What Mumbai Food Bloggers Do & How To Get the Best Food in Mumbai?

We’re Talking About: Mumbai Food Bloggers take their food very seriously. With so many links, tweets and blogs it is hard to find what they can do for you. This is a list of cuisines they teach, the food they cater and other food assistance they provide.

I’m a Mumbai & Pune (I shuttle almost everyday) based food writer and I have been really confused about what my blogger friends teach, cater and write about. So this is to help you and me search for the right person for the food service we’re looking for. I’m going to refer to many of these bloggers by their twitter handle cause it is just easier to identify them that way. I’m sure I have missed a few, like I said it is not easy to remember, but if you want to add to this information about someone who isn’t mentioned then you are welcome to write to me about it.

 

Cuisine Queens

@Saeek (Saee Khandekar)

Writes on www.myjhola.in

I like to read Saee’s blog for her traditional Maharashtrian and Goan recipes. Known to put up easy to follow recipe videos. The popular Goan sweet Bebinca and the trick that goes into making it to home-style Maharashtrian rice preparation Masale Bhaat. Saee is also known in blogging community for her great baking and lovely breads. I hear her Ciabatta is to die for!

She conducts Baking and other Classes at the APB Cook Studio.

@BawiBride (Perzen Patel)

Writes on www.bawibride.com

She is the Parsi Cuisine queen in Mumbai. Perzen takes weekend orders for delicious Parsi dishes as well as dips and desserts. You might have to hop down to pick it unless you choose to have MyPeon pick it up for you at an added cost.

Perzen also teaches some Parsi Cooking at Studio Fifteen where you can learn Dhansak to Lagan no Custard from her.

Kalpana Talpade

Videos on Kalpana Talpade on Youtube.com

Look her up on Youtube as she teaches some rare and simple Pathare Prabhu recipes here. Pathare Prabhu is among the earliest Mumbai settlers, their cuisine is very simple yet unique. You might have heard of Sarnagya Che Bhuzne which is a simple yet delicious Pomfret recipe by the Pathare Prabhus. Here you can learn how to make green prawn curry, bhuzne and pathare prabhu sambhar masala.

Anjali Koli

Writes on http://annaparabrahma.blogspot.in

If you wish to buy Koli Masala and learn about Koli Cuisine or seafood recipes from someone from the original fisherfolk community, then go to Anjali Koli’s blog. She has some great lobster recipes, cooking Bombay duck and some never-heard-of dessert recipes that you will love.

@meg_deo (Megha Deokule)

Writes at www.gourmettable.in

www.i2cook.com

Want to order some traditional Coorgi Pork, Pandi Curry or tasty cookies for your home? Then here is whom you go to. Megha is organic food activist, bakes, writes and brings us recipes and dishes from Coorg.

Megha Deokule’s Online Pop-Up Store

Megha features a variety of items on her online pop-up store and you can follow her to know what’s on the menu. Depending on what is featured this week you can order her Coorgi dishes, cookies and cakes. You can also get in touch with her to find where to get your organic food supplies.

Bake! Bake! Bake!

There are many Food Bloggers who also bake. Saee Khandekar, Shaheen Peerbhai, Deeba Rajpal, Pojaa Dhingra (duhh-uhh), but here is a few home-bakers I know that take baking orders for cakes, cookies and as such.

@CaramelWings (Ahsrita aka Papple)

Writes on www.caramelwings.in

Ashrita, the Pilot also takes some cooking workshops in Mumbai and in Delhi, where she teaches contemporary and creative recipes.

@ScrollsnInk (Reema Prasanna)

Writes on www.sumthinzcooking.blogspot.in

Reema also conducts baking classes and writes about healthy cooking, restaurant reviews, experiments with food and contributes articles to Mumbai Boss. She occasionally also takes baking orders for cakes and as such.

@TheDessertCart1 (ShradhaAgarwalla)

Find her on Facebook @TheDessertCart1 for gorgeous cakes and cupcakes. You can order and she also conducts baking classes. Her cake decorations are pretty as a picture, especially great for children’s birthday parties.

Dips, Spreads & Jams

Life Ki Recipe (Amrita Rana)

Writes on www.lifekirecipe.com

She is the Bacon Jam girl. This girl cooks with bacon, and also makes some great dips, spreads etc for orders. You can order her bacon jam or some lovely dips for your parties or small gatherings. Amrita also teaches how to make dips and cook with bacon at Studio fifteen. You might also spot Amrita featuring her goodies at Bombay Local and other food stalls in events and fairs around Mumbai.

@Shivzi (Shivani Tolia)

Writes on www.shivanitolia.wordpress.com

We know her as the Yellow Butterfly.

We know Shivani for her sandwiches, dips and Mexican cooking. Shivani takes orders for her dips and spreads and takes sandwich and dips classes at Studio Fifteen. She too features her food in stalls during events and fairs in Mumbai. In fact you may even spot her with Amrita as they feature some goodies together is certain events.

Party Chef for Gourmet Catering

@little_chefB (Bhakti Mehta)

Writes on www.littlefoodco.com

I recently heard a lot about the Mexican delicacies Bhakti dished out at a dinner she hosted. You can get in touch with her for Gourmet Catering in your home, when you’re hosting a big group or a small event. Bhakti also teaches how to dish out party food and host a great party at Studio Fifteen. They offer World cuisines including Italian, Mexican, Asian menus, you can visit the website and order as you like.

Health Food

 

@Miss-i-sippy (the girl behind Missisippy)

Find her on www.missisippy.com

You might have seen the variety of Muesli, snack bars and other healthy items for the fitness conscious. These products by Missisipy are available on the Big Basket and few other online grocery stores in Mumbai. For health tips you must follow her and try some yumm health food.

Vegan Chef – Harini Prakash

Writes at www.tongueticklers.com

If you are looking for vegan recipes, gluten-free food and other diet restrictions related food, then Harini will help you with what to get, where to get and how to cook it.

Health Cooking ClassesKhusboo Thadani of KWeigh teaches at Studio Fifteen.

Writes on www.kthadani.com

 

Home Kitchen Coaching

 

Anisha Bangera

Writes on www.thoughtsonaplate.wordpress.com

If you are new to the kitchen but enthusiastic about setting it up, what to cook and where to buy, then Anisha can coach you for delicious cooking in your own home. She will assist you in buying food and then teach you to prepare it.

For Men Who Would Like to Learn Cooking

If you want to learn how to cook like a man, sorry, that didn’t come out right, let’s try it again. Men, who love food but don’t know how to cook, can learn the art of dishing out some delicacies in a cookery class from men who love food. Don’t worry if you’re an amateur cook, these guys know where you’re coming from and they will be able to help you out. I’d send my man to a class like this! It is sure to teach him a thing or two about impressing his ladylove and filling his stomach on Sundays.

Nikhil Merchant

Writes at www.nonchalantgourmand.com

Teaches at Studio Fifteen

Shekhar Ghidiyal

Teaches at APB Cook Studio

 

Cocktails

Entertaining guests and love hosting parties at home? Why not learn some creative cocktails to better the weekends!

Nikhil Merchant teaches at Studio Fifteen

Photography

Deeba Rajpal is a food stylist and photographer who is also passionate about baking.

She write on www.passionateaboutbaking.com

Joy Manavath, you may know him as the @theliteratefool on twitter

Is professional photographer who teaches how to photograph food in Studio Fifteen.

Salonee (@Beach_Bom), is a food blogger who takes great pictures or you may know her as a photographer who write about food and travel. She is also a fitness trainer. She writes for Mumbai Mag.

She writes at www.bellyfirst.wordpress.com

Food Stalls

If you want to put up food stalls in an event or organize a food fair, then you should get in touch with Insia Lacewala (@1ns1a) from the Small Fry Co.

Contact them on www.smallfryco.com

Print Journalists

Prachi Joshi (@DelishDirection)

She is a travel, food and lifestyle contributor for burrp, National Geographic and other travel publications.

Rushina Ghidiyal (RushinaMG) Contributes articles in HT Café.

Roshni Bajaj (@RoshniBajaj) Food Critic for HT, contributing editor for Vogue, India and a Mumbai Boss Columnist.

Shakti Salgaonkar (@shaaqT) is freelance writer, was earlier writing for DNA. The author of Imperfect Mr.Right and she continues to write about food.

Cooking Studios

 

APB Cook Studio

Rushina Ghidiyal’s APB Cook Studio holds cooking classes, caters corporate events, holds corporate classes, cooking competitions and festivals. You can also buy gourmet food items, variety of teas and as such from their well-stocked pantry. This is where you can also buy the famed and much talked about foodles by Rushina.

Studio Fifteen

Is hosting so many different cooking classes. I think I must’ve mentioned them at least thrice by now, talking about some of our favourite food bloggers. The have bloggers teaching different cuisines, home-cooking techniques and even Chefs like Nachiket Shetye and Gresham Fernandes teaching the technical of cooking.

Meet some more Mumbai Foodies

These are some Mumbai food bloggers you ought to follow for info and also cause they are fun and interesting.

Charis B (@CulinaryStorm) for her friendly manner also some tried and tested recipes.

Adarsh Munjal (@theBigbhookad) to know where to find bugs in your food, some sarcasm and hardcore food criticism.

Abhishek Deshpande (@Desh) for very interesting food and travel stories, very descriptive writing literally takes you to the place with him.

Madhumita (@SassyFork) I love reading her experiences in all the food festivals she has been to, and continues to visit and write about. She brings Indian food back to our home and shares so much we don’t know.

Kalyan Kamarkar of finelychopped, Shaheen Peerbhai of The Purple Foodie and Rushina Ghidiyal are among Mumbai’s favourite food bloggers who each have their own interesting style of writing and we love reading about their food and travel experiences. While Kalyan’s stories are about food and the people around food, Rushina likes to share recipes, and has a very conversational and friendly style and Shaheen’s expertise from Le Cordon Bleu sets her apart in reader’s eyes.

As for me, I do this! After training as a Chef and working in Industrial kitchens I went to Nottingham, where I studied Broadcast Journalism and ate lots of steak, fish n chips and duck confit. While I was there I also shot a few food features like Chicken Tikka Masala Conquers Britain, where Food experts like Michelin starred Chef Atul Kochhar, British Food Expert Glynn Christian and TV Chef Manju Malhi contributed their expert insight about Indian food in United Kingdom. Since then I’ve been working for Food Television in India, and most recently Masterchef India. The food scene in India has changed so much over the past decade; it is hard to ignore the number of people that are contributing to increasing food awareness in our metros.

For me the biggest credit goes to popular television shows like Masterchef Australia, Masterchef India, food channels and shows TLC and NDTV Goodtimes. TV has brought about awareness about world cuisine, and the world food market is now greatly contributing to our routine diet. I’ve read about all that is happening around and about food in Mumbai, and I believe that this list will help us find the right food people. If you come across someone new and interesting on the block, do let me know so I can add him or her in.

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Perks & Miseries of Being a Food Blogger; Vetro, The Oberoi Event

What’s it About: Passionate Mumbai diners take it upon themselves to help you find the best places to eat.  The fun part is that we are frequently invited by restaurants for reviews. We, Mumbai food bloggers experience the best and the worst of the food world thanks to PR agencies. Here is an account of one such experience and a brief low-down of some disastrous ones.

 

Mumbaikars love eating Pav Bhaji from a stall in Juhu that serves us diligently in the car, and don’t mind driving miles for Baghdadi’s massive and intimidating, giant Frisbee-like rotis dunked in chicken curry, and will pay the price for good food in those proud Hotels studded along the Mumbai coastline, sparkling in the city. I ate at two such sparkles of the city this week, and one of them was in Vetro at The Oberoi. (You can read about the other one here).

 

I love that feeling, when you enter a good luxury hotel, it makes you feel like a Queen (or a King) entering her palace. When tall darbaans with big moustaches push open the shiny glass doors, as you walk into the long corridors adorned with fresh flowers and through a spacious and elegantly furnished lobby where so many important people have walked, the feeling just perks you up. You don’t get this feeling in every luxury hotel, while some hotels take this experience for granted, others know how important and difficult it is to make a person feel special. The art of creating an experience began even before I entered the restaurant that we were to dine in. Every security guard wished me ‘Namaste!’, every staff member was gracious and directed me with a smile. Little things like this tell you, these people care.

 

As I entered the well lit, spacious restaurant I was greeted by the hostess and comfortably seated at my table, where I met the lady who had organized this #SMWBloggersLunch . When I say it was a bloggers’ lunch oftentimes it is taken for granted that the food, service and overall experience would have been great. I wish that was the case, but it’s so not true. Although many restaurants have managed to create a good experience and even made many of us loyal patrons, there are others that have (pardon my language) ‘screwed up big time’. If the food is bad, you cannot repair the experience, even at an organized event. If the service staff isn’t well trained, then the PR agency is rarely able to cover their faults. We, Mumbai Food Bloggers have eaten saltless, tasteless, chewy food, burnt food and there has also been an event where there was nearly no food for vegetarians at all!! This often happens in restaurants that are trying to repair a bad reputation by organising a bloggers’ event. So, don’t be deceived by this term ‘Bloggers’ Lunch’ because for every 5 bad meals, there comes a much deserved food experience like the one that follows.

I have stopped taking for granted that high priced meals in luxury hotels equals to great service and good food. Mumbai bloggers’ as a group have criticized and (pardon my language) bitched about a buffet organized by a reputed 5 Star Hotel chain during a Bloggers’ event. Watery curries and dried out and overcooked meat, is a thing well known to us even when eating at an event that is tailor made for appreciation. Just two days ago, I dined at another town-based luxury hotel and the food there was short of ordinary. So,  my expectations from Vetro at The Oberoi Mumbai were more grounded than you would expect.

 

About the Wines

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One thing that caught my sight at once in the Vetro menu was that they offer 1200 Italian wines. I saw the wine cellar and asked the gentleman giving us the tour, ‘It doesn’t seem like 1200 wines would fit in here’. He informed me that they store about 120 or so wines in the cellar, and the variety includes Indian, Italian, French, Spanish and even some American wines. The cheapest wines available in Vetro is Sula Brut which is close to 3000 rupees as on date, even so, the acidic aperitif Italian wine we tasted, Danzante was available in the same price range. On the other hand the 2004 Vintage wine Chevil Blanc was priced at a whooping one lakh thirty thousand, as on date. One thing that I did not know about Vintage Wines was that it is not necessary that the older the wine, the better, but particular batches from good wine years may be better than an older wine. For instance, a 2002 wine may be older but the 2004 Vintage wine batch is better, because it was a good wine year. After an hour and a half discussion about wines, and sampling some of their wines we moved on to the food.

 

Menu

 

Expat Chef Alexandro Stephoni, who has revised the Vetro menu could not meet us since he is currently in Italy. Instead Sous Chef Prashant took us through the menu that includes some classics such as tomato and mozzarella salad and minestrone and some unconventional options like vegetable terrine, chicken pie (not a regular pastry pie) and a baked onion stuffed with smoked aubergine. Just for reference, an average 3-course meal here would cost around Rs.3000 or above as on date. (Price-range mentioned in this article is specific to the date and subject to change).

 

Food

 

The peco rino and cauliflower dip was a breath of fresh air, along with the garlicky tomato and basil dip we all love, which was served with ciabata that was slightly dry.  What I really enjoyed was the salty parma ham with a fruity Spanish white wine called Milmanda. While the vegetarian terrine concept was interesting, if I were a vegetarian or egg-itarian I would most likely opt for a Minestrone or the 2 cheese fonduta soup with black truffle cream and soft poached eggs. The pork belly appetizer was moist, succulent, tender and honey brushed, everything you wish for in a pork belly. It was made with love and glazed with perfection. The seafood salad was sent from heaven, so fresh, it seemed as though the squids had jumped right into my plate from the sea. Served with garlic cream, the calamari, the prawn, the scallops were so perfectly tender, it was a second before they just disappeared in my mouth. Beautiful, beautiful texture!

 

Then came the pasta course, we sampled three of the pastas. The freshly made parmesan ravioli with celery cream and black truffle sauce, the Risotto with ‘nduja’ of Tuna, which was a raw tuna tartare steak with seafood risotto and the Lobster Tagliatelle. I would definitely go back to Vetro for the Tuna Risotto and the Parmesan Ravioli. The risotto in mascaporne cheese sauce was freshly simmered in a seafood stock and every grain was beautifully creamy, while the fennel and spices of the tuna steak were cutting the creaminess and bringing the dish together. The ravioli was freshly made and stuffed with cheese, served with black truffle cream, need I say more? Surprisingly, the tagliatelle, which has a spicy kick, is designed for the Indian palate but didn’t quite blow away my senses.

 

After the great appetisers and pasta course, the main course was a bit of a let down. We were pretty impressed and were waiting to be amazed by the pork and interestingly constructed chicken pie in Peroni beer sauce that is cooked in sous vide (modern vacuum cooking). While the pastry-less, leg and breast chicken pie was a little tough and dry, the flash cooked pork wasn’t flashy after all; although I did enjoy the lemon mash that came with it. In my like-it-or-not honest fashion, I promptly told Chef Prashant about the problem areas, the Ciabatta and the chicken pie. He seemed to take it pretty well.

 

If the French thought that gateaus and cakes are all about butter, the Itaians have proved them wrong with their Extra Virgin Olive Oil Chocolate cake with macerated orange flesh. This is a great find in the world of light desserts and cake lovers. It crumbled so well, and the freshness and flavor of the orange was unique, light and refreshing. Marvelous Olive Oil Chocolate Cake! The other desserts being mango panacotta, blueberry ice-cream (made in house) and tiramisu (mentioned in order of yumminess) were gorgeously delicious and hit the right spots but the Olive Oil Chocolate cake won it for me.

 

We felt pampered with great food, attentive service topped by a detailed conversation about the food and wines in Vetro is every foodie’s dream experience. It was mesmerizing to listen to Mr. Mohan talk about wines, his hair has greyed serving and learning about wines, he had so much valuable information to share with us, about drinking, making and even grading wines. I have worked in 5 Star properties and luxury hotels myself, but it is not often that you see such passion for work. Blogger or no blogger, food here is worth sampling, just for the love of food. I for one would definitely go back for the pork belly appetizer, the risotto and the Olive Oil Chocolate cake.

What Mumbai Food Bloggers Want

 

As Mumbai bloggers scout the city and continue the search for good food in every nook and corner of Mumbai, I believe every voice counts. While I enjoy the Reema’s humour in food criticism, Adarsh’s definite and brutally honest style cannot be missed, surprisingly he also happens to be one who finds bugs in food and tells us about it! Ashrita of caramel wings has a more casual and friendly style of writing while desh’s detailed food experiences can deeply involve you. As for me, I tend to empathize more having worked in Hotel kitchens and dealt with the challenges in an industrial kitchen. Having said that, while Mumbai bloggers do have a strong point of view and are not easy to impress, most of them have very good knowledge of their food, ingredients and even wines. What restaurants are yet to realize is that unlike a decade ago, diners are familiar with their wines, truffles and can even tell the difference between Parmesan and a Grana Padano. It is not only interesting to read the different, yet similar points of view of Mumbai diners, it is also a great way to track trends and preferences in the city’s dining patterns.

 

If you wish to read different points of view on this Bloggers’ Lunch, you can do so on Gaurav Jain and Jyotika’s Follow My Recipe blog.