What I Ate (WIA): Taste of Mumbai, Haji Ali

After a brief hiatus, I am back on my beloved blog! Of course, it was a long and difficult journey, having to overcome all sorts of ridiculous obstacles like a faulty internet connection, a new obsession with shopping for weird things from a chinese website (this includes mood rings and fedora hats) and of course, eating all sorts of food cooked by my beloved mom.

Today, I am going to do a post about What I Ate (WIA for short.) It’s not a review of the restaurant itself, but a more detailed review of the food that I ate. The logic behind it is simply this- I believe in second chances. A restaurant may have 9 terrible tasting dishes but 1 saving grace of a dish that makes your visit worthwhile. Or it may have 9 stupendous dishes but 1 dish that makes you blanch. Most of the time, such situations play a role in the restaurant getting a good or a bad review. Let’s also not forget the fact that sometimes restaurants have good days and bad days. I’m willing to overlook that.

My day at Haji Ali, was an amazing one.

It all started on one random evening. I was craving sandwiches, and exhaustive research revealed to me that a tiny shop in Royapettah called Royal Sandwiches was one of the best in Chennai and had close to 150 varieties of sandwiches. It had a 4.7 rating on Zomato, and thats kind of a huge deal. So imagine the crushing disappointment that I felt in my chest as I stared at the closed shutters. It was closed on account of it being a Sunday! :(

However, I was not to be deterred. The drive from Royapettah to Besant Nagar was one that involved a good bit of traffic and a cow. But we made it to Haji Ali and our table had quite an interesting view…

I guess that's what happens when you go with a fashionista lol.

I guess that’s what happens when you go with a fashionista lol.

We then placed our orders for the food and waited impatiently. I wasn’t very impressed when the food arrived because it didn’t look very different, but the taste is what had me dancing to a whole different tune. The first thing I noticed about it was that it wasn’t piping hot- in fact, it was just the right temperature. Hot, without being scalding. I hate eagerly biting into food that has arrived, only to hurt my teeth and burn my tongue (I have really sensitive teeth). The bread was white and perfectly toasted. I have huge issues when the bread is too hard, but what I loved, is that the sandwich remained soft throughout the time I took to eat it; and that’s a huge deal because I’m a really slow eater.

Look at that beauty.

Look at that beauty.

As you can see in the picture, the sandwich was oozing cheese and I just loved it. I love it when you bite into something cheesy and a long string of cheese follows. It’s so much fun playing with your food like that. Also LOVE grilled sandwiches above all else. What I ordered was a Mozarella veg cheese grill sandwich that had tomatoes, potatoes, capscicum and (of course) mozarella cheese. It had a single tiny chilli next to it on the menu, but the actual food that arrived was really subtly flavoured. Yours truly has been recovering from a mild case of acidity, so it was a really really good option to go for.

My Mozarella Veg Cheese Grilled Sandwich.

My Mozarella Veg Cheese Grilled Sandwich.

Admittedly, the flavouring was so subtle that it was borderline bland. So we went ahead and asked for chilli sauce. Surprisingly the sauce itself tasted really good. That’s rare coming from me because I have this strange hang up because I don’t like tomato sauce or any sauce that’s sweet to taste. We also ordered Masala French fries that day. I’ve tasted masala fries at other restaurants before, and what I was expecting was a bunch of fries with garam masala thrown on top. I was so not expecting what we actually got.

Masala Fries

Masala Fries

What we got, was possibly the poshest version of masala fries, ever. It had no garam masala at all and I was so grateful for that. I could taste salt and pepper and a third flavouring agent which mildly reminded me of Oregano. Thyme, maybe? I dunno.
IMG_1238(final)

All I know, is that these fries tasted epic.

So this is WIA

Veg Mozarella Cheese Sandwich
Price: Rs. 95
Rating: 3.8/5
– I would’ve liked the sandwiches to just have a tad bit more flavour and actually give the chilli next to it on the menu, some meaning.

Masala Fries
Price: Rs. 90
Rating: 4.2/5
– I loved how it took three people to finish this bowl of fries. Great taste, but a tad bit stiff. If the fries had achieved the right mix of soft and crunchy, then I wouldn’t hesitate to give it 5 stars.

Water
Price: Free!
Rating: 3.5/5
– I really like restaurants that leave a full jug on your table along with empty glasses. Haji Ali, unfortunately, wasn’t one of them! The water tasted alright, but I hate having to flag down a waiter just for water. Restaurants, please take note.

So that’s WIA at Taste of Mumbai, Haji Ali. Don’t forget to let me know what you think by commenting, liking or reblogging this post. Much love people. Until next time! <3

Posh Nosh Chocolate Fudge sauce review!

Many girls get excited when they go to malls. Their hearts race when they’re walking along rows of shows in the colours of the rainbow. They sigh in ecstasy as they stand before racks of jewllery, hanging daintily in the pale yellow light of the store. A happy smile plays upon their lips as they triumphantly grasp their shopping bags in their fingers, a bedazzling necklace, an elegant scarf or a timeless dress nestled inside of it.

Me?

I feel the same way at supermarkets.

A smile automatically finds its ways to my lips as I step through the glass doors, welcomed by the air conditioning. I sigh in joy as I stand before rows and rows of brightly coloured fruit juices, promising to back your health up in no time. I need to suppress a gleeful giggle as I walk past the rows of potato chips in different shapes and sizes. My eyes light up as I look at all the different chocolates, just waiting for me to grab them and put them in my basket.

I’ve always been the kind of person who believes that food is nothing short of magical.

So one day, I was idyllically standing in front of the open fridge at Nilgiris, contemplating on buying a block of blue cheese and some sour cream when I met her for the first time.

There she was, between happy cow cheese and a jar of Mayo. That’s when I first met…

She was so beautiful

I picked up the intriguing looking dark jar and I turned it over, trying to know more. Turns out it was by an Indian entrepreneur and was actually marginally cheaper than Nutella. It was founded by Aditi Gupta, a foodie who studied in Britain. She came back to India and realised that the foriegn ingredients you get here are not only expensive, but they’re also full of preservatives! (*GASP!*).

So that’s when Posh Nosh foods was born(In early 2014). She swears that the ingredients are preservatives free and the sauces she makes are a 100% vegetarian. That’s great. So far, so good.

It took quite a bit of effort to crack open the jar and we had to try all sorts of crazy tactics that included inverting the jar upside down in a vessel of hot water. (I was personally just happy that the jar didn’t crack)

It was so good looking that I couldn’t resist taking a swipe at the lid and I was astounded by how amazing it tasted. It had the same consistency as a bar of fully melted dark chocolate and tasted just as good. The flavour played out easily on my tongue, just the right blend of sweet and bitter.
It was nearly dinnertime and I was super excited to try this new spread on some toast.
Yes. I most definitely licked the spoon clean.

So I was all riled up to try the new spread on some goddamn delicious brown wheat bread. I took one bite and stopped short. Something was definitely not right. I took another and my tongue got thoroughly confused with what was going on. The toast on the surface tasted sweet because of the spread, but it tasted… odd otherwise.

Something’s not right…
I suddenly remembered something my mother had told me. That my cousin’s friend who is a chef, runs a cafe nearby had sent over some whole wheat bread and masala rye bread. I asked mom which of the two it was and she shrugged and replied that it was one of the two and that she didn’t check which one it was. A few more bites of my toast left spicy notes at the back of my mouth and I realised my mistake.
When you facepalm so hard your glasses disappear.

But then again, I am a foodie! I am resillient and I was not ready to give up so easily. So after finishing dinner, I decided to try something a little safer.

That is a generous helping of the chocolate fudge spread on a Marie biscuit.
Now, I had a chance to properly try out the amazingness that is the chocolate fudge sauce. At first, the chocolaty taste takes over your mouth. A more slow, lingering taste reveals a deeper, richer flavour that is characteristic of the pure cocoa that it says it has. It tasted to me, like a blend of two very familiar flavours- that of Diary milk and Amul dark chocolate but there was a third flavour that I couldn’t quite place my finger on and that’s what makes me love it so much. It’s consistency at room temperature is slightly thick, just like a freshly melted bar of chocolate and has a bitter, chocolaty scent to it.
I like it because in my opinion, this one gives Nutella a run for its money. Some people complain that Nutella is too sweet and this is just perfect for people who feel that way. I like the packaging as well because it is quite sturdy and though it was glass, it wasn’t the least bit slippery (Which is great for someone like me because I tend to be a bit of a butterfingers). I liked the fact this is also supposed to be just as versatile. You can use it on toast, on ice cream, as icing on cake… The possibilities are endless.
Oh and also, I’ve tried a jar of Hershey’s hot fudge sauce once. I love Hersheys and everything but this is SO not the same. This is way way better. So go ahead, give an Indian entrepreneur some ‘brownie’ points for trying and splurge on this jar of Chocolate fudge sauce. If you like anything remotely chocolatey and… well, fudgey, you won’t regret this.
Rating: 4.5/5.

The best foodie music ever

So instead of writing about food today, I’ve decided to try something slightly different. Here’s a list of songs that I love listening to while eating or when I’m having a fun night out in general.

1. Madari- Vishal Dadlani, Clinton Cerejo and Sonu Kakkar.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=L-9s4nTLSdA%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_embedded

This song obviously HAD to be the very first on this list because it is an eternal favourite. Everytime I hear it, my mood instantly perks up and I have to resist the urge to sing along because I can never get the words right.

2. Naan Nee- Madras

This mellow song is perfect for those days when you should be cuddling bae on a rainy evening, but you know you got Pizza, which is even more freakin awesome.

3. Wish you were here- Pink Floyd

One of my favourite things to do is to head over to the NCC canteen in Pune and just lose myself to a glass of coffee, listening to this masterpiece by Pink Floyd. Trust me when I say, it is nothing short of blissful.

4. We are Young- Fun

Night on the town? Check. Best High Heels on? Check. Favourite cocktail. Check. You are all set to belt out the words to this beautiful (should-be) teen anthem as you make the most of every moment of your night on the town.

5. Thode Bheege- Kaminey

[https://youtube.com/watch?v=juhpOvGTzSQ%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_embedded%22%3Ehttps%3A

If you ask me, this is one of the most underrated songs in the film. It’s one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever listened to. I like to listen to this song while its cold out and I’m cuddling under the covers with my favourite paperback novel and a mug of hot chocolate. Love, indeed.

6. Banana Pancakes- Jack Johnson

This is my absolute favourite Sunday morning song. It’s one of those light, happy, catchy songs that you can listen to while you contentedly munch on a delicious home-made Sunday brunch.

7. A beautiful mess- Jason Mraz

This is the kind of song I like listening to when I’m alone. It helps me feel like I’m listening to someone speaking to me, addressing me. Also, it sounds great when you’re eating it with Falafel.

8. Yellow- Coldplay

A song I could listen to on loop and not get tired of. Yellow by coldplay is, in my opinion one of their best tracks. Listen on a Saturday night in with your girlfriends with a tub of ice cream and a night filled with gossip and fun.

Have any tracks that go well with good food? Do drop a comment and let me know :)

The most non-veg things that have been said to me

Image courtesy: Zomato

I was going to write a long theoretical post about how non-vegetarians hardly ever seem to understand us vegetarians, but instead, I’ve decided to come up with something better. Here’s a list of the funniest things that people have said to me, with reference to vegetarianism.

1. “You’re a vegetarian? How do you live?”
– I’m Anti-Matter. You are the first to uncover my secret. Congratulations.
2. “Why don’t you just pick the chicken off and eat the pizza?” – On being offered a slice of chicken pizza.
– No. I ain’t touching that tainted pizza.
3. “This tastes like cow fodder”- When someone took a bite of my granola bar.
– Um Bro. You can’t ask to take a bite of my food and then insult it. That’s just wrong.
4. “I would never marry a vegetarian”- On discussing marriage with a male friend.
– You should list that on your next matrimonial ad. ‘Bride wanted: Fair, slim, carnivorous’

5. “Maybe they’ll have a paneer steak”- when a couple of friends were planning a trip to a restaurant whose speciality was steak.
– Thanks but no thanks
6. “Come over to the dark side… We have kebabs”- On being ‘persuaded’ to turn non-vegetarian.
– Tempting as that sounds, I’m sure my side has an equally delicious alternative. Vegetarians can be quite creative. 😉
7.”I can’t imagine my life without chicken… I don’t know how you do it.”
– I do it in the same way that I speak Turkish. I don’t speak Turkish.
8. I once complained that my salad felt raw because it had no dressing, and someone actually made a snide remark about how I should be used to it by now.
9. “A little chicken soup would make you feel much better”- when I was down in bed with a cold, during the rainy season, in hostel.
– Shut up and give me my meds.

10. “My food poops on your food. It’s the circle of life.”
– Real classy bro.

11. “How will you ever get any nutrition?”
– Oh Gosh, I don’t know- how about from the food I’ve been eating all my life?
12. I once asked a friend what chicken tastes like- “It’s like trying to explain what the meaning of life is.”

13. “Do you really think that the plants that you killed for your food haven’t been alive?”
– I bet that took every last bit of intellect you owned!
14. “Everytime I order something and you ask if its vegetarian.. It’s a little sad”- on being let down by a delicious looking non-vegetarian dish.
– Well excuse me for not wanting to eat food that had a face.

15. “You can’t call yourself a true foodie if you don’t eat non-vegetarian food”
– You. Over there, with the ignorant opinion. Shut up right now.
Food doesn’t discriminate. Food doesn’t care :) It’s all a choice you make. So guys, don’t forget to go easy on us vegetarians at the end of the day, because we all love you as much as we love our aloo and paneer. <3 Don’t forget to show some love. You can leave a comment and tell me what you think of the post.

Why Food > People

The human race can be so tiresome sometimes. They finish the last slice of pizza, they steal popcorn from you at the movies and they judge you when you eat too much food… I’m not necessarily anti-social, but I do have my moments. I thought long and hard about it, and here’s a list of reasons why food is way better than people

1. People say harsh things- an idly will never fail to be soft and gentle with you.

Photo courtesy: Google Images

2. There’s always a risk of someone you make plans with, cancelling for various reasons- I have a headache, I need to work overtime etc etc. But think about it. Has pizza EVER let you down?

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia

3. Caesar salad doesn’t care if its the first healthy thing you’ve eaten all month.

Photo courtesy: The Hills Bar & Grille

4. A huge perk of going to restaurants alone and eating is that you can eat as much as you want without anyone judging you. So go right ahead and order a whole plate of spring rolls and treat yo self.

Photo courtesy: foodandmeal.com -> Do check this blog out. They have an amazing Thai Spring rolls recipe

5. Dosa won’t ever make promises it can’t keep.

Image courtesy: traveldadi.in

6. Chocolate is the best shoulder to cry on.

Image courtesy: foodporndaily.com

7. Mac and Cheese doesn’t care if you feel like its dying when its that time of the month. Mac and cheese soothes your tongue, directly speaking to your soul.

Photo courtesy: Reddit

8. Ice cream won’t let you down like your boyfriend/girlfriend did.

Photo courtesy: jokeroo.com

9. Maggi understands that you have finals and submissions and that it’s been a long tough week and you just need food at 3 in the morning.

Photo courtesy: PeekNCook

10. Parathas won’t ask you when you’re going to get married.

Photo courtesy: cookingandme.com

11. Pani Puri has faith in your gastrointestinal abilities.

Image courtesy: desinema.com

12. You will never feel the sting of betrayal from biriyani.

Photo courtesy: lekhafoods.com

13. Masala omlette knows that it is the closest to protein you’re going to have. Masala omlette cares about you.

Photo courtesy: thecherryshare.com

14. Momos know how hard you’re trying. Steamed momos are healthy AND they understand you.

Photo courtesy: younminerecipes.blogspot.com

15. Nutella is the closest you will get to finding pure, unadulterated love- free from judgment, hate and snide remarks about how that dress makes you look.

Photo courtesy: ecoosfera.com

16. Cupcakes restore your faith in humankind

Photo courtesy: favim.com

17. It’s been scientifically proven that the smell that wafts out of the oven when warm brownies are baking are the elixer of life.

Image courtsey: Collegehumor.com

18. Humans are horrible for wasting perfectly good birthday cake by putting it on other people’s faces. Same for food fights. God.

Darn those kids. Image courtesy: adamjacobs.11.wordpress.com

19. A hot cup of soup on a rainy day helps you feel a lot less lonely (If you were lonely to begin with. If not, its a really awesome meal nevertheless)

Image courtesy: babble.com

20. Food makes you feel warm and happy on the inside, like you’re in love. Only better.

Image courtesy: Pinterest