If it’s sushi it must be Umame 


Ever since it opened, I’ve been wanting to eat at Umame the Pan Asian restaurant by famous Mumbai restaurateur  Farrokh Khambatta . Ever since he came on the scene, Khambatta  has been the rage of Mumbai’s jet set and lovers of Asian food.

Strawberry martinit
It was my birthday and the family decided to go to Umame ( Yes! Finally after years of wanting to go there I got my wish!!!!) and I wasn’t disappointed. The entrance was a bit confusing  because of the adjacent lounge which is equally popular for party goers. The dark interiors gave it a sophisticated yet welcoming feel.

Since we specifically wanted to pig out on Sushi we ordered the sushi boat which is actually the perfect choice for a group of Sushi lovers who can enjoy the assortment of sashimi, california rolls and the generous portions of wasabi and pickled ginger

 There was a good  selection for vegetarians too,  so Hubby Dear didn’t go hungry.  But what really disappointed was the desserts particularly the hot chocolate souffle/pudding which was sadly very chewy and rubbery.

But all in all it was a great way to spend a birthday and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to celebrate a special occasion.

The restaurant is always heavily booked so do book well in advance ( we booked two months ahead)

Rule Britannia – The iconic Irani Cafe

Britania irani cafe, Mumbai
Britania irani cafe, Mumbai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old time Mumbaikars who used to go to work in Ballard Estate will remember with great fondness Britannia Cafe, the now iconic Irani restaurant famous for its Berry Pullao. So famous is this restaurant that today my family that is coming all the way from Pune has requested me to order from Cafe Britannia. So naturally I had to oblige .

Britannia Cafe is situated in the still leafy entrance to one of the broad lanes off Ballard Estate. It is dusty and almost dilapidated because, as last heard, the owners are threatening to shut it down. And if the shabby appearance is not a deterrent enough, the high rates are equally inhibiting but all that notwithstanding, diehard Parsi food lovers will still make the annual trek to this restaurant and you will always find lines chairs of people waiting to get a seat in – to savour the ambiance of a bye gone era, to experience the authentic taste of Parsi food and get a sip of the almost instinct pink raspberry drink that the owner serves only to Parsis ( I’m kidding but that’s what grandpa threatened the last time I visited the place) .

So after going through Just Dial, I found out the telephone number and placed my order with Diana (one of the family) who efficiently took my order for Chicken Berry Pulao and mutton salli boti our family favourites. The Berry pullao is actually a chicken rice dish made distinctive by the tiny red berries got specially from Iran. The Salli Boti is a sweetish gravy made with apricots, onion and tomato, spiced with ginger, garlic, and special spices in which is cooked either mutton or chicken and now according to Diana,  king sized prawn! This gorgeous thick gravy is garnished with fine potato crisps that give the dish an interesting crunch.

 

Britannia & Company Restaurant

 

If it’s Chinese food, it must be Royal China

 

Hubby dear was entertaining two business colleagues from mainland China so probably it made sense to go to Mainland China but having heard that for a fine dining experience one should go to Royal China, I decided to take the plunge and booked a table at Royal China.

For years actually, China Garden was undoubtedly the best Chinese in town – it was tasty, innovative and affordable yet exclusive. But ever since it became CG3 or whatever else it would like to be known as, the food and service, both sadly could do with a major overhaul. Several times I visited CG3 to be told that the Dim Sum steamer wasn’t working ergo no dim sums and at one time I was even served something I hadn’t asked for and told ” But it is tasty no, so why don’t you have it?” without so much as a hint of apology or remorse.

Since we didn’t want to spend a minor fortune and we wanted a Chinese meal in town, we really had no option but to go to Royal China.  And it turned out to be a good menu.For starters, the reservation was easy – no silly instructions about children and dress code.

For starters, the reservation was easy – no silly instructions about children and dress code.

Then what struck me was the iPad Menu

An innovative way of ordering food

Instead of asking the waiter what is nice and what isn’t ( Typically if you ask which is better the answer you get is both!) and avoiding the painful process of wondering what the dish looks like.

IMG_0591So we had a table reservation for 6 and at 7.30, we entered the restaurant 2 short. The entrance to this restaurant is so discreet, that you almost miss it – so keep a look out for the set of steps behind the Sterling Cinema ‘coz you can very well overshoot it. Once inside, we were shown to our table and presented with the iPad menu which thrilled our Chinese guests no end. ” Oh, just like in Shanghai,” said one of them who expertly began looking at the menu and typing in her preferences. The ordering took longer that we normally do because the ladies were excited about eating Chinese food after a week but after they made up their minds, the food came quickly enough.

Since Hubby dear is vegetarian he ordered Cabbage Spring rolls that had to be assembled on the table as a starter. The rolls were crisp, but we sent back the pile of cabbage leaves and filling to the kitchen and got them back ready to eat. For his main course, he ordered his famous Haka noodles and some assorted exotic vegetables.

As for us, we settled down to a clear chicken soup ( minus the bamboo shoots which weren’t available that day), and the main course of mixed vegetable fried rice, crisp fried lamb, pak Choy, kung pao prawn ( simply yum). For dessert, we ordered the standard lychees with ice cream but were given a special surprise of chocolate filled buns when Shavir the manager realised that we were his old customers from China Garden.

So all in all it was definitely a great meal and will now easily replace CG3 without the slightest hint of doubt.

Verdict – If you want a Five Star dining experience at a standalone and more reasonably priced restaurant then Royal China is the place for you.

 

Location :

ROYAL CHINA INDIA,
Victoria Terminus, Behind Sterling Cinema Building,
Hazarimal Somani Marg, Fort, Mumbai, India

Tel: 022 22072492

Desperately seeking Non-Vegetarian fast food at Breach Candy

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The yummy Chicken Craver

IMG_0420I was walking down Breach Candy the other day when I suddenly noticed a small pavement eatery that has been around for a long time. Right after the Indian Oil Petrol pump and alongside the Tata Garden, this small food stall has a major brand like Baskin Robbins – in fact the only one in this part of town. I was intrigued that such a big name was in such a humble location so I went inside and was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t empty nor was it filled with giggling college kids. It had a fair mix of people who shopped, people who walked and of course the youngsters who need a decent place to hang out in.

This former stall of Farm Fair which once had products from MAFCO is now home to Baskin Robbins, Cookie Man , Coffee Break and HOWRA which I found serves yummy stuff. It was clean, the service quick and the Chicken Craver that I asked for tasty and well priced – for Rs. 50+ I could tuck into a good, wholesome snack. This was a variation of the Chicken Hot Dog with fried chicken chunks instead of a sausage. The chicken was crunchy on the outside and soft inside, the lettuce fresh and the mayo just right.

Non-vegetarian food is particularly hard to come by at Breach Candy since most of the eateries cater to the largely vegetarian clientele that shops and resides in the area. One option is the shack at Scandal Point, but that looks far too dodgy and inconvenient with the steps that one has to climb.

So, this little stall seems to be a good option and  the next time you’re at Breach Candy and looking for a quick snack, head towards St. Stephen’s Church and step into this tiny eatery for a good snacky experience!

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When Tex-Mex meets Chinese

Fans of the Carter Road  Loco Chino outlet will be glad to note that their favourite Tex -Mex and Chinese eatery has moved to SoBo. And SoBo diners will be happy to know that this new fast food joint will soon be offering home delivery, an option that is almost mandatory for those wanting to pick up a bite on this busy, busy road that often has its traffic lights shut, especially during peak traffic hours.

While walking down Kemp’s Corner the other day, I came across Loco Chino which had functioned as Buddha Belly  for a few moIMG_0414nths last year. Sadly the restaurant didn’t do well and downed shutters almost as soon as they were up, so   I was happy to learn that it has re-opened and even more happy to learn that they actually intend starting a home delivery soon. With the traffic what it is, sometimes it takes up to half an hour to just cross the road ( when the signals are turned off during peak hours) , so it is far better to order a home delivery than risk being killed yourself!

I stepped in to order some chicken dumplings which took all of 10-12 minutes to come to the table. They were pretty ok for the price (frankly Dev’s Momos further down the road towards Breach Candy is far better value for money) but Loco Chino seems a good dining option for those who want Tex -Mexican and  or Chinese.

 

The eatery has veg options too and serves up taco and burrito as per your choice – with just a 2-3 minute wait. With no liquor available it is a child friendly place that seats around 12-15 persons only. It is open from 11 am -12 pm and currently gets its dim sum from the Buddha Belly kitchen at Andheri .

Shop 1, 74-A, Ketty House, Gopalrao Deshmukh Marg,Peddar Road, Mumbai