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.
Butters Tipsy Gastropub is the latest addition to the sprawling pub and food scene in Fort. We visited BTG for dinner the other day and were mind-blown. Though they probably wanted us to be high and tipsy on their amazing (we hear) cocktails, we are high on the delicious food, tipsy and giddy with excitement and satisfaction.
From the ambience to music, to food and drinks, Butters gets it right. A beautifully lit mesh of sorts greets you once you enter. As you step upstairs, the bar is what catches your attention first. A modish look overall, it is lit up and well stocked. Did we mention we are fans of how the lights jazz up the entire place? It is dimly lit and yet bright enough. The ambience makes you want to sit back and relax but the music makes you want to groove. The area is spacious and there are different options of seating available.
The menu gives us quite a few options. Pick quick bites or chakna combinations and your drinking session is surely sorted. There are Indian snacks like bhajiyas, bhurji pao and drunken bhel. They have sandwiches, baos, burgers, pizza, pasta as well as Indian main course like naan and dal. The full package. They have made a name for themselves for their cocktails, but it is worth mentioning that their mocktails are equally good.
Here is what we got tipsy on, at Butters Tipsy Gastropub –
Bhaji Pao – Bhajiya pao with an option between kanda (onion) bhaji, methi bhaji or cheese pakora. We picked onion bhaji. Crispy fritters that were topped with a little chaat masala and served with a sweet-spicy mint chutney.
3 Cheese Sandwich
Sorry, were we supposed to describe that?
There is cheese, lots of it and three different types of it. Do you know how high that made us? So ya, excuse us if we forgot that we have to describe it
Cheesiness aside, (pun totally intended ), the 3 Cheese Sandwich at BTG is heavenly and loaded for sure. The aroma of cheese coupled with butter made our mouths water. Must try! And it is served with french fries for added happiness and salad if by some cosmic mistake it made you guilty
Chef Lampok’s Paneer Satay – Soft paneer that is covered with a thick layer of batter and grilled. It has a soothing lemongrass aroma and a slightly charred flavour. It was served with a peanut dip that was slightly on the sweeter side.
Lasooni Palak Paneer aur Naan – This dish features in the desi corner of the menu but it should feature in the Do Not Miss Out corner. Delicious is the word to describe this one. The strong aroma makes your mouth water and threatens the chances of getting a decent picture
It is creamy and has tons of chopped garlic and onions to flavour it up. The paneer pieces are really soft and well marinated and the palak gravy is another level of goodness. Served with naan and papad, this is one meal you must have here.
From the mocktails we tried Melon Bull, Tropical Thunder and Gin Cin Apple Jack.
Melon Bull is a mindblowing mix of watermelon juice and red bull. It has a sharp taste and the chunks of watermelon add a little drama to it. Tropical Thunder is a thunderous concoction of orange and pineapple juice, both in the right proportions to leave a strong punch. This one has a slight tart though grenadine adds a little sweetness. Loved this one too! Gin Cin Apple Jack is slightly on the sweeter side but a fine combination of apple juice infused with cinnamon.
We also tried the Orange and Strawberry Slush which is really good. They have arrived at the perfect balanced flavour of sweetness and sourness in this chilled drink. And the colours! Loved it.
The star of the dinner was the Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse. My god what a delight this one was. Smooth in texture, not overly sweet and so delectable. The sharp tart of raspberry paired with the slight sweetness of white chocolate gave this heavenly dessert. We licked out spoons till they were spanking clean This one is definitely a must try at BTG.
Overall Experience: Lip – smacking food, superb ambience, groovy music and good service make BTG a must visit place.
The weekend aways makes us happy. But this time, it left us elated! Like any other day, we zeroed in on a location to satiate our growling tummies and went ahead. We had heard the place we had selected – Summer House Café is an amazing one, we just did not know the enormity of the amazingness and hence, were more than under prepared for what hit us once we landed here!
Summer House Café is a dreamy setup, a beautiful place! For us, it felt like another world! Just far away, another country, another landscape, ‘coz surely, something this amazing cannot be right here, correct?
The white and blue facade with bamboo sticks forming a part of the wall reminded us of a shack in some beach country. Then we entered through the doors and were awestruck by the bustling area and it literally took us a few minutes to take everything in.
During these few minutes, we were informed that a workshop was in progress on the lower level, were ushered to our tables upstairs and handed over the menu.
And not assimilating all this, we were still looking around wondering how the wooden beams and columns fit perfectly, how just the right amount of light enters through the glass windows and how beautiful it would be to stare at the sky in the evening (if only Mumbai skies were clear).
How the clock, which surprisingly wasn’t working, fits perfectly in the scene and how the lampshade next to us is the epitome of vintage chicness! Yup, such are the exaggerated feelings when you are not prepared for something and then are clean bowled by it.
The ambience makes everything look better. The area is huge and very spacious. and superbly lit during the daytime and transforms to a dim lit, fine dining area come evening. That’s the upper level. The lower level is still the den of activity. It is a house to comedy shows, band performances, crazy retro dance nights, book & reading clubs and painting workshops to name few. When we were here, by the evening, a workshop on knife painting led to a colourful chatter here and then, just like in the movies, the entire scene changed to become host to a movie launch party. And we sat there, hogging and marvelling!
The menu here is a maze! There is so much variety that you are confused and yet the humble staff say that they know the variety is limited! Coming to the staff, the service is prompt and friendly and the Chef surely knows how to win you over, en route your stomach! Here is what we hogged on at Summer House Café –
Yuzu Pineapple Smash – A refreshing combination of lime, yuzu (a citrus fruit giving the drink a slight tart) and basil. Thyme and fennel seeds added a mind blowing aroma and flavour.
Blueberry Twist Smash – A tangy concoction of blueberry, lime and orange. Rosemary adds a very refreshing flavour. This one packs a sure punch!
Jalapeno Cheese Poppers – Crispy batter fried poppers with mozzarella cheese and made spicy with lots of chilli flakes and jalapenos. These are better spelt as ‘perfection’! Pop these and see the cheese oozing out! But make sure you have the poppers before someone snatches them off the plate.
The Haystack Salad – Sprouts, bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, cucumber, lettuce, corn and more! And topped or rather stacked with crispy tortilla fingers. There is a slight hint of sweetness in the salad owing to the ingredients and we would have better liked it with a little bit of black pepper if not chilli to ease out the sweetness.
Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream – Fresh, crispy tortilla chip loaded with chopped tomatoes, spring onions, jalapenos, black beans, and a tangy salsa sauce. The cheese sauce and sour cream are wonderful!
Indian Vegetarian Platter – The intense and spicy flavours of the dishes in the Indian vegetarian platter were mind blowing. Spicy masalas that do justice to the preparations. There were three items in the platter – Char grilled paneer chunks with a smokey flavour and marinated in strong spices. Pineapple presented in a chatpata avatar that we definitely had not tried earlier. The masalas overshadowed the inherent sweetness of the fruit and left for a delicious preparation on the sticks.
Soya Kebabs were the star of the show in this platter. Soft soya, marinated in a very spicy sauce, stuffed with veggies, paneer and nuts. This one was amazing! It was served with a yoghurt based dip and a non-spicy mint dip.
Veg Mezze Platter – Consisted of crispy and delicious falafels, feta samosas and crispy soft pita bread. Sticky rice balls were made with the thicker rice, slightly crisp on the outside and had a filling of veggies and a little bit of cheese. The dips are mind blowing, especially the hummus. We did not really enjoy the feta samosas as they were a bit oily and a little bland for our taste.
Thai Veg Curry – Lots of exotic veggies in a superbly fragrant curry spiced with Thai herbs. It has a mildly spicy aftertaste. We loved the fact that it has just the adequate amount of creaminess and spices. Recommended!
Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza – Thin crusted pizza that is topped with bocconcini. The combination of bocconcini and the tomato based sauce were marvellous. Topped with sun-dried and cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, this pizza is a delight. We especially loved the crusty corners and the fresh aroma added by the basil.
Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich – Overloaded with cheese and pesto, this is a simple yet delightful sandwich in a crispy panini bread. The sandwich primarily has lots of tomatoes and a non-spicy pesto sauce.
Tiramisu – Tiramisu here is a must have! Not only is it perfect, it also has a surprise for you! The creamy dessert is served in a glass along with rum soaked bread. We could not figure out why this bread tasted so good even after we had scavenged it through the deep ends of the glass. The chef then let us in on this secret. The strong essence and flavours that the rum bread and coffee add are mind boggling!
Mega Brownie Sundae Mug – This should be called Mega Happiness Sundae Mug! Delicious, soft and crunchy brownie with lots and lots of vanilla ice cream that was threatening to melt! Made a hell lot messy and tasty by the chocolate sauce and finished with a cherry on top!
Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream – A soft spongy cake with intense cinnamon flavour, lots of nuts and whipped cream. We loved how gooey and soft it was.
The Ultimate Banoffee Pie – If we were not averse to bananas, this one would have been the dessert for us at Summer House Café. It is without a doubt on the sweeter side, but the toffee sauce makes you want to dig in for just another bite till you have licked the glass and the spoon and maybe even the plate! Heavenly!
Overall Experience: First, the ambience blows you away and then you are washed over by the astonishingly delicious food and delicate flavours! We were looking at each other with baffled expression after every bite!
We guess that enough explanation for the love affair we had with Summer House Café to make you wanna check it out for yourselves? We surely hope so, ‘coz we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this amazing place! Highly recommended!
The Battle: The battle is having to get up and leave from here! Can’t we just get mattresses and sleep here?
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?
First look at Artika Café and you feel like you are in a slow motion video of some lost town. Time probably, literally stops here! Artika Café is one of the best places to laze around in Pondicherry.
It is essentially a black and white shot, with a random table or two adding the colours. Dry leaves and white bougainvillaea decorate the courtyard, giving the feel of a never-ending autumn. The quietness here can be the brand ambassador for Pondicherry’s ‘Peaceful Pondicherry’ tagline! This peacefulness is what drew us here and kept us here and what made us never want to get up and leave!
A narrow and beautiful shrub covered path led us to the graffiti and mural covered courtyard. There are a few tables in the open courtyard and a few lounge chairs in the shade covered area to just stretch and relax.
There are a few tables inside as well, in an old, pretty worn-out house but we chose outside, obviously!
There is an art gallery and a shop inside, which sort of seems like the thing in Pondicherry!
Once we had taken in the amazing surroundings and rested for a few good minutes, we asked for the menu. The menu is another surprise. They give you a big handmade paperboard menu that is hand written – art all the way, we say! There are quite a few breakfast options, sandwiches, baguettes and crepes to pick from. They have some really good combos to pick from. The food ranges from affordable to average pricey but one can easily find something according to their budget. Another good thing here is the free WiFi for as long as you want. The service is prompt and super friendly.
We had a Ratatouille and Cheese Sandwich. The aroma of the ratatouille being prepared made our mouths water! The sandwich was delicious, non-spicy ratatouille with lots of veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes and more with lots of mozzarella cheese! It was lip-smacking!
We also had Mango Lassi which was more like thick mango pulp smoothie! It was very refreshing and filling!
Artika Café and Gallery should be where you head to, to chill on a hot summer day or to get your work done in peace. And if nothing, a few hours of peace don’t hurt!
We had an amazing time at Artika Café, do tell us about yours!!