Monthly Archives: February 2013

The World on Your P(a)late @Pondichery Cafe!

My visit to Sofitel BKC was long overdue and there could be no better occasion to head there, than for the sumptuous Sunday brunch at Pondichery Café, the all day dining outlet at the Hotel. With over 120 gourmet delicacies, I had to brace myself to experiment and indulge. One look at the vast array of display counters and the buffet spread ranging from Continental, Asian, Indian and Mediterranean, I knew, it was going to be a memorable gastronomic journey.

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Mezze, Sushi, Teppanyaki, Terrines, Salads, Tandoor and a Consome counter. Whew! I did not know where to start from. Food apart, the pleasant demeanour of the affable chefs, smiling service staff, was a pleasure to see.

We decided to start with the detox juices and fruit shooters. Yummy. And yes we had embarked upon a healthy culinary journey. (Or so we thought!) The salads were equally inviting. Chaat, Grills, succulent Chicken Doner Kebabs, Dumba Biryani, Banana Dosa, Pan seared Foie gras parfait  as well as made-to-order pizza and calzones, beckoned us. There was something for every palate.

We savoured the delicacies at a leisurely pace. The teppanyaki sea food and chicken were particularly outstanding. I loved the way the asparagus and poached egg were presented. The salmon was grilled to perfection and paired well with the chicken. The stir fry veggies with noodles too were a palate pleaser.

The variety of the fare was unparalleled. I was really impressed with the global food section with some typical French delicacies. In keeping with their Indo-French fusion, the Indian dishes too were extraordinary, especially the Dumba biryani, which was innovatively served.

Although after the mouth-watering brunch, there is no scope to eat desserts, but not indulging in those, is a greater sin at Pondichery Café. The spread is one of its’ kind and the Pastry chef, gently coaxes you into trying everything.  Gâteaux de meringue de chocolate, Coriander de meringue bavarois, Linzer cake with homemade strawberry jam, Baileys cheese cake, Saffron crème brule, were some of the treats on offer.

It was one of the most amazing culinary experiences this year. Or shall I say the best so far? Relaxing amidst the dramatic Indo-European interiors, with great food, prompt service, courteous staff and a cheerful ambience, it was indeed a memorable Sunday. Now need to try the other Restaurants at Sofitel BKC too !

We like it too : Ci Gusta !

Italian food is always a delight to indulge in and Ci Gusta, the newly opened eatery in Bandra West was certainly buzzing with frenetic activity even on a weekday evening. Everyone was obviously having a good time.

From word go, there was warmth in the pleasant demeanor of the staff. One felt extremely welcome and happy to be there.

The menu is fairly simple, though exhaustive. Pizza, Pasta, sandwiches, salads, breakfast, crepes, waffles, smoothies, frozen yogurts, desserts. There is something for every palate. Affordably priced too.

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We settled for the Iced mocha, which was refreshing but not overly sweet. Quattro Al Polo, the pizza with four varieties of chicken, sounded appealing and sure was. The chicken pieces in different sauces were juicy and succulent. There were several options to choose from including vegetarian ones. The chicken and parmesan risotto came next. That was a wee bit disappointing and did not match upto my expectations. The texture and consistency was not of a typical risotto. The ingredients used are fresh and of excellent quality.

The service was prompt and courteous and Rohan patiently explained the menu to us and also gave great suggestions.

The green apple yoghurt was a treat for the taste buds as was the Parfait full of seasonal fruits and fresh yogurt. The sweet warm burger sounded enticing too, but perhaps next time.

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This is clearly Italian fast food, though authentic. A great place to catch up with friends and family. Lively and cheerful, you can spend hours here. Not fine dining, so no pretense.

Ci Gusta- we like it, it means. We like it too. Errr…make that, love !

The skky is the limit!

Mumbai never ceases to surprise me. My recent visit to Ramada hotel and convention centre, Powai, left me spellbound.  They have just launched their first official rooftop Resto lounge- SKKY. It is easily one of the best dining places in the city, both by way of the food as well as the ambience. Dining in an open air area is a unique experience.

Chef Rohan Koppikar, at Skky, the Pan Asian Resto lounge truly weaves magic in his culinary delights. The menu offers delectable food and drinks on the menu handpicked by their head chefs from various parts of the globe.

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Spread across an area of 8500 sq feet, Skky offers an unobstructed and captivating view of the sky. With stars twinkling above and scenic view of the mountains, it offers an ideal setting for an evening drink, dinner or a get together. The ambience leaves you mesmerized.

The water bodies that flow uniformly throughout the space, divide the tables in a way to exude privacy to diners. I thought it was a great idea and innovative too.

There is a lot to choose from. Tantalize you taste buds with a selection of Pan Asian cuisines (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese) besides gourmet pizzaz, kebabs and an absolutely divine dessert menu with hand-crafted ice creams.

The braised sea food deluxe soup was the perfect start to a great evening. Soothing flavours and the generous helping of sea food made it unique. The wasabi prawns looked delightful and tasted even better. Served with wasabi mayo , seasonal fruits & Flying fish Roe, they were numero uno in my opinion. The California rolls are something I have a weakness for and those too did not disappoint me. What amazed me was how chef made even the wok fried chicken so delicious.

The teppenyaki chicken fried rice was aromatic and flavourful. Like soul food almost. It paired well with the Stir fried minced chicken with bird chilli, garlic, sweet basil & soy.

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I have tasted hand made ice creams in several places across the country but the basil and kiwi ice cream and the paan ice cream at Skky is truly unmatched. The paan flavour undoubtedly was more robust of the two.

The soft music or the showcasing of polo or cricket match on the large screen enhance the dining experience. The staff is well-informed, courteous and prompt. This is a must-visit place for Mumbaikars and visitors. and those who enjoy their drinks, even more so as the bar is really loooooong and exciting.

Table for two or cosy home-cooked meal?

I am all for love and romance, but feel, one does not need just one day to celebrate it. Love needs to be celebrated everyday. Yet, Hotels and restaurants go all out to woo lovers and us too – the food lovers. To enjoy food, I need no special occasion, as I am an incorrigible foodie. So shall make the most of the special menus on Valentine’s Day. Trust me there are options galore.

Saptami, the multi-cuisine all day dining restaurant at Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport is one of my favourite eating places in Mumbai. Executive chef Sudhir Pai has prepared a special menu which consists of soups, starters, main course and desserts. What’s more, the names of the dishes are pretty cute. The soup which is called warmth of love, is a cantonese vegetable hot pot. Pehala Nasha are nothign but Hariyali Seekh, Lovely Pair-Mushroom and potato Croquette, Ishq Mohabbat -Murgh Multani Tikka, Mermaid -Sichuan fried Fish. Exciting and appetizing enough.

For main course you can have Pyar ke Khatir -Murgh Dahiwala or made for each other -Miloni Tarkari, Romance of ricotta and apricot in baked potato skin,  The first touch –honey glazed carrots, Only for you & me -Mediterranean vegetable bake, The Bond of love-Tofu and Water Chestnuts Hunan Style and ofcourse Meri Pyari-Dal makhani.The desserts are even more romantic. Cozy cuddle -Prunes and apricot cheese cake slice, Mio Amore -Pineapple compote with mascarpone cheese in glass, Heart to Heart -Maple honey nut pie, Single ready to mingle-Frangipani apple tart. Am certain the dishes are going to be as flavourful as the names themselves.

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Westin Mumbai Gardencity, too has a great line up for diners. An array of flavours. The Bouquet of Love at Seasonal Tastes, Aap ke liye at Kangan and so on. Each of the restaurants at Westin Mumbai are such a treat that it is difficult to choose one.

Must make a trip to Sofitel Mumbai BKC as have never been there.  The restaurants there seem to be offering a unique gastronomic experience. There are a variety of options to choose from. Designed to make your evening truly memorable, the contemporary styled restaurant, Jyran, will offer a glass of Moet et Chandon Rose Champagne on arrival complete with an extensive array of Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian delicacies. Else settle for the sumptuous spread at Pondichery Café.

Courtyard by Marriott, MumbaiInternationalAirport promises a memorable evening for couples. The “Strawberries and Cream” theme sounds like fun. The hotel plans to create a spectacular ambience with a red and white themed décor, balloons and candle lights. One can experience a sumptuous meal at MoMo Café with a tempting choice of fresh salads, piping hot soups, a smoked and marinated seafood bar, exotic main dishes, a live station kebab corner, 2 bars and more, or Red Zen if Oriental cuisine is what you prefer. This award-winning Pan-Asian restaurant will offer a special 5 course Valentine’s set menu handcrafted by Chef Phongthorn Hinracha with a delicious selection of Thai specialties.

And if you are not in the mood to go out for dinner, enjoy a home cooked meal by your loved one. Start with a Belvedere’s cocktail of the Love – the Cupid’s Bow. A deliciously seductive cocktail that uses Belvedere vodka and Raspberries to create a the perfectly apt red tinted drink to celebrate the season of love. I am seriously tempted to settle for this last option. What about you?

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