Restaurant Review: Sizzle Desi, Thane
What do the words Upvaas Special Sizzler conjure up in your mind? Images of weird tasting food? Can’t blame you. It is an unusual concept, which warrants a certain amount of scepticism. But but but, the newest sizzler place in the city, Sizzle Desi, is here to correct your mental imagery. Let’s go chronologically though.
Recently, on Sankashti, we checked out Sizzle Desi, which offers soups, sandwiches, wraps and rolls, burgers and pasta, apart from continental and desi sizzlers, of course. We began our dinner with an appetizer – the Jalapeno & Corn Cheese Balls. It was the right mix of spice, crunch and delicious cheesiness. The mayo dip that came with it was heavenly – I had called for an extra dip to eat spoonfuls of just that.
Since we were in the mood to experiment, we called for the Chimichuri Spiked Mushroom Wrap, having no idea what chimichuri is. Later, owner and Chef of the place, Mr Parag Joglekar explained that chimichuri is a green sauce, a mix of parsley, garlic, oregano and white vinegar, among others. Being a sucker for mushrooms, I loved the wrap. The green sauce tasted similar to pesto. It came with a side of wedges, which was coated with a bit of what I think was amchur powder, to give it a nice zing. The wrap is quite filling, BTW. There aren’t too many options for beverages, but the Watermelon Iced Tea was super amazing.
Next up, we sampled the Upvaas Special Sizzler, which is an off-the-menu dish. It was, however, tough to decide what to order because there is nothing regular about any dish at Sizzle Desi. We had to choose between Grilled Cottage Cheese in Harissa Sauce, Mushroom Manchurian, Corn & Cheese Pattie with Baked Beans and Sambal Glazed Cottage Cheese. Life can be tough.
Now, I am not big on Maharashtrian cuisine. Varan-Bhaat, Zhunkha-Bhakhar and the like just don’t excite me. So I was taken aback by just how much I liked the Upvaas Special Sizzler — which was essentially Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Khichdi, Batatachi Bhaji, Varaicha Bhat, with a side of Kakdi Kachumber and Shengdanachi Aamti. If you’d offered me something called Shengdanachi Aamti in any other situation, I would have thanked you and then made an excuse to not have it. And boy, was it good! I’m the kind of fussy eater who wouldn’t ordinarily touch Sabudana Vada at home. If my mother had seen the way I devoured the dish, I suspect she would never have spoken to me again. But the sizzler was so darn good. My friend Devashish AKA Bombay Sufi (click here for his amazing Hindi poetry) also isn’t a fan of Maharashtrian food but he shared the same sentiments when it came to the Upvaas Special Sizzler.
For dessert, we could have gone for the sizzling chocolate brownie, but hey, every other place serves that. We instead went for a supremely unique sizzler desert – a scoop on vanilla ice-cream, Gulab Jamun and Gajar ka Halwa on a bed of Puran Poli. Topped with chocolate sauce, of course. Once again, it sounds odd. But trust me, and trust Mr Joglekar’s culinary experience of 22 years, it was AWESOME. And I don’t even like Puran Poli. But somehow, the desert on the whole just worked for me. The Gulam Jamun was delicious, the Gajar Halwa didn’t look like it had a lot of food colouring. You have to try the combination to know what I’m raving about.
We thought this was the end of our dinner but we were in for a pleasant surprise. We were offered Paan-flavoured shots. Yes, Paan-flavoured shots. And they were brilliant. No mukhwaas or saunf can compare to ending a meal like this.
The service was attentive and polite. The décor, admittedly, is nothing to write home about. It’s a rather simple affair. The efforts seem to have gone entirely into the food – so we aren’t complaining. While not an ideal date place, it’s definitely a good option for dinner with family or friends. Originally intended to be a purely sizzler and beer place, Mr Joglekar had to re-imagine the whole restaurant because residents in the area weren’t okay with having a restaurant serving liquor.
Everybody loves a good sizzler. Head to Sizzle Desi for more than just that.
Sizzle Desi: 1, Trishul Apartment, Eastern Express Highway, Service Road, Beside Celebration Hall, Panchpakhadi, Thane (West)
Meal for two: Rs. 1,300 (approx, as per Zomato)
Call: 022 30151555
Not-so-fine print: Big thanks to ‘Rotaractor forever’, Yashad Kirtane, for extending the review invitation to me. Which means yes, we were guests of the restaurant for this meal.