It was a pleasant drive back to the ever-buzzing and ever changing street we all fondly call as – Carter’s. Every time we pass through this area there is a new eatery which pops up. This time around the change was in form of Burger Bros.
Making our way through the busy street, we grabbed the table near the entrance where empty glass bottles and plants were arranged on wooden shelves. The overall look of the place is edging towards unfinished with empty wooden frames hanging on the wall, bricks showing on the other wall and one-liners on another wall. They have a space to seat around 10-15 people with their outdoor seating available only in the evening. As we settled in, we heard a family shower the cheese burger with praises and we knew we made a good decision coming here!
Hungry as always we wasted little time in getting our hands on the food!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake with Salted Caramel: A combination of grape jelly, salted caramel, vanilla ice cream, peanut butter and whipped cream. Very thick, intense flavours and not too sweet, it was very filling. It is ideal for those who are crazy about peanut butter.
Tiramisu Milkshake: This one was our favourite. Nice blend of vanilla ice cream, chocolate ganache, coffee and cocoa powder. Optimal flavour of coffee and chocolate. Good consistency and taste!
Chocolate Oreo Cookie Malt Milkshake: This is one of the few chocolate milkshakes on offer and we were glad to try this out. It was thick with crushed Oreo cookies and cream. Definitely on the sweeter side but worth a shot.
Cheesy Nachos: The nachos were crispy slathered with a good amount of molten cheddar cheese and herbed fried jalapenos. The jalapeno topping is by far the best option here and must not be missed out on. We also topped ours with fried onions.
Cheesy Homemade Handcut Fries: The fries were thick, little on the softer side and topped with cheddar cheese. Yet again we opted for herbed jalapeno toppings and loved it!
Burger Bros is a place for the meat lovers but the veg burgers are very good too. We opted for Habibi Bro and Carter’s Bro.
Habibi Bro: Delight for veggie lovers. Made with a super yummy falafel patty and garlic hummus, pickled beetroot pieces, fried jalapeno and molten American cheddar cheese oozing out from the assembly. The patty is crispy and a little on the drier side but yummy nevertheless. We especially recommend trying this one!
Carter’s Bro: This is more of the typical aloo tikki patty along with ranch mayo and American cheddar cheese. Not extraordinary but good.
Overall Experience: We loved the burgers and milkshakes here. The make your own options are especially good. Burger Bros is a value for money place fo all the burger lovers.
When we think of the word veranda, our mind inadvertently takes us to that part of our homes (generally our grandparents’ homes) where we had the best memories. It’s where we sat all evening and watched the rain work its wonder and make everything magically beautiful, where we had the most heart-to-heart conversations and where we played as kids. This verandah is one of the cosiest places in our memories.
Our intention was not to get you all nostalgic, the food at वranda will do it for us. Our intention was to just tell you, how beautiful and cosy veranda is. ‘Coz वranda is, it is beautiful, it is cosy, it is charming and it is definitely worthy of every praise you have heard about it.
वranda is a creation to bring to us desi flavours with a videsi twist. वranda is tastefully decorated with pastel colours and bright floral prints, plants and flowers, beautiful lights and more. Art is deeply ingrained in every nook and corner of the restaurant. There’s chic upholstery, antique vases, bold doors, paintings that depict the many forms of India and Indian culture and more. वranda is a lovechild of an art gallery and restaurant if you ask us! It’s the perfect place for a cosy family brunch as well as a romantic dinner date.
The menu is limited to serving Indian dishes with a modern twist. So if you are dreaming dahi bada, be ready to experience new flavours in this very simple dish. Heard of sun-dried tomatoes on your pizza right? How about sun-dried tomatoes in your kulchas? They have created delicious aberrations while maintaining the integrity of the core dishes, and that is what we loved about the food at वranda.
There is another thing we were absolutely fascinated with – the menu is presented on a tab, with videos of dishes being prepared and plated. It got us exploring through the menu which then turned to rummaging. The videos are shot beautifully, and they just make you all the more hungry!
Here’s what we gorged on at वranda –
Raja Dahi Verma – A filmy name for a fancy version of our beloved Dahi Bhalla chaat. Dahi bhallas or badas soaked in curd and sweet-tangy tamarind chutney. It is served on a bed of green mint chutney and topped with potato salli. Baked yoghurt squares are delicious and soft and the pomegranate jam reduction has a sharp and sweet taste. The overall dish is on the sweeter side but we loved the medley of flavours.
Cottage Cheese Trilogy – Very soft malai paneer chunks, done in three delicious styles – fresh basil, spicy tikka/zafrani one and a saffron based marination. Each one has intense flavours and is delicious.
Veg Seekh Kebabs – The seekh kebabs are soft and literally melt-in-the-mouth. The seekh kebabs have a very strong flavour of cardamom, almost to the point of shadowing other flavours. These are served on a bed of fresh chopped vegetables with a sweet-spicy mint chutney.
Rajasthani Gatta Nu Saak – Gatte Ki Sabzi and their delicious kulchas! They nailed the gravy and flavour of the sabzi. Mindblowing aroma and lip-smacking taste. Just the right amount of spices and it took us back to Nanima’s kitchen. The gatte (flour balls), however, were a little too firm, which is bound to happen given the short time allowed for preparation. These were served with sun-dried tomato kulchas and basil kulchas. A mini meal in itself. And did we mention that we are a fan of the tomato kulchas? You will be too, do try them.
Mix Berry Lemonade – A combination of strawberries, raspberries and lemon. It packs a punch with the tanginess. Loved it.
Chocolate Basil Lemonade – Yes, that was our reaction too. Chocolate and basil? In a mocktail? Are you sure? But be sure that you give this one a shot. It an amazing combination. First, there is the fresh flavour of basil and lemon and then slowly you get the chocolatey taste. Lemon and chocolate could be this good a duo, is difficult to fathom.
Gulkand Chocobar – A dreamy preparation with lots of soft and airy chocolate mousse, bits of gulkand and thick, dense chocolate. It is the right amount of sweet with the gulkand adding a mind-blowing edge to it. Sugar coated fennel seeds add a fresh crunch to every bit. Just loved how smooth and light the mousse was. This is a must have at वranda.
Overall Experience – Delicious food, a delightful ambience and good service makes वranda a place you must visit. It may not be easy on the pocket but is definitely worth the money spent.
That’s our answer to your questions that sound somewhat like – Have you turned non-vegetarian? Did you finally try chicken? Were you lost?
But then, what were we doing at a place that is named Genuine Broaster Chicken you ask? Well to that we have an answer!
Genuine Broaster Chicken, without a doubt, boasts of insanely good chicken specialities (some of which were sampled by our friend and she nods in affirmation), but there is no dearth of option for us good ‘ol vegetarians. Everyone behind the menu curation, from the agency to Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, have made sure to not made us feel left out. There is an equal mix of veg and non-veg dishes that are Indianised and made oh so yum! by the chef.
So yes, us being here is more than okay! In fact, it would be foolish for anyone to miss out on this place just because the name favours meat.
We visited the Bandra outlet of GBC on a weekend and though we were amongst the first people at the restaurant, it was packed in no time! The ambience of this place is amazingly chic and quirky. Chicken humour and photo frames that are an ode to quiet a few American sensations – Captain America, Marilyn Monroe, et. al. cover quite a bit of the walls. There are baseball helmets that are used as bulb holders and also plant holders. Gunny bags and fairy lights add a charm to the ceilings. Even the table tops are covers with caricatures of Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey amongst others. The music is groovy and adds to the rockstar ambience.
There is a well lit and funky looking bar area and different sitting arrangements to pick from.
Since we reached here after braving the scorching heat, we decided to order cooler and freak shakes first.
Orange Limer was slightly tangy and the orange flavour was overpowering. It was slightly on the sweeter side but had a welcome refreshing taste.
Jim Jam Strawberry Freakshake is a delight to dig into! Topped with Jim-Jam biscuits, chocolate balls that melt in your mouth, marshmallows and lots of strawberry compote, this freak shake is sinfully delicious.
It is slightly on the heavier side with lots of whipped cream, strawberry ice cream and more.
We called for Tex-Mex Franchos and settled to familiarise ourselves with the menu. Crispy french fries in cream cheese sauce and a tangy salsa sauce, topped with lots of chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and olives. The salsa is really yummy and makes you go lick your fingers.
We then called for the chef special Firangi Palak Paneer Dip. The description of the dish does not do much more than making us picture a spinach-cheese dip instead of hummus with pita bread. It does not do even a tiny bit justice to the delight that this dish is! Just to let people know what they should anticipate, I suggest the owners should add the word delicious before every word in the name. That is how good the Palak Paneer dip is! A cheesy and creamy dip with small chunks of soft paneer and lots of spinach. Spinach adds an amazing flavour to the dip but does not over power it. We are not exaggerating when we say that we licked the dip off the bowl.
Pro Tip: If you happen to visit this place, order for as many portions of the Firangi Palak Paneer Dip as the number of people you are, to avoid any casualties. And do this even before you settle down!
In our opinion, the restaurant should put this disclaimer on one of the walls!
Riding high on happiness, we went for another special from the menu – Veg. Ghotala Khichdi. No please, do not make that meh face, ‘coz then you will want to punch yourself for making it! Ghotala Khichdi is a delicious biryani made with lots of veggies and also has soft paneer chunks. It is high on spices and so fragrant and flavoursome, that our mouth is still watering as we think about it. Cinnamon does wonders to the dish and this one is another definitely try items if you are a biryani fan.
Then came our Chow Chow Noodle and Paneer Burger – something we had our eyes on from the moment we were handed the menus! Chinese spiced noodles and crispy paneer based patties with mayonnaise and schezwan sauce. This one is lip-smacking though we personally feel it should have been a little high on the sauces.
GBC boasts of some delicious desserts, some epic combinations and fusions. We decided to go with the chef special and yet keep it simple, thus picking the Gulkan Muffin. The muffin served warm, had a slightly crusty outer layer and was toothsome. The centre was filled with Gulkand and yet it was not overly sweet. Totally loved it!
A friend tried the Assorted Chicken Wings Platter and could not stop raving about them – the flavours were perfectly balanced and really good! Her recommendations – Butter Garlic Chicken Wings and Kung Pao Chicken Wings.
Overall Experience: We don’t know the chicken way to say it, but we came out thrilled! Amazing ambience and scrumptious food. The service is quick and friendly. The servers are well versed with the menu and are ready to help and suggest. The food is not overly pricey and is definitely value for money.
GBC is a perfect place to spend some fun time with you friends and family.
The Battle: If what we said has not already made it clear, try going in a group and ordering one portion of Firangi Palak Paneer Dip. What will happen between you and your gang happened between us, only worse!
P.S.: There are two outlets of Genuine Broaster Chicken (GBC) in Mumbai (as of now) and they are planning to come up with many more. GBC is a QSR chain, yes, but the attention towards ambience, food, presentation and hospitality is impeccable. We only hope it stays the same!
Also, Broaster is a technique of making the fried dishes (especially chicken) in a way that they absorb up to 50% less oil and are really low in trans-fat content.
There is no dearth of options in Bandra, be it in terms of food or shopping or for that matter pretty sights! But then there is no shortage or traffic and crowd and total chaos as well.
The next time you are in Bandra and want to skip the madness, head to one of these cafés and relax!
♥ Eat Around The Corner
True to its name, it is located in a corner of a lane, far away from the hustle and bustle. The café is beautiful and trendy with comfortable indoor seating and dreamy outdoor one. They have a large variety of grub to offer from, ranging from salads to burgers and the desserts here are to die for! Grab a corner outside, under the trees and enjoy a cup of coffee and a red velvet pastry. Or make that two pastries, ‘coz no one is watching!
♥ Bombay Coffee House
Bombay Coffee House is a beautiful and peaceful coffee shop on linking road. There is a variety of coffee on offer along with some delicious croissants and pastries. They also have books and board games if that is your calling for the day. What we love is to sit by the window and be lost in our work while the world goes by – Linking road is that busy, we all know it! Bombay Coffee House will be your safe heaven on this busy road!
♥ The Bagle Shop
Tucked away in a corner of Carter road, many do not know this place exists, let alone that it serves kick-ass bagels! You will find many, who just come here to work and/or discuss in silence or just enjoy a good cup of coffee. The ambience is cozy and the greenery makes it cool. The Bagle Shop should be your go to place for fresh air, a bagel and a smoothie.
♥ Birdsong – The Organic Café
Hidden away from the world in one of Bandra’s narrow bylanes is this amazing café – great place, almost straight out of a song! Calm and tranquil ambience. It is one of the places you wanna get lost in for hours. They serve delicious organic food although it definitely is pricey. Go here for a great cup of coffee and a corner to immerse yourself in a great book or a good conversation.
♥ Desi Deli
Although Desi Deli is located on a really busy street and is an open air café, it makes for a good option if you want to just stop by and watch. They serve delicious breakfast options and smoothies or you can go simple with a strong cup of coffee!
♥ Pali Village Café
Pali Village Café is much more than just a café. It is an exquisite experience. The place is quaint and has a very vintage feel to it. It is not easy on the pocket for sure, but worth the visit be it for lone musings or cozy conversations.
♥ Candies (Pali Hill)
As mainstream as this recommendation sounds, it is a place worth mentioning. The Pali Hill outlet of Candies is both chaotic and peaceful. Pick your favourite corner and be lost there for hours on end, no one will question your presence. We love the rooftop areas, they are just perfect!
Although it is not exhaustive, but hope this list helps you with your Bandra musings!
Did we miss any place that should have made it to the list? Mention it in the comments!
That is the word we are going to use to describe Mexican Express.
Hidden away in a quiet lane in Pali Hill, Mexican Express has made quite a name for itself when it comes to authentic Mexican delights served fresh and quick. Ankit Shah, the owner, came up with the idea of making Mexican food available to people after he noticed a dearth of options in Mumbai. They did a number of events, big and small (Bandra Wine Festival being the latest), and we are sure you have tasted their lip-smacking food at one of these! And if you haven’t, then now is your chance to relish some of that taco-shako at Mexican Express.
Mexican Express – 4
Mexican Express – 1
Mexican Express – 7
The space is a cozy and peaceful one with comfortable and colourful seating. The tripod shaped tables with tops that look like a colourful Sombrero caught our attention. They have a collection of books and games and a perfect ambience to sit down with some churros and kick-ass at Monopoly! Soft colour tones keep the place well lit and upbeat tunes keep you going. Walls are lined with tempting pictures of food that make you wanna hog it all now!
Mexican Express – 3
Mexican Express – 5
An all vegetarian place, the menu is pretty concise and hence does not leave you confused. You can pick from the basics – nachos and salads or burritos, quesadillas and tacos. For the desserts, they have Churros and Nutella Quesadilla
The sauces and fillings are all made in-house daily and boy are they delicious! Get a drop of the Guacamole on your tongue and we dare you to not go for just a little more!
We started with their hard-shell tacos. Black beans and corn is the hot selling option. We tried that and another one with a filing of mushrooms. The taco chips were crisp and fresh and were overflowing with salsa, the stuffing, sauces and sour cream! So delicious! Apart for the lip-smacking flavours, what makes you happy is the freshness of the ingredients! It is just perfect!
Looking at our messy misery as we kept licking those dripping sauces off our fingers, Ankit was kind enough to tell us the correct way to eat a taco. Hold one of those in your hands horizontally, like you would hold a sandwich, press it a little (yes, it will crack) and bite into it. This is a way to ensure minimal mess! Well, we were well past the precautions, so we enjoyed the rest of the fillings with our hands. Mexican food eaten Indian style
Then came the burrito bowl or dare we say, happiness bowl? Loaded is the word. Brown rice, beans – black and pinto beans, veggies, pico de gallo, salsa, sauces, sour cream, spicy guacamole and topped with crispy tortilla chips! So delicious, we kept stuffing our mouth with these and forgot to talk for the entire while!
Our meal ended on an amazingly sweet note with Churros and Chocolate sauce
The churros were perfect, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. The amazing cinnamon aroma hit us first as they made their way to our table! 6 pieces of goodness and that sinful chocolate sauce! One of the best churros we have had! You gotta try these!
Overall Experience: Will it be too cheesy if we say mexiating! Ah well, we said it, ‘coz it was indeed satiating! Delicious pocket-friendly prices and good quantity with a super peaceful ambience.
The Battle: My partner stole a churro. He has a black eye as a return gift!
P.S.: Mexican Express shares the retails space with Cool Story, that serves some kick-ass chilled beverages. Perfect combination going around, we say!
Also, they deliver in and around Bandra and BKC, so you can always order in!
Food Is Music To Body And Music Is Food To Heart – Gregory Roberts
And we revelled in this music at Masala Bar. An evening full of surprises, to the taste buds and to the soul.
Masala Bar is another feather in the cap of the infamous Kalra duo. Located above CCD at Carter Road, it provides an unrestricted view of the shore, the busy ‘Carter’ road and of course the sunset!
The decor is minimal yet luxe and classy. The seating is spread over a mid-sized area with a very prominent and uniquely done up bar counter that you notice as you step in. Black and brown, Silver and Ivory are the colours that decorate this restaurant. The main items of decor are mirrors and candles, in hexagonal arrangements and enclosures to render an amazing space.
MasalaBar – 1
MasalaBar – 2
MasalaBar – 3
MasalaBar opens at 5 pm and their timing could not have been better considering the theme and location. The entire restaurant is sun-kissed at this hour.
Come evening, it transforms so beautifully into an oasis of light! It is dreamy once the entire place is lit up by candles. Just B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. It is one of the places that pull off candles and minimal lights with elan. The warmth that the place breathes due to this lighting will never let you want to leave voluntarily! We were mesmerised!
MasalaBar is one of the places that pull off candles and minimal lights with elan. The warmth that the place breathes due to this lighting will never let you want to leave voluntarily! We were mesmerised!
MasalaBar – 5
MasalaBar – 6
MasalaBar – 8
MasalaBar has recently revamped their entire menu, adding new classy dishes while keeping a few old favourites as well. Change is the only Constant philosophy at work! But are we loving the change? The answer is an astounding Yes!
And here is whay we said ‘Yes’….
Heaven On Earth – A refreshing and tangy combination of Watermelon, Cranberry and Passion Fruit! First, the fruity fragrance hits you and then basil adds freshness to it.
Berry Cooler – An amazing blend of Strawberries, Cranberries and Wild Berries and topped up with soda.
Mulled Masala Punch – A mildly sweet and unique mix of masala tea reduction and orange juice. Tea dominates the flavours in this drink. It was really refreshing, which is a surprise considering the combination is so different!
Sea Side – If you are a fan of coconut milk in your mocktails, this one is for you. Orange juice, grapefruit and coconut cream, this one is very much on the lines of a pina colada.
Figs and Honey, Carpaccio of Watermelon and Feta Salad – Arugula with a balsamic dressing forms the bed of the salad. Cherry tomatoes, figs and thinly sliced watermelon (carpaccio) along with Feta Cheese are added. The feta was fresh and soft and s delicious. Cherry tomatoes complemented the sweetness of figs well. Watermelon adds freshness to the entire combination. Loved it!
Baked Potatoes, Sweet and Spicy Beetroot and Apple, Sweet Fennel Yogurt – Potato skins stuffed with a mixture of beetroot and green apple, topped with cheese and baked. The stuffing is non-spicy and very mildly sweet owing to the beetroots. It has a very strong smokey flavour and fragrance. Dressed with sweet fennel yoghurt and pomegranate seeds. We loved biting into these. Burnt cheese on top does wonders to the filling inside and the combination of potato and cheese is surprisingly good!
Carbon Bhaji, Carbon Pav – A black twist to the regular pav bhaji. Carbon Pav Bhaji is prepared by adding edible charcoal to the bhaji as well as to the buns/pav. The bhaji is non-spicy but has very strong presence of garam masala giving it a lip-smacking aftertaste. Very finely mashed potatoes, onions, cilantro, fennel seeds (saunf), tomatoes and lots of garlic and garnished with baby carrots. The bhaji also has very earthy flavour. Pav is fresh and almost of the colour of soot. It well complements the bhaji.
Asparagus & Bok Choy Biryani, Black Sesame Curd – The biryani is so fragrant that we almost did not wait to click the picture! Asparagus and fried onions did wonders together and left our mouths watering! Biryani is non-spicy and flavourful. There was definitely no need of any accompaniment with the biryani but a spoonful of black sesame curd does not it (on the sweeter side).
Mango Cardamom Cheese Cake, Banana and Butterscotch Waffle – Now this is what we call ending on a high note! Cardamom base with mango cheesecake. The waffle was crisp and had the perfect butterscotch flavour without being too sweet. Elaichi banana drizzled in caramel added a twist. Strawberry sauce and mango pulp garnish made this a mind-boggling combination! Smooth and creamy, the cheesecake melted in the mouth. No wonder we were on a sugar high post-gorging on this!
Overall Experience – MasalaBar was a one of a kind experience with delicious food, warm hospitality and beautiful ambience. The wait staff is really friendly and has in-depth knowledge about the entire menu. Ask anyone anything and they will help you with a smile. We were taken care of by Mr Sachin, who explained every dish in detail and served us wholeheartedly.
The Battle: 5 calls from home were what made us finally get up and leave this restaurant. You will not want to leave voluntarily, trust us on that! And the delicious food doesn’t help either!
P.S.: Go here at least a little before the sun sets, the view and ambience are amazing and you get to see how the place transforms!
Someone said – The only way to see the Sunset, is to ride into it! But after experiencing MasalaBar, we can safely say – One of the best ways to see the Sunset, is to dine alongside it!