Tag Archives: expensive

Le Pain Quotidien: A Review

Belgian chain ‘Le Pain Quotidien’ has opened up its local branch for about a year now, and business is good. The restaurant, divided over 2 levels, is usually spread out over one.

We ventured into LPQ one morning, and it wasn’t a truly fine one until we left. The space is understated and classy, with a charming European touch. The light shades of wood on the tables provide a subtle contrast with more caramel shade found on the walls. The staircase leading upstairs is a sight, as is the chandelier atop.

Translating to ‘The Daily Bread’, the name of this restaurant seems like an apt practical joke, as nothing here is pocket friendly, but everything is well worth the money. Our order was a three egg omelette with ham and cheese, an espresso and a dark chocolate waffle.

The staff was well spoken and courteous, and tend to pick up fast on what you might want. They suggested a portion of the fresh chocolate eclairs, which they said were fresh out of the oven. We relented.

The crowd was interesting. One would expect to see many of the rich ‘SoBo’ sort, but there was a surprisingly high amount of backpackers. They sat on their small tables, and seemed to be planning their activities for the day from Lonely Planets, Time Out Mumbai for travellers, and other such publications. It was a rather interesting mix.

The food arrived at a slow pace, but in such a pretty restaurant, we aren’t complaining. The dark chocolate waffle came with a small side of fruits, and the omelette with some vegetables. The espresso, though only a shot, came in a tall glass. It made me get a little creative and take this:

The Iced-Espresso Shot

The waffle was beyond ordinary. It was warm and soft, with the portion of sauce wafting over every crevice on the surface of the waffle. The omelette looked small and tasted perfect, filling me up rather unexpectedly. The espresso was nothing out of the ordinary, but the winner was the chocolate eclair. It was rather cheap compared to the other items on the menu. But being fresh out of the oven, it was delightfully creamy on the inside, with a generous covering of chocolate on the outside. It was the perfect ending to a superb meal.

We will come back, though if we did often, we might not have money to buy lunch, dinner or even a vada pav. It’s definitely break worth breaking the bank for, but not daily, unless you’re one of the local Richie Rich.

Le Pain Quotidien: Dhanraj Mahal,
C. S. M. Road, Apollo Bunder.

– Sarvesh Talreja

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Cafe at the NCPA: A Review

After the opening of Amadeus, the Spanish and Levantine restaurant at NCPA, one longed to eat more than sandwiches there. However, the price of the food discouraged the frequent patrons of the theatre from eating there frequently.

Cue Café at the NCPA, also run by Farrokh Khambata. Housed on an artificial turf with an open kitchen, this windy corridor was previously under-utilised as the smoking area for Amadeus. The menu has a wide selection, cutting across cuisines. There are salads, burgers, sandwiches and wraps, all ideal for a snack. There are also Chinese set meals and kebabs, apart from a selection of mocktails and desserts.

We decided on the Chili Milli Mushrooms, the Vegetarian Khao Sueuy, a Chinese set meal with noodles and mushroom baby corn gravy which they agreed to add some broccoli to. We were pleasantly surprised at the recent addition of some Amadeus food on the menu to be served at the Café. Tempted, we ordered the Marisco De Rosa and the Wood Fired Young Chicken with Piri Sauce.

We happened to visit this place on a particularly windy Saturday evening, when the place was packed to its capacity. The smells from the open kitchen wafted across the lawn, making its presence felt without interfering, something that was also seen in the volume of ambient conversation.

The food didn’t take long to arrive, though we expected problems after our waiter couldn’t process our order at one go. The Chili Milli Mushroom was nicely done, the mushroom retaining its juicy texture with a tangy seasoning. The quantity, however, was for midgets. The Khao Sueuy was just like the one at Joss, of the same parent company. Served in a tall bowl, the quantity was hearty and the broth of perfect consistency and flavour.

The Chinese set meal was the real surprise. There is a stigma towards set meals, as they tend to be lower in price. This set meal, though easy on the pocket, packed in a superb blend of quality and quantity. The stars of the evening, however, remained the dishes off the Amadeus menu. The Marisco De Rosa was exceptional, with 4 toppings, 3 of them being exotic fish. The rice was soft and delicious, with tender chicken breast forming the last delectable topping. The Wood Fired Young Chicken came with a side of bread, and looked rather intimidating with its colour, but was gentle to eat.

The service being slightly off colour, we were suitably impressed. The ambience and the food were spot on, and the service could always improve. Maybe if we came back on a night that wasn’t a Saturday, things would be different.

Average meal for two: Rs. 1000

Cafe at the NCPA: Ahead of the Tata Theatre,
NCPA, Nariman Point.

Timings: 12 PM – 12 AM.

– Sarvesh Talreja 

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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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