Must Visit Places to Eat at in Mumbai

Eating out in a new city is always fascinating and exciting as it gives you a clear understanding of the city’s pulse, its culture, its people and its history through its food. It is quintessentially important to dine like a local while in Mumbai if you want to experience the real essence of the city’s food scene.

This list includes places that you must try when you’re in Mumbai next –

Ashok Vada Pav

The humble Vada Pav is an absolute go-to snack for virtually every Mumbaikar. Why this place in particular you ask? Well, Ashok Vada Pav really steps it up and it without a doubt is the big daddy of Vada Pavs. 🙂 Consistency, a power packed flavour blend and a whole lotta Choora (deep fried batter bits) is what makes it stand out from the crowd. A batter fried Potato Pattie nestled in a Pav (bun) that is slathered with a controlled proportion of green chutney (coriander + green chillies), dry red chutney (garlic + red chillies), stuffed with batter bits that adds a much needed crunchy texture and served with fried green chillies that are seasoned with salt. Even if you have a ‘regular’ Vada Pav in the city, give Ashok Vada Pav a try! They really are ‘next level.’ 🙂

Location – Kashinath Dhuru Marg, Near Kirti College, Dadar West, Mumbai
Price – approx Rs 100 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 8km (15 mins)

Kyani & Co

One of Mumbai’s oldest quintessential Irani cafes in Mumbai, Kyani is a landmark and an integral pit stop of every heritage walk organised in the city. Known for it’s rustic old-world charm with tables and chairs that take you back in time. Founded in 1904, this cafe is one of the few places that still serve Sosyo (a local cola drink). Visit this place for a classic Cutting Chai with Bun Maska (bread roll with butter) or a lavish breakfast of Akhuri (Parsi Scrambled Eggs) on Toast, Frankfurters and Baked Beans. They also serve Kheema with Pav, Mutton Salli Boti and Masoor Morgi. Their Kharis (Puff Pastry), Sandwiches and Mawa Cake are to die for.

Location – JSS Road, Jer Mahal Estate, Opposite Metro Cinema, Marine Lines, Mumbai.
Price – approx Rs 350 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 21km (30mins)

Olympia Coffee House & Stores

Adding to the list of Mumbai’s oldest Irani cafes, Olympia Coffee House is another must visit place for breakfast. Kheema Pav (minced mutton with soft pillowy bread), a cup of tea and a good company is all you need at this cafe in Colaba. A few other dishes on the menu that deserve a special mention are Bhurjee (scrambled eggs), Kheema Ghotala (minced mutton with eggs), and if you’re feeling adventurous, try the Bheja Masala (goat brain in a spicy sauce). This place makes it to our list for because of the delicious food they serve and for their reasonable pricing.

Location – Rahim Mansion, 1 Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba, Mumbai
Price – approx Rs 300 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 20 Km (33 mins)

Sardar Pav Bhaji

This famous snack/meal that was ‘invented’ in Mumbai will get most people salivating just as it’s the mentioned in conversation. People travel from all over India to try this butter laden tomatoey vegetable gravy that’s accompanied with piping hot pavs (bread) that have been slathered in butter. But Sardar Pav Bhaji takes ‘regular’ Pav Bhaji to a whole other level. Brace yourself for a spike in cholestrol as this dish comes with a generous amount of butter. Though you would enjoy a momentary high with the heavily buttered preparation, this certainly is not for the faint hearted. Sardar Pav Bhaji has been known for just this one dish and has made waves on social media for their heavy use of butter. It’s a treat to watch the cooks prepare the dish at their live cooking stations, tossing almost 100 gms of butter on each plate. We thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend you to try it too.

Location – 166-A, 166-B, Tardeo road junction, Mumbai
Pricing – approx. Rs 250 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 16 Km (23 mins)

Juhu Beach Food Center

From Gola, Pav Bhaji, Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Sandwiches, to Faloodas, Chinese, South Indian and Mumbai Pizzas; you would find every kind of Mumbai street food here at Juhu beach. It’s crowded but you would definitely experience the essence of Mumbai in the hustle bustle of this one-stop street food destination. We would highly recommend the chaats, Gola (crushed ice with flavoured sugary syrup on a stick) and the Falooda (a milk based drink with icecream, vermicelli, flavoured syrups and basil seeds).

Location – Juhu Beach Road, Juhu, Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 400 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 6.5 Km (15 mins)

Elco Pani Puri

The go-to place for everyone who loves ‘Mumbaiya chaat.’ Known for their chilled Pani Puri (a hollow deepfried semolina wafer, filled with sweet sour and spicy water), Elco is a haven for Chaat, Chindian dishes and South Indian specials. They serve only vegetarian, but don’t let that deter you from giving this place a shot; You will not be disappointed. You have the option of sitting/standing outdoors, or you can eat at more relaxed pace at their massive multi-floor dining area indoors. While Pani Puri remains the bestselling dish on their menu, Delhi and Dahi Papri Chaat, Dahi Raaj Kachori, Ragda Pattice and Pav Bhaji are exceptionally well made too. This place is hygienic and consistent with their flavours and it is one of our favourite spots to treat our friends who visit the city looking for a taste of local street food.

Location – 2/A, Elco Market, 46, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Pricing – approx. Rs 450 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 6.4 Km (11 mins)

Delhi Darbar

Delhi Darbar has been one of the must visit foodie restaurant for a very long time and it’s been one of our family favourites too. For years, this place has managed to attract people from all over Mumbai with their delicious Mughlai food. It is by no means a place for a dining experience as it can get crowded and noisy. Walk in like a local with a sole mission to eat to your heart out. Famous for their Butter Chicken, Murgh Mussalam, Mutton Nihari and Bheja Fry; this place will leave you wanting more. Oh and their Roomali Rotis are simply out of this world. They’ve got a special menu created just for their Arab customers. They also have a Chinese menu which can be ignored as they are excellent primarily with their Mughlai dishes. Some of the dishes are only available on certain days of the week so it’s advisable to have a look at their menu online before visiting.

Location – 10/14, Holland House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba, Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 1000 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 20 Km (33 mins)

Gaylord

Located at Churchgate, this restaurant boasts of being the most loved restaurant in the location as patrons still travel all across Mumbai to have a meal here or to catch up with friends over a cup of coffee. It has a cute bakery attached to it that has been the go to place for pastries, pies and other baked goodies for years. Tourists love this place for its Victorian charm, its food and hospitality. You get a mix of continental and Indian cuisine. One of the few places in the city where the owner has welcomed generations of patrons and has known families by their names. A very warm and cozy restaurant, a must visit when in Mumbai!

Location – Mayfair Building, Veer Nariman Road, Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 1200 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 19 Km (29 mins)

Café Mondegar

Fondly known as Mondy’s, this place has been a tourist hub for ages and a hangout place for college goers and locals alike. The best part about Mondy’s is the vibe that makes you not bother about sweating it out in the non ac section to experience the good old Bombay charm. You will find yourself amused with the story that speaks through Mario Miranda’s murals on the restaurant walls. Look out for the vintage Jukebox that still works adding to the charm of the restaurant. The food is good; dishes like Classic Bolognaise, Roast Chicken and Grilled Club Sandwiches are popular. They also have an English/American breakfast which is also popular with tourists. A must visit place for every newbee in town.

Location – 5A, Metro House, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Near Regal Cinema, Colaba, Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 1200 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 19 Km (31 mins)

Café Royal

Café Royal is the first place that we think of when it comes to Sizzlers in Mumbai. This place has been is one of the oldest restaurants in Colaba. It continues to have the same char on their Chicken Santa Fe as it used to decades ago. They have modified their menu now and have introduced an Indian section with kebabs and curries; they also have some quirky appetizers. The Café Royal Signature Sizzlers are a must try, you will definitely not be disappointed.

Location – 166, Opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba, Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 1200 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 20 Km (33 mins)

Leopold Café & Bar

Affectionately known as Leo’s, Leopold Café has been at the top of the list of “must visit places in Bombay” for every tourist. The place still has that Irani café charm and is always busy. Finding a table could test your patience but trust us it’s worth the wait. We know patrons who have been ardent fans of this place and still order the same set of dishes everytime they visit. For us it has always been Beef Chilly, Crispy Chicken and Steamed Rice with Prawns. Their Butter Garlic Naans are unlike any other naan that’s available in Mumbai; plump, soft and buttery. They also serve breakfast and have Indian kebabs and curries. If you’re in Mumbai, you must not miss this place.

Location – Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Near Colaba Police Station, Colaba, Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 1600 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 20 Km (33 mins)

K Rustoms Ice-cream

Ending on a sweet note, we’d like to add K Rustoms to our list for churning out years and years of delicious icecream sandwiches. This iconic parlour has been handing out these slabs of goodness sandwiched between thin wafers since 1953. Though nothing has really changed about the look of this place, the number of flavours have certainly grown! Locals love the Paan, Coffee Crunch and Kharbuza (Melon) flavour, Doodhi Halwa (Bottlegourd sweet) is the latest entrant in the list of flavours they have to offer. Don’t be surprised if you’re not greeted by the staff like the other ice-cream chains, just go there for the icecream – it’s worth it!

Location – 86, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 150 for two
Distance from Grand Hyatt Mumbai – 19 Km (30 mins)

Mumbai is truly a melting pot of cultures and cuisines; and there are new restaurants popping up every week. This list is just a few of our all time favourites that have a lot of nostalgic value and the list doesn’t end here. A few other places we recommend are: Ram Ashray (Matunga), Gajalee (Juhu), Lings Pavilion (Colaba), Shree Thaker Bhojanalay (Kalbadevi), Swati Snacks (Tardeo), Bademiya Seekh Kebab Stall (Colaba) and the most important thing that you can’t leave Mumbai without having is Cutting Chai!

Location – Almost at every street in Mumbai
Price – approx. Rs 20 for two

Click on this link for exciting offers for your next stay at our favourite hotel Grand Hyatt Mumbai! http://bit.ly/2jcl8ma

Imperial China, Hilton Mumbai

It’s funny how whenever we’ve passed by the Hilton Mumbai, we have always wanted to check it out but never really ended up stopping by. So when we were invited to review one of their restaurants – Imperial China, and we were really looking forward to dining there.

The Crystal Lounge

Cosy and intimate are two words you think of when you enter this beautiful boutique hotel. The interiors will take you to a forgotten era with decor that oozes sophistication and timeless beauty. Everything in the hotel has an old English charm to it. The Crystal Lounge near the lobby is styled after a 19th Century Summer Palace. So beautiful!

The first thing you notice as you enter the restaurant are the wooden carvings and white French windows with Venetian shutters. A life size paper fan swings back and forth creating an amazing environment to unwind in; Very romantic as well. Imperial China boasts of a menu from the Sichuan province and also has a bevy of Southeast Asian dishes to choose from. We had a lovely time chatting with the newly appointed Chef Balajee, who spoke about his experience as a chef and the time he spent in Bhutan and Nigeria. He hadn’t changed anything on the menu yet but will soon curate dishes that reflect his passion for Asian food.

Chilli Cheese Momos

Chef Balajee recommended we start off with Cheese and Chilli momos, a dish that he had fond memories of from Bhutan. It was everything you love about momos – plump and delicious. The accompanying sauces added a power packed punch, which definitely makes you go back for seconds.

Two Treasure Dumplings

Salt and Pepper Prawns

Imperial Pork Ribs

Spicy Peking Pot

For appetizers we had Two Treasure Dumplings which has Prawns, Scallops and Celery. Juicy and delicious, the dumpling wrapper was super thin and was steamed to perfection. We also tried Salt and Pepper Prawns which are one of our favourites. Fresh prawns, wok tossed with bell peppers; what’s not to like. 🙂 The Imperial Pork Ribs was lipsmackingly good. The dark garlicy Chinese BBQ sauce with Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushroom makes this dish a definite must have. We also tried a couple of the Hot Pot soups. We had the Peking Duck and the Thai flavoured Prawns. They were strictly OK. We’re huge fans of hotpot, where the broth is usually the hero of the dish and has an immense amount of depth and flavour. So the hotpot soups were not up to the mark.

Imperial Lobster

Singapore Curry Style Prawns

Moving on to main course. We had the Imperial Lobster, made in a spicy XO sauce, a Singapore Curry style Prawns and a portion of Jasmine Rice. Both dishes had bold flavours yet were very well balanced. The Imperial Lobster had a generous portion of lobster meat and the XO sauce was made really well. The Curry style Singapore Prawns was rich and spiced with hints of lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime leaves singing throughout the dish. We thoroughly enjoyed it with Jasmine Rice.

Lemongrass Creme Brûlée

Coconut Pancake with Icecream

For dessert, we had a Lemongrass Creme Brûlée and Coconut Pancake with a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream.

Dining at Imperial China was a wonderful experience. The restaurant staff were courteous and well trained when it came to knowledge of each dish. The food gave us a good understanding of the history of the restaurant and we can’t wait to see how Chef Balajee brings his influence and experience to new/revamped menu. Even with a few misses, we would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to enjoy good Southeast Asian fare. We will definitely be back for more.

Genting Dream, Hong Kong

Passports, check! Travel Documents check!
Camera, battery packs, wallet, check! check! check!

We left home excited and were looking forward to our first trip to Hong Kong. We’re big fans of all things Asian, so visiting a part of Asia closer to Mainland China had us excited. After a 60 minute ride to the airport, and breezing through security and immigration (carry on baggage for the win!), we sat down at the Cathay Pacific lounge waiting to board our flight. A short while later, we hear the boarding call and we hopped on board! Fast forward 6 hours later, we landed in Hong Kong and checked in to the Premium Plaza Lounge to charge our phones, have a quick shower, snacked on the breakfast buffet at the lounge and then headed out to the city center for a while since we had a few hours to kill before we could board the cruise. 🙂 A few dimsum and a couple of bubble waffles later, we were all set to head to the Kai Terminal to board the Genting Dream.

It was a bright sunny day and the thought of cruising through the Southern China Sea was beginning to get real. We couldn’t contain ourselves, we were inching closer to our first stay onboard a cruise ship, The Genting Dream by Dream Cruises.

Next stop, the Kai Tak Terminal. 😀

The old Hong Kong Airport (Kai Tak Terminal) has been repurposed to now serve as the terminal for ships and was the boarding point for our cruise. We reached the terminal earlier than expected, the ship hadn’t reached port yet, so we had to wait a while before could go through security and immigration.


Then the moment arrived, we could see the Genting Dream sail closer to us. It was surreal. The ship was huge and breathtakingly stunning. Vibrant and oozing with style, it was mammoth! 😀 No one could take their eyes off her. Soon people flooded to the glass walls of the terminal to take pictures and selfies. And by sunset the cruise just transformed into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and visual effects; thanks to the sophisticated lights that were setup on the balconies on board the ship.

DreamCruises ensured that we were given special attention for smooth embarkation. There were several entrances to board the ship and every gate was perfectly manned by the crew to ensure each passenger clears the guest list and made their way to their respective cabins. We were smiling from ear to ear as we entered the ship with staff welcoming us and guiding us to the right deck.

The entrance to the ship was spectacular and don’t even get us started about the decor. We were simply awestruck by the scale of everything on board. A destination on it’s own, the Genting Dream opened to us a doorway and a whole new perception of grandeur. Specced out better than most five star hotels, the attention to detail was immaculate. Starting from the carpeting, where floral designs guided you to front or the back of the ship to larger than life chandeliers. This ship was huge! 18 decks high, the Genting Dream really impressed us with its decor and we could hardly wait to find what all was in store for us during this trip.

Quick fact: The Genting Dream is 335 meters in length and 40 meters wide. It houses 1674 beautiful staterooms with an unbelievable capacity of 3352 guests and with 2016 crew. (No wonder we were so well taken care of.) WOW!

After checking into our cabin, we headed out for dinner. With 44 restaurants, bars and eateries to choose from; we found ourselves spoilt for choice! Soon we decided to try the buffet at Dream Dining.

Dream Dining (Upper Deck)

Dream Dining (Lower Deck)

Dream Dining is a multi cuisine restaurant that can be accessed from the 7th and the 8th deck. The upper level served a set menu for lunch and dinner while the lower level served buffet style. We decided to try Dream Dining (lower). The dining area is huge and it accommodates over a 1000 people. The spread looked amazing! It had meats, seafood, noodles, soups, rice and also had a western section that served pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, a variety of bread, salad, fruits and dessert. It also had a bar that was located in the middle of the dining area.

Here’s what we had.

Noodle Soup, Tofu, Prawns, Rice and Veggies

Virtually everything we tried was delicious. We were pretty skeptical on how food on a cruise would taste like but we were not disappointed. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We were pleasantly surprised to see Indian servers who specially made Indian food for some of the guests on board. We tasted some of the Indian fare and it was really good! So all those who think they’ll crave Indian food on board can be rest assured, you’ll be well taken care of. 🙂

We know a lot of our Indian friends who are strict vegetarians and are apprehensive of venturing to a Eastern Asia or South East Asian country because of the food. But on Genting Dream even the breakfast buffet had an elaborate Indian (veg) spread that even the Chinese patrons seemed to enjoy! So one need not worry about the food onboard. They will spoil you silly!

The next day started off with an elaborate breakfast at Lido, one of Genting Dream’s big all-day-dining restaurants. We saw guests enjoy some healthy and delicious breakfast delights with a massive spread of Western, Chinese and Indian breakfast options. They also serve lunch, dinner and a late night supper for the guests on the ship.

Eggs, Bacon, Sausages, Waffles, Pancakes, Ham, Mantao Buns, Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes, Baos, Soy Milk, Noodles and Juice

The pictures will show you the wide variety of food served and we really enjoyed trying the Chinese breakfast. We absolutely loved the Scallion Pancakes, Youtiaos aka Chinese crullers and Mantao Buns with soy milk, the plump Pork and Chicken dumplings and baos.

We knew our day would be fun and that it would be spent well exploring the gigantic ship and made the most of the time we had on board. Our onboard tour guide gave us a tour of the main areas of the ship. She was courteous, well trained and happened to be from Mumbai too. It was virtually impossible for us to complete touring the whole ship on foot in a span of 3 hours; however she managed to give us a glimpse of all the important, interesting and must visit areas of the ship. Some were even given exclusive access meant for VVIPs. It was amazing how a ship could house so many recreational areas. There was literally something for everyone.

As food bloggers, we wanted to ensure that we had enough time to showcase the best restaurants and the absolute must haves. So for lunch we chose renowned Australian Chef Mark Best’s restaurant to dine at.

Mark’s Bistro is a haven for diners who sophistication, elegance and truly great food. Our dining experience at Chef Mark Best’ s first restaurant at sea was nothing short of extraordinary. The concise and to the point menu boasts of the culinary artistry of the internationally acclaimed Chef Mark Best and promises to give you his contemporary rendition of western favourites.

We were really thrilled to have our meal there. The highlight of dining at this restaurant is that they serve Miyako Beef – the finest and one of the best tasting wagyu beef from Miyakojima, Japan. It is also called the Phantom Wagyu Beef, known for it’s melt-in-your-mouth texture and succulently distinguished flavour. A definite must have!

We started off by breaking bread. Quite literally as they served one of our favourite flavour combinations on bread – Parmesan and Paprika! It was crusty, chewy and so flavourful. This simple Parmesan and Paprika bread was an indicator of the level at which this restaurant operates. Brilliant! The amuse bouche that was served to us was Parma Ham wrapped in thinly sliced Melon. Classic, light and very delicious.

Our entree was a warm bowl of Cauliflower Soup with Spring Onion Oil. It was mild, the spring onion oil added freshness and definitely amped the flavour of the cauliflower. It was a brilliant Asian touch to the soup. We also had the Alaskan King Crab Salad, which was served on baby Lettuce leaves that acted as wrappers. The salad was simple, with generous portions of chunky crab meat. The lettuce leaves were fresh and added that perfect crunch. It was everything you want a simple salad to taste like. Fresh, and full of natural flavours.

For main course we had the Grilled Iberico Pork Chop and and Australian Flank Steak. Both were served on a bed of sautéed mushrooms with a side of a potato gratin slice. The meats were cooked perfectly. 😀 The mushrooms were a really good addition, the Jus was rich and flavourful.

Our dessert was a bowl of the most perfect Panna Cotta we’ve ever had. It was served with a blueberry Coulis. Simply superb! This restaurant is a must visit when you cruise through the Southern China Sea on the majestic Genting Dream.

For dinner we opted for a more theatrical experience with Umi Uma, Genting Dream’s Teppanyaki restaurant that serves amazing Japanese food! The whole experience of Chefs juggling food, making music with knives, interacting with the guests while cooking delicious food is an absolute sensory treat! We had the Teppanyaki Combo ‘Dream Ocean Shinto’ (Sea Scallops & Jumbo Shrimp). Starting with a miso soup and crunchy cucumber salad, we were really excited for our live teppanyaki experience. The chef began by introducing himself and how he would use simple ingredients like salt, pepper, garlic, soy sauce and butter as seasoning for our meal.

His comic timing and choreography on the grill maintained the smiles on our faces and had us clapping and cheering throughout the meal. He started off by grilling Prawns and Scallops followed by vegetables and then made fried rice that was shaped like a heart. 🙂 The eggs were rolled into a “snake shape” before it was added to the rice. The whole experience was delightful and the food was so delicious that it still makes us want to go back for more. This meal was perfect. 🙂

The dessert was exceptional! We had the coconut Pancake with Icecream and a Matcha Cake.

Post dinner we left to witness the mystical love story of an Astronaut and a Mermaid with the spectacular show – The Voyage of a Lover’s Dream at the Zodiac Theatre. It was simply magical! The production quality and the larger than life performance left us in awe. The sound and light, it was nothing like we’ve ever experienced before. Even though the show was primarily in Cantonese, we could understand every scene. The artist performed with such flair. A must see for everyone onboard. It was out of this world. 🙂

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay onboard the Genting Dream. Being our first experience on a cruise ship, it surpassed all our expectations with regard to hospitality, service, food and entertainment. The Genting Dream is a beautiful cruise ship and feels nothing short of a luxurious 5 star hotel at sea. Its decor oozes sophistication, style and luxury, giving guests an experience they will cherish for a lifetime. We enjoyed every single meal we had on board. With cuisines like Chinese, Thai, Malay, Japanese, Western and Indian, we were spoilt for choice with amazing selection of restaurants to choose from. So Indians who are apprehensive about travelling without the comfort of Indian food can be rest assured to be well taken care of. The variety of Indian food options at breakfast alone will put a smile on your face at the start of your day!

Genting Dream, is another world on its own where the sun never set and the fun seems to fade. We saw people of all age groups enjoying themselves with recreational activities, games, music, casinos, shopping and the list goes on and on. We had an amazing time and would encourage everyone to try it, as it’s worth every buck spent. You’re not only transported away into the calmness and serenity of the ocean but also into an experience that you will cherish forever. 🙂

August Moon Festival, China Inc – Taj Santacruz Mumbai

 

Having celebrated Joash’s birthday a week ago, dining at China Inc at Taj Santacruz was a perfect way to end what was already an awesome week. We were so happy to be back, this time, to kickstart the mid-autumn festivities. Interestingly, the August Moon Festival is the second most celebrated festival in China after the Chinese New Year. Taj Santacruz Mumbai have once again come up with a promotion that celebrates just that.

The menu for this festival is specially designed to showcase the seasonal ingredients with a few favourites that everyone absolutely loves at China Inc.

We started off with an amuse bouche, which gave us a preview of how the rest of our meal was going to pan out. Here’s what we had and we highly recommend you to try these too.

Vegetable and Cheese Dumpling

Spinach and Crab Crystal Dumpling

Crispy Pumpkin Roll

Who doesn’t love a box of steaming hot dimsum? This menu has a clever mix of dim sum, with steamed dumplings, deep fried rolls and pan fried options. It would be difficult to pick out a favourite as they were all equally outstanding. At China Inc, we definitely saw more refinement in the way dumplings were made than before and boy they were sumptuous! The Crispy Pumpkin Roll and the Spinach and Crab Crystal dumplings are an absolute must have!

Crispy Supreme with Lemon Sauce

Lotus Root stuffed with Glutinous Rice

Silken Tofu with Tangy Peanut Sesame Dressing

Mountain Chilli Chicken

Mushroom in Black Pepper Sauce

Turnip Cakes

Winter Melon and Morel Broth

Peking Chicken Soup

Crispy Prawns with Oats and Curry Leaves

For appetizers, the Crispy Crumb Supreme served with Lemon Sauce had us weak at the knees; and the Lotus Root stuffed with Glutinous Rice left us wanting more. Both these dishes definitely stood out from all of the appetizers we tried. If you fancy soups, the light Winter Melon and Morel Broth is a clear winner. We just couldn’t stop ourselves from smiling when our favourite Prawns with Oats and Curry Leaves was served, some temptations are just hard to resist! If you haven’t tried this dish at China Inc, then we just gave you another reason to visit this beautiful restaurant.

Sautéed Crab with Snow White Bean Threads

Stir Fried Udon Noodles in Burnt Chilli, Black Bean and Vegetables

Wok Tossed Sticky Rice, Marbled Egg served in Lotus Leaf

Seasonal Vegetables in Lemon Chilli Sauce

The mains were simple yet so brilliantly put together. What we love about China Inc is how they treat each ingredient and showcase it’s honest flavours without being heavy on spices or sauces. The Wok-tossed Sticky Rice with marbled Eggs served in Lotus leaf is perfumed with a hint of truffle and simply elevates eating each spoonful a pure delight. The Sticky Rice went really well with the Chilli Hoisin Chicken and the seasonal vegetables in Lemon Chilli Sauce. Another favourite of ours for the evening was the Sautéed Crab Meat with Snow White Mung Bean Threads. Sublime!

We paired our meal with a bottle of ‘Nik Weis St Urbana-Hof’ Riesling.

King Longans

Mooncake

Sago Pudding

What’s an August Moon Festival without Mooncakes?! We enjoyed Moon Cake, which was a part of the dessert trio. It was simply scrumptious; crumbly on the outside, and dense with red bean goodness on the inside. (We’ve got a soft spot for moon cakes 😀 ) The red bean filling makes it perfect for those who enjoy their dessert with just a hint of sweetness. The King Longans were nice and the delicate flavours of the Coconut Sago Pudding was just the perfect way to end our meal.

This special menu is a perfect blend of the flavours of authentic Chinese cuisine during the harvest season. Chef Vikram Milhoutra’s team have yet again done an amazing job in executing these dishes. Every dish not only looked picture perfect but tasted absolutely delicious; Rarely do we have a meal where we’ve been impressed with every single dish that we’ve eaten. QWe highly recommend you to try the August Moon Festival at China Inc, Taj Santacruz. It lasts till the 9th of October, 2017.

Golden Dragon, Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai and Ming Yang, Taj Lands End Mumbai are also celebrating this festival with a special menu.

By The Mekong, St. Regis Mumbai

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Firstly, we’d like to start with congratulating Chef Shi Xilin and his team at By The Mekong for winning the Times Food & Wine award for the Best Thai Fine Dine Restaurant.

In the first week of February, we were at By The Mekong to try the special menu that was curated by Chef Shi Xilin– Chef de cuisine; showcasing the choicest recipes from his family that celebrated Chicken in the best way possible. It was fun chatting with Chef Xilin about his experience with The Taj hotels and how his cuisine combines traditional and regional flavours served to suit the Indian palate. He’s had an amazing culinary journey over twenty years yet has the most humble demeanour. He also absolutely enjoys talking about his passion for food.
We also tried a bunch of dishes from the main menu and a few personal favourites that Chef Xilin recommended. Here are a few snippets of our meal.

We were the first to try out the new menu at By The Mekong. Simply put, it is outstanding and our taste buds were left tantalized. What a transformation!

The new menu has been revamped and the new format is a welcome change. Earlier the menu was divided into three parts – Chinese | Thai | Vietnamese, but now it’s all combined and it reflects the best of the three cuisines. It is designed to keep things simple, yet give guests a unique culinary experience of authentic flavours presented in a fresh, modern and contemporary way. We were pleasantly surprised and had no idea how much we’d end up enjoying our meal. 🙂

Chef Himanshu Taneja, the newly appointed Culinary Director was there to ensure we had a great time. Spearheaded by Chef Xilin, the team really surprised us with the food that was served. There was a stark contrast in the look; the appeal and the combination of flavours, and we were really impressed.

We started off with dumplings. We had the Chilean Sea Bass dumpling with Polenta, Prawn with Ossetra Caviar and Spic Sichuan Chicken with Green Onion Oil. The Chilean Seabass dumpling was delicious. We expected it to be a lil fatty and wondered how it would taste in the dumping as the fat could be a little overwhelming. But it was perfectly made and was not at all fatty.  The dumpling wrapper was topped with Polenta, which gave it a nice textural mouthfeel.

We also really enjoyed the Prawn dumpling topped with Ossetra Caviar and the Spicy Sichuan Chicken dumpling, also topped with Ossetra Caviar. The Ossetra Caviar, made it extra special. One thing is for certain, caviar paired with a dumpling, absolutely works. 🙂 We loved the bright red color of the chicken dumplings. What would really visually elevate the experience of eating these two dumplings is if the server garnished the dumpling with the caviar using a mother of pearl spoon at the table instead them arriving at the table already topped with caviar.

The next dish was one of our favourites. Roasted Prawn with Thai Chilli Paste. A dish with amazing textures and was a perfect combination of spicy, sour and sweet. The prawns were cooked to the T. Usually Tiger prawns can end up rubbery and tough if overcooked but this was oh so tender and juicy, and we loved the crunch of the raw onion slices. Chef Himanshu shared with us the long list of ingredients that went in to making this dish. While some may be put off by the lemongrass and red chilli slices and may want to take it off the prawn; TRUST US you really want to savour every single ingredient in the prawn shell. This dish was executed really well. Kudos to the Chef!

The Barbecued Black Pepper and Kaffir Lamb Chops were brilliant. Served with roasted Asparagus, Shimeji Mushroom and Snow Peas, the lamb had a beautiful char and glaze. It was the first time we had it flavoured with kaffir lime leaves. Loved how both the dishes were served on a mini grill. I love my red meats medium rare, and these were well done, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. 🙂

Next, we tried the Banana Leaf wrapped Himalayan Trout, Chef’s Special Sauce. Perfectly cooked with an amazing smoky flavour, we loved how fresh and spicy it was and it absolutely got our taste buds tingling. Glad to see that it was deboned as dishes that are served with bones; makes it messy to enjoy. We had it with Udon Noodles with Vegetables and it went really well.

By The Mekong has really upped their game with their dessert! Chef Yogendra served us two desserts, Chocolate Textures and Ms. Berry. Not revealing what the dessert would look like or how it’d taste; we were in for quite a surprise. Both desserts looked stunning.

The Chocolate Texture, as the name suggests, had a mélange of textures that celebrated Chocolate on a plate. This dessert had a perfect quenelle of chocolate ice-cream, a cold molten chocolate surprise, chocolate cigars, pieces of chocolate cake, chocolate and Feulletine kissed with more chocolate. It was any chocolate lover’s dream come true.

Ms. Berry was one of the prettiest desserts we’ve ever seen. Vibrant colors and berries made it look picture perfect. It had blue berries, black berries, red currants and meringue kisses strategically placed on both sides of the blueberry mousse. It was refreshing and the tart berries helped cut through the sweetness of the dessert. Both desserts were plated excellently. Kudos to Chef Yogendra.

We’re fans of the new menu. Not just from a cuisine point of view, but we also like how there’s a certain freshness about the dishes being featured. Without pulling away from authentic flavours, Chef Xilin and his team have managed to make it modern and contemporary. It’s a welcome change and we’re sure By The Mekong will attract foodies looking for a change from the classic Asian fare of gravies and stir fries which can get boring at times. The plating is fabulous and we love everything about it. We wish Chef Xilin and his team all the very best with this new menu!

Yuuka, The St Regis Mumbai

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Dining at Yuuka with a meal prepared by none other than Chef Ting Yen was a dream come true. We had heard so about him and his son Kevin’s feat at St. Regis Mumbai’s Japanese restaurant and were delighted to be invited to review their new menu.

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We started our meal with one of Yuuka’s signature dishes – Salmon on Fire! Strips of raw salmon are placed on a lemongrass stalk that is suspended on a bed of coffee beans. The salmon is encrusted with bits of deep fried onion pieces and petals of edible flowers. Once brought to the table, the server sets fire to the coffee beans, lightly scorching the meat rendering a smoky char that adds immense flavour. It was served with a dipping sauce, but the salmon itself was so delicious; you don’t really need the sauce to enjoy the dish. Our meal was off to a great start.

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For drinks we had the Yuuka’s signature cocktails – Ginger Manhattan (Jim Beam, Martini Rosso, Ginger Falemum and Sour Mix) which was a very asian version of the classic cocktail and Ting’s Sushi Companion (Cucumber infused Sake, Mint, Cucumber Lime), a refreshing cocktail that really added to the dining experience. Later we also tried the Samurai – Yamazaki (12YO) Whisky Orange Juice and Togarashi powder. The whisky is Suntory’s (Japan’s first commercial distillery) flagship single malt whisky, multi-layered with fruit and Mizunara aromas, combined with Orange and Togarashi it gave a lovely fruity punch with some heat. All three are a must try!

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The next appetizer was the Avocado Tartare; a dish with a million textures (or at least that’s what it felt like). It is served cold in a frozen martini glass. The avocado tartare is placed on Perilla leaves or Shiso and served on ice. A layer of ice separates that from the Corn Dashi. The server breaks the ice to mix both leaving us with a chilled glass of creamy deliciousness. We loved the way the dish looked and the having it cold made it really enjoyable.

Chef Ting Yen is known for his restaurant Oishii in Boston. Being born in Japan, and raised in Korea and Taiwan, Chef Yen uses the experience and passion he has for Japanese food to craft a truly impressive menu at Yuuka. Using influences from his childhood and elements from family recipes, he carefully crafts each dish with refinement and a myriad of flavours and presents it in a modern way. His son Kevin who is equally passionate, adds to the symphony.

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The next dish was presented to us by the duo. Chef Yen brought to our table a hot infusion siphon. The first time we’d seen one brought out onto a restaurant floor. It’s an amazing tool to make hot broths or cocktails, even tea and coffee at the table. Chef Yen called it the ‘5 min Mushroom Dashi’. Made with Kombu, dried Bonito flakes and a variety of mushrooms, the dashi is most certainly a flavour bomb of umami. We were served chunks of prawns, oyster and shiitake mushroom with scallions, and medallions of semolina cakes that were seared for a light caramelized exterior. The semolina cakes were sweet and give a contrast to the rich umami flavour in the dish. Elegant and delicious.

We also tried the Chilean Sea Bass that was packed with deep soy flavour which was followed by a train of Maki Rolls.

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Our favourites of the evening, The Truffle Maki and the Lamb Over Fire Maki. It’s hard to resist truffles when paired with creamy avocado, cucumber and a generous shaving of black truffle; each morsel becomes a moment to cherish. If you love the truffles, this maki roll is a dish you can’t afford to miss.

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The Lamb Maki Over Fire. Each bite is nothing short of a mouthwatering amalgamation of flavours. The flames from the coffee beans and lemongrass lightly scorch the edges of the roll, rendering it smoky, with hints of the fragrant burnt lemongrass and coffee. A Ponzu reduction is drizzled over it while it’s still roasting, to add in a new dimension of flavour. Each roll is topped with a tiny slice of chilli and finely sliced scallions. The thinly sliced lamb that wraps around the Maki just seems to melt away as soon as it’s in your mouth. Stuffed with lamb and soy, this roll is a definite must-try from the list of dishes that have been added to the menu at Yuuka.

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We also tried a few of Chef’s specials like the Chef Ting’s Fried Rice and Stir Fried Udon Noodles with Dutch Porkbelly with Red Miso. We really enjoyed the fried rice as it had a spicy kick to it. Chef informed us that the noodles were not on the menu and were from the hidden menu at Oishii. Only a few patrons at Oishii knew it exists, as he doesn’t like to make it for everyone. It’s made just like how his father used to make it and the Chef took immense pride in sharing the special memory with us. You could tell that the noodles were handmade. They had a really chewy texture to them, I loved the light sauce and vegetables that it was tossed in. The pork belly was tender and was cooked to perfection.

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For dessert we had the Wine Poached Pear with Berries. It turned out to be a perfect way to end our meal. Sublime, not-too-sweet and quite literally a nice ‘fade to black’ as far as our evening went.

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Yuuka as a restaurant that celebrates modern Japanese food and Chef Ting Yen combines it with Nikkei cuisine with a few Peruvian ingredients. Chef Ting and his son, Kevin, only visit the restaurant at St. Regis, Mumbai twice a year. Kudos to the team of chefs trained by Chef Ting, who keep the torch burning strong and fierce when he is not around. We had the opportunity to meet the father-son duo in November and we had an amazing time dining there.

Zivame – The Ultimate Lingerie Destination!

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I have always been skeptical about buying clothes online. Not that I haven’t shopped online, but when it comes to clothes, I always like to try before I buy. A bunch of my friends and even family members have been raving about Zivame – the online store for undergarments; touted as a one stop for beautifully crafted bras, panties, nightwear & accessories.

So when Zivame offered me to pick a product from their website that I could try out first hand, I was not really sure if it was a great idea. Those who know me know I am a lil too cautious about the fabric that I wear, even of the bed sheets that I sleep on. So I was apprehensive about owning something that I had never felt or tried before.

It was my first time checking out their website. I found it simple to use and products were available in tabs and I could all relevant info with just in few clicks. I liked how the website let me sort the search result according to Preferences, Styles or Occasions. There are also Filter and Style tabs so that you can narrow down to the exactly what you’re looking for. The collection is huge! I spent a long time browsing through the website and all the products were unique and very pretty. Once you choose your pick, you can easily check if that product is available in your size.

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I picked the Zivame Satin Brides Padded Moderate Pushup Low Back Bra (Pearl White) from their Bridal Collection. They also have a 15 day return policy which is great as most stores don’t even offer exchange or returns on undergarments. The information about the bra mentioned on the website gives you a clear understanding of what to expect. Like the Bust Coverage, Hook Closure, Padding Level, Wired or not, the Fabric, the Neckline and Exclusive Features if they have any. It also has a tab where you can track the product delivery and there’s an option that allows you to choose if you wanted it packed discreetly.

Now about the bra! I got the product really well packaged. It was in a beautiful peach box that looked pretty neat. The bra was sealed in a plastic bag and placed in the box. First look, I was in awe. It looked stunning. It will make any girl’s day extra special. The plush bridal level-2 push up bra, was pearl white in color. The satin fabric will make you feel really comfortable, the bra definitely adds a cup size, so that one looks fuller under their bridal outfits. The rich satin fabric and the smooth padding would make you really comfortable and the lurex threads add a hint of subtle shimmer. I love how the seamless underwire and the partial lace overlay really complement the mesh wings. Plus, the low-back design stays hidden under your deep back necklines. It’s specially made to go under bridal outfits.

I truly loved the design, and it was really comfortable to wear. I would really recommend this product to all every bride-to-be. It’s definitely a great product to gift to someone you know who is getting married or for your daughter, fiancé and even your wife. It says bridal wear but can certainly be worn any day and definitely for any occasion. I have now found an easier way to shop for undergarments. I don’t think I’ll ever waste time trying out stuff at stores again. Zivame, you have a new fan! 🙂

You can also check out their collection by clicking on this link – http://goo.gl/KklLxB