Tai Tai

January 29, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

If you are a foodie who loves Asian food, particularly Thai, this restaurant is guaranteed to satiate all your senses. My summary of the place – superbly presented food that tastes as good as it looks!

I had the lunch buffet and it was fabulous. The meal started off with a very wide range of starters and salads. I pretty much tasted everything – it looked so good. Vegetarian options that blew my socks off included the grilled noodle salad, the green papaya salad and the banana stem salad. Light yet luscious! For the bird and meat-eaters, the grilled beef salad was exquisite, so was the chicken satay. The prawn tom yum soup – the best I have ever had.

Main course options were three – pad thai or rice with green or red curry. All three came with either vegetables, chicken or prawn. We chose the chicken pad thai and the steamed rice with chicken red curry. While the emphasis on the starters is exquisite blending and balance of different ingredients and flavours, the main course scored highly with me for its very basic, back to the roots taste. While I feasted on the red curry and rice, I could imagine myself sitting in a Thai farmer’s kitchen. The dish had a wholesome, country flavour to it.

The dessert options did not look too exciting – I picked the chocolate mud pie and decided to skip it after two bites. Not bad – but not worth wasting calories on.

Décor at Tai Tai is bright and cheery – lots of light, rattan chairs, cheerful walls. You can choose to sit inside or dine at the open air terrace area.

The lunch buffet is priced at Rs.250 per head excluding taxes and includes soup, salad, starters, main course and dessert. Valet parking is available at the basement (it is located above Bombay Store in MG Road).

For location and phone number, click here.

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Svad

January 24, 2007

 

This review is also available on burrp!

Svad is a North Indian restaurant in Koramangala and serves Rajasthani food only in the weekends. Went to this place based on India Today’s Simply Bangalore recommendation for authentic regional cuisine (Rajasthani)– and well, I am not so impressed.

The décor here is very functional. The downstairs area has sweets, chaats and a ton of quick eats while the upstairs consists of the sit-down restaurant section. The décor in the restaurant reminded me of Indian restaurants in the US – the $6.99 buffet in places with names like Taj something or Taste of some city in India. Pink and green muslin curtains separated the hookah (yes, they have hookahs available – though I did not see anyone ask for it) section from the dining area and Rajasthani handicrafts with mirrors hung from the ceiling. Artificial plants placed strategically in corners finished the picture – sort of a North Indian Shanti Sagar!

We decided to order the Rajasthani thali. Priced at Rs.105, it comes with three varities of rotis/breads – the bajra and makai rotis and the bafla batis. The sides included gatte ke saag, qwarfali ka saag and dal. Also some kichri, papad, garlic chutney and very delicious mango pickle (thums up – I wanted to buy a bottle of it). All the rotis were so so dry – it was like eating a meal in a desert and thankfully the buttermilk that came with the thali saved the day. Now, don’t tell me that Rajasthani food is supposed to taste like that – I have eaten authentic homemade Rajasthani food at my friends homes and in Rajasthani weddings as well as in restaurants – and while they use a lot of dried pulses and legumes in their cooking, you definitely are not left with a terribly parched throat and a compelling craving for a jug of liquid. The dal and vegetables were passable.

This restaurant is ok to visit if you are in the Koramangala area, but definitely not worth trekking to from other parts of the city. The service at Svad is excellent – the waiters were extremely courteous. Parking is available on the street. A meal for two will be approximately Rs.300.

Svad is located at 140, 60 Feet Main Road, 5th Block Koramangala, Bangalore, ph:25503267.

Naked Desserts

January 22, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Malini Suryanarayanan, a budding entrepreneur and baker, has launched an online business – Naked Desserts – to cater to chocolate-lovers in Traffic City. All you have to do is log on to http://www.nakeddesserts.com and place an order. It will be delivered to your doorstep or you can pick it up.

Currently, they have only seven items on their menu list – chocolate brownies, flourless chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry squares, chocolate sampler box (a combo box with some of the above items), banana nut bread and date nut bread. I expect this list will grow as their clientele expands.

I wanted to order the brownies, a box of the flourless chocolate cookies and a loaf of each of the breads, but unfortunately Malini was leaving on vacation the next day. She said she could get me the brownies and the chocolate chip cookies and deliver it to my house the next day. And she did. The cookies were crisp and fresh – but I found them a bit too sweet. Good but not fantastic. The brownies, on the other hand, were awesome – chewy, moist, chocolatey and perfect!!

I am going to try out their other products – and will let you know. On the price front, I think they are really expensive – the cookies are, in any case. A pack of 13 of the brownies or the cookies cost Rs.125 each. Delivery charges were Rs.50 which I thought were reasonable considering she had to trek all the way to South Bangalore. I hope that with time, Malini is able to come up with more choices and more competitive prices.

Shake it up, baby!

January 18, 2007

Want to learn how to mix a martini or a Moscow Mule? Then head over to the Smirnoff Tastemaker Session where bartenders and mixologists will teach you how to make exotic cocktails and help you create your own as well! The event is on at Spinn, Residency Road.

Time: 3 pm – 6 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2007 (Mini Session)

11 am – 5 pm on Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rates: Saturday – Rs.500 per person

Sunday – Rs.900 per head. For groups of 4 or more – Rs.700 per head.

Make sure you call ahead to reserve – ph: 25581555, 25590901. Or you can log on to tulleeho and register.

Moscow Mule recipe (courtesy: Drinkboy)

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces ginger beer
  • 1 ounce lime juice

Build in an ice filled highball glass (or copper mug). Garnish with a lime wedge.

Food from small town India

January 15, 2007

The January 15, 2007 issue of Outlook magazine features an ode to food from small town India. “From Karaikudi to Kohima, Bikaner to Burdwan”, an inside peek at specialties such as Almora’s baal-mithai, spicy sausages from the Mapusa Friday bazaar and Allahabad’s famous masala (or aloo-less) samosa, this issue is a food-lover’s delight and brought back memories of the best coffee I ever had from a roadside stall in Coorg, Ceylon parotas from a little cart in Chettinad and fluffy dosas from Mylari in Mysore (at that time, Mysore was a small town).

Happy Sankranthi/Pongal!

burrp!

January 12, 2007

Want to tell your friends about the cool bar you went to last weekend?   Or do you need restaurant recommendations for that romantic dinner date?

Welcome to burrp!, an online platform that allows users to write, share and check out local reviews and create their own online community for social events.  This Mumbai based startup, at present, is live for Mumbai and Bangalore.   Currently, you can sign up, create a profile, rate and review restaurants, bars and cafes, and invite friends to open a burrp! account but soon other features such as local events listings, cool search features and online ticketing will be added.  The site also allows you to add new establishments and to send a free sms to your phone with restaurant details.  More sms based features, including sms searches are on the way. 

I think burrp! is different from other review sites since it focuses solely on the fun and party aspect and emphasizes on local content.  I am so impressed with them – that I am joining the burrp! team – as Community Manager for Bangalore.  Check out the post regarding this on the burrp! blog.

Among other things, my responsibilities at burrp! will include making sure that the bangalore burrp! site is the place to go for all things fun, entertaining and relaxing in Bangalore.

So, go on, sign up on the burrp! site and let your voice be heard!!  And let me know your comments, feedback and wish-list of features that you would want burrp! to have. 

Gufha

January 9, 2007

 

This review is also available on burrp!

A much needed recent entrant to the dining scene in Jayanagar, Gufha is a kitschy theme restaurant run by the Viceroy group (of Pai Viceroy fame). Guaranteed to be a hit with kids, Gufha as the name suggests, is done up like a cave, with stone-like walls and ceiling, dim lighting, flame torches at nooks and corners and cave paintings on the walls. There is even a waterfall that flows over a carved face, and stuffed bird toys hang from the ceiling. The waiters are dressed like jungle guides with khaki uniforms, safari hats and guns and the tableware is brass.

The restaurant serves Indian and Northwest Frontier province cuisine, a bit on the heavier side, but definitely tasty. Our meal started off with a plate of complimentary sago papads. We ordered some fresh fruit juices – and they were really good. The menu is quite extensive and there are good options for vegetarians as well. The murg lachhadar or the thick chicken soup was delicious. Our starters comprised of achari baby corn (grilled pickled baby corn) and pahadi kebab (chicken marinated in yogurt and spices). I found the corn a bit on the spicy side, but the kebab was yummy. Main course consisted of shahi gosht kesari, vegetable makhani and the roti tokri. The gosht, tender slices of lamb in a thick creamy gravy with a hint of saffron, was delicious, but very heavy. The vegetable makhani was good too, and had a tangy flavour to it. The winner was definitely the tokri – consisting of about 8-10 different rotis and naans, I thought it was a bit much for three people, but my companions dived into it like there was no tomorrow and pronounced it delicious! Obviously too stuffed to order dessert, we had to bypass the firnee, which is supposedly good.

Gufha is extremely popular, so make sure you make reservations well in advance, especially during the weekends. The restaurant is located at The President Hotel, #79/8, Diagonal Road, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore, ph:41808777. Valet parking is available. A meal for two with some non-alcoholic drinks is approximately Rs.700.