A Wild Burp!

“A man is known by the shoe he wears. A house is known by the way they keep their bathroom. And, a restaurant is known by the spices they use.”

Some of us work on weekends too. Thus not enjoying the conventional holiday. On the bright side, the weekend that went by was spoiled by the blinding rains. And, when a friend of mine notified us about a new café opening in Bandra, we knew the plan instantaneously. And, we were there.

“The Serpis’ Wild Side Cafe”, situated right next to St. Andrew’s Church in Bandra, started their culinary experience, last evening. The convertible garage of the bungalow specializes in Barbeque dishes and soupy delights. As we entered the place, barbeque grills welcomed us. And, in that moment, we knew we were in Goa. An elderly Uncle greeted us with a disarming smile. His better half handed us the menu. The revamping process was not yet over and clearly, our lethal monsoons have delayed the final touches.

The place!

The place!

Floating in the air was the fresh aroma of Barbeque. We decided to order a pocket-friendly Barbeque Chicken, priced at R150, Hunter Chicken, costing us R175 and two glasses of steaming lemon grass tea. The wait was a short one. Mouth-watering Barbeque arrived. It was downright lip-smacking. There was a refreshing flavour of black pepper. And I have to admit even as I am recollecting last evening’s sumptuous snack, I am craving for one. Uncle offered us a first-day complementary Veal but we felt so full that we had to refuse the meat delight.

The grill

The grill

Next to arrive was Lemon Grass tea. However, before we could get over the Chicken and finish the tea, they offered us Tomato and Basil Soup. Yet another on the house offering! I am not a devotee of Tomato soup. It was shoe-string who forced me to try and Wow! That was some soup. It was a sheer delight melting down my oesophagus.

Way better than Barbeque Nation!

Way better than Barbeque Nation!

 

Steaming smoothie!

Steaming smoothie!

The final leg of our seemingly never ending meal presented us with the palatable Hunter’s Chicken with an equally beautiful garnishing of vegetables. The gravy was too gooey with a thick layer of melting butter. I couldn’t refrain myself from asking the million dollar question – What is the secret behind the taste? The answer was the predictable, “We can’t say. Ask the chef”.

The Beautiful Hunter's Chicken!

The Beautiful Hunter’s Chicken!

It was a filling meal coupled with an affable ambience. If you are having a stressful week without any hint of respite in the near future, this place will prove to be a tonic for your aching head, thanks to the congenial people around. As you leave the simple little rustic café, all you would remember is the fine atmosphere with a finer menu. Mark our words; you will leave only to return.

The Tea Break!

The Tea Break!

PS: THE VIEW. One cannot simply ignore the majestic architecture of St. Andrew’s Church staring back at them as they sip their evening cup of tea and nibble on the delectable delicacies.

The divine view!

The divine view!

Let the place get in shape and it will be a melting point of fulfilling the stomach’s yearnings, especially for the church goers!

Happy Nibblin’ all ye food-lovers!

Monsoon turns Malwani!

Mumbai monsoon is something to literally die for. Also, it can end up being the reason of one’s unfortunate end! Nevertheless, we were not going to spend the very first monsoon weekend indoors. We decided to pack the whole family on the backseat of the car as we sped across the city.

 

The lashing droplets!

The lashing droplets!

 

 

Blinding torrential rains, shiny flyovers and 100 km/h do not happen every day. After an hour long drive, we reached Malwan Kallwan at Seven Bungalows. A quintessentially Goan restaurant soaked in the flavours of Surmai, Pomfret and Mandili.

The menu offers a plethora of rich soul curries, grilled and roasted fishy delights and mouth-watering combos. Our young at 84 Grandmother simply couldn’t stop admiring the interior filigree designed out of garlic and bamboo. After scrutinizing the menu and playing Tic-Tac-Toe, we ordered Pomfret Combos, Vegetable Combos and Mandili fries.

 

The delicious Mandili fries!

The delicious Mandili fries!

 

After what seemed like a mere passage of fifteen minutes, there it was. The platter of deep fried Mandilis. Honestly, we grabbed our share at the speed of light fearing they wouldn’t last long. Within five minutes, they disappeared down our oesophagus. And, before we could even breathe, they served us the combos. The Pomfrets were garnished with the ‘I-know-you-want-to-eat-me!’ look and we obliged our temptations. The combos colloquially known as ‘thalis’ had a bowl of rice, an average sized Pomfret, papads deep fried, a mixed dal, fish curry, soul curry and a mixed vegetable spiced up with sprouts.

The restaurant however doesn’t provide a beautiful scenic view and even though it is spacious, the management has done little to decorate the place. The food was good but one cannot say it was value for money. The quantity killed is less compared to the price. I guess the fish and our blooming inflation have really affected restaurants.

 

A washed out Hill Road !

A washed out Hill Road !

 

Anyways, with hilarious conversations, we wrapped up with a fulfilling lunch before we faced some real lashing of rains. Misty, breezy and an extremely poor visibility promised us an adventurous ride.

We raced away to the ever so romantic Bandstand. Throngs of hand-in-hand lovebirds were definitely having the time of their lives. A vanishing skyline and towering clouds – that’s God’s way of painting monochrome portraits. Treating our visual senses, we drove back to Linking Road. L.R. welcomed us with the very first sight of water logging this season. A mad rush of cars with roaring engines sprayed the jaywalkers, mercilessly. Our family dropped us there to head back home while we walked soaking in the mirth and filth, hand in hand. After testing the owner’s patience, we bought ourselves a pair of yellow crocs and a pair of fluorescent green ballerinas.

Well, we controlled our almost irresistible urge of entering Yellow Tree Cafe and headed towards home. But the weekend fun didn’t end there. After dozing and lazying around till 6:30, homemade vegetable chops welcomed us. Still to come is the quintessential monsoon delight for Bengalis – Khichudi for dinner.

The first monsoon weekend has been spent well.  Well to end well, I have to say – Rain clouds come floating in, not to muddy my days ahead, but to make me calm, happy and hopeful. More happy weekends to ahead!

Home to ‘hometown’

Before we get to the ‘grilling zone’, let us ramble about ourselves.

I, Black Rose Gal, am a cricket journalist slogging my life away at India’s second-largest cricket portal and I aim to do whatever I want (which includes trying to immortalize myself when I am 27). I enjoy a two day weekend only once or rarely twice every month. (provided God thinks I have earned enough brownie points). I am married to Mumbai. My sister, Shoe-String Photographer is an avid reader, a freelancer with Hindustan Times and a full time wanderer. She is engaged to Bandra (more specifically the area around St. Andrew’s College). I call her the encyclopaedia of the 60s, hippies, the Beatles and the like. She is multi-talented and I am uber-lazy. What binds us together is our undying love for Bombay.

Well, we look forward to document our aimless, unplanned weekends which are memorable in their very own way. Maybe you can try creating yours too.

The day started with us landing at PVR, Juhu to catch the morning show of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, our second experience (yes, we are mushy and we love cheese). As we headed back home for a sumptuous Bengali FISHY lunch, we decided we must avail a power nap to hit the road once again.

After the dreamy siesta, we were out again. This time, we found ourselves admiring the sepia tinted interiors of Hometown Cafe, majestically overlooking the high tides of Juhu beach. Now, you have to understand that ‘shoe-string’ is like Rachel from FRIENDS. She is RICH but always tries to find value for money. Mind you, that doesn’t mean she is a miser. She is anything but a miser.  I am like Monica. Everything has to be perfect. Doesn’t matter how much I have to shell out for that.  The ambiance got the better of me and I found myself behind the lens, more often than I usually am.

Definitely homely

Definitely homely

Situated strategically bang opposite Juhu beach, the view is a visual delight. The gloomy sky, the countless cars and a fleeting mob epitomises the pulse of our city. While, the cafe houses a vintage gramophone while the walls are adorned by classic movie spreads. The place oozes tranquility while the kitchen generously fills up the room with exotic aromas.  Now, let us no longer beat around the bush and jump straight to what matters a lot to us, INDIANS?

The mesmerising view

The mesmerising view

 Yes, it may not be pocket friendly on the final days of any month, but definitely it isn’t an arch rival either. H2O is overpriced beyond imagination.  Ad, it is no Starbucks so you don’t have too many options. They serve only Cappuccino and espresso, if I am not wrong. The iced tea is as refreshing as the view.

The lip-smacking moment

The lip-smacking moment

After a hell lot of selection drama, we zeroed down on ‘Grilled Chicken in Black Pepper Sauce’. It was delicious. But, we have tasted better. What is the most defining factor of this place is its enchanting view. A view one will never tire of. The ambience is soothing and I have to say the waiters are very French (in a food way).

The old world charm

The old world charm

Well to say the least, amidst the hustle bustle of our fast city, Hometown Cafe is a romantic welcome change to every dreamer, every lover and every Mumbaikar !