Wednesday 8 June 2016

Gurukripa, Powai, Mumbai

Mumbai is a huge megapolis. I used to live in a beautiful part called Powai almost a decade ago before I moved closer to my college, almost 25 kms away! But of course I still have friends in the area and so does my family, whom we visit once in a while. It was just such an occasion 2 days ago when mom wanted to meet a friend so my sister & I tagged along, spent some time doing the usual social hi-hello obligation and then whisked away for some sister bonding time at Gurukripa nearby :) This particular restaurant, I think, has no relation to the famous Gurukripa in Sion, or it may have, I forgot to ask about it :P It existed a decade ago too but we had never been here back then, as it was small AND I was not a full fledged foodie with my own source of income to spend on myriad foodie journeys. Anyway, a decade later, here we were :D

It is located on the busy Saki-Vihar road and is quite easy to find as it is probably the only decent looking place on this particular industrial looking stretch of road, filled with offices and shops and garages. Contrast this with the cool green signboard of Gurukripa and you know it is gonna be good. Quite spacious inside with 3 level sitting areas, including a rooftop one which is perfect for evenings with family (cue cool breeze and unwind). Decor is pretty standard, comfortable and clean. In fact, my sister went to the washroom and it was exquisitely clean and pleasant, something not a lot of restaurants would boast of (and also not something we make a note of in our reviews most of the time,but we should :D) There are also LCD screens for sports events,something I am sure attracts a lot of customers too. There is a beautiful bar which was tempting but it was a hot afternoon and we decided to not give in to the temptation :P Music is non-intrusive and pleasant while Service is perfectly attentive and polite. I had browsed through the reviews on Zomato beforehand and already had an idea on what to order, still the staff gave some excellent suggestions which I suggest you make use of :) Lunch hour here is jam-packed with corporates from neighboring offices, most of whom look like regulars, which is just a testament to how consistently good this place must be, otherwise nobody would come here everyday,right? :) Food comes out quickly enough as I think the regular crowds have just helped the service here become even more efficient. Good job all around.

The menu is extensive with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian and Chinese dishes and I have heard that the non-vegetarian is even better than the vegetarian dishes here. Well, being vegetarians ourselves, we can only vouch for the veg dishes that we had and they were all very veryyyy good. We started off with some refreshing mocktails where my sister loved I'm Black which had Blackcurrant Ice cream, Crush and Grape Juice. She doesn't like anything too sweet and unfortunately when it comes to mocktails, many places serve sugary syrups with different flavors. Not here. The mocktail was delicious, lightly creamy, had blackcurrant flavor perfectly with light tangy undercurrent of grapes. She finished it off after giving me just a sip to taste :P I took my revenge by almost finishing off mine without giving her any taste. Mine was Guava with Kesar Pista, yup, I know it sounds weird but it tasted brilliant :D Usually Kesar Pista gives heaviness to anything but when mixed with Guava and those little nuts sprinkled on top, it was simply THE drink I would take with me on a beach (if I ever fancy sitting on a beach sipping drinks :D) It wasn't too sweet, too syrupy, rather very naturally refreshing and had the power to make a dead man sit up. Must-try for sure. For light eaters, this would actually be a little meal, looking at how dense in calories it is :D

Following the delicious drinks, which have got 5 Stars each from us, we had this huge gigantic Masala Roomali Papad that is in reality a complete meal for 2 light eaters! It is deliciously crunchy roomali roti, garnished with tomatoes, onions, sev and there is a distinct ghee slathered on top taste coming through too. This is what is called a perfect chakhna :D One can ignore the slight ghee and think of it as health food too! Tomatoes, Onions, some basic Masala, Sev, yup, healthy :D

Since I love Mushrooms and my sister loves Paneer, we were suggested to for a cheesy starter starring each of them. So we had Crunchy Mushrooms and Paneer Cheesy Tikki (I hope I got the names right because I seem to have slipped into a food coma and forgotten the name of a few dishes :P). Basically, we had these pockets of oozing cheese with mushrooms and these triangles of softest paneer possible encased in fried batter with some cheese and herbs. Loved both but I would like more mushrooms and less cheese in the first one. Paneer was brilliant, it actually was made in such a way that Paneer remained untouched while the outer batter was fried, so each bite was oozing with that smokey flavor followed by soft and creamy paneer slices. Yummmmm!

Moving to the main course, we zeroed down on Sabzi Panchwati Mela, Paneer Makai Chamatkar, Roomali Roti and Stuffed Kulcha. Hey, before we are pegged as hungry dinosaurs, let me clarify we asked them to make the portions small since we wanted to indulge in various dishes and were in no hurry to go anywhere else :P Sabzi Panchwati Mela is basically spicy Mix Vegetable gravy dish, went perfectly with simple, soft Roomali Roti. It is typical Mix Veg that is available in so many good Indian restaurants all over India,so nothing special to say. Perfect dish that you would expect in a good casual dining restaurant. I am not much into spicy things but my sister liked it a lot. I loved the Paneer Makai Chamatkar which was green gravy (Paneer) based dish with softest Paneer cubes and crunchy Corn pieces (and I suspect a bit of Malai to make it creamy). A dish we couldn't stop having. Stuffed Kulcha was so good that it actually needed nothing else, the generous filling of veggies there in itself made it a complete winner. And that Tandoori aroma... ♥♥♥

While we were completely stuffed by all this, since I had heard really good things about its specialty Gadbad dessert, we had to try it out. So we decided to ask them for that in half portion and they happily complied :) It is basically a Sundae in a glass with Strawberry, Mango, Vanilla icecreams with streaks of Strawberry and Mango Pulp & Jellies with loads of Dryfruits such as Almonds, Raisins, Cashewnuts. In short, a complete stunner for someone with a sweet jaw like mine. Even my sister didn't complain and finish it off (she usually passes off her share of desserts to me at all meals :P) I totally understand why this is a bestseller here. Whenever I am here next, will definitely have this but will have to take a gym membership and run 3 hours on the treadmill to burn all the calories off :D

All through our lunch,we saw scores of corporate professionals from neighboring offices pour in and many of them went straight for Khichdi or Biryani or some Chicken Dishes, and quick service without missing a beat to every table. One important word about the portions-they are HUGE! One Biryani is enough to feed THREE hungry people, same goes for all gravy dishes, all vegetables, rather everything on the menu. The starters seem a bit expensive though. Even then, ordering mocktails, a starter, two main courses and a dessert for a family of 4 would be just around Rs. 1500 which is reasonable considering the quality & quantity of food & excellent service. I had a good time and whenever I am in Powai, this will surely be on my to-go list :)

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