Archive for the Koramangala Category

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

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Aaranya

Posted in Koramangala with tags , , on June 15, 2008 by manuscrypts

Aaranya is quite close to the heart, because it has been a place which we have frequented from the time we came to Bangalore, 5 years back. At one time, it used to be a neighbour and the constant source of takeaways/home deliveries, apart from a place to take relatives to, when they visited. It’s never given us a cause to complain. It’d been quite a while since the last visit, primarily because we shifted to the other side of town, but now that we’re back in koramanga, the connection has been recharged 🙂

Its located in HSR Layout. When coming from the MG Road direction, take a left from under the Silk Board flyover, and after about 200m, you’ll see it on the left on the service road, opposite Fernhill Apartments. They’ve added parking space, so parking won’t be a problem.

There are some three floors of dining space. Go to the top floor, a dimly lit breezy place. I’ve always wondered why they wouldn’t take off some of the vegetation, it would give a beautiful view. Possibly because ‘aaranya’ means garden? Anyway, the seating is great for largish groups, though they have some good 4 seater options too. If you go after say, 8.30, expect more of a wining crowd (though not the boisterous type) than a dining one.

Since it was almost 9 by the time we got there, we had to wait for about 10 minutes before we got a table. We ordered a Cream of Chicken soup, and had to use quite some salt and pepper to get some flavor. But it was thick, and the adding is something we’re used to ;).

For the main course, we ordered an Andhra Roast chicken (gravy), a Fish Tikka Masala, an onion kulcha, a butter naan, and a plain naan. The Andhra Roast chicken is quite a unique preparation, with the normal spicy flavour that you’d expect, and because the chicken is roasted, it gives a taste diferent from the regular chicken gravies. I’d recommend you try it out once. The Fish tikka masala was also good, but i think their Goan Fish Curry is a better bet. I was expecting the Kulcha to have a spicy Andhra twist, but it was quite normal 🙂

Meanwhile, there are quite a lot of starters here, both fish and fowl, and they also serve Chinese, though I’ve not been adventurous enough to try it out. They also have a lot of ice cream options, and a few North indian dessert options too. Though we didn’t have any this time, the Gajar ka Halwa is quite good.

All of the above cost us less than Rs.600, and we’ll be regular visitors, unless they do something really nasty to us 🙂

Aaranya, Opp. fernhill apartments, HSR Layout, Ph- 41108346/7 

Vicky’s Tava Lounge

Posted in Koramangala with tags on June 1, 2008 by manuscrypts

I had seen it on my way to China Pearl and had bookmarked it then for a visit. For those not well versed with the Koramangala eatery landscape, here’s how to get there. When coming from the MG Road side, take a left from Forum, continue straight till you see a temple and a park right after it. Take a right (one way), if you don’t see a Samsung showroom on your left in the first 50 metres, you’re lost, repeat the entire process. If you do, proceed until you see a Unilet showroom and a ‘Cottons by Century’ on your right. Vicky’s is opposite the latter.

The Tava lounge is on the second floor, and they also have a Continental cuisine joint on the floor above. Since we felt like having desi stuff, we decided to stop at the second floor. We were quite early, so we easily managed to get seats. Since there are many options on the same road, I think you can afford not to make reservations, the phone number is anyway not working 🙂

Vicky’s has been in the restaurant business since 1935 in kolkata and Bangalore (Church Street and Hennur road, funny, never noticed the former), says the menu card. Meanwhile, the interiors have been done very well, with some Fab India seating also thrown in, for the Indian touch. In essence, the work lends the place a soothing cosy ambience. Three of the tables also offer a good view of the road below (always love to eat, watching life pass by) 🙂

Since it was another rainy night, we decided to go for a Shorba, against the common practice of starters in desi dine outs. They have about 3 options, including one veg, we chose the Murgh Badami. It was extremely good, with some unique flavor, in addition to the almond. Even with a ‘by two’, the quantity was quite sufficient. They also offered us some complimentary munchies while we were waiting.

The menu does not offer a range of choices for animal lovers, they have around 3 options for sea food, 4 for poultry and other meat each, but significantly more for the other kind of animal lovers – vegetarians. For the main course, we decided to try the Murg tava Pyaz, which seemed to be the chef’s special mix of spices, pickled onion and boneless chicken. Since we were told that it would be a thick gravy, we also ordered a Machi masala. To go with it, we ordered an onion kulcha and an aloo kulcha, followed later by a Naan. The food is simply amazing, with both the dishes competing for attention and share of gut. Although it looked like the quantities might only be just right, it turned out to be very filling in the end. The Murg has a very distinctive taste, and is a definite must-have. Meanwhile, they were also nice enough to get us some Chaas, on the house. The only snag was that, all this didn’t leave us enough space for dessert, though they have a fairly good mix of Indian as well as Continental stuff.

All of the abvove cost us about Rs.650. This is definitely a good place to visit for some tasty North indian food in a pleasant, cosy setting.

Sahib Sind Sultan

Posted in Koramangala with tags , , on May 18, 2008 by manuscrypts

Our first tryst with these guys was documented in my other blog, and you’ll notice that the relationship didn’t begin well. We’ve had mixed experiences with these guys, and I think its one of the most snobbish places as far as the BJN group’s restaurants go. We’ve had occasions where they didn’t take reservations, and then asked us if we had a reservation when we reached. But something that’s been consistently good is the food, and since that’s one the most important parameters of judging a restaurant, we manage to go back. But as far as the service goes, go there if you’re into masochism.

This time we were told that no reservations would be taken after 7.45 pm, so we asked for a table at 7.45. We got two calls to confirm that, one in the afternoon, and one at about 7.43 pm. I fully agree with a restaurant calling me if I don’t arrive on time, but this irritated me. Unfortunately, the location at Forum Mall makes sure that they get patrons inspite of themselves, and because of the food.

The theme of the restaurant is the first train in india, and that’s what its named after. the restaurant consists of two sections –  the ‘platform’ and the ‘compartment’. As you’d have guessed, the former is an open kind of area with flexible seating arrangements (large groups, couples etc) and the latter is a more cosy 4 seaters affair. The platform has graffiti that resembles an actual platform, including the old station master gong that sounds once almost every hour. The inside also does the theme justice, with overhead storage space that hold some old English style lady hats and handbags, and you can also see the kind of fans you see in trains. (don’t worry, its not for the function, the entire restaurant is air conditioned 🙂 )

We ordered a Royal Velvet Chicken Shorba, which judging from the way it was consumed, was extremely good. We’d also asked for a starter to be brought along with the shorba, but of course, they really don’t listen to you. So three of us watched one person drinking the shorba, while munching breadsticks. Speaking of breadsticks go for the cheese and cumin sauce, the other two are miles behind. Meanwhile exactly 5 minutes after the soup was finished, we got the starter – Laupathgamini Bhatti ka Tikka (that first name coule have a spelling error, though it would roughly match 🙂 ). Thankfully, it was extremely tasty, and was just right in quantity for 3-4 people.

For the main course, we ordered a Makhmali Murgh Tikka Masala and a Vulcan Foundry Murgh Badam. We’d gone there expecting to get a Havelock’s Fish Musullum, but for the first time, it was not available. But I’d definitely recommend it especially if you’re agroup of 3-4. Anyway, we ordered a Tandoori Roti, a Butter Naan, an Aloo Anardana Kulcha, and a Paneer & Peas Kulcha. True to character, they ended up forgetting the Aloo Kulcha and gave us 2 Paneer Kulchas, and expected us to believe that it was indeed Aloo, though it tasted like Paneer.

The quantity was not sufficient, and since i was voted down when i suggested the Dak Bungalow Roast, and the Makhmali Murg was extremely tasty, we ended ordering one more of that and an Aloo Kulcha. We got lucky the second time since we actually got it. The Vulcan Foundry Murg is good especially if you’re the white gravy kind. But I still prefer the Dak Bungalow Roast (brown gravy), though it’s not boneless. The rotis and kulchas were also good enough. The sad part was that all this did not leave enough room for dessert.

All of the above cost us about Rs.1500, and to top it, they didn’t get us any saunf etc after dinner. I assume it wasn’t just us, since i saw quite a crowd at the exit, picking it up from a table that had all the stuff. In essence, some of the best food you can find in bangalore, and possibly the worst service would sum up Sahib Sind Sultan.

Tandoor – Koramangala

Posted in Koramangala with tags , , on May 11, 2008 by manuscrypts

Yes, really, i say. At the Oasis complex on the Intermediate Ring Road, the building which has Lifestyle and Spar. Tandoor is on the same floor as Polynation, Fire Wok, Sanjeev Kapoor’s Yellow Chillies, Cream & Fudge Factory, Bull & Bush and so on. So you won’t go hungry there even if you don’t get a place in Tandoor. But since we went with a single minded purpose, we reserved in advance and after many weeks, found some kindred souls who believed in the concept of reservation. (no not the controversial type, the normal table booking kind). For those who want to go there to watch IPL (as their ad says), there are about 4 tables which could offer you a view, so let the objective be food.

They gave us a ‘table in the centre of the room’ for two, which wasn’t quite appealing, especially since the group at a nearby table gave us looks that could be read as being snobbish. So we bullied the staff to give us a better one.

The menu, though looks better than the MG Road one as far as aesthetics go, is much lesser on content. And they don’t serve liquor, I think the MG Road one does. I especially missed the Patiala on the menu, the Murg kind. So, while there were around 3 shorbas and a few starters to choose from, we skipped them, since the Tandoor quantities are usually large.

We ordered a Shahi Fish Tikka (served on a sizzler), a half Kadai Chicken, a butter naan and an onion kulcha. The fish came first, and the fowl didn’t follow as quickly as we’d have expected, especially since we had explicitly asked for it to be brought with the main course. So it wasn’t in as hot a state as it should have been eaten in, and that perhaps was the reason it tasted so bland. The kulcha was a very young one, it hadn’t been allowed to grow to its full potential. But the naan was. Dont expect the same quantities as the Tandoor on MG Road, the chicken was just about enough for two, though it tasted quite good.

The service was good, except for the late delivery, for which they apologised. The ambience could’ve been better, and they could’ve avoided the flies, especially since they were on the house, er, houseflies ;). Bad ambience, bad PJs !!! All of the above cost us (hold your breath) just below Rs.950. (It took us a while to get our breath back, you? )That, plus the options weren’t enough to convince us on dessert.

Tandoor: 4th Floor, Oasis Mall, Koramangala Ph: 41747008/9/10

China Pearl

Posted in Koramangala with tags , on April 27, 2008 by manuscrypts

When in koramangala, and in the mood for chinese food that doesnt land you in a financial crisis, think China Pearl. For the third week in a row, a restaurant refused to take reservations. The times, they really are a changin’ 😐

To get there, when coming from the MG road side, take a left at Forum, keep going straight, and take a right turn after you see a park on the right side. No, not a software park, just a normal old fashioned park. Geez!!Its a one way, the same road that has GK Vale among other things, that also include a truckload of restaurants – Chung Wah, Filling Station and so on…..

We reached there around 9, and had to wait for about ten minutes. Since Bangalore ain’t so cool anymore, we skipped the soup and had fried chicken momos for starters. That, along with the spicy sauce meant we started well. 🙂

We ordered a Teriyaki Chicken. thought it sounds a bit like what Harbhajan said a while back, its actually only fillets of chicken in teriyaki sauce. It also has mushrooms. Its a dry dish, and is quite well made. The only snag was that we got it at least 10 minutes before the rest of the main course. Thankfully, it didn’t get too cold. The rest of the main course was made up of a Drunken Chicken and Chicken Malaysian Noodles. Although the former led to a discussion between us on how exactly they got the chicken into such a condition, its chicken in rice wine, and is extremely tasty. Its a unique flavour, and definitely worth a try. If you are fine with thin noodles, the place has a lot of options. I’d have taken a Chow Mein, but we already had a gravy dish. The Malaysian Noodles is something we’ve had before and didn’t disappoint.

The quantity is more than ample for two people, and reasonably priced. All the above cost us less than Rs.600. The service is usually good, but somehow the waiter this time didn’t quite fancy us, I guess. But China Pearl is a regular haunt and we’ll be back.

China pearl, 5th Cross, 6th Block, Koramangala. Ph-25501735, 41105060

Serengeti

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

A little googling tells me that its the name of a wildlife national park and ecosystem in Tanzania. Since I’m not particularly adventurous by nature, I restricted myself to visiting the dining ecosystem in Madivala. After all, it was supposed to have an African rainforests theme.

A call for reservation was answered, the second time, and we were politely told that since it was Saturday night, reservations could be made only in specific timeframes – 7.30 to 8.15 pm and 9.45 – 10.30 pm. We chose the latter.

Its on the 3rd floor in Total Mall alongwith Zanzibar, Silver Metro and a food court. The mall is quite easy to reach. When coming from the MG Road side, turn left onto the road that goes to St.Johns (you don’t have an option anyway after you cross Forum 🙂 ), then take a U turn onto the road that leads to the Madivala market. You can see Total on the left but the entrance is on Hosur Road.

There was a crowd waiting to get in, when we reached, and even with reservations, and landing up exactly on time, we were made to wait about 10 minutes. Once we were inside, the undergrowth was not quite thick, so we got to see people dining among alligators, vines, elephants, waterfalls and so on :). For those who don’t mind the gurgling water sound, the outside seating would be fine. I dont, and thankfully, we were taken inside the ‘Guffa’. Its a closed structure within the restaurant and is slightly better lit than the outside. We can also see animal-skull trophies on the walls, that add to the effect – what they have called ‘the wild side of dining’. In fact, they have tried to do that in everything, including the waiters who are attired like shikaris. No, don’t expect the hostesses in grass skirts!!!

Meanwhile, the cuisine is Lucknowi and Peshawari, which made me wonder about the connection with the setting. We went straight for the main course, though there were a couple of ‘not quite common’ options in the shorba and starters categories. We ordered a Murgh patiala kadai se and a Machi Mazedar, along with a bran roti, an onion kulcha and a plain naan. The quantity was quite sufficient, though i would recommend the fish dish to be eaten with rice. The food was good enough to warrant another visit. We also had a Sariska Panna, which is made of pineapple pulp. It was chilled and had quite a unique flavour. Though this was supposed to be an apertiff, we got it in the middle of the meal 😐

That notwithstanding, the service was quite good. We were also given a potato chips based snack before the meal started, turned out to be quite good, with chat flavors. We opted out of desserts because there were only the usual suspects, inclusing a chocolate brownie. But then, dessert doesn’t need context, does it? 😉

The above meal cost us about Rs.650, and we’ll definitely make one more visit, if only for the unusual setting. Reservations can be made at 9731558301/7.