I know February is the shortest of months, but is it just me or did it really whizz by?
From a quick Goan Getaway to sushi boats, making French friends and staking out what’s new on Bombay’s booming culinary circuit, here’s looking back at a fabulously food-fuelled Feb…
1. “Egg… but no egg” at A Reverie, Goa
The month kicked off with a massive #famjam in Goa to celebrate my uncle’s sixtieth birthday! We brought it in at A Reverie, a whimsical al-fresco restaurant spread over different levels within an enclosed garden.
The fusion cuisine here was an inventive mix of Modern European food seamlessly merged with Asian and local elements.
Starting out with cocktails in the raised panoramic lounge, we bit into the likes of wasabi-avocado tacos and savoury churros, before moving lower down into our own gazebo for the main event.
The stunning presentation of the food was particularly impressive, especially when it came to dessert, which involved a creative four-play on coconut and mango… disguised as an eggy morning breakfast with a sunny side up (coconut fondue and mango puree); the cracked (lemon grass jelly and mango sorbet); the boiled (coconut gelato, sprinkled with sweetened coconut crisps) and even the coddled (a tender coconut panacotta with passion fruit and mango coulis)!
2. The Siciliana at Tre Forni, Park Hyatt Hyderabad
The next week, we flew further down South to Hyderabad, for a family friend’s wedding.
Between all the shaadi shenanigans, we weren’t really able to explore the city, let alone try a famous Hyderbadi biryani… but we did make time for an exquisite dinner at Tre Forni on our last evening, the fine dining Italian at the contemporary Park Hyatt hotel.
The hand-made ricotta tortellini was as divine as it sounds, but it was the crisp wood-fired pizzas that stole the show – they were the finest I’ve had in India to date.
3. Nutella calzone at 1441 Pizzeria
Speaking of pizzas, my friends and I also popped in to the pre-opening of 1441 Pizzeria, India’s first make-your-own pizza parlour…
Faced with a smörgåsbord of options, we went a bit wild creating our own pizza with four different types of cheese and a variety of toppings that ranged from jalapeños to paneer-pesto!
It was just as well that the pizzas turned out to be super-light (courtesy of 1441’s signature flour mix and slow-rising dough process)… as we were able to do major justice to dessert which included this soft doughy calzone oozing warm nutella and mashed bananas!
Full review, here.
4. Lucie and Amelie at Le 15 Cafe, Colaba
In other new Bombay openings, Pooja Dhingra’s very Parisian-chic Le 15 Cafe in Colaba quickly proved to be a cosy addition to the plethora of cafes and eateries already in the area.
We loved Colombian Chef Pablo’s creative all-day offerings, but it was an elegant group of French ladies who really really won us over – Lucie, with her perfect blend of dark chocolate and salted caramel, and Amélie – a gorgeous take on a Tres Leche milk cake involving raspberry coulis, pepper crumbs and fresh basil!
Full review, here.
5. Sushi Boats at Tatami, Bandra
I also enjoyed a bit of sushi sailing at Tatami, a new Japanese kitchen and sake bar in Bandra, which takes over the spot previously occupied by Kofuku.
The flavour explosion in the Tatami vegetarian roll (loaded with tempura batter crumbs to cut through the creaminess of the tofu) packed in a real punch, while Khushboo, my dining companion, was definitely left exclaiming oh-em-gee after each bite of her aptly titled O.M.G. (salmon belly, tuna and avocado) rolls!
6. Burrata at One Street Over
I also headed One Street Over in Bandra to revisit Chef Kelvin Cheung’s buzzy gastropub, which launched earlier this year.
Everything was as good as I remembered, particularly the super soft, melt-in-your mouth burrata, its creaminess heightened by Chef Kelvin’s creative use of seasonal red carrots from the carrot marinara blanketing the cheese to the “pesto” churned from the green carrot tops!
Full review, here.
7. Guilt-free, low-cal Gujarati fare at Soam
It wasn’t all just cheese and carbs though! I did manage to eat healthy when eating out at Soam – the simple, all-vegetarian establishment opposite Babulnath Temple.
The low-cal menu here presented some ridiculously tasty options just bursting with nutritious goodness, such as this whopper of a nachni dosa made with protein, fibre, iron and calcium-rich red millet.
Full review, here.
8. K Rustom Ice Cream Sandwiches
Other simple pleasures this month included a late night drive to K Rustom’s.
Occupying a small space equipped just with metal freezers, this old-school Parsi-run institution has been serving up the most moreish ice cream sandwiches since 1953!
It was a tough decision choosing between all the enticing flavours from classics such as Chocolate and Walnut Crunch, to seasonal specials like Rose Ripple and creative experiments such as Paan (betel leaf)… so we did what any other self-respecting foodie would do in our place. We went for them all.
9. Oreo Cookie Cheesecake Sammiches
Speaking of dessert sandwiches…
How irresistible do these homemade oreo cookie sammiches look?!
A friend generously brought them along to one of the pre-wedding dance practices and we all had one of those “Eat Like No One’s Watching. Or Dance. Whatever.” moments.
10. Waffle Sticks at Kala Ghoda Festival
And finally, at the real risk of this blog turning into The Dessert Diaries, I have to wax poetic about these delicious waffle sticks scoffed down at the Waffle House pop-up at Kala Ghoda Festival.
The annual arts festival returned this year in collaboration with the Make in India campaign, larger and more dynamic than ever before… Soaking in the spirit of Bombay at the city’s Cross Maidan, we had a lovely wander around the art installations, musical performances and of-course local food stalls, with pit-stops for vada pavs from SodaBottleOpenerWala, kulfi from the famous Shahid Darbar and these crisp, perfect golden waffles on a stick doused with salted caramel and chocolate sauces! It definitely made for a Sunday evening well spent.
So how was everyone else’s February?!