Butters Tipsy Gastropub is the latest addition to the sprawling pub and food scene in Fort. We visited BTG for dinner the other day and were mind-blown. Though they probably wanted us to be high and… More
Square Box, Round Pizza, Triangular Slices – I am confused!
This is what I remembered when I first read the name – Pizza Box! Totally random, we know! Anyway, keeping these random thoughts aside, we walk into the outlet which is located in the residential neighbourhood of Vile Parle (East).
The outlet is small and decently done up, no show, just simple seating arrangements indoors and outdoors. An array of pizza boxes are lined up in a corner and with that one can tell that the major focus is on delivery. A few quotes about pizza hang on the walls while a host of appreciative comments from patrons decorates another corner. The menu is all pizza in various sizes and a variety of toppings. There are a lot of options for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians.
Here are the ones we tried:
Hot Head –> One of their hot sellers and notoriously spicy! Lots of spicy red sauce at the base with a ton of toppings that include onions, bell peppers, jalapenos and chilli. It leaves a sharp burning sensation in the mouth and is definitely not for those who cannot handle spicy. We loved the delicious red sauce at the base which packed a punch with the hot-headedness!
French Fries Pizza – There’s cheese and there are french fries. What’s not to love in this one? The fries are crispy and go so well with the sauces and cheese. There is also an option to add veggies to the french fries pizza.
Mumbai ka Flavour –> We have to agree, wherever we Mumbaikars go, we add life to the party. And so does this lip-smacking chatpata and masaledar pizza! Those terms don’t belong in a pizza description? Wait till you try this one! Capsicum, onions and tomatoes marinated in flavorful and really masaledar spices and sauce, this one is amazing! Mumbai ka Flavour is totally Mumbai-style scrumptious and a must try here!
Tip: They tend to make the thin crust pizzas a little crunchy (which we absolutely loved), so if you aren’t a fan of the same, just tell them and they will oblige.
Pizza Napoli –> Loaded is the word to describe the Pizza Napoli and Loving it is the phrase to describe our reaction to it! The oregano and basil do wonders to the pizza, not only making it fragrant but also mind-blowingly tasty. Sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and more are decked on top of a thin crusted base. The flavours of each of the ingredients, especially mushrooms and tomatoes are enhanced by the oregano and herbs. Loved this one!
We also tried the American Corn & Chilli Crostini which was impeccable. A thin baked upper layer, which when bit into lets molten mozzarella cheese ooze out! Green chillies add a slightly spicy tinge to the otherwise cheesy delight. Loved it!
Pull Apart Garlic Bread is a golden, crispy and garlicky loaf of bread, that is loaded with cheese! The flavours of garlic, butter and cheese blend so well to make this one! Perfect!
Paneer Stromboli is another delight here that we really loved. A Delicious mixture of paneer and veggies in a mustard based sauce. The combination with cheese went so well together. It is served with a salsa dip which is yummy!
Pizza Box also has a dedicated Pizza Cone menu. So we decided to try the Paneer Tikka Pizza Cone which is the same as Paneer Tikka Pizza but in a cone. The top is loaded with cheese and baked to form a cheese covering. It tastes delicious.
Overall, Pizza Box is a place you should definitely consider to satiate your pizza cravings! Order in or just go grab a table here. Also, they have unlimited buffet with pizza, garlic bread and beverages at ₹269 on Sundays!
No, no, no….
That’s our answer to your questions that sound somewhat like – Have you turned non-vegetarian? Did you finally try chicken? Were you lost?
But then, what were we doing at a place that is named Genuine Broaster Chicken you ask? Well to that we have an answer!
Genuine Broaster Chicken, without a doubt, boasts of insanely good chicken specialities (some of which were sampled by our friend and she nods in affirmation), but there is no dearth of option for us good ‘ol vegetarians. Everyone behind the menu curation, from the agency to Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, have made sure to not made us feel left out. There is an equal mix of veg and non-veg dishes that are Indianised and made oh so yum! by the chef.
So yes, us being here is more than okay! In fact, it would be foolish for anyone to miss out on this place just because the name favours meat.
We visited the Bandra outlet of GBC on a weekend and though we were amongst the first people at the restaurant, it was packed in no time! The ambience of this place is amazingly chic and quirky. Chicken humour and photo frames that are an ode to quiet a few American sensations – Captain America, Marilyn Monroe, et. al. cover quite a bit of the walls. There are baseball helmets that are used as bulb holders and also plant holders. Gunny bags and fairy lights add a charm to the ceilings. Even the table tops are covers with caricatures of Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey amongst others. The music is groovy and adds to the rockstar ambience.
There is a well lit and funky looking bar area and different sitting arrangements to pick from.
Since we reached here after braving the scorching heat, we decided to order cooler and freak shakes first.
Orange Limer was slightly tangy and the orange flavour was overpowering. It was slightly on the sweeter side but had a welcome refreshing taste.
Jim Jam Strawberry Freakshake is a delight to dig into! Topped with Jim-Jam biscuits, chocolate balls that melt in your mouth, marshmallows and lots of strawberry compote, this freak shake is sinfully delicious.
It is slightly on the heavier side with lots of whipped cream, strawberry ice cream and more.
We called for Tex-Mex Franchos and settled to familiarise ourselves with the menu. Crispy french fries in cream cheese sauce and a tangy salsa sauce, topped with lots of chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and olives. The salsa is really yummy and makes you go lick your fingers.
We then called for the chef special Firangi Palak Paneer Dip. The description of the dish does not do much more than making us picture a spinach-cheese dip instead of hummus with pita bread. It does not do even a tiny bit justice to the delight that this dish is! Just to let people know what they should anticipate, I suggest the owners should add the word delicious before every word in the name. That is how good the Palak Paneer dip is! A cheesy and creamy dip with small chunks of soft paneer and lots of spinach. Spinach adds an amazing flavour to the dip but does not over power it. We are not exaggerating when we say that we licked the dip off the bowl.
Pro Tip: If you happen to visit this place, order for as many portions of the Firangi Palak Paneer Dip as the number of people you are, to avoid any casualties. And do this even before you settle down!
In our opinion, the restaurant should put this disclaimer on one of the walls!
Riding high on happiness, we went for another special from the menu – Veg. Ghotala Khichdi. No please, do not make that meh face, ‘coz then you will want to punch yourself for making it! Ghotala Khichdi is a delicious biryani made with lots of veggies and also has soft paneer chunks. It is high on spices and so fragrant and flavoursome, that our mouth is still watering as we think about it. Cinnamon does wonders to the dish and this one is another definitely try items if you are a biryani fan.
Then came our Chow Chow Noodle and Paneer Burger – something we had our eyes on from the moment we were handed the menus! Chinese spiced noodles and crispy paneer based patties with mayonnaise and schezwan sauce. This one is lip-smacking though we personally feel it should have been a little high on the sauces.
GBC boasts of some delicious desserts, some epic combinations and fusions. We decided to go with the chef special and yet keep it simple, thus picking the Gulkan Muffin. The muffin served warm, had a slightly crusty outer layer and was toothsome. The centre was filled with Gulkand and yet it was not overly sweet. Totally loved it!
A friend tried the Assorted Chicken Wings Platter and could not stop raving about them – the flavours were perfectly balanced and really good! Her recommendations – Butter Garlic Chicken Wings and Kung Pao Chicken Wings.
Overall Experience: We don’t know the chicken way to say it, but we came out thrilled! Amazing ambience and scrumptious food. The service is quick and friendly. The servers are well versed with the menu and are ready to help and suggest. The food is not overly pricey and is definitely value for money.
GBC is a perfect place to spend some fun time with you friends and family.
The Battle: If what we said has not already made it clear, try going in a group and ordering one portion of Firangi Palak Paneer Dip. What will happen between you and your gang happened between us, only worse!
P.S.: There are two outlets of Genuine Broaster Chicken (GBC) in Mumbai (as of now) and they are planning to come up with many more. GBC is a QSR chain, yes, but the attention towards ambience, food, presentation and hospitality is impeccable. We only hope it stays the same!
Also, Broaster is a technique of making the fried dishes (especially chicken) in a way that they absorb up to 50% less oil and are really low in trans-fat content.
We will go anywhere for food. Seriously, anywhere.
That explains why we took an hour long ride in the hot sun, after a scuba session () to reach the forest region of Auroville. Hidden away in the interiors of Auroville, you will find many a treasure and Well Café is one such treasure.
Wilderness is that word that defines this place the best.
Why we recommend this café?
Firstly, the food is insanely good. It is simple yet amazing. The café specialises in Mediterranian cuisine with lots of hummus, falafel, salads and more. The options are limited and the food is prepared fresh by the local women.
Secondly, the ambience is amazing. An open garden café with random chairs strewn under a thick canopy of trees whose trunks are covered in colourful sarees. You will find crafts made from recycled paper hanging from above. Chirping birds, a dog or two, and a few really colourful insects (we did not know God made these, this colourful too) are your company. But don’t let this worry you, sometimes, such an ambience can do wonders!
Thirdly, the café and the entire WELL centre (that includes a handmade paper shop, art gallery, etc. ) is managed by women for the empowerment of women in this area. This place gives you a peek into their lives. Spend some time and chat with the locals and they will share their stories with you! There also is a homestay next door and in case, living amidst a thick cover and with locals is your calling, you should definitely check out this place.
Fourthly, this café also hosts musical nights and other events from time to time. The ambience is then transformed to one of those mid forest camping-party style places which makes it even more awesome.
We tried the Mint Cooler here which was a bit too sweet for us but was minty none the less. What we absolutely love and still lust over are the Vegetable Omelette & Cheese Baguette and the Eggplant & Labane Baguette.
First I burned my tongue fighting over the super hot vegetable omelette and now I am drooling all over my laptop at the thought it. This cannot be good!
Vegetable Omelette & Cheese Baguette – The vegetable omelette was delicious on its own. Thick and so well spiced, it had onions, coriander and more. The curd cheese that was spread over the crispy pieces of bread was heavenly. Yup, we did lick it off the plate! If only we could fill like a jar or a room with it and bring it back to Mumbai!! These were served with three salads, a beetroot and cream based, a mixture of cabbage, beetroot, carrots & more and another one which had a little tart due to the addition of vinegarette.
Eggplant & Labane Baguette – Labane or curd cheese spread generously over the crispy bread which was then topped with smoked eggplant slices. This was another delight! This was also served with salads, with a pepper spiced cauliflower based salad being one of the portions served.
Well Café is a place you would enjoy as much for the food and courteous, smiling service as you would for the peaceful escape it provides from all forms of chaos!
If you are ever in Auroville, this is definitely a place you should check out!
P.S.: Trust Google Maps, even if you feel it has lost its mind! It will bring you here.
Café 792 is a dose of fresh air amidst chaos and cacophony.
It is, quite literally, hidden away in a cozy corner in Dadar’s Parsi Colony. If not for the bold red circular sign at the entrance that reads Café 792, no one would be able to guess, that this heaven exists!
Café 792 is a small, quaint and peaceful café that can and will make you smile in awe. The circular sign that we spoke about stands next to the entrance of a building, in whose backyard lies this wonder. On the concrete wall is painted Café 792 in a way that you cannot miss. A gravel laden path leads us to a few tables and further to the entrance of the café. We have walked 10 steps on the gravel path and we look at each other with a broad smile. A smile that affirms the thought that we have found treasure!
Café 792 is a Parsi owned and run café that serves an impressive variety of food from the Parsi staples to sandwiches, wraps, salads, mawa cake and more! They are the sort of place that makes a few things fresh while some are pre-cooked, heated and served. The café being a Parsi one, there are very few vegetarian options, basically, one-two in each category, so better not be very choosy if you are a vegetarian. The café also has a pre-decided lunch menu that is set for the entire month. This is majorly because they have a whole lot of deliveries and a set menu helps.
The people who run the café are soft spoken and friendly. You will find a lot of patrons who come, give the order, patiently wait and head away with their parcels. You will also find people just sitting in a corner, sometimes even on the small wall near the plants and just sipping on tea and going about their work. The green canopy, the chirping birds and the setting of the café as a whole are welcoming and consuming. You will not want to get up and leave this place.
We tried a few items from the menu and were more than happy with most of them! Cheese Croissant left us with a warm, fuzzy feeling. It was perfect with oodles of cheese, just yumm!!
Veg Mozzarella Wrap was excellent! Scratch that, it was beyond excellent. Lots of veggies, from broccoli to capsicum and a whole lot of cheese. Sounds meh? But what added the magic was oregano. Not only did it add a mouth-watering aroma, but also made the simple wrap a lot more interesting.
Veg Burger with a crunchy and delicious patty, cheese and veggies was a delight. It wasn’t extraordinary, but basic is all you need at times!
Veg Slider was a mini and hipster version of our desi vada pav! Small, soft buns with a patty and cream cheese, it is something you will want to gobble down in tens!
Veg Puff was sort of confusing for us. It was more like a quiche and had a stuffing of spinach and other veggies. We liked the stuffing nonetheless!
Cold Coffee was unfortunately just average but what helped was the Lemon and Mint Iced Tea.
It was the perfect blend and super refreshing.
The peaceful ambience made us want to spend the rest of the day, curling up in a corner, sipping on iced tea and reading a book. Who are we to say no to that need? So we spent hours here, reading, occasionally chatting and always sipping or munching on something!
If you are tired of the mindless chatter and need a break, head to Café 792, but shhh… don’t tell everyone! Let this be the hidden gem that it is!
PS: With multiple orders of the iced tea and all that food, our bill came to a mere ₹665. We did mention this place was pocket-friendly, right?
Pravas means journey or migration and a train is quite essentially synonymous with a journey. Pravas- a restaurant on wheels is our ticket to delicious and lip-smacking Gujarati cuisine.Pravas – Gujarati Kitchen & Bar is the first railway coach themed restaurant in Mumbai, that specialises in Gujarati & Kathiawadi cuisine and serves a really mouth-watering thali combination.
The interiors are beautifully done with gold-ivory work and definitely transport us to when rail coaches were a luxurious experience. The instrumental music being played in the background add to this fine dine affair. Pravas is a recreation of the legendary Palace on Wheels and there also exist quite a few aspects in the restaurant that are a reminiscence of the geography that they want to capture. From the famous Kutch embroidery pieces on the walls to the beautiful copper pitchers and lavers used to wash hands to the umbrellas and lanterns with colourful and intricate embroideries and glass-work, all present the best of Gujarat.
They have a different thali menu for weekdays and weekends with dishes being rotated to include a huge variety and some seasonal specials. They also have an a-la-carte menu and a variety of cocktails and mocktails.
We started with two of the special seasonal mocktails – Damru Paan and Mango Creme Delight. Paan and refreshing go together and so does mango and summer. It would be safe to say that we should be playing the damru to tell you how delightful these two were!
Damru Paan is a delicious concoction of the refreshing flavours of paan, gulkand and vanilla in milk. Beetle leaf adds an amazing aroma and flavour to this superb combination. Mango Creme Delight is a very thick and creamy preparation with mango pulp and mint leaves. This is served in an earthen pot and frankly speaking, they couldn’t have done it better!
If our meal begins that well, it has to be a good one! Here is what our weekend thali lunch looked like:
We started with the chaat counter and hogged on Pani Puri, Delhi Chaat and Rawa Biscuit Utappam.
A Gujarati thali is incomplete without delicious sweets and at Pravas, the thali starts with sweets! We were served Ghevar Basundi, Churma Ladoo and Anjeer Puran Poli. These are more Rajasthani and Maharashtrian dishes that Gujarati but who are we to complain when they were this delicious? Basundi with bits of crisp Ghevar, this was a perfect delight. It was not very sweet or thick and had the aromatic saffron filled flavour we all love. Churma Ladoo was just as good but a little on the heavier side as was the Puran Poli, owing to the high ghee content.
Starters included Aloo Armani and Dabeli Dhokla. Aloo Armani was scrumptious, hollow potato skins stuffed with a slightly spicy mixture of onions, chillies, ground nuts, among other ingredients, batter coated and shallow fried. This was not oily and tasted so good. Dabeli Dhokla is a sandwich of dhokla with tamarind chutney and spicy coriander-mint chutney.
There were four sabzis/curries – Tamatar Vatana Khandvi which is a preparation in tomato based curry and lots of peas (vatana) and was on the sweeter side. Ringara Nu Olo is baingan-bharta or eggplant/brinjal based preparation and had a non-spicy, smokey flavour. Sev Tamatar Nu Saak was one of the best options with the desi Gujarati style flavours of tomato curry and was topped with thick sev. Kanda Batata Sambaria is onion and potato based sabzi, it was not spicy and neither was it sweet. This was another favourite here!
Kadhi was not like the sweet Gujarati kadhi but was the Rajasthani version of the same which is thick and slightly spicy with red chilli powder and coriander. It was perfect! Surati Dal was slightly on the sweeter side with lots of ginger and onions. We had these with Bajra Roti, Phulkas and Puri and Steam Rice as accompaniments.
Buttermilk (chaas), salad and an assorted papad platter also came with the thali, everything being unlimited. The prices for the Thali are ₹500 (plus taxes) for weekdays (Monday through Thursday) and ₹700 (plus taxes) for weekends (Friday through Sunday).
Overall Experience: We don’t know how to say this in Gujarati but the food, as well as the service, was amazing! The staff makes sure they attend to every customer personally and you will not leave without overeating from your meal here!
The Battle: Unlimited Thalis are a test of everyone’s capacities and when they start with sweet dishes, suffice to say, it was a long slow battle! Only hope we left something for the other guests! :p
You know what I want to do right now?
I want to gather all my Maharashtrian friends, stand them in a straight line and punch them.
Okay, that’s a little extreme, but I seriously want to shake each and every one of them, pretty violently and ask them just one question – ‘Why were they hiding all these amazing Maharashtrian dishes from me till date?’
No seriously, had I not visited Jivhala Maharashtrian Kitchen, my knowledge of Maharashtrian dishes would have remained restricted to Pithla-Bhakri and Puran Poli and that would have been disastrous, to say the least!
Ruturaj & Shardul, the brothers behind this venture have taken upon themselves to prevent such disasters from happening. Their aim is to bring the no show-sha filled authentic Maharashtrian food from their kitchen to your table and to revive a few lost recipes. This is clearly visible in the huge variety they have to offer and the very basic ambience of the restaurant. If you are looking for an air-conditioned, fine dine place, then Jivhala may disappoint you and we would suggest that you order in instead. But if you care only about some lip-smacking delicacies, then you should head here soon!
Here is what we tried at Jivhala Maharashtrian Kitchen and absolutely loved:
Pithla Bhakri Thecha: The Pithla we had here was better than any other that we have had and comes close to the one that grandma made! It was not very thick and so well spiced with coriander, ginger and chillies spicing it up! Delicious! Bhakri was soft and Jowar (Sorghum) based. One can ask for the crispier versions of bhakri if desired. Thecha was spicy and made us sweat, as it is supposed to! A small bowl of buttermilk or taak as it is called in Marathi was served to help with the spiciness of the thecha.
Phodnichi Aamti is a spicy version of the dal or varan. It is thin in consistency and has tomatoes as the main ingredient with a strong tadka of ginger, coriander and curry leaves. There is also a small quantity of grated coconut and the combinations of these flavours make it taste totally home-cooked!
Vegetable Kolhapuri has a spicy gravy and lots of veggies – cauliflower, capsicum, et. al. It could have been spicier though but it does leave a pretty sharp taste in the throat. The gravy is really delicious and strongly spiced.
Thalipeeth is another delicacy that we tried here. It is a multi-flour (seven types) onion paratha which is so scrumptious! The people at Jivhala do not deep fry it and rather bake it on the tawa giving it a delicious flavour. It is then drenched in ghee (you could ask for less or none of it) and served with a mindblowing dip of sorts – made with curd and their in-house ground nut chutney! Their groundnut chutney is to die for! It is so amazing that one can just keep munching on it without any accompaniment and that is saying something! It is the right amount of spicy, making you ooh-aah and yet reaching out for more!
Shengachi Gulpoli has climbed up into my list of favourite sweet dishes and why should it not! This one is sincerely amazing! On first look, it looks like not much, I mean common, what good can a thin and slightly crispy roti of sorts be? But it is good, so good! Shengachi Gulpoli is essentially a jaggery and groundnut based, slightly crispy roti that is heated and then topped with lots of ghee! Each of the flavours come alive at every bite and you can keep munching on these, guilt free if you skip that ghee as well! We loved these, totally!
We also tried Mattha, Kokum Sharbat and Piyush. Mattha is the spicier version of buttermilk with lots of green chillies, coriander and ginger while Piyush is eliachi or cardamom flavoured lassi.
Overall Experience: The word that describes our experience here has to be Utkrasht, which means excellent! The food here is marvellous! It is the restaurant you should visit when you want to have a home-cooked Maharashtrian meal at affordable prices.
Ambience 😐 (But frankly, does not matter in front of the food!)
The Battle: We did not want to leave without trying a million other items especially the recommended once, but our tummy always and always manages to let us down in such circumstances! You better go with a ravenous appetite!
You better go with a ravenous appetite!