23 May 2017

Bombay Bygone - Bandra By Foot

'Once you live in Mumbai, no place else will ever be good enough.'
I feel exactly the same way about Bandra - Queen of Mumbai's Suburbs. Having lived most of my life here, I have seen Bandra undergo a metamorphosis  into the thriving, contemporary suburb it is today. But the Bandra I knew and grew up in was different. It was not the hipster Bandra filled with clubs and high rises we know now. It was slow, lackadaisical and relaxed. It was filled with tiny bylanes and arterial roads flanked with picturesque bungalows on either sides.


The roads now are either dug up or saturated with traffic at all times. The roads then were sparsely covered by automobiles, so much so that we spent summer afternoons playing cricket on the streets. The houses now are modern sky scrapers and high buildings. The houses then were heritage bungalows and ancestral homes. The restaurants now serve modern, world cuisine that encourages foodies from all across the city to dine here. The restaurants then were small cafes run by locals, mom and pop establishments, and bakeries with the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through. 



The only thing constant in life is change, and that holds true for our city as well. But there are still a few pockets in Bandra even today, that are clutching onto the past. You can still find old bungalows, locals selling snacks and condiments, and streets that are picturesque as always in certain parts of Bandra. Which is the motivation behind my #BandraByFoot initiative, where my mother and I take fellow Bandra lovers on a heritage walk to explore Bandra of the yore. 

13 May 2017

Brunch Diaries - Henpecked, Kala Ghoda

Third time is a charm at Henpecked. The location that houses Henpecked was previously occupied by Farmer and Sons, and a restaurant called Nico Bombay before that. Now I haven't dined at Henpecked's two predecessors, but from what I hear the concept of all three restaurants remains rooted at the 'farm to table' movement. Read: fresh, healthy, locally sourced produce that won't make you feel guilty even if you indulge. So much so, that they've carried forward signature dishes and popular items from the previous menus into that of Henpecked's.

Henpecked sets off a fun, relaxed vibe the minute you enter. A large glass cabinet frames one wall and is filled with cute paraphernalia, knick knacks, and picture books. The space, though small in surface area, still manages to not feel cluttered or cramped. A rarity in this city where small restaurants means your knocking elbows with the diner on the next table. Our server tells us that shifting the bar to the back of the restaurant and not along one side has done the trick.


Since the third time is the charm, here are three reasons why you should visit Henpecked the next time you're looking for a place to brunch at!

1 May 2017

My April Food Favourites

I was neck deep in commitments during the entire month of April - both on the personal and professional front. But that does not mean I didn't eat my way across the city as I normally do. The end of another month brings with it yet another round up of my food favourites. Here is a list of favourite restaurants, dishes, and home chefs that I tried and that made the cut to be featured on my April Food Favourites list.

1. When you can't decide between ice cream or paan - K. Rustom's Paan Ice Cream
You have got to be living under some sort of rock or living inside a hipster bubble if you've never had the old school ice cream sandwiches from K. Rustom in Churchgate. Creamy ice cream in the most delectable flavours come sandwiched between two wafer biscuits to create an enjoyable experience. It's such great fun biting into these ice cream sandwiches without any spoons or plates. It's a race to finish off your ice cream before the summer heat melts it onto your Zara top. (In my case, the summer heat usually wins. It's fun nevertheless.)
The paan ice cream is my favourite among their extensive flavour list - so much so that I haven't ended up trying any other variant. (Though that definitely needs to change. Mango here I come!) The paan ice cream hits you with it's strong and refreshing flavour, with the occasional bite of gulkand within. This is the perfect dessert to get when you can't decide between ice cream or paan post your meal.
K. Rustom Ice Cream, 87 Stadium House, Opposite Ambassador Hotel, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai


17 April 2017

A Taste of Japan in Mumbai

I am a huge Japanese food aficionado. I crave sushi in the middle of a random day at work. I dream of beautiful bowls of ramen - each put together so intricately and painstakingly such that they resemble a piece of art. I swear I cried a little bit when I saw the Ivan Ramen episode of Chef's Table. And Wasabi bhujia is my current obsession in life. You'll get the drift. 

My interest towards Japanese food started after I begun reading Haruki Murakami novels where the author interweaves food so seamlessly into the narrative. My love affair with Japanese food started during my trip to Singapore last year where I ensured I tried the best South East Asian cuisine this foodie paradise has to offer. Lots of sushi, sashimi, ramen bowls, and rice bowls that the locals call Donburi or 'Don' were devoured. 

I'm always on the lookout for good (re: authentic) Japanese food in the city and there are very few places that serve the real deal. So when The Leela offered to host us for some Japanese food one evening, I cancelled all plans and made my way over to Andheri East. As a part of their recurrent Cherry Blossom Festival, the property is serving up a variety of Japanese delicacies all this month at Citrus - their global dining restaurant. Now while I couldn't make it for the Cherry Blossom flowering festival in Japan this year, the food festival at The Leela would have to suffice. 

7 April 2017

Brunch Diaries - Le Pain Quotidien

Brunch on Sunday > Clubbing on Saturday

If there is one mantra I strongly live by, it has got to be the one above. There is nothing like waking up late on a Sunday, fresh as a daisy without a heavy hungover head, and spending the rest of the day indulging in the best of food and drink. I dream of summery white dresses, mimosas and sangrias, a runny Eggs Benedict on a bed of ham, waffles that are crunchy from outside - airy within, and conversations that last the entire day. My long standing affair with Sunday brunches has been documented on this blog time and again. Last Sunday was no different - we visited Le Pain Quotidien at Bandra Kurla Complex for their Sunday brunch and sampled some of the new dishes on their specially curated summer menu.

The interiors of LPQ epitomise simplicity and class. Minimalist wooden furniture, interiors that are bright and beaming, with large glass panelled walls that allow plenty of sunlight to shine through during the day. Not to forget their large community tables, a concept which they pioneered in the city when LPQ started off years ago. 

On My Table - Spicy Mushroom Tartine, Mediterranean Platter
The 'farm to table' concept is resplendent in every dish that LPQ puts up. The ingredients are organic wherever possible, all produce is fresh and wholesome, and a meal here satiates you without the guilt. Le Pain Quotidien translates to 'Our Daily Bread' in French which is clearly reflected in their freshly baked in-house loaves and other bakery products.