Saturday, 17 June 2017

Canto Cafe & Bar Girgaum, Mumbai

Canto CafĂ© and Bar has replaced the old Karma –The Liquid Lounge a place where I have partied at a lot at one time. It could be a match screening or a usual Saturday night or a live belly dancer performance. There are some fond memories that I have of that place. Canto Cafe and Bar is a casual all-day diner with a huge space and lovely decor. The cafe, owing to its wonderful location, sees a lot of natural light from the huge arched windows. It has a downstairs seating area, also a tiny section upstairs for a date night and a classy bar area. A place that still screen all the matches with the lights going dim after 11pm with a DJ spinning some commercial and Bollywood music it’s one of the rocking places in the city that I would visit often.
In a conversation with Pooja Kanodia, co-owner of the space, who tells us why there was a need to open a contemporary restaurant serving non-vegetarian food in the locality. “Right from Altamount Road to Worli, it is hard to find a modern dining space where people can hang out and party. We also realized that there were those who wanted to eat chicken and seafood, considering there were no restaurants serving them in the neighborhood as all around there are only vegetarian restaurants in a fine dining setting,” says Pooja, who interestingly is a vegetarian herself. She seems quite upbeat about running a business that may not go down too well with the Vegetarian population in the area.  

I was invited to review Canto Cafe & Bar, here are some of the cocktails and dishes that I loved and recommend:
Bicicletta Ride - Vodka mixed with passion fruit puree, grapefruit, organic honey ginger balanced with lime. 
Lamb Meatball - Baked lamb gulkand meat balls in a tomato and coconut sauce. Loved this one!
Chicken Caesar Salad - Salad with capers, crisp lettuce, jalapeno mayonnaise & chilly parmesan crisp full of fiber and protein.
Long Island Iced Tea - Really contemporary invented by Ronald Butt at the Oak Beach Inn in the Hampton Bays, Long Islands wiour White Spirits, Orange Liqueur, sour mix and topped with Cola.
Chmichurri Chicken Tikka - Soft, Juicy chimichuri spiced chicken tikka. Chicken was well done and full of flavors. Just the right amount of tang to cut through rich meat. Overall tangy, spicy and perfectly cooked.
We ordered a Half n Half Pizza the Pizza Milano and the Chicken Pizza which were spot-on and we highly recommend their delicious stone baked pizza's.
Melodies - Gin mixed with honeydew melon, fresh cucumbers, lime juice, splash of tonic and topped with sweet chilly air, served with a magical aroma of rose and melon.
Chicken Burger - Juicy and perfectly marinated charred chicken burger served with french fries. Loved this one!
Grilled Chicken - Succulent Chicken breast served with creamy mash and brown sauce.
Molten Chocolate - I completely drooled over this one one of the best I've had served with vanilla ice cream this one is a must try!

Verdict: European Charm with Classic Cocktails, this SOBO cafe is Perfect for a date night or if your a singer you could enjoy a karaoke night  or if a commercial or bollywood freak Canto can be your go-to-place. We had an awesome  time, Mrs & Mr, Kanodia the perfect host, great service, lip-smacking food, rocking music and somewhere that I would like to go again. Let me know about your experience when you visit Canto, Till then take care and Happy weekend!

Getting there: Canto, 534, SVP Road, Charni Road, Opera House, Girgaum, Call +912223617700

Canto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The White Owl Brewery & Bistro Lower Parel, Mumbai

The White Owl Brewery & Bistro is located in One Indiabulls Center in Lower Parel, Mumbai. The White Owl Brewery & Bistro is a microbrewery where one can get a variety of beers and an awesome ambiance. The restaurant serves a wide array of drinks and finger food from their European menu including a variety of Italian cuisines. The additional feature is the Live Music performances hosted there. The White Owl Brewery & Bistro provides a completely one of a kind heart-filling experience for beer and food lovers.
Who are they? The White Owl Brewery and Bistro are a Mumbai-based Microbrewery obsessed with handcrafting beer using only the finest of natural ingredients from around the world! An Award-Winning Portfolio features an eclectic selection of both Old-World & New-Age Brewing Styles: they have a Belgian Wit, an Irish Red Ale, a German Hefeweizen, an English Porter, a German Kolsch, a French Apple Cider, a Munich Lager, and an American Pale Ale as well as a bunch of rotating Seasonal Brews.

Their Craft Beer is currently available *On Tap* and *In a Kegger* (a portable 5-L Mini-Keg) at the best of Restaurants & Bars across Mumbai & Pune. Additionally, two of our most popular variants - *Spark* & *Diablo* - will soon be available in *Bottles* both in Restaurants & Bars as well as in Retail Stores across Mumbai & Pune! A *Young, Diverse, Internationally-Trained & Incredibly-Motivated Team* forms the cornerstone of their Company that was founded in 2013 by graduates of Harvard Business School and Wharton School of Business and is backed by a Strong Investor Group out of both India and the United States.
Specialties: Craft Beer, Artisanal Beer, Brewing, Microbrewery, Beer, Beer Festivals, Draught Beer.

Craft beer is all about enjoying beer as a form of art. The texture, perception, flavours, aroma, the feel and much more makes for an entire experience. It is not just about what goes into the making, it is equally about presentation, flavours and the food that you pair it with. With the concept of craft beer, many brands responsible for bringing this experience to the table have been increasing day by day. One such prominent name in these fancy brands is the White Owl Brewery.
I was invited to The White Owl Brewery & Bistro for a review, here are some of the beers & dishes that i loved:
We stared off with some beer tasting what they are most famous for. The white owl menu includes a total of 8 different flavours of craft beer. Their list of beer includes Spark Belgian Wit, Diablo Irish red ale, Halcyon German hefeweizen, Ace French apple cider, Paulina German kolsch, Bon Bon amber ale, Shadow English porter, Torpedo American pale ale.
Daredevil Chilli Chicken - Chunks of chicken cooked in a  spicy red sauce a little different from the regular chilli chicken.
My favorite one, was the Spark. It was a Belgian Wit. This one balanced all the flavors which were possibly there. The citrus taste with the tangy touch and a moderate light body as well as tinge of bitterness were well in place. What added glamour to the beer were their jar type glasses instead of the typical ones. 
Jerk Chicken Skewers - Grilled Chicken with fresh red chilli and green onion served with a tangy mayonnaise. Absolutely moist and exquisitely piquant.
Classic Chicken Caesars Salad . My most favorite salad which is packed with fiber and protein.
Minced Lamb Arancini - Fried arborio rice balls with miced lamb, bhavnagri chilli and a blast of mozzarella.
Red Snapper Skewers: Red snapper is always a delight. These skewers were nicely grilled. The fish was juicy and the Cajun seasoning was tangy. The lemon Aioli lifts the flavors of the fish... Too good!!
Slow Roast Chicken Buns: Steamed buns filled with Chopped chicken, rice-wine dressing, pickled cucumbers. The buns were filled with lots of chicken. Great quantity, good taste!!
Verdure Flatbread - Rucola, roasted peppers, charred mushroom & garlic oil, basil pesto.
The Ace is a French apple cider. It has a prominent apple flavor and a citrus tangy touch. Subtle yet flavorful, loved it!!!!
Sundried tomato and Asparagus Risotto – Smooth in texture and great in flavors just the way I like my risotto to be. You guys have nailed this one!
Pepper Crusted Rawas - The fish was seasoned and marinated to perfection. Recommended by us.

Caramelized Banana n Toffee Tart- I completely drooled over this one.. Just superb.. Must try!


Dark Chocolate Fondant with Ice cream - Sinful experience!! Velvety smooth goey chocolate surprise in the center served with Vanilla ice cream. A must explore for all dessert n chocolate lovers.

Verdict: A great place to hang out with friends with great service, good music which is not too loud, fantastic beers and of course delicious food, The White Owl Brewery & Bistro should be on your visit list. Go explore and once you do let me know in the comments section about your experiences. Till then take care!

Getting there: Lobby, Tower 2 B, One Indiabulls Center, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai

The White Owl - Brewery & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Bombay Havelli Charni Road, Mumbai

The Bombay Havelli is a brainchild of Marzy Parakh (an ex banker with a corporate catering business), Parth Dalal (an ex banker) and Sarthak Oza (A CA student and a budding chef). They realized that whenever a family goes to dine out, one age group has to compromise on their choice of food be it the kids or young ones, parents or grandparents. Therefore, they have tried to bridge that gap. They believe that 3 generations of a family can dine together at The Bombay Havelli.
The Decor: With a name like that, we expect a grand entrance, chandelier lighting, brightly colored cushions on low diwans and murals. We get all that and more. The vegetarian restaurant that opened at Charni Road, even has a stair lift to help senior citizens to make their way to the upper section, probably a first for a restaurant in the city. A hand-painted wall opposite us, makes us feel like we are looking out from a havelli to the garden outside. The warm lighting adds to the ethnic appeal of the interiors.

I was invited to review and taste the food at The Bombay Havelli with a food group call Khao Piyo Local. Here are some of the dishes i loved:
Refreshing Masala Soda
Global Platter:
Patra: Layers of colocasia leaves alternated with layers of a sweet, spicy and sour spread comprising of besan, imli paste and masalas. These roundels are stir fried along with some sesame seeds, mustard seeds and then topped with fresh coriander. 

Coconut Pattice: sweet-spicy coconut based green masala stuffed inside a boiled potato ball and deep fried to perfection. 

Rajwadi Dhokli: Steamed besan and curd based preparation cut into cubes and shallow fried along with sesame seeds, mustard seeds and sugar that caramelises on its outer surface to yield a sweet tinge. 

Cheese Tukdi: Bread stuffed with a spicy onion based masala and oodles of grated cheese, rolled up and deep fried till crisp.

Beiruti Hummus with Zatar Pita. 

Parmesan Baby Potatoes.
Patra Ni Paneer: A vegetarian version of the Patra ni Machhi. 
Fillet of paneer marinated in a sweet and spicy parsi chutney and steamed in a banana leaf.

Traditional dabeli:
Kutchh based dabeli masala mixed with mashed potatoes, masala singh and topped with sev.

TBH ki Khasiyat:
A rich red gravy with hara bhara dumplings stuffed with grated paneer.

Methi Thepla, Lasaniya Bateta and Chhundo: A semi-dry preparation of boiled potatoes in a spicy and garlicky gravy served with trademarked Gujarati dish - Methi Thepla and he sweet and sour raw mango pickle - chhundo.

Chola Bhatura: One of my favorite dishes in the mains, being a Punjabi i think Chola Bhatura is in my blood. 

Dal dhokli: A sweet surti gujarati dal with flat dhoklis and boiled peanuts cooked slowly until the dhoklis soften. Its the presence of whole masalas that escalate the flavour to another level.

Dal Baati Churma: A rajasthani classic. Spiced up mix of dals served with ghee soaked baatis served with sweet churma on the side.

Crushed papad, bikaneri bhujia, chopped onions, tomatoes, squeeze of lime and masalas.

Motichoor Gulab jamun parfait: a layer of gulab jamun topped with motichoor and mildly sweetened rabdi.

Jalebi and gulkand infused rabdi absolutely sinful!

Verdict: A perfect place for me for my vegetarian tuesday's and that's something close to home as me and my family love dining out and exploring new restaurants in the vicinity.

There's something you should know about the place: 
The Bombay Havelli is here to devoutly offer this objective and set new standards of social responsibility in the restaurant industry.
Over 30% of their profits go to their foundation that helps people with physical disabilities for medical and educational aid.
They also source many of their products from those who are physically disabled.
They also have a platform where the disabled can reach out to them in order to work with them full time or part time and they also offer to help them to set up their business or source funds and operational guidance.
Their staff comprises of waiters and attendants who have disabilities.
Happy Faces after all the lip-smacking food. Here's me with KPL Gang.

Getting there: Ground Floor, Ladhabhai Mansion, Opera House, Next to Vijay Sales, Charni Road, Mumbai.

I am going to suggest everyone to go there once at least. I loved the ambience, service and food. Let me know in the comment section what did you think about the place when you visit it. Till then take care.

The Bombay Havelli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato