BlueFROG

December 25, 2009

Last night I finally visited BlueFROG in Parel. Bluefrog claims to be a revolutionary music project blending a venue for live performances, recording studios, a production house and artist management services. I’m not really into live music and haven’t heard too many good things about the food at Bluefrog so I guess I haven’t really found a reason to go to Bluefrog. Jalebee Cartel was playing there last night and that gave me the push I needed to visit Bluefrog at last. Getting to Bluefrog can be quite a pain. We were already pretty late and almost stood to lose our reservation. You need to book a table at Bluefrog unless you want to simply hang out around the bar. Tables need to be booked(especially if a popular artist is playing) Bluefrog is located in a place called Todi & Co. which can easily be confused for Todi Mills. We were lost for about half an hour before finally finding the place. You wouldn’t really be able to find the place unless you really know it as Bluefrog is in a compound and is a bit of a drive down a narrow lane within the compound before you get there. I guess the line up of cars heading in should be a give away.

Anyways coming to ambience – I must say that I’m pretty impressed. The tables are located in little pods with something that looks like a cross between a frog’s feet and lava from a lava lamp – very cool. What is even cooler is that the colour of the ‘lava’ constantly changes and there are even strobe lights in them which can be set to go off.

The walls look like a giant golf ball turned inside out with huge dimples thoughout. The ceiling still has the roof from the mill except that there are a bunch of projectors that project some really trippy visualizations onto the roof. There is a dance floor in the front of the stage with the table pods at progressively higher levels as you move towards the bar which is at the end of the venue. There is another smalled ‘pod’ bar on the dance floor – a nice touch I think. As you can tell I am really impressed with the design and layout of the venue. Small details like the sloped tops of the pods ensure that people don’t leave their bottles lying around (which can break and really hurt someone)  as well as the the perfect lighting ensuring that you can see what you’re eating without getting disturbed by the light really adds to the place .  It looks like a lot of thought has gone into designing the venue.

Now for the not so good part about Bluefrog – the food. Food is usually the main event wherever I go but since Bluefrog isn’t really about the food I guess I’ll let this one slide. The food isn’t horrible or anything, I’d say its about OK. I had Bluefrog’s burger which they claim is famous. We also ordered a lamb shank and a couple of pastas which were again just about acceptable. The situation really tanked when I was told that they didn’t serve Kingfisher. They have a couple of imported beers on their menu but due to some sponsorship issue we had to chose between Tuborg and Carlsberg – both from a bottle. For deserts we ordered Tiramisu and something called chocolate three new ways. Both deserts were a bit better than the food (with the Tiramisu doing a little better than the chocolate dish) though still nothing to get excited about. The food scores horribly on the value scale as well. Overall I wouldn’t reccoment having anything at Bluefrog other than a couple of drinks. Eat elsewhere before heading here.

Service however was good and even though the place got a bit busy it wasn’t impossible to get a waiter’s attention. Our pod was right next to the service pod so I’m not sure if this is a fair assesment. Our waiter however was polite, friendly and well informed so I don’t really have any complaints.

The main attraction however remains the music. Bluefrog has a regularly updated website with a calendar that lists events. They have also started a section where they release podcasts and interviews which gives you a chance to listen to artists who play at the venue. I believe Bluefrog hosts artists from various genres and so I guess there is something for everyone. Mumbai really needed a Bluefrog and I’m glad that we finally have one. I apologize for the quality of the pictures but its the best my poor cellphone could do.

PS – BlueFROG has an excellent website. The site has an event calendar, podcast section, menu, and virtual tour of the venue.  www.bluefrog.co.in

Here are a couple of crap quality videos to go with the crap quality pictures.

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Gloria Jean’s Coffee house has recently opened up in Powai. I guess Australian coffee houses love Powai.

Another day, another MOD outlet. Mad Over Donuts is now open in Hiranandani Gardens Powai next to Papa John’s Pizza on Central Avenue. It shares its property with Gelato Italiano. I guess Amore, the other gelato outlet faces some competition.

Busybee reviews Cafe Noorani

November 25, 2009

Cafe Noorani: Experience the Aromatic Pleasure of Cafe Noorani.

This evening, I propose you drive from the Haji Ali Junction down the Tardeo Road. Switch off the air-conditioning, if your car has one, put the glass down, you will experience the aromatic pleasures of fragrant biryanis, moist kebabs on braziers and meats in tandoors. Almost immediately you enter the Tardeo Road, on the left, you will see Cafe Noorani. You can’t miss it, it is as busy a restaurant as you may find in Mumbai. Right at the entrance, there is a tandoor grilling full pomfrets, chicken tikkas, kebabs on the spit, baida rotis frying, a man making Chinese fast food. A moving neon sign spells out the menu: Kheema Baida Roti, Chicken Noorani Special, Mutton Tomato Fry, Brain Egg Masala, Malai Kofta, Vegetable Makhanwala, like one of those old time waiters in a chilia restaurant broadcasting the day’s specials. Park the car, the baharwallas will come to you, ready to take the orders and serve you in the car, no extra charge. But it is more fun to eat in the restaurant.

There are two Cafe Nooranis, side by side, two long restaurants running deep into the building. The food is the same, and the service, but one of the two is air-conditioned, the price difference, hardly five per cent. Apart from the cooking in the front, which Manager Nasirbhai admits is more for advertisement, there is a large kitchen in the rear of the two restaurants, one of the largest I have seen, also one of the cleanest, with two dozen cooks working.

I have been hearing about Cafe Noorani for some time now, outside Mohamedali Road, it is the best Mughlai restaurant in town. Its speciality is biryanis, and it has a large collection of these, made with fine-grained Delhi rice, meat on the bone, roast potatoes, a touch of fried onions. You have to decide which biryani to eat. I suggest the reshmi tikka biryani, partly because it is good, and partly because you would not get it anywhere else in Mumbai. At least, Faridbhai Abdul Latif Noorani, one of the proprietors, thinks so. “We experimented and made it here, but I do not know, others may have picked it up from here and may be making it, as we picked up some things from them,” he says modestly.

It is a gentle biryani, delicate in taste, the masala is on the malai side, cream and caju gravy, crushed badam, a touch of saffron. The chicken pieces, boneless, since it is a tikka, are marinated in the white masala, then grilled, then cooked in the biryani. The rice is not put on dum and it does not stick to the meat, which makes it oily. It is not spicy, but not bland also. Mr. Noorani describes it as Bombay taste. It costs Rs.75 in the non-air-conditioned, Rs.80 in the air-conditioned. The chicken tangdi biryani, of course has the tangdi bone, and the chicken tikka biryani is spicy, with red masala (Kashmiri chillis, garam masalas). There is also a chicken biryani, Rs.30 for a half plate, and you cannot get it any cheaper, where all parts of the chicken are used and it is done in a brown masala. Then there are mutton biryanis, fish biryanis, egg biryanis, vegetable biryanis, various pulaos, a paneer tikka biryani, jeera fried rice, and an Arabian biryani, made for our Arab friends, very bland, Rafique, with cream and tomatoes.

One day, I will do an entire piece on Noorani’s biryanis and pulaos only, but not today. There is more to eat.

Next to the biryani, my favourite food here are the baida rotis and meat rolls. The rolls are like Mr. Tibbs’ Frankies, only they are closed at both ends, so the meat does not fall out and make things generally messy. What they do is make a sort of an omelette, with kheema, with chicken, even bheja, I like that best, spread it on atta, like a paratha, and roll it. They wrap it in silver foil and serve you, not plastic bags. A chicken or mutton egg roll costs Rs.25, a brain egg roll Rs.45. I prefer the baida roti to the roll, if sitting at the table, it is more comfortable to eat. And always make it a point to sit at the table and eat. You enjoy you food better, you digest it, you make conversation while eating, it is the civilised thing to do. So, sit at the table and order the chicken baida roti. Service is fast, remember that. And you may watch them making it. The preparation is same as at Bohari Mohalla, the atta is a maida and e gg batter, placed on the hot tawa, and chicken pieces, onions, masala put on it. It is fried in oil, and as it is cooking, it is made into square rotis. Eat it while it is hot, slicing through the egg and meat with a knife and fork. You taste roti, egg, chicken, onions, the maida holds the whole thing together. It is priced at Rs.30, the kheema baida roti the same. The brain egg roti, where the brain is cut into small pieces and cooked with masalas in egg like a bhurji, costs Rs.50. It is light and almost fluffy, better then having brain and roti separate. Though that also you may have, a brain egg fry, or a brain masala fry, with a spicy tomato gravy, both Rs.35.

Perhaps, I should give out the secret of Noorani. Mr Noorani also owns the famous Haji Ali Juice Centre, which is almost diagonally across the restaurant. (To give a more definite location of the restaurant, it is behind Heera Panna, on the Tardeo Road.) The fruit centre, as you would know, has a reputation for fast service, efficient baharwallas, exotic combinations, long hours, the same principles apply to the restaurant. There was a time when it was open till two and three in the night, a great boon to night birds, to young people returning home from the pubs. But the new and rather thoughtless dispensations have forced it to close down at 12.30 a.m. Still, it covers a long day, from 5 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. At 5 a.m., when the doors open, you get kheema, omelette, bhurji, dal fry, alu gobi, alu mutter. By 10 a.m., all the 100-odd items on the menu. And that goes on through the day.

Among the early morning customers apart from those on morning shift, are the people going to the Haji Ali dargah. In the dargah itself, as you must have noticed if you have visited it, there is a small restaurant. This is also run by Noorani, basic foods at rates comfortable to the people who visit the dargah.

To return to the food, the fish tandoori is a whole pomfret, Rs.50, and the fish tikka masala is square cut pieces of ravas, Rs.55. Mutton Bombay Dish comes with boiled eggs, and there are Chicken and Mutton Noorani Specials, which are on the same line as those excellent Metro Specials at the Metro Restaurant at Dhobi Talao. I haven’t visited that for a long time.

You can’t eat everything, but have the Dabba Gosht, Rs.50. This is the classic Bohra gosht, though Noorani may not be a Bohra restaurant. If I tell you how it is cooked, you will know how it tastes. The boneless mutton is cooked in a small steel dish, the kind you use to make your baked custards. As the meat, with a nice thick gravy gets ready, an egg is scrambled and put on top of the meat, evened out, and hot oil poured on it. What it does is glazes the egg and completely covers the meat and gravy. The customer is served the meat in the steel dish, he has to spoon through the egg, which is now an omelette, to reach the meat. You may take the Dabba Gosht home also, as a parcel. For this, it is cooked in aluminium silver.

And the Dal Gosht, I must mention. Parsis make dhanshak dal, Muslims make dal gosh, both have mutton cooked with the dal, thus allowing the juices of the mutton to spread in the dal, Paris put pumpkin and spinach in the dal, and mash it, Muslims put pieces of dudhi in the dal and do not mash it. Finally, Parsis use tur and masoor dal, Muslims use channa dal. I do not know which tastes better. You have Noorani’s Dal Gosht, then have Ripon Club’s Dhanshak Dal, then tell me.

There is a large Chinese section, Indian Chinese, and more to the point, Bombay Chinese, but I will not deal with it here. Instead, one important piece of information: Noorani provides home delivery of all orders, from Colaba Dadar. According to young Zahir Khan, who manages the restaurant, it is an absolutely free service, no charges for delivery, and you don’t have to order in bulk, you may order just two rotis, and they will deliver. One hour for Colaba, 30 minutes for Napean Sea Road. Telephone Nos. 494 4753, 494 3054, 497 2619. Check it out.

Source – http://www.busybeeforever.com/viewarticle.asp?filename=eatingout917200444436.xml&section=eatingout

I’ve been really busy with school and so I haven’t really had time to update my blog. I was youtubing and I came across another one of Kunal Vijaykar’s reviews from his show – The Foodie. Kunal visits Paradise, one of my favourite restaurants as part of his episode on Food Treasures in Mumbai.

Kunal Vijaykar visits Poush

November 14, 2009

Poush appears to be a very popular restaurant and has more reviews than any other restaurant on Burrp. I have always wanted to go there but I’m not too sure where it is. Anyways Kunal Vijaykar vists the Kashmiri restaurant on his show – The Foodie

 

 

Olive Bar & Kitchen

November 2, 2009

This summer I finally visited Olive’s property at the racecourse. I had been to their Bandra branch long ago but this was my first visit to the race course branch. A lot of people talk about how Olive is one of the best restaurants in Mumbai and some even rate it as good as Indigo. Rahul Akerkar’s Tote on the Turf is now open in the same area that is being developed to house a number of restaurants.

Olive is located on one end of the race course parking lot and if you aren’t familiar with the restaurant, the lack of signs might just make it quite difficult to get there. The driveway however is pretty impressive and due to the fact that the entrance is not on a road, you get enough time to get out of your car.I made sure to make a reservation as I knew that it got pretty busy on the weekends. I got there on time but was made to wait for a good 30 minutes before being given a table. The hostess guided us to the bar area which was really crowded and there wasn’t enough bar stools or counter area for us to hang out. Another thing I didn’t appreciate was how the bar was not properly seperated from the rest of the restaurant which made it really awkward to wait for your table. Also waiting at the bar in a way forces you to buy a drink or two. A better idea would be if  the restaurant had a separate waiting area or enough space where you don’t feel like you’re making someone else  stand and wait even more awkwardly than you. Another thing that bothered me was the loud house music playing in restaurant. I guess it’s OK for the bar area but the bar and the outdoor seating area were the same and the music was a bit too much while eating. As you can tell I was already a bit pissed off with the wait. I would understand being made to wait if I didn’t have a reservation but being made to wait after a booking is a bit ridiculous. After we were finally seated and handed the menu, I tried asking one of the waiters for a recommendation.  The waiter tried to help me out but the loud music made it a little difficult for me to hear him. Also I could tell that he was a bit stressed and couldn’t talk comfortably. I was there on a Saturday which I imagine is one of the busiest nights of the week and so I’m willing to accept a bit of a slip in service but it was my first time at Olive and I really needed some help. They had a wood fired oven and so I decided to order a pizza as I imagined it would be something they made well. Although I was sitting in the outer dining area I did manage to have a look at the inside section as well and wasn’t too impressed to be perfectly honest. The outside section is a lot better and had been enclosed and airconditioned. One thing I really liked about the inside is the view of the stables. You can look at the horses in the stable next door which I thought was kind of a cool thing to watch when you’re eating. I hate to be so anal about this, but the window had blue tint over it which would have been fine in the day, but makes the horses look really blue at night when the tubelights are on in the stable. The food took some time to get there which again I was willing to forgive considering how busy it was. However the three orders got to the table at different times. My pizza got there first and by the time the other two orders were completed, I had finished my pizza.  The pizza was OK and even if it would have been great I probably wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it because of the atmosphere. When the time came to order desert, we decided to head to Indigo Deli instead so I can’t really comment on their deserts.

On the upside however Olive did seem like a nice place to go to if food isn’t a priority. I somehow got the feeling that it was more of a place to spot people and be spotted, something that a lot of the people there seemed pretty comfortable with. I guess if that’s the kind of person you are, you’re going to really enjoy Olive. Olive describes itself as a rustic hideaway where good food, laughter, culture and conversation come together in a Mediterranean melting pot. A place where beautiful people meet to enjoy life’s simple journey. Although I’m not too sure about the simple part, the last line really summarizes Olive for me – more of a place to meet if you are a beautiful person than a place to enjoy a good meal.

EDIT – My mother and aunt who had been here earlier liked the place a lot more than we did and so maybe we were just there on a bad night.

http://www.olivebarandkitchen.com/

Cafe Paradise

April 17, 2009

Paradise has been around forever and my mom used to come here as a kid. Iv been eating here since I was a kid too and Im kinda hooked, and like my family there are a tonne of people who have been comming here for years. The place is neat and they only have booths in their restaurant unless you go to the backroom (which kinda stinks because it isnt used much). The place has been renovated a couple of years ago but still maintains some of the charm of the old restaurant. As far as food goes Id say this place is excellent. I always have their chicken steak which isnt really a steak, more of roast chicken dish with gravy nd I love it. Iv had 3 orders once so that should tell you how good it is. Their cold chicken salad is really good too as is their salli botti. They also serve Chinese here though I tihnk it would be a lot better to stick to their regular stuff. They also have spcecials which are only available on certain days so make sure you check out the specials menu when you go there. As for the service, Id say its really good too. The waiters recognize regulars and are quite knowledgable about the whole menu. Some of the waiters have been working at the restaurant for years so there really isnt much reason to complain. As far as cost goes, Id say it is a bit overpriced for what it is, but its not expensive by any means. OVerall a great place to get Parsi food.

PS – The owners love animals and feed close to 50 dogs a day!

Cafe Basilico

April 17, 2009

Name/Location: Cafe Basilico, Colaba/Bandra

Average Cost: Around 350 a dish, 100 a drink nd 150 for desert

Food: The head chef used to be the famous Chef Moshe who has now gone on to start his own restaurant.The place is owned by Farhan Azmi who owns Koyla across the street. The menu here has recently changed nd I wasnt too happy about that until I ate here again. I used to have a Cilantro Chicken which was basically a grilled chicken in cilantro sauce with mashed potatoes. When I requested the chef to make the same thing again he reccomended something else. Im not too sure about the name but it had mozerella. I highly reccomend this dish. The place is open for breakfast too but iv never been able to get up early enough. I tihnk its open from 7 . The cuisine here is mostly mediterranean. Their deserts are good too. They used to have the most amazing Baileys Cream Cake though theyv stopped it. I reccomend the Oreo Cheese Cake which has a layer of Crushed Oreos in the middle of other layers of chocolate. Their Blueberry Cheesecake is good too . The deserts here are so good that some people come nd only order deserts. In drinks id reccomend the Peachy Cheek which is just sprite nd peach flavour though its really good.

Service: The service is quite good. The waiters are polite nd helpful nd the chef comes to help you out in case ur confused. the waiters sometimes have problems telling you about the food though theyre very patient about it. The food doesnt come that fast though nd u might be waiting a good 20 mins before u get fed.

Ambience: I quite like the ambience here though the chairs do tend to get uncomfortable after a while. The floor is made out of railway sleepers nd is quite cool to look at. The best part about the place is the tall windows through which you can look out onto the street. gives the place a real charming touch. The only problem though is its quite cramped nd u can sometimes here what people on the other table are saying

Cafe Basilico is one of my favourite places to eat. They have a branch in Bandra as well but I am partial to the one in Colaba. Definitly worth a trip to.
UPDATE – I went to Basilico the other day and found a few changes. They have hopped onto the ‘Old Bombay Pictures’ bandwagon and there are a few interesting pictures around the restaurant which add some charm though the concept has been adopted by so many places already that it is getting a bit stale. They also have free wifi. Ask your waiter for the password.

The Pizzeria

April 17, 2009

Name/Location: The Pizzeria / Powai, Marine Drive nd Versova (?)

Average Cost: 200-300 a pizza

Food: The Pizzeria definitly has the best pizzas in town. They have been in Mumbai much longer than Dominoes or Pizza Hut came here and Iv been a fan of their pizzas right from the beginning. One particular pizza that I really like is the HumYum which has Bacon Onions and Extra cheese. This combination tastes really good though it is not on the menu anymore. If you want a peperoni pizza I suggest you stick to Dominoes who have the best Peperoni. If you are a veggie I suggest you go in for ‘the talk of the town’ which is your basic onion mushroom nd capsicum pizza. They also offer stuffed crust pizzas in their 8″ range which are good too. Pizzeria also has a concept called Quad Pizza which is 4 different toppings on one 12″ pizza. Makes a lot of sence for people who want to share. They also have the usual pasta nd garlic bread nd cheese though their pizzas are what really sets them apart. Their pizzas are very rich and made to your liking unlike Dominoes and Pizza Hut where the pizzas taste like they were made in a factory. In Pizzeria you get the feeling that some passion has gone into making the pizza nd its not just made by some guy whos making your pizza according to a rule book. They have recently changed their entire menu and have taken off many items I really used to like. They had a really good Risotto which isnt available anymore. They also had a pasta which would be made just the way you like it. They had some sort of garlic bread too which was topped with chicken in a whitish sauce. tht was really good too. I dont think any of the dishes mentioned above are on the menu anymore. The food here is really good nevertheless and even tastes good the next morning when you heat it up in the microwave.

Service: I have hardly ever eaten in the restaurant and always order the pizzas home though the service isnt bad. Im not sure about the branch in town but in Powai the waiters dont always know everything about the pizzas though they are more than willing to call the manager or the chef to assist you. Overall the service is really quick and efficient.

Ambience: The ambience in Powai is quite rubbish and the AC in the restaurant isnt even working half the time. However the ambience in town is AMAZING. The restaurant is right on marine drive and has little windows which are opened and you have a direct view of the sea and some traffic. You are literaly sitting on the side walk which is really nice. I have never been to the Versova branch.

Conclusion: Definitly the best pizza place in town unless your really into authentic italian pizzas. The town branch does quite well though I kinda have doubts about the Powai one. I would definitly reccomend this place to anyone who lloves pizzas. The only downside is tht isnt widespread and thus you have to be lucky to have one in your area. The owner, Sanjay Narang of Mars Restaurants should work a bit on marketting the restaurant across Mumbai nd Im sure it can easily take on Dominoes nd Pizza Hut.

EDIT – I believe Mars restaurants is now sold to a MNC. Lets see what happens.
UPDATE – The Powai branch shifted out of Hiranandani Gardens and into Nahar Amrit Shakti in Chandivali. The lower rent could not help them and now there is no Pizzeria in Powai.

Indigo Deli

April 17, 2009

A lot of people have been referring to Indigo Deli as an alternative to the slightly more expensive Indigo – the same standard of food, except quicker, easier and a little cheaper. While this is clearly a Deli and not a full blown restaurant they do serve some main course which is a good thing. Indigo Deli is located jsut opposite Henry Tham’s in Colaba in a beautiful building. However the restaurant just next to it is an old run down place catering to a completly different clientele and this may ruin the experience a bit. inside however is a completely different story. Theres a wine wall just as you enter and it also has a few pots and pans and other knick knacks which really look good. The deli also has the customary display case with a decent selection of meats and cheeses. The focal point of the restaurant however has to be the vintage Smith’s clock on the wall. It appeared to be an orginal to me and really transforms the place. The rest of the decor is warm and feels really classy . However this is a Deli so if your expecting a restaurant style decor you may by slightly dissapointed. Chef Simarpal handles the evening shift while Chef Amit Bajaj takes care of things in the morning. I really enjoy the food at Indigo Deli and their pizzas are highly recommended. The pizzas are paper thin and they use good quality meat used as toppings. I had a jalapeno chocolate mousse which was recommended though I didnt enjoy it as much as the pizza. The service here is good too and though as things get busier service expectedly becomes slower. They have a couple of good deserts too including their icecream though their Grand Marnier souffle and orange creme brulee is what I really crave. The souffle is served with a nice peanut butter cookie which goes pretty well with the souffle.  The waiters know the menu and are ready to make suggestions whcih is always a good thing. As far as value this place isnt all that expensive for what it is and I’d say its excellent value for money. A meal for two with deserts will be upwards of 1500.Overall Id reccomend this place though there are plenty of restaurants to chose from in Colaba.

PS – They used to have WIFI but don’t give out the password anymore for security reasons.

Lunch at Britannia

May 30, 2008

I went for lunch to Britannia today and do what I always do at Britannia – talk about how it could improve itself. Im no snob and wouldn’t stop eating at Britannia no matter what but I truly believe that it needs a lot of things changed, the paint peels off the walls, the roof leaks in the monsoon, the lighting is hardly enough and there are cartons kept on the window sill. In my opinion a little tidying up here and there and Britannia could appeal to a much wider audience. The restaurant isn’t open for dinner or breakfast and is closed on Sunday. My mother once asked the owner why he doesn’t open for dinner and he exclaimed

“Why Ma’am!! My wife will divorce me!!”.

As he usually does 85 year old Mr Boman Kohinoor took my order . He enthusiastically takes your order down and makes reccomendations. Its amazing to see the spirit he has in him and doensn’t let his age slow him down one bit. I asked for my usual – Chicken Berry Pulao and he told me about how there was such a huge rush today and I could only get Mutton Berry Pulao. I wanted the chicken but Berry Pulao is Berry Pulao and so I decided to get whatever was available. I told him how this had never happened and he told me there was an unusually large demand for Chicken Berry Pulao and had I come a little earler I would have got my Chicken Berry Pulao.

“You’ve come so late” , “Before 3 it is your choice and after 3 it’s mine” he said.

I nodded quitely accepting my mistake. He then asked us what we wanted to drink. I told him how I loved their raspberry drink but wanted the one made by Pallonji’s and not Rogers.

” We used to first get it from Duke’s, but then they stopped making it, then we got Pallonji’s but then they stopped making it, so now we have Roger’s, why don;t you have a fresh lime soda instead”

Once again I quietly agreed. My friend ordered a fresh lime water and while he asked her whether she wanted it made with regular water or mineral water I decided to settle with Roger’s – afterall you don’t get it at too many places.I asked him to change the order and he scribbled out the entire drinks order and carefully rewrote the order confirming each item with us. The order for the parcel was wirtten down at the bottom right corner of the page. I don’t know if he uses a code or not and I couldn’t really understand what he scribbled down. He uses the table as support when he writes and so you can read what is being written unlike other places where you have no clue what the waiter is writing Just as he finished writing the order down he looked at my friend and asked her

“Is he Parsi?”

My friend shook her head .

“Oh thats because Raspberry means Parsi and Parsi means Raspberry”

This was one of the biggest compliments I have ever gotten. I am a huge wannabe Parsi and this meant the world to me. I was grinning from ear to ear. As he turned away I turned to my friend

“Did you hear that? He thinks I’m Parsi!!”

I again started talking about ways to improve Britannia. I pointed towards a window to show my friend a cobweb. She spoke about how there is no excuse for that and though I tried defending Britannia, I just couldn’t. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to climb a chair and sweep it away. I didn’t want to hurt the owner’s feelings and so I decided to talk to his son about it on my way out. Mr Irani thought I was Parsi and I didn’t want him to think otherwise over a stupid cobweb. On the way out I mentioned the cobweb to his son. I’m not usually slow to point out faults in restaurants but I really didn’t know what to expect, would he cover it up with a story of how they are too busy and didn’t want to clean it when customers are around? They are only open for Lunch so that wasn’t a possible excuse. Would he tell me to eat somewhere else if I had a problem with his restaurant? As you can imagine Britannia isn’t a regular restaurant and the managment isn’t usually quick with change. He looked at the cobweb, made a face and looked at me.

” Yea I know that needs to be cleaned up”

I thought that perhaps he didn’t know about it and would thank me for pointing out something he didn’t know about and recognize my great service to the restaurant. He then sighed and said

“This whole place needs to be done up”

I was happy thinking that Britannia would finally get the rennovation it deserves but then the owner continued

“Im actually selling this place”

I thought to myself – No this can’t be happening, is this some sort of cruel joke? My face fell. He spoke about how some shipping company had made him an offer and he wanted more money and would sell the place as soon as he gets what he wants for it, he suddenly looked at me

“You want it? They are giving me 7.5 but I want 9.”

I didn’t know what hit me, These numbers were being thrown at me when I wasn’t out of the shock of Britannia closing down,I didn’t even compute the fact that he was talking in crores and asked him

“Do the recipes come with it?” He smirked ” No No, The recipes are 1 million each!!!”

I guess he was joking and by now could see how much this meant to me. Just as I was about to say something, as if she was reading my mind my friend looked at him

“He’s going to be very sad about this” I cut in “I’m going to go home and cry”

He began to understand how much Britannia meant to me and gave me his card –

“Call me and come over to my house to eat Chicken Berry Pulao – I may not be in Bombay but take my card”

Although I would love to, I just can’t imagine myself going to anyone’s house like that, Would he be cool about it? I said goodbye and began calculating how much it would cost to run the place. What a perfect location !! Adhish, the owner of the new Britannia, Id change everything about it that I wanted to. Instant fame, everyone loves Britannia and Id do it up and make everyone want to eat there – it was all so perfect. But then the more I thought about it, the less sense it made to me and I guess my head finally took over from my heart and I realized that I needed to complete my education atleast before taking over a restaurant like that. It wasn’t the money I was worried about, Im sure I could earn enough to pay off a loan to buy the place – What I was really afraid of is being unworthy of a place like Britannia. I’m sure I would screw up it’s legacy somehow and wanted to make sure that I am ready before taking a step like that. Anyways I don’t really feel like writing more – Get as much Chicken Berry Pulao as you can – you never know, it might just be your last. The shipping company has been negotiating with Britannia for the past 14 months and once the owner gets what he wants, he will be going back to Persia where he says banks give him 22% interest on his money as opposed to the 17% he earns in the restaurant.

Another place that I had been wanting to try for ages and finally decided to go there about a two and a half years ago. Since then Iv been hooked. I believe this place is really popular with the Italian expatriates in Mumbai and I guess this is due to the fact that it is really authentic. This place easily serves some of the best italian food in Mumbai. I recommend the Pizza Ai Salami and the Beef Lasagna. The food here is authentic unlike most other restaurants where it is changed to suit the Indian Palate. Also the focus of the restaurant seems to be on the food and not on creating a buzz about itself which again is a good thing. Located opposite the JW Marriot in Juhu the location is pretty decent. The restaurant itself is located in Hotel Bawa where the valet also parks your car. The interiors are OK,Nothing that really excites you. There are huge Ferrari flags instead of curtains which is really cool. Besides that they also have other Italian memorabilia all around. The wall is lined with wine bottles which really adds to the class of the place. Besides that’s there really isn’t much in terms of decor. To be honest the decor looks a bit old and good use a renovation unless the owners are going in for the classic look. One thing that really hits the eye is the raw wood paneling in the wall that doesn’t leave a good impression and I suspect that the previous occupant had a bigger painting there that was taken out when Don Giovani moved in. The service here is really good. much better than most other restaurants. The waiters know the menu and are quick to jump in with suggestions and help you out. The food doesn’t take too long to get to your table either which again is an added bonus. Now coming to the most important part – the food. I was really impressed with the food here. The Pizzas here are great and I doubt too many restaurants in Mumbai could come close to it. The meat used on the pizzas is top quality and I suspect the meat and cheese are imported. The base is thin but not overly crispy where you don’t really get the taste of the base and its more like eating papad. The lasagna too was great and definatly a notch above anything else available. The deserts to be honest were a little overrated and were a letdown compared to the rest of the meal. Now coming to value. The pizzas are around 400 and I believe the lasgna is around the same. Moderately priced and good value for what it is. If they renovated the place a bit Im sure they could hike prices up by at least 50%. Overall a great place and definatly one of my favourite restaurants.