Butters Tipsy Gastropub [Fort]

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 tipsy on their amazing (we hear) cocktails, we are high on the delicious food, tipsy and giddy with excitement and satisfaction.

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From the ambience to music, to food and drinks, Butters gets it right. A beautifully lit mesh of sorts greets you once you enter. As you step upstairs, the bar is what catches your attention first. A modish look overall, it is lit up and well stocked. Did we mention we are fans of how the lights jazz up the entire place? It is dimly lit and yet bright enough. The ambience makes you want to sit back and relax but the music makes you want to groove. The area is spacious and there are different options of seating available.

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The menu gives us quite a few options. Pick quick bites or chakna combinations and your drinking session is surely sorted. There are Indian snacks like bhajiyas, bhurji pao and drunken bhel. They have sandwiches, baos, burgers, pizza, pasta as well as Indian main course like naan and dal. The full package. They have made a name for themselves for their cocktails, but it is worth mentioning that their mocktails are equally good.

Here is what we got tipsy on, at Butters Tipsy Gastropub –

Bhaji Pao – Bhajiya pao with an option between kanda (onion) bhaji, methi bhaji or cheese pakora. We picked onion bhaji. Crispy fritters that were topped with a little chaat masala and served with a sweet-spicy mint chutney.

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Bhaji Pao

3 Cheese Sandwich 

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3 Cheese Sandwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry, were we supposed to describe that?

There is cheese, lots of it and three different types of it. Do you know how high that made us? So ya, excuse us if we forgot that we have to describe it 😉 😉

Cheesiness aside, (pun totally intended 😉),  the 3 Cheese Sandwich at BTG is heavenly and loaded for sure. The aroma of cheese coupled with butter made our mouths water. Must try! And it is served with french fries for added happiness and salad if by some cosmic mistake it made you guilty 😉

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Chef Lampok’s Paneer Satay

Chef Lampok’s Paneer Satay – Soft paneer that is covered with a thick layer of batter and grilled. It has a soothing lemongrass aroma and a slightly charred flavour. It was served with a peanut dip that was slightly on the sweeter side.

Lasooni Palak Paneer aur Naan – This dish features in the desi corner of the menu but it should feature in the Do Not Miss Out corner. Delicious is the word to describe this one. The strong aroma makes your mouth water and threatens the chances of getting a decent picture 😛

It is creamy and has tons of chopped garlic and onions to flavour it up. The paneer pieces are really soft and well marinated and the palak gravy is another level of goodness. Served with naan and papad, this is one meal you must have here.

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Lasooni Palak Paneer aur Naan

From the mocktails we tried Melon BullTropical Thunder and Gin Cin Apple Jack. 

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Melon Bull and Tropical Thunder

Melon Bull is a mindblowing mix of watermelon juice and red bull. It has a sharp taste and the chunks of watermelon add a little drama to it.  Tropical Thunder is a thunderous concoction of orange and pineapple juice, both in the right proportions to leave a strong punch. This one has a slight tart though grenadine adds a little sweetness. Loved this one too! Gin Cin Apple Jack is slightly on the sweeter side but a fine combination of apple juice infused with cinnamon.

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Gin Cin Apple Jack

We also tried the Orange and Strawberry Slush which is really good. They have arrived at the perfect balanced flavour of sweetness and sourness in this chilled drink. And the colours! Loved it.

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Orange and Strawberry Slush

The star of the dinner was the Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse. My god what a delight this one was. Smooth in texture, not overly sweet and so delectable. The sharp tart of raspberry paired with the slight sweetness of white chocolate gave this heavenly dessert. We licked out spoons till they were spanking clean 😛 This one is definitely a must try at BTG.

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse

Overall Experience: Lip – smacking food, superb ambience, groovy music and good service make BTG a must visit place.

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

Butters Tipsy Gastropub – Google Maps

Butters Tipsy Gastropub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Summer House Café [Todi Mill, Lower Parel]

The weekend aways makes us happy. But this time, it left us elated! Like any other day, we zeroed in on a location to satiate our growling tummies and went ahead. We had heard the place we had selected – Summer House Café is an amazing one, we just did not know the enormity of the amazingness and hence, were more than under prepared for what hit us once we landed here!

Summer House Café is a dreamy setup, a beautiful place! For us, it felt like another world! Just far away, another country, another landscape, ‘coz surely, something this amazing cannot be right here, correct?

The white and blue facade with bamboo sticks forming a part of the wall reminded us of a shack in some beach country. Then we entered through the doors and were awestruck by the bustling area and it literally took us a few minutes to take everything in.

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During these few minutes, we were informed that a workshop was in progress on the lower level, were ushered to our tables upstairs and handed over the menu.

And not assimilating all this, we were still looking around wondering how the wooden beams and columns fit perfectly, how just the right amount of light enters through the glass windows and how beautiful it would be to stare at the sky in the evening (if only Mumbai skies were clear).

How the clock, which surprisingly wasn’t working, fits perfectly in the scene and how the lampshade next to us is the epitome of vintage chicness! Yup, such are the exaggerated feelings when you are not prepared for something and then are clean bowled by it.

The ambience makes everything look better. The area is huge and very spacious. and superbly lit during the daytime and transforms to a dim lit, fine dining area come evening. That’s the upper level. The lower level is still the den of activity. It is a house to comedy shows, band performances, crazy retro dance nights, book & reading clubs and painting workshops to name few. When we were here, by the evening, a workshop on knife painting led to a colourful chatter here and then, just like in the movies, the entire scene changed to become host to a movie launch party. And we sat there, hogging and marvelling!

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The menu here is a maze! There is so much variety that you are confused and yet the humble staff say that they know the variety is limited! Coming to the staff, the service is prompt and friendly and the Chef surely knows how to win you over, en route your stomach! Here is what we hogged on at Summer House Café –

Yuzu Pineapple Smash – A refreshing combination of lime, yuzu (a citrus fruit giving the drink a slight tart) and basil. Thyme and fennel seeds added a mind blowing aroma and flavour.

Blueberry Twist Smash – A tangy concoction of blueberry, lime and orange. Rosemary adds a very refreshing flavour. This one packs a sure punch!

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Yuzu Pineapple Smash & Blueberry Twist Smash

Jalapeno Cheese Poppers – Crispy batter fried poppers with mozzarella cheese and made spicy with lots of chilli flakes and jalapenos. These are better spelt as ‘perfection’! Pop these and see the cheese oozing out! But make sure you have the poppers before someone snatches them off the plate.

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Jalapeno Cheese Poppers

The Haystack Salad – Sprouts, bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, cucumber, lettuce, corn and more! And topped or rather stacked with crispy tortilla fingers. There is a slight hint of sweetness in the salad owing to the ingredients and we would have better liked it with a little bit of black pepper if not chilli to ease out the sweetness.

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The Haystack Salad

Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream – Fresh, crispy tortilla chip loaded with chopped tomatoes, spring onions, jalapenos, black beans, and a tangy salsa sauce. The cheese sauce and sour cream are wonderful!

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Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream

Indian Vegetarian Platter – The intense and spicy flavours of the dishes in the Indian vegetarian platter were mind blowing. Spicy masalas that do justice to the preparations. There were three items in the platter – Char grilled paneer chunks with a smokey flavour and marinated in strong spices. Pineapple presented in a chatpata avatar that we definitely had not tried earlier. The masalas overshadowed the inherent sweetness of the fruit and left for a delicious preparation on the sticks.

Soya Kebabs were the star of the show in this platter. Soft soya, marinated in a very spicy sauce, stuffed with veggies, paneer and nuts. This one was amazing! It was served with a yoghurt based dip and a non-spicy mint dip.

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Indian Vegetarian Platter

Veg Mezze Platter – Consisted of crispy and delicious falafels, feta samosas and crispy soft pita bread. Sticky rice balls were made with the thicker rice, slightly crisp on the outside and had a filling of veggies and a little bit of cheese. The dips are mind blowing, especially the hummus. We did not really enjoy the feta samosas as they were a bit oily and a little bland for our taste.

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Veg Mezze Platter

Thai Veg Curry – Lots of exotic veggies in a superbly fragrant curry spiced with Thai herbs. It has a mildly spicy aftertaste. We loved the fact that it has just the adequate amount of creaminess and spices. Recommended!

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Thai Veg Curry

Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza – Thin crusted pizza that is topped with bocconcini. The combination of bocconcini and the tomato based sauce were marvellous. Topped with sun-dried and cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, this pizza is a delight. We especially loved the crusty corners and the fresh aroma added by the basil.

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Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza

Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich – Overloaded with cheese and pesto, this is a simple yet delightful sandwich in a crispy panini bread. The sandwich primarily has lots of tomatoes and a non-spicy pesto sauce.

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Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich

Tiramisu – Tiramisu here is a must have! Not only is it perfect, it also has a surprise for you! The creamy dessert is served in a glass along with rum soaked bread. We could not figure out why this bread tasted so good even after we had scavenged it through the deep ends of the glass. The chef then let us in on this secret. The strong essence and flavours that the rum bread and coffee add are mind boggling!

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Tiramisu

Mega Brownie Sundae Mug – This should be called Mega Happiness Sundae Mug! Delicious, soft and crunchy brownie with lots and lots of vanilla ice cream that was threatening to melt! Made a hell lot messy and tasty by the chocolate sauce and finished with a cherry on top!

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Mega Brownie Sundae Mug

Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream – A soft spongy cake with intense cinnamon flavour, lots of nuts and whipped cream. We loved how gooey and soft it was.

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Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream

The Ultimate Banoffee Pie – If we were not averse to bananas, this one would have been the dessert for us at Summer House Café. It is without a doubt on the sweeter side, but the toffee sauce makes you want to dig in for just another bite till you have licked the glass and the spoon and maybe even the plate! Heavenly!

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The Ultimate Banoffee Pie

Overall Experience:  First, the ambience blows you away and then you are washed over by the astonishingly delicious food and delicate flavours! We were looking at each other with baffled expression after every bite!

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

We guess that enough explanation for the love affair we had with Summer House Café to make you wanna check it out for yourselves? We surely hope so, ‘coz we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this amazing place! Highly recommended!

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The Battle: The battle is having to get up and leave from here! Can’t we just get mattresses and sleep here?

Summer House Café – Google Maps

Summer House Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Artika Café [White Town, Pondicherry]

First look at Artika Café and you feel like you are in a slow motion video of some lost town. Time probably, literally stops here! Artika Café is one of the best places to laze around in Pondicherry.

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It is essentially a black and white shot, with a random table or two adding the colours. Dry leaves and white bougainvillaea decorate the courtyard, giving the feel of a never-ending autumn. The quietness here can be the brand ambassador for Pondicherry’s ‘Peaceful Pondicherry’ tagline! This peacefulness is what drew us here and kept us here and what made us never want to get up and leave!

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A narrow and beautiful shrub covered path led us to the graffiti and mural covered courtyard. There are a few tables in the open courtyard and a few lounge chairs in the shade covered area to just stretch and relax.

There are a few tables inside as well, in an old, pretty worn-out house but we chose outside, obviously!

There is an art gallery and a shop inside, which sort of seems like the thing in Pondicherry!

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Once we had taken in the amazing surroundings and rested for a few good minutes, we asked for the menu. The menu is another surprise. They give you a big handmade paperboard menu that is hand written – art all the way, we say! There are quite a few breakfast options, sandwiches, baguettes and crepes to pick from. They have some really good combos to pick from. The food ranges from affordable to average pricey but one can easily find something according to their budget. Another good thing here is the free WiFi for as long as you want. The service is prompt and super friendly.

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We had a Ratatouille and Cheese Sandwich. The aroma of the ratatouille being prepared made our mouths water! The sandwich was delicious, non-spicy ratatouille with lots of veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes and more with lots of mozzarella cheese! It was lip-smacking!

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Ratatouille and Cheese Sandwich

We also had Mango Lassi which was more like thick mango pulp smoothie! It was very refreshing and filling!

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Mango Lassi & Fresh Lime Juice

Artika Café and Gallery should be where you head to, to chill on a hot summer day or to get your work done in peace. And if nothing, a few hours of peace don’t hurt!

We had an amazing time at Artika Café, do tell us about yours!!

Artika Café [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Artika Cafe Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Canteen 18 [Heritage Town, Pondicherry]

Sometimes, wrong roads lead people to the right places.

One such wrong road led us to discover Canteen 18. We were headed towards our hotel to deposit our bags and we saw a small little eatery, at the corner of a street, just in the passing. Little did we know, a split second would have that much impact. The moment we were fresh and ready to feed our growling tummies, the first place that we mentioned, together, was that small eatery at the corner – Canteen 18!

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We walked to the eatery, located in the lane behind the busy MG Road. A sharp contrast from the chaotic main road, this street and Canteen 18, both, are a solace. First look, and you are bound to smile. A small cooking area, with 3 tables and a capacity to seat not more than 10 people, this place is charming in all certainty.

The place is run by two people and sees an influx of locals and foreigners alike. The menu is not very large in general and really small, like 5 items small, for vegetarians. And yet we recommend you go here, even if you have pick the same combination in a burger and a croissant (this is for vegetarians, others have options), we still strongly recommend you do not miss out on this one! Have a bite of their burgers or croissant sandwich and you will know why!

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Paneer Veggie Burger > A thin paneer based patty with lots of veggies – jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and onions. The patty had a slightly charred and smokey flavour and went so well with the molten mozzarella. Add to that their lip-smacking Barbeque sauce and it was heavenly! The cheese literally dripped off the burger and messed our hands as we ate! Totally loved it!
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Paneer Veggie Burger

Veggie Croissant Sandwich > Sounds different right? Croissant and sandwich? This was a slightly crisp and buttery croissant that was stuffed with veggies, sauces and mozzarella, just like a sandwich would. But it tasted soooo soo good! Mozzarella again stole the show!

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Veggie Croissant Sandwich

We also tried an Affogato here, which was only ₹90, can you believe it!! It was a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla. A perfect treat!

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Affogato

Grape Soda was black currant based tangy soda and was refreshing. We asked for Iced Tea but that wasn’t available. Only hope that a few more vegetarian options were available and this would be heaven!

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Grape Soda

Canteen 18 is a dreamy place and definitely something you have to treat yourself to. Imagine a quiet road, open-air cafe, aroma of delicious food filling the air. Doesn’t seem much like India? Well, that’s where Pondicherry will surprise you!

We don’t even wanna imagine how beautiful this setting would be in monsoons! Another Pondicherry trip seems like a great idea at this moment!

Canteen 18 [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Canteen 18 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Garde Manger Café [Vile Parle]

Keeper of Food

That is what Garde Manger means. And we would like to modify it for this café as – keeper of awesome, delicious and healthy food!

Garde Manger Café is a fairly new addition to the healthy-eating clan. Located in Vile Parle, this café is small, cute and cozy. The focus on clean, fresh and green eating is also apparent from their green and brown decor, small potted plants here and there and the vibe this place gives. The have an indoor AC section and an outdoor open air one which was, as usual, our favourite.

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The interiors are comfortable and warm. A counter has a display of various mushrooms in jars, coffee beans in bottles, a few odd knick-knacks and more. The service is friendly and prompt.  The menu has a selection of soups, sandwiches, salads as also pasta and smoothies. They have a range of healthy desserts which also include some gluten free ones.

We started with Roasted Tomatoes and  Bocconcini Sandwich. Soft multigrain bread with a non-spicy green chutney, tomatoes, lettuce and lots of bocconcini cheese. Bocconcini is a type of Mozerella cheese. It added a delicate creamy and savoury flavour to the sandwich. The green chutney/sauce and cheese added good flavours to the sandwich which was otherwise basic. Liked it!

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Roasted Tomatoes and Bocconcini Sandwich

From the specials, we called for Stuffed Multigrain Paratha. 8 triangular pieces of parathas that were made semi-crispy. Stuffed with a mixture of loads of veggies or as they call it vegetable keema considering the vegetable sizes were really small. The mixture/keema was well spiced and herbed. The paratha was served with a small bowl of curd and green chutney and pickle. It made for a perfect heavy and healthy breakfast!

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Multigrain Stuffed Paratha
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Cold Coffee

Cold Coffee which is not mentioned on the menu was the no-nonsense coffee with a little coffee powder dusted on top.

We also called for a Fresh Fruit Popsicle and got an orange popsicle. It was the perfect end to out breakfast! The pieces of orange in the popsicle made for the perfect juicy candy!

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Fresh Fruit Popsicle

The food may not blow you away but is totally worth every penny and is in no doubt delicious. So yes, the next time you wanna go healthy and vegan, Garde Manger is one of the places to look at.

Garde Manger Café – Google Maps

Garde Manger Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Above & Beyond [Mahakali, Andheri]

What could be a better blessing for a consulting executive than getting to laze through a Monday holiday, laughing at its face while lying on the bed and just rejoicing thinking of how you’re gonna claim vengeance for those “Monday Morning Blues”!!

I lay planning my day full of sweet nothings and fetched my phone to read the latest pings – there was a rather creepy one: “Evening 6 @ Mahakali”

This was from one of those privileged Highnesses who can actually order me and have their way!

Fast forward – 6 p.m. at Mahakali, we get down from the autorickshaw and look around to locate our hunger battleground for the day – Above & Beyond. It initially appears as a local underdog with decent potential and looks.

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We enter in with our modest expectations – good food and a pleasant evening! Mr Deepak greets us with a warm smile and walks us to our table.But given the restless folks that we are, we immediately requested our way into exploring upstairs.

Above & Beyond is the quintessential snack bar, tastefully done up with a live cooking counter alongside 6-7 small tables downstairs and a sheesha bar a level above.The sheesha floor has a colourful, comfortable, vibrant and cozy feel to it. Downstairs are artistically placed bulbs, stools with pedals and walls having a brick finish. It is flooded with the aroma of fresh bakes and slow music plays in the background. This place definitely strikes an instant chord. And if that were not all, how about I top it up with some board games, cards and comic books! Totally irresistible – isn’t it?

With the mood set, it was now time for Food! An eggetarian menu, it boasts of assorted varieties of toasts to sandwiches, pasta, burgers, pizzas, fries, wraps, salads, coffee, mocktails and of course – eggs!

Mr Highness had already chosen the first dish to try – the Chef Special Potholes of Mumbai Flyover. Being regular drivers in the maximum city, the very mention of potholes is enough reason for us to crib. But this, my friends, was a different story altogether!

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Potholes of Mumbai Flyover

Fried egg, onions, baby chops of potatoes and mild spices infused generously into flawlessly toasted brun pav – this one looked nothing less than an egg doughnut. A treat to the eyes and the perfect blend of crunch and tenderness at the same time. This one is without a doubt, a must-try for all egg lovers. A little bit of chopped green chillies could be an interesting addition to the perfection that this dish is. I wonder why I am no longer complaining about pot holes! Any guesses?? :p

We next ordered the Cajun Spiced Vegetable Burger. The patty was made of mashed potatoes, corn, carrots, french beans, onions and was perfectly crisp yet soft. The cajun spiced sauce, which was mildly spicy, was a delicious addition to the burger and made it lip-smacking!

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Cajun Spiced Burger
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Strawberry Rose Smoothie and Passion Kiwi Sour Punch Smoothie

Next came Strawberry Rose Smoothie and Passion Kiwi Sour Punch Smoothie.

We couldn’t wait to sip on these.

The Strawberry Rose Smoothie is your classic strawberry milkshake and lacked a strong presence of rose syrup in it.

The clear winner here was the Passion Kiwi Sour Punch Smoothie – a refreshing shake which promises a strong punch of kiwi till the last sip. What we are confused is about its mysterious yellow colour! 😉😉

There is no party without pizza and no one is ever satisfied with just one pizza. So we decided to go for a half-n-half. With the chef special already having worked its magic once – we thought of giving it another shot with the American Corn Chaat Pizza as one-half and the Cottage Cheese, Bell Peppers as the other.

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American Corn Chaat and Cottage Cheese, Bell Peppers Pizza

The American Corn Chaat Pizza had a freshness to its look and flavours that hit your taste buds spot on! Thin crust base, topped with finely sliced capsicum, roasted corn and cheese certainly qualify it to be a pizza – but what brings life to it was the cumin chaat powder and a slight tanginess. Cottage Cheese Bell Peppers, on the other hand, had a colourful mix of bell peppers, paneer and cheese – good enough but not something that you’ve not tried before.

So which one was the better half according to us? – American Corn Chaat Pizza. 

Though we like the pizza, we found the portion size a little too small.

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Crumb Fried Chilli Poppers

Then came Crumb Fried Chili Poppers are nothing more than your packaged frozen poppers mummy would fry for you at home, but worth mentioning is the lemon based mayo dip that came along!

We now went for the humble guys – Cafe Frappe and Virgin Mojito. Both the drinks were good and basic in presentation. The frappe was a tad bit on the bitter side – which works amazingly well for us!

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Smooth & Silk Chocolate Cake

At last, it was time the best – Smooth & Silk Chocolate Cake. This cake was what his Highness had set his eyes on, from the very beginning. A thin layer of crunchy cake at the base coupled with plentiful of thick chocolate and milk cream above and choco-wafer sticks to add to the beauty – the cake was amazing. The sly bitterness in the chocolate cream sis wonders to this velvety goodness!

Overall Experience: We truly loved the pleasing setup, warm service, attention to presentation and just the fact that we could see our food travel to us from the open kitchen counter! Also, the place opens as early as 7.30 am – you don’t want to miss it!

Expectations met? – Well, we’ll just say Above & Beyond.

Mondays like these – Yes, please!!

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

The Battle – Fighting our way through potholes to reach to the delicious version of it! These potholes, you will wanna dive into them all alone!

P.S.: This blog post is written by my partners in crime Aniket Menon and Nikit Koli. My contribution was only a little editing. Cheers to you guys ❤

Their closing note: The camaraderie was Rocky & Mayur like.

Above & Beyond – Google Maps

Above & Beyond Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato