Monthly Archives: February 2012

Orange Juice as a Cake?

On our money saving spree, we happened to visit Theobroma as well and came across their Orange Juice Cake. It looks a lot  like a tea cake, but just a little more appetizing,  since it looks like it has been drenched in an orange syrup. For Rs35, you get a slice.

Initially we thought, what a boring name. How can you not think of something more innovative?

We’ve always been very particular about the moisture of our cakes.Especially tea cakes. But this by far, surpassed out expectations.

Layered twice with regular sponge cake and filled with an orange compote-like liquid, this slice had just as much moisture as a regular pastry.

We just can’t seem to get enough of this.

Tip: If you muster up the self control to buy it and wait for a few hours, it tastes best when cold.

PS- If you’re very lucky and turn up when they haven’t yet cut their first slice, ask for it and you get the maximum amount of cake!

[The entire cake which looks a little like a loaf is for Rs.350]

-Avanti Adivarekar

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On a Dessert Trail

18th century, Paris: Chocolate wasn’t always considered an after-dinner treat. When it first arrived in France from Latin America, the French weren’t quite sure what to make of it. Parisian doctors soon declared that chocolate has therapeutic properties and thereafter, the number of confectioners in Paris mushroomed by the dozen.

21st century, Mumbai: We smell an uncanny analogy here. There has been a spurt in the number of chocolatiers and pastry chefs operating in the city- either by establishing their own cafes or retailing online. And they aren’t just restricted to blue-blooded Bandra or the crest of Colaba. Plus, Mumbaikars have certainly moved over the classic Chocolate Truffle and Black Forest and are trying out new options. Cupcakes have become a popular item, with every café offering an endless list-smiley cupcakes to photo cupcakes, cupcakes with figures and the miniscule, bite-size ones as well. ‘Tart’ at Nariman Point promises outlandish frostings ranging from Chanel logos to bikinis, sunglasses, phones, umbrellas and lipsticks too.

For those who cannot travel far and wide to get their hands on an original French Crème Brule, even that’s available in Aamchi Mumbai. Le Pain Quotidian (Apollo Bunder) is the best place to dig your spoon into one.

Classics such as macaroon, tarts, fruit pies, custards, puddings and melbas are slowly reappearing on most dessert menus across the city. “It is precisely the love for nostalgia that has caused these oldies to surface on the dessert scene. Also, dessert does not necessarily spell chocolate,” says Aashiyana Shroff, owner of Tart. “It seems there is something rustic about them. It reminds people of something that their grandmothers baked at home,” opines Mehernosh Khajotia of Celebrations Fine Confections at Warden Road.

As far as gifting options are concerned, more and more people prefer giving chocolates instead of ladoos or pedas. These chocolate treats are making their presence felt strongly not only during weddings or birthdays, but festivals like Raksha Bandhan and Diwali as well. There are myriad options-right from the humble Cadbury to Belgian 22-carat gold-plated chocolate and even chocolate modaks.

Why the sudden shift? Simply put, people are now being more experimental and do not wish to stick to conventional options. Gifting chocolates spells class and they have a longer shelf-life as well. Plus, a serving of low-calorie, dark chocolate has almost half the calories than two small gulab jamuns. Moreover, customized gift-boxes of doughnuts are also doing the rounds during every festival, be it chocolate kalakand during Diwali or red-cherry hazelnut during Christmas. Classic desserts in shot glasses are another novel, delightful way of presenting gifts.

 

Bottom-line: Mumbai certainly can’t get enough of desserts. Even if fractional redemption is showered upon us.

-Khorshed Deboo

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Restaurant Review: Cafe Mangii Weekend Breakfast

We know weekends are meant to be sacrosanct, but you MUST at some point in your life get to Cafe Mangii on a Saturday/Sunday morning before 11:30am.

 

For just Rs 225 (Rs199 without taxes) you get an entire set menu where you can choose from a variety of options in 5 courses.

1. Fruit Juice.

2. Cereal

3. Bread with eggs/mushrooms/baked beans

4. Croissant/Danish

5. Pancakes/Waffles.

Sound too good to be true? It was. So much so, that we were so full with the first 3 courses, we just couldnt ask for the next 2. When was the last time you went to a place and couldnt to justice to the food? That too, so cheap!

Our Masala Omelette was perfectly done, with some good whole-wheat toast to accompany. Even the Ham and Cheese Omelette had a perfect amount of succulent ham.

The fruit juice luckily came without sugar, unlike most other places.

And the waffles were just to die for. They come with a tiny bowl of Pancake Syrup to accompany which we initially thought was a tad less. But, it turned out to be just the perfect amount.

Though the cereal came with room-temperature milk instead of cold, we loved the place.

We shall soon return to try their a la carte menu too.

-Avanti Adivarekar

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Trippin’ on Chocolates

Aptly registered under ‘Mood Swings Confectionery’, Pure Sin is perhaps one of the very few chocolate outlets that imparts a slight hint of bitterness to almost all of its products. Tucked away in a garage-sized area on the ground floor of a residential building in the busy Churchgate area, it is likely that you will fail to notice their board, which is not quite strategically placed.

Established in 1993, it has managed to retain its loyal clientele and attracted many more customers over the years. While it primarily caters to corporate orders especially during festivals, its impressive range of liqueur chocolates is what makes us return again and again.  Each of them have innovative names, ranging from Crusin’ the Caribbean (a heady fusion of dark rum and chocolate) to Appletini (a combination of fresh apples and vodka – a clear winner!) and a funny ‘Rumpunzel’ as well. The non-liquor range consists of sixteen varieties of chocolates – Cashew Rocks, Baby Brown, What the Fudge and Berry d’Cheez being clear favorites. The staff is friendly, obliging and happy to help you decide what to settle for. The fact that they generously offer chocolates for tasting earns them brownie points. The prices range from Rs. 1350 to Rs. 2250 per kilo for the liquor range and from Rs. 1215 to Rs. 1350 for the non-liquor ones. Unlike other chocolate parlors, they will willingly pack a tiny box of chocolates weighing 100 grams, which we generally prefer.

Chocolate Box

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

‘Pure Sin in Circles’ (Rs. 35)  is a round biscuit coated with dollops of chocolate and available in four flavors- hazelnut, orange, milk and caramel.  They also take orders for party themed chocolate lollipops (Rs 25 to 35 per piece).

Pure Sin in Circles -- Hazelnut flavoured

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

However, what impressed us the most was the sinfully assembled and thoughtfully wrapped lot of chocolates packed in tiny boxes. Each chocolate is carefully wrapped and tied with a tiny ribbon. There is an assortment of colors for the ribbons, which helps to find out the flavor of the chocolate as per a printed ‘key’.

Its tagline goes like this….’Too beautiful to open, too delicious not to.’ Well, enough said.

At: G-5 Pil Court, 111 Mahrashi Karve Road, Mumbai 20 

Or visit them on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/PuresinChoco

– Khorshed Deboo 

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In search of the perfect Carrot Cake

The word ‘chocolate’ almost has a magical ring to it and those who devour it will agree unanimously. Today, to our delight, there is no dearth to the ways in which chocolate is used in cooking.

How about giving it a break and exploring unconventional dessert options?

To begin with, for an otherwise uninteresting vegetable, carrots make for an exciting ingredient to conjure up a dessert. So we decided to scout around town in search of the perfect Carrot Cake. Read on to find out what catered to our taste buds and what failed to make the mark.

1.  Café West

As with most dishes on its menu, the Ginger and Carrot Cake (Rs. 60) at Café West is a damp squib. Appearances can certainly be deceptive. What looked like a perfectly shaped cake, turned out to be dry and a tad difficult to slice. Moreover, we did not quite like the fact that the sharp taste of ginger overpowered the carrot flavour. We’d suggest you stick to a Chocolate Pastry the next time you decide to come here.

At: Westside, Army and Navy Building, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.

ginger and carrot

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

 

2.  Kala Ghoda Café

One of our current favourites, Kala Ghoda Café makes a mean Carrot Cake. Priced at Rs. 105, it is a huge chunk served with a perfectly sweet orange cream. Surprisingly moist and juicy, it scores full marks as far as the addition of dry fruit goes. No complaints here!

At: Kala Ghoda Café, 10 Ropewalk Lane, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai

carrot cake at KGC

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

3.  Food For Thought

Served with a generous helping of whipped cream cheese frosting, the Carrot Cake (Rs. 120) took us by surprise. Mildly spiced with cardamom and adorned with slivers of almond, this home-made, unpretentious dessert is a must-try.

At: Kitab Khana, Somaiyya Bhavan, D.N Road, Fort, Mumbai.

Food For Thought

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

 4.  Yazdani Bakery

The square shaped Carrot Cake (Rs 18) makes for a no-fuss eat when paired with the milky Irani Chai. Though slightly crumbly, this one won’t really disappoint you. Plus, at eighteen bucks, isn’t it a steal?

At: Yazdani Bakery, Cawasji Patel Street, Fort, Mumbai. 

– Khorshed Deboo 

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Cafe by the Beach: A Review

Café by the Beach is going to go down in Bombay restaurant history, as the restaurant with possibly the best view since the erstwhile Café Naaz. The chilly breeze and some nice sound from the ocean is reminiscent of the choicest Goan shacks, but go forewarned: there is no alcohol here.

A lovely ambience for a group

To make the most of the ambience, we suggest you get a seaside table, which requires a minimum billing of 500 rupees, which is not much more than the bill would be even otherwise. The mocktails are excellent, like the Genoese Peel (Rs. 195) we tasted, which was the most savoury bitter concoction we have consumed in quite some time.

The food is promising, though inconsistent. The Roast Chicken (Rs. 295) and Smoked Chicken Sandwiches (Rs. 295), for example were perfectly prepared, with good ingredients, and a sharp dressing. This was in contrast with the Mushroom Wrap (Rs. 195), which tasted much like well seasoned rubber. The mushroom tragedy continued through the Chicken and Mushroom Lasagne, which was much too bitter and small to be enjoyed (Rs. 395).

The service was inefficient, be it in terms of speed or knowledge of the dishes. Our waiter told us the mushrooms were all of the button variety, while they were actually a mix, like the Captain corrected him. They did, however, serve us with a smile, which is always welcome.

It could be difficult to read under the dim lights, barely ambient, but very beautiful. This luminescent aura apart, one can notice how the palm trees would provide complete shade, making this place an interesting bet even for the daytime, one we would dare to venture to even in the light of the impending summer. There is a dim buzz of conversation, but it doesn’t spiral out of control.

The view you can't refuse

The desserts were not disappointing, though we probably expected better because of the positive reinforcement from the beach. The Tiramisu (Rs. 195) was lacking in the fine texture one would expect it to possess. Some relief and closure was provided by the Chocolate Brulee, (Rs. 195) a interesting version of the Crème Brulee.

We would come back a million times for the view, but order with caution. And possibly carry a hip flask in our bags.

Average meal for two: Rs. 1000

Cafe by the Beach: H2O Water Sports,
Charni Road on Marine Drive,
Mumbai.

Open from: 1 PM – 3 PM, 7:30 PM to Midnight.

Sarvesh Talreja

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Chocolate and Caramel in an Ice Cream

Walk into your closest Moshe.

See the jams? And see a cookie jar right beside it? Open it. Yank out the least broken of those squares and buy it. (Or actually, even a broken one will do)

Caramel Biscuit

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

We were on a money saving phase recently and started hunting for the cheapest of places. But, let’s face it-who can’t resist a trip to Moshe’s?

Anyway, we discovered this little square tucked away in a jar. Priced at Rs 50, It is probably the cheapest thing on their menu,along with granola bars. We’d generally wait to rip the cling film off these and begin munching into them till we very recently discovered a more innovative way to satiate sugar cravings.

Caramel Biscuit  at Moshe's

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

Buy a small Mother Dairy Vanilla Ice cream cup (It’s for Rs.10!)and pour it into a bowl. I chopped up the biscuit into tiny squares and sprinkled them in the ice cream bowl.

Thus came to being our newest, quickest and cheapest dessert solution.

You know the best compliment we got? That it tasted like a McFlurry! That sent us to Cloud Nine.

– Avanti Adivarekar

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Three Things with Orange Juice

Who says that the only way to have freshly-prepared orange juice is by gulping it down during a rushed breakfast? Think out of the box. We came up with three innovative ways of using orange juice in our daily meals.

1.      Orange-flavoured  Green Tea:

Twinings has introduced an Orange and Lotus Flower Green Tea in the UK. (http://shop.twinings.co.uk/shop/green-tea-bags/orange-lotus-flower-green.html)

It may adorn the supermarket shelves in Mumbai soon, but until then, what better way than brewing your own orange-infused green tea at home? It is pretty simple.

Boil water on a medium flame and add one teaspoon of green tea leaves to it. (Organic India has an impressive range.) Brew for two minutes and then add the zest of an orange peel while it is boiling. Allow it to boil for another minute. Serve at room temperature.

Another innovative option to add fresh orange juice (20 ml approximately) to the brew while it is boiling. This will give the tea an overpowering orange flavour, as compared to the one prepared using the zest – which is quite subtle.

2.      Tangy Salad Dressing

Mix about ½ cup of thick orange juice with 1 tablespoon each of honey and olive oil. Add a little mustard if you like a slight pungent taste. This can be used as a salad dressing – a welcome change from the usual mayonnaise and vinaigrette. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.

tangy salad dressing

Image Courtesy: Chow.com

3.      Citrus Punch Slush

Mix freshly squeezed orange juice, pineapple juice and light rum together. Serve chilled with club soda.

Now tell us about how you would creatively use orange juice to conjure up a dish!

– Khorshed Deboo  


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The Gourmand and the Reel

Hello movie buffs!

We thought we’d dedicate a post just to celebrate how much fun and effort food really is.

No Reservations-

Kate, a renowned and busy chef (Catherine Zeta Jones) has to parent her niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin) when her mother (Kate’s sister) dies in a car crash. As Kate struggles to strike a balance between parenting and work, she tries her restaurant’s perfect recipes at home, not realizing that Zoe doesn’t want perfect.

Julie & Julia

Julia, (Amy Adams)a bored newly married aims at perfecting Julia child’s 500+ recipes in a year. She writes down her experiences in a blog which soon becomes one the most read blogs in America. The film describes both their lives, running parallel to each other.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-

Who doesn’t love this classic? Those small Oompa Loompas just HAVE to steal your heart. And the Chocolate river!

Charlie, a poor school boy who lives with all 4 of his grandparents and his mother wins a ticket to visit Willy Wonka, the country’s most famous chocolatier’s factory. Little does he know what is in store for him at the end of the visit. Till then, his experiences in the factory shall never fail entertain us.

PS- Do not confuse this with the newer version called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The old one trumps, by far.

Ratatouille

Who’d think a rat would want to be a chef? Remy the rat comes to the rescue of an amatuer chef and helps him with his daily jobs in the kitchen. All is well, till the rat community get wind of this, and come charging at him.

Chocolat

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community

Waitress

Not many may have heard of this, but this is quite a film. Jenna (Keri Rusell) is pregnant waitress and ends up in a relationship with her gynaecologist. Inspite of a number of events that follow, she religiously makes pies everyday. A pie for every occassion.

Do tell us which film you liked best!

-Avanti Adivarekar

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A vegetarian Parsi? Oh well…

You’re a taboo to the community!

You aren’t unwell, are you?

You’d better not marry a Parsi.

These are some of the reactions I receive when a fellow Bawa learns that I am a vegetarian by choice. For the typical Parsi, turning vegetarian is no easy feat. (Make that eggetarian.)  Not because you don’t possess the will to do so; but because in a community that is illustrious for being partial to meat, you would stick out like a sore thumb. At a wedding feast, you’ll receive glaring stares as you scoff down the insipid portions of vegetables from the ‘Veg patra’ while the others skillfully tear a piece of chicken with gusto. (If you are vegetarian, I’d recommend a thali at a Parsi function over the Veg Patra, because the latter equates to ignominy in the name of food.)

You won’t really be spoilt for choice as far as the eating-out options for Parsi cuisine are concerned. Nevertheless, we’ve picked five scrumptious Parsi vegetarian dishes across restaurants dotting the city. So the next time you eat out with your non-vegetarian kin, you know what to order.

1.      Vegetable Puff at Kyani’s

Perfectly flaky with a hint of butter, the vegetable puff is wholesome yet not heavy. The consistency is just right, with a filling consisting of potato, chopped onions and carrots and peas. When served fresh from the oven, it tastes best when paired with chili sauce.     

 At: Kyani & Co., J.S.S Road 657, Jer Mahal Estate, Opposite Metro Cinema, Mumbai. 

2.      Veg. Dhansak at Churchgate Restaurant

A tad tangy and a tad sweet, the dhansak, priced at Rs. 115 is a steal. We’ve tasted pseudo versions of the revered dish at several city joints but this one successfully matches the flavours of a typical home-made dhansak. The glitch is that they serve dhansak on Fridays and Saturdays only.

At: Churchgate Store and Restaurant, 195, Moti Mahal, J Tara Road, Churchgate, Mumbai. 

3.      Veg. Berry Pulav at Britannia Café

Tucked away in the busy precinct of Ballard Estate, Britannia is perhaps the only joint in Mumbai that serves authentic Persian berry pulav (Rs 150), a secret recipe handed down over generations. The generous portion will leave you almost satiated, with a little room for their delectable chocolate mousse (Rs. 60).

At: Britannia Café, Wakefield House, 11 Sprott Road, 16 Ballard Estate, Mumbai.

Click here to know more about the old-world charm of the cafe: http://www.cnngo.com/mumbai/eat/britannia-748536

4.      Egg on Potato at Ideal Corner

With a menu that changes everyday, Ideal Corner has a variety of egg preparations. (In case you are an ‘eggetarian’) The Egg on Potato (RS 50) – traditionally called papeta par eendu, consists of finely sliced potatoes as the base, with two eggs popped sunny-side-up onto the potato and served with either sliced bread or roti.  Available only on Tuesdays.

At: Ideal corner, 12/F/G/Hornby View, Gunbow StreetFort, Mumbai. 

 5.      Parsi Chutney Bread at Theobroma

Though this cannot qualify as a meal by itself, the Chutney Bread (Rs 40) is a great option to take home and eaten as an accompaniment. As per their menu, ‘the brioche bread is swirled with traditional Parsi mint and coriander chutney’. Make sure you get there before four o’clock because their stocks usually don’t last in the evenings.

At: Theobroma, Shop No 24, Cusrow Baug, Electric House, Colaba, Mumbai.

In case you are a vegan Bawa, then God save you!

– Khorshed Deboo 

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