Bar Stock Exchange, Colaba: Restaurant review

Paneer pizza and Signature with coke
I would have given this place 5 stars but for the humble ambience. However, when you consider the dirt cheap alcohol and the surprisingly delicious food, that doesn't matter so much. After two visits, BSE Colaba has become my favourite casual hangout and it easily trumps the nearby Alps Beer Bar and Gokul for its sheer variety of spirits.

The first time, I had a Bacardi Limon at just Rs 55. Being asked for age proof at my age didn't hurt either! Of course, soft drinks as mixers are charged extra but it's a meagre Rs 25 and soda is just Rs 2. I used to think that the whole stock exchange concept was a gimmick but it obviously isn't. Go in the afternoon and everything is available at rock bottom prices - even premium spirits.

On my second visit, I had whisky (Antiquity Blue and Signature) both at just Rs 40 per drink (small). But the surprise performer was their huge and scrumptious paneer pizza which was just loaded with huge chunks of succulent paneer on every slice. The seasoning, crust (neither too thick nor too thin), accompanying vegetables, spiciness - nothing left anything to be desired. And the pricing was quite good - around Rs 300 sans taxes.

Of course, these days when the final bill arrives, your heart is bound to sink, irrespective of how affordable the restaurant. So the bill came to around Rs 800 but it was still a steal. The only thing that goes against this outlet is the dark and uninspiring interiors. And I've heard that the original outlet at Andheri is quite swanky in comparison. But do you really care about that?

P.S.: Do install the TBSE app on your phone before going - it makes things a lot easier although the waiters are quite obliging with queries and there is a large screen to watch the movement of the prices.

There is a medium size screen to watch matches but the positioning isn't very strategic. Go early if you're going to catch a match so you can find the best seat for viewing.

Rating: 4/5
The Bar Stock Exchange Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Khar Social: Restaurant Review

Kiran's Big Apple breakfast
Oh what's not to love? The food, ambience, the food, the service, the music, the food - you get the drill. We came here for lunch - my friend and I but ended up having breakfast trays instead. I suggest you do the same. They are simply awesome. I had Kiran's Big Apple breakfast which came with:

2 eggs any style: I had them scrambled and they were perfectly done - soft, a little milky and full of flavour. Perfect with toast or just like that.

Blueberry pancakes: Very yummy and large. Two pancakes in each tray and hefty chunks of blueberry in between. They are served with maple syrup - divine!

Bacon: I'm not a fan but they were nice - like chips.

Home fries: Much better than the French fries you get at other places and drizzled with nice spices. A huge quantity of them - perfect to share.

Toast with butter and preserves: I almost missed the toast because it was lying unobtrusively on one corner but I had a bite at the end. I was too full by then to eat more.

Oreo cookies: They give you a whole packet and I pocketed it for later. But they would have been great with the creamy coffee.

Choice of tea or coffee: I had cappuccino and it was soo good. We found it a bit lukewarm and the server was kind enough to heat it up for us.

The quantities are such that you could actually share a tray if you're going at breakfast time and don't have ginormous appetites. But feel free to hog like I did. The place is lovely of course and there is upstairs seating as well. The spaciousness was a relief after a luncheon at the cramped Colaba Social.

Rating: 5/5 
Khar Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Colaba Social: Restaurant review

I have deducted one star for the lack of space and the eternal wait. On my second visit here, we managed to get a table for two. I wished I could sit on the swing seat but that was only for larger groups.

The interiors are nice though on the darker side. And you feel so lucky to have acquired a table, you don't really care. There are kitschy elements all around - glasses inscribed with #paani in keeping with the "social" theme, alcohol bottles hanging from the ceiling.

So here's what we ordered (and the place is easy on the pocket too!)

Let Us Wrap (veg)

This is a social sharing plate but the quantity is not very large. There was lots of lettuce (more than we anticipated) with delicious dips, pickled cucumber (I love those), bean sprouts (healthy but not filling) and tasty paneer satay. I wouldn't recommend this very highly because it does little to sate your hunger although it's light and tasty.

Chili paneer black pepper China Box

This was so, so yummy. The best tossed up Chinese noodles with chunks of paneer with flavourful black pepper sauce and bird eye chili. We were afraid that it would be too fiery but it was just right and made for a delicious meal. One box can be shared between two people but you can have just that on your own and you'll not need anything else.

The Ramesh and Suresh

For dessert, we had fried fruit and nut five star bars with hot chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. It was sinful and perfect and tasted a lot better than it looked. And trust me, it was completely different from eating a chocolate bar by itself. Social turned it into quite a dessert.

I was satisfied by then but my friend felt she needed more and went and ordered the famous poutine - thick french fries with decadent cheese sauce. It was HUGE. I suppose it might be perfect with drinks but she could barely finish it. With that, our damages came to Rs 700 per head but without that, it would have been a perfect Rs 500 per head which has become a rarity in Mumbai now.

Colaba Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant rating: 4/5

38 Bangkok Street: Restaurant review

The thing about Thai food is I know it pretty well, having been to the country. And that knowledge may have spoilt this place a bit for me. I wouldn't say the food is not authentic (though the nearby Thai Baan does a far better job of authenticity) but it's too simplified, Indianised and a lot of other things. That said, it's a nice place for the low cost and convenient location. And of course, there isn't any other vegetarian Thai restaurant in Mumbai.

Given that vegetarian Thai dishes can be challenging, I'd say the chefs here haven't done a bad job. I went with my colleagues for lunch and we had high expectations. I've had scrumptious Thai curry and soup at high-end restaurants and according to the waiters, the curry here is excellent as well. But we had other things in mind:

Starters (very good)

Cottage cheese naam prik (Paneer in tomato chili sauce)

 This was very good - the paneer texture and the sauce were both excellent. The dish came with lots of spring onions and bell peppers and the quantity was fantastic.

Potato wedges
Normally, they are served with mushroom sauce but since one colleague did not want mushrooms, they made it differently and the result was quite delicious.

Main course (not so good)

Pad Thai noodles

This was were we went wrong. I had fantastic pad thai in Thailand several times and was keen on reliving the taste. But the version served here is a bit too bland and sweet. They need to up the spices and make it more zesty. I suggest you go for the Thai curry and rice - a safer combination that's hard to mess with.

Dessert (decent)

Klau kaek (crispy banana fritters with honey)

I'd had these in Thailand as well and the version here is absolutely authentic. However, they are fried bananas rather than fritters and though we enjoyed it, I prefer my baked and chocolatey desserts any day. I loved the tiny pakoda-type fried bananas in a small town near Bangkok - perhaps they should try replicating that.

Drink (excellent)

The chocolate martini

This one's an absolute winner and a must order. The quantity is great - we could have two martinis between three people. The martini is chocolatey and creamy and THE perfect cooler with a Thai meal.

38 Bangkok Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The complimentary fortune cookie at the end was a really sweet touch and guess what, my prediction actually came true the very same day!

Restaurant rating: 3.5/5

Woman unfettered.

Courtesy: Pixabay

To all those who would dictate what a woman should wear.

Who am I?
Jeans-clad harlot
Or sari-draped angel?
I am human flesh
Governed by mind, soul and a feisty nameless thing
Clothe me how you will
Call me what you wish
I will be
Woman unfettered.
Human expressed
In my every breath.