Tuesday 29 August 2017

Punjab Grill Family Fine Dine | Punjabi Food Wholesomeness | Food Review | Food Photography

Punjab Grill is definitely one of the best family dining places in Mumbai for Punjabi/North Indian/Mughlai style food, authentic, lip smacking, top notch quality and very good quantity. This is my first visit to this particular outlet and am anticipating more visits in future for the delicious food :) Ambiance is decent, views of Dublin Square are good, tables could be set a bit apart, I like how they have separate areas for family/big groups and couples :) Staff is very quick on their feet, well-trained and extremely polite, full marks to attentive service. Food is presented well apart from tasting sooo soooo good :D Prices a bit on higher side but definitely worth it for an occasion.


We started off with Khumb Pudina Shorba -Wild Mushroom Consomme Infused with Mint, Tempered with Pounded Garlic, light and lovely for a mushroom lover like me, especially recommended in monsoon and winters!

Alongside, we also tried some beverages- Kesar Pisteywali Lassi, Rola Cola (sweet-spicy,much like a mix of Jaljeera and Coca Cola, liked it), Virgin Mojito (decent, as expected, refreshing) out of which the tall glass of LASSI was stupendous with a rich inclusion of real Kesar and loads of dry fruits, all topped with a pedha! 2 glasses of this and meal is done even for a hippo like me :D

5 Stars for the array of starters here, will be coming back exclusively for them:-

Bharwaan Khumbh Peshawari - Large Handpicked Mushrooms stuffed with Pickle Spiced Paneer and Finely Minced Mushroom, I was afraid it would be too salty as many mushroom dishes are but this one was perfectly spiced, very juicy mushrooms,

Bhutteyan De Kebab-Steamed Corn Pearls, Blended with Fennel, Green Chillies, Flattened and Deep Fried, served with Chutney and Dips, did not look any extraordinary but every bite was oh-so-crunchy, loved it :D

Dahi ke Kebab- Hung Curd with Overtones of Cardamom and Coriander, fried golden, these were simply melt-in-mouth,

Veg Kurkuri-Wonton Skins filled with Cheese, celery, mushrooms, pine nuts, deep fried to crunchy gold, I am usually not much into Indo-Chinese dishes, but this cheesy concoction was yummy in the tummy :D

Paneer Tikka Multani-Tandoori Grilled, Infused with Fragrant Herbs, these were decent, Paneer chunks were huge and soft,

For the main course, we noshed on:-

Paneer Lababdar- Silken, Soft Paneer cubes dunked in Thick, Creamy Tomato Gravy with Onions and Bell Peppers, gently seasoned with rare herbs and exotic spices, a MUST-HAVE here, the gravy was impossibly creamy and delicious,

Dal Punjab Grill -Whole Urad Simmered overnight with a hint of Mustard oil, finished with Tomato puree and cream, tempered with fragrant Ghee, another MUST-HAVE, this is the typical Punjabi Dal that goes well with..anything or can be enjoyed even on its own :D

Subjiyaan De Millniyan- Fresh vegetable in semi-dry gravy, this is the mix vegetable to have when you are confused with the huge menu :D Dad loved this, apart from usual veggies,it also has wholesome mushroom chunks that brought a new level to the dish, really good,

Tarkari Kesari Biryani-Dum cooked, Baasmati rice enhanced with Saffron, Fresh Vegetables, one of the places where they really serve Biryani and NOT PULAO! And most importantly, those irritating Elaichi pieces in biryani? Yeah, not present here, so win-win :D Absolutely must-have,

Tandoori Roti, Lachcha Paratha (in whole wheat versions)- fragrant, soft, just as we like it,

Finally, to creme de la creme of the meal, the brilliant MUST-HAVE 5 Star Dessert Platter

Chocolate Gulab Jamun with a hint of nutella in the core, this one is incredibly rich, just 1 is enough to send anyone to foodie heaven,

Litchi ki Tehri with luscious dense Rabdi mixed with royal pieces of dry fruits, Litchi and Sultana, couldn't stop having it,

Phirni, hands down my favorite, dense, rich, not too sweet, amazing finish to a great meal :)

Whole family loved the dining experience and will be keeping it among our top places to revisit.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Parsi Food Festival | Pondicherry Cafe Sofitel BKC Mumbai | Khavanu Pivanu Majja Ni Life | Food Review

My second visit to Pondicherry Cafe within a month and these guys are still fantastic. This time, it is to review their Parsi Food Festival 'Khavanu, Pivanu, Majja Ni Life' and my sister, who usually does not like Parsi food much, loved it here so much that she is planning to go back before the festival gets over, that alone speaks volumes :)

Walk in on the ground floor of the luxurious Sofitel at BKC, enter the plush Pondicherry Cafe and take a moment to soak in the ambiance. Bright rich colors, beautiful view from the french windows, an array of food counters, and for the special occasion of Parsi New Year celebrations, a full-on old Irani cafe style decor replete with server uniforms, cheerful tablecloth, vintage knick-knacks from old Parsi homes, bullet bike and car exhibition et al. Puts you right in the mood to have some good ol' Parsi fare.

And the fare is good indeed. Usually Parsi food means non-veg dishes, but there are more than enough vegetarian options here to make us smile. So binge on the Salli Boti, Patra Ni Machchi and so on but don't forget to also try the Veg Dhansak, Vegetable Stew, Veg Chana Dal and my favorite- Patra Ni Paneer! Had 3 rounds of these. Steamed, Sweet-Spicy, luscious, unforgettable.

Among other favorites are their Soya Kebabs and Channa Pattice. Parsi food has a unique mix of spices and that 'home-made' feeling which has been perfectly replicated in these dishes here. I have a couple of Parsi friends from college and have tried veg Dhansak + Patra Ni Paneer earlier too, and the versions here had the same taste. So yes, the food is very authentic, lipsmacking :)

Apart from these, also try their Bun Maska, Laga nu Custard, and do not forget to sample the famous flavors of soda, the colorful bottles will catch your fancy at the entrance itself. Raspberry, Ice cream, Ginger, Orange- take your pick, my favorite is Raspberry :)

The buffet includes many other dishes too for those who want to stick to tried & tested/conventional fare, these are the ones I really liked-

Sweet Potato Mash,
Grilled Vegetables,
Stir Fried Vegetables in nutty sauce,
Veg Corn Pulao,
Veg Singapore Style Noodles,
Veg Paneer Tikka,
Veg Dimsum platter,
AND the whole dessert section is fantastic- specially recommended are their ChamCham, Ravo (Parsi Kheer), Dark Chocolate Tart, Chocolate Barfi and Pre-plated Financier :)

Very value for money looking at the quality of the buffet, the excellent service from beginning to end, very polite and helpful staff and our delicious experience here. Will surely be back. 

Monday 21 August 2017

Fun, Games, Experience To Remember At The Amazing Escape Andheri | Leisure & Entertainment

Lazy weekend. Have had enough of malls, movies, shopping? Want something new? How about a combination of games, puzzles and loads of fun with friends and family? How about donning detective hats like Sherlock Holmes and solving clues? Well, The Amazing Experience, newly opened at Andheri West, Mumbai is one such place, perfect for all ages, to spend a fun-filled day.
The concept is -a themed room, where a group will be locked in, and they have to use the given clues/puzzles to figure out a way to get out of that room in 60 minutes. Fret not, the puzzles are not as childish as to generate no excitement nor are they as tough as only Stephen Hawking can solve :D The themes are varied, from Illuminati-where the Pope has died and you have to prove that he was murdered, to Escape The Tomb, where you have to figure out the clues to reach the Pharaoh's tomb and escape before an ancient Egyptian curse locks you in the room forever! There is Bank Heist and Prison Break and Lost World too! 

We were a bunch of adrenaline junkie bloggers who experienced the 'Escape the Tomb' room and it was super-duper-fun. We worked like a team, solved the clues, got stuck many times, asked for extra help and moved through the maze like situation to escape after 61 minutes. And we are raring to go back to solve the clues in all the other rooms. We suggest this experience to all kids as well as adults who want to exercise their brain while having fun. It is a stress-buster of highest order and perfect for celebrating events such as birthdays or even corporate team training!

All in all, The Amazing Escape is definitely one of the best options to enjoy some hatke fun and frolic in Mumbai :) Get more details at The Amazing Escape .

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Bunts Food Festival | Saptami Holiday Inn Mumbai | Food Review | Restaurant Review

This is the first time I have been to Saptami for their ongoing Bunts Food Festival and am very impressed with the authenticity of the spread which is quite reasonable at just about Rs. 1600 (with taxes). Situated at the ground floor of Holiday Inn, literally at 2 minutes walk from Saki Naka Metro Station, the ambiance is very modern elegance with floor to ceiling windows, beautiful ceilings, soft music, tables situated at good distance for facilitating private conversation and a good buffet spread with vegetarian, non-vegetarian delicacies, desserts, live counters. The staff is very polite, helpful, non-intrusive and I love how their badges mention their names as well as their passion (singing, dancing etc.)

The bunts food festival celebrates food from Mangalore-Bangalore region and has good use of various spices, coconuts, tamarind, rice. The food here is very close to authentic food (vouched for by my sister who has tasted Mangalorean food at her office frequently) and has not been made extra spicy/ sweet/ moulded to suit 'modern' palate. Rather, they have included few neutral dishes in the buffet and actually, everything tastes really good. 

First up we had soup, a tangy spicy Kuduta Rasam, made of horse gram tempered with garlic and home made spices, I hardly ever like soup but this was brilliant, ignited our taste buds completely,

Off to Salads section and they included a cross-section of Cucumbers, Carrots, Corn along with special dishes such as Moong Dal Kosambari i.e. Moong Dal seasoned with mustard seeds, curry leaf and coconut (extremely crunchy), Cucumber Pachadi i.e. Cucumber slivers in yoghurt,tempered with sesame seeds (very cooling), Mix Vegetable Kosumully i.e. Mixed Vegetable tossed together with South Indian spices (again, crunchy and wholesome),

Up next was the starters section and the non-veggies had a choice of grilled fish, but we gorged on special deep-fried Split Gram dumplings Biscuit Ambade, Vada alongside sweet-spicy Kung Pao Veggies and cooling Mint Yogurt and Curd Rice,

Check out Ganji, nutritious calorific dish traditionally eaten by farmers during mid-day while working on their fields- rice based dish served with Yetti Chutney, Garlic Chutney and Dry Prawn Chutney! It was a pleasure meeting the jovial Chef who happily shared stories from his childhood in Mangalore while showing us around the buffet :)

The main course had regular dishes like Steamed Rice, Veg Pulao, Paneer Lababdar, Pasta, Thai Yellow Curry, alongside special dishes such as Gulia Puli Koddel (Sweet,Sour and Spicy Eggplant), Mix Vegetable Korma (creamy mix veg, distinct coconutty flavor), Tomato Togari Bele Saar (Tangy Toor Dal tempered with Garlic and Home Made Spices), Suran Chana Ajadina (Yam and Chickpeas tossed with Coconut Mangalorian style), Beetroot Poriyal (Dry Jackfruit Mangalorian style, never tasted better!) and a plethora of papadams. Sounds like heaven? Completely was, absolutely loved the distinct flavors in each dish, felt like was having food made by grandmother at someone's home :)

The live counters of Chaats served some delicious Dahi Puri, Sev Puri, Pani Puri Mumbaiya style and we also enjoyed Appam as well as Neer Dosa, 2 dishes that cannot be missed when talking of any South Indian food festival!

Finally, the desserts. The spread was evenly divided between Indian and Western desserts. So apart from the regular chocolate brownie, strawberry pastry, rose ice cream, white chocolate pudding, we had a choice of lovely home-made Managalorean desserts including Mysore Pak, Halwa, Ladoo, Sweet Appa, Kesar Pak and Gujhiya (this my personal favorite). Of course, fruits and Gulab Jamuns were also there who might not wanna be adventurous with this spread.

But I suggest, go ahead, be adventurous. We highly enjoyed our meal and got acquainted with some distinct flavors and I hope everyone enjoys this different deliciousness galore :)