Monday, June 25, 2012

Food Review: Sunday Brunch @ The Little Door, Andheri (W)

The bright entrance of The Little Door is quite inviting, so is the outdoor section, especially on a rainy day. But thanks to the cleanliness of the surrounding area you can’t sit there without being bothered by the flies. All the efforts of keeping them away by the staff go down the drains (literary so since the nullahs around have been dug up). So much for pre-monsoon preparations we must say. The better option is to sit indoors and enjoy the board games especially if you are bored.

The restaurant that opens its little door only in the evening has now started serving Sunday Brunch; Spirited Brunch for the sober souls and The Hungover’s Brunch for the ones who spend their Saturday nights guzzling. I, being the sober one opted for the Spirited Brunch which gave me a choice of unlimited sangria, classic cocktails and beer. Replace the alcohol with coffee, tea or a Foster’s and you’ll have your Hungover’s Brunch.

The five course meal has a salad station and a choice of hot breakfast, entrée, main course
and dessert. I ordered white wine sangria and picked up salads from the spread which included bacon stuffed tomatoes, crab stick and corn salad, honey and mustard chicken salad, green pasta salad, watermelon and feta cheese salad and baby potatoes with creamy spinach salad. The counter also had humus, pita, cheese and cold cuts. While most of it is about average, the bacon stuffed tomatoes are delicious with cheese oozing out of them.

The hot breakfast section has a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian crepes, panini, omelettes, French toast, Egg Benedict etc. I ordered for a crepe stuffed with scrambled eggs and crispy bacon which was a decent option as you can’t really go wrong with scrambled eggs. The tiny bits of crispy bacon mixed with scrambled eggs and wrapped in thin crepe tasted very delicious and made for a light start. The only thing that was wrong with this dish was the sour cream which wasn’t sour at all and lacked any flavour. As I was digging in the crepe my eyes wandered through the menu one more time and I spotted Nutella pancakes in the hot breakfast section. I instantly knew that I was going to give the entrée a miss. Three small fluffy pancakes came stacked upon each other with Nutella drizzled all over them and a side of caramelized bananas. There’s no guessing that the plate was wiped clean. I can definitely go back for them any day.

Jumping to the main course I decided to stick to what I enjoy most, fish, and ordered a seafood sizzler; grilled fish (Rawas in my case) with saffron cream sauce. The fish came with a serving of parsley rice, fried potatoes and sautéedvegetables, and was a complete meal. The sauce with a subtle flavour of saffron was fabulous and rich. The dessert section includes fresh fruit sticks and yogurt, cup cakes and brownies, but I bet none of them can beat the Nutella pancakes.

The staff at The Little Door is courteous and service is good. They let you eat at your own pace and enjoy the time you are spending. After being there for good two and a half hours I was happy and content and would love to come back for another relaxed Sunday brunch.

Kharcha: The Hungover’s Brunch – Rs 793 + taxes
Spirited Brunch – Rs 1797 + taxes

On the burp scale: 3.5/5

Monday, June 4, 2012

Food Review: Le Pain Quotidien, Bandra-Kurla Complex

Surrounded by greenery and glass walls on the two sides, the restaurant was quite inviting. We noticed an al fresco as we were entering and were tempted to sit out on that breezy evening. Sadly the restaurant is not allowed to serve food in the open air section but the guests can sit there with their take-away. Being the law abiding citizens that we are (pun intended) we went straight inside.

The ambience inside was equally beautiful and we had a good view of all the greens. We made plans on coming in for an early breakfast soon just to see how beautiful this place looks in the morning. Staying true to the culture of ‘breaking bread together’, the restaurant has one long table in the centre for a bigger group or one that can be shared by strangers who can sit together and eat like a community. For those who want their privacy, there are smaller tables too.

After being given a choice of ordering from the a la carte or going with the Chef’s recommended menu we chose the latter. We ordered green apple sangria which was very light and strawberry sangria which had a very lovely cinnamon flavour and was a little strong on the palate.

The meal started with the soup of the day; French onion chicken soup, served with a bread basket. The broth of the soup was light with tender pieces of chicken in it. We dipped our rye bread and baguette in it and munched while two wonderful looking salads were being arranged on our table. The roasted beetroot and Mandarin orange salad with chèvre cheese & balsamic dressing was nothing less than a plate full of freshness. The crunchy lettuce with sweet and tangy dressing was the perfect combination I could ever ask for. Arugula and shitake mushroom salad had a topping of shaved parmesan and was seasoned with very mild pesto. The bitter taste of arugula which I generally hate wasn’t overpowering in this salad. We kept asking our servers about the ingredients as we ate and it was nice to see that they knew the food well.

The next round included tartines or the French classic open-faced sandwiches, as they’re more commonly known. We were served a roasted chicken and smoked mozzarella with Granny Smith apple, tomatoes and basil pesto sandwich. Chicken along with smoked mozzarella gave out a perfect smoky flavor and was an instant hit. The grilled asparagus with ricotta, shaved parmesan and diced tomatoes sandwich was more subtle in its flavor. We loved the crunchy bread with a spread of ricotta cheese.

After wiping off our first two courses it was time for the third one and the chef sent us a beautiful looking lamb stew; the lamb shreds in the stew were tender and well cooked, and were served with potato dumplings (mashed potato balls stuffed with cheese). Laksa chicken with whole wheat tagliatelle pasta, basil and boiled eggs was creamy and yet not very cheesy. The boiled eggs went perfectly well with the pasta. Being more of a seafood lover I focused on the third dish, grilled chilli garlic prawns and was totally blown over by the subtle garlic flavour that they had. The prawns were served with roasted potato wedges and the dish was balanced well with the veggies like bok choy, leeks and asparagus.

By the time we reached the desserts we were way too full. So we just opted for a soft centre chocolate cake. When this marvellous cake arrived on the table I didn’t feel like digging in for a couple of minutes since it looked so pretty. Finally, I decided to pick up a spoon and cut through it. Liquid chocolate oozing out of a gooey cake; it was orgasmic. We finished that piece of heaven and thanked the chef for making our evening so special.

After feeding us so well the chef treated us to another piece of good news that Le Pain Quotidien is soon to open in Bandra West too. So all you buggers who think that travelling to BKC is one hell of a task, can stop cribbing and say, YAAAY!!!

Kharcha: Approximately Rs. 1500 + taxes (without alcohol)

On the burp scale: 4/5
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