Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Food Review - Otto Infinito, Bandra Kurla Complex

Bandra Kurla Complex might sound a dry and boring suburb but it has clearly caught the attention of new restaurateurs who are willing to open their restaurants here. After Trident, California Pizza Kitchen, La Pain Quotidien, Yauatcha, it’s the new all-day Mediterranean restaurant Otto Infinito which has made BKC worth a trip on the weekends. The fact that it’s surrounded by greenery and is free from the traffic snarls add to the experience.

After cancelling my visit a couple of times I finally decided to drop in for breakfast with Namita Kumar, the PR person for Otto Infinito. I reached the restaurant at around 10.30am when the office goers had already finished their breakfast and were warming their office chairs with a cup of coffee in hand.

The restaurant was spacious with enough Sun light streaming through the glass wall on the entrance side. The white interiors looked clean. An all day bar stood in the center along with the grab & go counter. This counter has special menu with pre-made salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza by slice, desserts and other patisserie items like quiche, croissant, danish etc. that you can pick up on your way to work or home.

I grabbed a cozy corner, looked through the collection of teas and ordered for a Chamomile rose tea while Namita settled for a coffee. A freshly baked beetroot muffin looked like a good pre-breakfast option with the tea. The muffin was soft and warm with a crust of beetroot. The breakfast menu had a good and healthy mix of egg specialties, sausages, cereals, yogurts, fruits and bakery products to choose from. I opted for an omlette with a name that sounded exotic; berber omlette with pork sausages and a glass of fresh orange juice. The omlette came in a berber pot which is traditionally used to cook tajine, a slow cooked stew with meat and vegetables  The eggs to my surprise weren't cooked like a regular omlette but were baked with garlic and onion on a bed of Moroccan tomato sauce. The huge omlette was big enough for two people with modest appetites and had a generous topping of green olives. A plate of pita breads was served with it and I quite liked trying something different than usual eggs with toasts. The egg whites were perfectly baked while the yolk was left slightly under-cooked and runny. Just how I like.

While I chomped on my big-fat-Moroccan omlette, Namita ordered an egg white omlette served with baked baby potatoes, tomato and toast. The presentation made even the humble egg white omlette look quite tempting.

I am usually not up for desserts post breakfast but who can ignore a beautiful hazelnut cheesecake staring right at you? And so I dig in. The cheesecake was creamy, chocolaty and not very sweet. I finished it quickly with no help from Namita given that she is a Gujarati with not even a single sweet tooth; unbelievable, isn’t it? On her recommendation I also tried an apple tart which looked straight out of a MasterChef kitchen. It had a crisp pastry topped with sliced apples cooked with star anise. 

Stomach lined with good breakfast and even better desserts, I left from Otto Infinito but not before promising to come back for lunch/dinner.

Must try - Berber omlette, hazelnut cheesecake

Meal for two - Approximately Rs 1000 for two

Friday, October 19, 2012

Food Review: Purani Dilli Ka Zaika @ Copper Chimney

When going out for a family dinner an Indian restaurant is always the safest bet for me. So, on one of the Sundays we planned a dinner to celebrate a birthday. The unanimous choice was Copper Chimney in Oberoi Mall because it is close and convenient, especially when we were going for a movie at PVR. I have always liked Copper Chimney for its good food and not-so-exorbitant prices.

Before going for the dinner I checked out a couple of food blogs for the reviews of the ongoing 'Purani Dilli Ka Zaika' festival. There were few highly recommended dishes on these blogs and I decided to try them out. A separate menu for the festival was given to us which included road side food of Delhi such as shakarkandi ki chaat, aloo tikki chaat etc. followed by starters, main course and desserts.

I am not a fan of shakarkandi or sweet potato but the chaat had to be tried. We ordered one and it was a little sweet (which is its natural taste) and was tossed in a tangy masala and had a very ghar-ka-khana kind of touch to it. We also ordered aloo tikki chaat, tali machli and mutton sheekh kababs. While the tikki wasn't as great, not very spicy but tangy chhole saved the day for it. Mutton sheekhs had more spice than other flavours and were a little ignored. The winner was tali machli; fried yet not oily, crispy, perfectly spiced and fresh. The highlight was that they used Vietnamese basa and made it desi, in a good way. I was glad that nothing was hole-in-your-sole spicy.

Shakarkandi ki chaat

Chhole tikki chaat

Mutton sheekh

Tali machli
Moving on to the main course we ordered Jama Masjid ka gosht korma. The dish sounded loaded with spices but it wasn't. The thick curry or korma had a very light flavour of cardamom and well cooked mutton pieces. From the bread section we opted for the khameeri roti; rotis made with fermented dough which made them a little sour and fluffy. The combination of khameeri roti with the korma worked perfectly well. We also ordered a murg Changezi just to make it a whole meal by ordering a chicken as well. But it wasn't a great idea. The chicken leg pieces were cooked in a very spicy dry masala and capsicum and tasted like any other dish at any other restaurant.

Jama Masjid ka gosht korma

Khameeri roti

Murg Afghani
At this point we decided not to try the desserts mainly because I have tried their phirni earlier and wasn't too impressed. I remember it being too dry and loaded with kesar.

Given that out of 7 things that we tried, 4 were good and 1 excellent. Copper Chimney's Purani Dilli Ka Zaika is worth a trip if you are planning a dinner with family or office colleagues.

P.S. - I hope tali machli also features in their regular menu.

Kharcha - Around 3000/- for four
On the burp scale - 3.5/5

Monday, October 15, 2012

Inviting guest bloggers for Filmy Food Review

While writing my last restaurant review for The Pantry in Kala Ghoda, I got a little keeda in my head and thought of experimenting. The idea was to write the review like a movie script inserting all the possible cliche dialogues and scenes from Hindi movie. It was fun writing the review and mixing my two loves; films and food.

Now I would like to take it further and invite my blogger friends to share their food stories on my blog in a filmy style. So guys, please join in and share your reviews or any other food story with me scripted like a Bollywood or Hollywood film. You can also add parodies of your favourite songs in between. For refrence you can read my post here.

Think filmy, think funny and just go crazy!

Write to me at shirinmehrotra(at)gmail(dot)com

Friday, October 12, 2012

Filmy Food Review: The Pantry, Kala Ghoda

While reviewing The Pantry, new cafe/restaurant in Kala Ghoda I decided to mix my love for food with love for films and scripted down my food adventures. Bollywood ishtyle!


Scene 1 (opens at a local station in Mumbai)
It’s 9.30 in the morning; our hero and heroine are standing on the crowded Goregaon station to catch a fast train to Churchgate (opening credits roll). They have to reach Churchgate by 10.30 and eat the first meal of their day at The Pantry, new café in Kala Ghoda. A train comes in and they start making their way through the rush to get in and grab a seat
(cut to scene 2)

Scene 2 (inside the train)
Our protagonists are in the train, standing. It is running slow. Tummies are rumbling. (voices of office goers discussing stock market and share prices in the background). The train picks up speed after Bandra and there’s barely a sign of relief on our protagonists’ faces.
(Insert item number. Chaiyya chaiyya on the train)
Jinke sar ho cheese ki chaaon,
Pav ke beech mein patty hogi!

Scene 3 (in Kala Ghoda)
The hero and heroine are walking around trying to locate the café.
(Cut to song) Do deewane/bhookad shehar mein.
(Cut to scene) They enter a lane next to Rampart Row and find white coloured café near Trishna restaurant. As they are about to enter the security guard stops them:
Security Guard: Madam, café toh band hai. 11:30 baje khulega (café is shut, will open at 11:30 am).
Heroine: Nahiiiiiiii! (faints)
Hero: (Holds her in his arms and looks at his watch) Par Twitter pe toh bola tha ki 9 baje khulega (but their Twitter profile said that it opens at 9 am).
SG: Aap ruko, main poochta hoon (wait, I’ll ask)
(He goes in and comes back with the restaurant manager)
Restaurant Manager: Sorry guys, we are not open yet. We’ll open at 9 am only from the next week.
Heroine: (regaining her consciousness) But we have come all the way from Goregaon to eat here.
Hero: Yeah, and we haven’t had anything yet.
(A melodramatic tune plays in the background. No food has gone in their system since the morning and she could do an encore with the fainting bit).
RM: Okay, you can place your orders but it will take a while to be served.
Hero & Heroine: (their sad faces cheer up… with a relieved sigh they walk in) Okay, we’re fine with it.

(Insert a duet with all the waiters and waitresses dancing around and food flying in the background)
Naino mein sapna, sapne mein khana,
Khane ka bill nahi bhara!

Scene 4 Inside the cafe)
Hero and heroine are now seated on small table in a corner. They look cheerful and admire the all white classic French style décor of the café. The huge windows let in a lot of Sunlight and our protagonists are happy to get their daily quota of Vitamin D. They also have free Wi-Fi where freelancers, entrepreneurs, amateur script writers can sit and work. They go through the menu which is attached to a clipboard (the kinds we used in exams).
(Insert flashbacks of our hero and heroine giving exams as kids and running to their moms saying, “maa, main first class first aaya!”)

(Cut to scene 4)
They order a house coffee (Rs 75) which comes in an old fashioned floral cup and saucer. It remindsour hero of his grandma who had similar cutlery. Our heroine orders a café shakerato (Rs 95) which tastes like a cold espresso shot. Heroine is suddenly high on caffeine and wants to do a jig but our hero drags her back. They order breakfast; baked country eggs on a bed of mushrooms, onions and parsley with toasted bread sticks (Rs 145), farmer’s salad (Rs 195) and ham stand (Rs 265). All the dishes except for salad are served with homemade mustard and tomato dip. Our heroine who is fond of semi cooked eggs digs in while the hero munches on his fresh salad which is a mix of lettuce, red radish, carrots, lentil sprouts, green peas, feva beans and shallots. The tangy mustard dip is wiped off with the bread sticks. The ham stand is a fat sandwich with layers of mustard sauce, cheese and ham and is served with a small bowl of salad.
(Montage of hero and heroine eating fast and food quickly disappearing from the table. Insert comic tunes)
While they eat the restaurant manager talks to them and tells them that all the ingredients are sourced from the local Indian vendors; cheese comes from Pondicherry (outdoor location; insert a song and heroine’s shot in bikini), meat from Goa (we can add a side track of Goa’s drug mafia here) and most of the vegetables are sourced from the local markets. It helps keep the ingredients fresher and less costly. The heroine couldn’t agree more as she takes a sip of her fresh tomato and beetroot juice (Rs 125) she just ordered.
(Like all Bollywood films, ours too needs to end on a sweet note) They order an apple puff tartlet (Rs 75) which is a small pastry topped with apples and is served with vanilla custard poured over it. They like that it’s not too sweet and the custard doesn’t have an over powering flavour.
Happy with their morning siesta our hero and heroine pay their bills and walk hand in hand into Mumbai ki garmi with the promise of coming back.
(Picture abhi baki hai mere dost… stay tuned for part two)


Kharcha: Rs 1000 + taxes
On the burp scale: 4/5

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Notes from a cooking baking weekend: Part 3 - Ricotta cheese stuffed paranthas

In the first post of this series I had put up a recipe of home made herbed ricotta cheese. I used some of it to make baked potatoes stuffed with plum chutney. The remaining cheese was packed and kept in the fridge. The next day (which was a Sunday) when I was looking through the fridge for ideas for brunch I spotted the cheese and wondered how would parathas stuffed with ricotta taste like? So the cheese came out and dough was prepared. The most amazing parathas were made (of course after my mom's) and were had with lassi. Here's the recipe for these parathas. For ricotta cheese you can check out my previous post.

1 cup wheat flour
2 cups water
4 tsp herbed ricotta cheese
1 tsp mozzarella cheese (grated)
Half onion (chopped)
1 tsp green coriander (chopped)
1 small green chilli
4 tbsp Ghee
White butter

  • Mix water with flour and knead it into soft dough. Don't add all the water at once or the dough will become sticky. For all those who have nightmares about kneading dough here's a quick video.
  • Keep the dough aside.
  • Mix ricotta, mozzarella, onion, coriander and chilli
  • Make four small balls from the dough.
  • Roll them a little (with the rolling pin), put 1 tsp cheese filling in the centre and roll it like a ball so that the filling is enclosed in the dough.
  • Wrap the dough ball with some dry flour and roll it into a flat, round paratha.
  • Heat a pan and place this paratha on it. Once cooked a little put some ghee on both the sides and cook till its brown and crisp.
  • Serve with white butter, pickle, chutney whatever you prefer.

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