(Disclaimer: The views expressed are my own and from the single or multiple experiences that I have had with the food joint. While you are free to disagree with the opinion below; please respect the originality and fairness of the content. The opinion/ review is purely based on experience and there is no biased, favored or commercial angle to it)
Village Roof Top and Lounge! Well quite a lot of words literally. Let’s go slowly, Village – well the old name before this place was renovated was Village for some god old reason and they kept the name intact to bank upon the popularity and acquaintance but trust me the place is nothing like a village. A roof top and a lounge yes that’s what you guys should expect from it. It’s a well laid out stretched roof top atop the famous Bramha Majestic enclave on NIBM road, Kondhwa. The place has plethora of space and they are and will be making a very good use of it. How? More on that in just a bit. So here I was on with some of the fellow blogger friends for yet another tasting invite. The people have been playing a lot on word of mouth and decided to see power of blogging/ review for a change. The PR and marketing for this joint is handled by Trishla and she was courteous enough to invite me and the friends for a lovely evening.
The place was previously run by a different management who happens to be close friend/ partner of the people who now take care of the place – Bakher and Farzin. They are the ones who have made it drape a new look and create the ambience that you will see in my pics below. Once you are out of the elevator and proceed towards to enter the premises, you will enter a different world altogether. I was kinda feeling like Harry potter looking out for the golden Chalice in the maze of tall green foliage. Past the heavy door of the main hall you are greeted by numerous fireflies like dangling bulbs of different shapes and sizes. Never ever, not even in a chandelier shop have I seen so many different varieties of bulbs simultaneously. The hall sports two sections – to the left is the bustling section where sports enthusiasts and people who like the times roll over their drinks can fan out whereas the right side sports place for people who can’t have enough of gossips and prefer rather an eased out atmosphere over some hukkas may be. Along with this the entire hall has numerous small shamianas running alongside the wall where small groups can enter and chat into privacy. They have brought in various aspects to the décor and overall look and feel that the place presents by generous use of wooden posts that hold the numerous mini shamianas, metal grills and uber cool chairs by the bar, tiny spotlights giving that just right amount of light, mini spherical lanterns covered by delicate creepers, huge windows which add in to the breeze around, small water sprinklers which spray water from time to time easing out the heat that might build up, a chalkboard which sports the specials and the different offers on the house, led lit glass bottles, a huge screen which showcases the matches for the night, a Live DJ who takes your requests as well, assorted cane furniture to name a few. The bar that this place runs is by and large the biggest one that I have seen so far. They have pretty huge variety as well in the drinks menu. The credit goes to Bakher who takes charge of the drinks and cocktails/ mock tails. Farzin on the other hand is more of the food menu guy. Just besides the chalkboard you can see some interesting frames hung up. The ambience is pretty neat and I would rate them well except for two things which can be better handled, those being, the ventilation (It can get heated up pretty soon) and the wall backdrop (the one with windows ) along with tin ceiling. Baring that the ambience is pretty good and I would rate a sweat 8.5 for that.
So, now coming up to the real deal the food for the night.
Food: Our food for the night was spreaded across a variety of rounds starting with some of the finest cocktails.
Drinks that came up where from amongst: Village Pot, Ice Ice baby, Fcuk me up, Caprina, Peach me up and Berry sweetheart. Interesting names aren’t they. Well the bar tender made them equally compelling trust me. The very first one –the village pot itself went right into the stands. Just loved this little devil for it was a sinful potion of Bacardi, Gin, Whisky, Vodka, Tequila, Beer and you could choose amongst the 3 flavors of Peach, Guava and Green apple. I had one of each….Man this one is real steal deal of the place. They serve it in an earthen pot (Check pic) to give the kullad and desi vibe to it. The drink happens to be an old employee who came with the concoction and the proportion in which it should be mixed to create this mind numbing rock star. Even after he left the place they were quick to pick up on his recipe and made it their signature item. The earthen pot as a serving glass came from the new bar tender on the block. This is absolutely a must have if you love your cocktails. Most recommended.
Caprina which was served along with the pot. Yet another Bacardi based drink, this time mixed with brown sugar. A few wedges of lime added to the décor and a mint leaf added the needful freshness. Smooth and all the topped up crushed ice kept it real cool. Decent one, no complaints.
Fcuk me up was really good for once that it was a drink made in guava. Guava for some reason is a very low profile fruit and kinda forgotten one. The re-entry that it made for me was absolutely delightful. The main drink was vodka again my favorite and the rim of the glass was tipped with salt and chilli powder making it spicy as well. Umm Umm too good.
Ice Ice baby as the name suggests is a prep of Baileys, Blue Curacao on a mountain of crushed ice. This was yet another decent drink but we were fixated a lot more the pot itself and on the fact that we wanted to try all the three variants of the beloved kullad drink.
Mock tails were for our veggie friends who also refrain from cocktails and also to give an overall all round feeling of having tried from amongst the variety. Peach me up true to its name was a peach crush based drink with slight additions of orange and cranberry juice. This was also aerated with the use of sprite. I found it rather overdone with the use of sprite. Even my friends weren’t too happy about it.
Berry sweetheart was a passion fruit syrup based drink with cranberry and pomegranate juice over crushed ice. Yet another well done recipe. But cocktails were better any day. Drinks did well and would get an overall 8 from me.
1] Murgh Afghani Kebab
2] Kubedeh Kebab (Persian)
3] Chicken Jujeh Kebab (Persian)
4] March Nawabi Seekh
5] Thaichi (South Asian)
6] Show Paneer
7] 2-in-1 Veg
The starters yet again got a lot of colors on the table, a few of them in the same plate like the 2 in 1 veg which had paneer in two gravies. The non-veg starters brought different flavors of the middle-east with dishes coming in from Persian and Afghani cuisine. One south Asian also made a last moment entry into the list. I have always been a fan of Afghani cuisine and was quiet impressed by the Murgh Afghani kebab which had marinated minced chicken stuffed into chicken breast pieces. Well this one is rather a long recipe with the breast pieces being marinated with a paste of yogurt, green chilli, cashew paste, spices and a bit of elaichi powder. The minced chicken is fried with green chillys and spices and topped with grated cheese. Once stuffing is done then kebab is roasted in a tandoor till it perfectly golden brown. Ahh what a savory preparation. Loved it.
Kubedeh Kabab (persian): A dish in black pepper and grated onion. This was the only mutton preparation that came up. Just about ok, nothing very fancy.
Chicken Jujeh Kabab (persian): Yet another black pepper preparation this time also a bit tangy with the lemon juice being used as distinguishin agent, all this made in wholesome butter base and tandoored.
March Nawabi Seekh: This one also made use of cheese to a small extent along with cashew nut powder as the core ingredient. The recipe is made with minimal to no use of butter or oil and tandoored dry for about 5 min just about enough to ensure that it doesn’t lose out on its tenderness.
Thaichi (South asian): Chicken leg piece recipe from the south Asian cuisine this time. This one had some spinach and celery to garnish the pieces. This one as you might have guessed by now made generous use of ginger garlic paste as against any of its counter parts. The yellow and red peppers used gave it a whole lot more of present ability. This was the sole dish to have used corn flour and some maida to make a batter which was then fried along with some egg for binding.
The platting of all the starters was done nicely with special attention to colors on the plate. If something appeared very simple it was decked up with cabbage and carrots to splash colors of all sorts. The starters couldn’t be the best they had to offer and scored an average of 7/10.
The veg starters had a brilliant paneer preparation called the show paneer. Luckily it did manage to be the steal the show. Totally Indianized recipe, with paneer sautéed in ginger, garlic, onion, celery and oyster sauce. (hopefully the vegan one 😉 ) The dish was nicely plated with crispy deep fried noodles surrounding the sautéed paneer chunks.
The 2 in 1 paneer was a dish prepared in two sauces. (Check pic) It appeared more of a tricolor with the shades of orange and green having laid onto the plate. They can easily serve this as paneer tiranga and make it republic/ independence day special. The addition however should be paneer in a white sauce/ gravy coz the white layer came from a julienned cabbage.
The respectable part of the veg dishes were that the paneer used was very fresh and unlike the adulterated cheap variant that you get in the market, this one was brought fresh daily from their dairy supplier at premium rates. We told them how a no compromise in quality would be there toughest challenge and that this quality will surely be appreciated by one and all.
Just had two dishes in veg but they were enough to say that vegans won’t be left starving as the place is obviously known for non-veg dishes.
1] Mutton Rogan Josh
2] Sabzi Lajavab
3] Chicken Burnt Garlic Fried Rice
The mains were kept simple and just one variant each of veg and non veg recipes. The chicken fried rice although a rather very regular from the menu was made very rich with all the abundant use of chicken and scrambled egg chunks. The subzi lajawab; i tried just about two spoons and could clearly feel the cashew paste which got it that texture. Obviously it had a whole lot of veggies like tomato, capsicum, mushroom sweet corn and some big fried onions and it was made equally strong with the flavors with wholesome use of ginger- garlic, tomato puree, a variety of masalas and powders. The color was a prominent yellow and the garnishing of coriander made it look pretty standardized. Easy on any veggie lover and quiet wholesome in quantity as well.
The mutton dish – Rogan josh is one of the top mutton picks for me and i have had it countless times all this while. There was a ghee tadka used which could be made out pretty easily if you would let in all the aroma that made an aura around the dish but the cooking of mutton was not up to the mark. Even the mutton pieces were not diced properly and were mostly bony and had flakes of bones coming in a morsel. This was a big letdown. Just the way your meat is diced can be of great significance and the same was the case here. The gravy was red; spicy enough but still lacked the Rogan josh punch. The dish was decent but i can’t help but compare it with the absolute delightful Rogan josh that I have had countless number of times. Also i don’t mind the Rogan josh in the fluid avatar as it was served but i have seen its thick masala variant at a lot of places. Given a choice, i would prefer that way over the fluid avatar. Rogan josh is much better in a dry masala avatar. Won’t be critical about it here but yes that is how i would rather like to have it.
We had all of these with assorted bread basket which had varieties of kulchas, rotis and nans. Garlic nan was very good with generous use of finely chopped garlic evenly spreaded across and so was onion kulcha. These could very well serve a good standalone dish forget the accompaniments. SO no complaint with the breads. A good job done there. The mains would get a 6.5/10.
Deserts: As with any meal we finished the meal with a dessert. A rather simple one, quite literally – two scoops on vanilla topped with chocolate sauce. Didn’t had a chance to look at menu that night but i guess they are rather not just yet ready or focused on desserts as otherwise the dessert could have been something else. Nothing much to describe about this actually as the vanilla was well vanilla and the chocolate sauce was….well a bit scanty if i may say. A more easy hand could have been appreciated. Desserts i am not sure if i should rate as there was hardly anything to rate it about. But a score of may be just about 4 could be given. (No innovation, presentation, no mixing of sauce — it was actually vanilla)
Service: The service was very prompt and i liked the fact that the staff was knowledgeable about the food and drinks they were serving. They were able to handle all our questions pretty decently. So a generous rating of 8/10.
- Ambience can be made a bit better. And fans or air conditioning can be put up as it can get really hot and humid at times.
- Options for the Vegetarian customers should be more in number and also a nonalcoholic version of the village pot can be made up
- Since the focus is more on young crowd there can be more events like a live band and jamming sessions to attract more people.
- The captain should actually ask for preference as veg/ non veg, cocktail/ mock tail and should suggest the specialties proactively.
- They may think of having a separate section for hookah as some guests might not be comfortable with people smoking around. – Subjective.
- Try to be focused on a type of cuisine and excel with few dishes in that cuisine so that you can wholeheartedly market those.
Food: 3/5 (Averaged out with veg/ non veg. / desserts options)
Overall: 7 on 10