Friday, May 29, 2015

Brick House Café- Watch the flames dance on the Smoked Godfather! Tanya Satish

       Brick House Café.

         Tanya Satish


“We loved the Smoked Godfather cocktail, which works up quite an opera in itself and takes you through the light drama as the drink is placed with stacks of cinnamon sticks and set on blue flames, enough to work up an exciting hunger pang with fun filled fascination. The Scotch and Amaretto danced to the tunes of the apple wood alright!”- Tanya satish

.......Whether starting the day with a very lazy late breakfast and the newspaper at this café, spending a long lunch tucked into this cozy gourmet center, or ending it with a starlight continental dinner; the Brick House Café situated at the up market address of Lokhandwala Mumbai, provides wonderful American and English array of cuisines, for every mood, taste, and time of the day.


Nestled  inside a brick walled interiors literally decorated with exterior pipes skirting the lower borders , the front patio invites you in to the offerings of  the celebrated chefs and staff which provide delicious menus, superb wine lists, live entertainment, outdoor patio dining, and an ‘unwinding’ ambience that makes dining a delight. The raw in your face ‘unfinished rustic un cemented brick mosaic wall exterior’  is the interior; replete with light fixtures of bulbs hanging attractively from the ceiling.


We visited this place some weeks ago and felt that this new kind of restaurant will grow on you with their delicious popular offerings like Pastas, Nachos, pizzas and  hummus platters.

 And the beer battered Fish and chips as well as their stripped chicken is relishing. Their signature dish is the Brick of India which is a huge plate of spicy chicken wings. Of course their melting grilled tuna sandwich is to die for.


The menu is extensive, you will be spoilt for choice, all of them are carefully  inspired by contemporary  cooking with its -grilled specialties. This café also provides take-out food and catering for parties, in the tradition of total service that defines Brick House Cafe.

We loved the Smoked Godfather cocktail, which works up quite an opera in itself and takes you through the light drama as the drink is placed with stacks of cinnamon sticks and set on blue flames, enough to work up an exciting hunger pang with fun filled fascination. The Scotch and Amaretto danced to the tunes of the apple wood alright! The staff are very pleasing and enjoy pampering you.

Running a successful restaurant requires keeping customers happy, to keep them coming back. Serving excellent food, consistently is an imperative. Bunty Arora, the owner has what it takes to bind that cultural mosaic that is Mumbai and readily define the enticing array of culinary prowess, all here at Brick House Cafe.

Brick House Cafe,
Greenfields Apartment, Main Road,
End of Lokhandwala Market, Opp. HDFC Bank,
Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053
022 - 6586 0666

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ruby Khan helps me revisit Holland’s Keukenhof in full bloom! Summer of 2004!


Ruby Khan, am thankful to you for helping me revisit Holland’s Keukenhof in full bloom!
Summer of 2004!

Elsie Gabriel

Intellectually vivacious and dynamic, Ruby Khan, known her for almost 18 years, is like a second daughter to me. A young lady now whom am very proud of, to say the least. Well now she is a world citizen, literally! Having a fantastic record of studying worldwide,  Boston, Massachusetts,Yunnan University ,Class of 2012 · Chinese · Kunming Shi, Yunnan, China and Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts.Recently she shared with me pictures of the Worlds largest flower garden in Holland, which brought back so many beautiful colourful memories of the thousands of Tulips at the Keukenhof, which I had visited almost ten years ago or more.

 I thank Ruby for bringing these pictures alive once again for me to enjoy through her recent visit and beautiful eyes! Being a nature enthusiast and outdoor addict,I simply couldn’t resist writing about it. Ahhh what a joy to re-live stunning moments through appreciative souls like you!


Well if must know the year 2015 is a vital milestone date for the Dutch, Tulip gardens, as it is exactly 125 years since the death of Vincent van Gogh. This moment was seized by Keukenhof to honour the famous Dutch artist. This season there is a great deal that links Van Gogh and Keukenhof. Willem van Gogh, a relative of Vincent van Gogh, officially opened the 66th edition of Keukenhof today. This year is the Van Gogh year at Keukenhof. The most beautiful spring garden in the world is open from Friday 20 March up to and including Sunday 17 May. Keukenhof is already in full bloom.

The highlight of the Van Gogh year is a flower bulb mosaic of Vincent van Gogh covering an area of 250m2 and made up of thousands of tulips. The flower shows display wonderful combinations of thousands of tulips and his paintings. this year specially there is a lovely new Selfie garden inspired by the self-portraits of Van Gogh in a modern setting. Even 125 years after his death Van Gogh is still inspiring plenty of people.
Says Ruby, “It's the biggest flower garden in the world and true to Dutch culture it's remarkable but not ostentatious.It's very well planned -- the paths across the flower fields are big enough to not run into the thousands of tourists it attracts everyday but it's small enough for you to feel intimate with the beautiful flowers around you. There are cafe's and open spaces for adults and a petting zoo and park for children, if you need a break from all the walking. "

Adds Ruby further describing details of how one could reach there, “One should definitely plan on visiting this garden when the weather's nice out because I don't think one can take in the beauty of the garden when it's raining out. You can buy tickets directly from their official website. There's a shuttle that picks you up and drops you off to/from Schipol AMS Airport and Keukenhof. That shuttle leaves every 5 mins from the Schipol airport.”
 Keukenhof has reached a new record with 1.175.000 visitors in 2015. 2015 is the second consecutive year that Keukenhof has attracted more than 1 million visitors. The beautiful, cool spring enabled the flowers to bloom for the complete 8 weeks. The large number of visitors is the result of the publicity around the Van Gogh theme and the increasing popularity of Keukenhof by Americans, Germans, Chinese and visitors from South-East Asia. The average age of the visitors was noticeably lower than in previous years. More Dutch families have visited Keukenhof this year mainly because of all the new events and extra children’s activities.
Ruby Khan,am thankful to you for helping me revisit Holland’s Keukenhof in full bloom! Summer of 2004!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Café D' Wine boasts of the best Wine Wall in the city! Elsie Gabriel

Café D'Wine boasts of the best Wine Wall in the city! Elsie Gabriel

Similar to the ones you may find in Europe, Café D’Wine in Khar Mumbai is an intimate wine café. Quant place which includes a wine boutique, this cozy setting  is the perfect place to relax with friends or have a romantic dinner conversation over wine.

Warmly welcomed by Sanjay Mirani of Café D’Wine, entering the wine café brought back my travels to the French sidewalks and the Italian Wine cafes, which enhance your indulgence in quality time over a glass of bubbly. The entire place is stylish and the décor has distinct Italian art works around.Its not a huge place where you would get lost, but a cozy place to simply indulge in a series of wines offered with various multi cuisines. It is a class apart and way above the average wine café .

I believe Sanjay is a well travelled and experienced restauranteur; and a wine connoisseur who knows his wines well.

Their personalized service and atmosphere will make you feel at home, as you graze over flavorful food selections. The ‘Wine Wall’ is very attractive and lets you study the wines at one glance, ofcourse all well explained in detail by Sanjay himself who finds the time to take you around the world with all the wines on display.


I simply loved the pairing of the Prawn cocktail my favorite appetizer, together with the White Casablanca Sparkling wine offered by Ralph Craven our dear friend whom it was lovely to meet after ages. Ralph outlined that the sparkling wine  has entered the fray by Good Drop Wine Cellars. Casablanca is affordably priced and it is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Moscato and Shiraz and is made using the Charmat method.

The afternoon was spent over Smoked Chicken salads, Char grilled cottage cheese, Crispy Lamb with glass noodles, Char grilled chicken with red wine sauce and some lovely lemon Meringue to complete the menu. All sprinkled with lovely conversations over the ‘Casablanca’ bubbly which stole the evening.


They have a great wine list at ridiculously reasonable prices, that’s why dropping in to unwind with some music around too, makes for a good experience.

The wine and gourmet combination dishes offered here are amazing and they go great with the atmosphere of the place. The staff is friendly and the food is served hot and quick. Café D’Wine obviously knows what they’re talking about when it comes to good wines!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Community that eats together, stays together! Meet the Bohri kitchen folks who perpetuate this!

Community that eats together, stays together!  Meet the Bohri kitchen folks who perpetuate this!

Elsie Gabriel

It’s hard for me to forget about the Bohri lunch that I had last week at The Bohri Kitchen in Colaba,Mumbai. Tucked away in a classic old fashioned building is a Borhi household ,Father, Mother and son trio which serve up the most delicious home food Bohri style.

I happily returned to my many childhood memories about eating together, when I saw the gathering who collect every weekend , which is only by invitation.

If you agree that it’s more fun to combine eating with meeting interesting people, then The Bohri kitchen is the perfect place for you.  The whole gourmet experience is about social dining. The main aim is to bring people together who might not have known each other previously, and it is all served up in a beautiful home.

Each dish is well explained even before it makes a grand entry, mouth already watering, the ingredients, style of eating it, the vessels used and also what has gone into its preparation is systematically well outlined, enough to make you salivate. Munaf  Kapadia , the brain and modern conceptualizer of the age old home community eating mastermind, of the TBK says, “This is an experimental lunch concept where we invite friends or friends of friends, to our home for a mouthwatering 5-6 course Bohri meal. Unfortunately since TBK is held at our residence we are sticklers about who we invite. If you have a mutual friend or are the prime minister of a country, it helps.”

There is so much tradition and love that goes into the food ,its amazing how the mother aka Home Chef  Nafisa Kapadia does it all, she is the entrepreneural chef who uses her years of cooking skills to conceptualize the menu and create the final gastronmoic masterpieces which are served to guests. She is TBKs backbone.

I came away satisfied and well fed, enough to boast that this Bohri clan does everything to enhance the home dining tradition. Eating meals together regularly provides more than good nutrition; it enables family members and friends to share their days with each other, relax, laugh, discuss social issues, make new friends and strengthen old relationships.

Come on, when was the last time you ate a meal without your laptop, or the mobile or TV running simultaneously? Stop, think, go and enjoy the Bohri kitchen experience. Feel the environment which fosters conversation during meals, the old fashioned way, giving reverence to each ingredient and natures bounty for sure.

Of course home cooked meals are healthier. Catch up on your communication skills, listen patiently and learn to expressing one’s opinion in a respectful manner. Stop eating hastily with food in your mouth, ready to rush out for another errand or job schedule. And if you must know, Eating together helps younger members appreciate family tradition. Food served at the family table helps to shape and give lasting meaning to our cultural heritage.

See, here at the Bohri kitchen each member of the family is involved in the meal preparation. Watching Mrs Kapadia’s face, at the end of the luncheon was so blissful, to see her watch everyone else enjoy her meal and leave with so much gratitude. Teach by example, they say. Well, she does it all through the Bohri kitchen table.

Of course the menu and dishes offered you will easily find on the webpage and through my pictures but what you will not find is the essence which I captured, that is a family which eats together, stays together! Food needs to be valued. Nature’s offerings needs its status back.Go find out through the Bohri kitchen journey, for your self!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Vengaboys in Boom Boom Mumbai! Elsie Gabriel Vengabus, I like to party and ofcourse we're going to Ibiza!

Vengaboys in Boom Boom Mumbai!
"I've got something to tell ya, I've got news for you, Gonna put some wheels in motion
Get ready 'cause we're coming through,Hey now, hey now, hear what I say now
Happiness is just around the corner,Hey now, hey now, hear what I say now
We'll be there for you!!!....NOW SING IT!!!

pics copyright @elsiegabriel

The Vengabus is coming, And everybody's jumping,New York to San Fransisco,An intercity disco,The wheels of steel are turning,And traffic lights are burning,So if you like to party
Get on and move your body ...yeah you know them. REMEMBER.....the Vengaboys!


Well, the Vengaboys are very close to my heart, on their recent trip to India, not only did the pop group bring their 90s party tracks to Mumbai but brought back so many beautiful memories of Hubby and Me dancing to many of those numbers!! We would drive the car with the Vengabus belting out some of the best numbers back then!

Their high energy performance sure kept us dancing all night at the concert in Mumbai last weekend. Their on-stage chemistry simply transcended down to the crowds which responded in unison to their lyrics for sure.

 This Dutch Eurodance group  took the world by storm in the 90s, with their fun hit number, We Like To Party, which was considered a must have classic by party goers.

And if you must know, the Vengaboys are a Euro dance pop group  based in Rotterdam. The brainchild of two Dutch folks Diepen and Dennis ; the group consists of lead vocalist Kim Sasabone, vocalist Denise Post-Van Rijswijk and male vocalists Robin Pors and Donny Latupeirissa.

While the music industry has seen several new artistes, the singers are simply undeterred by competition. I guess there is a place and a song for every party in this world of music, and the Vengaboys have survived it all through the years. The Vengaboys enjoy great commercial success till today. They are best known for their two UK number-one singles, Boom Boom, We’re going to Ibiza, and of course We like to party!

My heart goes shalala lala, shalala in the morning.
Oh oh oh shalala lala, shalala in the sunshine.
Shalala lala, shalala lala in the evening.
Shalala lala shalala lala just for you!!

And thats my favourite!!!


Monday, May 11, 2015

mytravelfootprints: Lets help our Nepalese Climate Reality Mentor Brot...

mytravelfootprints: Lets help our Nepalese Climate Reality Mentor Brot...:   Lets help our Nepalese Climate Reality Mentor Brother- Phurpa Lama. Elsie Gabriel   The Nepal earthquake has killed at least ...

Saturday, May 9, 2015




“I am a hard core green juice lover, daily raw juice drinker, and evangelist for the benefits of green juices; and of course Chef Vikas Khanna won me over.”

Says Elsie Gabriel

Its summer time and nothing can be more refreshing than a green cocktail! Meeting the super chef Vikas Khanna was such a delight at the Foodhall Palladium,Mumbai, where he churned out some amazing cool concoctions for the summer time.

I am a hard core green juice lover, daily raw juice drinker, and evangelist for the benefits of green juices; and of course Chef Khanna won me over. What more, the Foodhall offers so many fresh greens that you just want to indulge in a cleansing routine and good fresh raw food. I shopped a whole basket full of micro greens!!

 To add to this excitement the suave Michelin-star chef launched the book ‘Shaken and Stirred’ that is his brilliant gift to all those who love good old fresh liquids for the soul. Demonstrating his exceptional mixology skills, Chef Vikas showed the fascinated audience how to make mocktails, My favourites were Lime to Lemons and Green Machine. With the Green Machine, I know am gonna lose a few pounds and that makes it my favourite. He takes the  refreshing and hydrating juice blending scenario to a whole new level. He  is absolutely world class and let me tell you a secret –his best two ingredients that he uses for any of his culinary preparations are— laughter and love! Yes you guessed it right, he elevates food to a sublime state where his finale is a offering of so much adoration. No wonder he is loved the world over.

This book Shaken and Stirred is a dazzling collection of non-alcoholic drinks. From delicious teas to refreshing slushes and classic drinks, Vikas guides his readers on how to create unique and exquisite drinks that would keep guests satisfied and have them coming back for more.I love the way he uses fresh garden ingredients, a good closeby source easily available to people right in the back yard or store near you.

“I’m touched by the love and  affection and this is exactly what keeps my quest for undiscovered flavors. The versatile recipes in Shaken and Stirred allow you to play with your imagination, while keeping the pure flavor and wholesome goodness of the ingredients intact,”said an elated Vikas Khanna.

Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Vikas Khanna runs the upscale restaurant Junoon in Manhattan. Having started a catering company at the age of seventeen  in Amritsar, he has been regularly featured on various international television shows such as Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef Australia and The Martha Stewart Show.

Let me give you a helpful tasting tip for green fresh juices,that will assist you while thinking about your flavor options. In terms of ‘greenness’ or that green taste you associate with leafy greens, the juices aren’t all that raw and bland. Simply try and experiment by adding lemon drops or coconut water or try simply mixing two of your favourite vegetables or fruits together, and there you become a green juice addict overnight!  Be kind to your self, allow your palette time to adjust to a more ‘green-centric’ flavor profile as you begin your green journey.
Go on get your diet some good greens!

Friday, May 1, 2015

70 solar lanterns needed by Nepalese Brother- Phurpa Lama. Call +977 9818183958 and help. Elsie Gabriel


Lets help our Nepalese Villages light a home with solar lanterns.
Reach out to Climate Reality Mentor Brother- Phurpa Lama.

Elsie Gabriel

Six consequtive earthquakes again rocked the Himalayan Neapal region.
This is a call out for Solar lanterns to this village. The phone number and co ordinates are given below,please do reach out to Nepalese relief centers to reach out to them.

Earlier-The Nepal earthquake had killed at least 7000 people approximately and injured more than twice as many as of May 1st 2015. The disaster occurred on 25 April with a magnitude of 7.8.

 When I heard of the news last weekend, I reached out to some of my friends in Nepal. And then my thoughts focused on our Nepalese brother in the Climate Reality organization - Phurpa Lama. I had briefly met him during the 2014 Delhi Mentor Climate Reality training. A very active leader, Phurpa ensured that he volunteered to any task asked of us Mentors. Later in March and April, we got chatting on the wassapp and facebook social media, I shared how my sister in law is a ‘Lama’ Nepalese by origin and how I could be connected.

Little did I know that a natural disaster would again connect us... Phurpa kept sharing his recent Climate Reality presentations, infact two in the month of April, one for the Women and climate change on April 22nd; and another just as recent as the April 24th,days before the natural disaster. Quote from Phurpa on facebook- “Made a presentation on climate reality to a selective group of participant program organized by Hamro Chahana Nepal marking Global Earth Day 2015. Power outages was a big challenges but able to overcome it.” And another, “Delivered a presentation on Climate reality to Indigenous women leaders from Sindhupalchok Districk at headquarter intitiated by National Women Indigenous Federation, Sindhupalchok. I am glad to see such a enthusiastic and inspiring participant from more than 10 different indigenous communities residing within a district.”

I remember visiting Nepal ten years ago, researching the Chitwan National park and creating awareness about the Rhinoceros. It is a rich country with valuable biodiversity, ancient heritage and monumental architecture. 

Usually environmental stress is mainly attributed to rapid economic and population growth but this high land Everest region seemingly had sustained its lakes, wetlands, fresh water ecosystems and glaciers. Future investigations and continued study of the climate change in the Nepalese Himalayas will throw light on the exact causes of such calamities. Science is still unable to predict earthquakes with accuracy. It is complex. Numerous factors, such as the depth of the quake and the nature of the rocks will surely be studied for future adaptations.

Over the years, unlike many other countries, development has been slow as Nepal has shown respect for its environment.  Ancient constructions, low lying valleys, transportation, seismic activity, pollution,infrastructure strength and population, all these will be top priority research studies now, hopefully to rebuild the land of Mt Everest.
But as of NOW, we need to network and support at the 'first' stage of crisis management which is basic survival kits and networking to direct aid in the right directions.

 So, Why am I sharing this today? Basically to help us all connect as Climate Reality Leaders and Mentors, strengthen the bond among us in order to work and network to uplift each other during such natural calamities. I keep picturing all the natural disaster slides which we use for our presentations, now one of them will be engraved as the recent Nepal earthquake. As a fellow Climate Reality leader and Mentor, May I ask each one reading this to reach out to send aid through which ever charity you may have chosen to patronize for the Nepal Earthquake, by giving Phurpa Lama’s contact and village address, so that Lama in turn can continue to be a Climate Leader in these trying times. He is available on Mobile number- +977 9818183958  and address- Kiul-7, Sindhupalchok, Kathmandu, Nepal 00977 .. @phurpa_lama(Twitter} /

Phurpa Lama is from Nepal and belongs to the Hyolmo Indigenous community one of 59 Indigenous communities recognized by government of Nepal and affiliated to Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN). Presently he has served as a mentor during 27th Climate Reality Leadership Corps 2015 held in New Delhi. He has been working as a resource person at NEFIN Climate Change Partnership program in Nepal since 2011.

This is first hand information from Phurpa Lama on the Nepal  earthquake which he shared:

 -April 27th 2015..”Dear all, thank you so much for your love and care towards me. I am safe from a terrible Disaster in Chautara Municipality head quarter of Sindhupalchok. Allmost 90% of villages near by Chautata are Destroyed. My prayers are with those who lost thier lives. And Just after arrival from Sindhupalchok with high risk by Motorbike I am able to reach Ktm and suddenly heard that almost all of my village including my house are destroyed. So trying to connect with my people. Good news Is no any single people are injured but now are living under one tent. And Now decided to do more with Climate change Issues in Nepal. There can be more climate related disaster and if we don't act Immediately. I could feel that. After all I was under tent for 41 hours.”

-April 28th “ Earth Quake is a natural disaster and so many innocent people are under disaster loosing lives, being injured , hopeless, homeless, and it is for sure there will be more and more Disaster to come that will be climate related disaster. Time is coming up for proper caution I hope every citizen starts getting involved for better enviroment to overcome upcoming disaster.”

-On April 29th Phurpa Lamam wrote, “The death toll has now climbed 4769 and number of people injured as 9239. Additionally, 61 were injured in the avalanche on Mt. Everest. Neighbor countries India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Pakistan , Japan including America and Denmark providing tremendous relief fund, Material and supplies but could not reach to victims. Most of the relief materials are stocked at Tribhuvan International Airport. It’s a shame that there is still lacking coordination within government.”

Lets keep Nepal close in our prayers, during its road to recovery. We are all connected to the web of life.