"The secret ingredient is always cheese"

Cheese is one of the best things to have happened to mankind! It’s such an ingenious ingredient, what with all its various textures and flavours. So, my mom on her way back from the UK got me enough varieties of cheese to build up my own fancy cheese platter. Well, being the avid cheese enthusiast that I am, I was in a state of elated bliss!

I do like my cheese soft, crumbly and fresh. I can probably snack on bocconcini like popcorn without an ounce of guilt. HI FIVE to you if you think the same, we can definitely be friends! However among the hard varieties, cheddar and parmesan are my most favourite. I can add parmesan to anything that I eat, ANYTHING!

The summer of 2016 saw the opening of the long-awaited Anncensored Café. Having been a trending topic on various social media platforms, the launch of the café marked its entry as one of the big players in Kamala Mills. Weekday or not, the eatery is buzzing, either with neighbouring office folk or regular out-goers. Reservation is a must! However, you happen to go sans a reservation and get bummed-out, I will be compelled to say as Sheldon Cooper says, ‘I informed you thusly!’ 

The café boasts swanky interiors and seating areas. The booths are quite a charm and absolutely picture-worthy. The swings seat a smaller bunch of people, but seem to have the greatest demand. A large communal table and a couple of other tables sum up the entire seating area. The lower level houses a large bar counter, the dance floor and a Private Dining Area. The entire crew is super friendly. The Anncensored menu has quite an interesting twist to it - the censored and uncensored menu. Prior to its launch, we were quite curious to know what this meant (sounds like something nasty maybe) A gimmick, unique to Anncensored helps you go about and understand the censored-uncensored bit of it. But basically, the censored menu comprises of a continental fare, while the uncensored uses the same elements and gives it an Indian flare to it. I won’t say what the gimmick is but what I will say is…don’t take the glasses home (what on earth is this person saying, right? Well, you’ll figure it out once you’re there too)

Yes my friends, sadly the much loved mango season is almost at an end. But I've managed to figure out a way to make them stay longer...errmm...in my freezer, by turning them into popsicles! 

And if you're reading this you should do the same too! Because who in their right mind would say no to mangoes in any form? And also, since the Bombay heat almost makes you want to dive into ice cold water pretty much always, these will keep you cool during those few seconds you spend eating them. Yes, you're welcome!
The name Jiggs Kalra is synonymous to an elite culinary experience in the hospitality dynasty of India. Through works of art like Masala Library and MasalaBar, a legacy has been created. Zorawar Kalra, successor of the Kalra empire, carries on this legacy with Farzi Café, one of the city’s most talked about ‘newly-opened’. Contemporary Indian Cuisine in its finest form. Farzi is enveloped in the large compound of Kamala Mills, a restaurant hub by itself. Once in, an all-stone, dimly lit ambience engulfs you and illusionary lighting takes over (special mention to the light show above the bar). The restaurant is fairly large and experiences a transformation post 7pm (I vow to not be a spoiler). The service is truly impeccable, executed by slick-dressed managers and stewards with thorough knowledge of the menu and its content. Every beverage recommendation by the witty Shahbaz, our server for the evening, was spot on. Under the care of head chef, Kunal, our meal was a smooth voyage. All preferences and allergies were noted, and our meal was crafted accordingly. He frequented our table to make certain that all was okay. Generally, before visiting a restaurant, I do a little background research of my own. Prior to my visit, I had a slammed week. Having only heard praises about the place, I was almost a clean slate, ready to be amazed.

Getting down to the real deal, the point of emphasis, the highlight…the food! Everything was created with the finest of ingredients, utmost care, precision and skill. All meals commence with an amuse bouche of deceiving Mishti Doi spheres. Personally, big fan of mishti doi and I must say that it was amusing (pun intended) to see it in its #Farzified form. 

Amuse Bouche - Mishti Doi Spheres

My first encounter with this subtly sweet, cottony delicacy took place while I was vacationing in Thailand. A famished me, waiting for the inter-city bus from beautiful Pattaya to bustling Bangkok wandered around the food stalls at the bus stand. I was intrigued by these freshly steamed pork buns. I wasn't aware at the time what they were called. The Bao was the size of my PALM - soft, with a measly, but tasty filling.

Bao, or traditionally known as Baozi are of Chinese origin. Legend has it that it was invented by Chinese scholar and military strategist, Zhuge Liang. Mankind owes this man one! In China, baos are available in two sizes. The bigger ones make for a great take-away snack and the smaller ones are what we find in restaurants. Various forms of the bao have been adopted all over South-East Asia. 

Closer home, The Fatty Bao, Mumbai is hosting the 'Bao Wow Festival'. The menu flaunts thirteen varieties of baos, with the quirkiest stuffings and two Ballantine-esque cocktails. The restaurant portrays a very fun, creative, Kung Fu Panda inspired ambience. The place can get full in a jiffy and hence, making a reservation is highly recommended. Save yourself a bummer. The service staff is always happy to provide recommendations if you find yourself spoilt for choice. You'd be surprised to see how fast your grub arrives.

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