Friday, June 26, 2015

The Irani café goes trendy - Soda bottle opener wala

The Irani café goes trendy
25/4, Lavelle Road
Phone 7022255299
A.D Singh does it again. The pioneering restaurateur who brought Olive Beach to Bangalore, setting the trend of stylish, gourmet destinations outside the five-star hotels, is back with his latest brand, Sodabottleopenerwala. I predict it’s quickly growing popularity will see ‘Let’s go to Soda’ become one of the buzz phrases of the city’s cool set.
This new space is an ode to the Irani Café of Bombay. Those who’ve known and loved them will be happy to get all nostalgic again; those who haven’t experienced an Irani café will love what is a unique offering in Bangalore.
Old cycles stand outside, with biscuit tins from another era. Inside, the flooring is retro and the buzzing bar is lit up with images of food and drink, including Duke’s soda. The furniture has an old world feel to it and just to make you feel that this is indeed an Irani café, there’s the blackboard with a list of do’s and don’ts – ‘No laughing loudly’, ‘No throwing tantrums’.
There’s an in-house bakery and you can stop by at Soda for a maska-pav and a cup of chai. The bakery also makes nankhatai and Shrewsbury biscuits. You could begin also with a delightful plate of khari with a cheesy mushroom topping. The menu is packed with Parsi favourites – Chicken Farcha in its lacy coating, superbly done Sali Mutton and an excellent Berry Pulao.
While Parsi fare is definitel y non-vegetarian, Soda has created enough dishes to keep vegetarians and egg-eaters happy. There’s a vegetable Berry Pulao and the ever popular Tamota Papeta Par Eeda.
Besides its Parsi repertoire, Soda also pays tribute to some Bombay classics such as the Bombay Rasta Sandwich with chutney and sliced veggies, Bhendi Bazaar Seekh Parantha and a Bohra Kheema Pav which is a definite hit. For dessert, there’s a rich Toblerone Mousse and very nice Apple Pie.
Cocktails get quirky here and there are drinks such as Parsiana and Daruwala Vimto. Soda certainly puts the fizz into casual dining in Bangalore.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Restaurant Review: Hanoi - A taste of Vietnam

Hanoi: A taste of Vietnam
1st Floor, Phoenix Market City,
Whitefield, Bangalore
Phone: 67266553
Even if you’re turned off by crowded malls, there’s a very good reason to go to Phoenix Market City.  Brave the traffic and the crowds and you can be assured of a hit-the-spot Vietnamese meal at Hanoi, tucked away into this sprawling mall.
Run by the hands-on husband-and-wife team of Nirav, who’s Indian, and Diep Vu, who’s Vietnamese, this restaurant is for anyone who enjoys the sharp, clean, refreshing flavours of Asian cuisine. It’s a good looking restaurant with some fetching prints on the walls. A high table running around an island kitchen allows you to watch the chefs at work, while they bring soup to a simmer and steam crabs.
At a chef’s table to introduce a new menu we dined on the most delicate Stuffed Cabbage Pillows bobbing in a clear broth, followed by Pho Cuon, rice noodle rolls with the Pho made in-house and steamed fresh. Bursting with the freshness and crunch of bean sprouts, mint and an occasional chilli hit, this is a delicious cold starter. There was also succulent chicken thigh braised with ginger.
The piece de resistance was the freshest blue crab steamed over beer, served unadorned with a fabulous dipping sauce of fish sauce, chilli seeds, lime and sugar. There was also a richer crab dish, tossed in a pungent tamarind-chilli sauce. The thing to do is abandon cutlery and dig in, with abandon.
They make an excellent Vietnamese hotpot here, which is great for sharing, as also Vietanamese style curry served with coconut rice.
For dessert there was the Vietnamese take on Tub Tim Grob, with coffee jelly, jack fruit, water chestnut jewels and pomegranate in thickened coconut milk. They also have an array of ice creams in oriental flavours from betel leaf to pineapple and basil.
And if you need to be shaken awake from the languor of such a meal, then some excellent Vietnamese coffee.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Restuarant Review: Monkey Bar No.2

Monkey Bar No.2
The second of this hugely popular gastropub opens in the happening hub of Indiranagar
Monkey Bar is a trend-setting Bangalore brand and the city’s second one has now opened in Indiranagar. We went to a hardhat party in the run-up to launch day. And even from an early peek you could tell it’s going to rock.
The high-ceilinged space is as quirky and irreverent as the original; and just enough to be fun, without knocking itself out trying to be ‘different’.
There’ll be loads of reasons to go the new Monkey Bar: the vibe, the buzz, the music and, of course, a line-up of new cocktails and food asserting that this is a gastropub in the true sense of the term. There’s chorizo pav, shammi sliders, pirogi and tempura calamari. Also desserts like chocolate pots with salted caramel popcorn. It’s Chef Manu Chandra’s signature style that constantly introduces novelty and adventure, while always keeping the delish quotient high.
The premises will soon also house the new Like That Only. So watch this space for more.
Monkey Bar
610, 12th Main, Indiranagar
Phone 44114455