July 2014 archive

The Thai High Club

For nearly a decade, Busaba was the unquestionable authority on good Thai food in Mumbai. Thai curry and rice have since then turned into somewhat of a staple in Indian homes. Every homemaker can get their hands on a packet of Namjai or Real Thai Curry Paste and stir up a heady vegetable-laden Thai broth that passes off as authentic. Thai cuisine is extremely familiar to the Indian palate though. The rich aromas that Thai cuisine plays with (and very often depends upon completely) are never subtle and ingredients like Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime are integral. Fish sauce is another essential ingredient that Thai food can’t do without but Indians often tend to avoid it. Sanat Patel of o:h cha kitchen & bar has taken into account the Indian palate and has given the city its boldest Thai offering to-date.

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Tucked into Mathurdas Mills that shares a compound with Café Zoe and The Barking deer Brewpub is O:h cha kitchen & bar. With its lime green paddy field walls and subtle design, o:h cha is delightfully Asian. The cage lights, native to Bangkok street culture hang overhead casting an ethereal glow over the dining room. Chef Pipat Niyomsin presents an assortment of Thai dishes which range from street food favorites to more elaborate preparations, which are winners in terms of aesthetics. The Four Course Experience at o:h cha was carefully put together by our founder and head curator, Mrs. Deepa Jain. A shared experience between two people, the selection of items include all of Jain’s favorites and a smattering of the classics too.

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Start with a choice between a Soup or Salad. The Som Tam or Raw Papaya Salad strikes the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. This extremely flavorful and nutritious salad goes very well with chicken too. Alternately, you can try the Tom Yum Hed (v) or Tom Kha Khai (nv) which are vegetarian and non-vegetarian variations of the classic hot and sour Tom Yum soup – both items make for a delicious First Course.

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For Course Two, choose two small eats or appetizers from a selection of six. Our recommendations are the Spicy Fried Banana Blossom Cakes for vegetarians and the Kung Tempura Prawns for non vegetarians. The batter fried Prawns are perfectly crisp and light whereas the Banana Blossom Cakes are spicy and teeming with flavor. Purists should try the chicken skewers served with a slightly chunky but flavorsome peanut sauce while the more adventurous have got to bite into the Neua Yang or grilled beef tenderloin served with a spicy green sauce.

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The third course has got to be the highlight of your evening. You can chose two mains and pair it with a host of staples. The Pad Pak Si Sa Hi brings together “four friends”- asparagus, broccoli, shiitake and white fungus in a soya bean sauce that makes for a light and refreshing main for vegetarians. Seafood lovers have got to try the succulent steamed fish with garlic chili sauce. If you’re looking forward to sampling o:h cha’s Thai curry, there’s a choice between a Panang or Green curry with vegetables or meats. All of these can be devoured alongside a portion of Fried rice noodles or steamed jasmine rice.

By the time we reach Course 4, we’ve come to understand that the essence of Thai food does not lie in any stark coconut-ey flavor like we’ve been made to believe but rather, disparate flavors coming together harmoniously to create a very unique experience that is part comfort and part intoxicating. End on a sweet note with the chilled Water Chestnut Dumplings in fresh coconut syrup that tastes simply divine.

You can make a reservation for this exclusive experience on GourmetItUp.com by clicking on the link below and experiencing o:h cha’s authentic Thai fare for yourself.

Make A Reservation For The 4 Course Experience at o:h cha Kitchen & Bar

GourmetItUp Recommends: The Best Restaurants In The City To Spend A Rainy Day At

After days of sticky-humid weather, the monsoons are finally here. This puts us in a rather delightful mood and we itch to go out and dine at a quaint and cozy standalone. Imagine reading a book listening to the downpour or holding an intimate conversation while the pitter patter raindrops roll down the windowpanes.

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Here’s showcasing the best restaurants to spend a rainy afternoon at-

The Tasting Room

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Located in a posh lifestyle accessory store inside an old textile mill, the restaurant creates an atmosphere of sophistication that sets it apart, leaving you feeling pampered. A unique offering at The Tasting Room is the ‘High Tea menu’ where one can choose from a variety of Tea Infusions, pastries, scones and finger sandwiches.

Click Here To Make A Reservation For Our High Tea Experience

Salt Water Cafe

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The elegance at of this clean-lined eatery is understated. At Salt Water Café you will be rewarded with a menu that offers both adventurous items for the daring and comfort food for those who prefer the familiar. A good escape from getting drenched in the rain, fork your way through a showcase of some of Chef’s freshest and best.

Click Here To Make A Reservation For Our Three Course Experience

Café Sundance

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With cream walls, bleached wood tables and large windows overlooking the street, Cafe Sundance makes for a nice spot to indulge in a lazy lunch on a rainy afternoon. Sundance also sets in a feeling of nostalgia with its wall of curios that include a weathered typewriter, a beautiful carousel set and a 1950s- style radio.

Click Here To Make A Reservation For Our Totally Stuffed Experience

Polpo Café

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The 1,200 square feet of space is split into an indoor and outdoor strip, replete with printed black and white flooring, a wall covered with plants and a long table that serves drinks to the grownups. The huge sunny glass doors make for a good view of the dancing rain while you dig into your sumptuous afternoon meal.

Click Here To Make A Reservation For Our Four Course Experience

If you still can’t pick, simply follow the link to view all our other experiences till you find the perfect one for you.

GourmetItUp Experiences

- Renata Millet

Ramadan Specials With GourmetItUp

The holy month of fasting just happens to be the time when every Mumbaikar turns their attention towards Byculla and Mohammed Ali Road. The aromas that take to the skies are potent with heady smoky flavours from the Kebabs and Biryanis. The Nalli Nihari is so tender and juicy that it simply falls off the bone and The Haleem is thick and flavourful.

But if wandering the streets is not your cup of tea and you’d rather feast leisurely on these Ramadan favourites, then we suggest you head for some of our brilliant specials for Iftaari:

Neel’s Ramadan Menu:

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Chef Mukhtar Qureshi knows how to whip up a true Ramadan feast. The Five Course Ramadan Menu consists of Shorba, Appetizers, Mains, Pulao & Biryani, An assortment of Indian Breads and Dessert. Each of the items on the menu are favourites from Chef Mukhtar’s repertoire of authentic Indian recipes and we recommend his Hare Masale Ka Murgh Pasanda, the Gosht aur Paya Ki Nihari and the delicious Paraat Ki Biryani that comes with a succulent leg of lamb.

This experience is priced at Rs. 1199 + taxes per person.

Click Here To View The Experience and Make A Reservation

The Fiery Three Course Experience at Kebab Korner:

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Kebab Korner at the Intercontinental houses a brilliant menu this Ramadan that you can feast on, courtesy of GourmetItUp. Their Afghani Tikka is a star on the menu, as is their Subz Nawabi Seekh. For Mains, you have got to whet your appetite with their Gosht Rogan Josh to be enjoyed with assorted Indian breads and a portion of Khaas Dal Makhani on the side. Finally, end with a classic Angoori Rabdi that’s absolutely delicious.

This experience is priced at Rs. 1280 + taxes per person.

Click Here To View The Experience and Make A Reservation

The Three Course Weekday Experience at Veda/ Weekends With Veda:

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It’s our most extensive Indian menu yet. Choose from over 15 different kinds of kebabs to have alongside your Mains at Rohit Bal’s beautiful Indian restaurant, Veda at Palladium, Lower Parel. Veda still retains its charm with it’s clever usage of mirrors, drapes and chandeliers that create a space where you can enjoy our Four Course Meal. Do try their Dal Veda which is cooked overnight and end with their Shahi Tukra which is extremely palatable.

The Weekends With Veda Experience is priced at Rs. 1103 + taxes per person

The Three Course Weekday Experience is priced at Rs. 716 + taxes per person.

Click Here To View The Experience and Make A Reservation For The Weekday Experience

Click Here To View The Experience and Make A Reservation For The Weekend Experience

If you’re still looking for more recommendations, follow the link below to view our entire Ramadan Collection for more recommendations.

GourmetItUp’s Ramadan Dinner Collection

GourmetItUp’s 4th July Burger Hop

We, at GourmetItUp love a great burger. There’s something so fulfilling about biting into a soft patty that’s treated well- the warm juices ooze out and drip on to your plate, every morsel lingers on your palate and for a couple of seconds, you’re transported to a euphoric cheesy wonderland. If you can relate to this, then you’re going to love the series of Food-Hops that GourmetItUp has initiated this month.

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The Tasting Troupe for our First Burger Hop

In the first of it’s kind, we celebrated American Independence Day with a 4th of July Burger Hop. We partnered with Uber and Kingfisher Beer to create an absolutely superior experience. The guests who registered for the hop were taken in snazzy uber cars from Smokehouse Deli, Lower Parel to The Barking Deer. The next stop was Cafe Sundance and finally, Woodside Inn where we finished with a bang! A pint of Kingfisher Beer, A slider and a side were served to the guests at every restaurant. Conversation was light and celebrated food bloggers Roxanne Bamboat (The Tiny Taster), Mumbai Foodies (Ronak Rajani) and Diti Shah (Food and Fads) were also present at the event.

Some of the winning sliders that were tasted at the event included the Southern Lamb Slider and Baconator at Smokehouse Deli, the Tenderloin Slider at Cafe Sundance and the Buffalo Burger at The Barking Deer. Scroll down to view some of the burgers from the event.

The Southern Lamb burger from Smokehouse Deli

The Southern Lamb burger from Smokehouse Deli

The Tenderloin Slider at Cafe Sundance

The Tenderloin Slider at Cafe Sundance

Feedback Cards For The Event

Feedback Cards For The Event

Keep an eye out for more of these hops in the weeks to come. We’re hopefully going to take Bandra by storm for our next installment and we hope to see you there.

Click on the links below to view our GourmetItUp experiences at Smokehouse Deli, The Barking Deer and Cafe Sundance:

The Four Course Experience at The Barking Deer

The Three Course Experience at Smokehouse Deli, BKC

The Totally Stuffed Experience at Cafe Sundance