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Restaurant Review: Kalmane Koffees is a nice after-movie snacking place [3.5/5]

Upmarket eateries have over the years seen an uptick in urban centres, including Bengaluru. Cafe Coffee Day may have started the trend, but it is seeing stiff competition from the likes of Kalmane Koffees, a chain that has several outlets in Bengaluru.

Kalmane Koffees Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The outlet I visited was at Mantri Mall. At first sight, it seemed tucked away in a small corner on the ground floor, just in front of the Spar supermarket. The couple of hours I spent there showed me the exact kind of clientele the eatery was serving: Everyone!

Ambience

Kalmane Koffees seems to have married old-world charm with modern sensibilities. I witnessed couples as well as whole families settling down for a chat on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and they were all equally at ease.

These guys started off as coffee exporters, and have entered the coffee-shop business only in recent times. And given the atmosphere and the business we saw happen at the counters, we can easily say these guys were doing well.

Food and drinks

Now, Kalmane Koffees offers a wide range of food choices if you want something to keep your mouth busy other than talking to your date.

And if you are not a fan of coffee, how about ordering some cold-pressed juices? This is an especially good choice if you are going the health-conscious way.

Sip or slurp

Besides the cold-pressed juices, Kalmane Koffees also offers a wide selection of hot and cold coffee, tea and milk-based drinks.

In the mood for something sweet and thick? Try the Strawberrylicious!

Want something even more refreshing but not as heavy? How about some iced tea, made with the flavour of your choice?

If you want to stick to the originals, there’s a huge range of coffees you may order from. The coffees can be prepared in a variety of ways. Check the menu well before you order.

Nibble or nosh

Kalmane Koffees also offers a generous selection of food. We suggest the mini-samosas…

or the cheese-corn bites.

Final thoughts about Kalmane Koffees, Mantri Square

The good thing about the Kalmane Koffees at Mantri Square is that it seems like a cosy place for a small family outing after movies or on a date.

What may put some off is the price, but similar fare – sometimes of inferior quality – is available at around much the same price point all around.

Give this place a try nevertheless. Who knows? You might find something entirely new here!

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: Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba is a roadside experience! [4.5/5]

When the wanderlust bug bites, you gotta hit the road. But when the hunger pangs surface, you gotta grab some bites. In northern India, roadside eateries called Dhabas alleviate those hunger pangs with oily, spicy vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare paired with piping hot naan or phulka. Bengaluru has its own version of this in the HRBR Layout location of Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba (CCDD).

Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Now, it would have been deemed difficult for an eatery situated on the rooftop of a three-storey building to recreate the roadside dhaba experience, but this outlet of CCDD – opened quite a few years ago – seemed to have hit the jackpot with a flyover running next to it, almost at a similar height.

Add to that the small open-air space that the restaurant-owners have set aside for charpoy-seating and faux-grass flooring, coupled with a small paan shop playing the radio, and you could ask for little more to experience a slice of North India this deep down South.

Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba
The CCDD menu

Starters

But ambience alone does not maketh an eatery. Food is much more important. The good people at CCDD seem to understand that quite well. And I can now endorse that, having tasted some of their offerings.

One of the first things you should order is the Kulhad Lassi – a thick, yoghurt-based drink served in an earthen tumbler. This will serve not only to hydrate you but also cleanse the palate. On the off chance that you find the food too spicy, this will also take away some of the heat.

Kulhad Lassi
Kulhad Lassi

Among the starters, first up for me was some Paneer Chatpata – Indian-style cottage cheese coated in a lip-smacking mixture of spices that almost imparts it a Chinese cuisine-like taste. It was at this point that I expressed my regret for the fact that CCDD is an alcohol-free establishment. This could have been a near-perfect accompaniment for some chilled beer at the end of a hectic day.

Paneer Chatpata
Paneer Chatpata

Next up was a house specialty: Kasturi Kabab. These boneless chicken pieces had me licking my fingers and almost licking the plate clean. The spice mix here was pungent, but not overpoweringly so. The delicate nature of the taste still makes my mouth water.

Kasturi Kabab
Kasturi Kabab

Third in line was some more chicken, but this time with bone. And equally delicious!

Sawariya Kabab
Sawariya Kabab

And finally, the Special Kabab. Luscious leg pieces marinated in a concoction of spices, then carefully roasted to perfection, so the chicken is soft enough to fall away from the bone, even as some of the extremities acquire the smoky, cinder-like quality from the Tandoor.

CCDD Special Kabab
CCDD Special Kabab

Main course

Since CCDD prides itself in its Dhaba heritage, the main course had to be Punjabi. And few dishes can be as Punjabi when the word Punjabi appears in the name itself. Thus it was that I ended up ordering Chicken Punjabi Masala and Diwani Handi.

Diwani Handi (left) and Chicken Punjabi Masala
Diwani Handi (left) and Chicken Punjabi Masala

Now, a real dhaba might have made the Chicken Punjabi Masala an oily dish with so much heat that it could melt glaciers. Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba, however, went off the beaten path. The masala was again soft, but not so delicate as to be bland. At no point did it induce tears.

The Diwani Handi, meanwhile, seemed like it had come straight out of a European kitchen, with its delectable flavours, fresh vegetables and dollops of cream. This might just be the dish to get the kids to eat their veggies!

And all this was had with some butter naan and phulka, the latter being the wheat-flour flatbreads that are a staple in North Indian households.

Phulka
Phulka

Final thoughts about Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba

CCDD is a place where you can go to refresh your North Indian memories, or – if you are from that part of India – to cure your homesickness to some extent.

Go early – the place opens by 7 pm – and you might just get to sit on one of the four open-air charpoys, where the dhaba feel is the maximum. But go prepared to eat. The food is hearty, borders on rustic and is ample when it comes to portions.

Paan
Paan

In short, chulha Chauki Da Dhaba – especially the HRBR Layout outlet – is a definite-visit for lovers of North Indian food in 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.

Godrej Food Trends 2018 prediction may be missing one important new drift: Weird food!

Godrej Food Trends 2018, the annual survey on what changes one can expect every year in the F&B industry, is here. And its panel of experts has pointed to some interesting trends when it comes to global restaurants!

Take a look at what the survey – conducted on a highly-knowledgeable panel of experts has to say:

“Every year, a few food trends emerge around ingredients, cuisines, or dishes at the global level. They also sometimes make an impact on the local food industry. Our expert panel was asked to identify their top three global food trends for 2018. A large majority felt that hyper-local sourcing of local, seasonal, and foraged foods (78 percent) will continue to be a driving force on menus across the world. A substantial number expect that this will also translate into greater demand for transparency and accountability (40 percent) from food businesses in the form of information about the sourcing and origins, distance foods travel, processing it has undergone, and to verify this they will want appropriate natural and ethical claims (38 percent) on labels.”

However, these experts may have missed out on a very important trend that seems to be emerging all across the world. People across the globe seem to be developing a taste for weird or unconventional food, and restaurants seem only too happy to serve some up for them!

A slew of weird foods

Variety in food has always been something patrons ask for. If you can deliver on both the quality and quantity fronts, you may have customers for a lifetime, and also some great word-of-mouth publicity!

Some restaurants across the world are taking that “variety” quotient to a whole new level these days. For example, an Australian restaurant is currently serving its patrons some brilliant blue pasta! See for yourself:

Blue Pasta
Blue Spirulina Tagliatelle, served at Mark And Vinny’s Spaghetti & Spritz in Australia. Picture credit: Instagram/Mark And Vinny’s Spaghetti & Spritz

The restaurant also happens to serve some red and black pasta. Definitely a treat for the eyes as well as for the palate, as far as we can gather from the reviews and social media reaction.

Then there’s the US restaurant that serves a Tarantula Burger as a challenge for its patrons! Chow it down, and you get a T-shirt to commemorate your achievement.

Tarantula Burger
In picture: Tarantula Burger. Picture credit: Instagram/Bull City Burger & Brewery official handle

Novelty desserts are also a thing now. For example, a New York restaurant serves pizza-flavoured ice cream! To be honest, though, the flavour is actually pizza crust, and not the pizza itself.

Meanwhile, an Irish dessert parlour has managed to create a ketchup-flavoured ice cream in honour of global singing sensation Ed Sheeran!

ketchup-flavoured ice cream
Ketchup-flavoured ice cream by Gelati. Picture credit: Instagram/Gelati

Another development Godrej Food Trends missed

Weird foods may not be the only development or new wave that the Godrej Food Trends 2018 report seems to have missed.

Automation appears to be a global trend across the world, and we won’t be surprised if it makes its presence felt in the Food and Beverage segment.

In fact, it has already made a mark in the industry: Robot chefs are cooking up some delicious dishes in a Boston-based eatery in the US!

Robot chef
A robot chef in action at Spyce restaurant, Boston. Picture credit: Video screenshot

These seem to be some of the new developments that the world may see at every nook and cranny with an eatery. Here’s hoping that these help develop the industry, instead of dehumanising it or turning it into a solely novelty-based business segment.

Housefull Restaurant Review: Superb taste trumps ‘aggressive’ pricing [4.5/5]

Give me food and I will eat all day. But as a non-vegetarian, I do like myself some skewered, roasted, curried or other kinds of meat when I am eating out. Housefull in Sheshadripuram, Bengaluru, made me rethink that choice for the entire duration I was sampling its fare.

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

Just three of us were invited at a short notice, and had a great foodie experience – both in terms of eating and service.

The pricing was described to us as “aggressive,” but in our minds the quality of food – although the spread was entirely vegetarian – was quite up to the mark.

Drinks

Of the three drinks we were served, I picked up the Aam Panna – the traditional Indian drink served through the ages after being made from mangos that are on the raw side. However, the chef here had managed to add a little extra seasoning to his interpretation, and I dare say, it tasted delicious!

Novelties at eateries are – ironically – nothing new. Thus, street-food staples like golgappa – or pani puri, pani patashe, fuchka, gup chup, etc, across India – have been on restaurant menus for quite some time.

Housefull has its own Golgappa Shots. While the fillings are the same, the water you consume them with is different – one sweet, another sour, and the third is masala chhaas.

Starters

First up was some Masala Khakhra, treated with some wonderful sauces and the pungent flavour of Rasam powder. The sharpness of the spices on this khakhra – traditionally a Gujarati snack – was offset nicely by the creamy, sour sauces spread evenly over the surface.

We were also given some Cheesling Bhel to sample. Yes, these are the same Monaco Cheeslings that we had with tea on lazy afternoons. Except, the chef at Housefull has some special tricks and flavours up his sleeve.

Each mouthful of this dish is a crunchy, creamy delight that will have you craving for more! Get a couple of plates of this ordered home and pair it with some good beer. You won’t be disappointed!

Even the Pav Bhaji has a twist here. Small pieces of butter-soaked bread are served on some smooth-yet-savoury bhaji. Skewer the bread with your fork and use it to scoop up the bhaji, which has been topped with a dollop of butter. Grab some seasoned raw onions as well. As hearty as it gets!

Next up, we had some Makhna Nut Masala. Again, a heavy dish, but the flavour profile was wonderful! When you combine tangy, crispy fox-nuts with cashews, almonds, sev and a secret concoction of sauces in just the right way, it could very well be your signature dish!

Now, one item of vegetarian food that is extremely healthy but detested by children across the world with almost equal hate is broccoli. Housefull seems to have a trick up its sleeve here as well, serving it Tandoor-roasted and with mustard.

The Tandoori Mustard Broccoli is indeed an interesting dish, and may get at least some to take a nibble. However, a little more flavour infused into the actual broccoli heads would go a long way in making these more palatable.

Next up, some Gujarati Koki. Topped with some special sauce and served with some chilli sauce and curd. Again, a real tastebud-tingler.

Housefull’s menu may primarily North Indian, but there are some fusion surprises as well! One such dish is the Spicy Sriracha Paneer – a possible interpretation of the traditional Chilli Paneer. This was a little underwhelming, but still a good eat if you like paneer.

Main Course

Now, I understand that at least one of the dishes here isn’t exactly main-course material. However, its Housefull version is worthy of the “main course” tag.

This is the Chholey Bhaturey. The Bhaturey here may seem a little too little when faced with the quantity of the Chholey. If that is the case, call for some of the other kinds of bread around polish of the deliciously succulent, soft, sweet-and-tangy Chholey. They are a revelation!

If you still have some stomach space left, try to smooth Daal Makhni and the delicious Paneer Makhni – each in a league of their own.

Pair these with some smooth-but-spicy Chilli Cheese Naan, some crunchy Red Onion Naan or the sweet Taaftaan.

Try some Paalak Pulao if you like, or if you don’t want the breads.

And if you still want some Chinese, Housefull offers some Hakka Noodles.

Desserts

You have an interesting selection of desserts at Housefull. For example, the Gulab Jamun Mousse. This is two gol gappas filled with chocolate on solid cubes with sections of gulab jamun at the bottom.

Next up, some Bournvita Pista Kulfi. In short, pista kulfi covered in actual Bournvita powder! Now, I was not exactly crazy about these, but give it a try if you loved eating Bournvita powder on its own.

And finally, some Guava Chilli Ice Cream. Remember eating guava that was on the cusp of ripening with some salt paired with red chilli powder as seasoning? This tastes exactly like that, except in ice-cream form, and no pesky seeds.

Final thoughts about Housefull

Here’s an eatery that serves primarily vegetarian food, but the quality will make you want to keep going back.

Sure, the price is slightly on the steeper side, but the quantity served can easily keep the bill on the lower side!

And even the service is great. Here’s to you, Laltu – our server for the night.

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.

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.

Entrées

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!

Desserts

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.

Have something to share? Drop us a message HERE, and we will get back to you immediately!

Chicken Korma recipe: Yummy Indian curry in the comforts of your home!

It has been quite some time since we posted a recipe on this blog. To be honest, we were just cooking more of the mundane stuff, and were not experimenting as much. However, all that changed one Sunday when I decided to cook what Gordon Ramsay would call a curry-house classic: Chicken Korma.

It’s a sweeter, more mellow version of the chicken curry that we know of, and can be eaten with both rice and various kinds of Indian flat-bread.

Chicken Korma, a la Yum Central
Chicken Korma, a la Yum Central

So get your toque – not to be confused with a toke – on, your spices and ingredients out and your utensils ready for one helluva curry ride!

Serves 2-3 people. Takes 30-40 minutes to cook, minus the marination.

Ingredients

  • Chicken: 600-700 grams, big pieces, with the chicken on the bone (can be boneless as well)
  • Cooking oil: around 50 ml (of your choice)
  • Onion: 300-400 grams, ground into a paste
  • Tomato: 200 grams, ground into a paste
  • Ginger-garlic paste: 20-30 grams
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro for our state-side friends): 20-30 grams, chopped
  • Cumin seeds: 5 grams
  • Cloves: 2
  • Green cardamom: 2
  • Cinnamon: 5 gram in small sticks
  • Curd (yoghurt or yogurt): 50-100 grams
  • Turmeric powder: 5-10 grams
  • Red chilli powder: 5-10 grams
  • Cumin powder: 5-10 grams
  • Coriander powder: 5-10 grams
  • Garam masala: 5-10 grams
  • Heavy cream: 100-150 grams
  • Vinegar: 5 ml
  • Salt: As needed
  • Water: As needed

Optional ingredients

  • Dried fenugreek leaves: 10 grams (activate with a little hot water before using)
  • Cashew and almonds: 30-50 grams, chopped or broken into small bits

Marination

Wash the chicken well. Put it in a deep container. Add the curd, and half of the following: ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and red chilli powder. Add salt and a dash of vinegar.

Mix everything well, making sure that the marinade penetrates well into the chicken. Now freeze the mixture for at least a couple of hours.

Marinated Chicken
Marinated Chicken

Recipe time!

Preparing the masala

This is essentially the most important part of the cooking process. A weak, undercooked base masala or spice combination can be the difference between a mouthwatering delicacy and a soggy, bland dish.

First, get your onion and tomatoes ground to a paste. Like so:

Onion:

Onion paste
Onion paste

Tomato:

Tomato paste
Tomato paste

As that is done, heat the oil on a medium flame, and add the whole spices – the cumin seeds, the cardamoms, the cloves, and the cinnamon sticks. Let them sputter around and release their flavours a bit. Don’t let them burn, though.

Whole spices in oil
Whole spices in oil

Then, add the onion paste. Be careful about the sputtering. The water released by the onions and the hot oil do make a volatile combination, if “volatile” is indeed the word for it.

As the onion releases more water and starts to reduce, add the rest of the ground spices – coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and garam masala – and salt and stir to mix them well.

Ground spices go in
Ground spices go in

The resulting mixture should start to look like an ochre shade, and start reducing further.

All spiced up!
All spiced up!

I added the ginger-garlic paste at this point, but you can add it well before adding even the ground spices. Mix this well, and that typical “Indian curry” smell should start by now.

Stir till things get reduced a bit further.

Now add the tomato paste, and stir well to get things mixed.

It might be a good idea to turn the heat up a notch or two and let your masala reduce even further. Keep stirring so the masala doesn’t burn. But don’t be so fast that the masala does not acquire a smoky flavour from the heat.

The result now should be a brown mixture.

The masala base is ready and fragrant!
The masala base is ready and fragrant!

The funny thing is, you can make this masala in large batches and store some of it in the refrigerator for at least a week or two. It may lose some of its flavour, but still retain quite a bit of taste.

Making Chicken Korma

With your base ready spread it across the bottom of your utensil. Turn down the heat to low-medium. Bring out the chicken and lay the pieces on the masala. Let the chicken soak in some of that flavour.

Meanwhile, if you still have some of that mixed marinade left, add it to the masala.

As the chicken starts to secrete its juices, mix the pieces well with the base, so that the masala gets into the crevices of the chicken and adds to the flavour. Let more vigorous stirring ensue.

Once the chicken is covered with the masala and acquired most of its colour, add the cream and once again, stir away!

Cream maketh the Chicken Korma!
Cream maketh the Chicken Korma!

The cream will tone down the kick of the spices, while its water component will mix with the smooth masala, which will now start to secrete some really flavourful and fragrant oil.

Now, add some water for the gravy – depending on the thickness of the gravy you want – and turn up the heat a little. Stir so that everything is mixed well.

Cover your utensil, and let all the flavours be sealed in. Keep checking so that nothing sticks to the bottom. Stop cooking when the gravy has reduced to your liking. Garnish with freshly-chopped coriander leaves.

Chicken Korma is ready!
Chicken Korma is ready!

And finally, plate and serve!

Optional steps

Remember the fenugreek leaves and cashews? Here’s how you can use them.

Fenugreek leaves: Add them to a little hot water, so their flavour starts to come out. Add them to the Chicken Korma gravy when it is still a little runny, and enjoy a whole new flavour profile!

Cashew and almonds: Either crush them into small pieces and add towards the end of the recipe, like when the gravy has almost done reducing. Or, make a paste and add to the gravy at the same time for a smoother taste!

Finally…

Cook some rice and have a dry-ish accompaniment with the Chicken Korma, or use some Indian flat-bread – roti, fulka, parotta/paratha, naan, kulcha or what-have-you.

While you are at it, why not even try some pita bread or something similar, and tell us what you think of the results?

Also, got any tips, tricks, changes to the recipe or feedback for us? Write to us in the comments, or reach us directly! We promise to reply as soon as possible!

Restaurant review: Mobydick is a whale of a fusion experience! [4/5]

First off: Quit sniggering! You are clearly a troglodyte if you have not heard of the 1851 novel by Herman Melville, which in itself is a literary must-read, or the 1956 film made on it. And in case you are mature enough to have realised the cultural significance of the name Mobydick, prepare to immerse yourself in the fusion food offered by this restaurant in Koramangala, Bengaluru.

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

Cooling off

I was recently invited to taste what I was told was some fresh additions to the menu of Mobydick – of which I had heard only good things, but never got a chance to verify the praise in person.

I reached the place after a hard day’s work, and was greeted with a cosy ambience and an orange lemonade – an orangeade?? – as my fellow reviewers came in one by one. It’s the one on the right:

Image: Fresh drinks at Mobydick
Fresh drinks at Mobydick

It took us all a little time to regroup, and I spent that time soaking up the surroundings in what was definitely a friendly place to unwind at the end of an energy-sucking workday.

Image: Mobidick ambience
Mobidick ambience

Starters

We were soon served a few starters – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. I did not taste the Vegetable Samosas, but the Kasundi Fish, BBQ Chicken Wings, Double Pepper Lamb and the Chili Basil Prawns did find their way into my tongue and down my gullet.

Image: Starters at Mobydick
Clockwise from top: The prawn, chicken wings, kasundi fish and vegetable samosa.

Now, the stand-out here was the Kasundi Fish, and not because I am a Bengali who likes both Kasundi and fish. The reason I would gladly revisit that dish is that the fish was some fresh, boneless and tender Basa covered with Kasundi (mustard sauce) that had a creamy base.

It made me wish I could sit down with a glass of wine and intersperse every swig with a single bite off the Kasundi fish. That’s how unwinding after a demanding week of work should feel like.

Meanwhile, check out this pizza-shaped Garlic Bread that had made its way to our table!

Image: Garlic bread at Mobidick
Garlic bread at Mobidick

Main Course

Now, before I came to Mobydick, I had heard of its legendary burgers. Got to see one of them in front of me, and it was huge! Didn’t taste it, though, because I had my eyes on something else.

Image: Mobydick burger
Mobydick burger

There was some really creamy White Pasta around as well, along with a bread basket. Filling and relaxing, I must say. It’s great how some food can lift your mood.

Image: Pasta at Mobydick
Pasta at Mobydick

And then came something that the owner said was fast becoming one of the most-served dishes of Mobydick: the Chicken BBQ Steak and the Lamb Steak. I sampled both, and they were at least a one-time-try.

Image: The famed steaks of Mobydick
The famed steaks of Mobydick

Finally, just when I thought we were done, out came what was to me the highlight of the evening! The Thai Green Curry may have many interpretations across restaurants, but I would personally recommend that you try the one at Mobydick!

Image: Thai Green Curry at Mobydick
Thai Green Curry at Mobydick

It does not matter whether you get the vegetarian one or the chicken variant. It’s the curry you want to taste.

Imagine a small balloon filled with flavour hanging inside your mouth. An invisible needle pricks it, and the flavours splash their way to every corner of your mouth, tingling every single pleasurable sensation possible on the tongue! That’s what the first and every subsequent spoon of this rendition of the Thai Green Curry felt to me.

This was also probably one of the most layered bits of food I have eaten in a long time. On its own its a strong spicy curry that packs heat like gut-punch. But pair this with some rice, and you have a fragrant, milder mixture that you can keep eating spoonfuls of and still crave for more!

Dessert

Now, I was full by the time dessert came along, so I didn’t taste much of them. I did, however, have a few spoonfuls of the Brownie with Ice Cream.

Image: Dessert at Mobydick
Dessert at Mobydick

This is one dessert that is as difficult to get wrong as it is to lift beyond the regular variety. Mobydick manages to keep it simple and sumptuous, just like it was meant to be.

Final thoughts on Mobydick

Not too many places around Bengaluru have a combination of ambience and food that you want to go back to. Mobydick was an exception here. It served up a nice place to unwind with a wide variety of fusion food.

Image: Mobydick bread basket
Mobydick bread basket

I do not know when, but I do intend to return with appreciative company to Mobydick on another evening and chill out.

Restaurant review: Oven Story Pizza is cheesy in the best possible way! [3.5/5]

Pizza places are a dime a dozen in metropolitan cities like Bengaluru. They sometimes mushroom in the unlikeliest of places, and disappear like bubbles because of the competitive market. Thus, when we first heard of Oven Story, we were a bit sceptical.

Ovenstory Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Then the pizza and the garlic bread were delivered, and we were covered in a deluge of cheese!

Oven Story Pizza
Oven Story Pizza

The nice people at Oven Story Pizza, Hosur Road, sent us a Chicken Tikka and Keema Chipotle Pizza and some Garlic Bread with Cheese. Honestly, we drowned in the cheese. Here’s our review.

Chicken Tikka and Keema Chipotle Pizza

This is one loaded pizza. On its own, this is quite a flavour trip for the tongue. Add the oregano mix, and the taste moves one notch higher.

Chicken Tikka and Keema Chipotle Pizza
Chicken Tikka and Keema Chipotle Pizza

Now, the presentation on this pizza ain’t the best, and I will readily admit it. The chicken tikka pieces, the keema – Indian-style cooked and flavoured minced meat – and the onion chunks seem placed a little haphazardly, giving one the impression that the toppings are a bit sparse.

But you don’t mind. Why? Because its pizza!

Garlic Bread with Cheese

Now this one is a sure-fire hit! Thick chunks of garlic bread topped with creamy, salty cheese make you crave more.

Garlic Bread with Cheese
Garlic Bread with Cheese

Here’s a thought. The next time you drink wine, order these and intersperse each swig of that vino with a bite of this salty, cheesy monstrosity – and, once again, I call it a monstrosity with the best of intentions.

The sharp tang of acidic wine should complement the creaminess of the cheese quite well, and you will have a filling meal without eating much – if you can stop yourself, that is.

And don’t worry about garlic breath. The garlic in this bread is quite subtle – to the point where you may not be able to taste it all!

Final thoughts on Oven Story Pizza

There are pizzas and there are pizzas. Oven Story Pizza does not seem to offer up anything too different.

The Oven Story Pizza packaging
The Oven Story Pizza packaging

But it is definitely worth a try. If not for the pizza then the cheesy garlic bread, which can give a similar offering from possibly all competing brands a run for their money!

Restaurant review: Behrouz Biryani is a revelation, but we want more! [3.5/5]

It was on a stuffy Spring-Summer evening that a black box was delivered to our home. Its very packaging oozed royalty. It raised our expectations from the contents of the black box with the golden lettering that said “Behrouz – The Royal Biryani.” And Behrouz Biryani turned out to be a revelation!

Behrouz Biryani Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

However, it also felt like a bit of a letdown, because we have tasted similar biryani before, and there will be many fans of spicier versions of biryani who might not like what Behrouz has to offer.

That being said, one must also keep in mind that what Behrouz offers is not exactly a pushover. Here’s what I thought about it.

Dum Gosht Biryani [Boneless]

Your first spoonful of Behrouz Biryani might not make it seem like anything too different. But this is no offering that is meant to be wolfed down.

The Dum Gosht Biryani, which had been delivered to me by the good people at Behrouz, is a slow-burner. It requires the food equivalent of good wine being swilled around your mouth for all the delicate flavours to come through.

Now don’t be disheartened by the whole spices you encounter, and there are a lot of them. Simply cast them aside as you taste the sweet caramelised onions blend with the spicy masala of a fragrant biryani.

Then comes the titular gosht itself – a succulent piece of boneless goat or lamb meat that has has been marinated till every bit of it tastes of savoury freshness along with the original umami.

But honestly, I had expected a bit more from Behrouz. As in at least the quantity. When you are paying more than Rs 350 for biryani, you expect it to satiate not just your hunger but your lust for the dish as well!

The sides

Biryanis are usually served with either a spicy minty raita. A raita, for the uninitiated, is a yoghurt-based side dish that may contain chopped onions, tomatoes and even chillies, or can be mixed with salt and black-pepper or a mint paste.

And for dessert, Behrouz served up a Gulab Jamun that, while sweet, is not overwhelmingly so. A mild spicy aftertaste – I could not identify the spice – is kind of a bonus.

Final thoughts on Behrouz Biryani

Behrouz served up what was definitely a good biryani. But is it royal? The jury is still out on that decision. Nevertheless, Behrouz’s is definitely one of the better biryanis around.

One only hopes that they increase the quantity a little more. And that is one of the reasons why the review score here is 3.5 and not more.

Restaurant review: Faasos Signature Wraps roll it up quite nicely! [3.5/5]

There are a few items in Indian cuisine that seem quintessential on any restaurant’s menu. And quite often, these are the items that end up being the deciding factor for food connoisseurs on whether an eatery is hot or not. Basically: “If they can’t get the simpler ones correct, let’s not even try to more experimental ones.” Faasos manages to get quite a few things right on that front, especially with its Signature Wraps!

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

So, the good people at Faasos sent me a couple of rolls to try. One was veg, and the other non-veg. Now, I had tried Faasos food before, but this was from their Signature Wrap range.

Days later, as I finally get time to post this review online, my mouth is still watering at the thought of the tangy Mexican veg wrap and the cheesy chicken wrap.

Mexican Potato Salsa Wrap

Now, Faasos officially describes this one as “a unique combination of Potato shots and Corn Salsa, with dripping Chipotle flavoured cheese, wrapped in a fluffy Lachha Paratha.” The ingredients may sound mouthful, but a real mouthful of them is actually delicious.

The starch of the potato combines with the tangy salsa and the Chipotle-flavoured cheese to create a spectrum of taste that spreads to every single part of the mouth. Eat this hot, and every bite is as satisfactory and filling as the best of rolls around.

In fact, even strict non-vegetarians – including those who look down upon vegetarian fare as “ghas phoos” – may find something to appreciate in this offering.

Cheesy Chicken Delight Jumbo Wrap

Of course, I being a non-vegetarian simply had to order some chicken wrap from Faasos’ Signature range. It happened to be the Cheesy Chicken Delight Jumbo Wrap. It is officially listed as a “delicious jumbo wrap loaded with cheese and chicken [that] makes [it] a perfect treat for you.”

Now let me be honest here. You may have the best chicken and the best of ingredients to cook something up with it, but the result may still be mediocre – maybe even pedestrian – if you don’t know what you are doing.

Faasos manages to deliver quite a bit if taste with the Cheesy Chicken Delight Jumbo Wrap, which is essentially loaded with cheese. However, there is that niggling doubt at the back of your mind that this could have been taken one notch higher, which could have made it the absolute delight it was meant to be.

But make no mistake: This is still a very tasty wrap! And it is best enjoyed with some fresh-pressed cold juice to complement the cheesiness.

Bonus

Faasos also delivered a Chocolate Fantasy – “a perfect match between Chocolate Cake on the outside and Melted Chocolate on the inside” – to possibly complement the cheesy savouriness of the chicken wrap and the lip-smacking tang of the potato wrap.

Needless to say, it lived up to its name in royal fashion, sitting on the tongue for just long enough to sweeten the mouth before making its journey down the throat. The lingering chocolaty aftertaste

Final thoughts on Faasos Signature Wraps

Faasos has many things going for it. Price may not be one of them. For example, the cost of the signature wraps is a little formidable for them to become regular snacks.

In fact, the cost makes the wraps seem like occasional indulgences. Then again, that was what they were probably meant to be in the first place.

Either way, these are some tasty wraps, and filling enough when accompanied by some beverages that complement them in the best manner possible.