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Smooth operator

Who would dream up a combination of liquefied bananas, spinach and chocolate? But when the server at Apple A Day, Mumbai's newest juice bar, asked us if we would like chocolate in our banana-spinach smoothie, we decided to give it a spin.

mumbai Updated: May 18, 2013 01:18 IST
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
Hindustan Times

The food

Smooth operator

Who would dream up a combination of liquefied bananas, spinach and chocolate? But when the server at Apple A Day, Mumbai's newest juice bar, asked us if we would like chocolate in our banana-spinach smoothie, we decided to give it a spin. The sludgy fluid was nowhere as unpalatable as it sounds, especially when we thought of it as a health drink. The bitterness of the greens was masked by the fruit's strong aroma, and the note of chocolate rounded it off nicely. Still, it would not be our first choice at AAD.

Not when there was a tomato and watermelon mix, which was smooth, pink-red, and well-balanced in its sweet-savouriness. Or the Konkani delight — kokam sharbat without strong masala overtones and, at Rs. 29, excellent for the summer.

AAD offers over 20 fruit and vegetable juices, (including combinations and smoothies) from a tiny takeaway shop. The white and lime green room has two red bar seats from which you can watch the action.

Fruit and vegetables are only chopped and blended after you place the order, no sugar is added. There’s enough variety to keep patrons curious for their first few visits. Our apple-pineapple-spinach was delicious, if low on the spinach.

(HT pays for all meals and events, and reviews anonymously)

Not on a roll yet

Why does Haji Ali Juice Centre work so well? Because it set up in the right place (a popular pilgrim and tourist spot with very few options for refreshment) at the time that it did (in 1937).

Would a similar eatery work if it was set up on Carter Road today? We’re not convinced. The owners of Roll in Goll, however, seem to be optimistic. There are juices and shakes, meaty roomali rolls, pizzas, toasted sandwiches, and a section called ‘Lemonise’ which detaches itself from any citrusy connections once you read the items under it: ‘chicken shworma, falafal roll, humnius’ and the still mysterious (to us) ‘jalaspav’.

Such howl-inducing misspellings abound on the menu. We tried a Dilkhush with strawberry, kiwi and litchi, made from fresh and canned fruit. It was pleasantly tart and surprisingly tasty.

Roomali rolls were mediocre. The kalimiri chicken and paneer tikka both contained the same frills of green chutney and chopped onions. Cheese-chilly toast comes not with green chillies but a tangy red chutney and enough cheese for a pizza — a gut bomb, but only for R60. The hummus had the texture of coconut chutney and was mildly funky.

RIG has garnered a good spot on a street that is both hungry and stuffed; what it needs is some originality.

— Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi

The excursion

Under a starry sky
Next weekend, relax with a dose of music under the starry sky at a campsite. The Great Gig in the Sky, the monthly outdoor event organised by Jumpstart India will host its 11th gig with singer-songwriter Vasuda Sharma. To be held at a campsite near Karjat, there are a host of activities planned, including camping, a barbeque, star-gazing, visit to a dam and a bird-watching trail. The organisers will also plan a round of friendly games to break the ice before Sharma picks up her guitar. She will be accompanied by band mate and guitarist, Zohran Miranda.

Back in India after a course at the Berklee College of Music, Sharma is working on her debut solo album, Attuned Spirits, due for release this September. It was partly recorded during her time at Berklee and partly in India, and sees collaborations with musicians from around the world. She has worked with artists from Palestine and Jordan as well as Indian artists such as Dhruv Ghanekar, Jay Row Kavi, Rishad Mistry, Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy and Sangeet Haldipur.

At the Karjat gig, expect to hear some songs from her new album, covers and some spontaneous jamming. Don’t forget to carry your pints of chilled beer and a portable ice box.

— Bhairavi Jhaveri

The concerts

A rare treat
This weekend, music lovers are in for a rare treat — a solo harmonium recital by eminent harmonium player and guru, Tulsidas Borkar. He will perform at an event to felicitate the 75th birthday of senior harmonium player Rajabhau Patwardhan. The two have been friends for 40 years.

Borkar’s musical training commenced early in life. His mother, Jaishreebai Borkar, was his first guru.

Subsequently, he learned to play the harmonium from Vishnupant Vasta with guidance from eminent vocalist Chhota Gandharva on the art of harmonium accompaniment.

Between 1957 and 1967, he trained with maestro Madhukar Pednekar. He also interacted with vocalists like SCR Bhatt, KG Ginde, Rajaram Shukla, Murli Manohar Shukla, Ram Marathe and instrumentalists Devendra Murdeshwar and AP Phatak to understand the intricacies of Khayal.

Adored as a guru, Borkar has trained many famous musicians including Niranjan Lele, Sudhir Nayak, Seema Shirodkar, Siddhesh Bicholkar, Shriram Hasabnis and Ajay Joglekar.

“On Sunday, I will play four to five compositions,” says Borkar who, at 78, continues his riyaaz and guides his numerous students.

— Latha Venkatraman

The power of five

A Carnatic classical musician, a Hindustani musician, a Western classical violinist, a mechanical engineer and a management professional — these may seem like five different people, but Chennai-based violinist Sriram Parasuram is all five rolled into one.

This Saturday, Parasuram will perform a rare, solo jugalbandi between the Carnatic and Hindustani classical styles on his violin, at the Powai Fine Arts.

Parasuram began his training in Carnatic music under prominent musicians. He later studied the Hindustani style under CR Vyas and Rajan Mishra.

After winner several awards, including the President of India gold medal for Hindustani and Carnatic music in 1986, he completed a Master’s degree in western classical violin performance from the US. “For our concert, we were looking for a musician who would gel well with the audiences, appealing to both Hindustani and Carnatic music lovers,” says B Swaminathan, president of Powai Fine Arts. “Parasuram, a prolific and proficient musician, is a perfect fit.”

— Aarefa Johari

First Published: May 18, 2013 01:15 IST