Sunday 30 September 2018

The Irish House Kurla | Power Lunch Menu | Taste Meets Health | Food Review | Food Photography

Situated on 1st floor of humongous Phoenix Marketcity Mall, The Irish House brings the same charm, rustic decor, chilled pub vibe and a decadent food + beverage menu as at its all other outlets. Celebrating the joyous way the Irish live their life, with loads of beer and happy mischief, this is one place that always makes me remember the pub the Harry Potter gang goes to have Butterbeer :D 

A stand-alone restaurant and a diner situated inside a mall have some obvious ambiance differences but it is not very stark here. It has the same pleasantness and friendliness. Staff is very knowledgeable, service is fast and while it is commonly not expected for a pub to have a vast food menu, The Irish House succeeds in doing so. We were here to review their newly launched Power Lunch Menu that takes care of TASTE + HEALTH through well-balanced and good-portioned dishes. Price wise, value for money.

In DRINKS, we tried-

GREEN APPLETINI- Green Apple, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Fresh Lime,  good flavors, tangy.

TANGERINE MOJITO- Orange Juice, Fresh Lime, Mint, flavors were good,it was refreshing but it also had too much ice.

SALTED CARAMEL & APPLE SHAKE- Apple Juice blended with Salted Caramel Shake, mild and fragrant, good for those who like less sugary drinks/this will work as a light dessert.

CHOCOLATE & PEANUT BUTTER SHAKE- Chocolate Milkshake blended with Peanut Butter, I am a chocoholic and I love decadent, dark, dense chocolate. This one was good but mild. More chocolate/darker version of chocolate would make it perfect.

The main attraction for us was their Power Lunch Menu, each of these dishes is enough as a complete meal for a person and we found them to be high on nutritional content (not just slathered in cheese). 

GRILLED COTTAGE CHEESE LASAGNE- Cottage Cheese layered with Spiced Spinach and Crunchy Grilled Veggies on a bed of Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce, MUST-HAVE, it was so wholesome and delicious. Every element shown on its own as well as together.

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT PAPPARDELLE- Pappardelle Pasta with roasted Cherry Tomato Fondue, Capers and Basil, I did not expect it to be so good but could not stop having it at all. Bursting with flavors and health, the pasta was well cooked and sauce/vegetables ratio was just perfect. MUST-HAVE.

CRISPY POTATO ROSTI- Rosti with homemade Beetroot Horseradish, Sour Cream and Chives, had homemade feel, a bit on calorific side, LOVED how the crispiness of rosti, sweetness of beetroot and sour cream all worked together. Did not feel heavy at all. Simple but brilliant dish. Am salivating just thinking about it :D

VEGGIES QUESADILLAS- Stuffed with Cheese, Assorted Peppers, Refried Beans and Jalapenos. Served with Corn on Cob, Fresh Salsa and Sour Cream, wholesome, filled generously and the salsa provided a very cooling fresh touch to the whole dish. Corn on Cob was especially juicy, so delicious.

GRILELD CORIANDER PESTO COTTAGE CHEESE TACOS- Soft shell Tortillas with Charred Sweet Corn, Tomato Pineapple Salsa and Cheddar Cheese, another MUST-HAVE. A bit messy to eat, flavors are AMAZING. There is density of cottage cheese, juiciness of corn, cheese and then the natural sweetness of pineapple salsa, just imagine all the flavors together in every bit. A beautiful culinary journey. LOVED.

This hungry hippo is completely bowled over by the wonderful POWER LUNCH MENU and will definitely be making repeat visits to enjoy them again and again :)

Saturday 29 September 2018

Garage Inc. Public House Colaba Mumbai | Vintage Decor Delicious Global Cuisine | Food Review | Restaurant Review

My sister had enjoyed her time with her friends at Garage Inc. so much that she would not just stop singing praises about this place. Finally we decided to usher in last weekend by walking in at Garage for a review session. Partaaaaay time.

The place is HUGE, especially impressive considering Mumbai's space crunch. It also has a vintage air since it used to be a famous restaurant/ celebrities' haunt of yester-years. They have kept some of the original design (look at the motifs on the ceiling, Parmeshwar Godrej painted that!) and also added some contemporary elements. Loads of beautiful pictures, strategically placed lighting, nice arrangement of chairs and couches to ensure privacy for everyone. It is easy to forget Mumbai's hustle and bustle sitting here. 

Classic and party songs in the air, there is a LCD screen playing matches too. Staff is polite and quick on their feet. The menu is vast and has something for everyone. Prices are very reasonable considering quality + quantity (1 main course enough for 2 foodies). 

Started off with ORI-GIN beverage- Earl Grey Bombay Sapphire Elderflower Lime, the best thing is the lingering elderflower tinge on the palate, delicious, sublime.


DELHI MOMOS - Perfect, can have these everyday, 
SICHUAN CHILLI PANEER - Indo-Chinese delicacy, soft Paneer, spicy, 
HARI MIRCH KA PANEER TIKKA - Get some Punjabi Tandoori tadka here, spicy, 
SPINACH CORN AND CHEESE PARCELS- Cheesy and wholesome inside, crunchy outside, looks amazing, tastes even better, 


GARAGE SPECIAL PASTA- Mixed Sauce Pasta with Jalapenos, Olives, Corn, Broccoli, one of the BEST pasta we had. Pasta is pretty generalized dish now, but what made these so good was the nice balance of red & white sauce, generous inclusion of vegetables and we did not need to enhance it by adding any sauce/ oregano/ chilli flakes etc. Licked the plate clean.

DRAGON NOODLES - SPICY stir fried noodles with crunchy julienne vegetables, these are made just the way we love our street-side 'Chineez' noodles. So yes, they are delicious. And I will reiterate-they are spicy! If you have a delicate stomach, Stay Away. If you love spicy noodles, go for it. Don't blame me when your tongue is on fire :P

PANEER KADHAI, GARLIC NAAN - Tried these from the Indian section and liked it. Paneer Kadhai was spicy while Garlic Naan was lip-smacking delicious. 

Food here has the Delhi-wallah touch. There, everything is made a bit on the spicy side, in north we love to have that chatkara in every meal. Here in Mumbai however, most dishes have a sweetish tinge. So just be aware of that while ordering here. Ask the staff to help you decide on what level of spice you want in your food :)

At one glance, there is nothing for dessert section in the menu BUT we looked closely and found a bevy of thick shakes to fulfill our sweet tooth cravings too. Perfection :D

PEANUT BUTTER AND NUTELLA SHAKE - Peanut Butter, Nutella, do I even need to say anything else, this alone gets 10/5 stars from me, what a beautiful mix of sweetness with just a salty tinge. 

BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE - Yogurt based blueberry flavor explosion, sister loved it, she is a berries fan, so heartily recommended.

I completely see why my sister and her friends have already spent multiple evenings at Garage Inc. It definitely is a must-visit foodie/weekend party destination :)

Friday 28 September 2018

Lady Baga Lower Parel Mumbai | Vegetarian Authentic Goan Feast | Food Review | Food Photography

It has been some time since I have been to Goa. And even when I was there, I was in company of some ardent meat-loving friends who were not going to spend any time searching for vegetarian fare for me (I know, I need new friends :P). So literally for the 2 days that we were there, I lazed on the beach like a whale and subsisted on salads. Thus the invite to review Lady Baga brought back those memories with the eternal question-''hmm, as a vegetarian, what would I even eat here?'' I nearly gave up on the idea, but at the last moment my friend convinced me to at least check it out..and boy, was I surprised! 

So strange that I have come to appreciate Goa's vegetarian culinary offerings by tasting them here in Mumbai. First of all, Kudos to everyone at Lady Baga for not just throwing in customary 'paneer tikka' and 'naan-paneer kadhai' combos for vegetarians, rather there is a very well thought-out and put together menu with delicious Goan vegetarian dishes. Secondly, full marks to them for superb Goan hippie ambiance, so much vibrance and positivity in the air, absolutely top-notch service and value for money price points (considering quantity, quality and location!)

Started off with drinks-
Non-Alcoholic version of BAGA BONG- Grapefruit juice, Orange, Passion fruit and sugar syrup, AMAZING, extremely refreshing, not overly sweet.

LEMONADE TWIST- Beautiful to look at, citrusy beauty to gulp down. Orange, Pineapple, Lemon, Soda, Sprite, a lot of Goan charm. Try it.

For food, I got the perfect package-

For starters, had CHARGRILLED PANEER SKEWERS in CAFREAL marination  (high spice level) and MUSHROOM SKEWERS in RECHEADO marination which was simply BAE, this flavor explodes on the palate, MUST-MUST-MUSTT HAVE. 

VEGETARIAN THALI- HUGE portions, in fact 1 Thali is enough for 2 light eaters! Lovely mix of dishes to give a glimpse of Goan spices, vegetables, bread in one meal. There was-

Corn-Cheese Tikki- Yum, could have had more if there wasn't a giant thali to finish :P, 
Stuffed Mirchi- Not spicy at all!, 
Paneer & 3 Bean Roce- wholesome gravy full of protein, 
Channa and Tendli Sabzi- MUST-HAVE, I couldn't believe how Tendli could ever taste sooooo good!, 
Dal- While in Punjabi cuisine, black dal reigns supreme, here this is the more homely yellow dal version, the one I prefer actually :), 
Dry Vegetables mix with chole (prepared in very non-Punjabi way!), 
Poee- Goa's special bread that goes well with any sabzi or dal, fell in love with this, they bake it fresh in-house everyday, 
Steamed Rice -perfect to go with paneer gravy, 
Papad, Pickle, Chaas and Doodhi ka Halwa as dessert.

In one word- PERFECT meal. There is a distinct use of coconut and spices in Goan cuisine that is shown nicely through all the dishes in this thali. LOVED it.

In DESSERT, had the eggless SERRADURA which is a very simple dish - layers of whipped cream, condensed milk and cookies crumble, have all the layers at once and it is very comforting (also has minimal sweetness level, so some people might find it a bit bland, it is a classic though). 

Overall, Lady Baga has enchanted this hungry hippo. Bon Appetit!