I was neck deep in commitments during the entire month of April – both on the personal and professional front. But that does not mean I didn’t eat my way across the city as I normally do. The end of another month brings with it yet another round up of my food favourites. Here is a list of favourite restaurants, dishes, and home chefs that I tried and that made the cut to be featured on my April Food Favourites list.
1. When you can’t decide between ice cream or paan – K. Rustom’s Paan Ice Cream
You have got to be living under some sort of rock or living inside a hipster bubble if you’ve never had the old school ice cream sandwiches from K. Rustom in Churchgate. Creamy ice cream in the most delectable flavours come sandwiched between two wafer biscuits to create an enjoyable experience. It’s such great fun biting into these ice cream sandwiches without any spoons or plates. It’s a race to finish off your ice cream before the summer heat melts it onto your Zara top. (In my case, the summer heat usually wins. It’s fun nevertheless.)
The paan ice cream is my favourite among their extensive flavour list – so much so that I haven’t ended up trying any other variant. (Though that definitely needs to change. Mango here I come!) The paan ice cream hits you with it’s strong and refreshing flavour, with the occasional bite of gulkand within. This is the perfect dessert to get when you can’t decide between ice cream or paan post your meal.
K. Rustom Ice Cream, 87 Stadium House, Opposite Ambassador Hotel, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai
2. If you like keeping secrets – Mamagoto’s Secret Menu
Ask nicely for the secret menu at Mamagoto’s Bandra and Kala Ghoda outlets, and you shall be presented with a scroll nestled deep within a glass bottle. Unraveling the scroll brings you face to face with old favourites and classics dishes from the Mamagoto menu that were removed to make way for new. On the Mamagoto secret menu you’ll find Grilled Robata Aubergine, Indonesian Curry Rice Bowls, the Japanese Katsudon and more.
On my must order list from their secret menu is the Shrimp in Spicy Sour Sauce – a fiery red prawn appetizer that is comforting to the Indian palate. The silky Enoki mushrooms on top help elevate the dish. Tom Kha’s Cousin came with noodles dunked within the coconut milk based flagrant broth, resembling the popular Khao Suey closely. The simple Banana Leaf Wrapped Rice served with minced chicken in the centre was another pleasing favourite of the night. Overall, the short and sweet secret menu is definitely worth asking for if you want to re-visit old classics or try new dishes that are not on their regular menu.
The Mamagoto Secret Menu is available at the Bandra and Kala Ghoda outlets on request.
3. If you want a taste of the Mediterranean – Kunafah from Foodeementals
Inspite of traveling to the Middle East twice in the past two years, I was yet to try a traditional Kunafah aka The Queen of Mediterranean Desserts. Suprisingly the first time I’d get to try this dish would be in Mumbai courtesy the guys at Foodeementals. This exotic dessert has a cream cheese filling and comes surrounded with crispy vermicelli. What does the trick here is dousing the Kunafah in the saffron sugar syrup after popping it in the microwave for 30 seconds. What results is a beautiful combination of sweet and salt, and a texture that is crisp outside soft within. They also do chocolate and mini variants, but I’ll recommend the real deal. Move over Baklava, you have competition!
Delivery only kitchen located at Santacruz east. Call +91 9930069983 for delivery.
4. If you want to travel aboard the Punjab Express – Oye Express menu from Oye Panjabi, Khar
I have been a fan of Oye Panjabi’s delivery service since a while now. (You can read more here.) They serve up the most sinfully delicious tikkas, gravies and parathas. Now they’re taking their menu further with an Oye Express menu that features desi videsi fusion food. Think Butter Chicken Pizza, Hot Dogs with Seekh kebabs in them, and Pao burgers stuffed with tikkas and kebabs. What’s not to love?
Their Butter Chicken Pizza was pure love – finger lickin’ gravy on top of a pizza base topped with oodles of grated (?Amul) cheese. The Paos were another favourite at home – buttered paos stuffed with chicken/paneer tikkas, achaari onions, green chutney and cheese. I am salivating as I type this.
Call 70454 57071/72 for delivery between Bandra and Santacruz.
5. If you’re looking to get wowed – #GourmetDay Celebrations with Wow Tables at Aqaba
I have dined with Wow Tables many a times. What’s not to love? – set meals at the best of restaurants across the city at a reasonable price. Every year, the brand celebrates #GourmetDay by giving away free meals at restaurants across the city. This year, we dined at the middle eastern restaurant Aqaba in Mumbai, named after the coastal city in Jordan. (Shameless plug: Read all about my Jordan adventures here.)
The entire three course meal we had at Aqaba reminded me of the many meals we had in Jordan. Authentic Hummus Ghunam (hummus with lamb), Chicken Kibbeh (fried chicken kebabs), and Muhammarah (hot pepper + walnut dip) made for our first course. I only wished that they focused on improving their portion sizes, just as much as they emphasized on taste. Ordering a la carte at Aqaba may be a bit of a pocket pincher, but thank god for Wow Tables and the many deals they shower upon us.
Check out www.wowtables.com for more information.