Tag Archives: European

Divine minus the wines too! Cafe D’Wine

The name of the cafe obviously suggested it had a lot to do with wines, so I did not step in with too many expectations from the food. But alas! I was wrong and how. The menu itself was an exercise in choices. Soups, salads, pizza, pastas, steaks and more. Whew! Of course the wine list was never ending too, but I was not in the mood for a wine so stuck to a simple, but refreshing basil and lemongrass cooler. In appearance like an aam panna, it had a light flavour which rejuvenated me immediately.

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New world cuisine is what this cozy cafe in Bandra offers. The décor is very European, simplisitic, yet stylish.The walls are laced with attractive Mediterranean tiles, inverted wine glasses hanging from the ceiling, slated wood furniture and a detailed Italian mural.  Bohemian chic! I got a good vibe as we settled down on our table.

The Butter chicken savoury custard floored me as it came with mini paratha pieces. A truly innovative presentation and twist, but the authenticity of the butter chicken was intact. Very robust, very Punjabi. Loved it.

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Just as I was waxing eloquent about this one, the Mediterranean sauteed fish blew my mind and yes, taste buds too. Pieces of rawas fish combined with 3 peppers and the lip-smacking teriyaki sauce was delightful. Spicy, it teased my palate beyond comparison. I was already mentally satiated.

The chicken stroganoff further nailed it. Served with home made purple fettucine pasta instead of the usual herb rice, this one was a clear winner. The presentation was so appealing. The taste of course further took the experience to another level. The creamy sauce of the stroganoff was generously filled with cheese, mushrooms and interestingly, spinach too. What a twist this was! I just could not let go off this medley of flavours and textures from my mouth or memory. It surpassed my expectations.

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There are great options for vegetarians too. Pumpkin ravioli, cheesy gnocchi et al. The menu is refreshingly different. Kudos to the chef. Everything on the menu sounds enticing. Signature items lof this cafe are “Smoked Chicken Salad”, “Red Bean Hummus”, “Butter Chicken Savory Custard” and “Ceylon Tuna Parcels with marinated Okra” . A must try in the menu is Norwegian Grilled Pink Salmon Steak, which is a new addition, I was told.

Sanjay Mirani, Managing Director at Café D’Wine previously associated with brands like Athena, Da Vinci and Ivy, has done a great job yet again. Affordably priced, this cafe serves great food and wines which do not burn a hole in your wallet.

Sadly, the desserts which they outsource, had not arrived n time, so was unable to sample that. But no loss really, considering I had enjoyed my meal thoroughly. This one was a divine experience, minus the wines too!

Food rating: 4/5

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An Even Better New Avtar: 5 The Restaurant

Global food abounds in Mumbai nowadays but if the offerings are good and varied one is never bored of it.

5 The Restaurant is a tried and tested player but a visit to it in its whole new avatar at Khar was long overdue.

The plush and elegant interiors were warm and cosy putting you at ease immediately. The location is an advantage too and offers a European setting.

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Attentive staff has always been it’s plus and thankfully nothing has changed on that front.

Our creamy spinach and bacon soup arrived. Piping hot it was comforting. The spinach flavour was subtle, yet tingled our palates sufficiently. The addition of  bacon enhanced the taste and flavour of the soup.
The beetroot and feta cheese salad with tangerine was interesting but the salad dressing could have been a little more generous and the beetroot was a tad overcooked.

The peppercorn chicken was a bit of a let down. The flavours and pieces of chicken were not enticing enough.

Just when I was beginning to think that the food would not surpass my expectations I was in for a surprise. The bacon stuffed chicken breast was truly delectable. It was well tenderized. The bacon filling led to a burst of flavours in the mouth. Full marks to the chef here.

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The polenta ratatouille was equally palate pleasing. The rugged texture of the polenta meshed with veggies made for a delightful combination. The cheesy sauce only added to the perfect finale.

Satiated with a sumptuous meal we would have been happy to skip the dessert but were cajoled into trying the chocolate flan. And it was the perfect recommendation. Gooey chocolate on a crusty and crunchy base proved to be pure sin and we indulged in it without guilt.

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A perfect meal complimented with good service. 5 The Restaurant is definitely a place worth dining in. Given the variety, quality of ingredients and portion size, it is value for money.
Rating : 3.5/5

A Home-cooked European Meal at Abode

It was European food at its best. Chef Conrad D’Souza of Pali Village Café fame, in conjunction with Chef Xavier Fernandes and Chef Mrinmoy curated a meal at Abode, that was truly memorable.

We instantly felt at home in the cosy ambience, with warm, efficient service. The assorted canapes platter, were not only a visual treat, but a delight for the palate too. If this was the beginning of our four course menu – we sure had embarked upon an exciting culinary journey. The sparkling wine from Chandon perfectly offset the fare.

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The cauliflower and potato soup with truffle oil, came next. Served in a cutting chai glass, it was very innovative I thought. And aromatic too. The flavours were subtle yet, pronounced. These two veggies never tasted better than in this form.

The wild mushroom salad with porcini was the highlight that evening. The contrasting textures teased our palates, as did the melee of flavours. It had the right amount of bite and crunch. We simply devoured it.

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For mains, I settled for a roasted walnut gnocchi with red spinach. The gnocchi swathed in pureed red spinach was creamy and succulent. And the sauce delightful. The seared Sri Lankan Tuna steak too was well done and had a nice savoury flavor which was tantalizing. The kale chips and chestnut complimented and added to the crunch factor.  It definitely enhanced the experience of the dish. For hard core meat lovers, there is Pistachio Crusted Lamb Shanks too.

The vanilla panna cotta with peppered strawberries and the espresso mouse with chocolate meringue, were expectedly sinful. The panna cotta was one of the best I have ever sampled. Full marks to the creamy texture and sweetness quotient. The mousse too had the right texture, not excess gelatine, as is sometimes the case. The crunchy meringue was the perfect partner for the decadent espresso mousse.

With his extensive food experience and technical know-how, Chef Conrad comes to Abode to create his magic with a menu which will be exclusively showcased in the format of a pop-up, available to customers for a limited period of time. The earthy, home style flavours of this meal set it apart from many others.

The week-long pop-up at Abode, an independent luxury boutique hotel in Colaba till December 17 is a not-to-be missed gastronomic experience.  Open only for dinner, it has a limited seating capacity, so food lovers need to be quick and book in advance. I am so fortunate to have partaken this meal. Can’t wait to sample Chef Conrad’s cooking yet again some place else.

Watch out for Nico!

An entry into Nico Bombay, transports you to a cafe in Europe.  The high ceiling, minimalistic decor, adds to the elegance.

The music is infectious and sets the mood for a perfect Sunday lunch. The menu may seem limited, but covers everything a gourmet may want to sample. Specialising in authentic wood-fired oven Napolitano – gourmet flat breads, Eastern and Western Mediterranean inspired Mezzes, Modern European Mains with classics such as a Spaghetti Vongole and Confit Duck Leg are a part of their gastronomical fare.

The flat breads at Nico Bombay are made with high quality flour, farm fresh cheese, premium organic ingredients and cooked in the authentic wood fired oven from Italy.

Having learnt the art of the Napolitano pizza from the master himself, Enzo Coccia, Nico Goghavala has made use of the carefully honed, age old methods, specially selected starters, exceptional flour and high quality, well-conceived toppings for their flat breads.

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From the pizza or flat breads, as they call them, we try Enzo- Pumpkin Flowers, Burrata, Oven Roasted Tomatoes. We are rendered speechless. The Burrata is luscious and smooth and compliments the other topping ingredients.

The Kadaifi Wrapped Prawns, Citrus Mousseline, is par excellence. Succulent prawns and the covering is absolutely wow. The chef’s eye for presentation is evident from each dish that is served. Poetry on plate, literally.

Nico Bombay endeavours to treat the diner to the freshest local produce which are used as their key ingredients, hence encouraging a very farm to table concept. I like that.

Goat Cheese, Caramelised Onion, Sour Cream Puff, arrives next. The topping is delicious, but the crumbly puff does not appeal to us. Balsamic Baby Beets, Caramelised Walnuts, Burrata, our salad sweeps me off my feet. Looks appealing and tastes even better. The caramalised walnuts lend an interesting flavour to the beet. A one-of-its-kind, melt in the mouth salad, worth a try for sure.

Risotto, Ravioli, Beef fillet, Roast chicken. The mains have these and more. There is enough Vegetarian fare too. Oven Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli, Amoretti Crumbs, Asparagus Pea Risotto, Shaved Asparagus Parmesan Foam et al.

The quantity of olive oil in the food is a wee bit too much.

Mini Savarins, Citrus Jelly, Tropical Fruits was what was recommended for dessert. Good, but not extraordinary like the rest of our meal. Maybe Chocolate Fondant, Strawberry Granita  would have been a better bet.

Not only, the ambience, the service and food quality, is definitely world class.  For those who enjoy their drinks. The menu is exhaustive and the bartender, creative.

Nico Bombay is going to give some of the fine-dining eateries in Mumbai a run for their money. Way to go.