Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Its raining Burgers... Hallelujah

Review: Burgs

Grey dog hound kinda entrance, white washed walls with blue imprints... Not a place you would expect burgers to be served. But Burgs claims to be the place for ‘Gourmet Burgers’. Is it? CM finds out!

One look at the menu & you are tempted with all burgers looking even bigger than the Big Mac! In the words of owner & young entrepreneur’s Krishna Kilachand  "I don’t believe in bite sized food; I want everyone to be completely satisfied when they leave the place". CM loves the attitude!

Dijon Chicken

So I start with the Grilled Chicken with Dijon Mustard – perfectly grilled chicken supremes dressed in yummy mustard sauce. A chunky burger full of deliciousness albeit the fluffy burger bun overpowered the burger.
Notorious PIG

The next one Notorious Pig – yummy slivers of slow cooked finely shredded pork shoulder drenched in a beautiful sweet and spicy sauce made for a perfect burger. This is a must have here.

Prawn Kracker

We move on to Prawn Kracker – too greasy and had this weird stench. Not recommended.

Mac & Cheese Bomb

In the vegetarian ones, I had the Mac & Cheese Bomb Burger. Firstly it’s hard to imagine what a Mac & Cheese would look like, forget the taste. But this was a good surprise. Molten lava of soft Mac & Cheese inside some crusty patty was awesomelicious (if that were a word).

The Fries and Onion rings too were good – crispy yum!

In the drinks, I tried the the Strawberry Crush which tasted like cough syrup but the Peanut Jelly Butter Shake was really good!

In all, I think Burgs puts McDonalds to shame if not giving it a run for its money! The only drawback CM found was that the bread sort over powered the taste of the burgers being a tad bit bigger in size and fluffy.

Just to make a note, with burger fests catching up, Burgs offers a really good variety of burgers compared to other places & at cheaper rates. They even seemed to have designed their menu keeping vegetarians in mind with variants like Aubergine (I didn’t try it but the lady next to me loved it), Corn Colonel & Gardenia.

A meal for 2 would cost between Rs.300 -600/-


Food: Good

Ambience: Different

Service: Very Polite & helpful

Quick Tip: Go get you fix of some really filling and appetizing burgers! Notorious PIG is the must! Even if you are not a pork fan.

The Co-ordinates:


Where: 4 & 5, New Kamal Building, 248 Waterfield Road, Bandra West, Mumbai   

Tring Tring: 022 26552242, 022 26557722

Timings: 11 AM to 11 PM

Food Type: American Fast Food

Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Snow White & Some Food

Review: Smoke House Deli

You enter Smoke House Deli and you get the feeling that Snow White could have stayed here. White washed walls with cryptic, ‘hand made black marker’ kind of designs. A book shelf, a gramophone and a bar, all in one place! Riyaaz Amlani has sure given alot of thought to the design of his new brainchild.

The menu at Smoke House looks very limited while it has good range – soups, salads, pastas, mains & desserts; the choices in these categories are not many. And more so I think the vegetarian options are sparse.

To start we are served with a bread (in cute sack) and some flavoured butter. Didn’t impress me much and they didn’t refill it either going forward.

Sangria Rosso

To quench our thirst we order for Melon Sangria & Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Melon & Lemonade Mocktail.  The Melon Sangria to my surprise came in sparkling wine, which wasn’t what I expected. I told the waiter that I was expecting the red wine Sangria. He twitched a bit explained to me that melon sangria was white but politely went back to get me the Sangria Rosso. It feels great when the staff at restaurants really take care of your needs rather dismissing you. Hospitality isn’t just serving people it’s much beyond. Delight would be close but beyond that too. The Sangria Rosso – was nectarius mix of fruity flavours! The Kiwi, Cantaloupe mocktail was refreshingly soothing!

Mushroom Risotto
We dived right into the mains with Smoked Mushroom Risotto – thought Arborio rice was not cooked to well. Not the al dente kind. Also the flavours were quite disappointing. Too bland! The next dish Peri Peri Smoked Chicken + Pimento Reduce was scrumptious – grilled chicken breasts drizzled with pimento (bird chillie) sauce. Both Peri Peri and Pimento originate from these bird chillies of African. They add a beautiful piquant aroma! The Chicken Peri Peri was a dish full of such enticing flavour.

Cambodian Basa
Peri Peri Chicken

Next we move on to Lemon+Dill Cambodian Basa oak smoked pimento & Garlic Sauce – Marinated in batter the fish was soft and succulent. It had this herbaceous Lemony zing to it.

Overall my experience with non-veg dishes was better. They also have a value for money option a soup+ half sandwich option which have added to my totry list

A meal for 2 would cost between Rs.2000 - 2500/- with alcohol


Food: Good for Non-Vegetarian

Ambience: White

Service: Polite

Quick Tip: On the weekend, after exploring the pathetic sale at Zara & Mango at palladium, park yourself at Smoke House for Sangria Rosso and Chicken Peri Peri. You just might get over not having shopped for anything!

The Co-ordinates:

Smoke House Deli

Where: Unit No.9G, Block No 3, High Street Phoenix,  Lower Parel , Mumbai

Tring Tring: 24933222, 9619863248

Timings: 11:30 AM to 11:30 PM

Food Type: European, International, Lebanese, Mediterranean, Fusion, Italian, American

Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Good Life!

Review: Dolce Vita

As a kid I used to frequent this store called Rustoms located at Wodehouse Road in Colaba. Now what was so special about this store you may ask? Rustoms was one of the few and I mean very few stores that stocked foreign food! So from the Laughing Cow cheese cubes (I used to love them) to alphabet soup to mac &  cheese, Rustoms stacked it all. Sadly, a few years ago it shut!

On entering Dolce Vita, I was reminded of Rustoms. I was reminded that there are two kinds of stores I can spend my entire day at  – Bookstores and Foodstores. Even when I go abroad I love shopping at the food section of the supermarkets. Its an amazing experience. What was really surprising about La Dolce Vita was that it was well stocked! From Doritos to Flavoured Tea to a variety of Cheese to meats to even alcohol! Unlike Natures Basket, which never has what you really go there to buy!

So like supermarkets abroad DolceVita has also a dining area where Chef Rohet Khanna and his team delight their patrons. The menu at DV is quite impressive  too with international dishes like Laksa, Terriyaki Chicken, Pasta, Shish Tawouk making it to the items.

But Culinary Muse was here to sample the new ‘High Tea’ menu. Priced at Rs 500 for 2 guests, the high tea menu offers a choice unlimited tea or coffee, choice of Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian Sandwiches, desserts and scones! Now thats what I call value for money!
(On Top) Cherry Jam & Cream; (2nd plate) Mocha Cheese Cake, Cream Roll, Lemon Tart, Blackforest Cake; (3rd Plate) Assorted Sanwichs)

I started with the Veg Mushroom and Garlic Sandwhich – delicate flavours of fresh mushroom and garlic wrapped in multi grain bread. The Chicken Coronation Sandwich which was flavourful with the mayo based sauce and curry powder (yes curry powder and it just did wonders). The Burnt Garlic Chicken was nice too! However the Prawn & Rosemary one was a tad bit bland for my palate. The best part about these sandwiches was that you can combine them with your choice of breads – Whole Wheat, White, Multigrain

The next were the Scones – absolutely delicious, just the right consistency served with this heavenly freshly made Cherry Cinnamon Jam! A must have at this place.
Scones with Cherry Cinamon Jam (bottom)

Then we moved on to the Cream Roll- delicate shell shaped pastry filled with light cream – again exquisite. I particularly fond of small portions of dessert that give you that satisfaction of taste and don’t make feel too full either. Which is the reason why this worked for me and which is also the reason why the next one didn’t. The Lemon Tart – the filling was really refreshing, but the crust was too thick. Two bites into it and it felt heavy.

The star of this evening was clearly the next dessert – Mocha Cheesecake. Dulcet cubes of melt in the mouth coffee flavoured soft cheesecake. Marvellous! If orgasms were possible in the mouth, this would be it.

Overall my experience here was amazing, I would rate this one of the best mid level cafe’s far better than the Barista’s and Cafe Coffee Days and quite cheaper than the Moshe’s and Indigo Deli’s

The High Tea for 2 costs 500 plus taxes!


Food: My dil goes hmmmmmmmm

Ambience: A bit noisy with the supermarket

Service: Very polite and helpfil

Quick Tip: Come with your office colleagues or your friends and gauge on the yummy Mocha Cheesecake & Scones with cinnamon cherry jam

The Co-ordinates:

Dolce Vita

Where: Grand Galleria, Pheonix Mills, Lower Parel (Next to Lush)
Tring Tring: 022 61272107, 022 40044432 
Timings: 11 AM to 11 PM
Food Type: World Cuisine
Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mastering the Art

Review: Masterchef Brunch @ Shiro

Don’t we all just love Masterchef? Not the American or the Indian one but the Australian one!  I know I do! I love watching Garry’s friendly anecdotes, George’s energetic demeanour and the his softer side when he talks about his Greek roots and mom’s cooking and Matt Prestons colourful attire or just the way he stands – with one foot forward as if he is always posing!

Masterchef Judges

Every year Masterchef brings you something new and exciting and when I saw the last season with Nigella, Kylie, the Dalai Lama featuring as judges and I didn’t think it could get any bigger. But Season 4, gives you as much a kick as the last one, what with nationalist feeling you get when you Dalvinder or the salivation when Aminah cooks up some yummy Egyptian Asia fare or the really graceful Deborah works her magic in the Sandwich round!

Season 4 Top 24 Contestants

Just the sound of that song - Come on Come on (not many of us know it is composed by Katy Perry!) on Star World India makes me want curl up in front of the television prepared with my dinner and watch! To me thats my ‘me time’, distressing as I watch what they call amateur cooks (hell they are not!) cook beautiful delicacies most importantly with the love for food in their hearts!

So this year I thought why not try the Masterchef Australia inspired brunch at Shiro.

Shiro has this beautiful Zen like interiors. Wooden walls and flooring, huge Buddha effigy welcoming you into the dimly lit ambience. It is so dark you can barely see the food your eating! But CM isn’t complaining the less people see how much she is eating the better J

So we begin with a Vietnamese soup: Pho – a clear broth served with rice noodles and beef or chicken, delicately flavoured you could taste the hints of basil and lime in it. The next was the famous Otak Otak Kukus (no I am not chanting an African curse) – a cake made of fish and spices. Do you remember the flamboyant Chef Wan teaching this to Kate in Malaysia in Season 3! Well while this looked really different from the original dish (see comparison below) this was the softest thing i have put in my mouth! The dish just beautifully melts in your mouth. Coupled with the sweet chilli sauce it is delectable.
Otak Otak Kukus @ Shiro

The Hanoi Parcel’s – a spring roll filled with chicken, shrimp and crab meat was crisp and delicious as well.

Hanoi Parcels

 On the Vegetarian Appetiser’s side there was Tofu with Spicy Korean bean- something was really off about this dish either the tofu was stale or the black bean however it tasted awful. The Mushroom Dumplings & Aspragus Dumplings were a refresher – soft parcels of yumness in your mouth! The Sweet Chilli Potato was nice too! Although it tasted a bit like Indian Chinese straight out of the Five Spice kitchen!
The Salads both Chilli Calamari with Watermelon and the Veg one (don’t know the name) were insipid! The calamari was rubbery and chewy a clear indication of it not being well cooking!

In the main course, The Garlic Chicken and Greens – roasted chicken breast sliced to perfection with stir-fried broccoli mushrooms and baby corn  was very okay! Not theflavourfu kind! The Sweet Corn Chicken with Ho Fun noodles – stir fried chicken with flat rice noodles lacked any kind of distinguishing flavour!

Sweet Corn Chicken with Ho Fun Noodles

The Thai Curry was beautiful and fresh a little on the sweet side though. This coupled with Hibachi Rice – sticked Japanese style cooked rice made a delectable combination. The Masamann curry was also flavourful too. The Beef Curry with Daikon was to blah!

Massaman Curry

Hibachi Rice

Overall while the starters were packed with yum quotient, the main course was a disappointing! I would rather recommend eating the al carte fare! I pray any of the three judges never see this, they may die of embarrassment!

The Masterchef meal is priced @ Rs 1750/-. The brunch is on every Sunday from July 01 to August 26, 2012

Food: Mixbag
Ambience: Zen
Service: Helpful

Quick Tip: Go there strictly for the appetisers. The Otak Otak Kukus is a must have!

The Co-ordinates:


Where: Bombay Dyeing Mills Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli, Mumbai

Tring Tring: 66511207, 66511208
Timings: 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to Midnight

Food Type: Asian Fare
Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

PS: Some of the pictures are close representations of the dishes, it was too dark to click!
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