Tag Archives: music

Cosy Interiors and comforting flavours

It is not often that one hears of a new standalone restaurant in Thane except the ones that open in Shopping Malls. Naturally then, this one in Wagle Estate intrigued me. Add to that the name. Covert Cafe. Whew! my excitement got the better of me and I landed there one afternoon.

In a quiet lane, in an industrial building, the striking blue facade with Covert Cafe in bold white letters greeted me. This place gave me the feel of a pub located in the countryside in the US.

Once inside, I was impressed with the way the space had been utilised to the optimum. There was ample seating on the ground floor with space in between tables and some more upstairs on a mezzanine floor. The decor typically industrial, was avant garde but not too funky. The seating was extremely comfortable.

20170911_134703

This place definitely catered to all age groups but yes, the hipster crowd would love it given the DJ console on the top, which meant, good music in the evenings.

The menu spelt comfort from word go. The dishes were familiar yet, boated of unique twists. I was impressed to see that there were two separate menus for the day and the night.

20170911_143135

My tomato omelette arrived. Very besan cheela-eque but home-style and just the way I love it. The Melanzane parmigiana took me by surprise. It was well-made and absolutely classic all the way.

But what got my vote instantly was the mutton sizzler. A delectable home-made mutton curry with noodles and french fries, was any gourmand’s answer to a good meal. Well-spiced, offering an array of textures and a myriad flavours. This one was truly lip-smacking.

20170911_141340

The chicken biryani, aromatic and flavourful arrived in a small and cute pressure cooker. I liked the fact that none of the dishes here were gimmicky. The ingredients were the sole heroes.

The menu offers salads, pastas, soups. quick meals and even fun sides that one may want to indulge in. For those seeking a quick hassle-free lunch there is moong dal khichadi and chicken curry with chapatti too. The breakfast section on the menu caught my attention as the egg dishes, pancakes and hash brown seemed inviting.

20170911_140228

The evening menu has been designed with drinks in mind so the offerings are apt, yet filling.

The food here struck me as simple, with clean flavours, cooked home-style and the variety tremendous. It is the kind of place where one can sit and sip a latte and work during the day, dine with the family or party with friends.

I rounded off a great meal with an even greater dessert- grilled pineapple with ice cream. The pineapple was well-marinated with spices and grilled to perfection. It teased my taste buds endlessly and left me craving for more. No, for once I did not miss the customary chocolate dessert.

I was glad I had discovered this ‘covert’ cafe.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Sunday Fiesta :Of Cartoons & Comics

It is not often that you get to relive your fun-filled childhood days. But I was lucky enough to do so last Sunday. The Cartoon Themed Sunday Brunch at Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport, Andheri East, presented me with the perfect opportunity.

The festival has already begun, and is being celebrated every Sunday in the form of an extravagant Sunday brunch. It will feature a new superhero/cartoon series theme every two Sundays. Batman, Superman, Harry Potter, Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo; name your favorite DC Comics or Cartoon Network character and it could be featured at India’s first and only official DC Comics (DC) & Cartoon Network (CN) Brunch.

IMG_20160731_133510

There was merriment galore as the place was buzzing with excited kids, having fun with themed cupcakes, pastas, pizzas, and more as well as the entertainment from Flubber Martin, face painting, magic shows, music, contests et al. It was almost a fete.

20160731_140300

The child in me surfaced involuntarily, as I went and enjoyed myself at the various counters as I watched kids whiz past, enjoying themselves.

The chefs at Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai have  toiled relentlessly and researched and created authentic menus in keeping with those characters,  that children love. And there is so much to choose from – Scooby’s snacks or his XXL sandwiches, Dexter’s scientific experiments, Harry Potter’s dinner at Hogwarts or Flintstone’s famous roast, Tom & Jerry’s cheese.

20160731_134348

Says Executive Chef Suresh Thampy, “We didn’t want to limit ourselves to character-shaped food. Hence, we studied every character, superhero and cartoon series to find their likes, dislikes, favorite foods and more. The food served on the festival’s brunch buffet will have this research as its major influence.”

IMG_20160731_134127

The food was a vast spread with pastas, burgers, pizza, mains, grills, desserts galore.  The chefs were also preparing dishes a la minute at the live counters which were equally a delight to watch.

The dessert counter with attractive Tom & Jerry themed desserts was enough to get any child hooked. I too unabashedly indulged. My guilty pleasures these.

20160731_134146

 

 

Whether or not you have kids, if you are a fan of these comics and the characters and enjoy good food and a lively atmosphere, head to the Mo Mo Cafe one of these Sundays.

I had the time of my life last Sunday.

Here’s the complete schedule:

July 03 & 10, 2016 – Batman

July 17 & 24, 2016 – Ben10

July 31 & August 7, 2016 – Tom & Jerry

August 14 & 21, 2016 – Harry Potter

August 28 & September 4, 2016 – Dexter

September 11 & 18, 2016 – Scooby Doo

September 25 & October 2, 2016 – Superman

October 9 & 16, 2016 – The Flintstones

Watch out For This Treesome!

The Treesome Cafe in Andheri West, Mumbai definitely looked like a cool and happening place an was abuzz with people on Friday night as we stepped in. The outer portion was distinctly reminiscent of TLD. Yet the decor was totally different. We opted for a table inside.

The funky names and the interesting descriptions in the menu immediately caught my eye. Cupcake Shrooms aka mushrooms stuffed with cottage cheese, chilli and sundried tomatoes served just like sweet cupcakes. Cute to look at and delicious as well but a lil’ impractical to handle and eat. They were so wobbly that the lower portion would just fall apart.  I even shared this with the chef and he agreed. We sipped our Orange Lemon grass coolers which were heavy on orange juice but the lemongrass was conspicuous by its absence. Refreshing nevertheless.

The Big Mezze with hummus, babaganoush, persian falafel, pita bread, et al was a gastronomic delight. Luscious flavours and interesting textures all in the same platter. The babganoush surprisingly got full marks as normally I am not a brinjal fan, Was well made indeed. The cous cous salad too was unique but the persian falafels did not impress me too much.

Foot tapping music, audible but not noisy was playing and enhanced the charm of the place. I loved the platters on which the food was served.

I loved the dish Gabar Singh, spinach, chill and cheese crostini, although I did not try those. Chicken Gangnam syle- the Korean grilled chicken was a complete washout as far as I was concerned. Though stylishly served in glasses, the texture of the chicken was too mushy, as if excessively marinated.

Chicken Gangnam Style

Bokiba – the Maldivian fish cakes were unique and well made. Reminded me instantly of the fish balls one eats in Singapore. The sundried tomato chutney too was delectable. A good offering, I thought.

The Chef is certainly creative and well travelled. The menu though limited has enough variety. The place is obviously meant to entice drinkers and it sure does. Food is secondary, yet not a run of the mill stuff.

1405698631899

For those who are still hungry, burgers, pizza and main course choices abound. We settled to share a Butter chicken Risotto as frankly I have always eaten only the Italian ones. This sounded out of the ordinary. It surpassed our expectations. Well made, it was creamy and had the spicy chicken integrated well into the risotto and a grilled piece was served along side too. Pretty innovative! There was Lal Masala fish, Chicken Cafreal, Penne Vodka and much more to choose from. I know a place like this need not have dessert on their menu but I sorely missed it.

It was a Friday night so they could be excused, but the service was a bit confused. But the quality of the food and drinks served is excellent, innovative and the place is pulsating and fun.

 

Foot-Tap(ping) Music, Disappointing Fare…..

After SBX Sports Bar at Bhandup, being a huge let down, I walked into TAP, a sports bar from the China Gate group on Link Road Andheri with baited breath.

The place looked snazzy, pulsating with music and sufficiently crowded for a Sunday night. The screens projected the FIFA World cup matches and the sports accessories and bric-a-brac matched to boot.  The mood and ambience were clearly reminiscent of a sports bar. On the right track I thought.

IMG_6789

The service staff was lost. Too many of them running around in circles, but not really attentive to a guests’ needs. After catching the eye of one of them, we ordered our mocktails.  We opted for an Orange Flute and Melon Ball. Both the drinks to our dismay were cloyingly sweet. Not as refreshing as I would have liked mine to be.

The menu seems exhaustive- Mexican, Indian, Italian, Chinese. They have everything on offer. Yet, it is not too appealing for some reason. Too much choice maybe?

Mole Polo a chicken dish arrived as our first starter. Roasted cubes of chicken in a mole sauce – red or green.  That ‘s what the description stated.  But sadly, no one asked us our preference. We were served the red one. The chicken pieces were chewy and almost tasted insipid. The sauce, a trifle better,  did nothing to enhance the flavour. A real dampener.

The Pablano Grilled Fish was relatively better. At least it was well marinated and tingled our taste buds to some extent.

We were keen to try the Butterfly Prawns but were suggested Paprika Prawns Tonga instead. A poor mish mash of chicken and prawns, the dish did justice to neither. The chicken pieces completely overpowered the prawns flavour, resulting in a not- so exciting dish.

To play it safe we opted for a Mexican cowboy salad. Not much scope to go wrong there. Decent fare but nothing to salvage our lost taste buds. We decided to skip the main course completely.

The vibe and energy of the place is infectious and the music foot-tapping, albeit a bit loud as the hours tick by. A good mix of sports and entertainment, TAP is the perfect place to relax and unwind with friends and family but the food and service need to be stepped up for sure.

 

A Celebration of all things Irish !

Irish House may keep opening outlets across the city of Mumbai, but each one continues to surprise you and has an aura of mystique about it. Stepping into one, never tires me. I was as gung-ho about exploring the Andheri West outlet, as I was when I had been to the first one in Lower Parel, several aeons ago.

JMP_1213_F-2

The characterstic décor and ambience greeted us. Teeming with people, this place was pulsating.  It seemed oh-so! Familiar and yet new. Loved it from word go.

Once seated, we settled for Drunken mushrooms. These oven roasted infused with tequila, topped with spinach, goat cheese n parmesan were the perfect beginning. Absolutely melt-in-the-mouth and with an array of flavours and textures in one dish. we were ready for the evening.

As I sipped my refreshing Kiwi & Lime Iced tea, I bit into the Wasabi japonica – rock shrimp tossed in wasabi mayo. Ooh! I was in for a huge disappointment. Gooey, doused in mayo, the shrimps had lost their taste, texture and flavour completely. Luckily the Irish Sergeant potato skins came to our rescue and revived our taste buds. The cheesy potato skins with corn, were familiar to my palate and I realised those were such a safe bet.

Goat cheese salad came next. Warm goat cheese with kalamata olives, goat cheese, plum tomatoes n parmesan croutons, salads are  my comfort food anyway and this one too proved to be just that. The crunchy salad with the tangy olives, soft creamy goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette teased our taste buds sufficiently. My palate was cleansed and ready for the next dish.

Traditional stuffed chicken in a pastry shell served with a rosemary merlot sauce indeed ended up being “our” chicken dish that evening and we were floored with it. Baked to perfection, the crispy pastry shell was an ideal complement to the chicken and the sauce added the right amount of flourish. We decided to share it as it seemed too big to relish alone. It was a sensible decision. After all the dark bottom Kahlua verrine was waiting for us. A treat for the taste buds, it was sinful as expected but not cloyingly sweet. A bit heady too, but just the right flavours. A winning combination.

The menu of course is exhaustive with typical favourites like Smokie’s Lamb pie, hearty burgers, Fish n chips, Hunter’s penne et al. Each dish is value for money, robust and filling. That’s what appeals to me about Irish House.

MINI-BURGERS

The sight of young people guzzling draught beers and enjoying themselves is common. Adds to the ambience actually.

All in all, a great evening, with foot-tapping music, refreshing drinks and delicious food. I want to go back soon!

 

 

Boveda: Treasure Trove of food, drinks & music……

One does not need to hop to Lower Parel or Bandra anymore to have fun. The newly opened Restobar Boveda, is enticing enough to linger in Andheri West.

Tucked away in a quiet lane off New Link Road, there is something enigmatic about Boveda. Perhaps, it lives up to its name meaning “the vault” in Spanish. As you step in, the exposed bricks, rustic interiors and unique lighting, intrigue you. A typical lounge, and yet, so different. Yasho Sonthalia and Abhishek Goyal, the two young partners, instrumental in setting up Boveda have obviously succeeded in their objective. A labour of love and toil, it is. Their passion is infectious. 

The spaciousness bowls me over completely. I am not a fan of crowded places, cringing for space.

Even before we look at the menu, the music draws us. It is soulful and foot-tapping and yet not noisy. We love it. The drinks menu is eclectic. Great cocktails, beers and wines. In short, everything to lure a youngster.  

 

Batter Fried Squid

The finger food menu is distinctly Euro-American.  Spanish, Mexican and American dishes dominate. Limited, yet varied enough. The spiced paprika chicken suggested to us, proves to be a delightful way to begin. Served with mint mayo, it teases our palate to perfection. 

The herbed croquettes, are so reminiscent of the Goan ones, we have at home. Delectable, mince filling with herbs and cheese. The flavours are luscious and the portions, value-for-money. The Goan sausage mesh was an interesting idea and we, being Goans, enjoyed it.

The thin crust Chicken Manchurian pizza and the smoked cheese & spinach pizza, which we opt for in half portions, further wow our palate. The spicy manchurian chicken, adds the right element of zing and the somewhat bland, yet tasty cheese and spinach balances the flavours.

Not too many options by way of dessert, yet the Tiramisu cheesecake and chocolate ganache tart seem perfect.  The chef has a great way of presenting the food as well as keeping flavours intact. Nothing is overpowering. 

Fuzzy Martini

Boveda is young and classy. It makes you feel at ease immediately and yet invites you to have fun. The drinks and food are the real attraction. Service could be a tad better, as the staff is a little inattentive.

On the whole, a place to watch out for. We are going back soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unplugg- Wine dine & retro Review

It can easily be missed, if you are not observant. Yet, to those who know Uncle’s Kitchen junction, in Malad, it is an address you can easily find. In fact it is a part of the Uncle’s Kitchen management.

Upon entering, the smoking section, puts you off at first, but climb the stairs and a nice seating area and bar awaits you. The view of the busy street in the evening is nice too. The music is an instant attraction. Peppy and vibrant, it has you tapping your feet in a jiffy. The menu is quite unusual. A lot of continental fare, pastas, pizzas and yes Indian food too.

The chicken steak with a red wine n pepper sauce, is exciting. Well done, it come with garlic flavoured mash potatoes, veggies. Equally unusual is the Chicken Hiberian, boneless chicken pieces in an interesting white sauce with herbs. You can have it with rice or with mashed potatoes. Rosemary chicken, a breast fillet with rosemary herb is delightful. The Indian fare is nothing to write home about. Other dishes include, Moussaka with chicken and layers of aubergine, a Korean barbecue chicken and so on. The meat and seafood section is also exhaustive.

The prices seem steep but once the dish arrives, you know it is value- for- money. The food is great, good service, plenty to choose from for those who drink. The music keeps you hooked and you linger long after you meal is over. A fun place and a haven for food-lovers. Check it out.