Yazu- Pan Asian super club

We stumbled upon on this restaurant quite literally out of the blue. We had reservations at an another Asian restaurant In juhu but couldn’t get our table for the desired time and so we decided to explore some other Asian restaurant in Vincity and were so glad we found this place.

Ambience

It’s a chic setting with elegant interiors. You have the bar on your right with tables in the Centre and some classy U shaped sofas for large groups.

Food

For starters we ordered Butter garlic Sichuan prawns. The dish was more on the Sichuan side than on the usual butter garlic ones but nonetheless tasted well. The prawns were sautéed well with the Sichuan sauce.

Next were the crispy chicken net fried gyoza and spicy chicken Cheung Fun. Gyoza is fried dumpling filled with minced chicken and it tasted so well with all the flavors balancing it perfectly. Chicken Cheung fun is a rice noodle roll which literally melts in your mouth served with black sauce to give the extra bit of zing.

Crispy chicken fried net gyoza
Noodle rice dumplings

For main course we had yazu signature spicy noodles though it wasn’t that spicy (or may be I have high tolerance 😉) the dish was executed well. We also had Thai massaman curry with garlic fried rice. The curry was cooked well without overpowering the coconut essence but the burnt garlic didn’t really enhance its garlic flavor and had quite strong fragrance to it but over well went with the curry.

For desserts we had the Chef’s Mess which is the amalgamation of various components such as raspberry and passion fruit compete, hazelnuts, red velvet crumble and chocolate brownie. The Centre point of this dessert was the dark chocolate ball filled with chocolate mousse. It is known as the chef’s mess because the chef will personally come to your table to assemble the dessert.

Service

The service was quick and the staff was attentive but since we ordered for the chefs mess dessert we had to wait for the chef to be available to present our dessert. The chef was busy ( understandably so ) and it took a while for the dessert so if you are on a time crunch I would suggest you skip this part.

Overall it was a nice experience.

Kiehl’s rare earth pore cleansing masque review.

Today I am going to be talking about keilh’s rare earth pore cleansing mask. This was the first skincare product that I bought years ago. It was before I knew about acids , chemical exfoliating, antioxidants or any such thing, basically when I was total new to skincare essentials. I have always had oily skin which tends to get super oily during summer months and during one such phase when my skin was clogged and congested (which happens a lot ) I came across this product and have never looked back since then. It is that skincare product in my shelf which always has to be there and I restock it as soon is it gets over. I have tried other clay masks from different brands as well but I always come back to this one. Whether you have dry oily combinational or sensitive skin this mask fits all no wonder it has achieved a cult status.

The packaging

It comes in a wide neck jar which makes it easier to scoop out unlike tube masks which makes it difficult to remove towards the end causing wastage. It’s a clay mask made with the ingredients sourced from the amazon river in northern Brazil. It doesn’t contain any chemicals or acids so the chances of you getting a reaction or irritation from it is quite rare.

How to apply

I usually use a mild cleanser after which i put on this mask and since it’s a clay mask I don’t pat dry my face and put it on when it’s still wet so that way it’s easy to spread it. The package says to keep the mask on for 20mins but I generally keep it for a good 30-40 mins to an 1hr depending on the thickness of the layer (that’s cause I have oily skin and the mask doesn’t make my skin dry) but if you have dry skin 30 mins would do ( or whatever time it takes for the mask to be completely dry ) and then rinse off with warm water. Now this won’t magically make your blackheads disappear after removing the mask but it does bring them to the surface of your skin (and I mean it literally ) making it easier to remove with a towel or blackhead remover tool.

I get a lot of blackheads not only on my nose but also on my cheeks and whenever I feel like the blackheads are getting inflamed I put this mask on. Not only does it get the blackhead on the surface it also makes it easier to extract. Make sure your mask is completely dry for the junk to sit on the surface.

In the end it makes my skin super clean and smooth removing excess oil.

I also use this mask as a spot treatment sometimes for my pimples keeping it overnight to fasten the process.

The jar usually lasts for about 4-6 months if you use once a week.

Pros :

Very good for blackheads. Packaging is made as to no wastage. Cleanses without drying.

Cons :

The only thing is the mask tends to get dry towards the end of the tub.

Would I repurchase ?

Yes, always have and will continue to do so.

Dinner with romantic lights at 1BHK, oshiwara

I have been to 1BHK before for breakfast ( a separate review for that ) and New Years as well but it wasn’t until recently I tried the food here so let’s get on with the experience.

AMBIENCE :

Tucked away in the corner of Oshiwara it might be difficult at first to locate the place but once you find it, you will be pleasantly surprised. The restaurant has a romantic and festive feel to it with pretty lights all over. It has a indoor as well as outdoor seating area with a projector screen on display in the outdoor area. The indoor area spells prettiness all over with its cute interiors and vibrant furniture. The also have a separate dining area for a group if you want a bit of privacy.

FOOD :

For starters we had prawns chill pil. The prawns are tossed in butter garlic sauce and served with steamed bao. Dipped in sauce, the prawns were perfectly cooked oozing the delicious butter. The bao was soft and went well with the dish.

Next up was House grilled fish served with veggies, shrimps and Casper sauce. This dish was the star of the evening. The flavor, sauce and dressing was made to perfection. The fish was moist with the veggies grilled just enough for them to still have their crunch. Served with quinoa on top and Casper sauce the dish was complete. The fish alone stood out with the shrimps fading in the background. It could totally do without the shrimps.

Salli chicken is a Parsi dish which is a thick semi dry chicken gravy with Salli potatoes sprinkled on top. You can have this with either brown onion pulav or pao. We had this with buttered pao but I wish we tried the pulav instead since I think the rice would enhance the flavours more.

For dessert we had No bake cheesecake with cherries. It was a simple dark chocolate mouse with a layer of biscuit crumbs on the base with half cut cherries on top. Simple yet filling.

Service

The service was quite quick to my surprise inspite of lot of tables being occupied. Staff was attentive and friendly.

Overall it a nice experience and would love to try some more of their dishes soon.

Traveling with toddlers

We decided to celebrate my younger daughter Aizah’s first birthday with a trip to Istanbul and though it was exciting to finally have our first trip together as a family it also gave me tremendous anxiety thinking about traveling with two kids ( a 3yr old and 1yr old). I have been on flights with my elder one but those were short one hour long flights so this was relatively longer and plus we had two connecting flights Mumbai to Dubai with a 5hour layover and then to istanbul. After hours of planning, organizing and tons of packing we started our journey.

Here are the few things which helped me through which can be useful to you.

• Let the kids play as much as they want to on the airport before boarding the flight as it means they might be all tired and exhausted from running around and will go to sleep through the flight.

• Keep them hydrated through out as long flights tend to dehydrate us.

• Don’t fuss on eating a proper meal. I think we (usually mothers )🤷🏼‍♀️ emphasize a lot on kids finishing their meals which can be a difficult task during the flight, instead carry their favorite snacks with you so if they do not like the food served on the plane they have something to munch on.

• Also, carry some some of the Toys or their crayons or books to keep them entertained because inflight entertainment hardly helps.

• If it’s his /her first time in a flight it will difficult for the baby to understand why is she being held or stopped from walking around so let them roam a bit between aisles.

• They might (or definitely will ) throw tantrums, demand for things which they usually don’t do at home or other places and the best way to calm them down that time would be to give in. not what you want to listen but it’s no time to discipline when the entire flight is watching over you

• If you are still breastfeeding the baby like I was don’t be shy doing so during the flight, it’s completely okay to give in as much as the baby demands. (it might even help with ear pain during take off and landings)

• We checked into emirates business class lounge for our layover and I would highly recommend you to do that (or any other lounge on your airport ) since it has a family area, playing room for kids and even quite areas for the baby to sleep in.

• I would also suggest you to buy a ticket for your toddler if you can afford it because the baby bassinet provided can hardly carry a baby older than 8-9 months and it can get tiresome to keep your toddler on your lap the entire time.

Now you would wonder was my journey perfect and smooth sailing , quite far from it to be honest but doing these little things definitely made it easier for me and my family. Finally don’t panic it’s only a matter of few hours for your destination and even if it gets difficult don’t worry you will survive, all of us do 😊.

TOP 5 THINGS TO EAT IN ISTANBUL

1. Take a bite of the delicious SIMIT.

Turkish people are famous for their breads and what could be better than a Simit ( a Turkish bagel) which is round in shape and has sesame seeds on top to give the perfect crunch. You can have this with chocolate or any other filling (I prefer the classic plain one) with hot Turkish tea or coffee. You also get cinnamon rolls, churros , roasted chestnuts and boiled corn on the streets. This is easily available everywhere or you could buy them the Simit sarayi shops. It tastes exactly same, the only difference being simit sarayi could toast the simit for you to make it extra crunchy. Cost of simit here is 5lira while on the street it is 1.5lira.

2. Have Turkish Tea/ Coffee

Tea is an integral part Turkish cuisine and rightly so. No meal is complete till the time you’ve had a sip of your tea. It is served in those small cute tulip shaped glasses and even though I am not much of a tea/coffee person I came back being addicted to Turkish tea. It comes in different flavors such as apple, pomegranate, ginger with apple being my favorite. You could have this with or without sugar depending on your taste. This can be the perfect thing for you to take back home for your friends and family

3. Dine at Nusr-Et Sandal Bedesteni

If you are a steak lover you cannot miss this place. It is owned by the renowned Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe also popularly known as the iconic salt bae. The ambiance is cool and the staff is friendly and attentive. From juicy burgers to steaks this place will satisfy all your taste buds. The restaurant has various branches across the city so choose one nearest to your place. The place is always full so make sure you have reservation before coming in avoid waiting in long queues. Some may find it a bit over priced but it’s worth the experience and don’t forget to order baklava with ice cream which is the BOMB !!! If you want a detailed review of the restaurant check here

4. Have a taste of ottoman cuisine.

Gözleme/flatbread
Meat platter

They say the best way to experience culture is through their food. The rich Turkish culture reflects well in their cuisine through their various kebabs, grills and more. Although It has more of meat based dishes there are options for vegetarians as well. Every locality has their own signature dish. The sultana-met area has their famous köftesi (grilled meat balls). You will see Turkish women in shops making traditional gözleme (Turkish flatbread) in front of you on open stove to serve It hot. This gözleme can be filled with cheese, meat , spinach or any filling of your choice. Then there are Turkish pidde (pizza) Donner kebabs (shredded meat ) in a roll and if you are a in a mood for some delicious meat then order a mixed grilled platter which serves a variety of kebabs, meat balls and lamb chops.

5. Turkish delight and dessert at Hafeez Mustafa.

Kunefeh

Hafeez Mustafa is a famous pastry shop in Istanbul which has been around for 150 years. It is famous for its dessert and lives up to all the hype around it . The two most well known Turkish desserts are baklava and kanafeh. Baklava is a Turkish pastry filled with pistachios. You either try a whole baklava platter with different variations or the classic pistachio one. Kanafeh is a thin semolina pastry filled with either cream or cheese and best eaten when it is served hot. They also serve various other desserts from milk pudding to baked chicken breast pudding (yes u heard it right). During rush hours there might be a long queue of people waiting to just sit inside and have their favorite dessert with tea. You will always see people rushing in and out of the shop to take their favorite dessert in boxes back home. Your trip to istanbul might be just be incomplete without having a bite so don’t miss them.

Have you visited Istanbul? What was the best thing you has there ?

Nusr-Et Steakhouse

Nusr-et al is a Turkish steakhouse owned by the renowned Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe also popularly known as the iconic salt bae having several restaurants around the world with New York, Dubai, Miami to name a few.

We visited the place on our recent trip to Istanbul. The restaurant has a cool vibe. Since the tables are always occupied expect the place to be bustling with people. The first floor has an open kitchen with the interiors modern as well displaying a bit of Turkish culture with wooden furniture.

Now lets come to the food. For starters we had beef burgers. It has to be one of the best burgers I have ever had and I have had quite a few. It is juicy, filled with meat, melting cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. The burger is grilled to make the bun warm and give you a bit of crisp. It is cut into 2 pieces so that things don’t get messy while you enjoy your burger. Served with fries.

Next up was the lamp chops. I am usually a little weary of trying lamb chops outside because my mom makes some amazing chops so it has always been a childhood favorite and not many can live up to my high expectations of it but this one did a good job at it. It was moist yet not too chewy and good on the taste as well.

You cannot come to a steak house and not try their steaks. Here, we ordered a Dallas steak. It was a tender piece of meat with t bone served with roasted potatoes and spinach onion salad on the side. We asked for medium rare, it was browned well enough without being overcooked, as well as good flavor, succulent and delicious.

We were actually going to skip having dessert here since I wanted to have it from a dessert Parlour but my cousin messaged me saying don’t miss their baklava with ice cream it’s the BOMB, so we did try and it was indeed THE BOMB !! Since baklava is the traditional dessert of the Turkish cuisine it is served almost everywhere in the city but this was by far the best amongst them. Even better than few of the dessert Cafés. Vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between the pistachio pastry breaking the intense flavor with vanilla sweetness. The waiter will make the pastry on the your table with a little theatrics by mixing the ice cream and cutting the baklava in front of you for entertainment purposes. A must have here I would say.

The restaurant has various branches across the city so choose one nearest to your place. The place is always full so make sure you have a reservation before coming in to avoid waiting in long queues. We went to the one inside the grand bazaar near Sultanahmet area. Some may find the price to be on the higher side but i guess it’s worth the experience.

Nusr-Et Steakhouse Sandal Bedesteni Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

TOP 5 PLACES TO SEE IN ISTANBUL.

1. Learn history at Blue mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi palace museum.

You cannot come to Istanbul and not see these heritage sites. It reflects the rich ottoman architecture of Istanbul. Blue mosque is an ancient mosque built in 1600s and still continues to function as a mosque till this date where people offer prayers five times. Hagia Sophia, is a former Christian church which was later announced as imperial ottoman mosque now stands a museum. Topkapi museum is a former palace which served as the main residence and administrative headquarters for the ottoman sultans before they moved to Dolmabahçe palace. All these three sites are within 100meters of each other and can be visited on the same day if you start your day early however all three are closed on different days so it would be good choose a day for your sightseeing when all three are open to public. While blue mosque is open every day, Topkapi museum is closed on Tuesdays and Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays so it would be ideal to choose a day other than these. Cost of ticket for Hagia Sophia is 60tl and Topkapi museum are 40tl pp while blue mosque entrance is free, women are required to cover their heads and dress appropriately while entering the mosque.

Blue mosque

2. Scenic view from the top of Galata tower

Galata tower is an ancient tower located in the by lanes of karaköy area. It’s a nine storey tower and you may have to walk a bit to reach the the base of the tower but the view on the top totally makes it worthwhile. The elevator takes you to three floors down the deck from where you have to take the stairs to reach the deck. This floor also has a photo booth where you can get yourself clicked wearing traditional Turkish costumes. The observatory deck has a 360 degree view from where you can see the Bosphorus bridge. The towers also has a simulation helicopter ride to give you 3D view of all the historical places in the city and if all that scenic view makes you hungry there are two restaurants, one on the deck and one below for you to enjoy a meal with a view. The cost for the tower is 25tl pp along with 10tl for simulation ride. Since we had a toddler with us we were not allowed for the simulation but you could totally give it a try.

3. Visit Taksim Square

Historically Taksim Square was inaugurated to celebrate the fifth anniversary of republic of turkey after years of war. Today it stands as the heart of modern day istanbul. You could say this is the downtown of Istanbul with young crowd wandering on the streets. The cool and vibrant vibe can immediately lift up your spirits with various artists showing their talent on the streets as you stroll along. Its bustling with restaurants, nightclubs and shopping mall. It has several chain of international restaurants like McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut etc as well local vendors selling Donner kebabs, shawarma. The street leads up to Istiklal Street which is known as the food street of Istanbul. Taksim also has the nostalgic red and white heritage tram to give you a tour of the istiklal street. So hop on the tram to enjoy the ride.

Taksim square

4. Shop at Grand bazaar

Grand bazaar literally translates as grand/ big market. It is one of the oldest markets in Istanbul and has everything under one roof. It’s a covered market place and bustling with people which can make you a bit claustrophobic if visiting during peak hours. If you are looking to take some souvenirs back home for your family and friends then this is the place. You can buy various local artifacts and souvenirs along with spices, dry fruits ( sweetened and unsweetened ), Turkish chocolates and tea. The bazaar is huge and divided into different sections. The leather section has leather jackets, shoes, belts and bags. There’s a variety of Turkish cutlery with beautiful designs and silver jewelry for both men and women. Make sure you bargain and visit 2-3shops before buying anything because the prices might differ everywhere and people can give counter offers. The market is open from 9am to 7pm and closed for Friday prayers. The best time to visit would be early in morning before the crowd gathers.

5. Take a Bosporus boat tour/ ride.

Istanbul is an island city and boats are used as mode of local transport. You can see a lot of yachts, boats used for tourist purposes. A boat tour gives you a glimpse of the magnificent bosphorus bridge that connects the Asian and European sides of turkey. You could take a whole day long cruise which halts at various tourist spots or short boat tour for a closer view of the bridge. These boats are equipped with food , entertainment and other recreational activities. Depending on what experiences you want and the time on your schedule you can book a tour. The bridge is beautifully lit up by the night. It’s an experience you do not want to miss.

Bosphorus bridge

Travel by tram

Now this is not a must do thing but it’s such a cheaper and convenient mode of traveling in Istanbul given its connectivity and easy access. I would totally suggest you to ditch the cab (if you don’t like being stuck in traffic ) and take the tram since it can take you to every possible destination in the city. All you have to do is make a metro card which will cost around 10 lira and keep filling it whenever required. This metro card can be used in tram, busses and metro as well and when you are returning home you can deposit this card and get a refund of 5lira so in all this card would only cost you 5lira which I think is quite reasonable.