Before the skies open

Updated: 17 November, 2020 12:36 IST | Anju Maskeri | Mumbai

So what if you can't travel? A new cloud kitchen is offering street food from across the globe, so you don't have to make it to China for mantous

Rock and roses mantou
Rock and roses mantou

Over the last six months, we've lost count of the number of 'dark', 'cloud' and 'ghost' kitchens that have launched; they have no physical presence, and offer delivery-only services from a centralised location. Entrepreneur Sakshi Bhojania's Food Homes joins the gang. Two months ago, the Juhu resident converted her home into a cloud kitchen and roped in a team of chefs experienced at five-stars, to helm it. The idea, says Bhojania,  is to also give homemakers a platform to launch their food businesses given the fact that high rentals are a major deterrent.

Her carefully-curated vegetarian menu comprises street food from across the world. The menu is divided into sections labelled pizza turnovers (Italy) bagel sandwiches (Germany), fluffy mantous (China) and Lamingtons (Australia).

Pesto pizza sandwich
Pesto pizza sandwich

When our pastel pink and blue parcel arrives, we love it for its design and functionality. The box opens up into a collapsible plate. In fact, we spare a minute to admire the octagon-shaped pizza box that's inked with pizza quotes, with two X and 0 crosses to help you decide who wins the last slice. The meals come with a handy cutlery kit.

The thin crust pizza sandwich (Rs 485) is made using fresh basil pesto and the dough is filled with sautéed onions, pesto-coated cottage cheese and fresh coriander. Unlike a pizza, this one is light on the tummy and we're still hungry. The jacket potatoes, the ultimate winter convenience in the UK, are fluffy inside with a wonderfully crispy skin. Our jumbo russet potato (Rs 325) is loaded with sour cream, filler cheese, jalapeno, and topped with fresh house salad. Smokey and cheesy, this one is glorious. The skin is not damp although it has spent 45 minutes travelling to the destination.

Sour cream jalapeno potato jacket
Sour cream jalapeno potato jacket

While most items have been inspired by global street gems, there are some homegrown snacks too. The Mumbaiyya vada pav-tou (R285) finds a space in the fluffy mantou section. The term refers to a Chinese steamed bun popular in Northern China. Our mantous comes stuffed with Bombay-style vada pav potato filling and spicy sauce, served with celery chilli mint dip. While it's nice, we'd prefer to have it off the streets at a fraction of the cost.

The pizza turnovers, also known as Panzerotti, originated in Central and Southern Italy. They are essentially oven-baked, inside out pizzas. Our classic turnover (Rs 350) comes in a round fluffy dough, stuffed with classic marinara, mozzarella and fresh basil. The panzerotti is often mistaken for the calzone. Granted, they look alike and they're both from Italy. The panzerotti, however, is like a pizza tart. This one is worth trying.

The nutelicious slider (Rs 275) is loaded with walnuts, almonds, cashews and Nutella. It's warm, nutty and reminds us of a rich, decadent doughnut. But what takes the cake is the Jain rock and roses mantou (Rs 275) with a steamed strawberry base dough stuffed with assorted fruits, white chocolate and walnuts.

None of this comes cheap, but don't all good things have a price?

To order: 9321583672.

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First Published: 15 November, 2020 06:42 IST

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