Foodie Reviews: Go Panda

In November 2014, three young entrepreneurs – Nikhil Rochlani, Sachet Shah and Yash Chandiramani decided to revolutionize the fast food culture in the city with the launch of Go Panda. An Oriental QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) that serves lip-smacking Asian food with an Indian twist is a cutely done up 20-seater restaurant in Lokhandwala. Dine in or take-away to enjoy a quick Pan-Asian experience.

With a simple menu, Go Panda promises a riot of flavours. Pick from a wide range of soups, bite-sized panda delights, sandwiches, pot meals that are actually served in earthen clay pots and more. Their portions comfortably serve two people and each dish tastes better than the other. With Go Panda, one can relish good food at a reasonable price without compromising on quality.

What I tried:
– Chicken Tom Kha Soup
– Asian Barbecue Fish
– Phathimlai Chicken
– Lamb Sloppy Joe Sandwich
– Vietnamese Smoked Chicken Sandwich
– Fish in Mustard Sauce with Rice
– Chicken Burmese Khao Suey
– Chicken Panang Curry with Steamed Rice

What impressed me:
– Tom Kha Soup is a coconut based Thai speciality – highly recommended. The aromatic herbs and spices used in the soup were enough to cast a spell on me
– Asian Barbecue Fish and Phathimlai Chicken, part of their Panda Delights were soft, flavourful and medium spicy
– Lamb Sloppy Joe and the Vietnamese Smoked Chicken Sandwich are definitely a must-try. You can taste the Oriental influence with every bite. At first, I was curious to know what this would taste like. But by the end of my sandwich, I couldn’t get over the delicious taste. It can totally pass off as a meal by itself as it is quite filling and is served with fries on the side
– Fish in Mustard Sauce with Rice is pan-fried Basa fish cooked in pungent mustard sauce. Being a fan of the latter, I absolutely relished this dish. It had a strong flavour of mustard and is surely worth trying only if you like the mustard sauce.
– Chicken Burmese Khao Suey was infused with tantalizing flavours that were indeed satisfying
– Chicken Panang Curry was a fragrant, tangy and medium spicy gravy served with steamed rice. For those of you who don’t know, Panang Curry, originally known as Phanaeng Curry is a very famous curry in Thailand and Northern Malaysia that is supposed to be eaten with steamed rice. It is milder than other spicier Thai curries and has a subtle tangy flavour.

At the end of my meal I only wished Go Panda had an outpost in my area. I would love to relish their delicious food while watching a TV show, match or movie on the couch, at home. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and would surely recommend it for a quick take-away.

Asian Barbecue Fish

Lamb Sloppy Joe Sandwich

Vietnamese Smoked Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Panang Curry with Steamed Rice

Rating:
4/5

Address:
Grenville Building Shop No 7,
Near Mala Tower,
Lokhandwala,
Andheri W,
Mumbai – 400 053.

Timing:
12pm to 11.30pm

Go Panda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Foodie Reviews: Hoppipola

Located at Todi Mills, the third outpost of Hoppipola – a bright and hoppi (happy) resto-bar is the city’s recently opened hotspot. Situated on the first floor – a neighbour to blueFROG. this vibrant place is home to all kinds of guests all through the day. Walk in and you see pastel colored, wooden tables and chairs in shades of yellow, blue and white, carefully placed throughout the restaurant. Each table functions as a blackboard with a box of different coloured chalks and a duster placed on it. As you enter, you will see a wall full of wooden creatures to the right that have wonderful surprises in store – only for the ladies. There is never a dull moment at Hoppipola as it provides unlimited entertainment to all its guests – drunk or sober. With stacks of comic books and games, there is something for everyone. Pick from various options like Jenga, Taboo, Pictionary, Scrabble or Monopoly or simply drop in on a special night to enjoy drinking games like Beer Pong, Chuggathon and more.

The restaurant has an indoor as well as an alfresco and private section. The private section accommodates about 15-20 people and is available on a first-cum-first-served basis. The alfresco section is an adorably done up space with colourful mosaic glasses on the sides, yellow lamps hanging from the ceiling, vintage television sets placed on the top and an unmissable board that reads – ‘In wine there is wisdom, in beer freedom and in water bacteria.’

I tried:
– Hot Guava Punch
– Aila Aioli
– Paneerini
– OMG
– Fishful Thinking
– El Classico
– The Harissian
– Smokin Carlos
– Pepperoni, Lambretta, Jerkin’ Around, Cheesie Pizznezz and Margarita Pizza
– Rum Pum Pum
– Molten Mouth

What impressed me:
– The Hot Guava Punch mocktail was extremely refreshing and a delightful treat after traveling in the sun. Mixed with Tropicana juice, the combination of salt and spice undoubtedly made everything nice
– Aila Aioli is one of their speciality starters that includes tender pieces of skewered chicken. Each piece melted in the mouth and was well marinated. One could taste the flavour of aioli with every bite
– OMG is cheese stuffed fried button mushrooms, highly recommended for the herbivores. If eaten with a spicy sauce, they’ll surely be irresistible
– El Classico – Classic spinach potato served with aioli and brava sauce was simple yet flavourful
– ‘A waltz the Tunisians dance while waiting for the fish to marinate,’ is how The Harissian is described on the menu. It surely was well marinated with Tunisian spices
– Chef Dinesh was kind enough to serve us a slice or two of all the pizzas on the menu so we could try most of them. The Lambretta and Jerkin’ Around were thin-crust, crisp and topped with delicious bits of lamb and chicken while the pepperoni was juicy and cheesy. The four-cheese pizza, Cheesie Pizznezz, is best described on the menu – ‘Imagine you were in a serious meeting and you were starving – A bite into this is exactly that feeling.’
– Rum Pum Pum is age-old banoffee pie soaked in rum while the Molten Mouth is molten chocolate served with vanilla ice-cream. The former was good but the latter was mind-blowing.

What disappointed me:
– The Paneerini was bland. It would surely taste better had it been spicier
– OMG and Smokin Carlos needed more cheese

With endless entertainment, a wide menu of food and drinks, a feel-good vibe and great music – this place is surely worth visiting for a Hoppi time!

Hoppipola – Lower Parel

Hot Guava Punch

Aila Aioli

Paneerini

OMG

Fishful Thinking

El Classico

The Harissian

Smokin Carlos

The Lambretta, Jerkin Chicken, Pepperoni, Margarita, Cheesie Pizznezz

Rum Pum Pum

Molten Mouth

Chocolate oozing out

Rating:
3.8/5

Address:
1st Floor,
Todi Building,
Mathuradas Mill Compound,
Opposite Kamala Mills,
Lower Parel, Mumbai.

Timing:
Noon to 1am

Hoppipola Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

5 International Cuisines I would like to see in Mumbai – Bombay Times & The Huffington Post

Bombay Times

Huffington Post

One of the best things about being a frequent traveller is the luxury to taste global cuisine. The first thing I do when I travel to a new place is try the local fare. Being a foodie, trying different cuisines helps me explore a new culture and gain an understanding of different palates, unique cooking styles, ingredients and more.

In the past few years, Mumbai has become a paradise for food lovers. Mumbaikars don’t need to travel the world to try world cuisine; they just need to travel to a different area within the city. From Chinese, Burmese, Thai, Mexican, Japanese, Spanish and Italian, we have plenty of options to choose from.

However, for the past couple of years, I have noticed that most newly opened/upcoming eateries in the city are specializing in Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Lebanese cuisine. Restaurateurs are playing it safe by sticking to culinary styles that have been tried and tested on the Indian palate. Though some restaurants experiment by serving multiple cuisines, they lack authenticity.

Since Mumbai is a diverse city, it would be nice to see some stand-alone restaurants that serve unique flavors. After all, like Mary Lou Cook says, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.”

Here are five international cuisines that I am eagerly waiting to see in Mumbai.

Persian/Iranian
Most people think Persian food is similar to Arabic but in reality it is quite different. Persians are known to use fresh herbs and vegetables in their food. Every dish has a delightful aroma and is filled with flavour. I would like to try some of their authentic specialty dishes like tahdig (crunchy fried rice), bademjan (eggplant and tomato stew) and gormeh sabzi (green herb stew).

empanadas atun doreen colondres

Cuban
Influenced by Spanish, Arabic, French, Chinese and African cuisines, Cuban food is mostly sautéed with basic herbs and spices. Since this cuisine is a melting pot of various cultures, it is unique, interesting and well worth a try. Cuban sandwiches (slices of Cuban bread with fillings of pork, ham, cheese, pickles and mustard), pastelitos (sweet or savory puffs) and empanadas (baked or fried stuffed bread with chicken or meat) are some famous Cuban dishes that surely will be a rage when they hit the city

Moroccan
Moroccan cuisine is characterised by a distinctive mix of mouthwatering flavours and spices. It is mainly influenced by Arabic and Mediterranean cuisines. Known for its couscous, tagines, Moroccan mint tea among other dishes, this is one type of cuisine I think would take the city by storm

Ethiopian
Very few people in India know much about Ethiopian cuisine. The most famous dish is injera, a flatbread prepared by using tef, an Ethiopian grain. Much like an Indian thali, spicy stews, meats and vegetables are spread on top of various pieces of injera. Cooked with varied Ethiopian ingredients and spices, stews such as doro wat, a chicken dish, are particularly delicious and best followed by some freshly brewed Ethiopian coffee. Incidentally, Ethiopians, like us, usually relish their food by eating with their right hand instead of using cutlery.

ceviche

Peruvian
Over the past few years, the number of health conscious people in the city has been on a rise. Since Peruvian cuisine mainly uses healthy ingredients, and features an array of soups, vegetables, fruits and sandwiches, it will find plenty of takers looking for that elusive blend of taste and lightness. With European, African and Asian influences, it is one of the world’s most popular fusion cuisines. The main ingredients used in a variety of preparations are corn, potatoes, quinoa and other legumes. Some popular Peruvian dishes are pollo a la brasa (blackened chicken), ceviche (fish cured in acid, usually lime), salchipapas (sausages and fries) and cau cau (vegetarian stew served with rice).

Also featured on The Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.in/desha-gehi/5-international-cuisines-_b_7490558.html

Lessons in Photography – Polka Cafe

Lessons in Photography – Polka Cafe

Photography is all about exploring, experimenting and experiencing. My tryst with photography started in 2012 when I was gifted my first DSLR – a Canon 550D. Ever since I started clicking, there’s been no looking back. Every shoot has taught me something new about places, people, cultures and attitudes while every picture has made me learn from my mistakes and challenged me to capture better shots in the future. I have also interacted with individuals from all walks of life and realized that people who you least expect from are usually the most helpful ones.

I could probably go on and on about the things I have learnt ever since I’ve fallen in love with photography. However, listed below are five important lessons that I would like to share with you.

1) Do what you love – love what you do:
Like Confucius said, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ Don’t waste your life doing something to gain that extra buck if you don’t enjoy it. Instead, do something that makes you happy – money and fame will follow

2) Observe – There’s beauty in everything:
‘When you start to change the way you see things, the things you see start to change.’ – Wayne Dyer. Stop doing whatever you’re doing and observe what’s around you. You will realize that there’s beauty in every little thing you see

3) Face your fears:
Always remember – Miracles happen when you least expect it. If you truly believe in something, don’t give up, no matter what. Fear usually makes us weak and makes us lose hope if something doesn’t turn out as expected. But it’s important to face your fears headfirst and have faith in yourself

4) Be curious:
Curiosity makes you learn. It leaves you with an urge to know more about things which is extremely helpful in every field. Knowledge never goes to waste and hence being curious is important

5) Think big:
Sky is never the limit for your thoughts. Always think big and keep dreaming. This will motivate you to wake up everyday and work towards your dream.

 

Read more on http://www.polkacafe.com/lessons-in-photography-1519.html