Tag Archives: coffee

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.


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


A Haven for Chocolate Lovers

Desserts are decadent and chocolate ones even more. As The Chocolate Heaven opened its second outpost in Mumbai in Borivali West, I decided to check this one out as I have never visited the first one at Vile Parle West, near Mithibhai College.

A small but cosy place greeted me, with wooden tables and seating. The menu surprised me as I thought, being a dessert boutique it would only offer desserts, but I was wrong. Sandwiches, burgers, pizza, this place had them all. Of course the highlight here are the waffles, pancakes, shakes, coffees, hot chocolate and more.


Our Mushroom burger arrived after a long wait. The roasted mushroom flavours were completely masked by the red chilli that the burger was doused in. As a result one could not taste any of the other ingredients.


The pizza topped with penne more than made up for the burger. It was cheesy, well-baked and the penne added an interesting texture to it. The well-spiced pizza perked up my taste buds instantly and was supremely comforting.


The caramel hot chocolate was delicious, but alas! Not as hot as it ought to have been. The texture too was diluted and it could have been creamier. There were several other options as well.


The dark chocolate Belgian waffle was sinful but the chocolate could have been a bit more generous. The pancake was the piece de resistance for the evening. Well made, the toppings were generous and the flavours mouth-watering. It was unarguably, one of the best I have had in a while.

The offerings at The Chocolate Heaven struck me as ideal for college going kids rather than gourmands. The savoury stuff was definitely fast food and the desserts good, but again not extraordinary. More of a melange of good ingredients, carelessly assembled.

However, easy-on-the-wallet and with immense variety,  good quality ingredients, this place is definitely worth a try for foodies, especially when sweet indulgence is on your mind.

Rating: 3/5


Drinks for the festive season

The spirits during this season are high and there isn’t any reason, why we can’t enjoy the festive season, without consuming any spirits. Is that possible? Of course it is… in fact, there are plenty of delightful seasonal beverages that can help you ring in the yuletide festivities without compromising on your desire to go alcohol free or risking the fact of getting drowned in alcohol.

If you want to sample a few of my favourites, to keep you cheery, check out this quick menu.
Cinnamon Laced Double Chocolate: Make a cup of deluxe hot cocoa, dissolve a piece of bitter chocolate cube to give the added double chocolate effect and sprinkle with powdered Cinnamon.
Hot Toddy with apple cider: In a pan combine apple cider, cinnamon, star anise and cloves, bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow the spices to steep for 10-15 minutes, strain spices stir in honey till dissolved serve with sliced apples, lemon, cinnamon sticks and star anise.
Spiced tea: In a big mug place tea bag and honey, add enough boiling water to fill the mug add cinnamon and lemon, steep for 3 minutes and remove bag, sprinkle lightly with nutmeg and serve.
Virgin Fruit Muddle: Take a bowl full of diced mixed winter fruits, muddle them, add half cup of orange juice, a dash of lime, and top it with room temperature Apple Juice. Serve in a beer glass or brandy balloon.  
If you are out on the streets you could try the many variants of Café Coffee Days’ Magical brews.
And if you neither want to take the trouble of making your own brews that I offered nor do you want to step out at Café Coffee Day’s offerings, you could try the four variants of Gold Fogg’s latest offering, which includes: The Gold Fogg Energy Drink, Mish Mash – Fruit Kiss made of apple, strawberry, mango, peach, guava, grape and passion fruit all packed in one.
So compliments of the season and go on for a non-alcoholic drinking spree !

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.


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.


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


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







Warm n Soothing Winter Drinks at Costa Coffee

It is almost December, so winter should actually be round the corner, but unfortunately in Mumbai it isn’t, yet, we are all gearing up for the winter season and festivities. So, I was delighted to learn that Costa Coffee has launched a range of indulgent hot beverages for the season. I have a weakness for such drinks, so went to try these out.


The winter warmers include Hot Spiced Apple, Salted Caramel Latte and Sticky Toffee Latte. All three sound exciting and made me drool. I opted for the Salted Caramel Latte. A regular size was big enough and the cream on top looked like a mastery in art. I stirred it, weaving it into my coffee and then took a sip. The caramel flavours were pronounced and the sweetness was just right. No, I did not need to add any sugar. But the coffee was a wee bit less hot than I would have liked it to be. The refrigerated cream had done the trick I guess. Maybe one should try it without the cream next time? I definitely will.

My next drink was the ultra luxuriant,  Hot Spiced Apple. Ah! the aromas of cinnamon and star anise filled my nostrils. It smelt inviting. It was piping hot, just the way I love it and the spiced apple flavours were soothing. This one, imbued with the goodness of spices is the perfect winter drink. Reminded me of mulled wine actually. Apt for a chilly Christmas eve. I only hope the weather in Mumbai gets to that. At Rs 200, I thought it was value for money. The other two, I was told were priced at Rs 180 each.

The service with a smile and alert staff at Costa Coffee always appeals to me. You never need to catch their eye, they are always “ready” to serve a customer. The Lokhandwala outlet is one of my favourites as the place is always vibrant.

So am going to be off caffeine, at least when I am at Costa Coffee till end December and make the most of the Hot Spiced Apple winter warmer. So what if there is no winter 🙂

New Way To Experience Coffee? Nah!

Summer is here and Starbucks introducing flavoured beverages with green coffee extracts, seemed reason enough to visit the Malad outlet at Infiniti Mall, Mumbai.

A unique offering, Starbucks Refreshers™ comes in two exciting flavours – Triple Orange and Very Berry Hibiscus. After a tiring day, I was all set to energize myself. Well, that’s what the refreshers were meant to do!

Green coffee extract, a natural source of energy, combined with real fruit juice. The combination sounded winning and I was sure the results would be spectacular. My Very Berry Hibiscus arrived. The person serving me was quite evidently a trainee. He kept mumbling explanations about the drink- nothing of which was comprehensible. He turned to his senior colleague for help. He chipped in.  Disappointing start. But that was not all. Meant to be a lively blend of flavors with tangy blackberry and Green Coffee Extract, it was anything but that.

Starbucks Refreshers_Combined Shot - lowres

A few sips later, I was even more disappointed. Filled with ice, my refresher was diluted, run down and watery. I could almost taste nothing, except flavoured coloured water. Now only if the invisible green coffee extracts would energise me!

Triple Orange seemed a lot better. I don’t know about the energizing bit, owing to the green coffee extracts, but it certainly boosted my palate and mood, with its effervescent, fresh and tangy flavours. This one got pass marks from me.

Unlike the traditional process, green coffee beans used in these quenchers, are not roasted, which results in a mild and fresh flavor while still retaining naturally occurring caffeine. The flavor is very different from the traditional coffee. Well, I think I prefer my traditional cuppa for my dose of caffeine!

Meant to be summer drinks, these are going to be on the menu till April end. The Starbucks Refreshers™ offering is meant to be the best pick of this season. I am not too sure about that. But their cappuccino definitely is! I am going back for that.




ROYCE’ Chocolate recently launched its second retail space at the Bombay Baking Company, JW Marriott Mumbai. It is a haven for chocolate lovers. There are decadent chocolates, for every palate The first-of-its-kind chocolate pairing menu, was launched, of which, I was lucky to get a sneak preview. And wow it was, to say the least.


The fruity, citrus flavour of Twinings 2nd Flush Darjeeling Tea when paired with Royce Pure Chocolate “Venezuela Bitter” was the perfect harmony between bitter and sweet. The contrast in the two flavours was so evident on the palate and yet, they complimented each other.

Next came the ROYCE’ Baton “Hazel Cacao” Cookies with espresso. No chance of going wrong here. Coffee and chocolate are old friends. The acid-bitter balance and an aromatic blend of coffee and cocoa swept me off my feet.


Our next stop was the Reflections Bar. There we relished the chocolate-based cocktails such as Chocolate D’zire, a sweet concoction of Chocolate Syrup, Vodka and Amaretto served in a martini glass with a piece of melt in the mouth ROYCE’ Nama “Mild Cacao” as well as the  Singleton “18” single malt, paired with ROYCE’ “Criollo Bitter”, the worlds rarest cacao bean. The complex and distinctive flavours of the Criollo were balanced perfectly, by the subtle fruity notes of the Singleton 18. A winning combination again! Executive Chef Himanshu Taneja painstakingly explained the pairings as did the ROYCE’ team.

The brand’s unique Japanese identity and its focus on quality, intricacy and innovation was experienced through and through that evening.

ROYCE’ was launched in India in July 2013 with a flagship store at Palladium, Lower Parel, Mumbai. Burgundy Hospitality, a first-of-its-kind fine foods and luxury gourmet venture by Avani Raheja and Samir Gadhok, is the partner for this unique brand of artisanal chocolates in India. Way to go guys!



All Things Good : good co.

I can never refuse a coffee invitation. Well, almost never. So when I was asked to check out Good Co. The Australian coffee chain, which is now in Mumbai, I gladly accepted.

A simple but elegant, no-fuss coffee joint on the versova- Juhu Link Road greeted me. The cosy and quiet ambience instantly appealed to me. Light meals, sandwiches, pastas, lasagne, puffs, this place seemed to have it all, apart from an exhaustive selection of coffees and teas.


I opted for the Masala Roast chicken sandwich. That was a bit of a disappointment. Too much of capsicum and spices, masked the flavour of the roast chicken. But the sandwich was grilled to perfection. The Chicken Lasagna was a delight. Perfectly layered and the mince was lip-smacking. There’s a vegetarian version too.

I sipped my cappuccino with an Irish coffee syrup. Strong flavoured, but aromatic and just what I needed to wake me up. There are the usual latte, mocha, flat white, Americano and so on to cater to every coffee-lover’s palate.

My friend tried the Hot chocolate, which Good co. Is known for.  The first sip and her expression said it all. Delightful obviously.

We rounded off our meal with a Chocolate marble brownie. And we were in for a surprise. The brownie, unlike what is generally passed off as a brownie in this city, was the real thing. Moist, yet dry and the top layer was baked well with a crispy texture. The dark chocolate punctuated with the white chocolate, made it just right, tempering the sweetness. It was truly delectable.


For those who prefer cold beverages, iced teas, cold coffees and granitas galore are on offer. And tea lovers can enjoy great blends at leisure –English breakfast, Fruits of Eden, Malabar chai, Peppermint, Honeydew green.

The dessert section is pure sin. Muffins, Belgian waffles, chocolate fondue, sundaes, Sydney chocolate slice, blueberry mousse, red velvet cake, It spoils you for choice.

A great place to relax with friends or even spend time writing or reading. Am going back for some “me” time soon.

That Perfect Cuppa

Truly, a lot can happen over coffee, as they say. A lot more can happen with coffee. I discovered that as I headed to the Philips Coffee Brewing workshop at noon last Saturday. Different types of coffees is what I expected to get acquainted with and perhaps some food pairing, but what I experienced, was an intellectually stimulating session with oodles of fun and learning. Kalyan Karmakar, the curator, is known for being a food lover. Add to that Philips as a host and the perfect cuppa brews.


We began recounting our “first” coffee memories and interesting facts came up. Many similar too. A coffee quiz followed, which made me realise, although I love the beverage, I do not know much about it.

What followed next was a fun group activity of food pairing with coffee and we enjoyed the goodies- orange cup cake, pizza crackers, banana cake, Danish apple cake, cookie and so on with our cuppa. We had to pair the perfect food item with our coffee. Unanimously the Danish apple cake was selected by almost everyone, regardless of whether it paired with the coffee or not. Aditi Juneja of Socially Foodie, had baked the delicious cakes and eats.

Coffee art was the last thing on our agenda that afternoon. Using a chocolate sauce and milk foam, the Philips expert demonstrated coffee art. Voila. He made it look so simple. He made beautiful designs so effortlessly. Some of us tried our hand at it. Many of them succeeded.


Over a sumptuous lunch we looked at the coffee machines by Philips Saeco, which were for home use as well and quite simple and user friendly.

Over all, it was a Saturday well spent. Sipping your favourite beverage and learning more about it. There can’t be a better combination.

The friendly neighbourhood cafe: The Good Food Co


It’s not everyday that your search for a nice cosy place for a quick bite ends at a a cheerful, small cafe on Nehru Road in Vile Parle East. The Good Food Co. started by foodie n entrepereneur Anuj Jodhani, is an exciting gourmet initiative. The perfect place for an early morning breakfast( it opens at 7 am!) or a quick lunch on your way somewhere, or even a late night gup-shup session with friends over coffee, it is fast gaining popularity.  Burgers, sandwiches, salads, wraps, pastas, pizza, hot n cold beverages, this lil’ cafe has them all. Vegetarian it is, but the ingredients used are wholesome and fresh, thus making your experience at The Good Food Co an unforgettable one. The prompt service by the polite staff further makes it a must-visit place.

The Mushroom stroganoff and the Penne pasta in Alfredo sauce( a yummy white sauce) are delectable and a must-try.The crunchy paneer burger is filling and value-for-money. The chilli cheese toast was so reminscent of my college days that it made me take a trip down memory lane. The coffees and tea are affordably priced and one feels one is in a college canteen.

One visit to The Good Food Co and you are bound to get addicted. The simple but tasty food is what sets it apart. What’s more, they even offer a home delivery service in Vile Parle (E).