Tuesday 26 June 2018

Indiana's Waters Korum Mall Thane | Perfect Family Dining Destination | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Once upon a time, shopping malls only had measly food options. Over the years, they have however started housing some truly brilliant dining destinations and it is no longer taboo to plan an outing for a delectable meal with family to the nearest shopping meal. Happy to have come across just such a place very recently - Indiana's Waters, at Korum Mall, Thane. Was here for a review session last weekend and super duper enjoyed it :)

Traveling outside aamchi Mumbai's borders (so to speak :P) makes us realize every time how acute Mumbai's space crunch is! All of Thane's restaurants we have been to are huuuuuuuge and Indiana's Waters is no exception. It is very spacious, ambiance is very family friendly, apt to go in large groups, has an indoor as well as beautiful outdoor seating section, a well equipped bar, large TV screen and a menu with Indian, Chinese, Continental delicacies. Prices are very value for money considering both quality as well as hearty quantity. Staff is helpful and polite.

We started with a round of MOCKTAILS, some of them are mini meals in themselves for light eaters,

BLUE OCEAN - Blue Curaceo, Lime Juice, Spirit, Litchi Crush, (extremely refreshing)

VIRGIN PINACOLADA- Vanilla ice cream, Pineapple Juice, Fresh Cream, Coconut Syrup, (creamy,lovely)

FRUIT BLOWWW- Orange, Pineapple juice, Strawberry Crush, Vanilla Ice cream, (my personal FAVORITE)

SPICY GIRL- Lime Juice, Khus Syrup, Lychee Crush, Sprite, (good)

In APPETIZERS, we loved-

MUSHROOM SCHEZWAN STUFFED WITH CHEESE - Even though my sister does not like mushrooms much, she could not stop having these! MUST HAVE here. Spicy schezwan mushrooms (crispy layered) filled with molten cheese, every bite is heavenly. I guarantee this would be a favorite from ages 5 to 95 :)

PANEER MALAI TIKKA & PANEER PUDINA TIKKA - We tried 2 types of paneer tikka. Both FANTASTIC. Paneer was extremely soft, well marinated, brilliant smokey flavor, malai was on sweeter side, pudina was on spicier side, we finished both within minutes. Another MUST HAVE.


NAAN - Not stretchy or rubbery at all, baked to perfection, Indian breads are excellent here,

VEG BIRYANI, RAITA - Lip smacking raita (dahi was not sour), finished it quickly. Biryani quantity was a lot, enough to feed 3 really hungry people! It had proper amount of spices and felt close to real biryani, definitely not like many places that serve pulao in the name of biryani :) Quite tasty.

DAL MAKHANI - STAR DISH. The chef sent this over specially for us to taste and we loved it to death. 10 STARS for this dish alone :) Could drink buckets of it. If you have ever had the famous punjabi dal makhani in Delhi or Punjab, you know exactly the taste it should have and THIS. WAS. PERFECT


SIZZLING BROWNIE WITH ICE CREAM - The perennial favorite, this one was made tastier by including apple slices on top of brownie,so there was the wholesome chocolatey goodness of brownie, followed by crunch of fresh apple, followed by the sweetness of ice cream and on top of everything, the hot bubbling chocolate sauce. Drown in that imagery for a while. Yup, now go ahead and indulge without thinking about calories :P MUST-HAVE.

Indiana's Waters serves the kind of food Indian families love. It is satisfying, not overly doused in oil/ghee/butter, uses fresh ingredients and is just the kind of place my parents love to visit. They don't want any of that contemporary molecular cuisine or fusion cuisine jazz. They want nice naans and kulchas and paneer gravies and daals and papads and manchurians, with that comforting taste of Indian spices and Indiana's Waters provides just that :)

We had visited here on the same day the plastic ban had come into effect in Maharashtra. Also, it was raining profusely. And the restaurant was packed. So there were a couple of issues with service. It was really slow for sometime and plates were not cleared/ water was not refilled promptly. 

But I understand that day was real crazy for every outlet in the mall and so I am going to notch it to a one time accident. If my future visits also bring up those issues, I would update my rating accordingly. 

In this visit, on all other parameters be it food taste, quality, ambiance, politeness and helpfulness of staff etc., Indiana's Waters set really high standards. So I am happy to recommend this place to all fellow foodies and will definitely be bringing my family here soon too. Bon Appetit everyone!

Thursday 21 June 2018

Chow Me Up Chandivali Mumbai | Delicious Chinese & Pan Asian Cuisine Home Delivered | Food Review

When we Indians say chinese, we mean Indian chinese. We do not hanker over authenticity or gourmet versions, just give us some lip-smacking manchurian or paneer chilli in a boat full of blackest meanest sauce and we will be happy forever :D So obviously, when we got a chance to review Chow Me Up, the latest entrant in the field of take away + home delivery of scrumptious Chinese (and pan asian) cuisine, we were dancing like clowns. Some Indian Chinese on our way indeed!

Delivered securely dot on time even when it was raining heavily, Chow Me Up sent our way a feast reserved for kings. Value for money (for both quality + quantity), their menu has something for everyone's chinese food cravings. 1 portion of noodles, 1 starter and 1 gravy dish is more than enough for 2 hungry people and it will come to around Rs. 300 per person for a heavy meal.

We tried and thoroughly loved-


ZESTY LEMON CORIANDER SOUP - For those who love subtle and very mildly tangy flavors, this one is good, especially when you have a cold or runny nose!

VEG MANCHOW SOUP - Spicy, choc a bloc with bits of veggies like carrots and cabbage, lovely with the addition of generous dose of fried noodles atop,


CRISPY SPINACH PANEER- My FAVORITE (anything with paneer is!). This one is mildly tangy + sweet because of the marination of soft paneer cubes, the accompanying spinach is crispy fried but have it quickly or it gets soggy pretty soon,

KUNG PAO POTATO - Potato cubes well marinated and fried in tangy,sweet,spicy kung pao sauce, peppered with garlic, onions, bell peppers, delicious,

PANEER CHILLI BASIL- Felt quite close to kung pao potatoes in taste, with stronger flavor of basil coming through, delicious again,


COTTAGE CHEESE IN HUNAN SAUCE- Fiery hot and spicy cottage cheese doused in soy + chilli + garlic dominant hunan sauce along with thick bits of veggies such as onion, this one is lip smacking but don't have this if you have cold because your nose won't stop running :P

STIR FRIED VEGGIES IN WHITE GARLIC SAUCE- Veggies like Corn, Mushroom, Zucchini in thick mild white garlic sauce, this one looks like the lemon coriander soup and tastes quite bland actually, perfect to have with spicy noodles, to balance the flavor profile, I liked it a lot (in general,I like blander,milder dishes),


MALAYSIAN FLAT NOODLES - Another FAVORITE for me, delicious saucy mildly spicy + sweet flat noodles stir fried with veggies, I can only suggest adding crushed peanuts to make it perfect,

VEG ASIAN CHOPSUEY - This is the spicy cousin of sweet American Chopsuey we all love! Spicy, red stew of veggies like onions, cabbage and carrots, served on a bed of fried noodles, a complete meal in itself. My mom and sister looooooooooved this one to death (because they are spice fanatics) and I thought that white garlic sauce veggies were great alongside this to balance the heat :D Complete win-win.


CHOCO LAVA CAKE - Perfect. Just perfect. All that oozing molten chocolate at the core of this brilliant mini cake. Did not want to share this with anyone :P

We could not finish all this food in one sitting so we divided it over 2 meals and still enjoyed every bit. Just remember, dishes such as crispy spinach, soups and white garlic sauce veggies should not be stored in fridge because they are gelatinous. The taste simply disappears. On the other hand, the starters,dessert and noodles are fine to be kept for later consumption.

Overall, our Indian chinese cravings were completely satisfied and then some. Everything was as spicy, saucy, oily as expected.

So the next time hunger strikes and your palate wants some Chineez, you know whom to call ♥

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Pete's Pizzeria & Kitchen | Fresh Pizzas Feast | Italian Extravaganza | Food Review

A rainy evening beckons and hunger strikes. My office colleagues and I decide to binge on without thinking of calories and I decide to slide in my review session of Pete's Pizzeria at the same time :D So we ordered in some of their bestsellers and Pete's made us all so soooo happy :)

First of all, delivered way before expected time (they are actually situated very close to my office but still,it was really pleasantly surprising), delivery man was very polite, pizza boxes are colorful and cheerful and all 3 pizzas looked brilliant.

Well, they tasted just as good-
GARDEN DELITE- Tomato Sauce, Olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Corn, Onions, Arugula & Parmesan Cheese, this was hand tossed crust and it felt very comforting to dig into this. Delicious, flavorful, a little bit on spicier side, my office colleagues loved the amount of toppings (according to them, not too much,not too less), so a MUST-HAVE.

FOUR CHEESE- Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan, this one was thin crust- it was not so thin as to become a papad, that is always a good sign, since many pizza places make that mistake. I personally prefer thicker hand tossed crust more but that's just personal preference. The balance of cheese was right, we kept going back for this and it was simple yet superb. My personal FAVORITE :)

FUNGHI - Tomato Sauce, Mushroom Ragout, Sliced Mushrooms, Cheese, a definite win for hardcore mushroom lovers, since it was choc a bloc with that strong meaty mushroom presence from top to bottom. It was good and I brought it home, even my sister liked it. Little bit more tomato sauce would be perfect.

We loved what we tried and are looking forward to trying more strong flavors from here. I have been hearing good things about the Paneer pizza so that's on my list for next time. Till then, Bon Appetit with Pete's Pizzeria ♥

Tuesday 19 June 2018

TAPPA Kamala Mills Mumbai | Modern Twist On Traditional Indian Food | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Tappa has been making waves in Kamala Mills (the most happening area in terms of new food destinations!) and it was with high expectations that my mom and I visited here for a review session. Guess what, they met those expectations perfectly. 

Classy spacious ambiance with the literal meaning of tappa (bounce/movement) depicted via Mumbai automobiles motifs along with interesting little caricatures of busy Mumbaikars, a stunning bar, creative lanterns, comfortable seating, very helpful staff who know the menu inside-out and extremely fast service. This is fine dine in a casual avatar.

We just asked the staff to get us couple of mocktails. My mom had a pomegranate-basil concoction, followed by a pineapple one while I had the strongest mint mojito ever possible. Neither my mom nor I are heavy drinkers, we just rely on the staff's expertise to get us something refreshing + flavorful and the staff here is real expert so I suggest, just trust them :)

A special word for the chakhanas they serve on the table = FANTASTIC! 


MULTI GRAIN SEV PURI, GUACAMOLE- For sev puri fanatics like me, this one is a healthier version with guacamole bringing in a wave of freshness, amazing chutneys, I couldn't stop having these,

SLOPPY JOE JACKFRUIT SLIDERS- Jackfruit is not an easy vegetable to work with. Tappa has made it delicious and party favorite by serving it atop bruschetta. Think of it as mock meat and enjoy :)

CHARGRILLED MUSHROOM & BROCCOLI, BESAN CHILA CRISPS- Besan Chila is something I have had since childhood but never had them in crispy chip form, this was good too. Huge juicy mushrooms and broccoli, it is like a salad with spicy, tangy flavors.

PANEER CIGAR ROLLS, TOMATO THOKU- Anything with Paneer is my FAVORITE and this one is no exception :D Lovely paneer rolls with accompanying leafy side. Simple but superb.


THE THAAR PLATTER, GATTA CURRY, BAJRA MISSI & MORE- A platter with so much going on, it is overwhelming at first but somehow fits in all together. There is Gatta curry (fabulous), with Sabudana on flaky bread (my FAVORITE, on sweeter side), Curd Raita, Bajra Missi Roti (earthy, AMAZING), and not to forget DATES BROWNIE in the end (I loved it). Only Raita had more salt than needed. But I gave the chef this feedback and he was extremely understanding of the same, so I am thinking of it as a one-time-accident because everything else was PERFECT.

CHIKKAD CHOLEY KHOW SUEY- Simple Kulcha-Choley of apni Dilli gets a modern twist with accompaniments that can be added as per personal preference. A large platter with paneer pieces, tamarind chutney, pickled carrots, radish, sprouted moong and more to add to traditional kulcha-choley mix. I like the traditional way more BUT this is an innovative twist to try with a big group of friends.

PALAK CHUR CHUR (INDIAN BREAD) - Generous palak stuffing made this brilliant, a healthier alternative and wholesome to the core. 

At first glance, prices might seem higher here but honestly, come to the mains and it is extremely value for money. Both Thaar Platter and Chikkad Choley Khow Suey have enough portion to feed 3 hungry folks so cannot complain about prices here :)


AVOCADO & PISTA CHEESECAKE, POMM. GRANITA- I will come back for this. Dessert that is innovative, flavorful, not too sweet, not bland, just perfectly sweet and creamy and had that distinct Indian touch yet felt modern. The granita alongside took us back to childhood (remember those golas we had!). Yes, this is a MUST-HAVE and MUST-COME-BACK-FOR-MORE dessert ♥

A memorable meal that left us wanting more, we are going to tappa our way back here soon :)

Monday 18 June 2018

Pack A Pav Mumbai | Pav Sandwiches Pack Full Of Flavors | Food Review | Food Photography

Situated a bit ahead of Candies at Pali Hill Bandra, this is a little shack of Pack-A-Pav in a quiet lane with extremely polite and welcoming staff and a compact menu of veg as well as non-veg pavs. We all know vada pavs are the lifeline of Mumbai, Pack-A-Pav takes it a notch higher with variety of delicious, creamy, cheesy, spicy fillings in pav sandwiches. The little outlet exudes a vibrant vibe and I really liked the pavs I tried here (they were all presented with fryums too!)

PANEER & CHEESE PAV - Really thick soft slab of paneer, loads of cheese, hung curd basil dip and caramelized onions, this one is a blockbuster, simple and straightforward. Not spicy, rather a little bit on sweeter side. Mild but oh-so-good. MUST-HAVE.

NUTELLA CHEESE PAV - I mean, come one, do I even need to spell this one out? :P Nutella + Cheese, smokey, sweet, salty, flavors explosion, tummy happy. If you are a nutella fan, get this one for sure.

TANDOORI SRIRACHA MUSHROOM PAV - Juicy mushroom with perfect tandoori marination, spicy, served with hung curd and red cabbage, if you like mushrooms or spicy dishes, this one is a MUST-HAVE too :)

They even came up with a Iftar special menu, they keep coming up with innovative offers and flavors from time to time. Alongside, there are also a couple of juices one can try with the wholesome pavs. Price is on higher side (110 or above is a bit much for a pav sandwich) BUT flavors are spot on, it feels like perfect comfort food and 2 pavs is enough as lunch for Hulk level eater like me. So do try this place foodies, I will sure be back :)

Friday 15 June 2018

EPL : Eat Pray Luv Mumbai | Vegetarian Italian Mexican Delicacies | Food Review

EPL : Eat Pray Luv is one of those places any current or aspiring interior decorator will fall in love with. It is also a pretty fantastic dining destination for anybody with a love for Italian or Mexican cuisines. 

Warm pink, orange, green-shaded walls, steep stairs to the main dining area upstairs, distinct golden flamingo on the ground floor greeting every visitor, quite romantic ambiance, relaxed musical tunes in the background, very polite and efficient staff, fast service - just some of the things I remember from my memorable supper last week with my sister :)

Prices are on steeper side, portions are good (we asked for smaller portions for our review session and they kindly obliged) and don't let the word 'vegetarian' deter you from entering here as it has plenty of delicious nachos, pizzas, pastas, burritos and such to keep everyone happy. 

We tried and loved-


Cumin Cucumber Cooler - Really refreshing mix of cucumber, cumin, mint, similar to jal-jeera, MUST-HAVE if you love simple beverages like I do,

Choco Shake, Red Velvet Shake -Both were ordered and loved by my sister, both were not very icy, rather they were creamy and flavorful, very simply presented but do not let that deceive you. Simplicity is beautiful, 

Mint Mojito - Another very refreshing, simple joyous beverage, nothing to brag about and nothing to complain about, 


Grilled Chipotle Cottage Cheese -If you like peppery, spicy flavor profile, go for this, really soft cottage cheese with beautiful marinade of chipotle, sister loved it as she loves spicy dishes, honestly I really liked it too :)

Grilled Broccoli tossed in Hot Arrabiata Sauce - Again my sister loved it as she loves broccoli. I do not like broccoli much and this was one was very simple, basic broccoli in arrabiata sauce. Tangy, mildly spicy and very strong dominant taste of broccoli. If that is your thing, go for it, 

Totes - Spinach and Corn-The best way I can explain these are Italian/ French fried dimsums :P Honestly, MUST-HAVE dish here. Small pastry pockets that are crunchy yet really thin-layered filled with mushrooms OR spinach-corn. We chose latter and it was LEGEN-wait-for-it-DARY level good

In SOUP, we had Corn and Jalapenos that was really hot, creamy, frothy and perfect for any rainy day, TRY IT for sure if you like soups, also notice that the accompanying garlic bread is different from most places, more rustic, I liked it :) 

In PASTA, we tried Primavera Penne Pasta and as the very helpful staff had already told us, it was simple, dry (much like Aglio Olio) with exotic veggies, we liked it a lot. It felt light yet wholesome and something even a calorie-watcher can enjoy without much guilt here,

In MAINS, we had-

Gnocchi with Truffle Cream and Parmesan - I LOVED it, has very strong authentic truffle cream & parmesan combo that is not everyone's cup of tea. For people like my sister who do not like truffle's distinct smell, stay away. For others, dig in! Gnocchi was superb, light as cloud, fluffy and the creamy combination worked for me, very basic dish done very right but it is NOT a mass dish. Try it if you like taking risks, it is also bland so feel free to add seasonings to enhance the flavors,

Cannelloni of Roasted Ratatouille Vegetables, Goat Cheese and Spicy Tomato Sauce - This IS a mass pleasing dish and this one you can try blindly with full assurance of it being delicious :) It has got lovely ratatouille veggies inside soft cannelloni and all that molten cheese plus spicy sauce...yummy is the word, 


Hazelnut Pot - If you look at the picture, you will see how delicious it looks and then all I need to say is 'it tastes just as delicious', no other explanation needed :D If you want to drown in gooey chocolate-hazelnut combo, try this. Make sure to share it between 2-3 people, it is heavy for one person (unless that person is me, the resident foodie HULK), 

Blueberry Cheesecake- Delicious cheesecake, the blueberry compote on top that they make in-house is bae :)

We have just tried about 1/5th of their entire menu and we cannot wait to come back soon and try everything else too :) Eat, Pray, Luv AND REPEAT!