Reader, we are with you in body, but our minds left the building sometime around the end of dinner this Monday night, soon after the opening of an airtight box of mini doughnuts, glazed with salted caramel and sprinkled with chips of fried bacon. Let us try to describe them without making you want to run to your nearest place of worship to expiate the sin. They’re small, dense, dark and deep-fried. Their texture is surprisingly light and cakey. The caramel clings to the bacon like sweet, soft fatty residue. Its aftertaste practically caresses the roof of your mouth.
We’re not even saying that these doughnuts from new delivery service Bowl Baby Bowl are the best you’ll ever eat -- just describing a rare moment of absolute, spine-tingling satisfaction for a craving we didn’t know we had. (This reviewer last ate a doughnut about a year ago. It was middling decent.) In spite of its ridiculous name and a menu full of things you try not to eat on school nights, this new venture from the partners of Jamjar Diner and Bonobo might just reel you in, too.
(Javed) Jaffrey Baratheon
Do you sometimes cross Stomach, the cheap Chinese takeaway that’s occupied Waterfield Road since the dawn of time, and feel a twinge in your stomach that’s part-horror, part-longing? Some of that pleasurable frisson will spill over when you look up B3’s menu.
Do you sometimes cross Stomach, the cheap Chinese takeaway that’s occupied Waterfield Road since the dawn of time, and feel a twinge in your stomach that’s part-horror, part-longing? Some of that pleasurable frisson will spill over when you look up B3’s menu. Its list of meals-in-bowls features reasonably sophisticated items such as pickled lotus root salad, bibimbap and bolognaise with tenderloin ragu, yet nothing about it reassures you that it’s healthy, wholesome or gourmet. It’s just a menu full of things that will make you crazy at the end of a long day.
Why else would we order a bowl of carbonara pasta, a dish we can whip up in twenty minutes ourselves? Because there’s something about reading the words “cracked pepper cream and parsley” on a red-and-yellow menu that can make you weak with longing. The pasta itself is less exciting than the promise of it -- it’s beautifully creamed and seasoned, but the cold cuts of ham lend it more smell than taste, and the bacon (keep your guanciale snobbery to yourself) is sadly un-fried.
Descending deeper into carb hell, a garlic-roll style cheese pao does all the right things in the sweet-and-sticky department, although we’d have appreciated a side of sauce -- perhaps something with green chilly? -- to cut through its flavours. A “banh mi” bowl of cold noodles stands almost in direct opposition to these two, packed with vegetables and sharp, gingery pickled flavours: a bit too virtuous for binge eating, it stands out for fresh, beautiful ingredients and some of the nicest tofu you’re likely to get out of a Linking Road kitchen.
Our memories and taste buds both prefer “Nemo’s Seoul Bowl,” a throwback to the popular dish from the owners’ former venture Café Nemo: sticky rice, a sweetish tomato sauce, a fried egg and really fresh chicken and herbs come together in a what’s-not-to-love mixture. Even a salad bowl of black beans and goat cheese -- not quite as filling as the Bandra salad bowls you’re now used to -- tries its hardest to comfort you with fat flavours and textures from corn, roasted peppers and gloopy honey-mustard dressing. If only eating one of these every day would help us forget those doughnuts, we’d sign up for a meal plan immediately.
Getting there: Bowl Baby Bowl, delivery in and around Bandra, see the Facebook page here, call 09619930030 to order.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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