Tag Archives: breakfast

Tantalising flavours at Timpani

Timpani, the all day dining place at Radisson Blu Ahmedabad during my recent visit took me by surprise. Warm, vibrant and cheerful. This place was bustling at all hours.

A multi-cuisine dining place, the offerings across cuisines were varied and catered to every palate. The special emphasis on local food at all meals was something that impressed me.

Breakfast had an array of items to choose from- Pan Asian, Indian and global fare. The live counters with dosas and eggs with chefs serving these a la minute were a treat to watch.

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The local Gujarati counter with farsan, moong dal chilla, moong dal halwa, patra, etc was something most out station guests, including me made a beeline for.

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The food was of great quality and the ingredients, undoubtedly fresh. Noodles, cereal, fruits, idli, poha, sabudana vada, sausages, baked beans, there were a plethora of options. Timpani serves delicious buffets at each meal, as well as an abundance of à la carte choices on the restaurant’s menu.

The moong dal chilla with chutney got my vote instantly. The sabudana vada was similar to the one at home and the eggs of course were made to perfection. A range of fresh juices and tea, coffee was what one could choose from.

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The service was equally impeccable with the staff being alert and attentive.

The natural light filtering in and the bright ambience adds to the charm of this place.

Executive Chef Chetak Goyal and his team ensure everyone leaves Timpani with a smile of satisfaction. I sure did.

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Delicious and worth devouring

Who can resist the quintessential golden brown, Belgian delicacy- waffles. Made with leavened batter or dough, freshly made waffles with myriad toppings are any gourmands dream come true. And I am no exception. While I do enjoy the savoury waffles that have made their way into restaurant menus, I still prefer the original sweet ones, I must confess.

A popular breakfast item, I love to indulge myself every now and then when I am in the mood to pile on calories or be sure I can burn them off. Several places in Mumbai apart from five star hotels serve waffles but few, offer the real ones.

Coffee by Di Bella, is one such chain which offers delectable, good quality ones.

With new additions to their waffle menu, naturally, a visit was in order. So, this morning, on a Sunday, I decided to savour some waffles. After all waffles are the perfect weekend treat.

As always, the coffee, my favourite cappucino that I began with was creamy, strong and piping hot. The banana salted caramel crunch waffle was a treat for the eyes. It lived upto its promise as described on the menu. The caramel crusted banana slices offered the right crunch and flavour to the waffles served with fresh cream and a dollop of ice cream. The waffles were firm yet, soft, fluffy and each bite was an explosion of palate-pleasing flavours.

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Chocolate lovers or kids are going to love the varied offerings with chocolate- The ultimate chocolate explosion waffle, Nutella oreo crunch waffle and the dark chocolate sundae waffle. Of course others can opt for the Churro rush waffle.

The quality of ingredients used is of good quality and the portions generous. Priced at rs 350, this waffle may seem steep at a glance, but once you have relished it, you realize it is your money’s worth.

So the next time you are craving for your waffle fix, head straight to any of the Coffee by Di Bella outlets in Mumbai and indulge in the best selection. Trust me, you will never be disappointed.

Rating : 4/5

 

Fun Times Back in Bandra

People in Bandra are going to be excited this Friday. Café Basilico, one of Bandra’s hotspots, returns in a new avatar at a new location on Hill Road. Reason enough to celebrate. I missed it terribly, for the short while that it was away.

I was lucky to get a sneak preview. The menu clearly looked interesting with a strong focus on local produce, I noticed.

Not surprising, as the produce is going to be sourced directly from Farhan’s Bhiwandi farm. I am all for seasonal produce and fresh ingredients. Makes a world of difference to flavours in food.

Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

The roast organic tomato soup was comforting, more so as I chatted animatedly with a friend. The smoky flavour was distinct and soothed my taste buds. The slight piquancy enhanced the flavours.

The fig and goat cheese salad was hearty and the ingredients, fresh and crunchy. The Mozarella and Chicken croquettes salad too was interesting and had unique contrasting flavours. We were off to a good start.

Mozarella and Chiken Croquettes - Salads

 

The signature Mediterranean Platter was a treat and the baba ghanoush and hummus particularly appealed to me.

One can rarely go wrong with prawns and the peri peri sea food prawns were fresh and succulent, with a dash of spice to them, just enough to tingle our palates.

The assorted vegetarian tempuras too were well made. I did not enjoy the falafel in comparison.

But it was the Harissa Chicken which got my vote. The chicken was grilled to perfection and swathed in the harissa sauce, it simply melt in the mouth, leaving the taste buds crave for more.

The Basa too was well-marinated, and surprisingly I enjoyed it. And that is a huge compliment considering I dislike Basa immensely. Only creative chefs can turn that around and make it tasty and appealing. Chef Das certainly managed to do that.

What struck me as interesting was the fact that Café Basilico boasts of an extensive menu with several vegan options curated by Ayesha. That truly is much needed today. Kudos!

For people like me who love breads, this place is a haven.The Sandwiches and burgers section  is exhaustive. Hummus & Iceberg or the Chermoula Grilled Chicken sandwiches and the Blue Cheese Beef Steak or the Soya, Barley & Mushroom Burgers, there is something for every palate.

Café Basilico’s pizzas are all prepared from their traditionally organic tomato sauce with  vegan options too. That’s not all. There is an array of pastas to choose from too.

 

 

 

 

One can be experimental and enjoy one’s meal with seasonal fresh fruit juices, flavoured coolers or refreshing lemonade, iced teas and coolers like Tropical Guava Cooler or Cucumber Cooler.

Cucumber Cooler

The menu never ceased to surprise me. There were a plethora of coffees, green tea, premium teas and caffeine free herbal infusions  too. And yes desserts too.

The mini tarts- chocolate, mango and lemon that we sampled were delicious as far as the filling went, but the tart was too soft and crumbly.

Overall, the food is of a very good quality, as is the variety and presentation. The decor is elegant and subtle and gives you the feel of a global cafe, yet, providing you privacy, if you want.

Cafe Basilico lived up to my expectations yet again.

Fun times are back in Bandra and how!

Rating : 3.5/5

 

 

 

Mangii in the Morning

Breakfast options in Mumbai are severely lacking and I always long for interesting places to start my day. Unfortunately, not too many options. Naturally, then I was delighted to learn that Cafe Mangii has started offering breakfast. Well, they officially do so from tomorrow, January 7, 2016.

I was fortunate to get a sneak preview this morning. Cafe Mangii never fails customers in food and service, so I was quite sure the breakfast would be a good experience and it was.

My Sweet lime juice in a jar arrived. Fresh and citrusy. It perked me up instantly. The menu was really varied with exciting options for egg lovers and of course vegetarians too. And yes pancakes and waffles too apart from the muesli, cereal et al and juices.

Although the omelettes ( my weakness) sounded appetising and inviting, I decided to skip those for a change.

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Creamy spinach & truffle infused scrambled eggs is what I settled for. Aesthetically presented, the presentation won me over. A bite into it and I was clean bowled. The fluffy soft eggs, were scrambled to perfection. The layer of creamy spinach and truffle below, was flavourful and melt-in-the-mouth. A perfect complement for the eggs. The potato base offered the right amount of crunch and bite to this delectable breakfast dish. Needlessly, it passed in flying colours.

We also tried the artful combination of poached eggs and salmon with hollandaise sauce, offering exciting flavours and textures juxtaposed in one dish. Well-balanced and a treat for the palate. We had obviously made the right choices. Filling and delicious, we were off to a great start.

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Sipping our coffee, we then relished our Belgian waffles with Nutella and banana. Of course there were options of chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and berry compote too, but we opted for this. Fruits and chocolate combo.

The waffles were crisp yet, soft and our topping, perfect. The sweetness quotient was just right to tantalize our taste buds and yet, let the taste of the previous savoury dishes linger

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Apart form individual dishes, one can settle for the Cafe Mangii tray which is absolute value for money,

Prompt service, warm hospitality and high quality ingredients always characterize Cafe Mangii and this breakfast sojourn was no exception.

Satiated after this sumptuous breakfast, I headed to work with a smile on my lips. Thank you Cafe Mangii!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

A Good BIG-Inning: Breakfast at Silver Beach Cafe

Stepping out for a sumptuous breakfast is not what I would normally do on a weekday, but then, some exceptions have to be made. Silver Beach Cafe at Juhu was certainly one of them. And primarily because it serves breakfast from 7 am in the morning. An absolute rarity in Mumbai and something I am always on the lookout for.

I was gung-ho and was looking forward to my breakfast on this Thursday morning. It was meant to the be the BIG Hangover breakfast. We did not obviously have one, but were up for this breakfast alright.

Seated int he Cafe, over looking the road, minutes later, our fluffy Spanish omelette platter arrived with potato wedges, sausages n salad. The omelette was a treat for the eyes as it was for the palate. Well beaten, the egg whites were fluffy and light, with the egg yolk as the base. Garnished with veggies and cheese, served with whole wheat bread, it was the perfect start to our day. It had sufficiently ignited our appetite.

Beetroot, apple and celery juice was fresh and offered the right flavours. Not tart or cloyingly sweet. Perfectly natural. It further refreshed us, as did the orange and carrot juice.

The pepper and spinach omelette was well done too. A great combination I thought. Delicious but, paled in comparison to the Spanish omelette, which was Chef’s creativity at its best.

The menu is fairly exhaustive with a lot of options to choose from the eggs section. Keema with sunny side up, seemed interesting, but I saved it for another day. The array of fresh juices is equally enticing, as was the French Toast. If indulgence is not on your agenda, cereals withe milk, muesli are your best bet.

Affordably priced, this breakfast is bound to liven you up. Don’t miss the Spanish Omelette. It is worth the drive to this place.Hangover- 3

This Parisian influenced Cafe in Juhu – Silver Beach Cafe is done up in a swanky glass facade of French windows and intimate booth seating making it an ideal space for a romantic date. It offers other regular meals too. I am of course heading back for breakfast another day soon. Never mind the hangover!

A Glo(bell) Culinary experience : D’bell Cafe n lounge

India Bulls Centre at Lower Parel may not seem like a place where you’d go to eat, but of late, it houses some of the best eateries and pubs.

D’Bell cafe and lounge is an interesting combination of The Pulsating Lounge and a Cozy Cafe. So clearly, there is entertainment, music and good food being offered by D’Bell.

We make our way into the café for a Sunday brunch. The cafe is spacious, well-laid out and elegant. The decor is minimalistic, but appropriate.

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The spread looks interesting, albeit limited. We begin with an Iced Lemon Tea. Refreshing. The sea food salad is a treat, with liberal amounts of fish, squids and prawns. The dressing too is just right. The chicken salad with mayonnaise is good, but not extraordinary. The cream of chicken soup is embellished with generous amount of chicken cubes. In fact doused with it. The soup is well spiced and enjoyable.

The starters come next. Fish cakes are what they are called, but are actually more of fish tikkis with oodles of potatoes in them. Disappointing. The chicken mince balls in BBQ sauce are a delight for the palate. Soft and melt-in-the-mouth. First rate. We skip the begetarian starters.

The main course is not overtly exciting but the chicken crumble proves us wrong. It is well made, the layer of caramelized onions gives it a sweetness which compliments the spicy chicken. The top layer is crumbly enough and the coarse texture is delightful. The Thai veg green curry with cheese which we try is a tad too thick. Pairs well with steamed white rice. There are noodles and pasta too as well as a fish preparation.

The desserts too are boring and fairly insipid.

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D’bell serves good quality food, provided excellent service and has a good ambience too. The menu needs to be a little more varied and interesting. With options galore today, one may not want to come here, given the limited food choices. And thus it is not a value-for-money brunch either.

 

On other days it has breakfast, lunch and dinner too ranging from the Mezze Platter, Wasabi Prawns and Crispy Shrimp Tacos to the Asian eef Stew, Eggplant Cannelloni and Cottage Cheese Satay.

 

With Karaoke, Retro Nights and Classic Rock along with the best live performances in the city this lounge is one where you can let your hair down while enjoying a good drink!

 

So clearly, if you are a music lover you could head to the lounge, whereas foodies like me would choose the Cafe.