Cherry blossoms at the Leela, Mumbai

Mumbai, India

cherry blossom leela (1)

A bento-box in one hand, camera around the neck and picnic mats in the other are a common sight as hordes of tourists akin to locals  throng the Ueno Park in Tokyo, just one the many venues but a very popular one during the Cherry blossom season.  In a practice called Hanami or appreciation of the Cherry Blossom flowers (Sakura) which represent new beginnings and also transient life; Japan is happy and high. Cherry blossom themed colas, lattes, crisps, cakes, restaurant promotions, mall decors etc turn the city pink. The Sakura blossoms in the south in January and slowly moves up north to Tokyo and Kyoto before turning Hokkaido pink in May.

The Leela Mumbai is currently hosting the Cheery Blossom fest at Citrus and I experienced the same dressed up in the colours. As a vegetarian the choice of ‘sushi’ perhaps is universal in the country and all that matter is the quality of ingredients.  The pricing for the same at Rs 599 offered the best value in the city as Chef Constantine happily rolled us a creamy avocado and a crisp tempura variant. We snacked on the steamed edamame in salted and chilli garlic styles during the entire course of our meal.  The silken tofu in teriyaki could be scooped into and the crispy rice cracker fried Asparagus called for a wine with bracing acidity to match.  Spring brings exciting times in a continental region; it fills the heart with cheer and joy and so did it our Soba bowl. It exudes the warmth and the simplicity the Japanese culture is known for.

Cherry Blossom leela

A Mango and Mascarpone from the mango specials menu brought a delightful end to an evening which was gastronomic and of course incited the travel bug in me.  To endless discoveries in Japan, someday!!!

P.S: Miso ramen, katsu curry, yakitori are some of the dishes that non-vegetarians could look up to.

 

Sunday morning at Momo Cafe

Mumbai, India

One motivation for me to wake up early on weekends is breakfast. It could be a decadent Medu wada chutney and filter kaapi or misal pav and chai and sometimes you crave for an extravagant breakfast. The other Sunday we craved for one and picked Momo cafe at the Courtyard by Marriott,Andheri. We chose it  for the spread from we understood online and for the price it came at. And thankfully it didn’t disappoint, it was delight in fact.

From the fresh juices to fresh fruit,  dosas to paratha, multi-grain croissants to freshly brewed coffee, cheeses to compote the buffet had it all. From 8 to a leisurely 1130 our Sunday morning was in energetic settings and the food had the calming effect. I love breakfasts and this did justice from all angles.Happy to endorse.

21st March, 2000 Chefs, 2000 Menus, Good France!

On Tuesday, 21 March 2017 the world will celebrate the third annual edition of the great global event “Goût de France or Good France”. 2000 chefs across 5 continents will dish up 2000 menus at the same time and showcase  gourmet French cuisine making this a massive culinary endeavour.

This initiative was launched by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development under the aegis of celebrated chef Alain Ducasse. It aims, over the space of a dinner, to salute the excellence of French cuisine, its innovative skills, and the values that it conveys: bringing people together over a shared meal, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature.

Once again this year, the event will be celebrated with particular relish in India, where more than 65 restaurants have been selected across the country by chef Alain Ducasse– so there’s no way you can miss it! Diners can pick their preferred ambience as they will be spoiled for choice: bistro, coffee bar, contemporary or haute cuisine restaurants.

Gout e France

Mr Yves Perrin and the Mumbai Chef brigade

We were at a preview of Gout De France at the residence of the French Consul General Mr Yves Perrin in Mumbai where chefs from the participating restaurants showcased their culinary might. Chefs including Ashish Bhasin, Irfan Pabaney, Nitin Kulkarni, Amaresh Nandan, Satbir Bakshi, Amit Pamnani, Robin Batra were at their skillful best showcasing dishes like the Goat Cheese Creme brulee and figs, Asparagus, Hollandaise and Brioche, Fruit Savarin, Marquise Pompadour etc.

Join the party on the 21st. Good France!

Here is the list of Mumbai restaurants:

Teddy Boy

Baner,Pune,India

The open air expanse, the nip in the Pune air and the rooftop gives Teddy Boy a edge and they put this to great use.  With both High and low seating, a long bar and a dj  the ambiance of the place is very inviting.  My first visit happened on Woman’s day, as early birds we found a table with a city view.

The bar menu offers good value given the pricing and even more on the given night when they had special menu with 1+1 cocktails and they were worth all the shake. The food menu is a mélange of cuisines, from Pizzas to Paneer Makhni with a lot of fusion happening on the menu. A desi eggetarian scotched egg version, a bite size uttappa and sambar dish, a paneer in  kulcha taco, a rice and cheese brioche and dishes like these are all you need on a night out with friends. They offered superior comfort value.  Not a chocolate dessert fan and hence skipped desserts but not before downing a spiced scotch cocktail.

A meal for 2 would come at around Rs 1500.

P.S: Prefer white plates over the fancy carts and carriages used for service as the latter pose serious hygiene concerns.

Maadjapaahit, South Asian diner

Pune, India

Name after Majapahit, the most powerful Indonesian empire which was at its peak in the 14th century and ruled the modern day countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.  The restaurant endeavours to serve popular dishes from each of these countries including Indonesia.  The three week old place is nicely done up and drops hints on the cuisine.  We were the only table in the restaurant when we walked in at thirty past nine and we were taken aback.  We had a seat and got a warm welcome from the servers.

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The menu is divided country wise with it skewing towards Thai cuisine and we ensure we stayed clear of it. Many items we chose from the menu were unavailable as they are still tuning it. We ordered a host of appetizers tofu based salad and a hors d’oeuvre, a spicy Murtabak and ended with a sweet potato and coconut dessert.  The food was nice and comforting, presented well and provided good value for money. Will go back again to try more someday.

maadjapaahit

*If only they could dim the incandescent lighting to up the experience and secondly not a good idea to have a management meeting (they looked like insiders) in an empty restaurant as their voices pushed the experience down further.

Maadjaapaahit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yumlok

Bengaluru, India

The reviews seemed great and the menu creative but the food didn’t pass muster but for the sattu paratha. The gobhi manchurian was stodgy and sour , the paneer chatpata had stale paneer and was sour tooo. Perhaps a bad day for them but surely not again for me. may be the sattu paratha some day!

YUMLOK Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bier Garten

Bangalore,India

Visited Bangalore after 7 months and put this on my list to cover. Packed to the hilt on a saturday evening this sprawling microbrewery seemed to be managed with ease. As a group of 4  we parked ourselves at the bar for beer as expecting a table was futile. With Wheat, lager and a Brown Ale on tap and all good our saturday evening had begun very well. The food menu was very elaborate and we chose the homemade nachos and the lotus stem in chilli pepper sauce. The former is highly recommended and latter after more an hour’s wait did not impress. It was crisp but dry and had no sauce as the menu said.

Nice place, Good beers. Will be back soon.

Biergarten Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato