Cafe Churchill (Mumbai) | Restaurant Review

Place: Cafe Churchill
Location: Adj. Bata, Colaba, Mumbai
Cuisine: Global, Pizza
Meal: Lunch (with a friend)

Colaba happens to be my favorite part of Bombay for we used to stay around here during amma’s official tours ages ago (when I was in school). I often used to come here whenever I was bored during my stay in the city a couple of years ago, and on one such visit, I discovered a gem of a restaurant hidden behind the bustling street market. It’s a small place with less than ten tables, and has decent ambiance which actually gives you a feeling of walking down an old memory lane. Being a small joint, it’s packed most of the time, and walking in on a weekday afternoon, we initially had to share a table with an elderly couple before we were moved to a table next to the entrance.

An elderly Parsi aunty (one of the owners) handed us the menu, and after long contemplation, we ordered an Olive Pizza and King Papalina Lasagna. I had tasted their French Fries with Cheese long before, and unable to resist my temptation, I later added portion of the same to our order.


The Fries were served in about ten minutes, looked mouth-watering and tasted absolutely delicious. There was cheese all over, and the fries were perfect. A little ketchup, and yum! The best part though was not just the cheese on the top, but there was cooked cream cheese stuffed on the bottom which was out-of-the-world good. I’m so glad that I couldn’t resist my temptation. Bliss!


The pizza was served next, and this looked yum again. The thick crust pizza was covered with cheese, black and green olives and lots of oregano. While the pizza base wasn’t really great, the tomato sauce and thick layer of cheese with the oregano made this an excellent pizza.


We were full by the time King Papalina arrived, but couldn’t resist digging in. Stuffed with tons of marinated mushrooms, loads of cheese and cooked cream cheese between layers of pasta, this was as good as a lasagna could get. Again, yummilicious!

Overall, an excellent meal. But we weren’t done yet. In the past, I’d observe their pastries displayed in a refrigerator near the entrance sell like hotcakes, and today was no different. Though we were heading to Theobroma after the meal, decided to give their famous Blueberry Cheesecake a try.


Honestly, the cheesecake wasn’t as great as I expected. It was quite heavy and a little too sweet for my liking. However, it was bad by no means. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest of the meal.

With friendly service, decent ambiance and prices, and most importantly, delicious food, this place is a must visit for any foodaholic. Zomato calls it a Legendary restaurant, and my meal was truly legendary. Go hog!

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 905/-

Verdict: 9.5/10

Papa Johns | Restaurant Review

Place: Papa Johns
Location: Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Pizza
Meal: Take Away

After my terrible experience at Papa Johns the last time around (review), I was tempted to order a pizza for delivery on a weekday afternoon, thanks to their flyer in the news paper. Their new Fajita Pizza in medium size was being offered at the price of regular. I called in and asked for the same, along with a portion of Cheese Sticks and extra Garlic sauce. As promised, the pizza was delivered in around 30 minutes.


The Cheese Sticks, though a little too dry for my liking, tasted yum with the garlic cause (the size of which has also been reduced). On pizza front, the Fajita Pizza came with sweet corn, onions, green peppers (which I replaced with olives), mushroom, jalapenos, fajita seasoning and sauce. Though it looked colorful, I thought the pizza looked small for medium size. The base was good, and the veggies were crunchy, and it tasted alright but I would have preferred it to be a little more cheesy, with more mushrooms and onions, and may be a bit spicy. For something Mexican, the pizza didn’t taste like one.

Overall, a decent pizza, but not something I would have bought for 400 bucks (I ordered only because of the offer). The Cheese Sticks were good, and the Garlic sauce was finger licking good. I don’t think I’ll ever walk into a Papa John store again, but ordering when they have some offers isn’t a bad idea.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: N/A
Ambience: N/A
Meal for 2: Rs. 394/-

Verdict: 7.5/10

Lazzio -The Pizzeria | Restaurant Review

Place: Lazzio – The Pizzeria
Location: Adj. Maharaja Chaat, Kavuri Hills
Cuisine: Pizza
Meal: Dinner

Met a friend for a cup of coffee at My Cafe Latte last week, and on parting ways, I decided to give this new pizza place a try on my way back home. Brightly lit, the place is in the building right next to Maharaja Chaat. It was past 10:00 PM when I walked in, and was cheerfully greeted by the owner Tejas. There were a couple of tables in the interior, and another couple on the exterior, and the pizzeria had decent ambiance.

I ordered a Khumb Delight Pizza (minus capsicum, plus olives) for take away. The pizza was ready in about 10 minutes, and Tejas suggested I reheat the pizza at home if necessary for it was packed in a cardboard box.


I dug into the pizza immediately after reaching home without re-heating, and boy was it good. The tomato base had an amazing flavor to it, while the thin base was a bit thicker than I expected, but no qualms for it actually tasted good. The cheese was gooey, and the veggies crunchy. I absolutely loved the pizza, especially for its sauce.

For 100 bucks, though the pizza is quite a steal, I thought it was kinda small (at least when I compare it to the ones served at Viva Italia, which are also priced around the same). Nevertheless, I was very satisfied with the pizza. After Viva Italia, this is one pizzeria everyone needs to visit!

Food: 9/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 100/-

Verdict: 9/10

Big Byte Bakery | Restaurant Review

Place: Big Byte Bakery
Location: Srinagar Colony Main Road
Cuisine: Pizza
Meal: Dinner

I’ve been hogging at Big Byte from the day it opened 20 years ago. Their Chocolate Eclair and Black Forest pastry were my daily treats after school for close to 4 years. All their pastries are yum, and so are their Burgers. My personal favorite is the Paneer Burger.

But over the years, their food quality has been reducing while their prices have been on a substantial rise. The ambiance has also lost its charm, is now pretty untidy. I happened to find cockroaches around their pastry cabins on more than a couple of occasions. I’m gonna think twice now before I have any of their pastries!

Anyhow, on this evening I was craving for a pizza but didn’t want to spend hundreds on a Dominos or Pizza Hut, and so was at Big Byte to have their special, Veg Pataka Pizza (double layered). I asked for a take away, and had to wait for about 15 minutes.

Big Byte Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Veg. Pataka

The pizza looked really good, but wasn’t that great to taste. The base wasn’t baked properly, and the tomato sauce tasted more like ketchup. I asked for pizza sans capsicum, but was served a pizza with barely any other veggies (just a couple of onions and tomatoes). The cheese too was very light, and was coming off the slice in just one bite. A disappointment, and my craving wasn’t satisfied.

Big Byte, along with Baker’s Inn and Midway (now closed), happens to be few of the best bakeries from the 90’s. But unless they improve on their quality and their standards, I don’t think I’d be returning to them for my baking needs.

Food: 6/10
Ambiance: 5/10
Service: 5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 130/-

Verdict: 5.5/10

Peperoncino | Restaurant Review

Place: Pepperoncini
Location: Fourth Floor, Building Opp. Ratnadeep, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Italian
Meal: Lunch

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I decided to go hog at Viva ItaliaBut the scorching sun made me think over it for I wanted to go sit at an air-conditioned place. Read about this new place called Peperoncino on Zomato, and decided to give it a try. I dropped in a little after 2:00 PM, and the restaurant was empty (literally). The place looked decent, with well done interiors, a glass kitchen on one side, and a nice aerial view on the other (unfortunately of the slums).

Their menu looked pretty decent, and everything was priced more or less reasonably (for a restaurant of this size in this location). I ordered for ‘Funghi Ripieni’ (fried mushrooms stuffed with cheese and herbs) followed by a ‘Calabrese’ pizza (pepper sauce, mozzarella, onions, mushrooms, garlic and olives).


Thanks to the glass kitchen, I could see the chefs make everything from scratch. In about 10 minutes, the starters were ready and served. First off, I was a little disappointed with the quantity (It’s maybe because I’ve got used to huge portions of everything in the recent past). Anyways, the stuffed mushrooms tasted pretty alright, but were very oily. The Tomato chutney served along tasted pretty good. On the whole, a decent start, but I honestly was expecting something better.


The pizza was served right after I was done with the starters. It looked good, with loads of veggies on it but tasted average. Though the crust was crunchy and well-baked, the pizza was too dry and lacked flavor. Tons of oregano made it taste better. It was supposed to be a little spicy because of the pepper sauce, but I didn’t find it spicy, for probably it was unevenly smeared across the base. I asked for extra cheese, but the pizza barely had any cheese on it as well.  It was a decent pizza, but not on my list of favorites.

I had read that their desserts are pretty good, so decided to give them a try. I asked the waiter to help me pick the best, and he suggested Tiramisu, followed by Cioccolato Fondente (chocolate cake with molten chocolate in the center). I opted for the latter, and I was told that it would take a while for the cake to be baked.


After about 15 minutes, the molten chocolate cake was served. For some reason, though it wasn’t mentioned, I expected it to be served with vanilla ice cream. It was good, but again, not satisfying. There was nothing special or ‘wow’ about it; it was just decent, and that’s what disappointed me.

Overall, an average meal. Food, ambiance and service were all decent. However, my want of going and enjoying a meal at a cool place was foiled for the place was burning hot, and I was sweating all through out. Since the place was empty, one air-conditioner was turned on only when I walked in. Midway through, when I complained that it was too hot, they turned another one on. The place was huge, and I was their only customer, but you don’t try to save on your electricity while the customer is sweating do you? The place has the potential to be huge, but it needs to work for it. And being empty on a Sunday afternoon doesn’t speak much either.

Give it a shot, but don’t expect too much. Probably my high expectations thwarted my experience. I’d suggest dinner, cos then you might enjoy the view.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 7/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 650/-

Verdict: 7/10

Cinnamon Fusion | Restaurant Review

Place: Cinnamon Fusion
Location: 3rd Floor, SBR Gateway, Opposite Motorola, Hitech City
Cuisine: Continental
Meal: Dinner (with couple of friends)

After hearing and reading raving reviews about this place, I was here finally on a weekday with a couple of friends for dinner. We were guessing the place to be packed, but to our surprise, it was empty, and we were the only guests when we entered. The interiors of the place were very well done, and the ambience was good. There was a band playing in one corner to an empty restaurant. They were good, but very loud, which started to get annoying after a while.

The place boasts of a lavish buffet on the table – they have a fixed menu from which you get a choice of soup, salad, entrée, pizza, main course and a desert for 579 bucks (same for veg and non-veg). Though the amount of food was tempting, the fixed menu was pretty sad, so we instead opted to order from the menu. The menu looked huge, but the choice was very limited. Surprisingly, without any Indian curries on the menu, they had a page full of breads. When enquired, we were told that they a specialty European restaurant. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Anyways, we ordered a Creme of Mushroom soup, Chilli Paneer Tikka, Stuffed Mushroom Tikka and Till Tilla Zinga (Prawns) for my friend. Instead of the Chilli Paneer Tikka, we actually wanted to order their specialty Paneer Tiranga, but it wasn’t available.


I was kinda excited about the soup, for it said it would be cream of three kinds of mushroom garnished with smoked milk froth, but it turned out to be very different from my expectations; it was too thin and there were not many mushrooms in it. The quantity served was pretty good, but I would have preferred thicker soup in less quantity than what was served.


The starters were served pretty soon, and both the vegetarian starters turned out to be good. The paneer was soft, well marinated and grilled. It was a little too spicy, but no complaints for it was supposed to be. The Mushroom Tikka had stuffed mushroom roasted and cooked, and it was yum. My friends Tiger Prawns were a big disappointment thought, for he found them very hard and under-cooked.

It was really tough to order the main course, for there was not much choice. It was either European or Continental, and both had very few vegetarian options. I finally decided to order a pizza and my friend asked for Pan Fried Noodles. My other friend had Grilled Chicken with Pepper sauce.


The thin crust pizza was served first. I had asked for Mushrooms, Broccoli, Olives and Jalapeno, but they missed the Jalapeno. The pizza was cheesy (just the way I like it), and the base was crispy. There was no tomato base, but I really didn’t care, for it was very good. On the downside, I thought it was too small for 325 bucks.


The Pan Fried noodles were served with Vegetable broth which tasted delicious. The vegetables were crunchy, and the sauce was yummy, so altogether, it tasted great with the noodles.

My friend was happy with his Grilled Chicken.

Overall, a decent meal. The fact that there was not much on the menu was a disappointment, but otherwise the food was tasty. The service was decent as well. Though the amount of food we ordered was quite minimal, the bill turned out to be the same as what it would have for the fixed menu. Improving their menu and adding more options to their fixed menu would definitely help them. Give it a shot at your leisure, but don’t expect much.

Food: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambience: 9/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 1722/-

Verdict: 7.5/10

Ruci and Idoni | Restaurant Review

Place: Ruci and Idoni
Location: Above Godrej Nature Basket, Road No. 10, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: European
Meal: Dinner (with couple of friends)

After wanting to visit this place for a long time, here I was finally on a weekday for dinner with couple of friends. The entrance is either through Nature Basket, or from the side of the building. Walking in, the place was brightly lit (a little too bright I suppose), and was partly full. They had a pastry counter at one corner and a glass kitchen on the other side. The ambience was just like any other Ohri’s restaurant in town, pretty good.

Once seated, we were handed over a couple of regular huge menus, and a tablet. The tablet was clunky and pathetic, and its response time was horrendous. Unable to suffer misery with it, I asked it to be replaced with a regular menu. For the European experience they’ve been advertising about, I didn’t find anything special on their menu. Probably except for the Chicken Piri Piri, the rest were the usual Pizzas, Burgers and Pastas. I wanted to try their Pizza, so ordered Cayenne Mushroom Pizza. My friend ordered a Harvest Vegetable Multi Grain Pizza, and the other asked for a Mushroom and Chicken Cannelloni. We also ordered a side of Potato Wedges, Coffee on the Rocks and Confuso Blast.

The drinks were served first in about 10 minutes. The Coffee on the Rocks was very good. It had a strong Mocha flavor. The Confuso Blast was supposed to be Frappe blended with honey and topped with nuts, but it was first served without any nuts. When I informed the same, it was taken back in and a couple of Pistachios were added on the top. It was a bad choice on my part, for it was just plain cold coffee, nothing impressive.

The Wedges were served soon with some mayonnaise. They were crisp, but too oily for my taste.

My friend had asked his Harvest Vegetable Pizza with as minimal cheese as possible, but the Chef seemed to have misunderstood it for extra cheese, for it was full of it. We were really unhappy with it and asked for a replacement, and it was replaced without any fuss.

The replacement pizza looked much better, and there was a harvest of vegetables on it indeed – cherry tomatoes roasted with garlic, basil, peppers, spinach, broccoli and caramelized onions. The base was crisp, and nice. Nothing exotic, but a decent pizza nevertheless.

My Cayanne Mushroom Pizza was cheesy, just the way I wanted it to be. It had button mushrooms, morels, broccoli, roasted garlic, cilantro, onions, olives and mozzarella on a piri piri sauce base. There was not much piri piri, and therefore the pizza wasn’t as spicy as I expected it to be. The base too wasn’t as crisp as the Harvest Vegetable pizza. However, the cheese tasted yum, and overall, a good pizza.

My other friends Mushroom and Chicken Cannelloni was served along with buttered Garlic bread.  The sauce was too thin, but the Cannelloni, apparently, was very good. The quantity served was very less though.

To finish off the meal, we ordered an Ebony Ivory Mousse and Awful Brownie sundae. The Awful Brownie had chunks of yummy brownie with vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce. It tasted great. Warm brownie would have tasted even better.

The mousse was a dish suggested by the waiter. It was supposed to be White and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Caramel sauce. I specifically asked him if it was going to be fresh mousse and he said yes. Instead, what they served was something which tasted more like gelato than mousse. It was very sweet and a total disappointment.

Overall, an average meal. The pizzas were good and the rest was decent. The service was pretty neat. We sat for a long time, and were never really bothered. The food is expensive, but that’s a given when you visit an Ohri’s restaurant. Ruci and Idoni is not a fancy restaurant like they make it sound, but a decent one nevertheless. Give it a shot at leisure.

Food: 8/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Meal for 3: Rs 1795/-

Verdict: 8/10

100 Degrees | Restaurant Review

Place: 100 Degrees
Location: Necklace Road, Ranigunj, Secunderabad
Cuisine: Continental
Meal: Dinner (with a friend)

Dropped in at 100 Degrees last week with a friend for dinner. It was raining on this particular night, so we sat in the glass enclosure on the terrace. The place was empty when we reached, but got full as the night progressed. Probably because of the rain, all the waiters seemed a little out of sorts.

We ordered a Four Cheese pizza to start. Later on, my friend ordered a Shanghai Chicken Sizzler, while I opted for a Mushroom Satellite Sizzler.

The pizza was served in about 15 minutes. I stated in my last review that they serve the best pizza in town. After having the one at Viva Italia and Via Milano, I conclude that they serve  not the best, but one of the best pizzas in town. Topped with mozzarella, cheddar, smoked scamorza and Danish blue cheeses, the pizza was yum.

After a while, the sizzler were served. It had a Cottage Cheese cutlet with sautéed mushrooms on white rice, topped with mushroom sauce, cheese slice and fresh cream. The cutlet was very well cooked, the sauce had a nice flavor, and the veggies were crunchy. I would have preferred Fried rice instead of the white rice though. My friend liked his Chicken sizzler as well.

Overall, it was a decent meal. However, the experience and service was a let down. My sizzler was supposed to come with Coke, which was served after the meal when I reminded the waiter about it, and the bread served was stale (one even had a mold on it). Like every other Ohri’s restaurant I’ve visited in the recent time, even this one needs to pull their socks up. I still consider it one of my favorite joints though, for the food is yum, and they are all reasonably priced. Give it a shot if you haven’t yet.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 843/-

Verdict: 8/10

Via Milano | Restaurant Review

Place: Via Milano
Location: Road No. 36, Jubilee Hills
Cuisine: Italian
Meal: Lunch (with a friend)

After hearing a lot, and I mean a lot about this place, I was finally here for lunch on my birthday. We walked in into this bright restaurant, well-lit from the sunshine outside. On first look, I liked the place and the ambiance. It was quite full for a weekday and we were seated at a table for four in a corner, next to the bar. We had to move to a different one soon, for I had accidentally spilled water on the table.

We were offered a menu for the Executive Lunch, which was basically a fixed menu which included a drink, starter, an entrée and a desert. For 500 bucks (vegetarian), it seemed very reasonable, so we opted for it.

The moment we placed the order, a bread basket was served along with Olive oil, Vinegar, Chopped Tomatoes and Garlic sauce. The bread was fresh, and the garlic sauce was awesome. It was definitely the best I’ve had in recent times. Finger licking good!


For the drinks, I picked Surf Song (Pineapple juice, Lychee juice, Coconut milk, Blue Curacao) and my friend had a Winter Breeze (Cranberry juice, Melon syrup, sweet and sour). The Surf Song was served in a Margarita glass and was very good. The other drink was served in a wine glass, half filled (as much as you see in the pic). It tasted just like regular Cranberry juice, nothing great. I was very disappointed with the quantity.

For the starters we had Fried Buffalo Mozzarella and Zucchini Rolls, with a tomato sauce, and Panzarotties filled with spinach, ricotta cheese and nuts served with a spicy tomato and pesto sauce.

The cheese and zucchini rolls were very well presented. The quantity though was minimal (It was the same for the rest of the meal, so I wouldn’t mention it again). The taste though was exceptional. The cheese was very good and was melting in my mouth. They tasted great with the yummy garlic sauce.

The Panzarotties tasted very good, crunchy, and I loved the spicy sauce served along.

For the main course, it was Spaghetti in a cream and tomato sauce, with herbs and sautéed vegetables and Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli on fresh oregano scented light tomato sauce.

The Spaghetti’s quantity was much better than the rest. It was good and had a strong tomato flavor to it. I would have preferred it to be more creamy.

The Ravioli tasted pretty much like the Panzarotties. The sauce was creamy and yum.


Finally, for deserts, we picked a Tiramisu with Italian Mascarpone cheese, Lavazza Espresso  and Rum, and a White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Terrine. The Mousse was excellent. The Tiramisu was good as well, but had loads of rum in it, too strong for me.

Though I was full, unable to stop my temptation to have a pizza (since I’ve heard that these guys serve really good pizzas), ordered a Quattro Formaggi (tomato sauce and four types of Italian cheese; mozzarella, parmesan, goat cheese and gorgonzola).

After having small portions of everything, was first impressed by the size of the pizza (I am guessing it was a good 12″). The crust was good, sauce perfect, but I thought the cheese was a lil too strong. It had an after taste which was quite weird. Though I liked it, I still prefer the 100 Degrees or the Viva Italia pizza.

Overall, a sumptuous meal. I loved the concept of the executive lunch. Though the quantities could have been way better, it was good enough to make you walk out without feeling stuffed. The ambiance is great, service was pretty good as well, except that it took unusually long periods of time for the food to be served (not that we had a problem with it). I liked the way they presented their food, and the food in itself was pretty yummy. It would now be tough to choose between this place and Little Italy.

I’d suggest you give the place a try. Who knows, you might have a new favorite restaurant in town! 🙂

Food: 9/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 1555/- (Including the pizza)

Verdict: 9/10

Viva Italia | Restaurant Review

Place: Viva Italia
Location: Ground floor, White House, Next to Lifestyle Building, Begumpet
Cuisine: Italian
Meal: Dinner

I’ve read good things about this place on Zomato, and was looking forward to try it out. And when I finally did, loved it so much that I returned in a span of a week. The first time around, I dropped in with a friend. It’s a small little stall located towards the exit of the White House building, with a couple of tables laid out.

The menu was quite huge and everything was very reasonably priced. It’s more of a self-service kinda place, so we ordered a Garden Fresh pizza and a Veg Alfredo pasta with Spaghetti, sat at one of the table and watched our pizza being rolled out from scratch. In about ten minutes, the pizza was served in a take-away box. It was a probably an 9″ thin crust pizza, and looked tempting. And trust me when I say this, it was heavenly!! It was very well-baked, the veggies really crunchy, and the cheese was just awesome. My only problem was it being served in the box, which made the crust soggy (because of the steam). Otherwise, the best pizza I’ve had in Hyderabad. The best compliment probably would be when my friend from Lithuania, Europe, said it tasted like pizza at home.

Next came the pasta in a small plastic container. It was cheesy, cheesy and more cheesy, just like I wanted it to be. On the down side, I though the spaghetti was a little under cooked, and  that there was too much Basil, which gave it a very strong flavor. Even then, it was yum!!

We ended our meal with an ice cream from Sweet Chill, their other venture. We had Mango and Chocochip, both of which were amazing.

I was so in love, here I was again four days later, this time alone. And ordered the same pizza, minus capsicum, plus olives. I wanted to try something more, so also ordered a Chilly Cheese Tomato Toast.

Again, in about ten minutes, the pizza was served, and looked as yummy as the last time. But I found that the crust was a little under-cooked, and the co-owner was more than happy to replace it for me when I pointed it out. In the mean time, my toast was served.

The toast was served in silver foil, and looked quite heavy. And again, trust me when I say this, it was one of the best sandwich I’ve had in Hyderabad. For 30 bucks, it was an awesome deal. It was cheesy, well-toasted, and had a nice flavor. Yum!!

And then came my pizza, this time crispy. It tastes delicious, as good as the last time!!

Overall, an excellent find. Amazing Italian food, easy on the pocket. The ambiance is pretty neat, and the service, if you can call it that, is very good. The owner was around most of the time, was very friendly, and made sure that every customer was satisfied. The desert place next door is also very good.

I now have a new favorite pizza place in town. And guess what, it’s very affordable!!!

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 210/- (Pizza and Pasta)
Meal for 1: Rs. 140 (Pizza and Toast)

Verdict: 9.5/10