Monsoon at Foodhall

My love for Foodhall ceases to wane! A friend called it ‘Disneyland for Chefs’ and considering the fact that the other gourmet stores in this town are either too compact and overstocked or run by indifferent staff, Foodhall is the closest one can get to a gourmet shopping experience. Since they have a food festival every month, I try and time my visit with whatever is the latest at their live counters. I do tend to skip the salads and sandwiches but it makes sense to buy produce and have a salad prepped so when you get home you only have to handle the main course. Foodhall has also won me over with their breads. I now make only pitas and garlic knots at home, that too because I don’t want to get too spoiled. The Foodhall Monsoon Redezvouz Menu is served at their live kitchen island and when it comes to monsoons, I always think – Bombay! Their newest introduction is the Vada Pav Bar, which serves up fresh and hot Vada Pavs. I suggest you try them all – the Falafel Vada Pav, Thai Vada Pav (with an infusion of lemongrass!) and Traditional Bombay Vada Pav, but the best one is definitely the traditional one. If you’ve read enough of my pieces you will know that apart from the elusive Bahn Mee, I’m still looking for the best Vada Pav in town and I think this one comes fairly close.

The best one is definitely the traditional one
The best one is definitely the traditional vada pav

For those of you who need more snack solutions for tea time or even a party, make sure you hit the Cocktail Samosa Bar, they serve up Olive and Cheese Samosas with Schezwan sauce, Spinach and Corn Samosas with mint chutney and Peanut and Potato Samosa with chutney. You can pack a box of part fried samosas too (INR 75 – 100 for four mini samosas). I personally loved the olive and cheese ones, very familiar yet very new. Walk around the island bar and you will find the Pomme Frites section, which are just wedge like hand cut fries but they sound so much yummier with their French moniker. This Foodhall portion is very much like Belgian fries served with three dipping sauces, wasabi mayo, roasted garlic mayo and/or cheddar cheese mayo but you could be blasphemous and ask for ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise too. I say this because no one should refuse the wasabi mayo! The Soup Bar may be a bit early in the year but then a rainy day could warrant a round of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, which ought to have had beef cubes, like Moroccan breakfast stews of chickpeas and meat. I liked the Tomato Basil Soup too but the kid enjoyed the Chicken and Black Bean Gumbo the most. We both skipped the Hot and sour Chicken Soup – it was too warm a day for it.

For a dose of ‘sweet’ we hopped over to the Patisserie, where we usually love the Red Velvet Cupcakes and the Whoopie Pies but in this season we tried the Warm Apple Pie and liked it. The Upside down pineapple cake was a bit too dense even for a tasting but I liked the freshness of the pineapple. We skipped the Brownies and Freshly baked warm cookies but picked up some for home and they were great with a cup of fresh brew. The menu has beverage solutions too, from Hot Chocolate to Kashmiri Kahwa and Masala chai, the Hot Chocolate was out of stock but the Masala Chai was a good choice with the samosas. Foodhall also has special monsoon deals which are a good idea for a mini meal on the go. Though I do wonder how many patrons treat the store like a cafe, I certainly would because the stand alone coffee shops here do NOT serve good food. The usual combos are sufficient: Chai+samosa, Coffee+croissant or a Soup and 1/2 sandwich. The 1/2 sandwich reminds me of Sheldon (Big Bang theory), he couldn’t fathom the concept of a 1/2 sandwich, did it come from a full one? And if it did, whatever happened to the other 1/2!

Parul Pratap Shirazi

Parul is a trained Chef, professional food stylist, cook, food blogger and social media strategist. She loves grapes in her salad.