Just Chocolate – Part II

August 13, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Went back here to find that furniture has completely changed. Some black velvet sofas have been added – I thought it looked a bit odd and did not go with the atmosphere. Just Chocolate though seems to have become a reasonably popular college hangout and so of course, that meant closely placed chairs and tables. A bit cramped. Menu has been revised – to exclude all the frills. There are 3-4 veggie sandwich options and the rest is as the name promises – Just Chocolate. Tried the grilled vegetable and cheese sandwich. It was good. The chocolate milkshake was perfect – thick, creamy and delicious. A hot Just Chocolate special we ordered came as milk in a pot with a candle below along with a plate of chocolates that were to be dunked in the milk. It was ok. Service was polite as before. Some suggestions:

  1. Please don’t cut the ketchup sachets before serving unless you specifically warn your customers. You can imagine the havoc a 3-year old with an opened ketchup sachet caused when she tried to open it herself.
  2. The cutlery is stainless steel and makes too much noise and is unstable on the glass table tops. Better designed tables or cutlery would be very welcome.
  3. Please play some nice music in the background.

As before, the chocolates rocked.

For address and phone number, click here.

Rajvardhan Foods

May 25, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Heaven for home-sick Maharashtrians, Rajvardhan’s is a tiny little standing room only darshini-type restaurant located in Jayanagar.  Dishing out Marathi dishes such as vada pav, sabudana vada, sabudana kichdi, thalipeet and shrikhand puris, this unassuming place certainly proves that authenticity rocks. 

Of course, we tried the famous vada pav – the spicy, potato vada stuffed between two pieces of tava-toasted pav.  We plunked it into the pungent date (?), tamarind and chilli sauce and bit into it.  The multiple flavours of fiery sauce, the crispy pav and the delicious aloo combined together to give The Best Vada Pav in Bangalore.  Next item – a Gujarathi snack called dabeli.  Similar in structure to a vada pav – a desi sandwich so to speak – only the filling is very different.  This light snack is an exotic mixture of pomegranate, crunchy groundnuts and vegetables between the pav bread and was delicious.  Now completely eager to try more, our next choice was the kanda poha.  Made from poha (avalakki) spiced with green chillies, groundnuts and seasoned with mustard and curry leaves, with a dash of lemon and coriander leaves, it was quite perfect.  And, we washed down this meal with yummy lassi.  

The cost of this entire meal was about Rs.60.  Rajvardhan also sells spice powders such as onion garlic powder and peanut garlic powder and pickles and sweet and salty snacks.  They also serve parathas which are supposedly very good.  Highly recommend you go there for authentic Maharashtrian food. 

For address and phone number, click here.

Casa Picola

February 19, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Finding this place made my day. I have passed by this Casa’s several times but ignored it since I assumed that it is like the other ones – good but nothing special. Decided to step into it after an afternoon out to get something cool to drink and was pleasantly very surprised, to put it mildly!!!

This Casa’s is HUGE – it is 3 levels – and has the open air outdoorsy feel of all the other branches. What is really special about it is that it has a covered terrace more like Casa del Sol (the lounge on Residency Road which is run by the same people), lovely patio furniture, Spanish looking tiles – and a neat bar. Very, very loungable – and in this part of the city – surely it is much-needed. Step in and sip on your drink and you will that forget you are in Jayanagar, much less in 4th block.

I had an iced tea – they make it there, not some canned or bottled stuff. I asked him to put less sugar – and he made it perfectly. My friend had a rum punch and pronounced it yummy. We did not eat anything – but chatted for a few hours – no one bothered us and the place was pretty much empty at 4 pm.

I am sure the place is lovely in the evenings too, I noticed strategically placed beautiful lamps – and if you are looking for a place for a romantic date or to lounge about with your friends in South Bangalore – this surely is a must-try!

For address and phone number, click here.

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.

La Casa

December 18, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

A no-frills, down-to-earth restaurant with a dash of eclectic and Old Bangalore thrown in, La Casa seems to be a favourite haunt of the budget college-goer as well as the 40-50 year old catching up with his friends over a mug of beer and Maharajah mix.

The décor is pretty non-descript and functional, with an outdoor seating area and an upstairs non-smoking section. Rock and roll classics from the 60s and 70s play in the background. The most interesting part about La Casa is the cuisine – pastas, mousakkas and steaks rub shoulders with fish tikkas, kebabs, aloo gobi, chopsueys, rice and naans. The chicken manchurian I tried was reasonably good, but was what even better was the main course, the chicken pepper steak. Covered in a thick white sauce, with a side of home fries, steamed vegetables and garlic bread, it hit the right spot and was delicious.

Desserts include baklava, brownies, sundaes and cakes. The chocolate walnut brownie had a nice homemade taste. La Casa serves beer, which my friend complained was not cold enough, and some interesting cocktails and mocktails.

La Casa is located at Chintal Plaza, 33rd Cross, 10th Main, 4th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore, ph: 26554613, 26910732. Parking is on the street and a meal for two with a drink each is approximately Rs.550.

Barista (with a difference)

November 3, 2006

There are innumerable places where you could go for a cup of coffee. But if you want to try something different the next time, drive your car over to the Barista in Jayanagar . You can park under one of the big trees on the road, and have your coffee in the car. The road is central and wide without being crowded or polluted. Perfect for that long chat with your best pal or to impress someone on a first date! For best results, try it on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I can vouch for the fact that my cappuccino tasted a lot better at the drive-in than at the store!

Barista, Jayanagar is located at 804, 9th Main Road, 4th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore, ph:41210742.

Just Chocolate

October 30, 2006

Just chocolate is well, just yummy! This chocolate lovers paradise is well worth a visit and more. They have a wide range of chocolates – dark, white, dates, fig & honey, pistachio, tamarind and my personal favourite, marzipan. Marzipan, by the way, is a thick almond paste used in Christmas cakes and pastries. They also have chilli chocolates which I was too much of a wimp to try. They are all “home-made”, i.e. made in the shop itself. They sell the chocolates by weight (you can buy small quantities like 50 gms) and their chocolate boxes make good festive gifts . In addition, they have 4-5 flavours of “home-made” ice-cream – I loved the butterscotch flavour. They also have chocolate flavoured drinks which were nothing to write home about. They do advertise a fondue, which I am yet to try – a chocolate sauce that comes in a hot pot that you can share with your friends – each of you gets a piece of cake that you dip into the sauce.

The decor is ok – pink and blue with glass tables and dining chairs and some sofas thrown in. It has not been very crowded whenever I have visited.

The staff seem extremely professional – they look like they have been trained in a catering institute and seem to maintain very hygenic standards – gloves, caps, aprons, the works. They were also very polite and answered our questions patiently.

Just Chocolate is located at 116, 4th Block, Diagonal Road, Near Ganapathi Temple, Jayanagar, Bangalore, ph: 26343335/6 and is open from 11 am to 10 pm. This is not a very crowded area, so you can park your bike or car on the same road.