Rice Bowl restaurant review: Quantity and quality Chinese fare! [4/5]

Restaurants attached to hotels are often not the first choice of people who are looking for a quality eatery for the entire family. Rice Bowl is an exception there, serving up a combination of quality and quantity that may make it that occasional celebration destination where the whole family can land up.

The Rice Bowl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Whetting the appetite

One of the first things I was told about Rice Bowl was that it serves food in great quantity, where a single dish can easily be partaken of by two people.

What we had not been told, however, was that there was more to these dishes than just the quantity. Take for example the Lung Fung Salad:

Yummy salad
Yummy salad

Now this looked very colourful, but the taste seemed to have an even bigger spectrum. The secret? Pineapple! This tasted fresh and crunchy, and was my first experience of eating something with chopsticks!

Next in line was some Chicken Manchow soup. Thick, yet clear, this one was a pleasure on the tongue with its mild and fragrant flavours!

Meanwhile, we had also ordered some drinks. I chose the trusty Tequila Sunrise, which I believed could be paired well with Chinese cuisine. Evenly mixed, it was both a great thirst-quencher and a mellow hard drink that did not exactly numb the taste-buds.

Starting off

The drinks arrived with the first of the starters. This was the Prawn Pepper And Salt, with prawns that had a crunchy coating seasoned well with salt, pepper and some mystery ingredients that were a pleasure for the palate in more ways than one!

And then some standard fare: Chilli Paneer. Except that even here the ingredients had combined to take the taste a notch higher. Now paneer is not something you expect to be infused with flavours; that is a nigh-impossible task. But keep the pieces small enough and ensure that what covers them has enough taste, and bites off it become a real pleasurable experience!

Next up, some Prawn Sui Mai – which are momos or dumplings. This one was filled with succulently-flavoured prawns that left behind a lingering aftertaste that would make you crave for more.

Then, some more paneer. This was Threaded Paneer, with the actual thing coated in crunchy threads. On its own the dish may seem a little bland, so accompanying it was some red garlic sauce – something that definitely tickled the palate!

Up next was some more vegetarian fare, but we weren’t exactly complaining… This was Corn Salt and Pepper, seasoned in a tongue-titillating manner.

And then came something that immediately captured the show! This plate of Singapore Prawn was the cynosure for all of the few minutes it lasted. Imagine a lip-smacking covering on some succulent prawns that you could eat two whole plates of and still want more!

Next up: Fried Wontons. Per usual, these were not very savoury on their own. But pair them with the sauce they were served with, and you have a crispy, delicious treat on your hands!

Moving on, we were served some Crispy Chilli Lamb, which would be a great dry accompaniment to any noodle or rice dish you ordered.

Then, some Pork Red and Green Chilli. The small strips of pork made for some delicious pairing with the alcohol that was being consumed.

And then we had in front of us the final item in the starters: Chicken with Crackling Spinach. This was clearly the pièce de résistance of the entire starting course, but had some healthy competition from the Singapore Prawns.


To be honest, we were too full by the time the main course came along. But then again that is anything but surprising.

Clockwise from left, you have the Mixed Noodles without Pork, Hong Kong-style Vegetable, crispy noodles (to go with the Vegetable American Chop Suey in the middle), Hoisin Chicken, Mixed Fried Rice with Pork and Chilli Garlic Veg Noodles.

Sincerely speaking, these were indeed a cut above the notch. I especially recommend the Hoisin Chicken. However, if you think you might end up being too full – the portions all over are quite hefty – then order the fried rice or noodles with a dry starter of your choice, and you are peachy!


Now, I know I said we were full. However, there is always room for dessert. So we were prepared when it came – a Choco Lava Cake and some other chocolate cake dessert whose name I have forgotten now.

I will admit here that the desserts could have been better, but after the kind of fare we had already been served, we weren’t exactly complaining.

Especially after the Chinese tea we were served at the end.

Final thoughts about Rice Bowl

If you ever need a place to celebrate an achievement or have a family dinner, minus all the hubbub, with a little alcohol thrown in, Rice Bowl is your place.

This is really a chill place that is happening in its own way. I wouldn’t mind taking my family for an outing here.

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Watch Restaurant Review: Grab a pint, some finger food and chill at BBQ’D [4/5]

Live barbecues have their own charm. Few things can beat the combination of a hot barbecue, a cold pint and a weekend evening to kick up your legs, let down your hair or do whatever English idiom linking the human anatomy implies chilling. That is BBQ’D in short for you. For a longer review and a video, read on!

BBQ'D - Global Grill & Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Unwind and chill

If BBQ’D ever wants to go for a motto, the words “unwind” and “chill” should prominently feature in them. The eatery – to me – is primarily one where people should go with family and friends to chat around while they eat.

There is a buffet at hand, and even otherwise, the barbecues keep coming. Order your choice of drink, and keep sipping as the grill shimmies with fragrant fumes.

One suggestion would be: Try the home-brewed beer offered by BBQ’D.

Craft beer at BBQ’D

From left to right, these are Hefeweizen, Masala Saison, Chocolate Stout and India Pale Ale (IPA) in the smaller glasses. I took a liking towards the Hefeweizen, and the result was a taller glass on my table, as seen in the second part of the photo above.

Finger food and barbecue

BBQ’D has a nice section of finger foods and starters. For us, one of the first to arrive was this Grilled Chicken Pizza.

We also had some Carrot Chicken Momo, steamed with a creaminess to the centre that makes for a great pairing with the beer I had chosen.

For the barbecue, we had Cajun Spicy Chicken, Char-grilled Fish and Yakitori Prawns. To be honest, the prawns won this deal by a mile.

Pardon the photo, please. It does little justice to the offerings.

Now, these may not look like it, but they were some really good Fish Tikka:

And then there was some Flambe Chicken, which has – in this next picture – landed on my plate after having been set on fire with some tequila. Noice!

Main course and dessert

Now, I won’t bore you with the main course, because honestly our appetite had been quite satiated by the starters. Suffice to say, the entrees were up to scratch.

Most of us at the table chose to go for some dessert. And this is where BBQ’D wowed us again.

None of the desserts was overpoweringly sweet. They were just right to sweeten the tooth and give a small sugar high to complement the light high from the little social drinking we had indulged in.

Final thoughts on BBQ’D

This is a new place, and will take a little time to settle down. Nevertheless, BBQ’D is already a nice place to – and we can’t stress this enough in a city that gives you tension every direction you look – relax with some F&B on a weekend evening.

Watch the video of my experience here:

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Watch restaurant review: This Cafe and Microbrewery is a Hoot! [4/5]

When you live in North Bengaluru and have to make the journey towards deep south in the city, whatever you are looking to achieve or experience better live up to the hype. Having said that, this was one of the occasions when expectations were indeed met. Welcome to Hoot Cafe and Microbrewery, which indeed does justice to its name! That is the short review of it. For a longer account of our visit, read on!

Hoot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Located just off Sarjapur Road, Hoot can be a place to unwind on a lazy afternoon after a tough week, or a place to party hard in the evening, when the mood lights come on and the music starts to play loud. Add some in-house beer to the concoction, and you might just have a candidate for a regular hangout! If your pocket suits it, that is.

The alcohol

Hoot may serve a heady menu of cocktails and drinks, like the Jalapeno Margarita I ordered, but the suggestion would be to go for one of the three kinds of locally-crafted St Martin beer. Can’t decide on one? Ask for a sampler like the one shown below. These are, from right: Special German Wheat Beer, Abbey Blond Beer and Abbey Dark Beer.

My suggestion: Go for the first of the three. Its flavours are not overpowered by the bitterness of the beer, and it goes down well with some finger food. And you won’t find it often outside Hoot Cafe and Microbrewery!

The starters

Now, I admit I arrived late, so some of the starters had already been served. But I still got some delicious finger food! Here we have, clockwise from top-left: Lazeez Khumb [a creamy mushroom dish], Paneer Karara Dhaniya [melt-in-your-mouth paneer triangles encrusted with crispy herbs], Beer Batter Fish and American Buffalo Wings [no beef, only chicken].

The first two were creamy to the point of coating the mouth till you clear it with the first swig of sharp alcohol. The basa fish coated in beer batter was slightly on the oilier side, but the wings were indeed nice, even on the eyes.

Main course and desserts

One thing that goes down well with alcohol and can be both finger food and main course is pizza. We got two kinds: Farmhouse for the vegetarians, and Butter Chicken for the non-vegetarians. Nothing to write home about, but they gelled well with a quiet dusk that turned into a happening evening.

Next, some noodles: Veg and Chicken Haka. Beautifully spiced, these noodles could give any decent Chinese joint a run for their money.

Then, pasta. The green one is Penne Pesto Rosso, while the red one… well, what’s in a name? They were equally delicious, although possibly a little bland for the Indian palate that is used to more robust spices.

The last round was some Indian food: Paneer Kulcha and Kadai Subz. Hearty spices blended with fresh ingredients to make for some flavours that would be remembered for quite some time!

And finally, some caramel custard to end on a sweet note. This, however, can be improved upon.

Final thoughts on Hoot Cafe and Microbrewery

The food at Hoot is up to par, with you getting what you pay for… on the most part. And based on that alone, the watering hole can get a decent 3.5 out of 5. However, add the St Martin German Wheat Beer and the ambiance to the mix, and the rating goes up automatically to 4!

Visit this place in the afternoon for a quite time, and in the evenings for a happening time. And if you are a family man, bring your children too!

Watch the video review here:

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Restaurant Review: Flechazo offers good food and experience! [4.5/5]

What are restaurants for? To sit down, order, enjoy the food, converse, pay the bill and be done with it? Many a serious foodie – more like food critics a la Anton Ego from the Pixar blockbuster Ratatouille – would say that is exactly how restaurants should be. However, times have changed. Food – from being a necessity once – has become an extension of the gathering point after a day, week or month of hard work. It is where friends and colleagues assemble to enjoy some food and beverages, let down their hair, and simply enjoy! Now, not all places can offer such enjoyment. But Flechazo is not all places.

Flechazo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I went there with a batch of like-minded friends to do some tasting, but to my great delight – especially after a really hectic week at work – managed to loosen up. So much so, that I forgot to take enough pictures of what we were eating! However, I hope to serve up enough of a pen-picture to whet your appetite!

The sauces and condiments. So full of colour!

The food

Flechazo offers a buffet, and bunch of starters to begin your meal. The buffet cost is Rs 664 if you are a vegetarian, and Rs 791 for the non-vegetarian fare. And that is minus the bar tab, which you can run up to quite a bit. Sounds a bit too much? Grab the early-bird offer of 15 percent off when you get lunch at 11:30-11:45 am. Also, there’s offer on a beer and a cocktail or a mocktail. Here’s the menu for the day we visited:

The menu for the day.

The starters were mostly delicious. It’s a shame I do not have photos of the Asian-style crispy potato – a dish we asked for three times! Somehow, it always seemed to be lapped up pretty fast! These are both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare.

The starters: Vegetarian (left) and non-vegetarian.

Then there was the main food. Again, I will let you judge with the photos, because although these look and taste delicious, there are bigger attractions ahead! These are the non-vegetarian dishes…

The non-vegetarian main course.

And these are the vegetarian ones.

The vegetarian dishes in the main course.

The attractions

Now this is the most exciting part about Flechazo! People love pizza, but how often do they get to make them? Flechazo offers exactly such a service, and we were not amongst those to pass it up. I mean, would you? So here I am, having made my own pizza and ready to put it in the oven. Can’t tell you how it really compared to a Dominos or a Pizza Hut, but the experience was something no pizza chain has offered so far!

Arkadev Ghoshal
Yours truly, with his creation. Photo courtesy: Fellow foodie Priyanka Jagaty.

Another exciting part of Flechazo is this train of small platters of starters – from sushi to golgappa (pani puri, phuchka, gupchup, pani patashe or whatever other name you know it by). Just wait around for whatever you want to come to you, pick it up, walk back to the table and by the time you come back for more, whatever you had taken would have been replenished!

The starters in a train!

Finally, no meal is complete with a dessert, and Flechazo has a last ace up its sleeve! The cream is mixed with liquid nitrogen right in front of you to form fresh ice cream. Choose your flavours, and taste the cold sweetness that Flechazo delivers up to aptly end an adventurous meal!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…?

Final thoughts on Flechazo

Flechazo’s price tag is one that is a bit of a deterrent when it comes to regular eating there. However, this is absolutely the place you want to take your family – especially your parents and kids – if you want them to have a dining experience you want them to remember and brag about! That is solely why it gets just half a star less than full marks.

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Deja Vu Resto Bar review [****/5]: A slightly pricey but very entertaining eatery

Another one that I, Arkadev, somehow did not get around to writing. This was a visit to Deja Vu on September 10, 2016. Yes, I know. No, I’m not exactly lazy: I seem to be perennially tired. But that’s not the point of this post. Here’s having some deja vu – having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past – about Deja Vu. This is the place:

Deja Vu Resto Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As earlier, this one was also through invitation, extended by the management of the restaurant to a few members of Food Bloggers’ Association of Bangalore. The address of the restaurant: 5th Floor, Gopalan Innovation Mall, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore. Or Bengaluru, if you go by the correct name.

What strikes you first about Deja Vu is its theme and ambience. The interior is one or the other combination of black-and-white, but not exactly drab. And the walls are speckled with posters of films, bands or performances that are a throwback to a bygone era that is fondly remembered now.

Now, before we dig in, a quick word about how much this place will set you back. A buffet for two will easily cost Rs 1,000, and the charge for alcohol is extra. But then this is not a restaurant you go to every day, so the special-occasion visit it is. And Deja Vu seems quite suited for those excursions.

For our group of bloggers, the restaurant management had graciously laid out a limited platter that accommodated both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The option is available for corporate or private lunches as well. Also, Happy Hours!

Soon after we are seated, the sauces / chutneys / dips come out. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by how they serve these things. In this case, we had mostly good things to say.

And then out came the starters. The ones below are one veg [sweet potato] and one non-veg [chicken].

To be honest, just the starters of Deja Vu were so yummy and varied that I, personally, wanted to opt for little else. I mean, look at them! Would you have wanted to even take your eyes off these dishes?

And then came some of the drinks. While the more adventurous among us opted for one served in a coconut – a fancy one at that – I, on the suggestion of a fellow-blogger, tried Bira beer for the first time, and was blown away! Some red wine also made its way to the table.

Deja Vu offered up some really interesting starters that day, so when it came to the main course, I managed to pick up a little bit of my favourite dishes on offer, and had a taste. Again, hardly disappointed!

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Restaurant review: Attic on Lavelle Road [Rating: 3 / 5]

It’s been a long time since Yum Central put up a post, and those of you good folks who follow us may have been disappointed for quite some time. But we are making an effort to get back on track, starting with this food review, and we definitely will.

Attic Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

First, a little bit about what we have been up to. Pooja and Dodo have turned a house into a home, while Arkadev has moved on from Deccan Herald to the India edition of International Business Times. The times are hectic, but we soldier on, cheered by one another, and often by Dodo’s playful antics. Like chasing after, playing with and chewing up insects that dare to cross his path.

Want more glimpses of what he does? Visit him HERE!

So what changed after several months of silence to bring us back to the blog? For starters, it was the time. For seconds, it was a long time coming, because both of us — Pooja and Arkadev — had been planning posts, but never getting around to writing them. Something or the other came in the way.

That was why we finally sat down and decided, this food review was what we would re-start writing with. Now, Pooja was unavailable for this one, so it was Arkadev all the way at Attic on Lavelle Road, which you can see here:

Food review at Attic

So this was the place on the second floor where we sat. This looks a bit drab here, but once the lighting came on, the ambiance was quite nice. Not too conducive for quite conversations, though, because the music was loud. The Food Bloggers Association of Bangalore (FBAB) team sat at one of the corners, reserved for us for the food review. It was the 37th meet-up of the group, and the first time I was attending one.

The menu was diverse in taste, but somewhat constricted in ingredients. Nevertheless, chicken! We weren’t complaining. Here’s the full menu:

  • Greek salad
  • Chicken strips starter
  • Tetrazini pasta
  • Chicken mix grill sizzler
  • Juicy chicken pizza

Let the review commence!

There were a few other things as well, like this pitcher of beer that was refilled for us. It complemented the pasta really well, but we will come to that later. Just the presentation of the beer was a lovely sight! See for yourself:

Food review, starting with the beer.

That’s Rohini, one of the earliest arrivals at this sundowner. At the peak, there were close to a dozen FBAB members at the venue, having a taste here, taking a sip there, and overall enjoying a gala time, which began as soon as the starters came out. The first of them was what I best understood was pepper chicken:

Food review of pepper chicken

The taste was up to the mark, but nothing beyond that. The chicken felt a little dry, but the spices managed to make up for that somewhat. The food review, once it commenced, never let up in excitement.

Next up was some other chicken pieces, what I understood were chicken wings. Now, you can rarely go wrong with these:

Food review of chicken wings

And they didn’t disappoint. Just right amount of spice made it a great accompaniment to the cold, crisp, bitter lager beer on an evening that was turning out to be better and better with every dish.

Then came the chicken strips starter. I was busy talking to the folks I was meeting for the first time, so by the time I came around to it, some of it had been already polished off. Hence, this looks a bit sparse:

Food review of chicken mix grill

The veggies in this one were crunchy, which was a good foil for the softer chicken. However, the spicing seemed to be uneven, because there was one very hot bit that immediately made my right eye tear up. Thankfully, it also managed to clear my nose.

Along with these came the Greek Salad:

Food review of Greek salad

Fresh greens, crunchy veggies and the cold texture complemented the other spicy foods really well. I would have had more of this had not some of the elements of this dish seemed a little too soggy for them to be palate-pleasing.

Getting busy…

Then came the thin-crust pizza, and was lapped up in a manner of minutes. The others got the photos, but I guess I was too busy biting into this succulence for the food review to snap a pic. Like many other things, you can rarely go wrong with a pizza, and this was no exception.

Soon, it was the turn of the tangy Tetrazini pasta. Like they say in Hindi, pehle darshandhaari, fir gunvichaari. Rough translation: First judge by presentation, then quality. Behold:

Food review of Tetrazini pasta

This looks appetising, but looks can be deceiving. The tangy sauce is missing the burst of flavour, instead having a rather smooth taste, which somehow mutes the tang. Even the pasta seems a bit overcooked, having long lost its firmness. It was tearing along the lines on its sides, and wasn’t too easy to either serve or eat with a single fork.

And last in the food review came the sizzler. Now something about sizzlers has me nostalgic. Probably my dad introducing me to the dish as something Pran was eating in “Amar Akbar Anthony” in THIS scene. Now, I couldn’t make out whether that was a sizzler, but this definitely was. However, I think I forgot to click that one as well!

Nevertheless, it was juicy, succulent, and flavourful, although not in a very strong or overpowering manner.

Overall, it was definitely an entertaining experience, with the credit going equally to the company and the food.

Got something to say about this review? Please feel free to leave a comment in the blog section. Or, contact us through the website!

Menwhile, bon appetit!