Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Country of Origin, Mumbai

Country of Origin,
69, Nepean Sea Road,
Manisha Building,
Malabar Hill
022 23642221

This dessert space has a lovely welcoming area and warm wooden ornate seating and some yummylicious dessert displays. Sadly, although most of their desserts are meant to be eaten warmed up, they don't even have a microwave on the premises of such a large space.

Then why the 4.5 rating you may ask? It's solely for their desserts which are to die for.

I visited with a foodie friend and we both left with large bags filled with goodies. She picked up a lot of lavash and breads and other stuff that needed to be consumed soon, I contented myself with a couple of their famous (from the Koffee with Karan hamper) Cakes in a Jar.

Absolutely loved the Intense chocolate brownie (75/-), which is a chocolate covered chocolate brownie.

They had some really cute liquid chocolate syringes (210/-) which are a  great fun idea for kids, however, this started melting aand leaking in the car before we even reached home, inspite of all its packaging. They have an espresso verion too for adults.

The hazelnut profiterole (95/-) was tasty, but since we ate in cold (we couldn't wait to get home) it wasn't as good as it would have been, if it had been slightly warmed up.

Their Fondants looked really exciting and they have plenty of eggless versions of their desserts too. They also have dips, that you can use as appetisers and they can customise gift hampers for you.

I also picked up some of the cakes in a jar - The haute chocolate hazelnut jar (750/-) is my favourite. The Red Velvet at 875/- I feel is completely over priced, it was just red velvet cake (which is anyhow just sponge with red coloring), with a layer of cream in between and some white chocolate shavings on top. The cream also tends to get sour much before the "consume before" date on the jar. So be aware. Also, the jars were very exciting for me, because of my obsessive collecting of glass jars, but the vaccum seals on these weren't very good quality, so while the jars are re-usable, if you need them to be air tight, you may have to replace the rubber seals.

Yes, Country of Origin is quite expensive, but most of their desserts are worth the occasional splurge, you just need to pick and choose wisely.

Also, I hope they soon introduce a microwave on premises, so that we - who cannot wait, can indulge ourselves on location.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Brown & Happy, Ahmedabad

Brown & Happy,
Shop No 3, Megha Garden House,
Opposite Kotak Mahindra Bank,
Mithakhali Six Roads,
(91)-(79)-30008495 +(91)-9879032758

Headed to Brown and Happy because I was craving chocolate and I'm so glad that I did. The interiors are all done up in shades of dark brown and beautiful quotes on chocolate adorn the wall. To top it all, the display counters are chock-a-block with yummy looking pastries and chocolates.

I picked up a box of the most yummy assorted truffles (27/- to 45/- per piece) and Brajesh and I have been slowly savouring each one of them (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee mousse, hazelnut praline, smooth coconut, lemon mousse, pista mousse, creme brulee and dark chocolate dessert) they are each so yum, its difficult to choose a favourite. But, I have to say that they are way better than Dangee Dums. (They have a lot of fruit flavoured truffle options too, that I didn't even bother with, but would be great for fruit lovers.)

 Minal Modi is passionate about her art and uses only the finest ingredients in her products. She uses genuine Belgian chocolate made from cocoa butter rather than Vegetable fat and you can taste the difference in each bite.

Everything was so pretty, I couldn't stop myself from taking pictures.

Their products are currently divided into 2 categories - chocolates & cakes and snacks & desserts. For snack, I tried the chocolate croissant (65/-) which I have to say is the best chocolate sandwich in Ahmedabad - its in a croissant, not slices of bread, but how does that matter? Big chunks of excellent quality chocolate, slightly warmed and on the verge of melting, in between a halved croissant. What's not to like? Its a heavenly experience, I can assure you.

Brown & Happy offers a product called the layered cake which is an upturned cupcake, sliced and with flavoured fillings between each layer. They have lots of different flavours on offer. The chocolate layer cake (45/-) was a vanilla cupcake which had layers of milk chocolate cream and was delicious.

To accompany my sweet chocolate indulgences, I requested a chocolate cold cocoa (89/-) which was a chocolate shake with bits of grated chocolate decorated with a chocolate syrup lattice. My only discordant note of the visit, was the big chunk of ice that I found in my cold chocolate, which was otherwise perfect.

Minal, said that they were in the process of updating their menu and 2nd May would see the launch of the new menu. She also said that decorative cakes were their specialty.

Brown & Happy, serves savoury snacks too (its not just about the chocolate) - paneer croissants, pasta, subs, pizzas and fries.

I however, am definitely going back for more chocolate :)

Rating : 4 / 5

Monday, May 05, 2014

Shri Manmohan Kharek Centre, Ahmedabad

Shri Manmohan Kharek Centre
Opposite Navrangpura Bus Stop
Swastik Crossroads
In the lane beside Jalaram

Last week, I was looking for the best place in town to buy Kharek for a friend in Bombay, who had requested this Ahmdavadi specialty.

Kharek is a digestive made from dates, mostly on the sweeter side.

Since this is not something that we eat at our house, I quickly asked a couple of foodie friends for recommendations and Manmohan Kharek was one of the most popular recommendations. (the others were :
- mukhwaswala in a lane opposite Manek Chowk entry
- Kali topi lambi mooch near football ground, kankaria
- Mama Mukhwaas. Rani no hajiro. alpha one.
- Kwality kharek at law garden next to the chiti chiti bang bang

These have all been left for exploration for another day.

I did pick up the kharek from Manmohan Kharek centre and my friend said it was some of the best that she had eaten, so there you go. 

They have 2 types of kharek - the open ones that are thinly rolled and the fatter ones wrapped in golden wrapping paper called Golden Kharek.

While I was at the store, I tried some of their masala amla, which was salty, sour and spicy, so I picked up a packet for myself and I have been happily chewing on these daily.

I also picked up a packet of hajma hajam powder. Supposedly, you just need to mix it with pepper, lime juice and water and drink it for digestion. I've not yet made it, but kept it in stock for one of those days when we throw caution to the winds and overeat, late in the evening. 

This shop sells a variety of digestives. they aren't cheap, but the quality seems to be worth it.

Rating : 4 / 5

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Malgudi Rasoi, Ahmedabad

Malgudi Rasoi,
G 1, Rajshree Arcade,
Besides Pachtirth Appartments,
Jodhpur Cross Road,
079 26928877, 079 40306177

Ordered a Home Delivery from Malgudi Rasoi today. They did not have their Kanchipuram idlis (55/-) in stock, so I ordered both the masala isli (55/-) and the masala fried idli (65/-) The masala fried idlis were excellent. On first bite, you couldn't even guess if it was pieces of bread, paneer or idli.

I ignored the vadas and fries on the menu (with great difficulty) and then ordered from the dosa and uttapam sections. The 5 different panchavaran uttapams (95/-) were very interesting. We identified them as tomato, onion, potato masala, beetroot and mix uttapams. Husband loved the potato masala and tomato versions, I loved the beetroot version (especially since it was a completely new combination for me)

The Madurai sandwich uttapam (95/-) was uttapam with a potato masala and mix of other toppings, which the husband quite enjoyed.

We also ordered a cheese corn dosa (85/-) which had just the right amount of cheese, nothing over the top and Indian sweet corn (not American) The karamura spicy masala dosa (90/-) was like a Mysore masala dosa with gun powdered sprinkled on the dosa rather than a red chutney). The malgudi rasoi special dosa (99/-) had regular masala and some dried fruits and chopped onions and tomatoes and some other stuff all mixed in. The dosas weren't bad, but the packing and transportation did not helptheir cause.

For home delivery, I would advise you to stick to the uttapams and idlis for best results. The dosas are probably best eaten hot on location.

The quantity of chutney and sambhar that came with our order was really huge. However the sambhar was neither sour nor spicy enough for us. Once I reboiled it with some tamarind water and green chillies, it was perfect.

To end on a sweet note, I asked for the kesari halwa/ sweet upma (50/-) which was brilliant - not too sweet, not at all oily, just right.

Rating : 3.5 / 5


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