Leo’s Boulangerie

logo

This bakery turned a year old in January 2014. Its located at Colaba, between the market and postoffice, on the main road. I have passed-by this route numerous times, seen this bakery but somehow never got my foot in.

Finally, went there last evening. Wanting a light eat for dinner, picked up a vegetarian fare of pizza and puff.

veg pizza n puff

veg pizza n puff

The pizza at Rs. 4o is a 4 1/2″ pizza with a good amount of filling and cheese (the american corn pieces are a tad too many). Its got a good flavour and makes a very good mini meal with the puff. The puff at Rs 20 is a spinach and paneer stuffed savory. The puff is light and its almost a melt-in-the-mouth mini feast. I really enjoyed this light dinner, which I had with homemade coffee. I am gonna go to this place more often – I mean it! Its good, fresh and tasty.

The bakery is well designed and has an extensive menu. It boasts of cakes, pastries, breads, cookies, brownies, sandwiches and savories such as quiche, rolls, croissants. Next, I am keen on trying are their breads and quiche.

Sundance Cafe

menu

menu

That pic on top is the menu of the restaurant. Its a nice change from the regular menus one sees across the city. Also, the restaurant is well done up. Simple but elegant and chic. The restaurant is at 2 levels and I chose to sit upstairs – I’ve always preferred upstairs at this restaurant (I’ve eaten a lot at the old Sundance cafe. This Sundance Cafe has taken over from the old management, having just bought out their name; everything else is with a new management. Started in November 2012)

To start our dinner, we ordered a Lemon Iced Tea and Factory Nachos

Lemon iced tea

Lemon iced tea

Its PERFECT. At Rs. 100, I am very happy and dive into the nachos.

Factory Nachos

Factory Nachos

The Nachos were full of flavour. Crunchy and tasty. However, the cheese sauce was less but we were giving an additional helping as soon as we asked for it. The portion size is very small. At Rs. 425, its just a layer or two of nachos scattered across the plate. At such a price I would have expected to find a nice small heap of nachos which could almost serve as a mini meal by itself!

For mains ordered the Habanero Spiced Black Bean burger and an Indian Salmon.

Habenero spiced bean burger

Habenero spiced bean burger

Its a good burger, but the potato wedges steal the show – easily. The burger is a black mean mince with avocado tapenade and tomato salsa. The burger is average. Priced at Rs. 425, I find it on the expensive side. (These prices are exclusive of Service tax and Service Charge) For vegetarians, the choice in burgers is this or a mushroom based one. However, met with the chef and they are introducing more options in veg and non-veg in the coming few weeks. Eat this with their mustard sauce and I go Ummmm…….. The mustard sauce is just like the one served at Indigo Deli.

Indian salmon

Indian salmon

The Indian Salmon is a pan-seared rawas served on a bed of mashed potatoes, served with zucchini and green onion cream sauce. At Rs. 525, its a great dish to be had as a main course. The fish is cooked flawless, the mashed potatoes are well herb-ed , the zucchini and eggplant are well-sauteed and all of this is brought together with the lightly flavoured green onion cream sauce – the sauce is just awesome – no other words to describe it. The dish on the whole gets a 4 on 5.

The dinner was a good end to the day. I am definitely going back to try the other options on the menu, especially their beverages and desserts – next time.

Chef is a young man, friendly and helpful. The staff attentive and discreet. Go to Sundance Cafe and enjoy a good meal.

Sufra – encounters of 3 kinds

Had 3 Sufra experiences (after my first visit) in November and December. My experiences.

Having tried the Original Falafel the first time round, loved it and then I had to try their other dishes. So, went back on the 29th of November 2013. Between the Spinach Pide (Middle-eastern pizza) and another vegetarian fare, I was recommended to try the Paneer and Vegetable skewers with Moujadara. This is grilled vegetables and cottage cheese skewers served with lentil and brown onion pulao, served with their piquant tomato sauce.

In non-vegetarian, was suggested The Crisp Chicken in pita pocket. This is garlic and cumin spiced chicken with lettuce, tomato, tahini, fresh coriander and mint sauce.

The Paneer and Vegetable skewers with Moujadara.

Paneer n vegetables skewered in tomato sauce

Paneer n vegetables skewered in tomato sauce

pulao

pulao

Paneer n veg skewers with Moujadara

Paneer n veg skewers with Moujadara

At Rs. 225, its a tasty and wholesome meal. The skewers are flavourful. The tomato sauce is aromatic and has zest. It goes well with the pulao. The pulao, I felt was nothing great. It was strongly scented with cinnamon, cardamon and other spices. However, on the whole its a good dish. Portion size is good and it adequately serves 1. In the above picture, the plate could not accommodate half of the rice and more of the tomato sauce. However, I am not sure if I would order this often as it is not an exotic taste or does not make me feel I am eating a Middle- Eastern fare. Its good and different but not strikingly unusual.

The Crispy Chicken is a non-vegetarian Falafel. Credit to Sufra for the chicken – it packs in a good flavour. On the whole its a good falafel. Gets itself a rating of 3.5 on 5. At Rs. 150 its a good meal.

Crispy chicken

Crispy chicken

Experience 2 – wanted to have the Spinach Pide. Went to the outlet one night, in the first week of December. Time 7:30 pm. NO SPINACH PIDE. Ordered the Original Falafel. NO ORIGINAL FALAFEL!

Experience 3 – 13th December 2013. Lunchtime around 1 p.m. I was close to the outlet. I decided to call them before reaching them for a pickup. NO SPINACH PIDE.

Aurangabad – Ajanta & Ellora caves

I took a road trip to Aurangabad last weekend. Actually as the 02nd of October, Wednesday, was a holiday, we got out of Mumbai on Saturday morning, drove to Aurangabad, and returned on Wednesday. We stayed at the Vivanta by Taj.

On Saturday morning, we drove out of Mumbai to Aurangabad. Route taken was a 30km longer route but was on the Freeway and then Pune Expressway, via Ahmednagar. It was a beautiful drive. It took us 8hours and 30 mins. (with a short tea and lunch break). Having driven to Rajasthan via Gujarat, I was given to believe that those roads were the best. However, this route was as good, IF not better. Just as we entered Aurangabad, we were welcomed by an auto rickshaw saying –

rickshaw

rickshaw

We were not really tired by the drive.  After having checked into the Taj, 2 hours later, we were swimming in the pool.  The pool was large, 5’ deep and invigorating.

Four nights stay at the Taj was refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating.

collage

 

As my blog is about food, let’s get to it. Breakfast at Taj was overgenerous. Below are only some of the photographs of their counters. For non-vegetarians, there were cold cuts, sausages, bacon and an egg counter where any way-you-like your eggs, they would make. For vegetarians, apart from the layout on the counters, you could ask for parathas and though only medu-wadas and idlis were on the counter, they would make you a hot and crispy masala dosa too. Totally enjoyed the breakfasts.

breakfast collage

breakfast collage

Loved their baked yogurt. Everyday I had a different flavour.

baked yogurt

baked yogurt

Dinner arrangement was just as luxurious. Some pictures below.   At Latitude (their restaurant), Manoj (I think he was the second-in-charge there), took very good care of our meals. We’d have a heavy buffet breakfast. Dinner was a choice of buffet or al a carte. We took the buffet. Every dish on the counter looked ravishing. However, taste-wise, most were just passable. I think the reason is that the flavours were toned down to suit the international clientele. However, Manoj would go out of the way to make our meals extravagant. He would get made a stuffed onion kulcha just for me or a mutton kebab only for my husband. The staff there was so welcoming, accommodating and attentive – they even made a complete Maharashtrian meal just for us, vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian. That night the Maharashtrian fare was very nice.

Dinner at Taj

Dinner at Taj

Maharashtrian food

Maharashtrian food

One day we visited the Ajanta caves and the next day, the Ellora caves. Trips to these caves are a minimum of 5 hour excursions each. We would leave for them immediately after breakfast. I was touched when, on both days, we were given a picnic box. Infact, we were given one even for our drive back to Mumbai! The box contained juice, fruits, either slices cake or croissants, muffins or other savories.

food hamper

food hamper

At Ajanta, we ate lunch at Ajanta canteen; it’s the first food stall as soon as you enter the food and shopping zone, leading to the caves. We each had a vegetarian thali and order an extra dish called sev tameta. Sev tameta is a Maharashtrian dish made with tomato gravy and topped with thick sev. Thali at Rs. 60 was delicious. The sev tameta – yummy. We were so hungry after the caves that the piping hot lunch was all over in 15 mins. I was so hungry that I did not take any pictures.

Following are a few snapshots of Ajanta caves, Ellora caves, Bibi ka Maqbara and the Daulatabad fort.

attractions

attractions

Street food-wise, choices are mainly bread pakoda, samosa and kachori. I used to have their kachoris. Loved them.

kachoris

kachoris

stuffed kachori

stuffed kachori

 

Driving around Aurangabad saw nationalism at its best.

Cows - pride of India

Cows – pride of India

Aurangabad is known for Paithani sarees, Himroo and Badri work. The snapshot below is of a Paithani saree. It took about 7 months to weave the sari and it costs approximately Rs.22,000.

paithani sari

paithani sari

Aurangabad was named after the Mogul emperor Aurangzeb. However, surprising, the food at the restaurants and dhabbas along the way are mainly vegetarian. We were told that the citizens there are mainly Marwaris and Jains, hence mainly a vegetarian cuisine. We tried Great Sagar restaurant – said to be run by Muslims and serving good non-vegetarian meals as well. Ordered the Chicken Aurangabadi – it was really average. However, the Tadka Dal and Gobi paratha were excellent.

restaurant front

restaurant front

 

Chicken Aurangabadi

Chicken Aurangabadi

 

gobi paratha

gobi paratha

 

Tadka dal

Tadka dal

 

tandoori rotis

tandoori rotis

 

our meal

our meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At our last breakfast at Taj, we were served a Bon Voyage pastry.

bon voyage treat

bon voyage treat

I enjoy eating local food especially country-side dhabbas, which serve the most authentic food of the region. On our return journey to Mumbai, stopped for lunch at a dhabba. Again had a really good meal of chicken, sev tameta and tadka dal with roti.

chicken

chicken

sev tameta

sev tameta

tadka dal

tadka dal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since coming back to Mumbai, I’ve become a strong supporter of tadka dal. So much so that, on our return home, the very next day, I surfed for the recipe and made the dal for dinner. It was well made. Next Maharashtrian meal to try will be Sev Tameta.

 

Irish House

Entrance

Entrance

I love the ambiance of this place. The vibe is just great. I was introduced to this pub my by hubby. It had initially opened at Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel. At the time, I had a drink and ordered a portion of nachos. Wow – the quantity of the nachos was so much that, that was my dinner!

Irish House opened another outlet at Kala Ghoda a few months back. I went there recently. I love the  character that Irish House brings forth. Its warm, classy, chic, comfy, soothing, electrifying and relaxing – all at the same time. The outlet at Kala Ghoda has a larger space and like its Lower Parel counterpart, sports a huge screen. The music is fantastic – hats off to the DJ please.

The setting

The setting

As luck would have it, we reached there just before Happy Hours were ending. Buy 1 get 1 free. Ordered a Long Island Ice Tea.

Long Island Ice Tea

Long Island Ice Tea

Hmmm………..the drink was disappointing. Priced at Rs. 595, we’ve had better. To go with this, we ordered the Ultimate Cheese Combo.

Ultimate Cheese Combo

Ultimate Cheese Combo

This is a platter of 12 pieces of 3 types of cheesy delights. Starting from the closest to the farther-est, they rated themselves similarly. Closed to the sauce are the Jalapeno Poppers (which were the best), followed by Breaded Sharp Cheddar Cheese Ball (nice) and lastly the Mozzarella Sticks (average). At Rs. 395, they paired well with the drink.

Main course was Moussaka Veg. Price is Rs. 375. Its well flavoured and served with potato mash.

Moussaka Veg

Moussaka Veg

The Three Lion’s Steak & Chips was a good meal too. Priced at Rs. 575 it got an almost 4 on 5. Both dishes were served with potato mash and must say, they do make one of the better mashes I’ve eaten.

Three Lion's Steak & Chips

Three Lion’s Steak & Chips

Overall rating would be a 4 on 5. They get this because of the ambiance they have created together with prompt service. If only food was to be considered, then it would get a 3.5 on 5. The drinks are on the expensive side, apart from a few starters, portion sizes are small ( for eg. Mini Tacos at Rs. 275 are 8 pieces of bite-sized tacos) and the Cigar rolls are just 5 pieces.) However, the main course is appetizing. To all the prices mentioned above you need to add 10% of service fee that they charge as well as the taxes.

 

Shan – Chicken Masala

Shan - Chicken Masala pack

Shan – Chicken Masala pack

I used this pack to make dinner for hubby last night. As usual, the taste was perfect.

Shan - Chicken Masala

Shan – Chicken Masala

I have used a few more products from Shan’s collection and they turn out faultless every time. Just follow the recipe mentioned on the pack behind and you can’t go wrong.

I recommend this brand of ready-to-cook masalas for all, especially those living alone or for those vegetarian persons who cook non-vegetarian dishes for their non-vegetarian partners / family members. Its hassle-free and easy to cook.

Brand: Shan – Chicken Masala

Net wt: 50 g

Price: Rs 60

Validity: 3 years

Rating: 5 on 5

Chicken Masala

I made this Chicken Masala dish for my hubby’s dinner last night . This is a thick onion gravy with chunks of chicken. Its a spicy masala and is ideally to be had with roti or naan but hubby prefers it with rice.

Chicken masala with rice

Chicken masala with rice

I used Chicken Masala from Shan range of ready-to-cook masalas. (for more info and pictures on the Shan masala I used, see following post). I must say – I am extremely happy with Shan products as they turn out perfect every time.

Wraps and Rolls

Finally, I made them – WRAPS!

Ever since I made the Peppered Paneer, I’ve been wanting to put it in a wrap. (On the Mumbai roads, they are called ROLLS)

So,

last night’s dinner was :

1. Paneer n Aloo (potato) wrap

2. Grilled chicken and Aloo wrap

3. Egg n chicken wrap

The results were amazing. They tasted quite like the ones on the streets. Yipeeee…………

Check out the pictures.

Paneer n Aloo filling

Paneer n Aloo filling

Paneer n Aloo wrap

Paneer n Aloo wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled chicken filling

Grilled chicken filling

 

grilled chicken

grilled chicken

Grilled chicken wrap

Grilled chicken wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg n chicken filling

Egg n chicken filling

 

 

 

egg n chicken wrap

egg n chicken wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner enjoyed. Happy. And another day goes by – well spent.