145, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai

Where

145 is the new and transformed Cheval, opposite one of the best nightclubs in town, LIV. See Google Map!

First Impression

It opened in Jan and ever since then I’ve been around 7- 8 times.

The best part about this place is that it has an incredible mix of music, across all genres, has a pool table and a great bar (with an exotic range of drinks and shots).

An extremely fun observation is that their menu’s have colouring books behind them, where one can actually colour! This is entertaining and takes you back to your childhood days.

However, it is very difficult to get a reservation unless booked a couple of days before actually going.

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The Ambience

It’s very dimly lit and after 10:30 – 11:00 pm it turns into a livelier place with people dancing and having a great time.

Its one of the best places to dine and dance in town.

What I Ordered

There’s just so much to try out on the menu, I order something new everytime! And not even one dish has failed to please me.

The best food to order is the mini vada pao’s, animal style fries, corn tempura’s and the cookie dough pizza (this is the best).

They also have these incredible cookie shots where the shot glass is actually made out of cookie dough and you can eat it!

Some of the food however did take a while to come, we had to remind the waiters a couple of times.

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The People

The crowd mainly comprises of teenagers and youngsters.

What’s the Cool

Its neither too warm nor too cool, its perfect.

The Extras

The best part is at the end of the meal, when they bring a couple of Ojo’s with your bill. This takes everyone back to his or her school and childhood days and makes you feel like a kid again!

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Also, it’s advisable to make a reservation a couple of days early, especially if you want to go on the weekend.

Will I ever return?

Yes, I will try to go there as often as possible.

Smoke House Deli, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Where

Inside the famous and enormous Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel. See Google Map!

First Impression

This was a first for me – Upon entering, the manager greeted us and took us to our table. Throughout our entire meal he would check on us to see if we needed anything.

I think this was extremely kind and it felt great. In my experience, no manager has ever been this involved in a restaurant, unless was personally called to do so.

The Ambience

The place feels like one of those small European cafés. It has a very quiet and cozy vibe to it.

What I Ordered

I ordered the Paprika Puffs and Wasabi Salsa, the Margarita Pizza and a Penne Arrabbiata.

The food was delicious!

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Where I Sit

The place isn’t too big so one doesn’t have a wide choice to choose from, but I usually try to sit away from the kitchen door because it keeps opening and closing!

Who Hangs Out

The crowd is a complete mix of friends, families and colleagues.

What’s the Cool

It’s a bit cold so its advisable to carry a stole/ cardigan.

Will I ever return?

Yes, sometime in the near future!

Zaffran, Malad West, Mumbai

Where

Inside the famous and gigantic Infinity Mall. See Google Map!

First Impression

We had to wait outside the restaurant for about 5 minutes to be seated (we had not made a reservation) and when we did go in, they were first giving us a very noisy table in the middle of the restaurant, when there were quite a few tables empty in the first section of the restaurant!   Only upon our insistence did they give us that table.

The Ambience

The restaurant was very crowded, even though it was a Friday afternoon. (this was probably because it was the day after Diwali)

The server who served us was quite pre occupied and seemed like he wasn’t interested in his job.

What I Ordered

We ordered a Paneer Tikka Masala, Dal Makhani and a Cheese Naan.

The food did take quite a while to come but when it did, it was fabulous. Zaffran is one of the best Indian restaurants in the city!

Who Hangs Out

The main crowd that hangs out in this restaurant mainly consists of large groups of families and people who are working and have come for business meetings.

What’s the Cool

The temperature was quite a problem at this restaurant. It was very very warm and when we asked them to turn up the air conditioning to make it cooler, they said it wasn’t in their hands as the air conditioner is connected to the main air conditioner the mall, so they can’t modify the temperature.

The Extras

A word of caution – The finger bowl that they give us at the end was piping hot! So just be careful before putting your fingers in!

Will I ever return?

Not anytime soon.

By The Mekong, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Where

Inside the magnificent and glorious St. Regis Hotel! See Google Map!

First Impression

Since it’s on a high floor, upon entering you are immediately drawn to the illuminated and sublime skyline of Mumbai through their all-glass ceilings.

The lighting is dim, which sets the mood just right.

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The Ambience

When entered at about 8:30 pm there was barely anyone at the restaurant but it started to fill up as the night progressed.

The music in the restaurant was very loud so we had to ask them twice to turn it down a bit. The music was also very vague and didn’t suit the theme or ambience of the restaurant.

What I Ordered

Since this was our first time at this restaurant, we asked our server for suggestions and he guided us very well. His recommendations were excellent and the food was delicious.

The People

The crowd usually consists of small and large families!

Where I Sit

If possible, I always try to sit on a table by the window, just to admire the beauty of the skyline of Mumbai.

What’s the Cool

The temperature was quite a bit of a concern at this restaurant.

It was very warm. And even though we told them this, they insisted that it was 22 degrees, by showing it to us on their portable thermostat. Only later did we come to know that it was actually 25 degrees and whatever the temperature actually is, the thermostat will always show a fixed reading (i.e. 22 degrees)!

Will I ever return?

Not anytime in the near future.

Woodside Inn, Colaba, Mumbai

Where

Inside a quiet lane of Colaba. See Google Map!

First Impression

This is the first time I had been here but I had got rave reviews about this place from my friends.

Upon walking in, the lower section of the restaurant was completely closed off and we were guided to the upper section that was very tiny. There are probably 4 tables to sit.

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The Ambience

We went in for a late lunch at about 3 PM, so it wasn’t packed, however, later on it did get full.

Because of its size, it gives a very cozy and quiet feeling, which is something don’t find very often.

What I Ordered

We ordered potato skins, tomato and basil bruschetta, garlic mozzarella bread and a margarita and wild mushroom pizza.

All the food was quite delicious and it came quite quickly.

The People

From what I saw, the people who usually come here are generally people who are working and have come for business meetings.

What’s the Cool

The temperature is perfect, its neither too warm nor too cold.

Will I ever return?

Yes, I will go back here whenever I get the chance.

China Garden, Kemps Corner, Mumbai

Where

Inside the famous Om Chambers building. See Google Map!

First Impression

China Garden is always been my go to restaurant for something which is close to home and for a quick delicious Chinese meal!

What I Ordered

The best part about china Garden is the food, especially the starters. When I usually go I fill up on starters as my main course. We usually order double portions of Kung Pao Potatoes, Chilly Paneer in Black Bean Sauce and the Spring rolls. These starters are exceptionally delicious and have the potential of filling you up completely!

For the main course they do half portions of their food, which is something that I think is clever and convenient!

The Ambience

Even though it was a Monday night, the place was packed and full up with people! It’s very advisable to always make a reservation before going.

The People

The crowd usually consists of large groups of families and friends!

What’s the Cool

It’s quite cool, so its advisable to carry a cardigan or stole.

The Extras

The best part of the restaurant is at the end of the meal, while exiting the restaurant, is to rub the Buddha’s belly for good luck! It’s situated right at the entrance of the restaurant.

Will I ever return?

Yes, I will go back sometime soon.

Di Bella, Peddar Road, Mumbai

Where

Inside the famous Vama Shopping Centre, on the main street of Peddar Road. See Google Map!

First Impression

This is a fairly new place that’s opened and from all the times I’ve been here, its always been extremely crowded. This restaurant is extremely famous for the chocolate coated waffles.

What I Ordered

We ordered the Chocolate Explosion Waffle, since everyone has been raving about it so much, but personally, I didn’t like it as much and I think its over hyped up. I’ve had better waffles in the city.

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The Ambience

The restaurant is tremendously short staffed. They barely have servers serving the restaurant even though it is always full up. This was evident when we asked for water when we entered and upon reminding them 5 times we still didn’t get it! We had to literally get up and tell the servers to get us water.

What was the worst part was, the second we finished our waffles, we were told to leave! I thought this was extremely rude and impolite.

Where I Sit

We were promised a table if we waited for 30 minutes, and after waiting for 30 minutes, when we went back inside to ask them how much longer, we discovered that there were tables free!

They just simply forgot to tell us because they are so short staffed.

Who Hangs Out

The people usually consist of groups of families, friends and predominantly teenagers.

What’s the Cool

It’s a perfect temperature, not too warm but not too cool.

Will I ever return?

No, I will never go back here.

Byblos Bar and Kitchen, Lower Parel,Mumbai

Where

Under Phoenix Mills, next to all the car service centers. The location of this place is very repulsing since its underground. See Google Map!

First Impression

The door to the restaurant is not clearly visible to the eye, since it merges with the exterior walls, so it took us 5 minutes to figure out how to get inside.

The second we walked in, there was a horrendous smell throughout the restaurant, it was extremely repelling. And 3/4th of the lights were shut off since there was barely anyone who was in the restaurant, so it was extremely dark.

The Ambience

The ambience was very dull, the servers seemed as if they weren’t interested and the restaurant was extremely dim.

The People

There were just 2 tables occupied (including ours) on a Saturday night. And they appeared to be extremely short staffed, since there were only 2 servers in the whole restaurant.

What I Ordered

Since this was our first time in the restaurant, we asked the waiters what were their specialties or what he recommends, to which he looked at us puzzled and didn’t have an answer.

We then decided to order, the Mezze Platter, Penne Arabiatta and French fries!

Our French fries came first and when we tried them, they were rock solid like stones. The other food took ages to come even though the restaurant was practically empty! And when it finally did, we were very unhappy with the food.

What’s the Cool

It was quite warm so we had to ask them to increase the air conditioning.

Will I ever return?

Never ever will I go back here again.

Indigo Deli, Colaba, Mumbai

Where

Tucked away in one of the streets of Colaba. See Google Map!

First Impression

Indigo is always my go-to place for a quick and yum bite! It has an atmosphere that’s almost like a small European café.

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The People

Even though it was a Saturday night the place wasn’t as packed as it usually is! (This was probably because it was the Diwali weekend). Otherwise this place is bustling with people.

What I Ordered

I usually order a margarita pizza, which for the last 2 times has been really bitter but this time it wasn’t, since I pointed it out to our server! However, the real reason I go here is for the chocolate chip cookies! These are probably the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life.

Also, as a side dish, French fries with mustard is a good option, since the mustard they have is beyond delicious.

Where I Sit

In the Colaba outlet, the upstairs seating area is very claustrophobic and small, so when making a reservation always request to be seated down. But from my experience, you’re lucky if they actually give you a place downstairs because they rarely do!

Who Hangs Out

This place is usually filled with all kinds of people, friends, families and even tourists (since its located very close to Gateway of India).

What’s the Cool

Its usually pretty cool so it’s advisable to carry a stole/cardigan.

Will I ever return?

Yes, sometime in the near future.

The Rolling Pin, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Where 

Bang opposite the Palladium mall, on the busy streets of Lower Parel!

First Impression

The second you enter; the air is filled with the sweet smell of baking cupcakes, crisping croissants, and the lovely aroma of a fresh bakery early in the morning.

It’s extremely open and upon entering feels like one of those small cafes abroad because of the smell.

The People

The manager was by far the worst I have ever come across in my entire life.

He was extremely unpleasant and was oblivious to his surrounding. I asked him to get us a portion of French fries and he said they didn’t have any, to which I asked whether they had hash browns (since it was breakfast time, this is usually the alternative to French fries in many restaurants) but he had no clue to what hash browns even were! And then made an impudent and rude remark saying that maybe we could go to a 5 star and get them since normal restaurants don’t know or serve hash browns.

And later to our dismay, 2 minutes later, the table in front of us got a portion of French fries! He then justified that by saying you can only get French fries when you order a certain dish (which he should have told us at the beginning).

When we asked him what types of marmalade or jam he had to go with our toast, he said he had run out of stock and could give us butter! Which was quite surprising since we saw a variety of jams and marmalade for sale upon entering the restaurant. He then said that we would have to buy a bottle of jam/marmalade separately, if we wanted.

What I Ordered

The breakfast menu is quite limited for a restaurant, which is predominantly a breakfast place.

I ordered a portion of plain pancakes, waffles and toast with marmalade.

The food was exceptional!

Where I Sit

They don’t take reservations for breakfast but we sat on the high common table because that was the only one available.

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Who Hangs Out

The crowd usually includes a mix of friends and families!

What’s the Cool

The temperature was a bit cold!

Will I ever return?

Never ever will I go back to this place.