July 7, 2008
The sun peeking out from the sky after an extended spell of cloudy days in Bangalore had us planning a leisurely lunch that brought in a whiff of the outdoors. We settled on lovely Sanadige, off gorgeous Crescent Road near the Race Course. Crescent Road consists of magnificient colonial villas and bungalows amid bougainvilleas and lush greenery; but there are also plenty of restaurants in the area, including the Malayalam actor Mohanlal’s Harbour Market. Sanadige is located in the Goldfinch Hotel and serves Konkan cuisine – marvellous food from Kerala, Mangalore, Maharashtra and Goa. Flower decorations in earthern pots, traditional brass lamps and Kathakali masks decorate the restaurant which has two seating areas – indoors and outdoors. I recommend that you sit in the outdoor area which really a covered patio fringed by a small garden. Natural light from the netted ceiling streams into the restaurant giving it a feeling of spaciousness and charm and, more importantly, sparrows twitter in the background and fly in and out of the garden – a rare sight in Bangalore these days. Tanks with live crabs, prawns and fish, menu cards in palm folders and waiters dressed in traditional caps made with betelnut leaves add to that coastal feeling.
When you are in the West Coast, act like, well, you belong! So we tried the Kokum Kadi, a pink concoction that contained the marvellous sourness of the kokum fruit that gives Konkan food its distinct flavour. The tamer cardamom-laced lemonade was good too – and so was the gentleman’s choice of whiskey on the rocks. Spiced sago chips/papads (sandige) are freebie starters that are offered in a basket. We ordered the succulent pomfret tawa fry (the fish was picked fresh from the tank) infused with ground Mangalorean spices and it was a huge hit –made just right, lightly pan-fried, not too soft or crisp and without excess oil. We also sampled some Maharashtrian favourites – corn pakoras and crispy kaju kothambir vada, both very tasty. Main course consisted of basale kadale kadi and chicken sanadige and soaked it up with pan pole, the neer dosas from Mangalore – lace thin rice dosas fried on one side as well as fluffy Kerala appams. The chicken sanadige was good – boneless chicken in a coconut, onion and mint gravy. The basale kadale kadi consisting of a spinach and black channa in a tomato based sauce, a favourite of one of my favourites, was normal. We rounded off the meal with superb desserts. The sweet lovers tried the kashi or pumkin halwa while the dairy kings and queens lapped up the ada pradhaman, kheer or payasam from God’s own country made with plenty of cashews and raisins, thickened milk and sweetened oh-just-right with jaggery.
Sanadige is an excellent choice if you are looking for good Konkan food – not hugely authentic, but good. Service is reasonable. The outdoor and leisurely flavour of the place is a huge plus – the no scrambling for tables and no hurrying over your meal reminds one of Bangalore two decades ago. Patrons are mostly families and older professionals. I recommend this place for a laidback lunch with family or friends. A meal for two will cost around Rs.1000 depending on the seafood you order. Valet parking is available.
Sanadige is located at The Goldfinch Hotel, 32/3, Crescent Road, High Grounds, Off Race Course Road, ph: +91 80 41291300.
March 3, 2008
This review is also available on burrp!
A revisit to Via Milano for lunch confirmed most of my previous experiences – heavenly Italian cuisine in cool ambiance. The contemporary furniture with its clean lines and red and white colours, retro black and white hanging lamps, chic white window shades gives the restaurant a neat look without taking away any of the warmth. The white leather sofa by the picture windows which overlook Koramangala’s traffic-filled roads looked very inviting and was the perfect place for a leisurely afternoon tete-a-tete.
There were quite a few kids in the restaurant that day, since it was a Saturday, including my own – but it was still not overly noisy or boisterous. Two Americans discussed business over beers in one corner, a smartly dressed lady worked on her laptop in the bar area and there were two other families and a group of women. I am going to change my earlier recommendation of classifying Via Milano as romantic and say that it is perfect for business lunches and get-togethers with family and friends.
Via Milano has some nice imported wines by the bottle. The choices for wines by the glass are however pretty sad (two to be precise) and when we asked for the zinfandel we were told it was replaced by two other choices – one of which was a Grover’s red wine. I did not like it.
The delicious bread basket with the fresh plain and olive breads and breadsticks along with the six dips and sides appeared – the diced tomatoes, ground basil and garlic, creamy potato mayonnaise and the virgin olive oil, delicious chilli olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My daughter munched on these continuously and had a whale of a time making her own bruschetta. There are only two soup options available – both non-vegetarian – we tried the chicken and mushroom soup with gnocchi. Gnochhi is a small pancake usually made with potatoes (in this case it was) and has a melt-in-the-mouth quality like good cheese. The soup was very good although a bit too filling for one.
The rocket salad which came with pears and lettuce and very strangely a sesame-flavoured, asian-influenced (?) dressing was good though not everyone in our group agreed with me. The mozzarella and zuchinni balls which were deep fried were awesome. The margarita pizza with tomato, basil and mozzarella was good so was the penne pasta which had my daughter licking her fingers. Basic stuff but very well made. I had the spinach and ricotta annellini – it was ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese was delicious. The most interesting looking item which we ordered was the potato pancake with vegetables. Thin-cut potatoes were fried to form a crispy pancake that was piled with multi-coloured slivers and twists of vegetables including carrots, red and yellow capsicums and zucchini. Very, very good!
Service was good and prompt. Valet parking is available and a meal for two, including alcohol is approximately Rs.1000.
For address and phone numbers, click here.
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!
January 22, 2007
This review is also available on burrp!
Malini Suryanarayanan, a budding entrepreneur and baker, has launched an online business – Naked Desserts – to cater to chocolate-lovers in Traffic City. All you have to do is log on to http://www.nakeddesserts.com and place an order. It will be delivered to your doorstep or you can pick it up.
Currently, they have only seven items on their menu list – chocolate brownies, flourless chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry squares, chocolate sampler box (a combo box with some of the above items), banana nut bread and date nut bread. I expect this list will grow as their clientele expands.
I wanted to order the brownies, a box of the flourless chocolate cookies and a loaf of each of the breads, but unfortunately Malini was leaving on vacation the next day. She said she could get me the brownies and the chocolate chip cookies and deliver it to my house the next day. And she did. The cookies were crisp and fresh – but I found them a bit too sweet. Good but not fantastic. The brownies, on the other hand, were awesome – chewy, moist, chocolatey and perfect!!
I am going to try out their other products – and will let you know. On the price front, I think they are really expensive – the cookies are, in any case. A pack of 13 of the brownies or the cookies cost Rs.125 each. Delivery charges were Rs.50 which I thought were reasonable considering she had to trek all the way to South Bangalore. I hope that with time, Malini is able to come up with more choices and more competitive prices.
January 18, 2007
Want to learn how to mix a martini or a Moscow Mule? Then head over to the Smirnoff Tastemaker Session where bartenders and mixologists will teach you how to make exotic cocktails and help you create your own as well! The event is on at Spinn, Residency Road.
Time: 3 pm – 6 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2007 (Mini Session)
11 am – 5 pm on Sunday, January 21, 2007
Rates: Saturday – Rs.500 per person
Sunday – Rs.900 per head. For groups of 4 or more – Rs.700 per head.
Make sure you call ahead to reserve – ph: 25581555, 25590901. Or you can log on to tulleeho and register.
Moscow Mule recipe (courtesy: Drinkboy)
- 2 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces ginger beer
- 1 ounce lime juice
Build in an ice filled highball glass (or copper mug). Garnish with a lime wedge.
January 15, 2007
The January 15, 2007 issue of Outlook magazine features an ode to food from small town India. “From Karaikudi to Kohima, Bikaner to Burdwan”, an inside peek at specialties such as Almora’s baal-mithai, spicy sausages from the Mapusa Friday bazaar and Allahabad’s famous masala (or aloo-less) samosa, this issue is a food-lover’s delight and brought back memories of the best coffee I ever had from a roadside stall in Coorg, Ceylon parotas from a little cart in Chettinad and fluffy dosas from Mylari in Mysore (at that time, Mysore was a small town).