Sunday, January 20, 2013

Overhyped and famous Italian Joint of Mumbai !


Location : Powai

Specialty: Italian, fine dining  !!!

Overall Rating : 6.5 / 10

Food (Taste/Quality): 7/10
Quantity : 4/10
Variety : 5/10
Ambience : 9/10
Service : 7.5/10

Price : Rs. 800 Per person appx without drinks

Best dishes : Penne pasta in mixed sauce. Risotto, Ravioli, Thin crust pizzas, baked live in the traditional brick oven. Can try varieties.

Avoid : Mocktails...too watery

Special comments : Decent food, great ambience, but not value for money, in terms of fine dining experience, compared to is peers like Olives, Moshes, Bunglow 9, Indigo deli etc.

Even taste wise Little Italy, Rays kitchen in the lower brackets great them upfront !

Marathi food in the heart of Mumbai


Location : Near Shivaji park

Specialty: Marathi cuisine

Overall Rating : 7 / 10

Food (Taste/Quality): 7/10
Quantity : 8/10
Variety : 5/10
Ambience : 5/10
Service : 5/10

Price : Rs. 100 Per person appx

Best dishes : Kande pohe, upma, kothambir wadi, kanda bhaji, misal, usal, batata wada

Avoid : Non marathi items. They have brought on some gujju stuff, to derisk, better focus on Maharashtrian.</p>

Special comments : Little expensive for what it sells... Simple inexpensive a non Ac 100 sq ft eatery, but the location and cuisine makes the visit a worth whenever you are around Dadar Worli and you miss the Datta wade wala.

Khichdi Samrat of Mumbai

Khichdi Samrat, a small, old 200 sq ft eatery in the most busiest lanes of Mumbai, run by a marwadi family.

Location : Crowded street of Mumba Devi. Near Gulal wadi, also check the map attached.

Specialty: As it goes by the name, the only eatery in Mumbai offering innovative and varieties of fantastic Khichdi.

Overall Rating : 7/ 10

Food (Taste/Quality): 9/10
Quantity : 8/10 ...good quantity
Variety : 9/10 one offers these varieties of khichdi in Mumbai
Ambience : 0.5/10 ... Old world 200 sq ft, non Ac. Eatery, worth a visit from the taste perspective
Service : 6/10

Price : Rs. 100 Per person appx

Best dishes : Masala khichdi, palak khichdi, dry fruit khichdi, daal baati.  Rajasthani cuisine.

Avoid : Punjabi dishes which they were forced to start from a commercial point of view, I guess, as regulars would want more choice.

Special comments :  Parking a challenge in the busy Mumba devi lane. Checkout for daily Daal baati is available only on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Truly International Food from 50 countries in Malad

The Flags

Location : Malad Link Road

Specialty: International cuisine (pure veg) from across 50 countries all at one place !!! Be it Indonesia, Malaysia, Switzerland, Spain, US, Mexico, Burma.... Name the country and you will find the dishes and the flags too !!!

Overall Rating : 8/ 10

Food (Taste/Quality): 8/10
Quantity : 8/10
Variety : 9.5/10
Ambience : 7/10
Service : 7/10

Price : Rs. 300 Per person appx

Best dishes : Malaysian pizza, Nasi Goreng Indonesian noodles and Italian pastas in mixed sauce, Mexican rice.
Avoid : Will need ten more visits to identify what's bad !

Special comments : Great taste and not indianized versions. Covers the maximum international cuisine in Mumbai at one place. Truly value for Money !

Coastal food from across the Coast !


Location : 120 Kms from Mumbai

Speciality : Coastal food from across the Coast - Maharashtra, Konkan, Goa & Mangalore all at one place !!!

Overall Rating : 8.5 / 10

Food (Taste/Quality): 7/10
Quantity : 8/10
Variety : 8/10
Ambience : 8/10
Service : 9/10

Price : Rs. 700 Per person appx

Best dishes : Maharashtrian platter with Kothambir vadi, Dal wada. Cuisines of Maharashtra, Konkan, Mangalore, Karnataka n Goa
Do try Cashew n tender coconut gravy of Goa, Goan curry with steam rice, Kadalagari with appam n tandla chi bhakri (rice chapati)
Avoid : Maharashtrian Masala Bhat

Special comments : Nice ambience and service. Good quality and quantity but worth the cost. Complimentary Sol Kadhi, Chass, Aam Panna a star attraction. And also the complimentary paan by Pandey Ji, a Bollywood celebrity paan Wala claiming serving in all Bollywood shaadis including Abhishek Bachchan - Karisma Kapoor engagement party which broke off and people celebrated Big B's bday.

Continental breakfast in Andheri, Mumbai


Overall Rating : 7.5/10

Visited this place with family for a Sunday Brunch. Recommend this place for a good peaceful time with friends and family

Speciality : Conti

Food : 7/10
Variety : 6/10
Ambience : 8/10
Service : 7/10

Price : Rs. 350 Per person appx

Best dishes : Rice Burger, Open Sanwiches, Risotto, Pasta and Apple Pancake
Avoid : Pizzas, Orange juice which is Lime juice

Special comments : Cosy cafe with bar. Food was good from a brunch perspective. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Introduction Article on INDO FOODIEE

The Indo Foodiee - Exploring the Indian Food from the "Heritage" to the "Hole in the Wall" Eateries !

Born and Broughtup in Calcutta means getting a tastebud extra than others... might seem an exaggeration or a bit blunt statement, and my Northie friends would lay their bets too, but a combination of a Gujarati and a Calcuttan can beat that too.... If I talk about Cal food, it can run into pages, hence saving it for future...

Well, Some eat to live and I live to eat and I dont have any hiccups in confessing that upfront. I have been exploring new places and cuisines to eat - not just in India, but in all my trips abroad also. But being a Veggie, India is a place, take any State of the country, which brings out a superb multidimensional culture and this culture is represented primarily by the people, their art and living and their Food...
So, we all agree that Food is a strong representation of the Culture and one may not speak more on the diversified Indian Culture.

I never knew that in Maharashtra - one can have 4 different broad tastes of food - Paschim Maharashtra, Khandesh, Konkan, Vidharbha - they all have their different and unique tastes... Gujarat food is not always sweet - try out the Kaathiawaadi food and for a Urban Mumbaikar, Idli-Dosa means South Indian Food and vice versa... my Mom feels anything below Maharashtra till Kanyakumari is "Madrasi" and maybe in my Childhood I too though so.... but post traveling across the country have explored that Andhra Pradesh, kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka food are as different as Punjabi and Bengali food...
so with this blog, would try and explore the Regional and Local Taste/Flavor of the Food and would recommend the place with my Ratings too.... 

I have been visiting the "Famous Joints" - right from the 5 Stars to the "Hole in the Wall Eatery" at any place I travel...any smallest town I go, I have also barged into a tribals house requesting him to make me some food and have also bribed people to make me the best dishes post their closing hours... so, here I go.... have inititiated a separate BLOG for the Food Reviews and Pictures - My blogs come with a lot of pictures, as Food is something you cant just read about - its not "the Touch and feel" but "Look and imagine" item ! Thanks to my Nokia E71 for all those beautiful pictures ! A separate blog, since I dont want to mix it with my core articles on (1) Management (2) Social and Political (3) Strategic Areas and they would still keep coming on

This Food Blog is known as - Indo Foodiee is a Foodie with and EXTRA E - which represents (EAT)... thats all bull...actually some one had already blocked the earlier one...and with this, I would atleast attempt at sharing 1 Review a Week.

I have already put in
10 reviews over the weekend covering food across Maharashtra, Gujarat, MP, Kashmir, Kerala...but the USP of the site is Food in and around Mumbai - where most of us live.... there are seriously some great joints in Mumbai and all over and with this platform, I would sincerely try acknowledging the efforts and passion of the food makers - they truly deserve this.... and I truly believe that Good Food can be the most Satisfying element - sometimes more than Money too !!

Radhika (My brothers wife) keeps saying that I might give Mayur from

HOMP- Highway
on my Plate from NDTV Good Times a good run for his Money..... I sincerely respect the concept of HOMP, but Mayur - Dont Worry Buddy - this is just a Time-Pass for me !!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kashmir- Just 25 Kms away Mumbai….

Had explored most of the Indian cuisines in Mumbai … but Kashmiri cuisine was something which I had not tried besides the Kashmiri Food Festivals at the ITC and Marriot. My friend Amardeep, once out of the blue moon referred to this place called POUSH -  A Pure Kashmiri joint and here we make a plan immediately to drive down the place and spend our Sunday. We left Andheri and reach this resort exactly in 40 Mins, thanks to some Jam at the
Bhayender-Mira Rd due to road constructions.

Had a thought that this would be just another resort with some kashmiri items on the menu but when we reached there it was more to it. In Shikara style there were independent boats and a sitting houseboat styled restaurant. Theres also rooms/cottages to stay, some swimming to enjoy and good drinks and pure Kashmiri food at this wonderful place called Poush – owned and run by Kashmiris….
Chaman (Paneer) Pulav

What we ordered on the special recommendation of Amardeep & Mini, the frequenters there and one should not miss these at all.
Dum Aloo
Kashmiri Aloo Dum – Chaawal (Kashmiri Potato Gravy with Rice)
Monje Nadier- thin sliced knol knoll and lotus roots pan-fried and cooked in red gravy
Chamani Pulav - cubes of paneer cooked in basmati rice and flavored with saffron
Varieties of Naan
And amazing Deserts (not to miss the Phirni in the clay utensil and Gulab Jamun) and Appetizers like Qaawa (Kashmiri drink)

Price Range – Rs 300 per person (w/o liquor)
Ambience – 3/5, Service – 3/5, Cost – 3/5, Food taste – 4/5, Overall rating – 3.5/5

A good place for party or a day trip and a good experience for the Non-Veggies (try Gustaaba, Rogan Josh) and Veggies too and one gets booze at a reasonable price too.

This place is at Malji Pada, Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway , Mumbai, Maharashtra 401104 and one can also check it out on

So, next time you get bored of the usual food, try this out…. Who said Kashmir is far off…its just 25 kms from Mumbai !!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pune - Must eats.....

Pune is a place famous for students, industries and auto industries and with all the development comes a place with multi-culture. If one asks me what not to miss in Pune in terms of the famous food is concerned, here is my laundry list (in no order of preference)

  1. Puneri Thaali (Pure Veg Joint) called Shreyas with Marathi taste and an array of lot of delicacies – a bit costly as compared to Mumbai- guess around 150-180 bucks but worth a meal without a breakfast.
  2. Puneri Pitla-Bhakri – Kailas Besan Bhakri and Joshi Vade waala – on the highway connecting Mahabaleshwar-Pune-Mumbai, before the express way begins…damages just 60 bucks per plate
  3. Traditional Royal Marathi food – Jadhavgarh Fort around 30 mins drive from Chandni Chowk junction, this old heritage fort turned hotel and restaurant is worth a visit. Ambience and the feel along with food is good for a hefty sum of around 700 bucks per person
  4. Veg Continental food in peace – Oakwood Hotel
  5. Burgers – At some place near FC (Ferguson College) in a home turned ground floor bake eatery.
  6. Kulfi – This famous kulfi guy on
    JM Road
    , near the lane besides Mc Donalds – any local guy would guide you to this place and you would find atleast 10-15 varieties of Kulfis and all good – not to miss the Gulkand (Rosepetals), Chocolate, Sitaphal, Malai, Pista, Strawberry and the Chickoo ones…. I myself had 5 plates. No sharing plss.
  7. World Famous – Biscuits – Shrewsbury biscuits of the KAYANI BAKERY – a pack of around 50 bucks and many other varieties too… a half a century old traditional bawa (parsi- irani) shop. Don’t get your ego hurt by the ruthless behavior of the owners and the staff (all the staff are relatives and brothers) and they feel that they are doing you a big favor by giving you these biscuits, but never mind, food ke liye kuch bhi karega.
  8. World Famous – Bhakarwadi – Another famous Maharashtrian snack item – from one and only CHITALE BANDHU – A good six sigma process of buying these and a scores of other snacks and sweets. I offered to find them a private equity to expand the business with multiple chain model but they seemed to happy with what they are doing and don’t have time for even one more outlet. Got to know from some offline rumors that the guy has already clicked a deal by selling his Bhakarwadi formula and patent to someone at Rs 200 Crs !
  9. Paan (Beetelnut leaf)– At any good paan shop – how to identify its good ? Need to have lot of Shining yellow Brass utensils (Huge plate, Pots, Jars) and decoratives (Elephants, Horses, other artifacts in the same metal) and ofcourse a fleet of cars on the roads and a crowded area – you have found one good Paan shop and there are many – for a change, if you wish to get a kick, can try “Fulchand Paan” – secret ingredient !
Anything I have missed out ? Am sure… so do add on..

Marathi Food in Sangli-Satara-Kolhapur Belt

Like South India or Gujarat, Maharashtra also offers you different and diverse culture and with culture comes its important ingredient – the food. Like if you go to the Konkan – you would find the food with coconut flavor due to the proximity near the beaches and abundance of Cocunut trees. In Marathwaada, you would find the spicy flavour of Maharashtra. In Vidharbha – you would find the sweets especially the orange ones due to the high abundance or oranges and presence of non-Marathi communities, especially Punjabi, Gujarati and Marwaris who would be the 3-4th generations.

Satara & Sangli provides you an experience to taste the food of Paschim Maharashtra (West Maharashtra) which is different from the rest.

Sangli :
We had some amazing Misal –Pav at Satara and then over lunch – Yes Boss – that’s the name of a small time local restaurant (Veg one) in Sangli where our friend and colleague Ajay Godse took us to. They served us a Veg Thaal consisting of a platter of veggies like Sukki bhaji (Dry veggie), Bharli vangi (Stuffed brinjal), Shengdana Bhaji (Peanut veggie), Daal-Kadhi, Roti, Bhakri supported by Peanuts, Solkadhi (Buttermilk of kokam), Curd and yes the spicy Thecha (Fresh Green Chilly-Garic paste)

Kolhapur :
In the evening we went to Kolhapur and had some great dinner at a place called Hotel the Woodhouse. My colleague, Sameer was searching for this place and finally we landed at the same post a good search. I had a feeling that by its name, this might be a star restaurant, but the same was just a simple famous roadside Dhaba – food joint. But when we had the food, ambience scores were not necessary and now I know why Sameer took so much efforts to find this place out for us. We ordered a different menu this time – Taaji Methi (Fresh Methi Bhaaji), Pitla (Flour Veggie), Aakha-daal (Whole Pulses), Bhakhri (Bread) and the famous Kolhapuri-Thecha… the meal ended with a Chocolate Paan acting as a dessert cum mouth freshener. One should visit this old hotel and restaurant called “Hotel Opal”  in Kolhapur to experience the best Kohapuri food. Can get the THECHA packed for home (stays for 2 days and then needs to be preserved in deep fridge)

Satara :
On our way back to Satara, we halted at this Sai Darbaar Thali Restaurant (In Maharashtra 7/10 restaurants will have a prefix of Sai... in their names)to have Veg-Thaali which consisted the Chana Masala, Paneer, Aaloo, all Punjabi veggies in a Marathi style… for a change it was a good experience and thanks to Paras Misra our local colleague from Satara for making us drop by a big Haldiraam styled sweet outlet called Rajpurohit for some Satari Pedas – brown sweet balls of milk with no sugar but sugarcane paste – gud, which is a predominant agricultural produce of this area. And the Gulkand Halwa (Rose petals sweet)

Breakfast on the way to Mahabaleshwar !

When you explore Maharashtra by road, you come across various cuisines and places with trademark Maharashtrian cuisine but in different taste. One such place which most Mumbaikars could drop in by is VIRANGULA. This is on the Pune-Satara Highwayyou should not take the most commonly known right but travel 5-6 kms ahead when you would find this place on your left. A fleet of buses and cars would never let you miss this popular joint where the who’s whos of the Mollywood (Marathi Cinema) and Bollywood have visited and the owner has a board of their pictures – a board as big has his Menu Board.

The items one should not miss here are (1) Misal Pav (2) Thali Peeth Loni – which is like a grain bread (3) Ghavan – which is like a Marathi dosa (4) Kat vada (5) Shengdaana Ladu – Peanut sweet ball.

I had savored the Missal Pav, Poha, Pitla Bhakri at many places, but items like LONI, GHAVAN, KAT VADA etc were new delicacies for me and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Post having a sumptuous breakfast of the Maharashtrian flavor added with the Garlic power-salad and Peanut Chatni – Shengdaana Chutni and a Green chilly, we made the first right cut from their to join the main road to Mahabaleshwar which we had left 6 kms behind to be at this place called “Virangula” – which means “Time Pass”

So, next time you go to Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani, this extra 10 Kms drive is essential to have the rare Marathi dishes !

. When you go to Mahabaleshwar or Panchgani…

Kathiawaadi Food just 25 kms from Mumbai !

As much as a common Indian knows about South India, so does he knows about Gujarat. When it comes to a common man – it’s a Madrasi or a South Indian for him, be it the person, food or culture – despite the fact that Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala or Karnataka have different tastes in food and culture. 

Similarly, when you look at Gujarat, people tend to classify Gujarati food as the food with sweetness in everything and that is a general perception. Actually, the food of central Gujarat is sweet and Ahmedabad area being the most prominent one has been the key to the export of the sweet tinge of cuisine. But ideally, in Gujarat too various regions have extremely diverse taste of food to note specially the food from Saurastra, Kathiawad and Kutch !

The Kathiawadi food is extremely tasty & spicy that one needs to keep bottles of water or bottles of the desi beer – Chaas or the buttermilk handy !

Coming from the princely state of Wankaner on the Machchu Kantha (River banks of Machchu) we do make sweet Gujarati daal and rest of the food at home, but we too have the Kathiawadi flavor and not to forget the Spicy Potatoes a delicious delicacy which can see fumes from your ears. 

The real taste of Kathiawadi food is something which one relishes across the highways of Gujarat and even relishing the same taste is not difficult in Mumbai – but exactly 25 Kms from Andheri.

Incidentally, me and my wife on our long drive towards Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway,discovered these joints and we frequent here once a month !! 

Bajra Rotla, White Butter, Bharela Karela, Sev-Tameta, Sambhaariyu

One more important fact on Gujju food is that Soorti Undhiya, Dhokla, Sweet Kadhi, Sweet Daal are not the trademarks of Gujju food, they just represent one part of Gujarat and when you check out the Kathiawadi food, you might not find any of these. In the nutshell, Kathiawadi food is not so sweet, but spicy (not very very spicy like the Maharashtrian Thecha) and they bring out the essence of Rural Gujarat

Stuffed Chillies & Garlic
The meal comes with an army of amazing veggies supported by Rotla (Bread of various pulses unlike the common wheat - like Bajra, Jowhar, etc) and White Butter ! The same is supported by sidees like the Salads of Papaya called Sambariyu, Stuffed Chillies, Fried Garlics, Onions, Khichiyo Papad etc.
In the main course there are varieties of dishes, but not to miss are – (1) Stuff Karelas – I always hated even the name of the bitter Karela but when you taste this one, you will change your mind for ever (2) Rasiya Aaloo or Bateta – Spicy Potatos (3) Ringana-no-Oro – Brinjal gravy (3) Vagherala Taja Shaak – fresh seasonal veggies (4) Sev-Tameta (5) Methi Bhaaji (6) Kadi (7) Daal etc. And yes…the meal is incomplete without Curd and Buttermilk in earthen vessels, which is the best way to prepare it !
Khichiya Masala Papad
For the ones with sweet tooth – please don’t expect the usual array of Gujju sweets like Basundi, Shreekhand, Ras malai, Gulab Jambu, Toprapaak (Coconut sweet), Doodhi / Gajar no halwa (Sweet made out of carrot and gourd) – these are the trademark Gujju dishes and not Kathia waadi –here, you would only get just Khajoor Paak – Sweet made of Cocunut and Dates.

The places to eat these are (1) Kathiawaad ne Kaangre which means “on the sides of Kathiawaad” which comes around 7-8 kms after Fountain hotel – Ghodbunder Road crossing post Dahisar-Mira Road- towards Gujarat road. And (2) Kathaiwaad ne Angre – which means “in the backyard of Kathiawaad” which is around 3 kms post the first one. But the first one is a better place where you can sit on the traditional khatia – hand made beds and enjoy your meal till 12-3 PM and from 7PM-11PM though the latter is open 24X7.There are also small time Kathiawaadi joints like (3) Hotel Kathiawaad Bhayenderwaala etc, but the above 2 are much bigger ones !

Rating - Taste (4/5), Ambience (2/5), Price / Value for Money (3/5- A Lavish unlimited order flow would cost Rs 200 per person), Overall - 4/5Hope you savor this different taste of Gujarat and just not brand Gujju food as the sweet food which Radhika, my brother Nirav’s wife does…..she is still to check this out !