Review – Jumble Tumble, Mulund

If you have been following my posts, then you know this summer vacation I resolved not to enroll Nabeel for any fancy “summer classes”, this year he was left totally on his own, indulging in unsupervised, unguided indoor and outdoor activities with his new found group of friends. This time I just let him be, like how kids should be.
But, once in a while, when some or the other member of his gang was away on a holiday or at a class he did get bored and sluggish doing nothing. That’s when I resorted to indoor play areas to uplift him and break the monotony of home bound play. If you have been following (again) my reviews of indoor play areas, you know Nabeel and I have explored almost all of them in Mumbai city. The latest one on the list is Jumble Tumble, which is situated in R-Mall, Mulund.

Jumble Tumble Mulund

Jumble Tumble (JT) opened its doors less than a month ago and has already gained lot of popularity amongst the local crowd, mainly because there is no such activity and entertainment place within decent travel limits (read, with kids)

Jumble Tumble has the usual play sections like ball pool, roller slides, trampoline, rock climbing wall, foam pit, rope baskets and zip line, all of which are decently spaced out, erected on a strong structure and built with smooth finish ensuring safe and secure play for kids. The place is average sized but because of its smart layout it gives you an illusion of huge space that is inviting and colourful just like any kids entertainment zone should be. It definitely exudes those happy, cheerful vibes that kids need to feel in-order to get comfortable with a new place.

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Trampoline, Foam Pit & Rock Climbing Wall

 

Nabeel enjoying the zip line at Jumble Tumble

What is unique to Jumble Tumble is the collection of various sit down games and toys like the supermarket setup life sized building blocks, few board games and superb assortment of toys on the attractive toy rack. This is more for kids who are tired jumping around and need to cool down without discontinuing their play.

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Nabeel & his friend enjoying the sit down games after a wild session of jumping and bouncing in the play zone

It has an in-house café serving the regular kids favourites and a big seating area; for moms while kids play and for birthday or any celebration gatherings. I like the fact that every corner of the play zone is visible from the seating area making it easier for moms to keep a watchful eye on the kids. Plus, the fact that it is situated in a shopping mall makes it good place to drop kids and indulge in some peaceful shopping time.

The price for an hour’s play is 350 (weekdays) & 400 (weekends). JT offers attractive membership rates for regulars and themed birthday party packages.
Kids between 8 months to 10 years are allowed in the play zone.

For more details look up here : Jumble Tumble

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Review – Soda Bottle Opener Wala, Powai

Enter Soda Bottle Opener Wala and you feel like your old Irani café just got a makeover, a quirky one at that

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Soda Bottle Opener Wala (SBOW) is a chain of all-day dine-in bistro with branches in Mumbai and Delhi. It serves popular Parsi delicacies as well as some Iranian / Persian signature dishes. I was invited along with a bunch of enterprising mothers from JAMM’s, for lunch, to sample their food at the newly opened branch in Powai, Mumbai.

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JAMMies on a mission

The Decor
What bowls you over much before their food is the vibrant and lively decor.
For me the only thing that needs to be good at a restaurant is its food; the décor, service and other such criterias are usually secondary. But in case of SBOW let me talk about the décor and the general “happy vibes” that I felt just by being there.
It took me exactly 20 minutes to soak in the sights of this modernized Iranian café, before I set my eyes on the menu. Witty posters sandwiched between the table cloth and it’s glass top, funky objects pinned onto the wall, the restaurant rule board, antique lighting suspended from the ceiling, bawa’s family tree frames, typical Iranian café wooden chairs, the tiled floor, all capture your attention instantly. Every single corner of this establishment resonates fun and creativity. Not a dull moment anywhere.
I was told by friends who had been there earlier that the place gives you a positive feel and for me it really turned out to be a “happy vibe” place to hangout with friends, colleagues or even with kids.

The Food
Food at SBOW is a pleasant change from the regular speciality restaurants. Mainly because there aren’t many dedicated places serving just Parsi fare, it is always offered along with other cuisines and somewhere the authentic touch in preparing the dishes is lost. So, for Parsi food this is a place to try.

 

What we were served at Soda Bottle Opener Wala

Starters / Sides
• Chicken Baida Roti – Minced chicken wrapped in egg layered, wheat roti. Very close to the ones you get at the road side stalls. One word – delicious!
• Kolmi Fry – Succulent prawns wrapped with onion rings and deep fried, this is quite a delicacy.
• Chicken Farcha – A popular Parsi starter of batter fried chicken strips. Reminded me of the KFC strips in a way.
• Mushroom on Khari – The humble tea time bake khari gets a creamy topping of mushrooms and white sauce. Seems like an in-house specialty.

kolmi fry

 

Mains
• Anaida’s Irani Haleem – Mildy spiced, this mixture of mashed wheat and meat is a treat. Loved the perfectly done “barista” (sliced fried onion) on it.
• Bohri Keema Pav – Saucy minced meat, spiced to perfection transports you to Bohri Mohalla.

bohri keema pav
• Prawns Patio – Mildly spiced gravy with perfectly done prawns.

prawns patio
• Berry Pulao – The pulao is similar to fried rice minus the vegetables but graced with special Iranian zar berries which give the dish its name.
• Chicken / Mutton Dhansak – Attractively served in a 3 compartment “dabba” (tiffin) which holds the gravy, rice and onion salad respectively. The dish is traditionally prepared when there is a death in the family and so it is a humble mix of lentils and meat which are cooked with minimal spices. Nothing fancy but gives you a feeling of wholesomeness.

dhansak

• Patra ni Machi – A Parsi staple of fish steamed in banana leaf. Found it bland and the fresh not too fresh.
• BreachCandy Okra – Deepfried Okra (lady finger) on a bed of tangy tomato based sauce. Not something I did order :-

 

Desserts
• Mawa Cakes – Their mawa cakes are freshly baked in-house, at every outlet and are a succulent delicacy not to be missed.
• Aunty Jeero’s Tobelerone Mousse – Are you a chocolate lover? Then DONOT miss this one.
• Parsi Dairy Kulfi – If you can’t get to Parsi Dairy then fret not. SBOW brings it to you. Worth trying once, if you haven’t already.
• Lagan Nu Custard – The infamous baked egg dessert of the Parsis had to be good.
• Red Velvet Brownie – Moist and usual brownie. Nothing exceptional.

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Mocktails
• Sekanje Bin – I absolutely loved this unique concoction of plums, mint and soda. You shall not stop at one.
• Raspberry Soda – Attractive looking, refreshing, pulpy fluid to sip on throughout the meal. This is a signature drink at Irani cafes.

 

What I recommend you should try at Soda Bottle Openerwala

Sekanje Bin
Chicken Baida Roti
Chicken Farcha
Kolmi Fry
Anaida’s Irani Haleem
Chicken / Mutton Dhansak
Aunty Jeero’s Tobelerone Mousse
Mawa Cakes

Other facts
Location – Powai. Bang on JVLR, near the Powai Plaza junction. It replaces the Pizza Hut outlet.
Parking – Valet available
Timings – Noon to Midnight
Meal for 2 costs – Rs.800 to Rs.1000 minus the taxes
Alcohol served – Yes
Suitable for – Formal & Informal meals. Can take family and kids along.

Have you been to any of the SBOW outlets? Do share your experiences & photos with me.

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Review – Hulla Gulla Kids

Have you given up looking for decent songs to play at your child’s birthday party? Do you dread at the thought of your child not only dancing to but also humming rowdy Bollywood dance numbers?
Presenting Hulla Gulla Kids (HGK), an online source of audio-video dance along songs, for kids aged 2 to 8, with hilarious lyrics, upbeat music and educative content.

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Hulla Gulla Kids songs are curated and executed by an enthusiastic team of mothers and approved by an in-house Kids Squad.
Mirabelle and Meera, 2 creative moms from the fields of music and art put their years of experience into the making of these dance along family songs that revolve around everyday Indian life and culture. The soundtracks are original, very Indian and have decent lyrics which you wouldn’t mind your kids singing.
“While nursery rhymes are in place they are not good enough for today’s kids who want their own songs with modern music, fun dance steps and cool lyrics” explains Mirabelle, who has written, sung, choreographed and also featured in all the song videos along with her cute daughter Sivaanaa.

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Mirabelle & Sivaanaa

“The basic idea of creating such kind of content is to keep kids connected with their Indian roots by way of fun, humour and clean entertainment” explains Mirabelle.

Launched in November 2016 the channel has already captured quite an audience with it 3 foot –tapping songs.
For the very first song they picked scenes from everyday life found on the Indian streets and weaved a fun and upbeat composition which garnered HGK lot of recognition and praise from across the globe. Especially mothers, who were happy to play it on loop for their kids without worrying much about the content.
Their second song is educative and teaches kids about recycling simultaneously encouraging them to practice it on an everyday basis. The most recent song is based on cooking and encourages families to cook, eat and have fun together.

Read more about them at http://hallagullakids.com/ and check out their songs at https://www.youtube.com/hallagullakids

*Image Credit – Hulla Gulla Kids

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Colgate Magical Stories – Nabeel’s Make Believe Space Holiday

This post was selected as one of the top 15 winning entries by Blogadda

Recently, we watched the gripping Sandra bullock starrer space thriller Gravity for our family movie night out. It was Nabeel’s first space movie experience; the visuals of fathomless space and his pretty planet left him in awe. He chuckled at the fact that one can “fly and swim” in space and prepared himself mentally to work his way towards space school in order to become an astronaut one day. Since then the big mysterious world of planets and stars has been on his mind, all the space relevant books stacked in his book shelf finally got his attention and now they keep him busy all day.
It was just mere co-incidence that Colgate sent in their new DIY activity packs themed around space for us to try and imagine how excited it got Nabeel.

colgate space pack

Colgate has come up with these simple yet educative DIY toothpaste packs where the reverse of the carton has pictures of various space elements that need to be cut and erected which the child can use to create Magical Stories. There are 3 packs titled Space Launch, Alien Planet and Space Walk all covering various space basics.

Armed with a lot of newfound knowledge of space and his dream to visit it one day, Nabeel weaved a story using the Colgate pack cut-outs, with him as the main protagonist.

Reproducing below, what Nabeel narrated.

 

 

Nabeel’s Make Believe Space Holiday

Nabeel decides to visit space during his school holidays. He prepares himself by shopping for Astronaut space suits and other accessories along with his mummy. Nabeel is going with his best friend Anisha as mummy and daddy are too busy to go with him. They don’t pack toys or games as they will “fly off” and get lost in space.
Both of them are very excited to go in the space shuttle but very uncomfortable in the heavy space suits. As the space shuttle moves away from Earth they see the hot sun and are scared by its brightness and heat. Further ahead, they can see Earth which is like a blue – green ball, it looks very tiny. There are other planets too which are much smaller and look like small beads.
They land on Moon and come out of the space shuttle to “fly”. Both of them are giggling and enjoying the experience but it is difficult for them to control their movements. They are disappointed not to spot any stars as it is day time. They see a gang of aliens with 2 heads and many arms and legs just like an octopus, coming towards them, terrified they run back to the shuttle.
In the night they dare to venture out of the space shuttle, again. There are so many stars in the sky, they also spot a shooting star and sing rhymes out of excitement. Like good kids they eat their food and sleep as the journey has been tiring.
Next morning they return back to Earth as they are missing everyone.

Nabeel’s holiday plan made me smile and he has promised to take me along on his next trip to Venus. Ain’t I excited? 🙂

I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalStories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

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Review – Fun O Factory, Ghatkopar

Fun O Factory is a new indoor play area opened up in R-City Mall, Ghatkopar.
We checked it out and were happy to know it lived up to its name.

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Energy levels and sense of adventure in Nabeel is doubling by the day, he is gradually getting bored of the usual trips to cuddly, mushy soft centred play zones, Fun O Factory comes right in time for it brings along what Nabeel seeks, thrill and light adventure.

Fun O Factory is smartly divided into 3 play zones; trampoline park , rope course and soft play area.

This place is meant for all age group kids, right from toddlers to college going and even adults, if you please. Space is huge but doesn’t look like due to the compact setting of three zones. In between there is a small cafeteria serving the usual finger foods and beverages.

Trampoline Park

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Trampoline Park @ Fun O Factory

The trampoline park is one of its kinds in Mumbai and is huge enough for a group of kids and adults to enjoy at the same time.

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Foam Pit inside the Trampoline Park

The trampoline park is one of its kinds in Mumbai and is huge enough for a group of kids and adults to enjoy at the same time. The area has floor as well as side trampoline to give you an overall “bouncy” experience. Within the trampoline park is a “foam pit”; the concept is similar to a ball pool only there are huge blocks of foam that give you a feeling of jumping into and landing on a huge mattress. A wall climbing set up is smartly put up against one of the wall in the park while others have a few nets for an impromptu ball game. One has the option to even get into some sport matches in the area on further consultation with the management. The trampoline park allows enthusiastic adults as well but for a limited time and as per the no. of kids inside at the given time. There are scheduled trampoline workout classes for ladies too.
Rope Course

The levels get difficult to pass through, as the kids move on, but worth a try for every child who is looking for some adrenaline rush.

One thing Nabeel enjoyed the most in Fun O Factory was the Rope course, a thrill based set up for young kids (no taller than 4 feet). The area has a 3 tiered suspended net cage in the center surrounded by 2 levels of walk through tracks akin to sport rope walking. Kids are perfectly guided by the staff and their protection is taken care of by a harness and safety helmet. The levels get difficult to pass through, as the kids move on, but worth a try for every child who is looking for some adrenaline rush.

Soft play Zone

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Fun O Factory soft play area is like any other with all elements like ball pool, slides, swings, games and hopping animals. It also has a mini trampoline for kids who are too young to try out the trampoline park.

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Décor of the place is cheerful and inviting with well thought of seating area for parents and bag racks. The best part is you have the option of choosing to enter just one zone or all of them under one ticket. You are charged as per the time you want to spend. Colour coded wrist bands are fastened to know which zone you belong to and have paid for. Location of the place is ideal as you can drop your kids while you indulge in some retail therapy ;-). You won’t shell out more than Rs.500/- at any point in time, for an hour’s ticket, with all 3 zones combined.

For more information, look up here.

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Other indoor play areas of Mumbai that we reviewed The Riot Room, Thane & Little Monsters, Chandivali

Review – Little Monsters, Chandivali

little-monster

I often take Nabeel to indoor soft play areas along with his gang of friends as we moms get some time for ourselves while we know the kids are safe and happy on their own. Most play areas are concentrated in South Bombay, our side of the town has a few but nothing close to home. So when, Little Monsters, a fairly new entrant in the indoor play area category opened its doors near us, we decided to check it out.

Little Monsters is the joint venture of 2 women who were bored of their banking jobs and wanted to get into the unexplored children edutainment industry. After much thought and consideration they decided to have a play area one which allows free unrestricted and undirected play in a comfortable and secure setting.

Equipment is harmless and the place is clean, which is the most important aspect I look for in an indoor play zone.

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It has 2 levels, divided thoughtfully, between the café below and the play area above. It’s an average sized play area designed with the transport theme in mind and having the usual’s like trampoline, ball pool and slides. There are few life sized games namely Jenga, Snakes and ladders, Connect 4 where parents and kids can play together. Equipment is harmless and the place is clean, which is the most important aspect I look for in an indoor play zone.

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Life size games corner

Little Monsters is well supervised, owners along with staff are vigilant and watch the kids while they play. The place is quite popular among locals as most of the kids have a monthly pass and usually come in on a daily basis for some recreation. Since its inception, 2 months ago, the place has already hosted 30 parties making it a popular choice among moms to celebrate their kid’s birthday. The café is ideal for mommies to indulge in some me time. We also checked out the menu which is decently priced and offers regular kids favourites.

  • Hourly rate: Rs.250/-
  • Socks compulsory to enter play area
  • Parking not available
  • Ideal for 2 to 10 year old kids
  • For more details checkout their website: Little Monsters 

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5 fun breakfast ideas for kids

Breakfast is an important meal of the day for both adults and kids. Kids, in particular, need to eat a wholesome breakfast to face the challenging day ahead. We all know about the cold war between food and kids and how difficult it is to get the right thing in their system; unless of course the food is presented in a very attractive manner to them or when they whip up treats on their own. Here are some fun ways kids can make their own breakfast, with little help from parents, and relish it too.

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5 fun ways to involve kids in making their breakfast and eating it too!

Read through the 5 fun breakfast suggestions involving kids to bring a stop to all your kids breakfast woes.

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Chocolate Pancake Pizza

1) Chocolate Pancake PizzaWant kids to eat pancakes in a fun way? Let them convert pancakes to yummy chocolate pizzas. Kids can layer pancakes with maple syrup, sliced fruits and then grate oodles of chocolate over it before lightly baking it. The goodness of wheat pancakes, fruits and chocolate will make your child happy and ready to face the day.

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Rainbow Toast  (Image credit:  www.learnplayimagine.com )

2) Rainbow Toast – I found this incredibly good looking breakfast idea on the net. With some edible rainbow food colours, the humble bread slice can be turned into something so appealing that kids will always look forward to breakfast. Mix some edible colors with milk and paint a rainbow on a bread slice, toast the slice and enjoy. For detailed procedure read here.

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Flavored straws are a great way to perk up a boring glass of milk

3) Strawesome Milkshake – Have you bought flavoured straws for your kids, yet? Yummy flavoured straws from Sipahh are a wonderful way to spike up a boring glass of milk at the breakfast table. All that the child has to do is rip open the individual straw packet, dip it in milk and sip through to enjoy instant delicious milkshake. Available in 10 exciting flavours, kids get to indulge in a different milkshake every day.

4) Assembling Quesadillas – Mexican quesadillas stuffed with vegetables and kidney beans make for a wholesome breakfast that will keep the child full for hours. Let your child build his own quesadillas by laying out its ingredients in different bowls on the breakfast table. Things required are tortillas, sautéed mixed vegetables or boiled shredded meat of your choice, mashed kidney beans, grated cheese, herbs and seasonings. Once the quesadillas are layered, help the child lightly toast or grill them in a pan.

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Fruit Skewers for breakfast – artistic & fulfilling

5) Fruit Shashlik – Fruits are the most ideal thing to consume for breakfast. Lay an array of fruits at the table and ask kids to arrange them in an artistic way on skewers to make Fruit Shashlik or Fruit Kabobs. Instead of diced / cubed pieces of fruits use special cutters to cut fruit and make the entire breakfast activity interesting and fulfilling. Honey or maple syrup can be drizzled on the fruit skewers for added flavour.
Do try these simple yet interesting breakfast ideas involving kids this holiday season and let me know how your kids enjoyed them. Do you have any breakfast idea involving kids? If yes, then please share in the comments below.

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