Tag Archives: relax

Of Teas and Treats

I felt like royalty on Friday evening last, as I sat at the Atrium Lounge at Taj Lands End Bandra, Mumbai sipping an aromatic  cup of Kenilworth Estates Midgrown and bit into a dainty chorizo sandwich and a creamy fruit tart.

Making Afternoon Tea a highly fashionable beverage, Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza brought the royal court’s favourite drink to Mumbai in myriad flavors and aromas. And Taj Lands End is celebrating that.

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Delving into the rich cultural traditions of the Western suburb of Bandra, replete with historical anecdotes, the Atrium Lounge at Taj Lands End recreates the family ritual of a rendezvous over a cup of tea.

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Chef Namit guided us to the buffet spread of the Hi Tea. Dainty sandwiches, freshly baked scones, Bebinca, the quintessential Portuguese dessert, Lamb croquette, custard tarts,  Bolo-d-arro – Rice and coconut muffin, Queijo Fresco – cream cheese tartlets, Chicken Cafreal Buns, Bifanas and a lot more,  were aesthetically laid out on the table. Oh! what a treat for the eyes and palate this was.

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I was glad that some Hotel in the city had taken the initiative to revive the fashionable afternoon tea. After all, from where I come, Kolkata, sipping tea in Bone china tea ware at 4 pm is indeed a way of life. To relax, enjoy your cuppa and chat, is a luxury, this fast-paced city of Mumbai is devoid of, but something we all need to indulge in, sometimes, if not daily.

Anirudhya Roy, Executive Chef, Taj Lands End said, “The most quintessential of customs observed by Bandraites have been acquired by the Portugal and European traditions. Inspired by the ceremonious means of enjoying a good time with family and friends, we have introduced a lavish menu of teas and delectable treats to make afternoons a memorable time of the day. ”

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An array of well brewed teas were on offer, apart from the delectable finger food and desserts, all faithfully representing Bandra and its rich heritage. The service was as always, impeccable and I loved the fact that interesting stories and bits of relatively unknown information was being shared, as we sat back and enjoyed our Hi Tea.

What elevated the tea experience further was Taj Lands End’s  association with Kulture Shop which showcased iconic pieces of art, at Atrium Lounge. Art and Afternoon Tea? I was actually transported to another era.

Affordably priced, given the variety and quality of food and teas on offer, this Bandra Hi Tea at Atrium Lounge is worth giving up your work for.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

All Things Good : good co.

I can never refuse a coffee invitation. Well, almost never. So when I was asked to check out Good Co. The Australian coffee chain, which is now in Mumbai, I gladly accepted.

A simple but elegant, no-fuss coffee joint on the versova- Juhu Link Road greeted me. The cosy and quiet ambience instantly appealed to me. Light meals, sandwiches, pastas, lasagne, puffs, this place seemed to have it all, apart from an exhaustive selection of coffees and teas.

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I opted for the Masala Roast chicken sandwich. That was a bit of a disappointment. Too much of capsicum and spices, masked the flavour of the roast chicken. But the sandwich was grilled to perfection. The Chicken Lasagna was a delight. Perfectly layered and the mince was lip-smacking. There’s a vegetarian version too.

I sipped my cappuccino with an Irish coffee syrup. Strong flavoured, but aromatic and just what I needed to wake me up. There are the usual latte, mocha, flat white, Americano and so on to cater to every coffee-lover’s palate.

My friend tried the Hot chocolate, which Good co. Is known for.  The first sip and her expression said it all. Delightful obviously.

We rounded off our meal with a Chocolate marble brownie. And we were in for a surprise. The brownie, unlike what is generally passed off as a brownie in this city, was the real thing. Moist, yet dry and the top layer was baked well with a crispy texture. The dark chocolate punctuated with the white chocolate, made it just right, tempering the sweetness. It was truly delectable.

 

For those who prefer cold beverages, iced teas, cold coffees and granitas galore are on offer. And tea lovers can enjoy great blends at leisure –English breakfast, Fruits of Eden, Malabar chai, Peppermint, Honeydew green.

The dessert section is pure sin. Muffins, Belgian waffles, chocolate fondue, sundaes, Sydney chocolate slice, blueberry mousse, red velvet cake, It spoils you for choice.

A great place to relax with friends or even spend time writing or reading. Am going back for some “me” time soon.

Swing at Copa !

If you’re in a mood to have a good time and relax over a drink or two and some good bites, head straight to Copa in Juhu. The ambience and decor relaxes you immediately.

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I have never had so much fun being a teetotaller as at Copa, for there are so many interesting mocktails to choose from. I settled for the apple pie infused tea, while my companion opted for a ginger-spiked apple and pear muddle. Refreshing was the only word to describe the two drinks. We were energized and enjoyed the lovely music that was playing. The outdoor tables enhance the appeal of the place. Of course for those who drink, spirits, wines and exciting cocktails galore are on offer.

Tequila prawns with Jalapeno glaze seemed the perfect way to start our evening. The flavour was delectable and the prawns succulent and juicy. The Greek souvlaki pockets with chicken were a real treat. Little pita pockets filled with tasty chicken pieces were well made.

 

Gaurav Dabrai, the owner,  has clearly succeeded in creating a lovely place for all age groups. Chic and elegant, it is informal and fun too. Burgers, Pizza, kebabs, sandwiches, wraps, there is a fair amount of food options. So, one cannot complain. And there are enough options for vegetarians as well. Ragda pattice, paneer steak, peri peri aloo tikki, mushroom n cheese seekh.

Chicken Alfredo pizza cam next. It was insipid and more like a cheese toast doused with excess cheese and thus very disappointing. But the kung pao Chicken wrap more than compensated for it, with its robust and spicy flavours.

Copa is the ideal place to unwind and hang out with friends or family. You are left alone and the service is unobtrusive. Affordably priced, it is appealing to every pocket. Let’s raise a Copa, to that. Oops! I meant a glass in Spanish!