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Mayuri Sharrma

Mayuri

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About me  I am a professional Tarot Card Reader, Columnist and Freelance Writer. And a big foodie!:)

Reviews Posted by: Mayuri

20 Reviews

Aromas of China

"Take a whiff of this Aroma, once." 28 Jun 2008
I have been hearing extreme views about this restaurant for a while now. On one hand people swear by it, while on the other hand people swear off it after their very first visit. Ambience; The serene countenance of Buddha greets you as soon as you enter. The walkway is made of large wood squares with channels of water running all around them, pretty but not very practical. Esp if you have children accompanying you. Watch your step, nonetheless. Another water feature runs along one of the walls and giant gold Buddha’s stand guard on either side of the dining area. The refined interiors are done up in shades of old rose, beige and dark wood. Wooden mesh serve as partitions, dividing the spacious restaurant into three distinct areas; a small area that has tables for two, the bigger area with table for 4 and more in the middle, and the third being what I assumed to be a family area, with large tables to accommodate families and big groups. The tables were spacious and the seating comfortable. Papier-machie cylinders suspended from the ceiling light up the restaurant giving it a warm glow. Staff; The staff moved at the speed of light. We were told that the food would be at our table in 5 minutes, and it was. My only quibble being; the staff didn’t seem to be very well trained and well informed. They kept bumping into each other as they served us and passed dishes over our plates. Also, they seemed to be in a tearing hurry for us to leave. The moment I put down my fork on my empty plate, the waiter materialized to ask if he could clear it. Even though it wasn’t very crowded nor was there a queue of people waiting to be seated outside. What we ate; A tray that held bowls of Kimchi, a sweet and sour seasoned cabbage and cucumber slivers seasoned with vinegar salt and sugar was placed before us as soon as we were seated. Both were delicious. * Steamed Chicken Dumplings (Rs 150.6 Pieces) that were lukewarm, bland and rubbery textured. They tasted like they were insufficiently heated up in the microwave and then placed in the bamboo steamer. Thumbs down for this one! * Chicken Clay Pot Rice (Rs 255) Regular rice, with bits of chicken steamed in a clay pot. Thankfully good. * Five Treasure Vegetables in Spicy Sauce (Rs 215) As the name suggests, five vegetables, of which I only remember the crunch of water chestnuts, the sponginess of black mushrooms and the baby corn in a brown sauce. This one was the best dish of the lot. * Braised chicken and black mushroom in clay pot (Rs285) The black mushrooms were limp and the chicken wasn’t fresh either. The brown soy based sauce wasn’t memorable. Ho-hum! Fortune cookies rounded up the meal. We skipped dessert. Though their servings are very generous, none of the food seemed fresh. And surprisingly, none of the dishes came to the table steaming. In fact, they bordered on lukewarm, and I mentioned this on their comment card as well. I loved the ambience, thought the service could be spruced up a bit and I can’t make up my mind whether the food was the way it was only on that particular day. So it would be safe to say that I am on the fence, regarding my personal opinion about Aromas of China.

Penne

"Worth every penny!" 28 Jun 2008
Nearest Landmarks: Right opposite, Spinach the supermarket. Close to the ISKON Temple and Hotel Ramee Guestline. Cuisine: Italian Serve Alcohol: Yes Ambience; Penne has two markedly defined areas, the Al Fresco area outside and the fine dining area inside and both have a warm and inviting feel to them. The canopied al fresco area is landscaped with greenery and thus shielded from the hustle and bustle of the road outside. It would be ideal for a meal combined with a leisurely tête-à-tête or just a languid afternoon/evening spent sipping the beverage of choice over pizza or munching on nibbles. The uncluttered and cozy elegance of the fine dining area welcomes you with its matt gold walls (I absolutely loved them!) and is softly lit with black chandeliers. The tables were well spaced, keeping privacy in mind. Minor Quibble; I wish the span of the individual tables were slightly more spacious, as the serving dishes were quite large and thus ended up crowding the table uncomfortably. Staff; Quick, courteous, unobtrusive and very well informed. What we ate; Starters; Fusilli Con Pollo Arenza (Rs 395) a spicy chicken starter, with bits of bell peppers, flavored with herbs. It was good Funghetti fritti Al Spin (Rs 235 for 6 pieces) a starter that was made of a mushroom each, packed with a gooey mix of cheese and spinach and dipped in bread crumbs and deep fried to golden perfection. Recommended by the waiter, this one left us salivating for more! Pizza Trastevere (Rs 395) an oh-so-thin crust pizza, crispy crunchy on the rim and sodden with our chosen toppings in the middle. It came to the table piping hot, straight from the oven. Pollo Siciliana (Rs 275) was penne and chicken in cream sauce. Delightful! Rosotto Ortolana con aspa (Rs 295) the most divine risotto I have had in a while. The consistency was creamy and melt in the mouth. Garlic Bread (Rs 80) Crisp, airy bread slivers saturated just right in butter and subtly flavored with garlic. Dessert was; Triple Chocolate Biscotti (Rs 225) 2 scoops of ice cream and bits of chocolate cake covered in 3 different types of chocolate sauces and sprinkled with roasted almond slivers and topped of with bits of biscotti. Though it sounded very tempting on paper, it was a disappointment otherwise. Their version of biscotti turned out to be plain old chocolate wafer biscuits and the sauce was just ordinary melted chocolate. What we drank; Since all of were teetotalers, we sipped on; Virgin Kiwi Margarita (Rs 150) a tangy sweet and sour drink with the delicious after taste of kiwi. Virgin Black current Margarita (Rs 150) was good too, but I thought it was a tad too sweet, for me. Iced Tea (Rs 150) was average. All the ingredients used seemed absolutely fresh, with a special mention to the pizza dough which was freshly kneaded and all the sauces that were flavorful and light. Penne is priced on the slightly higher side, but it’s worth every penny.

Banana Leaf

"A Big Na Na!" 28 Jun 2008
Cuisine: In their own words ‘Fine Veg Dining & Coffee House’ The ambience; The restaurant is spread over a spacious area and done up to resemble a stately home of South India with wooden rafters on the ceiling and gleaming pillars, giving it a very old world charm. Really well-done R K Laxman sketches adorn the length of the walls. There is a gorgeous mural of the Madurai temple on one wall with banana leaves and brass oil lamps flanking either side of it. I specially loved the fresh and vibrant green wall (exactly the color of a banana leaf). The tables are placed too close to each other with only a wire mesh separating some. Also, the restaurant was way too noisy! And adding to the cacophony of sound was the classical music blaring in the background. Staff. The waiters were a confused lot; the ones serving our table did not understand Hindi nor English nor gestures. And we had to wait awhile till we could get attention. The maitre de was helpful though. He suggested that we were ordering way too much for 3 people and helped us with the order. (That’s a different topic altogether that the dishes suggested by him were awful) What we ate and drank; Sweet Lassi (Rs 60) too thick. Aam Panna( Rs 75) the overwhelming taste of jaljira masala hit us first (even after it was stirred well) it was way too thick for an Aam Panna I suspected ample green food color being used. Paneer Gassii with Appams (Rs 175) didn’t taste remotely like gassii. I could only taste coarsely ground khus khus, which I am sure is NOT an ingredient used in a gassi. It almost tasted like paneer makhani. Malabari Curry with Appams (Rs 175) thankfully the curry was delicious. But way too vibrantly red. Artificial food color used once again, I thought. Appams (Rs 50) were leathery. Not fluffy and light, like appams should ideally be. Hyderabadi Biryani (Rs 150 ) it was green! Probably didn’t want the color left over from the Aam Panna to go waste! And tasted anything BUT like a biryani, Hyderabadi or otherwise! Just green rice and vegetables tossed together. The meal rounded off with a South India paan which was delicious. The reason I mention the use of food color repeatedly is that I am allergic to it, red food color in particular, and I had a flaming allergic attack right after this meal, confirming my suspicions of food color being used liberally. The meal, the ambience, and the service nothing worked for us. Reservation is a must. And even after you’ve reserved, expect to wait a while for your table. Without a reservation, expect to wait for an hour. And the options, for while you wait, are either standing on the footpath outside the restaurant or under the makeshift canopy in the verandah of the restaurant.

Masala Mantar

"This mantar works!" 28 Jun 2008
Cuisine: Largely Mughlai. But they have Seafood on the menu as well. Liquor served: Yes. Ambience: As you take the stairs up to the restaurant you notice happy pictures of people with vegetables, shot by ace photographer Jagdish Mali, lining the wall. The restaurant itself is quite spacious. Bare bubs suspended on wires from the ceiling light up the place, the interiors of which are done up to appear like a cross-between an old ‘kothi’ of Punjab and a Dhaba. The white, brick-coated-with-choona walls, covered with still more pictures by Mali, give the restaurant a spacious feel. Simple wooden tables are well spaced out, giving each table the required amount of privacy from the ones surrounding it. Do note the cashier-corner, which consists of two little desks, the kinds a ‘munshi’(cashiers) in the movies of the old days used. Staff: Well-informed, cheerful and courteous staff who were unobtrusive otherwise but promptly at you table the moment you required them. I have no idea if this is the norm, but on the day we were there, the staff had the day’s specials and special offers written on brightly colored paper squares, pinned on their all-black uniforms. Pretty innovative! What we ate; Since none, out of the 4, of us were particularly hungry, we ordered an odd assortment of dishes; Chicken Shorba, that was a really yum broth and seasoned just right enough to border on fiery. Gilafi Chicken Seekh; a colorful chicken and vegetable seekh kebab, which was okaish. Roasted Kaali Miri Kebab; as the name very obviously suggests, tandoori chicken pieces flavored with crushed black peeper. It was exemplary! Murgh Mirch; a rather unusual tasting tomato based gravy chicken dish that had a tangy taste and the aftertaste of green chillies. Naan, Garlic Butter Naan and Tandoori Roti; all three of which were soft on the inside and crisply roasted outside, just perfect! Phirni for dessert which was creamy, light and awesome! I would like to specially mention that all the food that we ordered has almost no visible extra oil which is otherwise so typical of Mughlai dishes. The food arrived promptly and the serving sizes were very generous.

Costa Coffee - Juhu

"Take a sip of this coffee." 28 Jun 2008
Costa Coffee, the largest coffee chain of UK, opened its first branch in Juhu, Mumbai. A quick run through the menu revealed that much of it consisted of similar things that our very own Café Coffee Day and Barista stock, but priced surprisingly higher than both. I tried the English Toffee Milkshake (Rs 78) which though unusual, could have done with a wee bit of additional flavoring to make it taste really good. My friend sipped on a cup of hot chocolate (Rs 65) and gave it top marks, specifically mentioning that ‘it wasn’t extra creamy or heavy but was light and frothy like a milkshake.’ We munched on a Chicken Wrap (Rs 87) which was chicken with mint chutney and onions wrapped inside a crisp cover of a white-flour roti. Which was good. But what transported me straight to heaven was this sinfully divine dessert called Chocolate Tavoletta (Rs 50) A decadent bar of sin made up of chocolate, nuts, raisins, bits of shortbread biscuit and nougat, that just melts in your mouth even as you crunch down on the crusty biscuits bits. A must try! Certain beverages are available in small, medium and large serving sizes and cost appropriately. The staff is polite, well-informed though slightly myopic, as we had to really try hard to catch their attention. The location of the coffee shop is perfect; it hugs the corner of a very busy crossroad of Juhu. Huge windows give you a clear view of the constant traffic snarl outside :) You can choose any of the various comfortable seating arrangements of the chic maroon and beige coffee shop and contently watch the world trying to go by. Worth a visit, if you are in the area.