Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Couple of weeks back, Kalpesh and I wanted to go for a nice drive and eat at some place green. Last minute request for suggestions threw up names of two dhabas, which were near Lonavala. However, we left the house only at 1PM and were quite famished by the time we left, so didn't think we could go without food for the next one and a half hour. So we decided to head to Kharghar. Last time we had gone to the ISKON temple at Kharghar, we were totally taken in by the green hills along the Utsav Chowk CISF road. We had seen some 4-5 eating joints along that road and we decided to check those out.

Outdoor seating at Dawat
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
- Chicken Mushroom Soup: Rs. 80
- Veg Hot & Sour Soup: Rs 75
- Murgh Reshmi Tikka: Rs 240
- Veg Sizzler: Rs 300
- Icecream Pakoda: Rs. 130
Total (All inclusive): Rs. 825
Ambience
Simple and pleasant outdoor seating arrangement
Service
Prompt and kid-friendly
Payment Modes
Cash, Cards
Location
Shop No 46/47, Hariom Heritage, Plot No 8, Sector-21, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai - 410210
Contact Nos.
02265280810 | 02227740944
Menu
The Whole Deal
We drove around the stretch of the road, took a slight detour to go near the foothill, click some snaps before we headed to this cluster of restaurants we had seen along the road. We chose Dawat because of its outdoor seating. The maître d greeted us at the entrance, and when we headed towards a table in the outside seating area,  asked us if we would prefer to sit inside in the AC. Now there aren't too many outdoor seating options in Mumbai, so we weren't about to miss this opportunity. Plus the weather was pleasant; it was drizzling slightly, so not having an AC was just fine.

Chicken mushroom soup, and Veg hot and sour soup
Within a minute of us being seated there, the maître d came with a plate of cheeselings and put it in front of Devansh. Devansh who doesn't usually get to eat such junk food at home was super thrilled. Ordering soups was a must because of the weather. I mean not having a hot soup in the rains is like an absolute sacrilege. I ordered chicken mushroom soup and Kalpesh ordered hot and sour soup. Both the soups were served along with a bowl of fried noodles. My soup had a tad too much soy sauce in it for my liking so those noodles were a blessing. Kalpesh liked his soup, which had baby corns and mushrooms in it along with other usual veggies. Kalpesh, happy to see baby corns in the soup, tells me, they don't add them at most other places. I don't know, I usually don't order hot and sour soup.

Murg Reshmi Tikka
Dawat has Indian and Chinese on the menu. Looking at the soups and the place overall, I felt they would be better at making Indian food. So for the main course I ordered, well, a starter. Because I wanted to have a non-veg starter, I would have to finish it off by myself as Kalpesh is a vegetarian. I ordered Murg Reshmi Tikka. It was delicious; chicken was tender and it was grilled to perfection. The mint chutney was good too; the salad served with the starter was slightly salty though.

Veg sizzler
Kalpesh ordered Veg Sizzler; it had veg cutlets with paneer stuffing. The quantity was generous and the taste was yummy. Kalpesh couldn't finish the sizzler by himself and so we got the leftover sizzler parceled.


Ice cream pakoda
We weren't sure what to order for dessert. They hardly had some 4-5 dessert items on the menu. The waiter, Sumanth, insisted that we try the ice cream pakoda. The name didn't really sound very appealing but we decided to go by Sumanth's recommendation. And boy, were we glad that we did. This desert was a delight. The presentation and taste were both superlative. They dip the ice cream in batter with desiccated coconut and fry it. I don't know just how the ice cream doesn't melt but the taste is just wow. If you're ever in Kharghar, you must head to Dawat and have this fried ice cream. Devansh liked the ice cream and the small umbrella used in the decoration.

I would definitely recommend Dawat to everyone. I for one want to go there again to try more variety of food. Another big plus for this restaurant is their super kid-friendly staff. Devansh was made to feel like a star. I am adding this to my must-eat-at list of places in Navi Mumbai.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My last visit to Sahibaan was some 7-8 years back. It was this small, unpretentious desi Chinese joint, flanked by Lemon Grass on one side and Pot Pouri on the other. I used to go there for their hatke sizzlers whenever I got bored eating Yoko or Kobe type of sizzlers. This time too, Kalpesh and I decided to go there for sizzlers. The place has changed for the better since I last went there; it's more spaced out now. The waiter tells us that in the past five years, it's been renovated twice or thrice. Its neighbors have also changed over the years; now it is flanked by Gloria Jean's Coffees and Lemon Leaf. Lemon Grass had come in place of Pot Pourri few years back; I was sad to see it gone from the Turner Road junction, it was one of my favorites there. Now even Lemon Grass is gone.
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
- Fresh Lime Soda X 2: Rs. 150
- Fish Steak Sizzler: Rs. 425
- Exotic Veg Sizzler: Rs. 375
- Caramel Custard: Rs. 75
- Sizzling Brownie: Rs. 165
Total (Including VAT): Rs. 1190
Ambience
Simple but pleasing
Service
Prompt and friendly
Payment Modes
Cash, card, Sodexo Meal Passes
Location
3 Carlton Court, Turner Road, Bandra Talao, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050
Contact Nos.
02226439936 | 02230969618
Menu
The Whole Deal
Fresh Lime Sodas
Although, this place is small it doesn't get claustrophobic because it's an open-air restaurant. We chose one of the tables closest to the road to get a good view of the road. The problem was even the road could get a good view of our table. Whenever the traffic halted for red signal, people from the vehicles would look in which made Kalpesh uncomfortable while eating. Luckily, I had my back to the road so I had no issues. :-) 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

It’s been nearly six months since my last post. My other blog and my three year old son have been keeping me busy. But I just couldn't not write about Mama Mia after eating there last weekend. Kalpesh and I have been in love with this place for years now. We used to go there very frequently till my son, Devansh arrived on the scene. Over the years, one major thing that’s remained constant at Mama Mia is the price. Prices have been more or less the same since the past few years; if they've increased I haven’t noticed, the difference is that marginal. And yet, the quality and quantity of food have remained the same. What has changed about Mama Mia is their location. Mama Mia has moved to a different location just a few meters away from their original place. I liked the previous place better; it was more spacious and lively. New place isn't too small either; it has three 6-seater and four 4-seater tables, and the cutlery is the same. And that’s comforting for some strange reason. :-)
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
- Pizza Siciliana (8"): Rs. 180
- Marco Polo: Rs. 180
- Garlic Bread: Rs. 40
- French Fries: Rs. 100
- Chocolate Mousse: Rs. 60
- Sweet Fresh Lime Soda X 2: Rs 80
- Thumbs up (300 ml): Rs. 20
Total (All inclusive): Rs. 660
Ambience
Small place with nice decor, a large LCD television. 2 six-seater and 4 four-seater table arrangements.
Service
Very Good
Payment Modes
Cash, Sodexo Meal Passes
Location
Rizvi Palace, Shop No. 8 & 9, Chinchpokli, Hill Road, Opp Yoko Sizzlers, Near Parsi Agiyari, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050
Contact Nos.
02232920112 | 02232930112 | 02232940112 | 02226516363 | 02226516464
Menu
The Whole Deal
Marco Polo with Garlic Bread
Marco Polo with Garlic Bread
When it comes to Italian food, Kalpesh prefers the southern, tomato-based, spicy sauces while my palette is partial to northern, creamy white sauces. Although when it comes to Mama Mia, Kalpesh ALWAYS orders Pizza Siciliana unless they’re out of aubergines. I usually order Marco Polo or Rooster. This time I ordered Marco Polo along with Garlic Bread. Their cheese garlic bread is really nice but I settled for less cheese for a change. As usual, their Marco Polo had generous quantity of mushrooms and baby corns, along with chicken.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

We went to Vardhana almost two months back. So this review was a long time in coming. I remember since it was Shravan, we had decided to have a vegetarian meal. Actually I should say I had decided, because Kalpesh anyways is a vegetarian. :-) We decided to go to an all veg restaurant, since we had not reviewed a pure veg restaurant so far. Now pure veg options in Chembur are all udipi, South Indian type joints. We love South Indian food and we usually go there with Devansh as it's easy to get his kind of food—like idli and dahi wada—at such places. This time we had the option of eating out without Devansh as my in-laws were free to babysit him.
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
Soups
- Burnt Garlic Vegetable Soup Rs. 135
- Corn Celery Soup Rs. 135
Pizza Slices
- Veg Exotic Pizza Rs. 49
- Veg Country Pizza Rs. 49
Main Course
- Continental Sizzler Rs. 280
Dessert
- Sizzling Browney Rs. 260
Total (Food + Service Tax @4.95%): Rs. 953
Ambience
Good
Service
Good
Payment Modes
Cash, Cards, Sodexo Meal Coupons
Location
Hotel Sharanam, Eastern Express Highway, Service Road, Near New RTO, Opp Ramkrishna Nagar, Thane West, 400604, Maharashtra, India
Contact Nos.
+91-22-41535225
Fax
+91-22-25810305
Email
info@hotelsharanam.com
Website
The Whole Deal

Hotel Sharanam
Vardhana Restaurant at Hotel Sharanam
I had heard Thane has some good options for eating out. Also, on a Sunday the traffic on Eastern Express Highway is relatively less. So it would have been easier for us to commute to Thane instead of western suburbs, which have plenty of pure veg options. As usual, our search started at the very last minute. Kalpesh, my husband, looked up Justdial, Zomato and Burrp while I got ready, and he came up with Vardhana's name. Usually I look up the restaurant's pics and review before going there so as to get some idea about what to expect but since it was already 2 PM I didn't have the time.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last Sunday—that is 21st July—was Kalpesh's birthday. My in-laws offered to babysit Devansh if we wanted to go for dinner by ourselves. So now we had the option of going to some fine-dining type restaurant without the fear of being thrown out for breaking crockery. When Devansh was around a year and half, he had broken a plate at Lemon Grass, Vashi while Kalpesh and I were both trying to get waiter's attention. We were so embarrassed but those guys must be used to this; they were pretty cool about it and didn't create a fuss. We left a generous tip to make up for my son's rambunctious behavior.
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
Cocktails
- Melon Ball and Out of School Rs. 650
Main Course
- Chicken Valentino Rs. 375
- Alla Arrabbiata Rs. 275
- Garlic Roll with Cheese Rs. 150
Desserts
- Sizzling Brownie Rs. 160
- Tiramisu Rs. 160
Total (Food + S/C @10% + Cocktails): Rs. 1882
Ambience
Relaxed, spacious
Service
Very Good
Payment Modes
Cash, Cards
Location
83/A, NG Acharaya Marg, Near Railway Station, Chembur East, Mumbai - 400071, Maharashtra, India
Contact Nos.
+91-22-61291234
Email
info@hotelroyalorchid.net
Website
The Whole Deal
The Royal Orchid at Chembur
The Royal Orchid at Chembur

To come back to our birthday dinner story, Kalpesh and I decided to go someplace nearby since it was raining quite a bit since past couple of days. Now when it comes to fine dining, The Royal Orchid is definitely one of the best if not "the" best restaurant in Chembur. This place provides valet parking, which is kind of a must since the restaurant is on the busy Chembur Station road. They have a bar/lounge called Wild Orchids on the ground floor. The restaurant is on the first floor, and that's where we headed after handing over the car keys to the valet. The restaurant offers Indian, Chinese, and Continental food—they call it the World Cuisine. I have not come to this place too often and after eating here I was really regretting that fact. The place is big and the tables are nicely spaced out, the ambiance is peaceful and relaxed, and the service and  food both are really good.
Kalpesh and Me at The Royal Orchid
Kalpesh and Me at The Royal Orchid

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Last weekend Kalpesh and I caught up with an old friend of mine over dinner. Kalpesh wasn't sure if he wanted to come along because he knew my friend and I were meeting after a long time, and like all women we would jabber away to glory. But I convinced him to come as I wanted to write about this place for the blog and when it comes to clicking pictures he does a better job. My friend too is a foodie and loves seafood. When we were deciding where to meet up she was open to any place that served good seafood. So I suggested Revel, The Mother Touch Kitchen.
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
Soups
- Tomato Soup: Rs. 75
Starters
- Mushroom Chilly: Rs. 155
- Veg. Schezwan Fingers: Rs. 150
Main Course
- Aloo Paratha: Rs. 120
- Prawns Curry: Rs. 290
- Surmai Tawa Fry: Rs. 255
- Rice (1 and 1/2 plate): Rs. 100
To Drink
- Mineral Water: Rs. 20
Total (All Inclusive): Rs. 1165
Ambience
Cozy place with simple, tastefully done décor
Service
Good
Payment Modes
Cash, Cards, Meal Coupons
Location
3, Jolitha Complex, Plot No. 639, N. B. Patil Road, Opposite Union Park, Borla Ghatla Village Road, Chembur East, Mumbai - 400071, Maharashtra, India.
Contact Nos.
+91-9819934908 | 02225204286
Email
info@reveltmk.com
Website
The Whole Deal
Revel, The Mother Touch Kitchen
Revel, The Mother Touch Kitchen
There are a few places near Chembur station where you get good seafood but that area being the market area is always crowded. Some places don't have valet parking so parking the car someplace far and then walking through the crowd and traffic while carrying Devansh is a real mood dampener. So I suggested Revel as it's located in a quieter area. It has a very homely feel to it. The atmosphere is very non-commercial and relaxed, and ideal place to have a good, unhurried conversation while savoring your food. 

Devansh at Revel
Devansh at Revel
The restaurant  has low visibility as it is situated in one of the non-busy areas of Chembur. I had not heard of this restaurant until a couple of years back when I read its review on Burrp. After reading all the good things the reviewers had written, Kalpesh and I decided to try it out. They have a cozy setup with six tables in the restaurant. Their sofa seats especially, are pretty spacious, and Devansh usually makes himself very comfortable here.

Starters at Revel
Starters at Revel

True to its name, the food here comes pretty close to homemade food. I would recommend their Maharashtrian-style seafood, although some of their Chinese dishes too are good. This time we ordered Tomato Soup for Kalpesh and my friend's four-year-old son, which came along with croutons. It got a thumbs up from Kalpesh.  My friend's son was more interested in playing with Devansh than paying attention to his food. :-) Kalpesh ordered two starters—Mushroom Chilly Dry and Veg Schezwan Fingers. This is what he ends up ordering at Revel most of the times, as he likes it the way they make these starters here.

Surmay Tawa Fry and Prawns Curry with Rice
Surmai Tawa Fry and Prawns Curry with Rice
My friend and I ordered Surmai Tawa Fry, and Sp. Prawns Curry and Rice. Both the seafood dishes were simply yummy. Prawns curry was slightly spicy but it went well with plain rice. It had good quantity of prawns and could easily be shared between two people. We ordered aloo paratha for Devansh but the cook added red chili powder in the stuffing despite us telling the waiter that we wanted the paratha for a child. But then to be fair to them, this has happened here for the first time. Devansh has had aloo paratha with veg raita several times and has liked it.

They have some interesting combo meal options like fish, prawns, fish+prawns, chicken, mutton, eggs, and veg. The combo meals are served with two non-veg items, chapatis, rice, koshimbir (salad), and Coke. I think once I had asked for buttermilk instead of Coke. I don't remember exactly if they had given buttermilk or sweet lime soda, but they had provided an alternative to Coke. They also have mini-meal combos, which include one non-veg item, chapatis, rice, salad, and Coke.

This place is reasonably priced, provides good food, and is in quiet locality away from busy, noisy streets. So if you are in Chembur then I would say you should visit this at least once. If any of you have eaten at this place, please do share your favorite dishes with me. I would like to try them next time I go there. Till then Bon Appétit.

Click here to view the menu and contact details of Revel, The Mother Touch Kitchen.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I have drastically reduced eating white bread in the last year or so, especially since I started writing my baby food blog. But keeping Kalpesh away from pizza for more than a month is an impossible task. So I reckon if we must eat a pizza, then at least let me eat where it's worth cheating on your beliefs. And frankly, eating mass-produced, assembly-line pizzas from the International chains is just not worth it. So whenever Kalpesh gets his pizza cravings, we head to one of the best pizza places in Mumbai—well Navi Mumbai actually—Smoking Pizzas at Nerul.
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
- Farm House Chicken Pizza (7"): Rs. 190
- Four Seasons Veg Pizza (10"): Rs. 250
- Pepsi (500 ml): Rs. 35
Total (All inclusive): Rs. 475
Ambience
Small place with simple but pleasing décor
Service
Good
Payment Modes
Cash, Meal Coupons
Location
Shop No.4, Plot No. 27, Kashyap Appartment, Sector 21, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Contact Nos.
+919819279400 | +918108604820 | 02227707761 | 02265187415
Menu
The Whole Deal
Smoking Pizzas at Nerul
If you are crazy about pizzas, this is a must-visit place. Eat their pizza once and let me assure you, you will go back asking for more. Kalpesh and I have eaten pizzas from this place since the past 8 years at least. Both of us used to work at Jasubhai Digital Media (JDM) at Nerul. Pizzas from Smoking Pizzas was one of the baits used by Project Managers to lure their teams to work late or on weekends. :-) Everyone in the office simply loved their pizzas. Even after we left JDM, Kalpesh and I continue to go to Smoking Pizzas about once a month. I have seen quite a few small-time places compromising on either quality or quantity to survive in the business but not this one. Their pizzas still taste awesome and have generous portion of toppings as they did 8 years back.
Smoking Pizzas at Nerul

Like most pizza places, this one gets majority of its business from home delivery. So their seating arrangement is a tad bit cramped. But Kalpesh and I have managed to eat there along with Devansh squirming, and grabbing everything on the table and stuff, so the place isn't really uncomfortable. Plus they also have air conditioning. They have 4 tables inside and in the evenings wait for a table is almost inevitable. This place is obviously popular in the locality, plus the staff is too patient to drive patrons out even if they linger on unnecessarily. I remember once there were these college kids who had finished eating their pizzas, except for one guy who had not finished the last piece. The whole group sat there chatting, with this guy steadfastly refusing to eat the last piece despite Kalpesh and me glaring at him. :-)


Farm House Chicken Pizza 

Over the past 8 years, I think I must have tasted almost all the pizzas on their menu and they're all good. They make their own pizza dough and I think their pizza crust is just perfect, the toppings are extremely generous, and the flavors simply mouthwatering. They serve pastas too but you're not really missing anything much if you don't have them. If you go to Smoking Pizzas it should be for pizzas.

Four Seasons Veg Pizza


I invariably end up eating Farm House Chicken pizza here, because I love the mushrooms, American corn, and barbeque chicken combination. Kalpesh, almost always orders Four Seasons Veg, which has Brinjal+Sundried Tomato, Tomato+Olives, Pineapple+Corn, and Onion+Capsicum+Mushrooms topping. Kalpesh likes eggplant (Brinjal) on his pizza, and this is one of the few pizza places that provides this topping option.

They accept Sodexo Meal and Gift Passes, Ticket Restaurant Meal Vouchers at Smoking Pizzas. They have an outlet in Kopar khairane too, but I believe it doesn't have a seating arrangement. They only do home delivery there. So next time you are in a mood for some great pizza, head to Smoking Pizzas at Nerul; you will thank me for the recommendation I guarantee. Till then Bon Appétit fellow foodies.

Click here to view the contact details of Smoking Pizzas Nerul.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Last weekend we had some work near Tardeo side and so we decided to have our lunch some place nearby. Good reviews about Pronto on Burrp and Zomato made my decision easy. Location-wise too it was perfect as we wanted to park at Sobo Central mall and this place is just a minute's walk from there. The place looks quite ordinary from outside but after you enter, you'll be pleasantly surprised by its décor. It is done up very aesthetically; the ambiance is very vibrant and inviting. But more about the place later, first here are the main details….
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
- Grilled Mushroom Pizza (8"): Rs. 165
- Chargrilled Chicken Steak: Rs. 190
- Seasonal Cheesecake: Rs. 150
Total (Including VAT@12.50% and ST@4.94%): Rs. 593
Ambience
Small place with vibrant, artistically done décor
Service
Prompt and friendly
Payment Modes
Cash, Cards, Meal Coupons
Location
Maniyar Building A, 46 Tardeo Road, Mumbai 400008, Maharashtra, India
Contact Nos.
02223515565 | 02223513644
Email
contactus@prontopizza.in
Menu
The Whole Deal

Pronto at Tardeo
Pronto at Tardeo
As soon as we stepped in, we were greeted by an aroma on fresh herbs wafting through the kitchen. The place is quite small; it has about 6 tables. Since we went in around 4 in the evening, it was empty except for one table. We could guess the other customers were regulars there as they were on first name basis with the staff. When we asked the staff if we could click snaps of the place, we were told to go ahead without the slightest hesitation. Since the place was empty, Kalpesh was able to get good shots of the décor.

Chargrilled Chicken Steak
Chargrilled Chicken Steak
Pronto mostly serves Italian food—pasta and pizzas, but you also get sandwiches and some dishes from assorted cuisines like Thai and Balinese. I ordered Chargrilled Chicken Steak and Kalpesh ordered Grilled Mushroom Pizza. I think my choice was influenced by a review I had read about this dish. And Kalpesh's choice was influenced by lunacy; because he really is absolutely CRAZY about pizzas. :-) The service was super quick; we got our food pretty fast and I must say the presentation was wow. 
Grilled Mushroom Pizza

The quantity of the food was just perfect for a couple like Kalpesh and me; the portions were sufficient for one person. Since Kalpesh is a vegetarian and I prefer eating non-vegetarian food outside, places like Pronto are just perfect. Taste-wise too the food was super. The chicken steak was accompanied by four pieces of garlic bread, tiny portion of mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies. Mashed potatoes were topped with a cherry tomato, which was a nice and surprising touch because I thought I was eating a cherry. Kalpesh's pizza had generous topping of mushrooms, and some leaves of rocket lettuce, which had a nice pungent taste.

Mango Cheesecake
We decided to share a dessert and ordered a cheesecake. They make cheesecake using seasonal fruits there and we ordered Mango Cheesecake. The cheesecake was a surprise because it wasn't a sliced cake as I had expected. It came in a bowl with something like ice cream on top with biscuit crumbs at the bottom. But it was yummy; it looked so tempting that we forgot to click its snap before digging into it. After having a few spoonfuls we realized we had not taken its snap and then we paused just long enough to do the needful before the rest was polished off.

Before leaving we thanked the attendant, who asked us how we had liked the food. I'm really sorry we forgot to ask you your name. But it was very nice of you to let us click snaps of your place and we loved the food, service, and ambiance there. We will definitely be eating at Pronto again. By the way, Pronto has outlets at Bandra, Churchgate, and Lower Parel as well. If any of you have eaten at this place, would love to hear about your experience. Till then, Bon Appétit. ;-)

Click here to view the menu and contact details of Pronto. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

I have eaten at Ambrosia several times over the past 6-7 years. It used to be Kalpesh and my favorite place to hang out before marriage. So last weekend when we had to decide which place to cover next for this blog, the choice was unanimous. It is usually just a 10 minute drive from my place but the traffic had slowed down considerably due to the rains and it took us almost half an hour to reach there. When we reached there though we didn't need to think twice about what to order because by now we know exactly what we want there. :-) But as usual, before writing the detailed review here are the main details… 
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
- Chicken Stroganoff: Rs. 200
- Veg Pasta: Rs 185
- Apple Lemonade Home Style: Rs 60
- Fresh Lime Soda: Rs 50
- Veg Turnover: Rs. 35
- Chicken Turnover: Rs 40
- Ragi Cookies: Rs. 40
Total (All inclusive): Rs. 610
Ambience
Small, cozy place with pleasant décor
Service
Good (You have to place your order at the counter, they will come and serve you food at your table)
Payment Modes
Cash, Cards
Location
Shop4, A-Wing, Fair Lawn Apartments, V N Purav Marg, Chembur E, Mumbai - 400071, Maharashtra, India
Contact Nos.
+919870315866 | 02225202222 | 02232601212
Menu
The Whole Deal
Ambrosia - The Bake Shop
Other than the usual cafes and Subway, Chembur doesn't have too many pocket-friendly eating joints that let you chill out with your friends as you grab a bite. Ambrosia is one such rarity; it is a cozy little bake shop located opposite K-star mall in Chembur. They have about 4 tables inside, so on busy days you may not get a table there. But they have set up 3-4 tables just outside so you can eat there if you don't want to wait for a table, which may be a wise thing to do because quite a few customers take time to savor their food and conversations.

Chicken Stroganoff
Ambrosia offers a variety of ready-to-eat baked snacks like puffs, croissants, quiches, and turnovers—veg and non-veg. All of these are yummylicious. Their Chicken Turnovers, and Garlic and Cheese Croissants are my personal favorites. They also have ready-to-eat burgers and sandwiches, which may not available if you reach there late because they disappear from the shelves pretty fast. Although the options for hot meals here are limited, they are all good. My personal favorites are Chicken Stroganoff and Chicken Pasta in white sauce. Kalpesh, prefers his vegetarian pasta in red sauce.

Pastries and more
Pastries and more
Desserts here are to-die-for, pick a pastry or a cake of any flavor of your choice and you will come back asking for more. Till our son, Devansh turned one, we cut a cake on 30th of each month; Devansh was born on 30th April. We bought almost all our cakes from here. I think just for two months we bought pastries instead of a cake from some other place because my mom chided us for not watching our weight. She was like you guys just want a bahana to have the cakes.  To come back to the desserts available here, their Blueberry Cheese, and Tropical Fruit pastries/cakes are sheer visual treats. They also serve Kalpesh's favorite dessert of all time, Sizzling Brownie with ice cream. Their breads are good as well; I like their Garlic Bread and Multigrain Bread. Of the bar cakes available here, I like the Date Walnut Cake. I also like their Ragi biscuits, I think they call them cookies but yeah I like those.

Veg Pasta in Red Sauce
This time Kalpesh and I ordered Chicken and Veg turnovers, and Chicken Stroganoff, and Veg Pasta. And to drink, we ordered Apple Lemonade and Sweet Lime Soda. And we bought Ragi Cookies as a takeaway. Food was good as usual; the staff patient and helpful as always. When Kalpesh asked if we could click snaps of the place; the attendant wasn't sure whether he could give a go-ahead so Kalpesh asked for the owner's number. It was given immediately without any hesitation. The owner, Mr. Ricky Raut was very cool about us taking snaps. Kalpesh's camera got curious glances from a few customers but for this blog we don't click snaps of other people, just us, the place, and the food. ;-)

Veg and Chicken Turnovers
I would recommend that you definitely check out this place if you are in this locality. Aha I almost forgot to mention, a couple of months back they have opened a shop in Bandra as well.

Click here to view the menu and contact details of Ambrosia- The Bake Shop.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A couple of weeks back, my in-laws had taken our son, Devansh to visit his great grandmother's place. It was a rainy Sunday, Kalpesh and I decided to go for a nice drive and then later head someplace for lunch. Since we were going without Devansh, we were free to go where we wanted—it didn't have to be a kid-friendly place or one that compulsorily has aloo partha or in the worst case, French fries on its menu. I wanted to go someplace which has good food but is not world-famous in Mumbai :p types. So I did a quick search on Zomato/Burrp for some restaurants in Navi Mumbai. Reviews of one restaurant called "Frying Pan" looked good. Quite a few restaurants in Navi Mumbai are open for lunch only till 3:30. Since it was around 2:30, Kalpesh thought it would be better to call and check with them if their kitchen would be open till 3-3:30. It was a good thing he called because it turns out the place is now closed. We decided to just head out and then decide on-the-go.

Seating area at Rainforest
We drove down the Palm Beach road in Navi Mumbai as it is really beautiful in the rains and it is just a half-an-hour's drive from where I live. I called a couple of friends from the car and checked the JustDial site too. One friend recommended, Ashwith. As we passed that place we thought of going for a longer drive and so we continued without stopping there. In the search results this place called Flames near Belapur Fire Brigade looked interesting. We decided to check that out. As luck would have it, this place is closed down too. We continued down that road to see if we could find some interesting-looking, local-type of eating joint. Some of the by-lanes took us to the foothills of a mountain and the view was certainly scenic and picturesque but there weren't any eating joints in sight. It was around 4PM now and we were famished. So we decided to head to Rainforest, which is nearby. We had gone there before and had loved the ambiance and food. Before I write the detailed review (ahem I feel so important saying that) here are main details…
At A Glance
What we ordered and paid...
Soups
- Tum Yum Soup (Veg): 150
- Oriental Soup (Chicken): 150
Starters
- Veg seekh kebab: Rs. 225
Main Course
- Cheese Bhindi Masala: Rs. 295
- Lachcha Parathas (2): Rs. 100
- Roomali Roti: Rs. 60
Total (Including S/C@10%, Vat, and Service tax):Rs. 1266
Ambience
Good, rainforest theme
Service
Good
Key Features
Valet Parking, Bar, Music, Large Screen TV, Forest Theme
Location
17/21, Plot Number 13, Kukreja Centre, Sector 11, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai - 400614, Maharashtra, India
Contact Nos.
02265176565 | +919223394915
Menu
Website
The Whole Deal
Decor at RainforestRainforest has valet parking but we didn't need it since we went at non-peak hours and there was plenty of parking space on the road. However, if you reach there at peak hours on weekends, there's bound to be a lot of crowd. You will have to wait to get a table but the wait is bearable as they have a nice seating area just outside the restaurant. Your maître d' will be escort you to your table when there's one available. Since we reached there around 4 PM or so we didn't have to wait for a table. We were taken inside immediately. The minute you step inside you know you are about to enter a different world. Your eyes will take about a minute to adjust to the dim light. You have to cross a small bamboo bridge built over gushing stream of water to go in towards the seating area. The décor is created to give you a rainforest-like feel—replete with trees and creepers, a chimpanzee made of clay in one corner. The cobbled flooring, wooden tables, hanging flame-lamps (electric of course) all add to the rustic charm of this place.

LCD screen at Rainforest
The music—usually trance—is sort of loud, but then this is a restobar so that is to be expected. I have gone to Rainforest in Belapur and in R-city, Ghatkopar. At both these places, my husband and I went without our son, Devansh so loud music was not such an issue. Although on a separate note, we had taken him to TGIF when he was around 10 months old and he had really enjoyed the music there. At Rainforest, there's a big LCD screen playing some match or the other as usual. I always make it a point to sit facing the screen so that Kalpesh's back is towards it. Otherwise most of my time is spent with Kalpesh conversing with the screen. ;-)

Takeaway bag at Rainforest
Rainforest serves multi-cuisine food—Indian, Italian, Chinese, and sizzlers. I have liked whatever I ordered at Rainforest in Belapur as well as at Ghatkopar. This time, we ordered Veg Tum Yum soup for my vegetarian husband and Chicken Oriental Soup for me. Both the soups were good, although the management needs to relook at how they classify spicy and non-spicy food. My husband's soup was supposed to be very spicy as indicated by two chilies shown next to the menu item, and mine was not supposed to be spicy. While placing the order, we confirmed this with the waiter. However, when we got the soups, my husband's soup was not all that spicy whereas mine was quite spicy. I pointed this out to the waiter and asked him to add some cream to the soup to make it less spicy. He offered to take the soup back and ask the chef to make it less spicy. The soup he returned with was again spicy, and so I asked them to parcel it for me. They got my parcel in this neat eco-friendly paper bag. I came home and added some cream to the soup. It tasted yummy and a lot less spicy, just how I like it.

Starters at Rainforest
We ordered Veg Seekh Kabab as a starter—which was good taste-wise and quantity-wise, no complaints there. For the main course we ordered Cheese Bhindi Masala. My husband ordered Rumali Roti and I ordered Lacha Paratha. Main course was good too and sufficient for two people. Although for Lacha Paratha, the waiter didn't ask me if I wanted it plain or with butter, which at most other places they make it a point to ask. Even I forgot to mention that I wanted it plain. In fact it didn't strike me till I started writing this post and had a look at the bill. But all in all food was good. 

Switch on the table at Rainforest
Service is good too. You can call your waiter by using this quaint-looking switch on your table, which turns on a light above your table. We had used it the first time we went there because of the novelty factor. This time we just waved at the waiters to get their attention.

As you must have seen from the price of the food, this is not a pocket-friendly place but then it's not terribly expensive either. I would say it's paise wasool place for it's ambiance and food. If any of you there in future, please do share your feedback. Till then, Bon Appétit. ;-)

Click here to view the menu and contact details of Rainforest Restobar.