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Navratri Feast at The Square, Novotel Mumbai

Juhu, the home ground of Prithvi Theatre, is one of those lovely pockets of Mumbai that is unfortunately a little hard to reach. Lined with posh residences, celebrity hang-outs, the original Natural’s ice-cream outlet and the sea breeze from Juhu Beach, this swanky suburb is home to more than one fancy hotel. But Novotel Mumbai is our favourite. We have so many fond memories of this hotel – wonderful sunsets at Gadda Da Vida, a bachelorette staycation for a friend and a few corporate events, all of which let us bask in the familiar hospitality of the Novotel group. But last night, we were there to sample the Navratri buffet at The Square, their 24 hour signature restaurant at the lobby.

Navratri buffet at THe Square, Novotel Mumbai
Posing for selfies

The entrance was suitably festive with a wall decorated with festoons and dandiya sticks, ideal for a short photo session before the hunger pangs hit. The lavish menu with an emphasis on vegetarian fare and Gujarati cuisine had been overseen by Executive Chef Kailash Gundapalli, with a special Tam-brahm counter curated by Food Consultant Geeta Hari.

Drinks at The Square, Novotel Mumbai
Panagam

Ms. Hari, resplendent in her pattu podava (South Indian silk sari) ensured that we tried the raw banana bhajias, neer mor (a Tamilian version of buttermilk with lots of green chillies and curry leaves), panagam (a sweet drink made of jaggery and ginger), and “Tam-brahm idlis” fashioned from the special rice flour popular in the South.

Starters at The Square, Novotel Mumbai
A platter of starters

We began with bowls of steaming hot and spicy dal rasam. Sous Chef Devendra Kunwar also plied us with a variety of starters such as paneer tikka, fried baby corn and vegetarian kebabs. And how can we forget our friendly server Prateek, who made the excellent recommendation of some Fratelli Sangiovese (their house red) to go with our meal?

Navratri buffet at The Square, Novotel Mumbai
Gujju delights

While all this special attention was fantastic, we were itching to get our hands on the enticing buffet spread that curved around the seating area. We tried the dhoklas and khandvi from the Gujarati counter, a few salads, capsicum usili, arbi gravy, French beans poriyal and curd rice from the Tam-brahm counter and some dahi wada from the chat counter. Yes, there were all a lot of sections and we couldn’t decide which one was the most appetising. We were absolutely floored by the Tam-brahm fare – Ankita is one herself so you can trust us.

Salad at The Square, Novotel Mumbai
Fresh salad

There was even an Ayurvedic salad counter featuring sprouts and an array of raw vegetables. But we were more drawn to the platter of til laddoos (out of place perhaps or maybe Ayurvedic in nature!); they turned out to be melt-in-the-mouth and buttery.

Tambrahm cuisine at The Square, Novotel Mumbai
French beans poriyal

For this feast, the vegetarian dishes had been emphasised as the nine-day menu coincides with the Hindu festival Navratri. But meat lovers wouldn’t be disappointed either as there were plenty of non-vegetarian dishes on offer as well. The Tam-brahm section featured primarily onion and garlic-free dishes sourced from the Palakkad region of Tamil Nadu and fussy eaters had the option of ordering pasta and pizza as well. A choice of varied fried papads, including our favourite sago (sabudana) papad went very well with the food. A pav bhaji counter and North Indian fare such as paneer masala and many other vegetable preparations completed the feast.

Dessert at The Square, Novotel Mumbai
Dessert was a sight for sore eyes.

But we’re forgetting something, aren’t we? Dessert was a sight for sore eyes – balushahi and milk cake, sweet pongal, mango cheese cake, Florentine chocolate cake, eggless varieties of many indulgences, a variety of ice-creams, a unique “coconut slice” and our all-time favourite baked yoghurt with muskmelon lay spread out before us. We tried many (we aren’t about to reveal the number) of the aforementioned treats and came away replete.

Dessert at The Square, Novotel Mumbai
Coconut slice

Book your table at 02266934444:

Address: Novotel Hotel, Juhu Beach, Balraj Sahani Marg, Juhu, Juhu, Mumbai 400049
Dates: 21-29 September, 2017
Timings: Lunch 12-3pm, dinner 7-11pm
Price: Rs. 1773 per person (can be upgraded to a champagne buffet at an additional cost)

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Offbeat Kochi with Ramada Resort Cochin

The rains had given us the slip for most of our time in Alleppey, but the day we chose to drive to Cochin, the skies turned grey and a light drizzle cloaked the landscape in mist. We had spent a wonderful two days at Ramada Alleppey and now it was time to enjoy a quintessential resort holiday at Ramada Resort Cochin.

Colourful umbrellas for sale at Fort Kochi
Colourful umbrellas for sale at Fort Kochi

And while we did see the quintessential Chinese fishing nets and Kochi’s backwaters, we also discovered new things to do in and around Kerala’s scenic capital. Read on for more.

Lakeside cottages and pool

Ramada Resort Cochin

It was my second time in Cochin but my first in one of a row of stilt cottages that curved along an impossibly long lagoon overlooking the Vembanad Lake. Inside, the cottages featured everything that five star rooms do and a balcony that offered a wonderful view of the pool and the shimmering lake beyond.

The view from our balcony
The view from our balcony

The only eyesore was an upcoming building on the other side of the lake but that’s the price of development. Swimming at sundown and floating along the canal instilled a deep sense of serenity in our travel-loving souls. Of course, we also created a racket playing with the beach balls (bring a Frisbee too if you own one!).

Wining and dining

A lavish meal of local delicacies at Fennel, Ramada Resort Cochin
A lavish meal of local delicacies at Fennel

The Ramada brand is known to cater extremely well to guests’ culinary demands and this resort was no different. Fennel is their multi-cuisine restaurant and we enjoyed excellent lunches and dinners here, consisting of authentic Kerala cuisine (such as avial and appams) as well as other Indian delicacies. A live band and magician kept us entertained on many of those occasions.

Coconut pannacotta at Pearl Spot
Coconut pannacotta at Pearl Spot

Pearl Spot is known for its seafood but we being vegetarians, posed a challenge to the chef. And he more than rose to the occasion. While the pineapple rasam and numerous paneer and mushroom-based dishes bowled us over, the winner of our meal there was the unimaginably delicious coconut pannacotta with its numerous textures and real coconut water jelly nestled within the layers of creamy pannacotta. We also enjoyed great Mexican cuisine at The Mexicana.

Club 11 Hundred
Club 11 Hundred during the day

Club 11 Hundred is their bar with lots of character and signature cocktails that pack a punch, not to mention great starters.

Spice shopping

Different varieties of cinnamon sticks
Different varieties of cinnamon sticks

On our first day in Cochin, we were too late for the city tour (but you can read more about Cochin here) but there was no way we were going to skip shopping for spices. Fort Kochi’s spice markets are THE best and you’ll find the largest cardamom pods, supremely fragrant cloves, special varieties of black pepper and cinnamon and the most flavourful tea masala, not to mention various flavours of tea itself. While there are many inside Jew town, we found our treasures in a little shop near St. Francis Church, which is the first European church built in India.

Kathakali show at Cochin Cultural Centre

Kathakali performance
Kathakali performance

From evening until night, we sank back in our seats and allowed ourselves to be enraptured by the performers on stage at the Cochin Cultural Centre. An educative session on the various expressions, gestures and sounds used in Kathakali, the signature performance art of Kerala, was followed by the actual thing, accompanied by live music by a vocalist and instrumentalist. Before the performance, we had also been lucky enough to see the artists getting into their fearsome on-stage avatars. The Kathakali performance re-enacted a scene from the Mahabharata where Lakshmana has an altercation with Surpanakha.

An artist gets ready for the Kathakali show
An artist gets ready for the Kathakali show

This was followed by a kuchipudi dance performance by a young danseuse and an electrifying display of kalaripayattu, the artistic martial art form famous in Kerala by several sinewy youngsters. The audience consisted predominantly of foreigners who seemed quite impressed by it all. At the end of the show, we took pictures with the talented performers, as did many others in the audience.

Posing with the performers
Posing with the performers

Kodanad Elephant Training Centre

We were up at 5 AM on our second day in Cochin but sleep was but a small sacrifice for the morning splendours of Kodanad Elephant Training Centre. The centre opens at 8 AM but we were there by 7:30 AM on that rainy morning and spent half an hour looking for a loo and the ticket vendor.

Walking through the Kodanad Elephant Training Centre
Walking through the Kodanad Elephant Training Centre

At 8, we were allowed inside and our walking trail through the forest on the Southern banks of the Periyar River began. Signboards led us to the area where the elephants were being held.

Kodanad Elephant Training Centre

We were early enough to see them being fed in their enclosures and it was most glorious to see two tusked elephants waving their heads while a caretaker filled their buckets. Further ahead, we spotted two deer enclosures holding sambhar and chital deer respectively.

Spotted (sambhar) deer at Kodanad Elephant Training Centre
Spotted (sambhar) deer

We also spotted clusters of red sandalwood and other plants and trees in the orchards. The centre is a 90 minute drive away from Ramada Resort Cochin and a great way to get closer to nature. It is open until 5 PM on weekdays (we aren’t sure of weekends).

Ayurvedic spa

We’d already tried abhyangam, the full body massage that’s the most popular option among Ayurvedic treatments at Ramada Alleppey. So we decided to be more adventurous this time – Ankita went for a Kizhi treatment, which is done using herbal pouches, and Mohit tried shirodhara, the nervous system soother done by dripping oil on the forehead. Both our treatments were uniquely relaxing and rejuvenating. The herbs in the Kizhi treatment had a wonderful odour that almost smelt edible! The pouch contained curative fried fresh herbs, rock salt and Ayurvedic powders.

Ayurvedic spa at Ramada Resort Cochin
Ayurvedic spa

Mohit had a hard time washing off the litres of oil that had been poured on his forehead but the deep sleep he went into after the treatment made him feel like a new person. Whatever the treatment, it always includes a head and face massage as well. Milk is added to the oil used on the head, while Eladi oil is used for the face. For the body, the therapists use Dhanvatantaram or pinda tailam with karpuradi (camphor). But the best touch in our opinion, is the rasnadi powder they rub on the hair after the treatments to prevent cold and fever due to excess oil.

Speed boat ride

Need for speed: View from the speedboat
Need for speed: View from the speedboat

We’ve saved the best of this trip for the very last – if there’s one reason why you should go to Cochin and stay at Ramada Resort Cochin, it’s their speedboats. It’s the most hair-raising experience you can have in the backwaters, whizzing past fishermen, beneath bridges and fishing nets with the water working up a storm in your wake and the wind whipping through your hair.

Mohit pretends to drive the boat
Mohit pretends to drive the boat
A local man fishing in the Cochin backwaters
A local man fishing in the Cochin backwaters

The boats are very stable so you can stand and enjoy a 360 degree view of the Vembanad Lake as your boatman navigates expertly. The rides last for 30-45min and ours was the final one before sunset. Look out for a video of the ride on our Youtube channel soon and subscribe so you don’t miss out!

If you wish to experience the impeccable service and hospitality of Ramada Resort Cochin, click here. And sign up for a Wyndham Rewards membership to enjoy free nights in exchange for your reward points.

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Romancing the Punnamada backwaters with Ramada Alleppey

Ramada Alleppey is a hotel with a resort-like ambience, so you get your swimming pool, luxury Ayurvedic spa, stunning backwater views and leisure games at the price of a five star business hotel (upwards of Rs 5000 per night). We spent two nights here last month, where the days were windy and cloudy and yet, the Rain Gods spared us their unfettered wrath. It was the perfect weather to lie back and enjoy the gentle rhythm of the backwaters on a wooden houseboat. Of course, we did a lot more than that but this post is dedicated to the splendours of Alleppey or Alappuzha and the various ways in which Ramada Alleppey helped us soak in the joys of God’s own country better.

View of Ramada Alleppey from our boat, at sundown
View of Ramada Alleppey from our boat, at sundown
After a refreshing pear and guava-based welcome drink,
After a refreshing pear and guava-based welcome drink,
We checked into our spacious Junior Suite
we checked into our spacious Junior Suite
Junior Suite at Ramada Alleppey
that came with an inviting bathtub
and a gorgeous view of the backwaters.
and a gorgeous view of the backwaters.

We divided our time in Alleppey between the hotel, the backwaters and the city itself. The top three highlights of our stay at Ramada Alleppey would be the outstanding food, the wonderful spa and proximity to the Punnamada backwaters. Ankita even shed her shyness to sing in public after a long time during the karaoke night at the poolside shack. There’s also a swimming pool and a few outdoor games at the hotel (again reinforcing the resort-like ambiance) but we remained immersed in the natural pool of paradise beyond the banks. The staff is ever-gracious and makes you feel at home.

The manager of the hotel told us that around 60 rooms at Ramada Alleppey are reserved for Club Mahindra members, which is around half of the total accommodation. With three banquet facilities that can accommodate a floating crowd of 1200, the hotel is a great choice for events and weddings as well.

Experiencing the backwaters

Posing from the kettuvallam
Posing from the kettuvallam

The beauty of the backwaters is best expressed in verse:

We swish by at a serene pace
No wish to win any godforsaken race
The birds, the breeze and the sky are ours
And the water that quivers with banana leaves and fallen flowers
The clouds gather as the day matures
Whispers of an impeding storm reach these windy shores
Now we’ve left the trees behind and we’re in no man’s land
So it’s time to depart from this expanse so grand.

Backwaters cruise in Alleppey
Paddy fields, smaller fishermen’s boats and long canoes full of school children passed us by
Backwaters cruise in Alleppey
as our boatman kept us floating along at a gentle pace.
We'd lie down on the wooden boat and gaze at the coconut treed sky or dangle our legs on the side and let the water tease our toes.
We’d lie down on the wooden boat and gaze at the coconut treed sky or dangle our legs on the side and let the water tease our toes.

From 1 to 4 PM, the hotel also operates a ‘lunch on cruise’ that anyone can sign up for. In the near future, shikaras (long narrow boats that can go into narrow inlets and canals, unlike the larger houseboats) will also be available for use. We didn’t try the jet skis and speed boats but you definitely should!

Food and drinks

World in the Pot, as the name indicates, is a multi-cuisine restaurant attached to their Chinese restaurant China Town. We tried both local Kerala cuisine and Chinese dishes on various occasions and came away highly satiated. Funnily enough, the ground floor bar Pegs n Pints was deemed to be too unsafe for us due to the predominantly male, and on rare occasions, unruly crowd. It’s priced more attractively than the swankier roof-top bar, Venice, which also happens to offer stunning views of the entire coastline. The design and vantage point of the outdoor terrace surrounding the bar makes it the perfect spot to watch the annual boat races (the Nehru Trophy race begins on 12th August, so maybe you should pick up the phone and book your spot right now!).

Heavenly cream of tomato soup to kick off lunch
Heavenly cream of tomato soup to kick off lunch
Puttu with kadala (not seen here) for a traditional Kerala breakfast
Puttu with kadala (not seen here) for a traditional Kerala breakfast
Dinner at China Town, Ramada Alleppey
Vegetarian sizzler for a hefty dinner
Tripping on cocktails and delicious starters at Venice, the roof-top bar
Tripping on cocktails and delicious starters at Venice, the roof-top bar
The luxurious interiors of World in the Pot: Who wouldn't want to dine here?
The luxurious interiors of World in the Pot: Who wouldn’t want to dine here?

Abhyangam treatment at the spa

The four-year old Essence Spa at Ramada Alleppey is probably the best the town has to offer. We both chose the full-body Ayurvedic massage, called Abhyangam, on the advice of Dr. Shiny. Our therapists Diana and Arun used neela bhringadi oil for the head massage, dhanvataram oil for the body and the highly celebrated kumkumadi tailam oil for our faces. No part of our body was left out during the wonderful 90 minute massage (including shower time). The advantage of Ayurvedic massages is that they employ powerful oils and herbs, whose effects often last much beyond the therapy room. Currently, the rooms are separate for men and women but Dr. Shiny told us that they are planning to build a couple spa room. The seasonal karkidaka treatment routine is also an excellent option for those seeking relief from monsoon maladies.

Essence Spa at Ramada Alleppey
Therapy room at Essence Spa

Practical information

We’d definitely recommend Ramada Alleppey for a complete experience of Alleppey and its backwaters. And while we’re working on another post where we tell you about other attractions in the city, why don’t you take a look at this (Alleppey will be celebrating the 65th year of boat races in 2017):

Nehru boat race at Ramada Alleppey

Bookings: reservations@ramadaalleppey.com | ramada-alleppey.com

Ramada Alleppey is a part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and you could get a free stay there if you join their Rewards Loyalty Programme.

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Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta: Accessible luxury

Don’t be too quick to believe people when they say there’s nothing to see in so and so place. True, Kuta is more urbanised than Ubud or Sanur but its beaches are no less spectacular, it’s a good access point for the spectacular Tanah Lot Temple and luxurious Nusa Dua area and best of all, it lets you stay in a four start hotel for the price of a three star. Our stay at Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta, was made most memorable by a lovely dinner at the gourmet lobby restaurant, a sunset soak at the rooftop infinity pool and a couple spa session to soften the ache of a beautiful trip coming to an end.

Our room

A large bed with a thoughtful pair of towel swans, little balcony lined with green fronds and a bathroom with a beautiful patterned wall were some of the salient features of our honeymoon suite at Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta.

Our room
Our room
The balcony
The balcony

The TV even had a couple of Indian/Hindi channels to keep us entertained while we sipped on some coffee. We had some issues with the Wi-Fi and air-conditioning, both of which were quickly and satisfactorily resolved. So you can definitely expect great service at this hotel.

The hotel

The seven-storey Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta sports some stunning architectural touches such as a rooftop infinity pool; a ground-level lagoon-style pool with a long walkway that leads up to a bar, along with rooms on either side; couches backed by arresting paintings, exhibits of Indonesian masks and Buddhist percussion mallets outside some elevators and a spectacular view of the pool and the sky from the railing at each level.

View from the railing
View from the railing

The fitness centre adjoins the pool at the rooftop, which is also where Sandekala, the hotel’s sprawling in-house restaurant is located. The spa is also on the roof-top and tends to be very busy so book your treatments in advance. We enjoyed an hour-long full-body Balinese massage in a functional but comfortable therapy room. If you have children along, they can swim in the kids’ pool beside the rooftop infinity pool.

Children's rooftop pool
Children’s rooftop pool

Dining

The breakfast buffet is served in the enormous and cheerful Sandekala restaurant featuring usual favourites like eggs, fruit, cakes and French toast along with an impressively large array of juices and shakes and a ‘surprise’ counter with a different Asian or western specialty everyday.

Breakfast buffet at Sandekala restaurant, Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta

There’s always one traditional Indonesian sweet on offer as well, such as sticky rice or pumpkin pudding, as well as one Asian/Chinese dish as stir-fried noodles or rice.

Breakfast buffet at Sandekala restaurant, Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta
Salad counter

Dinner at Angsoka, the lobby-level gourmet restaurant was an experience to treasure, as every dish that came to the table awed us with its delicate perfection. The consistency of the pea and leek soup was just right – neither too creamy nor too thin, and it was served with soft and delicious garlic bread soaked in the soup.

Pea and leek soup
Pea and leek soup

This was followed by a platter of vegetarian spring rolls served with lettuce and carrot salad and dips. Finally, we feasted on a classic pizza Margherita.

Pizza margherita
Pizza margherita

The hotel also serves a buffet dinner in a wonderfully luxurious ambience set to soothing lounge music.

Nearby beaches

Kuta, Seminyak and Legian beaches are all close to Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta and form a part of the same gorgeous coastline. We went to Seminyak Beach in the bright light of day and were dazzled by the picture-perfect reflection of the clouds on the shore.

We etched Trail-stained Fingers on the shore
We etched Trail-stained Fingers on the shore

A neat array of lounge chairs sheltered by cute pink umbrellas lined most of the beach. We sent the waves flying, carved our names on the yielding sand with our toes and walked the length of the sun-kissed sea until we could walk no more.

Sea-bashing
Sea-bashing

Nusa Dua is half an hour away and perfect for those who wish to try water sports. We undertook the longer ride (21 km) to Tanah Lot temple instead to enjoy one of the most breath-taking sunsets of our lives.

Practical information

Rooms: Rooms at the hotel start at around 2500 rupees per night. Book them here.

Address: Jl. Sunset Road No.9, Seminyak, Kuta (don’t rely on Google Maps – the marking is inaccurate – ask the locals). The hotel is only 7km away from Bali International Airport.

Tip: Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta is a part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and you could get a free stay there if you join their Rewards Loyalty Programme.

Getting around: Rent a two-wheeler for around 60000 IDR per day or book Bluebird taxis. There is also the Kura-Kura public bus shuttle service with fixed routes.

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The Daily, Bandra: Delicious & original

Sip on artisanal cocktails and dine on gourmet Italian and Mediterranean fare at The Daily Bar & Kitchen in Bandra, Mumbai, a restaurant whose aesthete is part grunge and part experimental art.

The name plate outside proudly states that the restaurant was established in 2013, in a font that’s reminiscent of the 19th century. If that’s a strategy to make folks think it’s one of the oldies, it could work.

The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
The bar

Inside, there are two parts to the restaurant. The lower level is smaller and practically empty during the day – the real action is at the upper level, which houses the bar and sports a ceiling strung neatly with various framed newspaper clippings of interesting articles over the years. This could be great for a first date where you’re hunting around for things to talk about. For instance, did you know that Nicki Minaj has been funding an Indian village since several years, contributing to its computer centre, tailoring institute, reading programme and two water wells? We bet your date didn’t.

The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
The lower level

Black dominates the colour scheme and the music and lighting nudge you to categorise this place as a pub. But the menu is far more extensive that what a pub would have and now they even have lunch specials, which is what we were there to experience.

It was a Saturday afternoon and the restaurant was nearly empty when we walked in. But this could also be because there was a crew shooting a film at the lower level. Our couch-table was super comfy and splashed with patches of inky black. We were presented with four different menus – a regular food menu, the lunch special menu, drinks menu and wine list. We sampled the first three – and we were mostly delighted by everything that made it to the table.

Drinks

Every cocktail that came recommended was unarguably awesome. From the ones we ordered ourselves, a few were all right. The rest paled in comparison to the more exemplary ones. So our advice is to go with the server’s suggestions based on your spirit of choice.

Cocktails at The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
Elysium and Majestic Mame

We wanted to start with whisky-based cocktails from their signature list. The server was keen that we try Elysium, but we also ordered a Majestic Mame. The two looked almost identical when they arrived, except for the fact that the Elysium was deep gold in colour while the Majestic Mame resembled diluted watermelon juice. We weren’t entirely sure about the Elysium because it contained curry leaves but one sip and we knew this was one of the best whisky-based cocktails we’d ever tasted. The drink also contained dates, apple juice and rosso. Majestic Mame couldn’t quite compete with the genius of Elysium but it was pleasant enough, with the infusion of apricot brandy, basil and cranberry tea.

Cocktails at The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
The Contender and Mai Tai

Mai Tai, from the ‘Tiki cocktails’ section came in a dramatic mug carved with an angry pirate’s face. The tall concoction of white rum, dark rum, orgeat (a non-alcoholic syrup), pineapple and orange juices was good enough for two and the orgeat lent a wonderful floral, nutty flavour to the rum. The Contender was the other white spirit-based cocktail we tried and it was served in a cosmopolitan glass. The fruity cocktail composed of vodka, poire, pear, mint, nutmeg is ideal for those who prefer lighter drinks.

When we were done with our meal, we spotted the ‘molecular cocktails’ section on the drinks menu. Our curiosity was piqued. The server’s recommendation was Gypsy Queen but we also went with a Wild Card because it included bourbon in lieu of whisky. The molecular cocktails are priced a notch higher than the signature ones but the only difference is they are poured before you, with light fumes of dry ice making their way into the air. In terms of taste, we feel the signature cocktails are superior. The Gypsy Queen was really good, with the sweet and spicy notes of clove, cinnamon, peach and apple wood smoke. The Wild Card was just all right and lacked character even with the inclusion of triple sec, martini dry, cranberry-infused tea and hickory wood smoke.

Food

We don’t have a single criticism to make about the food at The Daily Bar & Kitchen. Be it the aesthetically served salads and starters or the nachos piled so generously with the good stuff, everything here is beyond perfect. Our main course was so scrumptious that we finished it despite the obvious lack of space in our cocktail-filled tummies. We wish we could’ve tried the desserts as well but it’s always good to leave something for next time.

Salad at The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
Halloumi cheese and watermelon salad

From the lunch specials menu, we went for the layered halloumi cheese, watermelon and fig salad. Topped with chopped fruits and mango salsa, the salad was juicy, sweet and refreshing. The cheese and fig provided a satisfying fullness to the salad and the lettuce and radish made every bite a brilliant burst of flavours and textures in our mouths.

Loaded nachos at The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
Loaded nachos

From the regular food menu, we opted for the chef-recommended patatas bravas and loaded nachos. The nachos came with an interesting twist – beer infused cheese sauce. The kidney beans, mayo, tomato and jalapenos were nothing short of perfect. We thoroughly enjoyed the nachos thanks to the lavish serving of mayo and cheese sauce.

Potato pockets at The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
Patatas bravas

Ditch the French fries and gorge on their succulent potato pockets as we did, filled with ratatouille vegetables, mascarpone and garlic aioli sauce. At six pieces per serving, this is ample for two people and the beetroot slathered at the bottom is a great accompaniment. The gooey vegetable and mayo topping ensured that every bite was full of cheesy goodness.

Ravioli at The Daily Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, Mumbai
Oven roasted tomato and olive stuffed ravioli

For mains, we decided on the oven roasted tomato and olive stuffed ravioli. To be honest, the dish wasn’t the most visually appealing when it came to the table. But when we began to tuck into the house-made ravioli, the wonderful stuffing of oven roasted tomato, olives and pine nuts cooked in a chive butter sauce began to work its magic on us. The warm and flavourful tomato sauce topped with pine nuts and goat cheese made us positively rapturous.

In a nutshell, even if you ordered from the menu purely at random, you’d probably be delighted with every gourmet morsel that entered your mouth.

Our rating: 5/5
Cost for two: Rs 3000 (with drinks)
Where: Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai

The Daily Bar & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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