Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cafe Terra: Entha Awesomeness

Breakfast is my favourite meal. I could have it for all three meals. The only sad part is that breakfast buffets are often expensive. Rao and I decided to celebrate last Tuesday (a surprise holiday due to by-elections in Govindrajpur) by treating ourselves to nice breakfast. After much cajoling and threats of physical violence, Sow joined us too. We got up at the break of dawn and traversed half the city to finally land at Cafe Terra in Koramangala Fourth Block. Avni and Rads had been raving about this place for ages, enough to make my slothful self sacrifice a few hours of sleep and see what all the fuss was about.

The place is on the first floor, sparsely decorated and seats around twenty people. We sat near the window which offers you a view of the hustle and bustle of the road below and a residential lane from which a surprisingly large number of cute guys emerged. We were also happy at seeing the rates and were so hungry from our hour long journey that we ordered a huge breakfast.

We each ordered a Belgian Breakfast which comprised Belgian Waffles, Muffin and grilled potato (Rs. 110). Along with this we ordered a tomato and cheese omelette, pancakes, spinach and cheese crepe, juice and coffee. After much manoeuvring and adjusting all the plates on our tiny table, we dug in. The waffles were incredible. Nicely done, sprinkled with sugar and drowned in maple syrup. Heaven! The muffin avoided being oversweet and the potatoes were grilled nicely and provided the much needed spice in the midst of all that sugar. The spinach and cheese crepe was decent but taste of egg was a little too strong for me. Don't order the pancakes. It's the only thing I did not like. The pancakes were huge and served three in a plate but rather thick and the taste was biscuity.

The true star of the meal though was the tomato and cheese omlette. Just the right balance of salt and cheese, served with toast and grilled potatos. It was soft and yummy and just the way god intended omlettes to be(sighs wistfully!). The bill came to around 170 bucks a person and was worth all the effort and money involved in getting there. I left the place with a conteded smile and considerably tighter jeans. Such is the price we pay for good food.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In China: Must Try

Perennially in search of the best 'deal' in town, Tuhi, Li'l Prude (Kriti is hereby rechristened Li'l Prude since she doesn't think we should say the *B-word* in public) and I set out to In China after hearing that it has a 120 Rupee dinner buffet. Upon reaching there we found that our source (SowCow) was wrong. We decided to stick it out and I'm glad that we did. It's situated on Museum Road and housed in a huge building along with Ada Hind Ki.

The decor is primarily red and gold and very oriental. As I discovered a little too late, there is gorgeous outdoor seating and I definitely recommend that. Incidentally, the loo at this place smells incredibly nice. Oriental music (the fact that it was in a language that we didn't understand and with the appropriate twangs made it seem very authentic) plays softly in the background. The whole set up feels very like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

To begin with, we ordered the Peppery Lemon Veg Dumpling Soup. This was soothing, clear and rather filling. Our main course comprised of Singapore Noodles, Indonesian Fried Rice and Button Mushrooms in spicy Hoi Sin Sauce. While I'm generally not a fan of glass noodles, for once the noodles were very well done and had a strong hint of honey which went very well with the spicy sauce. The fried rice was my favourite which was done just right and was garnished with various spices without being spicy. The quanitities were huge and we ended up wasting (much to my dismay) a little bit of both the noodles and the rice.

They also ply you with Chinese tea throughout the meal which tastes warm and wonderful. It smells heavenly and Tuhi insisted that she wanted to have a bath in it. (Interestingly, in China tea is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce and vinegar).

For dessert I chose to have the date pancake with ice cream which taste rather nice. I must admit it tasted a bit like gujia (while gujia tastes just fine, it was not the exotic Oriental fare we expected). The meal cost us Rs. 300 each which was well worth it. The service is great, though at times it can get a little too solicitous. This place merits a must try from my end.

Of course being the greedy pigs that we are, we proceeded to gorge on more dessert at Dolce Gelato (that review shall be put up soon). In the meanwhile, if anyone does know of the best 'deal' in town, do let me know.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Infinitea: A Big Thumbs Up

This isn't my first visit here and it definitely won't be my last. Situated on Cunningham Road, right next to Shezan, this place is a typical Bangalore establishment that I adore.

So one chilly Sunday night, four of us set out to Infinitea to once again taste its various culinary delights. The ambiance is soft and understated. It' the type of place where you can enjoy a long, relaxed meal and talk for ages without being hurried along by harried waiters. That said, this is also not the place to go for a quick lunch since the service is a little lazy. Another caveat is that this place is always filled with law schoolites. So not the place to go have a cozy meal for two (as someone(s) found out that night :) ).

For starters, we ordered Mozarella Fritters - these were fried cubes of cheese and it would be a little difficult to go wrong with these. The dip was tomato based and tangy - a nice complement. KK and the other carnivores also ordered dragon puppets (a chicken starter) which was nice and filling, apparently. Pasta Putanesca is what I chose to order that day and it was a fine choice. It was penne tossed in a tangy tomato sauce with olives, garlic, other veggies and garnished with parmesan cheese (Drool!). Another hot favourite here is the lasagna. Much to KK's dismay, they rarely have chicken lasagna and one must make do with its vegetarian brother (or sister??)(On this occasion she actually complained about it while the rest of us hid behind our menus). Still, the lure of the cheesy lasagna proved too much and KK settled for the vegetarian lasagna. While many of my friends swear by this dish, I find it a little too cheesy (Yes, I can hear the loud gasps). Can something be too cheesy? Yes, it can. While the first bite or two is heavenly, it becomes a little bland and monotonous after that. Towards the end, one ends up adding copious amounts of oregano and chilli flakes and in which case one might as well have ordered the double cheese margherita at Dominos. I still recommend that you try it at least once. The quantities are good and meant for those with healthy Indian appetites.

And now we come to the truly exciting part about the place - the tea (Surprise! Surprise!). I'm not a huge fan of hot tea but I love the Assam tea here (I can't remember the exact name). The way they serve the tea makes it all the more special. On this occasion however, I chose to play safe with standard lemon ice tea. Someone ordered the chocolate tea milkshake, which is very nice but has hardly any tea in it. They might as well have labeled it chocolate milkshake (but then it wouldn't sound half as exotic and lure us poor souls to order it, would it?). And Rads insists that I recommend the black currant ice tea (If it turns out to be bad, please feel free to throw things at her. Actually, feel free to throw things at her anyways).

The cheesecake here is awesome. However, it might be better to take a little walk to Fresco's and have the dessert there (More on the dessert at Fresco's (Heaven!) later). I only wish they had a greater vegetarian selection. But you should most definitely try this place. It receives a Big thumbs up from me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Garam Naram Punjabi Dhaba: A study in mediocrity

On a Saturday night after finishing a day long trek (Read: Crawling Uphill) and being hungry enough to eat paper, we hit Bobby Da Dhaba. We chose Bobby Da Dhaba - a) For its rumoured Awesome food. b) Because it was one of the few places that would give us lots of food for the scant money we had and c) Since it was the only place that would take us as we were - bringing all the grime of the jungle with us.

As you probably would have noticed by now, this is NOT a review of Bobby Da Dhaba. We couldn't reach the sanctum sanctorum that day, being stuck at the fag end of a waiting line of monstrous proportions. With our stomachs threatening to eat us alive, we frantically looked around another place that would satisfy out three fold requirements. Enter the Garam Naram Punjabi Dhaba.

The one brainstroke that the proprietor of this Dhaba had was in placing it right next to Bobby Da Dhaba and achieving the same air of casual indifference. This makes desperate souls, like us, hope that it might share attributes with its neighbour and could be a hitherto undiscovered gem in Bangalore. KK jumped in at this point to proclaim that she had heard someone raving about the place next to Bobby Da Dhaba which served food just as good and which no one knew about.
As the following paragraph will reveal, all our hopes were dashed and there is a reason why no one talks about this place (except KK's mysterious source).

The service was fairly quick and the rates cheap. That and the insane amounts of butter on the parathas are about the best things there. The parathas were average and the rest of the order nothing to write home about (if you do end up going to this place, order the choley amritsari. Its not great but its better than the rest). The quantities were adequate. Its the only dhaba I have eaten where the dahi was so sour (quite like mess dahi except that I paid 15 bucks and travesed the city for this). The truly obnoxious part about the place was the service with the waiter snapping at us (i'm still amazed by this) for ordering extra parathas.

All in all the Garam Naram Punjabi Dhaba is average on most counts, except for the service which is atrocious. Just wait it out at Bobby Da Dhaba.