North Indian

Broadway Gourmet Theatre

First published in Bangalore Mirror

Even as recently as a decade back, going to HSR required a strong stomach, because very few roads even had streetlights! But times have changed. These days, I’m finding it difficult to digest the fact that more new eateries are opening here than in the neighbouring restaurant paradise (and our favourite) Koramangala! Broadway Gourmet Theatre is the latest attraction. (map, you’ll have to make do with basement/valet parking – a very helpful security guard!) The signage is bold enough to make it visible from afar, but for the kind of showbiz character the restaurant has chosen to have, we found the ambiance a little underwhelming. It isn’t as though the space is unrefined or cramped, it’s just that we expected a little more flair and grandeur. There is one way in which it redeems itself though – an outdoor section that offers a splendid view of not just HSR on one side and the busy Sarjapur Road on the other, but the greenery of the army land across the road. We spared a thought for the jawan guarding the compound border, probably sitting on duty for most of the day in the shade of lush trees, even as we prepared to do our duty and sample what the restaurant had to offer. Food, after all, knows no boundaries!

The elegant looking menu is an eclectic mix of various cuisines and we intended to try out as many as possible. Our original choice of Indonesian soup wasn’t available, thankfully so, because its replacement was the well presented Magic Mushroom soup. Though our hopes of ‘magic mushroom’ went up in the smoked porcini, the deliciously thick soup that also had button mushrooms and truffle was exactly what a wintry Bangalore night demanded! We did wonder why exactly the tender chicken stick that came with it was called a solder though. The Labneh Patty that followed was creamy awesomeness. The soft cheese, made from strained yogurt, was the melt-in-the-mouth variety and the patty’s crust provided just the right texture. The pork dish we wanted wasn’t available so we decided to swim with the tide and ordered a Tawa Grouper. The fish fillet had a chilli masala that provided an excellent contrast to the milder fare we’d had thus far. More

Delhi Highway

My first brush with the restaurant was more than a month ago, when I noticed its construction happening on 12th Main, Indiranagar. The style immediately made me think of Mughal architecture, and thanks to the jam I was stuck in, I had this morbid thought of a memorial for someone who had given up on life while waiting for the traffic on the road to clear! Because c’mon, there was no way another restaurant could be opening on this road! But I was wrong, a few weeks later Delhi Highway opened its doors, (map) and promptly deceived me again – the smile on my face as my mind conjured up the vision of a Butter Chicken was wiped off when I saw the green dot next to the name.

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Kakori Kababs & Curries

The search for Talaash tickets (yes, we do have a massive backlog on the blog 😀 ) ended at Gopalan Cinemas. We thought this was a good enough excuse to check out the restaurant scene in JP Nagar. From the various options that Zomato gave us, we zeroed in on Kakori Kababs & Curries. You can find the map and menu at Zomato. The map was perfect and the place wasn’t difficult to find at all. They have valet parking for 4 wheelers and suficient space for 2 wheelers right in front of the restaurant.

When we arrived, we were only the second group there. The place had a <insert dimming Instagram filter> effect to it, almost like a place that was taking its baby steps towards disrepair. But we found a comfortable table, I asked for a Breezer (they only had orange and cranberry) and D wanted to try a Blush. 😀 For starters, we wanted to check out the Kakori Kabab, but that was unavailable! So we decided to go for our second preference – Murg ka Soola. The Blush, it seems, had all the  promised ingredients – strawberry, guava, cranberry etc, and was quite good from the way D was slurping. The Soola was quite spicy thanks to the ground chillies, and though the cinnamon wasn’t really present, we really liked the dish.

For the main course, we asked for a Murg Dil Bahar and a Meat Beliram, and to go with it, a Kakori Naan and a Chilli Olive Naan, and later, a Butter Tandoori Roti. The Murg Dil Bahar was a rich creamy gravy and the mutton dish was well cooked with a mildly spicy gravy. We enjoyed both and the breads were subtle enough to complement the dishes very well.

By the time we left, all the tables were taken, and there were 2-3 groups waiting outside! Judging by the food we got, worth the wait in that part of town, I’d say. All of the above cost us just under Rs.1400. The service was prompt. But what I really really enjoyed was the instrumental music – 90s Bollywood – Sainik, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na, Damini, Imtihaan. AWESOME. :)

Kakori Kababs, 9A, 24th Main, 6th Phase, JP Nagar, Ph: 65705588

Bakasur

First appeared in Bangalore Mirror

For those unfamiliar with mythology, Bakasur appears in the Mahabharata as a glutton who pioneered home delivery, bless his soul. Not only did he force a village to send him enormous quantities of food, he also ate the person who brought it – an extreme version of ‘bite the hand that feeds’. That was until the Pandavas arrived on the scene and Bhima decided to help the village. One day he took the food for Bakasur and not finding him, began eating it. Bakasur finally arrived, saw that there was hardly any food left and questioned Bhima. Bhima said something to the extent of ‘first-come first-served’ and in the fight that ensued, killed Bakasur. But in the annals of gluttony, the legend of Bakasur lived on. The current version of Bakasur, on Outer Ring Road (just before the IBP Petrol Pump on the Service Road when coming from Koramangala – map) has its soul right going by the quotes “Now serving in L, XL and Bakasur” size. Spread over two floors, with the one above offering semi-open seating, the quirky theme carries across the menu, coasters, and other messaging, including the ‘toilet club’. On one corner, I could see a cart wheel. If it was a hat tip by design, it was a stellar job – the village in the myth was called Ekachakra. Speaking of wheels, there’s valet parking.

The menu is not really Bakasur size; it literally fits into a plate, but the options are quite unique. There’s also a liquor menu. We started with the Malai-wala Lassi, Zeera Chaach and a Virgin Bakasur! The Lassi and the Chaach were served in slightly larger-than-normal earthen mugs. The Chaach was particularly refreshing and the Lassi got the sweetness just right. The mocktail turned out to be just the standard Virgin Mojito and not the best we’ve had.

 

The first starter to arrive was the Top Secret Gosht Kastoori Tikka – the meat was cooked well and the subtle fenugreek flavours did a reasonably good job, though it would’ve been better if it were served hot. The Mushroom Galauti, served on an ulta tawa paratha, had a smoky flavour that might not find favour with many. From greenery, we shifted to aquatic life – the Tandoori Panja Prawns was mildly spicy, succulent and had a tasty ginger garlic flavour. But the pick of the starters was the Beera Murg, 4 chunky pieces of spicy chicken that we couldn’t get enough of. The wind kept us company throughout and often sent tissues flying. Also present were flies, which seemed to take our frantic waving as a sign of friendliness!

 

 

The main course took its time to arrive, but the good news was that the flies became tired of waiting and left. The dishes arrived in huge vessels, as though meant for bottomless appetites, but appearances were deceiving – they turned out to have false bottoms. We started with the Paneer Saag, Doodh Kalimiri Murg and the Palak Puri. Combined, there was enough oil to warrant a WMD search. The Paneer Saag, in particular, was a heavy dish and was tasty enough to make us just pile it on! The chicken dish was more subtle, with mild explosions of pepper. The Palak Puri was another oil factory but well worth the calories. The Tandoori Ragi Roti was a unique bread that turned out to be surprisingly good, a chocolate hero look helped. The Taash Gosht was a bit of a disappointment – though the masala was spicy and well appreciated, the meat itself was tough and we were in no mood to wrestle. The other let down was the Keema Naan that turned out to be more bland than expected. Though we had also asked for a Dum Apricot Pulao, we were told much later, when we asked for its whereabouts, that it was over. Probably there’s a Bakasur in the kitchen?

 

 

 

Though we expected the Ghee Jalebi with Doodh Kurchan to be the dessert star, it was the Pista Kulfi that actually stole the show. The crisp, cloyingly sweet jalebis were no match for the subtler, creamy kulfis.

 

Bakasur is definitely a unique experience – large tables, an open, relaxed feel and an ambiance that’s enjoyable despite the strong wind and the flies. For about Rs.1600, you could share a non-alcoholic drink, a non veg starter, a couple of rotis, a non-veg gravy, and end with a dessert.  (Inclusive of taxes and charges) The food, except for a few items, was quite good. The pricing though, is debatable, and though it isn’t the “bakwasur” it was made out to be on review sites, it probably needs to figure out a better price-quantity proposition before laying on the Bakasurcharge!

Bakasur, Surami Plaza, Outer Ring Road, Next to Shobha Hibiscus, Bellandur, Ph: 9916076720, 8095501980

Heera

The review first shone in Bangalore Mirror

A stationery store named Staples on the ground floor, to a restaurant named Heera on the 4th, where time is purported to have stayed stationary – the capsule lift journey that takes you to the restaurant could seem like some layered Mughal intrigue. But time capsule it isn’t, and you realise that when you’re faced with a white door that makes you wonder whether you’ve gotten off on the wrong floor. But before all that, this is on Bannerghatta Road opposite Shoppers Stop, (map) and there’s valet parking.

If you remember Heera Panna on Church Street, you can skip straight to the next paragraph. For those who don’t, the Mughal theme is brought out reasonably well – there are alcoves separated from the main hall with bead curtains and multihued chandeliers from high ceilings which bring the theme to life. (video) You even get to wear turbans and cloaks, and if you’re so inclined, you can play with wooden swords too. If you happen to be sitting in the main hall, Rekha is likely to dance for you on the gigantic screen to In aankhon ki masti (Umrao Jaan) In case you aren’t floored by this, there is a good chance that one of those loose floorboards will do it for you!

One thing that’s to be said for the menu is that you’ll be spoiled for choice. We started with the Macchi Tikka whose red chili paste and subtle ajwain flavours made an excellent combination. The Paneer Kurkure was up next, and the crispy covering served as a perfect foil for the cottage cheese. Figuring out a clear favourite from among these two was difficult. I was expecting much from the Lal Mirch ka Murgh, but it really didn’t deliver on the spice factor and seemed to be a dish that wasn’t sure of its identity and aspired to be a Manchurian. The Mutton Chops Masala Nasheeli Champein had no idea that it had been classified under ‘boneless’ and though its masala was quite good and had a fair share of spices, the lamb pieces themselves – whatever we could judge from the miniscule meat presence –  were not really the best we’ve had. We also tried a couple of mocktails – the Red Devil did a good job with the watermelon, apple, and orange combination but the mint leaves were a bit like moss on Kerala backwaters, quite spoiling the drink. The White Orchid – lychee based, didn’t turn out a lot better.

 

 

The plethora of choice continues in the main course too. And though the Mutton Kofta curry we wanted to try out wasn’t available, it turned out to be a blessing. The Gosht Nehari that was suggested to us instead turned out to be the best of the main course dishes with a silken rich gravy and well cooked meat. The Dum Aloo can be summed up with the fact that everyone approved of it until I smirked and told them that it was a Dum Aloo. Then everyone agreed that this wasn’t the way it was supposed to taste. Cheap thrills. The Murg Masala was mildly spicy and not a bad dish, but for a ‘special dish’, it wasn’t exceptional. There are some interesting options in the roti/naan section. The Baluchistan Kulcha with a kheema stuffing is definitely recommended as is the Harimirch ka Paratha, but you would want to stay away from the Channa Pudina ki Roti. The Gosht Dum Biryani was excellent – flavourful, non sticky rice and well cooked meat complemented by a reasonably good raita.

The Rabdi Malpua was easily the best among the three desserts we tried, since both components did their jobs well and worked as a combination too. The Kulfi wasn’t bad but not really stellar either, especially on a relative note. The disappointment was the Flambéed Gulab Jamun, which had such an overdose of rum that we felt that it should have been in the liquor menu.

For about Rs.1500, you could share a mocktail, a non veg starter, a couple of rotis, a biryani and a non veg gravy, and end with a dessert.  (Inclusive of  taxes) All things considered, the food really wasn’t bad at all, though it is priced on the higher side. The service was a tad too enthusiastic and we had to finally tell them that we would help ourselves. But what really takes away from the place, despite its relatively unique theme, is its condition of disrepair. It’s a bit sad to see it fraying, and not just at the edges, like a Mughal monument that no one seems to care about.

Heera, #17, 4th Floor (Opp Shoppers Stop, above Staples), Bannerghatta Road, Ph: 9972305871, 9972934777

Khaaja Chowk

The review was first published in Bangalore Mirror.

Indiranagar suddenly seems to have caught this second wind, as far as new restaurants go.  Suddenly there’s a spate of new restaurants, and on one building, (the same as Girias – map) if you manage to go higher than ‘High on Thai’, you’ll find Khaaja Chowk. Valet parking available, and there’s reasonable space for 2 wheelers nearby.

Kitschy chic makes for a good oxymoron, and I’d probably use the décor of Khaaja Chowk as its poster child. Posters are exactly where we’ll start, the ones I was caught gaping at, and then clicking away furiously. If you love Bollywood as I do, there’s no way you’d miss the chance to capture micro posters of ‘Shaitan Mujrim’, ‘Pistol Wali’ and so on!  Or you could take a step back and walk up the last flight of stairs that lead to the restaurant on the third floor, its walls adorned with framed retro matrimonial columns, lottery tickets and matchbox covers!

There’s no escape once you’re inside either! Internet darlings like ‘Child Bear’ and ‘Lick-her-Shop’ take their rightful place alongside more to-the-point shop hoarding graphics like ‘Angrezi Sharab ki Dukaan’. You’d also want to check out that special table with bindis, clips and nail polish sets under a glass top. The auto rickshaw tables deserve a special mention, perfect for a group of 4, though we didn’t sit there because it was quite late and feared whether we’d finally be asked to pay one-and-a-half times the bill. The person to thank for all the above is Vikram Nair, who started the chain of restaurants several years ago in Gurgaon and brought it to Bangalore a month and a half back. Interesting trivia is that his sister is Mira Nair, no, not a namesake, the filmmaker herself.

 

It was difficult to get the visual treat to take a backseat, but we finally managed to get down to business with a Cheese Chilli Seekh Kabab, a Khaaji ki Chaat and a Non Veg Kabab Platter. The chaat turned out to be standard papdi chaat fare, save the sev, and with a cabbage signature! The chilli dominated the Cheese Chilli kabab and the cheese was relegated to the background in terms of flavour, but is highly recommended if you don’t mind some spice. The non veg platter consists of Chicken Banno Kabab, Chicken Burrah Kabab and Mutton Seekh Kabab. The Burrah Kabab was the best of the lot, mildly spicy and juicy. The Seekh lost out only because it was slightly crumbly, though its flavours were just right. The Banno Kabab was subtle to the point of being bland, and was the least favourite. We also tried a sweet lassi to wash it all down, but that was quite a disappointment, mostly thanks to the sour curd! The other drink we tried was the Virgin Mary Masala – standard tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce but with a green chillies and masala desi twist that made the drink special.

 

The menu seems a toned down version of the one available at other outlets of the chain. Quite surprisingly for the crowd involved, the dish that became an instant favourite was a vegetarian one – the Makhmali Kofta curry, a white cashew based gravy that was mildly spicy and creamy and had koftas that just smoothly slide down. The Chicken Chengezi is not as fiery as its name makes it out to be and is supposed to be only mildly spicy. It was exactly that, but had a slight tan (for a dish supposed to be made in milk and cream) and was missing the boiled egg. However, it was well cooked and quite tasty. The Rara Gosht was the least impressive – the gravy was too greasy for our liking and the meat was unevenly cooked, actually mostly rubbery. The naans were standard and if you like spice, you might want to try the Rogni Naan. The Matka Biryani – Chicken came late to the party but got a good response – subtle flavours, not greasy and succulent chicken pieces.

The Rabri Khaaja and the Rocket Kulfi were the standout items in the menu, so we decided to test them out. The Kulfi’s flowery presentation needs a special mention and it also turned out reasonably well, though quite subtle. We liked the Rabri Khaaja more though, thanks to its combination of a crunchy base and a malai based topping.

 

A mocktail, a lassi, a non-veg starter, a couple of naans, a veg and non-veg dish for the main course, and a shared kulfi would cost approx 1,200 inclusive of taxes. We had perfect weather for an under-the-sky meal, and all the seating options –even the ones inside – have their own charm, in addition to the unique overall ambiance. Add to it, the serendipity of rediscovering 90s Bollywood songs, and we have a box office winner. The only villain in the piece was the tardy service once the place got crowded. Which reminds me, it’s probably a good idea to reserve in advance, the place does get crowded. The meal started and ended well, though the main course could have been better. For all of this, you should definitely drop in at least once. If not a chakka, at least a chauka is guaranteed.

Khaaja Chowk, No-276, 100 feet Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Ph: 080- 40920585

A Taste of Rampur

The Koramangala version was one of the first restaurants reviewed here, and the review of the Indiranagar version first appeared in Bangalore Mirror.

The restaurant is located right after the flyover when coming from Koramangala, above Bombay Store. (map) Don’t try the U immediately after the flyover – there are cops waiting for you. :) Two-wheelers can be parked right next to it, and more wheels will be taken care of by valet parking.

As per the restaurant’s own description, Rampur is a princely state in the upper regions of Uttar Pradesh, which has been influenced by Afghan Rohillas, Mughals, Rajputs as well as the British, in addition to its homegrown Nawabs. But Bollywood is probably a bigger influencer since Jaya Prada has been beating the royalty in elections regularly. Apparently, the food still owes much of its allegiance to its Nawabi heritage – ‘rich’, and cooked in ghee. That and the fact that it had a bias towards non-vegetarian delicacies were key factors in prompting a visit. With a gigantic hookah, swords and a shield, fez worn by the staff, and comfortable seating, some of the place’ character is indeed reflected in the restaurant itself. You can find the menu at Zomato. The beverages menu is quite exhaustive, and includes wines, champagnes and mocktails too.

When life gives you a lime, it might not be a bad idea to add some chaat masala, and that’s what makes a Nimbu Pani Rampuri, which would’ve been quite good if not for the dominant masala flavour. The Mix Vegetable Shorba was thick, creamy and a decent start to the meal. It was definitely a few notches higher than the Murgh Badami Shorba, a thin soup which the Badam didn’t deem worthy enough for an extended presence. The best of the starters was the Bhune Hue Subzi ke Sheek Kabab, mildly spicy and coarse, in terms of texture. The fish didn’t seem to have bought into the concept of Mahi Sarson ka Tikka. Not only was it unevenly cooked, it also suffered from a dominance of mustard and an absence of any other flavour. The Galowti (sic) Kabab was much better fare and though it wasn’t at ‘melt in the mouth’ levels, it did get pretty close.

The veg dominance continued in the main course too, with the Rampuri Dal Tadki wali – mixed dal, smooth and mildly spicy – becoming the favourite. The Paneer Lababdar came a close second with its thick consistency and creamy flavour. The Gosht Kundan Kaliya did sound like a Bollywood movie remix, but proved a fairly good dish with tender meat and a mildly spicy gravy with a dash of turmeric. We weren’t that fortunate with the Murgh Makkan Rampuri which had a tasty gravy but was spoiled by the chicken itself – hard and bland. There was unfortunately nothing khaas about the Rampuri Kaas Paratha, and the Taftan, in addition to being slightly burnt, lacked the saffron-cardamom flavours that make it special. The Ulta Tawa ka Paratha was relatively the best of the breads, though it did skimp on the ghee. The Murg Dum Biriyani also did not live up to expectations, and though the chicken was good, and the portion size large, the overly sticky and flavourless rice let it down. It needs to be mentioned that none of the dishes were really ‘heavy’, but considering the Ram’pure’ desi ghee proposition that the restaurant claims, that’s not really a good thing.

The spectre of dessert unavailability that seems to be following me around refused to let go here too, though its presence was limited to the Kesar Rasmalai and the Shahi Tukda. The soft Kesar Gulab Jamoon was the best of the lot though the Kesar itself couldn’t attend. The Matka Kulfi wasn’t so bad either though it could’ve been sweeter. The Phirni was quite insipid, and the Rampur ka Sewian was completely ignored, after the first tasting.

A meal for two would cost roughly Rs.1200, and they also have lunch and dinner buffets available on weekdays and weekends. The restaurant’s self proclaimed bias for non veg dishes fell flat on its face with the veg dishes clearly upstaging them. There seemed to be a focus on the buffet, which could explain the service staff trying to nudge us towards it, as well as the average delivery of the a la carte offering.

A Taste of Rampur, #4031, 1st Floor (aboveBombay Store),100 Ft Road, Indiranagar, HAL 2nd Stage, Ph: 080 42156000

Adaa

Koramangala’s autumn cleaning has meant that we have a new set of restaurants. Adaa is one of them, and has the advantage of already being famous in Marathahalli, one of those recent upstart villages that is trying to give Koramangala’s sheer number of restaurants a run for its money. 😉

A social visit earlier meant that the tummy was half-full, so we decided to walk to Adaa. This is on one of Koramangala’s food streets, same as Kobe, Empire, Sufi etc. You’ll see it on the left turn (corner) just after the Jyoti Nivas College left, opposite what used to be Paramount. (and now seems to be on its way to becoming Naushad’s The Big Chef) I think Adaa has taken Desmond’s spot. Thanks to the parking lot near Empire, you should be able to easily find a place.

Adaa is a compact restaurant with a warm yet classy interior, and comfortable seating options. The menu informs you that it is part of the same group that owns Treat in Indiranagar. That used to be one of our favourite haunts during our brief stay in Bangalore East. The usage of green in the menu and logo is also a good hint to the connection, on hindsight.

We started off proceedings with a Bukni Kabab. ‘Bukni’ seems to be a powdered masala with a dominant red chillies flavour. This indeed turned out to be a hot, fiery seekh kabab with an excellent texture, complemented well by the lemony, tangy onions. We washed it down with a thick, sweet lassi, that proved to be a good investment too. For the main course, we ordered a Murg Raada and a Magaz, and to go with that, a Kheema Kulcha, a Lal Mirch Paratha and later a, Hari Mirch Roti.

The chicken dish seems to have a back story too. Apparently, it was created in a dhaba near the Road Transport Authority in Old Delhi. The mince and meat combo was good but though that made it a thick dish, the gravy itself proved a bit watery and bland. The Magaz, which is goat’s brain in a spiced masala was a much better dish, in spite of being slightly inconsistent with its flavours. There were spikes of salt and tanginess, but that didn’t take away much. The roti, paratha and kulcha did their jobs well, though we expected more spicy versions.

There were dessert options, but we were too stuffed. There was this cool packaged ‘paan’ that came with the bill. First time I have seen this, and it’s quite good. So good that we ate two each and took the remaining with us. 😀 The bill came to just over Rs.900, including a 10% service charge. The service is courteous and attentive. In short, quite worth a visit, if you’re in Koramangala and would like some North Indian fare.

Adaa, 48, 4B Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala Ph: 41103144/55

A review published in Bangalore Mirror later

Turquoise – The Indian

It does sound a little like a movie dubbed into Bollywood, but hey, it’s a restaurant and the name matters only so much. The review first appeared in Bangalore Mirror, and I’ve had enough of ‘blue’ wordplay. 😀

This is located above Mom&Me on the road leading from Intermediate Ring Road to JNC (map) and is one of the twin Turquoise restaurants. The European is on the floor below, and you can find my micro review on 4sq. :) Valet parking is available.

The turquoise theme is prominent in the decor and the chandeliers creating the shape of a musical note makes for an elegant picture. For seating, you could lounge on the comfortable sofas or choose the more functional, yet tastefully done regular furniture. The gigantic dragonfly near the bar is an attention grabber. Bollywood remixes playing in the background and a TV screen offer ‘entertainment’.

The menu begins with a few standard shorba options, and then offers a decent range of kababs. Thereafter, in addition to some standard and some not-so-standard main course Indian fare, there is also a page devoted to Parsi favourites. For once, there seems to be a balance between vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The rotis section manages to offer a few unique options, but the desserts section is limited and sticks to the regular favourites. The Indian is a resto-lounge, and seems to have a well stocked bar and a collection of mocktails. The Turquoise Smoothie we tried turned out just fine.

The Galawati Kabab, a patty of tava fried lamb mince marinated in spices and served on a mini paratha, didn’t quite get to the ‘melt in your mouth’ level but managed to live up to its billing of a signature dish. But the Baida Roti with kheema and eggs stuffed in a pancake and tava fried proved to be the unanimous favourite.You really must try this. The Aatish e Aloo – stuffed potatoes – managed to start a spicy Bollywood conversation, but the dish itself was quite bland. The Mahi Afghani Tikka, Calcutta Betki chunks with coriander, yoghurt and cream, too went into the same category.

In the main course, the Zardari Kofta in a nut-based gravy was the pick, followed by the Murgh Makhani. The Hyderabadi Lagan ka Murgh with the cashew nut gravy had sounded right, but fell short of expectations. The efforts of the Dum Pukht Aloo’s gravy, to salvage the dish’s reputation proved futile.The Naan Baluchistan with a minced meat stuffing, and the Khameeri Roti were both excellent, the Gosht ki Dum Biriyani was reasonably good, and the flavourful Jeera Rice was appreciated too. The Qubani ka Meetha didn’t do much to sweeten the dessert deal though. The biggest disappointment was when we were told that most Parsi dishes required advance notice. Even in the other sections, we missed out the ones we really wanted to try – the Naan Changeezi, the Turkish Baklava, to name a few.

The service was courteous to begin with, but began to display an overboard version of ‘maa ka pyar’ while the food was being served. They insisted on disproportionately filling up our plates. The billing took us almost half an hour. On the cost front, a non-veg starter, a main course with a veg and non-veg dish along with a few rotis, and a dessert would set you back by `1,200. Considering the options available in the vicinity, this is on the higher side.

Turquoise’s Indian version has its share of tasty fare, but given its location –  where a stone thrown would most likely land on a restaurant – they need to better their act. The non availability of dishes and a torturous wait for the bill left us blue, like that Akshay Kumar movie.

Turquoise, 2nd & 3rd Floor, (Above Mom & Me), Shop #9, 5th Block Koramangala, Bangalore 560095, Ph: 65776588

Elements Heritage

In terms of heritage, Elements used to be quite liked for its continental menu, while on Nandidurga Road. I was looking at the photos on their site, and wondered how I managed to miss it. 😐 All’s not lost though, as the new Elements Heritage, on Mosque Road, (just after Savoury, diagonally opposite Empire, just before Mosque Road meets MM Road – map) scores heavily on ambiance, and only differs in cuisine focus. Parking shouldn’t be a big problem, more so because there are enough side lanes around.

Apparently, this was a really old Raj bungalow which has been revamped. As soon as we got there, we were shown a table, but also encouraged to take a little tour to see more seating options. That included a section upstairs with a live counter, but apparently, that was for the buffet diners. So we got back to our ground floor table, which was neat enough. The ambiance is really super, and the spread out table groups, not visible to each other, ensure that you feel the restaurant buzz, but still retain the exclusive dining experience. The lighting is dim, but the only discomfort that caused was in the photography.

The menu is below, the last one was the buffet menu for the day, priced at Rs.550 + tax. (click to enlarge) While I was struggling to take the photos, the owner, presumably, who was taking another set of guests on the restaurant tour, offered to send me the menu by mail. I was almost through though, so I didn’t take up the offer. (seeing that quenchers page, I should have :\ ) That only adds to my feeling that the guys who run the place want to add a personal touch and make the dining experience really good.

From that large selection, which included many many things we wanted to try, we skipped the shorbas and went for a “Seekh ‘e’ Elements” and a Bheja Fry. The former  consists of 4 seekh kebabs, each with an idiappam. Quite good, but the winner was clearly the Bheja fry, spicy and cooked superbly.  This was the part where I was caught between getting a good photo and devouring the food. The latter won out, as is obvious.

For the main course, we ordered a ‘Meen appam’, and a ‘Kozhi Mulagh Ittathe’. Most of the dishes come with neer dosa/rice, so ask before you order naans/ appam/ rice separately. The meen appam actually turned out more like an ada than appam, with fish stuffed in it and cooked in a banana leaf. It comes with a sauce that seemed to have a jeera flavour, which worked well to complement the taste. Though we felt that the ada overpowered the fish filling, its still a dish you could try. The chicken dish came with two kinds of rice (one of which was the Kerala style boiled rice) and 4 neer dosas. We expected this to be really spicy, but it was actually more flavoursome, despite me eating up one of the large chillies.

We debated a biriyani, but then decided to behave in a more un-glutton manner and  debated whether we should ask for a halwa of the day or a Shahi Tukda. The former wasn’t available (thankfully, on hindsight). The Shahi Tukda was really good – less heavy (ghee) than usual, and is highly recommended. All of the above cost us a little less than Rs.1000. The service is brilliant, offers to help and the place probably has the promptest delivery time I’ve seen  recently.

Elements gets into our favourites list for many reasons – a menu that’s not very common, an ambiance that’s really awesome, excellent service and overall, a wonderful dining experience.

Elements Heritage, #55, Mosque Road, Frazer Town, Ph: 41144146/8