Friday, 25 June 2010

A dessert trail in Mumbai

"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first."—Ernestine Ulmer
I couldn't agree more and I'm sure many of you would too. The ones in denial are sure to change their stance once they read this me *devious grin appears*.
Drawn by my love for desserts, I chose to go on a dessert trail in Mumbai. After several happy, finger-licking, mouth-watering dessert trials, here are my findings. So grab your spoon and prepare your taste buds like the Volkswagen Beetle commercials say "Curves are back!"

You enter a patisserie. You see a row of delicious desserts. You feel lost, it’s like Sophie’s Choice; you don’t know which one to pick. You finally make your selection: Gooey Chocolate. You take your first bite. The warmth of the chocolate icing laces your tongue, melting with innocent non-chalance, as the fluffy cake wobbles inside your mouth while grabbing your taste buds into a dream delight. Such is the joy of desserts.
The emergence of innumerable cafes in Mumbai—coffee being the latest excuse for a late night revelry—what may have been introduced as an accompaniment to the refreshing cuppa, desserts have attracted city goers on their own merit. Creamy pastries, flavoured cheescakes, brownies, mousse cakes, fruit pies and tarts are just a few of the desserts that have made an impact on sweet lovers. We picked a few of the best places in Mumbai to enjoy a delectable dessert.

Theobroma, Colaba-Bandra
One of the most popular dessert places in Mumbai, Theobroma’s humble beginning was inspired by the Messman family’s passion to prepare exotic desserts. With a name that literally means ‘Food of the Gods’ in Greek, it isn’t a surprise to find people of every age flooding the eatery for their sweet fix. 
Must-try: Millionaire brownie, brownie with a soft caramel centre and truffle chocolate; Tiered Temptation, a chocolate mousse with an addictive orange flavour, to name a few.

Tiered Temptation - my favourite!

Millionaire brownie - CAUTION: extremely delicious.

Moshe's, Cuff Parade-Kemps Corner
The warm, yet vibrant ambience of Café Moshe is enough to draw you in. But their desserts will make you stay. Chef Moshe Shek reveals their most popular dessert, “It’s the moist coffee and chocolate pie served warm with vanilla ice cream. Its inception was the result of several dessert aficionados’ love for coffee and chocolate. It was also the reason for adding a dose of pure espresso coffee to give this dessert a bigger caffeine rush along with the hedonistic effect of dark chocolate.”
Must-try: The yummy Gooey Chocolate and Blueberry Cheescake are eternal favourites here.

 Blueberry Cheesecake

 Gooey Chocolate 
Café Basilico, Colaba-Bandra
This European style bistro and deli draws people in with its warm-coloured interiors juxtaposed with a dark wood exterior. Along with mouth-watering multi-cuisine fare, Basilico also has a wide selection of desserts to satisfy your sweet cravings. As I chatted with Abdul Tawab Ansari, Basilico’s pastry chef, about our shared passion of desserts, he admitted, “I think of desserts all the time! I experiment with various ingredients to prepare a new dessert every fortnight.”
Must-try: Blueberry Cheesecake prepared with homemade blueberry jam and mascarpone cheese with a cookie base, and Chocolate Ecstasy—a rich mousse with a coffee flavour and a brownie base. 

 Chocolate Ecstasy 

 Blueberry Cheesecake

HangOut, Andheri-Malad-Kandivili-Vile Parle
Its inviting mauve-coloured walls often remind one of Monica’s apartment in the popular sitcom Friends. While digging into one of their freshly-made desserts transported me to a delicious sweet haven, I tried to stay grounded whilst exploring the source of inspiration. “I’m simply spontaneous when it comes to creating new desserts. I experiment with various flavours, some common, some vague,” quips Saroj Samtani, chef and director of HangOut.
Must-try: Sinful, a brownie base layered with chocolate mousse with a light flavor of whiskey, and Strawberry Chocolate cake, a season special.

Truly sinful

Brownie Point, Bandra
The first thing that hits you as soon you enter their outlet is a delicate chocolate aroma that tickles your taste buds. Soon after, the variety on display puts you into a fix, leaving you completely confused when making a selection. Manish Khanna, the chef, charms me with his passion and enthusiasm for desserts. He travels frequently and finds new ways to innovate and create new desserts every week. All the desserts here are made from ingredients that have low fat and low cholesterol, he promises.
Must-try: Ferrero Rocher mousse cake and Death by chocolate

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