Suzette diversifies

After a smashing success was met at their cosy Nariman Point outpost, Suzette opened another outlet at Pali Hill in Bandra. This outlet is bigger, with a cosy outdoor section. The treat, however, is that Suzette now has a new menu, comprising additions to the breakfast section, the crepes section and a new section of pasta salads being its highlights.

We decided to visit the Nariman Point branch during lunchtime, and were lucky enough not only to get a table, but to be sitting next to a duo of friends amusing us with their tales, as we couldn’t help but eavesdrop.

The Pasta Salad section looked interesting, despite having only 3 selections and some add-ons. We decided on a Ratatouille Salad from there, to be accompanied by a newly introduced Pays Crepe, the description of which mentioned caramelized onions, immediately tickling our sense of curiosity.

After a short wait of more eavesdropping than talking (it’s not that we are boring, but our neighbours were absolutely amusing, without even the slightest awareness of it), our server brought us our order.

The salad contained a lot more pasta than we had anticipated. The ratatouille dressing was delicious, once we moved past the lack of its encompassing presence. Due to this skewed proportion, we were left munching on pieces of fusilli more than we would have preferred.

The too much pasta, too little ratatouille salad

The star of this meal was undoubtedly the Pays Crepe. Apart from being generously slathered, the caramelized onions in a crepe were an absolute revelation. The chicken pieces were perfectly juicy and soft.

To wash it down, we went with the Tomato juice, because it’s impossible to not want to try a juice that contains Tabasco. The glass was nicely sized and filled with the consistent goodness of a gently spicy flavour, much of it courtesy the basil and Tabasco.

We know we’re going back, for the food, for the French music and for the fact that nowhere else in the city will you get caramelized onions wrapped inside of anything.

Average meal for two: Rs. 600

Suzette: Atlanta. Ground Floor,
Nariman Point, Mumbai.

Open: 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM

Sarvesh Talreja

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From Mamma’s Kitchen

Being an ardent dessert-lover, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at baking and did so a few times, however, a tad unsuccessful. Recipe books and innovative baking techniques off blogs do help, but nothing beats attempting a recipe straight from your mother’s kitchen. If it’s comfort food, it is even more exciting. I tried my hand at baking a very basic Bread Pudding as per mom’s instructions. Here is the recipe. I am sure a first-time baker can successfully give this a shot.

–          Ingredients:

  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Butter – 150 grams
  • Approx 7-8  slices of bread (tear them into small pieces) In case you prefer a healthier option, use whole-wheat bread
  • Brown Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Vanilla Essence – ½  teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Raisins/Almonds/Cashews (optional)

–       Method:

  • Heat milk in a saucepan on medium flame. Add the butter. Stir it until melted. Keep aside to cool.
  • Mix sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla essence in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer and then add the milk to it.
  • Put the bread pieces in a greased tin. Pour the mixture on top of it.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes. (I use an oven, not a microwave and hence it takes a comparatively long time to bake)
  • Voila! Serve warm or try it with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Photo Courtesy:Khorshed Deboo


– Khorshed Deboo 

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Restaurant Review: Chocolateria San Churro

Tucked away in the large glass building of Akruti Skypark in Breach Candy is a small joint that just spells happiness.

We’re talking about Chocolateria San Churro’s. You may be wondering, what a Chocolateria could mean. You’re probably thinking on the correct lines- in case you’re thinking of chocolate oozing out of shakes/desserts/anything possible. That is EXACTLY what San Churros is about. With a new branch opened at breach candy just recently; this underrated eatery is just the place you must visit when you feel like committing sin. Their menu is dessert. Of course, there are a few savoury sandwiches, but their highlight is chocolate dips served with churros. A long deep fried stick made of flour. San churros has a great variety on their menu, ranging from the regular cheesecakes and pastries to their signature desserts (and boy, they are signature!) to creamy, rich hot chocolates. They even have merchandise to take home; though it is a tad absurd to take back a mini chocolate fondue pot (of hardly 200ml) for 800INR. Their assortment of dips is milk, white and dark, all of which taste equally divine when had with churros- depending on your preference. With a beautiful grey and orange ambience, San Churro oozes with uniqueness. And let’s face it, chocolate will never go out of fashion.

We would recommend (and so would the waiter) the Berry Bizcocho [Rs 250]. It apparently does the best too. Possibly because of its just perfect combination of ingredients: Nuts, Chilled Custard, Milk Chocolate, Strawberries and Brownie bits. (The photo should explain better)

Their display of desserts was quite neat and orderly, unlike most bakeries that seem to think otherwise. With huge sofa-like chairs, San Churro naturally has a lounge like feel to it, with a very

In spite of the fact that a few things on their menu still aren’t available; like the fruit skewer we still love the place. Another thing that will probably hold you back is the lack of much of a fruit variety to dip with your chocolate. Say you aren’t so much of a chocolate person and would prefer to dip fruits into your chocolate rather than biscottis and brownies, there isn’t much of a variety except strawberries. Whatever happened to bananas and pineapples with chocolate? Especially because strawberries are seasonal in India, San Churro could do with this menu tweak.

All in all, there isn’t another place that satisfies your chocolate fondue cravings more. Or for that matter, liquid chocolate at all.

San Churro

101, Ackruti City Emerald
Bhulabhai Desai Road
Mahalakshmi, Mumbai.

A standard meal for 2 goes to approximately Rs. 1000 including the 10%service charge.

DISCLAIMER:  The photos of this post are owned solely by sanchurro.com. I have only copied them from there as most guest-taken photos end up looking unappetizing.

-Avanti Adivarekar

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A Guide to the nifty Pick-Me-Up

There is a new culture developing across our city’s dining establishments. Apart from the meals and the thoughtful innovation that comes with it, many eateries are now offering customers the scope to buy some of their goodies impulsively.

Here is our guide to the best of what some our favourite joints have to offer:

Indigo Deli: If eating their sent-from-heaven Eggs Benedict was not enough, Indigo sells you enough to make your own. At offer are stylish cooking equipment, meats, cheese and even cigars.

What we like: Easily the best curated selection of meat in a restaurant, their cold cut selection is worth mulling over. Cold cuts, chorizo, exquisitely rare forms of red meat are all to be found here along with a good variety of imported cheese.

Cafe Moshe’s: Moshe Shek has taken it upon himself to take over every part of our diet he can. At his branch at Phoenix, he stocks breads, cookies, desserts and other small items worth nibbling.

What we like: The chocolate caramel square at 50 bucks is the most unique concoction we have had in a while. It is filling, devil-may-care sweet and just what we need at any point in time.

Here is a way to enjoy it even more: https://thegrubguide.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/chocolate-and-caramel-in-an-ice-cream/

Kala Ghoda Cafe: This wonderful space does some fantastic stuff with their menu. Their salads have more leaf, their hot chocolate more happiness, and their coffee more wake-up-chromosome than most other good places we’ve visited.

What we like: While they do have tiny jars of cookies and muffins that are delectable, we like their coffee the best. It comes in two varieties: bean and grounded. The menu claims it is especially and organically grown in a farm in the south. It is a far cry from any of the other coffee you might have tasted, and that only makes it more enjoyable.

Theobroma: There isn’t much to say of this space that isn’t known. As if to defy their tiny space in Colaba, they have a menu large enough to compete with most small restaurants, and the quality of food is at par only because the desserts are much better here.

What we like: Their new concept of boxes with fresh cakes in them. The flavours are old and classic, but haven’t been served with a Theobroma twist before. The Lemon Cake is possibly our unanimous favourite, though it had to get through a toothy battle with the Honey and Walnut Cake and the Banana Bread .

Here is another innovation worth trying out at  Theobroma: https://thegrubguide.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/orange-juice-as-a-cake/

– Sarvesh Talreja

Five Problematic Ingredients

As a food enthusiast and people who experiment with recipes very often, we thought we’d share with you some ingredients that are a little difficult to buy in Mumbai. Thus, this should serve as guide as to which recipes you may just want to aloof yourselves from.

1. Cream Cheese.

The only Cream cheese we’ve seen available in the market, is Philadelphia by Kraft. It’s available but expensive.

2. Vanilla bean.

Again, available at A1 stores at Crawford Market for Rs40 a pod.

3. Cream Varieties.

One of the biggest problems with cooking in Mumbai is the lack of availability of cream.The only locally manufactured cream available happens to Amul’s Fresh Cream Tetra Pak. Any other kind of cream like sour cream, whipping cream etc that a recipe calls for, shall require extra spending by default.

4. Maple Syrup.

Obviously scarcely available and very expensive. There was a bottle of 100% maple syrup available at Dolce Vita for Rs.700!

5. Readymade Pesto.

Though fresh basil seems to be abundantly available, for some reason, readymade Pesto isn’t. The only brand that seems even remotely affordable is Sacla which too is around Rs250+ for a small jar.

But for those who would still rather use exotic ingredients/not very available ingredients, there is always your closest Nature’s Basket or the newly opened Dolce Vita. (Dolce Vita, Grand Galleria, Phoenix Mills, Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel, Mumbai)

-Avanti Adivarekar

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Tea-Time Snacks on a Budget

 

Chai time

Photo Courtesy: Khorshed Deboo

The idea of enjoying the humble chai has drastically changed in times of tea-tasting workshops, ‘cha bars’ and tea salons. High tea- replete with scones, sandwiches and sushi rolls may set you back by a few bucks.

Here is a list of ten accompaniments, all under Rs. 20 which we found across the city. They can be savored with your umpteenth cup of tea or evening dose of cutting chai. 

1. Chicken Pattice (Rs. 8) at Merwan 12/13, Madhav Nagar, S V Road, Andheri (West), Mumbai

2. Mini French loaf Bread (Rs. 6) at American Express Bakery, AEB House, 66A, Mirza Galib Marg, Byculla, Mumbai.

3. Currant Bun (Rs 8) Candies, Mac Ronells, Pali Hill, Next to Learners Academy School, Bandra West.

4. Mawa Cake (Rs 12) at Kyani and Company, Jer Mahal, J.S.S Road, Mumbai

5. Vada Pav  (Rs. 7) at Sahyadri Maharshi karve Road, Churchgate, Mumbai.

6.  Oat Cookie (Rs. 7) at Candies, Mac Ronells, Pali Hill, Next to Learners Academy School, Bandra West.

7.  Kanda Poha (Rs 15) at Kutumb Sakhi, Near S.K PatilGarden, Charni Road, Mumbai.

8.  Palmiers (Rs. 20) at Edward Bakery, 62/64, Perin Nariman Street (Bazargate Street), Fort, Mumbai

9.   Egg Puff (Rs 10) at Alfa Bakery, Shop No. 6, Parvati Nagar Co-op Hsg. Soc. Ltd., Yari Road, Versova, Andheri (W), Mumbai

10.Omelet with Bread (Rs 18) at Ratan Tata Institute, 39, Hughes Road, Next to Westside, Mumbai

 

P.S. It’s 1st of March and we cannot wait to lay our hands on the new BBC GoodFood issue!

– Khorshed Deboo 

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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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