Sunday, April 6, 2014

Launch of the new burger McRoyale at McDonalds, Mumbai.

Food memories are the best memories. The best of my childhood memories involve playing hide and seek, lock and key, and pakda pakdi with my friends and coming back home to usually a glass of milk shake before dinner. Other prominent memories include me fighting with my brothers to get a chance to play Mario on my Nintendo video game during vacations, while munching on cheese crackers and little 200 ml tetra packs of Chocolate/Banana/Strawberry Milk that Mom brought from her trips to Dubai and Sharjah. Back then, little pleasures mattered the most, much like enjoying and chilling with a madh (honey) wala gola, which was nothing but shaved ice on a stick that was dipped in flavored syrups and then swirled in faux honey which was actually something like sugar in an almost soft ball stage, which solidified on the ice so we could actually chew it off. Wow, I feel old.

Then arrived the rage that was McDonalds, and Ronald, the man in a Yellow boiler Suit with a white face and Red hair was too adorable to make clowns appear freaky to me anymore (I was so scared of clowns as a child). Everyone wanted to go to McDonalds and look at the super awesome wallpapers of Grimace, Hamburglar and Birdie, and get a Happy Meal or two so they could update their collection. I remember visiting McDonalds for the first time with Mom and the younger brother, and I was in love. Mom made sure that we earned a meal at McDonalds, much like the precious (fixed) time to play video games or to indulge in our favorite meals. Nothing came free.

Time went by, but the memory stayed. I dreamed of conquering the Maharaja Mac one day, and I finally did, when I was 16. The McDonalds at Vile Parle Station, near my college (Mithibai) was a popular bunking destination as it opened up at 0800 hrs and had a jukebox. I remember spending days on end at our favorite spot, playing truth and dare with friends, listening to music and being able to recite the entire menu of McDonalds at one go. Along with special discounts and toys of the month. Wish I paid more attention to studies (or not).

I tend to stretch topics out and explain them over and over again when they mean something to me. I guess what I am trying to say is, even when we're all grown up, and we spend time dining at gourmet restaurants, there is very little that is as comforting as Burger and Fries. If you've ever noticed, very little has ever been struck off the menu at McDonalds. People love what they provide - a quick and affordable meal. 

The McRoyale Paneer/Chicken was launched two weeks ago after a lot of testing, and a bunch of bloggers got to know exactly how. From conceptualizing a Burger to providing the ultimate experience with the perfect bread, patty and vegetables, Chef Swarup Solgaonkar has had to spend a lot of time in his test kitchen coming up with a great burger experience. The Mc Royale Chicken is a big burger, priced at Rs. 140, that consists of two chicken patties, two slices of chicken salami, garden fresh salad, and a cornmeal dusted bun. The McPaneer Royale is priced at Rs. 130, that consists the same items, but has a different shape and of course, a Paneer Steak coated with Mediterranean spices in place of the meat. 

It was great to know how passionate everyone from the McDonalds team was about their new product. A fun challenge followed and we all got to interpret our styles of what is an ultimate burger eating experience. For some it was pretty, but for some it meant serious flavor packed awesomeness. I'd leave it up to you guys to judge how the burger was, but this was one of those rare times where I favoured the Vegetarian version more than its Non Veg counterpart (It was too yummy for me to be partial towards the meat).Wishing everyone over at McDonalds all the best and here is a confession from me - I will be a McDonalds fan girl for life! (even if that means training harder at the gym)

Which is your favorite burger from McDonalds? Have you tried the McRoyale burgers yet? What is your verdict? I'd love to know! 

Photo Credits: Rashi Arora

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Food Review: Smoke House Deli, Bandra Kurla Complex.

Picture Courtesy : Smoke House Deli

Pharrell William's Happy is doing the rounds almost everywhere on the internet. Its great, everyone is uploading their version of the Happy Song on youtube, so much so that someone has actually uploaded a parody video called 'Crappy'. Crappy makes them Happy. Well, whatever floats their boat!

Happiness for me is simple things. Food, Love, and Laughter. Smoke House Deli has consistently managed to maintain the number 1 spot in all 3 departments for me. It also happens to be my most visited place for a Date night, other than Big Chill in New Delhi, just for the perfect setting and feel-good ambiance along with lip smacking food.

Picture Courtesy: Smoke House Deli

Smoke House Deli has opened their brand new outlet at Bandra Kurla Complex, which happens to cater to mostly clientele who want to grab a quick lunch during their break from office, or who want to chill with a drink after work. Time is the essence to this outlet, in my opinion.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: Lunch at Salt Water Cafe, Churchgate, Mumbai.

Living in a bubble is not a good thing. Except sometimes, maybe it is. Or maybe it is just comfortable. I have lost count of so many places I have not been to just because I am lazy and will not travel all the way from Lokhandwala, Andheri to South Mumbai. My travel radius in Mumbai is limited from Malad to Bandra, and I have to prepare myself mentally if I have to ever visit South Mumbai. If anything, I am sure South Mumbai residents feel the same way about Andheri West. Then there are those special someones who travel along the length and breadth of their city (Delhi) when you visit, and just to make sure you have a good time, they take you around every nook and corner. Then they visit Mumbai and you have to burst that bubble just because its your turn to reciprocate. If you are anything like me you will probably cover the entire South Mumbai in one day just because you don't wanna return again, but here's the catch: You do not feel like leaving once you enter those streets with the old world charm.

Salt Water Cafe at Churchgate used to be Mocha before, and as you may have already figured by now, I am a South Mumbai n00b, so we had some trouble finding the place. But the ambiance made the walking totally worth it. Here are some pictures from our visit. I know all of you will love the pictures on this post, he's a great photographer!

The cocktails were nothing to write home about, including the Chocolate Martini and others, but the aftertaste of the fresh White Wine Sangria with Sage still stays on my palate.

Highly recommend: White Wine Sage Sangria
Crispy Polenta Chicken!

Seafood Cakes with Oyster Salsa and Wasabi : Highly Recommended

Yummy Calamari Broth!

Christmas Special was Turkey Snitzel with Mash and Gravy

While the entrees and main course were pretty good, the desserts were disappointing other than the Flourless Chocolate Cake. Other than the images we also tried the Bread and Butter Pudding which was a Christmas Special, but it was too eggy for my liking.

Flourless Chocolate Cake.
Hazelnut Crème brûlée which was just about average.
All in all, Salt Water Cafe is a great date spot, but they do have some minor fix ups on their plate. Two customers sent back their dishes because they were undercooked right in front of me. I guess its one of the downsides of doing a review when the restaurant knows you're coming. But if they fix these minor glitches, this place is going to remain packed with customers for a long time!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Recipe: Taking Idli to the next level : Dahi Idli

Hopping on the 'healthy eating' train has taken a toll on my blog. I have been avoiding food reviews like the plague just because I have been trying to work out and lose all those excess pounds that come free along with the free food and drinks involved. I have decided to limit myself to no more than 2 food reviews in a month. Just as I make my own food at home every day, I need to keep things interesting for myself since it is easy to get bored of eating the same thing. Idlis are something that are both healthy and yummy and I can never get enough of them. But one way to experiment with these is to make Dahi Idli. Ah, the thought of chilled Dahi Idli on a hot summer day! Here is my version for the recipe:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

5 Things : A new series! Sofitel, Mad Over Donuts, Hard Rock Cafe, Faasos and a Cheese Overload!

I've been meaning to start this for a while now.

5 things that make me smile : Mostly about Food. But you know me, I'll put up anything!

So here it goes!

1. Lunch Buffet at Sofitel, Bandra Kurla Complex:

Tried out the brunch at Pondicherry Cafe recently, and I must say they have a pretty awesome spread! While they also have a live Pizza, Pasta and Noodle table, there are innumerable amounts of options and one could spend a leisurely time while enjoying sumptuous food! Special mention for the amazing Sushi counter and the Cold Cut and Fish station!


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