Mini food-sammelan at Out of the Blue, Powai
Few weeks back, I joined a bunch of interesting people for an extremely engaging and mazedaar discussion on food. The discussion was accompanied by a lovely dinner served at Out of the Blue, Powai. Before I start I would like to thank Reema (my afternoon post-lunch-food-discussion-buddy on Twitter) who made sure Shirin sent me an invite for the meet. Also thanks to Kunal and Shirin for organizing this.
Out of the Blue is amongst one of my most frequently visited places in Mumbai, and the visits have increased since they have opened closer to home at Powai. I have visited the Bandra one many times quite memorably after losing a drinking bet in Bandra; once with a pretty girl, once with a dumb girl (I think both of them were the same, maybe); with friends and with family. The visits to Powai have been mostly with my colleagues. But this time I got a chance to meetup with few foodies at a food bloggers meet organized by Burrp.
From right: A retired chef, a baker, and a big bhookad
The bloggers included:
- Shirin, works with Burrp, eats and writes for a living, what an awesome life!!!
- CaramelWings, a commercial pilot, looks-Punjabi-is-Marathi kind of rare girl, loves KRK, makes lovely brownies which she doesn’t share with everyone and writes about food at Caramel Wings.
- Krytie Saxena, ex-Marriott Chef currently working for a production house, and reinstated my belief in Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. She writes at Foodietryingstein.
- Reema , is a Bong-Mumbaikar who is married to a Tam and is a converted vegetarian. She ensures that I feel hungry post-lunch by posting tweets about Gulabjamuns and Jalebis. She writes at Sumthinz Cooking
- Adarsh, works with Zapak, used to work with Zomato, and possibly created that chik-chik feature (shake for recommendations feature) on their app. He has promised to take me for an Andhra meal. He reviews restaurants at The Big Bhookad.
- TheBlackSakura, works with Zapak again, loves baking, knows a lot about seafood, is quite fit for a big-time foodie, and blogs at Thoughts on a Plate.
- BellyfirstTweet is a Capoeira dancer and a well-traveled photographer. I am sure Bhagyashree (of Maine Pyaar Kiya) hates her as she ate off a Pigeon once. She writes at Belly First. And her photographs are brilliant.
- Kunal, works with Out of the Blue and leads their marketing efforts. I need to ensure that he too starts blogging.
We started with Chicken and Ham Fondue and my favorite dish at Out of the Blue, Desi Fondue. More than the striking similarity with my name, I like it because it gives me a feel of a creamy Dal Makhni, but with a lighter seasoning and a decent helping of cheese. When I asked Chef Juliano (Exec Chef, Out of the Blue) about its origins, he replied that it was an accidental innovation, with its recipe being a closely guarded secret. To be honest I have tried something similar myself at home and it hasn’t turned out to be half as good as the Desi Fondue at Out of the Blue. That’s one reason I will keep coming back to this place.
During this period we had a lengthy round of introduction with topics switching between humble origins of the Fondue, street food in Indore, how to check freshness of fish, abuses and awws for the Britannia uncle, great old-time restaurants in Mumbai losing their charm, cupcakes, traveling to China, Brazilian martial arts, how to clean and cook a pigeon, roadtrips in Punjab and many more.
Switching back to food, for the main course I ordered a Grilled Rawas which was served with Lemon Butter sauce. I loved the dish for its simplicity. The fillet was grilled with a simple parsley-dominated marinate which as the Chef described allowed the one to enjoy the natural flavors of fish. I like my fish to be simple and not over-influenced by masalas, and I got exactly what I wanted. I tasted lemon butter sauce for the first time that day, and I think it will go as well with Aloo Parathas as it went with the fish. Contrary to what I had assumed the lemon butter sauce requires much more effort than simply mixing the core ingredients. Chef uses two different utensils (ceramic and steel), melts the butter in steel, shifts it to ceramic and mixes fresh lime juice (as citrus doesn’t go well with metal). Talking to a Chef always throws up so many interesting insights, these guys do put in a lot of effort in every dish!
On the other plates I noticed Grilled Basa served with Caper sauce, Lamb Shanks which looked really bulky but equally yummy (and got Salonee extremely excited) and a four meat sizzler. Somehow I didn’t want to complicate the simple flavors of my fish that day, and I didn’t play around a lot with other items.
All dishes were accompanied by a Caesar salad which gave an extremely fresh feeling in the mouth, lettuce and cherry tomatoes were topped with a creamy dressing and just the right amount of croutons.
After this I had to run out for a late night office meeting and I missed out on the fun everyone had at the dessert counter. It was an evening where I realized that there is no better appetizer than talking about food itself and nothing better than meeting people who think and eat like you.
Featured image by Salonee