Tag Archives: affrodable

Authentic South Indian Breakfast at Tuskers, Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Weekends are somehow synonymous with an unusual breakfast. You don’t want to eat the same ol’ stuff that you do throughout the week. And now, Mumbaikars have a delicious alternative on weekends starting July 4. Sofitel Mumbai BKC offers a huge South Indian spread for breakfast at Tuskers, the award winning Vegetarian Restaurant, from 7-11 am.

Vanakkam, the Tamil for welcome, by the staff at Tuskers, accompanied by a warm smile, really made us feel at home. The tables were traditionally decorated and aesthetic to look at.

The buffet counter was resplendent with vadas, idlis, upmas, a variety of chutneys and of course the live stations from where piping hot dosas and appams were being served.

The variety of the chutneys struck me as unusual. Variations of coconut chutney with roasted coconut, coconut and toor dal chutney with tomato, curry leaves chutney, the list was endless.  Chef E. Munichandrudu, who has recently come in from Novotel Chennai, apparently specializes in chutneys. Not surprising therefore that there were several unusual ones on offer. Home style food is his forte and he prefers to keep things simple. ” I don’t like my dishes to be overpowered with masalas. The guests should be able to enjoy the taste and flavours of all the ingredients in a dish,” he elaborates.

The spinach vadas were interesting. Basically medu vadas with spinach in them, these were crisply fried and the spinach added a unique flavour to them. Appams and stew were something I was looking forward to. While the appams were flawless, i found the stew to have a pronounced taste of thick coconut milk, which masked the flavours of the other components of this preparation. Mildly flavoured stews are what I prefer.

The broken wheat upma was healthy and a welcome inclusion, I thought. The right amount of tanginess in the tomato upma, made it a thorough palate pleaser. Vermicelli upma was light, flavoursome and well-made.

The curry leaves chutney wowed my palate. It paired well with almost all the dishes. The flavours of the curry leaves meshed well with the sour tamarind pulp, making one want to eat more of this delectable chutney.

The dal vada curry was unique and complimented the dosa. I was fascinated by it. Apparently made of leftover vadas in homes, here of course, Chef had used steamed vadas instead of fried ones and the gravy was mouth-watering.

The Kancheepuram Idlis I thought could have some more cashewnuts, pepper et al. A bit too plain and basic, these were. Equally disappointing was the filter coffee. The decoction, was obviously not of the right proportion. The aroma too was missing. I still prefer my Matunga joints for the best filter coffee.

With Dosas, Vadas, Paniyaram, Sevai Coconut Upma, Pachor, Kozhukkatta, Unniyappam, Kariveppila Vada, from Kerala & Tamil Nadu, it is difficult to resist over eating.

Feast on Dosas at Pondichery cafe

Innovative dosas made with beetroot, ragi, oats & carrots  are definitely the highlight of the breakfast as are the sweet & savoury chutneys made from mango, pudina, Venkayam chutney, Inji chutney etc. These are bound to tingle your taste buds and leave you craving for more. The sambhar was absolutely authentic and the best I have had in Mumbai in a long time.

We were off to a great start. Delicious home style South Indian fare in a five star ambience, at an affordable price of Rs 711 plus taxes, is good news. Make the most of it next weekend.

Rating : 3.5/5

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A ‘wok’ to satiate your taste buds: Wok Express

Pan Asian meals are sure shot winners. Most of us enjoy these and I am no exception. And with a new Wok Express opening in Bandra, I decided to pay a visit.  Reasonably spacious, with a no-frills atmosphere, Wok Express was packed on a weekday for dinner. A good sign for them, I thought.

The menu is varied enough with dim sums, bubble tea, and of course the Wok meal served in a box comprising a base of noodles (udon, flat wheat, ramen) or steamed rice,with veggies or chicken, fish, prawns and a delectable array of sauces. Sambal. Toban, Teriyaki, Pumpkin curry sauces sounded out-of-the-ordinary compared to the usual black pepper, chiili basil et al. There is a fair amount of vegetarian options too.

I settled for Har gau prawns, as I can never resist prawns. And this classic is my favourite. Steamed to perfection with a moist and tasty prawns filling, i was off to a good start. My Thai Bubble tea was a bit of a disappointment. Attractively presented, the flavours sadly were not so exciting. Some how never enjoyed the tapioca pearls. Have tasted better ones in Bangkok.

The crystal dumplings too were well-made. Had a bite to them and the texture with the right amount of crunch, was appeasing to my taste buds.

The staff appeared a wee bit confused with the orders. Probably teething problems so typical of a restaurant of any stature or size.

wok 11

My wok with Udon noodles (my favourite),  fish and prawns, the sweet and spicy sambal sauce, a generous amount of veggies and roasted peanuts, cilantro, friend onions, as condiments was a flavourful and wholesome wok. One selects one’s own ingredients and ticks them on the box. The person behind the counter then prepares it as per your selection.

As I picked up my wok (it is self service), it struck me that the quantity was enormous. Absolute value for money, given the quality of the ingredients and the generous helping. I was blown away by the medley of flavours in my mouth. The sambal sauce offered the perfect balance of sweet n spicy flavours. Textures too were plenty- crunchy, smooth, melt-in-the-mouth. The bell peppers, zucchini and carrots, added the health quotient to my meal.

Good stuff. It reminded me so much of the meals I had in Bangkok eons ago. Finally, India had places to match that quality of Pan Asian food. The medium sized wok itself was so filling, could well imagine what the large one would be like. Priced between Rs 190- Rs 240 for a medium sized wok, it is really easy on the wallet and something which will go down well with the youth too.

What is nice is that the menu keeps changing every few days, so one never gets bored. The day’s special is highlighted on a black board.

The Tab Tim Grob aka water chestnuts in syrup n coconut milk though refreshing in summer is not something I enjoy, so decided to give it a miss. Wish there were more options.

Wok Express is the perfect place to devour a good meal, in a jiffy and head back to work or pick it up and relish it while you are on the go. Just what this fast-paced city of Mumbai needs.

Rating: 3.5/5

An Interesting Mex-Asian Experience: Kurries & Burries

It is not too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year is it? So, Happy New Year everyone. Have a gourmetastic 2015!

I began my year by visiting a cute, no-frills, QSR Kurries & Burries in South Mumbai near Wilson College.The sincerity and earnest effort of the Proprietor Kushal Todi has got to be lauded. Under his mother’s guidance (who is a great cook) he has started this initiative. Kudos!

The menu is exhaustive and this Café Mex-Asian serves interesting Mexican and Asian food. And all vegetarian. Quite a challenge, but one that is met adeptly by Kushal. A lot of the items on the menu can easily be served as Jain dishes too.

One can look forward to relishing Mexican, Thai, Burmese, Oriental and Chinese food, at pocket-friendly prices. We began with the flavourful Mexican soup made with Mexican beans. The spice element added the right amount of zing to it and the creamy texture was perfect. A good beginning. The crackling spinach with paneer which Kushal recommended was different. Only the paneer pieces were too generous and filled the mouth, with the spinach getting lost somewhere. Else the concept was exceptional, I thought.

Kurries & Burries - Naked Burrito

The Mexican Mex-wich was filling. The mexican beans, cheese sauce, sour cream and salsa teased our palates. A bit too heavy but completely value for money. Sandwiches, Wraps, Noodles, Rice, an array of Mexican dishes. This place has them all. Oodles of paneer, baby corn items on the menu. A vegetarian could not ask for more.

The Indian touch in the food is unmistakable but unpretentious too. K&B is very affordably pried and is bound to be a haven for college students and office goers. It has a visit ratio of 2 – 2.5 times as compared to any other food eatery at the same cost. The platters are an excellent way to try out a lot more.

I was skeptical about a vegetarian Khow suey but it turned out to be good. Authentic flavours and great toppings. And the coconut milk was not overpowering. We enjoyed it. The chef is obviously good.The ingredients are of a good quality and fresh too.

The dessert – Mexican sweet cup was disappointing. Very grainy and synthetic. Maybe we should have tried the chocolate nachos instead. Maybe next time?

Overall a place for good food, but personally, am not a great fan of Mexican food and hence would not dream of mixing it with Asian, my fav cuisine for sure.