Fresco’s

Posted in Central Bangalore with tags , , , , on June 29, 2008 by manuscrypts

Fresco’s gets very close to a chocaholic’s version of heaven, so we make up excuses to go there, even though its on Cunningham Road, and not so close to home. Its on Cunningham Road, within 100m of entering it, a couple of buildings after the Foodworld (?), and its not visible from the road. But there’s lots of parking available outside and some space inside too.

Fresco’s is a semi-outdoor kind of space, quite cosy and is always buzzing during dinner time (at least weekends, when we go). And this time was no exception. So you might want to reserve before going. We didn’t and were asked to wait for a few minutes. Fair, but what was quite dumb was giving us a seating that was uncovered, especially when there were intermittent showers happening all through the day. So we asked for a different table. We should have taken this as a premonition. We didn’t, since we’d never been given any reason to complain from our previous visits.

It took us quite sometime and a reminder to get hold of a menu card. And though it took a long while for our soup to be created, the Chicken and Coriander soup we ordered was excellent and succeeded in putting our fears to rest..to an extent. It comes a close second to the soup at Tangerine I’d written about earlier.

For the main course, we ordered a couple of sizzlers, a Chicken Parmigiana and a Chicken Cordon Blue (Bleu, i thought ?), chose the latter by voting out a Parsi Chicken 🙂 We’d chosen the rice option for the former and pasta for the latter, and they succeded in reversing that. I got them to give us Rice for the Parmigiana, but didn’t insist on the pasta. I was too hungry!!

The Parmigiana is chicken breast with herbs, crumb fried served with pomadoro sauce and Parmesan cheese grattinated. The wife says it tasted a bit like pizza, and was reasonably good. The Cordon blue  is chicken salami and cheese wrapped with chicken breast, grilled, and topped with mushroom and concasse. It was good in patches, burnt at some places, but perfectly well made in others. The rice was good too, wonder if the pasta would’ve been better. And both were sizzling hot, good for a rainy night if only they had been done well.

The dessert choice here is always difficult, and there is always a lot of heartburn when we can’t test out new talent 🙂 We chose the Chocolate Demise, and as always didn’t have any reason to complain.

The experience can be summed up best with the bill we got for all the above – Rs. 911. The service this time was extremely poor, and except for the soup and the dessert, the food was only reasonably good. I think a visit now would happen only when desserts warrant, and only for that.

Hatworks Boulevard, 32, cunningham Road, Ph: 41327551/5

India Gate

Posted in Indiranagar with tags , , on June 22, 2008 by manuscrypts

Yes, we have one in Indiranagar too. We actually went there to see if Fire & Flakes was still around, but that has now been converted to India Gate. Its located on the 100 ft Road, Indiranagar, in the same building as ‘The Great Wall’ and ‘The Silver Tube’, the latter is a lounge bar. The first one is self explanatory, right? When you’re coming from the Koramangala side, you can see it on the right as soon as you get down the flyover, the same building as the ‘Adidas’ showroom.

They have a pretty adventurous parking process for 2 wheelers, where you have to travel beneath a waterfall to your parking space, which is then customised live for you.  Wait, it aint over yet. they also make sure that you build your appetite. Oh, okay there was a leaking a/c above,  they removed the cycles which were already kept in the ‘parking space’, so that i could park the vehicle the way they wanted it, and the lift doesn’t function. Ah, now you comprehend the dripping sarcasm.

When i called these guys in the morning, i specifically asked for ‘Fire & Flakes’, and they reserved a space for me. Great, except that when we got there, we were told that ‘India Gate’ had taken its place. I’d have understood if they had maintained the cuisine, but with that name, its an impossibility. It’d have been much better if they had at least informed me when i was reserving a table. But since the view (of the Airport road flyover) looked good, we decided to go ahead and dine.

And so we ended up ordering a Murgh Shorba, and for the main course, a Murgh e Shamin, Macchi e Khorma, a Bharwan Kulcha, and a Rogini naan. The soup was just over lukewarm, and we had to gulp it down to prevent it from going cold. In my fleeting interaction with it, I got some onion and spicy flavour, which tasted quite decent, to be fair.

The Murgh e Shamin is boneless chicken, in a brown onion and corriander gravy. It was quite good, and the quantity was just right for two people. The Macchi e Khorma offers quite a different taste, a piquant, tangy flavor. Its a yellow gravy, flavoured with cumin. It reminded me of Bengali dishes. The Bharwan Kulcha was quite good, and has a sicy cheesy stuffing. The Rogini Naan was only distinct by the sprinkling of poppy seeds on top.

The place offers quite a selection of starters, both veg and non veg, and sufficient options for veg and non veg main course dishes. The desserts are only the normal Indian fare – Rasmalai, jamun etc.

But our bill came up to over Rs.750, which the meal or the ambience really couldn’t justify. So, a repeat visit to India Gate. Nah, we’ll pass.

India gate, Katrina complex, 100 ft Road, Indiranagar, Phone – 41519000

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 

Tangerine

Posted in Indiranagar with tags , , on June 8, 2008 by manuscrypts

The disclaimer is that this is by far our favourite sizzler joint in bangalore, and while the review might be dripping with this enthusiasm and affection, most of it is justified. 🙂

Its located on 100 ft road In Indiranagar towards its Old Madras Road end, the place where the metro construction is happening. When coming from the CMH road side, you’ll find it on the left, after Domino’s Pizza, and in the same building as Cafe Beanstalk. Parking of 4 wheelers might be a small problem, you might have to walk a bit, but 2 wheeler parking can be found right in front.

Its not usually very crowded till about 8.30, so you can choose to reserve accordingly. The windy outside we came in from prompted us to go for a soup rather than a starter, though there are enough options for the latter too. We ordered a Spicy Chicken and Corriander soup, and that’s how I now have a new favourite soup. Its a thick soup, and as the name goes, it is spicy and has chicken and corriander, but what brings in the real flavour are the green chillies and the coconut cream. Its absolutely scrumptious and highly recommended.

The extensive menu spoils us for choice, as far as the main course goes. After rounds of discussion, we finally settled on a Chicken Torreon and a Sliced Chicken Citronelle. It has to be mentioned that there are some excellent options in fish, lamb and beef as well. The Chicken Torreon is diced chicken, done in a mexican style and served on a bed of rice. As with everything else I have eaten here, it has a unique flavour, this one, a tangy, spicy mix. The Sliced Chicken Citronelle is chicken in an unusual lemon, chilly and coconut milk sauce, and served on a bed of rice. This one would’ve been bland but the excellent sauce gives it an absolutely awesome flavor. Another absolute must have.

The unfortunate part is that all of the above left us no room for dessert, for which again, there are lots of options. From an earlier visit, I’d recommend the beer mousse. Its not something I’ve seen anywhere else, and is worth a try.

All of the above cost us about Rs.650, and its a no brainer that we’ll continue to be regular visitors here. 🙂 

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.

3 Storys

Posted in Central Bangalore with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2008 by manuscrypts

I used to visit the place quite regularly when my workplace was around the area, but those were for the executive lunch. Its located off Lavelle road – when coming from MG Road, take the left on to Lavelle Road, and take the right just before the turning towards Airlines Hotel/Corner House.

3 Storys offers three stories of seating options and specilaises in Goan/Mangalorean/Coorgi/Kerala cuisine. The best thing about this place is that its almost ‘Empirical’ in terms of being able to hog multiple dishes, thanks to the adequate portions and value for money.

The top floor is a good option if its not raining, but since it was, we opted for the second floor. The seating is very comfortable on all the floors and has options for largish groups as well as cosy couples 🙂

We started with a Caldo Verde soup, perhaps the only veg soup I don’t mind having. They make it quite well here and the by-two portion is almost as large as a normal full portion. We wanted to have the Sear Peri Peri but unfortunately, they didn’t have any fish available. That also meant no Kana Rava fry. Inspite of that, there were still plenty of starter options, so we finally settled for a Coorg Fried Chicken, and I’ve bookmarked the Goan Sausages for next time. The Coorgi chicken was delicious and had a distinctive flavor. Now I’m no expert on Coorgi cuisine so i dont know if it was a Coorgi flavor, but whatever it was, it was awesome.

For the main course, we ordered Malabar Erachi Chops and Brown Chicken Stew and to go with it one plate of Idiappam and one plate of Appam. There are lots of options for seafood lovers. even if you aren’t (like me), phikar not, because the options available, that too from multiple cusines will make you wish you had a larger appetite. We also ordered one Malabar Porotta (yup, we spell it that way there 🙂 ) and a plate of Sannas. We’ve always liked the brown stew here, but this time, the Eratchi chops was just leagues ahead. Except for the Sannas (which were a little harder than usual) everything else was just great. I would also recommend the Mutta Porotta (thats Kerala porotta with an egg bullseye on top). There aren’t too many dessert options available though you could try the Bibinca, if you haven’t tasted it before. Anyways, there’s Corner House nearby, and now Mocha too.

Meanwhile, 3 Storys is the place to come to, when you’re in the mood for a different, but value-for -money food experience. All of the above cost us about Rs.600, and thus ends this story. 🙂

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.