Monday, September 1, 2014

The Sushegad Life (2)

Review: Sushegad Gomantak

Once in a while you discover an unassuming restaurant that makes you want to kiss the chef’s hands. Sushegad Gomantak is one of those. Owned & managed by a mother and son duo, the chef here is the mother – a lady who seemed to be in her mid 50’s.

My boss, a proud Goan, decided to treat me and a few other colleagues to this place. A stout man, my boss has had access to the best of ‘Goan’ food in his life so if he recommends something I’ll go with it blindly. But that is only limited to ‘Goan’ food, his choices for other things? Well let’s not get there, high possibilities of me losing my job
A hole in the wall, Sushegad Gomantak barely can accommodate 20 people at one time. With the famous Sneha (Mallu cuisine) & Kakori House as its neighbours this place may just go unnoticed.

My boss begins talking to the lady in full Konkani while ordering our food. It’s quite amusing to hear this man, who yells at the top of his lungs in office, to speak in this saccharine tone. I savour the moment; it’s very rare after all!
Rava Prawns

We begin with the Rava Prawns – a traditional goan delicacy, these are simply batter fried prawns. You can’t go wrong with this and aunty does full justice.

Tisrya Masala

We move on to the Tisrya Masala – clams cooked in freshly ground spicy coconut masala. Finger-licking goodness!

Stuffed Bombil

We move on to the Stuffed Bombil – This is the best I have ever tasted. Bombil batter fried in rava and stuffed with some really delicious masala. This is a #MuseMustEat

Prawn Cutlets

We then had the Prawn Cutlets – melt in the mouth patties of shrimp. Again yummy in my tummy!

Prawn Curry

Crab Masala

We ended the meal with Prawn Curry and Crab Masala  – both flavoured with the tanginess of kokum and the balminess of coconut. Pair these with bhakri (rice flour pancakes/dosas), Vade (multigrain puris) or just some steamed rice and you will know no other love. Eat it with your hands and experience the myriad of flavours with all your senses.

The Co-ordinates
Sushegad Gomantak
Shop No. A 11, Shiv Sagar Society, L J Road, Mahim, Opposite Paradise Cinema, Mumbai
No Credit/Debit Cards facility
Goan Cuisine, Seafood

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ramadan Kareem

The holy month of Ramzan is here. During this month, faithful observers throughout the world fast and offer prayers from Sahour (sunrise) to Iftar (sunset). This is then followed by a delectable feast.

Last week, Muse got the chance to explore the by lanes of Bhendi Bazaar in search of the best iftar dishes. A melting pot of culture & cuisine, Bhendi Bazaar offers some of the best eateries. The tour was organised by Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT), an organisation that is altruistically working towards the development of this area at the same time maintaining its cultural essence.

Here’s a list of #MuseMustEats on your next trip to Bhendi Bazaar -
Haji Tikka

1.    Khiri (udders) @ Haji Tikka

The buttery texture of this meat coalesces with its crunchy crust, making it so yum, you literally cannot eat just one!


Khan saheb owner of Haji Tikka talking to us about how khiri is prepared
Tawa fare @ India. On top you can see the Naan Chop

2.    Naan Chaap @ Indian

Bhendi Bazaar’s very own take on The Burger, this bun and patty combination will make your dil go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

3.    Nalli Nihari @Surti Bara Handi

Usually a breakfast item, the dish is now available even in the evenings. An explosion of spices steeped in rich gravy & lard, this mutton stew will transport you back to the era of the Nawabs.

4.    Seekh @ Haji Tikka

Succulent rolls of minced meat adequately spiced!

5.    Baida Roti @ Indian

Yummy keema (mince) wrapped in silky egg coated roti. It was the perfect amalgamation of meat & egg!

6.    Pichota @ Surti Baara Handi

Now, that’s how exotic I could get with meat. Pichota or tail is meant to be a delicacy in some cultures. You have to try this one. Statutory Warning: This may be followed by a cardiac arrest!


7.    Malpua @ Tawakkal

These luscious discs fried in a huge kadaai tasted nectarious. Pair it with Malai (cream)

Assorted Phirni

8.    Naan @ Vallibhai

The Pichota & Nalli Nihari are incomplete without Vallibhai’s naan. Roasted in a traditional earthen oven, these naans have a distinct flavour to it!

Mango Barfi with mithai

9.    Mango Barfee @ Tawakkal

Everyone gushes about the phirni at Tawakkal but my personal favourite is the Mango Barfi. The pillow-like texture and dulcet taste is what heavens are made of!

And guess who Muse met?

Chef Vicky Ratnani with Muse

How to find these places?

Indian Hotel
92/96, Shop No.1/2, Bohri Mohalla, Khara Tank Road, Bhendi Bazaar
Ph 022-23460687, 9819047255

Haji Tikka

76, Raudat Tahera Street, Opp Evan-e-Husseni Hall

Tawakkal Sweets
26, Khara Tank Road, Bohri Mohalla, Bhendi Bazaar
Ph 022-23466360/53

Surti 12 Handi & Vallibhai

12, Dharamsey Cross Street, Bohri Mohalla
Ph 9819305788.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tasting the Stars

Wine Tasting @ The Renaissance Hotel

The famous monk and wine connoisseur (now you know why Martin Luther said Beer is made by man but wine is made by God) Dom Perignon, on having a sip of champagne said “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars”. Seriously, can anything be more alluring than the taste of this good ol’ nectar?

Last weekend, CM and her fiancé, let’s call him Big (yes he is a big fan of Sex and the City) spent their time tasting (not just that) and savouring some of India’s wine produce.

It was ‘Global Day of Discoveries’ at The Renaissance Hotel & Convention Centre and they decided to put together a wine tasting soiree. Four of India’s wine producers were present – Fratelli; Sula; Grover & Turning Point each displaying their produce.

Sula Rose Brut
I decided to start with the Sula Rose Brut – sophisticated salmon coloured wine packed with a million bubbles. Beautifully mild on the palate it is a mixture of Chenin Blanc & Zifandel grapes. To all the newbies who are looking to start drinking wine; I would suggest you opt for this one. Goes perfectly well with brie.

Fratelli Chardonnay

The next one was the Fratelli Chardonnay – tart (acidic), this wine is a little high on the alcohol content

Fratelli Shiraz Rose

The Fratelli Shiraz Rose – rose gold color with fruity tones. Light and easy on the palate

Sula Dindori Shiraz Reserve

The Sula Dindori Shiraz Reserve - extremely strong; smelt like burnt lego (yes the game); full bodied wine. Not for the faint hearted

By now, I was swinging in my own world. Rumi’s words described me the best - “Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”

The next was Turning Points’ Chenin Blanc – crisp, light, floral and easy on the palate.

Turning Point’s Sauvignon Blanc was spicy, hint of green pepper

Grover’s Viogner
Grover’s Viogner was the winner for me. With hints of tropical fruit like peach, it grows on you. The taste is not as intense as the smell.

Grovers’ La Reserve
Grovers’ La Reserve, a nice violet purple in colour with a distinct oak flavour

Quick Tip: Do me a favour and go with your partner for at least one wine tasting session. Trust me the bubbly will make both of you really happy!

PS: If you are prone to acidity, be careful not to drink or mix too much wine. The morning aftermath could be bad

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Swadeeka - Welcome (Thai)

Review: O:h Cha

I always claimed that restaurants in Mumbai don’t do justice to two cuisines – Thai & Mexican. So when O:h Cha, which derives its name from the Thai word for delicious, opened, CM was quite inquisitive to see whether it proved her theory right or wrong.

Brainchild of Sanat Patel who has been behind the fancy (read: overpriced) Two One Two bar and Grill and the ‘still to make its mark’ Burgs, O:h Cha is tucked inside Mathuradas Mills, famous amongst Mumbai’s ‘once bustling now dead’ mill scene at Lower Parel, which has now become a hub for youngsters and office goers who throng to places like Blue Frog, Busaba, Barking Dear and Cafe Zoe.

The decor of this restaurant is contemporary Thai - wooden, spacious with green hues.

The menu contains some famous Thai dishes known and devoured by most of us who have travelled to the land of curry & massages (ahem... i meant foot massage control your mind).

We begin with the Tom Kha Kai soup – the balmy flavour of lemongrass, galangal & coconut milk create the best concoction in your mouth. A must try here

Also before I go ahead let me make it clear, the menu specifically illustrates the level of spice one can go upto. The more the chillies the more the spice and this has to be taken seriously. Don’t go with the notion of little spicy or medium spicy!

Next came the Tom Yum Kai soup– now unless and until you are strong hearted do not go for this one. It’s extremely charged!

The next was the Som Tam – delicate slivers of raw papaya tossed in chilli, lime, castor sugar, peanuts. A delicious yet healthy dish. Stick to the first level of spice.

Chicken Satay

In the appetisers we tried the Poh Pia Sod – a kind of thai spring roll – not too great in my opinion. The Chicken Satay was served cold! Again not recommended

Green Thai curry
Then came the real test – the Kang Kaew Waan – Green Thai curry with prawns – Beautiful, delicate broth, not too sweet, not too milky like the one’s served at Thai Pavilion and Koh. This was just the perfect balance of spice, sweetness and sour. One of the best thai currys I have tasted in Mumbai.

The Pla Kow Nong Ma Nao – Steamed trouper with garlic chilly sauce was immaculate. Like spa in my mouth!

Stir Fried Chicken with Holy Basil

The Stir Fried Chicken with Holy Basil too was delicious.

In the deserts we try the Lemon Grass Creme Brulee – no sign, smell or sight of lemon grass but the dish was delicious
 Water Chestnut with fresh coconut spirit

The Tum Tim Krob - Water Chestnut with fresh coconut spirit is heaven in summers. Must try!

After the meal, with an extremely satisfied (and heavy) stomach, I think to myself at last Mumbai has lost its ‘Good Thai Food’ Virginity! Take a bow Mr. Patel.

O:h Cha is not too kind to your pocket though. A meal for 2 would cost between Rs.3000 - 3500/- without alcohol

Food: Amazing
Ambience: Serene
Service: Catching up

Quick Tip: If you missed a trip to Thailand this year, head to O:h Cha to satisfy your thai food craving.

The Co-ordinates:

O:h Cha
Where: Mathuradas Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Tring Tring: 022 66334455
Timings: O:h Cha is now open for lunch as well and has introduced a prix fixe menu
Food Type: Thai
Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

*Note the review spans over food eaten on 2 occasions
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