Friday, October 28, 2011

La Dolce Vita

Review: Mezzo Mezzo

Yes Culinary Muse has been living La Dolce Vita or the Good Life lately. It almost like Fergie singing G.L.A.M.O.U.R.O.U.S in the background! She has dining (and wining) at Mumbai’s finest places! And the latest to join her list is the celebrity Italian Restorante at JW Marriott – Mezzo Mezzo.

With it’ dim (read: close to nil lighting) and wooden flooring (that went tock tock with her heals), you’d believe you are on the sets of God Father with the mysterious music playing in the background et all.

As for the food, here goes Culinary Muse’ take
 Citrus & Herb Marinated Alaskan Sea Scallops

Picolli Morsi or as they say Small bites  -  We started with the Citrus & Herb Marinated Alaskan Sea Scallops – juicy chunks of the fish marinated in this divine herb and zesty limoncello -  tasted just beautiful. The next Proscuitto San Danielle – Shaved Parma Ham with Warm Buffalo Mozzarella – the rusty saltiness of the parma ham combined with slightly bland mozrella was amazing. Then was the Pizza Biance Con Rucola – a delicious pizza sans any tomato sauce just Mozrella and Cream topped with the picante taste of rocket salad – brilliant again (Check out Chefs Corner for the Recipe & World Cafe for more about the dish). Not thats what I call exotic yet tasty. Who would say that Italian food is bland.

Proscuitto San Danielle

Wine - Alessandro Comin, Maitre D'Hotel suggested we pair this course  with Wine Zardetto Procesco Brut NV (Rs 700 per glass), a sparkling wine. Though it had a nice fruity flavour to it, I personally found the Vini too dry.

Primi Piatti (First Course) – We then moved on to the first course where we had two kinds of Pasta’s-  Rigatoni in tomato based sauce – giant flat pasta in a tomato consomme with braised egg plant and fresh ricotta – I thought this needed some more flavour or seasoning to it. The next one was a Giant Shell with Chantralle Mushrooms, Truffle Cream Sauce – ambroasial flavours of truffle cream cheese with the mildly peppery taste of the chantrelle mushrooms! However Culinary Muse thought that pasta was a bit thick and doughy.

Wine – We paired this with Ferragamo Family Estate II (yes Salvatore Ferragamo) Borro lamelle 2008 (Rs 750 per glass). The wine was straw yellow in colour and had an intense floral and peach taste to it with a hint of vanilla. Brilliant! Now this is the kind of wine Culinary Muse would love to get high on!

Secondi Piatti -  For the second course we start with Branzino al Forno in Guazzetto di Marre (thats a mouthful I know)– roasted Sea Bass Fillet, Clams, Mussels & Shrimps in a sort of white wine broth – I loved what the white wine did for all the sea food – just enhancing the flavours and not over powering them. Delectable. The New Zealand Rack of Lamb, however had some great flavour with perfectly mashed potatoes but was too rare and it took CM hell of time trying to cut through it. (almost felt like butchering it all over again). The meat was also quiet chewy

Wine – Again a  Ferragamo Family Estate II Borro Pian di Nova 2007 (Rs 600 per glass) was a ruby red in colour.It had this spicy taste to it that didn’t impress CM much!

Dessert – For desert we had the Classic Tiramisu – a bit sweet Italian delicacy – think I had too much of coffee powder on mine, the Mango Tiramisu however added different dimension, quite a welcoming one I would say. But a must have dessert was the Calzone - kanranji shaped bread filled with Nutella – one bite into it and you know what paradise would taste like!


Food: Excellent

Ambience: The God Father with music et all

Service: Good

A 4 course meal without Vini (Wine) at Mezzo Mezzo would cost Rs 2500 aprox plus taxes
Quicktip: To get a taste of authentic Italian supper Mezzo Mezzo is the place. Culinary Muse would it rank amongst the top three places in Mumbai where you could get a fix of Italian khaana.  Do try the seafood there, the scallops are to die for!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Foodies Ahoy!

Mumbai Food Bloggers Meet & Revie West View Bar & Grill

Culinary Muse always thought that there was something abnormal about her obsession with food. It is like hunger her only emotion, eating her meditation and food her life. But when she got invited for The Mumbai Food Bloggers Meet on October 1st hosted by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal of A Perfect Bite, it was an epiphany to see a so many others who shared her mantra! Not to mention how she felt a part of them already! More like a Food Bloggers Family!

It was quite an eventful soiree over Wine & Food and meeting people from different walks of life but with a common passion- Food. There was Harini Prakash – the Vegan Mom who loves taking pictures and colours co-ordinates her daughters clothes to the food pics J (now thats what I relate to!) Then there is Snigdha – the Pretty Tea Sommelier (gosh that sounds so beautiful), there was ‘That’ Nikhil – quite precisely the Non-Chalant Gourmand, Jyothika Purwar – the very enthusiastic cook, Kurush Dalal – a bon vivant Parsi food caterer who juggles food & Archaeology together, Rhea Mitra Dalal his dulcet wife, Reethika - the vegan who taught me that Vegan is more of a way of life that just a diet choice and ofcourse Rushina the doyen of food blogging!
The evening was all about tinkling of wine glasses, clicking of cameras, chomping of food and ofcourse lots of talk about it! What can you expect when a bunch of food fanatics come under one roof!
The food – well it had some yum moments & not so yum ones. What impressed Culinary Muse was the exotic and exhaustive spread. Here goes the details –
Pic Courtsey: Jyothika (
Pic Courtsey: Jyothika (

Soup & Bread - CM opted for the non veg soup which was Sweet Corn Soup with Beer infused Chicken (yup you read that right beer infused) – it had a suttle twang and a nice flavour to it. What came next was this light airy Focassia that could be paired with flavoured oils in testubes. Amroasial!
pic courtsey Reethika (

Salads – Amongst Salads, the Roast Potato Salad – baby potatoes tossed in chilly flakes and balsamic sauce was delectable. The Tuna & Cumcumber Salad was also quite refreshing , the cumcumber added the crunch and freshness to it. The Yogurt Scallion Tarts - Scallion and cream filled into tarts was light and delectable. What really stood out was the Black Rice with Sunkist Oranges – I have never of such rare combination but it actually was winner on taste, the rice had a kind a gluttony texture combined with the sweet and sour oranges made for a delicious combination. The Pan Cooked Basa and Pokchoy Salad was a disappointment however with no real distinguishing flavours

Pic Courtsey: Jyothika (

Main Course – For the maincourse there was a spread of exotic stuffed vegetables like Stuffed Pumpkin, Corn on the Cob, Potato Gnochi and meats– Arabian Sea Prawns (these were huge), Virtnamese Basa Fish,Himalayan Trout, Weiswurt German Sausages, Chicken Satay crusted with Oats, Porkloin etc etc. We had to choose our fare and then hand over our plates to the the ‘Girls on the Grill’ – Chef Padmaja & team. CM is really happy to see women chef because usually hospitality kitchens are dominated by men. So tasted the Viatnamese Basa & The Arabian Prawns both grilled – while the meat was cooked perfectly, both lacked seasoning which them bland. I was told that the Prawns were going to be cooked with some lemon and garlic sauce. I could hardly taste that. The Sage & Pumpkin Gnocchi & Oat Crusted Chicken Satay could be compared to Pankaj Kapur’s Mausam, looked very promising but was a disaster! The Chilli’s stuffed with apricot puree were even worst with a mish mash of bitter, sweet & spicy. The Himalayan Trout seem saved the day with it’s nice silky texture and subtle flavours.


Food: Exotic but Tastewise very average
Ambience: Nice
Service: Very Helpful (they actually what we were wearing to be able to serve us the right plate

A 5 course meal (cheese, soup, salad, grill & dessert) at West View Grill would cost Rs 2450 plus taxes.
Quicktip: If your a health freak, love your protein and have the money too, you can head to West View Grill for a healthy grilled spread. It would be best if you gave standing instructions on the seasoning and flavours etc.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Here I go again! My My... How can I resist you?
Yup Culinary Muse has been singing this famous Abba anthem ever since she made a trip to God forsaken Powai (it is really far from SOBO!) for the Grand Italian Supper at The Renaissance Powai.
First let me warn you... it is a lot of travel from anywhere in Mumbai except for if you staying in Powai! Second is it worth it? Hell yeah & you’ll see why!
The Italians have a little saying about khaana – peena ‘Chi Mangia Bene, Mangia Italian’ which literally means 'Who eats well, lives well'  & the buffet at Fratelli Fresh (the Italian Restorante at Renaissance) truly serves you just that!

Let me first take you through the ambience of this place - The decor is minimalistic with Glass, Glass & some more Glass. –‘ Jin Ke ghar Seeshe ke Hote hain, woh dusro pe pathar nahi phekte’ pardon me am a big fan of 2 ‘F’s – Food & Films (what were you thinking? You pervert!). The place had wooden domes & ceilings coupled with tall glass panes which give you a breath taking view of the Powai Lake makes for a beautiful semblance.
On one hand you have a peaceful view while on the other hand you have the hustle & bustle of an open kitchen, where you can see little Italian Chef, Tony who reminds me of  Danny DeVito (the stripper Roy from Friends) dishing out some really fresh dishes! He says that Italian Food is the easiest, it doesn’t take much time & hence it can be easily prepared, right in front of you, fresh! Thank God for that I could wait to get my hands on those lovely aromatic dishes. Let me take one by one through my quest of devouring what Fratelli Fresh had to offer –

Soups – The Mushroom Soup was brilliant: a thick almost cappuccino like broth with a nice flavour of mushrooms made for a tasty delight. Add to it the bread croutons and count your blessings! The Chicken Soup was a clear chicken broth, almost a stock but again very flavourful.

Salads - The salad counter boasted of many exotic salads Pollo e  Patate (chicken,potato,parsley,vinegar), Insalata Rriviera (cauliflower,broccoli,green beans,zuchinni,baby potato,fish grouper) & Insalata Caprese. Personally I didn’t like any! All of it was very bland and dry. But then again I am not a salad person!

Drinks They had a bar that seemed to have really good variety of drinks. I had the Sangria, which was good while my accomplice had a Mojito - the citrusy flavour of which got us high!

The Grill – Now this is the 1st most yummiest part of the buffet. Right in front of on a bed of ice lie – Cuts of Salmon & Red Snapper, Jumbo sized King Prawns, Lobsters. There is also an option for Lamb Chops! The Red Snapper – seasoned with the right amount of salt, the fish just melts in your mouth. No added spices just the natural flavour of the fish, yum! Same was for the King Prawns & Lobster – no added flavour just grilled to perfection, the natural juices just do the trick. The Lamb Chop however felt like a piece of tire in my mouth – chewy & hard.

The Pasta & Risotto: We ordered for Spaghetti Arabiatta & Fussilli Aglio Olio. The Arabitata was served to us with penne rather spaghetti, and tasted very okaish. The Aglio Olio was too dry and lacked substantial slavour. However the Raviolli in Chicken & Cream Cheese was delicate, beautifully wrapped and delicious. What was great to see that the pasta was made at the hotel which gave them an uneven rustic look, like home cooked food. The Mushroom Risotto was  - sticky, dolloped with lots of butter & cheese, just as it should be! However I would have preferred if they served it with Porcini instead of normal mushrooms. Nevertheless it was yummy!
Raviolli in Chicken & Cream

Pizza: The thin crisp, wafer thin Pizza tasted like heaven. The second yummiest part of the buffet. The earthy taste of the freshly baked pizza topped with slivers of melted cheese was delectable!

Shots & Chocolates Now thats a novel concept! Beautiful shaped imported chocolates were displayed with Bubblegum flavoured & blue curcao shots! Now that swat I call getting high on Chocolate!

Desserts – This was the 3rd yummiest part of the buffet. Authentic Italian desserts like Crostata di frutta i.e. fruit and custard tart, Crostata di fitchi e pere i.e. fig and pear tart were justmaking my mouth water! The best part of these desserts was the fact that they are not perfectly shaped and didn’t look like show pieced. They had the home cooked uneven look and even tasted yummy. The Budino cremoso i.e. Italian cream caramel was ‘Oh so yum’. The thick Chocolate Mousse served in a Wine Glass was ambrosial.  
Budino cremoso i.e. Italian cream caramel

 Crostata di fitchi e pere i.e. fig and pear tart

Additionally there were fresh baked breads with dips, imported cheese & cold cut meats

All in all the buffet had a humongous variety of more than 100 dishes. Yup more than 100! For the lack of choice is not an excuse here! All of this is priced at Rs 1500 plus taxes. Pretty much worth it for the kind of variety.
Food: Fresh, Delectable & Great Variety
Ambience: Beautiful
Service: Helpful

Quicktip: Skip your breakfast, and head straight for this brunch and eat your heart out! A great place for expats who are looking for a  taste of their home here! Warning: Do not by any means go on your weighing scale after this!

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