If there is one mantra I strongly live by, it has got to be the one above. There is nothing like waking up late on a Sunday, fresh as a daisy without a heavy hungover head, and spending the rest of the day indulging in the best of food and drink. I dream of summery white dresses, mimosas and sangrias, a runny Eggs Benedict on a bed of ham, waffles that are crunchy from outside – airy within, and conversations that last the entire day. My long standing affair with Sunday brunches has been documented on this blog time and again. Last Sunday was no different – we visited Le Pain Quotidien at Bandra Kurla Complex for their Sunday brunch and sampled some of the new dishes on their specially curated summer menu.
The interiors of LPQ epitomise simplicity and class. Minimalist wooden furniture, interiors that are bright and beaming, with large glass panelled walls that allow plenty of sunlight to shine through during the day. Not to forget their large community tables, a concept which they pioneered in the city when LPQ started off years ago.
This is the era of fusion food where we’re seeing western classics being incorporated with desi flavours. And we’ve also witnessed Indian dishes getting modified to imbibe tastes and techniques of the west. The more we travel, the more we’re exposed to world cuisines and the more we enjoy this amalgamation of desi-videsi.
Attempting to do just that is the brand Tasty Treats with their innovative Firangi Bhujia series of snacks. This comfort food which we’ve all grown up on, gets a makeover in four different avatars after travelling all over the world. The flavours include a Wasabi variant representing Japan, Schezwan representing China, Peri Peri representing Africa, and Barbeque representing America.
It felt like the month of March would never end. If an Ashutosh Gowariker movie was a month, it would be March. But all these never ending days, meant one thing. It meant a lot of food was eaten, some of which I blogged about previously. (Read about Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya here. Also read about two new bar launches that happened last month here.) A few have made the cut and are featured on my March Food Favourites list. Read on!
1. If you’re looking for a South East Asian foodcation – Shizusan Shophouse and Bar, Lower Parel
When every third restaurant in the city doles out Pan Asian food, what do you do to stand out? You make your dishes the star, you let your food sing without any gimmicks – which is exactly what Shizusan Shophouse and Bar does. The entire three storeyed space is modelled on the concept of a South East Asian shophouse – a traditional business cum residential building. The decor has intricate Asian elements without being garish, and made me fall in love with the space the minute I walked in.
With restaurants and bars sprouting all around the city like moss during monsoons how does one determine which bar is worth your time, money and most importantly worth those calories. Yours truly recommends trying out these two watering holes among all the new entrants the city has seen this month. Read on, and then drink on! *hic*
1. Swey, Worli
Perched on the top floor of the now defunct Atria mall in Worli lies Swey – a sprawling casual dining bar where you can nibble on appetizers under the open sky and drink cocktails with the sea breeze in your hair. What I loved about Swey the minute I walked in was the sheer magnitude of the space – large and spaced out unlike most bars in the city where you’re bumping elbows with the drunk on the next table.
Their signature cocktails come strongly recommended. My pick of the night was the Kale and Hearty – a vodka, spinach, cucumber, kale and ginger mix – that definitely tastes better than it sounds. Why have your greens when you can drink them mixed with alcohol? Another favourite was the highly potent Tequila Surprise – a tequila, kiwi, jalapeno concoction. What I loved about the cocktails here was that they were generous with the alcohol quotient which is a rarity nowadays.
There is an unwritten rule every time I dine at South Mumbai’s Fort and Colaba areas: I ensure that I dine at a regional restaurant which serves up some local food, or a restaurant that has endured the test of time and is a golden oldie! Enough time, money and calories are spent dining at trendy restaurants and hipster bars, owing to their abundance in the suburbs – Lower Parel and beyond. Which is why my train rides to Churchgate are spent reading up on vintage eateries I haven’t been to yet.
While rambling around in the by-lanes of Fort, I followed my stomach and my heart in the direction of Ideal Corner for some Parsi ‘bhonu’. Located right opposite Ideal Corner, is a tiny eatery that you’ll miss if you blink, and that finishes as soon as you enter. Pradeep Gomantak Bhojnalaya is your no-frills, average Gomantak joint that serves up home style food tracing back to the Goan Hindus. The food here is simple, hearty fare with a menu that focuses on doling out fish thalis to hungry office goers during lunch hours. This place is a dream for the pescatarian, but also does chicken and mutton thalis if you don’t enjoy fish. Vegetarians, stay away!
As I finished my decently average meal at Pradeep Gomantak, I could only think of why we needed more places like these in the city. And why we need to preserve the few that we have remaining.