Sri Krishna Kafe

September 20, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

For the Tamilian missing authentic veggie meals, Sri Krishna Kafe is a must-do trip that will satisfy you.  Absolutely no frills whatsoever but just plain good food served in banana leaves, this Bannerghatta Road outlet is newer than the Koramangala main branch.  It is located on a tiny lane (right next to Inscape, the roadleads to Strides factory) right opposite IIM B and is more reminiscent of a wedding dining hall than a restaurant.  Basic tables and chairs and a counter where you collect the coupon and pay for your meal form the ambiance and the place is packed with bachelors satiating their taste for home food.  You are quite likely to find families as well and some elderly gentlemen reading Tamil magazines such as Ananda Vikatan!  Waiters in veshtis and plastic gloves serve food out of stainless steel utensils. 

For lunch, the regular and deluxe meals are available.  They are unlimited in quantity so make sure you are hungry! Clean your banana leaf and lie back and enjoy your food.  There is usually two dry vegetable dishes such as roasted yam (yummy!!) and beans and a kootu or a gravy made with vegetables (such as spinach) and dal.  An applam (papad) and a very delicious fried dried chilli stuffed with spices in curd  (called more molaga) is plonked on your leaf.  Rice is then served and you have a choice of four gravies – more kuzambu or curd curry, sambhar, rasam and puli kuzambu or tamarind curry.  All are fantastic so make sure you ration your rice and try each.  Then you can finish off with the rice and curds and their truly amazing fresh pickles.  The deluxe meals have pulav and raita and varuval or fresh chips as well.  Dessert was delicious jaggery payasam.  All this for Rs.65 to Rs. 75 per head. 

Sri Krishna Kafe is good value for money and an excellent bet for true Tamilian food in Bangalore. Just don’t expect frills or sophistication as part of the experience.  Parking is available outside the restaurant. 

For address, click here.

Beijing Bites

March 30, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

A hipper entrant to south Bangalore suburbia, with its numerous high rise apartment complexes, Beijing Bites, which prides itself on being a new age Chinese and Thai restaurant, is good value for money.  What distinguishes it from older Chinese chains such as Chung Wah is that the menu is not overly Indianized or terribly greasy. 

The place is quite popular with young software techies who live and work around the area and couples who live in the high-rises.  The décor is simple and functional with reddish brow sofas and chairs, Chinese artifacts and red and black photographs on the walls. 

The menu is divided into the Chinese and Thai section. For starters, try the vegetarian or chicken momos.  They are really good – with that faint zing of ginger.  I recommend any of the Thai soups too – some of them are slightly on the spicier side like the Thai chicken and bamboo shoot soup which comes spiced with lemon grass, ginger and red chilli.  For the main course, you can try the steamed rice with the vegetable or chicken in garlic sauce or if you are partial to Thai cuisine like me, they whip up a good Thai red curry. 

Parking is available in the empty plot adjoining Beijing Bites.  Service is quick. A meal for two is approximately Rs.300.  Go to Beijing Bites to catch a quick dinner with friends or with your family on a weekday when you are too bored to cook. 

For address and phone number, click here.

Grasshopper

February 28, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

There are those usual restaurants where you go on the spur of the moment and then there are those like Grasshopper – which are reserved for those really special occasions that require thought and planning.  All I can say is that you will not be disappointed. 

Grasshopper is housed in a beautiful farmhouse that combines a chic boutique with a fabulous European restaurant.  It is located off Bannerghatta road, beyond IIM and Meenakshi Temple – but needless to say, this off-beat location adds to the charm of being in a place far from all the madness and traffic.  The minute you reach Grasshopper, you can feel the peace and quite.

You enter through the boutique which has all the charm of a Greenwich Village store – a painted red door, exposed cement blocks, and lovely designer clothes and jewellery.  I could not take my eyes off a ruffled, bohemian black dress – it looked perfect, and pair of red sandals – but all the stuff comes at a pretty steep (I am sure, very well-deserved) price.  Jazz music plays in the background.

The outdoor dining area is situated amidst a lovely garden and accommodates about thirty people.  You need to reserve a day in advance – and there is no fixed menu – the chef cooks up a seven-course spread – so, when you get there, you don’t have to take the trouble of ordering; each course appears in front of you.  Do declare your preference regarding vegetarian, non-vegetarian, red meat and fish when you reserve.  Of course, you have to trust the chef – but I can assure you he knows his job and it shows – the food is made from the freshest ingredients and tastes divine.

Elegant fresh flowers decorate the trendy circular tables (the furniture looks like it is from The Design Store) and if you are there for dinner, candlelight adds to the warmth and romance.  There is a menu for drinks – a select choice of white and red wines, and some other beverages.  We selected the ginger lime vodka and it was absolutely perfect – tangy, with just a hint of ginger.  Then the meal began – course after course of delicious food – olive and mushroom crostini, figs and goat cheese with argula, a salad of the most luscious pears, walnuts and lettuce with parmesan cheese, poached seabass in lemon and tender veal with a side of perfectly cooked vegetables; and all this with a side of freshly baked bread.   For dessert, we tried the chocolate truffle with kiwi and the fig and almond ice-cream – both winners. 

I went there for dinner – it was superb – but I have a feeling that lunch in that gorgeous garden will be even better.  Prices are a bit steep – Rs.1000 per head, but the entire experience is well worth the cost.  The place lets you savour your meal and the laidback, unhurried ambiance combined with the fabulous food allows you to linger and enjoy pleasant memories.  Go there for the next celebratory occasion in your life or for a very romantic evening. 

For address and phone number, click here.

Punjabi Times

February 21, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Went there based on gourmand’s review – and completely agree – pleasant Punjabi ambiance, family-friendly and nice food.  Situated right opposite Shoppers Stop, the restaurant seems to be doing brisk business feeding the tired and hungry shoppers.  Décor consists of pots on the walls, a mural that depicts a village scene from Punjab and lantern-shaped lamps.  The chairs are arranged a bit too close for privacy and there are diwans with cushions against the walls.  Bhangra music plays in the background.   Service is very quick and courteous. 

We began our meal with tamatar adrak ka shorba (the tomato soup) and the murg tikka .  Both were good.  The tikka was really cooked in a tandoor and had a perfectly grilled flavour.  The main course consisted of the tandoori roti and the murg batinda, chicken cooked home-style in an onion and tomato gravy.  Again, very good.  None of the dishes were overtly spicy – but had the right amount of flavour. 

Took gourmand’s word about the bathrooms and did not check them out!

Valet parking is available at the restaurant.  Go there with your family for a pleasant meal.  You will not go wrong if you pick the tandoor dishes. 

For address and phone number, click here.

Dalfryday

November 26, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

A welcome addition to the expanding dining options in South Bangalore, Dalfryday (or Dal FryDay?) is a new restaurant serving North Indian cuisine. The décor is basic and simple with uncluttered tables, a neat, partial view of the kitchen and cool Hindustani fusion music in the background. The food is a pleasant surprise – a menu that is a variation of the usual north Indian food, and extremely well prepared and tasty. Each of the items taste different and homemade; no one-size-fits-all ubiquitous masala. Try the Begum Bahaar for starters – a grilled roll with corn and paneer. For the main course, the dhaba murg – melting, marinated chicken in thick gravy, a throwback to college days and nostalgia, hits the right spot with the well-made rotis and kulchas.

Dalfryday is located at A-2, First Floor, Mantri@choice (above Fabmall), Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore-76, ph: 41104111, 26092363. Reservations during the weekends are suggested. They do home delivery and also provide catering services for parties and corporate events. Parking for two wheelers is available, for four wheelers, my suggestion is to park on the side road that is perpendicular to Bannerghatta Road. Dalfryday is open from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm, and is ideal for lunch with friends or a family dinner. A meal for two will cost approximately Rs.500. Interestingly, the owner blogs about his experiences on starting and running a restaurant.

Chung Wah

November 8, 2006

There was a time when eating Chinese food in Bangalore was synonymous with Chung Wah. The young crowd could not get enough of the chowmeins and the manchurians and would hang out at the Residency Road restaurant after catching a movie at Symphony or Rex (I do realize I am completely giving away my age with this post!) . Now of course, things have changed a great deal – there are lots of options if you like Chinese food, Chung Wah is a chain and college kids hang out in malls. In any case, I was in a nostalgic mood, and I decided to try out the newly opened Chung Wah on Bannerghatta Road. It used to be a restaurant called Wok and Grill but apparently Chung Wah has taken over the management of this place.

For starters, I tried the chicken drums of heaven, which consisted of around 6 pieces of fried chicken legs – it was as delicious as I remembered. I also sampled the pan-fried momos , a lower calorie option which is available with chicken or vegetarian filling, and it was good as well. Both the starters were not too spicy. For the main course, the Malaysian noodles, a flat noodle with a pea-nutty flavour, hit the right spot. I also tasted two Schezwan dishes, the Schezwan fried rice and the Schezwan chicken in sauce. I did not love either – they were too spicy and too oily.

The bill for all this food, which was enough to feed 3-4 people, was Rs.400. All Chung Wahs are done up in unbiqtious Chinese style – the ambiance is passable. Don’t go here looking for a gourmet, fine dining experience. But if you crave some soul food, or a quick takeout, it is a reasonable option. ChungWah is located at #3, Bannerghatta Road, Arekere Gate, I Floor, Bangalore, ph: 41215333.   They have branches in all many places and deliver to nearby areas.

Mast Kalandar

November 2, 2006

Everything from Mast Kalandar’s cheerful orange and yellow interiors to the squeaky clean ambiance to the yummy, fresh food emphasises their tag-line “Eat Happy”. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat and are tired of fried and unhealthy fast food like pizzas and vadas, make sure you visit this vegetarian restaurant. All their food is cooked fresh and made without any artificial flavours and colours.

Parathas are Mast Kalandar’s speciality – and you can get anything from the usual alu, gobi to more exotic healthy sprouts, fully-loaded mixed veggie, and a Chinese-inspired paratha. Each paratha combo plate comes with 2 parathas, a dal, a raitha, a salad and a pickle. The food can be slightly spicy but is absolutely yummy. The dal, raitha and picke vary depending on the type of paratha you order. For the rice-eaters, there is Biryani with a Twist, a knockout rice-kadhi combo and rajma-chawal. Don’t forget to order the delicious mango lassi to wash down your food with. I have tried the desserts here only once – the moong dal halwa was heavenly.

Mast Kalandar is a very affordable and healthy option for people who are looking to eat out everyday. A combo plate costs between Rs.60-70. In addition, if you want takeout, they do an excellent job of parceling the food – each takeout combo is a thick, plastic thali with separators for the various side dishes. They deliver to nearby areas. Mast Kalandar is located at located at A1, Opposite Ranka Apartments, Off Bannerghatta Main Road, Bangalore, ph:41507172. The service is a bit slow, but courteous. Plenty of parking is available on the side road where the restaurant is located. The place is kid-friendly and spacious and is open from 11 am to 3:30 pm for lunch and from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm for dinner. Branches in Koramangala and Indiranagar have been opened recently.

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