The fondness for food I possess is a direct influence of my parents; In my childhood days, I distinctively remember each Sunday being res...

Review: Maharaja Bhoj, Oberoi Mall

The fondness for food I possess is a direct influence of my parents; In my childhood days, I distinctively remember each Sunday being reserved for trying out either a new restaurant or gorging on lip-smacking street food. Once, we ventured to a place serving Gujarati Thali and I cannot help but chuckle at the fact that I refused to even touch the delicacies. Yes, I was that picky! Anyway, that tryst marked my only encounter with a thali...until now. 

The bustling restaurant on the weekend

Last weekend, I made a stop at Maharaja Bhog's outlet in Oberoi Mall with my mum to finally savour my fill of a Gujarati/Rajasthani thali. True to its name, Maharaja Bhog is every bit opulent- I instantly fell in love with the regal decor as soon as I entered the restaurant that chaotic weekend. And, in my opinion, what sets this thali restaurant apart from hordes of other is their attention to detail and a hospitality that parallels a Gujurati or Marwadi household. Also, the fact that they do thirty different menus for thirty days of the month is pretty interesting!

The Thali

Anyway, post a warm welcome to the restaurant and a warm water hand wash, the food began flowing in and before we knew, our enormous thalis were studded with more than fifteen treats! On the day of my visit, the menu comprised of Keri Paneer Makai Marble and Sewaiya Dhokla in the Farsan section; Rajasthani Daal, Rajasthani Kadhi, Gujarati Dal, Gujarati Kadhi, Fulka Roti, Dudhi Thepla, Masala Puri, Steamed Rice, Khichdi, Malai Kofta, Rajasthani Gawar, Aloo Curry and Channa Jaisalmeri in the mains; a special Palak Chaat; and the luscious Aamras and Moong Dal Halwa for deserts. Alongside the action going on on the plate, we were also served a Kesari Welcome Drink and Mint Chaas! And how can I forget the lovely Meetha Paan at the end of the meal? You see, the extensive meal is truly fit for a Maharaja.

Masala Puri and Aamras!

Sewaiya Dhokla with two different variants of chutneys!

I, for one, could not get enough of the Masala Puri and Aamras combo and the delectable Moong Dal Halwa. I kept going in for seconds and thirds and fourths, and before I knew I was incredibly full. Yet I did not stop and devoured the ghee-dripping khichdi and Fulka Rotis with absolute glee. I am not kidding when I say I was barely able to move after the feasting! And in that instant, my folks, I realised the importance of a good nap after a great meal. 

Verdict: 5/5

At an affordable price, Maharaja Bhoj indeed offers a feast fit for kings. In my books, it is the perfect destination for a Sunday lunch with family. Just make sure you bring along a large appetite to relish multiple servings. 

Last Sunday, my Mum and I headed to 180 Degrees restaurant at Hotel Grand Sarovar Premier, Goregaon, to indulge in their Mother's Day ...

Restaurant Review: 180 Degrees at Hotel Grand Sarovar Premier

Last Sunday, my Mum and I headed to 180 Degrees restaurant at Hotel Grand Sarovar Premier, Goregaon, to indulge in their Mother's Day Brunch. Now, it is no secret- I love buffets. But what I discovered this time around was the fondness my mother possess for buffets. According to her, buffets are a perfect opportunity to sample a massive variety of offerings without any food wastage. So imagine our collective delight when we stepped into the restaurant to an extensive selection of French, Italian, Mediterranean, Arabic, and Far-Eastern delicacies along with Indian regional favourites! 

Restaurant Interiors

Salad Counter

The 180 Degrees Restaurant at Hotel Grand Sarovar Premier proudly boasts of being one of the largest all-day dining restaurants in the suburbs of Mumbai serving global cuisine. And it surely did not disappoint! We kicked off the gastronomical extravaganza with two lip-smacking salads, a terrific bread basket, Mexican Three Bean Soup, and lots of hummus and lavash; while revelling in the melodious live music performance. Next, we tried the piping-hot vegetable pizza and sev puri from the live counters and absolutely loved them. The Hara Bhara Kebab was sampled next and it was delicious too. The staff was extremely courteous and made sure we were having a pleasant experience.

Sev Puri!

Vegetable Pizza

We were on the verge of feeling full, yet the inviting selection of the main courses lured us into loading our plates once again. Slowly and steady we made our way through Indian selection, the Far-East selection, and the Italian selection- each of which was delightful. We particularly loved the live dosa and Indian bread counters. As we were making our way through the mains, we were informed about the live gola counter; dear readers, that was the point when hell broke loose! I am a devout fan of golas and I was presented with the opportunity to devour them without the probability of fall ill- what's not to like? We asked for two golas, one in kala khatta flavour and the other in kacchi kairi flavour. And we are happy to report that they tasted exactly like the ones you'd enjoy at Chowpatty, something which warrants full marks in my books.

Masala Dosa

Golas! Kala Khatta (Left) and Kacchi Kairi (Right)

Post the long savoury course, we dived into the dessert section. Covering crowd favourites like delectable pastries, divine Indian sweets, yummy apple pie, fresh cut fruits and ice-creams to live Jalebi and Rabri counter, the dessert section is heavenly if you have a sweet tooth. Fun fact: almost 90% of the desserts are eggless, so vegetarians with a sweet tooth, this is where you need to brunch to get a good bang for your bucks. We put a full stop to the meal with a glass of fresh watermelon juice to beat the Mumbai summer and, walked out with bellies full of delicious food and a Mother's Day celebration to remember. 

Strawberry Pastry

Chocolate Pastry

Verdict: 4/5

We loved the inclusiveness in the buffet menu- it has something for everyone. If you are planning a dining session with a huge group, 180 Degrees Restaurant is a perfect pick.  

Until this weekend, my two-point plan of attaining a goodnight's sleep was having a perfect night routine and a bottomless cuppa of ch...

Foam Home- Turning 'Good Night' Into Reality

Until this weekend, my two-point plan of attaining a goodnight's sleep was having a perfect night routine and a bottomless cuppa of chamomile tea. After all, clocking in restful and restorative hours of sleep is on everyone's agenda. However, we all end up making one crucial mistake which negates all the efforts. And that mistake, folks, is not paying heed to thy mattress. And this is something which I learned over this weekend, courtesy Foam Home, an Indian luxury mattress manufacturer with a legacy of over 40 years now.

With over a third of our lives spent sleeping, and over a half spent in bed, it should be pretty obvious that the choice of mattress makes or breaks our backs, right? Yet, most of us overlook this fundamental and divert their big bucks to plush bedding instead. I would be lying if I said I am not guilty of following this cult. In fact, I realised the error of my ways particularly when I rested my supposedly well-rested self on a mattress at Foam Home and quickly slipped into a nap! It was only after I awoke from my short slumber that I learned about the immediate factor behind the instant physical relaxation- Ergoshell Mattress Technology.

Orthogel Mattress (Bottom-Left) & Egroshell Mattress (Top-Right)  

Now, this Ergoshell Mattress Technology developed in-house by Foam Home, is revolutionising the mattress world. Employing this technology, the construction of the mattress is divided into several parts- primarily comprising of a shell, support blocks and a comfort layer- the ultimate aim of which is to produce a durable mattress without compromising on a solid support and luxury. Plus, all thanks to this internationally patent technology, one needn't change the entire mattress once it runs its course- simply changing the support blocks is pretty sufficient!

The company claims that the Ergoshell technology’s unique design addresses every issue in traditional mattresses and makes room for a much more comfortable yet supportive sleep. No wonder this 100% Made in India technology will be showcased internationally at Interzum 2017 trade show in Cologne, Germany this month. In my opinion, it is high-time we start appreciating our homegrown brands who understand our needs better than the foreign brands trying to capture the Indian market. So folks, if you are looking to invest in a mattress anytime soon, do your sleep's quality a favour and check out Foam Home.

A handbag essential, hand sanitizers need no introduction. I awkwardly recall the moment I picked up a sanitizer, when they were initially...

Review: Himalaya PureHands Sanitizer

A handbag essential, hand sanitizers need no introduction. I awkwardly recall the moment I picked up a sanitizer, when they were initially launched in Indian market, from the shopping mart's aisle after a long debate with myself; I kept contemplating whether I would actually need a product like this on the travel I was undertaking the next day and in that contempt, I picked up a packet of paper soaps too. Funnily, those paper soaps are still lying in my bag after all these years. But on the other hand, I have gone through countless bottles of hand sanitizer. So when Himalaya contacted me to try out their range of PureHands hand sanitizers, I nodded in an affirmative instantly.

Product's Claim

Himalaya PureHands calls itself a self-drying disinfectant hand gel which is effective against bacteria and fungi. The product claims to be recommended and used by doctors too. Himalaya PureHands is proud of itself for being a one of its kind effective yet herbal, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which kills 99.9% of germs to ensures total hand hygiene. The brand states that PureHands contains extracts of herbs like Coriander, which have potent antimicrobial properties and Lime, which is a natural bactericidal, in addition to the active ingredients of Neem, which is antibacterial, fungicidal and antiviral.

First Impression

Himalaya was kind enough to send me all the four fruity variants- Green Apple, Strawberry, Orange, and Litchi- in the PureHands range, with which I instantly fell in love with as soon as I flipped open the caps. The fragrance is delicious and one has to literally remind themselves that the sanitizers aren't edible! Packaging-wise, the product is sturdy and travel-friendly. The gel is slightly watery and spreads around effortlessly. On application, as Himalaya claims, the gel gets absorbed and dries out pretty quickly, leaving hands fragrant.

User's Experience

I carried around the product for nearly a month to test it in all the imaginable conditions, and honestly, it has emerged as a victor. Firstly, after drying there remains no stickiness, but at the same time, the hands feel wonderfully moisturised. I am one of those cursed with terribly dry hands and this product helped me avoid further dryness which usually occurs after sanitizer application. Secondly, the fragrance actually lingers for a long time post application- a clear win-win in my book! I have no criticisms whatsoever of Himalaya PureHands Sanitizer and have already gone ahead and purchased few more bottles for my family's use. 

Final Thoughts

Himalaya PureHands Sanitizer does exactly what it claims and at a decent price of Rs. 90 for 100ml, this product is perfection. Overall, I loved using this product and cannot recommend it enough. If you are considering buying Himalaya PureHands Sanitizer, do so without any second thoughts. This product is a true value for money. 

Verdict: 5/5    

Lately, new restaurants are mushrooming in every nook and cranny of the city. And honestly, it is becoming harder and harder to keep up wi...

Review: Bohemian Brew, Khar

Lately, new restaurants are mushrooming in every nook and cranny of the city. And honestly, it is becoming harder and harder to keep up with them. So, what does one do when they come across an excellent eatery that has that sweet cosy vibe with the right dose of funk, minus all the pretensions that come with dining out? They become a patron. Simple.

Say 'Hello!' to Bohemian Brew

The easy-to-miss sign board

The outdoor area

The indoor area

The basement area

The boho-chic decor

The tea bar

A mere two minutes walk away from the Khar Road railway station, Bohemian Brew stands bang next to the S.V. Road junction. Although the tiny sign board declaring its presence is a blink-and-miss and might mislead one into imagining a super cramped interior, this is certainly not the case. The entire space is neatly divided into three separate zones- the al fresco area, the interior section, and the hip basement section- each of is an experience in itself. If you are a sheesha-aficionado or just a group who wants to revel in the laid-back air, the outdoor section is where you need to be. At the same time, families or people looking for a more straight-forward dining setup can head to the indoor section. The basement is a chill setup replete with low seating and board games, and perfect for individuals wanting to be away from the ho-hum. We chose to establish our base for the luncheon indoors, courtesy the stifling Mumbai weather these days. The indoor area is tastefully done, and the boho-inspired collection of curios displayed adds to the charm.

Jasmine Tea

Tea Leaf Salad


Bohemian Brew boasts of being one of the few handful restaurants in Mumbai which serve a wide variety of speciality tea, so before we dived into the food section, we right away called for the Jasmine Tea. The Jasmine Tea is one of the flowering options offered by the restaurant and is a complete sensory delight. On Chef Rahul's recommendation, the Tea Leaf Salad followed the Jasmine Tea. Comprising fermented Burmese tea leaves and numerous crunchy elements, this salad was every bit scrumptious. But our vote for the best salad unanimously goes to the Fattoush. The perfectly roasted bell peppers and melt-in-mouth feta cheese just sealed the deal for us.

Mezze Platter

Hummus and Lavash

Three Cheese Stuffed Mushroom with Cherry Tomato Ragout and Pesto

Next in were the Mezze Platter and the Three Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. The Mezze Platter of hummus, baba ganoush, and tzatziki served with lavash, pita bread and crispy falafel was hearty and flavourful. However, we found the Three Cheese Stuffed Mushroom sort of lacklustre. Still, we are a big fan of the cherry tomato ragout served alongside the Three Cheese Stuffed Mushroom and wouldn't mind devouring it on its own! Yep, we loved the cherry tomato ragout that very much.

Strawberry Iced Tea

Spicy Guava Mocktail

Nibbling on the appetisers, we had exhausted two refills of the Jasmine Tea and wanted to go in for another when Chef Rahul informed us about the secret Iced Tea and Mocktails menu at Bohemia Brew. And without any further ado, we ordered the Strawberry Iced Tea and the Spicy Guava Mocktail. Both of them were terrific and lived up to the narrative sold to us by the Chef.

Pesto Cottage Cheese Sandwich

Pesto Cottage Cheese Sandwich

Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli

While nursing the secret drinks, I settled in for the Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli while my +1 went in for the Pesto Cottage Cheese Sandwich. The Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli served with sundried tomato pesto, basil pesto and sour cream was flavoursome but I felt the pasta was a bit stiff and slightly marred the dish down a few notches. The Pesto Cottage Cheese Sandwich, though, was a hit right out of the ballpark: my +1 would not stop raving about it and can dash to Bohemian Brew even at this very moment to have it once more! 

Potato Gnocchi in Tomato Butter Sauce

Next, Chef Rahul suggested we try the Potato Gnocchi in a tomato butter sauce. And we reluctantly did, only to be wow-ed away. Seriously, the cloud-like potato gnocchi in that captivatingly rich tomato butter sauce topped with parmesan cheese is the ultimate explosion of flavours. Hence, we weren't surprised when we discovered that this dish is a house speciality at Bohemian Brew!

Bubble Waffle!

The extensive Pizza menu at Bohemian Brew kept calling to us, but by this point, we were stuffed to the brim. Yet funnily, we couldn't bring ourselves to leave without sampling the desserts. And this time, we went for another house speciality: The Bubble Waffle. We were briefed that Bohemian Brew is the only restaurant in Mumbai doing a Bubble Waffle and we didn't want to miss out on this rare delight. The one we went in for was with a Nutella base and topped with a scoop of strawberry ice cream and an Oreo. It was undoubtedly delightful and we thought it was the perfect closure to a sensation meal...until the freshly brewed Peppermint Tea graced our table. And this is when I realised that with a menu so extensive, Bohemian Brew shall give you a reason to visit over again and over again.

Verdict: 4/5
Overall, if a laid-back ambience and a huge selection of eats, drinks and hookah are what you seek, Bohemian Brew should be next on your list.
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