Monthly Archives: January 2013

Champion of champions ! MUCB Burger Festival

I have never been a fan of Mc Donald’s chewy, insipid, burgers and was thus relieved when Burgs opened in Bandra. It was a pleasure eating the real burgers. I love burgers. And thus, my joy knew no bounds when Manchester United Café Bar was hosting an International Burger Champions League. I paid a visit to their Malad outlet.

The menu was exciting as there was a specialty burger from every part of the world. A treat for football fans, literally. Riveting Rooney from England was an interesting combination of beef slices, with sauerkraut, sautéed mushrooms. As if that was not enough, there were delectable potato wedges and salad to go with it. And the horseradish and mustard mayonnaise was equally exotic. My friend informed me that the burger patty was really juicy and succulent. A real palate pleaser.

There was the Donald burger from Lebanon, Yo freddy from America and even a Baichung Burger from India. Cute I thought. All these had a vegetarian version too apart from the Non vegetarian ones. And equally unusual, mind you.

Baichung Burger from India copy

But the one that stole my heart was the Barry Burger from Jamaica. A coconut crumbled crabmeat patty topped with plantain chips and cheddar cheese. It was served with Cajun potato and salad and a chipotle mayonnaise. Words fail me, to describe the exquisite flavours. Only the burger patty was a wee bit wobbly and crumbled easily. Understandably so, given the ingredients. Of course, taste wise, it was a first-of-a- kind experience.

The Adisak burger from Thailand sounded tantalising too, with a grilled red Thai chicken breast et al, but I could manage no more.

The presentation of each burger enhanced its appeal tremendously. The chef had painstakingly created each one. Much appreciated.

Prompt and efficient service are the hallmarks of MUCB Malad and it is always a pleasure to dine there. The music, ambience add the right zing, apart from the one that teases your palate. You are in for a great time. I for sure, had a wonderful evening. The festival is thankfully on till February 17, so am going back for a Adisak Burger for sure. Got to taste that one. When are you heading there?

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Trifecta: This one’s worth a try

Although Trifecta, the newly opened restaurant at Royal Garden, Juhu, looked classy and appealing, the dining experience initially proved to be a tad disappointing for me. The Oriental food section on the menu seemed unusual and extraordinary in terms of the choice of dishes. I was excited, but as I ate the first spoonful of my burnt garlic chicken soup, I realised it contained oodles of MSG aka ajino moto, which I am severely allergic to.

That was rectified, but it was a long wait before my Homemade Spring Chicken Tortellini, Garden Vegetable Broth arrived. It was mediocre in taste, although had a great visual appeal.  The lemon grass chicken potli too was extremely dry and the flavours were not too exciting. The chicken satay and steamed chicken momos, which my friend tried, passed the test with flying colours.

Food Trifecta (Pic 1) copy

For me, Trifecta was a washout, but alas I was wrong. As soon as our main course, of the Grilled Basa with Potato Rösti in Curry Lemon Sauce and Florentine Duxcelle Stuffed Chicken Breast, Creamy Mash with Porcini Dusted Sauce was served, I was floored. Not only was the presentation par excellence, but the flavours, textures and taste, too were unparalleled. These were easily five star quality dishes which Chef Sandy aka Sarvesh had created. And that too, at affordable prices. Incredible.  The continental cuisine is easily one of the best I have ever had. They have a vast array of Indian food too, but we decided to skip that.

The dessert, bailey’s mousse cake, made in-house, was exotic to say the least.

It is a swanky place with a great ambience and good food. The F&B staff needs to get a little more proactive, attentive and energetic and be able to give suggestions to the guest.  The person serving us was exceptional though.

It is a perfect choice for an exciting continental meal. The well-stocked bar too is an added plus for those who drink. It is definitely worth a try!

Savoury Pongal

Much as I love and relish the sweet Pongal preparation, here’s a savoury one too, which is equally delicious.

savoury pongal copy

Ingredients:

3/4 cup rice

1/4 cup moong dal

a few cashew nuts chopped

1/4 tsp jeera

1/4 tsp peppercorns

2″ ginger chopped finely

7-8 curry leaves

2 Tbsp ghee

salt to taste

 

Method:

Dry fry the yellow moong dal. wash rice, add fried dal and cook in water till soft. Heat ghee in a pan, add jeera, peppercorns, cashewnuts and fry till brown. add ginger and cooked rice and dal mixture. Remove from fire, when it turns sticky. Garnish with curry leaves. serve hot with pickle.

 

 

An Oriental Barbeque

Oriental food is my weakness and when this cuisine is part of a Barbeque festival, the appeal doubles. The Barbeque food festival at Noodle Bar, thus seemed a gourmet’s delight and one I was not going to miss. So, I trooped to the Bandra outlet.

The menu was understandably limited, but interesting. Chicken and leek yakitori was certainly not commonplace. Chef Kamal, had ensured that everyone could sample and enjoy the luscious flavours from Pan Asian cuisine. a great amalgamation of flavours from Japanese, Indonesian, Thai and Chinese cuisines.

The Vietnamese Basa was grilled to perfection and had a tangy flavour to it. The flavours of an otherwise bland basa, had come alive. The chicken and leek yakitori too was flavoursome and well grilled. Although we skipped the grilled mustard lamb, it did sound interesting. Yoshino Katsu as a vegetarian starter sounded confusing, but was nothing but vegetable and potato cutlets, stuffed with broccoli and mushrooms.

chicken n leek yakitori

Our main course was roast chicken fried rice which was authentic from word go. The roasted chicken lend an unusual flavour to the fried rice. Aromatic and flavourful, it was palate pleasing. We paired it with barbeque mustard chicken which was one of the most unusual dishes in oriental cuisine I have tasted. Chicken in pickled cucumber sauce and cinnamon lamb were other interesting options. Vegetarians could settle for sweet n spicy tofu n pak choi or red pepper cottage cheese if you relish paneer. I prefer my chicken any day.  We decided to give the hot n spicy chicken noodles a miss though. That sounded like regular fare.

Chef Kamal went that extra mile creating a unique dessert for us. Darsan with ice cream served in a bed of fresh fruit juliennes.  Visually, a delight and for the taste buds too.

dessert copy

 

Looks like my prayers have been answered and the festival is now till the end of January, as opposed to January 12 earlier. Wouldn’t mind tantalizing my taste buds once again.

 

Ooh la la …… In Seven(th) heaven

The much-awaited Shangri-La Hotel, Mumbai, located in Lower Parel opened its doors to guests recently. I was lucky to visit the Hotel for their sumptuous Sunday brunch at Seven, the all-day dining restaurant.

Located above the luxury Palladium Mall, the hotel features spacious and well- appointed rooms; CHI, The Spa – a fantastic spa destination; Seven, the all day dining restaurant; Ekayana, which offers an unparalleled selection of classic cocktails, wines and spirits, with a snack menu to suit every palate.

The sheer vast expanse of Seven, struck me, as we entered. Well spread out, the live stations and display counters looked neat and extremely appealing with their spread.

The cold station with vegetarian, non vegetarian delights as well as Charcuterie and Seafood like Crab, Smoked Salmon, Gravlax, Honey roast ham, Ham & Chicken terrine was a haven for any gourmet.

The cream of cauliflower with blue cheese was a treat for the palate and unique in its flavour and taste. Equally delightful was the Laksa with vegetables and condiments. Flavoursome and filling.

Steamed Dim-Sum station at Seven-the all day dining restaurant copy

Always partial to dimsums and sushi, I feasted on both. The spinach dimsum was a pleasant surprise. Chicken dimsums on the contrary turned out to be a wee bit disappointing. The sushi varieties, rendered me speechless.

In the main course, shitake ginger fried rice, was one of the best I have ever had. And one can never go wrong with wok fried prawns in black bean sauce. I love that sauce too much to be able to resist it. There were a lot of Indian dishes too as well as grills, but I skipped those.

The alert staff impressed me, as did the Restaurant Manager and the other F&B service team who painstakingly, explained the buffet spread and served us with a smile on our table.

Buzzing with activity, Seven has a wonderful energy about it and the space and elegant décor, only adds to the charm.

One can savour each morsel at a leisurely pace and do justice to the spread. Actually you can’t. The menu is an exercise in choices. Geoff Simmons, Executive Chef, has done a splendid job. There is something for every palate.

What can one say about the desserts? Sinful indulgence, at its best. Pastries, ice creams, cotton candy, raspberry roulade, pecan tart, apple crumble, mousse, sago pudding. Temptations galore. I settled for the Maracaibo Chocolate Dome, which was decadent. The tiramisu was too full of the mascarpone cheese, thereby other flavours getting subdued.

Pastry Counter at Seven copy

We spent a delightful Sunday afternoon, tantalising our taste buds with different cuisines and exotic flavours. Can’t wait to go back for more.