Saturday 28 May 2016

Rola Rossa, Andheri West, Mumbai

Foodie Paradise. That is the world we are living in right now. Almost everyday a new restaurant seems to be opening up and it seems to be a cluttered space, or so many of my friends claim :D As a living breathing hippo myself, I am not going to complain. But then there comes a little place, no fuss, no muss and you stumble upon it and go, 'Voila, this is magic! This is genie in a bottle.' Behold as I just discovered a magical place quite recently. Rola Rossa.

I first heard about them kicking up a good storm among some of my friends who live in the area. And then I came to know about it being the brainchild of a teenager, a high school student, Shrey Sanghavi and his mom, the erudite chef Rupali and I had to check it out. It takes buckets of courage to go out and follow one's passion and when someone does it at so young an age, well, it takes so much more than what most of us can muster. 

So here I was with 3 amazing foodie blogger compatriots, in the busy Lokhandwala market area, on a scorching weekday afternoon. Rola Rossa is situated very near the famous Options store, in case you are lost for directions. Google Maps has got it down right,so that is not a worry :) Welcome to a small enchanting wonder-house. Bright red dominates the interiors color spectrum and makes even the limited space pop with vigor and vibrancy, bound to make even 50 year olds feel like 20 once more. Quirky little quotes, faux-windows design, absolutely adorable ambiance which just increased our appetite for some really good food. 

With the menu having some choicest options from Indian, Italian, American, Greek and Mexican, we turned to Rupali ma'am for suggesting the best of the lot. Service was polite, quick and pleasant throughout, just like family AND they made us eat like family too :) Actually, everything was so top-notch that we wanted to keep eating even long after our tummies were threatening to burst at the seams :D

Being a scorching afternoon that we had endured on our way here, some refreshing drinks were first on our mind. And there we were, glugging down their house specialty Virgin Mary and Tangy Guava. Virgin Mary was sweeter than expected (never a problem with me as everyone knows,I am a sweet hound :P) but Tangy Guava was awesome. Blend of sweetish-soury notes, this made a rejuvenating splash to the beginning of our delightful food journey.

Then came the house specialties. Haven't you wondered yet what exactly is a Rossa? Yup, it is a dish (basically a bread pocket stuffed with cheese and other delish stuff) which is absolutely not to be missed. Try every Rossa on offer and if you are endowed with stomach of a pigeon (don't worry,it is normal,there are people in my family afflicted with that too :P), at least do try Continental Rossa, that heavenly combo of Cheese, Spinach, Basil and Corn in warmest bread pockets possible. That burst of gooey deliciousness (no,it does not mess up the fingers :P) is pure bliss. One dish that will make me come back for more! And if you love to spice things up, go for Spicy Indian Chatka Rossa, it will be reminiscent of our favorite dadi/ nani maa making a Rossa with Potatoes, Onions, Spices in tandoor perhaps. Fiery! And you won't be able to stop eating it at all. It is perfect for quick snack and is served alongside a spicy-sour raw salad that is a delight to nitpick at. Pure love this dish is :)

When you are done worshipping the deliciousness of Rossas on offer, do take a peek at the Crispy Cheese Allowances that stole our hearts next. Another simple dish, one would look at it and go, hmm, well that looks good, but does it taste good? Yes Sir, it does :) Simplicity is divinity sometimes. These are little puff pastries (savory) with an avalanche of flavors atop it in the form of Cheese, Cabbage, Lettuce..just look at the picture, I swear that does more justice to its brilliance than a 1000 poems I could compose :D

I haven't even introduced the star dish and am salivating all over again. Do not forget to taste the Ice Bhel. Nope, I did not misspel anything :P It is really Ice Bhel, a specialty here, and quite possibly a life saver for us all in this wretched Mumbai weather! It is exactly what you would imagine it to be but tastes better than any of our imaginations. A plate of bhel with all the chutneys (on the sweeter side,Mumbai style) and crispy kurkure puris crumbled atop,served with a judicious helping of ice mixed in it! Sounds deceptively simple,no? Now imagine making a chaat and trying to add ice to it, without diluting any of the flavor or making it a watery mess. Get the picture? Yup, that is the genius part and something you have to taste to appreciate. A new way of having Bhel is here and I don't think I am going back to the old way anytime soon :D

When you have tried everything in the starter section (I am coming back and doing that peoples!), move ahead to some serious business. I have my heart set on the Pizzas, Panini which I am sure would be awesome just like their Pav Bhaji Fondue and 2 in 1 Baked Pasta was! Pav Bhaji Fondue is perhaps the next great thing in vogue right now and is definitely a must-try. Imagine all the awesomeness of Pav Bhaji,now accelerate it by putting some Cheese in the Bhaji, a little bit of Butter and put in all atop the fondue flame. It all melts and mixes together without creating a artery-choking mess but just the perfect thing to share among 4 friends. The accompanying crispy buttered bread toast pieces are delicious to have on their own & get simply divine when dipped in the fondue! I licked the bhaji clean and loved that it was not unnecessarily oily or spicy. It was delicious by retaining the original flavors of the mashed veggies and enhancing them with cheese,not overpowering it. Amazing.

No, there was no space left in our tummy after all this, I know that is what everyone is itching to know :P But we couldn't say no to the 2 in 1 Baked Pasta. If you like White Sauce Pasta, you will love it and even if you love Red Sauce Pasta,you will love it because it is 2-in-1 :D Both sauces and a variety of pasta shapes (Penne, Fusili, Fettuccine) make this a delight for kids and for those who are still kids at heart. Or anybody who loves cheese really :D This is one densely flavored and heavy dish, for those who want to do some heavy duty and delicious eating! And then go ahead to end it all on a sweet note with any of their cupcakes, as we did with the cute little red velvet ones. 

The portions are generous and prices are oh-so-light on the pocket. A hearty meal for 2 heavy eaters here would not cost more than Rs. 700 and I am talking hippo level hunger levels by the way :D Add to that excellent service, cool ambiance and a chance to create some special memories over really delectable food and Rola Rossa turns out to be one of the most incredible foodie finds. Ever ♥♥♥

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