Indiranagar

Bricklane Grill

Bricklane Grill has been a source of emotional attyachar from the time I went there for an office dinner in December 2012. (thanks, foursquare) Every time the restaurant pops up in a discussion, I get accusatory looks. “Tonight, we end this!”, said I, on a Saturday evening, when both D and I were sneezing in tandem. And that’s how we landed up at Bricklane Grill. (map)

We had reserved, and though only one table was occupied when we got there, (early – 7.30) by around 8.30, the entire section was full. For some reason, they were only serving drinks and appetisers in the alfresco area. Anyway,  it was a windy evening and we were already have sneezing fits, so we sat inside. The decor is functional yet classy, and the place has a very pleasant ambiance, with sufficient space between tables, and by the end of the evening there was a fair amount of buzz. Just right. I remember sitting upstairs (technically, the 6th floor) the first time I was there. That floor had a room almost similar to the one we were in, and a small terrace, where we had sat.

One of the service staff introduced himself and began offering recommendations from the menu. When he heard about our nasal troubles, he offered to make us a toddy based hot drink. Good touch, but though I asked for one and said we would order another if we liked it, we got two, and D didn’t even like it! :( Should’ve sent one back! We also ordered a Cream of Mushroom  soup and a Bheja na Cutlets to begin with. A complimentary plate of bruschetta arrived on the table. Not spectacular, but not bad either.  The soup was not bad, though uni-dimensional in terms of flavour. The cutlets were really good – mutton brain with a crumbed and deep fried egg batter coating. As for the drink, it couldn’t hold a candle to the LTO. (at Like That Only)

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We waited to see what appetite we had left before ordering the main course – Patra ni Machi and a Bricklane Mixed Grill. The mixed grill had beef of two kinds, chicken, and pork. The Merlot beef was my favourite, followed by the Jack Daniels pork. The garlic chicken was not bad though the Peppercorn beef was a bit of a disappointment. But in general, well cooked and succulent meat. The fish dish, came wrapped in banana leaf, as it’s supposed to be, with a mint and cilantro chutney. D found it too bland, though the dressing on the plate could actually change that! The best part was that we still had space for dessert – so we could have that South Indian Coffee Brule (sic) that we had been eyeing. That turned out to be excellent, with the filter coffee flavour coming through beautifully. It was served with an almond biscotti, whose texture added much to the dish.

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The service was quite good, except for the drink fiasco. The bill came to just over Rs.3050, including charges and taxes, Rs.1000 of which was thanks to the two drinks! But we enjoyed the meal and the ambiance, so wouldn’t really complain much.

Bricklane Grill, 5th Floor, Escape Hotel & Spa, 770, 100 Feet Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar Ph: 080 42415505

La Tagliatella

First published in Bangalore Mirror

Something about the consonants in the name of the restaurant reminded me of The Godfather – turned out to be the Tattaglia family, one of New York’s ‘Five Families’ in the novel. The establishment on 100 feet Road, Indiranagar (map) obviously has no connection, and is actually named after a kind of pasta. Yes, there is valet parking. There is something about the façade and the view of the brightly lit interior from the outside that conveys opulence. This is only enhanced once you step inside – gold and yellow dominate the décor, with red thrown in for good measure, and the chandeliers and the framed pictures only add to the effect, though occasionally it tends towards gaudiness. But just when you begin to think you’re in the protective warmth of a palatial bungalow, the culinary illustrations, the display of cooking instruments, the pricing and the temperature manage to bring you back to the cold reality of a fine dining restaurant. There was a lot of chatter happening on our table – some of it was because of the menu, which had a variety of choices, and it took several rounds of discussions before we could reach a consensus, but most of it was courtesy the intense cold. When we asked for it to be reduced, we were given a central air conditioning story. It did seem that the entire air conditioning was centred on our table! The rain meant that we couldn’t use the alfresco option available.

The starter options consist of a couple of soups, half a dozen salads, and some antipasti. We skipped the first two and launched into a Focacce liguri and a Mozzarelletta. The flat bread and its toppings turned out to be quite picturesque, but even the collective presence of duck ham, parmigiano cheese and provolone cheese wasn’t enough to take the dish beyond ordinariness. In contrast, the simplistic combination of mozzarella melted with nuts and sweet tomato, though not very appealing to the eye, made a mark on other senses – smell and taste. It was totally melt-in-the-mouth, with the nuts offering a texture counterpoint. The wine list is fairly exhaustive on paper, but that is a common menu, and in Bangalore, they have chosen to serve only wine. They had run out of bottles of the white wines we preferred, so we settled for ‘pints’ of red and white wine, and were left rather unimpressed with both!

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The sheer variety of pasta choices is something to pay attention to – from spaghetti and ravioli to Sorrentino and Taglierini, I could count about twenty. Together with the condiments, there are potentially hundreds of combinations! Add to that pizzas and calzones! We began with a Tagliatella pizza – thin crusted and fairly large with pesto, mushrooms, taleggio cheese, turkey bacon and spinach. This is probably shuddh Italian judging by the relative blandness, and despite that consideration, it failed to impress. The Calzone Verde was a lot of hot air as they weren’t really generous with the mozzarella, mushrooms and pesto stuffing. We then tried the Gamberetti di Funghi which turned out to be an excellent dish with well cooked pasta and prawns. On weekdays, they have a ‘1111 for 2’ menu, in which we can choose 3 pastas from 9 options. That turned out to be quite a blessing and we sampled the Spaghetti Bolognese, Sorrentino with Vera Casalinga sauce and the Tagliatelle with Tremenda sauce. The spaghetti nosed ahead, though I thought if the Tagliatelle wasn’t a tad overcooked, it might have won, the cream sauce was quite good. I liked the Sorrentino as well, but the table was evenly divided on the parmigiano-reggiano and Iberian pork dish.

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There are plenty of dessert options, but as usual I got unlucky with the exact one I wanted! We tried the Tiramisu, which was phenomenally good and the best dish of the day. The Tutto Cioccolato seemed a little too similar to the standard lava cakes available around. Coppa Fior di Latte al Cioccolat oFuso – Mascarpone ice cream with hot chocolate cream – was also just average.

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For about Rs.2700, you could share a drink, a non veg starter, a non veg main course dish and a dessert. (Inclusive of taxes and service charge) La Tagliatella is an international chain and prides itself on the authenticity and freshness of the ingredients used. That probably explains the pricing to an extent, but somehow the experience itself didn’t really justify the bill. So, unless the gap between value and cost is bridged, the bill would make it very easy for a customer to suspect a Godfather like extortion!

La Tagliatella, 766, Amrest Bunglow, HAL 2nd Stage, 100 feet road, Indiranagar, Ph: 080 60506066/77

Troika

originally published at Bangalore Mirror

‘Troika’, to me, immediately brings Russia to mind, and though the resto-bar itself does not show any red colour preferences, the Staples signboard right below makes up for it! (map) They do have valet parking. But it is to be noted that the restaurant is to your left once you get out of the elevator. Actually, the name is more a function of ‘three’. The logo shows three elements – fire, water, and air. The décor is classy and functional with three kinds of seating – high stools near the island bar, a semi-open lounge area, and an air-conditioned space. The ambiance is classy and comfortable. But we were there mostly for the food, and the menu is also a mix of three primary culinary influences – Mediterranean, Oriental, and Coastal. If you’ve been keeping track, that’s three times that the theme of three had manifested itself, and I was increasingly reminded of “The Number 23”, in which Jim Carrey sees all events and incidents being connected to 23. See?

I decided to distract myself with the menu (reading the font in the dim light is quite a pain) as we waited for the third couple to join us, and as soon as I opened the beverages menu, among the cocktails, I noticed the drink Awesome Threesome! Avoiding that, we tried the Cin-Fully Yours and the James Bond Martini (shaken not stirred) and both were quite good. The chef has done an excellent job of creating intrigue around the dishes long before they are served – the fusion combinations are unique and many a dish would sell solely because of the description! Take for example, the Lemon Grass scented Pineapple and Parupu Rasam! We missed the scent, and it was more sambar than rasam courtesy the lentils, but none of that could take away from the super soup! We began solid food consumption with the Crispy Fish Coconut Chilli and though the coconut didn’t really feature much, the dish was spicy with some flavourful seasoning. The Rochaedo chicken dumplings are very un-dumpling-like in their appearance, but the Goan masala and the sweet and sour flavour didn’t disappoint. The chargrilled Lamb Souvlaki was quite bland and despite a valiant effort by the Tzatziki dip, and the well cooked meat, the dish was not really a favourite. We’d been ignoring the vegetarians and their revenge did turn out to be a dish best served cold – the Sweet & Sour Glass Noodle Rolls. A surprise hit, with a Vietnamese salad inside a rice paper sheet, and flavours that hit all the right notes!

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In the main course, the Tai Chi chicken was supposed to have a chili pepper sauce but actually turned out to be quite bland! The Kingfish Darne Kodampulli was served with coconut and spinach rice and it fondly reminded us of traditional fish curry meals! The Curd Roast Lamb Casserole had a very bland marinade and the Oozi (sic) rice didn’t really thrill either. The Chicken Roulade, with garlic, mushroom and ricotta stuffing was excellent, and would’ve been the favourite if not for the Potato & Red Onion Roesti, with its lime and parmesan dressing. Yes, vegetarian again, and it must be mentioned that the menu does provide some excellent options for them. The other vegetarian dish we tried – Grilled Cottage Cheese and Garlic Roast Spinach mille-feuille, Tomato Provencal Sauce – was only average. The main course portions are sized just right, and one would easily feel confident about ordering desserts!

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There are just about half a dozen dessert options, but each of them is unique! The Coconut, Honey and Green Lime Panna Cotta turned out to be quite a win, and the Banoffee pie was a delight to look at and consume. The Chocolate crostata didn’t really fulfil its chocolate potential and we’ve had had better blueberry cheesecakes. The Cannoli Kaapi yogurt was the biggest disappointment both in terms of texture and flavour.

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Troika creates some fabulous adventures from different cuisines. For about Rs.1800, you could share a drink, a non veg starter, a veg and non veg main course dish and a dessert. (Inclusive of taxes and service charge) A few dishes didn’t live up to the textual expectations they created, but there were others which made up for it. Add to that the classy décor and the peppy ambiance, and there’s really no reason to raise a red flag. Well worth a visit.

Troika, 100 feet Road (above Staples) Indiranagar, Ph: 080 41511155

Red Fork

For some strange reason, these days we’re more inclined to Sunday breakfast-outs than Saturday dine-outs. Though a beer brunch has been the standard, we decided to give that a break one weekend and try out Red Fork, for more healthy options – bacon and such. ;)

Red Fork is in the same premises as (the new) Daddy’s Deli – here’s a map to help you. Park in one of the many side lanes that spread out of 12th Main, and walk up. Helps build appetite! At noon, we just about managed to find a table from the indoor and outdoor options. The menu is on blackboard(s) and is usually a marginally different version of this. The ambiance is pleasant and peppy, and the owner (I’m guessing) is extremely helpful. The decor is functional, includes a lot of quotable quotes, and reminded me of an elegant home – especially the shelf units.

From the beverages menu, I asked for a Kahlua Coffee and D ordered an ‘Indian’ tea. The coffee came in a wine glass and drew suspicious glances from the tables nearby, especially when I added the sugar! :) D’s Indian tea had a cardamom flavour and was in a kullad. Pretty much two ends of the spectrum.

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We oscillated between the ‘Big Breakfast’ and the Breakfast Pizza and finally, the latter won. The other dish we decided to check out was the  Eggs on Kheema. We had chosen the soft bread option for the ‘Pizza’,  which had bacon, a tomato based sauce and a poached egg! Quite tasty, though the soft bread obviously began getting soggy pretty fast. I loved the flavourful eggs on kheema – in terms of looks, this was closer to a pizza than the other dish. Since we had some additional space, even after considering desserts, we decided to try out the Mini Lamb burgers. Good choice, I thought, with excellent patties, cheese and a tinge of mustard. A good time to note that the Big Breakfast, which were being consumed all around was quite a looker – especially that mini frying pan, that seemed straight out of a kid’s kitchen set! For dessert, we asked for a chocolate mousse, and it was quite good, the quantity just right for two people who have hogged reasonably well!

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The bill came to around Rs.1350, and that seems reasonable enough for the location and quality of food.

Red Fork, #59, 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Ph: 41154372/5/6

Smokehouse Deli

First Delivered on Bangalore Mirror

There was quite some buzz in my glutton fraternity and among Bangalore’s restaurant watchers in general when the glass façade on 100 feet Road, Indiranagar sent out smoke signals that a much-awaited launch was imminent. That was back in February and since then I’ve heard several people raving about Smokehouse Deli. In fact, this one, (whose recipes are a hit among my friends) practically salivates when talking about the place! Adding salt-to-taste is usually recommended in culinary matters, so I took these with a pinch of salt and decided to pay a visit to check things out myself. The glowing white building, the picket fence, the pretty-as-a-picture outdoor seating – all contribute to the elegance that’s evident as soon as one lays eyes on the establishment. Yes, there’s valet parking as well. There is a deli section and functional but comfortable seating as well on the ground floor, and upstairs, a long bar and seats that offer a view of the busy roads outside. But I’d say the real magic begins as you take in the illustrations that are a hallmark of the chain. Lal Bagh to Sankey to Lord Cubbon to the city’s music bands and aero history, this is a rich tribute to Bangalore’s timeline, with quirky nuggets like the famous ‘haunted house’! So much to take in, and we hadn’t even started on the food! Thanks to all that, you really must reserve a table, unless you want to stand outside- smoking – for a while.

At the very outset, I must admit to a little bias in this review because they fed me some really good bacon all through the meal! From the exhaustive beverages menu, we tried the Melon Freeze, fresh, not too sweet and blended really with the alcohol. The Bellini had a subtle fruity flavour that meshed well with the champagne. In the Bourbon Freeze, the Kahlua managed to dominate, and again, the sweetness and the blend of chocolate and bourbon was just right. The spiced- pineapple infusions worked beautifully with the Jose Cuervo based drink as well.

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If the Grilled Mushroom + Bearnaise Crostini had to win the starters round when it had a Sausage Plate for competition, you can imagine how good it must have been. Perfectly sized with a crispy, crunchy base and loaded with mushrooms and cheese. The Peri Peri Spiced Squid Rings were a close second – perfectly cooked squid, crunchy batter and a superb dip. Two kinds of pork sausages (one with a bacon wrap) and a portion of chicken sausages, and yet, the Sausage Plate could only manage a place below these two, despite the sausages being really good! A testament to the quality of the food served!

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In the main course, we were served a splendid Smoked Chicken Caesar Salad – fresh vegetables and well cooked meat, and we topped it with Oak Smoked Bacon. The”My Boss’s style Spaghetti” had an olive oil dressing with seasoning. It was basic but flavourful and the red onions and field mushrooms added to the dish’s appeal. The House Spiced Smoked Chicken with Five Spiced Jus turned out to be our favourite dish though, and despite the double spice in the name, it was only mildly spicy with well cooked chicken. We also tried the Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin with Burnt Butter Hollandaise. The ‘medium’ could have done with just a tad more cooking, but it was quite succulent and I wouldn’t really complain.

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We wanted to try at least half a dozen desserts but the portion sizes of both earlier courses meant that it took much negotiating before we settled on half of that. The Hazelnut Mousse Flan was a unanimous choice and turned out to be deservedly so. Smooooth mousse with a textured base, you must leave space for this! We wanted an Espresso Soufflé but since it wasn’t available, asked for a Flourless Chocolate Fudge. This turned out to be quite good too with a mild coffee flavour that added to the dark chocolate. The Philly Plum cheesecake was the only disappointment. You should probably go for the Raspberry + Oreo cheesecake – several drooling people have confirmed its awesomeness.

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We had a wonderful time. A unique and superb ambiance, excellent food, and service staff who are confident about the fare they serve. For about Rs.1900, you could share a drink, a non veg starter, a couple of main course dishes and a dessert. (Inclusive of taxes and service charge) It’s definitely on the costly side, but that’s understandable given the location and the factors above. In essence, completely worth all the praise it gets. Only goes to prove the old adage – there’s no smoke without fire!

Smokehouse Deli, 1209, Ward No: 72, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar Ph: 080 – 25200898/9

PS: By th e time this is published, I think their Lavelle Road outlet and the Brigade Road Mocha would be up and running.

Habanero

..is a kind of chili pepper, which can now be found on 12th Main Indiranagar. In fact, they have named an entire restaurant after it! :D (they have also been around for a while now in Whitefield) It’s almost exactly opposite I & Monkey. Parking was a little bit of a mess, and it was surprising how there was basement but that was only for the gym upstairs! So you have to use one of the side lanes.

We had reserved a table for 8.45, but we were warned that there could still be some waiting time. Fortunately there wasn’t, and also good that we did reserve, because there were several groups of people waiting outside for a table all through our meal. The restaurant is on two floors, and has a smoking section too. We got a table on the upper floor with an oblique view of the road.

We had checked the menu on Zomato earlier, but had decided to select the dishes when we got there. The Breaded Chicken Tenders seemed like a good thing to start with and apparently, a Sangria pitcher was available for Rs.999, and that’s how we began. Even without the Sangria, there was quite a buzz about the place – music, conversations, and a general bustle. The starters arrived very fast, as did the Sangria. The slight blandness of the chicken was compensated for by the dip. Nothing spectacular, but did the job. The Sangria pitcher was about 4 glasses, but had more ice than we would have liked. The drink itself was quite good though.

For the main course, we were pulled in two directions – burger vs pasta – after we decided we would try the pizza anyway – Chipotle Chicken. The pizza looked small, but that turned out to be quite deceiving once we started eating it. Spicy, grilled chicken it was, and the sauce added an extra bite. The burger won finally, mostly thanks to the green chilli presence. This one turned out hot in more ways than one – pretty to look at, and with a solid chilli and pepper presence.

   

The only problem was that we were stuffed and had no space for that Mud Pie I so wanted to try. All of the above came up to Rs.2200, which was not really bad at all, considering the cuisine, location and quantity. I would definitely visit again, especially because there are quite a few things I want to try out – the Turkey & Bacon burger for one. The service was prompt, helpful and cheery

Habanero, 948, 12th Main, Next to ICICI Bank, Indiranagar, Ph: 41692109

Terrazzo

There’ve been so many name and location changes in the last year that I can’t be sure which Italy has been replaced by Terrazzo – Italia or Little Italy. I think it’s the former. In any case, this is on 100 feet Road just before the 12th Main junction when you’re coming from the Koramangala direction. (on your right – so take a right before 12th main, loop around to 12th Main and then turn left on 100 feet Road) There’s valet parking for the bigger machines and just enough space for the smaller ones. The map can be found at Zomato, and the menu as well. There’s another restaurant Esplanade housed in the same building, and is related to the one in Koramangala.

One thing they should probably change is piling the garbage right in front of the restaurant! Why would anyone want to see this when they walk into the restaurant? And the stink stays with you for quite a while. :\

There are three seating options – 2 downstairs (one closed, one semi open with a glass ceiling) and 1 upstairs. We sat upstairs and had a nice view of the road. The menu is a mix of (wait for it) Italian and Indian, so we decided to do the same with our order too! From the bar menu, we asked for a Tequila Steeler and a Classic Sangria, and for starters, a Lal Surkh Tangdi Kabab. We could have done with lesser chopped fruits in the Sangria but the Steeler was not a bad drink. The Kabab didn’t have much of the mince it was supposed to have, and the chilli paste was not really present in all the 3 pieces we got, but it was not a bad dish really.

For the main course, we decided to try the Sicilian al Pollo with a thin crust (that you have to ask for) and a Carbonara with Fusilli. The pizza turned out to be quite good with lots of cheese, mushrooms and chicken and a slight tang and spiciness thanks to the sauce. We’d have liked the pasta sauce to be a little less dry but there was no questioning the fresh cream, cheese and bacon presence.

    

We were quite stuffed but the person who took the order insisted on a complimentary dessert when he learned that we had booked through Poshvine. (and that the booking for some reason had not gone through!) That happened to be a caramel custard with some amazing custard and a caramel sauce that could have been a bit less bitter.

All of the above came to just under Rs.1850 (that’s after a Citi discount and taxes and service charge) The service was really really good and that’s not just because he bribed me with the dessert. :) The food is reasonably good too and the ambiance is quite nice. All things considered, you could probably drop in if you’re around those parts.

Terrazzo, No:1135, 100 feet Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar Ph: 25289126/97482

Cheers Coorg

The review was first published in Bangalore Mirror.

I knew that Shillong is called the Scotland of the East, but Coorg is apparently called the Scotland of India. However, what amazed me more is that in terms of my culinary mapping, I associate both of these places with pork, and that is something that Scottish Highlanders have an aversion to! Thankfully Cheers Coorg’s menu doesn’t have Scots in mind as the target audience. But long before the menu, the ambiance does a good job of conveying the restaurant’s character. From the funky tablemat that gives you an introduction to Coorg, its heritage, culture and cuisine to the various décor elements that line the wall – including photographs, sketches and even a couple of guns, Coorg is all over the place. Meanwhile, to get to the place, you can follow the map here.

The menu, presented in the form of a compact clipboard, also tries to give a sense of character. For instance, there is a “Real men ask for their drinks” line in place of a bar menu, but unfortunately the spirit is limited to words as the license is still a couple of weeks away. This proved to be a recurring theme.

We began well with both versions of the Nalla Malu Kanni soups – chicken and mutton, and a Mutton Bones soup. The Mushroom Coconut soup we wanted to try was not available. The Mutton Bones soup was spicy, with the pepper making its presence clearly felt, but though it was a fine soup, the Nalla Malu Kanni soup, with its mix of a mild sweetness and a peppery kick delivered slightly later stole the show.

The menu is skewed majorly towards appetisers, so it was a difficult task to choose the representatives from each kind of meat. The Chilkana Pandi triumphed over its peers and turned out to be an excellent choice. The pork was well cooked and the onion and green chillies based masala also had a touch of sourness courtesy the vinegar. The Chicken Fry in Green Masala had tender chicken in a spicy masala made of green chillies, coriander and a hint of mint. Mutton was represented by Khaima Unde, minced mutton balls. The meat was bordering on tough, but not a complete disaster. Aquatic life made it to the table in the form of the Kachampuli Fish fry, though the tamarind was a name only presence, and the only discernible flavour was that of the pepper.

 

 

The alfresco area on the first floor was nearly full by the time we were ready for the rest of the meal, and that meant the main course took a while to get to the table. The Pandi Curry was a mandatory choice but failed to deliver, with a poorly diluted gravy that was rather insipid. The only consolation was that the pork was well cooked. The Chicken Curry also did not impress with its coconut based gravy. Most of the vegetarian gravies were unavailable, and from the options we asked for a Kumbala (pumpkin) Curry. Mildly sweet, it was just about average. We tried out most of the ‘accompaniments’ – Kadambuttu, Noolputtu, Paaputtu, Akki Otti, Sannas and Neyi Koolu (Ghee Rice). The Kadambuttu and the ghee rice were the pick of the lot. The former had an excellent consistency and the ghee rice was different from the standard fare with a mild sweetness to it. The Paaputtu was a tad crumbly, and the Akki Otti was an XS version!

 

 

When we asked for the Dessert of the Day, the only option other than the Ice Cream, we were told that it was Caramel Custard, not really the Coorgi dish we had expected. So we decided to end the meal with juices and coffee. The Passion fruit juice and the Filter Coffee were not bad but the Kaipuli (bitter orange) juice was the clear winner.

For about Rs.1200, you could share a soup, a non veg starter, a non veg main course dish and a couple of staples, and a dessert. (Inclusive of taxes and service charge)

Cheers Coorg has nailed the ambiance, and features a unique cuisine, but they do have some way to go in terms of the quality of food, before we can truly say cheers!

Cheers Coorg, #29, 80 feet Road, Indiranagar , Ph: 080 41219555

Bow Barracks

The good news is that you don’t have to go as far as Kolkata. There is no bad news. A little away from our regular Indiranagar haunts is 2nd Main, near the BDA complex. The last time we were on this road (On Double Road, take a right just before you hit Old Madras Road when coming from the CMH Road direction) was years back, and that restaurant has been replaced by a safer Punjabi outlet. In fact, the road now sports several food options including Chettinad, Punjabi and a few others! The map as well as the menu can be found on Zomato. Parking for 2 wheelers is easy and there are lanes around for 4 wheelers in case you don’t find space in front of the restaurant. A brick building with a doorway that makes you feel as though you’re entering a home. :)

The interior too has a cosy feel to it with just the right amount of buzz. We chose the less crowded 1st floor and by the time we left, that too was fairly full, and people were being taken to the next floor. I think that’s where it ends, but can’t be sure. In addition to the splendid ambiance, watch out for the knickknacks. The clock, the old kind of switches, some wonderful photographs on the brick wall, all add to the personality of the place.

 

The menu has Anglo Indian, Continental as well as Indian sections, but we were clear in our intent. We were even reasonably sure of 3 out of 4 items we planned to have, but we still needed to decide the 4th. As we sat debating that, an amuse-bouche made its way to the table. A fig with vinaigrette. I popped it in without giving it much thought until the flavour explosion hit me – tangy and sweet at the same time, with a crunch that will definitely make you sit up and pay attention.

We started with the Pantheras – the beef version. The beef mince was superb, and the crumbed, deep fried crepes wrapped it up very well indeed. But what made us completely forget to add that lime twist was the sauce that came along with it. In terms of taste, it reminded us of a local favourite – sauce that came with the Delicacy momos – but this one was more suave! For the main course, we ordered the Khow Suey – Chicken, and in the battle between the Fish Moilu and the Chicken Ball Curry, the latter won. We also ordered Coconut Yellow rice to go with the curry. The Khow Suey is a favourite and they did complete justice to it – the Anglo Indian rendition doesn’t really vary from the original Burmese and the coconut milk, noodles, cumin, turmeric etc with the help of a twist of lime made up an excellent mix as always. The Chicken Ball curry also has coconut milk flavour in the background, but it’s only to add that little extra to the tomato base (consistency and taste) and to the chicken mince that is made into koftas. The Coconut Yellow rice – basmati – worked beautifully with the curry and for our Mallu palates, this overdose of coconut felt just divine! :) )

 

We were almost full, but the bread pudding had already booked itself space, though it was more mind and spirit than body! Served with mild custard sauce, I felt it could’ve been slightly less watery. But thankfully, it didn’t take away much from the taste. An excellent meal in a perfect setting! The service was prompt, helpful and altogether smooth. The meal made us poorer by Rs.1276 (including a service charge) but it was thoroughly worth it. This one goes into our favourites, and with so many more dishes to try, we’ll raid again soon!

Bow Barracks, 618/1, 2nd Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar. Ph: 42072555, 9739601015

California Pizza Kitchen

We decided to give Keramangala a break and limit our weekend outings to Indiranagar in May, considering that the latter had suddenly begun aping the former in terms of restaurants popping up all over the place. That’s how we landed up at California Pizza Kitchen, located in that stretch between 12th Main and CMH Road junctions on 100 feet Road, where it seems all the action is happening. (map) There’s valet parking and enough place for 2 wheelers too.

The ambiance is very pizzeria like, and not really fine dining. But it’s neat, classy and was actually near-full when we got there at about 7.30. A little later, we could see people waiting too. But the service is fast, so even if you don’t reserve, you probably wouldn’t have to wait long.

The menu at Zomato is almost complete – the only thing it’s missing is the smoothies section. We started with an Adobe Chicken Chowder, that came to us almost as soon as we ordered it! The tortilla strips added excellent texture to the thick creamy soup, which which was quite awesome – wild rice, cilantro, corn, though we did miss the green chillies. But the pepper on the table made up for that very well.

For the main course, we ordered the Original BBQ Chicken, with a smoked bacon add-on and a thin crust, which costs Rs.20 more. I would’ve liked the BBQ sauce to be more dominant, specially because the onion and the unevenly spread cilantro are all-too familiar flavours. But it was a reasonably good pizza. The other dish we tried was the Southwestern Chipotle Fettuccine. A wonderful spicy, creamy dish, from which the only thing we’d have like to remove would be the black beans, which seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. We had just enough space to accommodate the Chocolate Banana Smoothie, which used regular cream that added a unique flavour to the mix.

 

Overall, the experience was quite good, though pricing is definitely on the higher side – all the above with service charges and taxes came to over Rs.1600, not exactly what you’d expect from the friendly neighbourhood pizza joint. So long as you keep that in mind, and are fine with moderate portion sizes, you should be fine.

California Pizza Kitchen, 284, Ground Floor, 100 feet Road, Indiranagar Ph: 64048888