Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The French Loaf - Richards Town

Hello there! Wishing you a happy Gowri-Ganesha festival.

Bangalore is buzzing with activity; vendors have displayed their best produce - vegetables, fruits, and flowers, people are shopping for the festival, and the Ganesha idols are on their way to the homes of the devotees. We saw several boys singing and dancing, while taking home the idols of their favorite God. I love such festivals - helps connect with our culture, our neighbors, and our soul.

Today's drive lead us to The French Loaf at Richards Town, Bangalore. The store is an old colonial bungalow that is customized. The premises flaunts lovely trees - mango, neem, christmas tree, and others. The outdoor seating is under these trees, and protected by garden umbrellas. The store sells vegetarian and non-vegetarian savouries, along with pastries, breads, and custom made cakes. They also prepare a variety of pastas (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian).


We opted to sit outdoors even though indoor seating is available. Surprising, the store was full. With a sigh, we sat and watched the world spin past us. Was similar to watching a motion picture! Well, only that there were several stories of life, several actors, and several audience. Though the place gets crowded, we got our privacy. The mosquitoes had arranged for an orchestra - a blooding-sucking one. Life is beautiful, isn't it?


What did we order? Hmm... Guess! :-)


Our rating of The French Loaf:


  • Ambience - Indoor and outdoor seating (; outdoor can be a bit more cleaner)
  • Restroom - Clean
  • Service - Courteous and Friendly (; can use more staff)
  • Food - 3 rating (Cakes are yum! Pasta needed a little more cheese and seasoning.)
  • Cuisine - European
  • Smoking Allowed - Allowed at the outdoor seating
  • Home Delivery - Yes
  • Alcohol - No
  • Value for Money - Expensive
  • Parking - Limited parking space available at the premises; unlimited outside!
  • Valet Parking - Not available


Tell us how you liked the place.

Regards,
Asha 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Spiga - St. Marks Road, Bangalore


Long long time ago, there was an old house that was converted in to a lovely restaurant. I've heard that the place was cozy and served good portions of absolutely delicious food. It was easy to miss this place when one drove down the road. But that's just an excuse because several people found the restaurant and have fallen in love with the place.

Well, that's past.

At present, the restaurant is called Spiga, and is located at the fourth floor of Halcyon Complex on St. Marks Road. One fine evening, Ram and I decided to dine at Spiga. As we entered the restaurant, the dim lighting and soft colors reflecting on the White walls attracted us. Yes, the place was perfect for a romantic dinner. (If you see school children - young adults - who change from school uniforms to classy dresses and dine with friends, just don't bother to wonder about their source of moolah to spend at a fancy restaurant. Seriously, how do they get such money?)

The restaurant flaunts a semi-open seating design, allowing fresh air to flow in and out of the building. Observe the mirrors that are added enhance the interiors. The view of UB City is amazing. If you climb up the iron stairs, you can enjoy a smoke and also view the pretty surroundings.


We were happy with the ambience, and settled down for a good dinner. While Ram (the Peg) ordered a drink, I ordered a bowl of tomato-basil-pepper soup. Ram had Citrus fish for main course; I had Italian salad. We found all the dishes served to perfection, and delicious. Check out the other interesting dishes on the menu!


Our rating of Spiga:
  • Ambience - Semi-Outdoor seating
  • Restroom - Didn't visit
  • Service - Courteous and Friendly
  • Food - Delicious (; portions aren't as hearty as the older version of Spiga)
  • Cuisine - European
  • Smoking Allowed - Allowed at the Smoking area
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - Served
  • Value for Money - Expensive
  • Parking - Limited parking spaces available at premises
  • Valet Parking - Available

Drop in a line, if you had a romantic dinner at Spiga.

Regards,
Asha

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Red Fork - Indiranagar, Bangalore

At Bangalore, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) services came to a halt today. The BMTC employees are on an indefinite strike. Well, a lot of people are suffering because of this strike. And I sincerely hope that the employees call off this strike at the earliest.

Are you trying to relate the strike to Red Fork? Ah ha... They don't have anything in common, and are totally unrelated. Red Fork is a cafe at Indiranagar, Bangalore; situated at the premises of Daddy's Deli restaurant, which we are yet to visit.

A good friend recommended the Red Fork cafe, and friend and I met there. The cafe is a cute little place with Yellow colored chairs, beautiful plants gracing the plant holders, and a black board that flaunts their menu. You'll like the cafe instantly. But the vegetarians may be disappointed with the items on the menu - most of the items are non-vegetarian. Perhaps, two or three dishes listed were vegetarian. And note that a few dishes are available only from 9:00 am to 3:00pm. Check out their menu.

Note: Cafe is closed on Mondays.


We probed the staff if they served pancakes, waffles, and sandwiches during the evening and yes, they did. We ordered pancake and waffles. The portions were huge. Both the dishes were delicious. The scoop of ice cream on the waffles was awesome; in-house ice cream! However, the pancakes needed a little more maple syrup. The sweetness was hitting our heads, and we ordered Mocha coffee. The dark and strong Mocha chased the hangover away; far, far away.

What's lovely is the company of a friend and the good journeys together; recollecting all the people on such journeys, trying to let go of unpleasant memories and embracing the present, and enthusiastically looking forward for many more awesome moments in the future. We spent more than 3 hours at the cafe, without realizing how fast the clock ticks.


Our rating of the Red Fork cafe:
  • Ambience - Outdoor and indoor seating
  • Restroom - Didn't visit
  • Service - Courteous and Efficient 
  • Food - Delicious (; would be nice to see a few savory dishes)
  • Cuisine - They call themselves the Contemporary Cafe; you can guess the cuisine!
  • Smoking Allowed - Strictly No!
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - Only wine served
  • Value for Money - Expensive
  • Parking - A board mentions that the parking is available on the opposite side of the road! 
  • Valet Parking - No
Drop a line here, and let us know your dining experience.

Regards,
Asha

Monday, 10 September 2012

Kudla - Richmond Town, Bangalore

Ram, the Peg, had a craving for seafood, and suggested that we visit Kudla. He has tasted food at Kudla a couple of times, and definitely recommends the place. Well, what better way to treat ourselves on a Sunday?

Kudla is on the Raja Ram Mohan Roy road, and caters coastal cuisine. The ambience is decent - wooden ceilings and artifacts from coastal regions, and lamp at the entrance - ooze a warm feeling. The crabs (alive), which you can select, at the entrance talk about the freshness of the food. The menu has an interesting spread of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. When in doubt about a dish, the staff is more than happy to help.


We ordered prawn tawa fry, anjal fish curry, sanas, malabar paratha, vegetable stew, and ghee rice. Ram loved the seafood, and I liked the stew. The ghee rice, however, needed a little more seasoning - salt and pepper. The sanas and paratha were soft and flaky. Overall delicious food!


Note that lunch thalis are available on during the weekdays. Ensure that you reach the restaurant prior to the rush hour, for a good service.

Our rating of Kudla:
  • Ambience - Good and earthy, and air-conditioned
  • Restroom - Didn't visit
  • Service - Courteous and Efficient (The staff will answer your queries about dishes, and also suggest dishes as per your liking.)
  • Food - Delicious
  • Cuisine -  Indian coastal cuisine (Mangalorean style)
  • Smoking Allowed - No
  • Home Delivery - Within 3.0 kms
  • Alcohol - Served
  • Value for Money - Yes
  • Parking - Available within the premises and outside. However, if other hotels are hosting a party, will be hard to find a parking spot inside the premises. 
  • Valet Parking - Yes 
Drop a line here, and let us know your dining experience.

Regards,
Asha

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Masala Akki Roti and Majjigehuli


What's cooking at the Peg & Pig's kitchen? Masala Akki Rotti and Majjigehuli!

Akki Rotti is a dish common to most Kannadiga households. I absolutely love this dish especially when mom makes it. I can kiss her hands for making delicious Akki Rottis. 

Today, I used cooked rice that remained from last night, rice flour, green chillies, finely chopped onions and fresh fenugreek leaves, cumin seeds, and salt. I ground the cooked rice along with green chillies. To this, I mixed rice flour, onions, fenugreek leaves, and salt. Mixed everything well. Made small balls of the dough, patted it on the tava, and roasted it well. The rottis are soft and tasty. In case you like it crispy, roast it on low flame for a longer time.


Along with Akki Rotti, I also made Majjigehuli. This is a curry that is again common to Kannadiga households, and yes, I love it. I bought ash gourd last evening, and cut it into long and thin pieces. I cooked them with a pinch of turmeric and salt. For the masala, I grounded coconut, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fresh ginger and coriander leaves, channa dal, green chillies, a small piece of tamarind, and a pinch of salt. I mixed the masala paste in to the cooked vegetable. When the curry boiled, I switched off the heat, and let the curry cool for a while. To the cooled curry, I added buttermilk. That's all!


Enjoy your Hump Day, Wednesday!

Regards,
Asha

The Ants Cafe - Indiranagar, Bangalore

Indiranagar, Bangalore, is a heaven for restaurants and cafes. Our friend introduced us to The Ants Cafe. We loved it at our first visit, and have been revisiting the cafe every since. The cafe is situated behind the New Horizon school, which is easy to locate. 

The cafe is open from 9:00 am to 8.30 pm. This is one of the cafes that offers - Me Time - time for oneself to connect with oneself. Offers continental cuisine; no alcohol and strictly no smoking. The interiors of the cafe flaunt bamboo and wooden furniture. Windows have no doors or bars. During the evening, especially on a raining evening, the mosquitoes tend to feast on your blood. That happens until the staff lights a mosquito coil! 


The cafe announces dishes of the day, and places the announcement at the entrance. Makes the chose easier to the visitors. The cafe, let me tell you, is on the first floor of the building. The entrance is from inside the ground floor, which hosts the NGO selling products from Nagaland. I love the black pottery collection. Yes, the products and the cafe are expensive; but the quality is remarkable. Before you purchase any items, check the manufacture date and also check for any damages. Ask them about the exchange policy of goods.

The dishes are priced a little high. I wouldn't mind paying because the portions served are good, and the food is delicious. We have tried several dishes - vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Loved them! (I try vegetarian dishes; Ram tries non-vegetarian dishes.) We have spent hours together at the cafe (, either both of us or with friends,) talking about various things under the Sun. Recently, when we went, the cafe's special was Double Decker Burger. Ram had the chicken and egg burger; I had an omelet. Later, we had fragrant tea (black).


To get an idea about their menu, see http://www.zomato.com/bangalore/restaurants/east/indiranagar/the-ants-cafe-51674/menu. Note: The rates mentioned on the Zomato website are extremely out-dated!

Our review of The Ants Cafe: 
  • Ambience - Neat and Cosy
  • Restroom - Clean 
  • Service - Courteous and Efficient
  • Food - Awesome (but expensive)
  • Cuisine - Continental
  • Smoking Allowed - Strictly No!
  • Books Available - Yes; small collection of books to browse
  • Value for Money - Absolutely! (expect the black teas)
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - Not served
  • Parking - Not within the premises, but ample available in the surrounding area. 
  • Valet Parking - Not available (at least when we have visited)
You must check out this cafe! Drop a line here, and let us know your dining experience.

Regards,
Asha