Fishing it right!

In spite of an innocent name like Nothin fishy about it!, this newly launched food joint at Carter road, Khar can actually get one hooked. The variety of fish rolls, prawn wraps and appetizers it has to offer, you simply cannot get enough of it…

Fish_FingersBeing a Bengali I am obviously fond of fish but I am very selective too at the same time. Though there are a lot of places in Mumbai that serve up sea food, after trying a few of them I can hardly recall the ones that I have gone back to. So I was a bit apprehensive about exploring this new option, and I am glad that I did stop by and will be going back for more I am sure.Prawns_Koliwada(2)

It is a simple and uncluttered place to begin with that offers a complete value for money menu and a lip smacking experience.

It is said that one should relish food with their five senses and you actually get down to doing so here as the platter not only looks good, it smells great, tastes delicious, you can hear the crispy sound with every bite and feel the smooth texture of the freshly marinated delicacies.

I started out with the fish roll with koli green spices that tasted simply amazing. The soft koli multigrain roti within which the fish and sauces were wrapped, tasted great and seemed healthy at the same time. It did not make me feel too full either and I was excited to order butter garlic fish with garlic bread next! It was simply lip smacking and I could give a miss to a spicy chicken dish for it.

I seemed to be going ‘high’ on fishes and wanted to indulge a bit more. I opted for the prawn Koliwada roll with red spices. It was perfectly tossed up a crispy and spicy offering. There were interesting add-ons by the side too with each dish, like French fries or exotic salads that made for a complete meal on the go.

 -Sayanti Banerjee

A date with Italian Gourmet

For those who enjoy good food yet prefer to watch their calorie in-take, usually settle for Italian food like me. So when I learnt that Chef Fabio Maiano had come from Milan, I wanted to join him at a special chef’s table dinner prepared the Italian way, and learn and enjoy the  new Italian cuisine at Prego, Westin Mumbai Garden City.italian

It was an opportunity to taste the authentic flavours of Italy served up as a lip smacking experience. I was amused to learn that Risotto was more of the celebrated meal option across Italy and not pizza what we believe for so long now. with chefIn fact, pizzas are rather considered to be a quick snack option and often junk. This is true for the other popular alternative that most of us opt for, that is- pasta! Though the chef added that pasta was considered to be a healthier option mostly.

Now that was quite an input the jolly chef shared candidly adding fun anecdotes about the food in India. He in fact felt that sometimes the food in India can be as good as back home in Italy for him. I was amused to know that the Italian cuisine that he had indulged in at Varanasi of all places, was the best according to him. So a well travelled chef like him would know the difference for sure. When it came to the authentic Indian platter, he declared his love for kofta and did not mind having spicy food too. As the conversation proceeded, the guests were excited to get him to entertain them and enlighten them further.

As far as I was concerned, what made my experience at Prego enjoyable apart from the comfort food and the delightful conversation, was the ambiance. It is a place that is colourful, vibrant and uncluttered. Quite well lit yet soothing to the eyes. I had been there during the day earlier but the place seems much better at night. There were a lot of expats and in-house guests enjoying their meal at other tables too.

In fact, I wanted to give a miss to the wine that was being paired with the food, but I reached out for a well-blended cold coffee to sip through along with my meal. That too left me with a happy buzz and I was told that the word the Prego in Italian means ‘Welcome’! Now this is one place that lives upto its name for sure 🙂

-Sayanti Banerjee

Bhootnath Returns with double the fun!!!

Politics may not be my cup of tea but a film that plays up the irony of the same in the most hilarious way, is certainly Bhootnath Returns. I found the trailer itself engaging and decided to attend the press show giving a miss to a star-studded fashion show that was scheduled around the same time. It was totally worth, as the film turned out to be a real treat in itself!Image

I have not watched the initial Bhoothnath but that did not make any difference as this sequel had a new story altogether. Amitabh Bachchan essaying the title-role, decides to return on earth from his ghost nagaria with the aim of scaring kids and relieving himself from being the laughing stock there.

The portrayal of the ‘bhoot world’ as a Government office is satirical to begin with and evokes laughter right from the very first frame.

The ‘technical fault’ makes Bhootnath again visible to another kid Akhrot played by Parth Bhalerao. The two characters are able to connect with each other instantly and their candid comrade help them to team up against social evils.

As Boman Irani, the political goon in the disguise of Bhau entres the scene, Bhootnath gears up to contest him at the local elections.Image

The challenges the adorable ghost faces as a ‘dead contestant’ without a ‘death certificate’ made me laugh my heart out.

The entertainment quotient is very high in almost every dialogue and the song ‘Party toh banti hai…’ made me break into a bit of jig.

As an overall experience, I felt glad that I watched an amazing movie with a funny story-line, quirky characters and little anecdotes of social consciousness that left me with a ‘feel good’sensation.

That according to me makes it a must watch movie at the end of the day 🙂

-Sayanti Banerjee

What makes you ‘wow’

Is the concept of ‘beauty’ a topic of debate? Probably self-debate I would say, since a lot goes on within the mind itself about how one looks and needs to look, all the time…There are certain guidelines out there that spell B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L or the reverse. So I was curious to sit through a panel discussion for Dove’s Patch campaign –‘Beauty is a state of mind’. In fact, among the panelists, Konkona Sen Sharma and Pooja Dhingra were the two interesting speakers, whom I have known for a while now and was excited to hear their views.me

Konkona comes from my City of Joy – Kolkata, so we did chat up about how the strong desire to conform by the ‘check-list’ of beauty is catching up back home as well. She felt that even girls from a very young age should be made to focus on their intelligence and personality rather than being complimented about how pretty they look. In fact, in spite of being in the glamour world this talented actress always chose to stand out and be herself and accept the fact that she was rather an ‘unconventional’ beauty who could look great on a few days and not so great on others. Now facing reality is probably the best solution in order to uncomplicated life.

I was waiting to hear what Pooja Dhingra had to add to the notion. For those who have a sweet tooth like me and love to indulge in Le15 treats, will know this popular patisserie entrepreneur.  She is successful and on top of things professionally yet personally when her granny suggests that she needs to lose weight in order to get married, it bothers her for sure. Ironically, while the audience felt she was lucky to be working out of a kitchen filled with chocolates, she wondered if it was a ‘lucky’ option actually.

Now this iota of self doubt made this young achiever too feel that probably her achievements in life so far were not good enough… So there needs to be ‘more realistic’ role models beyond ‘Barbie’ look- alike out there, Pooja suggested for women to look upto since their childhood. And where does one find them?

Pat came her answer- “Be one yourself!”

On that motivating note, there followed the screening of a short film about women across the world who were asked by a psychoanalyst to take a ‘patch’ test for a couple of days and see how they feel about themselves.

The deal was to touch the round piece of paper stuck on their arms and say to themselves that they feel beautiful!

So by the end of a week or two, the self-confidence of the participants triumphed over their low self esteem and they realize that there was nothing external that brought about this change in their perspective.

It was the voice from within that urged them to look at Life differently and feel BEAUTIFUL each day.

Quite a fairy tale-ish saga, but the moral of the story brought a smile to my face that –

It is only we who can detect that ‘wow’ factor about ourselves!

-Sayanti Banerjee

A selfie-brunch at Le Mangii

Eating out is more about the experience than just the food…  For me it is not just the appetite but the ambiance of the place, that usually make me stay on for more…

Since selfies are in vogue, doing things all by myself seemed like a cool idea! Imagine walking into a restaurant alone and indulging in the food that you love to binge upon without having another person dig into it or prick your conscious about the calories ….

It will be an awesome ‘me-time’ for sure!Le Mangi

Yes, I felt I deserved one and treated myself at Le Mangii, the Italian Table. This was probably at the back of my mind ever since I enrolled for French classes at Alliance Francais and learnt more about the French culture. Though taking a trip abroad would not have worked out with just a day off this week, I was glad I could live up that experience partly in Mumbai itself!

So I took a trip to the newly launched outlet of Le Mangii at Lower Parel, for a lazy brunch last Monday. I love pizzas so the choice of the place was easy since I had heard a lot about them from my friends. They had recommended the place to me after relishing the Chicken Rollinitina stuffed with ricotta, served with tangy salsa. Though I am not a fan of pasta, they wanted me to try Spaghetti Aglio Olio and Fussilli styles with prawn or chicken that is to die for.

But I like to do things my way, so I opted for the Cajun Chicken pizza that was simply lip smacking while I had a small portion of the Barbeque Chicken as well. Also, I called for a classic Caesar salad by the side that was a healthy option, but I also kept sipping the yummy brownie twister milk-shake instead of water.

choco Since it was my day-off from oats and dalia routine, I was making the most of it!

I however decided to wrap the experience with something sweet as always, so went ahead to the dessert selection. Mocha Fudge Cake with a hint of strong coffee and dollops of vanilla ice-cream, that made my day!

I feel that the only check point that one should keep in mind, while trying things on their own is – to do a bit of research first and get recommendations from friends, like I did to begin with.

The reason simply is that just in case you land up for an experience that is disappointing, you will not have company to talk about it and feel end up feeling depressed instead.

Well, the whole idea is to enjoy some ‘me-time’, sneak out of  the mundane routine, get a breather and capture some fun ‘selfie’ memories from such a self-indulgent experience, with your inner self  🙂

 -Sayanti Banerjee