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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Restaurant Review: Madeira and Mime

 Madeira and Mime at Powai is quite a distance away from my home in Bandra(about an hour away), but I readily accepted the invite for the review of this newly opened gastro-pub, simply because the staff is differently abled (all are speech and hearing challenged) and since I am associated with differently abled persons,(mainly mentally challenged persons) at SBP, I was most anxious to learn about how different this experience would be.

My friend and I were greeted by a friendly staff who guided us to the most comfortable table in the centre of the room. We were introduced to Rohit Pandey, who would be at our wait staff. A brief introduction with the help of his assistant made us understand the sign language that we would use to interact with the staff. Rohit, the sweet and polite kid was quite attentive to our comfort. Served our meals with great precision, stood at fair distance away from our table and was quick to clear the plates as soon as we finish one course after another.
In sign language we learnt to say Thank you (by tipping on the chin with two fingers) and sorry (rotating a closed fist over the left chest) The menu card clearly showed the sign language and how we could interact with the staff.

The menu was focused on comfort food. There were dishes such as Ramen, Pasta, rolls, street food like sandwiches, burgers, pao-walla. For complete meal there was this interesting rice plate selection like pilaf and biryani. We were just two of us, friend is veg and I could eat non-veg. We asked them to serve small portions so that we could try more dishes.

While we waited for our order to arrive, I glanced around the restaurant taking in the beautiful surroundings. The bar tender was busy mixing drinks. On the other side was open kitchen, we could see lot of activity while the dishes churned out efficiently on the order expressed in sign language.It seemed like a graceful dance as they moved their fingers to put their message across. The ambience was very vibrant.

On one side of the room was this huge, left ajar fridge filled up not with food stuff or chocolates but it had games  such as UNO and Jenga that one could play and while away their time with friends over food and drinks. There were also some comic books and novels for more serious clients. It sent the message across that one could bring the games or books to their table and sit as long as one wished and management loved having people around for fun and pleasure.

This gastro –pub is the sister outlet of another fusion restaurant called  Mirchi and Mime which has been quite a success. The food is okay, still at initial stages but open to suggestions and willing to improve to suit the indian palate. I am specially impressed by this concept of providing equal opportunities’ to differently abled persons.
I had a very good experience dining at this restaurant, I would recommend this place to all my friends who like to relax and eat food at leisure.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fine Art Of French Pastry Making At Studio Fifteen

The invite was from France Tourism Development Agency and Bonne Mamam at Studio Fifteen. We, The FBAI members were to acquaint with fine art of French pastry making that would be further enhanced by the indulgent flavours of renowned French Confectioner Bonne Mamam.

Now Bonne Mamam, as you might know, make preserves and jellies that are 100% all-natural ingredients,  made from same time-honoured traditional French recipes. So making the cookies in normal traditional way and then adding a dollop of Bonne Mamam jelly on the top would naturally enhance the taste.

I dont normally bake (actually I need to buy a decent oven to begin with, its on my wish list) but the fact remains that I would be learning something different (everyday is a learning experience) from the expert chefs like Pooja Dhingra and Pablo Naranjo, and that was good enough reason to accept the invite.

Due to heavy Mumbai traffic, I was a bit late for interaction with other food bloggers, but luckily, I was in time to try my hand on baking Jam Thumbprint Cookies and Matcha Apricot Financiers.

After the brief introductions, we were split up in four groups of three persons each, so that all of us would get hands-on experience on preparation of these cookies and financiers. It was so easy that I am thinking why had I not baked these before. There is really no trouble at all, baking is just mixing the right proportion of ingredients and baking them at right temperature.

The cooking session was fun really, everybody had a story to tell, that made the session very interesting.

With ingredients, all measured and kept on the table, and under guidance of Pooja and  Pablo, we began to work on the recipe given to each one of us.

Sharing the recipe of
Matcha Apricot Finanaciers (of Studio15)

First important thing is to preheat oven at 200C

Whisk together 100 gms icing sugar, 20gms flour, 50gms almond powder and 1tsp Matcha powder

Add 2 egg whites and mix gently using fork

In a sauce pan, heat 60gms butter till it browns and strain over mixture

Pipe the batter into financier moulds and bake for 8-10 minutes

Add Jam on the top of financiers, as per your taste.

Sharing the recipe of

Jam Thumbprint Cookies (of Studio15)

Whisk together 100 gms butter, 120 gms castor sugar, and 1tsp vanilla essence till light and fluffy

Add one eggs and whisk well

Sift together ½ tsp baking powder and 175 flour

Fold into the above mixture with a spatula

Mix well and refrigerate the dough for 2 hours

Preheat the oven to 165C and line your baking tray with parchment paper

Take small quantities of the dough, make small balls, flatten with your finger tips into medium sized cookies

Put them on the baking tray, leaving 2-inch gap between each cookie. Using your thumb, make a small well in the middle of each cookie

Put a spoonful of jam in each well

Bake for 15 minutes or till the edges start browning

Once cooled, top the well with some more jam and serve.

Tasting is the best part of cooking or baking

Bringing back  food favours of a bottle of apricot jam and a pretty cookbook will inspire me to try my hand on baking, for sure..

Thank you Studio Fifteen for hosting us.

Friday, October 7, 2016

High Tea with Kishco

On a heavy rainy day, a cup of hot coffee is always welcomed. I entered the Drawing Room of  Smoke House Deli at Pali Hill, Bandra, into a roomful of well dressed people, all associated with food industry.

A table displaying the range of cookware attracted my attention. I went immediately to the table to have a closer look. The cookware was the Kishco Innochef- a new brand, made of superior technology, designed to be super efficient, sturdy and long lasting.

I particularly liked one flat-based pan and immediately thought I could make Spanish Paella in that. It was heavy pan 3-ply with total thickness of 25 mm, therefore food may not get burnt and the food could be cooked evenly. What I liked best about this pan was that this could be used on stove tops, electric plates, ovens and also on induction cookers.

While I was having coffee and munching on a cookie, Namita Jain introduced the DVD on Dining Etiquette, a lively animated film that aims to impart fundamental knowledge on table manners to school children. Namita Jain is a name synonymous with health and fitness. She has been columist for leading publication and has authored 10 books endorsed by celebrities on health and wellness. Today as an entrepreneur, Namita has taken charge of the family business as a managing director of Kishco.

The Kishco brand has been a hallmark of fine dining and elegance since 1950. We take this legacy forward as we aim to educate and inform the new generation of the nuances of dining etiquettes says Namita.

While the finger food was passed around, an animated film was shown to us that had a conversation between brother and sister over dinning etiquettes. This is made specially for children (and even for adults to some extend) that educates children on table manners, posture while eating, bag rules, social mingling among other things. The film is made interesting by interactive short quiz of what they have learnt. I am sure children will enjoy it.

I am planning to show my sisters five-years-old grandson and see his reaction to this animated film.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Brunch With Royal Prestige Cookware

The invite was to a fun cook-along Sunday healthy brunch with The FBAI at Palate culinary boutique studio. How could I refuse?  I love cooking and I love eating. As soon as I enter the food boutique, I am attracted to the pretty looking pots sitting in the room.

The cooking pots are sturdy made of 5 ply metals – three layers of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel.  . On closer examination I find that it is backed by extraordinary 50-year international warranty against any staining, chipping, melting, breaking or cracking. The pots have versatile covers that can seal the moisture, reduce the cooking time and can also be used as trivets to prevent the delicate table from hot saucepans. What is interesting is that handles are detachable and heat resistant, so these pots can be used for baking too after removing the handles. There is a Silichromatic ring that seals the steam inside the cookware to retain moisture and flavor of meals so it can be used as pressure cooker too, to speed the cooking process.

I am eager to learn more about this cookware. I need to compare with traditional cooking that we do on everyday basis in our homes with pans like aluminium pots, non-stick pans, steel pans, pressure cookers, etc.  Rakhee Vaswani, the owner of the culinary studio, endorse these pans confirming their quality after having used these pans for several months in different cooking techniques (sometimes cooking with zero oil). I am amused when she says that she steams potatoes, carrots and beetroot in same pot and still other vegetables are not stained with beet’s bright colour and that each ingredient retains its own nutrition values and its natural flavours.

To get that first hand experience on using this cookware, we form two teams, posted on different cooking stations, one group cook in the ordinary traditional pots and other group cook on Royal Prestige cookware. Recipe sheet is distributed for everyone to follow the same recipe of Barley Risotto, Moroccan Chermoula Chicken, and Mushroom sauce. We begin to marinate the chicken.

While the traditional cooking is carried out at one cooking station, the other group (at Royal Prestige cooking station) preheat the cookware on low flame for about 3 minutes. The temperature is correct when a few drops of water are sprinkled on the utensil and they move around the surface without evaporating. (if they disappear immediately, we must wait) There was really no need to put oil at all.  

Chicken and barley risotto are cooked following the same recipe on both cooking stations, but since there is prompt and even distribution of heat at Royal Prestige cookware, it induced cooking process faster. In addition, the Redi-Temp valve signals when the optimum cooking temperature is attained – a signal to lower the cooking temperature. As a result, the cooking time decreased thus saving energy.

"The sole authorised distributor of Royal Prestige® cookware in India – a brand owned and managed by HyCite Corporation, USA. Our goal is to empower and encourage families to cook, eatand live a healthy and happy life. The cookware range from Royal Prestige® – namely “5-Ply” and “InnoveTM” – are made from one of the highest and safest grade of surgical stainless steel; and provide a unique and proven waterless and oil-free cooking method, that maximises the nutritional value and flavour of your meal".....source- Seeba International
You can visit their site at to learn more about this product.

Quite an enjoyable afternoon, cooking and learning about this new product and enjoying the great variety of healthy brunch after the cook off. The delicious lunch made the afternoon very fulfilling and satisfying treat.

Sharing the recipe of Morocan Charmoula Chicken (by Palate Culinary Studio)
chicken that we made during the cook-off


2 Chicken breast
Few florets of broccoli
½ raw carrots
chicken stock as required
1tsp Garlic paste
1’4 tsp mustard
½ tsp seasoning
Few drops of lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste.
1tsp Chermoula powder (Cumin, paprika, onion, turmeric, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, coriander leaves)


  • Marinate the chicken and veggies with all the above ingredients
  • Heat the skillet pan, place the chicken with the veggies
  • Cover the lid and cook till it whistles with the valve open
  • After 2-3 minutes close the valve and simmer
  • Cook for 2-3 more minutes
  • Switch off the gas and let it rest

This was prepared with no oil and the flavour was retained from the juices of the fat within the meat.
I am going to buy one of those cookwares…are you???

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