Thursday, August 30, 2012

Amsterdam! - Korean Garden

Korean food in Amsterdam! I love Kimchi, and my uncle is really fond of Korean food, so he decided to take me out for a proper Korean meal :)

Korean Garden : Europlaplein 21 1078 GS ZuiderAmstel, Netherlands
020 6708323

My uncle and his colleagues took over ordering and explained all the food to me. I don't really remember what was what :P But I took pictures! :D

(above) Bindetuk
Green bean pancakes with pork and vegetables

(above) I do not remember what this is called.. And browsing their online menu is not helping :P
This is basically glass noodles, vegetables and some meat. 

(above and below) Bulgogi
Grilled marinated sliced beef with mushrooms and onions.
This was the star attraction of the meal. The beef and vegetables are brought to the table, and can be grilled on the table itself. To make it better, an egg was cracked onto the grill, and it cooked in the steam of the beef and vegetables.

(above) Cooking the Bulgogi on the table.

(above) On the table, all the sides - Kimchi, pickled cucumbers, bean sprouts, dipping sauce for the Bindetuk.

(above) Soju
This is apparently a very popular Korean drink. It tastes like vodka, but sweeter and lighter (about 15% alcohol), and is drunk straight. Warning: Can intoxicate. :P

My uncle and his Korean colleagues remarked that this was not the most authentic food they had tried, and told me about places in London which served better Korean. Still, I liked the variety and versatility of it. 

Korean food: Loved it. :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bombay Chronicles: Indigo Deli

Address: 5, Ground Floor, Pheroze Building, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharashi Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai

Indigo Deli. I had been strictly instructed to go here even before I went to Bombay, or even planned to go to Bombay. I ended up going twice, just to try as much off the menu as I could :P

(above) Broccoli and Blue Cheese Melba
Satin smooth, with the bite of broccoli and the faint flavour of blue cheese, just wonderful.

(above and below) Tomato, Pesto and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza
Okay, so Indigo Deli pizzas are technically not pizzas. They shouldn't even be called pizzas, they deserve a special name to themselves. If you want to order a regular crust pizza at Indigo Deli, forget it. These pizzas are wafer-crust.. More like a puff-pastry crust, and they are SO good. Eat while they're hot, or they get soggy.

(above and below) Parma Ham, Asparagus and Scamorza Pizza
I was impressed enough by the vegetarian wafer thin pizza, but when I saw this.. I almost died of happiness. Ham, asparagus, cheese, puff pastry, gorgeously done.

(above) Philly Cheese Steak
Shredded beef, caramelized onions, jalapenos, BBQ sauce and melted cheddar on a toasted spelt roll.
A friend had raved about this philly cheese steak. More than one friend, actually. I had been told that this is the best thing on the meny.. And I was quite disappointed. Easily, the most boring thing we ordered. Try this only if you have serious issues with everything else on the menu. 

(above and below) Mustard rubbed steam Halibut with ratatouille, sauteed beans and garlic burre Blanc
Exquisitely done, is all I can say. :) The steamed fish, rubbed with the right amount of mustard, the beans cooked to perfection and interesting ratatouille, all go so well together.. And the "burre Blanc" is just fancy garlic butter that takes everything to another level of gastronomic delight.

(above) 1/4 kilo of char grilled Fillet Mignon with red wine sauce
Served with mashed potatoes
Okay, I've had better steak. But I loved the way this was served.. Notice the whole cloves of garlic on the side, cleanly grilled, and the onions and herbs with the steak.. Very nicely done, and perfectly cooked too.

(above and below) Home Made Ice Cream - Rocky Road
YUMMMMM! :D Made me happy like a little kid :P

(above and below) Creme Brulee with Sambuca
This was a surprise dessert. We weren't going to order anything, but the very nice waiter suggested a creme brulee.. And when he served it, he poured Sambuca on top, said "magic" and flamed it. It was GORGEOUS.. The flaming Sambuca created a crystallized sugar crust on the custard, and the sugar cinnamon cookie on the side complimented the stand-alone elegance of the dessert.

(above) Creme Brulee
I just had to put this picture up.. The custard was satin smooth, and so velvety without being overpowering. Its so difficult to hit that perfect spot with cream custard, but this was IT.

Indigo Deli, five star recommendations from me. :)

Bombay Chronicles: Woodside Inn

Address: Wodehouse Road, Opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba, Mumbai

Woodside Inn is now one of my favourite places in Mumbai. Its quiet, elegant, and has excellent food and alcohol. A little on the pricey side, but totally worth every penny, if you want to make those few hours with someone, special :)

(above) Potato Skins with Wasabi Mayo
Crisp potato skins, seasoned perfectly, with wasabi mayo, the most fitting accompaniment for the flavours to burst in your mouth.

(above) Double Cheddar Beef Burger
Served with fries, cole slaw, and the burger is ordered on multigrain bread. This was incredible - I love the presentation, and the beef was cooked perfectly. The burger was not overwhelmingly large, if there ever was a classier way to serve a regular beef burger, this is it.


(above) Eggs Benedict
Served with candy bacon and seasoned potatoes. Look at the way the egg broke open when I put my fork to it.. That is what makes my heart sing. It was tear-inducingly-beautiful. Enough said. :D

(above) Chocolate balls with Cinnamon Custard
After all that incredible food, we were really not excited by any of the desserts on offer, till the waiter suggested we try the monthly special - Chocolate, cinnamon, custard. I didn't know what to expect, and then we saw this. Fried chocolate, dusted with cinnamon, served on the slightest bit of custard and whipped cream, so beautifully presented with orange rind and mint leaves. Individually, the components are quite plain and boring, but everything came together in such a beautiful dessert.. Yum.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bombay Chronicles: California Pizza Kitchen

Address: There are three CPKs in Mumbai. The one I went to was at Third Floor, Food Court, Infiniti 2, next to Goregaon Sports Club, Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai

I write this post regretfully, because I haven't taken any pictures of the pizzas we ordered here. I know I know, the pizzas are kind of the whole point of a Pizza Kitchen.. *looking away*
However, the soup, salad and desserts also deserve a mention. A very special mention, actually, because they were exquisite.

(above) The Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
Chopped lettuce, black beans, sweet corn, cilantro, basil, crispy corn tortilla strips and Fontina cheese tossed together in herb ranch dressing, topped with chopped BBQ chicken breast, diced tomatoes and green onions.

(above) Adobe Chicken Chowder
A creamy rich chowder with chicken, wild rice, corn, green chilies, mild onion and cilantro. Topped with crispy corn tortilla strips.
Oh, for the love of good soup. Warm, creamy, comforting as a snuggly blanket. LOVED IT.

(above) Red Velvet Cake
Three layers of moist red velvet cake frosted with vanilla bean cream cheese and white chocolate curls, served on vanilla bean sauce.
Really, how could I not try this. The cake, not so moist, kind of dense, but nicely done. The layers, gorgeous. The frosting, PERFECT. Theobroma, you should be ashamed of yourself, here's a pizza kitchen that makes a better red velvet than you can imagine.

(above) Tiramisu
Sweet Italian cream cheese between layers of espresso and Kahlua laced lady fingers, topped with shaved bittersweet chocolate.
Forget everything else, I would go back to California Pizza Kitchen just for the Tiramisu. Best Tiramisu I have ever had, including in NYC. The layers were perfect. The creaminess was perfect. The espresso hit perfectly. And there was just enough Kahlua to leave me in satisfied giggles. :D

We also ordered two pizzas:
The Meat Cravers (sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Capicola ham, julienne salami, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce on a regular crust) and
Pesto Pizza (basil pesto sauce with grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, pesto sauce, sliced Kalamata olives on a thin crust)
The pizzas were great, especially the Meat Cravers. Try it, if you're as much of a carnivore as me and my friends. :P

California Pizza Kitchen. Two words. LOVED. IT. :D 

Bombay Chronicles: Theobroma

Address: 24, Cusrow Baug, Electric House, Colaba, Mumbai

This post should ideally be called "Busting Bombay Myths: Theobroma".

Call me cynical, call me disloyal to dessert, but I went to Theobroma with sky-high expectations, and was quite disappointed. I blame all of you who told me it was "heaven on earth" and "the best dessert place EVER." If I wouldn't have gone in with so many expectations, I would have probably liked it more. Hmph.

I went to Theobroma thrice. Once, a mad dash from office during lunch hour to try their legendary cheesecake. Second time, a dessert-only-dinner with my flatmate, and the third time, to try their hot chocolate at the end of a long, late night walk down Causeway. The savouries, we ordered only as breaks between the desserts (major case of too much sugar in mouth.) I couldn't take pictures of everything I tried there, but here are some of them:

(above and below) Chicken Pasty
Small snack between desserts. Very very nicely done - the pastry is delicate and thin, and the stuffing is perfect.

(above) Cookie Brownie
People RAVED about Theobroma Brownies. Walk in through the door, look to your left and you will literally faint at the sight of trays and trays of perfect-looking brownies. I loved the presentation. I probably tried the wrong kind of brownie though. Very regular, standard-brownie-recipe, this. I was so sad :(

(above) Hash Browns
Another break between desserts. This, I loved. Never had better hash browns. Perfectly mashed potatoes with cheese, fried and served.. Can't complain! I liked the hash browns, something that probably no one ever orders at Theobroma, better than the brownies. :P 

(above) Pain Au Chocolat
This.. Was perfection on a plate. Soft, buttery, flaky pastry, stuffed with melted chocolate. Ask for it warmed, and feel your heart sing as you bite into it and the chocolate dribbles down your chin. If you ever find this on the shelves at Theobroma, make sure you order it, first thing in, so that it doesnt disappear by the time you get to it.

(above and below) New York Baked Cheesecake, and Hazelnut Macaron

First, the cheesecake. YES, try it. When you get it, use that fork to scrape off the whipped cream gunk on top. Listen to me, do it. Then start. It is pure perfection. Probably the only cheesecake I found in Mumbai which retained the tart flavour of cream cheese, I strongly recommend this cheesecake over any other for the real New York experience in Mumbai. For all you sweet-anything lovers out there: Overpoweringly sweet, mousse-like cheesecake IS NOT CHEESECAKE!

Second, the Macaron. Before you smirk and correct me, yes, it is a Macaron and NOT a Macaroon. Macaroons are Coconut or Almond paste, small mound-like, merangue-like confections. Macarons are what you see in Theobroma and Gossip Girl (Blair eating away to glory). Confectionary lesson over, now back to the Hazelnut Macarons at Theobroma. Very very nicely done, they look perfect. A little too sweet for my taste, but definitely gift-worthy. A little box of these Macarons with a ribbon around it would make anyone happy :)

I also tried the Hot Chocolate and Adult Hot Chocolate, and a White Chocolate pastry that was incredible. Careful with the Adult Hot Chocolate, the rum in it left me reeling for a while ;) The normal hot chocolate was like slightly diluted ganache - in other words, orgasmic.
I also want to try Theobroma Breakfast - the menu looked amazing.

Definitely not a bad place to go, if you know what to order. I definitely recommend this for good food and amazing hot chocolate :)

Bombay Chronicles: Breakfast at Cafe Mondegar

Address: Metro House, 5A, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba, Mumbai

I went to Cafe Mondegar quite a few times, and I really loved it. Situated right at the beginning of Colaba Causeway, next to Regal Cinema, it was the most convenient place to grab a beer, good food and plan everything I wanted to do in that insane city. I took pictures only on the day we did Mondegar breakfast, so here they are:


(above) Mondy's Special - 2 eggs ordered as an Omelette, with bacon. Served with buttered toast, fries and juice.
(Sorry, we had already taken a bite before I could take the picture :P)

(above) Mondy's Special - 2 eggs, ordered scrambled, with pork sausages. Served with buttered toast, fries and juice.
The eggs were scrambled in the conventional English way, with milk, butter and kept fluffy, just the way I love it (I don't know how to make them this way and our hostel egg-wala won't understand.)

I loved it! If you're looking for a good breakfast option that doesn't break your bank (most brunches start at 1500), Mondy's is an excellent option. Breakfast is served till 11.30 am-12.00 noon, so you can sleep in and still make it in time. And unlike me, go ahead and order a beer with breakfast, and you'll have a kickass day :D

Bombay Chronicles: Leopold Cafe

Okay so this place is famous.

Address: Colaba Causeway, Bhagat Singh Road, Next to Regal Cinema, Colaba, Bombay

I went twice with friends.. Wasn't very impressed. I liked Mondegar better (post coming soon).

(above) Spaghetti Bolonese served with Minced Beef
Really REALLY bad. Please, NEVER order any kind of pasta at Leopold. The pasta quality and the quality of the minced beef is sub-standard, and it just seems like a health risk to eat this kind of food.

(above) Grilled Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce
Fillets of grilled chicken, arranged around mashed potatoes, with a creamy mustard sauce on top. This was excellent - I definitely recommend this to anybody who gets confused with the extensive menu. :)

(above and below) Polowala Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
Chicken grilled to perfection, arranged around potatoes and nicely seasoned vegetables, with mushroom sauce. Very nice - my friend ordered this both times we were there. The images above and below show the plate from opposite sides.

(below) And, of course, a tower of beer, every time. :D

We also ordered beef burgers, which were excellent, but I couldn't get pictures before my hungry friends attacked them. My recommendations for food at Leo's? The Chicken in Creamy Mushroom Sauce, and beef burgers. With lots and lots of beer.