Saturday 23 February 2019

Bindaas Begum Rockin' Raja | Indian Royal Recipes Beckon | Food Review | Restaurant Review

The land of Maharajas! That’s one aspect of India’s historical legacy. This is the land of Rajahs and Maharajahs and Ranis and Nawabs and Begums. We all grow up listening to stories of the pomp and splendour of their kingdoms. And obviously, the royal chefs and the delicacies they cooked up are all a part of this very fantastic legacy. So a passionate foodie couple got a food historian to take them on a culinary trail of a royal sort, one where they asked royal families to part with some of their cherished recipes. And then they chose the best of the lot of be part of the incredible menu at Bindaas Begum Rockin Raja.

The gorgeous ambiance, the polite staff, the HUGE menu (at very reasonable prices) at this lovely foodie destination in Mulund are all a part of a royal ambiance, but all with a dash of contemporary chilled out vibe. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a place only for ‘oldies’ or lovers of ‘historical or vintage’ era or that it serves royal thaali. This is a young place where everybody will find something awesome. While they have many novelties on the menu, they have tried and tested Indian gems too (like Subz Miloni, Tandoori Rotis, Paneer Tikkas and so on). Oh they have a fantastic bar too!

For this review session, we tried something from every section and came back with our minds blown :D

For drinks, we started with GINGER ALE, packaged drink so even though it was horrible, cannot blame anyone but my own choice :D

My sister had a COFFEE + CHOCOLATE based drink and loved it.


BADAM PALAK SHORBA – Spinach + Almonds, nutritious + delicious, a lot of green and just a hint of sweet, very wholesome, little crunchy and a MUST-HAVE,

CRÈME DE VOLAILLE PRINCESSE – French delicacy from Bikaner royalty, fresh aromatic Asparagus soup, nothing artificial about it, really good and healthy,


GOVIND GHATTA- Regal specialty from Awadh, Besan (Ghatta) dumplings filled with paneer, khoya,some dry fruits. While the name makes it sound like a very rich and sweet dish, it is in reality a delicious dish, not very sweet (just a hint) and served as little bites to make it an amazing MUST-HAVE appetizer,

KEWA DAATSHE – Sikkim’s royal family provides this surprising mix of loads of cheddar cheese with char-grilled chillies, my sister loved the combination (not very spicy as I expected),

BHUTTE KI KARENJI – Royal family of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh gifts my FAVORITE of the evening, Karenji with loads of bhutta, I loved how the steamy juiciness of corn came through the crispy karenji exterior. I had only loved sweet karenjis, this is such a surprise and I am coming back for more soon,

TSHOEM- Another royal dish from Sikkim, loads of stir-fried exotic veggies, especially water chestnuts and mushrooms, make this one a healthy option for everyone,


PANEER MAKHANE KA KORMA- My choice in main course from royalty of Bhopal, a rich saffron-y gravy with dry fruits, paneer, makhana, mildly sweet (but I have a sweet jaw y’all), I loved the velvety texture. Also, the main course is full of so many delicacies, it is virtually impossible to choose one! This went really well with soft Butter Naan (stop counting calories :P)

GIRNAARI KHICHDI- Enjoy this healthiest dish with loads of vegetables and peanuts from the royal family of Sayla from Gujarat, I know Khichdi is probably the last dish one would look at as gourmet, but try this one before any such judgement,


LAHSUNI KHEER- Dessert section started with a bang with this unheard dish, it is actually a 200 YEARS OLD RECIPE! Thick delicious Kheer with a hint of garlic, nothing much discernible, yet the taste profile is simply MAGNIFICENT. I would travel for hours just to try this one :)

NIMISH TUMKI- Nizaams of Delhi bragged about this and if you like delicate sublime desserts, you will love it too. Milk froth, dry fruits, rose essence (real, not artificial), it literally feels like clouds are having a party here!

SHAHI TUKDA- Famous Hyderabadi dessert with thickest of rabdi and more…I cannot describe the beauty even if I tried, so my suggestion-try it yourself.

Frankly, I have never been enamored by the lifestyle of the royals but when it comes to food, well I am swooning over our meal and cannot wait to go back, so that says volumes about how awesome Bindaas Begum Rockin Raja is. Bon Appetit!

Friday 15 February 2019

Drifters Tap Station BKC Mumbai | More Than Just Handcrafted Beer On Tap | Food Review

Even though I do not drink alcohol, I had an unexpectedly amazing time at Drifters with my sister, saying goodbye to the 1st month of this new year and that I think simplifies the question - 'who should visit here', with the resounding answer of 'Anyone and Everyone wanting to have some fun' :)

This is one special place for beer lovers with 24 handcrafted beers on tap. Spacious, situated in the ever-blooming BKC area, with industrial-kinda decor and high chairs, the vibe is completely chilled out. Peppy music, a comprehensive menu with Indian, Thai, Continental selection and top-notch service by delightfully polite and helpful staff. Prices seem reasonable for the location, quantity and quality. 

>>> We started by trying different kinds of beers in little shot glasses just to get a feel of the place. Now, I do not drink, so cannot explain the nuances of the beer we tasted. What I can say with supreme confidence is that if you are a beer lover you should surely check this place out. We tried-

KIKI PUNCH (Kokum Cider), this is the one I liked the most because of strong kokum flavor,
COCO-CALM (Coconut Saison Ale), just a hint of coconut, 
CITRONOVA (Lemongrass White IPA), on the bitter side,
PINNOCCHIO (Pina Colada Ale), fizzy, a little tropical hint

>>> SWEET CORN SOUP- We specially asked for this since my sister's throat was sore, this was warming to the heart with loads of veggies and minimal spices. 


STUFFED KULCHA BALLS- BEST of the evening, we asked for seconds! Little heavenly kulcha doughs filled with cheese, paneer, onions, mushrooms and baked in tandoor, try it, you would not want to share a single bit with anyone :D 

CRUMBED COTTAGE CHEESE- Cottage cheese sticks coated in batter and deep fried, so crunchy and soft at the same time, 

TANDOORI STUFFED MUSHROOMS- Button mushrooms stuffed with cottage cheese and nicely marinated in spicy + creamy sauce, 

ACHARI SOYA CHAAP- Good for those who like mock meat kind of substitute. The texture here is reminiscent of mutton chaap I assume. I like Soya's texture (it is extremely meaty) so I was fine with it but my sister is not fond of soya so she didn't like it. Choose this one judiciously!

>>> MAINS 

TURKISH CASSEROLE- Think of it as Turkish version of Lasagna :D Nice. Mix of layers of tomatoes, broccoli, olives and such veggies with soya mince (meaty texture), spaghetti all in tomato based tangy-mildly spicy sauce and a thick layer of cheese, baked in oven. Sounds delicious? It IS!

PANEER LABABDAR with JODHPURI LACCHA PARATHA- Delicious mildly tangy-spicy tomato onion gravy, soft paneer pieces and Jodhpuri wholesome paratha with sesame seeds atop, licked the plate clean with this one!


CREAM CARAMEL - Delicious, soft wobbly custard with caramel, what is not to love! 

CREAM COCONUT WITH KIWI PINEAPPLE - Simple yet a MUST-HAVE. Layers of Kiwi, Pineapple and fresh Coconut Cream come together to make a light, sublime yet utterly satisfying end to a great meal. 

As I said earlier, I was wondering going in for this review session that what would a non-drinker like me get here? Turns out there is ample on the food front here to keep me happy for multiple visits. This hungry hippo happily recommends Drifters to drift in with friends and have a great time :)

Friday 1 February 2019

Mansion Bar & Lounge Mulund Mumbai | Perfect Family Foodie Getaway | Food Review | Restaurant Review

First Impression- Opulent! The moment we walked into Mansion Bar & Lounge, the glass-paneled walkway, the outer seating area with water fountain & little angels sculptures made us go wow. Inner area just continued that wow factor with its huge size (perfect for big events), beautiful drop lights, velvet couches, high chairs, gorgeous bar. In terms of ambiance, 10 stars out of 5!

While the DJ belted out some fantastic dance numbers, the staff got to work. We were here to review some of their delicacies and the service was stupendously fast, plus the staff suggested their best dishes and were extremely diligent in taking feedback about each dish from every patron. Prices just perfect for quantity + quality, each main course can suffice 2 hungry folks easily


HAZELNUT ESPRESSO - Vodka, Kahlua, Hazelnut Cream Foam, strong, my Vodka-loving sister was happy with this,

A round of BEERS for dad, perfectly chilled,

SIAMESE PRINCESS MOCKTAIL- Peach Fizz with Watermelon, refreshing, mom liked it,

STRAWBERRY COLADA- Sweet but not overly so, coconut shreds on glass rim, mom loved it,

COFFEE, TOFFEE AND GINGER NUT COOKIE SHAKE- Came recommended, glad I tried it, lovely!

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE SHAKE- My sister tried it, another lovely shake, perfect flavors, not too icy either,

Would recommend their shakes the most.


CRISPY LOTUS STEM- Exotic lotus stems in sweet-spicy flavors, deep fried, perfect bar nibble to go with beverages,had a nice spicy kick,

DAHI KE KEBAB- Soft kebabs with hung yogurt + chili + ginger + garlic, nicely done, a sour + spicy aftertaste,

TIKKI KI TOKRI-3 types of Tikkis- BEETROOT, POTATO & CHEESE, served with cooling green chutney, liked the beetroot one the most while potato and cheese were adequate,

(Then we had TANDOORI PLATTER with these 3 dishes)-

THREE PEPPER PANEER TIKKA- Charcoal grilled Paneer with Red Chillies, Bhavnagri Chillies and Yellow Pepper, spicy and enjoyable,

KALI MIRCH MALAI BROCCOLI- WINNER in starters section, huge Broccoli pieces marinated perfectly in dahi + cashew+ pepper paste, sweet-sourish flavors,

BHARWAN ALOO- Another beauty we LOVED, with little potatoes filled with Minced Paneer + Spices and served with Green Chutney,

>>> VERDURE PIZZA - My personal FAVORITE. Crispy crust, square pizzas with generous amount of sauce and cheese plus toppings of Caramelized Onions, Sauteed Mushrooms, Broccoli, Green Chillies, baked delightfully, a little kick of spices coming with Basil Pesto. LOVED.


GANGA JAMUNA VEGETABLE- Mom loved this one, a medley of 2 different gravies with Malabar Paratha (which is similar to Lachha Paratha we get in north), 1 gravy was tangy tomato based lababdar while 2nd gravy was spicy, and the best part was the little paneer and potato pieces dividing the gravy, FABULOUS :)

CHILLI & GARLIC NOODLES- For those of us who cannot get enough of Indian Chinese, this is a MUST-HAVE. Such lovely bowl of noodles choc-a-bloc with julienne vegetables such as carrots, onions, bell peppers, a complete delight to have,


APPLE CRUMBLE CHEESECAKE - Wholesome Cheesecake with delicious Apple Crumble in there, served with Caramel reduction and Vanilla Custard drizzles, MUST-HAVE, I can still taste the memory of it :D

CHOCOLATE POTLI- For chocolate lovers, a complete YES to this. Little potlis with deep fried crispy exteriors and molten chocolate inside, life is good with this one around. (I finished the entire plate by myself)

RUM ROASTED PINEAPPLE - Recommended by the staff, something different and sublime. Simple but moist Coconut Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Rum-Roasted Pineapple. It all tastes good independently and it tastes great together. Perfect for those who want something new to try and are not too fond of chocolates or cheesecakes, but want something softer, more delicate, simpler. Liked it :)

Every beverage and dish carried a flavorful punch, combined with gorgeous royal decor and flawless service, making this our next must-visit foodie destination in town. Bon Appetit!