Tag Archives: exotic

A Sublime Experience

There is nothing more comforting than a cup of tea. Brewed to perfection of course.

I was excited when my colourful bag from Sublime House of Tea arrived with a bright red coloured box offering an array of exotic brews. I could not wait to sip those.

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Seventh Heaven, Wellness Brew and Green Long Ding, which are extremely sought-after across the world were flavours I was going to sip at home. And that too as tea bags, convenience personified.

What I like is that Sublime’s portfolio of fine tea presents a mix of the classical, the popular and the avant-garde. From sought after bouquets such as Green Tea, Assam Tea and English Breakfast to intriguing localised brews like Moroccan Mint, and Seventh Heaven, eclectic admixtures like White Tea with Raspberry and the complex flavours of herbal tisanes like Rose in Bloom and Chamomile, there is a tea to suit every palate and occasion. I am fussy about my teas and found Sublime teas could please me with ease.

I brewed my Rose in bloom with care. Oh! the pyramid tea bag as against the normal filter paper ones, made a world of difference.

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I could see the water in my cup change colour as a mellow hue was imparted to it and yes, I could get the aroma of rose petals too.

The Seventh Heaven actually transported me to the same place. It rejuvenated me completely serving as a balm for my tired nerves.

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‘Sublime House of Tea’ is promoted by the Prestige Group and Sublime Galleria. Naturally then, one can be sure of the quality.

I have always been an avid tea drinker being from Kolkata and today tea is being touted to have a host of health benefits too. Apart from an evening cup of tea, I enjoy a cup after dinner too and the range from Sublime House of Tea is just right for a cup, last thing at night to relax me before going to bed. There are many flavours waiting to be tried as the box contains several tea bags.

So which flavour shall it be tonight? Moroccan Mint perhaps?

 

 

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Any Time is Tea Time

Winter and tea are quite synonymous aren’t they? Well, for me, anytime is tea time, as I love tea or chai or chaha or cha, as we call it in different parts of India. Can have endless cups in a day. But yes, it has to be brewed or steeped perfectly. My morning cuppa is critical. No one is allowed to mess with that.

We Indians seem to have rediscovered the second most consumed beverage in the world. We all grew up having chai- a thick, milky brew infused with ginger and spices and boiled for a long time. At one time, a basic masala chai was all we knew. Now, we are spoilt for choice.

I fortunately grew up to the ‘champagne of brews’- Darjeeling tea, in West Bengal. Kolkata to be precise. The musky scent and floral fragrance of Darjeeling tea, spells magic for  me, even today. It perks me up instantly.

But as in the case of food, people nowadays are in the mood to be adventurous and experiment with teas too. Taste buds have opened up, and thus a plethora of unusual flavours can be seen making their way into homes from store shelves.

 

Speciality teas are now the ‘in’ thing. People have taken to drinking flavoured  and several exotic teas. Earl grey has always been the most sought after, lightly flavoured tea but now, the repertoire has expanded. White teas to calm and de-stress oneself are also picking up, albeit a bit expensive.

Tea service at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar

Flavoured teas are created by adding fruits, spices, flowers or natural flavours to black, oolong or green teas depending on the flavours that complement the tea. Flavours like vanilla, orange, passion fruit or berries are very popular.

 

Taste apart, health is an important factor and that’s why green tea has rapidly caught the fancy of urban India. Consumed without sugar, Green tea relaxes us instantly and boasts of several health benefits.

I love some of the teas at Tea Culture of the World.  Generally frequent their outlet at Hypercity, Malad. Established by Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar, TAC Tea Sommelier, a former medical practitioner, as an endeavor to cater to the palates of modern Indian tea aficionados, this place offers some of the finest, most exotic and rare teas from around the world in the Indian market.

Tea rooms and tea houses are becoming fashionable now. These are mushrooming in each city and Mumbai is no exception. May their tribe increase. But of course a well made cutting chai at a road side tapri is equally refreshing.

But the ritual of tea drinking if elaborate, pleases me no end. No wonder, I love the tea service at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. It elevates the tea drinking experience completely.

Now I need a cup of tea for sure. Have a large collection, so need to pick an apt one for this weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh, flavourful with global appeal

Le Pain Quotidien is not a cafe I generally frequent in Mumbai. But alas! I want to remedy that now. I stepped in for lunch yesterday to sample their new menu to commemorate their 25th birthday worldwide and discovered what I have been missing for such a long time.

Known for its farm fresh ingredients, pure and organic, it is indeed a delight to dine here and more so now with the new menu which actually tells you where those fresh ingredients are sourced from. Yes, the names of the vendors are listed there. I really appreciate this transparency. Makes one feel so comfortable in the knowledge that you know where, what you are eating, is coming from. Kudos!

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Seasonal and local produce is what LPQ is promoting with a vengeance. And I love that concept of  Think local, Be Global.

The new menu has 50% new inclusions. There is a sumptuous breakfast and brunch, all day meals which include  drinks, soups, salads, tartines, main course and of course desserts.

A whole new section of set breakfasts- The Farmer, The Angler, The Desi and The Botanist, have been introduced with something for everyone’s palate, uniquely presented in an LPQ-way. I am definitely coming back to try this.

Long-standing favorites are still on the menu, including the famous Belgian Waffle, Eggs Benedict, the signature Smoked Chicken & Cheddar Tartine, The Cobb Salad, Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli or Chicken Stroganoff.

The new menu has a special focus on vegetarian and botanical (or vegan) offerings.  More than before, shall I say. But of course, there’s a lot for carnivores too.

We sipped our Green Juice with kale, green apple, celery, lemon & ginger and I have never enjoyed a fresh juice more. Tangy, tart, spicy, sweet, it was a medley of all this and more.  One could taste each ingredient. Rejuvenated me instantly.

Our Detox Salad with mixed sprouts, red cabbage, kale, carrot, red spinach and chia seeds came next.  A visual delight for sure. Normally, I would have perceived this to be boring and insipid. But I was proven wrong.  It was delicious  and the fresh ingredients, the crunch and the bite that it offered in abundance, got this one, my vote instantly. And yes, I  certainly got that boost and  my vitamins for the day.

The sharing platter- Botanical left me speechless. The oven roasted tomato tapenade was luscious and teased my palate no end. Paired well with the in-house rye bread.  The quinoa scramble was an absolute treat. The black olive tapenade and the exotic veggies were great too. It was difficult to hold oneself back and we nearly polished off the entire platter.

The Salmon and ricotta Tartines (open bread sandwiches) struck me as unique. The salmon was of the highest quality and completely melt in the mouth slices. The layer of cheese on it enhanced the flavour by adding the right amount of zest to it.

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The Omega 3 Avocado Mash Tartine  is a new addition and one you should not miss. Creamy and flavourful, there is a burst of flavours in one’s mouth.

 

In the main course, the Kasundi Mustard Basa with the red rice risotto swept me off my feet. The otherwise, insipid and flavourless Basa had been perked up beyond imagination with the mustard and the subtle spices. The well made risotto complimented it to perfection.

Basa

 

Each dish surpassed my expectations and Chef Amit had proven his culinary magic yet again.

Decadent desserts are on offer. Be it the new entries,  Baba au Rum or the Belgian Chocolate &Cacao Cake or the all time favorite Soft-Centred Chocolate Cake and Apple Crumble with vanilla ice cream.

We were asked to try the Belgian chocolate & cacao cake and it was the perfect recommendation. Rich, gooey, melt in the mouth chocolate in a soft, well-baked cake. This was pure sin. The peach and almond pie was equally a delight in a crunchy crust base with a soft and creamy topping.

 

Alain Coumont, the Belgian chef and restaurateur, and founder of Le Pain Quotidien has lots to be proud of.

I had one of my best dining experiences at LPQ BKC, Mumbai in a  long time.

Rating: 4.5/5

Bring on the Bagels: Bagelwala

Bandra has always had some of the best eateries in Mumbai and the addition of Bagelwala has enhanced the dining pleasure of gourmets. Behind Tarun Tahiliani’s outlet off Turner Road Bandra lies Bagelwala, a cosy, casual, sit-in café and diner that specializes in fresh, hand-rolled, ‘authentic New York style’ bagels.

 

Must confess had the real bagels after really long, as I bit into my Smoked Herb chicken bagel. Warm, of the right consistency, the luscious bagel with the filling, just melt in my mouth. They have been relentlessly experimenting for months to get their bagels right. The tangy sundried tomato chicken bagel that we tried, was equally a delight. The banana walnut cake slice was yummy and so reminiscent of home-made simple cakes. The home made lemonade was fresh. Only the Cappuccino was disappointing. Milky, sans any coffee taste. That could do much better. 

There’s exotic stuff for vegetarians too. Avocado, spinach, et all and of course a great pick of cold cut bagels including Turkey.

A bagel is a bread product, traditionally rolled by hand into the form of a ring. It is customarily topped with poppy or sesame seeds and served with cream cheese. A bit like our Kankon from Goa?

At Bagelwala, the bagels are fresh and hand-rolled. What’s more, they make their very own cream cheeses (plain and flavoured) and accompanying sauces! Bagelwala serves breakfast too and does a home delivery of 13 bagels and 250 gms of cream cheese for Rs 900 anywhere in Mumbai. But yes, am not sure if the Bagels are value- for-money, as one bagel is not too  filling. Or maybe it’s the original stuff that one is paying a premium for?

There is self service so you cannot expect anyone to wait upon you. The bagels are good and the place cute and warm. Definitely worth checking out.