31 March 2017

My March Food Favourites

It felt like the month of March would never end. If an Ashutosh Gowariker movie was a month, it would be March. But all these never ending days, meant one thing. It meant a lot of food was eaten, some of which I blogged about previously. (Read about Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya here. Also read about two new bar launches that happened last month here.) A few have made the cut and are featured on my March Food Favourites list. Read on!

 1. If you're looking for a South East Asian foodcation - Shizusan Shophouse and Bar, Lower Parel
When every third restaurant in the city doles out Pan Asian food, what do you do to stand out? You make your dishes the star, you let your food sing without any gimmicks - which is exactly what Shizusan Shophouse and Bar does. The entire three storeyed space is modelled on the concept of a South East Asian shophouse - a traditional business cum residential building. The decor has intricate Asian elements without being garish, and made me fall in love with the space the minute I walked in.
The menu is extensive, pictorial and elaborates on the history and ingredients behind each dish. The average food aficionado can spend an hour reading the menu, educating themselves, which is exactly what I did! Fill yourself up on their dimsums, baos, and sushi selection - each one better than the next. Their Lobster Moneybags steamed dimsums had the perfect outer casing without being too rubbery or disintegrating too easily, with a lobster filling that was seasoned just right. The baos are pillowy soft that make you want to take them back to bed with you, stuffed with meats like Peking Duck and Pork Belly that represent South East Asian cuisine perfectly. With four dimsums to a basket and two baos to a plate, you only wish there was more.
Everything on their menu right from the tapas to mains to their desserts highlight dishes that are native to SEA culinary heritage, painstakingly put together by Chef Paul Kinny. Here you'll find the Chilli Crab from Singapore, the Malay-Thai Massaman Curry, a Korean Gochujang Buri Bop, Adobo Braised Pork Belly from the Phillipines, a Bread Pudding made from the famous Singaporean Kaya Jam, the Hong Kong Egg Custard Tart...we could go on! They also do a Milo Milkshake, which I drank copious amounts of during my time in Singapore. Go on a little foodcation with Shizusan, and explore the cusine of South East Asia. Highly recommended!
Shizusan Shophouse and Bar, Skyzone, Ground Floor, Near Lifestyle Gate, High Street Phoenix Mall, Lower Parel, Mumbai

26 March 2017

Take a Trip to Drunky Town With These New Bars

With restaurants and bars sprouting all around the city like moss during monsoons how does one determine which bar is worth your time, money and most importantly worth those calories. Yours truly recommends trying out these two watering holes among all the new entrants the city has seen this month. Read on, and then drink on! *hic*

1. Swey, Worli
Perched on the top floor of the now defunct Atria mall in Worli lies Swey - a sprawling casual dining bar where you can nibble on appetizers under the open sky and drink cocktails with the sea breeze in your hair. What I loved about Swey the minute I walked in was the sheer magnitude of the space - large and spaced out unlike most bars in the city where you're bumping elbows with the drunk on the next table.
Their signature cocktails come strongly recommended. My pick of the night was the Kale and Hearty - a vodka, spinach, cucumber, kale and ginger mix - that definitely tastes better than it sounds. Why have your greens when you can drink them mixed with alcohol? Another favourite was the highly potent Tequila Surprise - a tequila, kiwi, jalapeno concoction. What I loved about the cocktails here was that they were generous with the alcohol quotient which is a rarity nowadays.

(Left to Right): Rechado Fish Tikka, Cajun Chicken Pizza, Bottle Masala Chicken

13 March 2017

Why We Need to Preserve Restaurants Like Pradeep Gomantak in Fort

There is an unwritten rule every time I dine at South Mumbai's Fort and Colaba areas: I ensure that I dine at a regional restaurant which serves up some local food, or a restaurant that has endured the test of time and is a golden oldie! Enough time, money and calories are spent dining at trendy restaurants and hipster bars, owing to their abundance in the suburbs - Lower Parel and beyond. Which is why my train rides to Churchgate are spent reading up on vintage eateries I haven't been to yet. 

While rambling around in the by-lanes of Fort, I followed my stomach and my heart in the direction of Ideal Corner for some Parsi 'bhonu'. Located right opposite Ideal Corner, is a tiny eatery that you'll miss if you blink, and that finishes as soon as you enter. Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya is your no-frills, average Gomantak joint that serves up home style food tracing back to the Goan Hindus. The food here is simple, hearty fare with a menu that focuses on doling out fish thalis to hungry office goers during lunch hours. This place is a dream for the pescatarian, but also does chicken and mutton thalis if you don't enjoy fish. Vegetarians, stay away!

As I finished my decently average meal at Pradeep Gomantak, I could only think of why we needed more places like these in the city. And why we need to preserve the few that we have remaining.

10 March 2017

Su Casa es Mi Casa

Two frisky Rottweiler puppies came bounding up towards me, tails wagging, tongues flying and lay down at my feet. I knew this meal was going to be spectacular even before it began. We were dining at Su Casa - Bandra's newest European restaurant - one evening. The large al fresco seating with greenery all around makes for the perfect romantic setting, if you can ignore the random mosquito that is. The indoor dining room is just as classy and dimly lit which will explain the poor quality of food pictures you'll are about to endure.

Situated in the new, amoeba-like Bombay Art Society building the decor and menu does justice to the classy location. The food menu is predominantly European with a lot of the ingredients fresh and flown in. The menu focuses on clean eating, food that is rustic and holistic with the menu spanning small plates, mains and indulgent desserts. 

We started our meal off enveloped in greenery, nestled under the open sky with some small plates and cocktails for company. The Beef Tostada (Rs. 385/-) was a crisp tortilla base topped with perfectly done meat, coriander, sour cream, jalapenos and bell peppers. The crunch from the tortilla perfectly contrasted the softer elements seated on top, the sour cream providing a sense of relief from the heat of the jalapenos and peppers. Never thought a vegetarian appetizer would be my pick of the night, but the Patatas Bravas (Rs. 350/-) won because of how beautifully the potatoes were treated. The confit potatoes served with a garlic aioli proved that simplicity is might!

(Clockwise):  Beef Tostadas, Fish Tempura Bao, Patatas Bravas