10 December, 2010

Pali Village Cafe - Good food in a torn down interior

We count ourselves lucky when we get the chance to try one of the new eateries in the suburbs. And at our rate of trips to Bandra we manage to find a new one every time. This weekend it was Pali Village Cafe.As soon as I tweeted about my dinner plans, they followed me back on twitter.[Pali Village Cafe on Twitter] Interesting ... but the conversation didn't go forward.

Firstly, a big thank you to them for seating us in good time even though we reached there much earlier than our scheduled booking. I think the dry day helped.

For all the popularity this place enjoys I was stunned to see a very rugged, unfinished interior decor of the place. Most of the walls are not even white-washed, forget painted. The wine racks are the ones you see in godowns. Furniture was nothing fancy either. Actually the chair was a stunner.

But I think this is the new taste people seem to enjoy. Anyway, the ambiance was beautifully dim lit and some very interesting crowd walked in and out. A visual delight ;-)

We started with "The Greek Salad" and Pita bread with red pepper humus - yummy and the salad is a must try. The bread basket is nice with some very soft bread slice, sticks and mini buns. I like the butter re-fills which kept coming without the asking. For the mains, vegetarian offerings are limited so while the wife selected the Mushroom and pepper risotto I tried the Grilled Chicken. The risotto needed some spice and I think some chili flakes took care of it nicely. The chicken breast was a good selection, soft and fleshy. Just that the sauce was a bit tangy. A black currant ice-tea was a good choice since we could not try the Sangrias [dry day].

Being a Saturday evening, I want to excuse the rather pushy waiters who were dying to clear off the dishes from our table and get us to the next step as soon as we were done. Would have been nice if they gave us some time to enjoy the experience a bit more relaxed.

The menu is designed for an all day cafe - pizza, sandwich and lots of mocktails/smoothies. But the pastas come during lunch and dinner time only.

Location is a blink and miss, so drive slow once you reach the Pali Naka and look for a cream colour uniformed valet drivers. And that's it.

Conclusion: Not wow if you are a vegetarian so go there with meat eaters, enjoy the ambiance and the wide variety of wine collection.

26 November, 2010

Busaba - Restaurant Review

In it's old avatar Busaba was a little watering hole with lots of loud music. But a few months back a few friends decided to do a Saturday lunch there and I was very impressed with the place. So for mom's birthday we decided to treat her a super dinner at Busaba.

This is a cosy little restaurant+lounge bar in one of the by-lanes behind Taj hotel, Colaba. A dim-light setting invites you and there are 2 areas, the outdoor [but covered] and the inside seating. Opt for the outside, it feels really nice there. Service levels are impressive and there was at least one steward who ensured we are attended to all the time.

Started with the Momos and assorted veg rolls. Veg was good so I am sure the chicken ones should be nice too. Must must order the Veg Satay. 

Main course - Nasi Goreng & Mei Goreng is nice. The assorted vegetables in black bean sauce tastes nice and different from most of the other places we haven been.

The khow suey wasn't all that nice and could do with a lot more of the soup. Gets too dry with the limited soup serving.

Wine collection is not too wide, specially if you want it by the glass.

One line - Must go for a romantic candle-lit dinner. limited seating ensures there is not much chaos on most nights.

17 November, 2010

Dakshinayan - south indian in town

This review should have been online long back. And apologizes for no accompanying photos.

Dakshinayan is the south indian eatery at the Teen Batti junction of Walkeshwar. Simple interiors with a strip opened ceiling. The owner sure didn't do much to make this place fancy for the areas audience.

What did we eat?
Mini Masala idli. yummy. a good serving suffices 2 comfortably and is loaded with tomato and onion. Must try.
Apam - strictly ok, felt it had gone a bit sour. I think the wife makes them much better at home. Or else then there is the Konkan Cafe in Taj President which does it wonderful.
Mysore Masala Dosa - a bit oily but we really liked the Chutney they served it. Normal south indian coconut chutney only but NICE.

The place is small, I don't think more that 30-40 people would fit in. Tables are close to each other so don't expect to exchange sweet nothings or discuss family issues over meals. Yes, the all veg menu makes this a super choice for the marwaris and gujaratis of the area. So, I am sure it must be a mad house on weekends so weekday is your best choice but there will be waiting even then.

183, Teen Batti,
Walkeshwar Road,
Mumbai - 400 006.
Telephone: 23676701 / 23673926

04 October, 2010

Cocoberry Frozen Yogurt - New ice-cream alternative

Saturday was a day in the suburbs. After dinner at the Pali Village Cafe we decided to try the new dessert place - Cocoberry at Pali Naka, Bandra.

Cocoberry offers frozen flavoured yogurt. We tried the blueberry yogurt topped with blueberries, white choco chips and chocolate strands. It's very different from biting into a regular ice-cream and I think it's even more healthy because it says non-fat premium frozen yogurt.

 Nice and smooth just that I think next time I would avoid the white choco chips - just too hard and irritates the whole smooth feel on the tongue.

Our medium sized serving with 3 toppings costed Rs.179/- 

I don't think they have any other branch currently, so Bandra is your only bet.
Go, try it.

Cocoberry Frozen Yogurt
Opp. Gold's Gym, Pali Naka. Bandra (WEST)
Call: 67258572, 67258573

11 September, 2010

Bull's Eye at Taj Hari Mahal

This is the awesome dessert - Bull's Eye. Chocolate dessert with a lavish scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Don't miss it if you ever land there.
Served at Taj Hari Mahal, Jodhpur.


03 September, 2010

Anokhi Cafe, Jaipur

A must do on our list when we visited Jaipur. Thanks to our local cousin there, we of course weren't going to miss this one. It's actually a little cafe attached to a store popular for it's block printed fabrics. A major attraction for the French and English who love to dig into the organic offerings at this quiet little place.
Dishes are limited and offerings are not many. You've got to be there in time because most days they are all cleaned out for the day by 4PM.
Penne Arbiatta - organic as it can get, nice fresh basil leaves to bite into. tossed in olive oil. but could have been a little more spicier.

Three bean salad - crunchy and a dieter's delight.

Mascarpone Cheese Cake - yum, just dig into it. And ideally order/pick your dessert choice as soon as you get there or else by the end of the meal you might just have an empty shelf to stare.

Falafel - a little dry, but the dip is delicious with it.
Also must have the Aubergine Pine-nuts Feta cheese pizza and try the Ginger Soda. For exact location see the website - Ankohi Cafe.

12 July, 2010

Aliva - Chatpate crackers - Not So Great

After all the advertising bombardment on TV, this weekend when I walked into the store, I picked up a packet of Aliva - Chatpate crackers. I thought the lovely monsoon weekend would make this a great accompaniment for the evening chai.




Didn't have it with the chai but instead thought it would be a good support to the pasta we had on Sunday evening.


I don't know what the intended taste was but it was funny. When you are having such crackers you ideally want a taste which won't let you stop at just one, so you go munching and munching more. But not with this one. Its not as masaledar as expected and strangely leaves a very sweet taste at the end of the bite. Don't know if that's the expected after-taste.

Also noticed a rather odd piece of masala in the pack. Don't know what was this supposed to be?



Sorry, but Aliva is not getting added to my regular list of Chatpate of Lays, Pringles and the new Hippo!

05 July, 2010

California Pizza Kitchen at Dubai Mall

Few months back we had a little family holiday in Dubai. Usually this city is known for its shopping havens, but I have always enjoyed Dubai for its massive and awesome food options. Here is one very recommended outlet - California Pizza Kitchen.

We dined at the Dubai Mall outlet and their outdoor seating is lovely. you can see the waterfall and the little artificial lake where the big light & water show happens later in the evenings. The mood is too casual so I think the service takes a bit of hit there. But the food is nice, very nice.

Veg Pizza - nice, cheesy and soft.

Cesar's Salad - Yummy.


They have refills on most of their drinks, but if you want to have something different, try the Signature Italian drink - they don't do refills for it but its DIFFERENT.

View from the restaurant


01 May, 2010

Mainland China - Restaurant Review

Mainland China, Kolkata's finest Asian restaurant finally got itself a place in town for the SoBo to not drive to Andheri anymore. They are located in the ex-Crossroads mall now SoBo Central at Haji Ali.

Celebrated my in-law's anniversary over dinner on a Monday night. And boy for a Monday, you would be lucky to have got a table without reservation.

The place gives you fantastic first impressions. Black, gray and silver - A chique combination makes it a really classy place. A place you would like to bring that very special set of guests, a place you would like to be seen at on a weekend.

Something very interesting about the menu that may grab your attention - the prices are in words and not figures. I guess, makes them a little pleasant on the eyes. What say?


So what did we eat

  • Shanghai Spring Roll
  • Mushroom in Garlic Chilli [Must have]
  • Claypot - exotic veg in chili basil sauce
  • Tofu black mushroom Bamboo shot in black bean sauce [must have - very large and nice chewy pieces of the black mushroom, probably one of the best I have tasted]
  • Pot rice
IMG_8489 IMG_8491

Quantities are good and the service was exceptionally fast considering they were packed that night.

They have a very good arrangement of tables on one side of the restaurant where the tables are placed on a little height and away from the main dining area. gives a good sense of privacy and perfect for the big date night.

Oh and if you don't happen to visit the loo - besides the food they've got some useful things on their menu, just incase.


Verdict - highly recommended place. great ambiance & some really good food.

15 April, 2010

Villa 39 - Restaurant Review

It was Dad's birthday so we decided to dine at Villa 39 - a new Italian restaurant near Regal Cinema, Colaba. Walked in late but were glad that we were immediately seated. It was a corner table and we could feel that the AC was not as pleasant as in the other portions of the restaurant.

Villa 39 has some great interiors - the grey/silver and white with lots of mirrors really make the place very sexy. It's bright and nice - not that typical yellow diffused lighting. Makes it very interesting.

We were shown our table and I spotted that there were no glasses, no napkins and the candle was not yet lit. Well, maybe they just cleared it out and things would start getting. Only the candle was lit & then we had to ask for water twice ... napkins came in only after the starter was served.

In general the quantity servings I thought were rather poor and it would have been very very helpful if the waiter would have advised us to order accordingly. Of course they did offer to bring in some food but by the time the meal had come we were rather irritated for having to ask for water & napkins over and over again. The food was NOT cold but COOL - so negative marking for that too.

Oh and yes - the meal was waiting on the table for almost a full 5 mins because we were not given our dinner plates after knowing that we had 3 dishes to be shared among the 5 of us. I actually walked to the Kitchen door and snatched the plate from his hand. Felt sick and finally called in the Manager to give him an earful on the bad service experience. And in my dad's words - we were a neglected lot in one corner of the restaurant.

If we did like something it was the fusilli in pesto sauce. The rest I won't bother to comment because you can't just enjoy that overly priced food accompanied with such lousy service.

We refused to pay for the polenta lasagna [it was cold and the server made a khichdi out of it] and at that moment the manager said we had the option of not paying the bill at all. My dad refused and we asked him to revise the bill with just that item less. And I too thought it would be unfair not to pay for the rest of meal when the food was just fine - but badly served.

So I'll you skip the place for a while and see if some good reports come in, then maybe it would be worth the money.

16 January, 2010

Bellagio Bistro – Restaurant Review

Italian food is a challenge because you might get it everywhere but very few serve it the right way. Even the Udipi restaurants give you cheese & veg pizza with loads of grated Amul cheese on the top. But then you know that’s not the “pizza” you want to eat when you want an Italian meal.

Bellagio is a little place next to Asiatic Library (Fort, Mumbai) which serves some decent Italian dishes. Had been there on my birthday last year and went back again a month ago when they SMSed promoting their new Wine Menu. The menu is although limited at that time, I am sure they will build on it. Also keeping the food prices in  mind I am sure they won’t have the expensive range on offer so soon.


For starters we called for the Potato in pesto sauce which I though was a bit too pungent and could get better. The hot stuffed mushroom is nice and recommended.


The 3 grain risotto was interesting because like most other places where the risotto is a dry serving this was nice and sticky. Also have the aglio olio – nice preparation.

The upper section tends to get a bit noisy so if it’s just 2-4 people, the lower section is much more quieter. I have seen the owner around both the times so giving direct suggestions and feedback is a good idea. They also have a dessert counter – some pastries, mousse etc. but never got around trying that bit.

Bellagio Bistro
Botawala Building, 2/12 SBS Road, Opposite Old Customs House, Fort, Mumbai
Landmark: Near Asiatic Library
Phone: 22660066