29 July, 2007

An evening in a "Village"

Last weekend we had a family dinner at a restaurant called "Village". This is a rather interesting and unique concept place located in Raghuleela mall at Borivali (west). The idea is you pay Rs.300 per head and get an entry which gives you access to all the food that is available that evening at the place. Cuisines available are Rajasthani, Gujarati, Punjabi and live "chaat" counters. Entry is first-cum basis and they don't accept reservations. And that's also because the seating is free style, you just about corner off a table where you set base with your team and then go about on the food hunt.

Village (by kapsi)It's a very gujarati/rajasthani influenced set-up of a typical village with a town square which has a huge articial tree under which tarot card readers, bead sellers, mehendi-walis are located serving the diners. The seating is also very typical with khatiya (cots) and tables. If you move around you will see some rather interesting tables like a truck which had a table set behind its back and a rickshaw split open to fit a four-seater table.

We entered the place at about 8PM and it was moderately crowded but in no time the place was jam packed. Just around that time they start the entertainment show where a bunch of ladies perform a traditional dance and a man saddled on a costume horse does a little jig too! Thankfully after the dance there was a small break and a puppet show kept the noisy kids busy for a while. The large space gives them great freedom to run around like crazy.

Spread out across the place are various food counters where you can just about eat anything as much as you like. We had pani-puri, sev puri, masala khicha, khama dhokla, vada - And a bit more just for starters. I didn't seem to like the khicha very much it was too salty. Maybe the masala papad would have been a better bet!

truck at villageThe pav bhaji was a good choice, because the pav is soft like cotton and absolutely delicious. The center court is where you have the main course items like panner ki sabzi, dal baati, khichu, karela kish-mish, gatte ki sabzi, biryani, khichdi, kadi, dal dokhli accompanied with bajre ki roti, tandoori roti, phulka, channa batura. For a sweet ending there was gulab jamun, jalebi, dal ka sheera, kulfi and kadhai doodh.

For refreshments don't expects the cokes and pepsis of the world around here. There is sugarcane juice, chaas (butter-milk) and a gole wala if you want to suck up some flavoured crushed ice. Oh and yes they have a hooka counter also where you can pick a flavour of your choice. But this ain't included in the 300 bucks we paid earlier.

Verdict: The place is a good experience, tends to get a bit loud with all the naach-gaana. Strongly recommended that you go there in groups - couples stay away and surely not for those looking for a nice quiet place to chat. Food is good variety and quality but nothing awesome about it. I am not sure if I would go back again.

toy seller at village (by kapsi) waiter at Village (by kapsi) tissue holder at Village (by kapsi)

me blowing a hooka at Village (by kapsi)

26 July, 2007

Jacob's Creek: Chardonnay 2002 (White Wine)

wine chardonnay 2002 (by kapsi)Last night I relished a Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2002 White Wine over a family dinner. Although I was not in the best of my health, I think the wine was smooth and left a good taste on the tongue. The color is a dirty yellow with very little bubbles.

Recommended drinking.

16 July, 2007

Katiawadi food in Baroda

I spent the weekend in Baroda for some research work. After a hard day of work, we decided to skip the very typical Punjabi dishes listed on the menu and choose to order from the Gujarati menu - the local specialties. Although I had heard the name before during our trips to Nathdwara, I was not sure how would it be ordering the same without mom around. The menu was printed in Gujarati, so with a little help from the waiter we managed to order a decent meal.
  • Sev tumattar (Sev and Tomato) This was a bit spicy but I think that's how they make it.
  • Baingan nu bharto (brinjal) - oily but yummy
  • Bajre nu rotlo - very soft and delicious
  • Khichdi ane kadi - Thankfully it was not topped with ghee!!
Gujarati food is a nice cuisine but when you are eating out you tend to over-eat and so it tends to get heavy. So eat in limit unless you are on holiday and enjoy a good siesta post-meal.

09 July, 2007

3 layered mousse

3 layered chocolate mousse (by kapsi)

Had this interesting 3 layered mousse at Senate, Status (Nariman Point, Mumbai). The first layer was milk chocolate, then white chocolate and last layer was the dark chocolate with crushed biscuit base. Not only did it taste nice but was set in "shot glasses".

04 July, 2007

Tastes from Kolkata

I spent the weekend in Kolkata and got a chance to taste some of the restaurants around there. Here is a quick note on my experiences.

THE HUB at Taj Bengal: The breakfast buffet was just like a king's meal - scrambled eggs with bacon, idli+wada, a variety of breads & jams, parathas, momos, stir fried vegetables with noodles, burgers, fresh juices, mishti doi and a lot more which I never got around eating. Lucky for me we had 3 mornings so I tried something different everyday.

Fire and Ice on Middleton Street: An Italian joint this is a must try when in Kolkata. We were there for a late lunch and called for the a raw salad and a thin-crust pizza. I must say they had a very authentic taste. The place has a unique look decorated with black & white film posters from Hollywood and a single poster of yester-years of bollywood stars like Meena Kumari and Shashi Kapoor.

Mainland China: This was the most talked about place and plans to visit this chinese restaurant were made almost a week in advance. A table on a Saturday night is a bit of a problem, so the advance booking. Although the food was tasty I could not really relish it because we were just too many of us busy chatting up and joking around.

When we checked into the hotel, we were given a cake (I don't know who messed up - but they thought it was our anniversary) and a bottle of wine.

happy anniversary cake (by kapsi)
The cake wasn't bad - a nice chocolate cake with white chocolate flakes.

Grover vineyards - La reserve 2004 Red Wine. (by kapsi)
The wine was a Grover Vineyards 2004 la reserve. I didn't really like this one much, it was very dry and rough.