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Review: Madras Diaries

I’m a big fan of Cafe Madras and all the authentic South Indian joints in and around Matunga so when I first heard of Madras Diaries, I was quite excited to give it a try.

Located at Waterfield Road, the restaurant has a beautiful exterior. You enter through a huge wooden door which is painted colourfully on the other side. The restaurant is divided into two sections and the interiors were vibrant and colourful!

The menu, just like the ambience is colourful with pictures of everything South Indian, Dosas, Appams, Filter Coffee and non food related things like Bharat Natyam. How interesting! We ordered for Tahttu Idli, Chettinad Paneer and the Malabari Parottas. The Idli was not completely authentic like a Thaat Idli that you would get at Cafe Madras but nevertheless, it was yummy and came topped with the gunpowder chutney. The Malabari Parotta went well with the Chettinad Paneer which was spicy and creamy. A must try are the 4 chutneys that they give you alongwith your meal! All so good and different from the others!
Alongwith our meal we ordered for the Masala Buttermilk, it tasted fine but we were disappointed that it wasn’t freshly prepared.

The service here is extremely quick! Within minutes of us placing our order, we had the food on our table. In that sense, we got a proper udipi feel!

Overall, we had a good experience here, the food tasted good and the ambience is warm and homely, the pricing is competitive. The quantity of the dishes could definitely improve. Going to go back for sure!

Venue:  Madras Diaries

Overall rating

Waterfield Road, Bandra West

Landmark: Near ICICI Bank

Phone: +9122 6517 8888

Follow:

Mumbai Candid at @chandnitolani @mumbaicandid on Instagram and Madras Diaries at @madras.diaries

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

 

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Review: Taste of Punjab, Bandra

Bandra is always starving for new restaurants even though we have so many options. But North Indian cuisine is always a hit here as whereever we go, we enjoy our butter chicken and naan!

When we heard of Taste of Punjab, we couldn’t wait to try it. The concept seemed interesting, a buffet, with Punjab inspired interiors. We went here on a Saturday night, not knowing if we’ll get a table. Luckily, we did even though the place was packed.

The ambience was loud! The music was loud! The colours were loud! But we are not complaining, we loved it! There was a bhangra troupe performing in the dining area, there were huge glass mirrored walls, jhumka chandeliers and glass pillars. There were live counters for chaat, parathas and a buffet spread for the maincourse and desserts.

The starters were served to our table alongwith our drinks. The chicken tikka and the fish tikka were delicious, succulent and well cooked. Chaas was served in a huge steel glass, just like it would be on the streets of Amritsar. The veg hara bhara kebab was good too. From the live paratha counter, the gobi paratha and aloo paratha were served hot with a huge chunk of butter on it. The chaat counter had paani puri and dahi chaat, which were great too! In the maincourse, the biryani was delicious as was the bhuna ghosht. In the desserts, there was kulfi, gulab jamun and rabdi. Not too bad, but we would’ve liked some more options there.
Overall, the food was great, no complaints and the music was great, the best of punjabi songs were being played making it hard for people to not dance.

The only place where they were lacking was the service. We had to call someone multiple times to serve us the starters or even just for water. I’m sure if they work on this, they have a bright future as I am definitely going back here!
Balle Balle!

Venue:  Taste of Punjab

Overall rating

Linking Road, Bandra West

Landmark: Next to Croma

Phone: +9177388 92805

Follow:

Mumbai Candid at @chandnitolani @mumbaicandid on Instagram and Taste of Punjab at @topbandra

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

Review: Nara Thai, BKC

After a long wait and a million recommendations, we finally decided to visit the newest kid on the block, Nara. Brought down to Mumbai all the way from Bangkok, this one comes from the same family as Yauatcha, KA Hospitality. The word “Nara” comes from the Sanskrit language meaning ‘Thai woman’. You can see a glimpse of that in the decor, feminine and classy!

The outdoor section is a dimly lit casual dining space while indoors is bright and more formal. The menu is not too vast but everything looked delightful. A special mention to the service, from the reservation over the phone to the table service, everything was smooth.

For the drinks, the bartender made us a whiskey sour, on request and we picked the Lakhon, a wine based cocktail with Martini Bianco, Green Apple Juice and Passion Fruit from their signature cocktail menu. Potent and fruity, we absolutely loved the Lakhon was truly ‘lakhon mein ek’!

From the food, we tried the Som Tum Salad – the classic Thai salad which was fresh and juicy, a little more spice would’ve been great though. Next up was the Gai Tord Samunprai – Crispy Fried Chicken with Thai Herbs, loved the flavour of the Thai herbs. In the mains, we had the Phad Thai with Chicken and Massaman Curry with Steam Rice. Both the dishes were full of flavour, especially the curry. Coming back for this.

For the desserts, we tried the Nara Coconut Ice Cream with Condiments. This one is a must try. The ice cream is creamy and tastes home made and the colourful condiments take you back to the streets of Thailand!

Overall, if you’re looking for a no frills meal, with no fancy stunts and just a great meal, Nara is a good option. They can definitely polish up their presentation skills, but all in all, for Thai food, this one is a winner!

Venue:  Nara

Bandra Kurla Complex

Overall rating

Landmark: Below Yauatcha

Phone: +9122 6137 8080

Follow:

Mumbai Candid at @chandnitolani @mumbaicandid on Instagram and Nara at @narathaiindia

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

Review: London Taxi, Lower Parel

With all the new places in Kamala Mills, London Taxi comes across as a pleasant surprise. We were here for lunch and must say, the food and presentation is quite impressive.

The interiors are colourful with a long bar on one end, high tables in the centre and comfortable seating on the other end. From the drinks, we called for the Dirty Truffle Martini and the Mimosa. The martini was extremely potent and not for the weak hearted and the Mimosa was a perfect lunch drink!
From the Soups, we absolutely loved the Truffle Scented Dark Chocolate and Cauliflower Soup. It was unusual but at the same time quite easy on the palate. The Watermelon and Feta Salad was next on our table and it came with olives, crotons, feta and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic reduction, refreshing and delicious.
From the mains, we’d totally recommend the Chicken Ramen – a tangy chicken broth with noodles, chicken and a whole lot of veggies and the Spicy Chicken Flatbread – Olives, Peppers and Chicken topped on a cheesy flat bread.
The highlight of our meal was the desserts!
Salted Dark Chocolate and Whiskey Mousse, the Mascarporne and Raspberry Sorbet, the Banana and Toffee Parfait, all were spectacular, in taste and presentation! Definitely going back here for the desserts.
Overall, if you’re looking to grab a great meal alongwith some potent drinks at Lower Parel, London Taxi is a great option.

Venue:  London Taxi

Kamala Mills, Lower Parel

Overall rating

Landmark: Near Farzi Cafe

Phone: +9177100 82222

Follow:

Mumbai Candid at @chandnitolani @mumbaicandid on Instagram and London Taxi at @atlondontaxi

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

Product Review: Colorbar Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Pen

Colorbar’s Radiant Glow Illuminator Pen is a compact, easy to carry highlighter which is a great product to give you a natural shine and to enhance your make up as well as the high points of your face.

Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Pen resembles your regular ball pen with a push button at the back.  A soft bristle releases the highlighter when tapped on the skin and when pressed from the back. You can use it to apply the product directly on the face.

It is a cream based highlighter and it’s easy to apply since it’s smooth and rich. The best part about the product is that it’s not too glittery and can be used on all skin types. Ensure to clean the bristle with a soft tissue after every use or the product will accumulate and make the brush hard.

Overall, it is a great product, especially since it looks natural on applying and extremely travel friendly.

Product: Colorbar Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Pen

Shade: Glamour 001

Price: Rs.525

Quantity: 1.6 ml

Buy here: Nykaa

Review: Coffee Culture

In a place like Bandra, we can never have ‘just enough’ coffee shops. The more, the merrier, is what we believe.

Replacing Basilico, this newbie is not so new afterall. They have outlets in Surat, Lucknow, Jabalpur, Vapi, Kadodara, Bardoli and now Mumbai. It’s amazing to see how cafes are taking an effort to do up their interiors and gone are the days where all you got in a coffee shop was a display of cold food and a table to keep it on.

Coffee Culture, located on Hill Road, is chirpy and colourful. When we entered, on a weekday evening, we were quite surprised to see that there was no place to sit, inside or outside. After a wait of ten minutes, we were given a table. Since it was too loud inside (constant chattering and no music), we asked to be shifted outside, which definitely had a better vibe.

We ordered for the Chicken Pizza Wich and Culture Addiction Cold Coffee. The Pizza Wich – a grilled sandwich with cheese and chicken as the filling, was average. The filling could have been better and definitely more cheese! The Culture Addiction was listed under the Dessert Cold Coffee section and was rich, creamy with a hint of hazelnut and was topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It was great, definitely coming back for this one. The menu is so vast that it’s going to take us many visits to try out more stuff on it and we are looking forward to it. The service lacked promptness, hopefully only a teething issue and since it was packed to the t, we can excuse them.

Overall, Coffee Culture is a wonderful addition to the coffee scene and it makes us happy that they have a range of food options. Going back there soon!

Overall Rating

Venue:  Coffee Culture

Hill Road, Bandra West

Landmark: Opposite Mamagoto

Phone: +9122 6134 4915

Follow:

Mumbai Candid at @chandnitolani @mumbaicandid on Instagram and Coffee Culture at @coffeeculturein

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

Review: Farmer’s Cafe, Bandra

Every time there is a new restaurant in Bandra worth visiting, we do a little happy dance!

The newest entrant on our list of favourites is Farmer’s Cafe. A hidden gem, we heard a lot about this place since the time it opened so finally we decided to pay a visit. We aren’t a fan of the keto, vegan and other diets/fads, but even then, it was interesting to see their menu had a host of options to suit everyone following these diets as well as for those who just want to eat healthy.

The place is located in the same lane as Ayaz, Between Breads et all but can easily be missed as it’s a hole in the wall. There are couple of tables inside as well as outside and a pretty great menu. The vibe of the place is quite cozy and warm and so is the service.

We ordered for the Chicken Burger, which was served with Coleslaw and their House Sauce. The burger patty was grilled and the buns were multigrain. Inspite of this, the burger tasted as good as an unhealthy one. *winks* Next we had the Aglio E Olio which came with mushrooms, olives, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers and was topped with parmesan shavings. This was delicious as well and the portion was good for one.


A vegan friend who accompanied us called for the Farmer’s Vegetarian Meal which looked mind blowing. It came with Roasted Vegetables, Tofu cooked in their homemade sauce, brown rice and salad. This meal was vegan and gluten free. She absolutely loved it and was quite satisfied as it was a complete meal! Going to definitely try the non vegetarian version of it on our next visit.

In the beverages, we tried the Cucumber Coriander Chaas which was more like a slush but quite refreshing and delicious. And the cold coffee with soy milk (vegan again) which was quite nice too. They don’t serve processed sugar and if you need a sweetener, you can request them to give you some jaggery.

Overall, the meal was absolutely delightful and we’re waiting to go back here to try the remaining options from the menu! Kudos to the team 🙂

Venue:  Farmer’s Cafe

16th Road, Bandra West

Overall rating

Landmark: Opposite Hawaiin Shack

Phone: +9175060 15930

Follow:

Mumbai Candid at @chandnitolani @mumbaicandid on Instagram and Farmer’s Cafe at @farmerscafemumbai

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter