I love Mumbai city for the sheer number of people from different caste, creed, and religion who inhabitate it, each rendering a different flavor to the culture of the city. This is reflected in the different food and cuisines that are available in abundance. South Indian food goes far beyond idlis and dosas, and luckily we have a few, landmark restaurants to prove that.
Mahim and Fort areas are home to a number of hidden gems, that have been serving up traditional Malayali food since years. Especially since there are so many people from the state of Kerala that have made Mumbai their home. But when you’re looking for traditional, home cooked Malayali food, your neighbors or friends house is your best bet. And even if those options are not available then a concept like ‘Poppaddum’ comes to the rescue.
What is Poppaddum?
A concept initiated by Sneha Nair; whose profession is economic research and passion is cooking. She put her flair for cooking traditional, Malayali, home food to good use through Poppaddum. It is basically a pop-up restaurant that she hosts every Sunday at her place and serves some delicious food that she whips up. It is a fun concept where not only do you get to try out some traditional Kerala cuisine but also get to meet some interesting, like-minded foodies.
This blog is about Vietnamese food at a place called Pondicherry Cafe, in Bandra. Geographical disorientation, much? Vietnam has always been on my bucket list of places I want to visit. So when the Sofitel Hotel in Bandra Kurla Complex, hosted a Vietnamese food festival, and invited me to come sample some of the fare, I was elated. I could now cross off Vietnamese food from my bucket list. Vietnam nahi, khana toh sahi. Vietnamese food is known for using fresh, raw produce with tons of local seafood. The food is simple in preparation and taste.
The Vietnamese Food Festival was held at Pondicherry Cafe, Sofitel Hotel, BKC till the 3rd of June. The menu was specially curated and prepared by Chef Dao Van Son, Executive Sous Chef at Hotel Sofitel Saigon Plaza, Ho Chi Minh. We were lucky to not only get to taste his food, but also meet him and talk to him about Vietnamese food and his passion for cooking.
Pondicherry Cafe is done up with the most beautiful drapes, gigantic armchairs, and warm colors. In the middle of the regular buffet spread, we got a sneak peak at a traditional, Vietnamese food stall.
Food and travel go hand in hand. Most of us (me included) plan our vacations around local cuisines or food joints we want to try while we are on a holiday. I think good food completes the experience of a good holiday. Mumbai Food Lovers were recently invited to attend a travel workshop titled ‘Come, Plan, Go!’ at Zen Café in Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel.
My incentive to attend this workshop was twofold. Firstly I had heard wonderful stuff about Ansoo Gupta, who would be conducting the workshop. Her experience and knowledge in the field of travel is unparalleled. And secondly, I wanted to taste the special Mango menu that Zen Café has created especially for the summer.
The workshop was useful for newbies like me, who haven’t gone around traveling much. My idea of a holiday is a luxury vacation where I don’t push myself mentally or physically. I think listening to Ansoo changed that perspective in me. She spoke about how easy it is to travel on a budget with low fare budget airlines, youth hostels, and good planning done beforehand. I learnt about forums such as ‘Couchsurfers’ (www.couchsurfing.org) and Air BNB (www.airbnb.com) which make finding staying options in ones budget far more feasible. I left the workshop well informed and motivated to get started for planning my next holiday.