Spice Temple – Shravan Special Menu at Malaka Spice! — Reviewed!

What: Spice Temple – Shravan Special Menu
Where: Malaka Spice, All Outlets
When: 23rd July to End of September 2018
Cost: A La Carte

Malaka Spice is an epitome of culinary innovation. Each time they surprise the patrons with the enticing dishes on the menu. Currently, they have come up the Spice Temple – Shravan Special menu which is a tribute to the temples of Southeast Asia. The all-vegetarian menu is not only a treat to the taste buds but overall an enriching experience of culinary and cultural evolution. 

Chef Vikram and Chef Shatrughan are the masters behind curating the menu. It needs a lot of efforts and creativity to explore and execute the age-old traditional recipes which also suits the Indian palate. When asked about the specialty of the temple cuisine, Chef Vikram shared that the main ingredient is the hero and the flavors are retained while keeping in mind that food is not overcooked. All the veggies and fruits are sourced in-house from their farms so one can actually feel the freshness and taste of the dishes.

Since it is the auspicious month of Savan, the Shravan special – Spice Temple is a perfect time to devour the scrumptious meal from Southeast Asia. The menu is a precise combination of Soups, Starters, Salads, Stir-Fry, Rice/Noodles, and Desserts. I tried the following from the menu...
  • Katen Joshi (4.5/5)
  • Swe Payon Hinjo (4.5/5)
  • Thai Crispy Raw Banana (4.5/5)
  • Sambal Goreng Tempeh (4/5)
  • Sweet and Spicy Okra (4/5)
  • Jaew Mak Khua (4.5/5)
  • Tofu Quinoa Stir Fry (5/5)
  • Malaysian Soya Tikka (4.5/5)
  • Vegan Buddha Bowl (5/5)
  • Guava Sticky Rice Pudding (4.5/5)
Out of the five choices from Tofu to Walnut to Veggies to Pumpkin, I tried the appetizing lentil soup, Katen Joshi which was flavored with Burmese ingredients. The protein-packed soup was ferociously filling with all the deep fried potato fries garnishing. The Burmese Lentil Soup was comforting in the monsoon! On the other hand, also tried the Pumpkin Soup – Swe Payon Hinjo. The fiber-rich soup was creamy, thick and fragrant. The Thai basil aroma and the taste were quite evident. Loved it.

Bananas being tropical fruit is used in abundance in southeast Asian cuisine. The Thai Crispy Raw Banana chips are deliciously divine. Deep fried Banana chips coated with corn flour were tossed in soya sauce with the right amount of crunch, sweetness and spice finished with chili flakes.

Next starter was the Sambal Goreng Tempeh. Indonesia originated soya based dish is protein packed and served with the spicy sambal. As I mentioned, the main ingredient is the hero so the tempeh is served aside the sambal sauce so that the flavor of it shines.

The Sweet and Spicy Okra was served next. The sticky deep-fried okra or ladyfingers were chewy, spicy and sweet at the same time. Topped with green onions, loved the textures and flavors. Simple yet delicious.

A very unique Salad was the Jaew Mak Khua or the smoked eggplant. It was served interestingly in an earthen pot with the smoked coal outside. The spicy aubergine mash had the prominent taste of it along with onions and chili. It was a party of flavors in our mouths. Each element was shining!

Never thought that the Tofu can be made in such a delicious way. Quinoa crusted tofu was soft and fresh from inside and crunchy from outside. Totally loved it!

Malaysian Soya Tikka or sort of soya chaap was the fiery red colored dish. The charcoal-grilled soya chaap is tossed in Malaysian spiced paste and coconut milk. The delicious, nutritious and healthy chaap was spicy and a must try if you love spicy soya dishes.

My most favourite complete meal in itself was the Vegan Buddha Bowl. The sticky rice topped with vegan Thai coconut curry, corns, carrots and chunky veggies. It was so bursting with flavours that taste still lingers in my mouth. Aromatic herbs, coconut milk, and taste of rice are worth mentioning. A Highly Recommended Dish!

Though, I did not taste this dish but it surely was tempting – Spicy Noodles with Farm veggies. The Buckwheat noodles is tossed with farm fresh vegetables and robust spices. 

Last but not the least, the only option in the dessert was the unique Guava Sticky Rice Pudding. It was indeed a delicious twist to the classic Mango Rice pudding. The seasonal fresh fruits from farms are utilised in a perfect manner.

Overall, it was a meal worth trying. Kudos to the chef and the team for the innovative dishes!

Grandmama's Cafe – Charming place with good food! — Reviewed!

Grandmama's Cafe is more like a fairy tale Instagrammable cafe which is as comforting and adorable as granny's home. Picture perfect English cottage with chirpy contemporary interiors, chintz upholstery, quote frames, flower pots, floral bill boxes, swing seating, hanging bicycle on the exterior, white brick walls with green niche, comforting sofas, and the vintage car just at the entrance are some of the attributes of the fantastic cafe.

The menu is quite extensive and designed with illustrations and some nostalgic quotes. Basically, the menu comprises of the classic dishes of the Parsi, Bombay and Italian granny however it somehow confuses with the fact that Rajma Chawal sort of dish too made in the menu. Though the dishes and description is the sort which compels you to order almost everything. From coolers to Iced Coffee, Thick Shakes, Breakfast special, Tiny Plates, Pizzas, Shawarmas, Sandwiches, Burgers, Fondue, Desserts everything is so appealing.
We had a hard time ordering what to try first. Finally settled down to the following...
  • 4 Mushroom Soup (4/5)
  • Caesar Salad (4/5)
  • Avocado Toast (4.5/5)
  • Classic Bruschetta (3.5/5)
  • Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Sticks (4/5)
  • Grandmama's Special Pizza (3.5/5)
  • Mudcake (4/5)
  • Hazelnut Frappe (4/5)
  • Hazelnut Mocha Coffee (4.5/5)
The earthy, rustic mushroom soup with the hint of thyme and goat cheese was perfect for a rainy day. It was creamy, not too thick and had the strong punch of mushrooms. I liked it.

Caesar Salad was a fresh salad with romaine and iceberg lettuce, caper berries, sundried tomatoes, crunchy herb croutons and parmesan in the creamy dressing. I loved the use of sun-dried tomatoes as it gives the intense sweet-tart flavour to the salad.

I was looking for some awesome Avocado Toast and there I found! Mashed Guacamole topped with chia seeds on a whole wheat crostini was just perfect to tantalise the taste buds. It was not only filling but as fresh and rich as it can be. The creamy mash on healthy toast is what you want for a quick filling yet light meal.

Next was the classic Bruschetta which is all about tomatoes, basil and olive oil. We were served classic one with the variation of it. Finely chopped tomatoes, olives, cheese were mixed and slathered over crunchy bread. The olives overpowered the taste but overall the dish was quite good. I would have loved if it would have more parmesan cheese and basil.

The stack of Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Sticks were served next. The cheesy appetizers were crunchy from outside and cheesy from inside. The bite-sized sticks were fried to perfection and wiped away within no time.

I skipped some of the appealing dishes like Spinach Ricotta Ravioli, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Khow Suey, Pesto Basilica, Big Mouth Veggies Sandwich and ordered Grandmama's Special Pizza. Honestly, I had huge expectations but this pizza could not meet those. I liked the perfectly cooked thin crust pizza base, however, the toppings of sun-dried tomatoes, olives, onions and bell peppers and seasonings were bland and failed to create the "Grandmama's" magic. It was delicious but not exceptional.

Came in the desserts. Actually drooling after reading the description, we settled down for the Mud cake. The sinful chocolatey dessert was visually quite impressive. It was decadent, rich and a treat for chocolate lovers. Wish it was a bit moist, however, you can ask to get it microwave before serving to get the warm chocolatey taste. I loved the decoration by ganache!

In the drinks, I tried Hazelnut Frappe and Hazelnut Mocha Hot Coffee and both were equally good, however, I was more inclined to the Hazelnut Mocha Hot Coffee because of the nutty flavour and mild sweetness with perfect temperature.

Overall, it was a nice experience and definitely planning to go again. Food is delicious, portion sizes are good. The only thing was the service which needs to be looked upon. Servers were careless and unable to handle the piled up orders. This is a newly opened cafe, so I would rather give some more time about the training of staff and will experience the changes on my next visit.

Have you visited this cute, beautiful cafe as of yet? If yes, please share your experiences in the comment below.

Grandmama's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Deccan Bid Capital — Reviewed!

Pune is flooded with the restaurants with unique concepts and ideas. Recently visited the Deccan Bid Capital, the paper-less chic restaurant. The menu, order, reservation, music, bidding on food and drinks are all app based. Located on the Ghole Road, Off. FC Road, the Bid Capital is from the owners of Apache.

The place has lit, vibrant, positive and radiant ambiance. Outdoors have wooden seating arrangements with natural lights which make it brighter and soothing. Small wall hanging grass was adding up to the experience. Indoors have two level of seating with cozy sofas and chairs. The Bid Capital also offers the co-working space wherein people can come, work and enjoy the food and beverages.

The drinks need to be bid separately while the food bidding can be done on the total amount. It is fun to watch your name on the screen if your bid is approved and also the bids of the people around. There are no happy hours but they have Hyper-Bid, which runs for a few minutes for selected drinks and you can be lucky to get at the lowest bid. 

Talking about the food, the menu is limited yet appealing and value for money. We tried the following....
  • Kiwi Mojito (4/5)
  • Berry Merry Mocktail (4.5/5)
  • Insalata Di Rucola (4.5/5)
  • Crispy Honey Chilli Lotus Roots (4/5)
  • Crispy Salt and Pepper Paneer (3.5/5)
  • Apricot Bharwa Paneer (3/5)
  • Sesame and Cheddar Croquettes (4.5/5)
  • Home Cooked Nachos Tower (4/5)
  • Teriyaki Glazed Wild Mushrooms (4.5/5)
  • Sichuan Pepper and Vegetable Dimsum (2.5/5)
  • Wild Mushrooms, Jalapenos and Scamoza Flatbread (4/5)
  • Dal Makhani and Roti (4/5)
  • Tiramisu (3.5/5)
  • Chocolate Sphere (3/5)
Got some really good deal on drinks. Started our lunch with the refreshing Kiwi Mojito. The non-alcoholic party drink is filled with tangy lemon, fresh mint, and kiwi slices. A perfect beverage to quench the summer thirst in style and taste.

The fruity, deep pink colored drink – Berry Merry was loaded with the goodness and taste of mixed berries. It was deliciously heavy and can be a meal replacement option.

I am a salad person. So, had to order the most appealing – Insalata Di Rucola or the Arugula Salad. The Arugula leaves were drizzled with the tangy balsamic dressing, ricotta cheese and topped with pomegranate seeds and candied walnuts for the crunch. To balance the acidity, orange slices were used. Highly Recommended! The salad bowl is full of flavours and texture!

The thai starter Crispy Honey Chilli Lotus Roots were served next. Crisply fried lotus stem are sauteed in sour, sweet and tangy sauce and drizzled with honey to give it a crisp yet sweet and spicy taste.

Next was the Crispy Salt and Pepper Paneer. Mildly spiced cornflour coated paneer cubes are deep fried and tossed with red pepper, black pepper and garnished with green onions. Paneer was a bit firm and had a bit higher usage of salt and crushed peppers. The peppers were overpowering the overall dish.
Apricot Bharwa Paneer was served next. Was actually trying to find the apricot! The dish was bit blend with thin marination though it was cooked nicely. Wish it had the apricot filling and a thick spicy marination.
Next on the table was Sesame and Cheddar Croquettes. This starter was just WOW! It was wonderfully nutty, crunchy, and indulgently cheesy. The tempting croquettes were complemented by fresh and piquant tomato and chili jam.

Home Cooked Nachos Tower was equally delicious. The crisp nachos were stacked and loaded with beans, tomato salsa and drizzled with liquid cheese and sour cream. Oh so yum! Dig it right away before it gets soggy!

Mushroom lovers must not miss the Teriyaki Glazed Wild Mushrooms. Succulent mushrooms were batter fried and tossed in sweet teriyaki sauce, garlic and topped with green onions. The crunch of mushrooms and sweet, spicy, tangy taste of the dish made it worth trying.

From International plates, we tried Sichuan Pepper and Vegetable Dim sum. The outer layer of the steamed dim sum was transparent and very well made however the filling of coarsely grated veggies and the use of high salt and pepper left a bad taste. We had to leave it after a bite. It might be a bad day in the kitchen as usage of salt was a bit on the higher side in almost every dish.

We also tried Wild Mushrooms, Jalapenos, and Scamoza Flatbread. The loaded cheese base flecked with earthy mushrooms, spicy Jalapenos, and sun-dried tomatoes was a delicious combination with an array of textures. The cheesy flatbread needs to be consumed immediately for the best taste!
From the Indian main course, we tried Dal Makhani and Butter Roti. It was classic, smoky, rich, creamy and delicious. Loved every bit of it with freshly made Butter Roti.

We were really excited to try the desserts. Fancy looking Tiramisu was served to us in a small flower pot topped with edible soil. The layers of soaked sponge cake and mascarpone were there but the lady finger and coffee punch was missing. It was a good dessert though. Can be named anything but Tiramisu.

Chocolate Sphere was visually impressive but failed to tantalize our taste buds. The white liquid chocolate is poured over the chocolate sphere which is placed on the bed of chocolate, a chunk of brownies with some fresh mint leaves. Unfortunately, it was too tangy and left a sour taste. I would have preferred if had something sweet to balance the flavors.
Overall, it is a fun experience and service is quick too as you can always call the waiter from the app. The food is decent. Bit of issue is about the parking and especially four-wheeler. I would be visiting them again for some awesome deals on food and drinks. Have you been there? Share your experiences in the comment box.

The Deccan Bid Capital Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato