Zaman, Hotel Ista

April 3, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

Located near Trinity Circle where Lido theater once stood, Ista is a four star hotel which has two restaurants – Lido, a 24 hour coffee shop serving multicuisine food and Zaman, a formal dining restaurant that serves Awadhi cuisine; and a bar, Liquid.

Zaman is a fine dining restaurant – at the entrance are huge temperature controlled wine shelves stacking about 300 wines. Sparkling wine and water glasses catch the flicker of innumerable candles, huge vases filled with fresh white flowers add to the classic and elegant dinner ambiance and gorgeous chandeliers glitter from the ceilings. On one corner is a glass partition through which you can view the kebab display which extends to allow a view of the open kitchen where the chefs dish out exotic rotis and naans. By one side are chairs and tables arranged like private booths – separators are muslin curtains hanging from the ceiling, a nice touch.

The menu is extensive – and I must say, has excellent vegetarian options, which surprised me, since we usually associate Awadhi cuisine with kebabs and mutton biryani. The dahi ke kebab which is basically a yogurt flavoured vegetable patty is superb. The shama bahar, green chillies stuffed with cottage cheese, was a bit too spicy. The sunhari kannez or chicken kebab was ok. Main courses, especially the vegetarian ones, were fantastic. The tawa ka parantha, subtly flavoured with saffron, is a complete winner. Rich, sweetish flavoured kajur kofta was superb and so was the robust channa masala. The makai phalli, mixed vegetables with corn, was delicious. The murg dum and the dum biryanis, both chicken and vegetable, were good. For dessert, try the malpua rabdi – it is guaranteed to melt in your mouth.

The restaurant is a good, if somewhat pricey option, to celebrate a special occasion. A meal for two without alcohol is approximately Rs.1400. Parking is available inside the hotel.

For address and phone number, click here.

Daily Bread

December 8, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

This gourmet bakery whips up everything from muffins, salads, cookies, pastries, sandwiches and quiches, but what is really spectacular are their breads and sandwiches. Their breads, which are sold at supermarkets including Namdharis and Fabmall, are varied in range, fresh and delicious. The whole wheat loaf is an absolute hit, but for something with a twist, try the Dakshin Housewife’s Loaf – spiced with cumin and curry leaves, the chocolate brioche, or the Welsh Fruit loaf which is perfect for tea-time.

The sandwiches are available only in the Daily Bread outlets and are pre-made and packaged, but tasty. For lunch, try the Madras curry chicken panini or my favourite, lamb kheema sandwich with mint mayo. Vegetarian options are plenty too and just as delicious – barbecue paneer and corn on foccacia bread and the roast spring veggie wrap. You can ask them to warm it up for you. The hearty club sandwiches are a good option as well. Most sandwiches range in price from Rs.55 to Rs.85.

The salads (the Greek salad and the Mediterranean pasta salad are good options) and other usual baked goodies including tea cakes, chocolate chunk muffins, apple and cinnamon danish, the chicken sausage danish are reasonably good if they are fresh. I don’t recommend the cookies or the biscotti, as they have neither been particularly memorable or fresh. They have a wide range of cakes, pastries and desserts – the mango fresh cream pastry and the pistachio praline and apricot are yummy.

Daily Bread seems to have an interesting and extensive catering menu as well, although I have never tried it. Choices include finger sandwiches platter, mini pizzas and luxury cakes. They deliver for orders over Rs.1000.

Daily Bread is headquartered in Koramangala and has branches across the city. The Koramangala outlet has outside seating available but the road is dusty and the chairs are too close to the road, so the better option might be to ask for takeout. The Church Street branch is more chic and has indoor air-conditioned seating.

Address: Daily Bread, 43, 4th B Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala Industrial Area, Koramangala, Bangalore-95, ph: 2563-1302/1304.

Timings: 9:30 am to 8:30 pm

Branches: Church Street, Indiranagar, Bangalore Central, Forum Mall (inside Fabmall), Koramangala (inside Big Bazaar), Banshankari (inside Big Bazaar) and Ulsoor.