Saturday 31 December 2016

Christmas menu at Gaylord's - Churchgate, Mumbai.

Mumbai's vibrant and diverse social environment often reflects well in the city's food culture too. Like all major festivals, Christmas also brings its own unique festive cheer and food. This is also a time for many a restaurants to feature limited time Christmas menus.

Gaylord which happens to be one of my regular places also had a limited time Christmas menu which featured a mix of North Indian winter favorites and Western dishes. In an era of foodporn and Instagram - It is easy to miss out on a lot of delicious food just because Instagram did not deem it pretty enough to discuss.

The offerings on Gaylord's Christmas menu were among some of the best food that I have had, but it wasn't very camera friendly. So I took it upon myself as a mission. Words shall achieve what the camera couldn't. I shall chronicle my delicious voyage at Gaylord and my encounter with their Christmas menu.

(This menu stays till the 4th of January, 2017 so do make sure not to miss it.)
In Gaylord's own words Eat, Drink and be Merry. The menu may not completely follow the Christmas theme but be rest assured that the food is enough to bring the festive cheer.

Choco Flakes Colada was a bitter sweet drink inspired from the Pinacolada. It had a lot of tangy flavor from the Malibu and Pineapple. The drink felt like I was on the beach at sunset with partly clouded skies and a party vibe. It had a tropical feel to it and reminded me of my time at the pristine Sri Lankan beaches. The chocolate flakes did not feel necessary but complement well with the Kahlua.

The Xmas Fig and fruit Salad was a lighter option to the appetizers. This one in particular felt clean and healthy. There were sweet, salty and mildly spicy flavors in there.

Boti Parathe Pe. It would not be Gaylord without their trademark North Indian dishes. This was a special edition dish with paneer stuffed parathas topped with lamb nuggets. The parathas were soft and the paneer stuffing was spicy and aromatic. The meat topping was tender, savory, succulent and just the right rare. It exuded a pleasantly smokey flavor owing to it being coal grilled. This is definitely something that I would recommend.

Roast Turkey reminded me of Thanksgiving but there is Christmas Turkey as well. This was a slice of stuffed turkey with sausages styled like flowers. It also had a pleasantly sweet undertone thanks to the usage of cranberry sauce. Served with Broccoli, carrots and potato mashing - this was a complete meal in itself.

The pricing is on par with Gaylord's general pricing structure. I would say that its a good buy for the money. Gaylord does not believe in presentation theatrics and serves only good food.

I have skipped ambiance, general information and service from this review but if you have been following me - I have covered these in an earlier post about Gaylord. You can read it here.
Gaylord's earlier Review

Do note that you too can savour this menu. It stays on till 4th of January, 2017. 

The Captain's Score : 8/10

Map Co-Ordinates
Mayfair Building,
VN Road,
Churchgate, Mumbai

-I was invited to sample the Christmas menu but I have been here enough on my own. My post is objective and free from any biases.-

Wednesday 14 December 2016

The Irish House - Lower Parel, Mumbai.

Anyone who has been to an actual Irish pub in Ireland can tell you that The Irish House is a good emulation of the real thing. The dim lit ambiance, the wood and brick themes, wooden bar in the middle, wooden furniture, the posters and plaques all make the ambiance very typical of a Western Irish Pub. The place makes a good watering hole whenever one feels like taking a few pegs down. So I was at The Irish House for lunch. Lunch? Yes you read that right.

The Irish House, Lower Parel is a neat Irish Pub. It emulates the real thing in every way imaginable, even has the famous smoking ban that hit Irish pubs in Ireland a decade ago. The place can get quite crowded at dinner times. The dim lit ambiance is the perfect place to be part of the crowd yet be seen by no one. In the afternoon however, it feels like a dusty western Tavern but that also is a fun feel in its own way.

For INR 325+Taxes, a three course meal is quite a good offer. This makes the food cheaper than fast food chains. The quality also being far more superior than fast food places. Though, I was peeved with the lack of a dessert option and very limited drinking options. Being The Irish House, I was sure they could have designed in a larger choice for drinks.

I tried the Beer add on option. I am not really a beer guy (Don't hurt me Beer lovers pweese) but a light beverage does feel refreshing in the noon. I would have definitely preferred a Mojito or something virgin over this.

Chicken Involtini can best be explained as the Italian version of the French Roulade or vice versa. Thin slices of meat were wrapped around a vegetable stuffing. This was struck with the same problem as most Roulades in Mumbai. The meat was slightly overdone and a bit chewy. This main was drizzled with flavorful Pomodoro sauce and served with some herbed rice.

I also chose Garlic bread as my side and Chicken Popcorn as my appetizer. Strangely, all three were served together. It is understandable as they want the lunch done quickly but still I am not fond of eating two courses together. The main and the side together were normal but the appetizer should have been served earlier. This bit needs to be worked out. The chicken popcorn or softcore chicken nuggets were delicious. The Garlic bread tasted as it does anywhere else.

These messy Smokey BBQ chicken sliders were included amongst the appetizers but they seemed to me as the best item on the lunch menu. The Irish House is well known for its Burgers and these little burgers were as messy as big whoppers, delicious and had juicy patties.

Since I dropped by at late afternoon on a weekday, the restaurant was almost empty and I had the entire service to myself. So it would be difficult for me to comment on the service. As far as their serving etiquette goes, I do think they were professional.

The pricing seems all right to me. Though autograt could be avoided. Seems like a good option for a quick lunch with good quality food.

To wrap this up, a lunch option by a pub seems like a move to diversify and target non popular time zones as most pubs are empty during daytime. The limited options may feel troublesome but they ensure effective logistics and quick meals especially when lunch time is limited on an office day.

The execution could have been slightly better but overall it is a better choice and money well spent. The food is far better as opposed to eating a McD or a burger King meal.

The Captain's Score : 7/10

Map Co-Ordinates
The Irish House,
High Street Phoenix,
Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel,

-I was invited to sample the grub by the restaurant but my review is objective and free from bias.-

The Irish House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday 9 December 2016

China bistro - Shivaji Park, Mumbai.

China Bistro is part of a chain of Pan Asian themed restaurants located across Mumbai. There are actually two of these restaurants which are quite close to where I presently stay. I chose the one near the iconic Shivaji Park area as I have passed it many times but never quite visited it. And it does look pretty from outside.

(Picture for this shot by Zomato)

The place has a wonderful ambiance with a simple but classy dine-in and an Asian themed Al Fresco. There are even terracotta army replicas welcoming you to the great gates of China bistro. The place really shines during night time but I usually pick day times to get a better picture of the grub. However if you truly desire to cherish your experience at this outlet, I suggest that you get a 8 PM reservation. Do note that its location in a popular populated area makes it quite crowded at meal hours.

The Eight treasure soup - Legend has it that in the ancient Chinese court, the Chinese Emperor alone had the right to have this soup. It was made using the rarest eight ingredients which were difficult to source in those times. Jump to modern era, we are all Emperors on the dining table.

Different restaurants tend to use a different mix of eight. I'd say China Bistro's variant was a subtle tasting soup with a very clean feel to it. The salt was low and I was quite pleased with this part. I am tired of many Indian restaurants ruining everything by putting in a boatload of salt.

I actually had two beverages - One was this scintillating Peach Ice Tea and the other was a more humble Jasmine tea which I had post meal.

Buddha Almond sizzler was a classical sizzler with the sizzle filling up the room but thankfully gone are the days when restaurants put enough fuel in the grub to smoke up the whole restaurant. This platter felt clean and green. The name Buddha's sizzler felt apt as the feeling after eating this one was that of peace.

Lamb Teppanyaki. This dish pays homage to the real origin of sizzlers. Sizzlers were derived from the American-Japanese Teppanyaki in the late 50s. The meat here had mild flavors with a sweetish tinge. There was also an undertone of tomato in it. Being a carnivore, I positively enjoyed this one more. The meat was well prepared, the right rare and very satiating.

Chocolate Tsunami was both a visual treat and a delight for the tongue. It was a simple construction of hot chocolate syrup poured over a Chocolate Mousse. There were a few cake crumbs thrown in for good measure too. One would think that two main dishes would have filled one up quite nicely, but this dessert completely changes that. What the eye sees, the mouth craves and immediately the stomach had some space. This was sweet, rich and I would definitely recommend it.

The service was decent for most part but it needs to be mentioned that I went in late afternoon and I was invited to sample the grub.

The pricing was typical of that expected from a quality casual dine. Slightly lesser than fine dines and higher than median quality Asian restaurants.

China Bistro is the "easy to go to" neighborhood Asian restaurant. The ambiance is a plus and the pan Asian diversity always keeps you in the hunt for new things. Being close to my residence, its also likely that I will go again anonymously. There are obviously things that can be improved but for now I have no major complaints.

The Captain's Score : 8/10

Map Co-Ordinates
China Bistro,
Vidya Bhavan,
Near Sena Bhavan, Dadar Shivaji Park,

-I was invited to sample the grub by the restaurant but my review is objective and free from bias.-

China Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato