Nammura Hotel

November 28, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

In a little alley off 24th Main near the Raghavendra Swamy temple in J.P. Nagar, is a full-scale food processing industry, complete with sparking, stainless steel, food-grade cooking equipment, chefs with plastic gloves and hair-nets and enormous walk in freezers, churning out thousands of kgs a day of rice, chapattis, idlis, sambar, chutney and more. Welcome to Nammura Hotel – where you can be assured of hygienic and wholesome vegetarian food at a very reasonable price.

Perfect for the weekend when you are too lazy to cook, or have guests for dinner, Nammura Hotel is exclusively a takeout restaurant, so don’t expect to go there for a sit-down dinner. First, go to the billing section and buy the coupons for the items you choose. Food here is sold by the kilo (you can buy ¼, ½ or ¾ kg too), and if you are unsure how much to buy, check with the helpful employee at the billing section. Make sure you take your own utensils (though, once, I did see an enterprising youth who set up a stall near the hotel, selling disposable containers), and your food will be packed and handed to you at the service counter. The entire assembly-line precision is amazing to watch!

There are separate menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu varies daily, and consists of about 15-20 items ranging from traditional Karnataka cuisine, South Indian delicacies and North Indian food. Best-sellers include bisibele bath, idli and chutney and pathrode. They also make awesome sweets, including obattu and a melt-in-the-mouth Horlicks-based burfi for Diwali!

Nammura Hotel also has a catering service called “Kitchen on Wheels” for special occasions where the food will be prepared and served at the location of your choice. During festival season, you can pre-order sweets and savouries. Nammura Hotel is located at 65, 21st A Main Road, J.P. Nagar II Phase, Bangalore, ph: 26490077, 26491188. They are open from 6:30 am to 10 am for breakfast, from 10 am to 3 pm for lunch and from 5 pm to 9:30 pm for dinner.

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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.

Umerkot

November 21, 2006

Umerkot serves traditional Indian and Mughal cuisine, with recipes popularized by the khansamahs or chefs from Emperor Akbar’s famed kitchen. The food here is delicious and a change from the usual Indian joints serving chicken tikka masala. The emphasis on traditional has resulted in delicately spiced food that retains its original flavour. The murgh jehangir or the chicken clear soup will warm up your soul and the murgh ki chaanp or the chicken legs marinated in lemon and cumin is wholesome and grilled. However, the real winner in Umerkot is the dum biryani – try the zafrani biryani for a taste of heaven with the murgh-e-firdaus or chicken in a rich, nutty sauce as a side dish.

The restaurant is located in a huge bungalow where the upper floors consist of service apartments and the ground floor houses the restaurant and bar. The décor is neat and simple and the restaurant is ideal for a business lunch or a family dinner. There is seating available in an outdoor covered courtyard or in the AC dining hall which has the adjoining lounge bar. There is valet parking available. Umerkot is located at #30, 80 Ft Main Road, ST Bed, Koramangala, Bangalore-34, ph:  25500426.

Bombay Post

November 16, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

Step into Bombay in the 1960s – gleaming marble table tops, elegant cream-coloured walls contrasting with polished mahogany rafters, black and white posters of Dev Anand, Pran and Nargis, and Mohammed Rafi melodies in the background. The food at Bombay Post is reminiscent of this theme as well, and tries to capture the varied flavours of Mumbai cuisine.

Begin your meal with the ganne ka ras or sugarcane juice – they have a sugarcane crusher in their kitchen, so you can enjoy the drink without the germs! For starters, the baida roti and chaats are excellent and for non-veggies, the kebabs and the batti ka chop are good choices. A special mention about the paneer dishes – they are out of the world, the paneer is fresh and delicate. For the main course, my favourites include both the paneer and chicken patiala with kulchas. The street food inspired fish fry as well as the mutton are fantastic. The biryanis, the chicken dum biryani and the methi vegetarian biryani, are worth trying. I was not too impressed with the desserts – which includes kulfis – my recommendation would be to go to Corner House, which is located in the same complex, for dessert.

Bombay Post is the ideal place to go with a big group of friends or co-workers. There is plenty of seating and the place combines a rare atmosphere of warmth, charm and privacy. A big plus here is the valet parking. Cost for a meal for two is approximately Rs.700. Bombay Post is located (in the same complex as TGIF) at Carlton Towers, 1, Airport Road, Bangalore, ph:41113939.

Woody’s

November 14, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

If you crave a dosa in South Bangalore, and don’t want to go to a crowded Darshini, Woodys offers a suitable alternative. Surprisingly housed in a modern looking glass and steel building, this is a family-friendly, South Indian vegetarian restaurant. The atmosphere is some significant notches above the Darshinis, but decidedly middle-class. The ground floor, which is the self-service section, is spacious, while the upper floor, which is a sit-down and eat area, is a bit claustrophobic.

The food quality varies from very good to passable – you would do better to stick to the tiffins and snacks, rather than a full meal. They serve delicious dosas – try the pessarattu, which is a dosa made out of green gram dal, the rava dosa, and South Kanara favourites including kadubu (a cone shaped idli). They also have excellent coffee and a chaat stand musters up some passable chaat.

The best time to visit Woody’s is either for breakfast or for a pre-dinner snack. A word of caution – stick to the self-service area since the service at the upper floor can be slow and frustrating. The restaurant has plenty of parking space and is open from 8:30 am until 11 pm. Woody’s is located at No. 45/1, 17th Main, II Phase, J.P. Nagar, Bangalore, ph: 26490999.

Sunnys

November 11, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

In the mood for an elegant lunch or a classic dinner? Then step into Sunnys, a Euro restaurant that specializes in Italian food. I went there on an impulse for lunch on a weekday, and was given a table within minutes. A bread basket with hot garlic rolls and garlic butter appeared on our table, and disappeared into our stomachs. For starters, we ordered a ginger lemonade, a tomato-mozzarella salad and a tuna salad. The lemonade was delicious and tasted homemade. The tomato-mozzarella salad had baby plum tomatoes in a bed of mozzarella slices – yes, in a bed of mozzarella slices! The cheese was heavenly, absolutely fresh, nothing like what you buy in a store. As for the tuna salad, no tuna from a can in Sunnys, it was fresh tuna. For the main course, we ordered a Norwegian grilled salmon with vegetables and pasta – again, delicious.

I have tasted desserts from Sunnys in the past – chocolate cake, Devils food cake and they are to die for. That day, however, I decided to try the campari gelato, which was basically flavoured ice flakes. Passable, but definitely not as worthy as their chocolate flavoured, rich classics.

The decor at Sunnys is lovely -the glass walls drench the ground floor dining area with sunlight making it perfect for a long lunch. The upper floor is a lounge bar. The atmosphere is very chic and casual – Bangalore’s who’s who seem to love it, as do the expats. The restaurant is located at Embassy Diamante, 34, Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore, ph:41329366/391. Cost for a meal for two, without drinks, is approximately Rs.1400.

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.