Sunday, 17 January 2016

Review on Asado - The Cocktail Street

End of the year is undoubtedly synonymous to celebrations, meeting new and old buddies, selfies with besties, parties, gossips and the obvious lunches and dinners. Without deviating from this norm, I also kick started the culmination of the year by indulging in the most of the above activities in full galore. 

Being an avid food blogger gives us several opportunities and invitations to venture into the unknown and few known joints to express ourselves. Likewise, an invitation to Asado- – The Cocktail Street, was one of its kind place to sink in your teeth in some impressive barbeque grub.

The term Asado is used in Spanish both for a range of barbecue techniques and also for having a barbecue at the social event of attending a barbeque.


Tucked into the bustling street of Mumbai, Asado brings in something uniquely different to the city’s dining scene. As I entered this pleasantly low-lit resto-bar, there was something intensely alluring about this place, which sets the mood, instantly uplifts you to feel energetic & lively. The walls were painted to give an illusion of Latin American and Spanish street, with a lantern resembling a lamp post and the false sky effect on ceiling was mesmersing in itself.




The bar section was also quite interesting too with a niche wall displaying glasses, rifle and pistol. They have a two-way bar section allowing more guest to help themselves.






We started off with an array of cocktails that literally catapulted us to drink heaven !! First served was the Michelada. This was a beer based cocktail wherein the beer bottle was turned upside down over the drink. As the beer dripped slowly in the juice, every sip tasted different and stronger.

Michelada
Next we tried the Tiki Mexicana which was mixture of white rum and cranberry juice intoxicated with tequila & orange served in a cowboy hat shaped container. It was sweet and sour with a tinge of bitterness at the end.

Tiki Mexicana
House of Eden was brought to us like a long lost treasure chest in the deep sea. The cocktail was a combo of peach and passion fruit infused with dark & white rum & topped with pineapple juice. The sweet fruitiness & the tanginess of pineapple was magically a perfect pairing, craving us for repeated sips.

House of Eden
Barren Island which is also known to be the drink of ‘TikiPuka King’. This was again a mixture of rum and some secret spices served in a ceramic goblet. It was indeed a regal style of serving but tasted ok.

Barren Island
Terrific Tea was actually a reflection of its name- Terrific indeed!! Freshly brewed black tea and Tequila perfectly blended with fresh orange juice. This was served in a glass kettle with an effect of dry ice, making it look spectacular. By far this was best cocktail and I highly recommend it.


Terrific Tea
Sangria Barcelona was a mixture of red wine, gin and vodka blended well with a pineapple and orange juice. I won’t be able to comment on its taste as unfortunately it never reached me at the table.

Sangria Barcelona
Pine Cup was blend of classic dark and gold rum with pineapple juice. It was quite tangy and had a sharp taste of rum.

PineCup

Skittle Shots were 4 assorted Bubble gum flavored vodka, served in a test tube neatly arranged in a gold fish bowl filled with dry ice. It had nice sweet taste with a hint of bitterness.


Skittle Shots
Next to follow were the Zinger Cocktails which was a visual treat with their live demos done right on your table. A star aniseed concoction was made & added in a glass which was then flambéed with molecular orange smoke.The bartender asked us to sniff the vapour and to drink the concoction whilst inhaling. According to the bartender the actual essence of flavor can be experienced only after inhaling the smoke. It’s a technique and inspite of trying it twice I wasn’t able to get it right, although it was a wonderful novelty.

Zinger Cocktails
I tried to shoot the video, as it was worth the sight. However due to dimly-lit couldn't capture it properly. Still can't help sharing it with you all. Please excuse the quality of the video.

video

After the whole cocktail journey, we moved on to the food section.

We started with Truffle Mushroom Cream soup. Though the presentation was not very appealing but loved the strong flavor of truffle mushroom. This was nice, smooth and creamy.

Truffle Mushroom Cream Soup
Caramelized Belgium Pork Belly, was perfectly cooked and it just melted in the mouth with sweetness of caramel adding a different dimension to it. The crisp salad added freshness and was very comforting.

Caramelized Belgium Pork Belly
Another distinctive dish was the Calamari Lava Stone Grill. This was very interestingly presented on a lava stone placed on a wooden bench like stand. Calamari was nicely cooked, topped with salsa & guacamole.
Calamari Lava Stone Grill
Barbecue Chicken Flat bread - This was served on non-traditional flat thin crust pizza base and topped with barbecue chicken. The chicken was nice and moist with sweet-spicy barbecue sauce. It had that smoky flavor of the barbecue. Simply loved it.


Barbecue Chicken Flat bread
Grilled Vegetable Flat bread, was topped with onion, zucchini, yellow squash, pepper on the coriander pesto chilli sauce and sprinkle with cheddar and parmesan cheese. The veggies were fresh and crunchy, however my vote goes to Barbecue chicken.

Grilled Vegetable Flat bread
Pan Seared Cottage Cheese was a dish that was given a Japanese touch by pan frying in sweet-sour teriyaki sauce. Sprinkled with sesame seed and micro greens to give it a nutty flavor and crunch. The flavor of teriyaki sauce & sesame seeds balanced the richness of sinfully tender cottage cheese beautifully.

Pan Seared Cottage Cheese
Marinated Olives with Feta & Crostini was not just crafted skillfully but I think it was nothing less than a culinary wizardry.  I being a huge fan of Olive, loved this to the core. The soft salty feta added a different texture to the olive.

Marinated Olives with Feta & Crostini
Kataifi Prawns were the deep fried prawns coated with kataifi pastry and minced prawns. Served on the bed of jalapeno spiked corn puree and tangy fruit salad. The soft sweet prawns with the crispy pastry & the tangy fruit, was like explosion of flavours in my mouth.

Kataifi Prawns
Bean & Cheese Enchilada was meal by itself. The corn tortilla stuffed with beans & cheese were baked with grated cheese on top & was plated on a bed of ranchero sauce. This was served with Mexican rice and refried bean. 

Bean & Cheese Enchilada

Paella, a famous Spanish dish was truly phenomenal and had good amount of assorted seafood. It had the potential that strips away all rational thought while taking your taste buds to a journey of heavenly discovery. I loved the taste, texture and seafood chucks of this dish.

Paella
Four Mushroom Truffle Fettuccine was cooked in a cream sauce and it didn't lived up to its name of having four types of mushroom (shitake, button, oyster and truffle). I could get the taste of only shitake mushroom and actually had to look for others.

Four Mushroom Truffle Fettuccine
For the dessert we were served TresLeches Cake. This was soft & moist with sweetness of milk. It was simply divine and an ideal way to chase one’s pursuit of committing the sweet sin.

TresLeches Cake
Second dessert was Banoffe Pie, this was a cheese cake with flavor of banana and toffee. Garnished with the berry compote. An all time children's favorite Toffee-banana converted into a cheese cake, Wow!!! Bring those childhood memories alive ... :) 

Banoffe Pie
A resto-bar with its fabulous food along with innovative cocktails is definitely kicking it up a notch. Also, with the commendable work of the chefs and the staff this place is too good to be a hidden gem for long. I leave Asado impressed and knowing without an iota of doubt that I will return not before long to dig into more of their treasures. 



Head towards : Manorama Chambers, 
Near Gaity Galaxy Junction, 
SV Road, 
Bandra Talao, 
Bandra West

Call : 022 30151882

Friday, 1 January 2016

My Review on SKY VIEW Cafe`

Sky View Café when I came across this name, the first thing that came to my mind was a café somewhere on the terrace or an open air café or a café on the top floor of a tall skyscraper with glass windows exposing a view toward the open sky. But when I actually visited this cafe (not a café it’s more of restaurant) all my imagination flew in the Sky. It was nothing like what I had imagined; there was not a single corner where I would view the sky.  

As I entered the restaurant, I felt it quite cozy and welcoming. The classic wooden chairs with soft cushion seats, the sofas toward the wall side, the walls painted in pale yellow and chocolate brown & the dim focus lights at certain intervals exuded a rustic Italian ambiance. 




There were few frames and artifacts that actually caught my attention. There were a couple of frame with the quirky quotes like “Cooking with love PROVIDES Food for the SOUL” and another which said “IF ‘Plan A’ didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters | Stay Cool.” One wall had African artifacts like tribal masks, traditional bongo, ceramic urn etc… 





Whilst I was admiring the interiors, I was welcomed by the manager Mr. Frank, who handed me the menu and asked me to place an order. However, I thought it’s better to try his recommendations & hence asked him to order as per his choice.

We were first served the welcome drinks Passionate Basil and Pecsa Blast. Both the mocktails were served in exclusive jars, which was quite classy. Passionate Basil was a blend of Basil, lime juice, passion fruit juice topped with sprite. The freshness of basil and tanginess of lime & passion fruit juice was refreshingly soothing in the scorching sun. Pecsa Blast had peach syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice and cranberry juice. This mocktail had a very eye appealing presentation depicting the hues of a sunrise. The dominating taste of cranberry and pineapple with the aftertaste of peach, was less appealing to my taste. By all means my vote goes to the Refreshing Passionate Basil.

Pecsa Blast and Passionate Basil Mocktails
 Our meal began with appetizing Corn Curried Chowder Soup which was thick, rich, creamy and a bit chunky. The smooth creamy texture of corn and prominent aftertaste of curry was lip smacking and I wanted to called for more. This soup actually activated all my taste buds. A must try !

Corn Curried Chowder Soup
Soup was followed by starters & we began with Mini Mexican Tostadas, which I felt had too much of refried beans. It lacked cheese, infact I was disappointed to know that they had grated cabbage to look like cheese. A Mexican dish without cheese is incomplete & was downer for me.

Mini Mexican Tostadas
Then came Zucchini Feta Bite with Spicy Salsa. This was one of the best dishes of the day. It was little crispy cup canapé of goodness, filled with yellow squash/zucchini creamy sauce, topped with feta cheese and a dollop of sweet & spicy salsa. Garnished with cherry tomato and parsley. It gave the dish a different dimension and texture. The crispy canapé on the outside and creamy smoothness of sauce and feta with hint of sweet-spicy salsa at the end was like a burst of flavours & textures in the mouth. One should not miss out on this.

Zucchini Feta Bite with Spicy Salsa
Zucchini Feta Bite with Spicy Salsa
We were served Squash Roulade, which was artistically made. Thin slices of grilled green and yellow squash stuffed with ricotta, red bell pepper, broccoli & baby corn. Then brilliantly rolled out into a roulade, secured with a toothpick and basil and served on the bed of Cajun sauce. Such simple elements, yet so brilliantly executed.

Squash Roulade
Squash Roulade
An Italian join without a famous pizza is like food without salt. So now it was Pizza Time ….Veg Pesto Pizza & Mac and Cheese Pizza. Unlike the traditional round pizza base, here they serve rectangle thin crust pizza, which they call it ‘Flat Breads’.  

Flat Bread (Pizza)
 Veg Pesto Pizza / Flat Bread, was very flavorful, it had perfect layer of pesto sauce topped with crunchy bell peppers, broccoli and zucchini and tangy sun-dried tomatoes. In every bite we could actually get the taste of each individual vegetable. The thin crust was also nice and crisp. 

Mac and Cheese Pizza/Flat Bread had thin layer of tomato base pizza sauce topped with creamy macaroni, mozzarella cheese and sprinkled with seasoning. It was mild & bland in taste, more on the typically Italian style of pizza. My vote goes to the flavorsome Veg Pesto Pizza.

Mac and Cheese Flat Bread
&
Veg Pesto Flat Bread
When we talk about Italian cuisine, Pasta is something we picture in our mind. The Pasta took a ramp walk on our table. First to walk on the ramp was Gnocchi with Lemon Butter Sauce. The Gnocchi was as soft as a pillow, a melt in a mouth. However, I would prefer my gnocchi to be a little firm, but for those who like pillow soft gnocchi would love this. It was coated with a citrusy lemon butter sauce and sprinkled with fresh herbs giving it the hint of tanginess tickling the tip of our tongues.

Gnocchi with Lemon Butter Sauce
Then second on the walk was Ravioli with Marinara Cheese Sauce. This was one of the best dishes. The Ravioli was stuffed with Spinach and Pine nuts. It was served on the bed of tangy marinara sauce, topped with cheese sauce and sprinkled with chilli flakes & fresh herbs. This perfectly cooked ravioli with soft blanched spinach and crunchy pine nut to bite on, combined with the tangy marinara and cheesy sauce with slight pungency of chilles, actually took us into a hysteria. This one for me was like a show-stopper.


Ravioli with Marinara Cheese Sauce
Next in the line was Cajun Spice Pasta. This was Penne pasta in creamy white sauce sprinkle with some Cajun spice mix, served with garlic bread. Simple and classic presentation, rich and creamy sauce that coated the pasta well.

Cajun Spice Pasta
Now came Risotto Contadina on the ramp. This was a tradition risotto with Arborio rice cooked in white sauce and mozzarella cheese. Served with crunchy stir fried vegetable and cheese sauce. The rice was perfectly cooked – Al`dente when mixed with smooth cheese sauce and crunchy vegetable gave it an amazing feel to our mouth. 

Risotto Contadina
Finally, it was dessert time. We were served Oreo with Chocolate Mousse. It was presented in a jar with layers of chocolate crumb and whipped cream, topped with Oreo cookie and chocolate sauce. Though it looked good but was very disappointing in taste. The mousse was no where close to what a ‘Mousse’ should be. A complete downer ...

Oreo with Chocolate Mousse
Overall a very good Italian joint for all, especially vegetarians. I was a believer that any continental cuisine tastes good only if its non-veg. But I am glad Sky View Café has proved me wrong. I am hard core non-vegetarian when it comes to continental dishes, but surprisingly I didn’t miss any meat. Loved the flavours and food so much that I had strong cravings to dig into more Italian grub for the next few days.

Since I was on invite the meal was complimentary, but all views and opinions are my own.

Where:
 3rd Floor, Trade View Building,
 Gate 4, Kamla Mills,
 Lower Parel, Mumbai

Phone: 022 30151630