Rainbow bagels, pizzas on fire — how did these new food fads get here? | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Rainbow bagels, pizzas on fire — how did these new food fads get here?

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten in the city? Perhaps it’s time to update that list.

mumbai Updated: Jul 07, 2017 15:24 IST
Madhusree Ghosh
The unicorn bagel comes to us via, where else, but New York City.
The unicorn bagel comes to us via, where else, but New York City.(It Happened in New York)

Unicorn bagel

  • Where: It Happened in New York, Bandra West
  • Price: The bagels are currently served as a complimentary amuse-bouche

What: A multi-coloured bun. Their version has a filling of cream cheese, capers and dill leaves.

Why: “All our dishes are inspired by menus from across New York City. Rainbow or unicorn bagels are very popular there,” says sous chef Vishvesh Nadkarni. “The response to them here too has been very positive.”

Nadkarni says customers are usually surprised when they bite into the rainbow bagel, because they’re expecting it to be sweet, given the swirls of colour. “While we offered a sweet filling once, we tend to stick to savoury for the most part,” he says.

Flambéed pizza

“We pour rum on the pizza and set it on fire. Although none of the alcohol remains, the flavor does adds a little special something to the taste,” says executive chef Zubin D’Souza. (Pizza by the Bay)
  • Where: Pizza by the Bay, Marine Drive
  • Price: Rs 1,150 for 12-inch veg

What: It’s basically pizza… with alcohol. “We pour rum on the pizza and set it on fire. Although none of the alcohol remains, the flavor does adds a little special something to the taste,” says executive chef Zubin D’Souza. “This is apart from the enhanced smokiness of charred double-melted cheese that you get when it is lit up.”

Why: D’Souza says he was inspired by tales of royal dining traditions. “What excitement there must have been at court when the famous chefs of the time were brought in to create visual treats for the amusement of the king and his guests,” D’Souza says. “Today’s Instagram generation is like that.”

The youngsters are eating it up. One young man cut a flaming pizza instead of a cake on his birthday. “In the process of blowing the flame out he managed to send sauce and cheese flying on to his fiancée’s new outfit,” says D’Souza.

Shahi Tukda Waffle

Two waffles stuffed with rabdi, gulab jamun and rose syrup. (The Waffle Tree)
  • Where: The Waffle Tree, Powai
  • Price: Rs 150

What: This is two waffles stuffed with rabdi, gulab jamun and rose syrup. “We wanted something different to offer our customers,” says owner Manisha Saraf.

Why: Who doesn’t like rabdi or gulab jamun, in whatever form, says Saraf. “Plus, this waffle can be eaten on the move, like a sandwich.”

People are hesitant at first to try it, she admits, but many come back especially for it. “It’s a favourite of our customers. And their word-of-mouth publicity and social media updates really help us,” Saraf says.

Black ice cream

The black ice-cream is mixed with edible charcoal. The charcoal has no peculiar taste but has a grainy texture to it. (IceKraft)
  • Where: Icekraft, Oshiwara
  • Price: Rs 215 for a scoop

What: This is ice-cream mixed with edible charcoal. “The charcoal has no peculiar taste but it does have a grainy texture to it. We mix it with different flavours, fruit and nuts,” says co-founder Monil Shah.

Why: “We wanted our favourite colour in our favourite food,” says Aditya Churiwala. “We saw some similar desserts overseas and found out that Goth is a trend, so we thought why not?”

Some reactions have been extreme, admits Abhay Binani, laughing. “One patron, before placing her order, asked our manager is the ice-cream would stain her teeth. Our manager explained that it wouldn’t. Another time, a group came in saying they had heard the charcoal in the ice-cream would help them lose weight!”

“I read about it on social media and got curious. It looks bizarre but tastes yummy. The tangy orange flavour is my favourite,” says Ishita Bhojwani, a 21-year-old freelance writer.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink with virtually no lactose and a velvety texture. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Where: Mo’s Kefir, at mossuperfoods.com
  • Price: Rs 135 for 200 ml

What: A fermented milk drink with virtually no lactose and a velvety texture.

Why: “I first heard about kefir while I was in culinary school in New York, tried it and felt great,” says Moina Oberoi, founder and MD of MO’s Superfoods. “I started making it at home, and getting orders.”

“Kids are the most expressive while trying kefir. They do not hold back, so theirs is the most honest feedback we get. Either their little faces light up with extreme joy or they start to squint and pucker,” says Oberoi.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea-based probiotic beverage. SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is used to make this drink. (Getty Images / iStockphoto)
  • Where: Harsh Negandhi at foodtraveler14@gmail.com
  • Price: Rs 150 for 250 ml

What: A fermented sweet tea-based probiotic beverage. As with kefir, SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is used to make this drink.

Why: “I tried kombucha for the first time in May 2016. Then, in Goa, I found someone selling the SCOBY, a podgy, oyster-coloured blob that gets your fermentation going,” says Harsh Negandhi. “I brought some home and started experimenting for personal consumption. Before I knew it, I was getting orders.” Negandhi launched his Bucha Bar line in November and has two items on his menu – clarifying black tea kombucha and detoxifying green kombucha.