A Mumbaikar knows what a pain it is to travel to the Northern Suburbs from the Western Suburbs. It is a huge task to even come to terms with the time and energy one is going to dedicate, in order to just get here! Imagine the same scenario – Borivali to Thane and then, add say 1.2 hrs of mega jam to this, and you know the pain we went through!
But what if, we say it was totally worth it? Yup, you read that right! That commute was worth it.
Why? Because at the end of that dreadful journey was an amazing destination with a lip-smacking and appetising meal- Family Tree, Thane.
Family Tree is another amazing restaurant by Kabir Samtani and team that completely deserves all the praises that are doing the rounds these days. Amazing ambience, great hospitality and genuinely good food, so you know what we are talking about!
Family Tree is a fairly new place with a cozy and homely vibe. The restaurant is sizeable with two AC sections – an indoor one with yellow lights and family sized tables and an outdoor one, comparatively bright owing to the large windows and has floral decorations and also has tables for larger groups. The moment you step in, the restaurant engulfs you in a warm fuzzy feeling. The ambience is perfect for every generation. One can see youngsters and oldies alike at the restaurant. Odd knick-knacks indoors that give an impression of a showcase in an old English home. There are books, picture frames, wall-clocks, metal artefacts, etc. placed on the wall cabinets. The chairs have faces depicting each family member and a menu that is a reminiscence of a photo album, add fun chapters to this family.
The restaurant is a multi-cuisine one and the menu is pretty spread out. European, Chinese, Indian…..there is something for everyone. Here is what made us smile even after that arduous commute:
Paneer Paprika – Soft pieces of paneer in a seasoned coating with papad-churi. The masala is non-spicy and flavorful enough to not need any accompaniment but was served with a pesto-mayo dip. The combination is delicious and we gobbled up pieces after pieces of the starter. Totally different from what one would expect and without a doubt a nice surprise. Totally recommended!
Mexican Paneer Shashlik – Soft grilled pieces of paneer coated in a sweet chilli sauce. They are topped with a little cheese and served with a tangy salsa sauce.
Pav Bhaji Fondue – The bhaji is delicious with lots of veggies. It is non-spicy and has a slightly smokey flavour. It is served with bite-sized pieces of crisp pav that were seasoned with mild spices and coriander.
California Potatoes – Baked potato skins with a tangy-sweet filling and loads of cheese. Delicious! It is served with a slightly sweet salsa and a sour cream dip.
Paneer Kurchan –Creamy and mildly spicy gravy, this is one of the best options from their North Indian mains. Extremely soft and succulent paneer pieces in a thick textured sweet-spicy gravy with lots of veggies, especially bell peppers. This one is perfect!
Yellow Chilli – If we had to pick a favourite, this is it. Yellow Chilli is one of the recent additions to their already amazing menu and an insanely delicious one. Small palak based koftas that are stuffed with paneer. The gravy is creamy with a prominent flavour of turmeric. This is a must try dish! If you can save a little bit of the gravy from all the licking and ooh-ahhing, then it goes superbly well with the rotis (Indian bread).
Veg. Abu Dabhi – Another latest addition to the menu, this one is mix vegetable in a thick kofta-style gravy. The preparation has tons of veggies, prominently french beans and has a slightly smokey, spicy flavour. It is delicious!
Mango Basil Chilli – A delicious combination that leaves you sweating due to the spiciness. A sharp taste added by green chillies that suppress the sweet-sour flavour of mangoes. Refreshing, or should we ideally say awakening!
Grape Fruit Mojito – You remember those small half-moon shaped orange candies that we relished as kids? If ever, you are feeling nostalgic and want a taste of those, the this is your answer. That perfect orange-y flavour with a little more tang to it!
Mosambi with a splash of Ginger – Mosambi juice with a hint of ginger that adds a sharp sour taste and reduces the sweetness. Refreshing. This one is a must try if you are a juice fan!
Smoked Strawberry Chiller – This one is sort of a strawberry slush with a little tart. Refreshing and perfect for the summer.
The desserts here are amazing too. We happened to try a few and seem to be confused as to which one is the best one!
Banoffee Pie – A whole load of happiness sits on a freshly made thick and crisp crust. The toffee sauce is to die for. The perfect combination of whipped cream atop thinly sliced bananas adding the necessary sweetness and flavour to the mind-blowing toffee sauce. It is then dusted with cocoa powder and served to kill you! Trust us, you cannot have just one bite! And it is so light!
Paan Ice Cream – When they said paan, they meant paan. Refreshing paan flavoured ice-cream rolled up in a beetle leaf with all the ingredients and sweet nothings that go in a meetha paan. This is then dipped in gulkand and covered in a silver foil and served with a cherry on top! Ideally, this should be called the cherry on top of every meal!
Aamras with Vanilla Ice Cream – It is summer, the official season of Mangoes and aamras! And we could not leave the opportunity to try this one! Aamras in perfect, thick and not overly sweet and we loved this combination!
Overall Experience: We are going to use a small phrase to describe this – Family No. 1! Family Tree is a complete package and a complete family entertainer. Delicious food, warm service and great ambience. The food is totally worth the prices, which by the way will not burn a hole in your pockets!
The Battle: The white dish in which the Banoffee Pie was served would have turned red due to the bloodshed had anyone tried to steal a bite from it!