Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Only Place: Not Anymore

One sunny afternoon, Grumpu and I decided to catch lunch before the screening of Wake Up Sid. Incredibly hungry, we trudged all the way to Museum Road to hit The Only Place just in time for lunch. This place is (at least used to be) a Bangalore institution. The decor is laid back and casual. There is no air conditioning though, so humid afternoons might not be the best time to visit.

Propelled by extreme hunger and the impatient waiter we quickly placed our order. I ordered a veg. steak and Grumpu ordered a fettucine alfredo. I also ordered a lime soda which got it just right. The steak had cheese and mushrooms on top and I loved that. The steak itself was OK but nothing mind blowing (I maintain that the steak at Millers 46 is way better). The fettucine alfredo, unfortunately, fell into that category of dishes where the chef believes that adding copious amounts of cheese will pass off as fine dining. As my previous reviews indicate (Read: my review on Infinitea), this doesn't quite work for me. The pasta had a slight hint of something promising but it was overpowered by all that cheese. The garlic bread was warm and nice.

I adore the apple pie here and rarely leave without having that. This time, however, there was much drama. They refused to take my order stating that it was post-lunch time and I had to leave. While I understand that it was a little late, I thought their behaviour was a little rude to say the least. There were other customers in the restaurant (still eating) and clearly they were not going to close for another 30 minutes at least. As putting off as that attitude was, I refused to miss my dessert and upon my insistence they deigned to serve me the apple pie with ice cream.

And it was worth all the hassle. One of the best apple pies in the business, it was warm with wonderful caramelized apple pieces and a 'melt-in-your-mouth' baked crust. It wasn't oversweet and was 'oh! so yummy'(sighs wistfully).

The bill came to Rs. 500 for the two of us. The Only Place isn't what it used to be. The food is just above average and better food is definitely available for the same price. The ambiance is very old Bangalore and I love that. I'll probably go back sometime but not in a hurry.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Samarkand: Simply Must Visit

To celebrate Ganje's happy birthday, employment and satisfy general feelings of gluttony, six of us headed down to Hypnos on a ladies night. Samarkand serves food at this sister concern, so we managed to combine some of our favourite things: free alcohol, great food with someone else footing the tab :). Both are located in Gem Plaza on Infantry Road, near Safina Plaza.

After much discussion, we decided on a veg. platter (small) and a non veg. platter (small) for starters. I shudder to think what the large servings are like because these were HUGE. 3 of us split each platter and there was more than enough to go around. The paneer in the platter was the pick of the day. It was soft and spicy and I can't remember tasting better paneer. The gobi, tandoori veggies, sheek kabab and one million other things on that platter were perfect. I also had a small bite of the chicken which I thought tasted like paneer, just tougher (Now I know that many of you are going to want to kill me for saying that, but thankfully you don't know where I live).

The platter is extremely filling and those with small appetites might be full in the first course itself. Since none of us suffer from that affliction we moved on to the main course. The carnivores ordered murgh makhani and we ordered more paneer. Both items were very good. The rotis were warm and very well made. By this time we were rather full and decided to hit the dance floor before dessert.

The music was average that night. The dance floor was too small and too crowded, though it did house a few interesting characters including I-will-display-my-many-tyres-in-a-body-hugging-shirt man and I-am-too-hot-to-wear-clothes woman.

Many laughs later we returned to the table to order dessert. I ordered the bakklava, Rattu ordered the kurbani ka meetha and the others ordered phirni. I hated the bakklava, KK and Rattu liked it. The kurbani ka meetha was nice but oversweet. My favourite was the phirni which is by far the best I have ever had and is a serious contender for my 'Best dessert in Bangalore' prize.

The prices are a little steep and will cost you Rs. 400 per person for a veg meal. All in all, an incredible dinner and if you are in Bangalore, you simply must visit this place.