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.

Soul Deli Cafe

June 5, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

SDC is a hip new basement café on MG Road, in the location of the now defunct Underground pub. The place has a very New Age lounge feel with a waterfall at the entrance and outdoor seating with neat chairs and even fans to cool you. The indoor A/C seating area is done up in with dark wooden furniture with clean lines, trendy ceiling lamps and a little deli counter with desserts, breads and cheese in a corner.

The menu is a very interesting mix of beverages, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, grills and desserts. We tried the citrus cooler and the mango lemon fizz and both were very refreshing and surprisingly not too high on the sugar content. The chicken tikka salad was good with succulent marinated chicken pieces, iceberg lettuce, red and yellow capsicum and onions and was exactly the right size for a starter salad for two. The salad came with a fresh, warm bread basket and chilli herb butter which was delicious. We picked the Friendly Lion and Tuna Melt sandwiches for the main course. A word of warning – the sandwiches are huge and definitely are more than a meal by themselves. They come with sides of crispy onion rings, French fries and lettuce, cucumber and carrots. The Friendly Lion consisted of avocado spread, roasted green capsicum, jalapenoes and tomato on white bread. Absolutely delicious, it reminded me of sandwiches from NYC delis. The Tuna Melt was authentic too and fantastic as well. Other interesting options which we did not try included the chilli burgers, the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and Moroccon Chicken. The sandwiches being too heavy, we did not have room for dessert.

A meal for two is approximately Rs.800. Couple of suggestions to the restaurant – service needs to be improved. It was slow at times and many a time we felt like they were being a little too intrusive when we were taking our time to decide our order – a café will have the feel of a café only when it allows people to linger. Another very strong suggestion – please change the music. It was awful and wandered between New Age instrumental to Arabic (?) music. The food, though, is a winner, although I think it is a little too pricey by café standards.

For address and phone number, click here.

BrewHaHa

May 8, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

They say they take your fun seriously. And they do! For those times when you are at loss on what to do – go out for dinner (again???), catch a movie (tickets available only for the biggest flop of the season), hangout at Forum (bah!), BrewHaHa is like a breath of fresh air. This hangout has the air of a loungable coffee shop but is a lot more than that – they have more than 60 fun board games which you can rent at Rs.20 per hour. I was sceptical at first, but hey, after a game of Blokus, I was hooked. And then went on to play (and lose) Quarto and Quoridor for the next two hours!!

BrewHaHa is a bright, cheery place done up in purple and blue with flashes of orange. You can chill on the bean bags or grab a corner with the dhurries and brightly coloured cushions. The menu has very nice beverages – I recommend the Starbucksy-tasting Willy Wonka Special – strong coffee spiked with mocha, and the absolutely, heavenly Calvin Brew (hot chocolate and peanut butter – yummy!). Unfortunately, I was too full to try any of the food – but they seem to have an interesting mix of finger foods – everything from tortillas, croissants and pita to more filling meals including a very healthy sounding cold chicken and green apple sandwich, lasagne and quiches, and neat desserts like cheesecake. The owners and staff are very helpful and will be more than happy to show you how to play any of the games.

So the next time you are bored, and wondering what to do, whether you are with a big group of friends or colleagues or just two of you, head towards BrewHaHa. I guarantee you will have fun!

For the latest happenings, including quizzes, DC and pictionary events, check out their website.

For address and phone number, click here.

Cafe Terra

April 30, 2007

This review is also available on burrp!

In the mood to hang out at a charming, little café on lazy weekend and indulge in some waffles or crepes?  Café Terra, formerly known as Dek Lekkerbek, is hidden in the first floor of a building in 80 feet road in Koramangala.  Wrong iron and rubberwood furniture, framed prints on the walls and a bookcase in one corner with Tintin comics work together to create a bistro-diner feel.  The restaurant, which specializes in Belgian waffles, has a menu which includes breakfast items such as omelettes, sausages and crepes, lunch options including soups, starters, pastas, noodles and grilled and baked dishes, and a variety of hot and cold beverages.  

Try the Belgian waffles with seasonal fruit.  Our waffles came with sliced bananas and pineapples and decorated with chocolate syrup with a side of maple syrup.  They were delicious.  The ham and cheese crepes were good too although the crepe or the base could have been a bit lighter.  The scrambled eggs which came with toast were fluffy and very well made.  Coffee was passable. 

Service is somewhat slow but friendly.  Parking is available on the road.  Breakfast for two is approximately Rs.250.  Go there for breakfast on a weekend with significant others.  Kids will enjoy the meal too. 

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.

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.

My Tea House

October 31, 2006

Tea-lovers of the word unite – “Unitea in Diversitea”. I know it is a corny tag-line but My Tea House redeems itself by serving up some great varities of tea. For the I-absolutely-need-milk-in-my-tea person, there is the usual masala, cardamon, ginger teas in addition to the more exotic kulhad (or farmer) tea. The kulhad chai is served in a clay pot and the taste will make you feel like you are squatting in a barn with a buffalo mooing in the background. The Kerala-style chayyakadda is also a thick, milky tea. If you are willing to drink your tea without milk you can try the Russian, the Ladakh or the delicious Tibetian tea. My Tea House has good home-made cakes as well – try the date and the carrot cakes. Recently, they have expanded their snack menu, which I have not tried.

The decor could do with an interior designer – it has startling green paint and some of the walls look like they could do with some water-proofing treatment. However, it is spacious.

My Tea House is located at #293, 100ft Ring Road, 4th Phase, 7th Block, Banshankari III Stage, Bangalore-85, Ph: 26792740. They have parking. The location is not excellent, which is why it is not too crowded and there is a lack of hipness. If it were located in Koramangala, I could imagine it being swarmed with PYTs.