Tag Archives: QSR

An Interesting Mex-Asian Experience: Kurries & Burries

It is not too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year is it? So, Happy New Year everyone. Have a gourmetastic 2015!

I began my year by visiting a cute, no-frills, QSR Kurries & Burries in South Mumbai near Wilson College.The sincerity and earnest effort of the Proprietor Kushal Todi has got to be lauded. Under his mother’s guidance (who is a great cook) he has started this initiative. Kudos!

The menu is exhaustive and this Café Mex-Asian serves interesting Mexican and Asian food. And all vegetarian. Quite a challenge, but one that is met adeptly by Kushal. A lot of the items on the menu can easily be served as Jain dishes too.

One can look forward to relishing Mexican, Thai, Burmese, Oriental and Chinese food, at pocket-friendly prices. We began with the flavourful Mexican soup made with Mexican beans. The spice element added the right amount of zing to it and the creamy texture was perfect. A good beginning. The crackling spinach with paneer which Kushal recommended was different. Only the paneer pieces were too generous and filled the mouth, with the spinach getting lost somewhere. Else the concept was exceptional, I thought.

Kurries & Burries - Naked Burrito

The Mexican Mex-wich was filling. The mexican beans, cheese sauce, sour cream and salsa teased our palates. A bit too heavy but completely value for money. Sandwiches, Wraps, Noodles, Rice, an array of Mexican dishes. This place has them all. Oodles of paneer, baby corn items on the menu. A vegetarian could not ask for more.

The Indian touch in the food is unmistakable but unpretentious too. K&B is very affordably pried and is bound to be a haven for college students and office goers. It has a visit ratio of 2 – 2.5 times as compared to any other food eatery at the same cost. The platters are an excellent way to try out a lot more.

I was skeptical about a vegetarian Khow suey but it turned out to be good. Authentic flavours and great toppings. And the coconut milk was not overpowering. We enjoyed it. The chef is obviously good.The ingredients are of a good quality and fresh too.

The dessert – Mexican sweet cup was disappointing. Very grainy and synthetic. Maybe we should have tried the chocolate nachos instead. Maybe next time?

Overall a place for good food, but personally, am not a great fan of Mexican food and hence would not dream of mixing it with Asian, my fav cuisine for sure.

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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.

Worth Going To This Panda!

I really relish Oriental/ Pan Asian food and in the area where I live there is a serious dearth of restaurants/QSRs serving this cuisine. So naturally, when Go Panda, a QSR serving Oriental fare opened on the Lokhandwala bridge, I was delighted.

We trooped in on weekday night for dinner. As expected, the place was simple, a few tables and chairs outside, and a couple of high chairs and a bar style seating inside. What struck me was the glass facade to the kitchen, which allows you to peek inside. Scrupulously clean kitchen and well dressed staff handling food in a hygienic manner. I was thrilled.

To my utter delight, Nikhil, one of the founder Directors informed me that the food did not contain any MSG. I was relieved beyond words as am severely allergic to it and absolutely abhor places which use it.

Wonton Soup

Chicken steamed momos and chicken Phathimlai, were the starters we settled for and good ol’ Man chow soup. We were in for a pleasant surprise. The soup was delicious. Not the usual Man chow with oodles of vinegar and left-over chicken mince. The flavours were well balanced and it was tangy but not tart. Soulful. The momos had a delicate covering but again not the usual sticky ones. The filling too was generous and tasty.Full marks. The Phathimlai appeared a a bit salty, initially, because of the sauces but was palate-tickling alright. The chicken pieces were succulent and swathed in the spicy sauces. Absolutely loved it.

The food comes in attractive boxes. I love this as it enables you to eat on the go too and is hygienic too. Glad this trend is catching on in India.

“We thought this is the right time to launch something like Go Panda and our vision is to be the best Pan Asian cuisine quick service restaurant. We aim at providing our customers a smart, easy—to-follow menu, consistent quality, quick delivery and seeing every customer smile,” Sachet informed us.

Chilli Oyster Pot Rice- Chicken and Honeyed Chilli chicken Pot rice was what Sachet, the other Director recommended and we went along. These could not have been better selections. The earthen pots in which these are served are appealing and enable the food to remain warm longer. We could not put our forks down. The honeyed chilli chicken was crisp and had a delectable sweet spicy taste. It complimented the rice perfectly. The chilli oyster sauce was made in house and was lip-smacking with robust flavours. It enveloped our palate completely and left us craving for more.

The portions are generous and value-for-money. The ingredients appear to be of high quality and fresh.

Since they have just opened, their desserts section was not available and the Panda cooler(drink) too was not on offer yet. What caught my eye on the menu are the loaded sandwiches section. Sloppy Joe with Lamb, Grilled chicken with Ham n cheese sounded exciting. Got to try those soon. what’s more they have Panda combos too and affordably priced at that.

Phathimlai Potato

The menu offers chicken, lamb, sea food and vegetarian fare. Burmese Khow Suey and Malaysian Korma with rice are two fairly uncommon inclusions, on their menu as part of their signature meals. Next on my list.

Go Panda is definitely worth trying out. It is bound to become a habit for Pan Asian food lovers like me. The luscious flavours are already beckoning me. Tonight maybe?

Dunkin’ Donuts & more…. is Finally Here!

I have waited for ages for this favourite donut brand of mine to enter India and then, my city Mumbai. Today is finally the day when it is here. There is one outlet in Khar on Linking Road and another in Phoenix Marketcity Kurla. My excitement knew no bounds.Even more intriguing was the invite which said an experiential workshop. I was all set.

But what I experienced over two hours clearly surpassed my expectations. Both in terms of the information shared and of course the Dunkin’ Donuts & more experience.

Their 29 th outlet in India. That really is quite a lot. But I was never initiated into what goes behind the food and beverage planning here. And that was enlightening. Dev Amritesh, President & COO, painstakingly and interestingly took us through a broad but detailed overview. I liked the fact that this brand is intentionally imperfect, twisted, bipolar if you like in its F&B offerings. Adds that element of fun to it. Normal is boring after all.

Chef Pedro D’mello and Chef Felix filled us in on the food & beverages respectively. The Heaven can wait burger stole my heart. What a perfect way to juxtapose flavours, textures through usage of ingredients. Sumptuous and filling. The burger bun was unique. Not the usual sesame seed sad bun we normally get. The bread had a ciabatta feel to it. Wholesome and flavourful. And of course the Tough Guy burger transports you to another gastronomical world altogether.

The newly launched Wicked wrap was a delight too. Wicked it sure was as there was an interesting contrast of flavours teasing and tantalising the taste buds. The succulent chicken, with the crispy nachos, soft jalapenos were married together beautifully. And yet were so distinct.

 

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Equally heart warming was the cappucino. Aromatic, robust, complex and spicy. Yes it had peppery notes to it. Had the perfect cuppa after a long time.  And of course the Stirr’accino is a treat for the eyes and the palate. The spiked ice tea was as refreshing as it was meant to be. The mace, cloves, star anise and cinnamon played their parts to perfection in lending this drink just the right zing.

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What do I say about the signature donuts? I simply love those. But prefer mine a wee bit warm. Not at room temperature, as many do. Death by Chocolate and Alive by chocolate are my all time favourites. When not in the mood for a chocolate one, try the classic cinnamon one. for fruit lovers, strawberry double delight and very very blueberry are great options too.

Had the most wonderful afternoon. There is something for everyone. Value for money, it is worth a visit. I cannot wait to go back again.

 

Taste bhi health bhi…. : Torrp-it-up Review

Torrp-it-up  has been around for a while but somehow never caught my eye. From Link Road it moved to Lokhandwala  Andheri West and now seems to be a hot-spot. A QSR brand by SGM Enterprises, it is a venture of Mittal Builders.

The Manager at the outlet has a pleasing and affable manner. He patiently explained the difference between torrp and tartine and then took my order. Wraps of course I was not interested in.

Chicken Herb garlic Torrp in a multigrain bread is what I settled for. It was crunchy and delicious. The first bite itself, made me realise, I was going to relish my meal. The torrp was well -grilled and the tangy olives with the chicken, along with numerous veggies were a great combination. The meal made me feel healthy.  The other torrps in the signature section included, CBLT, Chicken Pesto and the International ones were tuna, grilled chicken and so on. Vegetarians have lots to choose from as well. Tofy, aloo, soya, they have them all. One can have any of these as wraps too.

Tartine copy

 

The Tartine or open sandwiches, looked inviting too. Paneer, chicken tikka, chicken Mexican were some of the options.  For the health conscious, there are salads and soups to choose from and the soup changes daily.

I sipped an Ices tea instead of a cold coffee which was on offer too. The desserts include a Christmas cake now, and a chocolate brownie and chocolate volcano. There are several combo meals to choose from. They are open for breakfast too and that is really tempting and rare in  Mumbai. The egg torrp should be worth a try am sure.

Prateek Mittal- MD of S.G. Mittal Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. after completing his education in the UK 5 years ago, returned to India and being a major food connoisseur he then decided to venture into the F&B industry 3 years ago with the launch of Torrp-it-Up. His vision is to have multiple QSR brands under his banner over the next few years and soon further expand deeper in the F&B industry. If this is any indication to go by, then he is bound to be successful in the F&B business too.

The place is affordably priced and owing to a unique self service QSR concept, where customers are offered the ability to custom-make their own meal, it is a delight to visit.

 

 

A Fishy Affair

Hardcore seafood lovers, we were excited beyond words as we made our way to the leading Seafood Company, Cambay Tiger’s ‘Fisheteria’, India’s only Seafood Quick Service Restaurant, at the Food court,  Infinity Mall, Malad.

The juicy and succulent prawns in the Prawn Torpedo, provided an unmatched gourmet experience. It as a perfect beginning. The crust was fried to perfection. Grilled fish n chips was a let down. The spices were overpowering and drowned the flavours of the fish completely. We were in for a surprise with the Prawn paratha. Delectable with a prawns balchaoish filling, it stole our hearts. A must-try. It is a steal at Rs 80. Trust me you will never head for a chicken roll again.

The quality of the fish and prawns in each dish struck me as outstanding. And the Director, young Shivam Gupta is absolutely clear about that. “No compromise on the quality, we will serve only the best.” he gushes.

The Prawn and Fish burgers too are a treat, especially after the usual Fillet o fish one is used to. A batter fried fish and chips are also on the menu, but it is not the English version. A mouthful of soft fillet envelopes your taste buds, as you bite into it. The crust too is spicy and pairs well with the unusual dips.  Prawn crackers, French fries, fish fingers. You can taste them all.  And if you’re thirsty, there are interesting pomegranate and green apple lemonades too. A lot if imagination has gone into the menu.

It is truly an affordable place and a haven for sea food lovers. Check it out. I can’t wait to go back for more.

 

Fisheteria also has a presence at Infinity Mall-Andheri, HyperCity-Malad and R Mall-Ghatkopar.