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.

Nammura Hotel

November 28, 2006

This review is also available on burrp!

In a little alley off 24th Main near the Raghavendra Swamy temple in J.P. Nagar, is a full-scale food processing industry, complete with sparking, stainless steel, food-grade cooking equipment, chefs with plastic gloves and hair-nets and enormous walk in freezers, churning out thousands of kgs a day of rice, chapattis, idlis, sambar, chutney and more. Welcome to Nammura Hotel – where you can be assured of hygienic and wholesome vegetarian food at a very reasonable price.

Perfect for the weekend when you are too lazy to cook, or have guests for dinner, Nammura Hotel is exclusively a takeout restaurant, so don’t expect to go there for a sit-down dinner. First, go to the billing section and buy the coupons for the items you choose. Food here is sold by the kilo (you can buy ¼, ½ or ¾ kg too), and if you are unsure how much to buy, check with the helpful employee at the billing section. Make sure you take your own utensils (though, once, I did see an enterprising youth who set up a stall near the hotel, selling disposable containers), and your food will be packed and handed to you at the service counter. The entire assembly-line precision is amazing to watch!

There are separate menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu varies daily, and consists of about 15-20 items ranging from traditional Karnataka cuisine, South Indian delicacies and North Indian food. Best-sellers include bisibele bath, idli and chutney and pathrode. They also make awesome sweets, including obattu and a melt-in-the-mouth Horlicks-based burfi for Diwali!

Nammura Hotel also has a catering service called “Kitchen on Wheels” for special occasions where the food will be prepared and served at the location of your choice. During festival season, you can pre-order sweets and savouries. Nammura Hotel is located at 65, 21st A Main Road, J.P. Nagar II Phase, Bangalore, ph: 26490077, 26491188. They are open from 6:30 am to 10 am for breakfast, from 10 am to 3 pm for lunch and from 5 pm to 9:30 pm for dinner.

Chung Wah

November 8, 2006

There was a time when eating Chinese food in Bangalore was synonymous with Chung Wah. The young crowd could not get enough of the chowmeins and the manchurians and would hang out at the Residency Road restaurant after catching a movie at Symphony or Rex (I do realize I am completely giving away my age with this post!) . Now of course, things have changed a great deal – there are lots of options if you like Chinese food, Chung Wah is a chain and college kids hang out in malls. In any case, I was in a nostalgic mood, and I decided to try out the newly opened Chung Wah on Bannerghatta Road. It used to be a restaurant called Wok and Grill but apparently Chung Wah has taken over the management of this place.

For starters, I tried the chicken drums of heaven, which consisted of around 6 pieces of fried chicken legs – it was as delicious as I remembered. I also sampled the pan-fried momos , a lower calorie option which is available with chicken or vegetarian filling, and it was good as well. Both the starters were not too spicy. For the main course, the Malaysian noodles, a flat noodle with a pea-nutty flavour, hit the right spot. I also tasted two Schezwan dishes, the Schezwan fried rice and the Schezwan chicken in sauce. I did not love either – they were too spicy and too oily.

The bill for all this food, which was enough to feed 3-4 people, was Rs.400. All Chung Wahs are done up in unbiqtious Chinese style – the ambiance is passable. Don’t go here looking for a gourmet, fine dining experience. But if you crave some soul food, or a quick takeout, it is a reasonable option. ChungWah is located at #3, Bannerghatta Road, Arekere Gate, I Floor, Bangalore, ph: 41215333.   They have branches in all many places and deliver to nearby areas.

Hungry Bangalore

November 6, 2006

hungrybangalore.com is a free online service that lets you browse menus, reserve tables, order takeout or delivery at various restaurants in Bangalore, all through the click of a mouse and the comfort of your chair. It is not a food delivery service, they just convey your order to the restaurant. I tried it out this weekend and I love it!

Currently, hungrybangalore.com has around 100 restaurants listed. I looked up the restaurants near my neighbourhood and found that not all had the takeout and delivery service option. I picked one which did, browsed the menu, added my choices to the shopping cart and gave the order, for which I had to enter my email id. Within seconds, I received an email which gave me an order number. An online form on the their webpage prompted me to give my name, address, phone number and the order number, and when I wanted the food delivered (I checked “as soon as possible”). The minute that was done, I received another email which listed my order, along with my name and address details.

As I was waiting for the food to show up, I received a phone call from hungrybangalore.com telling me that the restaurant I had picked, although close by, did not deliver to my street. The person on the other end was very courteous and pleasant and suggested other restaurants which do deliver to my home.

I went back online, picked one of the places she had suggested and ordered the food from there. I received a phone call from the restaurant telling me that they would be delivering the order in one hour, and was that ok. I said it was. Another phone call, this time from hungrybangalore.com to confirm that the restaurant had called. In exactly one hour, the food showed up, steaming hot. No screw ups on the order, professional service, and I did not have to go out in the rain! Makes for a happy dinner. hungrybangalore.com is definitely on the right track and I highly recommend this service. For more information, visit http://www.hungrybangalore.com

Mast Kalandar

November 2, 2006

Everything from Mast Kalandar’s cheerful orange and yellow interiors to the squeaky clean ambiance to the yummy, fresh food emphasises their tag-line “Eat Happy”. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat and are tired of fried and unhealthy fast food like pizzas and vadas, make sure you visit this vegetarian restaurant. All their food is cooked fresh and made without any artificial flavours and colours.

Parathas are Mast Kalandar’s speciality – and you can get anything from the usual alu, gobi to more exotic healthy sprouts, fully-loaded mixed veggie, and a Chinese-inspired paratha. Each paratha combo plate comes with 2 parathas, a dal, a raitha, a salad and a pickle. The food can be slightly spicy but is absolutely yummy. The dal, raitha and picke vary depending on the type of paratha you order. For the rice-eaters, there is Biryani with a Twist, a knockout rice-kadhi combo and rajma-chawal. Don’t forget to order the delicious mango lassi to wash down your food with. I have tried the desserts here only once – the moong dal halwa was heavenly.

Mast Kalandar is a very affordable and healthy option for people who are looking to eat out everyday. A combo plate costs between Rs.60-70. In addition, if you want takeout, they do an excellent job of parceling the food – each takeout combo is a thick, plastic thali with separators for the various side dishes. They deliver to nearby areas. Mast Kalandar is located at located at A1, Opposite Ranka Apartments, Off Bannerghatta Main Road, Bangalore, ph:41507172. The service is a bit slow, but courteous. Plenty of parking is available on the side road where the restaurant is located. The place is kid-friendly and spacious and is open from 11 am to 3:30 pm for lunch and from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm for dinner. Branches in Koramangala and Indiranagar have been opened recently.