The Food Week That Was – Celebrating The Men That Matter

Last week’s food journey was memorable. I re-discovered an old favorite restaurant. And made a new favorite. But over and above all of that, I had two special meals with two special men. Having the perfect dining company accentuates your meal, taking it to a whole new level, and I experienced that two nights in a row. Read on for the full story:

Mamagoto with my Papa:

Really, I am the last person to go around celebrating Mother’s/ Father’s / Neighbour’s / Kaam wali Bai’s Day. But this year dad and I decided to make an exception to the rule, and actually go out, dine and celebrate. Sometimes you just need a reason to go eat out, and I think this was our reason. Also the rains were making us both mope around the house, and there’s nothing like good Asian food to cheer you up. So we decided to brave the downpour and trek up to good ol’ Mamagoto for some steaming hot dimsums, and curry.

Mamagoto turned into Papagoto on ocassion of Father’s Day which I think was such a cute gesture with a huge Papagoto sign at the entrance. I was back to Mamagoto after a really long time. Sometimes we tend to visit restaurants when they launch, and then forget about these places because of newer places cropping up. The same happened with Mamagoto and me. I had a memorable meal here a year ago when their Andheri branch launched, and somehow the place managed to slip out of my memory.

I really love the ambiance here. Quirky pop art and Oriental anime adorns the room, and adds such colour and life to the industrial, bare walls. The meal we had was delicious, just like the last time. Dad loved the Honey Chicken with Bell Peppers which was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, and is a comfortable Chinese dish. I particularly enjoyed the Gyozas where plump herbed chicken pieces came steamed and then pan fried. With the perfect outer coating, and a drizzle of chilli vinegar on top, I loved eating this! 

The portion sizes here are huge, case in point the Prawn Penang Curry we ordered. The Street Vendor’s Penang Curry bowl where our silky, hot curry came on a bowl of sticky rice making it a meal by itself. I loved the crunch of the peanuts on top, and a squeeze of lime elevates the flavour. A Caramel Sponge Cake topped with Toffee Sauce and paired with vanilla ice cream ended our meal on a sweet note. This is a homely, old school dessert and that toffee sauce is to die for! Definitely repeat ordering this next time around too.

Meals with mommy and daddy dearest are loads of fun. The love for food runs in my genes, inherited from both sides of the gene pool. We dined on some delicious food, chatted about life in general, and clicked a dozen selfies, because no one wants to click regular pictures anymore. We ended up having a fun Father’s Day celebration, which left me thinking maybe we should celebrate it again next year.

Conquering Villa Vandre with Bee:

‘Fourth time’s the charm’ when it came to attempting to eat at Villa Vandre in Bandra. Our first two tries were unsuccessful thanks to an insanely long wait time, and deliriously growling stomachs. The next time we went on a Monday, which is when this match box sized eatery is shut. Bee and I decided this would be our last attempt, and if we were unable to eat here this time, we would simply surrender and not bother going back. I think the Food Gods were listening in on us, because when we walked on on Tuesday evening for dinner the place was empty, and then magically filled up only after we had placed our order. 

Villa Vandre is situated right next to my family doctor’s clinic, and it felt weird going to Kantwadi without getting a body check up. to To quote Circuit from Munnabhai MBBS, ‘Arre bhai, yeh toh shuru hote hee khatam ho gaya.’ Yes, Villa Vandre is tiny. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. It does not feel crowded or over bearing inspite of being small. The walls are a powdery blue, with just the cutest artifacts and utensils lined up, making you feel like you indeed are in some Catholic aunty’s home.

Villa Vandre’s menu bears some East Indian and Parsi dishes which are courtesy the lineage of the couple who own the place. Apart from that there are some interesting sounding dishes from Chef Aloysius’s travels around the world. Case in point a Kasundi Risotto which amalgamates the Bengal mustard with the Italian classic. Or Miss Brown’s Jerk Chicken which comes from the chef’s travels to Jamaica.

Bee and I wouldn’t be having a meal together for a while. He is off biking in Kashmir as I type this, off to Leh. I was very moody and cranky that evening, and luckily we had good food around us to cheer me up. The Homemade East Indian Sausage Fry (Rs 315/-) was a delicious, spicy sausage fry that came on a bed of mashed potatoes with a fried egg on top. That combination of runny egg yolk, spicy sausage meat, and fluffy mash is really a carnivore’s delight. The excess oil will guarantee a spike in cholesterol level’s, but it’s worth it.

My Pulled Pork Sandwich (Rs 295/-) was a medley of pork, jalapenos, coleslaw in a sweet-spicy sauce, which I think had mayonnaise too. The best part of the sandwich was the freshness of the multigrain bread roll, and I loved the crunch of flax seeds and oats on top. The filling may be too sweet for some however. The Dark Belgian Chocolate Mousse (Rs 160/-) had a good airy consistency, but I felt the chocolate was not rich enough. It left me wishing I had ordered some other dessert off their specials board. The Mexican Tres Leche, maybe?

We ended up with a bill of 900 bucks for two, including tax, which is fairly decent for two mains, and dessert. As I bid goodbye to Bee, and wished him luck on the journey he was about to endure, we parted on a promise. To come back here to try out their breakfast menu, after he returns from his trip. 

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