Local Mumbai Food at a 5 Star Hotel ?

When was the last time you dropped by one of our city’s 5 star hotels to have a plate of Pani Puri or Bhurji Pav? Well this was my first time trying out local street food combined the magnificent ambiance of Hotel Sahara Star.

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So does local food taste better when cooked with utmost hygiene and served to you at a table with the most amazing view of Sahara Star’s interiors ? Honestly it tastes the same as it would outside any railway station but the experience here is unmatched! The restaurant Earth Plate is located one floor below ground and hence has an amazing view of the rest of this uniquely designed hotel. The ambiance here is almost sinfully relaxing, right from the lobby to the smoking room, this place is coated in luxury!

 

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Coming to the main attraction, the food! “The Mumbai Local Street Food Festival” was a limited time add-on to their usual buffet. The street food counters were designed to look like local vendors with a touch of cleanliness of-course!

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We began with a round of Kheema and Bhurji Pav, they had different varieties of Chicken and Mutton Kheema, all of them were perfectly cooked and very delicious, just as you would expect at a street-side vendor. Next we had a round of kebabs and tried a piece of each, again they were up to the mark both with taste and texture.

Next we came to their Chinese counter and since they had only one Chicken dish, we stuck to it and skipped the rest. And yes that Chicken Dish was Chicken Lollipop, the best chicken lollipop I have ever had, perfectly soft drumsticks and the most amazing Schezwan Sauce. We had to go for a second round. The best dish of the day!

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We then came to their Chicken Pizza and Chicken Roll, sadly these dishes didn’t impress me, they were very average in taste compared to the rest of the food.

Last but not the least we had to have a plate of Pani Puri and yes it was amazing, Ice Cold Pani Puri inside a 5 Star Hotel! Worth trying out!

 

After finishing with their special street food dishes, we tried out their regular buffet, starting with salad and fruits along with some of their breads. The salad was good but their collection of breads didn’t taste very fresh.

For mains we had Mutton Soup with Mutton Biryani, Mutton Rogan Josh and Butter Chicken, again the meats were cooked to perfection and their gravies were spiced deliciously. The Mutton Rogan Josh was my favorite of the lot.

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Finally time for desserts or should I say, the second main course as there were so many things to try out. Luckily their staff had given me a round of all their courses and I had saved up space for desserts. Good Decision! Apart from their usual desserts section they even had a counter for Kulfi Falooda and Rabdi Jalebi as a part of their Street food festival, sadly the kulfi was very average and the jalebi was burnt but I was not sad at all as I had a hundred other things to try out from their regular dessert section which were amazing!

Lastly their mocktails section, just like their food, I had mixed reviews about their drinks. Maybe it had to do with their bartender who made the most amazing glass of Pinacolada for us but then he moved to the cocktail bar and the new guy only offered us drinks made with Monin syrup which I found quite ridiculous so we stuck to regular aerated drinks.

Overall my experience here was one of a kind, Earth Plate did prove to me that local food and fine dine can surely go hand in hand. I would surely recommend this place to anyone visiting Mumbai with an interest in trying out local food.

  • Location : Hotel Sahara Star, Opposite Domestic Airport, Vile Parle East.

  • Cuisine : Indian (I feel it keeps changing)

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.5000 (approx)

The Earth Plate - Sahara Star Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Khyber at Kala Ghoda is place you should visit at least once!

Over half a decade old and after catering to Royalty and Celebrities from all over the world, Khyber is truly one of the most iconic restaurants in the city.

The moment you stem inside you realize how huge this place actually is. The ambiance takes you back in time instantly, beautiful rustic walls with artwork hand drawn by the famous M.D Husain in 1988, this place will leave you in awe even before you reach your table!

The night I visited, I was surrounded by guests from all over the world. On my left was a table of Japanese businessmen, on another were an elderly Israeli couple and to my right a group of American tourists, such lovely diversity.

They serve some of the best Mughlai food at Khyber. We began with their Seafood Platter which consisted of Reshmi Prawns, Coconut Coriander Prawns, Kali Mirch Rawas, Pomfret and Squid coated in Tawa Masala. The fish was fresh and the Masala was perfect, it was also the first time I tried out Squid with Indian Spices. Worth trying out!

The other starters we had were, Kali Mirch Mutton and Brain Fried Green Masala. The Mutton was tender and beautifully spiced, loved it completely. The brain however was not so impressive, I guess brain loses its soft texture and charm when fried.

For mains we had the Mutton Rara and Chicken Makhanwala, both dishes were delicious, the meat was tender and the spices spot on! We tried out their Reshmi Malai Paratha and Garlic Naan along with our mains which were quite nice too.

We tried out the Milky Way and Firni for desserts, the Milky was mix of Saffron Laddu swimming in a Sea of Condensed Milk and tasted as good as it sounds, worth trying out. The Firni on the other hand was more like Rabdi with its rich creamy texture and sweet taste, but still very delicious.

The Cocktails we tried out here were nice and subtle and something different from the usual gimmicky cocktails many restaurants serve today. We tried out the Rusty Nail, Whiskey sour and a couple of others.

Overall, the food here is good though it could be better in certain areas. The service was good too, though it was a little overwhelming for me to enjoy the meal with 4-5 waiters almost surrounding the table. This even made the place seem cluttered and a little claustrophobic. Almost Perfect is how I would like to describe this iconic restaurant and surely a place you have to visit!

  • Location : 145, Kala Ghoda, Fort.

  • Cuisine : North Indian/Mughlai

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.5000 (approx)

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

This place in Kala Ghoda is truly a Meat Lovers’ Paradise

The Boston Butt is one of the nicest places I have been to in a long time and surely a place that you cannot miss out on, if you are a meat lover. They serve exceptional American-diner style food inspired by diners from Texas, Louisiana and other Southern American states. It is also the city’s first and only Smokery and ‬Charcuterie, specializing in mouth watering and aromatic smoked meat creations.

On my visit to this restaurant, I was already in a good mood as it was the first time I was trying out my new camera and visiting Kala Ghoda always gets me into good spirits. The ambiance is rustic and beautiful, wooden floors, staircases, artwork on the walls, dim yellow lights, and the aroma of smoked meat in the air, just perfect! The service too was friendly, polite and quick. The staff was always attentive and offered some amazing suggestions with our food and cocktails.

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We began with a round of their staff recommended specialty cocktails, a ‘Beerita’ and ‘War and Peach.’ As the name suggests, the Beerita is a gigantic glass or Strawberry Margarita with a bottle of Kingfisher Beer floating over it, I am usually not a fan of beer but this drink was delicious. The War and Peach was a Whiskey based drink with Peach Liquor, both drinks are worth trying out.

However the best part of this restaurant was still to come, the food! The dishes we tried out here were nothing short of perfect.

Ghost Pepper Spiked Mad Hot Chicken Wings – If you feel the name is a bit too much, it is not! These wings are by far the spiciest wings I have tried if not the best ever. Even though they are spiced with the Worlds Hottest Chili – Bhut Jholokia or Ghost Pepper, it was still very flavorful and delicious, unlike my previous experiences with this chili which were like a nuclear explosion. Not to forget, the Batter Fried Onion Rings and Gorgonzola dip served along with it were delicious too. Must try and Strongly Recommended.

The Bourgeois P.I.G – Sinfully sweet and savory, Smoked Bacon-Chili Jam served in Mini Brioche with Mascarpone. If only all Jam Sandwiches were so delicious!

Burbon Butter Grilled Baby Lobster – Now how could I resist from ordering a dish with such a name! By far the best lobster dish I have had bursting with flavor. The Citrus-Chili-Garlic Nut Praline took this dish to another level. Worth trying out.

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Smoked Pork Nuggets – Heart Attack on a Plate! If you think pork is unhealthy, imagine chunks of pork meat and fat coated in batter which is then deep fried in oil. Delicious but not for the faint-hearted. The Louisiana style Remoulade Sauce served with it complimented the dish well.

Smoked Calamari – The only dish that was not at par with the rest of evening, the calamari was a bit too chewy for me. However the Confit Garlic served with it was delicious. Not a bad dish, but the other dishes were exceptional.

7 Days House-Cured & Smoked Buffalo Pastrami Sandwich – After watching numerous hours or TLC and Eat Street, there was no way that I would miss out on trying a Pastrami Sandwich. All I have to say is that it was worth the wait, the sandwich was simple, rustic and delicious. If only i could have this for breakfast everyday!

Pork Ribs (From the Smokery) – I have always found it difficult to slice through pork ribs but this time, the knife cut through it effortlessly. Tender and packed with flavor, this is the main reason you should visit the Boston Butt, their smoked meats. Makes you wish you lived in those Southern States of U.S. However, it’s not just the meat, the accompaniments with it were equally amazing. They serve a portion of BBQ Beans, Coleslaw, Gherkins and the most delicious and perfectly crisp slice of toast. I could eat it everyday! They even serve four sauces along with it – BBQ Kentucky Black, Hot Red, Carolina Mustard and my favorite one of them, Alabama White.

Smoked Buffalo Brisket (From the Smokery) – Quite full from the dishes we had so far, we had to try out one last dish, their brisket. I loved how simple this dish tastes without the unnecessary use of spices to overpower the mild flavors of the meat. Delightful!

The other cocktails which we tried out here were, The Tall Chef – an insane concoction of 5 different Whiskeys, White House  – Fresh Cream with a shot of Espresso and Patron Tequila, Texas Bullseye – Jack Daniels with Apricot Brandy, Pomelo and Orange Juice and LA-DI-DA – Patron Tequila with Pear and Pineapple Juice.

Finally it was time for dessert and just like the rest of the evening, it was exceptionally good. We had their staff recommended and now I would surely recommend it as well – Freshly Baked Skillet-Chocolate Chip Cookie with House made Ice Creams – A perfect end to a perfect night, Rich, Warm, Chewy, Crunchy and Melt-in-your-mouth Gigantic Cookie served with Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ice Cream scoops which were equally premium in taste. Words can’t describe how sinfully delicious it was, we ended up scraping the pan even though we were so full. Strongly Recommended and Worth Trying out just like this restaurant! If only I had a Visa and Money to catch the next flight to America!

P.S : Happy First Anniversary, keep up the good work!

  • Location : Behind Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda, Fort.

  • Cuisine : American

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.2500 (approx)

The Boston Butt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taste Bhi, Health Bhi?

Well just like in the case of Maggi Noodles, I’m not sure if the food at Garde Manger is actually healthy but it’s surely tasty! Speaking of which, Garde Manger is beautiful little cafe in Vile Parle, warm and cosy, the ambiance is just perfect! The service too was quick and friendly.

At first sight, barring the desserts, the dishes here were quite unattractive and made want to run for my life as I am a hardcore Non-vegetarian, who doesn’t really care about calories. However I decided to give their food a try instead of heading straight for dessert. Starting off with something safe, their coffee, a Hazelnut Latte and a Cold Coffee. Both were quite nice, the latte was filled with Chocolate sauce, no complaints but not sure if that’s healthy either.

Convinced by their coffee, we went for the Mumbai Local and Mezze Platter. Mumbai Local is like a healthy and premium version of a roadside bhel with fresh ingredients topped off with liquid nitrogen. Now when was the last time your bhelwala used liquid nitrogen? And not only was the smoky presentation a treat for your eyes, the dish tastes good as well, light, delicious and yes… frosty cold! A must try dish! The Mezze Platter was nice as usual, delicious Humus, Couscous, and Tahini Yogurt served with Pita Bread and bread sticks.

Next we went for some Nachos and Pasta, the Nachos did seem quite healthy even the dips served with it were light and delicious! The Spaghetti Pesto Pasta was quite nice too. We ordered their Cold Press Juice and Lemon Ice Tea to go along with these dishes.

By now I realized one way in which their food is healthy… it fills you up quickly and makes you avoid overeating. Almost full, it was finally time for desserts! We ordered a Greek Yogurt and Apple Crumble and a Belgium Chocolate Waffle. The waffle was one of the best I have ever had and it vanished almost instantly. Perfect taste and texture, must try! The Apple Crumble on the other hand was very heavy but equally delicious, it’s sweet and tangy flavor with a hint of Cinnamon has a similar taste to Christmas sweets and made me feel Nostalgic. We ended with an Orange Popsicle which actually had pieces of fruit in it.

Overall the food here is fantastic and absolutely worth visiting. I only wish this place was nearer to home. Strongly Recommended – Health Conscious or Not!

  • Location : Parmar CHS, Vile Parle East.

  • Cuisine : Cafe, Healthy food, Italian

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.800 (approx)

Garde Manger Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Authentic Indian Food on the go?

Ever craved for Indian food like Butter Chicken but didn’t have the time to sit down and enjoy it, no problem, Morselo has a solution! With their newly launched ‘Naan Sub’ you can  enjoy delicious Indian dishes while on the move.

Located in the ‘once upon a time popular’ Galleria in Powai, Mosrelo is a tiny eatery that aims to tackle the problem of authentic Indian food on the go. Hence they combined an open sub with popular Indian dishes like Butter Chicken, Paneer Korma, Chicken Kheema and many more. We tried out their Fort Kochi Chicken Pepper Fry, Hazratganjwala Dum Ka Murg and everyone’s favorite GT Road Da Butter Chicken. All of them are loaded with shredded Chicken, perfect ratio of bread to toppings. Our favorite was the Hazratganjwala Dum Ka Murg, worth trying out!

They also serve take away meals or as they like to call it, ‘Rice Packs,’ which is your choice of gravy like Chole, Shahi Paneer, Madras Chicken, etc. served with Pulav Rice and Dilli ki Ram Ladoo. We tried out the London Famous Madras Chicken Gravy which was quite nice and enough to fill you up. We also ordered a side dish Khatte Masaledar Chicken Fingers, which we loved, spicy, tangy and delicious!

If you have been reading closely, you may have noticed that each dish has a location associated with it, that’s because Morselo wants people to know where each of their dishes originated from, their Rice Packs come with a short story about each dish.

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We even tried out their drinks which were decent, I liked the water based drinks of Lemon Twist and Orange Chili Tamgo, however the Cold Coffee and Hazelnut Frappe could have been better. I did like their ChocoChip Milkshake that comes loaded with chocolate chips.

Usually I feel that the Chocolate Brownie is the most overused and abused dish in majority of restaurants, they serve dry, boring brownies, sometimes with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream which is equally bad. Hence I was quite hesitant when the owner recommended their Brownies for dessert but to my surprise, it was amazing. We tried out the Salted Caramel Brownie which was a perfect blend of taste and texture! Strongly recommended! Another dessert we tried out was their Pink Ladoo which was equally good.

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Overall, I feel Morselo is a good place to order food from or for takeaways, however when it comes to dining here, I find the ambiance quite average and I’m not a big fan of eating out of plastic containers with plastic cutlery when at a restaurant. However on the positive side, the food is hot, you get to speak to their cheerful owner and listen to his interesting stories about the dishes and last but not least, they do serve a cup of tea on the house each time they prepare a batch!

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  • Location : 164, First Floor, Galleria, Hiranandani – Powai.

  • Cuisine : Indian

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.600 (approx)

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

Dishkiyaaon!!!

Dishkiyaaon! yes that’s the name of this quirky restaurant located on the ground floor of the beautiful Capital Building at BKC. The ambiance lives up to its name with its unique decor, hilarious coasters and so does the food with its Bollywood inspired filmy names.

I visited this place for lunch on a rainy day and it was quite a pleasant experience. We began with a round of soup that was served with lightly toasted bread. We tried out the Yanna Rascalla which was a combination of Minestrone and Rasam, not sure about the minestrone but this soup did taste like Rasam with tiny chunks of Chicken in it, definitely not my favorite dish! However the second soup, Shorba Di Fungi, a Creamy Mushroom soup with Chicken was simply delicious. Thick, creamy and packed with that delicious mushroom flavor, it went well with the garlic toasted bread. Must try if you like Mushroom soups.

Chicken Tikka and Khari maybe two things you never thought of having together but this restaurant seems to like crazy combinations and they definitely got this one right. Their Chicken Tikka Khari was the best dish of the day, tender juicy chicken and soft melt in your mouth Khari, strongly recommended!

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The other appetizers we tried out were Kerela Fish and Chips and Prawns Tandoori Pesto, while the fish was nice and crisp on the outside, it could have been more juicy or moist on the inside, however I did like the spices used on the crust. The prawns were just poor in taste and quality, not recommended!

For mains we ordered Potli Fish and Bhuna Green Goulash and some roti to go along with it. Both dishes were so delicious, nothing was left behind. The Potli Fish comes wrapped in Parchment Paper and served with mildly spiced Masala Rice. The flavors of lemon butter and thyme were mildly evident but if there was a drizzle of lemon butter sauce over the rice, it would have brought this dish to life. The Lamb Goulash Gravy on the other hand was packed with flavor and quite spicy. Perfect! Went well with the Multi-grain Roti served along with it.

Finally for desserts we had an overload of chocolate as we tried out their Chocolate Volcano and Old Monk Chocolate Mouse. Both were equally delicious and chocolaty!

The drinks we tried out were Coffee Sangria – a non alcoholic mix of coffee and orange flavors – not my favorite drink. Paan Banaras wala – Whiskey with Paan and Coconut syrup – unique taste, what I liked most was the flakes of beetle-nut floating on top and cooling your lips each time they touched. Banaras to Bombay – Another delicious blend of Thandai and Dark rum, sadly only 1/3 of the glass was filled. Chai Biscuit Cocktail – Rum and Chai, tastes as bad as it sounds. Last but not lease – A Classic Old Fashioned, the best drink of the lot and a clear example that Classic Cocktails should not be messed with!

Overall we had a lovely time at this restaurant, a great place to unwind and dine with friends!

  • Location : Ground Floor, Capital Building, BKC.

  • Cuisine : Indian and Continental

  • Cost for 2 : Rs.1500 (approx)

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