Upstairs : Asian Bistro and Bar, Tardeo

Upstairs is a new restaurant in Tardeo where I was invited for their relaunch. Walking in, the ambiance did feel reminiscent of the previous restaurant Dios where I had my college farewell a couple of months ago.

This place has dim yellow lighting and rather loud music, which created an atmosphere similar to that of a pub or night club. They even have an outdoor rooftop section that has an amazing view when the rain covers are off.

Coming to the food, since it was relaunch night, they had a limited menu with cocktails being the main attraction of the evening. We began with the classics, a Long Island Ice Tea and a Mojito. Their LIIT had an Asian twist to it, served in a Bamboo dish with a strong flavor of Cinnamon, while some may like it, I prefer my LIIT without it.

We then tried out their Som Tom Salad made from raw papaya, it may seem uninteresting but it was packed with flavors. Definitely worth a try.

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Being the Momo fans that we are, we went for both their Veg Crystal and Chicken Coriander Momos, the chicken momos were soft and creamy while the veg ones had a nice crunch to it from the water chestnut filling. The best part however was the extremely spicy chili dipping sauce served with it, which was quite literally Mind Blowing.

For appetizers we had the Cottage Cheese Chili Pepper, Duet of Pepper Chicken and Honey Chili Lamb, all three were tender, cooked well and spiced to perfection.

The Tom Yum Kai soup had a mild flavor to it, the sprouted beans and mildly flavored chicken did give it a healthy taste.

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Next we ordered a Vegetable Murtabak, which is a Malaysian Dish with Indo-Muslim influence. It consists of Pancake slices stuffed with vegetables and served with a spicy Sambal gravy. It more or less resembles a Stuffed Paratha while the Sambal tastes similar to Red Thai Curry, maybe because of its coconut milk base.

We had the Jasmine Burnt Garlic Rice and Malaysian Curry for mains, the Malaysian Curry was spot on and bursting with flavor but the rice was greatly overpowered and didn’t seem to have any flavor of its own.

And finally time for desserts, Honey Noodles with Ice Cream and a Classic Red Velvet Cheesecake. The Honey Noodles were the best I ever had mainly because it was served with Coconut Ice Cream, it was so good that we just couldn’t resist and had to order another one. The Red Velvet Cheesecake had a nice soft-melt in your mouth texture but flavor was a little mild.

Over the courses we ordered a couple of Cocktails – The Water Pipe, Charcoal Sour, Upside down and a few others. A common issue with all the cocktails was the amount of alcohol in it that completely overpowered the other delicate flavors. While no one usually complains of too much alcohol in their cocktail, I like tasting all the flavors blended in, rather than just the alcohol.

Hence we went for their Mocktails instead and Voila, the burst of flavors that we were looking for. The Peachiana, Kiwi Delight and Coco Jumbo, all of them had an amazing blend of flavors and were much better than the Cocktails.

The red wine too was quite disappointing, so we decided to experiment and make our own Cocktail, by mixing a Peachiana with White Rum and it was the best drink of the evening.

 

The service was very polite and our server Vicky was very helpful. The prices too are pocket friendly. Overall we had a wonderful time Upstairs and we will surely be back for more.It’s an eye-catching place with amazing looking drinks that will surely trigger the Shutterbug in you.

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P.s : Be it Dios, Bareasti or Upstairs, the 5th Floor of Konarkshram does seem to be a lucky place and I have always had a good time here.

  • Location : 5th Floor, Konarkshram, Tardeo.

  • Cuisine : Asian (Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese)

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.800 (approx)

Upstairs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The American Joint, BKC

The Capital, at BKC is home to many amazing restaurants like Capital Social, The good Wife, Starbucks, Dishkiyaaon, etc. The American Joint is a 4 month old restaurant located on the first floor of The Capital at BKC. With many amazing restaurants in the same building, my expectations were quite high.

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The ambiance here neat and clean, similar to what you would find at a Cafe. The service too was rather laid back and relaxed again resembling service that you would find in a Cafe rather than a restaurant.

What I liked most about this restaurant is the ordering system, wherein you place you order on a tablet. The application is very user friendly with a a simple layout. However, the photographs used could be a little better.

Coming to the food, we began with a Watermelon Lime Spritzer and a Nutella Cold, both were excellent and it raised my hopes for the dishes to follow. Sadly, it was a road downhill from here. Next we decided to try out their waffles, the Oreo Cookie Crumble Waffle and the Spread Nutella Waffle. While the toppings and flavors were delicious, the dough of the waffle was tough and chewy.

 

Next we tried out their San Francisco Garlic Fries, again amazingly flavored with Parmesan Cheese and Chopped Garlic, but the fries were not cooked right. The Corn Fritters which we tried next was my least favorite dish of the day, it had a nice crisp outer coating but it was not cooked in the middle which made it inedible, also the flavor seemed a bit off.

We also ordered sides of their Spicy Mayonnaise and Queso Cheese Sauce, both were delicious and worth trying out. We later washed it down with glasses of Lemon Ice Tea and Lemonade.

For mains we ordered a Chili Cheese Burger and Tomato Basil Soup. The burger patty too had the same cooking issue, but the cream cheese was absolutely delicious with a kick of green chili. The Tomato Basil soup was the best dish of the day with its mild flavor.

Time for desserts, we had a Ferrero Nutella mousse which was decent and a Coffee with donuts, which was disappointing because it was not coffee but more of a dipping sauce, not something that I could drink and the donuts were sugar coated dough balls which again were under cooked from the inside.


Pros : Clean ambiance, pocket friendly,  interesting ordering app, amazing flavors.

Cons : Serious flaw in the cooking procedure, especially for their deep fried food, which is usually caused if the food is dipped into cold oil and then heated up.

P.s : You guys have an amazing place, great concept and lovely flavors, a fix in the cooking method will surely put your place on the map.

  • Location : 1st Floor, The Capital, BKC.

  • Cuisine : Indo – Western Fusion, Organic, Jain.

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.1000 (approx)

The American Joint Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Peninsula Next, Sion

Located right next to the first Peninsula  restaurant opposite PVR/Cinemax, Peninsula Next is a Vegetarian Fine Dine Restaurant and after visiting the other two Peninsula restaurants in Sion, Peninsula Next was the last on my list.

The restaurant is huge and the ambiance here is beautiful, much better than the other two. They even have a Silver Cow next to the reception to greet you.

On our visit, we began with ordering starters from their various cuisines, a Mexican starter – Hash Corn Vegetables, Indian – Firangi Paneer Tikka and a Chinese starter – Dragon Fang Paneer.
The Hash Corn Vegetables is a light dish that is a blend of sweet and spicy sauce over diced vegetables and two veg patties.

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The Firangi Paneer Tikka is a heavier dish with huge chunks of  Paneer coated with Cheese and layered between Tomatoes, Onions and Capsicum.

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While the Dragon Fang Paneer had chunks of paneer with a crispy fried noodle like coating, served with an absolutely amazing Plum Chili Sauce. All three were delicious and worth trying out.

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We washed away all those amazing spices with glasses of Peach Ice Tea, a Pineapple Colada, Mojito and their specialty, a Green Envy, which is a blend of guava and other juices.


After the starters raised the bar for the evening, we went for their French Onion Soup and had high expectations from it. The soup is a rich creamy blend of Caramelized Onions and Spices with Crispy Cheese Croutons, absolutely delicious and one of the best soups I have ever had. Strongly Recommended.

As expectations raised higher with the soup, we went for their Spicy Red Thai Curry for our main course. And to our delight, it was just perfect. Creamy, Spicy and Delicious. Even the pieces of Paneer in the curry were tender. Another strongly recommended dish.

Finally it was time my favorite part of the meal, desserts! With expectations higher than ever we decided to try out their Chocolate Valley and Kulfi Radbi Falooda. Sadly they didn’t match the level set by the previous dishes. The Chocolate Valley has a scoop of chocolate Ice Cream over a scoop of Chocolate mousse, while the Ice Cream was nice, the mousse was a little tough. The Kulfi Rabdi Falooda was nice too, but I could not distinguish between the Kulfi and the Rabdi as it was either melted or blended together.

Overall, my dinner here was delightful, the food is absolutely amazing and the service and ambiance is good too. Being a hardcore non vegetarian, not once did I miss or think about it. Looks like I clearly saved the best Peninsula for last. While this place may be heavy on your wallet, it’s definitely worth a visit.

  • Location : Opposite PVR Cinema, Sion.

  • Cuisine : North Indian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican

  • Cost for 2 : Rs 2000 (approx)

Peninsula Next Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Central Peninsula, Sion

Central Peninsula is like a crossover between a Fine Dine and a Fast Food Restaurant. After visiting the older Peninsula restaurant that’s just a few blocks away, Central Peninsula was next on my dine list. Located bang on Sion Circle, this place is easy to spot, especially with its large neon sign.

The ambiance here maybe slightly smaller than the other peninsula restaurant, but is still quite nice and has a warm feel to it. The staff here, including the watchmen are very polite its always a perfect start to a meal when u are greeted as soon as you enter.

Being the stereotypical hardcore non-vegetarian that I am, eating veg food usually includes a lot of Paneer dishes and likely so we began with round of Paneer starters. Paneer Chili Dry, Pan Fried Paneer, Paneer Coriander and just for some change we tried a Mushroom Tikka.

All the Paneer Dishes were amazing, mainly because the Paneer was soft and fresh. The Paneer Chili was my favorite since it not only had the best flavor but also the crisp coating of batter around the soft tender Paneer was a perfect combination. Strongly recommend.

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Quite full from all the Paneer we decided to stay away from it for the main course. So what does a non-vegetarian order when Paneer is off the list? Triple Schezwan off course. Confused by the wide variety of dishes we went for the familiar and all time favorite Triple Schezwan which was good but no matter what, Chinese food always tastes best at a roadside tapri. Would recommend trying out their Indian dishes instead.

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We also tried out a couple of their Mocktails, the Green Island and the Peninsula Special Mocktail both were a bit too sweet for our liking.

And for my favorite part, desserts, we ordered a Sizzling Brownie and Parafruit, that was recommended by the staff. The Brownie good but could have been better, similarly for the Parafruit, which is a combination of three different flavors of ice cream with slices of fresh apple and wafer biscuit topped with a cherry.

Pros : Good food, good ambiance and amazing service, quick and polite.

Cons : Few dishes could have been better, the desserts and drinks that we had were too sweet.

P.s : Peninsula Next, you’re next!

  • Location : Sion Circle, Near Sion Station.

  • Cuisine : North Indian, South Indian and Chinese

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.600 (approx)

Central Peninsula Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aram, CST

With the one of the best vada pavs and located right outside the iconic CST Station, Aram is difficult to miss. This place also serves some of the best Maharashtrian food in the city.

The main reason i keep dropping by is for their amazing Vada Pav. With thousands of vada pav vendors in the city it’s quite difficult to make it stand out but this place does it with ease. Good hygiene, comparatively larger size and less oil along with chopped onions and tamarind chutney makes their vada-pav quite different from the rest. A must visit place.

Pros : Good food , Good hygiene, Value for money and quick service.

Cons : Ambiance is a bit claustrophobic especially during the hot summers, quality seems to be reducing with time.

P.s : Their spicy ussal, is extremely spicy and worth trying.

  • Location : Opposite CST Station.

  • Cuisine : Maharashtrian

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.200 (approx)

Aram Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Opa, Peninsula Grand, Sakinaka

Opa, located on the rooftop of the Peninsula Grand hotel in Sakinaka, in my opinion is a place of stark contrasts, while it has one of the most beautiful ambiance, the service does not match its standards. Similarly with the food, while some dishes are exceptional, other are not up to the mark.

This restaurant has two sections, one is more of a pub while the other is for fine dining. My review is based on their fine dine section.

I visited this place for the first time a couple of nights ago, and at first sight itself, you are lost in its breathtaking ambiance. We started off with a Pinacolada and a Ferrero Rocher Shake, both of which were decent but the shake could have been better.

For starters we tried their Shrimp fried in Arak, Harissa  Fish Cakes, Chicken Kibbeh with Cilantro foam and my all time favorite, Chicken Shawarma candy which was served interestingly in tiny rolls and wrapped up like candy.

 

We also tried their Brie fritters with Jalapeno Sauce which just perfect and was my favorite dish of the day and Lamb Donor Kebab which was served on flat bread along with Garlic Aioli Fries and Pickled Vegetables.

For mains we ordered a Lamb Shank with Mashed Potatoes and Tabbouleh Salad and a Pan Fried Red Snapper with Capers. Speaking about contrasts, the lamb shank was cooked in a coffee based sauce which I didn’t like at all, but the mashed potatoes served along with it was the best I have ever had, amazingly flavored with butter and herbs. The Pan Fried Snapper was quite a nice dish too, perfectly flavored and would definitely recommend trying it out if you are a seafood lover.

We cooled it down with a glass of Bois Blanc, which is a blend of Pineapple, Watermelon, Orange, Grenadine juices topped of with Sweetened Soda and some refreshing Peach Ice Tea.

For desserts we ordered their staff recommended Traditional Baklava Cake and their Espresso Fudge with Hazelnut Ice cream. The Baklava cake was packed with flavor and the Hazelnut Ice Cream was amazing, the Espresso fudge however failed to impress as it tasted more or less like chocolate cake.

Pros : Amazing ambiance, few dishes are worth trying out.

Cons : Poor service and management, few dishes are not worth the price tag.

P.s : My first encounter here was with their receptionist/bouncer who just seemed too arrogant to show us a table. Maybe I would expect this from a night club but not from a fine dine. I strongly believe that if these critics are taken positively, this place has amazing potential to be one of the best restaurants in Mumbai with just a few fixes.

  • Location : Rooftop, Peninsula Grand Hotel, Opposite Sakinaka Metro Station.

  • Cuisine : Lebanese and European.

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.3000 (approx)

Opa! Bar & Cafe - The Peninsula Grand Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato