Tag Archives: Colaba

At home,with home-style Vegetarian food : Gokul9

Gokul is a name many of us in Mumbai are familiar with. A place in Colaba which has been around for decades and is known to be a hotspot for good quality and wholesome, Mangalorean food and drinks.

Dinesh Pujary and Vandana, the son and daughter of Mr. Jaya Pujary, the founder of Gokul, have started Gokul 9 a small, but cosy vegetarian eatery in the adjacent lane.

The place is colourful, has vibrant and aesthetically done interiors and spells comfort from word go. The menu is exhaustive and one is spoiled for choice.

While there is a large section of South Indian delicacies, there is comfort food galore- soups, burgers, pav bhaji, sandwiches, pizza, and even a thali. There is something for every palate and age group.

The South Indian food here is unarguably the piece de resistance. The aromatic hing in the piping hot sambhar wafts through the air even before you taste a spoonful. The flavours are spot on and the chutney is comforting as it is replete withe home style flavours. Palak dosa, cheese bhaji dosa, butter spring dosa, are worth a try as these are innovative albeit with a traditional touch. The masala dosa of course is the all time winner on the menu.

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The cheese khada pav bhaji is indulgence personified and not-to-be-missed. The Mumbai Special section with favourites like sabudana khichdi and misal pav will make you nostalgic.

Among starters, the mushroom manchurian and soya bean chilli dry, are unique. For those seeking  a quick bite, sandwiches, burgers, pizza options abound.

Office goers throng to satiate themselves with the value-for-money thali. Rotis, rice, Indian gravies, Chinese dishes, too find a place on this varied menu.

Round off your sumptuous meal with a refreshing and creamy kulfi.

No alcohol here of course but juices and milkshakes aplenty to choose from.

The food here is fresh, made with good quality ingredients and easy on the stomach and wallet. Nothing causes discomfort and uneasiness. The kitchen appears squeaky clean and hygienic.

The service staff is warm, polite and alert. One literally feels at home here. I left with a smile of satisfaction.

Rating : 4/5

 

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Worth Taking This World Tour

Who doesn’t like travelling and that too if it is a culinary tour? I embarked on world tour to discover the best burgers and beers at Woodside Andheri West, as part of their Around The World in 20 days Beer and Burgers Festival. Of course one has an option to go to their Colaba outlet too.

As I bit into I first burger, I could not help lament the fact that though this festival was in its 8th edition, I was stepping in to experience it for the first time. Better late than never I guess!

Pioneering the concept of pairing freshly flipped burgers and hand-crafted brews, Woodside this year,  has upped its offerings and has introduced burgers and beers from around the world, starting from July 14 to August 2, 2015.

The specially curated Burger Menu by Executive Chef. Subhash Shirke was impressive and well-rounded. He was catering to every palate. Burgers from India, France, Spain, Argentina, Italy, Japan, USA. Whew!  And in keeping with the latest craze for Craft Beers, they had handpicked artisanal craft beers from Gateway Brewing Company and Independence Brewing Company to enhance  the dining experience.

Not a beer fan exactly, I decided to steer clear from those. The best ones could not tempt me. Burgers were enough to satiate me. My Argentinian Chimichuri Chicken Burger arrived. Well-presented with french fries in a paper boat, an exciting dip, salad, et al. I settled for a sesame bun. The chicken patty was juicy and moist, unlike several burgers one is used to eating in Mumbai. And had exciting flavours to it too. Well spiced, it needed no dip actually. This robust burger was perfect just by itself.

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The Peruvian Rock shrimp burger, was my next choice. A generous helping of shrimps for sure, as the shrimps kept falling out of my burger bun. The shrimps were fresh and of a superior quality.  Absolutely melt-in-the-mouth. The flavours were a bit reminiscent of a Thai dish, but I was not complaining. Subtle no doubt, but delectable to the core. The dip along with was citrusy and extremely appetizing.

Sumptuous and filling, one could not think of tasting any other burger from the exhaustive menu. These were truly world class burgers.

The Napoli’  – Italian chicken burger (Italy), Brit sun day roast! (Britain), B’ in a ‘B’ – healthy eating in a bowl (US),  Duck Confit Burger  (France), Spanish RoastPork Belly Burger (Spain), were the other options and definitely sounded inviting. Meat lovers are going to relish these.

Apart from the non-veg selections, there were several unusual Veg ones. The Thai spiced lentil burger and Japanese Teriyaki Tofu Burger caught my attention. Would love to go back for those.

Each burger was aptly paired with a beer. Given the quality and freshness of the ingredients, portion sizes, the burgers were well-priced I thought.

The attentive staff and their prompt service, bowled me over. Not obtrusive, just the way I love it. It is always a pleasure to interact with polite and well-informed F&B staff and Cyril, was all that and more.

I returned home, with my taste-buds tingling in excitement, my tummy happy with the delicious burgers I had sampled. Good to have been to Woodside I thought!

Rating: 4/5

Being Social…..

The Impresario Group and particularly the man behind it, the entrepreneurial and culinary genius, Riyaaz Amlani never ceases to surprise me. He has done it yet again. With Social.

At first glance, Social at Colaba in Mumbai, appears to be a modern café. Perhaps a restaurant? Once inside, you discover there’s more to it. Social is an all day café and bar where you can work and play. Yes, it allows you to relax and unwind with friends, do your work seriously (albeit with a bit of fun!) and meet and interact with people, something we are increasingly ceasing to do, thanks to technology.

Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD Impresario Handmade Restaurants says “Social is a response to the needs of today. Coffee shop clones which have been projected as the “Third Place”, a place away from home and your work/college, no longer completely address the needs of their audience. They have become monotonous and uninspiring.  With Social, for the very first time in restaurant history we have introduced the Second Place concept, an inspiring space where you can both work and play. I am thrilled to bring Social home to Mumbai.”  So are we Riyaaz!

Environmentally responsible, 100% upcycled and creative use of old furniture- that’s what Social boasts of and is perhaps true to it. The Cocktail Kitchen ( I like that name) is the centre of attraction. Quite literally! An interesting place to look at where bartenders whip up your drinks in a frenzy. Never a dull moment.

The unusual names of the dishes in the menu immediately catch your attention, as does the affordable pricing. Chef Gaurav informed me, “The menu at  Social combines ingredients, cultures and presentation styles from around the world to open up your taste horizons and let your mind make connections that you wouldn’t ordinarily make. Here’s where street food from the world gets as much spotlight as a gourmet meal.”  What makes the food even more interesting is how it’s served – depending on what you order, it could arrive on gramophone records, enamel plates and even wooden spiked boards.

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I loved the way my Oreo mud pot actually came in one. That added to the sinful experience I assure you. Rich and creamy, with the Oreo thrown in for good measure to add a little crunch to it. It was extremely filling and value for money.

The Thai sweet chilli fish bao was as interesting as it seemed on the menu. Delicately flavoured fish with a dash of spice. Just what I needed in that rainy weather. Perked up my taste buds instantly.

The Prawn sesame on toast was a tad disappointing. Although the kaffir lime and lemon grass flavors tingled my palate, it was a bit too oily.

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The menu is truly an exercise in choices and has snacky stuff as well as filling wholesome meals, easy on the pocket. Biryanis, burgers, sandwiches, Oriental food.  A good mix of vegetarian and hearty non vegetarian fare.

The breakfast section in the food menu is lip-smacking too and am surely heading there one Sunday morning.

 

Although I stayed away from the cocktails, the menu is whacky and varied. The Deconstructed Moscow Mule served in a (mule) mug, with a beaker tied up in muslin cloth with smoked Vodka and a pipette with bitters sounds like fun as does the Reaction is served in a glass beaker with an injection syringe full of Vodka and Blue Curacao. The cocktails are definitely going to be the biggest draw at Social.

The youth are going to love this place, as are we freelancers. A great venue for eating, drinking, collaborating and meeting like- minded people.  It’s time Mumbai became Social again.

Dock here for European cuisine

With Athena and Tetsuma there in the past, I entered The Pier, in Colaba, not knowing what to expect.

The décor was subtle and understated, but the blue leather seating did not appeal to me. Was somehow reminiscent of a railway berth and marred the ambience of the otherwise chic, fine dining restaurant. Absolutely incongruous.

Samir Chhabria, the owner, was prompt in joining us and regaled us all evening about his vision, mission and dining experiences. The place has apparently not been officially launched. Yet, seems to be doing decent business for dinner. (It is not open for lunch yet)

The food appeals to your eyes immediately as the plating is picture perfect. One look at the menu and there is a feeling of déjà vu. The dishes are typical. Classics yes, some of them, hence have to be there on an European food place menu, but somehow the Indigo hangover is apparent. Samir states that he is not competing with the Indigos and the Olives. But, he does admit he has worked at Indigo.

The menu is limited but caters to all- vegetarians, egg lovers and voracious meat eaters. My pumpkin soup is delightful. Have had great ones earlier and this one matches upto most of them. The mushroom cappuccino my companion orders is also a palate pleaser.

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The white quinoa tabouli salad is refreshing in summer and has a myriad flavours. The sesame seeds rubbed tuna with watercress and melons did not wow me. A bit on the lines of sushi, it did not excite my palate at all. The texture of the tuna was not right.

The pan seared rawas was average, nothing to write home about. The jerk chicken with red bean rice was stimulating. The pairing was perfect and although it did not seem too exciting when served, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The house fries served alongside though, were a bit inadequate. The pricing is absolutely value for money as the portions are quite generous.

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Red Oyster, Breast Pork Belly, Grilled Australian Lamb Chops, were other options for non vegetarians.

The cappuccino soufflé with Kahlua sauce was comforting, while the Tiramisu did not live upto my expectations. It was too sweet and heavy and one could not really get the real flavours. The savoiardi cookies too were negligible. The extra biscotti served along could not salvage the situation.

The bar is elegant and the bar menu is exhaustive serving over 50 wines, a range of premium spirits and specially created exotic cocktails. Got to go back for the in house liqueurs, Samir kept urging us to try.

I personally feel, that instead of trying to recreate the experience of “other” fine-dining restaurants, The Pier needs to carve out its own niche and identity, which I am sure it will.