Saturday, March 21, 2009

Aromas of China

Friday night,Mr VP's taken off from work, Mr P and I are still at work, and we (Actually Mr VP and I) crave to go out some place, and at the top of my mind is Aromas of China, which I've been wanting to go for probably more than 13 years now (of course, back in the mid 90s, the outlet at Richmond Circle was called Shanghai). This time though, it was the outlet in Eva Mall on Brigade Road where we headed towards. As usual, I was there well ahead of time, Mr VP was a little over 5 minutes late, and Mr P was 20 minutes late - some things never change!

Up we go and enter the place, and the look doesn't disappoint me, but Mr P makes a peculiar comment - "Hey, I think I've been here before". "Are you sure?" I ask. And then Mr VP says, "Hey, yeah, this place looks familiar". "@#%*@#$%*... Am I the only dolt in town who hasn't been to this place yet?". So in we go and are seated and vague memories of when the two of them visited this place started to come out. It was with WeightConsious and her guy Saucy, and then all of a sudden even I realised that yes, they had come here and for some reason that I couldn't remember, I had to leave them on that night. Well, I was here now, and wasn't leaving without a good meal.

We started off with soups, and although Mr VP wanted some meat in his soup, Mr P and I outvoted him for a vegetarian soup called 8 Treasures Vegetarian soup.
When the soup arrived, I thought it was going to fall from the waiter's hand, but then realised that the bowls are slightly tilted in appearance.

The starters we ordered were Prawn dimsums, which were slightly spicy along with the sauce that was served with it, but delicious none the less,
fried mixed vegetable (L), and honey chilly chicken (R).
I wouldn't recommend the honey chilly chicken since it felt a little chewy, and since the chicken was served in such thin slivers, I thought it was criminal to have it chewy.

For our main course, we ordered a crispy noddles with some sauce for Mr P, while Mr VP and I shared a some chicken noodle dish along with a side order of chicken & mushrooms in oyster sauce.

I was pretty darn full after this meal, and the fact that it was really good made me even happier. After a while of debating whether we should have dessert or not, and then what to have for dessert, we finally settled for chocolate spring rolls with ice cream, and they were divine. The snap below is not one that I took, but I can assure you that the rolls looked exactly the way they do in this picture (minus the china used here).

My fortune, from my fortune cookie.

Great food, and since this was after such a long time, it felt that much better. And my stomach was going to explode if I didn't lie down on my bed quickly, and so I said a quick good night to the amigos and off I drove towards me casa, to read The Prodigal Daughter (yeah , I haven't read it so far, so sue me!) and get some shut eye.

Food: Good
$$$: On the higher side - we shelled out nearly 600-700 per head
Service: Good
Verdict: Must visit if you love Indianised Chinese food (no MSG used here I've heard)

Aromas of China, Top Floor, Eva Mall, Brigade Road, Bangalore

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Barbeque @ VP's house

Saturday night fever! That's what it was all about. VP celebrated his 25th birthday (yeah, although he's my batchmate, he's a year younger than I of those 84 kids and not an 83 adult) on the 25th (coincidence!) of Feb and decided to have a barbeque party for the Army School gang on the weekend. As usual, I was supposed to do the cooking, and with VP's skills in the kitchen (he didn't even know where the salt is kept), I knew it was going to be an interesting evening to say the least.

So Saturday afternoon I go to his house (he's already purchased most of the stuff we need) and we start - I with the marinade, and he handing over the ingredients I ask for (as and when he finds them). So we decide to make two kinds of marinades for the chicken - a coriander-mint-green chilly-curd marinade for one, and a soya sauce-sugar-white-wine vinegar-spring onioin-chilly powder marinade for the steaks. This second one was a typical Korean way of marinating and barbecuing/grilling chicken in the open.

For Mr P, the vegetarian, there was the ever faithful paneer, and Mr VP had bought 1 kg of paneer, and so we knew there was going to be enough. Although we had some mushrooms, we weren't able to do anything with them coz of the lack of time, in spite of starting at 3 in afternoon. So for the paneer, one marinade was the same coriander-mint-curd, while for the second one I kept wondering what a good friend of mine, with whom I had an unfortunate fallout a couple of days prior to this party, would have liked being a paneer lover. Peeved at myself for the fallout, I tried to think what could be done to make a paneer lover enjoy the dish. A moment of inspiration from VP's mom and we had it - lemon juice, with curd, a little chilly powder, turmeric, a little garam masala and chat masala, and some salt.

After leaving the food to marinate in the refridgerator for a few hours, we killed time by shopping for some charcoal! Boy, it's tough to find what you want when you want it. We, however, got lucky as we found a place. However, finding charcoal is one thing, getting it to burn is quite another, as we soon found out! Luckily, VP's dad was an old hand at this - I guess his days in the air force had made him a pro at such things.
VP and his dad starting the barbeque

Pretty soon, that darn black thing was all ablaze and we were all set for the grilling - or actually, the food of all set for the grilling, we were just plain hungry!
And then there was fire!

Food, glor-e-ous food :)

Paneer with the coriander-mint-curd marinade (L) and chicken with the same marinade (R)

A different view

Miss BakeACake also joined us, and although I had initially started the blog with no pictures of people, to heck with it! That's Ms BakeACake, who left her husband (no, no, I mean left him at home) and came skewered a quite a few (I tried to make it sound like as if this was a hunting expedition and she came and shot a few, but I know I'm falling woefully short of the mark).

And that's yours truly on the left, and Mr P on the right - excuse the glitter on my face, but the place was HOT and the only benefit of standing in front of a hot barbeque grill is it will clear your nasal highways, that's all!

The paneer sitting in it's tangy, lemony marinade - oh I so wish that things get back to where they were before the fallout! Sniff, honk.

That's the Korean-styled soya sauce steak - juicy!

The end is nigh! The closing ceremony has the birthday boy putting off the barbeque in style.

So after eating, we drive Ms BakeACake to her house and reunite her with her hubby dear, spend some time there discussing iPhone apps that could be possible hits, and finally head back to VP's place at close to 2 AM. Long day, and for me, a long wait.

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