sure how the apparel we ordered would fit or look on us in reality while it looks so scrumptious online on our computer screens. Thank goodness there are some websites that make this process so much easier for us. Faballey and Koovs are among my favorites because of brilliant packaging, fast delivery, provision of cash on delivery and absolutely fabulous customer service.

I bought 5 pairs of earrings from Faballey, 1 of which broke within a month. All I had to do was send a complaint email to them and they asked me to pack it in any box I had and sent a courier person within 2 days to pick it up from my home. Similarly, last month I had bought 2 tops from Koovs and 1 of them was not fitting my sister properly. Koovs too sent a courier person to pick it up within 2 days from my home when I had packed it in the box it came in. No questions asked, refund issued in the form of vouchers equivalent to the price of damaged goods as soon as they got my return package. It is things like these that make shopping an absolute delight. Needless to say that I also love them because what we see here on screen is very similar to what we get in our hands :) Both these websites give us the best of multiple brands at very affordable prices, a complete win for us.

So now that the summers are upon us and it is time for some retail therapy, my sister and I are browsing through both the websites to pick up some refreshing trends for the upcoming season! The collections are cool, contemporary, fashionable, affordable and must-have with fresh arrivals in Florals, Aztec Prints, Plaid, Stripes, Ruffles and Denims. Everything to make us look smashing no matter what the occasion, without breaking the bank. And most important, they are available in sizes XL and above which is what a family of foodies like mine search for :)

While we try and figure out which ones of these to buy (or maybe all of them :D), go ahead and browse through the fantastic collections at Faballey and Koovs for yourself!

Sunday 20 March 2016

Mainland China, Ghatkopar West, Mumbai

If it is Chinese, it must be at Mainland China. This is what my best friend in college had told me, a fellow foodie of course. Those days I used to be just at the point where even the poverty line in India feels ashamed of itself,so of course I never had enough to actually go feast at Mainland China. I was also under the impression that they are exorbitantly priced. It took me a long time to do both-realize that Mainland China is not actually exorbitant and also earn enough to proudly get a reservation at good dining places for excellent dining experiences :) Oh, but this experience here is special-it is also the first time I dined alone. Yeah, first time dining at Mainland China. Doing so Alone. :D 

Actually I was supposed to be here with a friend. We went to RCity Mall, Ghatkopar West on Friday morning to catch a really early movie and then go to Mainland China. But halfway through the movie she got a call from her home, some kind of medical emergency for someone in her family. Now I sat through the rest of the movie alone because that is not weird,right? I have seen plenty of movies alone and I think it is actually pretty commonplace in megacities like Mumbai, especially going to multiplexes. But then the movie ended and I was hungry. Ofcourse there was the option of going to the food court in the mall where I have seen plenty of people sitting and eating alone. BUT I just really wanted to eat at Mainland China. I had been saving for that. And I needed good Chinese food in my growling tummy. But there is this kind of taboo doing some things alone, like sitting in a really good restaurant eating alone. So,the very next moment,I was calling another friend who lives nearby in Godrej colony to plead with him to meet me for lunch. And he said,he was in office,but he could swing by in about an hour. Cool!

'You are not alone. Your friend will be here soon. Nobody will stare at you. Nobody will laugh at you. And so what if you are sitting alone on a table? Plenty of people do that. Eat alone. Watch movies alone. Do stuff alone. This is the 21st century. Alone is not sad'. I went ahead and walked in Mainland China while all this was going through my head. Turns out,everything was unnecessary. I was taken care of. And I don't mean in the 'They pity me because I am eating alone' way, but in a 'You are our esteemed guest and we are going to do our best to make this the best dining experience of your life' way :D

Beautiful ambiance. Brilliant service. Outstanding staff. Delectable food. This is all you need to know.

It does not look or feel like a dining outlet in a mall. Perfect fine dine ambiance. Staff made me feel at ease from the moment I walked in. Never hovering over my table but always there to clear away my plates the moment I finished. Never had to wait an extra second for water to be refilled. Absolute top notch 5 star service. I went through the menu and yes,it is a bit on the expensive side if one goes a la carte, but portions are enough for 1 dish to be enough for 2 people. Anyway, I went for the lunch buffet. Absolute value for money as I paid just about Rs. 550 for vegetarian option. And boy oh boy,what a delectable spread it was. 

None of that 100 dishes in the buffet spread where we cannot even taste everything. Here,the buffet has limited dishes but each one of them is perfect in terms of taste. Not over-oily or doused in sauces or garnishes like Indianized Chinese food is. It has just the right amount of salt and seasonings that makes every dish taste amazing on its own. Maybe a bit bland for those who are absolutely hooked to over-spicy and oily Chinese food available on our street corners. But for those who appreciate good food,subtle flavors,Mainland China never disappoints. Besides, they give dips, sauces to add extra zing to every dish too.

Loved every single dish in the buffet menu. Burnt my tongue by gobbling in the hot soup without blowing on it first :P I don't think I have ever had soup in my life without burning my tongue. Ever! I should just stop having soup :D But thankfully, I could still appreciate the taste of everything else. Dimsums were the best. Steamed to perfection with the crunchiest of veggies as the filling, I had trouble convincing myself to stop having them so I could have some space for other dishes in my tummy :D

Main course had Hakka Noodles, Sweet & Sour Vegetables, Crunchy Noodles, Veg Dumplings in Soya Chilli Sauce, Fried Rice. Cannot really add to anything other than everything tasted fresh and the care with which they were prepared was evident. Veg Dumplings were the softest,most beautiful piece of culinary heaven I have had in a long time. Went perfectly with fried rice.

Dessert had Honey Noodles with Ice Cream, Tiramisu, Fruits, Chocolate Pastry. Again, not an imperfect note anywhere. The Honey Noodles are THE must-have item. I had to keep repeating 'Diabetes,I am prone to Diabetes, my family has a history of Diabetes' to get myself to stop at 2 servings or else I would have gone back to finish off every last piece of honey noodle they had in the kitchen :P Oh, the moment I started attacking the dessert counter is also when my friend finally showed up but as I said, the staff had already taken such good care of me (and the food had so enchanted me!) that I did not even realize I was eating all alone till then :D He was not happy to hear that somehow,I think :P

Will I recommend Mainland China? 100%, everyone must go there!
Will I go back? I am already counting the days till I do!
Is it worth it? Worth every penny AND more!

Now I completely understand why my college best friend was such a big fan of Mainland China :) 5 stars for this perennial winner!