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.
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.
Café 792 is a dose of fresh air amidst chaos and cacophony.
It is, quite literally, hidden away in a cozy corner in Dadar’s Parsi Colony. If not for the bold red circular sign at the entrance that reads Café 792, no one would be able to guess, that this heaven exists!
Café 792 is a small, quaint and peaceful café that can and will make you smile in awe. The circular sign that we spoke about stands next to the entrance of a building, in whose backyard lies this wonder. On the concrete wall is painted Café 792 in a way that you cannot miss. A gravel laden path leads us to a few tables and further to the entrance of the café. We have walked 10 steps on the gravel path and we look at each other with a broad smile. A smile that affirms the thought that we have found treasure!
Café 792 is a Parsi owned and run café that serves an impressive variety of food from the Parsi staples to sandwiches, wraps, salads, mawa cake and more! They are the sort of place that makes a few things fresh while some are pre-cooked, heated and served. The café being a Parsi one, there are very few vegetarian options, basically, one-two in each category, so better not be very choosy if you are a vegetarian. The café also has a pre-decided lunch menu that is set for the entire month. This is majorly because they have a whole lot of deliveries and a set menu helps.
The people who run the café are soft spoken and friendly. You will find a lot of patrons who come, give the order, patiently wait and head away with their parcels. You will also find people just sitting in a corner, sometimes even on the small wall near the plants and just sipping on tea and going about their work. The green canopy, the chirping birds and the setting of the café as a whole are welcoming and consuming. You will not want to get up and leave this place.
We tried a few items from the menu and were more than happy with most of them! Cheese Croissant left us with a warm, fuzzy feeling. It was perfect with oodles of cheese, just yumm!!
Veg Mozzarella Wrap was excellent! Scratch that, it was beyond excellent. Lots of veggies, from broccoli to capsicum and a whole lot of cheese. Sounds meh? But what added the magic was oregano. Not only did it add a mouth-watering aroma, but also made the simple wrap a lot more interesting.
Veg Burger with a crunchy and delicious patty, cheese and veggies was a delight. It wasn’t extraordinary, but basic is all you need at times!
Veg Slider was a mini and hipster version of our desi vada pav! Small, soft buns with a patty and cream cheese, it is something you will want to gobble down in tens!
Veg Puff was sort of confusing for us. It was more like a quiche and had a stuffing of spinach and other veggies. We liked the stuffing nonetheless!
Cold Coffee was unfortunately just average but what helped was the Lemon and Mint Iced Tea.
It was the perfect blend and super refreshing.
The peaceful ambience made us want to spend the rest of the day, curling up in a corner, sipping on iced tea and reading a book. Who are we to say no to that need? So we spent hours here, reading, occasionally chatting and always sipping or munching on something!
If you are tired of the mindless chatter and need a break, head to Café 792, but shhh… don’t tell everyone! Let this be the hidden gem that it is!
PS: With multiple orders of the iced tea and all that food, our bill came to a mere ₹665. We did mention this place was pocket-friendly, right?
Sometimes, wrong roads lead people to the right places.
One such wrong road led us to discover Canteen 18. We were headed towards our hotel to deposit our bags and we saw a small little eatery, at the corner of a street, just in the passing. Little did we know, a split second would have that much impact. The moment we were fresh and ready to feed our growling tummies, the first place that we mentioned, together, was that small eatery at the corner – Canteen 18!
We walked to the eatery, located in the lane behind the busy MG Road. A sharp contrast from the chaotic main road, this street and Canteen 18, both, are a solace. First look, and you are bound to smile. A small cooking area, with 3 tables and a capacity to seat not more than 10 people, this place is charming in all certainty.
The place is run by two people and sees an influx of locals and foreigners alike. The menu is not very large in general and really small, like 5 items small, for vegetarians. And yet we recommend you go here, even if you have pick the same combination in a burger and a croissant (this is for vegetarians, others have options), we still strongly recommend you do not miss out on this one! Have a bite of their burgers or croissant sandwich and you will know why!
Paneer Veggie Burger > A thin paneer based patty with lots of veggies – jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and onions. The patty had a slightly charred and smokey flavour and went so well with the molten mozzarella. Add to that their lip-smacking Barbeque sauce and it was heavenly! The cheese literally dripped off the burger and messed our hands as we ate! Totally loved it!
Veggie Croissant Sandwich > Sounds different right? Croissant and sandwich? This was a slightly crisp and buttery croissant that was stuffed with veggies, sauces and mozzarella, just like a sandwich would. But it tasted soooo soo good! Mozzarella again stole the show!
We also tried an Affogato here, which was only ₹90, can you believe it!! It was a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla. A perfect treat!
Grape Soda was black currant based tangy soda and was refreshing. We asked for Iced Tea but that wasn’t available. Only hope that a few more vegetarian options were available and this would be heaven!
Canteen 18 is a dreamy place and definitely something you have to treat yourself to. Imagine a quiet road, open-air cafe, aroma of delicious food filling the air. Doesn’t seem much like India? Well, that’s where Pondicherry will surprise you!
We don’t even wanna imagine how beautiful this setting would be in monsoons! Another Pondicherry trip seems like a great idea at this moment!
What could be a better blessing for a consulting executive than getting to laze through a Monday holiday, laughing at its face while lying on the bed and just rejoicing thinking of how you’re gonna claim vengeance for those “Monday Morning Blues”!!
I lay planning my day full of sweet nothings and fetched my phone to read the latest pings – there was a rather creepy one: “Evening 6 @ Mahakali”
This was from one of those privileged Highnesses who can actually order me and have their way!
Fast forward – 6 p.m. at Mahakali, we get down from the autorickshaw and look around to locate our hunger battleground for the day – Above & Beyond. It initially appears as a local underdog with decent potential and looks.
We enter in with our modest expectations – good food and a pleasant evening! Mr Deepak greets us with a warm smile and walks us to our table.But given the restless folks that we are, we immediately requested our way into exploring upstairs.
Above & Beyond – 1
Above & Beyond – 2
Above & Beyond – 3
Above & Beyond is the quintessential snack bar, tastefully done up with a live cooking counter alongside 6-7 small tables downstairs and a sheesha bar a level above.The sheesha floor has a colourful, comfortable, vibrant and cozy feel to it. Downstairs are artistically placed bulbs, stools with pedals and walls having a brick finish. It is flooded with the aroma of fresh bakes and slow music plays in the background. This place definitely strikes an instant chord. And if that were not all, how about I top it up with some board games, cards and comic books! Totally irresistible – isn’t it?
Above & Beyond – 5
Above & Beyond – 7
Above & Beyond – 4
With the mood set, it was now time for Food! An eggetarian menu, it boasts of assorted varieties of toasts to sandwiches, pasta, burgers, pizzas, fries, wraps, salads, coffee, mocktails and of course – eggs!
Mr Highness had already chosen the first dish to try – the Chef Special Potholes of Mumbai Flyover. Being regular drivers in the maximum city, the very mention of potholes is enough reason for us to crib. But this, my friends, was a different story altogether!
Fried egg, onions, baby chops of potatoes and mild spices infused generously into flawlessly toasted brun pav – this one looked nothing less than an egg doughnut. A treat to the eyes and the perfect blend of crunch and tenderness at the same time. This one is without a doubt, a must-try for all egg lovers. A little bit of chopped green chillies could be an interesting addition to the perfection that this dish is. I wonder why I am no longer complaining about pot holes! Any guesses?? :p
We next ordered the Cajun Spiced Vegetable Burger. The patty was made of mashed potatoes, corn, carrots, french beans, onions and was perfectly crisp yet soft. The cajun spiced sauce, which was mildly spicy, was a delicious addition to the burger and made it lip-smacking!
Next came Strawberry Rose Smoothie and Passion Kiwi Sour Punch Smoothie.
We couldn’t wait to sip on these.
The Strawberry Rose Smoothie is your classic strawberry milkshake and lacked a strong presence of rose syrup in it.
The clear winner here was the Passion Kiwi Sour Punch Smoothie – a refreshing shake which promises a strong punch of kiwi till the last sip. What we are confused is about its mysterious yellow colour!
There is no party without pizza and no one is ever satisfied with just one pizza. So we decided to go for a half-n-half. With the chef special already having worked its magic once – we thought of giving it another shot with the American Corn Chaat Pizzaas one-half and the Cottage Cheese, Bell Peppers as the other.
The American Corn Chaat Pizza had a freshness to its look and flavours that hit your taste buds spot on! Thin crust base, topped with finely sliced capsicum, roasted corn and cheese certainly qualify it to be a pizza – but what brings life to it was the cumin chaat powder and a slight tanginess. Cottage Cheese Bell Peppers, on the other hand, had a colourful mix of bell peppers, paneer and cheese – good enough but not something that you’ve not tried before.
So which one was the better half according to us? – American Corn Chaat Pizza.
Though we like the pizza, we found the portion size a little too small.
Then came Crumb Fried Chili Poppers are nothing more than your packaged frozen poppers mummy would fry for you at home, but worth mentioning is the lemon based mayo dip that came along!
We now went for the humble guys – Cafe Frappeand Virgin Mojito.Both the drinks were good and basic in presentation. The frappe was a tad bit on the bitter side – which works amazingly well for us!
At last, it was time the best – Smooth & Silk Chocolate Cake. This cake was what his Highness had set his eyes on, from the very beginning. A thin layer of crunchy cake at the base coupled with plentiful of thick chocolate and milk cream above and choco-wafer sticks to add to the beauty – the cake was amazing. The sly bitterness in the chocolate cream sis wonders to this velvety goodness!
Overall Experience: We truly loved the pleasing setup, warm service, attention to presentation and just the fact that we could see our food travel to us from the open kitchen counter! Also, the place opens as early as 7.30 am – you don’t want to miss it!
Expectations met? – Well, we’ll just say Above & Beyond.
Mondays like these – Yes, please!!
The Battle – Fighting our way through potholes to reach to the delicious version of it! These potholes, you will wanna dive into them all alone!
P.S.: This blog post is written by my partners in crime Aniket Menon and Nikit Koli. My contribution was only a little editing. Cheers to you guys
Their closing note: The camaraderie was Rocky & Mayur like.
The Greatest Secrets are Always Hidden in the Most Unlikely Places – Roald Dahl
And we are going to tell you a secret today. ‘Coz we are feeling especially generous!
Because some stories demand to be shared and told.
One such story is about the amazing place started by first-time restaurateur Kishin Thakur. How and when this place – Aleph, The Divine Space, came about is his to tell but we are here to tell you the story of how much we have loved this place!
A house to a ‘yoga retreat’ by morning and a stage for musical gigs and book readings come evening. And during this transition, it serves as a co-working space for the serious and a café with a wholesome grub for the others.
Located in the same vicinity as Prithvi Café, Aleph is hidden from plain sight.
Look through the canopy of trees and you will see the name Aleph displayed in prominent red. Once you have successfully located the place, you have to locate the entrance.
It would have left us confounded if not for the staff who waved at us and guided us through the thin lane up to the entrance of the café. Don’t be worried if you see yourself walking from near a salon and the backside of buildings, you are going in the right direction.
No point searching this place on Zomato, it is not listed there. That’s why we are here – You can either approach Aleph TDS from the narrow lane next to Café Moshes or from the main entrance to Janki Kutir, take the first left (Maya Salon) and another left and you will see a board saying Aleph TDS…..and voila, you are here.
Aleph – The Divine Space : 19
Aleph – The Divine Space : 1
Aleph – The Divine Space : 3
Spread over two floors, Aleph is a beautiful café with colourful decor, walls painted and drawn on by patrons, books stacked up in a corner, card and board games, really comfortable and cosy ambience. The lower floor is an indoor section and there is a rooftop seating as well. There are mattresses for low seating, high seats, low stools like modas and sofas to choose from.
We picked a spot on the rooftop. The walls here are painted with random things by the customers. The owner and staff offer you to leave your mark on these walls too! They give you the paints and brushes, you pick a spot and get painting!
Aleph – The Divine Space : 6
Aleph – The Divine Space : 2
Aleph – The Divine Space : 4
Aleph – The Divine Space : 18
Aleph – The Divine Space : 20
Aleph – The Divine Space : 19
Aleph is peaceful and calm and just amazing! Covered in trees and plants and has a very very homely feel to it. Soft music plays in the background which again can be picked by the customers. Aleph TDS is what this city needs in every nook and corner. A no-fuss space that suits the needs of most of us.
Want to work/study and need a quiet space and a WiFi connection? ✔
Want to spend a quality evening with your friends over card games and coffee? ✔
Want to test your skills in the kitchen?✔
Yes, even the last one. Aleph has a small kitchen and they allow people to make their own food (from their menu that is) if they so choose.
So you wanna try that Kale Soya Burger? Give it a shot in the kitchen and the staff will guide you through it.
They have a small menu but cover a decent variety. We love the Positivi- Tea Only and Sippin’ on Sunshine section with so many varieties of tea and coffee. Cold Coffee specials are decided separately and you can ask them for the options. They have mouthwatering dessert jars and waffles. Their burgers are especially tempting with unique patties and sauces.
Pick from Mac & Cheese, Kale Soya, or Falafel patty and toss in a little bit of Wasabi Mayo, Garlic Aioli, Mexican Chipotle, or Garlic Hummus. A variety of toppings is also available along with a number of non-veg options.
We tried Nutella Cold Coffee (₹250),Hazelnut Cold Coffee (₹250) and Chocolate Cold Coffee (₹250).
They were really good with a proper combination of flavours and coffee, but we pick the hazelnut one which was particularly refreshing. The Nutella Cold Coffee had a little too much of the nutty flavour for our liking and Chocolate Cold coffee was a bit too sweet. so you can choose to tell the staff your preference and they will make it less sweet for you if you like!
Chocolate Cold Coffee
Hazelnut Cold Coffee
Nutella Cold Coffee
We also tried the Fruit Bliss Iced Tea which was fruity and refreshing!
We went a little overboard with the first burger we tried – Mac & Cheese Patty, Multigrain bread and all the sauces and toppings! Yes, all!
That makes it a little difficult for us to describe the burger but all we can say is that it was delicious. A deliciously confusing mess!
We then tried our hand at making the Grilled Paneer Patty Burger.
We chose Garlic Aioli, Mexican Chipotle and Minty Mayonnaise as the sauces this time.
The staff helped us deck up our burger which was delicious.
Chipotle added a little spice and the mint mayo added the sweet and refreshing minty flavour.
The patty was delicious too. Loved it!
The burgers are priced at ₹290.
Aleph – TDS is now coming up with a breakfast menu that they will serve from 8 am to 11 am every day. Complete with eggs and Indian options, this is something we look forward to. They are also planning or starting movie night here, so gear up for kickass movies every week. All this when we thought this place could not get more awesome!
This place becomes insanely beautiful in the late evenings and night with the colourful lights and music. Heaven!
There are times when all of us need a place to unwind and be away from the chaos of our daily lives. The next time you are feeling this feeling, head to Aleph.
But shhh….. keep this a secret!
Overall Experience: The staff and owner are very friendly. They make sure to take your feedback on whatever they prepare and about your experience at the café.
The ambience is such that you never want to get up and leave. Homely and relaxing.
The Battle: Having to get up and get back to traffic and drama and work is so difficult after finding a safe heaven like this!!
Timings: 8 am to 10 pm
Cost for 2 (food & beverages only): Around ₹ 800 – ₹1000