I have never shied from from eating creepy crawlies, my firm belief that insects are an incredible source of nutrition and probably the only form of protein for many parts of the world. Its our developed, urban world that has lost touch with such a unique source of nutrition. I was glad to encounter the silk worms again.Read More
I fell in love over crepes many lifetimes ago. I had a
poulet au curry
(chicken curry) served with a mango chutney and he had a
followed by dessert crepe of nutella and bananas cooked in rum. It was at one of my favourite restaurants in Chicago called
. It was really my first experience with this delightful dosa-like French everyday wholesome goodness. That was many years ago.
I did not think I would find a crepe place so good in Mumbai. My friend Ashraf raved about its hot chocolate and is almost at
everyday (lucky bum lives practically next door). A site visit to Nariman Point led me to finally try the crepes at Suzette. Its located right behind the NCPA. The tiny space was elegant, raw, minimal and earthy. The table mats were brown papers with a stylized line drawing of the Paris skyline (of course with the Eiffel Tower). Simple tall glasses and glass bottles to serve water added to the quaintness of this lovely little cafe. A bookshelf, a row with benches, a few tables with chairs and bar seating at the counter
all gave the space the look of a typical Parisian cafe, warm and welcoming and a place you could spend hours at.
A blackboard menu with all the daily specials handwritten.
I chatted with the owners Antonia and Jereme about their restaurant. They told me about the hurdles of opening a French restaurant in Mumbai, learning Hindi to get their supplies from their vendors & most of all introducing the traditional Brittany crepes to Mumbaikars. Their menu though mostly crepes- sweet and savory, also has salads and an array of fresh fruit juices and smoothies (spelt as
- as one would say in the French accent), teas, coffee and of course the hot chocolates.
I ordered a salad of the day which was by far one of the best fresh salads I have ever had in Mumbai. Lettuce, beans, bacon and a balsamic vinaigrette which was in the perfect amount coating the salad making the lettuce leaves flavorful and not soggy (hate soggy salad).
Antonia recommended a lovely combination for the crepe- goat cheese, chicken, caramelized onions (OMG I love) and a drizzle of honey. Too sweet- nope it was just right. The saltiness of the chicken and goat cheese was the perfect balance with the onions and honey. The crepe itself was crispy and not stretchy like other crepes I have had. I really enjoyed its texture with the creamy goat cheese.
And finally the hot chocolate- you would think thicker the better. Well take a sip and then think again. It was not thick, it was just right, flavorful from the depths of the dark chocolate ocean. One sip and I knew I will crave this every time I need a chocolate miracle.
On my second viist (
I went back again), I met the third owner another French gentleman by the name of Pierre. He told me they use buckwheat flour which is traditional to the Brittany crepes.
I could not quite get the recipe of the crepe batter out of him but I did find one
in case you are interested.
Crepe filling is like playing with flavours and textures- spinach, tomatoes and feta; goat
cheese and apples; ham and egg; chicken and mushrooms in a white sauce. The possibilities are endless. Or check out
for more inspiration
2 hours, 05 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Whisk all the ingredients vigorously until the crepe batter is completely smooth; allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours before making into crepes. Melt a little butter in a crepe pan or large skillet over low-medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl until the bottom of the pan is covered with batter.
Cook the crepe for 1 minute, or until the crepe is slightly moist on top and golden underneath. Loosen the edges of the crepe, slide the spatula under it, and then gently flip it upside down into the pan. Cook for 1 minute and transfer the cooked crepe to a plate to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
My friend Mona sent me this video from when she lived in Germany. This crepe maker is making a banana, nutella cream crepe. It looks absolutely delicious. Danke Mona.
It was a Friday- I was at site in Bandra and done with work early. Somehow going home felt like it would be a let down so I decided to call a few folks and see what they were doing. The first person I got through was Natasha who said she was in the changing room at some fancy wancy place in Paladium with her mum. The next person I got through was a buddy of mine from college Zameer who runs a beautiful design shop called The Busride housed in the incredible Ranwar Village in bandra. The Studio is a small two room house in the 1st floor of one of those gorgeous old Goan homes in the village. Some of the work these guys do is outstanding. Beautiful sites, great briefs and a whole lot of fun. My other friend from college Ipsit also works with Zameer. They had an intern Maulik and it was decided we will all go out for dinner. Soul Fry was the destination everyone seemed to settle on.
An hour later, wrapping up the week's work, we all set out for Soul Fry. When in Bandra walking seems to be the way to do things. The streets are sprinkled with old beautiful homes that one can only dream of even entering. My mind always wanders in to a what if.. I had inherited one of those homes. We walked past the Bandra gym where cricket was being practiced. One fellow in there recognized Zameer and got chatting. His name was Calder Salazer. What an amazing old name. We said goodbye to Calder and marched towards Pali Hill past a streetside chaat wala called Ranjeet. Zameer told us this guy was legendary even the Bollywood Khans ate at his Paani puri. The fact it was called Ranjeet cracked us up (a long lost dearest common friend). A plate of Pani Puri and Bhel Puri it was. As we ate these nice crispy balls stuffed with warm potatoes topped with spicy water, someone came up from behind me and closed my eyes. It was Natasha. We invited her to join us but she declined. So we walked further up Pali Hill to Soul Fry. Aah Soul Fry! Its probably not the best Goan food, because I dont think some nice old Goan aunty actually cooks in the kitchen but it is an honest attempt to make the food as delicious as possible. Seafood is their speciality.
We ordered prawns, clams (teesri dagdabeet) and fried surmai with pao and a pitcher of Beer. For the sweet intern boy it was the first time eating all this seafood and wine. After a bit Natasha messaged me that she is joining. We ordered up some more food and more beer. Soon the table was filled with insane laughter and crass jokes. The teesri- clams is my favourite. The sauce is slightly sweet, warm and rich. It is done in a typical Maharashtrian style which means no coconut only onions and masala. Would explain the sweetness. The fried Surmai was spicy but gentle which is what makes surmai so special.
After dinner it was decided that we must indulge and sin some more. Chocolate seemed the right way to go. San Churros was voted upon and we headed down the hill to this delightful little cafe on Waterfield Road. The place was almost full of Friday night post dinner revelers. It was very loud and mostly felt like people were on a chocolate high. We settled for some churros with white and dark chocolate and two sinful strawberry with brownies and chocolate and custard cup (cannot remember its name). Our very loud and talkative table got silent all of a sudden and in five minutes flat and finished all three desserts. The Churros are a deep fried Mexican treat, crispy on the outside ans slightly warm and gooey inside. Dipped in dark chocolate, they awaken the child inside you. The other dessert was a lovely combination of all the things you love in this world, brownie, strawberries, custard and chocolate. Cannot go wrong.
The conversation was fun border line inane and full of laughter. The food was delicious. The run -ins were unexpected and very delightful. Bandra makes a lovely setting for such Friday evenings. Could this be planned - I dont think so. We all wanted to attribute our evening to Ranjeet Pani Puri walla.
Promise for more such evenings are always made. Will they happen, we can only hope so.
|To the Busride|
|The three boys|
|At soul fry- the clams|
|Maulik and Ipsit|
|Clams all gone|
|Prawn curry and rice|
|The entrance of San Churros with a promise of the beyond.|
|The fondue plate|
|The energy of the people seated at the table behind us was wild.|
|The Churros and the strawberry brownie chocolate thingy|
"I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes.
Well love is all around me, and so the feeling grows..."
I am a big fan of Le15 Patisserie's macaroons. I have blogged about them before. I know she does not like to share the recipe of the macaroons. But she did not say no either when I asked her if I could photograph her making the heart shaped treats. Pooja Dhingra kindly let me into her kitchen and click her making her beautiful macaroon. So without the recipe a simple visual treat. Enjoy!
|Thank you for letting me photograph you Pooja,|
|I always leave her kitchen a bit guilty and thoroughly in love with her baking.|
So who do you have a crush on? Or what are you doing with your loved one today? Do leave me a comment with your story.
So I bet here is the story for this combination of objects:
As I wear these lovely red LL Bean woolen boots and nurse my sore ankle, I will read this book 'A Whole New Mind' by Daniel Pink and sip on a hot glass of mint tea. A whole new mind is about how the creative minded are now going to rule the world (Yes! There is hope for me!!).
So... since I last logged in - August 13th. A lot has happened. From being a newly single professional working my life away, I had to take a major break. I broke my leg in a bike fall (don't ask) had my foot in a cast, went through physical therapy and made the decision to quit a dead end job and follow my heart. Sounds exciting right. I hope so. So I wrapped up my life in Chicago and am currently couch surfing- Austin TX, New York NY, Hoboken NJ, Jersey City NJ, Alfred NY, Salt Lake City UT and maybe even home- India.
So what has this done for me - I have cooked a lot for all my gracious hosts and eaten at some fantastic cheap eateries that I am going to try to add to this series of posts.
Recap August 2009 to Jan 2010:
Walk to Indian Dunes- Vanessa's Birthday Nov 16th 2009
It was a slow, cold walk to Lake Michigan
We picnicked outdoor by the beach on this incredibly cold day. We shared squash soup and a sweet potato topped with Kurkure (yes Indian kurkure)
And after our long cold walk while we waited for the train in the warmth of the trainstation we had leftover chocolate bread and butter and hot tea from the thermos.
We came back from our long, cold walk and made a huge birthday dinner for 10 people. Vanessa backed this fantastic cake and I made fresh chicken curry from a chicken she bought at the Farmer's market at the Nature's Museum.
South Congress (SoCo) Austin, TX- Thanksgiving Nov 2009
Barton Springs, Austin TX- Thanksgiving Nov 2009
Drive to San Antonio- Rahul, Meg, Camilo and myself Christmas 2009
Mi Tierra - The Most Fantastic restaurant in San Antonio
San Antonio Riverwalk
Leaving Austin Jan 12th 2010