Monday, January 21, 2013

Food Review - Pizza Metro Pizza, Bandra (W)

Copper pots and pans hanging on the wall, a pizza oven in the corner and murals on the wall depicting a typical Italian lifestyle; the new Pizza joint in town has perfect setting for a date, family lunch or an evening out with friends. The UK based eatery opened its Mumbai outlet quietly in November and is serving hand made, wood fired pizzas. They also claim to be the only pizzeria serving meter long pizzas which can be ordered with four different toppings.

We went their post work for an early dinner and a bunch of teenage guys were already hogging on their meter long pizza. Since the visit was for review we decided to try more than just pizzas (we regretted that later). We started with Carpaccio di manzo - beef carpaccio with rocket & Parmesan shaves and Palle di ruso - crispy fried rice balls stuffed with melting mozzarella  salami and basil. We liked the carpaccio which had very fine slivers of beef but it couldn't match up to the one we had at Salt Water Cafe in terms of dressing. The palle di ruso was crispy from outside but the rice was very sticky when we cut through it. The pork salami got lost in the sticky rice and melted cheese making the dish a little bland.

Moving on to the real food we decided to order a pasta and a pizza and on the owner's recommendation we went with Scialatielli pesciosa - scialatielli with king prawns, mussels, clams, squid, garlic, cherry tomatoes and parsley, in short a delight for seafood lovers. The pasta tasted good and full of seafood but the broken pieces of shells put us off. It's better to stick to a safer vegetarian, pork or beef pasta. Pizza is definitely their stronger point and it might not be the wafery thin crust one but it's handmade and fresh. We ordered a meat heavy CiCCioBoMbA - mozzarella, tomato, ham, salami, black olives, mushrooms, meat balls and sausages. While we found the toppings a little less for the price of the pizza the moist crust made us quite happy.

We were almost leaving when the waiter presented a dessert platter and we just couldn't stop ourselves from picking the massive glass of tiramisu. I am not a fan of this specific dessert but trust me it can easily be counted among one of the best in Mumbai and there can be no better proof than that we wiped it clean.

Pizza Metro Pizza is expensive but is a good respite from the regular pizza chains. It also has to face a lot of competition from the already established Ray's Pizzeria in Bandra which is excellent and also not so expensive. However, if you like food challenges the meter long pizza at Pizza Metro Pizza is tailor made for you.

Must try - Pizza, tiramisu

Monday, January 14, 2013

Food Review: Yauatcha, Bandra Kurla Complex

I wanted to visit the dimsum and tea house in Bandra Kurla Complex since the time it opened. The concept of pairing dimsum with teas was something that was new and interesting for me. Finally had a chance to visit the restaurant when they launched a new menu, basically they added new dishes in the already existing menu.

I went for lunch and Sandhya Johari, the Marketing Manager at Ka Hospitality kept me company and sportingly recommended her favourite dishes from the menu.

I started with a kiwi and lime cooler with a mix of vegetarian and non vegetarian dimsum; spicy sauce shredded fish, black pepper lamb roll - lamb filling wrapped in Chinese cabbage topped with black pepper sauce, crispy veg cheung fang - vegetarian tempura crispy rolls wrapped in translucent steamed rice sheets. The crispiness of cheung fang was well balanced with the beautiful soft stuffing inside and what made it even better was the hot soy sauce poured over it right at the table. But the lamb rolls are the winner for me. The flavour was very subtle and the lamb stuffing was so tender that it almost melted in my mouth. 

Half way through eating the dimsum I decided to try a tea. On the tea expert's recommendation I ordered a blue roast tea. Most of the teas are meant to be had without sugar, an odd taste for me but I tried and trust me it was really comforting.

For the mains I decided to go for honey smoked spare ribs - succulent pork spare ribs glazed with honey and smoked in house with jasmine tea and Malay lotus leaf rice - fried rice cooked with veggies wrapped in lotus leaf. Well, the spare ribs were one of the most tender and crispy pork preparations I've ever had. It had a nice sweet+spicy flavour with an added touch of smokiness. The Malay lotus leaf rice came packed in a dry lotus leaf and was fun to eat right from the little leaf parcel. While I was too full to order more I'd recommend that you order the rice with some sauce since it's a little dry.

Ordering dessert was a little tough given to all the beautiful looking sweetness I had seen on the dessert counter as I entered the restaurant. On Sandhya's recommendation I tried the jasmine cake - jasmine infused milk chocolate mousse, layered with feuilletine, sacher and jasmine ganache. The plating was enough for me to start drooling. As I cut through the soft cake there was a hard layer of chocolate inside. The cake was served with a dollop of ice-cream and chocolate praline on the side. With a typical case of 'pet to bhar gaya par dil nahi bhara' I finished my meal.

On my way out I spotted the pretty looking raspberry delice and kicked myself for not trying it and after reading The Big Bhookad's review I kick myself some more.

Must try -  Black pepper lamb roll, honey smoked spare ribs, jasmine cake.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mochar Ghonto - Banana flower cooked Bengali style

I found out about this indigenous vegetable a couple of years ago and cooked a Kerala style curry. Since the process of cleaning a banana flower is so tedious, I never picked it again until recently when a LiveMint story inspired me to pick it up from the super market. The vegetable is supposed to be rich in Vitamin A and C and has a lot of medicinal values. Peeling and preparing it requires a lot of patience but the result is worth all the trouble. Here's a step by step procedure of peeling a banana flower.

Grease your hands with a little oil cause this vegetable is a little sticky like the raw banana.

Start be removing the purple petal.

Under each petal you will found stigmas or kaliyan like these. Remove them and keep them in a bowl. Keep removing petals and stigmas till you reach yellow petals which don't come out as easily as the purple ones. 

This is the part of the flower that you will use (you can also use the purple petals as serving bowls)

Now remove the two conical petal like strands from every stigma.

This is how your final product should look like.

Now chop and soak these flowers in salted water or buttermilk overnight. There are various recipes that you can try with this lovely vegetable. I made it the Bengali way, Mochar Ghonto or banana flower sabzi. A quick search on Google lead me to this recipe and being new to this vegetable I didn't try to be very experimental. So, here's the recipe for you.

Mochar or banana flower - 1 medium sized
Scraped coconut - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
Wheat flour - 1 tsp

For tadka
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Whole dry red chillis - 2

  • Throw away the water in which the banana flower had been soaked.
  • Cook the chopped flowers in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute scraped coconut.
  • Add the cooked flowers.
  • Mix coriander, cumin, red chilli, garam masala, turmeric, salt and sugar in half cup water and add to the coconut and banana flower mix.
  • Mix wheat flour in half cup water and add it to the mix coating the banana flowers properly.
Heat ghee in a small pan, add cumin seeds, dry red chillis and bay leaf and let them splutter. Pour the tadka over the banana flower curry and your mochar ghonto is ready. Serve it rice or hot chapatis. I had it with the latter along with aloo posto. A perfect Bengali meal.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Uttarakhand's famous singhare ki kachri

I was suppose to write this post when singharas or water chestnuts were still visible in the market. Anyhow, better late than never. Singhare ki kachri is a famous road side food in Uttarakhand. The freezing cold is apt for this hot and spicy snack. I have always eaten it at home made by my Mother or Grandmother but I have heard a lot of stories about this kachri from my Mama and Nana who used to stay in Kashipur, a small town near Nainital. My Mama tells me that it used to be very difficult to order it at a thela because the mouth never stopped watering. Well, do try this recipe and I hope that it makes your mouth water too.

The singharas used for this recipe are the dark purple ones and not the green ones.

Water chestnut (singhara)            1 kg
Cumin seeds                                1 tsp
Ginger (finely chopped)                1 tsp
Green chillis (finely chopped)        4
Salt to taste
Ghee                                            2 tbsp
Lemon                                         1
Fresh coriander (finely chopped)


  • Pressure cook water chestnuts, peel and crush them in a food processor (even better if you can do it with hands).
  • Heat ghee in a kadhai.
  • Throw in cumin seeds, chopped green chillis and ginger and saute them.
  • Add the crushed water chestnuts and fry for 15 minutes. Add salt and mix well
  • Squeeze the lemon juice, garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sausage and celery omelette, flipped not folded

If you ever see me in a bad mood early in the morning make me a nice breakfast and I'll cheer up. Being a true believer of the saying 'eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper', I make it a point to have a filling first meal of the day. The meal usually includes eggs cause you can experiment with them in many ways especially while making an omelette. I usually throw in whatever vegetables are available. Today I decided to use just 3-4 ingredients with this new style of frying an omelette that I have learnt recently. Instead of mixing the vegetables in the beaten eggs I fry them separately and pour the egg over them. Also, I beat the egg whites separately and add the yolks when the whites are foamy. This technique results in a fluffy omelette.

Eggs - 3
Onion (cut into round slices) - 1
Tomato (cut into round slices) - 1
Celery (finely chopped) - 1/2 cup
Chicken sausages (cut into round slices) - 2
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp

  • Separate egg whites and yolk.
  • Beat the egg whites till they are foamy and stiff.
  • Add the yolks and salt and mix well.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and throw in onions, tomatoes, celery, chicken sausages and fry.
  • Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetables.
  • Flip it over once its cooked from one side.
  • Serve with buttered toasts.
You can also add cheese after flipping it over. Chicken sausages can be replaced with mushrooms.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The day when food took a backseat: Food Bloggers' Day with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

It is almost a dream-come-true-feeling to meet your idol, somebody you've grown up watching, somebody who has inspired you. A similar feeling surged in me when I got a mail about a bloggers' meet with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, the original celebrity Chef of India. If you are a 90s kid you'd remember that never fading smile and enthusiasm of the Khana Khazana host. It was a ritual in most of the families to sit in front of the TV with a notepad and pen to jot down the simple recipes he churned out. Most would remember running to the kitchen and doing some kiddie experiments with food. His recipes were always quick and not very intimidating, that's what made him famous in almost all the households.

As a kid I was amazed by his knowledge of every ingredient that he used. He would love to dig in the history and would bring out interesting stories related to that ingredient or dish.

Coming back to that mail, call it the perks of being a food writer or just my good luck that I was invited to this event. Just the name of Sanjeev Kapoor mentioned in the mail was enough for me to hit the reply button for RSVP.

Finally the day arrived and a bunch of us food bloggers reached Sanjeev Kapoor's Andheri office. After a little wait he arrived looking fit as always and flashing that very charming smile. We were taken back to our childhood days when he greeted us with his signature 'Aap sab ko Sanjeev Kapoor ka pyar bhara namashkar'. We couldn't stop grinning and I am grinning right now as i write this post. It was an experience to listen to his inspiring stories while a group of bloggers cooked for him. Here again he did something that has always fascinated me, create something exciting out of the ordinary ingredients. In a matter of minutes he turned the galouti kebabs into an exotic dish; galouti kebab stuffed puris with minty lemon buttemilk shots. The mushroom risotto was turned into risotto stuffed puris with tomato soup shots.

These quick wonderful recipes were followed by chocolate pearl puris with chocolate, cream and espresso shots.

The discussion about food continued on the lunch table where we tasted some of Sanjeev Kapoor's signature recipes. But for me this day wasn't about food, it was all about meeting my idol who has a major contribution in putting the cooking ka keeda in me.

The meet ended with us taking home Sanjeev Kapoor's raisin and pineapple chutney jar, recipe on a scroll and diyas. A special thanks to Rushina M G for organizing this day which is aptly named Food Bloggers' Day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...