Gaylord Bakeshop

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Gaylord has been one of the most iconic restaurants in Mumbai. Established in 1956, Gaylord is known to be the first restaurant in India to introduce the concept of an open bakery. We have always hung out at Gaylord for their bakes and desserts. Their walnut pie and cheese straws are our personal favourite and we always make it a point to have these when we are in Churchgate. A few days ago we got an invite to spend an afternoon for high tea with Chef Lionel Villaron from France, and we were glad to be a part of it.

French dessert, in recent years, has taken Mumbai by storm. Everyone loves a well made macaron, and are getting more savvy with the intricacies of French desserts. With choux pastry and mille fueille now being popular, it was only fit for Gaylord to add a few signature treats to their iconic boulangerie.

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Chef Lionel Villaron is known for his modern French pastries and has been the Executive Pastry Chef and Research & Development Manager at L’Opera in Delhi. His professionalism, expertise, refinement and impressive savoir – faire have been much appreciated both by the L’Opera team and by Delhiites. With 25 years of experience in pastry industry and having worked in France, London and Egypt, Chef Villaron had an interesting selection of desserts for us to try.

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A few of the desserts we had were, Chocolate Crunchy Mousse, Cronuts, Raspberry & Blueberry Bavarois, Chocolate Choux, Coffee Choux, Baba Mojito, Vanilla Rosemary Mille Fueille and Chocolate Mille Fueille. We were also served sandwiches and coffee.

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The star of the event was Baba Mojito, a creative twist to the classic Baba au Rhum. It is yeast cake, a batter richer than Brioche is baked and soaked in liquor, usually rum and topped with whipped cream. This one was soaked in Mojito syrup so it had a lovely twang of lemon and mint. It was soft and juicy, almost reminiscent of rasgulla and instantly it was love at first bite.

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The Chocolate Crunchy Mousse was amazing too. Silky smooth moussefilled with honey and crunchy nuts and nougat, made it a sinful treat. The secret to the richness of this beautiful creation are Elle & Vire cream and Barry Callebaut chocolate which made it extraordinary. However the mousse was not able to hold up at room temperature and fell flat quickly.

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We also loved the Raspberry and Blueberry Bavaois (pronounced as Bavarua). It is also called Bavarian Cream or Crème bavaroise, similar to Crème Patisserie or Pastry Cream but thickened with gelatin or agar agar. It was a classic Charlotte dessert with Boudoirs/Biscuits à la cuillère popularly known as Lady Fingers or Savoiardi cookies tied and held together with a pretty red ribbon. It had layers of Rasberry and Blueberry Bavarian Cream, distinctly flavoured to give you the best of both worlds.image17

The next one was an unusual combo, Vanilla and Rosemary Mille Fueille. We were not big fans of this pastry dessert but Chef Villaron incorporated the flavors of Rosemary and Vanilla very well. It was garnished with sprigs of rosemary and had the classic icing sugar dusting. The Chocolate Mille Fueille however was delicious, it had chocolate sheets instead of layer of puff pastry that were made with Trinitario cocoa beans filled with chocolate cream. The cronut was good too.

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Chef Villaron introduced two versions of Choux Pastry, Chocolate and Coffee. Choux Pastry being close to my heart, I was really happy to see them. The joy of seeing choux baked is something that always brings a big smile to my face and enjoying these little french delights just made my day.

We were on a sugar high. It was a wonderful afternoon spent at Gaylord and would like to give a shout out to Chef Villaron for creating this French extravaganza for us. And this goes out to everyone who loves dessert; Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup! which means “Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly.” And most importantly head to Gaylord Bakeshop, you wouldn’t wanna miss this.

Kurries & Burries – Café Mex-Asian

When we heard about Kurries & Burries, we were reluctant to eat there to be frank as I love Mexican food and Joash loves Chinese but we both don’t fancy veg versions of those two cuisines. But it all changed that one Sunday.

Tucked in one of the by lanes opposite Chowpatty, Kurries & Burries boasts of being the first of it’s kind to serve Asian and Mexican food under one roof. It didn’t take us long to find the restaurant. We were welcomed by Nilika Todi; and soon Mitul Todi, her husband joined us to give us some insight about the joint venture with his brother Kushal. Their concept was clear; vegetarian food with a twist. From the inception of their brand, to the idea behind their logo, he explained every aspect with enthusiasm. They had their business module in place, and knew what they wanted to serve their customers. He was frank about how this wasn’t a restaurant that served authentic Asian and Mexican cuisine, but rather one that focused on serving tasty and delicious ChinDian and TexMex vegetarian food.

Soon it was time for us to try what they had to offer. Mitul was incharge of recommending their best sellers; so to kick off the tasting session he served us the Mango Mocktail (Rs. 120) and Tender Berry (Rs. 110)

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We were blown away instantly. The mango mocktail was served with toasted cashewnut pieces and tasted divine. I’m not a mango fan, but fell in love with it instantly. The mocktail was made of mangoes, pineapple and milk. It was not overtly rich,but was creamy and mangoey. Tasted a lot like Mazaa. There were a lot of crushed cashewnuts used as a garnish, so we ended up getting cashewnuts with every sip.

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The second drink, the Tender Berry, was unique. After a few sips you would feel like you’re sipping on a milkshake made out of strawberry Fruitella. We don’t know how they add their twist in getting the taste right but we loved it and definitely recommend you try it.

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Crackling Spinach with Paneer (Rs. 160). Though they claim that they are the only ones who serve this dish, Joash and I were reminded of Fat Kong’s at Santacruz West. We have had this combo there, but Kurries & Burries took us by surprise. The cubes of paneer that were evenly coated with the sauce were so moist and soft, and the deep fried spinach leaves were generously served and topped with toasted sesame seeds. The paneer they used were the malai paneer, and it was one of the most delicious paneer dishes we’ve sampled in a while. The spinach was not as crispy as promised, but the combination of the spicy sauce and cubes of paneer made it lipsmackingly good. The sesame seeds added to the texture of the dish.

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We had the Mexican Mex-wich next. It was a Tortilla pocket, deep fried and stuffed with beans, paneer and nachos. It was doused with cheesy cheese sauce and served with sour cream and tomato salsa. Absolutely delicious. This was our favorite as we both loved the crunchy tortilla that was loaded with cheese.

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The next dish was simply impressive. Mitul brought to a table a portion fir for 3-4 people, he served us the Burmese Khau Suey (Rs 220). The dish looked so beautiful with freshly steamed vegetables chopped in small pieces served with noodles and a side of coconut curry. It came with an array of condiments comprising deep fried onion and garlic, peanuts, spring onion, lemon wedges and chilli flakes. It was the first time that I saw Joash smiling at the sight of steamed vegetables. We couldn’t wait to dig in. The vegetables were cooked beautifully, it still had that needed crunch, and the coconut curry was tasty. The condiments enhanced the flavours of the dish. We were very pleased with the portion served too.

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We also tried the Nachos with Cheese Sauce (Rs. 120) and Beans & Cheese Taco (Rs. 50). Both were strictly OK.  We had heard about the Big Daddy Burrito Challenge that Kurries & Burries have and were excited to try the miniature version of it. Wow! Don’t be deceived by the word “Miniature” in the Miniature Big Daddy Burrito (Rs. 220) as this burrito is BIG! We were so stuffed we ended up having just one bite. It had beans, rice, Kung Pao potatoes and was a mishmash of flavours that we had already tasted at Kurries & Burries. We also tried the Burnt Chilli Wok (Rs. 190) which was really spicy. For those who love the extra heat, this will not disappoint you!

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It was time for dessert! We chose the Grilled Chocolate Sandwich (Rs. 120). The sandwich was filled with thick gooey fudgy chocolate and generously garnished with chocolate shavings. It was a nice way to end our meal. We really enjoyed dining at Kurries & Burries. It is reasonably priced, and is value for money. The portions are very good and it’s apt for all those who want to snack on the go. Kurries & Burries may not be authentic with their dishes, but they serve delicious food packed with flavours that will leave you wanting more.