Archive for July, 2008

Mocha

Posted in Central Bangalore with tags , , , on July 27, 2008 by manuscrypts

And, at long last, we finally landed up at Mocha on Lavelle Road. Keep going down Lavelle Road (from MG Road) and this is about 50 m after the Walton/Lavelle/Vittal Mallya junction, just before Java City. We got in by about 7.45, and the place was already fairly crowded. We sat indoors, but there’re also some very good outdoor seating options.

Disclaimer: There’s a bit of anarchy in the ordering sequence.  At this place, we order the shake first, and then decide what to eat. It has nothing to do with The Joker. Blame it on the chocolate.:)

So, we first ordered a Dutch truffle cake shake. The menu said it was a chocolate shake so sinful you might want to go for a confession. I confess they were right. The quality and the quantity. It must be said that we arrived on this particular choice after much debate all thanks to the exhaustive options available.

To fill up the rest of our collective tummies, we ordered a Country Roast Chicken Panino and a Blackened Balti Chicken Crustini. The former is wildfire roasted chicken and slaw served with fresh basil presto, and the latter is chicken and peppers cooked in balti spice. While we were slightly concerned about Balti, it turned out to be just fine. 🙂 However, we found that these two, while not lacking in taste or flavours, we e not sufficient to leave us satiated. So, again, afer much debate, we decided against having dessert (thanks to familiarity with the humongous portions that are served here) and ordered one more snack – Pollo con Aioli, which is marinated chicken with Aioli. No, we had no clue on who (er, what) Aioli was. 🙂 It tasted a bit like corn, and a bit like the soggy peanuts we sometimes have, but overall was a bit bland. The saving grace was the sauce they gave with it. On hindsight, we really should’ve been gluttonous and gone for that ‘That Chocolate Thing’. For now, all we’re left with is its description – rich gooey flourless chocolate cake layered with dark chocolate ganache served with chocolate ice cream. Sigh, next time, definitely.

All of this cost us just below Rs.600. Thats one of the good things about Mocha. It allows you to sample a lot of things, and still leaves enough room and dough for chocolate 😉

Mocha 080 65357111 , 080 65357222

PS. You can also check out the review of the other Mocha in Bangalore, here.

Advertisements

The Grand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 21, 2008 by manuscrypts

It’d been quite a while since I’d visited The Grand, so on this trip home – Cochin, I’d decided to give it a try, especially since the food there has always gotten rave reviews, and it was about time I made my own judgment. It is located on MG Road, since 1963,  so its a landmark for most auto/taxi guys.

We reserved a table for 8pm, and were told that they wouldn’t hold it beyond 8.10. Fair. The crowd actually started coming in after 8.30. The menu is exhaustive with separate sections for Indian, Kerala, Far East, Continental, Chinese and so on.

We ordered a velvet chicken and corn soup (2/3) and a Talomein Soup. Pappadams on the house while you wait. 🙂  The former is a chinese preparation – chicken broth flavoured with dry sherry, and the latter is a combination of shredded chicken, carrot and celery garnished with spring onion. The (velvet chicken) soup was quite good, thicker than I expected, and quite sufficient in terms of quantity. For the main course, we decided to go all Kerala.. ‘when in kerala….’ , and so ordered a Malabar Kozhi cury, an Erachi Varattiyathu, a Meen pollichathu, and a Tharavu Mappaz. Thats four kinds of living beings – chicken, beef, fish and duck respectively.  🙂

So, the Malabar Kozhi Curry is a spicy North kerala dish, which turned out to be only moderately spicy, that was a disappointment. The Erachi Varattiyathu is cooked beef,  with onions, but with enough flavours to keep it from being bland. Better. The Meen pollichathu (you have a choice of seer or pearlspot) is fish with (usually) a very spicy paste around it. Its actually the paste that gives this dish its character. However, this time it was just some sort of onion preparation and ended up very average. The saving grace was the Tharavu Mappaz (they have a ‘duck’ festival happening here) which was duck cooked in coconut milk. This one was yummy, and the ‘chatti’ (earthenware) that they brought it in did add to the effect, I think. We ordered appams to go along with all, and though I was tempted to have a Kerala porotta, the appams were tasty enough to discourage any steps in that direction.

But more than the food, which was reasonably good, though not the spectacular I had hoped for, it was the service that disappointed. They took such a long time bringing the main course that I had to ask them if I should be back the next morning to collect the order. (Yeah, I seem to be a bad service magnet these days) But they were pretty good in a very mercurial way, refilling glasses on time, bringing appams alongwith the additional order (not earlier and letting them get cold) and so on.

All of the above cost us Rs.1200, which was reasonable that 4 people were quite well fed. When in Cochin, its worth checking out for some authentic Kerala food.

More than Paranthas

Posted in Koramangala with tags , on July 13, 2008 by manuscrypts

A review at burrp informed me that there’d be no point in trying to reserve a table after 7.30, so we walked in at around 7.45 and got a table easily. Ah, but before that, this is a new outlet in Koramangala 80 ft road. If you’re coming from the Indiranagar side on the intermediate ring road, take a right at the Sony World junction ( in the direction of National games Village) and you’ll find it on the left (opposite Dal Roti). I thought I saw valet parking and for two wheelers, they have ample basement parking. (steep slope though!)

Ok, flashback over, so, we got a good window side table, quite comfortable though the sofa could have been a bit higher, because your partner will seem to be looking down on you. Ahem! The ambience was good, but what could’ve been avoided is that red lighting, which gives it a bit of a dingy bar look. We ordered a Murg Galiana Shorba (by two), meanwhile, they have a separate menu card for soup, starters, drinks, mocktails, and its quite exhaustive, though priced a bit on the higher side.

For the main course, we had another menu card from which we ordered a Rara Murg Punjabi, a Magaz Masala, a Mirchi Mushroom Masala, and a Bharwan Aloo parantha. You noticed the first bread? Hatke, right? And thats the specialty of this place, there are a few pages of parathas to choose from. The disclaimer on the price remains. We were told that the Magaz masala would be dry. Okay, noted.

When the first soup bowl was kept on the table, I blinked. It was as a big as a full portion. When the second bowl was kept, I blinked again, it was empty. Apparently the kitchen does not serve by twos, so they brought us an extra bowl!! The Murg Galiana shorba is a thin soup flavoured with herbs, coriander and boiled rice. It was quite good, though a bit salty.

The Rara Murg is chicken cooked with Kheema in Punjabi style, and the magaz masala is goat’s brain cooked on a tawa with ginger garlic paste, spices, and topped with coriander. The guy who took the order obviously forgot to tell the chef that the latter was a dry dish, because we got a gravy, albeit a thick one. The chicken dish was done well, but the magaz masala would actually have been better off dry. They really meant business with the Mirchi Mushroom Parantha, and the Aloo Parantha was also on the spicy side.

We ordered an additional Naan as soon as they served the main course, and there started the nightmare. They took more than 25 minutes to bring the naan, inspite of my rude reminder (after about 15 minutes) that we’d like to have it as part of the dinner, and not the next day’s breakfast. The service can also be gauged by the fact that on noticing that we were sitting idle with half filled plates (after the paranthas got over) about 4 different people asked us what we’d like to order, and after being told that we’d already ordered a Naan which we’d been waiting for, for quite sometime, each of them promised to check it out, never to be seen again. No, sorry, after about 20 minutes, one person came to tell us that the rice we ordered was on its way. ??!!! The air conditioning works. No, its not out of context, we noticed it from the state of the dishes when the Naan finally arrived!!!

Since we’d noticed the people at the next table waiting for the same time (25 mins) for the bill, we asked for the finger bowl and bill as soon as the naan came.  All of the above cost us a bit over Rs.1150, thats including a 10% service charge (not tax) and taxes. They would have known no one would leave a tip for the service. Surprisingly the bill came on time, with an apology regarding the naan affair. They learn fast, or so we thought. After we gave the card, we waited for another 15 minutes, and since there were ‘Sale’s happening all around, I was worried sick that someone might have gone shopping with my card!!!

More than Paranthas, but definitely less than decent service. But the wife says its a great place to visit………. if you feel like fighting.

No:610, 6th block, 80 ft Road, Koramangala, bangalore-95. Ph: 41724630

Stones

Posted in Indiranagar with tags , , , , on July 7, 2008 by manuscrypts

We really shouldn’t be seen there, because it’s a pub, and we don’t drink. But then, its more than a pub, and I get to listen to some of the best rock that’s played at any food joint, in Bangalore and a bit of jazz sometimes, so that’s how we are seen there.

On the Indiranagar 100 ft road, you’ll find it (when coming from Koramangala) on your left after the CMH Road junction (the building after Domino’s). Two wheeler parking is easily available, but since the metro construction is going on, you’d be advised to park your four wheeler in one of the bylanes nearby.

Stones belongs to the same species as Pecos and Mojo. Like I mentioned, we go there for the ambience and the music. The place is dimly lit and the walls are adorned with some good graphics of rock legends. There are some good seating options, and they really play the music loud. So don’t go there when you’re in the mood for mouthing sweet nothings, shouting matches, game on 😉

Stones would be an idea place if you’re the drinking kind. I’m not sure of the costs of beer, but KF costs Rs.45 for a mug and Rs.225 for a pitcher, hope you can adjudge the price factor from that. But the food is what drags teetotallers  like us here, and you won’t feel too left out, since they serve water chilled in beer mugs. 😀

You can take your pick from various preparations of chicken, pork, beef, bacon, sausage, prawns, mussels, fish and don’t worry there’s enough stuff for the veggies too. And to go with that, you can have the regular paratha, naan, rice stuff and in addition Kerala Porotta, Dosa and Appam. There are a lot of relatively difficult to get Mangalore, Goan and Kerala preparations here, and you even get a Pork/Beef fried rice.

Our regular fare here is the dosa chicken curry combo and a chilly beef. The beef will give the Kerala preparations a run for their money, and boy these guys take the chilly very seriously. The chicken curry is boneless and I haven’t come across that taste anywhere else. The closest thing perhaps would be the Mangalore chicken curry we get in the coastal cuisine restaurants. The dosa too has a very special taste, the wife says its because they add butter. It really doesn’t matter but it tastes great!!

The cost for our regular fare comes to just over Rs.300. Yes, it’s a bit above the general parameter of value for money, but we’ll still keep dropping in regularly, because the value is above the regular parameter of only food, it’s the place.

Ph: 41481572/3/4