Friday Spa Buffet Lunch at Out of the Blue, Bandra

I’ve eaten a dozen meals or so, at Out of the Blue (OofTB). I think they were one of the first few places to serve Italian-Continental fare in Bandra. Situated a stone’s throw away from where I stay. I used to return for their sizzlers which were perfectly sized and priced. I was back at the restaurant after a while, to try their Friday Spa Buffet Lunch. (Shameless Plug-In: Read about my previous wine tasting experience at OofTB here).

OofTB does two weekday buffet lunches: Women’s Wednesday Buffet Lunch and Friday Spa Buffet Lunch. Both are fairly reasonably priced at Rs. 395 + taxes and Rs. 495 + taxes, respectively. Mom and I decided to check the lunch buffet out, and pamper ourselves on occasion of Ganesh Chaturti (and the fact that it was a bank holiday). 

The buffet is fairly extensive with your usual suspects: appetizers, soup, salads, dips, breads, mains, desserts and even a Make-Your-Own-BBQ section in the menu. I was looking forward to getting a hand/foot massage while I ate, but the restaurant was undergoing some renovation the day we visited, so we couldn’t.

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Time Travel at Gaylord Restaurant

Surviving through Mumbai’s cut-throat restaurant scene is no easy task. I see old restaurants shutting down and new ones cropping up left, right, and center. It’s sad that many old classics had to shutter shop due to inflation and being unable to keep up with changing times. Thank god, for a few old classics that still remain. Everytime one visits them, it is like a little taste in history. Gaylord Restaurant in Churchgate, is one of them!

My visit to Gaylord restaurant was deep rooted in nostalgia. Established and running from the late 1950’s, stepping inside Gaylord is like time travel. It is where my father hung out with his friends post college, it is where he took my mother on dates during their courtship phase, and it is still his go-to place when he’s in that part of town. They were one of the few places to serve continental food along with regular Mughlai fare during that time. And their bakery continues to dole out some of the yummiest pastries, cakes, pies and more.

I don’t think much has changed since then. The same vintage garden chairs, long sofas and bright chandeliers make up most of the space. The same bakery stands tall next door, with the same aroma of baking bread wafting through. The same menu with the classic favourites such as Lobster Thermidore and Chicken A La Kiev. The same wait staff who have been serving there since years. The same smiling manager, Mr. Noel D’Souza who has been working there since 1987. The same chefs who have been cooking the same recipes since decades now. Which is why the food you eat today tastes just like it did years ago.

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#PatetiPopUp with Bawi Bride

Parsi New Year or Navroze is a day of family, merriment, new clothes and delicious food. I rarely get to eat Parsi food myself, so I eagerly wait for occasion such as these, because I know my dear friend and fellow foodie Perzen aka Bawi Bride will throw open the doors of her home and feed us! I’m a fan of her cooking since she started her blog and catering kitchen. She makes the yummiest, homely, hearty Parsi food. Read about my previous experiences with Bawi Bride’s Bhonu here and here.

It was #PatetiPopUp time! A bunch of us food bloggers, food writers and food lovers gathered at her home to celebrate Pateti and bring in the new year. The menu sounded delicious- Shirinbai’s Cheese Eeda Cutlets, Saas ni Prawns, Shehenshahi Pulao and Perzen’s signature Chocolate Mousse.

The Cheese- Eeda cutlets come with a lovely back story attached, that I am far too sentimental about. The cutlets stuffed with egg and gooey cheese, are best had hot! My paternal grandmother came up with the recipe, and stuffed me with them everytime I went to visit her during summer vacations. I would eat these cutlets for all three meals of the day, and still want more. She has been unable to make them for me due to age and other health issues. The last time I visited I managed to extract her signature recipe from this tiny brown paper covered note book, filled with her recipes which she scribbled in Gujarati half a century ago. 

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Finding (and Eating) Nemo

Just off the Bandra-Worli sea link, inside a small, little lane entering Worli village lies this bright, cheery yellow bungalow. The most nondescript location for what was going to turn out to be one of the most crazy, foodie evenings I would experience. 

Cafe Nemo, is one of the newest entrants in the city’s food scene and has been generating quite a buzz. Housed inside this yellow bungalow, (which was previously occupied by Cool Chef Cafe), Cafe Nemo serves up an interesting menu leaning towards an Asian influence. 

That evening it was the venue for the Pet Pujaris monthly ‘Fatka’. The Pet Pujaris is a wonderful initiative where you get to meet up with a bunch of like minded foodies twice a month for their pricier ‘Fatka’ at the start of the month and/or the budgeted ‘Kadka’ during the months end. Find out more about them on their Facebook page here.

The place is done up in the cheeriest, bright yellow and black. Three huge rooms to dine in, and a huge bar make the place very spacious. So you’re not bumping elbows with the diner next to you. I  particularly loved the al fresco section done up in potted plants. I can only imagine how pretty the entire area would look during the day. The vibe totally makes it a place to visit for Sunday brunch or a ‘Date Night’.

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Brunching #BehindTheBoulevard

I love Sunday brunches. They can be at a restaurant or at a friend’s place, but the idea of spending my weekly off with friends and food always excites me. I’d rather spend my Saturday nights tucked in at home so that I can enjoy a good and early Sunday brunch. (Shameless Plug-in: Read about my previous brunch experiences here and here) Another brunch happened a few Sundays ago. This one was special because our very own Mumbai Food Lover was invited to be the Guest Instagrammer for J. W. Mariott’s #BehindTheBoulevard Sunday brunch. We got our stomachs ready for a fun, food filled Sunday afternoon.

We braved stormy rains and flooded Juhu by-lanes, all for the love of good food. Lotus cafe at J.W.Mariott does this ‘Limitless Sunday Brunch’ which consists of counters and counters of some of the best meat, seafood, cheeses, desserts and more. Not to forget free flowing cocktails on the side. Here are my top 5 favorite picks/moments from the entire brunch:

1. Cocktails with a View

Anyone who has been to Lotus Cafe knows it overlooks the most lovely poolside view. And when it has been raining outside the view gets even better. We drank and dined overlooking the pitter-patter of rain over the pool. The brunch is co-partnered with Belvedere vodka, and they make some interesting vodka cocktails. The cutest was this little bar-on-wheels that they drove upto our table where we could order what we like. 

Chocolate Martini

2. Cheese Please!

Most brunches at luxury hotels offer an extensive variety of cheeses and breads. This one was no exception. We got to try a variety of cheeses from brie to Emmental to Pecorino to Gouda to Machego. (I may be missing out on some names here). These cheeses paired with assorted breads made my day, since I’m a huge cheese fan. And I got to try some new cheeses such as the Spanish Machego which I had never eaten before.

3. Meat Feast

The brunch has tons of options for the non-vegetarians. Pick from roast chicken or lamb chops or smoked ham. There are lots of seafood choices too; scampi, shrimp, salmon and more. These are all prepared at the live stations and brought to your table. I personally enjoyed the cold cuts.

Honey Glazed Pork Belly
Roast Chicken
Cold Cuts
Crunchy Bacon

4. Bachpan Ki Yaad

My Sunday breakfasts alternated between french toast on one Sunday and eggs or Maggi the next. The tradition no longer stands but I got to relive it that Sunday. The live Maggi and Egg counter was an interesting addition. Pick between white, brown, or quail eggs to be made as per your choice. These eggs paired with steaming Maggi noodles make a fun breakfast. I ate a quail egg omelette for the first ever time. The French Toast was average but the drizzle of chocolate sauce on top made it yum.

Eggs with Maggi Anyone?
Quail Egg Omelette
French Toast

5. Sugar Rush

The minute I entered my attention was caught by the huge dessert counter situated right in the center. Willy Wonka would have been pleased. There were atleast 30 varieties of desserts including pastries, tarts, Indian sweets, ice creams and more. Pre-dominantly chocolate based sweets, I wished there were more fruit desserts. Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased. Some of them were exceptional, some lackluster. Overall, quite an extensive spread of sugary goodies.

My Opinion: The Mariott Sunday brunch works because of the sheer amount of options. The non-vegetarian diner is spoilt for choice. The meat and seafood produce is flown in exclusively from different parts of the world. It was mind boggling for us to pick and choose and narrow down what we would like to eat. Our vegetarian counterparts had a different story to tell, however. Vegetarian options comprise only about 30% of the menu. There really wasn’t much on offer for them. 

The pricing is another factor that works negatively for the vegetarian. The alcoholic brunch is priced at Rs, 3986.49/- (including taxes) and at Rs. 2727.19/- (including taxes) for the non-alcoholic option. It is definitely a pricey affair. They should consider having a separate price point for the vegetarian brunch. A meat eater may be able to do complete justice, a vegetarian will not. Also, the lack of a live pizza and pasta counter was something we all missed.

Overall, the Mariott Limitless Sunday Brunch was a good experience, in terms of the quantity and quality of food it offers. You can spend hours and hours eating through your Sunday. It is definitely on the pricier side, so it’s an option many of us would consider only on occasions we want to celebrate. But considering how packed the place was on that Sunday afternoon, guess the brunch is already a hit!

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