Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mad Over Donuts

My first memory of a donut was eating fried donuts dipped in melted milk chocolate/filled with a sour fluffed cream at the local bakeries.

Mad Over Donuts (M.O.D.) has been in India for quite a few years now.I vaguely remember seeing an M.O.D.outlet at Breach Candy about four years back. But I first devoured the perfect round delicacy when M.O.D. opened a branch at Colaba.

From the orgasmic chocolate, to fruity flavours to the nutty or the good old basic donut to go with a cup of tea/coffee, I was amazed at the array of flavours offered. There was something to tingle the taste buds of every age group and pallette.

I have a prominent sweet tooth and hence the partiality towards donuts filled with chocolate (milk/dark) and smothered with chocolate again. You may call it chocolate overdose but that's how I like my donut. The more chocolaty, the better.

M.O.D. outlets are vibrantly done up. The decor is basic. I love their baloons. The tall swivel chairs. The warm yellow/orange walls. It makes me a kid again. 

M.O.D. has great offers when you order 5 or 9 donuts at one go. Their coffee combos are worth it too. Overall very fresh donuts. Good array of choices. Friendly staff. And the urge to keep coming back!

To find a M.O.D. outlet near you, go here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


My favourite meal while I was in school was dinner. Apart from the fact that dinner was the only meal departing from the usual dal, sabzi, roti, it also gave time to the whole family to sit around the table, enjoy a fresh, hot meal while listening to how each of our day went. Sometimes we'd talk about an upcoming exam, maybe a birthday or the dreaded homework/habits talk. At other times we'd rush to find a prime seat in the TV room to enjoy the best and most comfortable view of the television, while holding the plate in one hand and eating from the other. No matter what the situation, dinner was always together, as far as possible. 

Over the years as my college began, and then hostel life, my partiality for dinner was replaced by a new-found liking for breakfast. Breakfast meant 'me' time, especially in hostel. While all my roomies would eat in a rush to reach the early morning lecture, I'd eat breakfast over almost an hour, watching new on TV and reading a newspaper if I got my hands on it.
When we were in school breakfast used to be utterly chaotic. I'd get dressed and dunk the milk, while grabbing the sandwich or rolling the aloo paratha in one hand, the school bag in another and made a dash for the bus stop. In this rush I hardly got a chance to appreciate the variety of breakfasts Mom would prepare.Somehow Mom always came up with a new twist in the old sandwich, or a normal paratha and that after preparing our tiffins and lunch.

In the hostel the breakfast was standard. I was the happiest on the days when we got bread and eggs to order because the poha was generally too dry, the upma too sticky or the aloo parathas had very little stuffing. Plus, there was always shortage of milk or the milk was watery. The solution to this problem was simple, I replaced bournvita with coffee. Someone watery coffee never tasted bad as opposed to watery bournvita. Till then we used to have coffee occasionally after dinner, but suddenly coffee became my morning companion.
Now that I live with my relatives, my breakfasts are very random. What can be more enjoyable than eating whatever you like!  Most days I alternate between sandwich, paratha with pickle, cornflakes, moong and eggs. The sandwiches range from classic cheese, veggie sandwich, salami sandwich or my unlikely favourite boiled egg sandwich and untoasted cucumber sandwich. Sometimes I use my mom's trick and have egg with paratha as it is quite wholesome. However  my glass of milk stays and takes varied forms - hot coffee, bournvita, hot chocolate, tea, fruit shakes etc. I now experiment with having tea, black/green when I wake up and then filter coffee with breakfast. Having switched to filter coffee, instant coffee is hardly satisfying! 

Some of my most cherished breakfasts have been away from Home, especially since I love to travel. Our family takes trips often and I've eaten breakfasts in so many cities that its hard to count. The steaming idlis, dosas, idiappams and a cup of filter coffee from my trips down South always lift my mood. The hot fried breakfast items such as gathiya, samosa, kachori, vada pav find their way into the best street-food breakfast items. It is a workable solution to office rush, not necessarily to the waistline. The North Indian breakfasts are in another league. You name an ingredient and you get a paratha stuffed with it. The traditional English breakfast is also slowly finding way into Indian homes. I love cornflakes, spanish omelettes, fruit bread, an occasional pancake when I'm having breakfast out and mandatory juice.

I remember my parents telling me about breakfast when they were younger. It mostly comprised of roti, with some pickle, or glucon-D biscuit and chai. But never was breakfast so elaborate as now. I guess I'm lucky to have been spoilt with breakfast options. Yet, there are many items which I'm yet to try at home - pancakes, assorted fresh fruits, protein bars etc.
The experts recommend a hearty breakfast.  I abide by it, especially since I love it. I can skip dinner, but I definitely cannot skip a full breakfast, complete with reading the paper, watching news and chit-chatting with my family (if time permits). 
I couldn't agree more with John Gunther who said and I quote, "All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast". The change from being a loyal dinner fan to a breakfast person suits me just fine. With the sometimes crazy work hours, social life, study time, its a better to have a leisurely breakfast than to wait for dinner to unwind, because if I'm at peace in the morning, the day invariably goes well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cherry Pink!

I know the summers have paved way for the rains, and pink isn't really the colour of the season. But I was tempted to change the blog theme when I saw this gorgeous pink layout on the new themes tab in my blog settings. It reminded me of cherries, a sweet after taste and an intense desire. Well, the three are apt for a food blog. Hence the theme :) 

Keep chewing!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fake sun-dried tomatoes

A few weeks back I stumbled upon Shaheen's food blog, the purple foodie. I immediately fell in love with the layout of the blog. With further exploration I also realised how much she loved to cook, especially bake. Sifting through some of the recipes, I decided to try 'oven-dried tomatoes' partly because the ingredients were lying at home apart from my liking for sun-dried tomatoes. 

The recipe is easy, and a little lengthy, but certainly not as complicated as real sun-dried tomatoes!

  • Tomatoes - if you find the seasonal deshi-tomatoes, then even better!
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Oven
  • Cut the tomatoes in half or smaller pieces depending upon your liking (I bought the non-deshi tomatoes which were small in size and hence halved them)
  • Scoop out all the seeds
  • Roll the cut tomatoes generously in salt and keep them skin-up for upto one hour to remove any excess water (After one hour I drained the water and re-applied the salt as the tomatoes were still watery)
  • Once most water has been drained off, coat the tomatoes in oregano, pepper, finely chopped garlic and lay in a baking dish
  • Sprinkle a little olive oil on it
  • Put the dish in the oven for about 2 hours at the lowest possible temperature. (I kept it for 3 intervals of one hour each on 110 degree Celsius If you think the tomatoes are still juicy, you can keep it in the oven for longer.)
  • Eat with sandwichs, pizzas or as a snack!
My patience ran out so I did not re-bake the tomatoes after the 3-hours. My oven-dried tomatoes were a little moist but I loved them nevertheless! :D

Store the tomatoes in an air-tight container. Also, don't be too generous with the sprinkling of the garlic and oregano, it will take away the essence of the tomato!

Preparation time: approximately 4 hours
USP: Matches up to the real thing!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lobster (or was it Cray Fish?!)

It's been a while since I wrote about Sunday Cooking, mainly because I'm hardly home for Sunday lunch! My aunt was making lobster a few Sundays back, so the foodie in me canceled the lunch plan with friends just to savour a lobster - my first!

Apart from how complicated the lobsters looked, there was nothing very complicated recipe. There was hardly any peeling and chopping involved, but cleaning the lobster thoroughly is a must and the smell can get to you sometimes. 


Here's the receipe my aunt followed-
  1. Clean the lobsters
  2. Marinate them with haldi (turmeric power) and salt
  3. In a pan heat oil and add onions, tomatoes, haldi power and red chilli powder. Stir until fried
  4. Add lobsters and cover for 2-3 minutes
  5. Grate coconut in the grinder and add it to the pan
  6. Add water and salt in the pan to make the gravy
  7. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 5-10 minutes, stir occasionally
  8. Take the lid off and serve the lobster curry with rice and salad!
  9. It's the perfect sunday lunch :)
My opinion about the lobster was that it is more chewy than prwans and has a stronger smell, but the meat seemed more flavoured :D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wich Latte

Small, but packed with yummy treats!

(Turkey Lindsey Sandwich! My fav!)

Wich Latte; my first memory of it was while shoe-shopping at Bata. I almost missed this place-until a friend called, we exchanged our specific locations and I told her to meet me outside Bata. We bear-hugged and she animatedly told me about a strange sounding café, no more than a few days old. I examined this new café-the dark looking interiors- and wondered if their coffees were prepared in a witch's concoction pot! The thought was daunting. We gave it a miss, but the interest remained.

Within a week's time I found myself on a cozy corner table at Wich Latte with a friend. We were mingling with the staff and letting the coffee and conversation flow easy. That is the effect the dark interiors and the friendly staff have on you. I've been to this place about 5 times over the last two years. There have been some changes, but only for the good.

(Behaving myself while waiting for the order....)
What is commendable-
  1. The variety of wiches they offer – bagel, veggie, turkey, beef, chicken alongwith the choice of bread/bagels viz. plain, wheat, sesame, poppy seed etc. 
  2. The side-orders – salads (Caesar salad is a must have!) and fries (curly or spicy, though the quantity is quite less).
  3. They offer pastas and pizzas too. However I'm yet to try them and probably would never try then as I'm in love with the wiches.
  4. The ambiance is laid back and makes for a perfect chilling out joint. The last time I went there was with my friends on a Sunday afternoon at 4PM. We were do with the eating and drinking at 6PM and sat there till 7PM. Not even once did the staff tell us to buzz off! That totally won me over!
  5. The staff is friendly, co-operative and generous (I've heard they give free cakes if its your birthday).
  6. The music can be loud sometimes and drowns the conversation, but the selection they play is always good.
  7. The notice-cum-feedback board is casual, funny and informative.
  8. The staff takes the pain to read most of the feedback they get online and offline. The management goes a step further to respond to the feedback.
  9. They have opened outlets at Fort and Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel.
  10. The Colaba outlet provides Home Delivery too apart from take away and sit-down options!
  11. They were awarded the Best new café award by
(Preeti Bhandarkar at her hungry best!!)

What can be improved-
  1. For a place named wich latte, the quality of coffee/Ice Tea is way below what a customer would expect. The milk used in the coffee tastes burnt and the iced tea (especially lemon) is way too sweet. I understand that there main foray is into the sandwich market, but there is nothing better than a good coffee/drink to go with a yummy sandwich!
  2. The portions of fries should be increased.
  3. I found the wiches slightly expensive-but maybe that's just a one-sided view- perhaps the ingredients are costly and hence the price justification. 
  4. More topping options for hot dogs would be nice!
  5. Home Delivery should be started from their Phoenix Mills outlet.
  6. The cakes/pastry seemed a little dry. We tried a chocolate based dessert (I do not recollect the name). I'm not sure if the same was stale or was the dry texture intentional and integral to that dessert.
  7. The Colaba outlet is too small. They have tried to maximize the seating by using pub like high wooden chairs and tables in some dark wood. Sometimes the wait for the seat can be a turn off for the hungry customers.
  8. The bathroom in the Colaba outlet needs a makeover. The last time I used it, the toilet paper roll was soaked and the bathroom was in general a little dirty, especially with sprinkled and tinkled toilet-seat! (However, just the fact that this small eatery has a bathroom is a welcome relief especially for girls!)

(Preeti and Priti at Wich Latte)

Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Variety: 4/5
Ambience: 3.5/5

 TIP: Go here post Lunch to chillout! That's when the crowds are minimum and the satisfaction is maximum :D

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beware ...its 210 degrees HOT!

A Vegetarian's delite!
-Preeti Datar

210 isn't just a pastry shop for me. It's been a part of my life in celebration, in boredom and in uplift during my low moments. A hop, skip and jump away from my college, this is a true collegians breakfast paradise and officer-goers gluttony. At 210 degrees, the ovens are HOT and the preparations are HOTTER still!

Photo of the 210 pastry we picked for Radhika on her birthday!

Every cake that we get in the office to celebrate colleagues birthdays, CA results etc are without doubt from 210. Reason being the cakes and bakery products here are 100% vegetarian, the variety offered is mind-boggling and the prices are affordable. The cakes and pastries here are clubbed under 3 categories viz regular, dressy and premium. The prices range between Rs. 45 per piece to Rs. 75 per piece.

210 makes fresh bakery products every morning. The croissants, quiches, rolls, toasts, muffins, breads etc are soft and fluffy and full of flavour. Though I personally think some of their offerings like the chocolates, certain rolls & breads and puffs are not worth the price.

The seating is out-doorsy and the mornings and evenings are quite crowded. Most of the bakery products finish by evening, but luckily pastries come to our rescue after a hectic day at work!

 A birthday cake for an office collegaue from 210!

I've been visiting this place for the last 5 years now. The innovations in terms of flavours, the changes in seating and the upward revision of prices, I've seen them all. I also shamelessly boast of having tried 90% of their pastries! Despite of beign a non-vegetarian I swear by this place when it comes to satisfying my sweet tooth.

 Sweet tooth-ed in Office!210 to our rescue!! (Rachit & Me)

Variety: 4.5/5
Pastries: 4/5
Bakery Items: 3.5/5
Prices: 4/5

TIP: Go here for a quick breakfast or a cuppa coffee and snacks in the evening!

  Sweet tooth-ed in 210!! (Tanu & Me/Photo by Radhika)
PS: As I finished typing this, I've already planned on going to 210 in the evening before the budget seminar, come comfort before the uncomfortable territory of budget ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Goa-Portuguesa /Cultural Curry

Often my aunty recounts her growing up years in and around Dadar and Mahim. Most of the times its fun to hear about the changes the two places have undergone. However, the outright interesting accounts center around some hotel that has been there, serving generations of families, yet continuing to create smiles, both on the lips and in the belly!

Goa Portuguesa is one such place.

Adjectives like loud, flashy and cramped best suit this Mahim restaurant. However do not conclude that the place is not worth it and hence you should stop reading this review. Rather, it is the contrary.

So I'm assuming you're reading further right? Ofcourse, if flashy and cramped can be good, then this place has some magic right?


It's the food! The flavours of Goa are beautifully recreated in their curries. The spreads of appetizers, main course, accompaniments and desserts are plenty. You can widen your choices by ordering from Dive Maharashtra or Cultural Curry which are all part of this killing set-up by Mr & Mrs. Awchat (if you leave aside the shameless self-promotion via the cookery book, framed photos and self-praise magazine).

This small place serves up a stunning menu, but is slow when it comes to service. The waiters are well versed with the offerings and their suggestions are spot on! I especially loved the Ajwain Fish, apart from the round, fluffy appams that were the backbone for the curried meat!

The guitarist-cum-singer is a nice touch especially when he sings your recommendation while your order is being executed in the kitchen. However once this place gets packed, and the hot food gets served, the same gets annoying, even seeming too loud! So, the point is go here if you're noise-savy or miss a scrumptious spread as they do not deliver (No they do not even take orders on the phone if you tell them you'd go and collect it!)

The prices are on the higher side and 'apparently' they give discounts for Maharashtrians (MNS lovers!), but you have to ask and we did not and they conveniently skipped the same.

Go here to get your taste buds fired up and your wallet lightened!


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