Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
Or a long weekly post. Apologies to all you fans for not posting but I've been busy with work (don't laugh!) and had internet issues at home. So couldn't post.
Gaga and Linus were visiting from Sunny, California this month and met them for dinner mid-week. Couldn't decide where to go and finally met them at Ebony where I noticed this for the first time.
Gender differential pricing. Do women eat less than men? Or is it some of that "It's wednesday, so women enter this club free" thinking?
We sat in one of those claustrophobic ante-rooms to the balcony for about 5 minutes and decided to go to Coconut Grove instead. No review, Dear Fan because I hadn't been to Coconut Grove before.
Republic Day was fun. Met Reach, Nunu and his cousins Boo and Montu (Bongs don't need blog-nicknames, their daak naams are enough) at Rex to watch Rang De Basanti. Nunu (don't ask Bongs what his nickname means) booked tickets over the phone and didn't show up on time to collect them. So there we were at 12 noon without tickets and only available tickets were at 630, front stall. We did buy those front stall tickets and decided to walk The Strip.
The cousins went back home to come back later in the evening, so Reach, Nunu and I meandered here and there and got to Inox, bought tickets to Wedding Crashers at 330-ish since we had so much time.
For want of any serious time-killing exercise, we checked out 'Scary House'. It wasn't so bad for 15 minutes of time-killing and 40 bucks. It's got some theme inside, "This house has the spirits of the former decapitated residents..." or some such thing. The Ushers inside wear long black coats and pull their fedoras low over their eyes. Some interesting animatronic stuff and all. 'B' for effort, 'B-' for execution and 'A-' for value-for-money.
Lunch at Indiana's. Ah, the mayonnaise. No review since it's been 5(?) years.
More walking was done and this was noticed.
This statue/sculpture outside the ING Vysya Corporate Office is called Crouching Lion. Maybe Ang Lee can make a sequel.
Both movies were quite good and fun was had.
Checked out the rehearsal of the Nostalgia Night at Bangalore Club (IJ hiding behind the drums). Heard this really old man belting it. Man could he sing! IJ gave Crew Passes to Z so B, Chamique and I did go for the Nostalgia Night and had a pretty good time even though I can't jive, waltz, cha-cha or anything, salsa classes notwithstanding.
Yesterday was Koshy's, walk near Ganja Park and dinner at the new and improved Mojo. Again, no real review. Asok and Dibyo put one pitcher and we ate dosas with Chicken Pulimunchi, Fish Curry and Chicken Curry while we debated the origins of the word 'curry'.
Went for dessert to Herbs & Spice to join Bangalore Bytes who eating dinner a couple of his friends. Young love, with affection displayed on them :-)
That, dear reader was a good part of last week in a blogpost.
Posted by Dilettante at 5:30 PM
Went to Sunny’s for lunch on 29.01.06 and will have to upgrade their rating to a 4.00/5.00. It was a fabulous meal (no pictures unfortunately). We had a fried calamari (excellent, tender, not the tyre re-tread at most places, served with a piquant salasa), greek salad with feta (wonderful cheese, ask them to omit the cucumber), a seafood bouillabaisse (saffrony with a strong, but not overpowering, fish flavour and a generous serving of mussels, clams, prawn, fish and crab. Was served with bread and a interesting egg-based sauce (Hollandaise?) with saffron and herbs.), ham crepes (excellent, as always. Chose the cream sauce.), smoked salmon open faced sandwich (salmon was a tad salty but the capers and cream-cheese made it good to go.) served with the same fabulous potatoes and I had a Japanese fried chicken served with assorted greens in soy-sauce and sticky rice (was very good. And a wonderfully aged soy-sauce, which is rare to find.). Dessert was raspberry ice-cream, an almond praline ice-cream (I’d pay good money to buy it in take-away tubs), a frozen rum raisin chocolate fudge (potent. Lotsa rum. Great dessert too! Fudgy and chocolaty!) and a hazelnut meringue with chocolate (possibly the weakest dessert. It lacked character of taste and texture.) All in all, a great meal and outstanding value for money. I don’t know how he has kept standards this high over a 16-odd year period. Commendable!
Previously, Quick Lunch At Sunny
Posted by blr bytes at 2:20 PM
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
As MLA leaves for London on Sunday, we decided to grab dinner and catch up with news (gossip really.) He has this inexplicable love for Mainland China and no amount of cajoling (and offering to buy him dinner at Sichuan Court!) could change his mind. I’m no fan of Mainland China, from the uppity hostesses (do you have a reservation sir? No? Please wait till hell freezes over sir!) to the maitre d’ who believes you to be the prodigal-son-returned, I could go on...
Nonetheless, we sat and we ordered. I had a chicken and coriander thick soup that was tolerably edible, a Mongolian skewered lamb and Singapore chilli shrimps. The latter two were, in retrospect, the highlights of the meal. The lamb in particular was very good. Tender, not over cooked and the spicing was wonderful, primarily cracked black pepper. The shrimps weren’t too bad either, just a little lacking in imagination, with a little sesame oil and some peri peri they could have been memorable. As for the kimchi and the other nonsense on the table, they’re better off not serving it. The kimchi was horrid, it had been put to pickle a whole 30 minutes prior to their arrival on the table.
Our main course was a vegetable burnt garlic fried rice (horrid. The moment you say vegetarian it’s license for them to throw every known vegetable in. Corn? WTF? And where was the burnt garlic?), fish in Chinese parsley (damn. It tasted like methi fish, a naan would have accompanied it better than the rice.) and a tsing hoi chicken (once again, some dal makhani and a roomali roti would have been welcome.) I get Indian Chinese, I even like it but this Bhatinda Chinese is beyond me.
For dessert I was looking forward to the toffee walnuts with ice-cream but it wasn’t available (should have guessed by then!) last night and hence, we settled for date pancakes with ice-cream. They should have called it bastard-paper-dosa with anonymous-sickly-sweet-filling.
And then this insanity, a fsking sparkler. Happy Bur-Day to you too, can I get my sense of smell back now please? And my scarred retina?
The only reason I give it a 2.75 and not lower is because of the starters, which redeemed the meal. What is up with this place and why do people love it so? Try Silver Wok or Sichuan Court which are much better bets.
Posted by blr bytes at 11:15 AM
Friday, January 27, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
“Arre, will you eat onions tonight?”
“Yaar, we put alcohol na, might as well eat onions too!”
And off they went, digging in to the onions. I'm trying hard not to picture their mother lying in wait for them:
“Son, how could you? Onions?!”
I gathered they must be Jain. I wonder if there is an clandestine (underground?!) market for root vegetables in these communities...
Aleph, Recluse and I then sat through “Doom: The Movie.” We're suckers for bad movies and have made some memorable screw-ups but this was one for the record books. The video game was better. By miles.
Disclaimer: Recluse and Aleph had some role to play in my characterization of the mother and the root-vegetable-gray-market...
Posted by blr bytes at 12:46 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
"Forest minister Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli's son Suryakanth Narayan Nagamarapalli was arrested on Monday by Cubbon Park police after he opened fire at a pub, 1912, on St Mark's Road at 2.30 am on Sunday."
Pretty sad that an innocent bystander was injured. Guess this also rules out 1912 staying open past 11:30.
More at ToI
Posted by blr bytes at 10:54 AM
Monday, January 23, 2006
I had a friends wedding to attend in Chennai so a bunch of us decided to drive down from Bangalore.
The night before we had dessert at Hatworks Boulevard (the exact name eludes me.) and mine (chocolate something) included free butter paper which I was expected to eat, or so I was informed by the manager (it's butter paper sir! You can eat it! The last time at this joint I sent back my dessert as it was rotten and they very sweetly doggy-bagged it and charged me for it!).
A quick breakfast at Koshy's was the order of the day, iced tea (best in the world!), eggs, sausages and toast (all that buttery goodness...mmmmm....).
You can buy these sausages at Bangalore Ham shop but for some reason they taste vile when cooked at home.
Unfortunately for us, we chose to take Old Madras Road on the very day all that political natak was happening in Bangalore. So we had to turn back at Hosakote and take some cart track to Hosur Road. We lost a good two hours doing those 25 km. But we were greeted by this spanking 6-lane highway once we crossed over into TN. The roads in TN are awesome, just plain awesome. Bangalore has well and truly lost the race. To say nothing of their IT Parks and ....
As this road is part of the Golden Quadrilateral, you see some pretty freaky signs. Kolkatta had me thinking of Tangra and all that Chinese food, but we pressed on towards Madras.
A large portion of the drive is on toll roads (toll plaza above), the total cost is around Rs. 75 from Bangalore to Chennai. It makes for a great drive but I can't help thinking of all the villagers who now have this mammoth road through their back yard with no easy way across. Development be thy name!
Stopped at Vellore for a dosa, or more properly a dosai. The resteraunt had a waterfall and parrots behind a glass wall for the patrons to ogle at. Wierd that.
Pre-wedding lunch. Very very good but very very vegetarian.
Frozen Dotz! I love these. It's like ice-cream in the shape of little marbles.
Wedding day lunch at 9:30 AM? These Tam-Brahms! And the wedding started at 6:30 AM. Then the groom decided to go to Kashi or something of the sort....quite good fun. But lunch at 9:30 AM?!
The obligatory post-reception-night-club-party. Pasha at the Park. Don't think anybody left with the person they came with. Bloody insane. These Tam-Brahms are wild! Leather, boots, chains, some girl-on-girl action. This is the new Chennai. Suffice to say I was shocked and went in search of thair saadam.
The whole lot of us, girls and boys side went to Mahabalipuram. Some random "culture" shot this. Boooring.
We had lunch at Fishermans Cove and played cricket, volleyball, football and took rides on a catamaran.
Then we decided to stay on, invited the bride and groom and we had a blast of a party at Fishermans Cove. The remains are for all to see.
More of the same.
And the same...
Drove back on Sunday and were greeted by this wonderful vista. Though a second later I nearly ran over a scooterist on the wrong side of the road.
More food reviews once my system recovers...
Posted by blr bytes at 4:52 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Since V's wedding was in Bangalore, a sizeable portion of the family were here last week. One arm of the family went off to CBT and were in transit again in BLR on way back home to HYD.
And my parents and I were going out for dinner with that arm. I got to Forum (pre-arranged rendezvous) earlier than everyone else and was informed a table for 8 would take an hour at Sahib, Sindh, Sultan so phone calls were made and chosen modes of transport were redirected to Magnolia which was nearby and was quite a nice little place, at least from what I remembered.
When this restaurant opened, it was this lovely, charming place in a quiet lane in Koramangala - the Chinese and Thai food was great, the interiors were nice in pink and black. All very good.
I proclaim that we order Chinese as the Thai was not that great the last time I was here. And how do you think was the Chinese? It was a disaster.
Now getting on with it.
The vegetarians ordered some Veg Clear Soup. The rest of us ordered Chicken Wonton Soup. The wontons in the soup were rather small but made up for in number. The soup itself was dark, like mulligatawny and had little droplets of oil floating on it, like rasam.
When ordering for a largish table one goes with tried and tested dishes, yes? Thank you.
Veg Hakka noodles and Veg Fried rice were ordered with Chicken Hot Garlic and Baby Corn and Broccoli in Hot Garlic Sauce.
The rice and noodles were in the same league as the erstwhile Little Chef (yes, that of the Fiat car doors for tables).
The Chicken and the Baby Corn-Broccoli were nothing to write home about. Ironic that I'm writing about them on a blog.
Didn't bother with the desserts.
Posted by Dilettante at 5:39 PM
I needed to get a haircut and since Alephs office is on the way I picked him up for a quick lunch at Cha Bar. This place always impresses me. They have, to the best of my knowledge, never had an off day and the consistency in quality of their food & drink is remarkable. (which is sourced from the Park.Hotel)
We both had a ham and cheese sandwich, grilled and on brown bread, (it was very, very good. Good quality ham which was paired with a very good cheese. Only drawbacks, when they say a ham & cheese sandwich, it’s just that. No mustard or any other condiments cohabit the innards. That and it was white bread. All the same, it is excellent.) a portion of fries, (best fries in town. Better than McD’s, KFC or anything else Bangalore has to offer.) while I had an iced-tea (not bad but Koshys the place to beat. They have the best iced-tea in the world, bar none. You agree? No?) and Aleph had a Chinese green tea that he said was good. (though unlike Infinitea they refuse to sell you any. Which might be a good thing, the last bag of tea at Infinitea cost me Rs. 600 per 100gms. Think about it, Rs. 6000 per kg of white tea which is actually hot water not tea!) We pretended to share a blueberry muffin for dessert but in reality, I ate it all. (the muffin used to be outstanding. It has now regressed to masquerading as a cup-cake with blueberry jam/preserve. Still, it does have them berries that I so love!)
Other good picks, their quiche, Kashmiri kawha and soy grilled chicken salad.
An excellent place for a working lunch or a quick bite or a cup of tea or to catch up with friends. Pity about the bookshop though, it’s an abomination.
Posted by blr bytes at 4:27 PM
What's up with Hutch? They keep connecting me to random people and vice-versa. Though I have to admit I've made friends in Anatapur, Madivala and Goa this way. They ought to sell it as a service, make new friends, "Phone Pals". Oh, wait, that already exists, they of the heavy breathing sorts.
Another rant, the weather. WTF happened to winter? It's summer already? What's up weather gods?
Last rant, cricket. Can it get any more boooring?
Posted by blr bytes at 11:30 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Gujju, Dilettante, Mache, a few friends and I decided to go to RR for dinner on Saturday night. Actually, it was Gujju’s idea, we wanted to go to Koshy’s.
RR was the first of the Andhra restarants in Bangalore, I can remember going there a good 15 years ago when it was a dark, grotto like place which had excellent food. While it is now a bright and cheerful restaurant the food quality has dropped precipitously.
We started with a prawn pepper fry (prawn? Where? What prawn? Unidentifiable. The only flavour was that of pepper.), mutton fry (it was goat not mutton. But the foreign-return types liked it. So-So.), a fish fry (it was fresh fish. That’s the best that could be said.) And Andhra chilly chicken (which was good, but nowhere near the best I’ve had.) The biryani was horrid. Too much tomato and the mutton was like retread rubber and, well lets just say it was quite an abomination. The ice-cream was, well it was cold.
Do yourself a favour, try Nagarjuna instead. Much much better food. Bheema is probably better than RR too, but not by much.
It’s sad to see a Bangalore icon fast approaching its nadir. Do the honourable thing sir, use the pearl handled revolver and put it out of its misery!
P.S. I meant to add, the next morning I was reminded of a famours Louisana hot sauce, it's called the "Screaming Sphincter".
Posted by blr bytes at 10:03 AM