Havana Cafe n Bar

Did you know Polly Ester’s in now Havana Cafe n Bar?

Did you know that Havana Cafe is now running a promotion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. everyday, wherein the Happy Hours menu has everything at Rs 72? (Mondays closed). These are exclusive of taxes and service charge at 10%.

I went there last week and had a great evening. It has a really good decor and seating is nicely arranged. Servers are prompted and very well-mannered. Service itself is prompt and efficient.

It was just the two of us, so we started with a shot each of the Blue Ocean. I followed it up with a Boulevard and my companion, with a beer. The shots were ok, so was the Boulevard.

However, the Veg Sharing Platter was the highlight for me. Its a well stacked up dish with small servings of potato wedges (called bravas), nachos, corn fritters, cheese jalapeno poppers and beer battered onion rings. The potato wedges were great, nachos average, decent corn fritters, yummy cheese jalapeno poppers and ditto for the onion rings. The salsa served with the nachos was strictly ok but I actually enjoyed having the nachos with the orange scented barbecue sauce from my companion’s plate – he ordered the Spicy Chicken Wings.

My companion enjoyed the wings and we then shared the Mini Veggie Lover’s Pizza (why Lover’s? I don’t know) We got 7 pieces of tiny cocktail, bite-size helpings – loaded with cheese and toppings. Great taste but was kinda spoilt with a garnishing of coriander leaves. That’s right – dhania! On a Pizza! Its definitely worth ordering the pizza but just inform them not to topped them of with the leaves  : )

Its a good place to sit back and enjoy great company with great music and decent food.

Bar Bites menu

Bar Bites menu

bar menu

bar menu

drinks

drinks

 

veg platter

veg platter

spicy chicken wings

spicy chicken wings

veg pizza

veg pizza

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Burger King at Churchgate

At Churchgate, just outside the train station, in place of Satkar restaurant – Burger King has set shop. I was so happy…finally an option to McDonald’s.

BK opened its Churchgate outlet on 30th of April. I visited the outlet on the 3rd of May. Between 5 of us, we ordered 2 Crispy Veg burgers, a Veg Whopper Regular and a Mutton Whopper Regular. For dessert we tried the BK chocolate sundae.

At Rs. 35 the Crispy Veg is good. (All prices are subject to taxes). I kept comparing each dish to McDonald’s and BK came out strong in almost all. The Veg and Mutton Whoppers were a hit with the group. At Rs. 159 and Rs. 169 respectively, they are a whole meal in themselves. The burgers are large and full of flavour. The burger includes French fries and a cola. Eat this and your meal is complete. Unlike at McDonald’s were the burger size is so small and lacks flavour.

Crispy Veg burger

Crispy Veg burger

Veg Whopper - regular

Veg Whopper – regular

Mutton Whopper - regular

Mutton Whopper – regular

BK Chocolate sundae

BK Chocolate sundae

The BK sundae was regular in taste.

A relative who just past us on our way in, however recommend against the Razzberry Blues ice bolt beverage.

Loved the place so much that I went there again on the 10th of May – as part of the Mothers’ day celebrations I asked to be taken there for dinner. Ordered the Veggie Strips – Rs. 25, Veg Chilli Chezos Rs. 59, a Spicy Bean Royale Burger, a Chicken Whopper Regular and a Chocolate shake.

The Veggie Strips were good but the Chilli Chezos were fantastic. The Chezos were very cheesy and very spicy. The Spicy Bean Burger came in a hotdog-shaped bun. Again the taste was interesting. What I seem to like about BK is that their food is well flavoured and there is actually a taste to the food vis-à-vis to McDonalds where the food is bland (probably so that even toddlers can enjoy).

Veggie strips

Veggie strips

Veg chilli cheezos

Veg chilli cheezos

Spicy Bean Royale

Spicy Bean Royale

chicken whopper - regular

chicken whopper – regular

chocolate shake

chocolate shake

The chicken whopper was ok but the chocolate shake was so gooood.

The 3rd time – on the 14th, I got my hubby to parcel home for me a Veg Chilli Cheese burger – OMG – it was yummy. Everytime I bit into one of the burgers I feel so good – finally burgers that have flavours! I keep repeating that.

Veg Chilli Cheese

Veg Chilli Cheese

4th time on 21st May – 10.30 pm – craving for BK burger. Hubby was on his way back from work. My request for the Paneer King Burger came true. Oh nice, very nice. Craving satiated. (Sorry no picture – devoured it as soon as I got my hands on it)

5th time – 24th May – picked up dinner for myself – just a Veg Whopper – enjoyed it thoroughly.

Today is the 28th and I’m again waiting to eat again at BK! I guess it just goes to show how parched I’ve been to an option to McDonald’s.

Bangalore Iyengar’s Bakery

shop front

shop front

This bakery opened up across Sassoon docks, Colaba yesterday. I think I was one of the first few people to buy. I’ve been really waiting to try their goodies as I heard they were a pure eggless – vegetarian bakery.

So, yesterday, I picked up their pineapple-jam swiss roll and a chocolate swiss roll. Each is for Rs.25. Five of us dug into these and the unanimous verdict was that the pineapple-jam was the topper.

pineapple-jam swiss roll

pineapple-jam swiss roll

chocolate swiss roll

chocolate swiss roll

 

 

Next I picked up biscuits – in 200gms I got 2 each of chocolate chip, chocolate paste, almond and cashew biscuits. All biscuits are priced at Rs. 400 a kg.

Loved the almond and cashew ones. Chocolate chips is as good as any other bakery. The chocolate paste is decent.

biscuits

biscuits

As it was their opening, amongst other things, I got to try the plain cake – it was yummm. Soft and melt in the mouth. Cakes were still be come onto the shelves as well as more of their goodies. They said by afternoon they would be completely stocked up.

I yet have to try so many of their items. I will definitely go back for many more treats. It’s a great place to eat non-eggy sweets and savouries. At reasonable cost.

Woodside Inn

Had a good time – 18th April. Saturday evening.

Met 6 friends for early drinks at Woodside Inn. It was Happy Hours. Drinks included wine, white wine Sangria – it was the first time I had Sangria in white wine. I’ve always had it red, and surprisingly – white is far more pleasing as it is lighter in flavour. Then there was the Spiced Mojito and the Cosmopolitan. Oh. Not to forget the beers! We had all these and ordered some appetisers. Three appetisers and each one was really well-appreciated.

Potato skins with mayo wasabi (RS. 245). Pizza Margarita (Rs.395) and finally the Baked goat cheese bruschetta with tomato confit (Rs. 395). Ah! The bruschetta was fantastic. A nice layer of melted goat cheese on well toasted bread.

The Pizza was lapped up immediately by each one of us. Everyone commented on the perfection of the pizza. I was lucky to get the photograph of the pizza as it was served last. The other 2 dishes came in at together and we just dived into them. Hence, the below photograph of the potato skins doesn’t do complete justice to the dish. You can’t go wrong with potato skins. A good portion and with well-flavoured dip, made my evening.

Pizza Margarita with roasted garlic and olive oil arugula

Pizza Margarita with roasted garlic and olive oil arugula

Potato skins with wasabi mayo

Potato skins with wasabi mayo

Aqaba

Yesterday – Saturday 18th April 2015 – was a great day, with my lunch and dinner out. 2 meals at 2 great restaurants.

Thanks to Restaurant Week India, I had an amazing meal at Aqaba. This restaurant opened shop about 6 months ago.

Aqaba is on the fifth level of the Peninsula Business Park Club building. It’s a spacious laid out restaurant that looks out into a lawn, giving the feeling that one is one the ground floor, having a meal across the lawn. My hubby works across the road, in the opposite building and didn’t even know it existed! After the meal, he has avowed to come back here not just singularly but bring in his clients here as well for a meal! Or, if he needs a sweet-tooth break – he just gonna run across to Aqaba and devour their signature dessert – Baked Philadelphia Cheesecake.

The meal was a 4 course one. As appetizers we ordered the Watermelon and Feta salad and an Ash e Jow soup. The soup is a Persian delicacy with lamb, chickpeas, barley and preserved lime. OMG – we’ve never had something like this soup before. It’s so well flavoured and spiced just right. The salad was perfect too, with just the right amount of everything. With each bite we could feel the cold freshness of the fruit and greens.

Watermelon n Feta salad

Watermelon n Feta salad

Ash e Jow soup

Ash e Jow soup

Next we could each choose 2 starters. I choose the Tabbouleh and the Babaganoush. These came served with some cucumber dip and 5-6 pieces of lavash. The Tabbouleh was just amazing – I could actually taste the freshly chopped parsley in my mouth. The Lamb Kibbeh was 3 portions of lamb kebabs with pine nuts, garlic and bulgur wheat – nice. The Samakmeswi was amazing. It’s a dish to order again and again. It came as a portion of 4 fish kebabs grilled to perfection,

served with a lip-smacking butter-garlic sauce. All these starters were served in smaller portions when compared to what would be served if ordered a-la-carte.

Babaganoush Tabbouleh and Lamb Kibbeh

Babaganoush Tabbouleh and Lamb Kibbeh

Samakmeswi

Samakmeswi

By now, we were already quite full in the stomach. After all this we still had the mains and desserts to eat. Whoa.

Mains – I ordered my favourite – pasta in basil and pine nut pesto. Hubby ordered a Lamb Gyro. The lamb dish was a roasted lamb placed in a rolled up pita, flavoured with tomatoes, hummus and spices. The portion of my tube-spaghetti was just right. Taste – just the way I like it. The lamb was rated 8 on 10 by my hubby. They served it with a good portion of French fries, which I dug into. They are one of the best fries I’ve eaten. The fries are really well spiced and served hot.

Bucatini al Pesto

Bucatini al Pesto

Lamb Gyro

Lamb Gyro

By now we are full, but I always have stomach for desserts. So giving into my constant desire for all things chocolate – I ordered the Caramel and Bitter chocolate Praline mousse. Big Mistake. BAKED PHILADELPHIA CHEESECAKE. The only dessert to be ordered. We paid an extra Rs. 200 for the cheesecake and it was worth it. Its awesome – no other words to describe it. I am an absolute chocolate dessert enthusiast but this time, after tasting my hubby’s cheesecake, I only wanted that. The mousse is good – a regular well-made fare.

Caramel n Bitter Chocolate Praline Mousse

Caramel n Bitter Chocolate Praline Mousse

Baked Philadelphia Cheesecake

Baked Philadelphia Cheesecake

Thanks to RWI I just paid Rs. 2,770 for all the above. It is a meal that will remembered for a long time.

Pizza By The Bay – Buffet lunch

I’ve always loved having a soup, salad and sandwich meal. I’ve also always loved the PBTB (Pizza by the Bay) food. However, with so many new restaurants opening up, I hadn’t been to PBTB for a buffet for many years. Finally when there recently with family.

The restaurant has been recently re-decorated. Its done-up very tastefully. They now have tall glass windows that look out towards the sea. We managed to get a round table near the windows. Its was a wonderful meal – food, ambiance and the company. We spent a leisure almost 2 hours over the buffet. Of course, as usual, after an absolutely satiating meal, went home and slept.

The buffet is a soup, salads, sandwiches and desserts menu. There is a veg and non-vegetarian soup, served on the table with a basket of soft breads and crunchy sticks. The vegetarian minestrone soup as well as chicken soup were amazing.

The salads spread was outstanding. They had almost over 20 vegetarian salads, of which about 5-6 of them were without onion and garlic. For the non-vegetarians too, there were no less than 10 salads – I’m sure of it. All the salads were well flavoured and one could easily go for seconds. However, since the salads are so many and I wanted to try all, or as many as I could, I really couldn’t go back for seconds (I yet had to have the sandwiches and desserts)! The only drawback that I found in the salads was that though they were all well flavoured, there just one or two salads that were not dry-ish (like a mayo based salad). However, its easily forgotten when the spread is so good.

veg salad spread

veg salad spread

veg salad spread pic

veg salad spread pic

more veg salads

more veg salads

non veg salad spread

non veg salad spread

non veg salad spread pic

non veg salad spread pic

There are about 10 listed sandwiches. We ordered the chili cheese, Mediterranean and beef sandwiches between 5 of us. The chili cheese sandwich was the best, the other two coming a close second.

chili cheese toast

chili cheese toast

Medditerranean sandwich

Mediterranean sandwich

Beef sandwich

Beef sandwich

Finally the desserts. Very good, especially when we came to know they were eggless! Most of the desserts were great, just a couple of them were not very good.

dessert counter

dessert counter

mousse and strawberry n chocolate pastry

mousse and strawberry n chocolate pastry

Wow. What a meal. At Rs. 800 all inclusive, we were very very happy.Oh. I almost forgot. One of us took the Rs. 1400 buffet which includes the Four Seasons wine – red or white, unlimited. We took red. I strongly recommend this Rs. 1400 buffet as the wine pairs very well the complete buffet menu. This buffet is a must experience.

Tamarind, Fariyas

Tamarind

Tamarind

I’ve always wanted to go to Fariyas for a meal. Somehow, over time, it never materialized, till recently. Went for dinner – opted for the buffet. Surprise was, that there is live music. Simple, soft and nice.

Started with the soup. It was served on the table. Good Jade Garden soup. This was accompanied by a good basket of assorted fresh n soft breads.

Jade Garden Vegetable Soup with bread basket

Jade Garden Vegetable Soup with bread basket

After the soup, got myself a plate of salad.

Wow! Yum…If this is the kind of food they serve here, I feel bad; I haven’t visited this place earlier. The salads are amazing. All of them have a distinctively different flavour and seem absolutely fresh.

The beetroot salad was just fantastic – though beetroot, it did not have its stark flavouring. The carrot salad was exciting on the palate. So was the cucumber one. The pasta salad too was great, but it was strongly spiced with garlic.

Salad bar

Salad bar

Next, was the main course. Again, here the spread was amazing, beef, fish, and chicken for the meat lovers.

non veg dishes

non veg dishes

another non veg counter

another non veg counter

Though we were 5 persons at the table, everyone was vegetarian due to religious reasons. In vegetarian, the Basil tossed potatoes were fantastic.

 

food counter

food counter

The pasta Americana looked very appetising and I took a big bite – Aaaa….What’s this? Cloves??? 2 pieces of cloves in one bite? And it’s not that they were coarsely powered – they were whole. It a serving of say about 5 bites, I found almost 7 cloves and 2 whole peppercorns! What’s happening? See my plate.

 

my plate

my plate

The Chinese was like a regular fare – cannot really go very wrong with Hakka noodles and veg stir fry.

veg Chinese counter

veg Chinese counter

The other main course vegetarian dishes were very average. Actually below average as each of them was heavily spiced with garlic. I like my food well spiced but garlic to be at a minimum. Here, it was the other way round. The main course was thus an absolute downer.

However, I knew from the looks of them, the desserts would be a redeeming factor.

dessert counter

dessert counter

Oh. What a let-down! These looks could really con anyone. From the complete spread only the Gulab Jamuns, Pineapple Panacotta and Orange Mousse were decent.

litchi tart

litchi tart

Orange mousse

Orange mousse

Pineapple Panna Cotta

Pineapple Panna Cotta

Priced for  Rs.  940 (including taxes) for a dinner buffet, I do not recommend this place, atleast for a vegetarian.