Tag Archives: wellmade

Hop along for some Hoppers

Sri Lanka’s bowl shaped pancake- light, fluffy and delicious, is my new favourite. Quite similar to appams, hoppers are made with naturally fermented rice flour. They can be eaten sweet or savoury. A staple found primarily on every table in a Sri Lankan home.Of course, I first sampled it years ago when I went to Sri Lanka, and several time later at food festivals or five star hotels, but the novelty has not worn off. In fact, I am in love with these with renewed vigour. I prefer savoury ones any day.

Naturally then, I hopped over to Madeira and Mime, a new restaurant (opened 5 months ago) in Powai to sample some great hoppers. Known for their great food and drinks, I was sure I would get good ones here.And right I was!

The doughy centre and crisp edges with a filling in the centre, are enticing. And that’s exactly what was served to me here, one Hopper with chicken sukka and the other paneer makhani. There was a mutton version too, which I decided to skip.

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The highlight for me was the accompanying coconut pickle- spicy, well seasoned and with a great bite to it.

The hoppers were well-made, just the way they should be and the generous chicken sukka with an egg at the base made it even more delicious.The flavours of the chicken were lip-smacking and comforting. No spice was over powering and the pieces of chicken were succulent and well-meshed with the gravy. One could just roll it and bite into it effortlessly. The paneer makhani one which is obviously a twist in terms of the filling, was not so exciting, in comparison, but tasty nevertheless.

Made of rice flour and coconut milk, hopppers are light and pair well with just about anything. The slight sour flavour and a medley of textures is what sets these apart. Made in a special pan or appachatti, these are quite easy to make as well and quick too, but yes require a special skill.

Madeira and Mime is every bit your neighborhood bar offering unique drinks and delectable food along with great service by their always-smiling staff. I too left the palce smiling after having savoured palate-pleasing hoppers.

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Culinary Innovation At Its Best

Bubbles, vapours, air, unusual mixtures and textures, and more, is what I went expecting at lunch at Chemistry 101, the fun, gastro bar at Kamla Mills, Lower Parel; Mumbai. Of course I am all for the drama and excitement, molecular gastronomy brings along, provided it is done well. But alas! there was nothing dramatic or unwarranted here.

Cardiff based, Award winning Rosette AA Chef Stephen Gomes, obviously has got his food right. He may have played around with flavours and textures, but he knows them well and has  thus succeeded in creating a unique dining experience for his guests.

My lunch arrived. The menu was limited,  being a set menu, naturally. Yet, offered me sufficient options. Skipping lambs and prawns, we opted for butter chicken and shorshe bata mach. Being from Kolkata, this had to be tried. And again, for a Punjabi, Butter chicken cannot be missed. That is sacrilege.

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Vegetarians can opt for Veg Jaipuri with Cheese Foam or Kashmiri Dum Aloo with Ratanjot Foam or Paneer Makhani with Cream Foam or even Muttar methi malai with Cream Foam. Plenty of options. 

The chilled buttermilk ravioli, was gulped by us in a jiffy. I loved it. Size matters, yes, but this one albeit small, was potently refreshing and the perfect hors d’oeuvre.

The kiwi cooler was welcome, given the warm weather outside.

The kung fu paratha with egg, caviar rice, dal and butter chicken with sundried tomato foam were a part of my appetizing thali. Well-presented, these were a medley of colours, and yes, flavours and textures too, as I discovered in due course.

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The butter chicken, despite its avant garde presentation, was true to its flavours. The creaminess was unmistakable. A Punjabi can vouch for that. Equally flavoursome was the somewhat, mild, sosrshe bata mach, not as pungent as the original though.

The dal was well-spiced and tempered to perfection and had a home-style feel to it.  Just the way I love mine. The caviar rice was a treat for the eyes, colourful and attractive. Equally comforting to the palate with the dal.

The paratha, though sinful, was delicious and paired perfectly with the butter chicken.

What do I say about the khari biscuit ice cream with jalebi mousse? A spoonful, and I was sold out. A work of art and innovation. The astute manner in which the humble khari biscuit had been elevated and used in the ice cream, was praiseworthy. The not-so-sweet jalebi mousse was the exact contrast of the ice cream in flavour and textures. Together, they wowed my palate without a doubt.

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I had been procrastinating and finally paid a visit to this place. And I loved Chemistry 101.If a simple lunch was so good, the dinner with tapas et al will be even better am sure.

Affordably priced, this thali is a steal, given the quality of food, its presentation and portion sizes.

This place is worth making a beeline for lunch some day soon.

Rating : 4/5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Perfect Union of Food & Drinks

I am being candid when I say the name Reunion Bar & Kitchen seemed liked a strange combination to me and not very exciting too. But I was proven wrong.

The polite and unassuming owner, Mayur welcomed us and had us seated in the basement section. The place looked swanky, but a wee bit dimly lit for my liking.

The menu was exhaustive. Yes, drinks being the mainstay, naturally. The cocktails had interesting names and the concoctions, unique. Nevertheless, I headed to check out the food menu, which was why I was here.

I was taken aback. It was an exercise in choices. I had expected to see a few eats that compliment drinks and perhaps a few burgers, sandwiches et al. But I was in for a surprise.

The menu comprises appetizers like drunken chicken, Cornflakes Bhel, Aram ka vada pav, Crispy Macchhli as well as delectable fried food like Kalimirch Calamari, Bombil Fry, Tempura Fry, Kekda Pattice, etc. What’s more, they also offer lip smacking Indian options like Dal Khicdi, Chhole Khulcha, Rajma Chawal, Butter Chicken, etc. Whew! Stuff that Mumbaikars would instantly relate to.

Drunken chicken, their signature starter is what Mayur recommended. We had it in one shot, for that’s how it’s meant to be enjoyed. The alcohol was potent and yet, the chicken flavours were pronounced.  Perked up my taste buds immediately. Got my thumbs up instantly.

Even though we were engrossed talking, the whiff of the aromatic kekda pattice made us turn and look in that direction. The aroma was indeed overpowering and made us hungry. The cornflakes crust was crisp and well-fried and the crab filling, luscious. The perfect snack for a somewhat nippy afternoon and the fresh crabs made all the difference.

Not a great fan of vada pav, even though I am a Mumbaikar to the hilt, I relented and tasted the mini vada pav sliders. Yes, these were different. The yellow garlic butter  sauce was what lent it a unique flavour. Cleverly crafted, this one was.

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The spinach and mushroom bite-sized pita too had alluring flavours, but I felt that a better accompaniment would be a sour cream with herbs and spring onions, rather than the cheese sauce it came with.

I could not help saluting the chef for his innovative food and the quality as well. For a place like this, the menu and food quality had indeed bowled me over.

The butter chicken khichdi was well-spiced but not spicy and that appealed to me, but the conventional butter chicken creamy element was a tad less. But the keem pav which came next, compensated in ample measure. It was rustic, spicy and wow! Just the way a good keema should be. No gravy, no oil floating on the sides of the dish, yet, delicious. Full marks to the chef for getting this delicacy right in flavours and textures.

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The shahi tukda, one of my favourites, is what we rounded off our filling meal with. Well-made too. I loved the fact that the rabdi was light, in fact more like a badam milk and contained Baileys. And that’s what made the dessert unique. Of course, the bread was well-fried and generously dipped in the milk base. The Bailey’s could have been drizzled on top too.

For a food lover like me, the drinks here took a back seat as the food offered, is varied and unique.  Clearly a lot of thought and planning has gone into the menu.

With hearty food at affordable prices and exciting beers, cocktails, mocktails and more, this place will surely become a hub for reunion with friends.