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Restaurant Review: Beijing Bites RT Nagar offers great taste, but needs better service [4/5]

Any business organisation needs a combination of things to work well for it to succeed. These things are like the wheels that propel it forward. One wheel goes down, and the organisation may find it stranded. That’s exactly the thing with Beijing Bites RT Nagar in Bengaluru.

Beijing Bites Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Starters

Since it was just the two of us visiting the restaurant, we ordered a small number of dishes but spread it across the base materials to better understand the culinary offerings here.

The first thing we ordered was some Hunan Prawns, a spicy dish that could go down well with a glass of chilled beer. The prawns were fresh, and the quantity on the dish was a welcome one!

Hunan Prawns

Next up, some Honey Spiced Potato. Crispy but not too spicy, these were a welcome snack, and are perfect if you have children eating with you. Order a plate, and let the little ones make merry!

Honey Spiced Potato

Main course

With vegetarian and prawns covered, we turned our attention to other “meats” for the main course.

The main dish was Mixed Fried Rice. Puffy, soft, firm white rice combined with nicely seasoned scrambled eggs and chicken pieces made for some delectable eating.

Mixed Fried Rice

On the side was some Fish in Oyster Sauce. Soft fish in some subtle sauce made for a good accompaniment to the fried rice.

Sadly, the basa fish on offer was not fresh enough, and the establishment was honest enough to admit that it had been frozen, which imparted it a somewhat unpleasant taste.

Fish in Oyster Sauce

Drinks

We also ordered some drinks, and I ended up drinking some Strawberry Pop that tasted more like a smoothie or a strawberry milkshake.

Strawberry Pop

Final thoughts about Beijing Bites RT Nagar

The steady stream of delivery executives in and out of Beijing Bites RT Nagar was proof enough that the food quality at the eatery is good.

What let it down was the lack of some good service — I had to ask for water multiple times before I got it — and some other issues that I sincerely hope the restaurant addresses.

If they do that, it won’t take long for Beijing Bites RT Nagar to dominate the local Chinese food scene, especially because it is covered under Zomato Gold!

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Restaurant Review: The Good Bowl lives up to its name [4/5]

Getting a piping hot bowl of good food delivered home at the end of the day is one of the topmost trends in Bengaluru right now. It has been fuelled by long hours of office that result in people ending up too tired to cook, and too tired to even go out to eat. The option then is to order in home, and what better than an entire bowl instead of nursing a headache over which rice or noodles to pair with which side dish. That’s the space The Good Bowl is looking to fill, and doing a decent job with it!

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

The bowls

The good people at The Good Bowl sent over two bowls for me to try: the Barbeque Chicken Rice Bowl and the Bhuna Chicken Rice Bowl. Sweetening the offer was some delectable choco-lava cake from Sweet Truth.

The delivered food.

The first thing I dug a spoon into was the Barbeque Chicken Rice Bowl. The soft rice was aromatic, and the olives were an interesting touch. If food is your way of unwinding at the end of the day, take it slow with this one.

The chicken is boneless and soft, but unfortunately a little sparse for the Rs 250+ that the bowl costs. Otherwise, there’s little to complain when it comes to taste, texture and flavour!

Barbeque Chicken Rice Bowl

I waited a couple of days before trying the Bhuna Chicken Rice Bowl. Heated up the refrigerated bowl in the microwave, and was surprised to find that the rice and the chicken had not lost much of the flavour!

Mix that thing well, and you will have a wholesome meal on your hands at the end of the day. A little on the drier side, though, but that could be because of the refrigeration.

Bhuna Chicken Rice Bowl

And finally, the choco-lava cake. This was indeed an indulgent treat — one that can quite nicely be described as the cherry on top of a tiring day rounded up by a nice meal from The Good Bowl.

The Good Bowl is a good place to order food from at the end of the day, when you are all too tired to cook or go out and eat.
Choco-lava Cake

Final thoughts about The Good Bowl

Services that deliver entire bowls of balanced meals are mushrooming all across Tier-I cities in India now. The Good Bowl is looking to make a name for itself in that space, and it has the taste and quality of the food speaking for themselves.

However, one section that The Good Bowl may want to look into is the price per bowl, which may be a little cost-prohibitive if someone wants to order on a regular basis. Otherwise, this service has potential!

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Restaurant Review: Baar Union is a mind-blasting experience! [4.5/5]

Restaurants, watering holes and dance pubs are a dime a dozen in Bengaluru. What sets that special one apart is the experience you have there, and that is beyond the food, drinks and ambience at the place. Baar Union happens to be one such venue: Dance the night away to Bollywood music; let your hair down; sink to the depths of the experience and emerge a rejuvenated individual! That is what sets Baar Union apart from the crowd.

Baar Union Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Drinks

As I have mentioned before, an easy way to identify whether a watering hole is up to the mark is to order the most staple of drinks. That’s what I did and ended up with a Long Island Iced Tea that was slightly on the stiffer side. But I was not the one complaining!

Long Island Iced Tea

After some food and a few rounds of shaking a leg, we ended up ordering some Whiskey Shots, and boy were they lit! Literally! Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

Whiskey Shots @ Baar Union

Starters

Baar Union offers a great variety of starters — numerous enough for you to not even move on to the main course!

We started with some Egg Pakoda. Pretty standard fare.

Egg Pakoda

Next up, some Cottage Cheese Balls. And this is where things started getting interesting.

Cottage Cheese Balls

If you like normal vegetarian fare, and are not into experimenting, try the Mixed Vegetable Pakodas. They are a good accompaniment if you are ordering beer.

Mixed Vegetable Pakodas

Baar Union also offers a good selection of Crispy Prawns. The prawns are firm and well-cooked, complemented well by the crispy exterior that holds the succulent, juicy meat within.

Crispy Prawns

Another nice way to evaluate the cooking at an eatery is to look at starters like momos or dumplings. Baar Union’s offering were above satisfactory — both on the vegetarian [left] and the chicken front.

Vegetarian and Chicken Momoms

Up next, some Taipei Chicken. A good accompaniment if you are looking to eat, drink and make merry over some time. The flavour palette on this one covers all the bases.

Taipei Chicken

Then, some Devil’s Chicken. Fresh, red and succulent, these make for some good munching after a round or two of shaking a leg to the great Bollywood music the DJ has been belting out!

Devil’s Chicken

We decided to go the traditional way again with some Assorted Bhajji. Little can go wrong here. Chomp while you champion your moves on the dance floor!

Assorted Bhajji

Keep dancing!

Yes, that is something you MUST do at Baar Union. This is one of the few places I have been to where you can down a few drinks, plough through copious amounts of food, dance to your heart’s content, make friends, play wingman and even get a friend a kiss from someone they have been eyeing, and finally leave with a smile on your face, all on one night!

And all the while there’s no one misbehaving, which is a huge plus-point for the ladies there.

Here’s some of the other food items we tried, all the while dancing to some sick tunes! First up, Butter Garlic Fish. Soft, succulent and subtle in flavour, this complements shots or cocktails.

Butter Garlic Fish

Next, some Malai Murg Tikka. Perfect if you are ok with a rather heavy amount of cream atop your chicken, with some aromatic spices thrown into the mix.

Malai Murg Tikka

And finally, the piece de resistance: Veg Stuffed Nachos! I managed to return to the table between small stints under the dance lights and polish this off with the aforementioned shots and some swigs of water to keep dehydration at bay.

Veg Stuffed Nachos

Desserts

A lot of dancing can lead to some cravings. Try the Gulab Jamun and Ice Cream at the end. Your tongue and stomach will welcome this hot-and-cold combo.

Gulab Jamun and Ice Cream

Final thoughts about Baar Union

If you have read thus far, you will know that Baar Union offers some good fare. So, what makes it merit the near-five-star review that I am giving it? Let me repeat what I have said already before:

This is one of the few places I have been to where you can down a few drinks, plough through copious amounts of food, dance to your heart’s content, make friends, play wingman and even get a friend a kiss from someone they have been eyeing, and finally leave with a smile on your face, all on one night!

If you are having had a downer of a week, your boss is the monkey on your back, your parents are hassling you, your friends are turning on you and life generally is being a b*tch, go to Baar Union with a little cash, and you will come back reinvigorated enough to tackle most problems headlong! I know I did.

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Restaurant Review: 1441 Pizzeria is an Italian-Indian delight! [4.5/5]

Multinational chains like Dominos, Papa Johns or Pizza Hut may have cornered the pizza market in India, but some homegrown eateries are giving them tough competition. One such restaurant is 1441 Pizzeria, which recently opened doors in Bengaluru. And from the looks of it, it has a lot of potential!

1441 Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Drinks

One of the more unique features of 1441 Pizzeria is its offer of unlimited refills of aerated drinks — whatever is on the public fountain — for around Rs 125. Of course, the drink cannot be shared, and is good for a single visit.

I, however, decided to go down a different path and chose to order the Masala Lemonade, which is Nimbu Paani with extra spices: It cools the body but heats up your tongue!

Masala Lemonade

Starters

I started off with a Cheese Burst Calzone. A crunchy exterior paired with creamy, stringy cheese inside, with the occasional jalapeno, made this a must-order for me! The freshness of the cheese and the jalapenos only solidified that opinion…

Cheese Burst Calzone

One of the other things we were presented with were some Smokey Cheese Balls, served with mayonnaise and fresh salsa. Again, great finger food. And it was at this time I started craving some cold beer, which sadly was not there.

Smokey Cheese Balls

And the last of the starters I tried was Jalapeno Poppers: crispy on the outside, gooey soft on the inside! Try this with the salsa, and you will definitely crave that cold beer even more!

Jalapeno Poppers

Main Course

Not all pizzerias offer the option of letting you choose the toppings for your pizza. That is where 1441 Pizzeria may steal a march. Here is how you do it:

However, there are some problems you might face here, and all of your own doing. Since the pizzas at 1441 Pizzeria are all thing-crust, they cook quickly. So if you decide to simply pile on the toppings, some of them may remain uncooked even if the pizza dough is done!

With that in mind, we decided to try out a couple of pizzas. The first was a Customised Double Cheese Chicken Tikka Chicken Meatball Pizza. Cooked for just the right amount of time, this one was as good as pizza gets!

Customised Double Cheese Chicken Tikka Chicken Meatball Pizza

Next, some Classic Pizza with Paneer Tikka. If you are a vegetarian, splurge on this, and you won’t be disappointed!

Classic Pizza with Paneer Tikka

Desserts

Of course, sometimes just pizza is not enough: We need dessert! And 1441 Pizzeria does not disappoint even on this count.

Start off with Nutella Pizza, and eat it while its hot! This is one serving that is bound to bring out your inner Katrina Kaif, as you scramble to lick up every stray droplet of warm, liquid Nutella that would try to escape your mouth!

Is that a little too sweet for you? Why not try the Nutella Dough Balls, which are as delicious, but not as much of a sweet invasion?

Final thoughts about 1441 Pizzeria

Bengaluru is a struggler’s paradise when it comes to the hospitality industry: You have to keep your game top notch to survive!

That being said, 1441 Pizzeria seems to have started on the higher of those notches. It needs to keep its game like that in order to survive. If it does, it may actually thrive in a city that is seeing a surfeit of mediocre, overpriced eateries.

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Restaurant Review: Mahjong Room delivers some envious fine-dine goals [4.5/5]

Chinese is one of the most famous foreign-origin cuisines in India, to the point that it has been appropriated by kitchens across the country to give rise to Indo-Chinese food. Therefore, the choice is not all that wide for people looking for authentic Chinese food. Mahjong Room at WelcomHotel by ITC Hotels just widened the search bandwidth.

Mahjong Room - WelcomHotel Bengaluru Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Opened in November this year, Mahjong Room exudes elegance not just from its food but also its décor. Order the right cocktails with the food, and you could have a luxurious experience from the get-go!

Drinks

Mahjong Room has a good selection of drinks — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The first drink we were served was of the latter variety.

It was called Butterfly Tea, and for good reason! Served hot, it is blue in colour. Squeeze a few drops of lemon in it, and it turns a nice shade of pink! Take a look yourself:

Butterfly Tea

As for the alcoholic section, there’s a wide range of cocktails. The first I had was called Shanghai Gesture, a pomegranate-based drink that cools well.

Shanghai Gesture

Otherwise, I suggest the Monkey King, which complements Chinese food well! It was a pity I got a taste of this at the fag end of the meal.

Monkey King

Starters

Chinese starters do tend to get repetitive over time. However, the true strength of any restaurant lies in the treatment it reserves for such “regular” Chinese dishes. That is where Mahjong Room scores.

The first of these was Crunchy Corn Kernel. True to the name, these were crunchy, fresh and nicely seasoned, making them the near-perfect “chakhna” — Indian word that denotes that the food is an accompaniment for alcohol consumption — for your cocktail.

Crunchy Corn Kernels

Next, some Sesame Lotus Stems. Basically, lotus stems cut diagonally, fried to crunchy goodness, cooked with some tongue-tingling sauces and served coated with sesame seeds. A genuine treat!

Sesame Lotus Stems

And then things got interesting. The thing with the next dish — Sesame Prawns — is a crunchy shell concealed some succulent prawns. But there was a bigger secret here: The dish had been created and cooked under the supervision of WelcomHotel’s Chef Dhaval Ajmera, who is allergic to seafood!

Sesame Prawns

Then, something that’s a mainstay in Indo-Chinese cuisine, but with a twist. This Sichuan Chilli Pepper Chicken was hot, but just enough to enjoy the other flavours that swirled around in my mouth.

Sichuan Chilli Pepper Chicken

Even the dumplings are in a different league here, especially the Chicken Dumplings.

Chicken Dumplings

The vegetarian variety of that — the Water Chestnut Dumplings — was a revelation as well!

Water Chestnut Dumplings

Main Course

The starters out of the way, we turned our attention to the main course of the meal, beginning with Kung Pao Chicken, Hot and Spicy Hunan Prawn and Corn and Mushroom Jasmine Rice.

Corn and Mushroom Jasmine Rice, Kung Pao Chicken, and Hot and Spicy Hunan Prawn

Just these alone could make for a full meal but, of course, there was more to come! And first in line after this was Mapo Tofu. Silky smooth and diced into small pieces, these really begged the question: Why do people hate tofu so much?

Mapo Tofu

Pair that with some Chilli Garlic Noodles, and you would have little to complain about!

Chilli Garlic Noodles

The last dish of the main course was something we specifically requested: Vegetable Pan-Fried Noodles. If you are laying off meat, this is definitely one to go with!

Vegetable Pan-Fried Noodles

Desserts

You didn’t think we skipped dessert, did you? Because Mahjong Room has some great ones, and we got to taste two of them.

The first among these was the Passionfruit Coconut Lime Shortcake. With a dollop of ice cream in there somewhere.

Passionfruit Coconut Lime Shortcake

And finally, the Hot Chocolate Fudge over Cookie. I am not the least bit ashamed to say I polished this one off all on my own! I loved the texture — the smooth, creamy chocolate ice cream, the fudge and the crunchy choco-filled cookie.

Hot Chocolate Fudge over Cookie

Final thoughts on Mahjong Room

As a Chinese restaurant, Mahjong Room scores on several fronts, not the least of which is the Mahjong Nuts that are served right at the beginning of the meal. These are plain peanuts coated with a special concoction of sugar and chilli, and are so good we requested a to-go box of them for each of us after the meal! Be sure to ask for them when you are there.

Otherwise, book this place for a nice adult lunch or dinner. Children may find the place a little boring, but if Chef Dhaval Ajmera is there, he can whip up something special for them.

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Coldsmith Review: This is indeed a sweet treat! [4.5/5]

Bengaluru’s eateries are branching out in various directions — from finger food to the main course and right up to dessert. That is the niche Coldsmith is targeting, and the job it is doing is not bad at all!

Cold Smith Ice Creams Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The samples

Invited to a tasting at the Elements Mall outlet of Coldsmith, I arrived a little late, thereby missing out on some really yum desserts. And what I did manage to taste genuinely made me regret the delay!

One of the first desserts I managed to tuck into was the Ferrero Rocher Surprise. While the finished product looks nothing like the rocky balls that we have come to associated with the name, it tastes just like the real thing, except in ice-cream form!

Ferrero Rocher Surprise

Next up, some Snicker Licker. Yes, good-old Snickers in ice-cream form, and yes, they do make you want to lick the spoon clean. In fact, I think it would be sacrilege if you didn’t lick that last bit of goodness off the spoon!

Snicker Licker

Third, you have the Blueberry Roll. This may look like strawberry, but trust me, it isn’t. Instead, you have a cold dessert that is made from something that many consider a superfood.

Blueberry Roll

And finally, what I think was the piece de resistance: the Paan Ice Cream.

Paan Ice Cream

Tuck into this, and you could be forgiven if you think you are eating a frozen paan — the Indian-style betel leaf served with condiments at the end of a meal to aid digestion.

That was all I could take before my sweet tooth almost fell out, so let’s move onto my overall impression of Coldsmith.

Final thoughts about Coldsmith

As a standalone dessert place, Coldsmith definitely scores with the variety it has on offer. However, where it scores even higher is the quality of the ice creams: Each flavour has a strong — but not overpowering — presence.

This was true especially for the Paan Ice Cream, which tasted every bit like the real thing! I know quite a few people who love paan but have to restrict their intake of it. This ice cream should be ideal for them!

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Restaurant Review: The Rig is a blast! [4/5]

Bengaluru has over the past few decades had a burgeoning youth population, which has in turn led to an increase in demand for everything youngsters want. One such demand isfor more watering holes, and establishments like The Rig on Sarjapur Road are quickly becoming a hot favourite!

THE RIG Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Rig is agreat draw — at least for now — for quite a few reasons. For one, it is part of Zomato Gold. Secondly, beer is on offer here, and can be cheaper than bottled water at times! And finally, the experimental food and, of course, a phenomenal DJ who can keep even sedentary eaters entertained!

The drinks

The Rig is a microbrewery: It makes its own beer in-house. Thus, it would be near-sacrilege not to have a taste of it. Here’s the selection that’s on offer:

The in-house beer at The Rig

From left, theseare Saison, Hefeweizen, India Pale Ale, Stout and Cider. Try the sampler if youwant a taste of all, or play some sort of roulette and choose one at random if you are feeling adventurous.

I tasted the mall, and settled initially on the Cider, which tasted like most other ciders but was quite smoother than the rest.

A fresh pint of Cider

At a later point during the dinner, I also ordered the bitter Stout beer, which helped complement the later portions of the starters and the entire main course.

The starters

 I reached the venue a little late, which meant that some of the starters had already arrived and had been devoured.

However, therewas still plenty to come, and first to arrive was some Cottage Cheese Soya Chilli Dry.

Cottage Cheese Soya Chilli Dry

It was a pleasant taste, but as is the case with cottage cheese aka paneer, it was a little bland on the inside.

Up next, some Jamaican Jerk Wings. Now, food in the West Indies has heavy Indian and spice influences, so this was easily one of the better snacks around! Simply good finger food,this one.

Jamaican Jerk Wings

Third in line was some Tandoori Malai Broccoli — broccoli cooked Tandoori style and servedwith spiced and seasoned cream. If ever a child hates broccoli, this is the dish to change his or her mind!

Tandoori Malai Broccoli

Then, some Ranch Mac and Cheese Balls came our way: Crunchy on the outside, gooey with melted cheese and soft with the perfectly boiled macaroni on the inside. Keep nibbling at one if you are a weight-watcher. Otherwise, take a generous bite and feel the goodness spread to every corner of your mouth!

Ranch Mac and Cheese Balls

Want some more non-vegetarian fare? Try the Brandy Chicken Tikka. They will light it on fire for you — literally!

Brandy Chicken Tikka

And then there were some Pulled Pork Empanadas: just the perfect thing to satiate that craving for something savoury and crunchy as you down your beer. These are delicately spiced, so try and keep your tongue sensitive for them.

Pulled Pork Empanadas

Up next, a selection of Peri Peri Prawns. Now, to be honest, these weren’t fully cooked. Had the heat of the oven managed to penetrate every corner of the dish, this could easily have been the pièce de résistance.

Peri Peri Prawns

The chef, however, was quick to address his misstep, because within a few more minutes wehad some Butter Garlic Prawns in front of us! Once again, the subtle flavours tingled our taste buds.

Butter Garlic Prawns

The Main Course

As the main course rolled around, we prepared ourselves once again for something different. The music had started to grow loud by now, and the mood was set for the evening.

First out of the kitchen was a Farmhouse Pizza. This thin-crust munchie was an instant hit!

Farmhouse Pizza

Up next, the Palak Paneer Combo. This was Palak Paneer served with Naan, some well-cooked Daal, some rice that resembled Biryani but on the vegetarian side, and some Papad and chopped, spice-marinated onions. If you are a vegetarian, this is a force on its own!

Palak Paneer Combo

Then, the Seafood Combo: Some prawns in what appeared to be a delectable Thai green curry, along with some squid calamari, served with rice and assorted vegetables. The squid was a definite novelty.

Seafood Combo

 The main course ended with a solid Meat Pizza. Order a few of these along with your choice of beer, and you have the evening sorted!

Meat Pizza

The Dessert

Of course, The Rig has a good assortment of desserts, and there were several of them headed our way. I, however, chose to end the day with some Shahi Tukda with Gulab Jamun.

Shahi Tukda with Gulab Jamun

These can hold their own when served individually. However, things go to an entirely new level when you combine to two and use fresh ingredients!

Final thoughts about The Rig

As I have mentioned before, The Rig is definitely one of the fresher hangouts for youngsters. And it can definitely cash in on it if it keeps up its level of food and service delivery.

If it remains consistent, it has the potential to become one of the hottest hangouts of Bengaluru!

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Restaurant Review: Kapoor’s Café Jayanagar offers authentic Punjabi experience [4.5/5]

Bengaluru, albeit being situated deep down in South India, is often one of the better destinations in the region if you are craving North Indian food — more specifically, Punjabi food. The options are a myriad within the city, but not all are up to par. That is where Kapoor’s Café can take the cake, with the only downside being it is a pure vegetarian eatery.

Kapoor's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What really grips you right off the bat is the ambience. Yes, I had talked of ambience of Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba as well, but Kapoor’s Café Jayanagar — whose opening saw a lot of bloggers and influencers invited in for a good time — can take it to a whole new level with its touch of luxury.

Starters

 As a blogger anda food reviewer, I would have loved to taste more from Kapoor’s Café Jayanagar, but one can understand their move to offer a fixed menu to the invitees on Day 1. Clearly, they wanted to put their best foot forward.

And they couldn’t have done it better with the first thing that greeted us as we walkedin to the sound of dhol welcoming us. The Dry Fruit Lassi can do many things at once. It can quench your thirst, satiate your hunger, cool you down and warm you up for what is to come next. And it can do all this all at once!

Dry Fruit Lassi

Next up was some Masala Papad. Now, this may be a common menu item, and appeared as much, butthe freshness of the ingredients told another story.

Masala Papad

Even before we had made some headway into the Masala Papad, we had some Paneer Pakoras served to us. Now, Paneer is not an easy protein to spice. So, that aside, this wasindeed a nice nibble to accompany the Lassi.

Paneer Pakora

As more and more people milled in, more and more plates of snacks started coming out of the kitchen. Here’s one: Cheese Patakha Balls.

Cheese Patakha Balls

Mind you, the cheese here is not Paneer, but possibly some form of Mozzarella. And each ball has a solid cheese filling. Down an entire plate of this, and it will take acrane to lift you from your spot and get you moving!

And finally,what I found was the piece de resistance of the starters: French Fries, Punjabi Style! Crunchy, light and spicy, these were picked up by the fistfuls beforethey disappeared by the mouthfuls.

French Fries, Punjabi Style!

There was another snack item on tables as well. Imagine a flatbread stuffed with cheese and served with a dollop of fresh butter on top, and you have the Cheese Paratha that we could hardly make a dent into! A quarter of it, and we were already panting for breath!

Cheese Paratha

Main course

As the evening wore on and the dancing continued, some delicious aromas started wafting out of the kitchen. We did take a few guesses, but nobody spoilt the surprise.

The main course, when it came, was a mini-buffet in itself. See for yourself:

The Main Course

The Phulkas on the right were quick to complement the bouquet of dishes offered on the left-hand plate. The items, clockwise from extreme left, are Paneer Butter Masala, Rajma Dal, Jeera Rice, Baingan Bharta and Aloo Gobi, with some fresh curd to cool the heat.

I have said this before, and I will say it again: The easiest way to judge an eatery without depending on visual cues such as crowds is to sample its basic fare. No restaurant can survive if it can’t maintain even the simplest of standards for the basic dishes.

Kapoor’s Café Jayanagar happened to be way ahead on that front. From the slightly smoky taste of the Baingan Bharta due to the burnt eggplant skin to the smooth Rajma Dal, each dish was a delight!

Final thoughts about Kapoor’s Café Jayanagar

Vegetarian eateries of the upscale variety are a rarity in Bengaluru. Kapoor’s Café Jayanagar and its other outlets are doing well to target that void.

One only hopes that they keep up the standards and the authentic Punjabi experience. Otherwise, the restaurant will have little on its hands to justify the prices it is charging.

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Restaurant Review: Republic of Noodles is a true hidden gem [5/5]

Restaurants that are part of hotels are not too often places where you would like to go just forthe food. However, during my stay in Bengaluru, I have come across some notable exceptions. There was Rice Bowl, which was a great eatery. More recently, I had the opportunity to visit Republic of Noodles, which cemented its status in my mind as a hidden gem.

Republic Of Noodles - Lemon Tree Premier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Starting off

The first thing on the table on this day was a Thai Ding Dong, a drink that both quenched my thirst and tingled my tongue. It almost seemed to activate some taste buds inpreparation for what was to come.

Thai Ding Dong

Onto the solid food. I was told this is called an Amuse Bouche, but I may have misheard. Then again, there’s no denying the crunchy freshness of this appetiser!

Amuse Bouche

Next up, some Vietnamese Corn and Spice Soup: thick, flavourful and nourishing. Order this on a cold day, and you can sit sipping it, all wrapped up. And each sip is a little more comforting.

Vietnamese Spinach and Corn Soup

If the soup wasn’t enough, try the Pork Dim Sum. Or any of the other dim sums, for that matter. You won’t need a full meal for several hours. I also happened to taste the Spinach and Mushroom Dim Sums, and once again could not find a reason to complain.

Dim Sums

Main Course

 Readers of thisblog will know that I am usually full by the time the main course rolls around. However, I was prepared this time, and it served me well.

Here were some Pork Ribs, cooked slowly till the meat was on the verge of falling off from the bone. Served with a peach sauce. Put one succulent piece in your mouth, and your eyes will automatically close and your body relax as you lay back to savour the gradual release of taste, flavours and texture.

Pork Ribs

Up next, some Sea Basa with Glass Noodles. The soft, succulent and subtly-flavoured Basa was complemented well by the noodles.

Sea Basa with Glass Noodles

While these are gone in two bites, here’s something that will take more than just a couple of gulps to consume: Malaysian Ribbon Noodles. These are also a healthy option because theyare made of wheat, and are made healthier by the sprouts they are topped with:See the white root-like things on top?

Malayasian Ribbon Noodles

Accompanying the noodles was a dish called Vietnamese Tofu and Spinach. Never believed tofu could be so soft! True, tofu is not a good absorber of flavour, but treat it as only a source of protein, and the entire dish is as good as anything vegetarian you will get!

Vietnamese Tofu and Spinach

Next among the side dishes is Pot Roast Lamb with Green Pepper and Beans. Cut off a piece, wrap your mouth around the meat, and feel the descent to contentment!

Pot Roast Lamb with Green Pepper

With me just about to wind up dinner, you didn’t assume there was no chicken dish, did you? Here’s some Nyona Style Chicken Curry, which is as much a treat for the taste budsas the eyes!

Nyona Style Chicken Curry

And accompanying everything was some fragrant Jasmine Rice, served in an actual bamboo container.

Jasmine Rice

Dessert

Yes, I was a little too full by this point, and almost cancelled dessert. Only later did I realise that it would have been a huge mistake.

This Tempura Fried Ice Cream is a definite treat! Get it for the children, and watch them tuck into it with gusto. Heck, even the adults can join in!

Get past the crunchy, hard shell, and you will be rewarded with some mouth-wateringly creamy vanilla ice cream.

Tempura Fried Ice Cream

Final thoughts about Republic of Noodles

If you are looking to celebrate with your family or have a cosy dinner with friends, andthe consensus is Asian cuisine, Republic of Noodles at Lemontree Premier is your destination!

Can’t decide which food will suit your palate?Ask the chef! He is indeed a whiz with what he serves, and will put you at easewith every dish he presents in front of you!

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.

Faasos Navratri Special food review: A filling meal when you fast [3/5]

Here’s a quick review for the Navaratras: Faasos has introduced a range of Navratri Special dishes, and send one of them over for Yum Central to try!

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

The dishes include Paneer Makhanwala, Sabudana Khichdi, Singhada Aloo Paratha, Hare Tamatar Ki Sabji, Sabudana Vada and Sabudana Kheer.

In each case, especially in the Paneer, Aloo Paratha and Sabji, no garlic or onion has been used in keeping with the Navratri traditions.

The meal

The dish Faasos sent over was actually a full meal, a la thaali. It consisted of the Sabudana Vada, Singhada Aloo Paratha, Hare Tamaatar Ki Sabji, Paneer Makhanwala and Sabudana Kheer, with some fresh, cold curd on the side.

It was piping hot when delivered, and I wasted no time in digging in.

The Sabudana Vada was crisp and fresh, and paired well with the curd. The paratha was also fresh, with the spices more than making up for the absence of ginger, garlic or onion.

It was only when I came to the Paneer Makhanwala that the taste dipped a bit. Make no mistake: The butter mentioned in the name was definitely there, and the paneer pieces themselves were soft enough to crumble when crushed between the tongue and the roof of your mouth. They were creamy, even!

However, it tasted bland. Part of that can be attributed the absence of the garlic and onion. However, a little more salt could have improved matters a whole lot.

The Hare Tamatar ki Sabji was again a revelation. It’s alternatively tangy and sweet taste made it a great foil to eat the paratha with!

And in the end, the Sabudana Kheer was a welcome break from all that oil and fries. Nothing to write home about, but still a good addition to the whole plate.

Final thoughts about Faasos Navratri Special

Faasos Navratri Special dishes are available from October 10 to October 18. However, at Rs 300 per plate, the thaali delivered to me may be a little cost-prohibitive for some.

Then again, Navratri comes but once every year. So why skimp when you can have a freshly-cooked, filling meal at one go instead of munching on food at smaller intervals?

If you have anything to say about to review, or just want to reach out, right this way, please! We promise to reply in a jiffy.