Sunday 29 October 2017

Vedge Andheri Mumbai | Global Vegetarian With Desi Edge | Best Vegetarian Restaurant | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Vedge has been making waves and winning 'best vegetarian restaurant in Mumbai' awards for years now, increasing my curiosity and expectations,but somehow I never seemed to land in this area long enough to check it out. So when I got a chance to review some of their freshest offerings in the new menu, I immediately booked a date for family lunch :) 

Vedge brings a plethora of global dishes -pizzas, pasta, nachos, woks, dimsums et al and presents them in edgy veg way, full of flavors and little desi tadka. We wanted to try multiple dishes so we asked for half portions of each dish and even that was hearty enough,a complete value for money place. 1 full portion soup is enough as a meal for a light eater and 1 main course has to be shared among 2 light eaters! Ambiance wise- it is spacious, open, welcoming, warm with comfortable seating for family as well as a quirky corner for college gangs too. Bright artwork, beautiful lamps, artifacts give it a contemporary feel. Service wise- extremely polite,helpful, quick and the staff is really good at recommending dishes as per individual palate.

Started off with a round of drinks-

Simple refreshing LIME-MINT MOJITO -they even make it sugar-free on request,brilliant!
For my ice-tea loving sister, BERGAMOT BERRY ICED TEA, served in a boot shaped glass - Earl Grey concoction with Black Currant nectar,
Dad loved POISON PUNCH - sweet apples with ginger beer and Indian spices, 
Childhood nostalgia of having guavas with chilli comes alive in SPICY GUAVA DELIGHT with guava juice, lemon juice and mint spiked with kick of red chillies powder :D Mom adored this one!

Added Spider-cream float which is a calorific combination of syrup, ice cream and soda-children loooooove this one (yes,even older ones like me :P) we went for STRAWBERRIES & CREAM with sweet strawberry and vanilla ice cream = delightful,

Finally we also tried the concept of Fizzy drinks where according to our tastebuds,we could choose different flavors (so if something goes wrong,you cannot blame anyone else :P) -we went for RASPBERRY,LIME, GINGER, it was good (self pat on the back :D)

Moving on to soups, we had-
CREAMY TOMATO & BASIL- wholesome flavors, simple and hot,
MALAYSIAN LAKSA LEMAK - Coconut curry soup with exotic veggies, served alongside condiments like cilantro mint, lime wedges and fried garlic, MUST-HAVE, if you love flavors of dishes like Khao-Suey and Thai curries,this will be your bae :)

On to starters, we had-
CRISPY COTTAGE CHEESE TOSSED IN BLACK BEAN SESAME SAUCE- After a long looong time, I had some delicious Indo-chinese fare and absolutely loved it, soft crispy cottage cheese, spicy sauce, shredded veggies on the side, 

CRISPY CORN CURD- served with chili oil and sweet chilli mayo, these dips elevated the taste of soft corn curd dumplings = scrumptious,

KILLER Dimsums - both VEGETABLE CHILI BASIL as well as SAUTEED SPINACH, FRESH CORIANDER & CORN were mindblowingly good, one of the best we have had in years, full of flavors and crunch that we expect from a good dimsum, 100% worth the trip made to Vedge :)

In Main course, we tried-

THAI MASSAMAN CURRY -Mild southern Thai curry, this is the 'bland'er cousin of the ever-popular flavorful Thai green & red curries, but still a star dish. Creamy blend of coconut milk with exotic veggies and just a hint of herbs and spices (especially galangal I believe), it went extremely well with steamed rice and my dad who doesn't like spiky Thai curries one bit simply chomped this one to the finish. Simple dish with basic flavors, done very right :)

My personal favorite WOK TOSSED BARBEQUE NOODLES WITH EXOTIC VEGGIES- I am not into Indo-Chinese dishes at all, I do not even have Maggi anymore (I know,gasp!) but this one, oh boy, I am coming back for this! Noodles with a kick of sweet-spicy barbeque sauce, tangy kick of flavors, exotic veggies, absolutely loooooved ♥♥♥ 

My sister being the cheese addict that she is, called for CLASSIC CURRIED ITALIAN LASAGNE - Flat pasta encrusted with roasted vegetables, topped with tomato sauce & cheese baked, the Indian tadka made this a bit different and spicier from usual cheesy lasagna, we all liked it a lot,

PENNE PASTA Cheesy Alfredo- Dad who usually sticks to safe choices in the menu decided to go crazy and ordered for a pasta here. And then he finished it all himself, giving us barely 2 spoons to taste. Yup, this is the man who would order tandoori roti and paneer pasanda even if he met the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace. He finished the entire cheesy bowl of penne alfredo with exotic veggies. That speaks volumes about how good it was, right? :D

You would think that by now,we would be in food coma. Yes we were. And that we would have no space for any dessert,right? Ha ha ha, good one :P The hulk is always ready to smash some we moved on to final round of desserts-

Mom had KESAR PISTA KULFI, creamy delicious, loaded with kesar and pista,enough said,

We had CHOCOLATE MUD PIE, dish to be shared between 3 people at least. The chef brings out this big tray full of chocolate brownie, vanilla ice cream, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, castor sugar, chocolate syrup and then mixed it all together on the table to create a literal pile of chocolate in all its glory. Just look at the picture and if you don't salivate, you must be one of those zombies on the walking dead :P I hope Neegan finds you before I do. Everyone else, dig in! ♥♥♥

So my family concurs- Vedge 100% deserves the stellar reputation it has built and all the awards it has won, this is a vegetarian dining place with an edge and even hardcore non vegetarians would be happy being here :) Bon Appetit

Friday 27 October 2017

AndaMental The Express Takeaway Mumbai | Mental Good Fusion Food | Food Review

Delicious food, value for money, on time punctual delivery, good quantity, absolutely recommended :)

Had a hearty feast in office where 3 of us got completely full sampling these dishes-

Paneer Roulade- MUST HAVE here, big chunks of stuffed paneer, international level dish with Indian twist of spices and flavors :)

Stuffed Masala Kulcha - Spicy as it should be, good enough for a meal for someone like my sister who couldn't finish this one by herself :D Will reorder for sure :)

Palak Kofta Curry- Good flavors, soft well cooked koftas, went well with kulcha, gravy was delicious and we would love some more kofta pieces :)

Veggie Mental Maggi - Absolute stunner for someone like my sister who is obsessed with Maggi :D Big pot of masala maggi with cheese, so just drool over that mental image for a while and then order this one, my sister says it is her MUST HAVE :D

We are definitely gonna reorder, good food at good prices! 

Sunday 22 October 2017

Summer Garden Powai Mumbai | Healthy Nutrition Diet Redefined | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Why I would revisit Summer Garden-

1- Ambiance + Eco-Friendly + Pet friendly = Rustic, elegant, simple decor comprising of trees,bamboo shoots and jute, reminding of Goa or Hawaiian shacks,
Bamboo straws used for drinks instead of plastic straws,
Hand written menu,
PLUS there is a stillness and sense of calm here even in the midst of a bustling urban jungle, 
And they love pets, their menu has a special little pet section too.

2- Food & Drinks = Honestly good ingredients, 
Mostly organic, Low GI, super-foods sourced locally, 
Made fresh from the scratch when the order is placed, 
Using absolute minimal processed ingredients, 
Not even using processed sugar or salt, instead using Jaggery or Himalayan salt, 
No ice or artificial flavors or even sugar used in drinks,
Luxury Teas offered via TGL Tea Co.,
Slow-cooked food to retain maximum nutrients.

So yes, even the higher prices are worth it for this place :) 

My sister and I kicked back, swayed to the tunes of some classic hits, enjoyed the cool evening breeze and had the healthiest meal we have had in ages, *Note*- Literally every single dish tastes the same as it is explained in the menu, no surprises, there is absolutely no meddling with flavors, so order accordingly,

Started off with bevy of drinks, first up was Golden - Turmeric, Ginger, Lemon, Honey = detox session ahoy, bitter taste because of turmeric, felt like grandma made a kaada in the kitchen, tasted pure, I had ordered this because it is great for liver and loved it thus :)

Yogi Smoothie- Dates, Banana, Hazelnut, Almonds, Coconut Water, Cinnamon = Wholesome mix of some tasty ingredients, refreshing, would love to have it every day,

Epic  Shake - Raw Cacao Powder, Figs =Innovative mix of ingredients rich in antioxidants and minerals, no chocolate lover can miss this purest raw form, there was a literal fight between my sister and me for the last drop (#NotAshamed #CacaoForever #ILoveMySisterButIAlsoLoveChocolate )

I very rarely order smoothies or shakes anywhere but since these guys do not use any ice or flavors in their drinks, it all tasted brilliant, real flavors coming through

Off to little nibbles, we had Mushroom Cigars- Slow Cooked Mushrooms in Filo, baked to perfection, served with mustard sauce for a spicy kick, really liked it, even my sister who is not a big mushroom fan liked how smooth it was,

Rosti Potato- Crunchy Potato Rosti, Lemon Aioli, Baby Spinach and Orange Salad, we would suggest this to typical Indian palates who are averse to experimenting much because this will feel like a potato uttapam/paratha sort of dish for them (taste is different from an uttapam/paratah, but for those who think 'health food is bland' and they need something more, this would at least be something close to their favored taste profile) 

Up next was Smoked Avocado Sandwich - Sourdough bread, Smashed Avocado, Tomato, Olive Tapenade, Roccula, Toasted Almonds, Olive Crumble = a mix of some really healthy and strong flavors, I would reorder it because I adore Avocados and the way it spread over the amazing sourdough bread, again, very real flavors with very little meddling,so order if you like these ingredients :)

Among Salads, we chose Flower Bed- Crumbled Feta, Cherry Tomato, Sweet Potato, Tapioca Puffs, Beetroot Hollandaise, Roasted Pumpkin, Cream Cheese =Looks pretty and has a mix of familiar flavors, I would personally like more quantity for this,

Indian Salad Bowl- Spiced Chickpea, Mushroom & Broccoli Tossed Red Rice, Yogurt Tamarind Jam = Another dish we would recommend to traditional Indian palate, just like Rosti Potato! Brilliant amalgamation of healthy rice with spicy chickpea and tangy-sour yogurt tamarind jam, nostalgic South Indian flavors seeping through, a must-have dish we say :)

Mediterranean Thali - Pea Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Pumpkin Butter, Tapioca Tabbouleh, House Salad, Beetroot, Kalamata Olives, Whole Wheat Pita = I love me some hummus and pita and this is what I would definitely reorder with the whole platter of tangy, spicy, sour, lovely flavors, a bit different, a bit traditional, I like it a lot :)

And then we came to desserts and oh boy,were we in for a surprise! You might taste the salads, sandwiches and say 'okay so this is what healthy food tastes like, hmmm' but when you taste their dessert you will certainly go 'say whaaaaaaaat,this is what dessert at this hardcore healthy place tastes like?!!!'

First we had Sticky Toffee Pudding - Baked Toffee Pudding, Sticky Toffee Sauce & Toasted Almond Ice Cream = Heaven! A boatload of caramel to drown into, it had dark flavors and enough quantity for 2 people to share (and this is coming from a dessert fanatic like me!)

Just when we thought that nothing could beat this toffee pudding, we tasted Brioche- Golden Buttered Brioche, Jaggery Caramel and Toasted Almond Ice Cream and we were so wrong! This might be one of the best brioche in the world, just think of bread,butter,caramel together,make it warm, make it fragrant, make it nutty,make it smooth, make it....forget the imagination,just try it for yourself :)

Since the whole concept is based so intensely around natural flavors, healthy ingredients, fresh food, obviously it tastes different. Most of the dishes here would be categorized as 'acquired taste' but I am really rooting for these guys because as a self - confessed glutton, I really need places like these to detox and I swear, if I had all my meals here for a month, my liver, kidney and heart would send me biggest Hallmark Thank You cards :D Take a leap of faith, move ahead of the naans and kulchas, pizzas and pastas for a day, take some time-out and have some healthy grub here. I know I am coming back for sure :) 

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Fusion Deliciousness Delivered | Firangi Bake Mumbai | Food Review & Recommendation

Perfect fusion food, that is how my sister would describe food from here :) Had a scrumptious lunch, shared it with my sister and 1 more office colleague, and everyone loved it so much they would definitely reorder from here. Firangi Bake is a new entrant offering desi twist to global bakes, basically contemporary fusion with Indian tadka. The menu is pretty limited for now, I hope they are planning to expand it in days to come :) Delivery was done on time and we really like the packaging-it is basic yet elegant. Prices seem to be on higher side at first glance but I was sent over 2 items to review and it was enough for 3 light eaters or 2 Hulks, so actually not pricey at all,

Now,coming to food, we started with Subz-E-Royal Pot Rice which, going by its name, should look like Biryani. But when we opened the package, it looked like Lasagna! When we dug in, it was very yummy, layer of cheese followed by layer of fragrant rice followed by layer of corn + jalapenos + green chillies + onions, all in a sweet-ish sauce-cheese mix, I LOVED it. It came accompanied with bread that were oh so soft buttery. Now my tastebuds always lean towards sweet things so this is good for me, but I would suggest to Firangi Bake folks to make it a bit spicy and introduce a kind of dip such as honey mustard or bbq alongside for those like my sister who love spicy things. Overall, I am very veryyy pleased with this twist on pot rice and with just a little kick of spices,this would be perfect :) 

Next up was Bombay Masala Quesadilla and this was a blockbuster for both my sister and office colleague. It was more like a puff/croissant with lovely crunchy outer, encasing soft masala patty and veggies mash inside, it actually felt smooth-like-silk texture wise and was very satisfactory to nosh on,

As those who have known me for long would attest, I am no gourmand, and so whether the dish be fusion,be it rustic, be it molecular gastronomy, whatever it is, if I remember the taste of the dish even 12 hours later then it is a winner for me and both the dishes here were winners for us. Reordering soon :)

Thursday 12 October 2017

Ph Se Food Mulund Mumbai | F For Fun Family Friendship Food | Vegetarian Food Review | Favorite Recommendation

F for Fun, Friends, Family...and ofcourse, Food. Ph Se Food takes this philosophy and has created a complete destination for all foodies with this theme in mind, a place for friends or family to walk in together, eat innovative food, have some fun & frolic. It was a pleasure to be here for a memorable review session and we cannot wait to be back again very very soon :)

Situated at Runwal Greens, it is a decently spacious pure veg food destination with some eye-catching, vibrant, contemporary and comfortable ambiance, quirky artwork on the walls, comfy seating, space for large groups and a large screen TV dishing out some LIVE matches constantly. Staff goes above and beyond their roster of duties with a smile and the menu has something for everyone, it is vast, it is fusion, it is delicious.

Now here I would point out 2 things that make Ph se Food an absolute must-visit-

1- It is a product of passion for the founder owner couple duo who can be seen walking around, interacting with the customers, taking feedback. The menu keeps changing, they have made a promise to themselves that they will constantly give the customers something new,something to come back to.

3-The extraordinary amount of personalization and customization for the customers. When you walk in here, talk to the staff, ask them to suggest something or even ask them to make something NOT on the menu, and THEY WILL! I was here on a day with terrible cold and wanted something to drink from the mocktail section-but all the beverages were cold. So what happened? Chef made a special hot beverage of HOT TODDY for me, I have had that a long time ago just once in a pretty upscale restaurant. This is what they do. You in a mood to have Puri bhaji but it is not on the menu? No problem. ASK them and they WILL make it for you :) Similarly, you order a starter but feel it is too salty/less salty? TELL them and they will REPLACE it immediately. This is truly rare and the kind of stuff only luxury restaurants in premium 5 star properties dole out, so I believe the Chef and all the staff here deserve a special kudos for this!

We tried out quite a number of dishes from the menu and whole-heartedly recommend-

BROCCOLI CHOWDER SOUP - Cheesy, warm, wholesome, worthy of drinking a gallon at a go, PURE HEAVEN!

BURMESE KHAO SUEY SOUP - Coconut milk based, distinct flavors, not very sweet thus making it lovely start to our meal, quite a MUST-HAVE,

HOT TODDY- Chef saved my life (and my throat) with this beautiful combination of honey,cinnamon, lemon, times I have a cold, I am just heading here and making a tent in the corner and sip on this till I am perfect :D

CHOLE BHATURE BOMB- Deep fried bhature with chole wrapped inside, making them look like little bombs, hence the name! Mildly spiced, a tinge of tanginess from chutney on top, a bit of cheese, lovely amalgamation of flavors, definitely worthy of reordering,

VEG CANELLONI - My sister wanted to marry this one! Cheesy sheets of pasta interspersed with spinach and more CHEEEEEESE, just have this one if you love cheese :D

MELTING CHEESE BUN -Another one for hardcore cheese lovers- Bun stuffed with cheesy veggies (oh that crunch of zucchini and herbs in tangy cheesy sauce,slurrp!) and then a thick layer of cheese on top that is flamed on the table so it just becomes this huge boat of cheesy goodness you want to drown in..just look at the pics and order it, I know I will definitely be reordering it even though it probably contains 1 million calories :P

VEG CORN TIKKIS- Pretty famous Indian starter, not on the menu but Chef made this..because this is what they do,constantly make something new and present to the customers, remember what I said above :D Liked these a lot, nice balance of crunch of corn and other veggies and was quite spicy too, went really well with the mint as well as cheesy cocktail dips they provided,

MINI SIZZLER - Again,not on the menu but one of their constant innovations, this one was strictly decent. Good portion of rice, paneer steaks, fries, veggies and caramelized onions on the side, everything was okay, it would be better on adding some sauce to it-which I suggest you do, tell them to make it spicy or sweet or tangy just the way you like and they will,

TAWA PULAO WITH PAV - This one comes recommended by my mom especially -a fusion of Mumbai's favorite Masala Pav with Tawa Pulao, extremely filling, flavorful, the little bits of pav in the middle of pulao really elevated the dish, MUST-HAVE,

PANEER BASKET -Gotta have this one too, filling rich baskets of paneer,cheese,loads of flavors, looks good and tastes even better, 

Most of the dishes here are fusion like this, but they do have comfort food on the menu too, the regular gravies and rotis and kulchas and naan and khichdi, so if that is your thing, go ahead, I am sure it will be fantastic,

Special mention to the desserts because I am 100% going back for these very soon, and I implore you-even if you become a sanyasi and give up food, do come here for the desserts (and invite me too :D)

DESSERT PLATTER is where they showcase 4-5 chosen desserts such as-

ORANGE RASGULLA - it is not just colored orange, it actually has fresh orange flavor and I bet nobody can have just one, moreover it is actually baked in a half orange shell, MUST HAVE to the infinity, only I know how I managed to not ask for another piece because I was already bursting from so much food!

Same goes for other desserts be it MALAI PAN, PERU RASMALAI, CHOCOLATE FUDGE..and I am sure they will be introducing more such innovations soon,

Creme De La Creme of the section is their icecreams- BOONDI LADOO, PURAN POLI are 2 flavors we had and I want these in my refrigerator to have everyday. If you love hatke ice cream flavors as much as I do,you will freak out over these flavors just like I did :D Hats off to the Chef!

We just had tasting portions of dishes but looking at the quality and normal quantity, it is not actually a very expensive place. Go here in a large group to try out more dishes, be it on the menu or off the menu. Can't wait for them to include all kinds of crazy fusion on the menu- think Idli burger, Maggi mousse or Khakra milkshake! THAT is the level of innovation they are thinking about :D All the best Ph se Foodies! Mulund has got a gem for sure :)