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.
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?
We are among the folks who were very happy when we saw that The American Joint has popped up so close to home. Every time we passed by the junction that is now home to The American Joint, we would smile.
We had been to the BKC outlet (read more here) earlier and had loved every bite we had there. So when we visited the Borivali Outlet, our expectations were sky-rocketing.
The American Joint – 5
The American Joint – 8
The American Joint – 2
The outlet is huge in comparison to the BKC one. They have two levels of seating, the lower level with a few tables and a sprawling upper floor.
The interiors are classy and stylish and definitely make you stop and read/see again. Mainly done in greens and whites, the place has a good ambience and is quite spacious. You may miss this, so let us tell you, there is a small passageway on the first floor with tables to accommodate 2 and a maximum of three people, hidden away. We love the tables near the huge glass windows that give a good view of the road and park outside.
The American Joint – 3
The American Joint – 1
The American Joint – 7
The service is pretty prompt and friendly. The menu is quite spread out compared to their BKC outlet and that is because they have introduced a whole new range of dishes, burgers, pizza, soups, salads among others, while also keeping their hot selling chef specials from the earlier menu.
Here is what we tried at our meal at The American Joint:
Hummus to You ⇔ The hummus was perfect – soft, well spiced with chilli powder and coriander and had a little tang. It was served with slightly crisp whole wheat pita bread pieces. The pita was really light and the dish was tasty overall.
Mountain O’ Nachos ⇔Crisp tortilla chips with lots of veggies and loaded with Queso cheese sauce. It had olives, tomatoes, jalapenos that added a much-needed spiciness along with charro beans. We were served a smaller tasting portion but the actual portion size is filling to even look at!
Garlic Bomb Cheese Bread ⇔ Small bread buns with sharp garlic flavour. Served on a bed of sizzling hot tomato and veggies sauce. It was spiced with a lot of chilli flakes and topped with lots of cheese. The cheese was the right amount of stretchy and chewy. This is something you will definitely not want to share. And the aroma was equally mouth watering. Delicious!
Tikka Fries ⇔ Thick, crispy fries served with a gravy. But they did not do justice to the tikka gravy. It was supposed to be spicy but it lacked any strong flavours. It was just a creamy tomato based paste. Did not do justice to the name or description. Also, the fries, though were crispy, could have been much better. They were essentially hollow!
We called for Pineapple Julep which was a delicious blend of juices. It was tangy-sweet and one would not be able to point at a single flavour but will definitely smile at every sip! Mint and lemon made it refreshing!
We called for a few shakes as well. The shakes are very light. Going by the name, if at all you are assuming them to be freak-shakes of sorts, then you will be in for a huge disappointment. But if you are looking for light, flavorful shakes, then go on and order one of these! Though be warned, you will not find even the supposedly chunky shakes to be chunky. We would be disappointed too but were not coz the lighter version was welcome this time around. Another time? That is another story.
Khaike Paan Banaras Wala ⇔ This was the best of the shakes. Refreshing and light. It was not overly sweet and had the perfect paan flavour. Just imagine a delicious meetha paan crushed with milk to make a shake. The shake had everything, from beetle leaves to fennel seeds to those yummy cherries. Much recommended.
Cookies and Creme Oreo Shake and Nutella Be Chillin’ Shake were light and flavourful and as mentioned, lacked any chunky bits of oreo or frozen Nutella.
Overall Experience: We liked the food overall, except a few hiccups. The biggest disappointment was that we did not get quite a few items from the menu. From their entire dessert range, only the Ferrero Nutella Mousse was available. From the shakes and mocktails too quite, a few weren’t available.
The Battle: The ambience and those juices and paan shake in your hand, won’t let you wanna leave. It is so perfect for a good time with friends and family.
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!
Me – Hey! Friday seems diffic….. *another message arrives*
Friend No. 2 – How about Café Trofima?
Me – *Deletes previously typed message* Hell yes! It has been ages! Time?
And finally, Day 141 – Yes Yes Yes! At last, enter Café Trofima
Cutting the super long story short, we have been waiting for months to visit this place and finally, it happened!
Café Trofima – 10
Café Trofima – 7
Café Trofima is a mid-sized café located at a prime corner on the main road in the ever so crowded Shivaji Park. Every time we passed by this café, we felt it was a complete fine dine place. As we entered, we noticed, although it was still a fine-dine, it had a very young vibe to it.
Café Trofima – 6
Café Trofima – 3
Café Trofima – 2
With the slightly dim lights, grey and white interiors and the colourful frames and cups adding a fun vibe, the café is cozy and comfy! Colourful chairs, pillars covered with 3D writings of dishes the café serves. A dessert counter displaying mouth-watering pastries and cakes and other bakes along with boards that mention the specials of the day. Tall French windows, soft music, the smell of rich coffee…it is a perfect French style café with lots to offer.
Café Trofima – 1
Café Trofima – 8
The freak shakes at Café Trofima are pretty famous, so we started with Freaky Anni Oreo. Thick Oreo milkshake, loaded with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It has every good thing that exists on the dessert planet – Oreos, Chocolate Cigars, Choco Chips, Gummy bears, Marshmallows and lots of chocolate sauce! Sinful, but good.
Chilli Garlic Potato Wedges were crisp wedges topped with lots of chilli flakes and had a slight garlic flavour to them. A spicy pesto sauce would have done wonders.
They nailed the salsa sauce in the Nachos which was a good combination of spicy and tangy. Crispy tortilla chips, loaded with beans and salsa along with lots of cheese, this one, we loved!
Red Velvet Cupcakes were decent, probably our timing was wrong, coz they had become a little too dense. Dark Chocolate Cupcake was yummy.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Dark Chocolate Cupcake
We also ordered String Zucchini and Olives Open Cheese Baguette. Crispy bread with parboiled zucchini, bell peppers and olives and lots of cheese. Cheese overpowered the flavours in this one.
What we loved was the Mushroom, Capsicum and Onion Pizza.
A thin crust pizza with lots of veggies and loaded with Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese, this one was delicious!
The cheese was not chewy and with each bite, the flavours of cheese and veggies came out perfectly.
Passion Fruit Mojito was much more minty and much less passion-fruity, but refreshing nonetheless.
Red Thai Curry with Rice was the star of the show with the perfect creamy smooth gravy having an undertone of coconut.
The rice was fragrant and well separated. The Thai Gravy was loaded with veggies and taste delicious!
Overall Experience: The food is good here, not out of the world. Some things are good and there are some misses. Sadly, we expected a lot more. The prices are all inclusive of taxes. The service is friendly and courteous but a tad slack. Although we loved the fact that nobody bothered us with ‘what next, sir/madam’ questions!
The Battle: Freaky Oreo Anni will turn you into a battling freak. You will fight anyone and everyone for this one!
What do you do when you have an old haveli to spare?
Well, when you are in Udaipur, you paint it blue and you paint it pretty.
You add a beautiful chandelier and you add some colourful lights.
You place a funky, colourful sofa here and you place two more there.
Then you buy some odd knick-knacks and you make a fun and chic hangout place with the right dose of all these ingredients.
Add good music and service to the preparation and voila, a perfect café is served!
Oladar Village Café followed these steps to make an amazing, upscale café in Chandpole, an area that is bustling with options.
Oladar (let’s call it just that, please?)is painted and decorated in vibrant colours that instantly make one happy. Imagine all the right combinations of yellows and blues and you will know what we mean! There are four sections – indoors and outdoor sections below and the same above. Obviously, we advise picking the outdoor ones! They are covered in trees and have super comfy seats/sofas. We loved the colourful patchwork on the sofa and cushions. The indoor section has funky lights and a café table (near the kitchen) with scooters and high seats.
The often give out the space for open mic performances, small fleas, etc. One such flea was on when we visited and it added to the zing of this café!
Oladar Village Café – 5
Oladar Village Café – 4
Oladar Village Café – 3
Oladar Village Café – 2
Oladar Village Café – 1
The menu is pretty elaborate with munchies and continental options along with sandwiches, wraps, etc.
We ordered Café Mocha which was hot and perfect. Lots of foam and chocolate sauce on top made it the perfect drink in the chilly Udaipur mornings!
We also tried Nachos Grande and loaded is the word to define this one!
Tortilla chips loaded with a spicy mix of veggies, tangy salsa and tons of cheese. Topped with julienned cabbage (kinda strange!) the nachos were really good.
The service is friendly and prompt. The café is not exactly light on the pocket but is a good place to unwind and have fun. Our bill came to ₹300 for coffee and nachos, which is a tad bit extra, but nevermind, the ambience is fun!