Oral Orgasm...

Kwality Walls (tm) vanilla ice cream with Dabur (tm) honey. Awesome!

I wanted to have vanilla with fresh fruits the other weekend. But the local fruit vendor only had hapus aam for Rs 250 a dozen! The "fruit cocktail" (tinned fruits in sugar syrup) were also out because I didn't have a can opener and neither did any shop in Bhakti Part. So I ended up picking a small Dabur Honey bottle instead.

Yummy!

The only problem is that the honey solidifies as soon as it comes in contact with ice cream. Next, I want to blend the honey in the ice cream and enjoy the honey "swirls".

PS: Last time I had brought a brick of vanilla from Amul (tm). For some reason it tasted awful and very artificial. That's why I specially mentioned "Kwality Walls" vanilla ice cream.

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Khyber - Give it a miss

Khyber was pretty empty for a Saturday night. Given the experience I had there, I'm not surprised now. We were made to wait for 5-10 minutes while the chaps prepared a dirty looking table. The white bedsheet they spread out on the table was not particularly clean.

The ambience was not spectacular either. When you can hear loud club music playing from Red Light next door you pretty much forget about the ambience. So, here we were eating overpriced Mughlai food, sitting amidst faux fountains and stone structures listening to "... I wanna fuck you, you already know!" Seriously!

The vegetarian starters were decent. We ordered Honey Mustard Paneer Tikka and Pudina Gobhi. The Virgin Colada Mocktail was particularly good. I ended up having two of them. (After my recent trip to Goa, I had promised myself to stay away from booze for the next fifteen days!) That's where the good part ended. The main course was atrocious. We ordered Paneer Korma and Murg Makhani - both bad. The Pudina Parathas were soaked in oil.

Four of us ended up footing a bill of three grand. And we had to remind the chap to bring us some saunf-cheeni. Khyber was pretty sad actually.

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Hornby's Pavilion, ITC Grand Central, Lower Parel, Mumbai

There's something about buffets that has started turning me off. You plan for them - almost fast for an entire day ahead of it. You drool at the sight of food once you get there. You heap up your plate for the first helping. And after the first few bites, you suddenly lose your appetite. And then you're simply gorging either for paisa vasool or peer pressure ("Abe tu to itne mein hi khatam ho gaya!") In the end you've paid a very high premium (sometimes a thousand or so per head) for a meal you didn't quite enjoy and which is going to be on your conscience for the next two days (calories!!)

I've had quite a few breakfast buffets at Hornby's Pavilion, ITC Grand Central. At Cleartrip we have this "tradition" (though the higher-ups are desperately trying to "de-tradition" it!) of going out for the breakfast buffet at the Grand Central after a big, early morning release. Add to that a couple of times we've rogered someone on a Sunday morning on the pretext of some treat or the other.

So, the other day, while going home, when we stopped at the ITC Grand Central on an impulse for dinner, I was pretty sure I didn't want to go in for the Rs 875 + taxes dinner buffet.

Instead we ordered for a jalapeƱo, capsicum, olives, bell peppers 12" pizza (Rs 395) and a vegetarian lasagna (Rs 425). The pizza, although not bad, was nothing to talk home about. It was decent. But the lasagna, was tops! It had Mediterranean vegetables, layers of soft pasta, interspersed with spinach and mozzarella. Now don't ask me what Mediterranean veggies are - that's what the menu said - I saw pieces of pumpkin there too! The taste was awesome. The spinach and med-veggies were giving it a lovely flavour. Just the right amount of cheese, tomatoes, and oregano as well. Most Italian fares that I've had, have an overdose of one of these three ingredients.

I had a look at the dessert buffet, but priced at Rs 600 + taxes, I didn't find it appealing enough.

The food was good, but for a five star hotel, I found the service slightly bad. The place was too crowded, and probably they were not equipped to handle the load.

Whatever said, all in all, a thousand bucks well spent.

Google Map for the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai

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Mocha, Mumbai

I discovered two more dishes at Mocha, which make the visit all the more worthwhile. Next time you're there do have the Maggi Arabiatta (Rs 95) or the Scrambled egg on toast (Rs 65). Complete mini-meals in under a hundred bucks each. Both yummy!

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Food Inn, Colaba, Mumbai

It's such an unassuming kind of place. You'd never think that this place can dish out such an amazing fare. That too, at such an unbelievably low price.

Two of us had a dal fry + steamed rice for our first helping. It was yummy but didn't suffice for two. Then we ordered for some veg biryani + dal makhani. Amazingly tasty - especially the veg biryani. I'm sure other stuff is as tasty.

IIRC, both of us were stuffed for under two hundred and fifty bucks! This is one joint I'm going back to for decent Indian food.

And yeah, just outside the restaurant is a paanwaala who maked amazing meetha paan. And he's from Kanpur :-) He recognized my bike's UP78 number. Give him a shot too.

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Cafe Mocambo, Fort, Mumbai

Cafe Mocambo is the place for club sandwiches and burgers. For a hundred bucks apiece (served with french fries and coleslaw) its value for money. Just one sandwich or burger and you're done for the meal. Do try the chicken club sandwich or the special. A thumbs-up for the Fillet-o-Fish burger as well - scrumptious!

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Kitchen Square -- Where I Start My Day

My office is located in Mathuradas Mills Compound (Lower Parel, Mumbai), which is the most godforsaken mills compound in the entire area. When I came for my first face-to-face interview with Cleartrip, I thought it was a slum!

Anyways, there are lots of places around my office, but none match the convenience, price, and taste of Kitchen Square. My day starts with a nice cup of cutting chai with either an omelette a plate of poha, upma, or idli-sambhar. I used to patronize the usaal paav till some time back, but now I find it way too oily and spicy.

Kitchen Square is a good place for snacks (breakfast or evening), but it sucks for lunches. It suffers from the same Red Curry Syndrome that ails 90% of all restaurants in Mumbai. Surprisingly though, it serves very good sambhar. The least sweet sambhar I've had anywhere in normal Mumbai restaurants.

The prices are rock bottom -- Rs 2.50 for a cutting; Rs 14 for a double omlette; Rs 12 for a plate of idli-sambhar. In the evenings you can get a vada pav for about four bucks I think. It's nothing to talk about but it's the closest vada pav from my office :-)

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Monsoon Malabaar, Mocha

Instead of the regular cafe lattes and cappuccinos, I tried a "Monsoon Malabaar" at Mocha's (Bandra) the other day. With an overdose of the Italian fare at the Baristas and the Cafe Coffee Days our palettes have forgotten the taste of good old Indian filter coffee. Monsoon Malabaar was different. It took some time to get used to. It had a distinctively strong taste. It was heavenly after I did manage to adjust my taste buds to appreciate it. At forty bucks a cup it's definitely worth a shot.

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Tavaa (Bandra, Mumbai)

Why is it that the overwhelming urge to blog almost always occurs when the incident in question is a bad one? A vast majority of the blog posts out there are cribs about something or the other, and I'm no exception. So here I am, back from my year long hiatus on the Foodie For Life blog, with a crib about an over hyped restaurant called Tavaa in Bandra, Mumbai.

Tavaa is located at prime real estate in Bandra. It's just a stone's throw away from Toto's, Hawaiian Shack (the place has expanded and so have the prices!), and Just Around The Corner. In fact, Tavaa is just around the corner itself.

I admit that we chose a rather bad day to visit a "walk in" kind of restaurant. It was raining heavily, and the place was not very clean - understandably so. But the service was still alright. With the kind of prices, you couldn't expect anything better. I feel, the best indicator of any restaurants "priciness" (a priciness index, if you may) is the cost of one tandoori roti. The ones at Tavaa were a comfortable six rupees, and dal makhani was priced at about Rs 70. You get the idea.

From the looks of the place (which I presume would've been rather decent, had it not been for the downpour and the Sunday night rush), I had expected the menu to be rather exotic and fancy. I was in for a disappointment when all I could see on the vegetarian page was Paneer X and Paneer Y. Apart from Mumbai's regular Veg Kohlapuri, there was Paneer Kohliwada as well! What's next, a Chembur Chana and Dadar Dum Aloo?

I'm S-I-C-K of that typical red gravy that most of the veggies in Mumbai are served in. It's not the regular tomato based gravy you could expect in a butter chicken or a paneer butter masaala up in the North, but something different. But, it's in ALL the dishes in this city. And Tavaa was no different. Upon inquiring, the waiter categorically told us that all the gravy items were in red! Can you believe it? Even a mushroom matter masaala was in the sickening tomato based gravy! Aaargh! Left with no choice, we ordered a tavaa chicken roti and a tandoori paneer tikka for starters. The main course was a vegetarian affair consisting of a dal makhani, a mushroom matter masaala, and boondi raaita.

The only thing good was the tavaa chicken roti. It was a sparse matrix of mince chicken meat in egg covered with roti. The paneer tikka was marinated in the same bloody red gravy. The dal makhani was half done - it's supposed to be left overnight on simmering coals to cook and thicken - guess I was expecting too much :-). And the mushroom mutter masaala, as expected, tasted awful in that red gravy. To top it all off, even the boondi raaita was pathetic. I mean, I can make better raaita than that. Seriously! But that's a topic for another post.

So, even after having such a bad experience with the main course, we attempted the dessert. A dry fruit rabri and falooda kulfi. Both B-A-D. The rabri was sour and the kulfi was a molten mash-up of the remains of a kulfi.

It could be that we ended up ordering vegetarian at a primarily non-veg joint, but I can't believe someone can get something as basic as boondi raita wrong. And the desserts? Sour rabri?

Anyways, we spotted Razak Khan aka Makaudi aka Pappu Kanghi (I had a hard time fishing for his name and pics!) dining there. Quite a P3 joint this, eh? :-)

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Italian food!

Mocambo Cafe, Fort, Mumbai
Italian Cuisine


If you have a penchant for food(mind it-not proper indian food!) and dont mind trying out new stuff then mumbai is the place to be. Italian, continental, chinese, mexican- name it and you have a place to meet up your expectations!Mocambo cafe is one of the well known places in mumbai which serves you continental and italian cuisines. Its a small place with two levels of seating and is generally full at all times-thanks to the yummy food :-p they serve! A lot of sophisticated people and phirangs around-so in case you are not having fun with the people you have come, you can spend your time watching people and not to forget eating!! And this is for the guys-for a change you have a sweet female all decked up, standing right there at the entrance to open the door for you with a warm smile on her face!!

I had been there twice. First time it was just me and a friend so had to be careful about the bill and all. But still we had a lasagne-layers of cheese with mushrooms and other vegetables stuffed in between and a portion of garlic bread. But the second time, I went there with my office mates(7 of us) and we had a coupon worth 3000 bucks with us-fokat ka khaana yippie!! All of us had to literally hog to consume the food worth the price of our coupon!! We ordered the starters first which included-lemon mushrooms, babycorn sticks, a portion of mashed potatoes, garlic breads with cheese and a lot of non veg stuff which I dont remember as I am a vegetarian! Our main course included-Penne pasta in white sauce with lotsa garlic and cheese, spaghetti in Arabiatta(red) sauce and an italian rice dish in white sauce. The food was amazing-especially the lemon mushrooms-we had ordered for two more plates after the first one :-) Pastas were good too-only problem being all dishes in white sauce were tasting the same,but nevertheless they were tasty!We had pizzas too which were so different and better from the regular dominos and pizza hut pizzas!They were so tasty by themselves that no seasonings were required to make them better! We finished off our dinner with gooey double chocolate torte which was yummy again :-p

Best part-inspite of eating so much our bill came out to be around 1800 (which included the drinks too!). So we ended up buying a chocolate cake for ourselves which we had taken to the office!!So all in all a reasonable and good place to be!