Saturday, 6 June 2015 0 comments

Review: Mexifornia Festival at California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen, famous for their delectable California-style pizzas, is a brand in itself. My encounters with their Pizzas and innovatively themed limited time menus have left me gushing like a fan-girl for them time and time again. So, when this Summer and my craving for Mexican cuisine hit an all time high, coming across the ongoing "Mexifornia" Festival at California Pizza Kitchen certainly fired up my appetite and imagination.

Thus, the last week saw me heading to California Pizza Kitchen's Lower Parel outlet located in the Phoenix Mills Compound, Mumbai, to seize the opportunity and relish the Mexifornian delights before the time could snatch the chance away from me (Yes, Mexifornia Festival is on only till 21st June, so hurry and grab your bite!). To sum up my experience precisely; it is definitely something worth braving the sun for, in my book.

My 'Mexifornian' adventure kicked off with Mango Tango, an irresistible mocktail of Mango juice, Orange Juice, Passion Fruit Syrup and Lime Juice, followed by a massive serving of CPK Nachos made Californian style topped with a generous helping of Cheese Sauce, Jalapenos, fresh Tomatoes and Guacamole-Jalapeno Sauce. Honestly, in my opinion, the star of the CPK Nachos was the Guacamole-Jalapeno Sauce with its unique overtones of a spicy tang and velvety smoothness.

The Mango Tango

CPK Nachos

Next in line came the Corn & Jalapeno Empanada; filled with Sweet Corn, Jalapeno and Cheese, claiming to be baked till perfection, the Empanadas, as suggested by the server were consumed piping hot and I kid you not, it did not fail in captivating my senses! The crisp of the crust paired with the cheesy goodness of molten cheese, cut by the tang of Jalapenos in the nick of the time and sweetness of Sweet Corn was quite a treat to savor.

Corn & Jalapeno Empanada

By this time, I was done with Mango Tango and my inquisitiveness lead me into ordering Apple Jack, a concoction of Apple Juice, Lime Juice and Strawberry Puree. That, paired with Mexican Veggie Pizza, involving a thin crust flavored with Spicy Bean Sauce and topped with Onion, Peppers, Baby Corn and Jalapenos surely satiated my longing for Mexican flavors.

Mexican Veggie Pizza

The Apple Jack

After devouring the two Appetizers and the Pizza, washed down with the two Mocktails, I had no space left in my tummy for the Specialty Main Course and straight made a nose-dive for the Dessert which presented itself to me in the form of two options- the Mexican Caramel Banana Flan or the Trio Of Chocolate Mousse. I went with the latter and couldn't be more satisfied when an edible Dark Chocolate Cup filled with rich Chocolate Mousse flavored with three layers of Mexican White, Milk and Dark Chocolate, each possessing a hint of Coffee, was brought to the table.  

The Trio of Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cup!

The Trio Of Chocolate Mousse, in my opinion, is the most innovative dessert that California Pizza Kitchen has done till date, if not the best. It was abundantly luscious and not overtly sweet (something which one can easily go wrong with when everything is chocolate!), clearly a win-win. 

Overall, Mexifornia menu curated at California Pizza Kitchen is a must try. I wouldn't mind going in for an another round of Corn & Jalapeno Empanadas and to sample the Specialty Main Course. And my folks, if you dig Mexican Cuisine, this is something you should not give a miss. Cheers.
Tuesday, 2 June 2015 0 comments

A Piece of my Mind

It has been such a long time that I don't really remember the last time I wrote. And also, like every other time where I return after a long hiatus, I have lots to tell about; this time, right from the grueling exam period which sucked out every ounce of endurance inside me to the little day trip I took yesterday to Matheran requiring tremendous stamina levels (not that I am implying that mine are high). Well, this summer, to be precise, has been quite a ride. Still, it doesn't feel like it.

To be honest with you, I detest summer and the high levels of humidity it brings along with it. On top of that, the holidays granted bore me to the maximum possible extent. Of course, when one has the options of either staying in and watching the television all day or venturing out and getting assaulted by the searing heat, the boredom is inherent. I have a long list of pending to-dos and certain images in my mind which I am wanting to recreate on paper but this constant procrastination doesn't really help.

I am intently waiting for college to re-open yet at the same time, I want a few more days of idleness before the monotony sets in. As of now, there is one week to go for it and it just seems perfect. And this brings me to my point that isn't it strange that somehow things just fall in place; that somehow even if things go wrong for a while, ultimately you reach the right place at the right time; that somehow you reach where you want to, not the way you wanted to, but again it is just fine and everything feels alright.

Also, I have no idea from where all these deep thoughts, which in the first read make no sense, are coming from. So I shall close it for the day and get started with my copy of The Motorcycle Diaries. I am half-way through it and hoping I finish it by tomorrow. Till the next, take care. 
Saturday, 21 March 2015 0 comments

On My Playlist: Losing My Religion by R.E.M.

After a long hiatus, On My Playlist is back. It has been quite sometime since I last wrote about the songs playing in my head on a repeat mode or the artists that have swooned me off my feet (even the Phantom of The Opera post was a few months back!).

Currently, there are a few songs I have been listening to more often than to my all-time favorites. One of them is "Losing my Religion" by R.E.M., not the Rapid Eye Moment one, but the famous band from the 80s. I am pretty much sure now that I am growing up backwards in time; what else can explain my fascination and liking towards things from the 80s, 70s and now even from the 60s!

Talking about the band, I discovered them a few years back through my then new Nokia Lumia which came with this amazing free subscription for a year to Nokia Music store; I might have somehow chanced up "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by them and downloaded it.

Fast forward to these days, I was listening to "Everybody Hurts" by them (who else?) on Youtube and there was this song in the recommendation section whose title intrigued me instantly- "Losing My Religion". I clicked and rest, they say, is history. I am insanely hooked onto this song and might have (oh, who am I kidding, I definitely have) shared it with almost everyone I know (that's what this girl does when she likes something beyond limits).

Anyways, I won't be raving about the song here too now because it is for you to decide. So go ahead, give it a hear and form an opinion (and let me know of them in the comments below, if you wish). Till next, take care.
Monday, 9 March 2015 0 comments

Review: The Sizzle Festival at Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe is a name every foodie and music lover is acquaint with. Its warm and chic atmosphere studded with rock memorabilia throughout the space definitely elevates the dining experience for lovers of the namesake genre. So what would a foodie, who is also a metalhead, do when she gets the opportunity to pay a visit to this legendary restaurant and sample picks from their limited period offerings? Duh, grab it and never let it go!

Last week, Thursday to be precise, I headed to Hard Rock Cafe's outlet nestled beautifully in a Mill Complex located in Worli to try their sizzling spread up on offer as a part of their ongoing Sizzle Festival, which are on the menu till 22nd March across all its outlets. To describe the experience in a nutshell; worth the hype.

Bacardi Smoked Apple Pie (left), Smoked Bacardi Gold Sour (right).

The afternoon began on a high note with the sound of sizzle greeting me as soon as I stepped in the restaurant; that, paired with the aroma of the sizzlers, surely fired up my appetite for the forthcoming feast consisting of a fiery Grilled Paneer Tikka Sizzler and a delectable Lebanese Veg. Fajita Sizzler washed down with Bacardi Smoked Apple Pie and Smoked Bacardi Gold Sour (I had them virgin), two of the few specially concocted cocktails for this festival.

The Lebanese Veg. Fajita Sizzler

The two sizzlers I tried are vegetarian, but all you meat-loving folks out there, fret not, you have got ample of options to devour; be it Smoked Chipotle Pepper, Lima & Tequila Prawns Sizzler, or Oriental Seafood Sizzle, or the Grilled Chicken Makhani Sizzler, or Herb Lemon Crusted Chicken Scallopini Sizzler, or Hungarian Steak Stew Sizzler, or Grilled Steak with Red Wine & Mushroom Pepper Sauce Sizzler. All of which look spell-binding and according to the non-vegetarian at the table, lip-smacking.

An assembled version of The Lebanese Veg. Fajita Sizzler.

Personally, I loved the Lebanese Veg. Fajita Sizzler- a unique presentation of Falafel bites on Fajita Vegetables, served with Tortillas, Creamy Tahini Garlic Dip, a few variety of Cheeses and Sweet n' Sour Pickled Veggies. In my opinion, it is a perfect hang-out dish; just help yourselves out (or ask the server, if you are having a hard time building your meal), kick-back and enjoy. Plus, the quantity on offer is pretty good, so you get a great bang for your bucks.

The Grilled Panner Tikka Sizzler

The Grilled Paneer Tikka is more of a sole person's complete meal. It has got these lovely Char Grilled Paneer steaks spread over Indian Vegetables, served with Tangy Makhani Sauce, Roasted Cumin Scented Butter Rice and a lovely salad of Fresh Vegetables. It is a perfect rendition of the phrase "East meets West", given the fact that how beautifully a quintessential Indian dish has been transformed into something so Western in its appeal.

A closer look.

To conclude, I had a great time gorging on the sizzlers but would have loved if there were more options to choose from for the vegetarians. As for you folks, I recommend you to try these innovative sizzlers out before the time slips away. Cheers.
Sunday, 8 March 2015 1 comments

Tidbits from a Camping Trip

Wow, it has been long, eh? I know, I promised that I'd be writing regularly but no points for guessing that it never materialized. I have a lot to say, yet again; from some shattering revelations to a lovely camping experience at the start of the year itself.

I shall save the revelations for the next time and tell you more about the camping part. Well, it was a first; first time camping, first time being away from home for seven days (starting from the first day of February)! Honestly, before the trip I was skeptical that I might get home-sick in a few days (well, that's what happened on my last trip away from home which was for a few days) but surprisingly I didn't feel like coming back home this time!

My time there at the camp was crazy, right from the day one. For this, all the credit must go to our former NSS leaders; it were their out-of-the-box ideas and go-for-it attitude that helped the campers break out of their shell and embrace whatever the seven days brought with wide open arms.

It has been quite sometime now, so I don't exactly remember the day's order, nevertheless, I can tell you that we indulged in all sorts of camping activities; be it gazing at a star-studded night sky, trekking up a hillock to appreciate the mountains surrounding us on all four sides, soaking up in the river, narrating ghost stories (and pulling up pranks, afterwards), creating toothpaste art (oh, come on, it is mandatory!), visiting the neighbouring tribal villages, lighting up a campfire, indulging in late night chit-chats (and arguments) and just relaxing (napping under a tree, in my case).

I did click a lot of pictures too, yet, I'm sharing pictures of only things and people I grew fond of during my time there due to personal nature of other pictures. Have a look, maybe?

Made a friend, yay!

This pair of socks, love!

The lotus ponds throughout the camping complex

The place under the tree where I napped, regularly.

The Sky, my love.

I know this was, er...brief, but in my defense I'm a sleepy girl trying to put up whatever she can in her sleepy state. So for now, take care till the next.