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.

Fiorano Ristorante

March 27, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Chic ambiance, warm service and good food make this Italian restaurant an ideal choice for a romantic date or for a family gathering.  The furniture is black and contrasts stylishly with the whitewashed walls.  On one corner, there is a glass display unit which shows off Fiorana’s desserts, cheese and breads. 

The highlight of a meal in this restaurant is most definitely the complementary plate of bruschetta that you get to put together on your own.  A beautiful wooden slicing board with warm, fresh bread is put in front of you along with a plate of basil leaves, cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic pods.  Pick up the garlic and rub it on the bread so it spreads evenly. Follow this up with the basil leaves and then the cherry tomatoes.  Drizzle some olive oil and bite into the fresh bruschetta.  Delicious!  Don’t be shy asking the waiter for help and directions – they are very friendly.

The starters and salads at Fiorano are superb.  You cannot go wrong with the crostinis – bread baked with mozzarella cheese and vegetable (like tomatoes or mushrooms) or chicken toppings.  The mixed green salad with tomatoes and sundried tomatoes is fantastic.  The minestrone soup is good. 

The main courses are passable.  I have tried the pastas – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian and have not loved it.  I tried the margharita pizza recently, a thin crust pizza with tomatoes, basil and cheese and it was quite good.  My recommendation would be to focus on the salads and starters and go easy on the main course.

As for dessert, do try the tiramisu, it is really good with the right amount of mascarpone and coffee flavour. They have a mango cheesecake and fig tart – but I have not tried those.  Exotic chocolates are also available; my favourite is an orange peel chocolate, a slightly bitter treat.

A very interesting fact about Fiorano is that they have a cheese factory upstairs where they make mozzarella, ricotta, mascarpone, bocconcini and cream cheese.  You can buy them fresh from them.  They also sell imported cheese such as brie and gorgonzola as well as cold cuts like salami.  Fresh breads including focaccia are also available.  Their patisserie churns out some gorgeous cakes, desserts and pastries as well on order.  They do make home deliveries on orders over Rs.1500.   Call them to get more details or log on to http://www.fiorano.in.

Fiorano an excellent option for vegetarians, the vegetarian choices are extensive and delicious.  Valet parking is available.  Do make reservations if you are going there past 8:30 pm.  A meal for two without alcohol is approximately Rs.1000.

For address and phone number, click here.

Polo Club

March 20, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Lush gardens and limpid pools make this outdoorsy bar at the five-star Oberoi more of an anytime family hangout.  There is an indoor seating area as well, but catch the awesome Bangalore sunshine and cool breeze in the patio area that is perfect for a weekend brunch.  Beautiful trees set amidst a waterfall that flows into a pond filled with multi-coloured fish ensures that children have plenty of place to walk around and lots of things to see.  Splashes of yellow on the décor add to the English garden atmosphere. 

The menu here is quite limited – the appetizers, main course and dessert have one pick each from Indian, European and American.  Each item is priced at approximately Rs.300.  We tried the bruschetta platter and a Greek salad both of which good.  The salad was quite large and very fresh. For the main course, we had the hamburger – it was ok.  For dessert, we tried the chocolate supreme – the usual chocolatey gooey cake – but what was interesting was that it came with basil ice cream – I liked the subtle flavour of basil leaves combined with the cool ice-cream!

The Polo Club is a neat place to hangout with family or for a business lunch.  The food, by no means, is fantastic, but I give a thumbs up for the atmosphere and ambiance- especially a nice place to go with kids.

A meal for two without alcohol is approximately Rs.1500.

For address and phone number, click here.

Welcome to burrp! blah

March 12, 2007

.. India’s first user-generated lifestyle magazine!! Written by local Bangaloreans and Mumbaikars, blah gives you a peep into your city – fashion tips, the latest concert, summer camp for your child, where to get the best Italian food, campus jottings and a lot more. So read away, vote on the opinion polls and don’t forget to leave us crumbs!  

If you are interested in writing for blah, please send an email to blah-author@burrp.com with a writing sample. And do send me your comments and feedback.

Herbs & Spice

March 11, 2007

This little eatery with a menu written on a blackboard offers the real deal for lovers of Italian food.

Located on a quite residential area off 100 ft road in Indiranagar, the decor here is basic and reminded me of a neighbourhood pizzeria or diner. A partial view of the kitchen with swing doors which lead to it, lots of wood, and an unevenly painted blue wall create a somewhat rustic, country and homely feel to the place. Loaves of bread are arranged in wicker baskets while the glass display case offers a view of homemade cakes and desserts.

We started our meal with a mushroom soup – I give it five stars – it was fantastic. We also tried the spinach soup – green and healthy – but I found it a little too raw-veggie-flavoured for my taste. The most perfect part of the meal was the salads. First one – pears, walnuts, argula and parmesan – luscious, juicy pears and crunchy walnuts in a bed of fresh lettuce! The second – I think this is probably the best salad I have had in Bangalore – figs, mozzarella and mixed greens in the most perfect citrus flavoured dressing ever! The salads come with a nice bread basket.

For the main course, we tried the smoked chicken and mozzarella sandwich and the grilled chicken stuffed with herb pesto. My vote goes for the second – it was really good with a sides of a salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green peppers) and just-cooked carrots and green beans. The sandwich was ok.

For dessert, we had the chocolate éclair and the chocolate fondue with icecream. The chocolate éclair was yummy with dense chocolate between homemade chocolate cake slices. The chocolate fondue had an half an hour of waiting time and was good, but not great.

The restaurant has a friendly, informal ambiance. However, service can be much better. The owner was great, but the rest of the staff need some training. The waiter seemed to mumble through any questions we asked about the menu and had a “I could care less” attitude. We initially ordered for the chocolate éclair and another dessert (I forget the name) which did not require us to wait. After ten minutes, we got our order of the éclair but no sign of the other dessert. After I called the waiter and asked him about it, he very sheepishly told us it was over. He should have told us about it immediately after we placed the order but did not think it necessary to do so until I asked him about it. Maybe he thought we would forget?

Parking is available on the road outside the restaurant. Herbs and Spice is a good option to visit with family and friends. Do make reservations, it tends to get crowded at peak hours.

For address and phone number, click here.

Kamat Bugle Rock

March 8, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

In the mood to soak in some culture?  Then, head to Kamat Bugle Rock for a taste of authentic Karnataka and some lilting music.  This multi-cuisine vegetarian restaurant serves South Indian, North Indian and Chinese cuisine as well, but the real star of the show is the North Karnataka food. 

The second-floor of this Kamat is reserved for this cuisine and also has a stage where Indian classical music concerts are held.   There is a seating area which accommodates about 35 music lovers. The evening I went there, a sitar concert was going on – very pleasant, and we waited there for our table.  We had a view of the kitchen in the corner and admired the dexterity of the chefs as they made jowar rotis on an open flame.

The North Karnataka meals are served on plantain leaves – and the place had a wedding atmosphere.  When we entered, the smiling hostess (she reminded me of my aunt – decked in a gorgeous Kanjeevaram sari with a strand of jasmine tucked into her hair) asked us to be seated and enjoy the concert until a table was available.  In 5-10 minutes, a polite gentleman led us to our table and we were seated. 

The very friendly waiters started serving the food – courses after courses of dishes I don’t know the name of.  Highlights included the main course – the jowar rotis and the yennegai, a brinjal curry. There were also sprouted salads, raita, a spinach playa and of course, white rice, superb drumstick sambhar and rasam.  All the items are unlimited and the waiters kept checking on us and making sure we ate well, including my 3-year old daughter who got special treatment.  The special meal which we had requested, also came with extras of holige, mensinkai (or green chill) bajji and a fruit salad with ice cream.  Very nice!  The meal ended with a plate of plantains and paan.

Kamat Bugle Rock is a located in old-world Basavangudi.  The décor is purely functional, the atmosphere is lively and the staff is very friendly. Don’t go there expecting a romantic evening – go there to savour and soak in some North Karnataka culture.

Parking is available on the road outside the restaurant.  A regular North Karnataka meal is priced at Rs.70 and the special meal is priced at Rs.100 per head. 

For address and phone number, click here.

For details on the concert schedules, click here.