Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spiga (the new one): Falls way below expectations

The old Spiga was one of my favourite restaurants and I have taken many visiting relatives, family friends and even my reluctant mother to experience its culinary delights. The ambiance, the food, the prices - everything suited me to a T. Upon its closure, I frequented Couch but it wasn't quite the same. So, when the new Spiga opened few people were as excited as me. We wore our finest feathers and set out to reclaim our favourite haunt.

It's located on St. Marks Road, down the road from Ice 'n' Spice. The decor doesn't recreate the cosy, old-worldness of the Old Spiga but that's OK. The decor is minimalist and white. The lighting is pretty and the chairs funky.

For starters, the veggies ordered Mexican pizza and the carnivores decided to stick to soup. Both were good choices, though I think the Mexican pizza could be better if a little guacomole was added.

For main course, I ordered a veg. raviolli. The serving was ridiculously small and the taste was so average I could cry. The fact that 2 weeks on, I can't remember a thing about it's taste but I', still outraged by the size of the serving says it all. Ganje ordered Mexican tacos and the wrap was hard and dry - like a roti in the mess (Ugh!!). The carnivores has some nice things to say but even there, Pandey agreed that the quantities were for the size zero ilk.

After that disappointing experience, we didn't bother to stick around for dessert and headed to Ice 'n' Spice instead. The meal cost me around Rs. 300 and was sooo not worth it. Others (my dad, R) seem to have had better experiences at the place. At this point, however, I can't imagine going back there.

I give the new Spiga a big thumbs down, especially if you are veggie. And yet another Bangalore favourite goes down the drain (Sniff! Sniff!).

Monday, September 14, 2009

ASEAN: Paisa Vasool!!!

Of late, I've been out LOOOOADS! and am woefully behind in my blogging. So, I'm gonna take a break from the swine flu series and revert to good old namma bengaluru.

Yet another unexpected holiday (due to the sudden and tragic demise of YSR) found Rao and me heading for an afternoon screening of QGM. After much drama, we finally managed to drag KK along. Craving lunch before the movie, we ended up at ASEAN. The restaurant is located on Castle Street (down Eva Mall, take the left before Show Off). It serves Thai, Malay and Chinese food. The place is small and the decor a little tacky. The menu, however, made us very happy (and that's all that matters, isn't it?). We decided to stick to the Thai food that day.

To begin with, Rao and I split a Thai Spicy soup which was O.K. but nothing to write home about. For the main course, we ordered a Thai Green Curry, Veg Curry in Fragrant Basil Sauce, Thai Tangy Noodles and Plain Steamed Rice (phew!!).

The Thai Green Curry was good but definitely not the best I've had. The Veg. Curry in Basil Sauce was forgettable and largely overshadowed by the Thai Green Curry. The steamed rice was nice and actual Basmati rice for once. The true star of the meal was the Thai Tangy Noodles. It's a dish by itself and doesn't need any sauce. It was spicy, tangy and totally yummy. The servings are rather big and I would advise you to order with caution. The service is quick and efficient.

An average veg. meal would cost you around 120-130 bucks. There is also a huge non veg. menu and I am told that it is very good. It's not the best Thai cuisine going but it's total paisa vasool.
(Incidentally, we proceeded to have dessert at the Cream and Fudge Factory and missed the movie, but it was all worth it :) )

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sandy's Chocolate Laboratory / When Pigs Fly Part 1

This entire series is dedicated to the swine flu break in the middle of the trimester, leading to much eating, traveling and general excitement. I decided to join Pandey and LP in Chennai for some time and that is how I ended up at this place on a blistering Tuesday afternoon. The Lab is situated in R.A.Puram in a lazy residential locality.

It is, as the name suggests, dedicated to the pursuit of chocolate in all its various shapes, forms and sizes. They even have a chocolate lasagna (Now, I didn'y try that cause I truly believe that is too much chocolate). First, we tried out 'that really tiny chocolate cake' (Ya, you guessed right, it was HUGE). The cake was heavenly because it wasn't monotonous and chocolatey (This,I maintain is the fatal flaw in 'Death by Chocolate' at Corner House). The layers brought out the different flavours of chocolate and it was not over sweet either. The cake was spongy, soft and perfect.

Next, we ordered the chocolate fondue. It was melted dark chocolate flavoured with cookies and irish liquer. Pears, apples and bananas were provided along with it. The 3 of us split the fondue but I still thought it was too much chocolate. There was barely a hint of the cookies and the irish cream and it boiled down to melted dark chocolate. After a point, this got too much for me. That said everyone should try the fondue at least once. Just remember to split it.

Needing a break from that overdose of chocolate and as part of my continuing quest to find the 'awesomest' cheesecake, I ordered the petit four cheesecake. I think it's safe to say that this won't be making the list. It tasted funny - more like cream than cheese. After this we headed out for lunch at Eatalica (Did I mention we have healthy appetites ;) ).

The total bill came to Rs. 110 per person which considering all that we ate was a sweet deal.
They also have the most heavenly sounding chocolate potions on the menu. If anyone does try this, do let me know. All in all, it was a wonderful experience and a MUST try for anyone who loves chocolates (who doesn't?!!).