Tag Archives: foodtruck

South Indian Fare + Global Flavours = Kobri Food Truck

A restaurant on wheels is always a fun prospect to eat from. Of course extremely popular in the West, one does not see too many in India owing to licenses and permission problems, yet, thankfully, a few are mushrooming all over India. Delhi and NCR seem to be leading the way. I was lucky to sample the food from Kobri, a food truck parked at The Heritage Transport Museum, one afternoon, courtesy, Le Meridien Gurgaon.

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The menu for the day was on the blackboard outside the truck and the chefs lead by Rajneesh Kumar, Head Chef, Flavour Labs,  were chopping, mixing, preparing, frying at a frenetic pace. The excitement as building. South Indian fusion food is Kobri’s speciality. After all, Kobri means coconut in Kannada.

This unique food truck is part of a hospitality setup called Flavour Labs and was conceptualised in 2013 during the Stanford Business School’s Ignite program in Bangalore. Launched in October 2014, Kobri is based in Gurgaon and mostly caters to the larger NCR region, Rohan Rajgarhia, one of the partners informed me.

The founding team comprises of entrepreneurial professionals with a passion for incredible food experiences, who have backgrounds in hotels & hospitality, healthcare, corporate strategy, analytics, customer service; and academic/professional affiliations with Stanford, Cambridge, Harvard and IIT.

South Indian food is something most of us enjoy, but the fusion bit was the intriguing part. Spinach and mushroom in a white wine cream sauce topped with cheese and chilly flakes was what I settled for, in a wrap. I had made a good choice. The wrap was crisp and the filling generous. The medley of spinach and mushrooms was flavorsome and the white wine cream sauce, laced with cheese gave it a smooth texture, which led to a burst of flavours in my mouth. It was sumptuous, the veggies crunchy and affordably priced. All the prerequisites to make it work for office goers looking for a quick, filling and healthy lunch. Aaiyyo! Delectable stuff.

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The spiced mutton kababs served with salad greens and an apple and olive salsa were equally unique and interesting. However, I preferred them on idlis rather than in the wrap form.

Other options include Paneer with assorted peppers in a mild chettinad sauce and topped with salad greens, Crispy fish on a bed of beetroot and turnip roulade, served with in-house tartar sauce and fresh greens. I like the twist Chef Rajneesh has given to the dishes. The flavours are contemporary and global, appealing to all taste buds. Yet, if one is craving for a South Indian meal, these, satiate that urge too. The idli subs I thought were cute and yet, filling. With offerings ranging from Rs 140-180, food is an absolute steal.

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Apparently they have another truck called Hoppers that offers healthy comfort food. I can’t wait to try that on my next visit to Delhi and NCR. Alas! we need a Kobri in Mumbai too!

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Lunch Time ‘Ka Boom’ at Ballard Estate

If you are looking for a quick wholesome lunch with quality ingredients and affordable pricing, then Kaboom at Ballard Estate, the newest QSR, is the place to stop by. Recently started by Yohaan Dattoobhai, the place is a stationary food truck of sorts, offering you a new cuisine daily from Monday through Friday.

Tex Mex Salad

We ventured there on a Friday, expecting to savour American food, but were in for a surprise as the hospitable Yohaan, had very kindly put together a special menu for us to taste a dish each from all the five days. Our Pakchoy & Ramen salad arrived first. The fresh and green pakchoy was as crunchy as it could get. The ramen added to the texture. It was with a light salad dressing and helped us whip up an appetite for the rest of our meal.

The falafel sandwich took me by surprise, I expected a deep fried, tasteless falafel with a runny, spicy sauce and some veggies, but I was pleasantly surprised. The falafel was well spiced, fried to perfection and the accompaniments in the freshly prepared pita bread, made for a filling and delicious sandwich which made us feel healthy. The chef had obviously got it right from word go.

We could not help notice the packaging. All the food was served in containers, but these were not made of the usual thermocol. Instead, a lot of thought had gone into these. They were made of a superior biodegradable, material. What’s more, the name Kaboom was subtly embossed in a classy manner unlike the usual loud branding one is used to and thus ink free too. Impressive.

Yohaan is certainly doing his bit for the environment. The produce is sourced locally from those who believe in sustainable farming practices.

Pasta Pomodero Basilico with chicken meatballs from the Italian menu, was a meal by itself. The sauce was tangy and freshly made from tomatoes. The hint of basil and garlic was subtle yet, evident in the robust flavours. The chicken meatballs were well- made too, from in-house high quality mince. Absolutely delectable. Full marks here.

The chicken satay was a wee bit disappointing, as was the peanut sauce which was too pasty and almost resembled and tasted like peanut butter. The Veg Kaboom classic sandwich more than made up for this. It was healthiness personified with the ragi bread, almost negligible cheese and crunchy veggies. Loved it, but would have personally preferred a bit more cheese.

The chicken wings were a bit too vinegary for my palate. I preferred the veggie version any day.

What appealed to me the most is the fact that Kaboom offers a daily rotating menu with ‘Soi Tuk Tuk,’ South East Asian food served on Monday; ‘Easy Cheesy,’ European style cheese toasts on Tuesday; ‘Pazzo Pomodoro,’ Italian on Wednesday; ‘Haba Habibi,’ Middle Eastern on Thursday; and finally, ‘Fly High Ms. American Pie,’ American on Friday.  This variety allows the same consumer to return to the same place every day, but for a completely different culinary experience. No question of boredom setting in as each week too the menu differs, even if the cuisine is the same.

Corn soup with basil drizzle, goat cheese and smoked chicken sandwich, raw papaya salad, chicken penang curry, gnocchi with mushroom sauce are some of the highlights. What came across was that although your meal arrives quickly, each item on the menu is prepared with great care. The food is wholesome; with authentic flavours and fresh ingredients and lots for the vegetarians too. Not only can you savour authentic dishes that they offer but you can ask for the “apna style” option and have the chef tweak it to your taste and preference. Very flexible approach, I thought.

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Furthermore, one has an option to eat at the outlet or grab and go. It is also affordably priced, with dishes costing Rs. 200 and a full meal combo available at Rs. 350 (inclusive of taxes).

We enjoyed our meal thoroughly and cannot wait for more Kabooms to happen all over Mumbai. But some element of desserts and beverages would be really welcome on the menu.