Khao Gali to China House!

From lip smacking street food at Khao Gali at the Lobby Lounge, to Valentine’s Day specials at The Gourmet Store and finally to the recently launched Hotpot and barbecue menus at China House, the Grand Hyatt Mumbai treated us to a full-fledged palatable affair over the weekend!

Khao Galli Specials at Lobby Lounge 

slide2

Giving you a glimpse into Mumbai’s famous street food, the Khao Gali has been launched at the Lobby Lounge keeping in mind its social and cultural aspects. Available through the month of February, specials on the menu include – a street food station (dahi vada, pani puri, ragda pattiss, sev puri), Bun Maska with masala chai, Frankies, Masala Papad, Pav Bhaji, Missal pav, Vada Pav, Bhaji pav, Bread pakoda, and Falooda and Mewad Kulfi for dessert. That menu has me salivating!

dsc_0578

Valentine Indulgence
~ All you need is love.. but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!~

The Gourmet Store at the Grand Hyatt is celebrating the season of love with a thoughtfully crafted array of special offerings and exquisite gourmet preparations like the Strawberry heart cake, Valentine bitter chocolate cake, Red velvet slice, Linzer eye heart cookies, Valentine cupcakes, macaroons, the exclusive Jar of love and assorted praline and truffles. One look at these and I knew I had found true love. The passionfruit and mango pralines were my favourite. Unfortunately most of the other desserts contained egg so all I could do was lust.. sigh.. 

 Hot Pot & Barbecue Nights at China House

China House, one of the best Asian food restaurants in the city now offers Chinese Hot Pot with a fiery Chinese Barbecue specially crafted by Chef Xiang Bin Li and his team. The Hot Pot is a traditional Chinese way of preparing food directly at the dining table. A pot filled with simmering spicy stock is placed at the center of the table, and surrounded by different ingredients (meats and veggies). The ingredients are then added to the stock for a few minutes to cook and served individually. You can then choose from peanut butter, garlic and hot and sweet sauces to compliment your hot pot. The vegetarian ingredients included mushrooms, broccoli, lettuce, tofu, glass noodles and flat noodles. Chef Li also has an array of traditional smoky siu mei, barbecued meats and/or veggies (mushrooms, potatoes, tofu, lotus root, arum) cooked to perfection in a barbecue, chilli garlic, black pepper and mala sauce.

slide4

DSC_0644.JPG

The cherry on top is this stunning setting of the outdoor pagodas. Book your table at the earliest as Mumbai’s winter slowly bids us adieu this month!

Advertisements

Mango Festival at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai

The Summer Season is on with all its fury in the country but it’s raining mangoes at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai!

The Indian summer besides the scorching heat also brings with it the King of all fruits, the beautiful mango. With hand-picked, perfectly ripe golden mangoes, The Grand Hyatt Mumbai brings an array of sinful mango desserts and some savoury dishes, available at The Lobby Lounge and The Gourmet Shop.


It’s definitely a task trying to pick my favourite because they were all so delectable, but my top picks would be the Mango Tart, the Mango Passion Pralines and the Raw Mango Rice Paper Rolls.

The Mango Trifle Pudding was presented in a ripe mango slice. This one was light, fresh and easy to finish in 3 scoops 😉 As was the baked mango but that took me only 2 scoops 😉 The Pudding isn’t on the menu but Chef created it with a sponge soaked in sugar syrup made with star anise and cinnamon. This, along with its presentation, differentiates it from any pudding I’ve had before.

The Cheesecake had just the right amount of sweetness, the mango wasn’t overpowering the dish and was dense to perfection. The Mango Passion Pralines were easily one of the best chocolates I have ever eaten. The perfect combination of both fruits and filled with a juicy centre, these were little drops of heaven ❤ I recommend you pick up a box.. or two 😉

How many of you have though of combining Nutella and ripe mango slices together? Does the thought of too much sweetness make you cringe? I urge you to do away with all that negativity and make yourself one of these sandwiches! Served with a mango chutney (this is mango pulp mixed with a sweet chilli sauce) this is a great snack.

After all this sweetness, Chef was kind enough to make me a dish of the Vegetable and Raw Mango Rice Paper Rolls (they had a non-vegetarian dish prepped, so made this very kindly for me) which I LOVED. The simplicity of sliced vegetables and raw mangoes with a beautiful rice paper covering served with sweet chilli and mango chutney made the dish a hero.

Be sure to book your table for the week at the Lobby Lounge or visit the store before the season runs out! I promise you, you do not want to miss it.

Thank you for having me over Grand Hyatt Mumbai!

Café Review: Sugar Rush

Address: 2, Bajaj Arcade, Union Park, Carters Road, Khar West, Mumbai – 400054
Telephone: 022-6530111/9820151417
Hours: 10.30 a.m. – 1 a.m.
All desserts are eggless.

If you’re driving down towards Carter Road from Khar, you will be compelled to see gorgeously bright, candy pink doors on the right side of the street. These doors will make you want to stop your car and walk into the mini candy land that is Sugar Rush. Now if only it was located on a cobbled street, with perhaps a rivulet gurgling by, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Europe.

UP

Owned by Rushda Azmi Shaikh, sister of renowned restaurateur Farhan Azmi, Sugar Rush is a delightful dessert boutique that made me forget I was in busy Mumbai for a few minutes. With a graduate degree in hotel management and a diploma in bakery, this is Rushda’s first venture. I stepped into Sugar Rush three weeks ago in order to satiate my sister’s chocolate cravings not knowing that I would be doing a review for them. I met Rushda and her family then and was greeted with extreme warmth. I’m always impressed when there’s a personal touch involved during sales, so she earned brownie points at that very moment 🙂

What I ate

A mud pie, blueberry, red velvet and chocolate ganache cupcakes, a cream cheese macaroon and a Nutella banana smoothie (new on the menu). A friend that had accompanied me tried that Strawberry smoothie. Don’t I just have everybody’s dream job?

DSC_0023

You may stop drooling now.

The chocolate mud pie was TO DIE FOR. Incredibly gooey, you want to get your hands on this one. Of all the mini cupcakes, the blueberry was the one I liked the most. I should add here that the red velvet cupcake is totally devoid of food colour. They use fresh beetroot juice instead. In a world where everybody is still going gaga over red velvet, which is pretty much only food colour, this was pleasant surprise. The cream cheese macaroon was interesting to say the least. This is made from the base of the red velvet cupcake with sugar and cream cheese added. The Nutella banana smoothie was absolutely delicious, a tad on the sweeter side; if you don’t like your smoothies too sweet, there are plenty of other fresh fruit options to choose from, like the strawberry smoothie. It was a burst of fresh berries in my mouth. As summer approaches, I look forward to their mango smoothie.

With a back kitchen in Andheri, Rushda ensures that each dessert displayed in the boutique is made fresh every day. Besides the above, they also have a range of cakes (single pastry, 1/2 and 1 kilo), chocolates, cookies, brownies, breads and other beverages. They are also happy to make you custom cakes.

Décor

I fell in love with the charm Sugar Rush has to offer the minute I stepped into it. The interiors have been designed by Rushda’s husband Sakib Shaikh of Bombay Painting Works fame. His attention to detail is admirable. I particularly loved the cupcake wall clock. The French windows and candy pink high stools are sure to grab your attention.

DSC_0051 DSC_0034

Sugar Rush and Rushda were both an absolute delight and I definitely recommend a visit.

P.S. Do not leave without eating her mud pie!

Making those calories count!

La Folie Patisserie
Address: Sai Baba Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai-400001
Telephone: 022 222672686
Hours: 11.30 a.m-11.30 p.m
Home Delivery: Yes, up to Juhu

So my week started with some great news. I got a call from Peepul Consulting asking me if I’d be interested in attending a pre-launch dessert menu tasting. Umm hello, how could I pass up an opportunity to spend a couple of hours just eating desserts? I managed to get a couple of hours off from work (thank you Daddy) and spent all of Wednesday afternoon trying out some pretty exotic items.

Chef Sanjana of La Folie Patisserie boasts one hell of a resume. She has studied at some of the world’s most renowned culinary schools including Le Cordon Bleu. She has trained alongside macaroon God Pierre Hermé, Emmanuel Ryon and Jean-Charles Rochoux to name a few. When I read this, I knew I had to be present at the tasting session. Tucked away in a quiet lane, located bang opposite the Kala Ghoda café is La Folie. You will be welcomed with the most intoxicating smells. Almost every single dessert on display here looks a little too good to eat. From exquisite macaroons, truffles, pralines to delicate pastries and seasonal desserts, Sanjana and her team have got it all covered. Their vanilla pods are flown in from Tahiti, chocolate from Belgium, France and Switzerland, and butter and cream from France as well. It doesn’t just end there. To keep up her quality standards, she uses three different kinds of cocoa beans – Madagascar, Aztec and Java. I think that this justifies the pricing (the desserts on the new menu cost Rs. 235 each). May I also add here, that I’m mighty glad Sanjana has taken it upon herself to spread awareness that desserts are not just chocolate truffles, red velvet cupcakes and brownies? Finally, there’s someone out there that doesn’t care just about mass-producing stuff!

‘Kay, enough talking! Let’s drool over some photographs.

Desktop2.jpg

This is the display area

1. Grandma’s Carrot Patch

This was item one on the menu. I like carrot cakes so I was very keen to see how different this was going to be. Sanjana says that she has taken inspiration from her grandmother, whose gajar ka halwa she grew up eating, and therefore dedicates this dish to her. The base is a carrot walnut cake, with fresh apricot compote, carrot cream cheese mousse and lemon curd. The top is made to look like a vegetable patch because her grandma grew her own. She has used walnut to give it a soil like texture, along with fresh parsley. I completely devoured this dessert, to say the least. What I loved about it the most, is that in spite of having so many layers, this pastry does not leave you feeling full or heavy at all. I recommend it to everyone, including those that are not big fans of the original carrot cake.

DSC_0060.JPG

2. Shades of Green

Before we moved onto the next dessert, we were given a cup of fresh marigold tea to cleanse our palette. Good thinking. This dessert was super interesting because it’s made from ingredients that one can’t possibly imagine together – granny smith apples with fennel and celery! Chef Sanjana says that this dish is inspired by Oscar-Claude Monet’s painting of water lilies, hence the green colour. No artificial colours have been used to achieve this. The colour is owing to the apples. Extremely fresh and super light, this dessert is a delight for your tastebuds. It’s perfect for an afternoon tea. Although, I did feel like the apple flavour was dominating the dish due to which the other two elements seemed slightly lost. However, I loved the way it tasted so I won’t complain.

DSC_0057.JPG

3. Mac & Cheese

We were served cups of steaming hot Kashmiri Kahwah (tea) before we moved to this dessert. Very cutely named, this dessert is made up of Sanjana’s favourite items – macarons, cheesecake and choux pastry. The one at the back contains flavours of the violet flower, black current and is stuffed with layers of baked and frozen cheesecake, topped with a classic choux pastry. The colourful yellow one contains flavours of the rhubarb plant, strawberry and a Japanese fruit – Yuzu. AHHMAAZING! I preferred the yellow one, only because I thought the black current was a little sweet and the violet a little strong. I absolutely loved the mix of these delicious elements, so this item on their menu is a must try as well. It is a little heavy because of the cheesecake, just in case you want to keep that in mind.

Mac n Cheese Choux.jpg

4. Java

We were now served cups of Marco tea Polo since we were moving on to the heavier, chocolate desserts. It was much needed to break the sweetness of the Mac and Cheese. The Java cake was one I was a little hesitant to try because it’s made up of a banana cake with ginger. The idea of ginger in my dessert is quite repelling, but I only took one bite and that idea vanished. It’s a ginger banana cake, with caramelised bananas, toffee ganache and a pecan crumble. I’m not a big fan of pecan, but Sanjana has managed to bring all these elements together, beautifully. The toffee ganache and decadent chocolate left my tastebuds feeling completely satisfied. This was definitely my favourite item on the menu. It’s extremely rich though, so you may not want to order anything else. Just enjoy this pastry as it is.

DSC_0096.JPG

5. Aztec

68% Bolivian chocolate, long pepper and blood orange have been brought together to make up this dessert. These have been combined with floral honey, pralines, and prunes to make the final product. So this dessert essentially is made up of 10 layers. Since I love pretty much everything chocolate, I quite liked this dish. However, the mousse on top with the long pepper was a let down for me. You don’t realise it when you take a bit including every layer; but when you taste just the mousse, it feels like there’s a barbecue party going on right in your mouth. I’m not a fan of barbecue sauce and owing to the long pepper the mousse tastes just like that. Considering the number of other desserts that are absolutely outstanding, I think I’d give this a miss. However, the other tasters loved it, so if you’re a BBQ sauce fan, this is a must try.

Aztec.jpg

6. Madagascar

If someone asked me to pick between the Madagascar and the Java cake, I think that would be one of my life’s hardest decisions. Raspberry and chocolate together is one of my favourite combinations so I give this one a big thumbs up. In this dessert Sanjana brings together raspberry mousse, balsamic vinegar and a flour less chocolate cake, making it gluten free. The raspberries compressed in a balsamic vinegar reduction paired with subtle notes of the Tonka spice (used as a vanilla substitute) make for an absolute delight. It looked rather romantic to me, so you may want to consider sharing this with your loved one (it’s too yummy though to share with anybody else if you ask me). I absolutely love the feminine touch the red graze brings along with the rich decadence of the chocolate. In one word, PERFECTION.

DSC_0063.JPG

7. Antioxidant

Ok, this dessert is almost too good looking to eat. It’s made up of a light, fragrant, rose panna cotta, on a bed of red champagne caviar and a compote jelly of red berries and beet root juice, with a test tube of anti-oxidant red berry juice. This one you can enjoy guilt free, because it contains no sugar, no carbs, it’s eggless and gluten free. Lychee syrup has been used as a sugar substitute. What more can you ask for? However, this was a bit of a let down for me to be honest, but that’s probably because I’m not a fan of rose-anything. I also found the raspberries a tad bit acidic. The other tasters however loved it, so if you like anything that’s rose flavoured, you may enjoy this.

Antioxidant.jpg

Overall, I think Chef Sanjana and her team have done a job par excellence. We were not only served great desserts, but were also given excellent service. It was an afternoon well spent, and in spite of all the calories I must have accumulated, it’s safe to say they were worth it! I recommend you to grab this collection of desserts whilst it lasts!